MARY I

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Lot 186
MARY I

Sold for £ 10,800 (US$ 13,407) inc. premium
MARY I
Warrant signed ("Marye the queen" at head), ordering Sir Edward Waldegrave, Master of the Great Wardrobe, to supply livery to Paul Bocher, "our plumer attendinge oure Workes from tyme to tyme as neyde shall require at our howses of Newehalle Hunsden. Haveringe at bowre and pyrgo Withe in our Counteis of Essex and Hertford" yearly at the Feast of St John the Baptist (midsummer); the livery comprising "thre yerdes of Read clothe for a Coate at x.d the yerd and two yerdes of Velvett for gardinge the same coat at xv.d the yerd for the Enbrauderinge of the said coat Withe our lettres of M and. R. upon the breast and the backe foure shillings", counter-signed by Waldegrave, on one skin of vellum, neat early 19th century docket, margins trimmed, light dust-staining etc., nevertheless still in attractive condition, 15 x 20 cm., Westminster Palace, 20 June [1557]

Footnotes

  • "ENBRAUDERINGE OF THE SAID COAT WITH OUR LETTRES OF M AND R": A RARE DOCUMENT SIGNED BY 'BLOODY' MARY. This warrant lists four of Mary's royal residences in East Anglia of which the royal plumber had charge. Newhall, north of Chelmsford, otherwise known as Beaulieu, was one of Mary's favourite residences; the remains of which were excavated by Channel 4's Time Team in February last year. She had lived there with her mother Katherine after her father's divorce, but was evicted in 1533 in favour of Anne Boleyn's brother George and transferred to Hatfield (as described in Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall). It was later restored to her, and left to her with Hunsdon in her father's will. Hunsdon, another favourite residence, part of which still survives, lies northwest of Harlow. It had been converted into a palace by Henry VIII in 1525, and was in the main used by his children; appearing in the background of the well-known portrait of Edward VI of c.1546. Elizabeth I was to grant it to Anne Boleyn's nephew, Henry Carey, who took his title of Baron Hunsdon from it and who, as Lord Chamberlain, is now best known as patron of Shakespeare's company. Havering-atte-Bower, fifteen miles northeast of Charing Cross, was an ancient royal residence and reputedly the place where Edward the Confessor died. It was made over to Queen Eleanor in 1267 and thereafter belonged by tradition to the queens of England. The nearby palace of Pirgo or Pyrgo was built by Henry VIII as a replacement when the main building at Havering was falling into disrepair.

    Sir Edward Waldegrave, to whom this document is directed, had been one of those who helped secure Mary's escape to Norfolk and Suffolk after the proclamation of Lady Jane Grey, his reward being a seat on the Council, the keepership of the Great Wardrobe and a knighthood. Refusing to accept Elizabeth's religious settlement, he was to die in the Tower in 1561.

    Liveries, such as that specified in the present warrant, gave their name of course to the mediaeval guild, or livery, companies of the City of London; the Worshipful Company of Plumbers being among the original forty-eight listed in 1515. In our document, the name of the plumber was originally left blank and added later, quite possibly by Waldegrave himself; which might explain the presence of his counter-signature. This document was a highlight of the collection of the late R.E.D. Rawlins (Sotheby's, London, 2-4 June 1980, lot 80).
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