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Avebury & the Marlborough Downs



Always beware of local people spinning a yarn. Could this be useful advice to visitors during the circus surrounding Silbury's latest excavations?
[Around 1776 when the miners were excavating Silbury] a correspondent of the Salisbury Journal, with the intention of throwing ridicule on the undertaking, narrated [..] that some years previously a poor boy who was carrying a pitcher of milk along the high road at that spot, fell down and broke the vessel. A tailor, who lived at Avebury close by, met the boy lamenting his case just at the same moment that a carriage appeared in sight. He, therefore, directed him to shout out lustily in order to excite the compassion of the passengers, and advancing up to the coach himself, observed that the poor lad had but too much reason for his lamentations, for the urn which he had broken had but just before been exhumed by his father, and as a piece of antiquity was of such rare value, that Dr. Davis of Devizes would no doubt have given a guinea for it. This declaration so wrought upon the curiosity of the travellers, that after due examination of the fractured vessel, and a consultation as to the possibility of uniting the fragments, they agreed to give a crown for the article, and drove off with their prize. The tailor then gave the boy one shilling, and appropriated four to himself.
From 'A History Military and Municipal of the Town of Malborough. James Waylen. 1854. p406.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th March 2007ce

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