Thursday, March 12

The Commoner Who Salvaged a King’s Ransom


Can you imagine the debt we pay to this man who helped the recovery of so many amazing historical artefacts from the building sites in London? 

The Cheapside treasure hoard will be exhibited in the museum of London.  So if you want to go visit it, that would be great. See what a lovely and interesting link to India. India was a huge gems and jewellery producing country. Most of the huge ancient diamonds came from India, you may have heard of the Peacock Throne. Etc etc. fascinating stories behind these glittering stones. 




The Commoner Who Salvaged a King’s Ransom

George Fabian Lawrence, better known as “Stoney Jack,” parlayed his friendships with London navvies into a stunning series of archaeological discoveries between 1895 and 1939.

It was only a small shop in an unfashionable part of London, but it had a most peculiar clientele. From Mondays to Fridays the place stayed locked, and its only visitors were schoolboys who came to gaze through the windows at the marvels crammed inside. But on Saturday afternoons the shop was opened by its owner—a “genial frog” of a man, as one acquaintance called him, small, pouched, wheezy, permanently smiling and with the habit of puffing out his cheeks when he talked. Settling himself behind the counter, the shopkeeper would light a cheap cigar and then wait patiently for laborers to bring him treasure. He waited at the counter many years—from roughly 1895 until his death in 1939—and in that time accumulated such a hoard of valuables that he supplied the museums of London with more than 15,000 ancient artifacts and still had plenty left to stock his premises at 7 West Hill, Wandsworth.

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