Category Archives: King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII Very rare and desirable manuscript DS

Very rare and desirable manuscript DS in Old English, signed “Henry R,” one page, 11 x 7.75, October 25. Document issued to John Heron lending fifteen hundred pounds to Richard Tresgin, Merchant of the City of London. In full: “Trusty and wellbeloved, we grete you well. We wolle and commande you for certeyne consideracions we [are] specially making that ye delyver unto Richard Tresgin of our Citie of London, merchant, or to his assignes fyftene hundred poundes of our next loone money that shall come to your hands for the term of foure yeres after the delyvrance taking of hym or his assignes sufficient surities to be bounde by obligacion for repayment of the said fyftene hundred poundes. And this warrant shalbe youre discharge at alle tymes. Given under oure signet at Oxford the xxv day of October.” Signed at the top in black ink by Henry. Archivally cloth-matted and framed with a portrait of the king to an overall size of 27.5 x 15. Two areas of paper loss to the upper blank edge have been expertly restored, a couple other small repairs, and light intersecting folds, otherwise fine condition.

When Henry VII restored the Chamber in 1487 in an attempt to modernize the collection of royal income and keep England’s finances moving, the Treasurer became the most important financial figure in the kingdom. Selected personally by the king for his trustworthiness and keen financial acumen, Sir John Heron was appointed in 1492. He embraced the flexibility of the Chamber and, with no operating processes set in stone, helped create an institution that quickly and efficiently carried out audits and collections, more than quadrupling the revenue from royal estates within the year, while also reforming Henry’s household finances. Also serving as Supervisor of Customs in the Port of London, Clerk of the Profits of the Great Seal, and Clerk of the Jewel House, Heron continued as Treasurer of the Chamber under Henry VIII’s reign, working by his side on a day-to-day basis until Heron’s death in 1521. This is the first time in 30 years this document has come to market, making it a highly desirable piece. Oversized. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on August 24, 2013 in King Henry VIII


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RR Auction King Henry VIII Incredibly Scarce Letter Signed

RR Auctions King Henry VIIILS 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.


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RR Auctions King Henry VIII Letter

A rare 1517 letter to Sir Randolph Brereton, Chamberlain of the County of Palatine of Chester, appointing William Vernon as burgess

LS in Old English, boldly signed in the upper left corner, one page, 10 x 8.75, March 17, 1512. Letter to Sir Randolph Brereton, Chamberlain of the County Palatine of Chester, commanding that William Vernon of Middlewich, “reputed of good and honest conversacion,” should be appointed a burgess of the town “for thentertaynyng of good rule and advancement of Justice within the same,” upon payment of the usual fine to the exchequer in Chester. Address on reverse reads, “under our Signet at our Palays of Westminster.”

In very good condition, with several intersecting folds and scattered moderate overall creasing, a few scattered spots of soiling, mild rubbing, an old erased pencil notation, and a few small dings to edges.

Sir Randolph Brereton, a close associate of Norfolk, held a significant position in Henry’s court, serving as the king’s knight of the body and alter knight-banneret, a reward for his conduct at the siege of Terouenne and Tournay given by Henry. His son, William, a Groom of the Privy Chamber and Chamberlain of Chester, was suspected of having an affair with Henry’s second wife, Ann Boleyn, and was beheaded on May 17, 1536.

There were two things Henry feared, the plague and the wrath of God. In 1517, he faced both. That year a plague swept over London and Henry retired to the country to protect his health, leaving Cardinal Wolsey, ill with “sweating sickness,” to run the state. Then while he was away on a hunting trip, the “Evil May” riots erupted in London in which rioters protesting the presence of immigrants temporarily took over the city. Henry sent Norfolk to put down the riots. The king continued to flee from residence to residence as the plague drew closer, and when members of his own court died he went into seclusion with a skeleton staff. He began to believe that God was angry with him for his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, his brother’s widow, because of her inability to have a male heir. As misgivings festered, Ann Boleyn arrived at court in 1522, setting into movement a chain of events that would change the course of the Tudor dynasty and opening the way for the English Reformation. A rare, highly desirable document dating from a time of impending change, and actions that changed the course of English history. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.


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