godfrey tankard, sudbury heritage museum


This fine silver tankard, nicknamed the Godfrey Tankard, sits amid Sudbury’s regalia in the town’s Heritage Centre.

Made in 1676 it celebrated the public services of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey during the Great Plague and Fire of London. Dramatic scenes of both events are engraved on the sides. It was given to Sudbury by Sir Gervase Elwes as a ‘sweetener’ to win the favour of the Corporation – it must have influenced the return of both Sir Gervase and his son as Members of Parliament for Sudbury in 1679.

Often referred to as the Sudbury ‘Loving Cup’ it was used in a very unloving manner after the Mayor’s banquet in 1895. During an angry dispute over the distribution of staff tips the hall-keeper struck the caterer over the head with the cup giving it a large dent (subsequently beaten out). The hall-keeper was dismissed with a week’s notice.

See the tankard at Sudbury Heritage Centre.

Explore the rest of Sudbury and the surrounding areas with Visit Suffolk.

Photo: Sudbury Heritage Centre