"From my Collection"
Some interesting examples from our collections



To exercise the right to Free Postage, prior to its abolition in 1840 under Rowland Hill's Reforms, the sender had to sign the front of the envelope or cover. This has led to the collection of "Free Fronts"  bearing such signatures

In this example, the sender and signatory is James Thomas Brudenell, later better known his role in the Crimean War (1854-56) as Lord Cardigan of the Charge of the Light Brigade fame.

A previous owner of this Front has written up details of his life on the album page, and at the time this letter was sent (1820), he was MP for Marlborough (a Pocket Borough owned by his cousin) and had not yet succeeded to the Earldom.


The write-up mentions a Trial by the House of Lords in 1841. This arose from his killing of one of his former officers, Captain Tuckett in a dual. He was controversially acquitted on a technicality.​​