(Montreal to Edinburgh, Scotland, Jun. 20, 1776). Folded letter from Captain John Wight of the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot datelined “Montreal 20th June 1776” to his brother Andrew Wight “to be left at Forrests Coffee House” in Edinburgh, Scotland, rare and early use of “Quebec” double-circle with separate “22/IY” Bishop mark and “5/SE” London transit Bishop mark, rated “In all 9” which likely refers to 3p inland rate to London and a further 6p to Edinburgh
VERY FINE. A SUPERB HISTORICAL LETTER FROM A BRITISH CAPTAIN DETAILING THE BATTLE OF TROIS-RIVIERES AGAINST THE CONTINENTAL ARMY DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
Captain Wight’s letter states: “On the 8th of June the Rebels came to attack us at a small town called the Three Rivers, a very small part of the Army had only got landed some Companys of Grenadiers & Light Infantry with a few others of different Corps. On the first Alarm we was under arms in a twinkling, marched out of town & mett them in the skirts of a wood where during the course of the action a great many was killed. The numbers could not be ascertained & near three hundred taken prisoners with their General (whose name is Thompson). I had only one man of my Company killed, or rather died of his wounds and not a single officer touched. In short we have now drove them totally out of Canada. I was witness two days ago to St. Johns, as well as all the other forts in this country being in flames which was performed by the Rebels before they evacuated them. I am obliged to write this in a hurry on the top of a casket in the midst of noise and confusion.” He goes on to state that he had written another letter from his journey to Canada but misplaced it in his baggage--the letter was found and included with the letter in the lot 2011.
The Battle of Trois-Rivieres occurred on June 8, 1776, and was the last battle fought on Quebec soil. After their defeat, the Continental Army retreated to Fort St. Jean, burning the fort and any capable boats on June 17. They eventually retreated back to Fort Ticonderoga.
(St. Johns Fort to Edinburgh, Scotland, Jul. 13, 1776). Two letters that were mailed together, the later folded letter (shown above) was used to send the earlier letter, both from Captain John Wight of the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot, datelined “Camp at St. Johns Fort, 13th July 1776” to his brother Andrew Wight at “Forrests Coffee House” in Edinburgh, Scotland, clear “Quebec” in double-circle with separate “22/IY” Bishop mark and “5/SE” London transit Bishop mark, rated “In all 1N6” and “6”, the other folded letter (enclosed) was written at Sorel on June 10, just two days after the Battle of Trois-Rivieres, but misplaced with Captain Wight’s bags (see lot 2010)
VERY FINE. TWO LETTERS, COMPRISING A WONDERFUL FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF CAPTAIN JOHN WIGHT’S TRAVELS TO CANADA TO FIGHT AGAINST THE “REBELS” IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR--CONTAINING REPORTS OF THE BATTLE OF TROIS-RIVIERES, TROOP MOVEMENTS FROM CANADA AND OF GENERAL HOWE IN NEW YORK.
The June 10, 1776, letter, written by Captain Wight at Sorel, gives an account of his voyage from Ireland to Newfoundland and reports, “General Fraser..received intelligence very early in the morning of the 8th that the Rebels was in full march not many miles off from my village where they intended to march and burn it if possible. The alarm was no sooner given than all the Troops were under arms in a twinkling...” He continues with more details of the battle and reports capturing Brigadier General Thompson along with 300 prisoners. The July 13 letter mentions that an earlier letter is enclosed, and continues with, “Preparations are going on with the utmost expedition in building Battows (ships) to carry the army across Lake Champlain in order to reduce Crown Point which the Rebels have at present in their possession.” Captain Wight goes on to state he expects it to take another few weeks and that he heard General Howe made a successful landing in New York. Complete transcripts of each letter accompany. (Photo Ex)
(St. Charles on the Sorel to London, England, Jun. 23, 1776). Folded letter from Charles Terrot datelined “St. Charles on the Sorrel, June 23, 1776” and addressed to London, sent via Quebec, “Quebec” double-circle with triangle handstamp and “5/JY” Bishop mark (no Canadian postage) and onward privately to London, “SHIP-LRE” straightline handstamp (Robertson S-34, the earliest recorded) and “12/AV” Bishop arrival mark, manuscript “7” rate
VERY FINE. A RARE AND DESIRABLE FOLDED LETTER WRITTEN BY A BRITISH SOLDIER IN SOREL DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR, IN PURSUIT OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMY.
