Preston MP’s 500-year-old silver signet ring is auctioned in Mayfair
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The Tudor ring, which bears the coat of arms of Sir John Brograve, was found in Hertfordshire around 1990.
Sir John was MP for Preston on three separate occasions and became one of the leading lawyers in Parliament. In 1580 he was appointed by Queen Elizabeth I as her attorney for the Duchy of Lancaster and continued in that role under James I.
The vervel, or hawking ring, has a shield-shaped bezel engraved with a crowned double-headed eagle, the arms of the Brograve family who lived in Hertfordshire. It was auctioned by Noonans of Mayfair and fetched £1,100.
Sir John Brograve was born in 1538, the son of Richard Brograve and Joan Sares and lived in Braughing, Hertfordshire. He was educated at Cambridge and became a lawyer, being admitted to Gray's Inn in 1555. He was knighted in 1603, shortly after King James I came to the throne.
He was already attorney for the Duchy of Lancaster when he was elected Member of Parliament for Preston in 1586. In 1593 he represented Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire in the House of Commons. Then he returned as Preston MP in 1597 and again in 1601.
He was keeper of Hertfordshire's county records for more than 30 years - the highest civil office in an English county at that time - and continued to live there until his death in September 1613.
He left six months wages to all his servants who had been with him for four years or more and was buried in Braughing in a simple ceremony.