Silver seal find at Hambleden 'gives life' to medieval woman

Started by gash, September 17, 2020, 10:12:41 am

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The discovery of a "not-far-off perfect" medieval artefact "gives life to someone dead for 700 years", an archaeologist has said.
The silver seal matrix, inscribed with the name Margerie Pevrel, was found on her family's land at Hambleden, Bucks, by a metal detectorist.
Archaeologist Anni Byard said the oval-shaped object's discovery in April 2019 was "a very unusual occurrence".
Buckinghamshire assistant coroner Alison McCormick declared it treasure.

Miss Byard, an Oxford Archaeology South small finds expert, said: "Although personal seal matrices are not uncommon finds, one in silver of an identifiable individual, and, indeed, an identifiable context for the loss, is a very unusual occurrence.
"It conjures up romantic ideas of how she lost it - was she out riding or walking?
"It would have been an expensive item and was hardly used, so how did she react?"
Miss Byard knew the Pevrel family were "significant landowners" in the Hambleden area between 1248 and 1348, when the seal was made.

Her research found a grandmother and granddaughter - both called Margaret or Margerie Pevrel - either of whom could have been the owner.
At that time, the spelling of names was not fixed, so the Pevrel surname could also be written as Peverel or Peverell, while the name Margaret could be written as Margerie.
Miss Byard believes the younger woman was its owner. She was born in about 1321 during the turbulent reign of Edward II.
The records show Margerie lived at Yewden Manor, now part of Henley Business School, on land where the metal detectorist found the seal.
Miss Byard said the "find helps a 14th Century woman live again" and she hopes it will inspire historians to research Margerie's life.
The River and Rowing Museum at Henley-on-Thames has expressed an interest in buying it.

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