Description

    King George II Pays The Bill To Keep Prisoners in the Tower of London! Document Signed, as King, 1 page, 9" by 14", Court of St. James, May 28, 1733; co-signed by Great Britain's first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. "To the Commissioners of Our Treasury." Some tiny cracks at the margins of folds, else fine: a handsome document - with excessively rare content. Here George II pays to keep prisoners in the most famous prison in the world: the Tower of London. To "our Right Well beloved Cousin John, Earl of Leicester, Constable of our Tower of London" George directs the sum of "One Hundred Fifty Three pounds and eight pence" to satisfy "One Bill... for Safe-Keeping prisoners in the said Tower, from and for the fifth day of May 1731 to & for the 24th December 1732, being one year and a half and fifty one days, at three pounds per Week... and thirteen Shillings and four pence per week..." Connoisseurs of penal institutions will recall that the Tower of London goes back to the Norman Invasion; that it was built by William the Conqueror, although Henry II, Constable of the Tower of London got on a right footing mid-12th century, no longer a legacy but an appointed job. The more romantic among us will want to remember that the Tower is where the two little Princes were last seen oh, in the summer of 1483 -- where Henry VIII decapitated some wives -- where Lady Jane Grey nobly went to the block. Thomas More lost his head there, too, and the young Princess Elizabeth almost, suspected of wanting to dethrone "Bloody" Mary ("Here lands as true a subject, being prisoner," she said, "as ever landed these stairs").... George II killed no relatives there, but kept the place going: the last prisoner was a German spy, shot by a firing squad, on August 15,1941 - the 841st anniversary of the arrival of the Tower's first prisoner. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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