A Rare Charles I Silver Gilt Reward Badge Depicting Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

Unmarked but by Thomas Rawlins
C. 1642
2" (5.1 cm) high, 1.4" (3.6 cm) wide

Cast and of oval shape, one side chased with a depiction of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, half length and three quarters left, wearing armour and with falling lace collar and a sash around his waist. Above his head are engraved the initials "S.X" (Essex) and all within two inscriptions, the outer in English and the inner in Latin. The first reads: "Should hear both Houses of Parliament for true religion and subjects fredom (sic) stand". The second reads: "Pro religione et lege rege et parliamento" being the Latin translation. All bordered by a wreath surround with 2 flowers within brackets, 4 further roses (possibly) and with a fixed suspension ring at the top. The back plain with scratched surface and inscribed "Earl of Essex Parliamy Genr".


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Robert Devereux was "Captaine Lord General" or Commander in Chief of the Parliamentary forces from 1642-1645. He was an experienced yet undistinguished General having fought for the Protestant cause in Holland and Germany during the 30 Years War. Having failed to secure any significant victories against the Royalists he resigned his commission in 1645. He died from a stroke the following year whilst out hunting.

The badge is typical of those produced by Rawlins with the distinctive wreath border, more commonly found with a portrait of Charles I