The Rare Davis’s Penny Post Stamps

What happens when you misspell a simple word? If it’s on a stamp, it makes it a rarity.

We’ve written about the London Penny Post already. But what about the Post businesses that emerged from the original?

With such a new and original ventures, errors were sure to occur. One such example comes from William D. Davis, who started his own Penny Post in 1856. He advertised for 25 “intelligent youths” in The Sun (source).

Advertisements for the service appeared in The Sun through February 18, but never after that date. It seems the service lasted through one Valentine’s season, then stopped.

But that doesn’t mean the service didn’t leave a lasting impression. There are 14 known stamps to exist from Davis’s Penny Post, and some have amusing errors. There are also four known covers with Davis’s stamps.


The most well-known Davis stamp error is in the word “Penny”. The “y” was instead set as a “q”, spelling “Pennq”. Strangely enough, this error hasn’t been listed in any catalogues. The first to notice the error was Elliott Perry in 1959, who wrote to the Scott Catalogue editor about the error, but the error still did not reach publication in the catalogue.

There are four known “Pennq” errors in existence, making them extremely rare.

And you have to admit, the spelling error is pretty hilarious.

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