S&SWM PR papers L775


Cranborne | 20 Nov '91

Dear General

I take the liberty of sending you some rough outlines of a few antique relics that have lately come into my possession from a friend of Wimborne where they were found; on the site, I am told of the old Town Mill, which originally belonged to the Monastery, & stood near the river south of the Town. The things are in a good state of preservation & having been found at a spot within [illegible insert] the outer boundary of Cranborne Chase I thought they might afford you the greater interest; at any rate I will with pleasure request yr. acceptance for either yr Tollard or Farnham Museum on receipt of yr reply favouring the presentation, & would sned them as soon as an opportunity offers.

In reference to my sketches I will just observe that the Spur is a good specimen I should think of the Norman period: & is an excellent example of the "Prick Spur". At the extremity of one of the arms there are two small rivets which no doubt fastened the strap of or attachment to the boot. The other things consist principally of knives which are in good preservation, with the exception of the loss of their bone or wooden handles. Fig. 11 is, I think, a most interesting example of an early pocket knife, which was evidently invented before the use of the spring. The handle consists of two iron plates which form both sheath & handle, the blade still in situ & is apparently sound, but I have not attempted to open it. Fig. 8 is a Fork, which retains its handle, apparently formed of bone. Fig. 9 is either an implement or weapon, it reminds me of the Angon, Teutonic javelin figured by C.R. Smith in Coll Antiq vol 5. pl. XI but being neither barbed nor socketed I suppose it was not intended for use as a weapon. There are several other things of less note, as, Two antique keys, (good) - Two large headed nails three rings two of these, the largest, I thought might be brass or bronze. but on lightly rubbing with fine sandpaper I thought they were metallic and had been gilt.

I should put down these articles of late Norman or early English, 11th or 12th century. But I should like to know what you think of them. I had almost forgotten a queer sort of iron article which I take to be a weighing machine.

I would take the things to the Museum myself but fear the reason is too far advanced for me to venture so far.

Believe me, Dear Gen'l
Yours very truly
T.W. Wake Smart

These items are Add.9455vol3_p837 /1 and on, not received by Pitt-Rivers until July 1892


Cranborne | Wednesday evening

Dear Dr Smart

Mrs Hopkins says the knives were found about 10 or 12 feet underground when they were excavating at the Mill she says "the knife" is rather like some that Gen'l Pitt-Rivers has at King John's House I will at once write to Mrs Hopkins and ask her if she knows any thing further about them

Believe me
Dear Dr Smart
Yours sincerely
Bessie M. Deane

Articles placed in my hands my Mrs Deane at request of Mrs Hopkins Oct 25 1891

6 Knives (no handles)
1 very curious knife in its sheath iron
1 Fork with bone handle
1 implement or weapon (angon?)
1 chisel
1 prick-spur
3 rings - two of them brass
2 long nails
1 very large headed do
2 keys
1 article perhaps for weighing things as viz steelyard




Cranborne 25 Nov. '91

Dear General

I quite omitted to mention that I have also several bits of pottery which are said to have been found with the other things, each of them shews strong glaze of common yellowish colour. I made particulars requests to be favoured with further details of the find, but I have received no other than the things were found in an excavation 10 or 12 ft deep on the site of the old Town Mill.

It would give me much pleasure if you favoured me with a call, but it is a long drive and the days are short, and I could send a parcel to you by our [illegible] Cart to Long Critchel if you can get it from thence. I have sent you a copy of my paper in the forthcoming Vol: of the Field Club, recently received from the Printer, if you will kindly accept it. I think you will say that Mr Monke's drawings of the [illegible] are remarkably well done.

I must trouble you with a postscript to this note in reference to yr mention of Bokerley and am, dear General,

Yours very truly
T.W.W. Smart

[PS not transcribed]

The catalogue of the second collection does not include reference to this pottery, they are mentioned in the entry, it is not clear whether Pitt-Rivers took them or not, the rest of the items were in the second collection.



