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against his oppressors, he was but turning their own
instruments of civilization against themselves.

The tale is one of the most familiar, one of the most
stirring, in that history of the former possessors of our
island which so oilen passes for the history of ourselves.
We see the British heroine, as we might now see some
matron of Bosnia or Bulgaria, calling on the men of her
race to avenge her own stripes, her outraged daughtei's,
the plundered home, (.f the chiefs of her people, the kins-
folk of their kiivj: dealt with as the bondmen of the
stra,nger. But we are concerned with Boadicea, her
Avrongs and her ven'.»;ennce, only as they concerned the
Colony of Veterans at Camulodumun. The tale is told
with an Homeric wealth of omen and of prodigy. The
statue of Victory fell Ijackwards ; strange sounds wei'e


heard in the theatre and in the senate-house ; frantic
women sano- aloud that the end was come. The men of
the defenceless colony, and the small handful of helpers
sent Ijy Catus Decianus, guarded by no ditch or rampart,
defended the temple of Claudius for two days till town
and temple sank before the assaults of the avengers. So
the first Camulodunum fell, in one mighty flame of sacri-
fice, along ^vith the two other great settlements of the
Roman on British ground. London, not adorned like
Camulodunum with colonial rank, Ijut already the city of
ships, the place v.'here, as in after days, the merchants of
the earth were gathered, fell along with the veteran
colony. So too fell Verulam, doomed again to arise,
again to fall, and to supply out of its ruins the materials
for the vastest of surviving English minsters. All fell,
as though the power of Rome beyond the ocean was for
ever broken. But theii* fall vras but for a moment ; the
sword of Suetonius won back eastern Britain to the
bondao-e and the slumber of the Roman Peace. The
towns that the Briton had burned and harried ao-ain
arose : a new colony of Camulodunum, this time fenced in
with all the skill of Roman engineering, again grew up.
It grew up to live on through four unrecorded ceiituries,
carefully marked in maps and itineraries, but waiting for
a second place in history till the days wlien Roman and
Briton had passed away, when the Saxon Shore had
become a Saxon Shore in another sense from that in
which it bears that name in the Domesday of the tottering

The Roman then passed away fr(}m the Colony of
Veterans, as he passed away from the rest of Britain.
But in the Colony of Veterans he left both his works and
his memory behind him. V/hen I say that he left his
works, do not fancy that I mean that he left the temple
of Claudius behind him. On the grotesque delusion
which mistook a Norman castle for a Roman temple I
mio-ht not have thouicht it needful to waste a word.
Only, when I was last at Colchester, I saw, written up
in the castle itself, such names as " Adytum," '" Podium,"
and the like, implying that there was still somebody in
Colchester who believed the story. Perhaps there was
also somebody who believed that the earth was flat,


and tliat tlio sun was only a few miles from it. The
scientific antiquary will give exactly as much attention
to the one doctrine as the scientific astronomer will
give to the other.' Of the two stories I should be more
inclined to believe in old King Coel, in his fiddlers,
and even in his kitchen. Yet I have come too lately
from the lUyrian land, my mind is too full both of
its past and of its present history, to let me believe
that Helen the mother of Constantine was the daughter
of Coel of Colchester. The strange likeness between the
names of the river and the settlement, between the Colne
and the Colony, accidental as it doubtless is, is, if not a
puzzle, at least a coincidence. But King Coel will be at once
sent by the comparative mythologist to the same quarters
as Hellen and liomulus and Francus the son of Hector.
Saint Helen, says Henry of Hmitingdon, surrounded
Colchester with walls. So she did many things at Trier
which the last and most scientific historian of Trier has
})idled to pieces in a way which must grievously shock
some of his brethren. I ti'ust that I shall not shock any-
body in Colchester l)y disbelieving in old King Coel. I do
n(.)t think that I shocked anybody in Exeter by declining
to believe that, when Vespasian marched off to besiege
Jerusalem, it was because he was bent iq3on taking some
city, and had found Exeter too strong for him.

