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the line of the Old Kent Road, and must have marched
westward, perhaps as far as one of the fords, Wallingford,
or some other. There are remains of " Caesar's Camp " on
several hills west of London which would point to such
occupation, and just as Belgium has been called the battle-
field of Europe, so the country l^etween London and
Windsor merited at an early period the name of the
battlefield of Eno'land,

When the Franks in the pay of Allectus found them-
selves free on liis death, they made for London ; and some
historians have been surprised to find that they broke into
the city easily and plundered the inhabitants. But we
need not feel any surprise in the matter, if we remember,
first that Allectus was in fact emperor till his defeat, and
had London in his power, possibly in his occupation ; and
that, even if the citadel held out against liim, which is
very improbable, the whole of the vast suburbs were un-
defended, and lay open as a prey to the barbarous Franks.
They amused themselves plundermg and burning in mere
wantonness, for they could have but little hope of ultimate
escape from Asclepiodotus and Constantius, though it is
asserted that they proposed to sail away with their spoils.
However, the Roman general overtook them in the
streets of London, — another fact which indicates its de-
fenceless state, — and slew the most of them ; no wonder
that we read of the joyful rece^^tion given by the citizens
to Constantius and his army, for order and strong govern-



174 ROMAN LONDON.

ment must have been necessary to tlie mere existence of
such a city. But Constantius did not stay. York was a
place of much greater importance than London, and the
Picts and Scots had begun to be troublesome. So of
London we hear little or nothing in history for a second
long interval. It is not so long as the first, but about
half a century elapsed before the journey of Lupicinus,
the lieutenant of Julian, who came over to repel an inva-
sion of the northern barbarians. He started from Boulogne,
landed at Bichborough, and marched to London, but what
he did further we do not know.

And now, once more, we must return to the diggings
for our information : and they ofier us one of the greatest
of all the great puzzles which beset the early history of
London. What is the age of the outer wall ? Is it true
that the wall and gates which came down to recent times
accurately represented those of Bonian London ?

To both of these questions very positive answers may
be found in most of the London histories ; but if we say
that the wall was built by Constantine, we say what may
or may not be true ; while if we say that the mediaeval
wall represented, in its situation, the Boman wall, we
may be still nearer the fact ; but if we go on, thirdly, to
say that the gates, and the roads through them, were the
same under the Bomans and under Edward the Fourth, we
shall be almost certainly mistaken.

To save time I will refer you for what has been said and
may be said on these questions, to the papers of Sir
William Tite, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Wright, Mr. Boach Smith,
and the late Mr. Black, all of which are in tlie ArclicEologia,
as well as to some separate tracts by Mr. Smith and Sir
William, and will myself pass on to give my own conclu-
sions without making further reference to the grounds on
which they are founded.

We may, I think, assume with tolerable certainty that
the present line of the wall was marked out about the
time of Constantine and his family ; and about the same
time the name of the city, which must, after the building
of the wall, have been one of the greatest in Britain, was
changed to Augusta. In other words, London became
for tlie first time an important Boman station, a centre of
the civil and military organization inaugurated by Con-



ROMAN LONDON. 175

stantine, and possibly, but not certainly, the occasional
residence of the Vicar of the Emperor. We find a mint
and money coined in London, and although the name
Augusta hardly appears in history, and never without a
reference to the older name, its existence proves at least
that a great change had suddenly taken place in the esti-
mation of the city. It is not likely that a new name
would be given to an old city unless it had in some way
been renewed ; and if we could get the exact date at
which the name was conferred, we might be able to assign
an approximate one to the wall. This we cannot do, but
by a comparison of two passages in Ammianus, it seems to
have been somewhere between 350 and 369, that is to say,
between the reio:ns of Julian II and Valentinian. This
date answers very well to the coins found in and near
the wall, which we may safely place, therefore, in the
second half of the fourth century. In places where the
foundations of the wall have been disturbed, as at Camo-
mile Street, remains of a more ancient kind have been
discovered underneath. Interments and pavements occur
not only under the wall itself, Ijut in many places Avithin
its cu'cuit ; and all must be attributed to a period before
the wall was built and the city boundaries extended.

