Small and large numeral cancels Local postage rate
German field post  in Valenciennes 1914-1918 Other  subjects

The local postage rate 1830-1878.

1830-1862: Postage due letters.

Lettres circulating inside a town Local delivery with a rural mailman
Letters circulating inside a rural district of a post office Tax handstamp locally manufactured
Letters circulating between 2 rural districts of the same postal District

Letters circulating inside a town.
Letters circulating within a town having a post office are numerous. In addition, a postal rate already existed since 1800.

1834: Letter from and to TOURCOING  dated August 5, 1834. This letter is in postage due and taxed with a feather with 1 décime (letter of less than 7.5 g).
1848: Letter from and to LILLE dated December 6, 1848. It is  in postage due and taxed with 1 décime (letter of less than 7.5 G).

Letters circulating inside a rural district of a post office.
Since 1830, a letter circulating between the town of the post office and villages depending on this one was the subject of a reduced postage rate. It is said that this letter circulates in the Rural District of this office.
Most of the time and at least at the beginning, a Postal District was composed generally only of the Rural District of a main post office, because there was little post office stations.

The letters circulating in the Rural District of the post office must carry the "CL" stamp. At the beginning the color to use to strike this stamp was not specified. One thus meets prints of the "CL" stamps in red, black, green or blue. The circular n° 34 of October 18, 1834, specified that the "CL" stamps  will have to be struck with red ink like "CD", "PP", "PD" and "PF" stamps .

From the post office to the rural municipality:
1848: Letter of less than 7.5 g from SOLESMES to  BRIASTRE, 
1849: Letter of less than 7,5 g from VALENCIENNES to CURGIES.
One can note that the print of the stamp CL misses some times. These lacks are excusable at the beginning of the installation of the process, however they continued very a long time afterwards.
In fact, the mail circulating within a Rural District circulated in isolation and far from the eyes of the Administration. The control of the compliance with the rules was finally not very frequent. This established fact could give place to “short cuts” or local interpretations of the regulations. The purpose of these practices were often to save time  in  small post offices where the personnel was very few.

1838: Letter in postage due from PONT A MARCQ towards TEMPLEUVE taxed to 1décime.
1837: Letter in postage due from VALENCIENNES to ANZIN.
This letter weighs 7,5g, it is normally taxed with 2 décimes. The heavy local letters are not very common. The sender often preferred to  carry this kind of letter or to pass  by another intermediary, because the amount of the tax on this kind of letters was prohibitory.

From the municipality to the post office:

1838: Letter put in the mailbox of the village of RECOURT in Pas-de-Calais (letter-stamp L) for DOUAI (Nord). It could happen that rural municipalities of a Departement depend on a post  office being located in another Departement. The  CL stamp  (Local Correspondence) indicates the letter circulates  in the district of the post office of DOUAI (DOUAI+rural villages attached to this post office).
1850: Letter from SOMMAING (letter-stamp M) to SOLESMES. The letter was brought back to post office on October 15 (probably) after the last delivery and was delivered the 16.

Letters circulating between too municipalities of the same Rural District: 

1840: Letter posted in the village of ETERPIGNY (Pas-de-Calais) for ROUCOURT (Nord). These 2 villages are attached to the post office of DOUAI.The CL stamp indicates that the letter circulates within the same Rural District.

Local delivery with a rural mailman:

The 2 letters which follow show what could resemble irregularities (in any case in connection with the regulations in the General Instruction of 1832). They were collected by a rural mailman either in a rural box or from hand to hand, but any shows a tax whereas they are intended for the town of the post office. They should thus have been brought back to the office, because a rural mailman cannot at that time serve the town of the office. It is the work of the town mailman..
The General Instruction of 1832 is very clear on this subject.

It should be known that mailmen were not able to tax  letters, but only to perceive the tax. They could not thus write the amount of the tax on letters which they received and delivered in the course of his round. This is confirmed implicitly by the circular n° 64 of June 9, 1836, circular which announces the installation of the OR stamp.

