Postage paid 1863-1878

Until 31 December 1862, the Post Office applied the same rate for a franked local letter as for a postage due letter.

Postage due letters were therefore in the majority.

On 1 January 1863, the Administration introduced the franking incentive that it had introduced 8 years earlier for the territorial postage. The weight scale also changed. Thus, on 1 January, a letter weighing less than 10g circulating in the same Postal District could be franked at 10c or sent postage due for 15c.

The local port from Paris to Paris had already had the franking bonus since 1 July 1853.

Obviously, the same causes produced the same effects, and local franked letters soon became more numerous.

Moreover, until September 1871, the local rate itself had been the same since 1830. With the end of the Franco-Prussian war and the government's need to pay for the expenses incurred as a result of the defeat, postal rates increased for both local and territorial mail. Finally, on 1 January 1876, a new and final local rate was introduced. As in 1863, it was not the rates that changed, but the weight scale.

The local postal rates ended on 31 March 1878, with the unification of the territorial and local postal rates on 1 April 1878.

Letters circulating in the commune of the post office

1863: Letter up to 10 g from and to LANDRECIES.

1863: Letter up to 10 g franked at 10 c from and to BOUCHAIN (rates of 01/01/1863).

1871: Letter from and to LE CATEAU franked at 10 c with 2 Bordeaux type 5 c stamps.

1871: Letter weighing less than 10g from and to JEUMONT, franked with a 10c Siege of Paris type. This stamp was issued on 11 October 1870, but was not sent to the Departments until February 1871. It was used without a supplement on local mail until 31 August 1871. On 1st September, the local rate for a single letter was increased to 15c.

1876: Letter up to 15 g franked at 15 c from and to LE CATEAU (rates of 01/01/1876).

1877: Letter from and to DOUAI franked at 15 c.

1866: Letter up to 20 g franked at 00 c from and to ROUBAIX (rates of 01/01/1863).

Postage-paid letters circulating between 2 post offices in the same town

1865: Letter weighing up to 20g and franked at 20c from MOULINLILLE to LILLE. Letters circulating within the same town and even between 2 post offices benefited from local postage.

1873: Letter up to 10 g franked at 15 c (rate of 01/09/1871). This letter was put in the mailbox at the LILLE station post office. However, all letters placed in this mailbox should normally have left by train and therefore should not have been bound for LILLE itself. In this particular case, the letter was bound for the FIVES district (which has a post office). The letter was therefore taken back to the head post office, which cancelled the postage stamp, as the station post office did not have a numeral cancel.

1876: Letter franked at 15 c (rate of 01/01/1876) from the branch post office of Quartier PLACE ST MARTIN, for the rural commune of ST ANDRE LES LILLE, which was in the rural district of the LILLE head post office. From 1876, the type of postage stamp changed. The Ceres gave way to the SAGE type.

Letters deposited in mobile boxes at railway stations and collected by railway post offices for the town where the station was located ran the additional risk of being mistakenly taxed as territorial letters with insufficient postage. Since 15 September 1855, the Administration had required railway post office clerks to apply the name of the station where the letter had been collected. The words "Boîte de..." (Box of.....) are often found. Monthly bulletin no. 70 of 1861 reiterates this rule.

1871: Letters mailed in the branch post offices to rural communities in the rural district of a head post office also benefited from local postage.

Letter mailed at the PLACE ST MARTIN branch post office to the hamlet of THUMESNIL (hamlet in the commune of FACHES) served by the LILLE head post office.

1868: Letter franked at 10 c (rate of 01/01/1863) placed in the mobile box at LILLE station and processed by the LILLE-PARIS railway post office. The letter being for the district of FIVES and in order that it is not taxed, the clerk indicated the mention "Boite de Lille".

1875: Letter franked at 15 c (rate of 01/09/1871) from LILLE to FIVES.

The top left corner of the letter is marked "Boite Lille".

1872: Letter weighing up to 20 g and franked at 25 c from the Place St MARTIN district to the FIVES district in LILLE.

Postage paid letters circulating in the rural district of a post office

1871: Letter from BERGUES to the village of STEENE in the same rural district. This letter was thrown into the mobile box at BERGUES station.

All letters in this box had to use the DUNKERQUE-HAZEBROUCK line and were taken in charge by the railway post clerk of this line.

However, STEENE (a municipality belonging to rural district of BERGUES) is not on this line. As a result, the letter travelled by train to HAZEBROUCK, where it was delivered to the station post office and then to the HAZEBROUCK head post office, which cancelled the stamp. This letter was then given to the railway postal clerk which was going in the direction HAZEBROUCK DUNKERQUE. On arrival at BERGUES, the letter was finally delivered to its addressee by the rural postman serving STEENE.

This letter therefore travelled a territorial route even though it was local.

1867: Letter weighing up to 10 g from COUSOLRE to BOUSIGNIES, picked up and delivered to the addressee by the rural postman during his round (OR stamp).

This letter comes from COUSOLRE, which has had a post office since 1864.

The COUSOLRE post office served 4 rural communes. It is likely that the rural postman was also the local postman and that he delivered mail both to the rural communes and to the town where the post office was based.

1870: Letter from the village of SAULZOIR to SOLESMES.

This letter weighing more than 10 g was franked at 20 c (rates of 01/01/1863).

1870: Letter up to 10 g franked at 10 c from AULNOYE (letter-stamp D) to PONT SUR SAMBRE.

1878: Letter posted at DOUAI for the rural commune of CUINCY.

Postage at 15 c for a letter up to 10 g (rate of 01/01/1876).

Letters circulating between 2 rural districts of the same Postal District

1869: Letter placed in the mailbox at VALENCIENNES station and addressed to TRITH-ST-LEGER. These two towns are part of the same postal district. Letters placed in station boxes were not normally intended for the town where the station was located, or even for the Postal District of that town. In this case, the postal clerk at VALENCIENNES station, realising that the letter was bound for TRITH, applied his date stamp to the letter and placed it in a dispatch for the VALENCIENNES head post office, which cancelled the stamps.

1869: Letter from FRESNES SUR ESCAUT for VIEUX CONDE situated in the Postal District of CONDE.