Distinctive Maltese Cross Postmarks of Great Britain
From Stamps of the World
The following are images of some of the Distinctive Maltese Crosses (MX) of Great Britain used between 1840 and 1844.
The were hand made stamps that were inked on a pad before impressing on the stamps to cancel them. As they were handmade they have certain individual features that are indicative of the offices that used them. Many of the Maltese Cross cancels have been identified by covers showing the postage use and therefore the offices who used them. However the majority of handstamps that were made are almost identical as they were fashioned to a design. The London Chief Office introduced Cancels with numbers 1 to 12 in them (1843) and small crosses on them on the top of each (except the number 3 cancel that either had no cross or it was quickly damaged and fell off). Maltese Cross cancels are an indicator of the plate range of a 1d Red as it was used only up until 1844 when plate 45 was at press. The presence of a MX cancel therfore assures the owner that it is within plates 1b-45. It can still be found on slightly later plates as some towns continued to use the MX cancel until they recieved their '1844 type' cancels.
Distinctive Maltese Crosses
Inland Office Numeral Maltese Crosses
1843 The London Inland Office later used a series of barred numeral postmarks with the number within a central diamond