Lady Minto's Fete

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Lord Minto succeeded Lord Curzon as the Viceroy of India in November 1905 and remained in office till 1910. His wife Mary Caroline Grey, popularly known as Lady Minto was very much involved in the organization of the Indian Nursing Association and had organized a Fete which was to provide the organization with endowments. The Fete was held between January 20th, 1907 and February 7th 1907 at Calcutta.

Besides the military displays, bands, open air shows and food stalls, a postcard stall and a Post office were also setup. Lady Minto had arranged for the issue of three stamps [1]:

The four Anna stamps were printed in sheets of 6 x 4, while the 1 Rupee stamp was in sheets of 5 x 5. The stamps were designed by Wilmot Corfield who was the Hon. Secretary & Treasurer of the Philatelic Society of India from 1897 -1909 and were produced by the Survey of India department at Calcutta, the official government printers in India [6].  


Lady Minto

Lord Minto 


Map of India 


The design of the stamps caused a major furor. It was felt in philatelic circles and by the Edwardian Society in Calcutta in particular that the release of stamps without the depiction of the King was an insult to the throne. Lord Minto ordered that the stamps be withdrawn, bowing to the strong objection. However, some stamps were sold and even postally used alongside contemporary stamps. The extra 4as were to be donated to the charity fund of Lady Minto [1].  

A special postmark was also designed to be affixed to the stamps that were supposed to sold during the fete and depicts a red cross marked around with "Minto Fete Calcutta" with the time and date of the stamp.

Postmark [1] 


Article appears here as reference material. All copyrights are acknowledged. If there are objections to the article appearing here please let me know and I will re-consider the decision to post it online.


1. S. W. Gee, "The Lady Minto's Fete" India Post No. 55, pp.19, The India Study Circle for Philately.

2. John Buchan, "Lord Minto, A Memoir" ebook No. 0500261h.html, retrieved from


4. Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia, "Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto",,_4th_Earl_of_Minto retrieved November 22nd, 2011.

5. Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia, "Wilmot Corfield", retrieved November 22, 2011.

6. "Lady Minto's Fete", Stamps Magazine, Feb 1985.

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