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X. Particulars relative to a Human Skeleton, and the Garments that were found thereon, when dug out of a Bog at the foot of Drumkeragh, a Mountain in the County of Down, and Barony of Kinalearty, on Lord Moira's Estate, in the Autumn of 1780. In a Letter to the Hon. John Theophilus Rawdon, by [Elizabeth Rawdon,] the Countess of Moira, communicated by Mr. Barrington.

Original Source is the journal Archeologica, 7(1785): 90-110. Cambridge Journals Online provides a snippet of scanned text and means to order a printed copy. The article's footnotes are in the righthand column. Red numbers are keyed to the annotations at the end of the main text.

Read May 1, 1783.

IN the spring of the year 1781 lord Moira having ordered a survey to be made of a farm on his estate, his surveyor brought me a plait of hair, informing me that it was taken from the scull of a skeleton that had been long dug up by the tenant in the autumn of 1780. I lost no time in making an inquiry into the particulars of such a discovery, and the result of that inquiry was as follows:

THAT in a small turbary (not exceeding in extent an Irish acre) situated at the foot of the mountain Drumkeragh [a], about a mile eastward from the summit of Sliabh Crobh [b], as the [91] man was cutting turf for his winter's fuel, at the depth of four feet and a half, he had passed the bog and come to a hard gravel; and that having raised some of it for use, at a foot's depth (or something more) in the soil, he discovered the skeleton, laid with the feet towards the west, and the head to the east, at each of which was placed a rude unhewn stone [c] which he guessed might measure eighteen inches square: that the stature did not appear to exceed that of a very little woman; and that upon, and about the bones, there were many garments. Upon being asked if the bog had been before broken up in that spot he said his father had cut it down five feet. The skeleton therefore, fifty years ago, lay near eleven feet beneath the surface of the bog. Upon demanding what he had done with the skeleton, he said that he had immediately buried it in a hole in the moss [d], excepting some fragments of the bones which accidentally stuck to the cloathing. I desired the man to give me the garments, promising him a liberal recompense for the donation. He told me he was grieved to be only able to offer the coarsest and worst part of them: for that the better part had been carried off by different people soon after they had been found; and what remained had (as he thought them of {92} no consequence) been torn by children and pigs, and a part of them had been suffered to lye abroad tossed about in the bog. This description of the state they were in did not abate my anxiety to possess them.

THE territory in which this skeleton had been found was anciently held by the M'Curtons as a kind of Palatinate under the O'Neills kings of Ulster; and the former, as the feudatories of the latter, were deeply engaged in the interests of those monarchs. I therefore conjectured, that the present object of my inquiry was one of that race, who had fallen [e] prey to famine, in consequence of the prosecution of those humane {93} methods my countrymen continued to employ in Elizabeth's reign, to civilize the Irish, and conciliate their affections to their conqueror. From the cloathing I expected to have got some insight into the state of the flaxen and woollen manufactures amidst the native Irish at that period; since the wear of their linen tunic, consisting of thirty ells, and their mantle of woollen texture, were too rigidly prohibited by the English laws for any hope to get a sample of those habits, except by an incident of this nature. In a few hours I got the coarsest part of the garments; and rewarding the man beyond his hopes, he returned that day with the second plait of hair, and some fragments of a finer sort of manufacture, among which was the piece of gauze-like drapery, to me a convincing proof that he had asserted the truth in regard to the better parts of the apparel having been carried off. I then sent the surveyor to purchase for me all the fragments he could hear of. He procured a bundle, but lost them on the road as he was bringing them to me yet only regretted a piece of bright pale green, of a most beautiful colour, and of a light and delicate texture, through woven in troilled work. As in endeavouring to revive a piece that I imagined had originally been of a red dye there resulted a precipitation of verdigrease, I was inclined to suspect that this circumstance, and the colour of the remnant mentioned by the surveyor, arose from their having lain in contact with some implement of brass or copper; the adjacent soils affording no signs of a mine of the latter metal. This occasioned me again to question the man very particularly and strictly concerning the tomb or grave; and whether any weapons, or ornaments of brass or copper were found therein. He absolutely and strenuously denied finding any kind of metal whatever, and affirmed that the only materials {94} in which the bones and garments were inclosed, were a very hard and gravelly substance. I now found that I had been guilty of an error in making so strict and enquiry; it was apparent that the man interpreted my questions as mere curiosity, into a suspicion of his having discovered a hidden treasure [f]. He became terrified, and grew so cautious and undecisive in his subsequent answers, that I could not gain further intelligence.

