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Abergavenny to Ludlow 1798. Rate query.
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Author:  earsathome [ Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:51 am ]
Post subject:  Abergavenny to Ludlow 1798. Rate query.

We have a letter dated April 1798 written from Abergavenny to Ludlow in Shropshire.
The postal charge is 7, which at that time covered a single letter between 100 and 150 miles.

We bought this as part of an auction lot and the previous owner has annotated it like this


Abergavenny to Ludlow by direct road is 45 miles. Abergavenny to Oxford transit office and re-sorted to Ludlow is approx. 150 miles hence the script 7 pence postal fee


This is a new one for us, it seems unlikely on the map to go so far out of the way, and we have seen no other reference to a sorting office to re-direct mail at Oxford.
Does anyone have any information to help us to sort out this conundrum please?

(41.71 KiB)

Author:  earsathome [ Sun May 02, 2021 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Abergavenny to Ludlow 1798. Rate query.

As there were a fair number of views of this query we thought the readers would be interested in what we have found out in the meantime.

We contacted Clive Jones who is the Membership Secretary of the Postal History Society and Treasurer of the TPO & Seapost Society, who kindly supplied this solution to the puzzle.
It is all to do with the Cross Posts.
You are right with your rate for 1798. 7d. buys a single sheet carriage for 100-150 miles. The correct route is to Gloucester, then up the A38 to Worcester. Worcester to Ludlow is either 34 or 37 miles, via Tenbury or Leominister (both routes used). This A38 route is part of the Cross Post route opened in 1715 from Exeter to Bristol to Chester, a major post route to avoid sending mail via the postal spokes of the wheel in (or towards) London and out again. Gloucester north to Worcester is 26 miles. Then 43 + 26 + 34/37 miles = 103/106 miles, hence 7d. rate.
The letter, complete with a transcription and the explanation about the postage rate is on our website, through this link ... /gabb.html
On the site there are also about 150 old letters, illustrated and transcribed, dating back to 1660. Some have fascinating contents which have given us a lot pleasure and also includes the five letters written from Fermoy in Ireland to Alnwick in Northumberland, which was a query raised on the Postal History section.
The link below will take you directly to the letters page. ... ersov.html

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