Warrant for Cloth and other stuffs requisitioned for Queen Jane on 14 July 1553

A royal warrant under the signature ‘Jane the Quene’ authorizing the transfer from the Royal Wardrobe in the Palace of Westminster to the Tower of London of various textiles in the first days of her reign. Presented first with the original spelling intact followed by a transcription and translation into modern English.

Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England on Monday, 10 July 1553, and took up residence in the Tower of London that evening, as was customary for all new English monarchs. On that same day, this royal warrant was prepared in order to equip the new queen with appropriate textiles. The warrant is under the signature ‘Jane the Quene’ and authorizes the transfer of the various items from the Palace of Westminster to the Tower.

The warrant is both in a secretarial hand, perhaps that of Sir Richard Rich, who in June 1553 was recalled to the Privy Council to support Edward VI’s alteration of the succession. What appear to be his initials mark several places on the two documents as well as the upper lefthand corner of each first page. The handwriting is also similar to that of Sir William Cecil, then secretary to the Council.

The warrant reproduced here is held at Oxford University’s New College Library as Manuscript Volume 328/1, folio 36. It is reproduced with the original spelling. It is also in the same format and lineation as the original manuscript. It is not possible to reproduce the exact appearance of the handwriting itself, however.

The Warrant:

Jane By the Quene

We Wott and commaunde you that Immeadiatlie vppon the sight herof ye Delyver or cause to be
Delyverid for oure vse of oure silk[es] and other stuffe remayning in yo[ur] custody and charge, these parcell[es] following. videl[u]t.
twentie yard[es] of Crymesen velvet to Cover two Chayres and two close Stooles, and also one pece of Fyne holland clothe
contayning a xxv ^te^ ell[es]. And one pece of courser holland clothe contayning a xxx ^te^ ell[es].iij.quartes. And these oure l[et]tres signed
w[i]th oure hand shalbe yo[ur] sufficient warraunt and Discharge in this behalf. Yeoven vnder oure signet at the Towre the x ^th^
daye of Julye in the First yere of oure Raign./.

To oure trustie and welbeloved vncle, S[ir] Andrewe Duddeley knight of thordre and
keper of oure palace of Westm[inster]./.


We Wott [i.e., ‘will’] and command you that Immediately upon sight hereof you Deliver or cause to be
Delivered for our use of our silks and other stuff remaining in your custody and charge, these parcels following. Videlut. [Latin: ‘namely’] twenty yards of Crimson velvet to Cover two Chairs and two close Stools, and also one piece of fine Holland cloth
containing a 25 ells [N.B.: one ell equals 45 inches]. And one piece of coarser Holland cloth containing 30¾ ells. And these our letters signed
with our hand shall be your sufficient warrant and Discharge in this behalf. Given under our signet [seal] at the Tower the 10th
day of July in the first year of our Reign.

To our trusty and well-beloved uncle, Sir
Andrew Dudley, knight of the Order [of the Garter] and
keeper of our palace of Westminster.[2]


  1. Andrew Dudley was the younger brother of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. King Edward VI had earlier appointed Andrew Keeper of the Palace of Westminster, which housed both the Royal Wardrobe and the Royal Jewels.

KEY : Letters included between brackets, [ ], are indicated in the original by standard sixteenth-century abbreviations similar to shorthand.
Words or letters enclosed within < > are scratched through in the original.
Words or letters enclosed within ^ ^ appear as additional superscript (above the line) in the original.