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 Post subject: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings

Over the years there has been considerable amount of research and publication on the barred numeral cancellations of the United Kingdom, particularly for those of London and English/Welsh provincial towns.

Collectors, myself included, have been asking whether similar publications exist or are in preparation for the remaining areas, namely Scotland and Ireland. As no equivalents yet exist, Andrew Chappell and I discussed an approach to try and allocate scarcity ratings for the Irish cancellations; what follows is an overview of this approach, accompanied by an appeal for assistance with the next stage.

It is obvious that this task could take many years to complete but to be in a position to publish interim findings as quickly as possible it was decided to focus solely on the first Barred Numerals introduced in 1844 and limit the scope to their usage on the imperforate stamps. At this initial stage there is no attempt to differentiate between different types of cancellation; that may come at a later stage dependent on the level of interest expressed.

Another fundamental requirement was to place the findings in the public domain for comment and peer review, and Maurice Buxton has agreed to make this available on the GBPS website as the project progresses.

There are four stages to this process:

1. Collation of statistics from a variety of contemporary sources for each Post Town
2. Sanity checking this data to eliminate obvious anomalies
3. Comparison with collectors’ wants lists to ensure consistency with reality
4. Refining the scarcity rating by comparison with known examples

The first two stages are now complete and, based upon the statistics alone, provisional ratings have been allocated. However, before publishing these findings, we would like to check the validity of these by comparing with collectors’ wants lists. What we are hoping to find is that those cancellations provisionally rated as F, G or H (i.e. the scarcest) are more likely to account for gaps in collections.

This is where you can help if you are a collector of Irish numerals. We would be grateful if you could answer these two questions.

1. Which numerals do you NOT have on a 1d imperforate stamp/cover ?
2. How long have you been collecting Irish Barred Numerals ?

This information may be posted on this thread or emailed directly to either Chris Jones (chris[at]gbimperf.org) or Andrew Chappell (QVP[at]btinternet.com).

Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous the information may be sent to the Newsletter editor (newsletter[at]gbps.org.uk) who will only pass on the information and not your contact details.

This appeal will also be appearing in the next issue of the society's newsletter.

Once we have a selection of replies, the provisional findings will be published and the next stages of the project can start. This will involve creating a database of known examples of each numeral with dates of use (where available) and also recording the usage of coloured inks.

Chris.


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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:29 pm 
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In June 2013, a project commenced with the aim of assessing the relative scarcity of the Barred Numeral Obliterators allocated to Irish Post Towns in 1844.

Having undertaken initial data gathering, the project was formally announced in the GBPS newsletter (number 347) and an appeal for more information was made. Following that appeal and a similar request via the Mulready Group, we are pleased to be able to publish the first version of the ratings checklist.

The checklist (PDF) is being hosted by the GBPS and the latest version, including the overview, is freely available from the society’s website at http://www.gbps.org.uk/irishnumerals

The background and explanation is reproduced below, together with the checklist.

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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:40 pm 
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Introduction

The Maltese Cross obliterators served for almost four years before they were superseded, in 1844, with “barred numeral” obliterators, so called as they comprised a series of horizontal lines with a number in the centre to signify the Post Town that had cancelled the stamp. Due to the high number of Post Towns requiring a unique obliterator, five different designs were adopted.

The format for Irish Post Towns was that of a diamond with the number in the centre.
Image

Initially, numbers in the range 1 to 450 were allocated with twelve being omitted so as not to cause confusion if viewed inverted. The earliest recorded usage is from Dublin (186) on 20 June 1844.

The purpose of this project is :

1. To establish and publish a relative scarcity scale for the 1844 Barred Numeral cancellations allocated to Irish Post Towns used on the 1d red-brown imperforate stamp of Great Britain [SG 8-12], and

2. to provide an update to the lists of coloured numeral cancellations contained in The Cancellations of the 1841 Penny Red (Danzig and Goldsmith, 1991)

A logical extension to the project would be to collate the earliest recorded usage of each obliterator and this may be incorporated at a later date.

Assessment of Scarcity

It is acknowledged that any method of assessing the scarcity of cancellations will encounter difficulties, but it is hoped that by having a transparent process any reservations individuals may have can be minimised.

The initial phase of the project has been to collate information for each Post Town allocated a numeral from a wide variety of contemporary sources (see below). The data includes :

1. The population of each town/village in each of the census years from 1821 to 1871
2. Whether the office is a Post Town, a sub office or has been upgraded/downgraded
3. The presence of professional and civic services / amenities, including:

    Legal (solicitors, magistrates, courts, prisons)
    Clergy and churches
    Military and Constabulary
    Newspapers
    Banking
    Poor Law Union and Register offices
    Medical (Doctors, Hospitals and Asylums)
    Proximity to a country seat

It is noted that the population figures are not those of the area served by the Post Town; just that of the town’s immediate area but as a consistent approach has been taken this is believed to be a satisfactory starting point.

