The Antiquity of LONDON. 6

The Antiquity of LONDON.

of the Trinobants. For that Cæsar, in his Commentaries, useth the Word Civitas only for a People living under one and the self-same Prince and Law. But certain it is, that the Cities of the Britains were in those Days neither artificially builded with Houses, nor strongly walled with Stone, but were only thick and cumbersome Woods, plashed within, and trenched about. And the like in effect do other the Roman and Greek Authors directly affirm; as Strabo, Pomponius Mela, and Dion, a Senator at Rome, (Writers that flourished in the several Reigns of the Roman Emperors, Tiberius, Claudius, Domitian and Severus); to wit, that before the Arrival of the Romans, the Britains had no Towns, but called that a Town which had a thick intangled Wood, defended, as I said, with a Ditch and Bank; the like whereof, the Irishmen, our next Neighbours, do at this Day call Fastness. * But after that these Hither Parts of Britain were reduced into the Form of a Province by the Romans, who sowed the Seeds of Civility over all Europe, this our City, whatsoever it was before, began to be renowned, and of Fame.

Cities of the Britains not Artificially builded with Houses, nor walled with Stone.

*In Stow's first Edition, they are called Pacts.

For Tacitus, who first of all Authors nameth it LONDINIUM, saith, that (in the 62d Year after Christ) it was, albeit, no Colony of the Romans; yet most famous for the great Multitude of Merchants, Provision and Intercourse. At which Time, in that notable Revolt of the Britains from Nero, in which Seventy thousand Romans and their Confederates were slain; this City, with Verulam near St. Albans and Maldon, then all famous, were ransacked and spoiled.

Testimonies of Roman Authors concerning London, and Britain.

*Leager Fellows in the first Edition.

For Suetonius Paulinus, then Lieutenant for the Romans in this Isle, abandoned it, as not then fortified, and left it to the Spoil.

Shortly after, Julius Agricola, the Roman Lieutenant in the Time of Domitian, was the first that by exhorting the Britains publickly, and helping them privately, won them to build Houses for themselves, Temples for the Gods, and Courts for Justice, to bring up the Noblemens Children in good Letters and Humanity, and to apparel themselves Roman-like. Whereas before (for the most part) they went naked, painting their Bodies, &c. as all the Roman Writers have observed.

The Britains had no Houses but Cottages; no Temples, no Courts of Justice.

The Britains went naked. The Towns first walled under the Romans.

True it is, I confess, that afterward, many Cities and Towns in Britain under the Government of the Romans, were walled with Stone and baked Bricks or Tiles; as Richborough, or Rickborough-Ryptacester in the Isle of Thanet, till the Channel altered his Course, besides Sandwich in Kent, Verulamium besides St. Albans in Hertfordshire, Cilcester in Hampshire, Wroxcester in Shropshire, Kencester in Herefordshire, Three Miles from Hereford Town; Ribchester, Seven Miles above Preston, on the Water of Rible; Aldeburg, a Mile from Boroughbridge, on Watheling- street, on Ure River, and others. And no doubt but this our City of London was also walled with Stone in the Time of the Roman Government here; but yet very latewardly: For it seemeth not to have been walled in the Year of our Lord CCXCVI. Because in that Year, when Alectus the Tyrant was slain in the Field, the Franks easily entred London, and had sacked the same, had not God of his great Favour at that very Instant brought along the River of Thames certain Bands of Roman Soldiers, who slew those Franks in every Street of the City.

London walled with Stone.

Nothing was wanting to this City's Glory now, but the Name of a Free City, and Colony: But indeed that was not with the Interest of the Romans; and therefore they made her a Prefecture. And such were those Cities where Parts were kept, and Justice administred. And for their Magistrates, they were annually sent them from the Senate at Rome; for the Execution of their Laws, the Administration of Justice, the Collecting of their Tributes and Taxes, &c. ]

London not a Municipium under the Romans. Camden.

R. B.

It is a Question among Learned Men, in what State and Reputation London was in the Times of the Romans? Camden writes, that it was of the Nature of a Prefecture, and not of a Colony. But Stillingfleet, the late most Learned Bishop of Worcester, was not of his Judgment; but that it was a Colony, consisting both of Romans and Natives. He sheweth in his Tract of the Antiquity of London, that there were several Sorts of Colonies. First, Civil Colonies; that is, such as consisted only of Roman Citizens. Secondly, Military Colonies; when the Veteran Soldiers were settled together by way of a Colony. Such a Colony of Veterans was at Camalodunum, and at York, at Chester, at Caerleon, &c. Thirdly, There were mixt Colonies, where Roman Citizens and Natives joined together. And altho' they had not the Name, yet the Privileges of a Colony. Of this Sort he concluded LONDON to have been; which was Nobile Emporium in Tacitus his Time; a Place of mighty Advantage for its Situation for Trade: And therefore apt to draw both Romans and Natives together. Where it had all the Encouragement which the Roman Governor's Residence could give it; which would soon make the City in so small a Time grow so great, that altho' it was first built in Claudius his Time, yet in Nero's it might be too large for Suetonius Paulinus to hazard his Army to defend it. For wheresoever there was a new Province made, there was great Occasion for such an Emporium, or Place of Trading to be set up. For the Citizens of Rome made mighty Improvements of their Estates, by sending their Monies into New Provinces.

London a mixt Roman Colony. Still Antiq. of London, p. 533.

J. S.

Mr. Owen, a learned Welshman, hath lately proved (in a Writing of his which I have seen) against the abovesaid learned Bishop Stillingfleet, that LONDON was a great City before the Romans came hither; and vindicates therein our British History, which speaks of Cassivelane's besieging London, when the Trinobantes invited Cæsar over; and that his Landing had obliged him to raise the Siege. He takes Notice for this Purpose of the Account that Tacitus giveth of this Place, Cognomento quidem Coloniæ non insigne, i.e. "That it was not dignified indeed with the Name of a COLONY, but most famous for abundance of Merchants and Provisions." Whence that Author observes. 1. That London was at this Time, about the Fifth of Nero, renowned for all manner of Provisions and Necessaries for the supplying of an Army; and that it seemed, by Tacitus's Words, to have been the great Treasury of the Riches of the Kingdom, as it is now. 2. That considering it abounded with Merchants, it seems to have been then what it is now, the chief Trading City of the Island. That Cæsar spake of British Merchants in Gaul: Whether they were Gauls trading to Britain, or Britains trading into Gaul, it comes to one. For Trades cannot be managed without Correspondencies and Factories. That the Britains traded for Tin and Lead with the Phenicians and Greeks. They refined and transported it by the Isle of Wight into Gaul, and thence by Land on Horseback in Thirty Days, or thereabouts, to Marseilles. This Trade flourished here long before the Romans knew this Island. Therefore if Cities have risen by Merchandize, London must be much more ancient than Cæsar's Time; and its Situation being advantageous for Trade, being the Centre of British Merchandize, we may conclude it was the ancient Emporium of the British Trade with the Gauls, Phenicians, and Greeks.

London, a great City before Cæsar cam into Britain. Vindiciæ Britannic.

Annal. Lib. 14.

Diodor. Sicul. v. 8.

That learned Bishop writes, that it grew into a City by the Romans trading into this Country: And why not as well by the Trade of the Greeks and Phenicians hither, who had a vast Traffick in this Island.