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York Castle Museum in Bid to Save Rare Silver Spoon

York Castle Museum in Bid to Save Rare Silver Spoon

York Castle Museum needs your help to raise £1,500 by 4 July 2019 to save this spoon and its remarkable story for the city. Our aim is to display the spoon at York Castle Museum to help us tell stories of York people and the life and times of Catholics during the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras.

Discovered in the nearby village of Brandsby by a metal detectorist in 2017, this unique ‘seal top’ silver spoon offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of a member of the local, persecuted Catholic gentry in the Elizabethan period.



At the time of this spoon’s production in 1565, items of cutlery were highly personal items and would have been specially made for and kept by individuals who carried them wherever they went. Special spoons like this were often gifted on the occasion of weddings or, more commonly, baptisms – which may be where we get the phrase “born with a silver spoon in the mouth” from. A rare survival, this spoon is made even more remarkable by the presence of an assay mark identifying the maker as William Todd of York – a freeman of the York Goldsmith’s Company who was dismissed from his post for his Catholic faith in 1580 – and the engraved name of the owner, Thomas Cholmeley of the vast Brandsby estate, who forfeited all 28,000 acres of his lands for adhering to his faith in 1627.

To help us in saving the York Spoon and donate click here!