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taken up whole. Besides the urns, dishes and cups were found, of a fine redcoloured earth, with Roman letters stamped in the bottoms, and outwardly as smooth and shining as if they had been of coral—the fine pottery known by the name of Samian ware. • There were also,” continues our antiquary, “lamps of white earth and red, artificially wrought with divers antiques about them; some three or four images, made of white earth, about a span long each of them; one I remember was of Pallas; the rest I have forgotten. I myself have reserved (amongst divers of those antiquities there) one urn with the ashes and bones, and one pot of white earth very small, not exceeding the quantity of a quarter of a wine pint, made in the shape of a hare squatted upon her legs, and between her ears is the mouth of the pot.” In the same field were likewise found some stone coffins, with bones in them—the remains probably of Britons or Saxons, and also some skulls and skeletons without coffins, or rather, as Stow conjectures, whose coffins, having been of timber, were consumed. The coffins appeared to have been hollowed out of great trees, and to have been fastened by iron nails, many of which were lying about—“such as are used in the wheels of shod carts, being each of them as big as a man's finger, and a quarter of a yard long, the heads two inches over.” Stow found under the heads of some of them the old wood, scant turned into earth, but still retaining both the grain and proper colour"so that there could be no doubt as to what purpose they had served. The ground broken up on this occasion, however, appears to have been only a small portion of an immense field of the dead which had extended all along the north-eastern quarter of ancient London, from Wapping Marsh to the great fen or lake beyond Moorfields. In 1707, in taking down some old houses at the west end of Camomile Street, close to Bishopsgate, were found, first, about four feet below the surface, a tesselated pavement-then, under that, two feet of rubbish—and, lastly, a stratum of clay, in which, at the depth of about a couple of feet, were several urns of Roman pottery, all containing ashes and burnt bones. There were also found a lachrymatory of blue glass, and a variety of other articles; but only one piece of money is mentioned by Dr. Woodward in his account, a coin of Antoninus Pius.* All this was inside the wall, which may be therefore conjectured to have included at this place an extension of the original city, and also, from the coin of Antoninus, to have been erected, at the latest, after the middle of the second century. Indeed, it is evident, from the tesselated pavement and the debris found over the urns, that this burying ground had come to be built upon in a later age of the Roman occupation. Some skeletons and bones which had not been subjected to the action of fire were also found—the indications of the Christian mode of interment, which is believed to have become common before the end of the second century, and which we are told by Macrobius had almost entirely superseded the burning of the dead by the end of the fourth. In 1725 and 1726, in Bishopsgate churchyard, on the other side of Bishopsgate, and outside the city wall, were found more urns, and also a vault, containing two skeletons, erected with Roman bricks, and a grave constructed with the largest description of Roman tiles, together with a coin of Antoninus Pius.f This, we believe, is the farthest point
* Remarks upon the Ancient and Present State of London, occasioned by some Roinan Urns, Coins, and other Antiquities, lately discovered. Third Edit. 8vo. Lon. 1723. The publication consists of a Letter to Sir Christopher Wren, dated the 23rd of June, 1707, followed by another to Thomas Hearne, dated the 30th of November, 1711.
† Gough's Camden (Edit. of 1806), ii. 93.
westward to which the cemetery has yet been traced. But to the south-east of Spitalfields various Roman sepulchral remains have been from time to time brought to light. In 1787, especially, great numbers of urns and lachrymatories were dug up about seven feet below the surface in Goodman's Fields and the adjoining space called the Tenter Ground, to the east of the Minories. There was also found a small monumental stone, with an inscription declaring it to have been erected by his wife to a soldier of the Sixth Legion. Another similar stone, inscribed to a soldier of the Twenty-fourth Legion, was found in 1776 in a burial-ground near the lower end of Whitechapel Lane.* These monuments probably marked the burial-places of soldiers who had belonged to the garrison of the fort which stood on the site of the Tower, where a third tombstone was found in 1777, at the same depth with some ancient foundations, resting on the natural earth, along with an ingot of silver, above ten ounces in weight, from the mint of Honorius, the last Roman emperor whose dominion was acknowledged in Britain, and three gold coins, one of Honorius, the two others of his brother Arcadius, Emperor of the East. Even so far to the east as at the Sun Tavern Fields in the north-east part of Shadwell, urns and other vestiges of a Roman cemetery were found in the beginning of the seventeenth century : in one of the urns was a coin of the Emperor Pupienus (otherwise called Maximus), who was slain, along with his colleague Balbinus, in A.D. 238. Among other relics, two coffins were found here in 1615 by Sir Robert Cotton ; "one whereof,” says our authority, “ being of stone, contained the bones of a man; and the other of lead, beautifully embellished with scollop-shells and a crotister border, contained those of a woman, at whose head and feet were placed two urns of the height of three feet each; and at the sides divers beautiful red earthen bottles, with a number of lachrymatories of hexagon and octagon forms; and on each side of the inhumed bones were deposited two ivory sceptres of the length of eighteen inches each ; and upon the breast the figure of a small Cupid, curiously wrought; as were likewise two pieces of jet, resembling nails, of the length of three inches."I Sir Robert conceived, from these costly decorations and accompaniments, that the tomb must have been that of the consort of some prince or Roman prætor. In the opposite direction again, some urns are said to have been found in 1824, under a tesselated pavement so far within the line of the old city wall as the church of St. Dunstan’s in the East, immediately to the north of Billingsgate. At one time, therefore, it may be presumed, Roman London did not extend to the castward—or possibly towards the river-beyond that point. Nor probably did it at first include either any part of Ludgate Street, behind the north side of which, where Ludgate church now stands, Wren found the monument of the soldier of the Second Legion, still in the Arundelian collection; or even what is now St. Paul's Churchyard, the north-eastern part of which, as we have already seen, was undoubtedly also a burial-ground in the time of the Romans. But no indications of sepulture, we believe, have ever been found between this locality and Billingsgate in the one direction, or between the river and the immediate vicinity of Bishopsgate and London Wall in the other. marked out by these limits, therefore, may for the present be reasonably supposed to have been all included within the city from the earliest date, or at least from the time when the ground was first cleared, or reclaimed from the fens. * Malcolm's Londinium Redivivum, iv. 450-1.
