In May of this year the Wenlok Jug, a large bronze medieval jug which is the prize object in the collection of Luton’s museum service, was stolen from the Stockwood Discovery centre. The theft made national news and later featured on BBC One’s Crimewatch programme.
The theft was a severe blow to Luton Culture who were responsible for looking after it and a loss that I know was felt very deeply by museum staff. So I was delighted to hear that the police had recovered the jug and arrested two people. Well done to Bedfordshire Police.
The jug itself is an impressive object – if to be honest a little ugly – and has I think a real presence that helps you to get a sense of that period. It “feels” medieval!
I am really really pleased that it has been found and returned.
This is how the Wenlok Jug is described by the museum;
“The Wenlok Jug is of enormous historical significance to the Luton area. Made approximately 1400-1500 AD, it is one of only three similar jugs in the UK and of the three, bears the earliest maker’s mark. It is made of bronze, stands 31.5cm tall, weighs 6.1kgs and is decorated with the English coat of arms, the East Anglian coat of arms and the inscription ‘My Lord Wenlok’. The inscription could relate either to the first Lord Wenlock who lived near Luton, or William Wenlock (died 1391) who is buried under St Mary‟s Parish Church of Luton. He was a canon of King’s Chapel and Master of Farley Hospital for the poor.”