The Left or the Right


Longleat House


iLongleat Safari Park


There is a historical story reflecting the positions of the Left and the Right.  I found it very interesting a number of years ago when I was a treasure hunter while I held a position in the World Council of Metal Detectorists.  The US, Canada, and the UK, came together to share and protect the clubs and individuals who maintain the sport/hobby of detecting.

I was elected as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Council and we met at the residence of the Marquis of Bath, at Longleat House (see photo) in England.  The Marquis was pro-detectorists and his grounds maintained an Open Adventure and Safari Park (see other photo).

That evening our entire group, had supper with the Marquis attending, and he posed for photos with some of the lady guests. The inside of Longleat House was absolutely breathtaking and ornate.   It was here that one of our English friends related a very knowledgeable story.

There is a treasure trove law in England that states, “If item(s) found are determined to be buried on purpose as defined by the British Museum’s research of said item(s), then it would belong to the crown, however, if the museum determines that the item(s) found was accidentally lost, it shall belong to the finder”.  If it is found and determined, that the object was lost, the museum or any private entity is allowed to bid on it if the finder determines he wants to sell it, hopefully to the highest bidder.

The story begins with one Brit who was hunting on the Thanes River when it was at its’ lowest it has ever been.  This fellow (I’ll call him Jim) was detecting the muddy banks because of the ebbing of the river.  After a couple of hours of searching, he got a signal and found a silver signet ring.  Removing the mud, he described it as a thick circle embedded with rubies.  From the hole attached to the inner circle was a little shaft or wand.  It looked like a mortar and pestle without a bottom.

After taking it to the museum, it was determined that it was officially lost and he could keep it.  But there was more to it than that.  The museum had researched it extensively and traced it to a knight named Sir Antoine de Cressy (ca. 1400) from the medieval ages.  It was handed down from a family ancestor who was a knight in the court of William the Conqueror, known from the famous Battle of Hastings, in 1066.

It is documented that all knights in the court of King William, offered their family signet ring to the king in order to pledge allegiance to him.  This tradition meant that when the signet ring is offered, the king holds it in his hand and the knight pledges his life and sword to the monarch and to the protection of the people, especially the fair ladies.  Now Jim knew from the museum’s research that the ring was once held by William the Conqueror and it is a valuable prize.  Following the pledge, the king returns the ring to the knight and the king places the knight in a position the king decides to value.  This ancestral knight to de Cressy was a very powerful knight who had many loyal subjects.  It was the reason that King William wanted him at his side.

The twist to this story is that with all the knights that King William had, he placed those that he fully trusted on the right side of his court and the untrustworthy ones to his left.  That is how the meaning of Right Wing and Left Wing politics began.

All you voters out there please vote carefully.  Think what you would do, if you were a gallant medieval knight or lady, who loved and protected the people.