TO have the bog dug down into, and examined, was what appeared the only method left to gain further information. If {95} it had been an antient burial place, and there was a peculiarity in the soil, which preserved the garments from decay, it was natural to conclude, that other remains, with like habiliments, might be drawn forth from the cemitery it covered. But my absence from the county of Down, which took place in two days after I had seen the cloathing, and the incessant rains which prevailed on my return to it last autumn and the succeeding winter, have hitherto prevented that plan from taking place.

UPON an inspection of the garments, I was much disappointed not to find them correspondent to that æra to which my suppositions had affixed them. Yet, appearing to be composed of the hair or different animals, they seemed to me worthy of the investigation of some able naturalist, who, by deciding what quadrupeds had furnished these materials, might enable one to form a probable guess, to what period, and to the individual of what nation, they might belong.

I SHALL enumerate now the several garments which fell into my hands; and afterwards what may occur to my memory, either from prints, or relations, of such particulars in dress or manufactures as appear to me to bear a degree of similitude to them.

No 1. is I think undoubtedly that piece of apparel called in French, "L'Aumusse; sorte de vêtement de tête et d'epaules dont on se servoit anciennement en France. Il etoit a la mode sous les Merovingiens. La couronne se mettoit sur l'aumusse. On la fourra d'hermine sous Charlemagne; le siecle d'apres on la fit toute des peaux; les aumusses d'etoffes prirent alors le nom de chaperon; celles des peaux retinrent celui d'aumusse. Peu a peu, les aumusses et les chaperons changerent d'usage et de forme; le bonnet leur succeda; et il n'y a plus aujourd'hui que les chanoines et chanoinesses, qui en {96} ayent. En été ils portent, pendant cette faison, sur leur bras, ce que servoit jadis en tout tems a leur couvrir la tête [g]."

"AUMUCES [h] ou aumusses; fourrure, que les chanoines et les chanoinesses portent sur leur bras en été, et dont ils se servoient autrefois pour se couvrir la tête en hiver. Pendant plus de mille ans on ne s'est couverte la tête en France que d'aumusses et de chaperons. Le chaperon etoit en usage des les tems des rois de la premiere race. On le fourra sous Charlemagne d'hermine ou de menu-vair; en siecle suivant, on en fit tout-a-fait de peaux. Ces dernieres s'appellerent aumusses: ceux qui etoient d'etoffes retinrent les noms de chaperons. Les hommes et les femmes portoient des aumusses, et s'en couvroient la tête et les epaules." That it proves to have been a part of Gaulish dress, does not fix the nation of the individual to whom it appertained. The Gauls might have borrowed that fashion from other people; and it might be a garment equally worn by the more northern nations.

THE border around it, according to antient modes, must denote dignity or office in the wearer. It is of camlet, and was evidently of a different colour, or of a different shade, from the garment on which it was fixed. The toga prætexta had a border of purple round the edges. "It seems originally," says Kennet [i], "to have been appropriated to the magistrates and some of the priests, when introduced by Tullus Hostilius: how it came to be bestowed on the yong men is variously related." The same author in the following page gives this quotation from Quintilian. "I alledge too, the sacred habit of the prætexta, the robe of priests and magistrates, and that by which {97} we derive a holy reverence and veneration for the helpless condition of childhood." He adds, "we find the citizens' daughters were allowed a kind of prætexta, which they wore till they were married." There is no difficulty in tracing the descent of this mark of distinction from the Romans to the Gauls; but it is to be recollected, that the former borrowed it from the Eastern nations [k]. Coarse as the manufacture may appear to be of which the aumusse is composed, the spinning and weaving are not the performance of rude artists; and the full herring bone troill, in which it is woven, is proof that the works of the loom were not in their infancy with a people thus clothed. I have added a pattern of the sleeve and shoulder of a vestment, which must have answered the purpose of a waistcoat. It had either been much more work, or much more injured, than the rest of the apparel; as, since the discovery, it soon fell to pieces. It had evidently been patched with the same sort of stuff in a place which seemed not to have been worn out, but rent. The weaving being of a different kind, I have annexed a sample of the stuff to the form of the sleeve; the shape of which (if my memory does not deceive me) I do not remember to have met with a representation of in any collection of antiquities. By its size, it must have belonged to a slender person.

