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afatfjropologtcal Sorietg of ILontron, 



JAMES HUNT, Esq., Ph.D., F.S.A., F. and Hon. For. Sec. R.S.L. 

CAPTAIN RICHARD F. BURTON, F.R.G.S., H.M. Consul at Santos, etc. 
THOMAS BENDYSHE, ESQ., M.A., Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. 

^onorarg Secretaries* 

?&cmorarg JForetgn Secretary. 





Curator anU librarian. 

Assistant Secretarg. 


H. G. Atkinson, Esq., F.G.S. 

The Viscount Milton, M.P., F.R.G.S. 

The Reverend Dunbar I. Heath, M.A., F.R.S.L., M.R.A.S. 



The Louth Skull 75 

Lucae's Orthographic Instrument 195 

Cairns at Yarhouse and Canister 226 

Cairns at Yarhouse, Ormiegill, Canister, and Garry whin ... 226 

Inscribed Rocks of Veraguas 279 

Zetland Implements 294 


i. Essential Points of Difference between the Larynx of 
the Negro and that of the White Man. By George 
Duncan Gibb, M.A., M.D., LL.D., F.G.S., F.A.S.L., 
Member of the Royal College of Physicians, Assist- 
ant-Physician and Lecturer on Forensic Medicine, 
Westminster Hospital, etc. . . .1 

ii. On the Dervishes and Hadjis of the East. By Armi- 
nius Vambert, Member of the Hungarian Academy. 
(Translated byBERTHOLDSEEMANN,Ph.D.,Y.P.A.S.L.) 14 

in. Some Remarks on the Origin, Manners, Customs, and 
Superstitions of the Gallinas People of Sierra Leone. 
By J. M. Harris, F.A.S.L., F.R.G.S. . . 25 

IV. On the Testimony of Local Phenomena in the West of 
England to the Permanence of Anthropological Types. 
By John Beddoe, M.D., M.A., F.A.S.L., Foreign 
Associate of the Anthropological Society of Paris . 37 

v. Maya Hieroglyphic Alphabet of Yucatan. By William 
Bollaert, Hon. Sec. A.S.L., Corresponding Member 
of the University of Chile, of the Ethnological So- 
cieties of London and New York, etc. . . 46 

vi. Observations on the People Inhabiting Spain. By 

H. J. C. Beavan, F.A.S.L., F.R.G.S., Hon. Sec.A.S.L. 55 

vii. Remarks on Genealogy in Connexion with Anthropo- 
logy. By George M. Marshall, LL.M., F.A.S.L. . 68 

viii. On Certain " Simious" Skulls, with especial reference 
to a Skull from Louth, in Ireland. By C. Carter 
Blake, F.G.S., F.A.S.L., Curator and Librarian 


of the Anthropological Society of London, and Fo- 
reign Associate of the Anthropological Societies of 
Paris and Spain - - . .74 

ix. Description of a New Goniometer. By Dr. Paul 
Broca, Secretaire Generale a la Societe d' Anthropo- 
logic de Paris, Hon. Fellow of the Anthropological 
Society of London. (Translation.) . . 82 

x. Contributions to an Introduction to the Anthropology 
of the New World. By Wm. Bollaert, F.A.S.L., 
F.R.G.S., Hon. Sec. A.S.L., Corresponding Member 
of the University of Chile, of the Ethnological So- 
cieties of London and New York, etc., etc. . 92 

xi. On the Psychical Characteristics of the English People. 

By L. Owen Pike, M.A., F.A.S.L. . . 153 

xn. On the Iconography of the Skull. By W. H. Wesley, 

F.A.S.L. . . . . .189 

xiii. On the Orthographic Projection of the Skull. By 
Alfred Higgins, Hon. For. Sec, F.A.S.L., Foreign 
Associate of the Anthropological Society of Paris . 195 

xiv. On Hindu Neology. By Major Samuel R. I. Owen, 

F.L.S., F.A.S.L., Assoc. King's College, London . 202 

xv. Notice of the Brochs and the so-called Picts' Houses 
of Orkney. By George Petrie, Kirkwall, Local 
Secretary of the Anthropological Society of London, 
Fellow of the Royal Society of Northern Anti- 
quaries, Copenhagen, etc., etc. . . . 216 

xvi. Report on the Ancient Remains of Caithness, and 
Results of Explorations, conducted, for the Anthro- 
pological Society of London, by Messrs. Joseph 
Anderson and Robert Innes Shearer, in 1865. By 
Joseph Anderson, Local Secretary of the Anthropo- 
logical Society of London . . . 226 

xvn. Description of a Living Microcephale. By John 
Shortt, M.D., F.L.S., M.R.C.P.L., F.A.S.L., etc., 
General Superintendent of Vaccination (late Zillah 
Surgeon, Chingleput), Local Secretary of the An- 
thropological Society of London for Madras . 257 


xviii. Notes on an Hermaphrodite. By Captain Richard F. 

Burton, V-P.A.S.L., F.R.G.S., H.M. Consul, Santos 262 

xix. Some Remarks on Indian Gnosticism, or Sacti Puja, 
the Worship of the Female Powers. By Edward 
Sellon, Esq. .... 264 

xx. On the Resemblance of Inscriptions found on Ancient 
British Rocks with those of Central America. By 
Berthold Seemann, Ph.D., F.A.S.L., Vice-Presi- 
dent A. S.L. . . . .277 

xxi. On the Alleged Sterility of the Union of Women of 
Savage Races with Native Males, after having had 
Children by a White Man ; with a few Remarks on 
the Mpongwe Tribe of Negroes. By R. B. N. 
Walker, F.A.S.L., F.R.G.S., Local Secretary A.S.L., 
etc., etc. . . . . .283 

xxii. On the Analogous Forms of Implements among Early 
and Primitive Races. By Hodder M. Westropp, 
F.A.S.L. . . . . .288 

xxiii. Report on Explorations into the Archaic Anthropology 
of the Islands of Unst, Brassay, and the Mainland 
of Zetland, undertaken for the Earl of Zetland and 
the Anthropological Society of London. By James 
Hunt, Ph.D., F.S.A., F.R.S.L., F.A.S.L., Hon. For. 
Sec. of the Roy. Soc. of Literature of Great Britain, 
For. Assoc, of the Anthrop. Soc. of Paris, Hon. Fellow 
oftheEthnol. Soc. of London, Cor. Mem. of the Upper 
Hesse Soc. for Nat. and Med. Science, and of the 
Med. Assoc, of Hesse Darmstadt, Mem. of the Dres- 
den Academy, and Pres. of the Anthrop. Soc. of 
London ..... 294 

xxiv. Report of Zetland Anthropological Expedition. By 

Ralph Tate, F.G.S., F.A.S.L., etc. . . 339 

xxv. On the Head- Forms of the West of England. By 
John Beddoe, B.A., M.D., F.A.S.L., F.E.S., Foreign 
Associate of the Anthropological Society of Paris . 348 

xxvi. Report of Explorations conducted in the Kirkhead 

Cave at Ulverstone. By J. P. Morris, F.A.S.L. . 358 



xxvii. On the Influence of some Kinds of Peat in Destroying 
the Human Body, as shown by the Discovery of 
Human "Remains buried in Peat in the Zetland Islands. 
By James Hunt, Ph.D., F.S.A., F.R.S.L., F.A.S.L., 
Hon. For. Sec. of the Roy. Soc. of Literature of 
Great Britain, For. Assoc, of the Anthrop. Soc. of 
Paris, Hon. Fellow of the Ethnol. Soc. of London, 
Cor. Mem. of the Upper Hesse Soc. for Nat. and 
Med. Science, and of the Med. Assoc, at Hesse 
Darmstadt, Mem. of the Dresden Academy, and 
President of the Anthrop. Soc. of London . 364 

xxviii. On the Interpretation of some Inscriptions on Stones 
Recently Discovered in the Islands of Brassay, 
Zetland. By James Hunt, etc. . . .373 

xxix. The History of Ancient Slavery. By John Bower, 

D.O.L. (Oxon.), Barrister-at-Law . . 380 

xxx. Blood-Relationship in Marriage considered in its Influ- 
ence upon the Offspring. By Arthur Mitchell, 
A.M., M.D., F.R.S.E., F.A.S.L., etc., Deputy Com- 
missioner in Lunacy for Scotland . . 402 




I. Essential Points of Difference between the Larynx of the 
Negro and that of the White Man. By George Duncan 
Gibb, M.A., M.D., LL.D., F.G.S., F.A.S.L., Member of 
tlie Royal College of Physicians, Assistant-Physician and 
Lecturer on Forensic Medicine, Westminster Hospital, etc. 

(Bead January 31st, 1865.) 

In prosecuting some recent researches into the minute anatomy 
of the human larynx, my observations were extended to an 
examination of that part of the organism in the Negro. I 
had already made myself familiar with the elements, entering 
into the formation of the same part in white people, by the 
dissection of many hundred larynges, and was therefore pre- 
pared to note any deviation that might present itself in the 
coloured race. In prosecuting this inquiry, no difference was 
anticipated by me beforehand between the larynx of white 
and black people ; more especially as some years back my 
dissections had included a considerable number of those from 
the black race ; and at that time whatever peculiarities may 
have been noticed, they were not then considered of such im- 
portance as to attract the attention of scientific men. 

The great impulse, however, which has been given to the 
study of the upper air passages within the last four years, 
through the revival of the laryngoscope, has led to the most 
careful scrutiny of every part of the larynx ; and peculiarities 
and deviations that may have been heretofore looked upon as 

VOL. II. b 


trivial, or of little moment, now are invested with consider- 
able importance. This has become necessary towards a proper 
appreciation and better understanding of many obscure and 
painful diseases of the windpipe. 

The larynx of the Negro I have carefully examined, both in 
the dead and living body, so as to avoid any possible chance 
of error. The number of my examinations to the present 
time has been sufficiently large to justify my arrival at certain 
conclusions, to be confirmed or modified by further experience. 
In the present communication, the subject of alterations of 
structure, or minute deviations inaccessible to ordinary vision, 
are excluded. My remarks shall be confined to alteration of 
form and redundancy of parts, such as can be observed in the 
living person, no matter of what colour his skin may be. 

When the laryngeal mirror is introduced into the throat of 
the white man, what does it present to our observation ? 
Firstly, the epiglottis, or cartilaginous valve which covers up 
the entrance of the windpipe during the act of swallowing, 
and rests against the back of the tongue ; and the vallecula?, 
or large follicles at its base. The posterior part of the cricoid 
cartilage is then seen covered with its mucous membrane, 
upon which are noticed two small and conspicuous bodies, 
the arytenoid, or pitcher-shaped cartilages, at the apex or 
summit of each of which are situated the very small round or 
horny cartilages, termed the tubercles of Santorini, or corni- 
cula laryngis. The aryteno-epiglottic folds or ligaments now 
come into view, a membranous expansion situated between 
the arytenoid cartilages and the epiglottis, in the centre of 
which are occasionally but very rarely seen the cartilages of 
Wrisberg, cuneiform bodies, with their bases turned upwards 
and their summits downward. With respect to these carti- 
lages, they are correctly stated by some of the most celebrated 
anatomists to be altogether rudimentary or absent in the white 
man, although, as just mentioned, exceptions will arise. In 
some of my dissections I have not found even a trace of them ; 
and in examining as many as nine hundred living healthy 
white persons, of various ages and both sexes, I cannot call 
to mind more than four or five instances where they were 


notably visible. Their presence, therefore, is exceptional in 
the white man. 

On either side of the larynx we see the vestibule of the glottis ; 
the superior thyro-arytenoid ligaments, or false vocal cords ; 
the ventricles of Morgagni ; and, lastly, the true vocal cords. 

These last, namely, the real vocal cords, are seen flat and 
horizontal, of a white colour tinged with a shade of grey. On 
closure of the glottis, or space between them, the floor formed 
by their union continues flat and smooth, without any irregu- 
larity beyond the almost imperceptible vibrations produced by 
the efforts at phonation acting on their brilliant pearly, free 

The external border of each vocal cord is bounded by the 
elliptical aperture of the ventricle of Morgagni, the floor of 
which cavity is continuous with the horizontal plane of the 
vocal cords, with a slight inclination upwards and outwards. 
It follows, therefore, that the ventricle, or sinus, is situated 
wholly above the plane of the vocal cords, as presented to our 
view in the laryngeal mirror, and is, for the most part, placed 
quite external to the vocal cord, thus preventing our seeing 
into its interior. This last-named circumstance must not be 
forgotten. These appearances are shown in the woodcuts, 
Nos. 1 and 2. 



Fig. 1. a a. The horizontal and flat vocal cords, bounding a narrow tri- 
angular glottis ; on the outer side of each cord is seen a narrow opening 
into the ventricles of the larynx, b b. The arytenoid cartilages, d. The 
epiglottis, c. Back of the tongue. 

Fig. 2. a a. The horizontal and flat vocal cords, bounding a lozenge-shaped 
glottis ; on the outer side of each cord is seen the narrow opening into the 
ventricles, as in fig. 1. b b. The arytenoid cartilages, d. The epiglottis. 
c. Back of the tongue. 



Having said thus much of the white man, we will now in- 
quire, What do we see in the Negro ? Unquestionably, the 
same parts as in his white brother, but with certain deviations 
in form and superadded parts, which demand our attention. 

And firstly, of the cartilages of Wrisberg. These rare 
bodies in the white are, I may truly say, invariably present in 
the black race, and stand out as conspicuous objects in the 
laryngeal mirror, their reflection being readily visible to every 
experienced eye. They resemble small adipose masses the 
size of a small pea, and look not unlike a suppurating surface 
on the point of bursting, situated in the aryteno-epiglottidean 
fold, midway between the epiglottis and arytenoid cartilage. 
They are present in the old and young of both sexes ; pro- 
bably more fully developed in the prime of life, although seen 
tolerably large in the comparatively young, or those who have 
arrived at the age of puberty. Their constant presence in 
the Negro, and their frequent absence or rudimentary con- 
dition in the white man, prove them to be characteristic of 
the former ; as much so, in all probability, as that the skin is 
black in the Negro from the presence of a distinct pigment in 
the rete mucosum, which is absent in the white man. 

If no other point of difference between the two races was 
found than the presence or absence of this small cartilage, it 
is of itself alone of sufficient significance to distinguish the 
one from the other. 

On extending our comparison further, we shall find that 
whilst the true vocal cords in the white race possess a hori- 
zontal or flat surface, almost in a plane with the general strike 
of the ventricles, a characteristic, I may assert, to be never 
varying, and always constant, unless altered by disease. In 
the Negro, the plane of the vocal cords is more or less oblique 
from within outwards ; i. e., their internal free border is ele- 
vated at a higher angle than their external or attached border, 
thus giving to each ^ocal cord a slanting or shelving direction 
outwards and downwards. 

This obliquity of the cords varies in degree and extent, but 
can be generally distinguished ; the contrast, however, is 
striking between the flat horizontal surface and the oblique, 


and this is to be seen especially where the point of origin of 
the two cords is long, as represented in woodcut, No. 3. 

Fig. 3. The larynx of the Negro, a a. The oblique vocal cords, between 
which is a lanciform glottis. On each side of the shelving and oblique cords, 
e e, is the long and narrow elliptical opening of the pendent ventricles. 
b b. The arytenoid cartilages, c c. The cartilages of Wrisberg, absent in 
figs. 1 and 2. d. The epiglottis, which is the same in both races. /. Back 
of the tongue. 

In the larynx of the white man, we observe the margins of 
the openings leading into the ventricles which exist on either 
side, yet immediately above the true vocal cords. The upper 
margin of one of these openings is placed at a right angle to 
the plane of the vocal cord, and is generally perpendicular to 
the outer border of the same vocal cord; whilst the lower 
margin is at the outer boundary of the cord, unless during 
the act of retraction of the cord outwards. In other words, 
the ventricle is situated external to, but immediately above 
the plane of the true vocal cords. 

In the Negro, on the other hand, we observe a long and 
narrow elliptical opening (see e, fig. 3) which leads outwards 
and downwards right into the ventricle, the whole extent of 
which, to its very fundus, is visible in most black persons. 
The change of position in the ventricle is here most striking ; 
for it hangs sidewise on the outer side of a shelving vocal cord 
in such a way that, if the cord were dry and a bead placed on 



its slanting surface, it would roll into the little bag or ventricle 
at its side. 

The ventricle of the larynx of the Negro may be compared 
to the saddle-bags at the sides of a mule, whilst the sloping 
sides of the saddle would represent the obliquely turned vocal 
cords, and the summit or pommel, the glottis. The difference 
in the position of the ventricles in the two races is shown in 
the two annexed figures. 

Figs. 4, 5. Fig. 4 represents a vertical section of the larynx from right 
to left in the white, and fig. 5, in the black man. 

Fig. 4. a a. Section of the flat vocal cords, b b. Section of the ventricles. 
Fig. 5. a a. Section of the oblique vocal cords, b b. Section of the pen- 
dent ventricles. 

As the ventricles in both races are formed or surrounded by 
the thyro-arytenoid muscles on their inferior, exterior, and 
superior sides, the relative position of these muscles must 
necessarily be altered in the two races. This might be in- 
ferred by a reference to the annexed figure 6 (after Luschka), 
showing a section through these muscles and the ventricles 
near the point of origin of the true vocal cords in the white 


man. A reference to figure 5 will readily explain what the 
alteration would be. 

Fig. 6. a a. Section of the flat and horizontal vocal cords, above which 
are the ventricles e e. b. The epiglottis, c c. Section of the thyro-arytenoid 
muscles, the position of which must necessarily be altered in the Negro. 
d d. Section through the alse of the thyroid cartilage ; and //of the cricoid 

There are still some other and minuter points of difference 
in the Negro larynx, but they shall be excluded here, content- 
ing myself with the description already given of the more 
striking and positive deviations of form and position. These, 
then, as just described, are three in number, viz. : 

The invariable presence of the cartilages of Wrisberg. 

The oblique or shelving position of the true vocal cords. 

And the pendent position of the ventricles of Morgagni. 

Anyone familiar with the dissection or examination of the 
larynx in ourselves, cannot but perceive that these peculiarities 
are not observable, unless we will admit the occasional pre- 
sence of the first in certain windpipes. Now, we may be told 


by some anatomists that they have commonly seen these 
Wrisbergian bodies, and that they are not rare ; but that sort 
of evidence counts for very little. A really good anatomist in 
London lately told me that he had turned up these cartilages 
every now and then, and had pointed them out to his pupils. 
I submitted half-a-dozen specimens of the larynx to him for 
examination, and he told me that all, without exception, pos- 
sessed the cartilages of Wrisberg; and I found that he had 
all along been confounding those of Santorini with those of 
Wrisberg. Many of the first anatomists have confounded the 
two, or have thought the terms synonymous, I may cite the 
names of Cuvier and Wolff among others. On the other 
hand, their existence in man has been denied by a not less 
renowned anatomist than Cruveilhier. Can it be surprising, 
therefore, that mistakes should occur amongst those who have 
not made these particular parts their special study ? 

I will again repeat that these small bodies, the cartilages of 
Wrisberg, are either very minute and rudimentary, or wholly 
wanting in the white race; whilst they are large and well 
developed, and almost always present, in the black or coloured 
races. It may be mentioned, also, that I have dissected them 
in monkeys, in whom, even the smallest species, they are re- 
latively large in comparison to the size of their bodies ; and 
with the object of attracting attention to them in the quadru- 
mana, I exhibited specimens before the Pathological Society 
of London in March 1861, nearly four years ago. 

Those who argue that the black race are inferior to the 
white, and approach the quadrumana in some of their features, 
would naturally lay hold of what I have stated to prove the 
truth of this theory, especially as regards the Wrisbergian 
cartilages and the position of the ventricles. But I take the 
opportunity of declaring at once, that whatever views may be 
entertained by anthropologists respecting the position in the 
scale of beings occupied by black and white, they are discarded 
from this communication. I simply bring forward certain 
facts regardless of any theory, having no special object to 
serve beyond that of promoting truth, and increasing our 
knowledge of the anatomy of a part of the body heretofore 


inaccessible to vision in the living, but now so readily seen 
that anyone with reasonable dexterity can investigate them 
for himself. 

I have prepared, in a tabular form, all my recent examina- 
tions of black people, with the dates, country, as near as 
could be made out, and other little points of interest. The 
number examined has been fifty-nine; and in all those in 
whom the inspection was accomplished without obstruction, the 
main features or peculiarities already described were visible. 
They were mostly made in the presence of third parties, who 
recognised especially the cartilages referred to, and who were 
greatly struck with the singular appearance they presented. 
I am not unprepared with evidence of a more positive cha- 
racter ; for in this jar is the larynx of a Negro,* which anyone 
desirous of doing so can examine for himself. 

The question might be asked, whether the larynx of the 
Negro more closely approximated the same organ in the 
quadrumana than it did in the white man. Without desiring 
to touch upon any of the controversial questions appertaining 
to the Negro, it might be answered in the affirmative, so far 
as the altered position of the ventricles and presence of the 
cartilages of Wrisberg relate to this question. But it has 
been remarked by my friend, Mr. Canton, of the Charing Cross 
Hospital, that whilst external characters are carefully dwelt 
upon, not much attention has been paid to the study of internal 
organs ; and he has instanced the peculiarity of the origin of 
the great vessels from the arch of the aorta in the Negro as 
especially pointed out by Mr. Nunn, such as exists in the 
quadrumana. Nevertheless, even these arterial peculiarities 
are occasionally seen in the white man, although more common 
and striking in the Negro. 

To revert to the table of examinations, it will be noticed 
that a large proportion were among Negroes from the West 
Indian Islands ; that is to say, twenty-six were natives of that 
part of the world, and, so far as could be judged by their 
appearance, colour, and general physique, they were of pure 

* This was shown to the society. 


African descent. Nineteen were from Africa, chiefly from the 
western coast, including Sierra Leone, Ashantee, Gold Coast, 
Gambia, and Senegal. One was from Nubia, another from 
Abyssinia, and a third from the Cape de Verde Islands. Witl 
regard to the last-named, he was a mulatto, probably in t 
eighth degree, and none of the characteristics of the Negro 
larynx were observed in him. A dozen were from Ame 
chiefly the southern states, in whom there might have been some 
mixed blood; but I would not speak positively on that point. 
The first fifteen in the table were post mortem inspects 
and of those, made in the earlier years when I was a Univer- 
sity pupil, fortunately a few notes made at the time and o 
fully preserved, enabled me to complete their description. 
Indeed, the skull of the first black which I ever examined is 
now exhibited, and it is typical of the race; he was from 
Ashantee, and I knew him personally for some years ; he died 
of pulmonary phthisis in 1843. As has been already sta 
in general terms, what the result of my examinations has been, 
I shall do no more here than to refer to the table itself for tho 
particular details presented by each black. 

It will probably be recollected, that the subject of this paper 
was brought by me before the zoological section of the British 
Association at Bath, in September last, and as imperfect 
notices of it appeared in some of the daily and weekly journals, 
I received letters from various correspondents relative to my 
investigations. One only I shall notice here, in justice to tho 
sagacity of the writer, who is Mr. Woolmer, surgeon, 71, 
Warwick Square, Pimlico, a highly respectable member of my 
profession. He had held it as a theory for some years, that 
the great gulf of separation between man and other animals, 
as well as the lines of distinction between the various races of 
mankind, should be looked for in the organs of voice rather 
than in the brain. And in his letter to me he stated, that 
he was satisfied in his own mind that this theory of his, 
if worked out by patient research, would elevate me, or anyone 
else disposed to do so, to a high place amongst physic 

In the printed abstract of a lecture which he sent me at the 
same time, delivered by himself at Halesworth, in Suffolk, 


about three years ago, is the following : " Opposite measure- 
ments, producing similar results, was a sufficient proof to the 
lecturer's mind that a distinctness of race ought not to be 
sought for in the skull. In the opinion of the lecturer it may 
rather be found in the organs of speech." 

tt Mr. Woolmer's reasons may be for the adoption of 
his theory are unknown to me, for he has not stated them in 
-bs tract of his lecture; but I give him the full benefit of 
a notice in this place, not that I have in any way sought for 
evidence to draw a distinction between the races of mankind, 
as I have already taken occasion to remark. Nor am I pre- 
pared at present to enter into the question as to the differences 
in phonation between the black and white races respectively, 
from the existing differences in the form of their larynx. But 
I would state my belief that the black has the power of making 
a louder bellowing noise than the white man, from some pho- 
netic experiments which I endeavoured to carry out, with the 
laryngeal mirror in the mouth, during the period of examina- 

And if I might draw any inference, it would be that 
vocalisation is less perfect, less sustainable, and more easily 
weakened, than in the white man. 




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II. On tlie Dervishes and Hadjis of the East. By Aeminius 
Vambery, Member of the Hungarian Academy. (Trans- 
lated by Beethold Seemann, Ph.D., V.P.A.S.L.) 

{Bead February 14, 1865.) 

The dervish is the veritable personification of eastern life. 
Idleness, fanaticism, and slovenliness are the features which 
in him are regarded as virtues, and which everywhere are re- 
presented by him as such. Idleness is excused by allusion to 
human impotence; fanaticism explained as enthusiasm in 
religion ; and slovenliness justified by the uselessness of poor 
mortals to struggle against fate. If the superiority of Euro- 
pean civilisation over that of the East was not so clearly 
established, I should almost be tempted to envy a dervish, 
who, clad in tatters and cowering in a corner of some ruined 
building, shows by the twinkle in his eyes the happiness he 
enjoys. What a serenity is depicted in that face ! what a 
placidity in all his actions ! what a complete contrast there is 
between this picture and that presented by our European 
civilisation ! 

In my disguise as a dervish, it was chiefly this unnatural 
composure which made me nervous, and in the imitation of 
which I made, of course, the greatest mistakes. I shall never 
forget one day at Herat when, after reflecting on the happiness of 
the early removal of the painful mask I had been compelled to 
wear for so many months, I suddenly jumped up from my seat, 
and in a somewhat excited state began to pace up and down 
the old ruins which gave me shelter. A few minutes after- 
wards, I perceived that a crowd of persons had collected at 
the door, and that I was the object of general astonishment. 
Seeing my mistake, I blushingly resumed my seat. Soon 
afterwards, several people came up to ask what was the 
matter with me, whether I was well, etc. The good people 
thought I was deranged ; for to oriental notions a man must 
be out of his senses who, without necessity or a special object 


in view, suddenly leaves his seat to pace up and down a 

As the dervish represents the general character, so he does 
the different peoples of the East. It is true, Mohammedanism 
enforces the dogma, " El Islam milleti wadihun," " all Islamites 
are one nation ;" but the origin and home of the different sects 
are easily recognised. Bektashi, Mevlevi, and Rufai, are prin- 
cipally natives of Turkey ; because Bektash, the enthusiastic 
founder of the Janissaries, and Molla Djelaleddin Rumi, the 
great poet of the Mesnevi, lived and are buried in Turkey. 
The Kadrie and Djelali are most frequently met with in Arabia ; 
the Oveisi and Nurbakhschi Nimetullahi in Persia; the 
Khibali and Zahibi in India; and the Nakischebendi and 
Son Islam in Central Asia.* The members of the different 
fraternities are bound together by very close ties ; apprentices 
(murid) and assistants (khalfa) have to yield implicit obedience 
to the chief {pir), who has an unlimited power over the life 
and property of his brethren. But these fraternities do not 
in the least trouble themselves about secret political or social 
objects, as is sometimes asserted in Europe by enthusiastic 
travellers, who will even have discovered freemasons amongst 
the Bedouin tribes of the Great Desert. The dervishes are 
the monks of Islamism ; the spirit which created and sustains 
them is that of religious fanaticism ; and they differ from each 
other only by the manner in which they demonstrate their 
enthusiasm. For instance, whilst one of their religious orders 
commends constant pilgrimages to the tombs of saints ; the 
other lays down stringent rules for reflection on divine infinity 
and the insignificance of our existence ; a third compels his 
votaries to occupy themselves, day and night, with repeating 
the name of God (Zikr) and hymns (telhin) ; and it cannot 
surprise us to learn that the greater number of a company, 

* Sofi Islam is a sect which originated about thirty years ago. Its founder, 
a Tadjik from Belkh, was desirous of opposing the ever increasing influence 
of the Nakishbendi. In this fraternity prevails the principle of communism 
and blood-relationship. The Sofi Islamites wear a cap trimmed with fur, 
and are most frequently met with this side of the Oxus, as far as Herat, and 
also amongst the Turkomans. 


which has continually been calling out with all its might, " Ya 
hu ! Ya hakk ! La illahi ilia hu V 3 are seized with delirium 
tremens. The orthodox call his condition Medjzub ; i. e., carried 
away by divine love, or being in ecstasy. A person to whom 
this fortunate event happens, for as such it is regarded, 
is envied by everybody, and, as long as it lasts, the sick and 
the maimed, and barren women, try to get in his immediate 
presence, taking hold of his dress, as the mere touch of it is 
supposed to have healing power. 

What the dervishes are able to do during the ecstasy caused 
by Zikr, I had once an opportunity of witnessing in Samar- 
kand. In Dehbid, close to the tomb of the Makhdun Aazaram, 
one of these howling companies had grouped themselves around 
the jpir (chief) of that district. At first they contented them- 
selves with repeating the formulas in a natural tone of voice, 
and almost in measured time. The chief was lost in the deepest 
thought ; all eyes were fixed upon him ; all ears listened atten- 
tively; and every motion of his head, or every breath that was 
audible encouraged his followers to utter wilder and louder ejacu- 
lations. At last, he seemed to awake from his sleeplike reflections, 
and as soon as he raised his head, all the dervishes jumped up 
from their seats like possessed beings. The circle was broken, 
and the different members begun to dance in undulating mo- 
tion ; but hardly did the chief stand upon his feet, than the 
enthusiastic dancers became so terribly excited, that I who 
had to imitate all their wild antics, became almost frightened. 
They were flying about, constantly dancing, to the right and 
to left, hither and thither ; some leaving the soft meadow and 
getting upon the rough stones, constantly dancing, dancing; 
the blood began to run freely from their feet ; still, they kept 
on their mad excitement, till most of them fell fainting to the 

It is the same with dervishism as with all other oriental 
institutions, customs, and manners ; the farther we penetrate 
towards the east, the greater is the purity with which they 
have been preserved. In Persia, the dervishes play a much 
more important part than in Turkey; and in Central Asia, 
isolated as it has been for centuries from the rest of the world, 


this fraternity is still in full vigour, and exercises a great influ- 
ence upon society. In my " Travels" I have frequently alluded 
to the position occupied by the Isclian, or secular priests, in 
Central Asia. Their influence may be called a fortunate one, 
opposite to the fearful tyranny existing in these countries. This 
is the reason why everyone occupies himself with religion, 
everyone tries to pass himself off as a worker of miracles (Ehli 
Keramet) ; or, if he fails in that, endeavours to be recognised 
as a saint (Velli JJllah). Those who make the interpretation 
of the sacred writings their business, are great rivals of the 
Isclians, who, by the mysticism by which they surround them- 
selves, enjoy a great share of popular esteem. The native of 
Central Asia, as the wildest child of Arabia, is more easily 
imposed upon by magic formulas and similar hocus-pocus, than 
by books. He may dispense with the services of a moJlali, 
but he cannot do without an Ischan, whose blessing (fatika), 
or breath (hafesi), is required when he sets out on one of his 
predatory expeditions, and upon which he looks as a talismanic 
power when moving about his herds, his tent, or the wilds of 
the desert. 

After the Ischans, the most interesting class are the mendi- 
cant dervishes (Kalenter*) , whom the Kirguese and Turkomans 
call Kudushf or Divane (insane). In the whole of the great 
deserts which stretch from the eastern boundaries of China to 
the Caspian Sea, it is only these people who, in their ragged 
dress, are able to move about unmolested. They do not take 
any notice of the differences of tribe or family ; and the mighty 
words Jaghi or II (friend or foe) have to them no meaning. 
In travelling along, they join whomsoever they meet, be it a 
peaceful caravan or a band of robbers. The dervishes who 
travel through Kirguese or Turkoman steppes are generally 
this class of people, who from a strong inclination to do no- 
thing, follow a trade which, throughout the east, is considered 
respectable, viz., that of a mendicant. All they have to 

* Kalenter is a corruption of the old Persian Kelanter (the most powerful). 
In Eastern Persia the title is still given to the judges of villages. 

f Kuddus (Hungarian, Kodus, beggar) is derived from Kud, to become 
mad : thus the Arabs call the dervishes Medjnun, i. e., insane. 



acquire are a few prayers and a certain power of mimicry, with 
which the chiromantic feats are performed ; and I have never 
seen a nomad who has not been moved when he found himself 
in the close presence of one of these long-haired, bareheaded, 
and barefooted dervishes, who, with his fiery eyes, stared hard 
at the son of the desert, and, whilst shaking his keslilcul,* 
howled a wild ( ' Ja ha !" 

The arrival of one of these fakirs in a lonely group of tents 
is regarded as a joyful event, almost as a festival ; it is of 
especial importance in the eyes of the women ; and the time 
of his arrival is differently interpreted. Early in the morning 
it signifies the happy birth of a camel or a horse ; at noon, a 
quarrel between husband and wife ; and in the evening, a 
good proposal of marriage to the marriageable daughters. 
The dervish is generally taken in hand by the women, and is 
well supplied with the best things the tent contains, in hopes 
that he may be tempted to produce from beneath his tattered 
dress some glass beads, or other talisman. Alms, which 
amongst the nomads seldom consist of money, are rarely de- 
nied to him, and he often receives an old carpet, a few hand- 
fuls of camePs-hair or wool, or an old garment. He may also 
stop with the family for days, and move about with it without 
his presence becoming a burden. If the dervish possesses 
musical talent, i. e., is able to sing a few songs, and accompany 
himself on the two-stringed instrument called dutara, he is 
made much of, and has the greatest difficulty in getting away 
from his hospitable host. 

It is very seldom that dervishes are insulted or ill-treated ; 
this, however, is said to be the case amongst the Turkomans, 
whose rapacity, knowing no bounds, prompts them to com- 
mit incredible acts of cruelty. A dervish from Bokhara, of 
robust frame and dark curly hair, whom I met at Maymene, 

* Keshkul is a vessel formed of half a cocoa-nut [probably some kind of 
gourd, as cocoa-nuts do not grow inland. B. S.], the vade-mecum of the 
dervishes, in which he plunges all the food he has collected together by 
begging, whether dry or fluid, sweet or sour. Such a dish of tutti-frutti would 
but ill suit our gastronomers ; and yet, how delicious it tasted to me after a 
long day's march ! 


told me that a Telkc-Turkoman, prompted by the thirty 
ducats which his athletic figure promised to fetch in the slave- 
market, made him a prisoner, to sell him a few days afterwards. 
" I pretended/' my colleague continued, " to be quite uncon- 
cerned, and repeated the Zilcr and Tesbih whilst shaking my 
iron chains. The time was fast approaching when I was to bo 
taken to the market, when suddenly the wife of the robber of 
my liberty and person was taken ill. This prevented him from 
starting. He seemed to see in it the finger of God, and 
began to be pensive, when his favourite horse, refusing to eat 
his food, showed signs of illness." This was enough. The 
robber was so frightened that he removed the chains from his 
prisoner, and returned to him the things he had robbed him 
of, begging him to leave his tent as soon as possible. Whilst 
the Turkoman impatiently awaited the departure of the omin- 
ous beggar, the latter fumbled about his dress, and pretended 
that he had lost a comb which his chief had given him as a 
talisman on the road, and without which he could not do a 
single step. The nomad returned in great haste to the place 
where the plunder had been kept, and as the comb did not 
turn up, he became still more frightened, and promised the 
dervish the price of twenty combs if he would only do a single 
step beyond the boundary of his tent. The cunning Bokharite 
saw he was master of the situation ; he pretended to be incon- 
solable about the lost property, and declared that now he should 
have to remain for years in the tent. Imagine the confusion 
of the deceived and superstitious robber ! Like a madman, 
he ran about asking his neighbour for advice. Formal nego- 
tiations were now commenced with the dervish, to whom, 
finally, a horse, a dress, and ten ducats were presented, to 
make up for the loss of the comb, and on condition that he 
should leave a tent whose proprietor will probably think twice 
before he ventures again upon molesting a travelling dervish. 

Besides the dervishes who, as physicians, miracle-working 
saints, or aimless vagabonds, are wandering about in Central 
Asia, there is a class called Kkanlca neshin, or convent dwellers, 
who always wish to appear as the poorest, and are, without 
doubt, the most contemptible fellows in the world. Generally 

c 2 


speaking, they are opium-eaters, who by their excessive filth, 
skeleton-like body, and frightfully distorted features, present a 
most repulsive appearance. The worst is that they do not 
confine themselves to practising this fearful vice themselves, 
but with a singular persistency endeavour to make converts 
amongst all classes, and, supported by the want of spirituous 
drinks, they succeed but too frequently in their wicked at- 
tempts. What surprised me most was that these wretches 
were regarded as eminently religious, and thought that from 
their love to God and the Prophet they had become mad, 
and stupefied themselves in order that, in their excited 
state, they might be nearer the beings whom they loved so 

Speaking of dervishes, we may mention a class of hypocrites 
who, under the pretence of carrying out sacred vows, indulge 
in their desire to travel, and after their return assume, under 
the title of Hadji, pilgrim, authority and a good social position. 
The Koran says, Hidju ala beiti min isti-tadtun Sebila, = 
" wander to my house (Jcaaba) if circumstances permit." These 
" circumstances" are reduced to the following seven conditions 
by the commentators. The pilgrimage must be undertaken 
1. With sufficient money for travelling expenses. 2. In bodily 
health. 3. In an unmarried state. 4. Without leaving debts 
behind. 5. In time of peace. 6. Overland, and without danger. 
7. And by persons who have arrived at the age of puberty. 
That our good Tartars ill observe these conditions will be 
evident to all who have some idea about the countries situated 
between the Oxus and Taxartes. In Persia, people go to 
Kerbela, Meshed or Mekka, only when sufficient funds enable 
them to do so comfortably. In Central Asia, on the contrary, 
it is always the poorest class who undertake pilgrimages. A 
certain taste for adventure, coupled with religious enthusiasm, 
are the motives which prompt the inhabitants of Central 
Asia to start from the remote east for the tomb of their 
prophet. True, they do not suffer any material losses, for u a 
beggar's bag is a money-bag" ; but they frequently lose what is 
most precious to them, their lives ; as every year at least one- 
third of the pilgrims from Turkestan die from sheer exposure 
to the climate. 


This sacred or profane desire to travel braves all danger; 
this vague thought of tearing himself away from his family, 
friends, and countrymen to see the wide world, surrounds 
the hadjis with a certain poetry. I had lived weeks with 
my companions, and yet it always interested me to behold 
them, palm-staff in hand, as a sacred memento of Arabia, 
vigorously making their way through the deep sand or mud. 
They were returning happily to their homes ; but how 
many did I meet who only commenced their long and tedious 
journey; and yet, they were equally happy. On my road 
from Samarkand to Teheran, I had as a companion a native 
of Chinese Tartary, who, in total ignorance of the route 
he had to take, asked me every evening, even when we 
were yet at Meshed, whether we should see to-morrow, or 
at the farthest after to-morrow, the minarets of Mekka. The 
poor fellow had no idea of how much he would have to endure 
before he reached his destination. However, this should not 
surprise us when we remember that, during the time of the 
crusades, so many honest Teutons undertook a pilgrimage to 
the Holy Land, and after two or three days' journey, hoped to 
behold the walls of Jerusalem.* 

The routes to Arabia, adopted by the pious Tartars, are the 
following: 1. Yarkand,f Kilian, Tibet, and Kashmir. 2. 
Through Southern Siberia, Karyan, and Constantinople. 3. 
Through Afghanistan and India to Djedda. 4. Through Persia, 
Bagdad, and Damascus. None of these routes is comfort- 
able ; and the amount of danger to be incurred depends very 
much upon the season of the year, and the political state 
of the countries through which they pass. The travellers 
form themselves into large or small companies, and elect a 
chief (Ghaush) from amongst themselves, who also fills amongst 
them the office of Imam (the person who first says the prayers 

* See Noerselt's Geschichte fur Tdchterschulen ; who also states, that many- 
pilgrims, ignorant of the road, allowed themselves to be led by a frightened 
goose which ran before them. 

f From Yarkend (Jarkend) to Kilian, on the boundary line, are three days 
journey; from thence by way of Tagarma and Kadun to Thibet, twenty 
days ; and thence to Kashmir, fifteen days. 


to be repeated by the rest), and who enjoys a considerable 
superiority over his companions. A visit to the Kaaba and 
the tomb of the Prophet (which may be paid at any season) 
is not so much the culminating point of the whole pilgrimage 
as the ascent of Mount Arafat. This can be made only once 
a year; viz., on the Kurban festival (10th Zil, Hidji), which is 
nothing more or less than the sacrifice of Abraham and Isaac 
dramatised. All those who have taken part in this festival and 
have joined in the cry, Lebeik Allah ! " Command, O God !" 
(in allusion to Abraham's implicit obedience) are regarded as 
genuine hadjis. This cry of c< Lebeik! Lebeik!" uttered at 
the most solemn moment of the whole pilgrimage, seems also 
to leave the deepest impression upon the pilgrim himself. My 
travelling companions, whenever they became excited or were 
in a happy mood of mind, always alluded to it ; and the still- 
ness of the Tartaric deserts was often broken by this memento 
of the stony districts of Arabia. 

However painful and heart-rending may be separation from 
home, when so long and dangerous a journey has to be 
undertaken, the joy which the hadjis experience on their re- 
turn, fully counterbalances it. Friends and relations, informed 
of his near arrival, go out to meet them several days in ad- 
vance. Hymns are sung, and tears of joy are shed when the 
hadji makes his entry into his native place. Everyone 
wants to embrace him, to touch him ; the atmosphere of holy 
places still surrounds him, the dust of Mecca and Medina 
still covers his garments. In Central Asia, the hadji is held in 
much greater esteem than in any other Mohammedan country. 
It has cost him much to obtain this dignity ; but he is amply 
repaid. Respected and supported by his fellow citizens, he is 
better protected against the tyranny of the governments than 
any other citizen. The title of a " hadji" is a patent of nobility 
which, during his lifetime, he parades on his seal, after death, 
on his tombstone. 

The hadjis of course such as are not mere beggars, often 
transact, during their pious pilgrimage, a little commercial 
business. Hem tidjaret hen ziaret, e< commerce and pilgrimage 
together" are not allowed by their religion; but nobody 


seems to have any pricks of conscience in taking to his co- 
religionist in Arabia a few articles from distant Turkomania. 
The products of Bockhara and other holy places of Central 
Asia are in high esteem amongst the people of Arabia ; besides 
everybody wishes to show a hadji some favour, and is easily 
induced to pay double the value for any article offered. 
This small trade is carried on between the easternmost point 
of Islamitic Asia to the Galata bridge of Constantinople. 
Amongst the crowd of that famous capital, one often sees a 
Tartar whose features contrast as strongly with the rest of the 
population as the colours of his silk kerchiefs differ from 
those of our European manufacture. Fine ladies seldom be- 
come purchasers of such articles ; but frequently one sees old 
matrons, inspired by feelings of piety, paying a good price for 
them, pressing and rubbing them hard upon their faces and 
foreheads, and, repeating aloud Allahumu sella ! continue their 

That the ready sale of the exported articles leads to the 
importation of similar merchandise, needs no confirmation. 
No hadji leaves the holy places without making some pur- 
chases. At Mecca he lays in a stock of scents, dates, rosaries, 
and combs, but especially water from the sacred well called 
Zemzem.* In Yambu and Djidda are bought European goods ; 
these consist of penknives, scissors, needles, thimblets, etc., 
and go by the name of Mali Istambul (Stamboul goods), as 
the unbelieving Franks must not obtain credit for anything. 
Aleppo and Damascus enjoy the reputation of supplying the 
best misvak, a fibrous root, used as tooth-brushes by all 
pious Moslems. In Bagdad is bought a hirhia of camel's 
hair, and made at this place of superior quality. It is this 
kind of garment which the Prophet is said to have worn next 
to his skin. Finally, in Persia ink-powder, and pens made of 

* Zernzem is the name of a famous well on the road, of miraculous power, 
the water of which is exported in small vessels to all Islamitic countries, as 
a single drop of it, taken just at the moment of death, frees from five 
hundred years of purgatory, The origin of the well is ascribed to Ismael, 
who, after being left behind by Hagar, stamped his little foot, and made the 
well spring up. 


canes, are purchased. In Central Asia, all these articles are 
great curiosities, and they are paid for handsomely, partly 
from necessity, partly from religious motives. 

Generally speaking, a caravan of hadjis I mean one whose 
character has been well inquired into are the best travel- 
ling companions in Central Asia, or rather the whole of 
the east, provided one can manage to agree with them. 
With regard to the travelling necessaries, the hadji is well 
supplied; and it was always surprising to me to see how a 
man, who had only one poor donkey he could call his own, 
made a display of a separate tea-service* (a la Tart are), pillou- 
apparatus, and carpet, when arrived at the station at which we 
halted. Nobody is more clever than a hadji in the negotiation 
with the people he has to deal with, be they believers or unbe- 
lievers, nomads or agricultural tribes. A hadji may be converted 
into anything, he being thoroughly penetrated by the principle, 
"Sifueris Romce." Instead of being cast down and gloomy, 
as his ragged exterior would lead one to suppose, he is of a 
merry dispostion, and during the long marches the greatest 
saint and miracle-worker occasionally indulges in a profane 
joke. The comicality of these generally serious faces has 
often made me forget the privations which I was myself under- 

* The tea-service consists of a can-like vessel, made of copper, and is, 
next to the Koran, the most indispensable vade-mecum of every travelling 
Tartar ; even the poorest beggar carries it, suspended by the handle, about 
with him. 


III. Some Remarks on the Origin, Manners, Customs, and 
Superstitions of the Gallinas People of Sierra Leone. 
By J. M. HARRrs, F.R.G.S., F.A.S.L. 

The tribe or people now known under the name of " Gallinas," 
in consequence of their being located upon the banks of the 
river so called by the Spanish and Portuguese slave- trader s, 
appears to be an offshoot of the great Mandingo nation ; and 
from what I have gathered in conversation with the elders of 
the tribe, I should imagine that they migrated from the in- 
terior beyond the Koronkho country to the seaboard, about 
two hundred years ago. 

It is not easy to ascertain the precise cause of their starting 
on this journey, but it was most probably undertaken for the 
purpose of enriching themselves by the plunder of the people 
whom they encountered on their route, as they carried terror 
into all the countries traversed by them, capturing small 
towns and unprotected villages, and spreading desolation 
wherever they passed. They might also have been originally 
actuated by religious motives, and a desire to proselytise the 
the heathen tribes which lay between their own country and 
the sea. But whatever was the original motive of their under- 
taking such a journey, it is certain that the ancestors of the 
actual inhabitants of the Gallinas country forced their way 
through some two hundred and fifty miles of country, march- 
ing from town to town, allowing such of the inhabitants as 
chose to do so to join them, and become amalgamated with 
them, and making slaves of those who refused to join them, 
either for their own use, or to be sent back as slaves to the 
country from which the emigrants started. By these means 
gathering strength and numbers as they proceeded, they be- 
came very numerous, and eventually reached the coast at Cape 


At the period of their advent to this place, the natives of 
Cape Mount had, according to tradition, suffered much from 
the ravages of an enormous boa constrictor, and applied to 
the head war-man, or leader of the new comers, to assist them 
in getting rid of the monster, promising him a handsome 
reward if successful. The chief undertook the enterprise, 
and slew the reptile ; for which exploit he was made to assume 
its name, and received a more substantial remuneration in the 
shape of a wife, and the land on the Grallinas river, with the 
islands in the lagune at the bar. 

The account which they give of this adventure, and of their 
migration from the interior, do not seem by any means im- 
probable, and are in accordance with the present habits of the 
Gallinas people ; as even now parties of young men frequently 
start off to any place in the vicinity, when war breaks out 
amongst their neighbours, and offer their services to either 
side, with a view to enrich themselves by capturing prisoners, 
of whom they make slaves, and carry back with them to their 
own homes. It is also the practice of the coast people when 
any dispute arises, to send messengers and presents to some 
one of the chiefs in the interior, asking his assistance to fight 
against any particular people. This chief then makes known 
to his family that a messenger has come " to buy war," and 
that he has agreed to espouse the cause of those seeking his 
aid. This is enough j for the people are only too glad of an 
opportunity of plundering, and are by no means particular as 
to the cause of. quarrel, nor which side they take in settling 
it ; and when once they are induced to set out and proceed to 
the coast, they are frequently more trouble to their friends 
jpro tern., than to their enemies. As a rule, they are arrant 
cowards; and after making a great parade and blustering 
about what they will do when they start, they require their 
chief to make a sacrifice to ensure their success, when, having 
eaten up nearly everything he and his people have, they pro- 
ceed to u pull country fashion," as they term it ; that is, to go 
through a ceremony, similar to fortune-telling or divination, 
to ascertain the period ordained by the fates as most propitious 
for making their attack upon the barricade of their enemy. 


This ceremony is frequently performed by a Mohammedan, 
who pretends to have gained his knowledge from what is writ- 
ten in the Koran, which he professes to read and study very 
devoutly for some time beforehand, and then asserting that he 
has had a dream, states that it will be necessary to make a 
sacrifice, consisting of such things as a white sheep with two 
black spots, a blye of rice, and a piece of white cloth. The 
sheep is killed in some sacred place ; the warriors smear them- 
selves with the blood, then cook the meat with the rice, which 
they devour, and proceed to make a night of it, yelling and 
dancing to their hearts' content. This is occasionally varied 
by some of the warriors, who " pull kootoo ;" that is make a 
display of their valour by fighting with an imaginary enemy. 
In this way, one of them will work himself into a high state 
of excitement, and rush into the centre of a ring, where about 
a dozen others, armed with muskets (of course not loaded), 
swords, knives, etc., appear to be attempting to conquer this 
one man, who however, as a matter of course, is allowed to 
come off the victor ; when he commences to improvise a song, 
in which he proclaims and glorifies the valour of his chief, 
boasts of what he will do, and what trophies he will bring- 
back, etc., etc., ad libitum. The scene is repeated in succession 
by each man who has any claim to the name of warrior. This, 
with dancing, is kept up until their supply of rum is finished, 
and they, becoming tired out, drop off to sleep. 

When the medicine-man finds that he can obtain nothing 
more from them without a show of work, he starts them off to 
the attack. They scatter in the bush, and work their way in 
small parties to some place in the neighbourhood of the town 
to be assaulted, when they arrange the order of battle, and 
generally send some lads up to the stockade, who attempt to 
scale it, so as to discover if the offenders are asleep, or not 
upon the watch ; in which case, the warriors proper then come 
up and get into the stockade, when, by rushing about in a 
frantic manner from one side to the other, and cutting anyone 
whom they may encounter, they cause a panic amongst the 
enemy, who evacuate the stockade, and there being no resist- 
ance, the assailants are very brave, and chop away right and 


left. After all tlie fighting men have bolted,, they commence 
making prisoners. Any man, woman, or child seized becomes 
the slave of the captor, and it frequently happens that those 
who do the least fighting obtain the most plunder. 

The battle being at an end, the younger individuals of the 
party are set on the watch, whilst the warriors collect the 
prisoners and booty. On the other hand, it most often is the 
case, that the inhabitants of the town which is the object of 
the attack, are on the alert, and the watch gives the alarm if 
any unusual noise is heard in the bush, in which case the in- 
tended assailants run off and declare the war spoilt, saying, 
that their sacrifice was unsuccessful, and they return home to 
go through the same ceremony again ; and this sort of thing 
continues until both sides are tired of the war and have 
nothing left worth plundering, when the hired mercenaries go 
back to their own country, generally carrying with them into 
slavery as many of their friends as of their foes ; for when the 
war is over and they start homeward, u all is fish that comes 
to their net." 

The Gallinas people, as well as their neighbours, show con- 
siderable ingenuity in the construction of the stockades above 
mentioned, which are generally square, with a small tower at 
each corner, with loopholes for musketry, or, if they have them, 
they mount a few small cannon, to command each angle. The 
fences are made of live-sticks, planted about three inches apart, 
and which take root quickly ; these have other sticks bound 
across them horizontally with a very sfcrong and pliable vine ; 
these horizontal sticks are two or three feet above each other 
on the fence, which is about eight feet in height; at the 
top of the fence they place wicker-work, to prevent the enemy 
from jumping over. A second fence, of similar construction, 
but with the sticks nearer together, is placed about six feet 
within the first; and there is sometimes a third fence, but 
farther in the interior; where suitable wood is not easily 
obtainable, walls of solid mud or clay are substituted for 
fences ; in this case the mud is first well kneaded and made 
into balls, which are then placed in position and left to dry, 
after which they are plastered over and made smooth (I have 


seen houses built in this way which would support an upper 
story, and after standing some time, would become like a piece 
of solid masonry); but usually, when their fortifications (if 
they deserve the name) are constructed in this manner, they 
have a trench or ditch between the two walls. Such stockades, 
as I have attempted to describe, if defended by determined 
men, well armed, and with a good supply of ammunition, are 
exceedingly difficult of capture by such ill-organised soldiers 
as are brought against them. I knew an instance in which a 
stockade, at a town called Sourah, defended by Mohammedans, 
successfully resisted an attack for several days, when the be- 
siegers had recourse to fire, and so burned the garrison alive, 
for not one of them would surrender. 

The Gallinas people still sometimes use bows and arrows, and 
appear to have retained many of the customs and habits of 
their ancestors, who I have little doubt were pure Mandingoes. 

Some persons think the Gallinas are identical with the Veys ; 
but this, I think, is a mistake, as in my opinion the Yey nation 
is confined to the district between Capes Mount and Mesurado ; 
however, the Gallinas people speak the Yey language, from 
mixing with their neighbours. I think that the Yey language 
is really a dialect of the Mandingo, as is also the Soosoo, as 
the Mandingo is a bastard Arabic. I consider the history 
of the Gallinas tribe to be very interesting; and there can 
be no doubt that they are strangers to the country which 
they now possess and inhabit, as I have heard all their tra- 
ditions related by King Sandfish, who was probably fully one 
hundred and twenty years old when he died in 1862. I have 
also seen the graves of the men of the tribe who first esta- 
blished themselves on the coast, concerning whom I could, if 
the limits of this paper would permit, furnish further in- 

These people have apparently, for many years, acted as bro- 
kers to the slave-dealers, and for a long period depended entirely 
upon the slave-trade for means of obtaining food, clothing, 
etc., etc. ; and it is only within the last few years that they 
have turned their attention to work, in the same manner Boom 
people do; when first I went to reside in the Sherbro, in 


1855, the rice purchased in the Bagroo, Jong, and Boom, 
was taken to the Gallinas people for sale, as the latter never 
grew enough provisions for themselves. The soil of the Gal- 
linas country is sandy, barren, and unfit for cultivation ; and it 
is a mistake to suppose, as some do, that this country produces 
any article of export, for it is the Crim country on the one side, 
and Goorah on the other, where the produce is collected. The 
cloths are made principally in Kissy, and find their way down 
to the coast as a medium of exchange for salt and other com- 
modities. There are very many of the Gallinas people who 
carve wood, palm-nuts, etc., and who make wooden spoons and 
plates as well as iron- work of different kinds. 

As a rule, the Gallinas people are inveterate gamblers ; they 
play various games, the principal one being called by them warri, 
but it is common to nearly all parts of Africa under different 
names. It is played with a board having twelve holes, and 
forty-eight seeds. One of these boards I have the pleasure of 
presenting to the museum of the Anthropological Society of 
London, which will show the style of carving executed by the 
Gallinas people. They have many other games besides warri ; 
and they frequently play until they have lost everything they 
possess, even placing their wives and children in pledge, and, 
as a last resource, stake their own liberty on the chances of 
the game. 

Although really possessing no definite form of religion of 
their own, the Gallinas all, more or less, profess Mohamme- 
danism ; and the chiefs usually send their sons into the interior 
for several years to learn the Mandingo tongue. They are 
excessively superstitious, and have almost unlimited belief and 
confidence in anything made by any bookmen ; that is, people 
who have a written language, as Mohammedans, or Europeans, 
Americans, etc. Of this weakness and credulity the Moham- 
medans take advantage, and make charms by writing a few 
words from the Koran on paper or parchment, which they 
sew up in cloth, or put in goat or sheep horns, and cover 
them with leather. These charms can of course be made to 
counteract any evil influence according to the wish of the pur- 
chasers ; and some are supposed to have the virtue of resisting 


lead or steel, but generally the wearers or possessors object to 
have the test applied by a white man, as they say he is a 
bookman. Another indispensable requisite is that the wearer 
should be in fighting trim, and place implicit confidence in the 
charm, as a want of faith entirely destroys its efficacy. Sin- 
gularly enough, they hold a crucifix to be the most efficient 
charm, which is locally called a balsam, and they imagine that 
with, this on their person nothing can harm them ; this is 
doubtless derived from their seeing the Portuguese slavers 
constantly wearing a crucifix, as they suppose for protection. 

One of the most noteworthy of their institutions is the 
porra, which, under different names is, I believe, common to 
most parts of Africa. Amongst the Gallinas, the porra is of 
two kinds, religious and political: the women have also a 
similar institution of their own, called boondoo, to which men 
are not admitted. The porra is to my knowledge practised as far 
as Sugary. I have been in " porra bushes" at Sugary, on the sea- 
board, and at Firo, in the interior, to the east, where I have met 
messengers from the chiefs of the Vey country, which lies, as I 
have before said, between Cape Mount and Cape Mesurado ; and 
from this I infer, that they have also the porra in that country. 
No person is admitted into the religious porra without being 
circumcised; he must also live in the porra bush, apart from the 
rest of the population, for a certain time, during which time no 
female must set eyes on him, and he is supposed, in country 
parlance, to have been eaten by the porra devil. After his 
initiation, when he is about to be released from the porra bush, 
a porra name is given to him, such as Banna Cong, etc., etc., 
and he is then supposed to have been delivered from the belly 
of the porra devil. The ceremony of the initiation of neo- 
phytes is only performed twice a year, and the number of men 
and boys brought out in this manner at one town, upon each 
occasion, frequently amounts to fifty. It is a time of great re- 
joicing ; a holiday is kept at the town in which it takes place, 
and dancing, drinking, feasting, firing of guns, etc., is kept 
up, night and day, until their supplies are exhausted. 

The second kind of porra the political appears to be 
more select than the former, and is chiefly used for the purpose 


of arranging the affairs of the nation, settling disputes be- 
tween different tribes or sections of tribes, and also for en- 
forcing the laws of the country in cases of dissensions among 
the people. It immediately stops any quarrel which is sup- 
posed to be taken in hand by the chiefs for settlement, and 
the matter in dispute has then to be argued in the harry, by 
both parties, before the chiefs and head men, who sit as a jury. 
This porra frequently meets in cases of war between two 
tribes, with which, however, it has no connexion, and steps in 
between the belligerents to settle the dispute and stop the 
war. The people comprising the porra deputation are always 
held sacred; and should any of them be injured by either 
party, the whole of the tribes would take the matter up. The 
porra, I believe, originated with the Mendi and Timmanee Mo 
Banta people. Native Mohammedans from the interior do not 
join the religious porra ; but many of the Creole Mohamme- 
dans (by which term I mean Mohammedans born in the 
country) join the porra, with a view of preventing the chiefs 
from planning anything injurious to them without their know- 
ledge. Any plot which is being concocted by the chiefs against 
an individual, is always first talked over in the porra bush, 
all the members of the porra being under oath not to divulge 
it, so that the people, always jealous of the influence obtained 
by Mohammedans in their country, yet afraid of their power 
as a religious sect, concoct measures to injure them in the 
secret porra bush ; and it is common for them to form a porra 
for any special purpose, such as sending a deputation to any 
neighbouring people to buy their aid in getting up a war 
against another tribe, and many other matters in which assist- 
ance is required. In political porras, all porra-men are not 
admitted, but only those of great influence, or trustworthy 
slaves. I have been present at porras where no person but an 
undoubted chief has been admitted. 

In my long intercourse with these people, I have seen many 
phases of this institution, but can scarcely explain them all 
in this short paper. 

The boondoo is an association very similar in character to 
the porra, but it is peculiar to the women ; the ceremonies are 


much the same as those of the porra. There is a boondoo 
bush as well as a porra bush, which is kept as jealously sacred 
from the men as the porra bush is from the women. The 
usual mode of procedure is to take girls of eight or nine years 
of age into the bush, situated in the densest part of the forest, 
where they are kept under the strictest surveillance by the old 
women who have charge of the bush. After the girls have 
been a certain time in the bush, they learn the songs and 
dances with which they accompany almost every occupation 
of their lives, such as working at their farm, carrying water, 
paddling canoes, preparing food, funerals, and weddings, in 
fact, there is scarcely a meeting of half-a-dozen boondoo 
women without an accompaniment of this dismal chanting. 
The novices having completed their education in this respect, 
they are operated upon at certain phases of the moon in a 
manner similar to that of the porra men, the clitoris being 
excised : this operation is, I believe, always performed at 
midnight, and when the moon is at the full, the women re- 
maining in the bush all night, singing, dancing, and c ' making 
night hideous." After this operation, the backs and loins of 
the girls are cut in such a manner as to raise and leave marks 
of certain forms in a kind of relief; how this is done I cannot 
say, but I have seen many girls and women having their loins 
covered with these scars, about the eighth of an inch above 
the surface of the skin. I should imagine that the effect de- 
sired is produced by keeping the wound, when fresh made, 
irritated by some substance, so that when healed the lumps 
remain. This scoring is entirely distinct from the tattooing 
of the New Zealanders, and the tribal marks of the Kroomen. 
After their initiation, and other ceremonies, the girls have new 
names given to them, which are called boondoo names ; such 
as Taroo, Sattiah, etc. When they have the boondoo bush, the 
girls can recover a fine from all who do not call them by their 
boondoo names. The girls do not, however, remain long in 
the bush after the necessary rites are completed and they 
have recovered from the operation incidental to the occasion, 
but there is a ceremony to be gone through on their departure, 
called " pulling them from the boondoo." In connexion with 



the boondoo, there are two or three " devils", but these, un- 
like those of the porra, may be seen by the general public. 

The u devils" are said to be the oldest women of the town ; 
but this I do not believe, as from the violent exercise they go 
through in dancing, and from their generally erect posture, I 
should think none of the old women would be capable of sup- 
porting the fatigue which these " devils" undergo on certain 
occasions ; in fact, it is my opinion that the role of the " devil" 
is played by a strong and active young man. The dress of the 
" devil" comprises a mask made of the bark of a tree, and which 
goes completely over the head and rests on the shoulders, similar 
to a theatrical mask ; it has long grass by way of a wig, and a 
long robe of cloth hangs to it, the feet and legs being also hidden 
by other cloths pendant from the waist and knees, and over all is 
a fringe of long grass which completely covers the performer, 
and when agitated gives him a most peculiar appearance ; the 
"devils" each carry a small broom, and looking at the frightful 
appearance presented by the whole make up, they are not alto- 
gether unworthy the name they usurp. The girls, when removed 
from the boondoo-bush, are not allowed to wear any orna- 
ments, such as beads, etc., so they substitute pieces of wood 
stained of different colours, which they string together, and 
wear round the waist, as well as coloured straws strung to- 
gether in the same manner. As a badge of maidenhood, they 
wear a long narrow strip of cloth, about an inch and a half 
wide, and nine or ten yards long, this is worn by other 
virgins as well as the boondoo girls ; but the distinctive mark 
of a boondoo girl, when unmarried, is a small black shell, 
shaped like that of a whelk, in which the boondoo women put 
a gri~gri, or charm, and stop the orifice with wax, into which 
they stick three small red beads, this appendage they are 
not on any account allowed to remove. The boondoo girls 
remain in the position of novices until given in marriage by 
the family to some man who demands their hand ; the suitor, 
if accepted, must then incur the expense of having his bride 
elect ' ' washed from the boondoo", which ceremony is usually 
performed when the bridegroom is ready to take his bride 
home, that is to say, on her reaching the age of puberty. 


When the wedding day arrives, the girl is attired in her 
bridal dress, with beads, silver ehains, and other ornaments, 
and the day is spent in feasting, dancing, etc., as is usual with 
these people on all important occasions. Two of the boondoo 
girls, companions of the bride, perform the boondoo dance, 
and are dressed for the occasion in jackets ornamented with 
beads, and skirts made of the boulow grass, which, being 
very full, give them somewhat the appearance of our ballet- 
girls; indeed, many of the attitudes into which they throw 
their lithe bodies, and some of the difficult and intricate jpas 
which they execute, would be received with applause in any of 
our theatres. The accompaniment to which they dance is the 
sound of the drum (an instrument without which no town 
would be complete), and the voices and clapping of hands in 
time of the women and girls, who stand in a ring, as also to 
the music of some small hollow pieces of iron which are at- 
tached to the legs of the performers, and jingle with every 

The boondoo laws are very strict in the Gallinas country; and 
any man proved to have had intercourse with a girl during the 
time of her novitiate, would, if a poor man and a slave, be strip- 
ped of all he possessed, and possibly killed ; if a free man, rich, 
and of good family, a fine so heavy would be inflicted that the 
payment thereof would, very probably, entail ruin on him and 
all connected with him. I have never known the observances 
of the boondoo carried out so strictly as by the people residing 
within the limits of the country between the northern border 
of the Gallinas and Cape Mount, and extending back in the 
interior as far as the Goorah country. The people of Sherbro' 
have the boondoo, but do not practise it so strictly as the 
Gallinas. The Soosoo people, to the northward of Sierra 
Leone, have an institution called the Seimo; but I am not 
aware if it is known in other parts of Africa, and rather think 
that it is not, as many of the liberated Africans in Sierra 
Leone among whom are to be found individuals of nearly 
every West African tribe have told me that no such institu- 
tion exists in their country. 

The origin of the custom must, I think, be attributed to 



polygamy ; as the idea entertained by the natives is, that after 
the women have undergone the operation I have mentioned, 
they are less lascivious than they would otherwise be; and as 
it is a common thing for a man to have twenty wives or more, 
if he can afford to get them, he not being able to keep them all 
in his house, without some such means of keeping their desires 
in check, believes that he thus relieves himself from their im- 
portunities, and also removes, in a great measure, their inclina- 
tion to intrigue with others, of which he is very jealous. 

Another custom, common to the Gallinas and all parts of west 
Africa, is also the result of polygamy, and has been adopted 
for much the same reason ; I allude to the practice of the wife 
having no intercourse with her husband, or any other man, 
from the time of the birth of a child until it is able to walk 
and talk, as they imagine that in the event of the mother 
having carnal connexion during the period that the child is being 
suckled, which frequently extends over two or three years, that 
the infant will die. Whether the men believe this themselves, 
I cannot affirm ; but they always impress the women with a 
conviction of its truth, with a view to induce them to be less 
troublesome to their husbands, and less likely to indulge in 
illicit intercourse with others. 


IV. On the Testimony of Local Phenomena in the West of 
England to the Permanence of Anthropological Types. By 
John Beddoe, M.D., M.A., F.A.S.L., Foreign Associate of 
the Anthropological Society of Paris. 

Having for some years been endeavouring to apply the nu- 
merical method to the determination of some of the problems 
of anthropology, and in particular of the question of perma- 
nence of types, I long ago conceived the idea that something 
like a crucial instance might be found in the comparison of 
the population of certain cities with that of the surrounding 

It is not an uncommon opinion, that dark eyes and hair are 
more frequent in towns than in the open country, owing to 
some unknown or undefined influences operating therein upon 
the human race, independently of any differences in the breed. 
With some, this opinion has taken the formula that civilisation 
has a tendency to darken the average complexion ; and it is 
not long since an article " On the Probable Extinction of Blue 
Eyes," which was said to be based on scientific observations, 
amused the readers of a popular magazine. 

It would be easy enough to show that some of the darkest 
races in these islands are among the least civilised, both ma- 
terially and intellectually ; but there is really some foundation 
for the belief that in England, at least, there is a preponder- 
ance of dark hair and eyes in the towns as compared with the 
rural districts. I shall endeavour presently to show how this may 
be accounted for ; but will first remark, that the phenomenon re- 
peats itself in Belgium and Germany in a more striking manner. 
Thus at Antwerp, Louvain, Huy, Cologne, Diisseldorf, Miinster, 
Aachen, Brunswick, Leipsic, and even at Prague, I have found 
the citizens darker than the peasantry ; and if the contrary is 
the case at Vienna, and perhaps at Liege and Namur, both cases 
are easily explicable, the Licgeois peasantry arc a Walloon 


promontory in a Tentonic sea, and the Viennese are mostly 
Germans ; while the eastern part of Lower Austria remains 
to a great extent, as I believe, Avar, but certainly Turanian, 
to the present day. 

It would require an intimate acquaintance with the internal 
or social history of Germany, to enable one to give an opinion 
as to whether the phenomena I have observed in the German 
towns just mentioned, are capable of being accounted for by 
the admixture of alien blood. It somewhat staggered me to 
find that the difference between the citizens and peasants was 
most strongly marked at Cologne ; for Cologne appeared to 
me to be precisely the place in which one might expect the 
law of natural selection to operate in that direction. Its close, 
narrow, filthy streets must be a most unfavourable habitat for 
children; and I have a strong impression unconfirmed, I 
must admit, by any numerical or other test that the more 
irritable constitution, which so often accompanies the xanthous 
complexion, renders fair children more difficult to rear under 
such unfavourable circumstances than others. 

Any evidence that I have been able to collect in Ireland has 
been rather favourable to the doctrine of permanence of type. 
The townsmen of Cork and Youghal have lighter hair than 
the peasantry of most parts of the country ; and this is pre- 
cisely what might have been expected from the history of 
Danish and English colonisation there. Nearly the same may 
be said of Enniskillen, and perhaps, though with less certainty, 
of Galway and Killarney. At Sligo, I found more dark hair 
among the citizens. Dublin, Waterford, "Wexford, and Kil- 
kenny, all appeared to have populations fairer than those of 
Ireland in general, as might have been expected; but I had 
no opportunity of drawing a satisfactory comparison between 
these four cities and the rural districts around. 

From Scotland I have very little evidence. There is more 
dark hair in Edinburgh than in the neighbouring country, but 
not more, perhaps, than in most parts of Scotland; and the 
population of Edinburgh has always been largely recruited 
from distant Celtic districts where dark hair prevails. Of 
1029 adults, who passed under my observation at the Edin- 


burgh Royal Infirmary, 385 were natives of Edinburgh and 
other considerable towns ; on an average, they had rather 
lighter hair and rather darker eyes than those born in rural 
districts and small towns. 

In almost all the towns of the Saxon and Danish parts of 
England where I have made observations, the citizens appeared 
to be, more or less, darker than the peasantry of the neighbour- 
hood. So far there is no difficulty in accounting for the facts ; 
for while immigration into the rural districts has been almost 
nil, most of the towns have received accessions to their popu- 
lation from Ireland, Wales, the west of England, or the Con- 
tinent. The difference between the two classes seems to dis- 
appear as we proceed westward, and at Truro is distinctly 

Unable to come to a conclusion upon the data of which I 
have given you a cursory view, I resolved to utilise for the 
purpose the materials presented to me in the course of my 
hospital practice at Bristol ; and having amassed careful observ- 
ations on 4,400 adults, almost all patients of the Bristol 
Infirmary and Clifton Dispensary, I have tabulated the sex, 
birthplace, and colour of the eyes and hair of all of them. 
The system of division and nomenclature which I have adopted 
is the same which I have employed for many years, and which 
my friend, Dr. Barnard Davis, has made use of in the Crania 

I distinguish but three colours, or rather, as M. Broca says, 
shades or tones of eyes, light, neutral, and dark; and five 
of hair, red, fair, brown, dark brown, and black; and in com- 
paring the tendency to darkness of hair in any two sets of 
people, I take 100 of each, and then subtracting the red, 
plus the fair, from the dark brown, plus twice the black, obtain 
a cipher which compendiously represents that tendency, and 
which I call the index of nigrescence. For example : this index 
is, in the fair populations of Friesland, Lower Saxony, West- 
phalia, and the Lower Rhine, a minus number ; it is so also in 
some of the Scandinavian districts of our own island. In most 
of the principal towns of England it varies between 10 and 
; >t>; and in the Celtic districts of the far west of Ireland, 


the Highlands,, and Wales, it ranges from 30 to 50, 60, or 
even 70. 

At first sight, one might suppose that so wide a numerical 
basis would allow of a perfectly positive induction being erected 
upon it. There are, however, several drawbacks to the value 
of these data, of which it may be well to specify the principal 

Bristol is not the most favourable locality that might have 
been selected for such an iuvestigation as this. It is true, 
that no numerous foreign colony is known to have settled in 
it at any time, as has been the case of many other towns ; nor 
has any rapid and conspicuous development of prosperity, in 
this century of cheap and easy locomotion, attracted to it the 
crowds of foreigners, and other strangers from a distance, 
which have swelled the census of the great manufacturing 
towns of the north, threatening to confound or nullify all 
local distinctions of race. The population of Bristol is, and 
probably always has been, unless in those days when it was 
the common slave-market of Britain, recruited almost exclu- 
sively from districts at no great distance. But, unfortunately 
for my purpose, those districts are almost as diverse in their 
ethnological as in their geological character. Within a circle, 
whose radius is forty or fifty miles, are included the Saxons of 
the Cotswolds and of Central and North Wilts, the Celts of 
the Quant ock Hills, the Kymry beyond the Usk, and a variety 
of mixed or doubtful breeds of men nearer home. All I can 
do, then, is to strike an average of all these in the propor- 
tions in which they do contribute, or may be supposed to have 
contributed immigrants, and to compare this average with the 
native Bristolians. 

Hospital patients probably furnish a sufficiently good sample 
of the population, but not a perfect one. Persons of the me- 
lancholic temperament, I am disposed to think, resort to 
hospitals more frequently than the sanguine, under like cir- 

Lastly, it may be mentioned that the proportions of the sexes 
coming from the several districts varied considerably, but not 
to such an extent as to affect the validity of my calculations. 


Of the 4,400 persons observed, about thirty-eight per cent. 
were born in the city of Bristol, and about seven in the sub- 
urbs. Of the remainder, to whom we must look for the 
sources of increase of the population, two-fifths were natives 
of the rural districts of Somersetshire and Gloucestershire ; 
one-fourth, of the towns situated in those counties, or in 
Devon and Wilts, or of the metropolis ; and the residue came 
mostly from the nearer parts of South Wales, from Munster, 
from the rural districts of Devon and Wilts ; and in smaller 
proportions from Herefordshire, Dorset, Cornwall, and more 
remote counties. Observation of the surnames most prevalent 
in Bristol leads me to think that Somersetshire, still the chief 
recruiting ground for the city population, must in former 
times have contributed still more largely ; and that the immi- 
gration from South Wales was formerly greater than it is at 

We may expect, therefore, to obtain some light on the 
question at issue, by comparing the native Bristolians, firstly, 
with the whole residue of persons observed; and secondly, 
with those from the least distant districts ; and we may then 
proceed to compare the natives of the surrounding towns with 
those of the open country. For the sake of brevity and 
clearness, I will speak only of the index of nigrescence, and 
of the proportion of dark eyes to light, the latter being always 
reckoned as 100. 

I find, then, that the Bristolian index of nigrescence is 
1 below that of the remainder; but that the proportion of 
dark eyes to light is higher by 9 per cent. In the eastern 
part of Somerset, the ratio of dark eyes is exactly as in 
Bristol ; but the index for the hair is higher in the proportion 
of 39 to 33J. In the whole county, including the Celtic 
population of the west, the eyes grow lighter by 6 per cent. ; 
but the hair is still darker, exceeding that of Bristol by 9. 
In the county of Gloucester, excluding the Forest of Dean, 
the eyes are lighter by 4, and the hair by 7. And in the four 
counties of Somerset, Gloucester, Devon, and Wilts, taken 
t < >gether, still excluding the towns, the hair is darker than in 
Bristol by 2J, and the eyes lighter by 7. In the suburbs of 


Bristol, viz., Clifton, Bedminster, and St. George's, the con- 
ditions are reversed, the eyes being a shade darker, but the 
hair considerably lighter; and with these the city of Bath 
almost exactly agrees. 

The evidence to be drawn from a comparison of the four 
counties just mentioned, with the towns which they respectively 
contain, tends very much in the same direction. The towns 
of Somerset, whether we include or exclude the peculiarly 
situated city of Bath, exhibit lighter eyes, and hair lighter to 
an extraordinary degree, than the surrounding country. In 
the towns of Devon, the eyes are darker, but the hair rather 
lighter than in the rural districts ; in Gloucestershire, the 
proportions are exactly reversed; in Wiltshire, again, the 
relations are the reverse of those in Somersetshire. When 
the counties and the towns are each taken together, the former 
exhibit the darker hair, but the eyes are almost exactly the 

On the whole, the figures appear to me sufficient to disprove 
the common opinion of the darkening effect of a town life, at 
least so far as it relates to the hair ; while they leave it un- 
decided whether the colour of the iris can be affected by such 

On the other hand, it is satisfactory to note how the be- 
wildering confusion of the figures I have been summarising, 
inexplicable, as I incline to think, by any theory of the influ- 
ence of extrinsic causes on the physical type, falls into some- 
thing like order when viewed in connexion with ethnographical 
history and probabilities. These explain at once how it is 
that the natives of a town, descendants of a shifting and 
migratory population, almost always tend more towards the 
general standard of the country, than do those of the neigh- 
bouring rural districts. The hypothesis, the truth of which 
few or none doubt, that the invading Teutons were fairer than 
the prior inhabitants of this part of Britain, explains at once 
why we find a regular gradation from light hair to dark as we 
proceed from the Saxons of Wilts through Gloucestershire, 
East and Middle Somerset to North Devon, and then to West 
Somerset and South Devon, a gradation which appears to 


mc to be attended with a gradual change in the prevailing 
forms of the cranium,* if not of the trunks and limbs. Beyond 
the Severn, in like manner, the physical type becomes more 
purely Kymric (or Kymro-Iberic ?) as we proceed from the 
coast towards the mountainous interior. In the coast districts 
and low lands of Monmouthshire and Glamorgan, the ancient 
seats of Saxon, Norman, and Flemish colonisation, I find the 
indices of hair and eyes so low as 33*5 and 63 ; while in 
the interior, excluding the children of English and Irish 
immigrants, the figures rise to 57'3 and 109'5, this last 
ratio indicating a prevalence of dark eyes, surpassing what I 
have met with in any other part of Britain. 

In laying down just now the rule, that in this part of Eng- 
land the amount of dark hair coincides with and indicates 
the amount of pre-Teutonic blood, I must guard myself from 
being supposed to ignore the differences of type and of race 
which may have existed before the landing of Cerdic. I have 
but just mentioned one of the peculiarities that distinguish 
the Kymro-Iberic from the Gaelic Celt, or, to put aside theory 
as much as possible, the pure Welshman from the pure Irish- 
man, I mean the much greater frequency of dark eyes. Both 
these races I believe to have been represented in the west of 
England. Nor do I wish to undervalue the possible effects of 
that miscellaneous and promiscuous colonisation of Britain by 
the Eomans, which has been investigated by Mr. Wright with 
his accustomed ability, and of which, I think, I have observed 
some traces in the course of the present inquiry. The majority 
of such colonists, and of the aboriginal tribes, would probably 
be dark haired ; and unless we admit that they were so, and 
that they have transmitted this characteristic to their descend- 
ants, I can at present see no possible explanation of the phe- 
nomena which I have briefly laid before you. 

* The most common form in the west is that which my friend, Professor 
Wilson, of Toronto, in his recent paper on the " Physical Characteristics of 
the Ancient and Modern Celt," characterises as the pear-shaped, or British- 
Celtic type. My own observations on this subject are hardly ripe for pub- 




Eyes Light. 


Eyes Neutral. 


Eyes Dark. 

i | 


















' 8*5 




















' P5 







54 .1 




St. George's 









' 1-5 


li 11; 


























' 4-5 


31 -: 






' 1-5 


' 1-5 





Somerset, towns . . 
Ditto, country, east 

,, west 



Glo'stershire, towns 
Ditto, country .... 
Forest of Dean 






29 ' 


12 ' 










10 ' 






' 2* 5 






















Ditto, country .... 
Whole of Wilts 


Devon, towns 

Ditto, country 















5 1 




































South Wales and 
Monmouth, coast 

Ditto, interior 


Wales total 

Hereford.,C heshire 
Salop, Staftbrdsh.. 
Warwickshire .. 

East of England to 
the Welland 

Korth of England . . 

Ulster, Dublin, and 


































































Cork, Waterford, 

and Kerry 

Best of Ireland . . 





















\ t 



Jo J 

Eyes Light. 



Eyes Neutral. 




Eyes Dark. 











F . 



































20 8 

' 3-3 








57 *> 

' 2-6 


' 5-3 















' ri 

' 91 











' 1-4 


27 ' 





' 71 

' 41 




' V-i 


' 61 











' 2-5 
















! 1 










' 11 











































7 | 










50 1 

























V. Maya ffieroglyjjhic Alphabet of Yucatan* By William 
Bollaert, Hon. Sec. A.S.L., Corresponding Member of 
the University of Chile, of the Ethnological Societies of 
London and New York, etc. 


In September 1864, I had the pleasure to meet in London the 
indefatigable Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg, then on his journey, 
about to leave for Mexico and Central America, as one of the sci- 
entific commission sent by the French Government to explore 
those regions. He presented me with a copy of his last work (in 
Spanish and French), entitled, Relation des choses de Yucatan 
de Diego de Landa, 1566; comprenant les Signes du Calendrier 
et de V Alphabet hieroglyphique de la Langue Maya, accom- 
pagne de Documents divers historiques et chronologiques f avec 
une Grammaire et un Vocabulaire frangais maya.f 

For the present, I offer from this work what concerns the 
Maya alphabet, which is the first indication we have of so 
valuable an addition to our knowledge of an alphabetic ar- 
rangement originating in the New World. This will be in- 
formation, especially to Mr. Crawfurd, who, in his paper " On 
the Civilisation of Man," in Trans. EtJmo. Soc, 1861, says, 
' ' From Italy to Japan, many nations had invented written 
languages, either hieroglyphic or phonetic, but neither the 
inhabitants of the Andes nor any other American people had 
done so." 

The Abbe observes as follows : " In the winter of 1863, I 
copied the Relacion de las Oosas de Yucatan, which are in the 
Royal Academy of Madrid. % It contains the complete nomen- 

* Yucatan comes from the Maya words Ci u than, "they said so". It was 
known to the natives as Ulmil Cuz, and Etel Ceh, or " land of the wild turkey 
and deer". Maya, or Mayathan, comes from Ma-ay-ha, "land without water". 
May a pan means " flag or banner of the Mayas". There was a more ancient 
name for this region, viz., Chacnouitan. 

f Published by Trubner and Co., London. 

X The MSS. from which this was copied is not Landa's original one, but 
one mad-, thirty years after his death. Judging by the title and certain 


ci at urc of the signs of the Maya Calendar, which will be of great 
importance for the reading of the Yucatan inscriptions. Landa 
has the great merit of handing down to us the signs consti- 
tuting the alphabet, which, although incomplete, is of great 
interest, as it is the first key to unravel the mysterious inscrip- 
tions of Yucatan, Palenque, Copan, etc. I have compared 
these characters with those of the Oodex Mexicanus, No. 2 of 
the Bib. Imp., and with the Codex Amer. of Dresden, repro- 
duced in Lord Kingsborough^s work ; one and the other are 
written in identical characters ; and I have already observed 
those of the calendar reproduced by Landa, as well as about a 
dozen phonetic signs. I have read a certain number of words, 
including ahpop, chief; ahau, king. The difficulty I have had, 
up to the present time, has been to identify the other signs ; 
which leads me to think that they belong to a very ancient 
language, or to dialects different to the Maya or Quiche. 
I hope that photographs will soon be taken of the Yucatan 
inscriptions ; also, that there will be discovered some Maya 
MSS. (books like those of the Aztecs), said by Landa to have 
been buried with the Maya priests. 

" Diego de Landa was of the noble house of Calderon ; he 
was born in 1524, and became a Franciscan monk in 1541. 
He was the first of his Order who went to Yucatan, where he 
laboured zealously to convert the Indians ; still his zeal was 
not exempt from violent acts. He became second Bishop of 
Merida in 1573, and died 1579. 

" Looking at the times when Landa lived, there may be some 
excuse for his burning all the Maya MSS. he could lay his 
hands on, for he says they were the work of the devil. Such, 
also, were the ideas of Zumarraga in Mexico, and Las Casas 
in Guatemala. Landa, however, has rendered a great service 
to history and science in compiling such a work as he did, and 
particularly in preserving to us the Maya alphabet, which we 

phrases, it is incomplete ; and the copyist has suppressed the titles which 
divide the chapters. Pinelo, in his Bib. Occ, adverts to a work the title of 
which is similar to that of Landa by Dr. Sanchez de Aguilar, a native of 
Yalladolid in Yucatan. Cogulludo mentions this work as one of great his- 
torical interest. 



may look upon as a key to many of the American inscriptions ; 
without him they would have remained an enigma probably 
for ever, as were the Egyptian hieroglyphics before the dis- 
covery of the Rosetta stone. " 

e L e Le 


ma i n ka ti 

o H-o nutyS 1 



5- b 



f) i 


| ca(?) 


k * 






0i) m 


s - 





). f}~) pp(hard) 



22. jr^ ku (guttural) 

24. ^lf) x tch(?) 

u (2) ou (?) 

cu ? 

x* dj or dz (?) 

5. |> u 


z 9(3) 

a (variation.) ^j^ ma (me m0>) 

A ti 

>,1) n> (guttural.) 

ft sign of aspiration ? 

* Or ha guttural. 


Landa' s Account of the Hieroglyphic Alphabet of the Maya 
guage. "The Mayas made use of certain characters, or 
letters, by which they wrote in their books the account of 
their ancient doings and their sciences, and with these and 
figures,* they understood those things, they made them to 
be understood, and taught them. We found a great number 
of books of these letters, and that they should not have any- 
thing which had the superstition and the falsity of the devil 
in them, ive burnt them all, at which they were surprised, indeed, 
and much afflicted." 

By the side of these letters I will put a, b, c, etc., for their 
rudeness did not allow them our letters. They used for the 
sounds of their letters a character, and for the punctuation 
another, which was carried on ad infinitum, as will be seen by 
the example Le, which means " a lazo or noose" used in hunt- 
ing ; to write which in their characters, although it has only 
two letters, they wrote it with three, adding to the sound of 
the I the vowel e, which is before the word,f and afterwards, 
at the end, they put both together. 

Ha means ' ' water", because h, or its sound, has a, h, they 
place it rather before the a, and at the end, as seen in the 
example. J 

They thus write in part, but in one and the other manner ; 
and I would not have made mention of this subject, but that 
I wish to make known all about them. Ma in Kati means " I 

* These notes by B. de Bourbourg. It is to be regretted that Landa did not 
deem it of sufficient importance to have preserved these signs, with the 

f Landa's style is very obscure. It would seem there was a repetition of 
the second Le. 

X See p. 318 of the Relation, etc. The sign A found in the original after 
the sign ha; is this a sign of aspiration, sound, or a simple mark of the 
author's ? In the MSS. said to be Mexican, No. 2 in the Bib. Imp., there is 
often seen a similar sign of a horseshoe form; is this a sign of aspiration or 
sound ? Following Landa, it would seem that the word ha, water, is written 
with the two forms of h (the guttural and the aspirate), and a, and the following 
character is simply the symbolic sign of water ; which leads me to conclude 
that the Mayas, like the Egyptian, first gave the letter, then the figurative 
sign of thing to be written for greater certainty. 



do not care", which they write in parts, as seen in the example. 
Then there are the additional signs : as, variation of the 
letter a, No. 1; of the letter h; ha (water) or li guttural; 
Ma (probably me or mo) ; ti ; and the sign of aspiration (the 
horseshoe ?) " 


1. (19. p). In Landa's original MSS., the sign of the letter 
P is not in its right place, but in the margin with this sign A, 
which I find again between the characters o and pp. The 
resemblance will show that what I have taken above for the 
sign of aspiration (but on which subject I have still my doubts), 
has caused me to think it is an o aspirate (fig. 18), and the 
aspiration of the character (fig. 25). I nevertheless think it 
may have neither of the above meanings. 

2. (25. u). I have not been able to make out whether this 
is a u or any other letter, the MSS. being illegible. Subse- 
quent researches among the documents written by the aid of 
these characters will doubtless give the true sound, as well as 
those of c, cu, Ka, x y and z, relative to which there are some 

3. (27. z). The reader will find in the following page 
several monosyllabic signs, also variations of the letter a (1) 
and of the letter h (9). I may mention that there is also 
found among several of the characters representing the days, 
and that these appear to offer a series of syllabic signs, or 
figurative, employed together in the Maya writing, independ- 
ently of their signification as special characters of the days. 
[The same may be said of the characters representing the 
months. W. B.] 

4. We may observe that the Maya alphabet, according to 
the grammar of Pedro Beltran de Santa Maria, has twenty- 
two letters, of which the following Q (c reversed), cli, bam 
du haul, I replace by a ch, merely to distinguish it from k, pp, 
th (written sometimes tt), and tz, are proper to the language, 



and of a difficult pronunciation only to be learnt in the coun- 
try. The ch not barre has the sound of tch ; h is a guttural 
aspirate ; u has the sound of ou in French, replaced frequently 
by the w ; and the x the sound of ch in French, or sh in 

At page 120 of the Relation is the following. The Maya 
alphabet has not the letters d, f, g, q, r, s, which they did not 
appear to require; but they had to double others and add 
others : as, pa means " to open", and p'pa (pressing the lips 
firmly) means " to break" ; tan is " lime" or " ashes" ; and 
tan, pronounced strongly by the tongue and upper teeth, 
means "to speak". 


Mat of reeds, 


a Bat, Death's head, 
Tzoz or Zoc. Tzec. 

Feet, or to A well, 
The end, Summer, unite, or pure (?) First, 

Xul. YaxMn. Mol. Chen. Yax. 

White, Deer, Lid-cover, Yellow Sun, Strong (?) 

Zac. Ceh. Mac. Kankin. Huan, 

Musical Instrument, Song, Noise, Thunder, 
Pax. Kayab. Cumhu. 

The five days were Kan, Chiccan, Cimi, Manik, and Latitat. 

I 2 



Yellow, Little (?) Todie(?) Feast, 
Kan. Chicchan. Cimi. Manik* Lamat. 

To unite, Leg, Tree, Ladder, Go, 
Muluc. Oc.f Chuen.% Ebs. Ben. 

Rust, Wax, Sor- 

mildew, To build, copal, When(?) cery(?) 
lie. |! Men. Cib. Caban. Eznab. 

King, courage, A plant, 

Cauac. Ahau.'ft Ymix. Ik. Akbal. 

@ Q 

Note by W. Bollaert, from p. 166 of Ms South American 
Antiquities (Triibner, London). 

The Aymara language of Peru has a labial, dental, and 
guttural pronunciation peculiar to it. The first is designated 
as pp, being pronounced by emitting the respiration with 
force against the lips united, as ppia, a hole; ppampafia, to 
bury. The second, with tt, is done by the tongue being placed 
against the teeth, as tthanta, head, but which, if pronounced 
with force, would mean something knavish. The third, ch or 
h are pronounced in the throat, with this difference, that the 
first is more guttural, as choka, a tree ; Jcollke, money. Here 
we see a common character with the Maya. 

* Manik, current of wind. f Oc, that which can be held in the hollow of 
the hand. J Chuen, plank of white tree. Ben, expend with economy. 
j| Ix, collect fruit. "If Ahau, King, or period of twenty-four years. 



It may bo asked how Bishop Landa made out these symbols 
to be of an alphabetic character. 

At first ho would form a vocabulary from the sounds of 
words in the Maya with the Spanish, which would lead him 
to an explanation of the symbols representing the days, 
months, and years of the Maya calendar; and lastly, to the 
history of this aboriginal people. 

Landa has preserved to us the symbols of the eighteen 
months of the Maya year, and the symbols representing the 
twenty days of the month, with their Maya names in our letters. 
He has also given the whole of the annual calendar, one series 
commencing on the 1st of January = twelfth day, Ben, in the 
eighth month, Chen. The other series commencing the Maj-a 
year on the twelfth day, Kan, in the first month, Pop = to 
16th July. 








Mat of reeds. 















To die. 


Tzoz - 



Manik - 

Feast (?) 


Tzec - 

Death's head. 


Lamat - 



The end. 


Muluc - 

To unite. 


Yaxkin - 






Mol - 

To unite. 


Chuen - 



Chen - 

A well. 















Rust, mildew, 


Ceh - 




To build. 






Wax, copal. 


Kankin - 

Yellow Sun. 


Caban - 

When (?) 


Milan - 

Strong (?) 


Eznab - 

Sorcery (?) 



Musical Instrument 


Cauac - 


Kayab - 



Ahau - 



Cumhu - 

Noise, thunder. 





Air, courage. 

20. Akbul - A plant. 

The eighteen months were of twenty days = 360 days, to 
which were added five days ; viz., Kan, Chiccan, Cimi, Manik, 
and Lamat, to make up the 365 days of the solar year. 

I will give a short specimen of the Maya language : Lelo 
hit u tzolan ti Mayab TJaxab (vm) Ahau, or, "Epochs of the 
Maya history, beginning in the vm Ahau," or 401 a.d. 


We have still to ascertain if, with this alphabet of the 
ancient Mayas, the Yucatan cartouches, and perhaps some of 
the Mexican picture-writing, may be satisfactorily read.* 

* The Maya Language. Dr. Berendt, a German physician and naturalist, 
who has been for some twelve years a resident in Mexico and Central America, 
has recently succeeded in tracing to the possession of Mr. John Carter 
Brown, of Providence, a well-known collector of choice American books, 
a valuable MS. Dictionary of the Maya Language, as written three centuries 
ago. This work contains nearly 20,000 words, and was compiled by a Fran- 
ciscan monk in Yucatan, between the years 1570 and 1600. It contains 
synonymes and examples in addition to ordinary explanations, and is being 
transcribed by Dr. Berendt for publication. It is hoped that the work will 
assist materially in the explanation of many of the remarkable hieroglyphic 
inscriptions found in the monuments and ruins scattered through Central 
America. The Maya language is still taught in the schools of Yucatan, and 
many books have been printed in that language. Trubner's American and 
Oriental Literary Record, No. 1, March 16, 1865. 

In Revue Amir. Orientate, deuxieme serie, No. 4, 1864, there is an article by 
the learned Leon de Kosny on L'ecriture hilratique de V Amdrique Centrale (with 
plate containing the Alphabet hilratique). See Trubner's Record, No. 5, July 
10, 1865. M. de Eosny, in a note in the Revue Amer., observes, that MSS. 
in the Maya character are very rare indeed ; only two are known, one be- 
longing to the Bibliotheque Eoyale de Dresden, in a good state of preserva- 
tion ; the other, much deteriorated, in the Bibliotheque Imperiale of Paris. 
See an account of these two MSS. in the le Serie de la Revue Amdricaine, 
t. i, p. 35 (article with fae-siinile), and Ecritures figuratives et hieroglyphiques 
des diffdrens peuples anciens et modernes, p. 19. 

See vol. ii, p. 432-3, Stephens' Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan. 
Stephens unfortunately failed to obtain at Uxmal, in Yucatan, a beam of 
wood, on the face of which was a line of characters carved or stamped, almost 
obliterated, but which he made out to be hieroglyphics, and, so far as he 
could understand them, similar to those of Copan and Palenque. He 
observes, " By what feeble light the pages of American history are written ! 
There are at Uxmal no idols, as at Copan ; not a single stuccoed figure or 
carved tablets, as at Palenque. Except this beam of hieroglyphics, though 
searching earnestly, we did not discover any one absolute point of resem- 
blance ; and the wanton machete of an Indian may destroy the only link that 
connects them together. Don Simon Peon of Uxmal, or his family, may still 
be in possession of this beam." 


VI. Observations on the People Inhabiting Spain. By H. J. C. 
Beavan, F.R.G.S., F.A.S.L., Hon. Sec. A.S.L. 

That once great and glorions kingdom of Spain, the land 
of Gonsalo de Cordova, of Ferdinand and Isabella, of Lope 
de Vega, Calderon and Murillo, has again begun to take its 
proper place in the interest of men of literature and science. 
The beauty of its landscape and mountain scenery, the fertility 
of its soil, the richness of its mineral resources, and even the 
backward state of its agriculture and national industry, have 
begun to strike travellers and anthropologists, and to instil 
into their minds a hope that the day is not far distant when 
Spain will appear once more as a great power, purged by 
many troubles and sufferings of the evils and abuses that grew 
up side by side with her former glory and wealth, and which 
at length overwhelmed her. 

There is a wide field for the anthropologist in Spain, and it 
would, indeed, be a very difficult matter to grasp in any one 
paper, or in any one volume, a really good account of anthro- 
pology in that country, even if we had sufficient data for such 
a work, which at present we have not. Nobody, with the 
exception perhaps of Zamacola (Hist, de las Naciones Bascos), 
and one or two other authors, has paid much attention to the 
various races, and crosses of races, in Spain. These are so 
distinct, however, as to require for each a special history. 
The population of Spain, in fact, may be divided into four 
distinct races, the Spaniards Proper, the Basques, the de- 
scendants of the Moors, and the Gitanos, or gypsies. The 
Morescoes (or descendants of the Moors) are to some extent 
pure ; but the great majority of them have intermarried with 
Spaniards, producing thereby a race very much darker in 
feature than is usually the case in Spain, but with clear com- 
plexion and finely formed and beautiful features. These 
people are proud of their descent, and consider themselves 


the best blood of the country, however little real Spanish 
blood there may be in them. In Granada, as may be sup- 
posed, the type is especially to be seen ; and I have repeatedly 
noticed in that city faces so dark in colour that they could 
hardly be taken for European, while this colour gradually 
alters by marriage with Spaniards proper to a lighter tint. 
It is no unusual thing, in Malaga especially, and other towns 
on the south coast, to find the two extreme classes of com- 
plexion, the dark brown of the Moresco, and the red and 
white formed by a union between Spaniards and Germans. 
This mixture, I may add, seems to produce a very beautiful 
race ; and those I have myself noticed as the offspring of such 
a union, have been remarkable for fine complexion and cheer- 
ful expression of countenance. The features, however, are 
not so finely made as in the pure Spaniard. The Gitanos, or 
gypsies, the Basques, the Gallegos, and the Biscayans, have 
so many peculiarities which the other parts of the nation do not 
possess, and speak such a very different language hardly to 
be called even a patois of Castilian that it would be perfectly 
impossible to give even a general account, or to endeavour to 
grasp at once, or with any certainty, the ethnography of the 
kingdom of Spain. 

With regard to the general character of the inhabitants 
of the several provinces, Swinburne remarks, " The Cata- 
lonians appear to be the most active, stirring set of men, 
the best calculated for business, travelling, and manufactures. 
The Valencians are a more sullen, sedate race, better adapted 
to the occupation of husbandmen, less eager to change place, 
and of a much more timid, suspicious cast of mind than the 
former. The Andalucians seem to be the greatest talkers 
and rhodomontaders in Spain. The Castilians have a manly 
frankness, and less appearance of cunning and deceit. The 
New Castilians are, perhaps, the least industrious of the whole 
nation; the Old Castilians are laborious, and retain more of 
the ancient simplicity of manners ; both are of a firm deter- 
mined spirit. The Aragonese are a mixture of the Castilian 
and Catalonian, rather inclining to the former. The Biscayans 
are acute and diligent, fiery, and impatient of control, more 


resembling a colony of republicans than a province of an abso- 
lute monarchy; and the Gallicians are a plodding, painstaking 
race of mortals, that roam over Spain in search of a hardly 
earned subsistence." These latter, indeed, seem to be the 
u hewers of wood and drawers of water" throughout Spain, 
and in parts of Portugal likewise. Nearly all the porterage 
in Lisbon is performed by Gallegos; and on my first visit to 
that city, I was rather astonished to find a colony of foreigners 
doing the same work which the poor natives of any other city 
would be only too glad to do for the sake of a livelihood. 
These foreigners, however, differ in no respect from their 
brethren more than in the fact that they are industrious. The 
Portuguese are certainly more active than the Spaniards ; and 
for this reason I rather wonder at the Gallegos being permit- 
ted to take so much bread, so to speak, out of native mouths ; 
but long custom must be the only explanation. The Gallegos, 
in fact, are a thoroughly go-a-head set of people, and let nothing 
be lost for want of perseverance. In spite of this un- Spanish 
quality, however, tney appear to remain always porters and 
beasts of burden. Happy and contented, they will never rise 
much in the social scale, nor shine in politics or literature; 
they do not trouble themselves with revolutions or pronuncia- 
mentos, but live for work and work alone.* There are several 
large manufactories in their province, which are carried on 
with care and intelligence ; and in this, as well as in other 
branches of industry, the provinces of Cataluna, Biscaya, and 
Valencia stand second Gallicia, is, however, especially pre- 
eminent for real plodding work. 

The Basques, the ancient Vascones, deserve a rather longer 
account. Their nation for in reality it is little else, so dis- 
tinct is it from the rest of Spain in every possible way is 

* They are good sailors, but do not at the present day appear to care very 
much about the sea. As fishermen, their voyages are principally along their 
own dangerous coast, but a certain number of them are to be found on board 
the few luen-of-war owned by her Most Catholic Majesty. Corufia and 
Fei'rol, the two chief fitting-out yards for the Spanish navy, show that the 
Gallego's ancient love of the sea is not altogether lost ; but for all that, land 
suits him far better than water. 


divided into three provinces, the chief of which is Biscaya. 
The hard-working inhabitants obtain a living in a great mea- 
sure from the ironworks which have, comparatively lately, 
been established there ; but besides this, agriculture engages 
a great number, especially since the country is rather bleak 
and barren, with the exception of the valleys, and great care 
and attention are required to produce good crops. The Basques 
still possess their own laws, customs, and privileges, and are 
excessively tenacious of their peculiar rights. "All the 
Basques are noble by right, and hold rank as such ; and this 
fact imparts to them an air of dignity even among the lowest, 
and no doubt it has helped to maintain the good character 
they have always borne for honesty and integrity; for we 
know that self-respect, when not carried so far as arrogance 
and vanity, does much to raise a man's social and moral con- 

Zamacola, the historian of the Basque provinces, gives a 
very good description of the inhabitants, and appears to have 
been so enlightened a man as to have eVen had an idea of 
anthropology ; of ethnography he was certainly not ignorant, 
though no doubt his researches were superficial and sometimes 
of little real use. He has a great idea of the peculiar charac- 
teristics of the Basques. " Their education, genius, character, 
laws, honesty, generosity, games, music, and dances, and the 
inexhaustible love of their country, continue the same as in 
the times of Augustus and Tiberius." The ladies, he informs 
us, were nearly as strong as the men, " and the prize-ring 
held a great place in their affections; for they often fought 
with the men in a regular pitched battle, and frequently were 
the conquerors." This being the case, we cannot be surprised 
that the children of such mothers are, even at the present day, 
active and muscular. Of the moral effect of a ladies' prize- 
ring, I need say nothing ; no doubt it was all right in those 

General Serviez states that the Basques are descended from 
the ancient Bascones [Yascones] or Cantabri, and therefore 
from the Iberians, the primitive inhabitants of Spain. He 
says, " The people have occupied a very important place in 


the annals of antiquity, and were the terror and hatred of 
the Komans, even when the latter were at the highest point of 
their power. Hannibal, who allied himself to the Basques, 
owed a great number of his victories to their valour and in- 
trepidity ; and when he was abandoned by them, the power of 
Carthage was destroyed in Spain and Africa." He likewise 
praises their honesty, hospitality, and industry. Bowles, who 
visited Biscaya in 1780, says, "Whoever seeks native sim- 
plicity, health, and real happiness, will undoubtedly find these 
blessings in these mountains ; it is in them that he will find in 
general a people, if not opulent, really contented, true patriots, 
and not servilely submitting to the powerful. Everyone pos- 
sesses something; and in general it is considered disgraceful 
to be a beggar." 

