Serjeant-At-Law’s ring

A rare surviving Serjeant-at-Law’s ring, only the third example I have had. The band is 22 carat gold and hallmarked for London 1868. It is engraved between milled borders with the motto : Lex Libertatis Defensor (The defender of the law of liberty). In English legal history the serjeants-at-law were an elite order of attorneys who had the exclusive privilege of arguing before the Court of Common Pleas and also supplied the judges for both Common Pleas and the Court of the King’s Bench. For six centuries from the 1300’s, the serjeants ranked above all other attorneys in the kingdom. Only twelve hundred men were ever promoted to the dignity of serjeant, the last dying in 1921. This serjeant’s ring belonged to Edward William Cox (1809–1879), an English lawyer and legal writer, who was made a serjeant in 1868. When called to the coif, a new serjeant would hold a feast to celebrate and distribute rings to close friends and family to mark the occasion. Each serjeant had a different motto on his rings. This ring is size P [US 7 and 1/2] and the band is 1/2 an inch wide. These 19th century examples are today quite rare as they were often melted down by their owners.


Edward William Cox