Reference numberNLB/3/888
Alternative reference numberNLB/3 p412-415
TitleCopy letter from Michael Foster, to the Right Honorable Postmaster General
Date2 November 1889
DescriptionFoster explains that a parcel, consisting of a wooden box covered in brown paper and containing a fossil skull, was despatched to the Royal Society by the Department of Mines, Sydney, New South Wales on 12 July 1889 by Parcel Post per Orient Astral, labelled 'Skull of Thylacoles, £25'. The Society received it on 30 August, and when opened in the presence of two witnesses, the skull was found to be broken and 'much injured''.

Foster reports that the parcel's string appeared to have been cut, refastened and sealed with the Parcel Post seal. Another smaller box, containing a cast of the skull, arrived at the Society on 19 September and also appeared to have been opened in transit. Foster highlights the scientific interest of the fossil and reflects that its fracture is regretful. The President and Council of the Royal Society have requested that they investigate, in the hope of ascertaining from whomever had opened the box before it reached the Society's rooms, whether the fossil was at that stage intact. He also asks if it would be possible to make arrangements for the parcel not to be opened during transit.
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