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Title: Addresses & Papers / Collectanea
Author: Eade, Peter
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Addresses & Papers / Collectanea" ***


                                * * * * *

                           _DE DIVERSIS REBUS_

                                * * * * *

                           ADDRESSES AND PAPERS

                       SIR PETER EADE, M.D., LOND.

   _Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians_; _Hon. Fellow of King’s_
  _College_, _London_; _Consulting Physician to the Norfolk and Norwich_
    _Hospital_, _to the Jenny Lind Infirmary for Sick Children_, _and_
            _to the Norwich Dispensary_; _Honorary Freeman of_
                          _the City of Norwich_

                                * * * * *

             JARROLD AND SONS, 10 AND 11, WARWICK LANE, E.C.

                          _All Rights Reserved_



CHAPTER                                                           PAGE
          I.  ON RECREATION GROUNDS FOR NORWICH                      9
         II.  ON TEMPERANCE AND AIDS TO TEMPERANCE                  15
        III.  ON TORTOISES—_With Illustration_, 1908                29
         IV.  A FURTHER NOTE UPON TORTOISES                         38
          V.  MY CHRISTMAS GARDEN PARTY                             44
         VI.  MY CITY GARDEN IN “A CITY OF GARDENS”                 53
         IX.  THE TOWER OF ST. GILES’S CHURCH—_With                 99
          X.  ON SIR THOMAS BROWNE—_With Portrait_                 121


The following Addresses and Papers on various subjects have been selected
from many others contributed by the Author, as thought to be possibly of
sufficient interest in their respective spheres to justify their
reproduction in a collected form.  They are very diverse in their
character, and embrace a great variety of topics.

It has been well said that all men are delighted to look back; and the
Author, whilst thus recalling past work, can only express the hope that
some of these Papers may have contributed, however infinitesimally, each
in their own way and at their respective times, to help forward the
appreciation of the then present, or the progress of the world’s welfare
or knowledge in the future.

   _Norwich_, 1908.


Condensed Report of Speech in Norwich Town Council, 1880, reprinted from
the _Norwich Mercury_ of October 23rd, 1880:—

Dr. Eade, pursuant to notice, rose to call attention to the question of
recreation or playgrounds for the children of Norwich.

He reminded the Council that four or five years ago, after some
considerable talk with leading citizens, he ventured in the public Press
to call attention to the deficiency which existed in Norwich in respect
of recreation or playgrounds, and also of public baths.  Ever since that
time the question had, more or less, started up at intervals, while
certain steps had been taken, which, in the course of time, would
probably result in something being achieved.  But, as time went on, the
city was growing rapidly, open spaces were built upon, and he and those
who were anxious to see something done were passing away.  He had,
therefore, taken upon himself once again to call attention to the
subject, and to ask the Council to take action upon it.

After remarking upon the great importance now generally attached to
questions affecting the public health, sanitation, or preventive
medicine—for these were synonymous terms—and the intimate connection now
everywhere recognised between the general welfare of the population of
our great cities, and the absence of disease, with the consequent
reduction in the death-rate, Dr. Eade said that it was entirely from the
point of view of the public health that he wished to call attention to
this subject.  The physical growth, the physical well-being, and the
physical development of the population formed a large branch of this
subject; and he was afraid that, with regard to this, Norwich could not
be said to be in the forefront of progress.  Even since he first mooted
the question many of the open spaces which he then believed available for
the purpose had been built over or otherwise dealt with.

Norwich, once a city of gardens, was rapidly becoming a cramped and
over-crowded city—at least, in its older portions; and in the new
portions no provision was made for the physical welfare of the
population, and no opportunities were given for the physical development
of the children.  Not in a single instance had a good wide roadway been
opened up in the new districts; on the contrary, he was sorry to see in
one or two of the most populous districts roads which ought to be great,
wide thoroughfares, nothing better than narrow lanes.  One most
remarkable instance was Unthank’s Road, which was being built up at the
lower part where it was extremely narrow, so that instead of being made a
great artery for the traffic of the city, it was converted into a mere
lane, and it ought to be called Unthank’s Lane—not dignified by the name
of road.

No doubt before many years were over the city would have to incur a large
expenditure in widening that and other roads.  How short-sighted, then,
was the policy of allowing such encroachments to go on!

To show what bearing these points had on public opinion long ago, Dr.
Eade pointed out that even in Shakespeare’s time the question was raised,
as was seen in “Julius Cæsar.”  Mark Antony, in his speech to the
citizens, first asks—“Wherein did Cæsar thus deserve your love?” and then
the reply comes (by his Will) “To every Roman citizen he gives
seventy-five drachmas;” and afterwards—

    “Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
    His private arbours, and new planted orchards
    On this side Tiber; he hath left them you
    And to your heirs for ever; common pleasures,
    To walk abroad and recreate yourselves.”

Dr. Eade proceeded to say he wished there were Julius Cæsars at the
present time desirous of making wills for the benefit of Norwich.  He
then quoted the opinions of Lord Shaftesbury and the _Lancet_ as to
places of public recreation and their influence upon the physical and
moral welfare of the population, and added, that he fully agreed with the
writer in the _Daily Press_, signing himself “C. I. T.,” when he
wrote—“The city expects the authorities to guard the health and lives of
the humbler population at all costs.”

Other towns had done and were doing that which he wanted them to do in
Norwich.  Towns as large as Birmingham and as small as Falmouth, had
provided public parks, and many had more than one.  Birmingham had seven
parks and recreation grounds, Sheffield four, and Bradford three, while
the latter town had lately spent £150,000 in carrying out what he was now
advocating.  Norwich had a population of 90,000, and was rapidly
increasing and spreading on almost all sides—open spaces being constantly
taken up for building purposes.  Though they had playgrounds attached to
School Board schools, he was sorry to find they were not available to the
juvenile population—that they were only open to the children attending
the schools during school hours, or a few minutes before and after

Norwich stood the very lowest on the list of the towns of England with
regard to this question of recreation grounds.  They had waited and
waited until the difficulty of providing such places had greatly
increased, while if they waited longer these difficulties would become
almost insuperable.  When he first started in this matter he could have
found, or had the offer of, several open places, but those were now built
over.  He, at that time, took a great deal of trouble in the matter, but
soon found that notwithstanding the support given him by several
prominent citizens, it was far too large a matter for a single individual
to carry through; but now he had the honour of a seat in the Council he
claimed their attention, and, if possible, their powerful sympathy and
support.  They might ask where was the demand for recreation grounds.  He
asked those who had children to bring up whether they would allow them to
play in narrow streets and crowded courts breathing impure air?  What was
the reason of there being so many puny, delicate, and small children?  He
ventured to say this was almost entirely due to the unwholesome
surroundings in which they were brought up.  He mentioned that in Glasgow
recently, one medical man lecturing in that city said that in one year he
had treated 330 cases of children with deformed bones—bent legs, bent
thighs, knock-knees, etc.—which deformities were entirely due to the want
of proper development and to their unwholesome surroundings.  Much
superior in many respects as Norwich was to Glasgow, he ventured to say
that the same condition of things existed here.  But the demand for
places of recreation was, he contended, proved by the fact that whenever
a plot of ground was cut up for building purposes, children crowded there
from all parts of the city to play, and this they continue to do until
driven away by the advance of bricks and mortar.  Then, too, Chapel
Field, when it was open, was often taken advantage of by 500 and 600
children and others, who went there for play and enjoyment.

After making other observations as to the need of such places, Dr. Eade
said there were two ways in which the want might be supplied.
Playgrounds could not be taken close to every door; but in every new
district care should be taken to secure the setting apart of a certain
amount of space for the children.  One plan he would suggest was that at
various points in the city a field should be purchased and thrown open to
the children; and another plan was to purchase or hire a large space
which might be converted into a people’s park, with a small portion set
apart for the use of children.

It might be said that such places would really be used by the rough
portion of the population; but he contended that it was for just this
portion of the population they were most required.  Let the rough
children be brought up to know the worth of fresh air, what it is to have
healthy frames, so that in after life they may not be poor and puny and
miserable.  The very fact that the rough children of the poor would use
these places was an argument in favour of their provision.  A healthy
body meant not only a healthy mind, but a contented mind; and with
recreation grounds for their use the children might be expected to grow
up amenable to proper and right feelings, and in every sense better
members of the community.

Believing as he did in the doctrine of _salus populi suprema lex_, he
earnestly recommended the Council to take some steps in the direction he
had indicated.

He concluded by moving—“That this Council, recognising the duty of
providing recreation grounds for the children of Norwich, appoints a
special committee to consider and report as to the best means of carrying
out this resolution.”

A Committee of the Council was then at once appointed.

                                * * * * *

NOTE.—At this date there were practically no public recreation grounds.
At the present time we have the following:—

  Mousehold Heath, 150 acres.

  Chapel Field Gardens.

  The Castle Gardens.

  The Gildencroft.

  Waterloo Park.

  South Heigham, 6 acres.

  The Woodlands Plantation (given by Mrs. Pym).

  Lakenham and St. Martin’s Bathing Places and Grounds.

  Eaton Park, 80 acres.

Besides the numerous smaller spaces and churchyards which have been
re-arranged and planted, and made both pleasing and (many of them)
suitable for outdoor use or rest.  For the promotion and carrying out of
these, we are most largely indebted to Mr. Edward Wild, Mr. W. E.
Hansell, and the Rev. J. Callis, with one or two others.

This and the next following Address were the outcome of the very strong
impression produced upon the Author by observing the puniness or physical
inferiority of much of the poor population with whom he had to deal as
Physician to the Norwich Dispensary, when first coming to Norwich, as
compared with that of the neighbouring country district where he had
formerly resided.  It appeared to him that want of outdoor exercise and
the public-house habit were the main causes of this difference.  And
hence these two subjects of Recreation and Temperance at once engaged his
attention, as they have continued to do ever since.

How such views have now developed, and also that of the necessity of good
air and exercise for the young, in order to normal adult health and
vigour, is patent to all.


An Address given at the Parochial Hall, South Heigham, in March, 1879, at
a meeting held for the purpose of forming for the parish a branch of the
Church of England Temperance Society, the Rev. J. Callis, Vicar,

Reprinted from the _Norwich Mercury_ of March 5th, 1879.

The evils of excessive drinking are vast and widespread.  As doctors, we
are constantly being brought face to face with them—in injured health, in
wasted life, in ruined homes.  Much has been said, and will doubtless be
said again to-night, on these points; and the desirability of a
Temperance Society for this, as for other parishes, will be enforced.
But believing that our object is to promote temperance in every possible
way, I shall to-night allude to some of those social conditions which
necessarily have a great bearing upon this important question.

Now, it is well known that much difference of opinion has existed as to
the influence exerted by fermented liquors when taken in small or
reasonable quantities, some thinking that in these small quantities they
are pleasant and practically harmless; others holding that in no quantity
are they either necessary or even free from injurious effects.  Whatever
may be the absolute truth of either of these opinions in reference to a
limited use of these liquors, I think all are of one mind as to their
pernicious effects when taken in any considerable quantity.  All are
agreed that drunkenness is a vice, baneful to the individual, hurtful to
his friends; while doctors and physiologists are unanimous in asserting
it to be positively proved that a too free use of them not only produces
the outwardly injurious effects with which we are so familiar, but also
gradually induces such degenerative disease of various internal organs as
undermines the health and materially shortens the existence of the
individual.  With such a conflict of opinion still existing, our society
wisely declines to decide that which science has been unable to settle,
and opens wide her doors, and asks both these classes of thinkers to come
in.  She invites one section of her members to do no violence to their
views of what constitutes temperance, or of the right way of influencing
their neighbours.  She merely asks them to join this society, and simply
pledge themselves to practice and encourage that temperance as to which
everyone may agree.  But she tries to speak more mildly to those who are
travelling in the well-trod road of Intemperance, which leads to mental
and bodily ruin; and she entreats them to embrace the only means yet
known which can save them from their destructive course.  She asks them
to pledge themselves to endeavour, by entire abstinence from the
destroying drink, to save themselves from the miserable end to which they
are hastening.

Speaking for myself and of myself, although a very moderate and small
drinker, I am not an abstainer. {16}  But though believing that many
persons may take a small quantity of fermented liquor without being the
worse for it, I also know that to many persons even a small quantity is
more or less injurious; whilst as to others, I can but repeat what has
been so often said before, and I do it with the greatest possible
emphasis, that to many alcohol is a positive poison, unsuited to their
temperaments, destructive to their health, and productive of the worst
evils, both morally and physically.  It is curious to notice, in passing,
not only that the use of wine is alluded to through a large part of the
Bible history, but also that the injurious effects of it seem always to
have been precisely the same in character as those which are so much
dilated on in the present day.  Dr. Richardson, perhaps the greatest
living exponent of the physiological properties of alcohol, and the
greatest denouncer of its habitual use, speaks of its effects according
to the increased quantities in which it is used.  He describes its
influence thus:—“In the first stage of alcoholism,” _i.e._, in small
quantity, he says, “it tends to paralyse the minute blood vessels,
producing their relaxation and distension, illustrated by the flush seen
on the face of those who have (in familiar language) been drinking, by
the redness of the eyes and nose,” etc., etc.  This stage of excitement,
he describes as being followed—if the quantity be increased—by some loss
of muscular power, with disturbance of the reasoning powers and of the
will; whilst again a further quantity produces a complete collapse of
nervous function, when the drunken man, who previously, perhaps, had been
excited, talking loud, and staggering in his walk, becomes stupid,
helpless, and falls into a heavy sleep.  And are we not all familiar with
the quotations:—“His eyes shall be red with wine”; “Wine is a mocker;
strong drink is raging”; “They are out of the way through strong drink,
they err in vision, they stumble in judgment”; “They shall drink and make
a noise as through wine”; “Who hath woe?  Who hath sorrow?  Who hath
contentions?  Who hath redness of eyes?  They that tarry long at the
wine.”  “At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an

Those who have taken the trouble to read Dr. Richardson’s lectures on
alcohol, will see that the effects of wine, as thus described long ages
ago, are identical with those which he found experimentally to result
from alcohol at the present day; and the redness of the eyes, the
contentions and quarrelling, the loss of judgment, and the ulterior
disastrous results to the health, spoken of in the infallible Word, are
only too familiarly known at the present day.  Nor let it be said that
wine is not the beverage of the multitude at the present time.  For this
point has also been experimentally investigated by Dr. Richardson, and he
found that whatever the alcoholic drink, or whatever the adulterations,
the effect of these variations was insignificant, and that the real evil
results of drinking were always due to the alcohol contained in the
fermented liquors, whether these were wine, beer, or ardent spirits.  But
the subject of drinking and its evil influences, both physical and moral,
has now been so long and so often placed before the public, that I shall
gladly employ the short time left to me in alluding to some suggestions
which have been made, with a view to assist in remedying the drinking
habits of the people, and to enable them to wean themselves from these
where no hope of voluntary or total abstention on a large scale can
reasonably be hoped for.  These suggestions have been very numerous.  The
first and most sweeping suggestion is the well-known one, which ignores
every other consideration but the evil effects of the excessive use of
alcohol, and proposes to get rid of drunkenness by rendering it
impossible to get the drink.  Legislation tending to this end was tried,
as is well known, in America, under the title of the Maine Liquor Law,
but its success has not been such as to induce other localities to follow
the example.  Again, systems of partial restriction, such as are known as
the Gothenburg system, have been tried, or proposed, in the form of a
Permissive Bill, such as has been advocated by Sir Wilfrid Lawson; but
neither of these have commended themselves to the judgment of mankind as
being the right solution of this question.  The fact is social man and
mankind constitute a large question.  Over indulgence is not limited to
the cravings of the stomach.  Vice would not be eradicated by the simple
removal of beer, however much assisted by it, and man would not be at
once raised to the desired moral level were public-houses at once
abolished.  And so out of this conviction have arisen the various efforts
which have been made, and are being persistently made, to attain, or
assist in attaining, the wished-for results by more gradually acting
moral means.  These means, or aids to temperance, as I would call them,
embrace several distinct influences, all of which such a temperance
society as this is calculated to exert.  They consist, primarily, in
diffusing among the population, by meetings, by speeches, and by
writings, a thorough knowledge of the personal evil which such habits
necessarily and inevitably produce; (1)  By bringing to bear the
influence which friends and neighbours, so instructed, can exercise; (2)
By forming public opinion and rendering it so forcible that the general
mass of individuals must needs bow to its dictates; and, lastly, by these
and all other assisting means, endeavouring to strengthen the personal
control of self, and to make the individual himself contribute entirely
to, not only his own good, but, by his improved example, to that of his
neighbours and the community at large.  I trust that through the force of
public opinion it will soon be thought by the working classes as vulgar
and as low to get intoxicated, as it now is by those with more advantages
of means and information.

Much has been said and written about the influence which _education_ is
likely to exert in the future upon the habits of the people.  There can
be no doubt, I think, that the influence which will be gradually so
exercised will be very great.  A mind trained to better things will abhor
and revolt at the gross pleasure which it would otherwise have tolerated
or enjoyed.  And we all (I am sure) rejoice to see that education is
being spread abroad in our land, and that the rising generation will all,
in greater or less degree, have their minds trained sufficiently to
prevent their slumbering in the lowest abysses of non-development, and to
awaken them, and to lead them to the knowledge at least that there are
better enjoyments in the human body and the human mind than the false and
injurious excitement of incessant alcoholic stimulation.  But,
unfortunately, education is like a tree.  It takes a long time for its
development, and the circumstances of the time are too urgent to wait in
dependence alone upon this agency.  For all the while that we are
talking, the world is living and acting, and living under such conditions
that, if present customs are to be changed, others and better ones must
be found and provided in substitution for them.

There is a population to deal with, a people largely and often
exhaustively occupied during the day, and so occupied, that a large
portion of it requires some relaxation in the evening, after the hours of
toil shall have passed away.  In the country districts the difficulty is
less; but in the crowded districts of our large towns, where often many
houses, without any surroundings, exist, and these, when present, often
not the most wholesome or commodious, some means of passing the evening
in reasonable recreation are absolutely necessary.  The richer classes
even, in large towns and cities, have felt the need of their _clubs and
meeting places_, and gradually, also, working-men have followed this
example, and have, in many places, set up their clubs of various kinds.
If anyone would like to know the demand that exists for evening places of
resort, I would ask him to observe the throngs of people who pour out of
the public-houses on their closing at the hour of eleven at night.  It is
not to be supposed that all the frequenters of these houses of
entertainment are drunkards, are even lovers of strong drink, although,
from the constitution of these houses, they must necessarily drink to pay
for the accommodation they receive; but they use them as clubs, as the
only places open to them in which they can spend their evenings, and in
which they find the light, the warmth, the company, the newspapers, the
interchange of speech, which they crave, and which are there alone
obtainable.  This view of the uses to which the public-house parlour is
applied, is confirmed by observation of what happens when a
well-appointed circus or other similar place of outdoor amusement is
located in such a town as Norwich.  For although no drink, good or bad,
is sold in the building, yet it may be seen for weeks together to be
nightly thronged by a company of one, or, perhaps, two thousand people.

Acting upon this idea, and on this principle, there have now been
established in many places public-houses without those elements which
render them undesirable.  The Café Company’s houses, like to that
recently opened in Norwich (and to which, I am sure, we all wish good
speed), in which provision is made for amusement, for food, and for
non-intoxicating drinks, are of this class, and so are the establishments
of the London Coffee Public-house Association, and the Coffee Tavern
Company, and others.  But a recent writer (Mr. Moggridge, _Macmillan_,
October, 1878) goes much further, and suggests the trial of the plan of
retaining the present public houses, while keeping their attractive
features, throwing the sale of drink so far into the background that it
shall be the least prominent and important part of the establishment.

At present, of course, the public-houses exist only or chiefly in the
sale of fermented liquors, and not for the benefit of the frequenter,
whose primary object is often, at least at first, the enjoyment of the
public parlour and its society.  The writer above mentioned proposes, at
least for a time, to convert them into veritable clubs, where fermented
drinks can certainly be obtained, but where they shall by no means be the
great and prominent part of the refreshment provided.  He thinks that
then it might be possible gradually to wean a large portion of their
frequenters from their drinking habits, and gradually also to introduce a
better and more harmless system than now prevails.  Whether or not such a
scheme as this is practicable, or even desirable, it appears certain that
in any attempt to close the present houses of public resort, other and
more suitable ones must be provided.

Before quitting this part of the subject, I would desire to call
attention to the laudable attempts already made in two adjoining parishes
to furnish a sort of evening club room for the use of the poorer
parishioners.  In one of these parishes, I believe, the mission room is
open for use every evening, and in the other a commencement has been made
by opening the schoolroom on Saturday evenings.  For these, newspapers,
or reasonable games, are essential, and it is probable (as man is both a
hungry and thirsty animal) that if they are to be permanently successful
both food and harmless drinks must be obtainable; but whether tea and
coffee will be sufficient, or whether some of the various unfermented
drinks are required, which are described in a little book called, “A Book
of One Hundred Beverages,” I must not now stay to consider.

In England and countries of similar climate, the recreation difficulty is
much greater than in more favoured countries, where the climate, in a
larger portion of the year, admits of the evening hours being passed in
the open air.  Here, for months together, the evenings’ relaxation must
needs be within doors, and in many towns there is literally no place of
indoor resort but the public-house, and, perhaps, the theatre.

A great aid to temperance will doubtless be given when, under the
operation of the Artisans’ Dwelling Act, or other similar legislation,
the character of the worst localities of our towns improves.  It is
notorious that the narrower the streets, the more crowded the courts, and
the worse the houses, the more do gin-palaces flourish, and the more does
the population give itself up to the artificial stimulus of fermented
liquors.  And the reason is not far to seek, for if there be an absence
of all comfort at home; if the house be small, and crowded, and dirty; if
the water be bad, and perhaps unsuited for drinking; if there be no bit
of garden in which to lounge, and to grow a few things in which interest
can be taken; if there be nothing in home to render this agreeable—then,
as a matter of course, recourse is had to that neighbouring house where
nearly all these conditions are reversed, and dirt, and squalor, and
crowding are exchanged for light, and brightness, and space.

