The Black Bordered Envelope

Back in Edwardian days as well as earlier and later, things were done properly. If someone died then letters were sent in a black bordered envelope. These, of course, were the days before the widespread use of the phone, let alone E-mail or social media. Your notification that someone had died would drop through your letter box in a black bordered envelope,

But propriety required that black bordered envelopes were also used for a period of mourning afterwards. Our envelope today covers that period of mourning following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.

Black bordered envelope received by James Welch of Market Lavington in 1901

Black bordered envelope received by James Welch of Market Lavington in 1901

James Welch, as we can see, was Secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association. This body of men had obviously sent their condolences to the close relatives of Victoria which included, of course, the new King, Edward VII. The letter in the envelope was to thank the association for their kind thoughts. It is a form letter, making use of what we’d now call mail merge although back in 1901 this involved a scribe in handwriting in various sections.

The letter to James was in his role as Secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association

The letter to James was in his role as Secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association

As we see, the King did not deal with this himself. He commanded the signatory and he got someone else to do the scribing. But obviously the Welch family thought this was worth keeping – until it was passed to the museum.

James Welch was our museum founder’s grandfather.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Can you add anything to this or do you want to know more?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: