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Salon: Issue 344
14 June 2015

Next issue: 28 June 2015

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of news from the heritage sector. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contribution that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.

Please note: All news and feedback for publication in
Salon should be sent to the Salon Editor email address.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Magna Carta Through the Ages

Our landmark Magna Carta Through the Ages exhibition opened three weeks ago; we've had nearly 3,000 visitors so far, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with visitors praising the building, exhibition, interpretation and the staff and volunteers! Come and see it yourself and spread the word! The exhibition is free and open to everyone.

Fellows will receive a 20 per cent discount from the exhibition gift shop (applies to in-store purchases only). You can also make purchases through our online shop.

We've hosted several successful private events in the exhibition space as well. If you or someone you know is looking for a unique venue for an evening event, please get in touch with our Executive Assistant.

Magna Carta Online

We want Fellows to be the first to know: We just published a digital resource allowing researchers to study compare transcriptions of our three copies of Magna Carta. The tool, developed in collaboration with ITSEE (University of Birmingham), provides three unique ways of studying our copies of the charter, which include the copy of a 1215 draft in the Black Book of Peterborough, the scroll of the 1225 reissue from Halesowen Abbey and the 1225 reissue in the Hart Book of Statutes:
  • A Manuscript Viewer, in which the full transcription of copy can be viewed on its own next to a high-resolution image of the manuscript;
  • A Synopsis, which allows researchers to study the transcriptions 'chapter' by chapter while comparing all three copies;
  • And a Comparison Window, in which the transcriptions of all three copies are presented side by side, so that you can scroll down each to compare different areas.
The resource has gone live on our website just in time to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta on 15 June!

We are extremely grateful to the following for the hard work, scholarship and creativity expended in making this resource possible: Prof David C. Parker, FSA; Prof Stephen Church, FSA; Dr Michelle Brown, FSA; Dr Courtnay Konshuh; Dr Hugh Houghton; Dr Catherine Smith; and Head of Library and Collections Heather Rowland.

We are also very grateful to organisations that have supported the development of our Magna Carta exhibition and this learning resource: Heritage Lottery Fund, Bank of America, The Headley Trust, The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts and Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee.
Explore the Digital Resource >

The Future of Salon

We're really excited to welcome the new editor of Salon, Mike Pitts, FSA, to the team. Mike will be taking over the reigns soon, and we're sure that you'll enjoy reading this e-newsletter under his leadership. We just wanted to remind readers that the best way to contact Mike, with questions or contributions, is the Salon Editor email address: When you send emails to this inbox, you'll receive automatic confirmation that the editor has received your email as well as tips for making it possible for us to consider your content. The editor will answer questions as he is able, and consider each contribution or suggestion as they come.

Call for Volunteers: Open House London (19 September 2015)

The Society invites all Fellows to consider volunteering for our annual Open House London guided tours of our apartments on Saturday, 19 September. Tours will run from 10.00 to 17.00, and we welcome volunteers for all or part of the day. Email the Society's Communications Officer, Renée LaDue, to express an interest in volunteering. She will maintain a list of volunteers and be in touch later in the summer with details about the different ways to help.

'Dear Fellows, We Importune You: Bring What Books You Hoard' (An Appeal From Your Library)

Fellows are requested to return to the library any overdue books or periodicals in their possession, or contact the Assistant Librarian, Adrian James ( to renew the period of loan. If possible, please make returns before 31 July, when the Society's apartments and Library close for the month of August. You can even return them anonymously!
Librarians, like shepherds,
  Purvey their pastoral care,
And whilst no wolves or leopards
  Their dire intent declare,
Through time, and slow detrition,
  The grander glories fade;
Books, borrowed for a mission,
  Are frequently mislaid.
They are not dead, but sleeping,
  The books that Fellows hold,
And some improve with keeping;
  Their content turns to gold.
Yet underneath the dirt with
  Octavos on those shelves
Which dusters rarely flirt with,
  Stray volumes lose themselves.
For ages disregarded
  That library book may be,
Whose absence has retarded
  A pending Ph.D.
One journal’s single issue
  That must have been misplaced –
Alas, how much we miss you!
  Your partners go to waste.
Our books are seldom weighted
  With marks of ownership;
Not one has yet been fated
  To bear the bar-code’s strip.
So seemly is their binding
  You’d take them for your own;
Excuse us for reminding,
  You have a three-month loan.
You will discern no class-marks
  Imprinted on the spines;
We deem such things are crass marks,
  Nor do we scourge with fines
The Fellow who produces
  A book long overdue;
For volumes have their uses,
  And scholars are but few.
Dear Fellows, we importune
  You: bring what books you hoard
Be ours the glad good fortune
  To see them all restored.
Why, then you’ll hear us voicing
  A loud and cheerful sound;
For great is the rejoicing
  When what was lost, is found.

