Notes from the Past

Circular Delivery Companies

For thirty years after the great postal reforms of 1840, the British Post Office turned a deaf ear to appeals for a reduced rate of postage for printed papers and circulars.  And so private enterprise stepped in.  In 1865 Robert Brydone formed the first of the Circular Delivery Companies, undertaking to deliver circulars within the boundaries of Edinburgh and Leith for a farthing each.  The service was successful, but when Brydone started extending his operations to London and other cities, and there was even a hint of a National Circular Delivery Company, the Post Office instituted legal proceedings as a result of which the companies' activities were suppressed as an infringement of the State postal monopoly.  In their four-year career the companies issued various local stamps; these are an interesting specialist study but in genuine used condition, especially on cover, are rare.  As a direct result of the companies' enterprise, the Post Office heeded the demand for cheaper postage in 1870, and in that year the first ½d. stamp was issued to meet the new reduced rate for printed papers.
 
 
- R. J. Sutton 6th edition revised by K. W. Anthony
The Stamp Collector's Encyclopaedia
Published 1966
 Posted January 13, 2000 

Index of 507 Notes from the Past

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