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Happy! - Dec 3 (Rowland Hill Day)

Abby Sale 03 Dec 05 - 09:22 AM
Suffet 04 Dec 05 - 01:36 AM
Abby Sale 04 Dec 05 - 08:33 AM
Suffet 04 Dec 05 - 10:17 AM
Paul Burke 05 Dec 05 - 04:29 AM
Suffet 05 Dec 05 - 03:31 PM
Anglo 06 Dec 05 - 02:37 AM
David C. Carter 06 Dec 05 - 08:09 AM
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Subject: Happy! - Dec 3 (Rowland Hill Day)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 03 Dec 05 - 09:22 AM

For Ethno-Philatelists:


Sir Rowland Hill Day!

born 12/3/1795
(d.8/27/1879 & buried in Westminster Abbey)

He introduced the adhesive stamp – the famous Penny Black of 1840

"Hurrah for the Postman the Great Rowland Hill" was published as a broadside in: Leith, Scotland, by R.W Hume, ca 1837-40. Single octavo sheet." The song may have pre-dated the postage stamp. It celebrates the Penny Post with tongue-in-check sympathy for the poor post drivers whose workload has dramatically increased. The last verse:

        Auld drivers were lazy, their mail coaches crazy,
        At ilk Public House they stopt for a gill;
        But noo at the gallop, cheap mail-bags maun wallop,
        Hurrah for our Postman, the great Rowland Hill.

                [thanx Ada Prill and thanx Jack Campin]

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Dec 3 (Rowland Hill Day)
From: Suffet
Date: 04 Dec 05 - 01:36 AM


Until postal reform became a reality through the efforts of Rowland Hill and others, postage rates were usually beyond the means of most ordinary working people. Rates were based on number of sheets of paper and upon mileage from the GPO, which in the United Kingdom meant from London. The postage bewteen two towns which were only a few miles apart, but which lay along different post roads, could be exhorbitantly high. Let's say one town were 42 from London and the other were 45 miles away. The postage would be based upon 87 miles, or 42 miles down one post road and 45 miles back up the other.

Hill successfully proposed that one uniform rate be charged for letter carried between any two points within the U.K. Furthermore, he proposed that the rates be charged per unit of weight regardless of the number of sheets. As part of these reorms, he suggested that postage could be efficiently prepaid, either by use of prepaid envelopes or lettersheets or by adhesive postage stamps.

Here are some important dates when Hill's reforms went into effect:

December 5, 1839: The first uniform postage rate within the UK became 4 pence per half ounce.

Januray 10, 1840: The uniform postage rate became 1 penny per half ounce.

May 1, 1840: The world's first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black went on sale. It was not valid for use until May 6, but a few examples are known to have been improperly used as early as May 2.

May 6, 1840: The Penny Black (1 penny stamp) became valid for postage. So did prepaid 1 penny envelopes and lettersheats (called Mulready stationery after its designer).

May 8, 1840: The world's second adhesive postage stamp, the Two-Penny Blue, went on sale. It was useful in paying the postage on letters weighing over half an ounce up to a full ounce.

There were actually several songs written to honor Rowland Hill, postal reform, and the postage stamp.

--- Steve

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Dec 3 (Rowland Hill Day)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 04 Dec 05 - 08:33 AM

Interesting elucidation. Thanx for additional flesh, Steve.

Say Hi to Ada.

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Dec 3 (Rowland Hill Day)
From: Suffet
Date: 04 Dec 05 - 10:17 AM


Ada is on her way to an emergency meeting of the American Philatelic Society board of directors in Bellefonte, PA. I'll be sure to say hello on your behalf the next time I see her, but that not be for a while.

--- Steve

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Dec 3 (Rowland Hill Day)
From: Paul Burke
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 04:29 AM

How on earth do you improperly use a postage stamp? It's like the emergency handle on trains, labelled "penalty for improper use £200". You'd have to be a contorionist to get near it.

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Dec 3 (Rowland Hill Day)
From: Suffet
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 03:31 PM


Improper usages of postage stamps happen in all sorts of ways. Here are some examples:

• The stamp is used before it is officially valid. The Penny Black, to cite the very first instance, was placed on sale throughout the UK on May 1, 1840, but it did not become valid until May 6. Usages as early as May 2 are known to exist.

• The stamp is used after it is no longer valid. For example, stamps of the USA issued before 1861 were demonetized (declared worthless) during the latter part of that year so stocks of stamps in southern post offices could not become a source of income for the Confederacy. A number of covers are known with pre-1861 stamps improperly used after the date of demonetization, which varied from city to city. Such covers ofter bear the handstamped marking OLD STAMPS NOT RECOGNIZED and were accordingly assessed postage due.

• The stamp is used from a post office where it is not valid. The most common examples are stamps used in a foreign country, for example a Canadian stamp used in the USA, or vice versa.

• The stamp is used for the wrong purpose. For example, until domestic special delivery service was abolished in the USA in 1997, that country's special delivery stamps could only be used to pay the special delivery fee. They could not be used to pay the basic postage which was required in addition to the special delivery fee.

• The stamp is used by someone not authorized to use it. For example, many governments issue official mail stamps that can only be used on official government correspondence. Any other usage would be improper. In the USA for example, anyone improperly using an official mail stamp is subject to a fine of $300 per offense.

Does this answer the question?

--- Steve

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Dec 3 (Rowland Hill Day)
From: Anglo
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 02:37 AM

Lovely to see this thread. Rowland Hill, as everyone knows, was born in Kidderminster, my home town, and his statue stood not very far from my primary school in the centre of Kiddie. Ah, memories. Last time I was ther the school was no longer a school, but the statue was; a statue, that is.

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Subject: RE: Happy! - Dec 3 (Rowland Hill Day)
From: David C. Carter
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 08:09 AM

I went to Rowland Hill school in north London.It had the worst reputation of any known school in the area.Nothing to do with the man himself of course.I just remember that our football team were unbeaten during the last 2years that I was there.I played,what was then called "center half",I was the team "captain".I left that school and have never played since.It's now a car park.....the place itself,finally got kicked into touch.

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