Chapter 9: 'A Truely to be Respected Learned Man.'

The earliest responses to Stukeley's life's work were very positive. The Oxford antiquary Francis Wise (1695-1767) had advertised their imminent appearance in 1738 when he wrote that Stonehenge, Avebury and the Rollright Stones were all 'British Temples', announcing 'all of which and more we may expect still a much better account from a very learned and celebrated pen' -- that is, Stukeley's.[1] When Stonehenge finally appeared in 1740 Samuel Gale wrote and told Stukeley that it had been 'well received' at the Society of Antiquaries, and 'it is agreed, if you can maintain the truth of your mensurations, the whole must be owned a demonstration.'[2] At the same time Roger wrote, declaring: 'Without flattery I think it is a masterpiece, and that for the future no one will dare to dispute the true founders of that stupendous work.'[3] Like his brother, Roger considered Stukeley's measurements and his 'Druid's cubit' to be the lynch-pin of the argument, 'for that is the foundation of all your observations, & being once allowed, your whole superstructure is immoveable.'[4] In the summer of 1744 the wealthy Quaker physician, collector and philanthropist John Fothergill, who owned copies of both Abury and Stonehenge, visited Bath. As he told a friend, along the way 'I just took a transient view of the remains of the celebrated ancient temple at Avebury on Marlborough Downs, which, if it was what Dr Stukeley says it was, has been a most astonishing performance, and by what appears it seems not unlikely.'[5] The following year Brown Willis, one of the original refounders of the Society of Antiquaries and author of the three volume Survey of the Cathedrals of England (1727-33), told Stukeley that he had 'done great honour to the publick' with his recent publications, 'and no one can more benefit the learned world.'[6] Similarly, William Borlase acknowledged that 'this branch of Antiquity (as well as most others) is greatly oblig'd to the labours of the learned and ingenious Dr Stukeley, particularly in his Stonehenge and Abury'. Stukeley and Borlase had a short-lived but amicable correspondence in 1749, and Stukeley described Borlase as 'a co-operator in the same argument'.[7] This harmony of ideas comes across clearly in Borlase's Observations on the Antiquities Historical and Monumental, of the County of Cornwall (1754), in which he declared it was 'very probable'

that the Greeks and Druids, and indeed all other nations had their superstition from one and the same polluted fountain (all partaking, more or less, of the general taints of that false religion which obtain'd soon after the flood) and for this reason must have many things alike, as indeed all religions had …[8]

Borlase also believed that there were 'some tenets of the Druids which will make it very probable that Pythagoras did really converse with this Priesthood', taking some knowledge from the Druids and communicating in turn other doctrines to them.

The increasing popularity of all things Druids by this date was such that in 1755 Stukeley recorded that he had 'continual demands' for his books 'ever since I have been in Town', though he complained that the booksellers had sold all their copies and kept the money.[9] The previous year William Cooke (c.1710-1780), a graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and vicar of Enford in Wiltshire, published An Enquiry into the Patriarchal and Druidical Religion. The book bore the telling subtitle: 'Wherein, The Primaeval Institution and Universality of the Christian Scheme is manifested; The Principles of the Patriarchs and Druids are laid open and shewn to correspond entirely with each other, and Both with the Doctrines of Christianity'. It was essentially an enthusiastic acceptance of Stukeley's arguments, though occasionally propelling them to their logical conclusions, and combining some of them (especially on serpents and circles as representations of the divine) with material from the work of John Hutchinson. As we have seen, Hutchinson was a strict Trinitarian who defended the orthodox Mosaic account of Creation against the threat he perceived from Newtonian natural philosophy. Cooke praised Stukeley's tracts on Stonehenge and Avebury as having 'done great Honor to his Country and Himself', and then began the main body of his work by criticizing freethinkers, who, he wrote, considered Christianity 'a Doctrine unknown to their Ancestors, [and] a late and novelle Institution'. Rather, claimed Cooke, 'The Covenant for the Redemption and Happiness of Mankind was made even from the Beginning'.[10] Cooke thus immediately associated himself with the type of argument Stukeley had been attempting to make -- to attack the heterodox free-thinkers through an antiquarian study. He then pursued various of the beliefs and arguments we have already encountered in various forms: that 'the Christian Scheme [was] the One Religion given to Mankind'; that great parts of Asia, Africa, Europe and the British Isles 'were no stranger to the same Doctrine, and abound with Monuments of the same Worship'; that 'Druidical Temples were laid out in such Figures as were hieroglyphical and intended to describe the Nature of the Divinity.' On Avebury, Cooke proposed 'That it was really a Temple sacred to the ever-blessed and undivided Trinity, every Circumstance, every Consideration tends to persuade us.'[11] Cooke concluded by suggesting, like Stukeley, that the British Druids 'maintained their Religion in its Purity much longer than those upon the Continent … So at length exchanging their Expectations of HIM who was to make the Atonement for the Belief of HIM by whom they had now received it.' He concluded by returning to his attack upon the Free Thinkers, asking rhetorically 'If these Things be so; Whither tend the Cavils of those mighty Pretenders to Reasoning, Freedom of Thought, Philosophy and Science …?'[12]

Even Stukeley's chief contemporary rival for an interpretation of the origins of Stonehenge expressed ideas and opinions in a very similar vein. The Bath architect John Wood had undertaken his own measurements of the monument in the winter of 1740 for his Choir Gaure, Vulgarly called Stonehenge (1747). Wood (1705?--1754) had first written of his belief that Bath was the Metropolitan seat of the Druids in his An Essay Towards a Description of Bath (1742). He considered the stones at Stanton Drew (some ten miles west of Bath) to be the ruins of the Druids' 'University' 'or great school of learning' representing 'all those Bodies that compose the Planetary World, according to the oldest System of it'. For Wood believed that King Bladud, the mythical founder of Bath and the 'University' of Stamford was one and the same with Abaris 'the Hyperborean Priest of the SUN' Diodorus Siculus had mentioned and who Toland had identified as a Druid. According to Wood's account, in his youth Bladud had travelled to Greece where he learnt from Pythagoras and built temples, including perhaps the Delphic Temple itself. Returning to Britain, Bladud/Abaris founded the Druid priesthood, and 'assisted by four of the most Learned Men of Athens' whom he placed at Stanton Drew to instruct the Britons in the 'Liberal Sciences', built 'a stupendous Model of the Pythagorean World for that purpose'.[13] The four Druidic orders each had their own 'College': the Philosophers at Avebury, the Divines at Stonehenge, the Prophets at Exmoor and the Poets at Harptree, between Stanton Drew and Okey Hole.[14] According to Wood, when Joseph of Arimathea came to Britain 'in the thirty first year after he had buried his Lord and Master CHRIST', he situated himself at Glastonbury 'in the very Heart of all the Druidical Works above mentioned, to preach the Christian Faith to the Britons'. Joseph thus continued the tradition of the Druids, whose Metropolitan Seat survived at least until the arrival of Augustine's mission from Rome in 598 AD, who

silenced it for the same Reasons that Galileus was condemned by the Inquisition of Rome in the year 1633; namely, because the British PRIESTS of the OAK, as well as the Florentine Mathematician, believed the Pythagorean System of the Planetary World, and instructed their Pupils in it.

