1856 Cover from Faroes to Denmark


I acquired a cover at auction in 2004, described as follows:

"Cover from the Faroes sent via "Lerwick Au 11 1856" via London and Hamburg to Copenhagen. total postage 9 1/2d (6d. Danish share), 2d to the City Post of Hamburg noted with red crayon".

1856 Lerwick
   cover front London
   cancel close up cover back

Please click on the images above for the full image.

The following cover took a fair amount of research to uncover what's now known about its route, rate, and marketing. But there are still open questions. If you know anything more about the following cover, please contact me at "noer at noer.com" (just change the at to the symbol; a simple anti-spam precaution). I'd really appreciate it!

Routing and Rate Markings

Routing marks are as follows:

Rate markings are:

Other comments/explanations I've received:

Why is it from the Faroes?

There are no Faroes markings and no return address. The cover is just a cover (nothing inside).

The letter is addressed to captain Andreassen of the "Fortuna", the first ship that carried mail and cargo between the Faroes and Lerwick in 1856 following the abolishment of the Royal Trade Monopoly at the end of 1855. The "Fortuna" only sailed between the Shetlands and the Faroes (and didn't go all the way to Denmark based on the research I have done to date).

From Nielsen's book "Lost og fast af Faeroernes Posthistorie", there is a list of all ships that carried mail to/from the Faroes. This is from the Faroes government journal for 1856 for mail arriving in the Faroes so I'm guessing the dates given correspond to the ships arrival dates in Faroes. It seems quite possible that this cover was sent on the Christian (1.8.1856) from the Faroes to the captain of the Fortuna (with the address written in English due to the routing through Shetlands and London?):

Note that this list is consistent with captain Andreassen being in Denmark between the 2d and 3d journeys of his ship and that this was a letter to him while he was there.

Most mail to Denmark with a Lerwick cancel was from the Faroes since that was the standard route and most Shetlanders/Scottish people wouldn't have had reason to write to Denmark. As a result, it would seem probable to conclude that this was from the Faroes except that Shetlanders doing business with his ship might also have had reason to write him.

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