[Page 221]


1 Of the ancient and present estate of the church of England.
2 Of the number of bishoprikes and their seuerall circuits.
3 Of vniuersities.
4 Of the partition of England into shires and counties.
5 Of degrees of people in the commonwealth of England.
6 Of the food and diet of the English.
7 Of their apparell and attire.
8 Of the high court of parlement & authoritie of the same.
9 Of the lawes of England since hir first inhabitation.
10 Of prouision made for the poore.
11 Of sundrie kinds of punishment appointed for malefactors.
12 Of the maner of building and furniture of our houses.
13 Of cities and townes in England.
14 Of castels and holds.
15 Of palaces belonging to the prince.
16 Of armour and munition.
17 Of the nauie of England.
18 Of faires and markets.
19 Of parkes and warrens.
20 Of gardens and orchards.
21 Of waters generallie.
22 Of woods and marishes.
23 Of baths and hot welles.
24 Of antiquities found.
25 Of the coines of England.



There are now two prouinces onelie in England, of which the first and greatest is subiect to the sée of Canturburie, comprehending a parte of Lhoegres, whole Cambria, & also Ireland, which in time past were seuerall, & brought into one by the archbishop of the said sée & assistance of the pope; who in respect of méed, did yéeld vnto the ambitious desires of sundrie archbishops of Canturburie, as I haue elsewhere declared. The second prouince is vnder the sée of Yorke, and of these; either hath hir archbishop resident commonlie within hir owne limits, who hath not onelie the cheefe dealing in matters appertaining to the hierarchie and iurisdiction of the church; but also great authoritie in ciuill affaires touching the gouernement of the common wealth: so far foorth as their commissions and seuerall circuits doo extend.

In old time there were thrée archbishops, and so manie prouinces in this Ile; of which one kept at London, another at Yorke, and the third at Caerlheon vpon Uske. But as that of London was translated to Canturburie by Augustine, and that of Yorke remaineth (notwithstanding [Page 222] that the greatest part of his iurisdiction is now bereft him and giuen to the Scotish archbishop) so that of Caerlheon is vtterlie extinguished, and the gouernement of the countrie vnited to that of Canturburie in spirituall cases: after it was once before remoued to S. Dauids in Wales by Dauid successor to Dubritius, and vncle to king Arthur, in the 519 of Grace, to the end that he and his clearkes might be further off from the crueltie of the Saxons, where it remained till the time of the Bastard, and for a season after, before it was annexed vnto the sée of Canturburie.

The archbishop of Canturburie is commonlie called primat of all England; and in the coronations of the kings of this land, and all other times, wherein it shall please the prince to weare and put on his crowne, his office is to set it vpon their heads. They beare also the uame of their high chapleins continuallie, although not a few of them haue presumed (in time past) to be their equals, and void of subiection vnto them. That this is true, it may easilie appéere by their owne acts yet kept in record; beside their epistles & answers written or in print; wherein they haue sought not onelie to match but also to mate them with great rigor and more than open tyrannie. Our aduersaries will peraduenture denie this absolutelie, as they doo manie other things apparant, though not without shamelesse impudencie, or at the leastwise defend it as iust and not swaruing from common equitie; bicause they imagine euerie archbishop to be the kings equall in his owne prouince. But how well their dooing herein agreeth with the saieng of Peter, & examples of the primitiue church, it may easilie appéere. Some examples also of their demeanor (I meane in the time of poperie) I will not let to remember, least they should saie I speake of malice, and without all ground of likelihood.

Of their practises with meane persons I speake not, neither will I begin at Dunstane the author of all their pride and presumption here in England. But for somuch as the dealing of Robert the Norman against earle Goodwine is a rare historie, and deserueth to be remembred, I will touch it in this place; protesting to deale withall in more faithfull maner than it hath heretofore beene deliuered vnto vs by the Norman writers, or French English, who (of set purpose) haue so defaced earle Goodwine, that were it not for the testimonie of one or two méere Englishmen liuing in those daies, it should be impossible for me (or anie other) at this present to declare the truth of that matter according to hir circumstances. Marke therefore what I saie. For the truth is, that such Normans as came in with Emma in the time of Ethelred, and Canutus, and the Confessor, did fall by sundrie means into such fauor with those princes, that the gentlemen did grow to beare great rule in the court, and their clearkes to be possessors of the best benefices in the land. Hervpon therefore one Robert, a iolie ambitious préest, gat first to be bishop of London, and after the death of Eadsius, to be archbishop of Canturburie by the gift of king Edward; leauing his former see to William his countrieman. Ulfo also a Norman was preferred to Lincolne, and other to other places, as the king did thinke conuenient.

These Norman clerkes, and their freends, being thus exalted, it was not long yer they began to mocke, abuse, and despise the English: and so much the more, as they dailie saw themselues to increase in fauour with king Edward, who also called diuerse of them to be of his secret councell, which did not a litle incense the harts of the English against them. A fraie also was made at Douer, betwéene the seruants of earle Goodwine and the French, whose maisters came ouer to see and salute the king: whereof I haue spoken in my Chronologie, which so inflamed the minds of the French cleargie and courtiers against the English nobilitie, that each part sought for opportunitie of reuenge, which yer long tooke hold betwéene them. For the said Robert, being called to be archbishop of Canturburie, was no sooner in possession of his sée, than he began to quarrell with earle Goodwine (the kings father in law by the mariage of his daughter) who also was readie to acquit his demeanor with like malice; and so the mischiefe begun. Herevpon therefore the archbishop charged the earle with the murther of Alfred the kings brother, whom not he but Harald the sonne of Canutus and the Danes had cruellie made awaie. For Alfred and his brother comming [Page 223] into the land with fiue and twentie saile, vpon the death of Canutus, and being landed; the Normans that arriued with them giuing out how they came to recouer their right, to wit, the crowne of England; & therevnto the vnskilfull yoong gentlemen, shewing themselues to like of the rumour that was spred in this behalfe, the report of their demeanor was quicklie brought to Harald, who caused a companie foorthwith of Danes priuilie to laie wait for them, as they roade toward Gilford, where Alfred was slaine, and whence Edward with much difficultie escaped to his ships, and to returned into Normandie.

But to proceed. This affirmation of the archbishop being greatlie soothed out with his craftie vtterance (for he was lerned) confirmed by his French fréends, (for they had all conspired against the erle) and therevnto the king being desirous to reuenge the death of his brother, bred such a grudge in his mind against Goodwine, that he banished him and his sons cleane out of the land. He sent also his wife the erles daughter prisoner to Wilton, with one onelie maiden attending vpon hir, where she laie almost a yeare before she was released. In the meane season, the rest of the peeres, as Siward earle of Northumberland surnamed Digara or Fortis, Leofrijc earle of Chester, and other went to the king, before the departure of Goodwine, indeuouring to persuade him vnto the reuocation of his sentence; and desiring that his cause might be heard and discussed by order of law. But the king incensed by the archbishop and his Normans would not heare on that side, saieng plainelie, and swearing by saint Iohn the euangelist (for that was his common oth) that earle Goodwine should not haue his peace till he restored his brother Alfred aliue againe vnto his presence. With which answer the peeres departed in choler from the court, and Goodwine toward the coast.

Comming also vnto the shore and readie to take shipping, he knéeled downe in presence of his conduct (to wit at Bosenham in the moneth of September, from whence he intended to saile into Flanders vnto Baldwine the earle) and there praied openlie before them all, that if euer he attempted anie thing against the kings person of England, or his roiall estate, that he might neuer come safe vnto his cousine, nor sée his countrie any more, but perish in this voiage. And herewith he went aboord the ship that was prouided for him, and so from the coast into the open sea. But sée what followed. He was not yet gone a mile waie from the land, before he saw the shore full of armed souldiers, sent after by the archbishop and his freends to kill him yer he should depart and go out of the countrie: which yet more incensed the harts of the English against them.

Being come also to Flanders, he caused the earle, the French king, and other of his fréends, among whome also the emperour was one, to write vnto the king in his behalfe; but all in vaine: for nothing could be obteined from him, of which the Normans had no liking, wherevpon the earle and his sonnes changed their minds, obteined aid, and inuaded the land in sundry places. Finallie ioining their powers they came by the Thames into Southwarke néere London where they lodged, and looked for the king to incounter with them in the field. The king séeing what was doone, commanded the Londoners not to aid nor vittell them. But the citizens made answer, how the quarrell of Goodwine was the cause of the whole realme, which he had in maner giuen ouer vnto the spoile of the French: and therevpon they not onelie vittelled them aboundantlie, but also receiued the earle and his chiefe fréends into the citie, where they lodged them at their ease, till the kings power was readie to ioine with them in battell.

Great resort also was made vnto them from all places of the realme, so that the earles armie was woonderfullie increased, and the daie and place chosen wherein the battell should be fought. But when the armies met, the kings side began some to flée to the earle, other to laie downe their weapons, and not a few to run awaie out right; the rest telling him plainelie that they would neuer fight against their owne countriemen, to mainteine Frenchmens quarrels. The Normans also seeing the sequele, fled awaie so fast as they might gallop, leauing the king in the field to shift for himselfe (as he best might) whilest they did saue themselues elsewhere.

[Page 224] In the meane season the earles power would haue set vpon the king, either to his slaughter, or apprehension; but he staied them, saieng after this maner: The king is my sonne (as you all know) and it is not for a father to deale so hardlie with his child, neither a subiect with his souereigne; it is not he that hath hurt or doone me this iniurie, but the proud Normans that are about him: wherfore to gaine a kingdome, I will doo him no violence. And therewithall casting aside his battell ax he ran to the king, that stood altogither amazed, and falling at his féet he craued his peace, accused the archbishop, required that his cause might be heard in open assemblie of his péeres; and finallie determined as truth and equitie should deserue.

The king (after he had paused a pretie while) seeing his old father in law to lie groueling at his féet, and conceiuing with himselfe that his sute was not vnreasonable; seeing also his children, and the rest of the greatest barons of the land to knéele before him, and make the like request: he lifted vp the earle by the hand, bad him be of good comfort, pardoned all that was past, and freendlie hauing kissed him and his sonnes vpon the chéekes, he lead them to his palace, called home the quéene, and summoned all his lords vnto a councell.

Wherein it is much to read, how manie billes were presented against the bishop & his Normans; some conteining matter of rape, other of robberie, extortion, murder, manslaughter, high treason, adulterie; and not a few of batterie. Wherwith the king (as a man now awaked out of sléepe) was so offended, that vpon consultation had of these things, he banished all the Normans out of the land, onelie thrée or foure excepted, whome he reteined for sundrie necessarie causes, albeit they came neuer more so néere him afterward as to be of his priuie councell.

After this also the earle liued almost two yeares, and then falling into an apoplexie, as he sat with the king at the table, he was taken vp and carried into the kings bedchamber, where (after a few daies) he made an end of his life. And thus much of our first broile raised by the cleargie, and practise of the archbishop. I would intreat of all the like examples of tyrannie, practised by the prelats of this sée, against their lords and souereignes: but then I should rather write an historie than a description of this Iland.

[Sidenote: Anselme.]

Wherefore I refer you to those reports of Anselme and Becket, sufficientlie penned by other, the which Anselme also making a shew, as if he had bin verie vnwilling to be placed in the sée of Canturburie, gaue this answer to the letters of such his fréends, as did make request vnto him to take the charge vpon him. "Secularia negotia nescio, quia scire nolo, eorum námque occupationes horreo, liberum affectans animum. Voluntati sacrarum intendo scripturarum, vos dissonantiam facitis, verendúmque est nè aratrum sanctæ ecclesiæ, quod in Anglia duo boues validi & pari fortitudine, ad bonum certantes, id est rex & archiepiscopus, debeant trahere, nunc oue vetula cum tauro indomito iugata, distorqueatur à recto. Ego ouis vetula, qui si quietus essem, verbi Dei lacte, & operimento lanæ, aliquibus possem fortassis non ingratus esse, sed si me cum hoc tauro coniungitis, videbitis pro disparilitate trahentium, aratrum non rectè procedere, &c." Which is in English thus: Of secular affaires I haue no skill, bicause I will not know them, for I euen abhor the troubles that rise about them, as one that desireth to haue his mind at libertie. I applie my whole indeuor to the rule of the scriptures, you lead me to the contrarie. And it is to be feared least the plough of holie church, which two strong oxen of equall force, and both like earnest to contend vnto that which is good (that is the king and the archbishop) ought to draw, should thereby now swarue from the right forrow, by matching of an old shéepe with a wild vntamed bull. I am that old shéepe, who if I might be quiet, could peraduenture shew my selfe not altogither vngratfull to some, by feeding them with the milke of the word of God, and couering them with wooll: but if you match me with this bull, you shall sée that thorough want of equalitie in draught the plough will not go to right, &c: as foloweth in the processe of his letters. [Sidenote: Thomas Becket.] The said Thomas Becket was so proud, that he wrote to king Henrie the second, as to his lord, to his king, and to his sonne, offering him his counsell, his reuerence, and due correction, &c. Others in like sort haue protested, that they owght [Page 225] nothing to the kings of this land, but their counsell onelie, reseruing all obedience vnto the sée of Rome.

And as the old cocke of Canturburie did crow in this behalfe, so the yoong cockerels of other sées did imitate his demeanor, as may be séene by this one example also in king Stephans time, worthie to be remembred; vnto whome the bishop of London would not so much as sweare to be true subiect: wherein also he was mainteined by the pope, as appeareth by these letters.

"Eugenius episcopus seruus seruorum Dei, dilecto in Christo filio Stephano illustri regi Anglorū salutē, & apostolicā benedictionē. Ad hæc superna prouidētia in ecclesia pontifices ordinauit, vt Christianus populus ab eis pascua vitæ reciperet, & tam principes seculares, quàm inferioris conditionis homines, ipsis pontificibus tanquam Christi vicarijs reuerentiam exhiberent. Venerabilis siquidem frater noster Robertus London episcopus, tanquam vir sapiens & honestus, & relligionis amator, à nobilitate tua benignè tractandus est, & pro collata à Deo prudentia propensiùs honorandus. Quia ergò, sicut in veritate comperimus cum animæ suæ salute, ac suæ ordinis periculo, fidelitate quæ ab eo requiritur astringi non potest: volumus, & ex paterno tibi affectu consulimus, quatenus prædictum fratrem nostrum super hoc nullatenus inquietes, immò pro beati Petri & nostra reuerentia, eum in amorem & gratiam tuam recipias. Cùm autem illud iuramentum præstare non possit, sufficiat discretioni tuæ, vt simplici & veraci verbo promittat, quòd læsionem tibi vel terræ tuæ non inferat: Vale. Dat. Meldis 6. cal. Iulij."

Thus we sée, that kings were to rule no further than it pleased the pope to like of; neither to chalenge more obedience of their subiects than stood also with their good will and pleasure. He wrote in like sort vnto quéene Mawd about the same matter, making hir Samsons calfe (the better to bring his purpose to passe) as appeareth by the same letter here insuing.

"Solomone attestante, didicimus quòd mulier sapiens ædificat domum; insipiens autem constructam destruet manibus. Gaudemus pro te, & deuotionis studium in Domino collaudamus; quoniam sicut relligiosorum relatione accepimus, timorem Dei præ oculis habens, operibus pietatis intēdis, & personas ecclesiasticas & diligis & honoras. Vt ergo de bono in melius (inspirante Domino) proficere valeas, nobilitatē tuam in Domino rogamus, & rogando monemus, & exhortamur in Domino, quatenus bonis initijs exitus meliores iniungas, & venerabilem fratrem nostrum Robertum London episcopū, pro illius reuerentia, qui cùm olim diues esset, pro nobis pauper fieri voluit, attentiùs diligas, & honores. Apud virum tuum & dilectum filium nostrum Stephanum, insignem regem Anglorum efficere studeas, vt monitis, hortatu, & cōsilio tuo, ipsum in benignitatem & dilectionem suam suscipiat, & pro beati Petri, & nostra reuerentia propensiùs habeat commendatum. Et quia sicut (veritate teste) attendimus eum sine salute, & sui ordinis periculo, præfato filio nostro astringi non posse; volumus, & paterno sibi & tibi affectu consulimus, vt vobis sufficiat, veraci & simplici verbo promissionē ab eo suscipere, quòd læsionem vel detrimentum ei, vel terræ suæ nō inferat. Dat. vt supra."

Is it not strange, that a peeuish order of religion (deuised by man) should breake the expresse law of God, who commandeth all men to honour and obeie their kings and princes, in whome some part of the power of God is manifest and laid open vnto vs? And euen vnto this end the cardinall of Hostia also wrote to the canons of Paules, after this maner; couertlie incoraging them to stand to their election of the said Robert, who was no more willing to giue ouer his new bishoprike, than they carefull to offend the king; but rather imagined which waie to kéepe it still maugre his displeasure: & yet not to sweare obedience vnto him, for all that he should be able to do or performe vnto the contrarie.

"Humilis Dei gratia Hostiensis episcopus, Londinensis ecclesiæ canonicis spiritu consilij in Domino. Sicut rationi contraria prorsus est abjicienda petitio, ita in hijs, quæ iustè desyderantur, effectum negare omninò non conuenit. Sanè nuper accepimus, quod Londinensis [Sidenote: Forsitan naturalem.] ecclesia, diu proprio destituta pastore, communi voto, & pari assensu cleri & populi, venerabilem [Page 226] filium nostrum Robertum, eiusdem ecclesiæ archidiaconum, in pastorem & episcopum animarum suarum susceperit & elegerit. Nouimus quidem eum esse personam, quam sapientia desuper ei attributa, & honestas conuersationis, & morum reuerentia plurimùm commēdabilem reddidit. Inde est quòd fraternitati vestræ mandando consulimus, vt proposito vestro bono (quod vt credimus ex Deo est) & vt ex literis domini papæ cognoscetis, non tepidè, non lentè debitum finem imponatis: ne tam nobilis ecclesia, sub occasione huiusmodi, spiritualium, quod absit, & temporalium detrimentum patiatur. Ipsius námque industria credimus, quòd antiqua relligio, & forma disciplinæ, & grauitas habitus, in ecclesia vestra reparari: & si quæ fuerint ipsius contentiones, ex pastoris absentia, Dei gratia cooperante, & eodem præsente, poterint reformari. Dat. &c."

Hereby you sée how king Stephan was dealt withall. And albeit the archbishop of Canturburie is not openlie to be touched herewith, yet it is not to be doubted, but he was a dooer in it, so far as might tend to the maintenance of the right and prerogatiue of holie church. And euen no lesse vnquietnesse had another of our princes with Iohn of Arundell, who fled to Rome for feare of his head, and caused the pope to write an ambitious and contumelious letter vnto his souereigne about his restitution. But when (by the kings letters yet extant) & beginning thus; "Thomas proditionis non expers nostræ regiæ maiestati insidias fabricauit," the pope vnderstood the botom of the matter, he was contented that Thomas should be depriued, and another archbishop chosen in his sted.

Neither did this pride staie at archbishops and bishops, but descended lower, euen to the rake-helles of the clergie and puddels of all vngodlinesse. For beside the iniurie receiued of their superiors, how was K. Iohn dealt withall by the vile Cistertians at Lincolne in the second of his reigne? Certes, when he had (vpon iust occasion) conceiued some grudge against them for their ambitious demeanor; and vpon deniall to paie such summes of moneie as were allotted vnto them, he had caused seizure to be made of such horsses, swine, neate, and other things of theirs, as were mainteined in his forrests. They denounced him as fast amongst themselues with bell, booke and candle, to be accurssed and excommunicated. Therevnto they so handled the matter with the pope and their friends, that the king was faine to yéeld to their good graces: insomuch that a meeting for pacification was appointed betwéene them at Lincolne, by meanes of the present archbishop of Canturburie, who went oft betweene him and the Cistertian commissioners before the matter could be finished. In the end, the king himselfe came also vnto the said commissioners as they sat in their chapiter house, and there with teares fell downe at their feet, crauing pardon for his trespasses against them, and heartilie requiring that they would (from thencefoorth) commend him and his realme in their praiers vnto the protection of the almightie, and receiue him into their fraternitie: promising moreouer full satisfaction of their damages susteined; and to build an house of their order in whatsoeuer place of England it should please them to assigne. And this he confirmed by charter, bearing date the seauen and twentith of Nouember, after the Scotish king was returned into Scotland, & departed from the king. Whereby (and by other the like, as betweene Iohn Stratford and Edward the third, &c:) a man may easilie conceiue how proud the cleargie-men haue beene in former times, as wholie presuming vpon the primassie of their pope. More matter could I alledge of these and the like broiles, not to be found among our common historiographers: howbeit reseruing the same vnto places more conuenient, I will ceasse to speake of them at this time, and go forward with such other things as my purpose is to speake of. At the first therefore there was like and equall authoritie in both our archbishops: but as he of Canturburie hath long since obteined the prerogatiue aboue Yorke (although I saie not without great trouble, sute, some bloudshed & contention) so the archbishop of Yorke is neuerthelesse written primate of England, as one contenting himselfe with a péece of a title at the least, when (all) could not be gotten. And as he of Canturburie crowneth the king, so this of Yorke dooth the like to the quéene, whose perpetuall chapleine he is, & hath beene from time to time, since the determination of this controuersie, as writers doo report. The first also hath vnder his iurisdiction to the [Page 227] [Sidenote: Twentie one bishoprikes vnder the sée of Canturburie. Onelie foure sées vnder the archbishop of Yorke.] number of one and twentie inferiour bishops, the other hath onlie foure, by reason that the churches of Scotland are now remooued from his obedience vnto an archbishop of their owne, whereby the greatnesse and circuit of the iurisdiction of Yorke is not a little diminished. In like sort each of these seauen and twentie sées haue their cathedrall churches, wherein [Sidenote: Deanes.] the deanes (a calling not knowne in England before the conquest) doo beare the chéefe rule, being men especiallie chosen to that vocation, both for their learning and godlinesse so néere as can be possible. These cathedrall churches haue in like maner other dignities and [Sidenote: Canonries.] canonries still remaining vnto them, as héeretofore vnder the popish regiment. Howbeit those that are chosen to the same are no idle and vnprofitable persons (as in times past they haue béene when most of these liuings were either furnished with strangers, especiallie out of Italie, boies, or such idiots as had least skill of all in discharging of those functions, wherevnto they were called by vertue of these stipends) but such as by preaching and teaching can and doo learnedlie set foorth the glorie of God, and further the ouerthrow of antichrist to the vttermost of their powers.

These churches are called cathedrall, bicause the bishops dwell or lie néere vnto the same, as bound to keepe continuall residence within their iurisdictions, for the better ouersight and gouernance of the same: the word being deriued à cathedra, that is to saie a chaire or seat where he resteth, and for the most part abideth. At the first there was but one church in euerie iurisdiction, wherinto no man entred to praie, but with some oblation or other toward the maintenance of the pastor. For as it was reputed an infamie to passe by anie of them without visitation: so it was a no lesse reproch to appeare emptie before the Lord. And for this occasion also they were builded verie huge and great, for otherwise they were not capable of such multitudes as came dailie vnto them, to heare the word and receive the sacraments.

But as the number of christians increased, so first monasteries, then finallie parish churches were builded in euerie iurisdiction: from whence I take our deanerie churches to haue their originall, now called mother churches, and their incumbents archpréests; the rest being added since the conquest, either by the lords of euerie towne, or zealous men, loth to trauell farre, and willing to haue some ease by building them neere hand. Vnto these deanerie churches also the cleargie in old time of the same deanrie were appointed to repaire at sundrie seasons, there to receiue wholesome ordinances, and to consult vpon the necessarie affaires of the whole iurisdiction; if necessitie so required: and some image hereof is yet to be seene in the north parts. But as the number of churches increased, so the repaire of the faithfull vnto the cathedrals did diminish: whereby they now become especiallie in their nether parts rather markets and shops for merchandize, than solemn places of praier, wherevnto they were first erected. Moreouer in the said cathedrall churches vpon sundaies and festiuall daies, the canons doo make [Sidenote: Ordinarie sermons.] certeine ordinarie sermons by course, wherevnto great numbers of all estates doo orderlie resort: and vpon the working daies thrise in the wéeke, one of the said canons, or some other in his stéed, dooth [Sidenote: Ordinarie expositions of the scriptures.] read and expound peéce of holie scripture, wherevnto the people doo verie reuerentlie repaire. The bishops themselues in like sort are not idle in their callings, for being now exempt from court and councell, which is one (and a no small) péece of their felicitie (although Richard archbishop of Canturburie thought otherwise, as yet appeareth by his letters to pope Alexander, Epistola 44. Petri Blesensis, where he saith; Bicause the cleargie of his time were somewhat narrowlie looked vnto, "Supra dorsum ecclesiæ fabricant peccatores, &c:") [Sidenote: The bishops preach diligentlie, whose predecessors heretofore haue béene occupied in temporall affairs.] they so applie their minds to the setting foorth of the word, that there are verie few of them, which doo not euerie sundaie or oftener resort to some place or other, within their iurisdictions, where they expound the scriptures with much grauitie and skill; and yet not without the great misliking and contempt of such as hate the word. Of their manifold translations from one sée to another I will saie nothing, which is not now, doone for the benefit of the flocke, as the preferment of the partie fauoured, and aduantage vnto the prince, a matter in time past much doubted of, to wit, whether a bishop or pastor might be translated from one sée to [Page 228] another; & left vndecided, till prescription by roiall authoritie made it good. For among princes a thing once doone, is well doone, and to be doone oftentimes, though no warrant be to be found therefore.

[Sidenote: Archdecons.]

They haue vnder them also their archdeacons, some one, diuerse two, and manie foure or mo, as their circuits are in quantitie, which archdeacons are termed in law the bishops eies: and these (beside their ordinarie courts, which are holden within so manie or more of their seuerall deanries by themselues or their officials once in a moneth at the least) doo kéepe yearelie two visitations or synods (as the bishop dooth in euerie third yeare, wherein he confirmeth some children, though most care but a little for that ceremonie) in which they make diligent inquisition and search, as well for the doctrine and behauiour of the ministers, as the orderlie dealing of the parishioners in resorting to their parish churches and conformitie vnto religion. They punish also with great seueritie all such trespassers, either in person or by the pursse (where, permutation of penance is thought more gréeuous to the offendor) as are presented vnto them: or if the cause be of the more weight, as in cases of heresie, pertinacie, contempt, and such like, they referre them either to the bishop of the diocesse, or his chancellor, or else to sundrie graue persons set in authoritie, by vertue of [Sidenote: High commissioners.] an high commission directed vnto them from the prince to that end, who in verie courteous maner doo sée the offendors gently reformed, or else seuerlie punished, if necessitie so inforce.

[Sidenote: A prophesie or conference.]

Beside this, in manie of our archdeaconries we haue an exercise latelie begun, which for the most part is called a prophesie or conference, and erected onelie for the examination or triall of the diligence of the cleargie in their studie of holie scriptures. Howbeit, such is the thirstie desire of the people in these daies to heare the word of God, that they also haue as it were with zealous violence intruded themselues among them (but as hearers onelie) to come by more knowledge through their presence at the same. Herein also (for the most part) two of the yoonger sort of ministers doo expound ech after other some péece of the scriptures ordinarilie appointed vnto them in their courses (wherein they orderlie go through with some one of the euangelists, or of the epistles, as it pleaseth the whole assemblie to choose at the first in euerie of these conferences) and when they haue spent an houre or a little more betwéene them, then commeth one of the better learned sort, who being a graduat for the most part, or knowne to be a preacher sufficientlie authorised, & of a sound iudgement, supplieth the roome of a moderator, making first a breefe rehearsall of their discourses, and then adding what him thinketh good of his owne knowledge, wherby two houres are thus commonlie spent at this most profitable méeting. When all is doone, if the first speakers haue shewed anie peece of diligence, they are commended for their trauell, and incouraged to go forward. If they haue béene found to be slacke, or not sound in deliuerie of their doctrine, their negligence and error is openlie reprooued before all their brethren, who go aside of purpose from the laitie, after the exercise ended, to iudge of these matters, and consult of the next speakers and quantitie of the text to be handled in that place. The laitie neuer speake of course (except some vaine and busie head will now and then intrude themselues with offense) but are onelie hearers; and as it is vsed in some places wéekelie, in other once in foureteene daies, in diuerse monethlie, and elsewhere twise in a yeare, so is it a notable spurre vnto all the ministers, thereby to applie their bookes, which otherwise (as in times past) would giue themselues to hawking, hunting, tables, cards, dice, tipling at the alehouse, shooting of matches, and other like vanities, nothing commendable in such as should be godlie and zealous stewards of the good gifts of God, faithfull distributors of his word vnto the people, and diligent pastors according to their calling.

But alas! as sathan the author of all mischéefe hath in sundrie manners heretofore hindered the erection and maintenance of manie good things: so in this he hath stirred vp aduersaries of late vnto this most profitable exercise, who not regarding the commoditie that riseth thereby so well to the hearers as spekers; but either stumbling (I cannot tell how) at [Page 229] words and termes, or at the least wise not liking to here of the reprehension of vice, or peraduenture taking a misliking at the slender demeanours of such negligent ministers, as now and then in their courses doo occupie the roomes, haue either by their owne practise, their sinister information, or suggestions made vpon surmises vnto other procured the suppression of these conferences, condemning them as hurtfull, pernicious, and dailie bréeders of no small hurt & inconuenience. But hereof let God be iudge, vnto whome the cause belongeth.

[Sidenote: Ministers & deacons.]

Our elders or ministers and deacons (for subdeacons and the other inferiour orders, sometime vsed in popish church we haue not) are made according to a certeine forme of consecration concluded vpon in the time of king Edward the sixt, by the cleargie of England, and soone after confirmed by the thrée estates of the realme, in the high court of parlement. And out of the first sort, that is to saie, of such as are called to the ministerie (without respect, whether they be married or not) are bishops, deanes, archdeacons, & such as haue the higher places in the hierarchie of the church elected; and these also as all the rest, at the first comming vnto anie spirituall promotion, doo yéeld vnto the prince the entire taxe of that their liuing for one whole yeare, if it amount in value vnto ten pounds and vpwards, and this vnder the name and title of first fruits.

With vs also it is permitted, that a sufficient man may (by dispensation from the prince) hold two liuings, not distant either from other aboue thirtie miles; whereby it commeth to passe, that as hir maiestie dooth reape some commoditie by the facultie, so the vnition of two in one man dooth bring oftentimes more benefit to one of them in a moneth (I meane for doctrine) than they haue had before peraduenture in manie yeares.

Manie exclame against such faculties, as if there were mo good preachers that want maintenance, than liuings to mainteine them. In déed when a liuing is void, there are so manie sutors for it, that a man would thinke the report to be true and most certeine: but when it commeth to the triall, who are sufficient, and who not, who are staied men in conuersation, iudgement, and learning; of that great number you shall hardlie find one or two, such as they ought to be: and yet none more earnest to make sure, to promise largelie, beare a better shew, or find fault with the state of things than they. Neuerthelesse, I doo not thinke that their exclamations if they were wiselie handled, are altogither grounded vpon rumours or ambitious minds, if you respect the state of the thing it selfe, and not the necessitie growing through want of able men, to furnish out all the cures in England, which both our vniuersities are neuer able to performe. For if you obserue what numbers of preachers Cambridge and Oxford doo yearelie send foorth; and how manie new compositions are made in the court of first fruits, by the deaths of the last incumbents: you shall soone sée a difference. Wherefore, if in countrie townes & cities, yea euen in London it selfe, foure or fiue of the litle churches were brought into one, the inconuenience would in great part be redressed.

And to saie truth, one most commonlie of these small liuings is of so little value, that it is not able to mainteine a meane scholar; much lesse a learned man, as not being aboue ten, twelue, sixteene, seuentéene, twentie, or thirtie pounds at the most, toward their charges, which now (more than before time) doo go out of the same. I saie more than before, bicause euerie small trifle, noble mans request, or courtesie craued by the bishop, dooth impose and command a twentith part, a three score part, or two pence in the pound, &c: out of our liuings, which hitherto hath not béene vsuallie granted, but by consent of a synod, wherein things were decided according to equitie, and the poorer sort considered of, which now are equallie burdened.

We paie also the tenths of our liuings to the prince yearelie, according to such valuation of ech of them, as hath beene latelie made: which neuerthelesse in time past were not annuall but voluntarie, & paid at request of king or pope. Herevpon also hangeth a pleasant storie though doone of late yeares, to wit 1452, at which time the cleargie séeing the continuall losses that the king of England susteined in France, vpon some motion of reléefe made, granted in an open conuocation to giue him two tenths toward the recouerie of Burdeaux, [Page 230] which his grace verie thankefullie receiued. It fortuned also at the same time that Vincentius Clemens the popes factor was here in England, who hearing what the clergie had doone, came into the conuocation house also in great hast and lesse spéed, where, in a solemne oration he earnestlie required them to be no lesse fauourable to their spirituall father the pope, and mother the sée of Rome, than they had shewed themselues vnto his vassall and inferiour, meaning their souereigne lord in temporall iurisdiction, &c. In deliuering also the cause of his sute, he shewed how gréeuouslie the pope was disturbed by cutthrotes, varlots, and harlots, which doo now so abound in Rome, that his holinesse is in dailie danger to be made awaie amongst them. To be short when this fine tale was told, one of the companie stood vp and said vnto him; My lord we haue heard your request, and as we thinke, it deserueth litle consideration and lesse eare, for how would you haue vs to contribute to his aid in suppression of such, as he and such as you are doo continuall vphold, it is not vnknowen in this house what rule is kept in Rome.

I grant (quoth Vincent) that there wanteth iust reformation of manie things in that citie, which would haue béene made sooner, but now it is too late: neuerthelesse I beséech you to write vnto his holinesse, with request that he would leaue and abandon that Babylon, which is but a sinke of mischiefe, and kéepe his court elsewhere in place of better fame. And this he shall be the better able also to performe, if by your liberalitie extended towards him, vnto whome you are most bound, he be incouraged thereto. Manie other words passed to and fro amongst them, howbeit in the end Vincent ouercame not, but was dismissed without anie penie obteined. But to returne to our tenths, a paiement first as deuised by the pope, and afterward taken vp as by the prescription of the king, wherevnto we may ioine also our first fruits, which is one whole yeares commoditie of our liuing, due at our entrance into the same, the tenths abated vnto the princes cofers, and paid commonlie in two yeares. For the receipt also of these two paiments, an especiall office or court is erected, which beareth name of first fruits and tenths, wherevnto if the partie to be preferred, doo not make his dutifull repaire by an appointed time after possession taken, there to compound for the paiment of his said fruits, he incurreth the danger of a great penaltie, limited by a certeine statute prouided in that behalfe, against such as doo intrude into the ecclesiasticall function, and refuse to paie the accustomed duties belonging to the same.

They paie likewise subsidies with the temporaltie, but in such sort, that if these paie after foure shillings for land, the cleargie contribute commonlie after six shillings of the pound, so that of a benefice of twentie pounds by the yeare, the incumbent thinketh himself well acquited, if all ordinarie paiments being discharged he may reserue thirtéene pounds six shillings eight pence towards his owne sustentation, and maintenance of his familie. Seldome also are they without the compasse of a subsidie, for if they be one yeare cleare from this paiement, a thing not often seene of late yeares, they are like in the next to heare of another grant: so that I saie againe they are seldome without the limit of a subsidie. Herein also they somewhat find themselues grieued, that the laitie may at euerie taxation helpe themselues, and so they doo through consideration had of their decaie and hinderance, and yet their impouerishment cannot but touch also the parson or vicar, vnto whom such libertie is denied, as is dailie to be séene in their accompts and tithings.

Some of them also, after the mariages of their children, will haue their proportions qualified, or by fréendship get themselues quite out of the booke. But what stand I vpon these things, who haue rather to complaine of the iniurie offered by some of our neighbors of the laitie, which dailie endeuor to bring vs also within the compasse of their fifteens or taxes for their owne ease, whereas the taxe of the whole realme, which is commonlie greater in the champeigne than woodland soile, amounteth onelie to 37930 pounds nine pence halfepenie, is a burden easie inough to be borne vpon so manie shoulders, without the helpe of the cleargie, whose tenths and subsidies make vp commonlie a double, if not troublesome vnto their aforesaid paiments. Sometimes also we are threatned with a Meliùs inquirendum, as if our liuings were not racked high inough alreadie. But if a man should seeke out where all [Page 231] those church lands were, which in time past did contribute vnto the old summe required or to be made vp, no doubt no small number of the laitie of all states should be contributors also with vs, the prince not defrauded of his expectation and right. We are also charged with armor & munitions from thirtie pounds vpwards, a thing more néedfull than diuerse other charges imposed vpon vs are conuenient, by which & other burdens our case groweth to be more heauie by a great deale (notwithstanding our immunitie from temporall seruices) than that of the laitie, and for ought that I sée not likelie to be diminished, as if the church were now become the asse whereon euerie market man is to ride and cast his wallet.

The other paiments due vnto the archbishop and bishop at their seuerall visitations (of which the first is double to the latter) and such also as the archdeacon receiueth at his synods, &c: remaine still as they did without anie alteration, onelie this I thinke be added within memorie of man, that at the comming of euerie prince, his appointed officers doo commonlie visit the whole realme vnder the forme of an ecclesiasticall inquisition, in which the clergie doo vsuallie paie double fées, as vnto the archbishop. Hereby then, and by those alreadie remembred, it is found that the church of England, is no lesse commodious to the princes coffers than the state of the laitie, if it doo not farre excéed the same, since their paiments are certeine, continuall, and seldome abated, howsoeuer they gather vp their owne duties with grudging, murmuring, sute, and slanderous speeches of the paiers, or haue their liuings otherwise hardlie valued vnto the vttermost farding, or shrewdlie cancelled by the couetousnesse of the patrones, of whome some doo bestow aduousons of benefices vpon their bakers, butlers, cookes, good archers, falconers, and horssekéepers, in sted of other recompense, for their long and faithfull seruice, which they imploie afterward vnto their most aduantage.

Certes here they resemble the pope verie much, for as he sendeth out his idols, so doo they their parasites, pages, chamberleins, stewards, groomes, & lackies; and yet these be the men that first exclame of the insufficiencie of the ministers, as hoping thereby in due time to get also their glebes and grounds into their hands. In times past bishopriks went almost after the same maner vnder the laie princes, and then vnder the pope, so that he which helped a clerke vnto a see, was sure to haue a present or purse fine, if not an annuall pension, besides that which went to the popes coffers, and was thought to be verie good merchandize. Hereof one example may be touched, as of a thing doone in my yoonger daies, whilest quéene Marie bare the swaie and gouerned in this land. After the death of Stephan Gardiner, the sée of Winchester was void for a season, during which time cardinall Poole made seizure vpon the reuenues and commodities of the same, pretending authoritie therevnto Sede vacante, by vertue of his place. With this act of his the bishop of Lincolne called White tooke such displeasure, that he stepped in like a mate, with full purpose (as he said) to kéepe that sée from ruine. He wrote also to Paulus the fourth pope, requiring that he might be preferred therevnto, promising so as he might be Compos voti, to paie to the popes coffers 1600 pounds yearlie during his naturall life, and for one yeere after. But the pope nothing liking of his motion, and yet desirous to reape a further benefit, first shewed himselfe to stomach his simonicall practise verie grieuouslie, considering the dangerousnesse of the time and present estate of the church of England, which hoong as yet in balance readie to yéeld anie waie, sauing foorth right, as he alledged in his letters. By which replie he so terrified the poore bishop, that he was driuen vnto another issue, I meane to recouer the popes good will, with a further summe than stood with his ease to part withall. In the end when the pope had gotten this fleece, a new deuise was found, and meanes made to and by the prince, that White might be bishop of Winchester, which at the last he obteined, but in such wise as that the pope and his néerest friends did lose but a little by it. I could if néed were set downe a report of diuerse other the like practises, but this shall suffice in stéed of all the rest, least in reprehending of vice I might shew my selfe to be a teacher of vngodlinesse, or to scatter more vngratious séed in lewd ground alreadie choked with wickednesse.

