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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 17
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

beauty, or of intrinsic value. It was to ensure that the Society’s excavations were kept on proper lines that Larking continually, but unsuccessfully, tried to persuade Roach Smith to become our" Director of Primeval Antiquities." Roach Smith was very conscious of his reputation and standing in the world of archaeology, and clearly was a prickly character. He was quite well disposed towards Larking, but still refused to join the Society. Resident as he was in the county, at Strood, he was ineligible, under the Rules, for election as an Honorary Member, but eventually the Rules were suspended so that, exceptionally, he might be made an Honorary Member. Roach Smith never held office in the Society, but for many years was influential in its affairs, and his advice was often sought. For most of his life he was engaged in business in London, where he was outstanding in connection with the Roman antiquities of the City. On retirement to Kent he was able to devote himself to wider archaeological and social interests.1
   In addition to the finds which were added to the Society’s collections as the result of their own excavations, many purchases were made of objects which might otherwise have been lost, or, through coming into private hands, might at least have been lost to archaeologists. These included such spectacular objects as the gold armillae found at Aylesford and Maidstone. Unfortunately their intrinsic value has rendered their safe custody such an embarrassment to the council that few of our members have ever seen them and 

their sale has more than once been proposed. Less  spectacular, but perhaps even more important, objects were also added to the collections, especially large numbers of documents, including the charters purchased in 1864 when the Surrenden-Dering collection was, alas, dispersed. Moreover, through the reports in the local newspapers of the Society’s activities, more and more people were coming to realize that objects, even if not of beauty or of intrinsic value, might have archaeo1ogica1 ‘importance. Thus, for example, Mrs. Stickings (who mentioned elsewhere that she held "but a humble position in life ") writes to our Curator in January, 1867: "On Friday last their was a discovery made while digging for brick earth opposite my house in Chai4otte Street, Milton, of three skeleton forms, one is a skeleton of a very noble man being six feet in length, the bones are in good preservation the skull being nearly whole their is also a small earthen jar which is almost whole one form was carted away with the brick earth before I arrived. One is still imboded in the earth. If you think the jar or skull worth your attention, Please write by return of post has I am anxious to dispose of it." It has often been through

   1 A letter to Roach Smith from W. Alfred Lloyd, dated the 22nd March, 1867, gives an interesting glimpse of him as a pharmacist in the City of London: "Do you remember that you sold ‘citrated Kali’ in powder in bottles with a bit of poetry by Milton on the label? Long before I knew you personally I used to look in at your window and say to myself: ‘that is no common chemist and druggist.’"

Page 17 

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