The Ruins of the Model of this System make a Work which, for Art and Magnitude, the greatest Nation of the Earth might glory in; though with us it is buried in Obscurity, and is scarcely known to the People of the nearest Villages to it.[15]

Wood incorporated his ideas on Druidical history into his architecture, and apparently modelled his famous, innovative 'Circus' in Bath on the design of Stonehenge.[16]

Some of Wood's speculations on Druidical history clearly resemble Stukeley's own ideas, and this no doubt explains his strong reaction to Wood's book, complaining: 'The very best things in his book he has pillaged from me -- the design and nature of the work, the avenue, the ditch around, the 2 odd stones and cavitys thereon, even the word trilithon, all that is in any wise valuable'.[17] Roger Gale assured Stukeley that having read Wood's Essay, 'I seldome have so much misspent my time. You have nothing to fear from this doughty champion's attack upon Stonehenge … in short it is a silly pack of stuff, collected altogether from our fabulous historians, & where their fictions or traditions are not sufficient to support his fancys, he never wants falsitys of his own invention to supply their defect'.[18] Warburton also reassured him, writing that he had never heard of Wood's book, and besides he 'had little curiosity to enquire after any thing on that subject since I was in possession of yours, whose discovery of the original and use of that famous remain of early Antiquity, will, I predict, be esteemed by posterity as certain, and continue as uncontroverted, as Harvey's Discovery of the Circulation.'[19] Despite this praise, Stukeley made a vitriolic attack on Wood's book: 'The whole performance he stuffs with fabulous whimsys of his own crackt imaginations, wild extravagancys concerning Druids, without the least true foundation of knowledge concerning them'. Observing that whilst Warburton

tells me my book is the best treatise of antiquity he ever read, and that every 4 or 5 years he reads it over now with new pleasure, I cannot but smile on this quack in antiquity, with a head stuffed with an indigested farrago chipped out of all antient and modern authors, and huddled up into a ridiculous fabric, not stronger than the children's house of cards; and it would be a more childish work to pretend to answer it.[20]

Though his attack on the by now deceased Wood seems shrill and wild, his criticisms are interesting. The points which Stukeley raises against Wood's account -- and they are the same sort of points also raised by Roger Gale -- are the same that modern commentators have drawn against Stukeley himself. Yet Stukeley had little to fear from Wood's study, which had minimal impact upon ideas on Stonehenge. In his Anecdotes of British Topography published three years after Stukeley's death, the meticulous antiquary Richard Gough (1735-1809) cited the works of all the previous commentators on Stonehenge from Inigo Jones to Aubrey, Toland and Wood, but concluded: 'The most accurate examiner and describer of this stupendous pile, which could have been nothing but a religious, and consequently a druidical, monument, is Dr Stukeley in 'Stonehenge''.[21] Like the Gale brothers before him, Gough asserted the importance of Stukeley's measurements. In his additions to the 1789 edition of Camden's Britannia he wrote of Avebury that 'The attentive though credulous Aubrey first hit on the notion of its being a Druid temple. With this notion Mr Toland concurred, and Dr Stukeley by accurate admeasurements confirmed it.'[22]

However, despite the success of his Druidical theory, by the 1750s Stukeley's image as an antiquary was not all that he might have hoped. One of his earliest critics, as early as the 1720s, had been Thomas Hearne, who had described Stukeley as 'a very fancifull man, and the things he hath published are built on fancy.'[23] Unfortunately the Tory Hearne is a totally unreliable character witness who made and broke friendships with an easy relish. As a case in point, in 1709 he described Roger Gale's edition of his father's Antonine Itinerary as 'a thin quarto … full of errors'. But by 1712 -- when Gale had become Hearne's 'good and kind friend' -- he was a man 'of much accuracy and exactness.' Then by 1725, when they had again fallen out, he was 'a poor stingy man … a very great whig'.[24] Gale in turn described Hearne in 1726 as 'an author of strong imagination … and much too positive in all his assertions, drawing very strong conclusions from weak premises.'[25] One of the 'fancies' Hearne charged Stukeley with promulgating was that he had discovered a Roman amphitheatre at Silchester: 'a draught of the walls thereof he shewed me. This is again fancy. I have been at Silchester, there is nothing like it'.[26] It is, of course, now established that there was indeed an amphitheatre at Silchester, and Stukeley was its discoverer.

However, the charge of 'fancy' has continued to stick to Stukeley, and not without some justification. By the time of the publication in 1754 of Borlase's Observations on the Antiquities … of Cornwall, Jeremiah Milles (1714-1784), the Society of Antiquaries' new President, told him 'Dr Stukeley shakes his sententious head at your thinking that the Druids were ever guilty of idolatry. He will not allow them to have deviated one step from the old Patriarchal Religion, and is clear that they had a knowledge of the Messiah'. In a second letter the same year Milles wrote again to Borlase, 'You need not be in any pain on account of your differing from Dr Stukeley about any point of Druid history. What you assert is founded on authority, but he makes a system out of his own head, and never cares whether he has any authority to support it. There is no imagination so wild that he will not lay down with all solemnity of truth, and treat it as if it were demonstrably certain.'[27] In March 1759 Borlase wrote to the Jewish naturalist and collector Emanuel Mendes da Costa, 'I am glad Dr Stukeley continues still to entertain the world, he is very capable with his luxuriant imagination, of striking new lights; sparks will not satisfye him, he is for the broad day of truth in the most minute particulars.'[28] Da Costa (1717-1791), also a Fellow of both the Antiquarian and Royal Societies and a close friend of Stukeley's, wrote back in his defence, protesting against those who were too quick to mock him:

Dr Stukeley is to me not only a Worthy Venerable Druid but a truely to be respected Learned Man[;] he continues assiduously to entertain us with Agreable & Learned discourses[;] he I solemnly protest in my opinion gives great life to our Antiquarian Society but such is the World that it is not to be imagined what scoffs & impertinencies he daily receives from many[.] They sometimes hardly suffer him to read without interruptions scandalous & inhuman[;] it is true in his papers there are always some oddities & novelties but I am convinced very few of his papers or researches were ever without the Utile ducli[.][29]

