Lot 430
  • 430

Herbert, Edward, Baron of Cherbury

5,000 - 7,000 USD
3,750 USD
bidding is closed


  • Herbert, Edward, Baron of Cherbury
  • Autograph letter signed ("Herbert"), as Baron Herbert of Castle Island, to Charles I
  • paper
Complaining of his treatment by the crown since the end of his diplomatic career and petitioning for compensation, two pages, folio (290 x 195mm), 8 May 1626, integral blank; staining, nicks and tears professionally conserved. Green morocco-backed box and slipcase


James Gilvarry 1914–1984; (Christie's, New York, 16 May 1986, lot 104). acquisition: Purchased at the foregoing sale through Bernard Quaritch


V. Klinkenborg and H. Cahoon, British Literary Manuscripts: Series I From 800 to 1800 (New York, 1981), no. 30

Catalogue Note

"...I am not a saver, yet, by about 3000li your good Majestie, some way, or other, would recompense mee..."

A rare autograph letter signed by the great philosopher and historian. Edward Herbert's diplomatic career had culminated in his appointment as Ambassador to France from 1619 to 1624, but his incautious advice when negotiating for the marriage of Prince Charles to the French Princess Henrietta Maria had led to his abrupt recall (see lot 774). This letter is a carefully worded but bitter complaint about his treatment by James I. Herbert points out that his allowance as Ambassador was insufficient, and he "spent not only all the means I have from his Majesties, together will my owne annuall rents, but somethinge above," which has never been repaid, but he has also been denied the customary honors granted to prominent diplomats. He had been granted an Irish title on his return, but he here asks to be made a Baron in the nobility of England, and additionally requests to be made a member of the Privy Council and for a payment of £3,000. Such direct demands were unlikely to find favour with a King who was highly concerned with the niceties of etiquette, and although Herbert was granted the English barony of Cherbury in 1629, his other two requests were never met.