Gold Mourning Ring

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This ring was owned by John Holroyd, who foiled the assassination attempt on George III at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 15th May 1800. He had become separated from his friends and found a seat by chance next to James Hadfield, the would-be regicide. The Times reported: "Mr Holroyd of Scotland Yard had the good fortune to raise the arm of the assassin, so as to direct the contents of the pistol towards the roof of the box. The audience remained for a second in an agony of suspense." It was customary at the time, among those who could afford it, to have mourning rings made to commemorate their loved ones. John gave this one, inscribed with the name of his mother and the date of her death, to his daughter-in-law, my direct ancestor. The incident is remarkable for the clemency accorded to James Hadfield. His commanding officer spoke of his bravery and loyalty as a soldier and of the severity of the head wounds received in a battle near Lille. Hadfield was not hanged but judged insane and committed to the Royal Bethlem Hospital, 'Bedlam', where he wrote poetry. The picture of the attempt on the king's life is taken from Life of George III, published by Tbomas Kelly, Paternoster-Row, 1821

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 01:31 on 18 November 2010, Johnh wrote:

    Am interested if the author of this article has traced his Holroyd side in Yorkshire, in case there is a link with this John of Scotland Yard and my research. Rgds Johnh

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