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 Post subject: Parliamentary Notice
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:00 pm 
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Can anyone explain the postal rate on the attached item for me?


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 457
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:05 pm 
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Hi Kevin. I believe Parliamentary Notices had to be registered, so the rate on your cover is 2d postage (presumably the letter weighs between half-an-ounce and one ounce) and 6d registration. Liverpool was one of a handful of post offices from which such notices were allowed to be posted.

Mike


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 458
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Mike, thanks for your response confirming compulsory registration of such items. Wasn't the registration fee reduced to 4d in 1862, which would make the inland postage 4d for between 1 and 2 ounces? Perhaps I should weigh it!


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 459
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:15 pm 
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Kevin, I think you're right. Let us know what it weighs.


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 460
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:20 pm 
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Mike, purely by chance I've just been looking at the online catalog for Cavendish's September sale. Lot 1110 is described as follows - "Early "PARLIAMENTARY NOTICE" Cover at 1/- rate with special printed label. Unusual and colourful 12 Dec. 1863 EL (minor wear) to Perth franked by 2d Blue (pl.9) and Small Corner Letters 6d Lilac and 4d Rose-carmine (latter with small corner fault) all tied by light Edinburgh duplexes for this special registered rate that was only available on one day (in December) each year and at a few large P.O.'s; the stamps most unusually overlap a printed rectangular label inscribed "PARLIAMENTARY NOTICE". The contents concern the "Crieff and Methven Junction Railway". Fine 3-colour franking." This description implies a special rate for these notices, and this one appears to be at a different rate to mine, although they were both posted in Dec. 1863. I'm back to being baffled.


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 461
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:25 pm 
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Kevin, may I suggest that you email James Grimwood-Taylor, as he appears to have a good source of information on the topic.
Alexios


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 462
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:30 pm 
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I wonder if the registration fee for these notices included inland postage, and mine is a double rate (half to 1 oz) and the Cavendish example is a triple (1 to 2 oz).


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 463
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:35 pm 
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Alex, thanks. I'll try that if nobody comes up with a definitive answer here.


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 464
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:40 pm 
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Interesting! GPO Instruction No. 36, 27 Nov. 1848, laid down some rules for Parliamentary Notices. They "must be posted on or before the 12th December, at the General Post Office, St. Martin's-le-Grand . . ." followed by the main POs and a list of 16 other towns. In this Instruction, a reg. fee of 6d is stated.

I've taken this from Raguin, Vol. 4. I haven't got Vol. 6, which would hopefully include the Instructions relevant to 1863.


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 465
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:45 pm 
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Mike, I'd forgotten that I had Raguin vols 5 and 6. A PO circular dated Dec 5 1863 confirmed that the registration fee on these Notices remained at 6d - you were right all along!


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 468
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:00 pm 
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This is a cut-and-paste from some info I posted to the Mulready group:

Basically, Parliamentary Notices relating to forthcoming legislation had to be sent out by 15th December each year according to the standing orders of the Houses of Parliament. The ones you normally see are to do with 'private' legislation to allow construction of railways, bridges, canals and the like -- the requirement was that the people who would be affected, such as the owners of the land or land adjacent to it, had by law to be notified and given the chance to register their opinion before the bill came up for a vote?

They were normally sent out by solicitors acting for the people sponsoring the legislation, and would contain a printed copy of the bill [or at any rate the details of the proposed legislation?], so they're generally quite large and bulky. By later Victorian times solicitors would include little pre-printed halfpenny postcards or printed matter rate forms so that all the addressee had to do was tick 'assenting', 'dissenting', or 'neuter' and return them.

The gist of the Parliamentary Notice as a class of mail was that they were registered letters sent out in bulk at a specific time of the year, early December, and so special postal treatment was necessary -- partly because of the legal importance of the contents, partly to stop the system being clogged up by them (delayed processing was allowed). Those regulations mention giving proof of posting in bulk too, not something normally done until later years when registration was cheaper. Ironically, the fee stayed 6d even after the regular registration went down to 4d [1st August 1862] and then 2d [1st January 1878] -- my information was that it finally went down to 2d in 1886 [see below].

There were special delivery slips for Parliamentary Notices, separate from the ones used for normal registered mail -- I've attached a couple of scans. The first appears to be the cut-off 'A' portion (delivery receipt) from a Parliamentary Notice version of the 'green wrappers' used to wrap registered letters in transit at this time, only on pale blue paper (only one I've ever seen, I haven't seen them mentioned anywhere). The second came from a 1939 postal training scrapbook a friend of mine acquired a while back (it also had a separate receipt for Jury Summons).

If they're still sent out it's probably by recorded delivery these days -- 1939 is the latest date I've seen them mentioned, offhand I can't remember seeing an actual Notice later than the First World War. Late Victorian/Edwardian ones aren't exactly common, but they're not exactly rare either -- you see them reasonably often.

