« PreviousContinue »
and protect Antiquarian remains in the County, whether they were prehistoric, Roman, Danish, medieval or even of later date; and especially to print calendars and abstracts of records which necessarily formed the basis of the County history; and lastly to arrange excursions in suitable weather, it being thought that they would be appreciated by members and would be likely to arouse interest in antiquarian matters among those resident in the places visited. It had been suggested that the first excursion would most appropriately be made to Thoroton and its neighbourhood, in which there was a large amount of material of interest, such as Churches and ancient houses in that district, where a warm welcome would be extended.
MR. PHILLIMORE stated that the Society had received offers of papers or other help from Mr. W. Stevenson, Mrs. Chaworth Musters, Mr. B. I. Whitaker, Dr. G. W. Marshall, Dr. Mackie, Rev. J. Standish, Miss Freer, Miss Dobbin, and others, and suggested as amongst the subjects which might engage the attention of the Society, Inquisitiones Post Mortem, the Wills at Southwell and Nottingham, Marriage Licences, Feet of Fines, Assize Rolls, Monumental Inscriptions, Brasses, Church Plate, Church Bells, etc.
The DUKE OF ST. ALBANS then moved :
That it is expedient to establish a Society for promoting the study of the History and Antiquities of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, and that such a Society accordingly be now constituted under the title of "The Thoroton Society," in honour of the County historian.
He remarked that they must all regret the absence of Lord Hawkesbury, and the cause, because it was known that the formation of that Society was greatly due to the energy and the tact which he had displayed. He need not say there were few counties of the size of Nottinghamshire which had a more ancient history and more interesting events to chronicle. He was glad that such a Society had been formed, as it would prevent much of antiquarian interest being lost. There was now a
house at Red Hill, in the parish of Arnold, which few knew was once the residence of the Bourbon family for hunting purposes during the French war. All these matters, as time went on, ran the risk of being forgotten, but a Society of that kind would preserve them. Under these circumstances, it gave him great pleasure to move the resolution, and he thought they would all agree that a more appropriate name for the Society could not have been chosen, and they would be glad to pay such a compli ment to the man who had done so much on behalf of the History of Nottinghamshire. He would like also to suggest that tablets might be placed on buildings of historical interest for the purpose of preserving to the public the knowledge of the associations which clustered around them.
The MAYOR OF NOTTINGHAM seconded the resolution. He desired at the outset to express his sense of personal regret that Lord Hawkesbury was unable to come there that afternoon, but he was, he was sure, only voicing the sentiments of that meeting when he said they were heartily pleased to find the Duke of St. Albans in the chair, and that they hoped to see him on many future occasions. It was a matter of some surprise that a Society having such objects as that, had not previously been called into existence. His Grace had referred to the fact that other counties already possessed Antiquarian Societies, some of them of comparatively old standing, and he was satisfied that in that town and neighbourhood there was a great number of men who took considerable interest in antiquarian matters. Possibly the reason why the Society had not been inaugurated before might be that Nottinghamshire had been thought not to afford very great scope for the work of an organisation of that kind. They had not, perhaps, the interesting remains or the old memories which clustered round so many of the counties in the South and West of England, nor had they the historical associations which were linked with the capital city of the neighbouring county of York, the recorded history of which went back to the far off Roman days. At the same time they would be able to accomplish much valuable work, and he hoped that when their Society got into full working order
they would labour with advantage for many years to come. The operations of the Society would not only afford recreation, but improvement to those who took part in them. He trusted that the Committee would take up the work in an energetic spirit, and that the Society might prove to be, if one of the youngest, yet one of the most successful.
The resolution was then put and carried unanimously.
