Scarce letter by John Dudley to his nemesis Michael Stanhope, rebuking him for mishandling naval matters for the King
English general, admiral, and politician (1504-1553) who led the government of the young King Edward VI from 1550 until 1553, infamous for his scheme to enthrone his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey; his titles included Viscount Lisle, Earl of Warwick, and 1st Duke of Northumberland. LS signed "John Lisle," one page both sides, 8 x 12.25, March 6, [c. 1542-1547]. Letter from Alnwick Castle to Michael Stanhope, reprimanding him for mishandling the King's business in Hull, in particular for having paid out sums which were already paid, including the charges of the ships pressed into His Majesty's service at Hull. He provides instructions in order to rectify the mistakes, informing Stanhope that the ships he has sent are to be discharged: "Albeit by reason of yll weyther, they have byn so long uppon the Sees that moche of yt, ys split and lytell worthe wherin the kinges mat[jest]ie shalbe a gret loser." In very good to fine condition, with overall soiling, and partial separation along the hinge.
The recipient of this letter, Michael Stanhope, was an influential courtier and Dudley's arch-rival. In 1552, Stanhope was beheaded on Tower Hill, having been convicted of conspiring to assassinate Dudley and others. A rare letter by the powerful protector of the 'boy king' Edward VI.
Provenance: The Spiro Family Collection, Part I, Christie's London, King Street, 3 December 2003.