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list—when he spoke of archaeologists who felt a pride in noble capital and lofty roof, and the remains of antiquity which existed in our churches though in a crumbling state, he was sure they would sympathise with him, as the Treasurer of that Society, when he said he hailed with pleasure the formation of an Archaeological Society as an instrument for stirring up zeal, and bringing the eye of science and of intellect to search into those noble fabrics which stood forth as the proudest monuments of our land. He begged, therefore, to express his heartfelt acknowledgments to this Society for the incalculable good which it had already effected. He would say that for the good the Society had done in drawing the attention of all parties, perfectly irrespective of the religious principle, to the subject of church architecture they, as ministers of the church, owed it infinite obligations. As was once pleasantly remarked of John Lilburne—when he could quarrel with nobody else, John would quarrel with Lilburne, and Lilburne with John; so he, as an archaeologist and a minister thanked himself as an archaeologist for the good he had done as a minister, and as a minister for the good he had done as an archaeologist. He trusted that ministers of the church and archaeologists would continue to work together, and that through this Society calling the attention of those who ought to take a warm interest in the subject, to the work of decay which had been going on for centuries past, the zeal and energy of the present day would lead to many other churches being restored to their proper order and splendour. The company then acknowledged with much satisfaction the names of the Marquis of Lansdowne the Patron of the Society, Horatio Nelson Goddard Esq. the High Sheriff of the County, and Ambrose Lethbridge Goddard Esq. M.P. The CHAIRMAN then gave the health of Mr. Poulett Scrope, who for three years discharged the duties of President. The toast was most cordially received. Mr. PouleTT SCROPE, having been connected with the foundation of the Society, was naturally much gratified at witnessing the successful results of its operations. Its objects were most interesting and instructive, but they had just been reminded by the speech of VOL. VII.-NO. XX. K
Mr. Fane that one of the principal of them was limited in point of duration, for if the progress of church-building and church-restoration continued to be so rapid as it had lately been, there would soon be no old churches for them to examine. He proposed the health of the Rev. Canon Jackson, one of their Secretaries, and the Editor of the Society’s Magazine. The Rev. Canon JACKSON said his brother Secretaries had taken a share in the management of the Magazine, and he should be sorry to deprive them of a share of the praise. Notwithstanding seven years’ work in endeavouring to discover the past history of the county, much still remained to be investigated, and he feared that the history of some places was past investigation. That, however, was not their fault; it was the fault of those who had gone before. The CHAIRMAN was sure they were not so destitute of gratitude as to think of passing over the colleagues of Mr. Jackson, although he had been singled out for particular notice. He begged, therefore, at once to propose the health of Mr. Lukis and Mr. Smith, and he would also couple with that toast the health of the Local Secretaries and the Local Committee, whose arrangements had been of the most satisfactory character. The Rev. W. C. LUKIs having returned thanks on behalf of all the gentlemen referred to, would say one word with reference to the Society. He really believed that it had already done a very good work in this county. Even if nothing more had been done than the publication of the articles which had appeared in the Magazine, he thought they would have reason to feel well satisfied. But besides the instructions conveyed by those articles on many points of local history, the annual gatherings of the Society had tended to excite in the inhabitants of the neighbourhoods in which they were held, a more than temporary interest in the works of nature and art, in the remains of antiquity, and in the biographies of remarkable men. Such, in fact, was the object set before them when the Society was first established. The then President, Mr. Poulett Scrope, in his opening address in 1853, said that “archaeology, the pursuit of which we are uniting to promote, is the study of antiquities not for the mere gratification of an unreasoning curiosity, but with the view of bringing it to bear upon and illustrate history, and more especially local history or topography.” Now he ventured to say that this object had been kept in view ever since, in proof of which he had only to point to the parochial histories of Chippenham, Kington St. Michael, Bradford-on-Avon, Broughton Gifford, Bishop's Cannings, and he might now add, Swindon. He hoped they would be animated and encouraged in the production of similar histories throughout the county, for if they kept this object steadily in view the Society would advance in years without losing anything of its original vitality and vigour. “The Magistrates of the County” was the next toast, with which was coupled the name of Mr. Matcham, who, the Chairman said, knew more of the archaeology