A ring which was used to transport notes to Bonnie Prince Charlie is to be sold at auction.

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Jacobite agents wore the gold and emerald ring, valued at UKP3,000, to prove they were genuinely carrying notes from Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who was exiled after his defeat in the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

The piece of jewellery, which has a concealed cypher and features the inscription CRIII 1766: Charles Rex, 1766, was used as an alternative to the Young Pretender’s signature or seal as anyone found carrying documents bearing such marks faced instant execution.

Colin Fraser, silver specialist at Scotland’s Lyon and Turnbull auction house, in Edinburgh, where the ring is going under the hammer, said: “The significance of this unassuming item of 18th Century jewellery is far greater than it appears as it was used as a ‘signature’ when travelling with correspondence from Charles.

“No document could carry a signature or seal as if the bearer was found in possession of such marked papers by government troops he would almost certainly have been sentenced to death.

“Therefore this ring would accompany the messenger to show they had originated from Charles and were considered an official document.”

Charles’s grandfather, known both as James VII of Scotland and James II of England, fought to be restored as King of Scotland and England after he was
deposed in 1688.

The Jacobite cause were dedicated to restoring the Stuart family to the thrones of England and Scotland.