Archaeological Journal/Volume 8/Proceedings at the Meetings of the Archaeological Institute November 7, 1851

Archaeological Journal Volume 8  (1851) 
Proceedings at the Meetings of the Archaeological Institute November 7, 1851
Edward Hawkins, Esq., F.R.S., Treasurer, in the Chair

Proceedings at the Meetings of the Archaeological Institute.

November 7, 1851.

Edward Hawkins, Esq., F.R.S., Treasurer, in the Chair.

The list of members elected since the last meeting of the Institute in London, having been read, and that of presents to the library and collections of the Society, the Chairman took occasion, in opening the proceedings of another session, to congratulate the Society upon the success which had attended the Annual Meeting, held at Bristol, since they had last assembled in London,—the valuable communications there received, and the extension of friendly relations between the Institute and the kindred Societies and Archaeologists of the west. The "Salisbury Volume," of which the publication had been undertaken by Mr. Bell, had been announced as ready for delivery in the present week, and he (the Treasurer) anticipated that the Bristol Transactions, the sixth volume of the Annual Series, would prove not less acceptable to the Society at large, than any of the Memorials of their previous meetings; and that, through the present arrangements, its completion would be more promptly effected. In the absence of their Vice-President, the Earl of Enniskillen, he had been requested by that nobleman to lay before the meeting an account of recent discoveries, in Ireland, of certain insular strongholds of the class termed crannoges, to which the attention of the Society had been called by Mr. Evelyn Shirley, in a communication to the meeting at Winchester, subsequently printed in the Journal.[1] These curious ancient dwellings are also described in his "Account of the Dominion of Farney," (p. 93.) Mr. Hawkins then read a letter addressed to Lord Enniskillen, by Mr. D. H. Kelly, describing a crannog lately examined during certain operations for the drainage of the county Roscommon.

This insulated site was found in the lake Clonfinlough, it was evidently artificial, being raised on piles of oak, many of which bear the marks of fire. There is a triple stockade of timber forming a circular enclosure of piles compacted by means of rough logs of oak fixed between them horizontally; within this fence, or rudely constructed coffer-dam, appears a layer of oak trees laid so as to meet in the centre, like the spokes of a wheel, and forming a perfect platform. On the western side were laid great logs fixed parallel to each other, and supporting others laid across them, so as to form a jetty, or landing-place: whilst outside the stockades there are piles driven without any regularity, and amongst these the greater part of the curious objects here collected had been found. On the central platform the little island appears to have been formed, measuring about 128 feet by 121 feet. A trench having been opened, there appeared about 7 inches under the surface, a regular well laid pavement of boulders, which was broken through with difficulty. Under this was a stratum of rich black earth, about 8 inches deep, and then a layer of clay and burnt
Silver Medallion, the work of Heinrich Reitz, of Leipsic, in the time of
Augustus, Elector of Saxony (1553—1586).

In the Collection of Augustus W. Franks, Esq.

(Described, Archaeological Journal, vol. viii., p. 317)

earth of about the same depth. Beneath was found a second pavement of large flat stones, very closely laid upon a stratum of earth, marl, and burnt clay, mixed with some bones of pigs, deer, and fowls. On carrying the excavation still deeper, the timber platform was brought to view. Amongst the earth all around the stockade, large quantities of bones of horned cattle, deer, hogs, sheep, dogs, and fowls, have been found; amongst these are many antlers of the red deer, some horns of fallow deer, with a very few of the ancient elk. Some of the deers' horns had been cut by the saw. With these remains, for the most part, were found relics of metal and bone in great number, and of various periods, some of them, as bronze celts, spear-heads, pins, brooches, &c., appear to be of a remote age, whilst other objects may be of as recent date as 150 or 100 years ago, possibly, the production of some artisan who had established himself in the island, and was provided with a turning lathe, as appearances led Mr. Kelly to suppose. A bronze hatchet was found, and one of iron, having the steel edge riveted on in a very singular manner; a bronze cauldron, formed of plates curiously riveted together, needles, and a comb of bone, rings of stone, a pestle and mortar, &c. The pins and brooches were very numerous and varied in fashion, some being of extremely beautiful workmanship. Two canoes of oak, each formed of a single tree, were found near the island. Many other curious relics have been disinterred in the drainage of this district, and two other crannoges have been noticed, one at Clonfree Lake, just opposite to the site traditionally designated as the remains of a palace; the other is an island in Ardekillan Lake, opposite to a ruined church. Near this crannog had been found a canoe, formed of a single oak, 30 feet long, and 4 feet across near the bow; and in this were discovered a spear-head and a skull, with the frontal bone perforated, and twenty sword-cuts discernible upon it. Close to this island were discovered some fetters of extraordinary size, and a huge padlock by which they were fastened. These, with the cranium, had been secured for the Museum of the R. I. Academy.

