Lot 410

Oliver Cromwell & 5 Prominent Parliamentarians Authorize English Civil War Soldiers' Pay at Coastal Fort

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Oliver Cromwell & 5 Prominent Parliamentarians Authorize English Civil War Soldiers' Pay at Coastal Fort

Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000

Current Bid: $2,600

(9 Bids)

June 26, 2024 10:00 AM EDT
Live Auction
Wilton, CT, US


Oliver Cromwell
Westminster, England, January 14, 1646
Oliver Cromwell & 5 Prominent Parliamentarians Authorize English Civil War Soldiers' Pay at Coastal Fort
A 1p manuscript document signed by English Civil War leader Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) in addition to five other prominent Parliamentarians, in alphabetical order: Denis Bond, Thomas Hoyle, Henry Mildmay, Lord Northumberland, and Lord Salisbury. January 14, 1646. Westminster, England. Secretarially inscribed on laid watermarked bifold paper. Endorsed by pay recipient Sussex Cammock on the second page, and docketed on the outer leaf; the third page is blank. Expected wear including flattened folds, even toning, and isolated edge darkening. Scattered minor discoloration and weathering. A few scattered former collector's pencil inscriptions or marks, and a mounting hinge on the last page. Else very good to near fine. 7.375" x 11.625."

The Committee for his Majesty's Revenue - of which Cromwell was a part - issued this pay order to Thomas Fauconbridge, Receiver-General of the Revenue. He was instructed to send £892:2:6 to officials at Landguard Fort, a military installation located on the mouth of the River Orwell in Harwich, on the eastern coast of England. The money represented six months' salary for Sussex Cammock (1600-1659), commander of Landguard Fort during the English Civil War, as well as for his officers and men, for the period ending December 25, 1645. The money was also earmarked for repairs of the fort; it was originally constructed during Henry VIII's reign, but had been expanded into a serious coastal defense installation around 1620.

The document reads in part, with unchanged usage and spelling:

"By virtue of an Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament of the XXth daie of Septem. 1643. These are to will & require you, Out of such Threasure as now is, or shall be remaining in your hands, to pay unto Sussex Cammock Captaine of Landguard Forte in the Countie of Suffolk the Sum of Eight hundred fourscore twelve pounds two shillings & Six pence, for the Wages of himself, & the Officers & Souldiers, these according to the Old Establishment, and for repaireing of the said Forte, for one half year ended this five and twentieth daie of December last past, 1646. And for soo doing this together with acquittance for the Receipts thereof, shall be your Warrant & Discharge; And also to this Auditor general to Allowe the same in your Accompte. Dated Revenue sitting at Westminster the fourteenthe daie of Januarie 1646…"

The document is signed by, in order of appearance:

- Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland (1602-1668), signed at upper left center as "Northumberland." He was the highest-ranking royal administrator to switch sides and align with the Parliamentarian cause. The year before, in 1645, Northumberland was granted guardianship of the royal children, the Dukes of Gloucester and York, as well as Princess Elizabeth.

- William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Salisbury (1591-1668), signed at upper right center as "Salisbury." A moderate in the House of Lords.

- Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), signed at center as "Oliver Cromwell." A member of Parliament representing Cambridge from 1640-1653, Cromwell had slowly emerged as one of the most important political leaders and military commanders of the English Civil War. Just three months before, in October 1645, Cromwell was accused of slaughtering part of the forces he was besieging at Basting House, a Royalist stronghold. In early 1646, Cromwell was busy in Cornwall and Devon, ruthlessly squashing Royalist resistance there.

- Sir Henry Mildmay (ca. 1593-ca. 1664/68), signed near lower center as "Hen: Mildmay:." Mildmay had held royal office in the 1620s and 1630s, but had become a reluctant Parliamentarian by 1641. He served as revenue commissioner between 1645-1652. He was appointed a judge at Charles I's trial, and while he is considered a regicide, he did not sign Charles I's death warrant.

- Denis Bond (died 1658), signed near lower left as "Denis Bond." Cromwell's friend and a fellow member of the House of Commons, Bond was an extremely diligent politician, sitting on more than 250 separate committees. His signature is well-recognized among documents from this period.

- Thomas Hoyle (1586-1650), signed near lower right as "Tho: Hoyle." Hoyle had recently been appointed Mayor of York after the city's capture in July 1644. He was a member of Parliament during both the Long and Rump sessions.

This 1646 document dates from the middle of the English Civil War, a series of armed conflicts waged between Royalists and Parliamentarians from 1642 to 1651. Fundamental ideas about government were at issue, with the Royalists supporting the "divine right of kings" model advocated by Charles I, and the Parliamentarians headed by Oliver Cromwell lobbying for limited executive powers and a more democratic process.

Our document is significant not only because of who signed it, but also because it underscores a major bureaucratic problem during the English Civil War: the question of pay. Unpaid contingents of Parliamentarian troops could and did change sides. A guaranteed salary went a long way in ensuring loyalty, as Sussex Cammock could probably tell fellow Parliamentarians.

Sussex Cammock (also Camock) was a former English privateer active in the Western Caribbean in the 1630s. He helped establish the Puritan colony at Isla de Providencia before returning to England to guard its eastern shores.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


  • 7.375" x 11.625"
  • Artist Name:
  • Oliver Cromwell
  • Medium:
  • MDS

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