Local Posts



In 1764, Parliament gave the Postmaster General authority to establish a local Penny Post, in any city or town, similar to that in use in London.

No special postmarks seem to have been used however, until the 1790's. At that time they were simply "PP" with a separate number to denote the receiving office of the Posts.

Early in the 19th century the number of Penny Posts increased and the type below was used widely, from 1811, with many variations in the size and type of lettering.

Entire letter to Norwich with manuscript 1/2 (one shilling and twopence), double arc "BANGOR JE 20 1836" circular date stamp, Local Post boxed "N.4" and two line "Bangor Penny Post".

Most Penny Post stamps showed the town name and "Penny Post" in various forms, but dated stamps were used in Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Taunton, Southampton, Blandford, Devenport and Plymouth.

Entire letter from Bristol to Ledbury Herefordshire showing unframed, dated 3 line "BRISTOL 26NO1836 PY POST" and circled "No1"

Entire letter from Taunton to Farringdon, with three line unframed


Entire letter from Dartmouth to Taunton with "DARTMOUTH SE13 1835" circular date stamp and framed two line "Dartmouth Penny Post" both in black.

Front from Haddington to Doncaster August eleventh 1828 showing an unframed, two line "HADDINGTON PENNY POST" and boxed "1".

Mike Bament who wrote an article about the Provincial Penny Posts in the NPM report of 1992, noted that by 1814 Francis Freeling, Secretary to the Post Office reported that the Penny Posts were a great accommodation to the Public and becoming a productive branch of the Revenue. So much so that by the 1830s they were producing revenue well in excess of £30,000 a year.

Source acknowledgment:-

"British Postmarks - A Short History and Guide"

by R.C.Alcock & F.C. Holland.

National Postal Museum Review of 1992

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