But the walls are there, whoever built them, the walls
which, at some date between the invasion of Boadicea
and the invasion of the first East-Saxon settlers, were
raised to shelter the Colony. And even the legend of
Helen may be taken as p(jinting to the age of Constiuitius
and Constantine as the most likely time for their Ijuilding.
Those walls are, as far as I have seen, unique among the

' It luaiks how much some branches trovcrsy," u clifFcrenco of opinion where
of knowledge lag behind others in their there is no room for controversy or
hold on the popular mind, that since the opinion at all. That Colchester Castle
Colch(^stcr Meeting, there has actually is a building of Jionian date, that the
been what is called a "controversy" Cymry were so called from Cmri, king
about tlie date of Colchester Castle. of Israel, that A.lfred founded University
That the castle is a Norman, and not a College, arc positions of exactly the same
Ivoman, building is as certain, to use my scientific value as the position that the
old illustration, as that the earth is round sun is only three miles from the earth,
and not flat. lUit when a man has a AVhcn historical knowledge has gained
craze about natural science, it simply tlie same position as astronomical know-
passes for a craze ; wlion lie has a craze ledge, they will be treated in exactly the
on historical or philological matters, ho same way.
gets a following, and we hear of a " con-


iiilialjited towns of Britain. Neither York nor Lincoln nor
Exeter, nor even Chester, can boast of being still girded
by her Roman walls in anything like the same perfection
in which Colchester is. Nowhere else in Britain, save in
fallen Andericla and Calleva, have I ever seen the line of
the old defences so thoroughly complete. But unluckily
it is the line oidy. While the circuit of the walls is so
much more perfect than at Yoi'k and Lincoln, the frag-
ments ^\'hich still remain at York and Lincoln have kept
much more of their ancient masonry than can be found at
Colchester. Still Colchester can show far more than can
be seen at Chester, where, though the Roman lines are all
but as perfectly followed by the later defences, little is left
of the actual Roman \xa\l beyond its ftamclations. As tlie
abiding wall of a still inhabited town, the Roman wall of
Colchester is, I repeat, unique in Britain. And a lu^man
wall I do not scruple to call it. In so calling it, I am flxr
from meaning to rule that the whole circuit of the existing
wall actually dates from the time of Roman occupation.
I have no douljt that the lines are the Roman lines ; I
have no doubt that part of the wall is the actual Roman
wall. But I have just as little doubt that it has been in
many places patched and rebuilt over and over again; one
great time above all of patching and rebuilding is recorded
in the days of Eadward the Unconquered. But the wall
has a higher historic interest, it becomes a more living
witness of Roman influence, from the very fact that much
of it is not actually of R<^man date. • This very fact shows,
far more clearly, far more strikingly, how the arts and tlie
memory of Rome lived on. Whatever be the date of any
part of the walls, they are Roman ; they are Iniilt more
Romano. It is at Colchester as it is at Trier, as it is at
Perigueux, as it is in a crowd of other places where the
influence of Roman models had stuck deep. In places of
this kind the Roman construction lived on for ages. Here
in Colchester we have actual bricks of Roman date in
the places where the Roman engineer laid them. We
have bricks of Roman elate used up again in the construc-
tion of later buildings. And we have bricks, not of
Roman date but of thoroughly Roman character, made
afresh at all times, at least down to the fifteenth century.
Here, where biick and tind^er were of necessitv the chief


materials fiir building, the Roman left his mark n]3on the
bricks, as in some other parts of Britain he left his mark
upon the stones. Northern England reproduced the vast
stones of the lioman wall in a crowd of buildings built
moo'e Romano, with masonry of massive stones. With
such st(mes again, no less moi'e Romano, did yEthelstan
rebuild the walls of Exeter. Here at Colchester Roman
models were no less faithfully followed ; but here the mos
Ronianus naturally took the form of brick, and to build
more Romano meant to build with brick and not with
stone. It meant to build with l^ricks, either taken from
some Roman building or cast in close imitation of those
which the Roman buildings supplied. In this sense the
castle of Eudo Dapifer may be called a Roman building.
So may the one tower of Primitive Romanesque to be
found in Colchester, wdiich, while other towers of its type
are of stone, reproduces in material as v/ell as in form the
campaniles of Italy. So may Saint Botolf 's priory, second
only to Saint Alban's as an instance of Roman materials,
not so much taught to assume new shapes as brought
l)ack to their true Roman use before Italy began her
imitation of the arts of Greece But the walls are Roman
in a yet stricter sense than any of the other buildings
around them. They are the old walls of the Colony, in
many places patched, in some, we may believe, actually
rebuilt. But they have undergone no change which at all
destroys their personal identity. The wall is not an
imitation, a reproduction, of a Roman wall ; it is the
Roman wall itself, with such repairs, however extensive,
as the effects of time and of warfare have made needful.
The walls of Colchester are Roman walls in the sense in
which the walls of Rome are the walls of Aurelian.

