Appeal to purchase symbol of infamous monarch

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A FUND-RAISING drive has been launched by a museum to buy a rare 15th century silver badge which was worn by those loyal to one of England’s most infamous monarchs.

The silver gilt livery badge is in the shape of a boar which was a symbol of Richard III, whose troubled two-year reign up until 1485 was plagued by revolts and the legend of the Princes in the Tower. The emblem was found by a metal detectorist two years ago near Stillingfleet in North Yorkshire, and is one of only a small number ever found. The badge would have belonged to someone with a high status as it is silver gilt.

The Yorkshire Museum in York has now launched an appeal to raise £2,000 to keep it in its public collections, and find out more about its origins.

The assistant curator or archaeology, Natalie McCaul, said: “This is an exciting and rare find and because of its connection to Richard III it makes it something very important to Yorkshire.

“We hope we can keep hold of it and put it on show to the public for them to enjoy.”

Richard ordered that 13,000 boar badges be made for his son Edward’s investiture at York Minster in 1483, but few have actually been found in the region.

Richard even planned to be buried at the Minster, a radical ambition as English monarchs were traditionally interred at Westminster Abbey.

York looked to Richard to help it at a time of economic decline, actively championing his short reign and sending troops to support his cause after Henry Tudor’s invasion. But the reinforcements were too late and Richard was slain at the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485.

The museum needs to raise the money by September, or the badge could be sold on the private market to the highest bidder. Donations can be made at the Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York, or online at www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk.