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Objectives of the Stuart Rossiter Trust

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The Stuart Rossiter Trust Fund is a Charitable Trust supporting research and publication relating to the history of communication through postal systems of the world.

Stuard Rossiter Objectives

The story of how people have communicated with one another through the ages and across all the countries in the world is fundamental to a greater understanding of all types of history, particularly economic and social history. Political and military history often affected the way in which postal systems were set up and the reasons for which they were set up. Speed in communicating information of all types was critical for business and commerce, and important for family purposes. The importance of post offices developing and controlling telegraph and telephone systems is often overlooked, yet these services affected and changed the nature of and need for postal communications.

While postal history is concerned with the role of postal services to carry written or printed messages through the post, the study of the subject involves far more than just a study of stamps and postmarks, which while important, are merely part of the mechanics that helped the postal systems to work. Thus it is important to recognise that postal history contemplates a period well before the issue of the Penny Black in 1840 and a period up to today’s date. The means by which mail was carried from one place to another, the cost of transmission of letters the difficulties faced en route in wartime or by shipwreck, or in developing or as yet unexplored countries in past centuries or in times of pestilence, are all vital parts of the jigsaw of human life and activity which is worthy of study.

Indeed, changes in the British postal system currently contemplated because of regulation within the European Community will be the subject of study in the future. The impact of computer-driven communication on postal systems will probably be as profound as the reforms and development of postal systems which took place in the nineteenth century, particularly in 1840 and 1875.

Stuart Rossiter was a leading postal historian of his day, and wanted by the setting up of this charity with the money from his estate, research to be devoted as much to the rapidly changing affairs of contemporary times as to those of the past. Stuart was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; Chief Editor of the Blue Guides, as well as writing for example the classical Blue Guide to Greece; and was Editor of The London Philatelist. All these things brought together an interest in research and the publication of the useful results of such research.

The objectives of the Trust are to:

  • promote research into the history of the postal services and to support publication in this area to a high academic standard,
  • to sell publications at a price which aims to see a return of the publication and research expenses so that the money can be made available for future projects, but which allows the public to purchase at a reasonable cost,
  • to facilitate research enquiries by paying bills for photocopying and other reasonable and relevant expenditure from archives distant from the researcher where the Trustees are as satisfied as they can be that a book will result which will fall within the Trustees’ publication policy,
  • to have an Annual Lecture or other event open to the public free of charge by acknowledged expert(s) in a field encompassed by the objects of the Trust and where possible publish an article or monograph based on the Annual Lecture,
  • to support research and publish books which cover the widest field of knowledge within the Trust’s objects and not to restrict activity to any particular area.

Persons who wish to support Stuart Rossiter’s objectives financially by making a charitable gift or legacy of any amount should communicate with the Corresponding Trustee.

Latest News


The Rossiter Newsletter – 68

Shropshire Postal Markings by Brian Atkins A detailed study in 146 pages, Shopshire Postal Markings (Third edition) includes the postal markings of the county from 1706 up to c1910. Since the…

The Rossiter Newsletter – 67

The Stuart Rossiter Memorial Lecture will be at 5pm on Wednesday 15 May 2024 at the RPSL, 15 Abchurch Lane, London. EC4N 7BW Simon Martin-Redman FRPSL will be speaking on…

The Rossiter Newsletter – 66

British Long Distance Mail Packets Volume 2 The Harwich Packets 1816-1834, Rates Routes and Ships Out and Home by Colin Tabeart A detailed study of Harwich packets based on original research from newspapers…
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