Mourning ring of Charles Tooker

Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By SA2.0
Object type: Ampulla
Period: Anglo-Saxon
Primary material: Bronze
Date found: 01/11/2014
Location: All Cannings, Wiltshire


A gold an enamel mourning ring (memento mori). The inscription reads C : Tooker : ob : 23 : July : 1716 : cet : 38. There is a memorial to Charles Tooker in the Parish Church, Christchurch, East Kennett, Wiltshire which matches this date and age. The memorial had been erected by Ann Saunders of Mingwel.

Charles Tooker owned East Kennett manor, which is about 6 miles from the find site. He had inherited this from his father, also Charles, in 1700. There is also a memorial to his father in the same church and a tablet located on the West Wall records that reads “CHARLES TOOKER ESQR SETTLED £50 A YEAR ISUUING OUT OF HIS ESTATE AT EAST KENNETT (CLEAR OF ALL DEDUCTIONS) ON THE MINISTER OF THIS PARISH FOR EVER. THIS BENEFACTION WAS ALLOWED AND CONFIRMED BY DEED”

On Charles’ death, he devised East Kennet manor to a John Saunders. There is presumably a family connection between Charles, Ann Saunders (Charle’s mother was called Ann) and John Saunders.

The ring was found in 2014 and reported to the Surrey FLO. For some reason it was not recorded on the PAS at the time. As it was less than 300 years old when found it does not qualify as treasure under the Treasure Act.