JAMES I'S PRIVY COUNCILand THE FUNERAL OF ELIZABETH I. Conclusion of a Privy Council warrant, directed to the Lord Treasurer, signed by fourteen members of James I's Privy Council, 1603
Lot 94*
JAMES I'S PRIVY COUNCIL and THE FUNERAL OF ELIZABETH I. Conclusion of a Privy Council warrant, directed to the Lord Treasurer, signed by fourteen members of James I's Privy Council, 1603
Sold for £2,000 (US$ 3,123) inc. premium

Lot Details
JAMES I'S PRIVY COUNCIL and THE FUNERAL OF ELIZABETH I
Conclusion of a Privy Council warrant, directed to the Lord Treasurer, signed by fourteen members of James I's Privy Council, namely Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Chancellor; Baron Buckhurst, Lord Treasurer; the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral; the Earl of Northumberland; the Earl of Cumberland; the Earl of Shrewsbury; the Earl of Worcester; Thomas Howard of Walden, Lord Chamberlain; Sir William Knollys, Treasurer of the Royal Household; Sir Edward Wotton; Sir John Stanhope, Master of the Posts; Sir Robert Cecil, Secretary of State; Sir John Fortescue, Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Sir John Popham, Lord Chief Justice, ordering payment of £1,600 from the Exchequer to Thomas Watson, one of the four Tellers, one page, possibly comprising the lower half, less margins, from a 4to sheet, light overall dust-staining, c.225 x 195mm., Whitehall, 28 April 1603

Footnotes

  • A PRIVY COUNCIL WARRANT SIGNED ON THE DAY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH'S FUNERAL, THREE OF THE SIGNATORIES BEING THE THREE STATE OFFICIALS WHO HAD WALKED BEHIND HER OPEN COFFIN THAT SAME DAY, namely the Master of the Horse, the Earl of Worcester; the Lord High Admiral, the Earl of Nottingham (formerly Lord Howard of Effingham who had defeated the Spanish Armada); and the Lord Treasurer, Thomas Barron Buckhurst (who back in 1561-2 had co-authored the first English tragedy in blank verse, Gorbuduc, and who was to die at the Council table at Whitehall five years later) – the procession comprising 240 poor women, followed by royal servants and household officers ranging from the Children of the Woodyard to the Archbishop of Canterbury, then by the open coffin on a chariot with the Master of Horse, Lord Admiral and Lord Treasurer walking behind it, followed by the wives and daughters of the nobility; with Yeomen of the Guard trailing their pikes taking up the rear (see 'The Order of Proceedings at the Funeral of Elizabeth' in Somers Tracts, edited by Walter Scott, 1809-14, i, pp. 248-50; see also Susan Doran's catalogue of the Greenwich exhibition of 2003 for a watercolour of the scene, showing the doleful trio described as 'footemen'). Among other luminaries of the Elizabethan age who have subscribed their names – all presumably in attendance in whatever capacity – are Sir Robert Cecil, the Secretary of State; George Earl of Cumberland, the late Queen's Champion (immortalized in the miniature by Hilliard); Henry Earl of Northumberland, the so-called 'Wizard Earl'; and Gilbert Earl of Talbot, gaoler of Mary Queen of Scots and husband of Bess of Hardwick.

    A noticeable feature of the document is that it is signed by none of the Lords Spiritual, such as the two archbishops or the Bishop of London, who one assumes were still involved with the Queen's obsequies at the time of signing – which makes it all the more unusual that so many have actually signed, half-a-dozen or so usually sufficing for the despatch of routine business. Three of the signatories had only just been sworn into the Council, Northumberland and Lord Thomas Howard on 25 April, and Cumberland on the 26th. The total charges for the funeral came to £17,498, and it seems not unlikely that our document, disbursing the comparatively large sum of £1,600, made up part of this sum.
    At the time it was signed, the Council were confined to London, their role by no means certain, while James I was making his slow and triumphant progress into his new kingdom which continued through to May. Thanks to the plague, James did not in fact make his formal entry into his new capital until March the following year.
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