Postal history

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1. Postal history

Posting messages has happened for thousands of years.

The postal system in Britain started in 1635. The charges were very expensive and there were different rates depending on how far the letter had travelled and how heavy it was. The postage was paid by the person receiving the letter and not the person who sent it.

If someone could not afford to pay, they often refused to accept the letter. The Post Office had carried the letter for nothing and was losing money. This method also did not encourage people to learn to read and write. A review or reform of the postal system was much needed.


A letter from 1833. The letter was folded with the address written on the back and then sealed with a wax seal. This is called an entire.

Next page you'll find out about the first stamp