On Stukeley's arguments for the origins of Silbury, Avebury and the Druids, da Costa wrote that 'though I am of one of the earliest nations extant yet I must own these Antiquities are of times too remote for me as much as to offer my opinion[,] yet however cannot but think there is some foundation for those assertions [of Stukeley's].'[30] But they were still laughing at him four years later when Charles Godwyn, a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, wrote to the Dorset historian John Hutchins: 'I find you correspond with Dr Stukeley. You must be very cautious there. He is extremely injudicious, and whimsical to the last degree. His 'Carausius' is one of the wildest books that were written; and he is going to publish another as wild upon British Coins. He sometimes tires the patience of the Antiquarian Society with a dissertation, which never fails of exciting laughter.'[31]

Stukeley occasionally suffered the same humiliation at the Royal Society, where the days of Newtonian attempts to square natural philosophy with Genesis had now long passed. A letter of Stukeley's on a supposedly biblical figurine found in an English quarry was read at a meeting in February 1753, but not, he recorded, 'without some sneers from the lower end of the room, where the names of Abraham … & the like cannot be heard with tolerable decency.'[32] Yet this picture of a figure of fun does some disservice to Stukeley, who was not the sole recipient of such rude responses. In his 1750 attack on the Royal Society, Stukeley's friend John Hill (who was not a Fellow, but had attended its meetings) satirized its members as a rowdy, 'Motley Mixture of all Kinds of Men'. Instead of 'Decency and Order' that characterized the French Society, 'every thing here was Irregularity and Confusion.' When the minutes were read out, 'People snarled, and scolded, and grumbled', and when the President introduced the first letter, 'I could not for some Moments learn the Occasion of a Multitude of different Monosyllables that I heard uttered during the Course of this Prelude to the Paper: They were, as near as I can recollect, Pish ! -- Poh ! Shsh ! Shaw ! Pshaw ! and the like, and were accompanied with an amazing Variety of inarticulate Grunts.'[33] This picture of the Royal Society one somewhat at odds with the image we have of its meetings under Newton's presidency -- though these too had had their moments of drama, especially from the irascible John Woodward. But the Society had undoubtedly changed in the decades after Newton's death.

Controversy at the Royal Society

In 1739 Stukeley had married the sister of his friends the Gale brothers -- a match that had brought with it a huge marriage-portion of some £10,000 which (with the success of Dr Roger's gout medicine) had helped him to publish his antiquarian monographs.[34] He also bought a house in London in Gloucester Street, where he spent the winters. But then in November 1747 the Duke of Montagu, who had befriended Stukeley after they met at the Egyptian Society, offered him the living of St George's in Queen's Square, London, which was in his gift. Stukeley's mind was sorely divided by this offer: he called it 'the crisis of my life, the point of maturity'. He enjoyed the serenity of the countryside, but was strongly tempted by the attractions of metropolitan society. Though he derided the polluted capital as 'fumopolis' it was still 'the natural seat of elegance, politeness, good conversation, learning & curiosity'. In its place at Stamford he had found only 'dulness, disregard to merit, envy & moroseness', a country retreat where his long-acquired knowledge was 'of no apparent service to my self, or the world'. So he decided to turn his back on the 'rudeness & insolence' of his Tory neighbours and his 'thin' and 'ignorant' congregation, and accepted Montagu's offer. It was this dramatic return ('my last Act on the worlds theater') that effected Stukeley's regular reattendance at the Royal Society through the 1750s, meetings which he recorded at some length in his diaries.[35] The Society was now under the presidency of his old friend Martin Folkes, who had been unanimously elected when Sloane had resigned the position in 1741. From a general review of the diaries Stukeley kept over the period of Folkes's presidency, it at first appears that he was well satisfied with the Society's meetings. There were interesting papers to be heard on the making of artificial magnets and the archaeological discoveries at Herculaneum, and he approved of the change to the New Style calendar in 1752, in which the Royal Society had played a considerable role.[36] He described the Society as 'a most elegant and agreeable entertainment for a contemplative person; here we meet, either personally or in their works, all the genius's of England, or rather of the whole world, whatever the globe produces that is curious, or whatever the heavens present.'[37] In July 1750 he reflected on his good fortune at having escaped 'from the country indolence, to enjoy the pleasure of these meetings.'[38] He had every reason to feel satisfied, for in 1750 his most widely known published contribution to eighteenth-century science had appeared, his essay on The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious. This tract was based on two papers read at the Royal Society and printed in the Philosophical Transactions and a sermon given at his church in Queen's Square. It attempted to explain two small earthquakes which shook the capital and the surrounding area in the spring of that year as electrical explosions in the atmosphere.[39] Stukeley noted his debt to 'the electric genius' Benjamin Franklin (who he would later meet in 1761): 'We had lately read at the Royal Society, a very curious discourse, from Mr Franklin of Philadelphia, concerning thundergusts, lightening, the northern lights, and like meteors. All which he rightly solves from the doctrine of electricity'.[40] Stukeley's thesis was the leading one among a number of published arguments; Horace Walpole recorded 'One Stukeley, a parson, has accounted for it, and I think prettily, by electricity. But that is the fashionable cause, and everything is resolved into electrical appearances.'[41] The third (1756) edition of his theory was reprinted in 1757 by John Bevis, a Member of the Royal Academy of Berlin, in his History and Philosophy of Earthquakes, from the Remotest to the Present Times: Collected from the Best Writers on the Subject. Stukeley's was the last of ten extracts which included reports and theories by Hooke, Woodward, Ray and Buffon, as well as his old Cambridge colleague, Stephen Hales.[42] That Stukeley should be included in this eminent list of men clearly confirms him as a natural historian as much as an antiquarian, and one whose opinion could be respectably placed among such luminaries in the field of Enlightenment natural history. This was not a theory to be laughed at. The fact that he was incorrect in his hypothesis does not, of course, diminish from his attempt to base it upon contemporary stipulations of observation and reason.