† Archæologia, v. 291. Weaver, Funeral Monuments.
See our Third Number-Paul's Cruss.'
And it may be remarked, that even the northern portion of this inclosure has, especially within the last few years, in the course of the extensive renovations and improvements in St. Martin's-le-grand, in Moorfields, and in the neighbourhood of Bishopsgate Street, been pretty extensively dug into and explored. On the opposite side of the Thames, the evidences of Roman interment commence in the neighbourhood of the line of road called Snow's Fields and Union Street, running from east to west, at the distance of about a quarter of a mile from the river, and have been detected as far south as the Dissenters' Burial Ground in Deveril Street, New Dover Road, on the south-west of Kent Street.* We may hence conjecture the extent of the small suburb which probably began to grow up here from a very early date around the bridge, or ferry, and the root of the great roads branching out to the southern and south-eastern coasts.
II. Secondly, we have the course of the old City Wall to guide us, in as far as it can still be ascertained. The earliest writer who mentions the wall of London is Fitzstephen, towards the close of the twelfth century, who describes it as then both high and thick, having seven double gates, and many towers or turrets on the north side placed at proper distances. The seven gates are supposed by Maitland to have been Ludgate, Newgate, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, Bishopsgate, Aldgate, and the Postern gate near the Tower. At the east end of the city was what Fitzstephen calls the Palatine Tower; and on the west were two wellfortified castles, which are understood to have been Baynard's Castle and the Castle of Montfichet. “ London," he adds, “ once had its walls and towers in like manner on the south ; but that vast river, the Thames, which abounds with fish, enjoys the benefit of tides, and washes the city on this side, hath in a long tract of time totally subverted and carried away the walls in this part.” † The original walls of London, as we have said, have always been, in the popular tradition, and by our old chroniclers, accounted a work of the Roman time; but their claim to that venerable antiquity was first established in the beginning of the last century by Dr. Woodward, one of the Professors of Gresham College, who had an opportunity of examining them from the foundation on occasion of the old houses being pulled down, as already mentioned, in Camomile Street at the end next to Bishopsgate, in April, 1707. He found the foundation of the wall at this place to lie eight feet below the surface; and to the height of nearly ten feet it appeared clearly to be of Roman construction. It was compiled,” he tells us, “ alternately of layers of broad flat bricks and of rag-stone. The bricks lay in double ranges; and, each brick being but one inch and three-tenths in thickness, the whole layer, with the mortar interposed, exceeded not three inches. The layers of stone were not quite two feet thick of our measure; it is probable they were intended for two of the Roman, their rule being somewhat shorter than
In this part of the wall,” he adds, “it was very observable that the mortar was (as usually in the Roman work) so very firm and hard, that the stone itself as easily broke and gave way as that.” The wall up to this height was nine feet in thickness. Measuring some of the bricks very exactly, Woodward found them to be seventeen inches and four-tenths long, and eleven inches and six-tenths broad, of our measure ; which, he observes, would be as nearly as
* See Archæologia, xxvi. 466, and xxvii. 412. Gent. Mag., 1814, and ann. seq.
† Pegge's translation, 1772.
