3 December 2003
EDWARD IV, King of England (1461-1470 and 1471-1483). Letter signed ('R[ex] E[duardus]') to Rolfe, Victualler [at Calais], Cambridge, 19 December n.y. , signed at the head, 13 lines written in brown ink one page, 134 x 258 mm, address and traces of seal on verso (trimmed in right margin with loss of approximately 6 words, and at lower edge with loss of several words of address, worn in lower blank margin and in folds, silked).
The King prepares for the invasion of France, '[In] Remembrance of the charge that we laid unto you at yo[u]r last being w[ith] us touching the provision of certain ordna[n]ces for us towards oure voyage into France'. Rolfe is ordered to 'sette in worke certain masons and carpenters in yo[u]r wage ... [we] advertise and straightly charge you that ye in all wise utterly endevour you according to the said charge ... that we in no wise by yo[u]r Defaulte remayne unpruveyed or not fornisshed ... ye wol answer us at your perille'.
As the rule of the House of York became more secure, Edward, in concert with Charles ('the Bold'), Duke of Burgundy, began to plan an invasion of France for the recovery of his duchies of Normandy and Acquitaine and of his realm in France. The present letter probably refers to the construction of barracks or other accommodation for Edward's substantial army of over 30,000 men and cavalry, which began to disembark at Calais early in July 1475. A considerable Burgundian force was expected to join them, but in the event the Duke brought only a small contingent. This may have preciptiated Edward's unexpected decision to re-open negotiations with Louis XI, leading to their historic meeting at the end of August. By the terms of the truce, Edward withdrew speedily, and before the end of September was back in London. The great expedition was thus ended almost without a blow being struck.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium
An exceptional example of the most valuable illustrated book ever produced — and an icon of American art — will be offered on 14 June to benefit conservation causes
An expert introduction to Bulgari rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches, including cutting-edge concepts such as the Trombino ring and the Serpenti bracelet-watch