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benefit of the meridian sun, which they must need who came from so much warmer a climate, they usually had their stations and outbuildings on the north side of the rivers, and on a gentle declivity. In some instances they chose higher ground for dryness and prospect."*
Rearing these observations in mind, it seems to us highly probable that Sunderland was the site of a Roman settlement of some kind or Other: its situation on a point of land at the mouth of a navigable river» with the land on its northern bank reclining comfortably to the meridian sun, was well adapted for one of their stations, whilst the justly celebrated Caltoh of Sunderland—Bildon Hill
* "Britannia Romana," pp. 109-110. The Rev. John Horsley, M.A., F.R.S., the author of this learned and now very scarce work, is thought to haVe been born somewhere in Northumberland about 168fi. It is understood that he received his early education at the grammar school in Newcastle. He pursued his academical studies probably at Edinburgh, where he took the degree of M.A.( and then settled at Morpeth as the minister of a congregation of protestant dissenters, which still flourishes there. His tastes and great familiarity with the classics induced him to devote his leisure hours to the study of the antiquities of his native country. Had he c nceived that the "Britannia Romana-' would have cost him one-third of the time which its execution required, the world would never have seen it. Having embarked in the undertaking, he felt it his duty to make it as useful and interesting as he possibly could. How severe his toils, how great his pecuniary sacrifices, how ardent his aspirations after emancipation from his self-imposed task, in order that he might entirely devote himself to his sacred calling, who shall tell P The thought that his flock might eventually be no losers, that his family and his own fair fame might gain by the enterprise, bttoyed him up in his undertaking. On the 2nd January, 1731-2, he put the finishing stroke to his labours, the dedication of his work bearing that date. Now he might hope to reap the fruits of his toils—the enjoyment of
—commanded an excellent view of the port and harbour,and the neighbouring hills of Fulwell, Hnmbledon, and Tunstall, afforded them extensive prospects for miles round: so grand, indeed, that on a clear day, the Cheviot Hills upon the borders of Scotland, as well as the whole extent of the Durham coast, and a considerable part of that of Yorkshire, may be distinctly seen from each of them.
As the sea has encroached considerably upon this particular part of the coast, it is not to be wondered at that all, or nearly all, traces of Roman occupancy have' disappeared. Even under more favourable circumstances
rest, such as the wearied onTy know,—the congratulations of friends, the approbation of the learned, the replenishment of his exhausted means. None of these fruits he enjoyed. He can scarcely have had the satisfaction of casting his eyes upon a completed copy of his work. The ink of his dedication Was hardly dry when, according to a letter from his intimate friend, Professor Ward, of Gresham College, to Dr. Cary, Bishop of Clonfert, he was suddenly and unexpectedly taken off by an apoplexy. The precise period of his death has not been ascertained; but, by the following extract from' the burial register of the parish of Morpeth, it appears that Horsley's mortal remains were buried there only thirteen days after the dedication of the " Britannia" :—" 1731-2, Jan. 15, Mr. John Horsley." Such is the brief record, says the Rev. John Hodgson; which the parish clerk of Morpeth (the common chronicler of his time, for the stage he acted upon, of the entrances into this life, and the exits out of it,) thought fit to make in his melancholy journal respecting this eminent man. Even after he was dead, this important officer refused him his proper and well-earned title of " reverend;" and, probably, only because he was the minister of a congregation which, though in practice, as far as regarded discipline and government, it was Presbyterian, yet professed the doctrinal articles of the Church of England. And who, that is experienced in the schemes and treacheries of human natute in remote inland situations, where the sea has neither encroached nor the genius of commerce planted her foot, the silent hand of time has caused many of our Iioman cities to become entirely wasted and desolate. Corn fields and pastures cover spots once adorned with public and private buildings, all of which are now wholly destroyed. Like the busy crowds who inhabited them, the edifices have sunk boneat'i the fresh and silent greensward; but yet in places the direction of streets may be discerned by the difference of tint in the herbage, and
