1893 Military Franchise Essays of the New Hebrides

1893 French Military Franchise Essays of the New Hebrides

by Sheryll Ruecker

in collaboration with other New Hebrides collectors

Released:  17 October, 2017 (PDT)        Last updated:  7 July, 2018 (PDT)


Background history

Definitions and terms

Essay scans naming system

Essays by printing group

Essays by position

Essays by stone

Essays by plate features

How many are there?

Where are they now?




Website update history

The history

The controversial 1893 French Military Franchise essays of the New Hebrides were a ploy by the French to have military force sanctioned to protect their settlers. These essays were rejected by the British, who did not condone military force under the Joint Naval Convention which was active at the time.

The essays

An unknown but small quantity of these essays have survived. The order of the printings has been one of the conundrums facing those collectors attracted to the exotic nature of the essays.


These essays may once have been regarded as of little importance in the grand scheme of New Hebrides philately. However, they play their part in the political shenanigans that went on between the British and the French before the Condominium came into being in 1906. As such, any showing of traditional New Hebrides should incorporate these essays where possible.

This website

This website was created as a communal research site for collectors to learn more about these essays. It aims to put on line scans of all essays encountered since 1998 when collectors first began online collaboration on the stamps and postal history of the New Hebrides.

The contributors

Scans of essays provided are from the Aore, Blinco, DEG, (Fletcher), (Goron), (Jersey), Klinger, Mele, (Merot), Millet, (RMD), Ruecker, Petit, (Santo), SeSi and Treadwell collections. Also featured are essay scans from auction houses, dealers' stocks and eBay.

How to use this website

  • Read the background history of the essays,
  • Familiarize yourself with the naming conventions used on this website,
  • Examine scans of essay singles and sheets,
  • Compare hi-res scans of essays of the various printings, positions or stones,
  • Compare hi-res scans of specific features of the various printings, positions or stones,
  • Check on known quantities of the essays and their provenance,
  • Take a look at facts known, assumptions made, and theories deduced and presented for discussion so far,
  • Check for updates to the website periodically,
  • Contribute essay scans and comments to the website via sheryll at sheryll dot net.

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