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NOTES ON THE BRASS OF ANDREW
BY A. OLIVER, ESQ.
THE accompanying Plate is from a rubbing of the brass of Andrew Evyngar, A.D. 1535, in All Hallows, Barking. It is inlaid in a slab, round which is an incised marginal inscription. The left side of the slab has been destroyed, together with the sentence. Traces may be seen of the evangelistic symbols.
The brass consists of the figures of Evyngar, his wife, son, and daughters, standing under a canopy of pointed arches which spring from side-shafts. In the centre, on a throne or a chair, is placed a pieta supported underneath by a corbel. The background is richly diapered. The figures of the personages commemorated stand on a tesselated pavement, and are turned the one towards the other. Scrolls bearing sentences issue from the mouths of Evyngar and his wife, invoking each of the divine personages placed above them. That from the man bears the words "O filii dei miserere mei"; that from the lady, "O mater dei memento mei". The figure of Evyngar is dressed in a long, loose gown with deep, full sleeves, under which is worn an under-garment; the feet are in broad-toed shoes. The wife's figure is draped in a long mantle with long gauntlet-cuffs at the wrists. Round the waist is a broad, ornamented belt with a large round buckle, from which hangs a rosary which terminates in a tassel; a large, plain hood is worn over the head. The son's dress is similar to that worn by his father, excepting the sleeves, which in this case fit close. The five daughters are placed at the side of the mother, in three rows. The two in the front row wear a dress similar to the lady's, except that the belt and rosary are omitted, their place being taken by a crossed girdle. Of the other figures, only the head-dress, which is similar to that worn by the others, is shown.
The arms of the Merchant Adventurers' Company and of the Salters' Company are placed on either side, at the top of the brass. The Merchants' mark is borne on a shield placed between the feet of the principal figure. At the bottom of the brass all that remains of the inscription is
......" OF ANDREW EVYNGAR CYTEZE' AND SALTER OF LONDON AND ELLYN HYS"
EXISTING ANALOGUES OF STONEHENGE AND AVEBURY,
FOUND IN THE
"TALAYOTS" AND "TAULAS" OF MINORCA.
BY DR. PHENÉ, F.S.A., F.R.G.S., CORRESPONDING MEMBER
(Read at Devizes, August 1880.)
AMONG the various matters connected with the strange and impressive monuments in the British Islands, to which the learned have given attention, is that of discovering some precedent or authority for the structures, or at least an example of their design or construction ; and it must be admitted that these endeavours have so far been unsuccessful. But there seems a generally received opinion that there is at least evidence in classical writers that temples prior to that of Solomon, and of course, therefore, among many nations long after, were mere enclosures open alike to the heaven above, and the winds around. It must be admitted, however, that no structure like Stonehenge has been described.
There are three points for consideration in connection with Stonehenge :-1st. It is a structure of at least two periods widely separated. The materials and dimensions of the earlier structure differ altogether from those of the later and grander erection. 2nd. It is not mentioned by writers of antiquity, unless one passage, very doubtful as to locality, be admitted. 3rd. It must have been fully known to the Romans, as Roman pottery and other remains attest; yet it is not mentioned by them. To these points a fourth may be added, viz., that it occupies a very central position amongst the great sepulchral memorials of the ancient British people, and the site was possibly a sacred locality of a still earlier race.
On the first of these points my opinion is exactly opposed to that of Mr. Cunnington, who considered that "the grand erection was first made, and the smaller circle and oval of inferior stones were raised at a later period; for" (he continues) "they add nothing to the general
grandeur of the temple, but rather give a littleness to the whole; and more particularly so if you add the two small trilithons of granite."
It is more natural to suppose that as we go back into the times of primitive occupation, the smaller stones would be erected, and the larger when wealth and power were more at command. The material of the smaller stones approximated to, and is of the class generally used by, the earlier settlers. Roman roads lead to the neighbourhood, and Roman pottery and relics have been found. I will only notice on this point that the silence of Latin writers is remarkable. It may be observed here that the handling and working of the larger stones appear unlike that of any monument of Keltic erection in Brittany or Britain.
I have been led to form some conclusions on Stonehenge and Avebury by results of an expedition lately prosecuted by me in the Mediterranean, where, in the Balearic and Italian islands (chiefly in Minorca and Sardinia), I have found monuments which appear to me, though hitherto quite undescribed, to throw much light on these structures; if not, indeed, to present analogues of construction, with additions which, I believe, are as without example as the great Wiltshire monuments themselves. These consist of enceintes surrounded by vast Cyclopean walls, within which are lofty conical erections capable of supporting a vast concourse of persons externally, and many of which are clearly connected with a part in each of such enceintes devoted to solemn rites. These reserved parts are, when the wall has not been destroyed, always surrounded by an irregular inner enclosure. Within these latter are the remains of circles of monoliths, in the centre of which, as a rule, is a lofty table or altar, known as the "Taula", composed of a large block resting horizontally on an oblong placed vertically, and forming the letter (the tau). In some cases a third stone is erected, and this has a rude capstone. It cannot be called a capital. These are rare in the present condition of these remains. They appear apparently symbolic. In short, this and the tau represent the two chief symbols of Phoenician worship.
The stone tables are very remarkable,-a vast and
heavy capstone, frequently 12 ft. long by 3 ft. wide, and 2 ft. thick, carefully fashioned, and always in the same form, is poised on a vertical oblong about 9 ft. wide, and only 1 ft. thick, standing out of the ground 9 ft., presenting a square superficies of a thin slab to the sight. There is no cement nor any mortise, and yet I ascended, in all parts of Minorca, with other persons, on to the capstone without causing the least oscillation. In one case, however, at Torrella Fu La, at what was evidently the grand temple, the horizontal stone of the chief table has a mortise, into which the upright is inserted as a tenon; and this is so adroitly done, although evidently not wrought with iron tools, but merely battered with stone implements, that a slight touch of the hand causes vibration, though the stone is perfectly safe, and the natives assert that it vibrates constantly in a high wind.
Here we have an approach to the mortise and tenon system of Stonehenge, the only example I am aware of. In several cases, at remote distances, in Minorca are found the upright columns with rude caps, arranged in the form of the trilithons of Stonehenge, though with the capstones and a rude transverse block or lintel above, forming a construction of five stones in lieu of three. Locally these are called dolmens, and in several instances there are pure trilithons, or one block resting on two uprights.
The great enceintes generally contain three vast conical erections called "Talayots", apparently intended for different purposes. Some are solid, with an external ascent, clearly watch-towers, or serving also, it may be, as places whence the ceremonies in the sacred enclosure might be observed. Some are hollow, with doorways high up above the ground, indicating places of refuge or depositories for valued articles. There are others, again, the purposes of which are less apparent.
The grand temple, surrounded on all sides, and at distances of some miles, by these lofty cones, is in the form of a pyramid, with the angles rounded off; an immensely strong structure, and not dissimilar, in the size of its enormous blocks and the thickness of its walls, to the well-known Cyclopean works at Tiryns in Greece. Many of the stones are 9 ft. long by 3 ft. to 5 ft. thick.