The first stage has been to group towns of similar size (by population) and based upon this allocate one of the scarcity ratings A to H.

Dublin, being the capital of Ireland, quite naturally has the largest population and the largest concentration of civil institutions so has been allocated a rating of “A” and is the only city/town to have been so-classified.

The scale runs from A (the most commonly encountered) to H (the scarcest)

    A – Abundant – reserved for Dublin (number 186)
    B – Very Common – main towns/cities
    C – Common – mainly larger market towns
    D – Less Common
    E – Scarce
    F – Very Scarce
    G – Rare
    H – Very Rare

The second stage has been to re-assign a small proportion of places to an alternate rating (either upwards or downwards) due to them having a disproportionate number of services/amenities compared to other places of a similar size.

An example would be Cavan (number 126) which from the population alone would receive a rating of “D” but unlike many other places of a similar size, it

    is the head of a Poor Law Union with a workhouse and hospital
    has a courthouse, assizes and prison
    is the seat of a diocese with multiple clergy residing in the area
    has a bank and newspaper

which should be indicators that more post would originate from here, suggesting that an upgrade to a “C” rating would be appropriate.

Without going into specific detail for anywhere else, this is the type of consideration that has been undertaken for each place.

Many of the places rated as “H”, following this stage, appear to have no special requirement for a Post Office over other villages/hamlets throughout the rest of the Country. The fact that a Post Office (usually a sub office) exists at all would appear to be mainly due to the presence of one or more country seats of the gentry/nobility or its geographical location to facilitate the operation of the postal system.

At this stage of the project, the scarcity ratings were only provisional and it was not considered appropriate to publish them. Therefore, an appeal for additional information was made to members of the Mulready Group (October 2013) and also to the wider GBPS membership (November 2013).

The responses received have resulted in a few, but minor, re-assignments of some ratings, and we are now ready to publish the first version.

From the project’s inception, it was decided to make the results available to download, in PDF format, from the GBPS Website so that subsequent revisions, as more data becomes available, could easily be distributed.

The latest version, including this overview, is available at http://www.gbps.org.uk/irishnumerals

Coloured Cancellations

The Cancellations of the 1841 Penny Red contains four lists detailing those numerals recorded using blue, green, red and brown inks. Permission has been granted by Robert Danzig to update these lists and include the revised data within the project. Our thanks to him too for providing updated information which has been incorporated within our listing in addition to information from other sources.

We have not however attempted to categorise the enhanced range of coloured numerals according to their relative scarcity at this stage and reference should be made to The Cancellations of the 1841 Penny Red for this in so far as it relates to those recorded at the time of publication of that work.

Sources of Data

The following publications have been used to collate the data.

The Gentleman’s and Citizen’s Almanack, John Watson Stewart, 1783, 1812, 1814, 1818, 1822, 1829
The Post Chaise Companion, 1786
A List of Post Towns and Principal Places, Joseph Hartnell, 1830
The Dublin Almanac and General Register of Ireland, Pettigrew and Oulton, 1835, 1836 and 1845
Returns to the House of Commons, 1836 and 1837
A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, Samuel Lewis, 1837
The Post Office Annual Directory and Calendar, John S Folds, 1843; Alexander Thom, 1858
The Parliamentary Gazetteer, A. Fullarton & Co, 1846
Thom’s Irish Almanac and Official Directory, Alexander Thom, 1850, 1852, 1857, 1868, 1877
British Postal Guide, Eyre and Spottiswoode, No. 1, May 1856, No. 3 Jan 1857
The Cancellations of the 1841 Penny Red, Robert Danzig and David Goldsmith, 1991

Spelling of Place Names

The spelling of Irish place names in this period is not consistent even in the same publication in consecutive years, nor even within different editions of the official Post Office lists. The convention adopted is to use the official spelling supported where necessary by The Parliamentary Gazetteer, published in 1846

Feedback

We are continually seeking to refine this listing and add as much data as possible to it and would welcome dialogue with any collector upon the subject. The authors may be contacted by email as follows: Andrew Chappell (qvp [at] btinternet.com) or Chris Jones (chris [at] gbimperf.org).


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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:41 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
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 Post subject: Re: Barred Numeral Cancellations of Ireland – Scarcity Ratings
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