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Title: Elizabethan England - From 'A Description of England,' by William Harrison
Author: Harrison, William
Language: English
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  OF CITIES AND TOWNS IN ENGLAND                               17


  OF GARDENS AND ORCHARDS                                      24


  OF FAIRS AND MARKETS                                         34






  OF THE FOOD AND DIET OF THE ENGLISH                          84


  OF OUR APPAREL AND ATTIRE                                   107




  OF PROVISION MADE FOR THE POOR                              122




  OF SUNDRY MINERALS AND METALS                               143


  OF CATTLE KEPT FOR PROFIT                                   151


  OF WILD AND TAME FOWLS                                      161


  OF SAVAGE BEASTS AND VERMIN                                 169




  OF FISH USUALLY TAKEN UPON OUR COASTS                       186


  OF QUARRIES OF STONE FOR BUILDING                           191


  OF WOODS AND MARSHES                                        196


  OF PARKS AND WARRENS                                        206


  OF PALACES BELONGING TO THE PRINCE                          215


  OF ARMOUR AND MUNITION                                      223


  OF THE NAVY OF ENGLAND                                      229




  OF UNIVERSITIES                                             248


    A.--HOLINSHED'S DEDICATION                                263

    B.--AN ELIZABETHAN SURVEY OF ENGLAND                      265

    C.--SOMEBODY'S QUARREL WITH HARRISON                      266

    D.--HARRISON'S CHRONOLOGY                                 266


I am unwilling to send out this _Harrison_, the friend of some twenty
years' standing, without a few words of introduction to those readers who
don't know it. The book is full of interest, not only to every Shakspere
student, but to every reader of English history, every man who has the
least care for his forefathers' lives. Though it does contain sheets of
padding now and then, yet the writer's racy phrases are continually
turning up, and giving flavour to his descriptions, while he sets before
us the very England of Shakspere's day. From its Parliament and
Universities, to its beggars and its rogues; from its castles to its huts,
its horses to its hens; from how the state was managd, to how Mrs. Wm.
Harrison (and no doubt Mrs. William Shakspere) brewd her beer; all is
there. The book is a deliberately drawn picture of Elizabethan England;
and nothing could have kept it from being often reprinted and a thousand
times more widely known than it is, except the long and dull historical
and topographical Book I.[2]--_The Description of Britaine_--set before
the interesting account in Books II. and III., of the England under
Harrison's eyes in 1577-87.

How Harrison came to write his book[3] was on this wise. Reginald Wolfe,
the Printer to Queen Elizabeth, meant to publish "a universall
Cosmographie of the whole world,[4] and therewith also certaine particular
histories of every knowne nation." For the Historical part of the work, he
engagd Raphael Holinshed, among other men; and when the work was nearly
done, Wolfe died, after twenty-five years' labour at his scheme. Then the
men who were to have borne the cost of printing the Universall
Cosmographie were afraid to face the expense of the whole work, and
resolvd to do only so much of it as related to England, Scotland, and

Holinshed having the History of these countries in hand, application was
made to Harrison, who had long been compiling a Chronologie[6] of his own,
to furnish the Descriptions of Britain and England. He was then Household
Chaplain to the well-known Sir William Brooke, Lord Cobham (so praisd by
Francis Thynne[7]), and was staying in London, away from his rectory of
Radwinter in Essex, and his Library there. He had also travelld little
himself, only into Kent, to Oxford and Cambridge, etc., as he honestly
tells Lord Cobham.

Still, mainly by the help of Leland--"and hitherto Leland, whose words I
dare not alter"--as well as of "letters and pamphlets from sundrie places
& shires of England," and "by conference with diuers folk,"[8] and "by
mine owne reading,"[9] together with Master Sackford's charts or
Maps,"[10] Harrison--notwithstanding the failure of his correspondents[11]
and the loss of part of his material--"scambled up," what he
depreciatingly calls "this foule frizeled Treatise of mine," to "stand in
lieu of a description of my Countrie." But, he says, "howsoeuer it be
done, & whatsoeuer I haue done, I haue had an especiall eye vnto the truth
of things." And this merit, I think every reader will allow Harrison.
Though he swallowd too easily some of the stories told in old
chronicles,[12] etc., though (in his 2nd ed. only) he put Chertsey above,
instead of below, Staines, on the Thames,[13] etc., yet in all the
interesting home-life part, he evidently gives both sides of the case,
"speaks of it as it was; nothing extenuates, nor sets down aught in
malice" (_Oth._, V. ii. 341). When he tells with pride, on the one hand,
of the grand new buildings and the many chimnies put up in his day; on
the other hand, he brings in the grumble:

     "And yet see the change, for when our houses were builded of willow,
     then had we oken men; but now that our houses are come to be made of
     oke, our men are not onlie become willow, but a great manie, through
     Persian delicacie crept in among vs, altogither of straw, which is a
     sore alteration.

     "Now haue we manie chimnies; and yet our tenderlings complaine of
     rheumes, catarhs, and poses. Then had we none but reredosses; and our
     heads did neuer ake. For as the smoke in those daies was supposed to
     be a sufficient hardning for the timber of the house, so it was
     reputed a far better medicine to keepe the goodman and his familie
     from the quacke or pose, wherewith, as then, verie few were oft

--when he describes the beauty, virtue, learning, and housewifery, of
Queen Elizabeth's Maids of Honour, he yet acknowledges that as the men

     "our common courtiers (for the most part) are the best lerned and
     indued with excellent gifts, so are manie of them the worst men, when
     they come abroad, that anie man shall either heare or read of."

Even the Papist Monks,[15] whom--as a marrid Protestant parson and
vicar--he hates, he praises for their buildings. And when he does abuse or
chaff heartily any absurdity, like Englishmen's dress,--"except it were a
dog in a doublet, you shall not see anie so disguised as are my countrie
men of England,"--we may be sure it was deservd; Shakspere does it
too[16] (_Merchant_, I. ii. 80; _Much Ado_, III. ii. 36, etc.).

Harrison's book will inform and amuse the reader.

Besides writing the _Descriptions of Britaine and England_ for Holinshed's
_Chronicle_, William Harrison also translated for it, from Scotch into
English, Archdeacon Bellenden's version of Hector Boetius's Latin
Description of Scotland. This work took him only "three or foure daies" he
says: "Indeed, the trauell taken heerein is not great, bicause I tie not
my translation vnto his [Bellenden's] letter." Harrison dedicated this
translation--the _Description of Scotland_--to the Maister Sackford, or
Secford, whose "cards," charts, or Maps, had been of such use to him in
his account of the English rivers in his _Description of Britaine_.

Happily for us, William Harrison was not one of those dignified prigs who
are afraid of writing about themselves in their books. He tells us that he
was born in London[17]--"I will remember the fame of London my natiue
citie."[18] Also that he was first at St. Paul's school, and then at
"Westminster[19] school (in which I was sometime an vnprofitable
Grammarian vnder the reuerend father, master Nowell, now deane of
Paules)." And again of the Deans of the see of London (or St. Paul's), "I
will deliuer in like sort the names of the deanes, vntill I come to the
time of mine old master now liuing in this present yeare 1586, who is none
of the least ornaments[20] that haue beene in that seat." He was at both
universities.[21] When speaking of Cambridge and Oxford, he says--

     "In all other things there is so great equalitie betweene these two
     vniuersities, as no man can imagin how to set downe any greater; so
     that they seeme to be the bodie of one well ordered common wealth,
     onlie diuided by distance of place, and not in freendlie consent and
     orders. In speaking therefore of the one, I can not but describe the
     other; and in commendation of the first, I can not but extoll the
     latter; and so much the rather, for that they are both so deere vnto
     me, as that I can not readilie tell vnto whether of them I owe the
     most good will. Would to God my knowledge were such, as that neither
     of them might haue cause to be ashamed of their pupill; or my power
     so great, that I might woorthilie requite them both for those
     manifold kindnesses that I haue receiued of them."[22]

He must have graduated at Oxford first, for in 1569 he proceeded to the
degree of Bachelor of Divinity at Cambridge under a grace[23] which calls
him M.A. of Oxford of seven years' standing.[25] He was before this,
Household Chaplain to Sir Wm. Brooke, Lord Cobham, to whom he dedicated,
as we have seen, his _Description of England_, and who gave him the
Rectory of Radwinter in Essex,[26] to which he was inducted on February
16, 1558-9, and which he held till his death. On January 28, 1570-1, he
became a pluralist,[27] and obtaind the vicarage of Wimbish in Essex,[28]
but resignd it in 1581, his successor being appointed on the 16th of
November in that year. Between 1559 and 1571 he must have marrid Marion
Isebrande, "daughter to William Isebrande and Ann his wife, sometyme of
Anderne, neere vnto Guisnes in Picardie, and whome" (he says in his Will,
referring no doubt to the sometime suppos'd unlawfulness of priests'
marriages) "by the lawes of god I take and repute in all respectes for my
true and lawfull wife." By her he left issue,[29] one son Edmund, and two
daughters,--one, Anne, unmarried, and another the wife of Robert Baker. He
tells us how his wife and her maid brewd him 200 gallons of beer for 20s.,
as he was "scarse a good malster" himself, and a poor man on £40 a year
(Goldsmith's sum too). And no doubt his kindly "Eve will be Eve, tho' Adam
would saie naie," tho' said of widows, shewd that he understood the sex,
was "to their faults a little blind, and to their virtues very kind"--or
however the old saw runs. At Radwinter he must have workt away at his
_Chronologie_, collected his Roman coins, got savage with the rascally
Essex lawyers, attended to his garden:

     "For mine owne part, good reader, let me boast a little of my garden,
     which is but small, and the whole _Area_ thereof little aboue 300
     foot of ground, and yet, such hath beene my good lucke in purchase of
     the varietie of simples, that notwithstanding my small abilitie,
     there are verie neere three hundred[30] of one sort and other
     conteined therein, no one of them being common or vsuallie to bee

kept his eyes open to everything going on round him, and lookt after his
parishioners, when he wasn't writing his _Description of England_ in
London, or visiting at Lord Cobham's house in Kent.

On April 23, 1586, William Harrison was appointed Canon of Windsor, and
was installd the day after. The Dean has kindly sent me the following
extract from the Chapter Book, St. George's Chapel, Windsor--

     Anni                       Canonici.                       Anni
     Install.                                                   obitus.
               Gulielmus Harrison 24{to} Aprilis, loco Ryley,
     1586.   Theologiæ Baccalaureus. Obijt, et Sepultus est     1593.
             Windsoriæ, et White Successit.--Rector fuit de

but says there is no grave-stone or other notice of where Harrison was
buried.[32] (I can't get a line from the now rector of Radwinter.)

For the following abstract of Harrison's Will, I am indebted to Colonel

     (81 Nevell.) "William Harrison, Clerk, parson of Radwinter and
     Prebendary of Windsor--dated at Radwinter 27 July 1591--to be buried
     at Radwinter or Windsor, as I may die at either place. My goods to be
     divided into 4 equal parts 'of which one parte and an halfe shall
     remaine vnto Marion Harrison al_ia_s Marion Isebrande and the
     daughter of William Isebrande sometyme of Anderne, whome by the lawe
     of god, I take for my true and lawfull wife;'[33] another part and a
     half equally to my son Edmund and my daughter Anne--my son in law
     Robert Baker and his wife I remember not in this my will, as I have
     already given them their portion; to the quire in Windsor 40s.; to
     the poor of Radwinter 40s.; to the poor children of the hospital at
     London 20s.; to the poor of St. Thomas Apostle in London 20s.; to
     each child of my son Baker 10s.; to each child of my cousin
     Morecroft, Clerk 5s.--'I make & ordayne the sayed Marion Isebrande
     al_ia_s Marion Harrison, daughter to William Isebrande and Ann his
     wife, sometyme of Anderne neere vnto Guisnes in Picardie, and whome
     by the lawes of god I take and repute in all respectes for my true
     and lawfull wife,' and my son Edmund Harrison, my
     Executors.--Witnesses, Mr. Wm. Birde, Esq., Thos. Smith, yeoman;
     Lancelott Ellis, vicar of Wimbishe; & Thos. Hartlie the writer

His Will was proved on November 22, 1593, by the said Edmund Harrison, son
and executor named therein, the relict and executrix Marion, being dead.
Letters of administration to the goods, etc., of Marion Harrison, late of
New Windsor, in the county of Berks, were granted on December 12, 1593, to
her son Edmund Harrison.

William Harrison had opinions of his own about public and social matters
in his day, and also had often racy ways of expressing those opinions.
I'll extract some. He calls Becket "the old cocke of Canturburie;" notes
how the Conferences of clergy and laity stirrd the parsons "to applie
their books ... which otherwise ... would giue themselues to hawking,
hunting, tables, cards, dice, tipling at the alehouse, shooting of
matches, and other like vanities;" he complains of the subsidies and taxes
that the clergy are made to pay, "as if the church were now become the
asse whereon euerie market man is to ride and cast his wallet;" also of
"the couetousnesse of the patrones, of whom some doo bestow aduousons of
benefices vpon their bakers, butlers, cookes, good archers, falconers, and
horsekeepers," while others "doo scrape the wool from our clokes;" he
notes how Popish "images ... and monuments of idolatrie are remooued" from
the churches, "onelie the stories in glasse windowes excepted," which are
let stay for a while, from the scarcity and cost of white glass; he'd like
to get rid of Saints' Days; he commends the decent apparel of the
Protestant parsons, as contrasted with that of the Popish blind sir-Johns,
who went "either in diuerse colors like plaiers, or in garments of light
hew, as yellow, red,[34] greene, etc., with their shooes piked,[35] ... so
that to meet a priest in those daies was to behold a peacocke that
spreadeth his taile when he danseth before the henne;" and then he
denounces the cheating at elections for College fellowships, scholarships.

Harrison also tells us that he had for a time the "collection" (of MSS.,
maps, etc.) of "William Read,[36] sometime fellow of Merteine college in
Oxford, doctor of diuinitie, and the most profound astronomer that liued
in his time." He has a cut at the Popes' nephews--"for nephues might say
in those daies: Father, shall I call you vncle?"--says that he knew one
of the Norwich-diocese churches turnd "into a barne, whilest the people
heare seruice further off vpon a greene: their bell also, when I heard a
sermon there preached in the greene, hanged in an oke for want of a
steeple. But now I vnderstand that the oke likewise is gone." After saying
what England in old time paid the Pope, he asks, "and therevpon tell me
whether our Iland was one of the best paire of bellowes or not, that blue
the fire in his kitchen, wherewith to make his pot seeth, beside all other

In describing the Universities, Harrison dwells again on the packing and
bribing practist at elections for fellowships and scholarships, and how
"poore mens children are commonlie shut out by the rich," whose sons
"ruffle and roist it out, exceeding in apparell, and hanting riotous
companie which draweth them from their bookes[37] vnto an other trade." He
also complains of the late-nam'd "idle fellowships" that are still a
disgrace to our Universities, tho' now their holders don't work for
"eighteene or peraduenture twenty yeeres,"

     "For after this time, & 40 yeeres of age, the most part of students
     doo commonlie giue ouer their woonted diligence, & liue like drone
     bees on the fat of colleges, withholding better wits from the
     possession of their places, & yet dooing litle good in their own
     vocation & calling."

And he repeats, in milder words, Ascham's[38] caution against sending
young men to Italy, for "an Italianate Englishman is a devil incarnate,"
as the Italians themselves said.[39] "And thus much at this time of our
two vniuersities, in each of which I haue receiued such degree as they
have vouchsafed, rather of their fauour than my desert, to yeeld and
bestow vpon me."

Of his chapter on "Degrees of the People of England" the most interesting
parts to me are those on the evil of sending young Englishmen to Italy;
the anticipation of the modern J. S. Mill & Coöperative doctrine of the
evil of too many middlemen in trade (the argument will cover distributors
as well as importers), and lawyers in business; the improvement in the
condition of yeomen; the often complaind-of evil[40] of "our great swarmes
of idle seruing men;" and our husbandmen and artificers never being better
tradesmen, tho' they sometimes scamp their work.

Harrison's chapter "Of the Food and Diet of the English" is very
interesting, with its accounts of the dinners of the nobility "whose
cookes are, for the most part, musicall-headed Frenchmen and strangers,"
and who eat "delicates wherein the sweette hand of the seafaring
Portingale is not wanting." Then it notices the rage for Venice glass
among all classes--as Falstaff says, A.D. 1598, in _2 Hen. IV._, II. i.
154, "Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking." This is followd by capital
accounts of the diet of the gentlemen and merchants, and the artificers;
the bread[41] and drink of all classes; and how Mrs. Wm. Harrison brewd
the family beer, "and hereof we make three hoggesheads of good beere, such
(I meane) as is meet for poore men as I am, to liue withall, whose small
maintenance (for what great thing is fortie pounds a yeare, _Computatis
computandis_, able to performe?) may indure no deeper cut;" with touches
like _Theologicum_ being the best wine of old, because "the merchant would
haue thought that his soule should have gone streightwaie to the diuell,
if he should haue serued them [the monks] with other than the best;" and
this kindly opinion of working-men, for which one can't help liking the
old parson[42]:--

     "To conclude, both the artificer and the husbandman are sufficientlie
     liberall, & verie freendlie at their tables; and when they meet, they
     are so merie without malice, and plaine without inward Italian or
     French craft and subtiltie, that it would doo a man good to be in
     companie among them.... This is moreouer to be added in these
     meetings, that if they happen to stumble vpon a peece of venison, and
     a cup of wine or verie strong beere or ale ... they thinke their
     cheere so great, and themselues to haue fared so well, as the lord
     Maior of London, with whome, when their bellies be full, they will
     not often sticke to make comparison, because that of a subject there
     is no publike officer of anie citie in Europe, that may compare in
     port and countenance with him during the time of his office."

Chapter VII.[43] is the amusing one on the "Apparell and Atire" of English
folk already referrd to (p. xiii. above); and though it's not so bitter as
Stubbes's or Crowley's, yet it's fun, with its "dog in a doublet," and its
beard bit, if a man "be wesell becked [beakt], then much heare left on the
cheekes will make the owner looke big like a bowdled hen, and so grim as a
goose, if Cornelis of Chelmeresford saie true."

In the chapter on the Parliament the only personal bit is Harrison's
saying that he copies from Sir Thomas Smith,[44] "requiting him with the
like borrowage as he hath vsed toward me in his discourse of the sundrie
degrees of estates in the commonwealth of England." But in the next
chapter, "Of the Laws of England," after a dull account of the Trial by
Ordeal, etc., we get Harrison breaking out again against the Lawyers,
their prosperity and rascality, and taking fees (as barristers often do
still) and doing nothing for 'em, with a good bit about Welshmen's love of
law-suits. We also find a pleasant notice of John Stow, the hard-working
chronicler so shamefully neglected in his own age: "my freend _Iohn Stow_,
whose studie is the onelie store house of antiquities in my time, and he
worthie therefore to be had in reputation and honour."

The chapter "Of Prouision made for the Poore," notes the weekly collection
made in every parish for the deserving poor, and gives Harrison's opinion
on the Malthusians of his day:--

     "Some also doo grudge at the great increase of people in these daies,
     thinking a necessarie brood of cattell farre better than a
     superfluous augmentation of mankind. But I can liken such men best of
     all vnto the pope and the diuell, who practise the hinderance of the
     furniture of the number of the elect to their vttermost, to the end
     the authoritie of the one upon earth, the deferring of the locking vp
     of the other in euerlasting chaines, and the great gaines of the
     first, may continue and indure the longer. But if it should come to
     passe that any forren inuasion should be made, which the Lord God
     forbid for his mercies sake!--then should these men find that a wall
     of men is farre better than stackes of corne and bags of monie, and
     complaine of the want when it is too late to seeke remedie."

The sham beggars, he says, "are all theeues and caterpillers in the
commonwealth, and by the word of God not permitted to eat." Then he makes
extracts from Harman about the rogues, among whom, by statute, are
"plaiers and minstrels," Shakspere and his fellows, etc.

In the chapter on the "Punishments appointed for Malefactors," our author
notes that "our condemned persons doo go ... cheerfullie to their deths,
for our nation is free, stout, hautie, prodigall of life and bloud;" that
the punishment for "robbing by the high waie" (like Sir John Falstaff's),
"cutting of purses," "stealing of deere by night" (like Shakspere's, if
he ever stole deer from Sir Thomas Lucy, who had no park in his time), was
death; and that the punishment for adultery and fornication was not sharp

     "As in theft therfore, so in adulterie and whoredome, I would wish
     the parties trespassant, to be made bond or slaues vnto those that
     receiued the iniurie, to sell and giue where they listed, or to be
     condemned to the gallies: for that punishment would proue more bitter
     to them than halfe an houres hanging, or than standing in a sheet,
     though the weather be neuer so called."

He also complains of the robberies by unthrift young gentlemen, and
"seruing-men whose wages cannot suffice so much as to find them breeches;"
and that selfish men, and even constables, in the country, won't leave
their work to follow up thieves and take them to prison:[45] this "I haue
knowne by mine owne experience."

The chapter, "Of the manner of Building and Furniture of our Houses," is
perhaps the best, and the best-known, in the book. It describes how
English houses were built, and notes these new things, 1. that rich men
were beginning to use stoves for sweating baths; while, 2. all men were
using glass for windows; 3. that timber-houses were giving way to brick
and stone; and that though our workmen were excellent, their demands for
high wages often causd strangers to be employd in building; 4. the
increast richness of furniture, not only in rich men's houses, but in
those of "the inferiour artificers and manie farmers," who "now garnish
their cupbords with plate, their ioined beds with tapistrie and silke
hangings, and their tables with carpets & fine naperie, whereby the
wealth of our countrie ... dooth infinitelie appear;"

     [5.] "the multitude of chimnies latelie erected;" [6.] "the great
     (although not generall) amendment of lodging, for (said they) our
     fathers (yea, and we our selues also) haue lien full oft vpon straw
     pallets, on rough mats couered onelie with a sheet, vnder couerlets
     made of dagswain or hopharlots (I vse their owne termes), and a good
     round log vnder their heads in steed of a bolster or pillow....
     Pillowes (said they) were thought meet onelie for women in childbed.
     As for seruants, if they had anie sheet aboue them, it was well, for
     seldome had they anie vnder their bodies, to keepe them from the
     pricking straws that ran oft through the canuas of the pallet, and
     rased their hardened hides."... [7.] "The exchange of vessell, as of
     treene[46] platters into pewter, and woodden spoones into siluer or
     tin. For so common were all sorts of treene stuffe in old time, that
     a man should hardlie find four peeces of pewter (of which one was
     peraduenture a salt) in a good farmers house, and yet for all this
     frugalitie (if it may so be iustly called) they were scarse able to
     liue and paie their rents at their daies without selling of a cow, or
     an horsse, or more, although they paid but foure pounds at the
     vttermost by the yeare."

The farmer was very poor too; and yet now, though his £4 rent is raised to
£40, he can not only buy plate, and featherbeds, etc., but can purchase a
renewal of his lease, 6 years before the expiration of the old one; and
the paying the money "shall neuer trouble him more than the haire of his
beard, when the barber hath washed and shaued it from his chin." Against
these signs of prosperity, these fat kine, are 3, nay 4, lean kine, which
eat up their plump brethren,

     "three things ... are growen to be verie grieuous vnto them, to wit,
     the inhansing of rents, latelie mentioned; the dailie oppression of
     copiholders, whose lords seeke to bring their poore tenants almost
     into plaine seruitude and miserie, dailie deuising new meanes, and
     seeking vp all the old, how to cut them shorter and shorter,
     doubling, trebling, and now & then seuen times increasing their
     fines; driuing them also for euerie trifle to loose and forfeit their
     tenures (by whome the greatest part of the realme dooth stand and is
     mainteined), to the end they may fleece them yet more, which is a
     lamentable hering. The third thing they talke of is vsurie, a trade
     brought in by the Jewes, now perfectlie practised almost by euerie
     christain, and so commonlie, that he is accompted but for a foole
     that dooth lend his monie for nothing."

Interest has run up to 12 per cent.; wherefore, "helpe I praie thee in
lawfull maner to hang vp such as take _Centum pro cento_, for they are no
better worthie as I doo iudge in conscience." The 4th grievance is that
Gentlemen (!) have actually "themselves become grasiers, butchers,
tanners, sheepmasters, woodmen, and _denique quod non_!"

The chapter, "Of Cities and Townes in England," is dull, but has a short
account of the antiquities found in old Verulam, and Harrison's visit
there in the summer of 1586 or 1585; and his groan over the decay of
houses, their destruction by greedy land-owners, and the hard fare of poor
men. He evidently would have put a limit to the land that one man might
hold. In "Of Castles and Holds," he wants the East coast fortified (p.
265), notes the frequency of old camps "in the plaine fields of England,"
and says:--

     "I need not to make anie long discourse of castles, sith it is not
     the nature of a good Englishman to regard to be caged vp as in a
     coope, and hedged in with stone wals, but rather to meet with his
     enimie in the plaine field at handstrokes, where he may trauaise his
     ground, choose his plot, and vse the benefit of sunne shine, wind
     and weather, to his best aduantage & commoditie."

In the next chapter he describes the Queen's palaces, but prefers the
Henry VIII. buildings to the Elizabethan:

     "Certes masonrie did neuer better flourish in England than in his
     time. And albeit that in these daies there be manie goodlie houses
     erected in the sundrie quarters of this Iland; yet they are rather
     curious to the eie, like paper worke,[47] than substantiall for
     continuance: whereas such as he did set vp, excell in both, and
     therefore may iustlie be preferred farre aboue all the rest."

He then gives an interesting account of the virtues of the Queen's Maids
of Honour, the vices of the Courtiers; the studies of the young Ladies,
and the medical powers of the old; all of them being able to cook
admirably, and the Carte or Bill of Fare of the dinner having been just
introduced. Lastly he notes the admirable order and absence of ill-doing
in the Queen's court. Her "Progresses" he approv'd of.

He treats "Of Armour and Munition;" but, says Harrison, "what hath the
longe blacke gowne to doo with glistering armour?" Still, he echoes the
universal lament of Ascham, the Statutes, etc., etc., over the decay of
Long-Bow shooting in England:--

     "Certes the Frenchmen and Rutters deriding our new archerie in
     respect of their corslets, will not let in open skirmish, if anie
     leisure serue, to turne vp their tailes and crie: 'Shoote English,'
     and all bicause our strong shooting is decaied and laid in bed. But
     if some of our Englishmen now liued that serued king Edward the third
     in his warres with France, the breech of such a varlet should haue
     beene nailed to his bum with one arrow, and an other fethered in his
     bowels, before he should haue turned about to see who shot the

He then says that all the young fellows above eighteen or twenty wear a
dagger; noblemen wear swords or rapiers too, while "desperate cutters"
carry two daggers or two rapiers, "wherewith in euerie dronken fraie they
are knowen to work much mischief." And as trampers carry long staves, the
honest traveller is obliged to carry pistols, "to ride with a case of dags
at his saddlebow, or with some pretie short snapper," while parsons have
only a dagger or hanger, if they carry anything at all. The tapsters and
ostlers at inns are in league with the highway robbers,[48] who rob
chiefly at Christmas time, to get money to spend at dice and cards, till
they "be trussed vp in a Tiburne tippet."

Passing over the chapter on the "Navy," Queen Elizabeth's delight in it,
and the fast sailing of our ships, we come on a characteristic and
interesting chapter "Of Faires and Markets." This subject is within
Harrison's home-life, as a buyer; and it's on the buyer's side, which
includes the poor man's, that he argues. Magistrates don't see the
proclamation price and goodness of bread kept to; bodgers are allowd to
buy up corn and raise the price of it; to carry it home unsold, or to a
distant market, if they want more money than the buyer likes to give; nay,
they've leave to export it for the benefit of enemies and Papists abroad,
so as to make more profit. Again, pestiferous purveyors buy up eggs,
chickens, bacon, etc.; buttermen travel about and buy up butter at
farmers' houses, and have raisd its price from 18d. to 40d. a gallon.
These things are ill for the buyer and the poor man, and should not be

     "I wish that God would once open their eies that deale thus, to see
     their owne errours: for as yet some of them little care how manie
     poore men suffer extremitie, so that they may fill their purses, and
     carie awaie the gaine."

Good doctrine, no doubt; but "_nous avons changé tout cela_." However in
one thing the modern Political Economist can agree with Harrison:--

     "I gather that the maintenance of a superfluous number of dealers in
     most trades, tillage alwaies excepted, is one of the greatest causes
     why the prices of things become excessiue."

There's a comical bit about the names for ale, "huffecap, mad dog, angels'
food," etc., and the way

     "our maltbugs lug at this liquor, euen as pigs should lie in a row,
     lugging at their dames teats, till they lie still againe, and be not
     able to wag ... and ... hale at hufcap, till they be red as cockes, &
     litle wiser than their combs."

In his chapter "Of Parks and Warrens," Harrison tells us how coney warrens
have increast, from the value of the creatures' black skins and the quick
sale for young rabbits in London; and what a shocking thing it is that one
Lady has sold her husband's venison to the Cooks, and another Lady has
ridden to market to see her butter sold! it's as bad as an Earl feeling
his own oxen to see whether they're ready for the butcher! He then gives
us a refreshing bit of his mind on owners of parks who enclose commons:

     "And yet some owners, still desirous to inlarge those grounds, as
     either for the breed and feeding of cattell, doo not let dailie to
     take in more, not sparing the verie commons whervpon manie towneships
     now and then doo liue, affirming that we haue alreadie too great
     store of people in England; and that youth by marrieng too soone doo
     nothing profit the countrie, but fill it full of beggars, to the hurt
     and vtter vndooing (they saie) of the common wealth.

     "Certes, if it be not one curse of the Lord, to haue our countrie
     conuerted in such sort, from the furniture of mankind, into the walks
     and shrowds of wild beasts, I know not what is anie. How manie
     families also these great and small games (for so most keepers call
     them) haue eaten vp, and are likelie hereafter to deuoure, some men
     may coniecture, but manie more lament, sith there is no hope of
     restraint to be looked for in this behalfe, because the corruption is
     so generall."

The chapter "Of Gardens and Orchards" is interesting, not only as
containing the bit quoted above on Harrison's own garden, but for its note
of how vegetables, roots, and salad herbs, that had gone out of use since
Henry IV.'s time, had in Henry VIII.'s and Elizabeth's days come into
daily consumption, so that men even eat dangerous fruits like mushrooms.
Also, hops and madder were grown again, and rare medicinable herbs.
Gardens were beautified, plants imported; orchards supplied with apricot,
almond, peach, fig, and cornel trees; nay, capers, oranges, lemons, and
wild olives. Grafting was practist with great skill and success; even
dishwater was utilis'd for plants. And as to roses, there was one in
Antwerp in 1585 that had 180 leaves on one button or flower, and Harrison
could have had a slip of it for £10 (£60 now?) if he hadn't thought it
"but a tickle hazard."

The chapter "Of Woods and Marshes" is interesting, from Harrison's laments
in it over the destruction of English woods, which he saw yearly
disappearing around him,[49] one man, as he says, having turnd sixty
woods into one pair of breeches.[50] And then, mov'd by the thought of
what will become of England without its oaks, the unselfish old parson
utters the four dearest wishes of his heart:--

     "I would wish that I might liue no longer than to see foure things in
     this land reformed, that is: (1) the want of discipline in the
     church: (2) the couetous dealing of most of our merchants in the
     preferment of the commodities of other countries, and hinderance of
     their owne: (3) the holding of faires and markets vpon the sundaie to
     be abolished, and referred to the wednesdaies: (4) and that euerie
     man, in whatsoeuer part of the champaine soile enioieth fortie acres
     of land and vpwards, after that rate, either by free deed, copie
     hold, or fee farme, might plant one acre of wood, or sowe the same
     with oke mast, hasell, beech, and sufficient prouision be made that
     it may be cherished and kept. But I feare me that I should then liue
     too long, and so long, that I should either be wearie of the world,
     or the world of me; and yet they are not such things but they may
     easilie be brought to passe."

This same chapter contains the capital bit about the oaken men and willow
houses and their smoke-dried inhabiters, quoted above; and a strong
protest against rascally tanners and wood-fellers who, for private gain,
evade the laws; also some good advice about draining.

In his chapter on "Baths and Hot Wells," Harrison says that he's tasted
the water of King's Newnham well, near Coventry, and that it had "a tast
much like to allume liquor, and yet nothing vnplesant nor vnsauorie in the
drinking." From his description of Bath it is clear that he had been
there, unless he quotes an eye-witness's words as his own. His chapter,
"Of Antiquities found," tells us of his own collection of Roman coins
which he intended to get engrav'd in his _Chronologie_, though, he says,
the cost of engraving,

     "as it hath doone hitherto, so the charges to be emploied vpon these
     brasen or copper images will hereafter put by the impression of that
     treatise: whereby it maie come to passe, that long trauell shall
     soone proue to be spent in vaine, and much cost come to verie small

His words seem to imply that he'd visited Colchester (as no doubt he had)
and York, in his search for coins. His account "Of the Coines of England,"
Chapter XXV., ends his Book II., the first of his _Description of

This section[51] is longer than I meant it to be; and it doesn't bring out
the religious side of Harrison's character. But I hope it leaves the
reader with a kindly impression of the straightforward racy Radwinter
parson and Windsor canon. A business-like, God-fearing, truth-seeking,
learned, kind-hearted, and humorous fellow, he seems to me; a good
gardener, an antiquarian and numismatist, a true lover of his country, a
hater of shams, lazy lubbers, and evil-doers; a man that one likes to
shake hands with, across the rift of 200 years that separates us.


      LONDON, N.W., 13_th July_, 1876.


     "How easy dost thou take all England up:
     From forth this morsel of dead royalty----"

No book is more quoted and less read than _Holinshed's Chronicles_. Since
the original editions of 1577 and 1587 (the latter an expansion of the
former), the work has been but once republished. Early in this century a
syndicate of the great London booksellers issued an expensive reprint, far
more inaccessible to the general reader than are the folios of the time of
Elizabeth. Even morsels of the work have never been attempted until the
issue by the "New Shakspere Society," a dozen years ago, of Dr.
Furnivall's careful condensed edition of Harrison's introduction to
_Holinshed_. Now Harrison is the genius of the whole performance.
_Holinshed_ is a hodge-podge of many men's endeavours. Remarkable as may
be the portions contributed by other men, that of Harrison can be said to
be unique. William Harrison is the only man who has ever given a detailed
description of England and the English. He had the assistance doubtless of
many special informants, directly and indirectly, some of which assistance
overloads his ancient utterances with superfluous matter. His own views
however are a running rill of delight. When it was only an amputation of
interjected details, my task was easy; and Dr. Furnivall (to whom is due
all credit of initiative in the publication of the work, and who has
kindly accorded valuable suggestions during the rather anxious and
difficult process) had already cut off the greater portion of dead issue
and dead tissue. The work of disjointing and then rejointing Harrison's
own discourse is not so agreeable. Even Harrison's interlarding of his own
book-learning in his own inimitable fashion is a rare frolic for the
mirthful mind. Badly as I may have finally wriggled through the task,
seamy as may be the patchwork, the solace remains that no scrap of
Harrison's text lacks its own individual interest. Not without reason may
an extract from _Holinshed_ be entitled a

     "Morsel of dead royalty."

_Holinshed_ is one of the monarchs and monuments of literature. It filled
the channels of thought, and moulded the character of history. Harrison's
contribution to _Holinshed_ is not only the most important but the most
perfect portion of the work, and it evidently derives its perfect
character from being a labour of love, and not written to order. John
Harrison the printer doubtless got his country relative the parson to help
out the heavy enterprise which tasked such an alliance of master-printers
even to partially perfect. Not that William Harrison was a countryman by
birth. He was a Cockney of the Cockneys, born right beneath Bow Bells
themselves; but when you come to gather the threads of his connections,
you seem indeed to

     "Take all England up,"

jumping at once to the heart of Westmoreland fells, and traversing every
shire in England and Wales for his cousinry. It was a stirring age, and
great human upheavals made sudden shiftings and scatterings of kindred. It
was this very factor which made such works as _Holinshed_ possible. The
complete _Holinshed_ was issued one year before the Armada year, two years
before Shakspere's first play was printed. Harrison was old enough to have
stood on Tower Hill and seen with infant eyes the author of _Utopia_ (the
"most perfect of Englishmen," as Harrison himself allows) lay down his
life for truth. Harrison's own life just spans that stormy period which
settled the destiny of the English race, and left the race the masters of
the earth. The part played in this mighty struggle by the printer boys of
Aldersgate is something beyond all exaggeration. They made and unmade men
and measures, and uprooted empires as well as recorded their histories.
Above all else, these printers kept their own secrets; for life and death
were in every utterance. They furnished of their own ranks the pioneers of
daring brain and varied knowledge who led the English race far to east and
far to west. We can well imagine that these Aldersgate printers took
delight in clubbing together to produce such a work as _Holinshed_, giving
the story of the England they loved so well. _Holinshed_ was eminently a
printer's book, produced out of the fulness of their hearts. Harrison
himself belonged to a family of printers. Yet it is a remarkable fact that
this present volume is the first attempt ever made to use any portion of
_Holinshed_ as a popular text-book, and to bring its text into familiar
relations with modern eyes as regards orthography and typography. As to
the diction, it would be impertinence to modify the work of such masters
of our mother-tongue as William Harrison. The writers of his day make
rules for us, not we for them. Their English is the only English which
future ages will know, and their successors will be measured by their
standard. In compiling this work, the end sought by me has been as much
variety and as much Elizabethan England as possible, throwing aside
matter however instructive which was not especially allied to the days of
Elizabeth, making of most of Harrison's second, some of his third, and a
bit of his first book one concise story. Harrison's Description of England
is in three books, the second and third of which were reprinted by Dr.
Furnivall, along with extracts from the first. An account of these books
and their relation to _Holinshed_ will be found in the Doctor's
"Forewords." Using Dr. Furnivall's text, his excellent and generally
exhaustive notes have been inserted. As for my own follies, sprinkled here
and there, they are as occasional relief for frivolous readers from the
classical height of Harrison and the scholarly depth of the Doctor. There
was no particular sacrilege in rearranging Harrison's fragments in a new
and compact fashion; for he varied his two editions in evident
indifference. It has had to be cut to measure, and the difficulty has been
to make a new garment out of odd cuttings. Suffice to say, well or ill
jointed, the story here told plucks the heart out of the mystery of the
cradle of the English race at the exact period of Shakspere's youthful
manhood. But this story no more than Shakspere's own work is the exclusive
property of the residents of one particular spot. England is not merely a
matter of political arrangement. Race after race have swept over the
island home and left lasting impression upon the soil. England is not a
matter of bounds and barriers; it is a human fabric like Rome and Greece,
living in distant climes, an inheritance of all who speak the English
tongue and inherit the boundless treasures of English thought, far
surpassing the known accomplishment of any other people. By far the
greater portion of these treasures of the mind were worked out in the
England of Harrison. It was the outcome of a young giant's strength. The
full realisation of the earth's existence, the full grasp of man's true
relation to the footstool beneath him, produced this startling activity of
mind, and this sudden leap to perfection. Such another epoch will never
occur until we poor crawling mites on this rolling ball discover the
socket it rolls in and once again feel ourselves masters of all knowledge
and devoid of all doubts.

L. W.


To the Right Honourable, and his singular good Lord and Master, Sir
William Brooke, Knight, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and Baron of
Cobham, all increase of the fear and knowledge of God, firm obedience
towards his Prince, infallible love to the commonwealth, and commendable
renown here in this world, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Having had just occasion, Right Honourable, to remain in London during the
time of Trinity term last passed, and being earnestly required of divers
my friends to set down some brief discourse of parcel of those things
which I had observed in the reading of such manifold antiquities as I had
perused towards the furniture of a Chronology[52] which I have yet in
hand; I was at the first very loth to yield to their desires: first, for
that I thought myself unable for want of skill and judgment so suddenly
and with so hasty speed to take such a charge upon me; secondly, because
the dealing therein might prove an hindrance and impeachment unto mine own
Treatise; and, finally, for that I had given over all earnest study of
histories, as judging the time spent about the same to be an hindrance
unto my more necessary dealings in that vocation and function whereunto I
am called in the ministry. But, when they were so importunate with me
that no reasonable excuse could serve to put by this travel, I
condescended at the length unto their irksome suit, promising that I would
spend such void time, as I had to spare, whilest I should be enforced to
tarry in the city, upon some thing or other that should satisfy their
request and stand in lieu of a description of my Country. For their parts
also, they assured me of such helps as they could purchase: and thus with
hope of good, although no gay success, I went in hand withal, then almost
as one leaning altogether unto memory, since my books and I were parted by
forty miles in sunder. In this order also I spent a part of Michaelmas and
Hilary terms insuing, being enforced thereto, I say, by other businesses
which compelled me to keep in the city, and absent myself from my charge,
though in the mean season I had some repair unto my poor library, but not
so great as the dignity of the matter required, and yet far greater than
the Printer's haste would suffer. One help, and none of the smallest that
I obtained herein, was by such commentaries as Leland had some time
collected of the state of Britain, books utterly mangled, defaced with wet
and weather, and finally imperfect through want of sundry volumes;
secondly, I gat some knowledge of things by letters and pamphlets, from
sundry places and shires of England, but so discordant now and then
amongst themselves, especially in the names and courses of rivers and
situation of towns, that I had oft greater trouble to reconcile them one
with another than orderly to pen the whole discourse of such points as
they contained; the third aid did grow by conference with divers, either
at the table or secretly alone, wherein I marked in what things the
talkers did agree, and wherein they impugned each other, choosing in the
end the former, and rejecting the latter, as one desirous to set forth
the truth absolutely, or such things indeed as were most likely to be
true. The last comfort arose by mine own reading of such writers as have
heretofore made mention of the condition of our country, in speaking
whereof, if I should make account of the success and extraordinary coming
by sundry treatises not supposed to be extant, I should but seem to
pronounce more than may well be said with modesty, and say further of
myself than this treatise can bear witness of. Howbeit, I refer not this
success wholly unto my purpose about this Description, but rather give
notice thereof to come to pass in the penning of my Chronology, whose
crumbs as it were fell out very well in the framing of this pamphlet. In
the process therefore of this book, if your Honour regard the substance of
that which is here declared, I must needs confess that it is none of mine
own; but, if your Lordship have consideration of the barbarous composition
shewed herein, that I may boldly claim and challenge for mine own, since
there is no man of any so slender skill that will defraud me of that
reproach which is due unto me for the mere negligence, disorder, and evil
disposition of matter comprehended in the same. Certes I protest before
God and your Honour that I never made any choice of style, or words,
neither regarded to handle this treatise in such precise order and method
as many other would have done, thinking it sufficient, truly and plainly
to set forth such things as I minded to intreat of, rather than with vain
affectation of eloquence to paint out a rotten sepulchre, a thing neither
commendable in a writer nor profitable to the reader. How other affairs
troubled me in the writing hereof, many know, and peradventure the
slackness shewed herein can better testify; but, howsoever it be done, and
whatsoever I have done, I have had an especial eye unto the truth of
things, and, for the rest, I hope that this foul frizzled treatise of mine
will prove a spur to others better learned, more skilful in chorography,
and of greater judgment in choice of matter to handle the selfsame
argument. As for faults escaped herein, as there are divers I must needs
confess both in the penning and printing, so I have to crave pardon of
your Honour and of all the learned readers. For such was my shortness of
time allowed in the writing, and so great the speed made in printing, that
I could seldom with any deliberation peruse, or almost with any judgment
deliberate exactly upon, such notes as were to be inserted. Sometimes
indeed their leisure gave me liberty, but that I applied in following my
vocation; many times their expedition abridged my perusal; and by this
latter it came to pass that most of this book was no sooner penned than
printed, neither well conveyed, before it came to writing. But it is now
too late to excuse the manner of doing.[53] It is possible also that your
Honour will mislike hereof for that I have not by mine own travel and
eyesight viewed such things as I do here intreat of. Indeed I must needs
confess that until now of late, except it were from the parish where I
dwell unto your Honour in Kent, or out of London where I was born unto
Oxford and Cambridge where I have been brought up, I never travelled forty
miles forthright and at one journey in all my life; nevertheless in my
report of these things I use their authorities who either have performed
in their persons or left in writing upon sufficient ground (as I said
before) whatsoever is wanting in mine. It may be in like sort that your
Honour will take offence at my rash and retchless behaviour used in the
composition of this volume, and much more than that, being scrambled up
after this manner, I dare presume to make tender of the protection thereof
unto your Lordship's hands. But, when I consider the singular affection
that your Honour doth bear to those that in anywise will travel to set
forth such profitable things as lie hidden of their country without regard
of fine and eloquent handling, and thereunto do weigh on my own behalf my
bounden duty and grateful mind to such a one as hath so many and sundry
ways benefited me that otherwise can make no recompense, I cannot but cut
off all such occasion of doubt, and thereupon exhibit it, such as it is,
and so penned as it is, unto your Lordship's tuition, unto whom if it may
seem in any wise acceptable I have my whole desire. And as I am the first
that (notwithstanding the great repugnance to be seen among our writers)
hath taken upon him so particularly to describe this Isle of Britain, so I
hope the learned and godly will bear withal, and reform with charity where
I do tread amiss. As for the curious, and such as can rather
evil-favouredly espy than skilfully correct an error, and sooner carp at
another man's doings than publish anything of their own (keeping
themselves close with an obscure admiration of learning and knowledge
among the common sort), I force not what they say hereof; for, whether it
do please or displease them, all is one to me, since I refer my whole
travel in the gratification of your Honour, and such as are of experience
to consider of my travel and the large scope of things purposed in this
treatise, of whom my service in this behalf may be taken in good part:
that I will repute for my full recompense and large guerdon of my labours.
The Almighty God preserve your Lordship in continual health, wealth, and
prosperity, with my good Lady your wife, your Honour's children (whom God
hath indued with a singular towardness unto all virtue and learning) and
the rest of your reformed family, unto whom I wish farder increase of his
holy spirit, understanding of his word, augmentation of honour, and
continuance of zeal to follow his commandments.

  Your Lordship's humble servant
                 and household chaplain,
                                       W. H.




[1577, Book III., Chapter 4; 1587, Book II., Chapter 5.]

We, in England, divide our people commonly into four sorts, as gentlemen,
citizens or burgesses, yeomen, and artificers or labourers. Of gentlemen
the first and chief (next the king) be the prince, dukes, marquesses,
earls, viscounts, and barons; and these are called gentlemen of the
greater sort, or (as our common usage of speech is) lords and noblemen:
and next unto them be knights, esquires, and, last of all, they that are
simply called gentlemen. So that in effect our gentlemen are divided into
their conditions, whereof in this chapter I will make particular

The title of prince doth peculiarly belong with us to the king's eldest
son, who is called Prince of Wales, and is the heir-apparent to the crown;
as in France the king's eldest son hath the title of Dauphin, and is named
peculiarly _Monsieur_. So that the prince is so termed of the Latin word
_Princeps_, since he is (as I may call him) the chief or principal next
the king. The king's younger sons be but gentlemen by birth (till they
have received creation or donation from their father of higher estate, as
to be either viscounts, earls, or dukes) and called after their names, as
Lord Henry, or Lord Edward, with the addition of the word Grace, properly
assigned to the king and prince, and now also by custom conveyed to dukes,
archbishops, and (as some say) to marquesses and their wives.[55]

       *       *       *       *       *

Unto this place I also refer our bishops, who are accounted honourable,
called lords, and hold the same room in the Parliament house with the
barons, albeit for honour sake the right hand of the prince is given unto
them, and whose countenances in time past were much more glorious than at
this present it is, because those lusty prelates sought after earthly
estimation and authority with far more diligence than after the lost sheep
of Christ, of which they had small regard, as men being otherwise occupied
and void of leisure to attend upon the same. Howbeit in these days their
estate remaineth no less reverend than before, and the more virtuous they
are that be of this calling the better are they esteemed with high and
low. They retain also the ancient name ("lord") still, although it be not
a little impugned by such as love either to hear of change of all things
or can abide no superiors. For notwithstanding it be true that in respect
of function the office of the eldership[56] is equally distributed between
the bishop and the minister, yet for civil government's sake the first
have more authority given unto them by kings and princes, to the end that
the rest may thereby be with more ease retained within a limited compass
of uniformity than otherwise they would be if each one were suffered to
walk in his own course. This also is more to be marvelled at, that very
many call for an alteration of their estate, crying to have the word
"lord" abolished, their civil authority taken from them, and the present
condition of the church in other things reformed; whereas, to say truly,
few of them do agree upon form of discipline and government of the church
succeedent, wherein they resemble the Capuans (of whom Livy doth speak) in
the slaughter of their senate. Neither is it possible to frame a whole
monarchy after the pattern of one town or city, or to stir up such an
exquisite face of the church as we imagine or desire, sith our corruption
is such that it will never yield to so great perfection; for that which is
not able to be performed in a private house will be much less be brought
to pass in a commonwealth and kingdom, before such a prince be found as
Xenophon describeth, or such an orator as Tully hath devised.[57]

       *       *       *       *       *

Dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, and barons either be created of the
prince or come to that honour by being the eldest sons or highest in
succession to their parents. For the eldest son of a duke during his
father's life is an earl, the eldest son of an earl is a baron, or
sometimes a viscount, according as the creation is. The creation I call
the original donation and condition of the honour given by the prince for
good service done by the first ancestor, with some advancement, which,
with the title of that honour, is always given to him and his heirs males
only. The rest of the sons of the nobility by the rigour of the law be but
esquires; yet in common speech all dukes' and marquesses' sons and earls'
eldest sons be called lords, the which name commonly doth agree to none of
lower degree than barons, yet by law and use these be not esteemed barons.

The barony or degree of lords doth answer to the degree of senators of
Rome (as I said) and the title of nobility (as we used to call it in
England) to the Roman _Patricii_. Also in England no man is commonly
created baron except he may dispend of yearly revenues a thousand pounds,
or so much as may fully maintain and bear out his countenance and port.
But viscounts, earls, marquesses, and dukes exceed them according to the
proportion of their degree and honour. But though by chance he or his son
have less, yet he keepeth this degree: but if the decay be excessive, and
not able to maintain the honour (as _Senatores Romani_ were _amoti à
senatu_), so sometimes they are not admitted to the upper house in the
parliament, although they keep the name of "lord" still, which cannot be
taken from them upon any such occasion.[58]

The most of these names have descended from the French invention, in whose
histories we shall read of them eight hundred years past.[59]

       *       *       *       *       *

Knights be not born, neither is any man a knight by succession, no, not
the king or prince: but they are made either before the battle, to
encourage them the more to adventure and try their manhood; or after the
battle ended, as an advancement for their courage and prowess already
shewed, and then are they called _Milites_; or out of the wars for some
great service done, or for the singular virtues which do appear in them,
and then are they named _Equites Aurati_, as common custom intendeth. They
are made either by the king himself, or by his commission and royal
authority given for the same purpose, or by his lieutenant in the

       *       *       *       *       *

Sometime diverse ancient gentlemen, burgesses, and lawyers are called unto
knighthood by the prince, and nevertheless refuse to take that state upon
them, for which they are of custom punished by a fine, that redoundeth
unto his coffers, and (to say truth) is oftentimes more profitable unto
him than otherwise their service should be, if they did yield unto
knighthood. And this also is a cause wherefore there be many in England
able to dispend a knight's living, which never come unto that countenance,
and by their own consents. The number of the knights in Rome was also
uncertain: and so is it of knights likewise, with us, as at the pleasure
of the prince. And whereas the _Equites Romani_ had _Equum Publicum_ of
custom bestowed upon them, the knights of England have not so, but bear
their own charges in that also, as in other kind of furniture, as armour
meet for their defence and service. This nevertheless is certain, that
whoso may dispend forty pounds by the year of free land, either at the
coronation of the king, or marriage of his daughter, or time of his
dubbing, may be informed unto the taking of that degree, or otherwise pay
the revenues of his land for one year, which is only forty pounds by an
old proportion, and so for a time be acquitted of that title.[61]

       *       *       *       *       *

At the coronation of a king or queen, there be other knights made with
longer and more curious ceremonies, called "knights of the bath." But
howsoever one be dubbed or made knight, his wife is by-and-by called
"Madam," or "Lady," so well as the baron's wife: he himself having added
to his name in common appellation this syllable "Sir," which is the title
whereby we call our knights in England. His wife also of courtesy so long
as she liveth is called "my lady," although she happen to marry with a
gentleman or man of mean calling, albeit that by the common law she hath
no such prerogative. If her first husband also be of better birth than her
second, though this latter likewise be a knight, yet in that she
pretendeth a privilege to lose no honour through courtesy yielded to her
sex, she will be named after the most honourable or worshipful of both,
which is not seen elsewhere.

The other order of knighthood in England, and the most honourable, is that
of the garter, instituted by King Edward the Third, who, after he had
gained many notable victories, taken King John of France, and King James
of Scotland (and kept them both prisoners in the Tower of London at one
time), expelled King Henry of Castille, the bastard, out of his realm, and
restored Don Pedro unto it (by the help of the Prince of Wales and Duke of
Aquitaine, his eldest son, called the Black Prince), he then invented this
society of honour, and made a choice out of his own realm and dominions,
and throughout all Christendom of the best, most excellent, and renowned
persons in all virtues and honour, and adorned them with that title to be
knights of his order, giving them a garter garnished with gold and
precious stones, to wear daily on the left leg only; also a kirtle, gown,
cloak, chaperon, collar, and other solemn and magnificent apparel, both of
stuff and fashion exquisite and heroical to wear at high feasts, and as to
so high and princely an order appertaineth.

       *       *       *       *       *

The order of the garter therefore was devised in the time of King Edward
the Third, and (as some write) upon this occasion. The queen's majesty
then living, being departed from his presence the next way toward her
lodging, he following soon after happened to find her garter, which
slacked by chance and so fell from her leg, unespied in the throng by such
as attended upon her. His grooms and gentlemen also passed by it, as
disdaining to stoop and take up such a trifle: but he, knowing the owner,
commanded one of them to stay and reach it up to him. "Why, and like your
grace," saith a gentleman, "it is but some woman's garter that hath fallen
from her as she followed the queen's majesty." "Whatsoever it be," quoth
the king, "take it up and give it me." So when he had received the garter,
he said to such as stood about him: "You, my masters, do make small
account of this blue garter here," and therewith held it out, "but, if God
lend me life for a few months, I will make the proudest of you all to
reverence the like." And even upon this slender occasion he gave himself
to the devising of this order. Certes, I have not read of anything that
having had so simple a beginning hath grown in the end to so great honour
and estimation.[62]

       *       *       *       *       *

There is yet another order of knights in England called knights bannerets,
who are made in the field with the ceremony of cutting away the point of
his pennant of arms, and making it as it were a banner, so that, being
before but a bachelor knight, he is now of an higher degree, and allowed
to display his arms in a banner, as barons do. Howbeit these knights are
never made but in the wars, the king's standard being unfolded.[63]

       *       *       *       *       *

Moreover, as the king doth dub knights, and createth the barons and higher
degrees, so gentlemen whose ancestors are not known to come in with
William Duke of Normandy (for of the Saxon races yet remaining we now make
none accounted, much less of the British issue) do take their beginning in
England, after this manner in our times.

Whosoever studieth the laws of the realm, whoso abideth in the university
(giving his mind to his book), or professeth physic and the liberal
sciences, or beside his service in the room of a captain in the wars, or
good counsel given at home, whereby his commonwealth is benefited, can
live without manual labour, and thereto is able and will bear the port,
charge, and countenance of a gentleman, he shall for money have a coat
and arms bestowed upon him by heralds (who in the charter of the same do
of custom pretend antiquity and service, and many gay things), and
thereunto, being made so good cheap, be called master (which is the title
that men give to esquires and gentlemen), and reputed for a gentleman ever
after, which is so much less to be disallowed of for that the prince doth
lose nothing by it, the gentleman being so much subject to taxes and
public payments as is the yeoman or husbandman, which he likewise doth
bear the gladlier for the saving of his reputation. Being called also to
the wars (for with the government of the commonwealth he meddleth little),
whatsoever it cost him, he will both array and arm himself accordingly,
and shew the more manly courage, and all the tokens of the person which he
representeth. No man hath hurt by it but himself, who peradventure will go
in wider buskins than his legs will bear, or, as our proverb saith, "now
and then bear a bigger sail than his boat is able to sustain."

Certes the making of new gentlemen bred great strife sometimes amongst the
Romans, I mean when those which were _Novi homines_ were more allowed of
for their virtues newly seen and shewed than the old smell of ancient
race, lately defaced by the cowardice and evil life of their nephews and
descendants, could make the other to be. But as envy hath no affinity with
justice and equity, so it forceth not what language the malicious do give
out, against such as are exalted for their wisdoms. This nevertheless is
generally to be reprehended in all estates of gentility, and which in
short time will turn to the great ruin of our country, and that is, the
usual sending of noblemen's and mean gentlemen's sons into Italy, from
whence they bring home nothing but mere atheism, infidelity, vicious
conversation, and ambitious and proud behaviour, whereby it cometh to pass
that they return far worse men than they went out. A gentleman at this
present is newly come out of Italy, who went thither an earnest
Protestant; but coming home he could say after this manner: "Faith and
truth is to be kept where no loss or hindrance of a future purpose is
sustained by holding of the same; and forgiveness only to be shewed when
full revenge is made." Another no less forward than he, at his return from
thence, could add thus much: "He is a fool that maketh account of any
religion, but more fool that will lose any part of his wealth or will come
in trouble for constant leaning to any; but if he yield to lose his life
for his possession, he is stark mad, and worthy to be taken for most fool
of all the rest." This gay booty got these gentlemen by going into Italy;
and hereby a man may see what fruit is afterward to be looked for where
such blossoms do appear. "I care not," saith a third, "what you talk to me
of God, so as I may have the prince and the laws of the realm on my side."
Such men as this last are easily known; for they have learned in Italy to
go up and down also in England with pages at their heels finely
apparelled, whose face and countenance shall be such as sheweth the master
not to be blind in his choice. But lest I should offend too much, I pass
over to say any more of these Italianates and their demeanour, which,
alas! is too open and manifest to the world, and yet not called into

Citizens and burgesses have next place to gentlemen, who be those that are
free within the cities, and are of some likely substance to bear office in
the same. But these citizens or burgesses are to serve the commonwealth in
their cities and boroughs, or in corporate towns where they dwell, and in
the common assembly of the realm wherein our laws are made (for in the
counties they bear but little sway), which assembly is called the High
Court of Parliament: the ancient cities appoint four and the borough two
burgesses to have voices in it, and give their consent or dissent unto
such things as pass, to stay there in the name of the city or borough for
which they are appointed.

In this place also are our merchants to be installed as amongst the
citizens (although they often change estate with gentlemen, as gentlemen
do with them, by a mutual conversion of the one into the other), whose
number is so increased in these our days that their only maintenance is
the cause of the exceeding prices of foreign wares, which otherwise, when
every nation was permitted to bring in her own commodities, were far
better, cheaper, and more plentifully to be had. Of the want of our
commodities here at home, by their great transportation of them into other
countries, I speak not, sith the matter will easily betray itself. Certes
among the Lacedæmonians it was found out that great numbers of merchants
were nothing to the furtherance of the state of the commonwealth:
wherefore it is to be wished that the huge heap of them were somewhat
restrained, as also of our lawyers, so should the rest live more easily
upon their own, and few honest chapmen be brought to decay by breaking of
the bankrupt. I do not deny but that the navy of the land is in part
maintained by their traffic, and so are the high prices of wares kept up,
now they have gotten the only sale of things upon pretence of better
furtherance of the commonwealth into their own hands: whereas in times
past, when the strange bottoms were suffered to come in, we had sugar for
fourpence the pound, that now at the writing of this Treatise is well
worth half-a-crown; raisins or currants for a penny that now are holden at
sixpence, and sometimes at eightpence and tenpence the pound; nutmegs at
twopence halfpenny the ounce, ginger at a penny an ounce, prunes at
halfpenny farthing, great raisins three pounds for a penny, cinnamon at
fourpence the ounce, cloves at twopence, and pepper at twelve and sixteen
pence the pound. Whereby we may see the sequel of things not always, but
very seldom, to be such as is pretended in the beginning. The wares that
they carry out of the realm are for the most part broad clothes and
carsies[64] of all colours, likewise cottons, friezes, rugs, tin, wool,
our best beer, baize, bustian, mockadoes (tufted and plain), rash, lead,
fells, etc.: which, being shipped at sundry ports of our coasts, are borne
from thence into all quarters of the world, and there either exchanged for
other wares or ready money, to the great gain and commodity of our
merchants. And whereas in times past their chief trade was into Spain,
Portugal, France, Flanders, Danske [Denmark], Norway, Scotland, and
Ireland only, now in these days, as men not contented with these journeys,
they have sought out the East and West Indies, and made now and then
suspicious voyages, not only unto the Canaries and New Spain, but likewise
into Cathay, Muscovy, and Tartaria, and the regions thereabout, from
whence (as they say) they bring home great commodities. But alas! I see
not by all their travel that the prices of things are any whit abated.
Certes this enormity (for so I do account of it) was sufficiently provided
for (Ann. 9 Edward III.) by a noble statute made in that behalf, but upon
what occasion the general execution thereof is stayed or not called on, in
good sooth, I cannot tell. This only I know, that every function and
several vocation striveth with other, which of them should have all the
water of commodity run into her own cistern.

Yeomen are those which by our law are called _Legales homines_, free men
born English, and may dispend of their own free land in yearly revenue to
the sum of forty shillings sterling, or six pounds as money goeth in our
times. Some are of the opinion, by Cap. 2 Rich. 2 Ann. 20, that they are
the same which the Frenchmen call varlets, but, as that phrase is used in
my time, it is very unlikely to be so. The truth is that the word is
derived from the Saxon term _Zeoman_, or _Geoman_,[65] which signifieth
(as I have read) a settled or staid man, such I mean as, being married
and of some years, betaketh himself to stay in the place of his abode for
the better maintenance of himself and his family, whereof the single sort
have no regard, but are likely to be still fleeting now hither now
thither, which argueth want of stability in determination and resolution
of judgment, for the execution of things of any importance. This sort of
people have a certain pre-eminence, and more estimation than labourers and
the common sort of artificers, and these commonly live wealthily, keep
good houses, and travel to get riches. They are also for the most part
farmers to gentlemen (in old time called _Pagani, et opponuntur
militibus_, and therefore Persius calleth himself _Semipaganus_[66]), or
at the leastwise artificers, and with grazing, frequenting of markets, and
keeping of servants (not idle servants, as the gentlemen do, but such as
get both their own and part of their masters' living), do come to great
wealth, insomuch that many of them are able and do buy the lands of
unthrifty gentlemen, and often setting their sons to the schools, to the
universities, and to the Inns of the Court, or, otherwise leaving them
sufficient lands whereupon they may live without labour, do make them by
those means to become gentlemen. These were they that in times past made
all France afraid. And albeit they be not called "Master," as gentlemen
are, or "Sir," as to knights appertaineth, but only "John" and "Thomas,"
etc., yet have they been found to have done very good service.

The kings of England in foughten battles were wont to remain among them
(who were their footmen) as the French kings did amongst their horsemen,
the prince thereby shewing where his chief strength did consist.

The fourth and last sort of people in England are day-labourers, poor
husbandmen, and some retailers (which have no free land), copyholders, and
all artificers, as tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, brickmakers, masons,

As for slaves and bondmen, we have none; nay, such is the privilege of our
country by the especial grace of God and bounty of our princes, that if
any come hither from other realms, so soon as they set foot on land they
become so free of condition as their masters, whereby all note of servile
bondage is utterly removed from them, wherein we resemble (not the
Germans, who had slaves also, though such as in respect of the slaves of
other countries might well be reputed free, but) the old Indians and the
Taprobanes,[68] who supposed it a great injury to Nature to make or suffer
them to be bond, whom she in her wonted course doth product and bring
forth free. This fourth and last sort of people therefore have neither
voice nor authority in the commonwealth, but are to be ruled and not to
rule other: yet they are not altogether neglected, for in cities and
corporate towns, for default of yeomen, they are fain to make up their
inquests of such manner of people. And in villages they are commonly made
churchwardens, sidesmen, aleconners, now and then constables, and many
times enjoy the name of head boroughs. Unto this sort also may our great
swarms of idle serving-men be referred, of whom there runneth a proverb,
"Young serving-men, old beggars," because service is none heritage. These
men are profitable to none; for, if their condition be well perused, they
are enemies to their masters, to their friends, and to themselves: for by
them oftentimes their masters are encouraged unto unlawful exactions of
their tenants, their friends brought unto poverty by their rents enhanced,
and they themselves brought to confusion by their own prodigality and
errors, as men that, having not wherewith of their own to maintain their
excesses, do search in highways, budgets, coffers, mails, and stables,
which way to supply their wants. How divers of them also, coveting to bear
an high sail, do insinuate themselves with young gentlemen and noblemen
newly come to their lands, the case is too much apparent, whereby the good
natures of the parties are not only a little impaired, but also their
livelihoods and revenues so wasted and consumed that, if at all, yet not
in many years, they shall be able to recover themselves. It were very good
therefore that the superfluous heaps of them were in part diminished. And
since necessity enforceth to have some, yet let wisdom moderate their
numbers, so shall their masters be rid of unnecessary charge, and the
commonwealth of many thieves. No nation cherisheth such store of them as
we do here in England, in hope of which maintenance many give themselves
to idleness that otherwise would be brought to labour, and live in order
like subjects. Of their whoredoms I will not speak anything at all, more
than of their swearing; yet is it found that some of them do make the
first a chief pillar of their building, consuming not only the goods but
also the health and welfare of many honest gentlemen, citizens, wealthy
yeomen, etc., by such unlawful dealings. But how far have I waded in this
point, or how far may I sail in such a large sea? I will therefore now
stay to speak any more of those kind of men. In returning therefore to my
matter, this furthermore among other things I have to say of our
husbandmen and artificers, that they were never so excellent in their
trades as at this present. But as the workmanship of the latter sort was
newer, more fine, and curious to the eye, so was it never less strong and
substantial for continuance and benefit of the buyers. Neither is there
anything that hurteth the common sort of our artificers more than haste,
and a barbarous or slavish desire to turn the penny, and, by ridding their
work, to make speedy utterance of their wares: which enforceth them to
bungle up and despatch many things they care not how so they be out of
their hands, whereby the buyer is often sore defrauded, and findeth to his
cost that haste maketh waste, according to the proverb.

Oh, how many trades and handicrafts are now in England whereof the
commonwealth hath no need! How many needful commodities have we which are
perfected with great cost, etc., and yet may with far more ease and less
cost be provided from other countries if we could use the means! I will
not speak of iron, glass, and such like, which spoil much wood, and yet
are brought from other countries better cheap than we can make them here
at home; I could exemplify also in many other. But to leave these things
and proceed with our purpose, and herein (as occasion serveth) generally,
by way of conclusion, to speak of the commonwealth of England, I find that
it is governed and maintained by three sorts of persons--

1. The prince, monarch, and head governor, which is called the king, or
(if the crown fall to a woman) the queen: in whose name and by whose
authority all things are administered.

2. The gentlemen, which be divided into two sorts, as the barony or estate
of lords (which containeth barons and all above that degree), and also
those that be no lords, as knights, esquires, and simple gentlemen, as I
have noted already. Out of these also are the great deputies and high
presidents chosen, of which one serveth in Ireland, as another did some
time in Calais, and the captain now at Berwick, as one lord president doth
govern in Wales, and the other the north parts of this island, which
later, with certain counsellors and judges, were erected by King Henry
the Eighth. But, for so much as I have touched their conditions elsewhere,
it shall be enough to have remembered them at this time.

