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Bermuda Stamps and Postal History

Bermuda Flag. Bermuda Stamps

Bermuda History

Bermuda George V 2 shilling The island is first mentioned on a Spanish map dated 1503. A Spanish adventurer, Juan de Bermúdez landed on the island in 1515. No permanent settlement was made by the Spaniards.

150 English settlers en route to Jamestown were shipwrecked on Bemuda on 28 July 1609 and stayed there till May 1610 before they continued their journey to Virgina. Their vessel the "Sea Venture" was captained by Admiral Sir George Somers. Ignorant of the fact that Bermúdez had previously discoverd the islands they named it "The Somers Islands". Sir George Somers returned to the island soon afterward for food to relieve a severe famime in Jamestown. He died on the island on this trip.

A group of 150 English settlers arrived on the island in July 1612 and settled in what is now St George. St George is the oldest existing English settlement in the Western Hemisphere. The government of the colony passed to the British Crown in 1684.

Bermuda Postal History

Letters, with no postal markings, are known from Bermuda from 1660.

The first local postal service was a private one organised by James Stockdale, proprietor of the Bermuda Gazette, in 1784. On 31 January 1784 a notice appeared in the Bermuda Gazette to announce the start of the new postal service. An act that was passed on 8 May 1812 established the first official postal system and for a brief period the two services competed against each other until 1818.

William Bennet Perot, who was made postmaster in 1818, introduced the now famous "Perot" handstamped provisional stamps in 1848 and in doing so made Bermuda the sixth postal authority in the world to issue postage stamps. The first stamps to be printed, by De la Rue and Co, were introduced on 25 September 1865.

Bermuda joined the UPU on 1 April 1877. The first postal stationery to be introduced in Bermuda were postcards in 1880. These were printed at the offices of the Royal Gazette. They were then placed on sale with an adhesive stamp affixed. Postcards with a printed indicium were first made available in 1885. This was followed by registered envelopes in 1892 and newspaper wrappers in 1903. Air letters or aerogrammes were first issued on 2 July 1945


Philatelic Societies for Collectors of Bermuda Stamps & Postal History

Bermuda George V 12 shilling and 6 pence Bermuda Collectors Society (USA)
The Bermuda Collectors Society (BCS) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the study and exchange of information concerning all aspects of Bermuda philately. Since its founding in 1986, the Society has grown to a worldwide membership of over 200.

British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group (USA)
The main goal of the British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group is to promote interest in, and research into, the stamps and postal history of the British Caribbean area.

British West Indies Study Circle (UK)
Promote interest in and the study of the STAMPS and POSTAL HISTORY of the islands that comprise the BRITISH WEST INDIES and in addition Bermuda, British Guiana (Guyana) and British Honduras (Belize) and the Postal History and Markings of other British interests in the Caribbean, and Central or South America.


New Issues of Bermuda Stamps

The Philatelic Bureau Bermuda General Post Office
Hamilton HM PM Bermuda.


Selected pages on Bermuda Stamps and Bermuda Postal History

Bermuda George VI One Pound Information and Resources for Bermuda Stamps
A dedicated website for Bermuda Stamps.

Forged Stamps of Bermuda
by Morten Munck
Details of some of the known forgeries of Bermuda stamps.

Bermuda Early History is in its Postage Stamps
Beautiful stamps are a serious business for Bermuda Post Office. The Island’s colorful stamps not only serve as payment for postage, they generate extra revenue thanks to legions of collectors around the world. It is a feather in the cap for Bermuda Post Office (BPO) that its stamps are so eagerly anticipated and collected by people around the world.

Bermuda Stamps and Postal History

Postage stamps and postal history of Bermuda
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Falmouth Packets
by Julian H Jones, TPO & Seapost Society

Revenue stamps of Bermuda
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bermuda 1950 Provisional Newspaper Wrappers
from Stamp Domain
When the newspaper rate was increased on 1 Dec 1950 from ¼d to ½d per 2 ounces for inland and to 1d per 2 ounces for overseas, provisional oval franks were used to make up the new rates on the ¼d brown KGVI newspaper wrappers.

