New England Mutual Life
The postmarks show LONDON W | Z6 | JA 9 | 84 and BOSTON | JAN | 21 | PAID. One on the reverse reads N | 1-21 84 |8A. The 2½d stamp is franked with an illegible mark.
This envelope is presumed to enclose a letter to the insurer which Collins in fact dated 10 January 1884. There is no reason why he should write two letters on subsequent days. It is possible he expected it be posted the next day but it caught the late post. That letter reads
PLACE, | PORTMAN SQUARE. W.| London | 10th January 1884
Be so good as to send the customary notification, relating to the payment of my Premium of Insurance, due 12th February next, to my agents Messrs Naylor & Co, 6. Oliver Street, as before, and believe me,
Faithfully yrs | Wilkie Collins
To | The Manager, New England Life Insurance Company | Boston
The insurance policy for $5000 (£1000) was one of two Wilkie took out before he sailed from the USA to England in March 1874. Similar letters of 1885 and 1887 are known.