ANCRAM, Robert Ker, first earl of, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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ANCRAM, Robert Ker, first earl of (1578-1654). Courtier and politician.
Document Signed ('Ancram'), 1 page small 4to, 6 July 1649. A receipt for one hundred pounds, being half of the sum 'bestowed upon me by the Com[m]ons house'. The mark of a single witness at the foot, some old pencilled annotations.

Robert Ker was a career courtier, an amateur poet and friend and correspondent of John Donne. He remained on good terms with both James I and Charles I throughout their reigns. As a reward for his various services in Scotland and in England, for instance as gentleman of the bedchamber, and for accompanying Charles to Spain (to woo the Infanta), he was given several awards, was created a baronet in 1631 and earl of Ancram in 1633, by which time he was master of the privy purse. His son, William [Kerr] was created first earl of Lothian in 1631.

A pension of two hundred pounds from Scottish revenues was granted in 1616. According to David Stevenson (Oxford DNB) 'The pension granted him many years before [the outbreak of the civil war] was now paid irregularly, and by 1647 he was having to seek protection from debtors'. The present document shows that he received a similar payment, however 'By warrant from the Committee for the said [public] revenues dated xvijmo July 1647'. Ker ended his days in Amsterdam where his debtors refused him burial, his final resting place being unknown.
[No: 26098]

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