British Letter Mail to Overseas Destinations 1840 to UPU​
By Jane Moubray RDP Hon FRPSL FRPSC & Michael Moubray DL Hon FRPSL

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The present work covers the rates, routes and regulations concerned with the dispatch of British letters to overseas destinations from 1840 when Rowland Hill’s new scheme for cheap postage became a reality until after the adoption of the Universal Postal Union Treaty.

 

Michael and Jane Moubray

The present work covers the rates, routes and regulations concerned with the dispatch of British letters to overseas destinations from 1840 when Rowland Hill’s new scheme for cheap postage became a reality until after the adoption of the Universal Postal Union Treaty.

It seeks to give an insight into the conventions, shipping contracts and arrangements negotiated between the many different administrations and to explain some of the complications and difficulties with which the postal staff and shipping companies had to contend before simplification took place.

Jane Moubray, RDP, Hon FRPSL, FRPSC was born in Yorkshire in 1932 and was lucky in having both a grandfather and a father who collected stamps. Her main interests include the classic stamps of Great Britain, particularly the 1841-1879 Twopence issues and those of British North America until 1946. She has served on the Expert Committee of The Royal Philatelic Society London since 1989 and also as an FIP international judge for both Postal History and Traditional classes from 1979 until 2006.

Michael Moubray, DL, Hon FRPSL was born in London in 1930, the son of Colonel John Moubray, DSO, Coldstream Guards. He would have liked to have followed his father into the army but was prevented by early injury. After two years in Rhodesia he returned to farm near Catterick. He and Jane married in 1955 and they moved to Rutland in 1960 to continue farming. Both joined The Royal Philatelic Society London in 1970 after which Michael began his collection of Rhodesian and Southern Rhodesian stamps and postal history. Together they started their study of the British Mail to Overseas Destinations in the early seventies and their first book was published in 1992. Michael died in 2014