But in spite of his success with his theory of earthquakes, Stukeley increasingly found things to criticize at the Society. By the early 1750s the Society was a different thing to what it had been in the 1720s, and Stukeley's place in it had changed. Even though he had never been a member of Newton and Halley's 'mathematical party', he had at least been in touch with its leading members. Under Folkes's presidency, however, he found himself increasingly sidelined. He found an ally for his criticisms in John Hill (1714-1775), son of his old mentor the Lincolnshire doctor-turned-clergyman, Theophilus Hill. John Hill had for a time been friends with Folkes, but when he was rejected as a potential Fellow of the Royal Society in 1747 he turned against him. Stukeley was well aware of Hill's satirical attacks on the Society, noting in his diary on 28 June 1750 that Hill had been refused admission to that evening's meeting because 'the Dr had abused the Society, in the brittish magazine.'[43] And in April 1751 he wrote to Maurice Johnson that 'Dr Hill has been plaguing our Royal Society', but noted that he still considered him 'a man of fine parts'.[44] Possibly because of his acquaintance with his father, Stukeley does not appear to have shared others' personal dislike of Hill, and he even wrote material for some of Hill's editorials as 'The Inspector' in the newspaper The London Advertiser. There is no doubt that Stukeley shared some of Hill's criticisms of the Society and its president. And like Hill, he found many of the Fellows lacking in basic scientific knowledge. In a diary criticism made after a meeting on 31 October 1751 he noted that a 'Dr Hickman sent a paper being a calculation of the quantity of matter in the planet Jupiter, of the celerity of his progressive motion'. This suggested that, contra Newton, the motion of planets 'is not owing to the principle of gravitation & progression: but rather only to the action of the Sun'. He recorded that he 'was sorry to see in a numerous meeting, not one member able or willing to take this paper, & give an account of it.'[45] He was also disappointed by Folkes's general treatment of letters from correspondents. On 14 March 1751 he recorded disapprovingly that 'a long l[ett]er with many drawings [was] deliver'd to the president. he thought, it proposd a squaring of the circle, a p[er]petual motion, or the longitude; & put it into his pocket for waste.'[46] None of these subjects would find their way past Folkes, and the automatic rejection of such material exasperated Stukeley, probably contributing to their growing rift.

By the early 1750s Stukeley held -- at least in private -- a discouraging opinion of Folkes, holding him responsible for what he considered the defective administration and declining status of the Society. Whether this low opinion remained wholly restricted to private attacks in his diary and commonplace book, or whether they were publicly aired, is unclear, as the two remained friends at least in public. Yet in a remarkable diatribe against Folkes, he finally gave powerful vent to his feelings:

He constantly refuses all papers that treat of longitude. He chuses the Council and officers out of his junto of Sycophants that meet him every night at Rawthmills coffee house, or that dine with him on Thursdays at the Miter, fleet street. He has a good deal of learning, philosophy, astronomy: but knows nothing of natural history. In matters of religion an errant infidel & loud scoffer. Professes himself a godf[athe]r to all monkeys, believes nothing of a future state, of the Scriptures, of revelation. He perverted Duke of Montagu, Richmond, Ld Pembroke, & very many more of the nobility, who had an opinion of his understanding; and this has done an infinite prejudice to Religion in general, made the nobility throw off the mask, & openly deride & discountenance even the appearance of religion w[hic]h has brought us into that deplorable situation we are now in, with thieves, & Murderers, perjury, forgery, &c. He thinks there is no difference between us & animals; but what is owing to the different structure of our brain, as between man & man. When I lived in Ormond Street in 1720 he set up an infidel Club at his house on Sunday evenings, where Will Jones, the mathematician, & others of the heathen stamp, assembled. He invited me earnestly to come thither but I always refusd. From that time he has been propagating the infidel System with great assiduity, & made it even fashionable in the Royal Society, so that when any mention is made of Moses, the deluge, of religion, Scriptures, &c., it is generally received with a loud laugh.[47]

The prime-motive for Stukeley's growing dislike of Folkes arose, no doubt, from this mocking attitude to religion, which as a devout (if slightly unorthodox) clergyman he could not stomach. In 1741 he had written that 'all the learned of Europe' were crowding to be admitted as Fellows, and he felt that the Society's success in experimental philosophy 'to me seems likely to beat down superstitious Religion by which I mean popery'.[48] Folkes was now destabilizing that role. But religion was not the sum of it, as his diaries make clear. Folkes had also sunk the Society into disrepute for which he could not be forgiven, and the Philosophical Transactions which had once been a jewel in the Society's crown had become an embarrassment. The devout da Costa (who like Hill and Stukeley was for a time close friends with Folkes) shared their thoughts on the Philosophical Transactions. Da Costa laid these out in a letter to Borlase, who had been elected a Fellow of the Society on da Costa's proposal in 1750. Borlase replied:

Tis shocking to think how your Society has been exposed by the trifles which continually bespatter your Transactions; every eye must see it, and almost weep to see the dignity of knowledge so prostituted, and the sacred volumes, which should be marked with no characters but those of real learning, opened to receive all the chit-chat of old women and the blunders of the ignorant, equally and indiscriminately, as well as the discoveries and compositions of the most ingenious of mankind.[49]

When, on 3 May 1753, the new edition of Philosophical Transactions was published, Stukeley was chagrined to find that they had 'left out my 3 large papers on corals, being vegetables, bec' it opposes the idle opinion of Mr [William] Watson & some more, who fancy em the fabrics of polypus's.'[50] Stukeley had written these papers in response to a long letter to the Society by M. Peyssonel and they were read at the Society on 14 May and 11 June 1752. Another Fellow, his friend the physician and antiquary James Parsons, who also ran his own weekly natural philosophy club, gave a paper largely in agreement with Stukeley on 18 June. Parson's paper was published in the Philosophical Transactions: he drew the conclusion that 'Whatever bodies shall be found to carry the appearances and characteristic marks of vegetables … certainly will pass with me for such, till stronger evidence shall evince the contrary.'[51] Of course, they were both wrong, but Stukeley's belief that corals were plants, and the failure of his paper to appear in the Philosophical Transactions, was unfairly ridiculed by Piggott. But Still worse for Stukeley, in July he discovered that the paper he had given in May on the ancient eclipse predicted by Thales (a subject which had interested Newton) had been rejected by 'the infidel part of the Council' along with 'any other of my papers, saying there was too much religion in them.'[52]

Stukeley had likewise been annoyed by the actions of the Society of Antiquaries, which from 1750 was also under the presidency of Folkes. Folkes's dual function as head of both associations had led some of the antiquaries to fear that he intended to merge them into the older, larger, Royal Society. But under Folkes's leadership the Antiquaries obtained a Royal Charter from George II in November 1751, which now officially put them on an independent footing. Nevertheless Stukeley, who did not fully support the Antiquaries' move, lamented in his diary that

the antiquarys by getting a charter seem to set themselves up in opposition to us: by thus dividing the languishing streams of literature among us, it seems not difficult to presage, that the glory of the Royal Society the first of this kind in Europe, is upon the wane along with that of learning in general, of Religion, morality, politicks, & power, & whatever Brittain has so long been renowned for. [H]er liberty is degenerated into rank licentiousness. & that must necessarily draw down the divine resentment.[53]

In Stukeley's opinion, learning, like religion, was now in a sorry state in England.

