CHAP. XXIV. OF ANTIQUITIES FOUNID
HAUING taken some occasion to speake here and there in this treatise of antiquities, it shall not be amis to deale yet more in this chapter, with some of them apart, & by themselues, whereby the secure authoritie of the Romans ouer this Iland maie in some cases more manifestlie appeare. For such was their possession of this land on this side of the Tine, that they held not one or two, or a few places onelie vnder their subiection, but all the whole countrie from east to west, from the Tine to the British sea, so that there was no region void of their gouernance: notwithstanding that vntill the death of Lucius, and extinction of his issue, they did permit the successors of Lud and Cimbaline to reigne and rule amongest thenm, though vnder a certeine tribute, as else-where I haue declared. The chéefe cause that vrgeth me to speake of antiquities, is the paines that I haue taken to gather great numbers of them togither, intending (if cuer my Chronologie shall happen to come abroad) to set downe the liuelie portraitures of euerie emperour ingrauen in the same: also the faces of Pompeie, Crassus, the seuen kings of the Romans, Cicero, and diuerse other, which I haue prouided readie for the purpose, beside the monuments and liuelie images of sundrie philosophers, and kings of this Iland, since the time of Edward the Confessor. Wherof although presentlie I want a few, yet I doo not doubt but to obteine them all, if friendship at the leastwise procured for monie shall be able to preuaile. But as it hath doone hitherto, so the charges to be emploied vpon these brasen or copper images, will hereafter put by the impression of that treatise: whereby it maie come to passe, that long trauell shall soone proue to b spent in vaine, and much cost come to verie small successe. Whereof yet I force not greatlie, sith by this means I haue reaped some commoditie vnto my selfe, by searching of the histories, which often minister store of examples readie to be vsed in my function, as occasion shall mooue me. But to procéed with my purpose.
Before the comming of the Romans, there was a kind of copper monie currant here in Britaine, as Caesar confesseth in the fift booke of his Commentaries, but I find not of what maner it was. Hereto he addeth a report of certeine rings, of a proportionate weight, which they vsed in his time, in stead likewise of monie. But as hitherto it hath not bene my lucke (I saie) to haue the certeine view of anie of these, so after the comming of the Romans, they inforced vs to abandon our owne, and receiue such imperiall monies or coines, as for the paiment of their legions was dailie brought ouer vnto them. What coines the Romans had, it is easie to be knowne, and from time to tithe much of it is found in manie places of this Iland, as well of gold and siluer, as of copper, brasse, and other mettall, much like stéele, almost of euerie emperour. So that I account it no rare thing to haue of the Roman coine, albeit that it still represent an image of our captiuitie, and male be a good admonition for vs, to take heed how we yéeld our selues to the regiment of strangers. Of the store of these monies, found vpon the Kentish coast, I haue alreadie made mention in the description of Richborow, and chapter of lies adiacent vnto the British Albion, and there shewed also how simple fishermen haue had plentie of them, and that the conies in making profers and holes to bréed in, haue scraped them out of the ground in verie great abundance. In speaking also of S. Albans, in the chapter of townes and villages, I haue not omitted to tell what plentie of these coines haue bene gathered there: wherfore I shall not need here to repeat. the same againe. Howbeit this is. certeine, that the most part of all these antiquities, to be found
within the land, & distant from the shore, are to be gotten either in the ruines of ancient cities and townes decaied, or in inclosed burrowes, where their legions accustomed sometime to winter, as by experience is dailie confirmed. What store hath béene séene of them in the citie of London, which they called Augusta, of the legion that soiourned there, & likewise in Yorke named also Victrix, of the legion Victoria, or Altera Roma (because of the beautie and fine building of the same) I my selfe can partlie witnesse, that haue séene, & often had of them, if better testimonie were wanting. The like I maie affirme of Colchester, where those of Claudius, Adrian, Traian, Vespasian, and other, are oftentimes plowed vp, or found by other. means: also of Cantorburie, Andredeschester (now decaied) Rochester, then called Durobreuum, Winchester, and diuerse other beyond the Thames, which for breuitie sake I doo passe ouer in silence. Onlie the chiefe of all and where most are found in deed, is néere vnto Carleon and. Cairgwent in Southwales, about Kenchester, thrée miles aboue Hereford, Aldborow, Ancaster, Bramdon, Dodington, where a spurre and péece of a chaine of gold were found in king Henrie the eight his daies, besides much of the said Roman coine, Binchester, Camalet, Lacocke vpon Auon, and Lincolne, Dorchester, Warwike, and Chester, where they are often had in verie great abundance. It seemeth that Ancaster hath beene a great thing, for manie square & colored pauements, vaults, and arches are yet found, and often laid open by such as dig and plow in the fields about the same. And amongst these, one Vresbie or Rosebie, a plowman, did ere vp not long since a stone like a trough, couered with another stone, wherein was great foison of the aforesaid coines. The like also was séene not yet fortie yeares agone about Grantham. But in king Henrie the eight his daies, an husbandman had far better lucke at Harleston, two miles from the aforesaid place, where he found not onelie great plentie of this coine, but also an huge brasse pot, and therein a large helmet of pure gold, richlie fretted with pearle, and set with all kind of costlie stones: he tooke vp also chaines much like vnto beads of siluer, all which, as being (if a man might ghesse anie certeintie by their beautie) not likelie to. be long hidden, he presented to quéene Katharine then lieng at Peterborow, and therewithall a few ancient rolles of parchment written long agone, though so defaced with mouldinesse, and rotten for age, that no man could well hold them in his. hand. without falling into péeces, much lesse read them by reason of their blindnesse.