Forthcoming Events for Fellows

Magna Carta exhibition photo6 August: Fellows' Private View of Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt
This summer, the Society is lending one of its most well-known objects, the Bosworth Cross, to the Palace Green Library for the exhibition Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt. To celebrate this important loan, the Society has organised a Fellows' private view of the exhibition. Tickets are £12.00 each and can be booked online or by contacting our Executive Assistant (; 020 7479 7080). Information and booking details are online at

Magna Carta Through the Ages (26 May to 31 July)

People at the Magna Carta exhibition (photo)26 May – 31 July: Magna Carta Through the Ages Exhibition
The exhibition is free and open to all (Monday to Friday). For opening hours and other details, visit

To shop for Magna Carta merchandise and other Society souvenirs, visit

19 June: Magna Carta Museum Late
Join us for a unique opportunity to explore the exhibition, Magna Carta Through the Ages, after hours with special historic interpretation provided by Fellow Elizabeth New and medieval musician Jez Smith...and a cash bar! Details online at

17 September 2015: 'The Cultural Legacy of the Battle of Agincourt, 1415-2015' (Conference, Society of Antiquaries)

Portrait of Henry VThe Battle of Agincourt has come to mean much more than simply a battle fought in northern France on 25 October 1415 between the English and French. Over the centuries it has stimulated literary, artistic and musical outputs. It has also been used as a symbol of British identity as well as of family ancestral pride, even in cases where participation in the battle is dubious. There are claims of objects associated with the battle, as well as problematic early excavations. Major wars have stimulated new interest, especially the Napoleonic wars and the First World War. This day conference explores these themes and others to explain why Agincourt has generated such a legacy in antiquarian traditions as well as in the popular psyche.

This full-day conference has been organised by Fellow Anne Curry. Tickets are £20.00 per person and can be booked online or by contacting our Executive Assistant (, 020 7479 7080). Details of the conference (including a full programme and booking details) are available at

Regional Fellows Groups

Stay up to date with Regional Fellows events by logging into the Fellows' Area of the website and checking the 'Fellows' Discussion Forum', where forthcoming events are posted.

Welsh Fellows

On Friday, 5 June, the Welsh Regional Fellows Group had a meeting at Blaenavon Ironworks, enjoyed by many. Watch this space for future events with this group!

South West Fellows

Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at:

York Fellows

Saturday, 27 June: Fellows' Day in Hull. A two-part day beginning at 11.00 with a guided walk around the Historic Buildings of Old Town of  Hull, with Dave Evans, FSA. This will be followed by a pub or cafe lunch (venue to be decided, dependent upon numbers) and in the afternoon a tour of  the 'selected highlights' of the Hull and East Riding Museum, by Peter Halkon, FSA. We expect the day to finish around 15.30. Send questions or expressions of interest to Stephen Greep, FSA, at

Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at:

New Guidelines From the Archaeological Section of Ireland’s National Roads Authority (NRA)

James Eogan, FSA, sent the following update from Ireland's National Roads Authority:

'The staff of the Archaeological Section of Ireland’s National Roads Authority (NRA) is responsible for commissioning a large number of archaeological excavations each year from private-sector archaeological firms. These services are procured in the context of European Union and national regulations relating to procurement and contract management. Palaeo-environmental services are one key aspect of excavation services procured by the NRA.  It was found necessary for the NRA to develop guidelines to ensure that a standardised approach to palaeo-environmental sampling, analysis and reporting was adopted across all excavation contracts.
'The key objective of the NRA Guidelines is that on-site palaeo-environmental sampling strategies and off-site (post-excavation) analysis and reporting conform to the best standards and are focused on achieving high quality and scientifically meaningful results, in the context of the governmental regulations. The guidelines deal with plant macro-remains, charcoal, waterlogged wood, insects and pollen and may be of interest to colleagues in the UK and other jurisdictions who are responsible for procuring, managing or carrying out palaeo-environmental work. They are available to download from the NRA’s website .'

