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Extracts of Letters, (iff. to the Author and Editor.
ICannot but congratulate the present Age, that such a Genius for Antiquities is risen amongst us: from whose Researches and Discoveries the World ■may expect much publick Service. Mafte virtute «sto. A. B.
IHave read over your History, &c. of WHEATFIELD, and, next that of Cekhejler'm the Year 1748, I think it the best and most useful Book that has been written, of many Years, upon that Subject.—I am certain your Dedication can give no Offence, though you had not special License: I ihould beproud of it, could it be transferred to
IMust not forget to thank you for the Loan of your Antiquities, &c. I hope you intend to make them publick; the Chain, as far as it continues whole, is excellently disposed, and where broken, is happily amended by natural Conjectures; and your Stile, like the Emblem of your Subject, serpit humlt as well as the best of you Contemporaries. I wish, contrary to my Expectations, the ungrateful World may pay you for your Labours.
G 4 . C. D.
To the unknown Author and Editor of the History and Antiquities of WHEATFIELD.
£i/fTURN, or Time, no more shall Britons fear.
Drawn are his Te< th, and run is his Career j No longer fierce the Column to consume, Or dusty o'er the Heroe's nodding Plume. By you set free, and, prompt at your Command, See Pillars, Columns, Arches cloud the Land! Heroes, that long in Dust and Ashes lay, Start from their Tombs, and cry, Come, come away. You give Oblivion nought but trivial Things, Songs to the Fair, and Birth-day Odes to Kings.
On the Same.
/"~\LD Time, with your Scythe, and your Snake, and your Glass,
Have a Care of yourself, there's a Snake in the Grafs!
A Snake like the Serpent in Moses's Hand,. .
That will eat up your Snake at the Word of Command. E. F.
(j\ UV M potis es seclis iritis revocare nitorem,
Heu! quondam forma prifca Corinna petit. Ars tua nil tnagni refugit; miserere Corinna j DenteSy quos dempfii a Tempore, dentur ei.
Cum multis aliis.
THE THEWater-mills, all within the Compass of three Miles ^ besides a Ford call Overgang, probably so named by the Scots, upon passing this River at that Place j the Word Gang being of [b] Scotijh Extraction. These numerous Communications were made for the Sake and Convenience of carrying on the Traffick of Wheat; and the no less numerous Mills (all of them to this Day Corn-mills) were erected with a View to the fame End; for it does not appear, from the oldest Records, that ever any Manufacture was tstablislied here, or any where near, so as tp make this Village a Thorough-fare.
WHE ATFIEL D.
THE ancient Villa or Parish of WHEATFIELD lies on the South-west Part of the County of Suffolk, in the 520" Degree, 12 Minutes of Northern Latitude, and distant from London 66 Miles. It stands upon the South and East Side of a lofty Hill, and gradually rising from the River Brett, which begins at a Village called Brettenbam, [a] Britonum villa, and ends at Higham in the said County, where it empties itself into the Stour, the River that parts Suffolk from EJsex;
•—»—r Quo non alius per pinguia Culta
There are no less Number than five Bridges, three of Brick, and two of Wood, over the Brett, and five
So noted was this Place, «ven since the Conquest, that it appears to have been made a Guide or Direction to the more obscure Villages adjacent; for in a Chartulary of the Grants to St. John's Abbey in Colchester, I find that Geffrey dc Amble gave four Acres of Land at Ebnsett, near (ignotttm per natum) WHEATFIELD.
Neither Post, Coach, nor Stage-Waggon, set out from hence, Hor are they in the least wanted; sot the Waggons, Tumbrels, and Horses of the Place are always sufficient to carry out the Inhabitants ahi their Commodities, as far as they have ever Occasion to go; and the single Postage of a Letter to London will amply pay a Meflenger to the utmost Extent of their Correspondence.
Johnson's Dict. . .
WHEATFIE1D was called by the Romans, VILLA FRUMENTARIA, and sometimes, hyperbolically, SIC1LIA BRITANNICA, for the Excellency and Plenty of Wheat growing therein. The Saxons called it pj?ATeFeLD, J>J?ATe signifying Wheat, and F£ld Field; which the Moderns, for want of Skill in the Saxon Tongue, mistaking its Etymology, now corruptly call WHATFIELD. There are not wanting learned Men, I confess, who adhere to the vulgar Reading; and in support of it suppose, that the Saxons, out of Surprize and Amazement at the Fertility of the Place, cried out, What Feld! And from that Moment, according to the capricious and licentious Nomination of Men and Things of those Times, called it WHATFELD.
It appears to have been a Roman Station, from the frequent [f] Fojps in many Parts of the Villa; and by the [d] Coins often plough'd up in a Field called Cajile Field, to have been in their Hands from the Beginning of Claudius to the Death of Valentinian Hid; when the Roman Eagle took its Flight from
If] Dion. Amm. Mar,
[</] Camdin tells us, that from the Time of Claudius to that of Valentinian, the Reman Coin only was current in this Nation. It is certain all the Coins found here begin and end at those Æra's. Upon all the Reverses are either CERES AVGVSTA or CERES FRVGIFERA, with Emblems of Wheat Ears and Cornucopias; from which Circumstance I collect that this particular Money was coined for the Use of this Village, and that its Currency probably never exceeded the Boundaries of it,