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Guest post: Brain fever kills travelling businessman, by Richard Tisdale

1801 Brain fever kills travelling businessman Sitting in the graveyard of St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury is a curious headstone. It belongs to a man called Benjamin Beach. But it doesn’t contain just the usual religious platitudes you’d expect to find – it tells the story of the poor man’s sad and painful demise at one of the town’s most popular inns. You have to look closely and carefully to read what’s written as years’ of weathering has taken its toll

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Postboxes

Postboxes are magical little things, full of surprises untold. Perhaps you’ll find a letter from a loved one or a package of treats inside. And just like their interior contents, their exterior appearances can also vary widely. We found a lovely spread of different postboxes from around the world. And do you know who we have to thank for even having postboxes in the UK? Read on to discover! (Click images to enlarge.) ‘The bag, which has a metal edging

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Mail train incidents

From its inception to the present day, the transportation and delivery of the Royal Mail has experienced quite the evolution. Its vehicles for transportation have, over the years, made headlines. Sadly, they were not necessarily good headlines to make; from accidents to robberies, our newspapers tell it all. The infamous Great Train Robbery of 1963 received particular attention in the newspapers. The robbery was the largest of its kind, with more than £2 million stolen from a Royal Mail train.

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Stationery

One of the best parts of sending mail is in acquiring all your stationery needs. From pens to paper and envelopes to writing desks, there were many stationery items showcased in newspaper adverts over the years. Newspapers could keep their readers abreast on the latest developments in stationery, and the latest in homonym jokes! (Click on an image to enlarge) The latest thing in stationery is an envelope that is its own letter-book. Each envelope is attached by perforations to

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Post office evolution

Where would we be without post offices! Believe it or not, but post offices did not always exist. You can learn about their origins in The British Newspaper Archive. You may also discover details about your local post office — when it opened or when previous iterations closed! Among detailing the post office’s evolution, the above article also includes an anecdote that relates to a time when the recipient of a letter was obliged to pay the postage:   ‘The

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Postage stamp appreciation

The love of stamps is no joke; those dedicated to such a love are known as philatelists, and the study of those delicate bits of paper is called philately. Newspapers may not be an obvious source for researching stamps, but they can, in fact, offer a glimpse into the history and evolution of stamps in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. We’ve found a few examples to showcase what treasures you can discover in the historic newspapers on The British Newspaper

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#RoyalWeddings recap

Elizabeth and Philip

With Prince Harry’s wedding underway today, we’re sharing all our posts from this past week’s #RoyalWeddings theme. (With a few extras thrown in!) Enjoy! Tickets for royal weddings are nothing new, as we see from this notice about the wedding of the Princess Royal to the Prince of Orange in 1734 A description of George III’s German bride in 1761 Her Majesty is of middle stature, at present rather what may be called short than tall, but as she is

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