In 1761 this seemed to be proved by an historical dispute which, he wrote, 'without any real cause ingag'd the attention of the learned of all Europe.'[54] In that year John Turberville Needham published a treatise in Latin addressed jointly to the Royal and the Antiquarian Societies based on the hieroglyphs on what he thought was a genuine antique Egyptian bust of Isis which he saw at Turin. Needham (1713-1781), an ordained Roman Catholic, was a respected Fellow of both Societies who had undertaken scientific work with Buffon. According to the Philosophical Transactions, Needham's treatise proposed a 'connection between the hieroglyphical writing of ancient Egypt, and the characteristic writing which is in use at this day, amongst the Chinese.'[55] That is, could modern Chinese glyphs be used to translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs? The Royal Society considered Needham's 'conjecture' to be 'pregnant with so many curious consequences' that they wrote to the Jesuit missionaries in Peking, inquiring whether there was any know relationship between the two writing systems. They also inquired whether 'there are any monuments or customs amongst the Chinese, which resemble those of the antient Egyptians …?' An answer was eventually received, and a version of this letter, paraphrased by the Royal Society's Secretary, Charles Morton, was published in the Philosophical Transactions in 1769. Morton observed that their Jesuit correspondent had written that although both the Chinese and Egyptians 'have subsisted as a nation, from the time of the great emigration which followed the confusion of the tongues', and though he believed that writing was already established in the antediluvian World', he affirmed that there was 'not the least mark or trace now remaining of any subsequent communication between the Chinese and the Egyptians', and that 'any connection between the two modes of writing, is hardly discernible at this day. He affirms, that the Chinese language is one of the most antient; and perhaps the only one which has been spoken without interruption.'[56] But in fact this letter only confirmed what Stukeley had already declared in a paper written in response to Needham's claim, 'On Egyptian Hieroglyphs, and Chinese Writing', presented to the Royal Society on 27 May and to the Society of Antiquaries on 10 June 1762.[57] He had studied Chinese in the 1730s, telling Roger Gale in 1735, 'I am become a great mandarin, and have wrote 2 or 3 verses of the beginning of the book of Genesis in Chinese'.[58] But whilst he had, like Needham, noted the apparent similarities between Egyptian and Chinese writing, he now found them to be in fact 'things essentially different.' Whilst Chinese characters were, he explained, 'real words', in contradistinction Egyptian hieroglyphs 'are symbols, sacred characters to express divine hymns, & invocations to the deity … by no means have they the same signification; or is there any relation between them; or between the two nations.' Any similarity between the two was merely a coincidence, 'owing only to all most nations, [being] deriv'd from the same original fountainhead.' In his opinion, neither the Chinese nor the Egyptians 'sent out or admitted of any new colonys.'[59] Therefore, 'to seek for Chinese letters in Egyptian hieroglyphs, to found out and identity, a similitude[,] a relation between them, is a vain effort.' And he added that to ground such a proposal 'on the pretended bust of Isis, is altogether fruitless.' For this bust was 'merely fanciful; the characters on it are whimsical; the interpretation trifling. Its claim to be called Egyptian was merely 'accidental', by its 'being found in company, with the famous Bembin Table' on which Stukeley had also written in his discussion of the 'mysteries' of the ancients.[60] He concluded his critique of Needham with his final, clinching observation that 'Egyptian symbols deal much in circles, circular figures & parts of circles', whereas 'the Chinese writing is altogether square; abhorrent of a circle.' This in itself he considered to be sufficient argument to show that there was no connection between them.

At first sight, Stukeley's paper might come as a surprise: one would expect to find Piggott's Stukeley wholeheartedly embracing the idea of a relationship between the ancient Egyptians and the Chinese, whereas we find him presenting an argument based on considered argument and material evidence -- though it is true that the glyphs on the so-called Isis bust bore little relationship to true Egyptian hieroglyphs, as any antiquary worth his salt should have been able to see.[61] Yet the Royal Society took the issue seriously, though perhaps conveniently Folkes was by now long dead, having suffered a fatal stroke in 1754. Unfortunately for Stukeley, despite these indications of his continued positive engagement with antiquarian subjects in the mid-eighteenth century, his reputation in the eyes of modern scholars has been undermined by his involvement at the same time in two other major historical controversies: Charles Bertram's Romano-medieval map of Britain, and James Macpherson's supposed ancient Celtic poems.

The Bertram and Macpherson Controversies

Charles Julius Bertram (1723-1765) was born in London, the son of a silk dyer who subsequently moved with his family to Denmark. Bertram obtained the position of English teacher at the school for naval cadets, styling himself in 1746 'professor of the English tongue in the Royal marine Academy of Copenhagen.' Little is know of his life beyond what can be gleaned from his correspondence with Stukeley. In one of these letters he thanked Stukeley for including a short autobiography, reflecting that 'it were enough to excite a Narration of my own past Life, but that it has run thro' so narrow a short Channel I blush to make it known, one of the most happy, as well as notable, occurrences in it being thus highly favoured with your most desirable Correspondence.'[62] Bertram had penned his first letter to Stukeley in August 1746, asking for further information about his books, especially on Celtic history, and inviting a literary correspondence. He vacillated over sending the letter, and Stukeley did not receive it until June the following year, but replied immediately. In his very next letter Bertram announced that he had

at present in my Possession, a copy of an old Manuscript Fragment (and am in hopes of getting the original) called Ricardi Monachi Westmonasteriensis comentariolum Geographicum de situ Britanniae & Stationum quas Romani ipsi in ea Insula aedificauerunt. it seems to me to have been part of a greater Treatise … compiled out of Beda [sic], Orosius, Pliny, &c. & some Authors quite unknown; it is pity it is so tenuous, consisting only of four sheets & an half in Quarto, the half of Parchment on which is depicted in colours the Islands of Britain, but in a manner peculiar to this Author.[63]

This letter also contained a reference vouching for Bertram from his 'great friend and patron' Hans Gramm, 'privy-counsellor, and chief librarian to his Danish Majesty: a learned gentleman, who had been in England'.[64] Bertram and Stukeley's correspondence continued over the next sixteen years. It ranged over various antiquarian subjects and revealed Bertram's antiquarian interest in barrows and standing stones, as well as his fine illustrative abilities. But the main subject of their letters was the purported manuscript by 'Richard of Westminster'. On Stukeley's solicitation, Bertram at last sent him 'in letters, a transcript of the whole: and at last a copy of the map: he having an excellent hand in drawing.'[65] The forgery was essentially a 'medieval' history of ancient Britain composed by Bertram from genuine classical sources, followed by an 'Itinerary' collected from fragments supposedly left by a Roman general. With the assistance of Mr Widmore, librarian to Westminster Abbey, Stukeley discovered that there had in fact been a fourteenth-century monk at the Abbey, Richard of Cirencester, the known author of Speculum Historiale de Gestis Regnum Angliæ.[66] Bertram's forgery was thus lent credibility by a fortuitous association with an authentic medieval chronicler. When Stukeley showed a facsimile of the manuscript, supposedly copied out by Bertram, to David Casley, Keeper of the Cottonian Library, he confirmed that it was of fourteenth-century origin.