We come then to a time when the walls of the Colony
were still standing, but when the legions of Rome were
no longer marshalled to defend them. Was there ever a
time when those walls stood, as the walls of Bath and
Chester once stood, as the walls of Anderida and Calleva
still stand, with no dwelling-place of men within them ?
That question I will not undertake to answer. I think I
remember that, in one of his scattered papers and lectures
—when will they come together to make tlie History of
tlie Eiiglisli (Jonquest of i>ritahi ? — the great master of


those times, the (lisco^•e^er of early Englisli history, told
us that of all tlie towns of England there was none move
likely than Colchester to have been continuously inhabited
through British, Tioman, British, and English days. If I
am right in thinking that Dr. (luest said tliis, he doubtless
had some weighty reason for saying it. I have not myself
lighted on any direct evidence eitlier for or against such a
proposition. It is only in a very few cases that we have
any direct evidence as to the fate ofthisorthat particular
town during tlie progress of the English Conquest. And
of the circumstances under wliich the kingdom of the
East-Saxons came into being we know absolutely nothing.
The Chronicles are silent : no legend, no fragment of
ancient song, is preserved to us hj Henry of Huntingdon.
We have nothing but a dry list of princes, and that given,
as miglit seem at first sight, in two contradictory forms.
We hear of ^rEscwine as tlie first founder of the East- Saxon
settlement ; we find his remote descendant Sleda spoken
of as the first East-Saxon kinof. Tn this I see no contra-
diction. The story of the growth of Essex is doul)tless
much the same as tlie story of the gi'owth of East-Anglia,
and of the two Northuiiil3rian kingdoms. Several scattered
Teutonic settlements were gradually united under a more
powerful chief; he then deemed himself great enough, as
the head of a nation and no lono-er the head of a mere
tribe, to take upon himself the kingly title. Such was
Ida in Bernicia ; such, we may believe, ^^^as Sleda in
Essex. But we have no trastwoi'thy details of the East-
Saxons and their kings till their conversi'>n to Christianity
in the beginning of the seventh century. We have no
trustworthy mention of the town of Colchester till tlie
wars of Eadward the Unconquered in the tenth. All that
w^e can say is that the Colony on the Colne, like tlie
Colony on the Illiine, ke])t its name. One was Colonia
Camulodunum ; one was Colonia Agrippina ; but Colonia
was name enough to distinguish either. Latin Colonia
became British Caer Collun ; and Caer Collun appears in
every list as one of the great cities of Britain. British
Caer Collvn passed into English Colneceastei', with no
change beyond that which the genius of the British
and English languages demanded. In British and
in Englisli alike it remains the city of the colony.



From tills preservation of the name I argue, as I argued
elswliere last year from the like preservation of tlie name
of tlie sister colony of Lindum/ that, if Camulodunum ever
was like Deva " a waste Chester ' it was only for a very short
time. It became again an inhabited chest cr, a dwelling
place of men, while the memory of its Ptoman rank was
still living. It was not, as it ^vas for instance at Isurium,
where the Homan name had utterly passed away, and
wliere its first Eno-lish settlers, seeino- and wondering; at
the Koman walls, turning them again to use as the
shelter of a new settlement, but having lost all memory
of their former name and history, had nothing to call
them but the Old Borough, We may be sure from this
that some considerable time elapsed between the over-
tlirow of Roman Isurium and its new settlement as
English Aldlwrough. I infer in the same way, from the
fact that Lindum Colonia kept its name in the form of
English Lincoln, that, if Lindum Colonia ever lay in the
state of a waste cJi ester, it was but for a very short time.
It was settled ao-ain and named a,o-ain while the memory
of its old and its old rank were still fresh. And I
make the same inference in the case of Colchester, though
A\ith one degree less of certaiiit}^ because I must stand
ready to have it thrown in my teeth that the town is
called, not from the Koman colony, but from the river
Colne. Here is a point on which each man must judge
for himself I cannot get over the succession of Colonia,
Caer ColJuii, Colneceaster, I feel that it is awkward to
say that the likeness of the name of the colony and of
the liver is purely accidental ; it would be more awkward
still to liint that the river may have taken its name from
the colony. But the colony is a fact ; the retention of
its name is a fact ; and, in the face of those facts, all that
I can do is to leave the rivei to shift for itself

