28 December 2014

Charles Grey

Letter sent by Alan (the UK). The stamp below belongs to a set launched by Royal Mail last October, dedicated to Influential Prime Ministers. Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, was Prime Ministre of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1830 to 1834.

But I am not especially interested in nineteenth-century British politics. The sender carefully chose this stamp because of the important fact around this man, at least for tea drinkers: the famous tea Earl Grey was named after him! 

I have received so far two more stamps from this set:

William Ewart Gladstone served as Prime Minister four separate times (1868–74, 1880–85, February–July 1886 and 1892–94), more than any other person. Do you think there is a Prime Minister in the UK who has nothing to do with tea? Well, in the Wikipedia we can read:
Gladstone's proposals went some way to meet working-class demands, such as the realisation of the free breakfast table through repealing the duties on tea and sugar, and reform of local taxation which was increasing for the poorer ratepayers.

William Pitt the Younger became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24. He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. And again we can read that: 
Pitt always paid careful attention to financial issues. A fifth of Britain's imports were smuggled in without paying taxes. He made it easier for honest merchants to import goods. By lowering tariffs on easily smuggled items such as tea, wine, spirits and tobacco, he grew the customs revenue by nearly £2 million.

Update: I added this post  to Sunday Stamps II-4: Famous People, Portraits.


  1. I think you found something of interest in the Prime Minister stamps. I couldn't believe it when I saw that issue, even though I am interested in history, I thought they were really boring stamps.

    1. The sender of the first stamp attracted my attention to the tea facts. Sometimes I think that every single stamp and piece of mail has something interesting. We just have to look carefully... :)

  2. Besides the tea, Earl Grey, fact, minister stamps are also not mine...but this airmail label wir arabic letters on it is great.
    Bisous, EvaJ

  3. That Prime Minister set is one I am looking for. Glad you included it this week.

  4. I agree the set is not terribly exciting, but your research certainly is!
    Earl Grey Tea is in my top three favourites.

  5. All connected by tea, what great facts.


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