In the beginning of the same kings daies also at Killeie a man found as he eared, an arming girdle, harnessed with pure gold, and a great massie pomell with a crosse hilt for a sword of the same mettall, beside studs and harnesse for spurs, and the huge long spurs of like stuffe, whereof one doctor Ruthall got a part into his hands. The boroughs or buries, wherof I spake before, were certeine plots of ground, wherin the Romane souldiers did vse to lie when they kept in the open fields as chosen places, from whence they might haue easie accesse vnto their aduersaries, if anie outrage were wrought or rebellion mooued against them. And as these were the vsuall aboads for those able legions that serued dailie in the wars, so had they other certeine habitations for the old and forworne souldiers, whereby diuerse cities grew in time to be replenished with Romane colonies, as Cairleon, Colchester, Chester, and such other, of which, Colchester bare the name of Colonia long time, and. wherein A. Plautius builded a temple vnto the goddesse of Victorie (after the departure of Claudius) which Tacitus calleth "Aram sempiternæ dominationis," a perpetuall monument of that our British seruitude. But to returne vnto our borowes, they were generallie walled about with stone wals, and so large in compasse that some did conteine thirtie, fourtie, three score, or eightie acres of ground within their limits: they had also diuerse gates or ports vnto each of them, and of these not a few remaine to be seene in our time, as one for example not far from great Chesterford in Essex, neere to the limits of Cambridgshire, which I haue often viewed, and wherein the compasse of the verie wall with the places where the gates stood is easie to be discerned: the like also is to be séene at a place within two miles south of Burton, called the Borow hils. In these therefore and such like, and likewise at Euolsburg, now S. Neots, or S. Needs, and sundrie other places, especiallie vpon the shore and coasts of Kent, as Douer,
Rie, Romneie, Lid, &c: is much of their coine also to be found, and some péeces or other are dailie taken vp, which they call Borow pence, Dwarfs monie, Hegs pence, Feirie groats, Jewes monie, & by other foolish names not woorthie to be remembred. At the comming of the Saxons, the Britons vsed these holds as rescues for their cattell in the dale and night, when their enimies were abroad; the like also did the Saxons against the Danes, by which occasions (and now and then by carieng of their stones to helpe forward other buildings néere at hand) manie of them were throwne downe and defaced, which otherwise might haue continued for a longer time, and so your honour would sale, if you should happen to peruse the thickenesse and maner of building of those said wals and borowes. It is not long since a siluer saucer of verie ancient making was found néere to Saffron Walden, in the open field among the
Sterbirie a place where an armic hath lien.
Sterbirie a Sterbirie hils, and eared vp by a plough, but of such massie greatnesse, that it weighed better than twentie ounces, as I haue heard reported. But if I should stand in these things vntill I had said all that might be spoken of them, both by experience and testimonie of Leland in his Commentaries of Britaine, and the report of diuerse yet liuing, I might make a greater chapter than would be either conuenient or profitable to the aeader: wherefore so much onelie shall serue the tune for this time as I haue said alreadie of antiquities found within our Iland, especiallie of come, whereof I purposed chiefelie to intreat.