Town Treasures

The Town Council is custodian of a number of historically important items relating to the Town. Descriptions of the items appear in the sections below, and a number are shown in the photo gallery.

The Town Mace

The Town Mace is 104cm (3ft 5 inches) long and weighs 5 kg. It is made of silver with gold fired over, and has an ebony rod inside to give it extra strength.

The head is split into four panels decorated with:

  • a Crowned Rose and the letters CR;
  • a representation of the borough seal;
  • a Crowned Thistle and the letters AR;
  • the Bear and Ragged Staff.

It is believed that it was made by Thomas Maundy in around 1645. There are no markings except for the date of 1712 on the foot which is when it was re-gilded and the name Joab Rainsford was inscribed as he was the Mayor or Bailiff at the time.

The Small Mace

The small mace which is known as the Thomas Oken Mace, as he was the first Mayor/Reeve of Warwick.

It is believed that it was made around 1550 and was handed to Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1572 as a mark of respect when she visited the town by the recorder at that time. (The Recorder was the office we now call Town Clerk and Baliffs are Councillors.)

It was re-gilded in 1672 and the Mayor was Edmund Wilson whose name appears on the base of the shaft.

It is 41cm (16 inches) in length and is silver with gold fired over and weighs 500 grams. Both Maces are carried by the Mayor’s Sergeants over the right shoulder except in the presence of the Queen when it is reversed as a mark of respect.

Thomas Oken’s Silver

This set of items dated at around 1707 when it replaced the original silver from 1572 that seems to have been sold off, probably as it was worn out from use.

It consists of:

  • Three Spoon Rests
  • One Silver Platter
  • One Large Sugar Castor
  • Two Small Sugar Castors
  • Twelve Large Spoons
  • One Large Claret Jug
  • Two Beer Mugs Large (one with lid)
  • Three Small Beer Mugs
  • One Silver Urn
  • One Miniature Oken Chest

Oken’s Chest

This is a magnificent example of a Common Chest that would have housed the money, accounts, deeds and plate of a Charity or Corporation.

The key to each lock was held by a different trustee so that all had to be present before it could be opened.

Traditionally said to be the Chest of Oken’s Charity, it was removed from its previous home in the Collegiate Church of St Mary and restored and painted with the Town’s Arms and Thomas Oken’s initials in 1851.