General Telegraph 6d

Telegraph stamps of Great Britain.

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General Telegraph 6d Electric Telegraph Submarine British English & Irish British & Irish LDTC UK Electric South Eastern Railway London, Chatham and Dover Railway
General Telegraph Electric Telegraph Submarine British Telegraph English & Irish British & Irish London District UK Electric S.E.R. L.C. & D.R.
Bonelli Universal Private Telegraph Company National Telephone Company Army Telegraphs-1 Army Telegraphs-2 Railway Telegraph cancel on 10s Post Office Telegraphs Unusual Unexpected Contributions
Bonelli's Universal Tel. National Telephone Army Telegraphs 1 Army Telegraphs 2 Railway Post Office Unusual Unexpected Contributions


Prices have been brought up to date, and are for stamps in 'average' condition.  
The currency is now selectable, the default is British Currency (£).
  I have revised Hiscocks' original listing, though leaving references to the original designations. 
The new designations have 'RH' numbers (Revised Hiscocks) to avoid confusion.


The London, Chatham and Dover Railway.

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
Little is known about these stamps. Two copies of the 3d value and three of the 1/- value are known to the author although there may well be more
copies and other values in existence. These are all imperforate and lacking control numbers and all show signs of having been stuck top and bottom to
a sheet of paper. They would seem therefore to be proofs of stamps which were never issued. One copy shows part of a watermark — a large letter 'S'
and a vertical line which may be part of another letter.

My note:
The description of the watermark could be part of 'T. H. Saunders', or some other paper maker. Hiscocks described the paper as "Printed on coloured wove paper".
It is now known that the yellow paper was wove, but the greyish white was laid paper. Perhaps he only examined the yellow examples
and thus saw the watermark on one of those.
'T. H. Saunders produced the paper for the Electric Telegraph Company in 1839, the Bonelli Company in 1863 and the Universal Private in 1864.
They also supplied both wove and laid paper to Perkins Bacon for printing Justice Room Revenue stamps.

It is not known when these were prepared, however the stamps bear the signature of J. S. Forbes who became General Manager in 1863.
Since there appears to have been a degree of rivalry between the LD&CR and S.E.R., I would hazard a guess
that it would be soon after Forbes became General Manager.


Hiscocks describes the 3d as on yellow paper and the 1s on greyish white paper.
There are however examples of both values in both papers.
I thought at first that the greyish white examples had been produced by fading of the yellow types,
but Mark Gibson has shown me images that make it clear that the greyish white paper is laid paper, whilst the yellow ones are printed on wove paper.


RH # Hisc. Description Rarity Mint Used Qty known
RH1 - 3d black on greyish white laid paper R4 1000.00 - 3
RH1a H1        3d black on yellow wove paper R4 2800.00 - 2
RH2 H2 1s black on greyish white laid paper R4 1000.00 - 2
RH2a -         1s black on yellow wove paper R4 2800.00 - 2

Look here for an explanation of the table.


Yellow wove paper.

London, Chatham and Dover Railway 3d yellow.
3d - RH1 courtesy of Steve Lawrie.


London, Chatham and Dover Railway 1s. London, Chatham and Dover Railway 1s.
1s - RH2 courtesy of Steve Lawrie. 1s - RH2 courtesy of Mark Gibson.



Greyish white laid paper.

Images courtesy of Mark Gibson.
London, Chatham and Dover Railway 3d. London, Chatham and Dover Railway 1s.
3d Imperf - RH1 1s Imperf - RH2

The mark that nearly joins the 'ge' of 'Message' is on the two scans of the 1/- on white paper.
It is not on either of the 1/- scans on yellow paper. Coincidence ?


London, Chatham and Dover Railway 3d. London, Chatham and Dover Railway 3d.
3d - RH1 courtesy of Steve Lawrie. 3d - RH1 courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

London, Chatham and Dover Railway A.J.Lowe pair.
These were part of the A. J. Lowe collection sold by Phillips on 2 November 1990.
The 3d is described as black on yellow, and the 1/- as black on white.
Black and white images courtesy of Phillips, Son & Neale.


Most of these show guide-lines at the top between the stop after 'RAILWAY' and passing through the horses (or unicorns ?) legs.
There are traces of other lines too, vertical and horizontal suggesting an early stage of preparation.
Another thing that I noticed recently, the words 'GENERAL MANAGER' have a faint 'echo' to the left and slightly higher.



A Private Message Delivery Form of 1866 shown below gives the tariffs on the back for 20 words as :
Within a distance of 100 miles, One Shilling;
Above 100 and not exceeding 200 miles, One Shilling and Sixpence;
Above 200 miles, Two Shillings.
Messages for Irish Stations Three, Four, Five, and Six Shillings, according to published Tariff.
"Half these rates are charged for every ten words, or fraction of ten words above the first twenty.
N.B. — Ten words are allowed free for the names and addresses of the sender and receiver of a message, if for delivery within the United Kingdom."
"All Sunday Messages are charged One Shilling each extra, unless destined for the Continent."


For the sake of interest
London, Chatham and Dover Railway 3d.
The London Chatham & Dover Railway letter stamp.
Issued between 1891 and 1899, these are listed and illustrated in
The Railway Letter Stamps of Great Britain & Ireland 1891-1947 (published in 2000).

Image courtesy of



An unused Received Message Form 60 in red, with year pre-filled with 188. - My Ref. LCD-60-188-1
Nothing on the back.    Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.
LCDR unused Form 60.


A Private Message Delivery Form No. 343, used 14 April 1866. - My Ref. LCD-343-1866-1
18 Principal Stations listed, including 2 in London at Victoria Station and Ludgate Hill. - Front    Image courtesy of Mark Gibson.
LCDR Private Message Delivery Form No. 343 - front.

The back says that beyond its own Stations, it uses Stations of the Electric and International Telegraph Co., "numbering upwards of 800",
and gives the tariffs for 20 words, together with other conditions.
LCDR Private Message Delivery Form No. 343 - back.
It gives the name of J. S. Forbs as General Manager and the address of Victoria Station, Pimlico, London, S.W.
Lastly it lists the charges for porterage.   -  Images courtesy of Mark Gibson.


LC & DR Form listing.

Provisional Reference Form Type Date on form Dates used Size mm. London Offices Other Stations   EITC  Authority
LCD-60-188-1 Received Message Form 60 188_ - 186 x 250 - - - -
LCD-343-1866-1 Private Message Delivery Form No. 343 186_ 14/4/1866 187 x 247 2 16 800+ J. S. Forbes



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Last updated 15th. August 2022

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