Ackermann’s Repository of Arts/Series 1/Volume 1/January 1809/Description of a mourning Ring of William III

TO THE EDITOR OF THE REPOSITORY, &c.

I send you a drawing of a ring, supposed to be one that belonged to William III. and which is noticed in Rapin’s History of England. After giving an account of the king’s death, the historian thus continues: “As soon as the breath was out of his body, the Lords Lexington and Scarborough, who were then in waiting, ordered Roujat to take off from the king’s left arm a black ribbon, which tied next to his skin a gold ring, with some hair of the late queen Mary, which shewed the tender regard he had for her memory.” This ring is of pure gold, its breadth is ⅞ inch, and its length is ⅞ inch. Instead of a chrystal, it is covered with what is called a picture diamond, beautifully cut. This drawing is enlarged in the wood-cut, for the sake of shewing the device, of which the light parts are a very accurate representation: those parts which are shaded, represent the hair of queen Mary, which forms a dark ground for the workmanship: the black ribbon, by which if is fastened to the king’s arm, passes through two small loops at the back of the ring, the gold of which is almost worn through: the workmanship is very good, not to say elegant, for the period in which it was done. It has been many years in the possession of the ancestors of Thomas Street, Esq. of Hampstead, to whom it has descended, and who can trace it pretty satisfactorily thro’ his family connections up to Roujat, who was sergeant-surgeon to William III.

ARA 1809 V01 D035 King William's ring-2.jpg