International Postage Meter Stamp Catalog/Bermuda
The earliest known meter usage in Bermuda is from 1949

Wanderings of a Philatelist
by the Rev W G Iremonger
(from Gibbons' Stamp Monthly Vol III, pp 223-225, September 1930)
BERMUDA, or, to give the islands their correct name, the Bermudas, are a group of islands to the number of about three hundred, lying in mid-Atlantic, about 580 miles from the nearest land in North Carolina; only some fifteen of them are inhabited. The main island, Great Bermuda, is fourteen miles long from south-west to north-east, and a mile wide in most parts. lt resembles in shape an open snap-hook, with its mouth towards the west, and the eye to the north-east.....


Bermuda Numerical Postmarks

Horizontal Oval (introduced 1865)
1  - St George's
2  - Hamilton
3  - Ireland Island
4  - Mangrove Bay
5  - Paget East
6  - Paget West
7  - Warwick East
8  - Warwick West
9  - Southampton East
10 - Southampton West
11 - Somerset Bridge
12 - Bailey's Bridge
13 - Crawl
14 - Harrington Sound
15 - Flatts
Vertical Oval (introduced 1879)
1  - Hamilton
2  - St George's
3  - Ireland Island
4  - Mangrove Bay
5  - Paget East
6  - Paget West
7  - Warwick East
8  - Warwick West
9  - Southampton East
10 - Southampton West
11 - Somerset Bridge
12 - Bailey's Bridge
13 - Crawl
14 - Harrington Sound
15 - Flatts
16 - Devonshire North
17 - Devonshire South
18 - St David's
19 - St George's West


Books on Bermuda Stamps and Bermuda Postal History

Bermuda George VI 10 shilling The Airmails of Bermuda 1925-1989: A Specialized Catalogue and Illustrated Price List
by William J Clark, published by Havemayer Press, 1990 (First Edition), 68pp; 1991 (Second Edition), 76pp; 1992 (Third Edition), 76pp

Air Mails of Bermuda
by Norman Cecil Baldwin, published by F J Field, 1967, 16pp

A Beginning Collection of Bar and Duplex Cancels on the Victorian Stamps of Bermuda
by David R Pitts, published by Mimeo, May 1998, 58pp

Bermuda: The 1910-36 "Ship" Type Stamps
by Morris Hoadley Ludington, published by Junior Philatelic Society, 1955, 35pp.

Bermuda by Air - A Handbook and Catalog of Bermuda Aerophilately
by Charles E Cwiakala; editor Robert W Dickgiesser, published by Bermuda Catalog Project, 1996, 141pp, ISBN 0965201708

Bermuda Civil Censorship World War I
by Stewart Jessop, published by British West Indies Study Circle, 2006, 44pp

Bermuda, the Handstruck Stamps & Cancellations
by Morris Hoadley Ludington, published by Robson Lowe, 1956, 40pp

Bermuda King George VI High Values - A Guide to the Flaws & Printings
by Robert W Dickgiesser, published by Triad Publications, 1980, 59pp

Bermuda George VI 2 shilling and 6 pence Bermuda Mails to 1865. An Inventory of the Postal Markings
by Michel Forand and Charles Freeland, published by British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group, 1995, 118pp
Some 650 entries; Date stamps, Paid Stamps, Ship Letter and Forwarding Agents. Packet arrival and departure dates for 1827, 1842-50 and 1850-54. Postal rates and an overview of the pre 1820 postal history.

The Bermuda Packet Mails and the Halifax Bermuda Mail Service 1806 to 1886
by John C Arnell and Morris Hoadley Ludington, published by the Postal History Society, 1989, 161pp, ISBN 0853770190
Gives details of dates of departure and arrival of each mail packet

Bermuda: The Post Office, Postal Markings and Adhesive Stamps
by Morris Hoadley Ludington, published by Robson Lowe, 1962, 297pp + 51 plates
Addenda and Corrigenda, 1966, 4pp
Supplement, published by Robson Lowe, 1968, 38pp + 14 plates

Bermuda Registration Labels
by Brad Arch, 1993, 24pp
Illustrations of the numerous types with period of use and catalog numbers.

Bermuda: A Study of the King George VI High Value Definitives - 12/6 Perf. 14
by Wilson C K Wong, published by King George VI Collectors Society, 1989, 46pp

Bermuda Specialized Catalogue, Stamps and Postal History, 1812-1970Br> by D Cordon & M Forand (editors), 2012

British Empire Civil Censorship Devices, World War II, Trinidad and Tobago
by Ron Wike, published by Civil Censorship Study Group, 1994, 80pp, ISBN 1872744117
Development, organization of the censor stations, the markings, labels, seals, permits, instructional markings and security devices, also covers censor numbers allocated to Jamaica and Bermuda.

