A 17th Century heraldic vervel (hawking ring) was declared Treasure last week. It was found by Philip Bowes in September 2019 in Eastchurch, Kent. He was one of 400 detectorists searching 500 acres of farmland during a three day rally organised by Medway History Finders. The find was recorded at the PAS as KENT-91B046.
The ring is inscribed with E of Montgomery (Earl of Montgomery) and is decorated with the Montgomery coat of arms – a wyvern (a type of dragon) below a crown clutching in its jaws a left hand. It is believed to have belonged to Philip Herbert. He was an English courtier, nobleman, and politician active during the reigns of James I and Charles I.
In 1603, when James I became king, Philip’s major interests were hunting and hawking and it was in this capacity that he first attracted the king’s attention
He became a favourite of James and In 1605 the king made him Baron Herbert of Shurland and Earl of Montgomery. The land where the ring was found was once the parkland of Shurland House
In 1630, after the death of his brother, he inherited the title of Fourth Earl of Pembroke and from that date was known as the Earl of Pembroke. This allows the ring to be dated to 1605 – 1630.