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Historic 1812 Mourning Band Ring British PM Spencer Perceval

Historic 1812 Mourning Band Ring British PM Spencer Perceval

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Directory: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Pre Victorian: Pre 1837 VR: Item # 1490116
Moylan-Smelkinson/The Spare Room
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P.O. Box 4684
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
tel. 410-435-3738

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"Died by the hand of an assassin" mourning ring for Spencer Perceval, British statesman and barrister who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Our 18 carat hoop ring is engraved with the following inscription to the interior: Rt Hon Spencer Perceval Ob. May 11 1812 Aet 49 and further inscribed with the words "Died by the hand of an assassin". It has British hallmarks for 1812 and maker's mark for Samuel Glover, goldsmith of Foster Lane, London. Spencer Perceval was the only British Prime Minister ever to have been assassinated while in office. Upon entering the House of Commons on May 11th, Perceval was accosted by a Mr. John Bellingham who thereafter shot the Prime Minister in the chest. As he collapsed he cried out 'I am murdered!'. His wife was expecting their 20th child when the assassination took place and thereafter received an annuity of £1000 per annum along with trust funds for each of their 12 surviving children. The large sum was because the British government took the view that 'his children are his country's' children. His assassin, John Bellingham, was a British businessman who resented that the British Embassy refused to assist him while he was falsely imprisoned for debt in Russia. Note that 'assassin' on this ring is written as 'afsafsin'. You will notice S's and what appears to be F's right next to each other. However, those are not F's at all; it is a letter known as the long form S, or the "swash" s, then used as a second form of the lowercase S in typography. It was often used when 2 s's followed each other in the middle of a word, as in assassin. The long form S was phased out in print in the first 2 decades following 1800. After all, why would printers to keep two different forms of the lowercase letter S when they could just use one? It made sense to keep on hand the lowercase letter S that wouldn't be mistaken for the letter "f". The ring is crafted on a black enamel ground with milled borders. It is a US size 8 and the ⅓ and 3 of an inch wide all around.