Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Divers of

friers, and if near a monastery, a cross set up in the room thereof.

“ This tower in Barbican was near unto Aldersgate Street, which put me upon farther enquiry relating to its antiquity. I look upon it as a sufficient confirmation of its being a Roman building, that just against Jewin Street there stand two houses with the date of 1589, and that on the front of them are the figures of some old Roman coins, which I suppose might be found in digging the foundations for buildingof those houses, and I am apt to believe that the builder for his curiosity might cause moulds of the same to be made as large as the brims of a middle sized hat, and that the plaisterer took them off, and fixed them in the front, under the first story window.

Many more figures of the same kind were fixed up about the same year, viz. 1589, about which time much timber building was erected in and about London. which figures are still to be seen in the fronts of some houses, particularly in Oldbourne against Shew Lane, as also at the corner house (being the Queen's Head Tavern) of St. John's Lane, at the end of Peter Street, not to specify several houses besides, which I rather leave to the curiosity of others.

o And for a further confirmation of this my opinion, I desire you to be at the trouble of looking into Stow, as he is continued by A. Munday, about the building of Aldgate, where you will find the description of a Roman coin that was found in digging the foundation; which Mr. Martin Bond, one of the surveyors of that work, caused to be carved in stone, and fixed on either side of the gate eastward. This was done in the year 1607, when he laid the foundation stone. By which you may perceive that Mr. Bond touk bis hint from those done in plaister on the fronts of houses.

“ In Aldersgate Street, likewise, just against St. Paul's Alley, in the front of a brick house is set in a nitch in the upper story of the house, (to be seen by all passengers,) the figure

of

[graphic]

For not far from the place where it was found, a British weapon

made of a flint launce like unto the head of a spear, fastened into a shaft of a good length, which was a weapon very common amongst the ancient Britains, was also dug up, they having not at that time the use of iron or brass, as the Romans had. This conjecture, perbaps, may seem odd to some; but I am satisfied myself, having often viewed this flint weapon, which was once in the possession of that generous patron of learning, the reverend and very worthy Dr. Charlett, master of University College, and is now preserved amongst the curious collections of Mr. John Kemp.

“ This discovery was made in the presence of the aforesaid Mr. Conyers, and I remember that formerly many such bones were shewn for giants bones, particularly one in the church of Aldermanbury, which was hung in a chain on a pillar of the church; and such another was kept in St. Laurence's church, much of the same bigness. All which bones were publicly to be seen before the dreadful fire of London, as it appears to me from the Chronicles of Stow, Grafton, Munday, &c.

“ I do not doubt but many bones of the like nature, as also the shanks, scalps, grinders, &c. were formerly preserved in such monasteries as stood near to the places where they were first digged up, and that after some time they were shewn to the common people as the relics of giants, such as those of St. Christopher, &c.

“ At the other end of the old Roman way, which I men. tioned at first to lead from the Tower, near the Thames, was another castle, which the Romans built as a watch tower, and is mentioned, if I mistake not, by Fitz-Stephen, and stood at the entrance of Black Friars into that part of the city. This tower when demolished was sufficient to provide materials, for building a noble and magnificent house for the friers, who met with such signal favours and encouragement, that part of the very wall of the city (which run in a direct line from Ludgate to the Thames) was removed for them, that part which then came to this castle being pulled down to make way for their settlement, and turned short to Fleet Ditch, as appears by the ruins at this time.

« Some

[graphic]

at the west end of St. Paul's, of which I had several. And on the south side of the church, not only in former times, as we are informed by J. Stow, but of late days since the fire, at the first beginning to build St. Paul's Church, there were found several scalps of oxen, and a large quantity of boars tusks, with divers earthen vessels, especially patera, that were of different shapes.

“ Upon this occasion I must note by the way, that from the observations I have made, I gather that all the vessels made use of by the Romans in their sacrifices were generally made of red earth, and were glazed. But those of a larger size, as their platters, which received the blood of the beasts slain in sacrifice, were made of a coarser earth, but not red. Most of their urns also (according to their several forms and sizes) were made of another different sort of earth; though some are found made of glass, which, however, are not common. Others of the greatest rank had them made of Porphiry stone, and some of copper enamelled with divers colours.

“ The next place I shall take notice of, is the chamber of Diana, situated on the eminence of St. Paul's Wharf, within a great gate next Doctor's Commons, where are many fair tenements, which in the leases made by the dean and chapter, go by the name or title of Camera Diana, so denominated from a specious building, which, in the time of Henry II. stood where the houses are now erected.

“ In this Camera, or arched and vaulted structure, full of intricate meanders, the same king Henry (as he is said to have done at Woodstock) kept that jewel of his heart, fair Rosamond, by the name of Diana, and it is from thence that this edifice was denominated.

[This in due deference to Stow, &c. might have been a Camera Dianæ, previously to the time when Henry II. kept here his concubine Rosamond; and his majesty, in allusion to the more ancient designation of the place, might have turned the compliment of Camera Diana in praise of his paramour.]

" At this time (as is noted by Ilow, in his continuation of Stow, p. 781) some ruins of it are remaining, and many

evident

« НазадПродовжити »