500th Anniversary of the Discovery of St Helena

Series III – 18th Century


On Monday, 12 July 1999 the Post Office released a set of four stamps entitled “500th Anniversary of the Anniversary of the Discovery of St Helena”. This is the third issue in a special series leading up to the quincentenary in 2002. This very colourful and attractive stamp designs portray notable achievements and events during the eighteenth century.

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The twenty pence stamp shows the fortification at Jamestown that was much extended and improved under Governor Roberts. It was during the Governorship of Captain Isaac Pyke in 1718 that the first safe roadway up the steep side of Ladder Hill was built. This is vividly depicted on the twenty five pence stamp. In 1775 St Helena had a famous visitor, Captain James Cook. The thirty pence stamp shows him with Governor Skottowe on the Grand Parade. St James’ Church, one of the buildings admired by Captain Cook is also depcited. In 1795 Holland was overrun by the French. Fearing the Dutch would be forced into an alliance with France, Governor Brooke proposed the Cape of Good Hope be captured before this information reached that Dutch colony. The Governor’s plan was anticipated by a force sent out from England under Admiral Sir George Elphinstone. However, as affairs in the Cape worsen the Admiral called on Brooke for immediate assistance. This was readily given in the form of cash, armaments and provisions. For these acts Governor Brooke was presented with a sword of honour from Lord Mornington the Governor-General of India. The presentation took place on 11 November 1799 and is featured on the eighty pence stamp. The text “Seried III – 18th Century” together with the Discovery logo is also incorporated on each stamp. A more detailed description of the stamps is contained in the liner card that is enclosed in each first day covers.

Mint sets costing £1.55 and Official First Day Covers at £1.95 are on sale from the Philatelic Bureau, for a period of fifteen moths provided stocks last.