Gold ring that belonged to courtier who was wrongly executed for plotting to kill King Charles II is found on the shores Loch Lomond 350 years after he was killed
- The rare signet ring was discovered in six inches of soil using a metal detector
- It belonged to Edward Colman who worked for King Charles II before his death
- He was hung, drawn and quartered in 1678 for treason after assassination claims
- The find was returned to treasure hunter Michelle Vall after nobody claimed it
A gold ring that belonged to a King’s courtier is tipped to sell for £10,000 after it was found by a metal detectorist – some 350 years later.
The signet ring was discovered in six inches of soil by treasure hunter Michelle Vall in Scotland, two years ago.
The gold band belonged to Edward Colman, who worked for King Charles II before being was hung, drawn and quartered in 1678 for treason.
He was implemented in the Popish Plot – a fictitious Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles.
Lucrative discovery: The ring, that bears the grand-looking coat of arms of the Colman family, was declared by Mrs Vall to a treasure trove finds liaison officer – but is now her property
It is believed the ring originally belonged to Colman’s grandfather Samuel, who lived in Norfolk between 1569 and 1653, and was handed down through the family.
The ring, that bears the grand-looking coat of arms of the Colman family, was declared by Mrs Vall to a treasure trove finds liaison officer.
But as no museum came forward to acquire it, the item was given back to the 53-year-old as ‘finders keepers’.
Mrs Vall is now selling it at auction with Dix Noonan Webb who have given it an estimate of £10,000.
Nigel Mills, of Dix Noonan Webb, said: ‘The Colman seal ring is an excellent example of a high status ring of the period of which there are only a very limited number surviving in this condition.
‘Metal detectorist like Michelle have contributed vastly to our knowledge by finding treasures that would have otherwise been unknown to exist.’
History: The Colman seal ring (right) is an excellent example of a high status ring of the period of which there are only a very limited number, plus the Coleman coat of arms (left)
Mrs Vall, a school teacher from Blackpool, Lancs, found the ring on the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland while holiday with her husband, Tony.
She said: ‘Uncovering the ring was an unforeseen event as myself and husband were detecting on a field with no particular history of finds in the area.
‘The ring was only six inches underground. I knew straight away that it was something special although obviously I didn’t know exactly what it was.
‘To find gold is rare for us detectorists and I even did a little dance to celebrate. It was a very exciting moment and you just don’t expect to find something so special.’
She added: ‘The history of the ring is really interesting and it’s been a really amazing find.’
Rare: ‘To find gold is rare for us detectorists and I even did a little dance to celebrate. It was a very exciting moment and you just don’t expect to find something so special,’ said Mrs Vall
Chance discovery while holidaying with her husband: The signet ring was discovered in six inches of soil by treasure hunter Michelle Vall in Scotland, two years ago
Edward Colman was convicted as part of the Popish Plot, a fake conspiracy put before the privy council by priest Titus Oates in 1678.
Oates, later dubbed ‘Titus the Liar’, claimed several Catholic men were plotting to kill the King, with Edward Colman among those named.
Although later established to be false, the plot resulted in the execution of at least 22 people, including Colman. He was hung, drawn and quartered at Newgate Prison in London in 1678.
The ring is being sold in September.
WHAT WAS THE POPISH PLOT?
The Popish Plot was a conspiracy theory promulgated by Titus Oates.
In 1678, he claimed that the Catholic Church authorities in England had approved the assassination of King Charles II.
At the time, Britain and Scotland were both gripped by an anti-Catholic, so the plot was widely accepted as true.
Subsequently, an estimated 22 innocent men were sent to their deaths.
In 1685, Oates’ lies began to unravel and he was later convicted of perjury.
He was imprisoned for life and ordered to be ‘whipped through the streets of London five days a year for the remainder of his life.’
In 1689 he was pardoned, sixteen years before his death in 1705.