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Robert Wallace, M.P., and James Chalmers
The Scottish Postal Reformers



While Philatelists throughout the world are now celebrating the jubilee year of the introduction of the Adhesive Postage Stamp, it is especially fitting that Dundee, its birthplace, should take part in the celebration, and most gratifying to find that such is your intention. I consequently avail myself of this opportunity to publish some "Letters, Press Articles, and Recognitions" having reference to James Chalmers, the originator of this stamp, the perusal of which will, I am satisfied, be gratifying to you and to his countrymen in general; for you will perceive that in every land to which the use of this stamp has spread, the name of that Dundee postal reformer is now widely recognised, and ever increasingly so, as that of the man to whom this world-wide boon is owing. Scotland, moreover, possesses another name well worthy of remembrance this jubilee year of our great postal reform that of Robert Wallace, of Kelly, M.P. for Greenock, who, by years of persistent labours in and out of Parliament, gathered together the principles of, and prepared the public mind for, that scheme of reform subsequently introduced by Sir Rowland Hill; but which scheme was rightly looked upon as impracticable until saved and carried out by the invention and happy proposal of James Chalmers of the Adhesive Stamp many years before the Penny Postage Bill was brought forward.

Permit me further to call your attention, in Part II. of this publication, to the appeal I have ventured to make to the noble Lords, the Members of Parliament, the Provosts, and other leading men connected with Scotland, for the purpose of drawing attention to the services of these Scottish postal reformers at this juncture, and to arouse some sympathetic aid in my efforts to vindicate their memory. My appeal has already borne fruit in having produced a valuable response on the part of the influential Scotchman now conducting the Liverpool Daily Post; while it would be wrong to doubt that other patriotic minds and the Scottish Press in general will yet come forward to claim the share in this work to which the land north of the Tweed is entitled. What said the most prominent of theae noble Lords some time ago when addressing the Edinburgh students? "Above all, my young friends, be Scotch" that is, "Cherish the traditions of your country; add to them if you can," a favourable opportunity for doing which now presents itself to the Scottish Press and public.

Your Philatelic Exhibition in Dundee will do much to bring about this more extended recognition of the names and services of these benefactors in having obtained for the nation penny postage reform.

By your kind permission the same display of Chakners' early stamps to be exhibited by me here, along with his plan and letter, the model from which the first English stamp was taken and in use to this day, will be likewise exhibited at Dundee, with the additions of his likeness from all quarters of the globe.

I remain, DEAR SIRS,
Yours very faithfully,

You can read this book here in pdf format

See also...

Her Majesty's Mails
History of the Post Office and an Industrial Account of its Present Condition by William Lewins of the General Post Office, second edition (1865) (pdf)

Banks for Savings in Great Britain and Ireland
Including a full account of the origin and progress of Mr Gladstone's Financial Measures for Post Office Banks, Govrnment Annuities, and Government Life Insurance by William Lewins (pdf)

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