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



Country: St. Christopher Clear
Subject: All

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ST. KITTS PAID (used during shortage 2½d stamps for the under 300 sea miles rate) to ANTIGUA.
1889 stampless cover to Joe Goodwin, High Street, (St. John's), Antigua with the (2½d) rate covered by black undated ST. KITTS PAID with ST. KITTS C/DE 12 89 despatch being the latest known date of use. Frontal vertical fold and with no arrival backstamp which is consistent with covers to Antigua at this time. Ex FORSYTH, BROOKES.
The 1889 shortage of ½d, 1d, 2½d, 4d stamps currently spans a 22 day period NO 21 1889 to DE 12 1889. New supplies were invoiced NO 29 1889 comprising ½d dull green (6,080 stamps), 1d carmine-rose, 2½d ultramarine, 4d grey (6,100 each) all Crown CA wmk, with expected arrival in time for the DE 19 89 sailing to UK. Only four covers and two cover fronts are recorded comprising NO 21 89 (at the over 300 miles rate) to Trinidad, NO 21 89 and DE 5 89 cover fronts (at the 4d UPU rate) to Edinburgh and London respectively, DE 5 89 and DE 12 89 (at the 2½d under 300 miles radius rate) to Barbados and Antigua respectively, and DE 10 89 (at the 1d local rate) to Nevis.
£1250

ST. KITTS PAID (used during shortage 2½d stamps for the under 300 sea miles rate) to BARBADOS.
1889 stampless cover from W.C. Millard, Shipping & Commission Agent to W. P. Leacock & Co., Barbados with the (2½d) rate covered by black undated ST. KITTS PAID with ST. KITTS C/DE 5 89 despatch and BARBADOS DE 9 89 arrival backstamp. Some peripheral faults but undoubtedly with the most character. Ex BROOKES.
The 1889 shortage of ½d, 1d, 2½d, 4d stamps currently spans a 22 day period NO 21 1889 to DE 12 1889. New supplies were invoiced NO 29 1889 comprising ½d dull green (6,080 stamps), 1d carmine-rose, 2½d ultramarine, 4d grey (6,100 each) all Crown CA wmk, with expected arrival in time for the DE 19 89 sailing to UK. Only four covers and two cover fronts are recorded comprising NO 21 89 (at the over 300 miles rate) to Trinidad, NO 21 89 and DE 5 89 cover fronts (at the 4d UPU rate) to Edinburgh and London respectively, DE 5 89 and DE 12 89 (at the 2½d under 300 miles radius rate) to Barbados and Antigua respectively, and DE 10 89 (at the 1d local rate) to Nevis.
£1350

ST. KITTS PAID (used during shortage 4d stamps for over 300 sea miles rate) to TRINIDAD
1889 stampless cover to Port of Spain, Trinidad with the (4d) rate covered by black undated ST. KITTS PAID with ST. KITTS C/NO 21 89 despatch and TRINIDAD C/NO 29 89 arrival alongside. Flap largely removed, the only cover with three cancels on face and sharing the earliest known use date, unique as such. Ex BROOKES.
The 1889 shortage of ½d, 1d, 2½d, 4d stamps currently spans a 22 day period NO 21 1889 to DE 12 1889. New supplies were invoiced NO 29 1889 comprising ½d dull green (6,080 stamps), 1d carmine-rose, 2½d ultramarine, 4d grey (6,100 each) all Crown CA wmk, with expected arrival in time for the DE 19 89 sailing to UK. Only four covers and two cover fronts are recorded comprising NO 21 89 (at the over 300 miles rate) to Trinidad, NO 21 89 and DE 5 89 cover fronts (at the 4d UPU rate) to Edinburgh and London respectively, DE 5 89 and DE 12 89 (at the 2½d under 300 miles radius rate) to Barbados and Antigua respectively, and DE 10 89 (at the 1d local rate) to Nevis.
£1400



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

MONTSERRAT postal history
TOO LATE FOR INCLUSION FIRST SAILING OF JY 12 1876 BEARING MONTSERRAT 1st PRINTING QV 1d, 6d ADHESIVES: 1876 cover endorsed "J.S. Hollings Montserrat W.I" at lower left from the known correspondence to James Sanderson, Bridgetown, Barbados conveyed "loose" (as too late for sealed bag) by the Cassin contract mailboat to St. Kitts where inter-island rate QV 6d green affixed and tied by dumb circled single central bar cancel with ST. KITTS JY 13 76 despatch rated red "4". An exquisite and most unusual exhibition piece. Ex HART.
The 1st printings Montserrat QV 1d red (13,200 stamps) and QV 6d green (6,960 stamps) Crown CC Perf.14 were invoiced JU 12 1876 and would have arrived in time for the JY 12 1876 first sailing bearing Montserrat's own adhesives. Montserrat had lost its steamer service in 1852 and for many years thereafter the mails were conveyed to and from St. Kitts by means of sailing vessels. From SP 26 1864 to DE 31 1879 Frederick Slater Cassin, of Antigua, held the contract to convey the mails between St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat, for which he received a subsidy of £490 a year.
£4250




ST. BARTHELEMY (French reoccupation, 2nd year) postal history
1879 entire headed "St Barths 11 Septr 1879" to The Post Master, Grand Turk, Turks Islands, enclosing a letter for Mr. Gibbs (presumed George Gibbs, the Salt Merchant, and Commission and Forwarding Agent at Grand Turk). Conveyed to neighbouring St. Christopher for onward transit where QV 6d green affixed and tied by the "APMY" dumb cds with weak ST. KITTS despatch (thought SP 12 79), rated red "4". On arrival most unusually handstruck internally with pristine TURK'S-ISLAND code removed/OC 10 79 cds probably as a record of receipt to show date acted upon for any future reference. Additionally unique for being the only known St. Christopher UPU member cover to a non-UPU member commanding a 6d rate (St. Christopher was full member from JY 1 1879, Turks Islands did not join the UPU until JA 1 1881). An exceptional showpiece conveyed through British Colonial Post Offices during the second year of French reoccupation.
On NO 26 1781 St. Eustatius was captured by the French under Marquis De Bouille, St. Martin was seized the following day, and Saba and St. Bartholomew soon after. The latter island remained French until 1784 when it was suddenly sold by one of Louis XVI's ministers to Sweden in exchange for trading rights in the Swedish port of Gothenburg. In 1877 France bought back the island from Sweden for 400,000 francs with the agreement ratifield in Stockholm NO 9 1877 and in Paris MR 4 1878. On MR 16 1878 the French officially reoccupied St. Barthelemy. A census in 1875 indicated there were around 2,300 inhabitants on the island. (Note: this is similar to the expectation of how a Cayman Island cover for the period would travel, if one existed, and equally as rare).
£12500

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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