Sale 895 — 2005 Rarities of the World
Sale Date — Friday, 3 June, 2005
Category — Ocean and Steamboat Mail
VERY FINE. A REMARKABLY CLEAR STRIKE OF THE RARE GREENOCK WITHDRAWN SHIP LETTER MARKING. THIS IS ONLY THE SECOND EXAMPLE FROM GREENOCK WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED.
As of September 17, 1814, the British Post Office authorized the so-called Withdrawn Ship Letter Act. According to an article on the Royal Philatelic Society's website, "Withdrawn Ship Letters had to be presented to the PO in London or an Out Port and one third the packet rate paid. The PO stamped the letter and handed it back to the sender, who then arranged for it to travel on the vessel of choice. The act was very unpopular and was appealed against by the Chambers of Commerce in most large cities." The Act was repealed on July 11, 1815, less than ten months after its inception.