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That part of the British Islands now called Lincolnshire, was, anterior to the Roman conquest, possessed by a class of the Britons known by the name of Coritani, who have been already described in the third volume of this work. During the dominion of the Romans in Britain, this district was included within the province of Britannia Prima; and from the evident remains, and best published accounts, it is indubitable, that it was intersected by different roads, occupied by military stations, and some of its natural inconveniences removed by means of Roman science and industry. The exact number of stations, roads, and encampments, however, is not, I believe, ascertained; but the Rev. Thomas Leman, of Bath, who has particularly studied the Roman Topography of England, has kindly furnished me with the following information on this subject.
“ The British Ermin Street, afterwards adopted by the Romans, enters this county to the west of Stamford, and, joining the north road, runs by Durnomagus, (Great Casterton,) and Causennis, (Ancaster,) through Lindum, (Lincoln,) and in medio, about fifteen miles north of it, to Ad-Abum, near the banks of the Humber. A second branch of the same street branches off from this road to the westward, about five miles north of Lincoln, and crosses the river Trent near Littleborough, the Segelocum, and proceeds in a north-westerly direction to Doncaster, the Danum of Antoninus. A third branch of this road, separated from that first described, after crossing the Nen River in Northamptonshire, and ran in a straight line to Lolham Bridges ; whence it probably continued, with the Car-dyke, all the way to Lincoln.
“ Another branch left the Erinin Street, about six miles north of Stamford, and ran by Stenby, Deuton, and Bottesford, towards ad Pontem, in its way to Southwell and Bantry.
“ The Foss, beginning on the coast not far from Ludborough, is visible from Ludford, where was a station, probably Bannovallum, to Lincoln, on to Crocolana, (Bruff,) to Newark, &c. Besides these, there are also remains of other British track-ways;
particularly one from Horncastle, which is supposed to have been a station towards Castor and the Humber. Another road, called the Salt Way, branched off from the Ermin Street, near Ponton, and ran by Denton into Leicestershire *.”
Doctor Stukeley supposes, that another Roman road was made “ from the northern high country," i. e. of the Fens, “ about Bolinbrook, by Stickford, Stickney, Sibsey, and so to Boston river, about Redstonegote, where it passed it by a ferry. From thence to Kirkton 'tis indubitably Roman, being laid with a very large bed of gravel; and just a mile from the river is a stone, now called the Mile-stone, standing in a quadrivium; 'tis a large round stone, like the frustruin of a pillar, and very probably a Lapis Milliaris.” In another place the Doctor says, “ At Sleaford, I am inclinable to think another road came from Banovallum, or Horn-castle, to the east of the river Bane, southward by Les Yates, and so crossed the Witham by Chappel Hill and the Car-dyke, somewhere about Kyme. I think we need not scruple to assert, that Ravensbank be another ancient road, going east and west through the heart of the country, from Tid-St. Mary's to Cowbit. I have rode some miles upon it, where 'tis now extremely strait and flat. We have been informed, that 'tis actually in some old writings called RomansBank t." The stations, encampments, &c. directly, and collaLI 3
* This has been already noticed in page 316. But Mr. Turner, in his “ History of the Town and Soke of Grantham," furnishes the following additional particulars. “The Salt-way ran from the salt mines, at Droitwich, in Worcestershire, to the coast of Lincolnshire; entered Lincolnshire not far from Sultby, crossed the Witham at Salters-ford, near to the town, or Roman station at Ponton. Besides the barrows, the dykes, the ramparts, called King Lud's intrenchments, on Saltby Heath, noticed in Nichols's History of Leicestershire, where Roman coins have been found, are five Barrows on the Lincolnshire side, in Woolsthorpe lordship, and two in the adjoining parish of Stainby, all within a little distance of this branch of the Ermine Street. A Roman pavement, also not far off, near Denton, and the Roman ruins near Stoke, mentioned in Nichols, &c. &c."
† Itinerarium Curiosum, p. 14, &c. Edit. 1724.
terally connected with these roads, will be described in the subsequent pages of this volume.
