13 July 2016
JAMES VI and I (1566-1625), King of Scotland, England and Ireland. Letters patent WITH INITIAL LETTER PORTRAIT, Hampton Court, 21 July 1603.
Creating Thomas, Baron Howard de Walden as Earl of Suffolk, citing his service as a naval leader against the Spanish Armada and in the attack on Cadiz ('the most famous and always memorable naval battle and victory against the great and proud attack of the Spanish under the Duke of Medina Sidonia ... in which the same Thomas held an eminent and important place ... as well as the assault and overthrow of the island and city of Cadiz' -- tr.), the creation accompanied by a grant of £20 annually from the great and petty custom in the port of London. In Latin on vellum, 560 x 650mm, the neatly-executed initial letter portrait of the enthroned king in pen and ink, upper border decorated with armorial and floral motifs, first line of text in decorative majuscules (general light wear and soiling, the fold-up somewhat crumpled). Great Seal in brown wax pendant on silk cords (a good impression, a little chipped). Framed and glazed, the frame measuring 1040 x 935 x 100mm.
The second son of the 4th Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard captained the Golden Lion in the defence against the Spanish Armada and was one of the leaders of the successful assault on Cadiz in 1596. He was created Lord Howard de Walden in October 1597. Immediately favoured by James I on his succession, Howard's earldom followed shortly after his appointment as Lord Chamberlain of the Household in April 1603: it was in this latter capacity that he took part in the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot beneath the Palace of Westminster on 4 November 1605. Suffolk's ascension continued in subsequent years, and he was made Lord High Treasurer in 1614. He fell from favour however in 1619 through the enmity of the king’s favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, and died encumbered by massive debts which have been attributed to his ‘excessive building and excessive children’ – the latter numbered eleven, whilst the former included Audley End, the largest private house in England.
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