35.99 In Stock
Charles Roach Smith (1806–90), born on the Isle of Wight and educated in Hampshire, was apprenticed to a lawyer at fifteen, but a year later transferred to a chemist, where he prospered, moving to London and becoming wealthy from a firm of wholesale druggists and his own chemist's shop in Lothbury, in the City of London. Sewerage and other works in the City meant that Roman and medieval artefacts were regularly coming to light, and Smith's collection eventually numbered more than 5,000 pieces. He eventually sold it to the British Museum, at far less than its market value, so that it could remain intact. This book, published in 1859, describes the excavations, and uses the finds he and others acquired to illustrate 'the institutions, the habits, the customs, and the arts of our forefathers'. It remains an invaluable record of finds arising from the Victorian redevelopment of London.