- Quadruple Halfpenny and Additional Three Half-Pence stamp 1802 / 1803
The Newspaper Tax Stamps of Great Britain & Ireland 1712-1855
I was determined not to start yet another area of collecting but the tax stamps on British and Irish newspapers and almanacks from the 1700s and 1800s are too fascinating to resist.
Printed from engraved copper plates for at least the first 100 years from their introduction in 1712 (1711 for almanacs), the stamps are also great works of art, and are often extremely ornate and detailed.
The duty started at ½d in 1712 but in 1757 this was increased by ½d, and then another two ½d rises were introduced over the following years, making a total of 2d. This lasted for 8 years, and then in 1797 a further Act (37 Geo. III c90) added three halfpences in one go.
It was stipulated that each increase must be shown separately on the same stamp, so each ½d and the final combined three ½d duty were added to the dies in turn, resulting in the gloriously named, and extravagantly detailed " Quadruple Halfpenny and Additional Three Half-Pence" stamp of 1797. That's a 3½d stamp to you and me!
A discount of 16% was allowed in the 1797 Act for publishers who did not increase their prices beyond the increase in the three half-penny rise, and an additional discount of 4½% was introduced in 1801 (41 Geo. III c10), but this did not last long, and was reduced to 18 shillings per £100 from 5th July 1802 (Geo. III c94).
The example from my collection is a Type 9, which was introduced on July 5th 1802. It's a third recut, which dates the stamp from August 1802 to the cancellation of the die on 8th September 1803. The die number 41 is from Plate 2, (dies 26-50) and this further restricts the date range to December 1802 - 8th September 1803 ( Chandler, J. H. & Dagnall, H: "The Newspaper & Almanac Stamps of Great Britain & Ireland." 1981)
And here it is superimposed on page 36 in "Creating a Good Impression", Dagnall, H. (1994) showing the sources of the individual duties and discounts: