RICHARD, Duke of York, later Richard Plantagenet (1411-1460). Document signed ("R. York"), grant of the manors of Cressege (Shropshire) and Arley (Staffordshire), Denbigh Castle, 20 December 1448. 1 sheet, 196 x 356 mm. (7 5/8 x 14 in.), written in Latin, in a fine French Chancery hand, ON PARCHMENT, first line of text with extensively decorated ascenders and elaborate initial "S," in very fine condition, in a giltwood frame.
SEAL: Richard's privy seal in red wax (diameter 65 mm. (2 5/8 in.), obverse showing a crowned beast on an elaborately plumed knight's helm, flanked by a feather, above a slanted heraldic shield with Latin motto), pendant on a vellum tag, some loss to seal.
A RARE SEAL AND SIGNATURE OF THE FATHER OF TWO ENGLISH KINGS. Richard grants to Ralph, Lord Cromwell, Lord Treasurer of England; Sir William Oldhall; William Boerly of Bromcroft, his wife Margaret; John Wynnesbury and Thomas Hopton of Rockhull, the manor of Cressege, with the reversion of property held in dower by Isabella, widow of Thomas Foulehurst, and the manor of Arley in trust for William Boerly and his heirs. Richard was the heir to the Yorkist faction during the reign of the Lancastrian Henry VI. In September 1447 Richard was appointed the King's lieutenant in Ireland, chiefly as a way of removing him from England. He delayed his departure for 18 months, and at the date of the present document was in one of his Welsh strongholds at Denbigh. In 1460 he belatedly pressed his claims to the throne, and was declared Protector and heir apparent; a year later he was killed in battle near Wakefield by the rival Somerset faction, and his head displayed on the walls of York. His eldest and youngest sons became kings of England as Edward IV and Richard III.
Provenance: The Lyttleton Papers, property of the Viscount Cobham (sale, Sotheby's, 12 December 1978, lot 16, illustrated).