Eric Lawes was a retired man with a metal detector on the day he found Great Britain’s most valuable treasure, a Roman-era treasure chest known as the Hoxne Hoard. The chest, which contained over 15,000 coins, provided important clues to Roman Britain’s separation from the Roman Empire in the Fifth Century, AD.
12. A New Hobby
Eric Lawes was born in Hoxne, pictured above, and grew up in poverty. Like other men of his era, he dropped out of school at age 14 to work on the farm and help support his family. Lawes once worked as a delivery boy for a bakery but quit when he was accused of being a half-penny short. He was a man of high character who was called up to the Royal Marines and fought in World War II. After his retirement from the Eastern Electricity Board, his coworkers gifted him a metal detector.