Ladies and Gentlemen, I proudly present . . . My inspiration!
This is Peter Philips's Certificate of Residence, stating his intentions to live in Brussels under the employ of his new boss, Archduke Albert. It is a valuable document for many reasons: it is the only piece of his handwriting that we know to exist, it is the only piece of evidence we have that gives us an idea of his date of birth, and it is a unique detailing of his life up to 1597.
Before you get too excited (I mean, really, restrain yourself . . .), this is no great find on my part. I knew this document was here, waiting for me in the Algemeen Rijksarchief in Brussels. But after several weeks of trudging through various Spanish, Latin, Italian, and Flemish documents, it was like running into an old friend. Now all I have to do is figure out how to read it . . .