LS in Early Modern English, signed in the upper left, “Henry R,” one page, 10.25 x 8, November 22, 1512. A letter to the Treasurer of the Chamber, Sir John Heron, extending until Easter an obligation upon the London merchants Richard Gresham and William Copland to pay 3,000 crowns at 4s 3d to the crown within 3 months, “wherfore we woll and commaunde you to see that neither they ne any of theire suerties susteigne any losse or dammage, by force of the said obligacion, for lak of noon payment of the said money tyll Ester next commyng.” Intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through the third letter of the signature), and subtle overall foxing, otherwise fine condition.
Serving as a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, supplying the finest textiles and luxury goods to England’s elite, Richard Gresham began doing business with King Henry at the start of his reign in 1509 and continued throughout their lives. Gresham became Sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1531, Lord Mayor in 1537, and was later elected to the parliament for the City of London. An important figure in the city, he served Henry well and was present at many notable events, including the execution of Anne Boleyn in 1536. This remarkable letter, written just three years into Henry’s 37-year reign, is one of the earliest we have offered and, in such beautiful condition, certainly one of the finest.
Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.