The ISIHAC
Undelivered Mail From History Page

Last Updated
01 Jan 2008

On the BBC Radio 4 show I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, one of the rounds includes suggestions for items of mail that might have changed the course of history, had the postal service not failed that day. Here are some of the teams' suggestions, along with some of my suggestions. If you have any ideas you would like included, please e-mail me here, and I will add the best ones (with full credit to you of course)

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to Edward VIII
Don't abdicate...she's a man!!
Windsor
27 Apr 1998
Dear Lord Irving,
There's bargains galore this Easter at B&Q
Windsor
27 Apr 1998
Dear King Harold,
Your new contact lenses are ready for collection
Windsor
27 Apr 1998
from Emperor Hirohito to the Joint Chiefs of the Imperial Staff
Correction to previous letter...should have read 'I want to take out Pearl Bailey'
Windsor
27 Apr 1998
Dear Dad,
Everything going pear-shaped. Suspect Judas. Back Thursday.
Love Jesus
Windsor
27 Apr 1998
Dear St Paul,
Will you stop writing to us!!
Windsor
27 Apr 1998
Dear Nelson,
See you in my cabin during the battle.
Lots of love, Captain Jeremy Hardy
Windsor
27 Apr 1998
from the Department of the Environment
Dear Noah,
The emission of methane gas from your menagerie could have catastrophic effects on the climate.
Windsor
27 Apr 1998
to Mozart
Dear Am,
Saw Salieri buying rat poison. Keep an eye out. Always finish on an anticlimax.
Windsor
27 Apr 1998
to Captain Scott
What about Hawaii this year?
Yours, Oates.
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
from Winston Churchill
Dear 'Bomber' Harris,
Surprised to hear you're planning to bomb Dresden. I said destroy the enemy's armament factories, not their ornament factories!
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
to Cleopatra, from Ptolemy's Pets'R'Us, Cairo
Dear Cleopatra,
As requested, please find the wasp enclosed.
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
Dear  Adam & Eve, c/o the Garden of Eden,
No doubt you will be surprised to receive this letter, as I know from God that you were under the impression that your were the first people on earth. However, please accept this apple as a token of our desire for peaceful co-existence.
Yours sincerely, Gareth & Rhianon, Kingcoed.
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
from Joan of Arc, to her mum
The Dauphin has booked me a gig at Rouen. Hope he's right about the warm reception!
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
to all rugby players from the Welsh RFU, dated c.1976
Dear Players,
Of course you can be payed for playing. We want to keep the best rugby team in the world, don't we? Do you think we're stupid?
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
Dear Alexander Fleming,
Your lab's filthy!
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
Dear Juliet,
Romeo says he's not free Saturday night - how about me?
Love, Will Carling.
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
Dear King Agamemnon, Troy,
Please find enclosed the wooden horse you ordered, faithful in every detail apart from the scale. If we'd followed your measurements, we'd have finished up with a hollow ediface capable of holding a small army!
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
telegram to Humph, dated 1972, from Cubby Broccoli
Sean retiring STOP Bond part yours STOP For God's sake, don't sign radio contract!
Cardiff
14 Dec 1998
to King Canute from the Coastguards
Correction to last letter. It's high tide at 3 o'clock. Not broadcast]
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
to Boadicea from Colchester Council
Dear Madam,
We regret we cannot renew your chariot licence as the large blades sticking out from the wheels contravene Health & Safety Regulations
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
to Charles Darwin
I am the archangel Gabriel and I am sent to bring you good news. Not broadcast]
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
from Queen Elizabeth to the Walter Raleigh
Dear Walt,
If you're thinking of popping down to the West Indies or whatever it's called, please bring me a yam. I'm alright for ciggies and spuds, thanks.
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
to Abraham Lincoln from his daughter
We've heard the play isn't very good. Would you mind staying in on Tuesday and babysitting?
Your loving daughter, Tracy Not broadcast]
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
from Hitler to Mr Churchill
Dear Winston,
So sorry about invading Poland. I don't know what I was thinking.
Yours Adolf. Not broadcast]
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
from AEG Oven Recall
Dear Mr Alfred King,
We would like to recall the oven which you recently purchased from us. The numbers referred to are centigrade and not Fahrenheit. Not broadcast]
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
from Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin to Edward VIII
Don't do anything hasty. Wallace has gone off with the window dresser. Not broadcast]
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
to Lord Nelson from the Admiralty
Dear Nelson,
Your disability pension has come through at last. You'll be pleased to hear that you are therefore no longer required to command the fleet at Trafalgar. Not broadcast]