To proceed therefore with the rest, I thinke it good also to remember, that the names vsuallie giuen vnto such as féed the flocke remaine in like sort as in times past, so that these [Page 232] words, parson, vicar, curat, and such are not yet abolished more than the canon law it selfe, which is dailie pleaded, as I haue said elsewhere; although the statutes of the realme haue greatlie infringed the large scope, and brought the exercise of the same into some narrower limits. There is nothing read in our churches but the canonicall scriptures, whereby it commeth to passe that the psalter is said ouer once in thirtie daies, the new testament foure times, and the old testament once in the yeare. And herevnto if the curat be adiudged by the bishop or his deputies, sufficientlie instructed in the holie scriptures, and therewithall able to teach, he permitteth him to make some exposition or exhortation in his parish, vnto amendment of life. And for so much as our churches and vniuersities haue béene so spoiled in time of errour, as there cannot yet be had such number of able pastours as may suffice for euerie parish to haue one: there are (beside foure sermons appointed by publike order in the yeare) certeine sermons or homilies (deuised by sundrie learned men, confirmed for sound doctrine by consent of the diuines, and publike authoritie of the prince) and those appointed to be read by the curats of meane vnderstanding (which homilies doo comprehend the principall parts of Christian doctrine, as of originall sinne, of iustification by faith, of charitie, and such like) vpon the sabbaoth daies, vnto the congregation. And after a certeine number of psalmes read, which are limited according to the daies of the month, for morning and euening praier, we haue two lessons, wherof 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 after noone out of some one of the epistles. After morning praier also we haue the letanie and suffrages, an inuocation in mine opinion not deuised without the great assistance of the spirit of God, although manie curious mindsicke persons vtterlie condemne it as superstitious and sauoring of coniuration and sorcerie.

This being doone, we procéed vnto the communion, if anie communicants be to receiue the eucharist, if not we read the decalog, epistle and gospell with the Nicene créed (of some in derision called the drie communion) and then procéed vnto an homilie or sermon, which hath a psalme before and after it, and finallie vnto the baptisme of such infants as on euerie sabaoth daie (if occasion so require) are brought vnto the churches: and thus is the forenoone bestowed. In the after noone likewise we méet againe, and after the psalmes and lessons ended we haue commonlie a sermon, or at the leastwise our youth catechised by the space of an houre. And thus doo we spend the sabaoth daie in good and godlie exercises, all doone in our vulgar toong, that each one present may heare and vnderstand the same, which also in cathedrall and collegiat churches is so ordered, that the psalmes onelie are soong by note, the rest being read (as in common parish churches) by the minister with a lowd voice, sauing that in the administration of the communion the quier singeth the answers, the créed, and sundrie other things appointed, but in so plaine, I saie, and distinct maner, that each one present may vnderstand what they sing, euerie word hauing but one note, though the whole harmonie consist of manie parts, and those verie cunninglie set by the skilfull in that science.

Certes this translation of the seruice of the church into the vulgar toong, hath not a litle offended the pope almost in euerie age, as a thing verie often attempted by diuers princes, but neuer generallie obteined, for feare least the consenting thervnto might bréed the ouerthrow (as it would in déed) of all his religion and hierarchie: neuerthelesse in some places where the kings and princes dwelled not vnder his nose, it was performed maugre his resistance. Vratislaus duke of Bohemia, would long since haue doone the like also in his kingdome, but not daring to venter so farre without the consent of the pope, he wrote vnto him thereof, and receiued his answer inhibitorie vnto all his proceeding in the same.

"Gregorius septimus Vratislao Bohemorum duci, &c. Quia nobilitas tua postulat, quòd secundū Sclauonicā linguā apud vos diuinum celebrari annueremus officium, scias nos huic petitioni tuæ nequaquàm posse fauere, ex hoc nempe se voluentibus liquet, non immeritò sacram scripturam optimo Deo placuisse quibusdam locis esse occultam; ne si ad liquidum cunctis pateret, fortè vilesceret, & subiaceret despectui, aut prauè intellecta à mediocribus in [Page 233] errorem induceret. Neque enim ad excusationem iuuat, quòd quidam viri hoc, quod simplex populus quærit patienter tulerunt, seu incorrectum dimiserunt: cum primitiua ecclesia multa dissimulauerit, quæ à sanctis patribus postmodum, firmata christianitate & religione crescente, subtili examinatione correcta sunt: vnde id nè fiat, quod à vestris imprudenter exposcitur, authoritate beatri Petri inhibemus; téque ad honorem optimi Dei huic vanæ temeritati viribus totis resistere præcipimus, &c. Datum Romæ, &c."

I would set downe two or thrée more of the like instruments passed from that see vnto the like end, but this shall suffice, being lesse common than the other, which are to be had more plentifullie.

As for our churches themselues, belles, and times of morning and euening praier, remaine as in times past, sauing that all images, shrines, tabernacles, roodlofts, and monuments of idolatrie are remooued, taken downe, and defaced; onelie the stories in glasse windowes excepted, which for want of sufficient store of new stuffe, and by reason of extreame charge that should grow by the alteration of the same into white panes throughout the realme, are not altogither abolished in most places at once, but by little and little suffered to decaie, that white glasse may be prouided and set vp in their roomes. Finallie, whereas there was woont to be a great partition betwéene the quire and the bodie of the church; now it is either verie small or none at all: and to saie the truth altogither needlesse, sith the minister saith his seruice commonlie in the bodie of the church, with his face toward the people, in a little tabernacle of wainscot prouided for the purpose: by which means the ignorant doo not onelie learne diuerse of the psalmes and vsuall praiers by heart, but also such as can read, doo praie togither with him: so that the whole congregation at one instant powre out their petitions vnto the liuing God, for the whole estate of his church in most earnest and feruent manner. Our holie and festiuall daies are verie well reduced also vnto a lesse number; for whereas (not long since) we had vnder the pope foure score and fiftéene, called festiuall, and thirtie Profesti, beside the sundaies, they are all brought vnto seauen and twentie: and with them the superfluous numbers of idle waks, guilds, fraternities, church-ales, helpe-ales, and soule-ales, called also dirge-ales, with the heathnish rioting at bride-ales, are well diminished and laid aside. And no great matter were it if the feasts of all our apostles, euangelists, and martyrs, with that of all saincts, were brought to the holie daies that follow vpon Christmasse, Easter, and Whitsuntide; and those of the virgine Marie, with the rest vtterlie remooued from the calendars, as neither necessarie nor commendable in a reformed church.

[Sidenote: Apparrell.]

The apparell in like sort of our clergie men is comlie, & in truth, more decent than euer it was in the popish church: before the vniuersities bound their graduats vnto a stable attire, afterward vsurped also euen by the blind sir Johns. For if you peruse well my chronologie insuing, you shall find, that they went either in diuerse colors like plaiers, or in garments of light hew, as yellow, red, greene, &c: with their shooes piked, their haire crisped, their girdles armed with siluer; their shooes, spurres, bridles, &c: buckled with like mettall: their apparell (for the most part) of silke, and richlie furred; their cappes laced and butned with gold: so that to méet a priest in those daies, was to behold a peacocke that spreadeth his taile when he danseth before the henne: which now (I saie) is well reformed. Touching [Sidenote: Hospitalitie.] hospitalitie, there was neuer anie greater vsed in England, sith by reason that mariage is permitted to him that will choose that kind of life, their meat and drinke is more orderlie and frugallie dressed; their furniture of houshold more conuenient, and better looked vnto; and the poore oftener fed generallie than heretofore they haue béene, when onlie a few bishops, and double or treble beneficed men did make good cheere at Christmasse onelie, or otherwise kept great houses for the interteinment of the rich, which did often sée and visit them. It is thought much peraduenture, that some bishops, &c: in our time doo come short of the ancient gluttonie and prodigalitie of their predecessors: but to such as doo consider of the curtailing of their liuings, or excessiue prices whervnto things are growen, and how their course is limited by law, and estate looked into on euery side, the cause of their so dooing is well inough perceiued. This also offendeth manie, that they should after their deaths [Page 234] leaue their substances to their wiues and children: wheras they consider not, that in old time such as had no lemans nor bastards (verie few were there God wot of this sort) did leaue their goods and possessions to their brethren and kinsfolks, whereby (as I can shew by good record) manie houses of gentilitie haue growen and béene erected. If in anie age some one of them did found a college, almeshouse, or schoole, if you looke vnto these our times, you shall see no fewer déeds of charitie doone, nor better grounded vpon the right stub of pietie than before. [Sidenote: Mariage.] If you saie that their wiues be fond, after the deceasse of their husbands, and bestow themselues not so aduisedlie as their calling requireth, which God knoweth these curious surueiors make small accompt of in truth, further than thereby to gather matter of reprehension: I beséech you then to looke into all states of the laitie, & tell me whether some duchesses, countesses, barons, or knights wiues, doo not fullie so often offend in the like as they: for Eue will be Eue though Adam would saie naie. Not [Sidenote: Thred-bare gownes from whence they come.] a few also find fault with our thred-bare gowns, as if not our patrones but our wiues were causes of our wo. But if it were knowne to all, that I know to haue beene performed of late in Essex, where a minister taking a benefice (of lesse than twentie pounds in the Quéenes bookes so farre as I remember) was inforced to paie to his patrone, twentie quarters of otes, ten quarters of wheat, and sixtéene yéerelie of barleie, which he called hawkes meat; and another left the like in farme to his patrone for ten pounds by the yéere, which is well woorth fortie at the least, the cause of our thred-bare gownes would easilie appeere, for such patrons doo scrape the wooll from our clokes. Wherfore I may well saie, that such a thred-bare minister is either an ill man, or hath an ill patrone, or both: and when such cookes & cobling shifters shall be remooued and weeded out of the ministerie, I doubt not but our patrons will prooue better men, and be reformed whether they will or not, or else the single minded bishops shall sée the liuing bestowed vpon such as doo deserue it. When the Pragmatike sanction tooke place first in France, it was supposed that these enormities should vtterlie haue ceased: but when the elections of bishops came once into the hands of the canons and spirituall men, it grew to be farre worse. For they also within a while waxing couetous, by their owne experience learned aforehand, raised the markets, and sought after new gaines by the gifts of the greatest liuings in that countrie, wherein (as [Sidenote: Number of churches in France.] Machiauell writeth) are eightéene archbishoprikes, one hundred fortie and sixe bishoprikes, 740 abbies, eleuen vniuersities, 1000700 stéeples (if his report be sound.) Some are of the opinion, that if sufficient men in euerie towne might be sent for from the vniuersities, this mischiefe would soone be remedied; but I am cleane of another mind. For when I consider wherevnto the gifts of felowships in some places are growen: the profit that ariseth [Sidenote: Pretie packing.] at sundrie elections of scholars out of grammar schooles, to the posers, schoolemasters, and preferrers of them to our vniuersities, the gifts of a great number of almeshouses builded for the maimed and impotent souldiors, by princes and good men heretofore mooued with a pittifull consideration of the poore distressed: how rewards, pensions, and annuities also doo reigne in other cases, wherby the giuer is brought somtimes into extreame miserie, & that not so much as the roome of a common souldior is not obteined oftentimes, without a What will you giue me? I am brought into such a mistrust of the sequele of this deuise, that I dare pronounce (almost for certeine) that if Homer were now aliue, it should be said to him:

"Túque licèt venias musis comitatus Homere,
 Si nihil attuleris ibis Homere foras."

More I could saie, and more I would saie of these and other things, were it not that in mine owne iudgement I haue said inough alreadie for the aduertisement of such as be wise. Neuerthelesse, before I finish this chapter, I will adde a word or two (so brieflie as I can) of the old estate of cathedrall churches, which I haue collected togither here and there among the writers, and whereby it shall easilie be séene what they were, and how neere the gouernment of ours doo in these daies approch vnto them, for that there is an irreconciliable ods [Page 235] betwéene them and those of the papists, I hope there is no learned man indeed, but will acknowlege and yéeld vnto it.

[Sidenote: Old estate of cathedrall churches.]

We find therefore in the time of the primitiue church, that there was in euerie sée or iurisdiction one schoole at the least, whereinto such as were catechistes in christian religion did resort. And hereof as we may find great testimonie for Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, and Hierusalem; 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, & the histories well read which make report of the same. These schooles were vnder the iurisdiction of the bishops, and from thence did they & the rest of the elders choose out such as were the ripest scholars, and willing to serue in the ministerie, whome they placed also in their cathedrall churches, there not onelie to be further instructed in the knowledge of the word, but also to invre them to the deliuerie of the same vnto the people in sound maner, to minister the sacraments, to visit the sicke and brethren imprisoned, and to performe such other duties as then belonged to their charges. The bishop himselfe and elders of the church were also hearers and examiners of their doctrine, and being in processe of time found méet workmen for the lords haruest, they were forthwith sent abrode (after imposition of hands, and praier generallie made for their good procéeding) to some place or other then destitute of hir pastor, and other taken from the schoole also placed in their roomes. What number of such clerks belonged now and then to some one sée, the chronologie following shall easilie declare: and in like sort what officers, widowes, and other persons were dailie mainteined in those seasons by the offerings and oblations of the faithfull, it is incredible to be reported, if we compare the same with the decaies and ablations séene and practised at this present. But what is that in all the world which auarice and negligence will not corrupt and impaire? And as this is a patern of the estate of the cathedrall churches in those times, so I wish that the like order of gouernment might once againe be restored vnto the same, which may be doone with ease, sith the schooles are alreadie builded in euerie diocesse, the vniuersities, places of their preferment vnto further knowledge, and the cathedrall churches great inough to receiue so manie as shall come from thence to be instructed vnto doctrine. But one hinderance of this is alreadie and more & more to be looked for (beside the plucking and snatching commonlie séene from such houses and the church) and that is, the generall contempt of the ministerie, and small consideration of their former paines taken, whereby lesse and lesse hope of competent maintenance by preaching the word is likelie to insue. Wherefore the greatest part of the more excellent wits choose rather to imploy their studies vnto physike and the lawes, vtterlie giuing ouer the studie of the scriptures, for feare least they should in time not get their bread by the same. By this meanes also the stalles in their quéeres would be better filled, which now (for the most part) are emptie, and prebends should be prebends indéed, there to liue till they were preferred to some ecclesiasticall function, and then other men chosen to succéed them in their roomes, whereas now prebends are but superfluous additaments vnto former excesses, & perpetuall commodities vnto the owners, which before time were but temporall (as I haue said before.) But as I haue good leisure to wish for these things: so it shall be a longer time before it will be brought to passe. Neuerthelesse, as I will praie for a reformation in this behalfe, so will I here conclude this my discourse of the estate of our churches, and go in hand with the limits and bounds of our seuerall sées, in such order as they shall come vnto my present remembrance. [Page 236]



Hauing alreadie spoken generally of the state of our church, now will I touch the sées seuerallie, saieng so much of ech of them as shall be conuenient for the time, and not onelie out of the ancient, but also the later writers, and somewhat of mine owne experience, beginning first with the sée of Canturburie, as the most notable, whose archbishop is the primat of all this land for ecclesiasticall iurisdiction, and most accompted of commonlie, bicause he is néerer to the prince, and readie at euerie call.

[Sidenote: Canturburie.]

The iurisdiction of Canturburie therefore, erected first by Augustine the moonke, in the time of Ethelbert king of Kent, if you haue respect to hir prouinciall regiment, extendeth it selfe ouer all the south and west parts of this Iland, and Ireland, as I haue noted in the chapter precedent, and few shires there are wherein the archbishop hath not some peculiars. But if you regard the same onelie that was and is proper vnto his see, from the beginning, it reacheth but ouer one parcell of Kent, which Rudburne calleth Cantwarland, the iurisdiction of Rochester including the rest: so that in this one countie the greatest archbishoprike and the least bishoprike of all are linked in togither. That of Canturburie hath vnder it one archdeaconrie, who hath iurisdiction ouer eleauen deanries or a hundred sixtie one parish churches; & in the popish time in sted of the 3093 pounds, eighteene shillings, halfepenie, farthing, which it now paieth vnto hir maiestie, vnder the name of first frutes, there went out of this see to Rome, at euerie alienation 10000 ducates or florens, beside 5000 that the new elect did vsuallie paie for his pall, each ducat being then worth an English crowne or thereabout, as I haue béene informed.

[Sidenote: Rochester.]

The sée of Rochester is also included within the limits of Kent, being erected by Augustine in the 6O4 of Grace, and reigne of Ceolrijc ouer the west-Saxons. The bishop of this sée hath one archdeacon, vnder whose gouernment in causes ecclesiasticall are thrée deanries, or 132 parish churches: so that hereby it is to be gathered, that there are 393 parish churches in Kent, ouer which the said two archdeacons haue especiall cure & charge. He was woont to paie also vnto the court of Rome at his admission to that see 1300 ducats or florens, as I read, which was an hard valuation, considering the smalnesse of circuit belonging to his sée. Howbeit, in my time it is so farre from ease by diminution, that it is raised to 1432 crownes, &c: or as we resolue them into our pounds, 358 pounds, thrée shillings, six pence, halfepennie, farthing, a reckoning a great deale more preciselie made than anie bishop of that sée dooth take any great delight in. He was crosse-bearer in times past vnto the archbishop of Canturburie. And there are and haue béene few sées in England, which at one time or other haue not fetched their bishops for the most part from this sée: for as it is of it selfe but a small thing in déed, so it is commonlie a preparatiue to an higher place. But of all that euer possessed it, Thomas Kempe had the best lucke, who being but a poore mans sonne of Wie (vnto which towne he was a great benefactor) grew first to be doctor of both lawes, then of diuinitie; and afterward being promoted to this sée, he was translated from thence to Chichester, thirdlie to London, next of all to Yorke, and finallie after seauen and twentie yeares to Canturburie, where he became also cardinall, deacon, and then préest in the court of Rome, according to this verse, "Bis primas, ter præses, bis cardine functus." Certes I note this man, bicause he bare some fauour to the furtherance of the gospell, and to that end he either builded or repared the pulpit in Paules churchyard, and tooke order for the continuall maintenance of a sermon there vpon the sabaoth, which dooth continue vnto my time, as a place from whence the soundest doctrine is alwaies to be looked for, and for such strangers to resort vnto as haue no habitation in anie parish within the citie where it standeth.

[Sidenote: London.]

The sée of London was erected at the first by Lucius, who made it of an archeflamine and [Page 237] temple of Iupiter an archbishops sée, and temple vnto the liuing God, and so it continued, vntill Augustine translated the title thereof to Canturburie. The names of the archbishops of London are these; Theon, Eluan, Cadoc, Owen, Conan, Palladius, Stephan, Iltutus restitutus, anno 350, Theodromus, Theodredus, Hilarius, Fastidius, anno 420, Guittelinus, Vodinus slaine by the Saxons, and Theonus Iunior. But for their iust order of succession as yet I am not resolued, neuerthelesse the first bishop there was ordeined by Augustine the moonke, in the yeare of Christ 604, in the time of Ceolrijc, after he had remooued his see further off into Kent: I wote not vpon what secret occasion, if not the spéedie hearing of newes from Rome, and readinesse to flee out of the land, if any trouble should betide him. For iurisdiction it included Essex, Middlesex, and part of Herefordshire, which is neither more nor lesse in quantitie than the ancient kingdome of the east Angles, before it was vnited to the west Saxons. The cathedrall church belonging to this sée, was first begun by Ethelbert of Kent, Indic. 1. 598 of Inuber as I find, whilest he held that part of the said kingdome vnder his gouernement. Afterward when the Danes had sundrie times defaced it, it was repared and made vp with hard stone, but in the end it was taken downe, and wholie reedified by Mawrice bishop of that sée, and sometimes chapleine to the bastard Henrie the first, allowing him stone and stuffe from Bainards castell néere vnto Ludgate, then ruinous for the furtherance of his works. Howbeit the moold of the quire was not statelie inough in the eies of some of his successors; wherefore in the yeare of Grace 1256, it was taken downe and brought into another forme, and called the new worke, at which time also the bodies of diuerse kings and bishops were taken vp and bestowed in the walles, to the end their memories should be of longer continuance. The iurisdiction of this sée also vnder the bishop, is committed to foure archdeacons, to wit, of London, Essex, Middlesex, and Colchester, who haue amongst them to the number of 363 parish churches, or thereabouts, beside the peculiars belonging to the archbishop and chapiter of that house, and at euerie alienation the bishop paieth for his owne part 1119 pounds, eight shillings and foure pence (but in old time 3000 florens) which diuerse suppose to be more, than (as it now standeth) the bishop is able to make of it. Of the archdeconrie, of S. Albons added therevnto by king Henrie the eight (whereby the bishop hath fiue eies) I speake not, for although it be vnder the bishop of London for visitations and synods, yet is it otherwise reputed as member of the sée of Lincolne, and therefore worthilie called an exempt, it hath also fiue and twentie parishes, of which foure are in Buckingham, the rest in Herefordshire.

[Sidenote: Chichester.]

The first beginning of the sée of Chichester was in the Ile of Seales or Seolseie, and from thence translated to Chichester, in the time of William the bastard, and generall remoouing of sées from small villages vnto the greater townes. It conteineth Sussex onelie vnder hir iurisdiction, wherein are sixtéene deanries, and 551 parish churches, it paid at euerie alienation to the sée of Rome 333 ducats: and after Edbert the first bishop, one Cella succeeded, after whome the pontificall chaire (not then worth 677 pounds by the yéere as now it is) was void by many yeares. It was erected in Seoleseie also 711, by the decrée of a synod holden in Sussex, which borowed it from the iurisdiction of Winchester, whereof before it was reputed a parcell. Of all the bishops that haue béene in this sée, Thomas Kempe alwaies excepted, I read not of anie one that hath béene of more estimation than William Read, sometime fellow of Merteine college in Oxford, doctor of diuinitie, and the most profound astronomer that liued in his time, as appeareth by his collection which sometime I did possesse; his image is yet in the librarie there, and manie instruments of astronomie reserued in that house (a college erected sometime by Walter Merton bishop of Rochester, and lord chancellor of England) he builded also the castell of Amberleie from the verie foundation, as Edward Scorie or Storie his successor did the new crosse in the market place of Chichester.

[Sidenote: Winchester.]

The bishop of Winchester was sometime called bishop of the west Saxons, and of Dorchester, which towne was giuen to Birinus and his successors, by Kinigils and Oswald of the Northumbers, in whose time it was erected by Birinus and his fellowes. In my time it hath iurisdiction onelie ouer Hamshire, Surrie, Iardeseie, Gardeseie, and the Wight, conteining [Page 238] eight deaneries, two hundred seuentie and six parish churches, and beside all this he is perpetuall prelate to the honorable order of the Garter, deuised by Edward the third: he paid in old time to Rome 12000 ducates or florens, but now his first fruits are 2491 pounds nine shillings eight pence halfe penie. Canturburie was said to be the higher racke, but Winchester hath borne the name to be the better mangier. There are also which make Lucius to be the first founder of an house of praier in Winchester, as Kinigils did build the second, and Kinwaldus his sonne the third; but you shall sée the truth herof in the chronologie insuing. And herevnto if the old catalog of the bishops of this sée be well considered of, and the acts of the greatest part of them indifferentlie weighed, as they are to be read in our histories, you shall find the most egregious hypocrites, the stoutest warriours, the cruellest tyrants, the richest monimoongers, and politike counsellors in temporall affaires to haue, I wote not by what secret working of the diuine prouidence, beene placed here in Winchester, since the foundation of that sée, which was erected by Birinus 639 (whome pope Honorius sent hither out of Italie) and first planted at Dorchester, in the time of Kinigils, then translated to Winchester, where it dooth yet continue.

[Sidenote: Salisburie.]

Salisburie was made the chéefe see of Shirburne by bishop Harman (predecessor to Osmond) who brought it from Shirburne to that citie; it hath now Barkeshire, Wilshire, and Dorsetshire vnder hir iurisdiction. For after the death of Hedda, which was 704, Winchester was diuided in two, so that onelie Hamshire and Surrie were left vnto it, and Wilton, Dorset, Barkeshire, Summerset, Deuon & Cornewill assigned vnto Shirburne till other order was taken. Bishop Adeline did first sit in that bishoprike (704 as I said) and placed his chaire at Shirburne vpon the said diuision. And as manie lerned bishops did succéed him in that roome, before and after it was remooued to Sarum; so there was neuer a more noble ornament to that sée than bishop Iuell, of whose great learning and iudgement the world it selfe beareth witnesse, notwithstanding that the papists prefer S. Osmond (as they call him) because he builded the minster there, and made the portesse called Ordinale ecclesiastici officij, which old préests were woont to vse. The bishops also of this sée were sometimes called bishops of Sunning, of their old mansion house neere vnto Reading (as it should seeme) and among those that liued before the said Iuell, one Roger builded the castell of the Vies in the time of Henrie the first, taken in those daies for the strongest hold in England, as vnto whose gate there were regals and gripes for six or seuen port cullises. Finallie this sée paid vnto Rome 4000 florens, but vnto hir maiestie in my time 1367 pounds twelue shillings eight pence, as I did find of late.

[Sidenote: Excester.]

Excester hath, Deuonshire and Cornewall, sometime two seuerall bishopriks, but in the end brought into one of Cornewall, and from thence to Excester in the time of the Bastard or soone after. It began vpon this occasion, Anno Gratiæ 905, in a prouinciall councell holden by the elder Edward & Plegimond archbishop of Canturburie, among the Gewises, wherein it was found, that the see of Winchester had not onelie béene without hir pastor by the space of seuen yéeres, but also that hir iurisdiction was farre greater than two men were able well to gouerne; therefore from the former two, to wit, Winchester and Shirburne, three other were taken, whereby that see was now diuided into fiue parts; the latter thrée being Welles, Kirton, and Cornwall: this of Cornwall hauing hir sée then at saint Patroks, not farre from north-Wales vpon the riuer Helmouth: he of Deuon holding his iurisdiction in Deuonshire, Kirton, or Cridioc. And the bishop of Welles being allowed Dorset and Barkshires for his part, to gouerne and looke vnto according to his charge. Finallie, these two of Deuon and Cornwall being vnited, the valuation thereof was taxed by the sée of Rome at six thousand ducats or florens, which were trulie paid at euerie alienation; but verie hardlie (as I gesse) sith that in my time, wherein all things are racked to the verie vttermost, I find that it is litle worth aboue fiue hundred pounds by the yéere, bicause hir tenths are but fiftie.

[Sidenote: Bath.]

Bath, whose see was sometime at Welles, before Iohn the bishop there annexed the church of Bath vnto it, which was 1094, hath Summersetshire onlie, and the valuation thereof in the court of Rome was foure hundred & thirtie florens: but in hir maiesties books I find it fiue [Page 239] hundred thirtie and three pounds, and about one od shilling: which declareth a precise examination of the estate of that sée. Of the erection of this bishoprike, mentioned in the discourse of Excester, I find the former assertion confirmed by another author, and in somewhat more large maner, which I will also remember, onelie because it pleaseth me somewhat better than the words before alleged out of the former writer. This bishoprike (saith he) was erected 905, in a councell holden among the Gewises, whereat king Edward of the west-Saxons, and Plegimond archbishop of Canturburie were present. For that part of the countrie had béene seuen yéeres without anie pastorall cure. And therfore in this councell it was agréed, that for the two bishoprikes (whereof one was at Winchester, another at Shireburne) [Sidenote: The bishoprike of Shirburne diuided into thrée.] there should be fiue ordeined, whereby the people there might be the better instructed. By this meanes Frithstan was placed at Winchester, and Ethelme at Shireburne, both of them being then void. Shireburne also susteined the subdiuision; so that Werstane was made bishop of Cridioc or Deuonshire (whose sée was at Kirton) Herstan of Cornwall, and Eadulfe of Welles, vnto whome Barkshire and Dorsetshire were appointed. But now you sée what alteration is made, by consideration of the limits of their present iurisdictions.

[Sidenote: Worcester.]

Worcester sometime called Episcopatus Wicciorum (that is, the bishoprike of the Wiccies or Huiccies) hath Worcester, & part of Warwikeshires. And before the bishoprike of Glocester was taken out of the same, it paid to the pope two thousand ducats of gold at euerie change of prelat: but now the valuation thereof is one thousand fortie nine pounds, seauen pence halfe penie farthing (except my remembrance doo deceiue me.) This sée was begunne either in, or not long before the time of Offa king of the east-Angles, and Boselus was the first bishop there; after whome succéeded Ostfort, then Egwine who went in pilgrimage to Rome, with Kinredus of Mercia and the said Offa, and there gat a monasterie (which he builded in Worcester) confirmed by Constantine the pope. In this sée was one of your lordships ancestors sometime bishop, whose name was Cobham, and doctor both of diuinitie and of the canon law, who, during the time of his pontificalitie there, builded the vault of the north side of the bodie of the church, and there lieth buried in the same (as I haue béene informed.) Certes this man was once elected, and should haue béene archbishop of Canturburie in the roome of Reginald that died 1313 vnder Edward the second: but the pope frustrated his election, fearing least he would haue shewed himselfe more affectionate towards his prince than to his court of Rome; wherefore he gaue Canturburie to the bishop of Worcester then being. And furthermore, least he should seeme altogither to reiect the said Thomas and displease the king, he gaue him in the end the bishoprike of Worcester, whereinto he entred 1317, Martij 31, being thursdaie (as appeereth by the register of that house) after long plée holden for the aforesaid sée of Canturburie in the court of Rome, wherein most monie did oftenest preuaile. This is also notable of that sée, that fiue Italians succéeded ech other in the same, by the popes prouision; as Egidius, Syluester, Egidius his nephue (for nephues might say in those daies; Father shall I call you vncle? And vncles also; Son I must call thée nephue) Iulius de Medices, afterward pope Clement, and Hieronymus de Nugutijs, men verie likelie, no doubt, to benefit the common people by their doctrine. Some of these being at the first but poore men in Rome, and yet able by selling all they had to make a round summe against a rainie daie, came first into fauor with the pope, then into familiaritie, finallie into orders; and from thence into the best liuings of the church, farre off where their parentage could not easilie be heard of, nor made knowne vnto their neighbours.

[Sidenote: Glocester.]

Glocester hath Glocestershire onelie, wherein are nine deanries, and to the number of 294 parish churches, as I find by good record. But it neuer paid anie thing to Rome, bicause it was erected by king Henrie the eight, after he had abolished the vsurped authoritie of the pope, except in quéene Maries, if anie such thing were demanded, as I doubt not but it was: yet is it woorth yeerelie 315 pounds, seauen shillings thrée pence, as the booke of first fruits declareth.

[Sidenote: Hereford.]

Hereford hath Herefordshire and part of Shropshire, and it paid to Rome at euerie alienation [Page 240] tion 1800 ducats at the least, but in my time it paieth vnto hir maiesties cofers 768 pounds, ten shillings, ten pence, halfe penie, farthing. In this sée there was a bishop sometime called Iohn Bruton, vpon whome the king then reigning, by likelihood for want of competent maintenance, bestowed the keeping of his wardrobe, which he held long time with great honour, as his register saith. A woonderfull preferment that bishops should be preferred from the pulpit, to the custodie of wardrobes: but such was the time. Neuerthelesse his honorable custodie of that charge is more solemnlie remembred, than anie good sermon that euer he made, which function peraduenture he committed to his suffragane, sith bishops in those daies had so much businesse in the court, that they could not attend to doctrine and exhortation.

[Sidenote: Lichfield.]

Lichefield, wherevnto Couentrie was added, in the time of Henrie the first, at the earnest sute of Robert bishop of that see, hath Staffordshire, Darbishire, part of Shropshire, and the rest of Warwikeshire, that is void of subiection to the sée of Worcestershire. It was erected in the time of Peada king of the south Mercians, which laie on this side the Trent, and therein one Dinas was installed, about the yeare of Grace 656, after whom Kellac first, then Tunher an Englishman succéeded, this later being well learned, and consecrated by the Scots. In the time of the bastard, I wot not vpon what occasion, one Peter bishop of this sée translated his chaire to Chester, and there held it for a season, whereby it came to passe that the bishops of Lichfield were for a while called bishops of Chester. But Robert his successor not likeing of this president, remooued his chaire from Chester to Couentrie, and there held it whilest he liued, whereby the originall diuision of the bishoprike of Lichfield into Lichefield, Chester, and Couentrie, dooth easilie appeare, although in my time Lichfield and Couentrie be vnited, and Chester remaineth a bishoprike by it selfe. It paid the pope at euerie alienation 1738 florens, or (as some old bookes haue) 3000, a good round summe, but not without a iust punishment, as one saith, sith that anno 765, Edulfe bishop there vnder Offa king of Mercia, would by his helpe haue bereaued the archbishop of Canturburie of his pall, & so did in déed vnder pope Hadrian, holding the same vntill things were reduced vnto their ancient forme. Before the time also of bishop Langton, the prebends of this see laie here and there abroad in the citie, where the vicars also had an house, of which this honest bishop misliked not a little for sundrie causes; wherefore he began their close, and bestowed so much in building the same, and pauing the stréets, that his hungrie kinsmen did not a little grudge at his expenses, thinking that his emptie cofers would neuer make them gentlemen, for which preferment the freends of most bishops gaped earnestlie in those daies. King Iohn was the greatest benefactor vnto this sée, next vnto Offa; and it is called Lichfield, Quasi mortuorum campus, bicause of the great slaughter of Christians made there (as some write) vnder Dioclesian. Howbeit in my time the valuation thereof is 703 pounds, fiue shillings two pence, halfepenie, farthing, a summe verie narrowlie cast by that auditor which tooke it first in hand.

Oxford hath Oxfordshire onelie, a verie yoong iurisdiction, erected by king Henrie the eight, & where in the time of quéene Marie, one Goldwell was bishop, who (as I remember) was a Iesuit, dwelling in Rome, and more conuersant (as the constant fame went) in the blacke art, than skilfull in the scriptures, and yet he was of great countenance amongst the Romane monarchs. It is said that obseruing the canons of his order, he regarded not the temporalities of that sée: but I haue heard since that he wist well inough what became of those commodities, for by one meane and other he found the swéetnesse of 354 pounds sixteene shillings thrée pence halfe penie, yearelie growing to him, which was euen inough (if not too much) for the maintenance of a frier toward the drawing out of circles, characters, & lineaments of imagerie, wherein he was passing skilfull, as the fame then went in Rome, and not vnheard of in Oxford.

[Sidenote: Elie.]

Elie hath Cambridgshire, and the Ile of Elie. It was erected 1109 by Henrie the first, being before a rich and wealthie abbeie. One Heruie also was made bishop there, as I haue found in a register, belonging sometime to that house being translated from Bangor. Finallie it paid to the pope at euerie alienation 7000 ducats, as the registers there do testifie at [Page 241] large. Albeit that in my time I find a note of 2134 pounds sixtéene shillings thrée pence halfe penie farthing, whose disme ioined to those of all the bishopriks in England, doo yéeld yearelie to hir maiesties coffers 23370 pounds sixtéene shillings thrée pence halfe penie farthing: whereby also the huge sums of monie going out of this land to the court of Rome dooth in some measure appéere. Ethelwold afterward bishop of Winchester builded the first monasterie of Elie vpon the ruines of a nunrie then in the kings hands, howbeit the same house, whereof he himselfe was abbat, was yer long destroied by enimies, and he in lieu of his old preferment rewarded by king Edgar, with the aforesaid bishoprike, from whence with more than lionlike boldnesse he expelled the secular préests, and stored with moonkes prouided from Abandune néere Oxford, by the helpe of Edgar and Dunstane then metropolitane of England. There was sometime a greeuous contention betwéene Thomas Lild bishop of this see, and the king of England, about the yeare of Grace 1355, which I will here deliuer out of an old record, because the matter is so parciallie penned by some of the brethren of that house, in fauour of the bishop; & for that I was also abused with the same in the entrance thereof at the first into my chronologie. The blacke prince fauoring one Robert Stretton his chapleine, a man vnlearned and not worthie the name of a clearke, the matter went on so farre, that what for loue, and somewhat else, of a canon of Lichfield he was chosen bishop of that see. Herevpon the pope vnderstanding what he was by his Nuncio here in England, staied his consecration by his letters for a time, and in the meane season committed his examination to the archbishop of Canturburie, and the bishop of Rochester, who felt and dealt so fauourablie with him in golden reasoning, that his worthinesse was commended to the popes holinesse, & to Rome he goeth. Being come to Rome the pope himselfe apposed him, and after secret conference vtterlie disableth his election, till he had prooued by substantiall argument and of great weight before him also, that he was not so lightlie to be reiected. Which kind of reasoning so well pleased his holinesse, that Ex mera plenitudine potestatis, he was made capable of the benefice and so returneth into England; when he came home, this bishop being in the kings presence told him how he had doone he wist not what in preferring so vnméet a man vnto so high a calling. With which speach the king was so offended, that he commanded him out of hand to auoid out of his presence. In like sort the ladie Wake then duchesse of Lancaster, standing by, and hearing the king hir cousine to gather vp the bishop so roundlie, and thereto an old grudge against him for some other matter, dooth presentlie picke a quarrell against him about certeine lands then in his possession, which he defended & in the end obteined against hir by plée and course of law: yer [Sidenote: * [sic. qu. a fire]] long also [*]afore hapned in a part of hir house, for which she accused the bishop, and in the end by verdict of twelue men found that he was priuie vnto the fact of his men in the said fact, wherfore he was condemned in nine hundred pounds damages, which he paid euerie penie.

Neuerthelesse, being sore grieued, that she had (as he said) wrested out such a verdict against him, and therein packed vp a quest at hir owne choise: he taketh his horsse, goeth to the court, and there complaineth to the king of his great iniurie receiued at hir hands. But in the deliuerie of his tale, his speech was so blockish, & termes so euill fauoredlie (though maliciouslie) placed, that the king tooke yet more offense with him than before; insomuch that he led him with him into the parlement house, for then was that court holden, and there before the lords accused him of no small misdemeanor toward his person by his rude and threatening speeches. But the bishop egerlie denieth the kings obiections, which he still auoucheth vpon his honor; and in the end confirmeth his allegations by witnesse: wherevpon he is banished from the kings presence during his naturall life by verdict of that house. In the meane time the duchesse hearing what was doone, she beginneth a new to be dealing with him: and in a brabling fraie betweene their seruants one of hir men was slaine, for which he was called before the magistrat, as chiefe accessarie vnto the fact. But he fearing the sequele of his third cause by his successe had in the two first, hideth himselfe after he had sold all his moouables, and committed the monie vnto his trustie friends. And being [Page 242] found giltie by the inquest, the king seizeth vpon his possessions, and calleth vp the bishop to answer vnto the trespasse. To be short, vpon safe-conduct the bishop commeth to the kings presence, where he denieth that he was accessarie to the fact, either before, at, or after the deed committed, and therevpon craueth to be tried by his péeres. But this petition was in vaine: for sentence passeth against him also by the kings owne mouth. Wherevpon he craueth helpe of the archbishop of Canturburie and priuileges of the church, hoping by such meanes to be solemnlie rescued. But they fearing the kings displeasure, who bare small fauour to the clergie of his time, gaue ouer to vse anie such meanes; but rather willed him to submit himselfe vnto the kings mercie, which he refused, standing vpon his innocencie from the first vnto the last. Finallie, growing into choler, that the malice of a woman should so preuaile against him, he writeth to Rome, requiring that his case might be heard there, as a place wherein greater iustice (saith he) is to be looked for than to be found in England. Vpon the perusall of these his letters also, his accusers were called thither. But for so much as they appéered not at their peremptorie times, they were excommunicated. Such of them also as died before their reconciliations were taken out of the churchyards, and buried in the fields and doong-hilles, "Vnde timor & turba (saith my note) in Anglia." For the king inhibited the bringing in and receipt of all processes, billes, and whatsoeuer instruments should come from Rome: such also as aduentured contrarie to this prohibition to bring them in, were either dismembred of some ioint, or hanged by the necks. Which rage so incensed the pope, that he wrote in verie vehement maner to the king of England, threatening far greater cursses, except he did the sooner staie the furie of the lady, reconcile himself vnto the bishop, and finallie, making him amends for all his losses susteined in these broiles. Long it was yer the king would be brought to peace. Neuerthelesse, in the end he wrote to Rome about a reconciliation to be had betwéene them: but yer all things were concluded, God himselfe did end the quarrell, by taking awaie the bishop. And thus much out of an old pamphlet in effect word for word: but I haue somewhat framed the forme of the report after the order that Stephan Birchington dooth deliuer it, who also hath the same in manner as I deliuer it.

[Sidenote: Norwich.]

The see of Norwich called in old time Episcopates Donnicensis, Dononiæ, or Eastanglorum, was erected at Felstow or Felixstow, where Felix of Burgundie (sometime schoolemaster to Sigebert of the east-Angles, by whose persuasion also the said Sigebert erected the vniuersitie at Cambridge) being made bishop of the east-Angles first placed his sée, afterward it was remooued from thence to Donwich, & thence to Helmham, Anno 870, about the death of Celnothus of Canturburie; thirdlie, to Theodford, or Thetford; & finallie, after the time of the Bastard, to Norwich. For iurisdiction it conteineth in our daies Norffolke and Suffolke onelie, whereas at the first it included Cambridgeshire also, and so much as laie within the kingdome of the east-Angles. It began about the yéere 632, vnder Cerpenwald king of the east-Saxons, who bestowed it vpon Felix, whome pope Honorius also confirmed, and after which he held it by the space of seauenteene yéeres. It paid sometimes at euerie alienation 5000 ducats to Rome. But in my time hir maiestie hath 899 pounds, 8 shillings 7 pence farthing, as I haue been informed. In the same iurisdiction also there were once 1563 parish churches, and 88 religious houses: but in our daies I can not heare of more churches than 1200: and yet of these I know one conuerted into a barne, whilest the people heare seruice further off vpon a greene: their bell also when I heard a sermon there preached in the gréene, hanged in an oke for want of a stéeple. But now I vnderstand that the oke likewise is gone. There is neuerthelesse a litle chappellet hard by on that common, but nothing capable of the multitude of Ashlie towne that should come to the same in such wise, if they did repaire thither as they ought.