of the county than most of those present. Mr. MATCHAM, after expressing his regret that Sir John Awdry had not been called on to respond, proceeded jocularly to remark that if he was an antiquarian at all it was principally on account of his age. Still he might say that he had a great love for archaeological pursuits, and should continue to have to the end of the chapter. He was sorry that he had not been able to contribute to the pages of the Magazine, but the fact was he had shot his bolt in his own immediate neighbourhood before this Society was formed. Mr. Estcourt then gave the health of the ladies, with thanks to them for their attendance, and called upon the Rev. W. H. Jones to respond. The Rev. W. H. JoNEs humourously acknowledged the compliment, and the company separated to prepare for the
The company shortly afterwards re-assembled at the Town-Hall, where the Rev. W. C. LUKIs read a Paper, prepared by Professor Donaldson, on “Wayland Smith's Cromlech.” The Rev. W. H. Jon ES, Vicar of Bradford-on-Avon, then read a Paper on “Lord Clarendon and his Trowbridge Ancestry.” PROFESSOR BUCKMAN had been announced to present some interesting features in the geology of Swindon, but in his unavoidable absence Mr. Cunnington briefly described the peculiarities of the district; and Mr. Moore gave an account of the most remarkable fossils which had been found there, as well as as a description of some singular discoveries which he had lately made upon the borders of Wiltshire, near Frome; and which have recently been brought before the meeting of the British Association at Oxford. It appears that Mr. Moore found in a small cleft in the mountain limestone a deposit of sand belonging to the triass—a series of formations hitherto almost unknown in this country. The extent of the deposit was only about three cubic yards, and the whole of this Mr. Moore had removed to his residence at Bath, that he might give it a deliberate examination. The result was, that he discovered the remains of three species of mammalia, hitherto quite unknown, and including a species of Microlestes, a marsupial animal allied to those now found living in Australia; and a vast quantity of the teeth of many extinct species of fish and animals of the lizard tribe.
SECOND DAY. THURSDAY, AUGUST 16th.
An excursion was made to Liddington Castle, visiting Liddington Church, Wanborough Church, and Liddington Manor House. Thence to Wayland's Smith Cave, where a discussion took place as to the origin of this remarkable antiquity. Thence to White Horse Hill and Uffington Castle; the Blowing Stone at Kingston Lisle, and the beautiful Church at Uffington.
The return home being late, it was nearly nine o'clock before Mr. Poulett Scrope commenced his account of “The Discovery of Roman Remains at North Wraxhall.” For many years past a field at that place had been known as “The Coffin Field,” from the fact of a Roman stone coffin having been turned up in the course of the tillage of the land; and last year Mr. Scrope obtained permission from the proprietor (Lord Methuen) to examine the ground more fully. The result had been the discovery of the remains of a very complete Roman Villa, with its outbuildings, boundary walls and cemetery, entire. The hypocaust, or apparatus for hot bathing, is probably the most complete that has been discovered in this country, and exhibits a good example of what the hot baths of the Romans, as described by Tacitus, were. The floors of these rooms were supported on stout pillars formed of square tiles, beneath which flues for conveying the hot air passed. The rooms were so constructed that persons might go from those of a low temperature to those which were much hotter, and subsequently retire through rooms gradually reduced to the ordinary heat. No chimneys were discovered, and it is probable that much of the smoke from the flues escaped into the rooms above. The most interesting discovery in this Willa, however, was an ornament, consisting of two large boar's tusks, fastened together in a crescent form by means of a sculptured bronze setting. The purpose for which this ornament had been used was for some time unknown, until Mr. J. Y. Akerman (of the Antiquarian Society) produced an ornament of precisely similar character, which is to the present day worn upon the breasts of the horses of the Arab Chiefs—its purpose serving, as they suppose, to avert the evil eye. Mr. Scrope adduced quotations from Silius Italicus and another classic author in which this kind of ornament is alluded to—in the one instance, as suspended from the neck of a favorite deer; in the other, as hung round the neck of a horse; and a remarkable confirmation of its use occurs in a sculpture on Trajan’s Column at Rome, where the charger of the Emperor is represented with this crescent-shaped ornament suspended upon its chest. Another very interesting discovery was also made in the cemetery attached to this Willa. Three separate modes of burial were observed:—In one, the body was buried entire in a stone coffin; in another, it was buried in the ground without a coffin; and in the third, it had been burnt, and the ashes deposited in a hollow cavity carved in a large block of stone. The lecture throughout excited much interest. Owing to the lateness of the hour, MR. CUNNINGTON's Paper on the “Mineral Springs of Wiltshire” was obliged to be deferred.