A revenue stamp, tax stamp, duty stamp or fiscal stamp is a adhesive label used to collect taxes or fees on documents, alcoholic drinks and medicines, playing cards, hunting licenses, firearm registration, many other things. Businesses purchase the stamps from the government, attach them to taxed items as part of putting the items on sale, or in the case of documents, as part of filling out the form. Revenue stamps look similar to postage stamps, in some countries and time periods it has been possible to use postage stamps for revenue purposes. Revenue stamps are stamps used to collect fees, they are issued by governments and local, by official bodies of various kinds. They take many forms and may be gummed and ungummed, perforated or imperforate, printed or embossed, of any size. In many countries, they are as detailed in their design as banknotes; the high value of many revenue stamps means that they may contain security devices to prevent counterfeiting. The Revenue Society has defined revenue stamps as "...stamps, whether impressed, adhesive or otherwise, issued by or on behalf of International, National or Local Governments, their Licensees or Agents, indicate that a tax, duty or fee has been paid or prepaid or that permission has been granted."
In the Ottoman empire, Damga resmi was in use by the sixteenth century. Records of tax revenue from stamps for silk provide evidence of changes in silk production over time; the use of revenue stamps goes back further than that of postage stamps. Their use became widespread in the 19th century inspired by the success of the postage stamp, motivated by the desire to streamline government operations, the presence of a revenue stamp being an indication that the item in question had paid the necessary fees. Revenue stamps have become less seen in the 21st century, with the rise of computerization and the ability to use numbers to track payments accurately. There are a great many kinds of revenue stamps in the world, it is that many remain unrecorded. Both national and local entities have issued them. Governments have sometimes combined the functions of revenue stamps. In the former British Empire, such stamps were inscribed "Postage and Revenue" to reflect their dual function. Other countries have allowed revenue stamps to be used for postage or vice versa.
A revenue stamp authorized subsequently for postal use is known as a postal fiscal. Bhutan, for instance, authorized the use of revenue stamps for postal purposes from 1955 until the first proper postage stamps of the country were issued in 1962. In the Stanley Gibbons catalog, this type of stamp has an F prefix. While revenue stamps resemble postage stamps, they are not intended for use on mail and therefore do not receive a postal cancellation; some countries such as Great Britain have issued stamps valid for both postage and revenue, but this practice is now rare. Many different methods have been used to cancel revenue stamps, including pen cancels, inked handstamps, embossing, hole punching or tearing. From around 1900, United States revenue stamps were required to be mutilated by cutting, after being affixed to documents, in addition to being cancelled in ink. A class of office equipment was created to achieve this which became known as "stamp mutilators". Revenue stamps were once collected by philatelists and given the same status as postage stamps in stamp catalogues and at exhibitions.
After World War One, they declined in popularity due to being excluded from catalogues as the number of postage stamps issued rose and crowded revenues out. The lowest point in revenue philately was during the middle years of the twentieth century. A Stanley Gibbons children's stamp album from the 1950s warned in its introduction: "Since Philately is the collecting of stamps that are employed in connection with the Posts, do not put in your album fiscals, telegraph stamps, tobacco-tax labels and other such strange things as are found in some collections." This is not a definition of philately. More revenue philately has become popular again and now has its own FIP Commission and is an approved category in FIP endorsed stamp exhibitions. Many catalogues have been issued by specialist publishers and dealers but revenue stamps still do not feature in some of the most popular catalogues, for instance by Stanley Gibbons and Michel, unless they are revenue and postage stamps. However, both the standard Scott and the Scott Specialised United States catalogue feature US revenue stamps.
