Dorset

Charity shop finds signed Queen Victoria letter

Document signed by Queen Victoria Image copyright Julia's House
Image caption The document is signed by Queen Victoria immediately above the official royal seal

A charity shop volunteer had a surprise when they uncovered a letter signed by Queen Victoria in a box of bric-a-brac.

The document, which was almost thrown away, was tucked in the corner of a box donated to the Julia's House children's hospice shop in Creekmoor, Poole.

It marks the appointment of William Jacob as an Ensign in the Honourable Artillery Company in 1860.

After being authenticated by signature experts and the Honourable Artillery Archive, the letter was sold online.

Jammy Dodger waving

The 16in by 12in (41cm by 30cm) document is dated 25 September 1860 and is counter-signed by Sidney Herbert - then Secretary of State for War.

Graham Crabb, who is responsible for selling the charity's more unusual donated items, said: "I was in the sorting area searching for a biscuit and one of the volunteers was waving about the document in one hand and a Jammy Dodger in the other."

He said it was not known where the donation came from.

The letter raised £395 for the charity.

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