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scarcely a Welsh prince sat securely upon his throne. Treachery and murder, and not good will and harmony, distinguished those days. No Celt would obey a prince who had submitted to the imperious mandate of the Saxon Cæsar with the same tameness that a naked captive followed the chariot of the Roman Cæsar. Why, the

very spirit of Caractacus (Caradog) would have burst its bonds at such a sight, and confronted such craren-hearted creatures as the Welsh princes are represented to be. But they were no cravens, but bold and brave men. Gwaethvoed's reply may be aptly put into the mouths of each one of them. I do not deny that Howel (Hywel Ddrug) was there, but from interested motives only. A man who could imprison his father, blind one uncle, drive into exile another, and murder a cousin, would not hesitate to handle an oar. I admit, therefore, that Howel was at Chester, and that other princes came there to render homage to Edgar. Such being the case, it was no difficult matter for the chroniclers, out of gratitude for the benefits he had heaped upon the monasteries, to assert that “he (Edgar) exhibited them (eight princes) on the River Dee in triumphant ceremony."

T. MORGAN Owen.

CHETHAM LIBRARY. SIR,—The notice of the late Mr. Thomas Jones of the Chetham College Library contains an error which should be corrected. He is there spoken of as the Secretary, whereas he vever held that office, but was only Librarian, and most efficiently and courteously did he discharge his duties. Mr. R. H. Wood, now of Rugby, has acted as Secretary for more than ten years, when he succeeded his friend Mr. Langton. With such officers it is not surprising that that Society has flourished, and still does flourish, in so eminent a manner. I am, Sir, yours faithfully,

M.A.

LLANDUDNO INSCRIBED STONE. Sir,-I greatly regret my slowness in putting this and that together. With regard to my remarks on the inscribed stone near Llandudno, in the April number of the Journal, it has just occurred to me since that we have the naine Sanctagnus accurately continued in Sannan, in the name of the church of Llansannan in the same district. This would put Sanctânus out of the question ; and the suggestion that Sannan is identical with the Irish saint's name, Senanus, in my Lectures on Welsh Philology, p. 25, is to be cancelled, and those on p. 388 to be modified as here indicated. The Llandudno Stone probably commemorates the very Briton who is mentioned as Sanctán in Irish hagiology.

A word as to the longer inscription at Penmachno, in which we have Vene lotis Cive Fuit. Here I have attempted, both in the Archaologia and in my Lectures (p. 387), to explain Venedotis as equivalent

to Venedotius; but I am now convinced that I was wrong, and that the scribe meant it as a genitive, Venedot-is. We have Venedot continued in the Welsh Gwyndod-ig, Venedotian, and Gwyndod-es, a Venedotian woman. I was led astray by a preconceived notion that the form Venedotia was old; but when I came to reconsider the matter, I failed to find anything in manuscript older than Genedota in the Annales Cambria, and Guenedota in Nennius, both in the genitive. Now Gwyndod and Gwynedd are collective forms meaning "the tribes", or, if I may say so, "tribedom"; the latter term, Gwynedd, being etymologically equivalent to the Irish fine, a tribe or sept. But I must not attempt to proceed further until I have learned something about the so-called five royal tribes of North Wales.

Yours, etc.,

J. RHYS.

CARREG Y SGRIFEN.

SIR,-Meeting with an old parishioner, a native of Llanuwchllyn, I questioned him whether he had ever seen or heard of a Carreg y Sgrifen (an inscribed stone) anywhere thereabouts, as the former existence of two or three is indicated in some notes of Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt. His reply was that when a boy he remembered very well seeing a stone so called, "by the little brook that comes down from the Drysgol, and passes through Llwyngwern fields to the Tryweryn. He thought there were many carvings on it, but no letters." Will some of our members, who have the opportunity, make search for the stone, and communicate the result to the Journal? The portion to search will be the Llwyngwern fields. Yours, QUESITOR.

RATH.

SIR,-Some time ago you inserted a query from a correspondent as to whether there were any traces of a British word cognate with the Irish rath, and having the same meaning, viz., a fort, an earthwork entrenchment, an artificial mound or barrow. I thought at the time that the suggestion I have to make was scarcely worth troubling you with; but it now occurs to me that I should not have taken it upon myself to judge of that.