Professor Buckman communicated a report of the recent investigations commenced by him, in concert with Mr. Newmarch, amongst the exterior remains of Corinium. They have been chiefly promoted by a zealous local antiquary, Mr. Thomas Brown, who had hitherto liberally defrayed the chief expense occasioned by the excavations. The vestiges of the city walls, the structure of the amphitheatre, and other points of interest had been examined; whilst, in the course of some works for building purposes, a rich addition had been made to the collections of coins, ornaments, and implements of bronze, and fictilia. Permission having been obtained to explore during the ensuing winter, a site of more than ordinary promise, known as the Leauses, where many valuable Roman relics have been from time to time discovered, it is very desirable to carry out a systematic excavation; and the friendly aid of archaeologists is requested to augment the small subscription fund, available for the purpose, and give encouragement to an undertaking to which local resources are not fully adequate. Contributions may be sent to James Buckman, Esq., Cirencester.

The Rev. F. Warre, Vicar of Bishop's Lydeard, Somerset, communicated the following account of his recent examination of the remains, as supposed, of ancient habitations, within one of the hill-fortresses in that county;—"Having obtained permission from Mr. Pigott, the owner of the property, I began on Thursday, Oct. 17, to make excavations in the area of the British fortified town, situated on Worle Hill, near Weston super Mare. I commenced clearing out a square space where there was an appearance of walls, thinking it possible that it might be the entrance to a well; in this, however, I was disappointed, as it proved to be merely a rectangular excavation in the rock, about 16 feet from east to west, by about 13 from north to south, having a facing of dry masonry on the north, east, and west sides; that on the north about 2 feet 8 inches high, the other two sloping to the south with the natural declivity of the hill; the south side being merely the natural rock, without any facing of masonry, and not more than a few inches below the surface; the floor was composed of the solid limestone of the hill imperfectly levelled. For what purpose this chamber was formed I cannot conjecture; at first I thought it might be a tank for water, but the floor being of mountain limestone renders this improbable. On the following day I proceeded to clear out one of the Hut-circles, of which there are many within the ramparts. This proved to be a rude excavation in the solid rock, about six feet deep, and rather more in diameter. With the exception of a few fragments of very coarse pottery, and a little wood, having the appearance of charcoal, this pit contained nothing deserving of notice. On the following day I was absent, but the work was continued under the superintendence of Mr. Atkins and Dr. Tomkins, and on clearing a similar cavity, at about 5 feet 6 inches below the surface, was found a skeleton lying on the right side, close to the rock, with the head to the N. W.; this skeleton, though in a very decayed state, was nearly perfect, with the exception of the lower part of the legs, which had disappeared. On clearing the skull, three cuts entirely penetrating the bone, and evidently inflicted with some heavy and very sharp weapon, appeared upon it; the collar bone and the left arm, a little below the shoulder, also bore the marks of very severe wounds, apparently from the same cutting weapon. There was nothing else deserving of notice. On Monday, on opening another circle just by, at the depth of 3 feet 6 inches from the surface, they found the rock faced with dry masonry in a nearly circular form. From the top of this masonry to the solid rock at the bottom, was, on the E. side 23 inches, on the W. 27 inches, on the N. 24 inches, and on the S. 23 inches. The diameter of this chamber was in the broadest pan, 4 feet 6 inches, and in the narrowest 3 feet 11 inches; the total depth of the excavation being about 5 feet 6 inches. About 4 inches below the top of the masonry were discovered the remains of two skeletons, lying nearly across each other, the head of one being nearly due south; that of the other skeleton west south-west. These were lying on their sides with the legs drawn up. About 6 inches lower a third skeleton was found, the head lying nearly due north. One of the skeletons, which was that of a very large man, bore marks of great violence, the skull being severely gashed by a sharp cutting instrument, and fractured by a large stone, which lay upon it; part of the collar bone was forced up into the arch of the lower jaw, and on the left thigh bone was the mark of a deep cut. Under these bones was a quantity of dark mould, covering a thin layer of broken stones; then, thin plates of lias, which are not found on Worle Hill. Under these, immediately upon the rock, was a quantity of wheat mixed with a little barley, quite black, whether from the action of fire or through natural decay is not certain. With the skeletons were a few horses' teeth, and mixed with the grain were small bones, apparently of birds.

"During the remainder of the week several other circles were opened, in most of which were found small fragments of coarse pottery, bones of various animals, some of which appeared to have been burnt, pieces of blackened wood, but no masonry, or any relics of interest. The deposits in all were nearly the same;—first, earth washed from the surface, then rubble and pieces of rock to the depth of about 5 feet; beneath this, black earth with fragments of wood, then broken stones, and lastly, the solid rock. On Saturday was found the skull of a pig, the back part of which, being close to the rock, seemed to show that it must have been separated from the carcase before it was placed in the hole; with it were many fragments of coarse pottery, some blackened wood, and a small piece of spar, which appears to have been rubbed down at one end, and might, perhaps, have been used as the head of a very small arrow. In the early part of the week the area contained within a large circle, 50 feet in diameter, which occupies nearly the centre of the place, was searched, but no cavities or deposits were discovered, the solid rock being found a few inches below the surface. Near the centre of this circle were found many fragments of pottery, thinner and of rather a finer texture than that found elsewhere.

