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IT seems that the Queen Victoria 1d Pink Embossed pre-paid envelope which were issued in different sizes, did not cover all eventualities.


On some occasions the embossed 1d label part of the envelope was cut out, and placed on a more square envelope probably housing a card of some description.

The Post Office took a dim view of this it seems, and the example shown here has the label uncancelled

with 'Contrary To Regulations' written across it and initialled by the Postmaster.


Alongside is the Malvern date stamp of 27th May 1901 and alongside that is the handstamp 2d 497 (Malvern) and “To Pay” handwritten and again initialled.


This seems pretty clear that this was not an acceptable use of the 1d Pink embossed label. It continued on its merry way to Wrexham arriving at 4am on the 28th as per its back stamp.

Well that’s the end of that …. except it’s not.

The next envelope shown in Figure 2 being exactly the


same size and shape also had a 1d Pink Embossed label cut out and stuck to the envelope. The example sent from London to Oxford did not incur the wrath of the Postmaster, cancelling it with a rather nice London Squared Circle 2.15pm on March 14 1905. There was no surcharge applied and as shown in Figure 3 arrived in Oxford on the same day:

REGS 2.jpg
REGS 3.jpg

Now, if there was one of these envelopes that should incur the To Pay surcharge it should be the second one.


It has a Queen Victoria stamp used during Edward VII’s reign it was sent from London at 2.15 pm and arrived in Oxford at 6.45pm on the same day, some 4 hours 30 minutes later.


Well that is a great service considering it was Contrary to Regulations…or was it??

There is a great article in the GBPS Journal Vol 50 No 5 Sept/Oct 2012 by Michael Lockton FRPSL, that gives full details of the accepted and non-accepted periods of use for these postal stationery cut-outs and changed because of events at the time. This is a brief summary:


February 1841-July 1845 No clear Policy, I presume this was not something anticipated until they started to happen.

July 1845 - September 1870 Following Post Office Notice No 22 the use of cut-outs were permitted, prompting a wide use.

October 1870 - December 1904 Postcards were introduced and therefore cut-outs were no longer to be accepted and any attempt would result in a surcharge.


January 1905 - June 1915 The Post Office agreed that cut-outs could be permitted for use again.


July 1915 onwards - On 1st July 1905 Queen Victoria stamps were demonetised including 1d Pink Envelopes and their cut-outs so they were no longer permitted for use.



GB Journal Vol 50 No 5 SEPT/OCT 2012 - Postal Stationery "Cut-Outs" Michael Lockton FRPSL "

Graham Stockdale

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