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Modern History Sourcebook:
William Harrison (1534-1593):
Description Of Elizabethan England, 1577
(from Holinshed's Chronicles)

Introductory Note

Near the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, Reginald Wolfe, the Queen's Printer, with the splendid audacity characteristic of that age, planned to publish a "universal Cosmography of the whole world, and therewith also certain particular histories of every known nation." Raphael Holinshed had charge of the histories of England, Scotland, and Ireland, the only part of the work ever published; and these were issued in 1577, and have since been known as "Holinshed's Chronicles." From them Shakespeare drew most of the material for his historical plays.

Among Holinshed's collaborators was one William Harrison, chaplain to Lord Cobham, and later Rector of Radwinter in Essex and Canon of Windsor. To him was allotted the task of writing the "Descriptions of Britain and England" from which the following chapters are drawn. He gathered his facts from books, letters, maps, conversations, and, most important of all, his own observation and experience; and he put them loosely together into what he calls "this foul frizzled treatise." Yet, with all his modesty, he claims to "have had an especial eye to the truth of things"; and as a result we have in his pages the most vivid and detailed picture in existence of the England into which Shakespeare was born.

In 1876 Dr. Furnivall condensed Harrison's chapters for the New Shakespeare Society, and these have since been reprinted by Mr. Lothrop Withington in the modern dress in which the most interesting of them appear here. No apology is needed for thus selecting and rearranging, since in their original form they were without unity, and formed part of a vast compilation.

Harrison's merit does not lie in the rich interest of his matter alone. He wrote a racy style with a strong individual as well as Elizabethan flavor; and his personal comment upon the manners of his time serves as a piquant sauce to the solid meat of his historical information.


Chapter I: Of Degrees Of People In The Commonwealth Of Elizabethan England
[1577, Book III., Chapter 4; 1587, Book II., Chapter 5.] 1

[Footnote 1: These references are to the first two editions of Holinshed's Chronicles. The modernization of the spelling, etc., follows that of Mr. L. Withington, whose notes are signed W.]

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 rehearsal.

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. 2 . . .

[Footnote 2: Here follow etymologies of the terms "Duke", Marquess," and "Baron." - W.]

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 3 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. 4 . . .

[Footnote 3: I Sam. ii. 15; I Kings i. 7. - H.]

[Footnote 4: Here follows a long paragraph on the character of the clergy which is more appropriate to the chapter on "The Church." - W.]

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 ton 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 revenses 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 a 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.

The most of these names have descended from the French invention, in whose histories we shall read of them eight hundred years past. 5 . . .

[Footnote 5: Here follows a learned disquisition upon "Valvasors." - W.]

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 wars. 6 . . .

[Footnote 6: Here follows a discourse upon Equites Aurati. - W.]

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. 7 . . .

[Footnote 7: Here is a description of dubbing a knight. - W.]

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 bule 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. 8 . . .

[Footnote 8: Long details are given of Garter history, very inaccurate, both here and in the last omitted passage. - W.]

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. 9 . . .

[Footnote 9: Derivations of "Esquire" and "Gentleman" are given. - W.]

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 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 question.

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 Lacedaemonians 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 10 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.

[Footnote 10: Kerseys.]

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 same which the Frenchmen call varlets, but, as the 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, 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 that 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), 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, etc. 11

[Footnote 11: Capite censi, or Proletarii. - H.]

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, 12 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 servingmen, 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.

[Footnote 12: The Ceylonese. The Greek name for the island of Ceylon was Taprobane, which Harrison used merely as a classical scholar. - W.]

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 many 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 publicae," of whom also you may read more in the book of commonwealth which Sir Thomas Smith some time penned of this land.

 

Chapter II: Of Cities And Towns In England
[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. 1 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. 2 . . .

[Footnote 1: 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.]

[Footnote 2: 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.]

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 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 desp tch of them before this history be published.

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 years 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 scanned. 3 . . .