It is only by looking at a map that the great increase
in the size of the city, since the building of the inner wall,
can be estimated. The modern boundaries are almost
precisely those which existed in the fourth century ; for it
is only by courtesy that Fleet Street can be reckoned in
the city. This remarkable fact can be accounted for on
one of two suppositions ; either that the wall took in a
great deal of ground not then covered by buildings ; or
else, that already the population to be protected was so
large as to make London one of the greatest cities in
Britain. But we must remember that the houses were
probably only one storey in height, and that they may liave
spread over a large space of ground, especially as many of
them partook rather of the character of villas than of town
houses, and that some were no doubt surrounded by gar-
dens and other grounds.

The wall commenced at Bilhngsgate, where probably
there was a dock or water gate, for the ground on which
the Tower now stands must then, and for long after, have



176 ROMAN LONDON.

been under water. Signs of a wall have been seen along
the edge of the Thames to the bridge, from the bridge to
Dowgate at the mouth of the Walbrook, and thence to
Blackfriars, or rather Ludgate ; which, as its name
imports, was then and long afterwards, a water gate. No
Koman remains have ever been found along the line of
Fleet Street and the Strand. A great fen extended from
the mouth of the Fleet river to the site of the new Hol-
born Viaduct, and was not crossed by any Roman road.
The only road to the west, that which, as I have said,
was called afterwards the " military way," emerged from
the city somewhere near Newgate, descended the deep
(Snow) hill, crossed the river by the Holborn bridge, and
ascended the ojDposite (Holborn) hill. The road may
have early assumed that zigzag chai'acter which it long
retained, but the exact site of the gate cannot now be de-
termined. Until lately, indeed, its existence was denied;
but remains, found a year ago, make it certain that some-
where between what is now Newgate Prison and the site
of the old Compter in Giltspur Street stood the piincipal,
perhaps the sole, western gate. Through it the Watling
Street entered London, and made its way towards the
bridge.

From the bridge also another great road took its way
to the north. Whether the northern gate of London was
at Bishopsgate, or a little to the south-east, it is impossi-
ble to say. The extensive remains found on several
occasions in Camomile Street, make it very possible but
by no means certain, that when the wall was repaired in
the middle ages, as it was on more than one occasion, the
Roman gate was abandoned and Bishopsgate built instead.
The opening of Aldgate may have been a sufficient reason
for this alteration. Let us, however, for convenience,
speak of Bishopsgate as the northern entrance, and we
shall see that two country roads came up to it, and meet-
ing there passed on to the bridge through Bishopsgate
Street and Gracechurch Street, or a little to the eastward
to suit what was then the position of the bridge.

One of these two roads, when it left Bishopsgate, took
its Avay nearly due north to Lincoln and York. The other
tending eastward, crossed the Lea at Old Ford, which at
that period was the lowest point at which a ford was safe,



ROMAN LONDON. 177

and went onward towards Colchester. The modern road
runs ahnost over the same ground, but shortens the way
by crossing a Httle lower down at Stratford.

A]\ round about this ancient gate was the great ceme-
tery of the later Roman London. Graves have been
found in the Minories, in Mile End Road, and in Spital
Fields. One or two which have been discovered on Hoi-
born Hill show that the Romans passed that way, but the
passage of the Fleet probably made it inconvenient to
carry their dead so far, and they are comparatively rare.
But in Hounsditch, Finsbury, Shoreditch, Moorlields,
Goodmans Fields, Whitechapel, and especially just out-
side the wall in Eldon Street, Liverpool Street, and
Bloomfield Street, interments of all kinds have l^een
discovered.

This may be the proper place to inquire as to the
Christian Church in London under the Romans. A great
deal of legend and invention has been spent on this as on
other sul)jects connected with the early history of our
city. But it is important to note that among the hun-
dreds — I might, perhaps, correctly say, thousands — of
interments found in and about London, not one bears
distinct marks of being the burial of a Christian ; and that
among all the remains of other kinds, only a few bone pins
Avith cruciform oi-naments and a stamp or seal, found in
the Thames, can be classed as having Christian emblems
on them. A British bishop, Resti tutus, said to be from
the city of London, was at the council of A.rles, in 314.
But if there were Christians in London, they can hardly
have been either niunerous or influential. St. Peter's
upon Cornhill is traditionally said to have been the seat
of Bishop Restitutus, and the fifteen predecessors and
successors assigned to him by the mediaeval historians;
but I am here endeavouring to deal only with what has
been ascertained to be true, and it is remarkable that of
the sixteen names alluded to above, not one occurs as the
titular patron of a church. The existence of a church in
Roman London, is therefore, a thing to be classed among
those unproved possibilities, perhaps it would be safe to
say probabilities, alx)ut which nc^tliing positive can be
recorded.

