Mail from the UK to the Italian Peninsular from the Late Eighteenth Century to the GPU
IntroductionUntil December 1857 when the United Kingdom concluded a postal convention with Sardinia, mail to the Italian states relied on the mediation of France, Austria and Sardinia. The Convention with France implemented in July 1836 followed by the Convention of June 1843 governed postal routes and rates through France and into Sardinia, with whom France had a treaty. Sardinia ensured UK mail reached the other Italian states under its own local agreements.
During the 1850s Sardinia became the dominant state in Italy, assisted by France, and gradually the other states adopted Sardinian postal rates. The Convention of 1857 ensured that as these Sardinian rates were adopted the other states were included within it. The development of rail links via the Mont Cenis route into North Italy and provision of French, Italian and British packet ship services in the Mediterranean were vital to the delivery of post in this period.
The exhibit is intended to illustrate some of the postal rates and routes of this period between the UK and the Italian states and the gradual adoption of Sardinian postage rates throughout Italy.
1,2,3 Examples of letters prior to the 1843 Convention sent via Austria, France and Sardinia
4. Letters via France and following the 1843 Convention using revised rates and accountancy marks
5. Letter to Genoa overcharged as new 6d rate set 15th January 1857
6. Transfer of Nice and Savoy to France and Austrian Lombardy to Sardinia
7. Cover to Austrian Lombardy; cover to Royal Navy officer — concessionary rate not applicable
8,9,10 Covers to Genoa, Sardinia illustrating multiple rates, registration and printed matter rate
11. Cover to Rome via Marseilles; Bradford to Naples using Sardinian postage rate adopted 1/6/1861
12. Cover to Florence- Sardinian rate; registered cover to Modena rated 3 days before GPU rates introduced
13. Postage underpaid and postage due
14. Covers to Messina and Rome routed via Marseilles
15. London to Naples by French packet via Marseilles; Edinburgh to Messina by Italian packet via Genoa
16. London to Messina 1½ oz letter rated 3/-; London to Piacenza registered cover at GPU rate
British Letter Mail to Overseas Destinations by Jane and Michael Moubray
United Kingdom Letter Rates Inland and Overseas 1635-1900 by Colin Tabeart
Letter Mail from and to the Old Italian States 1850-1870 by M. Mentaschi and T. Matha
British Postal Rates 1635-1839 by O.R. Sanford and D. Salt
The Postmarks of Great Britain and Ireland by R.C Aloock and F.C. Holland