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Help With 1885 British Postal Rate To Mauritius

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Posted 01/26/2023   7:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Prexie3c to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi all!

My friend recently acquired the following cover (Britain to Mauritius), and she has been trying to figure out the postal rate. Four 1d stamps, seven 6d stamps, and two 5d stamps give a total of 56d or 4sh 8d. That's seems quite a lot of money for shipping back then in 1885. Did it pay the correct rate (and what rate was it)? Or is there an online reference on British postal rates where she can check things out?

Thanks!

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Posted 01/26/2023   8:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Any backstamps ? Indicia?
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Posted 01/26/2023   8:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Prexie3c to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi rod222,

I apologize for not having put in the scan of the back in my original post. Here it is . There is a backstamp dated Dec 29 1885.

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Posted 01/26/2023   8:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Prexie,
my first interest is the Brit Pmk, Hooded EC

I am an novice with Packet routes, I would be assuming Dartmouth to the Cape Colony, then Cape steamer to Mauritius (Castle and Co)
Complete speculation though.

Pipon Adam and Co were involved in the Sugar industry

Agree, a very high postal franking. !

At the beginning of the nineteenth century a Frenchman, Jean-Baptiste Pipon, founded an import-export business in Mauritius. In 1817 Joachim Henri Adam (1793-1856) arrived in Mauritius from Rouen to take up work on a sugar estate; in 1825 he married Jean-Baptiste's daughter and joined the Pipon business thereafter. Henri Adam played a prominent part in the island campaign for an indemnity to owners of slaves emancipated under the Abolition Act of 1832. The firm, which for more than a century was one of the island's three most important firms of merchants and commission agents, traded successively under the names of F Barbe and Adam (1829-1837); Henry Adam and Co (1837-1848); Pipon Bell and Co (1848-1863); Pipon Adam and Co (1863-1897); Adam and Co (1897-1945); and Adam and Co Ltd (1945-1969). The Adam family was important in local administration. Charles Felix Henri (fl 1830-1900) was a member of the Council of Government in the 1880s. His brother Louis Gustave (d 1894) established himself in Paris to watch over the European side of the business. In 1969 the business was sold to the Blyth, Greene, Jourdain and Company Group; a condition of the sale was that the Adam name should be kept. Both the Pipon and Adam families were involved in the production as well as in the marketing of sugar, the main export industry of Mauritius. Through a network of correspondents and agents the firm sold sugar, mostly on consignment, to Britain, France, India, Australia, Malaya, Dutch East Indies, Indo-China and South Africa: it imported rice and jute (gunny sacks) from Calcutta; chemical fertilizers and machinery from Europe and guano from Peru; mules from Montevideo, and a great diversity of consumer goods. An important part of the company's operations from the late 1830s onwards was connected with the transport and allocation of Indian immigrant workers under contract to the sugar plantations. It was also active in the chartering market, acting as agent both for chartered vessels and for regular liners, notably the Clan Line. There was also an insurance business, the Mauritius Marine Insurance Company, which looked after the affairs of a number of overseas insurance companies as agent and claims assessor, besides representing the Bureau Veritas classification society in Mauritius.

https://aim25.com/cgi-bin/vcdf/deta...=search&nv2=
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Edited by rod222 - 01/26/2023 8:49 pm
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Posted 01/26/2023   9:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The rate to Mauritius in 1885 was 4d per half ounce.

So, this was a 7 ounce letter (4d x14 = 56d).

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Posted 01/26/2023   9:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Bobby,
would be interesting to hear the size of the envelope ?

I would imagine company's papers perhaps.

I thought the Pmks were perhaps "Book Post" hammers, but not so,
still have to locate them.
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Posted 01/26/2023   9:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The book you would need is "United Kingdom Inland & Overseas Letter Rates" by Allan Oliver & Stuart Tanner.

It used to be freely available on the internet, but I can't find it now.

The handstamp is a standard London EC postmark, in use from the 1880s. I'd imagine there are lots of varieties.

Sugar eh Rod? The opening of the Suez Canal did the sugar plantations in the West Indies no favours at all.
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 01/26/2023 9:46 pm
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Posted 01/26/2023   9:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bobby, I think I have that somewhere.
shall look at my database.