"On Monday, October 27th, we found some more fragments of coarse pottery, bones of various animals, and a piece of spar, similar to that before-mentioned. On Tuesday, at about 5 feet from the surface, we found the jaw of a pig and a few bones; and a little below these lay a human under jaw, the atlas vertebra, the bones of one arm and hand, and those of the right foot in a very perfect state. This hole was much wider than most of the others, and those bones only were preserved, which had fallen on the dryest spots. Enough, however, remained to show that the skeleton was lying on its face, and about 8 or 9 inches below the jaw lay an iron spike, about 4 inches long, which appears to have been the head of a dart or javelin with which the man might have been killed, and have fallen forward into the excavation. Under the skeleton was the usual deposit of black mould and pieces of stick, such as might have been used in the construction of a wattled roof: under this was a large quantity of wheat and barley, which seemed to have rested upon a flat board, the different kinds of grain having been kept separate from each other by thin pieces of wood placed between them. Among this grain was found what I at first supposed to be a piece of plaited straw, but on closer inspection, it appeared to be part of a sedge mat, or basket, in which the corn might have been kept. The investigation of this curious store was not completed till Thursday; on that day another excavation was opened, in one corner of which was a ledge of rock which might have served as a seat. On the left side of this were the fragments of a large earthen vessel, and on the right a small store of grain. Near the bottom of the hole was found part of a very small ring, apparently of bronze; and in the corner quite on the floor, seemingly put away with care, two rings of iron about an inch in thickness, and about the same in diameter. On Friday nothing was discovered, and on Saturday, in the last cavity which has been searched, we found many bones of animals, a considerable quantity of broken pottery, and just above the floor a piece of iron about 8 inches in length. This, though quite rusted through, appears to be the head of a large spear. Besides these remains, we have found a great number of pebbles, all nearly of the same size, which, as the hill is 300 feet above the sea, must have been brought thither for some purpose; we noticed also many pieces of red earth, apparently containing ochre, one of which seems to have been rubbed down into the form of a small egg. Nothing has been found, as far as I can judge, indicative of Roman occupation. This fact, together with the nature of the cuts on the skulls, which are such as might have been inflicted with the Saxon broad sword, and also the circumstance that the wounded skeletons were found nearly opposite to a spot where it is evident that a breach had been made in the south rampart, has induced me to suppose, that the place was probably deserted immediately after the occupation of the country from the Avon to the Parret, by Ostorius Scapula, in the reign of the Emperor Claudius. The fortress had remained, possibly, in a state of ruin till the West Saxon invasion, in the sixth century, at which time it might have been used by the Romanised Britons as a place of refuge, and the corn and pigs might have been part of their slender stores of provision. The place, as I imagine, was taken by storm, and in the desperate struggle that ensued, some of the killed and wounded fell into these huts, which, having been deserted for some centuries, were then open holes; their wattled roofs, covered with brushwood, having fallen in, furnished the dark mould and blackened sticks, which have been found in almost every instance. The skeletons of these bodies being in some degree protected from the weather, and covered by the loose stones and earth, which in the lapse of 1200 years have filled up the excavations, had been preserved to the present time; whilst those which remained uncovered on the surface have totally disappeared, through the action of the elements, or have been destroyed by beasts and birds of prey. I shall thankfully receive any information or suggestion on this subject which members of the Institute will give me. I have Mr. Pigott's permission to proceed with the investigation in the course of next summer."

The cavities described in this interesting relation of Mr. Warre's recent researches, appear to be of that curious class of early remains, regarded by some archaeologists as primeval habitations. Sir Richard Colt Hoare gives a description of the most extensive assemblage of these supposed sites of British huts, existing at Pen, on the borders of Somerset and Wilts. (Ancient Wilts, vol. i. p. 35.) He appears to have considered the evidence insufficient to prove that they were dwelling-places. Daines Barrington, in his Account of Cole's Pits, at Little Coxwell, Berks, has asserted the notion that such excavations were habitations;[2] and the same opinion is maintained, with much probability, by Mr. Bateman, in his curious description of Pit Steads and vestiges of huts discovered on Harthill Moor, Derbyshire.[3] Pits of a similar nature surrounded by walls or margins of stones laid without mortar have been noticed on the moors near Whitby, and are described by Mr. Young in his History of that place.[4]

Sir Frederic Madden exhibited (by favour of George Borrett, Esq., of Southampton) an ancient signet, set in gold as a ring, stated to have been found in the year 1845, in the episcopal city of Sessa (the Suessa Auruncorum of the ancients,) situate in the Terra di Lavoro, kingdom of Naples,


Gold Ring found at Sessa, in tho kingdom of Naples.

In the possession of George Borrett, Esq.

among the ruins near the old church there; and to have been purchased shortly afterwards on the spot by the present possessor. The stone which forms the signet is of a deep red colour, and apparently a species of agate. In the centre are engraved two right hands joined together, with the following letters above and below, c.c.p.s.i.p.d. Judging from the workmanship of the signet, it is believed to have been executed in the period between the reign of Severus and that of Constantine, or, in other words, about the middle of the third century. The interpretation of these letters must be left to conjecture, since they probably refer to the individual for whom the stone was sculptured. It would appear, however, to have been regarded as an object of value or interest at a later period, when it was set in gold for the person whose name appears round the stone in capital letters, which are to be thus read—


On the outer side of the hoop of the ring are two other inscriptions, also in capital letters. The first reads —


And the second—

Etverbumcarofactumestethabitavitin nobis.

