Foreign Section 4.

Foreign Section — Part 4 Letters going OUT OF LONDON

Postmarks were not apparently applied on outgoing foreign mail until 1797, and up till 1799 they had the year in two figures only. However from 1800-1805 the date stamp was circular with the words FOREIGN OFFICE around the top, a number in the centre, and the year at the bottom, separated from the words by two dots. The catalogue states 'The significance of the numbers other than the year is not known.'

FO 1802 click here for details

This example was applied over the fold on the reverse of the letter, and the details are FOREIGN OFFICE the number 49 and the year 1802. The size is 32mm.

It was written to Messrs Bearsley & Webb Oporto, and as can be seen from the illustration, there is a note at the bottom 'Via Lisbon'. The charge mark in red shows 2/2, but above it in black it looks like 2/4.
FO 1814 out click here for details In 1806 the stamp was changed — the wording was simply FOREIGN, and is much smaller, being only 25mm. This type was in use until 1814. The details are FOREIGN around the top, the year in four figures (1814) at the bottom, and the number 194 in the centre.

It was addressed to Bolzano in Tyrol, and there are many postal markings on the letter. For full details of these and the contents of the letter, go to this page on our website

Copyright 2002 E. J. Shanahan

By EARS Leisurewrite
Foreign Office, part 5.


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