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Some notes I took from the registered mail display of the late Charles Reid ('Engineman') who seemed to have studied them a bit::

"Fee remained at 6d until 1886.

From 1876 any Money Order Office could receive Parliamentary Notices, and following the reduction in fee to 2d in 1886, envelopes showed normal registration markings, though and #8216;Parliamentary Notice and #8217; was required until 1894 (when multiple certificates of posting appear to have taken the place of the earlier duplicate lists of addresses).

Before 1886 there was to be no mention of and #8216;Registered and #8217; in notices due to the difference in the fees."

I suspect that latter rule only appeared in 1862, as before then there wasn't a difference in the fees. Checking the examples I have, ones from 1848 and 1853 are marked 'Registered' -- the latter only has 'Parliamentary Notice' written, instead of printed, which was against regulations (see below). On a 1865 Notice there is no mention of registration. Notices from 1892, 1897, 1904, and 1910 are all crossed with blue lines (presumably between 1878-86 they would not have been? Must look out for an example in that date range!) -- they all have 'Parliamentary Notice' printed on them, and all but the 1897 one have 'Registered' printed as well. The 1910 one also had a 'R' label (introduced 18th February 1907), which was cancelled when it was reposted as ordinary mail.

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Original postal notices:

"GENERAL POST-OFFICE
November 27, 1848.

Notice to the Public.
Service of Parliamentary Notices through the Post Office.

PARLIAMENTARY NOTICES may in future be forwarded through the Post Office, under the following Regulations:

1. The Words "Parliamentary Notice" must be legibly printed on the face of the Letter; and in order to secure the speedy return of any Notices which may be undelivered, the name and address of the Solicitor issuing such Parliamentary Notice should also be legibly printed or written on the face of the Letter.

2. These Notices must be posted on or before the 12th December, at the General Post Office, St. Martin's-le-Grand, in London; the General Post Office in Edinburgh; the General Post Office in Dublin; or at the Chief Post Office at one or other of the following Towns:

ENGLAND AND WALES.
Birmingham
Bristol
Exeter
Leeds
Lincoln
Liverpool
Manchester
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Norwich
Shrewsbury

SCOTLAND.
Aberdeen
Glasgow
Inverness

IRELAND.
Athlone
Belfast
Cork
POSTING OF NOTICES

3. The Postage chargeable on these Notices must be pre-paid by Stamps, and the Registration Fee of Sixpence on each Notice must be paid in the usual manner.

4. The Notices must be delivered at the Window of the Post Office, accompanied with Duplicate Lists of the Addresses; the Letters being arranged for the convenience of comparison in the order of the List. These Lists will be examined by the Postmaster or Person in attendance at the Window of the Office at which they may be posted, and if each List correspond with the Addresses, the Postmaster or Person in attendance at the Window will sign every Sheet of each List, and Stamp it with his Day-Stamp in use at the time the Notice shall be delivered to him. The Postmaster or Person in attendance at the Window, will return one of the Duplicate Lists to the party who brings the Letters.

5. The hours for receiving the said Notices are the same as those already fixed for the Registry of ordinary Letters.

6. If the Notices are presented at such an hour as to interfere with the ordinary duties of the Office, the Postmaster may appoint any other time within the next 24 hours for receiving the same, provided that such arrangement does not delay the posting of the "Notices" beyond the 12th December. In this last case, however, the Postmaster will receive the "Notices" with the "Duplicate Lists" into his care, and immediately affixing his Day-Stamp thereto, will appoint a convenient time within the next 24 hours for the party to attend at their examination.

7. The Solicitor or party posting the Notices, should, if possible, arrange on the day before with the Postmaster, as to the most convenient time for posting the Notices, and inform the Postmaster of the probable number."

"GENERAL POST-OFFICE
December, 1848.

Notice to the Public, and Instructions to all Postmasters, Sub-Postmasters, and Letter Receivers.
Service of Parliamentary Notices through the Post Office.

ALL Parliamentary Notices, which by the Standing Orders of either House of Parliament may be served later than the 15th day of December, may be posted after the 12th December, subject, however, to the like regulations for the posting, despatch, and delivery of the same, as those already appointed by the Postmaster-General for Notices required to be served on or before the 15th December."

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From GSM May 1982:

They quote from 'British Postal Guides' of 1872 and 1876: the regulations in 1872 were essentially the same as in 1848, with a couple of additions: the postage and 6d registration fee had to be prepaid by stamps [before 1st June 1850 it was paid in cash and marked on the envelope in manuscript], and the duplicate copy was to be forwarded to the Post Office Secretary in London. The guide dated January 1876 was the first to show a relaxation in the posting rules: "These notices may be posted at any Post Office in the United Kingdom at which Money Order business is transacted." By 1876 that would have meant basically any office of reasonable size.


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 473
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:00 pm 
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Mozzerb: Thank you for your most informative response.


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