A group of five English civil war documents was led by one that marked Oliver Cromwell's official abolition of the British monarchy at Sotheby's yesterday (July 10).
Following the end of the civil war and Charles I's execution on January 30, 1649, Cromwell's new parliament immediately passed the act to prevent any further proclamation of a successor to the throne, with Charles II already being touted as the rightful heir by the Scots.
It reads: "…it hath been found by experience, that the office of a King in this nation...is unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous to the liberty, safety, and public interest of the people...". Marking the only period in English history that the country has been without a monarch, the document sailed past its £5,000 high estimate to achieve an impressive £13,750 - a 175% increase.
Ever the kind-hearted leader, another Cromwell document to excel in the sale was the infamous "Christmas is cancelled" broadsheet, which he issued on Christmas Eve 1651. A staunch Puritan, Cromwell ordered markets and shops to remain open and for the public to treat Christmas like any other day, with the Lord Major and sheriffs of London instructed to uphold the law. A charming reminder of the tyrannical dictator, it sold just above its £5,000 high estimate at £5,625.
In total, all five of the civil war documents surpassed their expected sale prices, and continued the run of success seen by British manuscripts at auction recently. Another Sotheby's auction saw an ancient Welsh manuscript sell as top lot, achieving £541,250, yesterday.
Paul Fraser Collectibles is please to offer customers a rare chance to own Oliver Cromwell's signature at a fantastic price. We also have an incredible selection of King Henry VII and Elizabeth I documents for sale.