"The Painted Savages of England" 
by Pastor Alban Heath
The substance of the following pages was given as a lecture at
The College, Harrow Weald Park. In issuing the lecture in printed
form as a Handbook I have thought it advisable to give in full
the speeches of Caradoc, Boadicea and Galgacus. This was not
possible in a single lecture; but it is only by reading these
noble utterances in full that we can visualize the circumstances
and appreciate the lofty sentiments expressed therein. Further,
as some readers may not have at hand the works of Tacitus (the
Roman historian of the first century A.D. - Keith Hunt) from
which the extracts are taken, it seemed best to give what I have
given here.
While this little book does nothing more than bring together in
compact form information with which most students of History are
familiar, it may be that to some the information will come as new
and useful.
If this book should prove to be of service to those who are
seeking to spread the truth, it will serve the purpose intended.
It is only as our message is based upon established facts that we
can hope to succeed in enlightening those "who sit in darkness."
I have not thought it necessary to labour the distinction between
British and English. It enough to show that this land was blessed
with culture long before the coming of the English and with
Christianity long before the arrival of Augustine.
WHEN toward the end of August 55 B.C.(1) Caesar and his legions
landed on the shores of Kent, "they saw the beach crowded with
horses and chariots, and skin-clad, blue-dyed infantry armed with
pointless swords, and uttering shouts of defiance," says
Sanderson.(2) Thus does the painted savage theory perpetuate
It is based on the description of Julius Caesar. 
Caesar was in Gaul(France). Finding a little time hanging on his
hands, Caesar resolved to visit England, "Having spent
altogether eighteen days beyond the Rhine, and thinking he had
advanced far enough to serve both honour and interest, (Caesar)
returned into Gaul, and cut down the bridge." (3) "During the
short part of summer which remained Caesar . . . resolved to
proceed to Britain."(4) He came with about eighty ships and two
legions, but more ships and soldiers were in the offing. It was
intended as a flying visit only for they came without baggage.(5)
As the autumn equinox drew near, i.e. about september 23rd,
1. The date war probably several years earlier, but this is the
date given by Sanderson.
2. History of England and the British Empire, p.5. 
3. The Gallic War, iv, 19.
4  Ibid, 20.   
5. Ibid, 30.
Caesar was anxious to get away again and returned to France under
cover of night.(1)
It was too brief a visit to learn much, and his critics of a
generation or so later seem to have made merry over his
adventure. They said the visit "tended to the advantage neither
of the general nor of Rome, beyond the mere extension of the
empire."(2) It was said he came to find pearls; instead of
pearls he found painted savages.
This was a short visit, and there was not time to learn much. But
Caesar learned one or two things that apparently affected his
plans for a second visit.
The following year Caesar came again. This time he brought with
him five legions, i.e. 30,000 soldiers (or if we accept Gibbon's
findings on the strength of the legion, 63,000 men (3) "a number
of horse equal in number to that which he had left on the
continent," namely 2,000, and 800 ships.(4)
Things did not go well after landing. A fierce storm played havoc
with his fleet. About 40 ships were lost, and most of the others
were damaged.(5) Under these circumstances, Caesar suspended
military operations, set his soldiers to mend the boats, while he
himself beguiled the weary hours of waiting by writing a
description of the country he had not seen and in delineating the
character of the men he had come to conquer. He  came, he saw, he
described. He wrote:
1. The Gallic War, 36.   
2. Ibid., 2 1, footnote.
3. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol.1, p.20.
Bohn's Libraries.
4. Caesar, Gallic War, v.8.   
5. Ibid., v.11
"Most of the inland inhabitants do not sow corn, but live on milk
and flesh and are clad with skins. All the Britains, indeed, dye
themselves with wood,(1) which occasions a bluish colour, and
have a more terrible appearance in fight."(2) 
Of course, we are greatly indebted to Caesar for placing on
record much that he wrote, but in utter disregard of an abundance
of evidence to the contrary writers of History have perpetuated
the painted savage fallacy on such slender evidence as the above,
the evidence of one who had advanced no further than Kent, and
had such little knowledge of the people whom he describes.
"A kind of conquest Caesar made here; but made not here his brag
of came and saw and overcame."(3)
It is my purpose to lay before you some of the evidence which    
shows that the painted savage idea is not only a fallacy; it is a
libel on a people boasting a high state of civilisation and a
proud degree of culture. Designedly, I give extracts from the
works of others so that my theme may not rest on personal
conjecture. I begin with one of England's great law-givers,
MOLMUTIUS, of the fifth century B.C. I shall quote from
PREHISTORIC LONDON by E.O.Gordon, and I shall give the page
references as I proceed.
