Late Medieval Silver Badge of the Earls of Shrewsbury from Ludlow, Shropshire

Published: 3 years ago Author:

Mr. Ellery, HM Coroner for Shropshire, held a Treasure inquest today into a recently discovered silver late medieval badge. The badge was reported through the Portable Antiquities Scheme having been found while searching with a metal-detector on cultivated land near Ludlow last year (July 2015).

The silver badge is in the form of a male Talbot, a breed of large hunting dog. It is shown with its tongue protruding from an open mouth whilst the front foot is raised (mid step) and the tail is looped back upon itself forming a circular hoop at the rear end. The reverse of the badge is flat at the centre of the reverse is a separate but attached circular hoop or ring set horizontally.

This form of dog is the familiar device used by the Talbot family who are the Earls of Shropshire. It was adopted by Sir John Talbot (1384-1453) as his family's crest. A familiar crest is similar to a heraldic design - but less formal. This silver badge can be directly compared to another example discovered in Tong, Shropshire (which was donated by the finder to Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery). The exact date of this form of badge is uncertain - familiar badges are most popular in the 15thand early 16thcenturies although this example could date from the late 16thor the early 17thcentury being similar in form to engraved Talbots on silverwork linked to the Earls of Shrewsbury; for example a silver hawking vervel from Worfield, Shropshire and a seal matrix from Acaster Malbis, Yorkshire.

This is a high status badge which was worn either by the Earl's retinue / men or as a symbol showing support for the family. Its findspot near Ludlow emphasises the important place the town held, being both a royal centre and the location of the Court of the Marches. It was probably lost through chance, in the same way we loose coat buttons or badges today.

Shropshire Museums and the Friends of Ludlow Museum have expressed an interest in acquiring the find for the people of Shropshire - with the hope that it will be displayed in the newly refurbished Ludlow Museum. Now the find has been declared treasure - it will be valued by the Governments Treasure Valuation Committee and the museum will be given a period of grace to raise the relevant funds. These monies will be paid to both the finder and landowner as a reward under the Treasure Act (1996).

Ludlow Museum has a number of important treasures on permanent display including:

The South Shropshire Ring :

The Dinham Pommel :

Bitterley Hoard:

Other Talbot related finds can be seen here:

More information and images of the Talbot Badge (used with permission of British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme) can be found here:

More information aboutPASand Treasure can be found here:

More Information on Ludlow Museum can be seen here:

For more information, please contact:

Peter Reavill - Finds Liaison Officer (Shropshire and Herefordshire)

Portable Antiquities Scheme



Twitter:PASin the Marches@PeterReavill

Contact: Peter Reavill 01743 25 4748

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