- A 1544 letter carried by royal messenger, during Henry VIII's reign
- Dated and signed by ministers of state at Baynard's Castle (in the City of London)
A letter of state dated 27 January, 1544: "To our very loving friend Michael Stanhope Esquire governor of the King's Highness town of Hull".
The letter requests Stanhope to accompany Sir Richard Lee and others to inspect the town of Ravensparre and provide funds for any needed fortification works.
Ravensparre, also known as Ravenspurn, was a town in east Yorkshire on the Humber estuary. Coastal erosion caused it to be lost to the sea in the 19th century.
The letter is signed by Charles Brandon, first Duke of Suffolk; Sir Thomas Lord Wriothesley, Lord Chancellor; Sir John Gage, Comptroller of the Household; and Sir John Baker, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Michael Stanhope (before 1508 to 1552) was the son of Sir Edward Stanhope of Rampton, Nottinghamshire.
For a time an influential courtier, Stanhope was beheaded on Tower Hill on 26 February 1552 after he was convicted of conspiring to take the life of John Dudley, first Duke of Northumberland and others.
In the early 1540s Stanhope held several offices in Yorkshire and by September 1544 had been appointed lieutenant of the Garrison at Kingston-upon-Hull, an appointment which he likely owed to the influence of his brother-in-law, the Earl of Hartford.
His responsibilities as lieutenant and later as governor included the supply of provisions, men and ships to the town of Berwick, and for English campaigns on the Scottish border and into Scotland itself.
Richard Lee (1513 to 1575) was a military engineer in the service of Henry 8, Edward VI and Elizabeth I. He was a commander of Henry VIII and appointed surveyor of the King's works. Lee was member of parliament for Hertfordshire in 1545.
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