HENRY BENEDICT, Cardinal York. (1725-1807). Jacobite claimant to the English, Scottish and Irish thrones.
Letter Signed address to Nicolas Veigura, banker in Paris, ½-page 4to, Rome, 6 January 1773. Asking him to pay 20,000 pounds to the Marquis JerÔme Belloni and to take it from the account that he holds with Joseph Cantini.
The younger brother of Charles Edward Stuart ('Bonnie Prince Charlie'), known to the Jacobites as prince of Wales, was himself regarded as duke of York. Always something of a religious maniac he received the tonsure from his godfather, Pope Benedict XIV in 1747 and was appoined cardinal-deacon. He was ordained priest in 1748, then becoming cardinal-priest. Although anxious to help his elder brother in the invasion leading up to the disastrous defeat at Culloden, and holding the nominal command of a naval expedition to England, Henry never left the continent. After Charles's death in 1788 he regarding himself as King Henry IX and was offended when the pope recognised George II as the rightful king.
The scrawled pen decoration at the top of the letter would appear to be original and to mirror the kind of engraving later used in printed bank cheques in an effort to combat forgery.
Provenance: from a collection formed by A.M. Broadley in 1903.