Seal of Pope Innocent IV discovered in Shropshire

A pope’s seal dating back 700 years has been discovered in Shropshire.

The medieval find represents the 1.5 millionth archaeological object to have been officially unearthed by the public in Britain.

Pope Innocent IV, whose papacy began in 1243, used the lead coin-like object to confer political and religious favours.

Metal detectorist Andy Bassett found the object in a ploughed field in Shropshire and its discovery has now been officially recorded.

Peter Reavill, the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme finds liaison officer for Shropshire and Herefordshire, said the seal may have ended up in Shropshire because the Pope was trying to obtain Henry III’s support in his claim for Sicily.

We don’t know who he (the Pope) sent the letter to. All we know is the lead seal has dropped off.

Peter Reavill

Or it may have been given as an “indulgence” to a rich, powerful individual who gave money to the church in exchange for “so many years out of purgatory.”

Read the full story on the Whitchurch Herald

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