possible a foot in breadth by a foot and a half in length—the very dimensions assigned by Pliny to the brick in common use among his countrymen *—if, with Graevius, we receive the foot-rule on the monument of Cossutius in the Colotian Gardens at Rome as the true measure of the Roman foot. The exact thickness of each brick was one inch and three-tenths of our measure. From this height of about ten feet the original wall had been demolished, and the rest of the structure, ascending to the height of eight or nine feet more, though of the same thickness, was evidently a comparatively recent work. We will add Woodward's account, however, of this upper part of the wall also, because it gives a tolerably correct idea of the appearance presented by the few fragments of the ancient fortification that are still standing, although nothing now remains either so entire as the part he examined, or displaying perhaps quite so much regularity of structure. Having premised that the lower Roman building had been levelled at top, and brought to a plane, in order to the raising this new work upon it, he proceeds with his description of the latter as follows :—“ The outside, or that towards the suburbs, was faced with a coarse sort of stone, not compiled with any great care or skill, nor disposed into a regular method ; but on the inside there appeared more marks of workmanship and art. At the bottom were five layers composed of squares of flint and of freestone; though they were not so in all parts, yet in some the squares were near equal, about five inches diameter, and ranged in a quincunx order. Over these were a layer of brick, then of hewn free-stone, and so alternately brick and stone to the top. There were of the bricks in all six layers, each consisting only of a double course, except that which lay above all, in which there were four courses of bricks where the layer was entire. These bricks were of the shape of those now in use, but much larger, being near eleven inches in length, five in breadth, and somewhat above two and a half in thickness. Of the stone there were five layers, and each of equal thickness in all parts for its whole length. The highest and lowest of these were somewhat above a foot in thickness ; the three middle layers each five inches ; so that the whole height of this additional work was near nine feet. As to the interior parts, or the main bulk of the wall, it was made up of pieces of rubble-stone, with a few bricks of the same sort as those used in the inner facing of the wall, laid uncertainly, as they happened to come to hand, and not in any stated method. There was not one of the broad, thin Roman bricks mentioned above in all this part; nor was the mortar near so hard as in that below."+ Upon the work last described was raised a wall wholly of brick, except that the battlements with which it terminated were topped with copings of stone: it was two feet four inches in thickness, and somewhat above eight feet in height; the bricks of which it was built being of the same shape and size with those of the part underneath. The entire wall from the foundation, therefore, was about twenty-seven feet in height, of which about nineteen feet was still above ground. Of the towers of which Fitzstephen speaks, the remains of fifteen, according to Maitland, were still to be seen in his day; and of these several appear to have been of Roman construction. One which had been pointed out by Woodward on the west side of Houndsditch, nearly opposite to Gravel Lane, six and twenty feet in height, though
Didoron, quo utimur, longum sesquipede, latum pede.—Nat. Hist. XXXV. 49. Instead of didoron, Harduin reads Lydion.
+ Letter to Wren, pp. 20, &c.
it continued to be inhabited, was sorely decayed and rent in divers parts from top to bottom; another, the credit of the discovery of which Maitland claims to himself, about eighty paces farther to the south-east towards Aldgate, twenty-one feet high, was still in 1753 perfectly sound. Both were composed of stone, with layers of Roman bricks; the latter, according to Maitland, being in his tower as sound as if but newly laid, while the stones in most parts were “ become a sacrifice to devouring time.” South from Aldgate also, at the lower end of a street called the Vineyard, behind the Minories, was the basis of a third Roman tower about eight feet in height, with a new building of three stories raised upon it : from an inscription on the wall, the old superstructure appeared to have fallen in 1651. Woodward speaks of a considerable extent of the lowest range, or Roman part of the wall, as existing in the Vineyard in his time. “ It is composed,” he says, " of stone, with layers of brick interposed, after the Roman manner, and is the most considerable remain of Roman workmanship yet extant in any part of England that I know of, being twenty-six feet in height.”* The most extensive portion of the upper wall left standing at this date was on both sides of Moorgate; and a great part of that remained till the demolition of old Bethlehem in 1818.
Even at the present day, after a quarter of a century into which there has probably been crowded as much of demolition, reconstruction, and transformation of all kinds, within the limits of old London, as had taken place in all the preceding interval, of six times the length, from the rebuilding of the city after the great fire, an expedition of discovery round the little civic world which the wall once girded in will not, to a vigilant antiquarian eye, be wholly unproductive. Setting out from Tower-hill, we have still, as when Maitland wrote, where stood the old Postern-gate at the south-eastern termination of the wall, in what is now called Postern Row, a few posts set across the footpath to mark the spot, which is opposite to about the middle of the north line of the Tower ditch. The wall went anciently close up to the Tower, but in the beginning of the reign of Richard I. his famous Chancellor, Bishop Longchamp, pulled down three hundred feet of it, in order to enlarge the Tower, and to encompass it with this ditch or moat, “intending," says Stow, “to have derived the river of Thames, with her tides, to have flowed about it, which would not be.” The operation, however, loosened the foundation of the south side of the Postern-gate, so that two hundred and fifty years after, in the reign of Henry VI., it fell down altogether, and was never after •rebuilt by the citizens. “Such,” continues the good old antiquary, “was their negligence then, which hath been some trouble to their successors, since they suffered a weak and wooden building to be then made, inhabited by persons of lewd life, often by inquest of Portsoken Ward presented, but not reformed.” Tower Hill Stow describes as having been at this place “greatly straitened by encroachments, unlawfully made and suffered, for gardens and houses,” some on the bank of the lower ditch, others near to the city wall “from the Postern north till over against the principal foregate of the Lord Lumley's house;"+ and in this way, probably, arose the barrel-shaped collection of tenements crossing the line of the wall and fronting the Tower, formed by Postern Row, and the other street called George
* Letter to Hearne, 1711, p. 48.
+ Lord Lumley's house, built in the time of Henry VIII. by Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, stood next to Milbourne's Almshouses, in Cooper's Row, which appears to have been formerly called Woodrof Lane.