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half way between Cape Clear and Santander, opening on a
coast where deep water would at once be reached — in fact, a
bold coast in the form of a great bight. The Severn would, if
not a tributary to this mighty stream, have its mouth close to it.

Now the drainage basin of this supposed great river would
contain all the localities where the fossil hippopotamus has
been found.

The Baltic and all the rivers of Great Britain to the north
of Scarborough would in the same case drain into a great
ravine, which would run along the coast of Norway. In this
area I am not aware that the hippopotamus has been found.
Now this looks as if the existing formation of the drainage
systems of these countries is in the main identical with that
existing at the continental period when this amphibious animal
was an inhabitant of this country. For one can hardly con-
ceive that the hijjpopotamus could have been the inhabitant
of a river which discharged its waters into the Arctic sea,
which the Kirkdale and Thames animals must have done had
the Straits of Dover not been open to the passage of at
least fresh water. Further consideration also shows that
denudation would in this case mainly affect only the higher
levels, as the lower levels would be mainly beneath the sea
during the more severer conditions of the climate, and would
therefore be more affected by deposition than by denuda-
tion. If, therefore, we find, as we do by examination of the
soundings, that the courses of existing rivers are continued
beneath the sea by channels of sensible depth at the bottom
of submarine valleys, allowing for local or temporary accu-
mulations, we may fairly assume that it is highly probable
that these channels are the continuations of courses of these
rivers, and that the valleys are valleys of erosion continuous
with those of the subaerial valleys which open into them, and,
though now submarine, that they were when eroded subaerial,
and had rivers flowing at the bottom of them.


Now all this favours the idea that this great ice-tide, which
Mr. Croll demonstrates to have been a highly probable conse-
quence of his astronomical conditions, has here a geological
correlation, and that the low water of this tide was contempo-
raneous with, at least, a warm climate capable of maintaining
the hippopotamus throughout the j'ear, as well as its more
active companions, the southern elephant, rhinoceros, panther,
and one or two other animals ; not to speak of the Corlicula
Jliminalis, a southern fresh-water shell, which occurs during
the same period in the old area of the Thames in incredible

The great autumn of such a great year as I speak of would
have brought the northern mammalia here.. The increasing
frosts would have forced them from the north long before the
cold could have produced an ice-cap sufficient to have sub-
merged by its attraction this country to any extent, so as to
insulate it, j)articularly if we look to the reduction of level
by denudation which must have occurred since that time.

That more than one set of these phenomena have been re-
peated since the period I speak of, to a greater or less extent,
has been clearly shown by Mr, Greikie i;i the papers I refer to,
how often it, perhaps, is the business of future geologists to
show. Mr. Greikie has certainly made out a tolerable sequence,
aiid has shown the nature of the evidence, and how it is to
' be used.

With regard to the chronological part of this question,
Mr. Croll has shown that though there were several alternations
of tetnperature, arising from astronomical causes, there were
probably two periods in which maxima of great intensity of
cold occurred — one about 800,000 years ago, and another
about 200,000, and that since this 200,000-year period there
has been, though probably more or less interrupted, a gradual
amelioration] of condition to this present day. It is in the
period between the 800,000 years and the 200,000 that we
might from astronomical causes have expected conditions

president's address. 13

more favourable than those which now exist. Which of the
two great maxima of cold were the more intense there may
be some doubt about. The main j)oint on wliich I think both
astronomers and geologists are agreed is, that the period
which immediately preceded the present, or the quaternary, is
such as I have described. And there is a probability that the
800,000-year period marks the close of the pliocene, while
the 200,000-year period marks the commencement of the
squeezing out of the mammoth and his companions between
the severe cold advancing from the north and neolithic man
from the south. This process must have been a long one ;
and in Siberia the mammoth, and in America the mastodon,
may have struggled on to a very late date. I think it more
than probable that what I have said refers to covmtries in
which we live.

