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Wiltshire Archæological and Natural History Society,


August 23rd, 24th, and 25th, 1893.

W. CRIPPS, Esq., C.B., F.S.A.,


HE Annual Meeting of 1892 was held in conjunction with the Summer Meeting of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archæological Society at Cirencester, where the Society had never met before, though a day was spent there during the Swindon Meeting in 1878 (vol. xiv., p. 142), somewhat later in the year than usual, owing to the original arrangements for July having been upset by the occurrence of the General Election.

The General Meeting of the Society was appointed for 11.30 on the 23rd, at the King's Head Hotel, but owing to the difficulty of getting to Cirencester so early in the day, very few Members of the Society were present, and the Report was taken as read by THE SECRETARY, the officers being formally re-elected for the ensuing year.


"Your Committee reports that it has met four times since the General Annual Meeting at Wilton last year.

"At these meetings thirty-four new Members have been elected,

** NOTE.-In compiling this report the Editor desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to the columns of the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. VOL. XXVII.-NO. LXXIX.


raising the total number of Members at the beginning of July last from three hundred and seventy-eight to three hundred and ninetyeight, in spite of losses by deaths and resignations.

"We have to record amongst the former the loss of Mr. Nightingale and Mr. Swayne, both original Members, both regular in attendance at our Annual Meetings, and both valued contributors to local history. Obituary notices of each will be found in No. 77 of the Magazine. We have also to deplore the loss of Mr. R. S. Holford, a life Member; of Miss Chafyn Grove, who added lustre to the old Wiltshire name she bore by many good and generous deeds; of Mrs. Fisher, widow of Canon Fisher, an original Member; of Mrs. Powell; and others, making ten in all; whilst we are glad to find only two have felt called upon to resign their membership. "We hope during the ensuing year to raise our numbers to something over four hundred, and to be able to maintain that number at least in future years.

"We are glad to announce that we have enlisted the services of Mr. Henry Wilkins, of Calne, Mr. C. W. Holgate, of the Palace, Salisbury, and Mr. Joshua W. Brooke, of Marlborough, as Honorary Local Secretaries. Mr. Wilkins takes the place of Mr. Plenderleath, whose removal from the county causes the loss of an active and useful Member. Mr. Holgate takes the place of Mr. Swayne, and gives promise of much assistance to us in the south of the county, where we need help. The extraordinary collection of antiquities, more especially of flints and Roman coins, made by Mr. Brooke in the neighbourhood of Marlborough within a very short period of time makes it matter for congratulation that he has consented to take an active share in the working of our Society.

"We call attention with great regret to its being the third and last year of office of our President, General Pitt-Rivers; unless his health will permit, and he can be persuaded to confer upon us the great favour of consenting to hold office for another year.

"Numbers 76 and 77 of the Magazine have been issued during the past year, both containing much interesting information. For the increased number of illustrations-adding much to the interest of the articles-we have to thank the writers who in many cases

have borne the cost of them.

The Wiltshire Glossary' is a distinct addition to our store of local information. It will be seen from the lists of Additions to the Museum and Library' at the end of these two numbers that our grounds for an appeal for additional space become every year more urgent. We are almost compelled now to decline the offer of anything which is not directly connected with the county. Amongst the additions to the Library we call especial attention to Mr. Nightingale's very complete work on' The Church Plate of the County of Wilts'; to the large volume of 'Original Drawings of the Church Plate of North Wilts'; and to the third vol. of General Pitt-Rivers' most elaborate work describing his Excavations of Wiltshire Earthworks.

"The Librarian of the British Museum recently made a public appeal for copies of election literature, pamphlets, addresses, portraits, &c. We did the same, and have received some replies.