I have said that an English climate is less adapted than many others to
_out-of-doors’ recreations_ and amusements.  Yet there is, even in
England a very considerable portion of the year in which the existence of
public parks and recreation grounds would contribute very largely to the
promotion of temperance by providing pleasant spots in which to pass the
hours unabsorbed by labour.  But, I am sorry to say that our old city of
Norwich has sadly degenerated from the time of Pepys, and enjoys an
unenviable pre-eminence in the entire absence of these most desirable
public spaces within its boundaries.  With the exception of Chapel Field,
we have not a single open public space.  There is not a spot where the
lads can play at cricket or football, or where their seniors can lounge
away an evening hour; while as to a public park, the chance of this
appears to grow dimmer and dimmer as the population of the city spreads
and increases.  I have ventured on more than one occasion to call
attention to the need of such places for Norwich, and I have pointed to
Mousehold Heath as a place which should, at all costs, be preserved for
the city.  But time passes.  Several available spots for public
recreation grounds have, one by one, been absorbed for building purposes,
and Mousehold Heath—a space which appears to have been specially provided
for the health and salubrity of future Norwich, and whose beauties and
capabilities must surely be unappreciated by our citizens—is being
gradually devoted to gravel pits, to brick kilns, and—to destruction.
And let it not be supposed that the temperance of a population has no
relation to its health and its general welfare.  Beyond the attractions
of a fresh and open spot, as a counter attraction to the public-house,
the growth of a strong and healthy population tends powerfully in the
direction of temperate habits, for the feeble and weakly will naturally
seek indoor resorts, whilst the strong and the muscular will equally
surely seek the open air.  I wish I could think that Norwich was not
suffering from this cause.  But whoever observed the generally puny
appearance, the poor _physique_, and the frequently strumous aspect of
many of the children and youth received into our schoolrooms during the
late flood, and many of whom came from the most crowded parts of the
city, must have been struck with the evidence they afforded of the want
that existed for them of light, of air, and of healthy exercise.

Lest I should be thought to be dwelling too long on a subject of little
importance, or little bearing upon this night’s proceedings, let me read
over to you a list of those places in England (and I am not sure that it
is a complete list) which, during the past two or three years, have
either had presented to them or have felt it their duty to provide public
parks and recreation grounds for the use of the residents:—Reading,
Birmingham, Dublin, Wigan, Leicester, Limerick, Lancaster, Heywood,
Derby, Wolverhampton, Leeds, Longton, Torquay, Sheffield, Swansea,
Newcastle, Exeter, and Falmouth.

The only other aid to temperance, to which I will now allude, is that of
_public galleries of art and natural history_, and so forth.  These are
but small aids, but still they are appreciable ones, and I would gladly
see such in Norwich.  I do not know how far the disused gaol would be
convertible to such public purposes, but it has struck me that the site
is an admirable one, and the space ample for the collection in one spot,
of an art gallery, museum, free library, popular lecture rooms, and for
any other purposes which might properly come under the heading of popular
instruction.  The former city gaol has long been used as a public
library.  It would be a happy change if the late one could now be
devoted, not to the punishment but the prevention of crime; not to the
expiation of the results of indulgence in drink, but to the better
training of men’s minds, so as to teach them, by instinct and by culture,
to avoid the destructive paths of vice and of excess.

I think, sir, I have said enough to show how large is this temperance
question, in which we are all, in which, indeed, the whole community, is
so greatly interested.  In proof of its recognised importance, we may
point to the fact that doctors, physiologists, ministers of religion,
peers of the realm, and even a Prime Minister, have raised their voices
in opposition to the progress of the crying evil of drunkenness.  Many
earnest men have striven, by the influence of their continued advice, and
by the example of their personal abstention from intoxicating liquors, to
help on the good work; and many others have done so in various indirect
ways, and especially by efforts to ameliorate the condition of the
people, and provide for them alternative means of harmless and rational
occupation or amusement.  These efforts are so persistent and now so
general; they are founded upon such complete knowledge, and such
recognised necessity, that they cannot fail rapidly to produce good
fruit, and I believe they have already produced some good fruit in
Norwich.  But as social knowledge ripens, as acquaintance with the means
of securing the general well-being increases, so we may hope that the
difficulties attending the reformation of evil habits will lessen; and
although we may not hope to see established a condition of houses, of
streets, of towns, of food and drink, of labour, and of all those
conditions which would render human life and surroundings ideally
perfect, yet continuous efforts must be made to realise for the community
such moral and physical surroundings as shall conduce to their welfare in
the highest possible degree.  And to this end, let us be sure that
nothing will contribute so much as that soberness and temperance which it
is the object of this Church of England Society to encourage and

                 [Picture: Sir Peter Eade with tortoises]


I have almost to apologize for bringing before so learned and critical a
Society as this, the few notes and observations I have made upon the
“manners and customs” of my pair of common land Tortoises, partly because
I feel that much of what I have observed must also have been observed by
other members of this Society; and still more because (as is well known)
that incomparable master both of observation and expression—White of
Selborne—has already noted, and placed upon record, the most interesting
of the habits of these creatures.

Mine is thus necessarily a “twice-told tale.”  I can only hope that the
never flagging interest which naturalists take in the observation or
record of the habits of animals, will suffice to make them bear with me
for the short time I shall detain them.

I have in my garden two of the common land Tortoises (_Testudo Grœca_),
and these have been in my possession three and four years respectively.

I purchased them from the barrow of a hawker in Norwich streets, in two
following years—one being a little larger than the other, and they are in
consequence known by the names of the _old gentleman_ and the _young

Although selected as the best from a number of others, I am sorry to say
that they both appeared to be ill or greatly injured, and it was a
considerable time before they recovered sufficiently either to begin to
take food, or to move about with their proper freedom, or with the
well-known liveliness of Tortoises!

Another Tortoise, which I purchased, did actually die a short time
afterwards, having lived in a state of semi-stupor for the intervening
period; and I fear that the capability of these creatures for suffering
is not much recognised in the usual methods of their conveyance and

The two Tortoises which survived have, as I said, now lived on my
premises and thriven for three and four years.  They have become almost
pets.  They most evidently recognise the place as their home.  They know
the various localities of the garden perfectly.  They know the sunny
spots to which to go at suitable times to bask.  They know where to find
sun, and where to find this and shade combined, when they so desire it;
and they return, afternoon after afternoon, to the same cosy, and dry,
and sheltered spots, under the dry ivy of the wall, or elsewhere, which
they have often previously selected as their night’s abode.

It is very plain that they have some recognition of individuals.  For
instance, if Lady Eade and myself are both preparing to feed them, they
will constantly leave me and walk off to her—doubtless because she is
more in the habit of bringing them their favourite kinds of food than I

They appear to be quick of _sight_, but show very little, if any, sign of
having any impressions conveyed to them by the sense of _hearing_.  They
evidently possess a full sense of _taste_, for they discriminate
instantly between food they like, and that which is less palatable to

The daily _habits_ of these creatures are certainly very staid and
methodical, and vary but little, except as the season of the year, and
the warmth of the day, vary.

They are often, in the height of summer, quite early risers, and on sunny
mornings will often be up, and perambulating the garden, and nibbling the
little trefoil leaves found amongst the grass, by seven or six o’clock,
or even earlier.  But, I must say, that these early habits are quite
limited to the very finest weather; and it has seemed that in the matter
of early activity, these animals always err, if at all, on the side of
care and caution.  They never leave their beds, or the neighbourhood of
cover, if there is the slightest appearance of cloudiness or rain, at
least until the day is well up; and for a large portion of their year the
time for coming forth is not until eight, nine, or ten o’clock.

In electrical weather they are never lively, even though the day be
intermittingly hot and bright; and at such times they are often almost
lethargic, and show great indifference as to feeding.

They appear to have an extreme and instinctive objection to rain.  Cloudy
weather makes them dull.  A passing cloud will make them discontinue
eating.  And the passage of a person or object suddenly between them and
the sun will cause them as suddenly to draw in their heads.  The dislike
of clouds and their accompaniments is therefore a very marked instinct
with them.

If not fed, they will go and help themselves, not to grass, but to some
white Clover growing with the grass in the garden; or in default of this,
to some of the garden plants—by preference the fleshy-leaved ones, such
as the Echiveria or Sedum—after which they will retire to some warm
place, and bask in the sun.  They have a special liking for the warm
vine-border in front of my greenhouse; and if the day be not too hot,
they will tilt themselves up edgeways against the south wall of the
greenhouse, or upon the edge of some tuft of flowers; or if the sun is
too warm, they will then cover their heads up with leaves or earth on the
bed, leaving their backs uncovered and exposed to the heat.  (In this
respect they seem to remind us of the habits of the tiger in his jungle.)

But they appear greatly to prefer being fed, and having their food found
for them; indeed further, one, at least, much prefers to have his food
held up to him, and almost put into his mouth when he opens it.

They take their food with a snapping movement; masticate it little if at
all; and when feeding themselves, cut or tear it with the sharp-hooked
anterior portion of the upper jaw.

In the hottest weather their appetites are very fine (thus they will eat
several large Lettuce leaves at one time), and they bear a close relation
to the warmth and clearness of the day, and the period of the year.

Their favourite foods are—besides Trefoil, already mentioned, and garden
flowers—Lettuces, Dandelions, French Beans, etc.  They are much attracted
by yellow blossoms, and greedily eat those of the Dandelion and
Buttercup.  One of my creatures is very fond of sliced Apple, though the
other will not eat it.

But the vegetable of which they are most fond is the Green Pea.  Both of
them will leave all other food for this, and they will consume at a meal
a very considerable number of these Peas.  Indeed, so fond are they of
them, that they will follow a person accustomed to feed them with them
about the garden, and will even try to clamber up his legs to get at

After sleeping and basking, they will again eat, and then again sleep
once or twice more during the day; but in cooler or doubtful weather,
they usually eat only once a day, and sometimes not at all.

Although those who hawk Tortoises about the streets will often tell
purchasers to put them into their kitchens that they may eat Beetles and
Cockroaches, I believe it to be well understood that they are
intrinsically vegetable feeders; a position well put by Frank Buckland,
who says that Tortoises put into a kitchen to eat Beetles will in due
time die of starvation, and then most probably the Beetles will eat them.
Certainly ours never eat anything but vegetable food.  But a Tortoise in
a neighbouring garden does every morning consume a very substantial
quantity of bread and milk, or rather bread well-soaked in milk, and he
appears to thrive well upon it.  Our Tortoises never drink water, and are
decidedly not tempted to drink by milk being offered to them.

Whatever the season, the Tortoises retire very early to bed.  The warmth
and sunniness of the day appear to regulate the exact time, but they
rarely remain up after three or four o’clock, and in the cooler seasons,
or on dull days, they retire much earlier.

They will go day after day to the same warm and leafy nook; and they have
a habit on rising in the morning of simply turning out of bed, and lying
for a time just outside of their bed-place, with their heads stupidly
stretched out, or staring vacantly up into the air, before entering upon
the serious business of the day. {33}

I should say their _Memory_ is very strong.  I have said they remember
persons.  They remember places they know, and if carried away will march
straight off and back again to the place they wish to go to; and what is
more remarkable, when brought out in the spring after seven or eight
months’ hybernation, they do exactly as they did the day before they went
to sleep; and will march off as direct to the old spots as if they had
only had one day’s interregnum.

As a further instance of memory or intelligent knowledge, we are
constantly in the habit, in the cooler weather, of putting them to bed
under a mat in the greenhouse; and we very constantly find them, in the
morning, waiting by the greenhouse door to be let out, clearly
remembering that this is the place by which they will have to pass into
the open air.

They do not appear to care much for each other’s society—(I believe they
are both males)—but they do not fight.  Neither are they respecters of
each other’s persons, for they walk over each other’s backs in the most
indifferent way, if either happens to be in the direct road of the
other’s progression.

One of the creatures is certainly fond of climbing.  We have several
times found him mounted (when shut up in the greenhouse) upon the other’s
back; or upon an inverted flower-pot; and once we found him in a most
pitiable condition through the exercise of these scandent aspirations.
He had evidently been endeavouring to climb up some flower sticks placed
slantingly against the wall, and in doing this he had turned over upon
his axis; and when we found him he was reclining upon his back against
these sticks, and standing upon one hind foot, whilst with the other, and
with his fore feet, he was making frantic efforts to reinstate himself in
a more comfortable position.  As so placed he reminded us irresistibly
and ludicrously of a huge toad held up by a fore leg.

Our Tortoises have certainly got tempers.  They hiss when they are
meddled with.  They resist and try to scratch, or otherwise hurt, when
lifted up from their place of repose; and they exhibit distinct
petulance, and will jerk themselves forward out of your hand when you are
again placing them upon the ground.

They are also very particular when going to their evening places of
repose, and most distinctly refuse to go to rest in the place in which
you try to place them, however comfortable this may appear to be, even if
they have previously selected this spot for themselves day after day.

Mr. Darwin speaks of a large kind of Tortoise which is reputed to be able
to walk at the rate of sixty yards in ten minutes; _i.e._, three hundred
and sixty yards in the hour, or four miles a day.  I have twice timed the
rate of progress of one of my Tortoises.  Once it walked ten feet in the
minute, and another time twenty feet in the minute.  This latter is at
the rate of twelve hundred feet, or four hundred yards, in the hour; or
of a mile in between four and five hours.  This truly is not quite the
ordinary rate of the hare’s progress, but I think they can cross a
certain small distance of ground much more rapidly than we should at
first suspect.

Once more.  These creatures distinctly grow in size from year to year.
Our two measure respectively seven and seven and a half inches in length.
And they must have elongated fully an inch in the three and four years of
our possession.

I weighed them this year, on May 29th, soon after their waking up for the
summer, and again on September 8th.  They weighed in May, 2 lbs. 7½ ozs.
and 2 lbs. 3½ ozs.; a fortnight ago they weighed 2 lbs. 10 ozs. and 2
lbs. 5 ozs.; having thus gained in weight through their summer feeding 2½
ozs. and 1½ ozs. respectively. {36}

When the due period arrives in which they naturally bury themselves, and
so surround themselves with earthen bulwarks, and then retire for the
winter into their carapace castles, we put them down into a cupboard in
the cellar.

Mr. White remarks that his Tortoise did not bury itself into the ground
before November 1st, but ours are cold and torpid, and quite ready to
hybernate by the first week in October.  Probably the different latitude
and longitude of Selborne and Norwich may account for this difference of

In this cellar cupboard, the Tortoises remain until the end of April,
when, though still dull and stupid, the weather is getting sufficiently
warm for them to enjoy the sun for a portion of the day.  But the frosts
and cold of this period of the year are still dangerous.  And a relative
of mine lost both of his old friends (who for years had taken care of
themselves in the winter in his garden) during the cold weather of this
spring, after they had duly survived the far greater cold of the winter
in the ground places in which they had buried themselves.

From October to April—fully seven months—they rest from their labours of
eating, of breathing, shall I say, of thinking? (or nearly so, for they
occasionally stir a little, and are found to have moved a little from
under their straw).  But they neither eat nor drink, nor see light, nor
(I believe) open their eyes.  And when touched during this time they feel
of a stony coldness, and certainly appear to have none of their faculties
in operation.

But with the warmer weather, they again gradually resume the precise
habits of the preceding year.  Gradually, their bright little eyes resume
their intelligence; their memory re-awakens; and they return to the ways,
and the habits, and the places of the preceding season, as if their sleep
of seven months were but a single night, and last summer verily but as

They are in many respects both curious and remarkable animals.  We find
them to have enough of intelligence, enough of quaintness, and apparently
enough of affection, to give them considerable interest in the eyes of
their owners, and to raise them out of the level of despised reptiles.
Whilst their remarkable construction, and mysterious power of
hybernation, render them specially worthy of study and contemplation.

These specialities and peculiarities must be my much-needed excuse for
having troubled you so long with these few details of their personally
observed habits and ways.


In the year 1886 I read before this Society a paper in which I recorded
some of the observed habits and peculiarities of a pair of Tortoises
which I had then kept in my garden for three and four years respectively.
This paper was afterwards published in our Society’s “Transactions” (Vol.
iv. p. 316), and will probably be remembered by some of our members.

I would like this evening to say a few further words upon these
creatures, which are still living and in my possession—more particularly
with reference to their _rate of growth and increase_.

The two Tortoises have now been in my possession ten and nine years
respectively.  Six years ago I reported to this Society that _they
measured_, the one 7½ and the other 7 inches in _length_.  Now at the end
of six further years their antero-posterior measurements are 9½ and 9
inches respectively—the measurements being made from before backwards
over the convex surface of the carapace.  They have, therefore, each of
them, thus measured, increased exactly two inches in length in the last
six years, or at the rate of exactly one-third of an inch per year.

(The under flat surface of the shell now measures 6½ and 6¼ inches from
before backwards.  These Tortoises are said not usually to exceed 10
inches in entire length.)

Then as to their _weight_.  I have now kept an exact record of their
respective weights in the spring and autumn of each of the past seven
years, _i.e._ their weight on commencing to hybernate in October or
November, and again their weight on returning afresh to light and more
active existence in April or May of the following spring.  And it is
interesting to notice how almost continuously they have increased both in
size and weight; and also how corresponding are the alterations, or
otherwise, in the consecutive years, both of spring and autumn, of the
two animals.

In my former paper, I mentioned that during the summer months of 1886,
when I first weighed them, _i.e._ from May to September, my Tortoises had
gained in weight, the one 2½ ounces, and the other 1½ ounces; whilst each
of them became lighter in the following winter by 2½ ounces.  Since that
time the spring and autumn weighings have been regularly continued, and
the result is shown in the following table.

            APRIL.         OCTOBER.         APRIL.         OCTOBER.
YEAR.   lbs.    ozs.    lbs.    ozs.    lbs.    ozs.    lbs.    ozs.
1886    2       7½      2       10      2       3½      2       5
1887    2       7½      2       10      2       2½      2       5
1888    2       10      2       13½     2       5       2       8¼
1889    2       13      2       14      2       8       2       8½
1890    2       12½     3       0½      2       7½      2       12
1891    2       15½     3       2       2       10      2       12½
1892    3       1       3       3½      2       12      2       14½

In the seven years, therefore, 1886 to 1892, the larger Tortoise has
increased in weight from 2 lbs. 10 ozs. to 3 lbs. 3½ ozs.; and the
smaller Tortoise from 2 lbs. 5 ozs. to 2 lbs. 14½ ozs., giving a total
increase of weight in this period of exactly 9 ounces for each animal, or
an average annual increase of about 1 ounce and 5½ drachms (avoirdupois).

The general result also of the above weighings is to show that, in
average seasons in England, these creatures gain from 2 to 2½ ounces in
each summer, and lose again a varying but considerable portion of this
increase during the ensuing six or seven months of hybernation; but, on
the whole, showing an average gain of a little more than one ounce in the
year—the average gain of weight per month in summer working out at about
6 or 7 drachms, with an average loss in the winter months of about 4 or 5
drachms per month.  This last fact scarcely agrees with Cuvier’s
statement that “during winter . . . their loss of substance amounts
almost to nothing.”

It will be noted that the foregoing table shows certain variations in the
increases and decreases of weight in the several years; also that in two
of the years there was but little change between the autumn and spring
weights—this period of stagnation occurring in both animals
simultaneously.  Probably several causes for this were at work, but I
have little doubt that the variability of our English seasons is by far
the largest factor in the case; and that the variations in the gainings
and losings of the different summers and winters depend very largely upon
the special character of these seasons.  Thus, when the summer months are
hot the Tortoises eat much more abundantly and constantly, and
consequently put on (or rather put inside their skeletons) much more
flesh than in colder seasons.  On the contrary, a warm autumn, with the
temperature not sufficiently cold to make them go early and thoroughly to
sleep, must conduce to greater loss, or rather waste, of their flesh, for
it is well known that these animals cease to eat many weeks before they
finally retire to rest for the winter; and necessarily during this
period, especially on sunny days in which (even at this season) they are
often moderately lively and active, they are doubtless breathing and
consuming some of the material which has been stored up for winter
consumption.  Whilst again, in a very mild winter or spring they will, as
is well known, frequently wake up from their dormancy, and of course, on
each such occasion will make further inroads upon their reservoir of
nutrient material.

It is therefore pretty certain that hot summers and cold winters are most
conducive to their rapid increase in size and weight; whilst of course
the contrary conditions would have an exactly opposite result.

Cetti says that the common Greek Tortoise seldom weighs above 3 lbs.  My
larger one now weighs 3 lbs. 3½ ozs., and is still growing.  But there is
a Tortoise now in this city which weighs as much as 6 lbs. 5 ozs.  I
judge, however, from its size and form, that it may be a variety of the
common Tortoise.  This creature must be not only “an old inhabitant of
this city,” but thoroughly naturalised into a British subject, as it is
known to have lived in Norwich for at least thirty years.

I have little to add to what I previously said (and to what White has
said) as to Tortoise habits and manners.  These appear to be very
uniform, and to be guided by a most definite instinct; and it is very
noticeable and very remarkable how the two Tortoises will constantly both
do the very same thing at the very same time, often almost at the same
moment of time.  For example, when feeding, even when apart from each
other, they will constantly suddenly leave off eating almost at the same
instant; or they will in like manner, when basking in the sun, both at
once get up and walk off to some other place; or they will both all at
once suddenly get up and march off to their evening place of shelter and
rest—and this without any definite atmospheric or other cause that is

Cuvier has well called the Tortoise “_un animal retournèe_,” an animal
inverted, or “turned inside out, or rather outside in.”  And it is said
that the large Land Tortoise, when withdrawn into its shell, “can defy
the whole animal world except man, from whom nothing is safe.”  And with
reference to this point I have observed that our Tortoises, when retiring
to rest, always take the greatest care to protect their noses and the
anterior opening of their shells.  When they burrow, their head is of
course covered up by the earth.  But when, as is often the case in the
warmer weather, they simply go to sleep in some sheltered place, they
habitually place their heads close against the wall, or under the
projecting roots of a tree or shrub, so as not to leave this part
exposed.  I presume, therefore, that they are conscious of some
insecurity, and it would certainly appear that their heads would
otherwise be open to the attack of rats or other predaceous animals.