Even without this lucky stroke, Bertram's promotion of his forgery was subtle and intelligent. It is likely he was assisted in its creation by studying the works of modern antiquaries such as Camden, Alexander Gordon and John Horsley, all of whose books he mentions in his letters. (A list of his manuscripts, medals, antiquities, paintings and rare books, the sale of which he hoped would raise money, shows the depth of his enthusiasm as both a collector and an historian.[67]) The weakest link in Bertram's story was his refusal to divulge either the owner of the supposed MS (who, he claimed, had stolen it from a library in England) or to agree to Stukeley's wish to purchase it for the British Museum. Stukeley nevertheless persuaded Bertram to publish the manuscript, and it eventually appeared in 1757, cleverly printed alongside two genuine early medieval texts by Gildas and Nennius, as Britannicarum Gentium Historiæ Antiquæ Scriptores Tres. The same year Stukeley published an abridged account of the itinerary with its accompanying map as An Account of Richard of Cirencester, Monk of Westminster, and of his Works: With his Antient Map of Roman Britain; And the Itinerary Thereof. As he explained, 'we learn from the present work now happily preserved, the completest account of the Roman state of Brittain, and of the most antient inhabitants thereof; and the geography thereof admirably depicted in a most excellent map.'[68] It is conceivable that Bertram's motive in perpetrating his deception was fame, though he claimed his only interest was in 'serving my Native Country'.[69] It is equally possible he was a compulsive liar, a teasing games-player or simply a frustrated academic. He told Stukeley how 'future Ages will venerate the Memory of those deserving Men, when the very Names of their ungrateful Contemporaries will be quite forgotten.'[70] Another letter to Stukeley included a suspicious-sounding account of an old doctor who possessed a medicine that 'cures all Diseases arising from the Heart … in a most surprising manner.' Bertram offered to send the potion to Stukeley, asking him 'if all this you find to be true, and you can best judge, I shall rejoice more, that I am thus employed to serve my Country this way, than by recovering ten MSS'.[71] Stukeley wisely ignored the offer, and he must have had some suspicions over the 'medieval' manuscript, too, for Bertram asserted in 1756 that if Richard 'was not the real Author, who was, & what Ends could they serve therein? or what Advantage reap from such an undertaking? for my Part, I declare I can't conceive any.'[72]

Although there were those who from the start suspected the manuscript of being either a medieval or a modern forgery, or considered the material in it to be largely derivative, Richard of Cirencester's De Situ Britanniae was accepted by many antiquaries as genuine, and utilized in various histories of Roman Britain. Bertram's spurious names for his fake Roman stations even appeared in the Ordnance Survey maps. The manuscript was republished in the second volume of Stukeley's Itinerarium Curiosum in 1776, and in 1809 Henry Hatcher published anonymously an English translation, The Description of Britain. Any claims Richard of Cirencester had to authenticity were demolished, however, by B. B. Woodward, Royal Librarian at Windsor Castle, in an essay published in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1866-7. He showed how Bertram used Latin words (such as statio for a Roman 'station' and supplementum for a 'supplement' or appendix) in ways which would have had no meaning in the Roman or medieval periods, and how his style and terminology differed from that appearing in Richard of Cirencester's genuine extant work, and also its palaeographic inaccuracies. In 1885 Bertram was described as 'the cleverest and most successful literary impostor of modern times',[73] and Stukeley's reputation has duly suffered for close but unwitting involvement, and has added to his reputation for credulity. Bertram's name, meanwhile, sits comfortably alongside that other eighteenth-century literary 'forger', James Macpherson, with whom Stukeley was also involved, though much less intimately.

Macpherson (1736-1796) was the son of a Highland farmer, educated at the University of Aberdeen, where he came under the influence of Thomas Blackwell, one of Scotland's foremost Greek scholars.[74] Principal of one of Aberdeen University's colleges, and author of Enquiry in to the Life and Writings of Homer (1735), Blackwell perceived modern, civilized, urban-dwelling man's alienation from the world of nature, an alienation so aptly described in Cheyne's English Malady. His work helped open Macpherson's eyes and ears -- which were already sensitive to the oral poetic tradition that existed amongst the Gaelic-speaking clans he grew up in -- to the bounteous charms of the ancient world. Macpherson was further influenced the epic traditions of Virgil and Milton, whose works he cited in his own poetry. In 1760, at the age of only twenty-three, Macpherson published at Edinburgh a brief collection of sixteen prose poems under the title Fragments of Ancient Poetry, Collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and Translated from the Galic or Erse Language. These 'fragments' were followed in 1762 and 1763 by 'translations' published in London of two 'Ancient Epic Poems', Fingal and Temora, 'composed', according to their title pages, by the bard Ossian. Macpherson claimed these poems were all original ancient works, and their immediate success allowed him to establish himself in London. But the poems were also met almost immediately by questions over their authenticity. In May 1763 Stukeley wrote a long letter to Macpherson, and when it was subsequently printed the publisher expressed his wish to give the publick 'the sentiments, of a person, well versed in antient learning, on a curious subject, which has been some matter of controversy.'[75] (It appears, incidentally, that the laughter Stukeley had suffered from some younger antiquaries had caused him to withdraw from society in his final years. He told Macpherson that he had 'for some years, omitted mixing in Companys [sic],' and was 'therefore almost unknowing, and unknown. which is the reason, I have not had the opportunity of meeting with you; which I have often wished for.') He told Macpherson that he had been 'charm'd with Ossian's poem, incomparably beautiful', and that he considered himself 'for its authenticity … better enabled to judg, than most people.'[76] Ossian brought to mind his youthful work at Avebury and Stonehenge, his measurements and his excavations, and seemed in all its details to confirm his 'mature thoughts' about the history of the British Isles. In Stukeley's perspective, it was 'derogatory to the honor of our country' to call the poem an 'imitation: because excellent. [M]any genius's have arisen, many lost: you have saved one.'[77] He protested against the accusation that writing was unknown in the Highlands of Scotland at the time Ossian's poems were supposed to have been written by showing that Caesar 'expressly informs us' that the Druids used Greek letters, and that after they were driven by the Romans in to Ireland, that country was 'the most florishing [sic] seat of learning, in Europe.'[78] Nevertheless, only ten years after Stukeley's death Samuel Johnson published his famous judgement that the poems of Ossian 'never existed in any other form than that which we have seen.' Like Bertram, Macpherson had been unable to produce the 'original' manuscript. Johnson considered this failure to be 'a degree of insolence, with which the world is not yet acquainted; and stubborn audacity is the last refuge of guilt.'[79]