The Basques are, as may be imagined, rather prejudiced 
and obstinate, and dislike severe discipline, or being governed 
by officials from other parts of Spain. Gonsalo de Cordova, who 
had many of them under him in Sicily, said "he would rather 
keep lions than Biscayans." I need say but a word concerning 
their language, the Euskara (or Muskaldunac) , as they call it, 
which is so peculiar to themselves.* It was supposed for some 
time to be a dialect of the Celtic ; but it would seem in reality 
to be a distinct language, which once was spoken all over the 
peninsula. This of course can be but conjecture; but there 
seems to be good ground for considering it to be the fact, and 
William von Humboldt published some curious results of his 
inquiries into the matter in 1821, at Berlin. f The Spaniards 
Proper have no knowledge whatever of the Basque language ; 
and all those who have conversed with me on the subject seem 
to consider it as a completely foreign tongue. Indeed, the 
inhabitants of the part of Spain with which I am best ac- 

* According to Max M tiller, it is neither Aryan nor Semitic, and has 
thrown out a greater abundance of verbal forms than almost any known 
language. Lee. Sc. Lang., 2 ser., p. 20. 

f " Even as the mother tongue of the present Welsh was originally the 
language of the whole of Britain, so was the mother tongue of the present 
ue the language of the whole of the Spanish peninsula." E. B., v. 9, 
p. 351. 


quainted, the south, look upon it as a barbarous idiom, quite 
unworthy of any attention on the part of a Castilian or Anda- 
lucian. La lengua Cristiana, as they call their own language, 
is the only one, in their ideas, fit to be spoken, ; and some old 
authors, I believe, declare it to be the language of the angels, 
although the natives of Wales and Scotland lay claim to the 
same honours for their euphonious tongues. 

Very little is known about the ethnography of the Basques as 
a nation. Zamacola, however, informs us that they speak the 
primitive language of the earth, the same language which 
was spoken by the first inhabitants of the world ; or, as he 
cautiously remarks, if it is not the real primitive tongue, it is 
one of its immediate descendants. By this, and other obser- 
vations, he appears to intimate his belief that the Basques 
have continued as they are now from the beginning of the 
creation of man; that they have remained unaltered in all 
important matters, both physical and moral, with the one ex- 
ception of religion, with little or no intellectual gradation from 
ancient to modern times. Our old author, then, cannot be 
charged with having any Darwinian opinions, but may be con- 
sidered to have been a firm believer in primeval Basques. 

Carl Vogt says (Lectures on Man, p. 381), "These Basques 
are just the most remarkable people . . . which exist on the 
earth, differing in every respect from all the surrounding 
peoples. They possess a language, the analogue of which has 
only been met with in America." Dr. Broca remarks (p. 382), 
"The Basques much approach the African longheads; they 
much resemble the Negroes by the form of the cerebral skull, 
which in this respect deviates but little from the orthognathous 
African races. I must, however, add that the Basques differ 
from all African races, even the whitest and most ortho- 
gnathous, by the smallness of their upper jaw, the slight de- 
velopment of the cerebellar protuberance, and the relative 
shrinking of the occipital protuberance. These characters 
equally distinguish the Basques from the European, races. I 
conclude, hence, that in searching for the origin of the Basques 
out of the Basque country, their ancestors will be found 
neither among the Celts, nor the rest of the Indo-European 


nations, but that our investigations must be directed towards 
northern Africa. Europe was at a remote period, no doubt, 
connected with Africa ; we need, therefore, not feel surprised 
to find affinities between the primitive inhabitants of both 
parts of the world, even if it were not known that many 
migrations had, in ancient times, taken place across the Straits 
of Gibraltar." Carl Vogt seems inclined to the idea of a 
former emigration from America to the Bay of Biscay, " per- 
haps by way of the connecting land between Florida and our 
own continent, which is now submerged in the sea, but which, 
according to all probability, was at least in the middle tertiary 
(miocene) period still above water"* {Lectures on Man, p. 383). 

Laborde gives us very little information concerning the 
ethnography of the Basques. He merely mentions their cha- 
racter in general terms, and has a good deal to say about their 
extreme haughtiness, conceit, and pride, which is not of any 
importance to an anthropologist. The Abbe de Yayrac, who 
wrote in 1719, gives a very curious account of the Basques. 
Among other things, he notices that in the year 200 B.C., they 
sailed to Ireland in boats made of trunks of trees covered with 
leather, and seized on part of that country. As, however, he 
appears never to have visited Spain himself, his observations 
may be recommended as curious in many respects, but cannot 
be taken as authorities for Basque ethnography or character. 
It is a pity that old writers should have been content to accept 
as truth so many circumstances, which a little investigation 
would have disproved. In future, anthropology will doubtless 
make a chapter in all important works of travel, and the inform- 
ation we shall thereby obtain will be of the greatest possible 
use to students of that science. 

The first aim of a Spanish historian and ethnographist, how- 
ever, is the exaltation of his own country ; and anybody who 
has ever studied the literature of Spain, must have noticed 
how fond the authors are of mixing up unauthoritative, nay, 
even puerile legends, with matters of serious import. We 

* Since this was written, I find that Professor Wilson has quoted some of 
M. Broca's remarks on this subject in his paper on the ** Physical Charac- 
teristics of the Ancient and Modern Celt/' in the Anthrop. Rev., No. 8, p. 59. 


must be very cautious, then, how we take the ideas of Spanish 
writers concerning the ethnography of their own country. 
They gain so much of their so-called authority from legends, 
that but few can be taken as giving us much reliable informa- 
tion on the subject. One of the best of these writers, Don 
Miguel Alcantara, informs us that the first invaders of Spain 
were chiefly composed of volunteers from Arabia, to whom 
were added various adventurers from Egypt, the Libanus, the 
plains of Jordan, of Mesopotamia, and Persia. The Egyptians, 
he adds, settled in Murcia, Estremadura, and Portugal; the 
Syrians in Honda, and other places ; the Persians in Huete ; 
the adventurers from the Jordan, in Malaga, etc., etc. ; while 
ten thousand cavaliers from Damascus could find no place at 
all in which to settle. He gives 744 a.d. as the date of these 

We know comparatively but very little indeed concerning 
the languages or dialects spoken in Spain before it became a 
Roman province. Strabo says (lib. iii, p. 139), that various 
dialects were in use in his time among the inhabitants of the 
Peninsula, and that the Turdetani had a written code of laws 
in verse. " The Phoenicians and Greeks who settled in Spain," 
another authority informs us, u must also have introduced their 
own languages ; whilst the Celts, who occupied the north- 
western districts, spoke their own tongue.* During the Ro- 
man domination, all these seem to have made room for the 
Latin, except in the north and north-west of the Peninsula, 
where the Basque was and still is generally spoken." After 
the invasion of Spain in the fifth century by the northern 
nations, who did not endeavour to introduce their own tongue, 
a corrupted Latin was spoken, the original purity of the same 
having been altered by the addition of many foreign words, or 
by a change in many words formerly used. Succeeding this 
age of corrupted Latin, came "the Arabs, whose language 
must at one time have been very generally spoken in the 

* Bory de St. Vincent mentions these people as the " Celtic race, whose 
cradle was, among other places, in Spain, which probably at that time formed 
part of Africa" {V Homme, vol. i, p. 122). 


Peninsula. Alvarus Cordubensis, a writer of the tenth cen- 
tury, informs us, in his Judiculus Luminosus, that out of one 
thousand Christians, scarcely one could be found capable of 
repeating the Latin forms of prayer ; while many could express 
themselves in Arabic with rhetorical elegance, and even com- 
pose verses in that language. Nearly two centuries after the 
taking of Toledo by Alfonso the Sixth, Arabic was still spoken 
there in preference to the Castilian, and most legal writings, 
even between Christian parties, were made in Arabic. Up to the 
end of the thirteenth century, the kings of Aragon were in 
the habit of signing their names with the letters of the Arabic 
alphabet. On the taking of Seville by Ferdinand the Third, 
it was deemed necessary to translate the Gospels into Arabic, 
in order to instruct the Christian population of that city in the 
duties of religion, which, as well as their native language, 
they had completely forgotten during their long captivity. Of 
these heterogeneous materials the modern Spanish language is 
formed, although it would be difficult to say at what time it 
began to assume its present shape. Bouterwek thinks that 
the Castilian tongue had its origin before the Saracen invasion ; 
whilst Dr. Puigblanch has gone so far as to assert that it was 
the sister of the Latin, and existed as early, at least, as the 
times of the Roman republic. How far the Arabic has con- 
tributed to the formation of the modern Spanish is a contested 
point among Spanish critics ; some, like Mayans* (Origenes de 
la lengua Gastellana, vol. i, p. 27), asserting that it has only 
borrowed a few words from the language of the conquerors ; 
others, like Conde, pretending that the Castilian is so much 
indebted to the Arabic, not only in its vocabulary, but in its 
idioms and phrases, that it ought to be regarded as a dialect of 
the Arabic" (P. Gijdo., vol. xxii, p. 301). 

So much for the opinions of one or two learned men on the 
Spanish language, which, however, requires a far more careful 
and detailed notice than is possible to be given here. What 
has been said must be taken merely as a note on the subject, 
as the philological question would demand for itself alone a 

* D. Gregorio Mayans y Siscar, who wrote in 1737. 


long and elaborate paper. The two opinions,, however, which 
have been quoted, are most probably extreme. No person who 
has any acquaintance with Spanish, and more especially the 
Spanish of Andalucia, can doubt the existence of Arabic words 
in its composition. In fact, many Arabic phrases are still in 
use in ordinary conversation, especially in the country around 
Granada and Malaga. These words, however, have become 
almost Spanish from long use ; and one in particular is to be 
found in the Diccionario de la Academia, although in reality it is 
pure Arabic. The old Arabic names of places and streets are 
retained in many towns ; but this is especially the case in 
Granada, where everything reminds the traveller and archaeo- 
logist of the past glories of the Moors. Granada, indeed, both 
for position, scenery, and interest, is the most exquisite place 
I have ever seen. 

As a contrast to the industry of the Basque, we may take 
the Valencian. It can hardly be supposed that they inhabit 
the same land, so essentially different are they in everything. 
" The Valencian," says the Chevalier de Bourgoanne, " is the 
most idle and, at the same time, the most supple individual 
that exists. All the tumblers and mountebanks of Spain come 
from the kingdom of Valencia" (T. in Spain, iii, p. 343). This is 
a point, perhaps, which strikes the anthropologist most in Spain, 
that the number of provinces seeming to possess a separate 
race is so great. It is hardly the case with any other country. 
Many nations possess inhabitants who speak a patois, or half 
a dozen different patois, but they are all, as a rule, capable of 
being understood by one another ; but such is not the case in 
Spain. A Castilian laughs at an Andalucian, but can under- 
stand him ; but most of the other provinces cannot do so at all. 
The Andalucian can hardly understand the Catalonian; the 
Valencian cannot understand the Gallego ; and neither of them 
can make out the Bomani or the Basque. 

Spain is, indeed, a most interesting and rich country for the' 
anthropologist and the philologist ; while in beauty of scenery 
and climate it is second to none. " Though the Spaniards 
are naturally men of wit and of an elevated genius, yet little 
progress in the sciences is to be expected from them while the 


clergy use their utmost efforts to keep them in ignorance, 
branding all literary researches with the name of heresy, and 
inveighing against the seats of the Muses as the schools of 
hell, where the devil teaches sorcery." Although this sweep- 
ing condemnation of science has altered for the better, it is 
even now a well-known fact among travellers that the Spanish 
clergy oppose education, and consequently science, with all their 
might ; and of course this opposition was much more powerful 
and serious when the country was overrun with monks and 
friars. The ignorance of the Spanish clergy at the present 
day may have much to do with their dislike of learning, for it 
would never be fitting that the parishioners should be more 
accomplished and better educated than their priest and spiritual 
adviser. As it is, however, the people have that idea of the 
priesthood, that no person of respectability will allow his son 
to enter the religious colleges to prepare for orders, unless 
poverty compels him to do so. This is much to be deplored ; 
and we may reasonably hope for better days in the future, 
whenever Spanish self-sufficiency is exchanged for useful and 
earnest reform. It is almost certain that improvement is 
desired, and there'is a sufficiency of both colleges and schools ; 
but the fault seems to lie chiefly with the teachers, who know 
very little, and are jealous of anybody being better educated 
than themselves. The present generation, however, which is 
feebly commencing the good work, will find to its sorrow that 
it would have been far better had the notion, that ignorance 
keeps a people quiet, been examined into a little more carefully 
years ago, and its fallacy proved. 

We have full evidence, however, that in the times of the 
Moors learning and art were properly appreciated, and both 
literature and science were cultivated in the golden age of the 
Arabs with great success. In the reign of Abdalrahman we 
find, according to M. Peyron, who is quoted by the Chevalier 
cle Bourgoanne, in his Travels in Spain,* that science was as 
much esteemed as in our own times, and that poetry was at 
the summit of its glory. " The poet," he says, " in this 

* Essai sur I'Espagne, par Peyron, vol. iii, p. 28, 1789. 



climate, in which pleasure and imagination jointly reigned, 
shared in the veneration which the public had for his works j 
the number of academies and universities increased in Cor- 
dova and Granada ; even women gave public lectures on 
poetry and philosophy ; and literary resources abounded in 
proportion to the progress of science. I recollect to have 
read that at that time there were seventy public libraries in 
Spain." Some years ago there were only sixteen remain- 
ing, and I do not imagine many have been established of 
late years.* 

One of the great desiderata to the student of anthropology 
in Spain is a good collection of Spanish skulls. I am sure 
that, with care and attention, a most interesting and valuable 
collection might be obtained, which would fully repay any 
trouble which might be taken in getting them sent to this 
country. From all accounts they vary more than in most 
kingdoms, and even the superficial observer will notice their 
peculiarities in the course of a residence in Spain. In the 
Asturias, for instance, the inhabitants had a curious habit of 
flattening the back of a child's head as soon as it was born. 
How this was done we know not, for M. de Laborde, who 
mentions the fact,f does not explain the process; but very 
probably it was effected in the same manner as is usual among 

* With regard to M. Peyron's mention of the strong-minded women who 
taught poetry and philosophy, I may remark that we find an equal amount 
of learning among such ladies in the reign of Philip II : " Isabella de Joya 
attracted universal admiration at Eome, during the pontificate of Paul III, 
by the easy and ingenious solutions which she gave in the presence of the 
Cardinals of some of the most subtle questions in the works of Scotus. At 
the same time Louisa Sige, born at Toledo, but of French extraction, was 
able to converse in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac; she also 
wrote a letter in the above five languages to the Pope, Paul III. Juana 
Morella, a native of Barcelona, but educated in France, sustained at Lyons, 
in 1607 (being then twelve years old), public theses in philosophy ; at the 
age of seventeen, she repeated this public exhibition in the college of the 
Jesuits ; she was equally learned in philosophy, theology, law, and music, 
and conversed in fourteen languages." M. de Laborde, Itineraire desc. de 
VEspagne, vol. vi, p. 1G0. Several other instances are mentioned which arc 
hardly worth repeating here. 

f Itineraire descriptif de VEspagne, vol. vi, p. 463, 1830. 


some North American tribes, who likewise are accustomed to 
distort the heads of their newly -born infants. If any skulls 
had been obtained from the Asturias, and I do not know 
whether there are any to be found either in public or private 
collections, this fact would, no doubt, have given rise to many 
theories of race and cranial formation, unless the custom above 
mentioned were known to anthropologists. Laborde mentions 
it as having been usual in his time, but I cannot say whether 
it is so at the present day. I have communicated with some 
friends of mine in Spain with the view of obtaining some 
specimens of Asturian and Basque skulls, but I find that 
at present the difficulty of doing so is so great, that I fear 
we shall have to wait some time before our museum can 
boast of any reliable specimens. However, the Anthropolo- 
gical Society lately established at Madrid, to which, I am sure, 
we all wish every prosperity and success, may possibly be able 
to assist us in this matter. 

In concluding these few remarks, I must express a hope 
that ere long we may have some really useful and reliable in- 
formation concerning anthropology in Spain. The field is a 
new one ; it is rich in many ways ; and I think with time and 
attention that a large number of facts may be obtained which 
will be of service to our society, in the prosecution of its 
studies of the science of man. 



VII. Remarks on Genealogy in connexion with Anthropology. 
By George W. Marshall, LL.M., F.A.S.L. 

Genealogy, or the tracing of the descent of individuals, and 
through them of nations, from some common progenitor, is a 
subject of vital importance to a society which includes among 
its various objects that of investigating the laws of man's 
origin and progress. I have, therefore, no apology to offer for 
the very cursory observations I am about to make concerning 
the means it affords us of becoming better acquainted with the 
history of mankind, and with the origin of different nations. 
I desire that my remarks may be considered as merely sug- 
gestive of some of the ways in which the study of the pedi- 
grees of individual families can be made practically useful to 
the student of anthropology. It is not my intention to offer 
facts drawn from the history of any particular family ; all I 
shall attempt to do is to call your attention to the kind of facts 
to be gleaned from the labours of the genealogist. 

Here I should observe, that a taste for genealogy is a pas- 
sion inherent in the whole human race. In all nations, civilised 
and uncivilised, in all times, ancient as well as modern, we 
find mankind carefully preserving the names and relationship 
of those from whom they claim descent. How does this taste 
arise ? I should say that it is owing to such circumstances as 
in the early stages of society render one man capable of obtain- 
ing better food and more suitable clothing than another, or to 
the chances which have placed him in a climate better adapted 
to his constitution ; hence, as civilisation extends, he becomes 
physically less coarsely made, and eventually more intellectu- 
ally developed; from these things combined, his descend- 
ants become a race more refined, both bodily and mentally, 
than those who have in the mean time been going on labouring 
for their daily bread, or struggling for existence against ad- 
verse circumstances. Some few generations of refined ances- 


tors become, therefore, a sort of guarantee that those who can 
show them are to a certain extent superior to those who can- 
not. From the desire to prove and assert this superiority 
comes the very natural love of genealogy. 

It is admitted that ethnology is an important part of anthro- 
pology ; and are not ethnology and genealogy essentially the 
same ? Have not the ethnologist and genealogist the same 
object in view ? If they differ, is it not only in this, that the 
ethnologist studies man by grouping him into different large 
races ; whilst the genealogist seeks to know him more com- 
pletely by studying him in individual families ? The genea- 
logist is, in fact, the architect who builds up the structure of 
the science of man, stone upon stone, and story upon story. 
He is the author who compiles the history of man, of which 
the ethnologist, like a reviewer, presents to the public a 
general sketch of the contents. 

Genealogy assists us to view man in his two great aspects, 
physical and intellectual. These seem to be so dependent 
upon each other, that I do not see how we can study man in 
one without at the same time regarding him in the other. A 
better knowledge of the genealogy of individual families would 
do much to settle the question as to whether the intellectual 
development of man is the result of physical refinement. Some 
people will tell you that there have been many talented men 
who have had no pedigrees, and conclude from this that the 
refinement of the body has therefore no necessary influence on 
the intellect. I must here state that, when I speak of a man 
" having a pedigree," I mean to say that some two or three 
generations at least of his fathers have been in better circum- 
stances than the generality of their fellow men. I do not wish 
to argue that the longest line of refined ancestors will neces- 
sarily produce the most refined descendant. This most im- 
portant question as to how far an individual is influenced by 
the condition in life, or educational training of his ancestors, 
is one which, if it can be solved at all, can be solved by the 
genealogist, and by him alone. If we assume, as some have 
dojie, that God has created all men equal, that one man is as 
capable of high mental cultivation as another, we must then 


admit that all deductions from the history of our ancestors are 
useless, and that the study of genealogies is a mere waste of 
time ; but if one man is so constituted that he is capable of 
higher cultivation than his fellows, of which I can conceive no 
reasonable doubt, then by finding out what manner of men his 
ancestors were, we may be enabled in some measure to dis- 
cover what modes of life and what kind of alliances will best 
develope the perfect man. Again, it is from a study of gene- 
alogy that we shall see most clearly the result of consanguineous 
marriages. Those who argue that such marriages produce, or 
do not produce insanity, and base their conclusions on sta- 
tistics of certain matches, personally or otherwise known to 
them, can agree in no definite conclusion. Suppose that the 
history of several families, who for generations had been in the 
habit of contracting consanguineous alliances, was investigated, 
would not the descendants of such connexion be much better 
types of the result of consanguinity than the offspring of one 
consanguineous marriage only ? And are not all of us the 
offspring of persons more or less nearly related ? If we are 
not, look at the result, which at first sight appears almost in- 
credible. I quote from Mr. Lower's Contributions to Literature, 
p. 211 : 

" The following considerations will serve to show how won- 
derfully men and families are knit together by the ties of 
blood. When one reflects that his ancestry doubles in every 
ascent, or to speak more correctly, increases in a twofold 
geometrical progression, he will easily see this. Thus, as 
everybody has one father, two grandfathers, four great-grand- 
fathers, eight great-grandfathers, and so on (the case being, of 
course, the same on the female side), if we go back to the 
time of King John, which (allowing three generations to a 
century) would be about nineteen generations, we shall find 
that in the space of little more than six centuries every one of 
us can boast of the astounding number of five hundred and 
twenty-four thousand two hundred and eighty-eight ancestors ; 
that is to say, that the blood of more than half a million of 
the human race flows in our veins At the fortieth re- 
move, a period extending over about sixteen or seventeen 


hundred years, the total number of a man's progenitors 
amounts to more than a million millions !" 

A study of family genealogy would show many curious par- 
ticulars of human hybridity. We have only to look at the 
faces which meet us every day in the street to see the features 
of the four dominant classes which in turn governed England, 
still strongly marked in the appearance of their descendants, 
though now united into one people, with the same general 
characteristics. How often do we talk of family likeness, and 
yet how little do we know or care about its causes. "We speak 
of certain peculiarities " running in families," as the colour of 
the hair, the size of the hands, tallness or shortness, big noses 
or little noses, or gout, or scrofula, but how these differences 
are caused we are almost always unable to explain. That they 
do exist, and do descend from one generation to another is a 
fact which I do not suppose anyone is bold enough, or rather 
foolish enough, to deny. We see the same in the brute crea- 
tion. We preserve the pedigrees of our racehorses; for it is 
only by careful breeding, and more or less freedom from toil, 
i hat they become superior to the carthorse. The Koman poet 
not only recognised family characteristics in man, but speaks 
of them as common to the brutes : 

Fortes creanttir fortibus, et bonis : 
Est in juvencis, est in equis patruni 
Virtus : * 

But the problem for us to solve is how these differences arise, 
and what changes they work in successive generations. And 
this, so far as human reason will permit us to find out, is to be 
ascertained through the labours of the genealogist. To see the 
peculiarities of different families is easy ; but in order to learn 
how they acquired those peculiarities, we must endeavour to as- 
certain their common progenitors. I am quite aware that it is 
impossible to substantiate any pedigree by legal proof for more 
than a few hundred years ; yet, perhaps, more might be learnt 
from one such a descent than from studying the general appear- 
ance of many persons whose relationship cannot be ascertained. 

* Horace, lib. iv, ode 4. 


VIII. On Certain "Simious" Skulls, with especial reference to a 
Skull from Louth, inlr eland. By C.Carter Blake,F.A.S.L., 
F.G.S., Curator, Librarian, and Assistant- Secretary of the 
Anthropological Society of London, and Foreign Associate 
of the Anthropological Societies of Paris and Spain. 

The skull now exhibited is the property of the Anthropological 
Society of London. It was presented to their museum bv 
Capt. Montgomery Moore, who obtained it from Louth Abbey, 
in Ireland. Nothing more is known of its history. 

The attention which has been drawn, during the last few 
years, to the celebrated skull from the Neanderthal in Ger- 
many, has rendered any skull which at all resembles it, in its 
most striking aspects, of peculiar interest. I need scarcely 
recapitulate what the distinctive characters of the Neanderthal 
skull were said to be, as its ponderous brow-ridges, and the 
peculiar character afforded by its sutures, are familiar to all 
who have read Dr. Barnard Davis's excellent paper on it.* 

It was, I believe, left to M. Pruner-Beyf to be the first who 
pointed out the close resemblance between the skull from the 
Neanderthal and those of existing Irishmen. The arguments 
brought forward by him are so fresh in our memory that I 
need only refer to them here. Prof. William King, J of Gal- 
way, in his comparison of the Neanderthal skull with the more 
normal examples of human crania, refers frequently to a skull 
from Corcomroo Abbey, county Clare, Ireland, which, from his 
description, appears to present some points of affinity with the 
skull from Louth now exhibited. 

I have said that M. Pruner-Bey, in his arguments for the 
Celtic character of the Neanderthal skull, rests much of his 
case on the extreme proportions of dolichocephaly exhibited 
by it (Gran. Index, 72). This dolichocephaly he considers to 

* Memoirs of the Anthropological Society of London, vol. i, p. 281. 
t Journal of the Anthropological Society of London, vol. ii, p. cli. 
r Quarterly Journal of Science, January 1864. 


The dark line in Fig. 3 shows the contour of the " Neanderthal " Skull. 

Mk.m. Anthb. Soc. Lond. Yol. II. To face p. 75. 


be an exaggeration of the Celtic characters ; in fact, adopting 
the opinion which Retzius has so widely circulated, that the 
early Celts were a long-headed (dolichocephalic) race, in oppo- 
sition to the short-headed prehistoric population of " Turanian" 
affinity who inhabited western Europe, prior to the arrival of 
the Celts, and whose modified descendants were supposed to 
be identifiable with the Basques, Laplanders, Rhoetians, etc. 
This theory of course rests on its own basis. It has been 
recently so severely criticised and ably defended in Paris, that 
it will here be merely necessary to call our attention to the 
fact that a certain long-headed type of skull is conventionally 
associated in our minds with the idea of the " Celt." We are, 
of course, aware that many early Briton (undoubtedly ancient) 
remains (e. g. those described by Dr. B. Davis from " Celtic" 
burial places in Northumberland) exhibit a short-headed form* 
of skull ; we are far from denying that the true typical Celt in 
England at least may be brachycephalic; but the confusion 
which has arisen on this subject appears rather to rest upon the 
supposition that one uniform race of men overspread western 
Europe prior to the great Teutonic, Sclavonic, and Roman migra- 
tions. So far as regards France, M. Paul Broca has overturned 
this theory. He has shown that widely distinct races of men in- 
habited France at the earliest period; the researches of Dr. 
Thurnam On the Principal Forms of Gaulish and British Skulls,f 
appear to lead to a similar result. Under these circumstances, 
we may be content to admit the fact that in Ireland we have an 
extremely ancient dolichocephalic form of skull ; in England, 
an extremely ancient brachycephalic form ; in both countries, 
other and discordant types are to be discovered in river-beds 
of the highest antiquity ; turning eastward, the most ancient 
caves of Belgium appear to afford us another and distinct 
long-headed type ; whilst the Danish tumuli present to us a 
form which, although brachycephalic, differs most entirely 
from the brachycephaly of such ancient English skulls as those 
from Gristhorpe or Codford.J 

Trails. Berwickshire Nat. Field Club, p. 412. 

f Memoirs of the Anthropological Society of London, vol. i, pp. 120, 459. 

I Thurnam, loc. cit. 


Any of the above types of skull may be considered by an 
observer as " Celtic" ; and should this word hereafter be proved 
to have any meaning, which may be reasonably doubted, any- 
one will be at liberty to select that skull which he chooses 
to represent the typical Celt. I shall, therefore, not again 
employ the word " Celt " in this paper, but merely apply 
the words " ancient Irish" to denote such skulls, e. g. as are 
to be found at Louth or Corcomroo. The so-called " river- 
bed" skulls of Borris and Blackwater will be excluded from 
the category, and future observers must find their true place. 

In commencing the description of the Louth skull, I would 
remark that it is ovately dolichocephalic. The browridges are 
large, and the points of muscular attachment are well marked. 
I shall, however, depart from the usual course in description, 
by passing at once to the characters presented by the sutures 
of the skull. 

Condition of the Sutukes. The frontal suture has been 
early obliterated. No trace whatever exists. 

The length of the sagittal suture is 11 '4 centimetres. 
Throughout the whole of the posterior two- thirds of its 
length, obliteration has proceeded to such an extent as entirely 
to obscure the indications which would have shown its propor- 
tions, direction, or serration. The anterior third of the suture 
shows, however, slight traces of the suture, afforded by at 
least one wavy sinuosity, by which it is clear that this part, at 
least, of the suture was marked during early life by deep re- 
entering processes from either parietal bone. The posterior 
end of the sagittal suture is not at first sight easily re- 
cognisable. It is, however, discernible by the fact that the 
mineralising process, which has obliterated the greatest part 
of the lambdoid suture, has fortunately left a slight space 
untouched where the lambdoid and sagittal have united. The 
preservation of this spot is of the greatest importance. Firstly, 
its presence enables the observer to measure correctly the true 
length of the sagittal suture ; secondly, it permits him to 
estimate the relative height of that part of the supraoccipital 
bone which intervenes between the inion and the highest part 
of the lambdoidal suture. This second point, we shall see, is 


of' the greatest importance when we investigate into the form 
of the occiput in this skull, and compare it with such a one, 
for example, as that from Neanderthal. 

The lambdoidal suture is present on each side, in an upward 
direction, for about two inches from its junction with the 
additamentum mastoidalis. On the left side, close to this 
junction, a complex wormian bone intervenes, forming a well- 
defined " eyot" in the upward track of the suture. At least 
twenty-one serrations can be counted on the left side, and 
(probably) more than eight on the right. The reason for this 
difference can be easily explained. The skull has lain so long 
on the right side that the mineralising process has more easily 
obliterated traces of the dextral suture. It is deeply to be 
reoretted that this cause has led to the fact that the whole 


upper part of the lambdoid is not easily recognisable. While 
pointing out the existence of the spot above alluded to, which 
shows the junction of the lambdoid and sagittal sutures, there 
are some slight indications which lead me to think it very 
probable that a small triquetral wormian bone cut off the 
superior corner of the supraoccipital. This conjecture is borne 
out by examination of the bony structure under a strong lens ; 
but I wish it to be understood that it is merely as a con- 
jecture that I offer it. Howbeit, this fact cannot in any way 
affect the absolute length of the sagittal suture. 

The coronal suture offers some points of interest. Com- 
mencing on the right side, immediately above the postorbital 
ridges, many and deep serrations exist which render the suture 
exceedingly complex, and which extend for more than an inch 
upwards towards the vertex : above this complexity the coronal 
suture on the right side has, no doubt, since death, been 
obliterated almost entirely. At the vertex, the precise spot of 
its junction with the sagittal requires the use of the lens for 
its detection. But on the left side, where no artificial causes 
exist to exaggerate the characters of the suture, its shape is 
more easily discernible. Partial obliteration has extended 
throughout the whole of its course, excepting the portion so 
deeply serrated above the postorbital and temporal ridges. 

The condition of the sutures around the alisphenoid bone 


demands our special attention. It is only necessary to say 
that on the left side the spheno-frontal and spheno-parietal 
sutures are entirely closed, whilst not the slightest trace exists 
of their direction. It is just within the scope of probability 
that a wormian bone cut off the end of the posterior lateral 
ala, as the bone seems to show some trace of division; but 
this speculation rests merely on the vaguest conjecture. The 
squamosal bone overlaps the alisphenoid, as is normal. 

Turning, however, to the right side, the shape of the 
posterior edge of the alisphenoid becomes manifest. A long 
narrow tongue of bone extends in front of the squamosal, and 
is partially confluent with the parietal, especially at the extreme 
anterior corner of the latter. It has also become, to a less 
extent, though still definitely, coalescent with the frontal bone. 
This coalescence is especially interesting, as, although upon 
the right side of the skull, it has taken place upon a spot 
apparently free from the erosive action which has taken 
place on the posterior right portion of the skull. In fact, the 
answer to any critic who might say that the conditions which 
I have attributed to synostosis are due to the eroded character 
of the skull, is afforded by the fact that the greatest evidence 
of synostosis is on the left, the greatest evidence of erosion 
on the right side of the skull. Where synostosis most pre- 
vails, erosion is absent, and vice versa. 

It is only necessary to say that, with respect to the squa- 
mous suture, no peculiarities meet the eye of the observer. 
The connexion between the mastoid and squamosal bones is 
obliterated to a great extent, but not more so than is usually 
observable in aged individuals. 

I now turn to the other characters of the skull. 

The browridges are exceedingly peculiar. Enormous frontal 
sinuses have developed a bony bridge, which extends above 
the eyes throughout the whole length of the supraciliaries, and 
is thickest and most pronounced immediately below the gla- 
bella. The supraorbital canal on the right side is higher than 
on the left. Proportionately to the size of the ridge, the 
supranasal notch does not appear deep. 

The forehead is rather low and retrocedent, apparently ren- 


dered more so by the great size of the supraciliary ridges. 
The curve of the frontal bone, backwards and upwards, is 
equable and smooth. When a line from the glabella to the 
inion is made horizontal, the greatest height of the skull is 
situated about an inch behind the junction of the sagittal and 
coronal sutures. When the Abbe Frere's line from the meatus 
auditorius to the centre of the coronal suture is made vertical, 
the most posterior part of the skull is situated about one inch 
and a half lower than the apex of the lambdoid suture, and 
the same distance above the inion. The line of greatest 
breadth of the skull will be found in a line drawn from the 
spot of greatest height to the apex of the mastoid process. 
The parietal bones are very slightly flattened between the line 
of the sagittal and the line of attachment of the temporal 
muscle. The traces of the latter are not remarkably prominent. 

Below the superior semicircular line of the occipital bone, 
which is exceedingly large and well defined, the occiput shelves 
gradually down to the foramen magnum. Although this por- 
tion of the surface shows well-defined marks of attachment for 
the recti cajpiti antici muscles^ yet there is no trace of a par- 
occipital process. The mastoids are rather large ; but the 
digastric fossa is not proportionally so deep as might have 
been expected. The postcondyloid foramen on the left side, 
although it has been broken, has evidently been large. The 
base of the skull, as well as the maxilla, does not otherwise 
present any points of interest. It is much to be regretted 
that the lower jaw is absent. 

From the above description of the skull, I consider that the 
following conclusions can safely be drawn. 

The contracted forehead is due to the premature closing 
of the sutures surrounding the alisphenoid bone, and the lower 
medial part of the coronal suture. In early life, the frontal 
and alisphenoid bones being firmly united with the adjacent 
ones in such a way as to form a bony plate, the same conditions 
were observed as were described by Dr. B. Davis, in his paper 
on the Neanderthal skull. 

u It will thus be seen that there is nothing either of a 
simious character, or that might not have been expected in 


the low forehead of the Neanderthal skull, in which the brain 
had to grow and expand under a plate of bone, which appears 
to have been in a great degree in one solid piece. It was im- 
possible to raise this plate of bone upwards ; and the result, 
as will be seen, was a development to another direction. In 
the middle region of the calvaria, the sagittal suture being 
closed, the contained cerebral substance could only expand at 
the sides, in the situation of the squamous sutures j and here 
the Neanderthal calvarium seems not to lack development. 
But in the posterior region its greatest expansion took place, 
precisely because in this part was the open lambdoid suture, 
which admitted of the growth of the brain. In the figures of 
this imperfect calvarium, the superior occipital scale is seen to 
be bulged out, and the whole of what remains of the occipital 
bone is full and large, the compensatory result for the con- 
tracted anterior regions."* 

The above words, which Dr. B. Davis applies to the Nean- 
derthal skull, can be applied, mutatis mutandis, to the skull 
from Louth. 

The peculiarities which were alleged to be so specially cha- 
racteristic of the Neanderthal skull, having been proved to be 
due merely to the premature closing of certain sutures, the 
fact is not remarkable that such skulls as the specimen, " 1029 
of Davis," or as the skull before us, should be encountered not 
unfrequently. Attention having been drawn to the influence 
which premature closing of the sutures produces on the form 
of the skull, it is probable that we shall find many other in- 
stances. But the occasional occurrence of such cases leads an 
anthropologist deeply to regret that such an abnormity as the 
Neanderthal skull, should have ever been put forward as an 
important link in the series of early forms, connecting man 
with the lower animals, and to hope that a similar error of 
hasty generalisation will not occur again in our science. Al- 
though to allude to the Neanderthal skull, in the present state 
of the controversy, may appear to some a superfluous digres- 

* Memoirs, vol. i, p. 287. 


sion, the lesson cannot be too often insisted on, that in 
examining a skull purporting to be that of "the missing 
link", it should have been worth while to have inquired 
whether its peculiarities were not in some degree traceable 
to the premature ossification of the sutures of the skull. 


IX. Description of a New Goniometer. By Dr. Paul Broca, 
Secretaire Generale a la Societe d' Anthropologic de Paris, 
Hon. Fellow of the Anthropological Society of London. 


Mr. President, I beg you to offer in my name, to the An- 
thropological Society of London, an instrument which I have 
had made to measure, on the living subject as well as on the 
skull, the facial angle and the facial triangle. 

This goniometer is nothing else than Prof. Busk's cranio- 
meter, to which I have added a goniometric apparatus, com- 
posed of a quadrant, of an ascending rod, and of a transverse 
exploring rod. It has been described in the second fascicule 
of vol. ii of the Memoirs of the Anthropological Society of 
Paris, pp. 95-97. 

The points of measurement used to determine the facial line 
have been much discussed. The lower point of measurement 
has been successively placed on the nasal spine, on the lower 
border of the alveolar arch, and on the lower border of the 
incisor teeth. The upper point has been placed by some on 
the most projecting part of the glabella, and by others just 
above the glabella, and by others at a spot three centimeters 
higher still. It results from this that, according to the system 
which has been adopted, the length and the inclination of the 
facial line vary considerably. My goniometer can be applied 
indifferently on any of these points of measurement, so that 
each observer may employ it to measure the facial angle and 
the facial line, according to the system which he prefers. But 
you will, perhaps, permit me to seize this occasion to express 
my opinion on the choice of the measuring points of the facial 

When the facial angle is measured, it is possible either to 
estimate, or to record by numbers, the differences which exist 


between two individuals or between two races ; and to deter- 
mine one of the principal elements of the anatomy and mor- 
phology of the face, considered in its relations with the 
cerebral region. 

1. In the first case, those points of measurement which give 
to the facial angle the greatest variations are sought for ; e. g. 
the summit of this angle is placed on the free border of the 
incisor teeth, and the facial line abuts on the centre of the 
space between the two frontal eminences; and the several 
characters of inferiority, i. e. the retrocedent forehead, the 
obliquity of the facial bones, the length and the obliquity of 
the alveolar arch and of the incisor teeth, unite to lessen the 
facial angle, which, on the other hand, increases rapidly when 
the inverse conditions are present. We can thus obtain, 
between certain European skulls and certain Australian or 
Negro skulls, differences of more than twenty degrees. But 
the facial angle, thus measured, depends on numerous dis- 
positions, of which the importance is very unequal; of cha- 
racters of the highest value, and of characters which are 
entirely secondary, which are found so combined together that 
such an insignificant fact as the length of the teeth is able to 
vary the facial angle of two individuals whose facial and other 
conformations may be identical. Limited prognathism of the 
alveolar arch, as we observe often amongst ourselves, where it 
frequently coincides with a fine frontal development, can lower 
the facial angle by several degrees, and can exercise more 
influence on the enlargement of this angle than even a notable 
atrophy of the frontal region could produce. Finally; it is 
sufficient to have examined a collection of skulls of the same 
race to learn that the height of the alveolar arch can vary 
more than a centimeter, without any change in the conforma- 
tion of the rest of the head being therewith associated ; and 
it can even occur that, by reason of this trifling variation, an 
individual gifted with a noble and vast forehead may give a 
il angle inferior to that of another in which the forehead is 
smaller and more oblique, but of which the alveolar arcade is 
not so high. The facial angle, thus determined, presents very 
great differences, of which the morphological signification may 



be very deceptive, and it is because most modern authors have 
adopted this process that the value of the facial angle, as an 
anthropological character, has been placed in doubt. 

2. When, on the other hand, it is proposed to use the facial 
angle as one of the indices of development of the anterior 
cranial region, and the teeth and the alveolar should be con- 
sidered apart, as their variations have no direct relation with 
the study of the cerebral cranium, we limit ourselves to the 
examination of the anterior skull, and the four facial cavities 
which cover it ; i. e., the two orbits and the two nasal fossae. 
The summit of the facial angle is then placed on the inferior 
nasal spine, and the facial line from this point ought to be in 
contact at the base of the forehead, at the middle of the hori- 
zontal line which indicates the separation of the skull and the 
face, i. e. y on the middle of the line which corresponds to the 
lower face of the anterior extremity of the brain. If a thread 
is applied transversely above the supraciliary arches in such a 
way that the thread passes from each side immediately above 
the external orbital processes, a fixed line is obtained which 
corresponds to the minimum frontal diameter. In no indivi- 
dual is the brain so large as entirely to cover the face ; the 
orbit of each side always bars its outward process, and it thus 
results that the frontal crest, arriving on a level with the orbit, 
is curved, and prolonged outwardly to constitute the external 
orbital process. The point where it curves, and where instead 
of converging it diverges, indicates the demarcation of the 
cranial from the cerebral region, and of the latter from the 
region of the face. The line which unites this point with the 
corresponding one on the other side, corresponds, then, to the 
minimum degree of separation between the two frontal crests, 
that is to say, to the minimum frontal diameter; it leaves 
above the whole cerebral region and beneath the two orbital 
arches, of which the height is very variable, and on the medial 
line it generally passes to the upper part of the glabella. But 
we know how variable the situation of the glabella is; the 
projection which it forms, sometimes almost nothing sometimes 
very considerable, depends in a great degree on the develop- 
ment of the frontal sinuses ; it sometimes ascends higher, 


stops lower than the line of separation between the cranium 
and the face. There are then some inconveniences in the use 
of the glabella to determine the upper point of measurement 
of the facial line ; and it appears to me much preferable to 
take the points of measurement on the middle of the horizontal 
line which I have indicated, and which should be deemed the 
supra-orbital line. The median point, thus ascertained, is the 
supranasal point. On the living, the point which comes 
nearest to it is one taken on the middle of a line tangent to 
the upper border of the two eyebrows. The facial line which 
passes by the supranasal point, and by the nasal spine, or sub- 
nasal point, presents individual and racial variations much less 
prominent than the other facial line which is in contact with 
the alveoli and with the teeth ; but it has an anatomico-phy- 
siological signification much more important, because it serves 
to determine a simple fact, i. e., the relative development of 
the anterior cerebral vertebra and of the oculo-nasal, which 
is immediately subjacent to it. It permits to measure that 
which is wanting in the brain, in its antero-posterior aspect, 
to cover the purely sensitive organs. If a plane is passed 
from the nasal spine to the two auditory canals, the plane 
divides the facial region into two parts, the lower to taste, 
which is, after feeling, the least special of the sensorial func- 
tions, because the sense of taste is confided to two nerves,* 
entirely distinct in their origin, their connexions, and their 
distribution, which are subservient at the same time to general 
sensibility, which does not differ at all from that of the ordi- 
nary nerves. Taste is accordingly the least special of the 
cephalic senses ; and even if it were much less special, it 
would only give us a small number of indications if it were 
not always directed by the sense of smell, of which it is, in a 
certain sense, merely the vassal. Nobody, in fact, will forget 
that a simple coryza can entirely disarrange the taste, and 
annihilate the majority of gustatory sensations. The real 
organs of special sense are characterised by nerves as much 

* The lingual nerve, a branch of the inferior maxillary branch of the 
trigeminal nerve and the glossopharyngean nerve. 


special as regards their anatomical as in their physiological 
characters, by nerves which bear no relation to general sensi- 
bility, and which can only transmit to the nervous centre one 
kind of impression, and which transmit by one impression all 
the traumatic, electrical, chemical, and physical actions which 
they can receive. These organs are those of hearing, sight, 
and smell, and all are in such immediate relations with the 
brain that the walls of the cavities which contain them form 
an integral part of the basis cranii. These three organs of 
the superior senses, regarded in the period of their first forma- 
tion, are only annexes of the encephalon; the external ear 
proceeds from the posterior cerebral cavity ; the eye is merely 
a diverticular of the anterior cerebral cell ; and the olfactory 
nerve can only be considered as a vesicular prolongation of 
this very anterior cell. Directly associated with the develop- 
ment of the brain, and contained in cavities which are merely 
annexes of the basis cranii, the organs of hearing, sight, and 
smell form a perfectly natural group, which descends forwardly 
as far as the nasal spine, as the partition between the nasal 
foss88 depends on the ethmoid which belongs to the skull. 
This group of the higher senses forms the higher part of the 
face j it is comprised entirely between the base of the skull 
and the horizontal plane which passes from the nasal spine to 
the two auditory canals. Below the nasal spine, the whole of 
the face, flesh, or bone belongs to the system of the branchial 
arches ; above it, on the contrary, the branchial arches only 
furnish accessory portions, such as the eyebrows, the cheek- 
bones, the ascending branches of the maxillary, the external 
ear, etc. ; whilst the axis of the skeleton, the ethmoid cornets, 
the orbital vaults, the petrosals, the labyrinths, the eyeballs, 
the olfactory nerves, and, in one word, the essential parts, 
soft or hard, proceeding directly either from the skull or from 
the brain. 

It is this upper portion of the face, of which the relations 
with the anterior skull ought to be determined. In the most 
elevated ideal type, it will be entirely covered by the skull, 
and thus the facial line, drawn from the supranasal point to 
the nasal spine, will be vertical, but in the normal conditions 


this ideal type is never realised ; the facial line is always more 
or less oblique, and the angle which it forms with the auricular 
subnasal plane is more or less lower than the right angle. The 
measurement of this facial angle gives us, then, important 
information on the relative width of the cranial region anterior 
to the oculo-nasal region. But this information is not exact, 
because the size of the facial angle depends on many variable 
conditions. It can, perhaps, be increased by the diminution 
of the face, or by the enlargement of the skull, or even by 
these two conditions reunited. It is not sufficient, then, to 
measure the facial angle ; it is necessary to determine and to 
analyse the anatomical circumstances which it denotes. It is 
this object which is arrived at in the study of the facial 

The facial triangle comprises the facial angle in the ver- 
tical plane in the middle of the head, has for its anterior sum- 
mits the two extremities of the facial line, that is to say, the 
supranasal point and the subnasal point; and for a posterior 
summit the centre of the transverse, or horizontal line, which 
passes by the centre of the two auditory canals. This line is 
called the biauricular axis, and its median point is the auricular 
point. But it is impossible or nearly so, even on a section 
of the head, to determine exactly the position of the auricular 
point ; and the two learned men (Cuvier and Stienne Geoffroy 
St. Hilaire) who were the first to study the facial triangle, 
were only able to do so by means of a very complicated 
geometrical process, which necessitated the construction of 
two auxiliary triangles. This is the way they proceeded. 
They commenced by measuring directly, with a compass, the 
length of the facial line A B, the first side of the facial triangle. 

The second side, a o, or the base of the facial triangle, can 
be considered as the height of an isosceles triangle, cac', of 
which the base is the biauricular axis, c c', and of which the 
summit is the subnasal point, a. But the breadth of the 
biauricular axis, c c', can be measured directly with compasses. 
With the same compasses we can easily measure the distance 
from the subnasal point, A, to the centre of the meatus audi- 
torius externus, c. This is the line a c = a c'. We learn, there- 


fore the three sides of the isosceles triangle, cac'. This 
triangle can be constructed on paper. From the summit, a, 
we can drop on the centre of the base, c c', the perpendicular, 
a o, and by measuring on this geometrical figure the length, 
A o, the second, side of the facial triangle is obtained. 

The third side, b o, can in its turn be considered as the 
height of a second isosceles triangle, c b c, which has, like 
the foregoing, the biauricular axis, c c ', as a base, and the 
supranasal point, b, as its apex. The biauricular axis, c c', 
being thus measured, it is only necessary to measure with 
compasses the breadth of the distance, b c=b c, comprised 
between the supranasal point, b, and the centre of the auditory 
canal, c. We then know the three sides of the isosceles 
triangle, cbc': it can be constructed on paper; the perpen- 
dicular, b o, can be dropped on the centre of the base, and 
this perpendicular, when measured, becomes the third side of 
the facial triangle. 

It is thus alone that the triangle, a b o, can be constructed, 
of which the three sides have been determined ; and all the 
trouble which we have taken is recompensed by the valu- 
able indications which the triangle furnishes. It gives, first, 
the facial triangle, B A o ; second, the auriculo -facial angle, 
B o K, by which the inclination of the basis cranii is measured ; 
third, the length of the anterior cranium, B o ; fourth, the 
length of the face A o ; fifth, with the aid of the perpendicular, 
b p, it gives the height of the face, b p ; sixth, it gives the 
length, a p, which measures the degree of prognathism of the 
face. This last length has by itself little value if it is not 
compared, on the one hand, with the total length of the face, 
A o ; on the other hand, with the height of the face, B p. 

We see how the notions furnished by the facial triangle are 
superior in importance and exactitude to those which are fur*, 
nished by the mere facial angle. We thus comprehend how 
it is that Cuvier and Etienne Greoffroy St. Hilaire, to attain 
this, did not refuse to employ the most complicated construc- 
tions. But these complications, which did not daunt them, 
have rendered their successors timid ; and though no person 
has failed to recognise the great utility of the facial triangle, 



it has been allowed to fall into desuetude, some persons de- 
clining to take so much trouble, and some, because they were 
not familiar with geometrical constructions, and therefore 
feared to commit error. 

To apply the facial triangle to use, it was accordingly neces- 
sary to simplify it, and to render it more easily understood. 
I did this three years ago, with the aid of my craniograph. 
Craniographical drawings, giving the exact proportions of all 
the points of the skull, permit all the angles and all the tri- 
angles imaginable to be measured ; but the craniograph is not 
applicable on the living subject ; and I have reason to believe 
that the goniometer, which I now forward to the Anthropo- 
logical Society of London, is the first instrument which per- 
mits the elements of the facial triangle to be measured on the 
living subject, because the progress of the double rule, which 
I have described in my memoir on the projections of the head 
(Ballet, de Soc. d'Anthrojo., t. iii, p. 538) only gives the triangle 
by means of a construction. 

When the goniometer is correctly applied, that is to say, 
when the two auditory plugs mark on the right and left 
branches the smallest number of millimeters, the edge of the 
ascending rod, A b, is placed exactly parallel to the median 
vertical plane of the head, and the triangle, A o b, is perfectly 


equal to the facial triangle. The length, o a, the base of the 
facial triangle, and the length, A b, which is the facial line, can 
be read on the millimetric scales ; besides, the angle, o A B, or 
facial angle comprised between these two sides, can be directly 
measured on the quadrant, Q Q. We thus know the essential 
elements of the desired triangle. We can easily measure the 
height of the face, b p, and the extent of prognathism, a p. 
To obtain this, it is merely necessary to apply on the horizontal 
rod, o A, one of the edges of a small thin rule, of which the 
other edge, touching the point b, represents the perpendicular, 
B P ; we also read on the horizontal scale, o a, the number of 
millimeters comprised between the point a, which is zero, and 
the end of the rule. This gives the amount of prognathism. 
Then applying a small rule to the vertical side of the square, 
we can measure the length, bp; we can then, without any 
construction, directly measure all the elements of the facial 
triangle, with the exception of the auriculo-facial angle, boa. 
If it is desired to measure this last angle, we are obliged to 
construct the facial triangle on paper, or at least to have 
recourse to calculations which render the use of tables of 
curves necessary. 

My goniometer is not a more exact one than some of those 
which are already known. But it has the advantage of being 
more simple, more easy to manage and to carry, and in fact 
less costly. I may also remark, that it has been constructed 
especially to measure the facial triangle. It will be easy to 
graduate the branches of other goniometers, and to render 
them also convenient to measure the facial triangle ; but this 
would increase their price, which, in the case of M. Jacquart's 
goniometer, is so high as three hundred francs, whereas M. 
Matthieu (Rue de I'ancienne Comedie a Paris) makes mine for 
twenty-five francs. I am amongst those who think that the 
progress of anthropology can only be advanced by the union 
of a great number of observers, and that the instruments 
employed in investigation ought to be sufficiently simple and 
sufficiently cheap to be used by all. It is in order to arrive at 
this result that I have taken, as the base of my own instru- 
ment, the craniometer of Mr. Busk, with the sole difference 


that I have placed the brass pin of the auricular plugs actually 
in the axis of these plugs. 

Excuse, Monsieur le President, the length and the dryness 
of the details considered in this letter, and believe in the 
expression of my devoted sentiment. 

(Signed) P. Broca. 

To James Hunt, Esq., Ph.D., F.S.A., 
President of the Anthropological 
Society of London, Foreign Asso- 
ciate of the Anthropological Society 
of Paris, etc., etc. 


X. Contributions to an Introduction to the Anthropology of the 
New World* By William Bollaekt, Hon. Sec. A.S.L., 
Corresponding Member of the University of Chile, of the 
Ethnological Societies of London and New York, etc., etc. 

I will call the native inhabitant of the New World the Bed 
Man, to distinguish him, as far as colour is concerned, from 
the white man of Europe, the brown of India, and the Negro 
of Africa. As in the white species, with their soft, long, and 
flowing hair of various colours, the complexion also varies ; so 
corresponding variations exist amongst the brown and black 
species, with their almost straight, wavy, woolly, and crisp 
black hair ; and amongst the red men, with strong, straight 
black hair, there are different shades of red, copper colour, 
brown and dark -brown complexion. 

In the United States, f I have had the opportunity of exa- 
mining many tribes, their colour varying from red or copper 
and through shades of brown. On the shores of the Spanish 

* In 1859, I drew up a paper on the " Ethnology and Architecture of 
America." At the beginning of 1860 I met with a serious accident, which con- 
fined me very much to the house, and even up to the present time, during 
which period I remodelled the paper of 1859, and now call it " Contributions 
to an Introduction to the Anthropology of the New World." 

Out of the researches I made for the " Contributions," have resulted the 
following : 

1. Past and Present Populations of the New World. 

2. Palaeography of the New World. 

3. On the alleged introduction of Syphilis from the New World. 

4. On the Astronomy of the Eed Man. 

Nos. 1, 2, and 4, will be found in the first volume of the Memoirs of the 
Anthropological Society : No. 3, in the November number (1864) of Journal 
of same society. 

5. On the recently discovered Maya Hieroglyphic Alphabet of Yucatan. 

6. Contributions to an Introduction to the Anthropology of the New World. 

7. Examination, by the Maya Alphabet, of the Mexican and other Codices; 
also, the Hieroglyphs of Mexico, Yucatan, Copan, Palenque, etc. 

Nos. 5, 6, 7 will appear in vol. ii, Memoirs of the Anthropological Society, 
No. 8 ; in preparation. 

8. The Eed Man's Place in Nature. 

f " On the Indians of Texas," Ethno. Soc. Trans., 1850. 


main and the Isthmus of Darien, I have seen Indians generally 
of a bright brown ; on the tropical coast of Peru,* the native 
is of a brown colour, in the frozen Andes he is often of a dark 
brown hue, and in the eastern low lands some are light brown. 

The Araucailos I have seen are of a reddish brown ; and the 
Fuegians I have twice visited in the region of Cape Horn and 
the Straits of Magellan are dark brown. f 

It has been said that to see one nation of Americans you 
see all; this is not quite the case even as regards colour; 
whilst as to form, feature, physical and mental development, 
there are marked differences and peculiarities resulting from 
causes we shall have to investigate. 

I will now refer to what is said as to the relations between 
the inhabitants of the Old and New Worlds, and what nations 
are supposed to have visited America before Columbus made 
his great discovery. Out of a great mass of material on this 
point, I can only notice a very small portion. Some northern 
writers describe, according to certain manuscripts, the first 
voyage which the Scandinavians made to America in the tenth 
and eleventh centuries, under one Bjarna Herjulfson, going 
from Iceland to Greenland, and sailing along a portion of the 
eastern coast of America. That Leif, the eldest son of Eric 
the Red, went in a.d. 1000 to a part of the coast he called 
Helluland, supposed to be Newfoundland, then to Nova Scotia 
and Canada, to Yinland, or the land of the vine, which is 
thought to have been between Cape Sable and Cape Cod. 
That in 1004 a brother of Eric, Thorwald Ericson, went be- 
yond Cape Cod to the south-east of Boston, and had an 
encounter with the Skraelings, or Esquimaux, in which he 
was killed. That in 1007, Thorfinn Karlsfenne and Snorre 
Thorbrandson, with three vessels, one hundred and sixty men 
and live stock, passed two winters in Mount Hope Bay, but 
the Esquimaux drove this party away. That in 1121, the 

* "On the Indians of Peru/' Ethno. Soc. Trans., 1854. 

f I may refer to one cause, at least, why among some Indian tribes there 
are people of a lighter colour than others; namely, the stealing of white 
women from the Spanish settlements, as did the Araucaiios of Chile, the 
Jeveros of Ecuador, and by others. 


Greenland bishop, Eric, went over to Newfoundland; and it 
is often asserted that monuments, inscriptions, arms, utensils, 
tools, and remains of the dead, recently found in the states 
of Ehode Island and elsewhere, attest an entrance of strangers. 
I may observe that, as to the monuments and inscriptions, 
from a careful examination of what has been presented, I think 
they are but of little value, particularly as to what has been 
offered as Runic, and other Old World characters, such look 
to me more like the work of the Red Man; those purporting 
to be alphabetic are evidently spurious.* 

We are told that the Esquimaux have a tradition of a people 
who wore white vestments, uttered cries, and made use of 
loug rods, with pieces of cloth attached ; and according to a 
mere conjecture, the country occupied by these strangers was 
Hui tram anl and, or Land of White Men, which lay along the 
Chesapeake Bay. The story is, that in a.d. 983 a violent 
storm cast upon the shores of America the renowned Are 
Marsou of Reykjanes, of Iceland, whose grandson certified 
that certain Irishmen had assured his uncle, according to the 
verbal relation of Sigardson of the Orkneys, that the name of 
Are Marson was known in Huitramanland. From another, 
and recent source, we are informed that the Icelanders and 
Greenlanders, after they bad gone south, went north as far as 
72 55' ; that on the east coast of Baffin's Bay, in one of the 
Women's Islands, north-west of the present Danish settlement 
at Upernavik, they set up three stone pillars, marking the 
limits of their discoveries; the Runic inscriptions on them, 
according to Rusk and Magnusen, give the date of 1135. 

I do not entirely discredit that there may have been acci- 
dental visits from Europe to the New World, or even from 
China and Japan, long before Columbus found America to be 
that wondrous barrier to his reaching Cathay and the spice 
islands of the east ; but the strangers from the west and east 

* See my paper on " The Palaeography of the New World, and Examina- 
tion of the several Spurious Arrangements of Ancient Writing, etc., pur- 
porting to be American." Anthropological Review, May 1864, and vol. i, 
Anthropological Societies' Memoirs, 1864. 


have left no trace of tongue or vestige of art in America, at 
least as yet none have been discovered. 

We now come to the dreamy ideas of Rabbi Ben Israel, 
who wrote the Hope of Israel, in consequence of some erro- 
neous observations of Montesinos,* by which the Rabbi laboured 
to prove that the Americans had descended from the nine and 
a half tribes, conquered and carried captive from Samaria ! 
A voluminous list of writers follow in this unsatisfactory track. 
Circumcision has been mentioned by some old Spanish writers 
as having been practised in the New World ; that this oper- 
ation was performed there, I think most problematical, f 
Some of these authors state that a few Jews came from the 
east, others from the west, having crossed Persia and the 
frontiers of China, and came in by Behring's Straits ! Other 
writers consider the Canaanites as the first inhabitants of 
America, who proceeded by Mauritania, and landed " some- 
where" on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico ! Then fifteen 
hundred years after the expulsion of the Canaanites by Joshua, 
the nine and a half tribes of Israel passed over by the way of 
Behring's Straits and assaulted the Canaanites ! It was the 
late Lord Kingsborough/s fanciful idea that the Red Man was 
descended from the Jews ; and the magnificent work he pub- 
lished, assisted by Aglio, containing copies of the old Mexican 
picture-writing, is about the only useful portion of his ex- 
tensive labours. Those who still persist in the search for the 

* This may be the Montesinos who composed an imaginative ancient his- 
tory of Peru and annals. See my Antiquarian, Ethnological, and other Re- 
searches, in New Granada, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, with Observations of the 
Pre-Incarial, Incarial, and other Monuments of Peruvian Nations, with plates. 
Triibner, London, 1860. Bourbourg, Hist, du Mexique, iii, p. 526, says, that the priest made 
an " entaille a l'oreille et au prepuce, mais si legere qu'a peine il en sortit 
quelques gouttes de sang;" and in a note, quoting Duran, observes, "these 
details are called circumcision by the Spanish author, and he is the only one 
who mentions this operation. Girls were merely slightly cut in the ear." 
And at p. 561, according to Torquemada, the Totonacs performed cir- 
cumcision on the twenty-eighth or twenty-ninth day, and threw the cut 
piece into the fire. If a female child, an operation was performed on the 


lost tribes of Israel, will be interested in hearing, according 
to Vigne, that in the vicinity of Potosi, when an Indian builds 
a hut, it is said that he kills a llama and strikes the door- 
posts and four corners of the room with the bleeding head. 

Cabrera, a priest of Guatemala, tries hard to show relation- 
ship between the Americans and the Phoenicians. Vega, a 
bishop of Chiapa, who wrote about 1 702, enters largely into 
the old traditions of Votan, of Guatemala, and of certain 
MSS. concerning his having gone from the Old World, pur- 
porting to have been written, two or three hundred years ago, 
in the Tzendal language (but in the Spanish character) . Or- 
donez y Aguiar places Votan as the third sign in the Tzendal 
calendar; also, that he was descended from the Canaanites 
driven out of Palestine by Joshua ! Sandoval says, America 
was peopled by the way of Ceylon ; Colunio assigns a Gaelic 
origin ; Charron, a Celtic ; and Mr. Rankin, a few years since, 
wrote boldly that Manco Capac, Inca of Peru, was the son of 
Kublai Khan, and that Montezuma was the grandson of Askam, 
a noble Mongul of Tangut ! backing up his idea, that as bones 
of elephants (which are fossil) had been met with in various 
parts of the New World, the animals the bones of which had 
been found had been brought from Asia by these modern 
Mongols ! De Guignes,* relying too implicitly upon the chro- 
nicles of China, attributes Peruvian civilisation to emigration 
from the Celestial Empire or the East Indies ! Paravay, in 
1844, stated that the country of Fu-Sang, described in Chinese 
annals, was the Mexican empire. In 1847, Paravay further 
said that at Uxmal in Yucatan there had been found sculp- 
tured the Buddha of Java, seated under the head of Siva, 
rather say, a species of analogous biune or triune deity, but 
certainly not the Buddha of the east. 

I regret to observe that Rivero and Tschudi, in their im- 
portant work on Peruvian Antiquities, state, ' ' there is no 
doubt that Quetzalcoatl of Mexico, Bochica of Bogota, and 
Manco Capac of Peru, were Buddhist priests, who by means 
of their superior learning, sought to rule the minds of the 

# French resident in China under Napoleon I. See his Chinese Diet., 1813. 


natives, and to elevate themselves to political supremacy." 
There is nothing to show, as far as my researches go, that the 
three worthies spoken of were Buddhist priests ; rather that 
they may have been the originators of theocracies peculiar to 

Velasco, the historian of Quito, other writers of his time, 
and even some modern ones, suppose that Peru was peopled 
from the west, making Easter Island a stepping-stone. How- 
ever, there are far better stepping-stones, had such been re- 
quired, in the Aleutian, and by the Diomede Islands in Behring's 
Straits. Markham, in his Cuzco and Lima and Peru and 
India, was rather in favour of the stepping-stone of Easter* 
Island (2,000 miles from the coast of Peru, and 1,500 from the 
nearest western land) ; but in answer to a letter of mine ques- 
tioning such a view of the matter, he has abandoned this idea. 
Huematzin, a Mexican, writing towards the close of the 
seventeenth century, gives a dreamy account of the migrations 
of the Tezcucans from Asia ! the idea of which he doubtless 
got from the Spaniards. 

A work of some pretension is being published in parts by 
Triibner, namely, an Aztec Codex, translated by Sahagun (a 
monk who accompanied Cortez to Mexico), of the Gospels of 
the Acts of the Apostles, etc., edited by Biondelli. The 
editor hopes, by the clearest evidence, to prove the affinity of 
the Aztec languages with the Indo-European, nous verrons. 
There are, however, two curious works by the Abbe B. de 
Bourbourg, one the Pojpol Vuh,-\- published in Paris in 1861, 
with a French translation, from the Quiche, of the traditions 
and history of Guatemala; the other in 1862, a Quiche and 
Spanish Grammar; and a French translation of the .Tun, % or, 
Tragic Drama and Ballet of the Sacred Brum ; and although 
the Abbe believes in the Old World origin of the Bed Man, 

* Easter Island, or Vaihu, is notable for the art the ancient inhabitants 
had attained in carving rude colossal figures out of the soft volcanic rock of 
which the island is composed. 

f See my paper on the " Popol Vuh" in Trans. Roy. Soc. Lit., 1863. 

X See my paper on the " Tun" in Trans. Roy. Soc. Literature, 1865. 



he has brought together much useful and interesting material, 
particularly as regards the interesting ancient stone monu- 
ments so plentifully scattered over Central America. 

Humboldt says, " the predilection for periodical series, and 
the existence of a cycle of sixty years, which is equal to 740 
sunas of the Muyscas of Bogota, appear to reveal the Tar- 
tarian origin of the nations of the New World." Again he 
observes, tl I think I discover in the Americans the descend- 
ants of a race who, early separated from the rest of mankind, 
have followed up, for a series of years, a peculiar road in the 
unfolding of their intellectual faculties and tendency to civili- 
sation." Again, " our knowledge of the languages of Ame- 
rica is still too limited, considering their great variety, for us 
as yet to relinquish the hope of some day discovering an 
idiom which may have been spoken at once in the interior of 
South America and in that of Asia, or which may at least in- 
dicate an ancient affinity. Such a discovery would be one of 
the most brilliant which can be expected in reference to the 
history of mankind." In another portion of his masterly 
researches, he observes, " It cannot be doubted that the greater 
part of the natives of America belong to a race of men who 
isolated ever since the infancy of the world from the rest of 
mankind, whilst in the nature and diversity of language, in 
their features, in the conformation of the skull," and he might 
have added, in their osteological structure and peculiar phy- 
siological characteristics, "are incontrovertible proofs of an 
early and complete separation." However, in some of Hum- 
boldt's later writings, particularly in the first German and 
and French editions of Cosmos, he is not so pressing on the 
matter of an exotic origin of the Eed Man ; these paragraphs, 
strange to say, do not appear in the English translations, but 
they will be found in Indigenous Races. 

I have thought much on the early views of Humboldt, and 
with veneration for those passages in which he refers to the 
astronomical ideas of the Muyscas, as " appearing to reveal 
the Tartarian origin of the nations of the New World." My 
study of the subject of the zodiacs and lunar calendars of 
the nations of Mexico, Central America, Bogota, and the 


calendar recently discovered in Peru, which I described to the 
Society of Antiquaries,* lead me to suppose that the astro- 
nomical ideas of the nations under consideration have origin- 
ated entirely with themselves. In their own account they say 
tliey are a separate branch of the human family. Take the 
tradition of the Ojebways, for example, who believe that when 
the Great Spirit made the various peoples of the earth, he 
gave them their languages, complexions, and religions, as well 
as divers customs, manners, and modes of living, and that 
each nation had its distinct origin. Indeed, one main difficulty 
which the Christian missionary encounters in planting the 
gospel amongst the aborigines of North America, arises from 
their opposition to the scripture revelation of the origin of 
the human species from one pair.f 

The late Admiral Fitzroy, in a paper published in 1858, 
" On the Probable Migrations and Varieties of the Earlier 

; Families of the Human Race," directed attention to the people 
of Van Diemen's Land and South America, and the pro- 

i bability of early migrations ; observing, that there is a striking 
resemblance between the Fuegians and the Esquimaux, be- 

[ tween the inhabitants of the west coast of South America 
and the aborigines of Yan Diemen's Land, and between the 

I people of eastern South America and the Hottentots of South 
Africa. With some experience myself on this subject, I can- 
not for a moment agree with the above ideas. 

Prescott, who thought deeply on the matter of the peopling 
of the New World, say from eastern Asia, concludes an ela- 
borate chapter on the origin of Mexican civilisation thus : 
" The discrepancies are such as to carry back the communica- 
tion to a very remote period, so remote, that this foreign 
influence has been too feeble to interfere materially with the 
growth of what may be regarded, in its essential features, as 
a peculiar and indigenous civilisation." Here Prescott, with 

* Proceedings of the Soc. of Antiquaries, 1860. " Astronomy of the Red 
Man," see vol. i, Memoirs of the Anthropological Society, 1864. 

f See a valuable work by Dr. Hayden on The Ethnography and Philology 
of the Indian Tribes of the Missouri Valley, Philadelphia, 1862. 



tlie monogenistic idea, gives us all the time we like to take ; 
but his highly philosophic and well-trained mind must often 
have reverted to the polygenistic view of the matter. 

I will now proceed to examine other materials I have been 
able to collect concerning the Red Man and his doings, before 
and after the discovery of America by Columbus. 

Russian Possessions in America. Nothing of any import- 
ance has been found hereabouts in the way of ancient monu- 
ments. The Red Men in this region and their languages 
(hieroglyphical writing is reported to have been met with as 
far north as 57) have not as yet been sufficiently studied in 
regard to any connexion with probably Turanians, even in our 
own time, on the western side of Behring's Straits. This 
region is said to have a population of 10,000 souls; as many 
as 200,000 is given for the Rusian possessions on both sides 
of the Strait and the islands ; but it is rapidly decreasing by 
war, diseases, and famine. It is a most inhospitable country, 
and where snow and rain fall almost incessantly. Esquimaux 
are sometimes found on its shores ; these are, in all proba- 
bility, of North Asian origin; they are short and fat, as a 
rule, whilst the Red Man is generally tall and thin. The term 
Esquimaux, or eaters of raw fish, was given to these people by 
the Red Indian; Huskie seems to be the name they give 
themselves. There are traditions of the descent of Norsemen 
on the shores of Greenland in the eighth century. There is 
also the history of Akigssiak, a great warrior, descended 
from two races, the one Esquimaux, or inhabitant of the 
sea coasts ; the other, that of the American Indians, or in- 
habitants of the interior of the country. He was finally con- 
quered by the Esquimaux, and retired into exile.* 

British North America. Here we find large numbers of 
Red Men subsisting upon the products of the chase. Con- 
tinual wars between the tribes have prevented much further 
mental development than they originally had, or powerful 
political organisation. At the present time there is a thriving 

* Trubner's Linguistic Literature; also, see Kolosh, Kadiak, and other 
Russo- American languages, in Russian. Die Pima SpracJie und die KolosJlen. 


British population of three and a half to four millions in pos- 
session of the country. There are a few half-breeds, or Eng- 
lish Mestizoes, children of white fathers and Indian mothers; 
much must not be expected of these hybrids, or, as sometimes 
called, mongrels. There may be about 180,000 aborigines in 
British America, divided into 1. Esquimaux. 2. Chippe- 
wyans (30,000), who call themselves " Sa-issa-Dinnis," or, 
" Men from where the sun rises. " They believe they have de- 
scended from a dog ; and that the Creator is a large bird, and 
th at from his eyes issues lightning, and his voice is thunder. 
3. Assiniboines, of the Sioux family (4,000 souls) ; the Kin- 
stenaux (24,000); Hudson's Bay Indians (1,200). Canada, 
when occupied by the English in 1763, had 82,000. Of the 
Huron, Iroquois, and Algonquin, only 16,000 at present 

The Indians of Labrador are rather a fine race ; some of the 
women are spoken of as handsome, and very determined ; with 
lips full, tightly closed, dark intelligent eye, which, when it 
meets another, rests upon you with a tranquil, self-possessed 
gaze. Conflagrations are ruinous to portions of this country, 
depriving the Indians of their hunting grounds and rich pastures, 
when the Indians are reduced to starvation, their tribes decim- 
ated, and numbers compelled to seek temporary refuge on the 
coast, where, however, the fogs, damp, and change of habits 
of life kill them off. "Mr. Hind" (Athenceum, Nov. 21, 1863) 
" gives a melancholy picture of the poor Indian after his re- 
moval to the coast, where his friends and family sink one by 
one into an early grave, and he sits silent and motionless 
watching the sun slowly descending into the ocean, and dream- 
ing of the great country in the far west, the happy hunting- 
ground of his future state, where his love of the chase may be 
exercised to the fullest extent, and abundant supplies of game 
will gladden his wigwam. The Indians not actually forced by 
hunger to the coast, are nevertheless anxious to go to it. The 
glad tidings of Christianity have penetrated to the interior of 
Labrador, and as the priests cannot come to them, they must ne- 
cessarily go to the priests. f No doubt/ said one of the trappers 
to our author, ' it's for the good of their souls, but the poor 


creatures die off as soon as they come ; and to my mind, they 
might just as well live a few years in their own country ; but 
then there's the religion; it is a difficult matter; perhaps it's 
better to die a Christian than to live a heathen.' M 

Night-blindness, or nyctalopia, is a malady of the lumber- 
men of this region, which they ascribe to the constant eating 
of pork during the time they are engaged in felling trees. A 
complete change of air and diet is the best cure. 

Newfoundland is divided into two districts : one occupied 
by the cod-fishing colonists, some 120,000 in number; the 
other, by two or three tribes of Red Men, one, the Micmacs, 
dwelling about the Bay of St. George, the other, the Etchmin. 
These tribes are but little known, and are not friendly to the 
whites. In 1857, the Indian Good Booh was published for the 
benefit of the Penobscot, Passamaquody, St. John's, Mimac, 
and other tribes of the Abnaki Indians, by the Indian patri- 
arch, Eugene Vetromile. 

The United States op America. Here there does not 
appear to exist any important stone remains of antiquity. 
There were, however, periods when mound-building of earth 
by an " ancient race of men" was generally spread over a 
considerable area. These mounds consisted of tumuli of the 
mound and other forms, and mostly contained the bodies of 
chiefs ; there were, likewise, extensive fortresses of earth- 
work. In the more northerly regions, when the English made 
their first settlements, the Indians were in a much ruder state 
than in Mexico, as dwellers in skin tents, and in huts of the 
boughs of trees ; but possessed a more warlike spirit and 
greater physical vigour, so that the struggle between them 
and the invaders was of longer duration than in Mexico and 
Peru with the Spaniards. 

It may be asserted, that from the shores of the Grulf of 
Mexico to those of the great lakes, tumuli and earthworks 
have been traced. In Ohio it has been estimated that there 
are no less than 10,000 raised tumuli, and the enclosures are 
rated at 1,000 to 1,500, some of which may be twelve centuries 
old. The mounds are of various dimensions ; some only a few 
yards in diameter and a few feet high ; others 90, with a base 


of 2,000 feet. They may be classed as enclosures of defence, 
sacred and miscellaneous. There are, also, earthworks in the 
form of men, beasts, birds, and reptiles, constituting basso 
relievos upon the face of the country. Mounds have also been 
met with in Oregon, on the Gila, and on the Colorado of the 

Of these ancient mound builders we know but little ; how- 
ever, the rude nations in the north-east and west, and tribes 
of hunters and warriors found by the white invaders, were 
doubtless descended from the mound-builders, and were then 
counted by millions, say twenty millions, now only by thou- 
sands.* In the south were the celebrated Natchez, on the 
waters of the Mississippi, and supposed by some to have 
come from the north of Mexico; for although they adored 
the Great Spirit, yet they worshipped the sun and moon. 
They are said to have had temples to the sun, where was 
kept the eternal fire, guarded by priests and virgins. Their 
chiefs were called " Suns," as claiming descent from the 
orb of day, and ruled with absolute authority. When a 
great chief died, a number of his nation, of the same age, 
were strangled to accompany him on his journey to the other 
world. The Natchez rose upon the French in 1729, killing 
the whole of them at the "Natchez colony." In 1730, they 
in turn were attacked by the Choctaws and French, and nearly 
destroyed. Afterwards, a chief and four hundred were taken 
and sold as slaves in the French West India islands; some 
joined the Chickasaws and Muskogees, whilst others fled to 
the west. Thus perished the great Natchez nation. 

Turning our attention to the south-west in the United 
States, we come upon extensive but now almost depopulated 
regions, including the great valleys through which flow the 
Colorado and Gila ; and here we meet with the ruins of build- 
ings, called by the Spaniards Casas Grandes, and Houses of 
Montezuma. We know not exactly who were the builders of 
these now abandoned piles, principally of sun-dried bricks, 
some looking as if they had been of several stories. Broken 

* 140,000 in the various States, 360,000 in the territories. 


and painted pottery is found about these ruins. I have 
thought they may have been erected by some of the more 
northern nations of Mexico (from ancient Mexican-looking in- 
scriptions on stone found about there), who, driven out of 
their lands not long before the Spanish conquest, went north, 
settled, and built these Casas Grandes, rather than that these 
monuments were erected by people, some say the very ancient 
Toltecs, when they were originally coming south to people 
Mexico ; they do not look old enough, neither are they of old 
Cyclopean build. In this region there are at present a few 
scattered tribes, as the Moquis, Pimos, Marecopas, etc., having 
Mexican characteristics. On the river Yaquesila, a Casa 
Grande, in a ruined town, with walls and towers and a temple, 
was thus described by Padre Garces, in 1773. It was of 
adobes, or sun-dried bricks, three hundred and twenty-five 
yards in length by eighty in width. The foundation was of 
stone ; there were some cedar rafters, much decayed, but 
bearing no marks of edged tools ; there were remains of a 
canal which conducted water from the river. The plain on 
which the place stands was covered with broken pottery, 
prettily painted in red, blue, and white; pieces of obsidian 
were also met with. 

An old Indian told Emory, the American explorer, when pass- 
ing through this region, the following tradition : ' ' A female 
of great beauty lived in a lovely valley among the mountains ; 
the men admired and paid court to her. She received their 
presents of maize, skins, etc., but gave no hopes of marriage 
to them in return. There came a general drought throughout 
the land, and famine followed, when she gave maize to the 
people, and her supply seemed endless. One day, when she 
was sleeping, a drop of rain fell on her bosom, she became 
pregnant, and was in time the mother of a male child, who 
was the founder of a new race, and that he built the Casas 
Grandes." Brantz Mayer observes on this subject, that the 
aborigines of North America, at the period of the discovery, 
were all more or less engaged in building for defence or wor- 
ship ; viz., mounds or earthworks, indicating the early con- 
dition of art, or the unprogressive characters of the builders, 


who either disappeared from the land, degenerated into the 
modern Indian, or passed southward to become the progeni- 
tors of a civilisation in more genial regions. 

Going south, we again come upon the " Casas Grandes," or 
Large Houses, all of which are probably ruins of villages and 
towns occupied by the aboriginal tribes described by Casta- 
neda, in the expedition of Coronado, in 1541, in search of the 
rich cities which had been reported to exist in these northern 
regions. Here we see perpendicular walls, the habitations 
built of sun-dried brick, and as they had no lime, they sub- 
stituted a mixture of earth and ashes. Some of the houses 
were four stories high, while their interiors were reached by 
ladders from the outside, so as to render the external doorless 
walls protections against enemies in their wars. The village 
of Acuco, lying between Cibola and Tiguex, was built on the 
top of a perpendicular rock, which could only be ascended by 
three hundred steep steps cut in the stone, and clambering 
eighteen feet more by the aid of simple holes or grooves in 
the precipice. Gallatin observes that, at the time of the con- 
quest by Cortez, there was, northwardly, at the distance of 
about 1,000 miles from the city of Mexico, a collection of Indian 
tribes, in a state of semi-civilisation, intermediary between 
that of the Mexicans and the social state of any other 
(northern) aborigines. 

If we now examine the country of the mighty Mississippi 
and the river-glades of Florida, we have still ruins of the 
mound-builders. From Florida, it is likely the Eed Man found 
his way by canoes a distance of only sixty miles to the 
West Indies, which he could also easily do from Yucatan, about 
one hundred and sixty miles off. In the south, the Island of 
Trinidad is only a few miles from the mouths of the Orinoco. 

West Indies. 1. The Bahamas, or Lucayos, opposite the 
shores of Florida. 2. The Great Antilles, composed of Cuba, 
Jamaica, Hayti or the mountainous, and Porto Rico, or Borin- 
quin. 3. The Virgin Islands. 4. The Caribbees. 5. The 
Lesser Antilles off the coast of Tierra Firme. 

Columbus describes the natives of Guanahani (St. Salvador), 
one of the Bahamas, as being naked, well made, of good features, 


hair like that of the horse, colour yellow, kindly disposed, and 
that they painted themselves. The people of Cuba were 
peaceful, more domestic and intelligent, their habitations large 
and built of palm-leaves, but there was no arrangement of 
streets ; statues of women and large masks were found. In 
the north-east portion of Cuba, the Indians are described as 
very gentle, without knowing what evil was, neither killing 
nor stealing ; at Marien, in Hayti, as being frank and generous. 

The small islands to the east, known as the Caribbees, and 
Jamaica,* were inhabited by a warlike race. The word for a 
warrior iu their language is Galibi or Garib; and it may be that 
these made revengeful meals of their prisoners, and were 
called, on this account, cannibals by the Spaniards. Cuba was 
settled by the Spaniards in 1511, but before 1516 the abori- 
genes were annihilated ; then African negro slavery was in- 
troduced, f In 1525, the gold-washings of Hispanola were 
already exhausted ; and sugar and hides are alone mentioned 
as exports. The West Indies may have had originally a popu- 
lation of aborigines of about six millions, not one at present 

There is much to be written about the Garib portion of the 
Red race (probably at the time of the conquest some six mil- 
lions of them), and their migrations, say from Florida and 
Yucatan, peopling the West Indies, the coasts of Colombia, 
and say their ascent of the rivers Magdalena, Orinoco, and 
Amazons. Some may have landed on the coasts of the 

* On Black River, at Jamaica, there are a few supposed descendants of 
Spaniards, and Indian women (Mestizoes), and are called Piratees, the 
native name of a fish. Some crania of aborigines, met with at St. Elizabeth, 
have been artificially flattened, as at Titicaca, and other parts of South 
America. Vigne's Travels in South America, 1863. 

f See Helps' Spanish Conquests in America. 

X See my " Past and Present Population of the New World," Anthrop. 
Review, August 1863 ; Memoirs, vol. i, 1865. 

The river Amazons, called also the Orellana, the name of the first Eu- 
ropean who sailed down it to its mouth. In old Spanish works it is called 
the Marailon, and by the Portuguese the lower portion of the river is deno- 
minated Solimoes. It has long been a question as to the origin of the term 
Maranon. It is sometimes said that it is called Maran-i-obbo, or the River 


Isthmus of Darien, crossed it from the east, and have given 
rise to nations on the northern part of the west coast of South 
America ; and old Spanish writers speak of people in this 
direction as " cruel Caribs." 

No monuments of any account have been discovered in the 
West Indies, not even of the rudest stone habitations ; here, 
indeed, the general warm climate, forests of palms, and other 
umbrageous trees, protected the inhabitants from the sun and 
rains. The Abbe B. de Bourbourg, in his Commentary on the 
Popol Vuh, thinks it probable that the Caribs were descended 
from the Nahuatl race of Mexico. My impression is that the 
West Indies were peopled from the mainland from several 
points, long ere the Nahuatl had existence ; and it would 
appear that the Olmecs are the first people known in Mexico, 
and these are said to have been builders in stone ; then come 
the Toltecs, or builders ; the third nation, the Chichimecs ; 
the fourth, the Nahuatlacs ; and the fifth, the Aztecs, or 

Texas. I have explored the whole line of coast, also much 
of the interior, in various directions, but found no monuments, 
not even mounds or earthworks.* The Spaniards, after some 
years of unsuccessful fighting with the Indians in this region, 
handed it over to their monks, who built fortified missions, 
one being at San Antonio de Bejar, when a few Indians were 
somewhat Romanised ; but with the separation of the colonies 
from the mother country, the missions were abandoned, the 
Indians and Mestizoes joining against the Spaniards. I visited 

of the Marans, from which '* maran-tree", the balsam of copaiba, is derived. 
That a soldier was sent by Gonzalo Pizarro to discover the sources of the 
Piura river, who, on beholding this mighty stream, exclaimed " Hac mare an 
non ?" is this a sea, or not ? However, during my translation of Padre Fray 
Simon's voyage of the traitor Lope de Aguirre down this river, I found that 
in consequence of the continual mar anas, entanglements, treasons, and 
murders of this sanguinary crew, A guirre called his followers " his Mara- 
nones", from which I conceive the river had its name. This was in 1560. See 
" The Expedition of Pedro de Ursua and Lope de Aguirre in Search of El 
Dorado and Omagua," Hakluyt Soc. Coll., 1861. 

* See my " Observations on Texas/' in Geographical Soc. Trans., 1844 and 


the ruins of the Texan missions in 1841, which I found to be 
the abode of myriads of bats, the floors of the larger buildings 
deeply covered with their ordure. 

The tribes of Red Men who roam about this State are prin- 
cipally known as Comanches, and now have horses ; there are 
remnants of other tribes in Texas, many of which have been 
driven out of the United States. The Comanches, and neigh- 
bouring tribes, appear to me to have had some connexion in 
early times with the northern nations of Mexico.* All I have 
been able to collect as to the religious views, etc., of the Co- 
rn anches, is that they believe in good and evil spirits, but 
claim supremacy for the Great Power, whom they call ' ( Moonch 
Tave" or " Tah-a-pee", the sun being his habitation, and who, 
they represent, as like unto themselves, but of gigantic sta- 
ture, who will never die, and is the original parent of the 
Comanche race. They suppose that febrile diseases result 
from the sun's displeasure. They calculate time by moons, by 
the hot and cold, wet and dry seasons, and that Pachtli is 
the name of the great council held about September. Pachtli 
is September, or the fourteenth month of the Aztec calendar. 

Mexico. This word appears to come from Mexitle, the ha- 
bitation of the god of war. It is stated that Mexico was 
peopled from the far north ; however, this I conceive is a mere 
idea. We may suppose that when the Red Man occupied this 
rich and beautiful region, he was but little removed from the 
savage state, then going through the phases of being con- 
stituted into families, then tribes and nations ; these warred 
with each other ; and this system of things went on until one 
of these nations, say the Olmecs became the masters of 
Anahuac on the table-land of Mexico. These Olmecs were 
builders in stone. After a time they went, or had to retreat, 
south from before the Toltecs. The Olmecs appear to have 
gone even to the Lake of Nicaragua, and some of them may 
have been the ancestors of the builders of Palenque, in Yucatan, 
Copan, and other piles of ornamented masonry thereabouts, 
including considerable quantities of hieroglyphical carvings. 

* See my " Observations on Texan Indians," Ethno. Soc. Trans., 1850. 


The Toltecs are said to have settled at Huehuetlalpatam,* 
north of the table-land, about a.d. 387, founding Tollan or 
Tula in 498 ; their monarchy commencing in Mexico in 510, 
and ending in a.d. 957. They are supposed to have built 
many pyramids, including that of Cholula, and gave to the 
year a more perfect division than heretofore. It has been re- 
corded, that the causes of the dispersion of the Toltecs was 
the breaking out of diseases, famine, and unsuccessful wars, 
some of the people going to Yucatan or Ci-u-than, others to 
Guatemala ; whilst those who remained in Tula were the germ 
of the Aztecs, or Mexicans. 

The Tezcucans, or Chichimecs, now occupy the valley of 
Mexico, commencing their kingdom about a.d. 1120, ending 
1516. The Tepanecs of Acapulco commence their monarchy 
about 1100, and end it in 1422. We now come to the Nahu- 
atlacs, and then to the Aztecs or Mexicans; the latter say 
they left the mysterious and " unknown northern site of Aztlan 
(reported to have been to the north of the Gulf of Cali- 
fornia) about a.d. 1060, arriving at the valley of Mexico about 
1227, founding the city of Mexico in 1325; now follow nine 
absolute chiefsf the Spaniards call emperors, ending with the 
death of Montezuma II, in 1503. Independently of the Aztecs 
under the Montezumas, there were other confederated, and 
even separate great states, as those of Cholula and Tlascala, 
the origin of which is very obscure. Then follow the inde- 
pendent Tarascos of Michuocan ; the barbarous Ottomies, 
Olmecs, Xicalancas, Mistecas, Zapotecas, and others ; some of 

* See Amer. Ethno. Soc. Trans., vol. i, p. 162. 

f Chief. In works connected with. Spanish America, a chief is termed 
cacique, which would lead one to believe the word was of American origin. 
Humboldt supposed it to be a Haytian word ; however, during my transla- 
tion of the voyage of the traitor Lope de Aguirre down the Amazons, for 
the Hakluyt Society, from Padre Simon's Noticias Historiales, I found it 
stated in the glossary that the term cacique for a chief had been imported 
by the Conquistadores, and Espafiolised by them from the term for a chief 
used at Mazagan in Morocco. The original, I suppose, was sheikh. In 
Mexico, the name of a chief was Tecla ; in Bogota, Zipa ; among the tribes 
of Darien, Tiba; among the Quichua, or Inca Peruvians, Curaca; amongst 
the Aymaras, Maillco ; in the Auracano it is Ulmen. 


these may have preceded the Toltecs in the date of their 
settling in Mexico. 

The Aztecs continued building after the peculiar fashion of 
their predecessors, but in some instances there was a deca- 
dence in the style of architecture. Their colossal pyramids 
(unlike the Egyptian), the summits of which were used as 
altars and for human sacrifice. The great pyramid of Cholula 
had a base one side of which was over 1,000 feet, more than 
double that of the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt ; it had four 
receding platforms of equal elevation. The perpendicular 
height was 645 feet ; on the highest of the four platforms was 
the -altar to the god of air, a divinity known before the ad- 
vent of the Toltecs to power. This pyramid is built of adobes, 
or sun-dried bricks. In cutting a road through it, a square 
stone chamber was met with, supported by posts of cypress ; 
it contained two bodies, two idols of basalt, and a number of 
vessels varnished and painted. 

At Teotihuacan, eight leagues north-east of Mexico, are two 
large pyramids, their bases were 645 feet, height 171 feet, 
composed of four platforms with steps, and surrounded by 
hundreds of smaller ones in files or lines. The two larger are 
made of clay and small stones ; the casing is a thick covering 
of porous amygdaloid. On their summits were colossal statues 
covered with gold, one to represent the sun ; the other, the 
moon. Independently of such wonderful works, temples, 
palaces, extensive habitations, with fortresses and walls to pro- 
tect the cities, were built of stone and lime by the Mexicans, 
some of the architecture being very ornamental. Then we 
have their peculiar zodiacs, calendars, and astronomical instru- 
ments, details of which I have given in my account* of the 
" Astronomy of the Red Man." 

Brantz Mayer, who follows previous writers, observes, that 
" The Aztecs, and perhaps their predecessors in the valley of 
Mexico, possessed a picture-writing, chiefly used for the re- 
cording of facts apart from abstract ideas. This picture- 
writing was nearly all destroyed by the Spaniards. It con- 
sisted of several elements : a system of symbols to denote 

* Memoirs of the Anthropological Society, vol. i, 1864. 


years, months, days, seasons, the elements, and events of fre- 
quent occurrence ; an effort to delineate persons and their acts 
by rude drawings ; and a phonetic system which, through 
objects, conveyed sounds that, simply or in combination, ex- 
pressed the facts they were designed to record. This imperfect 
and mixed process of painting and symbolising thought was 
stopped at this stage (?), for it was the extent of Aztec inven- 
tion at the period of the conquest, and it is difficult to judge, 
from the known character of the people, whether further pro- 
gress would have been made." When treating of Yucatan, I 
hope to be able to show there is the probability that the Aztecs 
may have had an hieroglyphic alphabet. 

The greater portion of Mexican architecture has been ruth- 
lessly destroyed by the Spaniards, in Mexico, as well as in 
other parts of America; monuments of all descriptions have 
been pulled down, and their ornamentation defaced, many of 
these precious relics finding their way into modern buildings. 
The stones originally used in the temples, both in Mexico and 
in Peru, are found constituting parts of Romish churches ; the 
houses of the virgins of the sun turned into convents ; the 
schools of the aborigines into monasteries ; and the palaces of 
native rulers became the dwellings of the Conquistadores. 
But one of the greatest enormities committed by the Spanish 
priests was the collecting into piles the Mexican pictures, 
symbolic, and perhaps hieroglyphic writings, and burning 
them. Had these been spared, much more would have been 
unfolded to us of the early history of the country. The glow- 
ing pages of Prescott in particular tell us of the refinement, 
and interesting architecture at the period of the conquest. 
The causeways on the Lake of Mexico were so much admired 
for the geometrical precision with which the work was executed, 
also the solidity of construction. They were composed of 
huge stones well laid in cement, and wide enough for ten 
horsemen to ride abreast, say thirty feet. In vol. ii, of 
Helps' Spanish Conquest in America, there is a drawing-plan 
of Mexico of the Montezumas. It is seen to be built in the 
middle of the great lake, surrounded by walls. In the centre 
of the city is the great square with its temples of sacrifice ; 


this was surrounded by groups of buildings, and the famous 
causeways which connected the city with the mainland. Out- 
side the walls are seen neighbouring cities. Brantz Mayer, i, 
p. 39, gives a modern drawing of the great temple restored, 
and description. Tezcuoo was filled with stately edifices. The 
building for the public offices extended, east and west, 1,234 
yards, and from north to south 978 yards. It was surrounded 
by a wall of unburnt brick and cement, eight feet wide and 
nine feet high for one-half the circuit, and fifteen feet high the 
other half. The apartments of the royal harem, we are told, 
were equal to that of an eastern monarch. The better sort of 
edifices in Cempoalla were of stone and lime coated with 
stucco, looking like burnished silver; there were others of 
sun-dried bricks; and the poorer were of clay and earth. 
All were thatched with palm-leaves. The palace stood on a 
steep terrace of earth, and was reached by a flight of steps. 

Cortez compares Tlascala to Granada, but that it was larger. 
Ajotzinco was a city of considerable size, the greater portion 
standing on piles in the water. Canals intersected it instead 
of streets. The houses were of stone, commodious, and with 
style. Midway across the lake of Chalco was Cuitlahuac, dis- 
tinguished by the beauty of its buildings. The royal residence 
of Itzapalapan contained twelve to fifteen thousand habita- 
tions, and according to Cortez, they were equal to any in 
Spain ; they were of stone, and the spacious apartments had 
roofs of odorous cedar-wood, while the walls were tapestried 
with fine cotton stained with brilliant colours. Here were the 
celebrated zoological gardens of Montezuma. Cool arched 
galleries led into the different parts of the gardens, to the 
marine and freshwater basins containing waterfowl, to the 
birds of prey, falcons, and eagles, to the alligators and ser- 
pents. There was a building containing the dens of the pumas, 
jaguars, ocelots, bears, wolves, and other wild animals ; three 
hundred slaves were employed in the gardens. 

When Yucatan was first visited by the Spaniards, they were 
astonished at the size and solidity of the buildings ; they were 
much struck with the architecture met with opposite to the 
island of Cozumel. For details of the beautiful ruins of 


Yucatan, I refer to Stephens in particular. The cartouches of 
inscriptions are supposed to be in some sort of accordance 
with the present Maya language. Mayapan was one of the 
scats of monarchy, Chichen-Itza forming part of it. It is 
said that the chiefs rebelled against their ruler, destroying 
Mayapan about one hundred years before the Spanish con- 
quest. M. Charnay, who lately visited Mitla, Palenque, 
Uxmal, Chichen, etc., taking photographs of the long aban- 
doned ruins. See his work, first vol., Paris, 1863; also, No. 
126, Le Tour du Monde, 1862, for drawings from photographs.* 
Stephens, in his two works on Yucatan and Central America, 
met with no less than forty-four ruined cities buried in the 
depths of the forests. As to Palenque, it is not easy to say 
who were the builders of the " stone-houses." The term 
Palenque is given to the residences of chiefs in Yeraguas far 
to the south. 

The ruins in this region are of a stately character, intended 
for the abode of great chiefs, and devoted to religion ; their 
most general characteristic being that of a truncated pyramid. 
They are constructed of stone and mortar, ofttimes coated with 
stucco, and many have been painted red, yellow, blue, black, 
and white. Some are highly ornamented. The arch has been 
observed, but it is the Cyclopean, formed by superincumbent 
layers of stone overlapping each other. May not these ruins 
be identical with the cities of Colhuacan, Nachan, and Xibalba, 
mentioned in the Popol Vuh, one of the ancient Quichee re- 
cords of Guatemala? 

At Uxmal, or Oxmutal, the principal ruins are the so-called 
houses of the Governor (a palace), of the Tortoise (wor- 
shipped there), of the nuns (vestals), of the dwarf, and of the 
doves. About the middle of the eighteenth century, a portion 
was thus described : being " six hundred feet in length on 
each side; the apartments, the exterior corridor, and the 

* Merida is the present capital of Yucatan, built on the ruins of the an- 
cient city of Tihoo. When M. Charnay visited this locality, he says he saw 
a number of Indios bravos, who had been made prisoners, about to be sent 
to Cuba to be sold (or as it was said, for ten years servitude), at the price of 
100 to 120 each. 



pillars adorned with figures, in relief, of serpents, lizards, and 
other animals in stucco ; statues of men, with branches of 
palm in their hands, dancing and playing on the tabor ; some- 
what similar representations are seen at Palenque and Chichen- 
Itza ; the ruins at the latter place are spread over a consider- 
able tract the most interesting is the house of the vestals, 
which is six hundred and thirty feet in circumference, and 
sixty-five feet high. Kabah presents similar characteristics to 

Brantz-Mayer {Smithsonian Contributions, 1856) says, " Ar- 
chitecture is one of those massive records which require too 
much labour to perpetuate a falsehood. The men who built 
Uxmal, Chichen, Palenque, and Copan (indeed, all the stone 
monuments in the New World), were far removed from no- 
madic tribes. Taste and luxury had long been grafted on the 
mere wants of the natives. Here, as in Egypt, the remains 
are chiefly temples, palaces, and tombs. Ancient architecture 
becomes the geology of humanity." 

The " Red hand" has been observed here. Such an imprint 
of the red hand is used by some of the North American In- 
dians to denote supplication to the Great Spirit ; and it appears 
to stand in the picture-writing (of Mexico) as the symbol of 
power and strength. I have noticed the " Red hand" as far 
south as Arica in Peru, at the entrance of the cave in the 
Morro, the whole of which vicinity was an ancient depository 
of the dead.* I give for the original Indian population of 
Mexico twenty millions ; at the present date there are about 
four millions. 

Brantz-Mayer epitomizes the subject of Mexican monuments, 
commencing with those in Zacatecas, in the " Cerro de los Edi- 
ficios, in 22 30' N. Chico-mozca, in this direction, said to be 
a sojourning place of the Aztecs on their southward march. 
Here are ruins of walls, plazas, pyramids, terraces, roads, 
pavements, etc. Some of the rock-built walls are twenty-two 
feet in thickness. 

Mr. Norman, in 1844, visited a district the centre of which 

* See my paper on " Peruvian Indians" in Ethno. Soc. Trans., 1854. 


is 22 ION., 98 30' W., and has described mounds, pyramids, 
edifices, tombs, fragments of obsidian knives, arrows, and 
pottery. Hewn blocks of sandstone were, in many instances, 
the materials used for building; and besides the images of 
clay, he found others rudely cut in stone in bold relief. In 
the vicinity of Panuco, an old town of the Huestecos, he found 
remains of architecture and sculpture scattered over an area of 
many miles, the history and traditions of which are altogether 
unknown. Three leagues south of Panuco are more ruins, 
known as those of Chacuaco, represented as covering about 
three square leagues, all of which seem to have been com- 
pressed within the bounds of a large city. Similar ruins are 
found at San Nicolas and La Trinidad. Sixteen leagues from 
the sea are the ruins of Papantla, which, in its palmy days, 
was a mile and a half in circuit. Nebel visited these, and 
gives a drawing of the beautiful pyramid called by the Indians 
"El Tajin." It is built of sandstone, squared, and covered 
with hard stucco. Its base, on all sides, is 120 feet, and it is 
ascended by a stair composed of fifty-seven steps, each a foot 
in height ; it may be sixty feet from the ground. It consists 
of seven stories or bodies, each decreasing in size as it ascends 
from the base. 

Near Papantla is Mapilca, where Nebel discovered pyramids, 
carved stones, and ruins of an extensive town. One sculp- 
tured stone was of close-grained granite, twenty-one feet long, 
and the figures differed from the ancient sculptures found east 
of the main Cordillera, and somewhat resembled those of 
Oajaca. Fifteen leagues west of Papantla are the ruins of 
Tusapan, supposed to be of Totonac origin ; here is a fountain 
in human shape ; and a pyramid of four stories, in which the 
pyramidal and vertical lines are again united, the second story 
being reached at a door by a flight of steps, which is built 
of stones of unequal sizes, and has a base of thirty feet on 
each of its four sides. The fountain is cut from solid rock, 
nineteen feet high, and represents a female in an indecent 

On the island of Sacrificios, south of Vera Cruz, there are 
no longer any remains of edifices used for those burial rites 

i 2 


which, made the spot so celebrated at the period of the 
conquest; but the soil has yielded many relics, as vases, 
images, carvings, sepulchres, and skeletons, pottery and ob- 
sidian. At Misantla, near Jalapa, on the Cerro of Estillero, 
was discovered in 1835, the ruins of an extensive town. First, 
there is seen a broken wall of massive stones, united by 
cement, which seem to have been the boundary of a fortifica- 
tion of a circular area; in the centre a pyramid, with three 
stages, rises to the height of eighty feet, having a base of 
forty feet on two sides, by forty-nine on the two others. Be- 
yond the encircling are the remains of a town, extending 
northward for nearly three miles. The stone foundations, 
large, square, and massive, are still distinguishable, and 
the lines of the streets may be traced in blocks, about three 
hundred yards from each other. There is a mound here ; also 
tombs built of stone, whence carved figures, vases, and uten- 
sils were exhumed. 

Three and a half miles from the Puente Nacional is an 
interesting and curious temple, and u seems to be an ex- 
ceedingly steep pyramid of steps." In consequence of the 
inequality of the ground it is thirty-three feet on some of its 
sides, and forty-two on others. The top is reached by forty- 
two steps, so as to be almost perpendicular to the base. Its 
platform is forty-eight feet broad and seventy long. It is 
composed of sand, lime, and large stones. An entrance was 
discovered from the west, but so small and clogged that the 
explorers were not disposed to venture within for fear of 
venomous serpents and insects with which the interior, in all 
likelihood, is swarming. 