"The earliest historical record of Winton  (Winchester) as a
'Gorsedd,' i.e., a great seat of a monarch and a seat of
government, is In 500 B.C.,
1. This is evidently a typographical error for "woad"
2. Caesar, Gallic War, v.14
3. Cymbeline, iii, 1
when, according to local tradition, Dunwal Molmutius made Winton
his capital." (p.83) "Molmutius' name and fame is more especially
associated with the traditions of Winton (Winchester), the
southern capital where his merits have been publicly recognised.
As a roadmaker we have his work in the seven converging roads
like the spokes of a wheel in the old White City; three of these
roads centred in London. For that Londinium was only second in
importance is exemplified by Winton and London being the only
places shown on an Anglo-Saxon map of the world preserved among
the muniments of Hereford Cathedral."(p.142)
The following selection from the Triads of Molmutius will give
some idea of his laws:
"There are three tests of Civil Liberty: equality of rights -
equality of taxation - freedom to come and go."
"There are three civil birthrights of every Briton: the right to
go wherever he pleases - the right, wherever he is, to protection
from his land and sovereign - the right of equal privileges and
equal restrictions."
"There are three sacred things by which the conscience binds
itself to truth: the name of God - the rod of him who offers up
prayers to God - the joined right hand."
"There are three persons who have a right to public maintenance:
the old - the babe - the foreigner who cannot speak the British
"The Bryn Gwyn (i.e., White Hill or Mound, 
where the Tower of London now stands) in Caesar's time, we should
remember, was still in its original condition, simply a green
conical mound, with no building whatever upon it, consecrated to
the service of the Most High, and venerated as the burial place
of two of the most illustrious of our pre-historic British kings,
Brutus, the reputed founder of London, and Molmutius, the 'Solon'
of Britain." (p.154)
"From Barddas ,being a collection of original documents
illustrative of the Theology, Wisdom and Usages of the
Bardo-Druidic system published by the Welsh MSS. Society in 1852)
we now learn that the Druidic Gorsedd Laws were incorporated by
the British King Dunwal Molmutius, who lived in the fifth century
B.C., in his famous code." (p.165)
After research in the British Museum, Mr. Harrison Hill writes:
"The Laws of Dunvallo Molmutius, sixteenth king of the Britons,
who reigned above 400 years before the birth of Christ. These
were the first published laws in Britain, and together with those
of Queen Mercia, were translated by Gildas into Latin (Usher's
'Primord.' 126, quoted in Wharton's 'Law Lexicon,' xiiith Edition
(1925), p.569). The same information plus an important statement
appears in 'The Law Dictionary': 'These laws were famous in this
land till the time of William the Conqueror. They were translated
out of the British into the Latin tongue'!"(1)
1 Appendix 'H', in The Post-Captivity Names of Israel, Dr. Goard,
p. 119.
Spencer sang the praises of Molmutius, and SHAKESPEARE puts into
the mouth of Cymbeline these words:
"Say, then, to Caesar,
Our ancestor was that Mulmutius which 
Ordained our laws, whose use the sword of Caesar 
Hath too much mangled; whose repair and
Shall, by the power we hold, be our good deed, 
Though Rome be therefore angry: Mulmutius made our laws,
Who was the first of Britain which did put His brows within a
golden crown and call'd Himself a king."
Cymbeline,Act iii, scene i
A system of jurisprudence implies a standard of education. Before
a man can originate, or codify, a set of laws he requires a
degree of culture commensurate with the task he undertakes.
Further, a degree of culture is implied among the governed. One
of the problems which confronts us in the government of untutored
Natives is their lack of knowledge of the meaning of the law
which is designed for their good. Since Molmutius promulgated
laws which survived for at least fifteen hundred years we are
bound to infer a state of education far removed from the level of
painted savages.
Have we any evidence of such education? We 
certainly have. For untold and unknown centuries the Druids had
operated in this land. and our INCREASING KNOWLEDGE of them bears
witness to their culture. 
