Friday, February 2

The Mail Packet Project 2018

The ‘Mail Packet’ is an educational project conducted by the ‘HMS Acasta’ Royal Naval reenactment group. The project began in 2013 and the crew have received hundreds of period letters and packages from all over the world! It’s an awesome educational opportunity, not only for the recipient and the writer, but also for the public that gets to see and share in the experience.

It has been decided that the MAIL PACKET for 2018 will be delivered at the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, Kentucky on the weekend of July 13-15! 

The year is 1805 and the Acasta and her crew have just returned to port in Portsmouth, England.

Finished letters and packages will need to be in my hands by JUNE 30th so that I have enough time to get it in the packet for delivery.

People wrote letters for all manner of reasons in the period, business, duty, amusement, love, courtship, marriage, friendship etc.

Imagine all the things you do in your modern life that involve communication, now imagine if it all had to be done with a pen and paper. The people the Acastas portray wrote as a part of their daily lives, because they had to.

A few prompts on what you might write:
A Letter from a friend or colleague back home. 
(But none from 'immediate family' if you please. Imagine how awkward it is to get three different letters from women claiming to be your ‘wife’ or ‘mother’.)
A bill or request for payment, they’re not just for your modern mailbox!
An overdue payment of a debt.
A letter carrying news of the war(s)

Letters should be addressed thusly:

Recipient's Rank and Name
HMS Acasta

While the sender’s 'return address' was occasionally added, it was not a universal thing like we know on the mail of today.


Some of the Acastas that attend Jane Austen Fest on a regular basis are:

James Apple, Carpenter 
Nicholas Armitage, Purser 
John Griswold, Ship's Chaplain 
Jean Baptiste Girard, Surgeon's Mate
Michael Schwendau, Cook
Charles Winchester, Able Seaman
Sam Linden, Vol. 1st Class

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via the Royal Navy Doctor Facebook page, or via my email at:

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