Yucatan and Chiapas. Fifty-four ancient cities have been 
discovered, many of them but a short distance apart. In 
Chiapas are the remarkable remains at Ocozingo and Palenque, 
between 16 and 17 N. Yucatan is crowded with monu- 
mental ruins at Maxcanu, Uxmal, Sacbey, Xampon, Sanacte, 
Chun-hu-hu, Labpahk, Iturbide, Mayapan, San Francisco, 
Ticul, Nochacab, Xoch, Kabah, Sabatsche, Labna, Kenick 
Izmal, Saccacal, Tecax, Akil, Mani, Macoba, Benanchen, Peto, 


and Chichen, in the interior of the state; and at Tuloom, 
Tancar, and in the island of Cozumel on its eastern coast. 

Mr. Stephens believed that most of these cities were occu- 
pied by the original builders and their descendants at the 
time of the conquest. The style of ornamentation is said to 
indicate that they had not entirely abandoned the barbaric for 
the beautiful (that is, as the white man understands this 
question) . 

The plateau of Mexico was the centre of the Aztec popula- 
tion, which submitted to Cortez. The Spanish settlement 
which occupied the site of the ancient capital, very soon obli- 
terated every architectural vestige of the aborigines. How- 
ever, the size and sculpture of some of the large stones found 
are interesting ; the image called u Teoyasmiqui" is cut from a 
single block of basalt, nine feet high and five and a half 
broad ; the " sacrificial stone", also of basalt, is cylindrical, 
nine feet in diameter and three high; while the "calendar 
stone", or zodiac, of the same material, is eleven feet eight 
inches in diameter, and about two feet in thickness. 

At Tezcuco there is a shapeless mass of burnt bricks, 
mortar, and earth, among which there are several slabs of 
basalt, neatly squared, probably remains of a royal residence. 
In 1825, Mr. Poinsett found a regularly arched and well-built 
passage, sewer or aqueduct, formed of cut stones of the size 
of bricks, cemented with strong mortar. In the door of a 
room, he noticed the remains of a very flat arch, the stones of 
which were of prodigious bulk. In the southern portion of 
Tezcuco are the remains of three pyramidal Teocalli masses. 
They adjoin each other in a line north and south ; they are 
about four hundred feet in extent on each front of their bases, 
and constructed of burnt and sun-dried bricks. Three miles east 
of Tezcuco are the remains of Tezcacun. Here the mountain- 
rock has been cut into seats surrounding a recess in a steep 
wall, which, tradition says, was once covered with a calendar. 
The sculptures have been destroyed by the modern Indians, who 
cut them to pieces in search of treasure, as soon as they found 
the spot became an object of interest to foreigners. Hard by 
is another recess, cut in the solid rock, surrounded by seats. 


Three hours ride from Tezcuco, near Otumba, are the two 
pyramids known as the ' Houses of the Sun and Moon/ com- 
posed of earth and sun-dried bricks ; but, in many places, the 
remains of a thick coating of cement with which they were 
encrusted in the days of their perfection, were still to be found 
in 1842. The base line of the ' House of the Sun' is 682 feet, 
and its height 121 feet. 

In 18 30' N. is the Cerro de Xochicalco, or " hill of flowers," 
which, a few years back, was still crested by the remains of a 
stone pyramid. The summit is gained by winding along fine 
spiral terraces. There were sculptures and hieroglyphics on 
this pyramid from three to four inches deep. The stones, 
some of which are seven feet long and two feet six inches broad, 
are all laid upon each other without cement. It would appear 
that the interior of the hill is hollowed into chambers. 

In the State of Oajaca there is met with a large quantity 
of architectural and image remains. Some of the most in- 
teresting are at Tachila, where there are tumuli; at Mont 
Alban, tumuli and pyramids ; at other places also, including 
Mitla. Most of the relics present pyramidal shapes ; a good 
one is at Tehuantepec. In 1844, fine stone ruins were dis- 
covered near Quiotepec. Then there is the spiral tower of 
seven or eight stages near Tehuantepec. 

Mitla, or Mictla. The Aztecs had only finally subdued 
the Zapotec people of this region about 1494. Mictlan means 
" place of sadness", a name which it may have received from the 
Aztecs; for the Zapotec appellation seems to be Liuba or Leoba, 
" the tomb". A large portion of the valley in the neighbourhood 
of three mountains, is said to be still covered with heaps in- 
dicating the sites of ancient architecture. Upright columns, 
three feet in diameter and fifteen feet high, and recumbent, 
some cylindrical, are still found standing, and crumbling walls. 
A courtyard covered with hard cement, and slabs of sandstone, 
door-jambs, niches or recesses for images, large stones forming 
a cornice some eighteen feet long, four feet ten inches broad, 
and three feet six inches thick; another, nineteen feet four 
inches long, four feet ten and a half inches broad, and three feet 
nine inches thick ; a third, nineteen feet six inches long, four 


feet ten inches broad and three feet four inches thick. The 
outline of the adornments are called " basket-like", and re- 
ported to be beautiful. Grotesque as the Zapotec images are, 
they possess, in symmetry and originality, many more elements 
of art than are found in the Aztec or Mayan. A league 
north-east of Mitla are the remains of a curious Zapotec 

I translate the following of M. Charnay (see Tour du Monde, 
No. 126, 1862, for drawings from photographs) : 

Izmal, to judge by the quantity of ruins, must have been 
the centre of a great population. According to some, they 
belong to the same period as those at Mayapan and Palenque, 
or they may be more ancient. Tradition makes this the place 
of sepulture of their prophet Zamna. The neighbourhood is 
studded with pyramidal buildings ; two amongst them are 
the largest in the peninsula. They are opposite to one an- 
other; composed of a first pyramid of two hundred and 
fifty meters* on the side, and fifteen meters in height, serving 
as a base to another and smaller pyramid; on this last is a 

The base of another elevation has the remains of gigantic 
figures (see Stephens and Catherwood). Another and more 
gigantic figure has lately been discovered ; the head, twelve 
feet in height, where much modelling in cement is seen. 
The ancient road from Izmal towards Merida is thus described. 
It goes for a mile or two alongside the present route, and 
on entering the forest, under a bed of humus, is discovered a 
beautiful road of seven to eight meters wide, paved with 
enormous slabs, which is covered with a layer of cement two 
inches in thickness; the road is, above the ground, a meter 
and a half, so that during the great rains the travellers by it 
were kept from the water. The cement looks as if it had only 
just been laid ; what is remarkable is the thick bed of humus 
on this road. 

Chichen-Itza belonged to the old country of Mayapan, de- 
stroyed about 1420 ; but this spot maintained its independence 

* The metre is 39-37079 English inches. 


until 1697, when it was ruined by the Spaniards. The author 
had his quarters in a room of the palace. The circus was 
called by the people the church. The emblems seen here 
show that the very men of the nation came here to try their 
strength with wild animals. Here are representations of the 
eagle, serpent, jaguar, fox, owl, etc. ; of all these there only 
remain the bas-reliefs of jaguars, represented two and two, 
and separated by a round ornament full of small circles. It 
was formerly a monument composed of two pyramidal bodies, 
was a base of one hundred and twenty meters, with a platform 
on the summit for spectators. The second is covered with 
paintings of warriors and priests, some with black beards and 
draped in long tunics, the heads ornamented variously. The 
colours employed are yellow, red, and white. The two columns 
contain bas-reliefs of jaguars. There is a pyramid to the 
right of the above in which there is an apartment, and 
fixed in the wall the famous ring which served in their bull- 

The so-called palace of the nuns is the most important 
monument, particularly for the richness of its sculptures. 
Above is a beautiful medallion of a chief, on his head a crown 
of feathers. The frieze that surrounds the palace is composed 
of a large number of large heads of idols, the noses of which 
have figures on them. These heads are separated by panels 
of cruciform work, common in the ruins of Yucatan. The in- 
terior of the edifice is composed of five habitations, the forms 
of which are similar to those at Palenque, and do not vary ; 
the arched roof composed of superincumbent layers over- 
lapping each other. The lintels of the doors are of stone, 
there are very few in wood. The principal portion of the so- 
called palace of the nuns is flanked by two wings, placed at 
unequal distances, and supported by a perpendicular pyramid, 
upon the platform of which is a curious building ; this again 
is surmounted by another, the whole forming three stages or 
stories. The first platform is gained by a gigantic staircase 
of forty-five steps. 

The building denominated the prison by the present na- 
tives is well preserved. It is placed in a pyramid, composed 


of a building with three doors to the west, giving light to a 
gallery the whole length of the palace. This gallery has three 
apartments, receiving light from three doors, corresponding 
to those without. No windows have been noticed either 
in these ruins of Yucatan, Mitla, or Palenque. Other ruins 
are seen all around, such as the Caracol, shell-like or wind- 
ing ; the castle is upon a pyramid a hundred feet in height, 
near the palace of the nuns, totally deprived of its sculp- 
tures; heaps of worked stones show where other edifices 
have been. 

The civilisation of Chichen seems to have been more ad- 
vanced than that of Izamal, where the pyramids and colossal 
figures denote a greater antiquity, but with less perfection in 
the details. At Chichen, the great mass of ruins shows that it 
was really a city ; the existence of public places leads one to 
suppose that their civil position was an advanced one, or that 
from an absolute theocracy they had passed to a military 

The Abbe B. de Bourbourg, in his translation of the Rela- 
cion de las Gosas de Yucatan (Triibner, 1864), by Diego Landa, 
furnishes the account and signs of the hieroglyphic alphabet of 
the Maya language. Landa was the second bishop of Merida 
(1573). This is an important key to further knowledge of 
Central American and Mexican history. Landa says " they 
had certain characters or letters by which they wrote in books 
ancient histories and their sciences, which they well knew and 
taught. We burnt these, at which they were much grieved." 
This discovery forms the subject of my communication to the 
Anthropological Society,* with plates of the alphabet, months, 
and days of the month, which comprises all we know at pre- 
sent of the Maya characters. 

I may mention that I am occupied in comparing the hiero- 
glyphics of Yucatan, Palenque, Copan, etc., as well as the 
Dresden Codex (which last appears to be a Maya and not a 
Mexican MS.), by the Maya alphabet. 

Central America. At the period of the conquest it in- 

* Memoirs of the Anthropological Society of London, vol. ii, p. 46. 


eluded the great and interesting region of Guatemala. At 
present, the political divisions are Costa Rica, Nicaragua, San 
Salvador, Honduras, Mosquitia, and Guatemala. With regard 
to Guatemala, following its history by Juarros and the recent 
researches of Abbe B. de Bourbourg, we learn that one great 
among other nations the Quiche had had several dynasties of 
chiefs, called by the Spaniards kings, and that their Popol 
Vuh or ancient history, may have even been the original of 
Teo-Amoxtli, the diviue historical book of the Toltecs. 

The whole of Guatemala is studded with stone ruins of early 
times. It was in translating the French version of the Popul 
Vuh, and the drama of the Tun, or, Sacred Brum, that I was 
much struck with the number of nations enumerated, their 
works and doings ; but especially with the power of the kings 
of Xibalba, to the north-east of Utitlan, the magnificent, the 
capital of the great Quiche nation. A careful comparison 
of the Popol Vuh with other compositions on the subject, 
would clear away many difficulties surrounding the early his- 
tory of the nations once occupying Central America. 

The ruins of Copan, in Honduras, may, for the present, be 
classed with those of Yucatan ; their extent along the left bank 
of the river Copan alone is about two miles, but how far they ex- 
tend into the depths of the forests on either side has not been 
ascertained. Brantz Mayer observes, that the Aztec arms were 
triumphant throughout all the plains that swept down towards 
the Atlantic and Pacific, and penetrated, as is alleged by some 
authorities, even to Guatemala and Nicaragua. For other details 
I refer in particular to Squier's Central America, and Nicaragua , 
Brantz Mayer's Ancient and Modern Mexico, M. Charuay's Tour 
du Monde, No. 126, 1862, for drawings from photographs; also 
to SalvhVs forty-eight beautiful photographic views of the Ruins 
of Copan * The original population of Central America may have 
been ten millions ; there may be one million at the present time. 

Isthmus of Darien, Veragua, etc. When first visited 
by the Spaniards, the natives were profusely ornamented with 

* Published, with description of Copan, by Smith, Beck, and Beck, 31, 
Cornhill, London. 


gold objects, and the deities they adored were of the same 
metal. Hereabouts were the Cothos, Borisques, Utelas, Bu- 
gabas (in the Chiriqui country), Zunes, Dolegas, Chagres, 
Zaribas, Dorazques (Dorachos), etc. Lately, in the Chiriqui 
territory, many ancient Indian tombs have been opened con- 
taining large quantities of figures of men, women, deities, ani- 
mals, apparently cast; well-made and graceful pottery, some 
with a species of inscription on them, which may be of Do- 
racho origin ; pillars, and grotesque statues of stone ; and 
large boulders covered with engraved figures of human faces, 
celestial objects, animals, etc. These appear to have been the 
work of an earlier people than the Dorachos.* 

New Granada. In 1861, Mosquera, being president, called 
this country "Los Estados Unidos de Colombia." In very 
early times there were builders in stone, and even workers in 
gold, in a district now known as Timana, and it has been 
supposed, but without much foundation, that they may have 
been of early Toltec origin ; however, I have not been able 
to obtain the slightest tradition concerning the builders of the 
Timana monuments, which consist of stone statues, tables of 
sacrifice with representations of the sun and moon, slabs of 
stone with designs of animals on them, and which may have 
had, in aftertimes, some connexion with the calendars or 
zodiacs of a later people, viz., the Chibchas.f 

Near Neyba there are stone figures, probably of the Timana 
period, of men, women, of the puma, jaguar, huanaco, monkey, 
frogs, etc. ; also, a large stone table with four feet, or paws of 
animals, coming from a central pillar. Velasco, in his Historia 
de Quito, says, " the ancient people of this part of the country 

* See my paper in Ethno. Soc. Trans., vol. ii, new series, " On the Ancient 
Tombs of Chiriqui;" also, my " S. Amer. Antiq.," plates at pp. 30, 32. 
C. Carter Blake's paper on "Celts found at Chiriqui," Ethno. Soc. Trans./' 
vol. ii, new series. 

f See South Amer. Antiq., plate, p. 41. We are indebted, I think, to Cal- 
das, a native of Popayan, for the first information of these remains. He 
was barbarously shot by Murillo, the Spanish general, and who at the same 
time burnt, in the public square, twelve cartloads of Calda's books, MSS., 
etc. Bivero and Tschudi give drawings of the Timana monuments, but do 
not say how obtained. 


had rocks covered with u hieroglyphics/' figures of animals, 
flowers, and others that looked like numerals. It is but 
lately that the existence of these interesting memorials has 
come to our knowledge ; of the builders we know nothing. I 
call these Timana and Neyba remains " Pre-Chibcha." 

We now arrive at a more recent period, namely, that of the 
people the Spaniards found inhabiting the tableland of Bogota, 
then called by the natives Theusaquillo, or, as sometimes now 
erroneously and pompously denominated, the Empire of Cun- 
dinamarca or Cundi-rumarca, which word is first met with in 
Herrera (lib. vii, dec. 5). J. Acosta, a good authority, tells us 
that it can have no connexion with the Chibchas. It appears 
to me to be a Quichua compound word, from Cuntur, the condor, 
marca, a district or country, or land of the condor. In 1811, 
it was raked out of old Herrera, and Bogota, the capital, was 
placed in it by the patriots. 

There is some doubt as to the name the Indians called them- 
selves ; and as they had a principal divinity, Chibchacum, the 
Spaniards christened the people Chibchas, they have also 
been called Muizcas, which means " men or people." We will 
call them Chibchas. The earliest Chibcha tradition is that 
ere the moon was the earth's satellite, Bogota was peopled by 
a barbarous race ; that there came from the east an old man 
with a long beard, known by the names of Bochica, Nem- 
quetaba, and Zuha, who brought them together. Bochica had 
a wife, but she disobeying him, he transformed her into the 
moon; and before he himself disappeared, gave them two 
governing chiefs, one civil, a Zipa ; the other ecclesiastical, 
a Zaque'; similarly named chiefs governed the country until 
the period of the Spanish conquest. 

About a.d. 1470, there were two great civil chiefs, the Zipa 
of Bogota, and the Zipa of Tunja or Hunsa ; the Zaque, or su- 
preme priest occupying Sogamoso. The Zipa of Bogota, San- 
guanmachica, was at war with the Zipa of Tunja, Michna ; the for- 
mer fell in battle, and was succeeded by his nephew, Nemequene, 
who went against Michua, when Michua fell. Nemequene soon 
died, the power falling to Thisquesuza, who went against Qui- 
munchalecha, the then chief of Tunja ; the Zaque of Sogomoso 


interfered, and there was a truce for twenty moons, which 
brings us to 1533, when the Spaniards entered the country. 
There were then eight millions of Indians; now there are 
about 450,000. The temples of the Chibchas, in which they 
worshipped the sun, were large, and of stone. They embalmed 
the dead bodies of their chiefs, burying with them consider- 
able quantities of gold objects, which are now known as tunjos, 
or sacred offerings, the principal forms being those of human 
figures, probably of Bochica and his wife, cast flat. (See 
my paper on " Ancient Gold Objects from America, in Mr. 
Mayer's Museum at Liverpool," Trans. Historic. Soc. of Lanca- 
sit ire, 1861, where there are drawings of two of these Tunjos ; 
see also TJricochea* for nine drawings. There are two or three 
Tunjos in the British Museum.) They cultivated the land, and 
had certain commercial relations with each other, as bartering 
gold for salt, etc. 

They had curious and difficult to be explained calendars, or 
zodiacs, carved on hard stone, mostly of pentagonal and oblong 
forms ; engraved on these were principally figures of the frog 
and serpent. The frog was symbolic with them, amongst 
other things, for water and rain, and called ata in their lan- 
guage; ata is also used for the numeral, one, and has a 
figurative character, in which can be traced the outline of a 
frog in the act of jumping. 

Becently we have been favoured with an account of ancient 
ruins of stone buildings discovered at Tunja, say of an early 
Chibcha period, consisting of stone pillars, some four to five 
yards long. There are a series of thirteen pillars arranged in 
a circle of fifty yards in circumference, as if it had been a 
temple or palace ; near to this are the remains of twenty-nine 
pillars fixed in the earth. These remains stand upon about 
two miles of ground. Hereabouts, in a dense forest, are a 
considerable number of wrought stones, probably a quarry. 
Uricochea writes thus : " The Chibcha nation passed away, 
meteor-like, following the same track of the other indigenous 
people of America, being exterminated by the reeking sword, 

* Mem. sobre las Antig. Neo-Granadinas, Berlin, 1854. 


the attendant on Christian fanaticism and the Spanish thirst 
for gold. Their civilisation has been lost to us, their lan- 
guage lost ; the people were annihilated. 

Quito or Ecuador. This region may have been first 
visited by the Red Man, from what we now know as New 
Granada, also from its own coast on the Pacific. I am not 
prepared to agree with the Abbe B. de Bourbourg in his com- 
mentary on the Popol Villi, that all the countries south of 
Mexico were visited by the Nahuas, or ancient Mexicans, 
and that they left a portion of their civilisation in them ; 
but rather that the civilisation found here emanated from 

The first information we have of this lovely country, with 
its palm-covered coasts, elevated and grain-growing tablelands, 
and mighty ice-clad volcanoes, is that the Cara or Caran nation 
went on conquest from the coast up the river Esmeraldas, and 
became the masters of Quito, then ruled over by a chief called 
Quitu. Of the Quitu's people we know but little ; they were 
sun-worshippers, and had built a temple to this luminary on a 
high hill, called by the later invading Incas " Yavira," and by 
the Spaniards " Panecillo." A few rude remains in stone 
have been met with in Quito, supposed to be the work of the 
Quit us. We are told that the Caras, when they lived on the 
coast, had sun-dried brick and stone habitations ; still there is 
reason to think that the stone ruins and statues, also remains 
of wells met with by Pizarro, at Manta, in 0' 57" S., and Punta 
St. Elena, in 2 11', were the work of an older nation than 
these Caras. The Caras were more advanced in various ways 
than the Quitus ; they built a square temple of stone, on the 
hill of Yavira, to the sun ; it had a pyramid roof, and its door 
was to the east, so that the first rays of the sun fell upon a 
gold image representing the orb of day. The temple to the 
moon and stars was on an opposite hill. There were on each 
side of the temple of the sun gnomons to observe the times of 
the solstices. Their tombs were mounds, generally of rough 

When the Cara chiefs had become the rulers of Quito, they 
were called Scyris, or lords of all. B. de Bourbourg supposes 


that the word Cava the name of the nation came from Carib 
(CJ alibi). Cara is the Quichua word for Indian corn, mahiz, 
in Hayti; but I would not venture to say that they took the 
name of Cara from having been growers of mahiz or maiz. 
The later Incas conquered Quito ; and the great Huayna Capac 
beautified the rude Cara masonry, building also much in the 
Incarial style, which is of a marked and distinctive character. 

Eude works in gold are occasionally found in the ancient 
tombs, a drawing of one, from Cuenca, I have given in my 
South American Antiquities. Mr. Spruce (Anthropological 
Review, Feb. 1864) states that in 1860 there were discovered, 
on the islands of Muerto and Puna, various objects in gold ; 
one was a statue, very creditably sculptured, six or eight 
inches high; others, consisting of thin plates, like a lady's 
muslin collar, covered with figures, one of them had a 
hundred stamped figures of pelicans, each figure representing 
the bird in a different attitude. Only lately have I seen any 
remains of the plastic art from this land, namely, from the 
coast at the Pailon, near the equator, mainly of figures of 
grotesque character, sent to me by my friend, Mr. J. S. Wil- 
son; however, one specimen was apparently modelled from 
life. This collection is in the British Museum. In my paper 
on these remains, in Mhno. Soc. Trans., ] 863, it is mentioned 
that this pottery appears to have been deposited, say in a 
tomb, then the land had been submerged under the sea for a 
period, and afterwards elevated by earthquake power. Two 
leagues north of Monte Christ o, on the flat summit of a moun- 
tain, is a circle of thirty stone seats with arms, these may 
have been used on solemn occasions by the Caras, or even by 
an older nation. 

I may here allude to a custom of a still wild tribe of Indians 
in this country, details of which will be found in the Ethno. Soc. 
Trans., 1863, also with a drawing, in the Intellectual Observer, 
April 1862. It is of the Jivaros, who cut off the heads of 
their principal prisoners ; the skull is removed, and the skin 
dried in a particular manner, when it retains something of the 
features. It is deified with much ceremony, and known as 
the idol human head of the wild Jivaros. I have estimated 


that Quito had, before the coming of the Spaniards, some 
four millions of inhabitants ; there may be now five hundred 

Mr. Spruce, the eminent botanist, communicated to the 
Anthropological Society, in December 1863, through Mr. Mark- 
ham, an interesting paper on " The Crystal Quartz Cutting 
Instruments of the Ancient Inhabitants of Chanduy, near 
Guayaquil."* These crystal lanceheads are found from Punta 
S. Elena to the town of Guayaquil, chiefly in low mounds laid 
bare by winter rains. Many have been met with by Mr. 
Spruce near the little town of Chanduy on the seashore, 
in middens, or refuse-heaps, with fragments of pottery and 
seashells. Mr. Spruce states that bones of large mammals are 
found near Chanduy, chiefly along the coast, where portions of 
the cliffs are continually falling in. Mr. Markham hinted that 
the descendants of the people who sat on the refuse-heaps and 
used quartz -crystal knives, may have done so while the mega- 
therium and mastodon still wandered over the South American 
continent, f 

Brazil. Here we have an empire 2,600 miles in length and 
2,000 in width, with scarcely an indication of stone monu- 
ments. Its aboriginal inhabitants having a luxuriant tropical 
country, thickly wooded, had natural means to protect them 
from the sun and rain. Here dwelt, at the period of its 
discovery by Europeans, very considerable masses of Red 
Men, say four millions, there may be a million at present, 
divided into Indios Mansos, or tamed, and Tajnros, or savage; 
they are generally of good stature, but low in the scale of 
civilisation. The most part are warlike, and ferocious when 
excited ; but the practice of cannibalism towards prisoners is 
said to be extinct, if, as some authors observe, it ever really 

Chile. We know nothing of the early history of Chile. 
Those warlike nations in the south were called by the Spaniards 

* Journal of the Anthropological Society of London, vol. ii, p. lvii. 
f See my South American Antiquities, p. 80, foi* observations on fossil- 
bones met with in that region. 


Araucanos.* The later Incas of Peru made inroads into Chile, 
but were not allowed to go further than the river Maule ; even 
at Copiapo they had not much of a possession, although they 
received some tribute in gold and silver. No native monu- 
ments of stone have been found in Chile. There are a very 
few remains of Incarial fortresses in the south. The Araucano 
lived, and still lives, in villages of rude huts, and in encamp- 
ments of skin tents, and is governed by chiefs called Toquis, 
Ulmenes, and Apo-Ulmenes. The Araucanos call themselves 
Moluches, or warriors ; and Alapu-che, children of the land ; 
Aucas,f or free men (in Quichua, aucas means an enemy, 
emcani, to fight). Their country was formerly divided into 
districts, or Uthal mapus, land of the four parts : as, 1. the Sea- 
coast; 2. the Plains; 3. the Lower Cordillera; 4. the Cordil- 
leras. The Puelches, and some of the Pampa Indians, appear 
to be of the Chilian family, as are the Cunches of Yaldivia, 
the Chonos and Poyus of the islands of Chiloe and Chonos. 
The Huilches are to the south of the Cunches ; the Pehuenches 
are found generally in the Chilian Andes, between 34 and 37 S. 
At the time of the Spanish Conquest there were other tribes, 
commencing in the north and coming south, as the Copiapinos, 
Coquimbis, Quillotanes, Mapoches, Promaquis, Curis, Cauquis, 
Pencones, Antales, etc. 

The graves of the present Araucanos are sometimes dis- 
tinguished by a round post of wood, the top ornamented, 
according to some, in the shape of a double-headed eagle, to 
others, like a hat. In a cemetery of the Huilches, lately 
visited, there were logs rudely carved so as to represent the 
human figure. Chile may have had four millions of natives ; 
there are in the present day about 20,000. 

* The term Araucano is one of reproach, meaning brigands, and ferocious 
fellows. The Indians call the Spaniards Chiapi, or bad soldiers; and Huincas, 

f My friend, Major F. Ignacio Rickard, has recently deposited, in the mu- 
seum of the Anthropological Society, two nearly complete skeletons of the 
Puelche Indians of Mendoza, and two complete skulls, with many of the long 
bones of some Aucas. These specimens, hitherto unique in any anthropo- 
logical museum, will form the subject of careful description by my friend, 
Mr. Carter Blake. 



Patagonia. No stone, or other monuments of antiquity, 
have as yet been found in these extensive regions. They were 
so called by Magellan, iu consequence of their large feet. 
They seem to be divided into two large tribes ; the Tehuelches 
on the north, the Inaken on the south, or those often seen 
on the south shores of Magellan Straits. They may comprise 
a population of eight to ten thousand souls. The Inaken, 
or southern Patagonians, believe in another life. God, or 
Acheltenat-Kanet, is the author of good and evil. Old women 
are their priestesses. The year, Kechnia, is divided into lunar 
months. Their language is very guttural. They count up to 
100, but this, as well as the 1,000, they have got from the 
Araucanos. When Capt. P. P. King, R.N., in command of 
the Adventure, was surveying in these regions, Caras-Ken was 
the name of the principal chief of the Patagonians. On the 
return of the Adventure to England in 1 830, Capt. King kindly 
gave me a passage in this vessel, when I had the opportunity 
of visiting Juan Fernandez, Arauco, and the Straits of Ma- 
gellan ; in the latter region we remained several weeks. 

The Chonos of Chile call the Patagonians Gacahues ; the 
Araucanos, Huilches, or, men of the south. The Fuegians 
call the Patagonians Tiremenen ; Bougainville called them 
Chaona, as they used this word so often. Falkner, who is 
said to confound them with others, denominates them Tehue- 
lets ; the colonists of El Carmen name them Tehuelches ; but 
they call themselves, in the north, Tehaelche, in the south, 

The Fuegians could have come easily from the tribes of 
Southern Chile. The name of Fuegian was given to the in- 
habitants of Tierra del Fuego, in 1 822, by Capt. Weddell ; but 
those in the west called themselves Alikhoulip ; those in the 
east, Tekenska; however, when I had to put in, by stress of 
weather, into Nassau Bay (just behind Cape Horn) in 1825, I 
only knew them as red and black Magellans. Captains King 
and Fitzroy divided them into four groups : 

1 . Yacana, who inhabit the north, composed of from 500 to 
600. These are somewhat like the Patagonians. 

2. Tekinsca or Kynhue are to the south-east, about 500. 


3. AUhhoulvp are to the west, and about 400. 

4. Pecherais are in the centre. What is curious is the great 
difference between the languages of some of the tribes in such 
close proximity to each other, and communicating easily by 

D'Orbigny thought the Fuegians were of the Araucano race ; 
but the euphony found in the Araucano language is not in the 
Fuegian, which is very guttural. He also says the Tekinsca 
are small, like the Araucanos ; the Yacuna-kunny, according 
to Capt. King*, resemble the Patagonians by their height, 
colour, costume, arms, and customs. The gallant and per- 
severing Captain Snow, in his cruise off Tierra del Fuego, 
1857, says, the Fuegians are divided into seven tribes: 
1. Densmen. 2. Yapoo. 3. Tekeenica. 4. Alikhoolip. 5. 
Chonos. 6. Pechere. 7. Irees. When I was in Nassau Bay 
in 1825, and in the Straits of Magellan in 1830, the words 
yab-skooler appeared to mean, give us something to eat ; sherro, 
a ship, boat, or canoe ; kaib, no, or if disappointed ; chox-jpitit, 
little child; jarjar, yes; uxchuca, water, probably from the 
Spanish, agua. They used a few Spanish words, as capitan ; 
perro, dog; canoa ; Imanaco, etc. 

The Pampas family some of them, as the Guaranis were 
somewhat inclined to agriculture, and easily submitted to the 
Spaniards. The Charruas, Abipones, Botocudos, and others, 
were warrior nations, and could only be subdued by extermina- 
tion. Nearly all the Charruas have been destroyed. In 1832, 
a chief, Yarinaca Taconabe, a warrior, his wife Grayunsa, and 
Seneque, a medicine-man, were taken to Paris. The men soon 
died of despair. In 1834, the woman and her child were in 
Lyons. There may have been originally of the Pampa family 
four millions ; the remnants are now included in the 100,000 
in La Plata. After the conquest of the country, we have 
first in rank of population the Creole, or country-born, from 
Spanish parents. As the Indian was not a working individual, 
negro slaves were introduced. From the white man and black 
woman came the Mulatto family ; from the black and red, the 
Zambo ; the Mestizo from the white and red ; and a variety 
of this interbreed is termed Peon or Graucho, on the Pampas 



(Guaso in Chile, and Llanero in Columbia) . These have been 
called the herdsmen of the Pampas ; they are descended from 
the old Spanish herdsmen by Indian mothers. There was 
a terrible family of Mestizos, namely, the Mamelucos,* or 
mounted Gauchos, who sprang from the old Spanish herdsmen 
and the women of the north-west frontier of Brazil. They 
became the robbers of natives for the Indian slave-markets of 
Brazil. They even attacked the Spanish missions, stealing 
the reduced Indians ; and they were not over-particular in 
making prisoners of the whites. However, in 1690, the Vice- 
roy of Peru succeeded in putting a stop to this state of things 
by force of arms. During their marauding reigns they had 
stolen some two millions. In 1628-9, 600,000 of their cap- 
tives were sold in Brazil, principally in Rio Janeiro. 

At the end of vol. i. of Molina are supplementary notes 
from an anonymous work on Chile, printed at Bologna, 1776, 
where it is stated that between Mendoza and La Punta, upon 
a low range of hills, is a large stone pillar. It is called the 
u Giant/' and has on it marks and inscriptions. Near the 
Rio Diamante, south of Mendoza, there is another stone con- 
taining marks, impressions of human feet, and figures of 
animals. On the track over the Andes, from Cuyo to Chile, 
are still to be seen some of the tampus, or Incarial resting 

My friend, Major Rickard, in his Mining Journey across the 
Andes, tc, 1863, mentions, that in the valley of Barrial he 
came upon several ruins of ancient Indian villages, said to 
have existed in the time of the Incas. They consisted merely 
of the outlines of large, square, and oblong buildings, extend- 
ing over a space of half a square mile. Some broken pottery 
was found there in a spot close to the ruins, on the fiat sum- 
mit of an immense mass of sandstone, which is pointed out 
as the burying-place of the old Indians. He was told that to 
the north there were several tombs, arched over and built up 
with masonry, so firmly cemented as to appear one solid mass. 

* Does this term, Mamelucos, come from the Mamouel-tches Indians of 
this region ? 


Ho observed, near this locality, some large stones, with to him 
unintelligible inscriptions on them. 

M. Guinard, who was held three years (from 1856-9) in cap- 
tivity among the Patagonians, gives much information about 
them ; full details are found in Nos. 94 and 95, Le Tour du 
Monde, Paris, 1861. He divides the Indians of this extensive 
region into three great groups : 

1. The Pampero or Pampa Indians, from the Rio Salado to 
the Rio Negro, divided into seven tribes. 

2. The woody region between the Lakes Bevedero and Urre 
Lafquen, and up to the Rio Diamante, is roamed over by the 
Mamoueltches, composed of six tribes ; as the Ranquels-tches, 
Angueco-tches, Catrule-Mamouel-tches, Guine-Ouitrou-tches, 
Longeuil-Ouitrou-tches, and Renangneco-tches. 

3. From the south of the Rio Negro, there are nine tribes 
of the Patagonians; as, Poyuches, Puelches, Caillihetches, 
Tcheoue-tches, Canguecaoue-tches, Tchao-tches, Ouili-tches, 
Dilma-tches, and Yakah-natches. M. Guinard fell into the 
hands of the Poyuches. 

These tribes, as well as the Araucanos of Chile, speak nearly 
the same language. The greatest enmity prevails between 
the Indians and the whites. They recognise two superior 
powers ; Yitaaouentron, the good, his whereabouts not known, 
Houacouvou or Gualichu, the evil power, who is on the 
earth, and commands the evil spirits. Their soothsayers, male 
and female, are losing their reputation ; these pretend to be 
able to see into the bowels of the earth. Before eating or 
drinking, a portion of their food is offered to the Great Spirit. 
They turn towards the sun, as the envoy of the Great Spirit, 
and offering a piece of meat and spitting a little water, say the 
following : " Oh, Father ! great man, king of the earth, grant 
me, dear Friend, daily good food, good water, sound sleep. I 
am poor. Art thou hungry ? Here thou hast to eat, eat if thou 
wilt." After his meal, which is principally of raw horseflesh, 
the Indian mixes tobacco (pitrem), some roots and herbs, with 
horse- or cow-dung, and fills his pipe ; he now lies on his 
stomach and takes seven or eight inhalations rapidly, which 
he then sends through his nostrils ; this generally intoxicates 


him. Men, women, and children smoke in this way.* The 
general occupation is the chase of deer and ostriches, pillage 
of the whites, care of their horses and cattle, horsemanship, 
and practice of the lance, lasso, and bolas. 

The skin tent is in general use. When full dressed they 
wear the poncho, a waistcloth, and a fillet round the head. 
They pluck out all hair from the body, even to the eyebrows, 
painting themselves with coloured volcanic matter, black, 
blue, red, and white, brought to them by the Araucanos on 
their annual visits. The women wear woollen mantles, fastened 
by a large silver pin, and an ornamented girdle of leather; 
also, earrings and bracelets. They are not so ugly as the 
men, which may be accounted for by many being descendants 
from white female captives. There may be 40,000 in all, but 
are decreasing, particularly the Pamperos, who may have seven 
wives. They are very great gamblers, even with Spanish 
cards and dice. The great amusement is the tchoecah, ouignou, 
or ball-game, and are fond of intoxicating drinks. The 
Christians, whom they call Huincas (murderers in Araucano), 
sell them poulcou, or brandy. They procure other drinks 
from the fruit of the algarobo and the trulca. 

Two religious feasts are observed by them ; one in summer, 
to the Good Spirit ; the other in autumn, to the Evil Spirit, 
when sacrifices of animals are made. A wife is obtained by 
making presents to the parents. Childbirth is easy to the 
female. At the birth of a child the parents decide if it is to 
live or die ; if the latter, it is strangled and thrown to the 
birds and beasts of prey. On the death of an Indian, his 
body is wrapped up like a mummy, and placed lengthways on 
the favourite horse of the deceased ; the left leg of the horse 
is broken, so that its limping may add more solemnity to the 
occasion of taking the body to the grave, when the horse, and 
other animals, are killed over it. The widow must remain so 
a year before she can marry again. 

Peru was called Tahuantin-suyu by the Incas, or, the land 
of the four parts. Cuzco or Ccozco was the Inca's capital, 

* A somewhat similar method of smoking is used by the Bechuanas of 
South Africa. Vide Mr. Baines's Explorations of South Africa. 


and means, the centre of the country; or may be from 
Ccozcos, heaps of stone or earth, which had to be cleared 
away for the building of the city. Biru was the name of a 
chief south of Panama, and there is a river on the coast 
called Beru. An Indian not understanding what a party of 
Spaniards asked him as to the name of the country, replied, 
" Pelu," pointing, at the same time, to a high mountain ; on 
this, one of them exclaimed, " acabemos, aqui todo es Pirii," 
or, ' e Let us make an end of it, as to the name of the country, 
for all is called Pirii." 

I will divide the following into two sections, the Pre-Incarial 
and Incarial. 

The most interesting of the pre-Incarial remains are those 
existing at Tia-Huanaco, in 16 S. to the south of Lake Titi- 
caca, and at nearly 13,000 feet above the level of the sea. 
For other observations, I refer to Cieza de Leon (a.d. 1532-50), 
who visited them ; and for English readers to Mr. Markham's 
translation, Halduyt Soc, 1864 ; to my volume of South Ame- 
rican Antiquities ; to a paper of mine in the May number of 
The Intellectual Observer, 1863, where there is a plate of the 
sculptured monolith portal, from a photograph ; Vigne's Travels 
hi Mexico and South America, 1863; and Markkam's Travels 
in Peru and India, 1862. 

1. The Great Mound, 918 feet in length, 400 in breadth, 
and 100 to 120 feet in height ; a fortress and temple may have 
been placed thereon. 

2. Ranges of Pilasters; some are worked, others rough, of 
hard stone; they are about 18 to 20 feet in length. 

3. Remains of large slabs of worked stone, with seats, sup- 
posed to have been a hall of justice, each slab 36 feet square 
and 5 feet thick. About here, numberless pieces of stone of 
all sizes, wrought into square, cruciform, and triangular figures, 
many of them grooved, as if for windows and doors ; some 
have been united by metal clamps. 

4. The broken sculptured monolith portal. It is 10 feet 
above the ground, in width 13 feet 3 inches; it is formed of 
one block of hard trachytic rock ; the doorway is six feet high. 
The eastern face has three lines of sculptured figures, in alto- 

l) of men, and figures of men with birds' heads, each line 


lias sixteen figures, and in the centre a larger human figure. 
The figures with human heads may denote chiefs ; those with 
the apparently condors' heads, as the sun's messengers, and 
attendants on the chiefs. Cieza de Leon says, "but what I 
noted most particularly, when I wandered about over these 
ruins, was that from these great doorways there came out 
other large stones, upon which the doorways were formed, 
some of them thirty feet broad, fifteen or more long, and 
six in thickness. The whole of this, with the doorway and its 
jambs and lintel, was all of a single stone." 

5. Colossal stone idols stood on the mound. The following 
dimensions are given for one of the heads : from the chin to 
upper part, 3 feet 6 inches; in diameter, 2 feet 7 inches, or 
the whole height would be about 18 feet; they are of basalt, 
and covered with sculptures of human figures, with lizards' 
tails. There were, between the pilasters and the wall that 
surrounded the mound, stone statues of men, women, and 

6. A cyclopean wall of stone seems to have surrounded the 
great mound inside the pilasters. Acosta measured a block 
of stone, most probably of this wall, 30 feet in length, 18 feet 
in width, and 6 feet thick, = 200 tons (there are some masses 
of stone in the fortress of Cuzco 50 feet in length, 22 feet 
broad, and 6 feet thick, = 1,000 tons). 

7. A monolith building, which may have had a square court 
of 90 feet, and its walls 12 feet high; on one side of the court 
was a hall 45 feet long and 22 feet broad, the walls 9 inches 
thick. If dependence can be placed on these statements, we 
have here a monolith of 8,678 tons ! 

8. Old writers speak of large stone edifices from 300 to 
600 feet in length. The portals, or doorways, were perpen- 
dicular, and not like the Incarial, which inclined inwards at 
the top. 

Near to these ruins are two tombs, like square towers, of 
the old Collahuas. There are also remains of an Incarial 
palace, which may have been built by Mayta Capac, the 
fourth Inca, who died about a.d. 1156. He conquered the 
Collas ; and being here when he received news, brought in 
great haste by a messenger, exclaimed, ( ' Tia" or " Tiai 


Huanaco," which, in Quichua, means, " Rest, or sit thou 
fleet as the Huanaco." Mr. Vigne calls this locality Aca- 
pana, which Mr. Markham, in his Quichua Dictionary, trans- 
lates as "the red appearance of clouds at sunrise, sunset, 
or any bright tinge in the sky." There is a very misty tra- 
dition that a ruler named Huyusutus built Tia-Huanaco, and 
that its ancient name was Chuachua, which may mean u clear 
water" ; hvyii may mean a hall, or palace, or buildings. Can 
we say, " the city of the clear waters of the chief Sutu" ? Mr. 
Markham, in his Peru and India, observes, ce The forefathers of 
the present Aymaras established a civilisation, of which we 
have no records, save the silent evidence of those cyclopean 
ruins of Tia Huanaco, and others." 

Near Yinaque, not far from Huamanga, there are remains 
of large edifices, and Cieza de Leon calls them "great, and 
very ancient edifices," which are now in ruins. These, and 
some other ancient ruins, do not appear to me to be like those 
erected by the Incas. It is reported that certain letters were 
found on a slab in these buildings. In Chachapoyas, at 
Llaventu, to the east of the Marafion, it is affirmed there are 
ruins, some of conical form, with large statues ; the ancient 
people of this region worshipped the condor and serpents. At 
Cuelap, in this direction, we have descriptions of ruins of 
walls, chambers, and tombs ; nothing is known of their history. 
At Curumba, seven leagues from Andaguaylas, is a square 
building of masonry ; nothing is known of its authors. Some 
of the Chulpas, near Puno, are tombs of ancient Collas, hav- 
ing sculptures of lizards, serpents, and other objects on them.* 

The following is a description of a Colla, or Aymara Chulpa, trans- 
lated from Le Tour du Monde, No. 146, 1862, constructed of large Cyclopean 
blocks of stone, built up from the plain, and covered by a slab. On its 
eastern base was a small opening, and a low doorway on another side. 
It was ten feet square and eight feet high. The walls inclined towards the 
top, and very thick. From its weather-beaten appearance, it must have 
been many centuries old. It contained about a dozen bodies, embalmed 
with Chenopodium and Ambrosioides, wrapped in their habiliments, and 
placed in a sack made of rushes, and sitting in a circle, as if looking at each 
other. Each body had by its side some heads of maize, a vase of chicha, a 
bowl and spoon; and if it were a male, there were added a sling, club, in- 


Mr. Markham, in his Peru and India, informs us, that 
the shores of the Lake Umayu, near Vilque, appears to have 
been the burying-place of the chiefs of the Aymara tribes of 
the Collao ; the ruins are at Silustani, which is covered with 
places of sepulture. Four of them are towers of finely-cut 
masonry, equal to that of Cuzco, with the sides of the stones 
dovetailing into each other. One of these was thirty-six feet 
high, with a cornice and vaulted roof, and a great lizard, carved 
in relief, on one of the stones near the base, which measured 
six feet by three. Besides these, the tableland is covered with 
other towers of rough, unhewn stone, and earth; and there 
are the remains of two square edifices, built of cyclopean 
stones. The considerable ruins of Ollantatambo, in 13 15' S. 
and about 72 18' W., consist of remains of a strong fortress, 
palace, walls, and terraces. All is remarkable here, mainly 
on account of the great size and the accuracy with which the 
stones are cut. 

Osery, the companion of Castelnau, observed in the summit 
of a neighbouring mountain, a monument he supposed might 
be for astronomical purposes, namely, a square building, each 
side having three windows. One tradition is that a chief, 
named Ollanta, lived here. He fell in love with Cusi Collyur 
(joyful star), a daughter of the Inca Pachacutec. The Inca 
at first was very wrath, and made war upon him ; but in the 
end Cusi Collyur became the wife of Ollanta. This love affair 
gave rise to a drama, performed before the later Incas, en- 
titled, Ollanta ; or, the Severity of a Father and Generosity of 
a King, composed in Quichua the beginning of the fourteenth 
century. Mr. Markham, in his Peru and India, 1862, says, 
the story of Ollanta was handed down by immemorial tradi- 
tion, but that the drama was written by Dr. Valdez, the 

struments of the chase or for fishing. If a female, there was a basketful 
of balls of llama wool, or spines of the cactus, in lieu of needles, for knitting. 
When the tomb was full, the doorway was closed, but the window left open, 
so that the early rays of the sun could illume it ; or the descendants could 
look in and contemplate the sleep of death of these now desiccated, parch- 
nient-l<x>king bodies, the dull hollow places where bright eyes once shone, 
staring at the beholder. 


original manuscript being in the possession of Dr. N. Cuentas, 
of Tinta. In Markham's Cuzco and Lima are portions of the 
drama, translated into English ; and Tschudi, in his work on 
the Quichua language, gives the whole of it in Quichua. 

Old Huanaco is 9 58' S. and 75 40' W. Here are six stone 
portals, one inside the other, with slanting doorways, as well 
as other remains. There is a mound which may have been a 
look-out, or a place of sacrifice. We know nothing of the 
builders of these well-preserved monuments. 

I will take Cieza de Leon's words as to the construction 
of the remarkable wells at Santa Elena, the tradition being 
that they were the work of giants who came upon the coast : 
u They made a sort of village, and even now the sites of the 
houses are pointed out. They made deep wells, works that 
are truly worthy of remembrance ; for such are their mag- 
nitude that they must have been executed by very strong men. 
They dug these wells in the living rock until they met with 
water, and then they lined them with masonry from top to 
bottom, in such a way that they will endure for ages." 

The Chimus of Trujillo, on the coast of the Pacific, in 8 S. 
Their early history is obscure. Montesinos (not a good au- 
thority), says, that seventeen centuries before the Christian 
era, two comets appeared, which produced such a drought 
that the country, from 3 to 18 S., became a desert, when the 
greater portion of the people were destroyed. Afterwards, a 
strange people came by sea, landing first at Manta, and built 
at S. Elena; they were of great stature, and hideous, and 
called giants, or valiant Chimus. After a time, they were 
attacked by the people of the country, and had to retreat into 
the interior, but soon returned to the coast, and settled at 
Trujillo, the chief being called Chimu-Canchu {canchu, in 
Quichua, means an enclosure, or may be that the Chimus' city 
was enclosed by walls) . Montesinos then goes on to say that 
the thirteenth ruler of Peru, according to his list, Huasca- 
Titu, died when about to make war on this nation. Garcilasso, 
a better authority, writes, that the ninth Inca, Pachacutec, 
sent an army of 30,000 men to conquer the Chimu-Canchu. 
The Chimus living in a dry climate had the foundations only of 


their temples, palaces, and principal habitations of rough 
stone, followed by large sun-dried bricks. Here are still to be 
seen the well-preserved ruins of two palaces and extensive 
walls, also some mounds, the tombs of chiefs ; some of these 
have been opened, and considerable quantities of treasure, in 
gold and silver objects, have been extracted. In 1563 and in 
1593, the King of Spain's fifth of what was found amounted 
to 61,000. After the conquest of the Chimus by the Incas, 
these latter introduced their style of architecture. At Pati- 
vilca, south of Trujillo, there are walls of Chimu construction. 
From the large quantity of pottery, objects in gold, silver, 
copper, bronze, and other things found in the tombs inland 
from Trujillo, as well as rude statuary, this region must have 
been well populated before and during Incarial times. On 
some of the pottery are paintings ; one of which, a war deity, 
I have given at p. 203 of my South American Antiquities ; the 
vase on which it is painted is in the British Museum. 

Lambayeque, in 6 40' S. Balboa tells us, that from Lima 
to Piura was inhabited by Chimus, who came to the coast on 
rafts, bringing with them a green idol (probably of emerald) 
named Lampellec. B. de Bourbourg is inclined to give to the 
Peruvian coast nations a Nahuatl or Mexican origin, and lays, 
I think, too much stress upon a tradition, in Balboa, of the 
Naymlap who landed there, in the ninth century, with a ( ' bril- 
liant suite" of women and chiefs. The Incas gave the name 
of Yungas to the hot country of the coast, and the tribes about 
there have, in consequence, been called Yuncas. 

Lima is in 12 S. This district, in early times, was ruled 
over by powerful chiefs, called Curysmancus, whose ancestors 
may have been the builders of the extensive city and temple 
subsequently called Pachacamac by the Inca conquerors. Some 
stone remains have been met with here, but the greater 
portion of the building material is of sun-dried brick. The 
great temple was on the summit of a hill, having three ter- 
races ; some of its walls were of unhewn blocks of stone, 
cased with sun-dried bricks, then covered with plaster, and in 
parts painted red. A range of pilasters projected from the 
upper wall, evidently belonging to the interior of a large 


apartment. After the conquest of this portion of coast by 
the later Incas, they built temples to the sun, and other habita- 
tions, in their manner, at this spot. 

Cafiete, south of Lima, and its country, had for chiefs the 
Chuqui-mancus ; their style of building was similar to that of 
the Curysmancus. From objects I have examined, found in 
the tombs hereabouts, the people were not deficient in the 
useful arts. 

Incarial. Before entering on the subject of the Incarial 
monuments, I will briefly allude to the probable origin of these 
builders. If we follow Garcilasso, we have the tradition that 
the first Inca, Manco Capac, and his sister-wife, were children 
of the sun and moon ! sent to earth about a.d. 1000 ! My 
own impression is that Manco Capac came from one of the 
old Aymara* nations, who dwelt about Lake Titicaca and its 
mountains ; also, that the ancestors of the said Aymaras were 
the Collas, or mountaineers. If we take note of the very 
large number of Incarial buildings and their ponderous cha- 
racter, showing, also, at least two different styles of architec- 
ture ; namely, firstly, the cyclopean, and secondly, the squared 
or wrought style, said to have been built from a.d. 1000 to 
1530; I conceive the period of five hundred and thirty years 
is not sufficient, to build even the more modern works. Still, 
to simplify the subject, we will call the Manco Capac, of about 
a.d. 1000, the first Inca. Tradition tells us but little of pre- 
vious Incarial dynasties worth notice. 

I will just advert to the Memorias Peruanas of Montesinos, 
lately brought to light. His Anales Peruanas are still in 
manuscript. Montesinos, who must be followed with great 
caution, held high office in Peru, visiting the country a 
hundred years after the conquest. His list of Peruvian rulers 
amounts to one hundred and one. He begins his chronology 
of the country five hundred years after the Deluge, and his 
ninetieth monarch is the first he calls Inca ; and says of him 
that his mother, Ciboca, by artifice raised to the throne her 
son Rocca, so handsome and brave that he was called Inca. 
This Rocca is the Manco Capac of Garcilasso. However, if 
we add some of the rulers of Peru from Montesinos' list to 


that of Grarcilasso's, which contain only thirteen or fourteen, 
we may then account for the builders of the Incarial monu- 
ments. Generally speaking, the formation of those wonderful 
roads in Peru has been awarded to the Incas ; still, I consider 
that before their times many were in existence, but extended 
by the Incas. Some of these roads were in and over the 
Andes, with resting-places of stone ; others to and by the 
coast, occasionally with walls on each side, whilst in parts they 
were shaded by trees. The upper road from Cuzco to Quito 
was from eighteen to twenty feet wide, and 1,200 miles in 
length ; the lower road was wider, and 1,600 miles in length. 
Small stone bridges were known to the Peruvians, but with- 
out the arch ; the swinging or suspension bridges of ropes 
were brought to perfection by them. Their aqueducts were 
bold pieces of work ; one ordered to be made by the Inca, 
Viracocha, is reported to have been 450 miles in length j it 
went along the steepest sierras, through tunnels, nourishing 
the andeneria,* or terraced gardens and lands. 

The extent of their quarries prove as to the quantity of 
building which has been carried on; and when we consider 
they had no tools of iron, or powder to blast the rock, the 
manual labour must have been immense. f Their principal 
buildings were fortresses, temples to the sun, and as to royal 
residences, it is affirmed that there were more than two 
hundred between Cuzco and Quito. The ruins which still exist of 
palaces, temples, houses of the virgins of the sun, schools, the 

* From the Spanish Andenes, or steps, from which comes Andes, and not 
from the Quichuan word anta, copper ; or the Antis Indians. 

f Near Andajes (Cuzco), and on the right bank of the Huilcamayo, in the 
centre of the mountains, can be seen a huge collection of very large and 
well worked stones. The mountains are full of square excavations, whence 
these blocks have been extracted. Here the Incas' prisoners worked. There 
is another locality hard by, known as the Devil's Chair; this is composed of 
blocks of rocks in front of the mountains, in which are seen many quarries. 
Some of these sort of blocks would be taken to Cuzco, and are now seen 
composing cyclopean walls and buildings. Near the Devil's Chair is a 
quarry of porphyry, from which huge stones have been taken ; but the work- 
men, instead of leaving the spot strewed with rocks, and irregular, have 
formed i I into an admirable monolith chamber of about thirty-three square 
feet, containing three long seats. Tour du Monde, No. 172, 1863. 


great fortress, and other remains, at Cuzco, the capital of the 
[ncas, bear witness to great merit in a peculiar and ponderous 
style of architecture. The earlier, I conceive to have been 
ry clopean ; then follow square and oblong building masses of 
granite, porphyry, and other stone ; in some few instances 
wrought stone, in a spherical form, is seen. The lintel is 
generally narrower than the threshold, like the Etruscan ; and 
their architecture was characterised by simplicity, symmetry, 
and solidity. With regard to the cyclopean form, some of the 
stones were of large size, having more than twelve angles, 
which fitted in so closely to the other stones that a penknife 
can scarcely be introduced at the junctures. The principal 
Incarial ruins in Cuzco are the following : 

1. The Great Temple of the Sun, on the ruins of which is 
built the church of Santo Domingo.* 

2. The Sacsahuaman; or great fortress, which took fifty 
years to erect. 

3. Colcampata, the palace of Manco-Capac ; where may be 
seen the figure of the so called " Mermaid. "f 

* In No. 173, 1863, of Le Tour du Monde, is the following relative to the 
Temple of the Sun at Cuzco : ff For a long period the Temple of the Sun 
was merely an enclosure (a chimpu), constructed of brute stones, in the 
centre of which was a square altar." In the drawing, at p. 257, the front 
does not appear ; the two side walls are double, that is, there is a passage 
between them; at the back is a wall; all is of cyclopean construction. At 
the back or end, on a long altar, is a large image of the sun. On each of 
the sides are ranged, on seats, five Incas, and one in the centre, making 
eleven in all. It is thatched with straw. 

f Vigne, ii, 77. " In the upper part of the city, under the Rodadero, are 
the remains of the palace of Manco-Capac, consisting of a wall eighty yards 
in length, of smaller but irregularly-shaped stones, placed just as they hap- 
pened to fit in, but more regularly round the niches, of which there are 
seven, at equal intervals, less than a foot in depth, and sloped like a per- 
pendicular slice of a truncated cone. The upper wall, in which these occur, 
is about ten feet high. Beneath one of them, on the basement wall, pro- 
jecting in advance of the upper one, is a curious figure, in relievo, of a mer- 
maid* with a fish's tail, about a yard high, in a niche shaped like the others. 
It much resembles the mermaid-like figures on one of the Carthaginian 
mosaics in the British Museum." 

* In vol. i, p. 368, Mr. Vigne speaks of a fish, from Lake Titicaca, he calls 
" humento, about ten inches long, nearly one-half occupied by the head. It 


4. Palace of Inca Rocca. 

5. Ab Uahuan, habitations of the Virgins of Sun. 

6 . 7. Palaces of the Incas Yupanqui and Huasca. 

8. Cyclopean constructions in the square of the sun, or 

9. Ruins of the Gardens of the Temple of the Sun. 

10. Coricancha; or Square of the Sun. 

11. Yacha-huasi; or schools. 

There are four figures, in relief, on large slabs, in a house 
once occupied by the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega; on the two 
upper slabs are the figures sometimes called the " Sphinx - 
Griffin," heads of women, and bodies of birds ; on the lower 
slabs are the " Serpientes," with scales, and long tails coiled 
up behind their backs.* 

The end walls of the buildings were pierced with small 
square openings to serve as windows ; the thatch was generally 
of ichu grass ; the interiors consisted of spacious halls, with 
small rooms adjoining, the walls of which were adorned with 
figures, in gold and silver, of deities, animals, and flowers ; 
mirrors of hard polished stone and metal hung on stone pegs ; 
whilst in recesses were their household and other gods, in 
gold, silver, copper, and clay. The couches were of Vicuna 
cloth, and the tianas, or seats of the Incas, were covered with 

The temple at Cacha, on the banks of the Vilcamayu, built 
by Viracocha, is described as having been very beautiful ; it 
was square, with a portal on each side, and in the centre was 

was brought to table dressed in paper, like red mullet, and is scarcely inferior 
to that fish in flavour/' I do not think the fish was called " humento" ; but 
the mode of cooking it in paper, when practised, is called " umita". This 
so-called mermaid is merely a fish from Lake Titicaca and some of the Andean 
rivers, and may have been in some way deified by the Peruvians. 

* Vigne (ii, 76), says, " In the Calle del Triunfo are the relievos of the 
Sphinx-griffin (birds with female heads) breed, known as Las Serpientes (ser- 
pents with feet), each about a yard in height ; and there is also a wall in 
which are some memento stones; one of them has twelve sides of irregular 
length, and measures, on the exposed side, about fourteen feet six inches in 
length, being in fact the piedra grande, in the house of that name, men- 
tioned by Garcilasso." 


the statue of a spirit in long flowing robes, leading a strange 
animal by a chain. 

Mr. Markham tells us, that some of the ruins on the islands 
in Lake Titicaca are old Aymara, but there are others which 
are Incarial. The Island of Coati was dedicated to the moon, 
the name being derived from coyata, the accusative of coya, a 
queen, the moon ranking as wife to the sun. The ruins of 
the house of the Virgins of the Sun, on Coati island, are 120 
feet long, the interior being divided into numerous cells, with 
rows of niches in the walls. The interesting astronomical 
acquirements of the Peruvians, including their calendar, have 
been fully detailed in my account of " The Astronomy of the 
Red Man," in vol. i, Memoirs of the Anthropological Society. 

Independent of this list of Inca ruins, there are others at 
Cajamarca, the second city of the empire, built by later Incas, 
in all probability on the ruins of a Chimu city. The approach 
to Cajamarca from the coast was guarded by fortresses of 
masonry. The Spanish conquerors describe the city, with its 
white habitations glittering in the sun, like a sparkling gem 
on the dark skirts of the Cordillera. It was three miles in 
length, and contained 10,000 people; the houses were gene- 
rally built of clay hardened in the sun, the roofs thatched or 
with timber. There were some buildings of hewn stone. The 
Inca Atahualpa' s quarters were an open courtyard; a light 
building with galleries was around it ; the walls were covered 
with white and red shining plates ; and before the edifice was 
a bath, filled with hot and cold water. There is still to be 
seen a large stone edifice with a serpent sculptured on its 
walls. The Inca's residence was built of large sun-dried 
bricks ; only one apartment of which now remains, twelve 
yards long by eight wide, and where Atahualpa was im- 
prisoned. Until lately could be seen the mark the Inca made 
on the wall, of the height that treasure should be piled for his 

At the time of the conquest, Astopilca was the curaca (not 
cacique), or governor ; it was in his residence that Atahualpa 
was confined. In the chapel of the present prison at Caja-. 
marca is an altar, built over the stone upon which the last of 



the Incas was strangled, and under which he was buried. 
Near the fountain in the plaza is seen the foundation of stone 
for the little battery, built by Pizarro, and in front of which 
Valverde uttered his theological harangue to the Inca. Fifteen 
miles from Cajamarca is Jesus, the remains of a large Indian 
town, capable of holding five thousand families, and may have 
been the residence of the Chimu of Chicama, before he be- 
came the vassal of the Inca Pacacutec. 

The rapacious Spanish invaders have almost destroyed a 
population, in Peru, of nearly eight millions of people. They 
robbed the temples and tombs, polluted their altars, and com- 
mitted every species of enormity on an unoffending race. 
We have sketches and plans of some of the Peruvian monu- 
ments, but these have not their full architectural value, as few 
are to scale ; however, let us hope that the period is not far 
distant when the monuments I have referred to, throughout 
the New World, will be carefully examined and described, and 
that we may be favoured with views of them by means of the 

Resume. As we find about the same general arrangement 
of rocks in the New World as in the Old, it is natural to con- 
clude that the continent of America bears an equally ancient 
date, and has gone through analogous changes. The Old 
World, however, has its greatest length from east to west, the 
New, north and south, and the great mountain ranges take 
opposite directions. The fossil remains have great peculiari- 
ties ; and the vegetable and animal creations of America have 
very marked differences when compared with similar creations 
in other portions of the globe. Plants and animals, it is 
generally considered, were created antecedently to man ; and 
when we examine the distribution of humanity in what is 
known as the New World, and compare it with what is met 
with elsewhere, we discover differences of such a character as 
to give the idea that the red or copper-coloured man of Ame- 
rica came from other than the one pair of the monogenists. 

I have estimated the native population of America, at the 
period of its discovery, at over 100,000,000; at present there 
may be from 10 to 11,000,000. They are said to have some 


four hundred languages and over two thousand dialects. This 
is a curious phenomenon, and worthy the attention of phi- 
lologists, the more particularly as to the time that has been 
required for their invention. It has been observed, that a 
multiplicity of languages and dialects in a country is a proof 
of barbarism. As regards the New World, is this barbarism 
the original one, or the consequence of the breaking up and 
dispersion of large nations through wars, or otherwise ? As 
to the origin of language, one learned man says, that language 
is a natural faculty, swiftly developed by a powerful instinct, 
the result of intelligence and human freedom, which have no 
place in purely organic functions. Another, that language is 
the living product of the whole inner man. Grimm holds it 
to be essentially human ; it owes to our full liberty both its 
origin and its progress. W. von Humboldt's idea is, that 
language is not a gift bestowed, ready-made, on man, but 
something subjectively emanating from himself. The old 
opinions were, 1. That language was innate and organic. 
2. That it was the result partly of imitation and partly of con- 
vention. 3. That it was revealed. 

With the adaptation of language to man's wants, he had to 
invent numbers, pictography, and writing. The languages of 
America are peculiar to it. Pictorial, figurative, symbolic, 
and hieroglyphic, delineations have been found ; the cartouches 
on the ruins, particularly in Central America, may be soon 
partially explained by the alphabet preserved by Landa. I 
have already mentioned, when speaking of Yucatan, the recent 
discovery of a peculiar species of hieroglyphic alphabet, which 
Bishop Landa has handed down to us. Then as to numbers, 
they were of the simplest forms, as dots, circles, ovals, and 
lines, as in Mexico ; but in Peru, for this purpose, the quipu, 
or knotted, coloured strings, were used. 

In the first page of these observations, I have supposed the 
Indian of America to be a separate creation from the rest of 
mankind. I will now make a few remarks on some of the 
other great groups of men. First, the East Indian, composed 
of more than thirty nations, each with a distinct language 
and endless dialects; to these may be allied the Mongolian 



Tartar, Chinese, and Japanese. Linguistically the mono- 
syllabic Chinese races, compared with the Indian, are widely 
distinct. The East Indian and Mongol are brown, with 
straight and sometimes wavy black hair. The Chinese and 
Japanese are yellowish, and have black hair. Could the 
islands of the Pacific, including New Zealand, have been 
peopled from Asia? for in all these places, we have still a 
brown and dark race, with black but not woolly hair ; or are 
they remnants of separate creations ? 

In New Guinea and in Australia there is found a Negro 
type (not the African Negro) which is distinct from the light- 
brown races of New Zealand and Fiji. Then we have 
the natives of the Andaman islands, who we are told have 
some few characteristics of the Negro; but there is rather 
the chance of their being a remnant of some very old race. 
The monogenists suppose that the cradle of the human race 
was situated somewhere ! extending from the Indus in the east 
to the Nile on the west, and a good part of Africa, containing 
the countries now known as Cabul, Persia, Arabia, Abyssinia, 
and Egypt; that Shem was the progenitor of the Asiatics; 
Japhet of the Europeans ; and Ham, or his son Cush, was the 
founder of the African Negro. 

Long previous to and since historic times, the brown man 
has occupied Asia. If we follow a north-west direction from 
the supposed cradle of the human race, we reach Britain, the 
farthest western boundary of the white species, I do not take 
Iceland and Greenland in here, Europe being at present com- 
posed of the Teutonic in the north-west, the Celtic, Grseco- 
Latin in the south, and the Sclavonian in the east. Diverging 
from the aforesaid centre in an east-north-east and south-east 
direction, even as far as New Zealand, brown races exist, some 
so much darker than others as to be called black; but go 
south-west to Africa, there you have the true Negro black, and 
with real woolly hair, also a brownish black and yellow-brown 
race ; but none of these offer similar characteristics with the 
red- or copper-coloured man of America, the Asiatic, and less 
with the white European. If we go to the north and then to 
the east we find the Tartar people are of various shades of 


brown until we reach the Tschouktch, who link on to the 
Esquimaux, these most probably of Asiatic origin. A brown 
(but it was not a copper-coloured people) might have got to 
the New World, say by Behring's Straits, but we have not 
found any remnant of a brown or Asiatic race in the New 
World, or any other remains, save those of the New World 
man. I may mention, that at the period of the discovery of 
America by Columbus, the following was about the form of 
government existing there. 

North America was composed of Confederacies, say re- 
publican oligarchies ; the Natchez, with a theocratic element 
added. Mexico and Central America, principally theocratic 
monarchies. Bogota had a monarchy, and a pontiff ruling his 
own state. Quito, under the Scyris, a monarchy. Peru, a 
theocratic and monarchical arrangement. In the West Indies, 
Amazonia, Brazil, the Pampas, Patagonia, and Arauco; the 
populations were tribal, and under chiefs. 

With regard to the antiquity of man in the New World, we 
have first to notice the probably recent fossil-men of Guada- 
loupe in the West Indies. Ancient human remains have been 
met with in the coral reefs of Florida. Lyell says, " If I was 
right in calculating that the present delta of the Mississippi 
has required, as a minimum of time, more than one hundred 
thousand years for its growth, it would follow, if the claims of 
the Natchez man (found buried under four cypress forests) to 
have coexisted with the mastodon in North America are ad- 
mitted, that North America was peopled more than thousands 
of centuries ago by the human race." Dr. Lund found human 
skeletons in the caves of Brazil, with fossil bones of animals, 
the appearances of which induced him to believe that the 
Indian had existed during a vast lapse of time in South 
America. Darwin observes, that "we must admit that man 
has inhabited South America for an immensely long period, 
inasmuch as any change in climate, effected by the elevation 
of the land, must have been extremely gradual." 

In a paper of mine in the Ethnological Society's Transac- 
tions for 1863, alluded to in the Ecuador section, I gave an 
account of some ancient pottery lately sent to me from the 


north coast of Ecuador, with the information that it had been 
submerged, for an unknown time, under the sea, and then the 
land there brought to the surface again. This pottery is in 
the British Museum. We may as well make up our minds to 
the view that we know nothing, even approximately, how long 
humanity has existed on our planet. Amongst unbiblical 
writers of the present day, a margin is given from 35,000 to 
9,000,000 years. 

Some years since, having collected and examined materials 
concerning the history of America, particularly as to the 
architecture of ancient Mexico, Central America, New Gra- 
nada, and Peru, the languages spoken there, the arts, and 
allow me to say science, I first came to the conclusion that, in 
the regions above mentioned, the nations occupying portions, 
each showed a civilisation of its own ; and that other localities 
in those lands supported tribes, and even nations, as mere 
hunters in the wilderness. This interesting branch of study 
shadowed forth to me that the Red Man, of the New World, 
showed that he was rather a distinct species, or creation, when 
compared with the white man of Europe, the brown of India, 
the black of Africa, and other groups of men. However, as 
we are early taught by historians, theologians, and writers on 
natural history, the absolute propriety of a belief in the unity 
arangement in regard to mankind, it required some courage 
even to ponder on a plurality of origins. 

With regard to the natives of the New World, he has 
been well called the Red Man. If we investigate him, how- 
ever cursorily, physically, mentally, and morally, we find that 
special laws govern him. He has his own climate, his own ali- 
ment ; his own diseases, which he knows how to alleviate and 
cure ; but let him contract any of the European maladies, the 
majority (especially smallpox) are fatal to him, even to the 
annihilation of whole nations. If we examine him by crania 
and its contents, we find, at least in the conformation of the 
brain as compared to the European, a marked difference. On 
this point I cannot do better than refer to Dr. Nott's researches 
in Types of Mankind, wherein are drawings of two casts from 
nature ; one the brain of an American Indian ; the other, the 


brain of a European. In the Indian, the anterior lobe is small, 
and in the European it is large in proportion to the middle 
lobe. In the Indian, the posterior lobe is much smaller than 
in the European. In the American Indian, the cerebral con- 
volutions on the anterior lobe and upper surface of the brain are 
smaller than in the European. Differences are also observed 
in the osteological characteristics when compared with the 
white man. As to the physiological, from what I "have seen 
and have been able to collect in America, the more particu- 
larly as regards the mixture of the European with the Indian 
giving rise to the Mestizo, the European with the Negress 
forming the Mulatto, and the mixture of the Negro and Indian 
forming the Zambo, and their breeding in and in, the result 
does not appear to me to be of a prolific nature, or satisfactory 
either physically, mentally, or morally. 

In early times this was attributed, in regard to the native 
women of America, to " an original defect of organisation, or 
some mysterious cause." There is no defect or mystery when 
we have to treat of the white, brown, red, black, and other 
great groups of mankind; but it is when they mix one with 
the other, giving rise, as I conceive, to more varieties, that 
the said defect or defects show themselves ; and it is mainly 
this state of things that would lead one to lay aside the mono- 
genistic for the polygenistic view, and suppose that the white, 
brown, red, black, and may be, some other families of mankind, 
are original species ; and that Mestizoes, Mulattoes, and 
Zamboes, are varieties, capable only for a limited time to be 
prolific, whilst the pure species would be as persistent as ever. 
Exact details of crania, the brain, skeleton, and especially the ex- 
amination of the organs of generation, etc., of what I call spe- 
cies and varieties, must be left to the giants of physiological 
science, and that great differences will be found I have no doubt. 

Paul Broca, Reclierclics sur I'Hybridite Animals, etc., Paris, 
18G0, p. 621, observes : " Un des caracteres de la race ethio- 
pique reside dans la longueur du membre genital compare a 
celui de la race caucasique. Cette dimension coincide avec le 
longueur du canal uterine chez la femme ethiopienne, et l'une 
et ? autre ont leur cause dans la conformation du bassin chez 


" Or il resulte de cette disposition physique que Funion de 
l'homine caucasique avec la femme ethiopienne est facile et 
sans nul inconvenient pour cette derniere. II n'en est pas de 
meme de celle de l'ethiopien avec la femme caucasique ; la 
femme souffre dans cet acte, le col de Tuterus est presse contre 
le sacrum, de sorte que Facte de la reproduction n'est pas 
seulement douloureux, il est plus souvent infeconde." 

But this is not all. As they are likely to be of different spe- 
cies or creations, so will there be differences in every particular ; 
and it is this that prompts me to class humanity thus : 

Genus. Man. 

Species. White, yellow, brown, red, black, etc. 

Races. As the white species gives its comparatively pure and mixed races, 

so will the other species. 
Varieties or In-mixed Breeds. As the White with Black, forming the 

Mulatto. White with Indian, forming the Mestizo. Indian with Negro, 

forming the Zambo ; and thus, ad libitum, giving rise ultimately to 

unprolific sub-varieties. 

If we look at the mental doings in the New World in regard 
to religion, language, numbers, pictorial writing, and even 
the invention of a hieroglyphic alphabet, also to the architec- 
tural, we find these peculiar to each of the several great 
nations ; as also in their computation of time, and the beautiful 
invention of their various calendars and zodiacs. It has struck 
me that what we commonly call the semi-civilisation of the people 
of America, should rather be denominated their own civilisation. 

I come now to a very serious question, namely, whether the 
Red Man could have gone much further in knowledge had he 
been left to himself, seeing that he has acquired so little of the 
civilisation of the white man ? With such an impression, I 
classify humanity in the scale of intellectuality thus: 1. 
White. 2. The Oriental. 3. The Red Man. 4. The Negro, etc. 

I have only to add, that my humble inquiries into the sub- 
ject of species and varieties lead me to abandon the unity, or 
monogenistic view, for the plurality or polygenistic, or that of 
separate creations. 


XI. On the Psychical Characteristics of the English People. 
By L. Owen Pike, M.A., F.A.S.L. 

Contents. Prefatory remarks. Connexion between the Ancient Britons 
and Ancient Greeks. Necessity for a good division and classification of 
Psychical Phenomena/ That of Professor Bain the simplest, and therefore 
best adapted to our purpose. The athletic character of the English ; their 
extraordinary Will and Energy traceable to a pre-Teutonic rather than to a 
Teutonic source. Manifestation of the same characteristics by the Ancient 
Greeks. Wonder, the characteristic emotion of the Germans, not of the 
English. The sense of decency in England and abroad. Patriotism in 
the English and in foreigners. Connexion of the Druidic Philosophy 
with Greek Philosophy. Eloquence of Britons, Greeks, and English. 
Constructive Power in the Britons, Greeks, Germans, and English, as shown 
in mechanical skill and inventions ; in the Drama, in Architecture, in Music, 
and in Painting. The power of detecting hidden resemblances, and the 
power of retaining impressions, as shown especially in the Poetry, the Phi- 
losophy, and the Science of Greece, Germany, and England. Certain moral 
characteristics corresponding to the intellectual characteristics. General 
agreement of the Greek character with the English, and with what is known 
of the Ancient British character. 

"'H y\w<ra' dfxde/xox' V 8e <pp)\v &.v<)p.oTos." 


As some of the opinions here set forth are directly opposed to 
those which are commonly held, it may be well to state, by 
way of preface, that this paper is only a portion of a larger 
work, The English, and their Origin. In that work the 
historical evidence, the philological evidence, and the evidence 
of physical characteristics, are all discussed at some length. 
An attempt is there made to show that there is no histo- 
rical evidence which can prove the English to be mainly of 
Teutonic origin ; that the philological evidence can prove no 
more than a Teutonic influence, and cannot aflbrd us the means 
of estimating the proportions of the different elements in our 


blood ; and that it is impossible to account for our physical 
and psychical characteristics on the assumption that our fore- 
fathers were Germans, or even half Germans. 

It is there also pointed out, that there are very remark- 
able coincidences in the Greek and Cymric languages. But 
though I have availed myself of certain indications afforded 
by the Welsh, or Cymric language, it must not therefore be 
supposed that I regard the Welsh as the best representatives 
of the people or peoples who were called Britons, and who 
may have been in great part our ancestors. Causes similar to 
those which imposed the Latin language upon the Gauls, may 
have imposed a High Celtic dialect upon a race in which pos- 
sibly High Celtic blood does not predominate. I take the 
Welsh language as affording evidence merely that a certain 
type of language existed in our island before the Roman in- 
vasion. And though the coincidences in the Greek and Welsh 
languages tell of something more than only a common Aryan 
origin of those languages, they may be, I am willing to admit, 
worth nothing as evidence of blood, but they suggest further 
inquiry. And upon inquiry it is found that many traditions, 
some scraps of history, and the physical and psychical charac- 
teristics of ancient Greeks and ancient Britons, seem to point 
in the same direction. Hence it is that in the present 
paper frequent reference is made to the ancient Greeks. If 
there existed a common non-Teutonic element in the ancient 
Britons and the ancient Greeks, we may gain information by 
comparing the English character with the Greek, in those cases 
in which it is impossible to compare it with the British. The 
ancient Greeks attained a degree of civilisation intermediate 
between that of the ancient Britons and that of the modern 
English; and if we can detect the childhood, as it were, 
of the English intellect in the intellect of the Greeks, and the 
infancy of the Greek intellect in the intellect of the Britons, 
we may infer that in proportion as the English intellect ap- 
proaches the Greek, it also approaches the British. 

A systematic comparison of the psychical characteristics of 
different nations is a task of such difficulty that anyone who 


attempts it may reasonably claim some indulgence for his 
shortcomings. An attempt to make such a comparison leads 
us into a field which has hitherto been almost untrodden. A 
few hasty generalisations about the impulsiveness of the Celt 
and the steadiness of the Teuton; a dogma or two on the 
subject of art from some critics who assume infallibility in 
matters of taste; and a compliment from each particular 
author to his own nationality or his own particular province, 
may be considered the sum total of all that has been written 
on the subject. This meagreness in a branch of Anthropology, 
which is perhaps of all the most important, is due probably to the 
unsatisfactory state in which psychology has remained for ages, 
and to the facility which, as a necessary consequence, exists of 
exaggerating the importance of any salient feature of seeing 
a salient feature where none has been planted by nature. Dif- 
ferent psychologists have given different divisions and different 
subdivisions of the mind; and of those writers who have 
glanced at the mental peculiarities of different nations, some 
have adopted one division, some another, some apparently 
no division at all. No wonder, then, if statements directly 
opposed to each other, are found in works written by au- 
thors of repute, no wonder if the whole question is in the 
greatest confusion. 

The first object of search, in the consideration of psychical 
characteristics, is a satisfactsry division and classification of 
mental phenomena. When this is obtained, one source, at 
least, of error is cut off. And of all divisions and classifica- 
tions of the mind which have yet been made, Professor Bain's 
is perhaps the best. It may be admitted that even this divi- 
sion is open to some objections ; but it is open to fewer 
objections than any other, and it will in the main* be adopted 
in the present investigation. It will be necessary to state 
briefly the leading principles. 

The primary division is fourfold : into the Senses, the In- 
tellect, the Emotions, and the Will. Before dealing with the 
Senses, however, Professor Bain assigns to the muscular feel- 
ings a province of their own, principally because he is anxious 
stablish a theory of " spontaneous activity," which it is not 


necessary to discuss here. There may, however, be suggested 
another reason for considering the muscular feelings and move- 
ments as a distinct branch of inquiry, and that is their very 
great importance as an index to character and disposition.* 

The intellect is treated by Mr. Bain under three different 
heads : (1.) The power of retaining and reviving past impres- 
sions, the various component parts of which are associated 
when revived, as they were associated when first received. 
(2.) The power of perceiving resemblances, of recalling past 
impressions by the aid of present impressions, which have 
some point or points of resemblance to those past impressions. 
(3.) The power of original construction, of combination. 

To use Professor Bain's own words, we have, first, the 
" Law of Contiguity or Eedintegration :" " Actions, sensations, 
and states of feeling, occurring together or in close succession, 
tend to grow together, or cohere, in such a way that when any 
one of them is afterwards presented to the mind, the others 
are apt to be brought up in idea."f We have, secondly, the 
" Law of Similarity :" " Present actions, sensations, thoughts, 
or emotions, tend to revive their like among previous impres- 
sions or states." J We have, thirdly, the principle of " Con- 
structive Association :" " By means of association, the mind 
has the power to form combinations or aggregates different 
from any that have been presented to it in the course of 

Great observers and collectors of facts are strong in the 
element of contiguity. Great thinkers men who generalise 
and discover laws are strong in the element of similarity. 
Great inventors are strong in the element of constructive 
association ; such men are poets, painters, musical composers, 
inventors in. the arts and sciences. 

Under the head of similarity fall the reasoning processes, to 
which have been given the names of generalisation, abstrac- 
tion, induction, deduction, etc. 

* See an essay by the author on Physical Education. Longman : 1863. 

f The Senses and the Intellect, 2nd edit., p. 332. 

X lb., p. 463. lb. p. 585. 


The great value of this division consists, above all, in its 
simplicity ; it enables us to class together mental operations 
which appear at first sight quite distinct, but are really almost 
identical, or have at least certain elements in common. It 
renders possible what, without such a division, is impossible, 
the comparison, in different nations, of mental qualities which 
are in fact identical, though they are seen in different aspects. 
This will be shown as the argument advances. 

It is not necessary to say much of Professor Bain's treat- 
ment of the Emotions and the Will, though reference will 
occasionally be made to it ; it is to his work on the Senses and 
the Intellect that I am most indebted, and especially to his 
subdivisions of the intellect. 

In treating of the living, acting, feeling, thinking human 
being, it will perhaps be best to begin with the simplest mani- 
festations of disposition, with those which there will be least 
difficulty in identifying in the different nations compared. 

It may be considered somewhat bold to assert that the 
athletic characteristics of the English people may be traced to 
a Celtic* rather than a Saxon source. It is a common belief 
that the Saxon is the greatest athlete ; the strength and en- 
durance of the " Anglo-Saxon race" are proverbial; and the 
" Anglo-Saxon" race is always spoken of as Teutonic. Let 
us now consider calmly what is the evidence in favour of this 

And let us first consider what are the principal forms in 
which the athletic power of the English displays itself. The 
English and Irish are probably the best horsemen in the world; 
it would be difficult even to discover in any continental lan- 
guage an equivalent for " across country" ; and when foreign 
nations adopt our national sport of horse-racing, the horses 
are almost without exception of English pedigree, the jockeys 
of English or Irish birth. Cricket is a game which is essen- 
tially English, though it is not unknown in Ireland. The 
English are again the best oarsmen in the world, whether 
amateurs or professed watermen. A race between an English 

* By the term Celtic I mean no more than pre-Roman. 


crew and a foreign crew almost invariably leaves the latter 
nowhere. Skating is a pastime which we share with the 
French, the Dutch, the Germans, and others ; but although 
the opportunities for practice are far inferior in England to 
those which are enjoyed by the other nations, it is not too 
much to say that in England* the art has attained its highest 
perfection. A Dutchman may attain extraordinary speed, and 
a Frenchman may accomplish wonderful tours de force with the 
knees bent, but it is the Englishman who, far excellence, at- 
tains that perfect command over all his movements, which is 
shown by the deliberate three, the straight leg, and the wide 
sweep. It is England which is famous for her prize-ring ; and 
the English are great wrestlers, too ; for the prize-fighter 
must be prepared to " close" and to be closed with. And in 
addition to all this, the Gymnasium and the School of Arms 
are not unknown amongst us. It is, then, not without rea- 
son that we are considered an athletic people. The great 
variety of our athletic sports may certainly be considered to 
carry away the palm, notwithstanding the sword-practice of 
France and Italy, and the gymnastic feats of the Germans. 

Too little is known of the manners and customs of the 
Ancient Britons to enable us to bring direct testimony that 
they were a remarkably athletic people; nor, on the other 
hand, are we able to assert or deny, from direct testimony, 
that the Germans were an athletic people. f But there exists, 
nevertheless, evidence to shew whence our athletic spirit is 
sprung. The evidence of philology, though it is frequently of 
little value, is sometimes sufficient to establish a particular 
point beyond all dispute. I have elsewhere remarked that 
the Welsh word ym-afael contains the same root as the Greek 
irakrj (wrestling), ym having a signification nearly equivalent 
to the Greek avv or dfia ; ymafael is in fact equivalent to 
GvyuiraKaLcr^a or afiaTraXi]^ It is certainly little short of the 

* Id est, so far as European countries are concerned. It is possible that 
even the English may be excelled by the Canadians. 

f It must be remembered that "athletic" and "warlike" are not syno- 
nymous terms; the athlete may be and commonly is simply a sportsman. 

X Compounds not actually met with. 


marvellous that in two languages in which even the names of 
the metals are different, the name of an athletic sport has re- 
mained the same; we might almost be inclined to conjecture 
that the sport and the language were common to Greeks and 
Britons before either knew the use of the metals, perhaps long 
before either were called Britons or Greeks. And it is very 
curious that wrestling was one of the athletic sports in which 
the Greeks most excelled, and in which the English espe- 
cially the Cornish men most excel at the present day. 

Language will not equally enable us to trace the use of the 
fists to the Ancient Britons ; but, bearing in mind the con- 
nexion which has been pointed out between the Britons and 
the Greeks, we may reasonably suspect a British origin for a 
custom which has been honoured among the Greeks and the 
English, and is in disrepute among the Germans. There is a 
savour of slang about the Homeric expression irv^ ayaOos, 
which could not even be rendered into French or German, but 
which the editor of Bell's Life would have no difficulty in 
translating "a good one with the mawleys." 

But while there is hardly any evidence that the use of the 
fists is of Teutonic origin, or is in any way congenial to the 
Teutonic character, the suspicion that the custom is of Celtic 
origin is at once confirmed by a reference to the annals of the 
ring.* It is unfortunate that the birth-places of the prize- 
fighters have not been made known in the majority of in- 
stances. But the birth-places of more than seven hundred are 
known, and the evidence afforded by them is not only quite 
consistent with a Celtic origin of the custom, but is quite in- 
consistent with a Teutonic origin. It is obvious that if any 
portion of South Britain was thoroughly Teutonised by the 
Anglo-Saxon invaders, it must have been that which lies 
nearest to the eastern coast ; and if the love of fighting with 
the fists (which is always considered peculiarly English) be 
really an Anglo-Saxon characteristic, it is obvious that the 
majority of the prize-fighters should be natives of the eastern- 
most part of the island, while few, if any, should come from 

* Fistiana, 1S05, and the Illustrated Boxiana. 


the west. But what are the facts ? Of all the counties on the 
eastern and south-eastern coasts there are only two which pro- 
duce even a moderate number of pugilists. Of these two, 
that which produces the larger number (fifty-seven) is York- 
shire, a county which, though extending on one side to the 
eastern coast, extends on the other more than three-quarters 
of the distance to the western coast. And the largest con- 
tributions, to the total of fifty-seven, are made by the towns 
of Sheffield and Leeds, which send respectively seventeen and 
fourteen. Both these towns lie about half-way between the 
easternmost and westernmost extremities of the county. With 
the exception of ten contributed by Hull, the remainder of 
the Yorkshire fighters, whose birth-places are known, come 
from the manufacturing towns of the west. Norfolk is the 
only other county on the eastern and south-eastern coasts which 
boasts a larger number than nine ; and of the eighteen Norfolk 
prize-fighters fourteen are Norwich men, one a Lynn man, and 
one a Yarmouth man ; from which facts it may be conjectured 
that the men who make voyages to those places and to Hull 
bring with them some blood of which the elements are not in 
the same proportions as in the natives of the coast. 

But the great bulk of the English fighting-men come from 
the western and midland districts. Lancashire contributes 
ninety-two; Staffordshire, sixty-six; Warwickshire, one hun- 
dred and eighteen ; Somerset twenty-seven, and Notts twenty- 
two. The metropolitan counties Middlesex, Surrey, Essex, 
and Kent which may, perhaps, be fairly considered to repre- 
sent the whole nation, contribute one hundred and five, while 
Birmingham alone boasts one hundred and three. 

But it must not be forgotten that other causes besides 
difference of blood may have some influence in causing the 
difference between different districts. It appears that, even 
in the same county, the great manufacturing towns produce 
large numbers of prize-fighters, while the county towns and 
the agricultural districts produce few or none. Manches- 
ter, for instance, produces thirty-two, while Lancaster pro- 
duces only one, Walsall twenty-two, and Stafford none, Bir- 
mingham one hundred and three, and Warwick none. But 


what connexion, it may be asked, can exist between manufac- 
tures and prize-fighting ? The answer is probably to be found 
in the following considerations : firstly, where large bodies of 
men congregate there is a greater probability of quarrels than 
in thinly peopled districts ; secondly, that portion of the popu- 
lation which possesses the greatest energy and vitality is 
most likely to seek its fortunes in the manufacturing centres 
where most money is to be made ; and, lastly, there is a very 
considerable immigration of Irish into all the manufacturing 
towns. It is indeed probable that there are, and have been, 
quite as many fighters of Irish as of English blood; for, 
although this is not apparent from the direct information given 
in Fwtiana, the names of the pugilists indicate that, in many 
instances, they are of Irish descent, if not of Irish birth. 

Whether the use of the fists be a good thing or not, no one 
will deny that it is characteristically English; and the evidence 
which has now been given, meagre* though it certainly is, 
shows, I venture to believe, with more clearness than is gene- 
rally to be obtained in anthropological matters, that at least 

* In a paper read by the late Professor J. D. Forbes before the Royal 
Society of Edinburgh, and afterwards printed in Smibert's translation of 
Quetelet Sur I'Homme (p. 114), some figures are given which, as far as they 
go, seem also to indicate that the infusion of Saxon blood into British veins 
has decreased rather than increased the original vigour of the Celt, though 
not to any very great extent. But M. Quetelet, who was the first great 
experimenter with the dynamometer, has pointed out in his work Sur 
I'Homme that unless the utmost care is used, the results cannot be relied on, 
and that different observers arrive at totally different conclusions. It must 
be remembered, too, that Forbes made experiments only on 178 English, 
523 Scotch, and 72 Irish, of all ages, between 14 and 25, and that therefore 
the average numbers at each age would be (fractions apart) 15 Eng- 
lish, 44 Scotch, and 6 Irish ; and as the results are not the same at all ages, 
it is clear that the result for the age of 25, on which Forbes places most 
reliance, and which has been most frequently quoted, is of no very great 
scientific value. Forbes accepted Quetelet's numbers for the Belgians, and 
the very great apparent difference between their strength and that of the 
English, Scotch, and Irish, is probably owing chiefly to a different method 
of using the dynamometer. It is nevertheless curious that Forbes's numbers 
confirm the conclusion arrived at from my analysis of Fistiana. 

English. Scotch. Irish. Belgians. 
Strength in pounds at the age of 25, ac- 

i 403 423 432 33<) 

cording to Kegnier s dynamometer 



one marked feature of the English character is to be traced to 
a pre-Teutonic origin. Still more evidence, indirect though 
it be, may be found in the fact that the Greeks, like the 
English, were great oarsmen ; and nothing, perhaps, can give 
us a better idea of the Athenian character than the sudden 
change of feeling which decreed life to a number of human 
beings who were condemned to death, and nerved a gallant 
crew to exertions almost more than human in behalf of cap- 
tive foes.* 

But, above all, the Greeks were celebrated, just as the 
English are celebrated for their horse-racing ; and here again 
is a connecting link between the Greeks and the Britons. The 
Greeks had not what we understand by horse-races, but chariot 
races, which probably owed their origin to the ancient custom 
of fighting from chariots. This custom, common to the Greeks 
with many Eastern nations, was shared also by the Britons, 
and apparently, among western nations, only by the Britons. 
Just as there was a type of language common to Greeks and 
Britons, there was a mode of warfare common to both ; and 
in the latter case at least the similarity does not appear to 
have been shared by the nations lying between Britain and 

But there is direct evidence to show that even in the time 
of the Romans, Britain was a great hunting country. The 
chase of the boar has now, it is true, given place to the chase 
of the fox a fact in itself significant of the pertinacious spirit 
of British huntsmen. But modern coursing and stag-hunting 
seem to be the lineal descendants of ancient British sports. 
Mr. Wright, who has been indefatigable in this field of in- 
quiry, has called attentionf to the evidence that boar-hunting 
was a common sport in the Roman period ; he has shown that 
hunting scenes are commonly depicted on the pottery of that 
period, the hare or the stag being generally the victim; he 

* All the adult male inhabitants of Mitylene were condemned to death 
on the motion of the demagogue Cleon ; and when the revulsion of feeling 
came to pass, the vessel which carried the cruel sentence had already been a 
day out. The second vessel arrived just soon enough to stay the execution. 

f The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon, p. 210. 


1ms pointed out the ancestors of our English bull-dogs, mas- 
tiffs, greyhounds, and stag-hounds, whose portraits were 
painted before the Saxons were heard of; and, above all, he 
has pointed out that these dogs were of British, not of Roman 

These facts are of no slight importance when it is remem- 
bered that we are emphatically a hunting nation; and this 
national characteristic is of no slight importance in an estimate 
of national temperament. It is not a slow, heavy, phlegmatic 
people which rides " across country"; the hunting-field gives 
a tlat denial to that imputation which foreigners are apt to 
fling at us ; the imputation results from a confusion between 
self-control and insensibility between a virtue and a defect. 
It is not the man who is readiest with the knife ; it is not the 
woman who is readiest with her tears ; it is not the child who 
is readiest with its cries, that is most sensitive to insult or to 
pain. There is a disposition which is quick enough to perceive, 
and ready enough to resent, an insult, but which is also quick 
to perceive the possibility of a mistake, and is unwilling to 
exhibit wrath without just cause. Such a disposition is by no 
means uncommon in England; and if by chance it display 
itself in slowness of speech or of action, the cause lies fre- 
quently not in the deficiency, but in the excess of sensitive- 
ness. I do not wish, by these remarks, to convey the impres- 
sion that the phlegmatic temperament does not exist in 
England. It exists more or less in all countries ; and it exists 
to a considerable extent in England, just as round heads exist 
in considerable numbers in England. But the national cha- 
racter which foreigners attribute to us has probably been in 
part imposed upon us in consequence of our insular ideas of 
good breeding, which teach us to repress the feeling that 
Frenchmen especially delight to display,* and to affect a list- 
lessness in society which is atoned for by every gymnastic 
vagary that can be committed in any quarter of the globe on 
either side of the equator. 

* Or did formerly. It is now no unusual thing to find a French gentle- 
man affecting all, and more than all, the tranquillity of an Englishman. 



Another cause, which has certainly tended to give us the 
reputation for slowness among foreigners, is our form of 
government, which renders it impossible for us to act, as a 
nation, with the rapidity which can be attained under a 
despotism. But unless it can be shown that there is a neces- 
sary connexion between a phlegmatic national character, and 
a form of government resembling ours, it is unfair to attribute 
to the English a phlegmatic disposition from their dilatory 
action in foreign affairs. Such a connexion it will be found 
difficult to establish. 

One of the best elements in the English character is its 
energy. It is that energy which is, above all other elements, 
the cause of the Englishman's various successes ; it is that 
energy which causes his genius to appear so versatile, which 
forces into action the talents that in a phlegmatic people lie 
dormant. From that energy results the great diversity of 
forms in which the Englishman's restless desire for athletic 
exercise displays itself. And from the same kind of energy 
resulted that similar diversity of forms which athletic exercise 
took among the ancient Greeks. Energy restless, insatiable 
energy has been the leading characteristic of the two peoples, 
and it is a characteristic which we cannot find equally con- 
spicuous equally uniform among the Germans, the Dutch, 
or even the Danes. It is to the blood which we probably pos- 
sess in common with the ancient Greeks that we may rather 
attribute the all-important element of our greatness. 

It has been remarked* of the English that "when young 
they cannot sit still an instant, so powerful is the desire for 
work, labour, excitement, muscular exertion/' It is instructive 
to compare this description, which will be recognised as true 
in the main, with the description given by M. Esquirosf of the 
Dutch. He tells us that the Dutch resemble no people in the 
world but the Dutch; that no stranger can fail to remark 
their essentially phlegmatic character, which is to be detected 
even in the inactivity of the children. This fact, it will be 

* By Dr. Knox, The Races of Men, p. 54. 

f La Ne'erlande et la Vie Hollandaise, vol. i, p. 72, et seq. 


very difficult to explain if it be admitted that the ancestors of 
the Dutch were in great part the ancestors of the English. 
And if the Anglo-Saxons, Frisians, etc., were the ancestors of 
the English, we must have a common ancestry with the 
Dutch. Whence, then, comes the enormous difference of 
temperament ? 

But, on the other hand, if the Dutch are proverbially 
phlegmatic, the Welsh, it will be objected, are proverbially 
fiery proverbially, that is, in England. But I must here 
explain that I am not attempting to establish the resemblance 
of the English to the Welsh character, but rather to the charac- 
ter of that dolichocephalic people, of which remains have been 
found in Britain and in the Cimbric Chersonese, and which is 
in all respects opposed to the true Teutonic type. I think it 
not impossible that some of our Anglo-Saxon invaders, though 
speaking a German dialect, were themselves almost as nearly 
akin to that old dolichocephalic people as to the brachycephalic 
Germans, from whom they are commonly supposed to be an 
offshoot. Of one of these alternatives, at least, I am tolerably 
certain either that the Anglo-Saxons were akin to that 
long-headed race, or that they were not our ancestors. The 
probability seems to be that a series of dolichocephalic invaders, 
coming principally from the Cimbric chersonese and its neigh- 
bourhood, peopled the southern part of this island ; that they 
were driven hither partly by their own active disposition, 
partly by the pressure of the Germans on the east ; and 
that the last comers had suffered so much from this pressure 
that they were a mixed people speaking the language of the 

The consideration of the more or less athletic characters of 
different nations led us naturally to the consideration of energy 
in general of the evidences of strong will. It will, perhaps, 
be best to glance next at the emotional characteristics of 
different nations, before attempting to draw any conclusions 
from the complex phenomena of intellect. 

It is difficult, as a rule, to pick out any particular emotion 
for the display of which any particular people is especially 
remarkable. There is much both in the emotions and in the 


intellect which is common to all human beings. But there is 
one emotion which is singularly characteristic of most nations 
commonly classed under the name of Teutonic. That emotion 
is wonder. So singularly developed is this feeling among the 
Germans, that a very large number of the adjectives in their lan- 
guage have formed permanent compounds with the word " wun- 
der" prefixed. They even have, or once had, an adverb, " wunders- 
lialher" for the purpose of exciting wonder. And this is no 
merely conventional way of speaking which has lost its meaning 
no piece of slang used from the first without a definite 
meaning. When a German tells you that some perhaps rather 
ordinary object is " wunderschon," he really means it, as you 
may see if you watch his features, especially his eyes. His 
eyelids are elevated, his eyes themselves protrude, and he is 
more excited than he ever appears to be under the influence of 
any emotion but wonder. The mention of a large sum of 
money especially excites this emotion in him ; and it appears 
to give him immense satisfaction to roll out the words "tausend" 
and " hundert," and to repeat them again and again, but 
always with the physical signs of wonder fully displayed.* It 
is this curious fact which has caused so many authors to speak 
enthusiastically of the simple character of the Germans ; and 
it is undoubtedly a very pleasant thing to see wonder excited 
by an object which is wonderful only by reason of the effect it 
has produced. But it is hardly fair to attribute for that reason 
a child-like simplicity to the German character ; their prone- 
ness to wonder is a strong element in their character, but it 
represents neither the whole of their merits nor the whole of 
their demerits. 

It must now be asked Is wonder also especially one of the 
emotional characteristics of the English ? On the contrary, it 
requires a very strong stimulus to excite the wonder of an 
Englishman ; and when anything decidedly new is presented to 
him he devotes little time to mere wonder, but ponders the ques- 
tion of utility. The Englishman can undoubtedly appreciate 

* For a description of these signs at length, see Bain, The Emotions an 
the Will, p. 68. 


the wonders of the deep, but his energy prompts him to 
make experiments upon it to utilise it. He can appreciate 
all the wonders of nature, but he has not enough respect for 
her to restrain him from asking questions of her, and from 
turning the answers to his own advantage. He is fully sensible 
of the wonders of his own intellect, but he does not evolve 
a system of philosophy out of his own self-consciousness when 
in a state of transcendental admiration. In short, one prin- 
cipal distinction between the typical Englishman and the typical 
German is just the distinction between activity restrained by 
wonder and activity urged on by energy and daring. 

But is there any one emotion which is especially characteristic 
of the English ? If there be such an emotion it is the emotion 
of Shame, which displays itself in the sense of decency, possessed 
more or less by all classes of English. It is undoubtedly true 
that many individuals are wanting in that sense of decency ; it is 
true that there are national customs in England which may 
perhaps exhibit less of that sense of decency than customs 
which exist in some continental countries. But it will never- 
theless be admitted by most English travellers that when the 
Channel or the German Ocean is crossed there is found a remark- 
able lack of what English people call modesty. In England, men 
and women seem to be generally modest without making any 
violent efforts to be so ; on the continent, men and women seem 
to make very praiseworthy efforts to be modest without suc- 
ceeding. There is a curious parallel to be found in Greece, 
where there existed forms of worship which might be supposed 
subversive of all modesty ; and yet there existed, even in the 
time of Homer, a kind of modesty* more like that which 
Englishmen possess, than that which French and German 
governments enforce. 

It has been said by Professor Bainf that there is such a 
thing as an emotional constitution ; J that an obese frame 
generally accompanies this constitution ; and that the Celtic 
races are emotional in comparison with the Teutonic races. 

* See Homer's Odyssey, vi, 221. f On the Study of Character, p. 201. 

X Ibid., p. 217. Ibid., p. 218. 


The ancient Greeks, he considers, resembled the modern Celts. 
The discussion of all these propositions would involve us in a 
labyrinth from which it would be difficult to extricate ourselves 
in .any reasonable time. The generalisation which connects 
the emotional disposition with the obese frame seems hardly 
consistent with the wiry, energetic character of the so-called 
Celts. But the identification of the Greek character with the 
Celtic character is a singular confirmation, from a wholly inde- 
pendent source, of the arguments which I have here and 
elsewhere advanced to show the connexion between the ancient 
Britons and the ancient Greeks. And if modesty be essentially 
the characteristic of the English people, it shows, perhaps, 
more than any other feeling could show it, an exceedingly 
sensitive disposition in that people ; it shews a very rapid 
appreciation of the opinion which will probably be entertained 
of any given action a strong sense of self-respect, and a true 
consideration for the feelings of others. 

With this sensitiveness to the emotion of shame is closely 
connected that quality for which the Englishman is famous at 
home and abroad the sense of independence the sense of 
personal dignity apart from national dignity. The Englishman, 
like the Frenchman and the German, has the highest respect 
for his country ; but he has a far greater respect for himself 
than has either the Frenchman or the German. He has a 
strong sense of personal individual responsibility, which often 
restrains both his tongue and his limbs. The Englishman 
loves his country, but believes that his country owes its exist- 
ence in part to himself. The Frenchman loves his country, 
and the German loves his country ; but each seems to consider 
that to his country he owes his existence. The Englishman 
looks on his country as his child : the Frenchman, like the 
German, looks on his country as his parent. The Englishman 
takes pride in reflecting honour on his country : the German, 
like the Frenchman, sees honour reflected from his country on 
himself. The French and the German views of responsibility 
involve, in addition to the ordinary duties of self-preservation 
certain moral duties towards their respective countries. The 
English view of responsibility involves still further certain 


moral duties towards self. The Englishman cannot offend the 
susceptibilities of others without feeling that he has suffered 
himself. An Englishman wishes to satisfy himself, while 
Germans and Frenchmen are content to abide by the conven- 
tional rules of their own countries. 

In any attempt to ascertain the intellectual characteristics 
of the ancient Britons, it is to the highest order among them, 
to the Druids, that our attention must be directed. The 
character of that order, their influence, their habits, and their 
attainments have been most carefully estimated by the author 
of the article "Druids," in the Encyclopaedia Britannica ;* and 
as the authorities which he has consulted, and to which he 
has drawn attention, are all Greek or Latin writers, it is not 
probable that the portrait is too favourable. 

