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being killed, lie lay on the ground, and in this position was
" despatched," as it has been said, by a blow on the head,
probably from an axe. Shakespeare's account of Sir
William Lucy coming to the French prince, when seeking
for Talbot's body, will be remembered : —

Sir W. Zuci/ : Hei'ald, conduct me to the Dauphin's tent,

To know who hath obtained the glory of the day.
Charles : On what submissive message art thou sent ?
Sir W. Lucy : Submission, Dauphin! 'tis a mere French word;

We English warriors wot not what it means.

I come to know what prisoners thou hast ta'en,

And to survey the bodies of the dead.
Charles : For prisoners ask'st thou ? Hell our prison is.

But tell me whom thou seek'st ?
Sir ir. Luri/ : But where 's the great Alcides of the liold,

Valiant Ijord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury,

Created, for his rare success in arms,

(ireat p]avl of AVashford, Waterford, and Valence ;

Lord Talbot of Goodrig and Urchinfield,

Lord Strange of Blackmero, Lord Verdun of Alton,

Lord Cromwell of Wingfield, Lord Furnival of Sheffield,

Tlio tliricn victorious Lord of Falconbridge ;

Kniglit of the noble order of Saint George,

AN'orthy Saint Michael and the Golden Fleece ;

Great Marshal to TIciiry the Sixtli

Of all his wars within the realm of France '^





Shakespeare was right in this. The body was anxiously
sought for by many, and was at last identified ])y the
Herald of the Earl, who, although it was so mangled and
disfigured as to be scarcely discoverable, recognised him
by the loss of his hinder teeth. I find the following
account of this in the MSS. of John Anstis, Garter King-
of-Arms, in the Heralds' College. He says —

" But we are assured by a contemporary French historian
that his Herald attended on him when he was slain at
Chastillon, who had then been his ofhcer-of-arms above
forty years, so that he had such in 1st Henry V. The
passage is remarkable in discovering to us the customs of
that age — that many officers of arms l^eing sent to find out
the body of this most valiant Earl, among whom was ' Le
Heraud du dit Sieur de Tallebot qui avoit vestu sa cotte
d'armes,' and knowing his master by the want of some of
his hinder teeth, though his face was so mangled and dis-
figured with wounds. "II le baisa en la bouche, en clisant
ces mots, Monseigneur mon maistre, ce estes vous, je prie a
Dieu qu'il vous pardonne vos mesfaits, j'ay este votre officier
d'armes quarante ans ou plus, il est temps que je le vous
rende, en faisant piteux crys et lamentations, et en rendant
eau par les yeux tres pitousment, et alors il revestit sa
cotte d'armes et la mit sur son maistre."

It is worthy of note that the painted portrait effigy
of the Earl of Shrewsbuiy, which used to hang In Old
St. Paul's, represented liim in his Tabard and in the act
of prayer. The original of this picture is in the
collection of the Marquis of Northampton at Castle
Ashby, and a copy is now in the Kecord-room of the
Herald's Colleo-e.' It is a curious confirmation of tlie


story of the Herald.

But more interesting than this is a ph(jtograph, for whieli
I am indebted to the llev. W. H. Eo-erton, and from -which
the engraving is taken, of the skull and jaw found at Whit-
church. In the former the remai'kal)le confirmatory evi-
dence of the axe blow will be observed, and in the latter
the no less remarkable testimony of the entire loss of the
back teeth.

' Mr. TiK-kcr exliiliilcd an oiip^ravliig oi the ] picture from his own collection



Not the least curious circumstance in connection
with the discovery of tliese liones is, that amongst
them was the skeleton of a mouse ! "As poor as a
church mouse " we have often heard, and this poor mouse
had not only sought the shelter of the great Earl's coffin,
l)ut the Livpermm in imperio of his skull, as a nest to
give birth to her young. "It is an ill wind that blows
good to no one," and the fatal axe blow had created a
convenient entrance for the mouse. Her bones were
found mingled with those of the mighty soldier, while
those of her young were found within his skull !

Shakespeare, who knew and I'ecorded so much of the
Earl, had surely a forecast of this when he wrote —

Hamlet : To what base uses we may return Horatio ! Why may not
imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till lie find it stopping
a bung-hole !

Horatio : ' Twere to consider too curiously to consider so.

Hamlet : No, faith, not a jot ; but to follow him thither with modesty
enough, and likelihood to lead it : as thus — Alexander died, Alex-
ander was buried, Alexander returueth to dust ; the dust is earth ; of
earth we make loam ; and why of that loam whereto he was converted,
might they not stop a beer barrel ?