[Sidenote: Peterborow.]

Peterborow, sometimes a notable monasterie, hath Northampton and Rutland shires vnder hir iurisdiction, a diocesse erected also by king Henrie the eight. It neuer paid first fruits to the pope before queene Maries daies (if it were then deliuered) wherof I doubt, because it was not recorded in his ancient register of tenths and fruits, although peraduenture the [Page 243] collectors left it not vngathered, I wot not for what purpose; it yéeldeth now foure hundred and fiftie pounds, one penie abated. I haue seene and had an ancient iarror of the lands of this monasterie, which agréeth verie well with the historie of Hugo le Blanc monke of that house. In the charter also of donation annexed to the same, I saw one of Wulfhere king of Mercia, signed with his owne, & the marks of Sigher king of Sussex, Sebbie of Essex, with the additions of their names: the rest of the witnesses also insued in this order:

Ethelred brother to Wulfehere,
Kindburg and Kindswith sisters to Wulfhere,
Deusdedit archbishop,
Ithamar bishop of Rochester,
Wina bishop of London,
Iarnman bishop of Mearc,
Wilfride and Eoppa préests,
Saxulfe the abbat.

Then all the earles and eldermen of England in order; and after all these, the name of pope Agatho, who confirmed the instrument at the sute of Wilfride archbishop of Yorke, in a councell holden at Rome 680, of a hundred & fiue and twentie bishops, wherein also these churches were appropriated to the said monasterie, to wit, Breding, Reping, Cedenac, Swinesheued, Lusgerd, Edelminglond, and Barchaing: whereby we haue in part an euident testimonie how long the practise of appropriation of benefices hath béene vsed to the hinderance of the gospell, and maintenance of idle moonks, an humane inuention grounded vpon hypocrisie.

[Sidenote: Bristow.]

Bristow hath Dorsetshire sometime belonging to Salisburie, a sée also latelie erected by king Henrie the eight, who tooke no small care for the church of Christ, and therefore eased a number of ancient sées of some part of their huge and ouer-large circuits, and bestowed those portions deducted, vpon such other erections as he had appointed for the better regiment and féeding of the flocke: the value thereof is three hundred foure score and thrée pounds, eight shillings, and foure pence (as I haue béene informed.)

[Sidenote: Lincolne.]

Lincolne of all other of late times was the greatest; and albeit that out of it were taken the sees of Oxford and Peterborow, yet it still reteineth Lincolne, Leicester, Huntingdon, Bedford, Buckingham shires, and the rest of Hertford; so that it extendeth from the Thames vnto the Humber, and paid vnto the pope fiue thousand ducats (as appeereth by his note) at euerie alienation. In my time, and by reason of hir diminution it yéeldeth a tribute to whom tribute belongeth, of the valuation of eight hundred ninetie and nine pounds, eight shillings, seauen pence farthing. It began since the conquest, about the beginning of William Rufus, by one Remigius, who remooued his sée from Dorchester to Lincolne (not without licence well paid for vnto the king.) And thus much of the bishopriks which lie within Lhoegres or England, as it was left vnto Locrinus. Now it followeth that I procéed with Wales.

[Sidenote: Landaffe.]

Landaffe, or the church of Taw hath ecclesiasticall iurisdiction in Glamorgan, Monmouth, Brechnoch, and Radnor shires. And although it paid seuen hundred ducats at euerie exchange of prelat; yet is it scarselie worth one hundred fiftie and fiue pounds by the yeare (as I haue heard reported.) Certes it is a poore bishoprike, & (as I haue heard) the late incumbent thereof being called for not long since by the lord president in open court made answer. The daffe is here, but the land is gone. What he meant by it I can not well tell; but I hope, that in the séed time and the frée planting of the gospell, the meate of the labourer shall not be diminished and withdrawen.

[Sidenote: S. Dauids.]

S. Dauids hath Penbroke and Caermardine shires, whose liuerie or first fruits to the sée of Rome was one thousand and fiue hundred ducats, at the hardest (as I thinke.) For if record be of anie sufficient credit, it is little aboue the value of foure hundred fiftie and seauen pounds, one shilling, and ten pence farthing, in our time, and so it paieth vnto hir maiesties coffers; but in time past I thinke it was farre better. The present bishop misliketh [Page 244] verie much of the cold situation of his cathedrall church; and therfore he would gladlie pull it downe, and set it in a warmer place: but it would first be learned what suertie he would put in to sée it well performed: of the rest I speake not.

[Sidenote: Bangor.]

Bangor is in north-Wales, and hath Caernaruon, Angleseie, and Merioneth shires vnder hir iurisdiction. It paid to Rome 126 ducats, which is verie much. For of all the bishoprikes in England it is now the least for reuenues, and not woorth aboue one hundred and one and thirtie pounds, and sixteene pence to hir maiesties coffers at euerie alienation (as appéereth by the tenths, which amount to much lesse than those of some good benefice) for it yeeldeth not yéerelie aboue thirtéene pounds, thrée shillings, and seauen pence halfe penie, as by that court is manifest.

[Sidenote: S. Asaphes.]

S. Asaphes hath Prestholme and part of Denbigh and Flintshires vnder hir iurisdiction in causes ecclesiasticall, which being laid togither doo amount to little more than one good countie, and therefore in respect of circuit the least that is to be found in Wales, neuerthelesse it paid to Rome 470 ducates at euerie alienation. In my time the first fruits of this bishoprike came vnto 187 pounds eleuen shillings six pence; wherby it séemeth to be somewhat better than Landaffe or Bangor last remembred. There is one Howell a gentleman of Flintshire in the compasse of this iurisdiction, who is bound to giue an harpe of siluer yearelie to the best harper in Wales, but did anie bishop thinke you deserue that in the popish time? Howell or Aphowell in English is all one (as I haue heard) and signifie so much as Hugo or Hugh. Hitherto of the prouince of Canturburie, for so much therof as now lieth within the compasse of this Iland. Now it resteth that I procéed with the curtailed archbishoprike of Yorke, I saie curtailed because all Scotland is cut from his iurisdiction and obedience.

[Sidenote: Yorke.]

The see of Yorke was restored about the yeare of Grace 625, which after the comming of the Saxons laie desolate and neglected, howbeit at the said time Iustus archbishop of Canturburie ordeined Paulinas to be first bishop there, in the time of Gadwijn king of Northumberland. This Paulinus sate six yeares yer he was driuen from thence, & after whose expulsion that seat was void long time, wherby Lindeffarne grew into credit, and so remained vntill the daies of Oswie of Northumberland, who sent Wilfred the priest ouer into France, there to be consecrated archbishop of Yorke: but whilest he taried ouer long in those parts, Oswie impatient of delaie preferred Ceadda or Chad to that roome, who held it three yeares, which being expired Wilfred recouered his roome, and held it as he might, vntill it was seuered in two, to wit, Yorke, Hagulstade, or Lindeffarne, where Eata was placed, at which time also Egfride was made bishop of Lincolne or Lindsie in that part of Mercia which he had goten from Woolfhere. Of it selfe it hath now iurisdiction ouer Yorkeshire, Notinghamshire (whose shire towne I meane the new part thereof with the bridge was builded by king Edward the first surnamed the elder before the conquest) and the rest of Lancastershire onelie not subiect to the sée of Chester; and when the pope bare authoritie in this realme, it paid vnto his see 1000 ducates, beside 5000 for the pall of the new elect, which was more than he could well spare of late, considering the curtailing & diminution of his sée, thorough the erection of a new metropolitane in Scotland, but in my time it yéeldeth 1609 pounds ninetéene shillings two pence to hir maiestie, whom God long preserue vnto vs to his glorie, hir comfort, and our welfares.

[Sidenote: Chester.]

Chester vpon Dee, otherwise called Westchester, hath vnder hir iurisdiction in causes ecclesiasticall, Chestershire, Darbishire, the most part of Lancastershire (to wit vnto the Ribell) Richmond and a part of Flint and Denbigh shires in Wales, was made a bishoprike by king H. 8. anno regni 33. Iulij 16, and so hath continued since that time, being valued 420 pounds by the yeare beside od twentie pence (a streict reckoning) as the record declareth.

[Sidenote: Durham.]

Durham hath the countie of Durham and Northumberland with the Dales onelie vnder hir iurisdiction, and hereof the bishops haue sometimes béene earles palantines & ruled the rost vnder the name of the bishoprike and succession of S. Cuthbert. It was a sée (in mine opinion) more profitable of late vnto hir maiesties coffers by 221 pounds eighteene shillings ten [Page 245] pence farthing, and yet of lesse countenance than hir prouinciall, neuertheles the sunneshine thereof (as I heare) is now somewhat eclipsed and not likelie to recouer the light, for this is not a time wherein the church may looke to increase in hir estate. I heare also that some other flitches haue forgone the like collops, but let such matters be scanned by men of more discretion. Capgraue saith how that the first bishop of this sée was called bishop of Lindseie (or Lincolne) & that Ceadda laie in Liechfield of the Mercians in a mansion house néere the church. But this is more worthie to be remembred, that Cuthred of the Northumbers, and Alfred of the West-saxons bestowed all the land betwéene the These & the Tine now called the bishoprike vpon S. Cuthbert, beside whatsoeuer belonged to the see of Hagulstade. Edgar of Scotland also in the time of the Bastard gaue Coldingham and Berwike withall their appurtenances to that house; but whether these donations be extant or no as yet I cannot tell. Yet I thinke not but that Leland had a sight of them, from whome I had this ground. But whatsoeuer this bishoprike be now, in externall & outward apparance, sure it is that it paid in old time 9000 ducates at euerie alienation to Rome, as the record expresseth. Aidan a Scot or Irishman was the first bishop of this sée, who held himselfe (as did manie of his successors) at Colchester and in Lindesfarne Ile, till one came that remooued it to Durham. And now iudge you whether the allegation of Capgraue be of anie accompt or not.

[Sidenote: Caerleill.]

Caerleill was erected 1132 by Henrie the first, and hereof one Ethelwoolfe confessor to Osmond bishop of Sarum was made the first bishop, hauing Cumberland & Westmerland assigned to his share; of the deaneries and number of parish churches conteined in the same as yet I haue no knowledge, more than of manie other. Howbeit hereof I am sure, that notwithstanding the present valuation be risen to 531 pounds foureteene shillings eleuen pence halfe penie, the pope receiued out of it but 1000 florens, and might haue spared much more, as an aduersarie thereto confessed sometime euen before the pope himselfe, supposing no lesse than to haue gained by his tale, and so peraduenture should haue doone, if his platforme had taken place. But as wise men oft espie the practises of flatteries, so the pope saw to what end this profitable speach was vttered. As touching Caerleill it selfe it was sometime sacked by the Danes, and eftsoones repared by William Rufus, & planted with a colonie of southerne men. I suppose that in old time it was called Cairdoill. For in an ancient booke which I haue séene, and yet haue, intituled, Liber formularum literarum curiæ Romanæ, octo capitulorum, episcopatus Cardocensis. And thus much generallie of the names and numbers of our bishoprikes of England, whose tenths in old time yearelie amounting vnto 21111 pounds, twelue shillings one penie halfe penie farthing, of currant monie in those daies, doo euidentlie declare, what store of coine was transported out of the land vnto the papall vses, in that behalfe onelie.

Certes I take this not to be one quarter of his gaines gotten by England in those daies, for such commodities were raised by his courts holden here, so plentifullie gat he by his perquisits, as elections, procurations, appeales, preuentions, pluralities, tot quots, trialities, tollerations, legitimations, bulles, seales, préests, concubines, eating of flesh and white meats, dispensations for mariages, & times of celebration, Peter pence, and such like faculties, that not so little as 1200000 pounds went yearelie from hence to Rome. And therefore no maruell though he séeke much in these daies to reduce vs to his obedience. But what are the tenths of England (you will saie) in comparison of all those of Europe. For notwithstanding that manie good bishoprikes latelie erected be left out of his old bookes of record, which I also haue séene, yet I find neuertheles that the whole sum of them amounted to not aboue 61521 pounds as monie went 200 yeares before my time, of which portion poore saint Peter did neuer heare, of so much as one graie grote. Marke therfore I praie you whether England were not fullie answerable to a third part of the rest of his tenths ouer all Europe, and therevpon tell me whether our Iland was one of the best paire of bellowes or not, that blue the fire in his kitchen, wherewith to make his pot seeth, beside all other commodities.

[Page 246] [Sidenote: Man.] Beside all these, we haue another bishoprike yet in England almost slipped out of my remembrance, because it is verie obscure, for that the bishop thereof hath not wherewith to mainteine his countenance sufficientlie, and that is the see of Mona or Man, somtime named Episcopatus Sodorensis, whereof one Wimundus was ordeined the first bishop, and Iohn the second, in the troublesome time of king Stephan. The gift of this prelacie resteth in the earles of Darbie, who nominate such a one from time to time therto as to them dooth séeme conuenient. Howbeit if that sée did know and might reape hir owne commodities, and discerne them from other mens possessions (for it is supposed that the mother hath deuoured the daughter) I doubt not but the state of hir bishop would quicklie be amended. Hauing therefore called this later sée after this maner vnto mind, I suppose that I haue sufficientlie discharged my dutie concerning the state of our bishoprike, and maner how the ecclesiasticall iurisdiction of the church of England is diuided among the shires and counties of this realme. Whose bishops as they haue béene heretofore of lesse learning, and yet of greater port & dooings in the common-wealth, than at this present, so are they now for the most part the best learned that are to be found in anie countrie of Europe, sith neither high parentage, nor great riches (as in other countries) but onelie learning and vertue, commended somewhat by fréendship, doo bring them to this honour.

I might here haue spoken more at large of diuerse other bishopriks, sometime in this part of the Iland, as of that of Caerlheon tofore ouerthrowen by Edelfred in the behalfe of Augustine the moonke (as Malmesburie saith) where Dubritius gouerned, which was afterward translated to S. Dauids, and taken for an archbishoprike: secondlie of the bishoprike of Leircester called Legerensis, whose fourth bishop (Vnwon) went to Rome with Offa king of [Sidenote: Gloucester's verie ancient bishoprike.] Mercia: thirdlie of Ramsbirie or Wiltun, and of Glocester (of which you shall read in Matth. Westm. 489) where the bishop was called Eldad: also of Hagulstade, one of the members whereinto the see of Yorke was diuided after the expulsion of Wilfrid. For (as I read) when Egfrid the king had driuen him awaie, he diuided his see into two parts, making Bosa ouer the Deiranes that held his sée at Hagulstade, or Lindfarne: and Eatta ouer the Bernicians, who sate at Yorke: and thereto placing Edhedus ouer Lindseie (as is afore noted) whose successors were Ethelwine, Edgar, and Kinibert, notwithstanding that one Sexulfus was ouer Lindseie before Edhedus, who was bishop of the Mercians and middle England, till he was banished from Lindseie, and came into those quarters to séeke his refuge and succour.

I could likewise intreat of the bishops of Whiteherne, or Ad Candidam Casam, an house with the countrie wherein it stood belonging to the prouince of Northumberland, but now a parcell of Scotland; also of the erection of the late sée at Westminster by Henrie the eight. But as the one so the other is ceased, and the lands of this later either so diuided or exchanged for worse tenures, that except a man should sée it with his eies, & point out with his finger where euerie parcell of them is bestowed, but a few men would beléeue what is become of the same. I might likewise and with like ease also haue added the successors of the bishops of euerie sée to this discourse of their cathedrall churches and places of abode, but it would haue extended this treatise to an vnprofitable length. Neuerthelesse I will remember the fame of London my natiue citie, after I haue added one word more of the house called Ad Candidam Casam, in English Whiteherne, which taketh denomination of the white stone wherwith it was builded, and was séene far off as standing vpon an hill to such as did behold it. [Page 247]



Restitutus, who liued 350 of grace.
Tadwinus aliàs Theodwinus, some doo write him Tacwinus & Tatwinus.
Tidredus aliàs Theodred.
Fastidius liued Anno Dom. 430.
Vodinus, slaine by the Saxons.
The see void manie yeares.

Augustine the moonke, sent ouer by Gregorie the great, till he remooued his sée to Canturburie, to the intent he might the sooner flée, if persecution should be raised by the infidels, or heare from, or send more spéedilie vnto Rome, without anie great feare of the interception of his letters.


The see void for a season.
Robertus a Norman.
Wilhelmus a Norman.
Hugo a Norman.

I read also of a bishop of London called Elsward, or Ailward, who was abbat of Eouesham, and bishop of London at one time, and buried at length in Ramseie, howbeit in what order of succession he liued I can not tell, more than of diuerse other aboue remembred, but in this order doo I find them.

The see void twelue yeares.
1 Mauricius.
2 Richardus Beaumis.
3 Gilbertus vniuersalis a notable man for thrée things, auarice, riches, and learning
4 Robertus de Sigillo.
5 Richardus Beaumis.
6 Gilbertus Folioth.
7 Richardus.
8 Wilhelmus de sancta Maria.
9 Eustathius Falconberg.
10 Rogerus Niger.
11 Fulco Bascet. [Page 248]
12 Henricus Wingham.
Richardus Talbot electus.
15 Richard. Grauesend.
16 Radulfus Gandacensis.
17 Gilbertus Segraue.
18 Richardus de Newport.
19 Stephanus Grauesend.
20 Richard. Bintworth.
21 Radulfus Baldoc who made the tables hanging in the vesterie of Paules.
22 Michael.
23 Simon.
24 Robertus.
25 Thomas.
26 Richardus.
27 Thomas Sauagius.
28 Wilhelmus.
29 Wilhelm. Warham.
30 Wilhelmus Barnes.
31 Cuthbertus Tunstall.
32 Iohannes Stokesleie.
33 Richardus fitz Iames.
34 Edmundus Boner, remooued, imprisoned.
35 Nicholas Ridleie remooued and burned.
Edm. Boner, restore, remooued, & imprisoned.
36 Edmundus Grindall.
37 Edwinus Sandes.
38 Iohannes Elmer.

Hauing gotten and set downe thus much of the bishops, I will deliuer in like sort the names of the deanes, vntill I come to the time of mine old master now liuing in this present yeare 1586, who is none of the least ornaments that haue béene in that seat.


1 Wulmannus, who made a distribution of the psalmes conteined in the whole psalter, and appointed the same dailie to be read amongst the prebendaries.
2 Radulfus de Diceto, whose noble historie is yet extant in their librarie.
3 Alardus Bucham.
4 Robertus Watford.
5 Martinus Patteshull.
6 Hugo de Marinis.
7 Radulfus Langfort.
8 Galfridus de Berie.
9 Wilhelmus Stāman.
10 Henricus Cornell.
11 Walterus de Salerne.
12 Robertus Barton.
13 Petrus de Newport.
14 Richardus Talbot.
15 Galfredus de Fering.
16 Iohannes Chishull.
17 Herueus de Boreham.
18 Thomas Eglesthorpe.
19 Rogerus de Lalleie.
20 Wilhelmus de Montfort.
21 Radulfus de Baldoc postea episcopus.
22 Alanus de Cantilup postea cardinalis.
Iohan. Sandulfe electus.
Richardus de Newport electus.
23 Magister Vitalis.
24 Iohannes Euerisdon.
25 Wilhelmus Brewer.
26 Richardus Kilmingdon.
27 Thomas Trullocke.
28 Iohannes Appulbie.
29 Thomas Euer.
30 Thomas Stow.
31 Thomas More.
32 Reginaldus Kenton.
33 Thomas Lisieux aliàs Leseux.
34 Leonardus de Bath.
35 Wilhelmus Saie.
36 Rogerus Ratcliffe.
37 Thom. Winterburne.
38 Wilhelmus Wolseie.
39 Robert Sherebroke.
40 Iohānes Collet, founder of Paules schoole.
Richardus Paceus.
Richardus Sampson.
Iohannes Incent.
Wilhelmus Maius resignauit.
Iohannes Fakenham aliàs Howman resignauit.
Henricus Colus, remooued, imprisoned.
Wilhelmus Maius, restored.
Alexander Nouellus.

And thus much of the archbishops, bishops, and deanes of that honorable sée. I call it honorable, because it hath had a succession for the most part of learned and wise men, albeit that otherwise it be the most troublesome seat in England, not onelie for that it is néere [Page 249] vnto checke, but also the prelats thereof are much troubled with sutors, and no lesse subiect to the reproches of the common sort, whose mouthes are alwaies wide open vnto reprehension, and eies readie to espie anie thing that they may reprooue and carpe at. I would haue doone so much for euerie see in England, if I had not had consideration of the greatnesse of the volume, and small benefit rising by the same, vnto the commoditie of the readers: neuerthelesse I haue reserued them vnto the publication of my great chronologie, if (while I liue) it happen to come abrode.



[Sidenote: Manie vniuersities somtime in England.]

There haue béene heretofore, and at sundrie times, diuerse famous vniuersities in this Iland, and those euen in my daies not altogither forgotten, as one at Bangor, erected by Lucius, and afterward conuerted into a monasterie, not by Congellus (as some write) but by Pelagius the monke. The second at Carlheon vpon Vske, neere to the place where the riuer dooth fall into the Seuerne, founded by king Arthur. The third at Theodford, wherein were 600 students, in the time of one Rond sometime king of that region. The fourth at Stanford, suppressed by Augustine the monke, and likewise other in other places, as Salisburie, Eridon or Criclade, Lachlade, Reading, and Northampton; albeit that the two last rehearsed were not authorised, but onelie arose to that name by the departure of the students from Oxford in time of ciuill dissention vnto the said townes, where also they continued but for a little season. When that of Salisburie began, I can not tell; but that it flourished most vnder Henrie the third, and Edward the first, I find good testimonie by the writers, as also by the discord which fell 1278, betwéene the chancellor for the scholers there on the one part, and William the archdeacon on the other, whereof you shall sée more in the chronologie [Sidenote: Thrée vniuersities in England.] here following. In my time there are thrée noble vniuersities 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 meane Cambridge and Oxford, for that in them the vse of the toongs, philosophie, and the liberall sciences, besides the profound studies of the ciuill law, physicke, and theologie, are dailie taught and had: whereas in the later, the laws of the realme are onelie read and learned, by such as giue their minds vnto the knowledge of the same. In the first there are not onelie diuerse goodlie houses builded foure square for the most part of hard fréestone or bricke, with great numbers of lodgings and chambers in the same for students, after a sumptuous sort, through the excéeding liberalitie of kings, quéenes, bishops, noblemen and ladies of the land: but also large liuings and great reuenues bestowed vpon them (the like whereof is not to be séene in anie other region, as Peter Martyr did oft affirme) to the maintenance onelie of such conuenient numbers of poore mens sonnes as the seuerall stipends bestowed vpon the said houses are able to support.

[Sidenote: When the vniuersities were builded vncerteine.]

When these two schooles should be first builded, & who were their originall founders, as yet it is vncerteine: neuerthelesse, as there is great likelihood that Cambridge was begun by one Cantaber a Spaniard (as I haue noted in my chronologie) so Alfred is said to be the first beginner of the vniuersitie at Oxford, albeit that I cannot warrant the same to be so yong, sith I find by good authoritie, that Iohn of Beuerleie studied in the vniuersitie hall at Oxford, which was long before Alfred was either borne or gotten. Some are of the opinion that Cantabrigia was not so called of Cantaber, but Cair Grant of the finisher of the worke, or at the leastwise of the riuer that runneth by the same, and afterward by the Saxons Grantcester. An other sort affirme that the riuer is better written Canta than Granta, &c: but whie then is not the towne called Canta, Cantium, or Cantodunum, according to the same? All this is said onlie (as I thinke) to deface the memorie of Cantaber, who comming from the Brigants, or out of Biscaie, called the said towne after his owne and the [Page 250] name of the region from whence he came. Neither hath it béene a rare thing for the Spaniards heretofore to come first into Ireland, and from thense ouer into England, sith the chronologie shall declare that it hath béene often seene, and that out of Britaine, they haue gotten ouer also into Scithia, and contrariwise: coasting still through Yorkeshire, which of them also was called Brigantium, as by good testimonie appeareth.

[Sidenote: Oxford fiftie miles from London.]

Of these two, that of Oxford (which lieth west and by north from London) standeth most pleasantlie, being inuironed in maner round about with woods on the hilles aloft, and goodlie riuers in the bottoms and vallies beneath, whose courses would bréed no small commoditie to that citie and countrie about, if such impediments were remooued as greatlie annoie the same, and hinder the cariage which might be made thither also from London. [Sidenote: Cambridge six and fortie miles from London.] That of Cambridge is distant from London about fortie and six miles north and by east, and standeth verie well, sauing that it is somewhat néere vnto the fens, whereby the wholesomenesse of the aire there is not a little corrupted. It is excellentlie well serued with all kinds of prouision, but especiallie of freshwater fish and wildfoule, by reason of the riuer that passeth thereby; and thereto the Ile of Elie, which is so néere at hand. Onlie wood is the chéefe want to such as studie there, wherefore this kind of prouision is brought them either from Essex, and other places thereabouts, as is also their cole; or otherwise the necessitie thereof is supplied with gall (a bastard kind of Mirtus as I take it) and seacole, whereof they haue great plentie led thither by the Grant. Moreouer it hath not such store of medow ground as may suffice for the ordinarie expenses of the towne and vniuersitie, wherefore the inhabitants are inforced in like sort to prouide their haie from other villages about, which minister the same vnto them in verie great aboundance.

[Sidenote: Longitude & latitude of both.]

Oxford is supposed to conteine in longitude eightéene degrees and eight and twentie minuts, and in latitude one and fiftie degrées and fiftie minuts; whereas that of Cambridge standing more northerlie, hath twentie degrees and twentie minuts in longitude, and therevnto fiftie and two degrées and fifteene minuts in latitude, as by exact supputation is easie to be found.

The colleges of Oxford, for curious workemanship and priuat commodities, are much more statelie, magnificent, & commodious than those of Cambridge: and therevnto the stréets of the towne for the most part more large and comelie. But for vniformitie of building, orderlie [Sidenote: Cambridge burned not long since.] compaction, and politike regiment, the towne of Cambridge, as the newer workmanship, excéedeth that of Oxford (which otherwise is and hath béene the greater of the two) by manie a fold (as I gesse) although I know diuerse that are of the contrarie opinion. This also is certeine, that whatsoeuer the difference be in building of the towne stréets, the townesmen of both are glad when they may match and annoie the students, by incroching vpon their liberties, and kéepe them bare by extreame sale of their wares, whereby manie of them become rich for a time, but afterward fall againe into pouertie, bicause that goods euill gotten doo seldome long indure.

Castels also they haue both, and in my iudgement is hard to be said, whether of them would be the stronger, if ech were accordinglie repared: howbeit that of Cambridge is the higher, both for maner of building and situation of ground, sith Oxford castell standeth low and is not so apparant to our sight. That of Cambridge was builded (as they saie) by Gurguintus, sometime king of Britaine, but the other by the lord Robert de Oilie, a noble man which came in with the conqueror, whose wife Editha, a woman giuen to no lesse superstition than credulitie, began also the abbeie of Oseneie neere vnto the same, vpon a fond (but yet a rare) occasion, which we will héere remember, though it be beside my purpose, to the end that the reader may see how readie the simple people of that time were to be abused by the practise of the cleargie. It happened on a time as this ladie walked about the fields, néere vnto the aforesaid castell, to recreate hir selfe with certeine of hir maidens, that a number of pies sat chattering vpon the elmes, which had beene planted in the hedgerowes, and in fine so troubled hir with their noise, that she wished them all further off, or else hir selfe at home againe, and this happened diuerse times. In the end being wearie [Page 251] of hir walke, she demanded of hir chapleine the cause wherefore these pies did so molest & vexe hir. Oh madam (saith he) the wiliest pie of all, these are no pies but soules in purgatorie that craue reléefe. And is it so in déed quoth she? Now De pardieux, if old Robert will giue me leaue, I will doo what I can to bring these soules to rest. Herevpon she consulted, craued, wept, and became so importunate with hir husband, that he ioined with hir, and they both began that synagog 1120, which afterward prooued to be a notable den. In that church also lieth this ladie buried with hir image, hauing an heart in hir hand couched vpon the same, in the habit of a vowesse, and yet to be séene, except the weather haue worne out the memoriall. But to procéed with my purpose.

In each of these vniuersities also is likewise a church dedicated to the virgin Marie, wherein once in the yeare, to wit, in Iulie, the scholers are holden, and in which such as haue béene called to anie degrée in the yeare precedent, doo there receiue the accomplishment of the same, in solemne and sumptuous maner. In Oxford this solemnitie is called an Act, but in Cambridge they vse the French word Commensement; and such resort is made yearelie vnto the same from all parts of the land, by the fréends of those which doo procéed, that all the towne is hardlie able to receiue and lodge those gests. When and by whome the churches aforesaid were builded, I haue elsewhere made relation. That of Oxford also was repared in the time of Edward the fourth, and Henrie the seuenth, when doctor Fitz Iames a great helper in that worke was warden of Merton college, but yer long after it was finished, one tempest in a night so defaced the same, that it left few pinacles standing about the church and stéeple, which since that time haue neuer béene repared. There were sometime foure and twentie parish churches in the towne and suburbes, but now there are scarselie sixtéene. There haue béene also 1200 burgesses, of which 400 dwelled in the suburbes, and so manie students were there in the time of Henrie the third, that he allowed them twentie miles compasse about the towne, for their prouision of vittels.

The common schooles of Cambridge also are farre more beautifull than those of Oxford, onelie the diuinitie schoole at Oxford excepted, which for fine and excellent workemanship, commeth next the moold of the kings chappell in Cambridge, than the which two with the chappell that king Henrie the seauenth did build at Westminster, there are not (in mine opinion) made of lime & stone thrée more notable piles within the compasse of Europe.

In all other things there is so great equalitie betwéene these two vniuersities, as no man can imagin how to set downe any greater; so that they séeme to be the bodie of one well ordered common wealth, onlie diuided by distance of place, and not in fréendlie consent and orders. In speaking therefore of the one, I can not but describe the other; and in commendation of the first, I can not but extoll the latter; and so much the rather, for that they are both so déere vnto me, as that I can not readilie tell vnto whether of them I owe the most good will. Would to God my knowledge were such, as that neither of them might haue cause to be ashamed of their pupill; or my power so great, that I might woorthilie requite them both for those manifold kindnesses that I haue receiued of them. But to leaue these things, and procéed with other more conuenient for my purpose. The manner to liue in these vniuersities, is not as in some other of forren countries we sée dailie to happen, where the students are inforced for want of such houses, to dwell in common innes, and tauerns, without all order or discipline. But in these our colleges we liue in such exact order, and vnder so precise rules of gouernement, as that the famous learned man Erasmus of Roterodame being here among vs 50 yeres passed, did not let to compare the trades in liuing of students in these two places, euen with the verie rules and orders of the ancient moonks: affirming moreouer in flat words, our orders to be such as not onlie came néere vnto, but rather far exceeded all the monastical institutiōs that euer were deuised.

In most of our colleges there are also great numbers of students, of which manie are found by the reuenues of the houses, and other by the purueiances and helpe of their rich fréends; whereby in some one college you shall haue two hundred scholers, in others an [Page 252] hundred and fiftie, in diuerse a hundred and fortie, and in the rest lesse numbers; as the capacitie of the said houses is able to receiue: so that at this present, of one sort and other, there are about thrée thousand students nourished in them both (as by a late surueie it manifestlie appeared.) They were erected by their founders at the first, onelie for poore mens sons, whose parents were not able to bring them vp vnto learning: but now they haue the least benefit of them, by reason the rich doo so incroch vpon them. And so farre hath this inconuenience spread it selfe, that it is in my time an hard matter for a poore mans child to come by a felowship (though he be neuer so good a scholar & woorthie of that roome.) Such packing also is vsed at elections, that not he which best deserueth, but he that hath most friends, though he be the woorst scholer, is alwaies surest to spéed; which will turne in the end to the ouerthrow of learning. That some gentlemen also, whose friends haue beene in times past benefactors to certeine of those houses, doo intrude into the disposition of their estates, without all respect of order or estatutes deuised by the founders, onelie thereby to place whome they thinke good (and not without some hope of gaine) the case is too too euident: and their attempt would soone take place, if their superiors did not prouide to bridle their indeuors. In some grammar schooles likewise, which send scholars to these vniuersities, it is lamentable to see what briberie is vsed; for yer the scholer can be preferred, such bribage is made, that poore mens children are commonlie shut out, and the richer sort receiued (who in time past thought it dishonor to liue as it were vpon almes) and yet being placed, most of them studie little other than histories, tables, dice, and trifles, as men that make not the liuing by their studie the end of their purposes, which is a lamentable hearing. Beside this, being for the most part either gentlemen, or rich mens sonnes, they oft bring the vniuersities into much slander. For standing vpon their reputation and libertie, they ruffle and roist it out, excéeding in apparell, and banting riotous companie (which draweth them from their bookes vnto an other trade.) And for excuse when they are charged with breach of all good order, thinke it sufficient to saie, that they be gentlemen, which gréeueth manie not a litle. But to proceed with the rest.

[Sidenote: Readers in priuat houses.]

Euerie one of these colleges haue in like maner their professors or readers of the toongs and seuerall sciences, as they call them, which dailie trade vp the youth there abiding priuatlie in their halles, to the end they may be able afterward (when their turne commeth about, which is after twelue termes) to shew themselues abroad, by going from thence into the common schooles and publike disputations (as it were "In aream") there to trie their skilles, and declare how they haue profited since their comming thither.

[Sidenote: Publike readers mainteined by the prince.]

Moreouer, in the publike schooles of both the vniuersities, there are found at the princes charge (and that verie largelie) fine professors and readers, that is to saie, of diuinitie, of the [Sidenote: Studie of the quadriuials and perspectiues neglected.] ciuill law, physicke, the Hebrue, and the Gréeke toongs. And for the other lectures, as of philosophie, logike, rhetorike, and the quadriuials, although the latter (I meane arythmetike, musike, geometrie, and astronomie, and with them all skill in the perspectiues are now smallie regarded in either of them) the vniuersities themselues doo allow competent stipends to such as reade the same, whereby they are sufficientlie prouided for, touching the maintenance of their estates, and no lesse incoraged to be diligent in their functions.

These professors in like sort haue all the rule of disputations and other schoole exercises, which are dailie vsed in common schooles seuerallie assigned to ech of them, and such of their hearers, as by their skill shewed in the said disputations, are thought to haue atteined to anie conuenient ripenesse of knowledge, according to the custome of other vniuersities, although not in like order, are permitted solemnlie to take their deserued degrees of schoole in the same science and facultie wherein they haue spent their trauell. From that time forward also, they vse such difference in apparell as becommeth their callings, tendeth vnto grauitie, and maketh them knowne to be called to some countenance.

[Sidenote: Sophisters.]

The first degree, is that of the generall sophisters, from whence when they haue learned more sufficientlie the rules of logike, rhetorike, and obteined thereto competent skill in [Sidenote: Batchelers of art.] philosophie, and in the mathematicals, they ascend higher vnto the estate of batchelers of [Page 253] art, after foure yeares of their entrance into their sophistrie. From thence also giuing their minds to more perfect knowledge in some or all the other liberall sciences, & the toongs, they [Sidenote: Masters of art.] rise at the last (to wit, after other three or foure yéeres) to be called masters of art, ech of them being at that time reputed for a doctor in his facultie, if he professe but one of the said sciences (beside philosophie) or for his generall 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 diuinitie, law, or, physike; so that being once masters of art, the next degrée if they follow physike, is the doctorship belonging to that profession; and likewise in the studie of the law, if they bend their minds to the knowledge of the same. But if they meane to go forward with diuinitie, this is the order vsed in that profession. First, after they haue necessarilie proceeded masters of art, they preach one sermon to the people in English, and another to the vniuersitie in Latine. They answer all commers also in their owne persons vnto two seuerall questions of diuinitie in the open schooles, at one time, for the space of two hours; and afterward replie twise against some other man vpon a like number, and on two seuerall daies in the same place: which being doone with commendation, he receiueth [Sidenote: Batcheler of diuinitie.] the fourth degree, that is, batcheler of diuinitie, but not before he hath beene master of art by the space of seauen yéeres, according to their statutes.

[Sidenote: Doctor.]

The next and last degree of all is the doctorship after other three yeares, for the which he must once againe performe all such exercises and acts as are afore remembred, and then is he reputed able to gouerne and teach others, & likewise taken for a doctor. I haue read that Iohn of Beuerleie was the first doctor that euer was in Oxford, as Beda was in Cambridge. But I suppose herein that the word doctor is not so strictlie to be taken in this report as it is now vsed, sith euerie teacher is in Latine called by that name, as also such in the primitiue church as kept schooles of catechists, wherein they were trained vp in the rudiments and principles of religion, either before they were admitted vnto baptisme, or anie office in the church.

Thus we sée, that from our entrance into the vniuersitie vnto the last degrée receiued, is commonlie eighteene or peraduenture twentie yéeres, in which time if a student hath not obteined sufficient learning, thereby to serue his owne turne, and benefit his common wealth, let him neuer looke by tarieng longer to come by anie more. For after this time & 40 yéeres of age, the most part of students doo commonlie giue ouer their woonted diligence, & liue like drone bées on the fat of colleges, withholding better wits from the possession of their places, & yet dooing litle good in their own vocation & calling. I could rehearse a number (if I listed) of this sort, aswell in the one vniuersitie as the other. But this shall suffice in sted of a larger report, that long continuance in those places is either a signe of lacke [Sidenote: This Fox builded Corpus Christi college in Oxford.] of friends, or of learning, or of good and vpright life, as bishop Fox sometime noted, who thought it sacrilege for a man to tarrie anie longer at Oxford than he had a desire to profit.

A man may (if he will) begin his studie with the lawe, or physike (of which this giueth wealth, the other honor) so soone as he commeth to the vniuersitie, if his knowledge in the toongs and ripenesse of iudgement serue therefore: which if he doo, then his first degrée is bacheler of law, or physicke, and for the same he must performe such acts in his owne science, as the bachelers or doctors of diuinitie, doo for their parts, the onelie sermons except, which belong not to his calling. Finallie, this will I saie, that the professors of either of those faculties come to such perfection in both vniuersities, as the best students beyond the sea doo in their owne or else where. One thing onlie I mislike in them, and that is their vsuall going into Italie, from whense verie few without speciall grace doo returne good men, whatsoeuer [Sidenote: So much also may be inferred of lawiers.] they pretend of conference or practise, chiefelie the physicians who vnder pretense of séeking of forreine simples doo oftentimes learne the framing of such compositions as were better vnknowen than practised, as I haue heard oft alledged, and therefore it is most true that doctor Turner said; Italie is not to be séene without a guide, that is, without speciall grace giuen from God, bicause of the licentious and corrupt behauiour of the people.

There is moreouer in euerie house a maister or prouost, who hath vnder him a president, [Page 254] & certeine censors or deanes, appointed to looke to the behauior and maners of the students there, whom they punish verie seuerelie if they make anie default, according to the quantitie and qualitie of their trespasses. And these are the vsual names of gouernours in Cambridge. Howbeit in Oxford the heads of houses are now and then called presidents in respect of such bishops as are their visitors & founders. In ech of these also they haue one or moe thresurers whom they call Bursarios or Bursers beside other officers, whose charge is to sée vnto the welfare and maintenance of these houses. Ouer each vniuersitie also there is a seuerall chancelor, whose offices are perpetuall, howbeit their substitutes, whom we call vicechancelors, are changed euerie yeare, as are also the proctors, taskers, maisters of the streates and other officers, for the better maintenance of their policie and estate.

And thus much at this time of our two vniuersities in each of which I haue receiued such degree as they haue vouchsafed rather of their fauour than my desert to yéeld and bestow vpon me, and vnto whose students I wish one thing, the execution whereof cannot be preiudiciall to anie that meaneth well, as I am resolutelie persuaded, and the case now standeth in these our daies. When anie benefice therefore becommeth void, it were good that the patrone did signifie the vacation therof to the bishop, and the bishop the act of the patrone to one of the vniuersities, with request that the vicechancellor with his assistents might prouide some such able man to succeed in the place, as should by their iudgement be méet to take the charge vpon him. Certes if this order were taken then should the church be prouided of good pastors, by whome God should be glorified, the vniuersities better stored, the simoniacall practises of a number of patrons vtterlie abolished and the people better trained to liue in obedience toward God and their prince, which were an happie estate.

[Sidenote: London.]