Trove:
Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875) Fri 14 Nov 1856
Page 4

DARTMOUTH A PACKET STATION.-
The port of Dartmouth has
been made a packet station, through the influence of Mr. W. S.
Lindsay, who has the mail contract to the Cape of Good Hope,
the Mauritius, Point de Galle, and India. A steamer will leave
the port on the 6th of every month, and the homeward-bound
ships will make Dartmouth the first port of call. It will be
remembered that Mr. Lindsay, who has thus conferred so great
a benefit on the town, was a candidate to represent it in Par-
liament, but he was defeated, by a small majority, by Sir
Thomas Herbert, and he was subsequently elected for Tyne-
mouth. The first steamer the England, of 1150 tons register,
and of 150 horse power arrived at Dartmouth on August 3. She
has 400 troops on board for the Cape of Good Hope, consisting of
Captain Cleveland's company of Royal Artillery, and 100 non-com-
missioned officers and men of the 80th regiment, under the
command of Captain Young. She will take out about 50,000 in
specie, principally for the Cape of Good Hope and Mauritius, and
has a full cargo of general merchandise. Mr. Lindsay came down
to Dartmouth on the occasion of the first arrival, and was enter-
tained at a public dinner by the inhabitants. In reply to the
toast of his health, Mr. Lindsay said he had visited most of the
ports in this country, and the moment he saw their beautiful
harbour he thought it was a desirable port for him to send his
ships to. They had a harbour that could accommodate the
largest ship in the navy, which could enter at any weather, and
could float in any tide. It was also an excellent port for the embark-
ation and disembarkation of passengers, and. he considered that
by his sending his ships there he should not only benefit the in
habitants of the town but himself also. The inhabitants are
about to erect a lighthouse at the entrance to the harbour.
Home News, August 19.
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Posted 01/26/2023   9:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've got a PDF copy Rod, downloaded in 2017 from the Philatelics Annex website, which is now hijacked.

The old page is archived on the Wayback machine, but the links are dead as far as I could see.
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 01/26/2023 9:49 pm
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Posted 01/26/2023   9:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It used to be freely available on the internet, but I can't find it now.


Nor I
I am sure I once had it, or perhaps just used it online.
Not any more.

I have been using the GBPS
but can be confusing sometimes.

My recent emails to Allan Oliver have not been replied to.
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Edited by rod222 - 01/26/2023 9:56 pm
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Posted 01/26/2023   10:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Sugar eh Rod? The opening of the Suez Canal did the sugar plantations in the West Indies no favours at all.


The Mauritians were early visitors to the Australian Gold Rush
some settled in Bendigo
They brought with them 50,000 Lbs of sugar for the diggings

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Posted 01/26/2023   10:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's very interesting Rod!

It's true, the West Indies had Mauritius & India as competitors even in the 1840s, but the opening of the Suez Canal greatly reduced shipping costs back to the UK.
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Posted 01/27/2023   8:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Prexie3c to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Many thanks to rod222 and Bobby De La Rue for all the wonderful information!. My friend (and I) have learnt a lot. This is not her collecting area - she acquired this cover only because of the date of the backstamp - Dec 29 is her birthdate. Never knew that the postal history and historical information behind the cover could be so interesting.

To an earlier question fromrod222 - the envelop measures about 24.5cm by 16cm. It's not that big, so to think that it took on a weight of 7 ounces - it must have been quite a lot of papers.

No airmail then, so to reach Mauritius from London is 33 days must have been a feat!

I did a bit of googling myself, and I found that the ship that carried the letter - the Drummond Castle - had a sad history. It was built in 1881, but sank in 1896 after striking a reef off Ushant. More than 200 lives were lost - only three survived. More can be found here --> https://www.bandcstaffregister.com/page2805.html.

Now just wondering who the sender was. Could have been the "L.G ADAM" as indicated in the oval red marking on the front. I could also make out the word "ADAM" in the middle of the wax seal on the back. Maybe Louis Gustave Adam, who watched over the European side of the business, and he was in London at that time?

This is such a wonderful community
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Posted 01/27/2023   10:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I did a bit of googling myself, and I found that the ship that carried the letter - the Drummond Castle


Sheesh!
completely missed that !

I spent time thinking it read
"Per Mr Drummond cas???"

Good to know the Packet name! well done you.

I learnt a lot, especially the genesis of the Dartmouth packet service,
( In my part of the West Country)
I knew about it from the Postal Coach routes, but always wondered why
Dartmouth in preference to Plymouth harbours.

33 days? seems a lot to me, but no transfer markings, perhaps Mauritius was the last call on the route. (lots of stop overs)


Quote:
Dec 29 is her birthdate.


Condolences
My father's birthday was 24th December, always had to make a special
Birthday effort without contrasting Xmas.



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Edited by rod222 - 01/27/2023 10:20 pm
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Posted 01/27/2023   10:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
"Per Mr Drummond cas???"


Since it hasn't been explicitly said, and for those who haven't fully translated the handwriting, the "Mr" is actually "Str" = Steamer. It fooled me at first too.
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Posted 01/27/2023   10:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks John.


Quote:
I am an novice with Packet routes, I would be assuming Dartmouth to the Cape Colony, then Cape steamer to Mauritius (Castle and Co)
Complete speculation though.


Nice to know I was correct


Bib: L'Estrange (1898) Page 201
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Edited by rod222 - 01/27/2023 10:40 pm
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