H.M. Office of Works (also known as the Commissioners of Works and Public Buildings) was incorporated in 1832 to take control over duties relating to official buildings which had formally been discharged by the Department of Woods and Forests. Its principal function was the overseeing, upkeep and maintenance of Government owned buildings, monuments and parks. Due to the nature of these duties its officers were stationed at a number of principal towns outside London. There were assistant surveyors at Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool (which had a sub-office in Manchester), Birmingham and Southampton, and a representative was placed in each major Embassy abroad. The large number of dispersed offices led to a considerable usage of postage stamps on non-franked mail. This in turn led to the introduction of official perfinned stamps at an early date which is acknowledged in Stanley Gibbons Specialized Catalogue (Part I), but no details are given.