Thank you for that input however as you know the Ripper mystery is full to the brim with beliefs etc. If there is no definate proof that the letter was received on Oct 1st then there must be a serious doubt surrounding what people have relied on all these years in respect of this particular item.
As Debs mentions, Victorian postal service was very good, so the postmark alone means that it was extremely likely to have been received on that date, unless it was posted very late that day. It was posted in East London and did not have very far to go. But we can also look at when it was mentioned.
Several press reports published Oct. 2 say it was received "yesterday morning." These accounts state that it had been delivered and then brought to Scotland Yard and then discussed by the time they were reporting on it (so add in time for the reporter to write it all up and the printing presses to churn the papers out). The police were already able to put together a facsimile copy of the Dear Boss letter and the Saucy Jacky postcard to put up at police stations by Oct. 3.
So, if somehow the Central News Agency was lying about having received it on Oct. 1, the only possible alternate date could have been Oct. 2, which really becomes nearly impossible for it to have been received, sent to Scotland Yard, and then have papers cover it by that same day.
There also obviously would have been an official mention in Met files about the receipt of this letter, which if the details we've been given by the press are true would also have been Oct. 1. As far as I know these files no longer exist -- as indeed the postcard itself has been missing for many years -- but those would immediately clear things up if they are around.
I don't know if this will be useful. It may be a bit too early for your purposes, but it contains a reference to the mail schedules and frequencies of delivery. You have to click on Communications. I tried to post that section directly, but it kicked back to the main page.
i am reviewing a number of aspects of the ripper case and have come across an issue with regards to the saucy jack postcard.
From what has been written suggests that the postcard was received at the central newsagency on October 1st. Is there any definate proof that this was the case.
The envelope is clearly postmarked October 1st so I do not beleive it could have been posted and deleiverd on the same day.
In this day and age the postal service are not that good and i am sure in 1888 they were very basic.
If this be true then this must add more weight to the fact that it was a hoax.
It may be possible that if someone posted the postcard early in the morning, say between 3am - 5am approx, then the postcard could have been collected at say around 6am - 7am that the card may well have been delivered same day to the news office around 8.30am - 9.30am that very same day....Even though they have machinery today, they were very efficent and perhaps more so in the Victorian period...it was probably a better service than today. However, i think you are right Trevor in that the postcard was more than likely to be a hoax.
Regulations of the Twopenny Post Office.- The principal office is at the General Post Office, St. Martin's-le-Grand There are, besides, upwards of 400 receiving houses for letters, both in town and country. There are seven collections and deliveries of letters in town daily, and five deliveries daily at all places in the environs of London, situate within a circle of three miles' distance from the head establishment in St. Martin's le Grand, that having been determined as the limits of the Post Office. The country delivery, as it is called, extends to a distance of twelve miles from the metropolis, and most places within that limit have four despatches and four deliveries daily (Sundays excepted). The hours by which letters should be put into the receiving houses in town for each delivery are as follow - For delivery in town,
Over night by eight o'clock, for the first delivery.
Morning by eight o'clock, for the second delivery.
Morning by ten o'clock, for the third delivery.
Morning by twelve o'clock, for the fourth delivery.
Afternoon by two o'clock, for the fifth delivery.
Afternoon by four o'clock, for the sixth delivery.
Afternoon by six o'clock, for the seventh delivery. For delivery in the country,
The preceding evening by six o'clock, for the first delivery,
Morning by eight o'clock, for the second delivery.
Morning by twelve o'clock, for the third delivery.
Afternoon by two o'clock, for the fourth delivery.
Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844
It wasn't always that smooth though,
I believe the inhabitants of London are under the impression that Letters posted for delivery within the metropolitan district commonly reach their destination within, at the outside, three hours of the time of postage. I myself, however, have constantly suffered with irregularities in the delivery of letters, and I have now got two instances of neglect which I should really like to have cleared up.
I posted a letter in the Gray's Inn post office on Saturday at half-past 1 o'clock, addressed to a person living close to Westminster Abbey, which was not delivered till 9 o'clock the same evening; and I posted another letter in the same post office, addressed to the same place, which was not delivered till past 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Now, Sir, why is this? If there is any good reason why letters should not be delivered in less than eight hours after their postage, let the state of the case be understood: but the belief that one can communicate with another person in two or three hours whereas in reality the time required is eight or nine, may be productive of the most disastrous consequences.
If memory serves me aright, Richard Whittington-Egan's Casebook of JtR carries what seemed to be a definitive examination of the dates and times of the postcard's postage and reception, though you'l almost certainly have to use inter-library loan to get hold of it.
All the best,
Far be it for me to correct Martin but in fact Whittington-Egan gives only a cursory look at the Saucy Jacky postcard. It is the Lusk letter that he looks at in some detail in A Casebook On Jack the Ripper.