Hooded (Scroll) Cancels. [081]

One of the less common handstamps of Ireland is the Hooded cancel, also called the Scroll Cancel. These cancels appeared about 1882, and are well-known from London and Liverpool. In Ireland, however, they are only known from four post offices – Cork, Waterford, Londonderry, and Limerick..

The basic design was a circle with a small stamp code letter, a series of horizontal parallel lines, two or three above and below the date, and the number 2. The circle is topped with the city name in a semicircular hood having rounded ends. Two sizes of the hood are known. Several varieties exist. Unlike their British counterparts, none are known with the time entry. The Cork stamp uses the number 2 and two different stamps are known – one with two lines above the date and three below, and vice versa.  (Figure 1).The Londonderry canceller has the post office number (172) in place of the stamp code letter. (Figure 2) The Limerick cancel (Figure 3) has cancel number 1 on the stamp.  The Waterford cancel (Figure 4) is seldom seen.   A later cancel of a similar design appeared later in the official mail usage in Dublin in the early 1920’s with Irish language wording. (Figure 5).

In Ireland, these hand cancels were used from about 1883 to the 1890’s. Cork is the most often seen, but not common, while Waterford is very scarce..

Thanks to member Richard Lutticken for the scans.


Collect British Postmarks, Whitney, J.T., Chapter 4, Stanley Gibbons, Ltd..

“Irish Hooded Hand-Stamps (Scrolls)”, Dulin, C.I., The Revealer, Spring 1993, p74.

Irish Postmarks Since 1840, MacKay, J., published by author. P.18, p.20.

Irish Official Mail, 1922-1983, Murphy, R. EPA, 2018, p.35.