Bermuda George VI 2 shilling Encyclopaedia of British Empire Postage Stamps 1939-1953 Vol V, Bermuda & British Honduras
by Robson Lowe, published by Robson Lowe, 1973, 104pp, ISBN 0853973245

First Flights of Bermuda & British Caribbean FAM Route
by Charles E Cwiakala, published by British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group, c1982, 35pp

The Furness Line to Bermuda
by Morris Hoadley Ludington and Michael R Rego, published by British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group, 1991, 60pp

The History of the Sailing Packets to the West Indies
by Leonard E Britnor, published by BWI Study Circle, 1973, 172pp

Intercepted in Bermuda: The Censorship of Transatlantic Mail during the Second World War
by Peter A Flynn, published by Collectors' Club of Chicago, 2006, 254pp, ISBN 0916675157
Mail travelling between the U.S. and Europe was censored in Bermuda. This work provides the history of the censorship service. Includes markings, usages, censor tapes, earliest and latest know usages of markings and tapes. Bermuda became the world’s largest transit censorship operation with a peak examiner strength of about 700 in July 1941.

The King George V High Value Stamps of Bermuda 1917-38
by Myles Glazer, self published, 1994, 224pp, ISBN 0964496909

The King George VI issue for Bermuda - the 1/2d to 1/6 values: an attempt to examine and evaluate new evidence
by Frank R Saunders, published by King George VI Collectors Society, 1970, 16pp

The King George VI Large Key Type Stamps of Bermuda, Leeward Islands, Nyasaland
by Robert W Dickgiesser and Eric P Yendall, published by Triad Publications, 1985, 183pp

The King George VI Large Key Type Revenue and Postage High Value Stamps, 1937-1953
by Eric P Yendall, published by Royal Philatelic Society, London, 2008, 368pp
The book deals with the KGVI high-value postage stamps of Bermuda, Leeward Islands and Nyasaland, as well as the high-value revenue stamps of Ceylon; Nyasaland; Straits Settlements, Malacca, Malaya, Penang and Singapore; and Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda. A detailed study of the stamps, varieties, postage rates and usages.

The Postage Stamps of Bermuda
by Bertram W. H Poole, published by D. Field, 1911, 39pp

The Postage Stamps of Bermuda
with chapters on Postal Stationery
by Henry Robert Holmes, published by Johnson, 1932, 93pp

Postal History and Stamps of Bermuda
by Morris Hoadley Ludington, published by Quarterman Publications, 1978, 446pp
Includes bibliographical references and an index. This is a revision of the author's 1962 book "Bermuda: the Post Office, postal markings and adhesive stamps" and its 1968 Supplement together with additional new material.

The Postal History of Bermuda
by Edward B Proud, published by E B Proud Ltd, 2003, 432pp
Postal History of Blockade Running through Bermuda During the American Civil War 1861-65
by Morris Hoadley Ludington, published by British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group, 1996, 50pp

Regular Sea Communications with Bermuda to 1914
by Morris Hoadley Ludington, Reprinted from Bermuda Historical Quarterly, 1979, 12pp

The Royal Mail Steam Packets to Bermuda and the Bahamas 1842-1859
by Morris Hoadley Ludington and Geoffrey A Osborn, published by Robson Lowe, 1971, 24pp, ISBN 085397019X

A Study of the Printings of the King George VI Key-Type High Values of Bermuda, Leeward Islands & Nyasaland
by Eric P Yendall, published by King George VI Collectors Society, 1983, 21pp

West Indian Censorship Devices
by Geoffrey Graham Ritchie (ed), published by Roses Caribbean Philatelic Society, 1977, 105pp
In addition to Bermuda, contains articles on Bahamas, Barbados, British Guiana, British Honduras, Cayman Islands, French West Indies, Grenada, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, St. Lucia and St. Vincent.

The Bermuda Post Office Bicentennial — 1812 to 2012
by Liz Jones, published 2012
Local postal history experts such as Horst Augustinovic helped with the book by providing examples of relevant philately. There is also including in the book a series of pen and ink drawings of Bermuda post offices drawn by retired postman Andrew Furbert.
Book Review
by The Royal Gazzette


Articles in Magazines and Journals

February 1950 issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly pp 66-68
THE POST IN BERMUDA by Harold G D Gisburn
Article covers the history of the discovery and settlement of the island, its early postal history and details of how Bermuda is serviced with overseas mail at the time of writing.