403 x 250 mm


Letters written in this way, called ‘crossed letters’, have lines written over one another in different directions, usually at right angles. Though not common, most surviving examples date from the 19th century. Explanations for the practice vary, one being that it saved on paper and reduced postage costs which, until the introduction of the Penny Post in 1840, were based on weight. This example of 1838 has been folded to form its own envelope.

Manuscript, 1838