Fifth Clause Post

'Fifth Clause Post'

Entire pre-paid 1/- to London (Bible Society House) with light but clear boxed No.3 r/house at top left and 'C PAID 10OCT10 1831' mark.

On the reverse is a very light 'HATHERLEY 204' boxed mileage mark and a rectangular framed 'Okehampton/5th Clause post'. Unfortunately, it is over the fold and has a few poorish letters on the ends of the name.

R.C. Alcock and F.C. Holland, in their book "British Postmarks" give the following information. "By the end of the 18th Century, Penny Posts had been set up at a number of large towns. An Act of Parliament of 1801 enabled the Postmaster-General to establish also Convention or 5th Clause Posts. The latter name came from the Clause of the Act under which they were authorised, i.e. '41 Geo. III C.7, Clause 5'.
This gave him permission in his discretion to underatake the conveyance and delivery of letters between Post Towns and places not Post Towns at such rates as might be mutually agreed upon between him and the inhabitants, so that mails could pass between towns and villages where a Penny Post would not be profitable."

Copyright EARS Leisurewrite 1999.

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