The Rev. S. F. Creswell, D.D., then moved the following Resolution:
That the first Members of the Society shall be those ladies and gentlemen who before the 20th June shall signify their willingness to join, and whose names are approved by the Council; that the annual subscription shall be fixed at half-a-guinea, with power for the Council (if they shall deem it expedient) to impose an entrance fee of the same amount after two hundred members have been elected; and that the funds of the Society shall be devoted to promoting the study of the History and Antiquities of this County, and to printing Historical matter relating to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
Dr. CRESWELL said, that, being called on suddenly to occupy the honourable position of proposing that resolution, and having been non-resident for many years, he wished to make it known that he was born in that town, and that his family before him for about a century and a half were connected with the printing of the literature which went from Nottingham. Nottingham was a great centre for printing in those days. Books came from Staffordshire, Warwickshire, London, and Yorkshire. There were also presses even in the little town of Market Harborough. Some of those books were very interesting and very scarce indeed; but their quality and originality greatly deteriorated at the time of the first French Revolution, probably owing to stage coaches taking the business to great centres. When he, Dr. Creswell, took his Nottinghamshire printed books to Dr. Panizzi at the British Museum with a view to gaining advice useful to the history of literature,
he was assured by him that the collection was very curious, and was the first of the kind ever formed, though of course there had been collections of authors. Much of the county had been forest, and part was on sand, and many of the buildings which were built of sandstone had decayed and were lost. He thought himself that Nottinghamshire was occupied by the Romans, and he should like to see that part of the history of Nottingham taken up by someone thoroughly experienced in the matter of roadmaking. He had a very great distrust of the professional Roman historian on these subjects; those who should take them up were persons who had been engineers in remote colonies, and who had had to do with cutting roads and educating the natives in that work. He belonged to the Norfolk and Norwich Archæological Society, but he might say that it had always been a matter of regret to him that he did not live in his native county. Useful hints might be gathered from his present Society—the punctual gathering in of subscriptions; the maintenance of a good balance; and the publication of leading Archæological works. They had, besides other local works, re-edited and re-published Husenbeth's Emblems of the Saints, out of surplus funds. He had that morning gone over the route of the new railway. That route he used to think was on the line of an old Roman road towards Stoney Street, and he should like the Society to make investigation as to whether there ever was a Roman road towards the Trent. He had great pleasure in proposing the resolution.
Mr. J. A. H. GREEN said he thought the resolution dealt with two very important things-how they should get the money and how they should spend it. The resolution was very explicit on both these points, and it did not need the words of any seconder to commend it to the meeting. It might be that the feeling there was in the minds of a good many people, and which the Mayor had given voice to that afternoon, namely, that Nottinghamshire was not so rich in historical and antiquarian objects of interest as a good many other counties, was due to the fact that hitherto there had been no Thoroton Society to make those particular objects of interest better known. Dr. Creswell had indicated
several objects to which they might devote their efforts, and he hoped that that meeting was the forerunner of many pleasant and useful gatherings under the auspices of that Society. He believed that the resolution now before the meeting was one calculated to increase its usefulness, and he had very great pleasure in seconding it.
The Resolution was unanimously carried.
Mr. J. C. WARREN proposed the following Resolution :
That the Rules already prepared by the Provisional Secretaries shall be the Rules of the Society, until confirmed or altered at the first general meeting of the Society; and that the Officers of the Society shall consist of a President, Vice-Presidents, Chairman of Council, Council, Treasurer, and Honorary Secretaries, to be elected annually.
The Rev. J. STANDISH seconded the Resolution, on the ground that most of the rules had been thoroughly tested and improved from time to time by the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archæological Society, and that the Thoroton Society would have the benefit of Mr. Phillimore's experience of their working.
The Resolution was unanimously carried.
The Rev. T. W. SWANN, Vicar of Orston and Thoroton, proposed :
That His Grace the Duke of St. Albans, Lord Lieutenant of the County, be invited to become the first President of the Society,
He congratulated the Society upon the selection of its first President, as he knew of no one who could give more weight and influence to the Society than the Duke of St. Albans.
Mr. WILLIAM BRADSHAW, President of the Nottingham Subscription Library, in seconding the Resolution, said they had had many evidences of the Duke of St. Albans' interest in the county.