Imperious Oresar, dead, and turned to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away :
0, that the earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw !"

For the following, I am indebted to Lord Talbot de
Malahide, who copied it from a narrow parchment docu-
ment in his possession : —


En la presence de moy Jelian cl'Estampes maistre d'ostel
de Monsg"" le Conte d'Angoulesme, Guillaume le Ves-
viUe commis par mon dit S"" a la recepte generale de toiites
ses finances a anjourdliui paid et ])aille ])ar I'ordonnance
et commandement de mon dit S"" les sommes cy apr^s
declarees aux personnes et pour les causes cpii ensuivait.
C'est a savoir a Reslandire tromjDette d'icelluy S"" pour don
a liiy fait ponr les bonnes et joyenses nouvelles par liiy
apportees a mon dit S"" en la ville d'Angoulesme de la mort
de Talbot et de la disconfiture des Anglois devant Castillon
cinquante cinq sols tournois et a Colinet Goulon pour aler
de la dite ville d'Angoulesme a Blois et a Remiremont
pour les dites nouvelles a Monsign*" le Due d' Orleans et a
Madame la Contesse d'Angoulesme cinquante cinq sols
tournois. Tesmoing mon seign manuel cy mis le xviij
jour de Juillet I'an mil cccc cinquante trois.


The following letter appeared in the Standard of the
15th August, 1877, from which it was copied in the
Shreivsbury Journal. It was to the Editor of this latter
Journal that the reply of the Eector of Whitchurch was
addressed : —

Dfar Sie, — In a paragrapli that appeared in your paper of August
1.5tli, giving- a short account of the lioyal Archreologieal Institute's
excursion to Goodrich Castle, I find several inaccuracies in connection
with the first Earl of Shrewsbuiy, mentioned in INIr. Stephen Tucker's
Paper. The first one is that the great -warrior's remains were found
at AVhitchurch, in Shropshire, in 1864, whereas they were refoxind in
1874, at the time the church was undergoing some slight alterations
or renovations. The next point I would like to call j'our attention
to is — "At Chatillon (he was then 80 years old) he was unhorsed, and
lay for some time on the ground, until, wo are told, he was ' des-
patched ' by a blow on the head from a battle-axe." When the bones
were lying in the vestry of the church at AVhitchurch, I had the
opportunit}' of examining them, and on taking up the skull (before I
knew that tlie valiant warrior had been killed by a battle-axe) I
remarked that the fracture observable on the left parietal bone had
been made with a battle-axe or a sharp weapon having a segmented
edge, judging from the shape of the fissure and the marked incision
in the bone of the skull at either end of the perforation, I did not
measure its length, but [should say that it was about o-A inches long,
and the piece of bone that had been forced into the brain by the stroke
was about two inches in length. The blow had evidently been struck
as he was standing unhorsed engaged to a hand to hand fight
with an enemy in front, by an enemy coming somewhat beiiind
him and striking him with a battle-axe on the left side of his
head, which felled him to the ground, and he, as I imagine, fell


on his riglit sliovilder and forehead or face, and the blood that
flowed from the wound over the left side of the head and face,
Mhich was uppermost, disguised him to such an extent as to
make his body difficult of recognition, especially if he fell in
a muddy or dusty spot. On viewing the skull (a cast of which
was taken for the Archa?ological Society if I am not mistaken)
from the clean cut of the gaping fissure and its perpendicular
line with the body when in an erect position, shows plainly'
that it was not received at a time when he was lying unhorsed
on the ground, and at the same time, from its position on the
skull, there can be no doubt but that he was taken at a dis-
advantage, and the foeman that dealt it was not facing him at the
time fighting hand to hand. Again — *' His body u'as long sought
for, and was at last recognised by his herald, by the absence of
the hinder teeth, the features having been so injured as to be
undistinguishable. The skull found at AVhitchurch wants the
hinder teeth, and has the hollow caused by the fatal blow." Now
the skull at Whitchurch is wrapped round with a kind of narrow
linen cloth, about the width now used in bandaging (and as I
imagine in those days taken to the field of battle with them to
be used for bandaging up of wounds). After the burial of the
body at Rouen, eomo few years must have elapsed before the
skull and bones were wrapped in the cerecloth that now covers
them, for eveiy trace of flesh or integument is entirely gone,
and it is almost an impossibility to say what teeth he had at
the time of his death ; from what I could see and judge by
the drepressions, risings, or markings on the cerecloth covering
the bones of the jaw, he had only one tooth remaining, and
that was a dens sapientite or wisdom tooth on the left side of the
lower jaw, and I also thought that five or six lower front teeth
had fallen out from want of attachment before the bones were
covered with the cloth covering that is now on them. It was
my intention to have endeavoured to have obtained permission
to have taken a cast of the jaw bone, and without the present
covering, so as to have been able to have given a decided
opinion as to the age, &c., &c., of the person to whom they
had formerly belonged ; from what I could see of them I con-
cluded the individual was upwards of 80 years of age, but on
my next visit to the town I learnt that the valiant old Earl
was being buried for the third time, and that the late noble
Earl was attending his funeral. Again, "Among the bones was
found the skeleton of a mouse who had made her nest in
the skull of tlie great Talbot, where the remains of her young
were still remaining. It is an ill wind that blows no one
any good. The mouse had entered through the breach made
by the battlo-axo, but having been unable to escape again from
the coffin, had suffered a fate more severe than that which is the
proverbial lot of tlie ordinary church mouse." Now all that reads
very prettily, but it will not do, the breach in the skull might admit a
silver crown piece, but never a mouse in an interesting condition, who
must have gone into the skull to have been confined, for even her
progeny never could have squeezed through tlio fissure ; she must have
entered through the foramen magnum at the l»ase of the skull before