Are We Celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the Sealing of Magna Carta in the Correct Location?

The Times published an article this past weekend by Fellow Norman Hammond regarding new evidence for the site of the negotiations at Runnymede – just in time for the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta:

'The National Trust’s Runnymede site, where the American Bar Association’s tholos monument marks the presumed location of the agreement in 1215, “was originally made up of two meadows”, says Tim Tatton-Brown, FSA, former consultant archaeologist to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. “Unfortunately, it is the western part of the site that has been promoted as the ‘real’ Runnymede for the last half century at least...It seems most likely that Runnymede was farther east, closer to Egham and Staines”.'

'[Tim] suggests that a full survey of the Runnymede site — using geophysical and archaeological equipment, metal detectors, and close-up airborne radar (LiDAR) — would be a good way of commemorating the anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. A survey, he adds, would show the minutiae of the landscape — “but with luck it may also reveal where all the tents had been pitched for at least three weeks following Monday June 8, when King John issued letters of safe conduct to allow the baronial envoys to come to the ‘meadow of Staines’”.'

Read the full article in The Times.

News of Fellows

Michael Bundock, FSA
, is the author of the new publication, The Fortunes of Francis Barber. The book tells the extraordinary and little-known story of an unlikely friendship that developed between Dr Samuel Johnson, the distinguished man of letters, and his servant Francis Barber, a former slave.

Congratulations to John Ashdown-Hill, FSA, who has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The citation (announced on Saturday, 13 June) states that the award is ‘for services to the exhumation and identification of Richard III’. Read more from the BBC.

The contents of the Early Modern British Painters database, authored by Fellow Robert Tittler, have been updated. This second edition adds some 70 new entries, bringing the total to 2,578 names in all, and makes substantial additions to earlier content. Find the database at:

Lives Remembered: Richard E. W. Adams, FSA

We received the following obituary for Richard E. W. Adams, FSA, :

'Dr. Adams spent much of his career as a Mesoamerican archaeologist in Central America. He was fluent in Spanish, less so in German, and his use of French would sometimes result in unintended comedy. His professional career spanned the evolution of modern field archaeology from its rough beginnings to the somewhat more sophisticated present. When he began his life’s work as an archaeologist, travel to remote ruins was often on foot with the mule-train, or via dugout canoes. This later evolved into the use of trucks and jeeps, and later still to the use of planes and helicopters. He was a passionate advocate throughout his career against the looting of archeological sites worldwide. One of his favorite quotes – originally from a preeminent British archeologist– was that “archaeology is not a science, but a vendetta.” In spite of that sentiment, he enjoyed warm relationships with many of his colleagues and peers and he was especially proud of the accomplishments of his students, too numerous to list with specificity here, many of whom have gone on to make formidable professional reputations of their own.'

'Upon graduating from Shawnee High School in Kansas City, Kansas, and the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree, Dr. Adams enlisted as a private in the United States Marine Corps in 1951. He was a “Mustang”, becoming an officer and was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1967. He attained his Master and Doctoral degrees in Anthropology at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. His first post as a professor was at the University of Minnesota but after nine years of living in sub-zero temperatures for too many months, he moved the family back to San Antonio, Texas. He was at UTSA at its inception in 1972, serving as its first Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences before there were any students, professors, campus or buildings. He pursued a career in Academics as a professor, a University administrator, and as a field archaeologist until his retirement from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2007. Dr. Adams was recognized internationally as an expert in Mesoamerican civilizations and as a specialist in the Mayan civilization.'

