WILLIAM III (1650-1702, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, Prince of Orange)
Lot 503
WILLIAM III (1650-1702, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, Prince of Orange)
Sold for £1,800 (US$ 2,770) inc. premium

Lot Details
WILLIAM III (1650-1702, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, Prince of Orange)
SECRET AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED ('William R'), to an unnamed correspondent [probably James Douglas, Duke of Queensbury], writing in his own hand for security's sake ('...I signifie this to you with my own hand because itt is fitt itt should be an absolut secret...'), William notes that his correspondent is meeting with unreasonable opposition in Parliament and is pleased that he is aware that the design of the opposers is to have time to hinder him 'haveing time to adjust funds for the forces', repeats an earlier message that it is 'absolutlie necessarie that my Parl[ia]m[ent] of schotland should be adjourned before that of England meet', instructs him if, despite all the concessions he had made, he is obliged to adjourn Parliament abruptly 'without obtaining what I may reasonablie expect for keeping up forces necessare for the publick safitie then itt is my expresse pleasure that you passe not those acts that are voted in Parlement that would be no wais either fitt for my honour or your own reputation, nor indeed for the reall good of my kingdom or securitie of my gouverment...', and ends by assuring his correspondent that he has entire trust in his integrity and conduct and of his own 'constant kindnesse', 2 pages, quarto, professionally strengthened, Hampton Court, 15 January 1701

Footnotes

  • The recipient of this letter is almost certainly James Douglas (1662-1711), second Duke of Queensbury who was an early supporter of William III in Scotland. He was Lord High Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament in the remaining sessions of the Williamite parliament (29 October to 1 February 1701 and 9 to 30 June 1702). He was Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland from 1695-1702 and Secretary of State from 1702. He is known to have been facing opposition over supply for the armed forces in the Edinburgh parliament. He also worked hard in containing the Darien crisis in Scotland on William's behalf and for the union of Scotland and England.

    William III was clearly using a 1 January start for the year, as continentals would, because in January 1701 the English parliament had not yet met, but was already in session in 1702, so it would make no sense to talk of a meeting of the Westminster body in the future.

    Autograph letters signed by William III are rare on the market.
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