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Private Revenue Perfins of Queensland

An Elsmore Coath Howard production

The authors would welcome your comments additions or input into this work

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Section 2 - Commercial Overprints



Received by/A.U.S.N.Co.Ld./per.a


User:  Australasian United Steam Navigation Co Ld.


Address: Brisbane, QLD Revenue Use: QV 1d (Reading sideways up or down) (state 1894 side face) R4.

Rarity Scale: QV 1d (state 1894 side face) R4.


Background: *The Australasian Steam Navigation Company (ASN Co) was formed in July 1851 from the then Hunter River Steam Navigation Company which had operated a Sydney, Newcastle and later Moreton Bay service since 1840. The restructure and name change came at a time that the company was looking to expand its activities within Australasia.


The renamed company ordered two new ships from England and upon their arrival in April 1852 they were engaged on services to Victoria for the booming goldfields trade. A further six steamers were ordered from England that year as the ASN Co engaged in vigorous competition with a range of other steamship companies in the Australian market. Routes were opened to Hobart and later in 1858 to various New Zealand ports and in 1870 Transpacific services to Honolulu and San Francisco were started.


In 1886 the ASN Co was the dominant carrier down the east coast of Australia but it had achieved this through years of intense competition that had resulted in financial losses for the company. At the end of 1886 (ratified in 1887) they were taken over by the newly founded Australasian United Steam Navigation Company. The Queensland Steamship Company amalgamated with the Australasian United Steam Navigation the same year. The Company continued to trade into the 1960s.


Device: Preprinted.


Related patterns: Nil.


* The Ship List. *Encyclopedia of Australian Science.


Received by/B.I&Q.A.Co.Ld./per.a


British India & Queensland Agency Co Ltd were agents for Australian United Steam Navigation Co Ltd (go up one)

User:  British India & Qld Agency Co Ltd

Address: 1886: Eagle St, Brisbane, QLD. From 1891: Mary St, Brisbane, QLD

Revenue Use:

(Reading sideways up or down) QV 1d Qld state issue on 1897 four numeral. 1d Qld state issue on 1897 two numeral. KEDVII

1892 issue 1/-(Blue).

KEDVII 1901 issue 1d, 2d, 3d.

KGV 1917 issue 1d.

Rarity Scale:


QV 1d (state issue 4 numeral) R4. 1d (state issue 2 numeral) R4.


1892 issue 1/-(blue) R4.


KEDVII 1901 issue 1d R4, 2d R2, 3d R4.


KGV 1917 issue 1d R1.


Background: The British India and Queensland Agency (BI&QA) company was formed in London in 1885 along with its subsidiary the Queensland Steam Shipping Company (QSS). Both companies were themselves subsidiaries of the British India Steam Navigation Co. (BISN Co) and managed by Mackinnon, Mackenzie & Co (MM).


The shares of BI&QA were owned in equal portions by Mackinnon, Mackenzie, Gray Dawes and McIlwraith McEacharn.

BI&QA’s main business was steamship management, and they were headquartered in Brisbane as Managing Agents in Australia for BISN Co and the QSS. Burns Philp were appointed the main agents in Sydney. The companies Directors were Duncan Mackinnon of MM, Andrew McIlwraith of McIlwraith’s and George Mackenzie of Gray, Dawes.

BI&CO were well aware of the losses being suffered by the Australian Steam Navigation Company (ASN Co) (see above in ASN Co), and in December 1886 they offered to purchase ASN Co’s entire fleet and operating equipment for the sum of £200,000.  This was ratified by the London Directors in March, 1887.  This lead to the creation of the “Australasian United Steam Navigation Company” (AUSN) (registered in London), with BI&QA as overall managing agents.

This was the name by which the company would be known throughout Australia for the next seventy years as they ran steam ships throughout Australasia including services direct from Calcutta to Batavia, Singapore, Penang, Burma and all Australian Ports.

Device: Preprinted.


Related patterns: See also Macdonald, Hamilton & Co below.


Received by/Charles Parbury

Co Ld/per.a


User: Charles Parbury & Co Ld.

Address: 'Parbury House' Eagle St, Brisbane, QLD

Revenue Use QV: (Reading sideways up or down) 1d Qld 1894 state issue.

Rarity Scale: QV 1d Qld 1894 state issue. R4.


Background: See Parbury Lamb & Co above.


Device: Preprinted.


Related patterns: Refer Parbury Lamb & Co.


Received by/

Macdonald/Hamilton & Co./Per.a .b

    .a                                                     .b

User: Macdonald Hamilton & Co



Address: Brisbane, QLD


Revenue Use: (Reading sideways up or down)


.a KEDVII 1901 issue 2d, 6d.