No 2. which I was tod was the petticoat, has been so much injured, and has so little remaining of it, that an inquiry to {98} determine what was the animal that furnished the materials for its composition is the only remark it can afford.

No 3. Called an outward garment, was indubitably a sash or scarf, which was worn over one shoulder, and passed under the opposite arm. I have annexed two sketches [*] that are to be seen in Montsaucon's Antiquities taken from a bas-relief on the ruins of a Gaulish temple at Montmorillon in Poitou. An old man and a youth appear in that habiliment. The learned author supposes them to be the representation of some Gaulish divinities. The scarf or sash from early antiquity denoted dignity, office, or a band of union. They were worn by the Jewish priesthood, whose sacerdotal habits were plainly (from the adoption of linen) copied from the Egyptians. At Constantinople the blue and green scarfs appears as the signals of a singular faction; and as the Crusaders brought back to Europe the polish and luxuries of the East, they adopted also their manners; and in a few centuries France expressed its factions, though in a more serious cause, by the same method. This ornament was also the reward for the lighter deeds of martial prowess displayed in tilts and tournaments, and most probably gave rise to the institutions of the various orders that the priesthood of Europe bestow; and the sashes worn to this day by the military on duty demonstrate its having been an ensign of command in antient times. The variety of stuffs and colours which this part of the apparel is composed more strongly decides it to be an honorary badge. Amongst the Irish the Brehon laws allowed the king and queen to wear seven colours in their cloathing; the Druids six, and the nobles five. Amidst various fragments to be met with in this part of the dress, that which is tufted, resembling ermine, is exceedingly curious; and that of mohair is perfect and rich of its kind. The troilled {99} piece, of two colours, that woven like a coarse gauze, and the lining in a diaper pattern, present samples which prove that the art of weaving was far advanced at that period. A doubt must however arise, whether they were Irish manufactures. The border around the aumusse is of camelat, or camlet. The mohair is fabricated from the hair of a goat unknown in Europe; and it seems difficult to account for their being found in almsot the extremity of that quarter of the world. It could only be by commerce; and at what period did a commerce exist between the East and Ireland? I think it cannot be supposed to be at any other, than when the Phœnicians established their religion in that island.

No 4. the man told me was laid over the skeleton. It appears to have been a kind of mantle, but no way correspondent to the old Irish mantles [l], which were of the size, and answered the purpose, of the Scotch plaids. Spenser expressly says, that the natives could wrap themselves up in them, as they slept in the {100} woods, "and thus secure themselves from the annoyance of gnats;" and adds, "the Irishman in his mantle, close hooded over his head as he useth, may pass through any country or town without being known." The lower order of women, according to the same author, wore the mantle also; which, with the linen tunic, and a quantity of linen cloth about their heads, composed their whole dress. The mantle was of the highest antiquity amidst the Irish; it was always a part of the tribute paid by the inferior kings to their monarch; and was one of the gifts of the latter to them: and from the numbers received, was certainly, according to the eastern mode, the common donation bestowed upon their vassals. They were not only worn, but served as coverings to a kind of beds, on which the Irish reposed. Green, scarlet, blue, and embroidered ones are particularly mentioned in the list of tributes; and likewise robes; which shews those garments were of a different sort. The embroidered ones I take to be those which had borders stitched upon them, either plain or in waves of a different colour.

No 5. There are two plaits of this hair (one of them remaining in lord Moira's collection) but exactly similar to each other. They were plaited in a very tight close manner, till deranged by modern curiosity. I have annexed two sketches from Montfaucon, to show the matter in which theu were worn [*]. The first is taken from the bas relief already mentioned, and supposed {101} by the illustrious antiquary to have been a Gaulish divinity. If I might presume to doubt what he asserts, I should think the representation was an hieroglyphical history. The other is a princess of the Merovingian race, and has the nimbus [m]; and in a print taken from a carving in the cathedral of Chartres, which represents several of the princes of the same race, Clotholdis, wife of Clovis, appears with long pendant locks, enriched with bands; but Ulthragatha, queen to Childibert, and Clothaire the youngest son of Clovis by Clothildis, have their hair plaited in long tresses, similar to that taken from the scull of the skeleton, but much larger; and the garment of the latter over his shoulders seems to resemble the aumusse. It is to be remarked, that they all have the nimbus. From an Isis in Montfaucon, and another in Bouchard's Antiquities of Rome, it is apparent that it was also an Egyptian mode. In doctor Stukeley's print of the Isis at Wilton, the tresses are twisted, and not plaited; but they hang down on each side of the head in the same manner, as these of the goddess of the Gauls and the descendants of Meroveus. It therefore seems dubious to me, whether it was merely a mode of dress, or, like the nimbus, intended to express some attributes of divinity; the mythology of Egypt abounding as it did with mysterious representations.

