|Sir Robert Walpole 1721 - 1742|
|William Ewart Gladstone, 1880 - 85, 1886 and 1892 - 94.|
|Benjamin Disraeli, 1874 - 80, at Victoria's left shoulder|
|David Lloyd George, 1916 -22.|
|Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. 1940 - 45 and 1951 - 55.|
Prime ministers aside, other politicians have appeared on British stamps in recent years. The socialist former government minister, Barbara Castle, was depicted on 1 of a set of 6 stamps issued on 14 October 2008 to commemorate "Women of Distinction".
Another socialist, John Archer, was commemorated in the 2013 "Great Britons" set which is mentioned above because he was, according to the text of the official presentation pack, "the first mayor of African descent in London and the second in Britain".
Many precedents have been set with the above previous issues to negate any arguments against the issue of a Margaret Thatcher commemorative stamp. Former prime ministers who have been depicted on previous issues have not been without their faults - one was found guilty of corruption, one divided the nation, one openly married for money and one was a ruthless womaniser. Any faults that Baroness Thatcher may have possessed therefore do not exclude her from appearing on a postage stamp given her predecessors' records.
Fear that an issue of stamps to commemorate her would be divisive because some people would be angry to see her depicted on stamps is balanced out by the fact that it is equally divisive not to issue a set since there are many who positively want there to be a Margaret Thatcher commemoration. The pro-Thatcher stamps group can also point to issues in recent years which have unhesitatingly commemorated socialists and they can therefore claim that a political balance should be restored by commemorating this Conservative prime minister. They will also doubtlessly point out that if countries like Ghana, Liberia and, er, Mustique are issuing stamps to commemorate her then there is really no excuse for her own country to ignore her achievements by not commemorating her philatelically. They will say that she should be commemorated for the achievement of being the first female British prime minister just as John Archer was recently commemorated by a stamp because he was the, er, second mayor of African descent in Britain. Well, no doubt the outcome of this ongoing philatelic argument will soon be apparent and the public reactions to Royal Mail's decision will be very interesting to observe. It is pleasing to know that stamps can still generate public interest and even passion.
Enormous public interest was also generated recently by the Dr. Who stamp issue. To complete the set "Dr. Who" collectors might want to consider adding one or two other items. The 2013 "Great Britons" set also includes a stamp to commemorate the centenary of the birth of the actor, Peter Cushing, who played the character of Dr. Who in 2 cinema-released movies of the 1960's - he was, in effect, the 12th Doctor Who. On the stamp he is shown in the role of another iconic British character, Sherlock Holmes:-
|Dr Who no. 12, Peter Cushing.|
The actor who played the first version of Dr. Who, William Hartnell, was also depicted on a British stamp which was issued on 10 June 2008 which was part of the set of 6 stamps which commemorated "classic" British films of the "Carry On" and Hammer horror series. Hartnell appeared as the sergeant-major in "Carry On Sergeant", the first film of the series and his image appeared at the centre of the poster which advertised the film:-
The actor who played Dr. Who number 10, David Tennant, was shown in the role of Hamlet on a stamp issued on 12 April 2011 which was part of a set of 6 with an accompanying miniature sheet that commemorated the 50th anniversary of The Royal Shakespeare Company:-
Finally, we must travel to New Zealand for a depiction of Sylvester McCoy, the 7th Dr. Who, who appeared on a stamp released in December 2012 to commemorate the first part of "The Hobbit" film series. This particular stamp was produced in various formats - gummed from sheets, self-adhesive from a booklet and a sheetlet and in a miniature sheet format as well:-
|Dr. Who no.1, William Hartnell.|
|Dr. Who no. 10. David Tennant.|