And now we come to the last documentary mention of



178 ROMAN LONDON.

London by the Roman historians. In 368, Theodosins
was sent into Britain to repel the Picts and Scots, who
had begun to threaten London, and were phuidering the
surrounding country. Theodosius landed at Ilichborough,
and finding the barbarians scattered about, defeated them
in detail, restored the booty they had taken to its owners,
and, reaching London, was joyfully received by the citizens
who opened their gates to him. He rested his troops in
the city for a short time, and then marched northward to
complete the destruction of tlie savage invaders. These
events took place in the reign of Yalentinian. Theodosius
was father to the empei'or of the same name, who died in
395 ; and it was in the time of his successor Honorius, that
the Koman legions, the second, posted at Caerleon, the sixth
— which with the ninth — was at York, and the twentieth,
which had its head-quarters at Chester, were withdrawn.
The feeble emperor wrote a letter to the cities of Britain,
exhorting them to guard themselves as best they could ;
and we have no further information. Although it is hkely
that until the last a very strong force was constantly in
London, we know little for certain, and cannot even tell
from which of the legions the troops of the proprietor were
supplied.

London is not heard of again in history until after tlie
arrival of Augustine, if we except a passage in the Englinh
Chronicle which makes it the refuge of the Britons
defeated by Hengest at Crayford.

How the city fared during the great Anglo-Saxon
invasion, we have little evidence, and that of a negative
kind. That it enjoyed some years of comparative security
after the departure of the Komans, we may perhaps con-
clude ; but the history of its fate has yet to be written.

Although I have endeavoured to piece together the
historical and monumental liistory so far, I fear that my
attempt has been chiefly of a destructive character. If I
have succeeded at all, it is only in showing that we know
very little beyond the mere existence of the place. That
it was ever the capital of Britain, as so many have
asserted, can only be doubtfully proved for the period
succeeding the reorganisation of the empire under Con-
stantino and his successoi's. The remains discovered,
plenty as they are, tell us very little in comparison with



ROMAN LONDON". 179

what we know of other Roman towns. But we know
enough to show us that far beneath the feet of the busy
throng which presses every day the pavements of modern
London, there exist the traces of an ancient city, buried
in places to the depth of a dozen yards below the
present surface ; and if a conjecture may be hazarded,
it is that, from the days of Tacitus until now, there has
been no cessation of that concourse of merchants, that
crowd of foreign peoples, that activity and bustle, which
have made it during nearly two thousand years a thriving
commercial city, and rendered it at length, in the words
of a foreign poet of the seventeenth century,

" Cunctas celebrata per oras,
Cor muncli, mundique oculus, munclique theatrum,
Annulus Euvopes, pra^signis adorea terrre."

— Wenceslai dementis Trinohantiadei>, lib. 1.



VOL. XXXIV. 2 A



©n'rjinal Ii0cumcnt5.

CHAETEE OF CONFIEMATION BY EICHAED EAEL OF
OOENWALL AND POICTOU OF GEANTS OF LANDS IN
THE HONOUR OF BEEKHAMPSTEDE, A.D. 1256.

Communicated by Gr. T. CLARK.

The following charter is one of a large collection of similar docu-
ments and of private letters relating to the estates and family of the
Verneys, still preserved at Olaydon House, their ancient seat. The
charter seems to have come into the possession of the family as one of
the title deeds of the manor of Pendele or Pendley in the parish of
Tring, which was the inheritance of Margaret Wiiittingham, who
married John Verney in the reign of Edward IV, and was by him
ancestress of Edmond Verney, who sold the manor in the reign of
Elizabeth. It has been selected for publication on account of the
strong local interest which attaches to it, for it contains the names of
very many persons and places, mostly of and in the Hundred of
Dacorum in Herts, and near to Tring. Had this document been
known to Chauncy or Clutterbuck it would have enabled those
industrious writers to give a far more perfect account of the descent of
landed projDerty in that division of their coimty.

Earl Eichard, as Lord of the Honour of Berkhampstede, was chief
lord of a sort of cape of the county of Hertford, about five miles broad
at the base, and which extends to the north-west about eight miles
into Buckinghamshire. Berkhampstede Castle stands at the base of
this district, the parishes of Puttenham and Long Marston at its apex,
and the town of Tring is included within it.

