KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 8
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

first volume—clearly a valuable promise, for such was Stanley’s fame that, as Larking wrote to Canon Robertson on 3rd April: "I had letters anxiously asking if Professor Stanley was to speak (sc. at the Inaugural Meeting) because if so there were many ladies who would come expressly to hear him."
   In all this preparatory work, Larking had the active support of a few members of the Society, especially Lord Camden and Lord Falmouth, and the no doubt stimulating, but less practically useful encouragement of many others. The great bulk of the work undoubtedly fell to the Secretary; by 31st March, 1858, he had written 1,125 regular letters, and had dispatched 1,077 circulars, many of them containing personal letters, a total of 2,202. The unquestioned success of the Inaugural Meeting, which was held at the Charles Museum on 14th April, 1858, must have been, to him, a keen personal gratification. The company which attended the meeting was both numerous and distinguished. The Marquis Camden was in the chair, and he was supported by Viscount Sydney (the Lord Lieutenant), Earl Amherst, Viscount Falmouth, the Countess Abergavenny and Viscountess Nevill, Mr. Beresford Hope, M.P. and Lady Mildred Hope, Sir Brook Bridges, Bart., M.P., Sir Walter James, Bart., Sir Walter Stirling, Bart., the Rev. Professor A. S. Stanley, and some eighty others who are recorded by name, as well as an unknown number whose only memorial is "etc., etc., etc., 

etc." -
   At the Inaugural Meeting the proceedings of the interim committee were ratified and adopted, numerous resolutions were proposed, seconded and carried unanimously, and speeches were made, some of them of no mean length. Beresford Hope expatiated upon the science of archaeology, the county’s singular felicity in the possession of antiquities, and the merits of photography; the Rev. W. M. Smith Marriott spoke of ecclesiastical architecture, and the skill and taste being displayed in current church restoration; Professor Stanley, who was received with especially loud cheers, gave a thumbnail account of the county’s history. The Rules were approved, the thanks of the meeting were accorded to Larking, and he replied in an extempore but eloquent speech, from which the following sentences at least deserve to be rescued: "But, above all, remember that the sole object of your researches ought to be Truth. Have as many theories as you please—I have had thousands in my time—but always be ready (as I have been) to discard them at once, the moment you find the Truth opposed to them. Without this devotion to Truth we are frivolous triflers."
   The Society was now decently and officially launched; no longer could anyone sneer at it as a Hole and Corner Affair. But, the launching accomplished, what course was the ship to steer? Wisely, neither the Society as a whole, in General Meeting, nor the Council has ever

Page 8 

Previous page   Back to Page listings    Next page

Back the Contents page   Back to Arch. Cant. List   Back to Publications On-line  Back to Research Page  Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society 2003     

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too