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

The local postage rate 1830-1878.

L'apparition du Chiffre-Taxe.

We saw it, the control of the perception of  taxes on the local mail was an important concern for the Administration. It could not put an inspector in all the post offices (only the big ones were provided). Errors or embezzlements were often discovered after a more or less long time.
By the decree of November 15th, 1858, the Administration was going to put an end or in any case to slow down these punishable acts considerably. Indeed, January 1st, 1859, was going to be brought into service the Postage-due stamp. This one was to be used to tax the letters in postage due.

These stamps were obviously recorded, the Administration held an inventory as well as the office which received them. At January 1st, 1859, the Postage-due stamp could be used only in the Rural District of the post office.
The letters circulating between 2 rural subistricts of the same Postal District were always to be hand taxed.
The success of this measure carried the Administration  to extend the use of the Postage-due stamp to the Postal District by the decree of April 25 1859 (applicable in June 1st).

It is seen here, that the Administration called for denunciation. The letters in postage due wich did not carry postage due stamp was not to be accepted by the users and thoses ones were called to denounce  the civil servant who would give such a letter to them.
At the beginning, the postage-due stamp could thus be affixed only on letters circulating within the same Rural District not on all the local correspondences. The other local correspondences not entering within this framework were to be hand taxed as usual.

On apprend dans cette circulaire que l'oblitération réglementaire des chiffres-taxe est le timbre à date du bureau ou le timbre OR du facteur rural. On dit même qu'une seule frappe du timbre à date suffit et qu'il est inutile d'apposer une seconde frappe sur la suscription des lettres.

1859: Letter from LE-QUESNOY towards GOMMEGNIES (village depending on LE- QUESNOY). Here also, the postage-due stamp is a lithographed type.
1859: Letter from and to  MAUBEUGE dating February 1859. On this date the Postage-due stamp can be used only within a  rural sub-district of a post office.
This Postage-due stamp was printed in lithography.
The short time between the decree and the set up date of these stamps obliged the Administration to resort to a mean of fast impression.
One recognizes the  lithographed type with the mention "à percevoir" which is very thin. On the typographical type which appears in February 1859, the impression is thicker.

From June 1859, all unfranked local letters must be taxed by means of the postage-due stamp.

1860: Letter from VALENCIENNES to ST-SAULVE weighing 15 g. Here, the post office of VALENCIENNES is in complete irregularity, because it cancels Postage-due stamps with its small figures cancel while since June 1st, 1859, it is supposed to cancel them with its date stamp.

1861: Letter from VALENCIENNES for ST-SAULVE weighing  15 g. It carries two Postage-due stamps of 10 c among whom one is irregularly cancelled by means of the small figures cancel.

If the postage-due stamps can be put on letters between a post office station and a main post office of the same Postal District, this stamp is affixed and cancelled by the main post office even if the letter is originating in the post office station.
The circular n° 124 reconsider the simple striking of the date stamp and imposes a double stricking: on the postage-due stamp and the letter.

1859: Postage due letter 10 c from DOUAI to CANTIN. The village of CANTIN was in the rural district of the post office station of ARLEUX-DU-NORD. This post office was dependent on the main post office of DOUAI.

1860: Letter posted in  ETROEUNGT towards AVESNES (main post office).
From June 1, 1859, the Postage-due stamp could be used on the local mail circulating between 2 rural districts.

With the installation of the rural service in 1830, a rural mailman could not deliver letters in the suburbs of the towns, even if it passed there to move towards its round.

The general instruction of 1832 and its article 546 aimed to sharply separating the 2 services, local and rural. The rural mailman was to take care of the letters whose majority supported the additional rural décime tax, whereas the town or local mailman took care only of the correspondence supporting only the local postage. In January 1847, the additional rural décime tax not existing more, it was difficult to justify the presence 2 mailmen one local, the other one rural in the same locality or the same suburb, one carrying out its round (the local mailman), the other doing nothing but pass (the rural mailman).
Little by little, the needs for service at the local level made that there were adaptations and that the rural maimen could deal with the localities where a post office was or then suburbs of a wide town.

Today, one thinks that the suburbs of a city are populated and urbanized. At the XIXème century the suburbs of a city could alternate populated zones and zones still very rural.
The General Instruction of 1856 tackles the subject very briefly.
The circular n° 324, after having to point out article 546 of the general Instruction of 1832, authorizes finally the local delivery with rural mailmen of the suburbs of the towns in conditions that those are located outer the town.

1862: Letter written in the hamlet of Frais-Marais and intended for the rural municipalities of WAZIERS.  This Hamlet depends on the post office of DOUAI. However, this hamlet forms integral part of the town of DOUAI whereas WAZIERS is an independent village. One of the rural mailmen of the post office of DOUAI thus delivered Frais-Marais as well as WAZIERS in the same round. In addition Frais-Marais and WAZIERS are bordering. Frais-Marais has an urban letter-box (known as additional) with the code G.
The postage-due stamp would have to be cancelled by the OR stamp of the mailman.

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