York Castle Museum

Dated: 23/07/2012

Badge of honour

Press Release

Appeal to buy rare silver boar badge associated with Richard III

The Yorkshire Museum has launched an appeal to buy a "rare" 15th Century silver badge worn by those loyal to King Richard III.

The silver gilt livery badge in the form of a boar, a symbol of Richard III, was found by a metal detectorist in 2010 near Stillingfleet, North Yorkshire.

It is one of only a relatively small number ever found and because it is silver-gilt it would have once belonged to someone of high status.

Now the Yorkshire Museum is appealing to members of the public to keep the fascinating object in public collections by launching a fundraising campaign for £2,000.

Natalie McCaul, assistant curator or archaeology, said: "This is an exciting and rare find and because of its connection to Richard III it makes it something very important to Yorkshire. We hope we can keep hold of it and put it on show to the public for them to enjoy. By keeping it in the museum’s collections we also hope we can find out more about it and perhaps discover more clues to who the owner was."

The badge, which is 3.6cm by 2.9cm, depicts the white boar of Richard III, a symbol of King Richard III (1483-1485) which was used by his household and followers between the 1470s and 1485. The badge is in need of conservation to remove dirt, but some of the details can still be made out, such as a large oval eye, the snout and the tusks.

Richard ordered that 13,000 boar badges be made for his son Edward's investiture at York Minster in 1483, but despite this large number few have actually been found in this region. Similar items found across the country are made of cloth or copper, but for those of status more precious metals would be used, such as silver in this instance.

The Yorkshire Museum hopes that clues to the owner of the badge could be found by looking at those with power and loyalty to Richard III living in the Stillingfleet area.

The Museum has until September to raise the £2,000 needed, or the badge could be sold on the private market to the highest bidder.

ENDS

King Richard III and York

1483AD - 1485AD
One of England’s most intriguing monarchs, Richard III (1452-1485) had close connections to York and Yorkshire, having spent much of his youth living at Middleham Castle. Richard courted the goodwill of both the council and the Minster clergy. On the day of his coronation, the mayor and alderman rode to Middleham to present wine and food to Richard's son Edward.
King Richard visited York several times during his short reign, and stayed for three weeks in 1483. He was met by the mayor and alderman, and was sprinkled with holy water at the entrance to the Minster. Presents worth £450 were given to him. Richard's son Edward was crowned Price of Wales at the Archbishop's Palace behind the Minster.
Richard may have planned to be buried at York Minster, a radical ambition as English monarchs were traditionally interred at Westminster Abbey. He planned to build an enormous chantry chapel at the Minster where 100 additional chaplains would pray for his soul.
York looked to Richard to help it at a time of economic decline, and actively championed his short reign. The city sent troops to support his cause, including 80 dispatched to support him after Henry Tudor’s invasion. They were too late and the Tudor era had begun.
'King Richard, late mercifully reigning over us, was through great treason . . . piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of this city,' reported the mayor's serjeant of the mace a day after Richard's death at the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485.

For further Information contact Lee Clark, Media Co-ordinator, telephone 01904 687673 or email lee.clark@ymt.org.uk

Images of the badge are available on request.