One of a set of four issued in September 2006 to celebrate 200 years from the creation of the Gibraltar Packet Agency in July 1806. The set comprises four stamps showing four 19th century packet ships that handled mail to and from Gibraltar: HMP Cornwallis (8p); HMP Meteor (40p); HMP Carteret (42p) and HMP Prince Regent (68p).
The setting up of the Packet Agency lead to the introduction of the early Gibraltar postal marks. The first Packet Agent, John Hardcastle, asked for some hand-stamps that he could use to show that letters had originated from Gibraltar. Two were produced: an arc with the name ‘Gibraltar’, and a further arc reading ‘Gibraltar Paid’. This resulted in the first usage of the well known “Gibraltar Arc” hand-stamp early in 1807.