[Footnote 3: Here follows an allusion to the decay of Eastern cities. - W.]

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, 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, 4 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, and divers other places. But to proceed.

[Footnote 4: The old and proper form of the modern pumpkin. - W.]

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 door.

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, sithethe prince deth 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, 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, 5 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 I would have used according to the shires, if I might have brought it to pass.

---Table 1.: Table of Shires, Market Towns and Parishes]

[Footnote 5: The first is a variant on a Keltic, the second on a Saxon, word, both relating to matters sufficiently indicated in the text. - W.]

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.


Chapter III: Of Gardens And Orchards
[1587, Book II., Chapter 20.]

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 endeavors 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, which commodity (as I have learned further since the penning of that book) hath been very plentiful in this island, not only in the times 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, 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 men of melons, pompons, gourds, cucumbers, radishes, skirets, 1 parsnips, carrots, cabbages, navews, 2 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.

[Footnote 1: A vegetable something like a carrot.]

[Footnote 2: A kind of turnip.]

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, 3 saying,

[Footnote 3: Earthly stars.]

"Pingit et in varios terrestria sydera flores," 4

and variety of curious and costly workmanship, but also with rare and medicinable herbs sought up in the land within these forty years: s brought from far, is most folly of all: for it savoureth of ignorance, or at the leastwise of negligence, and therefore worthy of reproach.

[Footnote 4: "And paints terrestrial constellations with varied flowers."]

[Footnote 5: Refuse-heaps.]

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.* * *

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 into 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 6 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 into 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.

[Footnote 6: Probably cornels.]

We have in like sort such workmen as are not only excellent in grafting the natural fruits, but 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. With 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, Tibaults, Cobham Garden, 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.

Chapter IV: Of Fairs And Markets
[1577, Book II., Chapter II; 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 1 and speediest utterrance 2 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.

[Footnote 1: Direct.]

[Footnote 2: Market.]

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 ale-house? 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, 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 experience.

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 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 license upon some forged surmise, which being done, they will feed him with money to buy for them till he hath filled their lofts, 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 license? 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 3 more in the week-day to such an inn or sollar 4 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.

[Footnote 3: Horse-loads.]

[Footnote 4: Loft.]

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 oftentnmes 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 death (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 ts 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: 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 eighteen pence 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 in most trades, tillage always excepted, is one of the greatest causes why the prices of things became 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 branded. 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 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.

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, 5 or the common kirkemesses, 6 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.

[Footnote 5: The ancient London counterpart of the more modern "Rag Fair" known to literary fame. - W.]

[Footnote 6: The Kermess, or literally, "Church mass," so famous in "Faust." W.]


Chapter V: Of The Ancient And Present Estate Of The Church Of England
[1577, Book II., Chapter 5; 1585, Book II., Chapter I.]

There are now two provinces in England, of which the first and greatest is subject to the see of Canterbury, comprehending a part of Lhoegres, 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. The second province is under the see of York. And, of these, each hath her archbishop resident commonly within her now 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.

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 Carleon upon Usk. 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.

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 1 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.

[Footnote 1: Overcome.]

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

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 namque occupationes horreo, liberum affectans animum. Voluntati sacrarum intendo scripturarum, vos dissonantiam facitis, verendumque est ne aratrum sanctae ecclesiae, 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 a recto. Ego ovis vetula, qui si quietus essem, verbi Dei lacte, et operimento lanae, aliquibus possem fortassis non ingratus esse, sed si me cum hoc tauro coniungitis, videbitis pro disparilitate trahentium, aratrum non recte 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.

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 . . .

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" 2 (the better to bring his purpose to pass). . .

[Footnote 2: A fool or dupe.]

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 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. .

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 doubtedtbut 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, 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 nostrae regiae majestati insidias fabricavit" 3) the pope understood the bottom of the matter, he was contented that Thomas should be deprived, and another archbishop chosen in his stead.

[Footnote 3: "Thomas, not innocent of treason, has intrigued against the majesty of our court."]

