Page created 9 July 2001




When I created my first messages page I had encountered relatively few such crests. However, soon afterwards I acquired two albums which had numbers of message crests. One of the albums (dealt with as the Macmichael album on my albums page) contains many sets of crests and the message crests which appear on two of its pages are almost certainly from a common source, either sets or variety notelets or billet doux as noted under MESSAGES I.

Most of the humorous messages could apply to a letter or invitation, with more or less appropriateness, but others, if they had a relevance at the time, convey nothing at the present day: was there a topical meaning to 'This comes hopping' or 'You ought to be well thrashed'?

The victorians loved puns and the magazines of the period are full of riddles and puzzles. I struggled to identify the awl in the cryptic message 'Its all my eye and Betty Martin' a saying half remembered from my childhood signifying something made up, not to be taken seriously. The St George and the dragon crest is from a quality die and may well be something more than a 'message' crest, though the legend has not been identified as a family motto.


Then as now some saw a certain distinction in the use of foreign languages for their messages.


If most of the messages encountered are rather trivial, these two are at a more serious level. Votes for women was of course the demand of the suffragettes, and this attractive crest in the movement's colours is on an envelope in the collection. No doubt the movement produced crested stationery to supply to its supporters: profits would aid the cause and every letter written would publicise it. Probably the rather grubby crest with its motto 'It will sound again', referring to the harp of Ireland, had similar origins with one of the Irish nationalist movements.




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