(One book I have in my library on the Druids is by Peter
Berresford Ellis - one of the greatest experts on the Druids
alive today. The amount of research he has done on the Druids
makes him one of the foremost experts on the subject. Yes, the
Druids did believe in the "immortal soul" idea, but what they
taught and believed, their standard of education etc. is FAR
removed from the little bit of "slanted" writing sometimes put
forth by the Worldwide Church of God writers of the past - Keith
In describing the Druids of Gaul, a description which applies
equally to the Druids in England, in England, Caesar says: 
"The former (Druids) are engaged in things sacred, conduct the
public and private sacrifices, and interpret all matters of
religion. To these a large number of the young men resort for the
purpose of instruction, and they (the Druids) are in great honour
among them. For they determine respecting almost all
controversies, public and private; and if any crime has been
perpetrated, if murder has been committed, if there be any
dispute about an inheritance, if any about boundaries, these same
persons decide it. . . ." "The Druids do not go to war.... They
(scholars) are said there to learn by heart a great number of
verses; accordingly some remain in the course of training twenty
years. Nor do they regard it lawful to commit these to
writing.... "(1)
Turning from Caesar to a recent work on the subject we find
supporting evidence.(2) Mr. Dudley Wright has produced a large
and scholarly volume on Druidism from which I shall now quote,
giving the page references as I proceed:
"In Britain, the Druidical order is said to have numbered
thirty-one seats of education, each being a Cyfiath, or City, 
the capital of a tribe." (p.5)
1. Gallic War, vi, 13,14.
2. Druidism, The Ancient Faith of Britain, Dudley Wright,1924.
"Repentance and purification were regarded by the Druids as
necessary duties. They observed one day in seven as peculiarly
sanctified and made holy by the Great Creator, and they were wont
to dedicate one-tenth of all their substance to religious
purposes." (p.55)
"They were monogamists and of the highest morality." (p.56)
"The period of novitiate and the character of the training of an
aspirant to the Druidical priesthood ... lasted for twenty
years." (p.60)
"Four degrees were conferred during the long novitiate; the first
being given after three years study in the arts of poetry and
music, if the candidate, by his capacity and diligence, merited
the honour. The second was conferred after six years further
study, if merited; the third after a further nine years study;
and the final degree, equal to a doctorate, was bestowed two
years later on the completion of the twenty years course." 
"Before an aspirant to the priesthood could attain to that
exalted rank, he had to pass through the two preliminary and
definite degrees of Bard and Vate, or Ovate." (p.75)
"The first requisite for admission as a disciple was
unimpeachable moral character, for it was indispensably necessary
that the candidate, above all things, should be above any
criticism as to character and conduct." (p.76)
"Afterwards their calling came to be held in such high esteem
that they were maintained at the expense of the state." (p.76)
"Nine years was generally sufficient for graduation as a Bard,
but his education was not considered complete, for the purposes
of this graduation, until he had committed to memory 20,000
verses containing, in allegorical language, the tenets of the
Druidical faith." (p.79)
"From the Triads of Dynwal Moelmud, who is said to have written -
about four hundred years before the Christian era, we learn that:
'There are three distinguished characters of the art of Bardism.
First, the chief Bard or the free privileged Bard, who obtains
his dignity and privilege through discipline under a master duly
authorised, being a conventional bard. He must preserve every
record of the arts and sciences whilst he should continue in his
office of Bard regularly inducted in dignity and privilege. He
must also keep every record and memorial of the country and tribe
respecting marriage, pedigrees, arms, inheritances, and
privileges of the country and tribe of the Cambrians.' " (p.85)
Thus, that we have abundant evidence to show that a high state of
culture existed in this land centuries before Caesar dubbed the
people as painted savages. Unfortunately, the Druids did not
favour writing , and consequently their works have not come, down
to us.
(This is now dismissed as in-correct, for when Christianity
became the state religion of Britain in the 2nd century A.D. some
of Druid teachings and beliefs etc. were written down - Keith
Hunt).  But we see in the amazing feats of memory a strong
argument in favour of the truth of those traditions which have
come down to us through the ages. As stated above Mr.Ellis is
today regarded as the foremost authority on the Druids and what
he has written about them would shock most people who have not
studied the subject of the Druids or have only read or heard
"slanted" and/or "twisted" ideas from ones who also have never
studied the subject in any depth - Keith Hunt)
If the Druids left no tomes of learning to show  to posterity the
nature and extent of their learning, they left a noble race of
people whose courage in
face of difficulty, whose conduct in the presence of the foe,
whose dignified bearing in the day of adversity is to their
eternal honour, and bears witness to the quality of that
instruction and training they had received at the hands of the
Fortunately, most of the work of the Roman historian, TACITUS    
has come down to us and bears witness to his own industry and to
the immortal fame of those noble Britons who withstood the 
onslaughts of the Roman legions.
TACITUS flourished C.A.D. 55-120, so that he was not far removed
in time from the events he so GRAPHICALLY describes in his pages.
