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A Hoard of Gold Rings and Silver Groats found near Thame, Oxfordshire

  • Joan Evans, E. T. Leeds and Anthony Thompson


On 21st April 1940 Willcocks McKenzie, lorry-driver of Thame, while walking along the left bank of the river Thame, about one mile north of the town and a short distance upstream from a pool known as Jemmett's Hole, had his eye attracted by the gleam of metal. This, on investigation, proved to come from the parcel of rings and coins which are the subject of this account.



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page 197 note 1 A fine leaf-shaped dagger of unpatinated black flint, in Mr. G. W. Smith's collection, was recovered at the same time and place, and it would seem that the bowls and dagger must originally have been deposited by the side of the river and have been washed out by flood-action, eventually to be drawn back unharmed from the river's bed.

page 197 note 2 J. Evans, Ancient Bronze Implements, p. 466.

page 199 note 1 Evans, Joan and Serjeantson, Mary S., English Medieval Lapidaries (E.E.T.S. 1933). p. 79.

page 199 note 2 See Oman, C. C., Catalogue of Rings in the Victoria and Albert Museum (1930), p. 26.

page 199 note 3 Catalogue of the Loan Collection of Ancient and Modern Jewellery and Personal Ornaments, 1873, no. 1431.

page 200 note 1 Prof. H. L. Bowman kindly examined and identified the stone.

page 200 note 2 Miss Evans has kindly permitted photographs of this notable ring, earlier in the collections of Sir John Evans and Sir Arthur Evans and now in her own, to be included here for comparison [E.T.L.].

page 200 note 3 Oman, op. cit., p. 30.

page 200 note 4 One on one shoulder of the hoop is missing.

page 200 note 5 Cp. Oman, op. cit., pl. xxiv, V. & A. M. 560.

page 200 note 6 When the bezel was opened in the Ashmolean Museum the contents were extracted and sealed up. They were later carefully analysed in the laboratory of the British Museum, proving to consist almost entirely of river mud. No remains of a relic were revealed unless it was one fair hair.

page 201 note 1 e.g. Joan Evans collection, bought at Oxford; V. & A. M. 751; B.M. 696–9; London Museum A1630, and others.

page 201 note 2 Archaeologia (1824), xx, 566.

page 201 note 3 A famous one from the Abbaye de la Boissière, now in the Chapelle des Incurables at Baugé, Maine-et-Loire, was brought from Constantinople in the thirteenth century by Jean d'Allye. It was the origin of the double cross emblem of the house of Anjou, later adopted by the dukes of Lorraine. Such a cross, however, did not figure in the arms of Thame Abbey, which were, Argent, on a chief sable two heads of pastoral staves of the first.

page 201 note 4 See Lee, F. G., The History, Description and Antiquities of the Prebendal Churck of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Thame, London, 1883, p. 387. Robert King, in 1537, became abbot in commendam of Oseney as well.

page 202 note 1 F.C.H. Oxfordshire, ii (1907), 83.

page 202 note 2 Lee, op. cit. 383. It includes three silver gilt chalices partly enamelled, six silver gilt, an altar-cross of jewelled gold and two of jewelled silver, a pastoral staff of gold and silver and two of copper gilt, two silver gilt candlesticks, a silver gilt pyx, the silver plate of the refectory—dishes, cups, plates, bowls, salt-cellars, and spoons—thirty-eight complete sets of silken vestments, and many rich hangings.

page 202 note 3 Lee, op. cit. 387.

page 202 note 4 Ibid. 400.

A Hoard of Gold Rings and Silver Groats found near Thame, Oxfordshire

  • Joan Evans, E. T. Leeds and Anthony Thompson


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