International Mail (6)
Similar to the preceding cover posted at the British
postal agency at Havana, this cover was posted at the
British postal agency at Santiago de Cuba on January 5,
1847. In this case, however, the letter is addressed to
It was carried to Southampton, England, by a Royal Mail
Steam Packet Company vessel, and arrived at London on
February 8. In accordance with the British-French Postal
Convention of April 3, 1843, amended December 1, 1845,
the British exchange clerk was to indicate what Article
of the Convention each letter came under, in order that
the French exchange clerk would be able to calculate the
correct amount of postage due. The British clerk stamped
it, “Colonies/ &c Art. 13.”
Tome I, p12: Havana to Bordeaux,
France. 5 January 1847.
Article 13 of the Convention indicated the postage rate
was 3 shillings 4 pence per ounce of weight. In French
currency, this works out to be 4 francs. However, the
French did not weigh their letters in ounces, but in grams.
A single weight letter in France weighed no more than
7 1/2 grams. Thirty grams were considered to be equal
to one British ounce, for Convention purposes. Therefore,
there were four 7 1/2 gram letters in one ounce. The French
exchange clerk found that this letter weighed between
7 1/2 and 15 grams, double weight, and marked it due “20,”
which means 2 Francs were payable by the addressee.
After processing this mail, London then placed the letter
in a sealed mail bag for the crossing of the English Channel
to Boulogne, where the bag was opened and was processed
by the French exchange clerk. The letter was then dispatched
to Bordeaux, where it was received on February 12, 1847.
Foldout of entire