Posts Tagged ‘17th century’

Three Farthings

August 22, 2015

Amongst the items which metal detectorist Norman found on the old Recreation Field there are hundreds of coins. Most are 19th or 20th century and would like familiar to those who remember our pre decimal coinage. You have to be a bit older to remember farthings for they ceased to be legal tender back in 1960. For those not familiar with the old money if you had 960 farthings, which in size and colour looked much like a present day 1p coin then you’d have had one pound. So roughly speaking an old farthing was worth a tenth of a present day penny. Norman found quite a few farthings but three of them do date from a much older era and it is these we look at today.

Rose farthings found on 'the rec' in Market Lavington

Rose farthings found on ‘the rec’ in Market Lavington

These little coins are smaller than present day pennies. They date, we think, from the reign of Charles II which was between 1660 and 1685. These farthings are actually diminutive pieces of metal and are often called rose farthings because of the rose pattern in the centre.

They are not in particularly good condition but they do indicate human activity on that field 300 years, or more, ago.


A sword chape

October 19, 2014

It is always good to learn a new word and we learned the word chape when given some metal detector finds recently.

The dictionary defines chape as the metal point of a scabbard.

A scabbard, of course, is that special pocket, usually of leather, which hangs from a belt. It is designed to hold a sword or a dagger.

By their very nature, swords and daggers have sharp points and these points would tend to wear through a leather scabbard, so the base of the scabbard, where the point of the sword goes is reinforced with metal. That metal reinforcement is the chape.

Now if you were a person of status, then your chape could help to mark you out. It could be highly decorative and made in suitably strong metal. Even in base metal, a chape could be well decorated – like this one.

17th century chape found in Market Lavington

17th century chape found in Market Lavington

This chape is reckoned to date from the 17th century so is up to 400 years old. It could even have been in use in the English civil war.

Now we are no experts at metal work, but it is clearly carefully and intricately marked. A metal smith has spent much time getting this item to be as beautiful as that. It would have added quite a bit to the cost of the scabbard. We guess the decoration was produced by careful beating with quite specialist tools.

What a very pretty item to be worn into battle!


August 29, 2012

Yesterday we featured a book found on the book stall at Easterton Country Fair. We are taking another look at it today, but this time with an extract about Easterton – a parishioner of Market Lavington, resident in Easterton (the same parish) brought a petition before the quarter sessions about some land where the ownership was disputed. It seems that Joane Heskyn, the petitioner,  didn’t actually get very far.

But first, a reminder of the book in question. This time we’ll look at the title page.

Title page of a book of records of 17th century Wiltshire Quarter Sessions

And now to the item about the land dispute which was in 1639. The spelling is ‘as written’.

Joane Heskyn of Esterton in the pish of Lavington forum
presents the following petition :-

” That whereas one yard land & a halfe in Esterton is nowe in
Controversie in lawe between your peticoner and John fflower the
Elder of Esterton. And yor peticoner being possessed thereof &
having plowed and sowen divers acres thereof wth feed Barley &
feed pease this psent yeare, he the said fflower hath sowen the said
acres wth other seed, and he alsoe eateth out wth his cattell the
grasse growing in the nichsed (? Nickled=beaten down) ground.
And Threateneth yor peticoner that he will Cutt & carry away all
the Corne wth divers other fearful threatenings “.

She begs the Justices “to call John fflower befor them and
take order with him that she may quietly enjoy the premises untill
it be tryed by lawe unto whome the land doe of right belong, and

that without trouble of him or any his threatenings wch she greatly
feareth “.

And your peticoner will ever pray &c.

The Court made” noe order” .

Most of this book is about places in Wiltshire away from the Lavington area, but it has other items of general interest, like laid down wages for labourers. It certainly makes for fascinating reading.