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shire. Educated at Reading, he was entered at St. John's College, Oxford, in 1606, and there, under Richard Tillesley's tuition, distanced all his competitors. His Latin verses, in honour of Sir Thomas White, founder of the College, are still extant. In personal appearance Higgs was as short and insignificant as his name, but he obtained a probationer's Fellowship at Merton College in 1611, and was an efficient Proctor in 1622. While he was a Fellow of Merton, he served two small parishes in the neighbourhood of Oxford. In 1627 Mr. Higgs was appointed Chaplain to Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, sister of King Charles I., and resided at The Hague when performing the duties of his chaplaincy. While there he attained the degree of Doctor of Divinity in the famous University of Leyden A.D. 1629-30. By the influence of Archbishop Laud he was, brought to England, collated to Cliffe Rectory on the 15th February, 1629-30, appointed Chaunter or Precentor of St. David's Cathedral, and in 1638 Dean of Lichfield. He was likewise one of the chaplains to King Charles I. He was sequestered 1645 and died 1659, December 16th, and lies buried at South Stoke.-Archæologia Cantiana, Vol. XV., p. 244. R. J. FYNMORE, Sandgate.
BLEWBURY CHURCH.-The restoration of the South Aisle of this noble and most interesting Church has been commenced. The amounts required is £1002, of which £858 has been subscribed. Subscriptions may be paid to the Vicar.
REGISTERS OF ST. MARY'S CHURCH, READING.-Mr. Crawfurd has finished his work of transcription, and Vol. I. will shortly be issued. Price to subscribers one guinea.
SILCHESTER.-The excavations at Silchester are in full progress, and a large number of men are employed in the work. The foundations of another house have been discovered, and also a complete pavement, and numerous specimens of pottery and ironwork implements.
LAY SUBSIDY ROLLS.-Mr. Alfred Harrison is about to publish the Lay Subsidy Rolls for the Hundreds of Reading and Theale, which will find a hearty welcome from all who are interested in the antiquities of the neighbourhood. Mr. Elliot Stock is the publisher.
HUNGERFORD.-Again the curious ceremonies connected with the observance of Hock Tide at Hungerford have come round. The Court Leet and Court Baron have been held, and the tithing men appointed who enjoy certain unusual perquisites of office. Has the origin of these Hock Tide proceedings at Hungerford ever been investigated ?-—K. M.
HERSEY FAMILY.-Can any one oblige by suggesting a clue to the marriage of John Duncombe, of St. Martin's-in-Fields, London, and Sarah Goldwin, of Banbury, where the marriage bond is filed at Aylesbury, May 26th, 1790.HERSEY, 51, Sugland-lane, London, N.W.
MARKET AND CHURCH YARD CROSSES.-Will any of your readers kindly inform me of the existence of any church yard and market crosses in Berkshire ?— J. DENIS DE VITRE, Christ Church, Oxford.
BLAGRAVE FAMILY.-I-What was the name of the wife of John Blagrave who built Southcote Manor House? He was the mathematician and died 1611. Coates says she was a widow. 2-What was the name of the wife of Joseph Blagrave, the astrologer? 3--Was Joseph Blagrave the son of John Blagrave? -E. A. FRY.
HEDGES.—In the quarterly issue of April of this Journal, an interesting Editorial notice appears concerning Hedges for enclosing fields during the Middle Ages; but there appears to have been an extended use of hedges in the time of the Anglo-Saxons, from the frequent references in Saxon land boundaries of lordships, places, or lands bequeathed by will. In the more populated districts, where places prevail, the boundary lines in a larger measure follow the roads, always called " ways"; but in large open districts hedges more frequently denote the lines. Thus, in the boundaries of Twyford, in Hampshire, in a Charter of Eadward the Elder, of A.D. 900, " audlang hagan," along the "haga" or hedge is ten times repeated during the course of the boundary. In the boundaries of Bilson, in the Will of Ethelfled, A.D. 972, "along the old hedge" appears. In a Charter of King Ethelred, of A.D. 983, "the old thorn row " is mentioned; and in other Charters we read of "the old thorn," and "the great thorn"; and in a Charter of Æthelwulf, of A.D. 854, "then on to the haga," or hedge, appears in the boundary. It is evident from this that, after the removal of forest tracts, the lands parcelled out among the Saxon settlers were divided by hedge-rows and hedges, as at the present time. The hedgerows were probably left in grubbing the forests; but the hedges, being of thorn, were evidently planted. Indeed the quick," "quickset," or Whitethorn (Crategus oxyacantha) has been the chief agent in the planting of hedges from the time of the Saxons to the present day. It may be observed that "haga' the Saxon hedge, is now applied to the berry, the common name for it among Berkshire village lads being "hagha," or " haghaw." There is another shrub, common in Berkshire hedges, which is similarly associated with Saxon times, the Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), the berry of which is the sloe, provincially called slan. Now, slan is associated with a verb, meaning slay. Thus, the AngloSaxon substantive sla, verb slean, English sloe, old English sle, verb slay, which suggests the use of the wood for a bludgeon.—J. STEVENS, Reading Museum.
FINCHAMPSTEAD. --The history of this parish is at present receiving attention. Any information respecting it will be gladly received by W. L., of East Court, Finchampstead.
SPARSHOLT CHURCH.-From enquiries which I have made I gather that no such picture exists.-EDITOR.
