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Letter Rates 1801-1839

Introduction


1822: letter from Glasgow to Edinburgh with multiple enclosures, total weight 6oz
14s 0d postage -- six times ounce rate of 2s 4d for 30-50 miles + Scots "Additional d"

From April 1801 rates within Great Britain were based simply on the distance a letter was carried within the mainland, regardless of whether it crossed the border between England and Scotland. This method did not apply to letters between Britain and Ireland until 1827 (see separate section).

Scottish "Additional Halfpenny": from 1785 mail transport was exempt from road tolls. In 1813 this was repealed in Scotland (although not England); in compensation, the Post Office were allowed to charge d on mail carried in a coach with more than two wheels over roads in Scotland. This was a flat-rate, one-time charge, regardless of the size of the letter or any redirections.

Additional d display handout

Date Auth. Mileage Single Double Treble Ounce +ea.
oz
Notes
1801
(5 Apr)
41 Geo 3 c.7 Up to 15 miles 3d 6d 9d 1s +3d Act passed 24th March with specific future date for rates to come into effect
15-30 miles 4d 8d 1s 1s 4d +4d
30-50 miles 5d 10d 1s 3d 1s 8d +5d
50-80 miles 6d 1s 1s 6d 2s +6d
80-120 miles 7d 1s 2d 1s 9d 2s 4d +7d
120-170 miles 8d 1s 4d 2s 2s 8d +8d
170-230 miles 9d 1s 6d 2s 3d 3s +9d
230-300 miles 10d 1s 8d 2s 6d 3s 4d +10d
Each extra 100 miles +1d +2d +3d +4d +1d
1805
(12 Mar)
45 Geo 3 c.11 Up to 15 miles 4d 8d 1s 1s 4d +4d Date is Royal Assent for Act
15-30 miles 5d 10d 1s 3d 1s 8d +5d
30-50 miles 6d 1s 1s 6d 2s +6d
50-80 miles 7d 1s 2d 1s 9d 2s 4d +7d
80-120 miles 8d 1s 4d 2s 2s 8d +8d
120-170 miles 9d 1s 6d 2s 3d 3s +9d
170-230 miles 10d 1s 8d 2s 6d 3s 4d +10d
230-300 miles 11d 1s 10d 2s 9d 3s 8d +11d
Each extra 100 miles +1d +2d +3d +4d +1d
1812
(9 Jul)
52 Geo 3 c.88

Additional d under 53 Geo 3 c.68
Up to 15 miles 4d 8d 1s 1s 4d +4d Date is Royal Assent for Act

Scottish Additional d:

1813 (8 Jun) first d tax imposed in London

1813 (11 Jun) first d tax imposed in Scotland
15-20 miles 5d 10d 1s 3d 1s 8d +5d
20-30 miles 6d 1s 1s 6d 2s +6d
30-50 miles 7d 1s 2d 1s 9d 2s 4d +7d
50-80 miles 8d 1s 4d 2s 2s 8d +8d
80-120 miles 9d 1s 6d 2s 3d 3s +9d
120-170 miles 10d 1s 8d 2s 6d 3s 4d +10d
170-230 miles 11d 1s 10d 2s 9d 3s 8d +11d
230-300 miles 1s 2s 3s 4s +1s
Each extra 100 miles +1d +2d +3d +4d +1d
1838
(6 Jan)
Treasury authorisation under 1 Vic c.76 Up to 8 miles 2d 4d 6d 8d +2d Reduction in rate for local letters up to 8 miles. Date announced in local papers

From 1838 (18 Sep), under Treasury authorisation, rates set on basis of distance along shortest public road between towns, not route sent if different.

Took effect on that day for letters from London to Southampton and Bristol, other routes in due course
8-15 miles 4d 8d 1s 1s 4d +4d
15-20 miles 5d 10d 1s 3d 1s 8d +5d
20-30 miles 6d 1s 1s 6d 2s +6d
30-50 miles 7d 1s 2d 1s 9d 2s 4d +7d
50-80 miles 8d 1s 4d 2s 2s 8d +8d
80-120 miles 9d 1s 6d 2s 3d 3s +9d
120-170 miles 10d 1s 8d 2s 6d 3s 4d +10d
170-230 miles 11d 1s 10d 2s 9d 3s 8d +11d
230-300 miles 1s 2s 3s 4s +1s
Each extra 100 miles +1d +2d +3d +4d +1d