Tasmanian Philatelic Society

Established 1900

Tasmanian Postal History From 1853

Continuing from the earlier timeline, this page provides a brief summary of Tasmanian postal history  from the introduction of adhesive postage stamps in 1853.

Those seeking more detailed information about Tasmanian Postal history should consult “Tasmanian Postal Acts and Regulations” Parts 2 onwards by A E Orchard, Magpie Publications, or the original Acts mentioned below.

<< Go to Postal History before  1853


http://vicback.com/?p=dissertation-services 1853 Shorty after the Postal Act of 1853 was enacted, “Regulations for the Guidance of the Post Office Department” were issued which provided more operational detail for the Post Office.
Postmasters were required to write the town name and date on the front of letters “until Stamps are provided with moveable dates, which will be done as son as possible”. It was not until 1865 that issue of datestamps began in earnest. The first batch was for 10 (Oatlands and Campbell Town (C-Town) received circular date stamps earlier). These datestamps were required so that Postmasters could more securely process forms for the new Money Order system which commenced in 1865.
During this period loss of mail through robbery or shipwreck was not uncommon.
http://mayneislandmusic.ca/help-with-factoring-homework/ 1854 October 6th
18 Vict No 13 “Postal Act of 1854” amended the 1853 Act to allow the Lt Governor to proclaim postal rates for Ship mail different to the 1853 rate of 4d.
Britain introduced a uniform ship letter rate between UK and Australian Colonies of 6d in Oct 1854.
However, the 4d rate for mail from VDL to UK seems to have remained in place until 15/4/1855
http://sedoretire.com/?p=write-essay-my-favorite-person 1855 August 21st 21 Vict No 4 “Postal Act of 1855”

  • tightened control on newspapers to prevent letters being included so as to avoid postage
  • extended Free franking privileges
  • allowed for refused letters to be dealt with
  • increased penalties for stealing from the mails
http://sb1m.community/?p=cell-phones-essay 1855 June  A new ship mail service between VDL and Australian Colonies began operation departing Liverpool on 5th and 20th of the month
go to link 1856 January 29th Postal Act of 1856
Allowed the Governor to fix postal rates to any place overseas except ship letters to and from Australian colonies and New Zealand, which remained at 4d per half oz.
http://oneduca.es/?p=essay-on-my-ambition-in-life source site 1856  April  http://www.designingdivas.com.au/custom-watermark-resume-paper/ 22 All-inclusive rate introduced of 6d per half oz for ship letters between UK and any place in VDL, in either direction.
Letters between half and one oz, 1/-, and a further 1/- for each additional oz.
Rates via France excluded as were rates carried on US or French packets, as these countries levied extra charges. Any foreign postage was additional.
http://www.robertocervoni.it/critical-thinking-assessment-test/ 1857 January 21

A puzzling notice appeared in the Hobart Town Gazette stating letters from the UK to Tas would have to be fully pre-paid. Strangely, the Ship letter rate given was 4d despite the Proclamation of 1856 giving it as 6d

http://utdallas.lambdaphiepsilon.com/microsoft-office-project-2007-price-of-microsoft-project-2007-upgrade/ 1858 February 25 21st of Victoria No 38 – “An Act to amend the laws relating to the Post Office” increased postal rates in Tasmania substantially. These increases were very unpopular. As with other increases in Government charges, the rate rises were a response to falling Government revenues.
Date of Effect: 1/3/1858.

  • 4d rate for inland and Ship letters to other Australian colonies increased to 6d
  • Packets from 6d per 4 oz to 1/- per 4 oz though there were some exemptions
  • Soldiers Letters and Town letters remained at 1d
  • Most Free Franking privileges were abolished. Free mail had become a huge drain on Post Office revenue despite numerous efforts to reign it in.
http://23m-experts.com/?p=assignment-help-in-new-zealand 1858 January S T Hardinge replaces Capt S Smith as head of the Post Office. Uses the title of “Secretary to the Post Office”
an essay about respect 1858 November 5 22 Vict No 27 – “An Act to facilitate the Collection and Recovery of Rates” allowed for free postage on letters containing payment of various rates, such as Rural Police Rate and Road rates
enter 1858 November 5 22 Vict No 28 “An Act to decrease the Postage on Inland Letters and Packets”.
This Act reversed most of the increases introduced on 1 March 1858.
Created a new category of postage rate – “suburban letters” for mail in Hobart and Launceston outside Town Letter area but less than 5 miles from the City, Rate 2d per half oz.
Inland letters reduced from 6d back to 4d per half oz
Increase in packet rates in 1858 removed and packet rates now at their previous level.
Date of effect: 1 January 1859
source link 1859 February 15 Tenders called for Steam Ship mail deliveries between Melbourne, Hobart and Launceston
masters thesis eb starbuck 1859 June Packet Boat route from Melbourne to UK via Suez established by P&O on a monthly basis and continued for the next 80 years
1859 First comprehensive Postal Guide published, containing detailed postal rates and regulations. NOTE: overseas rates show only British component of the charge; to these had to be added the Colonial component . The full amount had to be pre-paid in adhesive stamps
1859 September 23 23 Vict No 13 “Postal Act of 1859” restored virtually all the Free franking privileges removed by the 1858 Act on 1 March 1858. A list of persons with free franking privileges was published 27/9/59
1860 “Royal Kalendar and Guide to Tasmania” for 1860 published. Contains all the existing Postal regulations and a complete list of towns in Tasmania showing those with postal services. A very useful contemporary reference
1861 March 2-6 First Allocation of barred numerals were replaced by the Second Allocation. An initial batch of 95 was produced, thought to have been made by Alfred Bock, a well known engraver of Hobart Town.

