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till very lately, where there could have been no camp, station, &c. afford an opportunity for some ingenious speculation. About a mile from the spot, an urn had been deposited in a barrow, and, as is rather singular, it was covered by a rough stone bearing the inscription of Gellius.-The present proprietor of the estate has the name of Gell! Whether the antient sculptured stones in Bradburn church-yard be really Roman, certainly admits of doubt: a tract of land called Lombard piece has more claim to the title, since several denarii have there been found, besides some other vestigia.
We scarcely expected that the whimsical ornaments on the porch of Chalk church, Kent, would find a place here*: but the Rev. Mr. Denne writes a dissertation on bride-ales, clerk-ales, church-ales, scot-ales, and give-ales, and concludes that, in the diversions abounding on these occasions in church-yards, some grotesque figures might occur, which the sculptor has imitated and recorded in the front of this church. A handsome niche, which presents itself between the tumbler and the merry toper, is thought to have contained a statue of the virgin Mary. Mr. Denne seemed disposed to be more severe on the Iconoclasts of the last century, (or rather, may we not suppose, the century foregoing, than on the ludicrous erection of a scaramouch and his drunken çompanion at the entrance of an house of prayer!
Mr. Astle's letter on the tenures, customs, &c. of his manor of Great Teyt, contains some curious remarks, but affords little which we can select; unless it be concerning the marcheta mulierum, commonly supposed to be a right which the lord had of passing the first night after marriage with his female villain, as different historians relate this gentleman declares it to be his opinion, on diligent inquiry, that no such custom ever existed; and he adds that, in labouring to support such an account, much learning has been misapplied.
Mr. Rooke, in the next paper, directs our attention to some Druidical remains in Derbyshire,-Rock-basons, rock-idols, rocking-stones, &c. which have been repeated and reviewed, almost to fatigue. Graned Tor and Stanton Moor ‡, are brought fresh to our attention: Mr. Rooke has considered and reconsidered them with laborious care: but, after what has been formerly said on these subjects, we can now only mention them, and proceed to the next article.
*See Biblioth. Topogr. Britannica, No. vi. See also M. Rev. for Nov. 1783. vol. Ixix. p. 368.
In the county of Essex.
See M. Rev. Oct. 1788. vol. Ixxix. p. 299. and references
An epistolary Dissertation on the Life and Writings of ROBERT WACE, an Anglo-Norman Poet, of the 12th Century.-This letter is addressed to the Earl of Leicester, and signed De la Rue, royal professor of history to the university of Caen, 1794. The name of Wace is almost strange to the literary world. He was a native of Jersey, and lived in the reigns of Henry I., Stephen, and Henry II.; the latter of which monarchs seems to have favoured him considerably. At the head of his writings is placed a translation of the famous Brut of England. For more than two centuries, it appears to have been the fate of this author to have his name mutilated by the unskilfulness of transcribers, and of course to have been but little known in the republic of letters. Mr. Tyrwhitt was the first who attempted to vindicate him from the errors or injustice of modern writers; Dr. Burney also has contributed to this service *. Several copies of this, after all, chimerical and fabulous history are still in being: nine other productions, of which copies now remain, by this historian and poet, for he writes in verse and chiefly history, are here distinctly considered. Some farther works are mentioned; and it is observed that Monsieur Lancelot, in his explanation of the tapestry of Queen Matilda in the cathedral of Bayeux, contends that Wace borrowed several facts, which he could not elsewhere have found, from that valuable monument but the truth seems to be, in opposition to this, that all the circumstances described in the tapestry + are happily explained by the works of the poet.
The inference intended to be drawn from the article which follows is, we suppose, that the expence of his present Majesty's household is not more, when due regard is given to the value of money, than it was in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and less than it was in the days of her extravagant and despotic successor for which purpose, the expenditure under Henry VII. and most of his successors is distinctly enumerated.
The succeeding extract from a proclamation of Henry VIII. will be interesting only to those who are deeply engaged in inquiring after Roman roads. It is communicated by the Rev. Mr. Wrighte, and is but short; as is also the next by Craven Ord, Esq., which describes a carving in the church of Long Melford, Suffolk. This carving is of alabaster, richly gilt and coloured, and represents the offerings of the Wise-men: it was dug from under the pavement a few years ago, and is now replaced on one of the church walls.
*Hist. of Music, vol. ii. p. 230.
They respect the battle of Hastings and the conquest of Eng
A Roman sepulture lately found in Lincolnshire is described by Sir Joseph Banks: a free-stone chest, with a lid neatly fitted, containing an urn of strong glass, well manufactured, of a greenish colour, and nearly filled with small pieces of bones much burned, together with fragments of a small lachrymatory of very thin and very green glass: it is Roman, without doubt: but its not being near to a highway, and in a spot on which no traces remain of a family burial-place, is singular, and suggests the idea that hereafter the site of a Roman villa hereabouts will be discovered, especially as the chest and contents rather indicate that it belonged to an opulent family.
Notices relating to the parish of Llanvetherine are short, but not wholly uninstructive; in the chancel of the church is a stone, discovered many years ago in digging a grave, on which, over a rude effigy, is inscribed S. Veterinus: the Veterani or Vavassores were feudal vassals of greater and inferior rank;' whence it is concluded that some great feudal lord, styled as above, founded the church, dedicated certainly, not to himself, but to God and his service; which, it is observed, was the true antient custom of dedication. Thus in obscure parts of the kingdom a memorial of practices, bearing a very remote date, may be preserved; in support of which it is added that, among the common people in this parish, when persons appear as chief mourners at a funeral, a dirty cloth is tied about their heads.
