English Civil War
Every collector has a favourite set of stamps and mine is the 1992 English Civil War issue. The set of four values (24p, 28p, 33p, 39p) were released on June 16th 1992 to mark the 350th anniversary of the start of the first war in 1642 and feature a Pikeman, Drummer, Musketeer, and Standard Bearer. Designed by Jeremy Sancha the set comprises of a lovely range of colours but in a slightly faded style which I’ve always thought gives them a real feel of an older bygone age. The stamps have a prominent design of each character in the forefront but the artist has truly bought the stamps to life with the extra battle details in the background.
I’ve always been fascinated by this period of English history and anyone with a similar military interest will love collecting this set. With only four low value stamps the other good thing is this set won’t cost you a fortune, with a standard cover that’s got a connected special postmark only setting you back £7.50
There are many well-designed postmarks available including Edgehill (site of the first pitched battle in 1642), Nottingham (where Charles I raised his standard), Hull (the first major action of the war when Royalists besieged the city), and Huntington (Cromwell’s birthplace). Another option is to try and collect CDS postmarks of all the battle sites such as Dunbar, Sidbury, Powick, Newbury, Marston, and Naseby with many others out there to be found. If officials are more your style there are several out there on the market but again none of them will cost you eye watering prices; such as this Whitefriars Coventry official commemorating the cities status in the war as a Parliamentary stronghold.
Whilst that sums up the first day cover options Benham also produced a set of small silk single stamp commemorative covers for the 350th anniversary which featured battles, major events, and historical figures. The set ran from 1992-99, from Charles’ attempt to arrest members of parliament in 1642 to his execution in 1649. Individual ones turn up on eBay from time to time for a few pounds each but it’s seemingly hard to find a complete set to purchase in one go. Whilst it’s been hard to find the information for sure I believe the series is made up of 46 different covers, let me know if you think different.
Finally if you jump a few years to 2010 when the House of Stuart set was released, here at Buckingham our main stamps cover featured a striking illustration of the Battle of Dunbar when Parliamentarian forces led by Cromwell defeated the Royalist Scottish army. Our miniature sheet shows the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 and this pair would complement a Civil War collection nicely.