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Angelos Vergikios - William Cecil - 1561-8-29

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Angelos Vergikios - William Cecil - 1561-8-29
FINA IDUnique ID of the page  2357
InstitutionName of Institution. Kew, The National Archives
InventoryInventory number. SP 70/29, f.101
AuthorAuthor of the document. Angelos Vergikios
RecipientRecipient of the correspondence. William Cecil
Correspondence dateDate when the correspondence was written: day - month - year . August 29, 1561 JL
PlacePlace of publication of the book, composition of the document or institution. Paris 48° 51' 23.80" N, 2° 21' 5.40" E
Associated personsNames of Persons who are mentioned in the annotation. Nicholas Throckmorton, Elizabeth I of England
LiteratureReference to literature. Burnett 20201
KeywordNumismatic Keywords 
LanguageLanguage of the correspondence
LinkLink to external information, e.g. Wikpedia
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Grand documentOriginal passage from the "Grand document".

Lettre du 29 août 1561 (de ) : « Ioannes Vergetius Gulielmo Cicilia, Viro Clarissimo. Scribo ad Serenissimam Reginam de Duodecim Imperatorum immaginibus ex Aere Corinthio, quae cum non dum auditum sit nullo in loco fuisse’ inventae. Inventae sunt diebus elapsis Lutetiae, apud quemdam mercatorem Italum, qui cum sortem illarum pecuniarum, quae apud eum erant depositae furari decrevissent, fracta fide fugam cepit, eamq’ pecuniae quantitatem quam secum ferre poterat tulit, relictis multis vasis argenteis quae etiam apud eundem erant pignori, sed capsulam in qua immagines Imperatorum erant conditae, in sinu semper portabat, cum qua et postea captus est atq’ in vincula coniectus bonaq’ illius, ut creditores facere solent, inter eos fuerunt divisa; sed capsula integra remansit, cum dividere immagines nefas omnibus visum est; propterea inter se decreverunt eas alicuiq’ Regi vendere, cumq’ de hac re essem communefactus, curavi videre huiusmodj immagines, quibus visis obstupui rei pulchritudine, remq’ Nicolao Fragmort equiti atq’ legato enarravi, qui etiam eiusmodj immagines videre voluit, de qua re quid sentit, ex literis ipsius legati intelliges. Ego vero a mercatoribus obtinui ne cuiquam alio eiusmodj im’agines ostenderent, donec responsu’ habeatur ex Britannia. reliquum est ut quid de hac re sentiam dicam libere, quod si Franciscus Gallorum Rex primus, sive Henricus Britanniae Rex cum vivis essent, qui certatim gemmas preciosas emere solebant, et has singulares immagines vidissent profecto magno praecio emissent; sunt enim illa exemplaria a quibus emanarunt omnes Imperatorum immagines, quae passim circumferuntur; quapropter agnoscens rei excellentiam Voluj Maiestatem Reginae facere certiorem. Tu autem Gulielme Carissime nos quid de hac facturj sumus quam primum communifacito. Vale ac Mildredam Uxorem tuam, omnium mulierum N’r’e Aetatis decus, meo nomine saluta. Lutetiae Parisioru’ Anno post Christum Natum MDLXI Quarto Calend. Septembris [I am writing to the Most Serene Queen about images of the Twelve Caesars of Corinthian Bronze, since it has not previously been reported that they had been found anywhere. They were discovered a few last days ago in Paris, with an Italian merchant, who, since they [he] had decided to abscond with the sums of money which were on deposit with him, and, having broken his trust, took flight, and he took that amount of money that he was able to carry with him, leaving behind many silver vessels which were still in his possession as security. But all the time he carried on his person the little box in which the images of the Emperors were hidden, and he was captured still with it and thrown into irons and his possessions had been divided between the creditors, as normally. But the box remained intact, since it seemed wrong to all of them to divide up the images. So they decided among themselves to sell them to a King, and when I had been informed about this, I took the trouble to see that they were images of a kind that, when I had seen them, I was astonished by their beauty, and I recounted the story to Nicholas Fragmort [Throckmorton], the knight and ambassador, who also wished to see such Images; and what he thought about the matter, you will read from his the letters of this ambassador himself. I obtained from the merchant that they would not show the images to any other such person until an answer had been from Britain. Finally, I should say frankly what I think about this matter, if Francois I the king of France or Henry the King of Britain were still alive, who were accustomed to buy precious gems in competition, and if they had seen these unique images, they would have bought them straightaway at a great price; for they are those very examples from which all the images of Emperors which are in circulation everywhere have been derived; and so having recognised the excellence of the matter I wanted to inform the Majesty of the Queen. My Dearest William, let me know as soon as possible what we should do about this. Goodbye and greet your Wife Mildred, the glory of all women of Our Time, in my name. Paris, 29 August 1561 (Kew, The National Archives, SP 70/29, f.101 ; voir Burnett 2020).


  1. ^  Burnett, A.M. (2020), "Queen Elizabeth and the Twelve Caesars," in F. de Callataÿ (ed.), Numismatic antiquarianism through correspondence (16th-18th c.), New York (to appear).