Prior to 1 January 1901 the inland newspaper postage rate was free and the overseas rate was 1d per 4 ounces.
On 1 January 1901 the inland rate was changed to ¼d per 4 ounces and the overseas rate was changed to ½d per 4 ounces.
This created a need for newspaper wrappers and it took till early 1903 before supplies were delivered. All Bermuda postal stationery newspaper wrappers were printed by De La Rue, London.
All the wrappers printed by De La Rue for Bermuda were 125mm x 300mm in size.
26 February 1903
Two newspaper wrappers were issued on 26 February 1903, a ¼d brown and a ½d green, with a design based on the KEVII Great Seal of Bermuda. Depicting a three deck ship at the entrance of a dock with gates and two other ships in the background.
Supplies of these two wrappers were received in Bermuda on 24 February 1903; consisting of 201,510 ¼d wrappers and 99,720 ½d wrappers.
Indicia for the ¼d brown and for the ½d green newspaper wrappers
Wrappers were overprinted SPECIMEN by De la Rue.
At that time a total of 721 copies of each was required to be sent to the UPU for distribution to the UPU member countries (5 copies each) and for the UPU.
Bermuda ¼d Newspaper Wrapper used locally on 8 June 1903.
Bermuda ½d Newspaper Wrapper used in 1907 to Vienna in Austria. Addressed to a Josef Müller. This wrapper is a neatly folded philatelic item, the flap has full gum which has not been stuck.
Is there any connection here to the famous Austrian philatelist
In 1912 a ¼d wrapper with a new design was issued depicting a Caravel Sailing Ship. The wrapper is believed to have been issued in January 1912, the actual date of issue is unknown.
Indicium for the ¼d brown newspaper wrapper issued in 1912
Bermuda ¼d Newspaper Wrapper used on 24 January 1912. This is the earliest known useage of this newspaper wrapper.
The ¼d brown caravel design newspaper wrapper also exists with a SPECIMEN overprint same as the 1903 issue wrappers. The required number to be sent in 1912 was 400; 3 copies for each UPU member country plus copies for the UPU.
ERROR in OLD CATALOGUES
Siegfried Ascher's catalogue published in 1928 lists a ½d green wrapper as being issued in 1912 with the same design as the ¼d wrapper. This is not correct - die proofs for the ½d wrapper were prepared but no wrappers are known to have been produced.
Bermuda Newspaper wrapper section from Ascher's catalogue.
The inclusion of an illustration (which must have come from some other stationery) helped to convince subsequent editors that the ½d wrapper did indeed exist.
Higgins and Gage catalogue, published in 1966, copied this error and listed a ½d green wrapper as being issued in 1912 with the same design as the ¼d wrapper.
In 1913 two new wrappers, a ½d brown and a ¼d green, depicting the Head of King George V were produced and issued. The actual date of issue is unknown.
Indicia for the ¼d brown and the ½d green KGV newspaper wrappers issued in 1913
Bermuda ¼d KGV Newspaper Wrapper used in May 1914
Bermuda ½d KGV Newspaper Wrapper used on 22 January 1915 to New York, USA
Both wrappers also exists with a SPECIMEN overprint same as the previous issues. The required number to be sent in 1913 was 400; 3 copies for each UPU member country plus copies for the UPU.
Two new newspaper wrappers were issued in January 1938 depicting the Head of King George VI.
Indicia for the ¼d brown and the ½d green KGVI newspaper wrappers issued in January 1938
Bermuda ¼d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used in 18 September 1939
Bermuda ½d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used on 23 September 1938 to London
In the early 1940s a local provisional issue was produced by using an oval handstamp, “BERMUDA / ¼d / POSTAGE PAID”, on plain white paper. They are known used in 1943 and 1944.
Presumably these were produced because of a problem in getting supplies from London. The size of the paper was variable but it was about 125mm x 300mm.
SMALL ¼ - 7½mm high (1 points to space between RM)
LARGE ¼ - 8¾mm high (1 points to R, larger serif on 1)
Bermuda 1940s provisional Newspaper Wrapper used on March 1944
The instructions at the top of the wrappers were identical on all wrappers issued in Bermuda from 1903 up and including the 1938 issue. Setting DLR2 as shown below
Setting DLR2 - "l" of enclose in line 3 is below the centre of "w"; "u" of nature is normal font.
Sometime in 1949 the text setting was changed - as shown below.
Setting DLR3 - "l" of enclose in line 3 is below "we"; "u" of nature is bold font, (other differences exist).
Both the ¼d brown and the ½d green KGVI newspaper wrappers were issued with text setting DLR3 sometime in 1949.
Bermuda ¼d green text setting DLR3 KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used on 27 April 1949.
Bermuda ½d green text setting DLR3 KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used on 19 Nov 1949. (this is earliest used copy of this wrapper that I have seen)
Provisional Issue, oval frank
(1) - in violet “BERMUDA / ¼d / POSTAGE PAID” to make up the rate to ½d on the 1938 ¼d wrappers;
(2) - in black or violet “BERMUDA / ¼d / POSTAGE PAID” to make up the rate to ½d on the 1949 ¼d wrappers and;
(3) - in black or violet “BERMUDA / ¾d / POSTAGE PAID” to make up the rate to 1d, on the 1949 ¼d wrappers.
