Wrexham Penny Post

There have been claims much earlier than 1840 and the Penny Black for the first adhesive postage stamp, and Penny Posts in British towns and cities had been authorised for over a century. Sir Rowland Hill was charged with postal reforms to link the whole of Britain with a single service. He combined a universal penny post with a pre-paid adhesive stamp to indicate that postage had been paid. But could these revolutionary changes have been influenced by a proposed penny post in the North Wales town of Wrexham?

The local merchants and industrialists were invited to provide financial backing for a town penny post. Prepaid postage stamps went through some test printings so that the organisers could demonstrate how it would work. The stamps used the profile of King William IV on the 1d and 2d values (seemingly adapted from the coinage), with Queen Adelaide on the halfpenny and George IV on a farthing value.

It was doomed from the outset. Backers dropped out causing postponements and in 1837, before the service had even started, the king died, and so had the artist who did an excellent job on the stamps. Then Hill’s reforms were announced. Inevitably the project was cancelled. Many of the stamps already printed are in the possession of a descendant of the chairman of the service. He refuses to release any of them for fear of passing on a curse that is said to accompany the stamps. Nearly all of those involved in the project suffered unexplained deaths, fire, flood, hauntings, ugly children, unfaithful spouses and so on. However some examples appear from time to time. Only the brave collector will put these stamps in their collection, though many do, but labelling them as fake or bogus to ward off any curse.

A careful examination of the 1d stamps will show some variation in the lettering used on the stamp.

208 211  209 212  210 213  211 214

Wrexham Penny Post

SK NumberTypeDescription
2932111d King William IV
2942122d King William IV
295213½d Queen Adelaide
296214¼d King George IV

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