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1. The Pontfaen Stone, near Lampeter (Lap. Wall., p. 139, Plate LXVI, fig. 2). The stone is thus described: Built into the wall of a cottage, and forming the gate-post to a field. Said to have come from Peterwell. No inscription. Cross of simple, double, incised lines. The Plate represents a stone broken through the middle, with part of the stem and one arm of the cross remaining, about the centre of the stone. On looking for the stone last September, to photograph it, I could find no trace of it; but at Pontfaen, lying on the road-side, is a stone that has been once a gate-post, as both hinges remain in it. This stone is about the same height as the one described by Professor Westwood. His was 6 ft. This is 6 ft. 3 in. from the top to where it was set in the ground. About 3 ft. of it was in the ground, thus making it 9 ft. 3 in. in all. It is 9 in. wide at the top, 19 in. at the base, and 12 in. thick at 2 ft. from the top, Just below the upper hinge is inserted a plain cross with something like the upper half of a circle over the upper side of the arms. The cross is 10 in. high, and the width across the arm 8 in. At the lower end of the slab, just above where it would be buried, in the ground, are two lines, which may be the remains of an inscription; but if so, I am unable to make anything out. This stone is a rough block of the stone of the country, very thick. It has no trace of having been built into a wall.
One thing is very clear. If this is the same stone as that described by Professor Westwood, his Plate and description do not correctly represent the stone. I made all inquiries, and all the search I could, and was unable to find any trace of any other stone. I am, therefore, led to conclude this must be the same; but if it is, the necessity for a revised description is obvious. If it is not, and the description and figure of Professor Westwood's accurately represent a stone he saw at Pontfaen, then this is a stone that as far as I am aware has not been previously described, and is certainly not included in the Lapidarium. The only question remains, What has become of the other stone? Surely at the centre of Welsh ecclesiastical learning it cannot have been destroyed within the last ten years. If it has, it shows the necessity of some measures being taken to preserve local antiquities.
2. The next stone that has suffered since the Lapidarium Walliæ was published is the celebrated Idnert Stone at Llanddewibrefi,-a stone which is said to commemorate the death of Bishop Idnert, the last Bishop of Llanbadarn. In Camden's Britannia the stone is figured with a three-line inscription,
"+hic jacet Idnert filius IA..
In the Lapidarium Walliæ the stone is described at p. 140, and figured Pl. LXVIII, fig. 3. Prof. Westwood says it is placed at the north-west angle of the outside wall, 10 ft. from the ground. The
inscription is much defaced; broken through the "d" in "Idnert”. After filius" the letter "I" follows a mark which may represent AC
Successive restorations of the church have ruined this stone. It now consists of two fragments. Both are built into the west end of the church, on the north side; the largest forming one of the corner stones, about 10 ft. from the ground. It is built in upside down. It contains the words, in two lines,
"Idnert filius I[AP]
Fuit propter p[n]"?.
A second fragment, a little higher up from the ground, contains the word "occisus".
3. The next stone is another of those at Llanddewibrefi. It is described in the Lapidarium Wallie, at p. 139, and figured Pl. LXVI, fig. 4. The Plate is taken from a drawing by the Rev. H. L. Jones, made before the 1874 restoration of the church. The drawing does not really accurately represent the stone, but it does not seem that the stone has been affected by the two restorations. The stone stands in the churchyard, south of the remains of the south transept. The stone has been split down the middle of the cross inscribed on it. The height of the stone is 3 ft. 8 in.; width, 7 in.; thickness, 8 in. The arms of the cross are 5 in. long, and are terminated by a base 5 in. high. The stem of the cross terminates in a triangle at the upper end. At the stem of the cross, where the cross-bars meet, is a circle. From this to the upper end of the stem is 7 in. At 3 in. from that is another cross-bar 3 in. long. None of this appears in Mr. Jones' drawing, and the cross is split through the circle, not on one side of it, as there shown.
With the exception of the Daluc Stone, figured by Meyrick, Pl. v, fig. 2, and described in the Lapidarium Walliæ, p. 139, figured Plate LXVI, fig. 6, but there stated to be missing, it is satisfactory to find that all the Llanddewibrefi stones are still in existence in whole or in part.
The stones I have described show the necessity for a revised list of the Cardiganshire stones, and although I am afraid, in many cases, photographs will be hardly satisfactory, yet they will probably be more so than anything else, and I hope to be able to get them carried out.
J. W. WILLIS-BUND.
ANTIQUITIES FOUND NEAR LAMPETER.-The dagger here illustrated was found in 1886 by a man digging peat in a bog near a farm called "Roman Camp", also near the road called "Sarn Helen", and in the valley of the stream Nant Clywedog Ganol, about three miles above Llanfair Clydogan, Cardiganshire. It is of brass, 8 in. long, 1 in. broad at hilt-end, in. thick, and weighs 1 oz. The edges are very much worn, and appear to have been sharpened very
much. The handle was probably fastened to the blade by means of three rivets and two thongs.
The spear-head was dug up about two miles lower down the valley, by the same man, within a week of the discovery of the dagger-blade, in planting potatoes. It is of light-coloured brass, 3 in. long, and weighs 13 oz. It was probably fastened to the shaft by means of a thong passed through the two eyes at the sides, as there is no trace of rivet-holes.
St. David's College, Lampeter.
W. E. DAVEY.
CONFERENCE OF ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETIES.-The second Congress of Archæological Societies in union with the Society of Antiquaries was held at Burlington House on July 15, 1890, Dr. Evans, President of the Society of Antiquaries, in the chair.
