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: Pre-stamp entires Clear

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Proofed/unrecorded ERRONEOUSLY APPLIED unique TRINCOMALEE/RETURNED FOR POSTAGE,CEYLON postal history
1845 wrapper from C. Brun fils, Port Louis pmk'd red MAURITIUS POST OFFICE d/ring dated NO 05 1845 marked "via Ceylon" to Veillon Freres, Bordeaux, France with "Paid 1/8" in dark black ink most unusually landed on Ceylon's north east coast (instead of the southern port of Galle) showing prepared for application TRINCOMALEE/RETURNED FOR POSTAGE datestamp for NO 22 1845 erroneously applied, crossed through, and TRINCOMALEE/STEAMER LETTER added for the next day in the same coloured ink. Carried via ALEXANDRIA (JA 7 1846) with 25mm chisels slits and large part PURIFIE AU LAZERET/MALTE handstamp added showing red PAQ. ANG. MARSEILLES (16 JANV 46) on address panel and Bordeaux (10 JANV 46) arrival backstamp with 96 decimes to be collected. Exhibition item collecting cancellations from five different countries.
Similar RETURNED FOR POSTAGE datestamps were proofed for other Ceylon towns but none are known used. This remarkable example only exists due being wrongly applied.
£7250







THE UNIQUE B.W.I. "DOUBLE COUNTRY" JAMAICA and BAHAMAS SAILOR'S CONCESSIONARY RATE ENTIRE
1835 entire "From Alexander Spain on board His Majestys Brig Wasp" to his sister Charlotte Spain in Southampton countersigned on face by J.N. Syke, Lt. Acting Commanding Officer with "Paid 1" in horizontal oval and matching red ink LIVERPOOL AP 14 1835 arrival backstamp. Written at Port Royal, Jamaica 12th February, travelled with him to Belize, with cross-written finish at Nassau, Bahamas 12th March with "since writing the first part we have been with troops to Honduras in New Spain and thence to this place on the same errand". Opening tear into address panel hardly detracts, some small internal splits but clean with delightful content including mention of fond memories of picking buttercups and daisies on their way to school.
No privilege rate countersigned pre-stamp Sailor's letters are currently recorded from Jamaica (which is quite extraordinary for such a large island) or the Bahamas, and the only two recorded entires as such for the B.W.I. group, are from Antigua (HMS Pique MY 26 1845) with rate paid by attached sewn 1d coin, and 1d paid from Alexander to his sister Charlotte Spain on the Wasp while again at Belize 30 June landed Dartmouth 29 August 1835. The "Wasp" was built during 1811-12 and at this time was on duty on the North America and West Indies station with 85 officers and men, 24 boys, 20 marines. Alexander Spain was a first class boy waiting to be rated. He mentions homecoming in about 20 months - the Wasp arrived Portsmouth 15 April 1837 having left Jamaica 11 February but during a gale on 4 April she lost her foremast and straps plus her bowsprit during a mid-Atlantic collision with the Elizabeth due poor visibility.
£2800

BARBADOS postal history
1843 entire from Henry Alleyne to Oddie & Lumley, London with unusual format 22mm BARBADOES dbl-arc dated JY 5 1843 rated unusually blue ink 1/-. Interesting contents mention sugar reaped Thicket, Fortescue, Belle, and Mount (Earl of Harewood's Estates) and the ordering of a few tons of "Guano" as a manure...I trust it will prove as beneficial here as in Jamaica". Thought to be the best display entire.
This curious mix of the preceding 24mm BARBADOES seriffed fleuron coupled with double arcs at base (measured top of "A" to top of "E") was not GPO London proofed and omitted from the Benwell handbook on Barbados postal markings. It is currently recorded period JA 5 1838 to SP 8 1845 but makes a re-appearance JA 24 1850 as a transit datestamp on an entire Trinidad to New York
£275


The rare SANS-SERIF DOUBLE-ARC, GRENADA postal history
1848 neatly written entire to John Scoble, Anti-Slavery Office, London from Schoolmaster James Paul Springle, Town of St. Patrick rated 2/- showing probably the finest of the very few recorded sans-serif GRENADA dbl-arc dated NO 7 1848/A which displays upper flap.
Sent from the GPO, London May 1 1847. Confirmed examples of this seldom used datestamp are recorded for AU 9 1847 no code, NO 7 1848/A, MR 10 1849/A
£1200



