Foreign Section 5.

Foreign Section — Part 5 Letters going OUT OF LONDON (1815-1836)

A new type of postmark was introduced in 1815, it was a small, single circle, with the letter 'F' indicating the Foreign office, at the left, the year in 2 figure to the right and then a number in the centre. Once again, the catalogue states 'The significance of the numbers other than the year is not known.'
I thought it was the day and month as all the examples I have seen look as though that would be the answer, but closer examination shows that this is not correct.

FO 1822 click here for details

This first example applied on the back of the letter show the details F the number 174 and the year 22. The size is 21mm. The letter written in French, is dated Londres, 9th Avril, 1822, so the number in the middle of the stamp COULD possibly have been 17th day of 4th month, but it could not have taken 8 days from the time of writing to receiving the Foreign office stamp.

It was written to Monsieur Elisee Raba, Bordeaux, and there is a note at the top in red 'ANGLETERRE'. There are two charge marks,both in black — a small figure'8' and a much larger '99' but above it in black, which would be the foreign currency charge.
FO 1836 out click here for details This second example is on a letter with so many other marks it is surprising that the address could be made out at all. The circular frame on this one is 23mm and the details are F for Foreign, 36 for the year and the numbers 16 in the centre. This is another example where it looks as though the number 16 in the middle could be 1st day of 6th month, but the letter was dated May 25th, and it would not have taken 7 days to get from Chester to London, so that is another idea shot down in flames.

It was written in June 1836 by Fanny Harrod Tyse, addressed to The Lady Selsey in Florence, Italy but then re-addressed to Bagui d'Aix in Savoja. For full details of the postmarks and the contents of the letter, go to this page on our website

Copyright 2002 E. J. Shanahan

By EARS Leisurewrite
Foreign Office, part 6.


Return to our Home Page