Too Late postmarks — round

'Too Late'  postmarks.

This next section is of 'circular' stamps and they vary from this small one only ¾ " diameter from Leominster in 1825

to this one from London nearly fifty years later, in 1871.

The contents of the Leominster letter is transcribed as it was written — spelling was not standardised for many years.

Dear sir,
I wish to aquint you that Mr Buxton is Dead and we have Never Received any Rent of him, and there is no apointment com for Mr Harman to do anything we wish for you to aquint him how to go on with this Estate.
Do you think any of the famley can hold the Land for he died with out will leving wife and Children
I Remaing your Sinsear Frend
Wm Swain Croft.
December 2 1825

At first glance this next example would seem lacking in information, there is no town or date, either in the too late stamp or in the obliterator.

Further investigation shows that it has to be after 1840, as it bears a Penny Red adhesive stamp, and before 1848-54 as the stamp is imperforate. Until 1844, the obliterator used was a Maltese cross, so this has to be inbetween 1844 and 1848. (in fact on the reverse there is a small amount of the date, which is shown as 1847.

The double circle 'TOO LATE G.P.O. shows it was posted in London and further substantiation is in the stamp obliterator. This type of number within a diamond, set in an oval of parallel bars was used only at the Inland Office of the General Post Office in London. The number (in this case 4) did not signify an office, only the number of the actual handstamp which was being used.

A later version in use at the Inland Office had TOO LATE LONDON (not

G.P.O.)as part of the date stamp. this was posted in 1858.

The London District post had distinctive cancellations, and the first example shows the TOO LATE G.P.O. as a separate small circular stamp, and the double date stamp shows it was posted in the WC 26 district.
The second one shows TOO LATE LONDON W incorporated into the double datestamp — posted in the West 43 district. Note that the Penny red stamp is perforated on both these examples.

other shapes