3. The third and last sort is named the yeomanry, of whom and their
sequel, the labourers and artificers, I have said somewhat even now.
Whereto I add that they may not be called _masters_ and _gentlemen_, but
_goodmen_, as Goodman Smith, Goodman Coot, Goodman Cornell, Goodman
Mascall, Goodman Cockswet, etc.: and in matters of law these and the like
are called thus, _Giles Jewd, yeoman_; _Edward Mountford, yeoman_; _James
Cocke, yeoman_; _Harry Butcher, yeoman_, etc.; by which addition they are
exempt from the vulgar and common sorts. Cato calleth them "_Aratores et
optimos cives rei publicæ_," of whom also you may read more in the book of
commonwealth which Sir Thomas Smith some time penned of this land.[69]



[1577, Book II., Chapter 7; 1587, Book II., Chapter 13.]

As in old time we read that there were eight-and-twenty flamines and
archflamines in the south part of this isle, and so many great cities
under their jurisdiction, so in these our days there is but one or two
fewer, and each of them also under the ecclesiastical regiment of some one
bishop or archbishop, who in spiritual cases have the charge and oversight
of the same. So many cities therefore are there in England and Wales as
there be bishoprics and archbishoprics.[70] For, notwithstanding that
Lichfield and Coventry and Bath and Wells do seem to extend the aforesaid
number unto nine-and-twenty, yet neither of these couples are to be
accounted but as one entire city and see of the bishop, sith one bishopric
can have relation but unto one see, and the said see be situate but in one
place, after which the bishop doth take his name.[71]

       *       *       *       *       *

Certes I would gladly set down, with the names and number of the cities,
all the towns and villages in England and Wales, with their true
longitudes and latitudes, but as yet I cannot come by them in such order
as I would; howbeit the tale of our cities is soon found by the
bishoprics, sith every see hath such prerogative given unto it as to bear
the name of a city and to use _Regaleius_[72] within her own limits. Which
privilege also is granted to sundry ancient towns in England, especially
northward, where more plenty of them is to be found by a great deal than
in the south. The names therefore of our cities are these: London, York,
Canterbury, Winchester, Carlisle, Durham, Ely, Norwich, Lincoln,
Worcester, Gloucester, Hereford, Salisbury, Exeter, Bath, Lichfield,
Bristol, Rochester, Chester, Chichester, Oxford, Peterborough, Llandaff,
St. Davids, Bangor, St. Asaph, whose particular plots and models, with
their descriptions, shall ensue, if it may be brought to pass that the
cutters can make despatch of them before this history be published.[73]

Of towns and villages likewise thus much will I say, that there were
greater store in old time (I mean within three or four hundred year
passed) than at this present. And this I note out of divers records,
charters, and donations (made in times past unto sundry religious houses,
as Glastonbury, Abingdon, Ramsey, Ely, and such like), and whereof in
these days I find not so much as the ruins. Leland, in sundry places,
complaineth likewise of the decay of parishes in great cities and towns,
missing in some six or eight or twelve churches and more, of all which he
giveth particular notice. For albeit that the Saxons builded many towns
and villages, and the Normans well more at their first coming, yet since
the first two hundred years after the latter conquest, they have gone so
fast again to decay that the ancient number of them is very much abated.
Ranulph, the monk of Chester, telleth of general survey made in the
fourth, sixteenth, and nineteenth of the reign of William Conqueror,
surnamed the Bastard, wherein it was found that (notwithstanding the Danes
had overthrown a great many) there were to the number of 52,000 towns,
45,002 parish churches, and 75,000 knights' fees, whereof the clergy held
28,015. He addeth moreover that there were divers other builded since that
time, within the space of a hundred years after the coming of the Bastard,
as it were in lieu or recompense of those that William Rufus pulled down
for the erection of his New Forest. For by an old book which I have, and
some time written as it seemeth by an under-sheriff of Nottingham, I find
even in the time of Edward IV. 45,120 parish churches, and but 60,216
knights' fees, whereof the clergy held as before 28,015, or at the least
28,000; for so small is the difference which he doth seem to use. Howbeit,
if the assertions of such as write in our time concerning this matter
either are or ought to be of any credit in this behalf, you shall not find
above 17,000 towns and villages, and 9210 in the whole, which is little
more than a fourth part of the aforesaid number, if it be thoroughly

       *       *       *       *       *

In time past in Lincoln (as the same goeth) there have been two-and-fifty
parish churches, and good record appeareth for eight-and-thirty; but now,
if there be four-and-twenty, it is all. This inconvenience hath grown
altogether to the church by appropriations made unto monasteries and
religious houses--a terrible canker and enemy to religion.

But to leave this lamentable discourse of so notable and grievous an
inconvenience, growing as I said by encroaching and joining of house to
house and laying land to land, whereby the inhabitants of many places of
our country are devoured and eaten up, and their houses either altogether
pulled down or suffered to decay little by little,[75] although some time
a poor man peradventure doth dwell in one of them, who, not being able to
repair it, suffereth it to fall down--and thereto thinketh himself very
friendly dealt withal, if he may have an acre of ground assigned unto him,
wherein to keep a cow, or wherein to set cabbages, radishes, parsnips,
carrots, melons, pompons,[76] or such like stuff, by which he and his poor
household liveth as by their principal food, sith they can do no better.
And as for wheaten bread, they eat it when they can reach unto the price
of it, contenting themselves in the meantime with bread made of oats or
barley: a poor estate, God wot! Howbeit, what care our great encroachers?
But in divers places where rich men dwelled some time in good tenements,
there be now no houses at all, but hop-yards, and sheds for poles, or
peradventure gardens, as we may see in Castle Hedingham,[77] and divers
other places. But to proceed.

It is so that, our soil being divided into champaign ground and woodland,
the houses of the first lie uniformly builded in every town together, with
streets and lanes; whereas in the woodland countries (except here and
there in great market towns) they stand scattered abroad, each one
dwelling in the midst of his own occupying. And as in many and most great
market towns, there are commonly three hundred or four hundred families or
mansions, and two thousand communicants (or peradventure more), so in the
other, whether they be woodland or champaign, we find not often above
forty, fifty, or three score households, and two or three hundred
communicants, whereof the greatest part nevertheless are very poor folks,
oftentimes without all manner of occupying, sith the ground of the parish
is gotten up into a few men's hands, yea sometimes into the tenure of one
or two or three, whereby the rest are compelled either to be hired
servants unto the other or else to beg their bread in misery from door to

There are some (saith Leland) which are not so favourable, when they have
gotten such lands, as to let the houses remain upon them to the use of
the poor; but they will compound with the lord of the soil to pull them
down for altogether, saying that "if they did let them stand, they should
but toll beggars to the town, thereby to surcharge the rest of the parish,
and lay more burden upon them." But alas! these pitiful men see not that
they themselves hereby do lay the greatest log upon their neighbours'
necks. For, sith the prince doth commonly loose nothing of his duties
accustomable to be paid, the rest of the parishioners that remain must
answer and bear them out: for they plead more charge other ways, saying:
"I am charged already with a light horse; I am to answer in this sort, and
after that matter." And it is not yet altogether out of knowledge that,
where the king had seven pounds thirteen shillings at a task gathered of
fifty wealthy householders of a parish in England, now, a gentleman having
three parts of the town in his own hands, four households do bear all the
aforesaid payment, or else Leland is deceived in his _Commentaries_, lib.
13, lately come to my hands,[78] which thing he especially noted in his
travel over this isle. A common plague and enormity, both in the heart of
the land and likewise upon the coasts. Certes a great number complain of
the increase of poverty, laying the cause upon God, as though he were in
fault for sending such increase of people, or want of wars that should
consume them, affirming that the land was never so full, etc.; but few men
do see the very root from whence it doth proceed. Yet the Romans found it
out, when they flourished, and therefore prescribed limits to every man's
tenure and occupying. Homer commendeth Achilles for overthrowing of
five-and-twenty cities: but in mine opinion Ganges is much better
preferred by Suidas for building of three score in India, where he did
plant himself. I could (if need required) set down in this place the
number of religious houses and monasteries, with the names of their
founders, that have been in this island: but, sith it is a thing of small
importance, I pass it over as impertinent to my purpose. Yet herein I
will commend sundry of the monastical votaries, especially monks, for that
they were authors of many goodly borowes and endwares,[79] near unto their
dwellings, although otherwise they pretended to be men separated from the
world. But alas! their covetous minds, one way in enlarging their
revenues, and carnal intent another, appeared herein too, too much. For,
being bold from time to time to visit their tenants, they wrought oft
great wickedness, and made those endwares little better than
brothel-houses, especially where nunneries were far off, or else no safe
access unto them. But what do I spend my time in the rehearsal of these
filthinesses? Would to God the memory of them might perish with the
malefactors! My purpose was also at the end of this chapter to have set
down a table of the parish churches and market towns throughout all
England and Wales; but, sith I cannot perform the same as I would, I am
forced to give over my purpose; yet by these few that ensue you shall
easily see what order I would have used according to the shires, if I
might have brought it to pass.

  Shires.       Market Towns.       Parishes.

  Middlesex          3                  73
  London within the walls and without  120
  Surrey             6                 140
  Sussex            18                 312
  Kent              17                 398
  Cambridge          4                 163
  Bedford            9                  13
  Huntingdon         5                  78
  Rutland            2                  47
  Berkshire         11                 150
  Northampton       10                 326
  Buckingham        11                 196
  Oxford            10                 216
  Southampton       18                 248
  Dorset            19                 279
  Norfolk           26                 625
  Suffolk           25                 575
  Essex             18                 415

And these I had of a friend of mine, by whose travel and his master's
excessive charges I doubt not but my countrymen ere long shall see all
England set forth in several shires after the same manner that Ortelius
hath dealt with other countries of the main, to the great benefit of our
nation and everlasting fame of the aforesaid parties.[80]



[1587, Book II., Chapter 20.[81]]

After such time as Calais was won from the French, and that our countrymen
had learned to trade into divers countries (whereby they grew rich), they
began to wax idle also, and thereupon not only left off their former
painfulness and frugality, but in like sort gave themselves to live in
excess and vanity, whereby many goodly commodities failed, and in short
time were not to be had amongst us. Such strangers also as dwelled here
with us, perceiving our sluggishness, and espying that this idleness of
ours might redound to their great profit, forthwith employed their
endeavours to bring in the supply of such things as we lacked continually
from foreign countries, which yet more augmented our idleness. For, having
all things at reasonable prices (as we supposed) by such means from them,
we thought it mere madness to spend either time or cost about the same
here at home. And thus we became enemies to our own welfare, as men that
in those days reposed our felicity in following the wars, wherewith we
were often exercised both at home and other places. Besides this, the
natural desire that mankind hath to esteem of things far sought, because
they be rare and costly, and the irksome contempt of things near hand, for
that they are common and plentiful, hath borne no small sway also in this
behalf amongst us. For hereby we have neglected our own good gifts of God,
growing here at home, as vile and of no value, and had every trifle and
toy in admiration that is brought hither from far countries, ascribing I
wot not what great forces and solemn estimation unto them, until they also
have waxen old, after which, they have been so little regarded, if not
more despised, amongst us than our own. Examples hereof I could set down
many and in many things; but, sith my purpose is to deal at this time with
gardens and orchards, it shall suffice that I touch them only, and show
our inconstancy in the same, so far as shall seem and be convenient for my
turn. I comprehend therefore under the word "garden" all such grounds as
are wrought with the spade by man's hand, for so the case requireth. Of
wine I have written already elsewhere sufficiently,[82] which commodity
(as I have learned further since the penning of that book) hath been very
plentiful in this island, not only in the time of the Romans, but also
since the Conquest, as I have seen by record; yet at this present have we
none at all (or else very little to speak of) growing in this island,
which I impute not unto the soil, but the negligence of my countrymen.
Such herbs, fruits, and roots also as grow yearly out of the ground, of
seed, have been very plentiful in this land, in the time of the first
Edward, and after his days; but in process of time they grew also to be
neglected, so that from Henry the Fourth till the latter end of Henry the
Seventh and beginning of Henry the Eighth, there was little or no use of
them in England,[83] but they remained either unknown or supposed as food
more meet for hogs and savage beasts to feed upon than mankind. Whereas in
my time their use is not only resumed among the poor commons, I mean of
melons, pompons, gourds, cucumbers, radishes, skirets,[84] parsnips,
carrots, cabbages, navews,[85] turnips, and all kinds of salad herbs--but
also fed upon as dainty dishes at the tables of delicate merchants,
gentlemen, and the nobility, who make their provision yearly for new seeds
out of strange countries, from whence they have them abundantly. Neither
do they now stay with such of these fruits as are wholesome in their
kinds, but adventure further upon such as are very dangerous and hurtful,
as the verangenes, mushrooms, etc., as if nature had ordained all for the
belly, or that all things were to be eaten for whose mischievous operation
the Lord in some measure hath given and provided a remedy.

Hops in time past were plentiful in this land. Afterwards also their
maintenance did cease. And now, being revived, where are any better to be
found? Where any greater commodity to be raised by them? Only poles are
accounted to be their greatest charge. But, sith men have learned of late
to sow ashen kexes in ashyards by themselves, that inconvenience in short
time will be redressed.

Madder hath grown abundantly in this island, but of long time neglected,
and now a little revived, and offereth itself to prove no small benefit
unto our country, as many other things else, which are now fetched from
us: as we before time, when we gave ourselves to idleness, were glad to
have them other.

If you look into our gardens annexed to our houses, how wonderfully is
their beauty increased, not only with flowers, which Columella calleth
_Terrena sydera_, saying,

     "_Pingit et in varios terrestria sydera flores_,"

and variety of curious and costly workmanship, but also with rare and
medicinable herbs[86] sought up in the land within these forty years: so
that, in comparison of this present, the ancient gardens were but
dunghills and laistowes[87] to such as did possess them. How art also
helpeth nature in the daily colouring, doubling, and enlarging the
proportion of our flowers, it is incredible to report: for so curious and
cunning are our gardeners now in these days that they presume to do in
manner what they list with nature, and moderate her course in things as if
they were her superiors. It is a world also to see how many strange herbs,
plants, and annual fruits are daily brought unto us from the Indies,
Americans, Taprobane, Canary Isles, and all parts of the world: the which,
albeit that in respect of the constitutions of our bodies they do not grow
for us (because that God hath bestowed sufficient commodities upon every
country for her own necessity), yet, for delectation sake unto the eye and
their odoriferous savours unto the nose, they are to be cherished, and God
to be glorified also in them, because they are his good gifts, and created
to do man help and service. There is not almost one nobleman, gentleman,
or merchant that hath not great store of these flowers, which now also do
begin to wax so well acquainted with our soils that we may almost account
of them as parcel of our own commodities. They have no less regard in like
sort to cherish medicinable herbs fetched out of other regions nearer
hand, insomuch that I have seen in some one garden to the number of three
hundred or four hundred of them, if not more, of the half of whose names
within forty years past we had no manner of knowledge. But herein I find
some cause of just complaint, for that we extol their uses so far that we
fall into contempt of our own, which are in truth more beneficial and apt
for us than such as grow elsewhere, sith (as I said before) every region
hath abundantly within her own limits whatsoever is needful and most
convenient for them that dwell therein. How do men extol the use of
tobacco[88] in my time, whereas in truth (whether the cause be in the
repugnancy of our constitution unto the operation thereof, or that the
ground doth alter her force, I cannot tell) it is not found of so great
efficacy as they write. And beside this, our common germander or thistle
benet is found and known to be so wholesome and of so great power in
medicine as any other herb, if they be used accordingly. I could exemplify
after the like manner in sundry other, as the _Salsa parilla_,
_Mochoacan_, etc., but I forbear so to do, because I covet to be brief.
And truly, the estimation and credit that we yield and give unto compound
medicines made with foreign drugs is one great cause wherefore the full
knowledge and use of our own simples hath been so long raked up in the
embers. And as this may be verified so to be one sound conclusion, for,
the greater number of simples that go unto any compound medicine, the
greater confusion is found therein, because the qualities and operations
of very few of the particulars are thoroughly known. And even so our
continual desire of strange drugs, whereby the physician and apothecary
only hath the benefit, is no small cause that the use of our simples here
at home doth go to loss, and that we tread those herbs under our feet,
whose forces if we knew, and could apply them to our necessities, we would
honour and have in reverence as to their case behoveth. Alas! what have we
to do with such Arabian and Grecian stuff as is daily brought from those
parties which lie in another clime? And therefore the bodies of such as
dwell there are of another constitution than ours are here at home. Certes
they grow not for us, but for the Arabians and Grecians. And albeit that
they may by skill be applied unto our benefit, yet to be more skilful in
them than in our own is folly; and to use foreign wares, when our own may
serve the turn, is more folly; but to despise our own, and magnify above
measure the use of them that are sought and brought from far, is most
folly of all: for it savoureth of ignorance, or at the leastwise of
negligence, and therefore worthy of reproach.

Among the Indians, who have the most present cures for every disease of
their own nation, there is small regard of compound medicines, and less of
foreign drugs, because they neither know them nor can use them, but work
wonders even with their own simples. With them also the difference of the
clime doth show her full effect. For, whereas they will heal one another
in short time with application of one simple, etc., if a Spaniard or
Englishman stand in need of their help, they are driven to have a longer
space in their cures, and now and then also to use some addition of two or
three simples at the most, whose forces unto them are thoroughly known,
because their exercise is only in their own, as men that never sought or
heard what virtue was in those that came from other countries. And even so
did Marcus Cato, the learned Roman, endeavour to deal in his cures of
sundry diseases, wherein he not only used such simples as were to be had
in his own country, but also examined and learned the forces of each of
them, wherewith he dealt so diligently that in all his lifetime he could
attain to the exact knowledge but of a few, and thereto wrote of those
most learnedly, as would easily be seen if those his books were extant.
For the space also of six hundred years the colewort only was a medicine
in Rome for all diseases, so that his virtues were thoroughly known in
those parts.

In Pliny's time the like affection to foreign drugs did rage among the
Romans, whereby their own did grow in contempt. Crying out therefore of
this extreme folly, lib. 22, cap. 24, he speaketh after this manner--

     "Non placent remedia tam longè nascentia, non enim nobis gignuntur,
     immò ne illis quidem, alioquin non venderent; si placet etiam
     superstitionis gratia emantur, quoniam supplicamus, &c. Salutem
     quidem sine his posse constare, vel ob id probabimus, ut tanto magis
     sui tandem pudeat."

For my part, I doubt not if the use of outlandish drugs had not blinded
our physicians of England in times past, but that the virtues of our
simples here at home would have been far better known, and so well unto us
as those of India are to the practitioners of those parts, and thereunto
be found more profitable for us than the foreign either are or may be.
This also will I add, that even those which are most common by reason of
their plenty, and most vile because of their abundance, are not without
some universal and special efficacy, if it were known, for our benefit:
sith God in nature hath so disposed his creatures that the most needful
are the most plentiful and serving for such general diseases as our
constitution most commonly is affected withal. Great thanks therefore be
given unto the physicians of our age and country, who not only endeavour
to search out the use of such simples as our soil doth yield and bring
forth, but also to procure such as grow elsewhere, upon purpose so to
acquaint them with our clime that they in time, through some alteration
received from the nature of the earth, may likewise turn to our benefit
and commodity and be used as our own.

The chief workman (or, as I may call him, the founder of this device) is
Carolus Clusius, the noble herbarist whose industry hath wonderfully
stirred them up unto this good act. For albeit that Matthiolus, Rembert,
Lobell, and others have travelled very far in this behalf, yet none hath
come near to Clusius, much less gone further in the finding and true
descriptions of such herbs as of late are brought to light. I doubt not
but, if this man were in England but one seven years, he would reveal a
number of herbs growing with us whereof neither our physicians nor
apothecaries as yet have any knowledge. And even like thanks be given unto
our nobility, gentlemen, and others, for their continual nutriture and
cherishing of such homeborne and foreign simples in their gardens: for
hereby they shall not only be had at hand and preserved, but also their
forms made more familiar to be discerned and their forces better known
than hitherto they have been.

And even as it fareth with our gardens, so doth it with our orchards,
which were never furnished with so good fruit nor with such variety as at
this present. For, beside that we have most delicate apples, plums,
pears, walnuts, filberts, etc., and those of sundry sorts, planted within
forty years past, in comparison of which most of the old trees are nothing
worth, so have we no less store of strange fruit, as apricots, almonds,
peaches, figs, corn-trees[89] in noblemen's orchards. I have seen capers,
oranges, and lemons, and heard of wild olives growing here, beside other
strange trees, brought from far, whose names I know not. So that England
for these commodities was never better furnished, neither any nation under
their clime more plentifully endued with these and other blessings from
the most high God, who grant us grace withal to use the same to his honour
and glory! And not as instruments and provocations unto further excess and
vanity, wherewith his displeasure may be kindled, lest these his benefits
do turn unto thorns and briers unto us for our annoyance and punishment,
which he hath bestowed upon us for our consolation and comfort.

We have in like sort such workmen as are not only excellent in grafting
the natural fruits, but also in their artificial mixtures, whereby one
tree bringeth forth sundry fruits, and one and the same fruit of divers
colours and tastes, dallying as it were with nature and her course, as if
her whole trade were perfectly known unto them: of hard fruits they will
make tender, of sour sweet, of sweet yet more delicate, bereaving also
some of their kernels, other of their cores, and finally enduing them with
the savour of musk, amber, or sweet spices, at their pleasures. Divers
also have written at large of these several practices, and some of them
how to convert the kernels of peaches into almonds, of small fruit to make
far greater, and to remove or add superfluous or necessary moisture to the
trees, with other things belonging to their preservation, and with no less
diligence than our physicians do commonly show upon our own diseased
bodies, which to me doth seem right strange. And even so do our gardeners
with their herbs, whereby they are strengthened against noisome blasts,
and preserved from putrefaction and hindrance: whereby some such as were
annual are now made perpetual, being yearly taken up, and either reserved
in the house, or, having the ross pulled from their roots, laid again into
the earth, where they remain in safety. What choice they make also in
their waters, and wherewith some of them do now and then keep them moist,
it is a world to see, insomuch that the apothecaries' shops may seem to be
needful also to our gardens and orchards, and that in sundry wise: nay,
the kitchen itself is so far from being able to be missed among them that
even the very dish-water is not without some use amongst our finest
plants. Whereby, and sundry other circumstances not here to be remembered,
I am persuaded that, albeit the gardens of the Hesperides were in times
past so greatly accounted of, because of their delicacy, yet, if it were
possible to have such an equal judge as by certain knowledge of both were
able to pronounce upon them, I doubt not but he would give the prize unto
the gardens of our days, and generally over all Europe, in comparison of
those times wherein the old exceeded. Pliny and others speak of a rose
that had three score leaves growing upon one button: but if I should tell
of one which bare a triple number unto that proportion, I know I shall not
be believed, and no great matter though I were not; howbeit such a one was
to be seen in Antwerp, 1585, as I have heard, and I know who might have
had a slip or stallon thereof, if he would have ventured ten pounds upon
the growth of the same, which should have been but a tickle hazard, and
therefore better undone, as I did always imagine. For mine own part, good
reader, let me boast a little of my garden, which is but small, and the
whole area thereof little above 300 foot of ground, and yet, such hath
been my good luck in purchase of the variety of simples, that,
notwithstanding my small ability, there are very near three hundred of one
sort and other contained therein, no one of them being common or usually
to be had. If therefore my little plot, void of all cost in keeping, be
so well furnished, what shall we think of those of Hampton Court, Nonsuch,
Tibault's, Cobham Garden,[90] and sundry others appertaining to divers
citizens of London, whom I could particularly name; if I should not seem
to offend them by such my demeanour and dealing.



[1577, Book II., Chapter 11; 1587, Book II., Chapter 18.]

There are (as I take it) few great towns in England that have not their
weekly markets, one or more granted from the prince, in which all manner
of provision for household is to be bought and sold, for ease and benefit
of the country round about. Whereby, as it cometh to pass that no buyer
shall make any great journey in the purveyance of his necessities, so no
occupier shall have occasion to travel far off with his commodities,
except it be to seek for the highest prices, which commonly are near unto
great cities, where round and speediest utterance is always to be had.
And, as these have been in times past erected for the benefit of the
realm, so are they in many places too, too much abused: for the relief and
ease of the buyer is not so much intended in them as the benefit of the
seller. Neither are the magistrates for the most part (as men loath to
displease their neighbours for their one year's dignity) so careful in
their offices as of right and duty they should be. For, in most of these
markets, neither assizes of bread nor orders for goodness and sweetness of
grain and other commodities that are brought thither to be sold are any
whit looked unto, but each one suffered to sell or set up what and how
himself listeth: and this is one evident cause of dearth and scarcity in
time of great abundance.

I could (if I would) exemplify in many, but I will touch no one
particularly, sith it is rare to see in any country town (as I said) the
assize of bread well kept according to the statute; and yet, if any
country baker happen to come in among them on the market day with bread of
better quantity, they find fault by-and-by with one thing or other in his
stuff, whereby the honest poor man (whom the law of nations do commend,
for that he endeavoureth to live by any lawful means) is driven away, and
no more to come there, upon some round penalty, by virtue of their
privileges. Howbeit, though they are so nice in the proportion of their
bread, yet, in lieu of the same, there is such heady ale and beer in most
of them as for the mightiness thereof among such as seek it out is
commonly called "huffcap," "the mad dog," "Father Whoreson," "angels'
food," "dragon's milk," "go-by-the-wall," "stride wide," and "lift leg,"
etc. And this is more to be noted, that when one of late fell by God's
providence into a troubled conscience, after he had considered well of his
reachless life and dangerous estate, another, thinking belike to change
his colour and not his mind, carried him straight away to the strongest
ale, as to the next physician. It is incredible to say how our maltbugs
lug at this liquor, even as pigs should lie in a row lugging at their
dame's teats, till they lie still again and be not able to wag. Neither
did Romulus and Remus suck their she-wolf or shepherd's wife Lupa with
such eager and sharp devotion as these men hale at "huffcap," till they be
red as cocks and little wiser than their combs. But how am I fallen from
the market into the alehouse? In returning therefore unto my purpose, I
find that in corn great abuse is daily suffered, to the great prejudice of
the town and country, especially the poor artificer and householder, which
tilleth no land, but, labouring all the week to buy a bushel or two of
grain on the market day, can there have none for his money: because
bodgers,[91] loaders, and common carriers of corn do not only buy up all,
but give above the price, to be served of great quantities. Shall I go any
further? Well, I will say yet a little more, and somewhat by mine own

At Michaelmas time poor men must make money of their grain, that they may
pay their rents. So long then as the poor man hath to sell, rich men will
bring out none, but rather buy up that which the poor bring, under
pretence of seed corn or alteration of grain, although they bring none of
their own, because one wheat often sown without change of seed will soon
decay and be converted into darnel. For this cause therefore they must
needs buy in the markets, though they be twenty miles off, and where they
be not known, promising there, if they happen to be espied (which, God
wot, is very seldom), to send so much to their next market, to be
performed I wot not when.

If this shift serve not (neither doth the fox use always one track for
fear of a snare), they will compound with some one of the town where the
market is holden, who for a pot of "huffcap" or "merry-go-down," will not
let to buy it for them, and that in his own name. Or else they wage one
poor man or other to become a bodger, and thereto get him a licence upon
some forged surmise, which being done, they will feed him with money to
buy for them till he hath filled their lofts;[92] and then, if he can do
any good for himself, so it is; if not, they will give him somewhat for
his pains at this time, and reserve him for another year. How many of the
like providers stumble upon blind creeks at the sea coast, I wot not well;
but that some have so done and yet do under other men's wings, the case is
too, too plain. But who dare find fault with them, when they have once a
licence? yes, though it be but to serve a mean gentleman's house with
corn, who hath cast up all his tillage, because he boasteth how he can buy
his grain in the market better cheap than he can sow his land, as the rich
grazier often doth also upon the like device, because grazing requireth a
smaller household and less attendance and charge. If any man come to buy
a bushel or two for his expenses unto the market cross, answer is made:
"Forsooth, here was one even now that bade me money for it, and I hope he
will have it." And to say the truth, these bodgers are fair chapmen; for
there are no more words with them, but "_Let me see it! What shall I give
you? Knit it up! I will have it--go carry it to such a chamber, and if you
bring in twenty_ seme _more in the week-day to such an inn or sollar where
I lay my corn, I will have it, and give you (____) pence or more in every
bushel for six weeks' day of payment than another will_." Thus the bodgers
bear away all, so that the poor artificer and labourer cannot make his
provision in the markets, sith they will hardly nowadays sell by the
bushel, nor break their measure; and so much the rather for that the buyer
will look (as they say) for so much over measure in the bushel as the
bodger will do in a quarter. Nay, the poor man cannot oft get any of the
farmer at home, because he provideth altogether to serve the bodger, or
hath an hope, grounded upon a greedy and insatiable desire of gain, that
the sale will be better in the market, so that he must give twopence or a
groat more in the bushel at his house than the last market craved, or else
go without it, and sleep with a hungry belly. Of the common carriage of
corn over unto the parts beyond the seas I speak not; or at the leastwise,
if I should, I could not touch it alone, but needs must join other
provision withal, whereby not only our friends abroad, but also many of
our adversaries and countrymen, the papists, are abundantly relieved (as
the report goeth); but sith I see it not, I will not so trust mine ears as
to write it for a truth. But to return to our markets again.

By this time the poor occupier hath sold all his crop for need of money,
being ready peradventure to buy again ere long. And now is the whole sale
of corn in the great occupiers' hands, who hitherto have threshed little
or none of their own, but bought up of other men as much as they could
come by. Henceforth also they begin to sell, not by the quarter or load at
the first (for marring the market), but by the bushel or two, or a
horseload at the most, thereby to be seen to keep the cross, either for a
show, or to make men eager to buy, and so, as they may have it for money,
not to regard what they pay. And thus corn waxeth dear; but it will be
dearer the next market day. It is possible also that they mislike the
price in the beginning for the whole year ensuing, as men supposing that
corn will be little worth for this, and of better price the next year. For
they have certain superstitious observations whereby they will give a
guess at the sale of corn for the year following. And our countrymen do
use commonly for barley, where I dwell, to judge after the price at
Baldock upon St. Matthew's day; and for wheat, as it is sold in seed time.
They take in like sort experiment by sight of the first flocks of cranes
that flee southward in winter, the age of the moon in the beginning of
January, and such other apish toys as by laying twelve corns upon the hot
hearth for the twelve months, etc., whereby they shew themselves to be
scant good Christians; but what care they, so that they come by money?
Hereupon also will they thresh out three parts of the old corn, towards
the latter end of the summer, when new cometh apace to hand, and cast the
same in the fourth unthreshed, where it shall lie until the next spring,
or peradventure till it must and putrify. Certes it is not dainty to see
musty corn in many of our great markets of England which these great
occupiers bring forth when they can keep it no longer. But as they are
enforced oftentimes upon this one occasion somewhat to abate the price, so
a plague is not seldom engendered thereby among the poorer sort that of
necessity must buy the same, whereby many thousands of all degrees are
consumed, of whose deaths (in mine opinion) these farmers are not
unguilty. But to proceed. If they lay not up their grain or wheat in this
manner, they have yet another policy, whereby they will seem to have but
small store left in their barns: for else they will gird their sheaves by
the band, and stack it up anew in less room, to the end it may not only
seem less in quantity, but also give place to the corn that is yet to come
into the barn or growing in the field. If there happen to be such plenty
in the market on any market day that they cannot sell at their own price,
then will they set it up in some friend's house, against another on the
third day, and not bring it forth till they like of the sale. If they sell
any at home, beside harder measure, it shall be dearer to the poor man
that buyeth it by twopence or a groat in a bushel than they may sell it in
the market. But, as these things are worthy redress, so I wish that God
would once open their eyes that deal thus to see their own errors: for as
yet some of them little care how many poor men suffer extremity, so that
they fill their purses and carry away the gain.

It is a world also to see how most places of the realm are pestered with
purveyors, who take up eggs, butter, cheese, pigs, capons, hens, chickens,
hogs, bacon, etc., in one market under pretence of their commissions, and
suffer their wives to sell the same in another, or to poulterers of
London. If these chapmen be absent but two or three market days then we
may perfectly see these wares to be more reasonably sold, and thereunto
the crosses sufficiently furnished of all things. In like sort, since the
number of buttermen have so much increased, and since they travel in such
wise that they come to men's houses for their butter faster than they can
make it, it is almost incredible to see how the price of butter is
augmented:[93] whereas when the owners were enforced to bring it to the
market towns, and fewer of these butter buyers were stirring, our butter
was scarcely worth eighteenpence the gallon that now is worth three
shillings fourpence and perhaps five shillings. Whereby also I gather that
the maintenance of a superfluous number of dealers[94] in most trades,
tillage always excepted, is one of the greatest causes why the prices of
things become excessive: for one of them do commonly use to outbid
another. And whilst our country commodities are commonly bought and sold
at our private houses, I never look to see this enormity redressed or the
markets well furnished.

I could say more, but this is even enough, and more peradventure than I
shall be well thanked for: yet true it is, though some think it no
trespass. This moreover is to be lamented, that one general measure is not
in use throughout all England, but every market town hath in manner a
several bushel; and the lesser it be, the more sellers it draweth to
resort unto the same. Such also is the covetousness of many clerks of the
market, that in taking a view of measures they will always so provide that
one and the same bushel shall be either too big or too little at their
next coming, and yet not depart without a fee at the first, so that what
by their mending at one time, and impairing the same at another, the
country is greatly charged, and few just measures to be had in any steed.
It is oft found likewise that divers unconscionable dealers have one
measure to sell by and another to buy withal; the like is also in weights,
and yet all sealed and bronded. Wherefore it were very good that these two
were reduced unto one standard, that is, one bushel, one pound, one
quarter, one hundred, one tale, one number: so should things in time fall
into better order and fewer causes of contention be moved in this land. Of
the complaint of such poor tenants as pay rent corn[95] unto their
landlords, I speak not, who are often dealt withal very hardly. For,
beside that in measuring of ten quarters for the most part they lose one
through the iniquity of the bushel (such is the greediness of the
appointed receivers thereof), fault is found also with the goodness and
cleanness of the grain. Whereby some piece of money must needs pass unto
their purses to stop their mouths withal, or else "My lord will not like
of the corn," "Thou art worthy to lose thy lease," etc. Or, if it be
cheaper in the market than the rate allowed for it is in their rents,
then must they pay money and no corn, which is no small extremity. And
thereby we may see how each one of us endeavoureth to fleece and eat up

Another thing there is in our markets worthy to be looked into, and that
is the recarriage of grain from the same into lofts and cellars, of which
before I gave some intimation; wherefore, if it were ordered that every
seller should make his market by an hour, or else the bailey or clerk of
the said market to make sale thereof, according to his discretion, without
liberty to the farmers to set up their corn in houses and chambers, I am
persuaded that the prices of our grain would soon be abated. Again, if it
were enacted that each one should keep his next market with his grain (and
not to run six, eight, ten, fourteen, or twenty miles from home to sell
his corn where he doth find the highest price, and thereby leaveth his
neighbours unfurnished), I do not think but that our markets would be far
better served than at this present they are. Finally, if men's barns might
be indifferently viewed immediately after harvest, and a note gathered by
an estimate, and kept by some appointed and trusty person for that
purpose, we should have much more plenty of corn in our town crosses than
as yet is commonly seen: because each one hideth and hoardeth what he may,
upon purpose either that it will be dearer, or that he shall have some
privy vein by bodgers, who do accustomably so deal that the sea doth load
away no small part thereof into other countries and our enemies, to the
great hindrance of our commonwealth at home, and more likely yet to be,
except some remedy be found. But what do I talk of these things, or desire
the suppression of bodgers, being a minister? Certes I may speak of them
right well as feeling the harm in that I am a buyer, nevertheless I speak
generally in each of them.

To conclude therefore, in our markets all things are to be sold necessary
for man's use; and there is our provision made commonly for all the week
ensuing. Therefore, as there are no great towns without one weekly market
at least, so there are very few of them that have not one or two fairs or
more within the compass of the year, assigned unto them by the prince.
And albeit that some of them are not much better than Louse fair,[96] or
the common kirkemesses[97] beyond the sea, yet there are divers not
inferior to the greatest marts in Europe, as Stourbridge fair near to
Cambridge, Bristow fair, Bartholomew fair at London, Lynn mart, Cold fair
at Newport pond for cattle, and divers other, all which, or at leastwise
the greatest part of them (to the end I may with the more ease to the
reader and less travel to myself fulfil my task in their recital), I have
set down according to the names of the months wherein they are holden at
the end of this book, where you shall find them at large as I borrowed the
same from J. Stow and the reports of others.



[1577, Book III., Chapter 3; 1587, Book II., Chapter 9.]

That Samothes (or Dis) gave the first laws to the Celts (whose kingdom he
erected about the fifteenth of Nimbrote), the testimony of Berosus is
proof sufficient. For he not only affirmeth him to publish the same in the
fourth of Ninus, but also addeth thereto how there lived none in his days
of more excellent wisdom nor politic invention than he, whereof he was
named Samothes, as some other do affirm. What his laws were, it is now
altogether unknown, as most things of this age, but that they were altered
again at the coming of Albion no man can absolutely deny, sith new lords
use commonly to give new laws, and conquerors abolish such as were in use
before them.

The like also may be affirmed of our Brute, notwithstanding that the
certain knowledge, so well of the one as of the other, is perished, and
nothing worthy memory left of all their doings. Somewhat yet we have of
Mulmutius, who not only subdued such princes as reigned in this land, but
also brought the realm to good order that long before had been torn with
civil discord. But where his laws are to be found, and which they be from
other men's, no man living in these days is able to determine.

Certes there was never prince in Britain of whom his subjects conceived
better hope in the beginning than of Bladudus, and yet I read of none that
made so ridiculous an end. In like sort there hath not reigned any monarch
in this isle whose ways were more feared at the first than those of
Dunwallon (King Henry the First excepted), and yet in the end he proved
such a prince as after his death there was in manner no subject that did
not lament his funeral. And this only for his policy in governance, severe
administration of justice, and provident framing of his laws and
constitutions for the government of his subjects. His people also,
coveting to continue his name unto posterity, entitled those his
ordinances according to their maker, calling them by the name of the "Laws
of Mulmutius," which endured in execution among the Britons so long as our
_homelings_ had the dominion of this isle. Afterwards, when the _comeling_
Saxons had once obtained the superiority of the kingdom, the majesty of
those laws fell for a time into such decay that although "_Non penitus
cecidit, tamen potuit cecidisse videri_," as Leland saith; and the decrees
themselves had utterly perished indeed at the very first brunt had they
not been preserved in Wales, where they remained amongst the relics of the
Britons, and not only until the coming of the Normans, but even until the
time of Edward the First, who, obtaining the sovereignty of that portion,
endeavoured very earnestly to extinguish those of Mulmutius and to
establish his own.

But as the Saxons at their first arrival did what they could to abolish
the British laws, so in process of time they yielded a little to relent,
and not so much to abhor and mislike of the laws of Mulmutius as to
receive and embrace the same, especially at such time as the said Saxon
princes entered into amity with the British nobility, and after that began
to join in matrimony with the British ladies, as the British barons did
with the Saxon _frowes_, both by an especial statute and decree, whereof
in another treatise I have made mention at large. Hereof also it came to
pass in the end that they were contented to make a choice and insert no
small numbers of them into their own volumes, as may be gathered by those
of Athelbert the Great, surnamed King of Kent, Inas and Alfred, kings of
the West Saxons, and divers other yet extant to be seen. Such also was the
lateward estimation of them, that when any of the Saxon princes went about
to make new ordinances they caused those of Mulmutius (which Gildas
sometime translated into Latin) to be first expounded unto them; and in
this perusal, if they found any there already framed that might serve
their turn, they forthwith revived the same and annexed them to their own.

But in this dealing the diligence of Alfred is most of all to be
commended, who not only chose out the best, but gathered together all such
whatsoever the said Mulmutius had made: and then, to the end they should
lie no more in corners as forlorn books and unknown to the learned of his
kingdom, he caused them to be turned into the Saxon tongue, wherein they
continued long after his decease.

As for the Normans, who for a season neither regarded the British nor
cared for the Saxon statutes, they also at the first utterly misliked of
them, till at the last, when they had well weighed that one kind of
regiment is not convenient for all peoples (and that no stranger, being in
a foreign country newly brought under obedience, could make such equal
ordinances as he might thereby govern his new commonwealth without some
care and trouble), they fell in with such a desire to see by what rule the
state of the land was governed in the time of the Saxons that, having
perused the same, they not only commended their manner of regiment, but
also admitted a great part of their laws (now current under the name of
"St. Edward's Laws," and used as principles and grounds), whereby they not
only qualified the rigour of their own, and mitigated their almost
intolerable burden of servitude which they had lately laid upon the
shoulders of the English, but also left us a great number of the old
Mulmutian laws, whereof the most part are in use to this day, as I said,
albeit that we know not certainly how to distinguish them from others that
are in strength amongst us.

After Dunwallon, the next lawgiver was Martia, whom Leland surnameth
_Proba_, and after him John Bale also, who in his _Centuries_ doth justly
confess himself to have been holpen by the said Leland, as I myself do
likewise for many things contained in this treatise. She was wife unto
Gutteline, king of the Britons, and being made protectrix of the realm
after her husband's decease in the nonage of her son, and seeing many
things daily to grow up among her people worthy reformation, she devised
sundry and those very politic laws for the governance of her kingdom,
which her subjects, when she was dead and gone, did name the "Martian
Statutes." Who turned them into Latin as yet I do not read, howbeit (as I
said before of the laws of Mulmutius) so the same Alfred caused those of
this excellently well-learned lady (whom divers commend also for her great
knowledge in the Greek tongue) to be turned into his own language,
whereupon it came to pass that they were daily executed among his
subjects, afterwards allowed of (among the rest) by the Normans, and
finally remain in use in these our days, notwithstanding that we cannot
dissever them also very readily from the other.

The seventh alteration of laws was practised by the Saxons; for I overpass
the use of the civil ordinances used in Rome, finally brought hither by
the Romans, and yet in perfect notice among the civilians of our country,
though never generally received by all the several regions of this island.
Certes there are great numbers of these latter, which yet remain in sound
knowledge, and are to be read, being comprehended for the most part under
the names of the Martian and the Saxon law. Beside these also, I read of
the Dane law, so that the people of middle England were ruled by the
first, the West Saxons by the second, as Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk,
Cambridgeshire, and part of Hertfordshire were by the third, of all the
rest the most unequal and intolerable. And as in these days whatsoever the
prince in public assembly commanded upon the necessity of his subjects or
his own voluntary authority was counted for law, so none of them had
appointed any certain place whereunto his people might repair at fixed
times for justice, but caused them to resort commonly to their palaces,
where, in proper person, they would often determine their causes, and so
make shortest work, or else commit the same to the hearing of other, and
so despatch them away. Neither had they any house appointed to assemble in
for the making of their ordinances, as we have now at Westminster.
Wherefore Edmund gave laws at London and Lincoln, Ethelred at Habam,
Alfred at Woodstock and Wannetting, Athelstane in Excester, Crecklade,
Feversham, and Thundersley, Canutus at Winchester, etc.: other in other
places, whereof this may suffice.[98]

       *       *       *       *       *

Hitherto also (as I think) sufficiently of such laws as were in use before
the Conquest. Now it resteth that I should declare the order of those that
have been made and received since the coming of the Normans, referred to
the eighth alteration or change of our manner of governance, and thereunto
do produce threescore and four several courts. But for as much as I am no
lawyer, and therefore have but little skill to proceed in the same
accordingly, it shall suffice to set down some general discourses of such
as are used in our days, and so much as I have gathered by report and
common hearsay.

We have therefore in England sundry laws, and first of all the civil, used
in the chancery, admiralty, and divers other courts, in some of which the
severe rigour of justice is often so mitigated by conscience that divers
things are thereby made easy and tolerable which otherwise would appear to
be mere injury and extremity.

We have also a great part of the Canon law daily practised among us,
especially in cases of tithes, contracts of matrimony, and such like, as
are usually to be seen in the consistories of our bishops and higher
courts of the two archbishops, where the exercise of the same is very
hotly followed.

The third sort of laws that we have are our own, and those always so
variable and subject to alteration and change that oft in one age divers
judgments do pass upon one manner of case, whereby the saying of the

     "_Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis_,"

may very well be applied unto such as, being urged with these words, "_In
such a year of the prince this opinion was taken for sound law_," do
answer nothing else but that "_the judgment of our lawyers is now altered,
so that they say far otherwise_."

The regiment that we have therefore after our own ordinances dependeth
upon three laws, to wit, Statute Law, Common Law, Customary Law and
Prescription, according to the triple manner of our trials and judgments,
which is by Parliament, verdict of twelve men at an assize, or wager of
battle, of which the last is little used in our days, as no appeal doth
hold in the first and last rehearsed. But to return to my purpose.

The first is delivered unto us by Parliament, which court (being for the
most part holden at Westminster, near London) is the highest of all other,
and consisteth of three several sorts of people, that is to say, the
nobility, clergy, and commons of this realm, and thereto is not summoned
but upon urgent occasion when the prince doth see his time, and that by
several writs, dated commonly full six weeks before it begin to be holden.
Such laws as are agreed upon in the higher house by the lords spiritual
and temporal, and in the lower house by the commons and body of the realm
(whereof the convocation of the clergy, holden in Paul's, or, if occasion
so require, in Westminster Church, is a member), there speaking by the
mouth of the knights of the shire and burgesses, remain in the end to be
confirmed by the prince, who commonly resorteth thither of custom upon the
first and last days of this court, there to understand what is done and
give his royal consent to such statutes as him liketh of. Coming therefore
thither into the higher house, and having taken his throne, the speaker of
the parliament (for one is always appointed to between the houses, as an
indifferent mouth for both) readeth openly the matters there determined by
the said three estates, and then craveth the prince's consent and final
confirmation of the same. The king, having heard the sum and principal
points of each statute briefly recited unto him, answereth in French with
great deliberation unto such as he liketh "IL NOUS PLAIST," but to the
rest, "IL NE PLAIST," whereby the latter are made void and frustrate.
That also which his majesty liketh of is hereby authorised, confirmed, and
ever after holden for law, except it be repealed in any like assembly. The
number of the commons assembled in the lower house beside the clergy
consisteth of ninety knights. For each shire of England hath two gentlemen
or knights of greatest wisdom and reputation, chosen out of the body of
the same for that only purpose, saving that for Wales one only is supposed
sufficient in every county, whereby the number aforementioned is made up.
There are likewise forty and six citizens, two hundred and eighty-nine
burgesses, and fourteen barons, so that the whole assembly of the laity of
the lower house consisteth of four hundred thirty and nine persons, if the
just number be supplied. Of the laws here made likewise some are penal and
restrain the common law, and some again are found to enlarge the same. The
one sort of these also are for the most part taken strictly according to
the letter, the other more largely and beneficially after their intendment
and meaning.

The Common Law standeth upon sundry maxims or principles and years or
terms, which do contain such cases as (by great study and solemn argument
of the judges, sound practice confirmed by long experience, fetched even
from the course of most ancient laws made far before the Conquest, and
thereto the deepest reach and foundations of reason) are ruled and
adjudged for law. Certes these cases are otherwise called _pleas_ or
_action_, whereof there are two sorts, the one criminal and the other
civil. The means and messengers also to determine those causes are our
_writs_ or _briefs_, whereof there are some original and some judicial.
The parties _plaintiff_ and _defendant_, when they appear, proceed (if the
case do so require) by _plaint_ or _declaration_, _bar_ or _answer_,
_replication_, _rejoinder_, and so by _rebut_, _surrebut_, to _issue_ and
_trial_, if occasion so fall out, the one side affirmatively, the other
negatively, as common experience teacheth. Our trials and recoveries are
either by _verdict_ and _demur_, _confession_ or _default_, wherein if any
negligence or trespass hath been committed, either in process and form,
or in matter and judgment, the party aggrieved may have a _writ of error_
to undo the same, but not in the same court where the former judgment was

Customary Law consisteth of certain laudable customs used in some private
country, intended first to begin upon good and reasonable considerations,
as _gavelkind_, which is all the male children equally to inherit, and
continued to this day in Kent, where it is only to my knowledge retained,
and nowhere else in England. It was at the first devised by the Romans, as
appeareth by Cæsar in his _Commentaries_, wherein I find that, to break
and daunt the force of the rebellious Germans, they made a law that all
the male children (or females for want of males, which holdeth still in
England) should have their father's inheritance equally divided amongst
them. By this means also it came to pass that, whereas before time for the
space of sixty years they had put the Romans to great and manifold
troubles, within the space of thirty years after this law was made their
power did wax so feeble and such discord fell out amongst themselves that
they were not able to maintain wars with the Romans nor raise any just
army against them. For, as a river running with one stream is swift and
more plentiful of water than when it is drained or drawn into many
branches, so the lands and goods of the ancestors being dispersed amongst
their issue males, of one strong there were raised sundry weak, whereby
the original or general strength to resist the adversary became enfeebled
and brought almost to nothing. "_Vis unita_ (saith the philosopher)
_fortior est eadem dispersa_," and one good purse is better than many
evil; and when every man is benefited alike each one will seek to maintain
his private estate, and few take care to provide for public welfare.

_Burrowkind_ is where the youngest is preferred before the eldest, which
is the custom of many countries of this region: also the woman to have the
third of her husband's possessions, the husband that marrieth an heir to
have such lands as move by her during his natural life if he survive her
and hath a child by her which hath been heard cry through four walls, etc.
Of such like to be learned elsewhere, and sometimes frequented generally
over all.

Prescription is a certain custom which hath continued time out of mind,
but it is more particular than customary law, as where only a parish or
some private person doth prescribe to have common, or a way in another
man's soil, or tithes to be paid after this or that manner, I mean
otherwise than the common course and order of the law requireth.

Whereof let this suffice at this time, instead of a larger discourse of
our own laws, lest I should seem to enter far into that whereof I have no
skill. For what hath the meditation of the law of God to do with any
precise knowledge of the law of man, sith they are several trades, and
incident to divers persons?

There are also sundry usual courts holden once in every quarter of the
year, which we commonly call terms, of the Latin word _terminus_, wherein
all controversies are determined that happen within the queen's dominions.
These are commonly holden at London, except upon some great occasion they
be transferred to other places. At what times also they are kept, both for
spiritual and temporal dealing, the table ensuing shall easily declare.
Finally, how well they are followed by suitors, the great wealth of
lawyers without any travel of mine can readily express. For, as after the
coming of the Normans the nobility had the start, and after them the
clergy, so now all the wealth of the land doth flow unto our common
lawyers, of whom some one having practised little above thirteen or
fourteen years is able to buy a purchase of so many one thousand pounds:
which argueth that they wax rich apace, and will be richer if their
clients become not the more wise and wary hereafter. It is not long since
a sergeant at the law--whom I could name--was arrested upon an extent, for
three or four hundred pounds, and another standing by did greatly marvel
that he could not spare the gains of one term for the satisfaction of that
duty. The time hath been that our lawyers did sit in Paul's upon stools
against the pillars and walls to get clients, but now some of them will
not come from their chambers to the Guildhall in London under ten pounds,
or twenty nobles at the least. And one, being demanded why he made so
much of his travel, answered that it was but folly for him to go so far
when he was assured to get more money by sitting still at home. A friend
of mine also had a suit of late of some value, and, to be sure of counsel
at his time, he gave unto two lawyers, whose names I forbear to deliver,
twenty shillings apiece, telling them of the day and hour wherein his
matter should be called upon. To be short, they came not unto the bar at
all; whereupon he stayed for that day. On the morrow, after he met them
again, increased his former gifts by so much more, and told them of the
time; but they once again served him as before. In the end, he met them
both in the very hall door, and, after some timorous reprehension of their
uncourteous demeanour toward him, he bestowed either three angels or four
more upon each of them, whereupon they promised peremptorily to speak
earnestly in his cause. And yet for all this, one of them, not having yet
sucked enough, utterly deceived him: the other indeed came in, and,
wagging a scroll which he had in his hand before the judge, he spake not
above three or four words, almost so soon uttered as a "Good morrow," and
so went from the bar. And this was all the poor man got for his money, and
the care which his counsellors did seem to take of his cause then standing
upon the hazard. But enough of these matters; for, if I should set down
how little law poor men can have for their small fees in these days, and
the great murmurings that are on all sides uttered against their excessive
taking of money--for they can abide no small gain--I should extend this
treatise into a far greater volume than is convenient for my purpose.
Wherefore it shall suffice to have set down so much of their demeanour,
and so much as is even enough to cause them to look with somewhat more
conscience into their dealings, except they be dull and senseless.

This furthermore is to be noted, that albeit the princes heretofore
reigning in this land have erected sundry courts, especially of the
chancery at York and Ludlow, for the ease of poor men dwelling in those
parts, yet will the poorest (of all men commonly most contentious) refuse
to have his cause heard so near home, but endeavoureth rather to his
utter undoing to travel up to London, thinking there soonest to prevail
against his adversary, though his case be never so doubtful. But in this
toy our Welshmen do exceed of all that ever I heard: for you shall here
and there have some one odd poor David of them given so much to contention
and strife that, without all respect of charges, he will up to London,
though he go bare-legged by the way and carry his hosen on his neck (to
save their feet from wearing), because he hath no change. When he cometh
there also, he will make such importunate begging of his countrymen, and
hard shift otherwise, that he will sometimes carry down six or seven writs
with him in his purse, wherewith to molest his neighbour, though the
greatest quarrel be scarcely worth the fee that he hath paid for any one
of them. But enough of this, lest, in revealing the superfluous folly of a
few brablers in this behalf, I bring no good-will to myself amongst the
wisest of that nation. Certes it is a lamentable case to see furthermore
how a number of poor men are daily abused and utterly undone by sundry
varlets that go about the country as promoters or brokers between the
pettifoggers of the law and the common people, only to kindle and espy
coals of contention, whereby the one side may reap commodity and the other
spend and be put to travel. But, of all that ever I knew in Essex, Denis
and Mainford excelled, till John of Ludlow, _alias_ Mason, came in place,
unto whom in comparison they two were but children: for this last in less
than three or four years did bring one man (among many elsewhere in other
places) almost to extreme misery (if beggary be the uttermost) that before
he had the shaving of his beard was valued at two hundred pounds (I speak
with the least), and finally, feeling that he had not sufficient wherewith
to sustain himself and his family, and also to satisfy that greedy
ravenour which still called upon him for new fees, he went to bed, and
within four days made an end of his woeful life, even with care and
pensiveness. After his death also he so handled his son that there was
never sheep shorn in May so near clipped of his fleece present as he was
of many to come: so that he was compelled to let away his land, because
his cattle and stock were consumed and he no longer able to occupy the
ground. But hereof let this suffice, and, instead of these enormities, a
table shall follow of the terms containing their beginnings and endings,
as I have borrowed them from my friend John Stow, whose study is the only
storehouse of antiquities in my time, and he worthy therefore to be had in
reputation and honour.

A man would imagine that the time of the execution of our laws, being
little above one quarter or not fully a third part of the year, and the
appointment of the same to be holden in one place only, to wit, near
London in Westminster, and finally the great expenses employed upon the
same, should be no small cause of the stay and hindrance of the
administration of justice in this land: but, as it falleth out, they prove
great occasions and the stay of much contention. The reasons of these are
soon to be conceived; for as the broken sleeve doth hold the elbow back,
and pain of travel cause many to sit at home in quiet, so the shortness of
time and fear of delay doth drive those oftentimes to like of peace who
otherwise would live at strife and quickly be at odds. Some men desirous
of gains would have the terms yet made shorter, that more delay might
engender longer suit; other would have the houses made larger and more
offices erected wherein to minister the laws. But as the times of the
terms are rather too short than too long by one return apiece, so, if
there were smaller rooms and fouler ways unto them, they would enforce
many to make pause before they did rashly enter into plea. But, sith my
purpose is not to make an ample discourse of these things, it shall
suffice to deliver the times of the holding of our terms, which ensueth
after this manner:--

_A Perfect Rule to know the Beginning and Ending of every Term, with their

Hilary term beginneth the three-and-twentieth day of January (if it be not
Sunday); otherwise the next day after, and is finished the twelfth of
February; it hath four returns,

  Octabis Hilarij.           Craftino Purific.
  Quind. Hilarij.            Octabis Purific.

Easter term beginneth seventeen days after Easter, endeth four days after
the Ascension Day, and hath five returns,

  Quind. Pasch.    Mense.    Quinque Paschae.
  Tres Paschae.    Pasch.    Craft. Ascension.

Trinity term beginneth the Friday after Trinity Sunday, and endeth the
Wednesday fortnight after, in which time it hath four returns,

  Craft. Trinitatis.         Quind. Trinitatis.
  Octabis Trinitatis.        Tres Trinitatis.

Michaelmas term beginneth the ninth of October (if it be not Sunday), and
ending the eight-and-twentieth of November; it hath eight returns,

  Octabis Michael.           Craft. Anima.
  Quind. Michael.            Craft. Martini.
  Tres Michael.              Octa. Martini.
  Mense Michael.             Quind. Martini.

Note also that the Exchequer, which is _Fiscus_ or _ærarium publicam
princeps_, openeth eight days before any term begin, except Trinity term,
which openeth but four days before.



[1577, Book II., Chapter 5; 1585, Book II., Chapter 1.]

There are now two provinces only in England, of which the first and
greatest is subject to the see of Canterbury, comprehending a part of
Lhoegres,[100] whole Cambria, and also Ireland, which in time past were
several, and brought into one by the archbishop of the said see, and
assistance of the pope, who, in respect of meed, did yield unto the
ambitious desires of sundry archbishops of Canterbury, as I have elsewhere
declared.[101] The second province is under the see of York. And, of
these, each hath her archbishop resident commonly within her own limits,
who hath not only the chief dealing in matters appertaining to the
hierarchy and jurisdiction of the church, but also great authority in
civil affairs touching the government of the commonwealth, so far forth as
their commissions and several circuits do extend.[102]

In old time there were three archbishops, and so many provinces in this
isle, of which one kept at London, another at York, and the third at
Caerleon upon Usk.[103] But as that of London was translated to Canterbury
by Augustine, and that of York remaineth (notwithstanding that the
greatest part of his jurisdiction is now bereft him and given to the
Scottish archbishop), so that of Caerleon is utterly extinguished, and
the government of the country united to that of Canterbury in spiritual
cases, after it was once before removed to St. David's in Wales, by David,
successor to Dubritius, and uncle to King Arthur, in the 519 of Grace, to
the end that he and his clerks might be further off from the cruelty of
the Saxons, where it remained till the time of the Bastard, and for a
season after, before it was annexed to the see of Canterbury.[104]

The Archbishop of Canterbury is commonly called the Primate of all
England; and in the coronations of the kings of this land, and all other
times wherein it shall please the prince to wear and put on his crown, his
office is to set it upon their heads. They bear also the name of their
high chaplains continually, although not a few of them have presumed (in
time past) to be their equals, and void of subjection unto them. That this
is true, it may easily appear by their own acts yet kept in record, beside
their epistles and answers written or in print, wherein they have sought
not only to match but also to mate them with great rigour and more than
open tyranny. Our adversaries will peradventure deny this absolutely, as
they do many other things apparent, though not without shameless
impudence, or at the leastwise defend it as just and not swerving from
common equity, because they imagine every archbishop to be the king's
equal in his own province. But how well their doing herein agreeth with
the saying of Peter and examples of the primitive church it may easily
appear. Some examples also of their demeanour--I mean in the time of
popery--I will not let to remember, lest they should say I speak of
malice, and without all ground of likelihood.

Of their practices with mean persons I speak not, neither will I begin at
Dunstan,[105] the author of all their pride and presumption here in

       *       *       *       *       *

Wherefore I refer you to those reports of Anselm and Becket sufficiently
penned by other, the which Anselm also making a shew as if he had been
very unwilling to be placed in the see of Canterbury, gave this answer to
the letters of such his friends as did make request unto him to take the
charge upon him--

     "_Secularia negotia nescio, quia scire nolo, eorum námque
     occupationes horreo, liberum affectans animum. Voluntati sacrarum
     intendo scripturarum, vos dissonantiam facitis, verendúmque est nè
     aratrum sanctæ ecclesiæ, quod in Anglia duo boves validi et pari
     fortitudine, ad bonum certantes, id est, rex et archiepiscopus,
     debeant trahere, nunc ove vetula cum tauro indomito jugata,
     distorqueatur à recto. Ego ovis vetula, qui si quietus essem, verbi
     Dei lacte, et operimento lanæ, aliquibus possèm fortassis non
     ingratus essè, sed si me cum hoc tauro coniungitis, videbitis pro
     disparilitate trahentium, aratrum non rectè procedere_," etc.

Which is in English thus--

     "Of secular affairs I have no skill, because I will not know them;
     for I even abhor the troubles that rise about them, as one that
     desireth to have his mind at liberty. I apply my whole endeavour to
     the rule of the Scriptures; you lead me to the contrary; and it is to
     be feared lest the plough of holy church, which two strong oxen of
     equal force, and both like earnest to contend unto that which is good
     (that is, the king and the archbishop), ought to draw, should thereby
     now swerve from the right furrow, by matching of an old sheep with a
     wild, untamed bull. I am that old sheep, who, if I might be quiet,
     could peradventure shew myself not altogether ungrateful to some, by
     feeding them with the milk of the Word of God, and covering them
     with wool: but if you match me with this bull, you shall see that,
     through want of equality in draught, the plough will not go to
     right," etc.

As followeth in the process of his letters. The said Thomas Becket was so
proud that he wrote to King Henry the Second, as to his lord, to his king,
and to his son, offering him his counsel, his reverence, and due
correction, etc. Others in like sort have protested that they owed nothing
to the kings of this land, but their council only, reserving all obedience
unto the see of Rome, whereby we may easily see the pride and ambition of
the clergy in the blind time of ignorance.[107]

And as the old cock of Canterbury did crow in this behalf, so the young
cockerels of other sees did imitate his demeanour, as may be seen by this
one example also in King Stephen's time, worthy to be remembered; unto
whom the Bishop of London would not so much as swear to be true subject:
wherein also he was maintained by the pope.[108]

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus we see that kings were to rule no further than it pleased the pope to
like of; neither to challenge more obedience of their subjects than stood
also with their good will and pleasure. He wrote in like sort unto Queen
Maud about the same matter, making her "Samson's calf"[109] (the better to
bring his purpose to pass).[110]

       *       *       *       *       *

Is it not strange that a peevish order of religion (devised by man) should
break the express law of God, who commandeth all men to honour and obey
their kings and princes, in whom some part of the power of God is manifest
and laid open unto us? And even unto this end the cardinal of Hostia[111]
also wrote to the canons of Paul's after this manner, covertly encouraging
them to stand to their election of the said Robert, who was no more
willing to give over his new bishopric than they careful to offend the
king, but rather imagined which way to keep it still, maugre his
displeasure, and yet not to swear obedience unto him for all that he
should be able to do or perform unto the contrary.[112]

       *       *       *       *       *

Hereby you see how King Stephen was dealt withal. And albeit the
Archbishop of Canterbury is not openly to be touched herewith, yet it is
not to be doubted but he was a doer in it, so far as might tend to the
maintenance of the right and prerogative of holy church. And even no less
unquietness had another of our princes with Thomas of Arundel,[113] who
fled to Rome for fear of his head, and caused the pope to write an
ambitious and contumelious letter unto his sovereign about his
restitution. But when (by the king's letters yet extant, and beginning
thus: "_Thomas proditionis non expers nostræ regiæ majestati insidias
fabricavit_") the pope understood the bottom of the matter, he was
contented that Thomas should be deprived, and another archbishop chosen in
his stead.

Neither did this pride stay at archbishops and bishops, but descended
lower, even to the rake-hells of the clergy and puddles of all
ungodliness. For, beside the injury received of their superiors, how was
King John dealt withal by the vile Cistertians at Lincoln in the second of
his reign? Certes when he had (upon just occasion) conceived some grudge
against them for their ambitious demeanour, and upon denial to pay such
sums of money as were allotted unto them, he had caused seizure to be made
of such horses, swine, neat, and other things of theirs as were maintained
in his forests, they denounced him as fast amongst themselves with bell,
book, and candle,[114] to be accursed and excommunicated. Thereunto they
so handled the matter with the pope and their friends that the king was
fain to yield to their good graces, insomuch that a meeting for
pacification was appointed between them at Lincoln, by means of the
present Archbishop of Canterbury, who went off between him and the
Cistertian commissioners before the matter could be finished. In the end
the king himself came also unto the said commissioners as they sat in
their chapterhouse, and there with tears fell down at their feet, craving
pardon for his trespasses against them, and heartily requiring that they
would (from henceforth) commend him and his realm in their prayers unto
the protection of the Almighty, and receive him into their fraternity,
promising moreover full satisfaction of their damages sustained, and to
build an house of their order in whatsoever place of England it should
please them to assign. And this he confirmed by charter bearing date the
seven-and-twentieth of November, after the Scottish king was returned into
Scotland,[115] and departed from the king. Whereby (and by other the
like, as between John Stratford[116] and Edward the Third, etc.) a man may
easily conceive how proud the clergymen have been in former times, as
wholly presuming upon the primacy of their pope. More matter could I
allege of these and the like broils, not to be found among our common
historiographers. Howbeit, reserving the same unto places more convenient,
I will cease to speak of them at this time, and go forward with such other
things as my purpose is to speak of. At the first, therefore, there was
like and equal authority in both our archbishops, but as he of Canterbury
hath long since obtained the prerogative above York (although I say not
without great trouble, suit, some bloodshed, and contention), so the
Archbishop of York is nevertheless written Primate of England, as one
contenting himself with a piece of a title at the least, when all could
not be gotten. And as he of Canterbury crowneth the king, so this of York
doth the like to the queen, whose perpetual chaplain he is, and hath been
from time to time, since the determination of this controversy, as writers
do report. The first also hath under his jurisdiction to the number of
one-and-twenty inferior bishops; the other hath only four, by reason that
the churches of Scotland are now removed from his obedience unto an
archbishop of their own, whereby the greatness and circuit of the
jurisdiction of York is not a little diminished. In like sort, each of
these seven-and-twenty sees have their cathedral churches, wherein the
deans (a calling not known in England before the Conquest) do bear the
chief rule, being men especially chosen to that vocation, both for their
learning and godliness, so near as can be possible. These cathedral
churches have in like manner other dignities and canonries still remaining
unto them, as heretofore under the popish regiment. Howbeit those that are
chosen to the same are no idle and unprofitable persons (as in times past
they have been when most of these livings were either furnished with
strangers, especially out of Italy, boys, or such idiots as had least
skill of all in discharging of those functions whereunto they were called
by virtue of these stipends), but such as by preaching and teaching can
and do learnedly set forth the glory of God, and further the overthrow of
anti-Christ to the uttermost of their powers.

These churches are called cathedral, because the bishops dwell or lie near
unto the same, as bound to keep continual residence within their
jurisdictions for the better oversight and governance of the same, the
word being derived _a cathedra_--that is to say, a chair or seat where he
resteth, and for the most part abideth. At the first there was but one
church in every jurisdiction, whereinto no man entered to pray but with
some oblation or other toward the maintenance of the pastor. For as it was
reputed an infamy to pass by any of them without visitation, so it was no
less reproach to appear empty before the Lord. And for this occasion also
they were builded very huge and great; for otherwise they were not capable
to such multitudes as came daily unto them to hear the Word and receive
the sacraments.

