Date of this Version
Much debated is the authorship of The Most Notable Antiquity of Great Britain, Vulgarly Called Stone-Heng, on Salisbury Plain, Restored by Inigo Jones (London, 1655) for a number of reasons. Firstly, the book was published three years after Jones’s death, who was Surveyor for Prince Henry, King James I, and King Charles I. Secondly, it presented an erroneous interpretation that Stonehenge was a Roman temple dedicated to Coelus. Thirdly, John Webb, Jones’s assistant since 1628, claimed that he himself “compose[d] this Treatise” from the master’s “some few indigested notes.” By comparing the printed sources the book cited and those we have known Jones read the present author has examined the nature of the likely contributions Jones and Webb each made to the publication: Jones was often responsible in constructing an argument and supporting it with printed sources, while Webb provided bibliographical details. Assigning the intellectual content of the book to Jones will expand our knowledge of his intellectual sources, both in terms of the number and the range of subjects: We can add forty-seven titles to the list of books Jones was familiar with, many on Greek, Roman, or British history and mythology, to the list of works with which Jones was familiar. Such an addition must revise the way we understand the architect, as it shifts our attention from visual images to written texts.