The Jubilee of Penny Postage
Holborn Restaurant
15th January, 1890

On Wednesday the 15th January, 1890, over 250 officers and ex-officers of the General Post Office dined together in the Venetian Room of the Holborn Restaurant. The purpose of the dinner was to celibrate the 50th Anniversary of the Introduction of Inland Penny Postage. The actual anniversary was the previous Friday, 10th January, 1890.

At the dinner, the chair was taken by the Right Hon. H. C. Raikes, M.P., the current Postmaster General. Among the other dignitaries in attendance was Pearson Hill.

Mr. Raikes proposed a toast of "The Post Office" in which he said;

I think we are all sensible that what has brought us here to-night is not an ordinary occasion. Congratulatory banquets, congratulatory celebrations, have become so common in these days of advanced civilization that they seem to have lost some of their point and meaning. But in meeting here to-night we are celebrating what perhaps, although the subject of it seems in the first instance inconsiderable, has really been one of the greatest peaceful revolutions of the century, and we who sit within the walls and under the roof of the establishment which has benefited so greatly by the foresight and the practical genius of the great man who initiated this reform would , indeed, be the most ungrateful of mankind if we did not assemble here to-night to congratulate each other upon the progress of his great idea, and to to do honour to his venerated name.

The extended toast and its replies may be found on pages 40 through 58 of "The Account of the Celebration of the Jubilee of Uniform Inland Penny Postage", 1891. In Mr. Pearson Hill's reply, being ceded first honours by Sir A. Blackwood, K.C.B, the Secretary of the Post Office, he commented;

In all his [Sir Rowland Hill] earnest endeavours to carry his plan to completion, there was one great point of which he never lost sight, and that was to do so with the least possible injury to the officers of the Post Office ...

There was a celebratory dinner inviatation sent out to 300 people.

COMMEMORATION
of the
Jubilee Of Uniform Penny Postage
DEPARTMENTAL DINNER
Venetian Chamber, Holborn Restaurant.
Wednesday, 15th January, 1890.

One of the invitees was Thomas Robert Baillie-Gage.
The card is on a light cream stock, printed in black ink
for the Mulready design and 'Gold' for the 'Jubilee' arc and date.

Thomas Gage was the third son of Rev. Robert Gage, Rector at Kilrea, Co. Londonderry. He was educated at Trinity Coll., Dublin (B.A. 1863, M.A. 1865), admitted a Solicitor, Ireland, 1870.

He assumed the prefix surname of Baillie by royal license in 1876, on inheriting Tirnaskea near Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.

From 1875 to 1907 he was Solicitor to the Postmaster-Gen. in Ireland.

On June 30th, 1905 King Edward VII appointed Thomas Robert Baillie-Gage to be a Companion of the Imperial Service Order.

 
In the past some have thought the seating card for this dinner may have been used as the admission card for the South Kensington Museum on July 2nd, 1890. In an article in the Philatelic Journal Of Great Britain [Vol. 87, No. 4, December 1977] Robson Lowe illustrates a similar card inscribed "H. P. King Esq.".

On the reverse of this card is "Admission card to South Kensington Museum commemorating the Jubilee of Uniform Penny Postage Jan. 10 1890" which Robson Lowe states is "presumably written by Mr. King."

 

 

 


 
21st January 2015