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
Postcard from Central Africa
Dear Mr Stanley,
Having a wonderful time. My room is marked with a 'X'.
Yours, David Livingstone. Not broadcast]
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
from Mona Lisa's agent
Portrait sitting confirmed. Don't forget - big grin!
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
Dear Joan of Arc,
This winter, why not come home to a real fire? The Fireplace Shop, High Street, Rouen.
[ P.S. Why not check out our winter discount faggots? Not broadcast]
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
Dear Mr Newton,
We confirm we'll be round to remove that apple tree first thing Monday.
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
Dear Mr Tell,
We confirm we'll be round to remove that apple tree first thing Monday.
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
Dear Mr Adam,
We confirm we'll be round to remove that apple tree first thing Monday.
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
a note from the Post Office to Saint Paul
Letter to the Corinthians marked 'Return to Sender'
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
from Holbein Photo Labs to King Henry VIII
We regret that the picture of a Swedish model was sent instead of the portrait of the ugly old bat Anne of Cleves. Hope this hasn't caused any inconvenience.
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
from Beethoven's agent to his client
Do nothing till you hear from me.
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
to Granny Smith
Where do you want all those apple trees put?
Harrogate
26 Dec 2005
Dear Mr Lincoln,
We confirm we'll be round to remove that cherry tree first thing Monday.
Kevin Hale
[ Dear Dr. Guillotine,
We shall be pleased to grant a licence for your automated hair cutting device, just as soon as you address one or two safety issues. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
To our Imperial Leader
Hail Almighty Caesar,
He's behind you!
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
To Michaelangelo
Dear Mike,
His Holiness wants the ceiling plain white emulsion.
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
Dear George Bush Senior,
We can confirm that infanticide is still technically a criminal offence in the state of Texas, but in your case we're prepared to grant a waiver.
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
Dear Emperor Nero,
We regret that the fire extinguishers you ordered are temporarily out of stock. They should be with you in 2 to 4 weeks, however, you still qualify for your free gift of a violin which has been dispatched.
Yours E-Bay of Naples.
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
[ Dear Cher,
We are happy to inform you that the book you requested "Warts And All - How to be happy as you are" is now in stock.
Yours, The Book Store Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
for Samson, a quarterly letter from Toni & Guy:
Dear Sam,
This summer, the fashion is for hair to be shoulder length. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
from George W. Bush:
Yo Blair,
You got it wrong. I said we're going to invade TieRack. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
[ Dear Christopher Columbus,
We regret that we are obliged to recall all recently purchased models of our TomTom's clockwork SatNav device, as we've identified an error in the manufacturing process wherby the labels East and West have been interchanged, leading to navigational confusion. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
[ Dear Mr Dettori,
Good news. Your step ladder, for getting down carefully from your horse, is now in stock. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
[ Dear Archduke Ferdinand,
All Sarajevo hotels full. We've booked you into the Belgrade Hilton. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
[ Dear Hannibal,
I'm afraid we no longer stock elephants. There's no call for them these days. However, we do have a warehouse full of Sinclair C5s. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
Dear Moses,
Just to let you know, the Jet-Ski is now in stock.
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
to Leonardo Da Vinci:
Dear Leo,
Scrub the sitting. I've got to go to the dentist.
Yours, the Mona Lisa. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
[ Dear Lazlo Biro,
Thank you for letting us see your ingenious writing device. However, we would discourage you from pressing ahead with its development as we're devoting future production to the implement devised by our client Mr Johann Felt-tip. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
Dear Joseph and Mary,
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter.
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
[ Dear Joan Of Arc,
Good news - they've imposed a smoking ban. Not broadcast]
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
Dear Mr. Logie Baird,
Yes, we can grant you a licence to start your new service, but only on the condition you never broadcast any programmes with the word 'celebrity' in the title.
Cardiff
25 Jun 2007
(d?) after venue signifies a query regarding the Date of broadcast,
(??) signifies a query regarding Venue of broadcast


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