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General Plan of the Roman Willa at North Wraxhall shewing the well, cemetery, villa, and out buildings, as excavated 1859. Detailed plan of the principal building.
A. and B. Sudatories.
Fig. 1. 2. 3.
Roman with the “Loutron,” or Stone-bath at the end.
Fornax, or Furnace-room.
Depot of Charcoal.
Another furnace sunk below the floor of
Frigidarium ? opening into
Exedra or Corridor, leading to the Baths.
Bird's eye view of the Thermae or Baths.
Various objects found in excavating the Roman Willa at North
Form of three pipkins of black ware found entire, each with its
cover, upon the flues in D, 9 inches in height.
7. and 8. Gable ornaments carved in stone.
9. I0. 11.
Stone Sarcophagus and cover, 8 feet by 3.
“HypoMNEMATA ANTIQUARIA B ; or, An Essay towards the DESCRIPTION OF WILTSHIRE. By JoHN AUBREY of EASTON PIERs. Wolume II.”
*NDER this title, John Aubrey the Wiltshire antiquary, who died at Oxford in June 1697, made topographical collections for a History of North Wilts." In collecting materials, he was assisted by his brother, William Aubrey, and after the antiquary's death, the manuscript was deposited in the Ashmolean Museum. In his correspondence Aubrey speaks of it as his “Description of Wiltshire,” or “Antiquities of Wiltshire,” in two volumes. Thus:–
“Anno 1671, having sold all, and disappointed of moneys, I had so strong an impulse to finish the Description of Wiltshire in 2 volumes in fol., that I could not be quiett till I had donne it.”
In the Ashmolean Library” is still preserved one folio Volume of this work, marked in his own writing on the out-side, “Hypomnemata Antiquaria A.” It consists of two Parts bound together in now discoloured vellum. The way in which the contents are arranged is this:—At the head of each page is the name of some parish, and under it are entered such memoranda (“hypomnemata”) relating to that parish as fell in his way from time to time. On the margin, or elsewhere about the page, are coloured shields of arms, occasionally mixed with rude sketches of monuments, old houses, &c. Of this Volume both parts were printed some years ago under the direction of Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., in small 4to. : the first in 1821, under the name of “Aubrey's Collections for Wilts;” the second in 1838, with the title of “An Essay towards the Description, &c.” (as above). On the Title page of the Vol. A, Aubrey has written, “Let these two volumes of Antiquities of Wilts be Dedicated to my singular good Lord the Rt. Honble. James Earle of Abingdon.” The first page of the Work is headed “Vol. A. Part I.” Half-way through the Wol. begins “Part II.” It has always been supposed in our time, both at the Ashmolean Library, and by every one else, myself included, that these two Parts were in fact the two Volumes spoken of by Aubrey; only that they happened to have been bound up together. The late Mr. John Britton, who wrote a full and particular Memoir of Aubrey and his works (published in 4to. by the Wilts Topographical Society, 1845), describing the manuscript in the Ashmolean Library, says (p. 85): “It consists of two Volumes folio, bound in vellum.” Having in the mean time made a discovery upon this subject, I one day asked Mr. Britton why he said they were two Volumes, when there was only one in the library at Oxford P. His answer was: “They are both in one.” I then stated to him my reasons for believing that we were all under a mistake, that besides the one (in two Parts) now in the Library, and marked A., Aubrey - had most undoubtedly compiled another entire and distinct Volume marked B., which is lost. This I now prove by producing, 1st, from Aubrey's own letters preserved in the same library; 2ndly, from marginal notes in the Second Part of Wol. A.; and then, from some other sources, several references to another Volume marked B.
* His Natural History of Wilts was quite a separate work, and is not the one now enquired for.
*Since this Paper was written, the Manuscripts of the Ashmolean Library have been transferred to the Bodleian.
1. From his own letters:
* “I hope my Brother hath sent you my Book B.” (To
TI In a few lines to his brother (no date): “Bro. William,
T In a reply to John, Brother William reports “having
2. The following references are on the margin of vol. A, Part2:—
* In the page (original MS.) headed “Broadstock cum
4. In “Letters from the Bodleian,” Vol. 11, p. 602 (note), is
the following:— * “Mem. In my Lib. B. I have sett down an exact description of this delicious parke, &c.”
* Anthony Wood, writing to Aubrey, Nov. 10. 1671 :— “I have received your Liber. B., and have almost done him. If you have any more that follows I would gladly see them. I read these collections with great delight, and have excerpted some things thence for my purpose.” * In one of Wood's MSS. at Oxford is another reference. Speaking of Cirencester, Wood says; “Mr. Thomas Gore of Alderton in Wilts hath taken with his pen all the coates in the house, at the West end of the church, knowne now (1678) by the name of the Swan. See Jo. Aubrey's Book B. p. 309.” It only remains to be said, that not one shield of arms or scrap of history relating to any of the places above referred to as in “Liber B.,” is to be found in any of Aubrey's manuscripts now forthcoming; and it is therefore clear that “B.,” which did contain them, and which consisted (as one of the references proves) of not less than 318 pages, was another and a separate volume, now missing. Some years ago I was examining Aubrey's manuscripts in the Ashmolean Library, and in so doing was struck by the marginal and other allusions to “Liber B.” The Librarian “had never heard of, nor even suspected it. No such manuscript was in the library; nor did the oldest of their present catalogues mention it. Many years ago everything was in confusion. What might have been there before, he could not say.” At last, however, in searching through Aubrey's collections I found out how and when it had disappeared. At the back of page Z in the Index to volume A, in the handwriting of William Aubrey, six years after the antiquary's death, is this memorandum :— “August 14, 1703. Borrowed then of Mr. Edw. Lhwyd, the Reeper of the Ashmolean Library, the Second Volume of my brother’s “Hypomnemata Antiquaria,’ which I shall restore upon demand. WM. AUBREY.” As it was to be restored “ upon demand,” and as there is no memorandum of its return, it was probably either forgotten by the Librarian, or when demanded could not be found. William Aubrey,