תמונות בעמוד

such matters were things to be gallantly overcome rather than avoided by him.

From the rising land at Clapham he would survey the lake, and as he had become accustomed to such difficulties would look for the native means of crossing it. That such means existed there can be no doubt, in face of the close alliance between, and the succour given from Britain to Western Gaul. This spot would enable his scouts to watch the river from Fulham to Westminster to guard against hostile ships, at a place probably fortified as the most likely spot for his crossing.

That causeways, such as were customary and are still used in the Nile inundations in Egypt, in Brittany, the Euphrates Valley, etc., one of which, of purely Oriental construction, still exists by the Ouse near Wisbeach, with equally significant terminal names, and several of which I have found in Scotland and Ireland, and which, within my own recollection, were in use across the five fields at Pimlico-now Belgravia-would be used by the natives to get access to the ford to cross the Thames, is apparent.

In my Papers read at Oxford and at Leeds to the British Association in 1890, to the Royal Society of Literature in 1891-6, the Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts, etc., I showed that a large area in the south of England was occupied with Graeco-Italian place-names.

The number of remains found at and near the ford of Chelsea indicate strongly that Battersea was the place of passage. They consisted of swords, sheaths, daggers, spear-heads; in 1856 a large number of human crania of two types were found, with bronze and iron weapons and other relics. Weapons described as undoubtedly British--the descriptions being given—were lying with others undoubtedly Roman. The crania are described as of the long oval shape, technically dolicho-cephalic, mixed with others of a broader and higher form, something superior to the brachi-cephalic, and hence reasonably assumed to be Roman. I have myself

I have myself dug up, on my estate at Chelsea, such a cranium, apparently Roman. Those found in the bed of the river were a deep ebony black, from long burial in the mud.

A “British” cleddy or leaf-shaped sword, a beautifully finished ysgwyd or Keltic shield now in the British Museum, a caliga or Roman shoe-many such relics were found scattered as far north as Kensington; and with casual finds on the Surrey side and near the Wandle, the matter of the Roman fording at this place seems well attested.

It would be absurd to suppose that the Romans retreated from and at once re-forded the Thames crossed so successfully, and if not, Caesar would then have been on the north side. This appears the more probable, as the Trinobantes, in whose territory he would then be, immediately surrendered their capital, requesting a Roman ruler.

This was granted (Bv. chs. xx-xxi), and they were protected as well from Cassivellaunus as from any violence of the soldiers (the Roman soldiers seem to be here clearly meant). Immediately on this, five neighbouring States surrendered to Caesar, which would hardly have been the case had he not been on their frontiers, if not indeed in the capital he was protecting ; for he was not far from the capital town of Cassivellaunus, as the leaders of these surrendered States informed him, which town he then attacked successfully.

It is clear that Cassivellaunus was in what Caesar describes as his own territory on the north side of the Thames, as he sent to Kent on the south side, ordering his allies there to assail the Roman naval station as a diversion, hoping to draw Caesar from his—Cassivellaunus's-own territory. In this case, Caesar must not only have seen the north city of London as well as the south city, but it must have been in the north city that the first permanent Roman camp or citadel for its protection was established.

not necessary on Caesar's withdrawal to leave a ruler or a garrison, after the surrender of all the surrounding States, and of the prime general, Cassivellaunus.

It is remarkable and very interesting to note that Caesar's comparison of the maritime States south of the Thames with other districts on the north side of the river, and his statement as to the multitudes of closely

It was

packed buildings, and the innumerable inhabitants of the cities, were both described in the account of his second invasion and from his personal observation.

As the capital of the Trinobantes, north London was not only voluntarily surrendered, but surrendered on the condition that a Roman ruler--of course with a garrison-should protect the city; the wooden houses would not in that case have been delivered to the flames, according to the custom of those days, as in the case of Lutetia on the Seine; so that Caesar's description may be taken to apply to London itself, as it would have remained intact. But the public buildings, which appear clearly meant by “ aedificia,” judging from the great size of the blocks of sculptured stone found by Mr. Roach Smith as the very foundation-stones of the old Roman river wall, indicate that, apart from the wooden dwellings noble structures abounded (“creberrima"), and it was probably to preserve this ornate capital that Roman occupation was sought and made conditional.