It seems likely then that, whether Colchester was or
was not continuously inhabited through all the revolutions
of the fifth and sixth centuries, its time of desolation, if
it had any, was but short. If it did not l)ecome the
dwelling-place of Englishmen in the first moment of their
concjuest, it at least became the dwelling-place of
Englishmen before its British and Roman memories Avere

' (Sec MttcmUlan's Mnrjazitie, August, 1875, Art, "Lindun Colonia."


forg'tjttcii. But. as I just uow said, of Colchester itself
there is absolutely uo meution iii history l)etweeii the
days of Boadicea to the days of Eadw ard the Elder. All
that I can find is a dark and mythical reference in the
story of Haveloc as told by Geoffrey Cxainiar. But we
must not forget, even within the walls of the Colony, that
Colchester is not the whole of the East-Saxon realm.
Colchester is not a city ; it lias never Ijeen the seat of an
independent bishopric. That was because another of the
Roman towns wliicli was oveithi'own l^y Boadicea, lowlier
in rank in those early days, had, by the time that the
East-Saxons embraced Christianity, outstripped the
veteran colony. London, already the home of commerce
before her first overthrow — again, under her new name of
Augusta, the home of commerce in the later days of
Roman power — was now, as an East-Saxon city, the head
of the East-Saxon realm, a^-ain the home of commerce,
the meeting-place of merchants and their ships. London,
not Colchester, became tlie seat of the bishopric of the
East- Saxons, and remained so till the strange arrangements
of modern ecclesiastical geography gave Colchester a
shepherd in the realm of Hengest.^ But the very great-
ness which made London the head of the East-Saxon
kingdom tended to part London ofi' from the East-Saxon
kingdom. Amonu- the shiltino-s of the smaller Eno-lish
kmgdoms, London seems to have held lier own as
a distinct power, sometimes acknowledging the supre-
macy of Mercia, sometimes tlie supremacy of Wessex,
but always keeping somewhat of an independent l)eing.
She parts off from the main East-Saxon body ; she carries
oft' a fragment of it along Avith her, to become what we
may call a free Imperial city, bearing rule, like Bern or
Venice, over her Tnp'ioiKoi, her Untei'thcutcn, the still
subject district of the Middle-Saxons.'^ London there-
fore soon falls out of our special survey of the East-
Saxon land. But the East- Saxon land can numljer witliin

1 The creation of the new diocese of has sheriffs — more strictly one sheriff,
Saint Albans has taken away this singu- though the office is held by two men —
larly grotesque piece of geography. But who are neither chosen by the Middle-
Saint Albans is still, both historically Saxons nor appointed by the Crown, but
and geographically, a strange centre for chosen by the citizens of a neighbouring
Essex. city, ^Middlesex must be looked on as a

- I have pointed out more than once district subject to Loudon,
that, as long as the county of ^Middlesex


its borders not a few historic sites besides the towns
which Boadicea overthrew. There is the battle-field of
Malclon and the battle-field of Assandiin ; there is the
wooden cliurchof Greenstead where Saint Eadmund rested;
there is Eail Harold's Waltham and King Ead ward's
Havering ; there is Barking, where the C/onqiieror waited
while liis lirst tower was lising over Lv)ndoii, where
Eadwine and Morkere and perhaps Waltheof himself
became the men of the stranger, and where Englishmen
first bought back their lands at a price as a grant for the
foreigrj King. The East-Saxon land has thus its full
share among the great events of our early history ; but
the liistory of the kingdom itself, as a kingdom, fills no
great place in our annals. Essex supplied n(j Bretwalda
to bring the signs of Imperial dignity to London or
C'olchester as Eadwine brought them to York. After
some flittings to and fro, Essex passed, like the other
English kingdoms, under the supremacy of Ecgberht,
and by the division between yElfred and Guthrum, it
passed under tlie rule of the Dane. It is in the great
struggle of the next reign that Essex, and especially its
two great historic sites of Colchester and Maldon, stand
foi'th for a moment as the centre of English history, as
tlie scene of some of the most gallant exploits in oiu'
early annals, exploits which seem to have had a lasting
effect on the destinies of the Enghsh kingdom.

