Cadiz: 1691. Single sheet, folded once. Pencil inscription at top with small black stamp, folded along vertical and horizontal crease, another later fold along spinal edge, small dirt stains along spine and foreedge. Visible watermark on 2f. Letter address on verso of 2f. Good. Item #3473
This is a letter of recommendation / introduction from D. Francisco de Velasco to the Duke of Sesa. It is dated 23 of June, 1691, in Madrid, Spain. In this letter, D. Velasco presents D. Abel Nesi who has been sent to discuss certain items of business with the Duke in Cadiz, Spain, and then return to Madrid. Certification containing references to the "Indies" (West or East?) and addressed to the Duke of Sesa (at that time, Felix Fernandez de Cordoba, who held the title from 1688-1709).
The Francisco de Velasco who signed this letter may have been Francisco de Velasco y Tovar (1646-1716), Count of Melgar and Viceroy of Catalonia. After serving in various wars, including a prolonged fight against the French in Catalonia in 1674, Velasco was appointed military Governor of Ceuta and Cadiz, and in 1696 became Viceroy of Catalonia. He was quickly confronted with another invasion of French forces in 1697, after which he was relieved of his post. He was a loyal support of the central government and, after the outbreak of the War of Spanish Succession, was appointed Viceroy of Catalonia once again. In 1705, however, he was unable to withstand an attack on the city by combined British and Catalan forces, and as a consequence the whole of Barcelonia and Catalonia were lost to Charles of Habsburg.
The extremely clear watermark is not in Heawood but is of a type that was manufactured in Spain in the late 17th- and early 18th-centuries (cf. Heawood 272); in our watermark is composed of three circles crowned; the top circle is a crescent moon (and is otherwise blank); the middle circle contains the monograph "GBB"; the lower circle the large letter "I"