Professor Forbes describes the peculiar way in which he has in Greece
observed the Tortoises to do their courting, _i.e._ the method by which
the male Tortoise seeks to attract the attention of his lady-love,
namely, by repeatedly knocking his shell violently against hers.  I have
noticed the same process in my own garden.  Both my animals are, I
believe, males.  But I have observed one of them, when in an amorous
humour, to strike the other several times in succession a sounding blow
on its shell; and this he does by suddenly withdrawing his head into his
shell, so as to be out of harm’s way, and then as suddenly throwing his
body forward by a sort of butting process against the shell of his
fellow.  This proceeding causes a very considerable, and indeed,
comparatively speaking, quite a loud and resounding noise; and at first
sight these sudden and severe blows would appear to be more calculated to
cause corporeal discomfort or injury than to excite affection.  These
very marked attentions are usually followed by the utterance of a quick
and soft, or almost whining cry.

I will only add that my Tortoises show an increasing familiarity and
sense of being at home as years roll on.

                                * * * * *

ADDENDUM.—On November 2nd, 1905, after a further interval of thirteen
years, these Tortoises had respectively attained to a weight of 4 lbs.
and half an ounce, and 3 lbs. 13½ ozs. as compared with weights of 2 lbs.
10 ozs. and 2 lbs. 5 ozs. in 1886.  They are therefore still growing in
size and weight.  In October of last year (1907) they weighed
respectively 4 lbs. 2½ ozs. and 4 lbs.


Norwich is proverbially a City of Gardens, and many of the houses in St.
Giles’s Street, including my own, are fortunate enough to share in the
advantage of possessing one of these valuable urban appendages.

As regards the birds that frequent these gardens, the neighbourhood of
Chapel Field, with its trees and shrubs, is, or should be, an additional
attraction to them; but I am bound to say that I have not observed so
great a congregation, or so large a variety of birds, in Chapel Field
Gardens as might have been expected.

My own garden consists of a plot of grass of fair size, with one large
apple tree in its centre, a double laburnum tree close by, and with
several other trees of good size on its confines.  Some of the boundary
walls are covered with ivy.  In my neighbours’ gardens are also both
trees and shrubs, whilst Chapel Field is in the immediate vicinity, just
beyond my stable yard.

There is thus a considerable variety of shelter for the birds, and,
doubtless, a proportionate variety of food for them at the proper

In ordinary years, and in average seasons, the following birds come into
my garden:—

1.  Our constant town friends, the Sparrows.

2.  Blackbirds and Thrushes (a pair of each of which usually build and
hatch with me, though I am sorry to say that their labour and pains are
usually devoid of result, as the young birds are got by the Cats, either
in the nest, or as soon as they leave it).

3.  Starlings.

4.  Robins.

5.  Jackdaws (occasionally—from the neighbouring church steeple).

6.  At rare intervals I see a little Wren, or Tom-tit, busily engaged on
the above-mentioned laburnum tree, evidently getting a good meal from
what it finds in the bark.

7.  In the prolonged frosty or snowy weather the garden is occasionally
visited by the Missel-thrush, and now and then also by

8.  A Rook.

In the ordinary way, and in open weather, the _number_ of my bird
visitors is not large, but in the cold winter weather, and in response to
my invitation, this number very considerably increases, so that at times
I must have had as many as thirty-five or forty feeding in my garden at
the same time.  The increase of numbers is chiefly made up of extra
Sparrows and Starlings; and when it occurs the scene is often a very
lively one; the whole of the thirty or forty birds being often assembled
very closely together in active movement; and the grass or garden path on
which they collect is sometimes quite black with their feathered life.

The prolonged frost of the past winter is fresh in all our memories.

On January 6th, when I specially noted the assemblage of my bird friends,
we had had intermitting frost and snow for about five weeks, almost
continuous snow (with occasional yieldings of the frost) for a fortnight,
and a complete snowy covering up of the garden ground for a week, with
sharp frosts, and often low temperatures at night.  There had been no
sun, and, therefore, no melting of the snow by the wall, or by the hedge
edges, and, consequently, doubtless the natural animal food of the birds
was very scarce and difficult to obtain.  Some food had been thrown to
them daily during the greater portion of this severe weather; but for the
preceding week they had been fed pretty regularly twice daily.

My usual _times for feeding_ had been about 9.30 (after my breakfast),
and about 2 p.m. (after luncheon).

When first fed, the birds—beginning with the Sparrows—seem only to find
the food thrown out by accident, and would drop down by ones and twos, as
their instinct or sense of far-sight appeared to show them that there was
food to be had.  But very soon they seemed to remember these fixed hours,
and many of them, especially Starlings, would then be seen collected on
neighbouring trees, or elsewhere, before these times, evidently ready and
waiting for what they were expecting.

The Sparrows would be chirping in the ivy.  The Starlings would be seen
sitting on the watch on a neighbouring tree or trees, and as soon as the
food was thrown down they would immediately begin to descend upon it.

Yet not all at once, or without due and proper precaution and inspection.
First, the Sparrows—as the boldest—would drop down singly, but in rapid
succession.  Then the Starlings would draw nearer one by one, and
carefully look down and inspect the ground.  And when one had summoned
courage to descend, the rest would quickly follow.  But, of course, the
slightest noise would make the whole flock suddenly flutter up again into
the trees, or into the next garden, as quickly to return when the alarm
was found to be groundless.

After a little further time, a Thrush or a Blackbird or two would join
the group.  Later still, always late, a little Robin—quiet, silent, and
pathetic—with its half timid and half confiding manner, would come into
view.  Again, after a further interval, occasionally one of the Jackdaws
would appear upon the scene.  And now and then, last of all, a huge Rook
would suddenly descend and carry off some large crust which the smaller
birds had left uneaten—reserved for more deliberate pecking at when the
crumbs and smaller portions of food were disposed of.

The manners of these various birds differed strikingly.  The Sparrows, of
course, would be first and boldest, and everywhere.

The Starlings would often form a compact group around the outspread food,
one of them occasionally darting off with a big morsel or savoury bone.

The Thrushes and Blackbirds would arrive quietly from over the wall; they
would hop about usually on the furthermost outskirts of the crowd, and as
near as possible to their habitual corner.  And the Blackbirds would
waggle their tails in their own quaint manner, and perhaps give their
peculiar cry, whilst both Thrushes and Blackbirds would evidently
indicate their consciousness of superior manners and their greater
dignity, if not their actually more retiring dispositions.

The little Robin, solitary and observant, would come nearer to the house
than the other birds; but his advent was usually too late for anything
but the bare dry remains of the feast left by the rapacious Sparrows and

The Jackdaw would fly straight to the apple tree, perch upon it, then
suddenly descend and seize upon the biggest remaining morsel; then as
quickly fly up again into the tree and try to eat it there.  In this
respect, in marked contrast to the Rook, which in the worst weather would
occasionally suddenly arrive and help himself to the biggest crust left,
but he would always at once fly away with it in his capacious maw.

I am sorry to say that my garden party friends have displayed a very
considerable amount of selfishness.  Each kind of bird, of course,
selects first the kind of food most appropriate to it.  But there is
clear indication that the law of force prevails amongst them, and that
might carries the day against fairness and right.  And it is most clear
that neither Communism, nor Socialism, nor Equality with Fraternity, is a
doctrine in favour with them—at least in practice.  As long as there is a
good supply of the best eatables, my friends are most communistically
amiable to each other.  But as soon as the available supply begins to run
short, then the most barefaced selfishness is the order of the day.  The
strong sparrows drive away the weaker ones, or pursue them and steal from
them any dainty little morsel they may have secured and flown away with.
The Starlings dart at each other and scream, or go through continual
“fluttering duels” in their efforts to steal their neighbours’ goods;
whilst the Jackdaws and Rooks have no reserve in displaying their views
as to their practical agreement with Rob Roy’s well-known maxim.

I have not observed either the Blackbirds or Thrushes to fight for their
food as the Sparrows and Starlings do.

The Starlings exhibit some other very peculiar ways.  Before descending
to feed they will sit upon neighbouring trees in an attitude of pensive
watchfulness—one irresistibly reminding one of an old man leaning his
head upon one side and resting it upon his hand.  Their peculiar waddling
walk or run and extreme liveliness of manner are well known; but when all
the food is gone, and they return for a short season to their trees, they
will often resume their philosophic or contemplative attitude—very soon,
however, to disappear to “other fields and pastures new,” or in plain
English, to some neighbouring and equally hospitable garden.  And their
capacity for food appears to be very great.

The _kinds of food_ which I have thrown to my feathered friends have been
bread and large crusts, oats, the refuse of meals, scraps of meat, bones
of fish or fowls, herring skins, cheese rinds, portions of fat; and I
have found that the animal matters are very greedily seized upon by
nearly all of them, scarcely excepting the Sparrows.  And it is
remarkable what large bones of fish or fowl are rapidly and entirely
disposed of; whilst still larger bones from a joint are picked and
cleaned to the last available particle.  Like bird-cannibals that they
are, I observed that some bones from my Christmas Turkey thrown out to
them, appeared to be very specially and particularly relished by them.
When very hungry, not only will Sparrows eat some kinds of animal food;
but Robins, Starlings, and Jackdaws will all eat bread crumbs and bread

It is sad to think what a mixed world this is even for birds; and that
even such a happy and interesting town gathering as I have described is
not without its drawback, and this a very serious one.

Whilst the birds are making the most of their opportunities, gratifying
their natural tastes, and exhibiting their peculiarities, a Nemesis, or
vengeful fate, is constantly hanging over them, ever ready to overtake
them in case of any relaxation of their habitual watchfulness, in the
case of our own or neighbours’ Cats.  For these fat and feline creatures
seem to be on the watch for their own good Christmas bird cheer; and with
crouching, stealthy steps, and wagging tails, they actually do now and
again succeed in stealing upon their unsuspecting victims, and in
illustrating the inexorable law, as to food, of animal-feeding creatures.

It is pitiful to see a Sparrow or a Blackbird thus hopelessly engaged in
the clutches of a Cat; and it is a sad interruption or ending of the
scene of joy, if not always of harmony, I have just described.

Our own pet Cat, though over fed, cannot resist the temptation of thus
stealing upon these birds when the chance occurs, and its excited
movements when watching them through a window, but unable to get out, are
a study in themselves.

To a certain extent the Starlings have now and then a sort of sentimental
revenge; for when very hungry these bold birds will descend into the
kitchen yard close to the house, and carry off bones and scraps placed
there for the use of the said Cat, who has been seen to watch their theft
of its food through the kitchen window in a state of trembling but
helpless excitement, and evidently of intense disgust.

During all the time of my feedings I could but notice the wonderful
instinct which the birds exhibit, of discovering the presence of food.
Sparrows are everywhere, and therefore it is not surprising that our home
friends should be on the alert, and should quickly descend upon the feast
prepared for them.  But how do their neighbours and more distant friends
so quickly know of it?  How do the Starlings, who are not usually so near
at hand, discover the good things available for them?  How does the
Jackdaw in the steeple learn of the meat or bones thrown upon the garden
path?  Or the Rook in the distant tree or field of the large crust which
the lesser birds have been unable to dispose of?

It is clear that neither sight nor sound, as we understand them, would be
sufficient to inform and direct them; and that the most delicate sense of
such perception would be insufficient to enable them to perceive food
placed, say, behind a garden wall.

I have observed that the birds usually arrive pretty constantly in the
following order:—Sparrows, Starlings, Thrushes, Blackbirds, Robins,
Jackdaws, Rook; though sometimes neither Jackdaws nor Rook will appear,
and often the little Robin is so extremely late in his arrival that all
the suitable food is eaten up.

The Tit, or Wren, or occasional Finch, seen now and then in the garden
does not condescend to join or associate with such a mixed Christmas
party as I have described, but comes at his own time, and in his own way.
But these little birds have lately been such rare visitors, that I have
not had the opportunity of making any exact observations upon their
manners and customs in the parish of St. Giles.

I should scarcely have ventured to read these very simple and very
superficial notes to this Naturalists’ Society this evening had I not had
reason to believe that they would form the starting-point of far more
scientific information about birds from one or more of its members now

                                * * * * *

NOTE, 1907.—Some other birds have occasionally visited my garden, such as
Nuthatches, Redwings, Blackheaded Gulls, and a few others.  As to the
Gulls, in January, 1907, after a very heavy and prolonged fall of snow,
some fifty or sixty of these birds, in their winter plumage, visited my
garden and greedily fed upon food (bread or animal) thrown out to them.
And almost filling, as they did, the grass plot, they formed a very
beautiful sight.  Some of these birds in their food-hunting would come
almost up to the drawing-room window.


Norwich has long been known by the designation of a “City of Gardens.”
How long I know not, but we do know that Evelyn, on his visit to Norwich
in 1671, spoke of the “flower gardens in which all the inhabitants
excel.”  He also wrote in his diary that at this visit he went to see Sir
Thomas Browne, whose “whole house and garden was a paradise and cabinet
of rarities.”  This garden, I believe, at that time extended from his
house in the Market Place (where the late Savings Bank stood) to at least
as far as the present Orford Hill, but no portion of it now remains.

It is much to be regretted that so many of the old Norwich gardens have
fallen a prey to the requirements or encroachments of the builder; and
that where ample space and air for flowers and shrubs, and even trees,
formerly existed, there is now nothing but manufactories or houses with
small back premises, or at the most, little gardens so surrounded by
walls as to be little more than wells, with stagnant air and frequent
showers of chimney blacks.  Still, in spite of the rapid increase of the
city, and the gradual absorption of building spaces, we are glad to know
that—even in the central parts of the city—some of the old gardens do yet
remain, and that they are still able to produce much floral beauty, and
in many other ways to contribute to the interest and pleasure of those
who are fortunate enough to possess them.

Of course, my present reference is only to gardens situated in the older
parts of Norwich.  Those who live in our suburbs will doubtless be able
to cultivate and utilise their present gardens as the citizens of Norwich
did theirs in the “good old times.”

I am glad to say that I (in common with others dwelling in St. Giles’s
Street and on St. Giles’s Plain) am still one of the residents in older
Norwich with a garden of considerable size.  And in my case this
advantage is considerably enhanced by the immediate proximity of Chapel
Field.  For this large open space of seven acres not only provides a
great circulation of air, and so a more healthy vegetation, but also—by
its numerous and lofty trees—invites a large amount of varied and varying

As I have now been a dweller in St. Giles’s for many years, it has
occurred to me that a few current notes—however imperfect and
superficial—on the capabilities and possibilities of such a central city
garden, as illustrated by these, might possibly be an acceptable
contribution to the proceedings of this our Norwich “Naturalists’

The real object of the paper is to show in a simple way what a large
field these home city gardens, according to their size, may still afford
for observation and intelligent amusement; and how even in the limited
space and depreciated air, which naturally belong to many of them, they
yet afford great opportunities for the observation of both vegetable and
animal life.  The simple grass-plots themselves, however small, when
carefully tended and shaven, are in themselves a constant source of
pleasurable satisfaction; whilst the very worms which inhabit them, and
the birds which feed on these, afford much room for study of some of
nature’s methods and instinctive tendencies.

Doubtless the larger space which I possess gives wider opportunities than
smaller gardens.  But these must be small indeed which do not offer full
repayment for observation of the varied life which exists within them, or
which may be imported into them.

My garden is about 60 yards in length, by about 26 yards in width.  It
runs nearly north and south.  It has walls of varying height on its
several sides.  Near to the house these are covered on one side by
trained wisteria and white and yellow jessamine, but the greater part of
the other portions is covered with ivy.  The area of the ground is
principally laid with grass, with a broad gravel walk around it.

Under the east wall is a long terraced rockery, well covered with
suitable plants; and along the west wall runs a broader bed devoted to
very small shrubs and to flowers.  The south end, under a stable wall,
contains some very ancient and still productive apple trees, also two or
three beech trees, and an old pink May-tree, under the shade of which
some of the commoner ferns flourish abundantly.

A vinery, and a verandah utilised as a summer conservatory, complete this
note of the arrangements of my city garden, and from this brief record it
will be seen that an effort has been made to make every use of the
available space and of its several possibilities.

I do not propose to detain you with any detailed account of the flowers
and plants which can be grown, or which flourish fairly at the present
date in this limited city garden.  There are many which are hopeless by
reason of the city air and city soil.  And I have found the more delicate
flowers to be so uncertain as to be scarcely worth the trouble of
planting out.  Others again fall inevitable victims to the myriads of
autumn slugs.  But spring bulbs, the autumn hardy flowers, and some
annuals, as well as the robuster ferns, do well, and fully repay the
trouble of cultivation.

As to ferns, in my former and more open garden higher up the street, I
once had as many as forty different varieties growing abroad; but, of
course, these gradually died out, so that at the end of four or five
years only the common and hardier sorts remained.  Some of these, which
were removed, are still very fine specimens, and have lasted in their new
home, as such, for many years.

It would have been very interesting had any list or catalogue of Sir
Thomas Browne’s “paradise” of vegetable rarities been left to us, for a
comparison of the possibilities of a city garden two hundred years ago
with those of the present day, but none such is known to exist.

I have mentioned the fact that several old apple trees exist in my
garden, possibly as old as the house itself, which is understood to have
been built 160 or 170 years ago.  And I would just mention here that
beyond the roof of my stable buildings, and seen conspicuously from my
garden, rises—nay, towers up towards the sky, that grand old
Aspen-poplar, which is, perhaps, the greatest ornament of the adjacent
Chapel Field, though I think scarcely adequately appreciated.  This tree
has a girth of some 15 feet about a yard above the ground, is 90 to 100
feet high, and was so remarkable even fifty-eight years ago as to have
been then pictured by Grigor, in his “Eastern Arboretum,” as one of the
most notable trees in this district.  In its later state a photographic
sketch of it is given in my book on St. Giles’s parish, published in
1886, although I fear that this scarcely adequately pictures its
grandeur. {57}

Blomfield states that the great avenue of elm trees in Chapel Field, also
partly visible from my garden, was planted in 1746 by Sir Thomas
Churchman, who is understood to have then lived in my present house, and
who, I believe, then hired the open Chapel Field of the Norwich
Corporation.  It may be interesting to state here that some three or four
years ago one of the largest of that row of elm trees was blown down in a
gale.  When this tree was sawn across, I took the trouble to count the
rings which this section displayed.  The outer ones were so thin and
irregular that it was not possible to tell their number quite exactly,
but as nearly as I could count the total number was between 140 and 150.
This number, added to the few which would exist on the young tree when
planted, would give a date approximating very closely to that assigned by
Blomfield.  This is an interesting historical fact, though, perhaps,
somewhat irrelevant, and its mention will, I hope, be excused on this

In my own garden the various trees appear to be healthy, but some of them
increase very slowly.  A small pear tree planted against the ivy-covered
wall some twenty years ago is scarcely larger than when planted there,
even although it every year sends out a full quantity of fresh green
shoots.  And a pink thorn tree, transplanted into it a few years ago,
actually remained perfectly quiescent, as if dead, for a whole year, and
then resumed vitality and growth.  It is now a vigorous healthy tree,
sending forth every year its normal shoots and blossoms.

ANIMAL LIFE.—Such a garden as mine affords a considerable opportunity for
observing the ways, and habits, and manners of many _animals_, none of
which are uninteresting.  Shall I weary you by mentioning the _cats_,
which so often make it their playground, and their afternoon as well as
their nightly meeting-place?  Although I cannot say that _caterwauling_
is harmonious, or equivalent to the strains of the bands which so
agreeably discourse music in the adjacent Chapel Field on summer
evenings, yet there is much of interest, as well as amusement, to be
derived from noting the varied yet distinct language, and from watching
the very curious customs of the cats themselves, familiar as these may be
to all of us.  I am favoured with visits of cats of all sizes and all
colours—black, grey, cyprus, sandy, grey and white, and almost all
intermediate shades.  And it is certainly curious to watch the
manifestations of their loves and their hates, their friendliness and
their jealousies, their sunny enjoyments and their predatory instincts,
and their methods of attack and defence.  These latter, though often very
noisy, by no means necessarily consist in open fighting, but are very
commonly carried on by what Mr. C. Morris calls the mentality of
latter-day life.  These hostile cats (as you have probably observed) will
very constantly settle their relative superiority, not by biting and
scratching, or actual fighting, but by what is actually a “staring
match,” in which the influence of mind over matter is well demonstrated.
They place themselves a few feet apart, and stare at each other, until
one of them confesses himself beaten, by slowly backing away from his
opponent, and then suddenly turning round and running away.  This is a
form of duelling which might well be copied in human life; and, still
more, might properly be adopted in the case of nations, where “mental”
arbitration, from a steady calculation of strength, would take the place
of bullets and bayonets.

As with Cats, so with _Sparrows_; it may be said that they are constant
friends that are always with us.  Yet, though so common, they are a never
failing source of interest in a city garden, if only because they always
provide some conspicuous life and motion; and in mine, because they may
nearly always be heard chirping or quarrelling in the ivy, which covers
so much of the garden walls.

I am sorry that Miss Ormerod gives them such a bad character as to their
appetites.  But not being personally engaged in agriculture, I can only
rejoice that nature has provided them with such strong constitutions, and
healthy and active digestions.  Beyond this, it is certainly a pleasure
to a townsman to note their chatterings, their amicable, if noisy,
contentions for the best places in the ivy, their demonstrative
courtships, their dust-baths in the dry ground, or their water-baths in
the pans provided for them for this purpose, and their evident love for
the neighbourhood and companionship (at a properly regulated distance) of

What a contrast there is between the active, fluttering, often noisy
_House Sparrow_, and its quiet, retiring, and gentle-mannered neighbour,
the _Hedge Sparrow_.

This was well illustrated in the early part of last December, in this
way; the Hedge Sparrow (or Dunnock or Accentor) does not often visit my
garden, but one of these pretty birds did come at this time, and having
incautiously entered the open door of my greenhouse, got shut up in it.
Next morning, on my entering, it was, of course, somewhat frightened.
But instead of violently fluttering about, and dashing itself against the
window, as the House Sparrow will do in like circumstances, it very
quietly and gently flew away from me, and then at once dropped down
behind the brick flue, where it remained quiet and concealed, in spite of
my efforts to find it, as I desired to do in order to give it its
liberty.  The same thing exactly happened on some following mornings; and
being fed regularly, it has remained there to the present time, _i.e._
the date of this paper.

