Researchers explore Reverend Butler cover

Members of the Newfoundland Study Group, an affiliate of the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS), are trying to determine the origin of a 20th-century cover bearing Reverend E.A. Butler’s corner card.

The cover, which advertises Butler’s 1932 price list, has an “obvious” U.S. cachet and was mailed from Times Square Station in New York, according to Barry Senior, who highlighted the piece in the April-June issue (#179) of the Newfoundland Newsletter.

“It is possible that Butler was a visitor to New York and mailed the cover from there but why this cachet?”

If you have any information on the cover’s origins, email study group chair and newsletter editor Malcolm Back at


Butler was born in 1872 in Kelligrews, Nfld., and began collecting at the age of 18, according to the March-April 2003 issue of the Newfoundland Newsletter.

An Anglican minister who served his parish of Sandy Point on the west coast of Newfoundland for almost 40 years, Butler is believed to have started dealing in stamps in 1920, when he was 48 years old.

“The scope of his business in 1932 is reflected in his statement that his stock at that time was ‘over twenty thousand dollars value’ and that he had over one thousand new customers in 1931,” reads the 2003 article.

A 2007 article published by Norris Dyer in BNA Topics, BNAPS’ quarterly journal, added Butler’s price lists “were accurate and more detailed than any standard catalogue of the day.”

“His mail-order stamp sales were the chief source of Newfoundland stamps for many collectors, and his price lists were highly regarded for their completeness and accuracy,” wrote CSN columnist Gary Dickinson in CSN Vol. 44 #24.

Butler retired from his Anglican ministry in 1948 and disposed of his remaining Newfoundland philatelic holdings at an auction the following year. There are no known Butler first-day covers after Newfoundland joined Canadian Confederation in 1949.

He later died in 1955.

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