"A few days ago a poor labouring man at Rawden
near this town found a gold chain, weighing near five ounces and worth about
seventeen guineas, as he was getting stone in a field near that place :- it is
a very antique piece and must have been buried in the earth a long time altho'
it was only a few inches from the surface of the ground.
It is supposed
to be what the ancient Britons wore, is what Antiquarians call a torque and
perfectly answers the description in the following lines taken from Virgil, AEn
Book 5 Line 558"
Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling
Additional text by Christine Lovedale
The finding of this artefact and speculation about it's
fate have long been discussed by historians. In 1816, !Leodis in Elmete"
by Rev. T D Whittaker states "On the lofty ridge f Billing, which yet
retains it's British name, was found about the year 1780 a valuable relic of
British Antiquity; this was a torque of pure and flexible gold, perfectly plain
and consisting of two rods not quite cylindrical but growing thinner towards
the extremities and twisted together. It's intrinsic value was £18.00 sterling.
It was claimed by the Lord of the Manor"
The then Lord of the Manor was Richard Emmott, but he
would not have been entitled to claim the torque, it would have belonged to the
Crown as Treasure Trove.
in his book "History of the Ancient Parish of Guiseley" published in
1880 believes that it was found at Intake by a hand loom weaver named Joseph
Cooper, who, being unaware of either the torques age or monetary value used it
as a weight for his loom!
Later still in
1914 James Palliser wrote in his "History of Rawdon" that the torque
was claimed as Treasure Trove for the Crown, the finder would be given a
proportionate reward. It was assumed by many that the torque was given to the
British Museum, but the Museum has no record of it.
destiny of this fabulous find still remains a mystery.