CROMWELL, Oliver (1599-1658). Lord Protector.
Fine Letter Signed addressed at the foot in general to his officers, 1 page 4to with red wax seal at the head and integral blank, [Edinburgh] 14 March 1650/1. A passport for Anthony Playford to leave Scotland and to return whenever necessary.
The unusually small size of the letter (185 x 140 mm / 7¼ x 5½ inches), and the small folds evident on the blank leaf, are an indication that it was to be carried on the person, perhaps in some place of concealment.
The letter was signed during a relatively quiet period of the Scottish campaign when Cromwell was recovering from illness. It is not recorded in The Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, 1988, vol 2, where Playford is not noticed.
'Suffer the Bearer hereof Mr. Anthony Playford, who brought Comodities hither for the use of the Army quietly to returne by sea or land into England wth. some Scotscloth & other goods, And also to returne agayne to Scotland Wth. any Comodities or goods for the use of the Army without any trouble or molestation. Given under my hand & seale the 14th. of March 1650 . / O Cromwell'The very heavy ink of the signature has slightly eroded the paper, affecting the 'll', but the overall appearance and condition are excellent.