Dedication
Preface
Introduction
Chapter 1 Historical Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Ship Letters 
1.3 Packet Mail
1.4 Exchange Offices
1.5 Routes
1.6 Scales of Weight and their Progression
1.7 Postage Rates
1.8 Accountancy 
1.9 Registered Mail
1.10 Late Fee Mail
1.11 Dead or Returned Letters
1.12 Newspapers, Patterns and Samples
Chapter 2 The Establishment of Routes through Europe
2.1 Introduction
2.2 North Sea Route by Thames Packet to Hamburg or Rotterdam
2.3 Route through France
2.4 Closed Mails to Malta and Alexandria
2.5 Mont Cenis Route Until 1868
2.6 The Fell or Summit Railway and the Indian Mail via Brindisi 
2.7 Belgium and Prussia
2.8 British Mail Services in the Mediterranean
2.9 French Services in the Mediterranean
Chapter 3 France
3.1 Introduction
3.2 London to Dover
3.3 Channel Crossing - Admiralty Packets 
3.4 Mr Churchward and Captain Jenkings 1854-63
3.5 Postal Conventions 1839-1878
3.6 Franco-Prussian War 1870-71
3.7 Letter Rate Table for France (Including Algeria)
Chapter 4 Germany
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Office of the Posts of Thurn and Taxis
4.3 German Postal Union 1850-1866
4.4 North German Confederation and Final Unification 1867-1872
4.5 Kingdom of Prussia 
4.6 Free City of Hamburg
4.7 Hanseatic Republic of Bremen (Free City)
4.8 Free City of Lübeck
4.9 Duchy of Brunswick
4.10 Kingdom of Hanover
4.11 Heligoland
4.12 Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg
4.13 Grand Duchy of Oldenburg
4.14 Kingdom of Saxony
4.15 Grand Duchy of Baden and Kingdoms of Bavaria and Württemberg
4.16 German Letter Rate Tables 
Chapter 5 Scandinavia Russia and Poland
5.1 Kingdom of Denmark 
5.2 Kingdom of Sweden
5.3 Norway
5.4 Russia, Poland and Finland
5.5 Letter Rate Tables
Chapter 6 Belgium The Netherlands Luxembourg Switzerland and Austria
6.1 Kingdom of Belgium 
6.2 Kingdom of the Netherlands
6.3 Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
6.4 Switzerland
6.5 Austria and Hungary 
6.6 Letter Rate Tables
Chapter 7 Portugal Spain Gibraltar and North Africa
7.1 Peninsular Route 1837-1862
7.2 Kingdom of Portugal 
7.3 Azores
7.4 Cape Verde Islands
7.5 Islands of Madeira
7.6 Kingdom of Spain
7.7 The Canary Islands
7.8 Gibraltar
7.9 North Africa 
7.10 Letter Rate Tables
Chapter 8 Italy Malta Greece and Ionian Islands
8.1 Italy
8.2 Malta
8.3 Greece
8.4 The Ionian Islands
8.5 Letter Rate Tables
Chapter 9 The Ottoman Empire
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Sea Services in the Eastern Mediterranean
9.3 Routes to Constantinople and Turkey in Europe
9.4 British Post Offices in the Crimea and Constantinople
9.5 The Danube and Black Sea Railway
9.6 Towns in the Turkish Empire 1863 to 1875
9.7 Turkey in Asia
9.8 Asia Minor and Anatolian Black Sea Ports
9.9 Syria and Palestine 
9.10 Turkey in Africa 
9.11 Letter Rate Tables
Chapter 10 India and the East
10.1 Birth of the Overland Mail Route
10.2 Overland Route 1840
10.3 India and The Far East 1840-1852 
10.4 Troubled Years 1852-1860
10.5 Weekly Sailings to Bombay 1868 
10.6 Opening of the Suez Canal 1869
10.7 Through the Suez Canal 1874
10.8 Hong Kong
10.9 Chinese Treaty Ports
10.10 Japan
10.11 Manila
10.12 French Packets
10.13 United States Packets
10.14 UPU Membership
10.15 Letter Rate Tables
Chapter 11 Australasia
11.1 Toulmin to Australia and New Zealand 1844 to 1849
11.2 Australian Royal Mail Steam Navigation Company 1852 to 1853
11.3 P&O to Australia 1853 to 1854
11.4 General Screw Steam Shipping Company 1852 to 1854
11.5 The Crimean War and the Liverpool Clippers
11.6 European and Australian 1856
11.7 The New Zealand Mails 1841 to 1857 
11.8 Return of P&O to Australia 1859
11.9 Panama Route 1866 to 1869 
11.10 San Francisco Route 1870 
11.11 Arrangements from December 1873
11.12 UPU Membership
11.13 Letter Rate Tables
Chapter 12 Africa
12.1 Cape of Good Hope, Ascension and St Helena 1840 to 1850
12.2 General Screw Steam Shipping Company - First Contract
12.3 GSSS - Second Contract 1852 to 1854
12.4 Dundas and Lindsay 1856 to 1857
12.5 First Union Contract 1857
12.6 Second Union Contract 1863 
12.7 Overland Route via Suez 1864-68
12.8 Diamond Line
12.9 Third Union Contract 1868
12.10 Castle Line
12.11 Table of Departures for the Cape of Good Hope 1840 to 1876 
12.12 Natal
12.13 Mauritius
12.14 Zanzibar
12.15 West Coast of Africa
12.16 UPU Membership
Chapter 13 The United States
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Pioneers 
13.3 Cunard Contracts
13.4 Retaliatory Rate Period June 1848 to 17 December 1848
13.5 Restored Rate Period 
13.6 Postal Convention of December 1848
13.7 Arrangements for Sorting on Board
13.8 Mail Sent by Canadian Packets
13.9 American Civil War 1861 to 1865
13.10 Insufficiently Prepaid Mail and the Depreciated Currency Period
13.11 The Postal Convention of June 1867 
13.12 Mail for California and the West Coast
13.13 British Postal Agency in San Francisco
13.14 Contract Shipping Lines
Chapter 14 British North America
14.1 Canada
14.2 The Maritime Provinces
14.3 Establishment of Routes
14.4 Via Halifax 1840 to 1858
14.5 Closed Mail Through The United States-British Packet 
14.6 Via The United States-American Packet
14.7 Canadian Lines
14.8 Rating of Letters 
14.9 Accountancy Markings 
14.10 Insufficiently Pre-Paid Mail
14.11 British Columbia and Vancouver Island
14.12 Currency
Chapter 15 The West Indies and Central America
15.1 Early Packet Services 
15.2 Preparations for the Contract Packets 1838 to 1841 
15.3 First Contract, January 1842
15.4 Amended Contract, October 1842
15.5 Second Contract July 1846
15.6 Third Contract 1850
15.7 West Indian Route Improvements 1858 to 1860
15.8 The 1863 Tender and Contract
15.9 Increase in the Packet Rate 1863
15.10 St Thomas 1867
15.11 West India and Pacific Steam Ship Company 1865
15.12 Contract of May 1874
15.13 Local Branch Packets
15.14 UPU Membership
Chapter 16 South America
16.1 South Atlantic
16.2 Conventions
16.3 Contracts 1868 to 1873
16.4 The Falkland Islands
16.5 Northern and Pacific Coasts
16.6 Panama Crossing
16.7 Effects of the General Postal Union
16.8 UPU Membership
Chapter 17 The Armed Services
17.1 Beginning of the Concessions
17.2 Regulations 1840 to 1846
17.3 Instructions Issued 1847 to 1854 
17.4 The Crimean War 1854 to 1856 
17.5 The Baltic Fleet 
17.6 British Squadron in the White Sea
17.7 Soldiers’ and Seamen’s Rates following the Crimean War
17.8 Abyssinian Expedition
17.9 Officers’ Packet Rates which included Foreign Transit
Chapter 18 Universal Postal Union
18.1 Introduction
18.2 The Paris Postal Conference of 1863 
18.3 The Congress of Berne 1874
18.4 Congress of Paris 1878 
18.5 UPU Member Countries
Appendix 1 References
Appendix 2 Sources
Published works
Reports of Parliamentary Committees
Post Office Archives
The National Archives (Kew)
The Guildhall Library 
Newspaper Library, Colindale 
Various Sources 
Appendix 3 Shipping Lines
List of Principal Shipping Lines and their Abbreviated Names
Appendix 4 Extracts from 1841 Post Office Directory
Reproduced directly from the Post Office Directory of 1841 
Appendix 5 Foreign Currency with Approximate British Equivalents
Appendix 6 The 200 Year Calendar
Determining the Day of the Week
Index 

Sample Pages