Government Parcels Stamps

5/05/2012     Great Britain

Prior to 1882 all British Government Departments used ordinary Postage stamps for their mail and Fiscal or Revenue Stamps for raising Fees and Taxes. In order to carry out a more thorough audit of departmental spending it was decided to produce specific stamps for the individual departments, the first being for the Inland Revenue. These took the form of current Postage Stamps with Departmental overprints including Office of Works, Royal Household, Army Official and Board of Education. Several smaller Departments continued to use ordinary Postage which were perforated with the Departments initials, The Board of Trade being one such example.

The only general stamps issued were the Government Parcel Stamps and these could be used by any department. These were primarily introduced in order to move traffic away from the Post Office (whose employees often had to struggle under huge weights of freely transported privileged mail) onto the newly founded Railway Parcels Service. Apart from the graduated charges for higher weights requiring higher frankings in 1891 Registration for Parcels was introduced again requiring increased charges.

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