The following Report of the Parish Registers and Records Committee was discussed, and referred back for some additions and verbal amendments. The Committee is a very strong one, consisting of Dr. Freshfield, V.P.S.A., Chairman; Rev. Canon Benham, F.S.A.; Mr. R. S. Faber, M.A., Hon. Sec. Huguenot Society; Mr. W. J. Hardy, F.S.A.; Dr. Howard, F.S.A.; Dr. Marshall, F.S.A.; Mr. Overend, F.S.A.; Rev. Dr. Simpson, F.S.A.; Mr. Mill Stephenson, F.S.A.; and Mr. Ralph Nevill, F.S.A., Hon. Sec.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE TRANSCRIPTION AND PUBLICATION
OF PARISH REGISTERS, ETC.
The Congress of Associated Archæological Societies, desires to call the attention of the public, and especially of those interested in antiquarian research, to the extreme importance of duly preserving and rendering accessible the Registers and other parish records of the United Kingdom. These contain matter of the greatest value not only to the genealogist, but also to the student of local history, and through these to the general historian. It is to be regretted that sufficient care has not been taken in the past of these documents, which have too often been thoughtlessly destroyed.
The Congress has drawn up the following suggestions in the hope that they may prove useful to those anxious to assist in the preservation, transcription, and, where possible, publication of the documents referred to. As the older writings are in a different character from that used at the present time, they are not easily deciphered, and require careful examination even from experts. It is extremely desirable that they should be transcribed, not only to guard against possible loss or injury, but in order to render them more easily and generally accessible to the student. Many Registers have already been copied and published, and every year adds to the list; and the Congress is in hope that these suggestions may lead to a still greater number being undertaken.
SUGGESTIONS AS TO TRANSCRIPTION.
Limits of Date.-It is evident that there is most reason for transcribing the oldest Registers; but those of later date are also of great value, and it is suggested that A.D. 1812, the date of the Act of 52 George III, cap. 146, is a suitable point to which copies may be taken.
Care as to Custody.-Great judgment should be used in entrusting Registers and other parish records to be copied, and a formal receipt for them should in all cases be required.
Character of Writing.-In transcribing great care must be used to avoid mistakes from the confusion of certain letters with other modern letters of similar form. A Committee has in preparation an alphabet, and specimens of letters, and the principal contractions; but Registers vary, and especially in the manner in which capital letters are formed. Copies of the alphabet, etc., may be obtained, when published, on application to the Committee on Parish Registers, care of the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Further information may also be obtained from Wright's Court Hand Restored (enlarged by C. T. Martin).
Great help in deciphering names may be gained from a study of existing local names. It must, however, be borne in mind that the same name may be constantly spelt in different ways, and may undergo considerable changes in the course of time, or from the hands of different scribes.
In copying dates it must be remembered that down to A.D. 1752 the year began on March 25, and not on January 1.
Method of Transcription.—There can be no doubt but that a verbatim et literatim transcription is of far more value than any other form. It is, otherwise, impossible to be sure that some point of interest and importance has not been overlooked. The extra trouble of making a complete transcript is small, and the result much more satisfactory. In any case the names should be given literatim, and all remarks carefully copied. Other records, such as churchwardens' accounts, should certainly not be transcribed and printed otherwise than in full. It is far better, in both cases, to do a portion thoroughly than the whole imperfectly.
Revision and Collation of Copies.-The decipherment of old Registers is, as already pointed out, a work of considerable difficulty, and it is therefore strongly recommended that in cases where the transcribers have no great previous experience, they should obtain the help of some competent reader to collate the transcript with the original.
Publication. With regard to the publication of Registers, the Committee have carefully considered the question of printing in abbreviated or index form, and have come to the conclusion to strongly recommend that the publication should be in full, not only for the reasons given above for transcription, but because the extra trouble and expense (if any) are so small, and the value so very much greater. There seems, however, no objection, in either case, to the use of contractions of formal words of constant recurrence. A list of some of these is subjoined,-Bap., baptized; Mar., married; Bur., buried; Bac., bachelor; Spin., spinster; Wid., widow or widower; Dau., daughter.
With regard to entries of marriage after Lord Hardwicke's Act of 1752, it is suggested that the form of entry may be simplified by the omission of formal phrases; but care should be taken not to omit any record or fact however apparently unimportant; such, for instance, as the names of witnesses, ministers, occupation, etc.
It is believed that many Registers remain unprinted owing to an exaggerated idea of the cost of printing and binding. Reasonable estimates for these might probably often be obtained from local presses which would be interested in the publication. No absolute rule as to size and type can be laid down; but on this and other questions the Standing Committee will always be glad to give advice.
General Committee.-A Standing Committee has been appointed by the Congress for the purpose of giving advice, and preparing and distributing to the various Societies in union such information and lists as may be of common value to all. This Committee is engaged on the preparation of a list of all the Registers that have been printed, and when completed this list will be communicated to all subscribing Societies for inclusion in their publications.
Local Societies are strongly urged to form their own committees to take steps to secure the printing of the many transcripts that already exist unpublished, and to promote further transcription. It is believed that the publication of a series of Registers, supplemental and extra to their Transactions, would add to the attractiveness and usefulness of the Societies without being a serious burden to their funds. By combination and organisation a considerable body of outside subscribers may probably be secured for such a series; and the cost of distribution of circulars, etc., may be materially reduced by such a plan as the issue, by the Central Committee, of an annual circular containing lists of Registers in course of publication. Such a circular might be distributed by the local Societies, and published in their transactions and elsewhere.
The subject of an Archæological Survey of England, by counties