(New London to Castle Donington, England, May 11, 1774). Folded letter datelined “New London, Granvill Bay, the Island St. John’s, 11th moth 5 1774” and addressed to Castle Donington, England “to be left at Cavendish Bridge”, carried privately to Halifax for onward transmission to London with “31/DE” Bishop mark struck on arrival, rated “2/” with “Pd 5-1/2” on back
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED PRIVATELY OWNED LETTER FROM PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND TO ANOTHER COUNTRY. AN IMPORTANT ITEM FOR ANY EXHIBIT OR COLLECTION OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND OR THE MARITIME PROVINCES IN GENERAL.
Prince Edward Island was originally named “St. Jean” by the French and “St. John’s” by the English until 1798 when it was renamed Prince Edward Island in honor of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria). This letter, written by Joseph Follows to his parents, describes the weather and the “winter lobster (where) I can go and catch within stones cast of our door as large as my leg is round which is very fine eating...”. He makes mention of his arrival and of earlier letters being carried back to London via Yarmouth.
Ex Steinhart and Griffiths
(Edinburgh, Scotland to Prince Edward Island, Feb. 27, 1790). Folded letter datelined “Edin 27 Febry 1790” and addressed to James Douglas at “Island of St. John, Gulf of Lawrence”, red “POST/PAID” in circle and Mar. 12 and 15 Bishop marks, sent via Halifax with “Halifax, N. Scotia May 25 90” split-circle datestamp (Jephcott 10, MacDonald 4b), rated “Pd 1/7”, Very Fine, despite the name change to Prince Edward Island in 1798, the name “St. John’s” persisted for some time, this is an early cover to PEI (the earliest known is dated 1789)
(Charlottetown to Edinburgh, Scotland, Jan. 5, 1803). Folded letter datelined “Charlotte Town 5th Jany 1803” and addressed to Edinburgh, Scotland, well-struck “HALIFAX/FEB 7 1803” two-line datestamp (Jephcott 8, MacDonald 9) struck in transit, London transit and Edinburgh arrival markings, rated “5/6” (crossed out) and “6/6”, interesting contents stating “I take the opportunity of an Express to forward this which is sent by subscription to Halifax, with Government Dispatches and any private letters the Subscribers may chuse to send...”, some minor edgewear, otherwise Very Fine, a rare early “express subscription” cover from Prince Edward Island, ex Montgomery
(Charlottetown to Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Dec. 20, 1809). Folded letter datelined “Charlotte Town 20th Dec. 1809” and addressed to Kirkcaldy, Scotland, manuscript “p the Two Brothers” ship-name directive, carried privately, but Two Brothers was captured by the French as prize of war, letter ended up in England with “Transport Office, Prisoners of War, GR” crown oval handstamp, Edinburgh Sep. 6 transit datestamp and “Edin. 4 Sept. M Wright” on back, rated “5” for delivery to Kirkcaldy, some minor splitting along folds, otherwise Very Fine and fascinating cover, Two Brothers was eventually recaptured by the British and its crew released back to England, Malcolm Wright was the Transport Office agent in Edinburgh, prisoner-of-war mail was usually sent by coach and not government post, ex Griffiths
(Charlottetown to London, England, Jul. 24, 1814). Folded letter datelined “Charlotte Town, Prince Edward Island July 24, 1814” with “Prince Edward Island AUG 1, 1814” rimless circular datestamp (Lehr P1) and addressed to London, red manuscript “Pd to Halifax” with Halifax fleuron circular datestamp in transit, London arrival backstamp, rated “2/2” from Halifax to London, interesting contents stating “...you will have heard of the catastrophe of the Prince of Wales, we are informed that she was run foul of, on the night of the 9th of May by a large ship, her side stove in, and foundered before daylight – its stated that only seven of the crew were saved...” two of which were known to them, some minor splitting along folds, otherwise Very Fine, Lehr records only 34 examples of this datestamp in private hands, this as an especially early strike which is first recorded May 2, 1814, ex Carr and Griffiths
(Charlottetown to London, England, Nov. 1, 1815). Clearly struck “Prince Edward Island, Nov. 1, 1815” rimless datestamp (date in manuscript, Lehr P1) and “Ship Letter.” curved handstamp (Lehr P113) on folded cover to London, red manuscript “Pd to Halifax 8d” with “Ship Letter” crossed out and Halifax fleuron datestamp in transit, light London arrival backstamp, rated “4/4” paying the double rate
VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE CURVED “SHIP LETTER” HANDSTAMP--USED WITH RARE PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND DATESTAMP.
