SOUTHAMPTON Thomas Wriothesley Earl of - Letter Signed 1665
Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of SOUTHAMPTON (1607-1667). Charles II’s Lord Treasurer.
Letter Signed (“T: Southampton”) to Sir Robert Long, Auditor of the Receipts of the Exchequer, a warrant ordering payment of two thousand pounds to Sir Richard Fanshaw, “for the seventh and eighth three months pay” due to him as “Embassador to the Catholic king [i.e., the King of Spain].
1 page folio with integral blank leaf, n.p. [London], 31 October 1665.
Sir Richard Fanshawe, diplomat, loyal Royalist and a noted translator of works from the Spanish, had served as secretary to the British ambassador to Spain early in his career. After the Restoration, he was appointed Envoy-Extraordinary to Portugal, where he negotiated the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza. Two years later, he was appointed Ambassador to Spain, where he successfully negotiated a peace treaty, which he signed in December 1665, but was never ratified. In the labyrinthine world of Stuart politics, he was accused of having exceeded his brief and he was recalled in the spring of 1666.
Thomas Wriothesley, fourth Earl of Southampton, had remained in England during the Commonwealth, living quietly in some retirement whilst remaining a confirmed Royalist. He was made Lord Treasurer at the Restoration, a post which he fulfilled with caution and thrift, deploring the absence of those virtues in his masters. Samuel Pepys described him as having died “with the cleanest hands that ever any Lord Treasurer did”.
A portion has been torn at the right hand margin of the letter, affecting a few words of the text. The document is rather dusty, especially at the top and bottom margins and at the folds on the verso, but it remains in clear and legible condition.
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