Difference between revisions of "GB Registration during the reign of Queen Victoria"

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|[[File:{{PAGENAME}} 1878 2d a.jpg|thumb|350px|2d pre-printed registration cover of 1880 embossed envelope Postage of 2d sent Smithfield Market to Maidenhead, pre-printed boxed "Registered" on front with blue crossing. Red London Registered oval at bottom right. With a Smithfield Market B.O. despatch cancel on front.]]
 
|[[File:{{PAGENAME}} 1878 2d a.jpg|thumb|350px|2d pre-printed registration cover of 1880 embossed envelope Postage of 2d sent Smithfield Market to Maidenhead, pre-printed boxed "Registered" on front with blue crossing. Red London Registered oval at bottom right. With a Smithfield Market B.O. despatch cancel on front.]]
 
|[[File:{{PAGENAME}} 1878 2d a rev.jpg|thumb|350px|reverse of Smithfields 2d registered cover, endoresed 7/- value.]]
 
|[[File:{{PAGENAME}} 1878 2d a rev.jpg|thumb|350px|reverse of Smithfields 2d registered cover, endoresed 7/- value.]]
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|[[File:{{PAGENAME}} 1878 2d b.jpg|thumb|350px|Pre-Printed 2d Green registered letter to Washington via New York in 1880 with a 2d blue and ½d bantam paying the postage rate from London. Red REGISTERED oval of CORNHILL B.O. London. ]]
 
|[[File:{{PAGENAME}} 1878 2d b.jpg|thumb|350px|Pre-Printed 2d Green registered letter to Washington via New York in 1880 with a 2d blue and ½d bantam paying the postage rate from London. Red REGISTERED oval of CORNHILL B.O. London. ]]
 
|[[File:{{PAGENAME}} 1878 2d b rev.jpg|thumb|350px|Reverse of Cornhill, London to Washington cover. Registered purple box cancel of New York and a Washington receipt cancel.]]
 
|[[File:{{PAGENAME}} 1878 2d b rev.jpg|thumb|350px|Reverse of Cornhill, London to Washington cover. Registered purple box cancel of New York and a Washington receipt cancel.]]
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|[[File:{{PAGENAME}} 1878 2d c.jpg|thumb|350px|2d printed but not prepaid registration cover of 1881. Registered London South Western District Office cover to Russia with 2½d plate 21 paying the UPU postage and provisional issue 2d for the registration. Dated with inverted date plug of 01 May Backstamped in Rovno on May 4.]]
 
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Latest revision as of 15:31, 13 September 2019

Just prior to Queen Victoria's reign and the introduction of the postage stamp, the postal system of the Genertal Post Office (G.P.O.) was being established from what had been the King's mail system and being extended to a public system.

This page attempts to deal with the development of the Registration period up to 1901

N.B. This page has been added as part of the postmarks set up as the development of the system relied on postal markings to signify the type of letters.

Pre-Queen Victoria until 1837
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1792 Money Letter system introduced[edit]

The introduction of the Money Letter system in GB in 1792 gave assurance to the passage of letters containing cash (in gold or silver) or jewellery. Letters containing "valuable Paper" only were not covered. However there was no compensation for anything that was lost, just an added assurance of carriage, as the letter was noted on letter-bills in transit and a receipt taken on delivery. Such letters were designated on the cover as a Money Letter or Cash Letter. There was no specific rate for such carriage, but as a Money Letter by definition contained at least one enclosure it was subject to at least a double charge.

This system ended on the 1st of January 1840, shortly before the introduction of the uniform 1d rate of postage for letters anywhere in the country on 10th January (it was feared that the number of such letters would be too many to handle given the expected increase in letters sent).

1824 Bankers Parcel system[edit]

In 1824 the post office introduced a special rate for parcels of banknotes being returned from London to the provincial banks that issued them. Such parcels had to weigh at least 6 ounces and contain only banknotes, and were charged one quarter of the standard postage rate. A special office was set up in London to handle them and a distinct dated Crown Postmark was used.

1823-1831 Irish System of Free Registration[edit]

A system of free registration was used by the Irish Post Office in 1823 for all double or larger paid letters (unpaid added from 1827). This remained the case until the British system was adopted when the Irish PO came under direct London control again in 1831. The Money Letter system appears to have run in parallel. Some letters bear a dated registration handstamp.

before 1840 Foreign Mail Registration[edit]

Mail going abroad could be registered for £1.1.0. Incoming mail was charged 5s. From 20th July 1836 the rates became 2s 6d in either direction (then from 1837 double postage to a maximum of 2s 6d).

