DescriptionHenry Carey Baron Hunsdon Rare Manuscript Letter Signed "Henrye Hunsdon," two pages, 8" x 12", front and verso. Court at Richmond, 1588. Henry Carey (1524-1596) was a cousin of Queen Elizabeth I; his mother Mary was the sister of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth's mother. Officially, he was the son of Sir William Carey, but it was rumored that his father was King Henry VIII; his mother Mary Boleyn was the King's mistress. Henry was also the patron of a theatre company called "Hunsdon's Men," later known as "The Lord Chamberlain's Men" (Hunsdon became Lord Chamberlain in 1585) of which William Shakespeare was a member during most of his career. A member of parliament for Buckingham, Henry was knighted in 1558 and was created Baron Hunsdon in 1559. In 1568, he was appointed Governor of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland. Appointed Lieutenant General of the forces loyal to the Queen, Hunsdon's victory over Sir Leonard Dacre was instrumental in crushing the Northern Rebellion (1569-1570). Named Privvy Counsellor in 1577, Hunsdon was appointed Captain-General of the forces responsible for the safety of English borders in 1581. In October 1586, he was one of the commissioners at the trial of Mary Queen of Scots charged with treason and his signature appears on her death warrant.
On July 19, 1588 the Spanish Armada was sighted off the Lizard in Cornwall.The next day, Hunsdon was appointed Lieutenant, Principal Captain and Governor of the army "for the defence and surety of our own Royal Person" by the Queen. On this document, Hunsdon has handwritten, on the left side of the first page, ten names including "Ch. Howard." Lord Admiral Charles Howard, who had married Hunsdon's daughter Catherine in 1563, commanded the fleet that defeated the Armada in 1588. Also listed is "Fra. Knowles" (Sir Francis Knowles, treasurer of the Queen's household), "Tho. Buckhurst" (Thomas Buckhurst, 1st Earl of Dorset, Lord Treasurer), "Tho. Henedge" (Sir Thomas Henedge, Vice Chamberlain of the Queen's household), "W. Burghley" (William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, chief advisor to the Queen, Lord High Treasurer). Undoubtedly, this document is important and worthy of transcription into modern English. When Henry died in 1596, Queen Elizabeth paid for his funeral and for his monument, the tallest in Westminster Abbey. Fine condition.
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