So much for pre-Roman London. But Londinium or "Augusta” was the London of the Romans.

A popular writer, who, like Strabo, can believe nothing he has not seen, says of "Augusta”, that no remains exist of it. Not many in our museums, it is true, but what are there are impressively grand; but remains do exist, though not now attainable. But the popular author redeemed his assertion by the statement :

“ Yet London is not alone in having no monuments of this period” (about 1100 to 1700 A.D.), i.e., between the two great fires.

If we take any other town, what remains in it of the years 600 to 1000 A.D. ? What is left in Rome to mark the reigns of the 80 Popes who fill that period? What in Paris, to illustrate the rule of the Carlovingians? Fire and the piety of successive generations have destroyed all the buildings.”

Yes, but those of Rome are built into the more modern churches.

Mr. Roach Smith states, from personal survey, aided by able coadjutors, that when the foundations of the ancient Roman wall of London which bordered the river were laid open to his inspection, they were found to be “almost wholly composed of materials used in buildings



[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

which were anterior to the period when the wall was built”. “The stones," he writes, “of which this wall was constructed were portions of columns, friezes, cornices, and also former foundation stones. From their magni. tude, character and number, they gave an important and interesting insight into the obscure history of Roman London, in showing the architectural changes that had taken place in it.” From this it

From this it may be inferred either that they were the remains of more than one city, or, if only one, that styles of architecture were varied in elegance and design. Caesar's expression “aedificia clearly refers to superior edifices or public buildings, civil or religious; and as Italian colonies can be shown to have been located in Britain before his time, and intercourse with Rome must have existed, Italian art also would be practised. It is therefore quite probable that these enriched architectural works used as the very foundation stones of the first and only Roman wall guarding “Augusta" on the Thames side, were remains of the actual edifices (“aedificia”) seen and so described by Caesar; and that the former Pagan sculptured edifices were the quarries whence the settled-perhaps Christianized-Romans drew materials to construct their city walls.

But Roman London, then as now, had its western suburb, for there is an account of a temple at Westminster (see Cottonian MSS. in British Museum), a part of which temple I think it is in my power to show you.

I purchased the portion of old White Hall which was removed to make way for erecting buildings near the Liberal Club. On taking it down, I found a number of Roman tiles, and also a number of beautifully carved stone enrichments of some structure of no common elegance. These works were stacked within a portion of the walls of a lower building, but, in some cases, turned face in wards where the back of the stone had been used to face a new wall. The latter wall was surmounted by one probably about 400 years old, remains of successive buildings intervening. The stone is extremely hard, and the original old mortar as hard as cement; it still adheres to the stone, as well as the mortar used in the restoration

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

t f t

of the original structure, and that of old White Hall, which is much softer.

I exhibit specimens of the sculptured work and the three kinds of mortar.

The antiquity of the work, and the old stone re-dressed in some of the later structures built upon it, indicate the use of stone long anterior to the Norman conquest, and continued in use to that date, as some of the facing-stones of the wall at Whitehall were re-worked from the same material.

The stones are of two kinds, the lime-stone of Kent and the grit-stone of Sussex, both of which are, I believe, used in the White Tower.

Taking the use of the older and sculptured material as an example, which is only a secondary following of the Roman masons building their city walls of the erections of the previously existing ancient city, and as adopted later by building former churches in Rome into more recent churches, and applying the principle to the great thickness of the Tower walls, what a mass of archaeological remains may not be built up within those walls. What Roman temples, what Saxon churches and palaces, may not have been demolished by the conquering Normans, to supply the interior of the massive structure of an obliterating iron sway!

What series of historical events may not be concealed within its capacious hold-Roman and Saxon pagan altars --Roman and Saxon Christian altars, with inscriptions bearing evidence of the relapse of Christianised people of both nations reverting into a second paganism.

The dimensions are sufficient to contain the stone of all the Saxon churches and Roman temples in “ Augusta” and Londinium, none of which were, as a rule, of large dimensions. And here it may be again remarked that the name

Augusta” evidently applied to the walled and fortified city ; while Londinium, which once appertained to both the north and south cities, appears never to have been changed on the south side of the Thames.

I now approach a matter which in these days nobody ventures on ; nor should I, but for the remarkable evidences I have discovered.

« הקודםהמשך »