There are plenty of other birds whose visits and whose peculiarities
would provide abundant material for a paper much longer than I can
venture now to inflict upon you.  But they are all welcome for the sake
of the varieties of life and habits they present—as well as for what
Tennyson so prettily describes as their “singing and calling.”

My grass-plot is the feeding-ground of the greedy and quarrelsome
_Starlings_, which will often come for their meal of worms or other food
at quite regular hours, usually at ten or eleven o’clock in the morning,
and three to four in the afternoon.  And occasionally the _Jackdaws_,
from our neighbouring church-steeple, where they live and breed, will
venture—most carefully and cautiously—to alight on the grass in search of
food.  Whilst even the Norwich _Rooks_ will, when hard pressed in bad
weather, occasionally dart down from a tree for crusts of bread or other
edible matter obtainable in the garden.

_Thrushes_ and _Blackbirds_ are chiefly in evidence during the nesting
season; and it is noticeable how tame or rather incautious they appear to
become during this period.  It would almost seem as if the sitting
process produced in them (as has been noted of other birds) a dullness or
partial stupor of intelligence.  Whilst after hatching, the urgent and
continuous calls of their young ones for food evidently renders their
desire to satisfy these imperative and destructive of prudence.  This
very year a full-grown Blackbird ventured along the grass in search of
worms almost up to the house verandah, in which, unfortunately, a cat lay
basking; and, as a matter of course, the bird was instantly pounced upon.
She escaped, however, almost by a miracle, but she left nearly the whole
of her feathers behind her, and almost in a state of nudity.

It is curious to observe how the Blackbirds and Thrushes will not only
provide worm-food for their nestlings, but how they will prepare these
worms and make them fit for swallowing down the young throats.  They will
often, when they have tugged a worm out of the grass, proceed to peck it
into small and suitable lengths, and will then carry these, arranged in
their mouths in suitable bundles, to the nest.

Blackbirds appear not to gain knowledge by experience, at least in some
particulars.  I witness almost every year a repetition of what I may term
“the tragedy of the Blackbirds.”  Evidently the same old birds will
yearly build a nest in almost the same portion of the ivy on one of the
walls, and not more than six or seven feet from the ground.  Well, this
is all right so long as the old birds are merely sitting and make no
noise, so as to attract feline attention.  But as soon as the young birds
are hatched, and begin to make vocal demonstrations, of course they fall
victims to their natural enemies and “bird-fanciers,” and the nests and
their occupants are ruthlessly dragged out from their positions and
destroyed.  This occurs year after year.  I believe that then the birds
will sometimes build again elsewhere.  But they certainly return to
almost the same locality in the following spring, and their offspring
again become victims of the inappropriateness of their selected homes.

Plenty of other birds also come to the garden at various times and
seasons, and add to its life and interest—_Robins_, _Bluetits_,
_Nuthatches_, _Redwings_, _Missel-thrushes_, and others—but of their
behaviour in the winter season, and when habitually fed, I have already
discoursed to this Society, so will not further trouble you now with
their noticeable peculiarities.

REPTILES.—Perhaps it would scarcely be expected that the _Reptile_ race
would provide much of interest for a city garden.  Yet it may be truly
said that this class of creatures has done almost more than any other to
provide my garden with material for this.

As this Society will know from my previous communications to its
“Transactions,” I have long kept two TORTOISES, and year by year noted
their habits and most remarkable peculiarities.  These have been already
fully described in the Society’s records, and I can only now add to what
I before stated, that they still continue to increase in size and weight,
and at about the same rate of progression as twelve or thirteen years
ago.  They still gain 1½ to 2 ounces in weight in each summer, and lose
about 1 or 1¼ ounce in weight during each winter hybernation.  The total
result is, that whilst they weighed respectively 2 lbs. 10 ozs. and 2
lbs. 5 ozs. in September, 1886, they weighed in October last 3 lbs. 13
ozs. and 3 lbs. 8 ozs., having thus each gained in weight during this
period 1 lb. 3 ozs., or on an average about one ounce and a quarter in
each year.

Other reptilians which I have tried to domesticate (for observation) in
my garden are TOADS and FROGS.  But I am bound to say that I have not
been successful in preserving them in any numbers for more than a brief
period.  Their appearance and disappearance has at times been very
mysterious and inexplicable, but on the whole those which I have imported
have, as a rule, soon either died or been otherwise disposed of.  Is it
not probable, I would suggest, that they, or at least the smaller ones,
have fallen a prey to Jackdaws, Rooks, or even Starlings?

Of the _Frogs_ which I brought home, only one survived the second year.
But this one appeared to thrive in a remarkable degree for several years.
It would apparently lie dormant for many months, and would then reappear,
lively, fat, and much grown, for a few weeks in the late summer or early
autumn; after which he would be no more seen until the following year.

_Toads_ are more interesting than Frogs; and, indeed, in a city garden,
by no means produce that feeling of loathing which is popularly supposed
to be inherent in them.  On the contrary, they quickly become tame, and
almost assume the _status_ of garden pets.  And as a matter of fact, I
entirely disagree with Shakespeare, who calls them “ugly and venomous.”

At first the Toads which I imported would come out regularly on suitable
evenings, and sit or hop about on the damp grass or flower-borders.  And
they exhibited a most special tendency (as has been observed by others)
to come down to the house as if desiring an entrance.  Indeed, when the
door was open they would not unfrequently walk in.  And I have more than
once found one of them in my study or other room, sitting up in a corner,
looking happy and comfortable, and quietly staring at me with its bright
eyes, as if I were the real intruder.

The direction of my rooms from the garden is from south to north.  I do
not know if this was possibly expressive of any migratory instinct.

Like the Frogs, of a number of Toads which I introduced into my garden,
only three or four remained in the following year; and soon all
disappeared, except one, whose end was peculiar and of dramatic interest.
It occurred in this way: A neighbour kept in his adjacent garden some
other reptiles, namely, some non-poisonous snakes.  One of these seems to
have escaped from its cage and got over the dividing wall into my garden,
and on one summer morning was discovered by me on my grass-plot, with
this Toad (about a half-grown one) in his mouth, which he was trying to
kill or swallow.  I suppose the Toad was too large or too lively, for the
snake was making very serious exertions, and was actively agitating its
body in a linear direction.  When seen at a distance, it looked like a
stout piece of cord or fine rope agitated by the wind, with a movement
like that of a carpet when it is flapped and shaken.  The Toad had been
seized by the hinder part of its back, as shown by the two bleeding
punctures afterwards found.

When the snake saw me advancing towards it, it rapidly wriggled or
undulated away towards the ivy-covered wall, where it was lost.  But it
retained its hold of the Toad almost to the last, and until I had got
quite close up to it.

This incident is not only interesting, but it also shows that these
reptiles must have some instinctive power of knowing of the neighbourhood
of comparatively distant prey; for the rockery stones from which it was
taken must have been at least thirty to forty yards from its own
domicile.  Such an instinct would seem to be the equivalent of that well
known to be possessed by birds of prey.  I regret that this poor Toad did
not long survive his fright and bad usage.

My Toads have exhibited the usual tendency of these animals to hide away
beneath stones or earth, and in unfrequented corners.  When discovered it
is curious to watch their half-frightened expression, and their peculiar
mode of breathing by their under jaw, which appears at once to increase
in rapidity.  They do not resist much when handled, but it is curious to
note how they continue to swell their sides out, until they produce a
very prominent rotundity of their body.  After the episode of the Snake
and my Toad, the idea suggests itself that this is intended to make
themselves as large as possible, not from envy of the Ox, as stated in
the fable with reference to the Frog, but to make themselves too large a
morsel to be swallowed by the lesser of those animals which prey upon

These “Toads in holes” would come out from their retreat in dry weather,
a few hours _before_ rain, after which they would again disappear, often
for a long season.

INSECTS.—There are plenty of these in every garden, however small; and
Bees, Flies, Beetles, and especially Spiders, would afford a never ending
source of interest.  The only insects which I have specially watched are
ANTS, nests and colonies of which appear and reappear every summer upon
my garden paths, or upon the adjacent portions of the grass-plots.

We all know of the very numerous observers of and writers upon these
little creatures; and their works, from Huber down to Sir John Lubbock,
will be more or less familiar to us all.  Their industry, their building
powers, their gregarious nature, their division of labour, their apparent
working for the common good, their devotion to the young, their
colonizing instincts, as well as some of the changes which their insect
forms undergo, are all there recorded.

And many of these things are easily to be observed by anyone who takes
the trouble.

I can only venture here to make one or two brief notes on their
proceedings in St. Giles’s Street.

Both the small brown and the small black Ants are to be here seen, but
they occupy different positions; and not only do not seem to be on
neighbourly terms with each other, but fight at once if experimentally
placed together.

The brown Ants are the more numerous, and in the summer months display an
enormous amount of activity.  Doubtless there is a good reason for their
incessant movements, but to the ordinary observer these often seem to be
purposeless and merely the result of restlessness and excess of energy.

The favourite situation for their little Ant-hills is decidedly along the
edge of the gravel path, where this abuts upon the grass sward, and it is
noticeable that almost the whole of these are placed on the easterly edge
of this.  From these nests, or centres, very little use is made of the
adjacent grass territory, but from nearly all a track is made across the
gravel path to its opposite (westerly) side, where either a hole is made
into a small fresh home, or a semi-tunnel is made through the grass
edging on to and into the earth of the flower-border beyond.  There
appears to be no attempt to tunnel in the firm gravel path, but the
incessant racing backward and forward in the same line very soon (as Sir
John Lubbock, now Lord Avebury, has pointed out) makes a well-trodden
road, along which they follow each other in rapid succession.

As to their hour of rising in the morning for work, I cannot speak from
personal observation.  But as Solomon holds them out as an example to
those inclined unduly to keep their beds, I conclude that their motto is,
“Early to rise.”  But I can say that the opposite half of this proverb,
namely, “Early to bed,” does not apply to them, for, at least in the warm
weather, they do certainly often work until late at night.

It is very interesting to watch these Ants at work, and to note their
activity and energy and strength.  An Ant is “but a little creature,” but
he is certainly able to perform a large amount of physical work.  And
especially is this seen in the way he builds up those little heaps of
earth known as Ant-hills.  I have had many of these under observation,
and the rapidity with which they reappear after injury by pressure or a
heavy rain-storm is very remarkable.  Twenty-four hours, or even less,
being often sufficient for their complete restoration.  They are of
varying form, but some are perfectly conical, with a circular hole at the
top exactly like that of some Norfolk “kilns” used for the burning of
bricks.  Others are irregular, or flattened and spongy, with several
holes.  But it would seem that the varying shapes are largely due to the
special conditions under which they are made.

  * 1907.  I have noted that this year the brown Ants have varied in
  colour, or have been replaced in their more usual spots on my gravel
  walk by others that are nearly if not quite black.  And I have also
  noticed that their habits are somewhat different.  The little conical
  Ant-hills which they make are much smaller, but more numerous, than
  those of their predecessors, and they seem to burrow more in the
  adjacent grass lawn.  But they keep to almost the same spots.  In their
  daily workings and activities also there is a decided difference.  They
  are very active in the early mornings, but often can scarcely be seen
  all the mid-day or afternoon, instead of racing about above ground
  almost the whole day, as the others did.  But they may have been
  influenced in this by the continued cool and showery weather of the

One very warm day about noon, in the early part of September, I witnessed
some of the proceedings at one of the well-known “wedding ceremonials” of
Ants.  The whole body of the Ants were swarming on the grass above the
nest, and racing about in evidently a great state of excitement.  Amongst
these were five large winged (Queen) Ants, constantly moving about,
though more quietly, and in and out of the nest opening.  Also in the
group were some forty or more smaller winged (Male) Ants, also moving
about upon the ground.  None of the winged Ants were flying far about.  I
watched this state of commotion for some time, then left, and returned in
about an hour, when the whole body of these insects had disappeared,
presumably into the nest.  Whether the brides and bridegrooms were about
to take their wedding flight, or whether (as appears most probable) they
had just returned, I am unable to state; but I saw no further commotion
outside later on in the day.

I have often watched these little creatures at work upon their “heaps,”
and have noted how these are gradually built up of aggregations of single
grains of earth or sand, which evidently have been dug out grain by grain
from the earth, where the excavation is going on, and are then brought in
the Ant’s mouth to the surface, and to the top of the rising earth-heap.
They are then dropped over its edge, and the Carrier Ant at once races
back into the hole presumably for a fresh burden.  This process is a very
remarkable one, and the way the Ant brings his grain of earth in his
mouth and drops it over the edge of the rising Ant-hill, irresistibly
reminds one of a railway navvy who wheels his barrow full of earth and
tilts it over the edge of the embankment upon which he is at work.  The
number of single grains in even a small Ant-heap must be very large, and
must amount to many thousands, or perhaps to hundreds of thousands.
What, then, must be the untiring energy of a small Ant colony, which can
reproduce such a granular heap in less than twenty-four hours?

It does not always seem clear what the streams of Ants from the parent
nest are so constantly occupied in.  They may be, to a certain extent,
colonizers, but they certainly do not, with me, raise secondary Ant-hills
to any great extent at the end of their runs.  They make holes in the
ground there, and possibly they may be engaged in their proverbial custom
of securing and storing up food for the winter.  To the uninstructed eye
these holes look very much like Colonial outposts.

The activity of these Ants entirely ceases with the advent of autumn, and
their Ant-hills in my garden entirely disappear until the following

As we all know, this instinct of storing up food for winter use has been
largely denied, but from Sir John Lubbock’s account it certainly exists
in some species, though its extent varies greatly.  As he says that many
of the Ants live through the winter, some food would seem to be required.

Speaking of Ants generically, we all doubtless accept King Solomon’s
authority upon this point, and we shall not forget that the Roman poet,
Virgil, writing just before the Christian era, expressed himself to the
same effect.

    “Ac veluti ingentem formicæ farris acervum
    Cum populant, hyemis memores, tectoque reponunt.”

Whilst Cicero says:

    “In formica non modo sensus, sed etiam mens, ratio, memoria.”

Lastly, did time and inclination permit, I might have found endless
interest in observing the habits of the vast quantities of WORMS (again
with the aid of Sir John Lubbock) which inhabit my grass-plot; or those
of the SNAILS; or of the SLUGS, which exist in equally innumerable
quantities in the garden soil.  Both these latter classes of animals
appear to be made to be eaten, as they largely furnish food for the
birds.  They prefer damp or wet weather, and to some degree are excellent
weather-glasses or weather prophets.  As we all know, they roam or sail
about on rainy evenings.  But it is curious to observe also the special
instinct by which in dry periods the Snails will become aware of watered
or damp earth at a considerable distance, and how they will in the night
cross a large breadth of dry, or even dusty earth, to reach a spot of
ground where plants have been watered on the previous evening.  I need
scarcely remind you that these land mollusks, the Snails, and still more
the Slugs, are creatures with super-excellent appetites for the garden

I have now, in conclusion, not only to apologize to this Society for the
length of my paper, but, perhaps, also for having brought it before you
at all.

I did not venture to do so until I had asked our excellent and
experienced Secretary whether he considered that a few such popular or
surface notes, even if containing little that is new, would be
acceptable, or even appropriate, to such a learned body.  My real object
has been less to state what I have personally observed than to show what
a large field still exists in our city centres (as indeed everywhere) for
a naturalistic use of whatever out-door opportunities are present; and to
illustrate the principle that even in the smallest and least promising
city gardens or spaces, the materials for interest and self-instruction
are ever present, and practically inexhaustible; that here, as elsewhere,
and everywhere, we may “read, and read again, and still find something
new; something to please, and something to instruct.”


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN—Another of our Society’s years has come to a close
this day, and it devolves upon me to say a few final words before
yielding up this presidential chair.  In doing so, my chief desire is to
repeat my thanks to the members for having placed me in so honourable a
position, and for their kindness in sustaining me throughout the various
evening meetings of the session.

It is a matter of much congratulation that these meetings have continued
to be well attended, and that the Society itself has continued thoroughly
to fill that position of scientific usefulness which was hoped for it at
its first inauguration, now eighteen years ago.  Such a lapse of time
gives the opportunity of seeing how much good work has in the aggregate
been done.  And though, no doubt, in looking back through our volumes it
will be found that different years have produced a varying amount of work
judged by its importance, yet on the average we have reason to be well
satisfied with what the successive numbers show us, seeing that the total
represents a very important collection indeed of natural history facts
and information.  The work of the present year has, I think, fully
maintained the good average attained in other sessions.

The Society too, has, as a whole, continued to prosper, and appears to be
effectually carrying out the initial programme set forth on the first
page of each volume of its “Transactions.”

On looking back to some of our earliest annual reports, I find that our
numbers have doubled and trebled themselves since that time; and further
that the list now embraces the names of many both at home and afar off,
whose reputations are well known to science, and who are powerful
additions to our Society’s strength.  As compared, too, with those
earlier times, the increased plumpness of our yearly volume tells of the
greater amount of matter that is now every year contributed.

So, too, if prosperous finance is any test of success, we may look to the
larger figures in our balance sheet, and the sufficiently satisfactory
state of our “balance at the bank” further to fortify the favourable
position which I desire to point out to you.

We have had an accession of twenty-one new members during the year,
whilst seventeen have been removed by death, resignation, or other
causes.  But though the total losses from these causes have been but few,
and those from death not above the average, yet these latter include some
well-known names—the names of members of valued attainments, and of men
whom the Society could ill spare.

Especially do we note with regret the premature loss, in only middle
life, of one who had been a member of this Society from its commencement,
who was also a life member of the Zoological Society, and whose death
would have claimed attention from us as Norwich men, were it for no other
reason than that he bore a name the very sound of which is instinct with
ideas of Norfolk Natural History; one who was also a member of a family
to which this Society, and the neighbouring Museum, owe a long and
ever-increasing debt of gratitude.

Although the late Mr. John Gurney’s talents were never, I believe,
especially directed to our class of study, yet his tastes for the bright
and the beautiful were well known.  And though his affliction had of late
years debarred him from the complete visual enjoyment of the beauties of
nature, yet his devotion to the improvement of the rural charms of his
own home, and his public-spirited expenditure upon the scheme for the
laying out of Mousehold Heath, and its appropriate development, showed
that he had in him that form of mind out of which the true lover of
nature’s creatures, as well as nature’s charms, necessarily arises.

But this side of Mr. Gurney’s mind will come home to us as naturalists
much more forcibly when we recall the great act of his life, in which he
was so heartily and so earnestly engaged when death removed him so
suddenly in the midst of his useful and public-spirited career.  I, of
course, allude to his great Castle-Museum scheme for the removal of our
grand Museum collection, with its surroundings, to a new and larger and
more appropriate position on the Castle Hill.  We all know the generous
liberality with which he sought to ensure this grand scheme being carried
out.  We have all noted the quiet and business-like sagacity with which
the various steps necessary for the effective doing of this work were
taken under his inspiration.  And I am sure we recognise how he was
actuated not only by a desire to raise the scientific _status_ of the
county and city generally, but also to assist those Norfolk workers in
nature’s fields whose accumulated results are now to be seen under this

His large and increasing views for the good of this city, and its general
welfare, have been so thoroughly and so publicly appreciated on all
sides, that it is not necessary for me to add one word more.  His name
will remain as that of a public man at once generous and right-minded.
And I can only hope on behalf of this Society, and that of other kindred
ones, that nothing will occur to prevent the full development and
carrying out of that Castle scheme, which, if effected, will, in my
opinion, have a large and important influence not only upon the future
scientific progress of Norfolk generally, but also upon the intellectual
position which our famous old city will hold in the time to come.

Mr. Hampden G. Glasspoole, who has also recently died, had been a member
of this Society from its commencement, and had contributed two papers to
its proceedings.  These were entitled “Biographical Memoirs of some
Norwich Botanists,” and “Memoir of Lilly Wigg.”  He had also published
several papers in _Science Gossip_.  He was for several years a member of
the late Norwich Microscopical Society; and of the London Quekett Club.

Mr. Glasspoole was an accomplished botanist.  For many of the later years
of his residence at Ormesby, he was honorary curator of Botany at the
Norwich Museum; and after his removal to London he held, for a short
period, the office of botanist to the Alexandra Palace.

He will be remembered by us all as kindly, gentle, and genial; ever ready
to help others with his time or his knowledge; and with all his stores of
information, modest and unassuming.

He added one species to the British Flora, _Carex trinervis_, Devgl; and
two species to our county list, namely, _Ammophila Baltica_, Leak, and
_Sparganium neglectum_, Beeby.

As is well known, he was the eldest son of the late Capt. R. Glasspoole
of Ormesby, who had himself presented many _curios_ to our Museum, and
who published a most interesting account of his experiences whilst a
prisoner in the hands of Chinese pirates.

The Ornithology of Scotland has, in the death of Mr. Robert Gray, which
took place at Edinburgh in February last, lost one of its ablest
exponents.  Commencing with “The Birds of Ayrshire and Wigtonshire,”
which appeared in 1869, Mr. Gray, two years later, published the more
important “Birds of the West of Scotland,” and at the time of his death
was engaged on a similar work treating of the birds of the Eastern
district of his native country.  In this latter work he was, I believe,
associated with Mr. William Evans of Edinburgh, who, it is to be hoped,
will bring their joint labours to a successful issue.

Mr. Gray commenced public life in the City of Glasgow Bank, and it was
whilst acting as Inspector of Agencies for that establishment that he was
enabled to collect the information which so enriched his work on the
“Birds of the West of Scotland.”  Subsequently Mr. Gray entered the Bank
of Scotland, and at the time of his death occupied the position of its
chief cashier.  Since his residence in Edinburgh, he has taken a
prominent position in the scientific institutions of that city, and was a
Vice-President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Secretary of the
Royal Physical Society.  He did not become a member of our Society until
1884, but has been long known by several of its members, and highly
valued as a correspondent or friend.

The only other member of this Society whose death we have to deplore is
Captain Philip Hamond, who has for some time left this city, but who will
be well remembered as having resided for awhile at Mousehold House,
Thorpe.  He showed much interest in the natural history of Norfolk, and
also in its antiquities; and he left a valuable collection of books
relating to Norfolk.

During the past session we have had many valued _papers_ contributed to
our Society; besides some notes—shorter, but not necessarily less
interesting, or of less value.