Charles Terrot (1758-1839) was a British Army officer who fought in Canada during the American Revolutionary War. He later served under Charles Cornwallis in India, eventually reaching the rank of General. A notation in his letter states, “Mr. Allsopp Esquire of Capt. Howe, of the artillery at Quebec will know where Capt. Walkers brigade is & to forward letters. Charles Terrot.” At this point in the war, the Continental Army had suffered a major loss at the Battle of Quebec in December 1775, and sought to initiate a siege of Quebec. With limited support, modest reinforcements, the effects of disease and hardships of winter, the Continental Army began to suffer. With intelligence that British reinforcements were awaiting the winter thaw, the Continental Army retreated towards Montreal. This letter was written shortly after the Battle of Trois-Rivieres on June 8, where the Continental Army suffered another disastrous defeat.
(Longueuil, Quebec to Edinburgh, Scotland, Jun. 1, 1777). Folded letter from a British soldier datelined “Longueuil, June 1st 1777” to Edinburgh, Scotland, bold strike of “MONTREAL.PAID.” boxed handstamp and manuscript “Pd. 9” at top left, Quebec double-circle with separate “7/IV” Bishop mark handstamp, “DOVER/SHIP LRE” and London Bishop mark in transit, rated “In all 10” which corresponds to 1p captain’s fee, 3p Dover to London and 6p to Edinburgh, few hinge reinforcements along folds
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY KNOWN USE OF THIS RARE MONTREAL HANDSTAMP TO AN OVERSEAS DESTINATION--THE LETTER WAS WRITTEN BY A BRITISH SOLDIER DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
The Montreal handstamp is known used only in 1777, and all but this example are domestic letters. Ex Glassco and Montgomery
(Montreal to London, England, Oct. 22, 1785). Well-struck “Montreal/Oct,r 22” two-line datestamp on folded letter datelined in Montreal and addressed to London, neat “PAID*” with star and “9, “Quebec” double-circle with “25/OC” Bishop mark datestamp on bottom flap, “SHIP-LRE” handstamp applied upon arrival with manuscript “9” rate (double 4p inland postage plus 1p ship fee) and “30/NO” Bishop mark, cover with endorsement removed at bottom right (likely contemporary), Very Fine and rare combination of these scarce markings, ex Montgomery
(Niagara to Dunfermline, Scotland, Mar. 1, 1792). Clearly struck “Niagara 1 Mar” straightline datestamp over backflap of 1792 folded cover to Dunfermline, Scotland, neat red manuscript “American Inland Post 5N6” and “PAID” handstamp, well-struck “Halifax, N. Scotia MAY 15 92” split-circle datestamp (Jephcott 10, MacDonald 4b), red London transit and arrival Bishop marks, rated “2/-” for double packet rate and “3/2” further adding the double inland rate, few minor sealed tears and aesthetic repair around wax seal, Very Fine and scarce combination of markings, ex Montgomery
(Quebec to London, England, Apr. 25, 1795). Folded cover to London with Apr. 25, 1795 docketing, clearly struck “Quebec, Canada” split-circle datestamp with separate “25/AP” Bishop mark, manuscript “via Halifax” directive, London Bishop arrival mark, rated “To pay 2N” then crossed out with “4/-”, Very Fine and scarce marking, ex Montgomery
(Quebec to London, England, Nov. 18, 1799). Bold “QUEBEC/DEC 13 99” two-line datestamp on bottom flap of folded letter to London, manuscript “via Halifax” directive, London arrival backstamp, rated “1N8”, Very Fine and intriguing postmark on this packet letter, a similar marking was used in Montreal, but this is the only example from Quebec that we have encountered, a similar Quebec marking was introduced the following year with a date/month/4-digit year format, ex Montgomery
(River Ouelle to Greenock, Scotland, Oct. 23, 1801). Folded letter from Liveright Piuze datelined “River Ouelle, Oct. 23, 1801” and addressed to Greenock, carried privately (no Canadian postage) but with “Ship Letter Quebec” crown oval handstamp, similar red “Ship Letter Greenock” crown oval handstamp and rated “4” upon arrival, endorsed “per Juno”, small edge tear at top, otherwise Very Fine strikes, the sender, Liveright Piuze (1754-1813), emigrated from Poland and worked as a surgeon and apothecary, he served as a surgeon in the American Revolutionary War, having been captured by Indians and traded to the British who imprisoned him at Fort Chambly until his release in 1780, he then worked on British naval ships and later settled at Rivier-Ouelle, ex Steinhart
(Quebec to Greenock, Scotland, Nov. 24-26, 1801). Folded letter datelined three times from Nov. 24-26, 1801 and addressed to Greenock, Scotland, presumably carried privately to New York (no postal markings) with manuscript “Recd. & Forw. by your Ob. Servt. J.J. Astor, N. York Dec. 16, 1801”, red London Jan. 17, 1802 arrival marking (“S” for Sunday mail), rated “1/10” and again “2/2”, Very Fine and interestingly routed cover, ex Montgomery
(Quebec to London England, Oct. 25, 1803). Clearly struck “Ship Lre Montreal” crown oval handstamp applied in transit on folded letter datelined Quebec on Oct. 25, 1803 and addressed to London, sender’s ship-name directive “p. the Ewretta, Capt. Paterson”, lightly struck “Ship Lre Falmouth” crown oval handstamp, rated “1/2”, red London Dec. 12, 1803 arrival backstamps confirm year of mailing, bottom flap slightly reduced
FINE STRIKE OF THE RARE MONTREAL “SHIP LRE” CROWN OVAL. ONLY FIVE EXAMPLES ARE RECORDED--THIS 1803 COVER PREDATES THE OTHER KNOWN EXAMPLES BY MORE THAN 14 YEARS.