It was in the year 913, the thirteenth year of Ead ward's
reign, the year after he had taken possession of London
and Oxford, that we hear for the first time of a solitary
East-Saxon expedition. He marched to Maldon ; he
stayed thei'e till lie had built a fortress at Witham, and
had received the submission of many who had been under
Danish rule. This sounds like the emancipation of all
Essex south of the Panta or Blackwater. Our next notice
is nine years later, after Eadward and his sister, the Lady
of the Mercians, had won back most of the central part of
t]ic island to Enijflish and Christian rule. We now ao-ain
ill 1(1 Eadward carrying his sphere of operations into the
I'^ast- Saxon land, lie first fortified Maldon, the goal of
liis former marcli, the bjrough which seventy-three years
later was to behold the valour and tlie death of Th'ihtnoth.
But (Jolchcstcr was still left iji the hands of the enemy.


The next year the Danes again Ijroke the peace ; and,
during the whole former part of the year, fighting went on
in central Enofland between the Danes and the defenders
of the various towns which King Eadward had already
fortified. At Towcester, at Bedford, and elsewhere, the
English defenders drove off the Danish invaders from
King Eadward's new fortresses. Towcester was not yet
surrounded by the stone wall which girded it before the
year was out ; but the valour of its defenders, fighting, we
may suppose, behind a palisade or rampart of earth, was
enough to bear up till help came and the enemy was
driven away. During all this stage of the campaign, the
wai-fare seems to be piu'ely local. The Danes attack, the
Enghsh defend ; tliere is no mention of the King or of
any royal army. Presently the tables are turned ; the
local force of various English districts begins to attack
posts which the Danes still held among them. And now
comes our first distinct mention of warfare on East- Saxon
soil. Colchester is still held hj the enemy, Maldon is
held by King Eadward's garrison. The tale cannot be so
Avell told as in the lantj^uao'e of the chronicle :-—" There
gathered mickle-folk on harvest, either of Kent and of
Surrey and of East-Saxons, and of each of the nighest
boroughs, and fared to Colchester, and beset the borough
all round ^ and there fought till they had won it and the folk
all slew, and took all that there within was, but the men that
there fled over the wall." Colchester was thus again an
English borough, won, as it woidd seem, by tlie force of a
popular movement among the men of Essex and the neigh-
bouring shires, without any help from the West-Saxon
king. Then, in the same harvest, the Danes of East-Anglia,
strengtliened by wilvings from beyond sea, set forth to
attack the EngHsh garrison in Maldon, In the words of
the Chronicler, " they beset the borough all round, and
fought there till to the borough-folk there came more
force- from without to help them, and the host forsook the
borough, and fared away from it ; and then fared the men
after out of the borough, and eke they that had come to
them for out to help, and put the host to flight, and slew

' Such I take to be the difference distinguished from " hes;eton " whieh
hctwcen " ymh&;eton " wliieh is said is said of Tcnisford.
both of Colchester and of Muldon, as


of tliem iiKiiiy liiiiidred either tlie aslnnoi^ and others.*'
Thus, of the two great ponits in the East-Saxon land,
Colchester was won, Maldon was kept, and that without
any help from the king. Local energy had done so much
that, when shortly the Unconquered King came with his
West- Saxon army, his march was little more than a
triumphal progress. He came to Towcester ; he girded
the town with its stone wall, and received the submission
of Northamptonshire. He marched to Huntingdon ; he
strengthened the fortress, and received the submission of
the surrounding country. Then comes the fact which
immediately concerns us here. That "ilk year afore
Martinmas fared Eadward king with West-Saxons' fyrd
to Colneceaster, and i-epaired the borough and made it
new there where it tobroken was." Here then we have
a distinct record of damage done and of damage i-epaired
in the circuit of the walls of Colchester. Part of the wall
was broken down in the siege, and the breach was repaired
on the king's coming. It will be for some member of the
architectural section to point out, if there be any means of
knowing them, those bricks which w^ere set in their place
at the bidding of the founder of the English kingdom, and
not by any earlier or later hand. If we can find the site
of the breach which Enolishmen made in wiimiiiP: Col-
Chester from the Dane, Englishmen may look on that spot
in the Roman wall with the same eyes with which all
Europe looks on that spot in the wall of Aurelian where
the newest bricks of all tell us where the army of united
Italy entered her capital.

But the two great East- Saxon sieges of this memorable
year have more than a local interest, Tliey were the last

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