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Sample / Pattern Post Rates 1863-1968


1d basic sample post rate, special reinforced envelope, c.1951

The sample or pattern post service was a concessionary arrangement for trade samples (i.e. small quantities of specimen goods sent as a 'taster' by businesses, but which did not themselves have any resale value in the form supplied), provided as an encouragement to commerce.

It was introduced and then withdrawn on several occasions between 1863 and 1932, finally being subsumed into the two-tier post system on 16th September 1968.

The regulations varied over the years. The original service introduced in 1863 proved very popular, but was widely abused for sending items that were not bona fide samples, and was withdrawn in 1871. There were strict weight limits, the packets had to be open for inspection, and in the 1887 and later services senders were required to use wrappers with their name, address, and trade printed upon them.

Date Rates Date Rates Date Rates
1863
(1 Oct)
3d - 4oz
6d - 8oz
1s - 16oz
1s 6d - 24oz

Maximum weight 24oz

Unpaid: double rate
Part-paid (min 1d): Deficiency + 3d
1864
(1 Sep)
2d - 4oz
4d - 8oz
8d - 16oz
1s - 24oz
1866
(1 Mar)
2d - 4oz
4d - 8oz
6d - 12oz
8d - 16oz
10d - 20oz
1s - 24oz
1870
(1 Feb)
1d - 4oz
2d - 8oz
3d - 12oz

Maximum weight 12oz

Unpaid: double rate
Part-paid (min 1d): Deficiency + 1d
1870
(1 Oct)
d - 2oz
1d - 4oz
1d - 6oz
2d - 8oz
2d - 12oz
1871
(5 Oct)
Service withdrawn
1887
(1 Oct)
1d - 4oz
1d - 6oz
2d - 8oz

Maximum weight 8oz
1897
(16 Jun)
Service withdrawn
(letter rates became the same)
1915
(1 Nov)
1d - 4oz
1d - 6oz
2d - 8oz

Maximum weight 8oz
1918
(3 Jun)
Service withdrawn 1932
(23 May)
1d - 4oz
1d - 6oz
2d - 8oz

Maximum weight 8oz
1940
(1 May)
1d - 4oz
2d - 6oz
2d - 8oz
1956
(1 Jan)
1d - 2oz
2d - 4oz
3d - 6oz
4d - 8oz
1956
(1 Jun)
2d - 4oz
3d - 6oz
4d - 8oz
1957
(1 Oct)
2d - 2oz
4d - 4oz
5d - 6oz
6d - 8oz
1961
(1 Oct)
2d - 2oz
4d - 4oz
5d - 6oz
6d - 8oz
1965
(17 May)
3d - 2oz
5d - 4oz
6d - 6oz
7d - 8oz

Page-Specific Reference

The inland pattern post 1863-1897, J.G.S.Scott, Postal History No 283 Sep 1997 pp73-8.