Description[Anglo-Spanish War] Prince Philip III of Spain Document Signed. Two disbound pages with integral address leaf, written on recto of first page only, 8.25" x 11.5", Madrid, March 1598. Philip III reigned from April 14, 1598 until his death on March 31, 1621, but the Anglo-Spanish War (1585-1604) began well before Philip ascended to the throne. The intermittent and undeclared conflict between Spain and England began with England's unsuccessful 1585 military expedition to the Netherlands in support of the resistance of the Estates General to Habsburg rule. Spain sent an Armada to battle the English in 1588 and lost, but regained that advantage a year later. In the following decade, Spain strengthened its navy and successfully defended its transport of precious metals from the Americas. The war became deadlocked around the turn of the century during campaigns in Brittany and Ireland, at about which time this letter was written. The war finally ended with the Treaty of London, negotiated in 1604 between representatives of Philip III and James I, the new Scottish king of England.
Here, just one month before taking the throne as King of Spain, Prince Philip authorizes a shipment of "money and other things" to Great Britain for unspecified reasons, possibly as an early attempt to negotiate for peace. The document is headed "El Rey" and is beautifully penned, with Philip's very large "Yo El Príncipe" and stylized initials at lower center. The document is lightly age toned, but bears heavy water stains along the left edge, slightly affecting the "Yo" in the signature. Very good condition.
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