MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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Subject: Maritime Clear

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SAILOR'S LETTER WITH CONCESSION RATE PAID BY 1d COIN, Antigua postal history
1845 entire headed May 26th 1845 from John King, Master at Arms on board Her Majesty's Ship Pique, Antigua (a naval soldier responsible for discipline and law enforcement aboard a ship) countersigned Horace Baker (Lieutenant & Commanding Officer) to his wife in Devonshire Buildings in Bath without the customary manuscript "1d paid" in red ink (as applied on land) but with his last ("my last") GB QV 1d coin sewn alongside the address panel confirmed by London PAID JU 20 1845 transit (not deemed overweight or subject to additional charge). Although a few dozen Soldier's Letters are recorded for the prestamp period this seems to be the only recorded accepted stampless Sailor's Letter from the BWI prior 1850. Contents include mention of discovery that the Foremast is so rotten, and a portion sent to the Admiralty with expectation of being ordered Home by September unless the mast is ordered to be built at Halifax or Port Royal "which I do not think they will do now the ship is three years in Commission". (Between 1841 and 1846 Pique, a sailing frigate with 36 guns, served on the North America and West Indies Station, on 10 March 1842 the Illustrious (see David Pitts lots 39, 159), with the Pique, Fair Rosamond and Spitfire departed Barbados for Antigua and Jamaica).
A scan of the entire has been mounted on card and an actual 1845 1d coin has been sewn on with hemp, using the original 7 in and 7 out needle holes, to simulate how it could have looked, although it was on reverse in actual transit. Only one other BWI prepayment by sewn 1d coin entire is known written January 24th 1847 and posted on land with ANTIGUA double arc JA 27 1847 on a Soldiers Letter (ex Gerald Sattin) to a shoe maker in Edinburgh, the coin evidently was also sewn to the reverse as the circumference of the sewing holes obscure the frontal addressing.
£6500
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