Apart from the experimental usage of black ink for local delivery in London from 31 August 1840, the colour of ink used to cancel stamps elsewhere remained red. However, twenty-six Post Towns are recorded as having used black ink on at least one occasion prior to its adoption as a standard on 10 February 1841.
[AI] plate 1a, from Renfrew to Edinburgh, dated 27 May 1840, cancelled with a “watery” black Maltese cross Also has Renfrew straight line in a shade matching the cross
Very early and unofficial use of the black Maltese cross Only three earlier examples are recorded
[CC] plate 2, from Longtown to Carlisle, dated 10 September 1840, cancelled with a black Maltese cross
Very early usage of the Black Maltese Cross and the only recorded usage from Longtown
[QJ] plate 1b, from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, dated 29 September 1840, cancelled with a blackMaltese cross Unofficial early use of the black cross
[PC-PD] pair, plate 1b sent from Chester to Manchester, dated 16 October 1840, cancelled with black Maltese Crosses.
Unofficial early use of the black cross and the only such recorded usage from Chester
[II] plate 1b, from Pitlochrie to Edinburgh, dated 23 October 1840 cancelled with a black Maltese Cross of Pitlochrie.
Unofficial early use of the black cross and the only such recorded usage from Pitlochrie
Additional items not in display
[TI-TJ] plate 1a, from Perth to Dundee, dated 10 October 1840, cancelled with black Maltese crosses
Unofficial early use of black ink 1 of 10 recorded examples from Perth in the period 16 September 1840 to 29 October 1840
[NC] plate 5, from Perth to Edinburgh, dated 11 November 1840, cancelled with a red Maltese cross