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II. Observations on certain ancient Pillars of Memorial, called Hoar-Stones. By the late William Hamper, Esq. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Honorary Member of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, &c.

  • William Hamper

Extract

It will probably be in the recollection of many of the Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries that our late worthy Member William Hamper, Esq of Birmingham, in the year 1820, published a Tract, entitled, “Observations on certain Ancient Pillars of Memorial, called Hoar-stones.” These pillars, or massive blocks of stone, scattered through England, with a few instances in Wales and Scotland, having received no satisfactory elucidation, Mr. Hamper, in his Treatise, gave: 1st. The notions of different writers concerning them; 2nd. An exposition of their name, in which he shewed the intention of our ancestors in erecting them; and, 3rd. A list of places where they occur, or which it was believed had been denominated from them.

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page 29 note a See the motto prefixed to the present Essay.

page 30 note b See Lhuyd's Archæologia Britannica, pp. 108, 205, 207, 272. Davies's Celtic Researches, pp. 426, 529. Lye and Manning's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, under Or and Ord (Initium) and Ora (Ora, littus,) Bullet's Dictionnaire Celtique, also Borlase, ut supra. To these authorities may be added the following observations of Dr. Whitaker: “The River Hodder for several of the last miles forms the boundary of Yorkshire and Lancashire, as it must have originally done between two British tribes, the word Odre in that language signifying a limit or bound.” History of Whalley, ed. 3. p. 7.

page 31 note c Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon, ed. 7. p. 165.

page 31 note d It is a remarkable fact, that from the circumstance of stones having been erected for landmarks, the earliest maps were delineated upon pillars. Bryant's Ancient Mythology, 1. p. 385.

page 31 note e The prædial landmarks of the Jews seem generally to have been set on end. “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have Set in thine inheritance.” Deut. xix. 14. “Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have Set.” Prov. xxii. 28.

page 32 note f “The Gaelic people did sometimes erect memorial stones, which, as they were always without inscription, might as well have not been set up.” Chalmers's Caledonia, III. p. 233. Mr. C. had forgotten that such stones were intended to aid tradition, by exciting an enquiry why they were erected. So in Joshua, iv. 6,21; “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them.” Dr. Richardson, in 1816, mentions that “the ancient custom of setting up stones, or stony pillars, to commemorate particular events, still prevails in Nubia.” Travels, 1. p. 473.

page 32 note g See in Dodweil's Tour through Greece, I. p. 34, some remarks upon the word Horos, with which several mountains are inscribed, possibly to distinguish the bounds of pasturage; where it is also observed that Dr. Macmichael found some sepulchral stones, near Athens, inscribed with the same word, indicating the limits of the tombs.

page 32 note h In Pelletier's Dictionnaire de la langue Bretonne, p. 421, is an extremely curious article, wherein an evident connexion is shown between the Celtic word Harz, a boundary, and the passage in Caesar de Bello Gall. lib. 6. “Deum maxime Mercurium colunt,” &c. as well as between Terminus, and the Celtic Ter-mein, i. e. earth-stones. A very learned disquisition, entitled, “Ogmius Luciani ex Celticismo illustratus, auctore Frid. Sam. Schmidt, Helvet. Bernas.” (Archæologia, I. p. 262) may be consulted for information respecting the Dii Terminales.

page 32 note i Iliad, xxi. 403-5.

page 32 note k Æneid. xii. 897, 8.

page 34 note l The peasantry of Ireland regard “old and solitary thorns” with great reverence; considering them as sacred to the revels of the faries, whose vengeance follows their removal. Croker's Researches, p. 83. I have met with several instances of lands in England, described, in ancient deeds, as lying near the Night-mare thorn; some lonely spot which superstition had peopled with unearthly beings.

page 41 note m Grave also signifies a grove: perhaps, in its primary application, one that was protected by a graff, or trench; as, I presume, a coppice derives its name from the cops, or mounds, enclosing it.

page 55 note n King, Munimenta Antiqua, i. chap. 2.

II. Observations on certain ancient Pillars of Memorial, called Hoar-Stones. By the late William Hamper, Esq. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Honorary Member of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, &c.

  • William Hamper

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