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to trace next followed the direction of the Watling Street familiar to every Cockney, until it reached Battle Bridge, in Maiden Lane (now York Road). There is a tradition that at this bridge, which crossed the Fleet River, was fought the decisive battle between the Romans and Boadicea, queen of the Iceni. It is curious to observe, by the way, that there is another Roman thoroughfare called “ Maiden Way”_i.e., mai-dun, great ridge—in the North of England. Watling Street next crossed the wilds of Hampstead Heath into the present Edgware Road, which it followed to St. Albans (the Verulam of the Britons) and Dunstable, where it intersected Ikening Street. From Dunstable the Via Guethelinga, as it is called by Richard of Cirencester, carries us through Fenny Stratford and Stoney Stratford (both in Bucks), whose names attest its antiquity, and continues its course through Northants, viâ Towcester and Weedon-on-the-Street. It next forms the boundary between the counties of Warwick and Leicester, and crosses the Fosseway at High Cross (which signifies the meeting place of two high or raised streets). From Atherstone it cuts across the counties of Warwick and Stafford to Crackley Bank, on the borders of Shropshire, and continues almost due west to Wroxeter-on-Severn, and so through Wattlesborough into Wales.
We will now pass to Ermine Street, which ran from London to the Humber. The name has been a puzzle to etymologists. Some consider it to be Here-man Street, “the warrior's way,” because it was used for military purposes ; others that it is Herman's Street, because it was dedicated to the great Teutonic “ war-man” (known to the Romans as Arminius), who defeated that people in battle about the commencement of the Christian era. We find the identical appellation in St. Ermin's Hill, a locality near Tothill Street, Westminster. It is in that case undoubtedly a proper name, though the addition of “St.” is possibly some pious Christian's work of supererogation.
Ermine Street went northward along the line of the present great road from London Bridge to Ware. In Middlesex it passed Stamford Hill. From Ware it led to Royston, having traversed the Hundred of Edwinstree, Herts. A suggestion has been made that that name is a corruption of Ermine Street. Similarly, Elstree, on the Watling way, may be a corruption of Old Street. At Royston the great north road intersected Ikening Street, and entered the Ermingford Hundred of the county of Cambridge. Next we come to Arrington, in the same county (the Ærningtun of Doomsday Book), arne-weg and arning, meaning a great street or course. We continue our journey to Godmanchester and Huntingdon by the main road, which, through
out its course in Hunts, retains its old name. At Chesterton (Hunts) it leaves the present line of route, and strikes across the river Nen into Northants, at Caistor, close to Peterborough. At Southorpe, in the same county, the ground along the sides of the roads has been often opened to extract the stone with which the way is formed, and many Roman antiquities, and coins of various dates, besides a great quantity of ashes and fragments of funeral urns, have been discovered. The garrison of Caistor, probably, buried their dead here at the wayside, as was the custom of the Romans (Arch. i. 61). The Ermine Street next runs to Walcote, where it is locally known as the “Forty-foot Way,” and making a sharp turn to avoid a hill, crosses the Welland into Rutland, near Stamford. After leaving that town it follows the “Horne Lane” through Great Casterton and Stretton, and enters Lincolnshire at Witham, and so, by way of Colsterworth and Ancaster, it arrives at Lincoln. North of that city it follows the western side of the Ancholme Valley, and never swerves from a straight line in the thirty miles between Lincoln and the Humber. At Winteringham the estuary was crossed by a ferry, and access obtained to Yorkshire.
The Fosseway derives its name from the fosse, or ditch, by which it was flanked on either side. It probably commenced at Exeter, and ran along the present highway to Taunton, passing Forcehayes (which suggests its vicinity) to Street, near Glastonbury. It continued vid Stratton-on-the-Fosse to Bath. Leaving that city, it crosses Wilts, the local names of Foss-gate and Foss-house being sufficient to identify its course, until it reaches Cirencester, in Gloucestershire. In that county it passes Foss-cross and Fossbridge, and in Warwickshire Stretton-on-the-Fosse, Stretton-onDunsmore, and Stretton-under-Fosse. At High Cross it cuts across Watling Street and goes straight to Leicester. Then it went on “through the wastes," as an old writer says, to Willoughby-in-theWolds, and across Notts to Newark. From the latter town it reached its terminus at Lincoln, where it joined the Ermine Street.
Ikening or Ickneld Street was so called because it led from Cirencester to the country of a powerful British tribe inhabiting the Eastern Counties, and known to the Romans as Iceni. The name of this people appears on the native coins as Ecen, and the Saxons, adding their inevitable suffix, called them Ikenings. The road started from Yarmouth, ran inland to Caistor-St.-Edmunds (Venta Icenorum), and turning southward through Long Stanton, crossed the Waveney, near Dis, into Suffolk. Its route then lay through Ixworth and Icklingham (near Bury), at both of which places Roman villas have been found, and Ickleton, on the southern border of Cambs, to Royston. This is the first point at which any very distinct traces of the street can be found at the present day. Westward of that town it forms the boundary of Cambs and Herts, and running parallel with the railway to Baldock, arrives, viâ Ickleford, at Dunstable (Beds), where Watling Street is crossed. From Dunstable it pushes over the chalk hills, past Tring and Chinnor (near Princes Risborough), till it reaches the Thames between Streatly and Wallingford. After crossing the river, it follows the tops of the Berks Hills, and still bears the name of “Ickleton Street,” or “ The Ridgeway,” until at Liddington, near Swindon, it falls into the Ryckneld way.
