Saturday 12 June 2010

Weekend Mailbox #9 Marriage Lines

My parents' marriage certificate

Stamps were not always used solely for the payment of postage. Legal documents were often stamped.  It was a legal requirement that any bill over £2 had to be certified as paid by the addition of a 2d stamp. Anyone who gave a receipt for an amount of £2 or more without a stamp would be liable to a fine of £10. Marriage and birth certificates were aso stamped but cost less than £2 and so carried a 1d stamp. Stamp duties had been extant from the 17th century but this particular stamp duty was abolished in 1971.
My maternal grandparents' marriage certificate 1896

My paternal grandparents were married in 1898 but this copy of their  certificate was  issued in February 1915. My paternal grandfather died when his ship, HMS Bulwark, blew up and sank off Sheerness, Kent. Interestingly the stamp has been affixed on its side.

My mother always referred to her marriage certificate as her 'marriage lines' and kept it in an envelope labelled thus along with her parents' and her in-laws' certificates after their deaths.
Thanks go as ever to Gemma from 'Greyscale Territory' who organises and hosts this meme. To see more Weekend Mailboxes' please click here.


  1. Interesting to learn about other required uses for stamps. Interesting documents from your family history, too.

  2. I have learnt something! I did not realise that the term "stamp duty" obnce actually involved a stamp! Fascinating family documents! What an incredible keepsake! Thank you so much for posting this! Very interesting!

    As for your comment on my mailbolxes, you are seeing 2 mailboxes for one house. The house number is 21. I have never seen such a thing before.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. What an interesting thing to learn. I've never heard of 'stamp duty' before!

    And what amazing wonderful keepsakes you have with these certificates. Wow.


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