The leading catalogue for revenue stamps of the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth and several European countries is the Barefoot Catalogue. One of the earliest uses of revenue stamps was to pay Court Fees. Stamps were used in the Indian feudal states as early as 1797 50 years before the first postal stamps. Although India is only one of several countries that have used tax stamps on legal documents, it was one of the most prolific users; the practice is entirely stopped now due to the prevalence of forgeries which cost the issuing government revenue. The tax on documents commonly known as stamp duty, is one of the oldest uses of revenue stamps being invented in Spain, introduced in the Netherlands in the 1620s reaching France in 1651 and England in 1694. Governments enforce the payment of the tax by making unstamped documents unenforcable in court; the tax has been applied to contracts, tenancy agree
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper issued by a post office, postal administration, or other authorized vendors to customers who pay postage, who affix the stamp to the face or address-side of any item of mail—an envelope or other postal cover —that they wish to send. The item is processed by the postal system, where a postmark or cancellation mark—in modern usage indicating date and point of origin of mailing—is applied to the stamp and its left and right sides to prevent its reuse; the item is delivered to its addressee. Always featuring the name of the issuing nation, a denomination of its value, an illustration of persons, institutions, or natural realities that symbolize the nation's traditions and values, every stamp is printed on a piece of rectangular, but sometimes triangular or otherwise shaped special custom-made paper whose back is either glazed with an adhesive gum or self-adhesive; because governments issue stamps of different denominations in unequal numbers and discontinue some lines and introduce others, because of their illustrations and association with the social and political realities of the time of their issue, they are prized for their beauty and historical significance by stamp collectors whose study of their history and of mailing systems is called philately.
Because collectors buy stamps from an issuing agency with no intention to use them for postage, the revenues from such purchases and payments of postage can make them a source of net profit to that agency. Throughout modern history, numerous methods were used to indicate that postage had been paid on a mailed item, so several different men have received credit for inventing the postage stamp. William DockwraIn 1680, William Dockwra, an English merchant in London, his partner Robert Murray established the London Penny Post, a mail system that delivered letters and small parcels inside the city of London for the sum of one penny. Confirmation of paid postage was indicated by the use of a hand stamp to frank the mailed item. Though this'stamp' was applied to the letter or parcel itself, rather than to a separate piece of paper, it is considered by many historians to be the world's first postage stamp. Lovrenc KoširIn 1835, the Slovene civil servant Lovrenc Košir from Ljubljana in Austria-Hungary, suggested the use of "artificially affixed postal tax stamps" using "gepresste papieroblate", but although civil bureaucrats considered the suggestion in detail, it was not adopted.
Rowland HillIn 1836, a Member of Parliament, Robert Wallace, gave Sir Rowland Hill numerous books and documents about the postal service, which Hill described as a "half hundred weight of material". After a detailed study, on 4 January 1837 Hill submitted a pamphlet entitled Post Office Reform: Its Importance and Practicability, marked "private and confidential," and not released to the general public, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Thomas Spring Rice; the Chancellor summoned Hill to a meeting at which he suggested improvements and changes to be presented in a supplement, which Hill duly produced and submitted on 28 January 1837. Summoned to give evidence before the Commission for Post Office Enquiry on 13 February 1837, Hill read from the letter he wrote to the Chancellor that included a statement saying that the notation of paid postage could be created "...by using a bit of paper just large enough to bear the stamp, covered at the back with a glutinous wash...". This would become the first unambiguous description of a modern adhesive postage stamp.
Shortly afterward, Hill's revision of the booklet, dated 22 February 1837, containing some 28,000 words, incorporating the supplement given to the Chancellor and statements he made to the Commission, was published and made available to the general public. Hansard records that on 15 December 1837, Benjamin Hawes asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer "whether it was the intention of the Government to give effect to the recommendation of the Commissioners of the Post-office, contained in their ninth report relating to the reduction of the rates of postage, the issuing of penny stamps?"Hill’s ideas for postage stamps and charging paid-postage based on weight soon took hold, were adopted in many countries throughout the world. With the new policy of charging by weight, using envelopes for mailing documents became the norm. Hill’s brother Edwin invented a prototype envelope-making machine that folded paper into envelopes enough to match the pace of the growing demand for postage stamps. Rowland Hill and the reforms he introduced to the United Kingdom postal system appear on several of its commemorative stamps.