In her study of Macpherson and the controversy over the Poems of Ossian, Fiona Stafford has been at pains to show Macpherson's dependence upon the ancient oral tradition of the Celtic bards, and as she reveals, the heroes of his poems 'each had distinct characters, familiar to every Highlander from the earliest age'.[80] She also notes Macpherson's belief that the people of north-west Scotland were the direct descendants of the Celts, and that their ballads and stories 'were the corrupted versions of Ossian's original poetry'.[81] Modern critics remain divided as to just how Macpherson's work should be judged: as forgeries, or as brilliant adaptations of ancient oral material. The reasons for Stukeley's allegiance with Macpherson's Ossian are obvious and, together with the poet Thomas Gray, author of The Bard (1757), these three writers helped create the principal historical and literary foundations for the 'Druidic revival' that flourished in the last decades of the eighteenth century. As Sam Smiles has recently shown, by the early nineteenth century the Ancient Celt, the Druid and the Bard were staple images of British national identity.

The Arch-Druid

These controversies and fantastic visions have all helped colour the reputation and impression of Stukeley in the closing years of his life, despite the success of his Stonehenge and Abury: Piggott's contention that the books 'were a flop' carries no weight.[82] We must realize that these books were successes, and we should not lose sight of his achievements behind his failings. He remained an important and venerable figure in London society, and was chosen a trustee to assist in the establishment of the British Museum after Sloane's death in 1753. He was also involved in the running of the Foundling Hospital, where he came into contact with Hogarth and he attended a performance of the Messiah there in 1750, conducted in person by Handel. By the time of his seventy-fifth birthday Stukeley was still in excellent health. As he wrote, 'I have indeed all my sense perfect. & the use of my limbs, in no surprising degree: considering, an hereditary gout began with me at 16, held me for 30 years, with its full violence'.[83] But in February 1765, following a stroke, he died at the Rectory in Queen's Square, Bloomsbury.[84] He was seventy-seven: not a bad old age, though there must have been something invigorating about eighteenth-century natural philosophy: his colleagues Wren (who died in 1723), Newton (in 1728), Halley (in 1742), Whiston (in 1752), Sloane (in 1753), Hale (in 1761) and Warburton (in 1779), all made it into their eighties or nineties.

As 'the Arch-Druid' Stukeley was remembered with affection and humour by his friends. In October of that year Emanuel da Costa acquired 'perhaps the finest piece of double antiquity ever seen -- I call it double antiquity, as it is the work of distant centuries. The original is a Druid glass bead, curiously wrought with wreaths of the serpent'. He reflected fondly that 'were I to lay it on Dr Stukeley's grave, I almost believe he would rise again'.[85] Even in 1781, when Horace Walpole's cousin removed a small stone circle from Jersey to his garden in Berkshire, Walpole observed how 'Dr Stukeley will burst his crements to offer mistletoe in your Temple'.[86] Warburton would write sympathetically

I have a tenderness in my temper which will make me miss poor Stukeley; for, not to say that he was one of my oldest acquaintance, there was in him such a mixture of simplicity, drollery, absurdity, ingenuity, superstition and antiquarianism … I have often heard him laughed at by fools, who had neither his sense, his knowledge, or his honesty; though it must be confessed, that in him they were all strangely travestied.[87]

Richard Gough had been an admirer of Stukeley's work since his own student days at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, but whilst praising Abury and Stonehenge in his Anecdotes of British Topography (1768), he would observe that 'Determined to fathom the utmost depth of druidical science, he almost lost himself in an abyss which nothing but his strong imagination could have carried him through.'[88] But it is possible Stukeley has often been taken too seriously, both by his contemporaries and subsequent scholars. In a manuscript written late in his life, he reflected that the study of antiquities was sometimes looked on 'only as an amusement & of little use'. Rather than vigorously defending the utility of his subject, he admitted that -- other than in the defence of religion -- 'indeed, that is often the case.'[89] And he described another of his manuscript essays in which he pursued analogies of sacred and profane history as 'no other than a learned amusement', a 'relaxation from severer studys.'[90] Nonetheless, despite the playfulness of his character which can sometimes be lost in such an academic evaluation of his work as this, Stukeley's influence upon antiquarian studies for the century or so after his death was profound, as we shall see in my final chapter.

[1] Wise (1738) p. 000.

[2] Samuel Gale to Stukeley, 14 May 1740, in SS 1, p. 320.

[3] Roger Gale to Stukeley, 20 May 1740, in SS 3. p. 274.

[4] Roger Gale to Stukeley, 11 December 1741, in SS 1 p. 329.

[5] Fothergill to Dr Robert Key, London, 6 August 1744. Booth and Corner (1971), pp. 94-5.

[6] Willis to Stukeley, 10 June 1745, quoted in Nichols (1817) p. 806.

[7] Stukeley to Borlase, 17 October 1749, quoted in Pool (1966), p. 11. The two were put in touch by their mutual friend, da Costa.

[8] Borlase (1754) p. 76.

[9] Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 677/3 f. 7. Abury sold for a guinea and the Itinerarium Curiosum for two. The subscription list for Abury is CCCC MS 552.

[10] Cooke (1754) 'The Argument' unpaginated, and also p. 29; p. 1.

[11] Ibid. pp. 5; 9; 28; 37.

[12] Ibid. pp. 63-9.

[13] Wood (1747) pp. 6-11.

[14] Ibid. p. 8.

[15] Ibid. pp. 21-2.

[16] See Haycock (1999) p. 00.

[17] Stukeley, diary 3 August 1763, in SS 3, pp. 275-6.

[18] Roger Gale to Stukeley, 6 August 1763, in Nichols (1817) p. 57.

[19] Warburton to Stukeley, 6 August 1763, in Nichols (1817) p. 57. [CHECK]

[20] Stukeley, diary 3 August 1763, in SS 3, pp. 275-6.

[21] Gough (1768) p. 000.

[22] Gough (1789), quoted in Long (1876), pp. 47-50.

[23] Hearne, diary, 9 October 1722, in SS 1, p. 169.

[24] See Clapinson (1985-88) p. 110, and SS 1, p. 170.

[25] Roger Gale to John Clerk, 6 September 1726, SS 3, p. 93.

[26] Hearne, diary, 10 September 1724, in SS 1, p. 170.

[27] Jeremiah Miles to William Borlase, 23 March 1754 and 25 April 1754, quoted in Pool (1966) p. 13.

[28] Borlase to da Costa, 19 March 1759. BL Add MS Add. MS 28,535 f. 00000.

[29] Da Costa to Borlase, 14 July 1759. BL Add. MS 28,535 f. 308/99.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Charles Godwin to John Hutchins, 23 December 1763. Quoted in Nichols (1814) 8, p. 240.

[32] Stukeley, diary, 22 February 1753, Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 132 f. 42.

[33] Hill (1750), pp. 17-9.

[34] See newspaper cutting in Bod. MS Eng. misc. c.314. The marriage was not a success, one nineteenth-century historian recording, 'Stukeley, it is well known, married Discord, personified in the sister of his friend.' Quoted in Piggott (1985) p. 115.

[35] For 'fumopolis' see Stukeley to Samuel Gale, 2 February 1738, SS 1, p. 299; for his responses to the Montagu offer see Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 126 f. 83v; Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 121 f. 92; Bod MS Eng. misc. e. 667/5 f. 18. As the Antiquarian Society now met later on the same night as the Royal Society, Thursday, Stukeley only rarely attended its meetings.

[36] See Weld (1848), vol. 1, pp. 514-6.

[37] Quoted in Weld (1848), vol. 1, p. 526.

[38] Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 129 f. 56.

[39] Philosophical Transactions vol. 46, pp. 641-5, 657-69, 731-50.

[40] SS 3, p. 480; Stukeley (1750) p. 20. See Schaffer (1983) for a discussion of the context of Stukeley's paper.

[41] Quoted from Horace Walpole Correspondence, edited by W. S. Lewis (1960) vol. 20, p. 154, in Schaffer (1980) p.18. Stukeley owned a copy of Bevis's book; Piggott (1974) p. 439, catalogue no. 437.

[42] Adams (1938) p. 414. Schaffer (1980) p. 18 writes how the 1750 earthquakes provided Stukeley 'with an excellent opportunity for showing how effective natural philosophy could be when deployed in the moral realm'.

[43] Bod. MS Eng. misc. e.129 f. 51.

[44] Stukeley to Maurice Johnson, 13 April 1751, quoted in Fraser (1994), p. 49.

[45] Stukeley, diary, 31 October 1751, Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 130 f. 81.

[46] Stukeley, diary, 14 March 1751, in ibid. f. 39. As early as 1740 Stukeley had noted 'that extraordinary genius at clockmaking' Mr Harrison, 'who bids fair for the golden prize due to the discovery of the longitude.' Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 125 f. 7.

[47] Stukeley, SS 1, pp. 99-100.

[48] Bod MS Eng. misc. e. 124 f. 72.

[49] Borlase to da Costa, 20 January 1752, BL Add. MS 28535 f. 68.

[50] Stukeley, diary, 3 May 1753, Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 132 f. 38.

[51] See Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 131 ff. 47-65; Philosophical Transactions 47, pp. 505-513

[52] Stukeley, diary, 5 July 1753, Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 132 f. 77. This paper had been given on 3 May 1753 and was eventually published in Philosophical Transactions 48 (1753) pp. 221-6.

[53] Stukeley, diary 27 February 1752, Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 131 ff. 29-30. On the Antiquaries gaining their Charter, see Haycock (2000).

[54] Stukeley Bod. MS Eng. misc. d. 453 f. 108.

[55] Philosophical Transactions 59 (1769), p. 489.

[56] Ibid. p. 491-4.

[57] FM MS 1130 Stu (13).

[58] SS 2, p. 116.

[59] Bod. MS Eng. misc. d. 453 f. 109.

[60] FM MS 1130 Stu (13).

[61] For an original illustration of the bust, see Iversen (1993), plate xviii. Wellcome MS 4723 contains a piece of paper written out by Stukeley with eleven Egyptian hieroglyphs compared with similar-looking Chinese symbols, together with their respective, different translations in English.

[62] Bertram to Stukeley, 10 November 1747, Bod. MS Eng. Letters b.2, f. 9.

[63] Bertram to Stukeley, 1747, Bod. MS Eng. Letters b.2, f. 7-8

[64] Stukeley (1757b) p. 12,

[65] Ibid. p. 14

[66] Ibid. p. 5-6

[67] Bertram to Stukeley, 16 September 1763, Bod. MS Eng. Letters b.2 f. 82v--83.

[68] Stukeley (1757b) p. 8

[69] Bertram to Stukeley, 5 March 1759, Bod. MS Eng. Letters b. 2 f. 66r.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Bertram to Stukeley, 12 May 1749, in ibid. f. 24r.

[72] Bertram to Stukeley, 11 December 1756, in ibid. f. 48.

[73] DNB.

[74] See Stafford (1988), chapter 2.

[75] 'To the candid reader', Stukeley (1763b) p. 3.

[76] Stukeley (1763b) p. 5.

[77] Ibid. pp. 7, 11-12.

[78] Ibid. pp. 12-13.

[79] Samuel Johnson, A Journey to the Western Isles (1775), quoted in Stafford, p. 2.

[80] Stafford (1988) p. 14.

[81] Ibid. p. 97.

[82] Piggott (1986) p. 119.

[83] Stukeley, Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 139 f. 69.

[84] For an account of Stukeley's death, see the memoir by Peter Collinson in the Gentleman's Magazine (1765), p. 211. For a copy of his will, see Antiquity 25 (1951), pp. 213-4.

[85] Da Costa to James West, 17 October 1765, in Nichols (1822) Vol. 4, p. 793.

[86] Quoted in Coffin (1994), pp. 121-2.

[87] William Warburton to Richard Hurd, 4 March 1765, in Nichols (1817) Vol. 2, p. 59. Leslie Stephen wrote of Warburton, 'Probably no man who has lived in recent times has ever told so many of his fellow-creatures that they were unmitigated fools and liars.' Stephen (1902) pp. 346-7.

[88] Gough (1768) pp. 532-3. On Gough, see Sweet (2001).

[89] 'Bona Dea', September 1760, Bod Ms Eng. misc. e. 667/4 f. 6v.

[90] Wellcome MS 4724 f. 3.

© 2022 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL -

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC