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Freeman - Nsw Numeral Cancellations (2nd Edition)

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Posted 03/20/2018   8:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The second edition of this marvelous publication was released late in 2017, five years after the first edition.

I have been collecting and researching NSW numerals for years and wanted to share some of my research with our members who are also collecting this area.

First off, there are four numerals where no rarity rating has been mentioned. These omissions were in the first edition and in 2014 I asked the author what the ratings were. He advised as follows:

52 (2) Bourke not rated due to lack of material. (NB: I have seen type 5 often)

916 Boggy Flat RRRR

1785 The Albert RRRR

1800 Nicholson's RRRRR

There are also a number of Post Offices listed on page 347 with opening dates but no numeral has been allocated. After looking at the closing dates of Post Offices I can offer the following information:

Inverlochy opened 1/4/1861 closed 30/6/1861 should've received numeral 335 in the chronology. This numeral is allocated to Lime Kilns which opened 1/8/1861 so it's possible 335 went to Inverlochy first.

Dingo Creek and Tarago were both opened 1/6/1862 the only numerals available at this date were 133 and 169.

Hursley opened 1/9/1862 numeral 108 available from 1/8/1862.

Corang renamed from Nerriga 1/1/1865, see numeral 263.

Belalie opened 16/6/1866, Icely opened 1/7/1866, Larbert opened 1/8/1866 numeral 350 available from 1/1/1863, 381 available from 1/9/1864, 159 available from 1/8/1865, numeral 282 possibly available from October 1865, 391 available from 1/2/1866.

Collington opened 1/10/1866 numeral 385 available from 16/9/1866.

Ruby Creek opened 16/9/1872 at this date there were at least 30 available numerals, not including those listed above.

The last rays type numeral (835) was issued on 15 July 1876 so I would suggest that offices opened after this date would surely have been given a barred numeral handstamp. Freeman states no numeral was issued for Merah North (opened 30/5/1904) so it would seem unlikely that Combara (opened 1/6/1904) would've been given a numeral, despite the fact that Toolejooa (opened 1/7/1904) was given numeral 2099.

Numeral 1595 is recorded but the Post Office is unknown. The numerals either side have opening dates of 1/2/1891. Might 1595 be Enfield North? Enfield PO relocated on 27/4/1891 to the old site of St. Thomas PO so the dates are close. Perhaps there was a delay in the gazetted date of moving Enfield.

Wilbertree (opened 1/9/1864 closed 31/10/1865) is listed in the index with numeral 418 but is not in the main tabulation. As far as I'm aware no example of Wilbertree has been recorded.

There is a suggestion that Parragundy was issued with numeral 2100. On page 7 Freeman states "There is a good chance that the logic of finishing the series at 2100 in Victoria had been copied from the New South Wales counterparts."

Numeral 2100 in Victoria was issued to King Valley on 15 November 1906, 2 years and 4 months after Parragundy was opened. Taking the fierce intercolonial rivalry into consideration, I believe Victoria ran to numeral 2100 to spite New South Wales, not to emulate them.

There are only two minor criticisms of the book. Firstly, the maps in the back do not cover the entire state. Second, the location of quite a few offices is given as X amount of kilometres from the GPO. I believe this information was copied over from the Hopson & Tobin publications. If you are collecting these numerals, download the Geographical Encyclopaedia of New South Wales, published in 1892 from here: along with a county map of New South Wales from here: and a postal station map from here:

The locations of some Post Offices are frightfully obscure (eg: 347 Teesdale, 381 Geddai) so if you're stuck, let me know and I will try to help.

Bobby DLR
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Posted 03/20/2018   9:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Fabulous information Bobby,
thank you very much.

Therein lies the dichotemy, monographs or catalogues that arrive too expensively, reflect the vast amount of work involved, but fail to reach the rank and file.

Release at an affordable price, and the information gets broadcast and the advantage or thousands of collectors adding information.
Since buying the Victorian Pmks, we have found 3 or 4 obscure.

The NSW have remained fairly dormant.
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Posted 03/21/2018   02:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Rod

For the numerals I collect a specific area of NSW and still have 60 numerals out of 185 to go. Of those 60, 44 are rated 5R (1-2 copies known) or not recorded. The joys of the goldfields

I've found a couple of numerals though: 267 Oranmier which is noted in the 2nd edition and 792 of Bulgandramine which is rated 'number not recorded'. The 792 is barely discernable but it's on cover and the backstamps prove it's Bulgandramine. Even more remarkable is that the letter was still enclosed. I've not long had this cover.

I have 739 Tenandra on cover also but the number is illegible. Again, the backstamps prove the origin. In the first edition of the book it was rated NNR but an example on piece (Tattersals) was sold by Millennium Auctions (sale 52, lot 417, hammer $270).

