Page created 16 August 2008




Whilst there is often a problem in deciphering signatures there can also be problems when that has been done in establishing why they have the privilege of free franking. Can anyone help with the following fairly clear signatories?

Beckett. Posted from London 4.6.1807. Identified as John Beckett jnr., Under-Secretary at the Home Office 1806-17.
Identified: Francis Nathaniel Conyngham, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 1823-6.
Dyson. Posted from Leatherhead 4.1.1818.
Identified as Jeremiah Dyson, jnr., Deputy Clerk of the House of Commons 1814-20.
Sir Charles William Flint, Resident Secretary of the Irish Office.
Gosul. Posted from Bangor, Ireland 10.10.1838.
Identified as Sir William Gosset (1782-1848) Lieut. Col. Royal Engineers, CB. MP for Truro 1820-26, Under Secretary of State for Ireland 1831-5, Serjeant at Arms of the House of Commons 1835-48.
Example known signed Wm., with t crossed.
Lewisham. Posted from Dublin 12.5.1817. Lewisham is a subsidiary title of the Earls of Dartmouth, but the earl of that date had no son. Could the title have been used by his brother? Possibly Denis Browne. confirmation sought.
Mostyn. Several examples posted from Holywell and London, 1820-1830. Apparently a peer but the earliest creation I find is 1831.
Identified as Sir Thomas Mostyn (1776-1831) MP for Flintshire (1796-7 & 1799-1831), prefix Tho., not free.
North. Posted from London 10.1.1817.
Identified as Dudley Long, subsequently Dudley North, subsequently Dudley Long North, MP for Richmond, Yorkshire
Onley. Posted from Braintree 31.3.1826
Identified as Charles Savill Onley, MP for Carlow Town, Ireland.
John Ponsonby. Examples posted from London 1836-9. Identified as John George Brabazon Ponsonby (1809-80), MP for Bletchingley 1831, for Higham Ferrers 1831-2 and for Derby 1835-47. Also signed J G B Ponsonby.
N Ponsonby. Posted from Dublin 22.7.1829.
Possibly John William Ponsonby (1781-1847), confirmation sought.
Fred Ponsonby. Posted from Dunkirk 14.2.1816.
Possibly Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby (1783-1837), confirmation sought.
Rose. Posted from London 28.6.1836.
Identified as William Grant Rose (1776-1855), Clerk of Recognisances House of Commons 1788-1839.
Seymour. Posted from Llandilo 1.6.1831
Identified as Henry Seymour, Serjeant at Arms: Commons.
Tennent. Free strike illegible, no post town or date, suggesting he was an official.
Identified as Sir James Emerson Tennent (1804-69), MP for Belfast, who also signed J Emerson Tennent.
Walrond.Posted from Bath 8.4.1831.
Identified as Bethel Walrond (1801-76) MP for Sudbury 1826-31 and for Saltash 1831-2.
Yorke. From Dublin 23.3.1838.
Identified as Col. Charles Yorke (1790-1880) with privilege as Private Secretary to Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

I am very grateful to a correspondent, MWW, who was able to identify most of the above for me.