First, let us take his account of the epic struggle Caradoc, or
Caractacus to give him his Roman name, and the Roman legions
between A.D.49 and A.D.54.


TACITUS (the Roman Historian of first century A.D.)
PAGE 10 continued
These arrangements settled, Ostorius marched against the Silures.
To their natural ferocity that people added the courage which
they now derived from the presence of Caractacus. Renowned for
his valour, and for various turns of good and evil fortune, that
heroic chief had spread his fame through the island. His
knowledge of the country, and his skill in all the wiles and
stratagems of savage warfare, gave him many advantages; but he
could not hope with inferior numbers to make a stand against a
disciplined army. He therefore marched into the territory
of the Orovicians,(1) Having there drawn to his standard all who
considered peace with Rome as
1. The people of North Wales.
another name for slavery, he determined to try the issue of a
battle. For this purpose he chose a spot where the approach and
the retreat were difficult to the enemy, and to himself every way
advantageous. He took post in a situation defended by steep and
craggy hills. In some places where the mountains opened, and the
acclivity afforded an easy ascent, he fortified the spot with
massy stones, heaped together in the form of a rampart. A river,
with fords and shallows of uncertain depth, washed the extremity
of the plain. On the outside of his fortifications, a vast body
of troops showed themselves in force, and in order of battle.
The chieftains of various nations were busy in every quarter.
They rushed along the ranks, they exhorted their men; they roused
the timid; confirmed the brave; and, by hopes, by promises, by
every generous motive, inflamed the ardour of their troops.
Caractacus, was seen in every part of the field; he darted along 
the lines; he exclaimed aloud, 'This day, my fellow-warriors,
this very day, decides the fate of Britain. The era of liberty,
or eternal bondage, begins from this hour. Remember your brave
and warlike ancestors, who met Julius Caesar in open combat,
and chased him from the coast of Britain. They were the men who
freed their country from a foreign yoke; who delivered, the land
from taxations, imposed at the will of a master; who banished
from your sight the fasces and  the Roman axes; and, above all, 
who rescued your wives and daughters from violation. The soldiers
received his speech with shouts of applause. With a spirit of
enthusiastic valour, each individual bound himself by the form of
oath peculiar to his nation, (Tacitus here uses "nation" for what
we would say "clan" - Keith Hunt) to brave every danger, and
prefer death to slavery.
The intrepid countenance of the Britons, and the spirit that
animated their whole army, struck Ostorius with astonishment. He
saw a river to be passed; a palisade to be forced; a steep hill
to be surmounted; and the several posts defended by a prodigious
multitude. The soldiers, not-with-standing, burned with
impatience for the onset. All things give way to valour, was the
general cry. The tribunes and other officers seconded the ardour
of the men. Ostorius reconnoitred the ground, and having marked
where the defiles were impenetrable, or easy of approach, gave
the signal for the attack. The river was passed with little 
difficulty. The Romans advanced to the parapet. The struggle
there was obstinate, and as long as it was fought with missive
weapons, the Britons had the advantage. Ostorius ordered his men
to advance under a military shell, and level the pile of stones
that served as a fence to the enemy. A close engagement followed.
The Britons abandoned their ranks, and fled with precipitation to
the ridge of the hills. The Romans pursued with eagerness. Not
only the light troops, but even the legionary soldiers forced
their way to the summit of the hills, under a shower of darts.