The resemblance of the Druidic habits of thought to those 
of the ancient Greeks, on the one hand, and to those of the 
modern English on the other, is most remarkable. The Druids 
had a system of philosophy which was so like the system of 
the Pythagoreans, that it has frequently been supposed either 
that the Pythagoreans borrowed from the Druids, or that the 
Druids borrowed from the Pythagoreans. Like many of the 
Greek philosophers, from Thales downwards, the Druids were 
fascinated by the great problems of the universe, and seem to 
have almost anticipated some of our modern discoveries. They 
held that the universe was never to be destroyed or annihi- 
lated, but was to undergo a succession of great changes or 
revolutions. Modern chemists hold that matter is indestruc- 
tible ; and the discovery, which may be considered the cor- 
relate of that hypothesis, that forces are interchangeable, is 
one which England may claim for herself, j* 

The spheroidal shape of the celestial bodies, and probably 

* The principal original authorities upon which that article is based are 
Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Csesar, Mela, Ammianus Marcellinus, Dio Cas- 
eins, etc. In confirmation, it may be mentioned, that in the Welsh Triads 
there appears a triad of great astronomers ; but in the absence of dates, it 
is, perhaps, too much to assume that these three astronomers lived before 
the time of the Romans. 

t The merit of this discovery lies between Mr. Grove and Mr. Joule. 


also of our own earth, seems to have been recognised by the 
Druids. This discovery, and possibly also the belief in a 
cycloidal or circular motion of the planets, seem to have in- 
fluenced them in building their temples, which appear to have 
been circular. They certainly were well enough acquainted 
with the motions of the heavenly bodies to enable them to fix 
definite periods for their religious solemnities ; but as they 
reckoned by nights and not by days, it is probable that they 
were best acquainted with the motions of the moon, and did 
not thoroughly comprehend the existence of the solar year. 

The Druids were especially famed for their eloquence. The 
two nations who have also attained a high reputation for elo- 
quence are the ancient Greeks and the modern English. No 
ancient nation has left such monuments of rhetorical power as 
the Greeks ; no modern nation possesses such monuments as 
are to be found in the Parliamentary Debates. 

But the great feature in the ancient British cast of mind 
seems to have been its Constructive* Power, its power of 
producing poetry, and its skill in mechanics. The British 
bards have always been famous; and the halo of romance 
which has been thrown by them round the story of Arthur, 
has made him famous in all European countries, so that even 
in France the name of Arthur is as well known as the name of 
Roland. The statement, that the ancient Britons excelled in 
mechanics may seem, perhaps, to be no more than mere as- 
sumption j but it is certain either that the Britons possessed 
skill in mechanics, or that they were endowed with some other 
unknown faculties which enabled them to produce such results 
as in our time can be produced only by mechanical skill. And 
as it is never satisfactory to explain the ignotum per ignotius, 
it is only reasonable to assume that certain results were pro- 
duced by such causes as we know to be capable of producing 
them. In that case the stones found at Abury and Stone- 
henge, and in other parts of the island, show that the 
Britons used wedges and levers ; they must have had also 

* The term is here used in the sense in which it is used by Professor Bain, 
for which see ante, p. 156. 


the means of transporting great weights to considerable dis- 
tances ; and they were, beyond all doubt, acquainted with 
the use of wheels, because fighting from chariots was their 
favourite mode of warfare. 

In like manner, constructive power was eminently charac- 
teristic of the ancient Greeks, and is eminently characteristic 
of the modern English. In the rude Cyclopean aggregations 
of stones, in tke architectural adornments of the Acropolis at 
Athens, and in the final mechanical triumphs of Archimedes, 
fche same love of invention may be detected; it may be de- 
tected in the ruins of Stonehenge,* in the wooden walls which 
England long ago made famous on the sea, and in the iron 
roads which she has but just given to the world. 

Ancient Greece gave her mechanical inventions and her 
mechanical terms to Borne, and through Borne probably to a 
great portion of ancient Europe. Modern Britain has far 
surpassed the whole world, ancient or modern, in her con- 
structive power. She has discovered how to use steam as a 
mechanical force. f She has applied steam to ships. J She 
has applied steam to locomotives on railways. She has dis- 
covered the art of photography. || She has invented calcu- 
lating machines ;^[ and her school of naval architecture is in- 
disputably the first in the world. 

In addition to all this, Britain and her colonies have in- 
vented a number of minor machines and improvements in 
machinery which it would be tedious to name, but which stamp 
the British, and especially the English intellect, with, a mark 
that cannot be mistaken. 

And among foreigners, neither the Germans nor the Dutch 
are our most formidable competitors. The Germans may 

* It is stated in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, art. " Architecture," p. 440, 
that " it is the opinion of Mr. Higgins, supported, he contends, by the suf- 
frages of Dodwell Clarke, and others . . . that the doorway, called the " Gate 
of the Lions," in the Acropolis of Mycenae, is built exactly like the remains 
of Stonehenge." 

f By the Marquis of Worcester, Savery, and Watt. 

X By Miller and Taylor. By Trevithick and George Stephenson. 

I! By Wedgewood and Sir Humphry Davy. IF By Mr. Babbage. 


boast of Gutenberg as the inventor of printing, of Otto 
Guericke as the inventor of an air-pump, of Konig as the 
inventor of a printing machine ; they may tell us that Winsor 
first lighted London with gas, and they may boast of Steinheil 
as the inventor of an electric telegraph; but it will be re- 
marked that, with very few exceptions, there is an English 
claimant as well as a German claimant to the title of inventor, 
and that even where the discovery is unquestionably made by 
the German alone, it comes to maturity in England. Konig's 
printing machine was first set up in England. There was an 
American and an English inventor of an electric telegraph 
contemporaneously with Steinheil, and SteinheiPs was esta- 
blished in working order after Wheatstone's and Morse's. So, 
too, although Winsor hit upon a method of applying gas to 
street-lighting, he hit upon it in England, and after Murdoch 
had shown the achievement to be possible. 

It is no slight argument in favour of the mechanical genius 
possessed by the English people, that all the great inventions 
of modern times have first made their appearance, indepen- 
dently if not solely, in Britain ; and it is, perhaps, not un- 
generous to assume that when a foreigner living amongst us 
has succeeded in making some new discovery, he has owed a 
little to the general tendencies of the people among whom he 
has been living, to the state of science among his contem- 
poraries. Be that, however, as it may, it does not appear that 
the Germans, even when all credit is given them for their 
inventions in this country, have approached us so nearly as 
the French. Some of our greatest mechanical successes are 
due to a French engineer, Brunei j and his block-machinery 
is in itself a great invention. Nicephore Niepce and Daguerre 
carried the art of photography to a perfection that Wedgewood 
and Davy failed to approach ; and France possesses a number 
of engineers second only if second to those of England. 
There is a general argument, too, which may show that Ger- 
many stands lower than France in her reputation for mecha- 
nical skill. When foreign nations require skilful engineers or 
well-made machinery, they commonly apply to England, but if 
not to England, to France. 


In answer to this argument it may, perhaps, be urged, that 
the forms of government which exist in Germany are not so 
favourable to the development of mechanical genius as the 
form which exists in England. This is true ; but on the other 
hand, there must be an enormous psychological difference 
between the people which led the way in denying the right 
divine of kings, and the people which is nearly the last of 
European nations to retain a belief in it. 

Another form, in which English inventiveness has of late 
years displayed itself, is novel-writing. From mechanical 
skill to novel-writing may appear a very long jump ; but 
novels and other works of art require the common element of 
constructive power, and differ from mechanical inventions 
only in requiring also the free play of the emotions. And it 
is in novel-writing that the female intellect of England seems 
to find the most appropriate outlet for its artistic emotions 
and its inventive power. English novels travel over the whole 
civilised world ; but they are especially popular in Germany, 
where the demand is so great that they are frequently trans- 
lated into German, and no less frequently reprinted in the 
original. There is no corresponding importation of German 
or Dutch novels into England, though there is some importa- 
tion of French novels, which also find their way into Germany. 
It may be inferred, without rashness, from all these facts that 
of the different nations under consideration England is the 
most inventive, Germany the least. 

Nor will the conclusion be invalidated by a comparison of 
the dramatic power shown by the several peoples. England, 
it is true, is at present, though not inferior to Germany, in- 
ferior to France in the production of dramas. But the Drama 
in England has had a history which will bear comparison with 
the history of the Drama in any other country. She has ex- 
celled equally in tragedy and in comedy ; and in both she has 
had worthy rivals amongst the French. But it can scarcely 
be said that Germany has had a Drama of her own, a 
Drama marked by the true dramatic stamp, by skilfully con- 
structed plots, by characters consistent with the plots and 
with themselves, and, above all, by well sustained dramatic 


action. Germany once made a great effort in the persons 
of Lessing, Schiller, and Goethe,, to establish a dramatic 
school ; and the effort produced some very fine poetry, but 
showed at the same time how deficient the German intel- 
lect is in the practical adaptation of means to ends. The 
plays are romantic, pathetic, excellent pieces of writing, but 
hardly fit for the stage ; in short, although they are good 
poetry, they are bad dramas. 

In comedy, Germany falls short even more than in tragedy; 
she is in fact almost destitute of comedy- writers. And this 
fact is an index to another broad distinction between the Ger- 
man intellect and the English intellect. Germans are heavier, 
slower, more given to admiration than the English, and have, 
perhaps, as a necessary consequence, infinitely less wit and 
humour. It is probably, as before suggested, partly owing to 
our insular ideas of good-breeding that we have been called 
" tristes Anglais"; but the epithet is certainly unjust if meant 
as a description of our national character. England has pro- 
duced a long line of comedy-writers, wits, and humourists, 
which not even France or Ireland can surpass, and which 
leaves Germany far behind; and anyone who chooses to listen 
to the remarks made among our lower classes, will discover an 
appreciation of wit and fun, coarse though it may be, which 
will convince him that we are not " tristes Anglais" , but inha- 
bitants of " Merrie England." 

And while no resemblance in this respect between England 
and either Germany or Holland can be detected, but, on the 
contrary, a very great dissimilarity, the resemblance between 
England and ancient Greece is complete. Both have produced 
great tragedy-writers, both have produced great comedy- 
writers. And the resemblance is none the less complete 
because English drama has not usually conformed to the 
Greek type; the divergence is only a proof of independent 
origin, and that independent origin is strong evidence of 
similarity of intellect. 

When we pass from the drama to other forms of art, the 
comparison becomes more difficult. The origin of what is 


cilled Gothic Architecture, and especially of pointed Gothic,* is 
involved in such obscurity that it would be unsafe to attribute 
it to any nation in particular. Once introduced, the style 
flourished, especially in Germany, France, and England; but 
the English soon had a school of their own, which differed in 
important points from the German school. The Germans, true 
to their character, delighted in size and height, by which 
especially might be represented the wonderful, the mysterious. 
The English, true also to their character, aimed rather at 
internal decoration, in which the taste for the beautiful might 
be gratified rather than the taste for the wonderful. The 
religious feeling of the English seems to have consisted chiefly 
of love : the religious feeling of the Germans to have consisted 
chiefly of awe. 

And this love of the wonderful of the mysterious seems 
to betray itself with other features of the German character in 
the German school of music, in which alone the constructive 
power of the Germansf is conspicuous. Widely different 
from the passionate melodies of the Italians from the more 
playful melodies of the French, German music suggests most 
frequently awe and admiration. Its harmonies, like the systems 
of German metaphysicians, though elaborated with the greatest 
care, delight in the undefined. They bewilder, and they are 
apparently intended to bewilder. 

Mr. FergussonJ denies that the Teutons possess artistic 
power of any kind ; tells us that " architecture, painting, and 
sculpture have been patronised and have flourished in the 
exact ratio in which Celtic blood is found prevailing in any 
people in Europe, and have died out as Aryan influence 
prevails " that the Teutons are wanting in creative and imagi- 
native power, and that where they appear art flies before them. 

* Encyclopaedia Britannica, art. " Architecture." 

t It must, however, be borne in mind that some of the most famous Ger- 
man composers have been of Jewish blood. 

X History of Architecture, p. 517, et seq. Where the word " German" or 
" Teuton" has been used in the text, Mr. Ferguson uses the word " Aryan" ; 
but according to his nomenclature "Aryan" is nearly synonymous with "Ger- 
man" or " Teutonic", the Celtic nations being by him regarded as non-Aryan. 


Evidence has been adduced in this paper to show that the 
English are the most inventive of all the nations whose charac- 
teristics it is necessary for our present purpose to consider, 
and the Germans the least inventive ; but it has not been 
suggested that the Germans are altogether devoid of inventive 
power, and still less will it be argued that they are altogether 
devoid of artistic power. Mr. Fergusson's verdict, literally 
interpreted, is hardly just if applied solely to the inhabitants of 
Germany ; it is certainly unjust if intended to apply to the 
inhabitants of England. But if taken as it was elsewhere 
found necessary to take the statement of Tacitus that the 
Germans had all light hair as a general statement of a broad 
distinction, the verdict is probably true so far as it relates to 
the Germans proper. The verdict is only approximately true 
of the English, so far as it relates to painting and sculpture. 
England has not certainly distinguished herself above other 
nations in those branches of art; but it has already been 
shewn that her constructive power has been drawn off in other 
directions ; and even in those two branches of art it is doubtful 
whether England has really been inferior to any country except 

The principles of art-criticism are so ill-defined they are so 
different at different times that the subject must necessarily 
be approached with fear and trembling, and in all humility. 
But the method of investigation which is pursued in this paper 
demands that some attempt shall be made to discover national 
characteristics in national art, and to compare them together. 
May future anthropologists make a more successful attempt 
than is made here. A man who has studied the different 
schools of painting for a lifetime, and who has also a taste for 
anthropology, would be best fitted for the task. There are, 
unfortunately, but few who fulfil even the first of these con- 
ditions ; to them, however, we must apply for information. 

Mr. Buskin's opinion of German painting seems to be 
thoroughly in accordance with what has been said in this paper 
of the chief emotional characteristics of the Germans. He 
says,* " The development of landscape north of the Alps 

* Modem Painters, vol. i, pp. 88, 89. 


presents us with the same general phases, under modifica- 
tions dependent partly on less intensity of feeling, partly 
on diminished availableness of landscape material. That of 
tlic religious painters is treated with the same affectionate 
completion j but exuberance of fancy sometimes diminishes 
the influence of the imagination, and the absence of the Italian 
force of passion admits of more patient and somewhat less 
intellectual elaboration. A morbid habit of mind is evident 
in many, seeming to lose sight of the balance and relations of 
things, so as to become intense in trifles, gloomily minute as 
in Albert Diirer. And this mingled with a feverish operation of 
the fancy, which appears to result from certain habitual condi- 
tions of bodily health rather than of mental culture, and of 
which the sickness without the power is eminently characteristic 
of the modern Germans ; but with all this there are virtues of 
the very highest order in those schools, and I regret that my 
knowledge is insufficient to admit of my giving any detailed 
account of them." 

This description seems to indicate a desire on the part of 
German painters to excite wonder, no matter how ; to impress 
spectators with a vague sense of the mysterious. And this 
desire is coupled with an intellectual peculiarity which, as will 
subsequently be seen, is also characteristic of German science 
an extraordinary love for the accumulation of minute details, 
but, as a rule, without a corresponding development of con- 
structive power. 

And this same love of detail for itself appears also in the 
Dutch school of painting. To quote again from Mr. Ruskin* 
" Among the professed landscapists of the Dutch school, we 
find much dexterous imitation of certain kinds of nature, re- 
markable usually for its persevering rejection of whatever is 
great, valuable, or affecting in the object studied." And again : 
" The very mastery these men have of their business proceeds 
from their never really seeing the whole of anything, but only 
that part of it which they know how to do," and more to the 
same effect. 

* Modem Painters, vol. i, p. 90. 


Mr. Wornum's* account of the Dutch school is not, in the 
main, at variance with that of Mr. Ruskin. " The works of 
their Dutch contemporaries, on the other hand, were remark- 
able for scrupulous fidelity of imitation and the closest 
familiarity of subject. The characteristic Dutch school dates 
its origin from this period (the seventeenth century), and it 
may perhaps not unjustly be termed the illusive or the micro- 
scopic school, minute exactness of imitation being its principal 
element. Every branch of art history, genre, landscape, por- 
trait all are alike conspicuous for the most scrupulous imitation, 
even to the utmost elaboration of the textures of substances." 

But it must not be forgotten that the Dutch produced Rem- 
brandt ; and that Rubens, though a native of Cologne, was of 
the Dutch school. Rembrandt, whom Mr. Wornum charac- 
terises as the " most attractive and original of painters," seems 
to have excelled all the Dutch school in constructive power ; 
he soared above simple imitation and attained originality. 
Rubens, too, possessed great constructive power, even though 
the composition of his " Descent from the Cross " may have 
been borrowed from an Italian print. But the national charac- 
teristics appear not so much in the exceptions as in the general 
body of artists. There are exceptional individuals in all 
nations ; and there can be no greater error in anthropology 
than to suppose that, because a nation has a particular type, 
corporeal or mental, all the individuals of the nation must 
necessarily conform to it. Germany produced Rubens, and 
Holland produced Rembrandt ; but neither of these painters 
can be accepted as representing the type of their respective 
nations, because there is evidence to prove that the types of 
those nations are extremely different. 

When we pass over to England we find it more difficult to 
assign any distinctive peculiarity to her painters. It has 
already been remarked that the constructive power of the 
English has been diverted into other channels ; it is, therefore, 
probable that the great and characteristic school of English 
painting has yet to arise. But, if English painters have a 

* The Epochs of Painting, p. 434. 


characteristic, it is probably that constructive power of which 
80 much has already been said. Of one of Gainsborough's 
pictures Mr. Euskin has remarked, " nothing can be more bold 
or inventive." Mr. Ruskin also speaks of the faculty of " imagi- 
native association/' which seems to be nearly identical with the 
"constructive association" of Professor Bain. This faculty, 
he considers, was possessed in the highest degree by Turner. 

But it is not safe to generalise from one or two instances ; it 
is not safe to assert more of the English school of painting 
than that its constructive power is at least as well marked as 
any other characteristic. If this be admitted, the art-charac- 
teristics of the different nations compared, though they will 
have added but little to confirm my previous conclusions, 
will certainly not be found to throw any doubt upon them. 

And before dismissing this part of the subject, it may be 
worth while to draw attention to the fact that, whatever their 
artistic skill may be, the English are certainly great lovers of 
beauty. This is manifest from the beauty of the people, and 
especially of the women. It is a well-ascertained fact that 
personal peculiarities are hereditary ; and if the English people 
were in the habit of selecting ill-favoured wives and hus- 
bands, it is impossible that the English could be generally 
well favoured. That they are so is admitted, even by 
foreigners ; and it is irrational to attribute the fact to mere 
chance, when the principle of conjugal selection* thoroughly 
explains it. 

The beauty of the Greek features and form is also pro- 

Among modern European nations there are probably none 
who have excelled the English in poetry ; perhaps none but the 
Italians have equalled them. From Chaucer, through Shaks- 
peare, Spenser, Milton, Pope, Shelley, Byron, and a host of 
others, even to the present day, there has been a succession of 
poets, of which any nation may reasonably be proud. There 
is, perhaps, no kind of poetry of which the English have not 
produced good specimens ; and there is hardly any branch of 

* As set forth by Mi*. Darwin, in his work On the Origin of Species 

' n2 


the art in which they have not displayed originality. Here the 
resemblance is well marked between the English, the ancient 
Britons, and the ancient Greeks ; and hardly less well marked 
is the contrast between the English and the Germans. The 
German poets, though numerous, resemble one another in 
their almost universal love of the wonderful, the mystic, the 
supernatural. It is through wonder that the Germans are 
most easily moved, while other European nations have wider 
emotional sympathies. Thus it happens that with the excep- 
tion of Goethe and Schiller, Germany has produced scarcely 
a poet of European reputation ; and even Goethe and Schiller, 
great as they undoubtedly were, owed not a little to their study 
of Shakspeare. And it may be remarked that while the 
Germans always enamoured of the wonderful, always anxious 
to elaborate are frequently turgid and obscure, and have 
displayed but little variety in their compositions, the English 
may set up Shakspeare as a model for versatility, Pope as a 
model for clearness and rhythm, and Byron as a model for 
descriptive power and beauty of simile. 

As in dramatic poetry, so in all other kinds of poetry, con- 
structive power is a necessary element, but most of all in 
dramatic poetry. But one of the most essential qualities for 
composing all kinds of poetry is the faculty of perceiving 
resemblances. That faculty is equally necessary in the ex- 
perimental sciences, in the arts, wherever genius can show 
itself. It has not hitherto been considered in the comparisons 
already drawn ; because it was thought that the consideration 
of one element at a time would have the effect of making the 
subject clearer, and because, in those intellectual phenomena 
which have hitherto been discussed, constructive power was 
thought to be the distinctive element. In all kinds of poetry, 
except the dramatic, the faculty of perceiving resemblances 
may perhaps be considered the most important, though neither 
retentiveness nor constructive power can be dispensed with. 

The comparison drawn between the poetry of Germany and 
of England seems to leave a balance of "similarity,"* no less 

* The word is used here in the sense in which Professor Bain has used it, 
the faculty of perceiving resemblances. 


than of constructiveness, in favour of England, while, on the 
other hand, the great elaboration which characterises almost 
all forms of German art, seems to incline the balance, so far as 
contiguity* is concerned, in favour of Germany. And a com- 
parison of German philosophy and science with the philosophy 
and science of England will lead to a similar conclusion. 

It has been said by Mr. Fergusson,f that to the Aryans (by 
which term he means the Germans as opposed to the Celts) 
induction owes its birth. Induction, in a certain sense, it is 
true, owes its birth to the English, but it seems, even when 
discovered, to be absolutely repugnant to the German mind. 
German intellect displays itself in two forms ; sometimes it 
assumes certain premises, and reasons out from them a system 
of philosophy which is complete in every detail ; sometimes it 
collects together an immense mass of facts, some important, 
others unimportant, which are either not reasoned upon at all, 
or are reasoned upon without having previously been digested. 
In the former case endless systems of metaphysics come forth, 
each at variance with its predecessor ; in the latter case appear 
lexicons, grammars, editions of the classics, monographs upon 
various subjects. In the former case the details of all those 
questions which the system is to explain, seem to be carefully 
impressed upon the mind before the premises are assumed; 
in the latter case fact after fact is heaped upon the mind with 
a perseverance which would be painful to any human being 
not gifted with extraordinary powers of retaining impressions, 
which would be considered labour lost by any one possessed of 
strong similarity of great powers of classification. But in 
both cases the love of the wonderful, of the mystic, is strongly 
marked. In the one case it is gratified by reasoning from the 
unknown to the unknown; in the other case it is gratified by 
mere mass or quantity by the "wmider-grosz." 

But both the emotion of wonder, and the love of detail for 
itself, are antagonistic to the spirit of induction a spirit 
which has been characteristic of English genius even when it 
has been tempted into the quicksands of philosophy. Through 

* Which embraces observation and memory, 
f History of Architecture, p. 525. 


that spirit, Hobbes was led to the psychological discovery of 
the laws of association, a discovery in which he had been 
partly, at least, anticipated by Aristotle. Through that spirit 
the investigations of Locke and Berkeley have suggested to 
later thinkers that the study of metaphysics, though not neces- 
sarily of psychology, must always be futile. 

The results of the English school have been arrived at 
through experience. Far different has been the progress of 
German speculation. Always subjective, and therefore always 
dogmatic, the school of German metaphysics has, since the 
time of Kant, passed through a period of dogmatic Pantheism, 
and has at last culminated in equally dogmatic Atheism.* 
This fact is a curious refutation of the assertion made by Mr. 
Fergusson, that it is especially the German who recognises one 
God, and especially the Celt who recognises many. 

But as all the reasoning processes have been referred to the 
" law of similarity," it may with reason be suggested that the 
Germans, having shown a great love of abstract speculation, 
m ust necessarily possess great power of perceiving resemblances 
must be strong in the faculty of similarity. To adopt the 
language of Mr. Mill, whose theory of the reasoning processes 
will be found to be strictly in accordance with that of Professor 
Bain deductive reasoning depends upon the discovery of 
marks of certain qualities, or of marks of those marks; and 
to discover those marks there must undoubtedly be a strong 
faculty of similarity. But to make sure of what is commonly 
called the universal proposition before drawing deductions 
from it, a far stronger faculty of similarity is required. It is 
the general law which is the true foundation of all sound 
reasoning, i.e., it is the discovery of the general law which, 
above all things, requires an intellect powerful in discovering 
resemblances amidst differences. A certain power of deducing 
results from a general law may be acquired ; but for the dis- 
covery of the law itself a great natural endowment is absolutely 

Nor can this fact be disproved by the equally certain fact, 

* For this, see especially the work of Dr. Louis Buchner, Kraft unci Staff. 


that all sound reasoning is in reality from particulars to par- 
ticulars; that the universal proposition is but a convenient 
registration of observed phenomena.* By the careful appli- 
cation of certain rules any man, with a love of detail, may reason 
correctly from certain data, and his conclusions will be as correct 
as the data themselves ; but it is only the man with a genius 
for perceiving resemblances who can establish those data on a 
scientific footing. The true man of science the man who 
reasons from observed facts discovers that a certain pheno- 
menon has, in a great number of instances, accompanied a 
certain other phenomenon or certain other phenomena; he 
probably makes certain experiments with a view of eliminating 
all possible conditions but those which he supposes to be in- 
variably accompanied by the phenomenon in question ; and he 
then pronounces that wherever certain phenomena are found, 
a certain other phenomenon will be found also, and from that 
discovery further useful results may be deduced according to 
fixed rules. But though a certain amount of ingenuity is, 
without doubt, necessary for the discovery of such new results, 
there is an enormous difference between the discovery of those 
new results and the first discovery of the law ; and that differ- 
ence is just the difference between scientific reasoning and 
mere subjective reasoning, perhaps it is not too much to say 
between the typical English intellect and the typical German 

Germany has, without doubt, produced sonfe great dis- 
coverers and generalisers from experience : such men were 
Copernicus,t Kepler, Leibnitz, Goethe, and Oken. There is, 
perhaps, no European nation which has not produced great 
discoverers. Italy has produced among others, Ubaldi, Galileo, 
Torricelli, the Bernouillis, Galvani ; France has produced Des- 
cartes, La Grange, La Place ; England has produced Newton, 
Halley, and other astronomers, in addition to all those great 
inventors who have already been mentioned. But the steady 
scientific method of the English is characteristic of the people, 

* See Mill's System of Logic on the " Syllogism." 
f Who was, however, possibly of Polish descent. 


and is essentially opposed to the method of the Germans. The 
English par excellence the " audax Ia/peti genus" have di- 
vested themselves of that greatest of impediments wonder. 
As Professor Bain has remarked,* " in matters of truth and 
falsehood, wonder is one of the corrupting emotions. The 
narrations of matters of fact are constantly perverted by it; 
while in science Bacon might have enrolled it among his 
f idola.' " The English know the true value of facts ; they 
know how to arrange them, to classify them, to utilise them. 
They know also the value of theories ; they know how to verify 
them, to apply them, to utilise them. The Germans, on 
the other hand, seem to value facts for their quantity rather 
than their quality ; to value theories for their mysticism, 
for the satisfaction they afford to the theoriser rather than 
for their agreement with established facts. And hence, even 
Oken perhaps the most remarkable discoverer of resem- 
blances that any country has produced was so little careful 
to make sure of his facts, that of all his suggestions, the 
suggestion of the homologies of the skeleton is the only one 
for which his name is famous. f His power of similarity was 
enormous ; but he lacked that constructive power which is 
necessary for verification. 

When, therefore, it is remembered that both constructive 
power and the power of perceiving resemblances are necessary 
for all great discoveries, for all great inventions, for all great 
poems, it will 'be seen that in those two regions of the human 
mind the Germans are somewhat circumscribed as compared with 
the English. It appears that where an exceptional individual 
among the Germans has one of these faculties highly devel- 
oped, he is deficient in the other. Germans can produce an 
Oken, strong in similarity; or a Handel, strong in constructive 
power ; but not a Watt or a Shakespeare, equally strong in 

When, on the other hand, it is remembered that very strong 
retentiveness is required for compilations of all kinds, in 

* The Emotions and the Will, pp. 69, 70. 

f See Bain 27ie Senses and the Intellect, p. 511. 


which the Germans especially excel, it will be seen that in 
that region of the mind the Germans apparently surpass the 

And from these two considerations it will be seen that 
there is a twofold distinction between the intellect of the 
Germans and the intellect of the English, a difference such 
as might be expected, when the different types of skulls 
prevailing among the two nations are borne in mind. 

And there exists between the Teutonic nations and the 
English a moral difference precisely analogous to these intel- 
lectual distinctions. The people of all European nations are 
fond of amassing money, the Germans, perhaps, not less than 
the English. But the Teutonic nations seem to have a greater 
love of money, for its own sake, than the English. Precisely 
as the Germans amass facts, without caring for the results 
which may be deduced from them, they amass money without 
any corresponding desire to spend it. The great German 
merchant is a merchant; the great English merchant is a 
merchant-prince. The remark which M. Esquiros has acutely 
made* respecting the Dutch is no less true of the Germans, 
" le propre du caractere hollandais, meme quand il s'eleve vers 
la grandeur, est de rester simple/' The simplicity of the 
German character is proverbial. 

It has been said,f too, that the Germans resemble the Greeks 
in sending forth numerous colonies. No statement can be 
farther from the truth. The Germans emigrate, but do not 
colonise, precisely as they carry a new discovery to further 
results more frequently than they make the discovery itself. 
England is the great coloniser, just as in former times Greece 
was the great coloniser ; but wherever England sends colonies, 
Germany sends emigrants. There is an immense difference 
between these two things, a difference as great as the differ- 
ence between wonder and daring. 

An attempt has been made in the foregoing sketches and 
they cannot pretend to be anything more to show that there 

* In La Ncerlande et la Vie hollandaise, vol. i, p. 83. 
f Donaldson, New Cralylus, p. 132. 


is a well-marked distinction between the psychical charac- 
teristics of the Teutonic peoples and those of the English, just 
as there is a well-marked distinction between their respective 
physical characteristics. And, at the same time, an attempt 
has been made to show that where the English differ from the 
Germans they agree with the ancient Greeks, while the Greeks 
form, as it were, the connecting link between the ancient 
Britons and the modern English. Some of the evidence which 
establishes that link has been given here, but still more else- 
where. There is, however, a little more evidence on that 
point which may be adduced here. 

Every Greek scholar knows better than he can express the 
meaning of the Greek to kcCKov ; and yet there is a very near 
approach to that meaning in a Welsh triad, which may possibly 
have been handed down from a remote period : " the three ulti- 
mate intentions of bardism : to reform the morals and customs ; 
to secure peace ; to celebrate (or encourage) all that is good 
an d excellent."* And, on the other hand, the institutions and 
the character on which the Englishman prides himself show 
the existence of a very similar spirit. English courts of justice 
are acknowledged to be the fairest and most merciful in the 
world ; the " English love of fair play" is hardly ever out of an 
Englishman's mouth ; and an Englishman's sense of honour is 
the necessary counterpart of his u pluck." 

It is difficult to compare the scientific methods of any ancient 
nation, or the results attained by them with those of any mo- 
dern nation. As Mr. G. H. Lewes has happily remarked, f 
" Science is a growth. The future must issue from seeds sown 
in the past. The bare and herbless granite must first be 
covered with mosses and lichens, and from their decay is to be 
formed the nidus of a higher life." But Aristotle is more 
nearly resembled by Bacon or by Hobbes than by any thinkers 
of other countries. Aristotle saw dimly, as Bacon saw clearly, 
that theories were worthless unless based on facts ; he disco- 
vered from the facts of his own consciousness what Hobbes, 

* The translation of Davies (Celtic Researches) is here adopted, 
f Aristotle, p. 47. 


perhaps, more definitely discovered again, that there existed 
some sort of order even in the caprices of memory or fancy. 

Statesmen, both in England and in ancient Greece, have 
generally conformed to a common type, though in both coun- 
tries there have been exceptions. They have won the con- 
fidence and the love of their countrymen not less by their 
moral character than by their intellectual attainments. Not 
separated by an impassable gulf from the great body of those 
who have entrusted them with power, they have been the re- 
presentatives of their country, not an independent class exist- 
ing apart. In his greatest statesmen, the modern Englishman 
and the ancient Greek of average disposition and attainments 
have been able to recognise themselves as in a flattering por- 
trait. In those statesmen the great characteristics of Greeks 
and Englishmen have been most conspicuous, because most 
magnified. Such statesmen and a number might be cited 
from the annals of either country have been energetic, ge- 
nerous, honourable, hospitable, full of all human sympathies ; 
they have not sacrificed the man to the politician. With life 
and vigour to spare, after giving the cares of state their due, 
they have excelled in the literature, the art, and even the 
science of their day. They have learned to shine in the salon 
no less than in the national assembly. But, above all, they 
have fostered, and even taken part in all the pastimes and 
athletic sports of their country ; and where such pursuits have 
led them into reckless extravagance, their vagaries have been 
readily forgiven as mere exaggerations of national good qua- 

Northern Germany has not produced such statesmen in great 

* The discussion on this paper has in no way shaken my opinions. They 
are founded, so far as the Germans are concerned, not only on my own 
limited acquaintance with German customs and German literature, hut on 
the observations of German, French, and English critics. The principal 
books which I have consulted, in writing this portion of my work, are The 
Emotions and the Will ; The Senses and the Intellect, and the Essay on Cha- 
racter, by Professor Bain ; The History of Inventions, by Beckmann ; The 
New Cratylus and the Essay on English Ethnography, by Donaldson; the 
Preliminary Dissertations, and the articles on the different Inventions, the 


Drama, Poetry, etc., in The Encyclopaedia Britannica ; L'Angleterre et la Vie 
Anglaise, and La Neerlande et la Vie Hollandaise, by Esquiros ; The History of 
the Styles of Architecture, by Fergusson ; The Roman and the Teuton, by 
Kingsley ; The Races of Man, by Knox ; Die Marschen und Inseln der Herzog- 
thiimer Schleswig und Holstein, by Kohl; The Life of Goethe, The Biographical 
History of Philosophy , and Aristotle, by G. H. Lewes ; German Life and Man- 
ners, by Mayhew ; Die Deutsche Literatur, by Menzel ; the articles on Poetry, 
on the different Inventions, etc., in the Penny Cyclopedia ; Modern Painters, 
by Ruskin ; The Lives of Bolton and Watt, by Smiles ; De V Allemagne, by 
Madame de Stael; The Germania and Agricola of Tacitus ; Historic Survey 
of German Poetry, by Taylor ; Social Life in Munich, by Wilberforce ; and 
The Epochs of Painting, by Wornum. 


XII. On the Iconography of the Skull. By W. H. Wesley, 
Esq., F.A.S.L. 

In treating of this subject, I shall first endeavour to point out 
the best method of drawing the cranium, and then briefly 
direct attention to some of the faults which such drawings 
most frequently exhibit. 

There are two methods of delineating natural objects upon 
a plane surface ; the one we may call the geometrical, which 
is the method recommended by Dr. Lucae ; and the other is 
the ordinary perspective method of delineation. 

Drawings upon the geometrical system, are simply elevations 
or plans not taken from one point of sight ; the line of sight 
being always perpendicular to the plane of the projection. 
Dr. Lucae's instrument for drawing upon this principle, con- 
sists of a plate of glass placed over the object to be delineated, 
and over this plate an apparatus by which the eye is always 
perpendicularly above the plate, while the drawing is being 
traced upon it. In these drawings, therefore, there is no per- 
spective, and no foreshortening ; everything is represented as 
it really is, and not as it appears to the eye. 

The great advantage claimed for the geometrical method, is 
that drawings made upon that system are not only comparable 
with one another, but measurable. This is, however, only 
true to a certain extent ; for geometrical drawings are only 
measurable upon lines parallel to the plane of the projection, 
and perpendicular to the line of vision. It must be remem- 
bered, also, that perspective drawings are measurable upon the 
most important plane of all, viz., the centre line of the skull. 
All planes nearer to the eye than this line, are in perspective 
drawings increased, and all planes more remote from the eye, 
are reduced in size. 

Still it may be urged, that geometrical drawings are much 
iimre' capable of measurement than drawings made on the 


ordinary perspective method, and this is undoubtedly the trutl 
If we have a sufficient number of geometrical elevations fror 
different points of view, we can obtain from them all the prin j 
cipal measurements without referring to the original skull , 
and perhaps even more readily. 

This appears to be a great advantage which the geometrica | 
method possesses, but I believe it to be more apparent thai 
real. We have only to ask ourselves, What is the end aimed a 
in drawing the skull, and what is the use of such delineations '. 
Without doubt, their use is to supplement the tables of mea- 
surements, which will always be required whatever method ol 
drawing may be adopted. The one question, then, about the i 
two methods of drawing is, which best subserves this end ? I 
believe, without question, the perspective drawing. It is true, 
that the geometrical drawings give accurate measurements, 
but these are also supplied by the measurement tables. Geo- 
metrical drawings do not give the general impression of the 
skull which tables of measurement cannot give, and to supply 
which is the only end for which drawings of the skull are 
required. These delineations are required as substitutes for 
the examination of the skull itself, and not to supply the place 
of measurement tables. 

Perhaps a more serious objection against geometrical draw- 
ings, is that they are not comparable with the objects deli- 
neated, and are, therefore, unintelligible and confusing. This 
will be evident, if we consider that in geometrical representa- 
tions the object is not drawn as it appears to the eye, but as it 
actually is. The impression produced upon the eye by an 
object is that of a perspective drawing, and not of a geome- 
trical elevation; since in observing any object, those parts 
nearer to the eye appear larger than they are in reality, and 
those parts further removed appear less : thus, we have fore- 
shortening, and those effects which we call perspective. 

The fault most frequently committed in drawing the skull, 
is a want of attention to its position. We sometimes see 
skulls represented in what is called three-quarter face ; this is 
the view most frequently given by artists in ordinary portraits, 
but it is most ill-adapted for scientific purposes. Since in 


such drawings the centre line of the skull is not perpendicular 
to the line of vision, no measurement is possible. Examples 
of this may be seen in Morton's Crania Americana. Draw- 
ings of the skull are valueless, except in strictly geometrical 

We frequently see drawings of the cranium which are almost 
useless, in consequence of inattention to their position in 
regard to elevation. If the skull is inclined forward, the fore- 
head will appear larger in the front view than it should be, 
and the chin and lower part less, and vice versa. In the side 
view, a skull inclined forwards will appear less prognathous, 
and one inclined backwards will be more so. It is absolutely 
necessary, if drawings of the skull are to be comparable with 
one another, that some fixed vertical or base line be adopted, 
which shall regulate their position. The true or natural base 
line is not easily obtained. There is in the living person one 
position in which the head is at rest, perfectly balanced upon 
its supporting vertebrae ; but it is impossible to determine this 
in the dried skull. The base of the cerebral cavity is the only 
true base line of the skull; but to obtain this it is necessary 
to bisect the skull longitudinally. It is much to be desired 
that this were generally practised ; but till that is the case, we 
must adopt some fixed line, which may be seen without dividing 
the skull. The most frequently adopted position is that which 
is regulated by the vertical line of Mr. Busk, drawn from the 
top of the skull, at the coronal suture, to the centre of the 
auditory foramen. A skull so placed that this line shall be 
vertical, will be found to be pretty nearly in the natural upright 
position. This vertical line is so convenient and so easily 
obtained, that it is now very generally adopted. 

Instead of this vertical line, a fixed horizontal line has been 
recommended, drawn from the inferior nasal spine to the 
centre of the auditory foramen. If this line be chosen, the 
skull will be very nearly in the same position as that in which 
it is placed by Mr. Busk's vertical line. This horizontal line 
certainly possesses the advantage of being as easily determinable 
upon the living head as upon the dry skull. Still, I do not 
imagine that it is of very great importance which of these lines 


be chosen, so that we only obtain uniformity in cranial delinea 
tions. All fixed lines are more or less arbitrary, except thos< 
founded on the true base of the cranial cavity viz., a line 
drawn from the anterior margin of the foramen magnum 
through the sphenoid, to the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid 

Leaving the interior of the skull out of consideration, five 
views are required to represent it thoroughly; the side or profile, 
the top or vertical view, the front, the back, and the base view. 
The ordinary way of drawing the vertical view is to make the 
line of sight coincident with the assumed vertical line, or per- 
pendicular to the horizontal line. Sometimes, however, the 
vertical view is so drawn as to show the extreme length of the 
cerebrum the plane of the projection being a line drawn from 
the frontal to the occipital protuberances. I prefer the ordi- 
nary method, as in prognathous skulls it exhibits the degree 
of prognathism, as well as that of dolichocephaly. In drawings 
from the other point of view, the jaws cannot be seen in the 
norma verticalis. 

That our delineations may be comparable with one another, 
the distance between the eye and the object should always be 
the same. A drawing of a skull or other object taken from a 
distance of six feet is not perfectly comparable with one taken 
from a distance of three, since the amount of foreshortening 
is much greater in the latter. 

For scientific purposes, elaborately shaded drawings are not 
required ; indeed, pure outlines are far preferable to drawings 
in which any details are obscured by the shading. 

For the purposes now under consideration, drawings should 
always be made to some fixed scale. Half and quarter sizes 
are most to be recommended for drawings of skulls. They 
have the great advantages that their measurements are easily 
comparable with one another, and with those of the original 
skull. Third size is inconvenient because it is not easily com- 
parable, especially with drawings on the scale of one-fourth. 
In many cases, quarter size drawings are sufficiently large, 
while if more detail is required, half size will generally show 
it, and is in many respects more convenient than the full size 
of nature. 


It is not necessary for me to say anything on the use of the 
camera lucida ; but I should mention that this instrument is 
indispensable, both for the great saving of labour and for the 
accuracy of outline obtained by its employment. 

A few words may not be out of place here upon the applica- 
nt >n of photography to craniology. Many skull photographs 
rendered almost useless in consequence of the operator 
bring seldom an artist, and still more rarely a scientific man. 
The mistakes about position, elevation, etc., which, as before 
observed, are common to many drawings, are even of more 
frequent occurrence in photographs of the skull. Too great 
.uttention cannot be paid to the lighting of photographs, since 
in a photograph, as in nature, there is no outline. Every- 
thing is defined by the shading, so that if the lighting be 
injudiciously managed, the object cannot be correctly repre- 
sented. By the arrangement of the light alone important 
parts may be suppressed, and insignificant details be brought 
into undue prominence. If the light be all to the front of the 
object photographed, it will possess too little relief, and all 
minute details will be rendered invisible. If the light is from 
the top exclusively, all lines approaching the horizontal will be 
exaggerated, while all vertical lines will be more or less sup- 
pressed. If the object be lighted only from the side, a line 
down the centre will divide the perfectly light from the almost 
perfectly dark in which everything but the general outline 
is lost. The light should be neither from the front, top, 
nor side, but a combination of all three, or three-quarter 

It does not appear to me probable that photography will 
ever supersede drawing, for scientific purposes. For portraits 
of living persons, of course photography is admirably adapted, 
but for skulls it has objections which are scarcely to be over- 
come. If the lighting of the picture be perfect, it is still a 
disadvantage that the photograph renders every minute de- 
tail with absolutely certain fidelity. Stains and imperfections 
of the bones, cracks and holes, cannot be omitted in the pho- 
tograph, and often much obscure its clearness, while if the 
operator is not skilful, these accidental details will often be 



the most distinctly represented. A really accurate camera 
lucida drawing is far more valuable than most photographs, 
however they may excel it in artistic effect. Science owes 
much to photography, and photography is no doubt capable of 
much improvement; but I still think that the work of the; 
artist will never be altogether dispensed with, nor be super- 
seded by any merely mechanical process. 

Mem. Anthr. Soc. Lond. Vol. II. To face p. 195 


X 1 1 T. On the Orthographic Projection of the Skull. By 
Alfred Higgins, Esq., Hon. For. Sec, F.A.S.L., Foreign 
Associate of the Anthropological Society of Paris. 

Anthropologists are now all but universally agreed, that a 
careful and minute study of the variations of bodily structure, 
more especially as regards the bony system, affords the only 
secure basis for a natural history of man. The diligent collection 
of human remains, both ancient and modern, becomes, therefore, 
of the highest importance to the future progress of anthropo- 
logy. A few isolated specimens, unless they can be in some way 
rendered available for comparison with larger collections else- 
where, are of but slight value. The individual variations in 
so highly organised an animal as man, are of course incon- 
ceivably great; and necessitate the examination of large series 
of specimens, if we would arrive at any just conclusion as to 
what osteological peculiarities are really characteristic of 
natural anthropological groups. Unfortunately, however, the 
collection of well authenticated skulls, to say nothing of entire 
skeletons, is a matter of extreme difficulty ; and although, 
during the present century, a comparatively large number of 
these objects has been brought to Europe from all parts of 
the globe, they are so scattered as to be but little available for 
scientific purposes. It was on this account that Professors von 
Baer and Rudolph Wagner proposed, two or three years since, 
to hold an international exhibition of skulls at Gottingen, and 
thus to bring together large series of some of the more 
remarkable groups of cranial forms. Unfortunately, the pro- 
jected exhibition was unavoidably delayed; and, finally, the 
lamented death of the venerable Wagner put a stop to it alto- 
gether. I venture, however, strongly to commend this idea to 
English anthropologists ; and to hope that very shortly we 
may see, either at the College of Surgeons or in connexion 
with the meeting of the British Association, an international 
exhibition of crania, on a scale worthy of English science. It 



cannot be doubted that, with the resources at our command, 
and aided, as I am sure we should willingly be, by foreign 
savants, an exhibition might be got together, which would 
exercise a most important influence on the future of anthro- 
pology. Such an exhibition would, however, necessarily be of 
very limited duration, and could be but very seldom repeated. 
It is to other means we must look if we would render avail- 
able for extended comparison and minute investigation the 
treasures concealed in the countless public and private collec- 
tions of Europe and America. 

One of the most important of such means will, it is believed, 
be found in the publication of plans and elevations of skulls, 
constructed on the same principle as the mechanical drawings 
of engineers, and with the same scrupulous exactness. Pro- 
fessor Lucae of Frankfort has devised an accurate, cheap, and 
readily executed method of making such geometrical projec- 
tions ; and it is with the object of describing his apparatus and 
inviting a discussion, as to the value of geometrical versus 
perspective drawings for craniological purposes, that the pre- 
sent paper, which makes no pretence to originality, has been 
written. Although the MorjpJwlogie der Rassenschaedel, the 
work in which Professor Lucae described his improved method 
of orthographic projection, was published in 1861, and. not- 
withstanding that this method was adopted by an anthropolo- 
gical congress held at Gottingen in 1861, at which several of 
the first anthropologists in Europe assisted, it has never been 
described before an English scientific audience ; and, as far as 
I am aware, a passing allusion in the Natural History Review 
for October 1862 is the only reference that has been made to 
it in England.* The fact of the geometrical system of drawing 
skulls having been approved of by such men as Von Baer, 
Rudolph Wagner, and Vrolik, will, I hope, be sufficient excuse 
for my venturing to ask you to examine candidly a method which 
promises such signal advantages. There is no novelty in draw- 
ings of this kind as applied to natural history. Albinus's 

* Since this paper was written. Professor Lucae's method has been de- 
scribed in our President's edition of Vogt's Lectures on Man. 


anatomical plates profess to be geometrical ; and D'Alton 
appears to have anticipated in its essential point the method 
adopted by Professor Lucae. 

Before I describe Lucae's apparatus, it will be necessary to 
refer briefly to the respective principles on which perspective 
and geometrical drawings are constructed. In the former, the 
object represented is supposed to be viewed from a fixed 
point; but in the latter, the observer is supposed to stand 
directly opposite each point represented. Figure 1 is intended 
to show the way in which objects are viewed in geometrical 
delineation. The arrow indicates the object, and the vertical 
lines the mode of vision. The eye, it will be seen, constantly 
changes its point of view, and thus each particular spot is 
looked at vertically. Suppose cd to be a plate of glass parallel 
to the arrow, and that we draw thereon the arrow, as viewed 
in the manner described, it is evident that the drawing will 
be of the exact size of the arrow. If the eye be moved 
further from or nearer to the glass, or the glass to the object, 
the drawing taken will not vary in any particular. Geometrical 
drawings, then, represent objects as they exist extended in 
space, as far as this is possible on a plane surface, and they 
are not intended (except secondarily) to represent things as 
they look. 

Figure 2 elucidates the principles of perspective drawing. 
The lines radiating from the point of sight indicate the mode 
of vision. If a glass plate be introduced, as in the former case, 
and the object, viewed in the manner now indicated, delineated 
thereon, only the central portion of the drawing will corre- 
spond to the object ; all the rest will be foreshortened. A will 
appear at a and b at b. If in this case we vary the distance 
between the eye and the glass, or the glass and the object, the 
proportion of the several parts of the drawings made on the 
glass plate will vary too. It is evident from this, that per- 
spective drawings are not strictly and minutely comparable the 
one with the other ; as, even supposing that the drawings are 
all taken at the same distance from the objects, the amount of 
foreshortening will vary in each case with the form of the 
objects. Geometrical drawings, however, admit of strict com- 


parison inter se, as all planes in the object which are parallel 
to the plane of the drawing are shown without any fore- 

It will be at once objected, that we do not view objects from 
a plane, and that, therefore, geometrical drawings cannot afford 
any idea of objects as they appear to us, and as they alone 
exist with regard to ourselves. To this objection Lucae replies, 
that we do see things geometically when we view them from 
some little distance, as the rays from such objects are prac- 
tically parallel ; and besides this we retain in our minds a geo- 
metrical rather than a perspective image of objects. When we 
examine a skull, we do not view it from a single point ; we 
constantly change our point of view ; and, moreover, our judg- 
ment is generally materially aided by the sense of touch. Be- 
sides this, our eyes present us with stereoscopic not perspec- 
tive views. 

I will now proceed to describe Professor Lucae' s apparatus. 
It consists essentially of a plate of glass, suspended hori- 
zontally, under which the object to be drawn is placed, and of 
an instrument affording a vertical axis of vision, moveable 
horizontally upon the glass plate. This glass plate, which 
should be four decimeters square, is let into a heavy oak 
frame, so that its upper surface is continuous with that of the 
frame. At the four corners of the frame there are four pegs, 
by means of which it is fixed in a horizontal position on a 
small table or stool, the top of which has a piece cut out of it 
of the size of the glass plate. The height of the stool with 
its frame should be about three and three-quarters deci- 
meters. I am indebted to Professor Lucae himself for these 
details, and it is through his kindness that I am able to 
exhibit to you the instrument for giving the moveable vertical 
axis of sight. A plan of this instrument is given in figure 3. 
v is a diopter, and k the intersection of two crossed threads ; 
the vertical axis is vh. When we look through the diopter in 
the direction of the crossed threads we see the object lying 
under the glass, g, g. The instrument is brought successively 
over each part of the object, and every point we wish to re- 
produce in the drawing is noted on the glass, by marking with 


ink the exact spot covered by the point of intersection of the 
crossed threads. We have only to connect the points thus 
laid down, and we have a perfect geometrical drawing. By 
breathing on the glass plate, laying on it a piece of paper and 
rubbing the latter with a paper knife, the drawing may be 
copied and transferred directly to the lithographic stone. 

Lucae's apparatus can also be used for reducing the geo- 
metrical drawings, by simply laying them under the glass, and 
tracing the outline as viewed through the diopter alone, the 
instrument being kept in one position. The amount of the 
reduction will depend upon the distance of the drawing from 
the glass, or of the latter from the diopter. If the eye and 
the drawing are equidistant from the glass plate the reduction 
will be one-half. If the glass is three times further from the 
drawing than it is from the eye, we get a drawing a quarter of 
the size of the original. In a similar way the apparatus may 
be used for reducing the drawings to a common dimension, 
e.g., making the length of two skulls correspond, in order 
more readily to compare the other dimensions. 

It may be thought that practically there is considerable 
difficulty in taking drawings in the way I have endeavoured 
to describe, and indeed Professor Vogt, in his Lectures on 
Man, complains that such is the case. He thinks that to 
anyone accustomed to the ordinary method there is very great 
difficulty in geometrical drawing. He allows that in a com- 
paratively short time an accurate outline may be drawn, but 
he complains that the lines are coarse, owing to the unequal 
extent to which the glass absorbs the ink, and that the light 
cannot be so managed that all parts of the object may be seen 
with the requisite distinctness. As regards the former diffi- 
culty, it can easily be avoided by transferring the dotted 
drawing from the glass to the paper before completing the 
outline ; and the latter difficulty is got over by drawing at a 
table near a window, and using a small mirror for the illumina- 
tion of dark parts. The glass plates should be very smooth 
and dry, and fine steel pens and copying ink should be used 
for drawing. Great attention must be paid to the accuracy 
of the diopter, and it must frequently be tested by carefully 


drawing an outline four times, the instrument being turned 
round ninety degrees each time. The adjustment is to be 
made by shifting the eyepiece. 

To return to the great objection which will be made to these 
drawings, namely that they are not correct representations of 
objects according to the ordinary mode of looking at them. 
What I am about to relate will, I think, prove conclusively that 
they, at all events, sufficiently resemble perspective drawings to 
answer every purpose that they do. Professor Lucae caused a 
careful geometrical drawing to be made of a well-known bust 
of Soemmering, and showed it to several artists of eminence. 
They none of them detected that it was not a perspective 
drawing, although the bust was quite familiar to them, and 
even the sculptor himself confessed that he should not have 
known that the drawing was not perspective if he had not 
noticed that the base line of the front of the bust was continu- 
ous with that of the side, instead of forming an angle with it. 
This bust is figured by Lucae in the work already cited, and I 
leave those who are still sceptical to judge for themselves. 
I claim for geometrical drawings, that they possess every 
advantage of perspective ones, and besides this are description, 
measurement, and picture all in one. The eye of the most 
practised craniologist may easily be deceived by peculiarities 
of contour and surface ; it is therefore no small advantage that 
geometrical drawings can be compared by simple superposition, 
and thus minute differences of form detected, which must 
escape every other method of observation. It is another 
advantage of the highest practical importance that these draw- 
ings can be prepared with all necessary accuracy by persons 
totally ignorant of drawing. Of course this applies to outline 
drawings only, which are, perhaps, after all, of the greatest 
value. A slight amount of shading may be necessary, but 
this may be learnt with very little practice. 

The writer in the Natural History Review, already alluded to, 
states that ' ' no drawing can really represent more than a single 
plane so as to admit of distances being measured on it.*' This is 
manifestly incorrect. Geometrical drawings admit of accurate 
measurement in every visible plane of the object parallel to 


the drawing. It therefore does not follow, as argued by this 
writer, that all the objects proposed by geometrical drawing 
will be answered by having figures of each plane, in which it 
may be desired to take the measurements. Besides the 
objections to perspective drawings already pointed out, if we 
take figures nearly the size of nature by the aid of the camera 
lucida, the skull has to be placed so near as to produce a fore- 
shortening amounting to actual distortion. 

Let it not be supposed that I am advocating a system 
which has not been tried. The plates of the Atlas der Cranio- 
scopie of Carus, the Crania selecta of Von Baer, the Crania 
Germania of Ecker, Morjphologie der Rassenschadel } and Zur 
Architectur des Mensclienschadel of Lucae, and the magnificent 
work of His and Eiitimeyer, the Crania Helvetica, consisting of 
one hundred and sixty-four figures of skulls the size of nature, 
are all drawn on the geometrical, not the perspective, prin- 
ciple, and are, as a matter of fact, setting aside the question of 
projection, almost the only published figures of skulls suf- 
ficiently accurate for scientific purposes, although there are 
certainly many extremely beautifully executed and artistic 
drawings, the value of which, especially when supplemented 
by geometrical outlines, I should be the last to deny. 


XIV. On Hindu Neology. By Major Samuel R. I. Owen, 
F.L.S., F.A.S.L., Assoc. King's College, London. 

We have already heard much of the Hindu as a Phallic 
worshipper, and as one bound down by superstition. I now 
wish to bring him to your notice as one, at least, making an 
effort and it appears to me a very grand effort to free 
himself from this mental slavery. Truly, "it is written," 
has been the weapon alike used in the east and west to 
stay science in her search after facts. It is some years 
since we in Europe began to throw off our chains. Astro- 
nomy was the early battlefield ; and I wish to show you that 
the same strategic ground has now been taken up by the 
more advanced of the children of Brahma. In 1862, while 
residing at Benares, the seat of Hindu learning and ortho- 
doxy, I was invited to attend the reading of a paper at a 
society got up by, and exclusively composed of, Hindus. 
This society could then show the names of sixty-four members 
on its list. I am personally acquainted with the President, 
Rajah Deo Narain Singh, who is a member of the Governor- 
General's Council; also with the Vice-President, Secretary, 
and some of the other members of the society, and believe 
them to be men of position and education. For at least two 
years previously, there had appeared strong indications of 
unrest in the minds of some of the better educated Hindus 
of the place, and the present subject of communication may 
be considered a very good sample of the result. Before this 
time, 1862, it is highly probable that had a man been found 
to write such a paper, an audience would have been wanting 
to hear it read. 

The author, Pundit Bapu Deva Sastri, a Maharatta, is Pro- 
fessor of Astronomy, Mathematics, and Sanscrit at the College 
of Benares. The object of the paper was to show the astro- 
nomical errors in their ancient scriptures, the Sastras, com- 
paring what is there written with the established facts of 


Bcience, and calling especial attention to the precession of the 
equinoxes, not there taken into account ; and the results that 
arise in the course of long periods by the computation of time, 
when this movement of the heavens is not attended to ; and 
how the fasts and festivals have thus been made to fall at 
wrung seasons. 

His ideas, in common with the rest of the Hindus, as to the 
day and night of the gods ; how certain prayers and oblations 
are only appropriate to certain times, and the inconvenience 
and loss to believers that will result through offering up these 
when, as he says, it cannot benefit them ; how he uses this 
argumentwn ad hominem for the purpose of making his hearers 
sympathise with him in his wish to set them right on these 
vital points ; and how he, as a worthy follower of Brahma, is 
most anxious to conciliate and please the gods, is well worthy 
of notice and comparison. 

Every movement that is before the age meets with an active 
opposition, and so have the opinions of this worthy Pundit 
and his friends. If the Anthropological Society has to con- 
tend against this vis inertia, conceive what an amount of vis 
viva must have been exerted to set in motion such a ponderous 
mind as that of the Hindu, a mind comparatively stationary 
for ages, and to which has clung abundance of stagnant 

In Europe, it has not only been sought to reconcile the text 
of Scripture with astronomy and geology, but to prove the 
truth of its inspiration on astronomical and geological grounds. 
The author of this paper, in like manner, often quotes the 
Sastras in his own vindication and support, and backing him- 
self up by one text, he hopes to show the error in another, 
without doing so great a violence to the feelings and preju- 
dices of those who are only beginning to feel the force of facts 
and inductive reasoning in antagonism to the authoritative 
" scriptum est." Few of the Hindu world can be much 
further advanced than this (I wish it to be understood that I 
am alluding to the Hindu Proper, not to the Bengalee). 

He complains that the positions of the planets, as calculated 
by their own rules, are wrong. I have had sufficient testi- 
mony of the truth of this assertion. Aishwarj Singh, the 



secretary of the society, brought to me his own nativity for 
examination. I found the position of Mercury to be out 
about four degrees, that of Yenus about two degrees, and 
none of the places of the planets were exactly correct for the 
time given ; this is a matter of some importance to men who 
place as implicit confidence in the influence of the heavens, as 
many of us do now in the curative powers of mercury, strych- 
nine, or arsenic, and they adduce the same reason for their 
faith, experience. 

The author states that astronomical errors will cause their 
rights and ceremonies to become confused. The gods of the 
Hindus appear, from what the Pundit tells us, to expect dif- 
ferent services during their day, from those to be performed 
in their honour during the night time, each of these periods 
is of six months duration. But these astronomical errors have 
caused the services to be sadly misplaced; this the Brah- 
minical sage looks upon as a serious matter. We ought to be 
able to sympathise with him. Conceive us to be placed in a 
similar dilemma; would not Easter offerings, tendered out of sea- 
son, be unsavory things ? Fancy that very ancient festival being 
thrown out of its proper season by an error of the astronomer 
Royal. It having been appropriated* both by the church and 
by the holiday keepers, each would be interested in such a 
matter ; and so it is in India. The Doorga Poorja is not all 
prayer and fasting ; though the pious Hindu may keep it in 
that way, the multitude have their melas, or fairs, as we used 
to have ours in the good old times. 

Now this paper, as a paper on astronomy, may not be very 
interesting to us as anthropologists ; but it shows us that the 
Hindus are diligently looking into what is written in their 
Sastras, and comparing that which is written with the facts 
now established by science. A high-caste man, in a good 
position, dares publicly to say " it is thus written ; but this is 
not true, and we must correct our old scriptures." An influ- 
ential audience is found to listen to him, and a society not un- 
worthy of our respect publishes his paper. These things are 
worthy of our notice. If we remain unacquainted with this 

* The Druidical ceremonies of Easter Eoster or Astartc date from before 
the year 1 a.d. 


dawn of a new day in the east, we shall not know that the 
Hindu race, a race in which we, as Englishmen, especially 
take a great interest, is advancing ; at least, the first steps 
have been taken, in what you will no doubt agree with me in 
considering, the right direction. 

I have said already perhaps more than sufficient to bring 
this subject to your notice. I will now lay before you the 
paper itself, in the form of an authentic translation. The 
secretary, who is son to the Vice-President, and other mem- 
bers of the society, are fair English scholars ; it was not, there- 
fore, necessary for an European to Anglicise the ideas when 
translating ; this, I think, a matter of great importance, and 
adds much to the value of the paper in the form in which I 
present it to you. My own opinion is that the two races do not 
think in the same channel. If a thought could be conceived 
to have two ends by which it may be seized, the Hindu and 
European would almost invariably take hold of it by the oppo- 
site extremities. We all know how different would be the trans- 
lation of the same work by men of opposite views on the 
subject treated of; how much more, then, is this to be guarded 
against when the translation has to be made by one who, 
perhaps, cannot think in the same train as the writer. I say 
' ' perhaps" ; for the different psychological powers of the 
brains of different races or species, if you will, is an open 
anthropological question, and the very question upon which I 
am now endeavouring to throw some additional light. 

The Sidereal and Tropical Systems. A Lecture by Pandit 
Bapu Deva Sastei, 

Professor of Astronomy and Mathematics, Sanskrit College, Benares. De- 
livered before the Benares Debating Club, on the Evening of the 
14th October, 1862. 

It is a great gratification, gentlemen, that you have ex- 
pressed to me your desire to hear something on the subject of 
Astronomy, especially on the sidereal and tropical systems; 
and according to your wishes I have prepared a lecture on the 
subject, which I have the honour to read before you to-day. 
In this lecture you will meet, in some places, with some re- 
ligious doctrines, for the mention of which I beg you to 


excuse me, as I have brought them forward here to explain 
certain minute principles of the Hindu astronomy, and all of 
them aim at the demonstration of the truth. 

It is well known that, of all the sciences extant in the 
world, this science is the most useful, the most astonishing, 
and the most excellent. 

It is written* that " all other sciences are only for the amuse- 
ment of the mind, and no wonderful result is derived from 
them, but the science of medicine and the science of astro- 
nomy are such that they produce marvellous effects in their 
every step." It is also said that " even those who, having 
abandoned the society of their family and of the world reside in 
the forest, have also need of the astronomer. Had there 
been no astronomer (in a country), hours, lunar days, the 
moon's mansions, the sun's northern and southern progresses, 
and the seasons would have been confused" (that is, nobody 
would have known them exactly and this would have caused a 
great embarrassment). 

I say this also that, the size and dimensions of the earth, 
all countries and islands situated on its surface, and their rela- 
tive distances, are discovered only by the aid of this science. 
Merchants, for their traffic, visit countries and islands which 
are far distant from each other with the help of navigation 
which wholly depends upon this science, and thus people obtain 
such things and articles, produced in different parts of the 
globe, which are useful to them and conducive to their health 
and comfort. The merchants themselves are much profited ; 
different nations contract mutual friendship, and their know- 
ledge is thus increased by mutual aid. The savage inhabitants 
of distant islands have now learned how to read and write, 
and this is owing to the art of navigation. 

If a man be asked where he lives, to what direction the 
door of his house lies, and so on, and if he cannot answer 
these questions, how ignorant will he be considered, and to 
what ridicule will he be subject. Thus if a man, residing on the 
surface of the earth, does not know even how large the earth 

* The original paper containing the Sanskrit quotations used by the 
Pundit, has been deposited, by Major Owen, in the library of the Anthropo- 
logical Society of London. 


is, in what part of it he lives, what countries and kingdoms 
are in the several directions around him, and whence the 
numberless stars which shine at night time come, and where 
they go, he will certainly be considered a very ignorant man. 
It is a great pity that such men are common in our India ; 
they consider themselves very clever and learned, but they 
never leave their own home, and consequently know very little 
about their own country and those of other nations. Some 
people labour under this wrong notion, that Calcutta itself is the 
country of Englishmen. Every such man I consider to be 
like a tortoise in a well, who thinks the whole world is com- 
prised within his well. In our Sastras, also, such men are 
much censured, for example : " That foolish man who, like a 
tortoise in a well, confines himself always to his home, is de- 
spised by his wife on account of his poverty, and always lying 
down idly near her. He fears all men because he never 
courts men in authority. Then how is it possible that a man 
like him should know the wonders of this world and be 
happy V 

Moreover, that foolish man who, leaving all other business 
lives always in his house to gaze at the face of his wife, be- 
comes poor and wretched. 

Therefore, man should know and see the different countries 
and kingdoms situated on the surface of the earth, and thus 
he will be happy and comfortable. As it is written : " Those 
men are fortunate who travel most zealously in distant coun- 
tries, observe their wonders, and return home with great 
wealth. The members of their families being very anxious to 
see them on account of their long separation, meet them with 
eagerness, and thus they become rich, and enjoy greater plea- 
sures than we can express." 

The English afford a good example of this, and all owing 
to the science of astronomy. For, without a knowledge of 
this science, i. e., without knowing the positions of the earth, 
planets, and stars, and their exact motions, it is impossible to 
know about the different countries, kingdoms, and islands 
situated on the surface of the earth. 

The sailors, who direct their ships in the pathless ocean, 



would not be able to find out the right way, and arrive at their 
desired port, without the help of this science. 

Therefore, no other science is so useful as the science of 

It is a doubtless fact that this science has been in use in 
India since an early time ; but as it depends only upon obser- 
vations, and no observation has been made here of late, almost 
all our astronomical works have become incorrect in many 
places ; i. e., the risings and settings of the planets, their con- 
junctions, and the eclipses of the sun and moon, do not take 
place at an exact time, and this is a known fact. Now, I will 
give here, first, a few instances, to show how far the state- 
ments given in our old works differ from the facts which have 
now been well established by means of minute observations. 

Statements given in our old works. 

1. The Earth is fixed and the Sun 
and other planets move round it. 

2. The diameter of the Earth is 
1,600 yojanas, or 14,545 miles. 

3. The diameter of the Moon is 
480 yojanas , or 4,360 miles. 

4. The sun's diameter is 6,500 
yojanas, or 59,100 miles. 

5. The distance of the Moon from 
the Earth is 51,566 yojanas, or 468,780 

6. The distance of the Sun from 
the Earth is 689,377 yojanas, or 
6,267,064 miles. 

7. The dices of the minor planets, 
Mars, etc. : 

Mars 4 45' 

Mercury 6 15 

Jupiter 7 20 

Venus 9 

Saturn 5 20 

8. Fixed stars are 60 times further 
than the Sun from the Earth, and 
they receive their light from the 

Facts newly Established. 

1. The Earth is a moveable body, 
it turns about its axis, and revolves 
round the sun. 

2. The diameter of the Earth is 870 
yojanas, or 7,916 miles. 

3. The diameter of the Moon is 
238 yojanas, or 2,160 miles. 

4. The Sun's diameter is 97,000 
yojanas, or 882,000 miles. 

5. The Moon's distance from the 
Earth is 26,134 yojanas, or 237,580 

6. The Sun's distance from the 
Earth is 10,442,154 yojanas, or 
95,000,000 miles nearly. 

7. The dices of the minor planets, 
Mars, etc. 

Mars 6"-29 

Mercury 6*9 

Jupiter 36-74 

Venus 16-9 

Saturn 16-2 

8. Fixed stars are at an immense 
distance from the Earth, but it is 
established that all of them are not 
at an equal distance from it. They 
do not shine with the Sun's light, but 
they shine of themselves. 


!. The motion of all planets in 9. The motion of all planets in 

yojanas is equal, and they revolve in yojanas is not equal, and they do not 

circles. revolve in circles but in ellipses. 

10. The length of a sidereal year 10. The length of a sidereal year 
is 365 days 6 h. 12 m. 36*56 s. is 365 days 6 h. 9 m. 9*6 s. 

11. The Moon's sidereal revolution 11. The Moon's sidereal revolution 
is 27 days 7 h. 43 m. 19-03 s. is 27 days 7 h. 43 m. 11-54 s. 

12. The Sun's greatest declination 12. The Sun's greatest declination 
is 24, etc., etc. is 23 27', etc., etc. 

Similarly there are many other statements which differ from 
the facts which are now well established. But of the latter, 
such as that the Earth moves, that all the fixed stars shine of 
themselves, and so on, which are really the facts, and conse- 
quently should be granted, are not of this nature that the 
denial of them would cause any gross error in the calculation. 
For this reason, our old astronomers said nothing about the 
earth's motion. But I can prove this, that they conceived 
the idea of the earth's motion when they composed their 
works. But this is not so easy a subject that I can explain it 
here. Our old astronomers said that the sun revolves round 
the earth only for this reason that it appears to do so, no pal- 
pable error occurs by this assumption, and the student feels 
no difficulty in knowing the doctrine of the sphere. There- 
fore, if such facts be not granted, no loss whatever is felt by 
the people. But there are certain things in this science, such 
as the greatest declination of the sun, his sidereal revolution, 
etc., which necessarily undergo a change in time, as it is 
written, also, in the Vasishtha-siddhanta, (The saint Vasish- 
tha says to the saint Mandavya) Oh Mandavya, thus have I 
declared to you briefly the science stated by Maya (a demon), 
and this will slacken in the course of time, on account of the 
motions of the sun, moon, etc., i. e., it will undergo a certain 
change. Then such facts, and those which are erroneously 
stated at first, must be corrected ; and thus we ought to make 
our calculation in such a way that it will agree with the phe- 
nomena which occur in the heavens. It is said that- 

In any time, the lunar days, etc., ought to be calculated 
according to the data of any work which agree with the obser- 
vation made at that time. Accordingly Ganesa Daivajna, a 



great astronomer, having corrected the motions of the planets, 
which he found wrong in the old works, with the aid of obser- 
vations which he made with his available instruments, then 
stated them in his work called Gkahalagdzava, which almost 
all Hindu astronomers of the present day follow, and calculate 
the places of the planets according to the data given in it. 
For this reason, those parts of our old works which have be- 
come wrong by the course of time, must be corrected, other- 
wise this science will be useless, and all the rites and ceremo- 
nies of the Hindus will be confused. Now, if some persons 
ask on what ground they should grant the veracity of the facts 
newly established, because only assertion is made here and no 
proof, and say that it must not be asserted without some 
strong proof that the statements in our old works are wrong, 
and that those which are newly established are right, I say 
in reply to this that I can give proofs and demonstrations of 
the facts newly established, but I cannot give all of them here. 
I can say only this at present, that there is no doubt that the 
places of the planets, the time of their conjunctions, etc., 
calculated according to the data given in our old works, often 
fail, i. e. y they do not take place exactly, and it follows from this 
that there is certainly some error in the data given in our ancient 
treatises. Now, if there be any doubt about the truth of the 
facts newly established, there is a book called the Nautical 
Almanac, which is printed every year, and in which declina- 
tions, the times of the affections of the planets, etc., are 
written down for every day, and they are seen accordingly in 
the heavens. If anybody wishes to convince himself of this, 
let him examine them, and thus know the truth of the facts 
newly established. 

Now, besides the errors above stated, there is another error 
in our works, which is as follows. 

The circle in heaven, called the ecliptic, is equally divided 
into twelve parts, which are called Aries, Taurus, etc., re- 
spectively. But this division is twofold, one being as follows. 
Having assumed any point of the ecliptic as a fixed origin, 
the circle is divided from that origin into 12 equal parts, 
which are termed fixed or stellar signs, and the times in which 


the planets enter into them are called the stellar entrances. 
And the other division is that from one of the two points in 
which the equinoctial and the ecliptic cut each other, and 
from which the ecliptic lies north to the equinoctial, twelve 
equal parts of the ecliptic are supposed, which are moveable 
on account of the retrograde motion of that point (which 
is known by the term precession of the equinoxes). Hence 
these parts are called moveable or tropical signs, and the times 
in which the planets enter into them are called the tropical 

Now, the latter division, or the tropical system, is called 
the more important in our Sasteas, and not the former, or 
the sidereal system, and it is right, also, as the following 
statement of Vasishtha (one of the great saints) shows : 
That every time in which the Sun enters one of the moveable 
signs is his entrance, and his stellar entrance is useless. Some 
Pandits say that the stellar entrance gives virtue, but Vasish- 
tha says that this is not his opinion, because it is not accord- 
ing to the position of the ecliptic. 

The saint Pulastya writes : " The sun's northern and 
southern progresses in the heaven are always according to the 
tropical system (and hence the tropical entrance is more im- 
portant and), the stellar entrance is of less importance. The 
ways to find them both are alike. The man who bathes, gives 
donations, prays, performs funeral rites, burns offerings, etc., 
in the sun's tropical entrance, obtains such virtue as is never 

It is written, also, in the Komasa-siddhanta : " The length 
of day and night are not determined according to the sun's 
stellar entrances (but they are settled according to the sun's 
tropical entrances), and as all religious rites, offerings, etc., 
depend upon the lengths of day and night, the sun's tropical 
entrance is virtue-giving." 

It is stated in our Sasteas, that "the length of one year of men 
is the length of the day and night of the gods, and the proof of 
this is given as follows : That the gods reside upon Mount Meeu, 
situated at the north pole of the earth, which is exposed for 
six months to the sun, and turns aside from him for other six 



months. Hence the gods have their day of the length of six 
months, and their night of the same duration, i. e., they have 
their day and night of the length of one year of men. But 
this year is the tropical one and not the sidereal, and hence 
the tropical system is more important. It is plain, from the 
consideration of the verses of the Stjrya-siddhanta, from 45th 
verse of 12th Chapter, that the year, the sun's northern and 
southern progresses, and the seasons are tropical, and the 
reckoning of the signs from the vernal equinox is the more 

Now, as long as the sun lies to the north of the equinoctial, 
the north pole of the earth is exposed to him, and conse- 
quently the gods have thejr day at that time ; and as long as 
the sun is to the south of the equinoctial, the north pole of 
the earth is turned aside from him, and then the gods have 
their night. Though this is the case, still it is written in our 
Sanhita works, that the sun's northern progress is the day of 
the gods, and his southern progress is their night. This is 
written with this view, because the religious rites of the day- 
time are said to be observed from midnight to midday, and 
those of the night time, from midday to midnight ; and as 
the sun's northern progress commences from midnight of th e 
gods and ends at their noon, that time, i. e., the sun's 
northern progress is therefore given as their day ; and as the 
sun's southern progress begins from their noon and terminates 
at their midnight, that time, i. e., the sun's southern progress, 
is said to be their night, for the performance of the religious 
rites at their proper time. For this reason, all the holy rites 
are said to observed in the sun's northern progress, and 
others in the sun's southern progress. But as the sun's 
northern and southern progresses, which are the gods' day 
and night respectively, according to the opinion of the authors 
of the Sanhita works, are according to the tropical system, 
hence the tropical system is an important one. 

Thus the tropical system is called the important system in 
our Sastras, on account of the above-stated and several other 
reasons ; yet the sidereal system is in use now-a-days, and the 
reason of this is as follows. Formerly, when the first point 


of the stellar Aries and the vernal equinox were coinciding with 
each other, both systems were the same. But after that time, 
no attention was paid to the notion of the equinoxes, and there- 
fore the unimportant sidereal system continued. Now, it is to 
bo observed here that, even admitting the unimportant sidereal 
system, the first point of Aries, or the origin of the fixed 
signs, cannot be determined, which is shown as follows : 

It is stated in the Sueya-siddhanta, and other works, that 
the sun requires 365d. 6h. 12m. 36'56s. to complete his side- 
real revolution. But this period is nearly 3 minutes more 
than the exact period ; and it is plain from this that when the 
sun's sidereal revolution, as stated in our old works, is not 
correct, his place, determined through these data, will not be 
correct, and consequently the origin of the ecliptic cannot be 
determined through these. This is the case with the places 
of all other planets ; and for this reason, not one of them is 
fit for the determination of the origin. 

In the same manner, the origin cannot be determined 
through the longitudes of the principal stars of the asterisms. 
Because the longitudes and latitudes of the principal stars, 
stated in our works, differ from those which are now deter- 
mined through the best observations. For example, the prin- 
cipal star (/3 Arietis) of the aswini, the first asterism, is about 
2 forward from the place stated in our works ; that (a Muscae) 
of the bhaeani, the second asterism, is 2J forward; that 
(a Orionis, or the aedea, the sixth asterism, is about 3 for- 
ward ; that (a Yirginis Spica) of the Chitea, the fourteenth 
asterism, is 3 forward; that (t Librae) of the Visakha, the 
1 6th asterism, is 2| backward, and so on. In like manner 
there is much difference in the latitudes also. Hence, the 
origin of the ecliptic cannot be determined through the longi- 
tudes of the principal stars stated in our works. Thus, the 
origin of the ecliptic, from which the places of all planets are 
reckoned, can by no means be fixed, and this is a great mis- 
take in our works. 

Therefore, I say that as the stellar entrances of the sun 
cannot be known (without determining the origin of the 
ecliptic) , the sidereal signs are not according to the position of 


the ecliptic ; they do not at all depend upon any of the principles 
of the doctrine of the sphere, the year, the sun's northern and 
southern progresses, seasons, lunar months, and day and night, 
whether ours or the gods' are not according to the sidereal 
system, but to the tropical ; and hence the sidereal system is 
called less important in our Sasteas ; the religious ceremonies 
or rites, therefore, are not performed, now-a-days, at the 
proper times, and this is a great fault. 

Therefore, as the sun's entrances can be determined exactly 
according to the tropical system, which is reasonable, and au- 
thorised also by our Sasteas, the astronomical calculation 
ought to be made according to this system. 

Thus, as the tropical entrances are reasonable, and called 
the more important, the lunar months, chaitea vaisakha, etc., 
which come according to the sun's entrances into the signs 
Aries, Taurus, etc., ought to be taken according to the sun's 
tropical entrances, t. e. } the lunar month in which the sun 
enters into the first tropical sign is chaitea, that in which the 
sun enters into the second tropical sign is vaisakha, and so on. 
This reckoning of the lunar months is right, because it is 
stated in our sasteas that the month chaitea is in the spring, 
which always commences at the time when the sun enters into 
the first tropical sign. Therefore, that lunar month ought 
to be taken as chaitea, in which the sun enters into the 
first tropical sign. In like manner, all other seasons be- 
come according to the tropical system, and hence the other 
lunar months Vaisakha, etc., ought to be taken according to 
this system. But if the lunar months be not taken according 
to the system, the spring will take place in the months Magha, 
Pausha, etc., on account of the precession of the equinoxes, 
and thus there will be great disorder. Now, if anybody says 
that the vernal equinox recedes only 27 and then returns, i. e., 
it librates, as is stated in the Sueya-siddhanta, and other 
works, and thus the spring will never take place in the months 
Magha, Pausha, etc. I say this to him that it cannot be so, 
because Munjala, and other astronomers, have stated in their 
works that the vernal equinox completes its whole revolution, 
and does not librate ; and this only is reasonable, and not the 


statement that it librates. Therefore, the spring will neces- 
sarily take place in the above said months by admitting the 
sidereal system. Then, without knowing the principles of the 
science of astronomy, people will say that the horrible iron 
age has arrived ; signs of one time are seen in another time. 
For this reason, I say that all we Hindus ought to try to cor- 
rect our old works on astronomy. If any obstinate man says 
that although the opinion of Munjala is reasonable, still he 
will not admit it, because Munjala was not a saint ; to this I 
say, that he is quite wrong, because the great saint Vasishtha 
says in the Yogavasishtha, 2nd verse, 18th section of the 
Chapter called Mumukshu-peakaeana : 

" That science, which is reasonable, ought to be accepted, 
although it be the production of a man, and not the unreason- 
able, though it be composed by a saint ; and thus it is proper 
to have recourse always to the right path." Again, he says in 
the 3rd verse : 

" The well-founded statement ought to be adopted, though it 
be given by a boy ; and that which is not so, we should abandon, 
considering it like a straw, though it be uttered by the god 

If the obstinate man still say, that whatever mistake there 
may be in the old astronomical works, he will not grant it, he 
will accept what his forefathers used to accept, and that he 
cares very little about reasonable and unreasonable doctrines. 
In reply to this I write what Vasishtha says in the 4th verse 
of the same section : 

U That bigoted man is intolerable who drinks the water of a 
well because it belonged to his father, leaving the pure water 
of the Ganges flowing in the front." 

Therefore, I beg, gentlemen, that those errors which can be 
well established by the authority of our Sasteas, and several 
other reasons, may be corrected. 

Thus, I have expressed before you my inward feelings, and 
if there be any harshness of speech in expressing them, I pray 
you to pardon my unintentional offence. 


XV. Notice of the Brochs and the so-called Picts' Houses of 
Orkney. By George Petrie, Kirkwall, Local Secretary 
of the Anthropological Society of London, Fellow of the 
Eoyal Society of Northern Antiquaries, Copenhagen, 
etc., etc. 

The Orkneys are rich in Archaeological remains. Traces of 
the early inhabitants are found in every island, and most in- 
teresting relics are continually turning up. 

Besides the ordinary barrows, or grave-mounds, there are 
very many tumuli which, on examination, are found to be 
ancient structures more or less in ruins. These and the bar- 
rows are, however, so very much alike in external appearance, 
that an unpractised eye cannot distinguish the one from the 
other. It is only when the tumulus has been dug into that 
its true character is discovered. But even then there is very 
often the greatest difficulty in ascertaining the class to which 
the building belongs, when the description of the discovery is 
communicated by a person who does not know, or who forgets 
that the name Pict's house is applied indiscriminately, in the 
northern counties of Scotland, to every sort of ancient struc- 
ture. To prevent such confusion, the appellation " Pict's 
house", is restricted, in the following notice, to a peculiar 
class of buildings very common in Orkney, and of which one, 
opened by me in 1849, near Kirkwall, and to be afterwards 
noticed, may be taken as the type. 

The tumuli in Orkney contain several varieties of buildings. 
The most remarkable of these, for size at least, are 

The Brochs. The "Burgs" or "Brochs" are circular 
towers, generally varying from fifty to seventy feet diameter, 
from outside to outside of wall of tower. None of the ruins 
of those in Orkney, that have yet been examined, exceeds six- 
teen or seventeen feet in height. The circular wall is from twelve 
to fifteen feet thick, and is generally a solid mass of masonry 


to the height of twelve feet, or thereby, where it is found to 
form two concentric walls, with a gallery or passage between 
them. I have observed this construction in several brochs, 
and I have found also that it exactly corresponds with some of 
the Shetland brochs, which are less ruinous than those in 
Orkney. In fact, while the broch of Mousa, in Shetland, is 
nearly perfect, and others in Shetland show a large portion of 
the original structure, it is only the lower storey of the Orkney 
brochs which remain, as will be seen by comparing the plans, 
etc., of the Burray and Mousa brochs on the diagram No. 1. 
There are, in the Orkney brochs, generally a few chambers or 
cells in the thickness of the wall, and also a staircase leading 
upwards, apparently to the gallery, which, as already stated, 
commenced at a height of about twelve feet above the level of 
the floor of the enclosed area, or interior. But the upper 
portion of the building has, in every case in the Orkney brochs, 
been thrown down. The debris, however, within and around 
the towers, leaves no doubt that they were as high, and pro- 
bably some of them higher, than Mousa, which is upwards of 
forty feet in height. 

A very good specimen of the Orkney class of broch was 
opened in the Island of Burray, some years ago, by James 
Farrer, Esq., late M.P. for South Durham, and plans and 
measurements were carefully made by me at the time (see dia- 
gram No. 1). The tumulus was of great extent, upwards of 
twenty feet high, and stood near the seashore. It presented 
the appearance of a grass-covered mound, surrounded by a 
large embankment, of a sort of horseshoe figure, the heels or 
ends facing the beach. A portion of the wall (a), being very 
ruinous, was removed, and the interior (b) of the tower cleared 
of the stones and rubbish with which it was filled to the top. 
The chambers c, D, e, f, and G, were successively discovered. 
The roof of the chamber, r, was wanting, and the chamber c 
was partially destroyed when the wall at a fell. The well (?) 
(h) was discovered by the accidental displacement of a stone 
at i. One of the stones of a " quern", or handmill, lay near 
the bottom of the well, to which rude steps led down; but 
there was no water in the well. It is about ten feet deep, 


measuring from the highest point of the interior of the roof. 
A subterranean passage leads from the " well" in the direction 
of the doorway of the tower, and probably had its mouth, or 
entrance, within the doorway, but the passage has not yet 
been traced out. I may here observe, that although there can 
be little doubt that what has been called a ' ' well", is really so 
in some of the brochs ; yet, in the case of others, it can hardly 
be called a well, but seems to have been a mere hole made under 
the floor, probably for concealment of objects of interest or 

The doorway, or entrance passage, which is the only ex- 
ternal aperture in the tower, is fifteen feet long, about four 
feet wide, and six feet high. It is narrowed by two stones 
set on end as jambs, one on each side, and projecting slightly 
edgeways into the passage, about four feet and a half from its 
inner extremity. A little behind these jambs, on their inner 
side, there is a hole in the wall, apparently to receive a strong 
bar; and above is seen an opening between the lintels, or 
covering stones of the passage, through which a movable door 
of wood or stone might have been let down from the recess 
above (see i, section 1 and 3,) behind the jambs, and secured 
by the bar. This door seems to have been further guarded 
from the chambers c and d, both of which have their entrances 
only three feet high, opening into the main entrance, or door- 
way of the tower, a couple of feet, or thereby, outside of the 
jambs. An intruder could have been effectively annoyed or 
slain from these chambers, whose occupants would remain in- 
visible, while they could easily see what was going on in the 

The tower seems to have been in use for a long period ; for 
the large, hard " old red sandstone" lintel over the entrance 
of the chamber E, had been worn away so much on its lower 
side, that it had broken across, and a stone had then been 
placed as a prop under the broken part, where it still remains. 
The embankment, also, evidently formed no part of the ori- 
ginal design ; for as will be seen on the ground plan, it runs 
across and close to the doorway, almost shutting it up. It 
appears to have been raised to defend the occupants of the 


tower from attacks on the land side, while the side fronting 
the sea was left unprotected. It was, therefore, probably 
made by some marauders who had landed on the island, and 
forcibly obtained possession of the tower ; or finding it ruinous 
and unoccupied had seized it, and surrounded it with the 
rampart to defend themselves from the inhabitants of the 
island. Be that as it may, there are abundant evidences in 
many of the Orkney brochs, as well as in those of Shetland, that 
they were used by many successive occupants, who from time 
to time erected walls across the interior, diminished the size 
of the enclosed area, and otherwise altered the internal 
arrangements of the building, besides adding various external 
defences. It is also worthy of notice, that the entrance or 
doorway, as originally constructed, does not seem to have 
been specially adapted for defence. In almost every case of 
the kind which has come under my observation, most of the 
defences do not appear to belong to the original structure, 
but are later additions. A square, marked off by stones set 
on edge in the centre of the broch, indicates the hearth, and 
the space is filled with ashes, mixed with fragments of bones. 
A small quantity of charred barley was found, lying on a mass 
of clay, on the floor of the broch of Burray. 

During the process of clearing out the interior of the broch, 
the following were the principal articles discovered, viz., 
several stone vessels of various sizes ; a stone lamp ; a broken 
circular disc of micaceous schist ; a miniature quern ; circular 
perforated stones and bones ; a bone scoop ; a drinking cup, 
formed of a vertebra of a whale ; five bone combs ; two bone 
pins, one an inch and a half, the other three inches and a half 
long ; several pointed bones, with and without heads ; a frag- 
ment of fine earthenware, supposed to be Samian ; a portion 
of a bone arrowhead ; a bronze pin, an iron knife, and a chisel- 
looking implement. The iron relics may be of a comparatively 
modern date, and have accidentally been dropped among the 
ruins. There is nothing, however, in the facts or circum- 
stances which have been stated to warrant the adoption of any 
definite opinion as to the probable age of the brochs of 
Burray and were it not that another of those interesting* 


buildings was discovered in peculiar circumstances, which in- 
dicate a considerable antiquity, they might have been set 
down as much more modern than they really are. The brock 
alluded to is that of OJcstro, in the parish of Birsay. Some 
years ago, the intelligent tenant of the farm on which it was 
found was in the act of removing a vast heap of stones from an 
elevated piece of ground in one of his fields, and while doing 
so, a number of flat stones were discovered. These, on being 
raised, proved to be the covering stones of cists, about two 
feet and a half long, formed of undressed flagstones ; each 
contained a small quantity of fragments of burnt bones, and 
sometimes ashes. There was a great number of these cists, 
and in one of them I found a small bronze finger ring. Other 
bronze relics were subsequently picked up. On removing the 
cists and earth beneath them, the ruins of a large broch were 
discovered. It was of the unusual diameter of seventy feet. 
A great number of stone and bone implements have since 
been taken out of the ruins. 

Here, then, we have a broch originally, no doubt, forty or 
fifty feet high, not only in ruins, but the whole removed, ex- 
cept about six or seven feet height of wall, and earth accumu- 
lated above the ruins to a sufficient depth to permit the 
deposit therein of stone cists belonging to the bronze age. 
This clearly proves that " Okstro Broch" is very considerably 
older than the cists which were found above its remains. The 
antiquity of the Orkney brochs is therefore indisputable ; but 
how far back that antiquity may extend, has yet to be 

Both silver and gold trinkets have been found in a broch in 
Orkney; but judging from the circumstances in which they 
were discovered, they had most probably been deposited there 
for concealment at a comparatively recent date. 

There are, at least, the ruins of forty brochs in Orkney, and 
doubtless there are many more. The greater number are still 
unexplored. There are also many in Shetland. They gene- 
rally stand in commanding positions ; such as near the sea- 
shore, the margin of a lake, or on a hillside slope. In this 
respect they resemble the so-called Picts' houses, about to be 


described. They are also so situated that a signal could have 
passed along several of them almost instantaneously, thus 
proving that their original occupants acted in concert, and 
probably signalled to each other on the approach of danger. 

The brochs are also found in several of the other northern 
counties of Scotland. It would be interesting to ascertain 
their geographical distribution, as much light might thereby 
be thrown not only on the brochs, but also on the early history 
of the north of Scotland. This will, however, be difficult to 
accomplish until more care be taken in giving descriptions of 
these ancient structures. Thus, for example, the brochs and 
the Picts' houses, or conical buildings, are often confounded 
together, the two being held to be identical ; that, however, 
is a mistake, for they are very different in type. The broch 
was a circular tower, fifty or sixty feet in diameter, rising to 
the height of forty or fifty feet, and open at top ; whereas the 
so-called Pict's house closely resembled a bowl-shaped barrow, 
and was only ten or fifteen feet in height. 

The building at Kettleburn in Caithness, explored by the 
late Mr. Rhind of Wick, was very delapidated, and the walls 
were incomplete. The interior appeared from the description 
given to have been converted into a number of chambers, by 
the erection of walls in various directions, across the area en- 
closed by the circular wall of the broch or round tower, which 
formed the original building. This gave to the ruins (to one 
who was not familiar with the structure of the brochs) the ap- 
pearance of a so-called Pict's house. One at least of the 
brochs opened in Orkney, and of which I made plans, now 
before me, closely resembles the Kettleburn building in its in- 
ternal arrangements, and yet that it was a broch was beyond 
all dispute. But the enclosed area had been subdivided by 
additional walls of a later date into numerous chambers, which 
gave it a singular resemblance to the building at Kettleburn. 

The class of buildings to which I have for many years re- 
stricted the appellation of Pict's house have been very different 
from the brochs both in external appearance and general 
structure and arrangements. 

Pict's houses. The Pict's house is generally of a conical 


form, and externally closely resembles a large bowl-shaped 
barrow (see ground plan and sections, diagram No. II). It 
consists of a solid mass of masonry, covered with a layer of 
turf, a foot or more in thickness, and has a central chamber 
surrounded by several smaller cells. The entrance to the cen- 
tral chamber from the outside, is by a long, low narrow pas- 
sage ; while the cells are connected with the chamber by short 
passages of similar dimensions to the long one. The walls of 
the chambers and cells converge towards the top, where they 
approach so closely, that the aperture can be spanned by a 
stone a couple of feet in length. 

While implements and utensils in great variety are invariably 
found in the brochs, I do not know of any case in which a single 
implement or utensil was discovered in a " Pict's house." The 
central chamber of the building onWideford Hill (of which a plan 
is given) was nearly filled with stones and earth, plentifully in- 
termingled with bones of the horse, the Bos longifrons, swine, 
and sheep. The bones of the larger animals were next the 
floor of the chamber, those of the bos longifrons, including 
those of the head, were found in the entrances to the cell b. No 
human bones were found. A human skeleton, and several 
detached human bones, as well as bones of animals and birds, 
are stated by Dr. Barry, in his History of Orkney, to have been 
found in a large Pict's house at Quant ernes s which still exists, 
but the entrance is choked with rubbish. It has been con- 
jectured that the skeleton had been placed in the central 
chamber long after the building had been abandoned as a resi- 
dence, which, it is taken for granted to have been. But there 
is no evidence of this, and the facts about to be stated rather 
go to prove that the Pict's houses were tombs, or chambered 
cairns or barrows. 

The stones and earth in the chamber of the building on Wide- 
ford Hill, appeared to have been placed there before the build- 
ing was completed or roofed in. I also observed that the 
smaller cells of the large Pict's house on the holm of Papa 
Westray, opened by Oapt. Thomas, R.N., were filled with 
stones and rubbish mixed with bones, and as the rubbish 
reached above the level of the entrances, as I ascertained by 


pushing in my arm, it can only be supposed that when the cell 
was nearly finished, the stones, bones, etc., were then depo- 
sited in it, and the roofing afterwards completed. This over- 
turns the opinion that those buildings were habitations for the 
living, and appears rather to indicate that they were tombs 
for the dead. In further support of this idea I may mention 
that a party of the labourers who were employed by Mr. 
Farrerin 1861, to open the Maes-how tumulus, were told off to 
explore a smaller mound, on the margin of a very large 
quarry, from which it is conjectured that some of the stones 
forming the circle of standing stones of Stenness were taken. 
The mound was found to be a chambered barrow exactly re- 
sembling in construction the ordinary Pict's house, with the 
exception that, instead of the chambers having converging 
walls formed by the overlapping of the successive courses of 
stones, they were formed by large flagstones set on edge. 
The rest of the building was of solid masonry, and was sur- 
rounded also by a low facing or wall, exactly as in the case of 
the Picts' houses. There was also a low narrow passage lead- 
ing from the central compartment to the outside of the struc- 
ture, but so small that no human being could have even 
crawled through it. In the central cell lay a rudely-formed 
lance or spear-head of flint, having on each side fragments of 
coarse pottery, apparently remains of small rudely ornamented 
cups : and portions of skulls and other bones of human skeletons 
were found in the surrounding cells. The pieces of skulls 
were very thick and massive, but extremely friable and de- 
cayed. Some years ago I found a barrow near Kirkwall with 
a similar internal arrangement. There was also a very small 
passage, or rather drain, about four inches square, leading 
from the central cist or cell to the outside of the barrow, and 
filled with gravel ; in fact, these passages seem to have been in- 
tended for draining off the water which might get by chance into 
the interior. All this points to a sepulchral character for the 
so-called Picts' houses. And in still farther corroboration of 
this, it may be mentioned, that when the now celebrated 
tumulus of Maes-how was opened, we found that the floor of 
the passage from the central chamber to the outside was covered 


with a layer of stones, similar to those used now for drains, to 
a depth of eighteen inches. That they formed part of the 
original design of the structure I have little doubt ; that they 
still remained undisturbed while the rest of the building had 
been ransacked, is easily explained. The building had been 
broken into from the top or roof, and as it was only in the cham- 
bers, and especially in the central chamber, that treasure would 
be looked for, the stones in the passage (which could easily be 
seen was also floored with pavement) were left in their original 
position. A few fragments of human bones were found in the 
debris, but their scarcity is easily accounted for. 

There was clearly a link of connection between the barrows I 
have referred to, as having passages or drains leading to the ex- 
terior, and the so-called Picts' houses, and the large chambered 
building of " Maes-how," of which a ground plan and vertical 
sections are given in diagram in. It has been objected, that 
if the "Ticts' houses" and "Maes-how" were sepulchral, human 
remains would have been found in them. The answer is briefly 
this; that the larger tumuli readily attracted attention, and 
were at once pounced upon and robbed of their contents, and 
the bones no doubt scattered about, while the smaller barrows 
escaped notice, and were left unmolested. The objection is 
therefore of little weight, and, at all events, is not sufficient to 
overturn the apparently well-founded opinion, that the so-called 
Picts' houses of Orkney were simply chambered barrows or 
tombs, and that " Maes-how" belongs to the same class, but 
as the grave of a great chief or warrior was more carefully 
and elaborately constructed. The absence of implements of 
any kind is a much stronger objection to the opinion that the 
Picts' houses were habitations, as implements and utensils are 
invariably found in the brochs and subterranean buildings, and 
had the Picts' houses been of the same character we would 
expect to find similar relics in them. Further researches, will, 
it is hoped, remove all doubt on the subject. If one of the 
most entire of the Picts' houses were selected and thoroughly 
cleared out aud explored, and its external structure carefully 
examined, a clue might be obtained to their history, but they 
are rapidly disappearing, being swept away to make room for 


agricultural improvements, and in a short time scarcely a 
vestige of these interesting remains of the early inhabitants of 
Orkney will be left. 

There are many other facts connected with the brochs and 
Picts' houses which might be stated did space permit ; but as 
this notice has been extended to undue limits, I am now 
merely to refer to the discovery of various characters cut on 
the walls of a Pict's house on the holm of Papa Westray, and 
shown at No. 4, diagram i. Concentric circles were also found 
on a stone in a chambered barrow opened near Kirkwall some 
years ago ; and on a stone found in the wall of a broch in the 
parish of Firth. Another of the figures was cut on a stone 
found at the same broch, and also on a stone in a barrow con- 
taining cists with burnt bones in the parish of Deerness. All 
these I examined myself, and the finding of such characters in 
the brochs, Picts' houses, and barrows, appears to show a con- 
nection between the three, and suggests the idea that they 
are the remains of one and the same people. 


XVI. Report on the Ancient Remains of Caithness, and Results 
of Explorations, conducted, for the Anthropological Society 
of London, by Messrs. Joseph Anderson and Robert Lines 
Shearer, in 1865. By Joseph Anderson, Local Secretary 
of the Anthropological Society of London. 

The readiest classification of the ancient structures of Caith- 
ness is that in use among the country people, who, both in 
Gaelic and English, have divided them into two groups, which 
they distinguish as the " grey" and the " green cairns". The 
"grey cairns" are, externally, simple mounds or heaps of 
gathered stones, grey with age, and a scanty covering of 
lichen. The "green cairns," on the other hand, present ex- 
ternally all the characteristics of a simple tumulus of earth, 
though frequently at some point or other their internal struc- 
ture of stones crops out through the turf. Structurally, how- 
ever, when the interior is laid open, there is no general resem- 
blance of plan between the two classes ; and the very marked 
difference in character, both of the structure and contents of 
the " grey" and " green cairns", bears out the classification 
as being in the general a good one. 

The grey cairns are, for the most part, conspicuous objects 
in the surrounding landscapes. They are often perched on 
the tops of the highest hills, sometimes located in the midst 
of a vast moorland waste. The green cairns, on the other 
hand, are most frequently found along the seashore, by the 
banks of rivers, or around the margins of the lochs. Very 
often their sites point out the most fertile soil, and the most 
favourable location in the district round. And this harmo- 
nises well with the popular belief expressed in the special 
designation of the green cairns as " Picts' Houses", and the 
grey ones as " Picts' Cairns", a designation which again, in 
the general, marks out pretty correctly, the special purposes 
of the two classes of structures. For it holds good, that 

No. 1. 

Cairn at Yarhouse, opened by Mr. 
Ehind. Scale -^ 

No. 2. 

Cairn at Yarhouse, opened by Mr. 
Ehind. Scale -jtttt 

Cairn at Yarhouse, opened by Mr. 
Ehind. Scale 3^ 

No. 4. 
Cairn at Yarhouse, opened by Mr. 
Ehind. Scale -^ 

No. 5. Long Cairn, Camster external view. 

No. 6. Long Cairn, Yarhouse ground plan. Scale ^Vo 

Mem. Anthr. Soc. Lond. Vol. II. To face p. 195. 

No. 7. Smaller Long Cairn, Yarhouse. No. 8. Ormiegill Cairn. Scale T fo 
Scale T J iiy 

No. 9. Eound Cairn, Camster exterior view. 

No. 10. Eound Cairn, Camster ground plan. Scale T | n 

Eound Cairn, Camster section along passage. Scale -^ 


a D o i7 


I o 


g Q 00 

No. 12. Cairn at Garrywhin, with Cist and diverging rows of standing stones. 

Scale gi 

Mem. Akthb. Soc. Lond. Vol. II. To face page 195. 


while the green cairns, or Picts' houses (popularly so called), 
have been invariably used as habitations, though sometimes 
also found to have been made places of sepulture, the grey, 
or Picts' cairns, have invariably been used as places of sepul- 
ture; and if ever they were used as habitations at all, they 
present no such abundant and unequivocal evidences of occu- 
pation by the living as the green cairns do. 

pict's house at kettlebuen, and its contents. 

Although a very large numbar of Picts' houses have been 
demolished in the course of modern agricultural improvements, 
only one or two have been at all investigated in Caithness. 
The only one systematically explored during its removal was 
that of Kettleburn, near Wick, described by the late Mr. A. 
H. Rhind (1853). Mr. Rhind appeared to have been most 
anxious to make out the structural plan of the building, but 
could not determine whether it had been a borg or a simple 
beehive-house. One of its chambers contained a well, with a 
good stair leading down to it. Although the superposed 
structure has long been removed, and its site ploughed over, 
this ancient well still supplies the cottagers who live close by, 
in dwellings constructed from the material quarried out of the 
original building. Underneath, it had a drain to dry the 
foundation ; and Mr. John Cleghorn, who watched the excava- 
tions with attention, states, that the construction of the conduit 
showed a better appreciation of the suitability of the con- 
structive means at their disposal to the end in view, on the 
part of these ancient drain makers, than is common at the 
present day. The farmer who makes stone drains now-a-days, 
shapes the conduit like an inverted V ; but the builders of 
this ancient dwelling made theirs like a V with the small end 
downwards, and had thus a drain that would never silt up. 

