[CROMWELL, Richard], letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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The Great Seal of the Commonwealth

[CROMWELL, Richard] (1626-1712). Son of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector 1658.
Document under the Great Seal of the Commonwealth, 240 x 355 mm. (9½ x 14 inches) on vellum, with decorative initial letter, Westminster, 7 October 1658. The appointment of William Basill as 'our Attourney Generall in all Courts of Record in Ireland ... soe long as hee shall well demeane himselfe in the same'.
The document is a little soiled overall but clearly legible, the seal completely intact and a good impression lacking only the finer detail, showing the equestrain figure of Oliver Cromwell and, on the reverse, the arms of the Commonwealth with lion and dragon supporters.
'Richard by the grace of God Lord Protector of the Comonwealth of England Scotland and Ireland and the dominions and territories thereunto belonging To all to whome these presents shall come greeting. Know yee that wee very much trusting in the fidelity and circumspect[i]on of our trusty and welbeloved William Basill Esquire have consituted ordained Deputed and assigned And by these presents Doe constitute ordaine depute and assigne him the said William Basill our Attourney Generall in all courts of Record in Ireland. To hold and enjoy the same office of Attourney Generall to the aforesaid William Basill soe long as hee shall well demeane himselfe in the same. To receive in for the exercise of that office such and the like Wages Fees Proffitts and Rewards as and which heretofore have belonged or appertained to the office of Attourney Generall Wee have also given and by these presents Doe give to the aforesaid William Basill full power and Authority to make ordaine Depute such clerks and officers under him in every court as any other heretofore haveing or enjoying the office of Attourney Generall ...'
William Basil, or Basill, had originally been appointed Attorney General for Ireland in 1649 and was made Chief Justice of the King's Bench for Ireland in January 1658.
 Documents issued by Richard Cromwell ('Tumbledown Dick') as Lord Protector are rare since he was in office for only a few months. His first seal was identical with that of his father, even the name OLIVARIVS being retained. The British Museum 'Catalogue of Seals' assigned this to 1658-59. A second seal bearing Richard's own name was used later in 1659 (until his resignation in May of that year).
[No: 24129]

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