Sunday, 25 August 2013

Welcome, a Plug and a Fact

Ain't this a nice biscuit? Sadly, I've not had it, only been sent it on Facebook.

In all the fuss surrounding anniversaries, birthdays, etc, I've forgotten to welcome a new follower.  Hello to Millsy!  Millsy is one of those behind Canister & Grape, which as I mentioned the other day is celebrating its 50,000th hit with a giveaway.

The plug is for a blog that I've recently started following.  The Gonzo History Project is a very interesting view on matters historical (with a bias towards burial practices!) - a squint-eyed view.  Certainly worth the read, especially if you're interested in things archaeological.

Talking of history, it's time for a new feature <drum-roll> ...

What I Learnt Today...

The tag put on a hunting hawk's foot to indicate ownereship is called a vervel.  Norwich Castle Museum has a larger collection of medieval vervels than the British Museum.

These snippets came from a story on the BBC website about the vervel above, which was found by a metal detectorist and, quite properly, declared under the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The arms are those of Charles Brandon,  Duke of Suffolk, chum and brother-in-law of Henry VIII.  A coroner's inquest is forthcoming to determine ownership (which is the usual, and ancient, procedure under English law).


  1. Very interesting find. If I'd uncovered the vervels I'd just have donated them to the museum: I'd only lose them.

  2. A coroner's inquest? Meaning there is a chance Brandon is still alive? ;) If I knew I could live forever I'd have lost more tidbits.

    1. Technically the coroner doesn't decide the ownership, but whether the item is 'treasure' or not.

      If it's defined as treasure it belongs to the Crown, if not it generally belongs to the landowner (though detectorists generally make an agreement with them to split the proceeds if they find something).

      Under the old treasure trove system, treasure had to be more than 50% gold or silver and had been abandoned with the intent of recovering it (and descendants of the hoarder might have had a claim to ownership). The Treasure Act 1996 takes a more archaeological view.

      The upshot is that 'treasure' tends to be vested in a museum and a 'reward' of (alleged) market value is given to interested parties. If not 'treasure', the item may be sold on the open market.

  3. Thanks for the plug! I'm enjoying going back through the archives your blog as I get the opportunity.

    1. You're very welcome.

      Please feel free to clarify the mish-mash of the Treasure system I've made!


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