- Queen Anne
Document concerning the expenses of Queen Anne’s household, signed by Samuel Edwards, 19 January 1704.
The earliest manuscripts on display date to the time of Queen Anne (1665–1714), who reigned from 8 March 1702 to 1 August 1714. The second daughter of James II, Anne acceded to the throne upon the death of William III who, with his wife Mary, Anne’s sister, had deposed their father in what is known as the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688. During Anne’s reign, the Act of Union between Scotland and England was signed in 1707, which officially ushered the realm of Great Britain into existence, and her rule marked a transitional period between the bloodshed of the seventeenth century and the relative stability of the eighteenth century.
This note grants some insight into the cost of maintaining the royal household during the first years of Anne’s rule. What are deemed the ‘Ord[inary] and Extraordinary’ expenses total some £10,000, which would be in excess of £1 million in today’s currency.
Document concerning financial support given to Henry Foubert for the Royal Academy. Signed by Queen Anne (1665–1714) and issued by Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin (1645–1712), 30 October 1704.
Like monarchs before and since, Anne provided financial support to a number of institutions. The document exhibited here concerns an annual payment made to Henry Foubert (d. 1743) in support of an academy established in late seventeenth-century London by his father to teach military exercises. Payment was made in the order of ‘Sixty two poundes Tenn Shillings without Account, as of Our free Gift and Royale Bounty, which Wee are graciously pleased to allow [Foubert] in consideracon [sic] of the charges and Expences … in the maintenance and support of Our Royale Accademy’. Godolphin was First Lord of the Treasury at the time this document was issued.
Anne’s signature, ‘Anne R’, is present just above the first line. This is the traditional signature of the monarch, which includes their regnal name but not the ordinal (i.e. ‘Elizabeth II’ is ‘Elizabeth’ only) followed by the letter R for rex or regina, the Latin for ‘king’ and ‘queen’ respectively.