Rare papers going under the hammer

PUBLISHED: 16:55 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:56 31 May 2010

The 17th century Charles II Order for Audley End House

The 17th century Charles II Order for Audley End House

A 17TH CENTURY purchase order for Audley End House issued in the name of King Charles II goes under the hammer in Shropshire next week. The document, which is being sold by an overseas collector, is dated 1669 and is signed by the Duke of Albemarle, the

A 17TH CENTURY purchase order for Audley End House issued in the name of

King Charles II goes under the hammer in Shropshire next week.

The document, which is being sold by an overseas collector, is dated 1669 and is signed by the Duke of Albemarle, the man responsible for the King's restoration to the throne nine years earlier.

It shows the King bought Audley End House from the Earl of Suffolk for £50,000, which auctioneer Mullock Madeley's documents expert Richard Westwood-Brookes said equates to £50million in today's money.

"Documents of this nature rarely appear on the market and we are expecting strong interest," he said.

"Charles II bought Audley End House, which is now in the care of English Heritage, so that he could have a comfortable base close to the Newmarket Races which he was largely responsible for founding."

The purchase order, which has a guide price of £200 to £250, is addressed to the treasury, requesting them "to draw one or more orders for payment of the summe of twenty thousand pounds to the right honoble James Earle of Suffolk and to be accompted in full of the summe of fifty thousand pounds to be the purchase mony payable to the said Earle for Audley End House."

Mr Westwood-Brookes said the duke was an extraordinary man who switched his allegiance from Oliver Cromwell's' son and heir, Richard, back to Charles II in 1660, forcing Richard to abdicate.

"Albemarle was a truly remarkable character," he said. "Both a general and an admiral who fought against the Royalist cause in the Civil War and served loyally under Cromwell, he realised that the weakling Richard Cromwell was not suitable for the office of Lord Protector.

"He therefore engineered the restoration of the King, proving himself to be a classic example of someone who always made sure he was on the winning side."

The sale, which takes place at Ludlow Racecourse on Wednesday, features several other important historical documents and memorabilia, including a lock of Napoleon's hair, a piece of Nelson's Victory, and a signed photograph of Adolf Hitler showing him with the widow of Richard Wagner.

To find out more about the sale check out the website www.mullockmadeley.co.uk or call Ludlow Racecourse on 01694 771771.

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