However, as I said before, the evidence we have is very
partial and fragmentary. It is for future geologists to fix
these numerical laws, wliich are at present being tentatively
treated. If 200,000 years appears too long for the period of
the post-glacial period, then we have for the present no
geologic trace of Mr. ^Croll's 800,000-year period; but the
evidence of this may yet appear, and then we should have to
re-cast our views. It must be remembered that according
to this view the 200,000-year period does not represent the
advent of neolithic men in these latitudes ; but the gap which,
is on all sides recognised as being great between the disappear-
ance here of palaeolithic, and the advent of neolithic men.

In working out problems of this kind it must be remembered
that those who are working them are seeking for truth alone.
They are not seeking to overturn any given theory, much less
are they seeking to extinguish that on which all our dearest
hopes rest. If some of our discoveries appear to be incom-
patible with a cosmogony which is more or less mixed up with,
an early education in religious matters, let us rather imagine
that we may have been mistaken in our so mixing up matters


which have really little or no connexion together, excepting
in a very broad and necessary sense. Every truth must be
compatible with all other truth. If what we have hitherto
regarded as truth prove to be speculation resting upon imper-
fect interpretation, and to be incompatible with that which we
can observe and know, let us endeavour to find out where our
mistake is, and not rashly assume that the discoverer is a
wilful assailant of that which we have hitherto regarded as
holy, often simply because it has been incomprehensible to us ;
and least of all let us not despise those who advance oj)inions
which, because they are not comprehended by us, we imagine
are beyond the range of human intellect.

The President concluded by calling upon

Mr. G. T. Clark who read a paper on "Taunton
Castle," which is given in Part II., page 60.

The President moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Clark
for his valuable dissertation, which, he said, showed the
importance of obtaining the assistance of gentlemen who
had given such subjects their attention, with very much
skill, and brought to bear their experience derived in other
parts of the country. He was not the only one in the
room who had learned a great deal from the paper.

The vote of thanks thus called for having been passed
with unanimity,

Mr. W. A. Jones, referring to Mr. Clark's expression
of regret that water had disappeared from the Castle moat,
said he had discovered an entry in the records of the
Manor as far back as the time of James I. that William
Hill rented the free fishing from the water-gate as ftu' as
the entrance, with all the trees and other profit, leaving to
the Lord of the Manor the right of free entry.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., having been invited to speak
upon the topic, said that his friend Mr. Clark was so much
better acquainted with the subject that he had nothing he


wished to add. Mr. Clark had given the most excellent
account they could have, and a better summary he had
never heard. He asked whether the mounds which Mr.
Clark only slightly mentioned as being of the Roman
period might not, as a general rule, be put down to the
8th or the beginning of the 9th century.

Mr. Clark : Yes ; but I took it from the 8th to the
10th century.

The President announced that they had now a very
rare opportunity of adding a very important item to the
parochial history of the county. The Provost of Eton
had brought down with him a large number of mediteval
deeds connected with the parish of Stoke Courcy, and had
prepared a calendar, which he had been kind enough to
promise to revise and place on their Transactions. Those
documents would be most important in preparing a history
of the county, and he hoped that the example would be
but the commencement of many others.

The Rev. The Provost of Eton, at the President's
invitation, remarked that the rare and large collection of
documents which he had brought with him, were interesting
in a great many ways. They contained records of many
of the old families in the county from about the year 1160
to 1440. Some of the deeds were very old, and the Priory
to which they referred was founded about 1150 or 1170.
He had made a list of the documents, which though im-
perfect, he should be happy to enlarge and place at the
disposal of the Society.

The Reverend Prebendary Scarth said that he had
found an old deed in connection with his parish, dated
1447, relating to the transfer of some property from the
rector of the church to the parish.

Mr. J. Batten remarked that the seals attached to the


documents brought down by the Provost of Eton were
very curious and quite unique.

