"The 180,000 Used Postage Stamps
Intelligenser of the 13th inst.it was stated that some influential persons in
the neighbourhood of Yeadon, about six miles from Leeds, had been collecting
used postage stamps for the purpose of saving a young lady from becoming,
contrary to her inclinations, the inmate of a nunnery.
It was said the father
of the lady, who had become a pervert from the Church of England to the Church
of Rome, wished to place his daughter in a nunnery in France, but consented to
forgo his intentions if she could procure in ten days 180,000 postage stamps
that had been used.
She and some
of her friends commenced to collect the stamps and from the following
advertisement which appeared in The Times of the 20th inst.it appears they
succeeded in their novel task :-
number of obliterated postage stamps required by the young lady about to enter
a convent being already collected, it is particularly required that no further
contribution may be sent".
Further text by
In 1840 the postal system using pre-paid stamps was
devised by Sir Rowland Hill, prior to this letters were paid for on delivery by
the recipient, having been franked or stamped using a wooden ink block.
This was a costly system as the recipient could refuse to
accept a missive which they were reluctant or unable to pay for.
account must surely be one of the first charity collections of used postage
stamps but I have been unable to pinpoint when it became a popular choice for
Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive, research by Edwy Harling