This is the only Canadian marking with the abbreviated “LRE” for “Letter”. It is rare, and usually comes lightly struck and/or blurred. Ex Montgomery.
(Quebec to Guernsey, Oct. 9, 1806). Folded cover docketed in Quebec on Oct. 9, 1806 and addressed to Guernsey, perfectly struck “Ship Letter Quebec” crown oval handstamp and red “Ship Lre Greenock” crown oval handstamp in transit, arrival backstamp, manuscript rated “4/3” and “5/3” for triple rate, couple light ironed out file folds, Extremely Fine and exceptional strike, arguably the finest example of this scarce marking, ex Alan Robertson and Montgomery
(Niagara River to London, England, Mar. 26, 1809). Folded letter datelined in Niagara River and carried privately over the border with “NIAG./A P. 6” two-line datestamp with matching “PAID” handstamp and manuscript “25” U.S. rate, addressed to “Count Joseph de Puisaye” in London, “Paid” eventually crossed out and rated “2/-” for packet rate to London, arrival backstamp, Very Fine, the addressee led two expeditions from England in 1795 in an attempt to restore the French monarchy and eventually led French aristocratic royalists to emigrate to Upper Canada in 1798, but ultimately returned to London in 1802, ex Montgomery
(York to London, England, Apr. 16, 1813). Large part of folded letter (missing one flap) with two strikes of “YORK/APR 6 1813” two-line datestamp addressed to London, “HALIFAX, JUN 9” two-line transit datestamp, manuscript “Paid 8N3”, “8/8” (crossed out) and “6/6”, red London arrival marking, cover with small piece missing at top left and other minor flaws, Fine, this cover did not go by Falmouth Packet, probably carried on a military vessel to avoid capture, the writer is William Baldwin (1775-1844), a doctor, businessman and politician in Upper Canada and father of Robert Baldwin, a well-known political reformer, ex Stulberg, Rosenthal and Steinhart
(Quebec via New York to London, England, May 8, 1817). “Quebec MY 8, 1817” with large fleuron datestamp clearly struck on back of large part of folded letter to London, “Quebec Paid” handstamp and manuscript “paid 18-1/2 cents” in red, manuscript “To the care of T.W. Moore Esq., Agent to H.B.M. Packet, New York” directive at bottom left, Canadian postage markings crossed out and re-rated “2/2” upon arrival in London with datestamp on back, Very Fine and scarce packet forwarding mail from Canada thru New York, ex Montgomery
(Grimsby, Upper Canada to London, England, Nov. 24, 1818). Clear strike of red “Grimsby, U. Canada Nov. 24, 1818” double-oval datestamp on folded letter to London, Halifax Jan. 19, 1819 transit datestamp and London arrival backstamp, manuscript “2/2” rate, docketing indicates receipt on May 10, Very Fine, the Grimsby marking is only known used between 1818-1819 and is very scarce, between 1815-1823 Falmouth Packets did not call at Halifax during the winter months, letters not directed via New York were subjected to months-long delays, ex Montgomery
(Niagara to London, England, Jan. 28, 1819). “Paid to New-York” straightline handstamp with red manuscript “25” rate on folded cover to London, “Niagara, U. Canada, Jan. 28, 1819” oval datestamp, straightline later crossed out and sent via Falmouth Packet with “2/2” rate, London arrival backstamp, Very Fine and the earliest cross-border handstamp (used only in Niagara), no Canadian postage shown as postmaster in Niagara was an agent for the U.S. Post Office, ex Steinhart
