A 17TH CENTURY LETTER OF CREDIT WITH GOOD NUMISMATIC OVERTONES
VYNER, SIR THOMAS. 1ST BARONET (1588–1665). Wealthy English businessman and politician who served as the Lord Mayor of London; James I appointed Vyner to the office of comptroller of the mint; under Oliver Cromwell, Vyner and a partner purchased a large quantity of Spanish bullion to be converted into coins for both the English government and the East India Company; in 1656, he became the Lord Mayor of London and was knighted by Cromwell. Exceedingly-rare Autograph Letter Signed, “Thos. Vyner”. 1/3 page, legal folio. London, September 1, 1653. [There is ink erosion to approximately 25% of Vyner’s signature, but the ‘essence’ of it remains. ~ Heavy iron oxide inks often do this to paper, after 370 years!] To ‘Alderman Bellingham’. He writes: “This is my second Let[ter] of Credit (my first of the same date not being answered) & is to desire you to accommodate the Bearer Simoth Hampe Esq with the sum of six hundred pounds and take this bill drawn on me and I will pay it here on sight and remain, your Loving friend, Thos Vyner”. An exceptionally rare 17th century autograph, and considering Vyner is largely responsible for the production of gold and silver coinage of England during this period, this is an exceptional financial and numismatic related item.
Six hundred Pounds at this time was a staggering sum of money and would represent the working wages for 16 years of a skilled tradesman’s labor, or nearly enough to buy 100 horses.