But as the number of Christians increased, so first monasteries, then
finally parish churches, were builded in every jurisdiction: from whence I
take our deanery churches to have their original (now called "mother
churches," and their incumbents, archpriests), the rest being added since
the Conquest, either by the lords of every town, or zealous men, loth to
travel far, and willing to have some ease by building them near hand. Unto
these deanery churches also the clergy in old time of the same deanery
were appointed to repair at sundry seasons, there to receive wholesome
ordinances, and to consult upon the necessary affairs of the whole
jurisdiction if necessity so required; and some image hereof is yet to be
seen in the north parts. But as the number of churches increased, so the
repair of the faithful unto the cathedrals did diminish; whereby they now
become, especially in their nether parts, rather markets and shops for
merchandise than solemn places of prayer, whereunto they were first
erected. Moreover, in the said cathedral churches upon Sundays and
festival days the canons do make certain ordinary sermons by course,
whereunto great numbers of all estates do orderly resort; and upon the
working days, thrice in the week, one of the said canons (or some other in
his stead) doth read and expound some piece of holy Scripture, whereunto
the people do very reverently repair. The bishops themselves in like sort
are not idle in their callings; for, being now exempt from court and
council, which is one (and a no small) piece of their felicity (although
Richard Archbishop of Canterbury thought otherwise, as yet appeareth by
his letters to Pope Alexander, Epistola 44, Petri Blesensis, where he
saith, because the clergy of his time were somewhat narrowly looked unto,
"_Supra dorsum ecclesiæ fabricant peccatores_," etc.), they so apply their
minds to the setting forth of the Word that there are very few of them
which do not every Sunday or oftener resort to some place or other within
their jurisdictions where they expound the Scriptures with much gravity
and skill, and yet not without the great misliking and contempt of such as
hate the Word. Of their manifold translations from one see to another I
will say nothing, which is not now done for the benefit of the flock as
the preferment of the party favoured and advantage unto the prince, a
matter in time past much doubted of--to wit, whether a bishop or pastor
might be translated from one see to another, and left undecided till
prescription by royal authority made it good. For, among princes, a thing
once done is well done, and to be done oftentimes, though no warrant be to
be found therefore.

They have under them also their archdeacons, some one, divers two, and
many four or more, as their circuits are in quantity, which archdeacons
are termed in law the bishops' eyes; and these (beside their ordinary
courts, which are holden within so many or more of their several
deaneries by themselves or their officials once in a month at the least)
do keep yearly two visitations or synods (as the bishop doth in every
third year, wherein he confirmeth some children, though most care but a
little for that ceremony), in which they make diligent inquisition and
search, as well for the doctrine and behaviour of the ministers as the
orderly dealing of the parishioners in resorting to their parish churches
and conformity unto religion. They punish also with great severity all
such trespassers, either in person or by the purse (where permutation of
penance is thought more grievous to the offender), as are presented unto
them; or, if the cause be of the more weight, as in cases of heresy,
pertinacy, contempt, and such like, they refer them either to the bishop
of the diocese, or his chancellor, or else to sundry grave persons set in
authority, by virtue of an high commission directed unto them from the
prince to that end, who in very courteous manner do see the offenders
gently reformed or else severely punished if necessity so enforce.

Beside this, in many of our archdeaconries, we have an exercise lately
begun which for the most part is called a _prophecy_[117] or _conference_,
and erected only for the examination or trial of the diligence of the
clergy in their study of holy Scriptures. Howbeit, such is the thirsty
desire of the people in these days to hear the Word of God that they also
have as it were with zealous violence intruded themselves among them (but
as hearers only) to come by more knowledge through their presence at the
same. Herein also (for the most part) two of the younger sort of ministers
do expound each after other some piece of the Scriptures ordinarily
appointed unto them in their courses (wherein they orderly go through with
some one of the Evangelists, or of the Epistles, as it pleaseth the whole
assembly to choose at the first in every of these conferences); and when
they have spent an hour or a little more between them, then cometh one of
the better learned sort, who, being a graduate for the most part, or known
to be a preacher sufficiently authorised and of a sound judgment,
supplieth the room of a moderator, making first a brief rehearsal of their
discourses, and then adding what him thinketh good of his own knowledge,
whereby two hours are thus commonly spent at this most profitable meeting.
When all is done, if the first speakers have shewed any piece of
diligence, they are commended for their travel, and encouraged to go
forward. If they have been found to be slack, or not sound in delivery of
their doctrine, their negligence and error is openly reproved before all
their brethren, who go aside of purpose from the laity after the exercise
ended to judge of these matters, and consult of the next speakers and
quantity of the text to be handled in that place. The laity never speak,
of course (except some vain and busy head will now and then intrude
themselves with offence), but are only hearers; and, as it is used in some
places weekly, in other once in fourteen days, in divers monthly, and
elsewhere twice in a year, so is it a notable spur unto all the ministers
thereby to apply their books, which otherwise (as in times past) would
give themselves to hawking, hunting, tables, cards, dice, tippling at the
alehouse, shooting of matches, and other like vanities, nothing
commendable in such as should be godly and zealous stewards of the good
gifts of God, faithful distributors of his Word unto the people, and
diligent pastors according to their calling.

But alas! as Sathan, the author of all mischief, hath in sundry manners
heretofore hindered the erection and maintenance of many good things, so
in this he hath stirred up adversaries of late unto this most profitable
exercise, who, not regarding the commodity that riseth thereby so well to
the hearers as speakers, but either stumbling (I cannot tell how) at words
and terms, or at the leastwise not liking to hear of the reprehension of
vice, or peradventure taking a misliking at the slender demeanours of such
negligent ministers as now and then in their course do occupy the rooms,
have either by their own practice, their sinister information, or
suggestions made upon surmises unto other, procured the suppression of
these conferences, condemning them as hurtful, pernicious, and daily
breeders of no small hurt and inconvenience.[118] But hereof let God be
judge, unto the cause belongeth.

Our elders or ministers and deacons (for subdeacons and the other inferior
orders sometime used in popish church we have not) are made according to a
certain form of consecration concluded upon in the time of King Edward the
Sixth by the clergy of England, and soon after confirmed by the three
estates of the realm in the high court of parliament. And out of the first
sort--that is to say, of such as are called to the ministry (without
respect whether they be married or not)--are bishops, deans, archdeacons,
and such as have the higher places in the hierarchy of the church elected;
and these also, as all the rest, at the first coming unto any spiritual
promotion do yield unto the prince the entire tax of that their living for
one whole year, if it amount in value unto ten pounds and upwards, and
this under the name and title of first fruits.[119]

With us also it is permitted that a sufficient man may (by dispensation
from the prince[120]) hold two livings, not distant either from other
above thirty miles; whereby it cometh to pass that, as her Majesty doth
reap some commodity by the faculty, so that the unition of two in one man
doth bring oftentimes more benefit to one of them in a month (I mean for
doctrine) than they have had before peradventure in many years.

Many exclaim against such faculties,[121] as if there were more good
preachers that want maintenance than livings to maintain them. Indeed when
a living is void there are so many suitors for it that a man would think
the report to be true, and most certain; but when it cometh to the trial
(who are sufficient and who not, who are staid men in conversation,
judgment, and learning), of that great number you shall hardly find one or
two such as they ought to be, and yet none more earnest to make suit, to
promise largely, bear a better shew, or find fault with the stage of
things than they. Nevertheless I do not think that their exclamations, if
they were wisely handled, are altogether grounded upon rumours or
ambitious minds, if you respect the state of the thing itself, and not the
necessity growing through want of able men to furnish out all the cures in
England, which both our universities are never able to perform. For if you
observe what numbers of preachers Cambridge[122] and Oxford do yearly
send forth, and how many new compositions are made in the Court of First
Fruits by the deaths of the last incumbents, you shall soon see a
difference. Wherefore, if in country towns and cities, yea even in London
itself, four or five of the little churches were brought into one, the
inconvenience would in great part be redressed and amended.

And, to say truth, one most commonly of those small livings is of so
little value that it is not able to maintain a mean scholar, much less a
learned man, as not being above ten, twelve, sixteen, seventeen, twenty,
or thirty pounds at the most, toward their charges, which now (more than
before time) do go out of the same. I say more than before, because every
small trifle, nobleman's request, or courtesy craved by the bishop, doth
impose and command a twentieth part, a three score part, or twopence in
the pound, etc., out of the livings, which hitherto hath not been usually
granted, but by the consent of a synod, wherein things were decided
according to equity, and the poorer sort considered of, which now are
equally burdened.

We pay also the tenths of our livings to the prince yearly, according to
such valuation of each of them as hath been lately made: which
nevertheless in time past were not annual, but voluntary, and paid at
request of king or pope.[123]

       *       *       *       *       *

But to return to our tenths, a payment first as devised by the pope, and
afterward taken up as by the prescription of the king, whereunto we may
join also our first fruits, which is one whole year's commodity of our
living, due at our entrance into the same, the tenths abated unto the
prince's coffers, and paid commonly in two years. For the receipt also of
these two payments an especial office or court is erected, which beareth
name of First Fruits and Tenths, whereunto, if the party to be preferred
do not make his dutiful repair by an appointed time after possession
taken, there to compound for the payment of his said fruits, he incurreth
the danger of a great penalty, limited by a certain statute provided in
that behalf against such as do intrude into the ecclesiastical function
and refuse to pay the accustomed duties belonging to the same.

They pay likewise subsidies with the temporalty, but in such sort that if
these pay after four shillings for land, the clergy contribute commonly
after six shillings of the pound, so that of a benefice of twenty pounds
by the year the incumbent thinketh himself well acquitted if, all ordinary
payments being discharged, he may reserve thirteen pounds six shillings
eightpence towards his own sustentation or maintenance of his family.
Seldom also are they without the compass of a subsidy; for if they be one
year clear from this payment (a thing not often seen of late years), they
are like in the next to hear of another grant: so that I say again they
are seldom without the limit of a subsidy. Herein also they somewhat find
themselves grieved that the laity may at every taxation help themselves,
and so they do, through consideration had of their decay and hindrance,
and yet their impoverishment cannot but touch also the parson or vicar,
unto whom such liberty is denied, as is daily to be seen in their accounts
and tithings.

Some of them also, after the marriages of their children, will have their
proportions qualified, or by friendship get themselves quite out of the
book. But what stand I upon these things, who have rather to complain of
the injury offered by some of our neighbours of the laity, which daily
endeavour to bring us also within the compass of their fifteens or taxes
for their own ease, whereas the tax of the whole realm, which is commonly
greater in the champagne than woodland soil, amounteth only to 37,930
pounds ninepence halfpenny, is a burden easy enough to be borne upon so
many shoulders, without the help of the clergy, whose tenths and subsidies
make up commonly a double, if not treble sum unto their aforesaid
payments? Sometimes also we are threatened with a _Melius inquirendum_, as
if our livings were not racked high enough already. But if a man should
seek out where all those church lands which in time past did contribute
unto the old sum required or to be made up, no doubt no small number of
the laity of all states should be contributors also with us, the prince
not defrauded of her expectation and right. We are also charged with
armour and munitions from thirty pounds upwards, a thing more needful than
divers other charges imposed upon us are convenient, by which and other
burdens our ease groweth to be more heavy by a great deal (notwithstanding
our immunity from temporal services) than that of the laity, and, for
aught that I see, not likely to be diminished, as if the church were now
become the ass whereon every market man is to ride and cast his wallet.

The other payments due unto the archbishop and bishop at their several
visitations (of which the first is double to the latter), and such also as
the archdeacon receive that his synods, etc., remain still as they did
without any alteration. Only this I think he added within memory of man,
that at the coming of every prince his appointed officers do commonly
visit the whole realm under the form of an ecclesiastical inquisition, in
which the clergy do usually pay double fees, as unto the archbishop.

Hereby then, and by those already remembered, it is found that the Church
of England is no less commodious to the prince's coffers than the state of
the laity, if it do not far exceed the same, since their payments are
certain, continual, and seldom abated, howsoever they gather up their own
duties with grudging, murmuring, suit, and slanderous speeches of the
payers, or have their livings otherwise hardly valued unto the uttermost
farthing, or shrewdly cancelled by the covetousness of the patrons, of
whom some do bestow advowsons of benefices upon their bakers, butlers,
cooks, good archers, falconers, and horsekeepers,[124] instead of other
recompense, for their long and faithful service, which they employ
afterward unto the most advantage.[125]

Certes here they resemble the pope very much; for, as he sendeth out his
idols, so do they their parasites, pages, chamberlains, stewards, grooms,
and lackeys; and yet these be the men that first exclaim of the
insufficiency of the ministers, as hoping thereby in due time to get also
their glebes and grounds into their hands.[126] In times past bishoprics
went almost after the same manner under the lay princes, and then under
the pope, so that he which helped a clerk unto a see was sure to have a
present or purse fine, if not an annual pension, besides that which went
to the pope's coffers, and was thought to be very good merchandise.

To proceed therefore with the rest, I think it good also to remember that
the names usually given unto such as feed the flock remain in like sort as
in times past, so that these words, _parson_, _vicar_, _curate_, and such,
are not yet abolished more than the canon law itself, which is daily
pleaded, as I have said elsewhere, although the statutes of the realm have
greatly infringed the large scope and brought the exercise of the same
into some narrower limits. There is nothing read in our churches but the
canonical Scriptures, whereby it cometh to pass that the Psalter is said
over once in thirty days, the New Testament four times, and the Old
Testament once in the year. And hereunto, if the curate be adjudged by the
bishop or his deputies sufficiently instructed in the holy Scriptures, and
therewithal able to teach, he permitteth him to make some exposition or
exhortation in his parish unto amendment of life. And for so much as our
churches and universities have been so spoiled in time of error, as there
cannot yet be had such number of able pastors as may suffice for every
parish to have one, there are (beside four sermons appointed by public
order in the year) certain sermons or homilies (devised by sundry learned
men, confirmed for sound doctrine by consent of the divines, and public
authority of the prince), and those appointed to be read by the curates of
mean understanding (which homilies do comprehend the principal parts of
Christian doctrine, as of original sin, of justification by faith, of
charity, and such like) upon the Sabbath days unto the congregation. And,
after a certain number of psalms read, which are limited according to the
dates of the month, for morning and evening prayer we have two lessons,
whereof the first is taken out of the Old Testament, the second out of the
New; and of these latter, that in the morning is out of the Gospels, the
other in the afternoon out of some one of the Epistles. After morning
prayer also, we have the Litany and suffrages, an invocation in mine
opinion not devised without the great assistance of the Spirit of God,
although many curious mind-sick persons utterly condemn it as
superstitious, and savouring of conjuration and sorcery.

This being done, we proceed unto the communion, if any communicants be to
receive the Eucharist; if not, we read the Decalogue, Epistle, and Gospel,
with the Nicene Creed (of some in derision called the "dry communion"),
and then proceed unto an homily or sermon, which hath a psalm before and
after it, and finally unto the baptism of such infants as on every Sabbath
day (if occasion so require) are brought unto the churches; and thus is
the forenoon bestowed. In the afternoon likewise we meet again, and, after
the psalms and lessons ended, we have commonly a sermon, or at the
leastwise our youth catechised by the space of an hour. And thus do we
spend the Sabbath day in good and godly exercises, all done in our vulgar
tongue, that each one present may hear and understand the same, which also
in cathedral and collegiate churches is so ordered that the psalms only
are sung by note, the rest being read (as in common parish churches) by
the minister with a loud voice, saving that in the administration of the
communion the choir singeth the answers, the creed, and sundry other
things appointed, but in so plain, I say, and distinct manner that each
one present may understand what they sing, every word having but one note,
though the whole harmony consist of many parts, and those very cunningly
set by the skilful in that science.

Certes this translation of the service of the church into the vulgar
tongue hath not a little offended the pope almost in every age, as a thing
very often attempted by divers princes, but never generally obtained, for
fear lest the consenting thereunto might breed the overthrow (as it would
indeed) of all his religion and hierarchy; nevertheless, in some places
where the kings and princes dwelled not under his nose, it was performed
maugre his resistance. Wratislaus, Duke of Bohemia, would long since have
done the like also in his kingdom; but, not daring to venture so far
without the consent of the pope, he wrote unto him thereof, and received
his answer inhibitory unto all his proceeding in the same.

       *       *       *       *       *

I would set down two or three more of the like instruments passed from
that see unto the like end, but this shall suffice, being less common than
the other, which are to be had more plentifully.

As for our churches themselves, bells and times of morning and evening
prayer remain as in times past, saving that all images, shrines,
tabernacles, rood-lofts, and monuments of idolatry are removed, taken
down, and defaced, only the stories in glass windows excepted, which, for
want of sufficient store of new stuff, and by reason of extreme charge
that should grow by the alteration of the same into white panes throughout
the realm, are not altogether abolished in most places at once, but by
little and little suffered to decay, that white glass may be provided and
set up in their rooms. Finally, whereas there was wont to be a great
partition between the choir and the body of the church, now it is either
very small or none at all, and (to say the truth) altogether needless,
sith the minister saith his service commonly in the body of the church,
with his face toward the people, in a little tabernacle of wainscot
provided for the purpose, by which means the ignorant do not only learn
divers of the psalms and usual prayers by heart, but also such as can read
do pray together with him, so that the whole congregation at one instant
pour out their petitions unto the living God for the whole estate of His
church in most earnest and fervent manner. Our holy and festival days are
very well reduced also unto a less number; for whereas (not long since) we
had under the pope four score and fifteen, called festival, and thirty
_profesti_, beside the Sundays, they are all brought unto seven and
twenty, and, with them, the superfluous numbers of idle wakes, guilds,
fraternities, church-ales, help-ales, and soul-ales, called also
dirge-ales, with the heathenish rioting at bride-ales, are well diminished
and laid aside. And no great matter were it if the feasts of all our
apostles, evangelists, and martyrs, with that of all saints, were brought
to the holy days that follow upon Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, and
those of the Virgin Mary, with the rest, utterly removed from the
calendars, as neither necessary nor commendable in a reformed church.

The apparel in like sort of our clergymen is comely, and, in truth, more
decent than ever it was in the popish church, before the universities
bound their graduates unto a stable attire, afterward usurped also even by
the blind Sir Johns. For, if you peruse well my Chronology ensuing, you
shall find that they went either in divers colours like players, or in
garments of light hue, as yellow, red, green, etc., with their shoes
piked, their hair crisped, their girdles armed with silver, their shoes,
spurs, bridles, etc., buckled with like metal, their apparel (for the most
part) of silk, and richly furred, their caps laced and buttoned with gold,
so that to meet a priest in those days was to behold a peacock that
spreadeth his tail when he danceth before the hen,[127] which now (I say)
is well reformed. Touching hospitality, there was never any greater used
in England, sith by reason that marriage is permitted to him that will
choose that kind of life, their meat and drink is more orderly and
frugally dressed, their furniture of household more convenient and better
looked unto, and the poor oftener fed generally than heretofore they have
been, when only a few bishops and double or treble beneficed men did make
good cheer at Christmas only, or otherwise kept great houses for the
entertainment of the rich, which did often see and visit them. It is
thought much peradventure that some bishops, etc., in our time do come
short of the ancient gluttony and prodigality of their predecessors; but
to such as do consider of the curtailing of their livings, or excessive
prices whereunto things are grown, and how their course is limited by law,
and estate looked into on every side, the cause of their so doing is well
enough perceived. This also offended many, that they should, after their
deaths, leave their substances to their wives and children, whereas they
consider not that in old time such as had no lemans nor bastards[128]
(very few were there, God wot, of this sort) did leave their goods and
possessions to their brethren and kinsfolks, whereby (as I can shew by
good record) many houses of gentility have grown and been erected. If in
any age some one of them did found a college, almshouse, or school, if you
look unto these our times, you shall see no fewer deeds of charity done,
nor better grounded upon the right stub of piety than before. If you say
that their wives be fond, after the decease of their husbands, and bestow
themselves not so advisedly as their calling requireth (which, God
knoweth, these curious surveyors make small account of truth, further than
thereby to gather matter of reprehension), I beseech you then to look into
all states of the laity, and tell me whether some duchesses, countesses,
barons' or knights' wives, do not fully so often offend in the like as
they? For Eve will be Eve, though Adam would say nay. Not a few also find
fault with our threadbare gowns, as if not our patrons but our wives were
causes of our woe. But if it were known to all that I know to have been
performed of late in Essex, where a minister taking a benefice (of less
than twenty pounds in the Queen's books, so far as I remember) was
enforced to pay to his patron twenty quarters of oats, ten quarters of
wheat, and sixteen yearly of barley (which he called _hawks' meat_), and
another let the like in farm to his patron for ten pounds by the year
which is well worth forty at the least, the cause of our threadbare gowns
would easily appear: for such patrons do scrape the wool from our cloaks.
Wherefore I may well say that such a threadbare minister is either an ill
man or hath an ill patron, or both; and when such cooks and cobbling
shifters[129] shall be removed and weeded out of the ministry, I doubt not
but our patrons will prove better men, and be reformed whether they will
or not, or else the single-minded bishops shall see the living bestowed
upon such as do deserve it. When the Pragmatic Sanction took place first
in France, it was supposed that these enormities should utterly have
ceased; but when the elections of bishops came once into the hands of the
canons and spiritual men, it grew to be far worse. For they also, within a
while waxing covetous, by their own experience learned aforehand, raised
the markets, and sought after new gains by the gifts of the greatest
livings in that country, wherein (as Machiavelli writeth) are eighteen
archbishoprics, one hundred forty and five bishoprics, 740 abbeys, eleven
universities, 1,000,700 steeples (if his report be sound). Some are of the
opinion that, if sufficient men in every town might be sent for from the
universities, this mischief would soon be remedied; but I am clean of
another mind. For, when I consider whereunto the gifts of fellowships in
some places are grown, the profit that ariseth at sundry elections of
scholars out of grammar schools to the posers, schoolmasters, and
preferers of them to our universities, the gifts of a great number of
almshouses builded for the maimed and impotent soldiers by princes and
good men heretofore moved with a pitiful consideration of the poor
distressed, how rewards, pensions, and annuities also do reign in other
cases whereby the giver is brought sometimes into extreme misery, and that
not so much as the room of a common soldier is not obtained oftentimes
without a "_What will you give me?_" I am brought into such a mistrust of
the sequel of this device that I dare pronounce (almost for certain) that,
if Homer were now alive, it should be said to him:

     "Tuque licet venias musis comitatus Homere,
     Si nihil attuleris, ibis Homere foras!"

More I could say, and more I would say, of these and other things, were it
not that in mine own judgment I have said enough already for the
advertisement of such as be wise. Nevertheless, before I finish this
chapter, I will add a word or two (so briefly as I can) of the old estate
of cathedral churches, which I have collected together here and there
among the writers, and whereby it shall easily be seen what they were, and
how near the government of ours do in these days approach unto them; for
that there is an irreconcilable odds between them and those of the
Papists, I hope there is no learned man indeed but will acknowledge and
yield unto it.

We find therefore in the time of the primitive church that there was in
every see or jurisdiction one school at the least, whereunto such as were
catechists in Christian religion did resort. And hereof, as we may find
great testimony for Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, and Jerusalem, so no small
notice is left of the like in the inferior sort, if the names of such as
taught in them be called to mind, and the histories well read which make
report of the same. These schools were under the jurisdiction of the
bishops, and from thence did they and the rest of the elders choose out
such as were the ripest scholars, and willing to serve in the ministry,
whom they placed also in their cathedral churches, there not only to be
further instructed in the knowledge of the world, but also to inure them
to the delivery of the same unto the people in sound manner, to minister
the sacraments, to visit the sick and brethren imprisoned, and to perform
such other duties as then belonged to their charges. The bishop himself
and elders of the church were also hearers and examiners of their
doctrine; and, being in process of time found meet workmen for the Lord's
harvest, they were forthwith sent abroad (after imposition of hands and
prayer generally made for their good proceeding) to some place or other
then destitute of her pastor, and other taken from the school also placed
in their rooms. What number of such clerks belonged now and then to some
one see, the Chronology following shall easily declare; and, in like sort,
what officers, widows, and other persons were daily maintained in those
seasons by the offerings and oblations of the faithful it is incredible to
be reported, if we compare the same with the decays and oblations seen and
practised at this present. But what is that in all the world which avarice
and negligence will not corrupt and impair? And, as this is a pattern of
the estate of the cathedral churches in those times, so I wish that the
like order of government might once again be restored unto the same, which
may be done with ease, sith the schools are already builded in every
diocese, the universities, places of their preferment unto further
knowledge, and the cathedral churches great enough to receive so many as
shall come from thence to be instructed unto doctrine. But one hindrance
of this is already and more and more to be looked for (beside the plucking
and snatching commonly seen from such houses and the church), and that is,
the general contempt of the ministry, and small consideration of their
former pains taken, whereby less and less hope of competent maintenance by
preaching the word is likely to ensue. Wherefore the greatest part of the
more excellent wits choose rather to employ their studies unto physic and
the laws, utterly giving over the study of the Scriptures, for fear lest
they should in time not get their bread by the same. By this means also
the stalls in their choirs would be better filled, which now (for the most
part) are empty, and prebends should be prebends indeed, there to live
till they were preferred to some ecclesiastical function, and then other
men chosen to succeed them in their rooms, whereas now prebends are but
superfluous additiments unto former excesses, and perpetual commodities
unto the owners, which before time were but temporal (as I have said
before). But as I have good leisure to wish for these things, so it shall
be a longer time before it will be brought to pass. Nevertheless, as I
will pray for a reformation in this behold, so will I here conclude my
discourse on the estate of our churches.



[1577, Book III., Chapter 1; 1587, Book II., Chapter 6.]

The situation of our region, lying near unto the north, doth cause the
heat of our stomachs to be of somewhat greater force: therefore our bodies
do crave a little more ample nourishment than the inhabitants of the
hotter regions are accustomed withal, whose digestive force is not
altogether so vehement, because their internal heat is not so strong as
ours, which is kept in by the coldness of the air that from time to time
(especially in winter) doth environ our bodies.

It is no marvel therefore that our tables are oftentimes more plentifully
garnished than those of other nations, and this trade hath continued with
us even since the very beginning. For, before the Romans found out and
knew the way unto our country, our predecessors fed largely upon flesh and
milk, whereof there was great abundance in this isle,[130] because they
applied their chief studies unto pasturage and feeding. After this manner
also did our Welsh Britons order themselves in their diet so long as they
lived of themselves, but after they became to be united and made equal
with the English they framed their appetites to live after our manner, so
that at this day there is very little difference between us in our diets.

In Scotland likewise they have given themselves (of late years to speak
of) unto very ample and large diet, wherein as for some respect nature
doth make them equal with us, so otherwise they far exceed us in over much
and distemperate gormandise, and so ingross their bodies that divers of
them do oft become unapt to any other purpose than to spend their times in
large tabling and belly cheer. Against this pampering of their carcasses
doth Hector Boethius in his description of the country very sharply
inveigh in the first chapter of that treatise. Henry Wardlaw also,[131]
bishop of St. Andrews, noting their vehement alteration from competent
frugality into excessive gluttony to be brought out of England with James
the First (who had been long time prisoner there under the fourth and
fifth Henries, and at his return carried divers English gentlemen into his
country with him, whom he very honourably preferred there), doth
vehemently exclaim against the same in open Parliament holden at Perth,
1433,[132] before the three estates, and so bringeth his purpose to pass
in the end, by force of his learned persuasions, that a law was presently
made there for the restraint of superfluous diet; amongst other things,
baked meats (dishes never before this man's days seen in Scotland) were
generally so provided for by virtue of this Act that it was not lawful for
any to eat of the same under the degree of a gentleman, and those only but
on high and festival days. But, alas, it was soon forgotten!

In old time these north Britons did give themselves universally to great
abstinence, and in time of wars their soldiers would often feed but once
or twice at the most in two or three days (especially if they held
themselves in secret, or could have no issue out of their bogs and
marshes, through the presence of the enemy), and in this distress they
used to eat a certain kind of confection, whereof so much as a bean would
qualify their hunger above common expectation. In woods moreover they
lived with herbs and roots, or, if these shifts served not through want of
such provision at hand, then used they to creep into the water or said
moorish plots up unto the chins, and there remain a long time, only to
qualify the heats of their stomachs by violence, which otherwise would
have wrought and been ready to oppress them for hunger and want of
sustenance. In those days likewise it was taken for a great offence over
all to eat either goose, hare, or hen, because of a certain superstitious
opinion which they had conceived of those three creatures; howbeit after
that the Romans, I say, had once found an entrance into this island it was
not long ere open shipwreck was made of this religious observation, so
that in process of time so well the north and south Britons as the Romans
gave over to make such difference in meats as they had done before.

From thenceforth also unto our days, and even in this season wherein we
live, there is no restraint of any meat either for religious sake or
public order in England, but it is lawful for every man to feed upon
whatsoever he is able to purchase, except it be upon those days whereon
eating of flesh is especially forbidden by the laws of the realm, which
order is taken only to the end our numbers of cattle may be the better
increased and that abundance of fish which the sea yieldeth more generally
received. Besides this, there is great consideration had in making this
law for the preservation of the navy and maintenance of convenient numbers
of seafaring men, both which would otherwise greatly decay if some means
were not found whereby they might be increased. But, howsoever this case
standeth, white meats, milk, butter, and cheese (which were never so dear
as in my time, and wont to be accounted of as one of the chief stays
throughout the island) are now reputed as food appertinent only to the
inferior sort, whilst such as are more wealthy do feed upon the flesh of
all kinds of cattle accustomed to be eaten, all sorts of fish taken upon
our coasts and in our fresh rivers, and such diversity of wild and tame
fowls as are either bred in our island or brought over unto us from other
countries of the main.

In number of dishes and change of meat the nobility of England (whose
cooks are for the most part musical-headed Frenchmen and strangers) do
most exceed, sith there is no day in manner that passeth over their heads
wherein they have not only beef, mutton, veal, lamb, kid, pork, cony,
capon, pig, or so many of these as the season yieldeth, but also some
portion of the red or fallow deer, beside great variety of fish and wild
fowl, and thereto sundry other delicates wherein the sweet hand of the
seafaring Portugal is not wanting: so that for a man to dine with one of
them, and to taste of every dish that standeth before him (which few used
to do, but each one feedeth upon that meat him best liketh for the time,
the beginning of every dish notwithstanding being reserved unto the
greatest personage that sitteth at the table, to whom it is drawn up still
by the waiters as order requireth, and from whom it descendeth again even
to the lower end, whereby each one may taste thereof), is rather to yield
unto a conspiracy with a great deal of meat for the speedy suppression of
natural health than the use of a necessary mean to satisfy himself with a
competent repast to sustain his body withal. But, as this large feeding is
not seen in their guests, no more is it in their own persons; for, sith
they have daily much resort unto their tables (and many times unlooked
for), and thereto retain great numbers of servants, it is very requisite
and expedient for them to be somewhat plentiful in this behalf.

The chief part likewise of their daily provision is brought in before them
(commonly in silver vessels, if they be of the degree of barons, bishops,
and upwards) and placed on their tables, whereof, when they have taken
what it pleaseth them, the rest is reserved, and afterwards sent down to
their serving men and waiters, who feed thereon in like sort with
convenient moderation, their reversion also being bestowed upon the poor
which lie ready at their gates in great numbers to receive the same. This
is spoken of the principal tables whereat the nobleman, his lady, and
guests are accustomed to sit; besides which they have a certain ordinary
allowance daily appointed for their halls, where the chief officers and
household servants (for all are not permitted by custom to wait upon their
master), and with them such inferior guests do feed as are not of calling
to associate the nobleman himself; so that, besides those aforementioned,
which are called to the principal table, there are commonly forty or three
score persons fed in those halls, to the great relief of such poor suitors
and strangers also as oft be partakers thereof and otherwise like to dine
hardly. As for drink, it is usually filled in pots, goblets, jugs, bowls
of silver, in noblemen's houses; also in fine Venice glasses of all forms;
and, for want of these elsewhere, in pots of earth of sundry colours and
moulds, whereof many are garnished with silver, or at the leastwise in
pewter, all which notwithstanding are seldom set on the table, but each
one, as necessity urgeth, calleth for a cup of such drink as him listeth
to have, so that, when he has tasted of it, he delivered the cup again to
some one of the standers by, who, making it clean by pouring out the drink
that remaineth, restoreth it to the cupboard from whence he fetched the
same. By this device (a thing brought up at the first by Mnesitheus of
Athens, in conservation of the honour of Orestes, who had not yet made
expiation for the death of his adulterous parents,[133] Ægisthus and
Clytemnestra) much idle tippling is furthermore cut off; for, if the full
pots should continually stand at the elbow or near the trencher, divers
would always be dealing with them, whereas now they drink seldom, and only
when necessity urgeth, and so avoid the note of great drinking, or often
troubling of the servitors with filling of their bowls. Nevertheless in
the noblemen's halls this order is not used, neither is any man's house
commonly under the degree of a knight or esquire of great revenues. It is
a world to see in these our days, wherein gold and silver most aboundeth,
how that our gentility, as loathing those metals (because of the
plenty)[134] do now generally choose rather the Venice glasses, both for
our wine and beer, than any of those metals or stone wherein before time
we have been accustomed to drink; but such is the nature of man generally
that it most coveteth things difficult to be attained; and such is the
estimation of this stuff that many become rich only with their new trade
unto Murana (a town near to Venice, situate on the Adriatic Sea), from
whence the very best are daily to be had, and such as for beauty do well
near match the crystal or the ancient _murrhina vasa_ whereof now no man
hath knowledge. And as this is seen in the gentility, so in the wealthy
communalty the like desire of glass is not neglected, whereby the gain
gotten by their purchase is yet much more increased to the benefit of the
merchant. The poorest also will have glass if they may; but, sith the
Venetian is somewhat too dear for them, they content themselves with such
as are made at home of fern and burned stone; but in fine all go one
way--that is, to shards at the last, so that our great expenses in
glasses (beside that they breed much strife toward such as have the charge
of them) are worst of all bestowed in mine opinion, because their pieces
do turn unto no profit. If the philosopher's stone were once found, and
one part hereof mixed with forty of molten glass, it would induce such a
metallical toughness thereunto that a fall should nothing hurt it in such
manner; yet it might peradventure bunch or batter it; nevertheless that
inconvenience were quickly to be redressed by the hammer.[135] But whither
am I slipped?

The gentlemen and merchants keep much about one rate, and each of them
contenteth himself with four, five, or six dishes, when they have but
small resort, or peradventure with one, or two, or three at the most, when
they have no strangers to accompany them at their tables. And yet their
servants have their ordinary diet assigned, beside such as is left at
their master's boards, and not appointed to be brought thither the second
time, which nevertheless is often seen, generally in venison, lamb, or
some especial dish, whereon the merchantman himself liketh to feed when it
is cold, or peradventure for sundry causes incident to the feeder is
better so than if it were warm or hot. To be short, at such times as the
merchants do make their ordinary or voluntary feasts, it is a world to see
what great provision is made of all manner of delicate meats, from every
quarter of the country, wherein, beside that they are often comparable
herein to the nobility of the land, they will seldom regard anything that
the butcher usually killeth, but reject the same as not worthy to come in
place. In such cases also jellies of all colours, mixed with a variety in
the representation of sundry flowers, herbs, trees, forms of beasts, fish,
fowls, and fruits, and thereunto marchpane wrought with no small
curiosity, tarts of divers hues, and sundry denominations, conserves of
old fruits, foreign and home-bred, suckets, codinacs, marmalades,
marchpane, sugar-bread, gingerbread, florentines, wild fowls, venison of
all sorts, and sundry outlandish confections, altogether seasoned with
sugar (which Pliny calleth _mel ex arundinibus_, a device not common nor
greatly used in old time at the table, but only in medicine, although it
grew in Arabia, India, and Sicilia), do generally bear the sway, besides
infinite devices of our own not possible for me to remember. Of the
potato, and such venerous[136] roots as are brought out of Spain,
Portugal, and the Indies to furnish up our banquets, I speak not, wherein
our mures[137] of no less force, and to be had about
Crosby-Ravenswath,[138] do now begin to have place.

But among all these, the kind of meat which is obtained with most
difficulty and costs, is commonly taken for the most delicate, and
thereupon each guest will soonest desire to feed. And as all estates do
exceed herein, I mean for strangeness and number of costly dishes, so
these forget not to use the like excess in wine, insomuch as there is no
kind to be had, neither anywhere more store of all sorts than in England,
although we have none growing with us but yearly to the proportion of
20,000 or 30,000 tun and upwards, notwithstanding the daily restraints of
the same brought over unto us, whereof at great meetings there is not some
store to be had. Neither do I mean this of small wines only, as claret,
white, red, French, etc., which amount to about fifty-six sorts, according
to the number of regions from whence they came, but also of the thirty
kinds of Italian, Grecian, Spanish, Canarian, etc., whereof vernage,
catepument, raspis, muscadell, romnie, bastard lire, osy caprie, clary,
and malmesey, are not least of all accompted of, because of their strength
and valour. For, as I have said in meat, so, the stronger the wine is, the
more it is desired, by means whereof, in old time, the best was called
_theologicum_, because it was had from the clergy and religious men, unto
whose houses many of the laity would often send for bottles filled with
the same, being sure they would neither drink nor be served of the worst,
or such as was any ways mingled or brewed by the vinterer: nay, the
merchant would have thought that his soul should have gone straightway to
the devil if he should have served them with other than the best.
Furthermore, when these have had their course which nature yieldeth,
sundry sorts of artificial stuff as ypocras and wormwood wine must in like
manner succeed in their turns, beside stale ale and strong beer, which
nevertheless bear the greatest brunt in drinking, and are of so many sorts
and ages as it pleaseth the brewer to make them.

The beer that is used at noblemen's tables in their fixed and standing
houses is commonly a year old, or peradventure of two years' tunning or
more; but this is not general. It is also brewed in March, and therefore
called March beer; but, for the household, it is usually not under a
month's age, each one coveting to have the same stale as he may, so that
it be not sour, and his bread new as is possible, so that it be not hot.

The artificer and husbandman makes greatest account of such meat as they
may soonest come by, and have it quickliest ready, except it be in London
when the companies of every trade do meet on their quarter days, at which
time they be nothing inferior to the nobility. Their food also consisteth
principally in beef, and such meat as the butcher selleth--that is to say,
mutton, veal, lamb, pork, etc., whereof he findeth great store in the
markets adjoining, beside sows, brawn, bacon, fruit, pies of fruit, fowls
of sundry sorts, cheese, butter, eggs, etc., as the other wanteth it not
at home, by his own provision which is at the best hand, and commonly
least charge. In feasting also, this latter sort, I mean the husbandmen,
do exceed after their manner, especially at bridals, purifications of
women, and such odd meetings, where it is incredible to tell what meat is
consumed and spent, each one bringing such a dish, or so many with him, as
his wife and he do consult upon, but always with this consideration, that
the lesser friend shall have the better provision. This also is commonly
seen at these banquets, that the good man of the house is not charged with
anything saving bread, drink, sauce, house-room, and fire. But the
artificers in cities and good towns do deal far otherwise; for, albeit
that some of them do suffer their jaws to go oft before their claws, and
divers of them, by making good cheer, do hinder themselves and other men,
yet the wiser sort can handle the matter well enough in these junkettings,
and therefore their frugality deserveth commendation. To conclude, both
the artificer and the husbandman are sufficiently liberal, and very
friendly at their tables; and, when they meet, they are so merry without
malice, and plain without inward Italian or French craft and subtlety,
that it would do a man good to be in company among them. Herein only are
the inferior sort somewhat to be blamed, that, being thus assembled, their
talk is now and then such as savoureth of scurrility and ribaldry, a thing
naturally incident to carters and clowns, who think themselves not to be
merry and welcome if their foolish veins in this behalf be never so little
restrained. This is moreover to be added in these meetings, that if they
happen to stumble upon a piece of venison and a cup of wine or very strong
beer or ale (which latter they commonly provide against their appointed
days), they think their cheer so great, and themselves to have fared so
well, as the Lord Mayor of London, with whom, when their bellies be full,
they will not often stick to make comparison, because that of a subject
there is no public officer of any city in Europe that may compare in port
and countenance with him during the time of his office.

I might here talk somewhat of the great silence that is used at the tables
of the honourable and wiser sort generally over all the realm (albeit that
too much deserveth no commendation, for it belongeth to guests neither to
be _muti_ nor _loquaces_), likewise of the moderate eating and drinking
that is daily seen, and finally of the regard that each one hath to keep
himself from the note of surfeiting and drunkenness (for which cause salt
meat, except beef, bacon, and pork, are not any whit esteemed, and yet
these three may not be much powdered); but, as in rehearsal thereof I
should commend the nobleman, merchant, and frugal artificer, so I could
not clear the meaner sort of husbandmen and country inhabitants of very
much babbling (except it be here and there some odd yeoman), with whom he
is thought to be the merriest that talketh of most ribaldry or the wisest
man that speaketh fastest among them, and now and then surfeiting and
drunkenness which they rather fall into for want of heed taking than
wilfully following or delighting in those errors of set mind and purpose.
It may be that divers of them living at home, with hard and pinching diet,
small drink, and some of them having scarce enough of that, are soonest
overtaken when they come into such banquets; howbeit they take it
generally as no small disgrace if they happen to be cupshotten, so that it
is a grief unto them, though now sans remedy, sith the thing is done and
past. If the friends also of the wealthier sort come to their houses from
far, they are commonly so welcome till they depart as upon the first day
of their coming; whereas in good towns and cities, as London, etc., men
oftentimes complain of little room, and, in reward of a fat capon or
plenty of beef and mutton largely bestowed upon them in the country, a cup
of wine or beer with a napkin to wipe their lips and an "You are heartily
welcome!" is thought to be a great entertainment; and therefore the old
country clerks have framed this saying in that behalf, I mean upon the
entertainment of townsmen and Londoners after the days of their abode, in
this manner:

     "Primus jucundus, tollerabilis estque secundus,
     Tertius est vanus, sed fetet quatriduanus."

The bread throughout the land is made of such grain as the soil yieldeth;
nevertheless the gentility commonly provide themselves sufficiently of
wheat for their own tables, whilst their household and poor neighbours in
some shires are forced to content themselves with rye, or barley, yea, and
in time of dearth, many with bread made either of beans, peas, or oats, or
of altogether and some acorns among, of which scourge the poorest do
soonest taste, sith they are least able to provide themselves of better. I
will not say that this extremity is oft so well to be seen in time of
plenty as of dearth, but, if I should, I could easily bring my trial. For,
albeit that there be much more ground eared now almost in every place than
hath been of late years, yet such a price of corn continueth in each town
and market without any just cause (except it be that landlords do get
licences to carry corn out of the land only to keep up the prices for
their own private gains and ruin of the commonwealth), that the artificer
and poor labouring man is not able to reach unto it, but is driven to
content himself with horse corn--I mean beans, peas, oats, tares, and
lentils: and therefore it is a true proverb, and never so well verified as
now, that "Hunger setteth his first foot into the horse-manger."[139] If
the world last awhile after this rate, wheat and rye will be no grain for
poor men to feed on; and some caterpillars there are that can say so much

Of bread made of wheat we have sundry sorts daily brought to the table,
whereof the first and most excellent is the manchet, which we commonly
call white bread, in Latin _primarius panis_, whereof Budeus also
speaketh, in his first book _De asse_; and our good workmen deliver
commonly such proportion that of the flour of one bushel with another they
make forty cast of manchet, of which every loaf weigheth eight ounces into
the oven, and six ounces out, as I have been informed. The second is the
cheat or wheaten bread, so named because the colour thereof resembleth the
grey or yellowish wheat, being clean and well dressed, and out of this is
the coarsest of the bran (usually called gurgeons or pollard) taken. The
ravelled is a kind of cheap bread also, but it retaineth more of the
gross, and less of the pure substance of the wheat; and this, being more
slightly wrought up, is used in the halls of the nobility and gentry only,
whereas the other either is or should be baked in cities and good towns of
an appointed size (according to such price as the corn doth bear), and by
a statute provided by King John in that behalf.[140] The ravelled cheat
therefore is generally so made that out of one bushel of meal, after two
and twenty pounds of bran be sifted and taken from it (whereunto they add
the gurgeons that rise from the manchet), they make thirty cast, every
loaf weighing eighteen ounces into the oven, and sixteen ounces out; and,
beside this, they so handle the matter that to every bushel of meal they
add only two and twenty, or three and twenty, pound of water, washing also
(in some houses) their corn before it go to the mill, whereby their
manchet bread is more excellent in colour, and pleasing to the eye, than
otherwise it would be. The next sort is named brown bread, of the colour
of which we have two sorts one baked up as it cometh from the mill, so
that neither the bran nor the flour are any whit diminished; this, Celsus
called _autopirus panis_, lib. 2, and putteth it in the second place of
nourishment. The other hath little or no flour left therein at all,
howbeit he calleth it _Panem Cibarium_, and it is not only the worst and
weakest of all the other sorts, but also appointed in old time for
servants, slaves, and the inferior kind of people to feed upon. Hereunto
likewise, because it is dry and brickie in the working (for it will hardly
be made up handsomely into loaves), some add a portion of rye meal in our
time, whereby the rough dryness or dry roughness thereof is somewhat
qualified, and then it is named _miscelin_, that is, bread made of mingled
corn, albeit that divers do sow or mingle wheat and rye of set purpose at
the mill, or before it come there, and sell the same at the markets under
the aforesaid name.

In champaign countries much rye and barley bread is eaten, but especially
where wheat is scant and geson. As for the difference that is between the
summer and winter wheat, most husbandmen know it not, sith they are
neither acquainted with summer wheat nor winter barley; yet here and there
I find of both sorts, specially in the north and about Kendal, where they
call it March wheat, and also of summer rye, but in so small quantities as
that I dare not pronounce them to be greatly common among us.

Our drink, whose force and continuance is partly touched already, is made
of barley, water, and hops, sodden and mingled together, by the industry
of our brewers in a certain exact proportion. But, before our barley do
come into their hands, it sustaineth great alteration, and is converted
into malt, the making whereof I will here set down in such order as my
skill therein may extend unto (for I am scarce a good maltster), chiefly
for that foreign writers have attempted to describe the same, and the
making of our beer, wherein they have shot so far wide, as the quantity of
ground was between themselves and their mark. In the meantime bear with
me, gentle reader (I beseech thee), that lead thee from the description of
the plentiful diet of our country unto the fond report of a servile trade,
or rather from a table delicately furnished into a musty malt-house; but
such is now thy hap, wherefore I pray thee be contented.

Our malt is made all the year long in some great towns; but in
gentlemen's and yeomen's houses, who commonly make sufficient for their
own expenses only, the winter half is thought most meet for that
commodity: howbeit the malt that is made when the willow doth bud is
commonly worst of all. Nevertheless each one endeavoureth to make it of
the best barley, which is steeped in a cistern, in greater or less
quantity, by the space of three days and three nights, until it be
thoroughly soaked. This being done, the water is drained from it by little
and little, till it be quite gone. Afterward they take it out, and, laying
it upon the clean floor on a round heap, it resteth so until it be ready
to shoot at the root end, which maltsters call _combing_. When it
beginneth therefore to shoot in this manner, they say it is come, and then
forthwith they spread it abroad, first thick, and afterwards thinner and
thinner upon the said floor (as it _combeth_), and there it lieth (with
turning every day four or five times) by the space of one and twenty days
at the least, the workmen not suffering it in any wise to take any heat,
whereby the bud end should spire, that bringeth forth the blade, and by
which oversight or hurt of the stuff itself the malt would be spoiled and
turn small commodity to the brewer. When it hath gone, or been turned, so
long upon the floor, they carry it to a kiln covered with hair cloth,
where they give it gentle heats (after they have spread it there very thin
abroad) till it be dry, and in the meanwhile they turn it often, that it
may be uniformly dried. For the more it be dried (yet must it be done with
soft fire) the sweeter and better the malt is, and the longer it will
continue, whereas, if it be not dried down (as they call it), but slackly
handled, it will breed a kind of worm called a weevil, which groweth in
the flour of the corn, and in process of time will so eat out itself that
nothing shall remain of the grain but even the very rind or husk.

The best malt is tried by the hardness and colour; for, if it look fresh
with a yellow hue, and thereto will write like a piece of chalk, after you
have bitten a kernel in sunder in the midst, then you may assure yourself
that it is dried down. In some places it is dried at leisure with wood
alone or straw alone, in others with wood and straw together; but, of all,
the straw-dried is the most excellent. For the wood-dried malt when it is
brewed, beside that the drink is higher of colour, it doth hurt and annoy
the head of him that is not used thereto, because of the smoke. Such also
as use both indifferently do bark, cleave, and dry their wood in an oven,
thereby to remove all moisture that should procure the fume; and this malt
is in the second place, and, with the same likewise, that which is made
with dried furze, broom, etc.: whereas, if they also be occupied green,
they are in manner so prejudicial to the corn as is the moist wood. And
thus much of our malts, in brewing whereof some grind the same somewhat
grossly, and, in seething well the liquor that shall be put into it, they
add to every nine quarters of malt one of headcorn (which consisteth of
sundry grain, as wheat and oats ground). But what have I to do with this
matter, or rather so great a quantity, wherewith I am not acquainted?
Nevertheless, sith I have taken occasion to speak of brewing, I will
exemplify in such a proportion as I am best skilled in, because it is the
usual rate for mine own family, and once in a month practised by my wife
and her maid-servants, who proceed withal after this manner, as she hath
oft informed me.

Having therefore ground eight bushels of good malt upon our quern, where
the toll is saved, she addeth unto it half a bushel of wheat meal, and so
much of oats small ground, and so tempereth or mixeth them with the malt
that you cannot easily discern the one from the other; otherwise these
latter would clunter, fall into lumps, and thereby become unprofitable.
The first liquor (which is full eighty gallons, according to the
proportion of our furnace) she maketh boiling hot, and then poureth it
softly into the malt, where it resteth (but without stirring) until her
second liquor be almost ready to boil. This done, she letteth her mash run
till the malt be left without liquor, or at the leastwise the greatest
part of the moisture, which she perceiveth by the stay and soft issue
thereof; and by this time her second liquor in the furnace is ready to
seethe, which is put also to the malt, as the first woort also again into
the furnace, whereunto she addeth two pounds of the best English hops,
and so letteth them seethe together by the space of two hours in summer or
an hour and a half in winter, whereby it getteth an excellent colour, and
continuance without impeachment or any superfluous tartness. But, before
she putteth her first woort into the furnace, or mingleth it with the
hops, she taketh out a vessel full, of eight or nine gallons, which she
shutteth up close, and suffereth no air to come into it till it become
yellow, and this she reserveth by itself unto further use, as shall appear
hereafter, calling it _brackwoort_ or _charwoort_, and, as she saith, it
addeth also to the colour of the drink, whereby it yieldeth not unto amber
or fine gold in hue unto the eye. By this time also her second woort is
let run; and, the first being taken out of the furnace, and placed to
cool, she returneth the middle woort unto the furnace, where it is
stricken over, or from whence it is taken again, when it beginneth to
boil, and mashed the second time, whilst the third liquor is heat (for
there are three liquors), and this last put into the furnace, when the
second is mashed again. When she hath mashed also the last liquor (and set
the second to cool by the first), she letteth it run, and then seetheth it
again with a pound and a half of new hops, or peradventure two pounds, as
she seeth cause by the goodness or baseness of the hops, and, when it hath
sodden, in summer two hours, and in winter an hour and a half, she
striketh it also, and reserveth it unto mixture with the rest when time
doth serve therefore. Finally, when she setteth her drink together, she
addeth to her brackwoort or charwoort half an ounce of arras, and half a
quarter of an ounce of bayberries, finely powdered, and then, putting the
same into her woort, with a handful of wheat flour, she proceedeth in such
usual order as common brewing requireth. Some, instead of arras and bays,
add so much long pepper only, but, in her opinion and my liking, it is not
so good as the first, and hereof we make three hogsheads of good beer,
such (I mean) as is meet for poor men as I am to live withal, whose small
maintenance (for what great thing is forty pounds a year, _computatis
computandis_, able to perform?) may endure no deeper cut, the charges
whereof groweth in this manner. I value my malt at ten shillings, my wood
at four shillings (which I buy), my hops at twenty pence, the spice at
twopence, servants' wages two shillings sixpence, with meat and drink, and
the wearing of my vessel at twenty pence, so that for my twenty shillings
I have ten score gallons of beer or more, notwithstanding the loss in
seething, which some, being loth to forego, do not observe the time, and
therefore speed thereafter in their success, and worthily. The continuance
of the drink is always determined after the quantity of the hops, so that
being well _hopt_ it lasteth longer. For it feedeth upon the hop, and
holdeth out so long as the force of the same continueth, which being
extinguished, the drink must be spent, or else it dieth and becometh of no

In this trade also our brewers observe very diligently the nature of the
water, which they daily occupy, and soil through which it passeth, for all
waters are not of like goodness, sith the fattest standing water is always
the best; for, although the waters that run by chalk or cledgy soils be
good, and next unto the Thames water, which is the most excellent, yet the
water that standeth in either of these is the best for us that dwell in
the country, as whereon the sun lieth longest, and fattest fish is bred.
But, of all other, the fenny and marsh is the worst, and the clearest
spring water next unto it. In this business therefore the skilful workman
doth redeem the iniquity of that element, by changing of his proportions,
which trouble in ale (sometime our only, but now taken with many for old
and sick men's drink) is never seen nor heard of. Howbeit, as the beer
well sodden in the brewing, and stale, is clear and well coloured as
muscadel or malvesey,[141] or rather yellow as the gold noble, as our
pot-knights call it, so our ale, which is not at all or very little
sodden, and without hops, is more thick, fulsome, and of no such
continuance, which are three notable things to be considered in that
liquor. But what for that? Certes I know some ale-knights so much addicted
thereunto that they will not cease from morrow until even to visit the
same, cleansing house after house, till they defile themselves, and either
fall quite under the board, or else, not daring to stir from their stools,
sit still pinking with their narrow eyes, as half sleeping, till the fume
of their adversary be digested that he may go to it afresh. Such slights
also have the ale-wives for the utterance of this drink that they will mix
it with rosen and salt; but if you heat a knife red-hot, and quench it in
the ale so near the bottom of the pot as you can put it, you shall see the
rosen come forth hanging on the knife. As for the force of salt, it is
well known by the effect, for the more the drinker tippleth, the more he
may, and so doth he carry off a dry drunken noll to bed with him, except
his luck be the better. But to my purpose.

In some places of England there is a kind of drink made of apples which
they call cider or pomage, but that of pears is called perry, and both are
ground and pressed in presses made for the nonce. Certes these two are
very common in Sussex, Kent, Worcester, and other steeds where these sorts
of fruits do abound, howbeit they are not their only drink at all times,
but referred unto the delicate sorts of drink, as metheglin is in Wales,
whereof the Welshmen make no less account (and not without cause, if it be
well handled) than the Greeks did of their ambrosia or nectar, which for
the pleasantness thereof was supposed to be such as the gods themselves
did delight in. There is a kind of swish-swash made also in Essex, and
divers other places, with honeycombs and water, which the homely country
wives, putting some pepper and a little other spice among, call mead, very
good in mine opinion for such as love to be loose bodied at large, or a
little eased of the cough. Otherwise it differeth so much from the true
metheglin as chalk from cheese. Truly it is nothing else but the washing
of the combs, when the honey is wrung out, and one of the best things that
I know belonging thereto is that they spend but little labour, and less
cost, in making of the same, and therefore no great loss if it were never
occupied. Hitherto of the diet of my countrymen, and somewhat more at
large peradventure than many men will like of, wherefore I think good now
to finish this tractation, and so will I, when I have added a few other
things incident unto that which goeth before, whereby the whole process of
the same shall fully be delivered, and my promise to my friend[142] in
this behalf performed.

Heretofore there hath been much more time spent in eating and drinking
than commonly is in these days; for whereas of old we had breakfasts in
the forenoon, beverages or nunchions[143] after dinner, and thereto rear
suppers generally when it was time to go to rest (a toy brought into
England by hardy Canutus, and a custom whereof Athenæus[144] also
speaketh, lib. 1, albeit Hippocrates speaks but of twice at the most, lib.
2, _De rat vict. in feb ac_). Now, these odd repasts--thanked be God!--are
very well left, and each one in manner (except here and there some young,
hungry stomach that cannot fast till dinner-time) contenteth himself with
dinner and supper only. The Normans, misliking the gormandise of Canutus,
ordained after their arrival that no table should be covered above once in
the day, which Huntingdon[145] imputeth to their avarice; but in the end,
either waxing weary of their own frugality, or suffering the cockle of old
custom to overgrow the good corn of their new constitution, they fell to
such liberty that in often-feeding they surmounted Canutus surnamed the
Hardy. For, whereas he covered his table but three or four times in the
day, these spread their cloths five or six times, and in such wise as I
before rehearsed. They brought in also the custom of long and stately
sitting at meat, whereby their feasts resembled those ancient pontifical
banquets whereof Macrobius speaketh (lib. 3, cap. 13), and Pliny (lib. 10,
cap. 10), and which for sumptuousness of fare, long sitting, and curiosity
shewed in the same, exceeded all other men's feasting; which fondness is
not yet left with us, notwithstanding that it proveth very beneficial for
the physicians, who most abound where most excess and misgovernment of our
bodies do appear, although it be a great expense of time, and worthy of
reprehension. For the nobility, gentlemen, and merchantmen, especially at
great meetings, do sit commonly till two or three of the clock at
afternoon, so that with many it is a hard matter to rise from the table to
go to evening prayer, and return from thence to come time enough to

       *       *       *       *       *

With us the nobility, gentry, and students do ordinarily go to dinner at
eleven before noon, and to supper at five, or between five and six at
afternoon. The merchants dine and sup seldom before twelve at noon, and
six at night, especially in London. The husbandmen dine also at high noon
as they call it, and sup at seven or eight; but out of the term in our
universities the scholars dine at ten. As for the poorest sort they
generally dine and sup when they may, so that to talk of their order of
repast it were but a needless matter. I might here take occasion also to
set down the variety used by antiquity in their beginnings of their diets,
wherein almost every nation had a several fashion, some beginning of
custom (as we do in summer time) with salads at supper, and some ending
with lettuce,[147] some making their entry[148] with eggs, and shutting up
their tables with mulberries, as we do with fruit and conceits of all
sorts. Divers (as the old Romans) began with a few crops of rue, as the
Venetians did with the fish called gobius; the Belgæs with butter, or (as
we do yet also) with butter and eggs upon fish days. But whereas we
commonly begin with the most gross food, and end with the most delicate,
the Scot, thinking much to leave the best for his menial servants, maketh
his entrance at the best, so that he is sure thereby to leave the worst.
We use also our wines by degrees, so that the hostess cometh last to the
table: but to stand upon such toys would spend much time, and turn to
small profit. Wherefore I will deal with other things more necessary for
this turn.



[1577, Book III., Chapter 2; 1587, Book II., Chapter 7.]

An Englishman, endeavouring sometime to write of our attire, made sundry
platforms for his purpose, supposing by some of them to find out one
steadfast ground whereon to build the sum of his discourse. But in the end
(like an orator long without exercise), when he saw what a difficult piece
of work he had taken in hand, he gave over his travel, and only drew the
picture of a naked man,[149] unto whom he gave a pair of shears in the one
hand and a piece of cloth in the other, to the end he should shape his
apparel after such fashion as himself liked, sith he could find no kind of
garment that could please him any while together; and this he called an
Englishman. Certes this writer (otherwise being a lewd popish hypocrite
and ungracious priest[150]) shewed himself herein not to be altogether
void of judgment, sith the phantastical folly of our nation (even from the
courtier to the carter) is such that no form of apparel liketh us longer
than the first garment is in the wearing, if it continue so long, and be
not laid aside to receive some other trinket newly devised by the
fickle-headed tailors, who covet to have several tricks in cutting,
thereby to draw fond customers to more expense of money. For my part, I
can tell better how to inveigh against this enormity than describe any
certainty of our attire; sithence such is our mutability that to-day there
is none to the Spanish guise, to-morrow the French toys are most fine and
delectable, ere long no such apparel as that which is after the high
Almaine[151] fashion, by-and-by the Turkish manner is generally best liked
of, otherwise the Morisco gowns, the Barbarian fleeces, the mandilion worn
to Colley-Weston ward,[152] and the short French breeches make such a
comely vesture that, except it were a dog in a doublet, you shall not see
any so disguised as are my countrymen of England.[153] And as these
fashions are diverse, so likewise it is a world to see the costliness and
the curiosity, the excess and the vanity, the pomp and the bravery, the
change and the variety, and finally the fickleness and the folly, that is
in all degrees, insomuch that nothing is more constant in England than
inconstancy of attire. Oh, how much cost is bestowed nowadays upon our
bodies, and how little upon our souls! How many suits of apparel hath the
one, and how little furniture hath the other! How long time is asked in
decking up of the first, and how little space left wherein to feed the
latter! How curious, how nice also, are a number of men and women, and how
hardly can the tailor please them in making it fit for their bodies! How
many times must it be sent back again to him that made it! What chafing,
what fretting, what reproachful language, doth the poor workman bear
away![154] And many times when he doth nothing to it at all, yet when it
is brought home again it is very fit and handsome; then must we put it on,
then must the long seams of our hose be set by a plumb-line, then we puff,
then we blow, and finally sweat till we drop, that our clothes may stand
well upon us. I will say nothing of our heads, which sometimes are polled,
sometimes curled, or suffered to grow at length like woman's locks, many
times cut off, above or under the ears, round as by a wooden dish. Neither
will I meddle with our variety of beards, of which some are shaven from
the chin like those of Turks, not a few cut short like to the beard of
Marquess Otto, some made round like a rubbing brush, others with a _pique
de vant_ (O! fine fashion!), or now and then suffered to grow long, the
barbers being grown to be so cunning in this behalf as the tailors. And
therefore if a man have a lean and straight face, a Marquess Otton's cut
will make it broad and large; if it be platter-like, a long, slender beard
will make it seem the narrower; if he be weasel-becked, then much hair
left on the cheeks will make the owner look big like a bowdled hen, and as
grim as a goose, if Cornelis of Chelmersford say true. Many old men do
wear no beards at all. Some lusty courtiers also and gentlemen of courage
do wear either rings of gold, stones, or pearl, in their ears, whereby
they imagine the workmanship of God not to be a little amended. But herein
they rather disgrace than adorn their persons, as by their niceness in
apparel, for which I say most nations do not unjustly deride us, as also
for that we do seem to imitate all nations round about us, wherein we be
like to the polypus or chameleon; and thereunto bestow most cost upon our
arses, and much more than upon all the rest of our bodies, as women do
likewise upon their heads and shoulders. In women also, it is most to be
lamented, that they do now far exceed the lightness of our men (who
nevertheless are transformed from the cap even to the very shoe), and such
staring attire as in time past was supposed meet for none but light
housewives only is now become a habit for chaste and sober matrons. What
should I say of their doublets with pendant codpieces on the breast full
of jags and cuts, and sleeves of sundry colours? Their galligascons to
bear out their bums and make their attire to fit plum round (as they term
it) about them. Their fardingals, and diversely coloured nether stocks of
silk, jerdsey, and such like, whereby their bodies are rather deformed
than commended? I have met with some of these trulls in London so
disguised that it hath passed my skill to discern whether they were men or

Thus it is now come to pass, that women are become men, and men
transformed[156] into monsters; and those good gifts which Almighty God
hath given unto us to relieve our necessities withal (as a nation turning
altogether the grace of God into wantonness, for

     "Luxuriant animi rebus plerunque fecundis,")

not otherwise bestowed than in all excess, as if we wist not otherwise
how to consume and waste them. I pray God that in this behalf our sin be
not like unto that of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose errors were pride, excess
of diet, and abuse of God's benefits abundantly bestowed upon them, beside
want of charity towards the poor, and certain other points which the
prophet shutteth up in silence. Certes the commonwealth cannot be said to
flourish where these abuses reign, but is rather oppressed by unreasonable
exactions made upon rich farmers, and of poor tenants, wherewith to
maintain the same. Neither was it ever merrier with England than when an
Englishman was known abroad by his own cloth, and contented himself at
home with his fine carsey hosen, and a mean slop; his coat, gown, and
cloak of brown, blue, or puke,[157] with some pretty furniture of velvet
or fur, and a doublet of sad tawny, or black velvet, or other comely silk,
without such cuts and garish colours as are worn in these days, and never
brought in but by the consent of the French, who think themselves the
gayest men when they have most diversities of jags[158] and change of
colours about them. Certes of all estates our merchants do least alter
their attire, and therefore are most to be commended; for albeit that
which they wear be very fine and costly, yet in form and colour it
representeth a great piece of the ancient gravity appertaining to citizens
and burgesses, albeit the younger sort of their wives, both in attire and
costly housekeeping, cannot tell when and how to make an end, as being
women indeed in whom all kind of curiosity is to be found and seen, and in
far greater measure than in women of higher calling. I might here name a
sort of hues devised for the nonce, wherewith to please fantastical heads,
as goose-turd green,[159] peas-porridge tawny, popingay blue,[160] lusty
gallant, the devil-in-the-head (I should say the hedge), and such like;
but I pass them over, thinking it sufficient to have said thus much of
apparel generally, when nothing can particularly be spoken of any
constancy thereof.[161]



[1577, Book II., Chapter 10; 1587, Book II., Chapter 12.]

The greatest part of our building in the cities and good towns of England
consisteth only of timber, for as yet few of the houses of the communalty
(except here and there in the West-country towns) are made of stone,
although they may (in my opinion) in divers other places be builded so
good cheap of the one as of the other. In old time the houses of the
Britons were slightly set up with a few posts and many raddles, with
stable and all offices under one roof, the like whereof almost is to be
seen in the fenny countries and northern parts unto this day, where for
lack of wood they are enforced to continue this ancient manner of
building. It is not in vain, therefore, in speaking of building, to make a
distinction between the plain and woody soils; for as in these, our houses
are commonly strong and well-timbered (so that in many places there are
not above four, six, or nine inches between stud and stud), so in the open
champaign countries they are forced, for want of stuff, to use no studs at
all, but only frankposts, raisins, beams, prickposts, groundsels, summers
(or dormants), transoms, and such principals, with here and there a
girding, whereunto they fasten their splints or raddles, and then cast it
all over with thick clay to keep out the wind, which otherwise would
annoy them. Certes this rude kind of building made the Spaniards in Queen
Mary's days to wonder, but chiefly when they saw what large diet was used
in many of these so homely cottages; insomuch that one of no small
reputation amongst them said after this manner--"These English (quoth he)
have their houses made of sticks and dirt, but they fare commonly so well
as the king." Whereby it appeareth that he liked better of our good fare
in such coarse cabins than of their own thin diet in their prince-like
habitations and palaces. In like sort as every country house is thus
apparelled on the outside, so is it inwardly divided into sundry rooms
above and beneath; and, where plenty of wood is, they cover them with
tiles, otherwise with straw, sedge, or reed,[163] except some quarry of
slate be near hand, from whence they have for their money much as may
suffice them. The clay wherewith our houses are impannelled is either
white, red, or blue; and of these the first doth participate very much of
the nature of our chalk; the second is called loam; but the third eftsoons
changeth colour as soon as it is wrought, notwithstanding that it looks
blue when it is thrown out of the pit. Of chalk also we have our excellent
asbestos or white lime, made in most places, wherewith being quenched, we
strike over our clay works and stone walls, in cities, good towns, rich
farmers' and gentlemen's houses: otherwise, instead of chalk (where it
wanteth, for it is so scant that in some places it is sold by the pound),
they are compelled to burn a certain kind of red stone, as in Wales, and
elsewhere other stones and shells of oysters and like fish found upon the
sea coast, which, being converted into lime, doth naturally (as the other)
abhor and eschew water, whereby it is dissolved, and nevertheless desire
oil, wherewith it is easily mixed, as I have seen by experience. Within
their doors also, such as are of ability do oft make their floors and
parget of fine alabaster burned, which they call plaster of Paris, whereof
in some places we have great plenty, and that very profitable against the
rage of fire. In plastering likewise of our fairest houses over our heads,
we use to lay first a line or two of white mortar, tempered with hair,
upon laths, which are nailed one by another (or sometimes upon reed of
wickers more dangerous for fire, and made fast here and there saplaths for
falling down), and finally cover all with the aforesaid plaster, which,
beside the delectable whiteness of the stuff itself, is laid on so even
and smoothly as nothing in my judgment can be done with more exactness.
The walls of our houses on the inner sides in like sort be either hanged
with tapestry, arras work, or painted cloths, wherein either divers
histories, or herbs, beasts, knots, and such like are stained, or else
they are ceiled with oak of our own, or wainscot brought hither out of the
east countries, whereby the rooms are not a little commended, made warm,
and much more close than otherwise they would be. As for stoves, we have
not hitherto used them greatly, yet do they now begin to be made in divers
houses of the gentry and wealthy citizens, who build them not to work and
feed in, as in Germany and elsewhere, but now and then to sweat in, as
occasion and need shall require it.

