30 Dec. 1815.
Thank you for your information respecting the antiquities of Castleford – Lagecium is a good name for this place, as it signifies “habitation of hares” ëáãïéêéïí from ëáãùó leptus, and ïéêïó domus – for there are a great many hares here, who devour the carrots – Erming <2> [sic] street is derived from “Herman” which signifies “a warrior” – It extended, I believe, only from London to Carlisle – Denarii and other Roman Coins are frequently found here. The Roman Road crosses the churchyard, & is close to this House. – I have no doubt of your joy at finding such old deeds – Nettlecombe was in the Kingdom of Wessex, where I believe Kynegils <3> was King in the year 670. – The deed dated 905 must have been granted by the successor of Alfred, <4> I forget who he was –
I do not think Mr Barnes is the man to suit you, – nor do I think he will take any more pupils – Any more habitats will be acceptable. – I hear that Ophrys muscifera, (the Fly Orchis) is not uncommon near here, in the Summer Season, & that Cypripedium Calceolus (the Ladies slipper) has been once or twice gathered. – Are you coming to Town in the Spring? –
I remain, Yrs Ever,
[illustration:] Shape of Castleford Church
P.S. I have been to see Pontefract Castle. – It is situated on an eminence in the Town, and is a very uninteresting ruin. Very little remains of it, & what does is not worth seeing – Richard 2d <5> was murdered there, but not Edward 2d. <6> – He was murdered in Berkeley Castle which is in Gloucestershire – Gray says,
“The shrieks of death thro’ Berkeley’s roofs that ring,
“Shrieks of an agonizing King.”
1. Castleford, Yorkshire, 10 mi SE of Leeds, where WHFT went to school from 1815-1816.
2. This is incorrect; Ermine Street is Earninga street, that is, the street of Earna’s people.
3. Cynegils (d. 643), King of the West Saxons, or Wessex (611–643).
4. Alfred (849–899), King of Wessex (871–899), succeeded by his son Edward the Elder (ruled 899–924).
5. Richard II (1367–1400), King of England (1377–1399).
6. Edward II (1284–1327), King of England (1307–1327).