Treasure hunters have re-discovered a long lost piece of Henry VIII's crown

At 1:49 “And the crown was used at the coronation of Henry’s son Charles I”

It also tends not to be just pick a random chunk of land and work it over.

I have an uncle who is, weirdly enough, a well known detectorist. Even having been featured on the cover of Treasure Hunting Magazine. Being otherwise a clammer he specializes in working the eroded edges and wash of wetlands. Does a lot of research about the history of the area and erosion patterns to figure out where to look.

We kinda think about these things as some one randomly poking around for GOLD(!). But people who know what they’re doing, it tends to be a lot more targeted. And in Europe especially it’s often times a lot more tied to locating an archeological site and passing it off to the pros or a local historical group.

Sounds like this guy was working over a known site. Though sounds like the professionals might not have gotten a look at the find or the exact spot right away.

My uncle mostly looks for items from the last century of no particular historical value, but good cash value. It’s mostly old jewlery and local tchochtkes like harbor patrol badges from the 30’s.

In non detector terms he makes a good amount off collectable vintage bottle and jugs. And once found some mastodon teeth.

The only times he’s ever found historical items of any significance were times he was working for actual archeological digs. Some one convinced him to work over some civil and revolutionary war battlefields for a while. He described it as a massive waste of time.


Oh, okay! I had not been able to watch the video yet, I just got to skim the article. Yeah, that’s clearly incorrect.


Probably not worth your time, it does not add anything worthwhile.

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The team who found it were looking for the site of the church (later destroyed during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries) and the grave.


Did not expect my jab at the guy who made hell for my ancestors 500 years ago to be controversial


Hey, I’m with you on Cromwell for sure! But not every agrees, apparently… he has his defenders, despite being a joyless authoritarian who unleashed hell in Ireland.

[ETA] Also, he apparently is the basis for the villain in Wolfwalkers, the Lord Protector…


He is popular with a lot of UK Labour supporters for some inexplicable reason. It’s not like he founded a real republic, and he did it so badly that people welcomed the monarchy back.


I think the Putney Debates put an end to that claim

Nor did I expect my tossed-off remark to start a civil war. Sorry.

Maybe some of those with more knowledge of history can tell me, though. If the Civil War had not happened, would Britain have slipped back into an absolute monarchy? Charles I wasn’t exactly a fan of Parliament.


It did anyway. The Civil Wars weren’t the turning point for Parliament, it was the Glorious Revolution.


How so?

I think the Civil War was more due to the attempt by Charles to establish an absolute monarchy rather than re-establish one. English kings never really got to the kind of absolute rule the French did. Too many powerful noblemen with significant power and wealth of their own - and a very stroppy population.

The closest we got was probably Henry VIII as it happens thanks to some considerable effort by his da, Henry VII.

But, yes the only way the civil war wouldn’t have happened is if Parliament had acquiesced in being sidelined. Had the war been lost, and if not for Cromwell it probably would have been, we would probably not have our rather odd compromise system.

We’d probably have had a few years of quasi absolute monarchy followed by an even bloodier revolution and possibly some of the more radical constitutional reforms suggested might have been agreed/imposed then.


But that was triggered by James II suspending Parliament and attempting to rule as an absolute monarch. Wasn’t the popular outrage due to the tradition of limited monarchy that the Civil Wars preserved?

When I said “slipped back”, I meant to Tudor times, not to Charles’ early reign. If Henry VIII was not absolute, he was close enough for government work.

Yes, I think the French Revolution might well have inspired the British (as it did a few of them, Wordsworth for one).

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And I have absolutely no problem with him in that case. Searching in erosion zones where the archaeology is going to be destroyed anyway is a good and helpful way of doing this.

Exactly. That’s the problem. Digging down into archaeological layers and yanking out finds without proper documentation.

I wish that were true but you’re talking about a tiny percentage here. Most detectorists jealously guard their “productive” fields.

Indeed. We often don’t. Imagine if this really is part of the crown. What could we have found out if it had been properly excavated? Soil micromorphological samples with palynological material might have given us the time of year it was lost. Stratigraphy would allow us to say whether it was buried or lost unintentionally. With a bit of luck we would have found organic material that could give a rough (C¹⁴) or an exact (dendrochronology) date of burial.

All of that info is lost forever. Like tears in rain.


Well, our upper and middle classes have been petrified of the working classes rising up and slaughtering us all in our beds since at least the French Revolution so we’re about due.

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Part of the outrage was because James VII was a Catholic, and people feared a return to the days of Mary if James became an absolute monarch (which he was showing signs of). William of Orange was another bastard though, if you are Irish or sympathetic to Ireland. I was tired of Orangemen long before Trump became president


pew GIF

This! And it’s not like you get any real democracy until… when? the 19th century with universal male and not until the 20th for women.

No, but it’s pretty clear that until the Glorious revolution they had far more power vis-a-vis parliament.

Honestly, wasn’t that really the root of his beef with the Pope - that he could not make the change he wanted to make, but had to get permission for divorce, when he saw it as a critical issue, because of a lack of a male heir (which when he did get one, he didn’t last long compared to his youngest daughter).


And substantially he’s mostly targeting places that are unlikely to have much in the way of archeology of any significant sort. The big trick that lets him make part of his living that way is to target areas where recent or recentish items have already been dislodged or have been eroded out of their context and deposited closer to the surface.

Part of that’s ethics. Part of it is that there is more money to be made and less trouble to be had in finding lots of rings and necklaces from the 30’s and vintage collectable Coke bottles. Rather than trying to strike it rich on a legally questionable historical find.

Probably should have phrased it better. It’s more that this approach is more common in Europe. And I was mostly thinking of the stricter regulation which seems to press more people in that direction.

Yeah. Your best, and perhaps only, chance to actually prove the case is gone already.

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I used to metal detect when I was in my teens. Living in a part of America that had only been permanently inhabited for 150 years, I was never going to find anything with much historical significance, but there was and is a clear code of conduct for detectorists to follow, which includes receiving permission in advance, taking care to minimize damage to grass, calling up historians right away (before digging further) if you find any significant artifacts and leaving the grounds in better shape than you found them by picking up trash. The kinds of people who would go to Civil War battlegrounds without permission were not viewed too kindly by the community.

The British Museum (who have had it since 2018) list it is an upperclass pilgrims badge. Presumably the finder alerted the Northants PAS within 14 days too.