The Quarterly Journal
Berks Archæological and Architectural Society.
Excursions of the Society.
On July 29th an excursion was made to Stoneleigh Abbey, Coventry and Kenilworth. The party assembled at Reading Station and travelled by train to Leamington. Thence they proceeded to Stoneleigh Abbey, which was visited by the kind permission of Lord Leigh. Here Mr. W. G. Fretton, F.S.A., who has made a careful and life-long study of the antiquities of the neighbourhood, met the party, and kindly acted as cicerone for the day. He pointed out the remains of the old monastic buildings, and much interest was taken in the fine collection of pictures which the modern portion of the mansion contains. The company proceeded to Coventry and inspected S. Michael's Church, the remains of the Cathedral, Holy Trinity Church, the Guild Hall, Bablake and Bond's Hospitals, S. John's Collegiate Church and the old Bull Inn, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in 1569. The visitors lunched at the King's Head Hotel, and after completing the Coventry programme, proceeded to Kenilworth Castle, which was fully described by Mr. Fretton; thence returning to Leamington, where they took the train to Reading.
An Excursion organised by the Maidenhead and Taplow Field Club and Thames Valley Antiquarian Society in conjunction with our Society was made to Silchester on Thursday, September 3rd. The party numbered between 50 and 60, and included the following Dr. Playne (President of the Field Club), Mr. James Rutland (Hon. Sec.), Sir George Young, the Rev. W. A. Hill, the Rev. R. P. Newhouse, Messrs. R. Sawyer, Goolden, Gardner, Arrowsmith, Mr. and Mrs. Wethered, Messrs. R. Silver, J. Silver, F. Brown, W. Walker, Lodge, Mrs. Rolls, Mr. and Mrs. Shave, Mrs. Farr, Mrs. Nicholson, etc.; Rev. J. M. and Mrs. Guilding, the Rev. P. H. Ditchfield, Mrs. Simonds, Mr. J. H. Cooper, Mrs. Slocombe, Mr. F. H. Sparrow, and several ladies; also Mr. J. L. Waldron, of Ramsbury.
The party first visited the Amphitheatre which is thus described in the excellent descriptive paper on Silchester which had been prepared by Mr. Rutland:-"The Amphitheatre is oval in form, similar to that of Dorchester, the diameter being 150 by 120 feet; Dorchester, 219 by 138 feet; Cirencester, 148 by 134 feet; and Richborough, 200 by 166 feet. Its superficial area is 1,800 feet or 2,000 feet. The bank consists of a mixture of clay and gravel, and is 50 feet wide at the bottom and about 12 feet at the top. The seats were ranged in five rows, which were visible about 100 years ago. The terraces were 6 feet deep, probably faced with masonry and covered with wood, and very probably the whole building was covered with wood. The principal entrances being north and south (Vomitoria) are still visible. The cavea, or den, was on the south side, where the wild beasts were kept before they were led into the arena to combat with the criminals who were condemned to die. This was also sometimes the place for public execution, shows, the athletic games, and where the naked gladiator or prize fighters used to exhibit their skill. The Rev. Mr. Bingham supposes that 10,000 persons might be seated on the sides of this amphitheatre. He also says that upon investigation he discovered that the arena had been covered with sand, to the depth of two or three feet, in order to keep the wrestlers from receiving injury by the falls they sustained. At times the arena was filled with water." Some of the party also visited the church, which has a finely timbered roof, a piscina, and a noteworthy altar tomb, the edifice dating back to the twelfth century, and being probably one of the earliest sites for Christian worship in the country.
Re-assembling at the Little Museum, the visitors were informed by Mr. M. STEPHENSON of the recent works conducted under the auspices of the Society of Antiquaries, after which he conducted the party over the excavations now in progress to the west of the Forum, and among other things pointed out a square of tessera in situ recently uncovered, which, he explained, it is intended to take up and place in the Silchester Section of the Reading Museum, it being, he said, the best piece of tessera yet discovered at Silchester. Near by were the exposed foundations of another house, where the burnt remains of coins and building materials were found, and as shewing the intense heat to which they had been exposed presumably at the time of the supposed destruction of the City by fire, it was stated that even the coins became a mass of powder on being simply touched. There were at this point traces of an earlier building than the one on the ordinary level, and it was expected that further excavation would throw more light on this unusual circumstance. A little to the south of this position, the best bit of foundation yet disclosed was shewn, revealing the remains of what are supposed to have been a row of shops on the street front. A common corridor behind led down to a room containing a heating apparatus, with furnace, &c., in good condition, and the method of warming the apartments could be well defined. A feature of the plan appeared to be that the smoke was carried away by a common chimney stack much as with us in the present day. The ashpit belonging to the furnace was indicated. Beyond the shop was apparently a summer apartment, inasmuch as it was without any heating arrangements, whilst another small room, seemingly detached, presented the curious feature of the wall resting on the floor of the room.
After Dr. PLAYNE, in the name of those present, had cordially thanked Mr. Stephenson for the information he had given them, the party proceeded to the "Crown" Inn, Silchester Common, where they partook of a meat tea. Before separating, the Rev. P. H. DITCHFIELD Congratulated Mr. Rutland on the success which had attended his arrangements, and expressed a hope that the two societies might again join forces in a future excursion.
The visitors returned to Reading via Mortimer and Grazeley.