The Rev. Mr. Denne presents farther remarks on the stalls in churches, occasioned by a triple stone seat at Upchurch in Kent *.
Sepulchral monuments at Lincoln form the next article: an account of them being communicated to Mr. Pownal by the Rev. J. Carter. They were discovered in February 1794, in the same field with others formerly described †, and are remarkable. Among them, we find a jar of very fine glass, on which there appeared a coat of silvering, full of earth, with a stylus stuck into it; and, which is more singular, a hollow globe, of coarse earthen ware, of eighteen inches diameter, with an aperture of nine inches, just large enough to admit the urn placed within it. This uncommon and curious receptacle for the ashes of the dead was broken to pieces in its removal: but the parts have been carefully re-joined; and the subject is attended with some remarks which are pertinent, though they may not prove wholly satisfactory.
Mr. Denne's Observations on Paper-marks are accompanied with five plates: the marks are in number 64, the earliest + Ib. p. 171.
*See M. Rev. N. S. vol. x. p. 169.
dated 1473, collected by Mr. T. Fisher, from letters and pa pers deposited in a room over the town-hall in Rochester. Mr. F. also specifies the quality and size of the paper. With these are united five other marks from the leaves of an old damaged book, written in Latin and indorsed, Cash Book. These are about the year 1473: but we derive very little instruction as to the occasion or signification of these marks. The Posthorn, A. D. 1670 and 1679, is allotted to Post-paper, one description of which still retains it, with little alteration in its texture and size: it has probably a reference to the general post-office, an act for erecting which, though we do not observe it here mentioned, passed in the year 1660 *.-To this article are added letters, which may be regarded as rather curious, referring to the proposed arrivals of King Charles the First at Rochester, at the time of his marrying Henrietta of France. Autographs of several names in this slight correspondence are here exhibited.
An Essay towards a History of the Venta Icenorum of the Romans, and of Norwich Castle; with Remarks on the Architecture of the Anglo Saxons and Normans. By William Wilkins of Norwich. This essay consists of 48 pages, and, though exact and ingenious, can afford but little amusement or instruction to general readers. The Venta is supposed to have been Castor, near Norwich; here was a Roman station on the river Tese; when they deserted it, the castle of Northwic was some years afterward raised by the Saxons: the bridge over the inner vallum, which still remains, is thought to be the same which that people originally built: but the castle itself, as it appears at present, is conjectured to have been erected by Canute. Mr.W. briefly relates its history, and then considers its architecture; he bitterly laments that this venerable pile of antiquity, (now employed as a gaol,) the seat and castle of defence to British, Saxon, and Norman kings, and powerful baron chieftains, the boast and pride of the province for ages past, not less the admiration of the stranger than the antiquary, and one of the few remaining models of Antonia at Jerusalem, by a recent change, is bereft of its ancient beauty, under pretence of giving more internal convenience for the accommodation of its miserable tenants!' Mr. Wilkins proceeds to detail and explain various specimens of Saxon and Norman architecture: the Norman was an improvement on the Saxon; and what is styled the Gothic succeeded thein both. He concludes with a farther account of this favourite castle, and adds some elevations of the keep. The engravings attached to this one number are twenty-three.
Rapin. 8vo. vol. xi. p. 201.
Gardening is a pleasant subject to most people; and its history gratifies curiosity and affords entertainment, when we can acquire any exact knowlege concerning its state in distant times. A short account of several gardens near London is communicated by Dr. Hamilton, from a manuscript in his possession: it relates indeed to a period not very remote, and the descriptions are brief: but, as it carries us back more than a century, it cannot fail of yielding some information. The date is in December 1691.-The orangery at Beddington, belonging to the Carew family, is remarkable: we are told that the trees grew in the ground, and bad done so nearly one hundred years, and that the gardener had gathered from them at the last season (1690), at least ten thousand oranges.-We find it observed concerning green-houses, in several instances, that they built in summer, and thought not of winter,' and consequently the situation proved unfavourable. In two of the gardens, vines were productive, and yielded a deal of wine.' Of Clements, of Mile-end, it is said, he made wine this year of his white Muscadine and white Frontinac, better, I thought, than any French white wine.'-This paper is sigued, J. Gibson.
An inscription on marble in the council-chamber of the tower of London is imparted by George Nayler, Esq. The marble is enclosed by a pair of folding doors, but the inscription appears to have suffered: it was intended to commemorate the gunpowder plot, and was erected about that time by Sir William Wade, lieutenant of the Tower; it is in Latin, consisting of five divisions, in one of which the names of the conspirators are related, in another those of the commissioners appointed for their trial, and the fifth contains conceits and flatteries, in Latin verse, according to the taste of the times. To the above is added, from the original in the paper-office, a fac simile of the letter to Lord Monteagle, to which the discovery of the plot is ascribed; and this is followed by other memorials, particularly a relation of the plot, in the same office, corrected in the hand-writing of the Earl of Salisbury, then secretary of state.
Francis Douce, Esq. presents to the Society what is called a Calendar, or we should rather suppose a Missal, or book of prayers, with an illumination; which, with other circumstances, fixes the date of the manuscript to a period between the reigns of Henry II. and Edward III.-Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, second son of Henry III. is the person to whom the arms here delineated appear to belong, and who also might be proprietor of the Missal, on which he is himself represented; together, as it is farther imagined, with his tron, St. George. We should add that a similar remark is here