Too Late straight line

'Too Late'  postmarks.

This next section is of 'straight-line' Too Late stamps, which make up the majority of this type of mark in our collection. They are basically of two types, framed and unframed.

Shrewsbury to Northwich, June 10 1833.
The Shrewsbury office applied their datestamp, and the TOO LATE stamp. Shrewsbury used the same type of framed too late stamp for many years, and the frame size was altered over the years — this one measures 1-3/4" by 5/8". This is a very informative address panel of the letter. The manuscript '8' (to be paid by the addressee), indicates that the letter was to be carried for a distance of between 50 and 80 miles. It was addressed to Northwich, in Cheshire, but was sent to NANTWICH by mistake.


There they applied the faint red receiving stamp with the word 'Not' written beside it.

Many TOO LATE stamps were long framed rectangles, applied in black in, two examples are shown below.

Totnes, 1835

The smallest one in our collection is this

it measures only 7/8" x 3/8". The letter was posted from Hull to Birmingham in 1837. The cost of postage was 1/- (one shilling), which at that time was about what a labourer could earn for a day's pay. This may explain the contents of the letter.
You may inform your clients that I will pay no more than I am indebted to them, the postage of letters I will not submit to pay, as they never post pay there letters to me,
Matthew Tate."

However, the majority of them are just the words 'TOO LATE' in a straight line, usually in black, but we have some applied in red ink. As can be seen by these illustrations the lettering varies in size.

Bristol 1825 size 1-3/8" x 1-1/4"

Exeter, 1830

Birmingham, 1830 in red as the letter was post paid.