To these two also we may in like sort ad the third, which is at London (seruing onelie for such as studie the lawes of the realme) where there are sundrie famous houses, of which three are called by the name of Ins of the court, the rest of the chancerie, and all builded before time for the furtherance and commoditie of such as applie their minds to our common lawes. Out of these also come manie scholers of great fame, whereof the most part haue heretofore béene brought vp in one of the aforesaid vniuersities, and prooue such commonlie as in processe of time, rise vp (onelie through their profound skill) to great honor in the common-wealth of England. They haue also degrées of learning among themselues, and rules of discipline, vnder which they liue most ciuilie in their houses, albeit that the yoonger sort of them abroad in the streats are scarse able to be bridled by anie good order at all. Certes this errour was woont also greatlie to reigne in Cambridge and Oxford, betweene the students and the burgesses: but as it is well left in these two places, so in forreine counteies [Sidenote: Grammar schooles.] it cannot yet be suppressed. Besides these vniuersities, also there are great number of Grammer schooles through out the realme, and those verie liberallie indued, for the better reliefe of poore scholers, so that there are not manie corporat townes now vnder the quéenes dominion, that hain not one Gramar schoole at the least, with a sufficient liuing for a maister and vsher appointed to the same.

[Sidenote: Windsor, Winchester, Eaton, Westminster.]

There are in like maner diuerse collegiat churches as Windsor, Wincester, Eaton, Westminster (in which I was sometime an vnprofitable Grammarian vnder the reuerend father master Nowell now deane of Paules) and in those a great number of poore scholers dailie mainteened by the liberalitie of the founders, with meat, bookes, and apparell, from whence after they haue béene well entered in the knowledge of the Latine and Gréeke toongs, and rules of versifieng (the triall whereof is made by certeine apposers yearelie appointed to examine them) they are sent to certeine especiall houses in each vniuersitie, where they are receiued [Sidenote: * [and?]] [*]the trained vp, in the points of higher knowledge in their priuat hals, till they be adiudged meet to shew their faces in the schooles as I haue said alreadie. And thus much haue I thought good to note of our vniuersities, and likewise of colleges in the same, whose names I will also set downe here, with those of their founders, to the end the zeale which they bare vnto learning may appeare, and their remembrance neuer perish from among the wise and learned. [Page 255]

Yeares of the foundations. Colleges. Founders.
1546 1 Trinitie college.King Henrie 8.
1441 2 The kings college.K. Henrie 6. Edward 4. Henrie 7. and Henrie 8.
1511 3 S. Iohns. L. Margaret grandmother to Henrie 8.
1505 4 Christes college.K. Henrie 6. and the ladie Margaret aforesaid.
1446 5 The queenes college.Ladie Margaret wife to king Henrie 6.
1496 6 Iesus college.Iohn Alcocke bishop of Elie.
1342 7 Bennet college.The brethren of a popish guild called Corporis Christi.
1343 8 Pembroke hall.Maria de Valentia, countesse of Pembroke.
1256 9 Peter college.Hugh Balsham bishop of Elie.
10 Gundeuill and
Caius college.
Edmund Gundeuill parson of Terrington, and Iohn Caius doctor of physicke.
135411 Trinitie hall.William Bateman bishop of Norwich.
132612 Clare hall.Richard Badow chancellor of Cambridge.
145913 Catharine hall.Robert Woodlarke doctor of diuinitie.
151914 Magdalen college.Edw. duke of Buckingham, & Thom. lord Awdlie.
158515 Emanuell college.Sir Water Mildmaie, &c.
Yeares. Colleges. Founders.
1539 1 Christes church.King Henrie 8. [Sidenote: He founded also a good part of Eaton college, and a frée schole at Wainflet where he was borne.]
1459 2 Magdalen college.William Wainflet first fellow of Merton college, then scholer at Winchester, and afterward bishop there.
1375 3 New college.William Wickham bishop of Winchester.
1276 4 Merton college.Walter Merton bishop of Rochester.
1437 5 All soules college.Henrie Chicheleie archbishop of Canturburie.
1516 6 Corpus Christi college.Richard Fox bishop of Winchester.
1430 7 Lincolne college.Richard Fleming bishop of Lincolne.
1323 8 Auriell college.Adam Browne almoner to Edward 2.
1340 9 The queenes college.R. Eglesfeld chapleine to Philip queene of England, wife to Edward 3.
126310 Balioll college.Iohn Balioll king of Scotland.
155711 S. Iohns.Sir Thomas White knight.
155612 Trinitie college.Sir Thomas Pope knight.
151613 Excester college.Walter Stapleton bishop of Excester.
151314 Brasen nose.William Smith bishop of Lincolne.
87315 Vniuersitie college.William archdeacon of Duresme.
16 Glocester college.Iohn Gifford who made it a cell for thirteene moonks.
17 S. Marie college.
18 Iesus college now in hand.Hugh ap Rice doctor of the Ciuill law.

[Page 256] There are also in Oxford certeine hostels or hals, which may rightwell be called by the names of colleges, if it were not that there is more libertie in them, than is to be séen in the other. I mine opinion the liuers in these are verie like to those that are of Ins in the chancerie, their names also are these so farre as I now remember.

Hart hall.
Magdalen hall.
Alburne hall.
Postminster hall.
S. Marie hall.
White hall.
New In.
Edmond hall.

The students also that remaine in them, are called hostelers or halliers. Hereof it came of late to passe, that the right reuerend father in God Thomas late archbishop of Canturburie being brought vp in such an house at Cambridge, was of the ignorant sort of Londoners called an hosteler, supposing that he had serued with some inholder in the stable, and therfore in despite diuerse hanged vp bottles of haie at his gate, when he began to preach the gospell, whereas in déed he was a gentleman borne of an ancient house & in the end a faithfull witnesse of Iesus Christ, in whose quarrell he refused not to shed his bloud and yéeld vp his life vnto the furie of his aduersaries.

Besides these there is mention and record of diuerse other hals or hostels, that haue béene there in times past, as Beefe hall, Mutton hall, &c: whose ruines yet appéere: so that if antiquitie be to be iudged by the shew of ancient buildings, which is verie plentifull in Oxford to be séene, it should be an easie matter to conclude that Oxford is the elder vniuersitie. [Sidenote: Erection of colleges in Oxford the ouerthrow of hals.] Therin are also manie dwelling houses of stone yet standing, that haue béene hals for students of verie antike workemanship, beside the old wals of sundrie other, whose plots haue béene conuerted into gardens, since colleges were erected.

In London also the houses of students at the Common law are these.

Sergeants In.
Graies In.
The Temple.
Lincolnes In.
Dauids In.
Staple In.
Furniuals In.
Cliffords In.
Clements In.
Lions In.
Barnards In.
New In.

And thus much in generall of our noble vniuersities, whose lands some gréedie gripers doo gape wide for, and of late haue (as I heare) propounded sundrie reasons, whereby they supposed to haue preuailed in their purposes. But who are those that haue attempted this sute, other than such as either hate learning, pietie, and wisedome; or else haue spent all their owne, and know not otherwise than by incroching vpon other men how to mainteine themselues? When such a motion was made by some vnto king Henrie the eight, he could answer them in this maner; Ah sirha, I perceiue the abbeie lands haue fleshed you and set your téeth on edge, to aske also those colleges. And whereas we had a regard onelie to pull downe sinne by defacing the monasteries, you haue a desire also to ouerthrow all goodnesse by subuersion of colleges. I tell you sirs that I iudge no land in England better bestowed than that which is giuen to our vniuersities, for by their maintenance our realme shall be well gouerned when we be dead and rotten. As you loue your welfares therfore, follow [Sidenote: Now abbeies be gone, our dingthrifts prie after church and college possessions.] no more this veine, but content your selues with that you haue alreadie, or else seeke honest meanes whereby to increase your liuelods, for I loue not learning so ill, that I will impaire the reuenues of anie one house by a penie, whereby it may be vpholden. In king Edwards daies likewise the same was once againe attempted (as I haue heard) but in vaine, for saith the duke of Summerset among other spéeches tending to the end, who also made answer therevnto in the kings presence by his assignation; If lerning decaie, which of wild [Page 257] men maketh ciuill, of blockish and rash persons wise and godlie counsellors, of obstinat rebels obedient subiects, and of euill men good and godlie Christians; what shall we looke for else but barbarisme and tumult? For when the lands of colleges be gone, it shall be hard to saie, whose staffe shall stand next the doore, for then I doubt not but the state of bishops, rich farmers, merchants, and the nobilitie shall be assailed, by such as liue to spend all, and thinke that what so euer another man hath is more meet for them, and to be at their commandement, than for the proper owner that hath sweat and laboured for it. In quéene Maries daies the weather was too warme for anie such course to be taken in hand, but in the time of our gratious quéene Elizabeth I heare that it was after a sort in talke the third time, but without successe as mooued also out of season, and so I hope it shall continue for euer. For what comfort should it be for anie good man to sée his countrie brought into the estate of the old Gothes & Vandals, who made lawes against learning, and would not suffer anie skilfull man to come into their councell house, by meanes whereof those people became sauage, tyrants, and mercilesse helhounds, till they restored learning againe, and thereby fell to ciuilitie.



In reding of ancient writers, as Cæsar, Tacitus, and others, we find mention of sundrie regions to haue béene sometime in this Iland, as the Nouantæ, Selgouæ, Dannonij, Gadeni, Oradeni, Epdij, Cerones, Carnonacæ, Careni, Cornabij, Caledonij, Decantæ, Logi, Mertæ, Vacomagi, Venicontes, Texali or Polij, Denani, Elgoui, Brigantes Parisi, Ordouici aliàs Ordoluci, Cornauij, Coritani, Catieuchlani, Simeni, Trinouantes, Demetæ, Cangi, Silures, Dobuni, Atterbatij, Cantij, Regni, Belgæ, Durotriges, Dumnonij, Giruij, Murotriges, Seueriani, Iceni, Tegenes, Casij, Cænimagni, Segontiaci, Ancalites, Bibroci, and Kentishmen, and such like. But sith the seuerall places where most of them laie, are not yet verie perfectlie knowne vnto the learned of these daies, I doo not meane to pronounce my iudgement vpon such doubtfull cases, least that in so dooing I should but increase coniectures, and leading peraduenture the reader from the more probable, intangle his mind in the end with such as are of lesse value, and things nothing so likelie to be true, as those which other men haue remembred and set downe before me. Neither will I speake oughts of the Romane partitions, & limits of their legions, whose number and place of abode, except of the Victorian and Augustane, is to me vtterlie vnknowne.

[Sidenote: Alfred brought England into shires, which the Britons diuided by cantreds, and the first Saxons by families.]

It shall suffice therfore to begin with such a ground as from whence some better certeintie of things may be deriued, and that is with the estate of our Iland in the time of Alfred, who first diuided England into shires, which before his daies, and since the comming of the Saxons, was limited out by families and hidelands, as the Britons did the same in their time, by hundreds of townes, which then were called cantreds; as old records doo witnesse.

Into how manie shires the said Alfred did first make this partition of the Iland, it is not yet found out; howbeit if my coniecture be anie thing at all, I suppose that he left not vnder eight and thirtie, sith we find by no good author, that aboue fifteene haue beene added by anie of his successours, since the time of his decease. This prince therefore hauing made [Sidenote: Shire and share all one.] the generall partition of his kingdome into shires, or shares, he diuided againe the same into lathes, as lathes into hundreds, and hundreds into tithings, or denaries, as diuers haue written; and maister Lambert following their authorities, hath also giuen out, saieng almost after this maner in his description of Kent; "The Danes (saith he) both before, & in the time of king Alfred, had flocked by the sea coasts of this Iland in great numbers, sometimes wasting and spoiling with sword and fire, wheresoeuer they might arriue, and somtime taking [Page 258] great booties with them to their ships, without dooing anie further hurt or damage to the [Sidenote: Englishmen noisome to their owne countrie.] countrie. This inconuenience continuing for manie yéeres togither, caused our husbandmen to abandon their tillage, and gaue occasion and hardinesse to euill disposed persons, to fall to the like pillage, as practising to follow the Danes in these their thefts and robberies. And the better to cloake their mischeefe withall, they feigned themselues to be Danish pirats, and would sometime come a land in one port, and sometime in another, driuing dailie great spoiles (as the Danes had doone) vnto their ships before them. The good king Alfred therefore (who had maruellouslie trauelled in repelling the barbarous Danes) espieng this outrage, and thinking it no lesse the part of a politike prince, to root out the noisome subiect, than to hold out the forren aduersarie: by the aduise of his nobilitie, and the example of Moses (who followed the counsell of Iethro his father in law to the like effect) diuided the whole realme into certeine parts or sections, which (of the Saxon word Schyran, signifieng to cut) he termed shires, or as we yet speake, shares, or portions, of which some one hath fortie miles in length (as Essex) and almost so manie broad, Hereford foure & twentie in length, and twentie in breadth, and Warwike six and thirtie in length, &c: and some of them also conteine ten, twelue, thirteene, sixtéene, twentie, or thirtie hundreds, more or lesse, as some hundreds doo sixteene, twentie, thirtie, fortie, fiftie or sixtie townes, out of which the king was alwaies to receiue an hundred able men to serue him in the warres, or a hundred [Sidenote: Earle and alderman.] men able to be pledges, and ouer each of the portions he appointed either an earle or alderman, or both, to whome he committed the gouernement of the same. These shires also he brake into lesser parts, whereof some were called lathes, of the word Gelathian, which is to assemble togither; other hundreds, for that they enioied iurisdiction ouer an hundred pledges; and other tithings, bicause there were in each of them to the number of ten persons, whereof euerie one from time to time was suertie for others good abearing. He prouided also that euerie man should procure himselfe to be receiued into some tithing, to the end, that if anie were found of so small and base a credit, that no man would become pledge or suertie for him, he should forthwith be committed to prison, least otherwise he might happen to doo more harme abroad. Hitherto master Lambert." By whose words we may gather verie much of the state of this Iland in the time of Alfred, whose institution continued after a sort vntill the comming of the Normans, who changed the gouernement of the realme in such wise (by bringing in of new officers and offices, after the maner of their countries) that verie little of the old regiment remained more than the bare names of some officers (except peraduenture in Kent) so that in these daies it is hard to set downe anie great certeintie of things as they stood in Alfreds time, more than is remembred and touched at this present.

[Sidenote: What a lath is.]

Some as it were roming or rouing at the name Lath, doo sale that it is deriued of a barne, which is called in old English a lath, as they coniecture. From which spéech in like sort some deriue the word Laistow, as if it should be trulie written Lath stow, a place wherein to laie vp or laie on things, of whatsoeuer condition. But hereof as yet I cannot absolutelie be satisfied, although peraduenture some likelihood in their iudgements may séeme to be therein. Other vpon some further consideration affirme that they were certeine circuits in euerie countie or shire conteining an appointed number of townes, whose inhabitants alwaies assembled to know and vnderstand of matters touching their portions, in to some one appointed place or other within their limits, especiallie whilest the causes were such as required not the aid or assistance of the whole countie. Of these lathes also (as they saie) some shires had more, [Sidenote: Léetes.] some lesse, as they were of greatnesse. And M. Lambert séemeth to be of the opinion, that the leets of our time wherein these pledges be yet called Franci plegij of the word Free burgh) doo yeeld some shadow of that politike institution of Alfred. But sith my skill is so small in these cases that I dare not iudge anie thing at all as of mine owne knowledge, I will not set downe anie thing more than I read, least I should roue at randon in our obscure antiquities, and reading no more of lathes my next talke shall be of hundreds.

[Sidenote: Hundred or wapentake.]

The hundred and the wapentake is all one, as I read in some, and by this diuision not a [Page 259] name appertinent to a set number of townes (for then all hundreds should be of equall quantitie) but a limited iurisdiction, within the compasse whereof were an hundred persons called [Sidenote: Denarie or tithing.] pledges (as I said) or ten denaries, or tithings of men, of which ech one was bound for others good abering, and laudable behauiour in the common-wealth of the realme. The chiefe man likewise of euerie denarie or tithing was in those daies called a tithing man, in [Sidenote: Tithing man in Latine Decurio.] [Sidenote: Borsholder.] Latine Decurio, but now in most places a borsholder or burgholder, as in Kent; where [Sidenote: Burrow.] euerie tithing is moreouer named a burgh or burrow, although that in the West countrie he be still called a tithing man, and his circuit a tithing, as I haue heard at large. I read furthermore (and it is partlie afore noted) that the said Alfred caused ech man of frée condition (for the better maintenance of his peace) to be ascribed into some hundred by placing himselfe in one denarie or other, where he might alwais haue such as should sweare or saie vpon their certeine knowledge for his honest behauiour and ciuill conuersation if it should happen at anie time, that his credit should come in question. In like sort I gather out of Leland and other, that if anie small matter did fall out worthie to be discussed, the tithing man or borsholder (now officers, at the commandement of the high constable of which euerie hundred hath one at the least) should decide the same in their léetes, whereas the great causes were referred to the hundreds, the greater to the lathes, and the greatest of all to the shire daies, where the earles or aldermen did set themselues, & make finall ends of the same, [Sidenote: Twelue men.] according vnto iustice. For this purpose likewise in euerie hundred were twelue men chosen of good age and wisedome, and those sworne to giue their sentences without respect of person, and in this maner (as they gather) were things handeled in those daies. Which waie the word wapentake came in vse, as yet I cannot tell; howbeit the signification of the same declareth (as I conceiue) that at the chiefe towne the soldiers which were to serue in that hundred did méet, fetch their weapons, & go togither from thence to the field, or place of seruice by an ordinarie custome, then generallie knowen amongst them. It is supposed also that the word Rape commeth a Rapiendo, as it were of catching and snatching, bicause the tenants of the hundred or wapentakes met vpon one or sundrie daies & made quicke dispatch of their lords haruest at once and in great hast. But whether it be a true imagination or not as yet I am vncerteine, and therefore it lieth not in me to determine anie thing thereof: wherefore it shall suffice to haue touched them in this maner.

[Sidenote: Fortie shires in England, thirtéene in Wales.]

In my time there are found to be in England fourtie shires, and likewise thirtéene in Wales, and these latter erected of late yeares by king Henrie the eight, who made the Britons or Welshmen equall in all respects vnto the English, and brought to passe that both nations should indifferentlie be gouerned by one law, which in times past were ordred by diuerse, and those far discrepant and disagreing one from another: as by the seuerall view of the same is yet easie to be discerned. The names of the shires in England are these, whereof the first ten lie betwéene the British sea and the Thames, as Polydor also dooth set them downe.


There are moreouer on the northside of the Thames, and betwéene the same and the riuer Trent, which passeth through the middest of England (as Polydor saith) sixtéene other shires, whereof six lie toward the east, the rest toward the west, more into the middest of the countrie.

Essex, somtime all forrest saue one hundred.
Cambrigeshire in which are 12 hundreds.
Huntingdon wherin are foure hundreds.
[Page 260]

We haue six also that haue their place westward towards Wales, whose names insue.


And these are the thirtie two shires which lie by south of the Trent. Beyond the same riuer we haue in like sort other eight, as

Richemond, wherein are fiue wapentaxes, & when it accompted as parcell of Yorkeshire (out of which it is taken) then is it reputed for the whole Riding.

So that in the portion sometime called Lhoegres, there are now fortie shires. In Wales furthermore are thirtéene, whereof seuen are in Southwales:

Cardigan, or Cereticon.
Penmoroke, or Penbrooke.
Caermardine, wherein are 9 hundreds or commots.

In Northwales likewise are six, that is to saie


Which being added to those of England yéeld fiftie and thrée shires or counties, so that vnder the quéenes Maiestie are so manie counties, whereby it is easilie discerned, that hir power farre excéedeth that of Offa, who of old time was highlie honored for that he had so much of Britaine vnder his subiection as afterward conteined thirtie nine shires, when the diuision was made, whereof I spake before.

[Sidenote: Old parcels of shires.]

This is moreouer to be noted in our diuision of shires, that they be not alwaies counted or laid togither in one parcell, whereof I haue great maruell. But sith the occasion hath growen (as I take it) either by priuilege or some like occasion, it is better briefelie to set downe how some of these parts lie than to spend the time in séeking a iust cause of this their od diuision. First therefore I note that in the part of Buckinghamshire betweene Amondesham, and Beconsfield, there is a peece of Hartfordshire to be found, inuironed round about with the countie of Buckingham, and yet this patch is not aboue three miles in length and two in breadth at the verie most. In Barkeshire also betwéene Ruscombe and Okingham is a péece of Wilshire, one mile in breadth and foure miles in length, whereof one side lieth on the Loden riuer. In the borders of Northamptonshire directlie ouer against Luffeld a towne in Buckinghamshire, I find a parcell of Oxfordshire not passing two miles in compasse.

With Oxfordshire diuerse doo participate, in so much that a péece of Glocestershire, lieth halfe in Warwikeshire & halfe in Oxfordshire, not verie far from Horneton. Such another patch is there, of Glocestershire not far from long Compton, but lieng in Oxford countie: & a péece of Worcestershire, directlie betwéene it & Glocestershire. Glocester hath the third péece vpon the north side of the Winrush neere Falbrocke, as Barkeshire hath one parcell also vpon the selfe side of the same water, in the verie edge of Glocestershire: likewise an other in Oxfordshire, not verie farre from Burford: and the third ouer against Lach [Page 261] lade, which is parted from the main countie of Barkeshire, by a little strake of Oxfordshire. Who would thinke that two fragments of Wilshire were to be seene in Barkeshire vpon the Loden, and the riuer that falleth into it: whereof and the like sith there are verie manie, I thinke good to giue this briefe admonition. For although I haue not presentlie gone thorough with them all, yet these may suffice to giue notice of this thing, wherof most readers (as I persuade my selfe) are ignorant.

[Sidenote: Lieutenants.]

But to procéed with our purpose. Ouer ech of these shires in time of necessitie is a seuerall lieutenant chosen vnder the prince, who being a noble man of calling, hath almost regall authoritie ouer the same for the time being in manie cases which doo concerne his office: [Sidenote: Shiriffes.] otherwise it is gouerned by a shiriffe (a word deriued of Schire and Greue, and pronounced as Shire and Reue) whose office is to gather vp and bring his accounts into the excheker, of the profits of his countie receiued, whereof he is or may be called Quæstor comitatus or Prouinciæ. This officer is resident and dwelling somewhere within the same countie, and called also a viscount, Quasi vicarius comitis or Procomes, in respect of the earle (or as they called him in time past the alderman) that beareth his name of the countie, although it be seldome séene in England, that the earle hath anie great store of possessions, or oughts to doo in the shire whereof he taketh his name, more than is allowed to him, through his personall resiance, if he happen to dwell and be resident in the same.

In the election also of these magistrates, diuerse able persons aswell for wealth as wisedome are named by the commons, at a time and place appointed for their choise, whose names being deliuered to the prince, he foorthwith pricketh some such one of them, as he pleaseth to assigne vnto that office, to whome he committeth the charge of the countie, and who herevpon is shiriffe of that shire for one whole yeare, or vntill a new be chosen. [Sidenote: Vndershiriffes.] The shiriffe also hath his vnder shiriffe that ruleth & holdeth the shire courts and law daies vnder him, vpon sufficient caution vnto the high shiriffe for his true execution of iustice, preseruation from impeachment, and yéelding of accompt when he shall be therevnto called. There [Sidenote: Bailiffes.] are likewise vnder him certeine bailiffes, whose office is to serue and returne such writs and processes as are directed vnto them from the high shiriffe: to make seisure of the goods and cattels, and arrest the bodies of such as doo offend, presenting either their persons vnto him, or at the leastwise taking sufficient bond, or other assurance of them for their dutifull appearance at an appointed time, when the shiriffe by order of law ought to present them [Sidenote: High constables.] to the iudges according to his charge. In euerie hundred also are one or more high constables according to the quantitie thereof, who receiuing the writs and iniunctions from the high shiriffe vnder his seale, or from anie other officers of the prince, either for the prouision of vittels or for other causes, or priuat purueiance of cates for the maintenance of the [Sidenote: Petie constables.] roiall familie, doo forthwith charge the petie constables of euerie towne within their limits, with the execution of the same.

In each countie likewise are sundrie law daies holden at their appointed seasons, of which [Sidenote: Motelagh.] some retaine the old Saxon name, and are called Motelagh, of the word motes and law. [Sidenote: Shiriffes turnes.] They haue also an other called the shiriffes turne, which they hold twise in their times, in euerie hundred, according to the old order appointed by king Edgar (as king Edward reduced the folkmote ordeined by king Arthur to be held yearelie on the first of Maie, vntill the first of euerie moneth) and in these two latter such small matters as oft arise amongst the inferior sort of people, are heard and well determined. They haue finallie their quarter sessions, wherein they are assisted by the iustices and gentlemen of the countrie, & twise in [Sidenote: Gaile deliuerie or great assises.] the yeare gaile deliuerie, at which time the iudges ride about in their circuits, into euerie seuerall countie (where the nobilitie and gentlemen with, the iustices there resiant associat them) & minister the lawes of the realme, with great solemnitie & iustice. Howbeit in dooing of these things, they reteine still the old order of the land in vse before the conquest. For they commit the full examination of all causes there to be heard, to the consideration of twelue sober, graue, and wise men, chosen out of the same countie; and foure of them of necessitie out of the hundred where the action lieth, or the defendant inhabiteth [Page 262] [Sidenote: Inquests.] (which number they call an inquest) & of these inquests there are more or lesse impanneled at euerie assise, as the number of cases there to be handled dooth craue and require, albeit that some one inquest hath often diuerse matters to consider of. And when they haue (to their vttermost power) consulted and debated of such things as they are charged withall, they returne againe to the place of iustice, with their verdict in writing, according wherevnto the iudge dooth pronounce his sentence, be it for life or death, or anie other matter what soeuer is brought before him. It is also verie often séene, that such as are nominated to be of these inquests, doo after their charge receiued seldome or neuer eat or drinke, vntill they haue agréed upon their verdict, and yeelded it vp vnto the iudge of whome they receiued the charge; by meanes whereof sometimes it commeth to passe that diuerse of the inquest haue béene welneere famished, or at least taken such a sickenesse thereby, as they haue hardlie auoided. And this commeth by practise, when the one side feareth the sequele, and therefore conueieth some one or more into the iurie, that will in his behalfe neuer yéeld vnto the rest, but of set purpose put them to this trouble.

Certes it is a common practise (if the vnder shiriffe be not the better man) for the craftier or stronger side to procure and packe such a quest, as he himselfe shall like of, whereby he is sure of the issue before the charge be giuen: and beside this if the matter doo iustlie procéed against him, it is a world to sée now and then how the honest yeomen that haue [Sidenote: Atteinct.] Bona fide discharged their consciences shall be sued of an atteinct, & bound to appéere at the Starre chamber, with what rigor they shall be caried from place to place, countie to countie, yea and sometime in carts, which hath and dooth cause a great number of them to absteine from the assises, & yeeld to paie their issues, rather than they would for their good meaning be thus disturbed & dealt withall. Sometimes also they bribe the bailiffes to be kept at home, whervpon poore men, not hauing in their pursses wherewith to beare their costes, are impanelled vpon iuries, who verie often haue neither reason nor iudgement to performe the charge they come for. Neither was this kind of seruice at anie time halfe so painefull as at this present: for vntill of late yeares (that the number of lawiers and atturneies hath so exceedinglie increased, that some shifts must néeds be found and matters sought out, whereby they may be set on worke) a man should not haue heard at one assise of more than two or thrée Nisi priùs, but verie seldome of an atteinct, wheras now an hundred & more of the first and one or two of the later are verie often perceiued, and some of them for a cause arising of sixpence or tweluepence. Which declareth that men are growen to be farre more contentious than they haue béene in time past, and readier to reuenge their quarels of small importance, whereof the lawiers complaine not. But to my purpose, from whence I haue now digressed.

Beside these officers afore mentioned, there are sundrie other in euerie countie, as crowners, whose dutie is to inquire of such as come to their death by violence, to attach & present the plées of the crowne, to make inquirie of treasure found, &c. There are diuerse also of [Sidenote: Iustices of peax & quorum.] the best learned of the law, beside sundrie gentlemen, where the number of lawiers will not suffice (and whose reuenues doo amount to aboue twentie pounds by the yeare) appointed by especiall commission from the prince, to looke vnto the good gouernement of hir subiects, in the counties where they dwell. And of these the least skilfull in the law are of the peace, the other both of the peace and quorum, otherwise called of Oier and Determiner, so that the first haue authoritie onelie to heare, the other to heare and determine such matters as are brought vnto their presence. These also doo direct their warrants to the kéepers of the gailes within their limitations, for the safe kéeping of such offendors as they shall iudge worthie to commit vnto their custodie there to be kept vnder ward, vntill the great assises, to the end their causes may be further examined before the residue of the countie, & these officers were first deuised about the eightéene yeare of Edward the third, as I haue béene informed.

[Sidenote: Quarter sessions.]

They méeting also & togither with the shiriffes, doo hold their aforesaid sessions at foure times in the yeare, whereof they are called quarter sessions, and herein they inquire of sundrie [Page 263] trespasses, and the common annoiances of the kings liege people, and diuerse other [Sidenote: Petie sessions.] things, determining vpon them as iustice dooth require. There are also a third kind of sessions holden by the high constables and bailiffes afore mentioned, called petie sessions, wherein the weights and measures are perused by the clarke of the market for the countie, who sitteth with them. At these méetings also vittellers, and in like sort seruants, labourers, roges and runnagates, are often reformed for their excesses, although the burning of vagabounds through their eare be referred to the quarter sessions or higher courts of assise, where they are iudged either to death, if they be taken the third time, & haue not since their second apprehension applied themselues to labour, or else to be set perpetuallie to worke in an house erected in euerie shire for that purpose, of which punishment they stand in greatest feare.

I might here deliuer a discourse of sundrie rare customes and courts, surnamed barons, yet mainteined and holden in England: but forsomuch as some of the first are beastlie, and therefore by the lords of the soiles now liuing conuerted into monie, being for the most part deuised in the beginning either by malicious or licentious women, in méere contempt and slauish abuse of their tenants, vnder pretense of some punishment due for their excesses, I passe ouer to bring them vnto light, as also the remembrance of sundrie courts baron likewise holden in strange maner; yet none more absurd and far from law than are kept yearlie at Kings hill in Rochford, and therfore may well be called a lawlesse court, as most are that were deuised vpon such occasions. This court is kept vpon wednesdaie insuing after Michaelmasse daie after midnight, so that it is begun and ended before the rising of the sunne. When the tenants also are altogither in an alehouse, the steward secretlie stealeth from them with a lanterne vnder his cloke, and goeth to the Kings hill, where sitting on a mole-hill he calleth them with a verie soft voice, writing their appéerance vpon a péece of paper with a cole, hauing none other light than that which is inclosed in the lanterne: so soone as the tenants also doo misse the steward, they runne to the hill with all their might, and there answer all at once, Here here, wherby they escape their amercements: which they should not doo if he could haue called ouer his bill of names before they had missed him in the alehouse. And this is the verie forme of the court deuised at the first (as the voice goeth) vpon a rebellion made by the tenants of the honour of Raibie against their lord, in perpetuall memorie of their disobedience shewed. I could beside this speake also of some other, but sith one hath taken vpon him to collect a number of them into a particular treatise, I thinke it sufficient for me to haue said so much of both.

And thus much haue I thought good to set downe generallie of the said counties and their maner of gouernance, although not in so perfect order as the cause requireth, bicause that of all the rest there is nothing wherewith I am lesse acquainted than with our temporall regiment, which (to saie truth) smallie concerneth my calling. What else is to be added after the seuerall shires of England with their ancient limits (as they agreed with the diuision of the land in the time of Ptolomie and the Romans) and commodities yet extant, I reserue vnto that excellent treatise of my fréend W. Cambden, who hath trauelled therein verie farre, & whose worke written in Latine shall in short time (I hope) be published, to the no small benefit of such as will read and peruse the same.



We in England diuide our people commonlie into foure sorts, as gentlemen, citizens or burgesses, yeomen, which are artificers, or laborers. Of gentlemen the first and chéefe (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 vsage of speech is) lords and [Page 264] noblemen: and next vnto them be knights, esquiers, and last of all they that are simplie called gentlemen; so that in effect our gentlemen are diuided into their conditions, wherof in this chapiter I will make particular rehearsall.

[Sidenote: Prince.]

The title of prince dooth peculiarlie belong with vs to the kings eldest sonne, who is called prince of Wales, and is the heire apparant to the crowne; as in France the kings eldest sonne hath the title of Dolphine, and is named peculiarlie Monsieur. So that the prince is so termed of the Latine word Princeps, sith he is (as I may call him) the cheefe or principall next the king. The kings yoonger sonnes be but gentlemen by birth (till they haue receiued creation or donation from their father of higher estate, as to be either visconts, earles, or dukes) and called after their names, as lord Henrie, or lord Edward, with the addition of the word Grace, properlie assigned to the king and prince, and now also by custome conueied to dukes, archbishops, and (as some saie) to marquesses and their wiues.

[Sidenote: Duke.]

The title of duke commeth also of the Latine word Dux, à ducendo, bicause of his valor and power ouer the armie: in times past a name of office due to the emperour, consull, or chéefe gouernour of the whole armie in the Romane warres: but now a name of honor, although perished in England, whose ground will not long beare one duke at once; but if there were manie as in time past, or as there be now earles, I doo not thinke but that they would florish and prosper well inough.

[Sidenote: Marquesse.]

In old time he onelie was called marquesse, Qui habuit terram limitaneam, a marching prouince vpon the enimies countries, and thereby bound to kéepe and defend the frontiers. But that also is changed in common vse, and reputed for a name of great honor next vnto the duke, euen ouer counties, and sometimes small cities, as the prince is pleased to bestow it.

[Sidenote: Earle.]

The name of earle likewise was among the Romans a name of office, who had Comites sacri palatij, comites ærarij, comites stabuli, comites patrimonij, largitionum, scholarum, commerciorum, and such like. But at the first they were called Comites, which were ioined in commission with the proconsull, legate, or iudges for counsell and aids sake in each of those seuerall charges. As Cicero epistola ad Quintum fratrem remembreth, where he saith; "Atque inter hos quos tibi comites, & adiutores, negotiorum publicorum dedit ipsa respublica duntaxat finibus his præstabis, quos ante præscripsi, &c." After this I read also that euerie president in his charge was called Comes, but our English Saxons vsed the word Hertoch and earle for Comes, and indifferentlie as I gesse, sith the name of duke was not in vse before the conquest. Goropius saith, that Comes and Graue is all one, to wit the viscont, [Sidenote: Viscount.] called either Procomes, or Vicecomes: and in time past gouerned in the countie vnder the earle, but now without anie such seruice or office, it is also become a name of dignitie next after the earle, and in degrée before the baron. His reléefe also by the great charter is one hundred pounds, as that of a baronie a hundred marks, and of a knight fiue at the most for euerie fée.

[Sidenote: Baron.]

The baron, whose degrée answered to the dignitie of a senator in Rome, is such a frée lord as hath a lordship or baronie, whereof he beareth his name, & hath diuerse knights or fréeholders holding of him, who with him did serue the king in his wars, and held their tenures in Baronia, that is, for performance of such seruice. These Bracton (a learned writer of the lawes of England in king Henrie the thirds time) tearmeth Barones, quasi robur belli. The word Baro indéed is older than that it may easilie be found from whence it came: for euen in the oldest histories both of the Germans and Frenchmen, written since the conquest, we read of barons, and those are at this daie called among the Germans Liberi vel Ingenui, or Freihers in the Germane toong as some men doo coniecture, or (as one saith) the citizens and burgesses of good townes and cities were called Barones. Neuerthelesse by diligent inquisition it is imagined, if not absolutelie found, that the word Baro and Filius in the old Scithian or Germane language are all one; so that the kings children are properlie called Barones, from whome also it was first translated to their kindred, and then to the nobilitie and officers of greatest honour indifferentlie. That Baro and Filius signifieth one thing, it yet [Page 265] remaineth to be séene, although with some corruption: for to this daie, euen the common sort doo call their male children barnes here in England, especiallie in the north countrie, where that word is yet accustomablie in vse. And it is also growne into a prouerbe in the south, when anie man susteineth a great hinderance, to saie, I am beggered and all my barnes. In the Hebrue toong (as some affirme) it signifieth Filij solis, and what are the nobilitie in euerie kingdome but Filij or serui regum? But this is farre fetched, wherefore I conclude, that from hensefoorth the originall of the word Baro shall not be anie more to seeke: and the first time that euer I red thereof in anie English historie, is in the reigne of Canutus, who called his nobilitie and head officers to a councell holden at Cirnecester, by that name, 1030, as I haue else-where remembred. Howbeit the word Baro dooth not alwaies signifie or is attributed to a noble man by birth or creation, for now and then it is a title giuen vnto one or other with his office, as the chéefe or high tribune of the excheker is of custome called lord chéefe baron, who is as it were the great or principall receiuer of accounts next vnto the lord treasuror, as they are vnder him are called Tribuni ærarij, & rationales. Hervnto I may ad so much of the word lord, which is an addition going not seldome and in like sort with sundrie offices, and to continue so long as he or they doo execute the same, and no longer.

[Sidenote: Bishops.]

Vnto this place I also referre our bishops, who are accounted honourable, called lords, and hold the same roome in the parlement house with the barons, albeit for honour sake the right hand of the prince is giuen vnto them, and whose countenances in time past were much more glorious than at this present it is, bicause those lustie prelats sought after earthlie estimation and authoritie with farre more diligence than after the lost shéepe of Christ, of which they had small regard, as men being otherwise occupied and void of leisure to attend vpon the same. Howbeit in these daies their estate remaineth no lesse reuerend than before, and the more vertuous they are that be of this calling, the better are they estéemed with high and low. They reteine also the ancient name (lord) still, although it be not a little impugned by such as loue either to heare of change of all things, or can abide no superiours. [Sidenote: 1. Sam b 15. 1. Reg. a 7.] For notwithstanding it be true, that in respect of function, the office of the eldership is equallie distributed betwéene the bishop and the minister, yet for ciuill gouernements sake, the first haue more authoritie giuen vnto them by kings and princes, to the end that the rest maie thereby be with more ease reteined within a limited compasse of vniformitie, than otherwise they would be, if ech one were suffered to walke in his owne course. This also is more to be maruelled at, that verie manie call for an alteration of their estate, crieng to haue the word lord abolished, their ciuill authoritie taken from them, and the present condition of the church in other things reformed; whereas to saie trulie, few of them doo agrée vpon forme of discipline and gouernement of the church succedent: wherein they resemble the Capuans, of whome Liuie dooth speake in the slaughter of their senat. Neither is it possible to frame a whole monarchie after the patterne of one towne or citie, or to stirre vp such an exquisite face of the church as we imagine or desire, sith our corruption is such that it will neuer yéeld to so great perfection: for that which is not able to be performed in a priuat house, will much lesse be brought to passe in a common-wealth and kingdome, before such a prince be found as Xenophon describeth, or such an orator as Tullie hath deuised. But whither am I digressed from my discourse of bishops, whose estates doo daily decaie, & suffer some diminution? Herein neuerthelesse their case is growne to be much better than before, for whereas in times past the cleargie men were feared bicause of their authoritie and seuere gouernment vnder the prince, now are they beloued generallie for their painefull diligence dailie shewed in their functions and callings, except peraduenture of some hungrie wombes, that couet to plucke & snatch at the loose ends of their best commodities; with whom it is (as the report goeth) a common guise, when a man is to be preferred to an ecclesiasticall liuing, what part thereof he will first forgo and part with to their vse. Finallie, how it standeth with the rest of the clergie for their places of estate, I neither can tell nor greatlie care to know. Neuerthelesse with what degrées of honour and worship they haue béene [Page 266] [Sidenote: De Asia, cap. 12.] matched in times past Iohannes Bohemus in his De omnium gentium moribus, and others doo expresse; and this also found beside their reports, that in time past euerie bishop, abbat, and pelting prior were placed before the earles and barons in most statutes, charters, and records made by the prince, as maie also appeare in the great charter, and sundrie yeares of Henrie the third, wherein no duke was heard of. But as a number of their odious comparisons and ambitious titles are now decaied and worthilie shroonke in the wetting, so giuing ouer in these daies to mainteine such pompous vanitie, they doo thinke it sufficient for them to preach the word, & hold their liuings to their sées (so long as they shall be able) from the hands of such as indeuour for their owne preferrement to fléece and diminish the same. This furthermore will I adde generallie in commendation of the cleargie of England, that they are for their knowlege reputed in France, Portingale, Spaine, Germanie and Polonia, to be the most learned diuines, although they like not anie thing at all of their religion: and thereto they are in deed so skilfull in the two principall toongs, that it is accounted a maime [Sidenote: No Gréeke, no grace.] in anie one of them, not to be exactlie seene in the Greeke and Hebrue, much more then to be vtterlie ignorant or nothing conuersant in them. As for the Latine toong it is not wanting in anie of the ministerie, especiallie in such as haue beene made within this twelue or fourtéene yeares, whereas before there was small choise, and manie cures were left vnserued, bicause they had none at all. And to saie truth, our aduersaries were the onelie causers [Sidenote: Bene con, bene can, bene le.] hereof. For whilest they made no further accompt of their priesthood, than to construe, sing, read their seruice and their portesse, it came to passe that vpon examination had, few made in quéene Maries daies, and the later end of king Henrie, were able to doo anie more, and verie hardlie so much, so void were they of further skill, and so vnapt to serue at all.

