The intriguing history of Victorian postal cover sent to owner of Sewerby Hall in 1840s - Yorkshire Post letters

From: Aled Jones, Southcliffe Road, Bridlington.

This correspondence from the 1800s is intriguing reader Aled Jones.

LOOKING through my collection of vintage postal covers – most of which have local Bridlington addresses on them – one is more intriguing than the rest.

That’s because when it was sent, in early Victorian times, mailing any letter that cost more than a penny was unusual.

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Sewerby Hall

The antique cover in question carries a Twopenny Blue stamp and is addressed to one Yarburgh Greame, Esq, the then proud owner of iconic Sewerby Hall.

It was sent from Bakewell on November 10, 1843, arriving in Bridlington the next day – clearly the stage coach it came on had super-fast horses.

Upon researching why this cover should have a two pence rather than a one pence stamp on it, I discovered that the Twopenny Blue allowed a letter weighing a full ounce to be sent anywhere in Britain, whereas the more common Penny Black’s (or Penny Red’s) weight limit was a modest half ounce.

Fascinating stuff, especially when you consider that, because the use of envelopes was rare in the 1840s, my cover is just a sheet of paper folded and sealed with wax after being written. Sadly, the contents of the ‘envelope’ have disappeared – they would have provided a glimpse into the dealings of a country estate.