it was covered over witli cerecloth, and most likely tliey were in a
mumiuilied condition when that was done, otherwise there is no account-
ing fur the circumstance.

Apologising- for trespassing so much on your valuable time, I would

not have done so had I not considered it my duty if possible to

prevent such errors of traditional or hearsay evidence being taken as

matter of fact, as every day I am the more convinced of its imreliability.

Yours faithfully,


Doctor of Dental Surgery.
47, Darlington-street, Wolverhampton,
August IGth, 1877.

SiK, — Tlie interesting letter C[Uoted in your columns last week from
the Standard invites a few remarks. The purport of that letter was to
correct supposed inaccuracies in a lecture on the discovery of Talbot's
bones at AVhitchurch, delivered by Mr. Stephen Tucker (Eouge Croix)
before the Eoyal Archaeological Institute at Hereford. The first
inaccuracy is an accidental misprint of 1864 for 1874. Setting this
aside, the writer begins by objecting to the word /o«Mr^ as applied to the
discovery of the warrior's bones. He says it should have been rcfound.
No such word exists ; but its equivalent in meaning seems to me need-
less. Talbot's bones were found for the first time in the present church
on the 9th of March, 1874. Dr. Dalby's next remarks have reference to
the circumstances of Talbot's death. From the vertical character of
the cut on the skull, he argues that the body must have been erect
when the fatal blow was given. I should have accepted Dr. Dalby's
reasoning on this point without hesitation if history had been silent
on the subject, but we are confronted by the authority of Hollinshed,
Avho, after having described the siege of the Tower at Chastillon and
Talbot's victorious pursuit of the French into their own fortified
camp, thus lecords his death — " Though at firste with manfull
courage and sore fighting the Earle wanne the entrie of their
camp, yet at length they compassed him about, and shooting him
through the thigh with an hand-gunne, slew his horse, and
finally killed him, lying on the ground, whom they never durst
look in the face, while he stoode on his feete." — Hollinshed,
black letter copy, vol. ii, j). 1285.

The next point in Mr. Tucker's letter, criticised by Dr. Dalby, is that
Talbot's body was recognised after the battle "by the absence of the
hinder teeth." When the skull was examined there were three incisors
and one molar tooth in the lower jaw. There were aparently
no teeth in the upper jaw. Certain it is that the body lay
for some time on the field of battle until discovered b}' the Earl's
herald, "who broke out into compassionate and dutiful expressions,
disrobed himself of his coat of arms, and flung it over his master's