The Bulgandramine and Tenandra covers are in my De La Rue collection and are nothing to look at. They each have a 2d stamp. The Oranmier is on the 2d diadem below.

There does seem to be more collectors of Victoria numerals than NSW I reckon, but that suits me just fine!

My holy grail is 191 of Windeyer. I was one of the underbidders when an example was sold by Status (sale 326, lot 1661, hammer $600). It's gone from NNR to 3R so I'm hoping to get one eventually.
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 03/21/2018 02:15 am
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Posted 11/21/2019   7:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am continuing my research and the focus here will be on the patterns of allocation.

The 2R type, comprising 4 segments in each ray, was introduced at some time during 1857. After examining the listings, every Post Office except two has a 2R type listed.

The two exceptions are 9 of Bathurst and 134 of Manilla.

The 4th device of Bathurst in the listings is stated as a 3R19 but surely this is a typo. I think it should say 2R19. The example shown is very worn but there is one ray to the southwest that clearly shows 4 segments. Earlier examples of the device show 4 segments clearly (see below).

For Manilla, the 2nd device listed is probably a 2R14, not a 3R14 as stated. With a rating of RRRRR we'll have to wait for a better example to confirm this. There was no example in the Tamiami auction so maybe Hugh had the only known copy.

A new style, the 3R type (3 segments in each ray) was introduced in 1863, the contract being with John Sands. There were some early teething problems with numerals 400 to 402 but from 403 each device has 3 dots or rays in each segment.

From numeral 588 a new contractor, John Thornthwaite, was used. The device was still a 3R type, and with two exceptions early in the run (numerals 592 and 598) these devices have 12 rays. This type was issued until numeral 835, whereafter the barred type was introduced.

There are 3 anomalies in the Thornthwaite listings.

Numerals 766 and 767 are both known with 16 rays and the numerals themselves look different. Hugh lists both with a 3R12 but in each case the number in not known. I'm thinking these 3R16 devices were crafted by a different pair of hands and that there never was a 3R12 device for these offices.

The third is 657 of Dark Corner. Hugh lists and illustrates a 3R20 for this office but this is impossible. If the 3R12 device was lost it wouldn't have been replaced by a device bearing all the hallmarks of the previous contractor. At any rate, the Post Office there was only open for 18 months and wasn't reopened until 1898.

The stamp illustrated in the book is a more worn 557 of Candelo, as a comparison with Hugh's illustrated 557 will show.

Lastly, the numeral below appears to be an unrecorded type for Bathurst.

It's a 2R type on a 4d De La Rue, watermarked single lined 4, which was first issued in 1867.

The size and shape of the numeral is clearly different from the 2R20 of St. Marys (numeral 6).

The 5th Bathurst device (a 3R16) has a similar looking numeral but the rays are dashes, not dots. A more clear example of the 4th device is below but the shape of the numeral is different.

I have an 1870 cover from Bathurst that doesn't have a numeral, only 2 CDs. It's worth noting that the 5th device, which is from 1863 at the earliest, is rated RRRR. The following two 3R16 numerals are not too difficult to acquire.

Any thoughts on my apparent discovery would be much appreciated
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Posted 11/30/2019   6:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have some more information on the listings for those collecting:

9 Bathurst - (17) appears to be listed in error. The type 5s are (11) and (12). Further, Bathurst is 55kms from Lithgow, not 11.

131 Wattle Flat - (3) & (4) The 3R16 type was issued after the 2R type. I'm actually highly suspicious of the 3R16 as it has a flat topped 3. Is the illustration an inverted 121? I have the 2R35 on DLRs, Centennials and the 1897 stamps.

106 & 256 Euston - as Buranga (now called Buronga) didn't have a Post Office until 1941, the location could be better described as 81kms west of Balranald. Buranga is also mentioned in the location for numeral 108, a Queensland office.

295 - Swatchfield/Swallow's Nest - Swatchfield is between Mount David and Isabella. Swallow's Nest is between Rockley and Black Springs. NB: When not in drought, this is some of the most picturesque countryside in New South Wales.

300 Russell's - Currango is a trig station a long way from the Adaminaby-Kiandra road (see but this little article might help in a more accurate location: The 1864 contract states "To and from Cooma, Adaminaby, Russell's and Kiandra".

302 Goolagong - This town is 28kms from Canowindra.

394 Rydal - (2) appears to be listed in error. Note the illustration of the 3R16 is 394 (2).

404 - the location is in present day Wentworth Falls. See this article for some more info:

897 - the Post Office should say Upper Burragorang

1218 - Beaufort is near Glen Innes, not Mudgee

1578 - the location should say Peak Hill

1914 - the location should say Berridale

Finally, here's another apparently unlisted Bathurst cancel.

