Shakespeare's gold signet ring?


A gold signet ring found near Holy Trinity Church with the initials 'W.S.'


Gold Signet Ring
Late 16th – early 17th Century

This gold signet ring bears the initials 'W S' intertwined with a lover's knot.  It is thought that it may have belonged to William Shakespeare. It would have been pressed into molten wax to seal documents.

It is thought that Shakespeare may have lost the ring before amending his will in 1616.  In the will, the phrase 'whereof I have hereunto put my hand and Seale' was altered with the words ‘and Seale’ being crossed out.  This tells us that Shakespeare did not have his seale ring when he signed his will.  The style of the ring is consistent with its supposed date of origin and there were very few other people living in Stratford-upon-Avon at this time with the initials 'W.S.'

A female labourer found the ring near the churchyard of Stratford-upon-Avon's Holy Trinity Church in 1810.  Shakespeare’s daughter, Judith, was married at Holy Trinity Church in 1616.  It has been suggested that Shakespeare may have lost his ring in the churchyard after the wedding. 

To find out more about the ring, see the ‘Shakespeare’s World in 100 objects’ blog: http://findingshakespeare.co.uk/shakespeares-world-in-100-objects-number-64-shakespeares-signet-ring

 

 

 

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