We now come to the incident of the mouse's nest in the
skull. Mr. Tucker asserts that the entrance to the nest was
"through the breach made by the battle-axe." Dr. Dalby says that
this "reads very prettily, but that it will not do." In proof of this he
states that the gash in the skull was onl}'- wide enough to admit a
crown piece, and that therefore the mouse must have entered by the
foramen magnum. Now the actual dimensions of the gash are 2^



iuclies iu leugtli, aucl fully | of au inch wide in the centre i^art.
Moreover the sides of the orifice bore evidence of ingress and egress,
having that peculiar brown serai-polished look which we know so well
iu the appearance of a mouse-hole. The entrance to the nest was
directly beneath the hole, and the cerecloth for some distance round it
had been gnawed away by the mice. If the mouse had made her
entrance and exit by the foramen magnum she must have done so
before the bones were brought from Rouen, for that orifice was closely
bound up by the cerecloth. That a French mouse should have in-
creased her progeny in the cavity of Talbot's skull would indeed have
been an indignity ; but the fact that fragments of the torn leaves of an
English prayer book formed part of the substance of the nest, proves
to demonstration that the tenant of the skull was none other than an
English church mouse. Dr. Dalby is right in condemning the substi-
tution of traditional or hearsay evidence for matter of fact. I have
endeavoured to supply him with some facts which reduce his list of
inaccuracies to a minimum, and substantiate in every important
particular the correctness of the statements made by Eouge Croix.

I am, &c.,


As 'au actual iustauco uf the base
uses to wliich excn kiugs returu, it uiay
be nientiuued tbat wben the touib of
Kiug John was oi)eued in 1797 "avast
(£uautity of the dry skius of maggots "
were fouud withiu the royal coffiu. Some
of these were ]>urhnned by nn ingenious
gcntknnan of Woreester, who, baiting his
hook with them, and toihng for three

days, finally (h'ew a dace out of the
Severn, whieh lie liore in triumph through
the Streets. A workman stole a finger-
bone, and sent it to London to be tipped
witli silver, but it was lost on the road.
— ^See Gough's Sejmlchral Monuments,
vol. ii, part i, p. 331, and Grlkne's
Accoiml of the Opi'iiing. — Ed.



Professor Hiibner, in his collection of " Inscnptiones
Britannia' Latince,'' has stated " Tituli Miliarii Britan-
nici plus minus qiiadraginti," and has arranged these
forty mile stones under different heads, according to the
districts in which they were found ; and he has also
classed them according to date, allotting them to the
several emperors whose name or titles they bear. This
arrangement is very convenient, and he has thus called
attention to their importance, and aftbrded an opportunity
of comparing them, and eliciting any information wliich
can be gathered as to the date of construction of the
several Roman roads which traversed this island. He
has also given an opportunity for rectifying any mis-
reading of each stone, and of adding to his collection any
stones that may be wanting to make the list perfect.

Something has already been done towards making his
list more complete. Mr. T. Watkin, in two papers printed
in the ArcJueolor/ical Journal, has noticed eight omis-
sions, which he has supplied, and more correct readings
have l3een obtained of others, as for instance of the first
recorded, viz., that foiuid at S. Hilary in Cornwall, the
reading of which Professor Hiibner has amended in his
Additamenta, in consequence of a correct impression of
the stone having been j^rocured. Attention having been
thus called to these monuments, it is not beyond hope
that others may be rescued from oblivion, and that any
more which may come to light in the future will be at
once read and recorded. It is not improbable that by
means of such monuments a correct, or at least an
approximate date, might be assigned to the formation of
the several Roman military roads in Britain.

The earliest ^Miliaries that have yet been found, or at
least recorded, are two of the date of Hadrian, (see



C. I. L., vol. vii Nos. 1169, 1175); two of Caracalla,
(Nos. 1164, 1186) ; and a third of uncertain reading
(No. 1191), but probably of the date of Elagabalus.
There are also four of the Emperor Gordian (Nos. 1149,
1159, 1183, 1184); four of Philip, father and son (Nos.
1172, 1173, 1178, 1179); four of the Emperor Decius
(Nos. 1163, 1171, 1174, 1180) ; two of Gallus and A^olu-
sianus (Nos. 1148, 1182) ; one or two of Postumus (1161,
1162) ; one of Victorinus (1160) ; two of Tetricus (1150,
1151) ; one of Aurelian (1152), one of Florianus (1156),
one of Numerianus (1165), one of Diocletian and Maxi-
mian (1190), one of Maximinus Daza (1158); four of
Constantine (1157, 1170, 1176, 1177); one of Crispus
(1153); three of Constantine Junior (1147, 1154, 1188).
Add to these the eight supplied by Mr. Watkin, viz., —
Tetricus, Tacitus : three which are undoubted miliary
stones, but which are illegible, found in Shropshire ; one
at Uriconimn, and two foiuid in a pool when drained near
Rowton (Ptutunium) ; one lately found near Bakewell,
in Derbyshire (see ArchcBological Journal, vol. xxxiii,
p. 53) ; one found at Segshill, fifteen miles from Leicester,
on the line of the Foss road (see Arch. J., xxxi, 353),
both of which unfortunately have the imperial titles
effaced ; and another dug up at Middleton, three miles
from Kirkby Lonsdale (see Arch. J., xxxi, 354).