The ¼d handstamps appear to be exactly the same ones that were used in 1943/4.
Very few wrappers with text setting DLR2 (the 1938 issue) and the oval frank are known, they are all with the violet small ¼d handstamp.
Bermuda ¼d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper, with text setting DLR2, with the small ¼d handstamp, commercially used in Jan 1951.
The majority of the wrappers with the 1950 handstamp are with text setting DLR3, the 1949 issue.
Bermuda ¼d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper, with text setting DLR3, with the large ¼d handstamp in violet, commercially used on 29 Aug 1950.
Bermuda ¼d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper, with text setting DLR3, with the small ¼d handstamp in black, commercially used on 13 Dec 1950.
Bermuda ¼d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper, with text setting DLR3, with the small ¼d handstamp in violet, commercially used on 5 Jan 1951.
Bermuda ¼d KGVI Newspaper Wrapper with the ¾d handstamp commercially used on 25 Jan 1951.
CTOs on the 1950 issue with handstamp
Wrappers with these oval franks were only supplied to the two daily newspapers on Bermuda - “The Royal Gazette” and “The Mid-Ocean News”.
However many wrappers managed to get into private hands and be cancelled by favour (CTO).
for full details see
Bermuda 1950 Newspaper Wrappers
1950 Bermuda ¾d handstamp on ¼d Grenada wrapper
The 1950 Bermuda ¾d handstamp is also known on a ¼d Grenada wrapper.
Three used examples are known used from St Georges in the latter part of March 1951, all addressed to Mrs Booker.
It is not known why the Grenada ½d green wrapper was franked with the Bermuda ¾d frank. It is possible that they were mixed in by error at the printers, De la Rue.
It is also possible that they are the work of Commander Eric David Bowie who was responsible for the CTO wrappers, which also are mostly postmarked in the latter part of March 1951
In July 1951 a 1d red newspaper wrapper was issued, with the same design as the 1938/1949 wrappers, with the head of King George VI. The exact date of issue is not known
Indicia for the 1d red KGVI newspaper wrappers issued in July 1951
Bermuda 1d red KGVI Newspaper Wrapper used 0n 15 July 1951
Four wrappers depicting the head of Queen Elizabeth II were issued in 1953 or later. Higgins and Gage gives the date of issue as 1953. Ludington, published in 1978, does not mention these wrappers at all.
The earliest used copies I have been able to find are from 1957. Three other colonies had wrappers produced with the same QEII design. British Honduras (Belize) wrappers were issued on 1 June 1954; British Guiana (Guyana) wrappers were issued on 25 Junauary 1956;
and Jamaica where no date is recorded but believed to have been 1954. Taking all these facts into consideration it seems unlikely that the Bermuda wrappers were issued in 1953
Indicia for the ½d green, the 1d black, the 1½d red and the 2d blue QE2 newspaper wrappers issued 1953 or later. See below for earliest known used copies.
Bermuda ½d green QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 2 Apr 1959 (?)
Bermuda 1d black QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 1957 (?)
Bermuda 1½d red QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 10 Jan 1963
Bermuda 2d blue QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 11 Apr 1966
CHANGE OF TEXT SETTING c1965
Sometime about 1965 De la Rue changed the text setting they were using for printing wrappers - as shown below
Text setting DLR5 - d of allowed is below b, other differences also exist
Bermuda 2d blue QEII Newspaper Wrapper with text setting DLR5.
Following the change to decimal currency in Bermuda, in February 1970, a new wrapper was issued. The very last wrapper to be issued in Bermuda, a 3c black with the same design as the 1953 issue. This wrapper was with text setting DLR5.
Indicium for the 3c black QE2 newspaper wrapper issued about 1970
Bermuda 3d black QEII Newspaper Wrapper used 17 Jun 1972
BERMUDA NEWSPAPER WRAPPERS - BIBLIOGRAPHY
Bright & Son’s Catalogue Part II, Postcards Envelopes Wrappers, 1914
Grosser Ganzsachen-Katalog, by Dr Siegfried Ascher, 1928
Higgins & Gage World Postal Stationery Catalogue, 1966/1990
The Encyclopædia of British Empire Postage Stamps Vol V North America, Robson Lowe, 1973
The Postal History and Stamps of Bermuda, by M H Ludington, 1978
Commander Eric David Bowie RN, by David Horry, in the British Caribbean Philatelic Journal No 258, January 2016
There are two articles in magazines which I have not managed to see so far, can anyone help?
1950 Provisional Newspaper Wrapper, by E D Bowie, in Stamp Magazine, 10 May 1952
1950 Provisional Newspaper Wrapper, in Bermuda Post, Issue Number 8, August 1988, Bermuda Collectors Society
Do you know of any other sources of information on Bermuda newspaper wrappers?