London Post — Morning duty date stamps 1787 onwards.

These were usually applied to incoming mail at the Chief Office because of the arrival and departure times of the mail coaches. For this reason, much of this mail would be addressed for delivery in London. It could however be in transit through London. In both these cases the date stamps would be applied on the back of the letter, as it was the practice to write the postage on the front, and put the date stamp on the back. If it was in transit, it would usually bear other stamps in addition to the morning duty stamp. When the volume of mail was heavy, there were additional stamps used which had double rims.

There were distinctive types in use for unpaid and pre-paid mail, and for letters sent free under the franking system. As a generalisation the morning duty stamps were in red, and had the year in a straight line, unlike the curved dates used on the evening duty stamps.

This section begins with the stamps on unpaid letters.

morning duty 1788 morning duty 1801 morning duty 1810 morning duty 1839 These examples were in use prior to 1796, 1800-1810, 1810-1836 and double rims from 1810-1844.
Click on each one to see a letter with that postmark, then click on the Back arrow on the browser to return to this page.

morning duty 1838morning duty 1849 morning duty 1851 morning duty 1854

These examples were in use 1834-1840, 1844-1853, and 1846-1857
The stamps were also cut new every day, so there would be slight differences. It must have been bedlam, and makes me wonder why they organised it this way. I would have thought it would be easier all round if the mails coming in were staggered in times, but the schedules were organised so that they all arrived at the main GPO at 8 o'clock in the morning.

Copyright 2002 E. J. Shanahan

By EARS Leisurewrite

Morning Duty p2

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