Southampton Slogan Postmarks

One-time Southampton resident, Malcolm Montgomery, has compiled a representative (work-in-progress) listing of Southampton slogan machine cancellations. He has kindly made this available for the information of members.

Slogan paquebot cancel H220A

Malcolm has also made a subset listing of Southampton slogan paquebot machine cancellations and a census of known examples. This listing has been augmented by data from Mike Dovey of the TPO & Seapost Society and is also presented here with their kind permission.

The listings are presented as PDF files for viewing and downloading, as follows.

Southampton Slogan cancellations here.

Southampton Paquebot Slogan cancellations here.

Southampton Paquebot Slogan cancellation dates as recorded by Montgomery and Dovey. here.

Malcolm would welcome further Southampton slogan postmark data. You may send information and a scan of the cover to the webmaster by email (see bottom of the page) which will be forwarded to Malcolm.

What are Paquebot postmarks?

By 1891 the shipping lines from Europe were going all over the world and the passengers on board were having great difficulty in posting mail. A letter written on board ship could only be posted if and when the ship arrived at a port. There, someone was sent ashore to purchase postage stamps, and then the letter was posted by the same person having to go ashore again to the post office.

In 1892 the Universal Postal Union (UPU) decided at a meeting in Switzerland that all ships were their own sovereign territory while on the high seas and outside territorial waters and that a passenger could write a letter, add a stamp of the country the ship was registered in, and put the letter in the ship's mailbox. From there the letter was taken to the nearest post office in the next port of call by a member of crew or the purser. The post office applied a "paquebot" postmark to the letter, usually over the stamp. The first time ships began to use this method was in 1894 when it was taken up at first by Britain and France followed by shipping lines of other countries. Letters dated pre 1900 are quite rare and are sought after.

Slogan paquebot cancel H219A

Further reading:
Tabeart, C: 'Robertson Revisited', James Bendon, Ltd., Limassol, 1997
Dovey, M & Morris, K: ‘Paquebot Cancellations of the World, 4th Edition’, TPO & Seapost Society, 2010
C.R.H. Parsons, C.G. Peachey & G.R. Pearson: ‘Collecting Slogan Postmarks’, 1986.

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