History of the Stewarts | Historical Objects
If you are a Stewart Society Member please login above to view all of the items in this section. If you want general information on how to research your ancestors and some helpful links - please look in background information.
If you have a specific question you can contact our archivist.
The Darnley Jewel
Precious relic of the Darnley family
The heart-shaped locket was intended to be worn around the neck or on the breast. The complex iconography of memento mori motifs and symbols of profane and sacred love relate to the Earl and Countess’s life together - the salamander is the crest of the house of Douglas and the heart its device and three fleurs-de-lis on an azure field form the first quarter of the Lennox arms. The jewel also reveals their ambitions for their grandson, the future James VI and I and provides him with the series of admonitions.
The jewel was in the collection of Horace Walpole in the 18th century. It was purchased by Queen Victoria at the sale of Strawberry Hill in 1842 and was listed among her private jewellery following her death in 1901.