Elliot's Imitation of the Jubilee Envelope
William Henry Elliot of 29 Calthorpe Street, Gray's lnn Road, London, published an imitation of the official Jubilee envelope and card, priced to sell at one penny. According to a letter from Elliot in the Post Office Archives, the imitation went on sale at mid—day on 5th July 1890.
The Post Office acted swiftly, claiming contravention of the Post Office Protection Act and ordered Elliot to withdraw the envelopes immediately. Of the 3000 envelopes printed, about half had already been passed to retailers (mainly on a sale or return basis) but all except about 500 which had been sold to street traders were recovered by Elliot on 15th July. Stationer’s Hall, where all pictorial envelopes were obliged to be registered, was severely criticised for accepting the design so clearly in contravention of the Act. The authorities seemed satisfied that Elliot had not acted with fraudulent intent.