James ChalmersIn the 1881 book The Penny Postage Scheme of 1837, Scotsman Patrick Chalmers claimed that his father, James Chalmers, published an essay in August 1834 describing and advocating a postage stamp, but submitted no evidence of the essay's existence. Until he died in 1891, Patrick Chalmers campaigned to have his father recognized as the inventor of the postage stamp; the first independent evidence for Chalmers' claim is an essay, dated 8 February 1838 and received by the Post Office on 17 February 1838, in which he proposed adhesive postage stamps to the General Post Office. In this 800-word document concerning methods of indicating that postage had been paid on mail he states: "Therefore, of Mr Hill’s plan of a uniform rate of postage... I conceive that the most simple and economical mode... would be by Slips... in the hope that Mr Hill’s plan may soon be carried into operation I would sugg
A cancellation is a postal marking applied on a postage stamp or postal stationery to deface the stamp and prevent its re-use. Cancellations come in a huge variety of designs, shapes and colors. Modern cancellations include the date and post office location where the stamps were mailed, in addition to lines or bars designed to cover the stamp itself; the term "postal marking" sometimes is used to refer to the part that contains the date and posting location, although the term is used interchangeably with "cancellation." The portion of a cancellation, designed to deface the stamp and does not contain writing is called the "obliteration" or killer. Some stamps are issued pre-cancelled with a printed or stamped cancellation and do not need to have a cancellation added. Cancellations can affect the value of stamps to collectors, negatively; the cancellations of some countries have been extensively studied by philatelists and many stamp collectors and postal history collectors collect cancellations in addition to the stamps themselves.
The first adhesive postage stamp was the Penny Black, issued in 1840 by Great Britain. The postal authorities recognized there must be a method for preventing reuse of the stamps and issued handstamps for use to apply cancellations to the stamps on the envelopes as they passed through the postal system; the cancels were handmade and depicted a Maltese cross design. The ink used was red, but it was found that this could be cleaned off and the stamps reused, so after a series of experiments, early in 1841 black cancelling ink was used, more permanent; the color of the stamps was changed to red-brown so as to ensure that the cancellation showed clearly. Britain soon abandoned the Maltese crosses and in 1844 began to employ cancellations displaying numbers which referred to the location of mailing. A similar scheme was used for British stamps used abroad in its colonies and foreign postal services, with locations being assigned a specific letter followed by a number, such as A01 used in Kingston, Jamaica, or D22 for Venezuela.
Early cancellations were all applied by hand using hand stamps. Where hand stamps were not available, stamps were cancelled by marking over the stamp with pen, such as writing an "x". Pen cancellations were used in the United States into the 1880s, in a sense continue to this day, when a postal clerk notices a stamp has escaped cancellation and marks it with a ball point pen or marker. In the early period of the issuance of postage stamps in the United States a number of patents were issued for cancelling devices or machines that increased the difficulty of washing off and reusing postage stamps; these methods involved the scraping or cutting-away of part of the stamp, or punching a hole through its middle. High speed cancellation machines were first used in Boston between 1880–1890 and subsequently throughout the country. Today, cancellations may either be applied by machine. Hand cancellation is used when sending unusually shaped mail or formal mail to avoid damage caused by machine cancellation.
Postal meter stamps and similar modern printed to order stamps are not ordinarily cancelled by postal authorities because such stamps bear the date produced and can not be re-used. Bullseye cancellation called "Socked on the nose" or SOTN, is a stamp collector's term for a cancellation of circular design, centered on the postage stamp; such cancellations are popular with some stamp collectors because of their neatness and the fact that the time and location where the stamp was used may be seen. The prevalence of bulls-eye cancellations varies by country and time period. Cancelled-to-order. Cancelled-to-order stamps known as CTOs, are stamps that have been cancelled by a postal authority, but were never used to transmit mail. CTOs are created by postal authorities to sell the stamps cheaply to stamp collectors. Many Eastern European countries and others sold great numbers of CTOs to collectors in the 1950s - 1990s for revenue. CTOs may be identified as the stamps still retain their original gum.