The workmanship of these inscriptions is exceedingly good, and the letters well formed and sharply cut. It will be remarked, that in the first legend on the hoop the letter t in the word imperat is omitted for want of space; and in the second, for the same reason, not only the final m (as usual) is twice suppressed, but the word est is given in the abbreviated form of e; several letters are joined together; the aspirate is omitted in habitavit; and the letter n is made to serve for the final of in and the initial of nobis.

As to the date of this ring, it may very probably be ascribed to the thirteenth century. There can be no doubt that the owner, Thomasius de Rogeriis, must have been a member of the Neapolitan family of Roggieri, some account of whom may be found in Aldemari, "Memorie historiche di diverse famiglie nobili, cosi Napoletane, come forastieri," folio, Nap. 1691, p. 440. The earliest persons of note in this family mentioned by him lived in the reign of Charles I. of Naples (1265—1284). namely, Matteo and Giovanni, both of whom were Cavalieri, and held high civil appointments. Matteo was a member of the Consiglio Reale in 1269, and subsequently Proveditore of the Terra di Lavoro, (in which the city of Sessa is situated.) and Viceroy of Calabria. But an earlier personage of this family occurs in a document printed by Muratori in his Antiquitates Italicæ Medii Ævi, vol. i., p. 704, being a sale of territory to the Pope, executed in the year 1236 at Anagni, in the States of the Church, and within a reasonable distance of Sessa. His name appears as Dominus Thomasius Rogerius; and it would seem highly probable that this is the very individual to whom the ring belonged, which has occasioned these remarks. Indeed, it may be strongly suspected that the reading in Muratori is erroneous, and that, instead of Rogerius (an unusual form), we ought to have de Rogeriis; but in either case the same person is intended. As his name occurs in the deed among other witnesses of rank, he must have been a person of station, and, no doubt, a layman, as otherwise his ecclesiastical title would have been added. It must not, however, be concealed, in case this ring should be thought to belong to the fourteenth rather than the thirteenth century, that Aldemari mentions a Tomaso of the same family, who he says, "fù Armato Cavaliere dal Rè Roberto, per cui nel 1316, era non solo Mastro Ostiario del regno, mà anco Vice-Rè della Capitanata; fù Signer di Lorignano, Lazono, e Puzzolano." It only remains to be added, that the legend on the ring, Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat, is found also on the series of Anglo-Gallic gold coins from the reign of Edward III. to that of Henry VI. inclusive; and probably other instances of its use might be pointed out.

Mr. Hewitt gave the following account of an early helmet, recently added to the Tower collection, and exhibited, by his kindness, on the present occasion.—"This helmet is of the well-known type seen on the seals of Richard I. and the English monarchs of the thirteenth century. Though somewhat differing from these in the arrangement of the apertures for sight and breathing, it seems safely assignable to the early part of the thirteenth century; and, as far as I know, it is the most ancient example of a medieval helmet yet on record. (A representation is here given.)

"A flat-topped helmet of nearly equal antiquity has been lately added by Lord Brooke to the interesting collection at Warwick Castle. It has been represented in the Journal of the Brit. Archæol. Assoc, vol. vi. The Warwick helmet differs in type from the one now exhibited, closely resembling those of the well-known effigies in the county of Durham; one of which is figured in Stothard's Monuments, and another in Surtees' Hist. of Durham.

"Much of the damage sustained by the Tower example has resulted from wantonness, and ignorance of its worth as an historical relic. It was latterly used by the peasants in their village festivities. The last relic of the grim Baron of the thirteenth Century—a sturdy extorter, perhaps, of Magna Charta—was lighted up with a candle, and made to figure at the top of the Maypole in rural merry-makings. This remarkable helmet presents a peculiarity in form, being convex over the face and ears, and slightly concave behind: a similar curved outline may be noticed in the helm seen in one of the sculptured spandrels of the arcade, in the Presbytery at Worcester, at the southern side of the choir. Compare also those of the knights figured by D'Agincourt, from a French MS. xiii. Cent. Plate 71.

"Another interesting acquisition has lately been made for the Tower collection, consisting of an iron-hooped cannon, with carriage and chamber; exhibiting with curious completeness the arrangement and accessories of a ship-gun of the earliest fashion. Unable to lay these relics on your table, I may be allowed to say that they will well repay a visit to the Tower, to any who are interested in antiquities of this class.

