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Ploughing and further thoughts on hoards.
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The Mildenhall Treasure (yes I know its Roman but they existed whether you like it or not). And it seems apt given the Staffordshire Hoard finds, which are very beautiful and deserve to go on show.

The thought that came from the thread though is ownership is only temporary anyway...

I love stories, and this one is true, written by Roald Dahl with fabulous pictures. You could say that this might have been the first controversy over found objects in the soil. What it does show though is a mean minded farmer, who deprived the original finder of a fortune through his selfishness. Serves the farmer right, Dahl wrote the book because he was upset that the poor ploughman was deprived of his just reward, both men only got a £1000 each compensation..

"Gordon Butcher woke early on a cold January morning and kissed his wife and children good-bye. He bicycled through the biting wind to the home of Ford, where he left his tractor the day before. His task for the day was to plough up a field belonging to a man named Rolfe, who had hired Ford to do the job. Ford was busy, so he hired Butcher to do it for him. As the field was intended for sugar beets, Butcher had been instructed to plot it very deep, ten or twelve inches. In the afternoon, there was a sudden jolt and the wooden peg that held the plow to the tractor snapped. Butcher climbed down and began to dig away the soil to see what he had struck. He saw a large metal plate. That part of Suffolk was much favored by the Romans, so all the farmers knew of the possibility of Roman treasure being buried on their land. Butcher went to fetch Ford, who knew about this kind of thing. The two men returned to the field and began to dig out the plate. Eventually they pulled thirty-four separate pieces of encrusted ancient metal out of that hole. Ford had an advantage over Butcher, in that he knew the law regarding the finding of silver in Britain. All gold and silver dug from the ground is “Treasure Trove” and automatically property of the Crown. You are legally required to notify the police if you find some, and you will be compensated the market value of the item. But, it is the person who discovers the treasure that gets the reward, not the person who owns the land. As Butcher had been the one hired to do the job, the reward would be his. Ford cunningly managed to suggest to Butcher that the metal was worthless and Butcher allowed him to take it home without a thought. In secret, Ford polished all the pieces and was astonished with their brilliance and beauty. He kept them hidden, though, and four years passed. In 1946, after the War was over, his secret was discovered by a man named Dr. Fawcett, who happened to see one of the spoons that Ford had left sitting on the mantelpiece. The treasure was turned over to the police, who started an investigation. Eventually the finders were declared to be Ford and Butcher, who each received a thousand pounds compensation. Butcher had no idea that “had he been allowed to take the treasure home originally, he would have almost certainly have revealed its existence and would thus have become eligible to receive one hundred per cent of its value, which could have been anything between half a million and a million pounds.”

taken from[...]ories/the-mildenhall-treasure/

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Posted by moss
30th August 2019ce

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