MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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SPECIALISING IN THE UNUSUAL - WHETHER IT BE VILLAGE POSTMARKS, THE UNEXPECTED WITH BASIC STAMPS, UNUSUAL POSTAL HISTORY, OR EXCEPTIONAL QV COVERS



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Subject: Reg. etiquette Clear

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BRITISH KAFFRARIA WRAPPER from a SURVIVOR OF THE H.M.S. BIRKENHEAD TROOPSHIP DISASTER
In response for requests for testimonies from survivors the only surviving letter from the Cape: 1858 wrapper docketted "Andrews 20 Nov 1858" (the content removed but published) to David Seton, Portabello, near Edinburgh marked "Registered at King W Town 25.11.58" and "K.W.T. C.G. Hope" at lower left with two damaged copies 4d blue tied triangular handstamp with CAPE PACKET DEVONPORT JA 26 1859, red Crown/REGISTERED and red oval REGISTERED/LONDON 27 JA 59 alongside address panel, reverse red CAPETOWN DE 2 1858 transit, black Edinburgh and blue PORTABELLO JA 28 1859 arrivals.
Younger brother (Major) David Seton was quite determined from an early stage to gather as many facts as possible. He met many of the survivors personally and continued with his determination that the heroism displayed by his elder brother Alex should always be associated with the ‘Birkenhead’. Personal interviews, and correspondence with testimonies from survivors, continue as late as 1858-59 and he printed a little book on the Wreck of the ‘Birkenhead’ in Edinburgh in 1861, and again in 1873 and 1890 which was initially intended for private use and not for publication or sale. The Andrews testimony is published on pages 134/5 in "A Deathless Story" by A.C. Addison being a 318 page account of the Birkenhead.
£7250


IRELAND ISLAND, Bermuda postal history
1908 use 2d blue/cream PSRE to Watton, Norfolk with added 1d Dock pmk'd Ireland Island A/SE 1 1908 d/ring (H7) with re-introduced IRELAND ISLAND d/ring (H5, used 1896-1900) as registration etiquette appended "171" in pencil.
Contemporary and obsolete IRELAND ISLAND on same entire. This is currently the only known example as illustrated in Proud Bermuda handbook but date incorrectly given as SP 1 1905.
£425

THE UNIQUE REGISTERED OFFICER'S CONCESSION RATE COVER, Bermuda postal history
1868 countersigned Officers Letter to Henry Moore, Glasgow from Asst. Surgeon Don, R.E. with QV 2d x 2 (one defective), 6d (6d privilege rate postage + 4d registration, still 2d cheaper than the civilian 1/- rate) pmk'd B/1 with fine strikes black sans-serif "REGISTERED" (two known, a chunkier seriffed type used in later years) and STG cds dated 4 JU 68 showing PAID/LIVERPOOL/BR. PACKET JU 29 68 transit. This is the only known registered officer's concession rate cover for the whole of the British West Indies group. Ex URWICK, LUDINGTON, PITTS.
The Officers privilege rate was introduced JU 1 1867 and withdrawn DE 31 1869. The Bermuda based Royal Engineers (1863-68) created from scratch what was the longest circuit in the world for the British Army's military telegraph system with single overhead roadside wire connecting all the strategic forts. Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Nugent was responsible for the designing and construction of the western defences of the island.
£1825

AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE CASE OF "O.R.", Victoria postal history
1876 interrupted mail cover to Horse Shoe Bend with QV 1d, 2d pmk'd Sandhurst "4" duplex dated B/MY 29 76. Marked in manuscript "O.R." (Officially Registered) as it contained something of value contrary to law with two strikes framed REGISTERED and oval MORE TO PAY appended "6d" in matching ink. Some faults, soiling and backstamped Redesdale Victoria MY 30 76 clear of missing flap. RPSV Certificate (2008).
The expectation is that the survival rate of Officially Registered covers, because they contained coin or other valuables, for the pre-1885 adhesive period is approximately 1 within every 10,000. This means that most countries can offer no examples. For the whole of the British West Indies group I record only one cover which was compulsorily registered.
£1650

NEW SOUTH WALES to CAPE OF GOOD HOPE postal history
1883 reg. cover "per direct ship Parramatta" to Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope with QV 1d, 2d pmk'd GRAFTON duplex dated A/FE 24 83 and pair QV 6d tied 2-line "REGISTERED/GRAFTON" showing London 4 MY 83 and on reverse Sydney A/MR 2 83 and Cape Town Registered Letter Office JU 2 83 arrival.
£275
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