British Mileage marks.

British Mileage Marks.

(Town Stamps which included a mileage figure.)

In 1784 new provincial postmarks were issued which included the mileage from London, so the receiving clerk (knowing how far he was from London) added this to the mileage in the stamp of the sending town and was able to check the charge.
The first type was a straight line with the mileage before the town name, though variations occur with the mileage after, above or below the town name. Unfortunately we don't currently have any examples of this type of mark. The mileages were often inaccurate so in 1797 it was ordered that mileage marks should be removed from the office namestamps, but not all were removed.

In 1801 postal rates were altered again and mileage marks came back into general use. Some early marks had a mileage number under the office name as in this example from Stockport dated inside Stockport Sept 18th 1821. The mark reads Stockport 179 though the actual listing in "Great Britain Post Roads, Post Towns and Postal Rates 1635-1839" by Alan W Robertson is 180.

Stockport Sept 18th 1821
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Varieties more frequently used were two line marks with (a) the mileage 'boxed', as in the MERE 111 example, (b) a line between the town name and the mileage as in the GUILDFORD 30 and (c) with a line under the mileage as well as the town name, as in the EPSOM 19 example.

Mere June 1st 1818
The contents of this letter were the subject of an article written for Stamp News Australia, 'Them Against Us, 1818' click here to read the letter, and then click on the back arrow on your browser to bring you back to this page.

Guildford  21 AU 1828

Epsom  26 AP 1824
During the period of their use, these mileage stamps were issued in various forms — straight line, circular, dated, undated, boxed or framed and with the mileage figure after, above or below the office name.

This illustration is of a handstamp of PRESTEIGN, Radnorshire, with the boxed mileage 156, which was in use from 1802 to 1810. This handstamp was acquired by the National Postal Museum in 1995.

Photo courtesy of National Postal Museum Review of 1995.
Some towns used more than one type as shown by the two illustrations below.

Straight line CARDIFF 163with line under town and under mileage.

Cardiff 163
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Circular CARDIFF 163 MA 21 1812 with circles either side of the year.

Cardiff circular
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EARS Leisurewrite
Mileage marks part 2


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