This also hath been common in England, contrary to the customs of all
other nations, and yet to be seen (for example, in most streets of
London), that many of our greatest houses have outwardly been very simple
and plain to sight, which inwardly have been able to receive a duke with
his whole train, and lodge them at their ease. Hereby, moreover, it is
come to pass that the fronts of our streets have not been so uniform and
orderly builded as those of foreign cities, where (to say truth) the outer
side of their mansions and dwellings have oft more cost bestowed upon them
than all the rest of the house, which are often very simple and uneasy
within, as experience doth confirm. Of old time, our country houses,
instead of glass, did use much lattice, and that made either of wicker or
fine rifts of oak in checkerwise. I read also that some of the better
sort, in and before the times of the Saxons (who notwithstanding used some
glass also since the time of Benedict Biscop, the monk that brought the
feat of glazing first into this land), did make panels of horn instead of
glass, and fix them in wooden calmes. But as horn in windows is now quite
laid down in every place, so our lattices are also grown into less use,
because glass is come to be so plentiful, and within a very little so good
cheap, if not better than the other. I find obscure mention of the
specular stone also to have been found and applied to this use in England,
but in such doubtful sort as I dare not affirm it for certain.
Nevertheless certain it is that antiquity used it before glass was known,
under the name of _selenites_. And how glass was first found I care not
greatly to remember, even at this present, although it be directly beside
my purposed matter. In Syria Phenices, which bordereth upon Jewry, and
near to the foot of Mount Carmel, there is a moor or marsh whereout riseth
a brook called sometime Belus, and falleth into the sea near to Ptolemais.
This river was fondly ascribed unto Baal, and also honoured under that
name by the infidels long time before there was any king in Israel. It
came to pass also, as a certain merchant sailed that way, loaden with
nitrum, the passengers went to land for to repose themselves, and to take
in some store of fresh water into their vessel. Being also on the shore,
they kindled a fire and made provision for their dinner, but (because they
wanted trevets or stones whereon to set their kettles on) ran by chance
into the ship, and brought great pieces of nitrum with them, which served
their turn for that present. To be short, the said substance being hot,
and beginning to melt, it mixed by chance with the gravel that lay under
it, and so brought forth that shining substance which now is called glass,
and about the time of Semiramis. When the company saw this, they made no
small accompt of their success, and forthwith began to practise the like
in other mixtures, whereby great variety of the said stuff did also ensue.
Certes for the time this history may well be true, for I read of glass in
Job; but, for the rest, I refer me to the common opinion conceived by
writers. Now, to turn again to our windows. Heretofore also the houses of
our princes and noblemen were often glazed with beryl (an example whereof
is yet to be seen in Sudeley Castle) and in divers other places with fine
crystal, but this especially in the time of the Romans, whereof also some
fragments have been taken up in old ruins. But now these are not in use,
so that only the clearest glass is most esteemed: for we have divers
sorts, some brought out of Burgundy, some out of Normandy, much out of
Flanders, beside that which is made in England, which would be so good as
the best if we were diligent and careful to bestow more cost upon it, and
yet as it is each one that may will have it for his building. Moreover the
mansion houses of our country towns and villages (which in champaign
ground stand altogether by streets, and joining one to another, but in
woodland soils dispersed here and there, each one upon the several grounds
of their owners) are builded in such sort generally as that they have
neither dairy, stable, nor brew-house annexed unto them under the same
roof (as in many places beyond the sea and some of the north parts of our
country), but all separate from the first, and one of them from another.
And yet, for all this, they are not so far distant in sunder but that the
goodman lying in his bed may lightly hear what is done in each of them
with ease, and call quickly unto his many if any danger should attack him.

The ancient manors and houses of our gentlemen are yet and for the most
part of strong timber, in framing whereof our carpenters have been and are
worthily preferred before those of like science among all other nations.
Howbeit such as be lately builded are commonly either of brick or hard
stone, or both, their rooms large and comely, and houses of office further
distant from their lodgings. Those of the nobility are likewise wrought
with brick and hard stone, as provision may best be made, but so
magnificent and stately as the basest house of a baron doth often match in
our days with some honours of princes in old time. So that, if ever
curious building did flourish in England, it is in these our years wherein
our workmen excel and are in manner comparable in skill with old
Vitruvius, Leo Baptista, and Serlo. Nevertheless their estimation, more
than their greedy and servile covetousness, joined with a lingering
humour, causeth them often to be rejected, and strangers preferred to
greater bargains, who are more reasonable in their takings, and less
wasters of time by a great deal than our own.

The furniture of our houses also exceedeth, and is grown in manner even to
passing delicacy: and herein I do not speak of the nobility and gentry
only, but likewise of the lowest sort in most places of our south country
that have anything at all to take to. Certes in noblemen's houses it is
not rare to see abundance of arras, rich hangings of tapestry, silver
vessel, and so much other plate as may furnish sundry cupboards to the sum
oftentimes of a thousand or two thousand pounds at the least, whereby the
value of this and the rest of their stuff doth grow to be almost
inestimable. Likewise in the houses of knights, gentlemen, merchantmen,
and some other wealthy citizens, it is not geson to behold generally their
great provision of tapestry, Turkey work, pewter, brass, fine linen, and
thereto costly cupboards of plate, worth five or six hundred or a thousand
pounds to be deemed by estimation. But, as herein all these sorts do far
exceed their elders and predecessors, and in neatness and curiosity the
merchant all other, so in times past the costly furniture stayed there,
whereas now it is descended yet lower even unto the inferior artificers
and many farmers, who, by virtue of their old and not of their new leases,
have, for the most part, learned also to garnish their cupboards with
plate, their joined beds with tapestry and silk hangings, and their tables
with carpets and fine napery, whereby the wealth of our country (God be
praised therefore, and give us grace to employ it well) doth infinitely
appear. Neither do I speak this in reproach of any man, God is my judge,
but to shew that I do rejoice rather to see how God hath blessed us with
his good gifts; and whilst, I behold how (in a time wherein all things are
grown to most excessive prices, and what commodity so ever is to be had is
daily plucked from the communalty by such as look into every trade) we do
yet find the means to obtain and achieve such furniture as heretofore hath
been unpossible.

There are old men yet dwelling in the village where I remain which have
noted three things to be marvellously altered in England within their
sound remembrance, and other three things too much increased.

One is the multitude of chimneys lately erected, whereas in their young
days there were not above two or three, if so many, in most uplandish
towns of the realm (the religious houses and manor places of their lords
always excepted, and peradventure some great personages), but each one
made his fire against a reredos in the hall, where he dined and dressed
his meat.

The second is the great (although not general) amendment of lodging; for,
said they, our fathers, yea and we ourselves also, have lain full oft upon
straw pallets, on rough mats covered only with a sheet, under coverlets
made of dagswain or hopharlots (I use their own terms), and a good round
log under their heads instead of a bolster or pillow. If it were so that
our fathers--or the good man of the house had within seven years after his
marriage purchased a mattress or flock bed, and thereto a stack of chaff
to rest his head upon, he thought himself to be as well lodged as the lord
of the town, that peradventure lay seldom in a bed of down or whole
feathers, so well were they content, and with such base kind of furniture:
which also is not very much amended as yet in some parts of Bedfordshire,
and elsewhere, further off from our southern parts. Pillows (said they)
were thought meet only for women in childbed. As for servants, if they had
any sheet above them, it was well, for seldom had they any under their
bodies to keep them from the pricking straws that ran oft through the
canvas of the pallet and rased their hardened hides.

The third thing they tell of is the exchange of vessel, as of treen
platters into pewter, and wooden spoons into silver or tin. For so common
were all sorts of treen stuff in old time that a man should hardly find
four pieces of pewter (of which one was peradventure a salt) in a good
farmer's house, and yet for all this frugality (if it may so be justly
called) they were scarce able to live and pay their rents at their days
without selling of a cow, or a horse or more,[164] although they paid but
four pounds at the uttermost by the year. Such also was their poverty
that, if some one odd farmer or husbandman had been at the alehouse, a
thing greatly used in those days, amongst six or seven of his neighbours,
and there in a bravery, to shew what store he had, did cast down his
purse, and therein a noble or six shillings in silver, unto them (for few
such men then cared for gold, because it was not so ready payment, and
they were oft enforced to give a penny for the exchange of an angel), it
was very likely that all the rest could not lay down so much against it;
whereas in my time, although peradventure four pounds of old rent be
improved to forty, fifty, or a hundred pounds, yet will the farmer, as
another palm or date tree, think his gains very small toward the end of
his term if he have not six or seven years' rent lying by him, therewith
to purchase a new lease, beside a fair garnish of pewter on his cupboard,
with so much more in odd vessel going about the house, three or four
feather beds, so many coverlids and carpets of tapestry, a silver salt, a
bowl for wine (if not a whole neast), and a dozen of spoons to furnish up
the suit. This also he takes to be his own clear, for what stock of money
soever he gathereth and layeth up in all his years it is often seen that
the landlord will take such order with him for the same when he reneweth
his lease, which is commonly eight or six years before the old be expired
(sith it is now grown almost to a custom that if he come not to his lord
so long before another shall step in for a reversion, and so defeat him
outright), that it shall never trouble him more than the hair of his beard
when the barber hath washed and shaved it from his chin.

And as they commend these, so (beside the decay of housekeeping whereby
the poor have been relieved) they speak also of three things that are
grown to be very grievous unto them--to wit, the enhancing of rents,
lately mentioned; the daily oppression of copyholders, whose lords seek to
bring their poor tenants almost into plain servitude and misery, daily
devising new means, and seeking up all the old, how to cut them shorter
and shorter, doubling, trebling, and now and then seven times increasing
their fines, driving them also for every trifle to lose and forfeit their
tenures (by whom the greatest part of the realm doth stand and is
maintained), to the end they may fleece them yet more, which is a
lamentable hearing. The third thing they talk of is usury, a trade brought
in by the Jews, now perfectly practised almost by every Christian, and so
commonly that he is accompted but for a fool that doth lend his money for
nothing. In time past it was _sors pro sorte_--that is, the principal only
for the principal; but now, beside that which is above the principal
properly called _Usura_, we challenge _Foenus_--that is, commodity of soil
and fruits of the earth, if not the ground itself. In time past also one
of the hundred was much; from thence it rose unto two, called in Latin
_Usura, Ex sextante_; three, to wit, _Ex quadrante_; then to four, to wit,
_Ex triente_; then to five, which is _Ex quincunce_; then to six, called
_Ex semisse_, etc. As the accompt of the _Assis_ ariseth, and coming at
the last unto _Usura ex asse_, it amounteth to twelve in the hundred, and
therefore the Latins call it _Centesima_, for that in the hundred month it
doubleth the principal; but more of this elsewhere. See Cicero against
Verres, Demosthenes against Aphobus, and Athenæus, lib. 13, in fine; and,
when thou hast read them well, help I pray thee in lawful manner to hang
up such as take _Centum pro cento_, for they are no better worthy as I do
judge in conscience. Forget not also such landlords as used to value their
leases at a secret estimation given of the wealth and credit of the taker,
whereby they seem (as it were) to eat them up, and deal with bondmen, so
that if the lessee be thought to be worth a hundred pounds he shall pay no
less for his new term, or else another to enter with hard and doubtful
covenants. I am sorry to report it, much more grieved to understand of the
practice, but most sorrowful of all to understand that men of great port
and countenance are so far from suffering their farmers to have any gain
at all that they themselves become graziers, butchers, tanners,
sheepmasters, woodmen, and _denique quid non_, thereby to enrich
themselves, and bring all the wealth of the country into their own hands,
leaving the communalty weak, or as an idol with broken or feeble arms,
which may in a time of peace have a plausible shew, but when necessity
shall enforce have a heavy and bitter sequel.



[1577, Book III., Chapter 5; 1587, Book II., Chapter 10.]

There is no commonwealth at this day in Europe wherein there is not great
store of poor people, and those necessarily to be relieved by the
wealthier sort, which otherwise would starve and come to utter confusion.
With us the poor is commonly divided into three sorts, so that some are
poor by impotence, as the fatherless child, the aged, blind, and lame, and
the diseased person that is judged to be incurable; the second are poor by
casualty, as the wounded soldier, the decayed householder, and the sick
person visited with grievous and painful diseases; the third consisteth of
thriftless poor, as the rioter that hath consumed all, the vagabond that
will abide nowhere, but runneth up and down from place to place (as it
were seeking work and finding none), and finally the rogue and the
strumpet, which are not possible to be divided in sunder, but run to and
fro over all the realm, chiefly keeping the champaign soils in summer to
avoid the scorching heat, and the woodland grounds in winter to eschew the
blustering winds.

For the first two sorts[165] (that is to say, the poor by impotence and
poor by casualty, which are the true poor indeed, and for whom the Word
doth bind us to make some daily provision), there is order taken
throughout every parish in the realm that weekly collection shall be made
for their help and sustentation--to the end they shall not scatter abroad,
and, by begging here and there, annoy both town and country. Authority
also is given unto the justices in every county (and great penalties
appointed for such as make default) to see that the intent of the statute
in this behalf be truly executed according to the purpose and meaning of
the same, so that these two sorts are sufficiently provided for; and such
as can live within the limits of their allowance (as each one will do that
is godly and well disposed) may well forbear to roam and range about. But
if they refuse to be supported by this benefit of the law, and will rather
endeavour by going to and fro to maintain their idle trades, then are they
adjudged to be parcel of the third sort, and so, instead of courteous
refreshing at home, are often corrected with sharp execution and whip of
justice abroad. Many there are which, notwithstanding the rigour of the
laws provided in that behalf, yield rather with this liberty (as they call
it) to be daily under the fear and terror of the whip than, by abiding
where they were born or bred, to be provided for by the devotion of the
parishes. I found not long since a note of these latter sort, the effect
whereof ensueth. Idle beggars are such either through other men's occasion
or through their own default--by other men's occasion (as one way for
example) when some covetous man (such, I mean, as have the cast or right
vein daily to make beggars enough whereby to pester the land, espying a
further commodity in their commons, holds, and tenures) doth find such
means as thereby to wipe many out of their occupyings and turn the same
unto his private gains.[166] Hereupon it followeth that, although the
wise and better-minded do either forsake the realm for altogether, and
seek to live in other countries, as France, Germany, Barbary, India,
Muscovia, and very Calcutta, complaining of no room to be left for them at
home, do so behave themselves that they are worthily to be accounted among
the second sort, yet the greater part, commonly having nothing to stay
upon, are wilful, and thereupon do either prove idle beggars or else
continue stark thieves till the gallows do eat them up, which is a
lamentable case. Certes in some men's judgment these things are but
trifles, and not worthy the regarding. Some also do grudge at the great
increase of people in these days, thinking a necessary brood of cattle far
better than a superfluous augmentation of mankind. But I can liken such
men best of all unto the pope and the devil, who practise the hindrance of
the furniture of the number of the elect to their uttermost, to the end
the authority of the one upon the earth, the deferring of the locking up
of the other in everlasting chains, and the great gains of the first, may
continue and endure the longer. But if it should come to pass that any
foreign invasion should be made--which the Lord God forbid for his
mercies' sake!--then should these men find that a wall of men is far
better than stacks of corn and bags of money, and complain of the want
when it is too late to seek remedy. The like occasion caused the Romans to
devise their law _Agraria_: but the rich, not liking of it, and the
covetous, utterly condemning it as rigorous and unprofitable, never ceased
to practise disturbance till it was quite abolished. But to proceed with
my purpose.

Such as are idle beggars[167] through their own default are of two sorts,
and continue their estates either by casual or mere voluntary means: those
that are such by casual means are in the beginning justly to be referred
either to the first or second sort of poor aforementioned, but,
degenerating into the thriftless sort, they do what they can to continue
their misery, and, with such impediments as they have, to stray and wander
about, as creatures abhorring all labour and every honest exercise. Certes
I call these casual means, not in the respect of the original of all
poverty, but of the continuance of the same, from whence they will not be
delivered, such is their own ungracious lewdness and froward disposition.
The voluntary means proceed from outward causes, as by making of
corrosives, and applying the same to the more fleshy parts of their
bodies, and also laying of ratsbane, spearwort, crowfoot, and such like
unto their whole members, thereby to raise pitiful and odious sores, and
move the hearts of the goers-by such places where they lie, to yearn at
their misery, and thereupon bestow large alms upon them. How artificially
they beg, what forcible speech, and how they select and choose out words
of vehemence, whereby they do in manner conjure or adjure the goer-by to
pity their cases, I pass over to remember, as judging the name of God and
Christ to be more conversant in the mouths of none and yet the presence of
the Heavenly Majesty further off from no men than from this ungracious
company. Which maketh me to think that punishment is far meeter for them
than liberality or alms, and sith Christ willeth us chiefly to have a
regard to Himself and his poor members.

Unto this nest is another sort to be referred, more sturdy than the rest,
which, having sound and perfect limbs, do yet notwithstanding sometime
counterfeit the possession of all sorts of diseases. Divers times in their
apparel also they will be like serving men or labourers: oftentimes they
can play the mariners, and seek for ships which they never lost. But in
fine they are all thieves and caterpillars in the commonwealth, and by the
Word of God not permitted to eat, sith they do but lick the sweat from the
true labourers' brows, and bereave the godly poor of that which is due
unto them, to maintain their excess, consuming the charity of
well-disposed people bestowed upon them, after a most wicked and
detestable manner.

It is not yet full threescore years since this trade began: but how it
hath prospered since that time it is easy to judge, for they are now
supposed, of one sex and another, to amount unto above 10,000 persons, as
I have heard reported. Moreover, in counterfeiting the Egyptian
rogues,[168] they have devised a language among themselves, which they
name "Canting," but others, "pedler's French," a speech compact thirty
years since, of English and a great number of odd words of their own
devising, without all order or reason, and yet such is it as none but
themselves are able to understand. The first deviser thereof was hanged by
the neck--a just reward, no doubt, for his deserts, and a common end to
all of that profession.

A gentleman[169] also of late hath taken great pains to search out the
secret practices of this ungracious rabble. And among other things he
setteth down and describeth three and twenty sorts of them, whose names
it shall not be amiss to remember whereby each one may take occasion to
read and know as also by his industry what wicked people they are, and
what villainy remaineth in them.

_The several disorders and degrees amongst our idle vagabonds._

  1. Rufflers.               8. Fraters.
  2. Uprightmen.             9. Abrams.
  3. Hookers or anglers.    10. Freshwater mariners or whipiacks.
  4. Rogues.                11. Drummerers.
  5. Wild rogues.           12. Drunken tinkers.
  6. Priggers or pransers.  13. Swadders or pedlers.
  7. Palliards.             14. Jarkemen or patricoes.

_Of the women kind._

  1. Demanders for glimmar or fire. 5. Walking mortes.
  2. Bawdy-baskets.                 6. Doxies.
  3. Mortes.                        7. Dells.
  4. Autem mortem.                  8. Kinching mortes.
                 9. Kinching cooes.[170]

The punishment that is ordained for this kind of people is very sharp, and
yet it cannot restrain them from their gadding: wherefore the end must
needs be martial law,[171] to be exercised upon them, as upon thieves,
robbers, despisers of all laws, and enemies to the commonwealth and
welfare of the land. What notable robberies, pilferies, murders, rapes,
and stealings of young children, burning, breaking, and disfiguring their
limbs to make them pitiful in the sight of the people, I need not to
rehearse; but for their idle rogueing about the country, the law ordaineth
this manner of correction. The rogue being apprehended, committed to
prison, and tried in the next assizes (whether they be of gaol delivery or
sessions of the peace), if he happen to be convicted for a vagabond,
either by inquest of office or the testimony of two honest and credible
witnesses upon their oaths, he is then immediately adjudged to be
grievously whipped and burned through the gristle of the right ear with a
hot iron of the compass of an inch about, as a manifestation of his wicked
life, and due punishment received for the same.[172] And this judgment is
to be executed upon him except some honest person worth five pounds in the
queen's books in goods, or twenty shillings in land, or some rich
householder to be allowed by the justices, will be bound in recognisance
to retain him in his service for one whole year. If he be taken the second
time, and proved to have forsaken his said service, he shall then be
whipped again, bored likewise through the other ear, and set to service:
from whence if he depart before a year be expired, and happen afterwards
to be attached again, he is condemned to suffer pains of death as a felon
(except before excepted) without benefit of clergy or sanctuary, as by the
statute doth appear. Among rogues and idle persons, finally, we find to be
comprised all proctors that go up and down with counterfeit licences,
cozeners, and such as gad about the country, using unlawful games,
practisers of physiognomy and palmestry, tellers of fortunes, fencers,
players, minstrels, jugglers, pedlers, tinkers, pretended scholars,
shipmen, prisoners gathering for fees, and others so oft as they be taken
without sufficient licence. From among which company our bearwards are not
excepted, and just cause: for I have read that they have, either
voluntarily or for want of power to master their savage beasts, been
occasion of the death and devouration of many children in sundry countries
by which they have passed, whose parents never knew what was become of
them. And for that cause there is and have been many sharp laws made for
bearwards in Germany, whereof you may read in other. But to our rogues.
Each one also that harboureth or aideth them with meat or money is taxed
and compelled to fine with the queen's majesty for every time that he doth
succour them as it shall please the justices of peace to assign, so that
the taxation exceed not twenty, as I have been informed. And thus much of
the poor and such provision as is appointed for them within the realm of



[1577, Book I., Chapter 13; 1587, Book I., Chapter 18.]

The air (for the most part) throughout the island is such as by reason in
manner of continual clouds is reputed to be gross, and nothing so pleasant
as that of the main. Howbeit, as they which affirm these things have only
respect to the impediment or hindrance of the sunbeams by the
interposition of the clouds and of ingrossed air, so experience teacheth
us that it is no less pure, wholesome, and commodious than is that of
other countries, and (as Cæsar himself hereto addeth) much more temperate
in summer than that of the Gauls, from whom he adventured hither. Neither
is there any thing found in the air of our region that is not usually seen
amongst other nations lying beyond the seas. Wherefore we must needs
confess that the situation of our island (for benefit of the heavens) is
nothing inferior to that of any country of the main, wheresoever it lie
under the open firmament. And this Plutarch knew full well, who affirmeth
a part of the Elysian Fields to be found in Britain, and the isles that
are situated about it in the ocean.

The soil of Britain is such as by the testimonies and reports both of the
old and new writers, and experience also of such as now inhabit the same,
is very fruitful, and such indeed as bringeth forth many commodities,
whereof other countries have need, and yet itself (if fond niceness were
abolished) needless of those that are daily brought from other places.
Nevertheless it is more inclined to feeding and grazing than profitable
for tillage and bearing of corn, by reason whereof the country is
wonderfully replenished with neat and all kind of cattle; and such store
is there also of the same in every place that the fourth part of the land
is scarcely manured for the provision and maintenance of grain. Certes
this fruitfulness was not unknown unto the Britons long before Cæsar's
time, which was the cause wherefore our predecessors living in those days
in manner neglected tillage and lived by feeding and grazing only. The
grazers themselves also then dwelled in movable villages by companies,
whose custom was to divide the ground amongst them, and each one not to
depart from the place where his lot lay (a thing much like the Irish
Criacht[173]) till, by eating up of the country about him, he was enforced
to remove further and seek for better pasture. And this was the British
custom, as I learn, at first. It hath been commonly reported that the
ground of Wales is neither so fruitful as that of England, neither the
soil of Scotland so bountiful as that of Wales, which is true for corn and
for the most part; otherwise there is so good ground in some parts of
Wales as is in England, albeit the best of Scotland be scarcely comparable
to the mean of either of both. Howbeit, as the bounty of the Scotch doth
fail in some respect, so doth it surmount in other, God and nature having
not appointed all countries to yield forth like commodities.

But where our ground is not so good as we would wish, we have--if need
be--sufficient help to cherish our ground withal, and to make it more
fruitful. For, beside the compest that is carried out of the husbandmen's
yards, ditches, ponds, dung-houses, or cities and great towns, we have
with us a kind of white marl which is of so great force that if it be cast
over a piece of land but once in threescore years it shall not need of any
further compesting. Hereof also doth Pliny speak (lib. 17, cap. 6, 7, 8),
where he affirmeth that our marl endureth upon the earth by the space of
fourscore years: insomuch that it is laid upon the same but once in a
man's life, whereby the owner shall not need to travel twice in procuring
to commend and better his soil. He calleth it _marga_, and, making divers
kinds thereof, he finally commendeth ours, and that of France, above all
other, which lieth sometime a hundred foot deep, and far better than the
scattering of chalk upon the same, as the Hedui and Pictones did in his
time, or as some of our days also do practise: albeit divers do like
better to cast on lime, but it will not so long endure, as I have heard

There are also in this island great plenty of fresh rivers and streams, as
you have heard already, and these thoroughly fraught with all kinds of
delicate fish accustomed to be found in rivers. The whole isle likewise is
very full of hills, of which some (though not very many) are of exceeding
height, and divers extending themselves very far from the beginning; as we
may see by Shooter's Hill, which, rising east of London and not far from
the Thames, runneth along the south side of the island westward until it
come to Cornwall. Like unto these also are the Crowdon Hills, which,
though under divers names (as also the other from the Peak), do run into
the borders of Scotland. What should I speak of the Cheviot Hills, which
reach twenty miles in length? of the Black Mountains in Wales, which go
from [174] to [174] miles at the least in length? of the Clee Hills in
Shropshire, which come within four miles of Ludlow, and are divided from
some part of Worcester by the Leme? of the Crames in Scotland, and of our
Chiltern, which are eighteen miles at the least from one end of them,
which reach from Henley in Oxfordshire to Dunstable in Bedfordshire, and
are very well replenished with wood and corn, notwithstanding that the
most part yield a sweet short grass, profitable for sheep? Wherein albeit
they of Scotland do somewhat come behind us, yet their outward defect is
inwardly recompensed, not only with plenty of quarries (and those of
sundry kinds of marble, hard stone, and fine alabaster), but also rich
mines of metal, as shall be shewed hereafter.

In this island the winds are commonly more strong and fierce than in any
other places of the main (which Cardane also espied): and that is often
seen upon the naked hills not guarded with trees to bear and keep it off.
That grievous inconvenience also enforceth our nobility, gentry, and
communalty to build their houses in the valleys, leaving the high grounds
unto their corn and cattle, lest the cold and stormy blasts of winter
should breed them greater annoyance; whereas in other regions each one
desireth to set his house aloft on the hill, not only to be seen afar off,
and cast forth his beams of stately and curious workmanship into every
quarter of the country, but also (in hot habitations) for coldness sake of
the air, sith the heat is never so vehement on the hill-top as in the
valley, because the reverberation of the sun's beams either reacheth not
so far as the highest, or else becometh not so strong as when it is
reflected upon the lower soil.

But to leave our buildings unto the purposed place (which notwithstanding
have very much increased, I mean for curiosity and cost, in England,
Wales, and Scotland, within these few years) and to return to the soil
again. Certainly it is even now in these our days grown to be much more
fruitful than it hath been in times past. The cause is for that our
countrymen are grown to be more painful, skilful, and careful through
recompense of gain, than heretofore they have been: insomuch that my
_synchroni_ or time fellows can reap at this present great commodity in a
little room; whereas of late years a great compass hath yielded but small
profit, and this only through the idle and negligent occupation of such as
daily manured and had the same in occupying. I might set down examples of
these things out of all the parts of this island--that is to say, many of
England, more out of Scotland, but most of all out of Wales: in which two
last rehearsed, very other little food and livelihood was wont to be
looked for (beside flesh) more than the soil of itself and the cow gave,
the people in the meantime living idly, dissolutely, and by picking and
stealing one from another. All which vices are now (for the most part)
relinquished, so that each nation manureth her own with triple commodity
to that it was before time.

The pasture of this island is according to the nature and bounty of the
soil, whereby in most places it is plentiful, very fine, batable, and such
as either fatteth our cattle with speed or yieldeth great abundance of
milk and cream whereof the yellowest butter and finest cheese are made.
But where the blue clay aboundeth (which hardly drinketh up the winter's
water in long season) there the grass is speary, rough, and very apt for
bushes: by which occasion it becometh nothing so profitable unto the owner
as the other. The best pasture ground of all England is in Wales, and of
all the pasture in Wales that of Cardigan is the chief. I speak of the
same which is to be found in the mountains there, where the hundredth part
of the grass growing is not eaten, but suffered to rot on the ground,
whereby the soil becometh matted and divers bogs and quick-moors made
withal in long continuance: because all the cattle in the country are not
able to eat it down. If it be accounted good soil on which a man may lay a
wand over night and on the morrow find it hidden and overgrown with grass,
it is not hard to find plenty thereof in many places of this land.
Nevertheless such is the fruitfulness of the aforesaid county that it far
surmounteth this proportion, whereby it may be compared for batableness
with Italy, which in my time is called the paradise of the world, although
by reason of the wickedness of such as dwell therein it may be called the
sink and drain of hell: so that whereas they were wont to say of us that
our land is good but our people evil, they did but only speak it; whereas
we know by experience that the soil of Italy is a noble soil, but the
dwellers therein far off any virtue or goodness.

Our meadows are either bottoms (whereof we have great store, and those
very large, because our soil is hilly) or else such as we call land meads,
and borrowed from the best and fattest pasturages. The first of them are
yearly and often overflown by the rising of such streams as pass through
the same, or violent falls of land-waters, that descend from the hills
about them. The other are seldom or never overflown, and that is the cause
wherefore their grass is shorter than that of the bottoms, and yet is it
far more fine, wholesome, and batable, sith the hay of our low meadows is
not only full of sandy cinder, which breedeth sundry diseases in our
cattle, but also more rowty, foggy, and full of flags, and therefore not
so profitable for store and forrage as the higher meads be. The difference
furthermore in their commodities is great; for, whereas in our land
meadows we have not often above one good load of hay, or peradventure a
little more in an acre of ground (I use the word _carrucata_, or
_carruca_, which is a wain load, and, as I remember, used by Pliny, lib.
33, cap. 2), in low meadows we have sometimes three, but commonly two or
upwards, as experience hath oft confirmed.

Of such as are twice mowed I speak not, sith their later math is not so
wholesome for cattle as the first; although in the mouth more pleasant for
the time: for thereby they become oftentimes to be rotten, or to increase
so fast in blood, that the garget and other diseases do consume many of
them before the owners can seek out any remedy, by phlebotomy or
otherwise. Some superstitious fools suppose that they which die of the
garget are ridden with the nightmare, and therefore they hang up stones
which naturally have holes in them, and must be found unlooked for; as if
such a stone were an apt cockshot for the devil to run through and solace
himself withal, while the cattle go scot-free and are not molested by him!
But if I should set down but half the toys that superstition hath brought
into our husbandmen's heads in this and other behalf, it would ask a
greater volume than is convenient for such a purpose, wherefore it shall
suffice to have said thus much of these things.

The yield of our corn-ground is also much after this rate following.
Throughout the land (if you please to make an estimate thereof by the
acre) in mean and indifferent years, wherein each acre of rye or wheat,
well tilled and dressed, will yield commonly sixteen or twenty bushels, an
acre of barley six-and-thirty bushels, of oats and such like four or five
quarters, which proportion is notwithstanding oft abated toward the north,
as it is oftentimes surmounted in the south. Of mixed corn, as peas and
beans, sown together, tares and oats (which they call bulmong), rye and
wheat (named miscelin), here is no place to speak, yet their yield is
nevertheless much after this proportion, as I have often marked. And yet
is not this our great foison comparable to that of hotter countries of the
main. But, of all that I ever read, the increase which Eldred Danus
writeth of in his _De imperie Judæorum in Æthiopia_ surmounteth, where he
saith that in the field near to the Sabbatike river, called in old time
Gosan, the ground is so fertile that every grain of barley growing doth
yield an hundred kernels at the least unto the owner.

Of late years also we have found and taken up a great trade in planting of
hops, whereof our moory hitherto and unprofitable grounds do yield such
plenty and increase that there are few farmers or occupiers in the country
which have not gardens and hops growing of their own, and those far better
than do come from Flanders unto us. Certes the corruptions used by the
Flemings, and forgery daily practised in this kind of ware, gave us
occasion to plant them here at home; so that now we may spare and send
many over unto them. And this I know by experience, that some one man by
conversion of his moory grounds into hopyards, whereof before he had no
commodity, doth raise yearly by so little as twelve acres in compass two
hundred marks--all charges borne towards the maintenance of his family.
Which industry God continue! though some secret friends of Flemings let
not to exclaim against this commodity, as a spoil of wood, by reason of
the poles, which nevertheless after three years do also come to the fire,
and spare their other fuel.

The cattle which we breed are commonly such as for greatness of bone,
sweetness of flesh, and other benefits to be reaped by the same, give
place unto none other; as may appear first by our oxen, whose largeness,
height, weight, tallow, hides, and horns are such as none of any other
nation do commonly or may easily exceed them. Our sheep likewise, for good
taste of flesh, quantity of limbs, fineness of fleece, caused by their
hardness of pasturage and abundance of increase (for in many places they
bring forth two or three at an eaning), give no place unto any, more than
do our goats, who in like sort do follow the same order, and our deer come
not behind. As for our conies, I have seen them so fat in some soils,
especially about Meall and Disnege, that the grease of one being weighed
hath peised very near six or seven ounces. All which benefits we first
refer to the grace and goodness of God, and next of all unto the bounty of
our soil, which he hath endued with so notable and commodious

But, as I mean to intreat of these things more largely hereafter, so will
I touch in this place one benefit which our nation wanteth, and that is
wine, the fault whereof is not in our soil, but the negligence of our
countrymen (especially of the south parts), who do not inure the same to
this commodity, and which by reason of long discontinuance is now become
inapt to bear any grapes almost for pleasure and shadow, much less then
the plain fields or several vineyards for advantage and commodity. Yet of
late time some have essayed to deal for wine (as to your lordship also is
right well known). But sith that liquor, when it cometh to the drinking,
hath been found more hard than that which is brought from beyond the sea,
and the cost of planting and keeping thereof so chargeable that they may
buy it far better cheap from other countries, they have given over their
enterprises without any consideration that, as in all other things, so
neither the ground itself in the beginning, nor success of their travel,
can answer their expectation at the first, until such time as the soil be
brought as it were into acquaintance with this commodity, and that
provision may be made for the more easiness of charge to be employed upon
the same.

If it be true that where wine doth last and endure well there it will grow
no worse, I muse not a little wherefore the planting of vines should be
neglected in England. That this liquor might have grown in this island
heretofore, first the charter that Probus the Emperor gave equally to us,
the Gauls, and Spaniards, is one sufficient testimony. And that it did
grow here (beside the testimony of Beda, lib. 1., cap. 1) the old notes of
tithes for wine that yet remain in the accounts of some parsons and vicars
in Kent, elsewhere, besides the records of sundry suits, commenced in
divers ecclesiastical courts, both in Kent, Surrey, etc., also the
enclosed parcels almost in every abbey yet called the vineyards, may be a
notable witness, as also the plot which we now call East Smithfield in
London, given by Canutus, sometime king of this land, with other soil
thereabout, unto certain of his knights, with the liberty of a Guild which
thereof was called Knighton Guild. The truth is (saith John Stow, our
countryman and diligent traveller in the old estate of this my native
city) that it is now named Portsoken Ward, and given in time past to the
religious house within Aldgate. Howbeit first Otwell, the archovel, Otto,
and finally Geffrey Earl of Essex, constables of the Tower of London,
withheld that portion from the said house until the reign of King Stephen,
and thereof made a vineyard to their great commodity and lucre. The Isle
of Ely also was in the first times of the Normans called Le Ile des
Vignes. And good record appeareth that the bishop there had yearly three
or four tun at the least given him _nomine decimæ_, beside whatsoever
over-sum of the liquor did accrue to him by leases and other excheats
whereof also I have seen mention. Wherefore our soil is not to be blamed,
as though our nights were so exceeding short that in August and September
the moon, which is lady of moisture and chief ripener of this liquor,
cannot in any wise shine long enough upon the same: a very mere toy and
fable, right worthy to be suppressed, because experience convinceth the
upholders thereof even in the Rhenish wines.

The time hath been also that woad, wherewith our countrymen dyed their
faces (as Cæsar saith), that they might seem terrible to their enemies in
the field (and also women and their daughters-in-law did stain their
bodies and go naked, in that pickle, to the sacrifices of their gods,
coveting to resemble therein the Ethiopians, as Pliny saith, lib. 22, cap.
1), and also madder have been (next unto our tin and wools) the chief
commodities and merchandise of this realm. I find also that rape oil hath
been made within this land. But now our soil either will not, or at the
leastwise may not, bear either woad or madder. I say not that the ground
is not able so to do, but that we are negligent, afraid of the pilling of
our grounds, and careless of our own profits, as men rather willing to buy
the same of others than take any pain to plant them here at home. The like
I may say of flax, which by law ought to be sown in every country town in
England, more or less; but I see no success of that good and wholesome
law, sith it is rather contemptuously rejected than otherwise dutifully
kept in any place in England.

Some say that our great number of laws do breed a general negligence and
contempt of all good order, because we have so many that no subject can
live without the transgression of some of them, and that the often
alteration of our ordinances doth much harm in this respect, which (after
Aristotle) doth seem to carry some reason withal, for (as Cornelius Gallus

     "_Eventus varios res nova semper habet._"

But very many let not to affirm that the greedy corruption of the
promoters on the one side, facility in dispensing with good laws and first
breach of the same in the lawmakers and superiors and private respects of
their establishment on the other, are the greatest causes why the
inferiors regard no good order, being always so ready to offend without
any faculty one way as they are otherwise to presume upon the examples of
their betters when any hold is to be taken.[175] But as in these things I
have no skill, so I wish that fewer licences for the private commodity but
of a few were granted (not that thereby I deny the maintenance of the
prerogative royal, but rather would with all my heart that it might be yet
more honourably increased), and that every one which by fee'd friendship
(or otherwise) doth attempt to procure ought from the prince that may
profit but few and prove hurtful to many might be at open assizes and
sessions denounced enemy to his country and commonwealth of the land.

Glass also hath been made here in great plenty before, and in the time of
the Romans; and the said stuff also, beside fine scissors, shears, collars
of gold and silver for women's necks, cruises and cups of amber, were a
parcel of the tribute which Augustus in his days laid upon this island. In
like sort he charged the Britons with certain implements and vessels of
ivory (as Strabo saith); whereby it appeareth that in old time our
countrymen were far more industrious and painful in the use and
application of the benefits of their country than either after the coming
of the Saxons or Normans, in which they gave themselves more to idleness
and following of the wars.

If it were requisite that I should speak of the sundry kinds of mould, as
the cledgy, or clay, whereof are divers sorts (red, blue, black, and
white), also the red or white sandy, the loamy, roselly, gravelly, chalky,
or black, I could say that there are so many divers veins in Britain as
elsewhere in any quarter of like quantity in the world. Howbeit this I
must need confess, that the sand and clay do bear great sway: but clay
most of all, as hath been and yet is always seen and felt through plenty
and dearth of corn. For if this latter (I mean the clay) do yield her full
increase (which it doth commonly in dry years for wheat), then is there
general plenty: whereas if it fail, then have we scarcity, according to
the old rude verse set down of England, but to be understood of the whole
island, as experience doth confirm--

     "_When the sand doth serve the clay,
     Then may we sing well-away;
     But when the clay doth serve the sand,
     Then is it merry with England._"

I might here intreat of the famous valleys in England, of which one is
called the Vale of White Horse, another of Evesham (commonly taken for the
granary of Worcestershire), the third of Aylesbury, that goeth by Thame,
the roots of Chiltern Hills, to Dunstable, Newport Pagnel, Stony
Stratford, Buckingham, Birstane Park, etc. Likewise of the fourth, of
Whitehart or Blackmoor in Dorsetshire. The fifth, of Ringdale or Renidale,
corruptly called Kingtaile, that lieth (as mine author saith) upon the
edge of Essex and Cambridgeshire, and also the Marshwood Vale: but,
forsomuch as I know not well their several limits, I give over to go any
further in their description. In like sort it should not be amiss to speak
of our fens, although our country be not so full of this kind of soil as
the parts beyond the seas (to wit, Narbonne, etc.), and thereto of other
pleasant bottoms, the which are not only endued with excellent rivers and
great store of corn and fine fodder for neat and horses in time of the
year (whereby they are exceeding beneficial unto their owners), but also
of no small compass and quantity in ground. For some of our fens are well
known to be either of ten, twelve, sixteen, twenty, or thirty miles in
length, that of the Girwies yet passing all the rest, which is full sixty
(as I have often read). Wherein also Ely, the famous isle, standeth, which
is seven miles every way, and whereunto there is no access but by three
causies, whose inhabitants in like sort by an old privilege may take wood,
sedge turf, etc., to burn, likewise hay for their cattle and thatch for
their houses of custom, and each occupier in his appointed quantity
throughout the isle; albeit that covetousness hath now begun somewhat to
abridge this large benevolence and commodity, as well in the said isle as
most other places of this land.

Finally, I might discourse in like order of the large commons, laid out
heretofore by the lords of the soil for the benefit of such poor as
inhabit within the compass of their manors. But, as the true intent of the
givers is now in most places defrauded, insomuch that not the poor tenants
inhabitating upon the same, but their landlords, have all the commodity
and gain. Wherefore I mean not at this present to deal withal, but reserve
the same wholly unto the due place, whilst I go forward with the rest,
setting down nevertheless by the way a general commendation of the whole
island, which I find in an ancient monument, much unto this effect--

     "Illa quidem longè celebris splendore, beata,
     Glebis, lacte, favis, supereminet insula cunctis,
     Quas regit ille Deus, spumanti cujus ab ore
     Profluit oceanus," etc.

And a little after--

     "Testis Lundoniaratibus, Wintonia Baccho,
     Herefordia grege, Worcestria frugeredundans,
     Batha lacu, Salabyra feris, Cantuaria pisce,
     Eboraca sylvis, Excestria clara metallis,
     Norwicum Dacis hybernis, Cestria Gallis,
     Cicestrum Norwagenis, Dunelmia præpinguis,
     Testis Lincolnia gens infinita decore,
     Testis Eli formosa situ, Doncastria visu," etc.



[1577, Book III., Chapters 16 and 18; 1587, Book III., Chapters 10 and

With how great benefits this island of ours hath been endued from the
beginning I hope there is no godly man but will readily confess, and yield
unto the Lord God his due honour for the same. For we are blessed every
way, and there is no temporal commodity necessary to be had or craved by
any nation at God's hand that he hath not in most abundant manner bestowed
upon us Englishmen, if we could see to use it, and be thankful for the
same. But alas! (as I said in the chapter precedent) we love to enrich
them that care not for us, but for our great commodities: and one trifling
toy not worth the carriage, coming (as the proverb saith) in three ships
from beyond the sea, is more worth with us than a right good jewel easy to
be had at home. They have also the cast to teach us to neglect our own
things; for, if they see that we begin to make any account of our
commodities (if it be so that they have also the like in their own
countries) they will suddenly abase the same to so low a price that our
gain not being worthy our travel, and the same commodity with less cost
ready to be had at home from other countries (though but for a while), it
causeth us to give over our endeavours and as it were by-and-by to forget
the matter whereabout we went before, to obtain them at their hands. And
this is the only cause wherefore our commodities are oft so little
esteemed of. Some of them can say, without any teacher, that they will buy
the case of a fox of an Englishman for a groat, and make him afterwards
give twelve pence for the tail. Would to God we might once wax wiser, and
each one endeavour that the commonwealth of England may flourish again in
her old rate, and that our commodities may be fully wrought at home (as
cloth if you will for an example) and not carried out to be shorn and
dressed abroad, while our clothworkers here do starve and beg their bread,
and for lack of daily practice utterly neglect to be skilful in this
science! But to my purpose.

We have in England great plenty of quicksilver, antimony, sulphur, black
lead, and orpiment red and yellow. We have also the finest alum (wherein
the diligence of one of the greatest favourers of the commonwealth of
England of a subject[176] hath been of late egregiously abused, and even
almost with barbarous incivility) and of no less force against fire, if it
were used in our parietings, than that of Lipari, which only was in use
sometime amongst the Asians and Romans and whereof Sylla had such trial
that when he meant to have burned a tower of wood erected by Archelaus,
the lieutenant of Mithridates, he could by no means set it on fire in a
long time, because it was washed over with alum, as were also the gates of
the temple of Jerusalem with like effect, and perceived when Titus
commanded fire to be put unto the same. Besides this, we have also the
natural cinnabarum or vermillion, the sulphurous glebe called bitumen in
old time, for mortar, and yet burned in lamps where oil is scant and
geson; the chrysocolla, copperas, and mineral stone, whereof petriolum is
made, and that which is most strange, the mineral pearl, which as they are
for greatness and colour most excellent of all other, so are they digged
out of the main land and in sundry places far distant from the shore.
Certes the western part of the land hath in times past greatly abounded
with these and many other rare and excellent commodities, but now they are
washed away by the violence of the sea, which hath devoured the greatest
part of Cornwall and Devonshire on either side; and it doth appear yet by
good record that, whereas now there is a great distance between the Scilly
Isles and the point of the Land's End, there was of late years to speak
of scarcely a brook or drain of one fathom water between them, if so much,
as by those evidences appeareth, and are yet to be seen in the hands of
the lord and chief owner of those isles. But to proceed.

Of coal-mines we have such plenty in the north and western parts of our
island as may suffice for all the realm of England; and so must they do
hereafter indeed, if wood be not better cherished than it is at this
present. And so say the truth, notwithstanding that very many of them are
carried into other countries of the main, yet their greatest trade
beginneth now to grow from the forge into the kitchen and hall, as may
appear already in most cities and towns that lie about the coast, where
they have but little other fuel except it be turf and hassock. I marvel
not a little that there is no trade of these into Sussex and
Southamptonshire, for want thereof the smiths do work their iron with
charcoal. I think that far carriage be the only cause, which is but a
slender excuse to enforce us to carry them into the main from hence.

Besides our coal-mines, we have pits in like sort of white plaster, and of
fat and white and other coloured marble, wherewith in many places the
inhabitors do compest their soil, and which doth benefit their land in
ample manner for many years to come. We have saltpetre for our ordinance
and salt soda for our glass, and thereto in one place a kind of earth (in
Southery; as I ween, hard by Codington, and sometime in the tenure of one
Croxton of London) which is so fine to make moulds for goldsmiths and
casters of metal, that a load of it was worth five shillings thirty years
ago; none such again they say in England. But whether there be or not, let
us not be unthankful to God, for these and other his benefits bestowed
upon us, whereby he sheweth himself a loving and merciful father unto us,
which contrariwise return unto him in lieu of humility and obedience
nothing but wickedness, avarice, mere contempt of his will, pride, excess,
atheism, and no less than Jewish ingratitude.[177]

All metals receive their beginning of quicksilver and sulphur, which are
as mother and father to them. And such is the purpose of nature in their
generations that she tendeth always to the procreation of gold;
nevertheless she seldom reacheth unto that her end, because of the unequal
mixture and proportion of these two in the substance engendered, whereby
impediment and corruption is induced, which as it is more or less doth
shew itself in the metal that is produced.

       *       *       *       *       *

And albeit that we have no such abundance of these (as some other
countries do yield), yet have my rich countrymen store enough of both in
their purses, where in time past they were wont to have least, because the
garnishing of our churches, tabernacles, images, shrines, and apparel of
the priests consumed the greatest part, as experience hath confirmed.

Of late my countrymen have found out I wot not what voyage into the West
Indies, from whence they have brought some gold, whereby our country is
enriched; but of all that ever adventured into those parts, none have sped
better than Sir Francis Drake, whose success (1582) hath far passed even
his own expectation. One John Frobisher in like manner, attempting to seek
out a shorter cut by the northerly regions into the peaceable sea and
kingdom of Cathay, happened (1577) upon certain islands by the way,
wherein great plenty of much gold appeared, and so much that some letted
not to give out for certainty that Solomon had his gold from thence,
wherewith he builded the temple. This golden shew made him so desirous
also of like success that he left off his former voyage and returned home
to bring news of such things as he had seen. But, when after another
voyage it was found to be but dross, he gave over both the enterprises,
and now keepeth home without any desire at all to seek into far countries.
In truth, such was the plenty of ore there seen and to be had that, if it
had holden perfect, might have furnished all the world with abundance of
that metal; the journey also was short and performed in four or five
months, which was a notable encouragement. But to proceed.

Tin and lead, metals which Strabo noteth in his time to be carried unto
Marsilis from hence, as Diodorus also confirmeth, are very plentiful with
us, the one in Cornwall, Devonshire, and elsewhere in the north, the other
in Derbyshire, Weredale, and sundry places of this island; whereby my
countrymen do reap no small commodity, but especially our pewterers, who
in times past employed the use of pewter only upon dishes, pots, and a few
other trifles for service here at home, whereas now they are grown unto
such exquisite cunning that they can in manner imitate by infusion any
form or fashion of cup, dish, salt bowl, or goblet, which is made by
goldsmiths' craft, though they be never so curious, exquisite, and
artificially forged. Such furniture of household of this metal as we
commonly call by the name of _vessel_ is sold usually by the garnish,
which doth contain twelve platters, twelve dishes, twelve saucers, and
those are either of silver fashion or else with broad or narrow brims, and
bought by the pound, which is now valued at six or seven pence, or
peradventure at eight pence. Of porringers, pots, and other like, I speak
not, albeit that in the making of all these things there is such exquisite
diligence used, I mean for the mixture of the metal and true making of
this commodity (by reason of sharp laws provided in that behalf), as the
like is not to be found in any other trade. I have been also informed that
it consisteth of a composition which hath thirty pounds of kettle brass to
a thousand pounds of tin, whereunto they add three or four pounds of
tin-glass; but as too much of this doth make the stuff brickle, so the
more the brass be, the better is the pewter, and more profitable unto him
that doth buy and purchase the same. But to proceed.

In some places beyond the sea a garnish of good flat English pewter of an
ordinary making (I say flat, because dishes and platters in my time begin
to be made deep like basins, and are indeed more convenient both for
sauce, broth, and keeping the meat warm) is esteemed almost so precious as
the like number of vessels that are made of fine silver, and in manner no
less desired amongst the great estates, whose workmen are nothing so
skilful in that trade as ours, neither their metal so good, nor plenty so
great, as we have here in England. The Romans made excellent
looking-glasses of our English tin, howbeit our workmen were not then so
exquisite in that feat as the Brundusians, wherefore the wrought metal was
carried over unto them by way of merchandise, and very highly were those
glasses esteemed of till silver came generally in place, which in the end
brought the tin into such contempt that in manner every dishwasher refused
to look in other than silver glasses for the attiring of her head. Howbeit
the making of silver glasses had been in use before Britain was known unto
the Romans, for I read that one Praxiteles devised them in the young time
of Pompey, which was before the coming of Cæsar into this island.

There were mines of lead sometimes also in Wales, which endured so long
till the people had consumed all their wood by melting of the same (as
they did also at Comeriswith, six miles from Stradfleur), and I suppose
that in Pliny's time the abundance of lead (whereof he speaketh) was to be
found in those parts, in the seventeenth of his thirty-fourth book; also
he affirmeth that it lay in the very sward of the earth, and daily gotten
in such plenty that the Romans made a restraint of the carriage thereof to
Rome, limiting how much should yearly be wrought and transported over the

       *       *       *       *       *

Iron is found in many places, as in Sussex, Kent, Weredale, Mendip,
Walshall, as also in Shropshire, but chiefly in the woods betwixt Belvos
and Willock (or Wicberry) near Manchester, and elsewhere in Wales. Of
which mines divers do bring forth so fine and good stuff as any that
cometh from beyond the sea, beside the infinite gains to the owners, if we
would so accept it, or bestow a little more cost in the refining of it. It
is also of such toughness, that it yieldeth to the making of claricord
wire in some places of the realm. Nevertheless, it was better cheap with
us when strangers only brought it hither; for it is our quality when we
get any commodity to use it with extremity towards our own nation, after
we have once found the means to shut out foreigners from the bringing in
of the like. It breedeth in like manner great expense and waste of wood,
as doth the making of our pots and table vessel of glass, wherein is much
loss, sith it is so quickly broken; and yet (as I think) easy to be made
tougher, if our alchemists could once find the true birth or production of
the red man, whose mixture would induce a metallic toughness unto it,
whereby it should abide the hammer.

Copper is lately not found, but rather restored again to light. For I have
read of copper to have been heretofore gotten in our island; howbeit as
strangers have most commonly the governance of our mines, so they hitherto
make small gains of this in hand in the north parts; for (as I am
informed) the profit doth very hardly countervail the charges, whereat
wise men do not a little marvel, considering the abundance which that mine
doth seem to offer, and, as it were, at hand. Leland, our countryman,
noteth sundry great likelihoods of natural copper mines to be eastwards,
as between Dudman and Trewardth, in the sea cliffs, beside other places,
whereof divers are noted here and there in sundry places of this book
already, and therefore it shall be but in vain to repeat them here again.
As for that which is gotten out of the marchasite, I speak not of it, sith
it is not incident to my purpose. In Dorsetshire also a copper mine lately
found is brought to good perfection.

As for our steel, it is not so good for edge-tools as that of Cologne, and
yet the one is often sold for the other, and like tale used in both, that
is to say, thirty gads to the sheaf, and twelve sheaves to the burden.

Our alchemy is artificial, and thereof our spoons and some salts are
commonly made and preferred before our pewter with some,[179] albeit in
truth it be much subject to corruption, putrefaction, more heavy and foul
to handle than our pewter; yet some ignorant persons affirm it to be a
metal more natural, and the very same which Encelius calleth _plumbum
cinereum_, the Germans _wisemute_, _mithan_, and _counterfeie_, adding
that where it groweth silver cannot be far off. Nevertheless it is known
to be a mixture of brass, lead, and tin (of which this latter occupieth
the one-half), but after another proportion than is used in pewter. But
alas, I am persuaded that neither the old Arabians nor new alchemists of
our time did ever hear of it, albeit that the name thereof do seem to come
out of their forge. For the common sort indeed do call it alchemy, an
unwholesome metal (God wot) and worthy to be banished and driven out of
the land. And thus I conclude with this discourse, as having no more to
say of the metals of my country, except I should talk of brass, bell
metal, and such as are brought over for merchandise from other countries;
and yet I cannot but say that there is some brass found also in England,
but so small is the quantity that it is not greatly to be esteemed or
accounted for.



[1577, Book III., Chapter 8; 1587, Book III., Chapter 1.]

There is no kind of tame cattle usually to be seen in these parts of the
world whereof we have not some, and that great store, in England, as
horses, oxen, sheep, goats, swine, and far surmounting the like in other
countries, as may be proved with ease. For where are oxen commonly made
more large of bone, horses more decent and pleasant in pace, kine more
commodious for the pail, sheep more profitable for wool, swine more
wholesome of flesh, and goats more gainful to their keepers than here with
us in England? But, to speak of them peculiarly, I suppose that our kine
are so abundant in yield of milk, whereof we make our butter and cheese,
as the like any where else, and so apt for the plough in divers places as
either our horses or oxen. And, albeit they now and then twin, yet herein
they seem to come short of that commodity which is looked for in other
countries, to wit, in that they bring forth most commonly but one calf at
once. The gains also gotten by a cow (all charges borne) hath been valued
at twenty shillings yearly; but now, as land is enhanced, this proportion
of gain is much abated, and likely to decay more and more, if ground arise
to be yet dearer--which God forbid, if it be His will and pleasure. I
heard of late of a cow in Warwickshire, belonging to Thomas Breuer of
Studley, which in six years had sixteen calves, that is four at once in
three calvings and twice twins, which unto many may seem a thing
incredible. In like manner our oxen are such as the like are not to be
found in any country of Europe, both for greatness of body and sweetness
of flesh, or else would not the Roman writers have preferred them before
those of Liguria. In most places our graziers are now grown to be so
cunning that if they do but see an ox or bullock, and come to the feeling
of him, they will give a guess at his weight, and how many score or stone
of flesh and tallow he beareth, how the butcher may live by the sale, and
what he may have for the skin and tallow, which is a point of skill not
commonly practised heretofore. Some such graziers also are reported to
ride with velvet coats and chains of gold about them, and in their absence
their wives will not let to supply those turns with no less skill than
their husbands: which is a hard work for the poor butcher, sith he through
this means can seldom be rich or wealthy by his trade. In like sort the
flesh of our oxen and kine is sold both by hand and by weight as the buyer
will; but in young ware rather by weight, especially for the steer and
heifer, sith the finer beef is the lightest, whereas the flesh of bulls
and old kine, etc., is of sadder substance, and therefore much heavier as
it lieth in the scale. Their horns also are known to be more fair and
large in England than in any other places, except those which are to be
seen among the Pæones, which quality, albeit that it be given to our breed
generally by nature, yet it is now and then helped also by art. For, when
they be very young, many graziers will oftentimes anoint their budding
horns or tender tips with honey, which mollifieth the natural hardness of
that substance, and thereby maketh them to grow unto a notable greatness.
Certes it is not strange in England to see oxen whose horns have the
length of a yard or three feet between the tips, and they themselves
thereto so tall as the height of a man of mean and indifferent stature is
scarce equal unto them. Nevertheless it is much to be lamented that our
general breed of cattle is not better looked unto; for the greatest
occupiers wean least store, because they can buy them (as they say) far
better cheap than to raise and bring them up. In my time a cow hath risen
from four nobles to four marks by this means, which notwithstanding were
no great price if they did yearly bring forth more than one calf a piece,
as I hear they do in other countries.

Our horses, moreover, are high, and, although not commonly of such huge
greatness as in other places of the main, yet, if you respect the easiness
of their pace, it is hard to say where their like are to be had. Our land
doth yield no asses, and therefore we want the generation also of mules
and somers, and therefore the most part of our carriage is made by these,
which, remaining stoned, are either reserved for the cart or appointed to
bear such burdens as are convenient for them. Our cart or plough horses
(for we use them indifferently) are commonly so strong that five or six of
them (at the most) will draw three thousand weight of the greatest tale
with ease for a long journey, although it be not a load of common usage,
which consisteth only of two thousand, or fifty foot of timber, forty
bushels of white salt, or six-and-thirty of bay, or five quarters of
wheat, experience daily teacheth, and I have elsewhere remembered. Such as
are kept also for burden will carry four hundredweight commonly without
any hurt or hindrance. This furthermore is to be noted, that our princes
and the nobility have their carriage commonly made by carts, whereby it
cometh to pass that when the queen's majesty doth remove from any one
place to another, there are usually 400 carewares, which amount to the sum
of 2400 horses, appointed out of the countries adjoining, whereby her
carriage is conveyed safely unto the appointed place. Hereby also the
ancient use of somers and sumpter horses is in manner utterly
relinquished, which causeth the trains of our princes in their progresses
to shew far less than those of the kings of other nations.

Such as serve for the saddle are commonly gelded, and now grow to be very
dear among us, especially if they be well coloured, justly limbed, and
have thereto an easy ambling pace. For our countrymen, seeking their ease
in every corner where it is to be had, delight very much in those
qualities, but chiefly in their excellent paces, which, besides that it is
in manner peculiar unto horses of our soil, and not hurtful to the rider
or owner sitting on their backs, it is moreover very pleasant and
delectable in his ears, in that the noise of their well-proportioned pace
doth yield comfortable sound as he travelleth by the way. Yet is there no
greater deceit used anywhere than among our horsekeepers, horsecoursers,
and hostelers; for such is the subtle knavery of a great sort of them
(without exception of any of them be it spoken which deal for private
gain) that an honest-meaning man shall have very good luck among them if
he be not deceived by some false trick or other.

There are certain notable markets wherein great plenty of horses and colts
is bought and sold, and whereunto such as have need resort yearly to buy
and make their necessary provision of them, as Ripon, Newport Pond,
Wolfpit, Harboro', and divers others. But, as most drovers are very
diligent to bring great store of these unto those places, so many of them
are too too lewd in abusing such as buy them. For they have a custom, to
make them look fair to the eye, when they come within two days' journey of
the market to drive them till they sweat, and for the space of eight or
twelve hours, which, being done, they turn them all over the backs into
some water, where they stand for a season, and then go forward with them
to the place appointed, where they make sale of their infected ware, and
such as by this means do fall into many diseases and maladies. Of such
outlandish horses as are daily brought over unto us I speak not, as the
jennet of Spain, the courser of Naples, the hobby of Ireland, the Flemish
roile and the Scottish nag, because that further speech of them cometh not
within the compass of this treatise, and for whose breed and maintenance
(especially of the greatest sort) King Henry the Eighth erected a noble
studdery, and for a time had very good success with them, till the
officers, waxing weary, procured a mixed brood of bastard races, whereby
his good purpose came to little effect. Sir Nicholas Arnold of late hath
bred the best horses in England, and written of the manner of their
production: would to God his compass of ground were like to that of Pella
in Syria, wherein the king of that nation had usually a studdery of 30,000
mares and 300 stallions, as Strabo doth remember, lib. 16. But to leave
this, let us see what may be said of sheep.

Our sheep are very excellent, sith for sweetness of flesh they pass all
other. And so much are our wools to be preferred before those of Milesia
and other places that if Jason had known the value of them that are bred
and to be had in Britain he would never have gone to Colchis to look for
any there. For, as Dionysius Alexandrinus saith in his _De situ orbis_, it
may by spinning be made comparable to the spider's web. What fools then
are our countrymen, in that they seek to bereave themselves of this
commodity by practising daily how to transfer the same to other nations,
in carrying over their rams and ewes to breed and increase among them! The
first example hereof was given under Edward the Fourth, who, not
understanding the bottom of the suit of sundry traitorous merchants that
sought a present gain with the perpetual hindrance of their country,
licensed them to carry over certain numbers of them into Spain, who,
having licence but for a few, shipped very many: a thing practised in
other commodities also, whereby the prince and his land are not seldom
times defrauded. But such is our nature, and so blind are we indeed, that
we see no inconvenience before we feel it; and for a present gain we
regard not what damage may ensue to our posterity. Hereto some other man
would add also the desire that we have to benefit other countries and to
impeach our own. And it is, so sure as God liveth, that every trifle which
cometh from beyond the sea, though it be not worth threepence, is more
esteemed than a continual commodity at home with us, which far exceedeth
that value. In time past the use of this commodity consisteth (for the
most part) in cloth and woolsteds; but now, by means of strangers
succoured here from domestic persecution, the same hath been employed unto
sundry other uses, as mockados, bays, vellures, grograines, etc., whereby
the makers have reaped no small commodity. It is furthermore to be noted,
for the low countries of Belgie know it, and daily experience
(notwithstanding the sharpness of our laws to the contrary) doth yet
confirm it, that, although our rams and wethers do go thither from us
never so well headed according to their kind, yet after they have remained
there a while they cast there their heads, and from thenceforth they
remain polled without any horns at all. Certes this kind of cattle is more
cherished in England than standeth well with the commodity of the commons
or prosperity of divers towns, whereof some are wholly converted to their
feeding; yet such a profitable sweetness is their fleece, such necessity
in their flesh, and so great a benefit in the manuring of barren soil with
their dung and piss, that their superfluous members are the better born
withal. And there is never a husbandman (for now I speak not of our great
sheepmasters, of whom some one man hath 20,000) but hath more or less of
this cattle feeding on his fallows and short grounds, which yield the
finer fleece.

Nevertheless the sheep of our country are often troubled with the rot (as
are our swine with the measles, though never so generally), and many men
are now and then great losers by the same; but, after the calamity is
over, if they can recover and keep their new stocks sound for seven years
together, the former loss will easily be recompensed with double
commodity. Cardan writeth that our waters are hurtful to our sheep;
howbeit this is but his conjecture, for we know that our sheep are
infected by going to the water, and take the same as a sure and certain
token that a rot hath gotten hold of them, their livers and lights being
already distempered through excessive heat, which enforceth them the
rather to seek unto the water. Certes there is no parcel of the main
wherein a man shall generally find more fine and wholesome water than in
England; and therefore it is impossible that our sheep should decay by
tasting of the same. Wherefore the hindrance by rot is rather to be
ascribed to the unseasonableness and moisture of the weather in summer,
also their licking in of mildews, gossamire, rowtie fogs, and rank grass,
full of superfluous juice, but especially (I say) to over moist weather,
whereby the continual rain piercing into their hollow fells soaketh
forthwith into their flesh, which bringeth them to their baines. Being
also infected, their first shew of sickness is their desire to drink, so
that our waters are not unto them _causa ægritudinis_, but _signum morbi_,
whatsoever Cardan do maintain to the contrary. There are (and peradventure
no small babes) which are grown to be such good husbands that they can
make account of every ten kine to be clearly worth twenty pounds in common
and indifferent years, if the milk of five sheep be daily added to the
same. But, as I wot not how true this surmise is, because it is no part of
my trade, so I am sure hereof that some housewives can and do add daily a
less portion of ewe's milk unto the cheese of so many kine, whereby their
cheese doth the longer abide moist, and eateth more brickle and mellow
than otherwise it would.

Goats we have plenty, and of sundry colours, in the west parts of England,
especially in and towards Wales and amongst the rocky hills, by whom the
owners do reap so small advantage: some also are cherished elsewhere, in
divers steeds, for the benefit of such as are diseased with sundry
maladies, unto whom (as I hear) their milk, cheese, and bodies of their
young kids are judged very profitable, and therefore inquired for of many
far and near. Certes I find among the writers that the milk of a goat is
next in estimation to that of the woman, for that it helpeth the stomach,
removeth oppilations and stoppings of the liver, and looseth the belly.
Some place also next unto it the milk of the ewe, and thirdly that of the
cow. But hereof I can shew no reason; only this I know, that ewe's milk is
fulsome, sweet, and such in taste as (except such as are used unto it) no
man will gladly yield to live and feed withal.

As for swine, there is no place that hath greater store, nor more
wholesome in eating, than are these here in England, which nevertheless do
never any good till they come to the table. Of these some we eat green for
pork, and other dried up into bacon to have it in more continuance. Lard
we make some, though very little, because it is chargeable: neither have
we such use thereof as is to be seen in France and other countries, sith
we do either bake our meat with sweet suet of beef or mutton and baste all
our meat with sweet or salt butter or suffer the fattest to baste itself
by leisure. In champaign countries they are kept by herds, and a hogherd
appointed to attend and wait upon them, who commonly gathereth them
together by his noise and cry, and leadeth them forth to feed abroad in
the fields. In some places also women do scour and wet their clothes with
their dung, as other do with hemlocks and nettles; but such is the savour
of the clothes touched withal that I cannot abide to wear them on my body,
more than such as are scoured with the refuse soap, than the which (in
mine opinion) there is none more unkindly savour.

