Miss Fisher, London 1848

“ Mr. G Poulls, Chichester
from Parker, Taylor, Rocke & Parker, London 1848, re Miss Fisher”


Eunice Shanahan

This letter addressed to Mr G Poulls Chichester dated 7 July 1848, has 2 imperforate penny red stamps with alphabet letters at bottom E E and E F. I wonder why there were two as it was the penny post by then?
The two postal markings on the front are first the Red Lion St London Receiving Office stap applied in blue ink, and then the London District Inland Office obliterator of 12 lines forming the oval with a number 7 in the centre.
This type with numbers from 1 to 22 was introduced on 2nd March 1847.
On the reverse is a London evening duty stamp JY 7 1848 with two initials at the top, possibly WB or MB, of the type in use from 1845-1857, for the despatch from London and the arrival date stamp of Chichester JY 8 1848 with a letter A under the date.


The letter is written on very good quality paper with a watermark of a crown and post horn with the script letters of C A.

So now to the letter written by a firm of Solicitors.

Grays Inn
7 July 1848
Dear sir
We are in receipt of your letter of yesterdays date and beg to thank you for your attention. We are however extremely sorry to have to inform you that notwithstanding all the previous communication, when we took Miss Fisher before the Committee of the Bethlem Hospital this morning, they refused to receive her as they considered her such an incurable case as not to be suitable for that Institution.

We fully explained all that had previously passed but to no purpose, and we have consequently arranged with W. Frost who brought her to Town to renew the application for her readmission to St. Lukes. You will probably have a communication from W. Frost upon the subject.

In the event of that application failing we see no alternative but to issue another Commission against her.
We are, Dear Sr,
Yours Truly
Parker Taylor Rocke & Parker.

These two hospitals were for the treatment of the insane, and they were not places where one would wish to be placed. A person had to be ‘committed ’ by qualified people, and this letter is evidence of those attempts to have Miss Fisher committed.

Notes: References checked on Wikipedia and information and photographs about Bethlem hospital and St Luke’s hospital are freely available there.
Source for postmark: H.C. Westley The Postal Cancellations of London 1840-1890.

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