London Post - Evening Duty date stamps 1797 onwards
These postmarks were applied in the Inland section of the GPO on the outgoing mails. It was a very busy time as from as early as 1756 there were daily mails, (except Sundays) to all parts of the Kingdom and, at the height of the coaching era, 28 coaches left London each night carrying the mails. In 1828, Allen's History of London, reported that the business of the evening mails was transacted from 5 to 8 pm, and on a certain day, fortyfour thousand letters were sorted and charged, checked and despatched by 105 persons in 45 minutes. The office had as many divisions as there were distinct Mails. The junior clerks sorted the letters and handed them to their chief clerk, who would check to see if it was single, double, franked, or properly charged if prepaid, and then marked the appropriate postage rate to be collected. The letters were then made up into bags, for the respective postmasters with a list of the total amount charged, sealed, and handed to the guard on the appropriate mail coaches.
|These examples were in use on unpaid mail - 1795-1799, 1798 only in January & February, 1800-1822 and 1823-1829.|
Click on each one to see a letter with that postmark, then click on the Back arrow on the browser to return to this page.
|These examples were in use on unpaid letters during the periods 1828-1830, 1830-1840, 1840-1845 and 1845-1857|
|These examples were on some of 18 letters sent from London Lawyers and addressed to John Daw, Solicitor of Exmouth, Devon, in the 1830s. The letters are mainly short correspondence regarding Writs and Summonses and other legal opinions, so they are not on our website as letters of interest. I have just put the postmarks here, to show the different Identifying Letter used in each stamp, and the year that they were in use as evidenced by the postmarks. They are: Z 1833 Q 1833 Y 1834 S 1834 X 1833.|
|The evening duty period was always one of high speed, and the stamps were worn out every day and recut out of boxwood, which was believed to be quicker in use.|
Copyright 2002 E. J. Shanahan(UPDATED illustrations March 2019)
Evening Duty p2
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