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  • Title
    Royal seal of King Henry IV of England, 1399-1413
  • Creator
  • Call number
    DR 70
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    1 seal - black wax
    1 container - tin - 12.9 x 2.3 cm overall measurement
  • Scope and Content
    Impressed from matrix which appears to be one cast for Edward III with name EDWARDUS changed to HENRICUS (see Catalogue of Seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, W. Birch, vol.1, Longmans & Co., 1887, pp26-9. GRL ref. DS929.8/26). This is the first of two royal seals used by Henry.
    On rim of seal is the inscription: 'HENRICUS DEI GR[ATIA?] FRANCIE ET ANGLIE DNS HIBERNIE' which in full should read: 'HENRICUS DEI GRATIA REX FRANCIE ET ANGLIE ET DNS HIBERNIE'. [op. cit.]
    Reverse has same inscription or rim, even more worn.
    Description: Gothic compartment between two side niches. In centre, under carved canopy, in which are the Virgin and Child (now indecipherable), the king crowned, holding sceptre and orb, on carved pedestal between two lions sejant. In small side niches, over lions, two figures; on right hand the Virgin and Child, on the left hand St George with his shield. In each of large canopied niches at side a branching tree, over which is hung the strap of a shield of arms: Quarterly, FRANCE and ENGLAND at foot of tree a greyhound. Outside these two small niches, in each of which a man-at-arms in armour three-quarters length. In the exergue an angel supporting corbel of the pedestal (now indecipherable)
    Reverse: King in coat of mail and heraldic surcoat, with chained broadsword held aloft, crest on helmut, and cap, a lion statant, guardant, crowned (almost indecipherable). In his left hand a shield of arms as above. Horse galloping to the right, with heraldic housings and plume. With carved and cusped gothic engrailed border of twenty four cusps. In cusped space by hilt of sword a small oak leaf. (from Catalogue of Seals...op. cit. pp.26-7.)
    Two sections of seal are broken off, one surface showing fragment of a tassel.
    A note enclosed in container reads: [at top left in pencil] 'Christies London' [then in unidentified hand]. 'A Great Seal of England of date 1399 to 1413 A.D. Henry the IV. Inscription: HENRICUS DEI GRATIA REX FRANCIAE ET ANGLIAE DUS HIBERNIAE Henry by the Grace of God King of France and England Lord of Ireland. The inscription is the same on obverse and reverse. It is evidently not a mere copy but has actually been impressed to give validity to some charter or grant. The silken cords are still visible.' The inscription cited on the note in fact differs from that which is on the seal.
    A further enclosed note reads: 'one time the Property of the first Governor of South Australia' [Capt. J. Hindmarsh].
  • Source
    Bequeathed by Sir William Dixson, 1952 Spencer List number: 102c
  • Access Conditions

    Access to this pictures collection via appointment only. Please submit your request through Ask a Librarian
  • Description source

    Information transferred from pictures card catalogue as part of the eRecords Project, 2009-2010
  • General note

    Digital order no:Album ID : 997223
  • Date note

    Dated from the reign of King Henry IV.
  • Name
  • Topic
  • Exhibited in
  • Open Rosetta viewer

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