Penny Post is any one of several postal systems in which normal
letters could be sent for one penny. Five such schemes existed in the
United Kingdom while the
United States initiated at least three such
simple fixed rate postal arrangements.
1 United Kingdom
1.3 Uniform Fourpenny Post
2 United States
6 Further reading
7 External links
Postmark and time stamps from Lime St office
In England, the postal service, from 1660 General Post Office, had
developed into a monopoly, affirmed by
Oliver Cromwell in 1654,
for the collection and carriage of letters between post towns,
however, there was no delivery system until
William Dockwra and his
partner Robert Murray established the
Penny Post in 1680. They
set up a local post that used a uniform rate of one old penny for
delivery of letters and packets weighing up to one pound within the
London as well as in Southwark. Several
deliveries took place a day within the city, and items were also
delivered to addresses up to ten miles outside
London for an extra
charge of one penny. In 1683 Dockwra was forced to surrender the Penny
Post to the English Monarchy for circulating what were considered
seditious newsletters sharply criticizing the Duke of York, who was in
charge of and directly benefited from the General Post Office.
In 1765, Parliament authorized the creation of
Penny Posts in any town
or city of the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The single
postage rate of one penny was charged within the area, calculated by
weight. By the beginning of the 19th century there were many of
these, identifiable on covers, with markings such as "PP", "Py Post",
Penny Post" along with the name of the town.
The early penny post system in Edinburgh, founded in 1773/4 by Peter
Williamson, known as "Indian Peter," usefully combined it with
one of the world's first street directories. He circulated mail to
17 shops in the city (effectively post offices) and employed 4
uniformed postmen. Their hats read "
Penny Post" and were numbered
1,4,8 and 16 to make the business look bigger.
Uniform Fourpenny Post
Main article: Uniform Fourpenny Post
On 5 December 1839 the
Uniform Fourpenny Post
Uniform Fourpenny Post was introduced by the
General Post Office
General Post Office but lasted only 36 days until 9 January 1840 when
Penny Post was introduced. The penny post box was
Main article: Uniform
In 1835 Rowland Hill published a pamphlet entitled 'Post Office
Reform' which led to various reforms and the introduction of the first
postage stamp and convinced Parliament to implement much needed
reforms in the current postal system. On 10 January 1840, the Uniform
Penny Post was established throughout the UK, facilitating the safe,
speedy and cheap conveyance of letters, and from 6 May could be
prepaid with the first postage stamp, known as the
Elihu Burritt proposed that a fixed rate of one pence be established
for all mail throughout the entire
British Empire as a means of
facilitating international interaction and international unity. This
was known as the Ocean
On Christmas Day, 1898, the Imperial
Penny Post extended the rate
British Empire except for Australia and New Zealand,
who would not benefit from it until 1905. In 1908 it was extended
Penny Post rate ended in Great Britain in 1918.
In the United States, Spaulding's
Penny Post operated in Buffalo, New
York from 1847 to 1850.
Penny Post operated in
Baltimore, Maryland for several weeks of
February 1856, leaving behind a handful of rare stamps.
Penny Post is the journal of the Carriers and Locals Society, and
was also the original name of The Cincinnati Post.
^ See also League of Universal Brotherhood Pledge
^ "September 1654: An Ordinance touching the Office of Postage of
Letters, Inland and Foreign". Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum,
1642-1660. His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1911. Retrieved 4
^ Blake, Heidi (10 June 2010). "The Royal Mail: a history of the
British postal service". Royal Mail. Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4
^ "Calendar of Treasury Papers Vol. LXXXII. 1702, Oct.13 - Nov. 30"
^ a b c d "Provincial
Penny Posts". The British Postal Museum and
Archive. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
^ a b c George Brumell. "Dockwra Family Research Center". The Local
London 1680-1840 by George Brumell. first published in 1938,
second edition published by Alcock and Holland. Retrieved 17 June
^ Dobson, David. "A Man Called Indian Peter". University of Georgia
Press. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
^ "Glossary of Stamp Collecting Terms". AskPhil.org - Collectors Club
of Chicago. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved
^ Baker, Colin. "Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution
Proceedings vol.8 The History of the Postal Services". Royal Literary
& Scientific Institution. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
^ Bacon, E. D. (1899). "Ocean penny postage". St. Martin's-le-grand
^ "Dictionary of Australian Biography: Sir John Henniker Heaton".
National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
Retrieved 3 September 2015.
Penny Post (PDF), Siegal Auction Gallaries, 1999-11-15,
pp. 196–197, retrieved 2014-05-01
Penny Post, Baltimore, Maryland". Auction catalog. Siegal
Auction Galleries. 1999. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
Staff, Frank (1993). The
Penny Post 1680-1918. The Lutterworth Press.
Golden, Catherine J. (2009). Posting It: The Victorian Revolution in
Letter Writing. [University Press of Florida].
Anon. "Peter Williamson and the
Penny Post". Philatelic
Journal of Great Britain. (November 1938).
Brumell, George. The Local Posts of
London 1680-1840. Cheltenham: R.
C. Alcock Ltd, 1971, 91p.
Cochrane, William P. The Glasgow
Penny Post, 1800-1845. Hamilton: The
Scottish Postal History Society, 2012 ISBN 978-1-9081390-3-0,
Cowell, J.B. The Bangor
Penny Post, 1814-1840. Gwynedd, Wales: Welsh
Philatelic Society, 1977 ISBN 0-904098-01-X, 20p.
Dittmann, Manfred. Die Dubliner penny post nach offiziellen unterlagen
und verschiedenen samumlungen = The Dublin penny post compiled from
official and historical data from collections. Munich: Forschungs- und
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Irland e.V. im Bund Deutscher Philatelisten e.V.,
Holyoake, Alan. Great Britain, the development and introduction of
uniform penny postage (1839-1840). Gerrards Cross: the author, 2006,
Melville, Fred J. Origins Of The
Penny Post. London: Philatelic
Institute, 1930, 120p.
Melville, Fred J. A
Penny All The Way. London: W.H. Peckitt, 1908,
Phil (A.D. Blackburn). The
Penny Postage Jubilee and Philatelic
History. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1891, 261p.
Staff, Frank. The
Penny Post, 1680-1918. London: Lutterworth Press,
William Dockwra and the Rest of the Undertakers: The
story of the
London penny post, 1680-1682. Edinburgh: C. J. Cousland
& Sons, 1952, 156p.
Winmill, R.B. The Evolution of Imperial
Penny Postage and the postal
history of the Canadian 1898 Map Stamp. Toronto: Jim A. Hennok Ltd.,
1982 ISBN 0-919772-00-5, 110p.
Siegel Auctions info on Spaulding, with pictures
Siegel Auctions info on Da