(Montreal to Aberdeen, Scotland, Mar. 10, 1819). Folded letter datelined in Montreal on Mar. 10, 1819 and addressed to Aberdeen, Scotland, forwarded (likely privately) to Banchory, with manuscript “New York 24th March 1819, Recd. & forwarded by your ob servant John Wilkes”, clear “GREENOCK/SHIP LETTER” boxed handstamp and arrival marking, manuscript “1/7-1/2” rate (8p ship fee, 11p inland postage and -1/2p Scottish transit), Very Fine and attractive forwarding agent notation cover, ex Montgomery
(Montreal to Edinburgh, Scotland, May 7, 1819). Boldly struck “Ship Letter Montreal” crown oval handstamp on folded letter to Edinburgh, manuscript “1/2” crossed out and “1/7”, “GRAVESEND/SHIP LETTER” and “1/2” boxed handstamps, red Jul. 29, 1819 arrival datestamp, cover with few mended folds and toning, Extremely Fine strike of this scarce marking and the finest we have encountered, ex Steinhart
(Niagara to London, England, Apr. 24, 1820). Two strikes of “Paid to New-York” straightline handstamp, one with red manuscript “25”, “Niagara, U.C., April 24, 1820” double-circle datestamp on folded cover to London, manuscript “Youngstown N.Y. Ap. 25” exchange office marking, straightline later crossed out and sent via Falmouth Packet with “2/2” rating, London arrival backstamp, Very Fine and the earliest cross-border handstamp (used only in Niagara), no Canadian postage shown as postmaster in Niagara was an agent for the U.S. Post Office, ex Montgomery
(Shipton to London, England, Sep. 22, 1820). Bold strike of “SHIPTON” straightline with manuscript “22nd Sept. 1820” below on bottom flap of folded letter to London, England, rated “Paid 1N6”, “PORTSMOUTH/SHIP LETTER” handstamp, London arrival backstamp, Very Fine strike of this exceptionally rare straightline, this is the earliest of the less than half a dozen examples thought to exist, used between 1820 and 1829, ex Young and Steinhart
(Stanstead to London, England, via Derby Vt. and New York, Apr. 17?, 1823). Perfectly struck “STANSTEAD” straightline handstamp with “PAID” and manuscript “18-1/2” (U.S. postage to New York) on folded letter to London, entered U.S. mail with manuscript “Derby Vt. 18 April” exchange office postmark, bold “LIVERPOOL/SHIP LETTER” boxed handstamp and arrival datestamp on back, rated “1/7” which included the ship fee and inland postage to London, Very Fine and attractive cover, ex Montgomery
(Quebec to London, England, Jan. 4 and Feb. 9, 1826). Two lengthy folded letters written by Sheriff of Quebec William Smith Sewell to his brother Rev. Henry Doyle Sewell in London via New York, first double rate, second single rate, each with Quebec with large fleuron datestamps on back and two Quebec Paid handstamps on front, earlier cover forwarded to Trinity College, Oxford with “Postage Not Paid to London” boxed handstamp, arrival markings on back, Very Fine pair, earlier cover ex Glassco, both ex Montgomery (Photo Ex)
(Montreal to Reigate, England, May 27, 1827). Bold red strikes of rimless “Ship Lre Montreal” crown oval and “SHIP” straightline handstamps on folded letter datelined “Montreal 27 May 1827” and addressed to Reigate, England, Montreal May 30 circular datestamp, manuscript “Only double letter” and “via New York” directive, London arrival and “SHIP LETTER/LIVERPOOL” handstamps on back
EXTREMELY FINE STRIKES OF THE RARE “MONTREAL SHIP LRE” RIMLESS CROWN OVAL AND “SHIP” STRAIGHTLINE MARKINGS TO ENGLAND.
According to Steinhart, this is the discovery example of the rimless “Ship Lre Montreal” crown oval handstamp and one of approximately six recorded of the “SHIP” handstamp. This double-rate letter was routed via New York and rated “3/2” upon arrival for delivery to Reigate.