I once lived for a few years near Leicester, and became acquainted with the principal antiquities of the place and neighbourhood. Close by that town are the well known Raw-Dykes, which are two parallel earthen ramparts, now about 6 feet high, and having a flat space between them about 36 feet wide. The length of them, or of what remains of them, is 630 yards. They are near the river Soar, and run in a curve concave thereto. The river makes a very similar curve at the place, in the opposite direction; so that the Raw-Dykes and the Soar enclose a large elliptical area which is now open at both ends. There can be no reasonable doubt of the correctness of

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the general opinion, which is that the Raw-Dykes are part of a fortification,--the remains, in fact, of a magnificent rath. See Gough's Camden and Nichols' Leicestershire.

What, then, is the origin of the “Raw” in Raw-Dykes ? Dr. Stukeley, who entertained the very improbable idea that these banks were connected with a British racecourse, derived the syllable from the Welsh for racecourse, which I have forgotten ! Rhedyn (fern) has also been suggested as the original ; but it has been replied that the strong clay soil of Leicestershire is very unfavourable for the growth of fern. Moreover, how should the n have become lost ? Camden suggested Road-Dykes as the former name.

This was a pure conjecture. He made also another suggestion which is probably almost correct, to be mentioned presently.

I confess that it occurred to me, as an Irishman, that "raw" is almost exactly the pronunciation of the Irish word “rath” with its aspirated t, and that therefore Raw-Dykes might be Rath-Dykes. This, though I suppose wrong, put me on what I believe to be the right scent; for I knew at the same time that the change of “ratlı” into “raw” would be quite in accordance with analogy and precedent in English provincial pronunciation. Rothwell, only twenty miles distant, in Northamptonshire, though always thus spelled, is always called Rowell. Rothbury is sometimes even spelled Robury. Many such illustrations could be given. Compare also sithence, now since ; 'em and 'at, for them and that, etc. There are several Ratcliffes in England (three of them, and probably all, being red clif) and several Rawcliffes. The latter name seems to be a softening of the former. The “Raw" of Raw Dykes may, then, be quite easily and naturally a softened form of what was originally something like “RATH”, the change having been made by Saxon tongues. We may add that the change now contemplated would be specially probable in the present case, for the d of“ Dykes” would tend to promote the dropping of a dental, or approximate dental, immediately before it.

But further, our already formed expectation that this entrenchment was called something like “Rath” is surely greatly strengthened by the fact that the Roman name of the town connected therewith was Ratæ. It would be most natural that so important a fortification, as this must have been, would give its name to the place. I find that Camden anticipated me in connecting “Rata" and “ Raw”, though he inverted what I believe to be the true order of the relationship.

Here, then, is a thing which is a rath, and which we have strong reasons for believing was actually called something very like “Rath” by the Britons. It is not for me to conjecture, from the Irish form of the word, what the exact British form may have been. That Leicester represents the Rate of the Itinerary of Antoninus had been already concluded by Camden and others, when it was most interestingly verified by the discovery of the famous milestone of the

Rhedegfa, pl. rhedegfeydd.

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reign of Hadrian, found near Leicester, on the (Roman) Fosse Way which runs into that town. The stone stated its distance "a Ratis". It is now safe in the museum at Leicester.

But we now pass on to another corroboration of our position. Camden at first thought that Ratæ might have been near where Ratby now stands. This is a village nearly five miles west by north from Leicester. However, he soon gave up this idea, though knowing nothing of the milestone, which settles the point. But what concerns us now is this, that at this same Rat-by there is a very fine ruth. It has apparently bequeathed its name to the village, though it has degenerately turned Saxon itself, and has adopted the title of the Barrow or Burrough. It is considered to be Roman. It is a quadrangular entrenchment, measuring nearly three hundred by a little over one hundred and fifty paces. Of course the combination of a British name with the Danish syllable "by" (a village) presents no difficulty. There are in England scores of such mixtures of two languages in the same name; there are many in Ireland also.