This cover was originally scheduled to travel on a private ship, but was sent via packet to Halifax instead. The PEI datestamp is rare in its own right, with only 34 recorded by Lehr.
Ex Carr and Griffiths
(Charlottetown to London, England, Sep. 15, 1817). Folded letter datelined “Charlotte Town Sept 15, 1817” and addressed to London, carried privately to Pictou with “PICTOU” straightline struck on arrival (Jephcott 34, MacDonald 30), rated “7” to Halifax (crossed out) and further “2/8-1/2” to include rate to London, London arrival backstamp
FINE AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE COVER SENT PRIVATELY FROM PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND WITH THE RARE PICTOU STRAIGHTLINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST OF THE FEW EXAMPLES RECORDED.
Ex Steinhart and Dr. Clark.
(Charlottetown to London, England, Aug. 1, 1818). Exceptionally well-struck “Prince Edward Island, Aug. 1, 1818” first-type circular datestamp (Lehr P1) on folded cover to London, red “Pd to Halifax 8” with Halifax fleuron datestamp and boxed “PACKET LETTER” handstamp, further rated “2/4” to London, London arrival backstamp, cover with minor reinforcement along folds, Extremely Fine strike of this first datestamp of PEI, Lehr records on 34 examples in private hands, ex Steinhart
(Charlottetown to London, England, Aug. 15, 1818). Well-struck “Prince Edward Island, Aug. 15, 1818” first-type circular datestamp (Lehr P1) on folded cover to London, red “Pd to Halifax 8” with “Halifax Ship Letter” crown oval handstamp (Jephcott 137, MacDonald 236), clear “PORTSMOUTH/SHIP LETTER” boxed handstamp and London arrival backstamp, rated “1/1” and forwarded to Lambeth with “3” handstamp, Very Fine and attractive cover, Lehr records only 34 examples of this PEI datestamp in private hands, ex Montgomery
(Charlottetown to London, England, Jun. 28, 1825). Clear strike of “Post Office P.E. Island” double-circle with manuscript “28 June 25” (Lehr P2) on folded cover to London, red “Pd to Halifax 8” (crossed out) and rated “2/2” to London, London arrival backstamp, Very Fine and early strike of the second postmark used in PEI, Lehr records at least two dozen examples, ex Montgomery
(Charlottetown to London, England, Jul. 1, 1828). Neat strike of “Post Office P.E. Island” double-circle with manuscript “1 July 1828” (Lehr P2) on folded cover to London, red “8” and “PAID” in circle handstamp (applied in Halifax), both crossed out and Halifax fleuron datestamp in transit, further rated “2/2” to London, London arrival backstamp, Very Fine, Lehr records at least two dozen examples, ex “Edwards”, Carr and Griffiths
(Charlottetown to Scarborough, England, Sep. 7, 1828). Faint but clear strike of “Post Office P.E. Island” double-circle with manuscript “7 Octo 28” (Lehr P2) on folded letter datelined Sep. 7 to Scarborough, properly endorsed “From John Atherton, Private Soldier, 52nd Regiment of Light Infty” and signed at bottom left, red “Pd 1” one-penny soldier’s concessionary rate, overall soiling
FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED ONE-PENNY SOLDIER’S CONCESSIONARY RATE COVER FROM PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.
(Charlottetown to St. John, New Brunswick, Jan. 31, 1842). Clear strike of “Prince Edwards Island” rimless circle with manuscript “Jany 31 42” (Lehr P3) on folded mourning letter to St. John, New Brunswick, “Cumberland N.S.” circular handstamp (MacDonald 58) applied in transit, rated “4 (+) 11 (=) 1N3”, Very Fine and scarce marking which is distinguishable by the “S” at the end of “Edward”, Lehr records only eighteen examples
(London, England to Miramichi, New Brunswick, Aug. 28, 1843). Folded letter datelined London Aug. 28, 1843 and addressed to Miramichi, New Brunswick, carried privately with “per Constance” directive at top and further “p Brig Constance to PE Island” on bottom flap, exceptional strike of “Prince Edward Island/SHIP LETTER” two-line handstamp (Lehr P112) and “Prince Edward Island OC 17 1843” circular datestamp (Lehr P5) on back, rated “11-1/2” (crossed out) and “9”, red Chatham Oct. 24 transit backstamp
EXTREMELY FINE STRIKE. THIS IS THE FINEST AND LATEST OF THE THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND SHIP LETTER MARKING.
Illustrated in The Postage Stamps and Cancellations of Prince Edward Island, 1814-1873 by James C. Lehr (p. 109). Ex Glassco and Steinhart