Catalogue entries below series level were removed from Discovery, The National Archives' online catalogue, in November 2016 because fuller descriptions were available in The Postal Museum's online catalogue.
The material is arranged in chronological order within series.
All pieces are one volume unless otherwise stated.
In the tenth report of the Commissioners of Post Office Inquiry, January 1838 it was recommended that a uniform fee of 2d should be charged for the registration of letters and that the Post Office should admit liability for their loss up to a maximum of £5. This scheme was to come into force in June 1839. However it was stopped by news of impending reductions in postage rates. A general scheme for the registration of inland letters came into force on 6 January 1841. Registration was applicable to any valuable letter for a prepaid fee of one shilling. There was no compulsion or compensation. By 1854 the fee was payable by stamps and in 1856 letters marked 'registered' and posted in a letter box were charged one shilling.
The principle of 'compulsory registration' was introduced on 1 August 1862 for all letters containing coin and passing through London, at a double registration fee of 18 pence. Compulsory registration was extended throughout the country during 1863. On 1 September 1873 compulsory registration also became applicable to those letters containing jewellery and watches.
The principle of compensation for damage and loss to registered letters was introduced on 1 January 1878 at a sum of two pounds.
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