The Postal History of the Kingdom of Carrick
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Presented below are parts of a collection of  The Postal History of the Kingdom of Carrick. The collection whose earliest piece is dated 1697 spans all the postal markings and offices of Carrick through to the present day. An exhibit of this collection was shown at Glasgow in November of 2000 by its owner Tom Fowler, former resident of Maybole. The display was awarded a Silver Medal. The images and text below generously contributed by Tom Fowler . See also these postcards and other items.

The Kingdom of Carrick consists the southern area of Ayrshire in Scotland. The area which is mostly rural has its traditional capital in Maybole and Culzean Castle as the home of the Ailsa family and the Earl of Cassillis.

The postal development can be attributed to the fact that the area was on the postal route from Glasgow to Portpatrick. Portpatrick was important due to the shipping links to Donhaghadee in Ireland. The early posts were carried by the carrier system which consisted in the main of private contractors. There is evidence that one or more were based at the Kings Arms Hotel.

The postal history of the area can logically be split between Maybole, Girvan and Ballantrae. All had sub offices serving them, Penny Posts and were issued through the years with the complete set of postal markings. Through the years offices have opened and closed and postal markings changed until finally the indignity of a Glasgow postmark on mail originating in Carrick has brought us up to date. Maybole had five village sub offices, Girvan two and Ballantrae had two.

The illustrations below are of Maybole only but the complete display runs to hundreds of sheets.

Click on the images below for a full page view of them

Maybole 1 - Letter written to Ayr on 10th August 1697 at Ballachbroe by Thomas Kilhart. The letter has no postal markings.

maybole1.jpg (147493 bytes)

Maybole 3 - Letter from A Ferguson of Kilkerran, on 29 August 1778, to Thomas Stewart, secretary of the Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh. Postal Marking; Maybole , Type 2, 1778 - 1807. Letter carries no postal rate markings.

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Maybole 2 - Letter from John Bryce to Ayr on 27 February 1769. Postal Marking ; Maybole, Type 1, 1746 - 1769. The script 2 is for the single letter rate under 50 miles by the 1711 act.

maybole2.jpg (24667 bytes)

Maybole 4 - Letter from Mary Benning of Machramore, on 12 June 1808, to T McLellan at Ayr. Postal Marking; Maybole Circular Mileage Mark 449G, 1808 to 1818. Script 4 for single rate less than 15 miles. (The mileage 449 is the calculated distance between Maybole and London, the G denotes the calculation is made via Glasgow.)

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Maybole 5 - Letter from N Blair of Blairquhan nr Straiton to Mr Agnew of Stewarton. Postal Marking Maybole Penny Post two line mark, 1831 - 1840 plus boxed Additional 1/2 Tax mark. During the Penny Post the Maybole sub offices were Crosshill, Dailly, Kirkmichael and Straiton. ( Since the mail coaches and post riders were exempt from toll charges the turnpike trust agitated in parliament to repeal the law which denied them revenue. The Act passed in 1813 applied only to Scotland which allowed the Post Office to levy an extra 1/2 penny tax on mail carried in vehicles with more that two wheels.)

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Maybole 6 - Block of four 2d Blue adhesives with the 243 cancel of Maybole. Each post office was issued with a number on an alphabetical basis. Ballantrae is 33 and Girvan 158.

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Maybole 7 - Letter from Mr Rodger , on 15 April 1841, to John Wilson, Writer, Ayr. Cover bears an indistinct Maltese Cross canceller cancelling a plate 8 Penny Black.

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