MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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HRH Prince Alfred round-world-voyage 12 days prior assassins bullet, New South Wales postal history
1868 (MR 1) concession rate cover, signed by Francis H. Poore Commanding Officer, to London from Sgt. Wm. Grimes 61 Company Royal Marines H.M.S. "Galatea" - Sydney with 3 x GB QV 1d red Plate 93 pmk'd mail-boat "A99" with London AP 26 68 arrival. Perf. faults and edge soiling. Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's second son (1844-1900) was never expected to be King and joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman aged 12. In 1867 he commissioned and commanded the 'Galatea' for a voyage around the world which would include the first royal visit to Australia. On FE 26 1867 the 'Galatea' left Plymouth Sound but the tour was abruptly curtailed in Sydney New South Wales on MR 12 1868 when Henry James O'Farrell, a Fenian sympathiser, attempted to assassinate the Prince - the Duke fell forwards on his hands and knees exclaiming "Good God! I am shot; my back is broken". His Royal Highness was tended back to health by six recently arrived nurses trained by Florence Nightingale.
Full details of the voyage can be found in the 487 page book entitled "The Cruise of H.M.S. Galatea" by John Milner and Oswald Walters Brierly. Prince Alfred was the first serious stamp collector in the royal family. He sold his collection to King Edward VII who shared his enthusiasm, who in turn gave it to his son King George V. Keenly expanded by the latter the two collections became the basis of what is now the Royal Philatelic Collection.
£1750
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