General Post, London Branch Offices Date stamps

General Post, London Branch Offices date stamps 1829-1858

In 1829 the Post Office Headquarters in London was moved from Lombard Street to a new building in St. Martin's Le Grand. Reorganisation of General Post arrangements took place at that time and part of this was the opening of four Branch Offices. At these offices General Post letters posted in London could be date stamped before being sent on to the Chief Office for despatch. At that time the majority of General Post letters leaving London were carried by mail coaches that left the Post Office Headquarters at 8 p.m. each evening. The hour or so before the coaches left was a scene of bedlam whilst the bags were being made up for despatch all over the country and with the posting windows clogged with people making last minute postings. The Branch Offices were designed to relieve the load on the Chief Office and help speed the mails out of London.


The four Branch Offices were:-

LOMBARD STREET,   CHARING CROSS,
VERE STREET,(later Old Cavendish Street), and BOROUGH.

ls 1833   chx 1832  vs 1830boro 1853

Click on an illustration above to go to that page.

The stamps used in these offices were, with one exception, all more or less in the shape of a Maltese Cross, all contained initials identifying the office — "LS" "CHX" "B" or "VS", with the date and, in the stamps for letters pre-paid in cash, the word "Paid". The one exception was a circular stamp of Charing Cross. The early stamps were blue, but this soon gave way to red, except at Lombard Street, where black was generally used.
The paid stamps were always struck in red. Should we obtain further examples, they will be added to these pages.

Where our examples are on entire letters I have included a transcription of the letter as an added interest.

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