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Cross post - help re rate
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Author:  boblynn [ Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Cross post - help re rate

This letter of 1793, sent from Chepstow to Highworth in Wiltshire ( not very far), is rated 5 and is inscribed "X post". The letter was written in Portsmouth, but of course that doesn't mean it was mailed from there. But I have read that a mail coach cross post between Portsmouth and Bristol was established in May 1785. Could anyone help me to figure out how it could be rated 5 pence and whether the "X post" inscription is of any significance?

(163.67 KiB)

Author:  agenteinrebus [ Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Transfer from previous board: original post 1471

Certainly an anomaly. From 1785 mail did not have to travel via London and thus no charges to and from London - had this letter done so the total charge would have been 8d. The Cross Post manuscript suggests that the author wished to ensure 'direct' delivery as well as saving himself a 1d or 2d.
With Portsmouth as the point of origin and Highworth the destination this begs the question as to how Chepstow was at all on the post route - it could not have been given its geographical situation. One possible reason for Chepstow is that the letter was missent somehow but I would have expected a manuscript annotation to this effect.
There was more than one postal route from Portsmouth to Highworth and this may be the reason for a distance in excess of 80 miles. Sorry I cannot help further.

Author:  boblynn [ Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Transfer from previous board: original post 1477

thanks for this response. I am located in Australia, so not many people to discuss this with here! I have had another look at the letter and note that there was a place near Chepstow named Porthskewett. I think this is the place of origin of the letter, not Portsmouth - writing not easy to read! One of the postal history maps I have appears to show a ferry link across the Severn from around Chepstow and I wondered if there was a ferry charge, but I have found no reference to this in any literature.

Author:  agenteinrebus [ Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Transfer from previous board: original post 1479

Yes, Porthskewett is a couple of miles from Chepstow but I have no record of a ferry at that point, indeed the village is not quite on the Severn. I doubt whether there would have been a toll on mail but the Aust Ferry just south certainly charged for people and carts. As the cover bears the Chepstow mark I suggest that the postal route may well have been via Chepstow (then on to the main Bristol Post Road) to Monmouth to Gloucester to Cirencester to Fairford to Lechlade to Faringdon (then off on a by-post) to Highworth. I can't be certain about the actual distance [until Christmas when my wife releases her present to me of a first edition 1798 John Carey book of post routes and charges!] but probably close to 80 miles all told. I hope this is of some additional help. If not please let me know.

Author:  boblynn [ Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Transfer from previous board: original post 1483

thank you for your help. Hope the Christmas gift lives up to expectations!

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