VICTORIOUS "PORTLAND" RAN AGROUND in RIVER SHANNON and STRANDED, ANTIGUA INTERRUPTED PACKET MAIL
This entire is headed “Antigua 28th Octr 1796” and marked “by Portland packet” from the Tudway correspondence to Wells, Somersetshire with handstruck S:KITTS rated 2/- changed 3/2. The “Portland” had left Falmouth with the mails for the Leeward Islands on AU 29 1796 and when off Barbados was attacked by a French privateer in which she beat off the attacker and preserved the mails. The Cook, William Thomson, lost a leg during the fighting and subsequently died of his injuries. In calm seas, near Guadeloupe, another armed privateer, the “Temeraire”, of much superior force gave chase. At daylight on October 18th the enemy hoisted her French colours and came alongside to board. The Master, Nathaniel Taylor, organised the passengers to open their musquetry upon her killing or wounding 41 of 68 on board. Captain Taylor was killed in the moment of victory. The “Temeraire” was taken into Montserrat as a prize, and the “Portland” left St. Kitts on 30th October bound Falmouth. Due a shortage of fresh water she put into the River Shannon on the west coast of Ireland on 6th January 1797. Sailing shortly after she had to put back because of bad weather, and whilst sheltering she was driven from her moorings and higher up the river ran aground. Stranded and waiting to be refloated on the Spring Tides she eventually arrived at Falmouth on 25th March. In the interim the Mate, Richard Leonard, personally took the mails from Limerick to London and they were placed in the post JA 14 97 per backstamp. This is the first recorded “Portland” interrupted mail entire clearly documenting its journey. The full story can be found in “The History of the Sailing Packets to the West Indies” by Len Britnor Pages 72-73 published by the BWI Study Circle 1973.
£2250



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

BERMUDA postal history
1852 wrapper, no side flaps, to George Clerk, Ireland Island with red HAMILTON+BERMUDA (PM4) dated JA 1 1852 (day slug inverted) struck on face due being a locally addressed letter. Ex TUCKER, ULRICH, "LONGTAIL".
The Forand/Freeland handbook only records two red PM4 entires to Ireland Island (other dated OC 4 1854).
£375


FIRST EVER MAIL CARRIED BY TWEED - PRIOR START R.M.S.P. SAILINGS FROM FALMOUTH 3rd JANUARY 1842
1841 business entire from Messrs. Stewart & Westmoreland, London to Alexander Logan, May Hill P.O., Manchester, Jamaica initially marked “Paid” and rated “8” with red PAID SHIP LETTER/(crown)/17 DE 17/1841/LONDON, but with the “Tweed” leaving for her West Indies station the following day the entire changed to “p. packet” and duly rated 1/- (unpaid) prior precise inscription of “By Ship” (no R.M.S. prefix as the R.M.S.P.Co not officially up and running) and “Steamer Tweed” arriving as a “ship letter” as handstamped KINGSTON SHIP LETTER (SL3) dated JA 17 1842. An exceptional first page item of R.M.S.P. Co. postal history showing all the intricate detail of “first ever” mail carried by the company to the West Indies.
The R.M.S.P. handbook by Kenton & Parsons notes on Page 10 that the Tweed “carried some Ship letter mail to Jamaica and Arr. 17/1”
£5250

THE MARVELLOUS EYE-CATCHING UNIQUE INTER-ISLAND CHOLERA EPIDEMIC COVER
1854 NEVIS to ST. CHRISTOPHER disinfected against cholera: two entires, both with contents, written in the same hand addressed to Wigley & Burt in neighbouring Basseterre. First with no dateline or indication of origin heavily splashed with a disinfection agent, probably vinegar, and showing two 1¼ inch chisel slits spaced approximately two inches apart having been applied from reverse (penetrating through enclosure and envelope face) conforming with the officially prescribed methods of treatment of the period. Almost certainly written during the 1853/54 cholera outbreaks which spread through the islands leaving 3,920 dead in St. Christopher; 4,000 dead in Trinidad, and over 20,000 in Barbados. Exact dates for the outbreak are not established but a letter from Jamaica dated FE 24 1854 states upwards of ten cases of cholera in Kingston. The second entire, both written by Charles Kenney, is date-lined Nevis 8th July 1854 and was delivered without disinfection as the cholera epidemic had evidently abated by this date. Due the Royal Mail Steamer calling fortnightly, correspondence between the two islands could be exchanged swifter by means of private sloop. Neither entire shows indication of Post Office charge or private conveyance fee. Examples of disinfected mail from one Caribbean island to another are seldom encountered - this being the only recorded entire treated by both splashing and chisels slits which counts as interrupted mail. An exhibition item.
British Parliamentary Papers state St. Kitts escaped the cholera of 1853, while it prevailed in the adjacent island of Nevis, from which it is distant only six miles. A strict quarantine has been kept up, nothing being allowed to land from Nevis except letters, which were first fumigated … Communication continued the whole time, but St. Kitts remained unscathed for many months after its cessation in the adjacent island.
£1650
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