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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 23
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

Sydney Smith, all was smoothed over, the drawings were duly hung, and Neale joined the Society.
   Another project, dear to the heart of Scott Robertson, was the publication of a list of the communion plate belonging to every parish church in the county. The archdeacons gave their support, and a very large number of incumbents gave the information asked for—surely testimony of the Society’s standing in the county, and of Scott Robertson’s own enthusiasm and tact. Inevitably it proved impossible to obtain returns from some parishes, and for one reason or another— perhaps because this was not an aspect of  "archaeo1ogy" that appealed to the next Honorary Secretary—the project was laid aside for a time, until in 1899 Council was persuaded by the Rev. C. Eveleigh Woodruff to take it up again, and at length the publication of the returns was completed in Volumes XXV to XXVIII of Archaeologia Cantiana. "Many sacred vessels of some age have through this enquiry been saved from alienation," Council reported, and within the past two years the published inventories have again proved of practical use in helping a Kent church to reacquire some of its ancient plate which had found its way out of the county.
   In the field, several pieces of work, large and small, were carried out, either by the Society or with the help of a grant from the Society, during the last thirty years of the century. These included excavations of Roman villas at Maidstone, 

Darenth, and Wingham; of the ruined church at Stone-near-Faversham; at Joss Farm, North Foreland; at Milton-next-Sittingbourne; at St. Radegund’s Abbey; at St. Pancras' chapel, Canterbury; at Richborough (on several occasions); in the Dean of Rochester’s garden; and at the Praemonstratensian Abbey at West Langdon. Some of these excavations, such as that of the Roman villa at Darenth, were of the first importance, and were fully reported in Archaeologia Cantiana.
Several of these excavations also resulted in further additions to the Society’s collections housed at Maidstone Museum. One interesting object, given to the Society in 1887, almost failed to find its way to Maidstone. It was the leaden coffin of" a Roman lady" discovered at Plumstead, and given to the Society by the owner of the land on which it was found. Before it could be conveyed to Maidstone, it came into the hands of the Vicar of Plumstead, who insisted on interring it in the cemetery, much to the Society’s indignation. Legal action was discussed, but was thought to be inappropriate. It seems likely that the Vicar had initially assumed that the Roman lady was of the Christian faith, and that subsequent doubt on this point lessened his sense of the impropriety of the gift to the Society; in any event, the Society was interested in the coffin, not in the skeleton, and eventually George Payne, on behalf of the Society, obtained a faculty to remove the

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