"The history of the relics is curious. Originally forming part of the armament of the Mary Rose, a vessel of the time of Henry VIII., they were lost in the wreck of that ship at Spithead, in 1545. In 1841 they were recovered by the diving operations of the Messrs. Deane, and subsequently presented by them to the South-Eastern Railway Company. Lost sight of subsequently, they were suffered to lie neglected on the shore at
Helmet of the Time of Richard Cœur de Lion.
From the Original, recently purchased for the Tower Armory.
Folkstone; where at length they were noticed by our secretary, Mr. Way. In consequence of his representations exertions were made to rescue these interesting memorials from further injuries; and about a month ago the Directors of the South-Eastern Railway Company most obligingly presented the whole of them to the Board of Ordnance, to he deposited in the national collection at the Tower.

"The length of the gun (from one end of which a portion has disappeared) is 6 feet, 10 inches; the diameter of the barrel is 6 inches. The piece is formed of strips of iron welded on a mandrel, and bound at intervals with rings of iron. The most curious feature, however, of this old gun is, that it still retains the stone shot with which it was loaded at the time of its submersion.

"The gun-carriage is constructed out of a solid beam of timber, measuring in breadth and depth 21 inches by 17. It has belonged to a piece of larger calibre than that described. With the carriage itself is still found the block which served to wedge in the chamber when fitted to the barrel.

"The iron chamber accompanying these relics has suffered a good deal from the action of the salt water, but it appears to have belonged to a gun of 8-inch diameter in the barrel.

"It will be remembered that in the Archæologia are figured some iron pieces found in the Isle of Walney, which the possessor, from their rude construction, was disposed to assign to the period of Richard II. They were, however, exactly like the examples described above. A gun of similar material and construction has lately been fished up on the coast of Norfolk. A drawing of it was sent to the Tower within this week; but here the Tudor pattarero was labelled 'A cannon of the thirteenth century.'"

The Rev. J. L. Petit sent a Memoir on the distinctive features of Ecclesiastical Architecture in some parts of France, recently visited by him, comparing the peculiarities of the various periods with those (if the contemporary styles in England, especially as shown in Anjou and the Beauvoisis, and he presented to the Library a valuable work, by Woillez, on the Churches of that district, recently published in Paris.

Mr. A. W. Maberley communicated an account of Rising Castle, Norfolk, explanatory of an interesting series of plans and sections, exhibiting the details of that remarkable Norman fortress, from actual survey made by Mr. Cruso and himself, on the occasion of the Meeting of the Norfolk Archæological Society, at Lynn.

Antiquities and Works of Art Exhibited

By Mr. S. P. Pratt.—Four ancient objects of stone, found in excavations made near Alexandria. Their use is unknown: two are in the form of escallop shells, and possibly were used as cleaving implements without being hafted, or were fitted with a sallow, or some flexible tough stick, twisted around, to serve as a handle. Of the larger of these, measuring 8 in. by 6 in. broad, a reduced representation is here given; the smaller has no longitudinal lines on its surface, and measures about 4 in. by 3 in. greatest diam. Another is an oval stone, of which the form is shown by the annexed woodcut: it has been conjectured that it was used as a weight, or for pounding some substances used as food. In the Museum of the Bristol Philosophical Society a stone relic is preserved, stated to have been brought from Africa, which bears much resemblance in form and size to that first described above, but it has no longitudinal grooves.

By Mr. Brackstone.—A flat stone celt from the co. Westmeath (see woodcut). It presents an unusual peculiarity, having two notches on one edge, seemingly to receive the fingers and give a firmer hold when used in the hand, without a haft. Length, 8 in., greatest breadth, 31/4 in., thickness, about 11/2 in. It is of a dingy green material (serpentine?).—
Stone celt found in Ireland.

Three bronze socketed celts, with the loops at the side, two of them found near Upnor Castle, Kent, at a depth of about 10 ft., the third from Holy Cross, Ireland.—Two remarkable implements formed of a siliceous stone, found, about 1810, with three others in a cave, two miles from the coast, in the Bay of Honduras, in South America. One of them was presented to the British Museum. One is a kind of weapon, pointed at both ends, the central part wider than the rest, and serrated with five teeth on each side. Length 161/2 in., greatest width 4 in. The other is of even more remarkable dimensions and form, a sort of crescent, with three strong projecting teeth on each side, resembling the tines of a stag's horns, and having a sort of handle, serrated with five teeth on each side, like the former. Length 17 in., greatest width 13 in. They are chipped with extraordinary regularity and skill.—Representations of these very singular objects will be given in a future Journal.—An iron dagger, found at Aldborough, in Yorkshire, with a skull and other human remains, in forming a drain near the Manor House. It lay about 4 feet from the surface. Date, late fifteenth century.

By the Rev. S. W. King.—Two stone weapons, found in Scotland, one of them of unusual size and massive proportions. (See woodcut.) It is perforated for a haft; the length, 81/2 in., greatest breadth, 51/2 in., thickness, 23/8 in. It is formed of a piece of stratified rock, and was found in one of the three trenches which surround the top of the remarkable hill called "Cumming's Camp," at Barra, co. Aberdeen, in the parish of Bourtie, often termed a Pictish fortress, but renowned for the exploits of the Bruce and the Cumin, on its site.[5] The other, a hatchet of more ordinary form, nearly resembling the flint celt, the second figured in Mr. Du Noyer's Memoir (Journal, vol. iv., p. 2), was found in a "Druidical circle" in the same locality. Its length is 9 in.; one end has a cutting edge, the other is sharply pointed.

