Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
HENRY VII (1457-1509), King of England and Lord of Ireland. Letter signed ('Henricus R') to 'the Archduchess of Austria and Burgundy' [Joanna of Castille, "Juana la Loca"], Sheen Palace, 8 April 1497, in Latin, 21 lines in a neat italic hand on one page, 297 x 260mm, integral address panel, endorsed 'R. Angl. 1497' (some staining, more marked to right margin, small loss to upper left corner); with a translation.
HENRY VII (1457-1509), King of England and Lord of Ireland. Letter signed ('Henricus R') to 'the Archduchess of Austria and Burgundy' [Joanna of Castille, "Juana la Loca"], Sheen Palace, 8 April 1497, in Latin, 21 lines in a neat italic hand on one page, 297 x 260mm, integral address panel, endorsed 'R. Angl. 1497' (some staining, more marked to right margin, small loss to upper left corner); with a translation.

Details
HENRY VII (1457-1509), King of England and Lord of Ireland. Letter signed ('Henricus R') to 'the Archduchess of Austria and Burgundy' [Joanna of Castille, "Juana la Loca"], Sheen Palace, 8 April 1497, in Latin, 21 lines in a neat italic hand on one page, 297 x 260mm, integral address panel, endorsed 'R. Angl. 1497' (some staining, more marked to right margin, small loss to upper left corner); with a translation.

A DIPLOMATIC CONTRETEMPS. Henry had written twice to Juana on the subject of his business with her husband [Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy]; the letters were to be presented to her [no doubt when she briefly sheltered at Southampton en route to Spain in February that year] by Henry's French secretary [John Meawtis] with the strongest expressions of affection, 'he was to declare that we considered your highness not otherwise nor with lesser affection than as our own daughter', and he was given instructions to pursue the negotations with Juana. All of this, unfortunately, he utterly failed to do: 'We think that the reason that he failed to follow our instructions to him was that, seeing that this same secretary of ours lacks both Latin and Spanish, in their absence he could not express what needed to be expressed'. When Philip's envoys appeared after Easter with no letter from Juana, Henry swiftly understood that matters had gone badly, all of which, if it were better known to his subjects, would be likely to cause considerable trouble, they having endured 'such great and long-lasting injustice'. Nevertheless, Henry is willing to renew an attempt at negotiation, even if this is 'contrary to and against the disposition and wishes of our entire council'.

A summary of the letter is printed in Bergenroth, Calendar of Spanish letters, vol.I, no.177, from a Spanish translation retained in the archive at Simancas. The 'great injustice' to which Henry refers was a new duty imposed by Flemish traders on English cloth, in defiance of the favourable trade agreement, known as the 'Intercursus magnus', which had been negotiated the previous year. The recipient's parents, Ferdinand and Isabella, were well aware of Henry's displeasure at not having received a letter from Juana, though they wrote to De Puebla, the Spanish ambassador in London, on 28 March (Bergenroth, op. cit., no.176) that her failure to reply was probably owing to her own lack of a Latin secretary. Henry's pressure was in the end effective, and the Flemish duties were withdrawn by July 1497.

Brought to you by

Henrietta Greene
Henrietta Greene

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

More from Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts

View All
View All