Was this hoard buried by an English Civil War soldier?

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A rather dazzling insight into the wealth and splendour, but also the uncertainty, of the English Civil War is to go on display.

‘The Cheapside Hoard’ was uncovered by a group of labourers under a cellar floor in London’s Cheapside in 1912. It is believed it could have been stored by a jeweller or goldsmith who fought in the war and never returned – which provides an incredible backstory to what is already an impressive find.

Many businessmen of London were members of the ‘Trained Bands’, local militia regiments which were organised by individual counties. In the absence of a professional army, the Trained Bands were the only permanent military units in England at the start of the English Civil Wars and both sides initially relied heavily on their support. Generally viewed as poorly-trained ‘weekend warriors’, the London Trained Bands were of better quality thanks to more enthusiastic volunteers and also greater resources. They formed the backbone of the Earl of Essex’s Army that engaged the King at Edgehill. So for this hoard to potentially be from a Londoner who marched out with Essex’s Army in 1642 makes it a very special and exciting collection.

The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels runs from October 11 2013 to April 27 2014 at the Museum of London.

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