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Certificate of Posting Charges 1877-1982

1973 - certificate of posting for 8 letters (detailed on back)

The introduction of certificates of posting for ordinary, non-registered letters, at a nominal charge of ½d paid by means of a stamp on the form, was strongly urged by Rowland Hill in the 1840s as an additional means of security in the mails, but the proposal met with a cool reception. Abortive experiments with certificates stamped with a ½d embossed die were finally carried out in a few major cities in 1877-82, but it was not until 1911 that the Post Office introduced them nationwide as a regular service.

The fee was per item posted and always nominal. In 1982 it was abolished completely. The various special services such as registration had their own certificates as proof of posting, but these were given free as part of the service. There was also a separate reduced charge for bulk postings in stamps, for the details of which see below.

Standard Certificates of Posting

Date Charge Notes
1877
(14 Nov)
½d each Tried experimentally in three towns – Liverpool, Birmingham and Bath – until 30th November 1878, although some have been recorded used (unofficially) in other places
1878
(1 Dec)
Experiment ceased Issue of certificates discontinued on 17th January 1879, although some were used after this
1881
(1 Jan)
½d each Tried experimentally again in Glasgow until 8th February 1882
1882
(9 Feb)
Experiment ceased
1911
(2 Oct)
½d per item posted From 10th September 1912 more than one item of mail could be included on a certificate – they had spaces for additional addresses
1957
(1 Oct)
1d per item
1971
(15 Feb)
1p per item
1982
(1 Feb)
Charge abolished Certificates now free of charge on request (recent ones are printed from the counter machine rather than being a separate form)

Certificates of Posting for Bulk Postings Prepaid in Stamps

1965 - receipt for 9,650 circulars, 2s for first 1,000 and 9x4d = 3s for the rest

This service was introduced for "large publicity firms who use it as documentary evidence of completion of a contract", without them having to list every address and pay ½d for each item. (The exact date has not yet been tracked down.)

It was originally authorised as an exceptional arrangement by the Post Office Secretary, and did not appear in the Post Office Warrants before 1948, although the new reduced fees and national certificate were announced in the Post Office Circular in 1934.

The charge was abolished in 1979.

Date Charge Notes
1920s?
First 20,000 items - 5s
Each addl. 10,000 items - 2s 6d
Special certificate of posting for this service (L.P.S.245) issued for London only in October 1931
1934
(28 Nov)
First 1000 items - 1s
Each addl. 1000 items - 2d
New certificate of posting (P.393H) issued for use at all Head Offices, and many London branch and district offices
1961
(1 Feb)
First 1000 items - 2s
Each addl. 1000 items - 4d
1971
(15 Feb)
First 1000 items - 10p
Each addl. 1000 items - 1½p
1974
(24 Jun)
First 1000 items - 20p
Each addl. 1000 items - 2p
Change included in Inland Post Scheme for this date (Amendment (No.5) Scheme 1974) – but that was full of typos, this rate among them, and required issue of corrected version 5A shortly after
1977
(13 Jun)
First 1000 items - 25p
Each addl. 1000 items - 2½p
1979
(20 Aug)
Service withdrawn (deleted from Post Office Schemes)