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 Post subject: Anglo-Scottish Rate puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:00 pm
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I'm baffled by the rates shown on this 1781 letter from Liverpool to Lunga, Argyllshire. It's endorsed "pr Edinburgh and Inverary", so presumably it went from Liverpool to Berwick (via Ferrybridge) and then onwards as directed.

My reading of David Robinson's "for the port and carriage of letters" would suggest a rate of 4d Liverpool to Berwick, plus 2d Berwick to Edinburgh, plus 4d Edinburgh to destination. However the actual rates on the cover suggest otherwise. Any suggestions as to where I'm going wrong?


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 819
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:00 pm
Posts: 14
Kevin,

first of all I would like to say that I agree with your calculation of postage. This is exactly what should have been charged.
As the letter was only charged 8d. I would like to suggest that it may not have been carried via Edinburgh and Inverary at all. The nearest town to Lunga is Oban. This was in the Glasgow area when Scottish mileage marks were introduced in 1808. Could it be possible that the letter was transported via Carlisle and Glasgow? You only showed part of the back of the wrapper. Is there an Edinburgh Bishop Mark on the right flap? If not I would like to suggest that the letter did not touch Edinburgh at all and was therefor charged 4d. for over 150 miles in England plus 4d for over 150 miles in Scotland.
I don't know if that is the right answer but think it might be well worth a thought.

Theo


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 Post subject: Transfer from previous board: original post 820
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Theo,

Thanks for your comments, which provide food for thought. There is no Edinburgh Bishop Mark on the letter, though according to Robinson, this was not used on transit mail before late 1784, so not definite proof that the letter did not go via Edinburgh.

It has been suggested (by Nick Wraith) that Liverpool mail to Scotland went via Berwick until late 1783, when the Carlisle route came into use. However I have a 1726 (!) letter from Liverpool to Dumfries, which is endorsed 'via Kendal', which strongly suggests that it went via Carlisle. The rate on this one is 4d - also difficult to explain!

For the moment, I think I'll have to remain confused by these Anglo-Scottish usages!


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