Of our tame boars we make brawn, which is a kind of meat not usually known
to strangers (as I take it), otherwise would not the swart Rutters and
French cooks, at the loss of Calais (where they found great store of this
provision almost in every house), have attempted with ridiculous success
to roast, bake, broil, and fry the same for their masters, till they were
better informed. I have heard moreover how a nobleman of England not long
since did send over a hogshead of brawn ready soused to a Catholic
gentleman of France, who, supposing it to be fish, reserved it till Lent,
at which time he did eat thereof with great frugality. Thereto he so well
liked the provision itself that he wrote over very earnestly, and with
offer of great recompense, for more of the same fish against the year
ensuing; whereas if he had known it to have been flesh he would not have
touched it (I dare say) for a thousand crowns without the pope's
dispensation. A friend of mine also dwelling some time in Spain, having
certain Jews at his table, did set brawn before them, whereof they did eat
very earnestly, supposing it to be a kind of fish not common in those
parts; but when the goodman of the house brought in the head in pastime
among them, to shew what they had eaten, they rose from the table, hied
them home in haste, each of them procuring himself to vomit, some by oil
and some by other means, till (as they supposed) they had cleansed their
stomachs of that prohibited food. With us it is accounted a great piece of
service at the table from November until February be ended, but chiefly in
the Christmas time. With the same also we begin our dinners each day after
other; and, because it is somewhat hard of digestion, a draught of
malvesey, bastard, or muscadel, is usually drank after it, where either of
them are conveniently to be had; otherwise the meaner sort content
themselves with their own drink, which at that season is generally very
strong, and stronger indeed than it is all the year beside. It is made
commonly of the fore part of a tame boar, set up for the purpose by the
space of a whole year or two, especially in gentlemen's houses (for the
husbandmen and farmers never frank them for their own use above three or
four months, or half a year at the most), in which time he is dieted with
oats and peason, and lodged on the bare planks of an uneasy coat, till his
fat be hardened sufficiently for their purpose: afterward he is killed,
scalded, and cut out, and then of his former parts is our brawn made. The
rest is nothing so fat, and therefore it beareth the name of sowse only,
and is commonly reserved for the serving-man and hind, except it please
the owner to have any part thereof baked, which are then handled of custom
after this manner: the hinder parts being cut off, they are first drawn
with lard, and then sodden; being sodden, they are soused in claret wine
and vinegar a certain space, and afterward baked in pasties, and eaten of
many instead of the wild boar, and truly it is very good meat: the pestles
may be hanged up a while to dry before they be drawn with lard, if you
will, and thereby prove the better. But hereof enough, and therefore to
come again unto our brawn. The neck pieces, being cut off round, are
called collars of brawn, the shoulders are named shilds, only the ribs
retain the former denomination, so that these aforesaid pieces deserve the
name of brawn: the bowels of the beast are commonly cast away because of
their rankness, and so were likewise his stones, till a foolish fantasy
got hold of late amongst some delicate dames, who have now found the means
to dress them also with great cost for a dainty dish, and bring them to
the board as a service among other of like sort, though not without note
of their desire to the provocation of fleshly lust, which by this their
fond curiosity is not a little revealed. When the boar is thus cut out
each piece is wrapped up, either with bulrushes, ozier, peels, tape
inkle,[180] or such like, and then sodden in a lead or caldron together,
till they be so tender that a man may thrust a bruised rush or straw clean
through the fat: which being done, they take it up and lay it abroad to
cool. Afterward, putting it into close vessels, they pour either good
small ale or beer mingled with verjuice and salt thereto till it be
covered, and so let it lie (now and then altering and changing the sousing
drink lest it should was sour) till occasion serve to spend it out of the
way. Some use to make brawn of great barrow hogs, and seethe them, and
souse the whole as they do that of the boar; and in my judgment it is the
better of both, and more easy of digestion. But of brawn thus much, and so
much may seem sufficient.[181]



[1577, Book III., Chapters 9 and 11; 1587, Book III., Chapters 2 and 5.]

Order requireth that I speak somewhat of the fowls also of England, which
I may easily divide into the wild and tame; but, alas! such is my small
skill in fowls that, to say the truth, I can neither recite their numbers
nor well distinguish one kind of them from another. Yet this I have by
general knowledge, that there is no nation under the sun which hath
already in the time of the year more plenty of wild fowl than we, for so
many kinds as our island doth bring forth, and much more would have if
those of the higher soil might be spared but one year or two from the
greedy engines of covetous fowlers which set only for the pot and purse.
Certes this enormity bred great troubles in King John's days, insomuch
that, going in progress about the tenth of his reign, he found little or
no game wherewith to solace himself or exercise his falcons. Wherefore,
being at Bristow in the Christmas ensuing, he restrained all manner of
hawking or taking of wild fowl throughout England for a season, whereby
the land within few years was thoroughly replenished again. But what stand
I upon this impertinent discourse? Of such therefore as are bred in our
land, we have the crane, the bitter,[182] the wild and tame swan, the
bustard, the heron, curlew, snite, wildgoose, wind or doterell, brant,
lark, plover (of both sorts), lapwing, teal, widgeon, mallard, sheldrake,
shoveller, peewitt, seamew, barnacle, quail (who, only with man, are
subject to the falling sickness), the knot, the oliet or olive, the
dunbird, woodcock, partridge, and pheasant, besides divers others, whose
names to me are utterly unknown, and much more the taste of their flesh,
wherewith I was never acquainted. But as these serve not at all seasons,
so in their several turns there is no plenty of them wanting whereby the
tables of the nobility and gentry should seem at any time furnished. But
of all these the production of none is more marvellous, in my mind, than
that of the barnacle, whose place of generation we have sought ofttimes as
far as the Orchades, whereas peradventure we might have found the same
nearer home, and not only upon the coasts of Ireland, but even in our own
rivers. If I should say how either these or some such other fowl not much
unlike unto them have bred of late times (for their place of generation is
not perpetual, but as opportunity serveth and the circumstances do
minister occasion) in the Thames mouth, I do not think that many will
believe me; yet such a thing hath there been seen where a kind of fowl had
his beginning upon a short tender shrub standing near unto the shore, from
whence, when their time came, they fell down, either into the salt water
and lived, or upon the dry land and perished, as Pena the French herbarian
hath also noted in the very end of his herbal. What I for mine own part
have seen here by experience, I have already so touched upon in the
chapter of islands, that it should be but time spent in vain to repeat it
here again.[183] Look therefore in the description of Man (or Manaw) for
more of these barnacles, as also in the eleventh chapter of the
description of Scotland, and I do not doubt but you shall in some respect
be satisfied in the generation of these fowls. As for egrets, pawpers, and
such like, they are daily brought unto us from beyond the sea, as if all
the fowl of our country could not suffice to satisfy our delicate

Our tame fowl are such (for the most part) as are common both to us and to
other countries, as cocks, hens, geese, ducks, peacocks of Ind, pigeons,
now a hurtful fowl by reason of their multitudes, and number of houses
daily erected for their increase (which the boors of the country call in
scorn almshouses, and dens of thieves, and such like), whereof there is
great plenty in every farmer's yard. They are kept there also to be sold
either for ready money in the open markets, or else to be spent at home in
good company amongst their neighbours without reprehension or fines.
Neither are we so miserable in England (a thing only granted unto us by
the especial grace of God and liberty of our princes) as to dine or sup
with a quarter of a hen, or to make as great a repast with a cock's comb
as they do in some other countries; but, if occasion serve, the whole
carcases of many capons, hens, pigeons, and such like do oft go to wrack,
beside beef, mutton, veal, and lamb, all of which at every feast are taken
for necessary dishes amongst the communalty of England.

The gelding of cocks, whereby capons are made, is an ancient practice
brought in of old time by the Romans when they dwelt here in this land;
but the gelding of turkeys or Indish peacocks is a newer device, and
certainly not used amiss, sith the rankness of that bird is very much
abated thereby and the strong taste of the flesh in sundry wise amended.
If I should say that ganders grow also to be gelded, I suppose that some
will laugh me to scorn, neither have I tasted at any time of such a fowl
so served, yet have I heard it more than once to be used in the country,
where their geese are driven to the field like herds of cattle by a
gooseherd, a toy also no less to be marvelled at than the other. For, as
it is rare to hear of a gelded gander, so is it strange to me to see or
hear of geese to be led to the field like sheep; yet so it is, and their
gooseherd carrieth a rattle of paper or parchment with him when he goeth
about in the morning to gather his goslings together, the noise whereof
cometh no sooner to their ears than they fall to gaggling, and hasten to
go with him. If it happen that the gates be not yet open, or that none of
the house be stirring, it is ridiculous to see how they will peep under
the doors, and never leave creaking and gaggling till they be let out unto
him to overtake their fellows. With us where I dwell they are not kept in
this sort, nor in many other places, neither are they kept so much for
their bodies as their feathers. Some hold furthermore an opinion that in
over rank soils their dung doth so qualify the batableness of the soil
that their cattle is thereby kept from the garget, and sundry other
diseases, although some of them come to their ends now and then by licking
up of their feathers. I might here make mention of other fowls produced by
the industry of man, as between the pheasant cock and dunghill hen, or
between the pheasant and the ringdove, the peacock and the turkey hen, the
partridge and the pigeon; but, sith I have no more knowledge of these than
what I have gotten by mine ear, I will not meddle with them. Yet Cardan,
speaking of the second sort, doth affirm it to be a fowl of excellent
beauty. I would likewise intreat of other fowls which we repute unclean,
as ravens, crows, pies, choughs, rooks, kites, jays, ringtails, starlings,
woodspikes, woodnaws, etc.; but, sith they abound in all countries, though
peradventure most of all in England (by reason of our negligence), I shall
not need to spend any time in the rehearsal of them. Neither are our crows
and choughs cherished of purpose to catch up the worms that breed in our
soils (as Polydor supposeth), sith there are no uplandish towns but have
(or should have) nets of their own in store to catch them withal. Sundry
acts of Parliament are likewise made for their utter destruction, as also
the spoil of other ravenous fowls hurtful to poultry, conies, lambs, and
kids, whose valuation of reward to him that killeth them is after the
head: a device brought from the Goths, who had the like ordinance for the
destruction of their white crows, and tale made by the beck, which killed
both lambs and pigs. The like order is taken with us for our vermin as
with them also for the rootage out of their wild beasts, saving that they
spared their greatest bears, especially the white, whose skins are by
custom and privilege reserved to cover those planchers whereupon their
priests do stand at mass, lest he should take some unkind cold in such a
long piece of work: and happy is the man that may provide them for him,
for he shall have pardon enough for that so religious an act, to last if
he will till doomsday do approach, and many thousands after. Nothing
therefore can be more unlikely to be true than that these noisome
creatures are nourished amongst us to devour our worms, which do not
abound much more in England than elsewhere in other countries of the main.
It may be that some look for a discourse also of our other fowls in this
place at my hand, as nightingales, thrushes, blackbirds, mavises,
ruddocks, redstarts or dunocks, larks, tivits, kingfishers, buntings,
turtles (white or grey), linnets, bullfinches, goldfinches, washtails,
cherrycrackers, yellowhammers, fieldfares, etc.; but I should then spend
more time upon them than is convenient. Neither will I speak of our costly
and curious aviaries daily made for the better hearing of their melody,
and observation of their natures; but I cease also to go any further in
these things, having (as I think) said enough already of these that I have

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot make as yet any just report how many sorts of hawks are bred
within this realm. Howbeit which of those that are usually had among us
are disclosed within this land, I think it more easy and less difficult to
set down. First of all, therefore, that we have the eagle common
experience doth evidently confirm, and divers of our rocks whereon they
breed, if speech did serve, could well declare the same. But the most
excellent eyrie of all is not much from Chester, at a castle called Dinas
Bren, sometime builded by Brennus, as our writers do remember. Certes this
castle is no great thing, but yet a pile sometime very strong and
inaccessible for enemies, though now all ruinous as many others are. It
standeth upon a hard rock, in the side whereof an eagle breedeth every
year. This also is notable in the overthrow of her nest (a thing oft
attempted), that he which goeth thither must be sure of two large baskets,
and so provide to be let down thereto, that he may sit in the one and be
covered with the other: for otherwise the eagle would kill him and tear
the flesh from his bones with her sharp talons, though his apparel were
never so good. The common people call this fowl an erne; but, as I am
ignorant whether the word eagle and erne do shew any difference of sex, I
mean between the male and the female, so we have great store of them. And,
near to the places where they breed, the commons complain of great harm to
be done by them in their fields; for they are able to bear a young lamb or
kid unto their nests, therewith to feed their young and come again for
more. I was once of the opinion that there was a diversity of kind between
the eagle and the erne, till I perceived that our nation used the word
erne in most places for the eagle. We have also the lanner and the
lanneret, the tersel and the goshawk, the musket and the sparhawk, the
jack and the hobby, and finally some (though very few) marleons. And these
are all the hawks that I do hear as yet to be bred within this island.
Howbeit, as these are not wanting with us, so are they not very plentiful:
wherefore such as delight in hawking do make their chief purveyance and
provision for the same out of Danske, Germany, and the eastern countries,
from whence we have them in great abundance and at excellent prices,
whereas at home and where they be bred they are sold for almost right
nought, and usually brought to the markets as chickens, pullets, and
pigeons are with us, and there bought up to be eaten (as we do the
aforesaid fowl) almost of every man. It is said that the sparhawk pryeth
not upon the fowl in the morning, that she taketh over even, but as loath
to have double benefit by one seelie fowl doth let it go to make some
shift for itself. But hereof as I stand in some doubt. So this I find
among the writers worthy the noting: that the sparhawk is enemy to young
children, as is also the ape, but of the peacock she is marvellously
afraid, and so appalled that all courage and stomach for a time is taken
from her upon the sight thereof. But to proceed with the rest. Of other
ravenous birds we have also very great plenty, as the buzzard, the kite,
the ringtail, dunkite, and such as often annoy our country dames by
spoiling of their young breeds of chickens, ducks, and goslings, whereunto
our very ravens and crows have learned also the way: and so much are
ravens given to this kind of spoil that some idle and curious heads of set
purpose have manned, reclaimed, and used them instead of hawks, when other
could not be had. Some do imagine that the raven should be the vulture,
and I was almost persuaded in times past to believe the same; but, finding
of late a description of the vulture, which better agreeth with the form
of a second kind of eagle, I freely surcease to be longer of that opinion:
for, as it hath, after a sort, the shape, colour, and quantity of an
eagle, so are the legs and feet more hairy and rough, their sides under
their wings better covered with thick down (wherewith also their gorge or
a part of their breast under their throats is armed, and not with
feathers) than are the like parts of the eagle, and unto which portraiture
there is no member of the raven (who is almost black of colour) that can
have any resemblance: we have none of them in England to my knowledge, if
we have, they go generally under the name of eagle or erne. Neither have
we the pygargus or grip, wherefore I have no occasion to treat further. I
have seen the carrion crows so cunning also by their own industry of late
that they have used to soar over great rivers (as the Thames for example)
and, suddenly coming down, have caught a small fish in their feet and gone
away withal without wetting of their wings. And even at this present the
aforesaid river is not without some of them, a thing (in my opinion) not a
little to be wondered at. We have also osprays, which breed with us in
parks and woods, whereby the keepers of the same do reap in breeding time
no small commodity; for, so soon almost as the young are hatched, they tie
them to the butt ends or ground ends of sundry trees, where the old ones,
finding them, do never cease to bring fish unto them, which the keepers
take and eat from them, and commonly is such as is well fed or not of the
worst sort. It hath not been my hap hitherto to see any of these fowl, and
partly through mine own negligence; but I hear that it hath one foot like
a hawk, to catch hold withal, and another resembling a goose, wherewith to
swim; but, whether it be so or not so, I refer the further search and
trial thereof unto some other. This nevertheless is certain, that both
alive and dead, yea even her very oil, is a deadly terror to such fish as
come within the wind of it. There is no cause whereof I should describe
the cormorant amongst hawks, of which some be black and many pied, chiefly
about the Isle of Ely, where they are taken for the night raven, except I
should call him a water hawk. But, sith such dealing is not convenient,
let us now see what may be said of our venomous worms, and how many kinds
we have of them within our realm and country.[185]



[1577, Book III., Chapters 7 and 12; 1587, Book III., Chapters 4 and 6.]

It is none of the least blessings wherewith God hath endued this island
that it is void of noisome beasts, as lions, bears, tigers, pardes,
wolves, and such like, by means whereof our countrymen may travel in
safety, and our herds and flocks remain for the most part abroad in the
field without any herdman or keeper.

This is chiefly spoken of the south and south-west parts of the island.
For, whereas we that dwell on this side of the Tweed may safely boast of
our security in this behalf, yet cannot the Scots do the like in every
point within their kingdom, sith they have grievous wolves and cruel
foxes, beside some others of like disposition continually conversant among
them, to the general hindrance of their husbandmen, and no small damage
unto the inhabitants of those quarters. The happy and fortunate want of
these beasts in England is universally ascribed to the politic government
of King Edgar.[186]

       *       *       *       *       *

Of foxes we have some, but no great store, and also badgers in our sandy
and light grounds, where woods, furze, broom, and plenty of shrubs are to
shroud them in when they be from their burrows, and thereunto warrens of
conies at hand to feed upon at will. Otherwise in clay, which we call the
cledgy mould, we seldom hear of any, because the moisture and the
toughness of the soil is such as will not suffer them to draw and make
their burrows deep. Certes, if I may freely say what I think, I suppose
that these two kinds (I mean foxes and badgers) are rather preserved by
gentlemen to hunt and have pastime withal at their own pleasures than
otherwise suffered to live as not able to be destroyed because of their
great numbers. For such is the scantity of them here in England, in
comparison of the plenty that is to be seen in other countries, and so
earnestly are the inhabitants bent to root them out, that, except it had
been to bear thus with the recreations of their superiors in this behalf,
it could not otherwise have been chosen but that they should have been
utterly destroyed by many years agone.

I might here intreat largely of other vermin, as the polecat, the miniver,
the weasel, stote, fulmart, squirrel, fitchew, and such like, which Cardan
includeth under the word _Mustela_: also of the otter, and likewise of the
beaver, whose hinder feet and tail only are supposed to be fish. Certes
the tail of this beast is like unto a thin whetstone, as the body unto a
monstrous rat: as the beast also itself is of such force in the teeth that
it will gnaw a hole through a thick plank, or shere through a double
billet in a night; it loveth also the stillest rivers, and it is given to
them by nature to go by flocks unto the woods at hand, where they gather
sticks wherewith to build their nests, wherein their bodies lie dry above
the water, although they so provide most commonly that their tails may
hang within the same. It is also reported that their said tails are a
delicate dish, and their stones of such medicinal force that (as
Vertomannus saith) four men smelling unto them each after other did bleed
at the nose through their attractive force, proceeding from a vehement
savour wherewith they are endued. There is greatest plenty of them in
Persia, chiefly about Balascham, from whence they and their dried cods are
brought into all quarters of the world, though not without some forgery by
such as provide them. And of all these here remembered, as the first sorts
are plentiful in every wood and hedgerow, so these latter, especially the
otter (for, to say the truth, we have not many beavers, but only in the
Teisie in Wales) is not wanting or to seek in many, but most, streams and
rivers of this isle; but it shall suffice in this sort to have named them,
as I do finally the martern, a beast of the chase, although for number I
worthily doubt whether that of our beavers or marterns may bethought to be
the less.

Other pernicious beasts we have not, except you repute the great plenty of
red and fallow deer whose colours are oft garled white and black, all
white or all black, and store of conies amongst the hurtful sort. Which
although that of themselves they are not offensive at all, yet their great
numbers are thought to be very prejudicial, and therefore justly reproved
of many, as are in like sort our huge flocks of sheep, whereon the
greatest part of our soil is employed almost in every place, and yet our
mutton, wool, and felles never the better cheap. The young males which our
fallow deer do bring forth are commonly named according to their several
ages: for the first year it is a fawn, the second a puckot, the third a
serell,[187] the fourth a soare, the fifth a buck of the first head, not
bearing the name of a buck till he be five years old: and from henceforth
his age is commonly known by his head or horns. Howbeit this notice of his
years is not so certain but that the best woodman may now and then be
deceived in that account: for in some grounds a buck of the first head
will be as well headed as another in a high rowtie soil will be in the
fourth. It is also much to be marvelled at that, whereas they do yearly
mew and cast their horns, yet in fighting they never break off where they
do grife or mew. Furthermore, in examining the condition of our red deer,
I find that the young male is called in the first year a calf, in the
second a broket, the third a spay, the fourth a staggon or stag, the fifth
a great stag, the sixth a hart, and so forth unto his death. And with him
in degree of venerie are accounted the hare, boar, and wolf. The fallow
deer, as bucks and does, are nourished in parks, and conies in warrens and
burrows. As for hares, they run at their own adventure, except some
gentleman or other (for his pleasure) do make an enclosure for them. Of
these also the stag is accounted for the most noble game, the fallow deer
is the next, then the roe, whereof we have indifferent store, and last of
all the hare, not the least in estimation, because the hunting of that
seely beast is mother to all the terms, blasts, and artificial devices
that hunters do use. All which (notwithstanding our custom) are pastimes
more meet for ladies and gentlewomen to exercise (whatsoever Franciscus
Patritius saith to the contrary in his _Institution of a Prince_) than for
men of courage to follow, whose hunting should practise their arms in
tasting of their manhood, and dealing with such beasts as eftsoons will
turn again and offer them the hardest, rather than their horses' feet
which many times may carry them with dishonour from the field.[188]

       *       *       *       *       *

If I should go about to make any long discourse of venomous beasts or
worms bred in England, I should attempt more than occasion itself would
readily offer, sith we have very few worms, but no beasts at all, that are
thought by their natural qualities to be either venomous or hurtful. First
of all, therefore, we have the adder (in our old Saxon tongue called an
atter), which some men do not rashly take to be the viper. Certes, if it
be so, then is not the viper author of the death of her[189] parents, as
some histories affirm, and thereto Encelius, a late writer, in his _De re
Metallica_, lib. 3, cap. 38, where he maketh mention of a she adder which
he saw in Sala, whose womb (as he saith) was eaten out after a like
fashion, her young ones lying by her in the sunshine, as if they had been
earthworms. Nevertheless, as he nameth them _viperas_, so he calleth the
male _echis_, and the female _echidna_, concluding in the end that _echis_
is the same serpent which his countrymen to this day call _ein atter_, as
I have also noted before out of a Saxon dictionary. For my part I am
persuaded that the slaughter of their parents is either not true at all,
or not always (although I doubt not but that nature hath right well
provided to inhibit their superfluous increase by some means or other),
and so much the rather am I led hereunto for that I gather by Nicander
that of all venomous worms the viper only bringeth out her young alive,
and therefore is called in Latin _vipera quasivivipara_, but of her own
death he doth not (to my remembrance) say anything. It is testified also
by other in other words, and to the like sense, that "_Echis id est vipera
sola ex serpentibus non ava sed animalia parit_." And it may well be, for
I remember that I have read in Philostratus, _De vita Appollonii_, how he
saw a viper licking her young. I did see an adder once myself that lay (as
I thought) sleeping on a molehill, out of whose mouth came eleven young
adders of twelve or thirteen inches in length apiece, which played to and
fro in the grass one with another, till some of them espied me. So soon
therefore as they saw my face they ran again into the mouth of their dam,
whom I killed, and then found each of them shrouded in a distinct cell or
pannicle in her belly, much like unto a soft white jelly, which maketh me
to be of the opinion that our adder is the viper indeed. The colour of
their skin is for the most part like rusty iron or iron grey, but such as
be very old resemble a ruddy blue; and as once in the year (to wit, in
April or about the beginning of May) they cast their old skins (whereby as
it is thought their age reneweth), so their stinging bringeth death
without present remedy be at hand, the wounded never ceasing to swell,
neither the venom to work till the skin of the one break, and the other
ascend upward to the heart, where it finisheth the natural effect, except
the juice of dragons (in Latin called _dracunculus minor_) be speedily
ministered and drunk in strong ale, or else some other medicine taken of
like force that may countervail and overcome the venom of the same. The
length of them is most commonly two feet, and somewhat more, but seldom
doth it extend into two feet six inches, except it be in some rare and
monstrous one, whereas our snakes are much longer, and seen sometimes to
surmount a yard, or three feet, although their poison be nothing so
grievous and deadly as the others. Our adders lie in winter under stones,
as Aristotle also saith of the viper (lib. 8, cap. 15), and in holes of
the earth, rotten stubs of trees, and amongst the dead leaves; but in the
heat of the summer they come abroad, and lie either round in heaps or at
length upon some hillock, or elsewhere in the grass. They are found only
in our woodland countries and highest grounds, where sometimes (though
seldom) a speckled stone called _echites_, in Dutch _ein atter stein_, is
gotten out of their dried carcases, which divers report to be good against
their poison.[190] As for our snakes, which in Latin are properly named
_angues_, they commonly are seen in moors, fens, loam walls, and low

As we have great store of toads where adders commonly are found, so do
frogs abound where snakes do keep their residence. We have also the
slow-worm, which is black and greyish of colour, and somewhat shorter than
an adder. I was at the killing once of one of them, and thereby perceived
that she was not so called of any want of nimble motion, but rather of the
contrary. Nevertheless we have a blind-worm, to be found under logs, in
woods and timber that hath lain long in a place, which some also do call
(and upon better ground) by the name of slow-worms, and they are known
easily by their more or less variety of striped colours, drawn long-ways
from their heads, their whole bodies little exceeding a foot in length,
and yet is their venom deadly. This also is not to be omitted; and now and
then in our fenny countries other kinds of serpents are found of greater
quantity than either our adder or our snake, but, as these are not
ordinary and oft to be seen, so I mean not to intreat of them among our
common annoyances. Neither have we the scorpion, a plague of God sent not
long since into Italy, and whose poison (as Apollodorus saith) is white,
neither the tarantula or Neapolitan spider, whose poison bringeth death,
except music be at hand. Wherefore I suppose our country to be the more
happy (I mean in part) for that it is void of these two grievous
annoyances wherewith other nations are plagued.

We have also efts both of the land and water, and likewise the noisome
swifts, whereof to say any more it would be but loss of time, sith they
are all well known, and no region to my knowledge found to be void of many
of them. As for flies (sith it shall not be amiss a little to touch them
also), we have none that can do hurt or hindrance naturally unto any: for
whether they be cut-waisted or whole-bodied, they are void of poison and
all venomous inclination. The cut or girt waisted (for so I English the
word _insecta_) are the hornets, wasps, bees, and such like, whereof we
have great store, and of which an opinion is conceived that the first do
breed of the corruption of dead horses, the second of pears and apples
corrupted, and the last of kine and oxen: which may be true, especially
the first and latter in some parts of the beast, and not their whole
substances, as also in the second, sith we have never wasps but when our
fruit beginneth to wax ripe. Indeed Virgil and others speak of a
generation of bees by killing or smothering a bruised bullock or calf and
laying his bowels or his flesh wrapped up in his hide in a close house for
a certain season; but how true it is, hitherto I have not tried. Yet sure
I am of this, that no one living creature corrupteth without the
production of another, as we may see by ourselves, whose flesh doth alter
into lice, and also in sheep for excessive numbers of flesh flies, if they
be suffered to lie unburied or uneaten by the dogs and swine, who often
and happily present such needless generations.

As concerning bees, I think it good to remember that, whereas some ancient
writers affirm it to be a commodity wanting in our island, it is now found
to be nothing so. In old times peradventure we had none indeed; but in my
days there is such plenty of them in manner everywhere that in some
uplandish towns there are one hundred or two hundred hives of them,
although the said hives are not so huge as those of the east country, but
far less, and not able to contain above one bushel of corn or five pecks
at the most. Pliny (a man that of set purpose delighteth to write of
wonders), speaking of honey, noteth that in the north regions the hives in
his time were of such quantity that some one comb contained eight foot in
length, and yet (as it should seem) he speaketh not of the greatest. For
in Podolia, which is now subject to the King of Poland, their hives are so
great, and combs so abundant, that huge boars, overturning and falling
into them, are drowned in the honey before they can recover and find the
means to come out.

Our honey also is taken and reputed to be the best, because it is harder,
better wrought, and cleanlier vesselled up, than that which cometh from
beyond the sea, where they stamp and strain their combs, bees, and young
blowings altogether into the stuff, as I have been informed. In use also
of medicine our physicians and apothecaries eschew the foreign, especially
that of Spain and Pontus, by reason of a venomous quality naturally
planted in the same, as some write, and choose the home-made: not only by
reason of our soil (which hath no less plenty of wild thyme growing
therein than in Sicilia and about Athens, and maketh the best stuff) as
also for that it breedeth (being gotten in harvest time) less choler, and
which is oftentimes (as I have seen by experience) so white as sugar, and
corned as if it were salt. Our hives are made commonly of rye straw and
wattled about with bramble quarters; but some make the same of wicker, and
cast them over with clay. We cherish none in trees, but set our hives
somewhere on the warmest side of the house, providing that they may stand
dry and without danger both of the mouse and the moth. This furthermore is
to be noted, that whereas in vessels of oil that which is nearest the top
is counted the finest and of wine that in the middest, so of honey the
best which is heaviest and moistest is always next the bottom, and
evermore casteth and driveth his dregs upward toward the very top,
contrary to the nature of other liquid substances, whose grounds and leeze
do generally settle downwards. And thus much as by the way of our bees and
English honey.

As for the whole-bodied, as the _cantharides_, and such venomous creatures
of the same kind, to be abundantly found in other countries, we hear not
of them: yet have we beetles, horseflies, turdbugs or dors (called in
Latin _scarabei_), the locust or the grasshopper (which to me do seem to
be one thing, as I will anon declare), and such like, whereof let other
intreat that make an exercise in catching of flies, but a far greater
sport in offering them to spiders, as did Domitian sometime, and another
prince yet living who delighted so much to see the jolly combats betwixt a
stout fly and an old spider that divers men have had great rewards given
them for their painful provision of flies made only for this purpose. Some
parasites also, in the time of the aforesaid emperor (when they were
disposed to laugh at his folly, and yet would seem in appearance to
gratify his fantastical head with some shew of dutiful demeanour), could
devise to set their lord on work by letting a flesh fly privily into his
chamber, which he forthwith would eagerly have hunted (all other business
set apart) and never ceased till he had caught her into his fingers,
wherewith arose the proverb, "_Ne musca quidem_," uttered first by Vibius
Priscus, who being asked whether anybody was with Domitian, answered "_Ne
musca quidem_," whereby he noted his folly. There are some cockscombs here
and there in England, learning it abroad as men transregionate, which make
account also of this pastime, as of a notable matter, telling what a sight
is seen between them, if either of them be lusty and courageous in his
kind. One also hath made a book of the spider and the fly, wherein he
dealeth so profoundly, and beyond all measure of skill that neither he
himself that made it nor any one that readeth it can reach unto the
meaning thereof. But if those jolly fellows, instead of the straw that
they must thrust into the fly's tail (a great injury no doubt to such a
noble champion), would bestow the cost to set a fool's cap upon their own
heads, then might they with more security and less reprehension behold
these notable battles.

Now, as concerning the locust, I am led by divers of my country, who (as
they say) were either in Germany, Italy, or Pannonia, 1542, when those
nations were greatly annoyed with that kind of fly, and affirm very
constantly that they saw none other creature than the grasshopper during
the time of that annoyance, which was said to come to them from the
Meotides. In most of our translations also of the Bible the word _locusta_
is Englished a grasshopper, and thereunto (Leviticus xi.) it is reputed
among the clean food, otherwise John the Baptist would never have lived
with them in the wilderness. In Barbary, Numidia, and sundry other places
of Africa, as they have been,[191] so are they eaten to this day powdered
in barrels, and therefore the people of those parts are called
_Acedophagi_: nevertheless they shorten the life of the eaters, by the
production at the last of an irksome and filthy disease. In India they are
three foot long, in Ethiopia much shorter, but in England seldom above an
inch. As for the cricket, called in Latin _cicada_, he hath some
likelihood, but not very great, with the grasshopper, and therefore he is
not to be brought in as an umpire in this case. Finally, Matthiolus and so
many as describe the locust do set down none other form than that of our
grasshopper, which maketh me so much the more to rest upon my former
imagination, which is that the locust and the grasshopper are one.



[1577, Book III., Chapter 13; 1587, Book III., Chapter 7.]

There is no country that may (as I take it) compare with ours in number,
excellency, and diversity of dogs.

The first sort therefore he divideth either into such as rouse the beast,
and continue the chase, or springeth the bird, and bewrayeth her flight by
pursuit. And as these are commonly called spaniels, so the other are named
hounds, whereof he maketh eight sorts, of which the foremost excelleth in
perfect smelling, the second in quick espying, the third in swiftness and
quickness, the fourth in smelling and nimbleness, etc., and the last in
subtlety and deceitfulness. These (saith Strabo) are most apt for game,
and called Sagaces by a general name, not only because of their skill in
hunting, but also for that they know their own and the names of their
fellows most exactly. For if the hunter see any one to follow skilfully,
and with likelihood of good success, he biddeth the rest to hark and
follow such a dog, and they eftsoones obey so soon as they hear his name.
The first kind of these are often called harriers, whose game is the fox,
the hare, the wolf (if we had any), hart, buck, badger, otter, polecat,
lopstart, weasel, conie, etc.: the second height a terrier, and it hunteth
the badger and grey only: the third a bloodhound, whose office is to
follow the fierce, and now and then to pursue a thief or beast by his dry
foot: the fourth height a gazehound, who hunteth by the eye: the fifth a
greyhound, cherished for his strength and swiftness and stature, commended
by Bratius in his _De Venatione_, and not unremembered by Hercules Stroza
in a like treatise, and above all other those of Britain, where he saith:
"Magna spectandi mole Britanni;" also by Nemesianus, libro Cynegeticôn,
where he saith: "Divisa Britannia mittit Veloces nostrique orbis venatibus
aptos," of which sort also some be smooth, of sundry colours, and some
shake-haired: the sixth a liemer, that excelleth in smelling and swift
running: the seventh a tumbler: and the eighth a thief whose offices (I
mean of the latter two) incline only to deceit, wherein they are oft so
skilful that few men would think so mischievous a wit to remain in such
silly creatures. Having made this enumeration of dogs which are apt for
the chase and hunting, he cometh next to such as serve the falcons in
their time, whereof he maketh also two sorts. One that findeth his game on
the land, another that putteth up such fowl as keepeth in the water: and
of these this is commonly most usual for the net or train, the other for
the hawk, as he doth shew at large. Of the first he saith that they have
no peculiar names assigned to them severally, but each of them is called
after the bird which by natural appointment he is allotted to hunt or
serve, for which consideration some be named dogs for the pheasant, some
for the falcon, and some for the partridge. Howbeit the common name for
all is spaniel (saith he), and thereupon alluded as if these kinds of dogs
had been brought hither out of Spain. In like sort we have of water
spaniels in their kind. The third sort of dogs of the gentle kind is the
spaniel gentle, or comforter, or (as the common term is) the fistinghound,
and those are called Melitei, of the Island Malta, from whence they were
brought hither. These are little and pretty, proper and fine, and sought
out far and near to falsify the nice delicacy of dainty dames, and wanton
women's wills, instruments of folly to play and dally withal, in trifling
away the treasure of time, to withdraw their minds from more commendable
exercises, and to content their corrupt concupiscences with vain
disport--a silly poor shift to shun their irksome idleness. These
Sybaritical puppies the smaller they be (and thereto if they have a hole
in the fore parts of their heads) the better they are accepted, the more
pleasure also they provoke, as meet playfellows for mincing mistresses to
bear in their bosoms, to keep company withal in their chambers, to succour
with sleep in bed, and nourish with meat at board, to lie in their laps,
and lick their lips as they lie (like young Dianas) in their waggons and
coaches. And good reason it should be so, for coarseness with fineness
hath no fellowship, but featness with neatness hath neighbourhood enough.
That plausible proverb therefore versified sometime upon a tyrant--namely,
that he loved his sow better than his son--may well be applied to some of
this kind of people, who delight more in their dogs, that are deprived of
all possibility of reason, than they do in children that are capable of
wisdom and judgment. Yea, they oft feed them of the best where the poor
man's child at their doors can hardly come by the worst. But the former
abuse peradventure reigneth where there hath been long want of issue, else
where barrenness is the best blossom of beauty: or, finally, where poor
men's children for want of their own issue are not ready to be had. It is
thought of some that it is very wholesome for a weak stomach to bear such
a dog in the bosom, as it is for him that hath the palsy to feel the daily
smell and savour of a fox. But how truly this is affirmed let the learned
judge: only it shall suffice for Doctor Caius to have said thus much of
spaniels and dogs of the gentle kind.

Dogs of the homely kind are either shepherd's curs or mastiffs. The first
are so common that it needeth me not to speak of them. Their use also is
so well known in keeping the herd together (either when they grass or go
before the shepherd) that it should be but in vain to spend any time about
them. Wherefore I will leave this cur unto his own kind, and go in hand
with the mastiff, tie dog, or band dog, so called because many of them are
tied up in chains and strong bonds in the daytime, for doing hurt abroad,
which is a huge dog, stubborn, ugly, eager, burthenous of body (and
therefore of but little swiftness), terrible and fearful to behold, and
oftentimes more fierce and fell than any Archadian or Corsican cur. Our
Englishmen, to the extent that these dogs may be more cruel and fierce,
assist nature with some art, use, and custom. For although this kind of
dog be capable of courage, violent, valiant, stout, and bold: yet will
they increase these their stomachs by teaching them to bait the bear, the
bull, the lion, and other such like cruel and bloody beasts (either
brought over or kept up at home for the same purpose), without any collar
to defend their throats, and oftentimes there too they train them up in
fighting and wrestling with a man (having for the safeguard of his life
either a pikestaff, club, sword, privy coat), whereby they become the more
fierce and cruel unto strangers. The Caspians make so much account
sometimes of such great dogs, that every able man would nourish sundry of
them in his house of set purpose, to the end they should devour their
carcases after their deaths, thinking the dog's bellies to be the most
honourable sepulchres. The common people also followed the same rate, and
therefore there were tie dogs kept up by public ordinance, to devour them
after their deaths: by means whereof these beasts became the more eager,
and with great difficulty after a while restrained from falling upon the
living. But whither am I digressed? In returning therefore to our own, I
say that of mastiffs, some bark only with fierce and open mouth but will
not bite; but the cruelest do either not bark at all or bite before they
bark, and therefore are more to be feared than any of the other. They take
also their name of the word "mase" and "thief" (or "master-thief" if you
will), because they often stound and put such persons to their shifts in
towns and villages, and are the principal causes of their apprehension and
taking. The force which is in them surmounteth all belief, and the fast
hold which they take with their teeth exceedeth all credit: for three of
them against a bear, four against a lion, are sufficient to try mastries
with them. King Henry the Seventh, as the report goeth, commanded all such
curs to be hanged, because they durst presume to fight against the lion,
who is their king and sovereign. The like he did with an excellent falcon,
as some say, because he feared not hand-to-hand match with an eagle,
willing his falconers in his own presence to pluck off his head after he
was taken down, saying that it was not meet for any subject to offer such
wrong unto his lord and superior, wherein he had a further meaning. But if
King Henry the Seventh had lived in our time what would he have done to
our English mastiff, which alone and without any help at all pulled down
first a huge bear, then a pard, and last of all a lion, each after other
before the French King in one day, when the Lord Buckhurst was ambassador
unto him, and whereof if I should write the circumstances, that is, how he
took his advantage being let loose unto them, and finally drave them into
such exceeding fear, that they were all glad to run away when he was taken
from them, I should take much pains, and yet reap but small credit:
wherefore it shall suffice to have said thus much thereof. Some of our
mastiffs will rage only in the night, some are to be tied up both day and
night. Such also as are suffered to go loose about the house and yard are
so gentle in the daytime that children may ride on their backs and play
with them at their pleasures. Divers of them likewise are of such jealousy
over their master and whosoever of his household, that if a stranger do
embrace or touch any of them, they will fall fiercely upon them, unto
their extreme mischief if their fury be not prevented. Such a one was the
dog of Nichomedes, king sometime of Bithynia, who seeing Consigne the
queen to embrace and kiss her husband as they walked together in a garden,
did tear her all to pieces, maugre his resistance and the present aid of
such as attended on them. Some of them moreover will suffer a stranger to
come in and walk about the house or yard where he listeth, without giving
over to follow him: but if he put forth his hand to touch anything, then
will they fly upon them and kill them if they may. I had one myself once,
which would not suffer any man to bring in his weapon further than my
gate: neither those that were of my house to be touched in his presence.
Or if I had beaten any of my children, he would gently have essayed to
catch the rod in his teeth and take it out of my hand or else pluck down
their clothes to save them from the stripes: which in my opinion is not
unworthy to be noted.

The last sort of dogs consisteth of the currish kind meet for many toys,
of which the whappet or prick-eared cur is one. Some men call them
warners, because they are good for nothing else but to bark and give
warning when anybody doth stir or lie in wait about the house in the night
season. Certes it is impossible to describe these curs in any order,
because they have no one kind proper unto themselves, but are a confused
company mixed of all the rest. The second sort of them are called
turnspits, whose office is not unknown to any. And as these are only
reserved for this purpose, so in many places our mastiffs (beside the use
which tinkers have of them in carrying their heavy budgets) are made to
draw water in great wheels out of deep wells, going much like unto those
which are framed for our turnspits, as is to be seen at Roiston, where
this feat is often practised. Besides these also we have sholts or curs
daily brought out of Ireland, and made much of among us, because of their
sauciness and quarrelling. Moreover they bite very sore, and love candles
exceedingly, as do the men and women of their country: but I may say no
more of them, because they are not bred with us. Yet this will I make
report of by the way, for pastime's sake, that when a great man of those
parts came of late into one of our ships which went thither for fish, to
see the form and fashion of the same, his wife apparelled in fine sables,
abiding on the deck whilst her husband was under the hatches with the
mariners, espied a pound or two of candles hanging on the mast, and being
loath to stand there idle alone, she fell to and eat them up every one,
supposing herself to have been at a jolly banquet, and shewing very
pleasant gesture when her husband came up again unto her.

The last kind of toyish curs are named dancers, and those being of a
mongrel sort also, are taught and exercised to dance in measure at the
musical sound of an instrument, as at the just stroke of a drum, sweet
accent of the citharne, and pleasant harmony of the harp, shewing many
tricks by the gesture of their bodies: as to stand bolt upright, to lie
flat on the ground, to turn round as a ring holding their tails in their
teeth, to saw and beg for meat, to take a man's cap from his head, and
sundry such properties, which they learn of their idle roguish masters,
whose instruments they are to gather gain, as old apes clothed in motley
and coloured short-waisted jackets are for the like vagabonds, who seek no
better living than that which they may get by fond pastime and idleness. I
might here intreat of other dogs, as of those which are bred between a
bitch and a wolf, also between a bitch and a fox, or a bear and a mastiff.
But as we utterly want the first sort, except they be brought unto us: so
it happeneth sometime that the other two are engendered and seen at home
amongst us. But all the rest heretofore remembered in this chapter there
is none more ugly and odious in sight, cruel and fierce in deed, nor
untractable in hand, than that which is begotten between the bear and the
bandog. For whatsoever he catcheth hold of he taketh it so fast that a man
may sooner tear and rend his body in sunder than get open his mouth to
separate his chaps. Certes he regardeth neither wolf, bear, nor lion, and
therefore may well be compared with those two dogs which were sent to
Alexander out of India (and procreated as it is thought between a mastiff
and a male tiger, as be those also of Hircania), or to them that are bred
in Archadia, where copulation is oft seen between lions and bitches, as
the lion is in France (as I said) between she wolves and dogs, whereof let
this suffice, sith the further tractation of them doth not concern my
purpose, more than the confutation of Cardan's talk, _De subt._, lib. 10,
who saith that after many generations dogs do become wolves, and
contrariwise, which if it were true, then could not England be without
many wolves: but nature hath set a difference between them, not only in
outward form, but also in inward disposition of their bones, whereof it is
impossible that his assertion can be sound.



[1577, Book III., Chapter 10; 1587, Book III., Chapter 3.]

I have in my description of waters, as occasion hath served, treated of
the names of some of the several fishes which are commonly to be found in
our rivers. Nevertheless, as every water hath a sundry mixture, and
therefore is not stored with every kind, so there is almost no house, even
of the meanest boors, which hath not one or more ponds or holes made for
reservation of water unstored with some of them, as with tench, carp,
bream, roach, dace, eels, or such like as will live and breed together.
Certes it is not possible for me to deliver the names of all such kinds of
fishes as our rivers are found to bear; yet, lest I should seem injurious
to the reader in not delivering as many of them as have been brought to my
knowledge, I will not let to set them down as they do come to mind.
Besides the salmon therefore, which are not to be taken from the middest
of September to the middest of November, and are very plentiful in our
greatest rivers, as their young store are not to be touched from mid April
unto Midsummer, we gave the trout, barbel, graile, pout, cheven, pike,
gudgeon, smelt, perch, menan, shrimps, crevises, lampreys, and such like,
whose preservation is provided for by very sharp laws, not only in our
rivers, but also in plashes or lakes and ponds, which otherwise would
bring small profit to the owners, and do much harm by continual
maintenance of idle persons, who would spend their whole time upon their
banks, not coveting to labour with their hands nor follow any good trade.
Of all these there are none more prejudicial to their neighbours that
dwell in the same water than the pike and eel, which commonly devour such
fish or fry and spawn as they may get and come by. Nevertheless the pike
is friend unto the tench, as to his leech and surgeon. For when the
fishmonger hath opened his side and laid out his rivet and fat unto the
buyer, for the better utterance of his ware, and cannot make him away at
that present, he layeth the same again into the proper place, and sewing
up the wound, he restoreth him to the pond where tenches are, who never
cease to suck and lick his grieved place, till they have restored him to
health, and made him ready to come again to the stall, when his turn shall
come about. I might here make report how the pike, carp, and some other of
our river fishes are sold by inches of clean fish, from the eyes or gills
to the crotch of the tails, but it is needless: also how the pike as he
ageth receiveth divers names, as from a _fry_ to a _gilthead_, from a
_gilthead_ to a _pod_, from a _pod_ to a _jack_, from a _jack_ to a
_pickerel_, from a _pickerel_ to a _pike_, and last of all to a _luce_;
also that a salmon is the first year a _gravellin_, and commonly as big as
a herring, the second a _salmon peal_, the third a _pug_, and the fourth a
_salmon_: but this is in like sort unnecessary.

I might finally tell you how that in fenny rivers' sides, if you cut a
turf, and lay it with the grass downwards upon the earth in such sort as
the water may touch it as it passeth by, you shall have a brood of eels.
It would seem a wonder; and yet it is believed with no less assurance by
some, that than a horse hair laid in a pail full of the like water will in
a short time stir and become a living creature. But sith the certainty of
these things is rather proved by few than the certainty of them known unto
many, I let it pass at this time. Nevertheless this is generally observed
in the maintenance of fry as well in rivers as in ponds, that in the time
of spawn we use to throw in faggots made of willow and sallow (and now and
then of bushes for want of the other), whereby such spawn as falleth into
the same is preserved and kept from the pike, perch, eel, and other fish,
of which the carp also will feed upon his own, and thereby hinder the
store and increase of proper kind. Some use in every sixth or seventh
year to lay their great ponds dry for all the summer time, to the end they
may gather grass, and a thin swart for the fish to feed upon; and
afterwards store them with breeders, after the water be let anew again
into them. Finally, when they have spawned, they draw out the breeders,
leaving not above four or six behind, even in the greatest ponds, by means
whereof the rest do prosper the better: and this observation is most used
in carp and bream. As for perch (a delicate fish), it prospereth
everywhere, I mean so well in ponds as rivers, and also in moats and pits,
as I do know by experience, though their bottoms be but clay. More would I
write of our fresh fish, if any more were needful: wherefore I will now
turn over unto such of the salt water as are taken upon our coasts. As our
fowls therefore have their seasons, so likewise have all our sorts of sea
fish: whereby it cometh to pass that none, or at least very few of them,
are to be had at all times. Nevertheless the seas that environ our coasts
are of all other most plentiful; for as by reason of their depth they are
a great succour, so our low shores minister great plenty of food unto the
fish that come thereto, no place being void or barren, either through want
of food for them or the falls of filthy rivers, which naturally annoy
them. In December therefore and January we commonly abound in herring and
red fish, as rochet and gurnard. In February and March we feed on plaice,
trouts, turbot, mussels, etc. In April and May, with mackerel and cockles.
In June and July, with conger. In August and September, with haddock and
herring: and the two months ensuing with the same, as also thornback and
ray of all sorts: all which are the most usual, and wherewith our common
sort are best of all refreshed.

For mine own part, I am greatly acquainted neither with the seasons, nor
yet with the fish itself: and therefore, if I should take upon me to
describe or speak of either of them absolutely, I should enterprise more
than I am able to perform, and go in hand with a greater matter than I can
well bring about. It shall suffice therefore to declare what sorts of
fishes I have most often seen, to the end I may not altogether pass over
this chapter without the rehearsal of something, although the whole sum
of that which I have to say be nothing indeed, if the performance of a
full discourse hereof be anything hardly required.

Of fishes, therefore, as I find five sorts (the flat, the round, the long,
the legged, and shelled), so the flat are divided into the smooth, sealed,
and tailed. Of the first are the plaice, the but, the turbot, birt, fluke
or sea flounder, doree, dab, etc. Of the second the soles and thornback,
whereof the greater be for the most part either dried and carried into
other countries, or sodden, soused, and eaten here at home, whilst the
lesser be fried or buttered soon after they be taken, as provision not to
be kept long for fear of putrefaction. Under the round kinds are commonly
comprehended lumps (an ugly fish to sight, and yet very delicate in eating
if it be kindly dressed), the whiting (an old waiter or servitor in the
court), the rochet, sea bream, pirle, hake, sea trout, gurnard, haddock,
cod, herring, pilchard, sprat, and such like. And these are they whereof I
have best knowledge, and are commonly to be had in their times upon our
coasts. Under this kind also are all the great fish contained, as the
seal, the dolphin, the porpoise, the thirlepole, whale, and whatsoever is
round of body, be it never so great and huge. Of the long sort are
congers, eels, garefish, and such other of that form. Finally, of the
legged kind we have not many, neither have I seen any more of this sort
than the polypus, called in English the lobster, crayfish (or _crevis_),
and the crab. As for the little crayfishes, they are not taken in the sea,
but plentifully in our fresh rivers in banks, and under stones, where they
keep themselves in most secret manner, and oft, by likeness of colour with
the stones among which they lie, deceive even the skilful takers of them
except they use great diligence. Carolus Stephanus, in his _Maison
Rustique_, doubted whether these lobsters be fish or not; and in the end
concludeth them to grow of the purgation of the water, as doth the frog,
and these also not to be eaten, for that they be strong and very hard of
digestion. But hereof let other determine further.

I might here speak of sundry other fishes now and then taken also upon our
coasts; but, sith my mind is only to touch either on all such as are
usually gotten, or so many of them only as I can well rehearse upon
certain knowledge, I think it good at this time to forbear the further
intreaty of them. As touching the shelly sort, we have plenty of oysters;
whose value in old time for their sweetness was not unknown in Rome
(although Mutianus, as Pliny noteth, lib. 32, cap. 6, prefer the Cyzicene
before them), and these we have in like manner of divers quantities, and
no less variety also of our mussels and cockles. We have in like sort no
small store of great whelks, scallops, and periwinkles, and each of them
brought far into the land from the sea coast in their several seasons. And
albeit our oysters are generally forborne in the four hot months of the
year (that is to say, May, June, July, and August) which are void of the
letter R, yet in some places they be continually eaten, where they are
kept in pits, as I have known by experience. And thus much of our sea
fish, as a man in manner utterly unacquainted with their diversity of
kinds, yet so much have I yielded to do, hoping hereafter to say somewhat
more, and more orderly of them, if it shall please God that I may live and
have leisure once again to peruse this treatise and so make up a perfect
piece of work of that which, as you now see, is very slenderly attempted
and begun.



[1577, Book II., Chapter 11; 1587, Book II., Chapter 18.]

Quarries with us are pits or mines, out of which we dig our stone to build
withal, and of these as we have great plenty in England so are they of
divers sorts, and those very profitable for sundry necessary uses. In
times past the use of stone was in manner dedicated to the building of
churches, religious houses, princely palaces, bishops' manors, and holds
only; but now that scrupulous observation is altogether infringed, and
building with stone so commonly taken up that amongst noblemen and
gentlemen the timber frames are supposed to be not much better than paper
work, of little continuance, and least continuance of all. It far passeth
my cunning to set down how many sorts of stone for building are to be
found in England, but much further to call each of them by their proper
names. Howbeit, such is the curiosity of our countrymen, that
notwithstanding Almighty God hath so blessed our realm in most plentiful
manner with such and so many quarries apt and meet for piles of longest
continuance, yet we as loathsome of this abundance, or not liking of the
plenty, do commonly leave these natural gifts to mould and cinder in the
ground, and take up an artificial brick, in burning whereof a great part
of the wood of this land is daily consumed and spent, to the no small
decay of that commodity, and hindrance of the poor that oft perish for

Our elders have from time to time, following our natural vice in misliking
of our own commodities at home, and desiring those of other countries
abroad, most esteemed the Caen stone that is brought hither out of
Normandy: and many even in these our days following the same vein, do
covet in their works almost to use none other. Howbeit experience on the
one side, and our skilful masons on the other (whose judgment is nothing
inferior to those of other countries), do affirm that in the north (and
south) parts of England, and certain other places, there are some quarries
which for hardness and beauty are equal to the outlandish greet. This may
also be confirmed by the king's chapel at Cambridge, the greatest part of
the square stone whereof was brought thither out of the north. Some
commend the vein of white free-stone, slate, and mere stone, which is
between Pentowen and the black head in Cornwall, for very fine stuff.
Other do speak much of the quarries at Hamden, nine miles from Milbery,
and paving stone of Burbeck. For toph stone not a few allow of the quarry
that is at Dresley, divers mislike not of the veins of hard stone that are
at Oxford and Burford. One praiseth the free-stone at Manchester and
Presbury in Gloucestershire; another the quarries of the like in Richmond.
The third liketh well of the hard stone in Clee Hill in Shropshire; the
fourth of that of Thorowbridge, Welden, Terrinton. Whereby it appeareth
that we have quarries enough (and good enough) in England sufficient for
us to build withal, if the peevish contempt of our own commodities, and
delectations to enrich other countries, did not catch such foolish hold
upon us. It is also verified (as any other way) that all nations have
rather need of England than England of any other. And this I think may
suffice for the substance of our works. Now if you have regard to their
ornature, how many mines of sundry kinds of coarse and fine marble are
there to be had in England? But chiefly one in Staffordshire, another near
to the Peak, the third at Uavldry, the fourth at Snothill (longing to the
Lord Chandos), the fifth at Eglestone, which is of black marble, spotted
with grey or white spots; the sixth not far from Durham. (Of white marble
also we have store, and so fair as the Marpesian of Paris Isle.) But what
mean I to go about to recite all, or the most excellent? sith these which
I have named already are not altogether of the best, nor scarcely of any
value in comparison of those whose places of growth are utterly unknown
unto me, and whereof the black marble spotted with green is none of the
vilest sort, as may appear by parcel of the pavement of the lower part of
the choir of Paul's in London (and also in Westminster), where some pieces
thereof are yet to be seen and marked, if any will look for them. If
marble will not serve, then have we the finest alabaster that may
elsewhere be had, as about Saint David's of Wales; also near to Beau
manor, which is about four or five miles from Leicester, and taken to be
the best, although there are divers other quarries hereof beyond the Trent
(as in Yorkshire, etc., and fully so good as that) whose names at this
time are out of my remembrance. What should I talk of the plaster of
Axholm (for of that which they dig out of the earth in sundry places of
Lincoln and Derbyshire, wherewith they blanch their houses instead of
lime, I speak not), certes it is a fine kind of alabaster. But sith it is
sold commonly but after twelvepence the load, we judge it to be but vile
and coarse. For my part I cannot skill of stone, yet in my opinion it is
not without great use for plaster of Paris, and such is the mine of it
that the stones (thereof) lie in flakes one upon another like planks or
tables, and under the same is an (exceeding) hard stone very profitable
for building, as hath oftentimes been proved. (This is also to be marked
further of our plaster white and grey, that not contented with the same,
as God by the quarry doth send and yield it forth, we have now devised to
cast it in moulds for windows and pillars of what form and fashion we
list, even as alabaster itself: and with such stuff sundry houses in
Yorkshire are furnished of late. But of what continuance this device is
likely to prove the time to come shall easily betray. In the meantime Sir
Ralph Burcher, knight, hath put the device in practice, and affirmeth that
six men in six months shall travel in that trade to see greater profit to
the owner than twelve men in six years could before this trick was

If neither alabaster nor marble doth suffice, we have the touchstone,
called in Latin _lydius lapis_ (shining as glass), either to match in
sockets with our pillars of alabaster, or contrariwise: or if it please
the workmen to join pillars of alabaster or touch with sockets of brass,
pewter, or copper, we want not (also) these metals. So that I think no
nation can have more excellent and greater diversity of stuff for building
than we may have in England, if ourselves could so like of it. But such,
alas! is our nature, that not our own but other men's do most of all
delight us; and for desire of novelty we oft exchange our finest cloth,
corn, tin, and wools for halfpenny cockhorses for children, dogs of wax
(or of cheese), twopenny tabers, leaden swords, painted feathers, gewgaws
for fools, dog-tricks for disards, hawk's hoods, and such like trumpery,
whereby we reap just mockage and reproach (in other countries). I might
remember here our pits for millstones, that are to be had in divers places
of our country, as in Anglesea (Kent), also at Queen-hope of blue greet,
of no less value than the Colaine, yea, than the French stones: our
grindstones for hardware men. Our whetstones are no less laudable than
those of Crete and Lacedæmonia, albeit we use no oil with them, as they
did in those parts, but only water, as the Italians and Narians do with
theirs: whereas they that grow in Cilicia must have both oil and water
laid upon them, or else they make no edge. There also are divided either
into hard greet, as the common that shoemakers use, or the soft greet
called hones, to be had among the barbers, and those either black or
white, and the rub or brickle stone which husbandmen do occupy in the
whetting of their scythes.

In like manner slate of sundry colours is everywhere in manner to be had,
as is the flint and chalk, the shalder and the pebble. Howbeit for all
this we must fetch them still from far, as did the Hull men their stones
out of Iceland, wherewith they paved their town for want of the like in
England: or as Sir Thomas Gresham did when he bought the stones in
Flanders wherewith he paved the Burse. But as he will answer
(peradventure) that he bargained for the whole mould and substance of his
workmanship in Flanders, so the Hullanders or Hull men will say how that
stock-fish is light loading, and therefore they did balance their vessels
with these Iceland stones to keep them from turning over in their so
tedious a voyage.

Sometimes also they find precious stones (though seldom), and some of them
perfectly squared by nature, and much like unto the diamond found of late
in a quarry of marble at Naples, which was so perfectly pointed as if all
the workmen in the world had consulted about the performance of that
workmanship. I know that these reports unto some will seem incredible, and
therefore I stand the longer upon them; nevertheless omitting to speak
particularly of such things as happen amongst us, and rather seeking to
confirm the same by the like in other countries, I will deliver a few more
examples, whereby the truth hereof shall so much the better appear. For in
the midst of a stone not long since found at Chius, upon the breaking up
thereof, there was seen _Caput panisci_ enclosed therein, very perfectly
formed, as the beholders do remember. How come the grains of gold to be so
fast enclosed in the stones that are and have been found in the Spanish
Baetis? But this is most marvellous, that a most delectable and sweet oil,
comparable to the finest balm, or oil of spike in smell, was found
naturally enclosed in a stone, which could not otherwise be broken but
with a smith's hammer.

Finally, I myself have seen stones opened, and within them the substances
of corrupted worms like unto adders (but far shorter), whose crests and
wrinkles of body appeared also therein as if they had been engraved in the
stones by art and industry of man. Wherefore to affirm that as well living
creatures as precious stones, gold, etc., are now and then found in our
quarries, shall not hereafter be a thing so incredible as many talking
philosophers, void of all experience, do affirm and wilfully maintain
against such as hold the contrary.



[1577, Book II., Chapter 16; 1587, Book II., Chapter 22.]

It should seem by ancient records, and the testimony of sundry authors,
that the whole countries of Lhoegres and Cambria, now England and Wales,
have sometimes been very well replenished with great woods and groves,
although at this time the said commodity be not a little decayed in both,
and in such wise that a man shall oft ride ten or twenty miles in each of
them and find very little, or rather none at all, except it be near unto
towns, gentlemen's houses, and villages, where the inhabitants have
planted a few elms, oaks, hazels, or ashes about their dwellings, for
their defence from the rough winds and keeping of the stormy weather from
annoyance of the same. This scarcity at the first grew (as it is thought)
either by the industry of man, for maintenance of tillage (as we
understand the like to be done of late by the Spaniards in the West
Indies, where they fired whole woods of very great compass, thereby to
come by ground whereon to sow their grains), or else through the
covetousness of such as, in preferring of pasture for their sheep and
greater cattle, do make small account of firebote and timber, or, finally,
by the cruelty of the enemies, whereof we have sundry examples declared in
our histories. Howbeit where the rocks and quarry grounds are I take the
swart of the earth to be so thin that no tree of any greatness, other than
shrubs and bushes, is able to grow or prosper long therein for want of
sufficient moisture wherewith to feed them with fresh humour, or at the
leastwise of mould to shroud, stay upright, and cherish the same in the
blustering winter's weather, till they may grow into any greatness, and
spread or yield their roots down right into the soil about them: and this
either is or may be one other cause, wherefore some places are naturally
void of wood. But to proceed. Although I must needs confess that there is
good store of great wood or timber here and there even now in some places
of England, yet in our days it is far unlike to that plenty which our
ancestors have seen heretofore when stately building was less in use. For,
albeit that there were then greater number of messuages and mansions
almost in every place, yet were their frames so slight and slender that
one mean dwelling-house in our time is able to countervail very many of
them, if you consider the present charge with the plenty of timber that we
bestow upon them. In times past men were contented to dwell in houses
built of sallow, willow, plum tree, hardbeam, and elm, so that the use of
oak was in manner dedicated wholly unto churches, religious houses,
princes' palaces, noblemen's lodgings, and navigation; but now all these
are rejected, and nothing but oak any whit regarded. And yet see the
change! For, when our houses were built of willow, then had we oaken men;
but, now that our houses are come to be made of oak, our men are not only
become willow, but a great many through Persian delicacy crept in among us
altogether of straw: which is a sore alteration. In those, the courage of
the owner was a sufficient defence to keep the house in safety; but now
the assurance of the timber, double doors, locks, and bolts, must defend
the man from robbing. Now have we many chimneys; and yet our tenderlings
complain of rheums, catarrhs, and poses. Then had we none but reredosses;
and our heads did never ache. For, as the smoke in those days was supposed
to be a sufficient hardening for the timber of the house, so it was
reputed a far better medicine to keep the goodman and his family from the
quake or pose, wherewith as then very few were oft acquainted.

Of the curiousness of these piles I speak not, sith our workmen are grown
generally to such an excellency of device in the frames now made that they
far pass the finest of the old. And, such is their husbandry in dealing
with their timber, that the same stuff which in time past was rejected as
crooked, unprofitable, and of no use but the fire doth now come in the
fronts and best part of the work. Whereby the common saying is likewise in
these days verified in our mansion houses, which erst was said only of the
timber for ships, that "no oak can grow so crooked but it falleth out to
some use," and that necessary in the navy. It is a world to see, moreover,
how divers men being bent to building, and having a delectable vein in
spending of their goods by that trade, do daily imagine new devices of
their own, to guide their workmen withal, and those more curious and
excellent always than the former. In the proceeding also of their works,
how they set up, how they pull down, how they enlarge, how they restrain,
how they add to, how they take from, whereby their heads are never idle,
their purses never shut, nor their books of account never made perfect.

     "_Destruunt, ædificant, mutant quadrata rotundis_,"

saith the poet. So that, if a man should well consider of all the odd
crotchets in such a builder's brain, he would think his head to have even
enough of those affairs only, and therefore judge that he would not well
be able to deal in any other. But such commonly are our work-masters that
they have beside this vein aforementioned either great charge of
merchandises, little less business in the commonwealth, or, finally, no
small dealings otherwise incident unto them, whereby gain ariseth, and
some trouble oft among withal. Which causeth me to wonder not a little how
they can play the parts so well of so many sundry men, whereas divers
other, of greater forecast in appearance, can seldom shift well or thrive
in any one of them. But to our purpose.

We have many woods, forests, and parks, which cherish trees abundantly,
although in the woodland countries there is almost no hedge that hath not
some store of the greatest sort, beside infinite numbers of hedgerows,
groves, and springs, that are maintained of purpose for the building and
provision of such owners as do possess the same. Howbeit, as every soil
doth not bear all kinds of wood, so there is not any wood, park, hedgerow,
grove, or forest, that is not mixed with divers, as oak, ash, hazel,
hawthorn, birch, beech, hardbeam, hull, sorb, quicken, asp, poplars, wild
cherry, and such like, whereof oak hath always the pre-eminence, as most
meet for building and the navy, whereunto it is reserved. This tree
bringeth forth also a profitable kind of mast, whereby such as dwell near
unto the aforesaid places do cherish and bring up innumerable herds of
swine. In time of plenty of this mast, our red and fallow deer will not
let to participate thereof with our hogs, more than our neat, yea, our
common poultry also, if they may come unto them.[192] But, as this
abundance doth prove very pernicious unto the first, so the eggs which
these latter do bring forth (beside blackness in colour and bitterness of
taste) have not seldom been found to breed divers diseases unto such
persons as have eaten of the same. I might add in like sort the profit
ensuing by the bark of this wood, whereof our tanners have great use in
dressing leather, and which they buy yearly in May by the fadame, as I
have oft seen; but it shall not need at this time to enter into any such
discourse, only this I wish, that our sole and upper leathering may have
their due time, and not be hasted on by extraordinary flights, as with
ash, bark, etc. Whereby, as I grant that it seemeth outwardly to be very
thick and well done, so if you respect the sadness thereof, it doth prove
in the end to be very hollow, and not able to hold out water. Nevertheless
we have good laws for the redress of this enormity, but it cometh to pass
in these as in the execution of most penal statutes. For the gains to be
got by the same being given to one or two hungry and unthrifty persons,
they make a shew of great reformation at the first, and for a little
while, till they find that following of suit in law against the offenders
is somewhat too chargeable and tedious. This therefore perceived, they
give over the law, and fall to the admission of gifts and rewards to wink
at things past; and, when they have once gone over their ground with this
kind of tillage, then do they tender licences, and offer large
dispensations unto him that shall ask the same, thereby to do what he
listeth in his trade for a yearly pension, whereby the briber now groweth
to some certain revenues and the tanner to so great liberty that his
leather is much worse than before. But is not this a mockery of our laws,
and manifest illusion of the good subject whom they thus pill and poll? Of
all oak growing in England the park oak is the softest, and far more spalt
and brittle than the hedge oak. And of all in Essex, that growing in
Bardfield Park is the finest for joiners' craft; for oftentimes have I
seen of their works made of that oak as fine and fair as most of the
wainscot that is brought hither out of Denmark: for our wainscot is not
made in England. Yet divers have essayed to deal without oaks to that end,
but not with so good success as they have hoped, because the ab or juice
will not so soon be removed and clean drawn out, which some attribute to
want of time in the salt water. Nevertheless, in building, so well the
hedge as the park oak go all one way, and never so much hath been spent in
a hundred years before as is in ten years of our time; for every man
almost is a builder, and he that hath bought any small parcel of ground,
be it never so little, will not be quiet till he have pulled down the old
house (if any were there standing) and set up a new after his own device.
But whereunto will this curiosity come?

Of elm we have great store in every highway and elsewhere, yet have I not
seen thereof any together in woods or forests but where they have been
first planted and then suffered to spread at their own wills. Yet have I
known great woods of beech and hazel in many places, especially in
Berkshire, Oxfordshire, and Buckinghamshire, where they are greatly
cherished, and converted to sundry uses by such as dwell about them. Of
all the elms that ever I saw, those in the south side of Dovercourt, in
Essex, near Harwich, are the most notable, for they grow (I mean) in
crooked manner, that they are almost apt for nothing else but navy timber,
great ordinance, and beetles; and such thereto is their natural quality
that, being used in the said behalf, they continue longer, and more long
than any the like trees in whatsoever parcel else of this land, without
cuphar, shaking, or cleaving, as I find.

Ash cometh up everywhere of itself, and with every kind of wood. And as we
have very great plenty, and no less use of these in our husbandry, so are
we not without the plane, the yew, the sorb, the chestnut, the lime, the
black cherry, and such like. And although we enjoy them not in as great
plenty now in most places as in times past, or the other afore remembered;
yet have we sufficient of them all for our necessary turns and uses,
especially of yew; as may be seen betwixt Rotherham and Sheffield, and
some steads of Kent also, as I have been informed.

The fir, frankincense, and pine we do not altogether want, especially the
fir, whereof we have some store in Chatley Moor in Derbyshire, Shropshire,
Anderness, and a moss near Manchester, not far from Leicester's house:
although that in time past, not only all Lancashire, but a great part of
the coast between Chester and the Solme, were well stored. As for the
frankincense and the pine, they have been planted only in colleges and
cloisters, by the clergy and religious heretofore. Wherefore (in mine
opinion) we may rather say that we want them altogether: for, except they
grew naturally, and not by force, I see no cause why they should be
accounted for parcel of our commodities. We have also the asp, whereof our
fletchers make their arrows. The several kinds of poplars of our turners
have great use for bowls, trees, troughs, dishes, etc. Also the alder,
whose bark is not unprofitable to dye black withal, and therefore much
used by our country wives in colouring their knit hosen. I might here take
occasion to speak of the great sales yearly made of wood, whereby an
infinite quantity hath been destroyed within these few years: but I give
over to travel in this behalf. Howbeit, thus much I dare affirm, that if
woods go so fast to decay in the next hundred years of Grace as they have
done and are like to do in this, sometimes for increase of sheepwalks, and
some maintenance of prodigality and pomp (for I have known a
well-burnished gentleman that hath borne threescore at once in one pair of
galigascons to shew his strength and bravery[193]), it is to be feared
that the fenny bote, broom, turf, gall, heath, furze, brakes, whins, ling,
dies, hassacks, flags, straw, sedge, reed, rush, and also seacale, will be
good merchandise even in the city of London, whereunto some of them even
now have gotten ready passage, and taken up their inns in the greatest
merchants' parlours. A man would think that our laws were able enough to
make sufficient provision for the redress of this error and enormity
likely to ensue. But such is the nature of our countrymen that as many
laws as are made, so they will keep none; or, if they be urged to make
answer, they will rather seek some crooked construction of them to the
increase of their private gain than yield themselves to be guided by the
same for a commonwealth and profit to their country. So that in the end,
whatsoever the law saith, we will have our wills, whereby the wholesome
ordinances of the prince are contemned, the travel of the nobility and
councillors (as it were) derided, the commonwealth impoverished, and a few
only enriched by this perverse dealing. Thus many thousand persons do
suffer hindrance by this their lewd behaviour. Hereby the wholesome laws
of the prince are oft defrauded, and the good-meaning magistrate in
consultation about the commonwealth utterly neglected. I would wish that I
might live no longer than to see four things in this land reformed, that
is, the want of discipline in the church, the covetous dealing of most of
our merchants in the preferment of the commodities of other countries and
hindrance of their own, the holding of fairs[194] and markets upon the
Sundays be abolished and referred to the Wednesdays, and that every man in
whatsoever part of the champaign soil enjoyeth forty acres of land and
upwards (after that rate, either by free deed, copyhold, or free farm)
might plant one acre of wood or sow the same with oak mast, hazel, beech,
and sufficient provision be made that it may be cherished and kept. But I
fear me that I should then live too long, and so long that I should either
be weary of the world, or the world of me; and yet they are not such
things but that they may easily be brought to pass.

Certes every small occasion in my time is enough to cut down a great wood,
and every trifle sufficeth to lay infinite acres of ground unto pasture.
As for the taking down of houses, a small fine will bear out a great many.
Would to God we might once take example of the Romans, who, in restraint
of superfluous grazing, made an exact limitation how many head of cattle
each estate might keep, and what number of acres should suffice for that
and other purposes. Neither was wood ever better cherished, or mansion
houses maintained, than by their laws and statutes. Such also was their
care in the maintenance of navigation that it was a great part of the
charge of their consuls yearly to view and look unto the hills whereon
great timber did grow, lest their unnecessary faults for the satisfaction
of the private owner and his covetous mind might prove a prejudice unto
the commonwealth in the hindrance of sufficient stuff for the furniture of
their navy. Certes the like hereof is yet observed in Venice. Read also, I
pray you, what Suetonius writeth of the consulship of Bibulus and Cæsar.
As for the wood that Ancus Martius dedicated toward the maintenance of the
common navy, I pass it over, as having elsewhere remembered it unto
another end. But what do I mean to speak of these, sith my purpose is only
to talk of our own woods? Well, take this then for a final conclusion in
woods, that besides some countries are already driven to sell their wood
by the pound, which is a heavy report, within these forty years we shall
have little great timber growing about forty years old; for it is commonly
seen that those young staddles which we leave standing at one and twenty
years fall are usually at the next sale cut down without any danger of the
statute, and serve for fire bote, if it please the owner to burn them.

Marshes and fenny bogs we have many in England, though not now so many as
some of the old Roman writers do specify, but more in Wales, if you have
respect unto the several quantities of the countries. Howbeit, as they are
very profitable in the summer half of the year, so are a number of them
which lie low and near to great rivers to small commodity in the winter
part, as common experience doth teach. Yet this I find of many moors, that
in times past they have been harder ground, and sundry of them well
replenished with great woods that now are void of bushes. And, for the
example hereof, we may see the trial (beside the roots that are daily
found in the deeps of Monmouth, where turf is digged, also in Wales,
Abergavenny, and Merioneth) in sundry parts of Lancashire, where great
store of fir hath grown in times past, as I said, and the people go unto
this day into their fens and marshes with long spits, which they dash here
and there up to the very cronge into the ground. In which practice (a
thing commonly done in winter), if they happen to smite upon any fir trees
which lie there at their whole lengths, or other blocks, they note the
place, and about harvest time (when the ground is at the driest) they come
again and get them up, and afterward, carrying them home, apply them to
their uses. The like do they in Shropshire with the like, which hath been
felled in old time, within seven miles of Salop. Some of them foolishly
suppose the same to have lien there since Noah's flood: and other, more
fond than the rest, imagine them to grow even in the places where they
find them, without all consideration that in times past the most part, if
not all, Lhoegres and Cambria was generally replenished with wood, which,
being felled or overthrown upon sundry occasions, was left lying in some
places still on the ground, and in process of time became to be quite
overgrown with earth and moulds, which moulds, wanting their due sadness,
are now turned into moory plots. Whereby it cometh to pass also that great
plenty of water cometh between the new loose swart and the old hard earth,
that being drawn away by ditching and drains (a thing soon done, if our
countrymen were painful in that behalf) might soon leave a dry soil to the
great lucre and advantage of the owner. We find in our histories that
Lincoln was sometime builded by Lud, brother to Cassibelan, who called it
Cair Ludcoit, of the great store of woods that environed the same: but now
the commodity is utterly decayed there, so that if Lud were alive again he
would not call it his city in the wood, but rather his town in the plains:
for the wood (as I hear) is wasted altogether about the same. The hills
called the Peak were in like sort named Mennith and Orcoit--that is, the
woody hills and forests. But how much wood is now to be seen in those
places, let him that hath been there testify if he list; for I hear of no
such store there as hath been in time past by those that travel that way.
And thus much of woods and marshes, and as far as I can deal with the



[1577, Book II., Chapter 15; 1587, Book II., Chapter 19.]

In every shire of England there are great plenty of parks, whereof some
here and there, to wit, well near to the number of two hundred, for her
daily provision of that flesh, appertain to the prince, the rest to such
of the nobility and gentlemen as have their lands and patrimonies lying in
or near unto the same. I would gladly have set down the just number of
these enclosures to be found in every county; but, sith I cannot so do, it
shall suffice to say that in Kent and Essex only are to the number of an
hundred, and twenty in the bishopric of Durham, wherein great plenty of
fallow deer is cherished and kept. As for warrens of conies, I judge them
almost innumerable, and daily like to increase, by reason that the black
skins[195] of those beasts are thought to countervail the prices of their
naked carcases, and this is the only cause why the grey are less esteemed.
Near unto London their quickest merchandise is of the young rabbits,
wherefore the older conies[196] are brought from further off, where there
is no such speedy utterance of rabbits and sucklings[197] in their season,
nor so great loss by their skins, sith they are suffered to grow up to
their full greatness with their owners. Our parks are generally enclosed
with strong pales made of oak, of which kind of wood there is great store
cherished in the woodland countries from time to time in each of them
only for the maintenance of the said defence and safe keeping of the
fallow deer from ranging about the country. Howbeit in times past divers
have been fenced in with stone walls, especially in the times of the
Romans, who first brought fallow deer into this land (as some conjecture),
albeit those enclosures were overthrown again by the Saxons and Danes, as
Cavisham, Towner, and Woodstock, beside other in the west country, and one
also at Bolton. Among other things also to be seen in that town there is
one of the fairest clocks in Europe. Where no wood is they are also
enclosed with piles of slate; and thereto it is doubted of many whether
our buck or doe are to be reckoned in wild or tame beasts or not. Pliny
deemeth them to be wild; Martial is also of the same opinion, where he
saith, "_Imbelles damæ quid nisi præda sumus?_" And so in time past the
like controversy was about bees, which the lawyers call _feras_ (_Tit de
acquirendo rerum dominio_, lib. 2 Instit.). But Pliny, attempting to
decide the quarrel, calleth them _medias inter feras et placidas aves_.
But whither am I so suddenly digressed? In returning therefore unto our
parks, I find also the circuit of these enclosures in like manner contain
oftentimes a walk of four or five miles, and sometimes more or less.
Whereby it is to be seen what store of ground is employed upon that vain
commodity, which bringeth no manner of gain or profit to the owner, sith
they commonly give away their flesh, never taking penny for the same,
except the ordinary fee, and parts of the deer given unto the keeper by a
custom, who beside three shillings four pence or five shillings in money,
hath the skin, head, umbles, chine, and shoulders: whereby he that hath
the warrant for a whole buck hath in the end little more than half, which
in my judgment is scarcely equal dealing; for venison in England is
neither bought nor sold, as in other countries, but maintained only for
the pleasure of the owner and his friends. Albeit I heard of late of one
ancient lady which maketh a great gain by selling yearly her husband's
venison[198] to the cooks (as another of no less name will not stick to
ride to the market to see her butter sold), but not performed without
infinite scoffs and mocks, even of the poorest peasants of the country,
who think them as odious matters in ladies and women of such countenance
to sell their venison and their butter as for an earl to feel his oxen,
sheep, and lambs, whether they be ready for the butcher or not, or to sell
his wool unto the clothier, or to keep a tan-house, or deal with such like
affairs as belong not to men of honour, but rather to farmers or graziers;
for which such, if there be any, may well be noted (and not unjustly) to
degenerate from true nobility, and betake themselves to husbandry.[199]
And even the same enormity took place sometimes among the Romans, and
entered as far as into the very senate, of whom some one had two or three
ships going upon the sea, pretending provision for their houses, but in
truth following the trades of merchandise, till a law was made which did
inhibit and restrain them. Livy also telleth of another law which passed
likewise against the senators by Claudius the tribune, and help only of C.
Flaminius, that no senator, or he that had been father to any senator,
should possess any ship or vessel above the capacity of three hundred
amphoras, which was supposed sufficient for the carriage and recarriage of
such necessities as should appertain unto his house, sith further trading
with merchandises and commodities doth declare but a base and covetous
mind (not altogether void of envy that any man should live but he: or
that, if any gain were to be had, he only would have it himself), which is
a wonderful dealing, and must needs prove in time the confusion of that
country wherein such enormities are exercised. Where in times past many
large and wealthy occupiers were dwelling within the compass of some one
park, and thereby great plenty of corn and cattle seen and to be had among
them, beside a more copious procreation of human issue, whereby the realm
was always better furnished with able men to serve the prince in his
affairs, now there is almost nothing kept but a sort of wild and savage
beasts, cherished for pleasure and delight; and yet some owners, still
desirous to enlarge those grounds, as either for the breed and feeding of
cattle, do not let daily to take in more, not sparing the very commons
whereupon many townships now and then do live, affirming that we have
already too great store of people in England, and that youth by marrying
too soon do nothing profit the country, but fill it full of beggars to the
hurt and utter undoing (they say) of the commonwealth.

Certes if it be not a curse of the Lord to have our country converted in
such sort, from the furniture of mankind into the walks and shrouds of
wild beasts, I know not what is any.[200] How many families also these
great and small game (for so most keepers call them) have eaten up and are
likely hereafter to devour, some men may conjecture, but many more lament,
sith there is no hope of restraint to be looked for in this behalf because
the corruption is so general. But, if a man may presently give a guess at
the universality of this evil by contemplation of the circumstance, he
shall say at the last that the twentieth part of the realm is employed
upon deer and conies already, which seemeth very much if it be duly
considered of.

King Henry the Eighth, one of the noblest princes that ever reigned in
this land, lamented oft that he was constrained to hire foreign aid, for
want of competent store of soldiers here at home, perceiving (as it is
indeed) that such supplies are oftentimes more hurtful than profitable
unto those that entertain them, as may chiefly be seen in Valens the
Emperor, our Vortiger, and no small number of others. He would oft marvel
in private talk how that, when seven or eight princes ruled here at once,
one of them could lead thirty or forty thousand men to the field against
another, or two of them 100,000 against the third, and those taken out
only of their own dominions. But as he found the want, so he saw not the
cause of this decay, which grew beside this occasion now mentioned, also
by laying house to house and land to land, whereby many men's occupyings
were converted into one, and the breed of people not a little thereby
diminished. The avarice of landlords, by increasing of rents and fines,
also did so weary the people that they were ready to rebel with him that
would arise, supposing a short end in the wars to be better than a long
and miserable life in peace.

Privileges and faculties also are another great cause of the ruin of a
commonwealth and diminution of mankind: for, whereas law and nature doth
permit all men to live in their best manner, and whatsoever trade they are
exercised in, there cometh some privilege or other in the way which
cutteth them off from this or that trade, whereby they must needs shift
soil and seek unto other countries. By these also the greatest commodities
are brought into the hands of few, who imbase, corrupt, and yet raise the
prices of things at their own pleasures. Example of this last I can give
also in books, which, after the first impression of any one book, are for
the most part very negligently handled:[201] whereas, if another might
print it so well as the first, then would men strive which of them should
do it best; and so it falleth out in all other trades. It is an easy
matter to prove that England was never less furnished with people than at
this present; for, if the old records of every manor be sought (and search
made to find what tenements are fallen either down or into the lord's
hands, or brought and united together by other men), it will soon appear
that, in some one manor, seventeen, eighteen, or twenty houses are shrunk.
I know what I say, by mine own experience. Notwithstanding that some one
cottage be here and there erected of late, which is to little purpose. Of
cities and towns either utterly decayed or more than a quarter or half
diminished, though some one be a little increased here and there, of towns
pulled down for sheep-walks,[202] and no more but the lordships now
standing in them, beside those that William Rufus pulled down in his time,
I could say somewhat; but then I should swerve yet further from my
purpose, whereunto I now return.

We had no parks left in England at the coming of the Normans, who added
this calamity also to the servitude of our nation, making men of the best
sort furthermore to become keepers of their game, whilst they lived in the
meantime upon the spoil of their revenues, and daily overthrew towns,
villages, and an infinite sort of families, for the maintenance of their
venery. Neither was any park supposed in these times to be stately enough
that contained not at the least eight or ten hidelands, that is, so many
hundred acres or families (or, as they have been always called in some
places of the realm, carrucats or cartwares), of which one was sufficient
in old time to maintain an honest yeoman.

King John, travelling on a time northwards, to wit, 1209, to war upon the
King of Scots, because he had married his daughter to the Earl of Bullen
without his consent, in his return overthrew a great number of parks and
warrens, of which some belonged to his barons, but the greatest part to
the abbots and prelates of the clergy. For hearing (as he travelled), by
complaint of the country, how these enclosures were the chief decay of
men, and of tillage in the land, he sware with an oath that he would not
suffer wild beasts to feed upon the fat of his soil, and see the people
perish for want of ability to procure and buy them food that should defend
the realm. Howbeit, this act of his was so ill taken by the religious and
their adherents, that they inverted his intent herein to another end,
affirming, and most slanderously, how he did it rather of purpose to spoil
the corn and grass of the commons and catholics that held against him of
both estates, and by so doing to impoverish and bring the north part of
the realm to destruction because they refused to go with him into
Scotland. If the said prince were alive in these days (wherein Andrew
Boord saith there are more parks in England than in all Europe, over which
he travelled in his own person), and saw how much ground they consume, I
think he would either double his oaths, or lay most of them open, that
tillage might be better looked unto. But this I hope shall not need in
time, for the owners of a great sort of them begin now to smell out that
such parcels might be employed to their more gain, and therefore some of
them do grow to be disparked.

Next of all, we have the frank chase, which taketh something both of park
and forest, and is given either by the king's grant or prescription.
Certes it differeth not much from a park; nay, it is in manner the
selfsame thing that a park is, saving that a park is environed with pale,
wall, or such like, the chase always open and nothing at all enclosed, as
we see in Enfield and Malvern chases. And, as it is the cause of the
seizure of the franchise of a park not to keep the same enclosed, so it is
the like in a chase if at any time it be imparked. It is trespass, and
against the law also, for any man to have or make a chase, park, or free
warren, without good warranty of the king by his charter or perfect title
of prescription; for it is not lawful for any subject either to carnilate,
that is, build stone houses, embattle, have the querk of the sea, or keep
the assize of bread, ale, or wine, or set up furels, tumbrel, thew, or
pillory, or enclose any ground to the aforesaid purposes within his own
soil, without his warrant and grant. The beasts of the chase were commonly
the buck, the roe, the fox, and the martern. But those of venery in old
time were the hart, the hare, the boar, and the wolf; but as this held not
in the time of Canutus, so instead of the wolf the bear has now crept in,
which is a beast commonly hunted in the east countries, and fed upon as
excellent venison, although with us I know not any that feed thereon or
care for it at all. Certes it should seem that forests and frank chases
have always been had, and religiously preserved in this island, for the
solace of the prince and the recreation of his nobility: howbeit I read
not that ever they were enclosed more than at this present, or otherwise
fenced than by usual notes of limitation, whereby their bounds were
remembered from time to time for the better preservation of such venery
and vert of all sorts as were nourished in the same. Neither are any of
the ancient laws prescribed for their maintenance before the days of
Canutus now to be had, sith time hath so dealt with them that they are
perished and lost. Canutus therefore, seeing the daily spoil that was
made almost in all places of his game, did at the last make sundry
sanctions and decrees, whereby from thenceforth the red and fallow deer
were better looked to throughout his whole dominions. We have in these
days divers forests in England and Wales, of which some belong to the
king, and some to his subjects, as Waltham Forest, Windsor, Pickering,
Fecknam, Delamore, Gillingham, Kingswood, Wencedale, Clun, Rath, Bredon,
Weir, Charlie, Leicester, Lee, Rockingham, Selwood, New Forest, Wichwood,
Hatfield, Savernake, Westbury, Blacamore Peak, Dean, Penrise, and many
others now clean out of my remembrance; and which, although they are far
greater in circuit than many parks and warrens, yet are they in this our
time less devourers of the people than these latter, sith, beside, much
tillage and many towns are found in each of them, whereas in parks and
warrens we have nothing else than either the keeper's and warrener's
lodge, or, at least, the manor place of the chief lord and owner of the
soil. I find also, by good record, that all Essex hath in time past wholly
been forest ground, except one cantred or hundred; but how long it is
since it lost the said denomination, in good sooth I do not read. This
nevertheless remaineth yet in memory, that the town of Walden in Essex,
standing in the limits of the aforesaid county, doth take her name
thereof. For in the Keltic tongue, wherewith the Saxon or Scythian speech
doth not a little participate, huge woods and forests were called _walds_,
and likewise their Druids were named _walie_ or _waldie_, because they
frequented the woods, and there made sacrifice among the oaks and
thickets. So that, if my conjecture in this behalf be anything at all, the
aforesaid town taketh denomination of _Wald_ and _end_, as if I should
say, "The end of the woody soil;" for, being once out of that parish, the
champaign is at hand. Or it may be that it is so called of _Wald_ and
_dene_: for I have read it written in old evidences Waldæne, with a
diphthong. And to say truth, _dene_ is the old Saxon word for a vale or
low bottom, as _dune_ or _don_ is for a hill or hilly soil. Certes, if it
be so, then Walden taketh her name of the woody vale, in which it sometime
stood. But the first derivation liketh me better; and the highest part of
the town is called also Chipping-Walden, of the Saxon word _Zipping_,
which signifies "Leaning or hanging," and may very well be applied
thereunto, sith the whole town hangeth as it were upon the sides of two
hills, whereof the lesser runneth quite through the midst of the same. I
might here, for further confirmation of these things, bring in mention of
the Wald of Kent; but this may suffice for the use of the word _wald_,
which now differeth much from _wold_. For as that signifieth a woody soil,
so this betokeneth a soil without wood, or plain champaign country,
without any store of trees, as may be seen in Cotswold, Porkwold, etc.
Beside this I could say more of our forests, and the aforesaid enclosures
also, and therein to prove by the book of forest law that the whole county
of Lancaster hath likewise been forest heretofore. Also how William the
Bastard made a law that whosoever did take any wild beast within the
forest should lose an ear (as Henry the First did punish them either by
life or limb, which ordinance was confirmed by Henry the Second and his
peers at Woodstock, whereupon great trouble rose under King John and Henry
the Third, as appeareth by the chronicles); but it shall suffice to have
said so much as is set down already.[203]



[1577, Book II., Chapter 9; 1587, Book II., Chapter 15.]

It lieth not in me to set down exactly the number and names of the palaces
belonging to the prince, nor to make any description of her grace's court,
sith my calling is, and hath been such, as that I have scarcely presumed
to peep in at her gates; much less then have I adventured to search out
and know the estate of those houses, and what magnificent behaviour is to
be seen within them. Yet thus much will I say generally of all the houses
and honours pertaining to her majesty, that they are builded either of
square stone or brick, or else of both. And thereunto, although their
capacity and hugeness be not so monstrous as the like of divers foreign
princes are to be seen in the main and new found nations of the world, yet
are they so curious, neat, and commodious as any of them, both for
convenience of offices and lodgings and excellence of situation, which is
not the least thing to be considered of in building. Those that were
builded before the time of King Henry the Eighth retain to these days the
shew and image of the ancient kind of workmanship used in this land; but
such as he erected after his own device (for he was nothing inferior in
this trade to Adrian the emperor and Justician the law-giver) do represent
another manner of pattern, which, as they are supposed to excel all the
rest that he found standing in this realm, so they are and shall be a
perpetual precedent unto those that do come after to follow in their works
and buildings of importance. Certes masonry did never better flourish in
England than in his time. And albeit that in these days there be many
goodly houses erected in the sundry quarters of this island, yet they are
rather curious to the eye like paper work than substantial for
continuance: whereas such as he did set up excels in both, and therefore
may justly be preferred far above all the rest. The names of those which
come now to my remembrance and are as yet reserved to her majesty's only
use at pleasure are these: for of such as are given away I speak not,
neither of those that are utterly decayed (as Baynard's castle in London,
builded in the days of the Conqueror by a noble man called William
Baynard, whose wife Inga builded the priory of little Dunmow in the days
of Henry the First), neither of the tower royal there also, etc., sith I
see no cause wherefore I should remember them and many of the like, of
whose very ruins I have no certain knowledge. Of such (I say therefore) as
I erst mentioned, we have, first of all, Whitehall, at the west end of
London (which is taken for the most large and principal of all the rest),
was first a lodging of the archbishops of York, then pulled down, begun by
Cardinal Wolsey, and finally enlarged and finished by King Henry the
Eighth. By east of this standeth Durham Place, sometime belonging to the
bishops of Durham, but converted also by King Henry the Eighth into a
palace royal and lodging for the prince. Of Somerset Place I speak not,
yet if the first beginner thereof (I mean the Lord Edward, the learned and
godly duke of Somerset) had lived, I doubt not but it should have been
well finished and brought to a sumptuous end; but as untimely death took
him from that house and from us all, so it proved the stay of such
proceeding as was intended about it. Whereby it cometh to pass that it
standeth as he left it. Neither will I remember the Tower of London, which
is rather an armoury and house of munition, and thereunto a place for the
safe keeping of offenders, than a palace royal for a king or queen to
sojourn in. Yet in times past I find that Belliny held his abode there,
and thereunto extended the site of his palace in such wise that it
stretched over the Broken Wharf, and came further into the city, insomuch
that it approached near to Billingsgate; and, as it is thought, some of
the ruins of his house are yet extant, howbeit patched up and made
warehouses in that tract of ground in our times. St. James's, sometime a
nunnery, was builded also by the same prince. Her grace hath also Oteland,
Ashridge, Hatfield, Havering, Enfield, Eltham, Langley, Richmond (builded
by Henry the First), Hampton Court (begun sometime by Cardinal Wolsey, and
finished by her father), and thereunto Woodstock, erected by King Henry
the First, in which the queen's majesty delighteth greatly to sojourn,
notwithstanding that in time past it was the place of a parcel of her
captivity, when it pleased God to try her by affliction and calamity.

For strength, Windlesor or Windsor is supposed to be the chief, a castle
builded in time past by King Arthur, or before him by Arviragus, as it is
thought, and repaired by Edward the Third, who erected also a notable
college there. After him, divers of his successors have bestowed exceeding
charges upon the same, which notwithstanding are far surmounted by the
queen's majesty now living, who hath appointed huge sums of money to be
employed upon the ornature and alteration of the mould, according to the
form of building used in our days, which is more for pleasure than for
either profit or safeguard. Such also hath been the estimation of this
place that divers kings have not only been interred there, but also made
it the chief house of assembly and creation of the knights of the
honourable Order of the Garter, than the which there is nothing in this
land more magnificent and stately.

Greenwich was first builded by Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, upon the
Thames side, four miles east from London, in the time of Henry the Sixth,
and called Pleasance. Afterwards it was greatly enlarged by King Edward
IV., garnished by King Henry VII., and finally made perfect by King Henry
VIII., the only Phoenix of his time for fine and curious masonry.

Not far from this is Dartford, and not much distant also from the south
side of the said stream, sometime a nunnery builded by Edward the Third,
but now a very commodious palace, whereunto it was also converted by King
Henry the Eighth. Eltham (as I take it) was builded by King Henry the
Third, if not before. There are besides these, moreover, divers others.
But what shall I need to take upon me to repeat all, and tell what houses
the queen's majesty hath? Sith all is hers: and, when it pleaseth her in
the summer season to recreate herself abroad, and view the estate of the
country, and hear the complaints of her poor commons injured by her unjust
officers or their substitutes, every noble man's house is her palace,
where she continueth during pleasure, and till she return again to some of
her own, in which she remaineth so long as pleaseth her.

The Court of England, which necessarily is holden always where the prince
lieth, is in these days one of the most renowned and magnificent
courts[204] that are to be found in Europe. For, whether you regard the
rich and infinite furniture of household, order of officers, or the
entertainment of such strangers as daily resort unto the same, you shall
not find many equal thereunto, much less one excelling it in any manner of
wise. I might here (if I would, or had sufficient disposition of matter
conceived of the same) make a large discourse of such honourable ports, of
such grave councillors, and noble personages, as give their daily
attendance upon the queen's majesty there. I could in like sort set forth
a singular commendation of the virtuous beauty or beautiful virtues of
such ladies and gentlewomen as wait upon her person, between whose amiable
countenances and costliness of attire there seemeth to be such a daily
conflict and contention as that it is very difficult for me to guess
whether of the twain shall bear away the pre-eminence. This further is not
to be omitted, to the singular commendation of both sorts and sexes of our
courtiers here in England, that there are very few of them which have not
the use and skill of sundry speeches, besides an excellent vein of writing
beforetime not regarded. Would to God the rest of their lives and
conversations were correspondent to these gifts! For as our common
courtiers (for the most part) are the best learned and endued with
excellent gifts, so are many of them the worst men when they come abroad
that any man shall either hear or read of. Truly it is a rare thing with
us now to hear of a courtier which hath but his own language. And to say
how many gentlewomen and ladies there are that besides sound knowledge of
the Greek and Latin tongues are thereto no less skilful in the Spanish,
Italian, and French, or in some one of them, it resteth not in me, sith I
am persuaded that, as the noblemen and gentlemen do surmount in this
behalf, so these come very little or nothing at all behind them for their
parts: which industry God continue, and accomplish that which otherwise is

Besides these things, I could in like sort set down the ways and means
whereby our ancient ladies of the court do shun and avoid idleness, some
of them exercising their fingers with the needle, others in caulwork,
divers in spinning of silk, some in continual reading either of the Holy
Scriptures, or histories of our own or foreign nations about us, and
divers in writing volumes of their own, or translating of other men's into
our English and Latin tongue,[205] whilst the youngest sort in the
meantime apply their lutes, citherns, pricksong, and all kind of music,
which they use only for recreation's sake when they have leisure, and are
free from attendance upon the queen's majesty or such as they belong unto.
How many of the eldest sort also are skilful in surgery and distillation
of waters, besides sundry other artificial practices pertaining to the
ornature and commendations of their bodies, I might (if I listed to deal
further in this behalf) easily declare; but I pass over such manner of
dealing, lest I should seem to glaver and curry favour with some of them.
Nevertheless this I will generally say of them all, that as each of them
are cunning in something whereby they keep themselves occupied in the
court, so there is in manner none of them but when they be at home can
help to supply the ordinary want of the kitchen with a number of delicate
dishes of their own devising, wherein the Portuguese is their chief
counsellor, as some of them are most commonly with the clerk of the
kitchen, who useth (by a trick taken up of late) to give in a brief
rehearsal of such and so many dishes as are to come in at every course
throughout the whole service in the dinner or supper while, which bill
some do call a memorial, others a billet, but some a fillet, because such
are commonly hanged on the file and kept by the lady or gentlewoman unto
some other purpose. But whither am I digressed?

I might finally describe the large allowances in offices and yearly
liveries, and thereunto the great plenty of gold and silver plate, the
several pieces whereof are commonly so great and massive, and the quantity
thereof so abundantly serving all the household, that (as I suppose)
Cinyras, Croesus, and Crassus had not the like furniture; nay, if Midas
were now living and once again put to his choice, I think he could ask no
more, or rather not half so much as is there to be seen and used. But I
pass over to make such needless discourses, resolving myself that even in
this also, as in all the rest, the exceeding mercy and loving kindness of
God doth wonderfully appear towards us, in that he hath so largely endued
us with these his so ample benefits.

In some great princes' courts beyond the seas, and which even for that
cause are likened unto hell by divers learned writers that have spent a
great part of their time in them, as Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, one (for
example) who in his epistle _Ad aulicum quendam_, saith thus--

     "_An non in inferno es amice, qui es in aula, ubi dæmonum habitatio
     est, qui illic suis artibus humana licet effigie regnant, atque ubi
     scelerum schola est, et animarum jactura ingens, ac quicquid uspiam
     est perfidæ ac doli, quicquid crudelitatis et inclementiæ quicquid
     effrænatæ superbiæ et rapacis avariciæ quicquid obscenæ libidinis,
     fædissimæ impudicitiæ, quicquid nefandæ impietatis et norum
     pessimorum, totum illic acervatur cumulatissime ubi strupra, raptus,
     incestus, adulteria, principum et nobilium ludi sunt ubi fastus et
     tumor, ira, livor, foedaque cupido cum sociis suis imperavit, ubi,
     criminum omnium procellæ virtutumque omnium inenarrabile
     naufragium_," etc.

In such great princes' courts (I say) it is a world to see what lewd
behaviour is used among divers of those that resort unto the same, and
what whoredom, swearing, ribaldry, atheism, dicing, carding, carousing,
drunkenness, gluttony, quarrelling, and such like inconveniences do daily
take hold, and sometimes even among those in whose estates the like
behaviour is least convenient (whereby their talk is verified, which say
that the thing increaseth and groweth in the courts of princes, saving
virtue, which in such places doth languish and daily fade away), all which
enormities are either utterly expelled out of the court of England or else
so qualified by the diligent endeavour of the chief officers of her
grace's household that seldom are any of these things apparently seen
there without due reprehension and such severe correction as belongeth to
those trespassers. Finally, to avoid idleness, and prevent sundry
transgressions otherwise likely to be committed and done, such order is
taken that every office hath either a Bible, or the books of the Acts and
Monuments of the Church of England, or both, besides some histories and
chronicles lying therein, for the exercise of such as come into the same:
whereby the stranger that entereth into the court of England upon the
sudden shall rather imagine himself to come into some public school of the
universities, where many give ear to one that readeth, than into a
princes' palace, if you confer the same with those of other nations. Would
to God all honourable personages would take example of her grace's godly
dealing in this behalf, and shew their conformity unto these her so good
beginnings! Which, if they would, then should many grievous offences
(wherewith God is highly displeased) be cut off and restrained, which now
do reign exceedingly, in most noble and gentlemen's houses, whereof they
see no pattern within her grace's gates.

I might speak here of the great trains and troops of serving men also
which attend upon the nobility of England in their several liveries and
with differences of cognisances on their sleeves, whereby it is known to
whom they appertain. I could also set down what a goodly sight it is to
see them muster in the court, which, being filled with them, doth yield
the contemplation of a noble variety unto the beholder, much like to the
shew of the peacock's tail in the full beauty, or of some meadow garnished
with infinite kinds and diversities of pleasant flowers.[206] But I pass
over the rehearsal hereof to other men, who more delight in vain
amplification than I, and seek to be more curious in these points than I
profess to be.[207]



[1577, Book II., Chapter 12; 1587, Book II., Chapter 16.]

How well or how strongly our country hath been furnished in times past
with armour and artillery it lieth not in me as of myself to make
rehearsal. Yet that it lacketh both in the late time of Queen Mary, not
only the experience of mine elders, but also the talk of certain Spaniards
not yet forgotten, did leave some manifest notice. Upon the first I need
not stand, for few will deny it. For the second, I have heard that when
one of the greatest peers of Spain espied our nakedness in this behalf,
and did solemnly utter in no obscure place that "it should be an easy
matter in short time to conquer England, because it wanted armour," his
words were then not so rashly uttered as they were politically noted. For,
albeit that for the present time their efficacy was dissembled and
semblance made as though he spake but merrily, yet at the very entrance of
this our gracious queen unto the possession of the crown they were so
providently called to remembrance, and such speedy reformation sought of
all hands for the redress of this inconvenience, that our country was
sooner furnished with armour and munition, from divers parts of the main
(beside great plenty that was forged here at home), than our enemies could
get understanding of any such provision to be made. By this policy also
was the no small hope conceived by Spaniards utterly cut off, who, of open
friends being now become our secret enemies, and thereto watching a time
wherein to achieve some heavy exploit against us and our country, did
thereupon change their purposes, whereby England obtained rest, that
otherwise might have been sure of sharp and cruel wars. Thus a Spanish
word uttered by one man at one time overthrew, or at the leastwise
hindered, sundry privy practices of many at another. In times past the
chief force of England consisted in their long bows.[208] But now we have
in manner generally given over that kind of artillery, and for long bows
indeed do practise to shoot compass for our pastime: which kind of
shooting can never yield any smart stroke, nor beat down our enemies, as
our countrymen were wont to do at every time of need. Certes the Frenchmen
and Rutters, deriding our new archery in respect of their corslets, will
not let, in open skirmish, if any leisure serve, to turn up their tails
and cry: "Shoot, English!" and all because our strong shooting is decayed
and laid in bed. But, if some of our Englishmen now lived that served King
Edward the Third in his wars with France, the breech of such a varlet
should have been nailed to his bum with one arrow, and another feathered
in his bowels before he should have turned about to see who shot the
first. But, as our shooting is thus in manner utterly decayed among us one
way, so our countrymen wax skilful in sundry other points, as in shooting
in small pieces, the caliver, the handling of the pike, in the several
uses whereof they are become very expert.

Our armour differeth not from that of other nations, and therefore
consisteth of corslets, almaine rivets, shirts of mail, jacks quilted and
covered over with leather, fustian, or canvas, over thick plates of iron
that are sewed in the same, and of which there is no town or village that
hath not her convenient furniture. The said armour and munition likewise
is kept in one several place of every town, appointed by the consent of
the whole parish, where it is always ready to be had and worn within an
hour's warning. Sometimes also it is occupied when it pleaseth the
magistrate either to view the able men, and take note of the well-keeping
of the same, or finally to see those that are enrolled to exercise each
one his several weapon, at the charge of the townsmen of each parish,
according to his appointment. Certes there is almost no village so poor in
England (be it never so small) that hath not sufficient furniture in a
readiness to set forth three or four soldiers, as one archer, one gunner,
one pike, and a billman at the least. No, there is not so much wanting as
their very liveries and caps, which are least to be accounted of, if any
haste required: so that, if this good order may continue, it shall be
impossible for the sudden enemy to find us unprovided. As for able men for
service, thanked be God! we are not without good store; for, by the
musters taken 1574 and 1575, our number amounted to 1,172,674, and yet
were they not so narrowly taken but that a third part of this like
multitude was left unbilled and uncalled. What store of munition and
armour the queen's majesty had in her storehouses it lieth not in me to
yield account, sith I suppose the same to be infinite. And whereas it was
commonly said after the loss of Calais that England should never recover
the store of ordinance there left and lost, that same is at this time
proved false, sith even some of the same persons do now confess that this
land was never better furnished with these things in any king's days that
reigned since the Conquest.

The names of our greatest ordnance are commonly these: _Brobonet_, whose
weight is two hundred pounds, and it hath one inch and a quarter within
the mouth; _Falconet_, weigheth five hundred pounds, and his wideness is
two inches within the mouth; _Falcon_, hath eight hundred pounds, and two
inches and a half within the mouth; _Minion_, poiseth eleven hundred
pounds, and hath three inches and a quarter within the mouth; _Sacre_,
hath fifteen hundred pounds, and is three inches and a half wide in the
mouth; _Demi-Culverin_, weigheth three thousand pounds, and hath four
inches and a half within the mouth; _Culverin_, hath four thousand pounds,
and five inches and a half within the mouth; _Demi-Cannon_, six thousand
pounds, and six inches and a half within the mouth; _Cannon_, seven
thousand pounds, and seven inches within the mouth; _E. Cannon_, eight
thousand pounds, and seven inches within the mouth; _Basilisk_, nine
thousand pounds, eight inches and three-quarters within the mouth. By
which proportions also it is easy to come by the weight of every shot, how
many scores it doth flee at point-blank, and how much powder is to be had
to the same, and finally how many inches in height each bullet ought to

   The names of the | Weight of | Scores of| Pounds of| Height of
  greatest ordnance.| the shot. | carriage.| powder.  | bullet.
  Robinet           |  1 lb.    |    0     |   0-1/2  | 1
  Falconet          |  2 lb.    |   14     |   2      | 1-1/4
  Falcon            |  2-1/2 lb.|   16     |   2-1/2  | 2-1/4
  Minion            |  4-1/2 lb.|   17     |   4-1/2  | 3
  Sacre             |  5 lb.    |   18     |   5      | 3-1/4
  Demi-Culverin     |  9 lb.    |   20     |   9      | 4
  Culverin          | 18 lb.    |   25     |  18      | 5-1/4
  Demi-Cannon       | 30 lb.    |   38     |  28      | 6-3/4
  Cannon            | 60 lb.    |   20     |  44      | 7-3/4
  E. Cannon         | 42 lb.    |   20     |  20      | 6-3/4
  Basilisk          | 60 lb.    |   21     |  60      | 8-1/4

I might here take just occasion to speak of the prince's armories. But
what shall it need? sith the whole realm is her armory, and therefore her
furniture infinite. The Turk had one gun made by one Orban, a Dane, the
caster of his ordnance, which could not be drawn to the siege of
Constantinople but by seventy yoke of oxen and two thousand men; he had
two other there also whose shot poised above two talents in weight, made
by the same Orban. But to proceed. As for the armories of some of the
nobility (whereof I also have seen a part), they are so well furnished
that within some one baron's custody I have seen three score or a hundred
corslets at once, besides calivers, hand-guns, bows, sheaves of arrows,
pikes, bills, poleaxes, flasks, touchboxes, targets, etc., the very sight
whereof appalled my courage. What would the wearing of some of them do
then (trow you) if I should be enforced to use one of them in the field?
But thanked be God! our peaceable days are such as no man hath any great
cause to occupy them at all, but only taketh good leisure to have them in
a readiness, and therefore both high and low in England.[209]

     "_Cymbala pro galeis pro scutis tympana pulsant._"

I would write here also of our manner of going to the wars, but what hath
the long black gown to do with glittering armour? what sound acquaintance
can there be betwixt Mars and the Muses? or how should a man write
anything to the purpose of that wherewith he is nothing acquainted? This
nevertheless will I add of things at home, that seldom shall you see any
of my countrymen above eighteen or twenty years old to go without a dagger
at the least at his back or by his side, although they be aged burgesses
or magistrates of any city who in appearance are most exempt from brabling
and contention. Our nobility wear commonly swords or rapiers with their
daggers, as doth every common serving-man also that followeth his lord and
master. Some desperate cutters we have in like sort, which carry two
daggers or two rapiers in a sheath always about them, wherewith in every
drunken fray they are known to work much mischief. Their swords and
daggers also are of a great length, and longer than the like used in any
other country, whereby each one pretendeth to have the more advantage of
his enemy. But as many orders have been taken for the intolerable length
of these weapons, so I see as yet small redress; but where the cause
thereof doth rest, in sooth for my part, I wot not. I might here speak of
the excessive staves which divers that travel by the way do carry upon
their shoulders, whereof some are twelve or thirteen foot long, beside the
pike of twelve inches; but, as they are commonly suspected of honest men
to be thieves and robbers, or at the leastwise scarce true men which bear
them, so by reason of this and the like suspicious weapons the honest
traveller is now forced to ride with a case of dags at his saddlebow, or
with some pretty short snapper, whereby he may deal with them further off
in his own self-defence before he come within the danger of these weapons.
Finally, no man travelleth by the way without his sword, or some such
weapon, with us, except the minister, who commonly weareth none at all,
unless it be a dagger or hanger at his side. Seldom also are they or any
other wayfaring men robbed, without the consent of the chamberlain,
tapster, or ostler where they bait and lie, who feeling at their alighting
whether their capcases or budgets be of any weight or not, by taking them
down from their saddles, or otherwise see their store in drawing of their
purses, do by-and-by give intimation to some one or other attendant daily
in the yard or house, or dwelling hard by, upon such matches, whether the
prey be worth the following or no. If it be for their turn, then the
gentleman peradventure is asked which way he travelleth, and whether it
please him to have another guest to bear him company at supper, who rideth
the same way in the morning that he doth, or not. And thus if he admit
him, or be glad of his acquaintance, the cheat is half wrought. And often
it is seen that the new guest shall be robbed with the old, only to colour
out the matter and keep him from suspicion. Sometimes, when they know
which way the passenger travelleth, they will either go before and lie in
wait for him, or else come galloping apace after, whereby they will be
sure, if he ride not the stronger, to be fingering with his purse. And
these are some of the policies of such shrews or close-booted gentlemen as
lie in wait for fat booties by the highways, and which are most commonly
practised in the winter season, about the feast of Christmas, when
serving-men and unthrifty gentlemen want money to play at the dice and
cards, lewdly spending in such wise whatsoever they have wickedly gotten,
till some of them sharply set upon their chevisances, be trussed up in a
Tyburn tippet, which happeneth unto them commonly before they come to
middle age. Whereby it appeareth that some sort of youth will oft have his
swing, although it be in a halter.[210]



[1577, Book II., Chapter 13; 1587, Book II., Chapter 17.]

There is nothing that hath brought me into more admiration of the power
and force of antiquity than their diligence and care had of their navies:
wherein, whether I consider their speedy building, or great number of
ships which some one kingdom or region possessed at one instant, it giveth
me still occasion either to suspect the history, or to think that in our
times we come very far behind them.[211]

       *       *       *       *       *

I must needs confess therefore that the ancient vessels far exceeded ours
for capacity, nevertheless if you regard the form, and the assurance from
peril of the sea, and therewithal the strength and nimbleness of such as
are made in our time, you shall easily find that ours are of more value
than theirs: for as the greatest vessel is not always the fastest, so that
of most huge capacity is not always the aptest to shift and brook the
seas: as might be seen by the _Great Henry_,[212] the hugest vessel that
ever England framed in our times. Neither were the ships of old like unto
ours in mould and manner of building above the water (for of low galleys
in our seas we make small account) nor so full of ease within, since time
hath engendered more skill in the wrights, and brought all things to more
perfection than they had in the beginning. And now to come unto our
purpose at the first intended.

The navy of England may be divided into three sorts, of which the one
serveth for the wars, the other for burden, and the third for fishermen
which get their living by fishing on the sea. How many of the first order
are maintained within the realm it passeth my cunning to express; yet,
since it may be parted into the navy royal and common fleet, I think good
to speak of those that belong unto the prince, and so much the rather, for
that their number is certain and well known to very many. Certainly there
is no prince in Europe that hath a more beautiful or gallant sort of ships
than the queen's majesty of England at this present, and those generally
are of such exceeding force that two of them, being well appointed and
furnished as they ought, will not let to encounter with three or four of
those of other countries, and either bowge them or put them to flight, if
they may not bring them home.[213]

Neither are the moulds of any foreign barks so conveniently made, to brook
so well one sea as another lying upon the shore of any part of the
continent, as those of England. And therefore the common report that
strangers make of our ships amongst themselves is daily confirmed to be
true, which is, that for strength, assurance, nimbleness, and swiftness of
sailing, there are no vessels in the world to be compared with ours. And
all these are committed to the regiment and safe custody of the admiral,
who is so called (as some imagine) of the Greek word _almiras_, a captain
on the sea; for so saith Zonaras in _Basilio Macedone_ and _Basilio
Porphyriogenito_, though others fetch it from _ad mare_, the Latin words,
another sort from _Amyras_, the Saracen magistrate, or from some French
derivation: but these things are not for this place, and therefore I pass
them over. The queen's highness hath at this present (which is the
four-and-twentieth of her reign) already made and furnished, to the number
of four or five-and-twenty great ships, which lie for the most part in
Gillingham Road, beside three galleys, of whose particular names and
furniture (so far forth as I can come by them) it shall not be amiss to
make report at this time.[214]

_The names of so many ships belonging to her majesty as I could come by at
this present._

  The Bonadventure.       Foresight.
  Elizabeth Jonas.[215]   Swift sute.
  White Bear.             Aid.
  Philip and Mary.        Handmaid.
  Triumph.                Dreadnought.
  Bull.                   Swallow.
  Tiger.[216]             Genet.
  Antelope.               Bark of Bullen.
  Hope.                   Achates.
  Lion.                   Falcon.
  Victory.                George.
  Mary Rose.              Revenge.[217]

It is said that as kings and princes have in the young days of the world,
and long since, framed themselves to erect every year a city in some one
place or other of their kingdom (and no small wonder that Sardanapalus
should begin and finish two, to wit, Anchialus and Tarsus, in one day), so
her grace doth yearly build one ship or other to the better defence of her
frontiers from the enemy. But, as of this report I have no assured
certainty, so it shall suffice to have said so much of these things; yet
this I think worthy further to be added, that if they should all be driven
to service at one instant (which God forbid) she should have a power by
sea of about nine or ten thousand men, which were a notable company,
beside the supply of other vessels appertaining to her subjects to furnish
up her voyage.

Beside these, her grace hath other in hand also, of whom hereafter, as
their turns do come about, I will not let to leave some further
remembrance. She hath likewise three notable galleys: the Speedwell, the
Try Right, and the Black Galley, with the sight whereof, and the rest of
the navy royal, it is incredible to say how greatly her grace is
delighted: and not without great cause (I say) since by their means her
coasts are kept in quiet, and sundry foreign enemies put back, which
otherwise would invade us.[218] The number of those that serve for burden
with the other, whereof I have made mention already and whose use is daily
seen, as occasion serveth in time of the wars, is to me utterly unknown.
Yet if the report of one record be anything at all to be credited, there
are one hundred and thirty-five ships that exceed five hundred ton;
topmen, under one hundred and above forty, six hundred and fifty-six;
hoys, one hundred; but of hulks, catches, fisherboats, and crayers, it
lieth not in me to deliver the just account, since they are hard to come
by. Of these also there are some of the queen's majesty's subjects that
have two or three; some, four or six; and (as I heard of late) one man,
whose name I suppress for modesty's sake, hath been known not long since
to have had sixteen or seventeen, and employed them wholly to the wafting
in and out of our merchants, whereby he hath reaped no small commodity and
gain. I might take occasion to tell of the notable and difficult voyages
made into strange countries by Englishmen, and of their daily success
there;[219] but as these things are nothing incident to my purpose, so I
surcease to speak of them. Only this will I add, to the end all men shall
understand somewhat of the great masses of treasure daily employed upon
our navy, how there are few of those ships, of the first and second sort,
that, being apparelled and made ready to sail, are not worth one thousand
pounds, or three thousand ducats at the least, if they should presently be
sold. What shall we think then of the greater, but especially of the navy
royal, of which some one vessel is worth two of the other, as the
shipwrights have often told me? It is possible that some covetous person,
hearing this report, will either not credit it at all, or suppose money so
employed to be nothing profitable to the queen's coffers: as a good
husband said once when he heard there should be a provision made for
armour, wishing the queen's money to be rather laid out to some speedier
return of gain unto her grace, "because the realm (saith he) is in case
good enough," and so peradventure he thought. But if, as by store of
armour for the defence of the country, he had likewise understanded that
the good keeping of the sea is the safeguard of our land, he would have
altered his censure, and soon given over his judgment. For in times past,
when our nation made small account of navigation, how soon did the Romans,
then the Saxons, and last of all the Danes, invade this island? whose
cruelty in the end enforced our countrymen, as it were even against their
wills, to provide for ships from other places, and build at home of their
own, whereby their enemies were oftentimes distressed. But most of all
were the Normans therein to be commended. For, in a short process of time
after the conquest of this island, and good consideration had for the
well-keeping of the same, they supposed nothing more commodious for the
defence of the country than the maintenance of a strong navy, which they
speedily provided, maintained, and thereby reaped in the end their wished
security, wherewith before their times this island was never acquainted.
Before the coming of the Romans I do not read that we had any ships at
all, except a few made of wicker and covered with buffalo hides, like unto
which there are some to be seen at this present in Scotland (as I hear),
although there be a little (I wot not well what) difference between them.
Of the same also Solinus speaketh, so far as I remember: nevertheless it
may be gathered from his words how the upper parts of them above the water
only were framed of the said wickers, and that the Britons did use to fast
all the whiles they went to the sea in them; but whether it were done for
policy or superstition, as yet I do not read.

In the beginning of the Saxons' regiment we had some ships also; but as
their number and mould was little, and nothing to the purpose, so Egbert
was the first prince that ever thoroughly began to know this necessity of
a navy and use the service thereof in the defence of his country. After
him also other princes, as Alfred, Edgar, Ethelred, etc., endeavoured more
and more to store themselves at the full with ships of all quantities, but
chiefly Edgar, for he provided a navy of 1600 _aliàs_ 3600 sail, which he
divided into four parts, and sent them to abide upon four sundry coasts of
the land, to keep the same from pirates. Next unto him (and worthy to be
remembered) is Etheldred, who made a law that every man that hold 310
hidelands should find a ship furnished to serve him in the wars. Howbeit,
as I said before, when all their navy was at the greatest, it was not
comparable for force and sure building to that which afterward the Normans
provided, neither that of the Normans anything like to the same that is to
be seen now in these our days. For the journeys also of our ships, you
shall understand that a well-builded vessel will run or sail commonly
three hundred leagues or nine hundred miles in a week, or peradventure
some will go 2200 leagues in six weeks and a half. And surely, if their
lading be ready against they come thither, there be of them that will be
here, at the West Indies, and home again in twelve or thirteen weeks from
Colchester, although the said Indies be eight hundred leagues from the
cape or point of Cornwall, as I have been informed. This also I understand
by report of some travellers, that, if any of our vessels happen to make a
voyage to Hispaniola or New Spain (called in time past Quinquegia and
Haiti), which lieth between the north tropic and the Equator, after they
have once touched at the Canaries (which are eight days' sailing or two
hundred and fifty leagues from St. Lucas de Barameda, in Spain) they will
be there in thirty or forty days, and home again in Cornwall in other
eight weeks, which is a goodly matter, beside the safety and quietness in
the passage, but more of this elsewhere.



[1577, Book III., Chapter 6; 1587, Book II., Chapter 11.]

In cases of felony, manslaughter, robbery, murder, rape, piracy, and such
capital crimes as are not reputed for treason or hurt of the estate, our
sentence pronounced upon the offender is, to hang till he be dead. For of
other punishments used in other countries we have no knowledge or use; and
yet so few grievous crimes committed with us as elsewhere in the world. To
use torment also or question by pain and torture in these common cases
with us is greatly abhorred, since we are found always to be such as
despise death, and yet abhor to be tormented, choosing rather frankly to
open our minds than to yield our bodies unto such servile haulings and
tearings as are used in other countries. And this is one cause wherefore
our condemned persons do go so cheerfully to their deaths; for our nation
is free, stout, haughty, prodigal of life and blood, as Sir Thomas Smith
saith, lib. 2, cap. 25, _De Republica_,[220] and therefore cannot in any
wise digest to be used as villains and slaves, in suffering continually
beating, servitude, and servile torments.[221] No, our gaolers are guilty
of felony, by an old law of the land, if they torment any prisoner
committed to their custody for the revealing of his accomplices.

The greatest and most grievous punishment used in England for such as
offend against the State is drawing from the prison to the place of
execution upon an hurdle or sled, where they are hanged till they be half
dead, and then taken down, and quartered alive; after that, their members
and bowels are cut from their bodies, and thrown into a fire,[222]
provided near hand and within their own sight, even for the same purpose.

Sometimes, if the trespass be not the more heinous, they are suffered to
hang till they be quite dead. And whensoever any of the nobility are
convicted of high treason by their peers, that is to say, equals (for an
inquest of yeomen passeth not upon them, but only of the lords of
parliament), this manner of their death is converted into the loss of
their heads only, notwithstanding that the sentence do run after the
former order. In trial of cases concerning treason, felony, or any other
grievous crime not confessed, the party accused doth yield, if he be a
noble man, to be tried by an inquest (as I have said) and his peers; if a
gentleman, by gentlemen; and an inferior, by God and by the country, to
wit, the yeomanry (for combat or battle is not greatly in use), and, being
condemned of felony, manslaughter, etc., he is eftsoons hanged by the neck
till he be dead, and then cut down and buried. But if he be convicted of
wilful murder, done either upon pretended malice or in any notable
robbery, he is either hanged alive in chains near the place where the fact
was committed (or else upon compassion taken, first strangled with a
rope), and so continueth till his bones consume to nothing. We have use
neither of the wheel nor of the bar, as in other countries; but, when
wilful manslaughter is perpetrated, beside hanging, the offender hath his
right hand commonly stricken off before or near unto the place where the
act was done, after which he is led forth to the place of execution, and
there put to death according to the law.

The word felon is derived of the Saxon words _fell_ and _one_, that is to
say, an evil and wicked one, a one of untameable nature and lewdness not
to be suffered for fear of evil example and the corruption of others. In
like sort in the word _felony_ are many grievous crimes contained, as
breach of prison (Ann. 1 of Edward the Second), disfigurers of the
prince's liege people (Ann. 5 of Henry the Fourth), hunting by night with
painted faces and visors (Ann. 1 of Henry the Seventh), rape, or stealing
of women and maidens (Ann. 3 of Henry Eight), conspiracies against the
person of the prince (Ann. 3 of Henry the Seventh), embezzling of goods
committed by the master to the servant above the value of forty shillings
(Ann. 17 of Henry the Eighth), carrying of horses or mares into Scotland
(Ann. 23 of Henry Eight), sodomy and buggery[223] (Ann. 25 of Henry the
Eighth), conjuring,[224] forgery, witchcraft, and digging up of crosses
(Ann. 33 of Henry Eight),[225] prophesying upon arms, cognisances, names,
and badges (Ann. 33 of Henry Eight), casting of slanderous bills (Ann. 37,
Henry Eight), wilful killing by poison (Ann. 1 of Edward the Sixth),
departure of a soldier from the field (Ann. 2 of Edward the Sixth),
diminution of coin, all offences within case of premunire, embezzling of
records, goods taken from dead men by their servants, stealing of
whatsoever cattle, robbing by the high way, upon the sea, or of dwelling
houses, letting out of ponds, cutting of purses,[226] stealing of deer by
night,[227] counterfeits of coin,[228] evidences charters, and writings,
and divers other needless to be remembered. If a woman poison her husband,
she is burned alive;[229] if the servant kill his master, he is to be
executed for petty treason; he that poisoneth a man is to be boiled to
death in water or lead, although the party die not of the practice; in
cases of murder, all the accessories are to suffer pains of death
accordingly. Perjury is punished by the pillory, burning in the forehead
with the letter P, the rewalting of the trees growing upon the grounds of
the offenders, and loss of all his movables. Many trespasses also are
punished by the cutting off of one or both ears from the head of the
offender, as the utterance of seditious words against the magistrates,
fraymakers, petty robbers, etc. Rogues are burned through the ears;
carriers of sheep out of the land, by the loss of their hands; such as
kill by poison are either boiled or scalded to death in lead or seething
water. Heretics are burned quick;[230] harlots and their mates, by
carting, ducking, and doing of open penance in sheets in churches and
market steeds, are often put to rebuke. Howbeit, as this is counted with
some either as no punishment at all to speak of, or but little regarded of
the offenders, so I would with adultery and fornication to have some
sharper law. For what great smart is it to be turned out of hot sheet into
a cold, or after a little washing in the water to be let loose again unto
their former trades? Howbeit the dragging of some of them over the Thames
between Lambeth and Westminster at the tail of a boat is a punishment that
most terrifieth them which are condemned thereto; but this is inflicted
upon them by none other than the knight marshall, and that within the
compass of his jurisdiction and limits only. Canutus was the first that
gave authority to the clergy to punish whoredom, who at that time found
fault with the former laws as being too severe in this behalf. For, before
the time of the said Canutus, the adulterer forfeited all his goods to the
king and his body to be at his pleasure; and the adulteress was to lose
her eyes or nose, or both if the case were more than common: whereby it
appears of what estimation marriage was amongst them, since the breakers
of that holy estate were so grievously rewarded. But afterward the clergy
dealt more favourably with them, shooting rather at the punishments of
such priests and clerks as were married than the reformation of adultery
and fornication, wherein you shall find no example that any severity was
shewed except upon such lay men as had defiled their nuns. As in theft
therefore, so in adultery and whoredom, I would wish the parties
trespassing to be made bond or slaves unto those that received the injury,
to sell and give where they listed, or to be condemned to the galleys: for
that punishment would prove more bitter to them than half-an-hour's
hanging, or than standing in a sheet, though the weather be never so cold.

Manslaughter in time past was punished by the purse, wherein the quantity
or quality of the punishment was rated after the state and calling of the
party killed: so that one was valued sometime at 1200, another at 600, or
200 shillings. And by a statute made under Henry the First, a citizen of
London at 100, whereof elsewhere I have spoken more at large. Such as kill
themselves are buried in the field with a stake driven through their

Witches are hanged, or sometimes burned; but thieves are hanged (as I said
before) generally on the gibbet or gallows, saving in Halifax, where they
are beheaded after a strange manner, and whereof I find this report. There
is and has been of ancient time a law, or rather a custom, at Halifax,
that whosoever does commit any felony, and is taken with the same, or
confesses the fact upon examination, if it be valued by four constables to
amount to the sum of thirteenpence-halfpenny, he is forthwith beheaded
upon one of the next market days (which fall usually upon the Tuesdays,
Thursdays, and Saturdays), or else upon the same day that he is so
convicted, if market be then holden. The engine wherewith the execution is
done is a square block of wood of the length of four feet and a half,
which does ride up and down in a slot, rabbet, or regall, between two
pieces of timber, that are framed and set upright, of five yards in
height. In the nether end of the sliding block is an axe, keyed or
fastened with an iron into the wood, which being drawn up to the top of
the frame is there fastened by a wooden pin (with a notch made into the
same, after the manner of a Samson's post), unto the midst of which pin
also there is a long rope fastened that cometh down among the people, so
that, when the offender hath made his confession and hath laid his neck
over the nethermost block, every man there present doth either take hold
of the rope (or putteth forth his arm so near to the same as he can get,
in token that he is willing to see true justice executed), and, pulling
out the pin in this manner, the head-block wherein the axe is fastened
doth fall down with such a violence that, if the neck of the transgressor
were as big as that of a bull, it should be cut in sunder at a stroke and
roll from the body by a huge distance. If it be so that the offender be
apprehended for an ox, oxen, sheep, kine, horse, or any such cattle, the
self beast or other of the same kind shall have the end of the rope tied
somewhere unto them, so that they, being driven, do draw out the pin,
whereby the offender is executed. Thus much of Halifax law, which I set
down only to shew the custom of that country in this behalf.

Rogues and vagabonds are often stocked and whipped; scolds are ducked upon
cucking-stools in the water. Such felons as stand mute, and speak not at
their arraignment, are pressed to death by huge weights laid upon a board,
that lieth over their breast, and a sharp stone under their backs; and
these commonly held their peace, thereby to save their goods unto their
wives and children, which, if they were condemned, should be confiscated
to the prince. Thieves that are saved by their books and clergy, for the
first offence, if they have stolen nothing else but oxen, sheep, money, or
such like, which be no open robberies, as by the highway side, or
assailing of any man's house in the night, without putting him in fear of
his life, or breaking up his walls or doors, are burned in the left hand,
upon the brawn of the thumb, with a hot iron, so that, if they be
apprehended again, that mark betrayeth them to have been arraigned of
felony before, whereby they are sure at that time to have no mercy. I do
not read that this custom of saving by the book is used anywhere else than
in England; neither do I find (after much diligent enquiry) what Saxon
prince ordained that law. Howbeit this I generally gather thereof, that it
was devised to train the inhabitants of this land to the love of learning,
which before contemned letters and all good knowledge, as men only giving
themselves to husbandry and the wars: the like whereof I read to have been
amongst the Goths and Vandals, who for a time would not suffer even their
princes to be learned, for weakening of their courage, nor any learned men
to remain in the council house, but by open proclamation would command
them to avoid whensoever anything touching the state of the land was to be
consulted upon. Pirates and robbers by sea are condemned in the Court of
the Admiralty, and hanged on the shore at low-water mark, where they are
left till three tides have overwashed them.[231] Finally, such as having
walls and banks near unto the sea, and do suffer the same to decay (after
convenient admonition), whereby the water entereth and drowneth up the
country, are by a certain ancient custom apprehended, condemned, and
staked in the breach, where they remain for ever as parcel of the
foundation of the new wall that is to be made upon them, as I have heard

And thus much in part of the administration of justice used in our
country, wherein, notwithstanding that we do not often hear of horrible,
merciless, and wilful murders (such I mean as are not seldom seen in the
countries of the main), yet now and then some manslaughter and bloody
robberies are perpetrated and committed, contrary to the laws, which be
severely punished, and in such wise as I have before reported. Certes
there is no greater mischief done in England than by robberies, the first
by young shifting gentlemen, which oftentimes do bear more port than they
are able to maintain. Secondly by serving-men,[232] whose wages cannot
suffice so much as to find them breeches; wherefore they are now and then
constrained either to keep highways, and break into the wealthy men's
houses with the first sort, or else to walk up and down in gentlemen's and
rich farmer's pastures, there to see and view which horses feed best,
whereby they many times get something, although with hard adventure: it
hath been known by their confession at the gallows that some one such
chapman hath had forty, fifty, or sixty stolen horses at pasture here and
there abroad in the country at a time, which they have sold at fairs and
markets far off, they themselves in the mean season being taken about home
for honest yeomen, and very wealthy drovers, till their dealings have been
betrayed. It is not long since one of this company was apprehended, who
was before time reputed for a very honest and wealthy townsman; he uttered
also more horses than any of his trade, because he sold a reasonable
pennyworth and was a fair-spoken man. It was his custom likewise to say,
if any man hucked hard with him about the price of a gelding, "So God help
me, gentlemen (or sir), either he did cost me so much, or else, by Jesus,
I stole him!" Which talk was plain enough; and yet such was his estimation
that each believed the first part of his tale, and made no account of the
latter, which was truer indeed.

Our third annoyers of the commonwealth are rogues, which do very great
mischief in all places where they become. For, whereas the rich only
suffer injury by the first two, these spare neither rich nor poor; but,
whether it be great gain or small, all is fish that cometh to net with
them. And yet, I say, both they and the rest are trussed up apace. For
there is not one year commonly wherein three hundred or four hundred of
them are not devoured and eaten up by the gallows in one place and other.
It appeareth by Cardan (who writeth it upon the report of the bishop of
Lexovia), in the geniture of King Edward the Sixth, how Henry the Eighth,
executing his laws very severely against such idle persons, I mean great
thieves, petty thieves, and rogues, did hang up threescore and twelve
thousand of them in his time. He seemed for a while greatly to have
terrified the rest; but since his death the number of them is so
increased, yea, although we have had no wars, which are a great occasion
of their breed (for it is the custom of the more idle sort, having once
served, or but seen the other side of the sea under colour of service, to
shake hand with labour for ever, thinking it a disgrace for himself to
return unto his former trade), that, except some better order be taken,
or the laws already made be better executed, such as dwell in uplandish
towns and little villages shall live but in small safety and rest. For the
better apprehension also of thieves and man-killers, there is an old law
in England very well provided whereby it is ordered that, if he that is
robbed (or any man) complain and give warning of slaughter or murder
committed, the constable of the village whereunto he cometh and crieth for
succour is to raise the parish about him, and to search woods, groves, and
all suspected houses and places, where the trespasser may be, or is
supposed to lurk; and not finding him there, he is to give warning unto
the next constable, and so one constable, after search made, to advertise
another from parish to parish, till they come to the same where the
offender is harboured and found. It is also provided that, if any parish
in this business do not her duty, but suffereth the thief (for the
avoiding of trouble sake) in carrying him to the gaol, if he should be
apprehended, or other letting of their work to escape, the same parish is
not only to make fine to the king, but also the same, with the whole
hundred wherein it standeth, to repay the party robbed his damages, and
leave his estate harmless. Certainly this is a good law; howbeit I have
known by my own experience felons being taken to have escaped out of the
stocks, being rescued by other for want of watch and guard, that thieves
have been let pass, because the covetous and greedy parishioners would
neither take the pains nor be at the charge, to carry them to prison, if
it were far off; that when hue and cry have been made even to the faces of
some constables, they have said: "God restore your loss! I have other
business at this time." And by such means the meaning of many a good law
is left unexecuted, malefactors emboldened; and many a poor man turned out
of that which he hath sweat and taken great pains toward the maintenance
of himself and his poor children and family.



[1577, Book II., Chapter 6; 1587, Book II., Chapter 3.]