The Britons, having neither breast-plates nor helmets, were not
able to maintain the conflict. The legions, sword in hand, or
with their javelins, bore down all before them. The auxiliaries,
with their spears and sabres, made prodigious havoc. The victory
was decisive. The wife and daughter of Caractacus were taken
prisoner. His brother surrendered at discretion. Caractacus fled
for protection to Cartismandua, queen of the Brigantes. But
adversity has no friends. By that princess he was loaded with
irons and delivered up to the conqueror. He had WAGED WAR with
the ROMANS during the last NINE years. His FAME was not confined
to his native island; it passed into the provinces, and spread
all over Italy. Curiosity was eager to behold the heroic
chieftain who, for such a length of time, made HEADWAY against a
great and powerful empire. Even at ROME the name of CARACTACUS
was in HIGH celebrity. The Emperor, willing to magnify the glory
of the conquest, bestowed the praise on the valour of the
vanquished king. He assembled the people to behold a spectacle
worthy of their view. In the field before the camp the praetorian
bands were drawn up under arms. The followers of the British
Chief walked in procession. The military accoutrements, the
harness and rich collars, which he had gained in various
battles, were displayed with pomp. The wife of Caractacus, his   
and his, brother, followed next. He himself closed the melancholy
train. The rest of the prisoners, struck with terror, descended
to mean and abject supplications. Caractacus alone was superior
to misfortune. With a countenances still unaltered, not a symptom
of fear appearing, no sorrow, no
condescension, he behaved with dignity even in ruin. Being placed
before the Tribunal he delivered himself in the following manner:
"If to the nobility of my birth, and the splendour of exalted
station, I had united the virtues of moderation, Rome had beheld
me not in captivity, but a royal visitor and a friend. The
alliance of a prince, descended from an illustrious line of
ancestors; a prince, whose sway extended over many nations, would
not have been unworthy of your choice. A reverse of fortune is
now the lot of Caractacus. The event to you is glorious, and to
me humiliating. I had arms, men and horses; I had wealth in
abundance; can you wonder that I was unwilling to lose them? The
ambition of Rome aspires to universal dominion; and must mankind,
by consequence, stretch their necks to the yoke? I stood at bay
for years; had I acted otherwise where, on your part, had been
the glory of conquest, and where, on mine, the honour of a brave
resistance? I am now in your power; if you are bent on vengeance,
execute your purpose; the bloody scene will soon be over, and the
name of Caractacus will sink into oblivion. Preserve my life, and
I shall be, to late posterity,a monument of Roman clemency."
Claudius GRANTED HIM A FREE PARDON, and the same to his wife, his
daughter and his brother. Released from their fetters, they
advanced to another tribunal near at hand, where Agrippina showed
herself in state. They returned thanks to her, and paid their
veneration in the same style as they had before addressed to the
The sight was altogether new. A woman, stationed amidst the
ensigns and the armies of Rome, presented a spectacle unknown to
the old republic; but in an Empire acquired by the valour of her
ancestors Agrippina claimed an equal share.
At the next meeting of the senate, the victory over Caractacus
was mentioned with the highest applause, as an event no way
inferior to what had been seen in ancient times, when Publius
Scipio brought Syphax in chains to Rome; when Lucius Paulus led
Perses in captivity; and when other commanders exhibited to the
Roman people kings and princes at their chariot-wheels." (Annals,
xii, 33-38).
Caradoc proved himself a foe worthy of the highly disciplined
Romans. For nine years he had defied them. 
His speech before the Roman Tribunal was a noble deliverance
which would do credit to the noblest in the land today.
We have seen the spirit of the people of the West: we have seen
the nobility of the man, Caradoc; now let us look at the quality
and spirit of a noble woman, BOADICEA. The following incident
took place, according to TACITUS, during the period A.D. 59-62.
".... While the Britons were preparing to throw off the yoke, the
statue of victory, 
erected at Camalodunum, fell from its base without any apparent
cause, and lay extended on the ground with its face averted, as
if the goddess yielded to the enemies of Rome. Women in restless
ecstacy rushed among the people, and with frantic screams
denounced impending ruin. In the council chamber of the Romans,
hideous clamours were heard in a foreign accent; savage howlings
filled the theatre, and near the mouth of the Thames the image of
a colony in ruins was seen in the transparent water; the sea was
purpled with blood, and at the tide of ebb, the figures of human
bodies were traced in the sand. By these appearances the Romans
were sunk in despair while the Britons anticipated a glorious
victory. Suetonius, in the meantime, was detained in the Isle of
Mona. In this alarming crisis, the veterans sent to Catus
Decianus, the procurator of the province, for a reinforcement.
Two hundred men, and those not completely armed, were all that
officer could spare. The colony had but a handful of soldiers.
Their temple was strongly fortified, and there they hoped to make
a stand. But even for the defence of that place, no measures were
concerted. Secret enemies mixed in all their deliberations. No
fosse was made, no palisade thrown up; nor were the women and
such as were disabled by age or infirmity, sent out of the
garrison. Unguarded and unprepared, they were taken by surprise
and, in the moment of profound peace, overpowered by the
Barbarians in one general assault. The colony was laid waste with
fire and sword.
The temple held out, but, after a siege of two days, was taken by
storm. Petilius Cerealis, who commanded the ninth legion, marched
to the relief of the place. The Britons, flushed with success,
advanced to give him battle. The legion was put to the rout, and
the infantry cut to pieces. Cerealis escaped with the cavalry to
his entrenchments. Catus Decianus, the procurator of the
province, alarmed at the scene of carnage which he beheld on
every side, and further dreading the indignation of a people,
whom by rapine and oppression he had driven to despair, betook
himself to flight and crossed over into Gaul.