.a KGV 1920 issue (script) 1d, 2d, 3d, 1/-.


.b KGV 2d.

.b 1938 Numeral 1d, 6d, 1/-, 2/6.


Rarity Scale:


.a KEDVII 1901 issue 2d R4, 6d R4.


.a KGV 1920 issue 1d R2, 2d R2, 3d R2, 1/- R2.


.b KGV 2d R3.

.b 1938 Numeral 1d R4, 6d R4, 1/- R4, 2/6 R4.

Background: *Benjamin Macdonald was born in March 1853 at Elgin, Scotland. He left school in 1866 and worked for a local law firm, Fife, Duff, Robertson & Skinner. In 1872 he joined the Glasgow shipbuilders A. & J. Inglis and in 1879 he took a position with Mackinnon, Mackenzie & Co., managing agents for the British India Steam Navigation Co. (BI&CO) where he worked in Karachi and later Calcutta.

In 1884 Macdonald moved to Brisbane to the BI&CO subsidiary, Queensland Steam Shipping Co (QSS), and later to the newly formed British India & Queensland Agency Co. (BI&QA) and then in 1887 to the Australasian United Steam Navigation Co. (see BI&QA above). He was initially a travelling inspector, then later, agent, at Rockhampton (1887-90), Cooktown (1890-96) and Adelaide (1896-1900). In 1900 James Mackay (later Lord Inchcape) visited Australia to reorganize AUSN.'s and Macdonald was transferred to Brisbane as general manager of both AUSN. and BI&QA.

In the early years of the 1900’s Macdonald was instrumental in the formation of the 'Collins pool', which was an agreement between the major coastal shipping companies, in particular AUSN and their rival the Adelaide Steamship Co.. This allowed the building of a larger Australian coastal fleet.


In 1915 James Mackay (by then Lord Inchape and chairman of BI&QA, wound up BI&QA an established, Macdonald, Hamilton & Co. and appointed them agents for AUSN, BISN Co and a  number of other local and New Zealand shipping, insurance and trading companies including Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (later P&O).


He was later chairman of directors of E. Rich & Co. Ltd, Lymington Collieries Ltd (Sydney), and Blackheath Collieries Ltd (Brisbane). Between 1907-17 Macdonald was also Russian consul for Queensland.

Macdonald had married Letitia Amelia Rendall in Brisbane on 19 April 1888 and the couple had four daughters and a son. Macdonald died in October 1920 but was survived by his daughters and son (Rodney Wickham), who in turn became managing partner of Macdonald, Hamilton as was his son Benjamin Wickham.

Device: Preprinted.


Related patterns: See also British India & Qld Agency Company above.

* Australian Dictionary of Biography. For more reading on this company click:here


Received by/Parbury Lamb

& Co/per.a


User: Parbury, Lamb & Co.

Address: Eagle St, Brisbane, QLD

Revenue Use: QV (Reading sideways up or down) 1d Qld 1894 state issue.

Rarity Scale: QV 1d Qld 1894 state issue R4.


Background: Charles Parbury, was born in Sydney in 1834, his father Frederick Parbury having arrived in NSW at the end of the 1820’s. The family were the owners of Parbury's wharf and bond store.


With Walter Lamb (who died in 1890) and later with E B Forrest, he had established the firm of Parbury, Lamb & Co and they became one of the principle trading firms in Sydney. Later they absorbed George Raff and Co and traded as Parbury Lamb and Raff Ltd.


Device: Preprinted.


Related patterns: Refer Charles Parbury & Co.




User: The Capricornia Regional Electricity Board

Electricity Distribution

Address: 152 Bolsover St, Rockhampton, QLD

Revenue Use: Numeral issue:

1966 2c.

Rarity Scale:


1966 2c R4.

Background: The Capricornia Regional Electricity Board was established in 1945 as part of the reorganisation of Electricity production and distribution in Queensland (refer SEA – The Southern Electric Authority of Queensland in section under S).

The company was centered in Rockhampton but also serviced the nearby cities of Gladstone and Emerald and the surrounding areas. Later with the cutover of the SEA managed Gladstone Power Station in the late 1970’s the role of Capricornia was reduced to only the distribution of Electricity.

Device: Preprinted.

Related patterns: Refer to other Queensland Electrical Authority patterns in:

QLD: Perfin section:

        CEL.a  SEA.a    

        Other – Section 2 Commercial Overprints

        SEA.a  WBBR/EB.a


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