No 6. Ornaments found upon the scull, interwoven with the shorter hair. They were of different colours is still perceivable; and when I got them, their falling into circles plainly shewed that they had been wound upon some substance of stiff texture. The Peruvian diadem was of the same kind, but bound across the forehead; and they certainly were answerable to that sigh of princely or regal dignity.

No 7. is a remnant of a kind of gauze drapery, which is called a veil, as it was found covering the face. The fringe and {102} the selvage of this fragment demand a minute examination, and the whole bears a resemblance to some of the manufactures of the East, from its muslin appearance, its breadth, and the different coloured thread thrown in at the selvage, and above the fringe. I rather esteem it the face-cloth than a veil; a piece of apparel from the remotest antiquity bestowed upon the dead [n]. The sudarium took its rite from this custom, and it is probable that the face cloths were threefold. In the changes of religion, antient customs, which the people would not relinquish, have had new sources established for the favourite rites; thus in Ireland the Beil-tain, or fires formerly lighted on the hills, in honor of Baal, could not be abolished, but are now lighted on Midsummer-eve in honor of St. John. I have been inclined to suspect that the last mentioned fragment is made of human hair, and that it was a pious, fad offering of tributary grief, which some person, loving or beloved, had bestowed on a lamented object snatched from them in the bloom of youth, and season of friendship. The shaving of the head, and the cutting off the hair, in token of sorrow and mourning, were customs of the East too well known to make it requisite to dwell upon them: the sacrifices of it also, offered to the infernal Deities, are equally noted. Some other small pieces which I likewise procured, though woven in a closer and coarser manner, I fancied to have been of the same materials, and tributes of the same nature.

No 8. I have reason to suppose was the largest garment, as it was said that the skeleton was laid upon it. The two small {103} fragments of bones have taken their hue from the bog-water, which has also tinged much of the cloathing.

THE first point to be investigated is the striving to ascertain of what materials the cloathing is made. Much of them is evidently of hair [o]; and I suspect they will be found to be composed of that material. If the Irish moose deer (which Mr. Kalm in his Travels says is the elk) has contributed his spoils towards their fabrication, to what a remote period would it carry them; since there remains no written tradition of those animals having existed in this island, their horns and bones, which are dug up from time to time, being the only proof of it!

IT is impossible to fix an idea of date from the growth of the bog, since, taking its rise from the cutting down of trees which have stopt small streams, or currents of water, in the degree they are impeded, or according to the situation of the land, it will make a slower or more rapid progress. It has been known to have grown a foot or two in half a century; but in the year 1692 some workmen cutting turf for firing in a bog in Tipperary ten feet beneath its surface, found a cap, or crown of gold [p], weighing five ounces, and curiously wrought, supposed to have belonged to one of the provincial kings in the reign of Bryan Boiromhe (or Borovey) as that monarch was killed at the battle of Clanturf in 1034. That bog had grown but ten feet (allowing {104} that the crown had not been buried, and had fallen on a level) in the lapse of 658 years. If we suppose it to have been a druidical crown (and it does not resemble the representations of other royal Irish crowns), it would be of a much more remote date. On questioning the surveyor relative to the situation of the bog beneath which the skeleton was found, he told me that there was so considerable a fall in it from the east to the west, that it must have been the growth of many centuries.

