Early Manuscript Marks.
Only two towns in the county are known to have manuscript marks of origin on their letters before the introduction of handstamps, Hamilton and Lanark. The two letters shown below are possibly, the most important letters known in the Postal History of Lanarkshire.
"To Mr Archibald Grant younger of Cullen Advocat at his house in the Bishops Land Edinburgh"
This is an early letter from Barncluth, Hamilton to Edinburgh dated 4 May 1720. This is the earliest known use of a manuscript postmark of origin used in the county and from Hamilton. Note the manuscript inscription "ham/2" indicating that the letter was from Hamilton and postage was 2d. This letter was formerly in the collection of A. Bruce Auckland.
Manuscript marks of origin are known from Hamilton from 1720 to 1731 in various hands.
"To Mr Archibald Stewart writer to the signet att the Cross Edinburgh"
An early letter from Lanark to Edinburgh dated 5 April 1738 showing the manuscript inscription "Lan:/2" indicating that the letter was from Lanark and the postage was 2d. This is the only known example of a manuscript marking from Lanark and the earliest known officially carried letter in the General Post; thus we say that Lanark Post Office was opened "by 1738". This letter was formerly in the collections of A. Bruce Auckland and James A. Mackay.
Both letters have a postal rate of 2d, by the Act of 11 June 1711 this was the charge for a single letter sheet traveling no more than 50 miles.