We have also had several specimens exhibited.  And, in addition, we have
had a considerable number of members who have taken part in the various

I need scarcely remind you how varied these contributions have been; and
how birds, beasts, fishes, insects, and smaller creatures; as well as
seeds and plants, great and small; have all received illustrations during
the year.  Distant parts of the globe, too, have helped to supply us with
the material which has been brought before us, notably by our late
President, Colonel Feilden.

Many of the papers will be published in the forthcoming “Transactions” of
the Society; and to these I need scarcely allude, as they can all be read
by us very shortly.  But I should scarcely like to omit to mention the
beautiful botanical specimens exhibited by Mr. Long, of Wells, at our
last meeting.  The rarity and interest of some of them, the beauty and
finish of the mountings, and the true scientific intelligence displayed
in all, can but make us desire that so competent a collector would not
only further explore his district, but also enrich this Society by the
exhibition of the fruit of his researches.

As to the contributions which will not appear in our “Transactions”:—At
the May meeting, Mr. F. Sutton read some interesting notes on Strawberry
growing.  In October, Mr. Southwell read extracts from the records of the
Whaling s.s. “Eclipse” in the Greenland seas.  Mr. Southwell’s notes
referred more particularly to the natural history occurrences of the
voyage; the birds and animals met with.  And he exhibited several forms
of Whale and Seal food, consisting of Crustacea and various minute
organisms; as well as the skulls of two Greenland Seals, two Ringed
Seals, and a Polar Bear, sent him by Mr. Robert Gray—all which latter he
has presented to the Norwich Museum.  He also exhibited a very rare
little fish of the genus _Scopelus_, likewise taken by Mr. Gray.

At the same meeting, our most valued and efficient member, Mr. Geldart,
read a paper on the _Calanus finmarchicus_ or Rice Food of Whales, from
the West Coast of Spitzbergen, and illustrated by it the natural law of
gradation in feeding, showing that whilst some Whales themselves eat this
food, others devour the Cod and Herring, which eat these little
crustaceans, which again eat the diatoms, found floating in such enormous
numbers on the surface of those seas.

My own humble contribution to the proceedings of our last meeting, in the
shape of a paper on the habits of some of our town birds, entitled “My
Christmas Garden Party,” has been recently published in _extenso_, and
therefore need not be further alluded to here.

There has been only one _Excursion_ made during the year, but this
appears to have been full of interest and enjoyment.  I have received a
lively and detailed account of the day’s proceedings from Mr. Bussey, but
I regret that time only permits me to note the principal features of the

The visit was made to the Salhouse and Wroxham Broads, and the
neighbouring district, including the Broomhills, St. Benedict’s Abbey,
and portions of the river Bure.  It is unnecessary to say how ample is
the material in this district for the study of both the animal and
vegetable kingdom; and as the day was fine, the opportunities afforded
were fully availed of.  As usual, this occasion for field study fully
repaid those who took part in it, for their devotion of the day to this
pleasant combination of research and recreation.

The field over which “Natural History” extends is a very wide one, and
properly includes the study of all organised beings, living and dead.  At
one end the ground is, to a very considerable extent, occupied by the
Geological Society, which exists in Norwich; yet even in this department
we have had, as I have said, some very valuable contributions during the
year.  But at the other end, which embraces the study of minute or
microscopic life, not only have we had no contributions during the past
session, but I find, on looking over the past numbers of our
“Transactions,” that the papers dealing with this part of the world’s
life have been both few and far between.  There have been, as we know,
some great and valuable exceptions, such as the papers read by Mr.
Kitton, the address by Mr. Plowright, a portion of the address read by
the President, Mr. Sutton, two years ago, and, perhaps, one or two
others.  Still the small part which microscopical records and
observations play in our annals is both noticeable and regrettable—the
more so, because in consequence of the decease of the old Norwich
Microscopical Society, I believe that no public or systematic work in
this direction is now being carried on in this city.  And yet, partly in
consequence of the larger forms of life having now been so largely
studied, but still more in consequence of the new views as to the
universality and far-reaching importance of microscopic living
beings—there is probably no phase of natural history which is now more
engaging general attention, or which is being more eagerly studied and
investigated elsewhere.

Mr. Sutton, in his presidential address of 1884–85, gave a most learned
and interesting description of some of the microscopical researches which
had been carried on up to that time, and further gave us a most lucid
account of the influence which micro-organisms had been shown to exert in
the process of nitrification in soils, an influence which had formerly
been considered to be due to purely chemical action. {80}

I trust I may be forgiven if I recall your attention for a few moments to
this subject of Germ life, more particularly as it branches out and
develops in a more vital direction; in other words as it affects human
and animal life.

This portion of the subject has, during the past two or three years,
deepened and strengthened in interest; our knowledge of it has largely
increased; and the recognition of its vital importance has called forth,
both in Europe and America, a host of eager and capable workers.  It is
scarcely too much to say that its wide and far-reaching issues are
probably the most important to mankind of any that have been studied in
recent times.  Foremost amongst the workers in this department may be
recalled to you the well-known names of Koch and Pasteur, abroad; and of
Lister, Watson-Cheyne, and Crookshank, in this country.  But the names of
other eminent investigators will almost necessarily occur to your minds.

It has long been known what potent factors were microscopic Germs in
producing changes in the constitution of decaying matter; and how they
were, in all probability, the useful scavengers of nature, definitely
resolving into their constituent elements failing and dying organic
tissues.  But it has become more and more a matter of knowledge, that by
their parasitic habits and their power of invading and living upon and
within other living tissues, they are also the sources of many so-called
diseases of both vegetables and animals.

With regard to vegetable parasitic growth I will not now detain you.  The
blights, and the mildews, and the ergots, as well as minuter forms, such
as algæ and micrococci, are well known; and no doubt much more is still
to be learned from their further investigation; whilst by analogy it
seems highly probable that the circulating fluids of higher members of
the vegetable kingdom may be found to be invaded by parasitic beings in
the same way as their animal compeers.

But it is to Germ life in animal bodies that I wish now specially to
allude.  I have said that our knowledge in this direction has, even in
the last two or three years, made enormous strides, and it is now almost
a matter of certainty that all contagious or infectious disorders, as
well as many others, are but the expression of the fact that minute
living bodies have made a resting-place for themselves in or upon other
living tissues; and that the development of the phenomena of these morbid
states is but an indication of their presence and reproductive
activity—either as cause, or as an accompaniment of these disease
manifestations.  And this applies not only to the human species, but to
lower classes of animals, between whom and man many of these diseases are

Such knowledge necessarily invests the life history of these minute Germs
with intense interest, seeing that it is probably one step, and that a
long one, towards the discovery of the means of prevention, if not also
of cure, of many of our most fatal and dreaded diseases.

Examples of such diseases are:—Scarlet Fever, Diphtheria, Small Pox,
Cholera, Yellow Fever, Tuberculous Disease, Ague, Hydrophobia, Cattle
Plague, Anthrax; and many others might be enumerated whose dependence
upon parasitic Germs is almost conclusively proved.  But these are
sufficient to show the deep interest of this branch of study.

Not only are these Germs found in the solids of the body in some of these
diseases, but in others their presence is easily and constantly
recognisable in the blood or other fluids, and even within the corpuscles
which the blood so largely contains.  And not only so, but the forms
which these micro-organisms present are so constant and so definite in
the different disorders, that it is now almost possible in some instances
to diagnose what diseased condition we have to deal with by an
examination of the fluid or tissue in which they are contained.

It is, perhaps, but right here to say that some of our most cautious
observers consider that it is as yet hardly _proven_ that the differing
Germs found in the various diseases are their actual and efficient cause;
but their definiteness in the various disorders, and the constancy of
their presence, leave little doubt that this will hereafter be
conclusively shown to be the case.

Some of these Germs seem to have a short life and rapid development, and
then we have acute disease.  Others seem to have a more prolonged or
continuing career, and then we have chronic disease.  Whilst others seem
to have an intermitting development, and then we have paroxysmal disease.

Many curious facts have been observed in reference to the forms, or
multiplication, or life-history of some of these parasitic beings.  Thus,
for example, in one class (_Filaria sanguinis_) it was noticed that the
minute embryos of this little blood-worm could only be discovered in the
evening or during the night, and not during the day; and the reason of
this has appeared to be that it is necessary that they should come within
reach of the Mosquito Gnat, which is a night-feeding animal, in whose
bodies one stage of their development appears to take place.

One of the latest discoveries in this department of natural history is
that of the blood germs, which co-exist with the various forms of ague
and malarious disease, and upon which they would appear to depend.  Dr.
Osler, of Pennsylvania (now Regius Professor of Medicine, at Oxford), has
recently described and figured these little bodies in an elaborate paper
full of interest.

Such facts as these, when regarded merely from the point of view of a
member of the Medical Profession have their deep and _special_
significance.  But I am here to-night as a member of the Naturalists’
Society, and by all of us, in that capacity, they are first to be
regarded, not as illustrations of disease, but of the life history of
some of nature’s creations—creations which are no doubt as important, as
definite, and which play as large a part in the general scheme of life,
as do many of the larger forms of animated beings.

Some of these little bodies, especially those of the bacillary and
bacterial class, are extremely minute, and are best examined with powers
ranging from one-tenth to one-twenty-fifth of an inch; and it is
impossible to ignore the fact that their study requires not only good
instruments, but much patience and skilled attention.  Nevertheless, such
study fairly comes within the scope of this Society’s work, and will most
certainly repay any of its members who may be induced adequately to
undertake it.

Nor let it be said that minuteness is any reason for lack of interest on
the part of the naturalist.  For many of these micro-organisms have
already been shown to be as varied, and to have as definite a structure,
and as special a life history, as any of the larger types of beings;
whilst, of course, we all recognise that apparent size is as nothing,
that it is a mere accident, a question of the construction of our
enquiring eyes, a condition that is at once altered and rectified by a
magnifying glass.

If it be true that the invasion and presence of various small organisms
in the blood or tissues is the cause of the various specific diseases to
which I have alluded, then the application of such knowledge as
naturalists can obtain, as to the food and other conditions necessary to
their existence; their mode of ingress to the body; their development and
multiplication, becomes clear and obvious.  It opens up to our minds
possibilities both of prevention, and of either mitigation or cure.  For
it is evident that if we can starve these Germs of their necessary
nutriment, or make their new habitation unsuitable for their healthy and
vigorous development, their career as invaders will necessarily either be
cut short, or be rendered feeble and impotent; and therefore the
disease-changes which they can produce less violent and less lethal.

Something of this kind appears naturally to have taken place in those
persons in whom some of the zymotic diseases (of which Measles, Scarlet
Fever, Whooping Cough, etc., may be taken as familiar types) have once
run their course; in those, that is, who are popularly said to have
already had these diseases.  And although the exact abiding change which
is produced has not been ascertained, yet it is well known, and quite
understood, to be one which renders the fluids or tissues partially or
wholly unsuitable for their future healthy growth.

This theory, too, is the well-known explanation of the protective power
of the Cow Pox, which once having permeated a human system, has rendered
it unsuitable for the future healthy and vigorous development of its
greater relation—the Small Pox.

In default of available means of destroying the Germs of other malignant
diseases, prolonged efforts have been made (and notably by the great
French pathologist, Pasteur) so to diminish the intensity of the
destructive force of some of these specific Germs, that they may be
safely inoculated into human bodies without danger to life, and yet be
potent enough in their effects to anticipate and render abortive the
invasion of the more virulent diseases.  This has been attempted by
repeated cultivations of the Germs in proper media, until after several
of such generations the broods shall have acquired the requisite
diminished vitality—in fact, until that diminution of virulence which the
Small Pox Germ has sustained in passing through the Cow has been obtained
by these artificial means.

We are all familiar with the attempts which have recently been made by
Pasteur in this direction, in regard to that most fatal disease
Hydrophobia.  It remains to be seen how far he has been successful in
solving this preventive problem; and how far this may be the true method
by which to utilize our knowledge of bacterial life.  Medical men are
diligently working at this subject from their own point of view.  There
is much to be done by microscopic naturalists in unravelling the
life-history of these little beings; and we are glad to recognise the
kind of results which may be hoped for in the future.

Such considerations as these are fraught with matter for deep reflection,
and tend to open our minds to the far-reaching possibilities not only of
this special knowledge, but of that which we are gaining in many other
branches of science.  Each fresh item of knowledge is like a new step
upon a ladder, and raises us to a fresh height from which we can take a
wider survey, and which we can assume as a loftier and broader basis for
further enquiry.  Scientific thought is ever as to what may next be done,
and how to do it.  For, as Sir James Paget has recently said: “Every
increase of knowledge brings before us a larger and clearer view of the
immeasurable quantity which is still to be gained.  The more we know, the
more can we see, if we will, how much more there is that we do not know.”
And of this we may be sure, that it is by minute and exact work only that
in the future our store of knowledge is to be increased and made sure.
If no other example to prove this were at hand, it would be sufficient to
quote the recent observations of the Rev. Dr. Dallinger on the subject of
the conjugation of the nuclei of some minute forms of cell life:
observations which bring us nearer to some definite knowledge of this
particular matter than any hitherto made upon higher classes of

Dr. Dallinger has spoken of the “vast area of activity and research in
this direction;” and Professor Huxley has said, “that those who have
toiled for the advancement of science are in a fair way of being
overwhelmed by the realisation of their wishes.”

We appear indeed to be still only on the threshold of knowledge, to have
merely touched the fringe of the vast and infinite life-history which the
living world, that inexhaustible stream of life which we see everywhere
around us, contains.  We are proud of the amount of our natural history
knowledge.  We think to have accumulated a large store of information as
to that especially of our own district.  We can point to the lists of
animals and plants which the research of the members of our Society, and
others, has so laboriously gathered together.  And we can look to the
stores of our Museum as illustrations of what has been done.  And yet a
little further consideration at once shows us how small a part this is of
what is yet to be known.  We know the gross form of the specimens; we
know something of their habits during life; and yet how little is this of
what there is to be known about them.  Who is there of the most learned
who can properly explain the meaning of one hundredth part of what these
creatures present in form, size, colour, and intimate structure?  We have
a general idea that their special peculiarities have relation to the two
primary essentials of life—the daily bread, and the perpetuation of the
species—but we are largely unable to explain the _raison d’etre_ of many
of the commonest facts which they present.  It will be a great day when
we can also explain the object or utility of all the variations which
they present.

Of course I do not forget the powerful impulse given by the researches of
Darwin in the direction of explaining the why and the wherefore.  I only
indicate how large a portion of this explanatory field is yet untilled.

In this county a Naturalists’ Society will never lack either for material
to work on, or for variety and interest of subject.  Much, even in its
grosser form, still remains to be learned.  And the vast variety
presented by the county, in respect of climate, soils, strata, heath,
woodland, marsh, stagnant and running water, as well as the proximity of
the great ocean with its shore—presents an almost unexampled field for
the work of the scientific naturalist—a field, too, which is constantly
changing in accordance with the physical and other changes steadily going
on in the district.

With these great natural advantages, and with the great love for natural
science, which is inherent in Norfolk men, I make bold to hope and
prognosticate for this Society a prolonged and continuously useful
career.  We are glad to see its library growing, and its journalistic
interchanges increasing.  We are glad of the increasing importance of the
position which it holds amongst kindred societies.  We are all, I am
sure, looking forward to the time when this, our Society, will meet in a
handsome airy room on the top of the Castle Hill; {88} when any student
of any particular branch of this natural history will be able (on
repairing to our Museum) to see not merely inaccessible specimens ranged
three or four deep, but so displayed as to be available for study and
examination; when lectures and demonstrations will be possible, because
there will be sufficient room space to contain both the lecturer and his
audience; in short, when we in Norwich shall have a scientific centre
worthy of the Museum and of the great reputation which this district has
always held.

What a happy change, too, when the old Castle of Norwich—the last of our
three city prisons—shall exchange its human prisoners for forms,
imprisoned indeed, but not human; and intended only to enlarge and
instruct and make more free the mind of man.  And when Science and Art
and the cultivation of the intelligence shall tend year by year, and ever
more and more, to render real prisons less and less required.  And when
the moral sense and the force of cultivated public opinion shall suffice
to reduce crime and ill-doing to its minimum.  We gladly recognise how
much has already been done, and we look forward with hope in both these
directions to the good time coming.

In now resigning this chair to my learned and distinguished successor, I
can only trust that he will find his year of office as pleasant, and as
profitable to himself, as the Members of this Society, and their
excellent Secretary, have rendered mine to me.


The parish of St. Giles’s, though relatively not large, yet has always in
later periods occupied an important position in the City of Norwich.  It
formerly—as is usual with parishes dedicated to Saint Giles—lay upon the
outskirts of the city, though not _necessarily_ within the city proper
previously to 1253 {90b} (as Mr. Hudson has pointed out), when the city
was enclosed with a fosse.  In recent times Norwich has expanded largely
in the direction of Earlham and Heigham, and St. Giles’s is now
completely overlapped by these populous suburbs.

Blomefield describes the parish as having been part of a new portion of
Norwich called the New Burgh, originally settled in the time of Edward
the Confessor, but much increased at the Conquest by the Normans or
Frenchmen settling in it.  He says they chose and took this position as
being the pleasantest part of the city; but it may also have been that
they selected it as being merely the best ground as yet unoccupied by
earlier settlers.

St. Giles’s parish is broadly triangular in form, with its base along
Chapel Field Road and St. Giles’s Hill.  It covers (according to Ordnance
Survey) a space of 22·952 acres, and comprises within its area rather
more than half of Chapel Field.  Its western boundary is along the site
of the old city wall, and of St. Giles’s Gate, whilst on the eastern or
city side it extends as far as Fisher’s Lane and a little beyond.  The
population in 1881 was 1,438.

A main city street runs through it, now known as St. Giles’s Street, but
formerly called Inferior Newport, Nether Newport, or Lower Newport;
Bethel Street being then called Over or Upper Newport.

This street is handsome and well-built, and contains several large and
important houses or mansions.  Of late years several of these have been
converted into the homes of public institutions, and the “Young Men’s
Christian Association,” “Gilman’s Insurance Offices,” and the “Masonic
Association,” now occupy some of the largest of them.

On the north side of this main street, near to Fisher’s Lane, formerly
stood a _Domus Dei_, or Almshouse, but this was pulled down about 150
years ago.  Browne, writing in 1814, says: “On the south side of this
street is the office of Mack’s London Waggons, which go and return to and
from London every week.”  These waggons continued to ply for many years;
and “Mack’s yard,” which adjoined what is now Mortimer’s Hotel, was a
business centre of considerable importance.

In olden times, _Fisher’s Lane_, which extends from St. Giles’s Broad
Street to Pottergate Street, was believed to have been so called as being
the road to a fish-quay, which formerly existed there; but this is now
thought to be very doubtful.  The other principal thoroughfares are _St.
Giles’s Plain_, in which was formerly an open pit—seen and mentioned by
Kirkpatrick, but long since filled up; _Rigby’s Court_, leading from it,
formerly called _Pit Lane_, but now known as Rigby’s Court, from the
eminent Dr. Rigby, who once lived at its St. Giles’s end; and _Willow
Lane_, noteworthy for having for a time been the residence of the Rev.
Francis Blomefield, the Norfolk historian, and of George Henry Borrow,
the celebrated writer.

The principal PUBLIC BUILDINGS are

  _The Church_,

  _The Church Schools_, built in 1862,

  _The Roman Catholic Chapel_, erected in 1828, and

  _The Volunteer Drill Hall_, erected in 1865–6.

Until quite recently the City Prison stood immediately outside the Gate
of St. Giles; but the site of this prison is now occupied by the Roman
Catholic Church, now in process of erection.

In earlier times a _Leper-house_ existed just beyond the gate.

Also until recently there existed just beyond the gate a series of
remarkable and ancient _chalk vaults_, or excavations.  They are
described by Mr. Woodward (“Archæologia” vol. xxiij., p. 411), who showed
a plan of them made by John Bond in 1571.  Woodward thinks they were
galleries made to obtain the chalk flints for building purposes, whilst
Mr. Rye says “they were probably worked by the masons of the Castle and
Cathedral for the sake of the chalk.”  They are now filled up.

_The City Wall_, built between 1294 and 1319, surrounded the outer and
western margin of this parish; and St. Giles’s Gateway, the “Porte de
Newport,” or Gate of Newport, stood at the western end of St. Giles’s
Street.  Over this gate, at one time, lived an hermit.  It was pulled
down in 1792.  In 1867 the greater portion of this part of the City Wall
was also taken down; only a small portion near the southern end of Chapel
Field, with one of the towers, being left standing.  A photograph of this
remnant is given in my book on St. Giles’s parish; as well as views of
the Gateway as it existed in 1720 and 1792.  The latter were sketched by
the Ninhams, and published by Mr. Fitch in his work on the Gates of

_Chapel Field_, whose history is so strongly interwoven with that of
Norwich, lies on the southern side of St. Giles’s.  It takes its name
from a Chapel of St. Mary, which formerly stood where now is the building
used as a High School for Girls.  More than half of it lies in this
parish (4·790 acres out of a total of 8·994 acres).  It was formerly
known as Chapel Field Croft; and its ancient owners are stated by
Blomefield to have been the Prior of Buckenham, the Prioress of Carhowe,
and the Dean and College of the Chapel in the Fields.  But it appears to
have been acquired by the City during the sixteenth century, after the
dissolution of the monasteries.  Chapel Field was at one time a sort of
_Campus Martius_ of the city, and was used for the musters and training
of the local trained bands, as well as for military reviews.  After its
acquirement by the Corporation, the Field was for a long time usually let
out on lease.

In 1707 it was first railed in.  In 1746 its main avenues of trees were
planted by Sir Thomas Churchman.  In 1792 a large portion of it was used
for the construction of the reservoir of the old Norwich Waterworks.  In
later times it has been used for the drilling of Militia or Volunteers;
as well as for Volunteer reviews; also for the holding of fêtes, flower
shows, bicycle meetings, and horse shows.  The well-remembered Fisheries
Exhibition was held in the Drill Hall in 1881.

In 1866 the Prince and Princess of Wales each planted a Wellingtonia tree
in the Field, but these did not flourish, and have been removed.  In the
same year the Field was enclosed with its present handsome iron
palisading, and it has since then been transformed into the delightful
Chapel Field Gardens, as we now see them, with their special beauties,
and the handsome iron Pavilion in their midst.