Neither did this pride stay 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 multitude 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 ecclesiae fabricant peccatores," etc.), 4 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.

[Footnote 4: "Sinners build on the back of the church."]

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 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 Satan, 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 to 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. 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.

With us also it is permitted that a sufficient man may (by dispensation from the prince) 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, as if there were more good preachers that want maintenance than livings to maintain them. Indeed when a living is voit 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 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 noting be 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. 5 . . .

[Footnote 5: Here follows a story about the bootless errand of a pope's legate in 1452. - W.]

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 half-penny, 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 horse-keepers, instead of other recompense, for their long and faithful service, which they employ afterward unto the most advantage.

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. 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, therebare (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 clergyment is comely, and, in truth, more decent than ever it was in the popish church, before the univeristies bound their graduates unto a stable attire, afterward usurped also even byt 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 liek metal, their apparel (for the most part) of silk, and richly, their caps lacede 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, which noew (I say) is well reformed. Touching hospitality, there was never any greater used in England, sith by reason that marriage is permitdted to him that will choosed 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 Christimas 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 e 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 re edied; but I am clean of another mind. For, when I consider whereunto the gifts of fellowship 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,aif 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 or 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 wich 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.


Chapter VI: Of The Food And Diet Of The English
[1577, Book III., Chapter I; 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, 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, 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, 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 mnat 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, 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. 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 oo 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 roots as are brought out of Spain, Portugal, and the Indies to furnish up our banquets, I speak not, wherein our mures 1 of no less force, and to be had about Crosby-Ravenswath, do now begin to have place.

[Footnote 1: Sweet cicely, sometimes miscalled myrrh. Mure is the Saxon word. At one time the plant was not uncommon as a salad. - W.]

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 upwards, notwithstanding the daily restraints of the same but yearly to the proportion of 20,000 or 30,000 tun and 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 junketings, 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 2), 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."

[Footnote 2: Neither "silent" nor "garrulous."]

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." 3 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 already.

[Footnote 3: A famine at hand is first seen in the horse-manger, when the poor do fall to horse corn. - H.]

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 cheat 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. 4 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 brickle 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.

[Footnote 4: The size of bread is very ill kept or not at all looked unto in the country towns or markets. - H.]

In champaign countries much rye and barley bread is eaten, but especially where wheat is scant and geson. As for the difference that it 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 ( 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 malthouse; 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 deepeer 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 value.

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 clalk 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, 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 alewives 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 fruit 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 honeycombhs 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 5 in this behalf performed.

[Footnote 5: Holinshed. This occurs in the last of Harrison's prefatory matter. - W.]

Heretofore there hath been much more time spent in eating and drinking than commonly is in these days; for whereas of old we had breakfast in the forenoon, beverages or nunchions 6 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 Athenaeus also speaketh, lib. I, 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 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 supper. 7 . . .

[Footnote 6: This word is not obsolete. South-coast countrymen still eat nuntions and not luncheons. - W.]

[Footnote 7: Here follows a disquisition upon the table practices of the ancients. - W.]

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, some making their entry 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 Belgaes 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.


Chapter VII: Of Our Apparel And Attire
[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. 1 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) 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; sith 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 women.

[Footnote 1: [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.) Furnivall.]

Thus it is now come to pass, that women are become men, and men transformed 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 contended himself at home with his fine carsey hosen, and a mean slop; his coat, gown, and cloak of brown, blue, or puke, 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 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, peas-porridge tawny, popinjay blue, 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.


Chapter VIII: Of The Manner Of Building And Furniture Of Our Houses
[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 whereo 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 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 a 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 vessels, 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 io 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 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, 1 although they paid but four pounds at the uttermost by the year. Such also was their poverty that, if some one odd farmer or husband-man had been at the ale-house, 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.

[Footnote 1: This was in the time of general idleness. - H]

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 Athenaeus, 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.


Chapter IX: Of Provision Made For The Poor
[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 thr e 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 (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 sustention - 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. 1 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.