We may mention, as illustrating the possibility of delusive coincidences, and the need of circumspection, that at the distance of seven miles north-north-east of Leicester there is the village of Ratcliffe on the Wreke, which has, close by, a remarkable tumulus called Shipley Hill, measuring 350 ft. by 120 ft. and 40 ft. high, which, if artificial, could be called a rath. It was supposed by Camden and others to be a Danish sepulchral barrow. But Ratcliffe is only red-cliff (the cliff of red marl, from which it is called, is still there by the river), and the mound is now known to be, not artificial, but natural.

Dublin, June 1877.

M. H. CLOSE.

SIR JOHN OLDCASTLE.1

SIR,-Mention is made, in the inquisition on Sir John's attainder, of "Oldcastell" and Wotton", hamlets of Almeley, as part of his possessions. Mr. Robinson, in his Castles of Herefordshire, states on the authority of Bishop Charlton's Register, that Sir John's grandfather presented to the living of Almeley in 1368, and that he or his son Thomas in 1391 granted the advowson of the living to the Priory of Wormesley; so there is every reason to suppose that Sir John was born at Öldcastle in Almeley. Oldcastle and Almeley's Wootton are still names of farms in that parish. Adjacent to Oldcastle Farm is the site of a castle which attracts attention, on the east side of the Railway, near Almeley Station, on a natural elevation rising abruptly out of the narrow valley on all sides but the north, with a small stream running by on the west. A conical mound of earth, about 40 feet high, with a platform from 30 to 40 feet wide on its summit, has been thrown up in the centre of a circular earthwork, of which sufficient traces remain to indicate its extent. There are no traces of stone foundations. It may have

Note, p. 124 ante.

been one of the castles erected in the time of Stephen, on the Welsh border, or it may be of a much earlier date. In the time of King John it was one of the castles of Walter de Beauchamp, of the Elmley branch of that family, hereditary Sheriff of Worcestershire, and a Lord Marcher. On the 8th of August, 1216, King John notified to William de Cantilupe that he had committed to Walter de Lacy, Hugh de Mortimer, Walter de Clifford, and John of Monmouth, the custody of Walter de Beauchamp's Castle of Almeley and his lands and tenements, then in Cantilupe's keeping, until Tuesday next after the Feast of St. Lawrence, in order that Walter might in the meantime go to Gualo, the Pope's legate, and obtain absolution from the interdict which Gualo had published on the landing in England, in May, of Louis, son of the King of France, against that Prince and all the barons who espoused his cause. In July the Earl of Salisbury, William Mareschal, Walter Beauchamp, and other noblemen, deserted the cause of the French Prince, and sought to make their peace with the King. On the 6th of August the King certified to the Sheriff's of Oxford, Worcester, and Leicester, and the Constable of Almeley, that he had granted a safe conduct to Walter and his followers to come to his presence and arrange terms of peace; and on the 28th of August the King directed the same Sheriffs and Walter de Clifford to restore to Walter de Beauchamp his lands which they had taken before his return to the King's peace.

Dugdale transforms "Almeley" into Elmeley, and so identifies it with Elmley in Worcestershire; but the place referred to in the Rolls is clearly Almeley in Herefordshire. (Patent Rolls, 18 John, p. 192; Close Rolls, vol. i, pp. 280, 282; Dugdale's Baronage.)

R. W. B.

Reviews.

HISTORY OF THE PRINCES OF SOUTH WALES. By the Rev. the Hon. GEORGE T. O. BRIDGEMAN, M.A.

AFTER a careful perusal of this work we have come to the conclusion that Mr. Bridgeman has, in the most conscientious manner, stuck to his original design, "to identify the representation of certain princely families". Such being the case he will, doubtless, willingly agree with us when we state that his book is not a "history" in the strict sense of that term, but that it is a series of biographies or genealogical sketches.

We venture to differ from him when he asserts that there was a time when his orthography of Welsh names was "of common acceptance between the English and the Welsh". No such time ever existed. To cite the names "Res" (should be Rhys), "Vachan”

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