Postal Marks as evidence for cost of sending a letter

The postage charge, in this case a '2', has been crossed out and substituted by an '8', signifying eightpence. This helps to pin the date down as from 1711 to 1765 the rate from Edinburgh to London was 6 pence, but the Act of 1784 increased the cost by 2d for distances over 150 miles, and Denny is 427 miles from London. So the letter would have to have been written between 1784 -86.

Related Material

  • Transcription of entire letter and commentary
  • Letter cover with address

    Image and text by Eunice Shanahan

    Eunice and Ron Shanahan have shared with readers of the Victorian Web this material from their website, Letters from the Past.