Today in Postal History

Brazil to England
September 2, 1845

This folded commercial letter was sent on its way at the
British Post Office (1808-74) in Rio de Janeiro with a different type of CDS.*
The double circles can only be seen on one side while RIO JANEIRO (no de) completes the circle.

The sender requested service via Packet "Seagul".
According to Robertson, Seagull was a 10 gun Royal Naval brig employed as a Falmouth Packet.
In 1845 commander was Lieutenant H. P. Dickens.*

The letter arrived in London on October 29 as indicated by the red EC receiver on the reverse.
It was rated at 2/9p for collection from the addressee - 2/7p for
Transatlantic carriage and 2p for delivery in England.*

The addressee's docket history does not indicate a date on which the letter was answered.

Although Brazil was the second nation to introduce stamps (bullseyes on August 1, 1843)
for prepaying postage, the practice of sending items
on a collect-on-delivery basis continued for many years.

*Thanks to Jim Whitford-Stark for this added information on the Seagull and the confirmation of the rate.

Jim also notes, "One of the reasons for the persistence of "stampless" mail well into the period after the introduction of stamps was that there were no high values.  In Britain just the 1d and 2d till the introduction of the embossed issues [10d. in 1848].  A cover with 11 penny blacks on it, paying the rate to europe is quite a sight (and somewhat expensive to buy). Imagine a cover with 33 penny blacks on it!!!!"
*Thanks, too, to David Benson for noting the origination at the British Post Office.


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