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black and white timbered house now in process of demolition for the purpose of widening the street, I have been informed that there is a piece of freehold land covered by a brick house, occupied until his decease by the late James Wilkinson, the last of the old apothecaries in Stockport, and that every other piece of land about it is part of the glebe. Taking this circumstance with the fact that there is a precipice on each side, one to the Mersey, the other now being filled up to the Hempshaw Brook, I am disposed to believe that on this site was the Churchgate-house.
These landmarks are so fast disappearing that it must be my excuse for mentioning it in order that it may be recorded.
MENT, WITH INSCRIPTION, FROM
BY REV. HY. A. HUDSON, M.A.
HE stone, which forms the subject of this short paper, and which by the kindness of the Canonin-residence I am able to exhibit to-night, was found in the foundation of the west wall of the south porch of the cathedral in February, 1871, during alterations which were then proceeding. A detailed account of it, with illustrations, was given in Local Gleanings for January, 1880. It is also described by the late Mr. Crowther on page seven of his Architectural History of the Cathedral Church of Manchester.
The discussion upon this interesting fragment has hitherto centred upon three points: i. The date of the stone; ii. the signification of the sculpture; iii. the interpretation of the inscription; and upon all of these considerable diversity of opinion has been expressed. I hope to be able to-night to clear up the doubt upon one at least of these points, and at the same time to contribute something towards the elucidation of the others.
The stone is a small one, measuring thirteen and a quarter inches by eight and three quarter inches. The sculpture "represents an angel, with expanded wings, holding a scroll, on which is an incised inscription in uncial letters" of somewhat rude and irregular character. The scroll being too small to hold the whole of the legend the letters are continued in two additional lines of equal length cut into the plain surface of the stone.
I. As the elucidation of the inscription may help to determine the other points at issue I will address myself to this first. Many conjectures have been made, both as to the characters and their interpretation. For example, Dr. Bruce, of Newcastle, suggests that "the characters or some of them are Oghams, or at least strongly resemble that character." Dr. Graves, of Limerick, on the other hand, "thinks they are not Oghams, but is at a loss to say what they are if not Runes." The Rev. Isaac Taylor prefers to consider them "Anglo-Saxon characters or Irish uncials of ninth or tenth centuries."
I am indebted to the Rev. E. F. Letts for an ingenious attempt on the part of Professor Sayce, of Oxford, to construe the letters as a Latin invocation addressed to St. Michael, as follows:
ME(AM) AN(IMAM) S(ANC)T(E MICHAE) LAS
D(O) M(IN)E CO(?ELI) ME IN ET(E)R (N) A
(Holy Michael, lord of heaven, guard my soul for ever.) This, however, makes such demands upon elision and imagination as to make it untenable. The credit of successfully deciphering the legend belongs to Canon Hicks, of the cathedral, whose fame in connection with Greek inscriptions is well known. Without in a single