Mr Robinson, 1839

“ Letters from the Past ”

by

Eunice Shanahan

John Field to T.R. Robinson
Essex Street the Strand, London, 1839

This letter addressed T.R Robinson Esqr 26 Essex Street Strand, the postmarks show that it was a Twopenny post letter, being lodged and received within the designated area, and dealt with by the Chief Office. There is a hand stamped 2 and the indented date stamp for 8 NT Ju 12 1839 is of the new type which began in 1838, with a capital second letter and no stops. The Chief Office stamps always had the month before the day.

The next image is an enlarged and ‘manipulated’ to try to enhance the unframed stamp of the twopenny post applied in black which was in use from 1836-1842. The wording is T P Chief Office, in two lines, which is faint but legible with a magnifying glass.

The paper is unwatermarked and the contents are written on only one side of the other side of the paper. It is easily legible.

There is a filing note on the outside
Mr Field 13th June 1839 Recd & ansd.

So now to the contents of the letter.

11 Throgmorton Street June 12/39

My dear Sir,
We could wish if it were possible to retain in our hands say £20,000 till
the new Trustees are appointed. If this intimation could be embodied
in our letter without interfering with the practical
operation of the arrangements & without conveying the
slightest offence to thepresent board it would be very desirable.

In other respects the letter seems exactly to meet our views
Your answer by noon tomorrow will oblige
Yours very truly.
John Field (Jr.?)


He seems quite confident that the reply would reach him by noon the next day, not surprising as there were five daily collections and deliveries in the Twopenny Post. The sum of money mentioned £20,000 seems immense for that time, but the Bank of England was in Throgmorton Street and was then the centre of the banking industry, also there were vast fortunes being made by people in the industrial and agricultural sectors. The Wikipedia entry is interesting:

It is named after Nicholas Throckmorton, chief banker of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and the head of an ancient Warwickshire family.
The London Stock Exchange formerly occupied the southern side of Throgmorton Street. It was also once the home of Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII’s chief minister.
Throgmorton Avenue runs from Throgmorton Street to London Wall: it is a private road belonging to the Drapers’ livery company and Carpenters’ livery company with gates at each end. The gates to London Wall are controlled by the Carpenters’ Company and are open between about 7 am and 7 pm on working weekdays. The livery halls of both companies can be accessed from the avenue, as can Drapers’ Gardens; the Drapers occasionally use their hall’s grander entrance on Throgmorton Street.


( Reference The Local Posts of London 1680-1840 by George Brumell
Wikipedia for Throgmorton St)

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