Registered Crown used on 1839 incoming front from Vienna. Rate at left shows 4s postage plus the 2s 6d registration fee making 6s 6d in total.

Queen Victoria comes to the throne in 1837
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1840 End of Money Letter System[edit]

1841 Modern Registered Postal system introduced[edit]

1841 Introduction of 1s Rate of Registration[edit]

This fee of 1/- had to be paid in cash however the postage could be paid either in cash or stamps.

Registered early cover of August 1841 bearing a plate 11 Red.
4d postage paid by two 2d blues plus 1/. registration fee paid in cash. London to Macclesfield 12 June 1847.
1d red paying postage plus 1/. registration fee paid in cash. Liskeard to Exeter 24 May 1845.

1848 6d Rate introduced[edit]

Following in the decrease of the rate from 1/- to 6d in 1848 the fee had to be paid in cash but all postage now had to be paid in stamps.

In 1850 Postmasters were then sent a circular notice instructing them to affix stamps to letter to denote fee had been paid from 1st June 1850

All letters had to be endorsed "REGISTERED" and given a accounting number recorded in the sending offices books.

1851 6d Registration 2d Postage on Registered letter Burton on Trent to Macclesfield endorsed Registered. Strip of 3 plate 4 KJ-KL 2d blues plus single plate 4 LB in a darker shade.
1853 6d Registration RD SK and SL from Plate 4 on 1d Penny Pink cover paying the Registered fee. Margate to London.
1856 notice regarding REGISTRATION Click to enlarge
1848 6d Registration + postage of 4d CA-CD of Plate 77 on Salisbury local letter.

1862 4d Rate introduced[edit]

Introduction of Compulsory registration for letters containing coins was introduced. The general rate was reduced at the same time.

4d registration period 1876 Postage of 2½d Yarmouth to Norway, with blood red handwritten "Registered". Red London Registered oval at bottom right.
1864 Brighton to Norway. 1/- postage and 4d registration on pre UPU period registered cover. Crown registered postal marking and London Registered marks. Red PD (Paid to destination) oval
POSTED OUT OF COURSE POOC - If marked registered mail was posted in an ordinary post box, then they were treated as Registered mail but charged the registered fee regardless of the stamps affixed. Some period fees were just for the registration deficiency amount, but later this was doubled. This letter had been posted with 1d in stamps as marked as registered in a post box. As the fee was 4d registration it has been taxed at double deficiency of 8d.
Registered Book Post cover sent 1877 Chichester to London. 4 1d Red stars paying the 4d registration fee and an 8d Orange paying the Book rate postage.
From Blue-Town, Sheerness (backstamp 13 Sep 1877) to Portsmouth via London. The undated Sheerness registered oval is rare.

1878 Introduction of the 2d Rate for Registration[edit]

In 1878 the fee dropped to just 2d and compensation for loss was offered for the first time (up to £2).

  • 2d registration - compensation up to £2

At the same time postal stationery registration envelopes were introduced with a 2d embossed stamp which covered the basic registration fee. Stamps were added to cover the 'Postage of the letter to its destination.

2d pre-printed registration cover of 1880 embossed envelope Postage of 2d sent Smithfield Market to Maidenhead, pre-printed boxed "Registered" on front with blue crossing. Red London Registered oval at bottom right. With a Smithfield Market B.O. despatch cancel on front.
reverse of Smithfields 2d registered cover, endoresed 7/- value.
Pre-Printed 2d Green registered letter to Washington via New York in 1880 with a 2d blue and ½d bantam paying the postage rate from London. Red REGISTERED oval of CORNHILL B.O. London.
Reverse of Cornhill, London to Washington cover. Registered purple box cancel of New York and a Washington receipt cancel.
2d printed but not prepaid registration cover of 1881. Registered London South Western District Office cover to Russia with 2½d plate 21 paying the UPU postage and provisional issue 2d for the registration. Dated with inverted date plug of 01 May Backstamped in Rovno on May 4.

1886 Increased compensation 2d Rate[edit]

In 1886 the rate remained at 2d for registration however there was an increase in the amount of compensation payable the basic 2d fee still covered to £2. However now further compensation rates could be achieved by the payment of an additional fee.

  • 2d basic compensation up to £2
  • 2d basic + additional 1d offered compensation up to £5
  • 2d basic + additional 2d offered compensation up to £10

These additional payments had to be made at a counter and recorded on a special certificate of posting with stamps affixed to cover the addition. Therefore these additional stamps will not be seen on the covers.


