The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Giants of the Royal Society

Bill Bryson, writing in The Times today, pays homage to (among others) John Lubbock who, "...was a banker by profession, but was in addition a distinguished botanist, astronomer, expert on the social behaviour of insects, politician and antiquarian. Among much else, he coined the terms palaeolithic, mesolithic and neolithic in 1865. But his real contribution to life was to push through Parliament the first Ancient Monuments Protection Act, which became law in 1882. People forget how much of Britain's historic fabric was nearly destroyed in the past. Before Lubbock's intervention, nearly half of Avebury was cleared away for housing, and at one point it was even threatened that Stonehenge, then still in private hands, might be dismantled and shipped to America. Without Lubbock, many stone circles, tumuli and other historical features of the landscape would have vanished long ago.

More here -
Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
9th January 2010ce

Comments (3)

Fair play to you Littlestone, for not only posting this but reminding those less fortunate, of our true history.
These individuals were seen as troublemakers in their day but we all owe them a debt of gratitude for standing up for what they had faith in. When Lubbock purchased Silbury Hill in 1883 and donated it to the nation, many would have regarded him as "being away with the fairies". In January 1900 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Avebury.

The quotation "We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth" is widely attributed to Lubbock.,_1st_Baron_Avebury
Chance Posted by Chance
10th January 2010ce
Too right. We owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to those brave enough to speak up against what they believed to be wrong in the past.

Where would knowledge be without the guts of those first atheists - for example - to ask 'where's the evidence, then?' and defy the church openly. Many lives - and later careers - were lost for all our benefit. The ability to question the status quo is priceless.... and of course the primary bastion against totalitarianism.
10th January 2010ce
Good points Chance and GLADMAN.

Am sure the extra info you've posted here would also be of interest to readers of the Heritage Journal here -
Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
10th January 2010ce
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