Black Prince's Ruby

The Black Prince's Ruby is a large, irregular cabochon red spinel weighing 170 carats set in the cross pattée above the Cullinan II diamond at the front of the Imperial State Crown of England. The spinel is one of the oldest parts of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, with a history dating back to the middle of the 14th century, it has been in the possession of England's rulers since it was given in 1367 to its namesake, Edward of Woodstock. All red gemstones used to be referred to as rubies or "balas rubies", it wasn't until 1783. A red spinel is a compound of magnesium, iron and chromium, while a ruby is the mineral corundum; the rarity of this spinel, however, is that it is the biggest uncut spinel in the world, given that it has only been polished and has never received a proper cut, gemologically speaking. The Black Prince's Ruby dates back to the middle of the 14th century as the possession of Abū Sa'īd, the Arab Muslim Prince of Granada. At that time, the rule of Castile was being centralized to Seville and the Moorish Kingdom of Granada was being systematically attacked and reverted to Castilian rule as a part of the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian peninsula.

Abū Sa'īd in particular was confronted by the belligerency of nascent Castile under the rule of Peter of Castile known to history as Don Pedro the Cruel. According to historical accounts, Abū Sa'īd wished to surrender to Don Pedro, but the conditions he offered were unclear. What is clear is that Don Pedro welcomed his coming to Seville, it is recorded that he desired Abū Sa'īd's wealth. When Abū Sa'īd met with Don Pedro, the King had Abū Sa'īd's servants killed and may have stabbed Sa'īd to death himself; when Sa ` īd's corpse was searched, the spinel was added to Don Pedro's possessions. In 1366, Don Pedro's illegitimate brother, Henry of Trastámara, led a revolt against Don Pedro. Lacking the power to put down the revolt unaided, Don Pedro made an alliance with the Black Prince, the son of Edward III of England; the revolt was put down and the Black Prince demanded the ruby in exchange for the services he had rendered. While historians speculate that this was contrary to Don Pedro's desires, he had just suffered a costly civil war and was in no position to decline.

It can be assumed that the Black Prince took the Ruby back to England, although it is absent from historical records until 1415. During his campaign in France, Henry V of England wore a gem-encrusted helmet that included the Black Prince's Ruby. In the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415, the French Duke of Alençon struck Henry on the head with a battleaxe, Henry nearly lost both the helmet and his life; the battle was won by Henry's forces and the Black Prince's Ruby was saved. Richard III is supposed to have worn the gemstone in his helmet at the Battle of Bosworth, where he died. Henry VIII's inventory of 1521 mentions "a great balas ruby" set in the Tudor Crown, thought to be the Black Prince's Ruby, it remained there until the time of Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century. With the exception of the Coronation Chair and several other items, Cromwell had the principal symbols of the king's power – the Crown Jewels – disassembled and sold, the gold was melted down and made into coins. What happened to the Black Prince's Ruby valued at £4, during the Commonwealth of England is not clear, but it came back into the possession of Charles II when the monarchy was restored in 1660.

At the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, she was crowned with a new Imperial State Crown made for her by Rundell and Bridge, with 3,093 gems, including the spinel at the front. This was remade in 1937 into the current, crown. A plaquette on the reverse of the gemstone commemorates the crown's history

Helen Cam

Helen Maud Cam, FRHistS was an English historian of the Middle Ages Cam was born at Abingdon, Berkshire. Educated at home by her father William Herbert Cam, the headmaster of Abingdon School, she did her undergraduate degree at Royal Holloway College gaining a First in History there, an MA in Anglo-Saxon and Frankish studies at the University of London, after a fellowship year at Bryn Mawr College This degree led to her first book, Local Government in Francia and England, 768–1034. After teaching at Cheltenham Ladies' College and Royal Holloway, she became a fellow of Girton College, Cambridge in 1921. In 1948 she took up the Zemurray Radcliffe Professorship at Harvard, a position she held until her retirement in 1954. Cam's focus was on local administration, as opposed to the constitutional and legal history of the dominant historians of the age and Maitland. Though an admirer of both, she expanded on and revised the work of these men, her work was of great scholarly value, but she was able to write for a wider audience, illustrated best by her England before Elizabeth.

She had an interest in historical fiction, expressed in Historical Novels. She resented the whitewashing of particular historical figures, such as Richard III. In 1945 she was elected to the British Academy, the third woman to be elected to the fellowship, in the same year she became the first woman to deliver the Raleigh Lecture there. Cam was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1950, she received honorary doctorates from Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, the University of North Carolina, Oxford. She acted as vice-president both of the Royal Historical Society. In 1957 she was appointed CBE. Studies in the hundred rolls: some aspects of thirteenth-century administration, Oxford: Clarendon press, 1921 The hundred and the hundred rolls. England before Elizabeth, New York: Hutchinson's University Library, 1950 Law as it looks to a historian, Cambridge: W. Heffer 1956 What of the Middle Ages is alive in England today, London: Athlone press, 1961. Historical novels, London: Historical Association, 1961.

Law-finders and law-makers in medieval England: collected studies in legal and constitutional history, London: Merlin press, 1962. Kathleen Major,'Cam, Helen Maud', rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, Kelly Boyd, London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999, pp. 166–7. Euan Taylor,'Helen Cam, the Academic Life and the Idea of Community' PhD thesis Papers, 1928-1969. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University


Dubné is a village and municipality in České Budějovice District in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. The municipality covers an area of 16.78 square kilometres, has a population of 1,293. Dubné lies 9 kilometres west of České Budějovice and 124 km south of Prague. Taken from census, total of 365 houses and 1079 residents on March 1, 2001) Dubné. Křenovice u Dubného, 4,59 km², 101 houses, 335 residents Třebín. Třebín, 3,43 km², 69 houses, 169 residents Jaronice. Jaronice, 3,19 km², 37 houses, 82 residents The first written mention of the village dates back to 1263, it is about a vladyka Sudslav of Dubné; the village was held by a lower nobility until the end of Bohemian Revolt it was confiscated to Adam Chval Kunáš of Machovice and in 1623 it was sold to the royal city of České Budějovice, the owner of Dubné until the abolition of serfdom. Since 1850 Dubné is an independent village, the other parts were connected in 12 June 1960. Czech Statistical Office: Municipalities of České Budějovice District