The origins of the postmark

Date stamps, which are now known as postmarks, were first used in the UK. They were originally introduced because of complaints about delays to the mail. In order to counter this, Colonel Henry Bishop, Postmaster General from 1660 until 1663, introduced a hand struck stamp in 1661 to 'put upon every letter showing the day of the month that every letter comes to the office, so that no Letter Carrier may dare to detain a letter from post to post, which before was usual'. The concept of the postmark has since been replicated across the world.