Page images
PDF
EPUB

3. The extended position of the body, as opposed to the doubled-up

position generally affected in the pagan usage ; and 4. The absence of grave-goods.

The resemblance of the construction of the graves (in other respects than dimensions) to the short cists of the pagan period may be noted, and may justify the further surmise that the group belongs to an Early Christian period, when pagan methods of grave construction had not entirely died out.

To refer again to the district map (fig. 1), I would call attention to the apparently ecclesiastical associations of the district, as evidenced by such place-names as-

1. Spittal Hill-- Ruins of Back Spittal_Site of Hospital. 2. Friarton, Upper and Nether. 3. Monk's Rig-Monk's Road, with Font Stone-Monk's Burn--and

Monk's Haugh. 4. St Robert's Croft, and 5. Newhall, with its reputed site or ruins of chapel.

None of these names in themselves carry us back beyond the 11th century, and I need not take up further time and space with them, beyond referring to the 33rd volume of the Society's Proceedings, where Mr Coles, in describing the so-called Font Stone of the Monk's Rig (in reality the socketed base of a wayside cross), has set forth at some length what is apparently most of the information that may be gained from references in printed books to the ecclesiastical history and tradition of the neighbourhood.

I would, however, supplement Mr Coles' remarks on the subject with the two following extracts from Dr Pennecuik's Description of Tweed-dale, already referred to, on pp. 124 and 125 of which it is stated that,

“North from Patie’s-hill is the Wester-Hill of 'Spital, the most verdant, smooth, and beautiful of all the Pentiand Range . a short way up this hinder part of the hill are the foundations of some buildings, called in old writings the Back 'Spital, sheltered from the north by the Peat-rig, about the middle of the distance between the Doit-Burn and that of Fairlie-hope. ...

“At the foot of the Monk's Burn, where it joins the Esk, is a holm called the Monk's Haugh. New-Hall appears once to have been a religious house belonging to the wealthy order of the Cistertians, and to have held most of the surrounding district; and the lands of the 'Spitals seem to have been hospital lands endowed for sustaining the hospitals under the care and management of the religious foundation of New-Hall. Besides being a receptacle for the sick and superannuated, the Spitals were probably each a Hospitium or Inn, and with the road and its fonts and crosses, which also served as landmarks, an accommodation for travellers passing from one monastery to another, the Back 'Spital suiting such as went by the north side of the hills.”

Possibly the graves may be of earlier date than the neighbouring ecclesiastical foundations; and though the link (if link there is) may be of the slenderest description, I think it is desirable at least to connect this notice with Mr Coles' summary, because the Back Spital lies only half a mile down the valley from the graveyard ; and when the history of the Back Spital is ascertained in fuller detail (as it may yet be from the discovery of the “old writings” referred to in Dr Pennecuik's book), the presence in such close proximity to it of the graveyard may perhaps be a feature of some importance.

III.

NOTES ON A WAX MEDALLION, AND RELATIVE AUTOGRAPH LETTER,

OF PAUL JONES, PRESENTED TO THE SOCIETY IN 1860, AND
NOW IN THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ANTIQUITIES. BY FRANCIS
CAIRD INGLIS, F.S. A. Scot.

The medallion, which is circular in form, is mounted in a heavy brass frame, and measures 3] inches in diameter over all. It is a very fine piece of workmanship executed in wax (or some composition closely resembling wax), probably by Jean Martin Renaud, engraver and modeller, and gives us a very good idea of the man at the age of 39, representing him in court uniform, and showing the order of Military Merit.

There can be no doubt as to the portrait being an authentic one, as Paul Jones sent it to a lady (Mrs Belshes) in Scotland along with the following letter (fig. 1) dated 1786:

PARIS, August 29, 1786. MADAM, -It is with great pleasure that I now execute the flattering commission you gave me before you left this city. Sir James Stuart, who returns immediately to Scotland, does me the honour to take charge of the medallion you desired I might send you. I am unable to say whether it is well or ill executed, but I feel it receives it's value from your acceptance; an honour for which I can never sufficiently express my obligation, but which it will allways be my ambition to merit. My respectful compliments await your husband. I am very sensible of his polite attentions while here.

May you always enjoy a state of happiness as real as is the esteem and respect with which I have the honour to be, Madam, your most obedient and most humble servant,

J. PAUL JONES. Mrs Belches, Scotland.

The following note from Professor A. Campbell Swinton, F.S.A. Scot., serves to trace how the medallion came to the Museum, with the autograph letter which accompanied it:1

1 Proceedings, vol. iii. pp. 389–391.

[graphic]

Fig. 1. Facsimile of Letter from Paul Jones (slightly reduced).

3146 “I can tell you little about the medallion of Paul Jones beyond what is contained in the autograph letter from himself, which was presented along with it to the Society of Antiquaries (in 1860), and which is perhaps the greater curiosity of the two. The letter is addressed to Mrs Belshes, whose husband was a kinsman of the Inveraray family. She was a Miss Buchannan of Drumpelier, aunt to Mrs Graham, wife of Dr Graham, our late Professor of Botany, with whom she lived during her widowhood, and in whose house she died about 1840 (in Great King Street). The medallion and letter were

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

given by Mrs Belshes to my father, and have been in my possession for twenty or thirty years."

Comparing the medallion (fig. 2) with other portraits, it has much in common with the miniature on ivory by Van der Huyt (1780), the bust (fig. 3) by Houdon (1783), the medal by Dupré (ordered by the Congress in 1787), the prints in the British Museum, London (published 28th October 1779), two small engravings in the Scottish National Portrait

« PreviousContinue »