Mainly within this area a certain Eafe de Gey ton' had acquired
divers lands by charters from their owners, and as they were all also
within the Honour of Berkhampstead he brought tlieir charters, six
in number, before the over-lord for his confirmation, which, with the
recitation of each of them, is here given.

Eichard Plantagenet Earl of Cornwall and Poictou, better known
to posterity by his later title of King of the Eomans, wan the younger
son of King John and brother of Henry III. He was born in 1209,
and only eiglit years old at his brother's accession, by whom nine
years later lie was created Earl of Cornwall and Poictou. He was for
a time heir to the throne, and always exercised great influence ia the
affairs of the kingdom. In the earlier part of the reign he sided with
the Mareschals, and took up arms in their cause, marrying Isabel,
daughter of the elder William Earl of Pembroke and widow of the
Earl of Gloucester. He was a far wiser man than his brother, who
seems to have consulted him on many occasions, although tliej' were
often at variance. No doubt his weight was much augmented by his

1 Probably of Gayton near liliswoith, fine effigies of Philip do Clayton (died

where a family bearing the local stir- 13 10) and his wife Scholastica, and a

name was flourishing in the thirteenth diminutive figure of a child, in Gayton

and fourteenth centuries. There arc Church.



ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS. 181

immense wealth, a part of wliicli he squandered in bribes to the
German electors. To the Castle and Honour of Berklianipstede, the
caput of his Hertfordshire possessions, he attached great importance,
excepting the castle from the estates settled by him in clower on
Saunchia of Provence. Wallingford, however, whence the charter is
dated, was his chief seat, where lie lived with great splendour.

The charter bears date the year before he became King of the
Eomans. In his latter days Earl Eichard took part with the king,
and commanded at Lewes, where he was made prisoner. Subse-
quently, after the surrender. of Kenilworth, his counsels, in conjunc-
tion with those of Prince Edward, compelled Henry to be merciful,
and laid the foundation of the good order by which the new reign was
ushered in.

The Earl died at Berkhampstede April 2, .1272, a little before his
brother. Henry, his eldest son, died either before or just after him,
childless, and Edward, his successor, died also childless in 1 300, when
the titles became extinct.

The charter contains thirty-nine lines, and is written upon a skin of
parchment eighteen and a half inches broad by seventeen and three-
quarter inches long, polled at the top and folded at the bottom to
carry the cord of the suspended seal. It is written in a clear hand,
with good black ink, with the usual abbreviations, which are here, for
the most part, expanded. It is quite perfect, save that in the twentieth
line a strip of the membrane, about five inches long and a quarter of
an inch wide, has been cut out, and is replaced by a slightly larger
strip, which is neatly sewn in all round. Although this inserted strip
is blank, the top of the letters of the following line run into it, and it
is pretty evident that the whole defect is as old as the charter, and
was caused by the clerk having made some blunder in the writing
which he coidd not erase, and for the sake of which he did not care to
begin his work over again. Probably the Earl's chancery clerks found
their own parchment.

The seal is imperfect, but what remains is weU cut and clear. It
has been circular, three and one-eighth inches in diameter, of dark
i-eddish wax, and about one-third of its most important part remains.

On the upper side, that which corresponds with the face of the
charter, is a knight on horseback galloping to the proper left. He
wears a loose plaited surcoat, girdled at the waist, and with the skirt
flowing freely backwards, shewing the right leg from the knee in
armour, apparently mail, with a prick-spur. The right arm, in mail,
is extended backwards, and holds upright a long straight sword.
Above the upper edge of the surcoat is seen the throat, closely fitted
with mail, and on the head a flat-topped helmet. The left arm is
covered by a heater shield, which conceals the breast and bears a
rampant lion, with probably a border. The saddle is raised before
and behind, and the two girths cross saltire fashion under the horse's
belly. Over the knight's right shoulder is a narrow embossed belt,
for sword or dagger. The horse is cut with great freedom, and does
not appear to be in armour. The legend is: " siGiL[LUAr ricardi
COXITIS corxu]bie."

Upon the obverse is a large, bold heater shield, about two inches high,
bearing a lion rampant within a plain border, charged with fourteen
roundels. Eound and behind the shield is scroll work of an early



182 ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS,

English, character. Tlie legend, in place of the usual cross, commences
with a crescent " sig[illvm] ricardi comitis[oorx]ubie."

