1846 (Apr 11) Envelope from Captain Cornwallis Ricketts, later Rear Admiral Ricketts & Sir Cornwallis Ricketts sent to Leeds, England via India with enclosed letter. Captain Ricketts had been sent to Zanzibar at the direction of Queen Victoria to encourage the Sultan not to offer “most-favoured nation” trading status to France. Several comments in the letter are noteworthy; “Great changes in this part of the world,” and later “The Imam of Muscat has given me a beautiful Damascus saber…” Accompanying the saber was a note from the British Consul Hamerton, “The sword was presented by the Imam of Muscat and Sultan of Zanzibar to Sir Cornwallis Ricketts on his visiting Zanzibar in H.M.S. “Helena” in 1846, in acknowledgement of the moral support His Highness has derived from the presence of an English Man of War, at a time he was resisting pressure of a French Mission to obtain commercial advantages by Treaty, over and above what has been conceded to the “most favoured nations.” (See page 27 of DuBro’s reference “Zanzibar’s Postal History Legacy.”). An extraordinary item. The cover is the second earliest outgoing postal history item from Zanzibar in private hands.
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