Rights Holder: Surrey County Council
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Unique ID: SUR-AD5735

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

A crushed lead cloth searcher's seal consisting of a long folded metal strip with a protruding tag on one side, which is stamped with the name JAMES / KERSHAW. The other side of the strip is stamped 173 / [...]30B within two recessed oblongs. Circa 18th-19th century.


Searchers were officials appointed (following an Act in 1737) to ensure quality control and prevent fraud in the production of woollen cloths. These types of leaden seals indicated that the cloth had been checked to ensure that the cloth had not been stretched or otherwise tampered with. This seal may refer to a searcher recorded from the West Riding of Yorkshire who was named as named "Ja. Kershaw" in the records for the Quarter Sessions held at Halifax on 13th July 1738 as being responsible for 4 mills on Marsden Beck (see

The numbers on the seal may refer to the length, weight and width of the cloth as measured by the searcher, or perhaps are an inventory reference.

Similar seals are shown on the Bagseals website (, BSG.CS.00318, BSG.CS.01248 and BSG.CS.00963.

Thanks to Paul Cannon for his help with this record.

Inscription: JAMES / KERSHAW

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1738
Date to: Circa AD 1864

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 47.9 mm
Width: 21.1 mm
Thickness: 5.7 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 24th March 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Simon Maslin
Identified by: Dr Simon Maslin
Secondary identifier: Mr Paul Cannon

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Manufacture method: Struck or hammered
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Oxfordshire (County)
District: South Oxfordshire (District)
Parish or ward: Watlington (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU6993
Four figure Latitude: 51.63158966
Four figure longitude: -1.00448728
1:25K map: SU6993
1:10K map: SU69SE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SUR
Created: 6 months ago
Updated: 3 months ago

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