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Stone No.526-2







 To the memory of


Bookseller Dundee

Born 1782 Died 1853


Originator of the adhesive postage stamp

which saved the penny postage scheme of 1840

from collapse

rendering it an unqualified success

and which has since been adopted

throughout the postal systems of the



This memorial is erected by his son



JAMES CHALMERS, bookseller, during the more active portion of his life, occupied no inconsiderable space in our local annals. At a time when burgh politics ran high, Mr Chalmers took a prominent part, first as a Deacon, and afterwards as Convener of the Nine Incorporated Trades. At a subsequent period, he was returned to the Town Council, and held the office of Treasurer for several years. While zealous in expressing his own opinions, he was uniformly courteous and candid towards those from whom he differed; and hence little of the acerbity of party spirit was ever chargeable against him. About the year 1822, Mr Chalmers had his attention turned to the subject of Post Office improvement, and he applied himself with great diligence to obtain an acceleration of the mail ; and, mainly through his exertions, a gain of forty-eight hours was effected in the correspondence between Dundee and London. The services of Mr Chalmers in this matter were at the time acknowledged by some of the leading periodicals of the day. At a later period, when Rowland Hill's plan of uniform postage came into operation, Mr Chalmers—who had upwards of twelve months previously suggested a cheap system of postage, and recommended the use of adhesive slips as a means of franking letters—competed for the premium of £200 offered by Government for the best plan of a , postage stamp. There were no fewer than 2000 candidates for this premium, and amongst them there were several who recommended
the same plan as Mr Chalmers. Such being the case, although his plan was adopted by the Government, the premium never was awarded to any one. In the opinion of many, however—including Mr Joseph Hume—our townsman should have obtained the reward. In recognition of his exertions in procuring an acceleration of the
mail, and promoting other improvements in connection with the Post Office, Mr Chalmers was, on Thursday, Jan. 1, 1846, presented with a piece of silver plate, and a sum of money, together of the value of about £200.
In Sept. 1827, Mr Chalmers was appointed by his Swedish Majesty Vice-Consul for Sweden and Norway at this port. In his own profession, Mr Chalmers held a highly honourable position; in private life, he was modest and unassuming, while his conversation was pervaded by a playful humour which rendered him an agreeable companion. He died on Friday, Aug. 26, 1853, aged 71.

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