An Amateur Treasure Hunter Finds The Centerpiece of Henry VIII's Lost Crown

Recently on January 2021, Kevin Duckett, a 49 years old amateur treasure hunter discovered a centrepiece of Henry VIII’s lost crown under a tree. According to historian, it has been lost for 400 years and how it ended up buried under the tree is still debated.

Kevin unearthed it near Market Harborough in Northamptonshire. He said, while walking through a field and searching the area nearby the tree for 20 minutes, suddenly he got a very loud positive signal from the detector and started to dig down before spotting something. At first he thought it was a crumpled foil dish from a 1970s Mr Kipling product, or even a gold milk bottle top. It was lodged in the side of a hole just a few inches down. Carefully he brushed off the soil, and it appeared to be a heavy solid gold and enamelled figurine.

The 500-year-old solid gold centrepiece of Henry VIII’s lost crown
Image Credit: The Sun

He became convinced that the figure was Henry VI after he saw SH - Saint Henry - inscribed on the base.

According to the Sun, historians feared the relic was lost for good when Oliver Cromwell abolished the monarchy in 1649 and beheaded Charles I. At that time, Cromwell ordered the 7lb 6oz crown, valued by the then Parliament at £1,100, to be melted down, minted and sold as coins.

The figurine featured five fleur-de-lys – a stylised lily linked to royalty – originally had three figures of Christ, one of St George and one of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. However Henry VIII removed the figures of Christ and replaced them with 3 saint kings of England (St Edmund, Edward the Confessor and Henry VI)

He wore the crown at his 1509 coronation and when he married Anne of Cleves, the fourth of his six wives, in 1540.

King Charles I 
Image Credit: Wikipedia

The headpiece was later used at the coronations of his children, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth, and then of James I and Charles I the last one.

In 1645, King Charles fled Cromwell after the Battle of Naseby and travelled the route where Kevin found his treasure. Historian still unsure how it became detached from the crown, but it is possible he buried it to keep it from Cromwell, or maybe it was fell down while escaping from Cromwell.

The British Museum is continuing to research the piece. If verified, Kevin must offer it for sale to a museum at a price set by an independent board.


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