_The Church_ of St. Giles, dedicated to the Saint of that name, stands on
the north side of Upper St. Giles’s Street; and is a striking object as
we pass up the street, as well as from many other points of view.  It
occupies a commanding position, overlooking much of the surrounding
district, and was anciently called St. Giles’s on the Hill.

Blomefield says it was founded by Elwyn the priest, and given by him to
the Monks of Norwich, after he had procured an indulgence of twenty days’
pardon for all who should come and offer here on St. Giles’s Day, or
within seven days after, and it was rebuilt in the time of Richard II.
The chancel, which appears to have been a very long one, was demolished
in 1581, and was not rebuilt until the general restoration of the Church
in 1866, when it was restored mainly at the cost of the Rev. W. N. Ripley
(now Canon Ripley) who was then Incumbent.

The Church is a fine perpendicular flint-work structure.  The tower is
large and well proportioned.  It is battlemented and crowned with a small
bell-cot and weather-cock.  It is rather more than 113 feet high, and the
hill upon which it stands is 85·8 feet above the level of the sea.  From
its height and conspicuous position, it was selected in 1549 for placing
a cresset, for a fire beacon, upon its top.  There was formerly a Cross
and Image of the Trinity in a niche on the west side of the steeple
(Blomefield).  It has a clock on its eastern face, and contains eight
bells, one of which is rung as a Curfew every evening at eight o’clock,
as has been the case for more than four hundred years, in accordance with
a benefaction of one John Colton, in 1457.

_The Belfry Chamber_ contains five large steeple-boards, with many names
of ringers.

_The Porch_ has a fine groined vault, with fan tracery, and a rich
parapet and cornice.

Kirkpatrick (1712) says of it: “There is a neat porch of freestone on the
south side of the Church for entrance, with a chamber above it.  On each
side of the window, which is in the front, is a niche (with) spired top.
On each side of the arch of the door, cut in stone, is a cherub with an
escocheon before him.  That on the east side has two pastoral staffs.  On
the (west) a Pall, and at the top of the porch a border of carved work
whereon you see the letter G of the antient form with a crown upon it and
an escocheon with vine branch of various small ones denoting St. Giles,
to whom dedicated.”  (These three niches are now empty.)  “On the north
side of Church there is no porch, but only a door opposite to that of the
south.”  (This doorway no longer exists.)

The Church itself consists of new Chancel, Nave, and North and South
Aisles.  The whole building is about 120 feet long, and the nave with its
aisles is 48 feet across.  The roof is of good open woodwork, supported
by “Angels bearing shields, emblazoned with the Arms of England, France,
and Castile” (Bayne).  And Taylor says the Arms of Norwich Priory are (or
were) seen in this roof.  The columns supporting it are light and
elegant.  They are four in number, with a pilaster at each end, and they
divide the nave from the aisles.  The clerestory windows have been
modernised.  They are five in number, and closely correspond to the
larger windows in the walls of the north and south aisles.  Of these
there are five in the north side, and four (and the porch) on the south

Blomefield says that “In the west end of the south aisle there was
formerly a chapel, altar, and image of St. Catharine, with a light
burning before it; and against one of the pillars there was a famous rood
called the Brown-rood.  There was a Gild of St. Mary kept before the
altar of the Virgin of Pity.  The west window in the north aisle was
adorned with the history of Our Lord’s passion; and there were lights
burning before the images of St. Mary, St. John Baptist, St. Christopher,
St. Unkumber, and St. Wilegesartis; besides those that continually burned
before the Holy-rood, or cross, the Holy Sepulchre, and the Sacrament.”

Mr. Hudson says that S. Uncumber and S. Wilegesartis, or Wylgefort, were
the same person, and in the _St. Peter Mountergate Parish Magazine_ for
February of this year (1891) he has thus briefly given her history: “She
was a beautiful maiden who was ordered to marry a man to whom she had a
great aversion.  While she was at her wits’ end to know how to avoid her
fate, she was delighted to discover that in the course of a few hours she
had become adorned with a full-grown and very ugly black beard.  This, of
course, disposed of the gentleman.  Wylgefort lived to be a happy old
maid, and when she died was honoured as a Saint . . .  She was thought to
have some special power to uncumber (_i.e._ disencumber, make free)
discontented wives from disagreeable husbands.  Hence her popular name.”

The remains of a colossal fresco painting of St. Christopher and two
consecration crosses were discovered on the wall of the north aisle in

At the lower end of the Church stands an ancient stone _Font_; the upper
part, or basin, evidently of much older date than the base, which
consists of a pedestal and two steps.  The outer part of the basin has
eight facets, carved with shields and flowers, and below these are eight
cherubs’ heads, with flowers between.  The pedestal is carved out on its
sides into niches, having cusped tracery heads.  There was formerly a
cover, which has been lost.  Standing within the large basin is a small
leaden vessel and cover, a rough miniature copy of the font itself, made
about fifty years ago by Mr. Culyer, then parish clerk.

_The Communion Plate_ {97a} consists of six pieces, silver gilt, and
presented by Robert Snell in 1738, and of two brass bowls, presented by
Mr. John Gurney in 1869.

The reading desk and pulpit, the organ, the oak fittings, and the vestry
room were all added in 1866, when the whole Church was restored, and the
Chancel rebuilt. {97b}  The building is thoroughly heated by hot water.
The Communion rail was added about five years ago.

The Church contains several monuments, besides mural tablets and
inscribed stones.  The principal of the former are those of

  Adrian Payne, 1686, the founder of Payne’s Charity.

  Robert Snell, 1738, who gave the Communion Plate.

  Alderman Churchman, 1742.

  Dr. Offley, 1767.

  Sir Thomas Churchman, 1781.

  Dr. John Beevor, 1815.

  The Stannard Family, 1838.

  Slabs to the memory of Henry Crossgrove, printer, 1744, who published
  the first Norwich newspaper in 1706; and to Elizabeth, wife of Colonel
  Cobbe, of Sandringham Hall, 1698, may also be mentioned.

There are several brasses, the two principal represent Robert Baxter,
Mayor of Norwich in 1424 and 1429, with his wife; and Richard Purdaunce,
Mayor 1422 and 1433, with his wife.  Both of these are figured in
Cotman’s “Brasses of Norfolk.”

Other and smaller brasses are inscribed with the names of John Smith,
Elizabeth Bedingfield, Margaret Landysdale, Thomas Hervey, and Rachel

_The Room over the Porch_ contains some church standards of former St.
Giles’s Mayors; also a dilapidated ‘Parish Umbrella’; and the parish
‘Watchman’s Crake,’ or rattle.

_The Parish Registers_ date from 1538, and are very perfect.  The Burial
Register shows distinct evidence of the presence of unusual mortality in
some of the well-known pestilence years.  The first part contains a very
remarkable illustrated dedication.

_The Churchyard_ was altered and enclosed with a wall and iron railing in
1866–7.  Taylor says that a Hermitage formerly existed in its south-west

There are several and important parish _Charities_; their proceeds being
partly for Church purposes, and partly for the benefit of poor

The incumbency has an endowment of about £70 a year.  It was formerly a
Perpetual Curacy, and is now a Vicarage.  It is in the gift of the Dean
and Chapter.  A vicarage house for the minister has been purchased quite

                [Picture: The Tower of St. Giles’s Church]

_And some things in relation thereto_. {99}

By “relation thereto” I mean that my paper will first speak of myself—my
personality and my belongings—and then recall to your memory a few of
those changes and events of interest which have taken place in my
neighbourhood and surroundings.

Perhaps I ought to apologize for bringing before such a learned branch of
the Church of England Young Men’s Society, as is this its Literary Class,
so many familiar facts and events as are here alluded to.  But
nevertheless, I have thought that there might be some considerable
interest in grouping and recalling to our minds a few such items
connected with one city centre, and especially as they might be supposed
to be noted by such an eyewitness as I have suggested myself to be.  A
knowledge of our city, of its specialities, its changes, and
developments, is always good mental store.  And although it might be
said—are not many of these things to be found recorded in the City
Archives, and in the volumes of City History? yet almost certainly many
of the members of this class will not have studied these.  And therefore,
it may fairly be hoped that this little paper may stimulate the
historical bump of some of the brains here present, and arouse in them a
desire to further study such archæological facts and local histories.

And here let me quote some lines of the Suffolk poet, Bernard Barton, in
reference to the survey or study of past events or history.  He says:—

    “No useless, or ignoble toil,
    To him who in ‘the past’ delights,
    Seems it—from dark Oblivion’s spoil
    To cull whate’er our taste invites,
    Of by-gone legends, parted rites,
    In earlier days believ’d as true;
    And bid our old ‘Historic Sites’
    Peopled afresh, to charm anew.

    “That is no true Philosophy
    Which does not love at times to trace,
    With glowing heart and moisten’d eye,
    Time honoured haunts, whose chiefest grace
    Is to have been _their_ dwelling-place
    Whose names in history’s page are shrined,
    Whose memories time can ne’er erase
    From many a fond admiring mind.”

Well—my _name_ and _title_ is

                     THE TOWER OF ST. GILES’S CHURCH,

_and as such I shall speak of some of the many things which I have seen_.

As you may suppose, from the prominent position which I—the Tower—have
for so many centuries occupied in this old city of ours, I have long
since ceased to suffer from the undue modesty which so often accompanies
equally deserving but less conspicuous merit.  I can only hope that you
will agree with my reasons for anticipating from you some of that
appreciation and interest which I certainly take in myself.  And I
propose to introduce my subject in the novel way of speaking of myself as
personal, and as having noted, during my long life, various matters to
which I shall call your attention.

As an introduction, I am proud to think that I need only say, once again,
that I am the Tower of St. Giles’s Church, Norwich.  And surely there
cannot be many of our citizens who are in the habit of passing up our
broad street, St. Giles’s (the lower Newport as it used to be called),
who have not been struck with the fine proportions of my structure,
standing as I do at the head of this fine thoroughfare, and looking and
being an object of admiration for my beauty and my striking position.
Many are the beautiful views which I present to the passer-by in the
varying lights of the day, but my beauty and grandeur are, I think, seen
best of all, when in the evening the sun is setting behind me in the
west, or the moon with her paler light throws down along the length of
the main street of St. Giles, those shadows, which—produced by my
intervening tower—are so well worthy of the admiration of all who have
eyes to see, and minds to appreciate, the glory of evening views. {101}

Let me say here in passing that Saint Giles, the saint after whom I am
named, appears to have lived in France; and history relates that he was
adopted as the typical Patron of the crippled portion of humanity from
his being himself lame, and from his having been said to have effected a
miraculous cure of a sick beggar.  As such Patron, parishes which, like
mine, were located on the outskirts of towns, have frequently been given
the name of St. Giles, as having had the duty, in the olden time from
their position, of contributing to the needs of passing wayfarers, and of
those requiring Christian charity.  And thus, in Norwich, not only was my
own parish named after this saint, but the so-called “Old Man’s
Hospital,” in Bishopgate Street, at the other end of the city, was also
formerly called St. Giles’s Hospital.

Well, I am the Tower of St. Giles’s Church, and I have stood in my
present position for at least five hundred years, having been built (or
rather rebuilt) in the time of King Richard the Second (who ceased to
reign in 1399).  I am twenty-six feet square, and I am also one of the
tallest church towers in Norwich.  And not only so, but I stand in one of
the most conspicuous positions in the city, on the top of St. Giles’s
Hill.  I am a square Tower, built like the adjoining Church, largely of
flint stone, nearly 120 feet high, battlemented at the top, and having
also a small cupola or bell-cup in the centre of my roof, with a
conspicuous weather-cock above this.  In earlier times, in consequence of
my height and conspicuous position, I was used as a Beacon-tower, _i.e._
a pail containing fuel was hung at one of my corners, ready to be lighted
as a danger signal in case of invasion or other serious emergency.  Such
a beacon, as you may know, was often called a “Cresset,” from the French
“_Croisette_,” which was a pail with a cross on its top.

I am proud of my public spirit and loyalty, for on royal and other
special occasions, I raise on my summit a tall flag-staff, and float from
it a large and handsome flag.  In this, I am sorry to say, I have too few
imitators or companions amongst our church towers, perhaps for the reason
that even such loyalty as this is expensive, and costs, I am told, some
few shillings for each such display.  Amongst my various public uses, you
have probably all seen soldiers from the barracks on my roof practising
flag-drill in connection with others in Chapel Field.

I have said that I am largely built of flint stone, which is of a very
enduring nature.  In consequence I am thankful to say that I have a very
excellent constitution, and have stood the wear and tear of a long life
without requiring much fortifying or repairing.  I can only venture to
hazard the bold suggestion that my excellent health may also, in some
mysterious way, have been due to the near presence of so many Norwich
doctors, residing as they have so largely done in the neighbouring Bethel
and St. Giles’s Streets!!  At any rate, for a long time past I had
scarcely wanted professional assistance, until about two years ago, when
two of my windows (or eyes, as I call them) needed technical help and

Speaking of flint for building, we all know that some of the finest flint
work in the kingdom is to be seen in this city, notably in St. Miles’s
Church, and in a wall in Bridewell Alley.  My flint work is inferior to
these, but still handsomely faced.  No doubt the large use of flint stone
in building our Norwich churches was due to the abundant supply of this
material which has existed in the neighbourhood.  And with regard to
myself it may well have been that my flints, or some of them, may have
been extracted from the ancient chalk excavations which until lately
existed just beyond St. Giles’s Gates.  Mr. Walter Rye, as you perhaps
know, has also suggested that flints from these caves may have been used
in the building of both the Cathedral and the Norwich Castle.

As curiously illustrating local specialities, one of my parishioners has
told me that when travelling some few years ago in Cornwall, where
granite and other hard rocks prevail, but no gravel or flints, he asked
one of the residents whom he met, if she knew of flint stones, to which
she replied, “Oh! yes, I know flints, I have seen one in the Museum at
Torquay.”  I much fear that not even one flint is to be seen in our grand
Museum on the Castle Hill!

Whilst on the subject of myself (the Tower), I may mention THE CLOCK,
which has so long existed on my eastern face, and which, judging from the
constant reference made to it by the passing throngs, is an undoubted
public boon.  To the parish it is a source of some expense.

This Clock was restored and re-coloured at the general restoration of the
Church in 1865–6, when the figure of _Old Time_, holding a scythe in his
hand (as many of us will remember), was removed.  The Clock face and
Clock hands do not look to the passer-by to be very large; but I find, on
measurement, that the diameter of the Clock face is 10 ft., that the
Roman letter numbers on it measure 1½ ft., that the length of the large
hand is 6 ft. 5½ in., with a weight of 21 lbs., and that of the small
hand 3 ft. 4 in., with a weight of 8 lbs.  My Clock has belonging to it a
special Clock Bell.

Then, as to my contents.  As this is an Autobiography, and as all
Autobiographers are necessarily egotistical, you must allow me to dwell a
few minutes more upon my personal specialities.  And first, as to my
_Peal of Bells_, eight in number, which are naturally of great interest
to myself, and which hold a high place among the various peals of
Norwich.  These, according to the high authority of the late Mr.
L’Estrange, were placed in me between the years 1593, or earlier, and
1738, and they were renovated and restored in 1870, at the expense of
Messrs. Browne, Bridgman, and Firth, parishioners of St. Giles.  (One of
these bells is what is called a _Gabriel_ Bell—the “Angel Gabriel brought
the good tidings to the Virgin Mary.”)  And think for a moment what
phases of life these bells have taken part in during all these hundreds
of years.  I find that since 1538, when our parish registers begin, some
2,524 entries of _marriage_ have been made in them.  And it is reasonable
to suppose that at a fair proportion of these, especially in earlier
times, my bells have rung out their merry chimes, and in their special
language have wished all joy and happiness to the newly wedded pairs.
You remember how Byron speaks of this: “And all went merry as a marriage

On the other hand, during the same period, or, rather, up to 1856, when
interments in the Churchyard ceased by Act of Parliament, _i.e._ in 318
years, nearly ten thousand (9,770, as roughly counted) entries of
_burials_ here are made in the parish register books.  And it is almost
certain that one of my bells has announced first the fact of the death,
and then that of the mournful ceremony of interment, in each of these
cases.  Just think, as I do, of all these ten thousand dead lying at my
foot, waiting, as Baring Gould has so beautifully said, for the
“Resurrection morning,” when “soul and body meet again.”  Such an
accumulation of mortal remains in so limited a space may well arouse much
and solemn reflection.  How well a Suffolk poet reverently describes such
a disused graveyard as mine now is, where he says:—

    “The gathered ashes of long centuries rest;
    A few _white_ tombstones and a few _dim-gray_,
    Mark names that have not yet quite passed away.”

Nor can I fail to quote to you Gray’s beautiful words, so applicable to
such a disused churchyard:—

    “Hark! how the sacred calm, that breathes around,
       Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease,
    In still small accents whispering from the ground,
       A grateful earnest of eternal peace.”

The graveyard of St. Giles, which lies beneath and around me, is, as I
have already said, no longer used for burials.  It is quite full and
crowded with graves and many memorial tombstones.  The names upon these,
as far as legible, are fully and completely given in the book which has
been published by a parishioner of mine, {106} upon the “Parish of St.

It is historically interesting to know that the burial registers, by the
increased number of interments in some of the long past years, point
unmistakably to the prevalence in Norwich at those times of the dread
Pestilence or Plague, which is recorded as having ravaged the city from
time to time.  Thus, in 1603, no less than 112 persons were buried here;
and in 1666, some 79—both of these “Plague years”—instead of a normal
average of twenty or thirty.  As you may suppose, I (the Tower) shared
acutely in the distress which then reigned in the city, intensified as it
was to me by the fact of three or four burials occasionally taking place
here in the same day.  In some other years, an increase of burials may
probably have arisen from this place of mortal rest having been a
favourite one, and, therefore, selected for the interment of some who had
not been resident in the parish.  This was certainly so in the fifty
years preceding the closure of the churchyard, when fifty, sixty, or
seventy were often annually interred here.

But to return to my bells.  The perpetuation of the old custom of ringing
each night what is called the _Curfew Bell_ in my Tower is well known to
us all.  This Curfew ringing is now an anachronism, but it doubtless was
a great boon at the time of its foundation, seeing that so many legacies
were left in various places, as here, for the purpose of having a
“Curfew” rung each night in perpetuity.

My Curfew Bell, instituted and endowed in 1457, by Mr. John Colston, and
who was buried in St. Giles’s Church, has now rung continuously for some
450 years.  And although some people may think this evening tolling of a
bell for a quarter of an hour a nuisance, it has in this particular case
this merit, that it acts, or has done, as a sort of daily almanac, seeing
that the day of the month is told at the end of the quarter of an hour’s
ringing, each evening, by a number of strokes on a different bell,
corresponding to the day of the month.

The name “Curfew,” you doubtless know to be derived from the French
_Couvre-feu_, or cover fire.  And also that the custom in olden times of
a public ringing of a bell, or sounding a horn, for the putting out of
fires and retiring into houses for the night, arose from the out-door
dangers of those less civilised times, and from the inflammable nature of
many of the wooden and thatched houses then existing.  One such fire in
Norwich (in 1507) is said to have destroyed seven hundred houses,
including many in my own parish.  Who does not know Gray’s lines on this
Curfew custom?

    “The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
       The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea;
    The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
       And leaves the world to darkness and to me.”

And we doubtless also remember Longfellow’s beautiful verses on this old

    “Solemnly, mournfully,
       Dealing its dole,
    The Curfew Bell
       Is beginning to toll.

    “Cover the embers,
       And put out the light;
    Toil comes with the morning,
       And rest with the night.

    “Dark grow the windows,
       And quenched is the fire;
    Sound fades into silence;
       All footsteps retire.

    “No voice in the chambers,
       No sound in the hall;
    Sleep and oblivion
       Reign over all!”

With all this, and what I have now said, I think I may claim that I—the
Tower—have fully discharged the general duty of public usefulness, and am
a great public benefactor.  My beacon pail is no longer required; but by
my weather-cock I tell the direction of the wind; by my clock I tell the
time of day; and by the final strokes of my curfew bell at night, I act
as an almanac, and tell the day of the month—for the benefit not only of
my neighbours, but to the great multitude of the passers-by. {108}  And
let it not be forgotten that all this implies not only the discharge of
public duty, but also the expenditure of money, necessary to keep the
various arrangements for these in correct and working order—money which
has to be provided by the parish of St. Giles.

Opinions as to the desirability of the ringing of the _Church Bells_ in
towns differ, as we know, considerably.  And every now and then we read a
letter in a newspaper in condemnation of them.  But I believe that those
who think thus are in a very small minority.  I have said how well they
emphasize such occasions as weddings, and funerals.  And I think they
most appropriately add to the expression of public rejoicing on such
occasions as the election of a new Mayor, or a royal visit, or a royal
anniversary—or especially on the eve of such a great Christian festival
as Christmas or Easter.  But beyond all this, I (the Tower) consider that
they are in the best sense public music, and that when well rung this
music is of a very high order indeed.  Who does not recognise the
grandeur of the great twelve-bell peal of St. Peter Mancroft, as rung by
the skilled ringers of that church, or the solemnity imparted to a public
mourning by the muffled peal occasionally rung, on the departure from
this world of some great local or national citizen?

In country villages I know that the possession of a good peal of church
bells is usually very highly appreciated, and the practice of the ringing
cannot be otherwise than an excellent musical training for the young men
of the parish.

It is curious how little regard _Jackdaws_ pay to the noise of clanging
bells.  In my tower, as elsewhere, they habitually build their nests, and
rear their young, apparently quite free from alarm at the noise.  From
their constant selection of church towers as breeding places, may we not
suppose that these birds have ears for music, or may even practice
singing amongst their family parties, to the accompanying chimes?

I have windows on all four of my sides, and until lately (1866), when the
Church was so thoroughly restored, I had an eye in my lower eastern
portion which enabled me to view the changes which have taken place in
the interior of the Church.  Long, long ago, I noted the dilapidation of
the Chancel, and its final demolition and removal (in 1581), on a bargain
being made by which the parish was allowed to take all the remaining
lead, stone, and other materials (for some parochial charity) belonging
to it, on condition that the Dean and Chapter were no longer to be held
liable for its repair.  This _Chancel_ I had the pleasure of seeing
rebuilt in 1866, mainly through the beneficence of Rev. Canon Ripley,
then incumbent of the vicarage, when also the Church was finely restored,
and reseated.

