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Using my DFX, I had permission to search a 13-acre farm, which gave up coins from King George III to Queen Victoria and buttons, belt and shoe buckles from the 1500’s through the 1800’s along with a variety of other items. This button I found on my recent trip back to England had a very interesting yet mysterious history, so I thought your readers might be interested in what I found.
While staying at a Moat Hill Farm B&B in Westhorpe, Suffolk, the owner Steve being a history buff of the area, told me the story of this forgotten piece of English history. King Henry VIII’s younger sister whose name was Mary had been married off as nobility usually was, to the aged King Louis XII of France, in 1514. Mary’s secret lover prior to her royal marriage to the French king was Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, but because of not being of noble blood was thought to have been below Princess Mary’s status.
Upon Louis XII’s death in 1515, Charles Brandon became part of the contingent to France to bring Mary back to England. Mary had heard rumors of Henrys plan on remarrying her, this time to a Spanish prince, so in 1515 at a small chapel in Palais de Cluny she married Charles Brandon. Henry VIII, upon Mary’s arrival back to England, had her removed from court, relocating her to the Suffolk area with her new husband and entourage due to his displeasure in her marriage. Henry still had great love of his younger sister, which he had shown in the naming of his famous warship the “MARY ROSE” which recently was brought up from its watery grave.
The button I found would have been from a coat or cape due to its size and shape. It would have been too elaborate for any commoner to have owned or worn, I was informed. The button was in the form of a double rose, being called a “Tudor Rose” for King Henry VIII’s family line (c1485-1603). The location found would have placed its loss in a direct line from the area where Mary was living in Suffolk to the city of Ipswich.
The outer rose would have been “Red” representing the House of Lancaster, while the inner rose being “White” representing the House of York. These two families fought a long and bloody war called “The War of the Roses” (1455-1487) in English History. This “Tudor Rose” became a combination of both houses, which ended with the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603.
The button has since been returned to the farm owner who was surprised and grateful of not only receiving it back but also its added history. One of the coins also found on her property, a copper Farthing of Queen Victoria that was left with her after being found, was valued at 140 pounds ($280.00) at the time of its finding.
History makes a find that much more rewarding, when facts (dates, times, people) come to light and share their past with you.