Henry VIII signed document sells for $41,000 in online auction



2015-06-26 12:58:11

Henry VIII signed document sells for $41,000 in online auction

A signed 'call to arms' document from Henry VIII starred on August 30

A signed document showing the tyrannical nature of Henry VIII in the first years of his reign has sold as top lot in an online auction, which closed August 30.

King Henry VII divorce plea Our own Henry VIII document is perhaps the most important on the market

The document commands Sir Charles Brandon, a loyal subject of the king, to gather troops in preparation for Henry's planned invasion of France as part of the complex Italian Wars.

The Italian Wars began as a dispute between the Duchy of Milan and the Kingdom of Naples, though soon erupted into a large-scale series of conflicts that involved almost all of the major states of Europe, and saw a struggle for power that raged for more than 60 years.

In this call to arms, Henry VIII hopes to take advantage of Pope Adrian VI's Holy League against the French in order to expand England's territory to the north of France.

Planning to muster troops from Carnarvon, Merioneth and Anglesey in Wales, Henry states that men who refused were to be: "condignely punisshed according to his or thaire demerits in example of other that wolde semblably presume toffende herafter..."

Brandon subsequently led his men into the Battle of Spurs in August 1513, which was a success for Henry's forces and led to the capture of the French town of Tournai. For Brandon's efforts, he was appointed the 1st Duke of Suffolk.

Featuring 16 lines of handwritten text, likely written by one of Henry's subjects, the vellum page features Henry's signature at the top with a red seal affixed to the bottom. With toning, creasing and light staining - which is to be expected on documents of this age - the piece sold for $40,954.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering perhaps the most important Henry VIII document available to private collectors. In this remarkable artefact, Henry VIII appeals to Pope Clement VII for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon - a move that marked the beginning of one of the most significant events in British history, the foundation of the Church of England. A similar document from the House of Lords that supports the divorce plea is currently housed in the Vatican Secret Archives.

Even copies of this document, which are available in the Vatican gift shop, sell for around 50,000.

See our full collection of historical documents, including further examples from Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it