THE seal of Queen Elizabeth I dating from the year the Spanish Armada threatened England, and a piece of skin from a murderer who was hanged, are among the intriguing items up for sale at Henry Aldridge and Son's next collectors' auction in Devizes on Saturday.

The wax seal is attached to a document dated 1588 regarding the granting of land called Thorneburye in Gloucestershire.

It is likely to fetch between £300 and £600.

A piece of skin from the first man to be hanged at Bristol Prison is expected to attract a lot of attention from collectors of criminal memorabilia.

John Horwood was publicly hanged in 1821 for the murder of Eliza Balsum, who had spurned him.

His corpse was handed over to surgeon Richard Smith for dissection.

Smith flayed Horwood's skin and used it to bind a book of cuttings and documents he had collected from the trial.

The fragment of skin is signed on the back by Smith.

It is wrapped in a piece of paper bearing a poem in French in praise of Lord Byron.