EDWARD VI, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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The very rare signature of Edward VI

EDWARD VI (1537-1553). King of England.
Letter Signed ('Edward' at the head) to the dean and chapter of Exeter, 1 page folio with address on the reverse, Westminster, 10 February II Edward VI [1548]. Fowarding a grant by the Bishop of Exeter to Sir William Paget, and asking him to confirm it under the cathedral chapter's seal and to return it by the same messenger. Countersigned by Lord Protector Somerset.
The grant by Bishop John Veysey [or Voysey, alias Harman] (?1465-1554) concerns the acquisition of his house in London by Sir William Paget, one of Edward's governors during his minority and a close ally of Somerset. The letter is mentioned in the King's confirmation of 19 July 1458 of the grant of Exeter Place to Paget (Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward VI, 1547-8, page 295). The Dictionary of National Biography notes that Veysey, formerly a favourite of Henry VIII, in his late years 'received numerous letters from the crown compelling him to alienate to those about the court the choicest possessions of the see' before surrendering the see itself in 1551. In fact Voysey was a very old man when he resigned. Miles Coverdale was appointed to the see, and served until 1553 when, on the death of Edward, he was deprived and went for a time into exile. As though to prove his immortality Veysey then returned to Exeter and remained bishop until his death in October 1554. His monument wrongly says that he died in 1555 in his hundred-and-third year.
'Edward
Trustie and welbiloved we grete youe well. And whereas the right reverend father in god our right trusty and welbiloved the bishop of Excetre hath passed a certaine graunte under his seale unto our right trustie and welbiloved comisineor Sir Willm paget knight of our ordre and comptroller of our household w[hi]ch we send unto you herewith. Nothing doubting of your conformitie to do us gratuitie and pleasour we desire and praye you to conforme the said graunte under yor chapiter seale and send the same unto us by this bearer whereby you shall do us pleasure w[hi]ch we will consider accordingly. Geven under our Signet at our pallaice of Westmr the xth of February the secound yere of our regne.
E. Somerset'
Weakness to the paper has been professionally repaired. There is some loss of paper to the right-hand side, but not affecting any words. Contained in a fine buckram box with leather label, gilt, to the lid.
Letters signed by Edward VI, the son of Henry VIII by Jane Seymour are very rare. He acceded the the throne on 28 January 1547 at the age of nine on the death of his father. A sickly child and ultimately suffering from consumption he died on 6 July 1553.
[No: 20863]

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