"As to finance, the account of receipts and disbursements for the year 1891 is printed at the end of the last number of the Magazine. It may be observed that during the year only two hundred and sixty-two Members paid their subscriptions for the year as against two hundred and eighty who did so in 1890. This goes far to account for the fact that the total amount received for subscriptions in 1891 is about £26 less than in 1890. We would again strongly urge upon Members the desirability of punctual payment of their subscriptions as they fall due on the 1st of January in each year. The amount received for payment on admission to the Museum does not appear to show an increase of attendance in proportion to the increase in the value and interest of our collections. Two numbers only of the Magazine having been printed and paid for within the year the cost of this item is less than in 1890, when three numbers were paid for. Considerable expense had to be incurred at the Museum in connection with the public sewers, through which rats had worked up under our floors. The balance carried forward to this year's account is nearly £30 less than last year, chiefly owing to the large amount of unpaid subscriptions.

"Canon Jackson's Wiltshire Collections were referred to in our report last year, and some discussion arose at the Meeting with

respect to them. It is very desirable that we should, as a Society, keep in mind that these collections-the work of a lifetime and the value of which it is difficult to estimate-are deposited with the Society of Antiquaries at Burlington House. It is hoped that they may soon be catalogued, and that we may be furnished with a copy. "A much needed catalogue of our books, prints, documents, and papers is being prepared by our Librarian, Mr. Bell; and we are indebted to another diligent Member, Mr. Willis, for undertaking to catalogue the tokens, which have been considerably added to of late.

"The amount subscribed towards the cost of enlarging the Society's Museum as a memorial to the late Canon Jackson is not sufficient to enable the Committee to carry out Mr. Ponting's design. The amount promised is £259 138., of which £121 168. has been paid into the bank.

"The Committee has under consideration a modified scheme which it is hoped to carry out. Suggestions have been made of economical or temporary structures, but the Committee, however much the mere acquisition of space may be an object, does not intend to lose sight of that dignity which should be a characteristic of a memorial of Canon Jackson. Subscribers have been requested in the Magazine to pay their promised subscriptions to the Secretaries, and it is hoped they will do so.

"Before concluding this report the Committee considers that it is not travelling beyond its province if attention is called to some notable works of preservation of ancient buildings within the county which have been recently accomplished. The completion of the important work of restoration-or rather of repair on most conservative lines at Edington Church; and the work now going on at Ramsbury Church, where the fine old roof of the nave has been happily saved, are matters for congratulation. The finding of the Saxon stones at Ramsbury, the careful restoration of the unique octagonal sacristy at Enford, the work done at the Churches of Froxfield, Upton Lovel, and Tytherington, and at the Old Manor House at South Wraxall are all matters of interest to the archæologists of the county. It is, moreover, a pleasure to the Committee

to record that most of these works have been carried out under the superintendence of Mr. Ponting, a native of the county, and a Member of the Society, to whose assistance in making the Annual Excursions of real interest, and in many other ways, they are greatly indebted.

"In looking forward to the future we feel that a vast deal yet remains to be done before the subjects dealt with by the Society can be said to be exhausted.

"New lights are constantly being cast on old material, whilst the shadows of doubt sometimes thrown on old sources of information need constant investigation.

"One by one our founders and supporters are removed from our midst, but it is hoped new hands and new minds may be found to take up the work so carefully and fondly dealt with in the past.

"We feel certain that we may look forward to an increase of prosperity for our Society, to an increase of its Members, of its means, and of its value and importance in the eyes of all intelligent and patriotic Wiltshiremen."

The Gloucestershire Society having in the meantime concluded their business meeting, the Members of the Wiltshire Society joined them in the Town Hall at 12 o'clock, where MR. WILFRED CRIPPS, C.B., as Chairman of the Local Committee, gave the Members of both Societies a very hearty welcome to Cirencester.

SIR JOHN DORRINGTON, Bart., then expressed the very great regret of the Gloucestershire Society that General Pitt-Rivers, F.R.S., F.S.A., the President of the Wiltshire Society, was prevented by the state of his health from presiding over both the Societies at the Meeting, and proposed that in his absence Mr. Wilfred Cripps, C.B., the well-known author of "Old English Plate," should be invited to act as President of the Meeting, a proposal which MR. MEDLICOTT, on behalf of our own Society, cordially seconded.

MR. CRIPPS then took the chair, and after referring in a few words to the great work accomplished by General Pitt-Rivers in many ways for the advancement of archæology, proceeded to give an interesting address on the early history of Cirencester, stating

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