Prince Rupert Bit

Contributed by Walsall Leather Museum

Civil War bridle bit of Prince Rupert © Walsall Leather Museum and Stuart Whipps

Prince Rupert was King Charles I's nephew and commanded the Royalist cavalry during the English Civil War. This hand-forged bit may have been used locally at the sieges at Lichfield and Rushall Hall and could be connected with Walsall Wood, where Rupert had his camp. Although Walsall was to become a world-leader in the manufacture of lorinery, this particular bit was imported into England from abroad, probably being German in its manufacture. It depicts the Coat of Arms of Prince Rupert on each boss and carries the motto of the Order of the Garter, meaning that it must date from 1642 or later, the date when Rupert was made a Knight of the Order.

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