By Mr. Bernhard Smith.—Some ancient relics from St. Domingo, brought to England by the late Mr. Hearne, Swedish Consul at Hayti. A
Ancient Stone Implements found at Alexandria

Stone Axe found in Aberdeenshire.
letter written by a French gentleman, resident in 1835 at "L'anse à Veaux," in that island, gave some particulars regarding these relics of the Aborigines, which had been found in their subterranean retreats, wherein they concealed themselves from the Spaniards. The writer had penetrated into these caverns by a sort of shaft, 60 to 80 feet in depth, known as the "Trou de Hine," and leading to spacious vaults, of which four had been examined. He found therein about fifteen round bullets. of which one was exhibited (diam. 3 in.), of limestone stratified in very thin layers, and rounded with great skill; also two worm-eaten objects of wood, described as a sort of cannon, for projecting these balls; many utensils for cooking and for bruising maise, manioc, and other grains or vegetables. The balls, however, as the distinguished American archaeologist, Mr. Squiers, has observed, may very probably have been tied up at the extremity of a thong, as a sort of life-preserver, or "sling-shot." The precise locality seems to have been known as "Le Petit Trou." Besides the ball, Mr. Bernhard Smith exhibited a small axe-head of greenish coloured stone; a kind of pestle or muller, the handle carved in form of a human head, on that account supposed to have been an idol; and some fragments of pottery, grotesque similitudes of human faces. Several objects of this nature, monstrous figures, beads, &c, found about 1797 in a cavern in St. Domingo, near Cape Nicholas, superstitiously regarded as "a god's cave," are in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries, and represented in the Archæologia (vol. xiii., p. 206).

By Mr. C. Faulkner.—Fragments of "Samian" ware, of very fine quality, discovered at Blacking Grove, near Deddington, Oxon., where Roman coins have frequently been found. On the bottom of a small saucer was the potter's mark, virtvtis, a name recorded by Mr. C. Roach Smith as occurring on Samian ware found in London, and in his collection.[6] Mr. Faulkner brought a small brass coin found at the same site.—Obv., a galeated head, constantinopolis; Rev., Victory in a galley, T. R. P. Besides these Roman relics he exhibited several beautiful fragments of painted glass of the fifteenth century, and rubbings from sepulchral brasses, John Chetwode and Amabilla his wife, at Warkworth, Northamptonshire, and the memorial of Laurence Washington, his wife and children, found on removing the pews at Sulgrave Church. The great general of that name was descended from the Northamptonshire family, and Mr. Faulkner observed that the dicovery of this memorial had been mentioned with considerable interest in the American journals.

By the Rev. J. M. Traherne.—Casts in plaster from an inscription in Cheriton Church, Glamorganshire. The characters were considered by Mr. Westwood to be possibly of as early date as the fifth century, and he read them thus,—cantoris — fili fannvc—.

Mr. Westwood exhibited a facsimile of the ornamental fascia which surrounds the fine circular-headed doorway of the great Western entrance of Kenilworth Church, Warwickshire; and a decorative pavement tile, representing a mounted knight, date early fourteenth century, from the ruins of Eynsham Abbey, noticed at a previous meeting. (See page 211, ante). The shield is charged with a chevron.

A representation of an inscribed slab found in Devonshire was laid before the meeting, communicated by his Grace the Duke of Northumberland, during the recent meeting of the Institute at Bristol. The stone exists at Stowford, in the hundred of Lifton: it measures about 5 feet in length. The word incised upon it was explained by Mr. Westwood as being a personal name, either gumglel or gunglel. The form of the characters would fix the date as the fifth century. Mr. Westwood remarked that this inscription is of the same period as that bearing the name—gorevs, at Yealmpton, Devon, of which a rubbing had been sent to the Institute.
Inscribed stone at Stowford, Devon. From a drawing communicated by the Duke of Northumberland.

By the Hon. Richard Neville.—Crania found during recent excavations at Little Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire, at the spot where the curious Saxon remains described by Mr. Deck were discovered. (See page 172, ante.) Mr. Neville's researches there had proved most successful, and weapons, fibulæ, heads, and other ornaments in great variety had been added to his interesting museum at Audley End. The crania, presented by Mr. Deck to the British Museum, had excited attention on account of their remarkable conformation, and these subsequently brought to light in the same cemetery were produced for comparison.