A great work of this county, generally attributed to the Romans, is the CAR-DYKË, a large canal, or drain, which extends from the river Welland, on the southern side of the county, to the river Witham, near Lincoln. Its channel, for nearly the whole of this course, an extent of about forty miles, (Dr. Stukeley says fifty,) is sixty feet in width, and has ou each side a broad fat bank. The Doctor at first ascribed the origin of this great work to Catus Decianus, the procurator in Nero's time; and supposed that his name was preserved in the appellation of places, &c. in the vicinity of the Dyke. Those of Catesbridge, Catwick, Catsgrove, Catley, and Catthorpe, he adduced in support of bis hypothesis ; but having afierwards devoted some time and attention to the life of Carausius, the Doctor fancied he recognised part of the name of his hero in that of the present work. Thus some authors trifle with themselves and their readers by useless, and often puerile etymologies. Salmon, in the “ New Survey of England," says, that “ Cardyke signifies no more than fendyke. The fens of Ankholm-level, are called Carrs." Doctor Stukeley also admits, that Car and Fen are nearly synonimous words, and are “ used in this country to signify watery, boggy places." Car, in the British language, is applied to raft, sledge, &c. vebicles of carriage. This great canal preserves a level, but rather meandering course, along the eastern side of the bigh grounds, which extend in an irregular chain up the centre of the county, from Stanford to Lincoln. It thus receives, from the hills, all the draining and flowing waters, which take an easterly course, and which, but for this Catchwater drain, as now appropriately called, would serve to inundate the Fens. Several Roman coins have been found on the banks of this dyke. The whole of the present county is supposed to have been named by the Romans Lindum, and the principal station, or town, Lindun-Colonia. During the Anglo-Saxon dominion of England, Lincolnshire 6
was incorporated within the kingdom of Mercia, which, according to an old chronicle quoted by Leland, was divided into two provinces, north and south; and as the Trent was the separating line, the county of Lincoln constituted a great part of South Mercia*. , Crida was the first Mercian sovereign, and began his reign in 586. At this time Mr. Turner supposed that the whole Island was governed by eight Anglo-Saxon monarchs; whence it should rather be denominated an octarchy than an heptarchy. During the establishment of these petty kingdoms, the Saxons were in constant warfare with the Romanized Britons ; and after these were subdued, they were repeatedly embroiled in conflicts with each other. In the midst of these civil cominotions Christianity was introduced, and gradually made its progress through the island. Peada, the son of Penda, was the reigning monarch here when this religion was offered to, and accepted by the South Mercians. This benign stranger gave a new turn to human pursuits, and soon diverted and engrossed the attention of the barbarous heathens. Peada founded a monastery at Mederhamsted, now Peterborough; and, according to Speed, governed all the middle pait of Mercia, and, after the death of Oswy king of Northumberland, by gift, received all the southern part of that kingdom. This was only given on condition of his adopting the Christian faith; when lie was also to marry Alfleda, daughter of Oswy. Peada was soon after-, wards murdered, as supposed, by his wife t. “Edwin the Great, the first Christian king of Northumberland, conquered the counties of Durham, Chester, Lancaster, the Isle of Man, and Anglesea, carried his arms southward over the Trent, and oba' tained all the province of Lindsey. Paulinus, who converted, him to Christianity, preached it wherever that King's power L14
* Another chronicle says, that this kingdom was “departed into three partes, into West Mercia, Middle Mercian and East Mercia : it contained the diocesses of Lincoln, Wircester, Hereford, Coventry, and Lichfield.” :
# Bede, lib. III. ca. 24.-Speed, 25%.
extended. He built the cathedral of Southwell, a little west of Newark, baptized many thousands in the river Trent, near to Tiovulfingacester, and converted Blecca the governor of Lincoln *. This was about A. D. 630. The learned and pious Alkfrid kept his court at Stamford in 658. After the death of Oswy, King of Northumberland, Egfrid his son invaded Wulfere, and wrested from him the whole province of Lindsey, in Lincolnshire. This was about the year 673. In 677, he erected the Episcopal See of Sidnacester, in favour of Eadhed, who had been chaplain to his brother, King Alkfrid, of Deira. In A. D. 683, we learn froin Ralph de Diceto, Eadhed left Lindissi for Ripon, where he remained till his death t.” The South Mercian kingdom, and bishop's see, being thus established, we hear of but few other public events, 'till the incursions and pillages of the Danes. These free-booters were particularly active in this county, and committed numerous depredations on the monasteries, &c. Ingulphus has given a circumstantial account
66 In this place,
Bede states, that Paulinus built a stone church, of notable workmanship, (operis egregii) in the city of Lincoln, the roof whereof being fallen to decay, or destroyed by enemies, left the bare walls standing alone. however," he observes, “ that every year some miraculous enres are generally wrought, for the benefit of those who seek the faith.” Translation of Bede, Book II. ch. 16. In this work the city of Lincoln is particularly specified; but to identify the Linclocolinæ civitatis of Bede with the present city, requires something more than assertion; for the place adopted by Paulinus for the erection of this stone church, was most probably the subsequent Sidnucester. In the same chapter our venerable historian proceeds to state, that a certain Abbot and priest of singular veracity, named Deda, told bim he knew an aged person who was baptized at noon-day, by the Bishop Paulinus, in the presence of King Edwin, in the river Trent, near the city, which, in the English Tongue, is called Tiovulfingacester. This will be more particularly enquired into hereafter.
+ Dr. Stukeley, in a MS. quoted by Dickenson in his “ History and Antiquities of Newark,” 4to. 1806. In this work the Doctor and Mr. Dickenson endeavour to prove that Newark is the Saxon Sidnacester.