There have been heretofore, and at sundry times, divers famous
universities in this island, and those even in my days not altogether
forgotten, as one at Bangor, erected by Lucius, and afterward converted
into a monastery, not by Congellus (as some write), but by Pelagius the
monk. The second at Caerleon-upon-Usk, near to the place where the river
doth fall into the Severn, founded by King Arthur. The third at Thetford,
wherein were six hundred students, in the time of one Rond, sometime king
of that region. The fourth at Stamford, suppressed by Augustine the monk.
And likewise other in other places, as Salisbury, Eridon or Cricklade,
Lachlade, Reading, and Northampton; albeit that the two last rehearsed
were not authorised, but only arose to that name by the departure of the
students from Oxford in time of civil dissension unto the said towns,
where also they continued but for a little season. When that of Salisbury
began I cannot tell; but that it flourished most under Henry the Third and
Edward the First I find good testimony by the writers, as also by the
discord which fell, 1278, between the chancellor for the scholars there on
the one part and William the archdeacon on the other, whereof you shall
see more in the chronology here following. In my time there are three
noble universities in England--to wit, one at Oxford, the second at
Cambridge, and the third in London; of which the first two are the most
famous, I mean Cambridge and Oxford, for that in them the use of the
tongues, philosophy, and the liberal sciences, besides the profound
studies of the civil law, physic, and theology, are daily taught and had:
whereas in the latter the laws of the realm are only read and learned by
such as give their minds unto the knowledge of the same. In the first
there are not only divers goodly houses builded four square for the most
part of hard freestone or brick, with great numbers of lodgings and
chambers in the same for students, after a sumptuous sort, through the
exceeding liberality of kings, queens, bishops, noblemen and ladies of the
land; but also large livings and great revenues bestowed upon them (the
like whereof is not to be seen in any other region, as Peter Martyr did
oft affirm) to the maintenance only of such convenient numbers of poor
men's sons as the several stipends bestowed upon the said houses are able
to support.[233]

       *       *       *       *       *

Of these two, that of Oxford (which lieth west and by north from London)
standeth most pleasantly, being environed in manner round about with woods
on the hills aloft, and goodly rivers in the bottoms and valleys beneath,
whose courses would breed no small commodity to that city and country
about if such impediments were removed as greatly annoy the same and
hinder the carriage which might be made thither also from London. That of
Cambridge is distant from London about forty and six miles north and by
east, and standeth very well, saving that it is somewhat near unto the
fens, whereby the wholesomeness of the air is not a little corrupted. It
is excellently well served with all kinds of provisions, but especially of
fresh water fish and wild fowl, by reason of the river that passeth
thereby; and thereto the Isle of Ely, which is so near at hand. Only wood
is the chief want to such as study there, wherefore this kind of provision
is brought them either from Essex and other places thereabouts, as is also
their coal, or otherwise the necessity thereof is supplied with gall (a
bastard kind of mirtus as I take it) and seacoal, whereof they have great
plenty led thither by the Grant. Moreover it hath not such store of
meadow ground as may suffice for the ordinary expenses of the town and
university, wherefore the inhabitants are enforced in like sort to provide
their hay from other villages about, which minister the same unto them in
very great abundance.

Oxford is supposed to contain in longitude eighteen degrees and eight and
twenty minutes, and in latitude one and fifty degrees and fifty minutes:
whereas that of Cambridge standing more northerly, hath twenty degrees and
twenty minutes in longitude, and thereunto fifty and two degrees and
fifteen minutes in latitude, as by exact supputation is easy to be found.

The colleges of Oxford, for curious workmanship and private commodities,
are much more stately, magnificent, and commodious than those of
Cambridge: and thereunto the streets of the town for the most part are
more large and comely. But for uniformity of building, orderly compaction,
and politic regiment, the town of Cambridge, as the newer
workmanship,[234] exceeds that of Oxford (which otherwise is, and hath
been, the greater of the two) by many a fold (as I guess), although I know
divers that are of the contrary opinion. This also is certain, that
whatsoever the difference be in building of the town streets, the townsmen
of both are glad when they may match and annoy the students, by
encroaching upon their liberties, and keep them bare by extreme sale of
their wares, whereby many of them become rich for a time, but afterward
fall again into poverty, because that goods evil gotten do seldom long

       *       *       *       *       *

In each of these universities also is likewise a church dedicated to the
Virgin Mary, wherein once in the year--to wit, in July--the scholars are
holden, and in which such as have been called to any degree in the year
precedent do there receive the accomplishment of the same, in solemn and
sumptuous manner. In Oxford this solemnity is called an Act, but in
Cambridge they use the French word _Commencement_; and such resort is made
yearly unto the same from all parts of the land by the friends of those
who do proceed that all the town is hardly able to receive and lodge those
guests. When and by whom the churches aforesaid were built I have
elsewhere made relation. That of Oxford also was repaired in the time of
Edward the Fourth and Henry the Seventh, when Doctor Fitz James, a great
helper in that work, was warden of Merton College; but ere long, after it
was finished, one tempest in a night so defaced the same that it left few
pinnacles standing about the church and steeple, which since that time
have never been repaired. There were sometime four and twenty parish
churches in the town and suburbs; but now there are scarcely sixteen.
There have been also 1200 burgesses, of which 400 dwelt in the suburbs;
and so many students were there in the time of Henry the Third that he
allowed them twenty miles compass about the town for their provision of

The common schools of Cambridge also are far more beautiful than those of
Oxford, only the Divinity School at Oxford excepted, which for fine and
excellent workmanship cometh next the mould of the King's Chapel in
Cambridge, than the which two, with the Chapel that King Henry the Seventh
did build at Westminster, there are not (in my opinion) made of lime and
stone three more notable piles within the compass of Europe.

In all other things there is so great equality between these two
universities as no man can imagine how to set down any greater, so that
they seem to be the body of one well-ordered commonwealth, only divided by
distance of place and not in friendly consent and orders. In speaking
therefore of the one I cannot but describe the other; and in commendation
of the first I cannot but extol the latter; and, so much the rather, for
that they are both so dear unto me as that I cannot readily tell unto
whether of them I owe the most good-will. Would to God my knowledge were
such as that neither of them might have cause to be ashamed of their
pupil, or my power so great that I might worthily requite them both for
those manifold kindnesses that I have received of them! But to leave these
things, and proceed with other more convenient to my purpose.

The manner to live in these universities is not as in some other of
foreign countries we see daily to happen, where the students are enforced
for want of such houses to dwell in common inns, and taverns, without all
order or discipline. But in these our colleges we live in such exact
order, and under so precise rules of government, as that the famous
learned man Erasmus of Rotterdam, being here among us fifty years passed,
did not let to compare the trades in living of students in these two
places, even with the very rules and orders of the ancient monks,
affirming moreover, in flat words, our orders to be such as not only came
near unto, but rather far exceeded, all the monastical institutions that
ever were devised.

In most of our colleges there are also great numbers of students, of which
many are found by the revenues of the houses and other by the purveyances
and help of their rich friends, whereby in some one college you shall have
two hundred scholars, in others an hundred and fifty, in divers a hundred
and forty, and in the rest less numbers, as the capacity of the said
houses is able to receive: so that at this present, of one sort and other,
there are about three thousand students nourished in them both (as by a
late survey it manifestly appeared). They were erected by their founders
at the first only for poor men's sons, whose parents were not able to
bring them up unto learning; but now they have the least benefit of them,
by reason the rich do so encroach upon them. And so far has this
inconvenience spread itself that it is in my time a hard matter for a poor
man's child to come by a fellowship (though he be never so good a scholar
and worthy of that room). Such packing also is used at elections that not
he which best deserveth, but he that has most friends, though he be the
worst scholar, is always surest to speed, which will turn in the end to
the overthrow of learning. That some gentlemen also whose friends have
been in times past benefactors to certain of those houses do intrude into
the disposition of their estates without all respect of order or statutes
devised by the founders, only thereby to place whom they think good (and
not without some hope of gain), the case is too evident: and their attempt
would soon take place if their superiors did not provide to bridle their
endeavours. In some grammar schools likewise which send scholars to these
universities, it is lamentable to see what bribery is used; for, ere the
scholar can be preferred, such bribage is made that poor men's children
are commonly shut out, and the richer sort received (who in time past
thought it dishonour to live as it were upon alms), and yet, being placed,
most of them study little other than histories, tables, dice, and trifles,
as men that make not the living by their study the end of their purposes,
which is a lamentable hearing. Beside this, being for the most part either
gentlemen or rich men's sons, they often bring the universities into much
slander. For, standing upon their reputation and liberty, they ruffle and
roist it out, exceeding in apparel, and banting riotous company (which
draweth them from their books unto another trade), and for excuse, when
they are charged with breach of all good order, think it sufficient to say
that they be gentlemen, which grieveth many not a little. But to proceed
with the rest.

Every one of these colleges have in like manner their professors or
readers of the tongues and several sciences, as they call them, which
daily trade up the youth there abiding privately in their halls, to the
end they may be able afterward (when their turn cometh about, which is
after twelve terms) to shew themselves abroad, by going from thence into
the common schools and public disputations (as it were "_In aream_") there
to try their skill, and declare how they have profited since their coming

Moreover, in the public schools of both the universities, there are found
at the prince's charge (and that very largely) fine professors and
readers, that is to say, of divinity, of the civil law, physic, the Hebrew
and the Greek tongues. And for the other lectures, as of philosophy,
logic, rhetoric, and the quadrivials (although the latter, I mean
arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy, and with them all skill in the
perspectives, are now smally regarded in either of them), the universities
themselves do allow competent stipends to such as read the same, whereby
they are sufficiently provided for, touching the maintenance of their
estates, and no less encouraged to be diligent in their functions.

These professors in like sort have all the rule of disputations and other
school exercises which are daily used in common schools severally assigned
to each of them, and such of their hearers as by their skill shewed in the
said disputations are thought to have attained to any convenient ripeness
of knowledge according to the custom of other universities (although not
in like order) are permitted solemnly to take their deserved degrees of
school in the same science and faculty wherein they have spent their
travel. From that time forward also they use such difference in apparel as
becometh their callings, tendeth unto gravity, and maketh them known to be
called to some countenance.

The first degree is that of the general sophisters, from whence, when they
have learned more sufficiently the rules of logic, rhetoric, and obtained
thereto competent skill in philosophy, and in the mathematicals, they
ascend higher unto the estate of bachelors of art, after four years of
their entrance into their sophistry. From thence also, giving their minds
to more perfect knowledge in some or all the other liberal sciences and
the tongues, they rise at the last (to wit, after other three or four
years) to be called masters of art, each of them being at that time
reputed for a doctor in his faculty, if he profess but one of the said
sciences (besides philosophy), or for his general skill, if he be
exercised in them all. After this they are permitted to choose what other
of the higher studies them liketh to follow, whether it be divinity, law,
or physic, so that, being once masters of art, the next degree, if they
follow physic, is the doctorship belonging to that profession; and
likewise in the study of the law, if they bend their minds to the
knowledge of the same. But, if they mean to go forward with divinity, this
is the order used in that profession. First, after they have necessarily
proceeded masters of art, they preach one sermon to the people in English,
and another to the university in Latin. They answer all comers also in
their own persons unto two several questions of divinity in the open
schools at one time for the space of two hours, and afterward reply twice
against some other man upon a like number and on two several dates in the
same place, which being done with commendation, he receiveth the fourth
degree, that is, bachelor of divinity, but not before he has been master
of arts by the space of seven years, according to their statutes.

The next, and last degree of all, is the doctorship, after other three
years, for the which he must once again perform all such exercises and
acts as are before remembered; and then is he reputed able to govern and
teach others, and likewise taken for a doctor. I have read that John of
Beverley was the first doctor that ever was in Oxford, as Beda was in
Cambridge. But I suppose herein that the word "doctor" is not so strictly
to be taken in this report as it is now used, since every teacher is in
Latin called by that name, as also such in the primitive church as kept
schools of catechists, wherein they were trained up in the rudiments and
principles of religion, either before they were admitted unto baptism or
any office in the Church.

Thus we see that from our entrance into the university unto the last
degree received is commonly eighteen or twenty years, in which time, if a
student has not obtained sufficient learning thereby to serve his own turn
and benefit his commonwealth, let him never look by tarrying longer to
come by any more. For after this time, and forty years of age, the most
part of students do commonly give over their wonted diligence, and live
like drone bees on the fat of colleges, withholding better wits from the
possession of their places, and yet doing little good in their own
vocation and calling. I could rehearse a number (if I listed) of this
sort, as well in one university as the other. But this shall suffice
instead of a large report, that long continuance in those places is either
a sign of lack of friends, or of learning, or of good and upright life, as
Bishop Fox[236] sometime noted, who thought it sacrilege for a man to
tarry any longer at Oxford than he had a desire to profit.

A man may (if he will) begin his study with the law, or physic (of which
this giveth wealth, the other honour), so soon as he cometh to the
university, if his knowledge in the tongues and ripeness of judgment serve
therefor: which if he do, then his first degree is bachelor of law, or
physic; and for the same he must perform such acts in his own science as
the bachelors or doctors of divinity do for their parts, the only sermons
except, which belong not to his calling. Finally, this will I say, that
the professors of either of those faculties come to such perfection in
both universities as the best students beyond the sea do in their own or
elsewhere. One thing only I mislike in them, and that is their usual going
into Italy, from whence very few without special grace do return good men,
whatsoever they pretend of conference or practice, chiefly the
physicians[237] who under pretence of seeking of foreign simples do
oftentimes learn the framing of such compositions as were better unknown
than practised, as I have heard often alleged, and therefore it is most
true that Doctor Turner said: "Italy is not to be seen without a guide,
that is, without special grace given from God, because of the licentious
and corrupt behaviour of the people."

There is moreover in every house a master or provost, who has under him a
president and certain censors or deans, appointed to look to the behaviour
and manners of the students there, whom they punish very severely if they
make any default, according to the quantity and quality of their trespass.
And these are the usual names of governors in Cambridge. Howbeit in Oxford
the heads of houses are now and then called presidents in respect of such
bishops as are their visitors and founders. In each of these also they
have one or more treasurers, whom they call _bursarios_ or bursars, beside
other officers whose charge is to see unto the welfare and maintenance of
these houses. Over each university also there is a several chancellor,
whose offices are perpetual, howbeit their substitutes, whom we call
vice-chancellors, are changed every year, as are also the proctors,
taskers, masters of the streets, and other officers, for the better
maintenance of their policy and estate.

And thus much at this time of our two universities, in each of which I
have received such degree as they have vouchsafed--rather of their favour
than my desert--to yield and bestow upon me, and unto whose students I
wish one thing, the execution whereof cannot be prejudicial to any that
meaneth well, as I am resolutely persuaded, and the case now standeth in
these our days. When any benefice therefor becometh void it were good that
the patron did signify the vacation thereof to the bishop, and the bishop
the act of the patron to one of the universities, with request that the
vice-chancellor with his assistants might provide some such able man to
succeed in the place as should by their judgment be meet to take the
charge upon him. Certainly if this order were taken, then should the
church be provided of good pastors, by whom God should be glorified, the
universities better stored, the simoniacal practices of a number of
patrons utterly abolished, and the people better trained to live in
obedience toward God and their prince, which were a happier estate.

To these two also we may in like sort add the third, which is at London
(serving only for such as study the laws of the realm) where there are
sundry famous houses, of which three are called by the name of Inns of the
Court, the rest of the Chancery, and all built before time for the
furtherance and commodity of such as apply their minds to our common laws.
Out of these also come many scholars of great fame, whereof the most part
have heretofore been brought up in one of the aforesaid universities, and
prove such commonly as in process of time rise up (only through their
profound skill) to great honour in the commonwealth of England. They have
also degrees of learning among themselves, and rules of discipline, under
which they live most civilly in their houses, albeit that the younger of
them abroad in the streets are scarcely able to be bridled by any good
order at all. Certainly this error was wont also greatly to reign in
Cambridge and Oxford, between the students and the burgesses; but, as it
is well left in these two places, so in foreign countries it cannot yet be

Besides these universities, also there are great number of grammar schools
throughout the realm, and those very liberally endowed, for the better
relief of poor scholars, so that there are not many corporate towns now
under the Queen's dominion that have not one grammar school at the least,
with a sufficient living for a master and usher appointed to the same.

There are in like manner divers collegiate churches, as Windsor,
Winchester, Eton, Westminster (in which I was some time an unprofitable
grammarian under the reverend father Master Nowell, now dean of Paul's),
and in those a great number of poor scholars, daily maintained by the
liberality of the founders, with meat, books, and apparel, from whence,
after they have been well entered in the knowledge of the Latin and Greek
tongues, and rules of versifying (the trial whereof is made by certain
apposers yearly appointed to examine them), they are sent to certain
special houses in each university, where they are received and trained up
in the points of higher knowledge in their private halls, till they be
adjudged meet to shew their faces in the schools as I have said already.

And thus much have I thought good to note of our universities, and
likewise of colleges in the same, whose names I will also set down here,
with those of their founders, to the end the zeal which they bare unto
learning may appear, and their remembrance never perish from among the
wise and learned.


  Years of the
  Foundation.    Colleges.        Founders.

  1546    1 Trinity College       King Henry 8.
  1441    2 The King's College    King Henry 6, Edward 4, Henry 7, and
                                      Henry 8.
  1511    3 St. John's            Lady Margaret, grandmother to Henry 8.
  1505    4 Christ's College      King Henry 6 and the Lady Margaret
  1446    5 The Queen's College   Lady Margaret, wife to King Henry 6.
  1496    6 Jesus College         John Alcock, bishop of Ely.
  1342    7 Bennet College        The brethren of a Popish guild called
                                      _Corporis Christi_.
  1343    8 Pembroke Hall         Maria de Valentia, Countess of Pembroke.
  1256    9 Peter College         Hugh Balsham, bishop of Ely.
  1348   10 Gundewill and         Edmund Gundevill, parson of Terrington,
            Caius College             and John Caius, doctor of physic.
  1354   11 Trinity Hall          William Bateman, bishop of Norwich.
  1326   12 Clare Hall            Richard Badow, chancellor of Cambridge.
  1459   13 Catherine Hall        Robert Woodlark, doctor of divinity.
  1519   14 Magdalen College      Edward, Duke of Buckingham, and Thomas,
                                      lord Audley.
  1585   15 Emanuel College       Sir Walter Mildmay, etc.


  1539    1 Christ's Church         King Henry 8.
  1459    2 Magdalen College        William Wainfleet, first fellow of
                                        Merton College, then scholar at
                                        Winchester, and afterwards bishop
  1375    3 New College             William Wickham, bishop of Winchester.
  1276    4 Merton College          Walter Merton, bishop of Rochester.
  1437    5 All Souls' College      Henry Chicheley, archbishop of
  1516    6 Corpus Christi College  Richard Fox, bishop of Winchester.
  1430    7 Lincoln College         Richard Fleming, bishop of Lincoln.
  1323    8 Auriel College          Adam Broune, almoner to Edward 2.
  1340    9 The Queen's College     R. Eglesfeld, chaplain to Philip,
                                        queen of England, wife to Edward 3.
  1263   10 Balliol College         John Balliol, king of Scotland.
  1557   11 St. John's              Sir Thomas White, knight.
  1556   12 Trinity College         Sir Thomas Pope, knight.
  1316   13 Excester College        Walter Stapleten, bishop of Excester.
  1513   14 Brasen Nose             William Smith, bishop of Lincoln.
  1873   15 University College      William, archdeacon of Duresine.
         16 Gloucester College      John Crifford, who made it a cell for
                                        thirteen monks.
         17 St. Mary's College
         18 Jesus College, now      Hugh ap Rice, doctor of the civil law.
              in hand

There are also in Oxford certain hotels or halls which may right well be
called by the names of colleges, if it were not that there is more
liberty in them than is to be seen in the other. In my opinion the livers
in these are very like to those that are of the inns in the chancery,
their names also are these so far as I now remember:

  Brodegates.          St. Mary Hall.
  Hart Hall.           White Hall.
  Magdalen Hall.       New Inn.
  Alburne Hall.        Edmond Hall.
  Postminster Hall.

The students also that remain in them are called hostlers or halliers.
Hereof it came of late to pass that the right Reverend Father in God,
Thomas late archbishop of Canterbury, being brought up in such an house at
Cambridge, was of the ignorant sort of Londoners called an "Hostler,"
supposing that he had served with some inn-holder in the stable, and
therefore, in despite, divers hung up bottles of hay at his gate when he
began to preach the gospel, whereas indeed he was a gentleman born of an
ancient house, and in the end a faithful witness of Jesus Christ, in whose
quarrel he refused not to shed his blood, and yield up his life, unto the
fury of his adversaries.

Besides these there is mention and record of divers other halls or hostels
that have been there in times past, as Beef Hall, Mutton Hall, etc., whose
ruins yet appear: so that if antiquity be to be judged by the shew of
ancient buildings which is very plentiful in Oxford to be seen, it should
be an easy matter to conclude that Oxford is the elder university. Therein
are also many dwelling-houses of stone yet standing that have been halls
for students, of very antique workmanship, besides the old walls of sundry
others, whose plots have been converted into gardens since colleges were

In London also the houses of students at the Common Law are these:

  Sergeant's Inn.   Furnival's Inn.
  Gray's Inn.       Clifford's Inn.
  The Temple.       Clement's Inn.
  Lincoln's Inn.    Lion's Inn.
  David's Inn.      Barnard's Inn.
  Staple Inn.       New Inn.

And thus much in general of our noble universities, whose lands some
greedy gripers do gape wide for, and of late have (as I hear) propounded
sundry reasons whereby they supposed to have prevailed in their purposes.
But who are those that have attempted this suit, other than such as either
hate learning, piety, and wisdom, or else have spent all their own, and
know not otherwise than by encroaching upon other men how to maintain
themselves? When such a motion was made by some unto King Henry the
Eighth, he could answer them in this manner: "Ah, sirra! I perceive the
Abbey lands have fleshed you, and set your teeth on edge, to ask also
those colleges. And, whereas we had a regard only to pull down sin by
defacing the monasteries, you have a desire also to overthrow all
goodness, by subversion of colleges. I tell you, sirs, that I judge no
land in England better bestowed than that which is given to our
universities; for by their maintenance our realm shall be well governed
when we be dead and rotten. As you love your welfares therefore, follow no
more this vein, but content yourselves with that you have already, or else
seek honest means whereby to increase your livelihoods; for I love not
learning so ill that I will impair the revenues of any one house by a
penny, whereby it may be upholden." In King Edward's days likewise the
same suit was once again attempted (as I have heard), but in vain; for,
saith the Duke of Somerset, among other speeches tending to that end--who
also made answer thereunto in the king's presence by his assignation: "If
learning decay, which of wild men maketh civil; of blockish and rash
persons, wise and goodly counsellors; of obstinate rebels, obedient
subjects; and of evil men, good and godly Christians; what shall we look
for else but barbarism and tumult? For when the lands of colleges be gone,
it shall be hard to say whose staff shall stand next the door; for then I
doubt not but the state of bishops, rich farmers, merchants, and the
nobility, shall be assailed, by such as live to spend all, and think that
whatsoever another man hath is more meet for them and to be at their
commandment than for the proper owner that has sweat and laboured for it."
In Queen Mary's days the weather was too warm for any such course to be
taken in hand; but in the time of our gracious Queen Elizabeth I hear that
it was after a sort in talk the third time, but without success, as moved
also out of season; and so I hope it shall continue for ever. For what
comfort should it be for any good man to see his country brought into the
estate of the old Goths and Vandals, who made laws against learning, and
would not suffer any skilful man to come into their council-house: by
means whereof those people became savage tyrants and merciless
hell-hounds, till they restored learning again and thereby fell to



Holinshed himself does not come on the scene in the work that goes by his
name until in the second volume, devoted to the History of Scotland, which
he dedicates to Dudley, whose star was about to set. The third volume was
much the larger of the three, being the History of England, which is
inscribed to Burghley in this fashion:--

                         TO THE
       Right Honorable and his singular good Lord,
    Sir William Cecill, Baron of Burghleygh, Knight of
  _the most noble order of the Garter, Lord high Treasu-_
    rer of England, Maister of the Courts of Wards and
      _Liueries, and one of the Queenes Maiesties_
                     priuee Councell.

Considering with my selfe, right Honorable and my singular good Lord, how
redie (no doubt) manie will be to accuse me of vaine presumption, for
enterprising to deale in this so weightie a worke, and far aboue my reach
to accomplish: I haue thought good to aduertise your Honour, by what
occasion I was first induced to vndertake the same, although the cause
that moued me thereto hath (in part) yer this beene signified vnto your
good Lordship.

Whereas therefore, that worthie Citizen _Reginald Wolfe_, late Printer to
the Queenes Maiestie, a man well knowne and beholden to your Honour, meant
in his life time to publish an vniuersall Cosmographie of the whole world,
and therwith also certaine particular histories of euery knowne nation,
amongst other whom he purposed to vse for performance of his intent in
that behalfe, he procured me to take in hand the collection of those
histories; and hauing proceeded so far in the same, as little wanted to
the accomplishment of that long promised worke, it pleased God to call him
to his mercie, after fiue and twentie yeares trauell spent therein; so
that by his vntimelie deceasse, no hope remained to see that performed,
which we had so long trauelled about. Neuerthelesse, those whom he put in
trust to dispose his things after his departure hence, wishing to the
benefit of others, that some fruit might follow of that whereabout he had
imployed so long time, willed me to continue mine endeuour for their
furtherance in the same. Which, although I was redie to doo, so far as
mine abilitie would reach, and the rather to answere that trust which the
deceassed reposed in me, to see it brought to some perfection; yet when
the volume grew so great, as they that were to defraie the charges for the
impression, were not willing to go through with the whole, they resolued
first to publish the histories of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with
their descriptions; which descriptions, bicause they were not in such
readinesse as those of forren countries, they were inforced to vse the
helpe of other better able to doo it than my selfe.

Moreouer, the Charts wherein _Maister Wolfe_ spent a great part of his
time were not found so complet as we wished: and againe, vnderstanding of
the great charges and notable enterprise of that worthie Gentleman maister
_Thomas Sackford_, in procuring the Charts of the seuerall prouinces of
this realme to be set foorth, we are in hope that in time he will
delineate this whole land so perfectlie, as shall be comparable or beyond
anie delineation heretofore made of anie other region; and therefore leaue
that to his well deserued praise. If any well willer will imitate him in
so praiseworthie a work for the two other regions, we will be glad to
further his endeauour with all the helpes we may.

The histories I haue gathered according to my skill, and conferred the
greatest part with _Maister Wolfe_ in his life time, to his liking, who
procured me so manie helpes to the furtherance thereof, that I was loth to
omit anie thing that might increase the readers knowledge, which causeth
the book to grow so great. But receiuing them by parts, and at seuerall
times (as I might get them) it may be, that hauing had more regard to the
matter than the apt penning, I haue not so orderlie disposed them, as
otherwise I ought; choosing rather to want order, than to defraud the
reader of that which for his further understanding might seeme to satisfie

I therefore most humbly beseech your Honour to accept these Chronicles of
England vnder your protection, and according to your wisedome and
accustomed benignitie to beare with my faults; the rather, bicause you
were euer so especiall good Lord to _Maister Wolfe_, to whom I was
singularlie beholden; and in whose name I

  humblie present this rude worke vnto you, beseeching
      God that as he hath made you an instrument
      to aduance his truth, so it may please him
          to increase his good gifts in you,
        to his glorie, the furtherance of the
              Queenes Maiesties seruice,
              and the comfort of all her
                 faithful and louing
        Your Honours most humble to be commanded,
                                           RAPHAEL HOLINSHED.


Harrison closes Chapter 16 of his first book (which is the last of several
chapters describing all the English rivers) with a most interesting
complaint of a literary theft of which he was the victim. From his words
it is evident that a complete and minute survey of England may still be
possibly hidden away in some heap of manuscripts, and which was the work
of Thomas Seckford, who died three or four months after the _Holinshed_ of
1587 was issued, and who was evidently intimate with the group engaged on
the great folio. Seckford was a Londoner by residence and occupation, but
a Suffolk man by birth, and founder of the present Seckford Hospital at
Woodbridge, to which place he was taken for burial. He was a barrister of
Grey's Inn, master of requests, surveyor of the court of wards, and
steward of the Marshalsea. He weathered the storm under Catholic and
Protestant sway, and was a most industrious scholar, although any of his
published works are very rare. He apparently had more taste for helping
others to literary fame than for appearing himself in Athene's arena.
Harrison's interesting reference to Seckford (to whom Harrison dedicated
the Description of Scotland as well) is as follows:--

     "Thus haue I finished the description of such riuers and streames as
     fall into the Ocean, according to my purpose, although not in so
     precise an order and manner of handling as I might, if information
     promised had been accordinglie performed; or others would, if they
     had taken the like in hand. But this will I saie of that which is
     here done, that from the Solueie by west, which parteth England &
     Scotland on that side, to the Twede which separateth the said
     kingdoms on the east, if you go backeward, contrarie to the course of
     my description, you shall find it so exact, as beside a verie few
     by-riuers, you shall not need to vse any further aduise for the
     finding and falles of the aforesaid streames. _For such hath beene my
     help of maister Sackfords cardes, and conference with other men about
     these_, that I dare pronounce them to be perfect and exact.
     Furthermore, this I have also to remember, that in the courses of our
     streames, I regard not so much to name the verie towne or church, as
     the limits of the paroch. And therefore if I saie it goeth by such a
     towne, I thinke my dutie discharged, if I hit vpon anie part or
     parcell of the paroch. This also hath not a little troubled me, I
     meane the euill writing of the names of manie townes and villages; of
     which I have noted some one man, in the description of a riuer, to
     write one towne two or three manner of waies, whereby I was inforced
     to choose one (at adventure most commonlie) that seemed the likeliest
     to be sound in mine opinion and iudgement.

     "Finallie, whereas I minded to set downe an especiall chapter of
     ports and creeks, lieng on ech coast of the English part of this Ile,
     and had provided the same in such wise as I iudged most convenient,
     it came to passe, that _the greater part of my labour was taken from
     me by stealth_, and therefore as discouraged to meddle with that
     argument, I would have giuen ouer to set downe anie thing thereof at
     all, and so much the rather, for that I see it may prooue a spurre
     vnto further mischeefe, as things come to passe in these daies.
     Neverthelesse because a title thereof is passed in the beginning of
     the booke, I will deliuer that parcell thereof which remaineth,
     leauing the supplie of the rest either to my selfe hereafter (if I
     may come by it), or to some other that can better performe the same.

     "Againe, vnderstanding of the great charges & notable enterprise of
     that worthie gentleman _maister Thomas Sackford, in procuring the
     Charts of the seuerall prouinces of this realme to be set foorth, we
     are in hope that in time he will delineate this whole land so
     perfectlie_," etc.


The last section refers to Harrison's loss by somebody's pilfering. Now
comes another of the tribulations he had to endure. Somebody is in a huff
about something, and refused the aid promised to describe all the towns in
England. It must have been no ordinary topographer, and may possibly be
young Camden, whose name seems never to be mentioned by Harrison, although
in 1587 at least his initial labours must have been well known to every
scholar in London, especially a man like Harrison who knew all that was
going to happen in the world of letters as well as all that the public
knew. His complaint is as follows, beginning the 11th chapter of Book I.,
the first of our series just referred to, the Thames having as natural the
place of honour:--

     "Having (as you [Lord Cobham] haue seene) attempted to set downe a
     full discourse of all the Ilands, that are situat upon the coast of
     Britaine, and finding the successe not correspondent to mine intent,
     it has caused me some what to restreine my purpose in this
     description also of our riuers. For whereas I intended at the first
     to haue written at large, of the number situation names quantities
     townes villages castles mounteines fresh waters plashes or lakes,
     salt waters, and other commodities of the aforesaid Iles, _mine
     expectation of information from all parts of England was so deceiued
     in the end, that I was faine at last onelie to leane to that which I
     knew my selfe either by reading, or such other helpe as I had
     alreadie purchased and gotten of the same_. And even so it happeneth
     in this my tractation of waters, of whose heads, courses, length,
     bredth, depth of chanell (for burden) ebs, flowings, and falles, I
     had thought to haue made a perfect description under the report also
     of an imagined course taken by them all. _But now for want of
     instruction, which hath beene largelie promised, & slacklie
     perfourmed, and other sudden and iniurious deniall of helpe
     voluntarilie offered, without occasion giuen on my part_, I must
     needs content my selfe with such observations as I haue either
     obteined by mine owne experience, or gathered from time to time out
     of other mens writings: whereby the full discourse of the whole is
     vtterlie cut off, and in steed of the same, a mangled rehearsall of
     the residue set downe and left in memorie."


Dr. Furnivall has told in a note to his "Forewords" that the manuscript of
Harrison's still unpublished "Chronology" was unearthed in the library of
Derry diocese. How it came there is very evident. Harrison's only son and
heir, Edmund Harrison, was the first prebendary of the diocese, who is
described in the Visitation as "a man very well qualified both for life
and learning." From the manuscript Dr. Furnivall extracted various entries
relating to Harrison's own time, which are of most picturesque quality if
of rather meagre quantity. Those of especial bearing on the reign of
Elizabeth, though beginning just before her advent, are as follows:--

_Dearth and Sickness in England._

1556. Derth in England, wherein wheat is worthe liij sh: iiij d the
quarter; malt, beanes, Rie, at 40 sh:; & peasen at 46 shillinges; but
after harvest, wheate was sold for 5 shillinges the quarter, malt at a
noble, Rie at 3 sh: 4 d. in London; & therefore the price was not so highe
in the country....

Soche was the plenty of Saffron in this yere, that the murmuring Crokers
envieng the store, said in blasphemous maner, in & aboute Waldon in Essex,
that "God did now shite saffron"; but as some of them died afterward,
starke beggars, so in 20 yeres after, there was so little of this
Commodity, that it was almost lost & perished in England....

A generall sickenesse in England, where-of the third parte of the people
of the land did tast; & many clergymen had their desire, who, suspecting
an alteration in relligion to insue after the death of Quene Mary, &
fearing to be called to accompt for their bloodshed made, & practize of
the losse of Calais, craved of God in their daiely praiers, that they
might die before her; & so they did; the Lord hearing their praiers, &
intending therby to geue his churche a breathing time....

_Harrison on Religious Hatred._

1560. The French Protestantes are exiled out of Frankeford, Aprillis 23,
onely for that, in doctrine, they did not agree with Luther, the Augustane
confession, pacification at Wittenberg, & reconciliation made at
Frankeford: a slender cause, God wote! If it be well examined, you shall
find it a thing onely diuised, thereby to put their brethren to
incumbrauns. But when I consider what hatred the Lutheranes do here vnto
the Calvinistes, & the Precisians to the Protestantes, I can liken the
same to nothing better then that mallice which reigneth betwene the
papistes & the gospellers....

_The Spire of St. Paul's struck by Lightning._

1560. The Rooffe, with the Spire & steple of Paules church in London, is
consumed to ashes, Junij 4, by lightning. Certes the toppe of this Spire,
where the wethercocke stode, was 520 foote from the ground, of which the
spire was the one halfe. the bredth of the church also, saith Stow, is 130
foote, & the length 2690, or 836 yardes, 2 foote, at this present. Also an
erthquake is felt in the kingdome.... (_Stowe_, p. 1095.--F.)

_Queen Elizabeth at Oxford. "Falamon and Arcite."_

1565. The Queene of England beginneth hir progresse, & vpon the 31 of
August cometh to Oxford, where she visiteth eche college after other, &
making an oration vnto them in Latine, as she had done in Cambridge two
yeres passed, to the gret comfort of all soche as are, or had bene,
studentes there. During her being there also the Academicall exercises
were holden as in their vsuall termes. Diuerse Commedies & plaies also
were set forthe by the studentes of Christes Church, where her Majestie
lodged; but of all the rest, onely that of "Arcite & Palemon"[239] had a
tragicall successe; for, by the falle, of a walle & wooden gallery that
leadeth from the staiers vnfinished to the hall, diuers persons were sore
hurt, & 3 men killed out right, which came to behold the pastimes. [This
paragraph takes up seven lines, and 1-1/4 inch of the height, of
Harrison's MS.; so close is the writing.--F.]....

_Evils of Plays and Theatres._[240]

1572. Plaies are banished for a time out of London, lest the resort vnto
them should ingender a plague, or rather disperse it, being alredy
begonne. Would to god these comon plaies were exiled for altogether, as
semenaries of impiety, & their theaters pulled downe, as no better then
houses of baudrie. It is an euident token of a wicked time when plaiers
wexe so riche that they can build[241] suche houses / As moche I wish also
to our comon beare baitinges vsed on the sabaothe daies.[243]


1573. In these daies, the taking-in of the smoke of the Indian herbe
called "Tabaco," by an instrument formed like a litle ladell, wherby it
passeth from the mouth into the hed & stomach, is gretlie taken-vp & vsed
in England, against Rewmes & some other diseases ingendred in the longes &
inward partes, & not without effect / This herbe as yet is not so common,
but that for want thereof diuers do practize for the like purposes with
the Nicetian, otherwise called in latine, "Hyosciamus Luteus," or the
yellow henbane, albeit, not without gret error; for, althoughe that herbe
be a souerene healer of old vlcers & sores reputed incurable outwardly,
yet is not the smoke or vapour thereof so profitable to be receaued
inwardly. The herbe [Tobacco] is comonly of the height of a man,[244]
garnished with great leaues like the paciens,[245] bering seede,
colloured, & of quantity like vnto, or rather lesse then, the fine
margeronie; the herbe it self yerely coming vp also of the shaking of the
seede; the collour of the floure is carnation, resembling that of the
lemmon in forme: the roote yellow, with many fillettes, & therto very
small in comparison, if you respect the substauns of the herbe.[246]

_A monstrous fish._

1573. A monstrous fish is taken in Thenet vpon the xj{th} of July, of 66
foote in length; one of whose eies was a full cart lode, & the diameter or
thickenesse thereof, full two yardes, or 6 of our english feete....

_London Bridge Tower._

1576. The towre on the drawe bridge vpon london bridge is taken downe in
Aprill, being in great decaie; & sone after made a pleasaunt & beautiful
dwelling house / & whereas the heddes of soche as were executed for
treason were wont to be placed vpon this towre, they were now remoued, &
fixed ouer the gate which leadeth from Southwarke into the citie by that

_A great Snowstorm._

1578. A Cold winter, & ere long there falleth a great snow in England,
whose driftes, in many places, by reason of a Northest winde, were so depe
that the mere report of them maie seme incredible. It beganne in the 4 of
feb: & held on vntil the 8 of the same moneth; during which time some men
& women, beside cattell, were lost, & not heard of till the snow was
melted & gone, notwithstanding that some shepe & catle lived vnder it, &
fedd in the places where they laie, vpon soche grasse as they cold come
by. Vpon the xj{th} also of that moneth, the Thames did rise so highe,
after the dissolution of this snow, that westminster hall was drowned, &
moche fishe left there in the pallace yard when the water returned to her
Channell, for who so list, to gather vp....

_Plagues of Locusts or Grasshoppers, and Mice._

1583. Great harme done in England in diuerse shires, by locustes, or
"grashoppers" as we call them, which deuoured the grasse, & consumed the
pastures & medowes in very pitifull maner: soche great nombers of crowes
also do come into those partes to fede vpon those creatures, that they
tread downe & trample the rest, I meane, whatsoeuer the locust had left
vntouched. Not long before, if not about this time, also some places of
the hundredes in Essex were no lesse annoyed with mise, as report then
went, which did gret hurt to corne & the fruites of the erth, till an
infinite nomber of Owles were assembled into those partes, which consumed
them all to nothing. Certes the report is true; but I am not sure whether
it was in this, or the yere before or after this, for I did not enter the
note when it was first sent vnto me, the lettre being cast aside, & not
hard of after the receipt.

_Stafford's Conspiracy._[247]

1586. Another Conspiracy is detected vpon Newyeres daie, wherein the death
of our Queene is ones againe intended, by Stafford & other, at the receipt
of her Newyeres giftes; but, as God hath taken vpon him the defence of his
owne cause, so hath he, in extraordinary maner, from time to time
preserued her Majestie, his servant, from the treason & traiterous
practizes of her aduersaries, & wonderfully bewraied their diuises./

_A Star in the Moon. A wet Summer in Autumn._

1587. A Sterre is sene in the bodie of the mone vpon the _____ of Marche,
whereat many men merueiled, & not without cause, for it stode directly
betwene the pointes of her hornes, the mone being chaunged, not passing 5
or 6 daies before; & in the later end of the Crabbe after this, also there
insued a very moyst & wet somer, wherby moche haie was lost, & harvest in
the begining grew to be very troublesome. There followed also a like
Autumn; by meanes wherof, shepe & moche other cattell died in abundant
maner in most places of our Iland,[248] wherby the residew grew to be very
dere ... ("a reasonable good haruest for corne."--_Stowe_, 1243.--F.)

The first skonses are made in England vpon the borders of the Thames, & in
other places of the land, to kepe the Spanish powre from entrauns, whose
chief purpose is, as most affirme, to invade Kent with one part of their
navie, & to come by the River of Thames to sacke London with the

_The Spanish Armada. Leicester's Death._

1588. The Spanish navie so long loked for, doth now at last show it self
ouer against our coastes, vpon our 20 of July, where it is foughten
withall vpon the morow, onely with 50 saile of our English shipps vnder
the conduct of the lord Admirall[249] & Sir Fraunces Drake; afterward by
our whole navie of 150 saile, for the space of 2 daies together: in thend
whereof, they are put to flight before Calice, & driven to returne home
about by Scotland, with great losse, so that, of 160 saile & more, which
came out of Spaine, scasely 40 returned againe in safety vnto that king;
God himself so fighting for vs, that we lost not 80 men, neither was there
so moche as one vessell of oures sonke by the enemy, or taken, in all
these skirmishes. In their returne also, & beside those 15 vesselles which
they lost in our seas, 17 other of them did either perish vpon the coast
of Ireland, or, coming thether for succour, were seized vpon also vnto her
Majesties vse. The lieftenaunt of this great navie was the duke Medina of
Cydonia, & with him were 210 noble men, among which, beside the kinges
bastard sonne, were 2 marquesses, one prince, one duke, 4 erles, & 3
Lordes, which came to seeke aduentures, & winne honor vpon England, as
they said; howbeit, as God would, they neuer touched the land, nor came
nere vnto our shore by diuers miles. The duke of Parma should haue
assisted them at this present with 80 or 100 saile prouided out of the Low
Countries; but being kept in by wether, & a portion of our navie, & his
mariners also forsaking him, he was inforced to staie & kepe vpon the
land, where he abode in safety, & out of the roring gunshot / (Stowe's
_Annals_, 1605, pp. 1243-1258.--F.)

Robert, Erle of Leicester, dieth, who in his time became the man of
grettest powre (being but a subiect) which in this land, or that euer had
bene exalted vnder any prince sithens the times of Peers Gavestone &
Robert Veer,[250] some time duke of Ireland. Nothing almost was done,
wherein he had not, either a stroke or a commoditie; which, together with
his scraping from the churche & comons, spoile of her maiesties thresure,
& sodeine death of his first wife &c. procured him soche inward envie &
hatred, that all men, so farre as they durst, reioysed no lesse outwardlie
at his death, then for the victorie obteined of late against the Spanish
nauie /.... (Stowe's _Annals_, 1605, p. 1259.--F.)

A generall thankesgeuing thorow out England in euery church, for the
victory of the Allmightie geuen by thenglish ouer the Spanish navie; in
which, the Queene her selfe, & her nobility, came to S{t} Paules churche
in London, November the 19, where, after she had hard the divine service,
& in her owne person geuen solemne thankes to God, in the hering of soche
as were present, she hard the sermon at the Crosse preached by the bishop
of Sarum, & then dined with the bishop of London in his pallace thereunto
annexed. The kinges of Scotland, Denmarke, Sueden, Navarra, with the
churches of Geneva & diuers other cities of Germany, had done the like
also, a litle while before, in their churches, as we are credibly
informed. The Spanierdes also, indeuoring to hide their reprochefull
voiage from the eies of their comon people, do triumphe for their victory
obteined ouer the Englishe nation, & send to the pope for a seconde
million of gold, which he bound himself to geue them at their landing in
England, they having alredy receaved the first at their departure from the
Groyne in Maie past; but his intelligencers informed him, so that he kept
his crownes at home/... (_Stowe_, p. 1260.--F.)

_The Mad Parliament._

1588. A parliament is holden in London, which some doe call "the greene
meting," other, "the madde parliament," because it consisted, for the most
part, of yong burgesses, picked out of purpose to serue some secrete turne
against the state present of the clergy; of whome no tale was there left
vntold, that might deface their condicion. In this assembly, billes were
put vp, as it is said, which required that the ministery of England should
be subiect to service in the warres, & called to appeare at musters,
sizes, &c. as laie subiectes of the land; that they should prouide
furniture of armour & munition, according to the seuerall valuation of
their livinges; that eche of them should haue but one living, & be
resident vpon the same; & that all impropriations in spirituall mens
handes onely, should be restored to the churche, with other like diuises;
but in thend, none of them all went forward; & right good cause; for
hereby most churches should quickely haue bene without their pastor, the
Collegiate & cathedrall houses (the chief marke whereat they shot)
rellinquished, & some of the spiritualty more charged then vj of the
greattest of the nobility in the land, whose livinges are not valued in
soche strict maner as those are of the clergy, who also in this parliament
are charged with a doble subsidie to be paid in 6 yeres. (Stowe's
_Annals_, 1605, p. 1261.--F.)

_The Parliament of Feb. 1592-3._

[_Last entry, in a very tottery hand, 2 months before Harrison's death or
burial on 24 April 1593, six days after he'd ended his 59th year._--F.]

1592. A Parliament beginneth at London, feb. 19 [1592-3], being mondaie /
many men looke for many thinges at the handes of the congregates, chiefly
the precisiens for the ouerthrow of bishops & all ecclesiasticall
regiment, and erection of soche discipline as thei themselues haue
prescribed / the Clergy also feared some stoppage of former lawes provided
for the wel [?] paiment of their tithes / but all men expect a generall
graunt of money, the cheef end, in our time, of the aforesaid Assemblies;
which being obserued, the rest will sone haue an ende / In the very
begining of this parliament, there were more then 100 of the lower house,
returned for outlawes, I meane, so well of knightes as of burgesses, &
more are daiely loked for to be found in like estate / but is it not,
thinke you, a likely matter, that soche men can be authors of good lawes,
who, for their own partes, will obey no law at all? How gret frendes the
precisians in ther practizes are to these men, the possession of their
desire wold esily declare, if thei might ones obteine it. [_a later entry:
the Parliament broke up on April 10, 1593,_[251] _a fortnight before
Harrison's death_.--F.] neuerthelesse, in the vpshot of that meting, it
was found, that notwithstanding the money graunted--which was well nigh
yelded vnto, in respect of our generall necessitie--there were so many
good profitable lawes ordeined in this parliament as in any other that
haue passed in former times, the mallicious dealinges also of the
precisians, papistes, & comeling [?] provokers[252] was not a litle
restreigned in the same, to the gret benefite of the country.

     ["The rest is silence."]

_Printed by_ WALTER SCOTT, _Felling, Newcastle-on-Tyne_.


[1] Condensed from the first part of the edition of 1876 for the "New
Shakspere Society."--W.

[2] This does not apply to a small portion of Book I. used by Dr. F., and
also somewhat in this reprint.--W.

[3] Who'll write a like one for Victorian England? (Mr. Fyffe has since
done this.) Oh that we had one for Chaucer's England!--F.

[4] The Elizabethan sweep in this, as in so many other plans of the

[5] See Holinshed's Dedication to Lord Burghley in vol. iii. of his
_Chronicle_.--F. (See Appendix.--W.)

[6] William Harrison's _Chronologie_ is mentioned on the last leaf of the
Preface to vol. iii. of _Holinshed_, p. 1, at foot--"For the computation
of the yeares of the world, I had by Maister Wolfes aduise followed
_Functius_; but after his [Wolfe's] deceasse, M. W[illiam] H[arrison] made
me partaker of a Chronologie, which he had gathered and compiled with most
exquisit diligence, following _Gerardus Mercator_, and other late
chronologers, and his owne obseruations, according to the which I haue
reformed the same."--Holinshed, in the Preface to his _Chronicles_, vol.
iii. sign A 4, ed. 1587,--and in his _Description_, "I haue reserued them
vnto the publication of my great _Chronologie_, if (while I liue) it
happen to come abroad." It was never publisht. My search for the MS. of it
results in my having just received (Aug. 28) its large folio vols. 2, 3,
4, from the Diocesan Library of Derry, in Ireland. The Rev. H. Cotton,
_Thurles, Ireland_ (Dec. 21, 1850), said where it was, in I. _Notes and
Queries_, iii. 105, col. 2; and after two fruitless searches it was found,
and lent me by the Bishop, through his Librarian, the Rev. B. Moffett of
Foyle College, Londonderry, as well as a curious and terribly corrected
MS. of an English work on Weights and Measures, Hebrew, Greek, English,
etc., dated 1587, which must be Harrison's too.

The 3 folio volumes of the _Chronologie_ are 8 inches deep as they lie,
each being 10-3/4 inches broad, by 17-1/2 high, with 73, and sometimes
more, lines to a page. An enormous amount of work is in them, and all of
them are in Harrison's own hand, at different times of his life. Vol. 2,
"The second part of the English Chronologye written by Wm. Harrison," runs
from the Creation to Christ's birth. Vol. 3, "The third p_ar_t of the
Chronology conteining a just & perfite true &c. as followeth in the next
Leafe, to thend of the title, & to be brought hether," stretches from the
birth of Christ to William the Norman's Conquest of England. Vol. 4, "The
iij{th} and Last part of the great English Chronology writte_n_ By Wm.
H.," [title in another hand?] goes from the beginning of William the
Conqueror's reign, Oct. 14, 1066, to the February of 1592-3, only two
months before Harrison's own death (or burial) on April 24, 1593. And each
volume tells, in Chronicle fashion, what went on all over the world in
each successive year, so far as Harrison knew. The contemporary part of
vol. 4 is of course the most interesting: "A William Harrison wrote some
Latin lines on the deaths of the Brandons, Dukes of Suffolk, printed with
the collection published on that occasion, 4to, London, 1552."--F.

[7] Holinshed, iii. 1499; extract in my edition of Thynne's
_Animadversions_, 1875, p. lxxxv.--F.

[8] In his account of the rivers, etc., Harrison sometimes quotes other
people in the first person, "I, we," as if he had himself been to the
places they describe.--F.

[9] Folio Harrison, p. 103, col. 2, ed. 1587.--F.

[10] Folio Harrison, p. 107, col. 2 (ed. 1587).--F. [See Appendix.--W.]

[11] He complains of help promist, and never given: see in the folio
Harrison, p. 45, col. I (beginning of cap. II, Book I., about the
Thames).--F. [See Appendix.--W.]

[12] Still you get his side-note--I suppose 'tis his--at p. 254 below, on
the report of two old British books being found in a stone wall at
Verolamium, "_This soundeth like a lie_." Other bits of wholesome doubt
turn up elsewhere.--F.

[13] The Thames "hieth to Sudlington, otherwise called Maidenhead, and so
to Windleshore (or Windsore), Eaton, and then to Chertseie.... From
Chertseie it hasteth directlie vnto Stanes, and receiuing an other streame
by the waie, called the Cole (wherevpon Colbrooke standeth), it goeth by
Kingstone, Shene, Sion, and Brentford or Bregentford."... Bk. I. p. 46,
col. 1, l. 30, vol. i., folio ed. 1587.--F.

[14] The extracts quoted by Dr. F. will be mostly found in the modernised
text. Here they are printed in the old spelling, giving an idea of the
original volume, saving the black letter type.--W.

[15] Still, I find it very hard that he spoke so harshly of Andrew

[16] Harrison doesn't scold the women for painting their faces and wearing
false hair, in the persistent way that Shakspere does. These two bits of
falseness (in town women only?) evidently made a great impression on the
country-bred Shakspere's mind. Stubbes complaind bitterly of them too.

[17] "Before the earliest date of Parish Registers (1538). I have all the
Marriage Licences issued by the Bishop of London, beginning as early as
1521; but they do not include that of Harrison's father."--J. L. CHESTER.

[18] As Harrison left by his will twenty shillings to the poor of St.
Thomas the Apostle in London, Colonel Chester thinks he may have been born
in that parish.----P.S. Aug. 31, 1876. I've just found in Harrison's MS.
_Chronologie_, under 1534, "The Author of this boke is borne, vpon y{e} 18
of Aprill, hora 11 minut 4, Secunde 56, at London, in Cordwainer streete,
otherwise called bowe lane in y{e} [_crosst thro'_: house next to y{e}
holly lambe towards chepeside, & in y{e}] p_ar_ish of St. Thomas the

[19] Dr. Scott, the present Head-Master, tells me that the early registers
are not. "My dear Sir,--I regret to say that no early records of
Westminster School are known to be in existence anywhere, except the names
of those admitted to the Foundation, and even these merely from an old
"Buttery Book" in the earliest times, to which Noel belongs; only those
who were elected to Ch. Ch. or Trinity are recorded. There is no trace of
such a name as Harrison. I have done my best to hunt up old records, but
with very small result.--Faithfully yours, CHAS. B. SCOTT." After
Harrison's days, Dean Goodman gave the School for a time a Sanatorium at
Chiswick--"_Cheswicke_, H. 14, belonging to a prebend of Paules now in the
handes of Doctor _Goodman_, Deane of _Westminster_, where he hath a Faire
house, whereunto (in the time of any common plague or sicknes, as also to
take the aire) he withdraweth the schollers of the colledge of
_Westminster_." 1596. Jn. Norden's _Description of Middlesex_, p. 17, ed.

[20] Alexander Nowell was one of the most famous divines of the
Reformation. Born in Lancashire about 1507, he got a fellowship at
Brasenose in 1540; in 1543 became second master of Westminster School; and
in 1551 Prebendary of Westminster. He was elected M.P. for Looe in
Cornwall, in the first Parliament of Queen Mary, but his election was
voided because he was a Church dignitary. He then went to Strassburg;
returnd on the accession of Elizabeth, and was made Dean of St. Paul's in
1560. He publisht his celebrated Larger Catechism, and an abridgment of
it, both in Latin, in 1570; and is supposed to have written the greater
part of the Church of England Catechism. He was elected Master of
Brasenose in 1595, and died 13 February, 1601-2. (_Cooper._).--F.

[21] Cooper, in his _Athenæ Cantabrigienses_, says of Harrison--"He was a
member of this university [Cambridge] in 1551, and afterwards studied at
Oxford. We are unable to ascertain his house at either university." ?
Merton, Oxf. see p. xvi. (There's no Merton Admission book so early as
Harrison's time, the Bursar says.)

[22] He us'd his eyes too at both places, and at school; for he says of
the buildings: "The common schooles of Cambridge also are farre more
beautifull than those of Oxford, onelie the diuinitie schoole at Oxford
excepted, which for fine and excellent workemanship, commeth next the
moold of the kings chappell in Cambridge, than the which two, with the
chappell that king Henrie the seauenth did build at Westminster, there are
not (in mine opinion) made of lime & stone three more notable piles within
the compasse of Europe."--F.

[23] Mr. Luard of Trinity, the Registrar of the University, has kindly
copied the grace for me:--"1569. Grace Book [Greek: D], fol. 97 _b_:
Conceditur 10 Junii magistro Willelmo Harryson ut studium 7 annorum in
Theologia postquam rexerit in artibus Oxoniæ cum oppositionibus etc.
perficiendis etc. sub poena x librarum ponendarum etc. sufficiat ei tam
ad opponendum quam ad intrandum in sacra Theologia, præsentatus per D.
Longeworth[24] et admissus 17 Junii."--F.

[24] Master of St. John's.

[25] Wood's _Ath. Ox._, ed. Bliss., i. col. 537; Cooper's _Ath. Cant._ ii.

[26] The Manor and advowson of _Great Radwinter_ had been part of the
property of the Cobham family since 1433, if not before. (See Wright's
_Hist. of Essex_, II. 92; Morant's do., II. 535.).--F.

[27] See his defence of pluralism. [In the chapter on "The Church of
England."--W.] It was vehemently condemnd by most of his

[28] The Vicarage of _Wimbish_ not being a "competent maintenance," and
the adjoining vicarage of _Thunderley_ being so small that no one would
accept of it, Dr. Kemp, Bishop of London in 1425, united the two. The
presentation to these incorporated vicarages was made alternate in the
Rector of Wimbish (it is a sinecure rectory) and the Priory of Hatfield
Regis (who had the great tithes and advowson of Thunderley). In 1547, Ed.
VI. granted this Priory's advowson or right of presenting alternately to
Wimbish, to Ed. Waldgrave, Esq.; and it passed on in private hands, so
that from 1567 to 1599 it belonged to Francis de la Wood, who thus, it
would seem, must have been the patron who presented William Harrison. See
Morant's _Hist. of Essex_, pp. 560, 561. By the _Valor Ecclesiasticus_ of
Hen. VIII. the clear yearly value of _Wimbish Vicarage_ was £8; tithes
16s. That of _Radwinter Rectory_ £21 11s. 4d.; tithes £2 3s. 2-1/2d. Some
of the parson of Radwinter's tithes were made up thus:--"to the parson of
Radwynter forseid for the yerely tythes of the said maner [Bendish Hall,
in the parish of Radwinter], one acre of whete in harvest p_ri_ce x s, one
acre of otes p_ri_ce v s iiij d, a lambe p_ri_ce viij d, a pigg, p_ri_ce
iiij d, and in money iij s iiij d."--_Valor Eccl._, Vol. I. p. 85, col.

[29] I assume that Harrison had once more children, whom he floggd
occasionally. When speaking of mastiffs in Bk. 3, chap. 7, p. 231, col. 1,
l. 60, ed. 1587, he says, "I had one my selfe once, which would not suffer
anie man to bring in his weapon further than my gate, neither those that
were of my house, to be touched in his presence. Or if I had beaten _anie
of my children_, he would gentlie haue assaied to catch the rod in his
teeth, and take it out of my hand, or else pluck downe their clothes to
saue them from the stripes: which in my opinion is not vnworthie to be
noted. And thus much of our mastiffes, creatures of no lesse faith and
loue towards their maisters than horses." Still, girls were floggd in
Elizabeth's days, no doubt (compare Lady Jane Grey's case, in Ascham), as
well as a hundred years before. See how Agnes Paston beat her daughter
Elizabeth in 1449, _Paston Letters_, ed. Gairdner, vol. i., Introd., p.
cxvi.--F. [See Chapter XVI., "Of our English Dogs and their

[30] Gerard had above a thousand--

"_Gerard's Catalogue of his Garden._--A reprint of 'the first professedly
complete catalogue of any one garden, either public or private, ever
published' certainly deserves putting on record here. Gerard's _Herball_
is by no means a rare book; but the _Catalogus arborum fruticum ac
plantarum tam indigenarum quam exoticarum in horto Johannis Gerardi civis
et chirurgi Londinensis nascentium_ is exceedingly rare. This reprint,
therefore, which we owe to the liberality of Mr. B. Daydon Jackson, will
be extremely welcome to all interested in the early introduction of exotic
plants. The reprint consists of a limited number of copies for private
circulation only. Without being an absolute fac-simile it is almost an
exact reproduction of the original, the first edition of which was
published in 1596. A second edition appeared in 1599, which Mr. Jackson
also reprints, together with some of his own remarks and notes on the
_Herball_, and a Life of Gerard. But what will be found especially useful
is the list of modern names affixed to the old ones. Gerard's _physic_
garden was in Holborn, and included upwards of a thousand different kinds
of plants.... There are several other lists of this kind we should be glad
to see reprinted--Tradescant's, among others, as the younger Tradescant
made a voyage to Virginia and introduced many American
trees."--(_Academy_, July 1876.)--F.

[31] (Note by the late Dr. Goodall): Erat quidem Gulielmus Harrison Socius
Etonensis Mar. 3, 1592, Vice præpositus Collegii et Rector de Everdon in
Comitatu Northampt. Ut ille mortuus est Etonæ, et ibidem Sepultus Dec. 27,

[32] Mr. J. Higgs, of Sheet Street, Windsor, has kindly searcht the Parish
Register of Burials, which dates from 1564, but he finds no entry of Canon
Harrison's burial.--F. [At Radwinter. See Appendix.--W.]

[33] See his defence of priests leaving "their substances to their wives
and children," in his _Description_.--F. [In "Church" chapter.--W.]

[34] Compare the smart red dress with blue hood and long blue liripipe
from it, of the Nun's Priest, in the colourd illumination of the Ellesmere
MS. given in my Six-Text _Canterbury Tales_.--F.


     Proude preestes coome with hym, Mo than a thousand,
     In paltokes and _pyked shoes_, And pisseris long knyves.

_Vision of Piers Plowman_, Pass. xx. l. 14,360, ii. 438, ed. Wright.--F.

[36] William Rede or Reade, made Bp. of Chichester 1369, died 1385, "is
said to have been a native of Devonshire, and to have received his early
education in Exeter Coll., Oxford, from whence he removed to Merton,
having been elected a fellow. He soon discovered a singular genius for the
sciences, as they were then known and practised, and excelled in
geography, astronomy, and architecture. About the year 1349, he gave a
design for a library at Merton College, and superintended the building,
which is very spacious, if considered as a repository of MSS. only.... He
contributed greatly to furnishing the library with valuable MSS., adding
his own, which consisted of several scientific treatises, astronomical
tables, and maps. He was a great encourager of learning, particularly by
procuring many rare MSS. from the continent, which were transcribed at his
expense." He built Amberley Castle, an episcopal residence for
Chichester.--Dallaway's _History of the Western Division of the County of
Sussex_, 1832, vol. i. pp. 54, 55.--F.

[37] Cambridge studies. 1516, Aug. 31. Er. Ep. II. 10. Erasmus to Bovill.
Thirty years ago, nothing was taught at Cambridge except Alexander's
_parva Logicalia_, some scraps from Aristotle, and the _Quæstiones_ of
Duns Scotus. In process of time improved studies were added; mathematics,
a new Aristotle, a knowledge of Greek letters. What has been the
consequence? The University can now hold its head with the highest, and
has excellent theologians. Of course they must now study the New Testament
with greater attention, and not waste their time, as heretofore, in
frivolous quibbles.--Brewer's _Calendar of Henry VIII.'s Time_, vol. ii.,
pt. i., p. 716.--F.

[38] As a usually accurate friend of mine always calls this name "Asham,"
I note that it's often spelt "Askham" in old writers.--F.

[39] Harrison repeats his warning in stronger terms. [See Chapter I.--W.]
"This neuerthelesse is generallie to be reprehended in all estates of
gentilitie, and which in short time will turne to the great ruine of our
countrie, and that is the vsuall sending of noblemens & meane gentlemens
sonnes into Italie, from whence they bring home nothing but meere
atheisme, infidelitie, vicious conuersation, & ambitious and proud
behauiour, wherby it commeth to passe that they returne far worsse men
than they went out." See the sequel.--F.

[40] See Sir T. More's _Utopia_, "a huge number of idle fellows, who never
learned any art by which they may gain their living," etc.--F.

[41] On the finest kind of bread, _manchet_, note that Queen Elizabeth's
was made from Heston wheat, Middlesex:--"_Heston_, H. 10, a most fertyle
place of wheate, yet not so much to be commended for the quantitie, as for
the qualitie, for the wheat is most pure, accompted the purest in manie
shires. And therefore Queene Elizabeth hath the most part of her provision
from that place for _manchet_ for her Highnes own diet, as is reported."
1596. Jn. Norden, _Description of Middlesex_, p. 25, ed. 1723.--F.

[42] But he speaks, at p. 69, "of the common sort, whose mouthes are
alwaies wide open vnto reprehension, and eies readie to espie anie thing
that they may reprooue and carpe at." Still, Harrison took more kindly to
the common sort than Shakspere did in his plays.--F.

[43] Now Chapter VIII.--W.

[44] _De Republica Anglorum._ The maner of Gouernement or policie of the
Realme of England, compiled by the Honorable Sir Thomas Smyth, Knight,
Doctor of both the lawes, and one of the principal Secretaries vnto the
two most worthy Princes, King Edward the sixt, and Queen Elizabeth ...
London ... 1584 (some copies 1583). A posthumous

[45] Did Shakspere ever turn out and chevy a Stratford thief, I wonder? He
must have been able to hit and hold hard.--F.

[46] Made of tree or wood.--F.

[47] See an instance in Burleigh House.

[48] Of hostlers, Harman says, "not one amongst twenty of them but haue
well left their honesty, as I here a great sorte saye."--Harman's
_Caueat_, p. 62, ed. Viles and Furnivall.--F.

[49] Harrison wasn't the only man who felt thus. See Arthur Standish's two
tracts: "The Commons Complaint. Wherein is contained two speciall
Grievances: The first, the generall destruction and waste of Woods in this
Kingdome.... The Second Grievance is, The extreame dearth of Victvals.
Fovre Remedies for the same, etc. London Printed by William Stansby,
1611." 4{o}. F 2 in fours. "New Directions of Experience to the Commons
Complaint by the incouragement of the Kings most excellent Maiesty, as may
appeare, for the planting of Timber and Fire-wood. With a neere Estimation
what Millions of Acres the Kingdome doth containe, what Acres is waste
ground, whereon little profit for this purpose will arise.... Inuentid by
Arthur Standish. Anno Domini. MDCXIII. 4{o}. A--D in fours; E, 4 leaves,
and a leaf of F."--_Hazlitt's Collections and Notes_, p. 401-2. Also
Massinger's _Guardian_, II. iv--F.

[50] "If woods go so fast ... I have knowne a well burnished gentleman
that hath borne threescore at once [weren't they trees?] in one paire of
galigascons, to shew his strength and brauerie." Brick-burning also
consumd much wood: compare Harrison, bk. 3, chap. 9, p. 234, col. 2, l.
46, ed. 1587:--"such is the curiositie of our countrimen, that
notwithstanding almightie God hath so blessed our realme in most
plentifull maner, with such and so manie quarries apt and meet for piles
of longest continuance, yet we, as lothsome of this abundance, or not
liking of the plentie, doo commonlie leaue these naturall gifts to mould
and cinder in the ground, and take vp an artificiall bricke, _in burning
whereof a great part of the wood of this land dailie consumed and spent_,
to the no small decaie of that commoditie, and hinderance of the poore
that perish off for cold." See, too, chap. 10, p. 236, col. 2, l. 44, "Of
colemines we have such plentie in the north and westerne parts of our
Iland, as may suffice for all the realme of England: and so must they doo
hereafter in deed, if wood be not better cherrished than it is at this

[51] Of the 1876 reprint.--W.

[52] See Dr. Furnivall's "Forewords."--W.

[53] This apology for "faults escaped herein" was of course omitted in

[54] See "The English Courtier" ... and "The Court and Country." Both
reprinted in Mr. W. C. Hazlitt's "Roxburghe Library."--F.

[55] Here follow etymologies of the terms "Duke," "Marquess," and

[56] 1 Sam. ii. 15; 1 Kings i. 7.--H.

[57] Here follows a long paragraph on the character of the clergy which is
more appropriate to the chapter on "The Church."--W.

[58] Every peer ceases to be a legislator the moment the Crown considers
the advice and aid of such peer unnecessary. The historic meeting between
Elizabeth Woodville and Edward Plantagenet (which incidentally has made
the lady ancestress to nearly every royal house in Europe), when she
declared herself

                 "too mean to be your queen,
     And yet too good to be your concubine,"

was occasioned by the mean estate left by her late husband, Sir John Grey,
to his orphan children. Sir John was by right Lord Grey of Groby, but
never sat at Westminster as such, being killed at Saint Albans. His
children would have had small chance of writs of summons had not their
beautiful mother ensnared the monarch who (much to his crook-backed
brother's disgust, at least in the play) would "use women honourably." The
heir of the Birminghams was not only evicted from the House of Peers, but
from Dudley Castle, because he was poor. The heir of the Staffords had the
old barony taken from him by Charles I. (simply because he, Roger
Stafford, was poor), and saw it given to a court favourite, one of the
honour-hooking Howards.--W.

[59] Here follows a learned disquisition upon "Valvasors."--W.

[60] Here follows a discourse upon _Equites Aurati_.--W.

[61] Here is a description of dubbing a knight.--W.

[62] Long details are given of Garter history, very inaccurate, both here
and in the last omitted passage.--W.

[63] Derivations of "Esquire" and "Gentleman" are given.--W.

[64] The proper spelling of what is now called _kersey_. It is really
"causeway cloth," and causeway is still pronounced (as it should be)
_karsey_ by the homely people who are not tied to the tail of the dogmatic
dictionary man, whose unnecessary ingenuity (in place of a small knowledge
of "country matters") has in this case set up a phantom phalanx of busy
looms in the harmless little village of Kersey in Suffolk. The Scotch have
the full phrase still. The French _causie_ is nearer to carsie than to
book-made _causeway_.--W.

[65] This etymology of a much-disputed word is doubtless accurate. Thus
Piers Plowman's

     "Thoruh ziftes haven _zemen_ to rennen and to ride."

