CHARLES I. 19196



Manuscript Licence Signed ‘Charles R’ at head, giving the unnamed bearer, “with the men and companie belonging to a Shipp or Vessell”, permission to fish for one year “upon any of our Coasts, or Seas of Great Brittaine Ireland and the rest of our Islands adjacent where usually heretofore any fishing hath been”, and requiring all “the Admiralls, Vice Admiralls, Rear Admiralls and Captaines of the Shippes” to protect and assist the aforesaid. Annotated and signed by Sir Balthazar Gerbier. 13 x 9 inches, integral blank leaf, a most attractive document with a fine royal wafer seal affixed, four small worm holes, overall in good condition. Undated, c.1631-1637. Signed by King Charles I (reigned 1625-1649). A blank Licence (which might account for its fine condition), undated, but likely to date from the period 1631-1637 when Gerbier was His Majesty’s Agent at Brussels. Sir Balthazar Gerbier (1591-1667), painter, architect and courtier, served George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, and was active in the acquisition of paintings for the Duke, and later for the Royal Collections. On this document Gerbier certifies that he has shown to “D.Miguel de Salamanca, Secretary of state and war here [at Brussels] to the king of Spaine, certaine quantity of Licences in forme of this present & the like to have bin shown also by my secretary to the Chancellour of Brabant – who said he know well his Majesty’s Seale, as to have often seene the same…” Dating as this does from the period of Charles I’s ‘personal rule’, a fishing licence would have been sold to raise revenue for the Crown. Licences without names and dates must have had considerable market value.