Some authorities use the same canceller for all CTOs, apply it neatly in the corner of four stamps at one time. In some instances, the "cancellations" are printed as part of the stamp itself. Deferential cancellation is a cancellation designed so as not to deface the image of the ruler or regent on the stamp. A duplex cancel includes a postmark as well as the cancellation. Fancy cancels. In the second half of the 19th century, many postmasters in the United States and Canada cut their own cancelers from cork or wood in a great variety of designs such as stars, flags, etc; these are known as fancy cancels and have been studied by philatelists and collectors. One of the most famous is the "kicking mule" used in the 1880s. First day of issue are special cancellations with the date the stamp was first issued for sale and the words "first day of issue." Flag cancellations are a type of machine cancellation incorporating a design of the United States flag with the stripes serving as the "killer". The first machine flag cancel was used in Boston in November–December 1894.
Handstamped cancellations are cancellations added by means of a hand stamping device. Highway post office cancels refers to cancels added in transit by portable mail-handling equipment for sorting mail
The Penny Red was a British postage stamp, issued in 1841. It succeeded the Penny Black and continued as the main type of postage stamp in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1879, with only minor changes to the design during that time; the colour was changed from black to red because of difficulty in seeing a cancellation mark on the Penny Black. Some of the same plates that were used to print the Penny Black were used to print the Penny Red and about 21 billion Penny Reds were printed by Messrs. Perkins, Bacon & Co; the stamp had no perforations, had to be cut from the sheet using scissors in the same manner as for the Penny Black and the early printings of the Two pence blue. Perforations, first came into use in 1850 and were adopted in 1854; the experimental issue can be distinguished from the general issue as the was applied to stamp which used a different alphabet type for the letters in the lower corners. Each stamp has unique corner letters AA, AB, AC... AL etc.. In January 1855, the perforation size was changed from 16 to 14 as it was found that the sheets were coming apart too easily.
The reduced size allowed the sheets to remain intact until pressure was applied to force the separation. The stamps were printed in sheets of 240, so one row cost 1 shilling and a complete sheet one pound; this 240 stamps per sheet configuration continued with all British postage stamps issued until 1971 when decimal currency was introduced when the sheet size was changed to 200, making the lowest value denomination one pound per sheet. On 1 April 1864, the stamp was issued with the plate number engraved in the design, in the left and right side lace work. At this time, the stars in the top corners were replaced with the same check letters as used in the lower corners, but in reverse order; because of wear, over 400 different plates were used to print the Penny Red. Two different basic watermarks were used for the paper, small crown, large crown, introduced on 15 May 1855; the first stamps printed on the large crown watermarked paper showed two small vertical lines in the central portion of the crown.
Printings showed a revised watermark on which these central lines are not present. Stamps from some of the individual plate numbers, such as plate 77, are rare and in 2016, an example from this plate was auctioned for UK£495,000; the era of the Penny Red came to its close at the end of 1879, along with Perkins Bacon's contract. It was superseded by the Penny Venetian Red printed by De La Rue, in use for a little over a year before being succeeded in turn by the long-lived Penny Lilac. Since the stamp has become in demand amongst stamp collectors. 10 February 1841 - first issue: colour of 1d stamp changed from black to red-brown. 24 February 1854 - perforations 16 introduced. January 1855 - perforation size changed from 16 to 14. 15 May 1855 - watermark changed from small crown to large crown. 1858 - letters in all four corners, colour lake-red 1 April 1864 - letters on all four corners and plate number engraved on each stamp from plate 71 onwards. 27 October 1879 - last plate put to press. 3 December 1879 - contract to print the Penny Red formally ended.