[Sidenote: Duke, marquesse, earle, viscont.]

Dukes, marquesses, earles, visconts, and barons, either be created of the prince, or come to that honor by being the eldest sonnes or highest in succession to their parents. For the eldest sonne of a duke during his fathers life is an erle, the eldest sonne of an erle is a baron, or sometimes a viscont, according as the creation is. The creation I call the originall donation and condition of the honour giuen by the prince for good seruice doone by the first ancestor, with some aduancement, which with the title of that honour is alwaies giuen to him and his heires males onelie. The rest of the sonnes of the nobilitie by the rigor of the law be but esquiers: yet in common spéech all dukes and marquesses sonnes, and earles eldest sonnes be called lords, the which name commonlie dooth agrée to none of lower degrée than barons, yet by law and vse these be not esteemed barons.

[Sidenote: Barons.]

The baronie or degrée of lords dooth answer to the degree of senators of Rome (as I said) and the title of nobilitie (as we vse to call it in England) to the Romane Patricij. Also in England no man is commonlie created baron, except he maie dispend of yearelie reuenues a thousand pounds, or so much as maie fullie mainteine & beare out his countenance and port. But visconts, erles, marquesses, and dukes exceed them according to the proportion of their degrée & honour. But though by chance he or his sonne haue lesse, yet he kéepeth this degree: but if the decaie be excessiue and not able to mainteine the honour, as Senatores Romani were amoti à senatu: so sometimes they are not admitted to the vpper house in the parlement although they keepe the name of lord still, which can not be taken from them vpon anie such occasion. The most of these names haue descended from the French inuention, in whose histories we shall read of them eight hundred yeares passed.

[Sidenote: Of the second degrée of gentlemen.]

This also is worthie the remembrance, that Otto the first emperour of that name, indeuouring to restore the decaied estate of Italie vnto some part of hir pristinate magnificence, did after the French example giue Dignitates & prædia to such knights and souldiers as had serued him in the warres, whom he also adorned with the names of dukes, marquesses, earles, valuasors or capteins, and valuasines.

[Sidenote: Prædia.]

His Prædia in like maner were tributes, tolles, portage, bankage, stackage, coinage, profits by saltpits, milles, water-courses (and whatsoeuer emoluments grew by them) & such like. But at that present I read not that the word Baro was brought into those parts. And as for the valuasors, it was a denomination applied vnto all degrées of honor vnder the first [Page 267] three (which are properlie named the kings capteins) so that they are called Maiores, minores, & minimi valuasores. This also is to be noted, that the word capteine hath two relations, either as the possessor therof hath it from the prince, or from some duke, marquesse, or [Sidenote: Valuasores.] earle, for each had capteins vnder them. If from the prince, then are they called Maiores valuasores, if from anie of his thrée péeres, then were they Minores valuasores: but if anie of these Valuasors doo substitute a deputie, those are called Minimi valuasores, and their deputies also Valuasini, without regard vnto which degrée the valuasor dooth apperteine: but the word Valuasor is now growne out of vse, wherefore it sufficeth to haue said thus much of that function.

[Sidenote: Knights.]

Knights be not borne, neither is anie man a knight by succession, no not the king or prince: but they are made either before the battell, to incourage them the more to aduenture & trie their manhood: or after the battell ended, as an aduancement for their courage and [Sidenote: Milites.] prowesse alreadie shewed (& then are they called Milites;) or out of the warres for some great seruice doone, or for the singular vertues which doo appeare in them, and then are they named Equites aurati, as common custome intendeth. They are made either by the king himselfe, or by his commission and roiall authoritie giuen for the same purpose: or by his lieutenant in the warres. This order seemeth to answer in part to that which the Romans [Sidenote: Equites aurati.] called Equitum Romanorum. For as Equites Romani were chosen Ex censu, that is, according to their substance and riches; so be knights in England most commonlie according to their yearelie reuenues or aboundance of riches, wherewith to mainteine their estates. Yet all that had Equestrem censum, were not chosen to be knights, and no more be all made Knights in England that may spend a knights lands, but they onelie whome the prince will honour. Sometime diuerse ancient gentlemen, burgesses, and lawiers, are called vnto knighthood by the prince, and neuerthelesse refuse to take that state vpon them, for which they are of custome punished by a fine, that redoundeth vnto his cofers, and to saie truth, is oftentimes more profitable vnto him than otherwise their seruice should be, if they did yeeld vnto knighthood. And this also is a cause, wherefore there be manie in England able to dispend a knights liuing, which neuer come vnto that countenance, and by their owne consents. The number of the knights in Rome was also vncerteine: and so is it of knights likewise with vs, as at the pleasure of the prince. And whereas the Equites Romani had Equum publicum of custome bestowed vpon them, the knights of England haue not so, but beare their owne charges in that also, as in other kind of furniture, as armorie méet for their defense and seruice. This neuerthelesse is certeine, that who so may dispend 40 pounds by the yeare of frée land, either at the coronation of the king, or mariage of his daughter, or time of his dubbing, may be inforced vnto the taking of that degrée, or otherwise paie the reuenues of his land for one yeare, which is onelie fortie pounds by an old proportion, and so for a time be acquited of that title. We name him knight in English that the French calleth Cheualier, and the Latins Equitem, or Equestris ordinis virum. And when any man is made a knight, he knéeling downe is striken of the king or his substitute with his sword naked vpon the backe or shoulder, the prince, &c: saieng, "Soyes cheualier au nom de Dieu." And when he riseth vp the king saith "Aduances bon cheualier." This is the maner of dubbing knights at this present, and the tearme (dubbing) is the old tearme for that purpose and not creation, howbeit in our time the word (making) is most in vse among the common sort.

[Sidenote: Knights of the bath.]

At the coronation of a king or queene, there be other knights made with longer and more curious ceremonies, called knights of the bath. But how soeuer one be dubbed or made knight, his wife is by and by called madame or ladie, so well as the barons wife; he himselfe hauing 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 courtesie so long as she liueth is called my ladie, although she happen to marie with a gentleman or man of meane calling, albeit that by the cōmon law she hath no such prerogatiue. If hir first husband also be of better birth than hir second, though this later likewise be a knight, yet in that she pretendeth [Page 268] a priuilege to loose no honor through courtesie yéelded to hir sex, she will be named after the most honorable or worshipfull of both, which is not séene elsewhere.

[Sidenote: Knights of the garter.]

The other order of knighthood in England, and the most honorable is that of the garter, instituted by king Edward the third, who after he had gained manie notable victories, taken king Iohn of France, and king Iames of Scotland (and kept them both prisoners in the Tower of London at one time) expelled king Henrie of Castile the bastard out of his realme, and restored Don Petro vnto it (by the helpe of the prince of Wales and duke of Aquitaine his eldest sonne called the Blacke prince) he then inuented this societie of honour, and made a choise out of his owne realme and dominions, and throughout all christendome of the best, most excellent and renowmed persons in all vertues and honour, and adorned them with that title to be knights of his order, giuing them a garter garnished with gold and pretious stones, to weare dailie on the left leg onlie: also a kirtle, gowne, cloke, chaperon, collar, and other solemne and magnificent apparell, both of stuffe and fashion exquisite & heroicall to weare at high feasts, & as to so high and princelie an order apperteineth. Of this companie also he and his successors kings and queenes of England, be the souereignes, and the rest by certeine statutes and lawes amongst themselues be taken as brethren and fellowes in that order, to the number of six and twentie, as I find in a certeine treatise written of the same, an example whereof I haue here inserted word for word, as it was deliuered vnto me, beginning after this maner.

[Sidenote: Round table.]

I might at this present make a long tractation of the round table and estate of the knights thereof, erected sometimes by Arthur the great monarch, of this Iland; and therevnto intreat of the number of his knights, and ceremonies belonging to the order, but I thinke in so dooing that I should rather set downe the latter inuentions of other men, than a true description of such ancient actions as were performed in deed. I could furthermore with more facilitie describe the roialtie of Charles the great & his twelue péeres, with their solemne rites and vsages: but vnto this also I haue no great deuotion, considering the truth hereof is now so stained with errours and fables inserted into the same by the lewd religious sort, that except a man should professe to lie with them for companie, there is little sound knowledge to be gathered hereof worthie the remembrance. In like maner diuerse aswell subiects as [Sidenote: Roger Mortimer.] princes haue attempted to restore againe a round table in this land (as for example Roger lord Mortimer at Killingworth) but such were the excessiue charges apperteining therevnto (as they did make allowance) and so great molestation dailie insued therevpon, beside the bréeding of sundrie quarrels among the knights, and such as resorted hitherto from forreine countries (as it was first vsed) that in fine they gaue it ouer, and suffered their whole inuentions to perish and decaie, till Edward the third deuised an other order not so much pestered with multitude of knights as the round table, but much more honorable for princelie port and countenance, as shall appeare hereafter.

[Sidenote: The occasion of the deuise.]

The order of the garter therefore was deuised in the time of king Edward the third, and (as some write) vpon this occasion. The quéenes maiestie then liuing, being departed from his presence the next waie toward hir lodging, he following soone after happened to find hir garter, which slacked by chance and so fell from hir leg, vnespied in the throng by such as attended vpon hir. His groomes & gentlemen also passed by it, disdaining to stoope and take vp such a trifle: but he knowing the owner, commanded one of them to stoope and reach it vp to him. Why and like your grace (saieth a gentleman) it is but some womans garter that hath fallen from hir as she followed the quéenes maiestie. What soeuer [Sidenote: Peraduenture but a blue ribben.] it be (quoth the king) take it vp and giue it me. So when he had receiued the garter, he said to such as stood about him: You my maisters doo make small account of this blue garter here (and therewith held it out) but if God lend me life for a few moneths, I will make the proudest of you all to reuerence the like. And euen vpon this slender occasion he gaue himselfe to the deuising of this order. Certes I haue not read of anie thing, that hauing had so simple a begining hath growne in the end to so great honour and estimation. But to proceed. After he had studied awhile about the performance of his deuise, and had [Page 269] set downe such orders as he himselfe inuented concerning the same, he proclamed a roiall feast to be holden at Windsore, whither all his nobilitie resorted with their ladies, where he published his institution, and foorthwith inuested an appointed number into the afore said fellowship, whose names insue, himselfe being the souereigne and principall of that companie. Next vnto himselfe also he placed

Edward Prince of Wales.
Henrie duke of Lancaster.
N. earle of Warw.
N. capt. de Bouche.
N. earle of Stafford.
N. earle of Sarum.
N. lord Mortimer.
Sir Iohn Lisle.
Sir Bartholomew Burwash.
N. sonne of sir Iohn Beauchamp.
Sir N. de Mahun.
S. Hugh Courtneie.
S. Thomas Holland.
Sir Iohn Graie.
Sir Rich. Fitzsimon.
Sir Miles Stapleton.
Sir Thomas Wale.
Sir Hugh Wrotesley.
Sir Neale Lording.
Sir Iohn Chandos.
S. Iames Dawdleie.
Sir Otho Holland.
Sir Henrie Eme.
Sir Sanchet Dambricourt.
Sir Walter Pannell aliàs Paganell.
[Sidenote: Election.]

What order of election, and what estatutes were prescribed vnto the elected at this first institution, as yet I can not exactlie vnderstand; neither can I learne what euerie prince afterward added therevnto before the six and thirtith yeare of king Henrie the eight, and third of king Edward the sixt: wherefore of necessitie I must resort vnto the estate of the said order as it is at this present, which I will set downe so brieflie as I may. When anie man therefore is to be elected (vpon a roome found void for his admission) into this fellowship, the king directeth his letters vnto him, notwithstanding that he before hand be nominated to the same, to this effect. Right trustie and welbeloued we gréete you well, asserteining you, that in consideration aswell of your approoued truth and fidelitie, as also of your couragious and valiant acts of knighthood, with other your probable merits knowne by experience in sundrie parties and behalfes: we with the companions of the noble order of the Garter, assembled at the election holden this daie within our manour of N. haue elected and chosen you amongst other to be one of the companions of the said Order, as your deserts doo condignelie require. Wherefore we will that with conuenient diligence vpon the sight herof, you repaire vnto our presence, there to receiue such things as to the said order apperteineth. Dated vnder our signet at our maner of N. &c. These letters are the exemplification of certeine, which (as it should séeme) were written An. 3. Edwardi sexti at Gréenewich Aprilis 24, vnto the earle of Huntingdon, & the lord George Cobham your lordships honorable father, at such time as they were called vnto the aforesaid companie. I find also these names subscribed vnto the same.

Edward duke of Summerset vncle to the king.
The marq. of Northhampton.
Earle of Arundell L. Chamberleine.
Earle of Shrewesburie.
L. Russell lord priuie scale.
L. S. Iohn lord great master.
Sir Iohn Gage.
S. Anthonie Wingfield.
Sir William Paget.
[Sidenote: Admission.]

Being elected, preparation is made for his installing at Windsore (the place appointed alwaies for this purpose) whereat it is required that his banner be set vp, of two yardes and a quarter in length, and thrée quarters in bredth, besides the fringe. Secondlie his sword of whatsoeuer length him séemeth good. Thirdlie his helme, which from the charnell vpwards ought to be of thrée inches at the least. Fourthlie the crest, with mantels to the helme belonging, of such conuenient stuffe and bignesse, as it shall please him to appoint.

[Page 270] Item a plate of armes at the backe of his stall, and crest with mantels and beasts supportant, to be grauen in the mettall.

Item lodging scutcheons of his armes, inuironed with a garter, and painted in paper or cloth of buckram, which when he trauelleth by the waie are to be fixed in the common Ins where he dooth lodge, as a testimonie of his presence and staies from time to time as he did trauell.

Item two mantels, one to remaine in the college at Windsore, the other to vse at his pleasure, with the scutcheon of the armes of S. George in the garter with laces, tasselets, and knops of blue silke and gold belonging to the same.

Item a surcote or gowne of red or crimosine veluet, with a whood of the same, lined with white sarcenet or damaske.

Item a collar of the garter of thirtie ounces of gold Troie weight.

Item a tablet of S. George, richlie garnished with precious stones or otherwise.

Item a garter for his (left) leg, hauing the buckle and pendant garnished with gold.

Item a booke of the statutes of the said order.

Item a scutcheon of the armes of S. George in the garter to set vpon the mantell. And this furniture is to be prouided against his installation.

[Sidenote: Installation.]

When anie knight is to be installed, he hath with his former letters, a garter sent vnto him, and when he commeth to be installed, he is brought into the chapter house, where incontinentlie his commission is read before the souereigne, or his deputie, and the assemblie present: from hence he is lead by two knights of the said order, accompanied with the other of the nobilitie, and officers toward the chappell, hauing his mantell borne before him, either by a knight of the order, or else the king at armes, to whome it secondarilie apperteineth to beare it. [Sidenote: Mantell.] This mantell shall be deliuered vnto him for his habit, after his oth taken before his stall, and not before: which doone, he shall returne vnto the chapter house, where the souereigne, or his deputie, shall deliuer him his collar, and so he shall haue the full possession of his habit.

[Sidenote: Stall.]

As for his stall, it is not giuen according vnto the calling and countenance of the receiuer, but as the place is that happeneth to be void, so that each one called vnto this knighthood (the souereigne, and emperours, and kings, and princes alwaies excepted) shall haue the same seat, which became void by the death of his predecessor, howsoeuer it fall out: wherby a knight onlie oftentimes dooth sit before a duke, without anie murmuring or grudging at his roome, except it please the souereigne, once in his life onelie to make a generall alteration of those seats, and to set each one according to his degree.

Now as touching the apparell of these knights, it remaineth such as king Edward, the first deuiser of this order left it, that is to saie, euerie yeare one of the colours, that is to say, scarlet, sanguine in grain, blue and white. In like sort the kings grace hath at his pleasure the content of cloth for his gowne and whood, lined with white satine or damaske, and multitude of garters with letters of gold.

The prince hath fiue yardes of cloth for his gowne and whood, and garters with letters of [Sidenote: A timber conteineth fortie skins, peltes, or felles.] gold at his pleasure, beside fiue timber of the finest mineuer.

A duke hath fiue yardes of woollen cloth, fiue timber of mineuer, 120 garters with title of gold.

A marques hath fiue yards of woollen cloth, fiue timber of mineuer, 110 garters of silke.

An earle fiue yardes of woollen cloth, fiue timber of mineuer, and 100 garters of silke.

A viscount fiue yardes of woollen cloth, fiue timber of mineuer, 90 garters of silke.

A baron fiue yardes of woollen cloth, three timber of mineuer gresse, 80 garters of silke.

A banneret fiue yards of woollen cloth, three timber of mineuer, 70 garters of silke.

A knight fiue yards of woollen cloth, three timber of mineuer, 60 garters of silke.

The bishop of Winchester chapleine of the garter, hath eight and twentie timber of mineuer [Page 271] pure, ninetéene timber gresse, thrée timber and a halfe of the best, and foure & twentie yards of woollen cloth.

The chancellor of the order fiue yards of woollen cloth, thrée timber of mineuer pure.

The register of the order fiue yardes of woollen cloth, three timber of mineuer pure.

And this order to be holden generallie among the knights of this companie, which are six and twentie in number, and whose patrone in time of superstition was supposed to be S. George, of whome they were also called S. Georges knights as I haue heard reported. Would to God they might be called knights of honor, or by some other name, for the title of saint George argueth a wrong patrone.

[Sidenote: Installation.]

Furthermore at his installation he is solemnelie sworne, the maner whereof I haue thought good also to annex, in this maner. You being chosen to be one of the honorable companie of the order of the Garter, shall promise and sweare vpon the holie euangelies by you bodilie touched, to be faithfull and true to the kings maiestie, and to obserue and kéepe all the points of the statutes of the said order, and euerie article in them conteined, the same being agréeable and not repugnant to the kings highnesse other godlie procéedings, so far as to you belongeth & apperteineth, as God you helpe, &c. And thus much haue I thought good to note touching the premisses.

[Sidenote: Estatutes.]

As touching the estatutes belonging to this order they are manie, and therefore not to be touched here. Howbeit if anie doubt doo arise aboue the interpretation of them, the king who is the perpetuall souereigne of that order hath to determine and resolue the same. Neither are anie chosen therevnto vnder the degree of a knight, and that is not a gentelman of bloud and of sound estimation.

[Sidenote: Gentleman of bloud.]

And for the better vnderstanding what is meant by a gentleman of bloud, he is defined to Gentleman of descend of thrée descents of noblenesse, that is to saie, of name and of armes both by father and mother.

[Sidenote: Degrées of reproch.]

There are also foure degrées of reproch, which may inhibit from the entrance into this order: of which the first is heresie lawfullie prooued, the second high treason, the third is flight from the battell, the fourth riot and prodigall excesse of expenses, whereby he is not likelie to hold out, and mainteine the port of knight of this order, according to the dignitie thereof. [Sidenote: Apparell.] Moreouer touching the wearing of their aforesaid apparell, it is their custome to weare the same, when they enter into the chappell of S. George or be in the chapter house of their order, or finallie doo go about anie thing apperteining to that companie. In like sort they weare also their mantels vpon the euen of S. George, and go with the souereigne, or his deputie in the same in maner of procession from the kings great chamber vnto the chappell, or vnto the college, and likewise backe againe vnto the aforsaid place, not putting it from them, vntill supper be ended, and the auoid doone. The next daie they resort vnto the chappell also in the like order, & from thence vnto diner, wearing afterward their said apparell vnto euening praier, and likewise all the supper time, vntill the auoid be finished. In the solemnitie likewise of these feasts, the thirtéene chanons there, and six and twentie poore knights haue mantels of the order, whereof those for the chanons are of Murreie with a roundell of the armes of S. George, the other of red, with a scutcheon onelie of the said armes.

[Sidenote: Sicke or absent.]

If anie knight of this order be absent from this solemnitie vpon the euen and daie S. George, and be inforced not to be present either through bodilie sicknesse, or his absence out of the land: he dooth in the church, chappell, or chamber where he is remaining, prouide an honorable stall for the kings maiestie in the right hand of the place with a cloth of estat, and cushions, and scutchion of the garter, and therein the armes of the order. Also his owne stall of which side soeuer it be distant from the kings or the emperours in his owne place, appointed so nigh as he can, after the maner and situation of his stall at Windsore, there to remaine, the first euening praier on the euen of S. George, or thrée of the clocke, and likewise the next daie during the time of the diuine seruice, vntill the morning praier, and the rest of the seruice be ended: and to weare in the meane time his mantell onelie, [Page 272] with the George and the lace, without either whood, collar or surcote. Or if he be so sicke that he doo kéepe his bed, he dooth vse to haue that habit laid vpon him during the times of diuine seruice aforesaid.

[Sidenote: Offering.]

At the seruice time also vpon the morrow after S. George, two of the chiefe knights (sauing the deputie of the souereigne if he himselfe be absent) shall offer the kings banner of armes, then other two the sword with the hilts forwards, which being doone the first two shall returne againe, and offer the helme and crest, hauing at each time two heralds of armes going before, according to the statutes. The lord deputie or lieutenant vnto the kings grace, for the time being, alone and assisted with one of the chiefe lords, dooth deliuer at his offering a péece of gold, and hauing all the king of armes and heralds going before him, he so procéedeth to the offering. When he hath thus offered for the prince, he returneth with like solemnitie vnto his stall, and next of all goeth againe with one herald to offer for himselfe, whose oblation being made, euerie knight according to their stals, with an herald before him procéedeth to the offering.

[Sidenote: Buriall.]

What solemnitie is vsed at the buriall of anie knight of the Garter, it is but in vaine to declare: wherefore I will shew generallie what is doone at the disgrading of one of these knights, if through anie grieuous offense he be separated from this companie. Whereas otherwise the signe of the order is neuer taken from him vntill death doo end & finish vp his daies. Therfore when anie such thing is doone, promulgation is made therof after this maner insuing.

[Sidenote: Disgrading.]

Be it knowne vnto all men that N.N. knight of the most noble order of the Garter, is found giltie of the abhominable and destestable crime of high treason, for he hath most traitorouslie conspired against our most high and mightie prince souereigne of the said order, contrarie to all right, his dutie, and the faithfull oth, which he hath sworne and taken. For which causes therefore he hath deserued to be deposed from this noble order, and fellowship of this Garter. For it may not be suffered that such a traitor and disloiall member remaine among the faithfull knights of renowmed stomach & bountifull prowes, or that his armes should be mingled with those of noble chiualrie. Wherefore our most excellent prince and supreme of this most honorable order, by the aduise and counsell of his collegues, willeth and commandeth that his armes which he before time hath deserued shall be from hencefoorth be taken awaie and throwne downe: and he himselfe cleane cut off from the societie of this renowmed order, and neuer from this daie reputed anie more for a member of the same, that all other by his example may hereafter beware how they commit the like trespasse, or fall into such notorious infamie and rebuke. This notice being giuen, there resorteth vnto the partie to be disgraded certeine officers with diuerse of his late fellowes appointed, which take from him his George, and other inuestiture, after a solemne maner.

And hitherto of this most honorable order, hoping that no man will be offended with me, in vttering thus much. For sith the noble order of the Toison Dor or golden fléese, with the ceremonies apperteining vnto the creation and inuestiture of the six and thirtie knights thereof: and likewise that of saint Michaell and his one and thirtie knights, are discoursed vpon at large by the historiographers of their owne countries, without reprehension or checke, especiallie by Vincentius Lupan. lib. 1. de Mag. Franc. cap. de equitibus ordinis, where he calleth them Cheualliers sans reproche, and thereto addeth that their chaine is commonlie of two hundred crownes at the least, and honour thereof so great, that it is not lawfull for them to sell, giue or laie the same to morgage (would to God they might once brooke their name, Sans reproche, but their generall deling in our time with all men, will not suffer some of the best of their owne countries to haue that opinion of them) I trust I haue not giuen anie cause of displeasure, briefelie to set foorth those things that apperteine vnto our renowmed [Sidenote: * Some think that this was the answer of the quéene, when the king asked what men would thinke of hir, in loosing the garter after such a maner.] order of the Garter, in whose compasse is written commonlie, [*]"Honi soit qui mal y pense," which is so much to saie, as, "Euill come to him that euill thinketh:" a verie sharpe imprecation, and yet such as is not contrarie to the word, which promiseth like measure to the meter, as he dooth mete to others.

[Page 273] [Sidenote: Bannerets.] There is yet an other order of knights in England called knights Bannerets, who are made in the field with the ceremonie of cutting awaie the point of his penant of armes, and making it as it were a banner, so that being before but a bacheler knight, he is now of an higher degree, and allowed to displaie his armes in a banner, as barrons doo. Howbeit these knights are neuer made but in the warres, the kings standard being vnfolded.

[Sidenote: Esquire.]

Esquire (which we call commonlie squire) is a French word, and so much in Latine as Scutiger vel armiger, and such are all those which beare armes, or armoires, testimonies of their race from whence they be descended. They were at the first costerels or bearers of the armes of barons, or knights, & thereby being instructed in martiall knowledge, had that name for a dignitie giuen to distinguish them from common souldiers called Gregarij milites when they were togither in the field.

[Sidenote: Gentlemen.]

Gentlemen be those whome their race and bloud, or at the least their vertues doo make noble and knowne. The Latines call them Nobiles & generosos, as the French do Nobles or Gentlehommes. The etymologie of the name expoundeth the efficacie of the word: for as Gens in Latine betokeneth the race and surname: so the Romans had Cornelios, Sergios, Appios, Curios, Papyrios, Scipiones, Fabios, Æmilios, Iulios, Brutos, &c: of which, who were Agnati, and therefore kept the name, were also called Gentiles, gentlemen of that or that house and race.

Moreouer as the king dooth dubbe knights, and createth the barons and higher degrees, so gentlemen whose ancestors are not knowen to come in with William duke of Normandie (for of the Saxon races yet remaining we now make none accompt, much lesse of the British [Sidenote: Lawiers students in vniuersities.] issue) doo take their beginning in England, after this maner in our times. Who soeuer studieth the lawes of the realme, who so abideth in the vniuersitie giuing his mind to his [Sidenote: Physicians.] booke, or professeth physicke and the liberall sciences, or beside his seruice in the roome of [Sidenote: Capteins.] a capteine in the warres, or good counsell giuen at home, whereby his common-wealth is benefited, can liue without manuell labour, and thereto is able and will beare the port, charge, and countenance of a gentleman, he shall for monie haue a cote and armes bestowed vpon him by heralds (who in the charter of the same doo of custome pretend antiquitie and seruice, and manie gaie things) and therevnto being made so good cheape be called master, which is the title that men giue to esquiers and gentlemen, and reputed for a gentleman euer after. Which is so much the lesse to be disalowed of, for that the prince dooth loose nothing by it, the gentleman being so much subiect to taxes and publike paiments as is the yeoman or husbandman, which he likewise dooth beare the gladlier for the sauing of his reputation. Being called also to the warres (for with the gouernment of the common-wealth he medleth litle) what soeuer it cost him, he will both arraie & arme himselfe accordinglie, and shew the more manly courage, and all the tokens of the person which he representeth. No man hath hurt by it but himselfe, who peraduenture will go in wider buskens than his legs will beare, or as our prouerbe saith, now and then beare a bigger saile than his boat is able to susteine.

Certes the making of new gentlemen bred great strife sometimes amongst the Romans, I meane when those which were Noui homines, were more allowed of for their vertues newlie séene and shewed, than the old smell of ancient race, latelie defaced by the cowardise & euill [Sidenote: * Sic.--qu. dependants?] life of their nephues & defendants[*] could make the other to be. But as enuie hath no affinitie with iustice and equitie, so it forceth not what language the malicious doo giue out, against such as are exalted for their wisdomes. This neuerthelesse is generallie to be reprehended in all estates of gentilitie, and which in short time will turne to the great ruine of our countrie, and that is the vsuall sending of noblemens & meane gentlemens sonnes into Italie, from whence they bring home nothing but meere atheisme, infidelitie, vicious conuersation, & ambitious and proud behauiour, wherby it commeth to passe that they returne far worsse men than they went out. A gentleman at this present is newlie come out of Italie, who went thither an earnest protestant, but comming home he could saie after this maner: Faith & truth is to be kept, where no losse or hinderance of a further purpose is susteined by holding of the same; and forgiuenesse onelie to be shewed when full reuenge is made. Another no [Page 274] lesse forward than he, at his returne from thence could ad thus much; He is a foole that maketh accompt of any religion, but more foole that will loose anie part of his wealth, or will come in trouble for constant leaning to anie: but if he yéeld to loose his life for his possession, he is stark mad, and worthie to be taken for most foole of all the rest. This gaie bootie gate these gentlemen by going into Italie, and hereby a man may see what fruit is afterward to be looked for where such blossoms doo appéere. I care not (saith a third) what you talke to me of God, so as I may haue the prince & the lawes of the realme on my side. Such men as this last, are easilie knowen; for they haue learned in Italie, to go vp and downe also in England, with pages at their héeles finelie apparelled, whose face and countenance shall be such as sheweth the master hot to be blind in his choise. But least I should offend too much, I passe ouer to saie anie more of these Italionates and their demeanor, which alas is too open and manifest to the world, and yet not called into question.

[Sidenote: Citizens and burgesses.]

Citizens and burgesses haue next place to gentlemen, who be those that are free within the cities, and are of some likelie substance to beare office in the same. But these citizens ro burgesses rae to serue the commonwealth in their cities and boroughs, or in corporat townes where they dwell. And in the common assemblie of the realme wherein our lawes are made, far in the counties they beare but little swaie (which assemblie is called the high court of parlement) the ancient cities appoint foure, and the boroughs two burgesses to haue voices in it, and giue their consent or dissent vnto such things as passe or staie there in the name of the citie or borow, for which they are appointed.

[Sidenote: Merchants.]

In this place also are our merchants to be installed, as amongst the citizens (although they often change estate with gentlemen, as gentlemen doo with them, by a mutuall conuersion of the one into the other) whose number is so increased in these our daies, that their onelie maintenance is the cause of the exceeding prices of forreine wares, which otherwise when euerie nation was permitted to bring in hir owne commodities, were farre better cheape and more plentifullie to be had. Of the want of our commodities here at home, by their great transportation of them into other countries, I speake not, sith the matter will easilie bewraie it selfe. Certes among the Lacedemonians 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 heape of them were somewhat restreined, as also of our lawiers, so should the rest liue more easilie vpon their owne, and few honest chapmen be brought to decaie, by breaking of the bankerupt. I doo not denie but that the nauie of the land is in part mainteined by their traffike, and so are the high prices of wares kept vp now they haue gotten the onelie sale of things, vpon pretense of better furtherance of the common-wealth into their owne hands: whereas in times past when the strange bottoms were suffered to come in, we had sugar for foure pence the pound, that now at the writing of this treatise is well worth halfe a crowne, raisons or corints for a penie that now are holden at six pence, and sometime at eight pence and ten pence the pound: nutmegs at two pence halfe penie the ounce: ginger at a penie an ounce, prunes at halfe penie farding: great raisons three pound for a penie, cinamon at foure pence the ounce, cloues at two pence, and pepper at twelue, and sixteene pence the pound. Whereby we may see the sequele of things not alwaies but verie seldome to be such as is pretended in the beginning. The wares that they carrie out of the realme, are for the most part brode clothes and carsies of all colours, likewise cottons, fréeses, rugs, tin, wooll, our best béere, baies, bustian, mockadoes tufted and plaine, rash, lead, fells, &c: which being shipped at sundrie ports of our coasts, are borne from thence into all quarters of the world, and there either exchanged for other wares or readie monie: to the great gaine and commoditie of our merchants. And whereas in times past their cheefe trade was into Spaine, Portingall, France, Flanders, Danske, Norwaie, Scotland, and Iseland onelie: now in these daies, as men not contented with these iournies, they haue sought out the east and west Indies, and made now and then suspicious voiages not onelie vnto the Canaries, and new Spaine, but likewise into Cathaia, Moscouia, Tartaria, and the regions thereabout, from whence (as they saie) they bring home great commodities. But alas I sée [Page 275] not by all their trauell that the prices of things are anie whit abated. Certes this enormitie (for so I doo accompt of it) was sufficientlie prouided for, An. 9 Edward 3. by a noble estatute made in that behalfe, but vpon what occasion the generall execution thereof is staied or not called on, in good sooth I cannot tell. This onelie I know, that euerie function and seuerall vocation striueth with other, which of them should haue all the water of commoditie run into hir owne cesterne.

[Sidenote: Yeomen.]

Yeomen are those, which by our law are called Legales homines, free men borne English, and may dispend of their owne free land in yearelie reuenue, to the summe of fortie shillings sterling, or six pounds as monie goeth in our times. Some are of the opinion by Cap. 2. Rich. 2. an. 20. that they are the same which the French men call varlets, but as that phrase is vsed in my time it is farre vnlikelie to be so. The truth is that the word is deriued from the Saxon terme Zeoman or Geoman, which signifieth (as I haue read) a settled or staid man, such I meane as being maried and of some yeares, betaketh himselfe to staie in the place of his abode for the better maintenance of himselfe and his familie, whereof the single sort haue no regard, but are likelie to be still fleeting now hither now thither, which argueth want of stabilitie in determination and resolution of iudgement, for the execution of things of anie importance. This sort of people haue a certeine preheminence, and more estimation than labourers & the common sort of artificers, & these commonlie liue wealthilie, kéepe good houses, and trauell to get riches. They are also for the most part farmers to gentlemen (in old time called Pagani, & opponuntur militibus, and therfore Persius calleth himselfe Semipaganus) or at the leastwise artificers, & with grasing, frequenting of markets, and kéeping of seruants (not idle seruants as the gentlemen doo, but such as get both their owne and part of their masters liuing) do come to great welth, in somuch that manie of them are able and doo buie the lands of vnthriftie gentlemen, and often setting their sonnes to the schooles, to the vniuersities, and to the Ins of the court; or otherwise leauing them sufficient lands wherevpon they may liue without labour, doo make them by those meanes 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 apperteineth, but onelie Iohn and [Sidenote: Englishmen on foot and Frenchmen on horssebacke best.] Thomas, &c: yet haue they beene found to haue doone verie good seruice: and the kings of England in foughten battels, were woont to remaine among them (who were their footmen) as the French kings did amongst their horssemen: the prince thereby shewing where his chiefe strength did consist.

[Sidenote: Capite censi or Proletarij.]

The fourth and last sort of people in England are daie labourers, poore husbandmen, and some retailers (which haue no frée land) copie holders, and all artificers, as tailers, shomakers, [Sidenote: No slaues nor bondmen in England.] carpenters, brickmakers, masons, &c. As for slaues and bondmen we haue none, naie such is the priuilege of our countrie by the especiall grace of God, and bountie of our princes, that if anie come hither from other realms, so soone as they set foot on land they become so frée of condition as their masters, whereby all note of seruile bondage is vtterlie remooued from them, wherein we resemble (not the Germans who had slaues also, though such as in respect of the slaues of other countries might well be reputed free, but) the old Indians and the Taprobanes, who supposed it a great iniurie to nature to make or suffer them to be bond, whome she in hir woonted course dooth product and bring foorth frée. This fourth and last sort of people therefore haue neither voice nor authoritie in the common wealth, but are to be ruled, and not to rule other: yet they are not altogither neglected, for in cities and corporat townes, for default of yeomen they are faine to make up their inquests of such maner of people. And in villages they are commonlie made churchwardens, sidemen, aleconners, now and then constables, and manie times inioie the name of hedboroughes. Vnto this sort also may our great swarmes of idle seruing men be referred, of whome there runneth a prouerbe; Yoong seruing men old beggers, bicause seruice is none heritage. These men are profitable to none, for if their condition be well perused, they are enimies to their masters, to their freends, and to themselues: for by them oftentimes their masters are incouraged vnto vnlawfull exactions of their tenants, their fréends brought vnto pouertie by their rents inhanced, [Page 276] and they themselues brought to confusion by their owne prodigalitie and errors, as men that hauing not wherewith of their owne to mainteine their excesses, doo search in high waies, budgets, cofers, males, and stables, which way to supplie their wants. How diuerse of them also coueting to beare an high saile doo insinuate themselues with yoong gentlemen and noble men newlie come to their lands, the case is too much apparant, whereby the good natures of the parties are not onelie a little impaired, but also their liuelihoods and reuenues so wasted and consumed, that if at all yet not in manie yeares they shall be able to recouer themselues. It were verie good therefore that the superfluous heapes of them were in part diminished. And sith necessitie inforceth to haue some, yet let wisdome moderate their numbers, so shall their masters be rid of vnnecessarie charge, and the common wealth of manie théeues. No nation cherisheth such store of them as we doo here in England, in hope of which maintenance manie giue themselues to idlenesse, that otherwise would be brought to labour, and liue in order like subiects. Of their whoredomes I will not speake anie thing at all, more than of their swearing, yet is it found that some of them doo make the first a cheefe piller of their building, consuming not onelie the goods but also the health & welfare of manie honest gentlemen, citizens, wealthie yeomen, &c: by such vnlawfull dealings. But how farre haue I waded in this point, or how farre may I saile in such a large sea? I will therefore now staie to speake anie more of those kind of men. In returning therefore to my matter, this furthermore among other things I haue to saie of our husbandmen and artificers, that they were neuer so excellent in their trades as at this present. But as the workemanship of the later sort was neuer more fine and curious to the eie, so was it neuer lesse strong and substantiall for continuance and benefit of the buiers. Neither is there anie thing that hurteth the common sort of our artificers more than hast, and a barbarous or slauish desire to turne the penie, and by ridding their worke to make spéedie vtterance of their wares: which inforceth them to bungle vp and dispatch manie things they care not how so they be out of their hands, whereby the buier is often sore defrauded, and findeth to his cost, that hast maketh wast, according to the prouerbe.

Oh how manie trades and handicrafts are now in England, whereof the common wealth hath no need? How manie néedfull commodities haue we which are perfected with great cost, &c: and yet may with farre more ease and lesse cost be prouided from other countries if we could vse the meanes. I will not speake of iron glasse, and such like, which spoile much wood, and yet are brought from other countries better chéepe than we can, make them here at home, I could exemplifie also in manie other. But to leaue these things and proceed with our purpose, and herein (as occasion serueth) generallie by waie of conclusion to speake of the common-wealth of England, I find that it is gouerned and mainteined by three sorts of persons.

1 The prince, monarch, and head gouernour, which is called the king, or (if the crowne fall to the woman) the quéene: in whose name and by whose authoritie all things are administred.

2 The gentlemen, which be diuided into two sorts, as the baronie or estate of lords, (which conteineth barons and all aboue that degree) and also those that be no lords, as knights, esquiers, & simple gentlemen, as I haue noted alreadie. Out of these also are the great deputies and high presidents chosen, of which one serueth in Ireland, as another did sometime in Calis, and the capteine now at Berwike; as one lord president dooth gouerne in Wales, and the other the north parts of this Iland, which later with certeine councellors and iudges were erected by king Henrie the eight. But forsomuch as I haue touched their conditions elsewhere, it shall be inough to haue remembred them at this time.

3 The third and last sort is named the yeomanrie, of whom & their sequele, the labourers and artificers, I haue said somewhat euen now. Whereto I ad that they be not called masters and gentlemen, but goodmen, as goodman Smith, goodman Coot, goodman Cornell, goodman Mascall, goodman Cockswet, &c: & in matters of law these and the like are called thus, Giles Iewd yeoman, Edward Mountford yeoman, Iames Cocke yeoman, Herrie Butcher [Page 277] yeoman, &c: by which addition they are exempt from the vulgar and common sorts. Cato calleth them Aratores & optimos ciues rei publicæ, of whom also you may read more in the booke of common wealth which sir Thomas Smith sometime penned of this land.

Of gentlemen also some are by the prince chosen, and called to great offices in the common wealth, of which said offices diuerse concerne the whole realme; some be more priuat and peculiar to the kings house. And they haue their places and degrées, prescribed by an act of parlement made An. 31 Henr. octaui, after this maner insuing.

These foure the lord Chancellor, the lord Treasuror (who is Supremus ærarij Anglici quæstor or Tribunus ærarius maximus) the lord President of the councell, and the lord Priuie seale, being persons of the degrée of a baron or aboue, are in the same act appointed to sit in the parlement and in all assemblies or councell aboue all dukes, not being of the bloud roiall, Videlicet the kings brother, vncle, or nephue.

