Duty paid

At our recent Museum Miscellany – which once again was a grand success with more than 100 people attending and enjoying the information, the photos not to mention our wonderful museum food – one section was based around our receipted bill heads. These bills were like this one.

Receipt for items received by Thomas Holloway from Lavington Supply Stores in 1913

Receipt for items received by Thomas Holloway from Lavington Supply Stores in 1913

This bill was paid by Thomas Holloway to a supplier – Mr Walton of the Lavington Supply Stores back in 1913. These days we forget that the horse was such an important beast. There are still plenty of horses about – for leisure purposes but we wouldn’t expect our grocer or supermarket to be supplying sacks full of horse food. But clearly Mr Walton did just that and as some of the food said it was ‘delivered to Broadway’ we can assume this was going to horses used at the brickworks.

Of course, the bill head is pretty with its ads for Colman’s products – notably mustard.

At the end of the Miscellany our curator was asked, ‘Why had the receiver of the money signed over a stamp?’ Now in all honesty he/we hadn’t ever thought about it. Those of us old enough just assumed it was the done thing, without much thought. So a little checking up was done and it seems it was a legal requirement in some circumstances and actually conveyed a small sum of money to the Inland Revenue or tax man.

The signature acknowledging receipt of money is made over a stamp

The signature acknowledging receipt of money is made over a stamp

It will be noted that then stamp actually says Postage on the left side and Revenue on the right. It was a one penny stamp and of course, in having to purchase that stamp Mr Walton had paid one penny into the Inland Revenue. We can, of course, be sure that Mr Walton had actually passed the cost on to his customer.

What we haven’t yet worked out is the precise circumstances that made the stamp a requirement. Once again we’ll appeal to somebody out there to let us know.

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