The battle of Salamanca was a major battle of the Peninsular war, part of the Napoleonic Wars and fought on 22 July 1812 on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain.
Britain wanted to end France’s influence in Spain, where Napoleon had put his brother on the throne.
Made from gilded bronze, every French battalion was ceremoniously presented with a imperial eagle by Napoleon, which was then carried on top of the Tricolour flag of the Regiment.
During the battle, the French tried to get behind the British lines but they were over-extended. Despite Britain having a smaller army, the British saw their chance and broke through the French line.
Essex Regiment’s most prized trophy, the eagle was captured at sword point from Napoleonic troops by Lieutenant William Pearce of the 2nd battalion,44th (East Essex) Regiment.
The Battle of Salamanca became known as the beating of 40,000 men in 40 minutes.
Only six eagles were captured during the Peninsular wars, and so it became an icon for the Essex Regiment, worn on badges and buttons, unit flags, notepaper, vehicles and sports kit, and continues to be worn by all ranks of the serving Royal Anglian Regiment.
This rare Roman male figurine made from copper alloy was found by a metal detectorist in Roxwell and dates to the Roman period (43- 410 AD). He measures 65mm high and is wearing a woollen hooded cloak known as a Birrus Britannicus which is worn over a short-belted tunic. He carries a quiver over his right shoulder for his arrows.
The character appears to be a hunter, well-dressed for going out into the woods on a cold, rainy British day. The fact that this little piece of portable art is not only incredibly detailed and of fine quality, but also shows a distinctively British character, making it extremely unusual, and suggests that he was made in Roman Britain rather than imported. Characters from this period of Roman rule usually wore clothes of a style from Gaul and the North-Western provinces of the Roman Empire.
Roman Britain was a well-known exporter of quality woollen garments like this, and it is thought that the Birrus Britannicus could be the first hoodie exported to the wider Roman Empire.
The burial site was discovered by workmen in 1888 whilst digging for gravel behind Clobb’s Row in Broomfield. After digging about 6 or 7 foot down, the workmen came across a rich Saxon burial, which included a 3 foot long iron two-edged sword in a wooden sheath, a gold and garnet jewel in the shape of a four sided pyramid and a gold and garnet plate from a buckle. No bones were found, it is thought that the body was placed centrally in a wooden coffin or chest and burnt.