17th Century copper weather vane

Contributed by Southwold Museum

17th Century copper weather vane

The history of this object spans much of the story of Southwold. The initials are probably those of Borough Chamberlains. Borough business in those times was done at the Market Cross which is where this vane was first installed. In 1809 the Market Cross was demolished and proceedings transferred to the Guildhall on Bartholomew Green. This was itself demolished in 1815 as later was its replacement. The National School was built on the site and this, too, has gone. Our object survived these changes, eventually becoming the property of Dr John Sutherland, a surgeon who became the town's third mayor in 1841. He gave it to the renowned Southwold diarist, auctioneer and schoolmaster, James Maggs (1797-1890). Maggs, a well-known collector of antiques, evidently valued the surgeon's gift for, in his draft will, he specifically refers to it, bequeathing it to a local grocer. However, the draft was never implemented and, on his death, aged 93, the vane, like his diary itself, passed into the keeping of his aristocratic neighbour, Eustace Grubbe. Grubbe was Mayor of Southwold from 1879 to 1891 and a substantial community benefactor. The object was donated to the museum by his executors.

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Southwold, Suffolk


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