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2012-05-03 15:49:07
A potentially very important Autograph letter from the recently appointed Inspector of Excise Revenue to Charles II's First Minister, the Earl Of Danby, on the issue of delayed returns into the financial state of the Navy.
London 2nd December 1674 - Folio, single page written in Secretary hand but signed by Shales, addressed, docketed, some dustiness, has been folded for delivery, evidence of seal wax. In 1673, towards the end of the Third Anglo Dutch war, the English Navy was £1000,000 in debt; ships were worn out, compliment of serving men at its lowest for years, and fraud was rife. Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby and First Minister, requested in March 1674 information on the Navy's financial condition. John Shales, recently appointed \inspector of Excise Revenue and previously Victualling Agent to the Navy at Portsmouth, writes that although partial information has become available he is as yet unable to file a complete report for lack of further data. He concludes by referring to a consultation between Danby and Samuel Pepys, who was at that time conducting his important strategic review of naval refurbishments and systemic abuses - "The Charge of the Navy continues its progression to a degree far beyond the Establishment which your Loxx (Lordships) has design'd to consult Mr Pepys." [Attributes: Signed Copy]
Bookseller: A. R. Heath Rare Books
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