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201   King Edward IV Document Signed  $5000 $14348 $15783 13 You must login to place a bid.
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#201 - King Edward IV Document Signed Estimate: $40,000+

Extremely rare 1475 military document signed by King Edward IV while preparing an invasion of France, listing great guns, spears, and crossbows

Extremely rare manuscript document signed by Edward IV, one page, 6.25 x 5.5, circa 1475. During the summer of 1475, Edward IV approves a list of men and munitions required for his imminent invasion of France. In part: "ix Cartes wt greate Gonnes…x Masons, viii Carpenterys wt a cart wt the gyn [siege engine], iiii whelewryghtes wt theyre cart…Item myself a spere and x Archerys…Item a cart wt Crossebows." On the reverse are twelve names, each followed by the notation "6s 8d," likely the sum promised them for their upcoming military service; two "coler makeres" are also listed at a cost of "13s 4d" each. Signed at the head by King Edward IV with his distinctive monogram. Matted and framed with an engraved portrait to an overall size of 19.75 x 14.25, with a window in the backing for viewing the reverse. In very good condition, with creasing, soiling, and extensively restored margins, affecting various words, but not impairing the sense of the text, or affecting the signature.

In 1475, Edward IV was four years into his second reign (1471-1483). His monarchy was ensured after the neutralization of the rival House of Lancaster, achieved first by his marriage to red rose Elizabeth Woodville, then by the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, and finally by the death of the pretender king Henry VI. His status solidified, Edward IV was now able to undertake the invasion of France that he had envisioned several years earlier. In 1472, Parliament had approved funds for the projects, and by 1474, a levy was renewed and increased in preparation for war.

Edward IV had sent a warning to the French King, Louis XI, prior to leaving for France, in a custom proscribed by early modern rules of chivalry. Louis XI took a measured approach in responding to Edward IV's categorical request that he relinquish his throne or prepare for war. The English army was deserted by their Burgundian allies soon after their arrival in France, and another ally, the Duke of Brittany, proved as unreliable. A peace commission was swiftly arranged. The Treaty of Picquigny negotiated in August 1475 stipulated that Edward IV would return to England in exchange for money, and that Edward's eldest daughter Elizabeth of York would marry the French dauphin, the future King Charles VIII. The peace treaty also permitted mutually beneficial free trade and would remain in place for seven years.

Autograph material by Edward IV is extremely rare, this being the first we have ever offered.

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