And these six, the lord great Chamberleine of England: the lord high Constable of England: the lord Marshall of England: the lord Admirall of England: the lord great master or Steward of the kings house: and the lord Chamberleine: by that act are to be placed in all assemblies of councell, after the lord priuie seale, according to their degrées and estats: so that if he be a baron, then he is to sit aboue all barons: or an earle, aboue all earles.

And so likewise the kings secretarie, being a baron of the parlement, hath place aboue all barons, and if he be a man of higher degree, he shall sit and be placed according therevnto.

The rehearsall of the temporall nobilitie of England, according to the anciencie of their creations, or first calling to their degrees, as they are to be found at this present.

[Sidenote: No duke in England.] [Sidenote: Earles.]
The Marquise of Winchester.
The earle of Arundell.
The earle of Oxford.
The earle of Northumberland.
The earle of Shrewesburie.
The earle of Kent.
The earle of Derbie.
The earle of Worcester.
The earle of Rutland.
The earle of Cumberland.
The earle of Sussex.
The earle of Huntingdon.
The earle of Bath.
The earle of Warwike.
The earle of Southampton.
The earle of Bedford.
The earle of Penbrooke.
The earle of Hertford.
The earle of Leicester.
The earle of Essex.
The earle of Lincolne.
[Sidenote: Visconts.]
The viscont Montague.
The viscont Bindon.
[Sidenote: Barons.]
The lord of Abergeuennie.
The lord Awdeleie.
The lord Zouch.
The lord Barkeleie.
The lord Morleie.
The lord Dacres of the south.
The lord Cobham.
The lord Stafford.
The lord Greie of Wilton.
The lord Scroope.
The lord Dudleie.
The lord Latimer.
The lord Stourton.
The lord Lumleie.
The lord Mountioie.
The lord Ogle.
The lord Darcie of the north.
The lord Mountegle.
The lord Sands.
The lord Vaulx.
The lord Windsore.
The lord Wentworth.
The lord Borough.
The lord Mordaunt.
The lord Cromwell.
The lord Euers.
The lord Wharton.
The lord Rich.
The lord Willowbie.
[Page 278]
The lord Sheffeld.
The lord Paget.
The lord Darcie of Chichester.
The lord Howard of Effingham.
The lord North.
The lord Chaundos.
The lord of Hunsdon.
The lord saint Iohn of Bletso.
The lord of Buckhirst.
The lord Delaware.
The lord Burghleie.
The lord Compton.
The lord Cheineie.
The lord Norreis.

Bishops in their anciencie, as they sat in parlement, in the fift of the Queenes maiesties reigne that now is.

[Sidenote: Cleargie.]
The archbishop of Canturburie.
The archbishop of Yorke.

The rest had their places in senioritie of consecration.

S. Dauids.
Bath and Welles.
Couentrie and Lichfield.
S. Assaph.

And this for their placing in the parlement house. Howbeit, when the archbishop of Canturburie siteth in his prouinciall assemblie, he hath on his right hand the archbishop of Yorke, and next vnto him the bishop of Winchester, on the left hand the bishop of London: but if it fall out that the archbishop of Canturburie be not there by the vacation of his sée, then the archbishop of Yorke is to take his place, who admitteth the bishop of London to his right hand, and the prelat of Winchester to his left, the rest sitting alwaies as afore, that is to saie, as they are elders by consecration, which I thought good also to note out of an ancient president.



The situation of our region, lieng néere vnto the north, dooth cause the heate of our stomaches to be of somewhat greater force: therefore our bodies doo craue a little more ample nourishment, than the inhabitants of the hotter regions are accustomed withall, whose digestiue force is not altogither so vehement, bicause their internall heat is not so strong as ours, which is kept in by the coldnesse of the aire, that from time to time (speciallie in winter) dooth enuiron our bodies.

It is no maruell therefore that our tables are oftentimes more plentifullie garnished than those of other nations, and this trade hath continued with vs euen since the verie beginning. For before the Romans found out and knew the waie vnto our countrie, our predecessors fed largelie vpon flesh and milke, whereof there was great aboundance in this Ile, bicause they applied their chéefe studies vnto pasturage and feeding. After this maner also did our [Page 279] Welsh Britons order themselues in their diet so long as they liued of themselues, but after they became to be vnited and made equall with the English they framed their appetites to liue after our maner, so that at this daie there is verie little difference betwéene vs in our diets.

In Scotland likewise they haue giuen themselues (of late yeares to speake of) vnto verie ample and large diet, wherein as for some respect nature dooth make them equall with vs: so otherwise they far exceed vs in ouer much and distemperate gormandize, and so ingrosse their bodies that diuerse of them doo oft become vnapt to anie other purpose than to spend their times in large tabling and bellie chéere. Against this pampering of their carcasses dooth Hector Boetius in his description of the countrie verie sharpelie inueigh in the first chapter of that treatise. Henrie Wardlaw also bishop of S. Andrewes, noting their vehement alteration from competent frugalitie into excessiue gluttonie, to be brought out of England with Iames the first (who had béene long time prisoner there vnder the fourth & fift Henries, and at his returne caried diuerse English gentlemen into his countrie with him, whome he verie honorablie preferred there) dooth vehementlie exclame against the same in open parlement holden at Perth 1433, before the three estats, and so bringeth his purpose to passe in the end by force of his learned persuasions, that a law was presentlie made there for the restreint of superfluous diet, amongest other things baked meats (dishes neuer before this mans daies seene in Scotland) were generallie so prouided for by vertue of this act, that it was not lawfull for anie to eat of the same vnder the degrée of a gentleman, and those onelie but on high and festiuall daies, but alas it was soone forgotten.

In old time these north Britons did giue themselues vniuersallie to great abstinence, and in time of warres their souldiers would often féed but once or twise at the most in two or thrée daies (especiallie if they held themselues in secret, or could haue no issue out of their bogges and marises, through the presence of the enimie) and in this distresse they vsed to eat a certeine kind of confection, whereof so much as a beane would qualifie their hunger, aboue common expectation. In woods moreouer they liued with hearbes and rootes, or if these shifts serued not thorough want of such prouision at hand, then vsed they to créepe into the water or said moorish plots vp vnto the chins, and there remaine a long time, onelie to qualifie the heats of their stomachs by violence, which otherwise would haue wrought and béene readie to oppresse them for hunger and want of sustinance. In those daies likewise it was taken for a great offense ouer all, to eat either goose, hare, or henne, bicause of a certeine superstitious opinion which they had conceiued of those three creatures, howbeit after that the Romans (I saie) had once found an entrance into this Iland, it was not long yer open shipwracke was made of this religious obseruation, so that in processe of time, so well the north and south Britons as the Romans, gaue ouer to make such difference in meats, as they had doone before.

From thencefoorth also vnto our daies, and euen in this season wherein we liue, there is no restreint of anie meat, either for religions sake or publike order in England, but it is lawfull for euerie man to feed vpon what soeuer he is able to purchase, except it be vpon those daies whereon eating of flesh is especiallie forbidden by the lawes of the realme, which order is taken onelie to the end our numbers of cattell may be the better increased, & that aboundance of fish which the sea yéeldeth, more generallie receiued. Beside this there is great consideration had in making of this law for the preseruation of the nauie, and maintenance of conuenient numbers of sea faring men, both which would otherwise greatlie decaie, if some meanes were not found whereby they might be increased. But how soeuer this case standeth, white meats, milke, butter & cheese, which were neuer so deere as in my time, and woont to be accounted of as one of the chiefe staies throughout the Iland, are now reputed as food appertinent onelie to the inferiour sort, whilest such as are more wealthie, doo féed vpon the flesh of all kinds of cattell accustomed to be eaten, all sorts of fish taken vpon our coasts and in our fresh riuers, and such diuersitie of wild and tame foules as are either bred in our Iland or brought ouer vnto vs from other countries of the maine.

[Page 280] In number of dishes and change of meat, the nobilitie of England (whose cookes are for the most part musicall headed Frenchmen and strangers) doo most exceed, sith there is no daie in maner that passeth ouer their heads, wherein they haue not onelie béefe, mutton, veale, lambe, kid, porke, conie, capon, pig, or so manie of these as the season yeeldeth: but also some portion of the red or fallow déere, beside great varietie of fish and wild foule, and thereto sundrie other delicates wherein the sweet hand of the seafaring Portingale is not wanting: so that for a man to dine with one of them, and to tast of euerie dish that standeth before him (which few vse to doo, but ech one feedeth vpon that meat him best liketh for the time, the beginning of euerie dish notwithstanding being reserued vnto the greatest personage that sitteth at the table, to whome it is drawen vp still by the waiters as order requireth, and from whome it descendeth againe euen to the lower end, whereby each one may tast thereof) is rather to yéeld vnto a conspiracie with a great deale of meat for the spéedie suppression of naturall health, then the vse of a necessarie meane to satisfie himselfe with a competent repast, to susteine his bodie withall. But as this large feeding is not séene in their gests, no more is it in their owne persons, for sith they haue dailie much resort vnto their tables (and manie times vnlooked for) and thereto reteine great numbers of seruants, it is verie requisit & expedient for them to be somewhat plentifull in this behalfe.

The chiefe part likewise of their dailie prouision is brought in before them (commonlie in siluer vessell if they be of the degree of barons, bishops and vpwards) and placed on their tables, wherof when they haue taken what it pleaseth them, the rest is reserued, and afterward sent downe to their seruing men and waiters, who feed thereon in like sort with conuenient moderation, their reuersion also being bestowed vpon the poore, which lie readie at their gates in great numbers to receiue the same. This is spoken of the principall tables whereat the nobleman, his ladie and guestes are accustomed to sit, beside which they haue a certeine ordinarie allowance dailie appointed for their hals, where the chiefe officers and household seruants (for all are not permitted by custome to waite vpon their master) and with them such inferiour guestes doo feed as are not of calling to associat the noble man himselfe (so that besides those afore mentioned, which are called to the principall table, there are commonlie fortie or three score persons fed in those hals, to the great reliefe of such poore sutors and strangers also as oft be partakers thereof and otherwise like to dine hardlie. As for drinke it is vsuallie filled in pots, gobblets, iugs, bols of siluer in noble mens houses, also in fine Venice glasses of all formes, and for want of these elsewhere in pots of earth of sundrie colours and moulds whereof manie are garnished with siluer) or at the leastwise in pewter, all which notwithstanding are seldome set on the table, but each one as necessitie vrgeth, calleth for a cup of such drinke as him listeth to haue: so that when he hath tasted of it he deliuered the cup againe to some one of the standers by, who making it cleane by pouring out the drinke that remaineth, restoreth it to the cupbord from whence he fetched the same. By this deuise (a thing brought vp at the first by Mnesteus of Athens, in conseruation of the honour of Orestes, who had not yet made expiation for the death of his adulterous parents Egistus and Clitemnestra) much idle tippling is furthermore cut oft, for if the full pots should continuallie stand at the elbow or néere the trencher, diuerse would alwaies be dealing with them, whereas now they drinke seldome and onelie when necessitie vrgeth, and so auoid the note of great drinking, or often troubling of the seruitours with filling of their bols. Neuerthelesse n the noble mens hals, this order is not vsed, neither in anie mans house commonlie vnder the degree of a knight or esquire of great reuenues. It is a world to see in these our daies, wherin gold and siluer most aboundeth, how that our gentilitie as lothing those mettals (bicause of the plentie) do now generallie choose rather the Venice glasses both for our wine and béere, than anie of those mettals or stone wherein before time we haue béene accustomed to drinke, but such is the nature of man generallie that it most coueteth things difficult to be atteined; & such is the estimation of this stuffe, that manie become rich onelie with their new trade vnto Murana (a towne néere to Venice situat on the Adriatike sea) from whence the verie best are dailie to be had, and such as for beautie doo well néere match the christall [Page 281] or the ancient Murrhina vasa, whereof now no man hath knowledge. And as this is séene in the gentilitie, so in the wealthie communaltie the like desire of glasse is not neglected, whereby the gaine gotten by their purchase is yet much more increased to the benefit of the merchant. The poorest also will haue glasse if they may, but sith the Venecian is somewhat too déere for them, they content themselues with such as are made at home of ferne and burned stone, but in fine all go one waie, that is, to shards at the last, so that our great expenses in glasses (beside that they breed much strife toward such as haue the charge of them) are worst of all bestowed in mine opinion, bicause their péeces doo turne vnto no profit. [Sidenote: Ro. Bacon.] If the philosophers stone were once found, and one part hereof mixed with fortie of molten glasse, it would induce such a mettallicall toughnesse therevnto, that a fall should nothing hurt it in such maner, yet it might peraduenture bunch or batter it, neuerthelesse that inconuenience were quickelie to be redressed by the hammer. But whither am I slipped?

The gentlemen and merchants keepe much about one rate, and each of them contenteth himselfe with foure, fiue, or six dishes, when they haue but small resort, or peraduenture with one, or two, or three at the most, when they haue no strangers to accompanie them at their tables. And yet their seruants haue their ordinarie diet assigned, beside such as is left at their masters boordes, & not appointed to be brought thither the second time, which neuerthelesse is often séene generallie in venison, lambe, or some especiall dish, whereon the merchant man himselfe liketh to feed when it is cold, or peraduenture for sundrie causes incident to the féeder is better so, than if it were warme or hot. To be short, at such time as the merchants doo make their ordinarie or voluntarie feasts, it is a world to see what great prouision is made of all maner of delicat meats, from euerie quarter of the countrie, wherein beside that they are often comparable herein to the nobilitie of the land, they will seldome regard anie thing that the butcher vsuallie killeth, but reiect the same as not worthie to come in place. In such cases also geliffes of all colours mixed with a varietie in the representation of sundrie floures, herbs, trees, formes of beasts, fish, foules and fruits, and therevnto marchpaine wrought with no small curiositie, tarts of diuerse hewes and sundrie denominations, conserues of old fruits forren and home-bred, suckets, codinacs, marmilats, marchpaine, sugerbread, gingerbread, florentines, wild foule, venison of all sorts, and sundrie outlandish confections, altogether seasoned with sugar (which Plinie calleth Met ex arundinibus, a deuise not common nor greatlie vsed in old time at the table, but onelie in medicine, although it grew in Arabia, India & Sicilia) doo generallie beare the swaie, besides infinit deuises of our owne not possible for me to remember. Of the potato and such venerous roots as are brought out of Spaine, Portingale, and the Indies to furnish vp our bankets, I speake not, wherin our Mures of no lesse force, and to be had about Crosbie Rauenswath, doo now begin to haue place.

But among all these, the kind of meat which is obteined with most difficultie and cost, is commonlie taken for the most delicat, and therevpon each guest will soonest desire to feed. And as all estats doo exceed herin, I meane for strangenesse and number of costlie dishes, so these forget not to vse the like excesse in wine, in somuch as there is no kind to be had (neither anie where more store of all sorts than in England, although we haue none growing with vs but yearelie to the proportion of 20000 or 30000 tun and vpwards, notwithstanding the dailie restreincts of the same brought ouer vnto vs) wherof at great meetings there is not some store to be had. Neither doo I meane this of small wines onlie, as Claret, White, Red, French, &c: which amount to about fiftie six sorts, according to the number of regions from whence they come: but also of the thirtie kinds of Italian, Grecian, Spanish, Canarian, &c: whereof Veruage, Cate pument, Raspis, Muscadell, Romnie, Bastard Tire, Oseie, Caprike, Clareie & Malmeseie are not least of all accompted of, bicause of their strength and valure. For as I haue said in meat, so the stronger the wine is, the more it is desired, by means wherof in old time, the best was called Theologicum, bicause it was had from the cleargie and religious men, vnto whose houses manie of the laitie would often send for bottels filled with the same, being sure that they would neither drinke nor be serued of the worst, or [Page 282] such as was anie waies mingled or brued by the vintener: naie the merchant would haue thought that his soule should haue gone streightwaie to the diuell, if he should haue serued them with other than the best. Furthermore when these haue had their course which nature yéeldeth, sundrie sorts of artificiall stuffe, as ypocras & wormewood wine must in like maner succéed in their turnes, beside stale ale and strong béere, which neuerthelesse beare the greatest brunt in drinking, and are of so manie sorts and ages as it pleaseth the bruer to make them.

[Sidenote: Béere.]

The béere that is vsed at noble mens tables in their fixed and standing houses, is commonlie of a yeare old, or peraduenture of two yeares tunning or more, but this is not generall. It is also brued in March and therefore called March béere, but for the household it is vsuallie not vnder a moneths age, ech one coueting to haue the same stale as he may, so that it be not sowre, and his bread new as is possible so that it be not hot.

[Sidenote: Artificer.]

The artificer and husbandman make greatest accompt of such meat as they may soonest come by, and haue it quickliest readie, except it be in London when the companies of euery trade doo meet on their quarter daies, at which time they be nothing inferiour to the nobilitie. Their food also consisteth principallie in béefe and such meat as the butcher selleth, that is to saie, mutton, veale, lambe, porke, &c: whereof he findeth great store in the markets adioining, beside souse, brawne, bacon, fruit, pies of fruit, foules of sundrie sorts, cheese, butter, egs, &c: as the other wanteth it not at home, by his owne prouision, which is at the best hand, and commonlie least charge. In feasting also this latter sort, I meane the husbandmen doo excéed after their maner: especiallie at bridales, purifications of women, and such od méetings, where it is incredible to tell what meat is consumed & spent, ech one bringing such a dish, or so manie with him as his wife & he doo consult vpon, but alwaies with this consideration, that the léefer fréend shall haue the better prouision. This also is commonlie séene at these bankets, that the good man of the house is not charged with any thing sauing bread, drink, sauce, houseroome, and fire. But the artificers in cities and good townes doo deale far otherwise, for albeit that some of them doo suffer their iawes to go oft before their clawes, and diuerse of them by making good cheere doo hinder themselues and other men: yet the wiser sort can handle the matter well inough in these iunkettings, and therfore their frugalitie deserueth commendation. To conclude, both the artificer and the husbandman are sufficientlie liberall, & verie fréendlie at their tables, and when they méet, they are so merie without malice, and plaine without inward Italian or French craft and subtiltie, that it would doo a man good to be in companie among them. Herein onelie are the inferiour sort somewhat to be blamed, that being thus assembled, their talke is now and then such as savoureth of scurrilitie and ribaldrie, a thing naturallie incident to carters and clownes, who thinke themselues not to be merie & welcome, if their foolish veines in this behalfe be neuer so little restreined. This is moreouer to be added in these méetings, that if they happen [Sidenote: I haue dined so well as my lord maior.] to stumble vpon a péece of venison, and a cup of wine or verie strong beere or ale (which latter they commonlie prouide against their appointed daies) they thinke their chéere so great, and themselues to haue fared so well, as the lord Maior of London, with whome when their bellies be full they will not often sticke to make comparison, because that of a subiect there is no publike officer of anie citie in Europe, that may compare in port and countenance with him during the time of his office.

I might here talke somewhat of the great silence that is vsed at the tables of the honorable and wiser sort, generallie ouer all the realme (albeit that too much deserueth no cōmendation, for it belongeth to gests neither to be muti nor loquaces) likewise of the moderate eating and drinking that is dailie séene, and finallie of the regard that each one hath to keepe himselfe from the note of surffetting and dronkennesse (for which cause salt meat, except béefe, bacon, and porke are not anie whit esteemed, and yet these thrée may not be much powdered) but as in rehearsall thereof I should commend the noble man, merchant, and frugall artificer, so I could not cleare the meaner sort of husbandmen, and countrie inhabitants of verie much babbling (except it be here and there some od yeoman) with whome he is thought [Page 283] to be the meriest that talketh of most ribaldrie, or the wisest man that speaketh fastest among them, & now and then surffetting and dronkennesse, which they rather fall into for want of héed taking, than wilfullie following or delighting in those errours of set mind and purpose. It may be that diuers of them liuing at home with hard and pinching diet, small drinke, and some of them hauing scarse inough of that, are soonest ouertaken when they come vnto such bankets, howbeit they take it generallie as no small disgrace if they happen to be cupshotten, so that it is a greefe vnto them though now sans remedie sith the thing is doone and past. If the freends also of the wealthier sort come to their houses from farre, they are commonlie so welcome till they depart as vpon the first daie of their comming, wheras in good townes and cities, as London, &c: men oftentimes complaine of little roome, and in reward of a fat capon or plentie of béefe and mutton, largelie bestowed vpon them in the countrie, a cup of wine or béere with a napkin to wipe their lips, and an "You are heartelie welcome" is thought to be great interteinement, and therefore the old countrie clearkes haue framed this saieng in that behalfe, I meane vpon the interteinment of townesmens and Londoners after the daies of their aboad in this maner:

Primus iucundus, tollerabilis estq; secundus,
Tertius est vanus, sed fetet quatriduanus.
[Sidenote: Bread.]

The bread through out the land is made of such graine as the soile yéeldeth, neuerthelesse the gentilitie commonlie prouide themselues sufficientlie of wheat for their owne tables, whilest their household and poore neighbours in some shires are inforced to content themselues with rie, or barleie, yea and in time of dearth manie with bread made either of beans, peason, or otes, or of altogither and some acornes among, of which scourge the poorest doo soonest tast, sith they are least able to prouide themselues of better. I will not saie that this extremitie is oft so well to be seene in time of plentie as of dearth, but if I should I could easilie bring my triall. For albeit that there be much more ground eared now almost in euerie place, than hath beene of late yeares, yet such a price of corne continueth in each towne and market without any iust cause (except it be that landlords doo get licences to carie corne out of the land onelie to kéepe vp the peeces for their owne priuate gaines and ruine of the common-wealth) that the artificer and poore laboring man, is not able to reach vnto it, but [Sidenote: A famine at hand is first séene in the horsse manger when the poore doo fall to horssecorne.] is driuen to content himselfe with horsse-corne, I meane, beanes, peason, otes, tares, and lintels: and therefore it is a true prouerbe, and neuer so well verified as now, that hunger setteth his first foot into the horsse manger. If the world last a while after this rate, wheate and rie will be no graine for poore men to feed on, and some caterpillers there are that can saie so much alreadie.

Of bread made of wheat we haue sundrie sorts, dailie brought to the table, whereof the first and most excellent is the mainchet, which we commonlie call white bread, in Latine [Sidenote: Primarius panis.] Primarius panis, wherof Budeus also speaketh, in his first booke De asse, and our good workemen deliuer commonlie such proportion, that of the flower of one bushell with another they make fortie cast of manchet, of which euerie lofe weigheth eight ounces into the ouen [Sidenote: Cheat bread.] and six ounces out, as I haue béene informed. The second is the cheat or wheaton bread, so named bicause the colour therof resembleth the graie or yellowish wheat, being cleane and well dressed, and out of this is the coursest of the bran (vsuallie called gurgeons or pollard) [Sidenote: Rauelled bread.] taken. The raueled is a kind of cheat bread also, but it reteineth more of the grosse, and lesse of the pure substance of the wheat: and this being more sleightlie wrought vp, is vsed in the halles of the nobilitie, and gentrie onelie, whereas the other either is or should be [Sidenote: The size of bread is verie ill kept or not at all looked vnto in the countrie townes and markets.] baked in cities & good townes of an appointed size (according to such price as the corne dooth beare) and by a statute prouided by king Iohn in that behalfe. The raueled cheat therfore is generallie so made that out of one bushell of meale, after two and twentie pounds of bran be sifted and taken from it (wherevnto they ad the gurgeons that rise from the manchet) they make thirtie cast, euerie lofe weighing eightéene ounces into the ouen and sixteene ounces out: and beside this they so handle the matter that to euerie bushell of meale they [Page 284] ad onelie two and twentie or thrée and twentie pound of water, washing also in some houses [Sidenote: Browne bread.] there corne before it go to the mill, whereby their manchet bread is more excellent in colour and pleasing to the eie, than otherwise it would be. The next sort is named browne bread of the colour, of which we haue two sorts, one baked vp as it cōmeth from the mill, so that neither the bran nor the floure are anie whit diminished, this Celsus called Autopirus panis, lib. 2. and putteth it in the second place of nourishment. The other hath little [Sidenote: Panis Cibarius.] or no floure left therein at all, howbeit he calleth it Panem Cibarium, and it is not onlie the woorst and weakest of all the other sorts, but also appointed in old time for seruants, slaues, and the inferiour kind of people to féed vpon. Herevnto likewise, bicause it is drie and brickle in the working (for it will hardlie be made vp handsomelie into loaues) some adde a portion of rie meale in our time, whereby the rough drinesse or drie roughnes therof is somwhat qualified, & then it is named miscelin, that is, bread made of mingled corne, albeit that diuerse doo sow or mingle wheat & rie of set purpose at the mill, or before it come there, and sell the same at the markets vnder the aforesaid name.

[Sidenote: Summer wheat and winter barleie verie rare in England.]

In champeigne countries much rie and barleie bread is eaten, but especiallie where wheat is scant and geson. As for the difference that is betwéene the summer and winter wheat, most husbandmen know it not, sith they are neither acquainted with summer wheat, nor winter barleie: yet here and there I find of both sorts, speciallie in the north and about Kendall, where they call it March wheat, and also of summer rie, but in so small quantities as that I dare not pronounce them to be greatlie common among vs.

[Sidenote: Drinke.]

Our drinke, whose force and continuance is partlie touched alreadie, is made of barleie, water, and hops, sodden and mingled togither, by the industrie of our bruers, in a certeine exact proportion. But before our barleie doo come vnto their hands, it susteineth great alteration, and is conuerted into malt, the making whereof, I will here set downe in such order, [Sidenote: Malt.] as my skill therein may extend vnto (for I am scarse a good malster) chiefelie for that forreine writers haue attempted to describe the same, and the making of our beere, wherein they haue shot so farre wide, as the quantitie of ground was betwéene themselues & their marke. In the meane time beare with me, gentle reader (I beséech thée) that lead thee from the description of the plentifull diet of our countrie, vnto the fond report of a seruile trade, or rather from a table delicatelie furnished, into a mustie malthouse: but such is now thy hap, wherfore I praie thée be contented.

[Sidenote: Making of malt.]

Our malt is made all the yeare long in some great townes, but in gentlemens and yeomens houses, who commonlie make sufficient for their owne expenses onelie, the winter halfe is thought most méet for that commoditie: howbeit the malt that is made when the willow dooth bud, is commonlie worst of all, neuerthelesse each one indeuoureth to make it of the best barleie, which is steeped in a cesterne, in greater or less quantitie, by the space of thrée daies and three nights, vntill it be throughlie soked. This being doone, the water is drained from it by little and little, till it be quite gone. Afterward they take it out, and laieng it vpon the cleane floore on a round heape, it resteth so vntill it be readie to shoote at the root end, which maltsters call Comming. When it beginneth therefore to shoot in this maner, they saie it is come, and then foorthwith they spread it abroad, first thicke, and afterward thinner and thinner vpon the said floore (as it commeth) and there it lieth (with turning euerie daie foure or fine times) by the space of one and twentie daies at the least, the workeman not suffering it in anie wise to take anie heat, whereby the bud end should spire, that bringeth foorth the blade, and by which ouersight or hurt of the stuffe it selfe the malt would be spoiled, and turne small commoditie to the bruer. When it hath gone or béene turned so long vpon the floore, they carie it to a kill couered with haire cloth, where they giue it gentle heats (after they haue spread it there verie thin abroad) till it be drie, & in the meane while they turne it often, that it may be vniformelie dried. For the more it be dried (yet must it be doone with soft fire) the swéeter and better the malt is, and the longer it will continue, whereas if it be not dried downe (as they call it) but slackelie handled, it will bréed a kind of worme, called a wiuell, which groweth in the floure of the corne, and in [Page 285] processe of time will so eat out it selfe, that nothing shall remaine of the graine but euen the verie rind or huske.

The best malt is tried by the hardnesse & colour, for if it looke fresh with a yellow hew, & thereto will write like a péece of chalke, after you haue bitten a kirnell in sunder in the middest, then you may assure your selfe that it is dried downe. In some places it is dried at leisure with wood alone, or strawe alone, in other with wood and strawe togither, but of all the strawe dried, is the most excellent. For the wood dried malt when it is brued, beside that the drinke is higher of colour, it dooth hurt and annoie the head of him that is not vsed thereto, bicause of the smoake. Such also as vse both indifferentlie doo barke, cleaue, and drie their wood in an ouen, thereby to remooue all moisture that shuld procure the fume, and this malt is in the second place, & with the same likewise, that which is made with dried firze, broome, &c: whereas if they also be occupied gréene, they are in maner so preiudiciall to the corne, as is the moist wood. And thus much of our malts, in bruing whereof some grinde the same somewhat groselie, and in séething well the liquor that shall be put vnto it, they adde to euerie nine quarters of mault one of headcorne, which consisteth of sundrie graine, as wheate, and otes groond. But what haue I to doo with this matter, or rather so great a quantitie, wherewith I am not acquainted. Neuerthelesse, sith I haue taken occasion to speake of bruing, I will exemplifie in such a proportion as I am best skilled in, bicause it is the vsuall rate for mine owne familie, and once in a moneth practised by my wife & hir maid seruants, who procéed withall after this maner, as she hath oft informed me.

[Sidenote: Bruing of beere.]

Hauing therefore groond eight bushels of good malt vpon our querne, where the toll is saued, she addeth vnto it halfe a bushell of wheat meale, and so much of otes small groond, and so tempereth or mixeth them with the malt, that you cannot easilie discerne the one from the other, otherwise these later would clunter, fall into lumps, and thereby become vnprofitable. The first liquor which is full eightie gallons, according to the proportion of our furnace, she maketh boiling hot, and then powreth it softlie into the malt, where it resteth (but without stirring) vntill hir second liquor be almost readie to boile. This doone she letteth hir mash run till the malt be left without liquor, or at the leastwise the greatest part of the moisture, which she perceiueth by the staie and soft issue thereof, and by this time hir second liquor in the furnace is ready to séeth, which is put also to the malt as the first woort also againe into the furnace wherevnto she addeth two pounds of the best English hops, and so letteth them seeth togither by the space of two houres in summer, or an houre and an halfe in winter, whereby it getteth an excellent colour, and continuance without impeachment, [Sidenote: Charwoort.] or anie superfluous tartnesse. But before she putteth hir 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 vp close, and suffereth no aire to come into it till it become yellow, and this she reserueth by it selfe vnto further vse, as shall appeare herafter, calling it Brackwoort or Charwoort, and as she saith it addeth also to the colour of the drinke, whereby it yeeldeth not vnto amber or fine gold in hew vnto the eie. By this time also hir second woort is let runne, and the first being taken out of the furnace and placed to coole, she returneth the middle woort vnto the furnace, where it is striken ouer, or from whence it is taken againe, when it beginneth to boile and mashed the second time, whilest the third liquor is heat (for there are thrée liquors) and this last put into the furnace, when the second is mashed againe. When she hath mashed also the last liquor (and set the second to coole by the first) she letteth it runne, and then séetheth it againe with a pound and an halfe of new hops, or peraduenture two pounds as she séeth cause by the goodnesse or basenesse of the hops, & when it hath sodden in summer two houres & in winter an houre & an halfe, she striketh it also and reserueth it vnto mixture with the rest when time dooth serue therefore. Finallie when she setteth hir drinke togither, she addeth to hir brackwoort or charwoort halfe an ounce of arras, and halfe a quarterne of an ounce of baiberries finelie powdered, and then putting the same into hir woort with an handfull of wheat flowre, she procéedeth in such [Page 286] vsuall order as common bruing requireth. Some in stéed of arras & baies adde so much long pepper onelie, but in hir opinion and my liking it is not so good as the first, and hereof we make thrée hoggesheads of good beere, such (I meane) as is méet for poore men as I am to liue withall, whose small maintenance (for what great thing is fortie pounds a yeare Computatis computandis able to performe) may indure no déeper cut, the charges whereof groweth in this manner. I value my malt at ten shillings, my wood at foure shillings which I buie, my hops at twentie pence, the spice at two pence, seruants wages two shillings six pence with meat and drinke, and the wearing of my vessell at twentie pence, so that for my twentie shillings I haue ten score gallons of béere or more, notwithstanding the losse in seething, which some being loth to forgo doo not obserue the time, and therefore spéed thereafter in their successe, and worthilie. The continuance of the drinke is alwaie determined after the quantitie of the hops, so that being well hopped it lasteth longer. For it féedeth vpon the hop, and holdeth out so long as the force of the same continueth, which being extinguished the drinke must be spent or else it dieth, and becommeth of no value.

In this trade also our bruers obserue verie diligentlie the nature of the water, which they dailie occupie; and soile through which it passeth, for all waters are not of like goodnesse, sith the fattest standing water is alwaies the best: for although the waters that run by chalke or cledgie soiles be good, and next vnto the Thames water which is the most excellent, yet the water that standeth in either of these is the best for vs that dwell in the countrie, as whereon the sunne lieth longest, and fattest fish is bred. But of all other the fennie and morish is the worst, and the cléerest spring water next vnto it. In this busines therfore the skilfull workeman dooth redeeme the iniquitie of that element, by changing of his proportions, which trouble in ale (sometime our onelie, but now taken with manie for old and sickmens drinke) is neuer séene nor heard of. Howbeit as the beere well sodden in the bruing, and stale, is cleere and well coloured as muscadell or malueseie, or rather yellow as the gold noble as our potknights call it: so our ale which is not at all or verie little sodden, and without hops, is more thicke, fulsome, and of no such continuance, which are thrée notable things to be considered in that liquor. But what for that? Certes I know some aleknights so much addicted therevnto, that they will not ceasse from morow vntill euen to visit the same, clensing house after house, till they defile themselues, and either fall quite vnder the boord, or else not daring to stirre from their stooles, sit still pinking with their narrow eies as halfe sleeping, till the fume of their aduersarie be digested that he may go to it afresh. Such flights also haue the alewiues for the vtterance of this drinke, that they will mixe it with rosen and salt: but if you heat a knife red hot, and quench it in the ale so neere the bottome of the pot as you can put it, you shall sée the rosen come foorth hanging on the knife. As for the force of salt, it is well knowne by the effect, for the more the drinker tipleth, the more he may, and so dooth he carrie off a drie dronken noll to bed with him, except his lucke be the better. But to my purpose.

In some places of England, there is a kind of drinke made of apples, which they call [Sidenote: Cider.] [Sidenote: Perrie.] cider or pomage, but that of peares is named pirrie, and both are groond and pressed in presses made for the nonce. Certes these two are verie common in Sussex, Kent, Worcester, and other stéeds, where these sorts of fruits doo abound, howbeit they are not their [Sidenote: Metheglin.] onelie drinke at all times, but referred vnto the delicate sorts of drinke, as metheglin is in Wales, whereof the Welshmen make no lesse accompt (and not without cause if it be well handled) than the Gréekes did of their Ambrosia or Nectar, which for the pleasantnesse thereof, was supposed to be such as the gods themselues did delite in. There is a kind of swish swash made also in Essex, and diuerse other places, with honicombs and water, which [Sidenote: Mead.] the homelie countrie wiues, putting some pepper and a little other spice among, call mead, verie good in mine opinion for such as loue to be loose bodied at large, or a little eased of the cough, otherwise it differeth so much frō the true metheglin, as chalke from cheese. Truelie it is nothing else but the washing of the combes, when the honie is wroong out, and [Sidenote: Hydromel.] one of the best things that I know belonging thereto is, that they spend but little labour [Page 287] and lesse cost in making of the same, and therefore no great losse if it were neuer occupied. Hitherto of the diet of my countrimen, & somewhat more at large peraduenture than manie men will like of, wherefore I thinke good now to finish this tractation, and so will I, when I haue added a few other things incident vnto that which goeth before, whereby the whole processe of the same shall fullie be deliuered, & my promise to my fréend in this behalfe performed.

[Sidenote: Lesse time spent in eating than heretofore.]

Heretofore there hath béene much more time spent in eating and drinking than commonlie is in these daies, for whereas of old we had breakefasts in the forenoone, beuerages, or nuntions after dinner, and thereto reare suppers generallie when it was time to go to rest (a toie brought into England by hardie Canutus and a custome whereof Athenæus also speaketh lib. 1, albeit Hippocrates speake but of twise at the most lib. 2. De rat. vict. in feb. ac.) Now these od repasts thanked be God are verie well left, and ech one in maner (except here and there some yoong hungrie stomach that cannot fast till dinner time) contenteth himselfe with dinner & supper onelie. The Normans misliking the gormandise of Canutus, ordeined after their arriuall, that no table should be couered aboue once in the daie, which Huntingdon imputeth to their auarice: but in the end either waxing wearie of their owne frugalitie, or suffering the cockle of old custome to ouergrow the good come of their new constitution, they fell to such libertie, that in often feeding they surmounted Canutus surnamed the hardie. [Sidenote: Canutus a glutton, but the Normans at the last excéeded him in that vice.] For whereas he couered his table but thrée or foure times in the daie, these spred their clothes fiue or six times, and in such wise as I before rehearsed. They brought in also the custome of long and statelie sitting at meat, whereby their feasts resembled those ancient pontificall bankets whereof Macrobius speaketh lib. 3. cap. 13. and Plin. lib. 10. cap. 10. and which for sumptuousnesse of fare, long sitting and curiositie shewed in the same, excéeded all other mens feasting, which fondnesse is not yet left with vs, notwithstanding that it proueth verie beneficiall for the physicians, who most abound, where most excesse and misgouernement of our bodies doo appéere, although it be a great expense of time, and worthie of reprehension. [Sidenote: Long sitting reprehended.] For the nobilitie, gentlemen, and merchantmen, especiallie at great meetings doo sit commonlie till two or three of the clocke at afternoone, so that with manie is an hard matter, to rise from the table to go to euening praier, and returne from thence to come time inough to supper. For my part I am persuaded that the purpose of the Normans at the first was to reduce the ancient Roman order or Danish custome in féeding once in the daie, and toward the euening, as I haue red and noted. And indeed the Romans had such a custome, and likewise the Grecians, as may appeere by the words of Socrates, who said vnto the Atheniens, "Oriente sole consilium, occidente conuiuium est cogitandum," although a little something was allowed in the morning to yoong children which we now calla breakefast. Plato called the Siciliens monsters, for that they vsed to eat twise in the daie. Among the Persians onelie the king dined when the sunne was at the highest, and shadow of the stile at the shortest: the rest (as it is reported) went alwaies but once to meat when their stomachs craued it, as the Canariens and Indians doo in my time (who if appetite serue refuse not to go to meat at anie houre of the night) and likewise the ancient Caspians. Yet Arhianus noteth it as a rare thing li. 4. cap. 16. that the Tyrhenians had taken vp an ill custome to féed twise in a daie. Howbeit at the last they fell generallie to allow of suppers toward the setting of the sunne in all places, bicause they would haue their whole familie to go to meat togither, and wherevnto they would appoint their guests to come at a certeine length of the shadow, to be perceiued in their dials. And this is more to be noted of antiquitie, that if anie man (as Plutarch saith) did féed before that time, he incurred a note of reprehension as if he had beene gluttonous and giuen vnto the bellie, 8. Sympos. 6. Their slaues in like sort were glad, when it grew to the tenth foot, for then were they sure soone after to go to meat. In the scripture we read of manie suppers & few dinners, onelie for that dining was not greatlie vsed in Christs time, but taken as a thing latelie sproong vp, when pampering of the bellie began to take hold, occasioned by idlenes and great abundance of riches. It is pretie to note in Iuuenal, how he taunteth Marius for that he gaue himselfe to drinke before the [Page 288] [*]ninth houre of the daie: for thinking three houres to be too little for the filling of his [Sidenote: * That is at thrée of the clock at afternoone.] bellie, he began commonlie at eight, which was an houre too soone. Afterwards when gurmandise increased yet more amongst the Romans, and from them was dispersed vnto all nations vnder their subiection, it came to passe that six houres onlie were appointed to worke and consult in, and the other six of the daie to feed and drinke in, as the verse saith:

Sex horæ tantum rebus tribuantur agendis,
  Viuere post illas, littera Zetha monet.

Wherevnto Maximus Planudes (except my memorie faile me) addeth this scholie after his maner, saieng that from morning vnto noone (which is six of the clocke after the vnequall accompt) each one dooth trauell about his necessarie affaires, that being doone, he betaketh himselfe to the refreshing of his bodie, which is noted and set downe by the Gréeke letters of the diall (wherewith the Romane horologies were marked, as ours be with their numerall letters) whereby the time is described; for those which point 7, 8, 9 and 10 are written with [Greek: x ae th i] and being ioined yéeld [Greek: xaethi], which in English signified so much as liue, as if they should meane, eat that thou maist liue. But how Martial diuided his daie, and with him the whole troope of the learned & wiser sort, these verses following doo more euidentlie declare:

[Sidenote: Li. 4. epig. 8.]
Prima salutantes, atque altera continet horas,
  Exercet raucos tertia causidicos.
In quintam varies extendit Roma labores,
  Sexta quies lassis, septima finis erit.
Sufficit in nonam nitidis octaua palestris,
  Imperat extructos frangere nona thoros.
Hora libellorum decima est Eupheme meorum,
  Temperat Ambrosias cum tua cura dapes.
Et bonus æthereo laxatur Nectare Cæsar,
  Ingentíque tenet pocula parca manu.
Tunc admitte iocos: gressu timet ire licenti,
  Ad matutinum nostra Thaleia Iouem.

