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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 9
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

tried to define, in specific terms, the activities that it should undertake, but from entries in Larking’s Journals, and from passages in his letters and the Minutes, it is evident that he had a pretty clear idea of the things which he wished the Society to do: the publication of a periodical volume of transactions, the holding of annual meetings at places of archaeological and historical interest, the encouragement of excavation and discovery, and the preservation of buildings, of documents, and of objects of all kinds which might bear upon the history of the county. An example of the threatened destruction of an historic building occurred within two months of the Inaugural Meeting: alarming reports were received of the intended demolition of the Roman (sic) church in Dover Castle, the materials of which were to be used to build a chapel for troops. Larking acted at once; he asked Lord Camden and Lord Stanhope (then President of the Society of Antiquaries) to intercede with the Minister, and Sir Brook Bridges and Mr. Deedes to question him in the Commons. Within a few days they were able to report that the church would not be destroyed. Whether the Government had intended to pull it down, and, if so, whether they were deterred by the Kentish representations, I do not know; but it is a pleasing conceit that the infant Society may have been instrumental in preserving the Roman and Saxon ruin of St. Mary-in-Castro.
  In matters of excavation also Larking was prepared to act

speedily, and if necessary himself to oversee the work. On one occasion at least his enthusiasm seems to have run away with him, for after an excavation on Wye Down in May, 1858, Larking was accused of trespass by the land-owner, Mr. Erle-Drax, who demanded that the objects found should immediately be handed over to him. However, Larking’s apology was not only handsome but also so persuasive that Mr. Erle-Drax allowed the finds to be exhibited at the Society’s First Annual General Meeting.
   That Meeting took place at Canterbury on 30th July, 1858. The organization of the meeting, as became the practice during the Society’s early years, was left to a local committee, with Edward Foss, the author of The Judges of England, who was then living at Chartham, as its secretary. Nevertheless, a great deal of the work fell upon Larking’s, shoulders. He it was who negotiated with the railway companies for special trains, one from London via Tonbridge and Ashford to Canterbury, and another, to meet it, from Blackheath via Maidstone to Paddock Wood. The companies’ first response was disappointing— "I may reply, ‘thank you for nothing ‘—So much for this detestable monopoly," was Larking’s comment, but through the intervention of several gentlemen of the county, who were doubtless shareholders, it was possible, in the end, to get not only the special trains, but also reduced fares. It was Larking also who persuaded prominent members

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