AS to the duration of the cloathing, it must be partly owing to the durable nature of hair, and partly to the property of the soil. In the year 1747 I took from the scull of Humphrey duke of Gloucester, in his vault at St. Alban's, a lock of hair which was so perfectly strong that I had it woven into Bath rings. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, there was a sepulchre found in the monastery at Amesbury [q], hewn out of a stone, and placed in the middle of a wall, by the destruction of which it was discovered. On its coverture it had in rude letters of massy gold R. G. A. C. 600, and was supposed to be the tomb of the famous Guinever, queen to king Arthur. "The bones within which sepulchre," writes the author, "were all firm [r]; fair yellow coloured hair about the scull, and a piece of the liver. Therein was found several royal habiliments, as the jewels, veils, scarves, and the like, retaining, even till then, their proper colour; all which were afterwards very choicely kept in the collection of the right honourable the early of Hertford; and of the aforesaid gold divers rings {105} were made, and worne by his lordship's principal officers." The garments in this instance were near a thousand years old, and the hair still more antient. The cloathing on king Edward the First also [s] proves, though of so much later a date, that the cause of decay is various, and is hastened or retarded by circumstances that we are often ignorant of. Several barrows or karns, on having been opened, according to Borlase in his History of Cornwall, have appeared to have had a lining of clay, which must have been brought from a distance; and as there are beds of very tenacious clay at two or three miles distance from the spot of the skeleton's internment (and probably nearer), I conjecture that the gravel, which the men called of a hard substance, was kneaded up with that fort of clay, which the fall of the earth kept secure from being carried off, or moistened by the mountain torrents, after the karn or barrow that had been placed over it was destroyed.

As to the nation to which the object of the present inquiry belonged, I think it difficult to form than a vague supposition. Part of the dress, as I have shewn, resembles that worn by the Gaulish princes in the latter end of the fifth and beginning of the sixth century. The Gauls, as they are styled by Keating, or Normans, as they are called by M'Curtin, came with sixty ships, and landed in the north of Ireland, about the middle of the ninth century; but Danes then settled in the land joined with the natives to drive these new invaders out of the kingdom. These people were probably the antient Neustrians, who sought shelter from the ravages of the Danes on their coasts. The diminutive stature of the skeleton, and the plaiting of the tresses, has induced it to be esteemed a female one; but it appears that this ornament and other parts of the dress were worn by both sexes; and without having recourse to very remote antiquity, it is possible to prove, that it is not {106} requisite a hero should be six feet high. When the English ambassador seemed discontented with the Valesian prince, the destined husband of queen Elizabeth, as not being sufficiently tall, Catherine of Medicis in defence of her son informed him, that king Pepin and Bertrand de Gueselin were not five feet high; and the earl of Perche met with his death from the enraged dwarf, for having contemptuously expressed his surprise, at finding that able warrior, Ranulph earl of Chester, of a pigmy stature. It is therefore possible, that the bones might have been those of a Neustrian chieftain, who died a prisoner with the Danes; for, had he fallen in the field of battle, the victors would have rendered testimony of his honorable death, by allowing his followers to have erected one of those mounds which are so frequently met with as memorials of a like event. A great Danish fort, called Dunbey Mount, stands half a mile distant from the place where the skeleton was discovered towards the north; and towards the north-east, at fifty perchs distance, there is a small fort or rath; many of which stone-raths or forts, are to be sen in this mountain of Drumkeragh (Drumkera) and almost in every mountain in the county; which arises from this cause, that the raths were the antient judgement feats of the Irish; and as there was a period wen the Druids were the sole legislators in this island, it is reasonable to suppose, that these tribunals, from which justice was dispensed, would be found peculiarly numerous around these mountains dedicated to religious rites. And the Danes (as Spenser corroborates by his authority) converted these raths into forts. The Danes that are said to have landed in Ireland under Turgesius in the year 815, quickly and entirely reduced the kingdom to the most abject degree of slavery; not only depriving the natives of their artificers by totally employing them, but they permitted not the Irish to wear any garments, except those that had been worn and cast off {107} by a Dane. Turgesius assumed the title of king of Ireland; and after reigning thirteen years, he was seized by the Irish, his people defeated, and himself drowned by the conquerors in Lough Annin in the county of Westmeath, in the year 879. As the slaughter of the Danes at this period was considerable, and their chief power lay in the north, the object of our inquiries might be an individual of that nation, to whom the confusion of the times did not permit erecting a tumulus which could withstand the power of time. Or it might be a youthful prince, who died of sickness; or a female of the chieftain's race, in both which instances, funeral trophies were considerably abridged. The arguments against these suppositions are, that the Danes had adopted the manufactures of the Irish; and that needle work, embroidery, silver and gold, had their prices regulated by the decrees of Mugdoun, the daughter of Mogha [t], as early as the year 192 of the Christian æra; yet the needlework on the garments in question can scarcely be supposed to have been performed with an instrument of metal; and that the art of sewing should have made so small a progress in above five hundred years seems impossible. Sumptuary laws were also enacted by the princes, a convincing proof that the luxuries of apparel were then commenced; and though the cloathing is curious, it cannot be said to correspond to a period of luxury. Spenser himself acknowledges that the Irish were a more polished nation than the English in Henry the Second's reign. The use of linen was from the remotest time known in Ireland; an undoubted proof, that at least a large colony were of Phenician or Egyptian origin; and the fashion of their tunic, and their method of dying it [u], are additional proofs thereof.

