ELIZABETH I, Queen of England (1558-1603). Document signed ('Elizabeth R'), listing the stalls of twenty-four (one blank) Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, dated at the head '1559 These Stalles so placed an[n]o primo Regni Elizabeth', signed by the Queen at the foot, the holders of the stalls listed in two columns in a secretary hand (and one place left blank), on vellum, one membrane, 220 x 180 mm, endorsement in a late 16th-century hand on verso (slightly browned).
The order of placement in the Knights' stalls in the Chapel of St. George at Windsor.
The holders of the stalls in the first year of Elizabeth's reign include the Sovereign, the Emperor, the King of Spain, the French King and the Duke of Savoy; the Duke of Montmorency [Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France], and the Duke of Norfolk, the Earls of Arundel, Derby, Huntingdon, Westmorland, Shrewsbury, Pembroke, Rutland and Sussex; the Marquesses of Winchester and Northampton; the Viscount Montague and the Lords Paget, Howard of Effingham, Clinton and Hastings, Lord Grey of Wilton and Lord Robert Dudley.
The origins of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most illustrious of the English orders of Knighthood, go back to the 14th-Century. The original companionship included twenty-four knights and the sovereign, and the order continued in this form until the end of the 18th-Century.