(Stanstead to London, England, Nov. 6, 1828). Bold strike of “STANSTEAD” straightline with manuscript “Nov. 6th, 1828” below, matching “PAID” handstamp and “11” on folded letter to London, boxed “Ship Letter” and arrival datestamp on back, Extremely Fine, paid via New York at 18-3/4c (11p) plus “1/7” collect upon arrival, ex Steinhart
(Thornhill, Upper Canada to Somerset, England, May 9-20, 1829). Bold “Thornhill U.C.” double-circle with manuscript “May 20th, 1829” on lengthy folded letter to Somerset, eventually forwarded three times, crossing U.S. border with clear “Niagara, U. Canada, Paid to New York” oval “belt buckle” handstamp and light Niagara datestamp, red manuscript “A(merican) P(ostage) 1N1 (+) 11 (=) 2N0, Paid” applied in Thornhill (British postage to Niagara and U.S. internal postage) plus various other rates and markings for forwarding within England, cover with minor file fold at left thru marking, still Very Fine, a rare cross-border marking, ex Montgomery
(Thornhill, Upper Canada to Somerset, England, Apr. 8-14, 1830). Bold blue “Thornhill U.C.” double-circle with manuscript “14 April 1830” on lengthy folded letter to Somerset, privately forwarded, crossing U.S. border with red “Niagara, U. Canada, Paid to New York” oval “belt buckle” handstamp and light Niagara datestamp, red manuscript “11 + 1/3 (=) 25” applied in Thornhill (British postage to Niagara and U.S. internal postage) plus rated “1/7” covering ship letter fee and inland postage, “SHIP LETTER/LIVERPOOL” boxed handstamp on back, Very Fine, a rare cross-border marking, ex Montgomery
(Hallowell to Dublin, Ireland, Jan. 23, 1832). Lightly struck red “BRIT’H POSTAGE PAID/U. STATES Do. PAID” with matching “Hallowell” handstamp on folded letter (missing half the sheet) to Dublin, Ireland, docketing inside “Hallowell 23rd of 1st Month 1832”, red “Kingston Up. Can. Jan. 23” circular datestamp struck at exchange point, rated “7-1/2 (+) 18-3/4” for Canadian postage including 3p ferriage and U.S. inland postage to New York, small part of Liverpool marking on back and rated “1/4” and arrival backstamp, Very Fine, this Hallowell marking is very rare with a half-dozen or fewer examples reported, ex Dr. Robertson
(Franktown to London, England, Dec. 31, 1833). Well-struck “Franktown U.C.” double-circle with manuscript “31 Dec. 33” date on folded cover to London, red manuscript “Ferry 2, Postage 7, 9d Paid” and “U.S.P. 18-3/4 Cts Pd.” indicating Canadian postage, ferriage fee and U.S. inland fee to New York, “LIVERPOOL/SHIP LETTER” boxed handstamp on back and arrival datestamp, manuscript “1/7” for 8p ship letter and 11p inland postage to London, Very Fine, a beautiful ferriage-rate cross-border and transatlantic cover exchanged via Brockville (which is approximately 60 miles from Franktown) and Morristown N.Y., if this had been exchanged at Kingston (74 miles away) the ferriage rate would have been 3p, ex Dr. Robertson
(Montreal to London, England, May 17, 1834). Clearly struck large red “Steam-Packet Franklin, Lake Champlain, Capt. R.W. Sherman” circular handstamp on folded cover to London, docketing on flap indicates departure from Montreal on May 17, 1834, neat boxed “LIVERPOOL/SHIP LETTER” on back and arrival datestamp, no other postal markings but rated “1/7” collect on arrival, Very Fine, the Steam Packet Franklin traveled Lake Champlain between St. John, Canada and Whitehall N.Y., this handstamp was in use 1831-35 and is very rare on mail going overseas, ex Montgomery
(Quebec to Papa Stour, Scotland, Mar. 24, 1843). Well-struck red “Paid at Quebec” Crowned Circle handstamp with matching “Quebec MR 24, 1843” datestamp on folded letter to Papa Stour, Shetland Islands, Scotland, clear strike of “SANDNESS” straightline applied in transit (Shetland Islands) and rated “1/2 1/4” (1/2 sterling, 1/4 local currency), cover with slightly worn folds and minor overall toning, still Fine and exceptionally rare destination, ex Montgomery
(Kirkwall to Dumfries, Scotland, May 9, 1858). Red “Kirkwall U.C.” circular handstamp with manuscript “May 9/58” date added on registered cover to Dumfries, Scotland, well struck red curved “Registered” with crown and straightline, manuscript “Paid 7-1/2 Cy” but further rated 6p upon arrival, Liverpool transit and Dumfries arrival backstamps, cover with minor edge tear at top left, otherwise Very Fine and attractive cover
(Niagara to Stamford, England, May 17, 1858). Bold strike of “Niagara U.C. MY 17, 1858” circular datestamp with “Paid 8d Stg. 10d. Cy.” handstamp on cover to Stamford, England, includes original mourning letter enclosure datelined in Peterborough, “BY-CANADIAN/PACKET” handstamp applied in Niagara despite paying for British Packet, Liverpool tombstone transit and Stamford arrival datestamps, Very Fine, an interestingly routed cover to ensure fastest delivery