Henry VIII

6000/16294 - Letters patent, 1539

6000/16294 – Letters patent, 1539

This fantastic document is an example of ‘letters patent’ and is an important legal document. It says that Henry VIII, King of England, has granted to James Leveson the lease of Lilleshall Abbey. After the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII sold many properties which had been owned by the Church to private individuals.

This document was designed to look impressive because it represented the authority of the King. Within the initial letter, there is a picture of Henry VIII sitting on his throne whilst across the top, there are pictures of a lion and the Tudor rose. Attached to it is the Great Seal, which shows Henry VIII sat on his throne on one side and hunting on horseback with a dog on the other. It is hung from the document by a green and white silk cord. Green and white were the Tudor colours and this emphasises that Henry was a Tudor king.

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