' The floors and passages were covered with ashes and refuse 
of food, and a considerable shell-heap was accumulated about 
the building. The shell-heap contained numerous fragments 
of pottery, and broken and splintered bones of the Bos longi- 
frons, the horse, deer, sheep, goat, swine, dog, seal, whale, and 
some small fishes, like the haddock or young cod. Mr. Rhind 



had the bones determined by Professor Qnekett ; and among 
those found in the refuse-heap were portions of two or three 
human skeletons, that of a child being represented by a 
broken fragment of a jaw. I have sent, along with the other 
remains forwarded to the society from Caithness, a collection 
of bones from this refuse heap, made by Mr. C. W. Peach, in 

The principal manufactured objects obtained by Mr. Rhind, 
from Kettleburn, are figured, from his drawings, in the Dia- 
gram No. i, herewith forwarded. The pair of bronze tweezers 
and the comb are delineated of the natural size, and also 
enlarged to show the pattern of the ornamentation. The idea 
of the artist, who fabricated the comb from a shank bone, was 
evidently to make a rude imitation of the human hand with 
its fingers outspread. The objects represented in Diagram 
No. 11 were collected (also from Kettleburn), by Mr. C. W. 
Peach in 1854, and have not previously been figured or de- 
scribed. There is among them a stone vessel similar to a 
quaich ; a comb, which has its handle shaped in imitation of 
a fish-tail ; a worked piece of deer-horn, which may have been 
a weapon-point ; an oblong shore-pebble, wasted at the ends 
by use as a pestle ; and two rough unpolished stones, worked 
at one side to a point, bearing some resemblance to unfinished 

Mr. George Dunnet, farmer, Hall of Bowermadden, in the 
parish of Bower, during the past season, trenched over the 
site of what had evidently been a large borg, or Pict's house, 
immediately in front of his residence. It was, when he began 
to it, an irregularly oval mound, rising some eight or ten feet 
above the surface of the field. It had been used as a quarry 
to provide stones for neighbouring buildings, long ago. Mr. 
Dunnet could trace the foundations of the circular wall, but 
beyond that no part of the structure could be made out. As 
at Kettleburn, however, there was a well in the centre, with 
twelve or fourteen steps leading down to it. The well was 
full of soft black mud or ashes, but was covered up without 


being examined particularly. As usual, also, there was a 
considerable shell-midden, of the common shore-shells, plen- 
tifully intermixed with splintered bones. No collection of 
these was made. The nearest seashore is about four miles 

Mr. Dunnet preserved a number of interesting relics which 
were turned up during the trenching, and these he has 
generously presented to the Anthropological Society. They 
consist of a bronze pin, about three inches long, with an open 
circular head, having an ornamental portion on the upper part 
of the circle; a large bead of black glass (?), with its sides 
compressed into a triangular form, and coated with a white 
enamel, curiously ornamented with a series of spiral lines, 
which pass from one compartment of the surface to another ; 
a comb of bone, with an open semicircular handle ; two stone 
spindle-whorls, rubbed smooth, one of which has a false boring 
in the middle ; an oval vessel hollowed out of red sandstone, 
the hollow measuring about four inches by three, and three 
inches deep, the sides being about an inch and a half thick, 
and bearing marks of blackening by fire externally ; a rudely 
cubical block of green stone (?), with a shallow circular cup 
hollowed out on its upper face ; two circular stone balls, about 
three inches in diameter ; and a large disc of red sandstone, 
about seven inches in diameter and two inches thick, with a 
hole of about an inch and a half through the centre. This 
hole, and the interior of the oval stone goblet, appear evidently 
to have been made by the "picking" of some sharp-pointed 
instrument. The horns of the deer, of which some specimens 
have also been preserved, have been sawn across with a very 
blunt saw, the action of which has polished the upper part of 
the cuts. Several large vessels, hollowed out of red sandstone, 
were also found, two of which are still used as troughs in the 
farmyard. One is described as having been hollowed out of a 
very large block, having a cavity of about two and a half feet 
long, and about fifteen inches wide at the one end, which 
was rounded, the other end tapering to a point. This vessel 
was unfortunately destroyed. A number of querns and quern- 
stones were also found. 



At Old Stirkoke, about three miles and a half inland from 
Wick, a borg, or Pict's house, has been partially quarried out 
for drains by Mr. John Sutherland, farmer there. Mr. Suther- 
land has kindly given every facility for its examination as his 
excavations have proceeded, and has carefully preserved the 
bones and other relics, of which a collection has been sent to 
the Society. Externally, before it was touched, this borg was 
a grass-covered mound, exactly similar to the Harbour Mound 
at Keiss, described by Mr. Laing. It measured 120 paces 
in circumference at the base, and fifty over the top, the form 
being that of a truncated cone. The flattened top of the 
mound was about forty feet in diameter, and its elevation 
above the level of the adjoining field about twelve feet, some 
portions of its surface being higher. The structural plan of 
the building cannot be made out, partly from the ruinous con- 
dition of the structure itself, and partly from the way in which 
it is being excavated. It seems, however, to have had a large 
circular central space, and round this traces of a double con- 
centric wall are visible, the space between being filled up by a 
chaotic mass of stones and rubbish. The internal walls pre- 
sent an appearance as if, throughout the whole extent yet laid 
bare, they had been acted on by a strong fire. Mr. Sutherland 
states, that he found a square drain under the foundation, but 
the centre being not yet cleared out, the existence of a well 
has not been ascertained. 

At the north-east side of the mound, from which the exca- 
vations commenced, a pretty extensive midden was found, 
consisting principally of ashes apparently of turf or peat, with 
wood charcoal, shells, bones, and pottery. Among the bones 
found here were the pieces of a skull, forwarded along with 
the other remains. These, with the curiously-hollowed block 
of sandstone, were found by Mr. Peach. The shells of this 
refuse-heap were chiefly the limpet and periwinkle, the Trochas, 
Purpura lapillus, and Buccinum undatum, however, being also 
very abundant. One or two fishbones occurred, indicating a 
fish about the size of the haddock. The nearest seashore is 


at least upwards of three miles distant. The bones of animals, 
mostly splintered, occurred not only on the floor and in the 
refuse-heap outside the wall, but generally scattered through 
the debris of the structure itself, in the internal space, as if 
they had fallen down with the stones which filled it up. 
Many of the long bones are gnawed at the ends, and others 
bear the marks of teeth, most probably of dogs. They indi- 
cate the same animals as those of the Keiss mound, the ox, 
the sheep (?), and swine being of most frequent occurrence. 
The horse, deer, dog, and fox aro less numerously represented, 
and bones of birds are only occasionally found. The manu- 
factured objects and implements found here have been a 
polished bone needle with a round bevelled eye ; the half of a 
beautifully polished disc of mica schist, with garnets in it, 
exactly similar to one found in a Pict's house in Burray, Ork- 
ney, by James Farrer, Esq. ; a deerhorn handle, rudely sawn 
at one end and rounded at the other, the sawing having been 
done from opposite sides ; a tine cut from an antler, as if for 
a weapon-point ; a cubical block of red sandstone, having a 
hollow of a very peculiar shape, its outline formed by the in- 
tersection of a larger and smaller circular hollow, and similar 
to one found by Mr. Rhind in Kettleburn ; stone pestles, or 
oblong beach-pebbles, wasted at the ends by pounding, similar 
to those from the shell mounds at Keiss ; two stone spindle- 
whorls, simply chipped to shape, and very rudely bored; a 
bone bodkin, about eight inches long ; and a fragment of some 
bronze instruments. 


The burn of Haster passes within a hundred yards of the 
Old Stirkoke Pict's house, and about a quarter of a mile 
further down the stream, on the section of the bank where it 
has cut through its old bed, it has exposed a stratum of ashes 
about twenty feet long, and from three to six inches in thick- 
ness. It lies on the top of the old river gravel, and is covered 
by two to two-and>-a half feet of black earth. A similar 
stratum, of nearly the same extent and thickness, occurs a 
little lower down, resting on a bed of coarse gravel, and over- 


laid by a bed of finer gravel, on which is the same thickness 
of black earth. These beds of ashes contain wood, charcoal, 
and traces of bones, and they have yielded, to diligent search 
in the exposed section, a few pieces of pottery similar to that 
of the Picts' houses. One of these pieces of pottery is full 
of impressions of the seeds and leaf of some species of grain. 
No trace of any stone structure is visible in the section. 
These curious beds of ashes were noticed and examined in the 
section by the writer and Mr. T. F. Jamieson, of Ellon, when 
examining the boulder-clay sections of the burn in August 


The most remarkable group of grey cairns in the county is 
that in the Yarhouse Hills, on the estate of Thrum ster, in the 
parish of Wick. Picts' houses, cairns, and standing stones, 
are numerously scattered all along the east coast of Caithness, 
but here they are most abundant. Structurally, the grey 
cairns resolve themselves into two great classes, cairns 
heaped over a simple cist, and cairns reared with great labour 
over a central chamber of a peculiar type. Though the chamber 
of each separate cairn differs in its details from all the others, 
there is a striking uniformity of general plan, a typical represen- 
tation of which is given on Diagram IV, after Mr. Rhind's draw- 
ing of the typical ground-plan. He characterised it as "radi- 
cally cruciform" ; but a reference to the ground-plans of the 
four cairns which he explored, as now laid off to the actual 
measurements by Mr. Shearer (who assisted Mr. Rhind in his 
explorations), will show that the cruciform theory is rather a 
fanciful one. In fact, one of the cairns, the exception which 
proves the rule, has its chamber divided into only two com- 
partments ; and the others, though they have the general 
tricamerated structure, have certainly nothing cruciform about 
them when represented according to the actual measurement. 
This tricamerated arrangement holds good (with the single 
exception) whatever the external form of the cairn. 

The chambered cairn is thus of one type internally, whether 
the cairn itself be round, oval, or long, horned or without 


horns. A lintelled passage, low and narrow, but widening and 
slightly increasing in height towards the centre of the cairn, 
leads into a chamber, divided into three compartments by 
monoliths projecting from the walls on either side, and leaving 
a passage of about two feet between them. This tricamerated 
space, however, though on the ground-plan it shows always 
the same arrangement, the central compartment being the 
largest, and the back one the smallest, has not always the 
same appearance from within. In the round or oval-shaped 
cairns, the first compartment was sometimes lintelled over, 
while the second and third were formed into a separate 
chamber, with a (truncated) dome-shaped roof, as shown in 
the section of the great round cairn at Camster. In this case, 
the divisional monoliths which separate the second and third 
compartments do not reach more than halfway to the roof. 
In the more rectangularly chambered cairns, on the other hand, 
all the divisional monoliths appear to have served the double 
purpose of partitioning off the separate compartments, and 
forming at the same time supports for the roof of flat slabs 
springing from the side walls, but slightly convergent towards 
the top. 

With the exception of some fragments of pottery, Mr. Rhind 
found no manufactured objects in any of the chambered cairns 
he explored. In all, however, he found abundant evidences 
of their having been used as places of sepulture. With all 
his care, however, he did not succeed in obtaining a single 
skull entire. He remarks upon the singularity of the fact, 
that as many as seven interments could be traced in a single 
cairn ; and that, in the same structure, there was evidence of 
three distinct modes of burial, by cremation ; in a crouching 
or doubled-up position between the partitions ; and in the 
passage at full length. 

Three years ago, the last of the conical cairns of Yarhouse 
was opened by J. Gr. T. Sinclair, Esq., of Ulbster. It was of 
an entirely different structure from those in the immediate 
neighbourhood explored by Mr. Rhind, which were all con- 
structed with a chamber and passage ; whereas this one was 
simply a huge pile of stones raised over a kistvaen, composed 
of very massive slabs. The sides of the kistvaen were unfor- 


tunately so much broken up in the opening, that its dimen- 
sions cannot now be accurately ascertained ; but it seems to 
have been at least eight feet in length, about four feet high, 
and three feet broad. In it were found the skull and bones of 
a human skeleton, lying on a quantity of seabeach, mixed 
sparsely with remains of broken shore shells. The site of the 
cairn is a long way inland, and perhaps three miles from the 
nearest beach. A bronze spearhead was found along with the 
bones, and sent to the British Museum. 


Associated with these conical chambered cairns, there was 
another description of grey cairn of such rare occurrence that 
only three instances are known in the county, two at Yar- 
house, and one at Camster, associated with the largest conical 
cairn in Caithness, to be hereafter described. Photographs of 
the two latter, the largest round, and the largest long cairn in 
the county, are hereto appended (by the kindness of Mr. John- 
stone, photographer, Wick), and they will convey a better 
idea of the external appearance of the two classes of cham- 
bered cairns than any amount of verbal description. 

Though the internal structure of the round cairns had been 
made known by Mr. Ehind, there was nothing whatever known 
of the structural character of the long cairns, not one of them 
having been opened. Their uninviting exterior, and the 
apparent magnitude of the undertaking, would seem to have 
deterred amateurs and scientific explorers alike from meddling 
with them ; and it was not till last summer, when Dr. Hunt, 
President of the Anthropological Society, passed through 
Caithness on an exploring commission to the far north, that 
the structure of these, the rarest and most singular of the 
ancient remains of Caithness, was for the first time ascertained. 
Mr. Shearer had commenced the exploration of the larger 
long cairn at Yarhouse in anticipation of Dr. Hunt's visit ; but 
it proved a work of such magnitude, that but for the assist- 
ance of the grant from the funds of the Anthropological 
Society, which was at once made available, the thorough in- 
vestigation of this hitherto unknown class of cairns could not 
have been attempted. 


Viewed externally, the largest and best preserved of the 
three long cairns, that at Canister, presents the appearance of 
a ridge of successive heaps of stones, diminishing in height 
and size towards the western end. All three lie more or less 
nearly east and west, though no two have exactly the same 
bearing, and all three have the highest end looking towards 
the east. They have at both ends curved, horn-like projections 
of the structure, falling gradually to the level of the ground, 
and in all cases quite grown over with turf and heather, 
although the body of the cairn was bare. The Camster long 
cairn (not yet explored) is about seventy paces long by about 
twenty-five paces broad at the base, and may be from 15 to 
20 feet high at the eastern end. The larger of the two at 
Yarhouse, Thrumster, measures 240 feet lengthwise, from the 
lines of the tips of the horns ; the breadth of the base of the 
body of the cairn at the eastern end is 66 feet, and at the 
western end 36 feet, the horns expanding with a curve so as 
to make the line across their tips, at the eastern end, 92 feet, 
and at the western end, 53 feet. The smaller cairn, measured 
in the same way, is 190 feet long; the breadth of the base of 
the body of the cairn, at the eastern end, is 43 feet, and at 
the western end, 26 feet, the horns expanding in the same 
way as in the former case, at either end. 

Operations were first commenced in the highest or eastern 
end of the cairn, and the workmen in a short time laid bare 
the upper ends of four large monoliths ; the divisional stones 
of an irregularly rectangular chamber, the roof of which had 
fallen in or been destroyed, filling up the compartments with 
the superincumbent mass of the cairn. When cleared out to 
the floor, the chamber was found to correspond in its general 
plan and style of architecture with those of the neighbour- 
ing conical chambered cairns, though differing somewhat in 

The entrance passage is almost in the centre of the eastern 
end of the cairn. Two flat stones, set on end, about two feet 
and a half high, form a kind of door-jambs at the outside. A 
well-built passage, two feet wide or thereby, runs inwards for ten 
feet, and at its further end two stones, similar to those outside, 


are set in the wall of the chamber, forming a doorway eighteen 
inches wide. Passing through between these, you enter the 
first compartment of the chamber, measuring from sidewall to 
sidewall, across the doorway, four feet seven inches, the width 
expanding until it measures six feet from sidewall to sidewall 
at the first pair of divisional stones. The distance of the 
divisional stones from the doorway is three feet seven inches 
at the minimum, as they are not set square to the sidewalls, 
which are slightly curved. The divisional stones themselves 
are large flagstones, untouched by a tool, which are sunk on 
end into the floor, and let into the wall at either side so as to 
stand across the chamber, leaving a passage between their 
edges of two feet two inches wide. They rise to the height 
of seven, and seven feet and a half, above the floor respectively, 
and are each about two feet and a half of average breadth, 
and about three to four inches thick. Passing between these 
stones into the second compartment, the width of the chamber 
is rather more than six feet, as the side walls do not run in 
line exactly with those on the other side of the divisional 
stones, and these dividing stones themselves are not exactly 
in line with each other. The second compartment measures 
about six feet from sidewall to sidewall, and five feet four 
inches from the opening between the first pair of divisional 
stones to the opening between the second pair, which leads 
into the further recess, or third compartment, over which, 
being lower than the others and more massively built, the roof 
still remains, formed of an enormous flat stone weighing 
several tons. The opening into this recess is two feet four 
inches high, and twenty inches wide. The pair of divisional 
stones which flank it are each three feet and a half high, two 
feet and a half wide, and eight to nine inches in thickness. 
The interior measurements of the third compartment, or recess, 
are four feet eight inches from sidewall to sidewall, two feet 
four inches from the entrance to the large stone which forms 
the back wall, and two feet and a half high. It was quite full 
of very small stones, and the peculiarly shaped aperture was 
closed by a slab, which fitted it pretty neatly. In one corner 
of the second compartment, a slight overlapping* of the upper 


stones of the side wall seemed to indicate that, at a height of 
about six feet above the floor, the walls began to converge. 

A handful of animal bones were found among the rubbish, 
resting on the floor of the chamber ; but they may be no older 
than the dilapidation of the cairn. The floor itself was com- 
posed of clay, in which a rough paving of small flat stones 
appeared to have been partially and irregularly laid. For a 
depth of four to five inches, the clay was plentifully mixed 
with ashes, charcoal of wood, and broken and calcined bones. 
The singular feature of the bones was, that though the clay 
was literally charged with them, and the fragments that were 
uncalcined were in good preservation, the largest piece found, 
after diligent search, did not exceed an inch in length by half 
an inch in breadth. About a dozen flint chips, and two frag- 
ments of pottery, of a better make than that usually found in 
the refuse heaps of the Picts' houses, were all the manufactured 
relics found. The search for relics was extremely disappoint- 
ing ; but the structure of a hitherto unknown class of cairns 
has been ascertained. 

The enormous length of the cairn gave reason to suppose 
that there might be other chambers in it. The west end was 
tried, but though opened out to the foundation in the centre, 
no signs of any definite structure were discovered. The centre 
of the cairn itself was then tried, with a like result, and an 
excavation between the centre and the chamber was equally 
fruitless. Throughout the whole length of the cairn, behind 
the chamber, these excavations seemed to indicate that it was 
merely a structureless mass of stones, and the ground where 
the bottom of the cairn was reached had never been disturbed, 
though a slight trace of charcoal was found beneath the 

There remained to be disclosed the structure of the curious 
hornlike projections at the ends of the cairn. The one at the 
south-east corner was selected, as being the best defined. It 
was entirely covered with turf and heather, and was about 
four feet high at its junction with the cairn. When excavated 
along its entire length, it was found to be a structureless mass 
of stones along the upper part, but regularly built in the 


lower, with an appearance of a double wall, measuring fifty- 
four feet from the entrance to the tip of the horn, which was 
in some parts well denned. At the end, the stones used were 
large flags and smaller courses alternately, and two stones 
were set on edge near the termination of the wall. The build- 
ing was removed to the foundation in several places, and the 
ground beneath tried, but it had never been disturbed. Not 
only the purpose but the structure of the horn, with its 
double wall, was a complete puzzle ; and though subsequent 
excavations in other cairns gave a complete elucidation of the 
structure of these singular appendages, they are still as inex- 
plicable as to their purpose as ever. 

The line of direction of the passage, and the entrances to 
the several compartments of the chamber, does not coincide 
with the axis of the cairn, the direction of the central line of 
the cairn lengthwise being, by compass, E. by S., while the 
central line of the chamber and passage is E.S.E. 

The smaller long cairn, a few hundred yards distant, had 
been considerably reduced in size by the neighbouring farmers, 
who found it a convenient quarry. The upper part of the 
chamber, in its eastern end, was partially exposed, but there 
was no appearance of any deeper excavation having ever been 
made. When cleared out, it proved to be of somewhat the 
same pattern as the chamber of the larger cairn, though the 
passage was shorter, the compartments larger in proportion to 
the size of the cairn, and the chamber terminated in a semi- 
circular compartment, instead of the small low recess roofed 
in by a single stone, as in the other. The side walls, too, 
though they were dry-built like the other, had in the larger, 
or second compartment, a slab built into them on either side, 
the faces of the slabs being flush with, and forming part of 
the wall, which was built not only on either side, but on the 
top of them as well. While the faces of the slabs thus formed 
part of the face of the wall, they gave solidity to the work 
and saved building. The height of the dividing stones, and 
consequently the height of the whole chamber, seemed to have 
been less in this cairn than in the other. 

The same general description applies to the chambers in 


both cairns, the arrangement of the compartments being in 
both cases similar. 

The passage, measuring from the outer wall of the horn, was 
nine feet long by two feet wide, entering the chamber between 
the edges of two slabs set on end, whose faces formed the end 
walls of the first compartment, and rose to the height of four 
feet above the floor. The first compartment was nearly square, 
measuring five feet a_id a half from sidewall to sidewall, and 
four feet ten inches from the end of the entrance passage to 
the passage between the standing stones, dividing it from the 
next compartment. The second compartment was seven feet 
nine inches wide at the inner side of these dividing stones, 
widening to eight feet in the centre, and contracting again to 
seven feet at the next pair of dividing stones. The central pair 
of dividing stones were five feet and a half high, and the other 
pair, towards the back of "the chamber, four feet. The semi- 
circular compartment at the back was six feet eight inches 
across, behind the dividing stones, and five feet from the en- 
trance between them to the back. 

In the first compartment, what seemed a secondary inter- 
ment was found. In the space between the entrance jamb on 
the south side and the first dividing slab, a short cist was set 
on the floor, one side of which projected beyond the line of 
the passage. It was formed (as shown in the diagram) by 
one stone, about three feet and a half long and nine inches 
deep, being laid on edge so as to stretch between the front 
end of the chamber and the first divisional stone, and cutting 
off from the area of the floor of the compartment a space 
about four and a half feet long by twenty inches wide. This 
stone, which thus formed one side of the cist, while the struc- 
ture of the chamber formed the other three, was scarcely 
long enough to reach the divisional stone at the one end, and 
an end stone was inserted to fill up the hole, thus reducing 
the interior length of the cist to four feet. Another stone 
was laid on its edge along the wall, which formed the other 
side of the cist, and gave support to the two covering slabs. 
The interior of the cist was filled with partially blackened 
clay, in which there was a whitish stratum as of bone- 


ash. At the east end of the cist lay an urn imbedded in the 
clay, and turned partially on its side. It was in a very poor 
state of preservation, and could only be lifted by lifting clay 
and urn together. It shows a very distinct and elegant orna- 
mentation, running round it in parallel bands, as if a string of 
two strands, slightly twisted, had been passed round it and 
impressed in the soft clay. Some of the fragments for it fell 
to fragments when dry show the impress of fibres in the or- 
namentation when examined with a magnifying glass. The 
clay is coarse and stony; but the finish of the lip and the 
general style of the urn, betoken taste in the manufacturer. 
The clay, too, has been plentifully sprinkled with small scales 
of mica, most probably to add a glittering beauty to the 
sombre receptacle of the ashes of the dead. There is no such 
micaceous clay obtainable in the district. 

On closely examining the blackened clay of the interior of 
the cist, one or two small round, black bodies, like cross sec- 
tions of the shank of a tobacco-pipe, were detected by Mr. 
Shearer ; and the whole of the clay being then carefully re- 
moved and washed, seventy of them were collected. They 
seemed to be scattered about in the cist, except in one place 
beneath the urn, where they lay (as in the section of clay sent) 
in a continuous line, end to end, as if when placed there they 
had been threaded on a string. They are indubitably beads 
of simple manufacture, and seem to be composed of the lignite 
which belongs to the oolite beds of Sutherlandshire, travelled 
pieces of which are not unfrequently found in the Caithness 
boulder clay. The beads are all about the same diameter, and 
are cross sections of a cylinder, many of them bored from 
opposite sides. 

In the floor of the second compartment of the chamber were 
found a small quantity of broken animal bones, among which 
was a portion of a human upper jaw and some phalanges of 
fingers or toes. In one corner, imbedded in the wet clay on 
the floor, were two or three human teeth, so much decayed 
that they would not lift. 

In the third compartment were found the frontal portion of 
a human skull, with a few more fragments in a very friable 


condition. These,, however, with care, were got dried and 
preserved. A quantity of bones, animal and human, lay partly 
imbedded in the soft clay of the floor, as if they had been left 
on, and not buried in it. 

The whole floor of the chamber was carefully trenched up 
from the undisturbed bottom clay, and examined thoroughly 
piece by piece, as in all the other cairns explored. It con- 
tained a large percentage of charcoal and bone-ash, with frag- 
ments of bones, but not a single flint-chip, and not a vestige 
of pottery, or any manufactured object. The minute exa- 
mination of the floor, however, revealed the fact that the beads 
were entirely confined to the interior of the cist. 

The excavation of the horns of this cairn showed them to 
be of essentially the same plan and structure as those of the 
other. Measured along the curve, as they branch out from 
each side of the entrance, they extend thirty feet forward, and 
are about ten to twelve feet across at the tips, which, however, 
are so broken down as to render exact measurement somewhat 
difficult. They have the same double wall, which is so well 
seen in the Ormiegill cairn, to be next described, and the 
inner wall still stands five feet high where it joins the entrance. 
Thirty-three feet back from the chamber were the remains of 
a circular wall, also well seen in the Ormiegill cairn. 

Our acknowledgments are due to F. S. Bentley Innes, Esq., 
of Thrumster, for the ready permission granted for the exca- 
vation of these interesting cairns. 


By permission of J. G. T. Sinclair, Esq., of Ulbster, we 
next excavated a cairn at Ormiegill, near Ulbster, which 
proved the most singular and interesting we have yet met 
with, both in structure and contents. So far as I can ascer- 
tain, it is perfectly unique in structure, nothing like it being 
known, I believe, in Britain. From a recent examination of 
some unexplored cairns at Brochwhin, on the estate of Clyth, 
however, we have reason to believe that one of them at least 
will turn out to be a cairn of similar structure. 

The Ormiegill, or Ulbster cairn, when first commenced, 



gave no indication of its being other than a simple chambered 
round cairn, like those explored at Thrumster by Mr. Rhind, 
and whose structural appearance is shown by the ground-plans 
of the four cairns figured. But after clearing out the chamber 
and passage, we tried for horns, and to our great surprise and 
delight, the external outline of the cairn proved to be perfectly 
entire all round ; and after clearing three sides to the foundation, 
the outer walls were revealed without a break, except at the 
corner of one of the horns where the road had come close to 
the cairn. These outer walls still stand, entire as the day they 
were built, to the height of about a couple of feet above the 
foundation. They are built of flattish stones, and slightly in- 
clined inwards. 

It presents a curious combination of the characters of the 
round and the long cairns with horns ; and the singular double 
wall, which puzzled us so much in the horns of the long 
cairns, here runs all round the outer circumference of the 
structure. Both walls are faced to the outside only, the inside 
of the wall presenting no regular face, and the space between 
being roughly filled in with rubble. The circular wall sur- 
rounding the chamber is not exactly circular, but slightly 
compressed at the sides. It is built of squarer, heavier blocks, 
and faced also only on the outer side, the inner side being 
irregularly finished, and the space between it and the walls of 
the chamber (which of course are faced to the inside) being 
filled up with rubble. This circular wall, also, slants slightly 
inwards, as if to take a beehive shape ; but as we have only 
from two to three feet of its lower part left, its dome-like 
character must be matter of conjecture. 

The arrangement of the passage and chamber is the same 
as in the other cairns. The entrance looks by compass S.S.E. 
The passage is ten feet long and two feet wide, the stones 
that stand on end on either side as you enter the first com- 
partment of the chamber, and form its end walls, being three 
feet four inches in height. The first compartment is rather 
smaller than usual, being only two feet eight inches in its 
narrowest, and three feet in its widest measurement, from the 
entrance to the first pair of divisional stones, and four feet 


ten inches from sidewall to sidewall. The second, or central 
compartment, is larger in proportion. It measures eight feet 
ten inches from sidewall to sidewall, immediately behind the 
first pair of divisional stones, and seven feet five inches in 
front of the pair which separate it from the next compartment; 
while along the side wall, on one side, the measurement is six 
feet, and along the other six feet nine inches. The last com- 
partment is also small. Though its cross measurement is five 
feet two inches behind the divisional stones, it is only two feet 
three inches on the floor, from the base of these to the base 
of the large stone which stands inclining outwards to form the 
back wall of the chamber. 

Standing in the centre of the cairn, with your back towards 
the entrance, the horn on the right and at the back part of 
the cairn points, by compass, due north, the horn on the left 
pointing N.N.W. The two horns flanking the entrance point 
E.S.E. and S.S.W. respectively. No two of them are exactly 
of equal length; but measuring from the circumference of 
the circular wall surrounding the chamber, the left hand horn 
at the back is thirty feet long. The tips are slightly convex ; 
and while the breadth of the front horns, from corner to 
corner, is eight feet, the breadth of those at the back, similarly 
measured, is nine feet. The line between the inner corners 
of the tips of the front horns is fifty feet and a half, and be- 
tween those at the back, similarly measured, it is thirty-seven 
feet. Between the corners of the horns lengthwise, from the 
tip of the front horn on the outer side, to the tip of the back 
horn on the same side, the measurement is, on the one side, 
sixty-six feet, and on the other, sixty-four feet, but as the 
corner has been taken partially away on one side, the measure- 
ments may have been exactly similar. The circumference of 
the circular wall around the chamber is eighty feet. 

The floor of the chamber was laid with a pavement of rough 
slabs of small size. On this pavement, and under it, were 
many bones, burnt and unburnt, in a greasy clay, plentifully 
mixed with ashes, charcoal, and broken pottery. The uncal- 
cined bones were mostly so wet that they would scarcely lift. 
The calcined bones, though very fragmentary, retained their 




cohesiveness better. Some human phalanges, quite calcined, 
were turned up along with unburnt bones of animals, among 
which were teeth of human adults and of the horse, ox, and 
dog. The broken upper jaws of (I think) two children, with 
fragments of skulls, occurred in the central compartment. A 
list of the animals and human remains, however, may be made 
out from the collection sent. In* one part of the floor (which 
was not so completely paved as to enable us to separate be- 
tween the remains found above, and those found below the 
paving) there was a large quantity of very small bones, a con- 
siderable layer, about an inch thick, which must have contained 
many thousands. They were extremely friable; and unfor- 
tunately no specimen of them was got preserved. We con- 
jectured them to be frogs' bones, as they were too small for 
birds, and had they belonged to mice, we should have found 
their teeth. 

Besides the fragments of pottery of three or four different 
kinds, but mostly mixed with mica, that were found in this 
cairn, the manufactured objects were a finely finished hammer 
of grey granite, polished and perforated for the handle ; two 
well-made flint arrowheads ; the point end of a finely finished 
flint knife, ground along its cutting edge ; and a disk of flint, 
about an inch in diameter, of the type known as " thumb- 
flints". The hammer, disc, knife, and one arrowhead were found 
in the central compartment, imbedded in the clay of the floor, 
but not together ; and the other arrowhead was found in the 
first compartment. 

As usual, some of the bones in this cairn were found lying 
on the floor among the rubbish of the cairn ; but the greater 
portion were imbedded in the layer of clay, ashes, and char- 
coal that covered the entire area of the chamber, to the depth 
of half a foot or more, over the undisturbed ground below. 
In some parts the ash-bed went down further than in others, 
as if there had been pits in the floor, and the pavement was 
most entire around the sides of the chamber ; while in the 
centre the occurrence of bones, etc., beneath the slabs was 
more frequent. A few traces of human bones and some 
human teeth were found outside and close to the outer wall, 


< 1 1 a point nearly halfway between the tip of the horn on the 
right hand side of the entrance and the doorway of the cairn. 

Close to this cairn, on the margin of an old loch now 
drained, there is a very large accumulation of stones, like a 
crescent- shaped cairn. We tried one end of it, where it 
seemed to terminate in a circular cairn, and found, on re- 
moving the covering of about eighteen inches of peat, that 
the stones were disposed at the end in a regular line, forming 
a kind of entrance way, but we could find no structure or 
chamber; and as the semicircular ridge is nearly one hundred 
yards long, we gave up the idea of attempting any further 
excavation, as not warranted with the funds at our disposal. 

A large number of circular heaps of stones are scattered 
around. Four or five of these were turned over ; and though 
they presented no feature of external difference from the 
common small cairns with central cists, subsequently to be 
noticed, we found no evidence of their being sepulchral, either 
in the cairns themselves or in the soil underneath. 

Another large cairn, with two monolithic slabs standing in 
the centre, was also commenced; but finding that it had 
been, at some time previously, turned up to the bottom, its 
further exploration was abandoned as useless. 

Near the Ormiegill cairn, there is a large block of stone, 
which has been very rudely cut across to a depth of nearly 
three inches, and along the side there is a row of wedge-holes 
of peculiar make. The cutting is evidently of old date ; but 
there is nothing to connect it with the chambered cairns, in 
which no mark of a tool has yet been discovered. Near by, 
however, in the grave-ground of Ulbster, there is one of those 
ancient sculptured stones on which is the figure of a cross, 
and a number of uncouth-looking beasts. 


The group of cairns at Camster, lying more in the centre 
of the county, are in better preservation than any of those 
alonof the coast. It is but recentlv that a road has been made 
through the district in which they are situated, and they have 
been but little visited. We explored the round one, of which 


the photograph is appended. The long one yet remains to be 

This magnificent round cairn is two hundred and twenty- 
feet in circumference at the base, and about fifteen or eighteen 
feet in perpendicular height at the centre. It is the only 
cairn I have seen, on whose chamber any portion of the roof 
remains. Its structure is readily seen from the ground-plan 
and section as figured. The section is taken along the south 
side of the passage. In structural characteristics, it is radi- 
cally of the same type as the circular cairns at Yarhouse, 
explored by Mr. Rhind, though it far exceeds the largest of 
them in size. 

We first obtained access to the interior by the hole in the 
roof, where one of the covering stones had been removed, or 
fallen in from the superincumbent pressure. The chamber 
was quite filled with the mass of stones that had fallen in from 
the top. When we got down to the horizontal passage, how- 
ever, it was found to be choked full of stones to the very roof, 
completely packed from end to end. As the passage is up- 
wards of twenty feet in length, and roofed with immense flags, 
fitting close together, and the sides were quite entire, the 
whole of this packing must have been introduced purposely. 
We found it no easy matter to get it cleared out, as at the 
outer extremity the passage is only about two feet and a half 
high by two feet wide ; and after a man had wormed his way 
inwards for five or six feet by clearing out the stones, there 
was not room for him to pass the larger ones outwards. The 
passage widens and heightens a little as it goes inwards, until 
at the entrance to the first compartment of the chamber it is 
about three feet and a half high, and two feet and a half wide. 
It is buttressed at intervals on both sides, throughout its 
length, by stones standing edgeways, which help to support 
the massive roofing slabs, as well as to strengthen the walls. 
The direction of the passage and entrance to the chamber is 

Entering by the passage, the first compartment of the 
chamber forms a kind of antechamber to the beehive-shaped 
vault, in which the other two compartments are merged, as 


the divisional stones which separate the second, or main com- 
partment, from the third, do not rise to the roof, as they seem 
to have done in the long cairns. Though the ground-plan of 
the two last compartments is more rectangular than oval, the 
contour of the walls is gradually brought to an oval form after 
they have risen a few feet above the floor. At the height of 
seven feet they begin to converge, and the area left at the top 
was then covered in, at the height of ten feet, by two very 
large slabs, only one of which now remains. 

The first compartment, then, is flat-roofed, the roof being 
also formed of two large slabs, to support which transverse 
lintels are laid across the doorways. The entrance doorway 
next the passage is only seventeen inches wide, and is exactly 
in the middle of the front wall, which is formed of two stones 
each seventeen inches broad, standing on either side of the 
doorway. The side walls, which are compactly built, measure, 
the one three feet seven inches, and the other, three feet ten 
inches, in length, and three feet and a half high. 

The entrance from the first compartment, or antechamber, 
into the vaulted space beyond is but fifteen inches wide, and 
three feet high. The divisional stones which flank it, and are 
built into the walls of the oval cell or vault, are seven feet 
high, and set at a considerable angle to the side walls, in order 
to fall in with the oval form of the cell ; and for the same 
purpose, instead of being of the same breadth from top to 
bottom, they taper irregularly to the top. The distance from 
them to the next divisional stones is, on the one side, four feet 
ten inches, and on the other, four feet five inches. 

The third compartment, which, owing to the stones which 
divide it off from the second not rising to the roof, forms a 
portion of the vaulted cell, is but three feet by four feet two 
inches, the opening between the divisional stones being three 
feet wide. The stones themselves, which are respectively nine 
inches and fifteen inches thick, rise four feet above the floor. 

The floor of the chamber presented the same appearances as 
that of the other cairns explored, with this difference, that there 
was no pavement, and the clay was blacker and more earthy. 
There was a larger heap of ashes in the opening between the 


two last divisional stones, and in the centre of the main com- 
partment, than anywhere else. 

As usual, a number of bones, human and animal (though 
there were but very few animal bones in this cairn), were got 
on the floor, and among the rubbish immediately above the 
floor. On the floor, also, but not imbedded in it, was found 
the portion of an iron knife, with a very thick back, sent along 
with the other relics. It is very old, as its complete oxidation 
indicates, but probably not of the age of the cairn itself. A 
few feet distant, but deeply imbedded in the floor, were found 
the small but beautifully fashioned flint knife ; and, strange to 
say, a nodule of iron ore, as large as a man's fist. The occur- 
rence of these three a flint knife, an iron knife, and the 
nodule of iron ore in such a cairn, and in such apparently 
close connexion, is so suggestive of probabilities, that it is 
difficult to guess even at an explanation. Had the knives of 
flint and iron alone been found, it would have been easy to 
account for the iron one, by making it the sMan dim of some 
robber or rebel of the troublous times of former days, who 
made this cairn a hiding place. But the presence of the ore 
along with the manufactured article, complicates the matter 
beyond reasonable explanation in that way. 

The broken fragments of four or five urns, or vessels of 
clay, some of them of decidedly well made pottery, were found, 
also, imbedded in the floor. These fragments are larger than 
any found in the floors of the other cairns. One of these 
vessels of well-burnt clay, blackened on both sides, must have 
been twelve inches across the mouth. The pieces marked 
Nos. 1 and 2 join together, and form a large segment of the 
rim. They were found three or four inches under the surface 
of the floor, close together, but while the lip of the one was 
uppermost, in the other case it was down. The clay of these 
is also plentifully mixed with mica. On No. 8, the ashes still 
adhere to the inner side, while the outer side is clean and 
unblackened. Fragments, Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 6, belong to the 
same vessel, and partly piece together. It has been of very 
handsome make, and is the thinnest pottery I have seen from 
the cairns. Holes, about the diameter of an ordinary goose- 


quill, have been bored in it at intervals, immediately under 
the lip. No. 7 (of the fragments) exhibits an ornamentation 
unique as regards the pottery of these cairns. The outside is 
roughened all over by the impression of the point and nail of 
a small finger, obliquely thrust into the clay. 

Most of the bones found were on the floor; and the clay 
was not quite so completely mixed with fragments of bone as 
in the other cairns. Scarcely any of the bones in this case 
are calcined ; and looking at all the circumstances, it seems as 
if the unburned bodies were deposited subsequently to the 
urns. In the chamber were found fragments of (I think) three, 
if not four, human skulls, and a number of other fragments of 
the human skeleton. But the most singular thing in con- 
nexion with the human remains of this cairn, was that about 
halfway along the passage, or about four yards outwards from 
the chamber, and about the same distance from the outside 
entrance, two human skulls, and bones of the upper extre- 
mities, were found among the stones with which the passage 
was packed choke full from end to end, both skulls being at 
least six inches above the floor. As no part of the lower ex- 
tremities was found, it seems as if the bodies had been set on 
the floor of wet earth, the bones next the ground perishing 


Besides the chambered cairns, there are scattered over the 
county a large number of smaller cairns, generally about 
twenty feet, sometimes as much as thirty feet, in diameter, and 
seldom rising more than six or seven feet often not more 
than three or four above the surrounding level. Most of 
these have been opened from mere curiosity, or in search of 
treasure, and their contents lost to science. 

These small cairns, enclosing cists, appear to be of three 
classes. They are often in close proximity to chambered 
cairns ; and though in most instances they have been greatly 
destroyed in the opening, their structural characteristics may 
generally be distinctly enough made out. There is, first, a 
class in which the cist is elevated two feet, or thereby, above 


the surface of the ground. These cists, though short, are 
wide in proportion to their length, and have well-paved bot- 
toms, the cairn between the bottom of the cist and the surface 
of the ground being formed of flattish stones, pretty regularly 
built. These elevated cists, with paved bottoms, all contained 
skeletons ; but we have not been able to find an undisturbed 
cairn of this kind, though we have examined six, all agreeing 
in character with the foregoing general description. In no 
case could we get an exact measurement of the cist, from the 
way in which it had been opened, and the general dilapidation 
of the cairns. In two instances, however, it was found that 
the cairns had an outer wall describing a circle of about 
eighteen feet in diameter, the cist being in the centre. It 
thus appears that both the larger and the smaller cairns were 
not mere heaps of stones originally, but that they had both 
an external and internal structure, elaborated with some care 
on a definite plan. 

One of these small cairns at Canister, not far from the large 
ones already described, had been opened not very long ago, 
and the bones huddled together, by the incautious openers, 
under one of the covering stones of the cist. The skeleton 
must have been in excellent preservation, as after the rough 
usage it had received, one femur, part of the pelvis, and ribs 
were still entire. The skull had unfortunately been crushed. 
One tooth remained in the jaw, a molar, worn from the 
outer edge inwards in a very peculiar way. 

The second class of these cairns has the inclosed cist set on 
the level of the ground, and bottomless. We opened a very 
remarkable one of this kind at Brochwhin, on the estate of 
Clyth, by permission of Adam Sharp, Esq., of Clyth. Here 
there are two eminences, one of which, with a green cairn on 
the top of it, is called Brochwhin ; and the other, which has 
on the top a space two hundred paces long by sixty-five broad, 
enclosed by a wall of great thickness, with a gateway at either 
end formed by immense slabs set on edge as for gateposts 
(though they are unmarked by a tool), is called Garry whin. 
G any whin seems to be a corruption of the Gaelic, Garbh Fionn 
the stronghold of Fingal ; and Brock whin, in the same way, 


would be Fingal's Broch, or castle. In the valley between 
fchese two places, and close beneath the walled inclosure, lies 
the small cairn alluded to. It is on the top of a small emi- 
nence ; and from the cairn, as from a centre, a number of lines 
of small standing stones diverge to a distance of fifty yards 
down the face of the hill. On the other side of the valley 
from this eminence, there is another group of parallel lines of 
standing stones, which lead away to another cairn, eighteen 
feet in diameter, wdth a cist of four slabs, lying N.W. and S.E., 
and measuring internally five feet long, two feet and a half 
broad, and one foot nine inches deep (opened long ago) ; and 
thence the lines of stones range away across the ridge of hills, 
where they can be followed for a distance of nearly half a 
mile. These stones seldom rise three feet above the ground. 
They are set on edge, often with two smaller stones, one on 
either side, to wedge them into the hole that had been dug to 
receive them. A group of them, arranged in irregularly 
parallel rows, also occurs at Thrumster, but unconnected with 
any trace of a cairn ; and another group at Camster, near the 
small cairn before referred to. At Bruan, there is a group of 
between 400 and 500 of them, arranged in upwards of twenty 
irregularly parallel winding lines. These have not been ascer- 
tained to be in connexion with any cairn. They are generally 
two or three yards apart. 

The cairn, from which these diverging lines of standing- 
stones proceeded, was thirty -five feet in diameter and five feet 
high. Digging in the centre, a very large flat slab was 
reached, which required the united strength of four men to 
turn over. This was the cover of the cist, which lay, by com- 
pass, east and west. The cist was formed of four stones, its 
internal measurements being three feet five inches long, two 
feet four inches broad, and one foot nine inches deep. There 
was a false side inserted, with about four inches of rubble to 
fill up the space between the true and the false side, which 
narrowed the breadth to one foot ten inches. At the east end, 
the fragments of an urn, with the twisted string ornamentation, 
lay on the clay bottom of the cist, and among them the crowns 
of two human molars. After removing the fragments of the 


urn, the clay bottom was turned out and searched, and two 
oval-shaped pieces of chipped flint were found. 

The third class of small cairns, with cists enclosed, occurs 
generally on the banks of streams or lochs. They are com- 
posed of very small stones, mostly not much larger than road 
metal, and they always present an appearance as if long sub- 
jected to the action of fire. We have not yet met with one of 
these undisturbed ; but the fact of their being cisted cairns is 
established by general testimony. 


On the hillside at Garrywhin, close beside the rows of stand- 
ing stones and cairns before mentioned, there is a group of 
short cists, about three feet and a half in length, and nearly 
square, which are simply set in the ground, and have no cairn 
reared over them, or other external mark to indicate their 
position. We looked into several of them, the sides or ends 
of which showed through the surface ; but they had evidently 
been disturbed before, and we have since had no opportunity 
to prosecute their investigation further. 

Having been informed that at a place called Achavar, near 
Lybster, a group of graves had been discovered some twenty 
years ago by some trenching operations, Mr. Shearer went up 
and examined the locality. A large green cairn occupies the 
crest of a ridge, and about fifty yards distant from it, along 
the base of a natural wall of rock, the graves were found. 
Mr. Shearer had three of them opened. The first lay parallel 
to the rocky wall, the second at right angles to it, and the 
third had been so much destroyed that it could not be distin- 
guished which were the sides and which the ends. They were 
all short cists set in the ground, and formed of slabs ; but the 
bottoms appear to have been paved with seabeach, although 
they are at a considerable distance inland. The length of the 
cist in the two cases mentioned was about three feet and a 
half. The bones were found lying on the beach-gravel in the 
bottom of the cist, and scarcely more than two feet under the 
present surface. When the graves were first discovered, the 
skulls are reported to have been in excellent preservation ; 


but now, ill the three cases re-exhumed, the bones are very- 
much decayed. There is every probability that there are still 
a large number of untouched cists, both here and at the locality 
previously noticed. 

Dr. Mill, of Thurso, has preserved a beautiful urn, orna- 
mented with lines of dots, forming a curiously intricate pattern. 
It was found in a cist, the cover of which was raised by the 
plough, on his farm of Glengolly. Two very large urns (now 
in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries at Edinburgh) 
were similarly turned up on the farm of Aukhorn, near the 
Birkle Hills, described by Mr. Laing. The beautiful fluted 
vase, figured by Mr. Phind, now in the possession of Mr. 
David Coghill, Wick, came out of a cairn at Thrum ster, which 
was quarried many years ago for building purposes. 


The walled hill-top of Garrywhin, already described, is the 
only defensive structure of its kind in the eastern side of the 
county. The local tradition connected with it is one which is 
also told of several similar places in the centre and south of 
Scotland. It is to the effect that here the last survivor of the 
conquered Picts, a man of superhuman strength, was put to 
death. Such was the strength of his gripe, that the shank- 
bone of a horse, which, for some reason or other, was put into 
his hand, was crushed into splinters. The manner of his 
death, according to the story, was on this wise. He and his 
two sons were the only survivors of the race after a fierce 
battle. They were taken prisoners, and promised their lives 
and liberty if they would divulge the Pictish secret of making 
ale from heather. The old man agreed to divulge the secret, 
but only on condition that his two sons should first be slain. 
Having witnessed calmly the deaths of the sole sharers of the 
coveted knowledge, the old man then told his enemies they 
might despatch him too, for the secret should die with him, 
as it did. 

In the loch of Yarhouse there are two small islands, which 
seem to have been occupied by buildings, most probably of a 
defensive kind, but so much dilapidated that there is little 


chance of their character being made out by excavation. At 
the end of the loch next the cairns, however, there is a very- 
large green cairn, round the land side of which a deep fosse 
has been dug communicating with the loch. This cairn would 
doubtless be worth investigation, but from its great size its 
excavation would be expensive, as the exploration of all the 
green cairns is, both from their size and peculiar construction, 
much more expensive than that of the chambered cairns or 
sepulchral tumuli. 

In the loch of Eangag, on the estate of Forse, there is a 
very well preserved ruin of a broch, with a fosse on the land 
side, and three concentric outer walls. Some of the chambers in 
the wall of the broch itself are visible ; but it has now become 
simply a heap of stones externally, although if cleared out, 
about twenty feet of the height of the structure might yet be 
found entire. It would be also a costly work ; but George 
Sutherland, Esq., the proprietor, has kindly given permission 
to excavate any of the numerous remains on his estate, and 
there are many most interesting places round the shores of 
this and the neighbouring loch of Stemster. 


By this loch of Stemster stands the most remarkable group 
of standing stones in the county. It is somewhat of a horse- 
shoe form, or perhaps more like the letter U. The stones are 
from three to five feet high, and are mostly thick slabs of 
three or four feet in breadth, arranged with their flat sides 
facing each other, and the edges directed towards the space 
enclosed. There are thirty-three of them still standing; and 
though there are now many gaps in the line, they seem to have 
been regularly placed at intervals of three paces round the 
enclosure, which measures seventy paces long by thirty-three 
in greatest width, contracting a little towards the open ends, 
which look due south by compass. Close by are the remains 
of a conical cairn with an elevated cist, and several other 
cairns yet unopened, with circular rings of stones in the 
ground here and there, sometimes singly, sometimes in pairs, 
and touching each other. These are not circles of standing 


stones, but simply rings of stones set on edge, the upper 
edges peeping out of the turf. 

The rows of small standing stones, radiating from a central 
cist or running in irregularly parallel lines, have already been 
described. Standing stones of a much larger size, seven to 
ten feet high, occur frequently, sometimes singly, often in 
pairs three or four yards apart. They are sometimes not 
far from cairns, but have no apparent connexion with them. 
Many of them are popularly associated with Norse traditions. 
None of these are, so far as I know, tool-marked; although 
there is a sculptured stone in the burying-ground at Ulbster, 
before alluded to, and one, which seems to have been sculp- 
tured, in the burying ground at Clyth. 


The little that has been done as yet, towards a systematic 
exploration of the ancient structures described in this Report, 
warrants no definite conclusion as to their probable antiquity, 
or even their relations to each other in time. But the hitherto 
unknown long cairns have now been, for the first time, ascer- 
tained to be chambered structures, of the same internal type 
as those previously known of a round or oval form externally, 
though differing so widely from them in their outward con- 
figuration, and specially differing from all known cairns in the 
peculiar structure of the crescentic horns, by which they are 
terminated at either end. In the Ormiegill case, a new and 
altogether unique type of cairn structure has been discovered, 
and owing to the exceptionally excellent preservation of the 
building, most satisfactorily made out in every particular. 
The circular cairns have been ascertained, in a number of in- 
stances, to have possessed a finished outward face of building, 
so that whether chambered internally, or simply heaped over 
a central cist, they were not always irregular heaps of stones 
outwardly, but circular buildings, for at least some portion of 
their height. The connexion of the diverging lines of small 
standing stones, with a central cisted cairn, is also, I believe, 
a new fact in northern archasology; and the investigations 
here detailed point further to a probable distinction of the un- 


chambered cairns into two classes, hypothetically characteristic 
of different modes of sepulture, the cairn with elevated cist, 
containing the skeleton in a contracted position ; and the cairn 
with a bottomless cist set on the natural level, or slightly- 
sunk in the ground, and containing an urn, implying crema- 
tion. It would be interesting and important to ascertain 
whether this probable classification may be verified by further 
research, and whether those remarkable groups of cists, with- 
out cairns, may not yield valuable materials for anthropolo- 
gical deductions. 

The manufactured relics obtained from these chambered 
cairns would refer them to what has been not unhappily termed 
" the grindstone period," sufficiently indicated by the polished 
stone hammer and the ground-edged knives of flint. The fact, 
however, of the occurrence of the flint knife, along with the 
knife of iron and nodule of iron ore in the Camster cairn, is 
both puzzling and suggestive ; and the common occurrence of 
unburnt skeletons, along with abounding evidences of crema- 
tion in the same cairns, is also suggestive of their having been 
used for different modes of sepulture, if not by different races, 
at different periods. 

Whatever antiquity may be assigned to these interesting 
structures, the people that reared them were no despicable 
barbarians. They have exhibited not only constructive inge- 
nuity and skill of no mean order, but the mechanical difficul- 
ties to be overcome in the transportation, and erection in their 
structural position in the cairns, of such large blocks of stone, 
and even the gathering and heaping up of such enormous 
masses of stones, some of the larger cairns containing more 
than 20,000 cubic feet of materials, imply, if not a power 
of intellect, at least a power of numbers, such as no society of 
mere savages broken up into little tribes, and incapable of 
united action and sustained and laborious effort for a con- 
certed purpose, and a purpose, too, which was plainly unpro- 
ductive of any material benefit, could ever have attained. 


XVII. Description of a Living MicrocephaJe. By John 
Kitortt, M.D., F.L.S., M.R.C.P.L., F.A.S.L., etc., General 
Superintendent of Vaccination (late Zillah Surgeon, Chin- 
gleput), Local Secretary of the Anthropological Society 
of London for Madras. 

1 have much pleasure in submitting to the Anthropological 
Society of London the following description of the individual, 
with three photographs and measurements, the latter taken 
according to Scherzer and Schvarz, as correctly as the instru- 
ments at command, namely, a common pair of compasses and 
a measuring tape, would admit of. 

This individual is the offspring of Maharatta parents, who 
are calico-dyers by profession, and is the eldest son of several 
children, all of whom are now dead, except the subject under 
description, and a younger brother, about two years old, but 
naturally formed. This lad's parents state that their second 
child, a girl, was also a microcephale, and died when five years 
old. Both parents are now alive, and are not aware of there 
having been any microcephaly or imbecility of any kind in the 

The individual I now describe is said to be sixteen years of 
age, stands four feet one inch in height, and weighs fifty-four 
pounds (avoirdupois) ; is of a tolerably well-formed figure 
and proportion, except the head, which is extremely small and 
rounded, with the bones apparently well consolidated, and the 
scalp covered with black hair. The scalp itself -is unusually 
thick and somewhat loose. The face is small, of a wedge 
shape, with slightly prominent malars, pointed chin, and ape- 
like expression of countenance ; the os frontis recedes back- 
wards from the superciliary ridges, the latter forming a rather 
prominent ledge, and there being a palpable terrace-like form 
or depression in level with the eyebrows. The brows are 
thin, covered naturally with hair, and slightly arched. The 
- are rather small, pupils large and active, irides brown, 



the upper palpebrse full, and the eyelashes natural. The nose 
aquiline, long, straight, and widened at the alge. The mouth 
large, lips of moderate size, teeth twenty-eight in number, 
and large, with the lower central incisors diverging obliquely 
on either side, leaving a triangular gap between them. When 
the teeth are closed, this gap measures about one inch in 
width, and through which the tongue may be extended to the 
same extent ; tongue large ; the mouth is frequently kept open 
with the saliva dribbling over the chest now and again. Ears 
are large, and stand out unnaturally prominent; the concha 
and external opening of the ear, etc., naturally formed. Upper 
extremities well formed, except that the elbow-joints cannot 
be straightened out fully. Trunk well formed and nourished. 
Penis much longer and larger than natural for his age ; root 
of penis covered with down ; testicles small, and in the scrotum. 
As regards the lower extremities, the internal condyles of the 
femur project somewhat internally; the feet are flat, and the 
metatarsus turned outwards at its junction with the tarsus. 
As regards the mental condition of this individual, it might 
be termed infantine, he cannot utter a single word ; the only 
sound that issues from him is nah. He is by no means in- 
quisitive, nor does anything in particular attract his attention. 
He laughs heartily and claps his hands together ; yawns occa- 
sionally ; sits moping about, and strolls about the place with- 
out recognising one from another. He is quite deaf; but on 
beckoning to him he will come sometimes ; eats well ; is able 
to feed himself, but does so without any method. If food be 
shown to him, he holds out his hands, and on a piece of 
bread being given him, he receives it in a slovenly manner, 
breaks it with his hands, and places a portion into his mouth, 
but this is done without precision ; if the food given is not to 
his liking, he throws it down. He does not seem to recognise 
his friends, nor does he appear to know one man from another. 
From the absence of the two last permanent molars, I should 
say he was only thirteen years old, but his general appearance 
and hair about the penis would seem to indicate he was six- 
teen : and I cannot tell whether, from the fact of his being a 
i!iici'i><'t>i>halp, if those teeth could be retarded in any way. 


The photographs are by a native. I had some difficulty in 
having them taken, as it was impossible to keep him quiet 
even for a few seconds, so that he had to be held down for the 
purpose, as will be seen in the photographs. His gait is 
slightly tottering from side to side, much resembling that of 
an ape. He is said to be filthy in his habits ; does not care 
about clothes ; the only covering given is a langootee, which 
he throws away, and goes about nude. 

I will offer no remarks on this case, beyond that of sub- 
mitting it to the society. On a future occasion, when I have 
had opportunities of observing more of his habits, as well as 
those of another individual I some time ago met with in the 
streets, and whose whereabouts I have not yet been able to 
trace, I hope to be in a position to do so. 

Madras, March 10, 1865. 

Measurements of the Microcephale. 

1. Age of the individual measured - - - - 16 

2. Colour of hair - black 

3. Colour of eyes - brown 

4. Number of pulsations in the minute ... - 100 

5. Weight ...... lbs. 54 

6. Pressing power (force manuelle) measured with the dynamometer 

of Regnier .... - 

7. Lifting power (force renale) ditto ditto - 

8. Total height - - - - feet 4 1' 

Measurements with the Compass. 


9. Distance of the commencement of growth of hair on the forehead 

from the perpendicular - - - - - 3 

10. of the root of the nose from the perpendicular - - 4 

11. of the anterior nasal spine from the perpendicular - 5 

12. of the point of the chin (mental process) from the per- 
pendicular - - - - - 8f 

13. from the root of the nose to its lip - - 2f 

14. from the tip of the nose to the anterior nasal spine - Oa 

15. from the point of the chin to the commencement of 
growth of hair - - - - - 5i 

16. from the point of the chin to the root of the nose - 4| 

17. from the point of the chin to the anterior nasal spine - 2-| 
IS. from the point of the chin to the vertex - 9 
19. from the point of the chin to the crown of the head - 10 
-0. ,. from the point of the chin to the external occipital pro- 
tuberance - - - - - - 8 

S 2 



21 . Distance from the point of the chin to the external auditory opening 4>\ 

22. from the point of the chin to the angle of the lower jaw 3 

23. From the root of the nose to the vertex - - 5 

24. Distance from the root of the nose to the crown of the head ' - 6 

25. from the root of the nose to the external occipital pro- 
tuberance - - - - - 6 

26. from the nasal root to the external auditory opening - 4 

27. from the nasal root to the angle of the lower jaw - 5 

28. from the place where the hair begins to grow to the in- 
cisura jugularis sterni - - - - 

29. from the external occipital protuberance to the seventh 
cervical vertebra ..... 

30. from one external auditory opening to the other 

31. of the uppermost points of fixation of the ear - 

32. Greatest distance between the zygomata, or zygomatic arches 

33. Distance between the external corners of the eyes 

34. between the internal corners of the eyes 

35. between the points of attachment of the lobes of the ear 

36. Breadth of the nose - 

37. of the mouth ..... 

38. Distance between the angles of the lower jawbone 

39. from the seventh vertebra of the neck to the semilunar 
notch of the sternum (incisura jugularis sterni) - 4$ 

40. Transverse diameter from one middle line of the axilla above the 

mamma to the other - - - - - 10 

41. Distance from the sternum to the vertebral column - - 13 

42. from one exterior superior spine of the ilium to the other 11 

43. from one trochanter major to the other - . H| 

44. Circumference of the head around the external occipital protu- 

berance - - - - - . I3f 

45. of the neck - - - - - 9 

46. From the great tubercle of one humerus, in a horizontal line across 

the chest, to the other - - - . - 11 

47. Distance from one middle line of the axilla, above the mamma, to 

the other - - - - - - 12 

48. Circumference of the thorax at the same place - - - 26 

49. Distance from one nipple to the other - - - 6 

50. Circumference of the waist - - . . - 25 

51. Distance from one anterior superior spine of the ileum to the other 12 

52. ,, from the trochanter major to the anterior superior spine 

of the ilium (on the same side) - - - - 5 

53. from the most prominent point of the sternal articulation 

of the clavicle to the anterior spine of the ileum ^ - 13 

54. from the most prominent point of same articulation to 

the umbilicus - - - - - - ll 

55. from the umbilicus to the upper ridge of the symphisis 
pubis ------ 4 



56. Distance from the fifth lumbar vertebra, along the crest of the 

ilium and the inguinal fossae to the symphysis pubis - - 10 

57. from the seventh vertebra to the terminal point of the 

os coccygis - - - - - - 16 

58. ,, from one summum humeri, across the back, to the other 13 

59. ,. from the summum humeri to the external condyle of the 
humerus - - - - - H 

<;o. from the external condyle of the humerus to the styloid 

process of the radius across the extensor side - - 16 

61. from the styloid process of the radius, across the back of 

the hand, to the articulation of the metacarpal bone of the 
middle finger - - - - - - 3 

ti2. from the same articulation to the top of middle finger - 5f 

63. Breadth of the hand - - - - H 

64. Greatest circumference of the upper arm (round the biceps) - 6 

65. of the forearm - - 6 

66. Smallest circumference of the same - - - - 5 

67. Distance from trochanter major to the external condyle of the femur 17 

68. from the external condyle of the , femur to the external 
malleolus - - - - - -25 

69. from the inferior margin of the symphysis pubis to ex- 
ternal condyle of femur - - - - - 6 

70. from the internal condyle of the femur to the internal 
malleolus ------ 23 

71. Greatest circumference of the thigh - 14 a 

72. Smallest circumference of the thigh - - - - Hi 

73. Circumference of the knee joint - - - - 10 h 

74. Greatest circumference of the calf - - - - 9 

75. Smallest circumference of the lower part of the thigh above the 

malleoli - - - - - - 10 

76. Length of foot ... - - 7$ 

77. Circumference of the foot around the instep - - 7 

78. Circumference of the metatarsal joints - - - * 7f 


XVIII. Notes on an Hermaphrodite. By Captain Richard F. 
Burton, V.P.A.S.L., F.R.G.S., H.M. Consul, Santos. 

Sir, Having been asked to commit to paper any anthropolo- 
gical curiosities which met my sight whilst travelling about the 
Far West, I send you a few observations made by me at St. 
Vincent, Cape Verd Islands. 

At Novo Mindello, capital town of St. Vincent (Azores), I 
was allowed to inspect one of those malformations which go 
by the name of hermaphrodites. It is considered a boy, and 
is the son of Serafinis Federigo di Ramos, a guard in the 
custom-house, and his wife Catharina, who are first cousins. 
The only other issue is a girl, a specimen of modified albinism, 
the skin being white and freckled and the hair colourless,- 
whilst the eye shows no trace of pink. 

Antonio de Ramos, as the malformation is called, will be 
eight years of age in September 1865. He has at present 
twenty-four teeth. His height is four feet four inches, his 
girth under the armpits two feet four inches, and round the 
haunches two feet three inches ; of womanly size. His hips 
would project beyond the oval that contains his shoulders ; in 
boys we should expect the contrary. His face is rather that 
of a boy than a girl. He has a decided hemiplegia of the left 
side, the leg being, however, less affected than the arm, and 
he has a weak and sickly look, which does not promise 

The penis is distinctly formed, about an inch and a quarter 
long, and proportionally thick, though not of the large 
African' s size ; the naked glans looks as if naturally circum- 
cised. The orifice, instead of being at the top, is under the 
virga, thus constituting a clear case of hypospadias. The 
parents declare that he micturates from both organs, but less 
from the masculine. The urine, therefore, would pass through 
the frenum. No signs of testicles could be seen or felt. 


The frenura is attached to an orifice in the scrotum, re- 
sembling a real vagina, and not like those rugose openings 
in the medial line, which are so often found present. The 
labia are both well formed, and with a decidedly feminine 
smell. The colour of the mucous membrane is a pale and 
leaden pink. No nymphae exist. The tender age of the 
subject prevented Dr. J. T. Taylor, of H.M's. Steamship 
Serpent, from passing probes, and menstruation had not yet 
taken place. The pec ten is unusually large and thick ; thick 
black curls extend in two parallel lines, fringing the parts, 
to the anal orifice. 

It appears, therefore, that the so-called boy is a mere case 
of deformed clitoris, the feminine apparatus being abnormally 
developed. It will, however, be interesting to watch the pro- 
gress of the case. 

I have the pleasure to enclose a hand-sketch of the original, 
made by me ; and Dr. Taylor has kindly undertaken to forward 
a photograph of the parts, made by a skilful artist, the en- 
gineer of H.M. Steamship Serpent. 

I am, etc., 

Ri chard F. Burton. 

V. P. Antlirop. Soc. of London. 
The Sec. Antbrop. Soc. of London. 


XIX. Some Remarks on Indian Gnosticism, or Sacti Puji 
the Worship of the Female Powers. By Edward Sellon, 

Fanaticism, no matter to what creed it may appertain, lias, in 
all ages and countries, paved the way for licentiousness. 
Thus, the austere principles inculcated by both the Saiva and 
Vaishnava Codes of the ancient Hindu faith, have by degrees 
merged in numerous subordinate sects, and led to the forma- 
tion of various fantastic creeds. 

Not the least curious of these creeds is the Sacteya (pro- 
nounced SharJd-ya), to which it is proposed, on the present 
occasion, to direct your attention. 

The worshippers of Sacti, or power, who possess numerous 
books in Sanscrit verse, have been gaining ground in India 
for some years, but have lately sustained a check at Bombay,* 
which may ultimately lead to their suppression. The Sacteya 
creed professedly acknowledges Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, aud 
all goddesses and demi-gods, but declares them all to be sub- 
ordinate to the great goddess, who is emphatically power. 
The creed is set forth in the remarkable and recondite volumes 
called Tantras, books, some years since, almost sealed to 
foreigners, but a translation of which has at length been 
obtained. Some extracts from these books will be introduced 
into this paper. 

The word Tantram signifies literally art, system, craft or 
contrivance ; prescribing the abolition of all caste, the use of 
wine, flesh, and fish (which the Brahminical code considers 
unlawful for Brahmins), with magical arts, diagrams, and the 
express adoration of the female sex. The Sacta sect is, in 
fact, what the Greeks called Telestica or Dynamical and like 

* Vide History of the Maharajahs, London, Triibner and Co., 1865. 
f Taylor's Apul., pp. 275, 27(5. 


gnosticism, inculcates great contempt of the acknowledged 
religion, the peculiarities of which are only alluded to as 
matter for ridicule. Like gnosticism, it teaches magic, and 
looks upon the causes and agents of evil as the gods of the 
world. Let it not be supposed, however, that the creed of 
the Sacteyas is a religion of a modern date ; the Brahmins 
look upon the books describing it as undoubtedly ancient, 
more ancient, indeed, than the Purans. The most popular of 
these books are comprised in the following, to which are here 
given equivalent titles, most of them have been translated : 

1. Sarada Tilacam The Masterpiece. 

2. Jyan Arnavam A System of Wisdom. 

3. Cula'narvam The Noble Craft of Thought. 

4. Gudha Gula'navam The Hidden Part of the Noble Art. 

5. Bagala Tantram The Litany of the Vulva. 

6. Ananda Tantram The System of Joy. 

7. Rudra Yamalam Conversations of Siva and his Spouse. 

8. Yogini Hriolayam The Heart of the Angel This is also called Yoni 


9. Siv' Archana Chaudrica Eules for the Worship of Blooming Girls. 

[In the Calpam, cc. iii and iv, is a description of every limb of a 
woman, with the Madan a'layam, and how they should be adored.] 

10. Lyam' Archana Tarangini The System of Worshipping a Girl. 

11. Anand Calpa Valli The Rites of Delight. 

12. Tantra Saram Summary of the Craft. 

13. Tantra Bajam Hlustrations of the Sublime Art : and numerous others. 

The system advocated in these books is termed Pancha- 
<tram. In other words, the five mystical M's, in allusion 
to the five words beginning with M, viz., Madya, Mamsa, 
Matsya, Mautra, Mithuna, i. e., wine, flesh, fish, magic, and 
lewdness ; which have reference to the following as a proposed 
means for the attainment of beatitude in the next world : 

1. A total freedom from caste and distinctions of every kind. 

2. A liberty of eating flesh and fish, and drinking wine. 
8. Promiscuous sexual enjoyment. 

1. The practice of magic, and the adoration of women. 

5. The worship of demons and Yogini, i. e., Powers. 

The Sacteyas are divided into two sects : the Da-sin* dehdram 
(or right hand), and Vdmdchara/m (or left hand). Each Beet 
renounces the established religion, and declares the worship 


of women supreme, every woman (according to them) being a 
Sacti, or image of the great goddess. Their rules for fasting, 
bathing, and prayer, are to the full as irksome as with the 
Brahmins themselves. The person worshipped is a woman or 
girl of the Brahminical caste (among the Detain' acharam), who 
is elegantly dressed, and adorned with jewels and garlands. 
One, three, or nine females are to be thus adored by one or 
more men ; but in the left hand mode, there is only one girl 
and one worshipper. 

In such sects, it is required that the woman be looked upon 
as actually and truly a goddess (for the time), and that the 
devotee is to regard himself as really the divinity who is wor- 
shipping her. Curses are denounced on him who looks upon 
her as a woman, or himself as a mortal, dfiring the perform- 
ance of the rite. In each sect, the professed object of the 
Puja is the attainment of long life, offspring, riches, or other 
blessings, or else the destruction of an enemy by magical 
means. Magical rites are used in both sects ; and all the 
quaint ceremonies described in Horace, Lucan, and Virgil, re- 
garding magic, correspond exactly to the rules in the Tantras. 
Sitting in a cemetery, fasting, procuring pieces of a corpse at 
the waning of the moon, erecting a diagram a triangle, 
square, or octagon and therein inscribing the name of the 
person to be destroyed or the object to be accomplished, with 
other rites, are described with great minuteness ; yet these 
magical rites are not necessarily connected with the worship 
of the good goddess, but may be and are practised by even 

The Vumdcha/ra/m sect veil in deep mystery the rites which 
they practise. They commence by fasting and bathing, like 
the Daximackaram ; but many of their observances are of a 
less innocent nature. The great feast, called Siva Ratri, is 
the period of the year when the Hindu worship of Venus is 
to be performed : other days are also named in their code be- 
sides the Siva Ratri, or Dussera. The person who wishes to 
perform the sacrifice is to select a beautiful young girl of any 
caste, a pariah, a slave, a courtesan, or nautch girl, would be 
preferred. She is called Duti, or " angel messenger," or con- 


ciliatrix, being the medium of intercourse between the wor- 
shipper and the goddess. She is also called Yogini, or nun, 
literally, "one who is joined". The Yogini Hridayam, or 
" Heart of the Nun", is a book well known to these sectaries ; 
it is usually known by the name Yoni Tantram, or, "Ritual of 
Vulva "Worship", Yogini being used as an occult name of Yoni 
lendum muliebre). It is a peculiarity that no widow, how- 
ever young and lovely, is ever selected. After fasting and 
bathing, she is elegantly dressed and seated on a carpet. The 
five acts already mentioned in alluding to the letter M are 
then performed in order, and the votary erects a magical dia- 
gram and repeats a spell. These diagrams are diverse. The 
spell called Agni Pur am has for a diagram a " volcano", i. e., 
a double circle, and therein a triangle, doubtless the same 
with the atish kadr, or "house of fire." Spells are always 
used. The devotee next meditates on her as Pracriti (Nature), 
and on himself as a deity. He offers prayer to her, and then 
proceeds to inspire her in each particular limb with some one 
goddess, of the host of goddesses. He adores, in imagination, 
every individual part of her person, and, by incantation, lodges 
a fairy in every limb and member, and one in the Yoni, as the 
centre of delight. The names of the female sylphs addressed 
to her are not very delicate, and need not be here further 
alluded to. Then follows the second, third, and fourth M ; 
i. <\ } he presents her with flesh, fish, and wine. He makes 
her eat and drink of each, and what she leaves he eats and 
drinks himself. He now strips her entirely naked, and strips 
himself also. He recommences to adore her body anew in 
every limb ; from this the rite is often termed Chacra Pujrt, 
or worship of the members. He finally adores the Agni Man- 
dalam (pudendum muliebre) with reverent language, but lewd 
gesticulations. The chapters on this rite, as contained in the 
Ananda Tantram, the Rudra Yamdlam, the Jyan Arndvam, 
and the GuWnavam, are very singular. 

The Homam and Yagnia are known to be the most sacred 
rites of Hinduism ; "and from these liturgies every consecrated 
expression is borrowed and adopted, in a manner so extremely 
indelicate that it strikes a European reader with the utmost 


astonishment. For example, in the Ananda T antra we read 
" special rites are used to divest her of all shame, and shame 
can only be annihilated by the use of wine" (viii, 46, 48) ; and 
in the Acasa Bhairava T antra [c. 50, Ucchhishta* Ganajpati] , 
the following passages occur (Latin rendering) : 

1. " Spisso minio rubentem, nudge puellee visum cupientur | 
fceminae vulvas oris gustum exoptantem libidini devotum. | 

2. " Lasva parte Sactim deam collocantem semper complexu 
sedule | suis pedibus fidentibus (i. e., to those who trust in 

3. " Concupita fructuosa condonantem | corporeali forma 
structum status naturalem omnes beatitudines condonantem | 
rosaa Sinensi magis rubentem variis ornatu comptum. | 

4. " Nodum et uncum gerentem Deum a divis honoratum | 
Puella temporum ad latus pendentem novo amore [recubantem] 
junc turn. 

5. " Sonan habens elephantinas dentes, auribus facto vento 
prehensum quoad dentem a puella succulent os Dea humeros 
binos prendentem." | 

Again, in the Sri Vidya, which enjoins secrecy : 
" Such was the rule, sung by the inspired prophets, | For 
those who adore the young and lovely Sacti, | Revealed to none 
but the initiated few. | Keep it concealed, like the rosy lips 
that pout | Between the recess of thy thighs, O Goddess. | 
Hide this creed, so pure so excellent, | As closely as you hide 
your vulva cleft. | O hide this code of bliss, lady, from vulgar 

Again, in the Agni Mandalam [the volcano] : 
" Let the fuel of sacrifice be her decorations ; let the altar 
of sacrifice be her middle; the pit of her navel is the hearth, 
and her mouth the ceaseless fire; the south point her chin; 
her rosy hand the spoon; let the Sabhya and Avasadhja be 
the two sides of the same. The holy name is the moist vulva. 

* Ganapati, or Gunesha, here represented as Bacchus Spurcus, " the dirty 
god,** and in the Sacti Ganapaii he may be compared to Bacchus Eroticus, 
who resembled Priapus; but the Silpi Shastras speak of twelve Guneshas, 
who bore a very different character. Gunesh is always represented with an 
elephant* fi head. 


The fuel is collision (because fire is produced by friction), and 
the Lord Linga is the great high priest." 
Again, in the Cama Cala, 

1 . " Let us laud the God and Goddess Racta (Parvati) and 
Suela (Siva), ever glorious ! Primary, noblest of fanciful 
blisses, | without compare ! highest in glory, which is com- 
prehended by the wise alone. | 

2. " To the great and Holy one, accomplished in voluptuous 
movements, elevated in enjoying ! | The tejas compounded of 
blood and semen; to him I bow ! | Praise him, the supreme 
Lord of delight ! noblest in faith, the only bliss of my soul 
(Madia jpdmam), the most secret Vedha, veneration. 

4. " The bliss of all men, exalted on his throne. | To Siva, 
my Lord, soul-viewed, the form of bliss, the glorious ! may 
he, with his slant glance, remove the foulness of mistrust. | 
By the holy art of enjoyment was the blessed science called 
amorous, aroma invented. How can it be denominated ? 
The unmentioned," etc. 

[Then begins the book called The Spirit of Sexual Joy.~\ 

(Latin rendering.) 

1 . " Cunctorum mandorum origine statu, fatuque, confictum 
gaudium hac in beatitudine acerrimum Quod interno animo 
conspicitur ! Me tu catur, omnium Princeps ! corpus quod 
habet mero splendore confictum ! 

(Some of this is passed over as merely introductory.) 

3. " Comminem per coitum Sivi et vis | generatum semen 
et germinationem efficta est Ilia Magna Podestes. | Unspeak- 
able, incomparable in form, | inexpressible by writing, by 
figure, or by image. | [Thus far the introduction.] 

4. " That sun, the supreme Siva (i. e., Sucla), whose rays 
are reflected in the heart, that in reflecting the glorious beauty, 
receives the great seed. 

5. " That sense of individuality which is inherent in the mind, 
clearly expressed in the term a'ha'rnam [a denotes Siva, i. e. y 
semen ; and ha denotes Sacti, i. e., power, typified by blood, 
the two are united by the mystic word.] 

6. " Whiteness (semen) and redness (blood) when their re- 


spective fluids are united, a word and its import ; so are united 
creation and its cause, mutually collocated and indivisible. 

7. " The fluid is the source of individuality, and the (por- 
tion) abode of the sun is therein ; and Gama (or Cupid) being 
the attractive power, is the Quia (spirit), and is the enjoyment. 

8. " This is the discrimination of Cula (male and female 
joined in coitu), and is equivalent with Sri Chacra. He who 
knows to distinguish them is the freed, and shall assume the 
form of the great Tripuri. 

9. " There is distilled from the red Sacti the mystical sound 
clim, which is denominated Nada Brahma, and the sound is 
audible ; from it originate the ether, wind, and fire, and the 
terrestrial decade. 

10. "Next, from the fluid thus made known, spring wind, 
fire, water, and earth, all the universe, from an atom up to a 



13. "The three great powers are those of Desire, of Know- 
ing, of Loving, and of performing the act. 

14. " And in the same order are three Lingas, of tangible 
(Sthula) spiritual bodies, and visionary and this is Tripura, 
triple ; and the fourth is the art. 

15. u Sound, touch, form, taste, and smell, and the essential 
qualities of each multiplied by the three gunas (qualities) of 

16. " Hence originates the Spell of fifteen syllables. 

17. "And there are fifteen Tithis. 

18. u On the letters, consonants, and vowels. 

19. " The art is magic ; the object is the goddess. 

20. " From letter Y to letter S there are three forms. 

21. " Between the chacra (members) and the goddess it is 
impossible to draw any distinction before the spiritual body is 

22. " In the centre of the chacra let the mystic fluid be; 
this is the essential fluid. 

23. " The three that are formed from the triple root," 
etc., etc. 

From the passage here cited, it will be seen how closely the 

UK SACTI i'UJA. 2 / 1 

Sacteya rites resemble those practised by ancient Pagan 
peoples ; they are expressly forbidden in the Mosaic law. 
" Ye shall not eat anything with the blood, neither shall ye 
use enchantment, nor observe times." Lev. xix, 26. " Giving 
his seed unto Moloch." " Who commit whoring after idols." 
Turning after familiar spirits, to go' a whoring after them." 
Lev. xx, 2, 6. 

The diagram, also, discovered by Cicero, on the tomb of 
Archimedes, appears identical with one of those spells used in 
the Sacti Puja, " The apex of the triangle is downwards, 
with a point in the centre." 

In India, the adorers of the goddess regard the mystical 
ring, or circle, as the orifice of the vagina, while the triangle 
represents the nymphge ; the dot represents the fairy lodged 
in this member. When the imagination of the Sacti is suf- 
ficiently excited by wine, divine homage, and libidinous excess, 
she is supposed to be in a guydna nidra, or mystic sleep, 
wherein, like the sibyls among the ancients and modern clair- 
voyants, she answers questions in a delirious manner, and is 
supposed to be for the time the mouthpice of the deity. The 
omen chiefly desired is that emission may happen to the female 
before copulation ; but whether it happens before or not, it is 
received in a cup of consecrated wine, to which is added a 
morsel of flesh and of fish. This cup is then offered to the 
goddess, and the rite is concluded. 

Such is the Sacti Puja, or worship of Power. Power here 
meaning the good goddess Maya (delusion) ; she is also called 
Bagala, Vagala, and Bagala MuJchi. She has neither images 
nor pictures, and is usually typified by a vessel of water. The 
girl who performs Sacti (for the time) is the only true re- 
presentative of the goddess. 

The Eleusinian mysteries bear a very striking analogy to 
the Sacteya; and those writers err who have asserted that the 
mysteries of Eleusis were confined to men. A reference to 
D'Hancarville* will give several instances of the initiation of 
women. The method of purification, portrayed on antique 

* Naples edit., 1765, fol., tome iv. 


Greek vases, closely resembles the ceremony as prescribed in 
the Sacti Sodhana. From this circumstance, and also from 
the very frequent allusions to Sacteya rites in the writings of 
the Jews and other ancient authors, it is evident that we have 
now in India the remains of a very ancient superstitious mys- 
ticism, if not one of the most ancient forms of idolatry in the 
Sacti, or Chacra Puja, or worship of power. 

The author of the foregoing paper cannot bring it to a con- 
clusion without saying a few words regarding the sources from 
which his information has been in the main derived. It would 
have afforded him great pleasure to have given the name of 
the very learned orientalist from whose valuable MSS. he has 
so largely drawn ; but that gentleman made it an express con- 
dition that his name should not appear. It only remains, 
therefore, to add that he was a member of the Madras Civil 
Service for thirty years, a judge, and a man of letters, whose 
authority in all matters relating to the Hindus, their literature, 
and religion, is, in the strictest sense, reliable. At the same 
time his views, although in the main adhered to, have been in 
some instances departed from and modified, and the opinions 
of numerous other writers, ancient and modern, engrafted 
upon and incorporated with them. 

A few Remarks in Reply to an Attach* on a Paper published in 

the first volume of Memoirs of the Anthrop. Soc, entitled 

" Linga Puja." By Edward Sellon, Esq. 

The anonymous writer of the article in question objects, 

1st. That there is nothing Phallic in the worship of Vishnu. 
2nd. That Buddhism is in no way connected with the wor- 
ship of Phallus. 

3rd. That the notion of the Ark of the Covenant of the 
Jews, containing a phallus, is wild, absurd, and improbable. 
To these objections, the following answer may be given : 
First, with reference to Vishnu. The Vishnavas (or fol- 

* Vide Ethnological Journal, December, 1865. 


lowers of Vishnu) do not, it is true, adore the Linga in its 
masculine capacity, they being Yonijas, or worshippers of the 
female Sacti, or Power. Now the Lingam represents not the 
male emblem only, but also the female, which the Hindus term 
Yoni; and I submit that the worship of the female organ of 
generation is to the full as " phallic" as the male. Sir William 
Jones (vide Works, vol. ii, p. 311) says, "It seems never to 
have entered into the heads of the Hindu legislators and 
people, that anything natural could be offensively obscene, a 
singularity which pervades all their writings, but is no proof 
of the depravity of their morals : hence the worship of the 
Linga by the followers of Siva, and of the Yoni by the followers 
of Vishnu." The writer of the article in the Ethnological 
Journal is counselled to read what Moor (in his Hindu Pan.) 
says of Yishnu, both under that head and also under the heading 
H Krishna." He will also derive instruction from a perusal 
of Wilson on Hindu Sects in the As. Res. I can only say that 
I have absolutely seen a great many black lingams dedicated 
to Krishna (avarta of Vishnu.) 

Secondly, with regard to Buddhism. u Colonel Sykes, in 
his Account of the Ellora Excavations (near Poonah, in the 
Bombay Presidency), speaking of the Bisma Kurm, says, 
' The first thing that meets the eye on entering the temple is 
the enormous hemispherical figure of the Ling (Lingam) at 
the end of the cave ; it is always found on this scale in the 
arched Boodh excavations, and even at Tuneer, in a flat-roofed 
cave (also Buddhist), this emblem is forty-two feet in circum- 
ference though its height is inconsiderable. ' "* Here, at all 
events, are two temples dedicated to Buddha, in which the 
Lingam is found, vouched for by a respectable authority. 
Now, let us see what can be said with respect to the phallic- 
worship of Buddha in Japan and in China. 

Mr. Adam Scott, a Chinese merchant, who visited Japan 
last year, states, that " they are Buddhists ; but the name 
they give the god is Die Bootes, not Boodh or Buddha, though 
his images are precisely like those of that divinity in China. 

* Sykes, cited by Elliott, Views in the East, vol. ii, London, Fisher & Son. 



While in Japan he visited the phallic temple of Azima, situ- 
ated on an island twenty miles west of Yokahama, accompanied 
by Admiral Kuper, and other officers of H. M.S. They found 
the temple on the summit of a " high hill," in the midst of a 
sacred " grove." On the altar they beheld a large Phallus of 
stone, while a vast number of smaller size, and of wood, lay 
strewn around. Mr. Scott supposes that these latter may 
have been votive offerings. He brought home to England 
two specimens of these Phalli ; and they may be seen by the 
curious at the museum of George Witt, Esq., F.R.S., together 
with a carefully executed drawing of the temple, and the pic- 
turesque hill on which it stands. Dr. Dawson states that 
" he has seen women making votive offerings of Phalli at a 
Buddhist temple in Pekin." This is confirmed by Mr. Adam 
Scott ; and there is a vast mass of evidence both in images, 
in drawings, and in MSS. (in the same museum), proving to 
the satisfaction of any reasonable man that the Phallic worship 
does exist in connexion with Buddhism, not in India only, but 
in Japan and China. At Siam, this worship is also known, 
and is alluded to in Ruschenberger's Voyage of U.S. Ship 
Peacock, in 1836, 1837, and 1838. 

Lastly, I offer a few observations on the Ark (of the Cove- 
nant, so called). I have said in my paper on the Linga Puja, 
read before the Fellows of the Anthropological Society, that 
" there would also now appear good ground for believing that 
the Ark of the Covenant, held so sacred by the Jews, con- 
tained nothing more nor less than a Phallus," etc. I now 
proceed to give the grounds upon which I founded that sup- 
position, for be it observed, I asserted nothing. 

Bishop Colenso has clearly shown that the Syrian name of 
Baal (Yahvelt) was absolutely the same as that of the Jewish 
God; that the Jews probably took the name from the Pagan 
nations around them [as before then they called their God 
Elohim; that both names had the same signification, Yaveh or 
Yakveh [or Jehovah], " lie makes to live/ 3 or " he makes to 
be" (that is, he fructifies, fecundates, generates).* The names, 

* Vide Bishop Colenso on The Pentateuch, p. 159, Appendix to Part n. 


therefore, being identical, and the attributes identical, I con- 
eeive that I am justified in considering that Jehovah and Baal, 
or, in other words, the Syrian Yahveh and the Jewish YahfOi A 
were, in point of fact, one and the same deity, though not wor- 
shipped with the same images or ceremonies, the Pagans 
exhibiting their Yahveh, or Baal Pehor, to the people " on 
every high hill, and under every green tree;" the Jews 
mysteriously concealing their Yahveh in an ark or coffer. That 
being my opinion, I have, in support of it, first, to prove what 
sort of a God this Yahveh, Yakveh, Jehovah, or Baal Peor, 
was; and having demonstrated that, I must then establish 
that it was a custom for other Pagans to have sacred arks as 
well as the Jews; and secondly, prove what it was those 
arks contained. 

Yahveh, the Syrian god, was also called Baal, Baalpeor. 
Baal signifies "erect", "upward". Peor signifies "open", 
"spread". Now let anyone examine one of the unadorned 
stone Lingams (in the Indian Museum, Whitehall), and I say 
that he will there see in that Indian idol a veritable representa- 
tion of the Baalpeor of the Bible, viz., the Yoni, "open", 
" spread", and the " erect" Linga in the centre. " So, again, 
with regard to the Egyptians", says Plutarch, " there is good 
reason to conclude that they were wont to liken this universal 
nature to w T hat they called the most beautiful and perfect 
trianale ; the same as does Plato himself in that nuptial dia- 
gram, etc. Now, in this triangle which is rectangular, the 
perpendicular side is imagined equal to three; the base to four; 
and the hypotenuse, which is equal to the other two, con- 
taining sides, to five. In this scheme, therefore, we must sup- 
pose, that the perpendicular is designed by them to represent 
line nature, the base (yoni) the feminine, and that the 
hypotenuse is to be looked upon as the offspring of both", 

Yahveh, or Yahveh, signifies "he makes to live", or "he 
makes to be"; that is, he gives life, he fructifies, generates. 
What more suitable than these names for a phallic divinity ? 

* Plutarch, l)e Iside et Osiride, lvi. 


The custom of having a sacred ark or coffer placed in the 
sanctuary is of great antiquity, and was not peculiar to the 
Hebrews. Long ere the Jews became a people, the Egyptians 
had their arks. Let those who doubt this, read what Mr. 
King has to say on the subject, when speaking of Isis and her 
mystic ark or coffer. "In it was carried," says this writer, 
" the distinctive marks of both sexes, the Ling am and Yoni of 
the modern Hindus."* 

Speaking of the mystic ark, Clemens of Alexandria (cited by 
Spencer, Be Leg. Heb., p. 45), says, "In which was only de- 
posited the privy member of Bacchus". And Spencer adds, 
that in some of the Pagan arks (plainly proving that they had 
such coffers), in them "were laid up Indian wheat, pyramids, 
pieces of dressed wool, cakes or wafers made of oil and honey 
(full of studs and bosses like navels), used in sacrifice, a ser- 
pent, Persian apples, and a thyrsus ; i.e., a ph alius. f 

Of course, it is not to be expected that persons who believe 
that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, that the Jews were the 
chosen people of God, and that everything narrated of them in 
the Bible is true, it is not to be expected, I say, that such 
persons will accept, or see any force in the few proofs I have 
hastily, and at but short notice, thrown together. 

To them I do not address myself; I merely threw out a 
suggestion, in the first instance, in my paper on the " Linga 
Puja", and I have here given some proofs that I had grounds 
for so doing, and I appeal to the deep thinkers, the philosophi- 
cal reasoners of this age of light, to work out the problem. 
For my part, I shall be quite satisfied to abide by the decision 
of such men ; but for the opinions of individuals prejudiced 
and blunted by their faith in an effete and preposterous re- 
ligious system, and by the conventionalities of the society in 
which they move, I shall ever have the supremest contempt. 

* Gnosticism, by C. W. King, M.A., London, 1865, p. 154. 
f Vide Spencer, Be Leg. Hebr., p. 145. 


XX. On the Resemblance of Inscriptions found on Ancient 
British Rocks with those of Central America. By Beethold 
Seemann, Ph.D., Vice-President A.S.L. 

Mr. George Tate, our Local Secretary at Alnwick, has re- 
cently published an account of The Ancient British Sculptured 
Rocks of Northumberland and the Eastern Borders, with Notes 
of the Remains associated with these Sculptures, illustrated by 
lithograms. This is the most comprehensive, as it is the most 
valuable, account as yet published on the incised stones, the 
first specimens of which were brought to light nearly half a 
century ago, by Mr. J. C. Langlands, near the great camp on 
Old Bewick Hill, in North Northumberland, and additions to 
which have been made, in various other parts, by different 
zealous antiquaries, including the author of the just mentioned 
publication. These inscribed rocks are held to be of great 
antiquity, and to have been the work of tribes who occupied 
the British islands long before the Boman invasion. The 
notion that they originated with the Roman soldiers trying to 
pass away the dull hours of camp life, being entirely opposed 
to the fact that no Boman characters of any description occur 
among them, and that they are found in parts of these islands 
never trodden by the foot of the Boman conqueror. The geo- 
graphical distribution of these rocks is interesting. In North- 
umberland, where they abound, they do not occur on the 
Cheviots or their flanks, and this has been held to be a 
negative proof that these sculptures were made by a people 
who were ignorant of the use of metallic tools, and could not 
produce any impression on the porphyry of the Cheviots by 
their stone tools, when they easily effected it on the sandstone 
of the Northumbrian moorlands. " These inscribed rocks," 
says Mr. Tate, " occur on one or other of the beds of thick 
sandstone, which is near the base of the mountain limestone 
formation, and which forms the substance of the high moor- 


lands of Northumberland, rising up, in some cases, to the 
height of 1,400 feet above the sea-le\ r el. On the rough 
surface of the rock, where it crops out in different plat- 
forms on these hills, we find these sculptures. In the north- 
west part of the district, they occur on the upper surface 
of the cliffs near Routing Linn, about six miles northwards 
of Wooler; they are scattered in great profusion on the 
ridges in the moorland at Harelaw, Horton, and Dodding- 
ton, and on Gledlaw; they are on the outbreak of rocks at 
Caddy's Cove ; they are found on the summit of Whitsun- 
bank, Chatton Law, and Old Bewick Hill; they have been 
found in Beauley and North Charlton Moors ; they existed in 
Cartingdon Cove, near Rothbury; and they have been dis- 
covered, but not in situ, in the parish of Stamfordham. When 
found in situ, they are always in high grounds, generally on 
lofty hills, some of which are nearly 800 feet above the sea- 
level. " In all, fifty-three sculptured stones have been observed 
in Northumberland, on which three hundred and fifty figures 
are inscribed. All of them are more or less connected with 
ancient British remains ; four of them formed the cover of 
cists ; two are within a few yards of barrows, beneath which 
are similar small sepulchral chambers ; five of them are within 
ancient British camps ; eight of them are not more distant 
from such camps than one hundred yards ; most of the others 
are less distant than half a mile, and none further away than 
a mile. Their relation, however, to the camps, fortr and hut- 
circles the dwellings of the ancient British people is more 
apparent than to their sepulchres. Stones with similar or 
absolutely identical inscriptions, have been found in Ayrshire, 
Yorkshire, Scotland, the Orkneys, and Ireland, for details of 
which Mr. Tate's excellent work must be consulted; but 
curiously enough, none have been discovered in Europe beyond 
the limits of the British islands. 

In Brittany, where so many Druidical remains have been 
preserved, and where we might expect to meet with them, we 
search in vain for the concentric rings so frequently repeated, 
and the Northumbrian and other ancient British rocks. Some 
sculptures on the rock-temples of Malta, referred to prehistoric 




3, are cirri note lilies, which may have some reference to 
serpent-worship, and, like some rude figures of eggs, may be 
duo to Phoenician workmen. Nor can any connexion be 
established between our British rock-sculptures and certain 
Egyptian hieroglyphics. In fact, we search in vain throughout 
the whole eastern hemisphere for the least approach to the 
rude but characteristic figures inscribed on the British rocks. 

It is, therefore, all the more singular that, thousands of 
miles away, in a remote corner of tropical America, we should 
find the concentric rings, and several others of the most 
typical characters engraved on the British rocks. I discovered 
them near the town of David, Veraguas, New Granada, in the 
spring of 1848, and read a paper about them before the Ar- 
chaeological Institute shortly after my return to London in 
1851. A brief account of them was given in my Narrative 
of the Voyage of H.M.S. Herald, vol. i, p. 312, London, 8vo, 
1853, but the drawings illustrating them were unfortunately 
omitted, the publisher objecting to them on account of the 
expense ; but some of them were afterwards placed by me at 
the disposal of Mr. Bollaert, and published by that gentleman in 
his Antiquities, etc., of South America, 8vo, London, 1860, whilst 
others have been, it is feared, entirely lost, especially those 
which would have established the identity of the British and 
Veraguas inscriptions beyond doubt in the minds of others. 
For my own part, I was so much struck with the general re- 
semblance, not to say identity of the two, that when the 
plates of Mr. Tate's work were first shown to me,' and I was 
quite ignorant to what country they related, I fully believed 
them to represent Veraguas' inscriptions. Even from the 
drawings I still retain, part of a Veraguas work, I am able to 
pick out some of the most typical characters found on the 
British rocks, as the accompanying diagrams will show. 

Fig. i, represents two radiant suns, a, the American, b, 
the British character; in Veraguas this character has been 
found but once, nor does it occur oftener amongst the pub- 
lished British figures. 

Fig. ii, a, the American ; b, the corresponding British figure, 
showing several grooves radiating from an outer arch, and 


bearing some resemblance to what is termed the " Ogham 

Fig. in, a, the American j b, the corresponding British 
figure, showing the completely closed concentric circles. 

Fig. iv, a, the American; b, the corresponding British 
figure, showing how the various characters (symbols) were 
connected by lines leading from one to the other. 

Fig. v, a, the American; b, the corresponding British 
figure, showing the groove or outlet of the circle. 

The characters in Yeraguas are like those of Great Britain, 
incised on large stones, the surface of which has not previously 
undergone any smoothing process. The incised stones occur 
in a district of Veraguas (the Canton of Alanje), which is now 
thinly inhabited, but which, judging from the numerous tombs, 
was once densely peopled by a nation which manufactured 
some elegantly shaped pottery, wore ornaments made of gold 
of a low standard, called quanin (most probably a natural 
alloy of gold and copper), buried their dead in stone cists, 
accompanied by their weapons, ornaments, pottery, and other 
household articles, and became known to Columbus in his 
fourth voyage of discovery. 

This very same people, who are supposed to have been the 
Dorachos or Dorazques, had also made considerable progress 
in sculpturing columns, and placing on them raised charac- 
ters. Several of these columns, about ten to twelve feet long, 
were knocking about the streets of David, the capital of 
Alanje, or Chiriqui, during my visit in 1848, and numbers are 
said to occur on Mueto, and other places. Had they been 
less bulky, I should have brought a specimen of these home 
with me. Raised characters require, of course, more artistic 
skill than incised ones, and hence denote a higher degree of 
civilisation. If, therefore, the people who readily engraved 
their thoughts on the piedra pintal, and other stones, of which 
it is the type, are assumed to have been the same as those who 
expressed them in raised characters on the columns of which 
I saw specimens at David, a long period must have elapsed 
before tools could be brought to such perfection as to allow 
the employment of inscriptions in relief on a previously 


smoothened surface. But there is no identity of, or even dis- 
tant resemblance between, the incised and raised characters, 
and we need, therefore, not trouble ourselves any farther about 
this point. The identity of the two being abandoned, it may 
just be worth while to consider the possibility of their being 
executed by contemporaries. 

In highly civilised countries, such as ancient India, Egypt, 
and modern Europe, different modes of expressing thoughts 
have been and are practised; but the most advanced people 
who ever inhabited Yeraguas, had not attained so high a 
degree of civilisation as would justify us in assuming that 
they resorted to two entirely different systems of recording 
their ideas. It is, therefore, scarcely possible to escape the 
conclusion that the incised characters were by a different, less 
civilised, and more ancient race than the characters in relief. 

From information received during my visit, and from what 
has been published since I first drew attention to this subject, 
I am led to believe that there are a great many inscribed rocks 
in Chiriqui.* But I myself have seen only one of them, the 
now famous piedra pintal {%. e. } painted stone), which is found 
on a somewhat elevated plain at Caldera, a few leagues from 
the town of David. It is fifteen feet above ground, nearly 
fifty feet in circumference, and rather flat on the top. Every 
part, especially the eastern side, is covered with incised cha- 
racters about an inch or half an inch deep. The first 
figure on the lefthand side represents a radiant sun, followed 
by a series of heads, or what appear to be heads, all with 
some variation. It is these heads, particularly the appendages 
(perhaps intended for hair ?), which show a certain resemblance 
to one of the most curious characters found on the British 
rocks (fig. II, b), and calling to mind the so-called " Ogham 
characters." These " heads" are succeeded by scorpion-like, 
or branched, and other fantastic figures. The top of the 
stones, and the other sides, are covered with a great number 
of concentric rings and ovals, crossed by lines. It is especially 
these which bear so striking a resemblance to the Northum- 

See Bollaert, " Ancient Tombs of Chiriqui," in Joum. Ethnol. Soc, vol. 
ii, pp. 151, 159. 


brian characters, and it is the more to be regretted that some 
of the drawings relating to them have been lost. 

I have always rejected the idea that these figures are in- 
tended for mere ornament. Symmetry is the first aim of bar- 
barous nations in their attempt to ornament a thing. On the 
contrary, I have always taken them to be symbols full of 
meaning, and recording ideas held to be of vital importance 
to the people who used them, and whose very name has be- 
come a matter of doubt. To speculate on their meaning must 
be labour thrown away, until we shall have become acquainted 
with all the inscriptions, of which those on the piedra pintal 
are a specimen. 

My principal aim in penning these lines is to direct attention 
to the remarkable family likeness, if nothing more, existing 
between the ancient British and Veraguas inscriptions, a 
relationship entirely unsuspected by me until, by a lucky 
accident, Mr. Tate's remarkable work fell into my hands, and 
thus direct investigation into a new channel. Could an identity . 
be established between these rocks, so widely separated geo- 
graphically, we should then be in a position to indulge in 
legitimate speculation, the conclusions of which a leading 
literary journal has already anticipated. We should have to 
concede I say it without hesitation that, in prehistoric 
times, an intercourse existed between the British islands and 
Central America ; that this intercourse could not be maintained 
with the small crafts which so rude a civilisation could send 
across the wide Atlantic Ocean; that a land communication 
was absolutely necessary to ensure' such an intercourse ; that 
it could not have been carried on by way of Asia without 
leaving numerous traces behind; that no such traces have 
been found ; and that, consequently, it must have taken place 
when the Island of Atlantis in the hands of modern science 
no longer a myth was so intimately connecting Europe and 
America that the woods, which then covered Europe, were 
identical with those still existing in the southern parts of North 
America ; that before science can concede all these, or similar 
speculations, we want more facts, which, it is hoped, may be 
forthcoming now that it has been shown what great interest 
attaches to them. 


XXI. On the Alleged Sterility of the Union of Women of 
Savage Races with Native Males, after having had Children 
by a White Man ; with a few Remarks on the Mpongwe 
Tribe of Negroes. By E. B. N. Walker, F.R.G.S., 
F.A.S.L., Local Secretary A.S.L., etc., etc. 

Count Stkzlecki has asserted that women of certain savage 
races, who have been impregnated by Europeans, or who have 
even cohabited with one, become sterile with men of their 
own race, and bases his statement on observations made by 
himself amongst some tribes of American Indians, Polyne- 
sians, and aboriginal Australians. This theory has been 
adopted and strenuously supported by Mr. Alexander Harvey, 
who gives it as his opinion that Count Strzlecki's "assertion 
has been ascertained to be unquestionable, and must be con- 
sidered as the expression of a law of nature."* These opinions 
have already been controverted by competent observers in 
Australia; and I propose, in the following brief remarks, 
without venturing to enter into any discussion of the subject, 
simply to put on record a few well-authenticated cases which 
have come under my own eye in Western Africa, during a re- 
sidence of many years, which go to prove that the conclusions 
arrived at by Count Strzlecki, and his supporters, do not hold 
good in at least one well-known tribe of pure Negroes, the 
Mpongwe of the Gaboon. In the instances which I shall cite, 
I shall confine myself strictly to living individuals, and thus 
afford others an opportunity of obtaining corroborative testi- 
mony from other sources should they be so disposed. 

