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are still remaining in the Village. Of the first, are the John/loans, the Stewards, and a numerous Family, provincially called Setts, who coming in a hurry left their proper Names behind them. Of the second, are the Greens, the Browns, and the O/born Family, which latter, though written with an O, according to the broad Pronunciation of those People, is, orthographically, A/born, a Word synonymous to naked. To the Pitts we are indebted for the Barberry, the Saffron, the Woad, and the Madder, so useful, and even necessary, in Dying.
The Saxons succeeded next, who, coming by [a] Invitation of the Britons, and as Friends and Allies, were neither formidable to the Village, nor, at first, injurious to it ; but rather set out as Benefactors, correctingsomeErrors,andfillingup some Omissions, their Predecessors had been guilty of. But this peaceable and improving Spirit lasted a very little 'Time; for as soon as their treacherous Leader concluded a Peace with the Pitts, this little Detachment, Regis ad Exemplum, dealt as treacherously with the Natives of this Village; entering into Leagues and Cabals with the Scots and Pitts now settled here: And had it not been for the many Fosses and Intrenchments of the Romans, which the Natives were luckily possessed of, they had been totally extirpated. But in Process of Time these Animosities ceased, and indeed a perfect Amity commenced between the two People: The Britons returned to the Plough, and tilling the Ground, and the Saxons
busied themselves in mechanical Employments. They made Doors to the Hutts erected by the Scots and Pifls, builtChimnies which the former never heard of, and made Windows which they never wanted. They carved huge Columns for Bedposts, and embossed Bread-and-Cheese Cupboards; set Tables upon magnificent Pillars, and Chairs upon Cloven Feet. They prayed a Faculty for building aChurch, and another for Liberty to make Use of the [e] Roman Horrcum as a Part ; both which they obtained for the customary Fees, so religiously due, upon Dendandi: And that stately Structure, all but the Steple, which is now the Parish Church,, is the pious Effect of the good Bishop's Indulgence, and the Saxons Devotion. The almost angular arched Door-ways, the loaded Windows with gouty Pillars and Gothic Devices, like so many Centinels placed there to keep the Light out, the Harpies to hang Hats on, and the Devil's Faces on the Cieling to turn our Devotion into Horror; the Dragons spouting Water without, and the Dolphins breathing the HolyFire within, are all the unnatural Invention of the Saxons.
There are, at least, two Saxon Families now in the Village, viz. the Edgars and the Cuthberts: the first, though descended from the King of that Name, is no more than a poor Day-Labourer; and the latter's vast Possessions here are reduced to a small Fzrm of ten Pounds per Ann. Such is the Instability
[t\ Cod. Theod. de Paganis.
. * of of human Greatness, so averse are the Laws of Providence to a Perpetuity of earthly Grandeur!
The [/] Danes were not long landed in this Island, before they sent a Detachment to secure this Important Village; and they entered it on the South Side, at a Gate called, to this Day, for that Reason, Enter Lond- Gate ; as a Memorial of their Entrance upon the Land of Wheat and Plenty at that very Place: But they were not so easily admitted, as the former Depredators had been; the Britons, the Scots and Pitts, and the Saxons joining Forces, and with great Unanimity opposing them. There are several round Hillocks, which was the usual Form of a Danijh Intrenchment, cast up in different Parts of the Village; nowindeed, called Mill-Hills,through Mistake, or perhaps with modern Propriety; because some Wind-mills may, since those Times, have been erected upon them. How long they lay in this hostile Manner, and whether they forced their Way, or entered upon Capitulation, neither William of Malm/bury nor Matthew of Wejtminster informs us; but certain it is, they staid long enough to fix some of their Language; such as GRAVE from Djiape tegere, to cover, and GAFFER from Gapepe which signifies Master; a Word in such general Use here, jthat within the Space of thirty Years, there was but one Man, except the Parson, that was ever accosted by any other Term of Salutation. The fame may be faid of GAMMER for Mistress.
There are no Buildings we can style Danijh, nor any Remains of their mechanic Abilities, except a few [g] Grave Rails, laid over some Persons of Danijh Extraction; and these are ill proportioned and needlessly inform us of their Use, by confused Representations of Hour-Glasses, Scythes, Skulls and Skeletons. The Danes gave the Bells to the Church, as appears from the only legible Word on them, viz. which signifies God.
In a Parlour belonging to a Farm-house called the Rookery, there was a remarkable large Dormer of Chesnut, and about the Middle of it, the following Inscription cut with a Knife or a Chizzel; which, for the Sake of the latter Date's being a Danijh Period, I shall examine in this Place. The inscription was, WARTER. IOHN. C. I. T. S. 449. D. B. M. W. T. 994. It has been seen by many Antiquaries, and their Sentence has been always, that one JOHN WATER, a Block-head, that did not know his Heels from his Head, and could not spell his own Name, was the Author of it; and the initial Letters, or Abbreviations and Dates have been considered as the Reveries.of an idle Head, or a fortuitous Hand; to which Opinion I have always subscribed; but reading lately, upen aTomb-stoneina neighbouring Church, a Monumental Inscription [h] of very modern Date,
with Abbreviations like some of those before described, I was encouraged to attempt a Solution, a second Time. D. B. M. W. T. by the Help of this clue, I soon found to signify Done. By. Me. William. T— suppose Turner, for perhaps it is the Humour of this * Family to abbreviate in this Manner. By the fame Light I discovered that WARTER. IOHN did not cut the Inscription, but was recorded by it. I next considered what remarkable Æra 449 was; and found it was the veryYearVORTIGERN struck a League with Hengift the Saxon; C. I. T. S. I then fancied signified Called. In. The. Saxsons, but what to do with WARTER IOHN I know not, write and spell him how you will; because no Man of that Name is mentioned in the History of those Times. At last by frequently repeating WATER IOHN, I discovered the Sound of VORTIGERN; and that Name suiting, both the first Abbreviati ons, and the Date, I concluded, the,Author, through Ignorance, or Punning, or Ænigmatic Ingenuity, which are much alike in their Operations, has inveloped and perplexed the thing, but must mean Prince VORTIGERN.
But be the Fate of this Decyphering what it will, it is certain the Dates, which arc very plain, and no ways conjectural, may be of use, towards clearing up the Æra when N umeral Figures, or Arabian Characters, came first into Use in England; or, at least towards proving, that they were used before theYear 1250 or 1300, contrary to the Assertions of Father Mabillon and Gerard J. VoJJius; for this numeral Date 994, added to the famous Date at Colchester