16 September 2021 The Future is the Product of the Past

A Gold Mourning Ring Found on The Isle of Man

The ring found with a metal detector on the Isle of Man in December 2020 will be exhibited in the Manx Museum.

The piece believed to be a mourning ring from the Stuart Period was found in the south of the island.

Discovered in by metal detectorist Lee Morgan, the ring is 21.5mm in diameter, made from gold, with a crystal stone 12mm diameter, covering gold lettering of the initial capital letters  J (or I) and D.

Allison Fox, Curator for Archaeology at Manx National Heritage said: “The ring is small and quite delicate in form, but of high quality and intact.  ITV News

“The quality suggests that it was made for, or on behalf of, an individual of high status. It is unlikely that we will be able to establish for certain who owned the ring or whom it commemorated, but there is a possibility that it may have been associated with the Stanley family, previously Lords of Man.

Allison added: “The initials JD may refer to James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby and Lord of Man, a supporter of the Royalist cause in the Civil War.

“Letters and documents from the time show that he signed his named as J Derby, so the initials JD would be appropriate for him.”

James Stanley was executed by the Parliamentarians in October 1651 and his wife Charlotte, Lady Derby, was keen to ensure his name was remembered.

Lee Morgan,  In 2013 he discovered a hoard of silver coins dating to around AD 1320, and in 2019 and he discovered a silver ingot dating to between AD 950 and 1075. The memorial ring is Lee’s third Treasure find on the Isle of Man.

Allison continued: “Public funds, such as those found by metal-detectorists, walkers, and farmers make an immense contribution to our knowledge of the archaeology and history of the Isle of Man.

“MNH would like to formally thank both the finder and the landowner for their assistance with this unique find.”

When finds of archaeological artifacts are made on the Island there is a legal requirement to report them to Manx National Heritage.

Photo: Manx National Heritage

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