Suetonius, undismayed by this disaster, marched through the heart
of the country as far as London, a place not dignified with the
name of a colony, but the chief residence of merchants, and the
great mart of trade and commerce. At that place he meant to fix
the seat of war; but, reflecting on the scanty numbers of his
little army and the fatal rashness of Cerealis, he resolved to
quit that station and, by giving up one post, secure the rest of
the province. Neither supplications nor the tears of the
inhabitants could induce him to change his plan. The signal for
the march was given. All who chose to follow his banners were
taken under his protection. Of all who, on account of their
advanced age, the weakness of their sex, or the attractions of
the situation, thought proper to remain behind not one escaped
the rage of the Barbarians. The inhabitants of Verulamium,(Now
St.Albans)) a municipal town, were in like manner put to the
sword. The genius of a savage people leads them always in quest
of plunder; and, accordingly, the Britons left behind them all
places of strength. Wherever they expected feeble resistance and
considerable booty, there they were sure to attack with the
fiercest rage.
Military skill was not the talent of Barbarians. The number
massacred in the places which have been mentioned, amounted to no
less than SEVENTY thousand, all citizens or allies of Rome. To
make prisoners and reserve them for slavery or to exchange them
was not in the idea of a people who despised all the laws of war.
The halter and the gibbet, slaughter and desolation, fire and
sword were the marks of savage valour. Aware that vengeance would
overtake them, they were resolved to make sure of their revenge
and glut themselves with the blood of their enemies.
The fourteenth legion, with the veterans of the twentieth and the
auxiliaries from the adjacent stations, having joined Suetonius,
his army amounted to little less than 10,000 men. Thus
reinforced, he resolved without loss of time to bring on a
decisive action. For this purpose he chose a spot encircled with
woods, narrow at the entrance and sheltered in the rear by a
thick forest. In that situation he had no fear of an ambuscade.
The enemy, he knew, had no approach but in front. An open plain
lay before him. He drew up his men in the following order: the
legions in close array formed the centre; the light-armed troops
were stationed at hand to serve as occasion might require; the
cavalry took
post in the wings. The Britons brought into the field an
incredible multitude. They formed no regular line of battle.
Detached parties and loose battalions displayed their numbers in
frantic transport bounding with exultation, and so sure of
victory, that they placed their wives in waggons at the
extremities of the plain where they might survey the scene of
action and behold the wonders of British valour.
Boadicea in a warlike car, with her two daughters before her,
drove through the ranks. She harangued the different
nations(clans) in their turn 'This,' she said, 'is not the first
time that the Britons have been led to battle by a woman.' But
now she did not come to boast the pride of a long line of
ancestry, not even to recover her kingdom and the plundered
wealth of her family. She took the field, like the meanest among
them, to assert the cause of public liberty, and to seek revenge
for her body seamed with ignominious stripes and her two
daughters infamously ravished. 'From the pride and arrogance of
the Romans nothing is sacred; all are subject to violation; the
old endure the scourge and the virgins are deflowered. But the
vindictive gods are now at hand.' A Roman legion dared to face
the warlike Britons; with their lives they paid for their
rashness; those who survived the carnage of that day lie poorly
hid behind their entrenchments, meditating nothing but how to
save themselves by ignominious flight. From the din of
preparation and the shouts of the British army the Romans even
now shrink back with terror. 'What
will be their case when the assault begins? Look round and view
your numbers. Behold the proud display of warlike spirits and
consider the motives for which we draw the avenging sword. On
this spot we must either conquer, or die with glory. There is no
alternative. Though a woman, my resolution is fixed; the men, if
they please may survive with infamy, and live in bondage.'"
(Annals, xiv, 32-35).
In the final onslaught the Romans overwhelmed Boadicea, but not
until they had lost 400 men. Rather than fall into the hands of
her enemies Boadicea committed suicide.(Annals, xiv,37).
A noble Roman matron who committed suicide rather than surrender
her virtue to the call of lust earned the praise of posterity.
Shall we blame Boadicea for doing likewise? To us, at this remote
day, it may seem that her wild words and her ferocious deeds are
far removed from those standards we seek to inculcate; but we
must not overlook the insults to her womanhood and the outrage to
her maternal instincts that had driven her to frenzy.
     "Princess! if our aged eyes
     Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 
     'Tis because resentment ties
     All the terrors of our tongues." 
     (Boadicea, by William Cowper).
On the theory of the painted savage less might have been expected
of her than of the Romans. When we have said the most and the
worst we can 
against her we are left with the solid fact that she was brave
enough to pit the strength of a British Queen against the might
of the Roman legions.