You are aware that the years 1903–4 represent the five-hundredth
anniversary of the giving of a Mayor to the City of Norwich.  Several St.
Giles’s inhabitants have held this important office, as well as that of
Sheriff, during all those centuries, but I will only specially mention
the names of _Richard Purdaunce_ and of _Robert Baxter_, who were very
early Mayors, in 1420 and 1424 respectively, and who were interred in the
nave of this Church, with brasses over their tombs.  These still remain,
and are of considerable interest as showing the costumes of the period.

And now as to the parish of St. Giles itself, in which I stand, I cannot
but recall with satisfaction the large number of residents who have been
in their day most important and influential citizens in various
departments of life.  As public men I will only mention the names of a
few such departed neighbours whose careers and public services I have
watched.  Let us only recall the names (given alphabetically) in public
life of such examples as Baxter, Beevor, Bolingbroke, Cadge, Chapman,
Churchman, Cole, Crosse, Day, Foster, Herring, Kinghorn, Johnson,
Lubbock, Offley, Purdaunce, Ranking, Rigby, Suffield, Taylor, Wilkins; or
as ornaments of the literary and artistic world, such names as Brand,
Blomefield, Borrow, Crossgrove, Charlotte Elizabeth, Daniel, Ninham—and
now we may add that of Bateman.  This, you will agree with me, is a
goodly list, and marks out St. Giles’s parish as having been one of the
most important residential districts in the city, and as having largely
contributed to its welfare and general reputation.  And in this regard we
may well regret that so many of the fine parish residences have been or
are being absorbed by public companies or other bodies; and that in
consequence, the most actively important men of the city are gradually
being driven to other and more distant localities.  And we may even note
here how the neighbouring and almost historical old “Norfolk Hotel” has
been swept away, and its site occupied by a modern variety theatre.

Further, as a sign of the times, I may mention to you a spot in St.
Giles’s Street, situated behind “Mortimer’s Hotel,” which was long known
as “_Mack’s Yard_.”  Mr. Mack was for a long period the enterprising
proprietor of some carrier waggons, which made a weekly journey to and
from London, carrying parcels and goods.  This was in the days when the
stage coaches to London occupied two days in the journey; and when the
starting of these coaches, as well as of Mack’s waggons, was an
interesting incident of Norwich life.

So much for my immediate personal relations.  Let me now look a little
further around and beyond me.

No doubt, almost everyone present this evening, when crossing Mousehold
Park, or when passing along the roads on the outskirts of the city, will
have noted how I—the Tower—stand out more prominently than any other
object than the Castle or the Cathedral spire.  And, on the other hand,
those of our younger citizens who may have ascended to my summit, can
bear testimony to the wide and expanded views from it of the surrounding
country.  In fact, I command a view, not only of much of the city, but
also of the neighbourhood for many miles around.  And this commanding
position has enabled me to note most of those great changes, and
improvements, which have taken place—by slow degrees and with many
fluctuations—in the city generally.  And, of course, I have keenly felt
the change in my own position which the recent spread of the city all
around me has produced.  Not so very long ago I was situated in its very
outskirts, and very close to the boundary City Walls.  Now, I am almost
in the heart of Norwich, and from my summit I can see the lines of houses
extending a mile or more beyond me, and, I fear, detracting by their
extent from the conspicuous dignity of the position which I had so long

Of the many more distant but important Norwich events of the past
centuries, which from my lofty position I have been enabled to witness, I
will only mention two or three which have specially impressed me, thus:—

In King Edward VI.’s reign, I was able to note many of the incidents
connected with Kett’s Rebellion.

A little later, I saw the reflection of the fires at the Lollard’s pit,
when Bilney and others were there burnt for their religious opinions.

I saw the processions attending the visits to Norwich of Queen Elizabeth,
and of King Charles II.  And you will remember that it was on this latter
occasion that our distinguished citizen, Sir Thomas Browne, to whom we
have so recently erected a statue, received the honour of Knighthood from
his Sovereign.

Then again, I was cognizant of the blowing down of the Cathedral spire,
during a great storm, in 1601; and of the spire of the St. Andrew’s Hall

And, shall I say, with how much regret in quite later times, I witnessed
the riotous and disgraceful scenes which took place at some of the
Parliamentary elections held in Norwich—followed, as we know, by the
exciting but not too pleasant “Chairing” of the elected candidates.

In my more immediate neighbourhood I have watched the foundation (in
1714) and the subsequent career of that beautiful example of Christian
charity, the well-known Bethel Hospital for the poorer class of insane
patients.  We all know that in those earlier times, simply to remove from
the general community and to house those suffering from mental
derangement, was all that was known to be able to be done for those thus
afflicted.  But I have been charmed to note from my window-eyes how
greatly their treatment has been improved in latter times, and to watch
with pathetic interest the great changes which have been made, and are
still continually being made, for the comfort and recreation and general
welfare of the patients in this beneficent institution. {113}

Very numerous and historically important are the changes and advances and
improvements which have taken place in our city during the last 150
years, and which I have witnessed from my lofty summit.

In 1770, I saw the first _Norfolk and Norwich Hospital_ built, and I have
seen the old building replaced (in 1879–1881) by a larger and handsomer

In 1792, I saw our _St. Giles’s Gate_, along with many others, taken down
and removed; whilst, in 1867, I saw much of the neighbouring _City Wall_
demolished, only a small piece of it being left in the Chapel Field Road,
and in the adjacent “Duck Lane.”

You will remember that this defensive wall was built around the city
between the years 1294 and 1319, and was broken down between the St.
Stephen’s and St. Giles’s Gates by Earl Warwick’s army, in the time of
Kett’s Rebellion.

Then I have seen numerous churches and chapels, factories, and other
large buildings, arise in various parts of the city—these latter
including the Norwich Union Workhouse, the Jenny Lind Infirmary, and (in
the far distance) the Hellesdon Asylum.

I have also witnessed the laying-out of the new Norwich Cemetery, and its
more recent enlargement.  And at my very foot I have noted the erection
of our Volunteer Drill Hall, and the removal of the old City Gaol.  The
closure of this latter, and of the Castle as a prison, and their
replacement by a single model prison on Mousehold Hill, marking the
advances of the times and the progressive development of political

Of the grand Castle Museum, which is in my full view, I need say nothing.
Its influence in spreading knowledge, and in developing the higher and
better faculties of the mind, are obvious to all.  I am pleased to learn
of the interest taken in it by the public, as shown by the visiting of it
by the more than 100,000 persons who annually resort to it.

If I do not weary you, I would now like to claim your attention for a
very few minutes to what may fairly be termed my “Home Circle,” that is,
to the events which I have witnessed immediately around me in _recent_
times.  Several of these have been closely connected with the
neighbouring “_Chapel Field_,” formerly a real and open field, but now a
charming recreation garden, and one of the beauty spots of our city, with
the present handsome palisading around it, erected in 1866.  The avenues
of trees which adorn this field are, or were, one of its great features.

And it is worth noting that Norwich history relates that the main west
avenue was planted in 1746 by Sir Thomas Churchman, then a resident in
St. Giles’s parish and an important citizen.  The ordinary age of elm
trees is (I believe) not greatly more than a century and a-half, and
consequently some of these trees have decayed in their branches or
trunks.  But until a few months ago a long row of the elms towered up to
their eighty or ninety feet of height, in great beauty and apparent
vigour.  I need not say with what pain I looked down upon the process of
lopping and topping which was carried out upon these, or how I grieved
over such a dire necessity for this operation as was alleged to exist.

One other example of tree grandeur existed until the other day in the
northern avenue, namely, a splendid specimen of the _Aspen Poplar_,
towering nearly one hundred feet high, and an object of extreme beauty to
all who could appreciate such arboreal grandeur.  Even so long ago as
1841 this tree was figured by _Grigor_ in his work on “The Remarkable
Trees of Norfolk,” as a fine example of this poplar.  And we may well
feel how the further sixty-three years of its life had added to its size,
its dignity, and its grandeur.  I greatly regret that since the late
great gale it has been thought necessary to remove several of its upper
branches, and so destroy all its grandeur.  But the old line, “Woodman,
spare that tree” for the greatest possible length of time was, I hope,
fully in the minds of those who presided over its fate.

The splendid _Horse-Chestnut_ tree near the centre of the field is
familiar to us all, and I have watched its growth and circular uniformity
with pleasure and interest.

This Chapel Field, as you may know, takes it name from a Chapel of St.
Mary, which formerly existed on the site of the present Theatre and High
School buildings.  At that time the ground was really an open field; and
it seems to have been acquired by the Corporation in the sixteenth

Probably few, and perhaps none, of those present in this room, can
remember as I do the big water reservoir of the proprietors of the
Norwich Water Works of that date, which formerly existed in Chapel Field,
near its centre, on ground leased by them from the Corporation.  This
reservoir was large, nearly three hundred yards in circumference, and had
on its north side a tower, into which water was forced to gain height for
supplying the higher portions of the city.  It remained here from 1792
until 1852, just sixty years, when the lease of the ground was
surrendered, the works demolished, and the new and enlarged reservoirs of
the present Norwich Water Works Company, at Lakenham, were substituted.

I may mention here a rumour which reached me, and which I have no doubt
was true, that in April, 1852, the Corporation of Norwich proposed to
place the statue of Lord Nelson, which had just then been executed for
Norwich, “on an elegant fountain pedestal in the centre of this
reservoir,” which was then about to be disused. {117}

I have, of course, noted many public events which have taken place in the
Chapel Field—martial, agricultural, and otherwise.  But naturally, a
great impression has been made upon me by observing the historical visits
of their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales (now our
gracious King and Queen) in 1866 and 1884, on both which occasions they
entered Norwich by St. Giles’s Gates.  The visit of 1866 was, as you will
remember, the first they had paid to Norwich, and they were then
entertained by Lord and Lady Stafford, at Costessey Hall.  The royal
party then included the Queen of Denmark (mother of the Princess), and
the Duke of Edinburgh; and the procession entered our street under a
_triumphal arch_ erected on the site of the old St. Giles’s Gate.  They
then attended a morning concert of the Musical Festival then being held;
and afterwards returned to Chapel Field, where the Prince and Princess
each planted a “Wellingtonia” tree, and afterwards formally opened the
new _Drill Hall_.

In 1884 they again attended our Musical Festival, and entered and left
the city by St. Giles’s Street.

On both these occasions I noted with great pleasure the large crowds of
citizens who lined the route of the processions, and the enthusiastic
manner in which they welcomed our royal visitors.

All will remember the recent visit of T.R.H. the Duke and Duchess of York
(now the Prince and Princess of Wales), when they came to open our new
Castle Museum.  But my views of the royal procession were from my
position unfortunately considerably limited.  I am glad, however, to know
that one of my parishioners was Mayor of Norwich, and as such had the
honour to receive and entertain the distinguished party.

I—the Tower—have several eyes, but no proper ears, only vibratory
sensations, and consequently can only hear indistinctly the sweet sounds
of the various bands and singers that now delight so many thousands of
Norwich citizens during the summer season in Chapel Field.  But that
these musical entertainments are appreciated, I can _see_ by the large
numbers of persons who attend the concerts and listen to the music
provided for them.  It is not to be doubted that these frequent musical
treats constitute a veritable branch of mental education.

In the city generally, I have during the last half century noted the
opening of several parks and public recreation grounds, and I have
watched with pleasure the gradually increasing numbers of citizens, old
and young, who avail themselves of the opportunities which these afford
for obtaining fresher air, exercise, health, and vitality.  Amongst
these, you may be sure of the special and daily delight I take in
watching the games and gymnastics of the children, in the corner of
Chapel Field just below me, which has been allotted to them, and which
was so kindly fitted up for them by the late Mr. Henry Birkbeck.

I will only further say, of the many vast changes and items of social
progress in latter years, that I have seen with wonder and astonishment
the advent of steam carriages, and the opening in Norwich of three
railway stations, receiving trains, some of which have travelled more
than fifty miles an hour.  Also that as an illuminant, I was long
familiar only with the use of oil, shedding its feeble light, this being
superseded by the gas derived from coal.  But, quite recently, I have
opened my eyes to their widest to observe the lighting of our windows and
streets with electric light, and the working of tram carriages upon rails
through our main streets (including my own street of St. Giles) by means
of the electric current.

Norwich generally, like other cities and towns, has in the centuries
marched along the line of steady and continuous developments.  Such a
brief mention as I have made of some of these is all that can now be
given.  To give a larger _local_ history of these latter eventful times
would occupy us too long, and would not only be tedious to such an
audience as this, but would be beyond my present purpose.  I shall be
more than satisfied if, by the little I have said, I have shown how much
of interest there is in the study of even one locality in an ancient city
like Norwich, and in recalling some of the half-forgotten facts connected
more or less intimately with it; and if, as a secondary result, it should
create, or revive, in the members of this literary class a wish to
include amongst its contributed papers and subjects for future
consideration and discussion, that branch of literature which is included
under the name of local Archæology.  For we must not forget that past
history includes the study, not only of work done and changes executed,
but also a consideration of the men, the human minds, through whose
agency this work and the resulting changes were carried out.  And I trust
that we shall all agree with Dr. Johnson that “Whatever makes the past,
the distant, or the future, predominate over the present, advances us in
the dignity of human beings.”

And I would venture here to quote the following from a late learned
writer on Norwich (Mr. Mark Knights), who has said: “Wonderful is the
amount of thought enveloped in the buildings and history of Norwich.
Would that every citizen had the power to evoke from the monuments of the
past the spirit which gave them form, that they might read their story.”

Let me conclude by quoting the following opinion from the well-known
pages of “Gilbert White of Selborne,” with reference to such a local and
parochial history as I have ventured to place before you this evening.
This great authority expresses very strongly the view that “stationary
men should pay attention to the districts in which they reside, and
should publish their thoughts respecting the objects that surround them.”
And again, that a writer upon these (as he himself so learnedly was), if
he should “have lent a helping hand towards the enlargement of the
boundaries of historical and topographical knowledge; or if he should
have thrown even some small light upon ancient customs and manners, his
purpose would have been fully answered.”

Gentlemen, it is for you to judge whether I have succeeded in placing
before you any interesting facts “respecting the objects which surround
us,” and have “contributed to the enlargement of the boundaries of
(_your_) historical and topographical knowledge.”

I have expressed some opinions, and placed before you many facts.  I hope
these may provoke some profitable comments or discussion.

[Picture: Sir Thomas Browne]


A Paper read at a Meeting of the C.E.Y.M.S. Literary Class, on Monday,
March 12th, 1894. {121}

I am glad to redeem my promise to read a paper before this Literary
Class, during this present session, upon one of our most noted British
Authors, and I have thought that I could not do better than to bring
before your notice one of those who literally resided at our very doors;
and whose works—if not so generally read as those of many other
writers—are not the less deserving of careful study, and will well repay
any time spent upon their perusal.  In fact, I make bold to say that the
more they are studied, the more does the great learning displayed in them
impress itself upon us, and the more also does the high moral nature of
the Author make itself felt.  I could well have wished that this brief
notice had been more elaborate and more worthy of the Author, but I may
well plead the great public demands which have recently been made upon my
time; and which often have been so numerous and so continuous, as to
leave but little time for literary work or thought, or indeed for
anything but the ordinary duties of each day as it comes round.  The
Author whom I have selected for notice this evening is _Sir Thomas
Browne_, long a resident in this city, for many years a practising
physician here; a gentleman who enjoyed the highest reputation even in
his own lifetime, as a man of high character and great literary
attainments; who enjoyed personal and literary acquaintanceship with many
of the greatest men of his day; and whose works attracted the notice of
the learned and the great from the first moment of their public

The house in which Sir Thomas Browne resided is the one immediately
opposite to the entrance to this building; and a portion of it is now the
Norfolk and Norwich Savings Bank, just across the street.  I am unable to
say how far Sir Thomas Browne’s house extended at the time of his
occupation of it; undoubtedly many of the buildings to the north and east
of it have been erected since his time; and as we are told of his
extensive garden adjoining it, it is probable that this latter extended
far up to, or possibly even on to Orford Hill.  It is also believed that
he had another garden somewhere upon Mousehold.

Sir Thomas Browne was not a native of Norwich, for he appears to have
been born in London in 1605.  He settled in practice here in 1634 or
1636, and continued to reside here until 1682, when he died at the age of
77 years.  He was buried in the chancel of St. Peter Mancroft church in
this city, and a tablet to his memory hangs on the adjoining wall, with a
notable inscription, which any of you can go and see for yourselves, but
which is too long for me to reproduce here.

I am able to show you an engraving from a portrait of him which long hung
neglected in the Vestry Room of St. Peter’s, but which now occupies a
more worthy position on the walls of the Board Room of the Norfolk and
Norwich Hospital. {123}  I can also show you a copy of the 7th edition of
his works, dated 1686.

Sir Thomas Browne was knighted in 1671, on the occasion of a visit of
King Charles II. to this city.  The King at first offered to confer this
honour upon the Mayor of Norwich, but his worship declining the
compliment, Dr. Thomas Browne was knighted in his stead.

I have said that Sir Thomas Browne was buried in the Chancel of St. Peter
Mancroft Church.  Here he appears to have rested in peace for nearly two
hundred years, when in 1840—as recorded by Mr. Fitch—(Proceedings of the
Archæological Institute, 1847) “Some workmen who were employed in digging
a vault in the Chancel of the Church of St. Peter’s Mancroft, Norwich,
accidentally broke, with a blow of the pick axe, the lid of a coffin,
which proved to be that of one whose residence within its walls conferred
honour on Norwich in olden times.”  “The bones of the skeleton were found
to be in good preservation, particularly those of the skull; the hair
profuse and perfect, of a fine auburn colour, similar to that in the
portrait presented to the parish by Dr. Howman” (who in later times
occupied his house, now the Savings Bank).

The coffin plate bore a Latin inscription, which was translated by the
late Mr. Firth, of this city, thus—“The very distinguished man, Sir
Thomas Browne, Knight, Doctor of Medicine, aged 77 years, who died on the
19th of October, in the year of our Lord, 1682, sleeping in this coffin
of lead, by the dust of his alchemic body transmuted it into a coffer of

You are all, doubtless, familiar with the fact that the skull of this
great man was then taken away, and finally presented to the Museum of the
Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, where, along with a lock of his hair, it
still remains, carefully preserved and held in high honour.  And you have
doubtless heard and read of the efforts which have recently been made to
re-obtain possession of it and again consign it to its mother earth.  The
numerous letters and papers which have appeared in the public press,
discussing this question, are also fresh in all your minds, and give
nearly every aspect of the matter.  One good thing at least they have
affected, and that is, to bring Sir Thomas Browne’s name into greater
prominence than for many long years.  And I have no doubt that this
incident, together with a reviving interest in the works of this great
Norwich writer and thinker, have resulted in his being more famous to-day
in Norwich than at any former period since that of his actual residence
here and of the years immediately following his decease.

Much has been made, during this discussion, of a paragraph in Sir Thomas
Browne’s disquisition on urn-burial.  He is said to have, almost
prophetically, described this incident of the removal of his own skull
from his tomb, when he wrote “to be _knaved_ out of our graves, to have
our skulls made drinking bowls, and our bones turned into pipes, to
delight and sport our enemies, are tragical abominations escaped in
burning burials.”  But, I think the whole force of this extract is
removed by turning to Wilkin’s edition, where this passage runs, “to be
_gnawed_ (not knaved) out of our graves,” which clearly gives it a very
different meaning.

Sir Thomas Browne married a few years after settling in Norwich (in
1641), a daughter of Edward Mileham, Esq., of Burlingham St. Peter, in
this county, and granddaughter of John Hobart, Esq., by whom he had ten
children.  Of these ten, his eldest son, Dr. Edward Browne, became very
eminent in his profession.  He practised in London, where he was made
Physician to King Charles II., and he was afterwards appointed Physician
to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, and later became President of the Royal
College of Physicians.

Sir Thomas Browne appears to have enjoyed for many years a very
considerable practice in this city.  But he was also an archæologist, a
naturalist, a studier of plants and animals.  He had as personal friends
or literary correspondents such men as Sir Robert Paston, Sir Hamon
L’Estrange, Sir Kenelm Digby, John Evelyn, Sir William Dugdale, and
Bishop Hall, and he appears to have found time to carry on a very large
literary correspondence.  He lived in Norwich from 1634 to 1682, which
included the dangerous times of the Stuarts, of the Long Parliament, and
of the Commonwealth.  But he appears to have been a staunch Royalist.  He
was knighted, as I have said, by King Charles II., on the occasion of his
visiting Norwich in 1671.

Later in this year he was visited by the well-known Evelyn, whose oft
quoted passage respecting him runs thus—“My Lord Henry Howard . . . would
needs have me go with him to Norwich, promising to convey me back after a
day or two; this, as I could not refuse, I was not hard to be persuaded
to, having a desire to see that famous scholar and physitian, Dr. T.
Browne, author of the ‘Religio Medici,’ and ‘Vulgar Errors,’ etc., now
lately knighted.”  And he adds, “Next morning I went to see Sir Tho.
Browne (with whom I had some time corresponded by letter, tho’ I had
never seen him before).  His whole house and garden being a paradise and
cabinet of rarities, and that of the best collections, especially
medails, books, plants, and natural things.  Amongst other curiosities,
Sir Thomas had a collection of the eggs of all the foule and birds he
could procure. . . .  He led me to see all the remarkable places of this
ancient citty being one of the largest, and certainly, after London, one
of the noblest of England, for its venerable Cathedrall, number of
stately churches, cleanesse of the streetes, and buildings of flints, so
exquisitely headed and squared, as I was much astonished at. . . .  The
Castle is an antique extent of ground, which now they call Marsfield, and
would have been a fitting area to have placed the ducal palace on.  The
suburbs are large, the prospects sweete, with other amenities, not
omitting the flower gardens, in which all the inhabitants excel.  The
fabric of stuffs brings a vast trade to this populous towne.”