{108} IN considering whether it might not be the remains of a Dane, it will occur, that this nation generally used urn-burial; yet Hubba [w] is said to be interred.

THE spot where these bones were found we may conclude had been a consecrated grove, appertaining to the high place on the mountain; and whether levelled by religious zeal, or in the course of war, the trees of which it was formed, impeding the currents from the adjacent hills, or that of the spings it contained, produced the morass. The victims to druidical justice, or to their religious rites, were equally held sacred; nor were the former, it appears [x], ever, nor the latter always, burnt in other cases. It may therefore remain doubtful, where and how these holy carcases were interred. The feet of the skeleton were laid to the east, and the head to the west. From the following quotation it will appear, that tradition retained an idea of some cause for this position. "In the Scottish isles the vulgar never come to the antient sacrificing or fire hallowing karns, but they walk three times round them, from east to west, according to the course of the fun, the right hand bearing over the heap or karn; and on the contrary they turn from right to left by the north, when the body faces the east; which was also used by the Druids, and called Tunphol [y]." The manner in which the body was laid, appears by this to have {109} been according to some druidical ceremony; and if the garments have existed eight or nine centuries, sending them back five or six more, seems only ranking their antiquity with the bands of linen with which the Egyptian mummies are still found swathed. On the sides of the mountains of Slave Croab and Drumkeragh, the remains of many walls still appear, and, from the materials lying near them, are supposed to have been of a great height. As they bear no appearance of mortar, and the Danes built with a kind that is become as hard as the stones they connected, those dry buildings, as well as the karns, or altars on the summit of the mountain, must be looked upon as the ruins of the rude monuments erected by the Druids during their sway in this island. Though the variety of colours in the apparel does not correspond to the general description given of a Druid's dress, yet, by the Brehon law, we find, they were permitted in Ireland to wear fix colours. The cloathing for the head and shoulders I conjecture to have been red, and that the corrosion of lead used in the dye has occasioned the astringent bog-water to have struck it of its present hue. The mantle, upon which it had not the same effect, I take to have been green, or a purple made from archil [z]. I confess I am puzzled at not finding any traces of linen; but as a much greater part of the apparel, than what I procured, had {110} been carried away, perhaps there might have been some flaxen manufacture in that portion, or it might have fallen into that natural state of decay, which the remaining garments have so wonderfully resisted.

I CANNOT but regret, that this mutilated and conjectural account is all at present that is in my power to offer. The researches of the ensuing summer, I flatter myself, may afford some further materials, to reassume the topic with more accuracy, and a fuller degree of information.

Plate VII. fig. 1, 2. Plate VII. fig. 1, 2.
Plate VII. fig. 1, 2. Click to enlarge.


