Find Spot record BUN 147 - Cast of C13 bronze steelyard weight, Castle/Bell Inn

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Cast of C13 bronze steelyard weight from Bungay (made at the Museum 1937-1968). Formerly recorded as BUN MISC


Grid reference TM 335 897 (point)
Map sheet TM38NW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Cast of C13 bronze steelyard weight from Bungay (made at the Museum 1937-168). Original also in Museum (1937-211) (S1).
The weight was found about thirty years ago by Mr Frederick Brighton, who dug it from within a foot of the surface on the site of the old Bell Inn yard (the Inn has long since disappeared); just outside the walls of the Castle. The specimen has been presented to the Ipswich Museum by Doctor E B Cane. Mr G Drury MRCS FSA, an authority on ancient steelyard weights, has examined the weight and has kindly supplied the following description of it: The latten case, which is of the usual shape, is hollow having lost the lead filling, therefore the original weight is unknown. It has a dark green patina. Height 3 1/16 inches, greatest diameter over one shield 2 3/4 inches, circumference 8 9/16 inches. Round the shoulder is an incised decoration forming double triangles within parallel lines. It is charged with three shields bearing in relief the following arms, all of which are attributed to Richard Plantagenet, younger son of King John, who was created Earl of Cornwall by his brother King Henry III, in 1225, and Count of Poitou probably at the same time. He was elected "King of the Romans", that is Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, in 1257.
First shield: bears a lion rampant within a bordure besantee for Richard as Earl of Cornwall; Second shield: bears a lion rampant for Richard as Count of Poitou; Third shield: bears a double headed eagle displayed for Richard as King of the Romans. The second and third coats appear on the majority of the steelyard weights of this period (60 in number) which have so far been traced. The first coat occurs on three other weights in addition to the Bungay example: (a) One in the British Museum, from Clipstone, Northants. (b) One in the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, from the Huntingdon Road near Cambridge. (c) One in the Royal Museum Canterbury, provenance not stated ...
Crown rights in the regulation of trade are enforced to ensure fair and equal control of the transactions, and to enable taxes to be levied, hence the arms of the king (or as at present some recognised Royal symbol) or the arms of some person to whom the control was granted, appear on weights. King Henry III (1216-1272) farmed or leased the Crown rights on the mint and on the assay of weights to his brother Richard, Earl of Cornwall. These rights were passed on to Richard's son Edmond, who held them until his death in 1300 (S2).

Formerly recorded as BUN MISC

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <S1> Museum Record Card: Ipswich Museum. IPSMG card. IPSMG, cards 1937-168, 211, 1937.
  • <S2> (No record type): Spencer H E P, Notes A C13 steelyard weight from Bungay, PSIA, 23, 193.

Finds (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

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Record last edited

Apr 18 2018 3:24PM

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