Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Prime Ministers - 14 October 2014

As the Head of Her Majesty's Government the modern Prime Minister leads both the Cabinet and a major political party that usually commands a majority in the House of Commons. The office of Prime Minister’s origins lie in the early 18th century when the office of First Lord of the Treasury was established by King George.

The term ‘Prime Minister’ was originally a term of abuse, suggesting that the holder had risen above other ministers improperly. It was around 1805 that the term was starting to be used to reflect the role we recognize. Robert Walpole is generally regarded as being the first to hold the post although that description
was not official at the time. There have been 53 Prime Ministers in total, averaging five and a half years in office.

The Prime Ministers stamp issue marks key British Prime Ministers of the past two hundred years. The stamps feature elegant portraits of eight influential holders of the office: William Pitt the Younger, Charles Grey, Robert Peel, William Gladstone, Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and Margaret Thatcher.

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The Stamps

Eight stamps showing British Prime Ministers.

1st class: Margaret Thatcher, Harold Wilson, Clement Attlee, Winston Churchill
97p: William Gladstone, Robert Peel, Charles Grey, William Pitt the Younger

The Stamps in Detail

Margaret Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven
... was the first female Prime Minister, winning three elections. Her governments extended privatisation, increased home ownership and reformed trade union law, as well as fighting the 1982 Falklands War.

Harold Wilson, Lord Wilson of Rievaulx
A shrewd tactician, Harold Wilson promised a new Britain forged in the ‘white heat’ of technology. He held Britain’s first national referendum, extended university education and passed major reforms of race relations and sexual equality.

Clement Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee
... was deputy Prime Minister during the Second World War and won a landslide election in 1945. His governments founded the NHS, established the mixed economy and created a ‘cradle to grave’ welfare state, modelled on the Beveridge Report.

Sir Winston Churchill
... led Britain through the Second World War, delivering some of the greatest speeches of modern times. A successful historian and artist, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature and warned of an ‘Iron Curtain’ between Western and Eastern Europe.

William Ewart Gladstone
Four times Prime Minister and an MP for 60 years, Gladstone was the ‘Grand Old Man’ of British politics. He reformed the electorate, the tax system and primary education, but his support for Irish self-government split the Liberal Party.

Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet
... founded the Conservative Party, established the Metropolitan Police and reintroduced income tax. He reformed the church and cut taxes on food, but he divided his party in 1846 by repealing the Corn Laws.

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
As Prime Minister, Grey passed the ‘Great’ Reform Act of 1832, laying the foundations for the modern electoral system. His government abolished slavery in the British Empire and introduced the ‘New’ Poor Law.

William Pitt the Younger
... became Prime Minister at just 24 and led Britain into the Napoleonic Wars. He reformed the government of India, established the income tax and passed the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland.

Technical details and details of background images:

The stamps were designed by 'Together' and are printed by International Security Printers in lithography.  The 35mm square stamps are perf 14.5 in sheets of 24/48 with all-over phosphor.  
The stamps will be issued in two sheets with four se-tenant designs per sheet, enabling customers to buy a vertical strip of any individual.

Margaret Thatcher photograph by Gerald Penny © AP/PA Images; Harold Wilson photograph © Bettmann/CORBIS; Clement Attlee photograph by Yousuf Karsh © Camera Press, London; Winston Churchill photograph by Yousuf Karsh © Camera Press, London, reproduced courtesy of Churchill Heritage Limited and Curtis Brown, London; William Gladstone © AP Images/North Wind Picture Archives; Robert Peel © INTERFOTO/Alamy; Charles Grey © Classic Image/Alamy; William Pitt the Younger © John Hoppner/Getty Images
Stamp designs© Royal Mail Group Ltd 2014

Products issued, available from Royal Mail: 

Set of 8 stamps (2 strips of 4) -- First day cover -- Presentation pack -- Stamp cards (set of 8)

A Coin Cover will be issued on 24 January 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill.  The cover will include a new £5 coin and a special postmark.

Special Postmarks

Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown here.  These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.  The images shown here may not be to scale.  Permanent postmark Ref L11067 London SW1 showing Big Ben is also relevant

Official First day postmark for Prime Ministers stamp issue.
Official First Day London SW1 postmark for Prime Ministers stamps.
Non-pictorial first day postmark for prime ministers stamps.
Grantham and Birmingham postmarks for Prime Ministers stamps.

Ref FD4196TH Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark "The main essentials of a successful Prime Minister... are sleep and a sense of history" - Harold Wilson

Ref FD1419PL "First Lord of the Teasury" London SW1 Official Postmark

Ref FD1419NP
London SW1 Official non-pictorial Postmark

Ref M13230 Britain's First Woman Prime Minister, Grantham, Lincs Ref M13231 Prime Ministers, Churchill Road, Birmingham
Postmark Assoc of GB FDC Collectors.
  Oxford and Westminster postmark for Prime Ministers Stamps.
  Liverpool postmark. Grantham postmark.

Ref N13232 20th Anniversary Association of Great Britain First Day Cover Collectors, Huyton, Liverpool

Ref L13228 Vision Courage Boldness Leadership Statesmanship, The Churchill Centre, Churchill Oxford Ref L13229
British Prime Ministers, Downing Street, Westminster, London SW1
Ref N13255
'Grand Old Man', Liverpool (referring to William Gladstone)
Ref M13251
'The Iron Lady' (referring to Margaret Thatcher)

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This page updated 17 October 2014

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