The next legible thing after the Greek signatures was the word “Romae, A.U.C.,” showing that the family had now migrated to Rome. Unfortunately, however, with the exception of its termination (evi) the date of their settlement there is for ever lost, for just where it had been placed a piece of the potsherd is broken away.
Then followed twelve Latin signatures, jotted about here and there, wherever there was a space upon the tile suitable to their inscription. These signatures, with three exceptions only, ended with the name “Vindex” or “the Avenger,” which seems to have been adopted by the family after its migration to Rome as a kind of equivalent to the Greek “Tisisthenes,” which also means an avenger. Ultimately, as might be expected, this Latin cognomen of Vindex was transformed first into De Vincey, and then into the plain, modern Vincey. It is very curious to observe how the idea of revenge, inspired by an Egyptian who lived before the time of Christ, is thus, as it were, embalmed in an English family name.
A few of the Roman names inscribed upon the sherd I have actually since found mentioned in history and other records. They were, if I remember right,
SEX. VARIVS MARVLLVS
this last being, of course, the name of a Roman lady.
The following list, however, comprises all the Latin names upon the sherd:—
C. CAECILIVS VINDEX
M. AIMILIVS VINDEX
SEX. VARIVS. MARVLLVS
Q. SOSIVS PRISCVS SENECIO VINDEX
L. VALERIVS COMINIVS VINDEX
SEX. OTACILIVS. M. F.
L. ATTIVS. VINDEX
C. FVFIDIVS. C. F. VINDEX
LABERIA POMPEIANA CONIVX MACRINI VINDICIS
MANILIA LVCILLA CONIVX MARVLLI VINDICIS
After the Roman names there is evidently a gap of very many centuries. Nobody will ever know now what was the history of the relic during those dark ages, or how it came to have been preserved in the family. My poor friend Vincey had, it will be remembered, told me that his Roman ancestors finally settled in Lombardy, and when Charlemagne invaded it, returned with him across the Alps, and made their home in Brittany, whence they crossed to England in the reign of Edward the Confessor. How he knew this I am not aware, for there is no reference to Lombardy or Charlemagne upon the tile, though, as will presently be seen, there is a reference to Brittany. To continue: the next entries on the sherd, if I may except a long splash either of blood or red colouring matter of some sort, consist of two crosses drawn in red pigment, and probably representing Crusaders’ swords, and a rather neat monogram ("D. V.”) in scarlet and blue, perhaps executed by that same Dorothea Vincey who wrote, or rather painted, the doggrel couplet. To the left of this, inscribed in faint blue, were the initials A. V., and after them a date, 1800.