Postal History of GB – Part One

Historical Beginnings

To appreciate the development of written messages, this introductory section shows early examples of writing on the ancient mediums of papyrus, vellum, parchment, etc., down to the hand-made paper of the middle ages.

An Early example of printing is also shown, as it was not until long after the dissemination of knowledge through printed books, that the ordinary people became interested in letter writing.

1450 BC. A letter tablet of the Babylonian Era.

42 BC. Celtic Gold Stater made in S.E. England.

Roman Empire. Coin that was current during the life of Christ. 18 B.C. Silver Denarius (penny) of Caesar Augustus, BC 37 – AD 14.

209-212 A.D. Silver Denarius – Roman Britain. 55 B.C. Julius Caesar conquered Gaul and made two expeditions to Britain, landing in 54 BC.

260 A.D. Papyrus Letter – The Christian Era. Circa 260 A.D. The beginnings of a letter, written on Papyrus, in Greek.

350 A.D Chi Rho Coin – Roman Christianity

575-796 Base Silver Sceat – Anglo Saxon Period

871-899 Alfred the Great

925 A.D. Gospel Fragment. Circa 925 A.D. – Fragment of the Gospel of Mark, written on Vellum.

1201 English Document. 12th – 13th Century. 11 Nov 1201. 750 year old English document, penned during Reign of King John (1199 – 1216). 14 years before Magna Carta and about the time of the founding of the Kings Messengers.

King’s Messengers. 12th Century – The Normans. The founding of the Kings Messengers by the Norman Kings.

14 Century Post Roads. 14th and 15th centuries – The Later Plantangenets.

1320 Paper Letter. Early 14th Century. Circa 1320 – An early letter written on paper, when paper-making was in its infancy.

13th Century English Manuscript. Fifteenth Century. Unusually early manuscript in English being part of a Medical Book of Remedies lettered in formal English hand in 15th Century hand-made paper.

Early Letter / Early English. An early letter written on very early paper. Written in Latin – no date, but before 1500

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