Ipswich Postal History and Postmarks 1720-1877


The following Display represents a small snapshot of the Postal History of Ipswich, showing postal markings used in the town between 1720 and 1877.

Ipswich has a long history of postal services. In 1570, Innkeepers were ordered to keep six geldings available for the post. In the reign of King James I the mail was carried to London by two waggoners - Thomas Lane and Thomas Lucas, who travelled on alternate weeks. A single letter sheet was charged ld and they could not refuse to take them. Mr Lane later refused to carry them and was deprived of his trade with the local Freemen ordered to use Mr Lucas only.

1620 - Mr Jason Grover was the first Post Master of Ipswich and several other towns in East Anglia.
1631 - The Post Master forwarded letters from Yarmouth to London.
1653 - The Post Road from London to Yarmouth was ordered and would pass through Ipswich.
1655 - Mr Jason Grover was the Letter Carrier between Ipswich and Yarmouth and caused controversy by working on a Sunday.
1677 - Several Post Masters later and there was a Horse Post from London and a Horse Post of Foot Bye Post to surrounding towns including Martlesham, Woodbridge, Scale, Glemham, Wickham Market and Stoneham.
1678 - Ipswich becomes a Post Town.
1705 - First 'IPSWICH' handstamp seen. 29mm x 5mm slightly concave.
1737 - Several Post Masters later and Roger Goodchild is appointed PM. He was the first of eight members of this family to be Post Master which covered five generations and 100 years.
1837 - The infamous William Stevenson Fitch, a chemist, becomes Post Master. As well as being Post Master it is alleged that he misappropriated historical documents from Helmingham Hall and Ham House and sold them on.
1847 - Fitch moves from Thoroughfare to Buttermarket and ends the chemist business to concentrate full time on post, as it was so busy. Four sub-offices open around Ipswich - see page 15.


1 The English Provincial Local Posts. G F Oxley. 1974.
2 The British County Catalogue, Part 1. R M Willcocks & B Jay. 1978.
3 Suffolk Postal History and Postal Markings to 1844. Tom Slemons. 2017.
4 Uniform Penny Post. Steve Walker. 2013
5 The Sideways Duplex Cancellations of England and Wales. RG Traill and FC Holland. 1975
6 The English and Welsh Sideways Duplex handstamps and their recuts. Ray Barton 2017


Frame 1

  1. Introduction and References
  2. Straight Line postmark. 1720
  3. 2 line postmark
  4. 1st Type Mileage mark
  5. Straight line and 2nd Type Mileage
  6. As seen in Tom Slemons' book
  7. LKU of any 2 line Mileage mark
  8. 'Returned From' marking
  9. Maltese Cross and Mileage Removed
  10. UPP Markings
  11. UPP Markings
  12. Boxed Receiving House marking
  13. Unique Blue marking
  14. 1844 Type cancels
  15. Sideways Duplex
  16. Other Duplex Types