Besides signifying a concept, “order” names a formal category of document. Manuscript collections like the Morgan’s are awash in many kinds of orders, from marching orders to purchase orders. In this majestically rendered document, the teenage King Charles IX instructs two officials to gather up firearms and other weapons and get them off the streets of Paris. In other words, it is an order about public order.
Charles IX, King of France (1550−1574), letter to Claude Marcel and Jehan Le Sueur, Paris, 2 September 1563, countersigned by Claude II de Laubespine. MA 23607. Purchased by Pierpont Morgan before 1913.