Considering the long period during which the Gaboon 
country has been known to, and visited by Europeans of 
various nations, it is somewhat remarkable that so few cross- 

* Broca's Phenomena of Hybridity in the Genus Homo, edited by C. Carter 
lilake, Esq., p. 55. 


breeds should exist there ; but although intercourse between 
Europeans visiting the country and the native women has been 
frequent, there have doubtless been influences at work which 
have tended to render the births of Mulatto children compa- 
ratively rare ; among these causes, the most prominent are the 
noted infidelity and incontinence of the women, and their 
great addiction to strong drinks, which, in the shape of trade- 
rum, and other spirits of inferior and deleterious quality, are 
unfortunately too easily attainable. The number of Mulattoes 
in the first degree, born in the Gaboon country, and now 
living, certainly does not reach twenty ; in fact, I only know 
of fifteen individuals. Although the nationality of the fathers 
of these half-breeds does not form a part of the object of thia 
paper, it may not be amiss to notice it en passant, as some 
authorities hold that Negro women breed more freely with 
Europeans of the Latin than of the Anglo-Saxon race. Such 
is not the case here. Of the fifteen Mulattoes known to me 
in this river, six are of English paternity, five claim French 
fathers, one is the child of a German (Alsatian), one is of 
Spanish extraction, one Portuguese, and the remaining one is 
the offspring of a deceased slave-trader, but whether Spaniard 
or Portuguese the natives are now unable to say with certainty. 
I never heard of a native woman having had a child by a 
white American (of the United States). Considering the vast 
preponderance, of late years, of French residents and visitors 
over all other nations, it is worthy of remark that there should 
be so few children resulting from the intercourse of men of 
that nation with the women of Gaboon. As a rule, these half- 
breeds, without respect to their paternity, are sickly and 
weakly, but few of them living to adult age. 

I will now give three instances of native Gaboon or Mpongwe 
women having children by native males, after having cohabited 
with, and borne children to, Europeans, singularly enough, 
the only known cases here are those in which an Englishman 
has been the father of the Mulatto. 

The first case, that I have any knowledge of, is that of an 
Mpongwe woman of pure blood who, when young, cohabited 
with an Englishman, and had a female child by him ; after- 


wards, marrying a man of her own tribe, she had two full 
Negro children, male and female. 

The second instance is that of a Mpongwe woman, who had 
a male child by a white man with whom she lived, and having 
later taken a Mpongwe husband, gave birth to a male child, 
full Negro, about six years after the birth of her first child of 
mixed blood. 

The third is the most remarkable case, as in this one a full 
blooded Negress lived for some time with an Englishman, 
when young, but at that time had no children by him ; but 
having married one of her countrymen, bore him two female 
children ; and a year and a half after the birth of the youngest 
of these, she had a female child by the Englishman with whom 
she had previously lived, and with whom she was again co- 
habiting; three or four years later still, she gave birth to a 
boy, whose father was her native husband. 

This latter case especially, I think it will be admitted, de- 
stroys the theory of Mr. McGillivray, " that the embryo, whilst 
m utero, subjects the mother, by some sort of inoculation, to 
organic or dynamic modifications, the elements of which have 
been transmitted to the embryo by the father, and the mother 
will then retain the impress permanently."* 

Instances of native women cohabiting with Europeans, with- 
out having children by them, and afterwards marrying native 
husbands and becoming prolific, are not only not rare, but, on 
the contrary, are quite frequent; and so far as I have re- 
marked, their long intercourse with white men has by no 
means diminished their fertility when living in the more 
natural union with men of their own tribe and colour. As 
several of the fifteen half-breeds, mentioned in this paper, are 
the first children of their mothers, I shall note if at a future 
period those women bring into the world children of pure 
Negro blood. It is by no means unworthy of mention here, 
that, until within the last few years, the Mpongwe people 
themselves entertained the idea that a Negress, having had 
issue by an European, would not afterwards breed with a man 

* Broca's Phenomena of Hybridity in the Genus Homo, p. 56. 


of her own race ; and in the reverse case, that having had 
had children by one of her own countrymen in the first in- 
stance, she would be sterile with an European. 

With regard to the fertility of half-breeds amongst them- 
selves, my experience in this place is against it. I know of 
only one instance, and in that the woman was by no means 
prolific, only giving birth to one child; but it should be 
observed, in relation to this subject, that on this part of 
the coast but few opportunities are afforded of watching 
the result of intermarriages among Mulattoes, as in the ex- 
tremely rare case of a half-breed girl reaching puberty, she is 
generally married by some native chief or influential man ; as 
I have before said, the majority of Mulatto children die young. 

I believe that my own experience, as to the fact of Negro 
women breeding both with Europeans and males of their own 
race, would receive corroboration from the other parts of 
Africa if the Council of the Society would request Fellows, 
resident at the different settlements, to inquire into the sub- 
ject, and report the result of their investigations; for my 
own part, I shall continue to collect facts bearing on the ques- 
tion. But, so far as the Mpongwe tribe is concerned, I fear 
that opportunities of making observations must soon cease to 
exist, for it is probable that in a few years the Mpongwe 
people will cease to have any existence as a distinct tribe, 
though a few individuals may remain among the surrounding 
nations. One-third of this tribe has been carried off by small- 
pox during the last year ; many die yearly of pulmonary and 
other diseases ; drunkenness, and worse vices, destroy num- 
bers, whilst the births are no means equal in amount to the 
deaths. This is to be regretted, as the Mpongwe people are 
amongst the most remarkable races on the coast, evincing a 
great aptitude for adopting the habits of civilised nations, 
though unfortunately they, in common with all Negroes, are 
more ready to acquire the vices than the virtues of their Euro- 
pean visitors. They have, for many years past, been of great 
service to European traders on neighbouring parts of the 
coast as interpreters and factors, being good linguists, and re- 
markably fond of trading, but since the failure of the slave- 


trade they are becoming as poor as they are dishonest. It is 
very remarkable that, notwithstanding the great facility with 
which these people accustom themselves to European habits, 
both the American Protestant and the French Roman Catholic 
missionaries, after upwards of twenty years labour among 
them, have utterly failed to effect any improvement in their 
honesty or their general morality ; in fact, the very worst of 
them, in every respect, are those who have received instruction 
in the mission schools, if there be any difference, the Protest- 
ant converts carry off the palm for superlative rascality. 

In my approaching journey into the interior, I shall visit 
the Adjomba nation, of which the Mpongwe tribe is an offshoot ; 
the same language is spoken by both, but the communication 
that exists between them is so very limited as to be scarcely 
worthy of mention, being, in fact, hardly known to many Eu- 
ropean residents, who have never heard of such a people as 
the Adjomba, although their country is only distant some 
seventy or eighty miles from the settlement at Gaboon. It 
will be a curious and exceedingly interesting matter of inves- 
tigation as to the degree of difference or resemblance existing 
between the parent nation, that has had no intercourse with 
Europeans, and the branch that for many years nay, genera- 
tions has been in constant and intimate contact with so many 
nations of civilised Europeans and Americans. 

I propose making some little stay in the Adjomba country, 
which will be the first stage of my journey ; and should it bo 
my good fortune to return safely, I shall have great pleasure 
in laying before the society the result of my observations, 
which cannot fail to be of interest. 


XXII. On the Analogous Forms of Implements among Early 
and Primitive Races. By Hodder M. Westropp, Esq., 

The most remarkable feature in the early periods of man's 
history, is the almost identity for it is more than a striking 
analogy in the instruments of warfare, and tools used in 
countries the most widely apart. Man, in all ages and in all 
stages of his development, is a tool-making animal. His in- 
stincts and necessities lead him to fashion instruments and 
tools suited to his requirements. However different in race, 
and dwelling however remotely apart, we find in him the same 
wants and necessities, the same natural instincts and spon- 
taneous powers of suggestion, contributing their aid in minis- 
tering to the needs of his nature, which he shares in common 
with the whole human family. The same universal processes 
of mind and instinct will lead the Australian, the New Zea- 
lander, the Peruvian, the Scandinavian, to fashion and shape 
a stone weapon. A state of warfare was evidently the state 
of man in his earliest and barbarous stage, as Horace, as 
quoted by Sir Charles Lyell: "When animals first crept 
forth from the newly formed earth, a dumb and filthy herd, 
they fought for acorns and lurking places with their nails and 
fists, then with clubs, and at last with arms, which, taught by 
experience, they had forged." To form instruments of de- 
struction to indulge his combative propensities, thus seems to 
have tasked the earliest powers of suggestion in man. Hunger 
and cold led him also to invent implements for the purposes of 
the chase, in order to supply himself with food, and a cover- 
ing for his body from the skins of animals. 

The weapons and implements devised and fashioned by man, 
in each stage of his development, are almost identical in all 
countries ; and this similarity affords strong evidence of the 
uniformity of the operations of instinct, and the suggestive 


principle in the mind of man, among all races and in all ages. 
These warlike and useful implements present identical forms, 
according as we consider them under the different epochs of 
Hint, stone, bronze, or iron; and this sequence in the forms 
of the implements adopted during these successive periods, 
which are evidently worked out independently among different 
races, is obviously the result consequent on the progressive 
stages in the development of man, which proceed uniformly 
among all races. For there is evidence that all nations, in 
their earlier times, have proceeded in an invariable sequence 
through the periods marked as flint, stone, and bronze ages, 
before they arrived at the more advanced iron age. 

The earliest known forms of weapons used either for pur- 
poses of warfare or the chase, are the implements found in 
the gravel drift. It has been remarked, that the great charac- 
teristic of these worked flints is their striking resemblance to 
each other in almost every country where they have been 
found. They present identical forms, obviously the result of 
identical intention. The flint implements of the gravel drift 
found in England, exhibit the same distinctive features pecu- 
liar to those found at Abbeville and St. Acheul in France. 
They are of the rudest nature, as if formed by a people in the 
most degraded state of barbarism. According to Mr. Evans, 
" the flint weapons found in conjunction with elephant remains, 
imbedded in gravel, overlaid by sand and brick-earth, pre- 
sent no analogy to the well-known implements of the so-called 
Celtic or stone period. They have appearances of having 
been fabricated by another race of men, and on a much larger 
scale, as well as of ruder workmanship." They are thus 
evidences of a much earlier stage of development, and of an 
age of ruder strength, and still more infantile skill ; perhaps, 
too, of an earlier species of a human-like race, the companion 
and contemporary of the extinct bear, the extinct rhino- 
ceros, the mammoth, and other larger animals, no longer in 

The next period is the stone age. Stone implements are 
found in all countries, and are thus witnesses of a period of 
arlv and imperfect civilisation, being the most simple instru- 



merits, such as would be suggested to man in his primitive 
and barbarous state, either as destructive instruments for sup- 
plying himself with food by the chase, and for warfare or 
defence, or as useful implements for constructing habitations, 
or forming boats or rafts. Stone implements are found among 
all primitive nations throughout the world, whose maintenance 
chiefly depended on their energy and ingenuity while unac- 
quainted with the harder metals. The men who adopted these 
stone implements were evidently a hunting people, and con- 
sequently in one of the earliest stages of the human race, as 
is shown by the partly devoured bones of the urus, the deer, 
the megaceros, the roe found in connexion with them. Their 
similarity is here, also, a striking feature. The stone axe of 
the South Sea islanders of the eighteenth century presents a 
close resemblance to that of British or Gaulish fabrication 
of the earliest centuries. The similarity of the weapons or 
instruments, flint, stone, or bronze, being always according to 
the stage of development of the race, or country in which 
they are found, and not always according to a period of time. 
Their presence is thus not always an evidence of high anti- 
quity, but of an early and barbarous state ; for stone hatchets 
are found in common use, at the present day, among the South 
Sea islanders. Some tribes of Indians have been recently 
met with by Mr. Chandless, near the sources of the Purvis 
river in Peru, still using their primitive stone hatchets. The 
remoteness of the stone period must, therefore, be inferred 
from the relative antiquity of the country in which they are 
found. Thus, the flint or stone implements found in India or 
Egypt will belong to a remoter period than those found in 
Denmark or Ireland ; while the latter will be witnesses of an 
earlier age than those which are met with in New Zealand or 

Stone implements are found in countries the most widely 
apart, and are not peculiar to any distinct race, but are natu- 
rally suggested to any race of men in a rude and imperfect 
stage of civilisation, and are peculiar to that stage alone. 
They are found in Scandinavia, Britain, Ireland, France, Italy, 
Asia, America, Africa, Japan, Teneriffe, New Zealand, Aus- 


t ralia, the South Sea Islands, all, whether modern or thou- 
sands of years old, presenting a marked uniformity. As 
Professor Worsaae remarks, " the weapons and instruments 
of stone which are found in the north of Europe, in Japan, in 
America, the South Sea Islands, and elsewhere, have, for the 
most part, such an extraordinary resemblance to one another 
in point of form, that one might almost suppose the whole of 
them to have been the production of the same maker. The 
reason of this is very obvious, namely, that their form is that 
which first and most naturally suggests itself to the human 

The distinctions, indeed, are so marked between the different 
stages of the stone period, that they may be divided into 
three, corresponding with the phases of civilisation visible in 
man. 1 . The flint implements of the gravel-drift, evidently used 
by man in his lowest and most barbarous grade. 2. The flint 
implements found in Ireland and Denmark, which belonged to 
a people who lived by the chase. 3. Polished stone imple- 
ments, which mark a more advanced stage, perhaps a pastoral 
age. The following terms may be used to distinguish them : 
Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Kainolithic. 

The desire to attack his enemies from a greater distance, 
and to engage in the chase, has suggested also to man, in this 
early age, the use of the arrow. Hence, arrowheads of flint 
or stone are found in the same countries of a corresponding 
age, or period of civilisation. Their striking resemblance is 
also very remarkable. The arrowheads of flint found in 
America are scarcely distinguishable from those found in 

In the next age, the manufacture of bronze weapons may 
be considered as a further improvement on the fabrication of 
stone implements, consequent on the knowledge of the harder 
metals, the improvement corresponding with the grade attained 
to in civilisation. The adoption of metal, however, was neither 
sudden nor universal. The transition from the rude instru- 
ments of stone to those of bronze must have been very 
gradual, and possibly extended over many centuries. The 
bronze instruments and weapons peculiar to this epoch, found 



in Egypt, Denmark, Italy, England, France, Spain, Ireland, 
Africa, and America, also bear distinct analogies in form to one 
another, as Sir William Wilde observes, " Like its predeces- 
sors in stone, the metal celt had a very wide distribution, and 
has been found in every country in Europe, from the river 
Tiber to the Malar Lake, but differing slightly in shape and 
ornamentation from those found in the British isles." Like 
the stone implements, they are not peculiar to any race, but 
are suggested to any primitive nation, as a necessary result of 
an invariable sequence in its progressive development. We 
may add, adopting Professor Worsaae's words, " the antiqui- 
ties belonging to the bronze period, which are found in the 
countries of Europe, can neither be attributed exclusively to 
the Celts, nor to the Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Sclavonians, 
nor to the Teutonic tribes. They do not belong exclusively 
to any people, but have been used by the most different nations 
at the same stage of civilisation." We must, however, remark, 
that however like in form these implements seem to common 
observers; still there are distinctive characteristics, however 
slight, of each race in each type of implement, easily distin- 
guishable by the practised eye. 

Further, besides remarking the obvious analogy of form in 
these bronze implements in different countries, it is also re- 
markable that nearly the same proportions (ten or twelve per 
cent, of tin) result from the analysis of the bronze weapons 
found in the sepulchral barrows of Europe, of the nails which 
fastened the plates with which the treasury of Atreus at My- 
cenae was covered, of the instruments contained in the tombs 
of ancient Egypt, and of the tools of the Mexicans and Peru- 
vians, the same powers of suggestion in man, operating alike 
in all countries, and leading him not only to the discovery 
and fabrication of like forms of weapons, but also the inven- 
tion and use of similar materials. 

The simplest form of bronze hatchet is a cuneiform, or 
wedge-shaped piece of metal, evidently modelled on the type 
of the large stone hatchet ; at a later period it assumes a more 
ornamental form, or a shape better suited for being attached 
to the wooden handle with which it was used, as in the so- 


called " winged celts" or " palstaves" in Ireland and Denmark. 
The earlier form of hatchet was merely inserted in the handle, 
and sometimes tied to it. Palstaves or those bronze instru- 
ments in which the side edges project into flanges so as to 
form grooves for the reception of the cleft handle are found 
in endless varieties of shapes in many countries, Denmark, 
Switzerland, France, England, Ireland, Etruria, Magna Grascia, 
each of these countries exhibiting evidences of a sequence of 
flint, stone, and bronze periods ; thus confirming the inference 
that man's inventive and suggestive faculties, operating alike 
in each stage of his development and in all races of men, will 
lead him, independently and without connexion, to fashion and 
invent, under similar circumstances and according to that 
stage, almost similar weapons and implements to supply his 
wants and necessities, each style of implement being peculiar 
to, and belonging exclusively to, each separate period or phase 
of civilisation. 

In a later age, when iron was known and generally adopted, 
the earlier forms of instruments were still retained for some 
time, until the rapid progress of civilisation and refinement 
caused them to be thrown aside. According to Sir William 
Wilde, " In the Copenhagen Museum may be seen celts and 
hatchets of iron, and of comparatively modern date; and in 
the central parts of Sweden, the short iron hoe or pick, used 
by the peasantry in grubbing up roots of trees, is not much 
larger than and greatly resembles some varieties of the ancient 
bronze celt." Iron, however, once known, advancement was 
more rapid. We need not speak further of the iron age, as it 
is not peculiar to early and primitive nations, but is evidence 
of an advanced and more perfect state of civilisation, and a 
progress towards the culminating period of man's develop- 


XXIII. Report on Explorations into the Archaic Anthropology 
of the Islands of Unst, Brassay, and the mainland of Zet- 
land, undertaken for the Earl of Zetland and the Anthropo- 
logical Society of London. By James Hunt, Ph.D., F.S.A., 
F.A.S.L., Hon. For. Sec. of the Roy. Soc. of Literature of 
Great Britain, For. Assoc, of the Anthrop. Soc. of Paris, 
Hon. Fellow of the Ethnol. Soc. of London, Cor. Mem. of 
the Upper Hesse Soc. for Nat. and Med. Science, and of 
the Med. Assoc, at Hesse Darmstadt, Mem. of the Dresden 
Academy, and President of the Anthrop. Soc. of London. 

In the first volume of Memoirs of the Anthropological Society 
of London (p. 296), there appears a short notice, entitled 
" On the discovery of large Kistvaens in the Muckle Heog, in 
the Island of Unst (Shetland), containing Urns of Chloritic 
Schist," by George E. Roberts, Esq., F.G.S., F.A.S.L. This 
paper was made up from letters sent to Mr. Roberts by Tho- 
mas Edmonstone, Esq., of Buness, in the Island of Unst, to 
whose interest in the subject we are indebted for possessing 
these interesting relics. Mr. Edmonston sent all the urns 
and skulls found on the Muckle Heog to a local museum, 
which is being formed at Lerwick, the chief town in the 
Zetland Islands. A notice of these discoveries was inserted 
in the northern papers ; and Mr. Roberts, then one of the 
Honorary Secretaries of the Anthropological Society, at once 
wrote to Mr. Edmonston, and asked for further particulars. 
This gentleman not only promptly complied with his request, 
but put all the objects which had been found at the entire dis- 
posal of Mr. Roberts. 

Mr. Roberts, on reading his paper, exhibited the objects 
before this society, and suggested the desirability of further 
research. This proposal having met with approval, Mr. Roberts 
entered into a correspondence with the Earl of Zetland, K.G., 
on whose property was situated the hill called the Muckle Heog, 

Mem. Antiir. Soc. Vol. IF. To faoe p. 294. 


mid the result of this correspondence was an offer on the part of 
the Earl of Zetland to give fifty pounds towards the expenses, 
if the Anthropological Society of London would appoint some 
one to carry out the explorations. The Council asked Mr. 
Roberts to undertake a visit to Zetland, but that gentleman 
being unable to comply, I was myself induced to superin- 
tend the investigations. Perceiving the desirability, and 
indeed necessity, of an efficient coadjutor, the society consented 
to pay the expenses of some gentleman to accompany me. 
The Council appointed Mr. Ralph Tate, F.G.S., F.A.S.L., for 
that purpose. 

We started from London on June 21st, and arrived at 
our destination in the Island of Unst on the .28th. We were 
received by Mr. Edmonston with the greatest hospitality. 
That gentleman had taken the trouble to make many inquiries 
into the antiquities of the island ; and also to secure, from the 
superintendent of the Cromartie Iron-works the services of men 
employed there for the excavations that would be necessary. 
We were especially indebted to Mr. Edmonston for his hos- 
pitality, as the absence of inns on the island would have ren- 
dered our proposed work a matter of great difficulty without 
that kindness. Mr. Edmonston being unfortunately an in- 
valid, was unable to accompany us, but he provided us with 
an excellent guide in Mr. William Mowatt, whose local know- 
ledge of the Island of Unst is, perhaps, unequalled. 

On the first day, we took workmen to the Muckle Heog to 
continue the excavations of which we had received accounts in 
Mr. Roberts's paper. The discovery of the skulls found on 
the Muckle Heog had been made whilst digging a place for 
the erection of a flagstaff at the top of the hill. The work- 
men employed for this purpose came on some human remains 
which have already been described by Mr. Carter Blake.* At 
the time of our visit, however, nothing remained on this spot 
but debris of what had been valuable antiquarian remains. 
Pieces of steatite urns, and portions of human and animal 
bones, lay in all directions. The rubbish thrown out in 

Memoirs of the Anthropological Society of London, vol. i. p. 299. 


digging the hole for the flagstaff contained, also, a quantity of 
broken bones and urns. We explored one side of the cairn, 
which remained apparently undisturbed, but found nothing of 
importance, and I soon became convinced that however in- 
teresting this spot had been, it was now quite destroyed, and 
useless for any purpose of throwing light upon the original 
objects of the structure. Leaving, therefore, the Muckle 
Heog, we examined the remains of a large cairn of stones at 
the foot of the hill called the Muckle Heog. In it we found 
the remains of three short kists and one long one, all of which 
had long since been rifled of their contents. 

A few hundred yards distant, on the road towards a village 
called Haroldswick, are the remains of what was once a large 
stone cairn called " Harold's Grave." There now seems to be 
some doubt in the minds of the people of Unst as to which 
was Harold's grave, some putting it at the foot of the Muckle 
Heog, while others (and this is the more general belief) place 
it in the road from the Muckle Heog to Haroldswick. In Mr. 
Edmonstone's History of Zetland, p. 119, this Harold's grave 
is described as "the largest tumulus in the island." Now, 
however, only a little heap of stones remains to mark the spot. 
In the museum at Lerwick there are two beautiful bronze 
ornaments which, common report says, came from Harold's 

The remainder of my stay in Unst was devoted to travelling 
from place to place in search of further objects of interest, 
but wherever we went we found we had been anticipated. It 
is a remarkable fact that in the Island of Unst, large as is the 
number of cairns, scarcely any remain which have not been 
opened. At the top of nearly every hill we found distinct 
traces of stone cairns. We had, at the same time, the some- 
what bitter satisfaction of hearing the details of the opening 
of each of these from the lips of a Mr. James Hay, a zealous 
local Wesleyan preacher, who had been more successful as a 
(t revivalist" than (to judge by the results of his self-imposed 
labours) as a scientific investigator. For the last thirty years, 
Mr. Hay has been working on his own account, and during 
this time he has collected a large number of antiquities, which 


arc now distributed he knows not where ; some he sold to a 
" Swiss gentleman," others went " to a gentleman in England 
who is now dead." This is all we could learn from Mr. James 
I [ay, who seemed perfectly astonished when he heard that we 
considered these relics of such importance as to come specially 
nearly a thousand miles to look for them, and he pleaded in 
justification of his vandalism, that " no one in the island cared 
about these things but himself, and that he had not got 
enough to pay for his labour." Mr. James Hay also told us 
that he had examined every relic in the Island of Unst, and in 
some of the neighbouring islands, but latterly his researches 
had been useless. If he now found a kist that had not been 
opened, it generally contained only some "greasy sort of 

The second highest hill in the Zetland Islands is Saxiforth 
Hill, situated at the northern extremity of the Island of Unst. 
Here we found remains of a large stone cairn. On Scotties 
Wart there was evidence to show that two stone kists had 
been opened. The word wart is understood by the people to 
mean a peak or heap of stones, but Jamieson, in his Dictionary, 
says a " wart" means a mark. The origin of this word is in- 
teresting and important. We visited, for instance, the ruins 
of a very large stone cairn on a hill called the Galla Hill, or 
the Gallows Hill. In this cairn we found the remains of a 
human skeleton, with some limpet shells. A part of an under 
jaw is all that I thought it worth while to bring away. Report 
says, that a few years ago several skulls were taken from this 
cairn by Dr. Spence's sons, and that they had been subse- 
quently replaced, but had either been again removed or entirely 
destroyed by the action of the elements. 

Mr. Edmonston was greatly surprised to learn that the 
cairns on Saxiforth Hill and the Galla Hill had both been ex- 
plored, as it was from these monuments that he anticipated the 
chief reward of our labours, by finding in situ skeletons and 
urns like those found on the Muckle Heog. In three days we 
had visited all the chief known antiquarian relics, but without 
any satisfactory results ; for, as I before stated, in each case 
we found that wc had been anticipated. On leaving London, 


I had expected that my stay in Zetland would be principally 
devoted to the Island of Unst, which had been reported to be 
so rich in relics of a bygone age. Before starting from Eng- 
land, I had remarked on the apparent anomaly of the most 
northern island of the Zetland group being so rich in relics of 
antiquity, and, from its isolated position, fully expected that 
we should be able to throw some little light on the history of 
the early inhabitants of this island. Had this really been the 
case, I had contemplated marking every spot of antiquarian 
interest on the map, and thus have completed an investigation 
of the archaic anthropology of this one out of the hundred 
islands which make up the Zetland group. On finding, how- 
ever, that the island was really rather deficient than otherwise 
in pre-historic remains, I decided on quitting Unst, and visit- 
ing the southern part of the Zetland group, leaving Mr. Ralph 
Tate, however, to examine more thoroughly than we yet had 
done the ruins on the Muckle Heog, etc. I requested Mr, 
Tate to examine, on his way south, all the relics of antiquity 
of which he could hear anything, not so much to make ex- 
plorations, as to be able to report on the antiquities of these 
northern islands. Mr. Tate's observations have been embodied 
in a separate report. 

Although I consider the Island of Unst to be comparatively 
barren as to remains of any great antiquity, I must exclude 
from this remark a large fortified building in the hollow walls 
called Brochs, Broughs, or Burgs. I visited one similar on the 
Island of Balta, a small island, now uninhabited, lying close 
to the Island of Unst, where we also saw what were reputed 
to be the remains of a kirk, and with some probability, as this 
part of the island is called the " Kirk." 

The largest and best preserved " broch" which I saw in 
the island was one situated on the west side of Unst, called 
the " Broch of Under-Houle." In the centre of this the 
workmen made a cutting to ascertain what the middle was 
filled up with, and the depth of the foundations. Amongst 
the black mould, alternating with layers of red ashes thrown 
out, we found a beach-rolled pebble, showing evidence of 
having been used at one end, similar pebbles usually exist 


in largo numbers in brocks; part of a stone trough was also 
dug out. This broch appeared to be of somewhat different 
construction to most of the others which I visited in Zetland, 
Orkney, or Caithness, and would, I think, be well worthy of 
excavation by anyone who has studied the general design of 
other brochs in the north of Great Britain. I did not, how- 
ever, consider that the objects of my visit to Zetland would be 
materially furthered by examining into the peculiarities of the 
various brochs, and decided, therefore, not to include an exa- 
mination of these interesting relics of antiquity in our inves- 
tigations. I was influenced in coming to this decision by the 
fact that some of the brochs have been used in comparatively 
recent times ; and we have an historical account of some of 
the brochs in Zetland having been inhabited as late as the 
twelfth century. In the whole of Unst, I could neither see 
nor hear of a single tumulus either of broken stones or of 
earth, and not even a " fairy knowe," or hillock. Stone cairns 
and stone kists, however, existed in comparatively large 

At a spot running out into the sea, about a mile from Saxi- 
forth Hill, called "The Urra," we saw a stone kist that 
had been opened by Mr. James Hay, but nothing remained in 
it. In this case, the kist was covered with earth. A cutting 
was also made into another hillock, but nothing found. At 
this spot there are traces of what might have been a fortified 
place, a sort of natural broch, protected by a wall running 
down to the sea on the land side. There is no evidence 
whether these remains of a wall had been used for defensive 
or for agricultural purposes. The situation is one that would 
have been very likely to be chosen for defensive purposes, 
wanting only this wall to render it a very formidable defensive 

On the road from Batta Sound to Yew Sound, I observed 
several stone kists, two of which had been opened and exca- 
vated, and there were traces of others which had been removed. 

With regard to the antiquity of the skulls found in the 
Muckle Heog, a fact came to my knowledge which deserves 
to be recorded, as a warning about coming to any conclusion on 


that point. The Principal of the University of Glasgow, tli 
Rev. Dr. Barclay, who is a native of Zetland, told me h 
well remembered that, when a boy, he used to go on th 
Muckle Heog and had frequently taken out skulls from be 
tween the stones at this place, and had returned them again 
This circumstance would seem to show that this spot had beei 
disturbed before, and that it was not a sepulchral place o 
much consideration or design. This fact, too, indicates cautioi 
in coming to any conclusion that the skulls found were thosi 
of natives. The distance from the sea at this place is les: 
than a mile ; and although it is not probable that these were 
the remains of shipwrecked mariners, yet we have not sufficiem 
evidence to show that these skulls are either those of natives 
or that they are of any antiquity. 

On leaving Wick for Zetland, I had the good fortune t< 
meet Dr. Arthur Mitchell, who is so well known in Scotlanc 
as a most zealous and cautious antiquary ; indeed, he is almosl 
unrivalled in his personal acquaintance with the archaic antliro- - 
pology of Scotland generally. Dr. Mitchell, in his official 
capacity as a Deputy Inspector of Asylums for Scotland, ie 
continually travelling either in Scotland, the Hebrides, Ork- 
neys, or the Zetland islands. It was with this gentleman 
that I returned from Unst to Lerwick. Immediately after 
arriving there, I crossed over to the Island of Brassay, and 
through the kindness and exertions of the Rev. Zachary 
Macaulay Hamilton, D.D. (the resident Church of Scotland 
minister), I was enabled to commence exploring a tumulus, 
which was situated about half a mile to the south of the 
manse, and about one hundred and fifty yards from the sea- 
beach. This tumulus was composed of broken stones, inter- 
spersed with layers of black earth and fragments of burnt 
pottery, and it also contained one bit of a steatite urn. It 
was covered in the grass and mould to the depth of about six 
inches. I desired the workmen to make a section of six feet, 
but it was found impossible to keep to this width from the 
continual falling in of the small angular stones of which the 
mound was almost entirely composed. I therefore decided to 
remove the whole tumulus; and as we approached the bottom, 


we came upon large stones apparently placed in connexion 
frith some structure, but could not trace the design. At 
the bottom we found a stone about two feet eight inches high, 
eighteen inches wide, and eight inches thick, with a hole per- 
forated in the upper part, of about ten inches in diameter. 

This stone was standing erect, and a passage appeared to lead 
to it. Beyond this we expected to find a kist, but were dis- 
appointed. The probability is that this tumulus has been 
disturbed before, and part of it taken away. 

In making these excavations I had the good fortune to be 
assisted by Mr. George Petrie, who is well known as a most 
careful observer and explorer, and who has enjoyed an expe- 
rience of many years in the Orkney islands. It was in this 
tumulus that I found what I believe to be a new pattern of stone 
weapon, at least new to this country, for I saw none of a 
similar description in the Scottish Antiquarian Museum, nor in 
the British Museum. It is about eleven inches long, four wide, 
and one inch and a half thick, and has a distinctly marked handle, 
apparently prepared, like a millstone. (See next page, No. 1.) 
Small pieces of blackened pottery were continually found 
.imongst the stones, and many of the stones, also, bore evident 
traces of the action of fire. It was the opinion of the work- 
men, and of all who saw them, that the whole had been com- 
posed of burnt stones. This appearance might be ascribed in 
part to the decomposition of the iron in the stone ; but it is 

ually certain that they bore evident traces of fire. 



Some of my antiquarian friends to whom I have narrate" 
the fact of these large tumuli being composed of burnt stones 
have doubted the correctness of the observation, from itj 

VJ-^V V.'-iV 

No. 1. No. 2. 

No. 2 is a handle of a. similar hammer as No. 1, and was thrown out with 
some of the other stones from the underground structure at Safester. (See 

being so exceptional a case to find tumuli thus composed. I 
have never heard any doubt expressed, however, by those 
who have examined these tumuli, and the matter can now 
be decided by the specimens of the stones produced, which 
will, I think, be sufficient to decide the question in the 
affirmative. In this observation, too, I am supported by Dr. 
Mitchell, who took some of the stones away for a closer in- 
spection, and both he and the friends he has consulted agree 
in thinking that the stones have really been under the action 
of fire. Whatever may be the explanation of such a vast accu- 
mulation of burnt stones, there seems to be no room for doubt 
as to the fact itself. It was while engaged in excavating at 
this tumulus, that I heard a report of some coffins that had 
been found buried in peat in the neighbourhood, and it was 


on one of these coffins that I, in company with Mr. Petrie, dis- 
covered the inscribed stones on the table, a report of which I 
propose to give on another occasion. The discovery of these 
coffins and inscriptions raise special questions, and I have, 
therefore, embodied an account of both these points in sepa- 
rate papers. 

When we had so far completed the removal of the tumulus 
as to be pretty sure that we should not find a kist, Dr. Hamil- 
ton kindly undertook to superintend the workmen while we 
vi sited other antiquities in the mainland. Before leaving, how- 
ever, I went, in company with Dr. Hamilton and Mr. Petrie, 
t<> examine the broch of Burland at Brimster, and the most 
remarkable and perfect broch in Europe, which is situated 
on the Island of Mousa. The account of this broch having 
been inhabited is taken from the Scandinavian Sagas, and is 
to the effect that, during the reign of Harold Harfager, in the 
tenth century, the Viking Bjorn Brynjulfson, flying from Nor- 
way with Thora Roaldsdatter, took refuge in Mousa, where 
they celebrated their marriage, and passed the winter. These 
statements are of the highest importance, as tending to show 
how recently these buildings have been in use. 

This broch is in a good state of preservation, although the 
entrance has been somewhat spoiled by a restoration under- 
taken by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. It occupies 
a circular site of ground, about fifty feet in diameter, and is built 
of middle-sized stones well laid together without any cement. 
The height is forty-two feet, bulging out below, and tapering 
off towards the top, where it is again cast out from its lesser 
diameter, somewhat resembling a dicebox, with the object, as 
is supposed, of preventing its being scaled from without. The 
doorway is so low and narrow as only to admit one person 
at a time, who has to creep along a passage fifteen feet deep 
ere he attains the interior open area. 

The structure is hollow, consisting of two walls, each about 
five feet thick, with a passage or winding staircase between 
fchem of similar size, and enclosing within an open court, 
about twenty feet in diameter. Near the top of the building', 
and opposite the entrance, three or four vertical rows of holes 


are seen, resembling the holes of a pigeon-house, and varying 
from eight to eighteen in number. These, it is supposed, ad- 
mitted air and a feeble degree of light to the chambers or 
galleries within, which wound round the roof of the building, 
and to which the passage from the entrance conducts ; the 
roof of one chamber being the floor of that above it. 

Excavations are about to be resumed of interesting re- 
mains of a broch near Lerwick, called the Burg of Clickomin. 
Some years ago, through the zeal of Mr. Smith, the sheriff's 
clerk of Zetland, this broch was partly excavated, and in 
places restored. When these excavations are complete, this 
brough will be of the greatest interest to all lovers of anti- 
quities visiting the Zetland Islands. I was sorry to observe 
the small care which the inhabitants of Lerwick had for this 
interesting relic; and was informed that some of these en- 
lightened people amuse themselves by mounting the hollow 
walls and throwing down the stones from the top. When 
there, I saw the fireplace in the middle had been recently 
broken by one of these Goths. 

One of the most interesting facts in relation to these 
brochs is that for many years they were supposed to be of 
Scandinavian origin, but when seen by the northern antiquaries 
they were at once pronounced of Celtic origin. M. Worsaae 
emphatically says,* "they have no resemblance to the old 
fortresses in the Scandinavian north." Captain Thomas is 
engaged in working out the interesting question of the dis- 
tribution of these brochs, and it is probable that his re- 
searches may throw much light on the archaic anthropology 
of this part of Europe. 

Having thus completed a survey of the objects of antiquity 
in the immediate vicinity of Lerwick, I accepted an invitation 
from Andrew Umfray, Esq., of Reaywick, to visit, in company 
with Mr. Petrie and Mr. Smith, some remains on his property 
at Westerskeld, about two miles from his residence. Work- 
men were provided for us by Mr. Umfray, superintended by 
an intelligent Highlander from Aberdeen. We cut a trench 

* Worsaae's Danes and Northmen, p. 233. 


with a tumulus at this place ; it was composed of exactly the 
same material as the one at Brassay. Just at the outside we 
found the remains of what the people said had been a well, 
and always filled with water, until Mr. Umfray cut a deep 
trench in the neighbourhood to drain a small loch, since which 
time it has been dry. This cavity was situated on the south- 
west side of the barrow. The sides and ends were formed 
with rude undressed blocks of stone, and the bottom was also 
paved. It was five feet long at the bottom, and four inches 
longer at the mouth. The width was one foot ten inches at 
the widest part, and one foot four inches at the narrowest. A 
portion of the roofing, or covering, remained at the north-east 
end, and was placed slantingly. The height of the interior to 
the highest point of the roof was three feet eight inches. 
This tumulus was known to the residents in the neighbour- 
hood as ' c The Fairy Knowe," a name given alike to artificial 
and to natural mounds. We visited two " Fairy Knowes" in 
the side of the hill, near the turn in the road from Reaywick 
to Safester, and found that these wonderful relics were merely 
natural formations. The workmen were soon convinced of 
this, and our digging had the effect of proving to them that 
the fairies had nothing to do with at least two of these 

We next visited what is, perhaps, the largest tumulus in 
the Zetland Islands, distant about eight miles north from 
Reaywick, i. e., at Safester, in the parish of Sandsting and 
Aithsting. The Rev. John Bryden, who was the former 
minister of this parish, and who wrote an account of these 
parishes in the Statistical Account of Zetland, published in 
1841, says, p. 112, "In several parts of the parish there are 
the remains of several barrows or tumuli, probably of Scandi- 
navian origin, some of which I have opened, but I could not 
congratulate myself on my researches, they having been 
opened before. In some I have found bones partly consumed 
by fire, pieces of charred wood, and parts of the urn in which 
the bones had been deposited. The urns appeared to have 
been roughly wrought out of a coarse sandstone, and others 
out of a soft stone called Ideber. In some cases there is every 


reason to believe that the body had been burned at the spot 
where the ashes had been collected, and placed in the urn; 
because the stones which were found to surround the urn, over 
which the tumulus was raised, had been subjected to the action 
of a strong fire. 

" In other cases, the urns have been placed on a dry piece 
of ground, covered with a flat stone, and a little earth thrown 
over them. Of this latter description, I have one in my pos- 
session, which I found under the foundation of the glebe dyke. 
It measures twelve inches over the mouth, ten inches over the 
bottom, and is ten inches deep. It contained a quantity of 
half-burnt bones, and was covered with a pretty heavy stone, 
flat on the side next to the urn ; unfortunately, it was partly 
broken before I discovered it. There is, however, enough re- 
maining to show its shape and workmanship. I have dis- 
covered two other urns on the glebe, filled with a black 
unctuous earth, but so much decayed that no part of them 
could be lifted. Out of one of them I removed the earth, and 
found lying at right angles in the bottom four pieces of broken 
stone axes." 

It will be seen that Mr. Bryden speaks of the urns which 
he found as having been " roughly wrought out of coarse sand- 
stone, and others out of a soft stone called kleber." Now, 
these statements are important. The discoveries at the 
Muckle Heog and in the Island of Yell of steatite urns, would 
naturally lead one to suppose that similar urns would be found 
in other parts of the islands. In removing the Brassay tu- 
mulus, and in exposing the Safester tumulus, I found several 
pieces of urns which looked like pieces of rude pottery. These 
specimens were supposed to be bits of steatite which had been 
decomposed under the action of fire. From the specimens 
produced, it will be seen that it is heavier than the usual 
British pottery, and that it contains bits of mica. It is sup- 
posed by my colleague, Mr. Ealph Tate, to have been made 
from steatite when in a soft state. There seems, how- 
ever, no reason to doubt that it is really pottery ; although it 
differs in structure very considerably from a bit of pottery I 
found in connexion with a cromlech-like structure in another 


place, and which I shall presently describe. My friend Mr. 
Charles Warne, F.S.A., who is no mean authority on British 
pottery, writes to me, that he cannot understand how a doubt 
could ever have been entertained of these specimens being 
genuine pottery, although he acknowledges them to be heavier 
than any specimens of British pottery known to him. 

Mr. Bryden, whose remarks we are now considering, is 
dead, but he is well remembered in Zetland for the zeal with 
which he made explorations; and it is reported that he col- 
lected a large number of urns and stone implements, some of 
which, I learnt, he sent to the Copenhagen Museum. The 
fact that Mr. Bryden found he had been anticipated in the 
opening of these barrows, is also somewhat significant, and not 
altogether encouraging to the future explorer. I heard reports 
of tumuli which had not been touched; but all I saw bore 
traces of having been examined. The tumulus of Safester 
bore evident traces of having been partially examined, although 
it is, I believe, far more perfect than the one at West Skeld ; 
and from an examination of this tumulus, it became pretty 
clear that the building, or kist, which we saw at West Skeld, 
had been exposed by the removal of a large part of the 
tumulus. This tumulus had probably been conical, about 
ninety feet at the base, and about twelve feet high, if not much 
higher. A portion of the centre had been carried away, and 
we saw a cottage which had been built with the stones taken 
from it. It was reported that the man who was doing this 
was compelled to cease on account of the superstitious feeling 
of his wife, that some evil would come to the family ; but the 
man himself told me that he did not go on taking the stones, 
because he found that he had such difficulty in doing so, 
the small stones continually falling in, and thus preventing 
him getting at the large ones ; in fact, that the labour was 
too great for the result. The former story is generally be- 
lieved to be the true one ; but I see no objection to the second. 

Just outside the base of this tumulus, on the north side, is 
a well, about two feet six inches deep, two feet long, and one 
foot six inches wide. It was filled with water and green weed, 
but appeared to be made much in the same way as an ordinary 



short kist. It is certainly now used as a well,, and I am in- 
clined to think was intended for this purpose. Mr. Petrie, 
however, thinks that because it was floored it was not ori- 
ginally a well, and instances the kist we examined at West 
Skeld, which, although used recently as a well, was evidently 
not originally intended for that purpose. In this instance, the 
kist was on the south-west side. I have before stated, how- 
ever, that I believe the so-called well at West Skeld to have 
originally been in the centre of the tumulus ; even now it is 
partially covered. There was certainly an irregularity of form 
about this kist ; but Mr. Petrie quite agrees with me in think- 
ing it to have been a kist, and we only differ as to the original 
use of the well, which is at present, and apparently has always 
been, quite on the outside of the Safester tumulus. 

Before we had completed the excavation here, Mr. Petrie 
was obliged to return to Orkney, and this I regret, as I 
should much have liked his opinion on a very curious structure 
which we came to at about nineteen feet from the outer edge 
of the north-north-west side. Here we came on a structure 
described by the workmen as ' ' like two chimneys." The out- 
side entrance was two feet seven inches wide, and the walls 
continued on each side for seven feet six inches, gradually 
narrowing to about thirteen or fourteen inches. The following 
is a sketch of the ground-plan : 


At x, x, the wall appeared to be covered with soot, and 
pearlash was abundant. Dr. Mitchell says, "At first sight, 
I thought the structure looked like a portion of a beehive 
chamber or chambers, but the second wall b so close to A, and 
with the curve in, renders this unfeasible." 

I have mentioned, that before we commenced digging at 
this tumulus it was seen that the one side of the tumulus was 
flattened and depressed. Dr. Mitchell says that nearly all the 


tumuli in Zetland have this appearance. This fact has hitherto 
been accepted as evidence that these tumuli have already been 
explored. This supposition is further confirmed by the fact 
that Mr. Bryden and others have confessed to having partly 
examined a large number, but, in their own words, "found 
nothing to repay their trouble." The discovery of this struc- 
ture within the tumulus opens up the question as to whether 
the depression seen on the Zetland tumuli may not be the 
result of the falling in or ruin of the building, rather than 
that of the usually accepted hypothesis. Dr. Mitchell thinks 
there is "good reason to believe that a chamber existed in 
every one of them ;" but this point cannot be decided with- 
out further most careful and patient research. What have 
hitherto been thought to be rude blocks of stone piled 
together, may prove the ruins of a similar structure to that 
found at Safester. The material of which this tumulus was 
composed varied in no way materially from that opened at 
Brassay and West Skeld, or from those described by Mr. 
Bryden. Several pieces of rude pottery were thrown out with 
the broken stones, specimens of which are now produced. 

I had contemplated removing the whole of this tumulus, so 
as to be able to discover, if possible, whether there was any 
design in connexion with the large blocks of stone con- 
tinually found. I conversed with the intelligent foreman of 
Mr. Unifray's workmen, and asked, in how many days he 
would be able to remove this tumulus, working with twelve 
men every day. He took some little time to make his calcu- 
lation, and informed me that he thought it could be done with 
twelve men in about five weeks, but he could not say to a 
week either way. This fact will give some persons a better 
idea of the size of this tumulus than any section. Whoever 
had opened this tumulus had apparently been dismayed at the 
amount of work, and had left off after taking off the top layer 
of stones. This, however, unfortunately prevented us from 
ascertaining how the top had been closed, but it had all the 
appearance of having been gradually brought together in rude 
irregular pieces of stone, in much the same manner as that 
seen at West Skeld. 


Having laid bare this structure, and ascertained that there 
was another building near the middle of the tumulus, I left it, 
with a hope that the people of the neighbourhood would do 
what they could to prevent the structure I have described 
from being destroyed. This tumulus was also called a " fairy- 
knowe" by the inhabitants, and the women were not at all 
pleased with our work. They said it was all very well for us 
to come there in the summer time, when the nights were light, 
u but what will become of us poor people in the winter." It 
was impossible to make them understand the object of our 
digging ; and to all explanation they would simply reply, that 
they thought "we had far better leave these f fairy-knowes' 
alone, and that touching them would do us no good, and be 
merely sure to injure them." We could not get them to be- 
lieve that the manners and customs of the people who raised 
these monuments was any business of ours, although we 
assured them that we had been specially created for that 

In company with Mr. Umfray, of Eeaywick, and Mr. 
Johnson, of Hestensetter, I examined what is known as the 
" Giant's Grave." It is situated on the latter gentleman's 
property on the top of the hill of Hestensetter. With very 
great difficulty we removed a large cap stone, which had defied 
the efforts of all who had before attempted it. I learnt from 
Mr. Johnston that it was the custom for the young men of the 
place to assemble on this spot and attempt to remove this 
stone, and after some considerable effort, they had succeeded 
in throwing the top stone from the position in which it had 
been placed. We were somewhat surprised at finding pieces 
of wood within this chamber, but this explanation sufficiently 
accounted for their presence. The top stone measured five 
feet ten inches by four feet ten inches ; the entrance, one foot 
seven inches ; the interior averaged about five feet ten inches 
wide, ami about the same distance long. It was of a semi- 
octagonal irregular shape, composed of six stones. It was 
here I found the large rough stone, and the fragments of pot- 
tery and calcined bones, which I now produce. This structure 
had many of the characters of a cromlech ; and it is worthy 


of note that the pottery here found essentially differs from 
any found elsewhere ; the only bit preserved had the string 
pattern on it. 

At East Skeld, I saw structures which appeared to be similar 
to this building. At this place, these remains are called 
11 Pights or Picts' houses." Mr. Umfray surmises that they 
were originally " pights or dwarfs' houses." Dwarfs, in this 
locality, are still called pechts. The whole of this district is 
rich in remains, which, I think, are well worth further explo- 
ration. The implement now produced was found in the parish 
of Walls, and brought to Mr. Umfray while I was there, who 
kindly presented it to me. This was apparently used as a 
sling-stone. I am informed that the Rev. W. C. Lukis, 
F.A.S.L., has seen many similar specimens in Guernsey and 
the adjacent islands. A similar one was found a few years 
since near Reaywick House, imbedded in the peat. This spe- 
cimen was also extracted from the peat. 

I now have to record the most interesting and important 
part of my labours, which resulted in the finding of the large 
number of worked stones now produced. While working at the 
tumulus at Safester, we heard that a long underground gallery 
had been opened about one hundred and fifty yards from the 
tumulus. It was reported that it had been partly opened by 
the late Mr. Bryden, and that he had found in it some stone 
implements. This was about thirty years ago ; and although 
the place was not fifteen yards from some cottages, we had 
some difficulty in finding this so-called gallery. Mr. Smith, 
however, offered a reward to the workmen, and this had the 
desired effect very shortly afterwards. Most likely the position 
was well known, but the people believe that this gallery led to 
the so-called " Fairy -knowe," or tumulus, which we were 


opening. We explored the whole of this underground struc- 
ture. It was rather more than fifteen yards long. The pas- 


sage varies in width from sixteen to nineteen inches. At one 
end there is an expansion, which is squarish, and at its widest 
two feet and a half. This expansion continues more or less 
over four feet of the length of the passage. The sides are 
perpendicular, having no tendency to meet at the top. They 
vary in height from two feet to two feet and a half. The 
lintels are large and flat, but differ greatly in size and 
shape. I had never seen anything at all like this, and con- 
sidered myself fortunate in getting the opinion of Dr. Ar- 
thur Mitchell, who had had experience in opening these 
structures in Scotland. Dr. Mitchell gave me the following 
opinion : " At first sight," he says, " this structure looked 
like a large drain, but that it was not so is rendered more than 
probable, first, by its size, which is too great for a drain ; and 
secondly, by the fact that the floor was not level, but rose and 
fell again at one or two places, where the rock was reached. 
It is ruder and less substantial than any underground struc- 
ture in Scotland which has ever been described. Its di- 
mensions, too, are smaller, being lower and narrower. Of 
all the underground structures which have been described, 
the nearest to this at Safester is the one at Eriboll, in 
Sutherlandshire. It (the latter) is in a state of very good 
preservation, is narrow and long, and shows a trifling expan- 
sion at the end. It was described to the Society of Antiquaries 

Elevation of underground structure at Eriboll, Sutherlandshire. 

Ground-Plan of ditto. 

in May or June last. In the district of Scotland where it 
occurs, such structures are called f Hiding-places,' this being, 


of course, a translation from Gaelic. In other parts of Scot- 
land they are called l Eirde Houses/ 

u Some of those I have seen appear to have been, or at least 
may have been, underground to an overground structure ; but 
the position of others makes this idea improbable, if not im- 
possible. Nor is it likely that they were all built for the 
same purpose or at the same epoch. They all exhibit many 
points in common, the style is the same, they resemble 
each other, but they also differ from each other in important 
respects. Going from rudeness towards perfection, I should 
go from Safester to Eriboll, and from that to Buchaam, and 
from that to Glenkindie. Of these, none will be found so 
puzzling as that at Safester." 

I have little to add to the above observations. Mr. Petrie 
was obliged to leave before the exploration was completed, 
and I did not therefore get the advantage of his opinion. I 
heard of similar structures in other parts of Zetland, and 
they are all well worthy of complete and careful exploration. 
Some of the lintel stones which covered this building were 
very large, and at the previous opening had been thrown down, 
and were taken up by us with great difficulty. The whole 
length was filled in with stones and earth, and only a few of 
die cap stones remained in their original position. Whilst the 
rubbish was being thrown out, a piece of one of the imple- 
ments now exhibited was brought to me by Mr. Smith to ask 
if it was worked, and I at once repaired to the spot, and both 
Mr. Petrie and myself were alive to the importance of this 
discovery, and in a few minutes we collected several fragments 
of these implements. I put the pieces together, summoned 
all the children in the little village, and made them collect all 
stones of a similar description, not only from the mould thrown 
out > but about the fields in the neighbourhood. By night we 
had collected a goodly number, which we at once got trans- 
ported to our host's house at Eeaywick, and travelled all the 
night with them to Lerwick. Here we exhibited them, in the 
hope of hearing of similar implements in other parts of the 
island. The next day, Mr. Petrie returned to Orkney, Mr. 
Smith remained at Lerwick, and I again returned to conclude 


the exploration. For several days I continued to employ men, 
women, and children, in looking for these implements, and 
the result was I collected the implements now exhibited. I 
thought it advisable to bring away as many as possible, so 
that should no more be found there, they might be properly 
distributed. All I left in Zetland was one of each of the chief 
patterns with Mr. Umfray, who has already an interesting 
little collection of implements. Mr. Umfray takes great in- 
terest in this question, and did much good by exhibiting these 
worked stones to his employes and others. I fully contemplate 
that his efforts will result in the finding of similar implements 
in other parts of Zetland. What gives an additional interest 
to this discovery, is the fact that this underground building 
was excavated by a local antiquary, of no small attainments, 
some few years ago, but that these implements were passed 
by and not detected to be works of art. Mr. Bryden was 
made a corresponding member of the Society of Northern 
Antiquaries for his zeal, and he wrote an interesting account 
of the Zetland stone implements in the statistical account to 
which I have referred. It becomes of much consequence to 
know what Mr. Bryden considers as implements, and I therefore 
quote his description entire, as it helps to show the class of 
antiquities which had, up to that time, been found in Zetland. 
After quoting Dr. Hibbert on the use of stone implements by 
the Teutonic tribes in the eighth century, he goes on to say, 
" These extracts, from a composition of so remote a date as 
the eighth century, may be considered as illustrative of the 
general modes of warfare adopted at that time by the Saxon 
and Scandinavian tribes of Europe, among whom a greater 
similarity of language and manners then prevailed than was 
to be found at a later period. The first of the offensive arms 
of the Teutons, of the eighth century, was the battleaxe. It 
appears that these axes were constructed of stone. The 
heroes of the Teutonic romance are said to have thrust together 
resounding stone axes, these weapons being expressed in the 
original by the term Staimbort, from stein, a stone, and barte 
or barde, an axe. In Shetland, numbers of stone axes have 
been discovered, which are wrought from a remarkably com- 


pact green porphyry, probably derived from Scandinavia. In a 
note the Doctor remarks, ' the stone contains, along with 
quartz, a considerable portion of felspar in its composition, 
and probably some little magnesian earth ; it resembles a rock 
that I have seen associated with serpentine, as well as a sub- 
stance that is used in the construction of some of the hatchets 
of the South Sea Islands/ In form, the Shetland steinbarte, 
or stone axe, is of two varieties, it is either single or double 

" Single-edged Steinbarte. This variety has one cutting 
edge, generally of a semilunar outline, and tapering from 
opposite ends to a blunted extremity or heel. In some speci- 
mens both sides are convex; in others, one side only, the 
other being flattened. All the edges, except the broad 
sharpened margin, are bluntly rounded off. The single-edged 
stone axes of Shetland vary much in their dimensions, being 
from four to eight or ten inches in length, their breadth pro- 
portionally differing. When the Shetland steinbarte was used 
in war, its blunt tapering extremity may be supposed to have 
been introduced within the perforation made into some wooden 
or bone haft, and afterwards secured by overlapping cords, 
formed of thongs of leather, or of the entrails of some animal, 
twine of hemp not being then in use. Another kind of stein- 
barte has been said to occur in Shetland, the sharp end of 
which describes the segment of a circle, whilst the chord of 
the outline is thickened, like the back of a knife. Probably 
its blunt edge was fixed within the groove of a wooden or 
bone handle, so as to form a single-edged cutting instrument. 

" Double-edged Steinbarte. The blade of this instrument is 
a stone, completely flattened on each of its sides, and not 
more than a tenth of an inch thick ; it is of an oblong shape, 
having one blunted margin perfectly straight ; and when the 
stone is held in such a position that the dull edge is upper- 
most, we have the form of a blade presented in which the two 
narrow edges are irregularly rounded off at their angles, so 
that one edge is much broader than the other. Ever^ part of 
the margin, but that which constitutes the summit of the out- 
line, is sharpened, by which means there is a great addition 


made to the extent of the cutting edge. The blade is five 
inches and a half long, and from three to four broad. Mallet, 
in his History of Denmark, describes a battleaxe of two edges 
as used by the ancient Scandinavians, and he adds, that when 
it was affixed to a long pole, it constituted a halbert. In 
reference to this observation, I have supposed a long staff with 
the extremity so penetrated, at one or two inches from the 
summit, as to form a long groove four inches in length, through 
which the stone blade, with the blunt side kept uppermost, 
must be drawn half way, and then secured to its station by 
means of cross ligatures. The whole would then present the 
form of a two-edged battleaxe. Antiquaries have remarked 
that this weapon was probably in use from the earliest period ; 
but since it was in the course of time wielded by the trabants, 
or those who stood upon guard in the castles of their kings, 
it was named a halbert, from the Teutonic hale, a court, and 
barde, an axe. In the true spirit of archaeological reasoning, 
it may be pronounced that the blade of this variety of the 
Shetland steinbarte, and the hypothetical handle to which it is 
fastened, constitute the rude form of the northern halbert. 

' { The blades of steinbartes are very abundantly found in 
Shetland. Not unfrequently several of them are discovered 
buried together, thus indicating a little armoury from which a 
number of weapons might be distributed, on an emergency, by 
the hand of some chief to a small band of natives met together 
on alarm of common danger. Assemblages of these weapons 
have been found in the parishes of Walls, of Delting, and in 
the Island of Unst. 'In Northmavine/ says Mr. Low, of 
Orkney, ( seven were discovered underground, disposed in a 
circular arrangement, with the points of each directed towards 
the centre of the ring. It is a pity that the number of these 
weapons was not nine, corresponding to the nine wounds of a 
lance in the form of a circle, which the deified Scandinavian 
hero ga\e himself when, by an act of suicide, he showed an 
example of death to his surrounding followers. At any rate, 
the circular arrangement of the weapons remains indicative of 
a mystical allusion, and that is quite sufficient to provoke an 
antiquarian inference.' 


u Regarding the people by whom these stone axes were 
used, the natives of Shetland have not the least tradition, and 
this circumstance is proof of their great antiquity. They are 
supposed to have dropt from the clouds, endowed with the 
power of protecting the houses in which they are preserved 
from the effects of thunder; hence they are commonly 
named ' thunderbolts/ etc. Some of these stone axes, as 
Dr. Hibbert observes, are of green porphyry ; but I have seen 
some of them formed out of a remarkably compact grey- 
coloured stone, and even the green porphyry in some of them, 
from a particular chemical action to which they have been ex- 
posed, have in a great measure lost their distinguishing tint, 
and become of a whitish-grey colour. I have specimens of 
the stone axe of various dimensions, from five inches and a 
half to six, eight, ten, and fifteen inches in length. The 
cutting edge of the smallest is two inches, and of the largest, 
three inches and a quarter broad, and they gradually taper to 
a point at the opposite extremity. All the specimens in my 
possession are convex on both sides, but more so on the one 
side than on the other. 

" I have some steinbartes of an oval figure, and others of a 
heart shape, with the apex considerably shortened ; both 
formed of the two kinds of stones above-mentioned. The 
largest of the oval ones is eight inches and a quarter long, and 
four inches deep. The cutting-edge extends to two-thirds of 
its circumference, and the remaining third is rounded off, ap- 
parently for the purpose of holding in the hand. The heart- 
shaped one has a cutting-edge in every part. I have one 
different in shape from either of these two ; it describes almost 
a semicircle on the one end, and draws towards a point at the 
other. The semicircle, and as far as the point, have cutting 
edges ; the back is half an inch thick, nearly straight, and 
rounded off. Several stone axes, on removing the surface of 
the ground, were found lying together, a short time ago, within 
the dykes of Stenadale. 

" It has been maintained, that the larger steinbartes were 
used as warlike weapons. This may have been the case ; but 
that they were inserted in a haft or handle appears to me very 


doubtful. From their tapering shape, nothing could have 
secured them in such a position ; and having no neck which 
the handle might grasp, the act of lifting it to give a blow 
would even be sufficient to cause it to slip from its place. 

' ' Neither is any proof to be deduced from the appearance 
of the thin and broad-shaped steinbartes that they were ever 
used as halberts. To have rendered them efficient as a weapon 
of war, not only must the haft have been grooved, but there 
ought also to have been a corresponding groove in the stein- 
barte to retain it in its place, something after the manner of 
dovetailing in wood. As there are no marks indicating this 
to be the case, the steinbarte ought to have been perforated 
that it might have been firmly secured in the groove of the 

" The larger steinbarte may have been used both as a de- 
fensive and offensive weapon, either by throwing it from the 
hand, or striking with it when the combatants came to close 
quarters ; and the smaller steinbarte, it is probable, was for- 
merly used for domestic purposes, and held a similar place in 
the eighth or ninth century which a knife does in the nine- 
teenth. That they are a very ancient instrument is without 
doubt ; for even tradition itself is silent, both as to the time 
when, and the people by whom they were used." 

I now exhibit specimens of the weapons here described. 
The three " knives" produced were found on the side of a 
standing stone near West Skeld. I was informed that six 
were found in a row, but that the other three were lost. The 
large specimen of celt, of beautiful finish, was given to me by 
the Rev. Dr. Hamilton. It was brought to him when I was 
excavating the tumulus in Brassay Island. A knife, like the 
one above described, was brought to Dr. Hamilton at the same 
time, and with his accustomed liberality he presented this, 
through Dr. Mitchell, to the Scottish Antiquarian Museum. 

The Eev. W. Stevenson, writing in 1841, says in his 
account* of the parish of Northmaving, " Ancient arms have 
been found several times. A few of the people are in pos- 

* Statistical Account, p. 75. 


session of the ancient battleaxe, which is carefully concealed 
in some parts of the house, and superstitiously preserved, and 
is commonly called a ' thunderbolt/ " He says that he obtained 
one of a parishioner as a great favour. " It is," he adds, 
" quite entire, and composed of a very hard grey stone, such 
a species of stone as is not to be found in this part of the 

From the above description we see what were, at this time, 
understood to be stone implements in Zetland. Indeed, had 
I not been acquainted with the implements from the drift, I 
should have hesitated considerably before acknowledging these 
stones as having been worked by man ; but under actual cir- 
cumstances, I have no hesitation in doing so. The only 
implement of a similar description, and which is in the 
Edinburgh Antiquarian Museum, was one found, in 1850, in 
Orkney, by Mr. George Petrie, and is now classed with the 
polished celts from the same locality. It is labelled " a. s. 1, 

No. 1. No. 2. No. 3. 

Stone celt, found in a grave under a tumulus, parish of St. 
Andrew's, Orkney. Presented by Gr. Petrie, Esq., 1850." 
Mr. Petrie was therefore able to pronounce them to be imple- 


ments, and Mr. Smith readily accepted our conclusion. On 
showing these implements, however, to Dr. Mitchell and others, 
their opinions were (somewhat naturally) received with a con- 
siderable amount of scepticism. 

On my return to Safester, I had the good fortune to find 
many more than those at first exhibited, and the whole of this 
series can now be examined, and classed according to their 
different patterns. 

The scepticism of Dr. Arthur Mitchell was effectually re- 
moved during the next few days. Dr. Mitchell is most zealous 
as a collector of antiquities on behalf of the Scottish Museum, 
and he never loses a chance of adding to their treasures. I 
had heard that a Mr. Johnston, of Trester, had found a large 
number of celts, and had decided on going to examine them ; 
but the day before I had intended to go, I met Dr. Mitchell 
on his way from inspecting the tumulus and underground 
structure at Safester. He told me that he had been to Mr. 
Johnston's, and that this gentleman had only one polished celt 
left. He had discovered twelve, but all except one had been 
distributed, and no traces of them could be heard of. Mr. 
Johnston, however, informed him that near the place where 
these implements were found, there were also to be seen 
several stones turned out of a similar structure to that found 
at Safester. Dr. Mitchell at once repaired there, and found 
eighty rude implements, half of which he presented to me, 
and the remainder he sent to the Antiquarian Museum at 
Edinburgh. It will be seen that the implements differ in 
pattern from those found at Safester. Dr. Mitchell has sup- 
plied me with the following remarks respecting the instru- 
ments, and the position in which they were found : 

" A few days after seeing the collection of rude stone imple- 
ments, which Dr. Hunt had found at Safester, in the parish 
of Sandsting, I had occasion to pass West Houland, in the 
same parish, and when doing so, I observed at my feet what I 
took to be one of the same style of implements. On exa- 
mination, it proved to be one, and knowing that Dr. Hunt had 
found so many at one place, I looked around for others. In 
less than fifteen minutes, I had a couple of dozen. I then 


called at the cottage adjoining, and there found a considerable 
number/some of which were more than usually perfect. These 
were added to my own find, and to those again some others 
which the cottagers afterwards picked up, making in all about 
eighty, of which the half was given to Dr. Hunt. 

" On inquiry, I found that at the spot where they were 
found, there had existed an underground structure like that at 
Safester. It had been found and destroyed in improving the 
land, and the implements I fell on were in the rubbish which 
had been thrown out. At the time of the turning up of this 
structure, many perfect and carefully polished celts are said to 
have been found. A like thing is also said of Safester. 

" I call them ' implements/ but I have no theory as to their 
use. I merely find the word convenient." 

It will thus be seen that several new patterns of implements 
were found. All the polished stones were more or less prized 
by the Zetlanders, and generally kept with care from some 
superstitious feeling. 

They were all, however, quite surprised to hear that I 
thought the ruder stones of any interest. " Why," they said, 
" they are only bits of stone." They never dreamt that these 
stones had been made by man. They soon became aware, 
however, that there were certain conditions which these stones 
must all fulfil before they could be considered worthy of being- 
taken away. Hundreds of pieces of stone were brought to me, 
which I declined, whilst I am fully conscious some of these I 
now exhibit are not finished implements, but appear to be in 
process of formation. There are also some others which can- 
not be determined with any great certainty to have been really 
worked by man. 

Dr. Mitchell is pleased to say that the find of these worked 
stones is " the discovery" of my visit. I cannot but think it 
must be gratifying to the society to know that the first explo- 
ration which they have undertaken has yielded such interesting 
results. The finding of these worked stones opens up valuable 
questions in connection with the whole subject of the so-called 
stone age. Here we find a large number of very rude worked 
stones, but nothing at all to indicate their age. There is not 



a vestige of any tradition about them, and indeed they had 
never until my visit been recognised as the works of man. 
Three questions then await our solution : 

1. Who worked these stones ? 

2. When were they manufactured ? 

3. For what object or purpose were they made ? 

No definite answer can, at present, be given to either of 
these questions. 

On the first two questions we have not even the materials for 
speculation ; but we may all form our own hypotheses respecting 
the object or purpose for which these stones were worked. 

I might, however, have passed over this point, after 
according the fullest permission to each of our fellows to form 
his own hypothesis, but for the recent discussion before the 
Anthropological Society of Paris on some very similar worked 
flints from Pressigny-le-Grand. The discovery of these worked 
stones in Zetland, I cannot but think, somewhat helps us to 
discover the uses of the flints found in France. Now, it is not 
likely that objects so similar in form as these could have 
entirely different purposes or uses. This being granted, we 
shall see that the recent finds in Zetland, will, at least, have the 
merit of destroying one of the hypotheses brought forward 
respecting the uses of the flints found at Pressigny-le-Grand. 

This subject is both so important and interesting, that I 
make no apology for giving at length the discussion before our 
sister society on a very similar discovery. 

At a meeting of the Society, in August of last year, Mr. 
Broca, the Secretary-General, placed upon the table the worked 
flints sent by M. Meillet, of Poitiers, found in the beds of 
Pressigny-le-Grand. These objects, eight in number, very 
much resembled each other. The general form is that of a 
thick elongated irregular wedge, cut facet-wise by percussion. 
The small end, though not pointed, terminates in an angular 
summit. Although these flints had previously been called 
hatchets, they differ by their dimensions and form entirely from 
the worked flints hitherto examined. One of them is 303 
millimeters long, 115 millimeters wide, and about 80 milli- 
meters thick at the large end. Some were 40 centimeters 


long. These large and heavy flints were found in consider- 
able numbers upon the surface of the soil, and the superficial 
layers of the vegetable earth, in an extended district. 

Near these large flint blocks were found knives of consider- 
able dimensions, and many shapeless drippings, indicating 
that the place was a manufactory for working flints. M. Broca 
says that M. Meillet speaks in his letter of a large stone re- 
sembling the polishing stones found elsewhere in ancient 
manufactures of flint implements. 

M. Leguay added some particulars to those given by M. 
Broca, relative to the recent finds at Pressigny-le-Grand, 
having received some communications from M. Brouillet, who 
with M. Meillet first explored these beds. He offered the 
Society ten flints from these beds sent to him by M. Brouillet. 
These formed a nearly complete specimen of the products 
of this station, or rather of this workshop, which seems 
interesting, were it only for its extension. In fact, upon a 
surface of ground not less than 20 to 25 hectares, we find these 
flints from 10 to 70, and even 80 centimeters in thickness, 
and so abundant are they that M. Brouillet collected in his cart 
in less than an hour, such a number, that they weighed above 
500 kilogrammes. 

On this spot there evidently existed, he said, an immense 
manufactory of flints. He was, however, still in doubt whether 
these flints were destined for votive uses, or whether they 
were intended to serve as utensils, or weapons. 

M. Brouillet had assured him that he possesses some 40 
centimeters long. He had seen the two beautiful knives 
deposited in the Artillery Museum of Paris, which were some 
years since found in the Seine near the pont Napoleon III 
at Bercy. By a singular coincidence, these two knives are 
also of flint, as are most of the pieces found at Pressigny-le- 
Grand. He looked upon these large stones as being neither 
weapons (hatchets, tomahawks, etc.,) nor as intended for such. 
Those upon the table, as well as those he possessed, present all 
the same form, and what is more, the same process of cutting, 
but the stone, the nucleus is not full enough to admit a similar 
operation upon the other uncut surface. Under such conditions, 



it was impossible to obtain that ovoid or almond shape, which 
all other hatchets, whether of the diluvium or polished periods, 

The pieces he offered were flat, and do not seem to have 
been subject to any other process than of separation from the 
matrix. They cannot, consequently, be considered as imple- 
ments, otherwise they would have been re-cut in order to give 
them the usual form. 

As, therefore, he could not ascribe to them any other use, he 
was disposed to look upon them as votive objects. He was led 
to this opinion from having found some of them in sepulchres, 
smaller, but still presenting the same system of cutting as the 
stones of Pressigny. In these stones he recognised matrices 
or nuclei, the position of which in the sepulchre left no doubt as 
to their destination, and if this kind of Silex were not found in 
such abundance at Pressigny, he should attribute to it the same 
destination. But there is no trace found here of sepulchres ; no 
bones, nor traces of pottery. He, therefore, would wait for 
further details before forming a definite opinion. 

With regard to the smallest flints, he held them to be entire 
pieces. They presented a type which was continually met with 
either in caverns or in sepulchres of the stone period. But, 
just as the large stones of Pressigny are colossal compared 
with such of the same type as are found elsewhere, so are the 
latter larger than the flints found in grottoes or sepulchres ; it is 
the similitude of type which made him undecided as regards 
their destination. 

He ought, he said, to give no opinion relative to the age of 
these beds, but he did not think he would be much out if he 
asserted that they belong to the polished stone-age in the sense 
he understood this classification.* He felt no doubt upon this 
subject in the presence of the polished stone of which M. Broca 
has spoken. He added that this piece is sandstone. All the 
polishing stones found in different places are fine grained. He 
had himself found two such whetstones at Varenne-Sainte- 
Hilaire; and M. Bouyou has also found one at Villeneuve- 

* See Bulletins, May 1864. 


M. Brouillet had written to hiin that he has not found a 
single polished flint. But if, as may be supposed, this bed is 
a workshop, there will, probably, be found some polished pieces. 

M. Broca said that the hypothesis of M. Leguay seemed 
very improbable. Yotive objects relate to some religion, and 
a religion is never limited to a small district of a few square 
kilometers. Again, how can we explain the accumulation of 
such an immense quantity of votive objects in a single locality ? 
Is it to be supposed that this was a sacred spot where the 
peoples of surrounding districts came to perform certain reli- 
gious ceremonies, and brought with them worked flints ? Now, 
all these innumerable objects are perfectly alike both as to 
colour, and the nature of the silex. They all come from the 
same source, and everything concurs to prove that they have 
been cut on the spot where they are now found. Or, is it sup- 
posed that this spot was a manufactory whence the neigh- 
bouring peoples fetched their votive flints destined for religious 
ceremonies ? Were such the case we ought frequently to find 
such flints in spots which were inhabited by such peoples, in 
their sepulchres, or around their altars. M. Leguay acknow- 
ledges himself that hitherto no objects resembling those of 
Pressigny have been found. It is, therefore, difficult to accept 
his hypothesis. 

These flints can hardly have been intended for weapons, as 
they could not be held except on a large piece of wood evidently 
too heavy to handle. It is also very probable that all the 
types of weapons of the last stone period are known to us. 
We know also that the weapons of warriors were deposited in 
their graves ; but, although all kinds of arms have been 
found in the sepulchres of that period, none were met with 
resembling the enormous flints of Pressigny -le-Grand. 

The question then arises whether these objects were not 
implements destined for the cultivation of the soil. Several 
members of our Society have been struck with their irregular 
conic form, which might have served to till the ground, and 
used perhaps as ploughshares. 

M. Gerard de Kialle here said the history of tillage is well 
known. The first ploughshares were made of wood ; at a 


later period metal was employed ; but nowhere do we find flint 
ploughshares used. 

M. Broca contended that wooden ploughshares may turn 
ground of little consistency, but would be useless in tilling the 
soil of a forest. Effective tillage requires strong implements 
capable of turning up the stones, and cutting the roots. Archae- 
ology had established that the era of ploughing is signalised by 
the employment of metal shares. But the knowledge of agri- 
culture and its benefits may have gradually spread among 
populations who did not possess a sufficient quantity of metal 
for this purpose ; and it is conceivable that they may have had 
recourse to flint shares. This explains why this branch of 
industry had altogether a local character, and was of short 
duration, and why the manufactory at Pressigny was so exten- 
sive and productive. It is clear that the objects fabricated in 
such quantities must have been subservient to some general 
use. Thus the hypothesis of flint ploughshares he thought too 
conjectural to deserve a long discussion. He wished merely to 
show that it might be opposed to that of M. Leguay, which he 
looked upon as very improbable. 

M. Leguay said in attributing to these flints a votive origin 
it was not his intention to assert, as M. Broca has understood 
it, that they were really so ; nor had he denied that these places 
were manufactories, although hitherto no characteristic chip- 
pings were to my knowledge found there, which are always 
met with in places of this kind. 

Votive stones are always found in sepulchres ; and there are 
no sepulchres near these beds. All that he wished to say was 
that these stones might have been intended for a votive usage. 

It is quite true that the pieces found elsewhere do not attain 
the size of these, but the dimensions vary according to the 
localities, and Pressigny-le-Grand possesses in its soil thick 
flints, from which large pieces were cut. Their abundance led 
to then being less estimated than in other less favoured spots. 
He could not see that these large pieces were implements, nor 
did he share the opinion of M. Giraldes, that they were used 
for agricultural purposes. - 

At these periods sticks were used to dig the soil, or perhaps 


stone hatchets, which, however, is not yet proved, and he 
asked how can a virgin soil be turned by these stone masses ? 
Not only would the labour be considerable, but no man could 
work with such an instrument except for a few minutes. 
Besides this, the entire pieces are neither pointed nor tren- 
chant, there are even some cut in squares at the two ends. 

He did not look upon these pieces as weapons. They are 
not hatchets ; their weight is opposed to such a use. Never- 
theless, as they are found in such large quantities, and all cut 
in the same form, they must have served the same purpose. 
I venture to submit, after the objections he had listened to, an 
opinion which is shared by M. Brouillet, that these large 
masses are the matrices or nuclei from which knives have been 
detached. The stone, after having served its purpose, has 
been thrown aside as useless, for it is generally impossible to 
cut off a second knife, which would have been very small. M. 
Leguay then explained by means of the pieces on the table, the 
motives which have led him to adopt his opinion, as well as the 
means in which the knives have been detached in single 
laminae, and why it was impossible to detach a second piece 
from these matrices. 

He finished by remarking that the cut of the matrices of 
Pressigny-le-Grand differs entirely from the matrices hitherto 
found. The matrices of Pressigny could never yield more than 
a single knife detached in laminae or by cleavage, whilst other 
matrices could furnish several knives. 

In the latter the detachment of a knife was a preparation for 
ultimately detaching other knives, whilst those of Pressigny 
present only a single cut, and the edge in the back is formed 
by the detachment of a considerable number of flakes cut off in 
contrary directions. 

This mark may enable us to recognise the knives of Pressigny, 
which may, perhaps, be met with at a distance from the place 
where they were produced, so as to distinguish by the mode in 
which they are cut. He had, however, found but few such in 
other localities. 

At a subsequent meeting of the Society, the following letter 
was read from M. Mcillct : 


u The fields of Pressigny (there are twenty to twenty-five of 
them at distances from three to four leagues) are not sacred 
fields covered with votive arms. They are workshops. Upon 
the soil are found all the debris of flint cuttings, the nuclei, the 
knives, etc. The soil is encumbered with them at a thickness 
of seventy to eighty centimeters. I have found there flint 
hammers which served for the fabrication of these objects. 
The unwrought flints are found in prodigious quantities in 
these parts. They are flat pieces, ten to twenty centimeters 
thick, derived from the banks denuded of chalk. They are so 
common and so large in those parts, that I have seen ditches 
covered by a single piece of flat silex, to serve as a bridge. I 
have found in the fields of Pressigny five perfectly cut hatchets 
like those found in the dolmens ; two of them were polished. 
Some amateurs of Pressigny possess a dozen of them, which 
have been found in a special field, where there are no nuclei. 
Some of the hatchets are admirably cut and polished, the large 
worked flints of which I have presented eight specimens, and 
which are found in large quantities, are neither hatchets nor 
weapons, but nuclei, from which knives have been detached. 
They are found in every stage of progress, according as there 
have been detached from them one, two, three, or more laminas. 
There are some which have furnished knives on both their 
surfaces. By the side of the nuclei are found knives in abund- 
ance, splinters, and all sorts of rough objects thrown aside as 
imperfect. It is singular that the principal field where these 
debris are found, though situated in the open country far from 
towns and villages, is still called Champ du Commerce. 

" These new sorts of Museums are not in a diluvian bed, but 
on the surface of the soil, or covered with a recent layer. I 
ascribe them to the third period of the stone age, which pre- 
ceded the appearance of metal. There are in this locality well 
characterised diluvian beds, where there are found hatchets 
and arrowheads in abundance, but of different forms, and never 

u Some members of the Anthropological Society have sug- 
gested that the large nuclei may have served as ploughshares. 
I have examined and discussed that hypothesis with the mayor 


and the notary of that locality. It is, however, easily ascer- 
1 -lined that these nuclei are only the remnants of flint blocks 
from which the knives have been detached. As many laminae 
have been detached, as the nature and the quality of the flints 
permitted. Such as were of good quality furnished laminae 
on both surfaces ; these are very flat, and quite unfit for plough- 
shares. In other cases, three or four laminae were removed 
from one surface of a flint, and the other side left untouched. 
Whilst some of these nuclei are elongated, and more or less 
cuneiform, there are many which are short and thick, and from 
which have been detached short laminae for lance-heads. It 
results from all this that the nuclei are not cut for use, but are 
only the debris of the fabrication of worked flints." 

At the sitting of the Academie des Sciences of April 3, M. 
Eugene Robert made the following assertions : 

1. With reference to Grrand-Pressigny, the whole bed of so- 
called worked flints for hatchets, spears, knives, etc., is spurious. 
These flints were simply the residues from a manufactory of 
gun and pistol flints. 

2. Subsidiarily, there lived in ancient Gaul, one race of men 
only, the Celts ; a people who first entered Europe, and came 
probably from the great central table land of Asia. 

At a sitting of the Paris Anthropological Society, on April 
20th, M. de Mortillet made the following observations on Mr. 
Robert's views : 

"Both these assertions are founded in error. I shall not 
descant upon the second ; it is sufficient to peruse the publica- 
tions of our Society to perceive that it is unfounded. 

" With regard to the first, which is more akin to my resear- 
ches, you will permit me to offer a few observations. 

" I must state at the outset, that according to his own con- 
fession, M. Robert speaks of a locality he has never visited ; 
but he relies on the testimony of the actual President of the 
Academy, M. Decaisne. This fact renders the question more 
important, so that it deserves a closer examination." 

The valley of the Claise, in which Grrand-Pressigny and 
Abilly are situated, is enclosed by the slopes of high plateaux. 
The rocky frame of these plateaux is composed of chloritic 


chalk, surmounted by silicious clay, the whole being covered 
with a reddish vegetable earth of little thickness. 

In the valley adjoining the slopes are found beds more or 
less regular, of old alluvium, rising ten to twelve meters above 
the level of the river. This the geologists call the diluvium 
or quaternary formation. Well, in this perfectly undisturbed 
diluvium were the worked flints found by MM. Brouillet, 
Lartet (sen.,) Christy Evans, Dr. Leveille and Breton, at 
Grouillaire, by the Abbe Bourgeois, at la Glasire, and by myself, 
who was the first to describe the bed at Vivier. Surely, these 
flint implements found in quaternary formations are not the 
residue of the manufacture of gun flints. 

We come now to the plateaux where these beds abound. A 
simple examination of the soil suffices to show that the worked 
flints, as well as the larger pieces called livres de beurre, and 
the small flakes, are spread upon the surface of the silicious 
clay, under the vegetable earth. This shows that they are 
anterior to any fabrication of gun flints. 

But, says M. Decaisne, there are many found on the surface. 
Very true. The vegetable earth being very thin, the plough- 
share brings frequently many to light. They are found in 
clearing the fields from stones, and they are heaped up along 
the hedges and the roads. 

M. Decaisne adds, that the country-people assured him that 
formerly there arrived annually squads of workmen to collect 
the flints. They carried off such flakes as suited them, and 
left behind the heavy pieces. 

Supposing even that flints were taken away from Grand- 
Pressigny to manufacture them into gun flints, would that 
militate against the old flint implements ? Are those found in 
the diluvium less authentic for that ? These large flints, 
called livres de beurre, lying under the vegetable earth, some- 
times wedged in old walls, the cut of which has nothing in 
common with the shape of gun flints, and which have fre- 
quently been formed into weapons and implements, are these 
large flints less important ante-historical objects ? 

I go further, and assure M. Decaisne that he has been led 
into error by the persons who furnished him with information 


on this subject. Inquiries have been made at Abilly and 
Grand-Pressigny by the maires of these communes MM. 
Cartier and Breten and they have been unable to ascertain 
that there is any tradition of the arrival of parties of workmen 
to collect the flints. 

The fabrication of gun flints is under the military adminis- 
tration. Now, in the Archives of the Depot of Artillery, con- 
taining all the reports and documents concerning this fabrica- 
tion, Grand-Pressigny and the adjoining localities are not 

And this is easily explained; for the flints of Grand- 
Pressigny, of coarse composition, containing in the interior 
small grains, and which scale off by percussion, are useless for 
the fabrication of gun flints. For such a purpose is required 
flint of homogeneous structure, very fine, and which produces 
by percussion with steel numerous sparks, without much 

Everything concurs to prove the pre-historical authenticity 
of the worked flints of Grand-Pressigny. We possess here 
the works of one of the ancient populations, which it is im- 
portant for us to study in the relations of their mode of life. 

M. Bricheteau then said, that as regards the flints of Grand- 
Pressigny, he had observed that towards the end of the last 
century gun flints were manufactured in the canton, where the 
bed is found of which M. de Mortillet has shown the speci- 
men. He recollected having seen them about twenty years ago ; 
moreover, the fact is notorious. There is a village which has 
become famous, namely, Nohant, actually called Nohant-le- 
Fusilier, which is worthy of note. 

M. de Mortillet replied, Nohant is, he believes, called Le 
Fuselier } because formerly fuseaux (spindles) were there manu- 
factured, and not gun flints. Despite these observations, he 
would still maintain that no person in that district has the 
least recollection of a manufactory of gun flints. Thrice had he 
instituted inquiries in these localities. Engineers, physicians, 
proprietors, have unanimously denied it. It seemed to him 
beyond all doubt that the flints of Grand-Pressigny have no 
analogy to gun Hints. 


M. Leguay then said, I fully agree with M. de Mortillet. I 
have, like him, visited the localities, and have minutely studied 
all the elements of the question. One must not possess the 
least knowledge of the one process by which fire-stones are 
obtained to confound the latter with the knives of the stone 
period. Here we have before us the nucleus of a large flint 
of which the laminas have been detached by a special process 
of breakage, which I have called clivage, and which has 
nothing in common with the break in fire-stones. We observe 
that this flint is thrown away when knives could no longer be 
detached from it. Finally, there are found in this region 
three polishing stones, indicating that the use of polished 
flint existed; and I am not aware that at the period of the 
manufacture of gun flints silex was still polished. 

M. A. Sansen concluded this remarkable discussion by 
observing, that M. E. Robert was the first who contested the 
origin of the flints of Grand-Pressigny, and he seemed to 
possess a monopoly of contestations. He had already con- 
tested the authenticity of the marks of human industry found 
by M. Desnoyers in the reindeer bones found in the caverns. 
It seems that M. Robert has not been more fortunate in this 
instance than in the former." 

I have entered thus at length into a subject apparently 
foreign to my Zetland investigations ; but it will be seen that 
all this discussion has an important bearing on the object or 
uses of these worked stones. It will also be seen from the dis- 
cussion before the Paris Society, that the conclusion which was 
arrived at, after hearing all the different theories, was, that 
" they were the remnants of flint blocks, from which the knives 
had been detached." But, although this explanation might be 
accepted as possible to the worked flints from Pressigny-le- 
Grand, it is not applicable to the worked stones of chloritic 
schist from Zetland. 

The whole question, therefore, not only of the Pressigny-le- 
Grand worked flints, but of the object of these worked stones, 
is opened again. It is an important fact to remember that 
these worked stones have as yet only been found in two places 
in Zetland, and that only about two miles distance apart. 
In both localities there existed a similar underground struc- 


ture generally called " Erdie Houses," of which Dr. Simpson 
says there are very few south of the Forth. 

I am at a loss to offer a really satisfactory explanation of the 
use of these worked stones. It will be seen that those from 
Safester are of very distinct patterns, while those from West 
Howling more resemble those of the flints found in Pressigny- 

There is one worked stone which I picked up by the side of 
the footpath leading from the underground structure at Safe- 
ster, to the tumulus at the same place. This is the only one 
of this pattern which I found, and it is highly valuable, as 
showing the same pattern as that found by Mr. Taylor, at 
Abushehr, in Arabia. 

The following is a drawing of the two, quarter-size : 

No. 1. No. 2. 

No. 1. Stone picked up on the footpath at Safester. No. 2. Cast of Imple- 
ment from Arabia. 

It would be idle, in the present state of our knowledge, to 
advance any more theories respecting the uses of those worked 
stones. I am inclined to think that they were intended for no 
special purpose. They are of too many sizes and patterns to 
admit of such an hypothesis. I am also inclined to consider 
them as articles of daily use, and intended for different pur- 
poses, according to the shape and size. Neither of the expla- 
nations propounded with reference to the worked stones from 
Pressigny-le-Grand, will meet the requirements of the case of 
these Zetland stones. These are certainly not the " debris of 


the fabrication of worked flints/' nor have " short laminas been 
detached for lance heads." Nor do I suppose any one will 
assume that all these different shaped objects are symbols 
connected with some early religion. It is, I think, far 
more reasonable to suppose that at this place there existed 
a large stone implement manufactory, which turned out wea- 
pons for defence, and implements for breaking ice, tilling the 
ground, killing animals, cleaning skins, chopping vegetation, 
breaking shell fish, bruising meat, cutting wood, etc., etc. 
We may also fairly suppose that these stones were used before 
the polished stones, which have been found in considerable 
quantities in Zetland. We find polished stones of all sizes in Zet- 
land, and although it was formerly supposed that all these were 
weapons of war, yet I think there is good evidence to suppose 
that they were far more intended as articles of daily and 
domestic use, in which defence, perhaps, formed an important 

Neither am I disposed to think that these weapons are rare, 
and that we have lighted on the only manufactory in Zetland. 
The one result which I think may be adduced from this discovery 
of rude stone implements in Zetland is, that the classification 
proposed by the Northern Antiquaries of worked stones from 
the drift, and these polished stones, will not hold good. We 
must now make a second period for rude unpolished stones 
and flints unconnected with the drift. 

This discovery in a great measure helps to supply a link in 
the chain of evidence which has long been known to be very 
deficient by all students of Archaic Anthropology. 

It is after all a matter of surprise that there should be 
nothing connecting the rude flints from the drift with the polished 
" celts" so frequently found throughout all parts of Europe. 
Now, however, we have got the connecting link, for on none 
of these stones do we find a trace of polish. If we take mere 
rudeness as a sign of antiquity, we shall be obliged to make 
these worked stones of greater antiquity than those found in 
the drift. At present we have no evidence to fix any age to 
these Zetland implements. Whether the drift has been depo- 
sited as the flints of Amiens since these implements were 


worked, is a question which I cannot solve. All I can affirm 
is , that they were found on the surface of the ground, and in 
connexion with an underground structure. It is right also to 
add that during the whole of my diggings in Zetland, I in no 
instance came on any trace of metal. 

All these questions which I have proposed in connexion 
with these worked stones, must therefore remain for future 
investigation to answer. The advocates of the "stone age" 
will tell us with more dogmatism than philosophy, that our 
implements must belong to the " stone age" of Western Eu- 
rope, and that they cannot consequently be less than five 
thousand years old. I must confess, however, that I can see 
no reason why they should not be as ancient as five million 
years, or as recent as five hundred. 

Having thus touched on the various points of my own 
labours, in conclusion I will dwell briefly on the results of the 
expedition taken as a whole. 

In the first place, our visit to these islands has had a most- 
beneficial effect in giving a fresh interest and stimulus to 
researches of this sort. On all sides we heard of the interest 
taken in our labours ; and the effect of our visit should not 
be estimated by the actual results to which we can now 
arrive, but by the benefit that science is likely to receive from 
the impulse given to these investigations. 

Everywhere we met with the greatest kindness. Wherever 
we wanted to dig, we, in no single case, met with the slightest 
objection from the landlords. The small tenants of the land 
made no objection to our destroying their crops, on condition 
that we paid for the damage. 

The thanks of the Society are especially due to Mr. Edmon- 
ston, who was the means of inducing us to visit Zetland ; to the 
Earl of Zetland, for his handsome donation towards the expenses, 
and for the trouble he took in providing that every facility should 
be afforded to us by his local agents in the islands. We are 
also under obligation to Mr. George Hay, of Lerwick, for his 
assistance and kindness ; and also to the Rev. Dr. Hamilton, 
of Brassay, who was indefatigable in his zeal in rendering us 


I have also to express my grateful acknowledgments to Mr. 
Smith, the sheriff clerk of Shetland, for having written to 
some of the landlords on whose property we solicited to make 
explorations, and who accompanied us whenever his official 
duties would allow him to do so. To Mr. Gatherer, for his 
many acts of kindness ; and to Major Cameron, for his per- 
mission to explore on any part of his extensive property. 
My thanks are especially due to Mr. Umfray, of Reywick, 
without whose kindness I should have had far greater difficulty 
than I encountered in excavating the antiquities of that neigh- 
bourhood. I must also thank Mr. Lawrence, of Beddam, for 
permission to open the tumulus and underground structure at 
Safester; and to Mr. Johnson, for his permission to explore 
the " Giant's Grave," at Hestensetter. 

Mr. Ralph Tate also reports to me that he owes his best 
thanks to Mr. Thomas Irvine, of MMbrake, N. Yell; Mr. 
G. Leisk, Uyea Island; and Mr. Henderson, of Burraroe, 

Mr. Roberts, in his paper, says, p. 292, with regard to the 
urns, etc., from the Muckle Heog, that " I think this is the 
first instance of a hoard of them having been discovered under 
circumstances which so satisfactorily connect them with our 
pre-historic highlanders, the earliest race peopling that country 
of which as yet we have any good evidence." 

This, I believe, to be a mistake; for comparatively large 
numbers of these rude stone urns have been found in Zetland : 
and, so long ago as 1841, the Rev. J. Robertson said,* that in 
"some traces of the dwellings of the Shetland Aborigines 
there had been found some stone adzes, knives, with drinking 
cups, lamps, and hammers, of the same materials." 

With regard to the researches of my colleague, I have 
little to remark. Should it be thought, however, that I am 
responsible for the conclusions at which he has arrived, I 
would state that such is not the case ; we are each only 
responsible for our separate reports. In reference to the mode 
of burial in the Muckle Heog, there is some difference of 

* Statistical Account, p. 87. 


opinion between my colleague and Mr. Roberts. Mr. Tate 
thinks that there is no evidence of a kist or a lintel of the sort 
described by Mr. Roberts. The fact, however, that Mr. Tate 
did not see the lintel, is of some value, although the fact that 
there was a lintel was given by Mr. Edmonston on the 
authority of the workmen. I feel it right to say also, that the 
whole place appeared such a mass of ruins, that there is no 
evidence to show what was the original structure of the burial 
places on this hill. 

The covered underground gallery seen by my colleague at 
Fyell, in Unst, together with the one reported to exist, is of 
great interest, as showing that these structures appear through- 
out the island, and deserve further research. I also heard 
reports of similar structures in other parts of the island ; but 
so little is thought of these buildings, that it is very difficult to 
find them. Should further researches be made in the islands, 
I feel certain that great light might be thrown on these 

During our visit the people seemed so surprised to find us 
amongst them, that they appeared unable to give us any 
information as to the position of these antiquities. Future 
explorers will, I think, find that their work has been made 
easier by the interest which our visit excited amongst all 
classes in the islands. 

I cannot conclude without expressing my warm acknowledg- 
ments to Mr. George Petrie and Dr. Arthur Mitchell for their 
assistance. I think, too, that science owes a debt of gratitude 
to Mr. George Roberts for the zeal which he displayed in 
calling attention to these important relics of antiquity which 
exist in the hitherto much-neglected Zetland Islands. 

It is not now within my province to say anything respecting 
the races inhabiting these islands, but I may just remark on 
the large amount of disease which exists in some parts of 
the islands. In one village, containing only a few houses, I 
observed one case of a girl deaf and dumb, a dwarf about 
twenty-two years of age, an idiot girl, a maniac boy, and a 
very bad case of cleft palate and hare-lip. 

The people are generally in a very benighted state, although 


most inquisitive.* Religious revivalism, and its concomitants 
insanity and functional derangement are very common in 
these islands. 

I believe that a genuine interest has been excited amongst 
the people of Zetland respecting the anthropology of these 
islands. Much yet undoubtedly remains to be done, and it 
will be the duty of this Society to do all she can towards 
accomplishing the labour she has begun. There will after a 
time be found inquirers on the spot who will be both willing 
and competent to undertake explorations; but they will re- 
quire from time to time an official visit from some delegate of 
this Society to direct and encourage their labours. We shall 
thus carry out one of our primary objects, that of advancing 
genuine science by the acquisition of new facts, and thereby 
laying up a store of reliable information as a groundwork for 
our future investigations into the Archaic Anthropology of the 
British Isles. 

* I was invited by the Secretary of the Zetland Natural History Society 
to exhibit and describe the weapons I had found. I consented to do this, 
in the hope that similar implements might be found in other parts of the 
island. But I regret to have to state that I was prevented doing this, owing 
to the objections which the deacons of the Congregational Church expressed 
to a lecture being given by me in their sacred edifice. I was told that it had 
been discovered that I had taken the chair at some meeting in London at 
which Dr. Colenso had read a paper. The charge being unfortunately correct, 
I bowed with all humility to the decision ! I am glad, however, to say that 
this refusal had the effect of exciting the young men of the place to inquiry, 
and that the publications of the Anthropological Society are being sought 
for with avidity. But I regretted to be obliged to take these implements 
away without first publicly exhibiting them. 


XXIV. Report of Zetland Anthropological Expedition. By 
Ralph Tate, F.G.S., F.A.S.L., etc. 

As desired, this report will simply consist of a full description 
of the explorations personally made, and of the objects of 
antiquity observed, in the order of time, they were brought 
under my notice. 

July 1. Examination of the Miickle Heog, Unst. 

In the Memoirs of the Anthropological Society, vol. i, p. 296, 
there is a paper by Mr. G. E. Roberts, " On the discovery of 
large Kist-vaens on the Mtickle-Heog, Unst, containing urns 
of chloritic schist." This communication was but a statement 
supplied to the author by Thomas Edmonston, Esq., who in- 
formed me that he himself was dependent for his information 
on the workmen, who were engaged in the erection of the 
flag- staff, on which occasion the sepulchre was discovered. 
Hence arises the somewhat meagre account of this important 
place of ancient burial. 

The etymology of the words "Miickle Heog" is of great 
significance. Miickle, great, large. Heog is a Scandinavian 
word, and is equivalent to the Icelandic " Haug," a sepulchral 
mound. The Orcadian word " how," a tumulus, is derived 
from the same source. 

The Miickle Heog is one of the heights of a chain of hills, 
composed of serpentine, running east and west to the north of 
Balta Yoe, and south of Haroldswick Bay. The hill rises 
abruptly from a level of 100 feet elevation, to form a rugged 
conical peak, 460 feet above the sea level. A bold escarpment, 
about 100 feet in height, bounds it on the west, and separates 
it from Crucifield. The Perrie Heog is in close proximity to 
it, and separated by undulating ground. The Miickle Heog is 
460 feet, and the Perrie Heog 400 feet above high water mark, 
as determined by me by the aid of the aneroid barometer. 

The sepulchral mound occupied the extreme top of the hill, 

z 2 


a cursory examination of which, on the 28th of June, induced 
us to give up any hope of a return for labour that might be 
spent upon it. But on the 1st of July I set the labourers to 
work in removing the enormous accumulation of stones that 
encumbered, excepting a few square yards around the flag-staff, 
the top of the hill. The results were the exposure of two 
semicircular walls on the eastern slope of the hill, running up 
nearly to the bold escarpment on the west side. The inner 
wall was distant sixteen feet from the edge of the precipice, 
and was slightly built of unhewn flattish stones, or slabs. The 
outer wall was composed of large stones, which either had been 
rudely dressed into more or less cubical blocks, or selected for 
their symmetry. It was situated fifteen feet to the outside of 
the other wall. The space intervening between the two walls 
was covered with stones, which, until the erection of the flag- 
staff, had also covered the area within the inner wall. 

It was within the inner wall and around it that the skeletons 
and urns, which were the subjects of Mr. Roberts's paper, were 
obtained. Apparently there had been no prepared graves; but 
the bodies, with the urns, were simply laid in the natural 
hollows and depressions of the serpentine rock, which here 
appears at the surface in the form of sharp ridges, with inter- 
vening furrows. I saw no large slabs, adapted as covers to 
any graves, among the debris on the hill. 

The whole interior space within the wall was thoroughly 
examined. Portions of skulls of at least two individuals, and 
a barrow-load of other bones, with fragments of steatite pots, 
were found ; but, from the very disturbed nature of the mate- 
rials, etc., no positive statement can be made as to their 
manner of deposition. So, also, as to whether the numerous 
bones of horse, of fish, and of birds, and the shells of. molluscs, 
found among the debris, were actually in association with the 
human remains. 

As to the latter, great caution must be used ; the horse is 
common and indigenous to the islands ; many die owing to the 
scarcity of food in severe winters, their bodies are left to the 
ravens, crows, and black-backed gulls ; and these birds might 
easily have been the agents of transporting the fleshy bones to 


the crown of the hill, and in this way they may have become 
mingled among the stones of the cairn. So, also, the occur- 
rence of fish-bones can be easily accounted for, gulls and 
other fishing birds carrying their booty to the top. Among the 
more common molluscan shells, that of the limpet is very fre- 
quent among the debris of this and other cairns ; the oyster- 
catcher (Hcemantopus ostralegus), which lives upon the limpet, 
may in a like manner have transported the shells to where they 
are now found. Thus, human agency need not be called into 
question for the occurrence of the animal remains I have re- 
ferred to on the tops of hills. I noted on the top of Saxi- 
ford, Perrie Heog, Gallows Hill, etc., the same thing. 

Greater reliance can be placed on the relation of a stone 
implement, picked up by Dr. Mitchell, F.A.S.L., on the 
Miickle Heog, to the human remains buried here. 

The implement is a rolled pebble of serpentine rock, of an 
oblong ovoid form, four and a half inches in length, seven and 
a half inches in circumference at the larger end, and gradually 
tapering to five inches at the other. It is slightly contracted 
in the middle, and can be conveniently grasped by the hand. 
The larger end is fractured, as if by being used in the form of 
a pestle ; its size seemingly well-adapted for such, and from its 
weight quite capable of crushing the shells of molluscs, the 
animals of which may have been an article of food among the 
possessors of these stone implements. 

On. the outer side of the inner wall I discovered a series of 
graves that indicates another mode of burial among these 

On the outside of the inner wall, I found several flat 
stones, varying from one and a half to two feet in length, 
and about nine to twelve inches in breadth. The stone 
in each case covered a few human bones, principally teeth 
and phalanges, with a few remains of horse, birds, and fish. 
The bones were reposing on a slight bed of angular gravel, 
beneath which was a bed of an inch or so in thickness of 
a black, stiff, unctuous, clayey substance. This was over- 
lying a bed of red, or yellowish clay two or three inches in 
thickness, which covers the solid rock. 


In every case, there were the same materials and order 
of superposition observed ; the black material in no instance 
was found extending beyond the confines of the covering 

An examination of the human bones prove them to be those 
of children. The black material is such as I have seen in 
kists where the body had evidently been burnt and the ashes 
only preserved ; and this substance probably results from the 
impregnation of the clayey floor of the grave with the oily 
and decomposed animal matter. In the case of these small 
graves, it would indicate that the bodies had been burnt 
on the spot, and the charred remains with the few bones 
that had escaped the destructive element had been deposited 
as I found them. 

2nd July. On the top of the Perrie or Little Heog (400 
feet), I discovered oblong depressions in the serpentine rock, 
but they presented no indications of having been used as 
graves. A single grave, exactly similar to the graves on the 
outside of the inner wall of the Miickle Heog, I found ; beneath 
the stone were a few fragmentary human bones, indicating a 
small individual, with a few bones of birds and two teeth of a 
small horse, overlying a similar series of deposits as in the 
graves on the neighbouring height. 

3rd July. In the gully that separates the Miickle Heog 
from the Crucifield there is a disturbed tumulus, which went 
under the title of the Place of Justice. The top of the Miickle 
Heog, also named the Place of Execution and Hanger Hill, is 
reached from the former by a flight of rude steps. A tradition 
prevails that whatever criminal ascended the steps to the 
Miickle Heog never came down alive. But if an accused, after 
hearing his sentence, was desirous to appeal to the voice of the 
people, he tried to escape in a direction that led to a circle of 
stones on Crucifield ; if he could reach that sacred ground in 
safety his life was preserved. 

The tumulus, now a confused heap of stones, contained four 
kists ; three were exposed to view at the time of my visit, the 
fourth that I discovered was accurately covered by a flat head- 
stone, and was apparently undisturbed, but the grave was 


empty. "Two bodies, supposed to have been executed criminals, 
were about one hundred years ago found buried in disorder 
here." (Hibbert.) 

The kists 1, 2, and 3 were narrow, and could not receive a 
body of an ordinary full-grown person lying at its full length. 
No. 4 was transverse in its longer diameter to the length of 
the three others, and is about six feet long. In each case, the 
coffin is formed by two long stones for the sides and two smaller 
ones for the ends, all set on edge. 