Sir Thomas Browne was, as is evident from even a cursory study of his
works, a great student.  He understood most of the European languages,
Latin and Greek critically, and a little Hebrew, and it is quite certain
that he must have studied carefully, not only the Christian Scriptures,
but also the works of many of the ancient fathers of the Christian
Church.  His memory of what he had read must have been prodigious.  But
though he was so learned a man, a traveller, a student of languages, a
naturalist, a medical practitioner, and in many respects doubtless ahead
of his time, yet a sad blot exists upon his generally great character,
and scientific acumen.  I allude to the evidence which he gave at Bury
St. Edmund’s, in 1664, at the trial before Lord Chief Baron Hale, of two
women for witchcraft.  Sir Thomas appears to have been a firm believer in
witches and witchcraft, and the declaration which he made to this effect
“was thought to have had no small influence in occasioning the
condemnation of the wretched victims, whose execution was one of the
latest instances of the kind by which the English annals are disgraced.”

After his death his widow resided in his house until her death.  Then it
was occupied by Dr. Howman, who presented the portrait of the knight to
St. Peter’s Mancroft.  A large portion of his letters and manuscripts
passed into the hands of Sir Hans Sloane, and are now in our National
Library at the British Museum.

During this present century the house has been dismantled and converted
to its new purposes, and its fittings dispersed.  A handsome carved
mantel-piece, removed from one of the rooms by the builder, is now in the
possession of Mr. Henry Birkbeck, of Stoke; and the very keys of the
house were long treasured as relics by the late Mr. Barker, of Thorpe

But I must not dwell longer upon his personality and personal history,
interesting though they be, in the light of his being a Norwich man, and
the most famous of Norwich authors.  If you wish to know more of his
biography, you will find it all excellently given in the memoir of him
written by Dr. Samuel Johnson, and which, together with a supplemental
memoir by Simon Wilkin, is prefaced to the edition of his works in three
volumes, published by Bohn in 1852, and edited by Wilkin.

We must next consider to what Sir Thomas Browne owes his great literary
fame, and upon what his claims rest for being one of this city’s most
eminent citizens.

Sir Thomas Browne was a very voluminous writer, and he touched a great
variety of subjects.  The greatest of his works, the one which was
published soon after his settling in Norwich, was undoubtedly that to
which he gave the name of “_Religio Medici_”—the religion of a physician;
implying thereby, not “that physicians have a religion to themselves, but
that physicians have religion as well as other men.”  It immediately
attracted the attention of the most learned in the land, and it is
certainly the production upon which his literary fame most largely
depends.  It is quaintly written, full of odd phrases, original thoughts,
and peculiarities of diction, but equally full of fine sentiments and
expressions of confident religious faith.  It is a work often so quaint
in its diction, so stilted in its modes of expression (as indeed was
common in those days), and so interlarded with specialized or new-coined
words, that it is somewhat difficult to read and understand.  But its
high qualities and beauties are so great that it richly repays the
trouble of mastering its style; and I venture to assert that the
greatness of its sentiments and thoughts grows upon one by perusal, and
that the oftener it is read the more greatly will it be appreciated.

To show what was thought of it from the first, it had, by the year 1736,
passed through fourteen editions, and had also been translated into
Latin, French, Dutch and German.

Now let me briefly quote a few passages from this “_Religio Medici_,” to
show the views and opinions upon the Christian religion which are therein
set forth.

First, Sir T. Browne says, “I dare without usurpation assume the
honourable style of a Christian, not that I merely owe this title to the
font, or any education . . . but that having in my riper years and
confirmed judgement, seen and examined all, I find myself obliged by the
principles of grace, and the law of mine own reason, to embrace no other
name but this.”

Again, whilst professing himself a member of the reformed faith, he shows
the great charity of his mind by saying “I could never divide myself from
any man upon the difference of an opinion, or be angry with his judgement
for not agreeing with me in that from which perhaps within a few days I
should dissent myself.”

And speaking of Death, he says “I hold the same conceit (of the soul)
that we all do of the body, that it should rise again,” and in all
humility he adds “so that I might enjoy my Saviour at the last, I could
with patience be nothing almost unto eternity.”

As for the many difficulties and mysteries of our religion, he expresses
an almost blind faith in all that is written.  He writes “I desire to
exercise my faith in the difficultest point: for to credit ordinary and
visible objects, is not faith, but pursuasion;” again, he craves by faith
“that greater blessing pronounced to all that believe and saw not,”
adding “God hath not made a creature that can comprehend him; ’tis a
privilege of his own nature.  ‘_I am_, _that I am_,’ was his own
definition unto Moses; and ’twas a short one to confound mortality, that
durst question God, or ask him what he was.”

Speaking of natural, as a confirmation of revealed religion, he says
“there are two books from whence I collect my divinity.  Besides that
written one of God, another of his servant nature, that universal and
publick manuscript, that lies expansed unto the eyes of all.” . . .  “Nor
do I so forget God as to adore the name of nature, which I define not,
with the schools, to be the principle of motion and rest, but that
straight and regular line, that settled and constant course the wisdom of
God hath ordained the actions of his creatures, according to their
several kinds.”

And as a comfort to the comparatively weak, he says, in speaking of
Christian martyrs, “’Tis not in the power of every honest faith to
proceed thus far, or to pass to Heaven through the flames. . . .  Yet men
may, notwithstanding, in a peaceful way, truly adore their Saviour, and
have, no doubt, a faith acceptable in the eyes of God.”

These extracts are quite sufficient to show you the tone in which this
great work was written; and to disprove the allegation made by some
against Browne of having written an Atheistical book.  It is remarkable
that it was placed by the Roman Church in the _Index Expurgatorius_.

Sir Thomas Browne wrote yet another religious or semi-religious book,
which was entitled “_Christian Morals_.”  It is very different in style
from the one just mentioned, and the manner is more that of proverbs or

He commences by saying “Tread softly and circumspectly in this . . .
narrow path of goodness; pursue virtue virtuously; leaven not good
actions, nor render virtue disputable.”  Again, “In this virtuous voyage
of thy life . . . let not disappointment cause despondency, nor
difficulty despair.”  “Rest not in an ovation, but a triumph over thy
passions.  Let anger walk hanging down the head; let malice go manacled,
and envy fettered after thee.”

“Be charitable before wealth make thee covetous, and lose not the glory
of the mite.  If riches increase, let thy mind hold pace with them, and
think it not enough to be liberal, but munificent.  Though a cup of cold
water may not be without its reward, yet stick not thou for wine and oil
for the wounds of the distressed.”

“Let not the law of thy country be the _non ultra_ of thy honesty. . . .
Join Gospel righteousness with legal right.”

“Let not the sun go down upon thy wrath, but write thy wrongs in ashes.
Draw the curtain of night upon injuries, shut them up in the tower of
oblivion, and let them be as though they had not been.  To forgive our
enemies, yet hope that God will punish them, is not to forgive enough.”

“Think not that always good which thou thinkest thou can always make
good, nor that concealed which the sun doth not behold.  There is no
darkness unto conscience; which can see without light, and in the deepest
obscurity give a clear draught of things, which the cloud of
dissimulation hath concealed from all eyes.”

As final quotations from “_Christian Morals_” let me give these
sentences, “Bright thoughts, clear deeds, constancy, fidelity, bounty,
and generous honesty, are the gems of noble minds,”—and

“Live happy in the Elysium of a virtuously composed mind. . . .
Tranquility is better than jollity, and to appease pain than to invent
pleasure. . . .  Forget not the capital end, and frustrate not the
opportunity of once living. . . .  Think every day the last, and live
always beyond thy account.”

I want neither to tire you, nor to read you a sermon at second-hand.  So
having now shown you the religious side of Browne’s character, let me
give you some idea of his learning and acquirements and general industry.

In his grand treatise on _Hydriotaphia_ or _Urn-burial_, which he wrote
consequent upon the discovery of some ancient sepulchral urns at Old
Walsingham, in Norfolk, he exemplifies the great stores of knowledge
which by his reading and memory he had accumulated.  He quaintly prefaces
this treatise by saying, “Who knows the fate of his bones, or how often
he is to be buried?  Who hath the oracle of his ashes, or whither they
are to be scattered?”  And then he goes on to describe the various modes
of disposal of the dead in various ages, and among different nations.
For instance, he says that “Carnal interment or burying was of the elder
date,” as shown by the older examples of Abraham and the Patriarchs.
“But the practice of burning was also of great antiquity, and of no
slender extent.”  And he illustrates this by the Grecian funerals of
Homer; the funeral pyre of Hector; and by early records of the practice
in various countries of Asia, in Rome itself, and in different countries
of both Europe and Africa.

Touching the various modes of disposal of the dead, he says, “The Indian
Brachmans thought it the noblest way to end their days in fire.

“The Chaldeans abhorred fire.

“The Egyptians objected to the merciless consuming of their bodies by
fire, but preserved them, by precious embalments, depositure in dry
earths, or handsome enclosure in glasses.

“The Scythians, who swore by wind and sword, declined all interment, and
made their graves in the air.

“The Icthyophagi, or fish-eating nations about Egypt, affected the sea
for their grave.

“The Chinese, without cremation of their bodies, made use of trees, and
much burning, while they plant a pine tree by their grave.

“The Jews usually buried their dead, but occasionally admitted cremation,
as when Jabesh burnt the body of Saul, and as was their practice in times
of pestilence.

“The Christians have preferred the practice of the Patriarchs, returning
their bodies, not to ashes, but to dust.”

He then goes on to discuss the various customs in this respect of the
successive inhabitants of England; and he concludes his learned and
interesting treatise by saying, as to the hopes of Christians, and the
comparative unimportance of the mode of sepulture, “To subsist in lasting
monuments, to live in their productions, . . . was large satisfaction
unto old expectations.  But all this is nothing in the metaphysicks of
true belief.  To live indeed is to be again ourselves, which being not
only a hope, but an evidence in noble believers, ’tis all one to lie in
St. Innocents’ Churchyard, or in the sands of Egypt.  Ready to be
anything, in the ecstasy of being ever, and as content with six foot (of
earth) as the _Moles_ of Adrianus.”

But I must hurry on, and next very briefly call your attention to another
of his great works, that which he styled _Pseudodoxia Epidemica_, or
“Enquiries into many received tenets and presumed truths, which,
examined, prove but vulgar and common errors.”

These “errors,” which he treats of in papers or treatises of various
lengths, are very numerous, and for even a cursory knowledge of them I
must refer you to the book itself.

To give you an idea of the subjects, I will only mention a few of the
titles of the errors which he proceeds to refute:—

    That crystal is nothing else but ice strongly congealed,
    That an elephant hath no joints,
    That a pigeon hath no gall,
    Of the Phœnix,
    Of the Basilisk,
    That a Salamander lives in the fire,
    That an ostrich digesteth iron.

Or, to take another class of subjects—

    That snails have no eyes,
    Of the picture of Moses with horns,
    That the forbidden fruit was an apple,

and so forth.

But though his tracts on these “vulgar errors” may, in many instances—and
looked at by the light of our present knowledge (and we must never forget
the immense difference in the scientific knowledge of the seventeenth and
nineteenth centuries)—appear not only quaint, but almost trivial, yet
even where the conclusion to the question discussed may appear to be
self-evident, and the reasoning thrown away, we often see an amount of
learning and research displayed which strikes us as quite remarkable.
For example, in discussing the “vulgar error,” _that the ostrich
digesteth iron_, he quotes the following writers in reference to
it:—Rhodiginus, Johannes Langius, Aristotle, Oppianus, Pliny, Œlian, Leo
Africanus, Fernelius, Riolanus, Albertus Magnus, and Ulysses
Aldrovandus—a list which may well make us stand astonished at the extent
of his studies, and cause us to say of him, even in such small matters,
“_Nihil tetigit quod non ornavit_.”  It is almost needless to add that in
this case Sir Thomas arrived at the common-sense conclusion that although
ostriches may swallow iron they do not digest it.

His greatest works were undoubtedly those which I have already mentioned.
But he wrote also a very noted book, entitled the _Garden of Cyrus_, in
which he discussed learnedly, and often fancifully, numerous questions
connected with the vegetable world.  He reviewed the practice of
Horticulture, and the arrangements of gardens even from the first garden
mentioned—that of Eden in Paradise.  He makes reference to the hanging
gardens of Babylon; the classical gardens of the Hesperides and of
Alcinous; and to the gardens and orchards, with their pools of water, of
King Solomon.  And he discusses the various forms in which ancient
gardens were presumably laid out—dwelling largely upon the quincuncial
{135a} arrangements probably adopted.  The whole book teems also with
allusions, showing his minute acquaintance with vegetable phenomena.

As to King Cyrus, he says, “All stories do look upon Cyrus as the
splendid and regular planter.”

Sir Thomas Browne also wrote _Some account of the tombs and monuments in
the Cathedral Church of Norwich_; and many papers on the birds, and
fishes, and vegetable life of Norfolk and other parts. {135b}  But I
should indeed weary you, were I merely to enumerate to you the bare
titles of the long list of tracts and papers which his fertile brain

Amongst his _Letters_, those to his sons, which will be found in Wilkin’s
Edition of his works, are worthy of mention as illustrating the special
bent of his mind, his wide range of thought, the peculiarity of his
advice, and the strength of his family attachments.

The stilted and complimentary, as well as roundabout, epistolary style of
those days is well known.  Thus, in writing to Mr. Evelyn, he begins:
“Worthy Sir,—In obedience unto the commands of my noble friend, Mr.
Paston, and the respects I owe unto so worthy a person as yourself,” or
again, addressing Dr. Merritt, he commences: “Most honoured Sir,—I take
the boldness to salute you as a person of singular worth and learning,
and whom I very much respect and honour,” or again, “Honoured Sir,—I am
sorry that I have had diversions of such necessity, as to hinder my more
sudden salute since I received your last.”

To his sons he writes many letters.  In these he addresses his eldest son
Edward as “Dear Sonne,” or “Dear Sonne Edward;” but those to his younger
son Thomas, always commenced “Honest Tom” or “Tom” only.

Much of his advice to “Honest Tom” is peculiar although essentially sound
and practical.  Thus he advises him, when a young man in France, in this
fashion: “I would be glad you had a good handsome garb of your body, . . .
and take up a commendable boldness, without which you will never be fit
for anything.”  “Live soberly and temperately, the heat of the place
(Xaintes) will otherwise mischief you, and keep within in the heat of the
day.”  “You may stay your stomach with little pastrys some times in cold
mornings, for I doubt sea larks will be too dear a collation and drawe
too much wine down.”

Again, later on, he writes: “Bee sober and complacent.  If you quit
periwigs it would be better, and more for your credit.”  “Hee that goes
to warre must patiently submit unto the various accidents thereof.”  And
that this “Honest Tom” was a worthy son and a fine English sailor we
learn from a passage in another letter to him at a latter period, when a
lieutenant of his Majesty’s ship the “Marie Rose.”  He writes to his son:
“Mr. Scudamore, your sober and learned chaplaine, in your voyage with Sir
Jeremie Smith, gives you no small commendations for a sober, studious,
courageous, and diligent person; that he had not met with any of the
fleet like you, so civile, observing, and diligent to your charge, with
the reputation and love of all the shippe; and that without doubt you
would make a famous man and a reputation to your country.”

We can only regret that this promising son did not live to fulfil the
high expectations formed of him.

Finally reference may be made to a _Letter_, because stated to have been
previously unpublished, which may be found in the “Eastern Counties
Collectanea,” in which he exhaustively discusses the nature of _a large
fish-bone_ dug up at Cunnington, and which had been sent to him for his
opinion upon it.

To sum up—Sir Kenelm Digby writes to Sir T. Browne, of the _Religio
Medici_ as “Your excellent piece, . . . of so weighty subjects, and so
strongly penned.”

Dr. Johnson says of him “There is no science of which he does not
discover some skill; and scarce any kind of knowledge profane or sacred,
obstruse or elegant, which he does not appear to have cultivated with

Carlyle says “The conclusion of the essay on urn burial is absolutely
beautiful; a still elegiac mood, so soft, so solemn and tender, like the
song of some departed saint flitting faint under the everlasting canopy
of night—an echo of deepest meaning from the great and mighty nations of
the dead.  Browne must have been a good man.”

Evelyn, as I have already quoted, writes of him as “That famous scholar
and physician.”

And to come nearer home, the late Captain Blakiston, in a paper read
before the Archæological Institute, in Norwich, in 1847, writes of him as
a “Great Antiquarian and eminent citizen; . . . a quaint and original
thinker;” and as “Leaving behind him a shining reputation.”

By general consent Sir Thomas Browne was recognised, not only as a
“curious thinker,” but as a man of remarkable and original talent even in
his lifetime, and the same reputation continued after his death.  His
works have always been regarded as those of a strong and original
thinker, and they have never been held in higher estimation than at the
present time.  And I think I may fairly repeat that the more his writings
are studied the more does their learning and power impress itself upon
our understanding.  With many faults, with many shortcomings—as judged by
the standard of the present day—they yet remain the monument of genius,
and worthy to be classed amongst the highest productions of great and
cultivated intellects.

Norwich may be well proud of so great a citizen—of one whose memory is
held in higher and yet higher esteem, and who is justly regarded as one
of the greatest of her literary men.

Perhaps the only drawback to our satisfaction is the fact that he was not
a native of Norwich.  And in this sense we cannot claim him as our own,
as we are proud to claim so many of our citizens, who have distinguished
themselves in literature, in science, in botany, in departments of
natural history, in medicine, and in painting.  But Norwich can look upon
him with pride as an adopted son, as one who elected to live the whole of
his working life in this city; and who identified himself so absolutely
with it, that his name is inseparable from it, and who will be known for
all time as Sir Thomas Browne, of Norwich.

                                * * * * *

ADDENDUM.—On October 19th, 1905, the admirable statue by Mr. Henry Pegram
of Sir Thomas Browne, erected in the Norwich Haymarket, was unveiled by
Lord Avebury, in the presence of the Mayor and other city officials and
of a numerous company.  This date was the tercentenary of the birth of
this great philosopher, and he was both born and died on the 19th

                                * * * * *

                          JARROLD & SONS, LTD.,
                        THE EMPIRE PRESS, NORWICH.


{16}  1908.  For the last five or six years I have practically been an
abstainer, and my health has greatly improved in consequence.  I am now
eighty-three years of age.

{29}  Read September 28th, 1886, and reprinted from the “Transactions of
the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society,” Vol. iv.

{33}  It is noticeable how they both do the same thing, in a precisely
similar way, at the same time, and this applies even to the attitudes
they assume.

{36}  April, 1887.  They have just been again weighed, after their
winter’s hybernation; and their weight now is, respectively, 2 lbs. 7½
ozs. and 2 lbs. 2½ ozs.  Thus each of them has lost 2½ ozs. in the seven
months of quietude.

{38}  Read November 29th, 1892, and reprinted from the “Transactions of
the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society,” Vol. v.

{44}  Read before the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society, February
22nd, 1887, and reprinted from Vol. iv. of the Society’s “Transactions.”

{53}  Read before the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society, January
30th, 1900, and reprinted from Vol. vii. of the Society’s “Transactions.”

{57}  A further photographic view of this grand tree is given in the
second edition of this book, published in 1906: but before this time the
tree had been topped and shorn, and had lost the grandeur and beauty
which had made it so remarkable.

{72}  Read by the President, to the Members of the Norfolk and Norwich
Naturalists’ Society, at their Eighteenth Annual Meeting, held at the
Norfolk and Norwich Museum, March 29th, 1887.—Reprinted from Volume iv.
of the Society’s “Transactions.”

{80}  It is now known that the nodules found upon certain growing plants
are caused by germ growth, with the production of Nitrates and thereby a
fertilization of the soil.  And it is worth noting that at the present
time (1908) it is being endeavoured to utilise this knowledge of aerial
nitrification by certain plants, by artificially applying a liquid
preparation of the germs which are the active agents in the process to
the seeds of these plants or to the growing crops.  The results of such
applications, so far, are alleged to be effective and commercially

{88}  This grand Castle Museum was opened by their Royal Highnesses the
Duke and Duchess of York (now Prince and Princess of Wales) on October
23rd, 1894; and this Society’s meetings are now held in it.

{90a}  A Paper read at the Church in May, 1891, before the Norwich
Archæological Society.

{90b}  Kirkpatrick’s Streets and Lanes of Norwich.

{97a}  Described by Mr. Manning in Vol. x. of Archæological Society’s

{97b}  The large East Window of the Chancel has recently been filled with
a handsome design of stained glass, by Clayton and Bell, of London, and
presented by the Author.

{99}  Read before the “Literary and Debating Class” of the Church of
England Young Men’s Society, on March 7th, 1906.

{101}  Mr. T. West Carnie, in a little volume entitled, “In Quaint East
Anglia,” speaking of Norwich by night, says, “If Norwich is beautiful by
day, with the August sun kissing its red roofs, it is as lovely by night
under the beams of the harvest moon.”  “Under the moonbeams Norwich makes
a pretty picture from whichever point it is viewed; and the effects in
some of the narrow streets are very wonderful.  I mind me of one special
‘set,’ if I may so call it, namely that in which, from St. Giles’s lower
end, the street entirely in shadow, you look out westward upon the lofty
church tower sheeted in moonlight against a clear sky.”

{106}  The writer of this paper.

{108}  Further, it may be noted, that my clock is a striking clock, and
as such is of considerable value to the large body of workers who live
within sound of the bell, and who have to begin or return to their
employments at fixed times.

{113}  A very handsome and illustrated volume on the history of this
Bethel Hospital, by the late Sir Frederic Bateman and Mr. Walter Rye, has
recently (in 1906) been published.

{117}  Those who have read Mr. Hooper’s and Mr. B. Prior’s admirable
souvenir of the Nelson Centenary, so recently published, will remember
how it is there stated that this statue was at first placed in St.
Andrew’s Hall; then after a year or two was located in the Market Place,
near the Guildhall; and then in 1856 was removed to its present position
in the Upper Close.

{121}  Reprinted from the Society’s Journal.

{123}  This Portrait was reclaimed by and returned to the Churchwardens
of St. Peter’s in 1900.

{135a}  Quincunx—a square with a central object, as of five trees
arranged thus—

        x     x


        x     x

{135b}  Since the above was written, an admirable volume has been
published by Mr. T. Southwell, upon Browne’s “Notes on the Natural
History of Norfolk.”

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