Archer Roulette List of British postage stamps List of notable postage stamps Postage stamps and postal history of Great Britain Notes SourcesStanley Gibbons Ltd, Specialised Stamp Catalogue Volume 1: Queen Victoria J. B. Seymour & C. Gardiner-Hill The Postage Stamps of Great Britain Part 1 W. R. D. Wiggins The Postage Stamps of Great Britain Part 2 Examples of unused Penny Reds from the Phillips Collection at the British Postal History Museum Penny Red Collector Plate 77 Article by Robert Murray, aimed at novices
De La Rue
De La Rue plc is a British banknote manufacturing, security printing of passports and tax stamps, brand authentication and paper-making company with headquarters in Basingstoke, England. It has a factory on the Team Valley Trading Estate in Gateshead, other facilities in Loughton and Bathford. There are overseas offices in Sri Lanka and Malta, it is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company was founded by Thomas de la Rue, who moved from Guernsey to London in 1821 and set up in business as a'Leghorn' straw hat maker as a stationer and printer. In 1831 he secured his business a Royal Warrant to produce playing cards. In 1855 it started printing postage stamps and in 1860 banknotes. In 1896, the family partnership was converted into a private company. In 1921, the de la Rue family sold their interests; the company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1947. Called Thomas De La Rue & Company, Limited, it changed its name in 1958 to The De La Rue Company Limited. A takeover bid for De La Rue was made by the Rank Organisation in 1968, but this was rejected by the Monopolies commission as being against the public interest.
In 1991 the company's name was changed again – this time to De La Rue plc. In 1965 De La Rue established a joint venture with the Italian printer and inventor Gualtiero Giori called De La Rue Giori. Based in Switzerland, the company specialized in building banknote printing equipment; the company printed banknotes for the Central Bank of Iran during the 1960s. In 1995, the company acquired Portals Limited, listed on the London stock market since 1904. For 300 years Portals had been regarded as the leading banknote paper manufacturer in the world, having manufactured banknote paper for the Bank of England since 1724. In 1997, De La Rue acquired Harrison and Sons, the stamp and banknote printers based in High Wycombe; the factory closed permanently in 2003. In early 2002, De La Rue purchased Smurfit Diamond Packaging Corporation of Sequoia Voting Systems, a California based company, a large provider of electronic voting systems in the United States, for $23 million. After losing money for three years in a business way out of the company's traditional lines, on March 2005 Sequoia was sold to Smartmatic, a multi-national technology company which had developed advanced election systems, voting machines included.
In 2003, the company acquired the Debden based banknote printing operations of the Bank of England. In 2003 and 2004 the company supplied banknotes to Iraq; the company was recognised by Hermann Simon as a role model for other small- to medium-sized businesses in his book Hidden Champions. The Highest Perfection, a history of De La Rue was published in 2011. Written by Peter Pugh for De La Rue, it covered the years 1712–2003. In August 2014, the company announced the appointment of Martin Sutherland as chief executive officer. In 2016, the Cash Handling division was sold to Privet Capital. In September 2016, the Bank of England issued its polymer five pound note, the first note from the bank to be printed on polymer. In December 2016, the company announced. In March 2018, the company sold the paper business. De La Rue retained a 10 % share in Portals. In April 2018, the company decided to appeal against the decision of the British government to manufacture passports in France, it subsequently decided against appealing.
De La Rue sells high-security printing technology for over 150 national currencies. De La Rue produces a wide range of other secure documents, including: Bank cheques Driving licences Passports Postage stamps Tax stamps Traveller's cheques Vouchers In 1843 De La Rue established its first overseas trade, as de la Rue's brother Paul travelled to Russia to advise on the making of playing cards. Thomas de la Rue's designs for playing cards are the basis for the modern standard design; the playing card business was sold to John Waddington in 1969. The company has printed postage stamps for the United Kingdom and some of its colonies, for Italy and for the Confederate States of America; some famous stamps such as the Cape of Good Hope triangulars were printed by De La Rue & Co. after Perkins Bacon fell out of favour with the postal authorities of the time. The first 50 years of postage stamp production were chronicled in John Easton's The De La Rue History of British and Foreign Postage Stamps 1855–1901.
