The Registered Post in Lanarkshire

Registration of mail was introduced in 1841. There was no guaranteed compensation for losses until 1878. Additional insurance for inland registered letters was introduced in 1886, and subsequently extended on a number of occasions. Although generally speaking it was possible to register any item of mail, parcels could not be registered before 1891 or after 1972. Registration eventually merged with the Special Delivery system in 1993, as in practice the two systems had many similarities of handling.

From 6 January 1841 letters could be sent by registered post for a fee of 1/- but there was no compensation for loss at this time. The fee had to be paid in cash and the postage either in cash or by adhesive postage stamps.

5 February 1848, a letter sent registered from Hamilton to Edinburgh. The 1d red prepays the postage, whilst the manuscript “1/-” in red indicates that the registration fee has been paid in cash. The registration fee was “1/-” from 6 January 1841 to 28 March 1848.

The registration fee was reduced to 4d from 1 August 1862 and this remained the fee until it was reduced to 2d on 1 Jan 1878

18 November 1863 Bothwell to Paisley, the stamps are cancelled at Hamilton. Postage 2d up to 1ounce and 4d registration fee.

29 September 1864 Bothwell to Glasgow, the stamps are cancelled at Glasgow. Postage 1d up to ½ ounce and 4d registration fee.

Registered envelopes were introduced on 1 January 1878. This envelope was produced in 1891. The imprinted stamp prepaid the minimum registration fee of 2d, the fee was to be written on the envelope and postage had to be added in stamps. The public were not compelled to use the printed envelopes and could choose to use plain envelopes.

27 May 1892 Lesmahagow to Hamilton via Glasgow, the reverse shows datestamps of the three offices and also the compensation rates which had been increased to £25 on 1 June 1891. Envelope RP16.

The sender would be given a receipt for their letter. These had part of the regulations governing the use of the registered post printed on the reverse. As the compensation changed over the years so did the printing on the reverse of the receipts. The registration number of the letter was written on the receipt, the office date stamp was applied, if it had one and the postmaster or receiver’s signature. This receipt is for a letter registered on 16 April 1892 at Langloan, Coatbridge.

Although there were a variety of postmarks associated with the registration of mail used in the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and later in other Scottish cities, there were none issued in the county of Lanarkshire until a few oval registered datestamps were given to some larger towns in the 1930’s. The first identifying feature used was the registration labels which were issued in February 1907.

Postmarks & registrations labels are identified by the type assigned by James Mackay in his book “Registered Mail of the British Isles” and “Scottish Registration Labels 1907-1939” by Terence Woods. Postal stationery envelopes are as listed in “British Postal Stationery” by A.K. Huggins.