Mourning Ring thumbnail 1
Mourning Ring thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Mourning Ring

1764 (dated)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a memorial ring for the Bishop of London, Richard Osbaldeston (1690-1764). It is inscribed MEMENTO (Remember) and RICH: EPIS: LONDON: OB: 15.MAY 1764. AET. 75. (Richard, Bishop of London, died 15 May 1764 aged 75). Memorial rings have been made to commemorate people since the sixteenth century. Money was often left in wills in order for rings to be made for named individuals or to be distributed at the funeral. A general convention holds that white enamel rings were used for children and those who died unmarried and that black was used for those who were married but this convention was not universally observed. Richard Osbaldeston was married twice but died without an heir.

Richard Osbaldeston was a member of a prominent Yorkshire family, son of the MP Sir Richard Osbaldeston. He was a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge before being ordained to the priesthood in 1714. He served as Chaplain in Ordinary to George II and III and as tutor to George III. In 1747, he became Bishop of Carlisle, and in 1762, Bishop of London and Dean of the Royal Chapels. He was buried in his home parish of Hunmanby, East Riding of Yorkshire. According to his archdeacon Charles Moss 'a general knowledge of the world, and of business, a gentlemanly address and deportment, a just sense of his own dignity and a becoming zeal for the interests of religion, are valuable qualities in a Christian Bishop'. He was particularly interested in religious conformity in the Americas and left five hundred pounds for the maintenance of a bishop or bishops.

Mourning rings for his brothers Fountayne Wentworth and William Osbaldeston are also in the museum collection.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Inscribed and enamelled gold
Brief Description
Enamelled gold mourning ring, inscribed in reserve on black enamel MEMENTO. The hoop inscribed RICH: EPIS: LONDON: OB: 15.MAY 1764. AET. 75., England, dated 1764.
Physical Description
Enamelled gold mourning ring, the scroll-edged bezel inscribed in reserve on black enamel MEMENTO. The hoop inscribed RICH: EPIS: LONDON: OB: 15.MAY 1764. AET. 75.
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.4cm
  • Width: 2.3cm
  • Depth: 0.8cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'MEMENTO' (Inscribed on the bezel.)
  • 'RICH: EPIS: LONDON: OB: 15.MAY 1764. AET. 75.' (Inscribed on the hoop.)
Credit line
Given by the Rev. R. Brooke
Object history


Part of the Brooke collection donated to the V&A in 1864. The Brooke collection includes objects relating to the Brooke family along with the Osbaldestons, who were closely related.



“The Reverend R. Brooke, Gateforth House, Selby, presented, in February 1864, a collection of articles of personal use of the 17th and 18th centuries, being the accumulated memorials of an English family for three or four generations; the most important are watches, rings, seals, lace and court dresses; the total number of objects is 396.” The gift also included 718 books for the new National Art Library. Brooke stipulated that the collection should be kept together and labelled as the ‘Brooke of Gateforth Gift’. (Eighteenth Report of the Science and Art Department of the Committee of Council on Education, London, 1865, pp.40-41).



The minutes also stipulate “That Mr and Mrs Brooke, and the future possessors of the ‘Gateforth Estate’, provided they bear the name and are of the present family of ‘Brooke’, to have the privilege secured to them (by memorandum recorded in the Books of the Museum, and by possession of a Free Pass Ticket) of entrance into the Museum and Library and the Horticultural Gardens attached, on the holding of any scientific or other meetings, and on all other public occasions.’





Subjects depicted
Summary
This is a memorial ring for the Bishop of London, Richard Osbaldeston (1690-1764). It is inscribed MEMENTO (Remember) and RICH: EPIS: LONDON: OB: 15.MAY 1764. AET. 75. (Richard, Bishop of London, died 15 May 1764 aged 75). Memorial rings have been made to commemorate people since the sixteenth century. Money was often left in wills in order for rings to be made for named individuals or to be distributed at the funeral. A general convention holds that white enamel rings were used for children and those who died unmarried and that black was used for those who were married but this convention was not universally observed. Richard Osbaldeston was married twice but died without an heir.



Richard Osbaldeston was a member of a prominent Yorkshire family, son of the MP Sir Richard Osbaldeston. He was a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge before being ordained to the priesthood in 1714. He served as Chaplain in Ordinary to George II and III and as tutor to George III. In 1747, he became Bishop of Carlisle, and in 1762, Bishop of London and Dean of the Royal Chapels. He was buried in his home parish of Hunmanby, East Riding of Yorkshire. According to his archdeacon Charles Moss 'a general knowledge of the world, and of business, a gentlemanly address and deportment, a just sense of his own dignity and a becoming zeal for the interests of religion, are valuable qualities in a Christian Bishop'. He was particularly interested in religious conformity in the Americas and left five hundred pounds for the maintenance of a bishop or bishops.



Mourning rings for his brothers Fountayne Wentworth and William Osbaldeston are also in the museum collection.
Bibliographic References
  • The History and Antiquities of Selby, W. Wilberforce Morrell, 1867, pp. 325-6
  • Aston, N. (2008, January 03). Osbaldeston, Richard (1691–1764), bishop of London. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-20862.
Collection
Accession Number
654-1864

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record createdJuly 10, 2006
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