Natal 1869 Too-Late Bushman's River Missionary Letter


1869 BUSHMANS RIVER MISSIONARY MAIL: Marvellous early small format envelope Pietermaritzburg addressed to Rev Clement Williams at Bushmans River. The envelope, bearing the unrecorded boxed hyphenated TOO-LATE handstamp, was franked Chalon 1d pair (SG 21) tied by three strikes of the numeral 1 canceller. Despatch cds MAR 3. An exceptional example of the early mails. With imperfections and a patina of soiling, full of charm & character.
The village of Bushmans River(postal material rated extremely rare by Putzel) changed its name to Estcourt in 1868. Hart (1977) describes seeing only one TOO LATE (also not hyphenated) on local mail suggesting that the handstamp was applied in error, qualifying by confirming that the instructional marking was intended for ship mail only. This local letter bearing the unrecorded hyphenated handstamp discredits that theory and is only the second example we have seen.

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