Logo: SG43 Plate 77

Soldiers Letter

The sender of this letter James Dale, was a carpenter aboard HMS Esk, when part of the East Indies Station of the Royal Navy, and the sailor's one penny rate applied. HMS Esk departed Hong Kong in the summer of 1860 as part of the action to seal the Gulf of Bahai. The Naval mail bag was probably placed aboard a P&O Far East mailboat departing Hong Kong during April 1860 , and the cover cancelled by the mail clerk with the A99 obliterator. There is a London arrival mark JU 4 60. The addressee Joseph Dale ran the Cannon Inn in Brentford during this time. The Dales ran the Cannon Inn in Brentford for a long time and also operated barges. Some lightermen ran ale houses and inns as a sideline, to help out with their finances when trade was bad. In 1886, the Dales had 22 barges, one of the largest fleets in Brentford.The Cannon Public house was established at 267 Brentford High Street before 1839 and Mary Dale is listed here in 1839 and 1841 (when the household consisted of 16 including 1 female servant, 2 watermen, 8 agricultural labourers and a horsekeeper). Mary was succeeded by Joseph Dale in 1851 who ran the place until 1861.

HMS Esk was a Royal Navy Corvette launched on the 12th June 1854. Between 1 March 1856
and 26 June 1861 she was commanded by Captain Robert John le Mesurier McClure, East Indies and China (Pacific), where McClure commanded the division of the Naval Brigade before Canton during the 2nd Anglo-Chinese War.

The stamp is a 1d star SG40 C10 plate 36 cancelled with an A99 cancel.

Image: Soldier's letter - Royal Navy

Poet's Letter

Image: Cover with selvedge and poetry!


I really like this cover. It's a unusual little item. Nothing unusual about the stamp, but it's been resealed up by loads of selvedge which is nice and in violet ink in very, very tiny letters someone has written -

"Unloose this kerchief from my neck and leave me with my woe

I cannot see where comfort lies mine eyes are blinded so"

Hopefully thngs worked out for whoever  the addressee was!

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