3rd July. A few yards to the north-west of the above- 
mentioned tumulus is another sepulchral mound of loose stones. 
This I thoroughly worked out, but found no indications of its 
being a place of burial, nor of the treasure reputed to be 
buried there with Harold. Dr. Hibbert (1822) writes, " This 
barrow was opened some years ago." 

I made some other excavations during this day, but of a 
character not worth recording. 

4th July. Visited the sands at Norwick, Unst, I having 
been informed that about fifty years since the skeleton of a 
man, with steel weapons and trinkets, was disinterred from the 
bank of blown sand ; but as no one could point out the exact 
spot, on such an ever-changing surface, from which the human 
remains, etc., were taken, I did not venture upon a search. 

7th July. Examined an ancient covered gallery at Fyell, 
Unst, which was opened about two years ago. It is of a semi- 
circular form, two feet or so beneath the arable land, about 
thirty feet in length, three feet in breadth and height, widen- 
ing out at the western extremity to the form of a chamber 
of five feet square ; ponderous slabs of mica-slate form the 
lintels. These stones have been transported from Norwick, 
which is the nearest depot for such, and distant two miles. 
Many stone urns and implements were removed from this 

During the delving of the ground this spring by the present 
tenant, he struck upon what he stated to his wife to be an- 
other "Fairy Ha';" the spot he could not point out to me. 
I was not anxious to prosecute a search, as I hoped to meet 
with good work in other districts, and this might be re- 


served for future exploration when, in the mean time, the 
exact whereabouts of this second barrow may be ascertained. 


11 -13th July. Uyea signifies an island of preeminence, and 
this derivation is confirmed from the many objects of ancient 
rite occurring upon it. 

Places of Interment. On the extreme top of the "Wart of 
Uyea, about 250 feet high, the most elevated point in the 
island, some fifteen or twenty charred urns, containing calcined 
bones, had been found from the year 1814 to within a few 
years back. I worked here, but found only fragments of 
urns ; the urns had been deposited in the natural hollows sur- 
rounding the top of the hill, and covered with a few stones. 
The majority of the urns are larger than those from the Miickle 
Heog, but are composed of the same material, coarse steatite, 
klimmel or klibber-stone of the people. Steatite is not 
found in the Island, but occurs in the neighbouring one of 

A low flat cairn to the west of the Wart gave me no results. 

To the south of the farmstead, a cairn, some fourteen feet in 
height, was removed about the year 1 830, and disclosed a stone 
kist of the usual form, it contained only an urn with ashes. 

On the top of a knoll by the sea, to the south-east of the 
farmhouse, a grave set round with eight oblong stones on end, 
in a rude circle, was opened a few years since ; a thighbone 
was only found within. 

Stone Circles. Several of these occur throughout the island, 
one of large diameter occupies the plain to the south-west 
of the Wart. Three occupy the tongue of land known as 
Tourneness, all presented much the same character. The 
most northerly exhibited a circular wall of about twenty feet 
diameter, with large stones set on end, and raised about two 
feet above the level of the interior area, within the circum- 
ference of the wall, at a distance of three or four feet apart. 
Three large stones, blocked together, formed a rude seat, 
this seat of honour, through a buried stone, bore 25 west 
of south (magnetic) . A trench was dug through the centre ; 


others driven from it to the larger of the standing stones. I 
found, two feet beneath the surface, a flat stone three feet long 
by two to two and a half broad, lying north-west and south- 
east, beneath which was a semicinder-like mass, one quarter of 
an inch in thickness, and occupying a space but little less than 
the surface of the stone. 

Another circle communicated with a smaller one, which 
occupied a less elevated position. Three large upright stones, 
about three feet above the ground, and deeply sunk, were 
rugged beneath. I also trenched through the circle. 

To the north-east of the Wart of Uyea are two quadran- 
gular groups of stones, a large one, about ten feet square, 
leading up into an oblong one five feet by four. 


July 15th. Excavated through the Giant's Grave (a cairn) 
at Midbrake, and around a standing stone at Porple, North Yell. 
The standing stone, four feet and a half above the soil, is com- 
posed of klibber-stone, which is not found in the immediate 

July 17th. Cairns beneath the banks of blown sand at 
Ness, sometimes called Brackna Sands, North Yell. The pre- 
sent site of these cairns is at the open end of a small gulley, 
in the line of the sand cliffs ; the most northern cairn is 518*76 
feet from high-water mark, and about five feet elevation. The 
cairns are all on the same level, and respectively situated. 

No. 1 to No. 5, due east, 36'96 feet. 

1 4, . . . 66 

>, 1 2, . . . 16-5 

2 3, . . . 15-16' 

3 ,,4, ... 37*3' 

The cairns are twenty-one feet below the brow of the sand- 
bank. Up to the year 1818 the sandbank was intact, and 
pasturage was upon its top; between 1818 and 1820, the 
sand was begun to be removed; and previous to 1863 the pre- 
sent gully was formed, and the cairns were exposed. In 1863, 
Mr. Irvine, the proprietor of the laud, examined to the bottom 
of the cairns Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. In each case, on removing the 


first layer of stones (i. e. from nine to twelve inches from the 
top) , a " peculiarly black unctuous earth" was found resting 
upon calcined bones, mixed with sand and black earth. Some 
charcoal was found among the stones; but no implements or any 
objects were found in the cairn ; many of the bones are en- 
crusted with carbonate of copper (?) . On my visit, the cairn No. 5 
was five feet beneath the sands, which had accumulated since 
1863, but the position of the cairn was indicated by a series of 
stones connecting it with cairn No. 1. 

The cairn had been but slightly broken into by Mr. Irvine, 
from which he had removed almost the whole of a skeleton of a 
small individual. The head was reposing on the breast, and the 
skeleton lying in a direction the same as, and near to that of 
another young individual obtained by me, but a little above the 
floor of the cairn. 

The results of my working at this cairn (No. 5) were the 
finding of three skeletons, all at the base of the cairn. Around 
the bodies, which were laid on the sands, an accumulation of 
beach stones, which was then five feet high, had been made. 
All the stones are water worn, generally heavy beach stones of 
granite, gneiss, mica slate, and porphyry. 

The position of the first skeleton (of a young individual) was 
as follows, the skull was resting on the breast, the body ex- 
tended, and the arms lying by the sides, bearing east and 
west. The skeleton in this case, as in that of the others, was 
set round with large stones, and other stones partly housing 
the skeleton in, and partly placed lintelwise. 

The first adult skeleton obtained was lying fully extended 
on the left side, facing the west, bearing 70 west of north, 
and reposing on a bed, about two inches thick, of the bones 
of the piltack (the young of the coalfish, Gadus carbonarius) . 
The second adult was obtained with the legs and arms slightly 
bent on themselves, lying on the left side, but a little more 
westerly than that of the other one. The fish-bones were under- 
lying it from the shoulder to the pelvis, as in the former. Only 
a few limpet shells were found among the stones at the base 
of the cairn, and some charcoal in the upper part. 

Mr. Irvine informs me, that he remembers the sandbank as 


continuous, where now the gully exists, as early as 1 797, and 
that documentary evidence indicates it to have been so for a 
period of nearly three hundred years. 


19th and 20th July. I was induced to visit the above place, 
for I had been told that Mr. Henderson, of Burravoe, had seen 
sculptured rocks in his neighbourhood. Here I was sadly 
disappointed. Mr. Henderson had seen such in so many places 
that he could not exactly show me where ; after two days' futile 
search, the place was abandoned by me. Whilst here, I cut 
through a cairn-like structure known as the <! Fairy Mound," 
of which I have nothing to record. 


XXV. On the Head-Forms of the West of England. By 
John Beddoe, B.A., M.D., F.A.S.L., F.E.S., Foreign 
Associate of the Anthropological Society of Paris. 

In anthropology, as in chemistry, and other progressive 
sciences, the disposal or modification of old theories, renders 
ambiguous or misleading terms that once appeared to have a 
definite and unequivocal meaning. Kelt and Keltic are words 
which were useful in their day, but which have ceased to 
convey a distinct idea to the minds of modern students of the 
science. I ask the indulgence of those who on this ground 
would object to the frequent use of these words in the present 
paper. I could have employed no others in their place without 
still greater risk of being misunderstood. The sense in which 
I use them will, I think, become tolerably clear in the sequel, 
and I apply them, in fact, to the common element of race in 
ancient Gaul, Britain, Ireland, Noricum, and Keltiberia. 

It is my principal object, in the present paper, to throw 
some additional light on the vexed subject of the Keltic skull- 
form, by adducing a series of unpublished facts. These facts are 
derived for the most part from mensuration of the heads of 
natives of the south-western counties, and of Wales and Ireland. 
The people subjected to examination were mostly either inmates 
of certain factories and workshops which I visited for the pur- 
pose, or applicants at the Bristol Royal Infirmary; but, as a 
certain number of persons belonging to the professional and 
trading classes were added, it is probable that the general 
population, except its purely rural section, was fairly repre- 

It can hardly be said now, as it was, not many years ago, that 
the question as to the true Keltic head-form is as far as ever 
from being settled. The materials for its determination which 
have been accumulated and utilised by Davis, Thurnam, and 
Daniel Wilson, by Broca and Belloguet, and the acute obser- 


vations of Pruner-Bey, have certainly placed us in a far better 
position for its consideration than the one we occupied when 
Professor Nilsson vainly demanded of British authropologists a 
typical Keltic skull. Still the differences of opinion founded on 
these materials continue to be great, and are complicated by 
the doubt whether any or many pre- Keltic races have left their 
traces not only in riverbeds, caves, and kjokkenmoddings, but 
in the contents of our barrows and the blood of our people ; 
and, moreover, by the obscurity of the relations inter se of the 
Kymric, Gaelic, Belgic, and Grallo-Keltic stocks. 

The opinion formerly predominant in this country, as in 
France, that the Keltic skull was long, was somewhat rudely 
shaken by the revelations of the Crania Britannica. Dr. 
Barnard Davis, while claiming for the average Briton of the 
barrows a moderate degree of brachykephalism, has never, so 
far as I am aware, done the same for his supposed modern 
representatives. His observations in Kerry [Or. Br., p. 200,) 
equally with his extensive collection of modern and mediaeval 
Irish skulls, indicate a tendency to length rather than to short- 
ness. His colleague, however, in his recent valuable paper 
in the Anthrop. Memoirs, vol. t, has gone further : " In Eng- 
land," he says (p. 127), ' ' the prevailing form of skull is ovoid 
or moderately dolichokephalic, combined with a more than 
medium stature, and generally with a fair skin, and light eyes 
and hair. A much less common form of head is the brachy- 
kephalic, usually found in connexion with a less stature, and 
with a dark skin, eyes, and hair. The first of these two types 
is Teutonic, and to be traced to an Anglo-Saxon and Scandi- 
navian source, whilst it is almost equally certain that the second 
is derived from our British or Keltic ancestors." 

All this seems to be assumed as a postulate by Dr. Thurnam. 
I find, however, on analysing my observations, that they 
distinctly negative the most important part of the statement. 
On the one hand, eighty-one heads, which by my method of 
measurement, in which the glabella is assumed to mean the 
prominent spot between the superciliary ridges, yield a modulus 
of more than eighty per cent. ; heads, therefore, which are 
ordinarily called brachykephalic, belonged for the most part to 



individuals witli light hair, and an average stature somewhere 
about the mean. And, on the other hand, of twenty-five 
Englishmen having black or brownish-black hair, the average 
index of head-breadth is so small as 76*5, which is the lowest 
I have met with in any set of men. Eight Welshman having 
black hair, yielded the same modulus to a fraction as thirty- 
eight who had hair of other colours, though I must concede 
that eight black-haired Kerrymen had heads broader by | per 
cent, than twenty-four others. The observations of my friend 
Mr. Hector MacLean, on the islanders of Islay and Oolonsay, 
bear me out on this point very strongly, his black-haired men, 
twenty in number, yielding a modulus of seventy-six, or three 
per cent, less than that of their lighter-haired neighbours. 

We shall see the bearing of all this presently. In the mean- 
time it is worthy of remark that the remaining part of my 
friend's postulate is more correct. Mr. Maclean's measure- 
ments, and my own, both indicate that a notable, though not 
very great, inferiority in stature and bulk, does, on the average, 
characterise the black-haired type. 

I shall now proceed to state, from the narrowest to the 
broadest, the moduli, or indices of relative breadth, which I 
have found in the living heads of natives of the following dis- 
tricts. I shall introduce seven Hanoverians from the neigh- 
bourhood of Bremen, as representatives of one of the Teutonic 

No. ob- 




Wiltshire, North and West 



Munster (mostly co. Cork) ... 



West Somerset 






Belgium (Walloons) ... 



South Wales and Monmouthshire 



South Devon ... 



Gloucestershire ... 






East Somerset 






Sweden (coasts) 



North Devon 



South Somerset 



North, South-east, and Centre of England 






Near Bremen ... 



Near Uleaborg, Finland 



tribes that took part in the conquest of England,* and thirty 
Swedes, partly for a similar reason, and partly to show that the 
Swedes are not so universally and intensely dolichokephalous 
as most people seem to believe. Also ten Walloons from the 
province of Namur, as representatives of a race more or less 
Keltic in blood, and eight Finns as an example of a truly 
brachykephalous people. 

The conclusions or inferences I should draw from this table 
would be as follows : 

That, inasmuch as there is reason to suppose that the com- 
parative breadth of a cranium, is less than that of a living head, 
with its integuments, etc., there is ground for believing the 
people of the West of England to be decidedly dolichokephalic. 
That the same statement applies to South Wales, and to 

That the difference in this respect between Anglo-Saxons in 
general, and Kelts in general, is immaterial, and that if any 
such difference does exist, it is quite overshadowed by the tribal 
or sectional differences, between Saxons and Kelts inter se. 

That the table affords no support to the view that the Keltic 
skull has been, or would be narrowed by an admixture of the 
Iberian type. For there is more reason to suspect the pre- 
sence of Iberian blood in Cornwall and South Wales, than in 
West Somerset, and more in Kerry than in Cork. 

That if the modern Gaelic skull differs from the Kymric or 
Cambro-British in this respect, it is probably in the direction of 
greater narrowness. 

That the heads in North-western Wiltshire are remarkably 
long. Lest this should be attributed wholly to the fact that 
Wilts is more Teutonic than any county to the west of it, I 
will remark that the twenty heads from the other Teutonic 
districts of England occupy the other extremity of my scale, 
and, moreover, that my Wiltshire list includes some specimens 
whose other physical characteristics are distinctly Keltic, and 

* I have had no opportunity of measuring Frisian heads; judging by the 
eye, I believe Dr. Lubach's opinion of the dolichocephaly of the Frisians to 
be correct. Nor have I measured any Danes. 


who yet have very long heads. Have we here the traces of Dr. 
Thurnam's dolichokephalous long-barrow-men ? 

The mention of these same long-barrow kymbekephali 
transports one at once from the region of dry and repulsive 
modern fact into the enticing and glorious uncertainty of pre- 
historic theory. For my own part, neither Dr. Wilson nor Dr. 
Thurnam has as yet quite convinced me that there was a dis- 
tinct megalithic race, still less that that race was Iberian. 

In forming my idea as to the existence of a common Keltic 
type, I have been guided very much by the evidence of colour. 
" Colour/' said Sir Henry Rawlinson, while presiding over 
the Geographical Section of the British Association at Bath, 
" is of no value in the consideration of types." From this 
statement of Sir Henry's I most emphatically differ. It has 
never hitherto been proven that chromatic is more changeable 
than cranial type, where there is no intermixture of blood ; 
and to assert that it is so is at least premature. 

Now, there is a certain chromatic character, the frequency 
of which I have myself observed in all parts of Ireland, in 
most parts of the Scottish Highlands and of Wales, in Corn- 
wall, in the West of England to a gradually diminishing 
extent as one travels eastward into Wessex, in Champagne, 
and less markedly in the Walloon country, and in Piedmont, 
and which, on the trustworthy evidence of M. de Belloquet, 
I believe to be common also in Brittany. I mean that con- 
junction of blue, cagrulean or ashgrey eyes, with dark hair, 
brows, and lashes, which Dr. Barnard Davis calls, for shortness 
sake, " the Keltic eye." Having found this combination 
frequent everywhere where Keltic blood may be supposed to 
abound, and scarcely anywhere else, I believe it to furnish a 
pretty good index of the presence of Kelts. 

In the next place, is there any cranial form which abounds 
wherever the ' { Keltic eye" abounds ? With the diffidence 
which becomes one who has not made craniology a special 
study, I incline to think that there is. It is the one which 
my friend Dr. Daniel Wilson, in his recent and important 
paper on the characteristics of the ancient and modern Kelt, 
designates as the pear-shaped or insular Keltic type, and 


which he described as equally long with the Anglo-Saxon, but 
marked by a sudden tapering in front of the parietal pro- 
tuberances, and a narrow prolonged frontal region. Most of 
the other eminent anthropologists whose names 1 have cited, 
from Ketzius onwards, have more or less clearly, and with 
some difference of opinion on the point of length, indicated a 
somewhat similar view; but none of them, so far as I can 
recollect, have so clearly and tersely expressed it. I myself, 
working independently of Dr. Wilson, and in a different 
manner, had educed the same conclusions, which have since 
been confirmed by further investigations, including a few 
upon Swedish, German, and Walloon heads ; and, moreover, 
by a visit to Rheims, in Champagne, where, in the elaborate 
sculptures of the monument of Jovinus, I had the satisfaction 
of beholding the same marked features, square forehead, 
prominent brows, and angular chin, which almost equally, to 
the present day, characterise the Belgic Kelt of the continent 
and the Firbolgian of Arran. 

I do not think Wilson's term, " pear-shaped," very happy ; 
that of " coffin-shaped" would perhaps be better, but would 
be liable to convey the idea of great length, which is not 
desirable. The heads to which I should apply it vary in 
length, but are usually rather dolichous. A nearly straight 
line extends from the outer angle of the forehead to the point 
of greatest breadth, which is generally parietal, and placed 
far back above and behind the meatus auditorius ; while in 
Saxon skulls this point is generally temporal, and placed 
above the meatus, at a rather low level. The forehead has 
great squareness when viewed from above, and from behind 
diagonally its angle and the malar bone are both seen to be 
prominent, so that the eye can hardly be got to show in 
profile : the zygomatic diameter may or may not be large, but it 
is placed well forward, and appears large in a front view ; and 
this fact, with the flatness of the anterior and fronto -lateral 
region, would cause the skull to be phasnozygous. In the 
Saxon type, on the other hand, with which the Swedish 
generally but not exactly agrees, the forehead is rounded 
laterally, the eye prominent in profile, the greatest zygomatic 

A A 


diameter lies far back, and the tendency of the skull to 
ellipticity renders it aphsenozygous. The brows are, in the 
Keltic type, prominent and low, either oblique, or, which is 
very common in Ireland (see Davis, Or. Brit., p. 201), " forming, 
with the projecting superciliary ridges, a horizontal line above 
the eyes." The forehead above the brows is rather flat, in 
intelligent men often elevated and square (Edwards' Kimric 
type), but in the bulk of the population low, " gaining," as has 
been said, "in length what it wants in height." The upper pro- 
file of the skull has generally a gentle and regular curve as far 
as the upper occipital region j this is generally protuberant, 
and whether so or not, is oval in section : this, point we owe to 
Pruner-Bey, but I have confirmed it in a good many instances. 
" Receptaculum cerebelli small," said Retzius of a particular 
skull, an Irish one. {Or. Brit., Description of Ancient Hibernian 
Skull, plate 55, p. 2). I think the remark applies to the best 
examples of the type, but my method of measurement does 
not allow me to test its correctness. 

The facial features in several varieties or crosses of this 
type have been well described by Dr. Barnard Davis. The most 
constant are the rather deep-set eye, the sinuous long-nostriled 
nose, prominent at the tip, and the always angular and often 
narrow chin. A slight degree of prognathousness, producing 
a vertical furrowing of the cheek, is so common, that it may 
perhaps be a race-character. Length of face varies like length 
of head, but is generally considerable ; in the Firbolgs of Arran, 
and in many Walloons, it is conspicuously great. 

Such is the prevailing type in Ireland generally; and I 
think it is more conspicuous than any other in the greater 
part of Somerset, and perhaps in South Devon. It is common 
in other parts of the west also, including certain tracts in the 
valley of the Bristol Avon, which, according to Dr. Guest, long 
remained Damnonian. The ovoid head, tending to ellipticity 
when long, to roundness when short, seems to predominate in 
all the upper part of Wiltshire and of Gloucestershire, and 
occurs in more or less force elsewhere, notably about Bideford, 
and along both coasts of the Bristol Channel. But in the 
Yale of Thornbury and the Forest of Dean, as well as in 


Wales and North Devon and Cornwall,, one or two other types 
rise into importance. One of these I believe to be Iberian. 
In this the form is distinctly ovoid, as in M. Broca's Basque 
skulls. It is conjoined with a dark, almond-shaped, and often 
obliquely set eye, quite Turanian in character, with arched or 
oblique eyebrows, and with other features much resembling 
those I have seen in photographs from the Western Py- 
renees. Another may be described as rounded-oblong in 
horizontal section ; it is broader in the forehead and fuller in 
the temples than the ordinary Keltic head, of which it may, 
however, be only a variety or cross. It abounds in Wales 
and North Devon. My friend Mr. David Davis, an acute 
observer, considers it to be the special Kymric form, as does 
also Mr. D. Mackintosh. Something like it reappears in the 
north of England among the Kymro- Scandinavian breed. In 
Devon and Cornwall some find Romans and Phoenicians : I 
cannot say whether they are right or not. 

Let us now see how these facts as to length, and these 
views, partly based upon measurements, on the other parts of 
the subject, can be reconciled with the contents of British and 
Gaulish barrows. There are great difficulties in the way, to 
which I will advert presently, but I do not think such a 
reconciliation impossible. In the first place, so far as Ireland 
is concerned, these difficulties are non-existent. The ancient 
Irish skulls, as well as the mediaeval and modern ones, are 
long; the four in the catalogue in the Crania Britannica 
average 76*2, and the two in the museum at Kilkenny the 
same modulus to a fraction. Moreover, the physiognomy and 
proportions of these skulls agree with my description, and 
are also, as may be seen in the two figured by Dr. Davis, 
thoroughly Irish. I would treat with respect any opinion put 
forward by Sir William Wilde ; but I am as yet unconvinced 
of the existence of any race of globular-headed Irish, though I 
by no means absolutely deny it.* 

* Of ancient French skulls I know but little, but that little rather 
strengthens my views ; for during a recent visit to M. Broca, I convinced 
myself that some if not all of the " Bellovaque" skulls agreed well with our 
Keltic type, and those of the Merovingian Franks with our ovoid Anglo- 

AA 2 


In England we have to deal with the duplicate theory of 
Thurnam, and the triplicate theory of Daniel Wilson ; or, if 
we adopt the single race theory of Barnard Davis, we have to 
account for the disappearance of that tendency to brachyce- 
phalisin which he attributes to the majority of his Britons. I 
find the pear- or coffin-shape which I have described, in a great 
many of the skulls figured in the Crania Britannica, both long 
and short, e. g., those from Parsley Hay, Ballidon Moor (bating 
the prominence of the centre of the forehead,) Arras, End 
Lowe, Codford, Juniper Green, Bincombe, and the long skull 
from Uley, while the typical ovoid Saxon form is exhibited in 
the example from Linton Heath, and less distinctly in others, 
as those from Wye Hill and Brighthampton. There are, how- 
ever, cross exceptions. Thus the round skull from Tosson, 
Northumberland, supposed to be late British, has a very German 
look. The coffin-shaped " Saxon " from Harnham, if that 
burying- ground belonged, as Thurnam thinks, to the churls 
and thralls of the neighbourhood, may well have appertained to 
a man of British lineage. If it be objected that the filling 
out of the temporal region may arise in a race as a consequence 
or concomitant of advancing civilisation, I can only reply that 
the ancient Saxons and Merovingians certainly did not rank 
very high in that respect, any more than some of our "bullet- 
headed" boors of the present day ; and that the round-headed 
barbarian of Tosson must in that case have been born long 
before his time. 

As for the supposed brachykephalism, or inclination towards 
brachykephalism, of the ancient British Celt, two or three con- 
siderations suggest themselves. The change, if any change 
there was, took place very long ago. Daniel Wilson has shown 
evidence in favour of the mediaeval Keltic skull having been 
long ; and we can hardly suppose that under somewhat similar 
influences the Keltic skull was growing narrower, and the 
German one wider. If there really was a megalithic race, it 

Saxon one ; and moreover, that the form of M. Broca's Basque crania was 
very much that of some modern Silurian heads. In the valley of the Meuse, 
the long skull of Engis, and the shorter ones of M. Dupont's reindeer-men, 
are certainly not adverse to my view in any way. 


may have survived through the bronze period in serfage, rarely 
appearing in the barrows, and have ultimately fused with its 
conquerors, modifying their skullform. But if the race was 
substantially one, and the kymbekephali were merely aberrant 
specimens, we have to do with the familiar phenomenon of a 
wide range of proportionate length and breadth, such as occurs 
in most races.* Change in the mode of nursing infants may 
account for one or two per cent, of additional length, and 
different methods of measurement for something more. Dr. 
Davis, for example, understands by the glabella the smooth 
spot, or slight depression, generally found about an inch above 
the fronto-nasal suture, while my glabella is the point of union 
of the superciliary ridges. A frowning beetle-browed skull, 
such as many of the ancient British ones, would therefore yield 
in my hands a slightly longer antero-posterior diameter than in 

* My 30 Swedes varied from 72-4 to 85*5. 


XXVI. Report of Explorations conducted in the Kirhhead 
Gave at TJlverstone. By J. P. Morris, Esq., F.A.S.L. 


The Kirkhead bone-cave is situated on the breast of a steep 
hill on the Eastern shore of the Promontory of Cartmel, and 
about eighty-five feet above high water mark. So far as is 
known, its dimensions are, length forty feet, width twenty feet, 
height from surface of deposit, fourteen, nine, and seven feet 
under three separate domes. 

The floor of the cavern consists of bones, earth, angular 
fragments of limestone, and water woru pebbles of clay slate 
indiscriminately mixed. 

Permission to examine the place having been obtained of J. 
Young, Esq., upon whose estate the cavern is situated, several 
diggings have been made, and many objects of interest found. 
These consist of portions of human crania, especially of the 
frontal or parietal bones ; human leg and arm bones, and ver- 
tebrae. A few inches below the surface, I found a Eoman coin 
of the Emperor Domitian, and at a depth of about seven feet, a 
stone implement of a rude unground type, and a metatarsal 
bone of a pig, with an evenly bored circular hole drilled through 
it. This, I at first imagined had been an amulet, but I have 
since been informed by Professor Busk, that it partially re- 
sembles the bone whistles found in the South of France. 

Two pointed bone implements were also found, and several 
fragments of rude unbaked pottery. 

Of the various animal remains met with, the most numerous 
are the goat, kid, pig, boar, fox, badger, two species of deer, 
Gervus elaphus, and G. capreolus, and an immense quantity of 
bones of the wild goose. Of those of which only a few 
remains are met with, I may mention the Mus rattus, Arvicola 
amphibia, Felis catus, one posterior molar of horse, two 
canines and a molar of the dog. The bottom of the cavern 


has not yet been reached, and several hundreds of tons of the 
superficial bone earth yet require examining. 

Some time ago, in quarrying stone for an embankment, 
another bone cave was discovered in a bluff limestone head- 
land called Capes Head, on the western shore of the same 
peninsula of Cartmel. At the instance of his Grace the Duke 
of Devonshire, some portion of it was excavated, but I am not 
aware of anything important having been found, except a few 
remains of the smaller Ferce iiaturce. Being in the neighbour- 
hood in May last, I was induced to examine the place, and on 
breaking a piece of stalagmite, I found several fragments of 
charcoal closely embedded. This evidence of the human occu- 
pancy of the cavern led me to visit it again, upon which occa- 
sion I found a human humerus in the calcified mould and stalag- 
mite adhering to the side of the cave, and also found a badger's 
skull containing one molar tooth. On a subsequent visit I 
found a human malar bone, and several animal remains, and I 
have no doubt that many interesting objects might be found, 
should a thorough excavation be made.* This cavern at the 
present time is eighty-seven feet long, fifteen feet broad, and 
about ten feet high. 


" And though he's buried in a cave, 
And trodden down with stones, 
And years have rotted off his flesh, 

The world shall see his bones !" Hood. 

" There are those who will lie dead for twelve thousand years to come, or 
twelve millions, for anything you or I know, who will tell strange tales at 
last." Dickens. 

Many objects of anthropological interest having been found in 
the Kirkhead cavern, with the sanction of the council of this 
Society a local committee was formed for its exploration, 
consisting of Drs. Anderson and Barber, Mr. W. Salmon, 
F.G.S., and the writer. In order to meet the expenditure 
necessary, circulars were issued, addressed to Fellows of the 
Anthropological Society, and others interested in the science ; 

* Since writing the above, I have found two fragments of coarse unglazed 
pottery, similar to the specimens from Kirkhead. J. P. M . 


and, having received several promises of support, we com- 
menced operations on the 4th of September. 

A description of the cavern having already been read before 
the Society, and published in vol. ii, page ccli of the Journal, 
I will briefly confine myself to the present exploration. 

The entrance to the cavern being only about three feet 
high, our first object was to cut a barrow-road through a 
large bank of earth fronting the cavern mouth, which was 
accomplished in two days. In this cutting several fractured 
animal bones were found, belonging principally to the ox, 
deer, goat, badger, and fox. Having now a good clean road, 
our next operation was to dig a trench across the cavern 
mouth, so that we should have a breast of earth before us of 
about eight feet in thickness. In digging this trench, several 
pieces of rude unbaked pottery were found (specimens 1, 2, 
and 3), and a human malar bone. Immediately within the 
cavern, and forming a semicircle about its mouth, several huge 
blocks of stone occurred, having evidently rolled in from the 
overhanging cliff. These formed a serious obstruction to us, 
and had to be blasted away. Under one of the pieces of 
rock, and about four feet below the surface, my son, who 
accompanied me, found the fluted earthenware bead (No. 4). 
Progressing carefully, every spadeful of earth being closely 
examined, the next object we found was a bronze ring (No. 5) ; 
this was also at a depth of four feet. Nearly a foot beneath 
this ring a bronze pin was found, coated with a green vitreous 
enamel (No. 6). On the left-hand side of the cavern, and 
about six feet deep, we found the head of a femur, rubbed 
down to a disc shape, with a hole bored through its centre 
(No. 7). This singular object has probably been worn as an 
amulet, or ornament. In close proximity to this, a human 
femur was found, and a small portion of the under jaw of a 
child of about five years of age (No. 8), the permanent teeth 
appearing below the alveolar arch. Our next discovery was a 
fragment of what appears to have been a circular disc of 
polished granite (No. 9). This specimen was much larger 
when found, but was so friable that it crumbled away in the 
hands. At a depth of seven feet we came upon a large block 


of stalagmite, and on breaking it up I found no bones, but the 
very beautiful impression of a leaf (No. 10). 

We bad now, Sept. 17tb, reacted tbe middle of the cavern, 
when the highly finished bronze implement (No. 11) was 
turned up. This beautiful cutting instrument has, no doubt, 
been used for domestic purposes, and has, after being cast, 
received a high polish, apparently with a piece of sandstone. 
Near the same place we also found a bronze ring (No. 12) 
similar to the one already mentioned, and several human 
bones. Our next prizeVas the fragment of ornamented bronze 
(No. 13), which has either been a trefoil or cruciform- shaped 
fibula, or a portion of some horse-trapping; and in the im- 
mediate vicinity, the small bronze tube (No. 14), and the 
amber bead (No. 1-5) ; the latter, I am sorry to say, was 
broken in its removal. On the 25th of September we found 
the left inferior maxillary of a human adult (No. 16), and 
within a short distance of that the large amber bead (No. 17). 
On the same day, and at a depth of seven feet, the piece of 
limestone breccia containing the flint (?) flake (No. 18) was 
exposed. I have not attempted to develope this interesting 
specimen, but, with the exception of washing off the soil, have 
sent it as obtained. 

The next object of interest discovered was the bronze 
dagger, or spearhead (No. 19), about ten feet from the end 
of the cavern, at a depth of six feet ; and close by, with a 
small fragment of an urn (No. 20), apparently having been 
worked out of some soft micaceous stone, the piece of polished 
bone (No. 21). We had now almost reached the end of the 
cavern, taking off eight feet of the earth in our course, when, 
in clearing out the right-hand corner, we found the very 
beautiful and perfect bronze celt (No. 22) at a depth of five 
feet. Like other implements of ancient date, this valuable 
relic has been run in a mould of stone or metal, which is 
evidenced by its peculiar " skin." On this point, having had 
considerable experience in casting, I can speak with some 
confidence. The fluidity of the bronze at its formation has 
not been perfect, or the mould, not having been sufficiently 
heated, has chilled the metal ; for the upper parts of the loop 


and socket-rim are slightly " faint run." From the ap- 
pearance of the joints, it has undoubtedly been untouched 
after leaving the mould, the "fin" still remaining, except 
upon the cutting edge, differing in this respect considerably 
from the highly finished implement (No. 11). The specimen 
I have called a fibula or horse -trapping, is a much ruder 
casting even than the celt, and has been used just as it left 
the mould, as the "fin" round it, for so small an object, is 
large and rough. From its appearance, I suppose it has been 
executed in fine sand or loam; and the upper part of the 
mould fitting very badly to the under part, causes the casting 
to be what is technically called " twisted." 

In the same corner with the celt we revealed a piece of rude 
pottery with holes (No. 23), and at the extreme end of the 
cavern a human frontal bone (No. 24) . 

Throughout the whole of our excavations human and animal 
remains were found at all depths, but no two bones together, 
and all more or less fractured. Some are gnawed by the 
smaller carnivora; and one, the portion of a human fibula 
(No. 25) has been cut and pointed by human agency. The 
bones I send will, no doubt, be carefully examined by our 
talented secretary, Mr. Carter Blake; and, should anything 
special appear, his remarks will be appended to these notes. 

To abler archaeologists than myself I leave the task of 
assigning an age to these interesting relics of a bygone 
period. The discovery, however, of a flint flake, assuredly 
of human manufacture, associated with bronze implements, 
appears to me to strengthen the opinion advanced by our 
honorary fellow, Mr. T. Wright, that the theory of a succession 
of ages of stone, bronze, and iron, has no foundation in fact. 

In the present half-explored state of the cavern, it would be 
premature to speculate upon the causes which induced the 
influx of so large a mass of deposit at such a great elevation 
above the sea-level ; and I regret that, in consequence of our 
funds being overdrawn, we have been reluctantly forced to 
await further aid. 

I would here thank the three gentlemen associated with me 
in the exploration for their ready assistance and advice when- 


ever occasion demanded. I desire also to express my thanks 
to J. S. Young, Esq., upon whose estate the cavern is situated, 
for the ready permission granted us to make whatever use of 
the cave and its contents we thought fit.* 

And now, on behalf of the subscribers to the "Kirkhead 
Fund," I have much pleasure in presenting to the Society the 
results of our researches. 

Postscript. There is one point respecting the human bones 
which I forgot to mention. I don't know that it is of much im- 
portance, but I have always found that bones in wet soil keep 
better than in dry. Some of the human bones from Kirkhead 
scarcely contain any animal matter, whilst others have nearly 
retained the whole. This I attribute to the presence or 
absence of water in the soil, some parts of the deposit in the 
cavern being saturated with water, and whenever such was 
the case the bones were in better condition. 

* I have recently had placed in my hands a small volume of poems pub- 
lished in the year 1818, by the late Mr. John Briggs, of Cartmel. In this 
volume, a poem appears entitled " An Elegy, written in the Chapel Lands," 
to which is appended the following note : " The Chapel-lands is a field 
near Allithwaite, in Cartmel, the property of the late Edward Barrow, Esq., 
of Allithwaite Lodge. Though tradition is perfectly silent with regard to 
anything which might tend to gratify the curiosity of the antiquary, yet 
the discovery of a stratum of human bones, regularly disposed, about three 
feet below the surface of the ground, evidently indicates this field to have 
been a receptacle for the dead ;" and in the poem the following couplets 
appear t 

" Here have they slept from ages so remote, 

That e'en tradition leaves the tale untold." 
And again, v 

" Here might some Druid's sacred circle stand, 

And Kjkkhead Cave his lone asylum be." 


XXVII. On the Influence of some kinds of Peat in Destroying 
the Human Body, as shown by the Discovery of Human Be- 
mains buried in Peat in the Zetland Islands. By James 
Hunt, Ph.D., F.S.A., F.A.S.L., Hon. For. Sec. of the Roy. 
Soc. of Literature of Great Britain, For. Assoc, of the 
Anthrop. Soc. of Paris, Hon. Fellow of the Ethnol. Soc. of 
London, Cor. Mem. of the Upper Hesse Soc. for Nat. and 
Med. Science, and of the Med. Assoc, at Hesse Darmstadt, 
Mem. of the Dresden Academy, and President of the 
Anthrop. Soc. of London. 

While opening recently a tumulus in the Island of Brassay, 
one of the Zetland group, I heard from a lad that he had 
come on some wooden coffins in digging the peat a few 
hundred yards from the tumulus. On examining the place, 
I certainly found pieces of rough boards, together with 
some dry wooden material. There was nothing to indicate 
that these rough boards had ever been coffins. Another piece 
of wood projected from the peat, and I decided to make an 
exploration of the place. The Rev. Dr. Hamilton, who lives 
in the manse, about half a mile from the spot, assured me 
that they could not be coffins, and he did not think the subject 
worth investigating. 

On exposing the pieces of wood projecting from the peat, 
I found the same sort of pieces of wood as had before been 
turned up. There were no traces of animal remains in this 
case, nor any sign of any wooden fabric. If it had ever been 
a coffin, the top had fallen in, as well as the sides. 

While engaged in digging up the one marked A, in company 
with Mr. Petrie, the workman's spade came in contact with a 
stone, which I took of him, and at once exclaimed, ' ' here are 
some markings." Mr. Petrie came up, and pronounced the mark 
to be an anchor, when the fact that we had come upon a sailor's 
grave at once suggested itself. Whilst we were examining 


the stone, the spade came against another stone, which we 
removed carefully, and Mr. Petrie at once pronounced it " to 
be a palm-branch rune."* 

Both stones had the inscriptions downwards. After taking 
off about twelve inches more peat, we came upon a shell, 
that had all the appearance of having been a coffin. This 
was the first perfect box we had found, but it was quite 
empty, with the exception of a fatty substance at the bottom. 

We resumed our labours in the hope of finding other in- 
scriptions ; but although we saw just the same sort of stones 
in all directions, we had not the good fortune to find any other 
inscriptions. Dr. Hamilton was with us most of the time, 
and he contended that these were not really coffins, but the 
remains of wooden boxes made in the shape of coffins, in 
which smugglers had buried their treasure. He explained 
the broken boxes by supposing them to have been opened to 
take out the treasure, and the presence of woollen fabric as 
the remains of bags in which the money or treasure had been 
kept, and the markings on stones as something by which the 
position of these long boxes might be known. He explained 
the fact of the so-called coffin, in which we had found the in- 
scriptions, being in a perfect state, by supposing that this 
box had been empty, and the stones it had not been necessary 
to touch. Besides this, Dr. Hamilton assured us that there 
was a well-known tradition in the Zetland islands of men 
having come to the islands, and under pretence of burying 
some of their crew, were in fact concealing treasure, which 
they were known to have come back afterwards to dig up. 
They had thus temporarily hidden their treasure in coffin- 
shaped boxes to avoid suspicion. We heard also a vague tra- 
dition that a Russian vessel had come into the bay, having the 
plague on board, and that three of the crew who died had 
been buried on the spot where we were digging. Another 
tradition was that some people who had died in Lerwick, of 
leprosy, had been buried here. Both these traditions were, 
however, very vague, and even the cottagers in the neighbour- 

* The inscriptions on these stones are figured in the next paper. 


hood had never heard of either of them. Dr. Hamilton kindly 
made inquiries of all the principal old people in the island, 
but could elicit no satisfactory information. Under these cir- 
cumstances, we were obliged to acknowledge that Dr. Hamil- 
ton's explanation was so far satisfactory, with the exception 
of slight traces of a fatty deposit at the bottom of one of the 
coffins, and even this was not found until we had opened 
several of these boxes. In examining this substance, Dr. 
Hamilton himself came upon a perfect human finger-nail, 
that now produced. His hypothesis, up to this minute, had 
done very well ; but on the discovery of the finger-nail, I was 
induced to advocate a more natural explanation of this absence 
of animal remains. 

In the discussion which had been going on, it had been 
suggested that peat had a tendency to preserve the human 
body; but to this Dr. Mitchell objected that this was not 
always the case, and that bone especially was often destroyed 
by the acid in the peat. And here it may be interest- 
ing to give a few instances of the preservation of the human 
body in peat, for it becomes of the greatest importance to 
understand that varieties of peat may so entirely differ in 
their chemical components as to have entirely opposite effects. 
In the Philosophical Transactions (vol. iii, p. 1734), there is 
an interesting account of the dead bodies of a man and woman 
which had been preserved for forty-nine years on the moor in 
Derbyshire, by Dr. Charles Balguy, of Peterborough : 

" The persons of whom you have the following account were 
lost in a great snow-storm on the moors, in the parish of 
Hope, near the woodlands, in Derbyshire, January 14, 1674, 
and not being found till 3rd of May following (the snow 
lasting probably the greatest part of that time), they then 
smelt so strong that the coroner ordered them to be buried 
on the spot. The man's name was Barber. 

" They lay in the peat-moss twenty-eight years nine months 
before they were looked at again ; they were found not very 
altered, the colour of their skin being fair and natural. In 
the year 1716, Dr. Bourn, of Chesterfield, gave me this account 
of the condition they were in j viz., the man was perfect, his 


beard strong, and about a quarter of an inch long, the hair of 
his head short, his skin hard, and of a tanned leather-colour, 
pretty much the same as the liquor they lay in. The woman, 
by some rude person, had been taken out of the ground, to 
which one may well impute her greater decay. . . . Mr. 
Barber, of Eotherham, the man's grandson, was at the expense 
of a decent funeral for them at last, in Hope Church, where, 
upon looking into the grave some time afterwards, it was 
found that they were entirely consumed. 

Dr. Rennie, writing in 1810, says, " In the year 1773, in a 
turf-bog in Ireland, some wooden bowls, with arrow-heads, 
two or three sacks full of nuts, and a coat of very ancient 
texture, were dug up fifteen feet below the surface." 

"The horns, hoofs, and bones of animals have been de- 
tected in moss, in a state of perfect preservation. . . . Dr. 
Percy, Bishop of Dromore, says, l that the horns of an animal 
of uncommon size are found in the turf-bogs of Ireland. Dr. 
Walker was of opinion that this species belonged to an animal 
of the deer kind, which is not known to exist at present any- 
where on the globe. That this animal was once a native of 
Ireland, and the elk of Scotland, is evident from the remains 
which have been found in peat-turf; nay, whole skeletons of 
animals, the existence of which is as remote, have been found 
deep in moss/ " At another place he remarks,* " Even the 
softer parts of animals are found in a high state of preserva- 
tion, though sunk deep in moss. . . . Dr. Walker mentions 
that two human bodies, which had been buried in moss for 
nine years, were found unconsumed at the expiration of that 
period. . . . Some bodies were dug up in Ards moss, in 
Ayrshire, which had lain for a much longer period, even since 
the persecution of the Covenanters in the reign of Charles II. 

" There is reason to believe that a human being may be 
preserved for ages innumerable if buried deep in moss. In 
June 1 749, the body of a woman was found, six feet deep, in 
a peat-mire, in the Isle of Axholm, in Lincolnshire. The 

* Essay on the Natural History and Origin of Peat-Moss, by the Rev. Dr. 
Rennie, Edinb., 1810, p. 517, and loc. cit. p. 520. 


antique sandals on her feet showed that she had been buried 
there for many ages ; yet her nails and hair were as fresh as 
any person living. ... In a turbary on the estate of the 
Earl of Moira,* in Ireland, a human body was dug up, a foot 
deep in gravel, covered with eleven feet of moss. The body 
was completely clothed, and the garments seemed all to be 
made of hair. It would appear that this body had been 
buried at an early period ; yet it was fresh and unimpaired. 
It is unnecessary to add, that the bodies of other animals have 
been found in a state of equal preservation in moss. . . . 
The above instances are sufficient to show that peat-moss is 
possessed of a powerful antiseptic quality." 

In the Morgenblatt of January 1858, there is an interesting 
article, giving the following account of preservation in peat : 
" At Falun, in Sweden, a miner was dug out who had been, 
for fifty years, lain in the ground, impregnated with copper 
solutions. His bride, then seventy years old, immediately 
recognised him, so well was he preserved. It is well known 
that animal bodies are well preserved in peat. Many corpses 
have been found so preserved in the peat-moss of Ireland, 
Jutland, and Friesland. About thirty years since, there was 
found in the peat, near Haraldskjor, a female body in a mum- 
mified state, fastened by a hook to a stake, and covered with 
rich gold ornaments. This, according to the archaeologists, 
was the body of Queen Gunhilde, of Norway, who, in the 
year 965, had been sunk into a peat-bog as a punishment for 
her infidelity to the king. Some bodies were found dressed 
in skins, with sandals on their feet, which testifies to their an- 
tiquity. It is, in fact, a natural chemical process for the pre- 
servation of animal matter." 

Many other instances might be cited in proof of the preser- 
vative power of peat, but I am not aware of any recorded 
cases of its destructive qualities. We have to consider whether 
it was the acid in the peat, or the action of the water which 

* A full account relative to this body, by the Countess of Moira, read 
before the Archaeological Society, May 1, 1783, will be found in Archceologia, 
vol. vii. 


had so completely destroyed these human bodies ; but of 
twelve coffins found, we got only a nail from one, part of an 
under jaw, a long bone from another, and a few teeth from 
a third. This was, however, sufficient evidence to prove that 
they were really coffins, and that the bodies had been almost 
entirely destroyed. 

I examined the whole locality for coffins, and the last that 
could be found was opened in the presence of several friends 
from Lerwick ; it turned out to be the most interesting we 
had yet discovered. Situated rather lower in the peat than 
the remainder, when we came on it the top appeared more 
solid, and we soon found it was filled with water, and we pro- 
ceeded to make a drain and let the water out from the bottom, 
so as to be able carefully to examine the contents of the coffin. 
Before letting out the water we observed, on taking up the 
lid, that a body apparently pretty perfect remained for us. I 
preserved a portion of the water for chemical analysis. In 
cleaning the skull and the long bones I found considerable 
difficulty, and also in separating the skin and muscles of the 
arm from the bone. I had an easy task in scalping the long- 
sought for treasure, and found that with one grip I had a 
pretty good wig in my hand. 

When the men who dug up this coffin saw the contents, 
they could not be got to render any further assistance, and 
declared that the sight and smell had turned their "inside 
out ;'* this was, however, purely the effect of imagination. It 
was with some difficulty I could get them to bring some clean 
water to me, and to deposit it at some yards distant. I had 
gone to Lerwick for a packing-case, and the sailors who 
brought me over hesitated to take back a skeleton, but an 
offer of a little extra coin of the realm, quite satisfied their 

This coffin was about six feet six inches long, and was made 
of thicker wood than any of the others. The next in thick- 
ness was the one in which the stones with inscriptions were 
found. In the coffin now under description, we were somewhat 
surprised to see two pieces of dry peat. Mr. Umfray, of Eea- 
wick, made inquiries for me as to this custom, and he was told 

B B 


by a carpenter that it was quite common to put peat at the 
foot of a coffin if it had been made too long. The bones of 
the leg measure respectively, femur, 17| inches, tibia, 13| 
in., and this would give, on the usual computation, a height 
of only about 5 feet 1 1 inches ; thus, the coffin being six feet 
six inches, the necessity for the peat will be at once seen. 
There is nothing particularly remarkable about the skull. It 
measures 7f inches by 5| inches, the cranial index being *76. 
The grave-digger in Hamlet says ' ' water is a sore decay er of 
the human body ; w but in this case we see that water, holding 
in solution certain chemical acids, rather acts as a preventive 
to decay. This coffin was, to all intents and purposes, her- 
metically sealed. It was quite full of water, being made of 
better and thicker wood than the other coffins, had not the 
same liability to dry up when the peat dries. The fact, too, 
of being buried at a greater depth than the other coffins, 
would make it less liable to atmospherical influences. With 
regard to the woollen fabric, I could get no two persons to 
agree as to whether it was of Zetland make or foreign. In 
one of the coffins we found some what I believe to be wooden 
buttons, but what were called by some wooden beads. An act 
of Parliament, ordering that all persons should thenceforth be 
buried in flannel, for the good, no doubt, of the flannel trade, 
may possibly explain the presence of the woollen fabric. 

The wood of which these coffins was composed varied very 
much in quality and thickness, some being very rough, and 
little more than bark; while in other boards of the thick 
coffins there was clearly visible the marks of the saw. All 
the coffins were of the same material, viz., Norway pine, ap- 
parently as fresh as the day in which it was felled. There 
appeared to be marks of iron nails. We saw the . mark of 
nails, but no fragment remained. 

The only explanation I can offer of the absence of all human 
remains in most of the coffins, is the supposition that the 
bodies had either been destroyed by the water or acid in the 
peat, but it was more likely to have been the acid, for the one 
full of water had the whole body pretty complete. This 
coffin, once filled with water, would continue to remain full 


and with the same water; while the others would be con- 
tinually receiving fresh supplies of water impregnated with 
acid, and thus all traces of the body and bone would in time 

With regard to the age at which these remains were in- 
terred, there seems nothing to induce the supposition that 
they were at all ancient. The best evidence, too, that they 
were not very recent, is the fact that there is a little cluster of 
rude Zetland cottages not two hundred yards distant, and 
that not " the oldest inhabitant" had the faintest idea that 
there had ever been anyone buried in this place. They all 
accepted Dr. Hamilton's explanation, that these long wooden 
boxes had been buried with treasure. The close proximity of 
this place, too, with the town of Lerwick, would render it 
nearly impossible for this to have been used as a graveyard 
within at all recent times, without some account having been 
preserved of it. The Eev. Dr. Hamilton has promised to 
make further inquiries for me from both the people of Brassay 
Island and Lerwick. For the present, therefore, I have 
thought it best simply to record the facts without speculating 
as to their date. How far the inscriptions found in them may 
help to determine their date is another question. It is, how- 
ever, just possible that this may not have been the original 
place of these stones. 

In conclusion, I may here state that, in another part of the 
same island (Brassay), I opened two other graves. These two 
were both close together in the side of a hill, about a mile 
south of those before described. I only found coffins with 
the top and sides having fallen in as before. At the Ness, 
near Reawick, I also opened the grave of a sailor, who was 
buried about ninety years ago. In this case there was no 
coffin, and in digging we merely came on a greasy substance. 
I turned this over carefully, and underneath was revealed the 
countenance of a man, with the under jaw having fallen. It 
was not altogether a pleasant picture, and one turn of the 
spade effaced all traces of the feature from the dark oily-look- 
ing peat. 

I have thought it worth while to record these facts. They 




open up interesting facts to the historical anthropologist. I 
believe that a distinguished naturalist, Sir William Jardine, 
is investigating this very subject, and we may hope ere long 
to have some most interesting and important conclusions from 
him. In the meantime, I think we shall all do well to record 
any facts of a similar description that may come under our 
observation ; and we may in this manner be able eventually to 
predict, with some certainty, as to the description of peat in 
which these human bodies or skeletons are likely to be best 

SActeton in fAos 


XXVIII. On the Interpretation of some Inscriptions on Stones 
Recently Discovered in the Islands of Br assay, and Zet- 
land. By James Hunt, Ph.D., F.S.A., F.A..S.L., Hon. 
For. Sec. of the Roy. Soc. of Literature of Great Britain, 
For. Assoc, of the Anthrop. Soc. of Paris, Hon. Fellow 
of the Ethnol. Soc. of London, Cor. Mem. of the Upper 
Hesse Soc. for Nat. and Med. Science, and of the Med. 
Assoc, at Hesse Darmstadt, Member of the Dresden 
Academy, and President of the Anthrop. Soc. of London. 

Having described the position in which the stones now ex- 
hibited were found, I need only now dwell on the interpreta- 
tion of the artificial markings found on them. I do this, not 
because I am able to offer a satisfactory solution of the diffi- 
culty, but simply to record the information I have gained 
from Runic and other scholars on this point. 

I have before mentioned that Mr. Greorge Petrie, of Orkney, 
was with me when they were found, and I afterwards inspected, 
with that gentleman, the large number of Runic characters in 
James Maes How, Orkney, so well described by Mr. Farrar and 
Mr. Stewart. The result, however, of my inspection was not 
sufficient to decide that the characters were runes, and I there- 
fore put myself in communication with the chief runic scholars 
in Europe, and obtained the following opinions. 

Dr. Edward Charlton, of Newcastle, who is favourably known 
as interpreter of the Maes How inscriptions, wrote me : 
" The marks that you send me from Bras say are exceedingly 
interesting, but I fear they will give us no clue to their 
design. The 


looks more like a compound rune than it resembles a mason's 
mark. Had there been a large building in the place where 


you found it, we might -have suspected the latter. The letters 
in the runic alphabet, of which it may be composed, are 

^ M, ^ W, ^ /kor (ye). 

Had the stroke denoting n been only absent, we might have 
made a pleasant theory, that it was the name Tyi, one of the 
Asae, or gods, which had been put upon the stone, and this 
would apply still better if the stone were found in a cairn or 
place of sepulture. The other mark 


looks like an Ogham, and would answer to the third letter 
of the third division of the Scandinavian alphabet, or 
Futhork, the letter b. You will be aware that there already 
exists on the Island of Brassay a fine carved stone, with a 
most remarkable Ogham inscription, of the date of about the 
year 800, or perhaps earlier. I trust that we shall find more 
Runic inscriptions yet in Shetland. The interiors of the 
great caves, or ( Helyers/ on the seashore have not yet been 
explored ; the magnesium light may help us to do this more 
completely than has as yet been done." 

The Rev. Dr. Barclay, Principal of the University of Glas- 
gow, next sent me the following communication : " On my 
return from the Highlands last night, I found your letter of 
the 19th, enclosing a drawing of the two inscriptions on the 
stones found by you on the Island of Brassay. You say no- 
thing about the spot on which they were found, whether 
they were in juxtaposition, or whether there were any traces 
of human remains near them. I infer they could not have 
been far asunder, as the two inscriptions are identical in mean- 
ing, although varying a little in form. They are not Urn 
(branch runes, on which each tree forms only one letter ; see 
Explanation of Maes How Inscriptions). They are cut in a 
very uncommon species of bind (combined) runes, of which 
only two other specimens have hitherto been discovered, as 
far as I am aware. The peculiarity consists in the character- 


being arranged around a perpendicular line essential to the 
formation of each of them, and requiring to be read downwards 
from the apex to the base. Each of your inscriptions gives 
very distinctly the proper name Teit or Tait, it may be either. 
That name is a very common one in the northern Sagas ; it is 
the very first that occurs in the Orkney Maes How inscrip- 
tions, and it continues to the present day widely diffused 
throughout the Shetland Islands." 

I then wrote to Principal Barclay, and told him the exact 
position in which they were found. I had purposely refrained 
from doing this to any of my correspondents, as I thought we 
should be more likely to get at a correct interpretation of 
these markings by withholding this information. After re- 
ceipt of the foregoing letter, however, I gave him the informa- 
tion for which he asked, and received the following in reply : 
"I am not a little surprised to learn from your note of the 
30th ult., that the inscribed stones were found in connexion 
with a wooden coffin, and that it was one of twelve deposited 
in the same peat moss. You do not say whether any bones 
or ashes were found in these coffins. Had bodies been buried 
in them, the antiseptic qualities of the moss should have acted 
still more powerfully on them than on the wood. As far as 
the Runic incriptions are concerned, your information tends to 
confirm my reading of them. They undoubtedly record the 
name of the person buried in the coffin on which the stones 
were placed. As to the date, we know that Runic inscriptions, 
recording at least the name of the deceased, were in use long 
after the introduction of Christianity, notwithstanding the zeal 
of the first Christian missionaries in destroying as many of 
them as they could, till the old religion was wholly extirpated. 
Whether your friend ' Tait' was a pagan or a Christian it is 
hard to say ; but his epitaph cannot, I think, be less than six 
or seven hundred years old." 

Professor George Stephens, of Copenhagen, who is probably 
the highest authority in Europe on Runes, has kindly given 
me his opinion in the following communication : 

"I shall be happy if I can be of any service, however small. 
It is a great pleasure to me to receive copies of inscribed 


monuments, particularly when they are more or less Runic. 
I only hope that all such monuments will be carefully studied 
and protected. 

" The circumstances under which carved stones are found is, 
of course, a necessary element in their discussion. Unfortu- 
nately, you have forgotten to mention how and where they 
were found, and whether they are old or new, large or small. 
In the absence of these details, I presuppose that they are 
tolerably large, and slabs (not massive standing blocks), and 
that they, both of them, have been found in or near, or have 
come from some old churchyard. Viewing them in this light, 
I should take these to be burial-stones. The figures on them 
I judge not to be Runes, properly so called, but Runic bo- 
marks. As the Runes died away, they were followed by mo- 
nograms, or marks, variously made up of Roman or Runic 
letters. These are found everywhere, from very early times ; 
and many such are well known, and have been frequently en- 
graved under the name ( masons' marks/ ' swan marks/ 
' house marks/ etc. But they were used on all sorts of objects, 
tools, buildings, seals, stones, to show ownership of fields, or 
how far each farmer had to mend the roads, and so on. There 
is no reason why the Brassay stones found by yourself should 
not be if small such roadside stones, carved long ago by 
peasants. But I have said that such Runic monograms are 
found on grave-stones. I will give one example out of many. 
I have just returned from an antiquarian excursion in the 
beautiful and interesting Danish Island of Bornholm. Just 
outside the church door of Svanike, I found a large slab, ap- 
parently from the sixteenth century. But a great part of the 
old inscription had been chiselled out, and a new risting had 
been made, dated 1622. The lower part consisted of a similar 
bind-rune, as follows : 

Svanike, Bornholm, Denmark. 
As to other objects, in my own cabinet is an old counter, or 


plaything, or ornament, of copper. The other side has a 


nearly similar carving. As to seals, thousands still exist in 
original or in impressions, from the close of the middle age 
and still later, especially in Scandinavia, with such Runic 
or half-Runic monograms. I will add an impression from 
one a very fine one of bronze, in my own museum; this 
has been a signet-ring, evidently intended for the little finger. 


Of course we can seldom or never make out these arbitrary 
marks. No real monograms can be understood, save by the 
maker and his family or friends. If we take Iames (or James) 
Hunt, and write JH or b\, in Runes ^, (= I and 5fc), no 
one can possibly know what we mean, so many are the combi- 
nations possible ; nor even if we add the last letter, T, 
$\ , or Kf , or in Runes H$, shall we be any the wiser. 

" The Brassay stones may be a couple of centuries old, or 
even much more antique. As to their age, much will depend 
on their character and' size, etc. Pardon me that I cannot 
forward you anything more decisive and satisfactory." 

After sending Professor Stephens all the information I had 
then obtained, I received the following from him : 

" The details you there give are valuable. On the whole, it 
is possible that the remains were, after all, those of Russians, 
and the marks may not be runes at all. At all events, the 
coffins are signs of Christian burial. May not the one carving 
be an anchor, in connexion with the dead, being part of a 
ship's crew ? The other may have some other such simple sig- 
nification. But I confess that I am at fault, and can give no 
clear opinion. Certain it is that they have nothing to do with 
the Ogham stone you mention, which must be at least 1,200 
or 1,500 years older than the small blocks. The Ogham 
stones are Keltic, and heathen. 

1 ' Diggings have lately been made, under the inspection and 
at the expense of the Danish Museum, in the famous moss at 
Alleso, Fyn. An immense hoard of antiquarian remains has 


been taken out, date about the fourth century after Christ. A 
bone comb bears an inscription in old northern Runes. Still 
more striking is a plane (a common carpenter's plane), which 
bears three old northern Runic inscriptions, forty-four letters 
in all. They are scribbles, such as we find in any workman's 
shop at the present moment. But they are decisive as to the 
fact that these workmen were northmen, and that the bulk of 
the tools, ornaments, and weapons found is also northern, 
not Roman, as indeed the style and workmanship at once 
testify. There is something very piquant in a plane from the 
workshop of one of our forefathers, 1,500 years ago ! M 

Dr. George Moore, of Hastings, writes to me thus : 
" Presuming that the figures were inscribed on the stone, with 
their branches turned downwards, they may certainly be both 
read as monograms formed of several Scandinavian or Nor- 
wegian Runic characters united. The more sprig-like figure 
represents, in fact, the same characters as the other, but in a 
less elaborate style, so to say, in running-hand, the more 
formal figures having been cut, and the ruder one scratched in. 
Regarding them as originally standing in a direction opposite 
that indicated, it does not appear that they could be read as 
consisting either of Runic or Ogham characters, and, indeed, 
they could only be considered as fanciful landmarks. The 
rounded extremities of the branches, as in the more finished 
figure, occur also in Runic inscriptions found in England ; as 
for instance, that discovered at a depth of twenty feet, on the 
natural ground level, in St. PauPs Churchyard. This was a 
Runic grave- stone of the eleventh century, according to C. C. 
Rafu, in his remarks on this stone, published in Copenhagen, 

"Reading the figures as having their branches pointing 
downwards, they both make the same word, Dany or Danr, 
the final y being pronounced r (Rafu). We may, therefore, 
suppose the stones to have been erected to indicate the con- 
quest or possession of the spot by Danes. It is possible that 
the figures bore a religious symbolic meaning, and were in- 
scribed to the honour of Dan, who, according to Safo Gram- 
maticus and others, was believed to be the patriarch king and 


founder of the Danish kingdom in very ancient times ; and 
there is reason to believe that he was not only the legendary 
hero, but that he was also worshipped as the patron deity of 
the early Danes. I shall be glad to hear if you obtain any 
more satisfactory explanation of these odd Runes." 

Mr. W. S. W. Yaux considers that these are builders' 
marks, such as are common on Norman stonework. 

Dr. Pruner-Bey says " Phoenicia and its colonies have pre- 
occupied me for years in my quality as an oriental scholar. 
My favourite guide for reading inscriptions is Levy (at Bres- 
lau). But I am at a loss to see more in the inclosed drawings 
than perhaps a seal on pottery. 


* *- might be Siz (town), Sous (house)? 

ss=sc7i/ \ 

But all are very doubtful." 

Dr. Charnock considers them to be surnames ; viz., Bad 
or Tat, and Bad da or Tatta, which he compares with the 
Anglo-Saxon names Tata, Tate; Old Saxon, Tato, Tatto ; 
Old German, Bado ; Old Norske, Teitr ; English, Tate, Tait, 

The foregoing is all the information I have been able to 
obtain on this subject. It is, however, somewhat singular 
that out of the hundred islands composing the Zetland group, 
the Island of Brassay should be the only one in which any 
form of inscribed stones have been found. A beautiful speci- 
men of an inscribed stone, found by Dr. Hamilton, is now 
deposited in the Museum of Scottish Antiquities ; and I am 
glad to be able to announce that the stones which I had the 
good fortune to find will all be deposited in the same national 
collection. We do this in the hope and expectation that the 
Scottish museum will deposit, with us, objects which we more 
especially wish to collect, viz., ancient crania. 


XXIX. The History of Ancient Slavery. By John Bowee, 
D.C.L. (Oxon.), Barrister-at-Law. 

" Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." 

Tebence, Heauton. 1, 1. 25. 

The states of freedom and slavery have been coexistent from 
a very early period of the world's history. The curse pro- 
nounced by Noah on his grandson Canaan, the youngest of 
the four sons of Ham (b.c. 2347), is the first recorded instance 
of slavery that is to be found. " Cursed be Canaan ; a servant 
of servants shall he be unto his brethren. Blessed be the 
Lord God of Shem ; and Canaan shall be his servant. God 
shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; 
and Canaan shall be his servant" (Gen. ix, 25-27, B.C. 2348). 
Nimrod (the rebel, as his name implies) was the son of Cush, 
Ham's eldest son, and it is related " that he was a mighty 
hunter before the Lord" (Gen. x, 8, 9, b. c. 1998); and it 
seems to have been universally inferred that he was the first 
slave-taker. Pope says of him, 

" Proud Nimrod first the bloody chase began, 
Almighty hunter, and his prey was man." 

At all events, we read that Abram (b.c. 1913) had three 
hundred and eighteen servants, or slaves, born in his house 
and trained to arms, with whom he pursued and conquered 
the four kings who had taken captive Lot, his brother's son 
(Gen. xiv, 13-15) ; and it would seem that both Abram and 
the king of Sodom considered the prisoners taken as part of 
the spoil, because the king of Sodom says, " Give me the 
persons, and take the goods to thyself." About sixteen years 
after this, we find Sarah saying to Abraham, of Hagar and her 
son Ishmael, " Cast out this bondwoman and her son : for the 
son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even 


with Isaac" (Gen. xxi, 10) ; and St. Paul makes Isaac a general 
type of freedom, and Ishmael a general type of bondage 
(Rom. ix). Indeed, throughout the entire sacred history we 
invariably find servants classed, among their masters' property, 
with flocks and herds. 

The first recorded account we have of slave-dealing is in 
the year 1729 B.C., when Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites 
for twenty pieces of silver (Gen. xxxvii, 27, 28); and it is, 
perhaps, worthy of remark that the first slave-traders should 
have been the descendants of Ishmael, whose progenitor was 
the second person upon whom we learn that the ban of slavery 
was passed, Canaan having been the first. 

About 1491 b. O.j we find slavery pervading all the Hebrew 
political economy, and regulated by a code of divine laws (see 
Levit. xxv, 39, et seq.). It appears also that some Israelites 
were sold when they had committed theft, for which they 
could not make restitution (Exod. xxii, 3). 

All Hebrew servants were to be released at the sabbatical 
year, or after six years service (Deut. xv. 12); for the entire 
seventh year appears to have been a year of freedom (Exod. 
xxi, 2-26 ; Jer. xxxiv, 14); but if such a servant then refused 
his freedom, his ear was pierced with an awl, and he after- 
wards remained his master's property as absolutely as if he 
had been a heathen (Levit. xix, 13). 

Such is a brief summary of the institution and law of 
slavery among the Hebrews. If not directly appointed by 
God himself, yet as he has sanctioned it by giving a divine 
law for its regulation, it seems impossible to resist the con- 
clusion that it was, in its inception, a divine institution. But 
the divine law was not in any way abrogated by the Christian 
dispensation. Of this (Matt, xviii) distinct proof is given in 
our Saviour's parable of the two debtors ; and also in the 
Epistle written by St. Paul to Philemon, on behalf of his run- 
away slave, Onesimus. St. Paul entreats Philemon for the 
freedom of Onesimus by almost every variety of argument : 
1st. on account of Philemon's reputation for goodness; 2nd, 
the respect due for his own character ; 3rd, his friendship for 
St. Paul ; 4th, the reverence due to St. Paul's age ; 5th, the 


compassion due to his bonds ; 6 th, Onesimus's repentance and 
conversion to Christianity; 7th, the tender interest St. Paul 
took in his concerns ; 8th, a promise of restitution for pecu- 
niary loss ; and 9 th, a gently urged insinuation that Philemon 
was himself indebted to St. Paul for much more than the 
freedom of his repentant slave, even his own conversion to 
Christianity. All is submitted to Philemon's own generosity, 
and Onesimus was sent back to his master as the bearer of 
the Epistle written in his behalf. Neither any law of the 
Christian dispensation, nor even the apostolical authority, is 
urged in behalf of Onesimus's right to freedom by virtue of the 
Christian Dispensation. 

About a.d. 189, we find Titus Flavius Clemens, commonly 
called Clemens Alexandrinus (because he was generally sup- 
posed to have been born in Alexandria, although he was more 
probably born at Athens), and other Gentile writers who had 
embraced Christianity, urging that slaves should be treated 
on the golden rule of doing to others as we would be done by, 
but not urging any argument on the subject of a Christian 
right to freedom. 

At Cecropia, so called from Cecrops, who founded it about 
B.C. 1556, and taking the name of Athens, about two hundred 
years later, from AOrjvrj, the protectress of the city, we find 
that slavery prevailed concurrently in point of time with the 
same institution under the Hebrews, and was certainly in full 
force at the time of the Trojan war, B.C. 1184. Homer, who 
probably wrote in the ninth century before Christ, mentions 
Cyrus and Egypt as about this time the common marts for 
slaves (Odys. xvii, 448). Tyre and Sidon, as we learn from 
the book of Joel (iii, 3, 4, 6, B.C. 800), were notorious for the 
prosecution of this trade ; for it is there said of them " The 
children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold 
unto tho Grecians, that ye might remove them from their 
border." And the prophet Ezekiel (xxvii, 13, B.C. 588) says, 
" Javan (or Greece) Tubal and Meshech* traded the persons of 

* Tubal and Mesech are said by some commentators of the present day 
to be Tobolsk and Moscow, both in the Russian empire. 


men and vessels of brass in thy market" (Ezek. iii, 27-41) ; 
and in the first book of Maccabees (b.c. 144) we read that 
when Antiochus was about to attack Judah and Jerusalem, 
"The merchants of the country, hearing the fame of them, 
took silver and gold very much, with servants, and came into 
the camp to buy the children of Israel for slaves." 

I now propose to cull the general details of the system 
from the copious literature of Greece and and Rome, and then 
to glance at it among more modern nations. 

The descriptive appellation of the Greek freeman was 
eXevOepos ; of the slave, $ov\o<? ; the Roman freeman was liber; 
the slave, servus; while in both states there was an interme- 
diate caste, called among the Greeks air ekevO epos or /j,6toiko<;, 
and among the Romans libertus or libertinus. 

The Greek philosophers never seem to have considered 
slavery as at all repugnant to their very high sense of public 
morality, although a slave was reckoned by them as a mere 
living machine and possession. Aristotle (who was born about 
384 B.C.) calls a slave in one place e^vyov opyavov (Ethic, 
viii, 13), and in another place, KTrj/xa tl e^vyov (Polit. I, 4) ; 
and Plato, who was born about forty-six years earlier (b.c. 430), 
as well as Aristotle (Be Rep., v, 469), seem to maintain that 
slavery is perfectly right when barbarians only are made 
slaves, but that no Greek should be held in slavery by a Greek. 
It is singular to remark that heathens should have drawn for 
themselves the same distinction which had been settled by a 
divine law for the Hebrews ; and we shall by and by observe 
that the resemblance to the Hebrew law is even still more 
striking in the Roman empire. 

It has generally been considered that there were two kinds 
of slavery among the Greeks, those taken in war, and those 
that were purchased. The hopiakwroi, however, as a class, do 
not seem to have been fairly reckoned among the BovXol. 
When a victorious tribe laid claim to the territory which their 
spear had won, the majority of the vanquished used still to 
live on, and cultivate the land which had been wrested from 
them, and paid a certain rent to their conquerors. They were 
also called upon to do military service with their masters. 


They could not be separated from their families, nor sold, and 
they had the right to acquire property for themselves. Of this 
class, as mentioned in Cosmi (p. 294), were the Helots of 
Sparta, the Penestaa of Thessaly, the Bithynians at Byzantium, 
the Caliegrii at Syracuse, and the Amphamiotae at Crete. 
Their original right of tenure was wrested from them by the 
law of conquest, and their having passed vrro vyov may be 
considered equivalent to the giving up of arms at the present 
day ; but instead of having forced upon them the usual cha- 
racteristics of a state of slavery, they seem rather to have 
held their land only under a different tenure, resembling very 
much, in its main features, the old feudal tenures of this 
country. The general political state of Greece, too, in its 
early history, was the same as that of Europe when divided by 
the feudal system into an infinite number of small and de- 
pendent kingdoms. There was the same matter, therefore, 
for contention, and the same call for all hands that could be 
mustered ; and as all retainers were bound to do military ser- 
vice at all times, and for that purpose must have been armed, 
it does not seem probable that they could have been subject 
to the ordinary discipline of slaves : as a general rule, slaves 
who were the subjects of purchase were never armed; and I 
shall by and by notice the only three exceptions to this rule, 
two of which were in the Greek, and the third in the Roman 

The other class had about them all the distinctive marks of 
slaves (Plato, 300, B.C. 436). They were subjects of sale. 
Isocrates calls them apyvpwvrjroc and ^pvawv^roL. They were 
entirely the property of their masters, were employed for 
domestic purposes, and could be bought and sold like any 
other goods and chattels. In Athens, Corinth, and other large 
cities, this class of slaves was considerable, and they performed 
the work of artizans and manufacturers of modern towns (a.d. 
200, Athenagoras, 6 p. 264 c). In smaller towns, such as 
Phocis and Locris, there were said to have been originally no 
domestic slaves (Clinton, F. K., n, p. 211, 212). The majority 
of slaves were males ; and cohabitation was not encouraged, 
because it was considered cheaper to purchase than to rear 


them. A purchased slave was called otfcerr)?, and one born in 
the house, oiKorpf^r, that is, one both of whose parents were 
slaves, a/JL(j)cSov\oL ; and the child of oucorpifies was oLKorpifiaLos. 

It was a recognised rule of Greek national law that the per- 
sons of those who were taken prisoners in war, became the 
property of the conqueror, but it was the practice of the 
Greeks to give liberty to those of their own nation on payment 
of a ransom (b.c. 450, Xen. Cyrop., vn, 5, 73) ; consequently 
the slaves in Greece were almost all barbarians. From a pas- 
sage in Timseus (Ap. Athen., vi, p. 2650, B.C. 400) it would 
seem that the Chians were the first who carried on the slave 
trade, where Thucydides describes the slaves as more numerous 
in comparison with the free inhabitants than at any other 
place, except Sparta (Thuc. vm, 40, B.C. 469). Herodotus 
(lib. c, b.c 484) tells us, that in the early ages of Greece a 
a great number of slaves were kidnapped by pirates on the 
coast; but the chief supply appears to have come from the 
Greek colonies in Asia Minor, the inhabitants of which had 
abundant opportunities of obtaining them from their own 
neighbourhood and the interior of Asia. Some also came 
from Thrace, where parents not unfrequently sold their own 
children. Thucydides also tells us (lib. i), " the Grecians in their 
primitive state, as well as the contemporary barbarians who in- 
habited the seacoasts and islands, addicted themselves wholly to 
piracy ; it was, in short, their only possession and support," 
and this piracy was always accompanied by a taking of slaves. 

At Athens, there was a regular slave market, called kvk\os, 
a name suggestive of the order in which the slaves were 
placed for inspection and sale. They were also sometimes 
sold by auction, as is now done in the American states, and 
were placed for that purpose upon a stone called the irpaTt]^ 
\l0os, seller-stone. 

The prices of slaves varied considerably. Xenophon, in 
his Memorabilia, speaks of one who was sold for a talent 
(343 : 156'.) ; while some sold for as little as half a mina 
(2 : 9s.) . The knowledge of any art greatly increased their 
value ; and hence we find that of the thirty-two sword cutlers 
who belonged to the father of Demosthenes the price varied 

c c 


from six to three minae (25 to 12 : 10s.). Female musicians 
(players on the cithara, lyra*) were usually worth from 
twenty to thirty mime (80 to 120). 

The number of slaves in Athens at the time when the census 
was taken, Demetrius Phalereus then being archon (b.c. 309), 
appears so large that the correctness of the figures has been 
doubted by very high authorities. From the census made, it 
appears that there were 400,000 slaves to 21,000 free citizens, 
and 10,000 metirs, and it has been thought 40,000 should be 
read for 400,000 (Niebuhr, ii, p. 69, note 143). Probably, how- 
ever, the numbers of the census were correct, because there is no 
doubt that the slave population in Attica was much larger 
than the free ; and it must be remembered that in taking the 
census the object was to ascertain, among the freemen, the 
males only who were fit for political and military service ; while 
of slaves, as property, the whole body of individuals would, 
most probably, be reckoned. 

There were at Athens large bodies of slaves who were pur- 
chased by the state. They were employed as heralds, check 
clerks, etc., and some of them filled subordinate places in the 
assemblies and courts of justice. They were instructed in the 
discharge of their duties at the expense of the state. Another 
class formed the city-guard, who were generally Scythians, 
and armed with bows. They were at first only 300, but after 
the battle of Salamis, were increased to 1,200. 

At Athens, even the poorest citizen had a slave for the care 
of his household ; and in large establishments they were em- 
ployed for all domestic purposes, bakers, cooks, tailors, 
carpenters, etc. Plato says some persons had fifty do- 
mestic slaves or more (Be Rep. ix, p. 578). In mines and 

* Noihing lias been a subject of greater controversy than the number of 
strings attached to these lyres. Hermes, who is said to have been originally 
the inventor of the instrument (Diodorus i, 16, tells us) had only three 
strings, one with an acute, one with a grave, and one with a middle sound. 
It would draw us too far from our subject to enter into this controversy, and 
therefore I would only mention that Terpander, of Antissa (about 650 B.C.), 
added to the number of four strings with which the lyre was then strung, 
three additional ones, making the entire number seven. 


manufactures they were employed in still greater numbers ; 
and Nicias had 1,000 slaves in his mines alone. In Rome, 
slaves were used almost entirely, by private persons, for the 
purposes of luxury ; while in Athens they were employed for 
the purposes of trade. Many kept large gangs of slaves for 
the purpose of letting them out for hire, and found this a 
profitable investment for their capital. In the mines, slaves 
were let at an obolus (f&) a day, while leather workers 
produced two or three oboli ; and it seems Demosthenes reaped 
about 20 per cent, by his investment in sword cutlers. Some- 
times it appears that slaves worked on their own account, and 
when they did so, they paid their masters a certain sum a day. 

As slaves were often in the habit of running away, it seems 
that Antigenes of Rhodes set up an insurance office against 
runaways, and for eight drachmas (6s. 6d.) per annum insured 
the value of a slave who might in this way make his escape. 

At the battles of Marathon and Argineusae (b.c. 490, Pausan. 
i, 32), the Athenians armed their slaves (ScJiol. Aristp. in) ; 
as a general rule, however, they did not serve in the army. 
(Ranee, xxxiii.) Slaves differed in no respect from all other 
tangible property, and were given and taken as pledges, as 
well as bought and sold. The state also imposed a tax on 
them after the rate of three oboli (2riL) for each slave. The 
Greek slaves enjoyed universally much more liberty than those 
of Rome, and at Athens this was most particularly the case ; 
indeed, on the reception of a new slave into a household there, 
(fifth century B.C., Aristoph. Pint. 768) they used to scatter 
Kara^oafiaraj bons-bons, in the same manner as at a wedding. 
Their lives and persons were also protected by law ; and not 
only could they not be put to death without a legal sentence, 
but a person who struck or maltreated a slave was liable to an 
action. They had also the temple of Theseus (a.d. 200, 7 
Julius Pollux, 13) as a place of refuge from their masters, and 
on reaching that sanctuary they might insist on being sold by 
him. They were, however, subject to corporal punishment, 
which was the ultima ratio in the case of a freeman; nor were 
they believed on their oaths, but were always put to the tor- 
ture. But from this circumstance, their evidence was always 

c c 2 


considered of more weight than that of a freeman, for Isaeus 
remarks (b.c. 350, Be Arop. Hered., 202), "When slaves and 
freemen are at hand, you do not make use of the testimony of 
freemen ; but putting slaves to the torture, you thus endea- 
vour to find out the truth of what has been done." De- 
mosthenes (b.c. 380) and other orators bear like testimony on 
this subject. Athens and Egypt (in which latter country the 
temple of Hercules was the sanctuary of slaves) were the only 
places where, if we except the cities of the Jews, they were 
treated with any humanity at all. 

Manumission was by no means common at Athens ; and it 
seems very doubtful whether a slave could, against his master's 
consent, purchase his own freedom. Manumitted slaves did 
not, as at Rome, become citizens, but only airekevOepoi or 
fierocKoc ; nor does it appear that the children of such, aTreXev- 
Oepoi were freemen. Their quasi freedom still required them 
to honour their former master as their patron, and to perform 
certain duties towards him, the neglect of which subjected 
them to be again sold into slavery. History does not furnish 
us with the mode of manumission adopted ; but this will not 
be wondered at when it is remembered that the number of 
slaves, according to the census before quoted, was 400,000, 
while of airekevOepoi or /jueroLKoi it was only 10,000. 

The particulars which we have gleaned of slavery in Greece, 
have been furnished almost entirely from the literature of the 
fifth century before Christ. In the remarks which we have 
to make on slavery within the Roman empire, we shall cull a 
few details from authors who wrote in the first century before 
and the first century after Christ, or from what, by a little 
latitude of expression, may be called the literature of the Au- 
gustan sera;* and with these we must unavoidably mix up 

* b. o. A. D. A. D. 

150. Plautus. 12. Propertius. 130 Gellius. 

106. Cicero. 34. Persius. 150 Apuleius. 

65. Horace. 50. Martial. 150 Juvenal. 

43. Caesar. 50. Strabo. 250 Dionys. Cassius. 

43. Ovid. 60. Pliny. 260 Athenseus. 

42. Val. Maxiinus. 100. Tacitus. 483 Justinian. 

40. Livy. 120. Suetonius. 


the institutes of Justinian, although not compiled till the fifth 
century after Christ. 

Justinian (lib. i. c. 5), following older jurists, says, the power 
of making slaves is esteemed a right of nations, and follows 
as a natural consequence of captivity in war. He says they 
are called " mancipia quasi manucapti." The civilians gene- 
rally say that a conqueror was entitled to the life of his captive, 
and, having spared that for a while, he may take it when he 

A Roman master could sell his slave, punish him, and even 
put him to death. As this absolute power was carried to 
great excess, we find that by the lex Petronia, probably passed 
in the time of Augustus, a master was not allowed to deliver 
up his slave to fight with wild beasts without first taking him 
before the judex, who might condemn him so to fight if he 
appeared to deserve it. And we also find that, by a constitu- 
tion of Antoninus (a.d. 138), which applied not only to Roman 
citizens but to all who were under the Romanum Imperium, 
that if a man put his slave to death sine causa, he was liable 
to the same penalty as if he had killed another man's slave. 
The constitution of Claudius II (a.d. 250) is still more favour- 
able to slaves, as it declares that if slaves were put to death, 
the act should be murder ; and also, that members of the same 
family, if sold, should not be separated. 

A slave could not marry, nor could he have any property, 
but whatever he acquired was the property of his master ; and 
when a slave took under a will, both real and personal estate 
went for the benefit of his master. At Rome, as in Greece, 
slaves were employed not only in agricultural and domestic 
labours, but also as mechanics and artizans in every branch of 
industry. To the industrious slaves, a custom arose of allowing 
a small peculium (vail), although by strict law the utmost 
farthing belonged to the master. With these peculia, slaves 
*were in the habit of buying their own freedom (Tacit., Ann., 
24, 42), and if a slave were manumitted by his master, the 
peculium, unless expressly retained by the master, was always 
considered to become the property of the slave along with his 
freedom. A master, also, was liable for the delicta of his slave, 


and if the master refused to pay the damages recovered, he 
was obliged to give up the slave. 

The name of servus appears to be derived from servare, fco 
keep or to save, and perhaps may have been given originally 
from the fact that servi were those who had been saved by 
their conquerors from death in battle. Our name of slaves 
probably comes from the people Slavi, as it appears that the 
tribes from the north, when Rome was invaded, brought with 
them their own slaves, who were chiefly Slavonians. The 
Slavonians, indeed, seem to have been an unfortunate race ; 
for so late as a.d. 800, Charlemagne devoted the whole race to 
perpetual imprisonment.* A slave born in a family was called 
verna. At Rome, the approach to freedom both as regards 
birth and manumission was, in many respects, more accessible 
than in Greece. Justinian (i, 4) tells us, that a person was 
born free (ingenuus) if one parent were libertinus and the other 
ingenuus ; and also, that if a woman conceived as ancilla, and 
was liberta at the time the child was born, or if she conceived 
as libera and at the time of birth had become ancilla, that the 
child should be free born. A slave taken in war was a slave 
jure gentium, and a born slave was such jure civili. But be- 
sides the born slaves and those taken in war, Roman freemen 
might become slaves by various laws. Those, for instance, 
who evaded military service ; a man who allowed himself to 
be sold as a slave in order to defraud the purchaser, and a 
freewoman who cohabited with a slave; and also, under the 
the empire (Gaius, 28, lib. I, s. 8), persons condemned to death, 
to the mines, and to fight with wild beasts, lost their freedom, 
and their property was confiscated. By the law of the Twelve 
Tables, if a freedman died intestate and without mi hairedes, 
the patronus was his heir (Ulp. Frag., xi, 3, 29, 2). As a 

* (Grv bon, vol. ix, 300.) It seems worthy of remark that the name Slave 
(for it ought not to be spelled with a c) in the Slavonian dialect means 
" glory ;" and singular enough it is that not only the people themselves 
should have become "inglorious," but that their national name should also 
have been adopted for the description of the most " inglorious" class of all 
the people of the earth. And it is still more singular that a kindred race, 
called 2e/3Aot in Greek, and in Latin servi, should also have become slaves ; 
so that in the Latin tongue they would be slaves both by name and nature. 


liberta (as mother) could not have heirs of her own, the patron 
always took as heir. If a freedman made a will, he could 
pass over his patron, whether he had sui hceredes or not, and 
might adopt a stranger in that capacity. In order to remedy 
this, an edict of the praetor was passed, by which if a freed- 
man died testate, leaving his patron nothing, or less than half 
his successio, the patron might have possessio bonorum contra 
tabulas of one-half, unless the institutus was the testator's 
natural child ; and if a freedman died intestate, leaving none 
but adoptivi filii as sui hceredes, the patron was still entitled to 
one-half. By the lex papia poppcea, the patron took an equal 
share with natural children, when any freedman died either 
testate or intestate, leaving fewer than three children, and a 
sum of 1,000 aurei (Guas). By the code of Justinian, when a 
freedman died testate, worth less than 100 aurei, the patron 
took only the sum bequeathed to him ; but if he died possessed 
of more than that sum, the patron might claim one-third, 
provided the freedman had no natural children. When the 
freedman died intestate, the patron succeeded only as under 
the Twelve Tables, and never came in with any child of the 

Perhaps it is not inconvenient here to make just a passing 
remark on what the Twelve Tables really were ; and it may be 
stated in a few words that they comprised originally the whole 
body of Roman civil law, the equivalent of our present com- 
mon law. The Greek republics had a civil law of a very like 
nature ; and for the purposes of Roman government, a body 
of ten commissioners were appointed to revise and codify 
the civil law of the Greek republics. These commissioners 
were called the decemviri ; and the result of their revision and 
codification was shown by the laws of the Twelve Tables, so 
called because they were engraved on twelve tables of brass. 
These laws were afterwards added to by the novellce, or edicts 
of the emperors, and the Senatus Gonsulta and Plebiscita, acts 
almost exactly corresponding with those of our House of 
Lords and House of Commons. 

There was a body of public slaves at Rome, who seem to 
have been regarded in a more favourable light than private 


slaves, as they had, along with the liberti, the power of making 
wills. They were employed (Tacit., Hist., i, 43) to take care 
of the public buildings, and to attend upon magistrates and 
priests. The aedes (aedes of Ceres) and quaestors (tax-col- 
lectors) had great numbers at their command; and so also 
had the triumviri noctumi, to prevent fires. They were em- 
ployed also as lictors, jailors, executioners, and watermen. 
We have before observed that the Greeks, after the battle of 
Salamis, increased their military slaves from three hundred to 
one thousand two hundred ; in like manner the Romans, after 
the battle of Cannae, purchased eight thousand slaves for the 
army, who were afterwards manumitted for their bravery. 

Gladiators seem to have formed a class of slaves of them- 
selves. They were trained in bodies by their masters, who 
were called lanistce. The first exhibition of them at Rome 
(Val. Max., n, 4, 7) was in the year 264 B.C., when Marcus 
and Decimus Brutus employed them at the funeral of their 
father (Liv. Epist., 16). For some they were employed at 
public funerals only, but afterwards fought at the funerals of 
all persons of distinction (Suet. Juv., 26), and even at those 
of women. They were armed with swords, and used to fight 
in the amphitheatre, and other public places of amusement of 
the Roman people. Under the empire, the passion of the 
Romans rose to its greatest height for this amusement, and 
they were employed on many public and private occasions, as 
well as at funerals. After Trajan's triumph (a.d. 100) over 
the Dacians, more than three hundred years after their first 
introduction, upwards of 10,000 were exhibited at once 
(Dion. Cas., 55, 15). In the year B.C. 73, they rose against 
their oppressors, and defeated a consular army (Livy, Epist., 
97) ; and two years later, were subdued only after 60,000 of 
them had been slain. They were finally suppressed by Hono- 
rius about a.d. 400. 

Large gangs of slaves were for a long time employed by 
private persons in the cultivation of land ; while even persons 
in good circumstances do not appear to have had more than 
one to wait upon them (Plin., H. N., 33, s. 1, 6). Cato, when 
he went to Spain as consul, took only three slaves with him. 


During the later times of the republic, however, and under 
the empire (b.c. 170), slaves appear to have been employed in 
great numbers in all domestic offices, and the want of these 
was considered a reproach (M. Pison, 27). Cicero, describing 
the meanness of Piso's housekeeping, says, " Idem coquus, 
idem atriensis, pistor domi nullus." Juvenal (in, 141) also 
says, a question commonly asked was " Quot pascit servos f* 
and Horace (Sat., i, 3, 12) ridicules Tullius for being attended 
only by five slaves, while he considered that every person in 
tolerable circumstances ought to keep at least ten. Wealth 
and luxury, in the days of the republic, greatly augmented the 
number of domestic slaves. Athenaeus says (vi, p. 272), that 
many Romans possessed 10,000, and some as many as 20,000 
slaves (a.d. 260); but although there is probably some exagge- 
ration in this, it is quite clear that a freedman under Augustus 
(Pliny, xxxin, s. 10, 47) left at his death as many as 4,116. 
Horace says (Sat., i, 3, 11) that two hundred was no un- 
common number, and that Augustus permitted a person who 
was exiled to take twenty slaves along with him. 

The chief means by which the Roman slaves were obtained 
were war and piracy; and during the constant wars of the 
republic, we find the numbers of them increasing in proportion 
to the victories obtained by the Roman arms. Slave-dealers 
usually accompanied an army, and frequently, after a great 
battle had been gained, many thousands were sold at once. 
In the camp of Lucullus (b.c. 70), on one occasion, slaves 
were sold at four drachmas each (9cZ. = 3s. 3d.). After the fall 
of Corinth and Carthage, Delos was the chief mart for that 
kind of traffic. Strabo says (a.d. 50), the Sicilian pirates, 
when in possession of the Mediterranean, sold as many as 
10,000 slaves in one day. The principal supply, however, 
came from Phrygia, Lycia, Cappadocia, and other Asiatic 
countries. Not unfrequently very large fortunes were realised 
from the sale of slaves ; but those who dealt in them, mangones, 
were called venalicii (tradesmen) and not mercatores, and it 
is quite clear that they were not considered to hold the position 
of Roman gentlemen ; and although Cicero (De Off., lib. i, 
C. 42) does not specifically mention slave-dealing as among the 


" quasstus qui in odia hominum incurrunt," yet there is no 
doubt he would consider it u illiberalis et sordidus." 

At Rome, as at Athens, slaves were frequently sold by auc- 
tion; hence Cicero's expression (M. Pison., 15), "homo de 
lapide emptus," on this stone, or a platform called castata, 
they appear to have been raised (Perseus, vi, 77) in order to 
afford purchasers an opportunity of minute inspection. They 
were stripped naked, for the purpose of defeating the tricks 
of the dealers, who were apparently as crafty in their dealings 
as horse-jockeys at the present day. Slaves of extraordinary 
beauty, or possessing any other great qualifications, were 
shown in private, and not exhibited in the public market. The 
slave-market was under the direction of the asdiles, and they 
made many regulations respecting it. Like the warranty of a 
horse now (Gell., 4, 2), the slave for sale had a scroll of his 
character hung round his neck (Propert., iv, 5, 51), by which 
the seller was bound; if a false account was given, he was 
compelled to take him back within six months from the time 
of sale, or to make good the deficiency to the buyer. The 
general terms of warranty were as to health, freedom from 
epilepsy, honesty, not running away, nor having a tendency 
to commit suicide. The newest imported slaves were generally 
most sought after, while the impudence of the Venice had be- 
come so proverbial as to make them of the least value in the 
market. The price of slaves at Rome varied as much as it 
did at Athens. Eunuchs always fetched a high price ; and 
Martial (in, 62) speaks of beautiful boys fetching as much as 
10,000 (885 : 8 : 4) to 20,000 (1770 : 16 : 8) sesterces each. 
He also speaks of a morio, or fool, bringing 20,000 sesterces. 
Literary men and doctors also fetched a high price ; and slaves 
fitted for the stage, as we learn from Cicero's oration on behalf 
of Quintius Roscius, as much as sixty minas (240) ; a good- 
looking prostitute, also, on account of the gain to be made by 
her master, used to sell for a like sum. A fair price for a good 
ordinary slave was about 500 drachmas (18). In the time of 
Justinian, the legal valuation of slaves ranged from 20 to 70 
solidi (Guas), according to age and qualifications. Previous 
to his time, female slaves had been much cheaper, unless they 


fetched an extra price on account of their beauty ; so that we 
find in Martial's (vi, 66) time, a slave girl of indifferent cha- 
racter was only worth about 600 sestertii (5) .* 

Private slaves were divided into urban and rustic, as point- 
ing out their different places of occupation ; the former pro- 
bably employed in attendance on their masters, and the latter 
in agricultural pursuits. Domestic slaves were also divided 
into many different grades or castes, and held a position 
according to the nature of their occupations. The different 
classes were called ordinarii, vulgares, mediastini, and quales- 

The ordinarii were stewards, bailiffs, or butlers, and were 
such as the master placed confidence in ; they also had other 
slaves (Cic, ad Attic, xi, 1) under them to assist in the des- 
patch of the work over which they had the superintendence. 
The vulgares were general domestic servants, and perhaps 
might be described according to the nature of their duties, as 
bakers, cooks, confectioners, etc. ; under this class, also, were 
included the porters, bedchamber slaves, and litter-bearers. 
The mediastini seem to resemble the Indian servants who 
wait, answering to the call of qui-ki ; the scholiast upon 
Horace, Epist., i, 14, 14, defines them as " qui in medio stant 

* Illustrative of state-revenue produced by the sale of slaves, the follow- 
ing extract is made from Napoleon the Third's History of Julius Ccesar, vol. 
ii, p. 595 : " The immensity of his resources is explained by the circum- 
stance that, independently of the tribute paid by the vanquished, which 
amounted for Gaul to 40,000,000 sestertii a year (more than 7,500,000 francs, 
or .300,000,) the sale of prisoners to Eoman traders produced enormous 
sums. Cicero informs us that he gained 12,000,000 sestertii from the cap- 
tives sold after the unimportant siege of Pindenissus. If we suppose that 
their number amounted to 12,000, this sum would represent 1,000 sestertii 
a-head. Now, in spite of Caesar's generosity in often restoring the captives 
to the conquered people, or in making gifts of them to his soldiers, as was 
the case after the siege of Alesia, we may admit that 500,000 Gauls, Ger~ 
mans, or Britons, were sold as slaves during the eight years of the war in 
Gaul, which must have produced a sum of about 500,000,000 sestertii, or 
about 95,000,000 francs, or 3,800,000. It was thus the Eoman money given 
by the slave-dealers, which formed the greatest part of the booty ; in the 
same manner as in modern times, when in distant expeditions the European 
nations take possession of the foreign custom-houses to pay the cost of war, 
it is still European money which forms the advance for the costs." 


ad quaevis imperata parati." The quales-quales were the 
lowest class,, but their peculiar line of duties does not appear 
to have been very clearly pointed out, but we are safe in as- 
suming that the dirtiest and most servile offices fell to their 
lot. Besides the division just given, there were the literati, 
who appear to have formed a class of themselves, and were 
employed as secretaries or amanuenses. Another description 
of slaves was called vicarii; they seem to have been of the 
class ordinarii, and as the vicarii were subject to a peculium 
from their masters, they may from this have acquired the name 
of vicarii, as, pro tanto, being the representatives of their 
masters. The appointment of vicarii was mere matter of 
private convenience, and might be revoked at any time. 

In early times, slaves were treated with more indulgence, 
and more like members of the master's family ; they joined 
their masters in worship to the gods, and sat at meals with 
them on subsellia. They had a regular allowance of far, oil, 
and salt. The usual allowance of far was a pound a day ; and 
Cato (b.c. 70) allowed his slaves a sextarius (pint) of oil a 
month, and a modius (gallon) of salt a year ; at the Saturnalia 
and Competalia they had an additional allowance of food, with 
a small quantity of wine. 

The offences of slaves were severely punished. They were 
worked in chains and flogged, and hung up by their hands 
with weights suspended to their feet. Mistresses (Ov. Amor., 
i, 14, 15) were frequently as severe in their punishments as 
masters (Mart., 2, 66), and a straggling hair or an untied 
string used to call down summary punishment (Juv. 6, 498). 
This was inflicted by an instrument called a flagrum, which 
was a whip with three knotted thongs. These flagra were 
sometimes placed in the hands of professed floggers called 
lorarii (a.d. 150), and instead of the knots, they were some- 
times strung with tali (Apuleius Met., 8) from the legs of 
sheep, pastern bones (small bone adjoining) the foot, sometimes 
used as dice, the effect of punishment with it was not unfre- 
quently fatal. That it was always severe, you may be sure, 
because it is the instrument which Bellona and the Furies are 
always represented as holding. To the houses of many who 


kept a large body of slaves were attached subterraneous 
prisons called ergastula. Juvenal (Sat. 14-24) speaks of one 
of these as " career rusticus," so that probably they were prin- 
cipally used in the country. Slaves were confined in them in 
chains, (Plin., 18, 7,) and when brought out of them to work, 
they worked in chains. According to Plutarch, who had visited 
Eome (a.d. 120), these prisons arose in consequence of the 
conquest of Italy by the Romans, and the great number of 
barbarous slaves who were employed to cultivate the conquered 
lands. They were finally abolished by Hadrian (a.d. 100) as 
being liable to great abuse (Spart.) in the hands of tyrannical 

Runaway slaves could not be lawfully received or harboured, 
(Hadrian, 18; Gaius, 1, 33) to conceal them was "furtum." 
The master was entitled to pursue them wherever they went, 
and it was the duty of all authorities to give him aid. Various 
laws were passed to prevent slaves running away, and conse- 
quently a runaway could not legally be an object of sale. A 
class of people called fugitivarii made it their business to 
recover runaway slaves, so that we may readily understand the 
number was not inconsiderable. 

Before referring to the mode of manumission, perhaps it is 
convenient to notice that there were three classes of liberti, 
the Givis Romanus, the Latinns, and the Dediticius. The two 
former will be treated of in their proper order in speaking of 
manumission. The dediticii were those who in former times 
had taken up arms against the Roman people, and, being con- 
quered, had surrendered themselves. By conquest, their re- 
lation to Rome became that of subjects, and as has been before 
observed of the BopeaXcoroL of Greece, they held a state, at all 
events, higher than that of slaves. The Lex ^Elia Sentia also 
provided, if a slave were manumitted at any time after he had 
been put in bonds by his master as a punishment, or branded, 
or put to the torture for an offence and convicted, or delivered 
.up to fight with wild beasts, or sent into a " ludus gladiatorius," 
(Gaius, 1,13,) or put in confinement (Ulp. Frag., tit. 1, sec. 11), 
that he should not acquire the state of a " Civis Romanus," 
nor even of " Latinus," but only that of a " dediticius." The 


class were considered freedmen, and not slaves, but they had 
no independent political rights. 

Justinian (Lib. 1, 6) mentions many modes of manumission 
"aut ex sacris constitutionibus in sacrosanctis ecclesiis aut 
vindicta, aut inter amicos, aut per epistolam, aut per testa- 
mentum, aut aliam quamlibet ultimam voluntatem." There is 
also the mode by census mentioned by Gaius and Ulpian 
(a.d. 220). 

The manumission by Vindicta was probably the most ancient 
as well as the most usual. It was also the method pointed out 
by law and conferred absolute irrevocable freedom. The slave 
was brought before the magistrate (Plaut. Mid. iv, 1, 15), and 
the lictor laying the vindicta or festuca (stalk or stem) upon 
him declared him free ex jure quintium (Pers. 5, 175), where- 
upon the master who had meantime held the slave said, ' ' hunc 
hominem liberum volo," and then let him go "e manu emisit." 
The manumission "ex sacris constitutionibus," or as it has 
been otherwise called, " sacrorum causa," seems to point only 
to the grounds of manumission, as the form might be in the 
usual manner. 

The modes "inter amicos," or u per epistolam," which are 
mentioned by Gaius as well as Justinian, did not confer legal 
freedom, but were mere expressions of the master's wish, which 
he might at any time recall until the more formal mode by 
vindicta had been adopted. The Lex Juliana Norbana, how- 
ever, gave the praetor the power of protecting persons who had 
been so made free and they acquired the state called Latinitas, 
which has been just mentioned, and which might be enlarged 
into the state of " Civitas" by marriage, and a compliance with 
the terms imposed by the iElia Scutia (Gaius i, 30, 66). 

There was also a manumission by census. If a master on the 
taking of a census allowed his slave to return himself as a 
freedman he was thenceforth free, or at least became so on the 
celebration of the lustrum or purification of the people which 
was always performed by one of the censors in the Campus 
Martius after the usual quinquennial taking of the census. 
The last mode of manumission was by "Testament" or any 
expression of the deceased's last wish on the subject. By this 


method freedom appears to have been conferred in a manner as 
perfect by the vindicta. The power of so conferring it was, how- 
ever, for some time limited by the Lex Puria, and varied from 
one-half to one-fifth of the entire number which the master 
possessed. This law was afterwards repealed by Justinian. 
In speaking of the absolute freedom conferred by the manu- 
mission by Yindicta and Testamentum, it is not meant that 
slaves so freed became liberi or ingenui, for they only became 
liberti or libertini freedman not freeman and their late 
master still stood to them in the relation of patronus and 
when the freedom was conferred by will, the patronal rights 
devolved on the children of the testator Gaius, indeed, states 
that all slaves who were manumitted in the proper form and 
under the proper legal conditions became complete Eoman 
citizens and Justinian, as we have before seen, calls the 
children of liberti ingenui. But the term ingenuus it is appre- 
hended was introduced for the purpose of indicating only a 
citizen by birth, one in gente natus, and has not the same 
meaning as Gentilis, which as Cicero tells us, Scgevola, the 
pontifix, defined to be, one who bears the same name, is born 
from ingenui, none of whose ancestors had been a slave, and 
who had suffered no " capitis diminutio," that is one, none 
of whose family had been attainted of crime. The sons of 
libertini, who were by law ingenui, still continued subject to 
the patronal authority (Gens, Genus, kindred) ; and although 
they had the right of voting and bore the Gentile name of the 
manumittor as a prefix to their own, yet Horace (Serm. I, 6, 46) 
tells us they were often taunted with their servile origin in his 
day (65 B.C.) Shortly, however, after the Emperor Justinian 
had compiled his Institutes, he, by a novella or edict, put an 
end to all the previous distinctions that had been in use as to 
the degrees of freedom, and declared every manumitted slave 
absolutely ingenuus nay he even conferred on them the right 
of wearing gold rings, a privilege which had always before 
formed a distinctive mark of the nobles and knights. 

