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: Officer Privilege Rate Clear

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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The Officers privilege rate was introduced JU 1 1867 and withdrawn DE 31 1869.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



OFFICERS 10d CONCESSION and CIVILIAN 1/1d SAME DAY SAILING, CEYLON postal history
TWO COVERS TRAVELLING ON THE SAME DATE VIA MARSEILLES to ENGLAND, the first with exceptionally rare (1 of only 2 known) OFFICERS CONCESSION RATE of 10d endorsed "Chichester/Cap. A.D.C." to his daughter in London pmk'd COLOMBO B/JY 3 69 backstamped London AU 2 69, the second with standard 1/1d rate to Axminster, Devon pmk'd COLOMBO B/JY 2 69 backstamped Axminster A/AU 3 69, both with missing flaps. An exceptional pairing.
Officers did not mark their mail for the privilege postage rate of 6d per Żoz (plus any Foreign Rate) unless there was a savings. There was no advantage on U.K. mail when rates were 6d via Southampton and 10d via Marseilles, but increases to 9d and 1/1d respectively on FE 1 1868 allowed a savings of 3d (as seen on the above cover). The concessionary rate was withdrawn DE 31 1869 so savings were only possible over a 23 month period.
£3750
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