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NEWFOUNDLAND Early Legal Documental History: via Stampless Precursor and 1898 Queen Victoria First Revenue types

John M. Walsh
Released September 2019. Exhibit series # 106.
88 pages, 8.5x14, spiral bound.
Colour C$ 38.00 [ISBN 978-1-989280-00-3].

After the fortunate 2006 acquisition of a holding of many documents from a long defunct law business, the author, John M. Walsh realized that much of the information contained therein was not in the “reference” literature. The result was the exhibit NEWFOUNDLAND Early Legal Documental History: via Stampless Precursor and 1898 Queen Victoria First Revenue types. Because of the physical size of the various documents, it was necessary to mount them vertically on “legal size” paper. Accordingly, the resulting BNAPS Exhibit Series book is, for the first time ever, also printed and bound in 8.5”×14” legal size.

Newfoundland’s early revenue stamps and the documents on which they were used are very colourful. Equally colourful, though in a different way, are the many different types of legal documents that required the revenue stamps shown in the exhibit. John also identified some documents – the Precursors – that, though not carrying revenue stamps, had nevertheless been assessed charges. In addition to legal documents that might be expected such as Subpoenas, Judgements, Letters of Probate and Writs, there are also documents that help describe different aspects of the economy such as the Dog License and Retail License Acts, Timber Licenses, and Licenses to Search for Gold and other Minerals.

John was encouraged by his father to begin stamp collecting in the 1950s. He was keen to enter into the world of stamp collecting, and his goal at that time was to own each of the stamps issued by his birthplace, Newfoundland, and of his country, Canada. As school progressed, stamp interest waned until he went to work in the 1970s and found that several of his work colleagues were avid stamp collectors. Deciding to one day exhibit what he collected, he went through several stages of development, learning through experience a style of collecting that was able to withstand the vigour of competitive exhibiting, and he went down that path. Along the way, he researched and wrote about his findings in philatelic journals such as BNA Topics, journal of the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS), and the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada’s (RPSC) Canadian Philatelist. These articles sparked some interesting dialogue. In addition to these journals, John has presented his findings in the journal of the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain (CPSGB), Maple Leaves. For his research writings, John has received the prestigious Pratt Award four times. This award is named after Robert H. Pratt, and is sponsored by the Collectors Club of Chicago. He also has received the Geldert Award for his research writings in the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada’s journal. This award is named in memory of Dr. George M. Geldert, a long standing president of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada.

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