Made in Marlborough (Wessex), probably by William Gough, in c1634. Length 6.75" (17.1cm).
Seal top spoons are the commonest type down to the Restoration period, when superseded by the trefid. Their popularity was universal across the West Country and they were clearly a "best selling line" for provincial goldsmiths. Typically a favoured wedding or christening present with initials on seal, as on this example which features those of RD/RW. Tim Kent of this firm has done considerable research into the Gough family, and writes the following in his "West Country Silver Spoons and their Makers 1550-1750": William was born at Marlborough c1595, probably apprenticed to Robert Michell (q.v) and married Michell's daughter in 1616 presumably taking over the prosperous business. The Goughs had a large family, of whom William II, Thomas, Richard and Robert followed the goldsmith's trade at Marlborough or elsewhere.
Gough's prosperous status in the town is underlined by the claim that the disastrous fire which struck Marlbourgh in 1653 caused him a loss of £1,134, a very sizeable sum. The registers record the burial of Mr William Gough on 13th February 1677/8, when he would have been more than 80 years old.