Sir Rowland Hill's Postal Reform


The year 2020 is the 180th Birthday of the world's first postage stamp – the Penny Black. The exhibitor would like to use these two frames to describe the greatest British Postal Reformer – Sir Rowland Hill (1795-l879) and his inventions (Uniform Penny Postage and Penny Black).

In 1835, Hill took real action to start his postal reform with the help of Mr.Robert Wallace MP, another long-standing postal reformer. In January l837 he published his famous pamphlet entitled Post Office Reform,Its Importance and Practicability. His reform was not only supported by some MPs, businessmen and officials, but also by ordinary people and media. Finally he succeeded by the Uniform Postage Act enacted by Parliament which received Queen Victoria's Royal Assent on 17th August 1839, and the 1d post system came into operation on 10th January l840.

That same year, the first world postage stamp – the Penny Black – was invented, which was sold from lst May 1840 and officially issued and used for postage on 6th May 1840. Uniform Penny Post and the Penny Black stamps meant a milestone in World Postal history and represented the beginning of the modem postal system of the world. Sir Rowland Hill is known as the "Stamp Father" by future generations.

Written up in both Mandarin and English. Originally prepared for the "Gems of Asian Philately" exhibition at the Royal Philatelic Society on 29th February 2020.


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
The Reason for Postal Reforms
  1. A Large and a Mini Envelope for Comparison
  2. See sheet 2
  3. Franking Privilege for MPs, Officials etc
  4. Franking Privilege and Cross-Written Letter
Rowland Hill's Postal Reform
  1. Post Office Reform, its Importance and Practicability
  2. The Essays and Proposals Prior to the Introduction of Postage Stamps
  3. James Chalmers' Essay
  4. Henry Cole's Satiric Sketch
  5. See sheet 9
  6. "Penny Postage" Propaganda Poster July 1839
  7. See sheet 11
  8. The Formation of a Parliamentary Committee for Postal Reform
  9. Penny Postage Act
1839 Treasury Competition
  1. 1839 Treasury Competition Published in the Times
  2. See sheet 15

Frame 2

1839 Treasury Competition (cont)
  1. James Bogardus and Charles Whiting Essays
Uniform 4d Postage Experiment
  1. First Day Cover
Uniform Penny Postage
  1. First Day Wrapper
  2. Last Day Use of Franking System
The Birth of the Penny Black Stamp
  1. Perkins Bacon's Background Trial for the Penny Stamps
  2. The Engine-Turned Background for the Penny Stamps
  3. Perkins Bacon's Paper and Gum Trials
  4. William Wyon's 1837 City of London Medal
  5. Die Proofs for the Penny Stamp
  6. Retouched Die proof and Penny Black Stamps
  7. Penny Black (paper fold) and Mulready Letter Sheet with Plate 3 Penny Black
  8. Mulready Letter Sheets: First Day Use and Sent by Henry Cole
  9. Two Pence Blue and VR Penny Black Stamps
  10. Rainbow Trials and Ink Trials
  11. The Penny Red was Born
  12. See sheet 31