The stamps are SG217b, issued in June 1880. Any thoughts or comments on these apparent Bathurst cancels would be most appreciated. Perhaps I'm misreading them and they are something else?

Anyway, I hope this additional information helps
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Posted 12/16/2019   9:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My recent research focuses on numerals where an office hasn't been allocated, along with reallocations of certain numerals.

Firstly, two corrections from my earlier posts. Swatchfield is south-west of Black Springs, along a road that used to traverse Campbells River and Native Dog Springs Creek. Secondly, the 9 numeral on the 6d DLR pair is actually numeral 99 of Walgett.


For numerals where no Post Office has been allocated, I suggest that a lot of these are numeral reallocations for Post Offices that were reopened, having been closed for a period of time. The suggestion is based on the opening dates of the Post Offices listed on page 347 that have not been allocated a numeral.

108 (3) Type 3R20 recorded on 1d engraved KGV. Should this be a 2R20? Compare to numerals 379 to 399 (types 2R18/20). Emu Ferry (379) opened 1/4/1863 & 108 (2) closed 31/7/1862. 108 (3) has been allocated to an office that was still open in 1913.

350 (2) Type 3R16 This can't be Boro as the 3R16 type came into being in August 1864.

381 (2) Type 2R18 illustrated on an 1897 1d shield. Rated RRR. It is the original device. Allocated to an office that was still open in at least 1897.

870 Type 4B? (Rated RRRRR, Stamp d green). The device shown in image is very odd. Could it be a fake? Post Office reopened around March-April 1877.

907 Rated NNR. Post Office reopened January 1878.

1057 Rated RRRRR, Stamp 1897 1d. Post Office reopened Dec. 1880 Jan. 1881

1259 Rated RRRRR, Stamp 1897 2d. Apparently two types but surely (1) is an underinked 1258? Office reopened Jul. Sep. 1884

1570 Rated NNR. Office reopened October 1890

1595 Rated RRRRR, Stamp 1d DLR. Office reopened February 1891.

2014 Rated RRRRR, Tamiami's example is on an 1897 1d. Office reopened November 1900.


The following notes are based on a study of the first 1000 numerals.

It would appear that prior to about 1881, any office that closed and subsequently reopened retained their original numeral, unless the numeral had been reallocated to another office. Numerals known to have been reallocated after the original office was closed and prior to their reopening are 27, 103, 106, 108, 210, 258 and 378.

From 1881, almost every office that closed and then subsequently reopened, that originally had a rays type cancel, were issued with a new 4B type cancel, but retained their original numeral. The exceptions are numerals 670 (closed 1885), 720 (closed twice in 1884), 745 (closed 1891), 755 (closed 1882) and 817 (closed 1884). These offices were closed for 2 years, 1 and then 4 months, 2 months, 9 days and 1 years respectively.

Brown & Campbell state that Rocky Glen (numeral 774) was closed in 1900 and reopened on 16/7/1900. It is worth noting that, for example, Huskisson opened in 1875 with rays type 3R12 numeral 817, closed in 1884 and reopened in 1886. This office also has a type 4B cancel. Was this new device supplied on the reopening of the office?

Offices that were allocated a 4B type on their original opening that were later closed, and were then given a new numeral on reopening are 848, 894, 913, 925 and 950. These offices were closed for approximately 11, 7, 7, 8 and 10 years respectively.

There are four offices in Freeman that have reopening dates in error (378 Brush Grove, 400 Kangaloon, 596 Eurobodalla, 832 Binnaway) and three others that have a reopening query (260 Maryland reopened in 1920, 466 Cameron's type 4B recorded, 489 Wammerawa never reopened).

Brown & Campbell have closing/reopening dates for the following numerals (138, 198, 256, 282, 302, 440, 467, 468, 522, 617, 649, 673, 748, 774 and 856) but Freeman does not have this information.

Freeman has closing/reopening dates for numerals 169, 211, 325, 479, 842 and 861 but Brown & Campbell does not.

For 188 Concord, the details are: opened 1/7/1851 as Longbottom, named changed to Concord 1/1/1873, closed 31/5/1883, reopened 2/7/1883, closed 31/12/84, Beaconsfield (q.v. numeral 1119) reopened on new site 11/6/1885, renamed Concord 20/6/1885, closed 16/12/1886, reopened 6/8/1890.