We have them extending from the time of Hadrian,
A.D. 120, to Constantine Junior, a.d. 336, embracing a
period of above two hundred years. There is little doubt,
however, that the Roman roads in this island must have
been begun before the time of Hadrian, and kept in order
to a later period than that of ('Onstantine Junior. We
have evidence in Somersetshire of a Roman road tra-
versuig the Mendip mineral district, on the line of which
pigs of Roman lead are found, bearing the stamp of the
Emperor Vespasian, a.d. 70, or still earlier. that of Britan-
nicus, A.D. 49. Along the line of this road, whicli ex-
tended from Old Sarum (Sorbiodunum) in Wilts to the
Bristol Channel at Brean Down in Somerset, no Miliaries
are recorded to have been found ; neither have any been
found or recorded in the neighbourhood of Bath, and
only one in Kent.

Tt seems impossible to Ix'lieve that the roads liere


named were without the measured distances or im-
perial titles recorded on stone. It mnst have been
that the stones once standing by the Roman roads
have been found so valuable foi' mere stones or for
building, that they have been used for such objects.
Miliaries are chiefly found in unfrecjuented districts
in C^ornwall, in Wales, in Cumberland, and in North-
umberland. The formation of macadamised roads since
the commencement of the present century has doubtless
caused many to be broken uj:) for material. The fact of a
cylindrical column with a few letters upon it, hardly
readable, would provoke no great curiosity to enquire
further into tlieu' meaniiiof, and the stone would at once
be consigned to the wayside heap, there to undergo a
speedy process of demolition, and so a historical record
would jDerish for ever.

The first Koman roads constructed in Britain were
doubtless those three which run from the Kentish coast,
at Lymne, Dover, and Richboro', to Canterbury, and
from thence to London. But one solitary uninscribed and
obliterated "Miliary" at Southfleet' denotes the lines of
these important roads, the courses of which are ascertained
beyond a doubt.

The campaign of Aulus Plautius began a.d. 43, and the
capture of Caractacus took place a.d. 50. This wTir
opened out all the south-west portion of Britain to the
Roman arms, and to this period we must look for the first
formation of Roman roads, but the only spot in this
region where Miliaries have as yet been noted is at
Bittern, near Southampton. Here four are recorded in
Hlibner's collection, and two more added by Mr. Thomp-
son Watkin, but all are of a late date.

Gordianus - a.d. 238-244

Gallus and Volusiamis - 251-253

Tetricus - - 267-273

L. Domitius Aurelian - 270-275

and another Tetricus, and the one containing an inscrip-
tion not yet properly decyphered, but supposed to have
the station LANDINIS or LINDINIS recorded on it,
probably Lyme Reijif^.

' Sec Ilubutr's lim\ Brit. Lai. \k 20. after No. llo2.


The Itinerary of Antouiuus does not go beyond Exeter,
but that lloman roads extended into Cornwall is clear
from the traces of them, and the stations that remain,
and from the "Miliary" found at S. Hilary, which is
given in Hilbner's work (No 1147), but which has only
been correctly read very recently. (See Additamenta ad
Corporis, vol. vii, p. 1147, and a paper lately read to the
Cornwall Koyal Institution of Truro, by Dr. Barham, in
which he has pointed out the direction of these roads).
The date of this " Miliary " is of the time of Constantine
the Great, a.d. 308-437, and is very similar to one found
in the high road between Cambridge and Huntingdon,
about three miles Irom Cambridge (see No. 1154).

In Devonshire and Wilts we have the Foss Road and
the Icknield Street, and also lesser Koman roads, but no
Miliaries are found, nor yet in Dorset, where we have tlie
Acling Street, Portway, the Street, and Romansleigh
llidge. Nor are any recorded to have been found in

The " London Stone " in Cannon Street, in the city,
has been supposed to be a Koman " Miliary," and the
centre from which the Iloman roads were measured, as
was intended to be the case with the famous " Miliarium
A.ureum " at Rome,^ but this is very doubtful, and there
is no further proof of it, than that many of the Itineraries
terminate in London.- It is doubtful if this stone was
ever inscribed.

Throughout the eastern portion of Britain Roman
Miliaries are equally rare. In Cambridgesliire and
Huntingdonshire four have been found (1153, 1154, 1155,

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