[Footnote 1: At whose hands shall the blood of these men be required? - H.]

Such as are idle beggars 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 afore-mentioned, 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, 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 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. 2. Uprightmen. 3. Hookers or anglers. 4. Rogues. 5. Wild rogues. 6. Priggers or pransers. 7. Palliards. 8. Fraters. 9. Abrams. 10. Freshwater mariners or whipiacks. 11. Drummerers. 12. Drunken tinkers. 13. Swadders or pedlers. 14. Jarkemen or patricoes.

Of the women kind.

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

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, 2 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. 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 England.

[Footnote 2: Law of the Marshal. - Furnivall.]


Chapter X: Of The Air And Soil And Commodities Of This Island
[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 Caesar 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 gazing 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 Caesar'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 graziers 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) 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 three-score 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 practice: albeit divers do like better to cast on lime, but it will not so long endure, as I have heard reported.

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 ( ^*) to ( ^*) 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.

[Footnote *: Here lacks. - H.]

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 communality 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 very 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 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 onother. 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 quickmoors 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 afore said 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 meadowslwe 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 scotfree 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 Judaeorum in Aethiopia 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 of goodness of God, and next of all unto the bounty of our soil, which he hath endued with so notable and commodious fruitfulness.

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 plantinf 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. I., cap. I) 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 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 saidhouse 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 decimae, 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 Caesar 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. I), 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 hath)

"Eventus varios res. nova semper habet." 1

[Footnote 1: "An innovation has always mixed effects."]

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. 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: weereas 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 it is 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, twelwe, 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 longe 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 praepinguis, Testis Lincolnia gens infinita decore, Testis Eli formosa situ, Doncastria visu," etc.


Chapter XI: Of Sundry Minerals And Metals
[1577, Book III., Chapters 16 and 18; 1587, Book III., Chapters 10 and 11.]

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 1 hath been of late egregriousl 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 petrolium 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.

[Footnote 1: The Lord Mountjoy. - H.]

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 sallpetre 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. 2

[Footnote 2: Here ends the chapter entitled "Minerals," and the one on "Metals" begins. - W.]

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 mest 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 Caesar 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 supposed that in Plinly'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 sea. 3

[Footnote 3: Here follow two stories about crows and miners. - W.]

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 flom 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 vessels 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 stoel, 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, 4 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.

[Footnote 4: Some tell me that it is a mixture of brass, lead, and tin. - H.]


Chapter XII: Of Cattle Kept For Profit
[1577, Book III., Chapter 8; 1587, Book III., Chapter. I.]

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 Paeones, 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 carriages 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, of five quarters of wheat, experience daily teacheth, and I have elsewhere remembered. Such as are kept also for burden will carry four hundred-weight 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 grew 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 hostlers; 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 stock 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 aegritudinis, 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. The 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 wax sour) till occasion serve to spend it out of 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.

[Footnote 1: Tape.]


Chapter XIII: Of Wild And Tame Fowls
[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, 1 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 often times 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. 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 appetites.

[Footnote 1: The proper English name of the bird which vulgar acceptance forces us to now call bittern. - W.]

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, where by 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 suc tivits, king-fishers, 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 named. 2 . . .

[Footnote 2: Here ends the first chapter of "fowls," that which follows being restricted to "hawks and ravenous fowls." - W.]

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 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 ospreys, 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. 3

[Footnote 3: This on "venomous beasts" will be found included in the "savage beasts" of the following.]


Chapter XIV: Of Savage Beasts And Vermin
[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 wherein 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. 1...

[Footnote 1: Here follows an account of the extermination of wolves, and a reference to lions and wild bulls rampant in Scotland of old. - W.]

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 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 be thought 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 pricket, the third a sorel, 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. 2 . . .

[Footnote 2: Here follows a discourse on ancient boar-hunting, exalting it above the degenerate sports of the day. This ends the chapter on "savage beasts." - W.]