The seal is foi*med upon two plaited silk cords, either gilt or made
with gold thread. The upper bend passes through four holes in the
parchment, the lower ends are unravelled as tassels. A not very
accurate engraving of Eichard's seal is given by Saudford.

It is remarkable that Eichard did not bear the arms of England,
but took those of Poictou, " Argent, a lion rampant gules, crowned or,"
which he placed within '' a border sable, bezantee," derived from the
old Earls of Cornwall, and thus, as was not unusual, represented both
his earldoms on his shield.

The present writer, not being familiar with the district, has failed
to identify many of the persons and places named in the several
charters. Almost all belong to the district, but most of the persons
are tenants of the Earl, not tenants in capite, and consequently do
not appear in the inquisitions or other records of the realm. Many of
the places were those of private estates or farms, not of manors or
parishes, and have been lost, and unfortunately there is no inquisition
extant giving Earl Eichard's estates at his death, and in which most of
these local names would have appeared. What have been recovered
have been found in Chauncy and Clutterbuck, in the Close, Patent, and
Hundred Eolls, in the Testa de Nevile, and in similar records of the
reign of Henry III. No doubt a further search on the spot, into
parish terriers and estate maps, vrould shew many more of these
names. —

" 0:mnibus ad quos presens scriptum pervenerit, Eicardus Comes
Cornubie et Pictavie, salutem, noverit universitas vestra nos iuspexisse
cartam quam Galfridus de Lucy fecit Eadulfo de Geyton in hec verba.

" SciANT presentes et futuri c[uod ego Galfridus de Lucy dedi con-
cessi et hac presenti carta mea confirmavi Eadulfo de Geyton, pro
homagio et servicio suo, unam virgatam terre et dimidiani; et unam
acram prati et climidiam, in feodo meo de Wygenton ; scilicet, illam
terram cj^uam Willielmus Basset, cj[uondam de antecessoribus meis,
tenuit in Wygenton ; et predictum pratum sicut presci'iptum est in
LoUeseye ; habend: et tenend: de me et heredibus meis sibi et
heredibus suis aut suis assignatis, exceptis viris religiosis et Judeis,
bene et integre, paciiice, cum suis pertinenciis, reddendo inde annuatim
ipse et heredes sui mihi et heredibus meis sex solidos et octo denarios
ad quatuor termiuos anni, scilicet ad Festum Beate Marie in m .... o,
viginti denarios, et ad INativitatem Sancti Baptiste, viginti denarios,
et ad Festum Sancti Michaelis, viginti denarios, et ad Nativitatem
Domini, viginti denarios, pro omni seculari servicio, salvo forinseco
domini regis, quantum pertinet ad tautam terram in eodem manerio,
pro hac aiitem donatioue coucessione et carte mee confirmacione dedit
in manibus dictus Eadulfus viginti marcas in Gersinnam.

" Et quia ego Galfridus de Lucy et heredes mei dictam terram et
prenominatum pratum dicto Eadulfo et heredibus suis sicut predictum
est contra omnes nomines warautizare debemus, hanc cartam sigilli
mei impressione roboravi, hiis testibus, Johanne de Merston, Eoberto
fratre suo, luliano do Chenduit, Symone de Bisevile, Will'mo de
Audebur', Will'mo de Wederore, Alexandre de Wygenton, Waltero
de Beledon, Ead: de Nevile, et aliis.

" Inspeximus et cartam quam Sylvester de la Grave fecit predicto
Eadulfo iu hec verba.



ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS. 183

" SciANT presentes et futuri quod ego Sylvest: de la Grave dcdi
concessi et hac present! carta mea confirmavi Ivadulfo de Geyton pro
liomagio et servicio suo totain terrain meani quam liabui vol habere
potui in villa de Piclieleston apud Yseleye cum omnibus suis per-
tineueiis in aliquo retenemento. Ilabend: et tenend: eidem Radulfo
et heredibus suis vel euicunque eam dare vel assignare voluerit de me
et heredibus meis, libere quiete integre et pleuarie, imperpetuum.
Reddendo inde annuatim pro me et heredibus meis capitalibus dominis
feodi illius, quatuor solidos et sex denai'ios ad tres terminos anni,
scilicet ad Festum S'ti Audree octodecim donarios et ad Festum S'ti
Marie in m. . . . octodecim denarios et ad Festum S'ti Petri ad vincula
octodecim denarios, pro omni servicio, salvo forenseco servicio, et ego



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