London (GB) Ship Letters

From Stamps of the World
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Gravesend Ship Letters

London (GB) Ship Letters

All 'S' numbers are those designated by Alan Robertson in his Maritime Postal History of the British Isles and subsequently by Colin Tabeart in his work 'Robertson Revisited'.

Postmark Examples

S21 - S28

S21 to S28 are very similar in style, bearing SHIP LETTER/CROWN/DAY MONTH DAY/YEAR/LETTER, with no arcs. However, there are slight differences in radius and style of crown.


1831 wrapper sent by Hamburg Steamboat to Frederick Huth in London. Schiffs Briefmarken/ Hamburg dispatch mark for 1 June 1832 with a London Ship Letter arrival for 4 June 1832. In use 1831-1834 in black, in red only 1834.


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1840 Wrapper from Antwerp to Frederick Huth in London. Clear Anvers dispatch mark for 6 Sept 1840 arriving in London on 7 Sept 1840. In use 1838-1847.


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An Entire sent from Belgium to Frederick Huth in London. Written entirely in French. Double arc Ship Letter mark of No 25 1849. In use, in red, 1847-1858.

Paid Ship Letters


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Front to Philadelphia, showing Post Paid Ship Ltr/London. In use 1800-1819 in Black


An Entire sent from London to P. Loopuyt & Co in Holland. A distillery and merchant of gin. It bears the Prices Current from Richard Birkett & Sons. Obverse shows the Post Paid Ship Letter mark for 12 June 1829. In use, in red, 1829-1832


A Wrapper sent from London to Mr Wilm J Jitta. Probably the family of Royal Jewellers who supplied the Queens of Holland - Sophie and Emma. Paid Ship Letter mark similar to S48 but size, shape, text and crown are all slightly different. Only seen in red, in use 1838-1847.