'During his professional career, he published over 100 scholarly articles and books in publications including the cover story for the National Geographic Magazine (April 1986), the Cambridge University Press, Science Magazine, the Oklahoma University Press and many others. He worked at and directed numerous archaeological field operations and made scientific discoveries throughout Central America, primarily in Guatemala, including the ancient city of Tikal at the beginning of his career and latterly the excavations of the ruined cities of Rio Azul and Kinal.'

Read the entire article online here.

Bookplates to Fellows

Paul Bedford, FSA
, and Dan Hicks, FSA, have suggested this new column, inspired by Dan's discovery of  this bookplate of John Evans, FSA, (1823-1908) in the front of a bound volume  at the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Balfour Library, showing the coins, stone tools and bronze weapons that formed the focus of Evans’ contributions to antiquarian and archaeological inquiry.

We look forward to future contributions!

Memorials to Fellows

Warwick Ball, FSA, sent more information on a memorial we shared in the last edition:
'I was very interested to see Norman Hammond’s photo of the grave of Edward Blore in the last Salon. Blore is an architect of particular interest to me, partly because he was mainly responsible for Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford, not far from my home in the Scottish Borders. The very first time I visited Count Vorontzov’s very ‘English’ palace of Alupka in Crimea, I was immediately struck by the resemblance to Abbotsford, and subsequently discovered that Blore was indeed the architect for Alupka as well. Vorontzov was, of course, a great Anglophile. See C E B Brett, Towers of Crim Tartary. English and Scottish Architects and Craftsmen in the Crimea, 1762-1853 (Donington 2005). Blore was also architect of another palace that was also near to where I grew up: Government House in Sydney.'

Call for Papers

Percy Manning: The Man Who Collected Oxfordshire
Proposals are needed for a book celebrating the life and work of the Oxford antiquary Percy Manning (1870-1917). The work will be published by Archaeopress in the series Archaeological Lives early in 2017, on the centenary of his death. Proposals should be based on research into the life of Manning; into his collections in the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers museums and the Bodleian Libraries. Proposals for original contributions of 8,000-12,000 words must be received by 31 July 2015. Please address any queries and send proposals to

New Insights into 16th- and 17th-century British Architecture
This is a call for papers for a conference to be held at the Society of Antiquaries on Saturday, 23 January 2016. Proposals in the form of short abstracts (up to 250 words) are invited for papers of 30 minutes in length. While the emphasis remains on new research in architecture, we welcome proposals on related themes, such as decorative arts, gardens, sculpture and monuments. The proposals should be submitted by mid-August and the final programme will be announced in September. For further information, please contact Fellows Paula Henderson or Claire Gapper.

Forthcoming Heritage Events

26 June 2015: 'Gold Boxes: Manufacture and Marketing From the 18th Century to the Present Day: A Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection Study Day (The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)
This day conference is by ticket only (£10). Details available on the attached PDF.

24-26 July 2015: Seminar for Arabian Studies (British Museum)
Visit the seminar's website, to download the registration form, which should be completed and returned to

Until 16 August: Breadalbane Bling: Power Dressing in Medieval Glenlyon and Beyond (Perth Museum & Gallery)
This exhibition explores medieval 'bling' and is centered around the loan of two magnificent brooches from the British Museum, the Glenlyon brooch and the Breadalbane brooch. Details at

Until 25 September: An Exhibition of the Wintour Vestments (Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Berkshire)
The vestments of Helen Wintour from Stonyhurst College and St Benet's, Kemerton, are exhibited together, reunited for the first time in more than 300 years.

24 October: Second Annual Conference (Norwich Historic Churches Trust)
This day conference is jointly sponsored by Norwich Historic Churches Trust and Friends of Norwich Historic Churches Trust, and chaired by President of the Friends Brian Ayers, FSA. The fee (£40) includes attendance for the six papers, coffee, tea, and a hot lunch buffet. For details or registration information, contact Stella Eglinton at

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). When proposing a lecture, it is helpful to provide a working title, a few sentences about the topic and its significance, and how you will make it relevant and accessible to the entirety of the diverse Fellowship. We welcome papers based on new research on themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.

Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.


Follow the Society of Antiquaries on Twitter for news and event updates: @SocAntiquaries

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