The following five offices were reduced to Receiving Office status but kept their numeral as the stamps shown in Freeman were issued after the reducing to RO status:

230 Long Swamp (RO 1/1/1888 & closed 15/9/1890), 359 Junee (RO 3/9/1878 & PO 1/11/1878), 504 Gullen (RO 1/5/1879 & PO 15/4/1888), 558 Unumgar (closed 30/7/1870, RO 1/9/1874 & PO 16/6/1887) and 800 Gurrundah (RO 1/5/1887 & PO 1/8/1918)


The following numeral devices were used at different offices:

106 Euston/Rocky River (Type 1A), 137 Moama/Mossgiel (Type 2R32), 225 Araluen/Blacktown (Type 5R23), 267 Oranmier/Burrier (Type 2R36), 320 Algullah/Long Reach (Type 2R34), 322 Sassafras/Oberon (Type 2R34), 381 Geddai/unknown (Type 2R18) and 408 Mulwala/Monkerai (Type 3R16)

The following offices may have used the same device: 152 Piney Range/Wombat (Type 2R36), 210 Kembla/Maclean (Type 2R20) and 264 Boro/Colo (Type 2R31)


Finally, some miscellaneous obsevations:

Numeral 52 Moulamein: closed 1854 and reopened 1859 with numeral 265. Bourke opened July 1862. 2R38 device not recorded at Bourke. If never supplied, Bourke mustn't have had a numeral device until the 3R16 type provided by the John Sands contract in August 1864.

Numeral 117 Upper Bingera: established 9/7/1862 on original site of Bingera & given numeral 341, Bingera moved to new site 9/7/1862.

Numeral 133 (2): The stamp shown is a DLR 2d Wmk single line 2, issued April 1863. The stamp must be from 3rd allocation of the numeral. Caidmurra must therefore be rated NNR but is certainly numeral 133 as this was the only numeral available when office opened.

Numeral 138: Office NOT renamed. Oberon established 1/2/1866 on original site of Fish River Creek & given numeral 322, Fish River Creek moved to new site 1/2/1866.

Numeral 322: Highest known device reallocation.

Numeral 389: Type is 2R20, not 2R26.

Numeral 418: Highest known numeral reallocation.

Numeral 463: The stamp mentioned is a DLR 2d Wmk Crown/NSW, issued 1871 at the earliest. Therefore the numeral must've been reallocated, unless the numeral was not returned to the GPO.

Numeral 466: Freeman lists a 4B type, indicating the numeral was reallocated at some stage.

Numeral 481: Stamp shown is an 1897 2d but the office closed in 1868. q.v. numerals 760 & 867. Were these numerals never returned to the GPO? Was the Postmaster at King's Plains the same person at Bartlett's Camp?

Numeral 658: Stamp shown is an 1897 1d. q.v. numeral 710. The office was only closed for 3 months in 1873. This may be an instance of an office using two numerals concurrently.

Numeral 884: Allocated to Gobondry but office scheduled opening of 1/6/1877 was cancelled. Could the numeral have been reallocated at a later date?


Cross referencing closing and reopening dates from Hopson & Tobin's work with Brown & Campbell and Freeman is the next thing on my research list.

Happy collecting folks
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 12/17/2019 2:44 pm
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Posted 12/17/2019   06:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bobby this is all French to me,
however, I applaud your work and discipline,
for the NSW Postmark collector, some valuable work.
I sense you are having a lot of fun.
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Posted 12/17/2019   2:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you Rod

Gary Watson's short article 'Confessions of a Postmark Tragic' is well worth a read:

It's on page 53.

It is a lot of fun, but it's a lot of work too!
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Posted 12/17/2019   6:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Well....wash my socks !
I never anticipated reading this....Australia uses acronyms ERD and LRD !
I am severely disappointed,
I have always used EKU and LKU Earliest Known Use etc.

Not sure I can get used to ERD

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Posted 12/29/2019   02:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I was looking through some saved images and can add the following small amount of information.

Numeral 339 Wood's Reef:

Millennium Auctions offered the stamp below in May 2012.

Wood's Reef closed in 1868 and the numeral was reallocated as the scan below confirms.

The image is from 2016 (ie: when I saved it) and I think it might have been auctioned by Status but I can't say for sure.

So the office the device was reallocated to must've still been open in at least 1897 when this stamp was first issued.
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Posted 09/30/2020   7:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Further to my post on November 30 last year, when looking at the 2nd edition of Freeman's book yesterday, the 17th postmark for numeral 9 Bathurst caught my eye.

The (17), which is a type 5 (ie: the numeral in 3 concentric ovals), was added in the second edition of Freeman's book. It wasn't there in the first edition.

In both editions, types 11 and 12 relate to the type 5 numeral. In both editions there are no illustrations of this type, suggesting it's rare.

I looked through my own holdings and have just one example of this numeral, on an 1894 cover.

Hopson & Tobin only give one date, 1892, for this type.

I'm thinking that entry (17) was put there pending a rewrite of the listings. I cross-referenced all the duplexes listed in Hopson & Tobin with Freeman's listings and my own holdings.

I would suggest the RRRR rating offered for (17) is correct, and that (17) should be renumbered (11) and (12) should be deleted from the listings.

If anyone has any examples of this postmark I'd like to see them!
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 10/01/2020 02:47 am
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