14 March 2023
The Cockeram Ring: A fine 17th century gold seal ring, the plain hoop of D cross-section, the oval flat bezel inscribed with a coat of arms with square-topped shield containing a bend charged with three leopards’ heads between three fleur-de-lis, above the shield a crest, an arm holding aloft an anchor, to each side of the shield a foliate design, the whole enclosed by a pellet border, inscribed verso with the initials ‘H.C.’ between pellets, very likely for Humphrey Cockeram of Cullompton, circa 1620, band width 20mm.
This ring was discovered in Braunton, North Devon, on 21 November 2012.. The finder, a retired schoolteacher, was landscaping the garden of his Grade II listed 16th century farmhouse and found the ring by chance whilst planting a ceanothus bush, at a depth of 10 inches.
The ring is recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database Ref: DEV-85B7D4 and subsequently disclaimed as Treasure.
The Cockeram family of Hillersdon are from the parish of Cullompton in Devon. The name Cockeram was mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086 and is derived from the old English word ‘Coccan” meaning ‘dweller by the stream’. Hillersdon Manor is also listed in the Domesday book and was occupied by the Cockeram family during the 17th century, the family being descended from George Cockeram (d.1577). They were great patrons of the church, his children both donated communion cups and a market cross to the town. In 1620 Humphrey Cockeram was recorded as head of the family. The manor was subsequently occupied by the Prowses during the 17th century.
The find spot, Braunton, is 42 miles west of the manor house.