Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeWorldMetal detector makes Englishman find pendant linked to Henry 8th 'accidentally'

Metal detector makes Englishman find pendant linked to Henry 8th ‘accidentally’


- Advertisement -

Charlie Clarke, 34, a cafe owner in Birmingham – England’s second-largest city – was depressed after his dog died of cancer, so he headed to a friend’s house in the countryside for a walk and some fresh air. . He took a metal detector with him, to pursue the hobby he had taken up six months earlier.

When he heard loud beeps as he walked around his friend’s property in nearby Warwickshire, he thought he had probably found a can of soda. Instead, about a foot underground was a treasure that has electrified historians and could change Clarke’s future.

- Advertisement -

The businessman pulled out a gold chain and a pendant in the shape of a heart, adorned with symbols that his friend recognized as linked to Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. At first, he thought the accessory must be part of a costume.

At the same time, it seemed too heavy for that, as he said in an interview on Friday (3). “I knew I was special,” he stated.

- Advertisement -

The pendant itself was an ornate spectacle: the front was decorated with a pomegranate bush—an emblem of Catherine—and a double intertwined rose, employed by the Tudors from 1486. ​​On the other side, connected by a ribbon, were the letters “H” and “K”, for Henry and Katherine (one of the spellings of the sovereign’s name), written in Gothic calligraphy.

Treasure finders in the UK are required by law to report their discoveries. This gives museums the chance to acquire the item, paying a fee that is split evenly between the person who discovered the item and the owner of the land where it was found. After finding the pendant in 2019, Clarke took it to a specialist in Birmingham for the first time. He recalls that she “trembled when she held him, and her jaw dropped.”

Then the gem was sent to the British Museum, whose researchers were also excited. “We all thought: My God, is this real? Could it be?” says Rachel King, curator of the British Museum’s European Renaissance area.

The researchers confirmed the authenticity of the pendant and stated that it was produced around 500 years ago. Those who have examined it speculate, however, about the story behind it. The jewelry appears to have been made in a hurry, supposedly more to look at than to last, according to King. The chain is small, suggesting someone of short stature was wearing it.

King says that no portraits from the period show men or women wearing such jewelry, but one thing is certain: Henry VIII loved to party. One hypothesis is that the adornment was created for a feast or as a prize for a jousting tournament; winners could either wear it or melt the pendant and take the gold.

Nobody knows how the necklace ended up in the field in Warwickshire. The curator suggests that it may have been buried by someone trying to protect it, or perhaps by a thief who wanted to hide his theft.

King claims, however, that the pendant was the most significant find in the 25 years since the British government began recording British treasures, and that nothing comparable dating to the Renaissance era has been found in the last century. She also said that most items related to Catarina were destroyed and that there is “very little that keeps her memory alive”.

When the item is finally sold, presumably for a hefty sum, the money will be split between Clarke and his friend, the landowner. Clarke claims that money can change his life and that of his four-year-old son.

“Birmingham, where I come from, is a pretty tough place,” says the businessman. “If I can give him a good education with this, that would be great.”

- Advertisement -

Related articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Latest posts