To the Printers of the Leeds Intelligenser
As no attempt has been made
towards a refutation of the opinion given in your paper of the 12th ult, in
regard to the piece of gold lately found at Rawden, I must presume that it is
allowed to be at least as natural, as rational and as probable to give an
opinion as the former.
But some suggestions having since been offered to the
very great improbability that any person who had the least pretension to wear a
"Gold Cable Hatband" 200 years ago, should then have resided at so
obscure and insignificant a village as Rawden.
I beg leave to refer those and
such other of your readers, if any there are, who are still in doubt, to
Wilson's M S Pedigree of the Yorkshire Gentry* for better information;
they will find that at the very town where this curious antique was found,
there was an ancient and opulent family of the Rawdens :- that Francis Rawden
Esq. (whose eldest son George was afterwards created a Baronet and from him the
family of the present Lord Rawden is lineally descended) was living there at the
precise time, when, according to Ben Johnson (poet & playwright
1572-1637) Gold Cable Hatbands were in fashion.
And is it not more likely that either the
father in his elder or the son in his younger years might have worn, and some
accident have lost such a Hatband in some of the woods in his own neighbourhood
than that nobody knows or can conceive who should bring such a piece of
gold from nobody knows where or when, to be used as an ornament and that much
less as such a kind of ornament as was hinted at in your paper, at a place
which it is more than probable, 2000 years ago was not inhabited by any
In this circumstance, in
addition to the former, is not sufficient to convince even the Antiquarians
themselves that their opinion of this said supposedd "torques of the
ancients" is erroneous, neither would they be persuaded, tho' both Sir
George and his father were to rise from the dead.
Leeds June 26
* In the Circulating Library in this town
Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling
Further information by Christine Lovedale
This article is about the mystery of the gold torque, one of
the most intriguing finds which were made in Rawdon, where did it come from and
what happened to it ?
The writer of the letter is wrong to
assume that Rawdon had no history in the distant past, it would have been an
ideal location for an ancient settlement, on a hillside, protected from the
ravages of marauding animals which preferred to keep to valley bottoms and with
a plentiful supply of water.
The torque would have been worn by a chief or
leader, a symbol of his authority.
Several years after the torque had been
found, the Rev. T D Whitaker, in his 1816 work Leodis in Elmete wrote "On
the lofty ridge of Billing --- 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
and claimed by the Lord of the Manor"
Philomen Slater claimed in his
book, The History of the Ancient Parish of Guiseley, that it had been found at
Intake by a hand loom weaver called Joseph Cooper who used it as a weight for his
James Palliser in his History of
Rawdon written in 1914 says the torque was claimed by the Lord of the Manor as
The Lord of the Manor at the time of the discovery was Richard
Emmott (1761- 1819), if this were true he would have been acting illegally as
treasure trove belongs to the Crown.
It's present monetary value would be in
excess of £10,000, it's historical significance beyond price.
It has been
rumoured that it was given to the British Museum but there is no record of this,
or it's existence at the museum.
The fate of this remarkable artefact will
perhaps never be known.