The story of how a civil war ring found by a detectorist in the Isle of Man is linked to a chair in a pub in Bolton.
This ornate ring was discovered by detectorist Lee Morgan in December 2020 on the Isle of Man. This week it was declared treasure and will now go on display in the medieval gallery at the Manx Museum.
Allison Fox, Curator for Archaeology at Manx National Heritage said: “Public finds, such as those found by metal-detectorists, 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“
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. Each shoulder of the ring is decorated with an engraving of a leaf inlaid with black enamel. The ring is of a high quality and intact. The quality suggests that it was made for, or on behalf of, an individual of high status. Given the quality of the ring and the initials JD, it is thought to be a mourning ring for James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby and Lord of Man.
James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby and Lord of Man
James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby, was a supporter of the Royalist cause in the English 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.
He was feudal Lord of the Isle of Man (“Lord of Man”), where he was known as “Yn Stanlagh Mooar” (“the Great Stanley”).
After being involved in several battles of the Civil War, he was captured by Parliamentary forces and beheaded on 15 October 1651.
The Man and Scythe Inn, Bolton
James Stanley was taken to Bolton for his execution because of his part in the Bolton Massacre of 1644, where hundreds of soldiers and civilians were killed.
He was executed outside the Ye Olde Man and Scythe inn, believed to be the fourth oldest pub in England. The chair in which James sat, prior to his execution, is still in the pub. It is inscribed with “15th October 1651. In this chair James 7th Earl of Derby sat at the Man and Scythe Inn, Churchgate, Bolton immediately prior to his execution“