Free Front - J.D. Jackson, Cork to The Goldsmiths' Company

Antique & vintage paperwork relating to the silver trade
dognose
Site Admin
Posts: 36538
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:53 pm
Location: England

Free Front - J.D. Jackson, Cork to The Goldsmiths' Company

Postby dognose » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:26 pm

A 'Free Front' from J.D. Jackson of Cork to the Prime Warden and Wardens of the Goldsmiths' Company at London, dated the 9th April 1838:

Image

The privilege of free franking was held by four classes: Members of Parliament; peers sitting in the House of Lords; archbishops and bishops sitting in the House of Lords; office-holders, largely as stipulated by Acts of Parliament. The privilege ceased on the 9th January 1840, coinciding with the introduction of the postage stamp and penny post. The fronts were collected as an autograph collection as, to meet the requirements of free franking, the inscription of post town and date had to be in the individuals own handwriting, and his signature had to appear.

The letter was sent by Joseph Devonsher Jackson (b. 23rd June 1783 — d. 19th December 1857) to the Prime Warden and Wardens of the Goldsmiths' Company, Goldsmiths' Hall, London, via Waterford. Joseph Devonsher Jackson was an Irish Conservative MP in the United Kingdom Parliament and subsequently a Judge. He was the eldest son of Strettell Jackson of Peterborough, County Cork. He attended Trinity College, Dublin, before being called to the Irish Bar. He was the Queen's Second Serjeant for Ireland. He held the office of Chairman of County Londonderry sessions, which he resigned to seek election to Parliament. He was MP for Bandon in 1835-1841. On 10 November 1841 he was appointed Solicitor-General for Ireland. He was also made a member of the Privy Council of Ireland. This preferment had the effect of vacating his Parliamentary seat. Instead of seeking re-election in Bandon, Jackson stood for Dublin University. He represented that seat between the 11th February 1842 and the 9th September 1842. He was then appointed a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas (Ireland) 1842-1848. So he could take up the judicial post he resigned his Parliamentary seat by accepting the Chiltern Hundreds.

I've often wondered what the content of the letter may have been. If its content was hallmarking related, then why did Jackson not direct his enquiry to the Dublin Company? I am not aware of any particularly significant event in 1838 that affected the silver trade.

Any thoughts?

Trev.

MCB
moderator
Posts: 2135
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:43 pm
Location: UK

Re: Free Front - J.D. Jackson, Cork to The Goldsmiths' Compa

Postby MCB » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:37 am

Trev.
Some thoughts on why the letter went via Waterford and why to London.
First a little background on the Post Office: street post boxes didn’t generally exist at the time and the Post Office organisation was based on the sender of a letter visiting, or paying a carter to take it to, a local office. The letters were transported by road from there to a centralised sorting centre.
The way the letter is addressed suggests it was practice for the sender to designate the sorting office they wanted to handle the item (there would have been far fewer than nowadays). Jackson’s parliamentary constituency was in County Cork; the letter was sent from Cork. It would probably have had a sorting office but may generally have been known to be less efficient than the one in Waterford, perhaps being less well connected with the mail packet boats to take a letter across the sea to London. As he was enjoying free postage any additional Post Office charges for transportation of the letter from Cork to Waterford wouldn't concern him.
As Jackson was a member of the Bar he could have been involved in attendance at Court Sessions throughout Ireland. As you speculate, particularly in view of his high standing, this may have included prosecutions on behalf of the state. It would be interesting to discover whether he attended an Irish Court in 1838 for a case involving the Hallmarking Acts which might have required opinion by the London Goldsmiths, the governing bodies historically being known to have less faith in the abilities of the provincial offices.
Of course he might have discovered in Cork (perish the thought) items of silverware with no Duty marks and, as an MP, considered that someone else in authority should "do something about it". Compliance seems nevertheless to have been slow in being achieved.

Mike

dognose
Site Admin
Posts: 36538
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:53 pm
Location: England

Re: Free Front - J.D. Jackson, Cork to The Goldsmiths' Compa

Postby dognose » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:47 pm

Hi Mike,

Many thanks for the added information.

The possibility that Jackson was maybe seeking advice regarding hallmarking irregularities is indeed intriguing.

Regards, Trev.


Return to “Ephemera”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron