S&SWM PR papers L297


Dorchester, Apr. 23 1887

My dear Sir,

Your letter of Apr. 21 has just arrived & I hasten to thank you for it, & for the enclosed medal.* It is an admirable idea to record your excavations for the information of possible future researchers. This specimen of the medal used for the purpose shall be carefully placed in the Museum ** and labelled.

The persistent survival nowadays of small remnants of formerly prevailing races (the Bushmen e.g.) seems to give probability to your supposition that the Rushmore tribe may have been of Neolithic blood.

I am
Yours truly
HJ Moule ***

Maj: Gen'l Pitt Rivers R.A. F.R.S.



Dorchester. Easter Monday. 1887

Dear Sir,

Pray accept my best thanks for your most kind invitation. It is very tantalizing to be quite unable to accept it, for I have heard so much of your discoveries at Rushmore that it would be no common pleasure to me to see the villages and to hear the opinions of the two anthropologists respecting the small race of men who dwelt therein. But at the best of times it is very difficult for me to leave home, and just now it is impossible  for me to go to Rushmore. The reason simply is that I am seeing off one of my sons who sails for Canada in a day or two.

If I understand you rightly that this small race of men was contemporary with the Romans here, the phenomenon is surely very strange. In my limited reading I do not remember to have noticed anything similar. Belgs I suppose were large men, Kelts middle-sized & Iberes also.

I have often wondered whether you have come to any conclusions about that most curious Moot Hill at Downton. Again thanking you for your most obliging invitation,

I am
yours truly
H.J. Moule

Major Gen'l Pitt Rivers R.A.

Note that this letter is out of date sequence, but Easter Monday 1887 was on 11 April, see here

This correspondence continued, what survives is mostly letters from Moule asking for information from Pitt-Rivers



British Museum, W.C. May 12 1887

My dear Pitt-Rivers

I owe you many apologies for never writing to thank you for your medalet which is an excellent idea & much further than Colt Hoare's [word illegible]. I deposited it with your note in the Medal Room **** & consequently (as well as from my mind & body being offuscated by a very bad cold) I never wrote to you.

It is an age since I have seen you. I have been this year very much of prisoner. [sic] I contrived to sleep in a damp bed last autumn in Germany & contracted a cold which has constantly returned, helped by the East Winds, so I haves eschewed all evening dissipations.

Ever yours truly
Augustus W. Franks

Note that L307 is a formal letter from the BM confirming the donation of the medal described as 'A small bronze medal struck by General Pitt Rivers to be placed in excavations made by himself before filling them up again'. It is probably

1887,0409.1 (see British Museum online catalogue for further information)

*This is a reference to the purpose-made medal or medalet placed in excavations after work had been completed and before the trenches were refilled to mark their excavation by Pitt-Rivers, see 1971.30.5.1-25 and here

** Dorchester Museum

*** Henry Joseph Moule, curator of the Dorchester Museum, see here and here for a little more detail

**** This medal is presumably now part of the British Museum's collections.

Transcribed by AP May 2011 as part of the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project.

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