The Rev. Canon Meade read a notice of a jewel — a
blue sapphire — vvhich had been lately lent by the Lord-
Lieutenant of the County to the South Kensington
Museum. The paper was as follows : —

The stone now set as a brooch, was originally a ring ;
it is a large and fine coloured blue sapphire, but the history
attached to it is that which chiefly renders it interesting.
Soon after the death of Essex, Queen Elizabeth began
to feel symptoms of that sickness which carried her to her
grave. Neglected by most of her courtiers, mortified and
depressed, she had not energy or resolution to take any
definite step in preparation for the sad event which was
clearly approaching, and particularly for making known
her views with respect to the succession of the crown.
She could not bear to hear the proposal mooted by those
around her of sending for the King of Scots. When it
was clear that the Queen^s last hour was at hand, the
Lord Pi'ivy Seal and others of the Ministry prayed her to
name her successor. She answered, with some difficulty,
in the oracular sentence, that " Her throne was the throne
of Kings, and that she would have no mean person to suc-
ceed her.^^ It was at this time, the tradition says, at the
very moment of the Queen's death. Lady Scrope, who
was in attendance at Kensington Palace, looked out of a
window and, perceiving her cousin Kobert Cary (after-
wards Earl of Monmouth) passing by, threw out to him
the ring, pointing at the same time with earnest gesticu-
lation to the North. Cary, whether forewarned or not,
understood what was intended, took horse, and rode to
Scotland, and, obtaining an audience of King James in-
formed him of the Royal death at Kensington Palace,


exhibiting the ring, as, it is supposed, had been previously
agreed on between the King of Scots and Lady Scrope.
The service thus rendered was a most important one, for
intrigues at this time were deeply and widely laid to pre-
vent the succession of James to the throne. Strict orders
had been given to close all the doors of the Palace where
the Queen died, while an equally rigid watch was main-
tained at Whitehall, and measures were taken to prevent
any information being sent from thence to Holyrood.
The story of the ring is mentioned in Robertson^s History
of Scotland ; it is also given in the " Life of the Earl of
Monmouth," upon whom King James after his accession
to the English throne conferred this title, in acknowledg-
ment of the service rendered to him. There is also a
small volume in the library at Marston, drawn up by John,
Earl of Orrery, which gives an account of the circumstances
to which I have ventured to direct your attention. The
jewel now no longer a ring, has been sent by its present
possessor to the South Kensington Museum : it is worthy
of much admiration for its intrinsic beauty, and is in-
teresting also from the purpose it once served, when the
succession of the true heir to the throne was secured to
this kingdom. The jewel came into the possession of the
Earl of Cork through John, Earl of Cork and Orrery,
who lived in the early part of the last century, and to
whom it was given by his intimate friend, the Duchess of
Buckingham, a natural daughter of James II. The Earl
of Monmouth, the loyal messenger who bore the important
tidings from Kensington Palace to King James, is no
longer represented in the British peerage. He had three
sons, none of whom had male issue, whereby the title
became extinct. He was himself a man of no mean ex-
traction, but was descended from Lord Hunsdon, a cousin
VOL. XVIII., 1872, PART I. c


of Queen Elizabeth, being the son of Mary Boleyn, sister
of Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII. For the substance
of these remarks I am indebted to the present Countess of
Cork, who has kindly permitted me to communicate them
to the Society.

Canon Meade added that he had no doubt that the
Society would duly appreciate the liberality and the good
taste of the present possessor of the jewel, who, instead of
keeping it in its box, had sent it to be exhibited.

The President pointed out that this was another in-
stance of the value of the Association, in bringing to public
notice things which were frequently hidden in a very
unsatisfactory way in private chests. They were deeply
obliged to Canon Meade, and also to the Lord-Lieutenant
and the Countess of Cork for this privilege.

The Rev. T. Hugo tendered to the President the thanks
of the meeting for his bold address, so full of criticism,
and asked that it might be printed and published.

The President, in briefly acknowledging the cordial
cheers which were given, intimated that they were quite
welcome to have the address published in their Proceedings
if they thought it worthy.

A move was then made for a tour of inspection of some
of the objects of antiquarian and historical interest in
the town,

was first inspected under the guidance of Mr. G. T.
Clark. On emerging from the hall the company found
themeelves in the inner court of the Castle facing the
gateway. Mr. Clark remarked that the inner front of

* A paper on the Castle, by the late Rev. F. Warre, together with a
plan and some engravings, will be found in Vol. IV. of the Society's


the gateway seemed to be later than the front towards the
road, the latter being in the Early Decorated style. The
party having been met and welcomed to the interior of
the Castle by Mr. Gillett, the present occupant, the base
of the Norman keep was first entered. Mr. Clark said
it was very unusual to have the basement of a Norman
keep arched, as that was; and there were signs of artificial
work about it. Norman keeps wei*e *^enerally floored
with timber, and where they were vaulted this had been
put in at a later period. The tidy walls, however, were
fatal to any examination. There was an old staircase
which, unfortunately, had been turned into a wine cellar.
The arch had been found to be three feet thick and the
wall 14 feet thick, which was thicker than usual, but it
was to be explained by the fact that thick walls were
generally built when the foundation was not very good.
Having led the party through to the lawn on the west, he
told them they were standing where the old ditch was ; it
had been filled In by Sir Benjamin Hammet — a great
benefactor of this town, but who, unfortunately, played
havoc with Its archsEological remains. The round tower
looked modern, but the Norman buttresses were old. The
centre pilaster strip was lower than the window. Most
likely the entrance to the keep was on the other side, and
was sure to have been on the first floor, for the keeps
seldom had a subterranean chamber. The specimens of
the Norman pilaster were about as good as he ever saw.
Leading on to the north, he said they were then on the
other face of the keep, with the river Tone, from which
the town derives Its name, behind them. On the first
story to the right he pointed out a deep narrow opening,
which he confessed he could not explain. Probably, he
said, it was Early English work, but it was too high for a


door, and did not look altogether like a window. The
pattern of the staircase no doubt was Norman, but it
looked as if it had been rebuilt in later times. No doubt
there were windows all along between the buttresses.

Mr. W. A. Jones asked whether there was likely to
have been a wall between the hall and the river.

Mr. Clark replied in the negative — only a breastwork.
He pointed out a postern, with a segmental arch, which,
he said, might be of any date. Passing to the east, into
the space now used as a playground for a school, he said
they were then in what was in some respects decidedly the
most interesting part of the Castle — an artificial earth-
work raised many feet above the ground around, and, no
doubt, composed of the earth thrown out of the ditch.
Here, he took it, the Saxon King had his citadel, which
was very probably constructed of timber, because heavy
masonry could not be put upon newly-made ground. It
could be seen from the cut of it that it was artificial, and
there was room for a very considerable house. When the
Norman came he, according to their usual way, built his
wall against the mound, and used the mound as a terrace
from which to attack the people outside. That gave a
great military advantage, which the Normans knew so
well how to employ. The space was now rectangular, but
probably it had been trimmed ; and there were enough
remains to make it exceedingly probable that that was the
real citadel of the Castle, and upon which, in the 8th cen-
tury, the Saxon King put his residence. Therefore it
would be the oldest inhabited part of the town, which the
people ought to value, because they had in it the earliest
evidence of military work, and should point it out as the
most extraordinary and interesting part in the history of
the town. Tlie mill, he observed, had been so trans-


mogrified that they could see very little of the original
work. There was a curious ancient arch between the
citadel-ground and the mill, which was probably an ancient

Mr. Clark, making for Castle Greenj halted in front
of the gateway, and said that they were then standing on
the site of the ancient drawbridge and looking on the
outer face of the gate of the inner wai'd.*^ He drew atten-
tion to the insertion of the carved stone armorial bearings
of Bishop Langton just above the archway, and the arms
of Henry VII. higher up. On both sides there was a patch
of stone, which he believed were the holes through which
the chains of the drawbridge passed.

Mr. W. A. Jones mentioned that when the Castle was
sold by the late Lord of the Manor, he was not able to
sell the room over the archway. This belonged to the
tenants of the Manor of Taunton Deane, and not to the
owner of the Castle, and it was now under the charge of
the Deputy Steward, the records of the Manor being
preserved in it.

The remains of the Eastern Gate of the Castle were also
inspected, and the Members then proceeded to the

djliurrlt of St. Stai[iJ PajgilaUn^.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., drew attention to the only
two pieces of sculpture which remain of the old tower.
These are the two spandrils at the entrance, and are
original work, of the time of Henry VII., representing
the Day of Judgment and Doom.* There were also, he
pointed out, stoups for holy water on each side of the
door. The tower was one of the richest and finest ex-

* Engravings of these Spandrils will be found in the first volume of
the Society's Proceedings, p. 89.


amples of the old Somersetshire towers. It had been
carefully restored in a manner with which they could not
find fault. Upon entering the sacred edifice the visitors
were accompanied by the vicar (Rev. Prebendary Clark),
and the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells
was also present. Mr. Parker said he was sorry that he
had been called upon to speak in the church, because it
had been restored so thoroughly that it ceased to be
archaeological, and became a 19th century object; and it
was not his business to criticise modern restoration. There
were, however, remains of the old work. The roof pre-
served its original character, and respecting the decorations
they were matters of taste which it was of no use to
discuss. The character of the capitals was essentially
Somersetshire. The general style was rich Perpendicular
English. There was a peculiarity in the capital of the
chancel arch, which he believed belonged to an earlier
period than the rest. To his mind the figures in the
niches were too large ; and with regard to the painting,
unless there was good evidence of what it had been, he
would not altogether commend it. He was happy to say
that the decoration of churches was being very commonly
restored all over the country, for he did not approve of
leaving walls untidy, merely because they were ancient.
There was not the slightest doubt that the old churches
were intended to be coloured. In this intance the patterns
of the painting were not the usual patterns of the period,
and he doubted whether they were genuine. Mr. Street,
one of our first architects, and a friend of his own, was
the designer of the reredos, and it Avas not for him to find
fault with it ; but Mr. Street was too fond of making
much of his altar screen. This was very handsome in its
way, no doubt ; but the fault was that it did not stand


clear of the window, but was carried a little too high.
The carving was beautifully done. There could not be a
more thoroughly English style than that church. The
Perpendicular English was altogether peculiar to this
country. 'Ihese fine open-timbered roofs, which were the
glory of the land, w^ere as much to be admired as the
vaulted French roofs. The latter were so common in
France, because in very early days the French hit upon a
very cheap mode of vaulting, which would not cost half
the money of vaulting an English church. There was
no doubt a great advantage in vaulted roofs, as had been
recently proved in the fire at Canterbury Cathedral ; but for
ornament our roofs were much pi'cferable. Mr. Freeman
knew so much more about the local peculiarities of churches
that he would much rather he had spoken than himself.
The double aisle of the church was a peculiarity, and pro-
bably arose from the increasing wealth of the place and
the requirement for a number of chantry chapels.

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L., added a few words of
comparison of St. Mai^^s with other specimens of eccle-
siastical architecture in the country. He expressed a hope
that St. James'' tower would grow up by the side of this,
and said that though St. Mary's was the highest and most
striking tower, it did not rank so high as a work of art as
its neighbours, St. James' and Bishop's Lydeard.

was the next subject of inspection.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said it w^as an original Somerset
Perpendicular Henry VII. church. The font was a beau-
tiful piece of sculpture of its kind. The chancel window was
a modern one of painted glass. It was good of its kind,
but modern painted glass would never compare with the


old. It was one of the things in which we are behind-
hand. The arch next to the pulpit had been made of two.
He hoped that now the tower was being re-built the time
was not very far distant when the galleries would dis-
appear, as they had in other places ; for with the adoption
of open seats instead of doors there would be plenty of
room. The pulpit was nothing very particular, but a

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