The lines of William Cowper were prophetic:
     "Regions Caesar never knew, 
     Thy posterity shall sway, 
     Where his eagles never flew, 
     None invincible as they." 
We have taken a sample of the manhood of the West and a sample of
the womanhood of the East. We conclude this section with a sample
of the manhood of the North.
From "Life of Agricola," chapters xxix-xxxii
"Among the Chieftains a distinguished by their birth and
valour the most renowned was, Galgacus. The multitude gathered
round him eager for action and burning with uncommon ardour. He
harangued them to the following effect: 
'When I consider the motives that have roused us to this war;
when I reflect on the necessity that now demands our finest
vigour, I expect everything great and noble from that union of
sentiment that pervades us all. From this day I date the freedom
of Britain. We are the men who never crouched in bondage. Beyond
this spot there is no land where liberty can find a refuge. Even
the sea is shut against us, while the Roman fleet is hovering on
the coast. To draw the sword in the cause of freedom is the true
glory of the brave, and, in our condition, cowardice itself would
throw away the scabbard. In the battles, which have been hitherto
fought with alternate
vicissitudes of fortune, our countrymen might well repose some
hopes in us; they might consider us as their last resource; they
knew us to be the noblest sons of Britain, placed in the last
recesses of the land, in the very sanctuary of liberty (the land
area we call Northern England and Scotland today - Keith Hunt).
We have not so much as seen the melancholy regions where slavery
has debased mankind. We have lived in freedom, and our eyes have
been un-polluted by the sight of ignoble bondage.
The extremity of the earth is ours: defended by our situation, we
have to this day preserved our honour and the rights of men. But
we are no longer safe in our obscurity; our retreat is laid open;
the enemy rushes on, and, as things unknown are ever magnified,
he thinks a mighty conquest lies before him. But this is the end
of the habitable world, and rocks and brawling waves fill all the
space behind. The ROMANS are in the HEART of our country; no
submission can satisfy their pride; no concessions can appease
their fury. While the land has anything left, it is the theatre
of war; when it can yield no more, they explore the sea for
hidden treasure. Are the nations rich, Roman avarice is their
enemy. Are they poor, Roman ambition lords it over them. The east
and the west have been rifled, and the spoiler is still
insatiate. The Romans, by a strange singularity of nature, are
the only people who invade, with equal ardour, the wealth and the
poverty of nations. To rob, to ravish, and to murder, in their
imposing language, are the arts of civil policy. When they have
made the world a solitude they call it peace.
Our children and relatives are dear to us all. It is an affection
planted in our breast by the hand of nature. And yet those tender
pledges are ravished from us to serve in distant lands. Are our
wives, our sisters and our daughters safe from brutal lust and
open violation? The insidious conqueror, under the mask of
hospitality and friendship, brands them with dishonour. Our money
is conveyed into their treasury, and our corn into their
granaries. Our limbs and bodies are worn out in clearing woods
and draining marshes; and what have been our wages? Stripes and
insult. The lot of the meanest slave, born in servitude, is
preferable to ours. He is sold but once, and his master maintains
him; but Britain every day invites new tyrants, and every day
pampers their pride. In a private family a slave who is last
bought in provokes the mirth and ridicule of the whole domestic
crew; and in this general servitude, to which Rome has reduced
the world, the case is the same: we are treated at first as
objects of derision and then marked out for destruction.
What better lot can we expect? We have no arable lands to
cultivate for a master; no mines to dig for his avarice; no
harbours to improve for his commerce. To what end should the
conqueror spare us? Our virtue and undaunted spirit are crimes in
the eyes of the conqueror, and will render us more obnoxious. Our
remote situation, higherto the retreat of freedom, and do that
account the more suspected, will only serve do inflame the
jealousy of our enemies. we must
expect no mercy. Let us therefore dare like men. We all are
summoned by the great call of nature; not only those who know the
value of liberty, but even such as think life on any terms the
dearest blessing. The Trinobantes,(The people of Essex under
Boadicea) who had only a woman to lead them on, were able to
carry fire and sword through a whole colony. They stormed, the
camps of the enemy and, if success had not intoxicated them, they
had been, beyond all doubt, the deliverers of their country. And
shall not we, unconquered and undebased by slavery, a nation ever
free, and struggling now, not to recover but to ensure our
Shall we not, by one generous effort, show the Romans, that we
are the men whom Caledonia has reserved to be assertors of the
public weal?
We know the manners of the Romans: and are we to imagine that
their valour in the field is equal to their arrogance in time of
peace? By our dissensions their glory rises; the vices of their
enemies are the negative virtues of the Roman army; if that may
be called an army which is no better than a MOTLEY CREW OF
the Roman army was not so much "Italians" - who are in the main a
small in stature people, but an army of hired tribes of europe,
especially the Germanic clans - Keith Hunt), and ready to crumble
away in the first reverse of fortune. That this will be their
fate, no one can doubt, unless we suppose that the Gaul, the
German and (with shame I add) the Britons, a mercenary band, who
hire their blood in a foreign service (yes, this Northern British
leader knew the Roman army was a bunch of "hired" guns - Keith
Hunt) will adhere from principle to a new master whom they have
lately served and long detested. They are now enlisted 
by awe and terror; break their fetters, and the man who forgets
to fear will seek revenge.
All that can inspire the human heart, every motive that can
excite us to deeds of valour, is on our side. The field to
animate their drooping spirit; no parents to reproach their want
of courage. They are not listed in the cause of their country;
their country, if any they have, lies at a distance. They are a
band of mercenaries, a wretched handful of devoted men, who
tremble and look aghast, as they roll their eyes around and see
on every side objects unknown before. The sky over their heads,
the sea, the woods, all things conspire to fill them with doubt
and terror. They come like victims delivered into our hands by
the gods, to fall this day a sacrifice to freedom. 
In the ensuing battle(about A.D.83) be not deceived by false
appearances; the glitter of gold and silver may dazzle the eye;
but to us it is harmless, to the Romans no protection. In their
own ranks we shall find a number of generous warriors ready to
assist our cause.
The Britons know that for common liberties we draw the avenging
sword. The Gauls will remember that they once were a free people,
and the Germans, as the Usipians lately did, will desert their
colours. The Romans have left nothing in their rear to oppose us
in the pursuit; their forts are ungarrisoned; the veterans in
their colonies droop with age; in their municipal towns nothing
but anarchy, despotic government, and disaffected subjects. In me
behold your 
general. Behold an army of free-born men. Your enemy is before
you, and, in his train, heavy tributes, drudgery in the mines,
and all the horrors of slavery. Are those calamities to be
entailed upon us? Or shall this day relieve us by a brave
revenge? There is the field of battle, and let that determine.
Let us seek the enemy and, as we rush upon him, remember the
glory delivered down to us by our ancestors; and let each man
think that upon his sword depends the fate of all posterity
(Wowww...what a speech from the northern leader of the British
against the army of Rome - Keith Hunt).
The Caledonians were driven back, BUT the Romans never penetrated
far into Scotland (What the writer failed to mention is that this
was so much true, that Rome could NOT TAME THE MIGHTY SCOTTISH
PEOPLE, and in the second century A.D. the Roman general Adrian
had to build a WALL across Northern England, which became known
in history as "Adrian's Wall" - to keep at bay the Scottish
armies - Keith Hunt).
I have given these extracts at length, because isolated sentences
fail to convey the real significance of the incidents. We see
from the above that in Wales, England and Scotland the leaders
were animated by the same noble sentiments.
"After a war of about forty years, undertaken by the most stupid,
maintained by the most dissolute, and terminated by the most
timid of all the emperors, the far greater part of the island
submitted to the Roman yoke," says Gibbon (Decline and fall of
the Roman Empire, vol.1, p.4. Bohn's Libraries).
But the judgment is NOT ENDORSED by TACITUS:
"Even Julius Caesar, the first of the Romans who set his foot in
Britain at the head of an army, can only be said by a prosperous
battle to have struck the natives with terror and to have made
himself MASTER of the SEASHORE. The discoverer, NOT the CONQUEROR
of the island, he did no more than show it to austerity. Rome could NOT boast of a
CONQUEST." (Life of Agricola, xiii).
"When Britain with the rest of the Roman world, fell to the lot
of Vespasian, the ablest officers were sent to reduce the island;
powerful armies were set in motion, and the spirit of the natives
began to droop. In order to spread a general terror, Petilius
Cerealis fell with sudden fury on the Brigantes. . . ." (Ibid,
These extracts make it abundantly clear that the Romans did
NOT make the mistake of UNDERRATING the prowess of the Britons.
They recognized that the Britons were foes WORTHY of the BEST
ROMAN STEEL. In NO SENSE was Britain CONQUERED either by Caesar
or his successors. at best the Romans only OCCUPIED this land.
     "This England never did, nor never shall,
     Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
     But when it first did help to wound itself.
     Come the three corners of the world in arms, 
     And we shall shock them: nought shall make us rue,
     If England to itself do rest but true. "
     (Shakespeare, King John, v.7)