The peculiar "z" stood the Saxon "ge." In fact Geo, old Mother Earth,
stares us in the face. A yeoman is an "earth-man." We may literally say
our modern English sabremen of the shires, at a periodical muster on
caracoling steeds, are "racy of the soil."--W.

[66] Harrison was quick to catch a true idea of the authors he delights
in, and his weakness for displaying his fund of classical lore is
therefore generally a pleasure instead of a bore. The phrase from the
distinguished Roman youth, Aulus Persius Flaccus, occurs in the Prologue
to his poems:

     "Heliconidas pallidamque Pirenen
     Illis remitto quorum imagines lambunt
     Hederæ sequaces: ipse _semipaganus_
     Ad sacra vatum carmen adfero nostrum;"

which may be thus Englished:

     "Those Helicon-births and pallor-breeding Pirenes
     Must remit I to them o'er whose countenance traileth
     The ivy up-clinging: myself, _half-breed of the soil_,
     To the shrine of our prophets my song I deliver."

Almost every annotator of Persius has handled this passage as though the
poet simply prosaically alluded to his being half of _rustic_ birth. As a
fact, he was of the bluest blood of the Augustine age. Harrison makes a
happy hit in understanding the passage as alluding to a semi-connection
with the territory of the Muses, as I have treated it.--W.

[67] Capite censi, or Proletarii.--H.

[68] The Ceylonese. The Greek name for the island of Ceylon was Taprobane,
which Harrison used merely as a classical scholar.--W.

[69] The wise and learned Secretary of State in the dangerous days of
Edward VI., who under Elizabeth had the task of furnishing Burleigh with
brains (thus heaping "coals of fire" on the man who had stolen his place
when Reform was triumphant and danger past), was himself born within a
gunshot of Harrison's Radwinter rectory, at Saffron Walden. Though Sir
Thomas Smith's own seat was a dozen miles to the south, at Theydon,
Harrison was evidently very intimate with the Secretary. Some of the
foregoing chapter (and much more which has been omitted) are literal
transcripts from Smith's _De Republica Anglorum_. This work was still in
manuscript in 1577 (the year of the first "Holinshed"), and late in the
summer of that year Sir Thomas himself committed suicide. In 1583, before
the second "Holinshed," the first edition of _De Republica_ was issued,
probably edited by our Harrison. The very title breathed the spirit of
Elizabethan politics. Secretaries of State do not now talk about the
"English Republic." The Hampdens were closely connected with Sir Thomas
Smith, and _De Republica_ was a text-book of John Hampden. In 1589 the
title for Smith's work was first Englished (without doubt Harrison's own
handiwork), and that title has been made immortal in English history by
Hampden's disciples: THE COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND.--W.

[70] If Harrison means to give us the impression that a city has any
direct connection with episcopal affairs, he is quite in error. Cities are
distinctly royal and imperial institutions. The accident of the number of
cities and sees being the same comes from the natural tendency of the two
institutions to drift together, though of distinct origin.--W.

[71] Here follows a long and learned disquisition upon the Roman and other
early towns, especially about St. Albans, a portion of which will be found
in the Appendix.--W.

[72] The regalia which denoted sovereign right within the city limits,
even to excluding kings at the head of their armies as the "scroyles of
Angiers" do in _King John_, much to the Bastard's disgust.--W.

[73] The cutters have not been heard from for the three centuries
intervening. These would have been the most valuable set of Elizabethan
maps ever known had they been executed as Harrison expected.--W.

[74] Here follows an allusion to the decay of Eastern cities.--W.

[75] See on this my _Ballads from MSS._, i.; Mr. Cowper's edition of _Life
in Tudor England_; _Four Supplications_; and Crowley's _Select Works_ for
the Early English Text Society; More's _Utopia_, etc.--F.

[76] The old and proper form of the modern pumpkin.--W.

[77] The historic seat of the De Veres is thus a by-word even before the
line had risen to its most glorious achievements and gone out in a blaze
of military honour.--W.

[78] Harrison must have been given access to Leland's manuscripts, as the
"Commentarii" were not published until 1709, or one hundred and
fifty-seven years after the author died in the madhouse.--W.

[79] The first is a variant on a Keltic, the second on a Saxon, word, both
relating to matters sufficiently indicated in the text.--W.

[80] Harrison may refer to Camden, then a young man starting out on the
life-mission which has made him immortal. The chief works of Abraham
Ortelius were not as yet published, 1577; but Harrison seems to have had
early information on various forthcoming publications.--W.

[81] This chapter (misnumbered 19) does not appear anywhere in the edition
of 1577.--F.

[82] In a chapter on "Vineyards," for an extract from which see

[83] No vegetables are mentioned by John Russell in his different bills of
fare for dinners in his "Boke of Nurture," ab. 1440 A.D., _Babees Book_,
pp. 164-175.--F.

[84] _Skirret_ is in my book, p. 214, 1. I, _Sium Sisarum_, an
umbelliferous plant with a small root like a little carrot, no longer
cultivated in England, or very rarely.--R. C. A. PRIOR.

[85] _Navew_, Brassica Napus, is probably only a variety of the turnip,
from which it differs in the smaller and less orbicular root, and the
leaves being glabrous and not rough. It is that which is cultivated for
making Colza oil, and for sheep-feed. The differences between _Brassica
Napus_, _B. campestris_, and _B. Rapa_ (the turnip) are really very
slight, as you will see in any botanical work on British plants.--R. C. A.

[86] See John Russell's list of those for the bath of Humfrey, Duke of
Gloucester, in _The Babees Book_, pp. 183-185.--F.

[87] Harrison makes a distinction between "dunghill" and "laistowe" (or
laystowe, laystall, etc.), again upsetting the theories of the dictionary

[88] This was about the epoch when Captain Price, the "salt sea dog," was
smoking the first pipe ever seen on London streets. Harrison seems to know
of tobacco only as a medicine.--W.

[89] "Corn-trees" are probably _cornels_, from one of which, the _C. ras_,
L., the berries are commonly eaten in Italy, and sherbet made from them in
the East. In Italy they are called _cornia_ and _corniola_.--R. C. A.

[90] Of these four examples, in four shires, surrounding London, west,
south, north, and east, not one remains as Harrison had it in view. The
famous grounds of Hampton Court are of William III., Wolsey work being
effaced. Nonsuch in Surrey, near Epsom race-course, is a mere memory. In
Harrison's time it was a favourite resort of Elizabeth, being designed by
her father as the child of his old age, but really built as a "labour of
love" by the last of the Fitzalans, who saved it from destruction by Mary
(who loved not her father's works), making it the scene of many an act in
the tragic drama of the royal sisters and their cousin of Scotland.
Theobald's, in Herts, known to all readers of Izaac Walton, was just
before Harrison's day the seat of the family of Burbage, the "original
Hamlet," being bought in 1564 by Cecil, made the favourite haunt of the
Stuarts, and finally was destroyed by the Commonwealth people. Cobham,
near Gravesend in Kent, was the seat of the Brookes, the ill-starred
patrons of Harrison himself. It is still famous in horticultural annals,
just as Nonsuch will be immortal from its luscious apples.--W.

[91] Harrison may be said to have made this word his own, and a classic in
the language. Its meaning is sufficiently indicated in the text, but the
published definition and etymologies are evidently incomplete. A _bodger_
was probably a (tax) collector in his bodge or budget, before he was a
buyer and seller.--W.

[92] What a pity the poor men couldn't _co-operate_, imitate the rich
buyer, and have their own bodger to buy for them!--F.

[93] Victorian writers can say this too. I recollect fresh butter at 8d.
and 10d. a pound here at Egham, and now we pay 20d. The imported Italian
butter that we get in London, from Ralli, Greek Street, Soho, is 19d.--F.

[94] An interesting anticipation of John Stuart Mill's point of the evil
of a large middleman class checked only by competition. Co-operation, with
a few middlemen, the agents and servants of the co-operators, is what we

[95] Elizabethan England was the transition period when the slavery of
money rents was fastened upon an unsuspecting people, leading to the great
famines and revolts of the Stuart period.--W.

[96] The ancient London counterpart of the more modern "Rag Fair" known to
literary fame.--W.

[97] The Kermess, or literally, "Church mass," so famous in "Faust."--W.

[98] Here follows a long treatise on the "Law of Ordeal." Habam was at the
mouth of the Trent, where the Romans crossed the Humber; Wannetting is
Wantage; Thundersley survives still in Essex; Excester is Exeter;
Crecklade (misprinted Grecklade) is Cricklade. All are of historic

[99] A good deal of this chapter and the following one is mere
compilation; but there are interesting bits of Harrison's own self in his
"_old cock of Canterbury_," the _prophecies_ or _conferences_ then lately
begun, and soon blessed, the _taxes on parsons_, the Church being the
"_ass for every market man to ride on_," the then state of the churches,
and abolition of feast and _guild-days_, the popish priest "_dressed like
a dancing peacock_," the contempt felt for the ministry and their
poverty.--F. [Some of the merely historical recapitulation has been
banished altogether, along with the next chapter referred to, that upon

[100] The Welsh name for England, as distinct from their own Cambria,
usually written "Lloegr," and poetically derived from the eldest of the
three sons of Brute, Locrine of Loegria, Camber of Cambria, and Alban of
Albania (Albany, Alban, or Scotland), the adventures of this trio
furnishing all the island with names, as King Humber of the Huns defeated
and drowned in the Humber, his beautiful protegée Estreldis and her
daughter Sabra (by Locrine) thrown into the Severn (from Sabrina) by the
jealous and discarded Queen Gwendolen after she had settled accounts with
Locrine himself by the banks of the Sture. See Spenser, Milton, the old
play of "Locrine," and the new one by Swinburne: "How Britain at the first
grew to be divided into three portions."--W.

[101] In his first book and in this chapter.--W.

[102] This "authority" was for ever chopped off in the next generation
with the head of William Laud.--W.

[103] "There can be no reasonable doubt that there existed an episcopal
see at Caerleon in early times. It is pretty certain that it disappeared
about the sixth century, and that the bishoprics of St. David's, Llandaff,
and Llanbadarn were founded about the same time. Nor have we, with a
single doubtful exception, any indication of sees in any part of South
Wales, with the sole exception of Caerleon. We may therefore regard the
change to a certain extent as a portion of the spiritual jurisdiction
between the three chief principalities into which South Wales seems at
this time to have been divided, and partly as an imitation of the policy
of St. Martin, by transferring it from the city to the wilderness. Or, if
we please, we may regard St. David's and Llanbadarn as new sees, Llandaff
being the legitimate representative of Caerleon. The question remains
whether a metropolitan jurisdiction resided with any of these sees, and
with which of them. It was claimed in after times by the bishops of
Llandaff, as well as by those of St. David's," etc. (_History and
Antiquity of St. David's_, by W. B. Jones and E. A. Freeman.)--W.

[104] This is a minor error, Canterbury having assumed the functions of
St. David's archiepiscopate over a century before Archbishop Lanfranc of
the Conquest came to assert the primacy over York, which was doubtless in
Harrison's mind here.--W.

[105] Harrison had doubtless a special antipathy to Saint Dunstan, because
that great autocrat of Canterbury, along with his busy labours of humbling
kings, enforcing celibacy on the priesthood, building the "church
triumphant" over the whole body politic, found time to usurp the
archiepiscopal functions of Saint David's in the year 983, thus bringing
Welshmen for the first time under English ecclesiastical rule, where (much
to their disgust) they remain to our own time.--W.

[106] The details of the well-known story of Earl Godwin, as rendered by
Harrison, here follow. The great interest of these recapitulations of
English clerical history is in the utterance of a mind fresh from the
great wrench of the Reformation.--W.

[107] The last clause was significantly deleted in the edition of 1587.
The Armada was looming in the horizon, and the poor printer was obliged to
mind his Protestant p's and q's for the nonce.--W.

[108] "As appeareth by these letters." Giving letter of Pope Eugenius to
King Stephen.--W.

[109] "Calf," meaning a fool (as witness Cotgrave's definition of "_Veau_,
a calfe or veale; also a lozell, hoydon, dunce, jobbernoll, doddipole"),
had divers owners put before it, of whom Waltham seems to have been the
best known: "Waltham's calf. As wise as Waltham's calf--_i.e._, very
foolish. Waltham's calf ran nine miles to suck a bull." (Hallwell's

[110] "As appeareth by the same letter here ensuing." Companion letter to
Maud of Boulogne.--W.

[111] Ostia, referring to Leo Marsicanus, cardinal-archbishop of

[112] The letter of Marsicanus is given in full.--W.

[113] Thomas Fitzalan, son of the Earl of Arundel, and great-grandson of
Edmund Crouchback, and third cousin of the Black Prince and John of Gaunt,
fathers of the king and his rival Bolingbroke, but closely allied to the
latter, being cousin-german of John of Gaunt's first wife, Bolingbroke's
mother. The printers misprinted his name as "John." He has been handed
down as the great persecutor of the Lollards, whom John of Gaunt


     "Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back
     While gold and silver beck me to come on,"

blurts out the Bastard in _King John_. Shakespeare was not above taking a
hint from Harrison.--W.

[115] William the Lion, who at Coeur de Lion's death came into England
to do feudal homage for his English lands to the wily John Lackland, a
visit which John, after his fashion, turned to account by imposing on
William the impossible task of following him across the Channel and making
war upon Philip Augustus, and, on King William's refusal to drag Scotland
into a quarrel which was not even _English_, John declared the English
lands of William forfeited, and started a feud which had momentous issue
in after years.--W.

[116] Harrison has here shown less than his usual broad-mindedness. All
agree in praising John de Stratford as being gentle enough to match his
illustrious townsman yet to be, Avon apparently breeding nothing but
"sweet swans." The archbishop's quarrel with Edward about his friendship
for the Spencers has always been his glory, not his disgrace.--W.

[117] The "vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins" was not the only outbreak of
that soul-stirring century, Harrison here alluding to the great birth of
the Puritans, who (contrary to usual belief, and as their historian
particularly insisted upon) were a party in the Church of England--its
whole life, in fact--for one generation, and not by any means
_non-conformists_ or _dissenters_.--W.

[118] Writing on March 25, 1574, to one Matchet, his chaplain, parson of
Thurgarton, in the diocese of Norwich, Archbishop Parker requested him to
repair to his ordinary, and to show him how the Queen willd the Archbishop
to suppress those _vain prophesyings_, and requird the ordinary, in her
Majesty's name, to stop them. This not being acceptable to the Bishop of
Norwich, an altercation between the Archbishop and the Bishop ensu'd. But
eventually the prophesyings were stopt,--the following order being sent by
the Bishop of Norwich to his Chancellor on the 7th of June, 1574:--"After
my hearty commendations: whereas by the receipt of my Lord of Canterbury's
letter, I am commanded by him, in the Queen her Majesty's name, that the
prophesyings throughout my diocese should be suppressed; these are
therefore to will you, that, as conveniently as you may, you give notice
to every of my Commissaries, that they, in their several circuits, may
suppress the same. And so I leave you to God."--Strype's _Life of Abp.
Parker_, vol. ii. p. 362. See more about them in these references to
Strype's Works, from the Index:--"_Prophesyings_, certain exercises
expounding the Scriptures, so called, P. II. 358, A. II. i. 133; orders
respecting their use in the church of Northampton, 136, G. 260; this
exercise set up at Bury, A. II. i. 325; Bishop Parkhurst's letter of
permission, ii. 494; generally used by the clergy, i. 472; Bishop Cooper's
regulations and allowance for them in Herefordshire, _ib._ 476; Bishop
Parkhurst stops them in the diocese of Norwich, 477-480, P. II. 358-362;
some privy counsellors write to him in their favour, _ib._; he
communicates with Archbishop Parker and some bishops upon the matter,
_ib._; they are suppressed, _ib._; the contentions of the ministers, the
occasion thereof, _ib._; directions for this exercise in the diocese of
Chester, A. II. i. 481, ii. 544; III. i. 476; the permission of Bishop
Chaderton, II. ii. 546; III. i. 477; Bishop Cox's opinion of them, II. ii.
13; the Queen's letter to the Bishop of Lincoln to stop them in his
diocese, 114, 612; abuses of these exercises, G. 326; Archbishop Grindal's
orders for their reformation, 327; the Queen orders the Archbishop to put
a stop to them, 328; his expostulations with her on the subject, 329, 558;
the Queen's letter for their suppression, 574, W. I. 163."--_Index to
Strype's Works_, vol. ii. p. 208 (1828 edit.). There are frequent
allusions to the _Prophesyings_ "in the Bishops' Injunctions and
Questions, the whole of which are printed in the Appendix to the _2nd
Report of the Ritual Commission_. See page 432, par. 25; p. 435, par. 20;
p. 445, par. 26; p. 447, par. 18."--F.

[119] John Parkhurst, Bishop of Norwich, writing to his friend Henry
Bullinger, on April 28, 1562, says:--"And that you might not think I had
forgotten you (since I was unable to write through illness), I sent you a
small present. _Whenever I shall have paid my first fruits_, and
extricated myself from debt, you shall know who and what kind of a man is
your friend Parkhurst."--Parker Society's _Zürich Letters_, i. 107.--F.

[120] The Act of Henry VIII. for restraining pluralities contains a clause
making employment at court an excuse for non-residence and pluralities;
see Tyndale's _Expositions_, _etc._, 256, 336. Bradford contends that they
are hurtful to the Church, _Writings_, ii. 395; so does Jewel, ii. 984;
Whitgift defends them, i. 528, etc. See also Bullinger's _Decades_, iv.
144; Hutchinson's _Works_, 5; Latimer's _Works_, i. 122; Whitgift's
_Works_, i. 506, etc., Parker Society (Index).--F.

[121] See W. Stafford's argument against pluralities in his _Compendious
Examination_, 1581, fol. 53. "What reason is it that one man should haue
two mens liuinges and two me_n_s charge, when he is able to discharge but
one? The_n_, to haue more, and discharge the cure of neuer a one, is to
farre agaynst reaso_n_. But some percase will say, 'there be some of vs
worthy a greater preferme_n_t then others, and one benefice were to litle
for such a one.' Is there not as many degrees in the variety of benefices
as there is in mens qualities? Yes, forsooth, there is yet in this realme
(tha_n_ked be God) benefices from M. markes to XX. markes a yeare of
sundry value to endow euery man with, after his qualities and degree. And
if a meane benefice happen to fal, let euery man be co_n_tented therewith
til a better fal," etc., etc.--F.

[122] "It would pytye a mans heart to heare that that I heare of the state
of Cambridge: what it is in Oxforde I can not tell. Ther be few do study
diuinitie, but so many as of necessiti must furnish _the_ Colledges. For
their lyuynges be so small, and vytaylee so dere, that they tarry not
ther, but go other where to seke lyuynges, and so they go aboute. Nowe
there be a fewe gentylmen, and they studye a little diuinitie.... There be
none nowe but greate mens sonnes in Colledges, and theyr fathers loke not
to haue them preachers, so euerye waye thys offyce of preachynge is pyncht
at."--_Latimer's 5th Sermon before Edward IV._, A.D. 1549, p. 140, ed.
Arber. The scarcity of preachers in the time of Queen Elizabeth is
lamented by Jewel in his _Works_, ii. 999, 1000, and by Archbp. Sandys,
_Works_, p. 154 (Parker Soc.). He also complains of the ignorance of
ministers in Elizabeth's time, _Works_, ii. 1012 (Parker Soc).--F.

[123] Here follows a story about the bootless errand of a pope's legate in

[124] "But what do you patrons? Sell your benefices, or give them to your
servants for their service, for keeping of hounds or hawks, for making of
your gardens. These patrons regard no souls, neither their own nor other
men's. What care they for souls, so they have money, though they [souls]
perish, though they go to the devil?" (Latimer's Sermon at Stamford, 9th
Nov. 1550, _Works_, i. 290).--On the general character of the ministers of
England, see the Parker Society's _Zürich Letters_, ii. 63. Harding calls
them tinkers, tapsters, fiddlers and pipers, Jewel's _Works_, iv. 873,
209; Jewel admits their want of learning, _ib._ 910; many of them were
made of "the basest sort of the people," Whitgift's _Works_, i. 316;
artificers and unlearned men were admitted to the ministry, Archbp.
Parker's _Correspondence_, p. 120; many had come out of the shop into the
clergy, Fulke's _Works_, ii. 118; an order was given to ordain no more
artificers, Archbp. Grindal's _Remains_, p. 241, note; some beneficed
ministers were neither priests nor deacons, Archbp. Parker's _Corr._, pp.
128, 154, 308; laymen were presented to benefices, and made prebendaries,
_ib._ 371, 312; and an Archdeacon was not in orders, _ib._ 142,
note.--_Parker Society's Index_, p. 537--F.

[125] "I will not speak now of them that, being not content with their
lands and rents, do catch into their hands spiritual livings, as
parsonages and such like; and that under the pretence to make provision
for their houses. What hurt and damage this realm of England doth sustain
by that devilish kind of provision for gentlemen's houses, knights' and
lords' houses, they can tell best that do travel in the countries, and see
with their eyes great parishes and market towns, with innumerable others,
to be utterly destitute of God's word; and that, because that these greedy
men have spoiled the livings, and gotten them into their hands; and
instead of a faithful and painful preacher, they hire a Sir John, which
hath better skill in playing at tables, or in keeping of a garden, than in
God's word; and he for a trifle doth serve the cure, and so help to bring
the people of God in danger of their souls. And all those serve to
accomplish the abominable pride of such gentlemen, which consume the goods
of the poor (the which ought to have been bestowed upon a learned
minister) in costly apparel, belly-cheer, or in building of gorgeous
houses." 1562. A. Bernher's Dedication to Latimer's Sermons on the Lord's
Prayer of A.D. 1552. _Latimer's Works_, i. 317 (Parker Soc.).--F.

[126] On the neglect of their duties by the Elizabethan clergy, and
shifting the consequences of it on to the laity, see the Doctor's speech,
on leaves 51-53 of Wm. Stafford's _Compendious Examination_, 1581 A.D.--F.

[127] See Chaucer, description of his Monk, Prologue to _Canterbury
Tales_, lines 165-207, and my _Ballads from Manuscripts_, vol. i. pp. 193,

[128] See _Ballads from Manuscripts_, vol. i. pp. 59-78.--F.

[129] Long side-note here in edition of 1577, as follows:--"The very cause
why weauers pedlers & glouers haue been made Ministers, for _th_e learned
refuse such matches, so that yf the Bishops in times past hadde not made
such by oversight friendship I wote not howe such men should haue done
wyth their aduousons, as for a glouer or a tayler will be glad of an
augme_n_tatio_n_ of 8 or 10 pou_n_d by the yere, and well contented that
his patrone shall haue all the rest, so he may be sure of this

[130] Such a classical expert as Harrison makes a curious error here.
Cæsar, in his _Commentaries_, tells of the way in which the Britons
instantly apprehended his weakness, perceiving during the truce his army's
lack of corn, and thereupon plotting to secretly break the truce and
annihilate the Mightiest Julius and his little following (teaching all
future invaders a lasting lesson to beware the chalk cliffs of Albion).
Cæsar also notes how he himself quietly neutralised these efforts by
gathering in corn from the country thereabouts. The Britons, just as much
as himself, understood corn as the staff of life, the mainstay of war as
well as of peace. The fact is that Harrison thought with two brains, his
Welsh one and his Latin one, and, lost in the mists of Welsh fictions,
sometimes forgot the most incontrovertible of Latin authorities. Man's
written records of things British start with Cæsar.--W.

[131] By omitting a comma (upon which the fate of empires may sometimes
turn), our brother printers of 1587 (for this Scotch paragraph is not in
the edition of 1577) have made pope Harrison bestow a mitre upon Hector
Boece. That remarkable native of Dundee (who may be said to have invented
Macbeth as we moderns know him) was a doctor of theology, and learned in
every art, as becomes the first implanter of the tough fibres of
Aberdonian scholarship (for, when one has the rare fortune to overcome the
capacious skull and strong brain of a son of Aberdeen, the victor well may

     "Achilles hath the mighty Hector slain"),

but was never much of an ecclesiastic, although he held a canonry. Note,
by the way, that Harrison (and not John Bellendon, as generally stated)
was the channel through which Boece's _History of Scotland_ came into the
magic cauldron of Shakespearian transformation. Cardinal Wardlaw, the
founder of the oldest of Scottish schools, was a very different man from
Boece, being the glow-worm to the grub.--W.

[132] There was no Parliament at Perth in 1433. The short session of that
year was at Stirling. No official record of this remarkable law remains.
In fact, Boece (from whom Harrison evidently quotes by memory) does not
say either 1433 or that a law was made. He simply records the immediate
effect of Cardinal Wardlaw's speech. However, it had a short shift. Fate
was against the patriotic Scot. James Stuart took matter more important
than "divers English gentlemen" into Scotland: the royal troubadour
carried something beside his batch of love rondels away from Windsor
Castle as the fruit of his long captivity. He had not sung nor sighed in
vain. The "mistress' eyebrow" of his "woeful ballad" belonged to Joan of
Somerset, one of the three fair Joans of the house of Plantagenet whose
marriages were so wonderfully

     "Auspicious to these sorrowing isles."

From Joan of Kent, Princess of Wales, Joan of Beaufort, Countess of
Warwick, and Joan of Somerset, Queen of Scotland, are descended most of
our English, Irish, Welsh, as well as Scotch families. We may be said to
owe most of our Joans, Johannas, Janes, Jeans, and Janets to these three
women "big with the fate" of nations.--W.

[133] One would suppose Harrison himself had been "conserving the honour
of Orestes" when he penned this passage. He doubtless quoted from the lost
works of the Greek physician by means of his favourite Athenæus.--W.

[134] "_As loathing those metals because of the plenty_" sounds strangely
to modern ears. Yet Harrison in this one phrase, by mere accident, lets in
more light upon the secret of the towering supremacy of the Elizabethan
age than have all the expounders, historians, and philosophers from that
day to this. The comparative plenty of gold in the time of Elizabeth was
brought about by the Spanish invasions of Peru and Mexico. England had far
more gold than it had hitherto understood any use for, and she fortunately
escaped being seized with that insatiable gold thirst which swiftly sapped
the foundations of Spanish dominion as it had that of Rome and other
empires of the past. We need seek no further for a reason why the England
of Elizabeth surpassed all other communities. Having all material wealth
beyond any other people, at no time has the doctrine of universal labour
and repudiation of the fictitious riches of metallic hordes or usurious
accumulations been so invariably denounced. Harrison's simple evidence is
supported by all the records of the time.--W.

[135] Roger Bacon.--H. [The philosopher's stone is yet missing which is to
accomplish this miracle of making malleable glass, something which has had
a strange fascination as an inventor's dream in all ages. The account of
Tiberius Cæsar dashing out the brains of the all-too-clever mechanic (who
had actually accomplished this feat), so as to prevent the Roman world
from emancipating itself from the rule of _iron_ (or _of gold_), is the
most startling legend in the imperial annals. Old Friar Bacon, who devoted
so much attention to optics, naturally put this feat in the forefront of
the list of wonders to be accomplished by his great elixir; and Harrison's
_slip_ yet remains beyond the eager grasp of men, though the grand
desideratum has been again and again announced in our own time.--W.]

[136] This was the first English idea of the potato as instanced in the
last scene of the _Merry Wives of Windsor_. This was not what is now
generally understood as the potato, but the sweet potato of Virginia
brought home by Raleigh. The common potato (which has been only _common_
even in North America for less than a century) is often mixed historically
with this other tuber. As a fact, our familiar vegetable of to-day is
largely a creature of artificial development, and nowhere grows in the
same quality wild, whereas the yam or sweet potato is very little altered
from its native state.--W.

[137] Sweet cicely, sometimes miscalled myrrh. Mure is the Saxon word. At
one time the plant was not uncommon as a salad.--W.

[138] Crosby Ravensworth in Westmorland is misnamed. It is either _Raven's
thwaite_ or _Raven's swarth_, but never _worth_, which is here
meaningless. _Swarth_ still lingers on the tongues of the mowers, and
_thwaite_ was the form adopted by a once famous family from this mountain
fastness. The parish is notable as the home of the Addisons.--W.

[139] A famine at hand is first seen in the horse-manger, when the poor do
fall to horse corn.--H.

[140] The size of bread is very ill kept or not at all looked unto in the
country towns or markets.--H.

[141] The wine which Scott has (from the Gallic tinge to everything
Caledonian) buried for all modern literature in the French form of

     "Come broach me a pipe of malvoisie!"

It is evident from Harrison that a good English form was used.--W.

[142] Holinshed. This occurs in the last of Harrison's prefatory

[143] This word is not obsolete. South-coast countrymen still eat
_nuntions_ and not _luncheons_.--W.

[144] Harrison must have got some of these out-of-the-way references at
second hand--a valuable trick of the trade among learned pundits. The
"Sophists" of Athenæus of Naucratis has never even to our day been handled
by an English printer, a modern translation in a classical series
excepted, but the Aldine edition was a favourite of European scholars long
before the time of Harrison.--W.

[145] It was very wrong of Harrison to crib from the copy which Newberry,
the printer, had in his office--that is, unless Sir Henry Savile gave
permission. Henry of Huntingdon's _History of England_ was not issued
until eight years after this, but the printers had it evidently in hand.
It is not likely that Harrison used the original at Oxford.--W.

[146] Here follows a disquisition upon the table practices of the

[147] Lettuce was brought over from the Low Countries along with various
new notions in the days of Luther. Harrison does not seem to mention it as
an English institution as yet however.--W.

[148] After three centuries we have not yet plucked up courage to spell
this pet phrase of the bill-of-fare writers as an English word. _Entry_,
as a tangible object, means something between, and not at the beginning;
and if we contract _entremets_ there is no reason why we should for ever
talk French and say _entrée_, and use superfluous signs, meaningless to
English eyes.--W.

[149] [CUT.]

     "I am an English man and naked I stand here,
     Musying in my mynde what rayment I shall were;
     For now I will were thys, and now I will were that;
     Now I will were I cannot tell what.
     All new fashyons be plesaunt to me;
     I wyl haue them, whether I thryve or thee."

From Andrew Boorde's _Introduction_ (1541), and _Dyetary_ (1542), edited
by F. J. F. for Early English Text Society, 1870, p. 116. (A most quaint
and interesting volume, though I say so.).--F.

[150] This is too harsh a character for Boorde; for a juster one, as I
hope, see my preface to his _Introduction_, p. 105.--F.

[151] Almaine; see _Halle_, pp. 516-527.--F.

[152] There is no reason to suppose that _Collyweston_ was ever in general
English use. It is a Cheshire side-hit (and not common there), and all the
Cheshire students cannot unravel the mystery. I have no doubt it belongs
to one of the great baronial family of Weston, who were geniuses, and
therefore of course "to madness near allied," wits and cloaks awry.--W.
[Weston Colvil is eleven miles from Cambridge, north of the Gogmagog

[153] See Wynkin de Worde's _Treatise of this Galaunt_ (? about 1520 A.D.)
in my _Ballads from Manuscripts_ (1520-54), vol. i., pp. 438-453 (Ballad
Society, 1868 and 1872), a satire on the gallant or vicious dandy of the

[154] Of the many of Shakespeare's happiest hits which can be traced to
Harrison's fertile suggestion, this is one of the most apparent. Who can
fail to appreciate that Petruchio's side-splitting bout with the tailor
had its first hint here?--W.

[155] Shakespeare complains of women painting their faces, and wearing
sham-hair, in _Love's Labour's Lost_, IV. iii., and the locks from "the
skull that bred them in the sepulchre," in _Merchant_, III. ii.--F.

[156] The extravagant variety of woman's attire in the days of the Virgin
Queen (whose own legendary allowance of different habit for each day in
the year is still a fondly preserved faith amongst the women and children)
was the subject of rebuke from far more famous pulpits than Harrison's
modest retreat. No choice morsel of the "English Chrysostom" surpasses the
invective against feminine vanities in his "Wedding Garment" of almost
this very year. For instance: "Thus do our curious women put on Christ,
who, when they hear the messengers of grace offering this garment, and
preparing to make the body fit to be garnished with so glorious a vesture
(as Paul did the Romans, first washing away drunkenness and gluttony, then
chamberings and wantonness, then strife and envy, and so sin after sin),
they seem like the stony ground to receive it with joy, and think to
beautify their head with this precious ornament; but when he tells them
that there is no communion between Christ and Belial, that if this garment
be put on all other vanities must be put off, they then turn their day
into darkness, and reject Christ, that would be an eternal crown of beauty
to their heads, and wrap their temples in the uncomely rags of every
nation's pride."--W.

[157] The etymology of the word is not known. Baret describes the colour
as between russet and black.--_Alvearie_, A.D. 1586.--F. [In the Middle
Ages country housewives mostly made their own colours, and this was most
likely made from bilberries, which children still sometimes call
"poke-berrys" or "puckers," because of their astringent effect upon the

[158] A _jag_ was first a notch, a chink, then perhaps any ornamental
pendant, ribbon, or other, to one's dress. A saddler was a _jagger_.--W.

[159] _Ver d'oye._ Goose-turd greene; a greenish yellow; or a colour which
is between a green and a yellow.--_Cotgrave._--F.

[160] _Verd gay._ A popinjay greene.--_Cotgrave._--F.

[161] For Chaucer's complaints of the men and women's dress of his day see
his _Parson's Tale_, Part II., of Confession, _De Superbia_. For a ballad
on the fantastic dresses of Charles I.'s time see _Roxburgh Collections_,
I. 476; Ballad Society's Reprint, ii. 117 and 97. And on the point
generally see the Percy Society's _Poems on Costume_.--F.

[162] See Andrew Boorde's _Dyetary of Helth_, 1542, Early English Text
Society, 1870, for a description of how to build houses, and manage them
and men's income, and what food folk should eat.--F.

[163] Moss, in the Gawthorp Accounts.--F.

[164] This was in the time of general idleness.--H.

[165] See the interesting account in _Holinshed_, iii. 1081-82, of how the
good young King Edward VI., mov'd by a sermon of Bishop Ridley's, talkt
with him about means for relieving the poor, and on his suggestion resolvd
to begin with those of London, and wrote to the Lord Mayor of London, Sir
Richard Dobs, about it. Dobs, Ridley, two aldermen, and six commoners, got
up a committee of twenty-four. "And in the end, after sundrie meetings
(for by meane of the good diligence of the bishop it was well followed),
they agreed vpon a booke that they had deuised, wherein first they
considered of nine speciall kinds and sorts of poore people, and those
same they brought in these three degrees:

                                   { The poore by impotencie.
  Three degrees of poore           { Poor by casualtie.
                                   { Thriftlesse poore.

  1. The poore by impotencie       { 1. The fatherlesse poore mans child.
  are also diuided into            { 2. The aged, blind, and lame.
  three kinds, that is to          { 3. The diseased person, by leprosie,
  saie:                                 dropsie, etc.

  2. The poore by casualtie are    { 4. The wounded souldier.
  of three kinds, that is to       { 5. The decaied housholder.
  saie:                            { 6. The visited with greeuous disease.

  3. The thriftles poore are three { 7. The riotor that consumeth all.
  kinds in like wise, that         { 8. The vagabond that will abide in no
  is to saie:                            place.
                                   { 9. The idle person, as the strumpet
                                        and others.

For these sorts of poore were prouided three seuerall houses. First for
the innocent and fatherlesse, which is the beggers child, and is in deed
the seed and breeder of beggerie, they prouided the house that was late
Graie friers in London, and now is called Christes hospitall, where the
poore children are trained in the knowledge of God, and some vertuous
exercise to the ouerthrowe of beggerie. For the second degree, is prouided
the hospitall of saint Thomas in Southworke, & saint Bartholomew in west
Smithfield, where are continuallie at least two hundred diseased persons,
which are not onelie there lodged and cured, but also fed and nourished.
For the third degree, they prouided Bridewell, where the vagabond and idle
strumpet is chastised, and compelled to labour, to the ouerthrow of the
vicious life of idlenes. They prouided also for the honest decaied
housholder, that he should be relieued at home at his house, and in the
parish where he dwelled, by a weekelie reliefe and pension. And in like
manner they prouided for the lazer, to keepe him out of the citie from
clapping of dishes, and ringing of bels, to the great trouble of the
citizens, and also to the dangerous infection of manie, that they should
be relieued at home at their houses with seuerall pensions."--_Holinshed_,
iii. 1082. The rest of the page should be read about "blessed king" Edward
VI., and his thanking God that he'd given him life to finish "this worke"
of relief to the poor "to the glorie of thy name": two days after, the
good young king died.--F.

[166] At whose hands shall the blood of these men be required?--H.

[167] Objection 2, sign. e. i. "I praie you shewe me by what occasion or
meanes, this huge nomber of Beggers and Vacaboundes doe breede here in
Englande. And why you appointe twelue of them to euery Shipp: I thinke
they maie carie the Shippe awaie, & become Pirates. [Answer.] If you
consider the pouerty that is and doth remaine in the Shire tounes, and
Market tounes, within this Realme of England and Wales, which tounes,
being inhabited with greate store of poore householders, who by their
pouertie are driue_n_ to bring vp their youth idlely; and if they liue
vntil they come to mans state, then are they past all remedie to be
brought to woorke. Therfore, at suche tyme as their Parentes fayles them,
they beginne to shifte, and acquainte them selues with some one like
brought vppe, that hath made his shifte, with dicyng, cosenyng, picking or
cutting of purses, or els, if he be of courage, plaine robbing by the waie
side, which they count an honest shift for the time; and so come they
daiely to the Gallowes. Hereby growes the greate and huge nomber of
Beggers and Vacaboundes, which by no reasonable meanes or lawes could yet
be brought to woorke, being thus idely brought vp. Whiche perilous state
and imminent daunger that they now stande in, I thought it good to auoide,
by placeyng twelue of these poore people into euery fishynge Shippe,
accordyng to this Platte." 1580. _Robert Hitchcok's Pollitique Platt._--F.

[168] See the earliest known specimen of the Gipsy language, the "Egyptian
rogues'" speech, in my edition of Andrew Boorde, Early English Text
Society, first series, 1870, p. 218.--F.

[169] Thomas Harman. See the edition of his book, and Audeley's prior one,
by Mr. Viles and myself, in the Early English Text Society's extra series,
1869, No. IX.--F.

[170] See Appendix.

[171] Law of the Marshal.--F.

[172] See my _Ballads from MSS._, 121-123, Ballad Society.--F.

[173] Harrison has confounded two very similar Keltic words. It should be
a "d" in place of the second "c."--W.

[174] Here lacks.--H.

[175] _Principes longè magis exemple quàm culpa peccare solent._--H.

[176] The Lord Mountjoy.--H.

[177] Here ends the chapter entitled "Minerals," and the one on "Metals"

[178] Here follow two stories about crows and miners. See Appendix.--W.

[179] Some tell me that it is a mixture of brass, lead, and tin.--H.

[180] Harrison substituted _inkle_ in 1587 for _packthread_ in 1577, a
curious flight backward for modern readers. The inkle was a favourite
pedlar-sold tape of the day, probably more at hand and more to the purpose
than packthread.--W.

[181] Though boars are no longer bred, but only bred by, in Elizabethan
days and before then the rearing of them for old English braun (not the
modern substitute) was the chief feature of swine-herding; thus in "Cheape
and Good Husbandry," the author says: "Now, lastly, the best feeding of a
swine for Lard or of a Boare for Braune, is to feed them the first week
with Barley, sodden till it breake, and sod in such quantity that it may
ever be given sweete: then after to feed them with raw Mault from the
floore, before it be dried, till they be fat enough: and then for a weeke
after, to give them drie Pease or Beanes to harden their flesh. Let their
drinke be the washing of Hoggesheads, or Ale Barrels, or sweete Whay, and
let them have store thereof. This manner of feeding breeds the whitest,
fattest, and best flesh that may be, as hath beene approved by the best
Husbands." After this, Harrison's maltbugs well might ask: "Who would not
be a hog?"--W.

[182] The proper English name of the bird which vulgar acceptance forces
us to now call _bittern_.--W.

[183] See more in the second chapter of the Description of Scotland.--H.

[184] Here ends the first chapter of "fowls," that which follows being
restricted to "hawks and ravenous fowls."--W.

[185] This on "venomous beasts" will be found included in the "savage
beasts" of the following.

[186] Here follows an account of the extermination of wolves, and a
reference to lions and wild bulls rampant in Scotland of old.--W.

[187] Misprints for "pricket" and "sorel"; see Shakespeare's _Love's
Labour's Lost_, IV. ii. 58-63; _The Return from Parnassus_, etc., etc.--F.

[188] Here follows a discourse on ancient boar-hunting, exalting it above
the degenerate sports of the day. This ends the chapter on "savage

[189] Galenus, _De Theriaca ad Pisonem_; Pliny, lib. 10, cap. 62.--H.

[190] Salust, cap. 40; Pliny, lib. 37, cap. 2.--H.

[191] See Diodorus Siculus.--H.

[192] The like have I seen when hens do feed upon the tender blades of

[193] This gentleman caught such an heat with this sore load that he was
fain to go to Rome for physic, yet it would not save his life; but he must
needs hie homewards.--H.

[194] Compare _Stubs's Anatomie_, p. 218. Turnbull.--F.

[195] See Percy Folio, _Loose and Humorous Songs_, p. 86, l. 31-4.--F.

[196] We've unluckily lost the distinction between _rabbit_ and

[197] Called "suckers" in _Babees Book_ and Henry VIII.'s _Household

[198] See Andrew Boorde's amusing bit about venison in his _Dyetary_ (my
edition, p. 275).--F.

[199] Harrison was not quite up to the Dignity of Labour.--F.

[200] The decay of the people is the destruction of a kingdom: neither is
any man born to possess the earth alone.--H.

[201] The fact is well known. See instances in W. de Worde's "Kerving,"
second edition, in _Babees Book_.--F.

[202] See the curious tract on this in Mr. John Cowper's _Four
Supplications_, Early English Text Society, extra series.--F.

[203] The chapter ends with the forest laws of Canute. Born Londoner
though he be, Harrison dwells lovingly upon the least point connected with
his country home. His Saffron Walden is ever a fruitful source of
discourse, Saffron being a prolific theme in other places of the work, and
Walden here made to "point the moral and adorn the tale."--W.

[204] For her household in 1600-1601 see _Household Ordinances_, p.

[205] I suppose that Sir Thomas More, and Henry VIII., and Lady Jane
Grey's parents began "the higher education of women" in England by having
their daughters properly taught. On "Education in Early England" see my
Forewords (tho' sadly imperfect) to the _Babees Book_ (Early English Text

[206] Compare Chaucer's _Prologue: The Squire_. On the evils of
serving-men see Sir T. More's _Utopia_, and my _Ballads from MSS._, i.--F.

[207] The chapter concludes with the special penal regulations for
disturbers in the court precincts.--W.

[208] See Ascham's _Toxophilus_. When our folk and government come to
their senses every English boy and man'll be taught rifle-shooting; ranges
will be provided by compulsory powers; and every male over sixteen be made
sure of his man in any invading force. If then any foreign force wants to
come, let it, and find its grave.--F.

[209] "Our peaceable days" were on the eve of the greatest struggle for
life ever known to England, but never before or since could she put a
million men armed to the teeth into the field, and have still a reserve to
fall back on. People who dream that the Spaniards would have fared better
on land than sea are grievously out in their reckoning.--W.

[210] See the amusing extract from William Bulleyn in my _Babees Book_,
pp. 240-243.--F.

[211] Here follows an account of Roman and Carthaginian galleys which "did
not only match, but far exceed" in capacity our ships and galleys of

[212] See my _Ballads from MSS._, i. 120, on this and Henry VIII.'s navy.
There's an engraving of this _Great Henry_, or _Henry Grace_ (burnt August
27, 1553), in the British Museum.--F.

[213] Surely this statement was justified by facts. And Nelson, Dundonald,
and their successors have shown that English sailors since have not

[214] See in _Household Ordinances_, pp. 267-270, "An account of all the
Queen's Ships of War; the musters taken in 1574 and 1575; the warlike
stores in the Tower and aboard the Navy in 1578; the _Custodes Rotolorum_
of every county in England and Wales, and the names of all the English

[215] A name devised by her grace in remembrance of her own deliverance
from the fury of her enemies, from which in one respect she was no less
miraculously preserved than was the prophet Jonas from the belly of the

[216] So called of her exceeding nimbleness in sailing and swiftness of

[217] The list of twenty-four ships (with their men and arms) in the 1578
list in _Household Ordinances_, pp. 267-270, contains all these in the
note here except the Cadish, and adds to them the Primrose, and the
Faulcon, Aibates (for Achates), and George, named above. The 1578 list has
not the Revenge above. It calls the White Boare and Dreadnot the White
Bear and Dreadnought (as above); and the Genet, Jenett. And adds, "The sum
of all other, as well merchant shipps as other, in all places in England,
of 100 tunns and upwards, 135. The sum of all barkes and shippes of 40
tunne and upward to an 100 tunne, 656. There are besides, by estimation,
100 saile of hoyes. Also of small barkes and fishermen an infinite number.
So as the number of ... through the realme cannot be lesse than 600,
besides London." No doubt Mrs. Green's Calendar of State Papers, temp
Elizabeth, gives further details.--F. [The "note" to which Dr. Furnivall
refers is one collating the 1577 text where the Cadish is inserted between
the Forresight and Swift sute, and the last four above are not given.--W.]

[218] My friend, Mr. H. H. Sparling (who has made a special study of the
English navy archives from Henry VIII.'s time downward) kindly furnishes
the following navy list of the Armada year, dividing the boats into
classes with wages descending in scale from these I have retained:

     "The newe increase of sea wages to Maisters, Botswaynes, Gunners,
     Pursers, and Cookes, as also shall serue her ma{tie.} at the seas in
     any of thes her highnes shipps hereafter, as also what rates have
     bene & yet are payde, w{c} at this Present are servinge in any of
     these her Ma{ties.} shipes now in the narrow seas or ells wheare
     abroad, as followeth:

     The Elizabet Jonas, Triumphe, Whit Beare, Merhonour, Arke Raughley,
     Victory; Mathewe and Andrewe, 2 Spanish shipps. In these viij
     shippes, yf any of her mg{tie}s vj m{rs} shalbe appointed to serue,
     then to haue--

                      New rates per  Olde rates per
                         mensem.        mensem.
        The Boteson      4  0 0         3  2 6
        The Gonner       1 12 6         0 15 0
        The purser       1  6 8         1  0 0
        The Cooke        1  0 0         0 17 6

     Repulse, Warspight, Garland, Defiance, Mary Roase, Lyon, Bonauentur,
     Hope, Vauntgard, Raynebowe, Nonperelia. Yf any of these xj shipps,
     then to have, etc.

            *       *       *       *       *

     Dreadnought, Swifsuer, Antelope, Swallowe, Foresight, Aduentur. Yf
     any, etc.

            *       *       *       *       *

     Ayde, Answere, Quittance, Crane, Aduauntage, Teiger. Yf any, etc.

            *       *       *       *       *

     Tremontaine, Scoute, Achates, The Gally Mercury. Yf any, etc.

            *       *       *       *       *

     Charles, Aduice, Moone, Frigett, Spye, Signet, Sonne, George hoye,

            *       *       *       *       *

     Memorand: that these aduanced Rates doe onlie concerne the Queens
     ma{ties} vj maisters, and the Botesons, Gunners, Pursers, & Cooks,
     that daylie serue her Ma{tie} in the shipps in ordinarie in Harborow,
     and noe others: w{ch} is so increased to them especiallie to containe
     them in true seruice and due obedience to her ma{tie}."

This will be seen to differ somewhat from Harrison's list of the previous

[219] See Hakluyt's record of the daring and endurance of our Elizabethan

[220] "Confession by torment is esteemed for nothing, for if hee confesse
at the iudgement, the tryall of the 12 goeth not vpon him; if hee deny the
fact: that which he said before, hindreth him not. The nature of
English-men is to neglect death, to abide no torment: and therefore hee
will confesse rather to haue done anything, yea to haue killed his owne
father, than to suffer torment: for death, our nation doth not so much
esteeme as a meere torment. In no place shall you see malefactors goe more
constantly, more assuredly, and with lesse lamentation to their death than
in England.... The nature of our nation is free, stout, haulty, prodigall
of life and blood; but contumely, beating, servitude, and seruile torment,
and punishment; it will not abide. So in this nature & fashion, our
ancient Princes and legislatoors haue nourished them, as to make them
stout-hearted, couragious, and souldiers, not villaines and slaues; and
that is the scope almost of all our Policie."--Sir Thomas Smith's
_Commonwealth of England_, ed. 1621, p. 97, Book II., chap. 27 (not

[221] But see how felons who won't confess are pressed to death by heavy

[222] A.D. 1586. _Hol._ iii. 1434, col. 2. "On the one and twentith daie
of Ianuarie, two Seminarie preests (before arreigned and condemned) were
drawne to Tiburne, and there _hanged, bowelled, and quartered_. Also
on the same daie a wench was _burnt_ in Smithfield, for _poisoning_ of hir
aunt and mistresse, and also attempting to haue doon the like to hir
vncle."----A.D. 1577. "The thirtith daie of Nouember, Cutbert Maine was
_drawne, hanged, and quartered_ at Lanceston in Cornewall for
preferring Romane power ... 1577-8. The third daie of Februarie, John
Nelson, for denieng the queenes supremasie, and such other traitorous
words against hir maiestie, was drawne from Newgate to Tiburne, and there
_hanged, bowelled, and quartered_. And on the seuenth of the same
moneth of Februarie, Thomas Sherewin was likewise drawne from the tower of
London to Tiburne, and there _hanged, bowelled, and quartered_ for the
like offense."--_Holinshed_ iii. 1271, col. 1, l. 15, l. 47--F.

[223] A.D. 1540. "The eight and twentith of Julie (as you have heard
before), the Lord Cromwell was beheaded, and likewise with him the Lord
Hungerford of Heitesburie, who at the houre of his death seemed vnquiet,
as manie iudged him rather in a frensie than otherwise: he suffered for
buggerie."--_Holinshed_, iii. 952, col. 2, l. 21. See the rest of the
column for other executions for heresy, for affirming Henry VIII.'s
marriage with his first queen, Katherine, to be good, for treason, and for
robbing a lady.--F.

[224] A.D. 1580, ann. Elizabeth 23. "The eight and twentith daie of
Nouember, were arreigned in the King's [Queen's] Bench, William Randoll
for _coniuring to know where treasure was hid in the earth_, and goods
felloniouslie taken, were become: Thomas Elks, Thomas Lupton, Rafe Spacie,
and Christopher Waddington, for being present, aiding, and procuring the
said Randoll to the coniuration aforesaid: Randoll, Elks, Spacie, and
Waddington, were found guiltie, and had iudgement to be hanged: Randoll
was executed, the other were repriued."--_Holinshed_, iii. 1314, col. 2,
l. 68.----A.D. 1587. "The thirteenth of Januarie, a man was draune to
Saint Thomas of Waterings, and there hanged, headed and quartered, for
begging by a licence whereunto the queenes hand was
counterfeited."--_Holinshed_, iii. 1315, col. 1, l. 46.--F.

[225] Cap. 8, Record Commission Statutes.--F.

[226] Sir John Falstaff.--F.

[227] Mr. William Shakspere.--F.

[228] A.D. 1569-70. "The seven and twentith of Januarie, Philip Mestrell,
a Frenchman, and two Englishmen, were draune from Newgate to Tiburne, and
there hanged, the Frenchman quartered, who had coined gold counterfeit;
the Englishmen, the one had dipped silver, the other, cast testons of
tin."--_Hol._, iii. 1211, col. 1, l. 65.----A.D. 1577-8. "The fiue and
twentith of Februarie, John de Loy, a Frenchman, and fiue English
gentlemen, was conueied from the tower of London towards Norwich, there to
be arreigned and executed for coining of monie counterfeit."--_Hol._, iii.
1271, col. 1, l. 55.--F.

[229] See note [p. 227], A.D. 1575. "The ninteenth of Julie, a woman was
burnt at Tunbridge in Kent for poisoning of hir husband: and two daies
before, a man named Orleie was hanged at Maidstone, for being accessarie
to the same fact."--_Holinshed_, iii. 1262, col. 1, l. 70.--F.

A.D. 1571. "On the sixteenth of Julie, Rebecca Chamber, late wife to
Thomas Chamber of Heriettesham, was found culpable [= guilty] of poisoning
the said Thomas Chamber hir husband, at the assises holden at Maidstone in
the countie of Kent. For the which fact, she (hauing well deserued) was
there burnt on the next morrow."--_Hol._, iii. 1226, col. 2, l. 30. See
like instances in Stowe's _Annales_.--F.

[230] Note folio 388, A.D. 1583. "On the eighteenth daie of September,
John Lewes, who named himself Abdoit, an obstinate heretike, denieng the
godhead of Christ, and holding diuers other detestable heresies (much like
to his predecessor Matthew Hamont), was burned at Norwich."--_Holinshed_,
iii. 1354, col. 2, l. 62.--F.

[231] A.D. 1577-8.--"On the ninth of March seven pirats were hanged at
Wapping in the ouze, beside London."--_Holinshed_, iii. 1271, column 1,
lines 59-61.--F.

[232] On serving-men, see the striking passage in Sir Thomas More's
_Utopia_, pp. 27-29, edition of 1852, and "A Health to the Gentlemanly
Profession of Seruing-men; or, The Seruing-man's Comfort: with other
thinges not impertinent to the Premises, as well pleasant as profitable to
the courteous Reader," 1598, reprinted in W. C. Hazlitt's Roxburghe
Library, _Inedited Tracts_, 1868. Also "The Serving-man and the
Husbandman: a Pleasaunt New Dialogue," _Roxburgh Ballads_, Ballad Society,
1870, i. 300.--F.

[233] Here follows a paragraph about the legendary foundation of the
universities. See Appendix.--W.

[234] Cambridge burned not long since.--H.

[235] Here follows an account of Oxford and Cambridge castles, and the
legend of the building of Osney Abbey by Robert and Edith D'Oyley. See

[236] This Fox builded Corpus Christi College, in Oxford.--H.

[237] So much also may be inferred of lawyers.--H.

[238] He founded also a good part of Eton College, and a free school at
Wainfleet, where he was born.

[239] Compare the later, and no doubt distinct, _Two Noble Kinsmen_ by
Shakspere and Fletcher.--F.

[240] See the notes on Theatres in the "New Shakspere Society"
reprint.--W. [Also the notes to John Lane in my Tell-Trothe volume.--F.]

[241] Unless this can be shown to have been written later, it must modify
Mr. Halliwell's argument and statement, in his _Illustrations_, pp. 36,
42, against the early theatres and houses--those before "_The Theatre_"
(Burbage's) in 1576--being "built" for play-acting. He says, p. 36, "In
Northbrooke's Treatise, 1577-8, Youth asks,--'doe you speake against those
places also whiche are made uppe and builded for such playes and
enterludes, as the Theatre and Curtaine is, and other suche lyke places
besides?' By 'other _suche lyke_ places,' that is, similar places, the
writer perhaps alludes [or perhaps does not] to houses or taverns in which
interludes were performed, speaking of such buildings generally, the
construction of the sentence not necessarily implying that he refers to
other edifices _built especially_ for dramatic representations." (Yet
surely the fair and natural inference from the words is that the "other
lyke places" were built for the same purpose as "the Theatre and
Curtaine.") Again, at p. 42, "When Gosson, in his _Playes Confuted_, c.
1580, speaks of 'Cupid and Psyche plaid at Paules, and a greate many
comedies more at the Blacke friers and in every playe house in London,' he
_unquestionably_ refers to _houses or taverns temporarily employed_ for
the performances alluded to." And, after quoting Rawlidge's _Monster Late
Found out_, 1628,--"some of the pious magistrates made humble suit to the
late Queene Elizabeth of ever-living memorie, and her Privy Counsaile, and
obteined leave from her Majesty to thrust those players out of the Citty,
and to pull downe the dicing houses; which accordingly was affected; and
the play-houses in Gracious street, Bishopsgate street, nigh Paules, that
on Ludgate hill, the Whitefriars, were put downe, and other lewd houses
quite supprest within the liberties, by the care of those religious
senators"--Mr. Halliwell says, "The 'play-houses' in Gracious or
Gracechurch Street, Bishopsgate Street, and on Ludgate Hill, were the
yards respectively of the well-known taverns called the Cross Keys, the
Bull, and the Belle Savage.[242] _There is no good reason_ for believing
that the other 'play-houses' mentioned, those near St. Paul's and in the
Whitefriars, were, at the period alluded to, other than buildings made for
the representation of plays, _not edifices expressly constructed for the

[242] He quotes from Flecknoe's _Short Discourse of the English Stage_,
1664, "about the beginning of queen Elizabeths reign they began here to
assemble into companies and set up theaters, first in the city, as in the
inn-yards of the Cross-Keyes and Bull, in Grace and Bishopsgate street, at
this day is to be seen."--_Illustrations_, p. 43.--F.

[243] See Crowley's Epigrams on this, E. E. T. Soc. p. 17.--F.

[244] Very short men or very tall tobacco.--W.

[245] _Passions or Patience_, a dock so called, apparently from the
Italian name under which it was introduced from the South, _Lapazio_, a
corruption of _L. lapathum_, having been mistaken for _la Passio_, the
Passion of Jesus Christ, _Rumex Patientia_, L. Dr. Prior, _Popular Names
of British Plants_, p. 175.--F.

[246] The use of tobacco spread very fast in England, to the disgust of
Barnaby Rich, James I., and many others. Rich, in _The Honestie of this
Age_, 1614, pp. 25-6, complains of the money wasted on it. He also
contests the fact admitted by Harrison above, of tobacco doing good; says
it's reported that 7000 houses live by the trade of tobacco-selling, and
that if each of these takes but 2s. 6d. a-day,--and probably it takes
5s.--the sum total amounts to £399,375 a year, "all spent in smoake."
"They say it is good for a cold, for a pose, for rewms, for aches, for
dropsies, and for all manner of diseases proceeding of moyst humours: but
I cannot see but that those that do take it fastest, are as much (or more)
subject to all these infirmities (yea, and to the poxe itself) as those
that have nothing at all to do with it.... There is not so base a groome
that commes into an ale-house to call for his pot, but he must have his
pipe of tobacco; for it is a commoditie that is nowe as vendible in every
taverne, inne, and ale-house, as eyther wine, ale, or beare; and for
apothicaries shops, grosers shops, chandlers shops, they are (almost)
never without company that, from morning till night, are still taking of
tobacco. What a number are there besides that doe keep houses, set open
shoppes, that have no other trade to live by, but by the selling of
tobacco!" See Sir John Davies's Epigram 'Of Tobacco, xxxvi.' (Marlowe's
_Works_, ed. Cunningham, p. 268) singing its praises in 1598; and also
that '_In Syllam_, xxviii.', p. 267, on the boldness of the man who
horrified 'society' then, "that dares take tobacco on the stage," 'dance
in Paul's,' etc. (and contrast with him the capital description of a Gull
in Epigram II., p. 263). Also the Epigram '_In Ciprium_, xxii.', 7, p.
266, col. 1.--F.

[247] Lady Dorothy Stafford's son, and not the William Stafford who wrote
the _Compendious & briefe Examination_, 1581. See my Forewords to the
Society's edition.--F.

[248] Will the memory of this do for the _Midsummer Night's Dream_
contagious fogs, corn rotted (II. i. 88-100), and empty fold? The
rainfloods of 1594 suit better, no doubt; see the end of my _Stafford_

[249] Charles Howard, afterwards Earl of Nottingham, a half-cousin of the
poet Surrey.--W.

[250] The respective "minions" (_i.e._, "darlings") of the second Edward
and the second Richard; but both, unlike Dudley, died wretchedly, one in
exile, the other by the block.--W.

[251] "The 10. of Aprill the Parliament brake vp at Westminster, for the
time, wherein was granted three subsidies of 2.s. 8.d. the pound goods,
and foure s. lands, and 6. fifteenes."--Stowe's _Annals_, ed. 1605, p.
1272. (A good 'Oration of her maiesty to the parliament men' follows.)--F.

[252] MS. corrected. I'm not sure of either word. '_Comeling_' is
Harrison's word for 'foreigner'; '_homeling_' for 'native.' Can't we
revive 'em? They're a nice pair.--F.

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  POPE. Edited by John Hogben.
  HEINE. Edited by Mrs. Kroeker.
  BEAUMONT & FLETCHER. Edited by J. S. Fletcher.
  BOWLES, LAMB, &c. Edited by William Tirebuck.
  EARLY ENGLISH POETRY. Edited by H. Macaulay Fitzgibbon.
  SEA MUSIC. Edited by Mrs Sharp.
  HERRICK. Edited by Ernest Rhys.
  BALLADES AND RONDEAUS. Edited by J. Gleeson White.
  IRISH MINSTRELSY. Edited by H. Halliday Sparling.
  MILTON'S PARADISE LOST. Edited by J. Bradshaw, M.A., LL.D.
  JACOBITE BALLADS. Edited by G. S. Macquoid.
  AUSTRALIAN BALLADS. Edited by D. B. W. Sladen, B.A.
  MOORE. Edited by John Dorrian.
  BORDER BALLADS. Edited by Graham R. Tomson.
  SONG-TIDE. By P. B. Marston.
  ODES OF HORACE. Translations by Sir S. de Vere, Bt.
  OSSIAN. Edited by G. E. Todd.
  ELFIN MUSIC. Ed. by A. Waite.
  SOUTHEY. Ed. by S. R. Thompson.
  CHAUCER. Edited by F. N. Paton.
  POEMS OF WILD LIFE. Edited by Chas. G. D. Roberts, M.A.
  PARADISE REGAINED. Edited by J. Bradshaw, M.A., LL.D.
  CRABBE. Edited by E. Lamplough.
  DORA GREENWELL. Edited by William Dorling.
  FAUST. Edited by E. Craigmyle.
  AMERICAN SONNETS. Edited by William Sharp.
  LANDOR'S POEMS. Selected and Edited by E. Radford.
  GREEK ANTHOLOGY. Edited by Graham R. Tomson.
  HUNT AND HOOD. Edited by J. Harwood Panting.

London: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row.

_Crown 8vo, Cloth. Price 3s. 6d. per Vol.; Hlf. Mor. 6s. 6d._



_Most of the vols. will be illustrated, containing between 300 and 400 pp.
The first vol. will be issued on Oct. 25, 1889. Others to follow at short

The Contemporary Science Series will bring within general reach of the
English-speaking public the best that is known and thought in all
departments of modern scientific research. The influence of the scientific
spirit is now rapidly spreading in every field of human activity. Social
progress, it is felt, must be guided and accompanied by accurate
knowledge,--knowledge which is, in many departments, not yet open to the
English reader. In the Contemporary Science Series all the questions of
modern life--the various social and politico-economical problems of
to-day, the most recent researches in the knowledge of man, the past and
present experiences of the race, and the nature of its environment--will
be frankly investigated and clearly presented.

The first volumes of the Series will be:--

90 Illustrations, and about 300 pages. [_Now Ready._

[_Ready 25th November._

THE ORIGIN OF THE ARYANS. By Dr. _Isaac Taylor_. With numerous
Illustrations. [_Ready 25th December._

The following Writers, among others, are preparing volumes for this

Prof. E. D. Cope, Prof. G. F. Fitzgerald, Prof. J. Geikie, G. L. Gomme, E.
C. K. Gonner, Prof. J. Jastrow (Wisconsin), E. Sidney Hartland, Prof. C.
H. Herford, J. Bland Sutton, Dr. C. Merrier, Sidney Webb, Dr. Sims
Woodhead, Dr. C. M. Woodward (St. Louis, Mo.), etc.

LONDON: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row.

_Crown 8vo, about 350 pp. each, Cloth Cover, 2s. 6d. per vol.
Half-polished Morocco, gilt top, 5s._


Arrangements have been made to publish, in Monthly Volumes, a series of
translations of works by the eminent Russian Novelist, Count Lyof. N.
Tolstoï. The English reading public will be introduced to an entirely new
series of works by one who is probably the greatest living master of
fiction in Europe. To those unfamiliar with the charm of Russian fiction,
and especially with the works of Count Tolstoï, these volumes will come as
a new revelation of power.

_The following Volumes are already issued_--

  ANNA KARÉNINA. (2 Vols.)
  WAR AND PEACE. (4 Vols.)

_Ready December 21st._


London: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row.


_Crown 8vo, in White Embossed Boards, Gilt Lettering, One Shilling each._



Published originally in Russia, as tracts for the people, these little
stories, which Mr. Walter Scott will issue separately early in February,
in "booklet" form, possess all the grace, naïveté, and power which
characterise the work of Count Tolstoï, and while inculcating in the most
penetrating way the Christian ideas of love, humility, and charity, are
perfect in their art form as stories pure and simple.


London: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane.

Windsor Series of Poetical Anthologies.

_Printed on Antique Paper. Crown 8vo. Bound in Blue Cloth, each with
suitable Emblematic Design on Cover, Price 3s. 6d. Also in various Calf
and Morocco Bindings._

Women's Voices. An Anthology of the most Characteristic Poems by English,
Scotch, and Irish Women. Edited by Mrs. William Sharp.

Sonnets of this Century. With an Exhaustive Essay on the Sonnet. Edited by
Wm. Sharp.

The Children of the Poets. An Anthology from English and American Writers
of Three Centuries. Edited by Professor Eric S. Robertson.

Sacred Song. A Volume of Religious Verse. Selected and arranged by Samuel

A Century of Australian Song. Selected and Edited by Douglas B. W. Sladen,
B.A., Oxon.

Jacobite Songs and Ballads. Selected and Edited, with Notes, by G. S.

Irish Minstrelsy. Edited, with Notes and Introduction, by H. Halliday

The Sonnets of Europe. A Volume of Translations. Selected and arranged by
Samuel Waddington.

Early English and Scottish Poetry. Selected and Edited by H. Macaulay

Ballads of the North Countrie. Edited, with Introduction, by Graham R.

Songs and Poems of the Sea. An Anthology of Poems Descriptive of the Sea.
Edited by Mrs. William Sharp.

Songs and Poems of Fairyland. An Anthology of English Fairy Poetry,
selected and arranged, with an Introduction, by Arthur Edward Waite.

Songs and Poems of the Great Dominion. Edited by W. D. Lighthall, of

London: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row.


  Edition de Luxe. Crown 4to, on Antique Paper, Price 12s. 6d.

  Crown 8vo, Cloth, Bevelled Boards, Price 3s. 6d. each.

  Crown 8vo, Cloth, Bevelled Boards, Price 3s. 6d.

  Cloth Gilt, Price 3s.

  Crown 8vo, Cloth Gilt, Price 3s. 6d.

  Fourth Edition, Crown 8vo, Cloth Gilt, Price 3s. 6d.

  Second Edition. Price 3s.

  Parchment Limp, 3s.
  DEATH'S DISGUISES and Other Sonnets.

London: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row.

  Small Crown 8vo.
  Printed on Antique Laid Paper. Cloth Elegant,
  Gilt Edges, Price 3/6.
  Summer Legends.


This is a collection of charming fanciful stories translated from the
German. In Germany they have enjoyed remarkable popularity, a large number
of editions having been sold. Rudolph Baumbach deals with a wonderland
which is all his own, though he suggests Hans Andersen in his simplicity
of treatment, and Heine in his delicacy, grace, and humour. These are
stories which will appeal vividly to the childish imagination, while the
older reader will discern the satirical or humorous application that
underlies them.

London: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane.

Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _underscore_.

Superscripted letters are shown in {brackets}.

Additional spacing after some of the quotes is intentional to indicate
both the end of a quotation and the beginning of a new paragraph as
presented in the original text.

The original text includes a Greek character which has been replaced with
a transliteration.

The original text includes blank spaces. These are represented by _____
in this text version.

The unmatched quotation mark before footnote marker ten appears as in the
original text.

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "too too" corrected to "too" (page 119)
  "upom" corrected to "upon" (page 245)
  "too too" corrected to "too" (page 253)
  "Leircester" corrected to "Leicester" (page 272)

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