HENRY VIII. 1491-1597.
Manuscript document, 1 p, elephant folio (468 x 835 mm), Walden, October 10, 1540, granting to Edmund Peckham of Denham, Buckinghamshire, nearby parcels of land formerly belonging to Westminster Abbey ("Monastery of St. Peter Westminster"), initial letter portrait of Henry VIII, showing the crowned King enthroned holding orb and sceptre, finely executed in pen-and-ink and gray wash, the canopy headed "Vivat Rex," with elaborate strapwork majuscules to first line, ascenders interspersed with heraldic emblems, with the Great Seal in brown wax suspended by green and white cords, document mounted to board, surface cracking to seal with loss of fragment at lower right of approximately 255 x 70 mm, flaking to ink of first line and to initial, some rubbing and wrinkling, folding creases.
BEARING PORTRAIT AND SEAL OF HENRY VIII. "Henry VIII granted Denham in 1540 to Sir Edmund Peckham [1495-1564] and it remained in the family until 1583, when Sir George, a merchant adventurer, was ruined with Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Richard Grenville as the result of a disastrous expedition. Under the Peckhams, Denham became a notorious haunt of catholic recusants and priests engaged in exorcism" (Denham Historic Town Assessment, Draft Report p 31). The crown recovered the manor in 1596 for debts owed, after which the lands were granted to William Bowyer.
Peckham began his career as a clerk in the counting house and eventually rose to become high treasurer of all mints in England and Ireland. He accompanied Henry VIII to France in 1544, and the king later named Peckham assistant executor of his will. (See Bindoff, The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, p 78.)
- Please note: adhesive residue to back of seal.