Aireborough Historical Society

1850 Stamp Collection

Stamp Collection
Date April 1850
Location Yeadon
Photo ID

 "The 180,000 Used Postage Stamps

       In the Intelligenser of the 13th 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 appears they succeeded in their novel task :-

      "The 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 Christine Lovedale

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.

     The above 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 fundraising.

 Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive, research by Edwy Harling


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