Extract of circular n° 64 of  June 9th, 1836.
At certain times, it seems that post offices installed temporarily local delivery (thus in the city of the office) with rural mailmen. The Administration was completely conscious of it, because in the Special Instruction of the Post Office Inspectors of May 1838 asked its inspectors to check if the offices did not contravene article 546 of the General Instruction. The local service with rural mailmen were officially authorized since 1847.

1838: Letter given to the mailman (OR stamp: Origine Rurale) in the village of BERSEE.This letter would have been brought back to the post office of PONT A MARCQ which would have taxed it and which would have stricken its date stamp. A rural mailman could not deliver mail in the town of the post office. However here, the letter does not seem to have passed by the post office (no tax, no date stamp). we can thus conclude from it that the office of PONT A MARCQ had installed a local service with a rural mailkman, which normally was not authorized by the Administration.
1837: Letter put in mailbox of the village of HAVELUY depending on the office of VALENCIENNES. This letter does not seem to be taxed nor to have even passed by the post office.
As PONT A MARCQ, the post office of VALENCIENNES had to install partially a local service in the city by a rural mailman.

Letters circulating between to Rural Districts of the same Postal District:
Letters circulating between 2 different Rural Districts from the same Postal District of a main post offices were also prone to the local postage.
1837: Letter posted in the post office of COMINES to LILLE. This letter circulates well between 2 rural districts and was posted in a post office. It is finally intended for the town where another post office is located.
1847: Letter from HALLUIN for the municipality of LINSELLES who depends on the office of TOURCOING.
The "CD" stamp is here out-of-place, because he can be affixed only on letter circulating in the Rural District of a post station.
1853: Letter from SOMAIN to DOUAI in postage due. The post office of SOMAIN was in relationship with the post office of DOUAI. The postal rate between the district from these 2 post offices was of 10 c for a letter of less than 7,5 g.
1847: Letter posted in the post office  of QUESNOY-SUR-DEULE and bound to LILLE.
This letter presents the type 15 date stamp of QUESNOY-SUR-DEULE without date indicator. In 1847, this post office was always a post station and thus did not have to possess of a date stamp. Having been received by mistake, it was used as a linear stamp.

Tax handstamps locally manufactured:
The tax on the letters represented a large work since all the taxes were written according to an imposed penmanship. On June 2, 1831 (circular n° 30), the Administration provided to all the post offices a tax stamp corresponding to the tax between each office and Paris for a letter until 7,5 g. Certain post offices made manufacture with their expenses several tax stamps. Here some examples for the post offices of Nord and concerning the local postage.
Until 1847, works of the taxer agents in the post offices concerning the local mail was not to be very heavy. Indeed, the statistical survey carried out between November 15 and 28, 1847 give for the whole of the post offices of Nord a total of 8461 local letters and 33686 territorial letters. The investigation concerned 785093 inhabitants. By extrapolating the results over one year, each inhabitant of Nord on average received less than one letter (0,3).
One knows few tax stamps used before the period of the postage stamp. To date, only the office of Maubeuge is known to have used in 1841 (at least) this type of tax stamp.

1841: Letter from BOUSIGNIES-SUR-ROC (letter-stamp G2) to COLLERET.
COLLERET was before BOUSIGNIES in the round of the rural mailman of MAUBEUGE. Also, all letters recovered in the mailbox BOUSIGNIES for COLLERET were to be brought back to the office to be delivered  the following day in COLLERET.
1841: Letter put in the mailbox of the village of AIBES (letter-stamp H). This letter weighed between 7,5 and 15 g., because a plan was included in it. For this level of weight, it was necessary to pay 20 c. 
1856: Letter from LILLE to LILLE in postage due. Instead of a mark with a feather, the tax is materialized with a print of handstamp. This stamp is of local manufacture, it was not  in the equipment of the post offices.
Number 51 in top on the left is the sequence number of this letter in the inventory of 
postage due letters from the city for the city. Indeed, since January 1852, post offices are held to number postage due letters from the city for the city. This classification is done at the day and the numbers must be registered also on the personal statement n° 262.
1858: Letter from DOUAI to AUBY. Letter of less than 7,5 g taxed to 1 décime. 

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