By Mr. Joseph Sulley.—Portions of two iron swords, with a spear-head of remarkable form and length, found during the previous month at Nottingham, with two skulls and other human remains, at a depth of three feet, in a field adjoining the new baths and wash-houses, outside the town. The spear-head had been affixed to a wooden haft by a brass pin, passing through the socket. Also, a Norman spur, a long-necked rowelled spur of the fifteenth century, and a piece of chain, found in making the public walks near Nottingham. The swords (see woodcuts) have been considered as earlier than Norman times. This supposition seems to be corroborated by comparing the form of the flat pomel, and especially the broken example, with some representations of Saxon swords, as in the MS. of Cædmon's paraphrase, in the Bodleian, written about A.D. 1000. ( Archæologia, xxiv., plates 74, 81; and the sword held by Canute, Strutt's Horda, pl. 28). In these earlier swords it will be observed that knob or counterpoise, in later times formed of one round piece, called from its form a pomel, was of semicircular form, and frequently composed (as is this broken specimen) of two portions, a short cross-bar, and a second piece escalloped, somewhat resembling the knuckles of the hand. There are two very curious swords of this type, found in the Thames, in Mr. Roach Smith's Museum, and a remarkable example, found with iron spears of great length (21 inches) in a log canoe near Horsey, is figured by Mr. Artis, in his Durobrivæ, pl. 56.[7] A curious Danish inscribed sword of this type is represented in Lord Ellesmere's translation of the "Guide to Northern Archæology," p. 50.

It deserves notice that the long spear-head, sometimes barbed, appears in Cædmon and other Ante- Norman drawings, with one, two, or three short cross-bars, which are likewise seen on the example from Nottingham. This spear measures 241/2 in. long, by 21/2 in., greatest width of the blade, on which are seen in several places the traces of woody fibre, as if some flat objects of wood had rested upon it. The length of the two fragments of the sword is 36 in., but some portion may have been lost at the fracture: width of blade 21/4 in., cross-guard 51/2 in., the gripe, where traces of wood appear, scarcely more than 3 in. The Norman spur is a good example; the shanks are straight. the neck short, slightly recurved, and the point pyramidal. It may, probably, be assigned to the eleventh century.[8] The long-necked rowelled spur nearly resembles a brass specimen at Goodrich Court, of the middle of Henry VI.'s reign.[9] These curious relics have been subsequently deposited in the Tower Armory.

Mr. Sulley sent also a gold ring, date about t. Henry VI,, found not long since at St. Ann's Well, near Nottingham. The impress is a "Merchant's Mark," of which a representation is given. It appears to be composed of the orb of sovereignty, surmounted by a cross, having two transverse bars, like a patriarchal cross.

The extremities of the lower limbs terminate with the Arabic numerals, 2—0, the cypher being traversed by a diagonal stroke, as frequently written in early times. Mr. Wright, in his interesting memoir on the Abacus, observes that the siphos seems to have been intended for a Greek Θ, and hence, possibly, this transverse line.[10] On one side of the hoop is seen the Virgin and Child, on the other the Crucifix: these were originally enamelled. Within is inscribed—mon cur abez. Weight, 7 dwt. 21 gr. In the large collection of merchants' marks in Norwich, published by Mr. Ewing, may be noticed two, having the numeral 2 introduced in like manner. Another presents the Arabic 4; and it deserves notice how frequently these singular symbols assume a resemblance to the later form of that numeral.[11]

By Edward Hussey, Esq.—A globular stilyard weight of lead, cased with brass, resembling in form that found in the moat at Fulbroke, (Journal, vol. ii., p. 203), and two found near Norwich (Archæologia, vol. xxv., pl. 64). The specimen, exhibited by the obliging permission of Mr. Chuck, weighing 511/2 oz., was brought amongst some old lead from Oxfordshire: it is ornamented with three escutcheons—a double-headed eagle displayed, a lion rampant (Marshal ?), and three chevronels (Clare ?). The bearing on the Fulbroke weight was, a lion rampant, crowned; on one of the others, a lion rampant, a double-headed eagle, and a fleur-de-lys; on the third, the arms of England, with the double-headed eagle. The arms on the weight exhibited are supposed to be referable to Richard, Earl of Poictou and Cornwall, younger son of King John; being elected King of the Romans in 1256, he assumed the bearing. Or, an eagle dis- played sable: the lion rampant may be the arms of Poictou (the crown omitted), which he customarily bore with a bordure bezanty; or those of his first wife, daughter of William Marshal Earl of Pembroke, and widow of Gilbert de Clare. Richard enjoyed various lucrative privileges granted to him by Henry III., especially in farming the Mint; and it was probably owing to some of these that the standard weights bore his arms.

By the Rev. C. W. Bingham.—A silver gemel-ring, of unusual fashion, date fourteenth century, found in Dorsetshire, the hoop formed in two portions, so that a moiety of the letters composing the legend—✠ave mari, appears on each, and it only becomes legible when they are brought together. side by side. Each demi-hoop is surmounted by a projecting neck, and a small globular knob, so that the ring appears to have a bifid head. The two portions of this ring are not intertwined, like the gemel found at Horsley Down, Surrey, described in the Archæologia,[12] and as no adjustment now appears by which they might be kept together in proper juxta-position, it is possible that, in this instance, it was intended that each of the affianced parties should retain a moiety of the gemel. Dr. Johnson, in his notes on Shakspeare, alludes to such supposed division of the gemel, as throwing light upon a difficult passage in "The Midsummer Night's Dream," Act iv., Scene i.

