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              The first packet service to the West Indies was organised  by Edward  Dummer in  1702  but the
       effort  involved  had  bankrupted  him  by  1711.  From  then  until  1745  there was  no  packet  service  and
       from  1745 to  1765 it was very' irregular.  From  1765 until  1842 there was a consistent service when  not
       interrupted by the frequent wars.
              Originally there was  one packet a  month, then  by  1790 two.  Both  initially called  at  Barbados;
       one then went straight to Jamaica, the other worked  its way up the Windward  and  Leew ard  chain of
       islands before returning home. In  1826 a third packet to Mexico was added. These were supplemented
       by small sailing vessels  and  eventually small steamers  locally hired  in  the West Indies -  at their peak
       there w ere 7 different routes.
              The  original  packets  were  owned  and  manned  in  Falmouth  and  were  contracted  under very
       specific  terms  to  the  Post  Office.  They  were  designed  for  speed  and  were  specifically  instructed  to
       avoid  a fight if at all possible.  Then  in  1823, faced with  a  shortage of career appointments  for young
       officers  the  Admiralty'  took  over the  service  and  progressively  replaced  the  existing  packets  with  10
       gun brigs. The service closed and was replaced by the Royal Mail Steam Packet in  1842.
              The  exhibit  begins  with  an  entire  carried  by  the  Dummer  packet.  The  next  9  sheets  show
       marks  applied  in  the West Indies.  Periods  of use  are  not  discrete  but the  exhibit  broadly follows  the
       sequence of undated  straight line, dated straight line, large fleuron, small fleuron  and dated tw in  arc.
       The final 3 sheets show unusual marks & those applied in the U.K. to identify mail from the packet.

       Reference : Sailing Packets to the West Indies -  Britnor
       NB Inform ation on rates is shown in red

                 An entire written in Antigua on 5th July  1704 addressed to “Mr Van de Bemde at his house in
          the  Pell  Mell,  London”.  Put  on  the  Dummer  packet  “Prince”  which  arrived  in  Plymouth  on  6th
          September. Struck with a London Bishop Mark on 9th September and charged the single rate of 9d.
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