De La Rue claims to have developed the first practical fountain pen in 1881 and was a leading manufacturer of fountain pens in Britain. Products were marketed under the "Onoto" brand. Production of fountain pens by De La Rue ceased in Britain in 1958 but continued for a few more years in Australia. During the 1930s De La Rue created a number of board games; these included a cricket game, produced in a number of different editions, Round The Horn, a game which re-created the annual race of grain-laden, square-rigged sailing cargo ships from Australia to London. The games used playing cards as part of the component set. List of mints Banknotes of the pound sterling Commonwealth banknote-issuing institutions Gemalto - a competitor Giesecke & Devrient – a competitor based in Munich Hong Kong Note Printing – founded in 1984 by Thomas De La Rue Official website History of De La Rue’s playing cards A research website with more detail of De La Rue company history Article and images of 1930s De La Rue Board Game, Stumpz
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2, it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan; the island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago. The island is dominated by a maritime climate with quite narrow temperature differences between seasons. Politically, Great Britain is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutes most of its territory. Most of England and Wales are on the island; the term "Great Britain" is used to include the whole of England and Wales including their component adjoining islands. A single Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland by the 1707 Acts of Union.
In 1801, Great Britain united with the neighbouring Kingdom of Ireland, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, renamed the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" after the Irish Free State seceded in 1922. The archipelago has been referred to by a single name for over 2000 years: the term'British Isles' derives from terms used by classical geographers to describe this island group. By 50 BC Greek geographers were using equivalents of Prettanikē as a collective name for the British Isles. However, with the Roman conquest of Britain the Latin term Britannia was used for the island of Great Britain, Roman-occupied Britain south of Caledonia; the earliest known name for Great Britain is Albion or insula Albionum, from either the Latin albus meaning "white" or the "island of the Albiones". The oldest mention of terms related to Great Britain was by Aristotle, or by Pseudo-Aristotle, in his text On the Universe, Vol. III. To quote his works, "There are two large islands in it, called the British Isles and Ierne".
Pliny the Elder in his Natural History records of Great Britain: "Its former name was Albion. Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne; the French form replaced the Old English Breoton, Bryten, Breten. Britannia was used by the Romans from the 1st century BC for the British Isles taken together, it is derived from the travel writings of the Pytheas around 320 BC, which described various islands in the North Atlantic as far north as Thule. Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, described the island group as αἱ Πρεττανικαὶ νῆσοι; the peoples of these islands of Prettanike were called the Priteni or Pretani. Priteni is the source of the Welsh language term Prydain, which has the same source as the Goidelic term Cruithne used to refer to the early Brythonic-speaking inhabitants of Ireland; the latter were called Picts or Caledonians by the Romans. Greek historians Diodorus of Sicily and Strabo preserved variants of Prettanike from the work of Greek explorer Pytheas of Massalia, who travelled from his home in Hellenistic southern Gaul to Britain in the 4th century BC.
The term used by Pytheas may derive from a Celtic word meaning "the painted ones" or "the tattooed folk" in reference to body decorations. The Greco-Egyptian scientist Ptolemy referred to the larger island as great Britain and to Ireland as little Britain in his work Almagest. In his work, Geography, he gave the islands the names Alwion and Mona, suggesting these may have been the names of the individual islands not known to him at the time of writing Almagest; the name Albion appears to have fallen out of use sometime after the Roman conquest of Britain, after which Britain became the more commonplace name for the island. After the Anglo-Saxon period, Britain was used as a historical term only. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniae refers to the island as Britannia major, to distinguish it from Britannia minor, the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany, settled in the fifth and sixth centuries by migrants from Britain; the term Great Britain was first used in 1474, in the instrument drawing up the proposal for a marriage between Cecily the daughter of Edward IV of England, James the son of James III of Scotland, which described it as "this Nobill Isle, callit Gret Britanee".
It was used again in 1604, when King James VI and I styled himself "King of Great Brittaine and Ireland". Great Britain refers geographically to the island of Great Britain, it is often used to refer politically to the whole of England and Wales, including their smaller off shore islands. While it is sometimes used to refer to the whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, this is not correct. Britain can refer to either all island
Postage stamps and postal history of Great Britain
Postage stamps and postal history of Great Britain surveys postal history from the United Kingdom and the postage stamps issued by that country and its various historical territories until the present day. The postal history of the United Kingdom is notable in at least two respects- first, for the introduction of postage stamps in 1840, secondly for the establishment of an efficient postal system throughout the British Empire, laying the foundation of many national systems still in existence today; the story begins in the 12th century with Henry I, who appointed messengers to carry letters for the government. It is estimated that between 1135, 4,500 letters were carried by these messengers. During this time, private individuals had to make their own arrangements. Henry III provided uniforms for the messengers, Edward I instituted posting houses where the messengers could change horses; the reign of Edward II saw the first postal marking. Henry VIII created the Royal Mail in 1516, appointing Brian Tuke as "Master of the Postes", while Elizabeth I appointed Thomas Randolph as "Chief Postmaster".
Under Thomas Witherings, chief postmaster under Charles I, the Royal Mail was made available to the public, with a regular system of post roads and staff. From this time through to the postal reforms of 1839 – 1840 it was most common for the recipient to pay the postage, although it was possible to prepay the charge at the time of sending. In 1661, Charles II made Henry Bishop the first Postmaster General. In answer to customer complaints about delayed letters, Bishop introduced the Bishop mark, a small circle with month and day inside, applied at London, in the General Post office and the Foreign section, soon after adopted in Scotland, Ireland. In subsequent years, the postal system expanded from six roads to a network covering the country, post offices were set up in both large and small towns, each of which had its own postmark. In 1680 William Dockwra established the London Penny Post, a mail delivery system that delivered letters and parcels weighing up to one pound within the city of London and some of its immediate suburbs for the sum of one penny.
The Great Post Office Reform of 1839 and 1840 was championed by Rowland Hill credited with the invention of the postage stamp, as a way to reverse the steady financial losses of the Post Office. Hill convinced Parliament to adopt the Uniform Fourpenny Post whereby a flat 4d per half ounce rate was charged regardless of distance. December 1839-letters could arrive at any address in the United Kingdom: The rate went into effect on 5 December 1839 but only lasted for 36 days; this was successful, on 10 January 1840 the Uniform Penny Post started, charging only 1d for prepaid letters and 2d if the fee was collected from the recipient. Fixed rates meant that it was practical to avoid handling money to send a letter by using an "adhesive label", accordingly, on 6 May, the Penny Black became the world's first postage stamp in use. After more than 2,000 suggestions were submitted, Rowland Hill chose the method and printer, worked by trial and error to achieve the required result, he decided to go with Perkins, Bacon & Petch, "a firm of bank-note printers, to carry out the work by the process of steel engraving, the head of the Queen as engraved by William Wyon for a special medal struck to celebrate Her Majesty's official visit to the City of London in the year of her Coronation."The stamp was for use only within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and as such was, in effect, a local stamp.
For this reason the name of the country was not included within the design, a situation which continued by agreement with foreign post offices, provided the sovereign's effigy appeared on the stamp. Envelopes sold with postage paid did not include this. In 1951, the special commemorative issue for the Festival of Britain included the name "Britain" incidentally, it could therefore be said that the name of the country appeared for the first time on a stamp of the UK, although the word "British" had appeared on British Empire Exhibition commemorative stamps of 1924. After the stamp was circulating, it became obvious that black was not a good choice of stamp colour, since any cancellation marks were hard to see. So from 1841 onwards, the stamps were printed in a brick-red colour; the Penny Reds continued in use for decades with about 21 billion being produced. The Victorian age saw an explosion of experimentation; the inefficiency of using scissors to cut stamps from the sheet inspired trials with rouletting, with perforation, which became standard practice in 1854.
In 1847, the 1 shilling became the first of the British embossed postage stamps to be issued, followed by 10d stamps the following year, 6d values in 1854. Surface-printed stamps first appeared in the form of a 4d stamp in 1855, printed by De La Rue, subsequently became the standard type. 1⁄2 d and 1 1⁄2 d engraved stamps issued in 1870. Surface-printed stamps of the 1860s and 1870s all used the same profile of Victoria, but a variety of frames and corner lettering. A 5-shilling stamp first appeared in 1867, followed by 10 shilling and £1 values in 1878, culminating in a £5 stamp in 1882. Meanwhile, the age of the Penny Reds had come to an end along with the Perkins Bacon printing contract; the new low values were surface-printed: first was a penny stamp coloure