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    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 73

    HENRY VII (1456-1509), King of England and Lord of Ireland. Document signed ('H[enricus] R[ex]'), a warrant addressed to his Sheriffs, Escheators, Bailiffs and Constables, Calais, 16 November 1492, signed at the head, 25 lines written in brown ink on vellum, one membrane, 320 x 310 mm, royal signet seal (central portion intact, chipped and defective in border; 2 small holes, touching one letter of text; seal area reinforced on verso). Provenance: Sotheby's sale, 14 December 1989, lot 179; the Spiro Family Collection.

    Price Realised  

    HENRY VII (1456-1509), King of England and Lord of Ireland. Document signed ('H[enricus] R[ex]'), a warrant addressed to his Sheriffs, Escheators, Bailiffs and Constables, Calais, 16 November 1492, signed at the head, 25 lines written in brown ink on vellum, one membrane, 320 x 310 mm, royal signet seal (central portion intact, chipped and defective in border; 2 small holes, touching one letter of text; seal area reinforced on verso). Provenance: Sotheby's sale, 14 December 1989, lot 179; the Spiro Family Collection.

    A warrant for the investigation of charges of ecclesiastical malpractices including false accounting and fraud: 'We bee credibly informed that certain lands rents and ten[emen]ts with their app[u]rtences bee common to the possessione of diverse abbeyes priouris collegies parish churches chappelles Gildes and Chauntries within our counties of Warwik, Northampton and Worcester and also that diverse of the said places and minstres of the same by colourable wayes of amortisement Without oure sp[ec]ial auctorite or licence therupon obteigned in defraude and abusion of Us'. The enquiry is to be conducted by John Meautis ('our Secretary for the frenshe tong'), John Wylde and Benet Medley (Clerks of the Signet), who are to seize the lands in the King's name. They will be rewarded for their services 'in our great Voiage into the parties of fraunce', and granted £20 a year out of the receipts.

    The King had sailed to Calais, with a powerful force of 25,000 foot and 1,600 horse, in October 1492, for the siege of Boulogne. A treaty was signed with Charles VIII of France at Etaples on 3 November, providing peace to last for one year after the death of whichever king should live the longer, and the present document would have been signed at Calais on his return journey. Henry re-entered London in triumph six days later. The legislation of Henry VII's reign relating to ecclesiastical matters included several measures to declare void letters patent granted in the past to abbots and priors and other ecclesiastical officials exempting them from various taxes and obligations, and an important act to curtail abuse of benefit of clergy.


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