Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 350+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 30000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at $14.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for $1.48
Then just $14.99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points

Keeping you posted

The postage stamp is a flimsy thing No thicker than a beetle’s wing Yet it will roam the world for you Exactly where you tell it to.
by Vivien Martin
Green Post box with V R insignia

YOU PROBABLY buy more stamps at Christmas than at any other time of the year. In fact, you possibly only buy stamps at this time of the year and for the rest of the time send emails and texts, or make phone calls.

Yet, surprising as it may seem, the introduction of the humble postage stamp was a huge revolution in communications. In a world without phones, or the time or money to travel, letters were of real importance. There was no other way to keep in touch with friends and family. And in Scotland, as families were being scatered to the four winds, whether through emigration to far-lung countries such as Canada or Australia, or to the slums of the growing industrial cities in search of work, letters and postcards were a vital link for families separated from their loved ones.

The Postage Act of 1839 ushered in a major reform of the Royal Mail with a whole new postal service, known as the ‘uniform penny post’, or simply the ‘penny post’. Shortly afterwards, in May 1840, came the world’s first postage stamps. With a uniform rate-for-weight service, gone were the days of payment by number of pages and distance travelled.

The Royal Mail didn’t start as a public service, however (I suspect the ‘royal’ in the title is a giveaway to that). With the Union of the Crowns in 1603, James VI, son of Mary Queen of Scots, became James I of England. Barely pausing to pack, he upped sticks and moved his court to London. Yet he had no intention of leting Scotland go its own way. He still needed to know what was going on up there. Just as importantly he needed the Scottish privy council to know he was in control. He might not be breathing down their necks, but he certainly wasn’t going to let them run the country as they saw it. Communication was vital. Consequently he established a ‘royal mail’ service between London and Edinburgh.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of iScot Magazine - December/January 2019
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue
December/January 2019
Read Now
Getting free sample issues is easy, but we need to add it to an account to read, so please follow the instructions to read your free issue today.
Email Address
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new iScot Magazine subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.25 per issue
Was $47.99
Now $38.99
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 5.99 per issue

View Issues

About iScot Magazine

Celebrate good times c’mon! iScot celebrates its 4th birthday and what better way than a bumper 136 page cornucopia of articles, short stories, science, history, movies commentary, puzzles and much much more