3 December 2003
ELIZABETH I, Queen of England (1558-1603). Document signed ('Elizabeth R'), a warrant addressed to Sir Thomas Bromley, the Lord Chancellor, n.p., 'the 29 daye of Januarye in the Eight and twentyth yeare of our reigne' , signed in the upper margin, the first word ('Elizabeth') elaborately decorated with strapwork, 11 lines written in brown ink in a small neat secretary hand on vellum, one membrane, 240 x 350 mm, contemporary endorsements in Latin at the head and on verso (some staining at edges, light spotting, approximately 8 words in left area of text slightly faded, not affecting legibility, 2 small holes; one touching one word of text, ownership stamp, remains of guard at upper edge, traces of mount on verso).
A warrant for extending one of the numerous prorogations of Elizabeth's fifth Parliament from 10 February to 26 April, for 'sundrye greate and urgente consideracons'. Elizabeth's fifth Parliament met on 23 November 1584 and sat until 29 March 1585. The present document authorises the fifth of the six prorogations which followed; before its dissolution on 14 September 1586.
Sir Thomas Bromley (1530-1587) presided over the court constitued for the trial of Mary Queen of Scots in October 1586. He personally affixed the great seal to the warrant for her execution, and the strain of these events is said to have hastened his death the following spring.
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