A Secret Code at Shugborough Hall?

Authors

  • Duncan Fishwick University of Alberta

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/rsth.v30i1.83

Keywords:

Shugborough, secret code, funerary monument, Latin abbreviations, Anson

Abstract

A well known monument at Shugborough Hall, Shropshire, U.K., preserves a marble reproduction by Peter Scheemakers of Nicolas Poussin’s famous painting “Les Bergers d’Arcadie”. Below the engraving appear the letters O U O S V A V V together with A and and O at either end, slightly lowered. Whereas professional cryptographers have treated these letters as a secret code, they are best interpreted as standard abbreviations of common Latin words that might be expanded as follows: D(is) M(anibus) O(ptimae) U(xoris) O(ssa) S(ita) V(ices) A(gens) V(t) V(overat) or V(otum) A(nimo) V(t) V(overat) The possibility remains that the Anson brothers, on whose estate the monument stands, were involved in secret societies.

Author Biography

Duncan Fishwick, University of Alberta

Duncan Fishwick is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Published

2012-03-05

How to Cite

Fishwick, D. (2012). A Secret Code at Shugborough Hall?. Religious Studies and Theology, 30(1), 83–100. https://doi.org/10.1558/rsth.v30i1.83

Issue

Section

Articles