DUR-775EF0: DUR-775EF0

Rights Holder: Durham County Council
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Unique ID: DUR-775EF0

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A complete silver vervel (hawk ring) dating to the post medieval period, c. AD 1550-1700

The vervel comprises the band, D-shaped section, with applied shield. The outer surface of the band is inscribed 'S WYLL MMALL' (Sir William Mallory). The flat-topped shield has a stylised horse's head inscribed onto the surface. The shield has been soldered at the point where the two ends of the ring join.

The vervel has a mid grey patina and is generally in very good condition.


External diameter of band:9.68mm

Internal diameter of band: 8.45mm

Band Thickness: 1.23mm

Height of shield: 9.97mm

Width of shield: 8.64mm.

Thickness of shield: 1.41mm.

Weight: 1.5g


Vervels were used to attach a hawk or falcon's leather jesses to a leash, which, held in the hand, enabled the bird to be trained in short distance flight. The leash could also be used to fix the bird to its block or perch. Vervels were usually inscribed or otherwise decorated to allow for the bird to be identified with its owner.

The Mallory family have been associated with the manor of Hutton-Conyers, through marriage into the Tempest and Conyers families, from the 14th century onwards. The crest of the family is given as a 'nag's head, gu' (see source 1) and so in keeping with the horses head inscribed on the vervel described above.

William is a common family praenomen within the Mallory family in the late medieval and early post medieval periods (see source 2). Sir William Mallory (died 1603) "was member of Parliament and Sheriff of Yorkshire, and was very active in the suppression of Popery" (Page, 1914). His Grandson, Sir William Mallory (died 1646), was also an MP and an active royalist during the English Civil War, leaving the family with considerable debts and fines which 'whole estate both reall and personall would not extend by farr to satisfie.' (ibid). Either of these Williams may have been the original owner of the vervel; however, the style and form indicate the most likely owner to have been the latter Sir William.


This item qualifies as Treasure under the criteria of the 1996 Treasure Act, being more than 300 years old and containing in excess of 10% precious metal

Treasure number: 2017-T329


Source 1:

The Mallory Family: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Oct., 1905), pp.216-219

Published by: Virginia Historical Society

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4242740

Source 2:

The Mallory Family (Continued): The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 13, No. 3 (Jan., 1906), pp.324-329

Published by: Virginia Historical Society

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4242752

Source 3: 'Parishes: Hutton Conyers', in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, ed. William Page (London, 1914), pp. 403-405. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/yorks/north/vol1/pp403-405 [accessed 5 May 2017].

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Regional importance

Inscription: S WYLLM MALL

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2017T329


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Subperiod to: Middle
Date from: Circa AD 1550
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 1.23 mm
Weight: 1.5 g
Diameter: 9.68 mm

Personal details

Recorded by: Mr Benjamin Westwood
Identified by: Mr Benjamin Westwood

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2017T329

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Heraldic
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Incised or engraved or chased

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Yorkshire (County)
District: Harrogate (District)
Parish or ward: Hutton Conyers (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SE3373
Four figure Latitude: 54.1517669
Four figure longitude: -1.49623336
1:25K map: SE3373
1:10K map: SE37SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: DUR
Created: About one year ago
Updated: 11 months ago

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