Thus we sée how the ancient maner of the Gentils was to féed but once in the daie, and that toward night, till gluttonie grew on and altered this good custome. I might here remember also their maner in pulling off their shooes when they sat downe to meat, whereof Martial saith:

Deposui soleas, affertur protinus ingens
  Inter lactucas oxygarmúq; liber, &c.

And Tullie also remembreth where he saith Seruum à pedibus ad te misi, which office grew of the said custome, as Seruus ad limina did of kéeping the doore, though in most houses both these were commonlie one mans office, also Ad pocula of attending on the cup. But bicause the good writers of our time haue obserued these phrases and such like with their causes and descriptions, in their infinite and seuerall treatises, I shall not need to discourse anie farther vpon them. With vs the nobilitie, gentrie, and students, doo ordinarilie go to dinner at eleuen before noone, and to supper at fiue, or betweene fiue and six at afternoone. The merchants dine and sup seldome before twelue at noone, and six at night especiallie in London. The husbandmen dine also at high noone as they call it, and sup at seuen or eight: but out of the tearme in our vniuersities the scholers dine at ten. As for the poorest sort they generallie dine and sup when they may, so that to talke of their order of repast, it were but a néedlesse matter. I might here take occasion also to set downe the varietie vsed by antiquitie in their beginnings of their diets, wherin almost euerie nation had a seuerall fashion, some beginning of custome (as we doo in summer time) with salets at supper, and some ending with lettice, some making their entrie with egs, and shutting vp their tables [Page 289] with mulberies, as we doo with fruit and conceits of all sorts. Diuerse (as the old Romans) began with a few crops of rue, as the Venetians did with the fish called Gobius, the Belgies with butter (or as we doo yet also) with butter and egs vpon fish daies. But whereas we commonlie begin with the most grosse food, and end with the most delicate, the Scot thinking much to leaue the best for his meniall seruants maketh his entrance at the best, so that he is sure therby to leaue the worst. We vse also our wines by degrees, so that the hotest commeth last to the table, but to stand vpon such toies would spend much time, and turne to small profit, wherfore I will deale with other things more necessarie for this turne.



An Englishman, indeuoring sometime to write of our attire, made sundrie platformes for his purpose, supposing by some of them to find out one stedfast ground whereon to build the summe of his discourse. But in the end (like an oratour long without exercise) when he saw what a difficult péece of worke he had taken in hand, he gaue ouer his trauell, and onelie drue the picture of a naked man, vnto whome he gaue a paire of sheares in the one hand, and a peece of cloth in the other, to the end he should shape his apparell after such fashion as himselfe liked, sith he could find no kind of garment that could please him anie [Sidenote: Andrew Boord.] while togither, and this he called an Englishman. Certes this writer (otherwise being a lewd popish hypocrite and vngratious priest) shewed himselfe herein not to be altogether void of iudgement, sith the phantasticall follie of our nation, euen from the courtier to the carter is such, that no forme of apparell liketh vs longer than the first garment is in the wearing, if it continue so long and be not laid aside, to receiue some other trinket newlie deuised by the fickle headed tailors, who couet to haue seuerall trickes in cutting, thereby to draw fond customers to more expense of monie. For my part I can tell better how to inueigh [Sidenote: Strange cuts.] against this enormitie, than describe anie certeintie of our attire: sithence such is our mutabilitie, that to daie there is none to the Spanish guise, to morrow the French toies are most fine and delectable, yer long no such apparell as that which is after the high Alman fashion, by and by the Turkish maner is generallie best liked of, otherwise the Morisco gowns, the Barbarian sléeues, the mandilion worne to Collie weston ward, and the short French breches make such a comelie vesture, that except it were a dog in a doublet, you shall not sée anie so disguised, as are my countrie men of England. And as these fashions are diuerse, so likewise it is a world to see the costlinesse and the curiositie: the excesse and the vanitie: the pompe and the brauerie: the change and the varietie: and finallie the ficklenesse and the follie that is in all degrees: in somuch that nothing is more constant in England than inconstancie [Sidenote: Much cost vpon the bodie, and little vpon the soule.] of attire. Oh how much cost is bestowed now adaies vpon our bodies and how little vpon our soules! how manie sutes of apparell hath the one and how little furniture hath the other? how long time is asked in decking vp of the first, and how little space left wherin to féed the later? how curious, how nice also are a number of men and women, and how hardlie can the tailor please them in making it fit for their bodies? how manie times must it be sent backe againe to him that made it? what chafing, what fretting, what reprochfull language doth the poore workeman beare awaie? and manie times when he dooth nothing to it at all, yet when it is brought home againe it is verie fit and handsome; then must we put it on, then must the long seames of our hose be set by a plumb-line, then we puffe, then we blow, and finallie sweat till we drop, that our clothes may stand well vpon vs. I will saie nothing of our heads, which sometimes are polled, sometimes curled, or suffered to grow at length like womans lockes, manie times cut off aboue or vnder the eares round as by [Sidenote: Beards.] a woodden dish. Neither will I meddle with our varietie of beards, of which some are shauen from the chin like those of Turks, not a few cut short like to the beard of marques Otto, [Page 290] some made round like a rubbing brush, other with a pique de vant (O fine fashion!) or now and then suffered to grow long, the barbers being growen to be so cunning in this behalfe as the tailors. And therfore if a man haue a leane and streight face, a marquesse Ottons cut will make it broad and large; if it be platter like, a long slender beard will make it séeme the narrower; if he be wesell becked, then much heare left on the chéekes will make the owner looke big like a bowdled hen, and so grim as a goose, if Cornelis of Chelmeresford saie true: manie old men doo weare no beards at all. Some lustie courtiers also and gentlemen of courage, doo weare either rings of gold, stones, or pearle in their eares, whereby they imagine the workemanship of God not to be a little amended. But herein they rather disgrace than adorne their persons, as by their nicenesse in apparell, for which I saie most nations doo not vniustlie deride vs, as also for that we doo séeme to imitate all nations round about vs, wherein we be like to the Polypus or Chameleon; and therevnto bestow most cost vpon our arses, & much more than vpon all the rest of our bodies, as women doo likewise vpon their [Sidenote: Excesse in women.] heads and shoulders. In women also it is most to be lamented, that they doo now farre excéed the lightnesse of our men (who neuerthelesse are transformed from the cap euen to the verie shoo) and such staring attire as in time past was supposed méet for none but light housewiues onelie, is now become an habit for chast and sober matrones. What should I saie of their doublets with pendant codpéeses on the brest full of iags & cuts, and sléeues of sundrie colours? their galligascons to beare out their bums & make their attire to sit plum round (as they terme it) about them? their fardingals, and diuerslie coloured nether stocks of silke, ierdseie, and such like, whereby their bodies are rather deformed than commended? I haue met with some of these trulles in London so disguised, that it hath passed my skill to discerne whether they were men or women.

Thus it is now come to passe, that women are become men, and men transformed into monsters: and those good gifts which almightie God hath giuen vnto vs to reléeue our necessities withall (as a nation turning altogither the grace of God into wantonnesse, for

Luxuriant animi rebus plerunque secundis)

not otherwise bestowed than in all excesse, as if we wist not otherwise how to consume and wast them. I praie God that in this behalfe our sinne be not like vnto that of Sodoma and [Sidenote: Ezech. 16.] Gomorha, whose errors were pride, excesse of diet, and abuse of Gods benefits aboundantlie bestowed vpon them, beside want of charitie toward the poore, and certeine other points which the prophet shutteth vp in silence. Certes the common-wealth cannot be said to florish where these abuses reigne, but is rather oppressed by vnreasonable exactions made vpon rich farmers, and of poore tenants, wherewith to mainteine the same. Neither was it euer merier with England, than when an Englishman was knowne abroad by his owne cloth, and contented himselfe at home with his fine carsie hosen, and a meane slop: his coat, gowne, and cloake of browne blue or puke, with some pretie furniture of veluet or furre, and a doublet of sad tawnie, or blacke veluet, or other comelie silke, without such cuts and gawrish colours as are worne in these daies, and neuer brought in but by the consent of the French, who thinke themselues the gaiest men, when they haue most diuersities of iagges and change of colours [Sidenote: Attire of merchants.] about them. Certes of all estates our merchants doo least alter their attire, and therefore are most to be commended: for albeit that which they weare be verie fine and costlie, yet in forme and colour it representeth a great péece of the ancient grauitie apperteining to citizens and burgesses, albeit the yoonger sort of their wiues both in attire and costlie housekeeping can not tell when and how to make an end, as being women in déed in whome all kind of curiositie is to be found and seene, and in farre greater measure than in women of higher calling. I might here name a sort of hewes deuised for the nonce, wherewith to please phantasticall heads, as gooseturd gréene, pease porridge tawnie, popingaie blue, lustie gallant, the diuell in the head (I should saie the hedge) and such like: but I passe them ouer thinking it sufficient to haue said thus much of apparell generallie, when nothing can particularlie be spoken of anie constancie thereof. [Page 291]



In speaking of parlement lawe, I haue in the chapiter precedent said somewhat of this high and most honorable court. Wherefore it shall not néed to remember ought héere that is there touched: I will onelie speake of other things therefore concerning the estate of assemblie, whereby the magnificence thereof shall be in some part better knowne vnto such as shall come after vs. This house hath the most high and absolute power of the realme, for thereby kings and mightie princes haue from time to time béene deposed from their thrones, lawes either enacted or abrogated, offenders of all sorts punished, and corrupted religion either dissanulled or reformed, which commonlie is diuided into two houses or parts, the [Sidenote: The parlement house diuideth the estate of the realme into nobilitie and the commons.] higher or vpper hous consisting of the nobilitie, including all euen vnto the baron and bishop: the lower called the nether house of knights, squires, gentlemen, and burgesses of the commons, with whome also the inferior members of the cleargie are ioined, albeit they sit in diuerse places, and these haue to deale onelie in matters of religion, till it come that they ioine with the rest in confirmation of all such acts as are to passe in the same. For without the consent of the thrée estates, that is, of the nobilitie, cleargie, and laietie, sildome anie thing is said to be concluded vpon, and brought vnto the prince for his consent and allowance. To be short, whatsoeuer the people of Rome did in their Centuriatis or Tribunitijs comitijs, the same is and may be doone by authoritie of our parlement house, which is the head and bodie of all the realme, and the place wherein euerie particular person is intended to be present, if not by himselfe, yet by his aduocate or atturneie. For this cause also any thing ther enacted is not to be misliked, but obeied of all men without contradiction or [Sidenote: Time of summons.] grudge. By the space of fortie dais, before this assemblie be begun, the prince sendeth his writs vnto all his nobilitie particularlie, summoning them to appeare, at the said court. The like he doth to the shiriffe of euerie countie; with commandement to choose two knights within ech of their counties, to giue their aduise in the name of the shire, likewise to euerie citie and towne, that they may choose their burgesses, which commonlie are men best skilled in the state of their citie or towne, either for the declaration of such benefits as they want, or to shew which waie to reforme such enormities as thorough the practises of ill members are practised and crept in among them: the first being chosen by the gentlemen of the shire, the other by the citizens and burgesses of euerie citie and towne, whereby that court is furnished. [Sidenote: Of the upper house.] The first daie of the parlement being come, the lords of the vpper house, as well ecclesiasticall as temporall, doo attend vpon the prince, who rideth thither in person, as it were to open the doore of their authoritie; and being come into the place, after praiers made, and causes shewed, wherefore some not present are inforced to be absent, each man taketh his place according to his degrée. The house it selfe is curiouslie furnished with tapisterie, and the king being set in his throne, the spirituall lords take vp the side of the [Sidenote: Places of the peeres.] house which is on the right hand of the prince, and the temporall lords the left, I meane, so well dukes and earles, as viscounts and barons, as I before remembred. In the middest and a pretie distance from the prince, lie certeine sackes stuffed with wooll or haire, wheron the iudges of the realme, the master of the rols, and secretaries of estate doo sit. Howbeit these iudges haue no voice in the house, but onelie shew what their opinion is of such & such matters as come in question among the lords, if they be commanded so to doo: as the secretaries are to answer such letters or things passed in the councell, whereof they haue the custodie & knowledge. Finallie, the consent of this house is giuen by each man seuerallie, first for himselfe being present, then seuerallie for so manie as he hath letters & proxies directed vnto him, saieng onelie; Content or Not content, without any further debating. Of the number assembled in the lower house, I haue alreadie made a generall report in the chapter precedent, and their particulars shall follow here at hand. These therefore being called ouer [Page 292] [Sidenote: Of the lower house.] [Sidenote: Speaker.] by name do choose a speaker, who is as it were their mouth, and him they present vnto the prince, in whom it is either to refuse or admit him by the lord chancellor, who in the princes name dooth answer vnto his oration, made at his first entrance & presentation into the house, wherein he declareth the good liking that the king hath concerned of his choise vnto that office [Sidenote: Petitions of the speaker.] & function. Being admitted, he maketh fiue requests vnto that honorable assemblie, first that the house may (as in times past) inioy hir former liberties and priuileges: secondlie, that the congregates may frankelie shew their minds vpon such matters as are to come in question: thirdlie, that if anie of the lower house doo giue anie cause of offense during the continuance of this assemblie, that the same may inflict such punishment vpon the partie culpable, as to the said assemblie shall be thought conuenient: fourthlie, if anie doubt should arise among them of the lower house, that he in their name might haue frée accesse and recourse vnto his maiestie & lords of the higher house, to be further instructed and resolued in the same: fiftlie and last, he craueth pardon for himselfe, if in his going to and fro betweene the houses, he forget or mistake anie thing, requiring that he may returne and be better informed in such things as he did faile in without offense: vnto which petitions the lord chancellor dooth answer as apperteineth, and this is doone on the first daie, or peraduenture the second, if it could not be conuenientlie performed in the first.

[Sidenote: Clerke of the parliament.]

Beside the lord chancellor there is another in the vpper house called the clerke of the parlement, whose office is to read the billes. For euerie thing that commeth in consultation in either house, is first put in writing in paper, which being read, he that listeth riseth vp and speaketh either with it or against it, and so one after another so long as they shall thinke good; that doone they go to another, and so to the third, &c: the instrument still wholie or in part raced or reformed, as cause moueth for the amendment of the same if the substance be reputed necessarie. In the vpper house the lord chancellor demandeth if they will haue it ingrossed, that is to saie, put in parchment, which doone, it is read the third time, & after debating of the matter to and fro if the more part doo conclude withall, vpon the vtterance of these words, "Are ye contented that it be enacted or no?" the clerke writeth vnderneath "Soit bailie aux commons," and so when they sée time they send such billes approued to the commons by some of them that sit on the wooll sackes, who comming into the house, & demanding licence to speake, doo vse this kind of words or the like to the speaker, as sir Thomas Smith dooth deliuer and set them downe, whose onelie direction I vse, and almost word for word in this chapter, requiting him with the like borowage as he hath vsed toward me in his discourse of the sundrie degrées of estates in the common-wealth of England, which (as I hope) shall be no discredit to his trauell. "Master speaker, my lords of the vpper house haue passed amongst them, and thinke good that there should be enacted by parlement such an act, and such an act (reading their titles in such sort as he receiued them) they praie you therefore to consider & shew your aduise vpon them." Which doone they go their waie, and the doore being shut after them, the speaker declareth what message was sent vnto them, and if they be then void of consultation vpon anie other bill, he presentlie demandeth what their pleasures are, first of one, then of another, &c: which are solemnelie read, or their contents bréeflie shewed and then debated vpon among them.

[Sidenote: Of the nether house.]

The speaker sitteth in a chaire erected somewhat higher than the rest, that he may sée and be séene of all men, and before him on a lower seat sitteth his clerke, who readeth such bils as be first propounded in the lower house, or sent downe from the lords: for in that point each house hath equall authoritie to propound what they thinke méet, either for the abrogation of old or making of new lawes. All bils be thrise and on diuerse daies read and disputed vpon before they come to the question, which is, whether they shall be enacted or not; and in discourse vpon them, verie good order is vsed in the lower house, wherein he that will speake giueth notice thereof by standing vp bare headed. If manie stand vp at once (as now & then it happeneth) he speaketh first that was first seene to moue out of his place, and telleth his tale vnto the speaker, without rehersall of his name whose speches he meaneth to confute, so that with a perpetuall oration & not with altercation these discourses [Page 293] are continued. But as the partie confuted may not replie on that daie, so one man can not speake twise to one bill in one daie though he would change his opinion, but on the next he may speake againe, & yet but once as afore. No vile, seditious, vnreuerent or biting words are vsed in this assemblie, yet if anie happen to escape and be vttered, the partie is punished according to the censure of the assemblie and custome in that behalfe. In the afternoone they sit not except vpon some vrgent occasion, neither hath the speaker anie voice in that house, wherewith to moue or dissuade the furtherance or staie of anie bill, but his office is vpon the reading thereof breeflie to declare the contents. If anie bill passe, which commeth vnto them from the lords, it is thus subscribed, "Les commons ont assentus:" so if the lords agree vpon anie bill sent vnto them from the commons, it is subscribed after this maner, "Les seigniours ont assentus." If it be not agreed on after thrise reading, there is conference required and had betwéene the vpper and nether houses, by certeine appointed for that purpose vpon the points in question, wherevpon if no finall agréement by the more part can be obteined, the bill is dashed and reiected, or (as the saieng is) cleane cast out of the doores. None of the nether house can giue his voice by proxie but in his owne person, and after the bill twise read, then ingrossed and the third time read againe & discoursed vpon, the speaker asketh if they will go to the question, whervnto if they agree he holdeth vp the bill & saith; "So manie as will haue this bill go forward saie Yea:" hervpon so manie as allow of the thing crie Yea, the other No, & as the crie is more or lesse on either side, so is the bill to staie or else go forward. If the number of negatiue and affirmatiue voices seeme to be equall, so manie as allow of the bill go downe withall, the rest sit still, and being told by the poll the greater part doo carrie away the matter. If something be allowed and in some part reiected, the bill is put to certeine committées to be amended, & then being brought in againe, it is read and passeth or staieth as the voices yéeld therto. This is the order of the passage of our lawes, which are not ratified till both houses haue agréed vnto them, and yet not holden for law till the prince haue giuen his assent. Vpon the last daie therfore of the parlement or session, the prince commeth in person againe into the house, in his robes as at the first. Where after thanks giuen to the prince, first in the name of the lords by the lord chancellor, then in the name of the commons by the speaker for his great care of the welfare of his realme, &c: the lord chancellor in the princes name giueth thanks to the lords & commons likewise for their paines, with promise of recompense as opportunitie & occasion shall serue therefore. This doone one readeth the title of euerie act passed in that session, and then it is noted vpon them what the prince doth allow of with these words, "Le roy veult." If the prince like not of them, it is written vpon them "Le roy aduisera." And so those acts are dashed, as the other from thencefoorth are taken and holden for law, and all imprinted except such as concerne some priuat persons, which are onelie exemplified vnder the scale of the parlement, as priuileges to his vse. And this is the summe of the maner after which our parlements in England are holden, without which no forfaiture of life, member or lands of anie Englishman, where no law is ordeined for the same before hand, is auailable or can take place amongst vs. And so much in maner out of the third chapiter of the second booke of the common-wealth of England written by sir Thomas Smith: whervnto I will annex a table of the counties, cities, boroughs and ports, which send knights, burgesses, and barons to the parlement house, and dooth insue as followeth. [Page 294]


Knights. 2
The borough of Bedford. 2
Knights 2
The borough of Buckingham. 2
The borough of Wickombe. 2
The borough of Ailesburie. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of New Windsore. 2
The borough of Reading. 2
The borough of Wallingford. 2
The borough of Abington. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Launceston aliàs Newport. 2
The borough of Leskerd. 2
The borough of Lostwithiell. 2
The borough of Dunheuet. 2
The borough of Truro. 2
The borough of Bodmin. 2
The borough of Helston. 2
The borough of Saltash. 2
The borough of Camelford. 2
The borough of Portighsam aliàs Portlow. 2
The borough of Graunpount. 2
The borough of Eastlow. 2
The borough of Prurie. 2
The borough of Tregonie. 2
The borough of Trebenna aliàs Bossinnie. 2
The borough of S. Ies. 2
The borough of Fowaie. 2
The borough of Germine. 2
The borough of Michell. 2
The borough of saint Maries. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Caerleill. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Cambridge. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Chester. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Darbie. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Excester. 2
The borough of Totnes. 2
The borough of Plimmouth. 2
The borough of Bardnestable. 2
The borough of Plimton. 2
The borough of Tauestocke. 2
The borough of Dartmouth, Clifton, and Herdines. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Poole. 2
The borough of Dorchester. 2
The borough of Linne. 2
The borough of Melcombe. 2
The borough of Waiemouth. 2
The borough of Bureport. 2
The borough of Shaftesburie. 2
The borough of Warham. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Colchester. 2
The borough of Malden. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Yorke. 2
The borough of Kingston vpon Hull. 2
The borough of Knaresborough. 2
The borough of Skardborough. 2
The borough of Rippon. 2
The borough of Hudon. 2
The borough of Boroughbridge. 2
The borough of Thuske. 2
The borough of Aldebrough. 2
The borough of Beuerleie. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Glocester. 2
The borough of Cirencester. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Huntingdon. 2
[Page 295] Hertfordshire.
Knights. 2
The borough of saint Albons. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Hereford. 2
The borough of Lempster. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Canturburie. 2
The citie of Rochester. 2
The borough of Maidstone. 2
The borough of Quinborough. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Lincolne. 2
The borough of Bostone. 2
The borough of great Grinesbie. 2
The borough of Stamford. 2
The borough of Grantham. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Leicester. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Lancaster. 2
The borough of Preston in Andernes. 2
The borough of Liuerpoole. 2
The borough of Newton. 2
The borough of Wigan. 2
The borough of Clithero. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of London. 4
The citie of Westminster. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Monmouth. 1
Knights. 2
The citie of Peterborough. 2
The borough of Northhampton. 2
The borough of Barkleie. 2
The borough of Higham Ferres. 1
Knights. 2
The borough of Notingham. 2
The borough of Estreatford. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Norwich. 2
The borough of Linne. 2
The borough of great Iernemouth. 2
The borough of Thetford. 2
The borough of castell Rising. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of New castell vpon Tine. 2
The borough of Morpeth. 2
The borough of Barwike. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Oxford. 2
The borough of Bamburie. 2
The borough of Woodstocke. 2
Knights. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Southwarke. 2
The borough of Blechingleigh. 2
The borough of Rigate. 2
The borough of Guildford. 2
The borough of Gatton. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Lichfield. 2
The borough of Stratford. 2
The borough of New castell vnder Linne. 2
The borough of Tamworth. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Salop. 2
The borough of Bruges aliàs Bridgenorth. 2
The borough of Ludlow. 2
The borough of Wenlocke. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Winton. 2
The borough of Southampton. 2
The borough of Portesmouth. 2
The borough of Peterfield. 2
The borough of Stockebridge. 2
The borough of Christ church. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Ippeswich. 2
[Page 296] The borough of Dunwich. 2
The borough of Ortford. 2
The borough of Aldeborough. 2
The borough of Sudburie. 2
The borough of Eya. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Bristow. 2
The citie of Bath. 2
The citie of Welles. 2
The borough of Taunton. 2
The borough of Bridgewater. 2
The borough of Minehed. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Chichester. 2
The borough of Horsham. 2
The borough of Midhurst. 2
The borough of Lewes. 2
The borough of Shorham. 2
The borough of Brember. 2
The borough of Stening. 2
The borough of Eastgrenesteed. 2
The borough of Arundell. 2
Knights. 2
The borough of Appulbie. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of New Sarum. 2
The borough of Wilton. 2
The borough of Dounton. 2
The borough of Hindon. 2
The borough of Heitesburie. 2
The borough of Westburie. 2
The borough of Caine. 2
The borough of Deuises. 2
The borough of Chipenham. 2
The borough of Malmesburie. 2
The borough of Cricklade. 2
The borough of Budwin. 2
The borough of Ludgesale. 2
The borough of Old Sarum. 2
The borough of Wotton Basset. 2
The borough of Marleborough. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Worcester. 2
The borough of Withée. 2
Knights. 2
The citie of Couentrie. 2
The borough of Warwike. 2
Barons of the ports.
Hastings. 2
Winchelseie. 2
Rie. 2
Rumneie. 2
Hithe. 2
Douer. 2
Sandwich. 2
Knights. 1
The borough of Mountgomerie. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Flint. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Denbigh. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Hauerfordwest. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Carneruan. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Beaumares. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of new Carmarden. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Pembroke. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Cairdigan. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Brecknoch. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Radnor. 1
Knights. 1
The borough of Cardiffe. 1

[Page 297]

The summe of the foresaid number of the common house videlicet, of

Knights. 90.
Citizens. 46.
Burgesses. 289.
Barons. 14.



[Sidenote: Samothes.]

That Samothes or Dis gaue the first lawes to the Celtes (whose kingdome he erected about the fiftéenth of Nimbrote) the testimonie of Berosus is proofe sufficient. For he not onelie affirmeth him to publish the same in the fourth of Ninus, but also addeth thereto, how there liued none in his daies of more excellent wisdome, nor politike inuention than he, whereof he was named Samothes, as some other do affirme. What his lawes were, it is now altogither vnknowne, as most things of this age; but that they were altered againe at the comming [Sidenote: Albion.] of Albion, no man can absolutelie denie, sith new lords vse commonlie to giue new lawes, and conquerors abolish such as were in vse before them.

[Sidenote: Brute.]

The like also may be affirmed of our Brute, notwithstanding that the certeine knowledge so well of the one as of the other is perished, and nothing worthie memorie left of all their [Sidenote: Mulmutius.] dooings. Somewhat yet we haue of Mulmutius, who not onelie subdued such princes as reigned in this land, but also brought the realme to good order, that long before had béene torne with ciuill discord. But where his lawes are to be found, and which they be from other mens, no man liuing in these daies is able to determine.

Certes, there was neuer prince in Britaine, of whome his subiects conceiued better hope in the beginning, than of Bladudus, and yet I read of none that made so ridiculous an end: in like sort there hath not reigned anie monarch in this Ile, whose waies were more feared at [Sidenote: The praise of Dunwallon.] the first, than those of Dunwallon (king Henrie the fift excepted) and yet in the end he prooued such a prince, as after his death there was in maner no subiect, that did not lament his funerals. And this onelie for his policie in gouernance, seuere administration of iustice, and prouident framing of his lawes and constitutions, for the gouernment of his subiects. His people also, coueting to continue his name vnto posteritie, intituled those his ordinances according to their maker, calling them by the name of the lawes of Mulmutius, which indured in execution among the Britons, so long as our homelings had the dominion of this Ile. Afterward when the comeling Saxons had once obteined the superioritie of the kingdom, the maiestie of those lawes fell for a time into such decaie, that although "Non penitùs cecidit, tamen potuit cecidisse videri," as Leland saith, and the decrées themselues had vtterlie perished in déed at the verie first brunt, had they not beene preserued in Wales, where they remained amongst the relikes of the Britons, & not onlie vntill the comming of the Normans, but euen vntill the time of Edward the first, who obteining the souereigntie of that portion, indeuoured verie earnestlie to extinguish those of Mulmutius, and to establish his owne.

But as the Saxons at their first arriuall did what they could to abolish the British lawes, so in processe of time they yéelded a little to relent, & not so much to abhorre and mislike of the lawes of Mulmutius, as to receiue and imbrace the same, especiallie at such time as the said Saxon princes entered into amitie with the British nobilitie, and after that began to ioine in matrimonie with the British ladies, as the British barons did with the Saxon frowes, both by an especiall statute and decrée, wherof in another treatise I haue made mention at large. Héerof also it came to passe in the end, that they were contented to make a choise, [Page 298] and insert no small numbers of them into their owne volumes, as may be gathered by those of Athelbert the great, surnamed king of Kent, Inas and Alfred kings of the west Saxons, and diuerse other yet extant to be séene. Such also was the lateward estimation of them, that when anie of the Saxon princes went about to make new ordinances, they caused those of Mulmutius (which Gildas sometime translated into Latine) to be first expounded vnto them, and in this perusall if they found anie there alreadie framed, that might serue their turnes, they foorthwith reuiued the same, and annexed them to their owne.

But in this dealing, the diligence of Alfred is most of all to be commended, who not onelie chose out the best, but gathered togither all such whatsoeuer the said Mulmutius had made: and then to the end they should lie no more in corners as forlorne bookes, and vnknowne to the learned of his kingdome, he caused them to be turned into the Saxon toong, wherein they continued long after his decease.

As for the Normans, who for a season neither regarded the British, nor cared for the Saxon statutes, they also at the first vtterlie misliked of them, till at the last, when they had well weied that one kind of regiment is not conuenient for all peoples, and that no stranger, being in a forren countrie newlie brought vnder obedience, could make such equall ordinances, as he might thereby gouerne his new common-wealth without some care & trouble: they fell in with such a desire to sée by what rule the state of the land was gouerned in time of the Saxons, that hauing perused the same, they not onelie commended their maner of regiment, but also admitted a great part of their lawes (now currant vnder the name of S. Edwards lawes, and vsed as principles and grounds) whereby they not onelie qualified the rigor of their owne, and mitigated their almost intollerable burden of seruitude which they had latelie laid vpon the shoulders of the English, but also left vs a great number of the old Mulmutian lawes, whereof the most part are in vse to this daie as I said, albeit that we know not certeinlie how to distinguish them from others, that are in strength amongst vs.

[Sidenote: Martia.]

After Dunwallon, the next lawgiuer was Martia, whome Leland surnameth Proba; and after him Iohn Bale also, who in his Centuries dooth iustlie confesse himselfe to haue béene holpen by the said Leland, as I my selfe doo likewise for manie things conteined in this treatise. Shée was wife vnto Gutteline king of the Britons: and being made protectrix of the realme, after hir husbands deceasse in the nonage of hir sonne, and séeing manie things dailie to grow vp among hir people worthie reformation, she deuised sundrie and those verie politike lawes, for the gouernance of hir kingdome, which hir subiects when she was dead and gone, did name the Martian statutes. Who turned them into Latine, as yet I doo not read, howbeit (as I said before of the lawes of Mulmutius) so the same Alfred caused those of this excellentlie well learned ladie (whome diuerse commend also for hir great knowledge in the Gréeke toong) to be turned into his owne language, wherevpon it came to passe that they were dailie executed among his subiects, afterward allowed of (among the rest) by the Normans, and finallie remaine in vse in these our daies, notwithstanding that we can not disseuer them also verie readilie from the other.

The seuenth alteration of lawes was practised by the Saxons, for I ouerpasse the vse of the ciuill ordinances vsed in Rome, finallie brought hither by the Romans, & yet in perfect notice among the Ciuilians of our countrie, though neuer generallie nor fullie receiued by all the seuerall regions of this Iland. Certes there are great numbers of these later, which yet remaine in sound knowlege, and are to be read, being comprehended for the most part vnder [Sidenote: Martian Law.] [Sidenote: Saxon Law.] [Sidenote: Dane Law.] the names of the Martian and the Saxon law. Beside these also I read of the Dane law, so that the people of middle England were ruled by the first, the west Saxons by the second; as Essex, Norffolke, Suffolke, Cambridgeshire, and part of Herfordshire were by the third, of all the rest the most inequall and intollerable. And as in these daies what soeuer the prince in publike assemblie commanded vpon the necessitie of his subiects, or his owne voluntarie authoritie, was counted for law: so none of them had appointed anie certeine place, wherevnto his people might repaire at fixed times for iustice, but caused them to resort commonlie to their palaces, where in proper person they would often determine their causes, and so make [Page 299] shortest worke, or else commit the same to the hearing of other, and so dispatch them awaie. Neither had they any house appointed to assemble in for the making of their ordinances, as we haue now at Westminster. Wherefore Edmund gaue lawes at London & Lincolne, Ethelred at Habam, Alfred at Woodstock and Wannetting, Athelstane in Excester, Grecklade, Feuersham, & Thundersleie, Canutus at Winchester, &c: other in other places, whereof this may suffice.

Among other things also vsed in the time of the Saxons, it shall not be amisse to set downe the forme of their Ordalian law, which they brought hither with them from beyond the seas out of Scithia, and vsed onelie in the triall of guiltie and vnguiltinesse. Certes it conteined not an ordinarie procéeding by daies and termes, as in the ciuill and common law we see practised in these daies; but a short dispatch & triall of the matter by fire or water, whereof at this present I will deliuer the circumstance, as I haue faithfullie translated it out of an ancient volume, and conferred with an imprinted copie, latelie published by M. Lambert, and now extant to be read. Neuerthelesse, as the Scithians were the first that vsed this practise, so I read that it was taken vp and occupied also in France in processe of time, yea and likewise in Grecia, as G. Pachymerus remembreth in the first booke of his historie (which beginneth with the empire of M. Paleologus) where he noteth his owne sight and vew in that behalfe. But what stand I herevpon?

[Sidenote: Ordalian law.]

The Ordalian (saith the aforesaid author) was a certeine maner of purgation vsed two [Sidenote: Fire.] waies, wherof the one was by fire, the other by water. In the execution of that which was doone by fire, the partie accused should go a certeine number of pases, with an hot iron in his hand, or else bare footed vpon certeine plough shares red hot, according to the maner. This iron was sometime of one pound weight, and then was it called single Ordalium, sometimes of thrée, and then named treble Ordalium, and whosoeuer did beare or tread on the same without hurt of his bodie he was adiudged guiltlesse, otherwise if his skin were scorched, he was foorthwith condemned as guiltie of the trespasse whereof he was accused, according to the proportion and quantitie of the burning.

[Sidenote: Water.]

There were in like sort two kinds of triall by the water, that is to say, either by hot or cold: and in this triall the partie thought culpable, was either tumbled into some pond or huge vessell of cold water, wherein if he continued for a season, without wrestling or strugling for life, he was foorthwith acquited as guiltlesse of the fact wherof he was accused: but if he began to plunge, and labour once for breath immediatlie vpon his falling into that liquor, he was by and by condemned as guiltie of the crime. Or else he did thrust his arme vp to the shoulder into a lead, copper, or caldron of seething water, from whence if he withdrew the same without anie maner of damage, he was discharged of further molestation: otherwise he was taken for a trespasser, and punished accordinglie. The fierie maner of purgation belonged onelie to noble men and women, and such as were free borne: but the husbandmen and villaines were tried by water. Wherof to shew the vnlearned dealing and blind ignorance of those times, it shall not be impertinent to set foorth the whole maner, which continued here in England vntill the time of King Iohn, who seeing the manifold subtilties in the same (by sundrie sorcerous and artificiall practises whereby the working of the said elements were restreined) did extinguish it altogither as flat lewdnesse and bouerie. The Rubrike of the treatise entereth thus: "Here beginneth the execution of iustice, whereby the giltie or vngiltie are tried by hot iron. Then it followeth: After accusation lawfullie made, and three daies spent in fasting and praier, the priest being clad in all his holie vestures, sauing his vestment, shall take the iron laid before the altar with a paire of tongs, and singing the hymne of the three children, that is to saie, O all ye workes of God the Lord, and in Latine Benedicite omnia opera, &c: he shall carie it solemnelie to the fire (alreadie made for that purpose) and first saie these words ouer the place where the fire is kindled, whereby this purgation shall be made in Latine as insueth: Benedic Domine Deus locum istum, vt sit nobis in eo sanitas, sanctitas, castitas, virtus, & victoria, & sanctimonia, humilitas, bonitas, lenitas, & plenitude legis, & obedientia Deo patri, & filio, & [Page 300] spiritui sancto. Hæc benedictio sit super hunc locum, & super omnes habitantes in eo. In English: Blesse thou O Lord this place, that it may be to vs health, holinesse, chastitie, vertue, and victorie, purenesse, humilitie, goodnesse, gentlenesse, and fulnesse of the law, and obedience to God the father, the sonne, and the holie ghost. This blessing be vpon this place, and all that dwell in it. Then followeth the blessing of the fire. Domine Deus pater omnipotens, lumen indeficiens, exaudi nos, quia tu es conditor omnium luminum. Benedic Domine hoc lumen, quod ante sanctificatum est, qui illuminasti omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum (vel mundum) vt ab eo lumine accendamur igne claritatis tuæ. Et sicut igne illuminasti Mosen, ita nunc illumina corda nostra, & sensus nostros, vt ad vitam æternam mereamur peruenire, per Christum, &c. Lord God father almightie, light euerlasting, heare vs, sith thou art the maker of all lights. Blesse O Lord this light, that is alreadie sanctified in thy sight, which hast lightned all men that come into the world (or the whole world) to the end that by the same light we may be lightned with the shining of thy brightnesse. As thou diddest lighten Moses, so now illuminate our hearts, and our senses, that we may deserue to come to euerlasting life, through Christ our, &c. This being ended let him say the Pater noster, &c: then these words: Saluum fac seruum, &c. Mitte ei auxilium Deus, &c. De Sion tuere eum, &c. Dominus vobiscum, &c. That is, O Lord saue thy seruant, &c. Send him helpe O God from thy holie place, &c. Defend him out of Sion, &c. Lord heare, &c. The Lord be with you, &c.

"The praier. Benedic Domine sancte pater, omnipotens Deus, per inuocationem sanctissimi nominis tui, & per aduentum filij tui, atque per donum spiritus paracleti, ad manifestandum verum iudicium tuum, hoc genus metalli, vt sit sanctificatum, & omni dæmonum falsitate procul remota, veritas veri iudicij tui fidelibus tuis manifesta fiat, per eundem Dominum, &c. In English: Blesse we beséech thee O Lord, holie father, euerlasting God, through the inuocation of thy most holie name, by the comming of thy sonne, and gift of the holie ghost, and to the manifestation of thy true iudgement, this kind of mettall, that being hallowed, and all fraudulent practises of the diuels vtterlie remoued, the manifest truth of thy true iudgement may be reuealed, by the same Lord Iesus, &c. "After this, let the iron be laid into the fire, and sprinkled with holie water, and whilest it heateth, let the priest go to masse, and doo as order requireth: and when he hath receiued the host, he shall call the man that is to be purged (as it is written hereafter) first adiuring him, and then permitting him to communicate according to the maner.

The office of the masse.

"Iustus es Domine, &c. O Lord thou art iust, &c.

The Praier.

"Absolue quæsumus Domine delicta famuli tui, vt à peccatorum suorum nexibus, quæ pro sua fragilitate contraxit, tua benignitate liberetur, & in hoc iudicio quoad meruit, iustitia tua præueniente, ad veritatis censuram peruenire mereatur, per Christum Dominum, &c. That is: Pardon we beséech thée O Lord, the sinnes of thy seruant, that being deliuered from the burden of his offenses, wherewith he is intangled, he may be cleared by thy benignitie, and in this his triall (so far as he hath deserued thy mercie preuenting him) he may come to the knowledge of the truth, by Christ our Lord, &c.

The Gospell. Mar. 10.

