Cromwell’s anti-fun charter to sell at Sotheby’s



2015-06-26 10:53:05

Cromwell’s anti-fun charter to sell at Sotheby’s

9 Jul 2012, 10:26 GMT+01

A collection of acts and ordinances from the time of Cromwell’s puritan governance of England during the English Civil War are to sell at Sotheby’s.

Broadsheets such as these would have been circulated through marketplaces and nailed to posts during the 17th century, therefore the survival of these examples is impressive. They give an insight into the conflict of Royalist and Parliamentarian obsessions that lead to Civil War, the beheading of a Monarch, and the creation of a decade-long republic.

Sotheby’s Deputy Director of Specialist Books and Manuscripts Gabriel Heaton comments of the broadsheets: ‘living fragments, they cut right to the most defining moments of Civil War and Commonwealth history’.

Included is the hugely significant ‘Act for the abolishment of the Kingly office’, issued two months after the beheading of Charles I and the act that made Britain a republic.

Other acts include the cancellation of the festival of Christmas, the well-known banning of all plays and theatre ‘suppressing of publicke stage-playes throughout the Kingdome, during these calamitous times’ which lead to the closure of the Globe, and several orders pronouncing certain days for solemnity, fasting, and humiliation in order to return England from a ‘distracted estate’ to ‘times of joy’. It is no wonder that the collection is being dubbed the anti-fun charter.

The selection will be offered in six lots at Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations auction in London on July 10th. They are expected to fetch between £2,500-£5,000 each.


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