British Collections by Archaeological Period:

Post-Medieval (1650-1800)

There are significant collections from this period in the Ashmolean's British collections, many of which formed part of the founding collections.

The Oxford Crown is very rare and gives us a view of Oxford at the time of Charles I. A detailed picture of a city like this is without parallel on English coinage. Charles I established his headquarters in Oxford during the English Civil War. A mint was set up in Oxford from 1643 to 1646.

Guy Fawkes's lantern is another unusual item that was given to the University in 1641 by Robert Heywood, son of a Justice of the Peace who had been present at Fawkes's arrest in the cellars of Parliament House when the 'Gunpowder Plot' was foiled on 5th November 1605. The lantern originally had a horn window, and could also be closed completely to block out the light. The lantern was transferred from the Bodleian Library to the Ashmolean Museum in 1887.

Click to enlarge

Oxford Crown (Click to enlarge)

Oxford Crown depicting Oxford at the time of Charles I

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Christine Edbury
January 2012