A handwritten receipt in Latin on a piece of vellum, confirming pay due to Henry Cooke for services rendered as Master of Children at the King's Private Music in 1665. The receipt is signed by William Rumbold, a financial agent of Charles II's Royal Wardrobe.
Within the decade Cooke had cultivated the finest boys' choir in England, handpicking the most promising choristers from around the country and imposing a rigorous rehearsal scheme at the chapel. But he fought constantly with the Lords of the Treasury for funding that had been allocated to him (and the children) from the royal expenditure. Maintaining the boys' liveries, in particular, became a recurring source of contention. Cooke was owed over £1,600 when he died in 1672. This little receipt is a token of the fraught relationship between Cooke and his royal employer.