Locket thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Locket

after 1649 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

After the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649 by the Commonwealth government, commemorative jewellery was immediately produced. Locks of the King's hair, painted miniatures and royalist symbols were set into rings, lockets and pendants and worn as a sign of allegiance to the Royalist cause. As wearing such jewellery could be dangerous during the Civil War, many of these objects may have been hidden until the Restoration or produced after the accession of Charles II. Royalists considered Charles's death to be a martyrdom and images of him often show his eyes gazing upwards towards Heaven. Before his execution, Charles cast the loss of his crown as the change from an earthly kingdom to a celestial - saying "I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance can be."

This silver heart shaped locket is inscribed with phrases indicating faithful devotion to the King. 'Live and Dy in Loyalty' and 'I Morne for Monarchie' indicate the unflagging allegiance of the jewel's royalist owner. The front of the locket is inscribed 'Prepared Be to Follow Me/ CR', an invitation to the wearer to be ready to give up their life for the late King's cause.

Although some jewels supporting the King were worn during the Commonwealth period, many were produced after the Restoration of 1660. Charles II was vigilant to ensure that his father’s memory was preserved. He was celebrated as King Charles the Martyr and the day of his death was maintained as a national day of ‘fasting and humiliation’. Rings set with the King’s portrait were therefore worn as a sign of allegiance to the new regime and a repudiation of Commonwealth sympathies. After the exile of James II in 1688, political supporters continued to wear these rings to show their support for the restoration of Catholic Stuart rule. Interest in Charles I continued in the 19th century. In 1813, when the coffin of Charles I was discovered in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, the Prince Regent, later George IV, had it opened and removed a number of mementoes, including locks of hair which were made into jewellery.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver, inscribed
Brief Description
Silver, heart-shaped locket, the obverse inscribed 'Prepared Be To Follow Me/CR', and on the reverse 'Live and Dy in Loyalty'. On the inside 'I Morne for Monarchie' with a medallion of King Charles I, England, after 1649
Physical Description
Silver, heart-shaped locket, the obverse inscribed 'Prepared be to Follow me/CR', and on the reverse 'I live and dy in loyaltye'. On the inside 'I morne for monerchie' with a medallion of King Charles I
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.4cm
  • Width: 1.9cm
  • Depth: 0.4cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'Prepared Be To Follow Me/CR' (Inscribed on the obverse)
  • 'Live and Dy in Loyalty' (Inscribed on the reverse)
  • 'I Morne for Monarchie' (Inscribed on the inside)
Credit line
Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons Bequest
Object history
Lt-Col George Babington Croft Lyons George Babington Croft Lyons was an antiquary and collector who loaned, and later bequeathed, 978 objects (ceramics, sculpture, metalwork (particularly silver and pewter), textiles and woodwork) and 391 photographic negatives to the Museum. George Babington Croft Lyons was born on 15 September 1855. Nothing is known of his early life. On 23 May 1874 he was promoted to Lieutenant with the Essex Rifles. He was admitted Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London, on 7 January 1904 and served on its Executive Council from 1908 to 1926; he was a Vice-President from 1917 to 1921. Croft Lyons was also actively involved with the Burlington Fine Arts Club, publishing a number of articles in the Burlington Magazine. Like his friend, George Salting, when Croft Lyons’s collection outgrew his house in Neville Street, Kensington, he loaned works for exhibition at the South Kensington Museum; these included ceramics, sculpture, metalwork (particularly silver and pewter), textiles and woodwork. Croft Lyons died in London on 22 June 1926, aged 71. He bequeathed to the Museum all the objects currently exhibited on loan (these amounted to 978 objects and 391 photographic negatives) together with ‘ten other objects to be selected from the works of art remaining in his house so far as these are not already disposed of by specific bequests’. The British Museum, National Gallery and Birmingham Art Gallery were also beneficiaries of Croft Lyons’ bequest.
Subjects depicted
Summary
After the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649 by the Commonwealth government, commemorative jewellery was immediately produced. Locks of the King's hair, painted miniatures and royalist symbols were set into rings, lockets and pendants and worn as a sign of allegiance to the Royalist cause. As wearing such jewellery could be dangerous during the Civil War, many of these objects may have been hidden until the Restoration or produced after the accession of Charles II. Royalists considered Charles's death to be a martyrdom and images of him often show his eyes gazing upwards towards Heaven. Before his execution, Charles cast the loss of his crown as the change from an earthly kingdom to a celestial - saying "I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance can be."



This silver heart shaped locket is inscribed with phrases indicating faithful devotion to the King. 'Live and Dy in Loyalty' and 'I Morne for Monarchie' indicate the unflagging allegiance of the jewel's royalist owner. The front of the locket is inscribed 'Prepared Be to Follow Me/ CR', an invitation to the wearer to be ready to give up their life for the late King's cause.



Although some jewels supporting the King were worn during the Commonwealth period, many were produced after the Restoration of 1660. Charles II was vigilant to ensure that his father’s memory was preserved. He was celebrated as King Charles the Martyr and the day of his death was maintained as a national day of ‘fasting and humiliation’. Rings set with the King’s portrait were therefore worn as a sign of allegiance to the new regime and a repudiation of Commonwealth sympathies. After the exile of James II in 1688, political supporters continued to wear these rings to show their support for the restoration of Catholic Stuart rule. Interest in Charles I continued in the 19th century. In 1813, when the coffin of Charles I was discovered in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, the Prince Regent, later George IV, had it opened and removed a number of mementoes, including locks of hair which were made into jewellery.
Collection
Accession Number
M.811-1926

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdSeptember 9, 2005
Record URL