A historical document which set out promises made by King Charles II in return for his restoration to the throne after spending years in exile will go up for sale next month.
One of only two surviving copies of the Declaration of Breda will be offered at Sotheby’s auction on May 4, with an estimated price of £400,000 to £600,000.
It will be the star lot in a sale ahead of the King’s coronation, with manuscripts, jewellery, artwork and objects relating to the British monarchy from the past and present to go under the hammer.
Amid political unrest in Britain, King Charles II drew up a proposed agreement with Parliament and the military rulers of the time which outlined his promises and vision for the future of the kingdom.
King Charles II re-entered London the following month and would rule for the next 25 years.
Five copies of the document were drawn up and each was sent to a major power base – the House of Commons, the City of London, the Army, the House of Lords and the Navy.
Three of the original five documents are said to be lost and it is the Navy copy which will be offered at the Sotheby’s auction.
The document is in the public domain for the first time in nearly 40 years, since its auction in 1985 from a collection formerly owned by senior Naval officers.
Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s manuscripts specialist, said: “Alongside the Magna Carta, The Bill of Rights and The Act of Settlement, this is one of a small number of transformational royal documents that have changed royal power forever, and as such it is the most important of its kind to ever appear for public sale.
“It is through this Declaration that in 1660 the monarchy was re-established on freshly agreed terms, setting the monarchy on a path that leads to the constitutional monarchy that we know 350 years later as Charles III ascends the throne.”
The Declaration of Breda will be on display in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries alongside other items in their coronation sale from April 21 to May 4.