A gold ring found on the Isle of Man was probably made in honor of the count who was executed for treason in 1651

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A newly discovered gold ring may have been made to commemorate a British aristocrat nicknamed ‘Lord Strange’, who was executed in the 17th century.

Found on the Island of Man in December, the ring is in the style of a Stuart period mourning ring and bears the initials ‘JD’.

It was probably made in 1650 as a keepsake after the death of James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby, whose family ruled the island for centuries.

Lord Stanley, who read his letters’ J. Derby, ” was a supporter of King Charles I and was beheaded by Oliver Cromwell’s forces after Charles’s defeat.

The ornate gold and crystal ring was found by a metal detector on the Isle of Man in December.  Experts believe it was created in the 1650s to commemorate James Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby, after his execution

The ornate gold and crystal ring was found by a metal detector on the Isle of Man in December. Experts believe it was created in the 1650s to commemorate James Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby, after his execution

The dainty ring was discovered in December 2020 by metal detector hobbyist Lee Morgan.

It is 21.5mm in diameter with a 12mm crystal stone covered with gold leaf lettering of the initials ‘JD’

The sides are decorated with carvings of leaves inlaid with black enamel.

Morgan found the ring on the south side of the island, although its exact location is kept secret to protect the site’s integrity.

It dates back to the mid-late 1600s, according to Manx National Heritage archeology curator Allison Fox, and is in the style of a Stuart period funeral parlor.

Stanley (pictured) was a commander in Charles I's army during the English Civil Wars.  The ring bears the initials' JD 'and Stanley is known to have his name' J.  Derby'

Stanley (pictured) was a commander in Charles I’s army during the English Civil Wars. The ring bears the initials’ JD ‘and Stanley is known to have his name’ J. Derby’

These were mementos distributed at funerals to commemorate the deceased, usually with their initials.

“The ring is small and rather delicate in shape, but of high quality and intact,” Fox said. “The quality suggests it was made for or on behalf of a person of high status.”

The initials ‘JD’ suggest the ring was made in honor of James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby and Lord of Man.

Stanley was a commander in Charles I’s army during the English Civil Wars, pitting supporters of the monarchy against Oliver Cromwell’s parliamentary forces.

Letters and documents from that time show that Stanley took his name ‘J. Derby.’

Stanley was found guilty of treason and beheaded on October 15, 1651 at the intersection outside the Man and Scythe Inn in Bolton, Manchester, which at the time was owned by his family.

Stanley (right) was found guilty of treason and beheaded on October 15, 1651, at the intersection outside the Man and Scythe Inn in Bolton, Manchester.  His widow, Charlotte (left), was determined he would not be forgotten

Stanley (right) was found guilty of treason and beheaded on October 15, 1651, at the intersection outside the Man and Scythe Inn in Bolton, Manchester. His widow, Charlotte (left), was determined he would not be forgotten

A marker commemorates his death and a chair in the inn bears the inscription ‘October 15, 1651: In this chair sat James, 7th Earl of Derby at the Man and Scythe Inn, Churchgate, Bolton, immediately prior to his execution. ‘

According to Fox, Stanley’s widow, Charlotte, was determined not to be forgotten.

“It is unlikely that we can determine with certainty who owned the ring or who it was commemorated on, but it is possible that it may have been associated with the Stanley family, formerly Lords of Man,” Fox said.

Jayne Hughes, Isle of Man trial coroner declared the funeral ring treasure under the UK Treasure Act of 1996, meaning Morgan was entitled to a financial reward.

It’s not clear how much Morgan received, but this is the third discovery he’s made on the island: in 2013, he discovered a wealth of silver coins dating back to about 1320.

Six years later he discovered a silver ingot from the period between 950 and 1075.

“Public finds, such as those found by metal detectors, walkers and farmers, are a huge contributor to our knowledge of the Isle of Man’s archeology and history,” Fox said.

She thanked Morgan and the landowner for coming to the officials with the unique find.

The ring will be on display at the Manx Museum before being sent to the British Museum for further study.

According to the website of the Tynwald, the Isle of Man’s legislature, King Henry IV bestowed the Isle of Man on Sir John Stanley in 1405.

He and his descendants ruled the area for over 300 years during a period of “relative stability.”

In return, the Stanley’s were expected to send two falcons to all future kings of England when they were crowned.

However, they did not visit the island often, usually appointing a governor to look after their interests.

WHAT WAS THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR?

The English Civil War was a protracted series of battles between 1642 and 1651 between royalists and parliamentarians.

Crowned in 1625, King Charles I. favored high Anglican Christianity and believed in the divine right of kings, which put him at odds with many of his subjects.

Many felt his to levy taxes without parliament’s consent was tyranny.

Charles dissolved parliament three times between 1625 and 1629.

King Charles I (with his wife Queen Henrietta Maria) was born in Fife, Scotland, and became king when he was 24 years old

King Charles I (with his wife, Queen Henrietta Maria)

On January 4, 1642, Charles attempted to arrest five MPs for treason, entering the House of Commons, accompanied by an armed guard.

The Speaker just left the chair refused to give up the fled MPs.

During the summer cities declared their loyalty and violence broke out.

The Royalists were defeated in 1646 and Charles surrendered and was eventually recruited trial for treason.

He was convicted and later executed outside the Banqueting House on Whitehall in London.

He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Charles II, who reigned from the Restoration until his death in 1685.

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