  1. "Turbary," the legal right to cut turf or peat for fuel on common ground or on another persons; ground; a place where turf or peat is dug out under such a right. OED
  2. An irish acre is approximately 0.66 hectares. wikipedia
  3. Sliabh Crúibe in irish transliteration, in modern english transliteration Slieve Croob, meaning "mountain of the hoof." The cairn described by the Countess of Moira is now understood to be simply an old tomb, possibly a passage grave. Claims that the ancient druids were practitioners of human sacrifice are all but completely debunked based on modern archaeological evidence, as opposed to the self-justifying propaganda of roman and later christian invaders. wikipedia
  4. "Palatinate," an area ruled by a "palatine," an official who rules where ordinarily a sovereign who is their overlord would. OED
  5. "Ell," a measure usually applied to cloth or rope, based on the length of the forearm.
  6. "Troil" is probably a dialect variant of the word "twill."
  7. "Verdigrease" now more commonly spelled verdigris, the rust particular to copper and alloys containing copper like brass. OED
  8. "The aumusse, a type of dress for the head and shoulders, which was formerly worn in France. It was a fashion under the Merovingians. The crown was worn over the aumusse. It was lined with ermine under Charlemagne; the century after it was made of all sorts of skins; the aumusses of fabric then took the name chaperon; those made of skins kept the name aumusse. Little by little, the aumusses and chaperons changed in usage and form; the hat succeeded them; and today it is no longer worn except by canons and canonesses. In summer they wear it, hanging in this fashion, over their shoulders, and this formerly served all the time as their head dress."
  9. "Aumuce or aumusse; made of fur, which canons and canonesses wore over their arms in summer, and which served them in former days to cover their head in the winter. For more than a thousand years in France the head was covered with the aumusse and chaperon. The chaperon was in use during the time of the first race kings. Under Charlemagne it was lined with ermine or miniver (squirrel fur); in the following century, it was made altogether of skins. The last was called aumusse; those which were made of fabric reserved the name of chaperon. Men and women wear the aumusse, and it covers the head and shoulders."
  10. "Camlet," an expensive cloth once made of such fibres as camel hair, goat hair, silk, wool, or cotton. For more details, see wikipedia.
  11. Kennett, Basil. Romæ Antiquæ Notitia or The Antiquities of Rome, to which are prefixed Two Essays Concerning Roman Learning and Roman Education. London: Innys, 1746.
  12. "Montsaucon's Antiquities," L'antiquité expliqueé et représentée en figures (1719 - 1724) by Bernard de Montfaucon. wikipedia
  13. Due to the context and date of the Countess of Moira's paper, the most plausible identification of "Bouchard" is not as a writer or artist but the printer of the work. Bouchard and Gravier were prominent in the genre of illustrated texts, and the following is among their most successful sellers in the right era.
    Les Plus Beaux Monuments de Rome Ancienne, ou Recueïl des Plus Beaux Morceaux de l'Antiquité. Illustré par Jean Barbault. Saint Marcel: Chex Bouchard et Gravier, 1776.
  14. See the plate after page 148 in William Stukeley, Itinerarium Curiosum: or, An Account of the Antiquities and Remarkable Curiosities in Nature or Art, Observed in Travels Through Great Britain. (London: Baker and Lange, 1776)
  15. A sudarium is a sort of elaborate veil worn over the head and face. The victoria and albert museum has one of these from the 1400s.
  16. Kalm, Pehr. Travels into North America; containing its natural history, and a circumstantial account of its plantations and agriculture in general, with the civil, ecclesiastical and commercial state of the country, the manners of the inhabitants, and several curious and important remarks on various subjects. London: T. Lowndes, 1772. Volume 1 | Volume 2
  17. The "bath ring" seems to be an example of using hair to make various craft items. See Atlas Obscura: The Intricate Craft of Using Human Hair for Jewelry, Art, and Decoration, by Anika Burgess (12 january 2018).
  18. Borlase, William. The Natural History of Cornwall. Oxford: W. Jackson, 1758.
  19. A perch is approximately 5 metres. OED
  20. Ashton Lever, born into a rich english family, squandered his inheritance on a massive collection of natural history specimens. The collection became famous and was eventually catalogued by George Shaw. See Museum Leverianum, Containing Select Specimens From the Museum of the Late Sir Ashton Lever. London: J. Parkinson, 1792. wikipedia
  21. Moryson, Fynes. A History of Ireland, From the Years 1599 to 1603. With a short narration of the state of the kingdom from the year 1169. To which is added, A description of Ireland. Dublin: S. Powell, 1735. Volume 1 | Volume 2
