VERY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE JAMES CHALMERS ONE-PENNY BLACK TREASURY COMPETITION ESSAY. AN EXCEPTIONAL ESSAY RARITY OF GREAT BRITAIN'S PRE-STAMP ERA WITH ONLY SIX RECORDED EXAMPLES IN PRIVATE HANDS.
James Chalmers was an established bookseller, printer and newspaper publisher located in Dundee. He was also one of the pioneers of postal reform, and arguably the true "inventor" of the adhesive postage stamp. By 1825, he campaigned to speed up mail delivery between Edinburgh and London. In 1838, he went as far as submitting an essay for a "slip". This was intended as a stamp to seal a folded letter and acted as pre-payment of mail fees rather than having to use an envelope which resulted in an extra charge for an additional sheet of paper. Therefore, many argue he was the true inventor of postage stamps rather than his counterpart Rowland Hill.
There are six "covers" plus an additional unused example recorded in private hands. An additional three covers are in the Royal Collection and one in the Phillips Collection (British Postal Museum)