from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A letter sent by a vessel which does not carry mail.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
At 9_d. _ each letter, the additional packet postage beyond the ship-letter rate, would be 10,875_l. _ gained to the British Post
This originated the ship-letter system, by which letters are now conveyed to every part of the world visited by private ships.
With that, she produced the ship-letter that had put her in such spirits, legibly dated some twenty-two days ago.
Mr.G. R. Huddlestone, superintendent of the ship-letter office, gave an account of the illicit sending of letters from London to the outports to go by sea.