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serjeant's ring

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    AF.1746

  • Description

    Serjeant's ring; narrow flat hoop; engraved borders; inscription with initial cross and flowers between the words. Maker identified but no actual mark shown.(see curatorial comments for details).

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1521 (date of "call" - see curator's comments.)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 0.84 inches
    • Weight: 53 grains
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Lombardic
      • Inscription Position

        hoop
      • Inscription Language

        Latin
      • Inscription Content

        + EXECVCO REGIS PSERVACIO LEGIS
      • Inscription Translation

        The execution of the law and the preservation of the crown
      • Inscription Comment

        'execuco' is mispelled: it should be 'execuo'. 'pservacio' is an abbreviation of perservacio: indicated by a line above the 'P' Dalton transcribed inscription in the wrong order

        According to Mark Emanuel (see Curator's Comments) the inscription should begin with 'legis' and should therefore read 'LEGIS EXECVCO REGIS PSERVACIO'.

        Maker identified by Mark Emanuel as Oliver Dawes (See curatorial comments for further details).
  • Curator's comments

    For serjeants' rings see Dalton 1912, Introduction p. liv-lv and p.239. These rings were presented by serjeants-at-law to various officials, clerics and friends on the occasion of their call to judicial office. Each new serjeant chose a motto which was engraved on the exterior of the ring. The practice is recorded from the 15th to the 19th century. Charles Oman lists all the inscriptions then known to him in 'British Rings 800-1914', London 1974, Appendix II; the inscription on this ring is listed by Oman, but with the words in the wrong order, and the candidate unknown. (J. Rudoe, Feb 2004).

    cf. Mark Emanuel, 'The Surviving Rings of the Serjeants at Law', London 2008 (privately printed) no. 8. He identifies the call date as June 1521 and maker as Oliver Dawes. He also suggests that the motto probably alludes to the execution of the Duke of Buckingham on 13 May 1521 (Inner Temple Year Book 2004/5 p. 54).

    Emanuel lists three rings of the same date and with the same motto. A second is also in the British Museum: 1879.0820.1 (Dalton 1912, 1679). The third is in the Chester Museum.

    Text from J.H. Baker 'The Order of Serjeants at Law', Selden Society 1984;
    p. 98: These cannot be precisely dated at present but they probably belong to 1521 or 1540. p. 474: found at Sittingbourne, Kent (Notes & Queries, 8th ser. X, 93) illustrated in Dalton 1912, pl. XXIII, row 5 and in Baker pl.VI, no. 4.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Dalton 1912 1678 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1897

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    AF.1746

Serjeant-at-law ring; narrow flat hoop; engraved borders; inscription with initial cross and flowers between the words. No maker's mark.

Serjeant-at-law ring; narrow flat hoop; engraved borders; inscription with initial cross and flowers between the words. No maker's mark.

Image description

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Object reference number: MCN2996

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