  • From then to 1900 further batches were issued. Some Numerals were lost and replaced or transferred to different Post Offices over time.
  • The last numeral so far recorded is No 392 but there may be later numerals.
  • the Numerals were phased out in 1900 when date stamps became the standard method of canceling postage stamps.
  • Full details of the Second Allocation are listed in Couriers No 49, 50 & 51, including rarity ratings.
1862 April 25 GPO Hobart moved to new location on the cnr Macquarie and Murray Streets in new Government buildings
1862 September 25 26 Victoria No 1 “An Act to enable the Public to remit small sums of Money by means of Money Orders”. The Money Order system was implemented initially in 10 Post offices in May 1865
1862 September 25 26 Victoria No 15 “An Act to facilitate the Deposit of Moneys by transmission through the Post”. Note, the Post Office Savings Bank was not actually established until the 1880s.
1862 Nov 16 Loss of mails due to the wreck of the City of Sydney
1863 August 18 Rate for mail via Marseilles reduced from 1/- per half oz to 10d
1863 October 27 Victoria No 38, The Stamp Act, introduced Stamp Duty on certain financial transactions in the Colony.
Postage stamps could be used to pay duty, and to provide for values not currently available, the The George and Dragon series was issued. Current 1d, 2d 4d, 6d and 1/- postage stamps could be used interchangeably for postage and duty but until 1882 the new duty stamps were only to be used to pay duty.
Full details are available in Courier No 55, including Revenue rates until 1870.
1864 The Post Office issued Revised Regulations for the Post Office Department, 67 pages, replacing the 1853 and 1859 editions. Contains much information on Routes, Rates and operational details. See Orchard, Vol 3
1864 September 21 28 Victoria No 9, consolidated 23 Vict 13 & 24 Vict 21 for free franking privileges. No new provisions introduced. Includes the Governor, Members of Parliament, Officials and Wardens of Municipalities
1865 March Regulations for the issue of Post Office Money Orders published
1865 May 1 Post Office Money Order service came into effect, initially avaialble at 10 Post Offices including GPO Hobart and Launceston.Importantly, 10 new Date Stamps were issued to allow more fraud-proof verification of Money Orders. Hobart and Launceston were the -unframed type and the rest the Arc type. The Hobart canceller is for Chief Office, not Hobart. An un-framed Hobart date stamp was issued later for use in the Post Office.The date stamps were forshadowed in the Postal Act of 1853. Prior to the issue of date stamps, the Post Office name and date was usually endorsed on the cover in manuscript. Over the next 20 years, most Post Offices were issued with their own date stamp, and the practice of manuscript endorsement of the PO name was gradually phased out.
1865 Sep 29 Act to establish Post Office Savings Banks proclaimed 29 Victoria No 31. Not implemented until 1880s
1866 Via Panama route to UK – New Zealand established a short-lived route for mail via Panama ( the Panama overland section being conveyed by rail). This was a viable alternative to the usual route via Suez in terms of time. Aust States joined with NZ in using this service. Letters form Tas were charged at 1/- per half oz with further charges for delivery to other Br Colonies.
 1867 Oct 11  Act to amend the Post Office Act 1853. Receipts for Rural Police Rates to be free of postage. 31 Victoria No 28


Cover Campbell Town with first allocation BN 18 cancelling 1d Courier stamp which pays Town letter rateand local "Camp Town" handstamp.

Cover Campbelltown with first allocation BN 18 and local “Camp Town” handstamp. The 1d Courier stamp pays the Town Letter rate. Only 51 such frankings are known and it is extremely unusual to see such a rate outside the two largest centres, Hobart and Launceston.


Nov 1866 Ship Mail cover to UK, franked 10d paying rate via Marseilles. 14-bar dumb canceller of Hobart cancels stamps, endorsed with red "General Post Office Hobart Town ship mail canceler

Nov 1866 Ship Mail cover to UK, franked 10d paying rate via Marseilles. 14-bar dumb canceller of Hobart cancels stamps, endorsed with red “General Post Office Hobart Town” ship mail canceler, which was used exclusively on Ship Mail covers out of Hobart.