  22. "Dock," a coarse weed of temperate regions, with inconspicuous growth or reddish flowers; often used as a remedy for skin infections eruptions. OED, Plant-Lore
  23. "Phrenzy" now usually spelled "frenzy," as per the OED, "a state of uncontrolled excitement or wild behaviour."
  24. "Karn," irish gaelic spelling of cairn, referring to a mound of stones used as a grave, boundary, or other place marker. OED
  25. Diderot, Denis and D'Alembert, Jean le Rond. Encyclop├ędie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Lucques: Vincent Giuntini Imprimeur, 1758. Tome 1 | Tome 2 | Tome 3 | Tome 4 | Tome 5 | Tome 6 | Tome 7 | Tome 8 | Tome 9 | Tome 10 | Tome 11 | Tome 12 | Tome 13 | Tome 14 | Tome 15 | Tome 16 | Tome 17
  26. Pages 152-153 in Dictionnaire des Origines, Découvertes, Inventions et Établissmens, par un Société de Gens de Lettres. Paris: Moutard, 1777. Tome 1 (A-D) | Tome 2 (E-MEU) | Tome 3 (MI-YVE)
  27. Les Plus Beaux Monuments de Rome Ancienne, ou Recueïl des Plus Beaux Morceaux de l'Antiquité. Illustré par Jean Barbault. Saint Marcel: Chex Bouchard et Gravier, 1776.
  28. "Beeves," that is beef cattle. OED
  29. "Tuns," large beer or wine casks. OED
  30. Munster Book of Rights, also known simply as The Book of Munster, compiled from older records. There is a 1900 edition in irish gaelic: Tadhg Ó Donnchadha, An Leabhar Muimhneach Maraon le Suim Aguisíní, Baile Átha Cliath: D'Oifig Díolta Foillseacháin Rialtais. Closer to the Countess of Moira's time and a more likely possibility as it was translated into english is Euge O'Keeffe's Eoghanacht Genealogies From The Book of Munster, dated 1703.
  31. Irish Book of Rights, attributed to Benin, successor of Patrick as Archbishop of Armagh. LibraryIreland There is an accessible 1847 edition, transcribed in irish gaelic with an added english translation at the internet archive. See John O'Donovan, The Book of Rights (Leabhar na g-Ceart), Dublin: Celtic Society.
  32. Probably Bernard de Monfaucon's Regal and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of France: In Upwards of Three Hundred Large Folio Copper Plates (2 Vols.), London: W. Innys, J. and P. Knapton,R. Manby, and H. S. Cox, 1750. A scan of the 1729-1733 french edition in five volumes can be viewed at the internet archive: Bernard de Montfaucon. Les Monuments de la Monarchue Françoise qui Comprennent L'Histoire de France, avec les Figures de Chaque Regne que l'injure tems à Epargnées. Paris: Claude Simon. Tome 1 | Tome 2 | Tome 3 | Tome 4 | Tome 5
  33. The 1723 posthumous edition of the book incorporated corrections on its first 1720 edition by the author. The earliest accessible editions I have found are the following:
    John Aubrey, Miscellanies, London: Edward Castle.
    John Aubrey, Miscellanies Upon Various Subjects, London: W. Ottridge, 1784. Further additions and a biography of Aubrey were added by W. Ottridge.
    Interested readers may want to look at some of his other books, catalogued and linked at The Online Books Page. Two more detailed biographies of him are available at Encyclopædia Brittanica and Stonehenge Stone Circle News and Information: The 'remarqueable' John Aubrey – Antiquary Son of Wiltshire.
  34. Keating, Jeoffry. A General History of Ireland. translated by Dermo'd O'Connor. London: B. Crake, 1738.
  35. J. Webb, editor. The Most Notable Antiquity of Great Britain, Vulgarly Called Stone-Heng, Restored by Inigo Jones. London: James Fletcher, 1655. Fol. p. 17. Also see British Library: Inigo Jones and the Ruins of Stonehenge, by Alexander Wragge-Moreley, 31 july 2019.
  36. Ayloffe, Joseph. "An Account of the Body of King Edward the First, as it Appeared on Opening his Tomb in the Year 1774." Archaeologia, III(1775): 376-413. (Cambridge University Press online extract.)
  37. Sir John Sebright's collection of Welsh and Irish manuscripts were well-regarded and highly coveted, eventually making their way to the National Library of Wales and Trinity College, Dublin. Major Vallancy is now perhaps better known as General Charles Valancy, and had a great interest in the irish language. LibraryIreland
  38. Spelman, John. The Life of &Aelig;fred the Great. Edited by Thomas Hearne. Oxford: Maurice Atkins, 1709. The note is the secon on page 60. Hearne's edition was apparently a controversial one. See Amanda Hall Rare Books for more detail.
  39. Toland, John. A New Edition of Toland's History of the Druids. Edited by R. Huddleston. Montrose: James Watt, 1814. The original edition dates to the 1740s.
    Borlase, William. The Natural History of Cornwall. Oxford: W. Jackson, 1758.
  40. "Archil," archaic spelling of orchil, "a red or violet dye obtained from certain lichens, used as a source of litmus, orcinol, and other pigments." OED Pliny the Elder, properly Gaius Plinius Secundus, remains famous for his rangy and fun to read Natural History (Naturalis Historia) and his death trying to observe and take notes on the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii. Encyclopædia Britannica, Perseus Project Online Edition of Natural History | Naturalis Historia
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