1887 Increased compensation 2d Rate up to £10 max compensation scheme[edit]

Due to an increase in the use of the registration scheme it was decided to abolish the additional 1d that covered up to £5 and instead the GPO raised the basic level(2d rate) to cover the compensation up to £5. However an additional payment was still required for the full £10 cover.

  • 2d basic compensation up to £5
  • 2d basic + additional 2d offered compensation up to £10


1891 Introduction of 'Parcel Registration - 6d Maximum Registration Fee up to £25 compensation scheme[edit]

The Parcel post scheme that was introduced in 1883 covered the postage of parcels to their destinations, however there was no compensation for loss. Parcels tended to have high value to the senders and the PO was at first unwilling to cover as such.

However due to increased regulation and success of registration items and a reduction in claims, it was decided that parcels could come under the registration system. In 1891 this came into effect when there was also a further change in the scale of compensation introduced which also covered the compensation available to parcels and letters alike. In effect the Insurance became a Registration fee payable in stamps, which had to be affixed to the item being sent. Additionally the scheme made it necessary to also mark the items with the amount of 'Registration Fee' paid.

  • 2d Registration paid cover up to £5 in compensation payable
  • 3d Registration paid cover up to £10 in compensation payable
  • 4d Registration paid cover up to £15 in compensation payable
  • 5d Registration paid cover up to £20 in compensation payable
  • 6d Registration paid cover up to £25 in compensation payable
1891 K sized registered 2d (imprint on reverse) cover to Germany with a 1/7½d postage rate paid in Jubilee stamps (1½d, 6d, 1/-)

1892 Increased level of Compensation for Registered Post - 11d Maximum Registration Fee up to £50 compensation scheme[edit]

After a further year the Post Office were happy to increase the fee/compensation scheme to cover larger losses.

  • 2d Registration paid cover up to £5 in compensation payable
  • 3d Registration paid cover up to £10 in compensation payable
  • 4d Registration paid cover up to £15 in compensation payable
  • 5d Registration paid cover up to £20 in compensation payable
  • 6d Registration paid cover up to £25 in compensation payable
  • 7d Registration paid cover up to £30 in compensation payable
  • 8d Registration paid cover up to £35 in compensation payable
  • 9d Registration paid cover up to £40 in compensation payable
  • 10d Registration paid cover up to £45 in compensation payable
  • 11d Registration paid cover up to £50 in compensation payable

Click Here to see some special noted cancels can be see where the 2d rate was included in the registered postmark. Different coloured inks were also being used

1898 to 1901 Increased level of Compensation for Registered Post - 1s 2d Maximum Registration Fee up to £120 compensation scheme[edit]

The final increase in registration and composition of the QV reign was to raise the maxim fee to 1 shilling 2d and to finally raise compensation to £120 maximum based on fee paid. This increase would eventually follow through into the reign of Edward VII. From the first printings of the embossed stationery of Ed VII in 1902 the registration & Postage would be included in the same fee.

  • 2d Registration paid cover up to £5 in compensation payable
  • 3d Registration paid cover up to £10 in compensation payable
  • 4d Registration paid cover up to £20 in compensation payable
  • 5d Registration paid cover up to £30 in compensation payable
  • 6d Registration paid cover up to £40 in compensation payable
  • 7d Registration paid cover up to £50 in compensation payable
  • 8d Registration paid cover up to £60 in compensation payable
  • 9d Registration paid cover up to £70 in compensation payable
  • 10d Registration paid cover up to £80 in compensation payable
  • 11d Registration paid cover up to £90 in compensation payable
  • 1s Registration paid cover up to £100 in compensation payable
  • 1s 1d Registration paid cover up to £110 in compensation payable
  • 1s 2d Registration paid cover up to £120 in compensation payable
POSTED OUT OF COURSE POOC - If marked registered mail was posted in an ordinary post box, then they were treated as Registered mail but charged the registered fee regardless of the stamps affixed. Some period fees were just for the registration deficiency amount, but later this was doubled. This letter had been posted with 4d in stamps (1d postage and 3d Registered) as registered in a post box, but has been charged 6d (double rate) for doing so.
Registered cover to Leipzig Germany and LATE FEE of 6d endorsed. Total paid in stamps of 4 1d Lilacs 4 2½d Jubilees and a single 1½d Jubilee Total = 1/3½d All perfinned by A.D. & Co. All cancelled by Registered London Grace Church E.C. ovals in black.
Registered cover London to Malta 5½d rated (3½d postage and 2d Reg) posted just into the EdVII period

N.B. From the first printings of the embossed stationery of Ed VII in 1902 the registration & Postage would be included in the same fee.