If I should go about to make any long discourse of ve are seen in moors, fens, loam, walls, and low bottoms.

[Footnote 3: Galenus, De Theriaca ad Pisonem; Pliny, lib. 10, cap. 62. - H.]

[Footnote 4: "The adder or viper alone among serpents brings forth not eggs but living creatures."]

[Footnote 5: Sallust, cap. 40; Pliny. lib. 37, cap. 2. - H.]

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 blindworm, 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 the oxen: which may be true, especially the first and latter in some parts of 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, 6 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.

[Footnote 6: See Diodorus Siculus. - H.]


Chapter XV: Of Our English Dogs And Their Qualities
[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, wease 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 defe 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 sometimes 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 inward disposition of their bones, whereof it is impossible that his assertion can be sound.


Chapter XVI: Of The Navy Of England
[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. 1 . . .

[Footnote 1: Here follows an account of Roman and Carthaginian galleys which "did not only match, but far exceed" in capacity our ships and galleys of 1587. - W.]

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, 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.

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.

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

The Bonadventure. Elizabeth Jonas. 2 Triumph. Bull. Tiger. 3 White Bear. Philip and Mary. Aid. Handmaid. Dreadnought. Antelope. Hope. Lion. Victory. Mary Rose. Foresight. Swift sute. Swallow. Genet. Bark of Bullen. Achates. Falcon. George. Revenge.

[Footnote 2: 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 whale. - H.]

[Footnote 3: So called of her exceeding nimbleness in sailing and swiftness of course. - H.]

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 certainly, so it shall suffice to have said of so much these things; yet this I think worthy further to be added, that if they should all be driven to service at one instance (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 furthhr remembrance She hath likewise three notable galleys: the Speedwell, the 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 Saxon's 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 16000 alias 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 Ethelred, 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 WesttIndies, 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 to a voyage to Hispaniola of 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 of 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.


Chapter XVII: Of Sundry Kinds Of Punishment Appointed For Offenders
[1577, Book III., Chapter 6; 1587, Book II., Chapter II.]

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, and therefore cannot in any wise digest to be used as villains and slaves, in suffering continually beating, servitude, and servile torments. 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, 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 th 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 punishment 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 bodies.

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 thirteen-pence-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 nd 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. 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 reported.

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, 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 farmers' 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 fairspoken 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 hands 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 mankillers, 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.


Chapter XVIII: Of Universities
[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. 1 . . .

[Footnote 1: Here follows a paragraph about the legendary foundation of the universities. - W.]

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, 2 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 endure. 3 . . .

[Footnote 2: Cambridge burned not long since. - H.]

[Footnote 3: Here follows an account of Oxford and Cambridge castles, and the legend of the building of Osney Abbey by Robert and Edith D'Oyley. - W.]

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 victuals.

The common schools of Cambridge also are far more beautiful than those of Oxford, only the Divinity School of 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 the 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 goodwill. 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 diverts 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 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 thither.

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 siill 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 4 sometime noted, who thought it sacrilege for a man to tarry any longer at Oxford than he had a desire to profit.

[Footnote 4: This Fox builded Corpus Christi College, in Oxford. - H.]

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 5 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."

[Footnote 5: So much also may be inferred of lawyers. - H.]

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 therefore 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 suppressed.

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 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 rongues, 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.

---Table 2.: Of the Colleges of Cambridge with their Founders]

---Table 3.: Of the Colleges of Cambridge at Oxford]

[Footnote 6: He founded also a good part of Eton College, and a free school at Wainfleet, where he was born.]

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. Hart Hall. St. Mary Hall. White Hall. Magdalen Hall. Alburne Hall. Postminster Hall. New Inn. Edmond 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 of 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 encient 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 erected.

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

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

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 civility.


Source:

Chronicle and romance: Froissart, Malory, Holinshed. With introductions and notes. New York, P. F. Collier [c1910] The Harvard classics v. 35.


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© Paul Halsall, August 1998