A metal detector enthusiast has come up with an impressive find that may be worth a cool £2 million. Tucked away in a hole in a field field near Market Harborough was a tiny figure made of pure gold.
This figure is believed to be from the ‘Tudor Crown’ designed by Henry VII for state occasions and later modified by Henry VIII. Henry JR’s modifications included the addition of saint’s figures on the tines, replacing three earlier figures of Christ. The new figures were St Edmund, St Edward the Confessor…and King Henry VI.
Henry VI, a failed Lancastrian monarch best known for spending part of the Wars of the Roses in a state of catatonia, being removed from the throne, returned and then removed again–permanently–by Edward IV, was regarded as a saint in some quarters but never officially Canonised. It might seem strange to add the figure of a saint-who-was-not-actually-a-saint onto a royal crown, but of course, Henry VI was important to the Tudors to further emphasise their extremely shaky ‘Lancastrian’ connexion.
The crown was destroyed by that well-known cultural vandal, Oliver Cromwell, and bits of it were distributed far and wide for £££££££. However, one theory is that the Henry VI figure fell off at an earlier time, possibly when Charles I fled from Cromwell’s forces during the nearby Battle of Naseby.