Cranborne | Thursday Nov. 26/ 91

Dear General

I am extremely sorry to bore you with another note today, but it is necessary to me to do so in consequence of some information I have received this afternoon from the young person who brought me the things from her friend in Wimborne, she certainly gave me to understand that I might do what I pleased with them. The owner being a stranger to me I thought the treatment way almost too liberal, but I took her at her word. I am now told that she w'd wish to have them again, & I have requested the young person to write to her friend by today's post & let her know how matters stand, viz that I have offered them to you for the Farnham Museum and that you would gladly accept them. Whether the owner (Mrs Hopkins) in Wimborne is fishing for a honorarium I do not know but it looks like it. I hope I shall know her answer very soon, & will immediately on receipt let you know. I need hardly say that this worries me very much but I hope it will be soon made straight. The things will certainly remain in my hands for second day to come & I should be pleased to shew them to you

Yours truly
T.W.W. Smart

Lieut Genl A Pitt Rivers FRS &c



Cranborne 8 Dec. '91

Dear General

I have been patiently waiting since the date of my last note I troubled you with, for instructions concerning Mrs Hopkins's Antiquities from the lady herself, and am now able to enclose a letter from her which has been handed to me this morning by her friend Miss Deane You will see that its [insert] as [end insert] I had suspected, and that I have been deceived, unintentionally no doubt, by what passed in conversation with Miss Deane at our first interview on the subject I certainly understood from her that I was quite at liberty to do what I pleased with the antiques, and in reply to a question as to whether any "consideration" was expected I was decidedly answered in the negative, of which I have the witness of my wife. I felt the greatest pleasure in offering the things for your Museum, and the disappointment I now feel is commensurate. I can understand now that the poor lady was in great trouble when she sent [insert] them [end insert] to me. Her husband, who has been a respectable tradesman in Wimborne, is now in the hands of his creditors, all his property has been sold, & he is gone no-one knows where. His wife has fortunately some little property of her own. The things are still in my possession, & I will keep them until I hear from you. If you have any wish to negotiate for their purchase, I shall be happy to be made use of, if you would not prefer direct communication with Mrs Hopkins herself, whose present address is in her letter.

With very great regrets for the unfortunate contre temps

Believe me
Yours sincerely
T.W.W. Smart

Lieut Gen'l A. Pitt Rivers FRS


Collingwood | [illegible] Road | Bournemouth | Dec'r 5th

Dear Miss Deane

I did not intend parting with the old things but should have no object to do so if I could get a good price for them as my [illegible] are so [illegible] & I paid the men for each thing as they found them I do not know if I told you that in accounting at [illegible] Mill they came upon a perfect /? [illegible] of a building of splendid black (oak in perfect condition) I will [illegible] General Pitt Rivers could have seen it before it was built over

With best love
Believe me to [illegible]
Yours very sincerely
E.A. [or E.R.] Hopkins


[Ans'd June 30/ 92]

Cranborne | June 29 '92

Dear Sir,

I am delighted to tell you that Mrs Hopkins has accepted the terms offered, and I will enclose her letter for the General. I shall send her my cheque for £1 by today's post, and the General's cheque [illegible] I shall forward to my banker in Salisbury. This has terminated what has been to me a worry. The things have been packed for months past, & ready to go to the Museum at any moment. The small box might go very well by Parcel post, though safer to my mind by private hands. Communication between this place & the Museum is not to be relied on - in the course of a few days I might have an opportunity of sending them by my nephew Mr Van, but at present I cannot say for certain when. I would take them to the Museum myself, but at the present time I do not feel very well & able to do so. Will you let me know what the General would wish?

Yours very truly
J.W.W. Smart
Harold SG. Gray Esq

Collingwood | West Cliff | Bournemouth | June 28th

Dear Sir

I am willing to accept Gen'l Pitt Rivers offer for the antiquarian relics & am sorry that they should have been a source of trouble to you but I have been waiting for some offer to be made me for them which is not more I think than [2 words illegible] I gave the men a shilling for each thing found

Believe me remain
Yours truly
E.A. [or E.R.] Hopkins

Transcribed by AP May / June 2011


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