Monday, 2 March 2015


Society of Antiquaries of London. Burlington House
photo: Tony Hisgett
Early this morning, I received an email from Vincent Megaw saying that I have been elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Vincent had nominated me just over a year ago.

While I am both very thankful for the nomination and the votes, and proud of the result, I am finding the experience rather humbling. I started to think about the word fellowship. I could take this word in its focused meaning as recognition of one's peers, but a fellowship is really about what connects people. Sir John Evans was the president of the Society of Antiquaries (1885-1892), but he was also the father of British Celtic numismatics and lobbied heavily to have finders of coins and antiquities rewarded with the full value under the Treasure Trove laws of the time as it would better encourage better reporting of finds.

There is also one of those strange coincidences connected with the election. A very long time ago, my maternal grandfather and a great influence on my life, Louis A. Neale, had also been waiting for the results of an election at Burlington House. It was not for an FSA at the Society of Antiquaries, but an RA at the Royal Academy in the same building. He was an artist, and one of his paintings had been accepted at one of their exhibitions. Sadly, he was not awarded the R.A. but in that time the holders of that title were restricted to only forty living people.

With a fellowship, as with life, we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Tomorrow, remembering Sheppard Frere (1916-2015).


  1. Congratulations John. Well deserved.

    Sir John Evans would have fully approved of our PAS and current Treasure Trove legislation.


    John Howland

    1. As would have Henry Mossop who imported one of the first metal detectors into England and to whom many early detectorists reported their finds that became part of his collection of Celtic coins.

      Thanks, John


  2. Very good news, John indeed...nice to see an award given to the right person for the right reason. Congratulations and much admiration! - Jim

  3. Thank you, James, much appreciated!

  4. Wow! I only just came across this. Sincere congratulations, John!