The Jubilee of Penny Postage
South Kensington Interesting Uses
Overseas Mailings

On 2nd July, 1890, Colonel John Lowther du Plat Taylor CB VD, the founder of the Army Post Office Corps and the Post Office Rifles, attended the Penny Postage Jubilee at South Kensington. He took the oopportunity to send his son, Lieutenant St. John Louis Hyde Du Plat-Taylor a memento of the day.

Lt. Du Plat-Taylor was serving with the Royal Horse Artillery of the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers, stationed in Meerut, India. He was made a Captain in 1884 and a Major in April 1900. He was present at the Relief of Mafeking, including action at Zilikat's Nek in the Transvaal in May and June, 1900. Major Du Plat-Taylor was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 16 April, 1901]; received the Queen's Medal with three clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 27 September, 1901]. The Insignia were presented to him by the King 28 October, 1901.


Not only were these envelopes and cards available at the South Kensington Museum, but they could be purchased at most Post Offices. One such purchase and use was made at the London N.W. Branch. The cancel here, of the 4th July, 1890 is listed as 'Rare' in the Cohen "Squared Circle Postmarks, 2nd Edition. It is listed as NW/032; 2nd IA-5 SC and was only used from 16th April, 1889 through 8th October, 1890.

The letter was addressed to a street thought to be in Melbourne, Australia, but that district had been renamed by 1890. It seems to have been missent to South Yarra looking for a Chapel St.. Now endorsed "Not Chapel St. S. Yarra" on 5th August, 1890, it was endorsed "Prahran", now an eastern suburb of Melbourne.


Addressed c/o Messrs. Corke & Co. the firm's name had been changed to Messrs. Brown, Corke & Co by this time of this posting. This firm is listed as being storekeepers with shops located in Melbourne [Prahran], Numurkah, Nathalia, Wunghnu, & Cobram, Victoria. and Corowa, N.S.W. In these they operated departments of General Merchandise, Grocery, Drapery, Ironmongery, Lumber, Boots and Clothing and more.

One of their original shops still exists in Nathalia, a town with an old-fashioned country feel in a flat agricultural and dairying area of Australia.

"Heading north along Elizabeth St, to the left, is the Brown, Corke & Co shop (1888), a rare survival of a type of large general store once common in provincial Victoria. It is a row of three single-storey brick shops with a decorative cast-iron verandah, large shop windows and central double doors." Sydney Morning Herald, February 8, 2004

Courtesy of the National Museum of Australia




21st January, 2018