A tax was levied on manumission, which amounted to one- 
twentieth part of the value of the slave, and was thence called 
Vicesima (Liv. 7, 16, Cic. ad Attic. 2, 16). 


Freedom was also a frequent subject of purchase from the 
State during the time of the first Emperors, by persons who 
had not been slaves, but by foreigners, and more especially 
Jews, who were anxious to become Roman citizens. And thus 
we find in the 21st and 22nd ch. of Acts, v. 27, 28, that when 
St. Paul was brought before the chief captain at Jerusalem, the 
chief captain "asked him if he were a Roman, and he said Yea. 
And the chief captain answered with a great sum obtained I 
this freedom And Paul said but I was free-born." 

Slaves were allowed the rights of burial, because as the 
Romans regarded slavery as a mere social institution, they con- 
sidered that death put an end to tfce distinction between slaves 
and freemen. We find that they were sometimes buried in the 
same tomb with their masters. A master was compelled to bury 
his slave ; and if a man buried the slave of another he had a 
right of action against the master for the expenses of the 

Of slavery among other nations little is known. Tacitus, 
indeed, who wrote about a.d. 100, tells us (Be Mar, Germ. 24, 
25) that among the Germans slaves were generally attached to 
the soil and employed in agriculture; that as a general rule 
they could not be sold, beaten, chained, or imprisoned, and 
therefore, perhaps, as has been before remarked of the Greek 
captives taken in war, they may be considered to have been 
under a feudal rather than under a slave discipline. If, how- 
ever, a German, as was not at all unusual, staked his freedom 
on a cast of the dice and lost, he then became a subject of sale 
like any other chattel. 

In Africa, perhaps, both in ancient and modern times, slavery 
has ever been marked by the strongest and most disgusting 
features (Cassar de Bel. Jugurth., c. 91) ; and it would appear 
that it prevailed there from the first peopling of that unex- 
plored country. On the coast of Guinea a great trade in slaves 
was carried on by the Arabs some hundred years before the 
Portuguese embarked in that traffick. In 651 the Mahomedan 
Arabs of Egypt so harassed the King of Ethiopia that he agreed 
to send them annually by way of tribute a vast number of 
Nubian slaves into Egypt. 


As a concluding remark, it may be added that up to the 
present day the black and white species cannot contract mar- 
riages with each other except under the penalty of barrenness 
in the third generation at farthest, thus proving that the Divine 
institution of a difference between the two races still continues 
to exist. This same law seems to prevail in regard to many 
other human species. For information on this subject see 
Bollaert's Introduction to the Anthropology of the New World in 
the present volume. In opposition to his views, however, I 
feel fully convinced that the entire human species sprung from 
the first man, Adam, and that the inferiority of race arose 
from the curse passed on Canaan, followed up by the subse- 
quent curses to which I have before only briefly alluded. 



XXX. Blood-Relationship in Marriage considered in its Influ- 
ence upon the Offspring. By Arthuk Mitchell, A.M., 
M.D., F.R.S.E., F.A.S.L., etc., Deputy Commissioner in 
Lunacy for Scotland. 

A series of quotations might easily be given to show that there exists a 
remarkable difference of opinion as to the influence which consanguinity in 
the parentage exercises upon the offspring. 

Further, such a series of quotations could not be made, on anything like 
an extended scale, without finding that Scotland is pointed at as occupying 
a peculiar position in relation to the subject. 

The voice of the people in this country, whatever its practice 
may do, condemns blood-alliances, and declares them to be 
productive of evil. Educated and uneducated may be said to 
entertain this belief equally; and as every one has considerable 
opportunities of testing its accuracy by personal observation 
and experience, the probability of its being simply and wholly 
a traditional error becomes small. Even among professional 
men, there is scarcely less unanimity in this general condemna- 
tion. But their wider knowledge and habits of closer observa- 
tion lead often to qualifications and doubts ; while occasionally 
we find an investigator wholly denying the evil, and charac- 
terising the dread of such unions as " a superstitious fear". 

If we carefully study the literature of the subject we shall 
find that it abounds in unsupported assertion, and that impor- 
tant conclusions are very often made to rest on a basis which 
is undefined or clearly too narrow. Yet, somehow, in spite of 
this, we rise from such a study with little doubt as to the 
reality of some evil effect, though we may feel strongly that 
its character and its measure are not well-known, and that of 
the nature of those conditions by which it is evidently modified 
we are still very ignorant. 

Both general and professional opinions on this subject rest, 
in no small degree, on a peculiar and faulty kind of evidence. 
When we are presented with the question, " Does consan- 
guinity in parentage appear to injure the offspring V memory 
searches for instances of unions of kinship, from the history of 
which the answer is to be framed. Now, it is certain that all 


those which have been marked by misfortune will be first called 
up, while many of those which have exhibited no evil effect or 
no peculiarity of any sort will be passed over or forgotten. 
The attention, in all likelihood, has been frequently drawn to 
the first, while nothing may have occurred in the progress of 
the last to keep alive the recollection of relationship in the 
union. I need scarcely say that facts collected in this manner 
are almost sure to lead to inferences beyond the truth, yet it 
is from such data that conclusions on this subject have fre- 
quently, if not usually, been drawn. 

During the course of 1 860, I collected some evidence of this 
character myself. It embraces the history, more or less com- 
plete, of 45 cases. They belong chiefly to one district of Scot- 
land, and are nearly all from the upper and middle classes of 
society. Without exception, every case communicated to me 
during the period of my inquiry is included ; my informants 
were intelligent and observing men, and their statements I 
believe to be substantially correct. The result I give below: 

In 8 cases no evil result was observed. 

In 8 cases sterility (virtual or actual) followed. 

The 29 cases which remain gave, 

8 Idiots. 
5 Imbeciles. 
11 Insane (mania, melancholia, 

dementia, etc.) 
2 Epileptics. 
4 Paralytics. 

2 Deaf-mutes. 

3 Blind (congenital ?) 

2 With defective vision. 

3 Deformed (spinal curvature, 


6 Lame (character of lameness not 

1 Rachitic. 
22 Phthisical, scrofulous, or mani- 
festly of weak constitution. 

My notes show 146 as the total number of children born of 
these 45 unions, but I think it improbable that this is correct, 
as several of the marriages were very prolific, and as I have 
reason to think that in some cases my information related only 
to the defective. 

Nothing would more certainly be unsound than deductions 
from these figures. Without intention, they are actually se- 
lected cases, and it would be a pure accident if they were found 
to embody the rule. I am certain that I could easily find in 
Scotland 45 marriages, where no kinship existed, which would 
exhibit in the offspring even a sadder picture. Though it is 



just possible that in the particular instances before us the un- 
sound condition of the children was largely due to the consan- 
guinity of their parents, yet it is quite certain that from such 
data alone we cannot correctly determine the measure of the 
evil influence which such consanguinity exercises on the average. 
By a selection of cases a false power might, in like manner, be 
given to any of the other causes of such calamities. There, 
however, the selection would be forced, and the forcing ap- 
parent; while here it is natural, unacknowledged, and unde- 
signedly made, but not the less real on that account. 

There is another kind of evidence which has been largely 
used in discussions on this subject, and which is somewhat 
allied to that of which I have been speaking, though even 
more likely than it to lead to error. Startling illustrations of 
calamitous sequences to cousin-marriages have been detailed, 
and pointed at with a finger of warning, the relation of cause 
and effect being assumed. Such a relation may have existed, 
but it is equally possible that it may not, for it must always be 
remembered that a blood-alliance between the parents is far 
from being the only cause of defective offspring. 

Supposing the proof complete that it is a cause, it is still 
only one of many, and we cannot therefore point with confi- 
dence to a particular case, and say positively, that the calamity 
there is due to consanguinity of parentage, for it may really be 
due to injuries in parturition, to hooping-cough, to a blow on 
the head, or to starvation in infancy. Consanguinity in the 
parents may very decidedly tend to injure the offspring, yet it 
by no means follows that every defect in the children born of 
blood-related parents is an expression of this tendency, for the 
general causes of defect will exist among them as among other 
children, and will give results at least equally disastrous. It 
is clear, therefore, that isolated cases cannot be used in this or 
in any similar question to indicate the measure of the evil which 
may be expected, or even to prove its existence. The minute 
examination of individual cases is far from valueless, but they 
cannot be adduced to teach the rule in this matter. 

In the 45 cases already alluded to, there occur some of as 
startling a character, I think, as any which I have ever seen 
recorded. It would be difficult, for instance, to imagine a 



greater intensification of one form of mischief than occurs in 
the following case, which I represent diagrammatically in order 
to make it more easily understood : 


A married B, 
his full cou- 
sin, and had 
five children 
by her. 

Sound in mind and 
body. Twice mar- 
ried. Wives not 
related to him. Had 
issue nine children. 

By first wife four 

Sane. Died of 

zymotic disease 

in adult life. 

Sound in mind and 

Became insane 


adult life, 



placed in 



Died in early 

By second wife five 

Considered sane, 

though eccentric 

and peculiar. 

Sound in mind and 


Became insane, and 
was placed in an 




Dead. Age at death 
and mental condi- 
tion not known. 



Became insane. 

Became insane, and 
was placed in an 



If it be possible to conceive a family history more melancholy 
than that presented in the foregoing diagram, we shall find it 
in the cases which follow. 

Case II. 

Case III. 

A. B. 

X. Y., his 
full cousin, 

and had 
issue nine 


Of sound 
mind, but 

vision and 




his full 

Married a 

Sane. Of 

lady not 


related to 


him. Has 




but then- 

tion. Cleft 



not known. 



Sane, but 
with very 


Sound in 

mind and 




Of sound 



Married a 
lady not re- 
lated to him. 

Married a 
lady not re- 
lated to him. 

Married a 

not related 
to her, and 
had three 


is not 


Z.. Y., his, 
full cousin 

and had 
issue five 


as of sound 
mind, but 

Of sound 

A good 




Of sound 




Married a 
to her, and 
had two 





As differing somewhat from the foregoing, but still revealing 
a great amount of family misfortune, I subjoin the history of 
other two unions of consanguinity. 


Case IV. M. married F., his cousin, and had issue five 
children, of whom one was sane, one was paralytic, one was 
lame, and two were idiotic. 

Case V. M. married F., his cousin, and had issue ten 
children, of whom two were sane and had arrived at maturity, 
one was an idiot, one was an imbecile, one was deaf and dumb, 
and five died in early infancy. 

When I resolved to attempt the investigation of this subject, 
I felt a perfect indifference as to whether I should be led to the 
conclusion that a blood-relationship between the parents did 
much, or little, or no injury to the offspring, and I have endea- 
voured to conduct the inquiry without prejudice. The result 
is, that I have convinced myself that it does injure the off- 
spring, and I shall by-and-by detail, as fairly and fully as I 
can, all the facts on which this conviction is founded. My 
object in now stating the general conclusion at which I have 
arrived is to enable me to make the foregoing cases the text of 
some comments, the introduction of which at this stage of my 
paper will be convenient. Besides, it does not appear to me 
that it would serve any good purpose to avoid the indication of 
this conclusion till after the facts are stated on which it 

I have said already, that it would be unphilosophical to 
found a belief even in the existence of an evil done to children 
by a blood-relationship between their parents on such evidence 
as the detail of a few startling cases like the five which pre- 
cede, and that it would be still more unphilosophical to look 
to such evidence for the teaching of a rule in the question. 
For, in actual fact, we know that however viewed, these are 
most exceptional cases ; and, what is more, we also know that 
it would be easy to set off against them cases quite as de- 
plorable in their character, where the most careful inquiry has 
failed in detecting any kinship among the progenitors of the 
defective children for generations back. 

Yet, this minute examination of individual cases has its use. 
For instance, it leads us to suspect that the evil may sometimes 
not manifest itself in the immediate offspring of such unions, 
yet may do so in the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 
Cases I, II, and III, all appear to show this, and it has been 



observed in scores of other instances. Sometimes, indeed, a 
defect has been fonnd to occur, which at first sight appeared 
purely due to hereditary transmission, or to be without explana- 
tion in the history of the ascendants, yet which, on a close in- 
vestigation presented itself as the possible transmission or mani- 
festation of an evil which had originated remotely in a union 
of kinship. There is thus reason to suspect that in the seem- 
ingly sound children of blood-related parents a 'potential defect 
may exist and may eventually manifest itself as actual defect in 
their offspring. If this be real, we are led to the inference, 
that even the most careful estimate of the measure of the evil 
unujr examination may prove erroneous, since defects origin- 
ating in these marriages may appear eventually in society as 
hereditary tendencies, and it may scarcely be possible, in a 
particular instance, to speak otherwise of the defect than as a 
manifestation of an inherited proclivity. 

The following case, perhaps, better illustrates these remarks 
than those I have already given. I must beg, however, that 
it be remembered that it is given merely in illustration, and 
not as proof. Absolute, stateable, proof of such views can 
scarcely be given, yet they may be fair and sound conclusions 
from actual observation in a wide field of such probable ac- 
curacy, at least, as to make it prudent in us to shape our con- 
duct by them. 


A married B, his 

cousin , and had 

issue several 


An epileptic idiot 

A sound girl, who 
married a man not 
related to her, and 
had two children. 

An epileptic idiot 

( All the other 
j children sane 
( and sound. 

A boy sane and 

sound, who married 

a woman not 

related to him, 

and had issue 

several children. 

An epileptic idiot 

f All the other 
j children sane 
I and sound. 

The parents of the epileptic idiot girl H were not blood- 
related, nor were her grandparents, but her great-grandparents 
were cousins, and in their children, grandchildren, and great- 
grandchildren, epilepsy had appeared, though it had never 
done so in any of the collateral branches of their family. 


It occurs to me here to remark, that a single form of defect 
often occurs either in one generation, or in successive genera- 
tions. This form may be epileptic idiocy, as in the last case, 
or uncomplicated mental disease, as in Case I, or deaf-mutism, 
blindness, deformity, club-foot, hare-lip, etc., as in many other 
cases which have come under observation, but which it would 
be impossible here to detail. Cases II, III, and IV, on the 
other hand, illustrate the combination of mental and physical 
defects, and afford an interesting manifestation of sterility. It 
is, of course, more usual to have these mixed results, than to 
find the defect confined to one form. In Case V we have idiocy, 
imbecility, deaf-dumbness, and lameness, combined with a 
large infant mortality. With regard to this last, there is a very 
general belief among the common people of Scotland, that the 
children of cousins are weakly, and of low viability, and my 
notes contain numerous cases which would support this. For 
iustance, I have recorded of one cousin-union that there were 
ten children, of whom five died in early infancy. I saw all the 
survivors, and regarded them as sound and healthy; so that 
nothing but a tendency to defective viability appeared to mani- 
fest itself in the offspring in this case, though, of course, it is 
possible that among those who perished so early there may 
have been defects both of mind and body which were not re- 

Cases in which two brothers have married two sisters, their 
cousins, are not uncommon; and, it has been said, that certain 
families appear to exhibit a tendency to cousin-marriages. 
From this it has been suspected that there may exist in such 
persons some exceptional character or condition which is 
passed on directly to their children, and that thus it may be a 
mistake to speak of defects among these latter as due to the 
kinship between their parents. In many cases, however, it 
would scarcely be a mistake so to speak of them; for, admitting 
the existence of some such family peculiarity as that spoken of, 
there could be no better way of securing its intensification than 
by effecting unions between cousins, both of ivhom would pro- 
bably possess it, and who would thus run the risk of trans- 
mitting it to their children in a form so exaggerated as to be 


positive disease or defect there, though it might have been 
little other than a peculiarity, or, perhaps, an agreeable eccen- 
tricity, in themselves. If it be granted that such marriages 
tend thus to exaggerate such peculiarities, nothing more is 
asked, for nothing more is necessary to show that they do harm. 
The practical question is this, should they or should they not 
be avoided ? and the answer we are led to give is that they 
should, for the reason that they tend to injure the offspring. 
It matters not, practically, whether the injurious influence is 
the result of some mysterious effect, intrinsic in the consan- 
guinity itself, or merely the result of this, that consanguinity 
increases the risks of finding undesirable or morbid peculiari- 
ties transmitted from parents to children in an intensified and 
dangerous form. If the results are disastrous, they will not be 
less so on one theory than on another, and the lesson will be 
the same. If relations by blood are liable to possess the same 
morbid tendencies, and if, by pairing among themselves for 
procreation, they are likely to transmit these tendencies in a 
dangerously increased form to their children, then it is surely 
their duty to avoid such unions, and to seek among strangers 
alliances with individuals more likely to possess qualities calcu- 
lated to modify or counteract the morbid predispositions in 
question. It may be that there is absolutely nothing whatever 
in the bare fact of consanguinity, and that a marriage of kin- 
ship should be avoided on the same grounds as a marriage 
between any man and woman both predisposed say to insanity. 
In the case of cousins, though there may be nothing common 
to them of so marked a character as a declared tendency to in- 
sanity, still there may be common to them any one of a 
hundred transmissible peculiarities, which it would be very 
undesirable to send down to their children in an exaggerated 
form. Even a strong temperament common to both might 
thus be intensified into disease in their offspring. It follows, 
therefore, as the chances of possessing similar peculiarities 
are great among relatives, and as intermarriage tends to give 
a dangerous strength to these in the offspring, that to avoid 
such risks the prudent will avoid such unions as appear to in- 
crease them. 


Families and knots of the community among whom marriages 
of kinship prevail may be found to be so circumstanced other- 
wise as to favour the development of unhealthy peculiarities, 
but if blood-marriages are in practice found to strengthen 
these peculiarities in the generations which succeed each other, 
then they do harm and should be discouraged, whether the 
mere fact of consanguinity has anything to do with the result 
or not. This remains an open question, though, I think, many 
will be ready to go the length of admitting that Given a man 
and woman not cousins both predisposed say to x, and a man 
and woman similarly predisposed who are cousins, the chances 
of transmitting x to the offspring will be greater in the last 
case than in the first; in other words, that the kinship will not 
be altogether silent. 

If the general views just expressed be correct, it follows as 
possible that in a particular case the relationship of the parents 
may do no injury to the offspring. In other words, children of 
as great perfection may be born of parents who are cousins as 
of parents who are not. A man may nowhere find a better wife 
than in one related to him by blood better I mean for his off- 
spring. Facts, I think, bear this out, and the explanation lies 
in this, that there may be full cousinship of blood without 
much cousinship of quality. The two things do not necessarily 
go together ; so that a man may possibly find in his own re- 
lative the very qualities best fitted to tone down or neutralise 
in his children those strong transmissible peculiarities in him- 
self, which it would be undesirable to have exaggerated in them 
exaggerated perhaps into acknowledged defect or disease. 

But while all this is possible (and I believe it to be true of 
several cases well known to myself), it must be remembered 
that the chances are the other way ; and for this reason unions 
of kinship should be avoided. "When we deal with large num- 
bers, I think it can be proved that this is the safer and more 
prudent course, and the best for society. 

It by no means follows from what I have said that a man 
should desire in the mother of his children only qualities op- 
posed to those which he himself manifests. There is a beatis- 
timum medium in this matter as in all others. In point of fact 


it is often to a slight intensification in the offspring of certain 
qualities of body or mind, possessed equally by both parents, 
that we owe those salient physical or mental characteristics 
which impart a power of achieving great things. In a later 
part of my paper I shall have more to say on this point. In 
the meantime I shall proceed to detail and examine those 
facts on which I rest my conclusion, that consanguinity of 
parentage does tend to injure the offspring. The views I have 
briefly propounded as to the modus operandi may be sound or 
not, but the facts remain, and the inference I have drawn from 
them appears to be fair and well founded. 

I have already stated that, in order to be able to determine 
the existence and measure of an evil resulting to children from 
consanguinity in their parents, it is necessary that we should 
have evidence of a more satisfactory character than any to which 
reference has yet been made. In the detail of startling cases, 
or in the grouping of cases furnished from the memory of the 
collector and from that of his friends, we do not obtain evidence 
which is likely to lead us to sound conclusions. We must, 
therefore, turn to some other mode of investigation for a supply 
of data from which we can draw inferences with greater security 
and confidence. It appears to me that the following line of in- 
quiry is calculated to meet this demand. 

1. Take a large number of instances of any defect which 
kinship in marriage is alleged to cause in the offspring, and 
ascertain how many are the issue of parents related to each 
other by blood, and how many of parents are not so related. 
Either the number must be so large as to preclude the possi- 
bility of selection in any form, or it must include as nearly as 
possible all instances of the defect which occur in the section 
of the community from which they are drawn ; bub in any case 
the number should not be small. 

The results must then be compared with the proportion of 
cousin marriages to other marriages in the same community. 

Unsoundness of mind is believed to be one of the defects in 
question, and I accordingly embraced the opportunities afforded 
by my position for ascertaining with accuracy and precision 
the history of the parentage of all insane, idiotic, or imbecile 
persons in a particular district of the country. 


Deaf-mutism is generally received as another of these de- 
fects, and I have endeavoured to find out what proportion of 
the deaf-and-dumb in this country are the children of blood- 
related parents. 

After giving the results of these inquiries, I shall briefly 
state those of similar investigations in other countries. 

2. The second mode of investigation consists in taking cer- 
tain localities and collecting the family history of every marriage 
among the people there, and then comparing the results of 
those in which a kinship existed with the results of those in 
which it did not exist. The falsifying effects of uninten- 
tional selection are reduced to a minimum in this line of in- 
quiry, which, if carried out on a large scale, would lead us more 
certainly to the truth in this matter than any other. But in 
that case, it would require to embrace a field so wide as to 
make it nearly impossible for any private individual to under- 
take the inquiry.* 

I have succeeded in doing a little, and that little appears to 
me to have value, though not such a value as I hoped would 
be the case. I was prepared to encounter difficulties and dis- 
appointments, but I did not expect them to be quite so great 
as the}?- turned out to be. 

* The question under discussion in this paper has been regarded as one 
of such interest and importance in France, that last year the following letter 
was addressed to the various Prefects by the Minister of Agriculture, Com- 
merce, and Public "Works : " Sir, The question so warmly debated in 
learned bodies as to the influence of marriages of consanguinity upon the 
physical aptitudes of the generations which are the result of these, gives 
quite a special importance to the table which the annual movement of the 
population should furnish me with respect to the number of marriages. 
Now, information derived from trustworthy sources authorises me to believe 
that these indications are remarkably incomplete as regards marriages be- 
tween cousins-german. Omissions of this kind are very easily explained 
when we bear in mind that the marriages in question not being, as are 
those contracted between brothers-in-law and sisters-in law, uncles and 
nieces, aunts and nephews, the object of legal prohibition, the local au- 
thorities have no regular means of recognising them. I beg of you, then, 
to issue special instructions inviting the mayors to make direct inquiries in 
the case of all future marriages, when the papers laid before them do not 
contain the necessary information whether the parties are related in the 
degree of cousins-german or even of cousins the issue of cousins-german," 
From the Medical Times and Gazette, 


After personally visiting and examining the places chosen 
(when that was possible), I placed a schedule of queries in the 
hands of willing and competent persons. These queries were 
numerous and comprehensive, and I aimed at much more than 
in any case I have accomplished. In many instances the defi- 
ciency is such as to make the whole useless, and my labour is 
lost. Regarding other places, however, I have received much 
accurate, interesting, and valuable information. 

On examining the results I find each place so isolated and 
separate from the others by individual characteristics as to 
make grouping or even close comparisons impossible. I shall, 
therefore, be obliged to state the results of each inquiry in de- 
tail, endeavouring to give only what appears to be relevant to 
my subject. In doing this it is possible that what I have re- 
garded as relevant some may regard as irrelevant matter, but 
I think it fairer and safer to run the risk of this charge, rather 
than mislead by omission. 

Having given this general description of the mode of inves- 
tigation I have proposed to myself, I shall now proceed to state 
the results, and I have first to show what my inquiries have 
disclosed as to the connexion between unions of kinship and 
the actual idiocy and deaf-dumbness of our country. 

The number of Idiots and Imbeciles in nine of the Counties of 
Scotland who are the Offspring of Unions of Consanguinity . 

Ever since 1858, when visiting those lunatics in Scotland 
who live in private dwellings, the relationship of the parents 
has been a thing generally inquired into. It was not, however, 
invariably done, and when difficulties occurred, as frequently 
happened, about obtaining definite information, no serious 
effort was made to overcome these. In nine counties, however, 
visited during part of 1860 and 1861, I made careful inquiry 
in every case, exerting myself to the utmost to obtain the in- 
formation desired. Notwithstanding this I often failed. Some- 
times where the information was possessed, it was not given ; 
but much more frequently it was not given, because not 
possessed. At times the great age of the patient explained 
this ; at other times he had been born in a different part of 


the country, or even in England or Ireland, and both parents 
had long been dead; at times, again, neither of the idiot's 
parents was known to his guardians, or one might be well 
known, and nothing known of the other. It must be remem- 
bered that the idiot himself could in no case be my informant. 

The counties to which I have referred were Aberdeen, Bute, 
Clackmannan, Fife, Kincardine, Kinross, Perth, Ross and Cro- 
marty, and Wigtown. They represent a population of 716,210, 
and embrace 299 parishes, and form a considerable propor- 
tion of Scotland. The result of my investigation is as fol- 
lows : 

The whole number of idiots examined was 711, including 
those in receipt as well as those not in receipt of parochial aid. 
Of these, 421 were ascertained to be the children of parents 
not related by blood, and 98 were the offspring of parents be- 
tween whom there was a more or less close kinship. In 84 
instances the relationship was not known, and 108 of the whole 
number were born out of wedlock. In a tabular form the re- 
sults stand thus : 

(1.) Whole number of idiots and imbeciles examined - - 711 

(2.) Of these illegitimate 108 

parentage not known - 84 


(3.) Total number whose parentage was known ... 519 
Of these parents not related - 421 

parents related ----- 98 


Taking the whole number of idiots examined, including both 
the illegitimate and those of whose parentage I could learn no- 
thing, we have 13*6 per cent, of the entire number born of 
parents between whom there was a blood-relationship. In 
order therefore to believe that such relationship does not in- 
fluence the amount of idiocy, marriages of kinship would re- 
quire in these counties to be to other marriages in the ratio of 
1 to 7, which they notoriously are not, though unfortunately 
no facts exist to show precisely their relative frequency. I 
think, however, that it may be regarded as certain that such a 
ratio is about ten times higher than the reality. 

But in order properly to test this influence of consanguinity, 


we must at least deduct the cases of whose parentage I could 
obtain no information. Those acquainted with the difficulties 
of such investigations will admit that the number of these is 
not great. This deduction then being made (711 84 = 627), 
the proportion rises at once to 15*6 per cent. This last may 
be regarded as referring to the whole community, since there 
is no reason for supposing that among the 84 of whose parentage 
nothing was ascertained a greatly different proportion would 
be found to be the offspring of blood alliances. 

It may appear to some that a further deduction should be 
made. The paternity of the illegitimate is practically an un- 
known thing, and I have elsewhere shown that illegitimacy it- 
self tends to produce defective children. The illegitimate idiots 
should, therefore, be deducted, so that those idiots horn in mar- 
riage of parents related by blood may be compared with those 
born in marriage of parents not so related. If this be done it 
will be found that the former constitute 18'9 per cent, of the 
latter. Instead, therefore, of every seventh or eighth marriage 
in the community, we should require every fifth or sixth, to be 
between persons related by blood to each other, in order to 
show that consanguinity of parentage does not influence the 
amount of idiocy. 

Of the 98 idiots whose parents were related, the degree of 
relationship was as follows : 

Colisins in - . - - - 42 cases. 

Second cousins in - - 35 

Third cousins in - - 21 ,, 

98 cases. 
It is probable that more second and third cousins intermarry 
than cousins, yet these last produce a larger number of idiots. 
The closer, in short, that the alliance is, the greater appears 
to be the danger. This, at least, is the teaching of the state- 
ment just made. 

During the course of these investigations, 64 cases came to 
my knowledge in which more than one idiot existed in the 
family. In all of these but 5, I obtained the history of the 
parents. In the remaining 59, no less than 26 instances of 
blood-relationship occurred, or 44 per cent. This is an in- 


structive fact, showing that when we select cases in which the 
tendency to idiocy appears with force, then kinship of parentage 
also presents itself with a marked increase of frequency. Thus, 
while it appears that in nearly 1 out of every 2 cases in which 
more than one idiot occurs in a family, consanguinity of 
parentage is found ; in those cases, on the other hand, where 
only one idiot occurs, such relationship only exists in 1 out of 
5 or 6 cases. The exact results of this part of the inquiry I 
give below. 

1st. Of Parents Eelated. 

Degree of Relationship. 

/-5 Cousins - 
12 Cases with 2 \ g gecond cousina . . r giving 24 idiot children. 

idiotchildren -Cl Third cousins - 
/*8 Cousins - 

10 Cases with 3 ) 1 Second cousins - 
(. 1 Third cousins 
.0 Cousins - 

2 Cases with 4 5 1 Second cousins - 

(_ 1 Third cousins - 

1 Case with 5 1 Third cousins - - 5 

1 Case with 7 1 Third cousins - 7 

26 74 

2nd. Op Parents not Eelated. 

24 Cases with 2 idiot children, giving - - 48 idiots. 

8 Cases with 3 - - 24 

1 Case with 4 - - 4 

33 76 

The whole 59 cases, therefore, give 150 idiotic children, but 
26 of them give 74 of the whole, or within two of the number 
yielded by the 33 cases where no relationship existed, affording 
still another evidence that unions of kinship influence the 
amount of idiocy in our country. 

The counties of Eoss and Wigtown present peculiarities, an 
examination of which may throw some further light on the 
subject under discussion. I shall therefore detail more minutely 
the results of my investigation into these districts, of which a 
summary is exhibited in the following table* : 

* The under part of the table is a continuation of the upper. 

E E 




Total cases 
examined or 
reported on. 

Number included 
in column A 

who were Idiots 
or Imbeciles. 

Number included 
in column A 
who laboured 

under Acquired 

dumber included 
in column A 
about whose 
parentage infor- 
mation could not 
be obtained. 





Eoss and Cromarty. 











No. of cases 
included in A, 

about whose 

was obtained. 

No. included 

in E who were 

Idiots or 


No. included 
in E who 

laboured under 

No. of Idiots or 
Imbeciles (F) 
between whose 
parents there 
was a Blood- 

No. of those la 
bouring under 
Acquired Insa 
nity(G) betweer 
whose parents 

there was a 

Total No. 

" between whose 
parents there 
was a Blood- 




















It appears, therefore, that of 177 insane persons, abont whom 
reliable information was obtained, in 41 cases a blood-relation- 
ship within the degrees of first, second, or third cousins, was 
determined. This represents about 23 per cent. 

Even if we take the whole number examined or reported on, 
and include the 83 about whom no information as to parentage 
is possessed, we shall have out of 260 cases 41 the offspring of 
relatives. This would represent about 16 per cent. 

On either supposition, the influence of consanguine marriages 
in increasing the amount of unsoundness of mind is clear. 

On referring to column H it will be seen that of the 41 cases 
who were the offspring of blood-related parents, 37 were idiots 
or imbeciles. 

Of this class of the insane there is always a considerable pro- 
portion whose disease is not truly congenital, having its origin 
in the early period of extra-uterine life. Among those idiots 
or imbeciles, however, who are born of related parents, the 
proportion of this non- congenital idiocy I have found to be 
smaller than in the general class of idiots. In other words. 


given one hundred idiots the children of parents related, and 
another hundred the children of parents not related, it will be 
found I think that a larger proportion of the former are due to 
foetal disturbances than of the latter. 

Further, we find that proportionally a larger number of idiots 
and imbeciles are the children of related parents, than of 
maniacs, melancholies, etc., or of those labouring under that 
which, for convenience, I have called acquired insanity. If we 
take the whole number of idiots examined, 18 per cent, are 
children of related parents. If, again, we take the whole num- 
ber of cases of acquired insanity the proportion falls to 7*4 per 
cent. But if we deal only with those of whose parentage we 
have information, then in the one case it is no less than 27 in 
the 100, and in the other 10 in the 100. From this it would 
appear that the amount of idiocy and imbecility is influenced 
by these unions to a greater extent than is the amount of the 
acquired forms of insanity. 

It seems scarcely necessary to point out when such a state- 
ment is made as that 13 or 15 per cent, of all the idiots in the 
districts examined were the children of blood-related parents, 
that it by no means follows that the whole of that percentage 
is due to the consanguinity of parentage. Indeed, it is quite 
certain that it is greatly otherwise. All the other causes of 
idiocy will operate among the offspring of cousins as they do 
among the offspring of persons not so related; and it must 
always be remembered that these causes are very numerous and 
very varied. The idiocy of our country is not due to one but 
to a great many things, each of which contributes its share to 
make up the whole : one cause may be more powerful than 
another, but each influences the total amount. The facts which 
have been detailed render it very probable, if they do not prove, 
chat a blood alliance between parents is one of these causes 
influencing unfavourably the amount of idiocy in the land, but 
they do not exhibit definitely the measure of this influence, 
though they may and do aid us in estimating it.* 

* There are many causes of idiocy which are undoubtedly of greater 
power than kinship of parentage. Hooping-cough, scarlatina, and measles, 
for instance, produce a large amount of the idiocy of Scotland, as they do 

E E 2 


The official reports to the governments of Massachusetts and 
Connecticut, on the amount and condition of idiocy in those 
states , exhibit a line of inquiry somewhat similar to that with 
which we are now dealing. The facts elicited by these investi- 
gations are briefly as follows : 

In 1846, commissioners were appointed under an act of the 
legislature of Massachusetts "to inquire into the condition of 
the idiots of the commonwealth, to ascertain their number, and 
whether anything can be done in their behalf." The report was 
prepared by the well-known Dr. Howe. 

Of 574 idiots, with whom this report deals, the parentage 
was ascertained in 359 cases, and of these 1 7 were known to 
be the children of parents nearly related by blood. From col- 
lateral evidence it was concluded that at least 3 more cases 
should be added to the 17. This would show that more than 
one-twentieth (or about 5 per cent.) of the idiots examined 
were the offspring of the marriage of relations. Dr. Howe 
says : 

1 ' The statistics of the 1 7 families, the heads of which, being 
blood-relatives, intermarried, tell a fearful tale. 

"Most of the parents were intemperate or scrofulous; some 
were both the one and the other ; and, of course, there were 
other causes to increase the chances of infirm offspring, besides 
that of the intermarriage. There were born unto them 95 
children, of whom 44 were idiotic, 12 others were scrofulous 
and puny, 1 was deaf, and 1 was a dwarf ! In some cases all 
the children were either idiotic, or very scrofulous and puny. 
In one family of 8 children 5 were idiotic." 

All the 1 7 cases referred to appear to have been cases of true 
congenital idiocy. 

Again, in the report of the commissioners on idiocy to the 
General Assembly of Connecticut, in 1856, we find that 310 out 
of 531 cases reported an "adequate cause." Of these causes, 

probably of other countries. Hooping cough, in particular, is often followed 
by imbecility or idiocy. We are too apt to think of idiocy as a congenital 
condition. In point of fact, however, a large proportion of the idiocy of the 
country has an extra-uterine origin, and, strictly speaking, is acquired and 
not congenital. 


consanguinity of parents was considered the probable one in 20 
cases, or nearly 7 per cent. 

On examining the results of the inquiry, however, we find 
that the question "Were the parents of the idiot related by 
blood?" was only answered in 160 cases, in 140 negatively, 
and in 20 affirmatively. Of these idiots, therefore, the rela- 
tionship of whose parents was ascertained, 12^ per cent, were 
the offspring of consanguineous marriages. 

Of the parents of the 20 the degree of relationship was as 
follows : 

Own cousins 12 

Second cousins - 3 

Third cousins .... i 

Double cousins - 3 

Great-grandparents' own cousins 1 


Deaf-mutism in Connexion with Consanguineous Marriages. 

Deaf-mutism is another of those defects which kinship of 
parentage is alleged to produce in the offspring ; and we shall 
now endeavour "to show how many of the deaf-mutes in this 
country are the issue of parents related to each other by blood, 
and how many of parents not so related. 

The writer of an able article on the Vital Statistics of the 
Deaf and Dumb, in Knight's Cyclopsedia, says, that, next to 
hereditary transmission, consanguine marriages are the most 
fertile source of deafness. "Every institution in the kingdom," 
he adds, "bears witness to this fact, in the numerous cases of 
pupils who are the offspring of first cousins." 

Mr. Burton, of the Liverpool Institution for the Deaf and 
Dumb, in a paper published in the Medico-Chirurgical Journal 
of that city (Jan. 1859), says "In an inqniry which I made 
some time ago, from a large number of persons, I found that 
about every tenth case of deafness resulted from the marriage 
of cousins." 

Dr. Peet, the well-known Principal of the New York Insti- 
tution, "gives it as his impression, that there is one such case, 
on an average, out of about every ten congenital cases, in which 
the inquiry has been made f and he estimates that there is in 



that part of the United States hardly one family in fifty of 
which the parents were first or second cousins ; so that, if, in 
the general population, there be 1 child congenital ly deaf in 
3600 born, there would be 1 in 700 of the children of cousins, 
or five times as many. 

Regarding Ireland, we have some valuable facts, to which I 
shall presently allude, illustrating the extent of this cause of 
deaf-dumbness ; but as regards America, much as it has added 
to the literature of deaf-mutism, and few countries have done 
more, on this point we have nothing but impressions, and I 
have searched in vain for facts. Not more successfully have I 
searched for such facts in the reports of our own institutions. 
Many of these are documents of the highest interest, and full 
of precise and well-arranged information ; yet on this parti- 
cular point we have little beyond the general expression of a 
strong opinion that such marriages are a fruitful cause of this 

Under these circumstances, I resolved to write to the Super- 
intendents of the sixteen institutions in Great Britain, request- 
ing information as to the number of pupils under tuition who 
were the children of blood-related parents. I have to thank all 
of these gentlemen for a ready and courteous reply. In six of 
the sixteen cases, however, it was found impossible to give the 
information I desired. The state of matters, in the remaining 
ten is represented in the table below. 

I. Scotch Institutions : 
Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, 

Donaldson's Hospital 

II. English Institutions : 
Bath, Newcastle - on - Tyne, 

Swansea, Exeter, Doncaster, 






No. of Pupils 
in Institu- 

No. of 



No. of 

Pupils the 

offspring of 



No. of 












From the total number of pupils we must deduct 25 per cent. 


for acquired deaf-dumbness a form over which consanguine 
marriages have but a small influence. This represents the 
average proportion of acquired deaf-mutism for Great Britain, 
and is far below that for the United States, which is 42 per 
cent., and that for Germany, which is 52 per cent. 

This deduction being made both from columns 1 and 3, out 
of 408 deaf-mutes, we have 21 whose parents were blood-rela- 
tions, or 1 in 20, which is considerably below the estimate ar- 
rived at by Mr. Burton and Dr. Peet. 

If cousin-marriages, however, have no influence in the pro- 
duction of this result, then such unions, in the general com- 
munity, ought to be to others in the proportion of 1 to 1 7. I 
have no figures to show that this is not the case, nor can I ob- 
tain them ; but I believe all will at once agree with me in con- 
sidering such a proportion as far too great. The average for 
Great Britain is probably not more than 1 to 60 or 70. 

It will be observed that the 24 cousin-marriages yielded 28 
deaf-mutes. Had the same proportion existed through the 
entire number of pupils, they ought to have been represented 
by 466 instead of 504 families. There is therefore a greater 
frequency of two defective members in one family when deal- 
ing with the offspring of blood-relations than when dealing 
with others. In the Irish returns (1851) this is still more 
evident. 154 cousin-marriages, in which deaf-mutism occurred, 
yielded no less than 235 mute members. 

Dr. Peet, in his thirty-fifth annual report, in analysing 
Wilde's " Statics of Disease/' says, that it appears that " of 
the Irish deaf and dumb, from birth, about 1 in 16 were the 
offspring of parents who were related within the degrees of 
first, second, or third cousins."* This does not differ greatly 
from the estimate which I have formed for Great Britain. 
Supposing cousin-marriages to be to others as 1 to 70, it will 
follow, Dr. Peet says, that congenital deafness appears at least 
four times, perhaps five times, as often from a marriage be- 
tween cousins as from a marriage between persons not related. 

* I have myself examined Wilde's report, and have some difficulty in see- 
ing how Dr. Peet obtains these figures. 


Of the 235 deaf-mutes in Ireland who were the offspring of 
cousins, only 7 were cases of acquired deafness. This is greatly 
below the proportion in the deaf-mute population of all Ireland, 
which shows 11 per cent.* of acquired deafness and 7 per cent, 
uncertain. Instead of 7, therefore, there should have been 26 
cases of acquired deafness. In other words, deaf-mutism, as 
it appears among the children of cousins, seems to be to a 
larger extent congenital than when it appears among the chil- 
dren of persons not related to each other by blood. 

We now come to the second mode of investigating this 
question, which consists in taking certain localities, and col- 
lecting the family history of every marriage among the people 
there, and then comparing those in which a kinship existed 
with those in which it did not exist. 

I have already pointed out the difficulties and disappoint- 
ments which I encountered in conducting this line of inquiry, 
and I have also shown that it will be necessary to deal with 
each locality separately groupings and comparisons being 
impossible. This mode of giving the information which I have 
obtained will, I think, best show the truth of the matter. I 
shall give it in full, even though some of the details may appear 
irrelevant or opposed to my conclusions, believing this to be 
the fairer and safer course. 

St. Kilda. 
Early in June 1860, I sent a list of queries relating to the 
people of this island to Mr. M'Raild, the factor, who makes a 
long annual visit to it. Having reason, however, to fear that 
he had left the mainland before the arrival of my letter, and 
understanding that Captain Otter, in the course of his survey 
of the Western Islands, would probably go to St. Kilda, I 
transmitted a similar set of queries to him, with the request 
that he would obtain answers through Mr. Kennedy the school- 
master and catechist. From both sources I have fortunately 

* This again is greatly below that for Scotland, England, America, or any 
of the countries on the continent of Europe. 


received replies to my communications, and these agree in all 
important respects. I am further indebted to Captain Thomas, 
who also visited the island in the summer of I860, for much 
valuable information. 

The population consists of 78 persons 33 males and 45 
females. Of these only 4 are below the age of five, 6 between 
the ages of five and ten, 9 between ten and fifteen, 13 between 
fifteen and twenty, 12 between twenty and thirty, 9 be- 
tween thirty and forty, 12 between forty and fifty, 11 between 
fifty and sixty, 1 between sixty and seventy, and 1 between 
seventy and eighty. At the census of 1851, the population 
consisted of 110 persons, with that great preponderance of 
females which still exists a preponderance which, then as 
now, showed itself chiefly below the age of twenty. Above 
that age the difference is but slight. Forty years ago, Mac- 
culloch found exactly 103 individuals in 20 families; while 
Martin, 160 years ago, found 180 persons in 27 families. As 
regards my present inquiry it is of importance to find that the 
population is a diminishing, and not an increasing one. 

There are 14 married couples on the island, being a fall from 
19 at the census of 1851. 

In not one of these couples is the relationship between 
husband and wife that of full cousins. Having in mind the 
small number of the people and their complete isolation, this 
fact surprised me, and differed much from what I expected. 

Not less than 5, however, of the 14 are marriages between 
second cousins. Of these five couples 54 children have been 
born, of whom 37 died in early infancy, leaving 17 alive. 
Those who perished, passed away at an age to be reckoned 
only in days, and of them nothing can be told. But of the 1 7 
survivors it is distinctly stated that not one is either insane, 
imbecile, idiotic, blind, deaf, cripple, deformed, or in any way 
defective in body or mind. 

With regard to the rest of the population, only one insane 
person was found on the island, viz., C. M f L., who is described 
as upwards of fifty years of age, and of weak mind. As to her 
parentage, the schoolmaster was not able to give any informa- 
tion to Captain Otter, who kindly made inquiries at my request. 


At the date of his last visit she had left St. Kilda, and was 
residing in Harris. 

In addition to this woman, I am informed that one or two 
others are "slightly silly;" but, on inquiry, it appears that 
these are cases rather of bodily than of mental weakness, the 
result, it is said, of accidents on the cliffs. They are young 
persons, however, and Mr. Kennedy states that, when under 
his care at school, he considered them " dull, but not silly or 
wrong in mind." 

These particulars show the efforts which I made to arrive at 
a knowledge of the exact state of the case, and not to overlook 
those instances of slight defect which, in a backward com- 
munity, are apt to pass unnoticed. u It is certainly strange," 
as Captain Otter remarks, " that though they marry so much 
amongst themselves, there is only one a spinster who is 
weak in intellect." Even this, of course, being 1 in 79, is far 
above the average for Scotland; but still it does not realise 
the disastrous results which one would expect to find in a com- 
munity where more than one-third of all the married couples 
are related by blood, even though this relationship is one 
removed a degree beyond that of full cousinship. 

Among the queries which I transmitted, was one asking 
whether it was generally thought by the people of the island 
that a blood-relationship between the parents is injurious to 
the mental or bodily health of the offspring. The answer to 
this is, that no such opinion is commonly entertained. Martin, 
however, states that it was otherwise in his time, and that 
such unions were then condemned. From the fact that no 
marriage between full cousins exists among them, it is not im- 
probable that the opinion may still operate, as far as is pos- 
sible in a community so peculiarly placed. 

Where the whole number of the people is so small, one or 
two strangers occasionally settling among them would, prac- 
tically, be a large introduction of new blood. I, therefore, 
directed another query to this point, and I learn that of the 
28 married persons in the island, who, with their offspring*, 
represent within 4 or 5 of the entire population, there is 
1 ' only one who does not belong to it, who has been imported, 


and who is not in the full sense a St. Kildian." This person 
is a woman from Lochinver, who married a native, and who 
had 14 children, of whom only two live both unmarried. The 
common opinion that a stranger very rarely settles in the 
island appears, therefore, to be correct. At the census of 1851, 
every person found on the island was born there, except one 
woman who had come from Sutherland as the wife of a St. 
Kildian. This is the same woman who is still found to be the 
only stranger. None of her offspring are among the married 
couples. I am informed that the children of a father or mother, 
not native, are always the most ready to quit the island, a 
natural result, but one by which the benefit of an introduction 
of new blood is lost to the general community. 

The physical condition of the people appears to be good. 
Captain Otter says, "that when they pass the first fourteen 
days they grow up robust, healthy, and particularly clean in 
skin." Captain Thomas describes them as well-made, well- 
fleshed, good-looking, and smooth-skinned. He found many 
more fair than dark, the large majority presenting the Norse 
type,. Macculloch says, "The men were well-looking, and 
appeared, as they indeed are, well fed ; exceeding in this, as in 
their dress, their neighbours of the Long Island." All those 
who have had opportunities of comparing the condition of the 
St. Kildians with that of the Lewis people, those of Barvas 
and Shader in particular, seem willing to endorse Macculloch's 

Mentally, the St. Kildians are described as intelligent, 
sharp, cautious, sober, and moral. 

In the course of these remarks I have made mention of per- 
sons having large families, of whom only two or three remain 
alive. This, unfortunately, is not the exception, but the rule ; 

* The backwardness in both islands, however, is excessive ; and it has to 
be observed that it is a condition of backwardness even more than one of 
poverty. A gentleman, who had seen both places, writes of Lewis, that " it 
would be difficult to imagine anything more primitive, except nudity and 
raw food ;" while in the " Census of Great Britain in 1851, published by au- 
thority of the Kegistrar-General," the dwellings of St. Kilda are spoken of 
as " dirtier than the dens of wild animals." 


and I have now to draw attention to a very dark spot in the 
vital statistics of St. Kilda. viz., the infant mortality, which is 
enormous. The cause of this is an affection now happily un- 
known, or all but unknown, to the rest of our country, viz., 
trismus nascentium. 

Out of 125 children, the offspring of the 14 married couples 
residing presently on the island, no less than 84 died within 
the first fourteen days of life ; or, in other words, 67*2 per cent. 
This exceeds the mortality from the same cause in the small 
island of Westmanno, near Iceland, where, on a calculation of 
twenty years, 64 per cent, of all children died of trismus, 
between the fifth and twelfth day of life. In Iceland itself, 
between 1827 and 1837, 4479 deaths are recorded under this 
heading, or 30 per cent, of the total mortality. In the Faroe 
Islands, also, this cause of death is very great. In the west 
parishes of the Lewis Uig and Barvas it is still known, but it 
is rare, and it is believed that it is becomiug more and more 
so. St. Kilda and the west of Lewis are the only two spots in 
Scotland, if not the only two in Great Britain, where the 
disease still exists in an endemic form. The seizure usually 
occurs on the third day of life, and proves fatal within the 
week following. It is called in St. Kilda "the seven days' 
sickness" and in the Lewis " the five nights 3 sickness" 

One curious effect of this great infant mortality is an in- 
creased fertility of the women. The average age of the 14 
married women is 43<|, and the average number of children to 
a marriage is 9 ; or 10, if we except the case of one couple 
without children. This fecundity appears to me to be ex- 
plained by the infant's death doing away with the period of 
lactation, and so permitting impregnation again at an early 
period after parturition. On observing this, I turned with 
some interest to Schleisner's statistics of Iceland, and I find 
that exactly the same thing occurs there. He begins by ob- 
serving that u almost all foreigners who have travelled in Ice- 
land have mentioned the extraordinary fecundity of the nation 
as something remarkable." It is noticed that marriages with 
twenty children and upwards occur frequently. After a very 
careful analysis of the facts, he himself concludes that " the 


fertility of the Icelandic women is a great deal greater than 
that of the Danish." He offers, however, no explanation, but 
the way in which I account for it in St. Kilda appears sufficient 
for Iceland also. 

One woman in St. Kilda, at the age of thirty, has given birth 
to 8 children, of whom 2 live, while two others have born 14 
each, or 28 in all, of whom 24 are in their graves. The pesti- 
lential lanes of our great cities present no picture so dark as 
this. It is doubtful if it is anywhere surpassed, unless in some 
of the foundling hospitals of the Continent. 

In writing of a visit to a people whose fecundity is so great, 
one would hardly expect to meet a remark like the follow- 
ing : " The absence of children about the houses is most re- 
markable;" yet, such occurs in the letter of one of my cor- 

What influence this great infant mortality may have on the 
surviving offspring, taken as illustrative of the effects of con- 
sanguine marriages, it is not easy to say. Had trismus been 
a disease which exercised a marked preferential claim on the 
feeble, or had it been one from which recoveries occurred, 
bequeathing cerebral and other nervous lesions to those whose 
lives it spared, the influence would have been more clear. It 
does not appear, however, to make any such selection. The 
most robust children as well as the weakest, those born of 
vigorous parents as well as those of feeble, those born of in- 
comers as well as those born of full-blooded natives, all appear 
subject to it, and none recover. I think, however, that this 
large infant mortality renders the case of St. Kilda altogether 
so exceptional and so peculiar, that it must be used with caution 
in this inquiry. 

The occurrence of trismus in St. Kilda appears to me 
to be connected with the character of the houses in which 
the people live. I have elsewhere* described the dwellings 
of some of the Lewis people, from which those of St. Kilda 
differ but slightly. I am assured, however, that this slight 
difference is to the advantage of the St. Kildians. Cap- 

* Appendix to Third Annual Report of the General Board of Lunacy, Scot- 


tain Thomas, who has had excellent opportunities of com- 
paring the condition of both people, is of this opinion. He 
writes me that he regards them " as cleaner, better clothed, 
better fed, and better lodged." In this he is supported by 
Macculloch, Martin, and others, and much indirect evidence 
has been furnished to me leading to the same conclusion. 
From all I can learn, however, four important things are 
common to the houses of both places : 1 st, There is no smoke 
hole. The thatch is put on nearly as much to be an accu- 
mulator of soot as a protector from rain, and it is removed 
every year for manure. 2d, The dung of the cattle, which are 
under the same roof, or rather in the same room, with the 
people, is allowed to accumulate below them from autumn to 
spring. 3d, There is a very scanty admission of daylight, 
often none at all but that which enters by the door when open, 
or by chinks in the wall or roof. It is not a rare thing to find 
no special provision for the admission of light. 4th, As the 
thatch or roofing ends in the centre of the wall (which is 5 or 
6 feet thick, and built of stone and turf), instead of overlapping 
it, and so throwing off the rain, the houses in such a climate 
are always, and of necessity, damp. 

It is not a pleasant thing to see our fellow-countrymen in- 
babiting dwellings whose construction is so uncomplimentary 
to human intelligence. We say nothing of their internal 

It is a generally received opinion, that "nothing can be 
more satisfactorily proved than the tendency of a vitiated state 
of atmosphere to produce trismus."* Sixty years ago, in the 
Dublin Lying-in-Hospital, every sixth child bora there died 
within a fortnight after birth, and nineteen-twentieth s of these 
deaths were attributable to trismus. Dr. Clarke blamed the 
ventilation, improved it, and the mortality fell at once from 
1 in 6, to 1 in 19*3 j while under further changes, when Dr. 
Collins was master, the whole deaths fell to 1 in 581, and of 
that diminished mortality only one-ninth resulted from trismus. 

Schleisner attributed the disease in Iceland to the use of 

* West on Diseases of Children, p. 143. 


birds' excrements as fuel, and birds' fat for lighting purposes, 
and in St. Kilda it certainly happens that the oil of the bird 
called the fulmar is burned in the lamps, but I cannot believe 
that this is the cause of the disease. 

I made careful inquiry as to the mode of dressing the um- 
bilical cord, but I did not find anything so exceptional in this 
matter as to lead me to suppose that it was in any way con- 
nected with the disease. 

In short, I can discover nothing which appears to me to be 
so probably the cause of this disease in St. Kilda as the style 
of house in which the people live, and I am of opinion that if 
their dwellings are improved, as has been generously con- 
templated, one result will be the extirpation of trismus, and 
another, the seeming paradox, that the women will bear fewer 
children, and yet have more. 

Had it been a question of lambs instead of children, the 
people would themselves, long ere this, have found the remedy 
for this vast preventable mortality. It may be, however, that, 
with Macculloch, they look on it as, c ' politically speaking, a 
piece of good fortune." 

These details must not be regarded as wide of the question 
of consanguine marriages. In dealing with it, I felt that I 
had to consider everything bearing on it, directly or indirectly. 
One pathogenic feature of a locality or people can hardly be 
studied alone, if we are to avoid unsound conclusions. The 
proof of this I think we have before us, for the large infant 
mortality, in itself and in its consequences, obliges us to use 
the St. Kildian experiences with caution and hesitation in the 
elucidation of the influence of consanguine marriages upon 


It is generally supposed that in no part of Scotland are 
marriages of consanguinity so frequent as in the West High- 
lands and Islands. When I came, however, to make an effort 
to get the extent of this frequency definitely stated in figures 
the result often surprised me, the popular impression some- 
times appearing altogether groundless. The island of Scalpay 
presents a case in point. The schedule of queries was for- 


warded to the schoolmaster, who has long resided there, and 
knows every person on the island. The population he fixes at 
341, and the number of married couples at 63, amongst whom 
it is said that there is not a single case of cousinship. Whether 
referable to this or not I cannot say, but it happens also, that 
there is not on the island either an idiot, an insane person, a 
cripple, or a deaf-mute. There is one case of blindness, but it 
was acquired in extreme old age. 

In the marriage records of the Registrar-Greneral, one of the 
headings, suggested I believe by Dr. Stark, is as follows : 
" Relationship of parties, if any." In the large island of Lewis 
more than in any other place was I led to believe that these 
marriages abounded. The subject is much discussed there, 
and both the distinguished proprietor, and his chamberlain 
Mr. Munro, have directed their attention to it, as a source of 
evil to the people. I was, therefore, curious to learn the 
number of marriages registered there as between relations, 
and I embraced an opportunity of examining the registers of 
the parish of Uig, and with this result. Of 103 marriages 
registered during the five years from 1855 to 1859, a relation- 
ship between the parties is recorded only in two cases. 

Again, through the kindness of Mr. Munro, I possess similar 
information for the parishes of Stornoway and Barvas. In the 
first, for the years 1858 and 1859 and for 1860 to October, 
109 marriages were registered, and in none was any relation- 
ship recorded. In Barvas for the same period, 99 marriages 
were entered, with relationship given in two cases, and here it 
was not close, being in the one case that of ' ' second," and in 
the other that of " third cousins." Out of a total, therefore, 
of 311 marriages, there were only 4 in which the union was 
between persons related by blood, or 1 in 78. And this, too, 
in a district where cousinship between man and wife is re- 
putedly very common, and where the fixity of the population 
gives such a reputation an a priori probability. 

My conviction, however, is that the public records do not 
exhibit the true state of the matter. I think the popular no- 
tion exaggerates the reality, while, on the other hand, the 
marriage registers understate it. 


Let me here detail some facts, which were the result of my 
own observation in the island of Lewis, and which bear imme- 
diately on the question we are discussing. 

I reported on 35 cases of insanity, and of these 31 were idiots 
or imbeciles. 

When analysed in their bearing on consanguine marriages 
it is found that there were born, 

1. Of parents known not to be related - - - 16 

2. Of parents known to be related, 

Of cousins 2 

Of second cousins - - - 3 

Of parents more distantly related - 6 
Of parents who were the children of 

cousins .... i 

3. Of parents of whom nothing could be determined. 
(This includes illegitimates), 



It thus appears that at least one-third of all the cases show a 
blood-relationship in their origin. On the supposition that 
this relationship has no influence on the production of idiocy, 
we should expect to find it in one-third of all unions in the 
island. This, however, would greatly exaggerate the fre- 
quency of such marriages. So that, after deducting freely for 
other causes of idiocy, many of which are unusually strong in 
this island, there still remains a large measure of this calamity, 
which with good reason we may regard as due to consan- 
guineous marriages. 

Bodily malformations are frequent in the Lewis. In the 
parish of Uig, hare-lip is very common. Nine cases were 
brought to my own knowledge. In the Lewis, and the 
parishes opposite to it on the mainland, I saw five cases in 
which there were supernumerary little fingers, one in which 
there were two thumbs, and one in which the fingers and toes 
were webbed. Curvature of the spine, deformity, and lame- 
ness were often seen in the island. Cases of congenital blind- 
ness and deaf-mutism are also numerous. I saw seven epi- 
leptics, several instances of chorea, and many of paralysis. 
Burner ay . Lewis. 

For information respecting this island I am indebted to Mr. 

f F 


John Macdonald, to whom I transmitted a series of questions, 
and who put himself to much trouble in order to give correct 
replies. He is the land-steward, an old residenter, and inti- 
mately acquainted with every family. 

Berneray, which is in the parish of Uig, contains 42 7 people, 
and 74 married couples. Two of these are between full cousins, 
yielding 10 children, of whom 8 live. Not one of these is 
either insane, imbecile, idiotic, deaf, dumb, blind, lame, de- 
formed, or in any other way defective in mind, morals, or 
body. Further, 6 marriages are between second cousins, 
yielding 20 children, of whom 18 are alive. Nine of the living 
children belong to one couple, the remaining 9 springing from 
5 marriages. As in the offspring of those who were full 
cousins, so of these also is the report of both bodily and 
mental health without flaw. 

We have thus a population where every ninth marriage is 
between blood-relatives; yet, instead of finding the island 
peopled with idiots, madmen, cripples and mutes, not one 
such person is said to exist in it. 

Large as the number of such marriages is, it is below the 
expectations of my informant, who no doubt accepted the 
popular estimate of their frequency. My attention was directed 
to Berneray as a place where I should find them excessively 
numerous, considerably more so even than in the Lewis itself, 
and such appears to be the case. But had I taken the esti- 
mates which were given to me orally or by letter, without 
subjecting them to actual numeration, I should have been led 
to conclusions of great inaccuracy. This remark does not 
apply to Berneray alone, but to many other places to which 
my attention was drawn as likely to furnish information on 
this subject, and about which I took occasion to correspond. 
Of one such, for instance, on the N.E. coast of Scotland, I 
was told that " about 50 per cent." of all the marriages were 
between persons related by blood. I visited this village, and 
satisfied myself that the estimate was enormously above the 
fact, and that without actual numeration I could not safely use 
any such general and indefinite information. 

Mr. Macdonald expresses his astonishment thus : " I was 


much surprised to see so few first and second cousins married 
in Berneray island, and were I not certain of it, as I am now, 
by a minute search, I would doubt the fact, from the island 
being inhabited by the present race from time immemorial." 

He tells me that the island is remarkably healthy, and that 
cases of longevity are common. He cites the instance of a 
man who died in 1859 in his 99th year, having 2 sons, 5 
daughters, and 132 grand and great grand-children. 

One of my queries ran thus : " In general terms, have you 
observed in the island of Berneray that the intermarriage of 
blood-relations affects the offspring injuriously in their bodily, 
mental, or moral health ? " To which he replies, " I have 
observed no such injurious tendency in this island." Had he 
answered this question before collecting the foregoing facts, I 
feel satisfied he would have done it differently, for immediately 
after the answer he appends this note : " In Valtos, a town- 
ship in this parish, a couple, full cousins, natives of Berneray, 
have two or three children both deformed and imbecile." The 
great affliction in this case, associated with a cousinship of the 
parents, would almost certainly have presented itself to his 
mind when called on to give the opinion asked, and would 
probably have coloured his reply had he not had the facts 
regarding Berneray in figures before him. 

Phthisis in the Hebrides. 

I have here to direct attention to a singular pathogenic 
feature of the Western Islands, to four of which special refer- 
ence has been made. I first heard of it from M. Boudin, whom 
nothing relating to the geographical distribution of disease 
seems to escape. Several years ago, when writing to me 
about the absence of phthisis in Iceland and the Faroes, he 
pointed out that in Great Britain also it seemed to diminish in 
frequency as we went North, and that in Lewis especially its 
rarity was very observable. Now, consumption and strumous 
diseases generally are believed to be among the most certain 
results of consanguine marriages; and it appeared to me strange 
that in that part of Scotland where such marriages most pre- 
vail, these forms of disease should be reputedly rare. Accord- 



ingly, while in these islands, I made careful inquiries on the 
subject. Immediately after my return, a very able paper on 
" Phthisis in the Hebrides," written by Mr. Morgan, appeared 
in the Medico-Chirurgical Review * He founds his conclusions 
on his own observation in Raasay, and on the testimony of a 
large number of medical men practising in the North-West 
Highlands and Islands of Scotland, who communicated to him 
their experience on the subject. The impression which a 
perusal of this evidence leaves on the mind is, that the disease 
is not simply comparatively rare, but that it is almost absent. 
The predecessor of Dr. Millar (in Stornoway), when filling up 
schedules of life insurance, to the question relating to the death 
of the proposer's relatives by phthisis, is said to have invariably 
answered, "No such disease is known in the island." Both 
Dr. Millar and his colleague Dr. Macrae, the only two medical 
men in the island, I understood to say, that though the disease 
appeared to them rare, it was by no means absent. Had I 
been left to form a conclusion from what I myself had an op- 
portunity of seeing and learning while on the spot, it would 
have been to the same effect. The impression of its rarity was 
irresistible, while at the same time I was assured of its presence 
by actually seeing several cases. I am inclined, however, to 
think that it is not so rare as Mr. Morgan appears to regard 
it ; but the difference of opinion hinges only on the degree. 

In July 1860, when in the parish of Uig, on the west coast 
of Lewis, where I was led to understand the minimum of fre- 
quency was attained, I examined the registers for the two years 
1858 and 1859. During that period 75 deaths are recorded, 
and of that number 8, or 1 in 9 are entered as resulting from 
consumption. Yet in the parish of Harris, immediately to the 
south of that, Dr. Clark, during 32 years, could not remember 
more than half-a-dozen deaths from phthisis. f 

It is possible, however, that these 8 people did not really 
die of phthisis, as I found that, of the 75 deaths, in 2 cases 
only was the cause of death entered under the certificate of a 
medical man. From 1855 to 1859 inclusive, only four deaths 
were so certified. Those who have visited this part of Lewis, 
* Med.-Chir. Rev., No. 53. f Med.-Chir. Rev., No. 53, p. 484. 


and know its extreme inaccessibility, will not wonder at this. 
From such data, therefore, conclusions must be drawn with 

It may serve further to strengthen this view, if I give all 
the causes of the 75 deaths, when it will be observed, that it is 
not merely in the* absence of phthisis that the pathogeny of 
this district differs from the rest of Scotland : 
1859. 1858. 

3 Consumption. 5 Consumption. 

1 Croup. 2 Croup. 

1 Asthma. 1 Influenza. 

14 Influenza. 11 Old age. 

3 Inflammation. 8 Not known. 

1 Old age. 4 Inflammation. 
7 Not known. 2 Dropsy. 

2 P 1 Exposure to cold. 
1 Rheumatism. 

32 1 Epilepsy. 

3 Drowned. 

1 Palsy. 

1 Fever. 

1 Smallpox. 

1 Lockjaw. 


The north-west parishes of Scotland as well as the Hebrides 
reputedly enjoy a comparative immunity from consumption. 

In Ardnamurchan, with a population of 5000, a medical man 
assured Dr. Browne that, during sixteen years, he had seen 
only two cases of phthisis. In the neighbouring parish of Kil- 
mallie, however, 306 persons died during the five years from 
1855 to 1859, and of these 33 died of phthisis, or about 1 in 9, 
while pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis together, killed other 
22. In all, 55 appear to have died of thoracic disease, or 1 
in 5^. 

Struma in its other forms is also said to be rare in these dis- 
tricts, and my own observation, which would have been of 
little value, from the shortness of my stay, had my attention 
not been directed to the subject, supports this. 

I have introduced these remarks on phthisis in the Hebrides 
because I felt that, in considering the effects of consanguine 
marriages on the production of idiocy in this district, the 


marked rarity of one of the most generally admitted effects of 
those marriages demanded allusion and comment.* 

Burnmouth and Boss -fishing village on the south-east of 

My attention was drawn to this place as being one in which 
consanguine marriages were very frequent, yet where the 
alleged evil results were not found. 

I have had three opportunities of visiting this village, and 
on each occasion I made minute inquiries regarding the fre- 
quency and effects of such marriages, and I collected at the 
same time as many facts as possible bearing on the question. 

The village is situated at the foot of the cliffs and close by 
the sea-shore. Its position has originally depended on its 
suitability for smuggling operations, and not on its salubrity, 
since the houses are necessarily rendered damp and unhealthy 
by the proximity of the rocks. The colony is not more than 
120 years old, and the first settlers are believed to have been 
of a good stock, bold and enterprising men. Some of them, 
in the navy and merchant service, distinguished themselves 
during the war, and rose to good positions, not through 
courage alone, but also through a superior intelligence. 

The fisherman of Burnmouth at present are tall, strong, 
active men ; swarthy, high-featured, and strongly whiskered. f 
They were long regarded as a saving, provident, and sober 
people. They are remarkably well and warmly clothed, every 
man having a good and complete waterproof suit for use at 
sea. In this respect the contrast between them and the fisher- 
men of the Ross-shire and Morayshire coasts is striking. They 
are good boatmen, and have large decked boats, with which 
they go to Yarmouth, the Isle of Man, and the Lewis. Some- 

* Since writing the foregoing (in January 1861), I have had an opportunity 
of perusing Dr. Stark's observations on the same subject in the First De- 
tailed Annual Eeport of the Kegistrar-General. He seems to regard it as 
proved that the Western Islands exhibit a marked freedom from consump- 
tion, but does not think the registers afford materials for giving the precise 
measure of the exemption. 

f They are believed to be of Anglo-Norman origin. 



thing of the character and spirit of the men is learned from 
the very names of their boats " The Dexterous/' "The Fly- 
ing Cloud," "The Speedy," and such like, contrasting cu- 
riously with such names as " The Isaac Main," " The Martha 
Paterson," etc., so general in the north-east. The two fish- 
dealers or curers of the village are of their own stock, and not 
of a different and imported class, as happens so generally in 
the north. They nearly all read and write, and at present very 
few children at a school-going age are not regularly there. 

The women are also tall, stout, and high-featured, have no 
peculiarity of dress, and do not carry the fish to market. Each 
family keeps a servant often the daughter of a hind. 

The houses, in spite of their dampness, are clean, orderly, 
and well furnished, and equal in all appliances for comfort to 
the houses of the labourers or tradesmen of the district. My 
description is that of an average house, to which of course there 
are exceptions. There is, in short, a general evidence of well- 
being in the whole surroundings of the people. 

The population of the two connected villages of Burnmouth 
and Ross is generally estimated at 420. 

Careful inquiry only brought to light seven marriages be- 
tween full cousins, and I could not hear of a single case where 
man and wife were in the relation of second-cousins. There 
are, however, many marriages between persons where a blood- 
relationship is recognised, but which is so distant and undefined 
as to be without a name. 

Of these 7 cousin-marriages the result is seen in the follow- 
ing table : 

No. of 





Remarks regarding the Children. 
















I Those living, big, strong, sound, & healthy. 
\ Those dead, said to have been sound. 

' Never had a headache." 

All sound and sane. 

Sound. Newly married. 

The living one not robust. 

All sound. 

All alive and sound. 







This certainly does not appear to speak strongly against a 
blood-relationship of parents. Thinking that I might find the 
evil manifesting itself in the next generation, I made inquiries 
as to the families of those of the 28 living children who are 
married. Of these, there were only three, and each of these 
had married a person distantly related by blood. The result 
is shown below. 

No. of 






Remarks regarding the Children. 









All healthy, 
f All the living sound. 
\ The two deaths were in infancy. 


Totals. 13 



Here again, however, I did not find what might have been 
expected, and I then made inquiry as to the number of persons 
defective in mind or body in the whole community, and with 
the following results. There were found, 

a. Two imbeciles, whose weakness of mind was not great, 
and who were both self-supporting. Neither was the child of 
parents related by blood. 

b. Two cases of acquired insanity, both women. The disease 
in both cases resulted from grief and fright on suddenly hear- 
ing of the death of their husbands by drowning. The parents 
of one were distantly related. 

c. One case of epilepsy in a child, whose parents were not 
related. The fits are not frequent, and the mind not much im- 

No lame, deformed, blind, dumb, or paralytic person was 
heard of; and in the school, which was twice visited, and 
where nearly all the children of the village were seen, strumous 
sores were not found, nor were the children puny, pale, or 
languid. They were, on the contrary, merry, active, well 
clothed, and with a look of substantial feeding. Their teacher, 
however, considers them to be slower and duller than the 
other children under his care. 

None of the children of cousins were here found defective 


in mind or body. There was found, however, in the whole 
community a considerable number of unsound persons a pro- 
portion to the whole population above that for Scotland generally. 

On making inquiries as to the number of paupers in the 
village, I found that there were six all widows. Of four, the 
husbands were drowned, and two are aged women (86 and 
93), who have outlived their husbands, children, and all na- 
tural supports. On the whole, this also indicates a favourable 
state of the community. 

It then occurred to me that there might possibly be a larger 
infusion of fresh blood than was generally thought, and I am 
inclined to believe that this is the case, more particularly of 
late. It is a saying of the district, that " a Burnmouth man 
never goes to the bankhead for a wife"; and in smuggling 
times, when secrecy was needed and when it was desirable to 
keep a knowledge of their doings and connexions among them- 
selves, it is possible that this was nearly true. It is not so, 
however, now, for five of the married women are known to me 
to be imported, and there are probably more. All of these 
were the daughters of hinds, who entered the place as servants. 
In addition to these there are also many married women who 
are the children of imported mothers. There is thus a con- 
siderable infusion of fresh blood into this small community. 

With regard to the rate of infant mortality, the tables which 
I have given show that this is not small, but it is by no means 
remarkably large. It further appears, from the parish registers 
which I searched, that during the three years, 1857 to 1859, 
21 persons died, of whom 7 were drowned, and 4 died under 
the age of six months, and 1 more under ten years. During 
the same period 33 children were born, of whom 3 were illegi- 

During the five years preceding my visits only one marriage 
has been recorded in the registers as between cousins. 

The general feeling of the people, as communicated to me, 
is distinctly against such marriages, which they regard as " bad 
for the offspring". One shrewd old woman, however, added this 
important remark, "But Fll tell ye what, Doctor, bairns 
that's hungert i' their youth aye gang wrang. That's far waur 
nor sib marriages." 


The Fishing Population of a small Town on the North-East 
Coast of Scotland. 

For information regarding this place I am indebted to an 
educated fisher-lad who resided there, and who collected the 
facts under the superintendence of a person intimately ac- 
quainted with the whole fishing population. I have myself 
had several opportunities of testing the substantial accuracy 
of the statements. 

The fishing population is estimated at 779, and contains 119 
married couples, and about 60 widows and widowers with or 
without families. 

Of the 119 married couples, in 11 cases the union is between 
full cousins, and in 16 between second cousins; or, in other 
words, in 27 instances there is a blood-relationship. This is 
in the proportion of 1 to 4*4 of all marriages. Of these 27 
marriages, including 3 which are barren, 105 children have 
been born. Of these children, 38 are dead (35 having died in 
childhood), 4 are deaf-mute, 4 are imbecile, 4 are slightly silly 
("want a cast"), 1 is paralytic, and 11 are scrofulous and 
weakly. In other words, 24 out of the 67 living children labour 
under defects of body or mind, while 1 in 17 is an avowed im- 
becile, and 1 in 8*4 is weak in mind. These facts are of such 
a character as to lead us to suspect that more than one of the 
causes of idiocy must be strong in this community. 

The children of those who are full cousins* are described as 
being "all of them neither strong in mind nor in body", and the 
fishers of this place, as a class, are said to be " below par in in- 
tellect". In this last opinion I am inclined to concur. It is 
true, I believe, not of this locality alone, but of nearly all the 
fishing villages which fringe the north-east coast of. Scotland. 
There is a general lowering of the physical and mental strength 
in these communities, which is popularly attributed to this 
system of in-and-in breeding. When compared with the agri- 
cultural population, or with the tradespeople of the small towns 
in the neighbourhood, they are, as a race, inferior both in 
bodily vigour and intellectual capacity, while their thriftless- 

* There is said to be an aversion to cousin -marriages, but, it is added, 
" cousins' bairns go together readily." 



ness, facility, and want of foresight are notorious. This opinion 
is founded on personal observation, as well as on the testimony of 
others. It is popularly thought that, in this respect more than 
in auy other, the evils of consanguine marriages, continued 
from generation to generation, are evidenced, the defect at 
length appearing to become racical. I must here state, how- 
ever, that so far as my own observation goes, and so far as 
I have learned from others, there seems to be in such com- 
munities no exceptional liability to acquired insanity. Indeed, 
it is believed by many rather to be otherwise. 

It has often struck me that the men of these villages had 
small heads, and so strong has this impression become of late, 
that I resolved, if possible, to test its accuracy by measure- 
ment. I have been fortunate in securing the assistance of a 
gentleman, who has obtained much curious information for me 
from the large hat manufacturers of Scotland. I shall not at 
present communicate this in detail, but shall content myself 
with stating such facts as may possibly bear on my inquiry. 

All unite in saying that the average hat for Scotland is " 7| 
small", representing a head 22^ inches in circumference, or 
rather more. The average, however, for the east-coast fishing 
villages, from Fife to Caithness, is 6J and 7, representing cir- 
cumferences of 21 1 and 22 inches, the extreme north having 
slightly the advantage. The difference is better seen thus : 
A merchant whose trade lay in any small town in the agricul- 
tural districts, say of Perthshire, and whose stock was ex- 
hausted, wishing to renew it by a purchase of two dozen hats, 
would select sizes as given below; while a merchant whose 
stock was in the same position, and who supplied a fishing 
village on the north-east coast, would make a different selec- 
tion, as is also shown below : 

Town in Agricultural District 

Fishing Village on 

North-East Coast 

of Perthshire. 

of Scotland. 

1 of 

6f size. 

3 of 



2 ... 

6| ... 

6 ... 


5 ... 

7 ... 

8 ... 


8 ... 

7i ... 

4 ... 


5 ... 

7f ... 

2 ... 


2 ... 

7f ... 

1 ... 


1 ... 

7| ... 

24; inear 

i, 7 

24; mean 



The small towns in the agricultural districts of Aberdeen- 
shire exhibit a still larger mean size, and the upper central 
district of the Stewarty of Kirkcudbright perhaps the largest 
in Scotland. 

It appears probable from these figures that in the district 
referred to the fisherman's head is really a small one, but if 
any one desires easily to convince himself that it is so, he has 
only to try to fit a 7 J head with a " sou-wester" in the shop 
of a fishing village on the north-east coast. I have myself re- 
peatedly seen this trial made. 

Fishing Villages of Portmaholmack and Balnabruiach, in 
Easter Ross. 

For the information which this locality supplies, I am in- 
debted chiefly to Mr. John Ross, inspector of poor of the 
parish of Tarbat. 

The population of the two villages, which adjoin each other, 
is estimated at 1548, and the number of married couples at 
855. Of the marriages there are 62 between full cousins, and 
20 between second cousins or between persons more distantly 
related. There is a blood-relationship, therefore, in 82 cases, 
or, in other words, in nearly one-fourth of the whole number 
of marriages. 

The number of children born of these 82 couples was 340, of 
whom 250 are alive.* Most of those who are dead, were cut 
off in infancy, and nearly all of them below the age of 10. 

Of the whole number of the offspring of these consanguine 
marriages there are, or were, 2 imbeciles, 1 idiot, and 2 

The number of children born of the other marriages, where 
the parents were not related by blood, was not ascertained, but 
at the same birth-rate, it should amount to 1160, and, the 
mortality in childhood being the same, there should be 852 
now alive. Although the whole number of the offspring was 

* These numbers are not given as absolutely accurate. Except by an 
official inquiry suck accuracy could not be attained. The facts, however, 
were collected with care, and, I am assured, may be regarded as " very 


not determined, it was found, however, that it included 4 im- 
beciles, 2 idiots, 2 insane, and 2 cripples. 

This result shows that such calamities fall on the offspring 
of blood-related parents with greater frequency than on the 
offspring of parents not related; in the proportion of 2 to 1*2. 
But this by no means comes up to common expectation. When 
1 began this inquiry my reading on the subject had prepared 
me to expect worse results, and conversation with Mr. Koss 
led me to suppose that I should find such anticipations realised 
in the statistics of these villages. In transmittiug them, how- 
ever, he observes : " It is my opinion still, notwithstanding 
the above figures which apparently speak favourably, that 
such intermarriages tend to lower the physical and intellectual 
powers of the offspring. Yet in a locality such as Portmahol- 
mack, where out-door exercise and ablutions in salt water are 
a part of the everyday business of life, I am fully convinced 
that the evil effects are in a great measure counteracted by 
these healthy occupations." He makes this remark in reply 
to a query asking his own opinion on the subject, " as founded 
on observation in these villages." 

General Remarks. 

This concludes the evidence which I have collected under 
the second mode of inquiry recommended. 

With reference to none of the localities have I been able to 
obtain the full information I aimed at. Indeed, I am very 
conscious that I am far from having succeeded in doing what 
I proposed to myself. I regret this all the more that I think 
no method of investigation would so satisfactorily settle this 
vexed question as that now referred to. The result of my 
efforts, however, convinces me that it could not be carried out 
in a thoroughly satisfactory manner by any private individual. 
If, for several districts of the country not too limited in size, 
and differing from each other quoad the social condition of the 
people, we could obtain full and accurate information as to the 
family history of every marriage in which a blood-relationship 
existed between man and wife, and also of every marriage in 
which no such relationship existed, we should assuredly have 


before us a mass of facts from which we could draw conclusions 
of a definite character and worthy of trust ; but to obtain pos- 
session of such data will never prove an easy task. 

It appears to me, however, that my research, though it has 
fallen short of what was intended, has nevertheless resulted in 
the collection of some useful and interesting matter, through 
which a certain amount of light is thrown on the influence of 
consanguinity in parentage upon children. The facts which 
I have detailed appear to show a great unsteadiness in the 
character of this influence. Sometimes we seem to find little 
or no proof that it is an evil influence. At other times this 
bloodship in the parentage appears to be the origin of much 
injury to the offspring. More frequently still the facts admit 
of various interpretations, and are not very clear or satisfactory 
in their teaching. It is of importance, however, to know that 
these differences or seeming differences may occur, and to 
learn that it is necessary to widen the field of observation, and 
carefully to inquire into all those circumstances by which it is 
quite clear the results may be and often are exaggerated, modi- 
fied, or concealed. It is evident that these results will not be the 
same under all circumstances, nay, more, it becomes probable 
that, to some small extent at least, we have the power of con- 
trolling them. 

In detailing the facts with reference to each locality, I have 
done my best to secure accuracy, and to be as full as was con- 
sistent with relevancy. As regards the last point I had often 
the difficulty of doubt, but I have omitted nothing which in 
my opinion could in any way bear on the question. As regards 
the first point it must be remembered that a great part of the 
information was collected for me by others, whom I regarded 
as competent and trustworthy. 1 had myself opportunities 
of visiting many of the localities, when I made such inquiries 
as I thought would test the value of the statements communi- 
cated to me; and where I had not such opportunities, by 
frequent writing I did what I could to ensure a substantial 
accuracy, which was all I could reasonably expect. 

I have made no effort to arrange or group the facts so as to 


support one theory or the other, but have given them disjoint- 
edly, with such occasional remarks or reflections as they sug- 
gested. Each reader can thus form his own opinion as to what 
they teach. 

If taken as a whole and fairly interpreted, it appears to me 
that they lead to the same conclusion as that drawn from the 
first line of inquiry, viz., that consanguinity in parentage tends 
to injure the offspring. 

They appear however, to point to more than this general 
conclusion ; as, for instance, that in all classes and conditions 
of society and under all circumstances, the manifestations of 
this injury are not alike either in character or degree. It 
would seem that when these unions of kinship are continued 
through many generations (in certain classes of the community 
at least), the evil may show itself rather in a general deteriora- 
tion of the race than in striking abnormalities and defects. 
Again, the results appear to be least grave, when the parents 
are living in tolerable comfort, without ambitions, anxieties, or 
much thought of the morrow; when they follow healthful 
open-air occupations, living by their muscles but not over- 
worked, and easily earning enough to procure good food and 
clothing ; when they lead routine but not indolent lives, work- 
ing but not struggling for existence ; when they have a fair 
education, but are without pretence of refinement ; when they 
steadily adhere to sobriety; when, in short, they have good 
constitutions and are able to manage these wisely after mar- 
riage. On the other hand, when the parents are poor, pinched 
for food, scrimp of clothing, badly housed, and exposed to 
misery; when they have to toil and struggle for the bare 
necessaries of life never having enough for to-day and being 
always fearful of to-morrow ; and especially when, in addition 
to all this, they are intemperate in their habits, then we find 
serious evidences of injury, the congenital forms preponderat- 
ing and bodily malformations being frequent. 

It will at once be perceived that, even if consanguinity in 
parentage had no tendency to injure the offspring, the results 
I have just described might be expected to follow the con- 


ditions I have described. Where the whole surroundings and 
mode of life of a community are such as keep the health-point 
high, it is clear that all sources of disturbance, whatever be 
their nature, will be controlled in their operation ; and where 
the reverse holds, these sources of disturbance will be favoured 
in their work, and intensified. Even diseases which are purely 
hereditary will be transmitted to the offspring with a force and 
frequency which will vary according to circumstances, accord- 
ing to the circumstances, indeed, of which we are now speak- 
ing. But it must be borne in mind that the injuries which 
result from consanguinity in parentage are very closely akin 
to injuries from hereditary transmission. It is believed that 
they are so at least in the great majority of cases, since they 
generally result from this that, where there is a blood-relation- 
ship between parents, both of them are more likely to have 
the same disease to transmit to their children than they would 
be if there was no such relationship ; which disease, going 
down from both father and mother, will probably present itself 
among the children frequently and in a severe form. 

It occurs to me here to state that in forming some of the 
opinions expressed in this paper, I have been insensibly influ- 
enced by a host of little things which have come under observa- 
tion during the inquiry, and which I could not here detail. 
Such an influence, I think, is legitimate, and can scarcely be 
resisted. It would be more correct, perhaps, to speak of it as 
having given strength or weakness to conclusions drawn from 
stateable evidence, than as having itself led to separate and 
independent opinions. 

Before proceeding to give the general conclusions which I 
have drawn from the whole research, I shall briefly examine 
the argument from the practice of in-and-in breeding in the 
lower animals. 

Argument from in-and-in Breeding in the Lower Animals. 

One would expect to find this field of inquiry peculiarly rich 
in experiences tending to clear away doubts as to the effect of 
unions of consanguinity. In the breeding of his stock, the 
farmer exercises a complete control over all arrangements, and 


knows definitely the character of the issue. From such oppor- 
tunities and advantages we might reasonably look for precise 
information. This will not, however, be found either in the 
literature of farming, or from personal inquiry of those who 
might be presumed to possess it. All farmers, however, are 
united in expressing the general opinion, that in-and-in breed- 
ing tends in the long run to the deterioration of the stock. 
But this statement receives one qualification from one, and 
another from a second, and so on, according to individual ex- 
periences and with special bearings. 

The system of in-and-in breeding appears to have been most 
practised in Short-horn cattle and Leicester sheep. With 
regard to the latter, it is notorious that Bakewell bred only 
from his own stock, and, as Professor Low says, "did not 
"scruple to connect together animals the nearest allied in 
blood to one another."* Colling, too, in perfecting his Short- 
horns, did the same, "disregarding affinities of blood."f 
Mason of Chilton is also said to have pursued the same course. 
And Mr. Stephens says, that " there are breeders in England 
at the present time who maintain that it is the best system, 
and will follow no other." J In rearing game-fowls, Mr. Blaine 
tells us, that the intercourse of a third remove is sought and 
considered best ; and one of my correspondents, the possessor 
of a flock of fine old Scotch sheep, numbering about seventy, 
informs me that they are all related by blood, and have been 
so for eighty years. I am assured that some winners on the 
racecourse have had the same sire and grandsire, being also 
nephews of their own sires. The same thing I believe to be 
true of many of the prize-taking Short-horn bulls and Lei- 
cester tups. 

One is startled by such facts aud statements, which are not 
easily reconciled to common notions, nor to the disapproval of 
in-and-in breeding which is generally and distinctly expressed. 
Youatt gives his opinion thus, "Though some may deny it, 
it is the fact that strict confinement to one breed, however 

* Professor Low, Domestic Animals, 191. t ^o\v, op. cit., 382. 

X Book of the Farm, Stephens, 6273. 

Outlines of Veterinary Art, 3rd edition, 325. 



valuable or perfect, produces gradual deterioration f* and Sir 
J. Sebright, a great authority, says, "1 have no doubt by 
this practice being long continued, that animals would in 
course of time degenerate to such a degree as to become 
incapable of breeding at all.'" Professor Low tells us, that 
even Colling latterly " began to experience that impairment 
of constitution in his animals which never fails to accompany 
a continued intermixture of blood in a limited number of 
animals." In short, nearly all give a general disapproval and 
condemnation of the system. The precise character of the 
evil Mr. Stephens states more definitely than other writers, 
indeed, no one discusses the whole subject more fully. In his 
work on the Farm, he tells us,* that the bones become small 
and condensed in texture, the skin thin and open, the hair or 
wool short and thin set, the head and hoofs small, the ears thin 
and broad, the carcass reduced in size, and the eyes often affected 
with wateriness ; that lameness is frequent ; that a liability to 
catarrhal affections and consumption is established ; that dis- 
position to fatten appears ; and, generally, that the whole consti- 
tution is much weakened. Professor Low,f in speaking of sheep, 
says, that the system acted on for many generations tends " to 
render the animals more the creatures of an artificial condition, 
more delicate in temperament as well as form, less prolific of 
lambs, and less capable of supplying milk to their offspring. 

I have also seen it remarked that the offspring of such 
unions are placid and not easily disturbed when feeding, ex- 
hibiting a sort of imbecile indifference to what goes on around 
them, a quality of great value for quick fattening on little food. 

The more, however, that the history of Short-horn cattle 
and Leicester sheep is studied, the stronger does the impres- 
sion become that these breeds are but the perfection of desir- 
able imperfections desirable, too, not to the animal itself, but 
to its owner. 

Everything is " secondary to the property of producing in 
the shortest time the largest quantity of fat with the least con- 
sumption of food." The great desideratum is an early arrival 

* Stephens, op cit., 6274. f Low, op. cit., 102. 


at maturity, or at premature age, an early maturity, too, of 
particular parts, of muscle and fat especially.* 

After all, then, in these cases where in-and-in breeding has 
been practised with so-called good results, the issue is nothing 
but the development of a saleable defect, which, from the 
animal's point of view, must be regarded as wholly unnatural 
and artificial, and not calculated to promote its wellbeing, 
enjoyment, or natural usefulness ; and in this view all difficul- 
ties disappear. By in-and-in breeding we can certainly estab- 
lish an artificial type, and fix a peculiarity which is unnatural, 
and whose only value is its profitable convertibility into gold ; 
but no evidence whatever exists that by such a system of 
breeding we can improve the natural animal. 

Strictly viewed, Colling' s "Comet" was neither more nor 
less than a perfect abnormality a deviation from a natural 
animal, perfect in a desired direction. Just as this sort of 
perfection increases, however, the less useful does the animal 
become to himself, if left to himself, and if deprived of that 
artificial keeping and management which his artificial constitu- 
tion demands. If it should become desirable to perpetuate 
any peculiarity in man, then in-and-in breeding may have 
good results, the results being estimated as good or bad 
according as they realise, or do not realise, the end in view. I 
know the case of a man who has supernumerary little fingers, 
and whose two children and seven grandchildren have the 
same. Were additional little fingers of great value, the surest 
way to obtain a race having this peculiarity would certainly be 
to establish blood-alliances in this family ; and when we ob- 
tained the desirecf excess of fingers in the offspring, we should 
then have the same sort of reason for saying that kinship of 
parentage had done good, as the farmer has for saying that it 
has done good when he looks on his Leicester sheep, with little 
heads and small bones, ripe, fat, and ready for sale in their 
very lambhood. 

Till the excellencies of man are estimated in pounds or 
inches ; till the aim be a perfect artificial and not a perfect 

* Low, op. cit., 192 and 388. 


natural man ; till we want legs at the expense of arms, or arms 
at the expense of legs, or brain at the expense of muscle, or 
muscle at the expense of brain ; till we want maturity in baby- 
hood, and premature age ; till the perfect man be something 
else than a well-balanced development of all his components, 
bodily and mental, we can scarcely apply the experience of 
breeders of stock in human physiology. 

The general conclusions to which I have been led by this in- 
vestigation are briefly as follows : 

I. That consanguinity in parentage tends to injure the off- 
spring. That this injury assumes various forms. That it may 
show itself in diminished viability at birth ; in feeble constitu- 
tions increasing the risk of danger from the invasion of stru- 
mous disease in after-life; in bodily defects and malforma- 
tions; in deprivation or impairment of the senses, especially 
those of hearing and sight; and, more frequently than in any 
other way, in errors and disturbances of the nervous system, 
as in epilepsy, chorea, paralysis, imbecility, idiocy, and moral 
and intellectual insanity. That sterility or impaired repro- 
ductiveness is another result of consanguinity in marriage, but 
not one of such frequent occurrence as has been thought. 

II. That when the children seem to escape, the injury may 
show itself in the grandchildren ; so that there may be given 
to the offspring by the kinship of their parents a potential 
defect which may become actual in their children, and thence- 
forward perhaps appear as an hereditary disease. 

III. That many isolated cases, and even groups of cases, 
present themselves in which no injurious result can be detected. 
That this may occur even when all other circumstances are of 
an unfavourable character. 

IV. That, as regards mental disease, unions between blood 
relations influence idiocy and imbecility more than they do the 
acquired forms of insanity, or these which show themselves 
after childhood. 

V. That the amount of idiocy in Scotland is to some extent 
increased by the prevalence of consanguine marriages, but that 


the frequency of these marriages does not appear to be so 
great as has been generally supposed. 

I have already indicated my views as to the way in which 
consanguinity in parentage tends to injure the offspring. It 
matters, however, comparatively little whether these views 
are correct or incorrect. The chief thing is to show that the 
injury exists, and that therefore consanguineous marriages 
should be avoided. This is what may influence the wellbeing 
of society, and it is the point of importance in the inquiry. In 
adducing the evidence which seems to me to prove the 
existence of this injury, I have been careful not to do anything 
which would lead to an over-estimate of its amount an error 
which has been frequently committed. I think, however, that 
I have been able to show that the injury is not trifling, but 
that it is of such value as to merit serious consideration, and 
to regulate conduct. 

But though speculation as to the modus operandi may pro- 
perly be regarded as a secondary matter, it is not altogether 
profitless ; and therefore, before concluding my paper, I shall 
somewhat amplify the views on this subject which I have al- 
ready had occasion to indicate. 

Let us suppose that man is represented by a series of 
qualities which either fall upon the straight line of physiologi- 
cal perfection, or which have a greater or less divergence from 
it on either side, above or below. 

Let us also suppose that it may be accepted, as true in a 
general sense, that parents live again in their offspring. 
Though the child is not the exact algebraic sum of his 
parents, yet both are constantly expressed in him, and the 
plus qualities of the one, or those above the physiological rule, 
are either increased by the corresponding qualities of the other 
parent, if their divergence be in the same direction, or they 
are diminished by them, if the direction of divergence be 
different. In the first case there is an increased departure 
from the normal line, plus being added to plus. In the last 


case, on the contrary, there is an actual approach to the line, 
minus neutralising 'plus. 

Let us now take some known transmissible peculiarity a 
temperament, for instance, than which perhaps nothing more 
certainly passes from parent to child, and which, as a pecu- 
liarity, involves both plus and minus qualities. 

And let it be admitted that there are few family traits so 
constant as temperament, that is, that among persons closely 
related to each other the same temperament is almost sure to 
appear with frequency. In a blood-alliance, therefore, the 
chances are much greater that a husband and wife will have 
the same temperament than in an alliance without kinship. 

Let us suppose such a blood-alliance, and that man and wife 
do both exhibit the same and a well-marked temperament. 
Their child is thus liable to receive it from both sides. 

It is of course possible that he may not receive this tempera- 
ment at all but one very much opposed to it, just as he may 
not inherit a predisposition to insanity though both his parents 
have been insane, but it is certain that the risk is great that 
he will do so. 

Keeping to temperament as the transmissible peculiarity 
which we use in illustration of the subject, and supposing the 
child to receive from both parents the same temperament, then 
it is highly probable that it will appear in him in a stronger 
form, and the divergence from the perfect state will be aug- 
mented on both sides the plus strengthening the plus quali- 
ties, and the minus the minus. The balance of development 
may thus be seriously disturbed, and high disproportions may 
arise, which pass the limits of a temperament and become ac- 
knowledged or recognised defect. 

It is clear that the chances of such a result would have been 
lessened if one parent had come of a different stock, and, 
therefore, that the more extensively cou sanguineous marriages 
prevail, the greater is the risk of finding in the community all 
sorts of transmissible peculiarities dangerously intensified. 
Such unions also tend certainly, and in a similar way, to in- 
crease the power of the hereditary transmission of disease, and 
they practically augment the risks of evil from that source. 


It very frequently happens, in investigating the history of a 
cousin-marriage, that the defect which appears in the children 
has been found to have appeared also among the progenitors 
of the children. Such a case we would naturally call a simple 
one of hereditary transmission, assigning no part to the con- 
sanguinity. A large number of cases of this kind have come 
under my observation. But when they have been minutely 
inquired into ; when the history of other marriages, not be- 
tween cousins in the same family, has been examined and con- 
trasted with those which were between cousins ; and when the 
injury appearing among the children has been compared, both 
as to extent and severity, with that which had appeared among 
their ascendants, no doubt has been left on the mind that the 
consanguinity had given force to the heredity. 

What has been held to be true of a mere temperament would 
of course be true also of any other transmissible peculiarity, 
defect, or disease. Take deaf-mutism, for instance, and with 
reference to it we happen to have some interesting facts. It 
has been ascertained that if a deaf-dumb person is married to 
one who hears, the chances of their having a deaf-mute child 
will be 1 to 135; but if deaf-mute persons intermarry, the 
chances rise to 1 to 20.* This is a remarkable fact, and well 
illustrates my argument. A similar (though perhaps not the 
same) rise in the rate of production of deaf-mute children 
would follow the marriage of deaf-mute persons with their 
cousins, since it is perfectly well known that the hearing mem- 
bers of a family in which deaf-mutism occurs, have often them- 
selves such a possession of the defect as to make it potential 
in reproduction. A deaf-mute, therefore, in marrying his 
cousin, would do, more or less nearly, the same thing as if he 
had married another deaf-mute, so far as concerns his children. 
He would do this even if his cousin heard ; but if he chooses a 
wife who is both his cousin and also like himself a deaf-mute, 
then the chances of the defect occurring among his children 
become nearly as great as he can make them. 

These views, as to the way in which consanguinity in 

* Buxton, Causes of Deaf- dumbness, p. 13. 


parentage tends to injure the offspring, by no means exclude 
the possibility of there being also a something intrinsic in the 
consanguinity itself, which has the same tendency. Indeed, 
as already stated, it appears more than probable that such a 
something really exists. 

Kinship in the parents may operate injuriously on the 
children in more ways than one. It does so, however, so far 
as my inquiries have shown, chiefly by giving an undesirable 
or dangerous force to transmissible qualities. 





Abbeville, 289 

Abushehr, flint from, 333 

Africa, slaves in, 400 

Aleutians, 97 

Ale from heather, 253 

Alisphenoid bone, 78 

Alnwick, 277 

Analysis of bronze wea- 
pons, 292 

Ancient slavery, 380 et 

Andalucians, 56 

Arabs, 65 

Arabic, 29, 63 

Aragonese, 56 

Araucailos, 93, 129 

Ark of the Covenant, 

Aryans, 181 

Arytenoid cartilages, 2 

Astronomers, 209 

Asturias, 67 

Atlantis, island of, 282 

Atheism, 183 

Athletic people, 158 

Aucas, 130 

Azores, hermaphrodite 
from, 263 

Aztecs, 110 

Baal, 174 

Ballidon Moor, 356 
Barrenness in third 

generation, 401 
Barrows, 225 
Basques, 55, et seq. 
Battas, 298, 350 
Beauty in English, 179 
Bedouin tribes, 15 
Belgium, 37 
Bellovaque skulls, 355 
Bernaray, 433 
Bixo races, 375 
Blood-relationship in 

marriage, 402 
Blue eyes, 37 
Boa constrictor, 26 
Bokhara, 18 
Boondoo, 31 
Bornholm, 376 

Bowermadden, 228 
Brachycephalic skulls, 

75, 349 
Branch races, 375 
Brassay, 300, 364, 371, 

Brazil, 128 
Bristol, 40, 348 
British North America, 

Brochs, 216, 225, 298 
Bronze weapons, 291, 

Buddhism, 96, 273 
Burland, 303 
Buttons, 370 

Cairn, large round, 248 

small, with cists, 


green, 227, et seq. 

grey, 226, et seq. 

long chambered, 

with horns, 234 

Cajamarca, 145 
Camster, 245, 234 
Caneta, 141 
Cantabrians, 58 
Caribs, 106 
Cartmel, 359 
Casas grandes, 165 
Castilians, 56, 63, 64 
Catalonians, 56 
Cattle, short horn, 445 
Celtic type, 43 
Central America, 121 
Centre line of skull, 189 
Chambered cairns, with 

horns, 234, 241 
Champagne, heads at, 

Chibchas, 124 
Chichen, 120 
Chili, 128 
Chimus, 139 
Chiriqui, 280 
Chromatic type, 352 
Cists, 249, 252 
Claise, valley of, 329 
Colour, 352 

Coflin-shaped, 353 

Coffins, wooden, 364, 367 

Collahuas, 136 

Cologne, 38 

Congregational church, 

Consanguineous mar- 
riages, 402 

Constructive Associa- 
tion, 156 

Constructive power, 170 

Contiguity, 156 

Convent dwellers, 19 

Cornicula laryngis, 2 

Coronal suture, 77 

Cousin marriages, 423 

Craniographical draw- 
ings, 89 

Creation, 148 

Crucifeld, 342 

Crusades, 21 

Curses on Canaan, 401 

Curysmancus, 140 

Cuzco, 143 

Cyclopean arcs, 113 

Cymric, 155 

Damnonian, 354 

Darien Isthmus, 122 

David, 280 

Deafmutism, 421 

Defensive structures, 

Dervish, 14 

Descent from the cross, 

Devil, 34 

Diomede Islands, 97 

Dolichocephalic, 75, 349 

Domitian, 358 

Doorga puja, 204 

Doracho, or Dorazques, 

Dramatic poetry, 173, 

Druids, 169 

Dutch, 164 

Dutch school of paint- 
ing, 177 

Dwarfs, 311 

H H 



Easter Island, 96 
Ecliptic, 211 
Ecuador, 126 
Eleusinian mysteries, 

Energy, 164 
Epiglottis, 2 
Epileptic idiots, 409 
Erdie houses, 333 
Eriboll, 312 
Esquimaux, 94, 99, 107 
Euskara, 59 

Facial line, 82 
angle, 83 

triangle, 87 

Fairyknowe, 311 

Fakir, 18 

Families, 69 

France, consanguineous 

marriages in, 413 
Freemasons, 15 
Fists, use of, 161 
Fuegians, 93, 99, 130 
Fyell, 337, 343 

Gaboon, 283 
Gallegos, 56 
Galla Hill, 297 
Gallinas, 25 
Genealogy, 68 
Geometrical drawings, 

German painters, 177 
German slavery, 400 
Giant's grave, 310 
Gitanos, 55 
Glabella, definitions of, 

349, 357 
Glottis, 3 
Goniometer, 82 
Gnosticism, Indian, 264 
Gravel drift, 291 
Greek features, 179 
Greeks, slavery among, 

382, et seq. 
Grindstone period, 256 
Gun flints, 331 

Hadgi, 14, et seq. 
Halbrrt, 316 
Half-breeds, 286 
Haroldswick, 296 
Haster, Burn of, 231 
Hats, 443 
Headforms in the West 

of England, 348 
Heather, ale from, 253 
Hebrews, slavery 

amongst, 381 

Hermaphrodite, 262 
Herat, 14 
Hieroglyphs, 49 
Hoaland, west, 320 
Horse racing, 162 
Hooping cough, 420 
Hunting, 162 

Iberians, 58, 355 
Idiocy, 419 
Implements among early 

races, 288 
Index of nigrescence, 39 
Independence, 168 
Incarial monuments, 141 
In-and-in breeding, 448 
Idiotic children, 407 
Irish type of skull, 354 
Ireland, 38 

, idiots in, 424 

Isis, ark of, 276 
Imbecile children, 407 
Inscriptions, 277 
Israelitish migration, 95 
Iznial, 119 

Jehovah, 275 
Jivaros, 127 
Jovinus, 353 

Kainolithic, 29 
Kalenter, 17 
Keltic eye, 352 
Kettleburn, 227 
Kirkland cave, 358 
Kleber, 305 
Kootoo, to pull, 27 
Korenkho country, 25 
Krishna, 273 
Kymbecephali, 357 

Labrador, 101 
Lambayeque, 140 
Lambdoidal suture, 77 
Landscapists, 177 
Laryngoscope, 1 
Larynx, 1, 5 
Language, 146 
Leicester sheep, 449 
Lengua Christiana, 59 
Lewis, 433 
Lima, 140 
Linga puja, 272 
Lisbon, 57 
Louth skull, 74 
Lunar days, 109 

Maeshow, 224 
Magical rites, 266 
Maharatta microce- 

phale, 867 

Malaga, 56 
Mandingo, 29 
Manumission of slaves, 

Mason's marks, 376 
Matrices, 327 
Maya l