SOM-E93B19: Post Medieval hawking vervel

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-E93B19

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Treasure case 2017 T533

Description: A complete Post-Medieval silver hawking vervel. The vervel is flat in cross section and circular in plan, with a large, central circular aperture. Both faces of the vervel are inscribed in seriffed capitals: *IOHN* // *STRANGWAYES. A small line of black material, perpendicular to the circumference and extending between the external and internal edges possibly a tarnished, less pure silver, appears to be a repair.

The vervel has an external diameter of 12.0mm, the central aperture is 5.4mm in diameter and it is 1.3mm thick; it weighs 0.87g.

Discussion: Such vervels are typically dated to the late 16th and 17th centuries and were attached to the legs of birds of prey in order to identify their owners. A number of similar washer-like vervels have now been reported through the treasure process, see for example: 2009T532 and 2011T715 (Darch 2009; 2011).

John Strangwayes (AD 1585-1666) served as an MP for both the Dorset and Weymouth constituencies at various points during the 17th century prior to his death in 1666. With the Strangeways being based at Melbury House in Melbury Sampford, Dorset, just under 10 miles away to the South East, the vervel can reasonably be attributed to the family, however, there were several John Strangwayes (including both his father and one of his sons, amongst others) in the period and it cannot be confidently attributed to a specific individual.


The vervel appears to consist of more than 10% precious metal and is more than 300 years old, it thus qualifies as Treasure under the terms of the Treasure Act 1996.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Museum of Somerset
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2017T533


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

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Height: 6.4 mm
Weight: 0.87 g
Diameter: 12 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 15th May 2017 - Monday 15th May 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Laura Burnett
Identified by: Mr Wil Partridge

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2017T533

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: South Somerset (District)
To be known as: East Chinnock

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Museum of Somerset
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: About one year ago
Updated: 23 days ago

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