ESSEX, Walter Devereux, 1st Earl. 19152



Original Indenture, signed ‘W.Hereford’ at the base of the document at the age of 20 as the 2nd. Viscount Hereford, on the sale of the lease of land at Morebarne in Leicestershire to Robert Bradshaw. In English on vellum, 10 x 14 inches, folded, with pendant red wax seal, in very good condition, light water staining in one area only. 23 September 1561 [in the third year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth]. A rare signature. Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, (1541 –1576), English nobleman and general, leader of an ill-fated expedition to colonise Ulster. On his grandfather’s death in 1558, Devereux became 2nd Viscount Hereford and 10th Baron Ferrers of Chartley. He was entrusted with joint custody of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1568, and appointed Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire in 1569 (which he held through the end of his life). Lord Hereford, as he was now, provided signal service in suppressing the Northern Rebellion of 1569, serving as high marshal of the field under The 3rd Earl of Warwick and Lord Clinton. For his zeal in the service of Queen Elizabeth I on this and other occasions, he was made a Knight of the Garter on 17 June 1572 and was created Earl of Essex and Ewe, and Viscount Bourchier, on 4 May 1572. From 1573 until his death he fought in Ireland in connection with the Plantation of Ulster, where he ordered the Rathlin Island massacre. He was the father of Elizabeth I’s favourite of her later years, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. The Bradshaws acquired the Manors of Orton and Morebarn Grange in 1562 when Walter, Viscount Hereford, Lord Ferrers of Chartley, sold them to Robert Bradshaw who died in August, 1573. The manor and grange formerly belonged to Merevale Abbey and were granted to Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers of Chartley, at the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII.