World Stamps

Royal Mail commemorates Trollope and the mailbox

Apr 10, 2015, 7 AM


Royal Mail commemorated the bicentenary of Anthony Trollope’s birth in 1815 with what it calls a “limited edition commemorative sheet of stamps.” A novelist and postal worker, Trollope introduced the freestanding public mailbox, known as the pillar box, to Great Britain in 1852, after seeing them in France.

The Trollope pane was issued April 24. It includes 10 nondenominated first-class stamps showing the Union flag with se-tenant labels related to Trollope. One label shows a drawing of one of the first five mailboxes erected in London in 1855.

As part of the Trollope bicentenary celebrations, plaques were attached to five mailboxes in London.

Royal Mail also created an online “family tree” of mailboxes through the ages, with help from the Letter Box Study Group and participated in the British Postal Museum and Archives “Pop it in the Post” exhibition.

The mailbox family tree can be viewed at Information about the exhibition is available online.

Sue Whalley, Royal Mail’s chief operating officer, said: “We are delighted to contribute to this year’s bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Anthony Trollope.  He is well-known as a former Post Office employee and we have him to thank for introducing pillar boxes to the UK.

“Whether in walls, on poles or freestanding, the network of postboxes has grown from Trollope’s time to reach around over 115,000 boxes which are now an iconic feature of communities across the UK.”

The Trollope bicentennial pane is available online.

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