will undertake to say, that our author's acknowledged and admired talents, among men of worth and genuine learning, had not roused the jealousy of influential, but little-minded men, to prejudice the vulgar (and, amongst the rest, the parish clerk of Morpeth), against himself, his labours, and his studies? For Horsley, in learning and scientific knowledge, went far before the common herd of critics and smatterers in philosophy, who existed, and were the arbiters of fame and fortune, in his time and neighbourhood; and, on these accounts was very naturally honoured with a liberal portion of their envy and neglect: for calumny and ill-usage are the natural rewards that idle and jealous minds, in all ages of the world, have delighted in bestowing upon the best benefactors of mankind. They persecute the honest and the deserving, and patronise charlatans, and the advertisers of their own nostrums and drugs. They stir up the rabble to cry out— "Not this man, but Barabbas." But Horsley's genius had taken him high above the mists and gloomy atmosphere of prejudice and traditionary lore. It had liberated his mind from the thraldom of vulgar maxims. "There is," says he, "that beauty and agreeableness in truth, even supposing it to be merely speculative, as always affords, on the discovery of it, real pleasure to a well-turned mind; and I will add, that it not only pleases but enriches it too." He determined to do something permanently useful, and in doing it, to think and reason for himself; and when he had once engaged in his projected work, "I thought myself," says he, "obliged, on many accounts, to go through with it, and leave nothing undone, that I was capable of the spade and the ploughshare now and then turn up the coins and medals of Cassar and Hadrian, of Severus, and of Constantine, so long dead and forgotten, who were once the masters of the world. The predatorial incursions of the Danes and other piratical Northmen, doubtless assisted the ceaseless operation of the elements in obliterating the footprints of the Romans at the mouth of the Wear. So effectually has this been done, that, so far as we are aware, no inscribed altars, no funereal urns, no centurial nor other lettered or " witch" stones have ever been discovered at Sunderland : but about the year 1820, as some workmen were excavating for the foundation of a house near the south end of Villiers Street, Dr. Colling the days of yore, extended along the sea bank from near St. John's Chapel to, and skirted a part of, the river Wear. Whilst making the river entrance to the Sunderland dock, it became necessary to remove the workshops of the Commissioners of the river Wear, and in order to make way for the latter, some old houses occupying the Pier or Commissioners' Quay were pulled down. Under these, the remains of what was supposed to have been the site of a Roman pottery were brought to light. About eight feet below the surface appeared a circle, twenty or twenty-five feet in diameter, hewn out of the limestone rock. In the interior of this was a circle of small rubble stones, in arrangement resembling a gin or horsemill, which had apparently been erected for the purpose of grinding clay. Near this place was found a quantity of red and yellow ochre, and some broken earthenware, with four perfect specimens of Roman bottles of common red ware, and unglazed; one of which was presented by Mr. Meik to the Society of Antiquaries of NewcastleuponrTyne; and another, a very perfect one in all re-, epects, was presented by the same gentleman to the Sunderland Museum. The latter speoimen, from which the following sketch was taken, is nearly fourteen inches, in height; its neck, whioh is about two inches in diameter at the mouth, is nearly six inches long; and its under
Moor formerly known as the Coney Warren, which, in
doing, in order to render the whole more complete:" and, certainly, no person was ever more suc?essful in completing a great experiment than himself; for the light he has thrown upon the history of Britain in a dark, but most interesting era, can never be extinguished as long; as civilization and letters continue to flourish in the favoured coun-» tries which his genius and perseverance re-discovered and illuminedThere is no account that friend or relative hallowed his grave with monumental stone; but if such "frail memorial" ever existed, it has, probably, shared the fate that many similar tokens of affection and piety
* "Gentleman's Magazine," April, 1821, vol. xci., p. 367
have been condemned to undergo in the church-yard of Morpeth—to become flagging for its, footpaths: still, however, his name shines with bright and unsullied lustre in the temple of fame; and
"Nomen qutcsitum ingenio non excidit:
Bruce11 Roman Wall, 2ud ed., p. 81; Hodgson's Memoirs of Horsley, &c, pp. 142-44 i Notes and Queries, January 14, 1854.