Registered

Registered envelopes of Great Britain.

Introduction

Registration of letters was mentioned in an Order in Council in July 1556, but in that case it meant that all letters between London and 'the North' should be registered in the strict sense of the names and addresses of the superscriptions being entered in a register at London.

Registration as we know it today probably started when an inland registration service was inaugurated in 1841.
Dr. A. K. Huggins covered the subject of Registered Envelopes in his book "British Postal Stationery" but this is now out of print and I am finding it hard to track down information.

Andrew A. Whitworth of Kendal issued a price list of registered envelopes and newswrappers and I have found this a great help in annotating the items I have. Being a 'sideline' collection of items picked up at various times over 40 or so years they have been kept in an album and seldom looked at. My article in Stamp News Australasia Mix and match prompted me to look more closely at the envelopes I have, and these web pages are the result.

Registered envelopes form a very specialised subject and the ones listed are those that I have in my possession and I have not given information on any others.

There is a website for Postal Stationery and e-mail contact at pss.secretary@virgin.net

Sources:-

G.B. Postal Stationery, Price list of Registered Envelopes and Newswrappers February 1999 by Andrew A. Whitworth, 1 Prizet House, Helsington, Kendal, Cumbria LA8 8AB

Registered Mail of the British Isles by James A. Mackay. 1982.

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Registered envelopes were issued as early as the reign of Queen Victoria. Various sizes were issued and they were allocated a distinguishing letter. The smallest was 'F' — 3.25 inch x 5.25 inch, then 'G' and 'G2' — 3.75 inch x 6 inch, 'H' and Forces 'H2' up to mid 1967 — 5 inch x 8 inch (subsequently 4.75 inch x 8 inch) 'H2' — 4 inch x 9 inch, 'I' — 7 inch x 10 inch and the largest 'K' and 'K2' — 6 inch x 11.5 inch.

Queen Victoria.

Registration two pence.

1878-1879.
RP6. R15. Though listed as having the "Registration Two Pence" embossed stamp in blue, this envelope is in green. I have been unable to find any references to green as yet but will add information as it comes to hand.
Size G with boxed 'REGISTERED' at top left, flap on reverse and toothed seams on back.

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Enlarged image showing florets at bottom.

April 1882.
RP9 R22a. Again though listed in blue this envelope is in green.
Size F. The registration stamp has 9 dot florets, envelope has no central seam on the back, flap on reverse and large R at top left on front. Unboxed 'REGISTERED LETTER' at top.

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1883.
RP13. R28. Size H2. 2d blue embossed stamp with 9 dot florets and large R in oval at top left. No compensation schedule on the back.

RP13. R30. As above but Size K which is scarce in Victorian era.

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Obverse. (Front)

Reverse. (Back)

1888 envelope size 'G', (3.75 inch x 6 inch). RP15. R38b. The front of this envelope shows the blue lines associated with the Registration service, the large 'R' in an oval in the top left and the wording reads,
"REGISTERED LETTER. This letter must be given to an Officer of the Post Office to be Registered and a Receipt obtained for it."
Within the right hand square the wording,
"The stamp to pay the postage must be placed here." The reverse shows the compensation scale,
'INLAND REGISTERED LETTER POST. Compensation given for loss or damage to Inland Registered Letters according to following scale — An amount not exceeding:- £5 on payment of registration fee only. £10 on payment of a fee of 2d. in addition to registration fee, Subject to the Conditions in the published Regulations as to Insurance of Inland Registered Letters".
Above the scale and under the area covered by the sealing flap is:- "M'Corquodale and Co., Limited, Contractors." (Two lines) The 2d blue embossed Registration Stamp is placed in the centre of the sealing flap and has 3 circular, 9 dot florets in the bottom of the design. The flap seals on the back of the envelope.

   

Illustration showing 5 and 9 dot florets.

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Obverse.

Reverse.

RP15. R39. 1888 as size G above but size H and with adhesive label compensation schedule over original on the reverse.

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Obverse.

Reverse.

RP15. R40. 1888. As size H above but size H2, with instructions on front in block type.

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Obverse.

Reverse.

RP16. R42. 1891-2. Size F. Compensation schedule £5 to £25 on back without 'FEE PAID' on front.

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Obverse.

Stop after '£50' over 'i' of 'Regulations.

RP18. R52. 1893. Size G with compensation schedule £5 to £50 on back, with the stop after £50 over 'i' of 'regulations'. 'Fee paid' on front

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Smaller stamp, no date or florets.

RP19. R56a. 1893. Size G. With smaller 2d blue embossed Registration St without either date or florets and with flap on back. Compensation schedule £5 to £50.

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'SPECIMEN' overprint on stamp.

RP20. R58. 1893. Size F. Third line of instructions just shorter than the second. Compensation schedule £5 to £50 on back with footnote below:- "Subject to the Conditions in the published Regulations as Registration of Inland Letters, &c." (several varieties exist.) Specimen overprint on stamp.

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RP20. R59. 1893. Size G. "Fee" and "Limit of Compensation" in the schedule in lower case type. Top line of instructions on face on face 91mm.

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RP20. R60. 1893. As R59 above but size H. "SPECIMEN" overprint on stamp.

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RP20. R61. 1893. As R60 above, but size H2. "SPECIMEN" overprint on stamp.

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Obverse.

Reverse.

RP21. R64. 1895. Size G. Compensation Schedule £5 to £50 on back with no footnote.

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RP20. R62. 1898. Size K. "SPECIMEN" overprint on stamp.

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Copyright EARS Leisurewrite 2008.

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