Postage stamps and postal history of the Straits Settlements

The Straits Settlements of the Malayan Peninsula have a distinct postal history from the other Malayan areas.

Mail was originally handled privately by passing ships; the earliest known postal markings date from around 1806, used by a post office on Prince of Wales Island (now Penang). Service was regularized in 1837 by the Indian Post Office Act; postage stamps of India were used from 1854, the Settlements being considered part of the "Bengal circle", then from 1861 part of the "Burma circle". The cancellations used were B109 at Malacca, B147 at Penang, and B172 at Singapore.

When the Settlements became a crown colony in 1867, they began issuing their own stamps, not least because they adopted a currency based on 96 cents to a silver dollar. for the Settlements started arriving in December; they are notable for a prominent white frame around the profile of Victoria, inscribed "STRAITS SETTLEMENTS POSTAGE". The set of nine values, 2c to 96c, appeared gradually, with the 30c value not being issued until 1872.

Shortages from 1879 through 1882 forced the production of various surcharges, until new 5c and 10c stamps arrived in January 1882. This was not the end of difficulties, and additional surcharges appear regularly until the end of the century.

In 1892, stamps of the key plate issues went on sale, a number of them printed in two colors. A notable feature of this issue is the $5 stamp issued in 1898.

The accession of King Edward VII necessitated new stamps in 1902, still in a key plate design, supplemented in 1903 with a design using oval vignette. In 1907, the remainder of the stamps of Labuan were overprinted "STRAITS SETTLEMENTS.", some with new denominations, and in 1910 new large-format stamps appeared with values of $25 and $500 (although available for postage, their usual use was fiscal).

George V replaced his father on stamps beginning in 1912, reusing frames and only replacing vignettes. These stamps were overprinted in 1922 to mark the Malaya-Borneo Exhibition. The Settlements also joined in the Silver Jubilee for George V in 1935.

The last issue of the Settlements was for George VI beginning in 1937.

In March 1942, Japan issued stamps for their occupation, made by overprinting existing stamps with Japanese inscriptions.

After the Japanese left in 1945, the British military administration issued provisionals by overprinting Straits Settlements stamps with "BMA / MALAYA". These were available everywhere in Malaya, and used until regular postage stamp printing was organized, as late as 1951 in the case of Kelantan.


* Stanley Gibbons Ltd: various catalogues
* [ Encyclopaedia of Postal History]
* Stuart Rossiter & John Flower: "The Stamp Atlas"
* [ British Malaya Security Markings: Firm Chops, PERFINS, Forwarding Agents Chops etc.]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Postage stamps and postal history of China — The history of the postage stamps and postal history of China is complicated by the gradual decay of Imperial China and the years of civil war and Japanese occupation in the 1930s and 1940s. Contents 1 Imperial China 2 Revolution and republic 2.1 …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Thailand — This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of the Thailand (formerly known as Siam).Before postal serviceBefore the establishment of postal service in 1884, the availability of mail service is rather limited, mostly to the royals.… …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Nepal — A corner block of eight Nepali stamps from 1881. This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Nepal …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Malaysia — A 1905 stamp of Malaya. This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Malaysia. Contents 1 History …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Bangkok — The earliest recorded mail from Bangkok dates back only to 1836 when American missionary Dan Beach Bradley sent a letter to his father in a stampless cover. The British Consular Post Office in Bangkok was established by Great Britain in 1858 as a …   Wikipedia

  • Straits Settlements — Infobox Former Country native name = Negeri Negeri Selat conventional long name = The Straits Settlements common name = Straits Settlement continent=moved from Category:Asia to Southeast Asia region=Southeast Asia empire=United Kingdom… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Cook Islands — Pa te Pou Ariki, Chief of the Takitumu tribe, Rarotonga (c. 1837) The Cook Islands are named after Captain James Cook, who visited the islands in 1773 and 1777.[1] The Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, administrative… …   Wikipedia

  • List of entities that have issued postage stamps (M - Z) — ;See also : List of entities that have issued postage stamps (A E): List of entities that have issued postage stamps (F L)IntroductionThis is a list of entities that have issued postage stamps at some point since stamps were introduced in 1840.… …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of postal history — NOTOC This is a timeline of significant events in postal history, including dates relating to postage stamps. Sixteenth Century* 1516 – Henry VIII established a Master of the Posts Seventeenth Century * 1635 July 31 – Charles I made the Royal… …   Wikipedia

  • Compendium of postage stamp issuers (La — Each article in this category is a collection of entries about several stamp issuers, presented in alphabetical order. The entries are formulated on the micro model and so provide summary information about all known issuers. See the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.