By Mr. Whincopp.—An inscribed ring of mixed yellow metal, found in a garden at Capel St. Andrew's, near Ipswich. On the exterior is the following posy, the letters in relief; the field was probably once filled up with enamel or coloured paste—Cout . pour . bien . fevre. Between each word there is a fleur-de-lys. Date, about 1450.

By W. W. Ffoulkes, Esq.—Two perforated discs of stone, measuring about two inches diameter, one of them found in Bodfari Camp, Flintshire, supposed to be the site of a Roman settlement (Bodvari, the mansion of Varus). The other was discovered in a morass, on the mountainous district east of Dolgellau. This has one side slightly conical, the former is
Ancient Wooden Tankard, or "Sapling Cup." Preserved at Worden Hall, Lancashire.
From a Drawing, communicated by Miss Ffarington, the present possessor.
perfectly flat. The use of these ancient relics is uncertain; they may have been used to fasten the dress, or as pieces for some game, like that of "tables," or drafts.

By Miss Ffarington, of Worden Hall, Lancashire.—Drawings representing two drinking vessels, the more ancient described as "a Sapling cup—an oaken tankard for drinking new ale." It is formed of wood, with staves hooped like a diminutive barrel, and has a wooden cover. The barillus, and tun, are mentioned in ancient inventories amongst the appliances of the table. A representation of the tun, preserved as a family relic at Worden, is here given, by the kindness of the present possessor. The other is a handsome silver-mounted black jack, a pint measure.

By Mr. Bernhard Smith.—Two matchlock guns, one of them elaborately inlaid with mother-o'-pearl and brass: it is either of Dutch or Flemish manufacture, sixteenth century. It has a common tubular sight. The other is a tricker-lock wall-musket, date about 1660,—francis dooms. a lovain. This piece is formed with a moveable smooth barrel within a rifled one; and there is a singular round projecting appendage on the lower side of the stock, to give a firmer hold in taking aim. Compare the French tricker match-lock of t. Charles II. in the Goodrich Court Armory, Skelton, vol. ii., pl. 116, showing another form of the projection above-mentioned.

By Mr. P. De la Motte—Six enamelled pavement tiles from Tunis, such as are used in baths. They were recently shown in the Great Exhibition, and are illustrative of the Moorish manufacture of decorations of this nature. These African examples are interesting for comparison with the azuleios of Spain, and the imitations produced in Flanders.

In Mr. Wynne's notices of excavations at Castell y Bere (ante, p. 315), the date of the capture of that fortress should be 1284. The passage, cited from Leland's Collectanea, was extracted "ex quodam Chronico Tinemutensis eœnobii, autore incerto. Incipit anno 43 Henr. III."

We regret that by an inadvertent omission in the summary report of the Bristol Meeting (p. 325), the remarkable collection of Irish relics of the "Stone Period," kindly contributed by Mr. Brackstone to the Museum, appears as having consisted of antiquities from Denmark. It was intended to allude to the interest of Mr. Brackstone's series from Ireland, as illustrative, by comparison, of the close analogy of Irish primeval remains with those of Scandinavia, exemplified in the collection from Denmark exhibited by Dr. Thurnam. Besides these objects of stone, the Museum was enriched, through Mr. Brackstone's kindness, with a remarkable series of Irish weapons of bronze, including some very rare types. The detailed account of the curious collections arranged in the Museum, will be given in the forthcoming Bristol Volume.

The publication of the Transactions at the Bristol Meeting has been undertaken by Mr. George Bell, who has recently completed the Salisbury Volume. Those members who feel interest in the continuation of the Annual Series, are requested to add their names without delay to the list of subscribers, either at the apartments of the Institute, or at the Publisher's, 186, Fleet Street. The work is in forward state of preparation.

The Central Committee have the satisfaction of acknowledging the donation of five pounds from Sir John Boileau, Bart., Vice President, in addition to the sums contributed in aid of the Bristol Meeting, previously announced.—(See p. 336.)

  1. Vol. iii. p. 44.
  2. Archæologia, Vol. vii. p. 236.
  3. Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, p. 126. Leland mentions similar pits on the Black Mountains, Carmarthenshire. Itin. vol. viii. p. 119.
  4. Young's Hist. of Whitby, vol. i. p. 666—682.
  5. See the Statistical Account of Aberdeenshire.
  6. Collectanea Antiqua, vol. i., p. 155. Mr. Smith gives Virthu, Virthus, Virthus fecit, and Of. Virtutis, all on fragments found in London.
  7. This fashion of the knuckle-pomel is well illustrated by the fine Danish specimen in Worsaae's Primeval Antiq., Transl. by Thoms, p. 49.
  8. The Frankish spur of the tenth century, at Goodrich Court, has a much longer neck. Compare the iron spurs found in a Roman building at Woodchester. Lysons, pl. 35. A brass spur very similar in form to that from Nottingham, is in the York Museum.
  9. Skelton, vol. ii. pl. 80.
  10. Journal of Brit. Archaeol. Assoc. vol. ii. p.71.
  11. Notices of Norwich Merchants' Marks, by W. C. Ewing, in the Transactions of the Norfolk Archæol. Society, vol. iii.
  12. Archæologia, vol. xiv. p. 7. pl. 1.