Last of all comes Ryckneld or Rignal Street, a roadway that took a great sweeping curve through the West of England from Durham to Southampton. I would suggest that it derives its name from the Regni, or ancient inhabitants of Sussex and Hants, and that the same etymological cause which converted Iceni into Ikenings and Icknelds, has also changed Regni into Reknings and Rycknelds. Ranulf Higden, the monk of Chester, mentions it in his Polychronicon, or universal chronicle, and calls it Ryckneld Street; so does Michael Drayton, in his confused poetical account contained in the Polyolbion, or description of Great Britain, which first appeared in 1613 :
And Rickneld forth that raught from Cambria's further shore,
Where South Wales now shoots forth St. David's promontore. Roger Gale, first vice-president of the Society of Antiquaries, who has left a valuable essay on the roads in question, says that in his time Ryckneld Street had taken the name of Ickle or Icknild Street without any just title to it. The remark holds good at the present day, as will be seen on reference to some modern maps. Ryckneld Street led from one of the ports behind the Isle of Wight, and crossed Hants to Liddington, near Swindon, where it meets Ikening Street, and goes on along the road which lies through Stratton St. Margarets and Cricklade to Cirencester. By a strange perversity the mapmakers have marked this part of the route “Ermine Street.” Northward out of Cirencester it ran upon the Fosseway, but branched off again westward of the present railway station at Bourton-on-theWater. We can then trace it very plainly through the two villages of Church Honeybourne and Beoley, on the eastern edge of Worcestershire, passing Alcester midway between the two places. At Birmingham we lose it for a moment, though its name occurred in an ancient decd, but between that town and Lichfield (Staffordshire) there are distinct traces of it both at Sutton Park and Shenstone,
where it cuts the Watling Street. From Lichfield it is shown on the maps as following the existing highway through Bourton to Derby, but its original course seems to be indicated by the name of Strettonen-le-Street, a village to the east of the main road. Close to Derby it reached the military station of Little Chesters, and ran northward through Stretton Hill to Chesterfield. From some intermediate point a road probably branched off eastward.
Then in his oblique course the lusty straggling street
Soon overtook the Fosse and arrived at Lincoln, the great junction of Roman trade routes. The names of Ryckneld-Thorpe (now Thorpe-Salvin), on the south border of Yorkshire, and of Ryckneld Grange and Ryckneld Mill at Sadberg-on-Tees, seem to indicate that the well-known Roman road, running a few miles eastward of those points through Boroughbridge (where it met a prolongation of the Ermine Street which led over Stainmoor to Carlisle) and Catterick, to Corbridge on the great wall, was a northern extension of the Ryckneld Street, and it is so -called in Bowen's old map of Yorkshire.
And now I will bring my survey to a close lest I weary the reader. He will be able to draw his own conclusions from the facts I have stated. Very slowly we are picking up the lost threads of history relating to the four long centuries of Roman rule in Britain. It is the work of the archæologist rather than of the historian, and it is to be hoped, that when some one at last undertakes to collect and arrange the scattered records of that obscure period, he will take into account the economic significance of these ancient trade roads which have played a not insignificant part in “ the making of England.”
THOMAS H. B. GRAHAM.
SOMETHING ABOUT “NATURAL
7 HAT is meant by “ Natural Selection"? I have had frequent
opportunities of watching, in a practical manner, the results both of a pure and of a cross fertilization of plants. A pure white or a pure red variety of a certain species of flower has been hitherto unknown in the market-how does the gardener set to work in order to produce a fresh cultivation, a new variety ? he carefully selects from amongst a large number of plants those that show, in the most distinct manner, the particular variation that he desires, and these alone are allowed to interbreed with each other. In the course of a few generations the variation has settled down into a permanent characteristic, but nevertheless the law of " variability" or “reversion” sometimes creeps in, old ancestral traits appearing, proving that blood is blood in the vegetable as well as in the animal world. These variations from the new variety are again studiously weeded out, the bad companions in whom the evil traits of their forefathers have dared to obtrude themselves are disposed of in the most off-hand manner, and the result is something very close to perfection.
There is every reason for believing that the earliest flowers were composed simply of stamens with their pollen grains, and the pistil with its stigma and ovary ; for in plants, as in animals, the great purpose of life is the fertilization of the ovum and the reproduction of kind. The caprice of fashion demands a flower with large proportioned reproductive organs, with aborted corolla or calyx, or with the petals united, or with fifty other whatnots, and the gardener adapting the laws of “ Natural Selection,” in due course produces what is wanted. All this is easy enough ; variabilities are always occurring ; he has only to be clear in his selection, to pay some regard to any peculiar condition in the surroundings of those of his cares that most frequently show the variation, prevent any cross fertilization, and the laws of inheritance will gradually do the rest. If the variability be limited, say, to a single male and female plant, he will have great