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Jan. 27, 1896. Mr. E. Green, paper on Heraldry, her uses and her

laws. April 23, Rev. J. O. Walter, paper on the Family of Ayscough,

or Askew. Rev. J. A. Penny, paper on Mediæval Pottery from

the Witham Monasteries, illustrated by specimens.

Dr. Perry, paper on Showers of Wheat. July 27, 18'96. Mr. W. Jenkinson Kaye, F.S.A., paper on a Curious

Algerian Vase considered in connection with some ancient specimens of similar shape, illus

trated by specimens. Oct. 21, Mr. J. Wallace Watts, paper on the Guilds of the

Middle Ages.
Mr. A. E. Clarke, paper on Ancient Finger Rings,

illustrated by specimens. Febr. 23, 1897. Mr. Everard Green, F.S.A., Rouge Dragon, paper on

Heraldic Insignia of an Archbishop.
Rev. J. Conway Walter, an account of two lead

coffins recently discovered at Horncastle. May 8, Mr. T. J. H. Brogden, Notes on the Ornithology of

South Lincolnshire, illustrated by specimens. Aug. 4, Mr. Jenkinson Kaye, F.S.A., paper on a Relic of

Waterloo. Nov. 10, Rev. J. Russell Jackson, M.A., paper on Parish

Registers and Notes on Longevity at Moulton. May 4, 1898. Mr. A. K. Maples, paper on Guthlac, with lantern

illustrations by Mr. E. M. M. Smith. July 18, Mr. M. Perry, M.D., President, paper on the Origin,

Progress, and Present State of the Spalding

Gentlemen's Society.
Mr. W. E. Foster, F.S.A., paper on a

Plea for the
Preservation of Manorial Court Rolls.

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FLOREAT SOCIETAS GENEROSA SPALDINGENSIS.

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THE TRACES OF THE ROMAN OCCUPATION LEFT IN PETERBOROUGH AND THE

SURROUNDING DISTRICT.

BY T. J. WALKER, ESQ., M.D.

I have in my

(Read at the Peterborough Congress, July 14th, 1898.)

HAVE been asked to give you a short account of the traces left by the Romans of their occupation of this district. The necessity for brevity forbids my giving in full the grounds for some of the views I may express, but I must ask you to

believe that they have been arrived at only after due consideration.

The Romans were settled in this district during almost the whole of the period (about 350 years, commencing from A.D. 43) that they occupied Britain. possession a series of coins found at Castor (four miles from here), commencing with one of Claudius, whose reign began A.D. 41, and whose coins are numerous in this neighbourhood, and ending with one of Theodosius, who died A.D. 395, only a few years before the final withdrawal of the Romans from the island; in the collection exhibited here to-night, you will find one or two coins which were found in the Castor district of a still earlier date.

In the year A.D. 49, according to the Roman historian Tacitus, Ostorius, in order to protect the southern province acquired by conquest, constructed a line of forts stretching between the Aufona and the Severn. Whether this was a short line of forts between the sources of the rivers, or a line crossing England from east to west along their course, is, perhaps, a matter which must remain unsettled; but the undoubted occurrence, at intervals along the banks of the Nene, of the remains of Roman forts, led the learned Camden to the conclusion that the forts were constucted along the whole course of the two rivers, and that the Aufona of Tacitus was our Nene.

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A glance at any map of the Fens, such as this which I exhibit, in which the sea is coloured blue, the fen district yellow, and the highland red, will bring home to your minds the configuration of the country, which would induce the Proprætor to commence his line of forts near Peterborough. The whole of this vast plain, constituting the Fen country, was then-as it would be now but for the great drainage works, which have entirely altered its character—a territory of marsh and moor, impassable during a great part of the year, but with its forest islands affording shelter to the native tribes familiar with its fastnesses. You will see that from the shape of this great plain, seventy miles long and thirty-six wide, with its comparatively narrow inlet from the sea, the inhabitants of the high and dry lands to the south and east could only pass to the north, or vice-versá, by making a détour round the low, impassable land, and crossing the Nene at or near Peterborough, where the river left the uplands to wander, by many varying channels, across the flat marshy fens to the sea. Hence this would be an important strategical point, and the first Roman occupation of this neighbourhood would probably be as a military post. Of Ostorius' chain of forts stretching across England, the first to the east, probably, was the fort at Chesterton, four miles from here, on the opposite side of the river to that on which the present village of Castor stands. The site of this fort is still called “the Castles.” Possibly the summer camp which I shall describe to you, and which is actually within the borough of Peterborough, may have formed a part of that defensive chain; but it is more probable that it was an outpost of later date, connected with the permanently-garrisoned town Durobrivæ.

As the conquest of the country and the colonisation by the Romans proceeded, many of the military posts naturally became the centres of social, industrial, and

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