MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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Subject: Disasters Clear

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Wreck of S.S. "WINDSOR CASTLE" (Donald Currie Line), CAPE OF GOOD HOPE postal history
1876 cover and lengthy 5-page letter headed "Kersal Rectory (Salford) Sept 16 1876" to Miss Helen Ayliffe, Greystone, Grahamstown, Cape of Good Hope marked "per first Steamer, September 22 1876" with GB QV 6d grey Plate 15 tied Manchester "498" duplex dated SP 22 1876 with CAPE TOWN O/OC 20 76 arrival alongside, reverse shows DARTMOUTH B/SP 23 76 despatch and GRAHAMSTOWN OC 25 76 arrival clear of large part flap missing which shows both albino SPIERS & SON OXFORD envelope manufacturer and sender's emblem.
The "Windsor Castle" sailed from Dartmouth on 23rd September 1876 and hit rocks between 2 and 3am on 19th October off Dassen Island while approaching Cape Town. A Lt. Melville and a Mr Searle, after a most unpleasant journey, reached Cape Town at about 9pm with the news of the wrecked mail steamer. The "Florence" was despatched to the scene of the wreck, but due strong winds was unable to get out of the harbour until 4.15am, sighted the masts of the Windsor at 7am, and cast anchor at Dassen Island at 8am where the 160 passengers had assembled taking up a Robinson Crusoe kind of existence in tents rigged up from sails amongst heaps of saved baggage, boxes, gun cases and 70 to 80 mailbags. The "Florence" left at 1pm with the first of the survivors arriving at Cape Town at 6pm. Seven or eight feet of rock had ripped through the bottom and the ship broke up in heavy swells within a week. The rescued mail was postmarked at Cape Town on 20th October 1876.
£1200


PRESTWICK AIR CRASH, Bahamas postal history
1954 charred and grimy commercial cover to Kenneth Mackintosh, Nassau from Williamson's Linoleum store posted with red Lancaster & Morecambe meter machine for 1/3d dated 22 X11 54, three days later boxed purple "SALVAGED MAIL/AIRCRAFT CRASH/ PRESTWICK 25-12-54" cachet applied, intact Williamson & Son Statement of Account to the Community Furniture Store for goods received.
£125


ANTIGUA revenue receipt Church re-building fund (consequences of earlier hurricane)
1964 QE2 2c postal adhesive used for revenue purposes on receipt dated August 15th from Mrs. A Nugent for 5 donation towards the St. George's Church Re-building Fund.
History of church enclosed.
£24

URUGUAY envelope used BRITISH HONDURAS
1931 cover to Manchester, England with KGV 4c, 5c, 10c pmk'd Belize 21 SP 31 with 3-line purplish "AIR FEE/prepaid to/New York only" and Air Mail sticker deleted by mauve jusqu'a bars, part recipients name blacked out.
Stated to have been posted by one of H.M. Cruisers from Belize when the ship was sent to assist the inhabitants after the disastrous hurricane which struck on the afternoon of 10 September 1931.
£75







HERO of the H.M.S. "BIRKENHEAD" SHIPWRECK DISASTER, Sierra Leone postal history
1852 letter from Lt-Colonel Alexander Seton written at Sierra Leone 29th January posted in GB QV 1d pink PSE to Edinburgh with MR 15 and MR 15 transit and arrival backstamps. This is the only letter he wrote from Sierra Leone and the penultimate letter before the tragic disaster in Simon's Bay in the early hours of 26th February 1852 which took about 445 lives.
A 4 page account of the disaster accompanies as prepared for the December 2018 British West Indies Study Circle journal.
£1200



BAHAMAS postal history
1909 destruction by earthquake of Myrtle Bank Hotel, Jamaica Post Card to Irvington, N.J. with KE7 1d tied purple Hamburg-American Line/Atlas Service PRINZ AUGUST WILHELM d/ring oval dated APR 15 1909, Pitch Lake, Trinidad sticker added by sender.
£200

CHOLERA CHISEL SLITS and VINEGAR SPLASHING, Nevis to St. Christopher postal history
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 1 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 marvellous eye-catching 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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