Sir Anselm Adornes – Ambassador to Persia 1474

Charles de Valois-Bourgogne, Duke of Burgundy (1433-1477) – Safe-conduct for the Ambassador to Persia Sir Anselm Adornes Ambassador

Mechelen, 11. II. 1474. Latin ms. on vellum. 378 x 210 mm. Papered seal. Signed by Charles Soillot (1434-93?), secretary to Charles the Bold.
[…] Universis principibus baronibus militibus et plebeis quibus hec nostre littere fuerint ostense, benivolenciam nostram et salutem universitatem vestram et vestrum quemlibet. Rogamus quatenus dilectum et fidelem consiliarium, oratorem et cambellanum nostrum dominum Anselmum Adornes militem, dominum de Corthuy, harum latorem, quem ad nonnullas orientales partes impresentiarum mittimus cum penes vos venerit seu per terras et dominia vestra iter fecerit benevole recipere, amoreque nostri et contemplatione favorabiliter tractare et tractari mandare velitis eumdem unacum viginti personis et totidem equis seu aliis equitaturis aut inferius, permittendo transire sine pedagio, gabella, fundonavis, datia aut alia exactione quacunque […]”. Sir Anselm Adornes Ambassador

English translation
To all the princes, barons, soldiers, and commoners, to whom these things have been shown in our letter, our goodwill and well-being, your entirety, and each of you. We ask that our beloved and faithful counselor, orator, and our chaplain, Sir Anselm Adornes, knight, lord de Corthuy, the bearer of these, whom we send to some Eastern parts of the present when he shall come from among you, or shall he travel through your lands and dominions, receive favorably; you may wish to treat and be treated the same, together with twenty persons, and as many horses or others as they are riding or below, by permitting them to pass without tolls, tax, farmhouses, data, or any other tax.


From March to June 1474, Adornes, Lord of Cortachy, led an embassy in the name of Charles the Bold to the Shah of Persia Uzun Hassan (1423-78), whom the Duke of Burgundy sought to persuade to engage in a new military expedition against the Ottomans, following a campaign in the previous year which had ended in Uzun Hassan’s defeat by Mehmed II. Adornes was chosen for this mission due to his knowledge of Muslim territories; he had made a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 1470/71 (the account of his journey written by his son Jan is still preserved). Sir Anselm Adornes Ambassador

One of the most illustrious members of the Adornes-Adorno family, of Genoese origin, and a wealthy patron, Anselm was closely involved in international trade (mainly in alum and cloth from Tournai and England). He maintained commercial relations with Genoa and Spain and played an essential role in Burgundian diplomacy.

Sir Anselm Adornes Ambassador

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Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

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During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

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Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

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A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

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