Gold mourning ring from the 17th century found!

Gold mourning ring from the 17th century found!


Average reading time — 2 minutes


In the UK, a treasure hunter discovered an ancient piece of jewelry made of the yellow metal — a mourning ring. Such rings were in great demand from 1650 to 1750. The items were made for relatives or friends of the deceased, so that loved ones would wear the jewelry in memory of the person. The found ring was scratched and slightly bent, but the engraved letters Sr MG KT and the date “October 28, 90” could still be seen on it.

In the photo: the bent mourning ring found with a metal detector.


After a detailed study of the ring, scientists were able to determine that the jewel is associated with the 17th century knight Sir Mark Guyon, the son of a successful textile merchant in Coggeshall. Sir Mark held important positions as sheriff of Essex in 1675 and magistrate in 1678. The man died in 1690 and was buried in St Peter ad Vincula Church in Coggeshall. The ring discovered by a treasure hunter supposedly belonged to one of the knight’s close associates.

The discovery of the gold item also led to another unexpected discovery: a recipe book by Sir Guyon’s wife, Abigail Abdy, was found in the county archive bureau. In addition to ancient recipes, the unique manuscript describes methods for preparing medicinal products.

An amazing find helps reveal details of the gentleman’s life and the life of his family. For example, the book describes recipes of tender macaroons and other delicious desserts. It also describes how to prepare a drink, cordial water, which was used as a cure for the plague and smallpox.

There was an opinion that this healing agent had anti-infective properties that could overcome the terrible diseases of those times. However, the effectiveness of the drug is in doubt, since the compiler of the collection of recipes died at the age of 35 from that same plague.

In the photo: the found gold finger ring from the 17th century was recognized as a treasure based on the results of the examination.


The museum of history in Braintree showed great interest in purchasing this precious artifact. The purpose of the management is to preserve the mourning ring and the recipe book for posterity. The museum believes it is important to provide the public with the opportunity to become acquainted with the fascinating history of the knight Sir Mark Guyon and the customs of that era.


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