"In illo tempore, cùm egressus esset Iesus in via, procurrens quidam genu flexo ante eum, rogabat eum dicens, Magister bone, quid faciam vt vitam æternam percipiam? Iesus autem dixit ei, Quid me dicis bonum? &c. In those daies when Iesus went foorth toward his iourneie, and one méeting him in the waie running, and kneeling vnto him, asked him [Page 301] saieng: Good master what shall I doo that I may possesse eternall life? Iesus said vnto him, Whie callest thou me good? &c. Then followeth the secret, and so foorth all of the rest of the masse. But before the partie dooth communicate, the priest shall vse these words vnto him: Adiuro te per patrem, & filium, & spiritum sanctum, & per veram christianitatem quam suscepisti, & per sanctas relliquias quæ in ista ecclesia sunt, & per baptismum quo te sacerdos regenerauit, vt non præsumas vllo modo communicare, neq; accedere ad altare, si hoc fecisti aut consensisti, &c. I adiure thée by the father, the sonne, and the holie Ghost, by the true christendome which thou hast receiued, by the holie relikes which are in this church, and by the baptisme wherewith the priest hath regenerated thée, that thou presume not by any maner of means to communicate, nor come about the altar, if thou hast doone or consented vnto this, whereof thou art accused, &c. Here let the priest suffer him to [Sidenote: The cup yet in vse.] communicate, saieng; Corpus hoc, & sanguis Domini nostri Iesu Christi, sit tibi ad probationem hodie. This bodie & this bloud of our Lord Iesus Christ, be vnto thee a triall this daie. The praier: Perceptis Domine Deus noster sacris muneribus, supplices deprecamur, vt huius participatio sacramenti à proprijs nos reatibus expediat, & in famulo tuo veritatis sententiam declaret, &c. Hauing receiued O Lord God these holie mysteries, we humblie beséech thée that the participation of this sacrament may rid vs of our guiltinesse, and in this thy seruant set foorth the truth. Then shall follow Kyrieleson, the Letanie, and certeine Psalmes, and after all them Oremus: Let vs praie. Deus qui per ignem signa magna ostendens, Abraham puerum tuum de incendio Chaldæorum quibusdam pereuntibus eruisti, Deus qui rubum ardere ante conspectum Mosis & minimè comburi permisisti, Deus qui de incendio fornacis Chaldaicis plerísque succensis, tres pueros tuos illæsos eduxisti, Deus qui incendio ignis populum Sodomæ inuoluens, Loth famulum tuum cum suis salute donasti, Deus qui in aduentu sancti spiritus tui, illustratione ignis fideles tuos ab infidelibus decreuisti: ostende nobis in hoc prauitatis nostræ examine virtutem eiusdem spiritus, &c: & per ignis huius feruorem discernere infideles, vt à tactu eius cuius inquisitio agitur, conscius exhorrescat, & manus eius comburatur, innocens verò pœnitus illæsus permaneat, &c. Deus cuius noticiam nulla vnquam secreta effugiunt, fidei nostræ tua bonitate responde, & præsta vt quisquis purgandi se gratia, hoc ignitum tulerit ferrum, vel absoluatur vt innocens, vel noxius detegatur, &c. In English thus: O God, which in shewing great tokens by fire diddest deliuer Abraham thy seruant from the burning of the Chaldeis, whilest other perished; O God which sufferedst the bush to burne in the sight of Moses, and yet not to consume; O God which deliueredst the three children from bodilie harme in the fornace of the Chaldeis, whilest diuerse were consumed; O God which by fire didst wrap the people of Sodome in their destruction, and yet sauedst Lot and his daughters from perill; O God which by the shining of thy brightnesse at the comming of the holie ghost in likenesse of fire, diddest separate the faithfull from such as beléeued not: shew vnto vs in the triall of this our wickednesse, the power of the same spirit, &c: and by the heat of this fire discerne the faithfull from the vnfaithfull, that the guiltie whose cause is now in triall, by touching thereof, may tremble and feare, and his hand be burned, or being innocent, that he may remaine in safetie, &c. O God from whome no secrets are hidden, let thy goodnesse answer to our faith, and grant that whosoeuer in this purgation, shall touch and beare this iron, may either be tried an innocent, or reuealed as an offender, &c. After this the priest shall sprinkle the iron with holie water saieng: The blessing of God, the father, the sonne, and the holie ghost, be vpon this iron, to the reuelation of the iust iudgement of God. And foorthwith let him that is accused beare it, by the length of nine foot, and then let his hand be wrapped and sealed vp for the space of three daies: after this if any corruption or raw flesh appeare where the iron touched it, let him be condemned as guiltie: if it be whole and sound, let him giue thanks to God." And thus much of the firie Ordalia, wherevnto that [Sidenote: Water.] of the water hath so precise relation, that in setting foorth of the one, I haue also described the other, wherefore it shall be but in vaine to deale anie further withall.

Hitherto also (as I thinke) sufficientlie of such lawes as were in vse before the conquest. Now it resteth that I should declare the order of those, that haue beene made and receiued [Page 302] since the comming of the Normans, referred to the eight alteration or change of our maner of gouernance, and therevnto doo produce three score and foure seuerall courts. But for asmuch as I am no lawier, and therefore haue but little skill to proceed in the same accordinglie, it shall suffice to set downe some generall discourse of such as are vsed in our daies, and so much as I haue gathered by report and common heare-saie.

[Sidenote: Ciuill lawe.]

We haue therefore in England sundrie lawes, and first of all the ciuill, vsed in the chancerie, admeraltie, and diuerse other courts, in some of which, the seuere rigor of iustice is often so mitigated by conscience, that diuerse things are thereby made easie and tollerable, which otherwise would appeare to be méere iniurie and extremitie.

[Sidenote: Canon law.]

We haue also a great part of the law dailie practised among vs, especiallie in cases of tithes, contracts of matrimonie, and such like, as are vsuallie to be scene in the consistories of our bishops and higher courts of the two archbishops, where the exercise of the same is verie hotlie followed. The third sort of lawes that we haue are our owne, & those alwaies so variable, & subiect to alteration and change, that oft in one age, diuerse iudgements doo passe vpon one maner of case, whereby the saieng of the poet,

"Tempora mutantur, & nos mutamur in illis,"
[Sidenote: Lawiers of England not alwaies constant in iudgement.]

may verie well be applied vnto such, as being vrged with these words; In such a yeare of the prince, this opinion was taken for sound law; doo answer nothing else, but that the iudgement of our lawiers is now altered, so that they saie farre otherwise. The regiment that we haue therefore after our owne ordinances, dependeth vpon three lawes, to wit, Statute law, Common law, Customarie law, and Prescription, according to the triple maner of our trials and iudgments, which is by parlement, verdict of twelue men at an assise, or wager of battell, of which the last is little vsed in our daies, as no appeale dooth hold in the first and last rehearsed. But to returne to my purpose.

[Sidenote: Parlement law.]

The first is deliuered vnto vs by parlement, which court, being for the most part holden at Westminster néere London, is the highest of all other, & consisteth of three seuerall sorts of people, that is to saie, the nobilitie, cleargie, and commons of this realme. And thereto is not summoned, but vpon vrgent occasion when the prince dooth see his time, and that by seuerall writs, dated commonlie full six wéekes before it begin to be holden. Such lawes as are agreed vpon in the higher house by the lords spirituall and temporall, and in the lower house by the commons and bodie of the realme (whereof the conuocation of the cleargie holden in Powles, or if occasion so require in Westminster church, is a member) there speaking by the mouth of the knights of the shire and burgesses, remaine in the end to be confirmed by the prince, who commonlie resorteth thither of custome, vpon the first and last daies of this court, there to vnderstand what is doone, and giue his roiall consent to such statutes as him liketh of. Comming therefore thither into the higher house, and hauing taken his throne, the speaker of the parlement (for one is alwaies appointed to go betwéene the houses, as an indifferent mouth for both) readeth openlie the matters there determined by the said three estates, and then craueth the princes consent and finall confirmation to the same. The king hauing heard the summe and principall points of each estatute brieflie recited vnto him, answereth in French with great deliberation vnto such as he liketh ("Il nous plaist") but to the rest "Il ne plaist," whereby the latter are made void and frustrate. That also which his maiestie liketh of, is hereby authorised, confirmed, & euer after holden for law, except it be repealed in anie the like assemblie. The number of the commons assembled in the [Sidenote: Number of congregates in the parlement.] lower house, beside the cleargie, consisteth of ninetie knights. For each shire of England hath two gentlemen or knights of greatest wisedome and reputation, chosen out of the bodie of the same for that onelie purpose, sauing that for Wales one onlie is supposed sufficient in euerie countie, whereby the number afore mentioned is made vp. There are likewise fourtie and six citizens, 289 burgesses, and fouretéene barons, so that the whole assemblie of the laitie of the lower house, consisteth of foure hundred thirtie and nine persons, if the iust number be supplied. Of the lawes here made likewise some are penall and restraine the common law, and some againe are found to inlarge the same. The one sort of these [Page 303] also are for the most part taken strictlie according to the letter, the other more largelie and beneficiallie after their intendment and meaning.

[Sidenote: Common law.]

The Common law standeth vpon sundrie maximes or principles, and yeares or termes, which doo conteine such cases as by great studie and solemne argument of the iudges sound practise confirmed by long experience, fetched euen from the course of most ancient lawes made farre before the conquest, and thereto the déepest reach and foundations of reason, are ruled and adiudged for law. Certes these cases are otherwise called plees or action, wherof there are two sorts, the one criminall and the other ciuill. The meanes and messengers also to determine those causes are our writs or bréefes, whereof there are some originall and some iudiciall. The parties plaintiffe & defendant when they appeare procéed (if the case doo so require) by plaint or declaration, barre or answer, replication, reioinder, and so by rebut, surrebut to issue and triall if occasion so fall out, the one side affirmatiuelie, the other negatiuelie as common experience teacheth. Our trials and recoueries are either by verdict and demourre, confession or default, wherein if anie negligence or trespasse hath béene committed, either in processe and forme, or in matter and iudgement, the partie grieued may haue a writ of errour to vndoo the same, but not in the same court where the former iudgement was giuen.

[Sidenote: Customarie law.]

Customarie law consisteth of certeine laudable customes vsed in some priuat countrie, intended first to begin vpon good and reasonable considerations, as gauell kind, which is all my knowledge reteined, and no where else in England. It was at the first deuised by the Romans, as appeareth by Cæsar in his cōmentaries, wherein I find, that to breake and daunt the force of the rebellious Germans, they made a law that all the male children (or females for want of males which holdeth still in England) should haue their fathers inheritance equallie diuided amongst them. By this meanes also it came to passe, that whereas before time for the space of sixtie yeares, they had put the Romans to great and manifold troubles, within the space of thirtie yeares after this law made, their power did wax so feeble, and such discord fell out amongst themselues, that they were not able to mainteine warres with the Romans, nor raise anie iust armie against them. For as a riuer runing with one streame is swift and more plentifull of water than when it is drained or drawne into manie branches: so the lands and goods of the ancestors being dispersed amongst their issue males, of one strong there were raised sundrie weake, whereby the originall or generall strength to resist the aduersarie, became infeebled and brought almost to nothing. "Vis vnita (saith the philosopher) fortior est eadem dispersa," and one good pursse is better than manie euill, and when euerie man is benefited alike, each one will séeke to mainteine his priuate estate, and few take care to prouide for publike welfare.

Burrow kind, is where the yoongest is preferred before the eldest, which is the custome of manie countries of this region; also the woman to haue the third of hir husbands possessions, the husband that marieth an heire to haue such lands as moue by hir during his naturall life, if he suruiue hir, and hath a child by hir which hath béene heard crie thorough foure wals, &c: of such like to be learned elsewhere, and sometimes frequented generallie ouer all.

[Sidenote: Prescription.]

Prescription is a certeine custome, which hath continued time out of minde, but it is more particular than customarie law, as where onelie a parish or some priuat person dooth prescribe to haue common, or a waie in another mans soile, or tithes to be paid after this or that maner, I meane otherwise than the common course and order of the law requireth, whereof let this suffice at this time, in stéed of a larger discourse of our owne lawes, least I should seeme to enter farre into that whereof I haue no skill. For what hath the meditation of the law of God to doo with anie precise knowledge of the law of man, sith they are seuerall trades, and incident to diuerse persons?

There are also sundrie vsuall courts holden once in euerie quarter of the yeare, which we [Sidenote: Terme.] commonlie call termes, of the Latine word Terminus, wherein all controuersies are determined, that happen within the Quéenes dominions. These are commonlie holden at London, [Page 304] except vpon some great occasion they be transferred to other places. At what times also they are kept both for spirituall and temporall dealing, the table insuing shall easilie declare. Finallie how well they are followed by sutors, the great wealth of lawiers without anie trauell of mine can readilie expresse. For as after the comming of the Normans the nobilitie had the start, and after them the cleargie: so now all the wealth of the land dooth flow vnto our common lawiers, of whome some one hauing practised little aboue thirteene or fourtéene yeares is able to buie a purchase of so manie 1000 pounds: which argueth that they wax rich apace, and will be richer if their clients become not the more wiser & warie hereafter. It is not long, since a sergeant at the law (whome I could name) was arrested vpon an extent, for thrée or foure hundred pounds, and another standing by did greatlie maruell that he could not spare the gaines of one terme for the satisfaction of that dutie. The time hath béene that our lawiers did sit in Powles vpon stooles against the pillers and walles to get clients, but now some of them will not come from their chambers to the Guildhall in London vnder ten pounds or twentie nobles at the lest. And one being demanded why he made so much of his trauell, answered, that it was but follie for him to go so farre, when he was assured to get more monie by sitting still at home. A friend of mine also had a sute of late of some valure, and to be sure of counsell at his time, he gaue vnto two lawiers (whose names I forbeare to deliuer) twentie shillings a peece, telling them of the daie and houre wherein [Sidenote: Deceipt.] his matter should be called vpon. To be short, they came not vnto the barre at all, whervpon he staied for that daie. On the morrow after he met them againe, increased his former gifts by so much more, and told them of the time, but they once againe serued him as before. In the end he met them both in the verie hall doore, and after some timorous reprehension, of their vncourteous demeanour toward him, he bestowed either thrée angels or foure more vpon each of them, wherevpon they promised peremptorilie to speake earnestlie in his cause. And yet for all this, one of them hauing not-yet sucked enough, vtterlie deceiued him: the other in déed came in, and wagging a scroll which he had in his hand before the iudge, he spake not aboue thrée or foure words, almost so soone vttered as a good morrow, and so went from the bar, and this was all the poore man gat for his monie, and the care which his counsellours did séeme to take of his cause, then standing vpon the [Sidenote: Manie of our lawiers stoope not at small fées.] hazard. But inough of these matters, for if I should set downe how little law poore men can haue for their small fées in these daies, and the great murmurings that are on all sides, vttered against their excessiue taking of monie (for they can abide no small game) I should extend this treatise into a farre greater volume than is conuenient for my purpose. Wherfore it shall suffice to haue set downe so much of their demeanour, and so much as is euen enough to cause them to looke with somewhat more conscience into their dealings, except they be dull and senselesse.

This furthermore is to be noted, that albeit the princes heretofore reigning in this land haue erected sundrie courts, especiallie of the chancerie at Yorke and Ludlow, for the ease of poore men dwelling in those parts, yet will the poorest (of all men commonlie most contentious) refuse to haue his cause heard so néere home, but indeuoureth rather to his vtter [Sidenote: Poore men contentious.] vndooing to trauell vp to London, thinking there soonest to preuaile against his aduersarie, though his case be neuer so doubtfull. But in this toie our Welshmen doo excéed of all that euer I hoard, for you shall here and there haue some one od poore Dauid of them giuen so much to contention and strife, that without all respect of charges he will vp to London, though he go bare legged by the waie, and carie his hosen on his necke (to saue their feet from wearing) bicause he hath no change. When he commeth there also, he will make such importunate begging of his countrimen, and hard shift otherwise, that he will sometimes carie downe six or seuen writs with him in his pursse, wherewith to molest his neighbor, though the greatest quarrel be scarselie worth the fee that he hath paid for anie one of [Sidenote: Promoters séeke matters to set lawiers on worke withall.] them. But inough of this, least in reuealing the superfluous follie of a few brablers in this behalfe, I bring no good will to my selfe amongst the wisest of that nation. Certes it is a lamentable case to sée furthermore, how a number of poore men are dailie abused and vtterlie [Page 305] vndoone, by sundrie varlets that go about the countrie, as promoters or brokers betwéene the pettie foggers of the lawe, and the common people, onelie to kindle and espie coales of contention, whereby the one side may reape commoditie, and the other spend and be put to trauell. But of all that euer I knew in Essex, Denis and Mainford excelled, till Iohn of Ludlow, aliàs Mason came in place, vnto whome in comparison they two were but children: for this last in lesse than thrée or foure yeares, did bring one man (among manie else-where in other places) almost to extreame miserie (if beggerie be the vttermost) that before he had the shauing of his beard, was valued at two hundred pounds (I speake with the least) and finallie feeling that he had not sufficient wherwith to susteine himselfe and his familie, and also to satisfie that greedie rauenour, which still called vpon him for new fées, he went to bed, and within foure daies made an end of his wofull life, euen with care and pensiuenesse. After his death also he so handled his sonne, that there was neuer shéepe shorne in Maie, so néere clipped of his fléece present, as he was of manie to come: so that he was compelled to let awaie his land, bicause his cattell & stocke were consumed, and he no longer able to occupie the ground. But hereof let this suffice, & in stéed of these enormities, a table shall follow of the termes conteining their beginnings and endings, as I haue borrowed them from my fréend Iohn Stow, whose studie is the onelie store house of antiquities in my time, and he worthie therefore to be had in reputation and honour.

[Sidenote: The times of our termes no hinderance to iustice.]

A man would imagine that the time of the execution of our lawes, being little aboue one quarter, or not fullie a third part of the yeare, and the appointment of the same to be holden in one place onelie, to wit, neere London in Westminster, and finallie the great expenses emploied vpon the same, should be no small cause of the staie and hinderance of the administration of iustice in this land: but as it falleth out they prooue great occasions and the staie of much contention. The reasons of these are soone to be conceiued, for as the broken sleeue dooth hold the elbow backe, and paine of trauell cause manie to sit at home in quiet; so the shortnesse of time and feare of delaie dooth driue those oftentimes to like of peace, who otherwise would liue at strife, and quickelie be at ods. Some men desirous of gaines would haue the termes yet made shorter, that more delaie might ingender longer sute; other would haue the houses made larger, and more offices erected, wherein to minister the lawes. But as the times of the tearmes are rather too short than too long by one returne a péece: so if there were smaller roomes and fowler waies vnto them, they would inforce manie to make pawses before they did rashlie enter into plée. But sith my purpose is not to make an ample discourse of these things, it shall suffice to deliuer the times of the holding of our termes, which insueth after this manner.

A perfect rule to know the beginning and ending of euerie terme, with their returnes.

Hilarie terme beginneth the three and twentith daie of Ianuarie (if it be not sundaie) otherwise the next daie after, and is finished the twelfe of Februarie, it hath foure returnes.

Octabis Hilarij.
Quind. Hilarij.
Crastino Purific.
Octabis Purific.

¶ Easter terme beginneth seuentéene daies after Easter, endeth foure daies after the Ascension daie, and hath fiue returnes.

Quind. Pasch.
Tres Paschæ.
Mense. Paschæ.
Quinque Paschæ.
Crast. Ascention.

¶ Trinitie terme beginneth the fridaie after Trinitie sundaie, and endeth the wednesdaie fortnight after, in which time it hath foure returnes.

Crast. Trinitatis.
Octabis Trinitatis.
Quind. Trinitatis.
Tres Trinitatis.

[Page 306] ¶ Michaelmasse terme beginneth the ninth of October (if it be not sundaie) and ending the eight and twentith of Nouember, it hath eight returnes.

Octabis Michael.
Quind. Michael.
Tres Michael.
Mense Michael.
Crast. anima.
Crast. Martini.
Octa Martini.
Quind. Martini.

Note also that the escheker, which is Fiscus ærarium publicum principis, openeth eight daies before anie terme begin, except Trinitie terme, which openeth but foure daies before.

And thus much for our vsuall termes as they are kept for the administration of our common lawes, wherevnto I thinke good to adde the lawdaies accustomablie holden in the arches and audience of Canturburie, with other ecclesiasticall and ciuill courts thorough the whole yeare, or for somuch time as their execution indureth (which in comparison is scarselie one halfe of the time if it be diligentlie examined) to the end each one at home being called vp to answer may trulie know the time of his appearance; being sorie in the meane season, that the vse of the popish calendar is so much reteined in the same, and not rather the vsuall daies of the moneth placed in their roomes, sith most of them are fixed and palter not their place of standing. Howbeit some of our infected lawiers will not let them go awaie so easilie, pretending facilitie and custome of vsage, but meaning peraduenture inwardlie to kéepe a commemoration of those dead men whose names are there remembred.

Michaelmas terme.
S. Faith.
S. Edward.
S. Luke.
Simon & Iu.
All Soules.
S. Martin.
S. Andrew.
Conception of the virgin Marie.

¶ It is to be remembred that the first daie following euerie of these feasts noted in each terme, the court of the arches is kept in Bow church in the forenoone. And the same first daie in the afternoone is the admeraltie court for ciuill and seafaring causes kept in Southwarke, where iustice is ministred & execution doone continuallie according to the same.

The second daie following euerie one of the said feasts, the court of audience of Canturburie is kept in the consistorie in Paules in the forenoone. And the selfe daie in the afternoone, in the same place is the prerogatiue court of Canturburie holden.

The third day after anie such feast in the forenoone, the consistorie court of the bishop of London is kept in Paules church in the said consistorie, and the same third daie in the afternoone is the court of the delegates, and the court of the Quéenes highnesse commissioners vpon appeales is likewise kept in the same place on the fourth daie.

Hilarie terme.
S. Hilarie.
S. Wolstan.
Conuersion of S. Paule.
S. Blase.
S. Scolastic.
S. Valentine.
S. Matthie.
S. Chad.
Perpet. & Fel.
S. Gregorie.
Annūciation of our Ladie.

Note that the foure first daies of this terme be certeine and vnchanged. The other are altered after the course of the yeare, and sometime kept and sometime omitted. For if it so happen that one of those feasts fall on wednesdaie, commonlie called Ashwednesdaie after the daie of S. Blase (so that the same lawdaie after Ashwednesdaie cannot be kept bicause the lawdaie of the other feast dooth light on the same) then the second lawdaie after Ashwednesdaie shall be kept, and the other omitted. And if the lawdaie after Ashwednesdaie be the next daie after the feast of S. Blase, then shall all and euerie court daies be obserued in order, as they may be kept conuenientlie. And marke that although Ashwednesdaie be put the seuenth in order, yet it hath no certeine place, but is changed as the course of Easter causeth it. [Page 307]

Easter terme.
The fiftéenth daie after Easter.
S. Alphege.
S. Marke.
Inuention of the crosse.
S. Dunstan.
Ascension daie.

¶ In this terme the first sitting is alwaie kept the mondaie being the fiftéenth daie after Easter, and so foorth after the feasts here noted, which next follow by course of the yeare after Easter, and the like space being kept betwéene other feasts.

The rest of the lawdaies are kept to the third of the Ascension, which is the last day of this terme. And if it happen that the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, doo come before anie of the feasts aforesaid, then they are omitted for that yeare. And likewise if anie of those daies come before the fifteenth of Easter, those daies are omitted also.

Trinitie terme.
Trinitie sundaie.
Corpus Christi.
Boniface bish.
S. Barnabie.
S. Butolph.
S. Iohn.
S. Paule.
Translat. Thomas.
S. Swithune.
S. Margaret.
S. Anne.

Here note also that the lawdaies of this terme are altered by meane of Whitsuntide, and the first sitting is kept alwaies on the first lawdaie after the feast of the holie Trinitie, and the second session is kept the first lawdaie after the idolatrous and papisticall feast daie called Corpus Christi, except Corpus Christi daie fall on some day aforenamed: which chanceth sometime, and then the fitter daie is kept. And after the second session account foure daies or thereabout, and then looke which is the next feast day, and the first lawdaie after the said feast shall be the third session. The other law daies follow in order, but so manie of them are kept, as for the time of the yeare shall be thought méet.

It is also generallie to be obserued, that euerie daie is called a lawdaie that is not sundaie or holie daie: and that if the feast daie being knowne of anie court daie in anie terme, the first or second daie following be sundaie, then the court daie is kept the daie after the said holie daie or feast.



There is no common-wealth at this daie in Europe, wherin there is not great store of poore people, and those necessarilie to be relieued by the welthier sort, which otherwise [Sidenote: Thrée sorts of poore.] would starue and come to vtter confusion. With vs the poore is commonlie diuided into thrée sorts, so that some are poore by impotencie, as the fatherlesse child, the aged, blind and lame, and the diseased person that is iudged to be incurable: the second are poore by casualtie, as the wounded souldier, the decaied householder, and the sicke person visited with grieuous and painefull diseases: the third consisteth of thriftlesse poore, as the riotour that hath consumed all, the vagabund that will abide no where, but runneth vp and downe from place to place (as it were séeking worke and finding none) and finallie the roge and strumpet which are not possible to be diuided in sunder, but runne too and fro ouer all the realme, chéefelie keeping the champaine soiles in summer to auoid the scorching heat, and the woodland grounds in winter to eschew the blustering winds.

For the first two sorts, that is to saie, the poore by impotencie, and the poore by casualtie, which are the true poore in deed, and for whome the word dooth bind vs to make some dailie prouision: there is order taken through out euerie parish in the realme, that weekelie collection [Page 308] shall be made for their helpe and sustentation, to the end they should not scatter abroad, and by begging here and there annoie both towne and countrie. Authoritie also is giuen vnto the iustices in euerie countie, and great penalties appointed for such as make default, to sée that the intent of the statute in this behalfe be trulie executed, according to the purpose and meaning of the same, so that these two sorts are sufficientlie prouided for: and such as can liue within the limits of their allowance (as each one will doo that is godlie and well disposed) may well forbeare to rome and range about. But if they refuse to be supported by this benefit of the law, and will rather indeuour by going to and fro to mainteine their idle trades, then are they adiudged to be parcell of the third sort, and so in stéed of courteous refreshing at home, are often corrected with sharpe execution, and whip of iustice abroad. Manie there are, which notwithstanding the rigor of the lawes prouided in that behalfe, yéeld rather with this libertie (as they call it) to be dailie vnder the feare and terrour of the whip, than by abiding where they were borne or bred, to be prouided for by the deuotion of the parishes. I found not long since a note of these latter sort, the effect [Sidenote: A thing often séene.] whereof insueth. Idle beggers are such either through other mens occasion, or through their owne default. By other mens occasion (as one waie for example) when some couetous man such I meane as haue the cast or right veine, dailie to make beggers inough wherby to pester the land, espieng a further commoditie in their commons, holds, and tenures, dooth find such meanes as thereby to wipe manie out of their occupiengs, and turne the same vnto his [Sidenote: At whose hands shall the bloud of these men be required?] priuate gaines. Herevpon it followeth, that although the wise and better minded, doo either forsake the realme for altogether, and seeke to liue in other countries, as France, Germanie, Barbarie, India, Moscouia, and verie Calecute, complaining of no roome to be left for them at home, doo so behaue themselues that they are worthilie to be accompted among the second sort: yet the greater part commonlie hauing nothing to staie vpon are wilfull, and therevpon doo either prooue idle beggers, or else continue starke théeues till the gallowes doo eat them vp, which is a lamentable case. Certes in some mans iudgements these things are but trifles, and not worthie the regarding. Some also doo grudge at the great increase of people in these daies, thinking a necessarie brood of cattell farre better than a superfluous augmentation of mankind. But I can liken such men best of all vnto the pope and the diuell, who practise the hinderance of the furniture of the number of the elect to their vttermost, to the end the authoritie of the one vpon earth, the deferring of the locking vp of the other in euerlasting chaines, and the great gaines of the first may continue and indure the longer. But if it should come to passe that any forren inuasion should be made, which the Lord God forbid for his mercies sake! then should these men find that a wall of men is farre belter than stackes of corne and bags of monie, and complaine of the want when it is too late to séeke remedie. The like occasion caused the Romans to deuise their law Agraria: but the rich not liking of it, and the couetous vtterlie condemning it as rigorous and vnprofitable, neuer ceased to practise disturbance till it was quite abolished. But to proceed with my purpose.

Such as are idle beggers through their owne default are of two sorts, and continue their estates either by casuall or méere voluntarie meanes: those that are such by casuall means, are in the beginning in the to be referred either to the first or second sort of poore afore mentioned: but degenerating into the thriftlesse sort, they doo what they can to continue their miserie, and with such impediments as they haue to straie and wander about, as creatures abhorring all labour and euerie honest exercise. Certes I call these casuall meanes, not in respect of the originall of their pouertie, but of the continuance of the same, from whence they will not be deliuered, such is their owne vngratious lewdnesse, and froward disposition. The voluntarie meanes proceed from outward causes, as by making of corosiues, and applieng the same to the more fleshie parts of their bodies: and also laieng of ratsbane, sperewort, crowfoot, and such like vnto their whole members, thereby to raise pitifull and odious sores, and mooue the harts of the goers by such places where they lie, to yerne at their miserie, and therevpon bestow large almesse vpon them. How artificiallie they beg, what forcible spéech, and how they select and choose out words, of vehemencie, whereby they doo in maner [Page 309] coniure or adiure the goer by to pitie their cases, I passe ouer to remember, as iudging the name of God and Christ to be more conuersant in the mouths of none: and yet the presence of the heuenlie maiestie further off from no men than from this vngratious companie. Which maketh me to thinke that punishment is farre meeter for them than liberalitie or almesse, and sith Christ willeth vs cheeflie to haue a regard to himselfe and his poore members.

Vnto this nest is another sort to be referred, more sturdie than the rest, which hauing sound and perfect lims, doo yet notwithstanding sometime counterfeit the possession of all sorts of diseases. Diuerse times in their apparell also they will be like seruing men or laborers: oftentimes they can plaie the mariners, and séeke for ships which they neuer lost. But in fine, they are all théeues and caterpillers in the common-wealth, and by the word of God not permitted to eat, sith they doo but licke the sweat from the true labourers browes, & beereue the godlie poore of that which is due vnto them, to mainteine their excesse, consuming the charitie of well disposed people bestowed vpon them, after a most wicked & detestable maner.

It is not yet full thréescore yeares since this trade began: but how it hath prospered since that time, it is easie to iudge, for they are now supposed of one sex and another, to amount vnto aboue 10000 persons; as I haue heard reported. Moreouer, in counterfeiting the Egyptian roges, they haue deuised a language among themselues, which they name Canting, but other pedlers French, a speach compact thirtie yeares since of English, and a great number of od words of their owne deuising, without all order or reason: and yet such is it as none but themselues are able to vnderstand. The first deuiser thereof was hanged by the necke, a iust reward no doubt for his deserts, and a common end to all of that profession. [Sidenote: Thomas Harman.] A gentleman also of late hath taken great paines to search out the secret practises of this vngratious rable. And among other things he setteth downe and describeth thrée & twentie sorts of them, whose names it shall not be amisse to remember, wherby ech one may take occasion to read and know as also by his industrie what wicked people they are, and what villanie remaineth in them.

The seuerall disorders and degrees amongst our idle vagabonds.
1 Rufflers. 2 Vprightmen. 3 Hookers or Anglers. 4 Roges. 5 Wild roges. 6 Priggers or pransers. 7 Palliards. 8 Fraters. 9 Abrams.
10 Freshwater mariners, or whipiacks.
11 Dummerers.
12 Drunken tinkers.
13 Swadders or pedlers.
14 Iarkemen or patricoes.
Of women kind
1 Demanders for glimmar or fire.
2 Baudie baskets.
3 Mortes.
4 Autem mortes.
5 Walking mortes.
6 Doxes.
7 Delles.
8 Kinching mortes.
9 Kinching cooes.

The punishment that is ordeined for this kind of people is verie sharpe, and yet it can not restreine them from their gadding: wherefore the end must néeds be martiall law, to be exercised vpon them, as vpon théeues, robbers, despisers of all lawes, and enimies to the common-wealth & welfare of the land. What notable roberies, pilferies, murders, rapes, and stealings of yoong children, burning, breaking and disfiguring their lims to make them pitifull in the sight of the people, I need not to rehearse: but for their idle roging about the countrie, the law ordeineth this maner of correction. The roge being apprehended, committed to prison, and tried in the next assises (whether they be of gaole deliuerie or sessions [Page 310] of the peace) if he happen to be conuicted for a vagabond either by inquest of office, or the testimonie of two honest and credible witnesses vpon their oths, he is then immediatlie adiudged to be gréeuouslie whipped and burned through the gristle of the right eare, with an hot iron of the compasse of an inch about, as a manifestation of his wicked life, and due punishment receiued for the same. And this iudgement is to be executed vpon him, except some honest person woorth fiue pounds in the quéenes books in goods, or twentie shillings in lands, or some rich housholder to be allowed by the iustices, will be bound in recognisance to reteine him in his seruice for one whole yeare. If he be taken the second time, and proued to haue forsaken his said seruice, he shall then be whipped againe, bored likewise through the other eare and set to seruice: from whence if he depart before a yeare be expired, and happen afterward to be attached againe, he is condemned to suffer paines of death as a fellon (except before excepted) without benefit of clergie or sanctuarie, as by the statute dooth appeare. Among roges and idle persons finallie, we find to be comprised all proctors that go vp and downe with counterfeit licences, coosiners, and such as gad about the countrie, vsing vnlawfull games, practisers of physiognomie and palmestrie, tellers of fortunes, fensers, plaiers, minstrels, iugglers, pedlers, tinkers, pretensed schollers, shipmen, prisoners gathering for fees, and others so oft as they be taken without sufficient licence. From among which companie our bearewards are not excepted, and iust cause: for I haue read that they haue either voluntarilie, or for want of power to master their sauage beasts, béene occasion of the death and deuoration of manie children in sundrie countries by which they haue passed, whose parents neuer knew what was become of them. And for that cause there is & haue béene manie sharpe lawes made for bearwards in Germanie, wherof you may read in other. But to our roges. Each one also that harboreth or aideth them with meat or monie, is taxed and compelled to fine with the quéenes maiestie for euerie time that he dooth so succour them, as it shall please the iustices of peace to assigne, so that the taxation excéed not twentie shillings, as I haue béene informed. And thus much of the poore, & such prouision as is appointed for them within the realme of England.



In cases of felonie, manslaghter, roberie, murther, rape, piracie, & such capitall crimes as are not reputed for treason or hurt of the estate, our sentence pronounced vpon the offendor is to hang till he be dead. For of other punishments vsed in other countries we haue no knowledge or vse, and yet so few gréeuous crimes committed with vs as else where in the world. To vse torment also or question by paine and torture in these common cases with vs is greatlie abhorred, sith we are found alwaie to be such as despise death, and yet abhorre to be tormented, choosing rather frankelie to open our minds than to yeeld our bodies vnto such seruile halings and tearings as are vsed in other countries. And this is one cause wherefore our condemned persons doo go so chéerefullie to their deths, for our nation is frée, stout, hautie, prodigall of life and bloud, as sir Thomas Smith saith lib. 2. cap. 25. de republica, and therefore cannot in anie wise digest to be vsed as villanes and slaues, in suffering continuallie beating, seruitude, and seruile torments. No, our gailers are guiltie of fellonie by an old law of the land, if they torment anie prisoner committed to their custodie for the reuealing of his complices.

The greatest and most gréeuous punishment vsed in England, for such as offend against the state, is drawing from the prison to the place of execution vpon an hardle or sled, where they are hanged till they be halfe dead, and then taken downe and quartered aliue, after that their members and bowels are cut from their bodies, and throwne into a fire prouided neere hand and within their owne sight, euen for the same purpose. Sometimes, if the trespasse [Page 311] be not the more hainous, they are suffered to hang till they he quite dead. And when soeuer anie of the nobilitie are conuicted of high treason by their péeres, that is to saie, equals (for an inquest of yeomen passeth not vpon them, but onelie of the lords of the parlement) this maner of their death is conuerted into the losse of their heads onelie, notwithstanding that the sentence doo run after the former order. In triall of cases concerning treason, fellonie, or anie other greeuous crime not confessed, the partie accused dooth yéeld, if he be a noble man, to be tried by an inquest (as I haue said) and his péeres: if a gentleman, by gentlemen: and an inferiour, by God and by the countrie, to wit, the yeomanrie (for combat or battell is not greatlie in vse) and being condemned of fellonie, manslaughter, &c: he is eftsoons hanged by the necke till he be dead, and then cut downe and buried. But if he be conuicted of wilfull murther, doone either vpon pretended malice, or in anie notable robberie, he is either hanged aliue in chaines néere the place where the fact was committed (or else vpon compassion taken first strangled with a rope) and so continueth till his bones consume to nothing. We haue vse neither of the whéele nor of the barre, as in other countries; but when wilfull manslaughter is perpetrated, beside hanging, the offender hath his right hand commonlie striken off before or néere vnto the place where the act was doone, after which he is led foorth to the place of execution, and there put to death according to the law.

The word fellon is deriued of the Saxon words Fell and One, that is to say, an euill and wicked one, a one of vntamable nature, and lewdnesse not to be suffered for feare of euill example and the corruption of others. In like sort in the word fellonie are manie gréeuous crimes conteined, as breach of prison An. 1 of Edward the second. Disfigurers of the princes liege people An. 5. of Henrie the fourth. Hunting by night with painted faces and visors An. 1. of Henrie the seuenth. Rape or stealing of women & maidens An. 3 of Henrie the eight. Conspiracie against the person of the prince An. 3. of Henrie the seuenth. Embesilling of goods committed by the master to the seruant, aboue the value of fourtie shillings An. 17. of Henrie the eight. Carieng of horsses or mares into Scotland An. 23. of Henrie the eight. Sodomie and buggerie An. 25. of Henrie the eight. Stealing of hawkes egs An. 31. of Henrie the eight. Coniuring, sorcerie, witchcraft, and digging vp of crosses An. 33. of Hen. 8. Prophesieng vpon armes, cognisances, names & badges An. 33. of Hen. 8. Casting of slanderous bils An. 37. Hen. 8. Wilfull killing by poison An. 1. of Edw. the sixt. Departure of a soldier from the field An. 2. of Edward the sixt. Diminution of coine, all offenses within case of premunire, embeselling of records, goods taken from dead, men by their seruants, stealing of what soeuer cattell, robbing by the high waie, vpon the sea, or of dwelling houses, letting out of ponds, cutting of pursses, stealing of déere by night, counterfeiters of coine, euidences, charters, and writings, & diuerse other needlesse to be remembred. If a woman poison hir husband she is burned aliue, if the seruant kill his master he is to be executed for petie treason, he that poisoneth a man is to be boiled to death in water or lead, although the partie die not of the practise: in cases of murther all the accessaries are to suffer paines of death accordinglie. Periurie is punished by the pillorie, burning in the forehead with the letter P, the rewalting of the trées growing vpon the grounds of the offenders and losse of all his mooueables. Manie trespasses also are punished by the cutting of one or both eares from the head of the offendor, as the vtterance of seditious words against the magistrates, fraimakers, petie robbers, &c. Roges are burned through the eares, cariers of sheepe out of the land by the losse of their hands, such as kill by poison are either boiled or skalded to death in lead or séething water. Heretikes are burned quicke, harlots and their mates by carting, ducking, and dooing of open penance in shéets, in churches and market stéeds are often put to rebuke. Howbeit as this is counted with some either as no punishment at all to speake of, or but smallie regarded of the offenders, so I would wish adulterie and fornication to haue some sharper law. For what great smart is it to be turned out of an hot sheet into a cold, or after a little washing in the water to be let lose againe vnto their former trades? Howbeit the dragging of some of them ouer the Thames [Page 312] betwéene Lambeth and Westminster at the taile of a boat, is a punishment that most terrifieth them which are condemned therto; but this is inflicted vpon them by none other than the knight marshall, and that within the compasse of his iurisdiction & limits onelie. Canutus was the first that gaue authoritie to the cleargie to punish whoredome, who at that time found fault with the former lawes as being too seuere in this behalfe. For before the time of the said Canutus, the adulterer forfeited all his goods to the king, and his bodie to be at his pleasure; and the adulteresse was to lose hir eies or nose, or both, if the case were more than common: whereby it appéereth of what estimation mariage was amongst them, sith the breakers of that holie estate were so gréeuouslie rewarded. But afterward the cleargie dealt more fauourablie with them, shooting rather at the punishments of such priests and clearkes as were maried, than the reformation of adulterie and fornication, wherein you shall find no example that anie seueritie was shewed, except vpon such laie men as had defiled their nuns. As in theft therefore so in adulterie and whoredome I would wish the parties trespassant, to be made bond or slaues vnto those that receiued the iniurie, to sell and giue where they listed, or to be condemned to the gallies: for that punishment would proue more bitter to them than halfe an houres hanging, or than standing in a shéet, though the weather be neuer so cold.

Manslaughter in time past was punished by the pursse, wherin the quantitie or qualitie of the punishment was rated after the state and calling of the partie killed: so that one was valued sometime at 1200, another at 600, or 200 shillings. And by an estatute made vnder Henrie the first, a citizen of London at 100, whereof else-where I haue spoken more at large. Such as kill themselues are buried in the field with a stake driuen through their bodies.

Witches are hanged or sometimes burned, but théeues are hanged (as I said before) generallie on the gibbet or gallowes, sauing in Halifax where they are beheaded after a strange [Sidenote: Halifax law.] maner, and whereof I find this report. There is and hath beene of ancient time a law or rather a custome at Halifax, that who soeuer dooth commit anie fellonie, and is taken with the same, or confesse the fact vpon examination: if it be valued by foure constables to amount to the sum of thirtéene pence halfe penie, he is foorthwith beheaded vpon one of the next market daies (which fall vsuallie vpon the tuesdaies, thursdaies, & saturdaies) or else vpon the same daie that he is so conuicted, if market be then holden. The engine wherewith the execution is doone, is a square blocke of wood of the length of foure foot and an halfe, which dooth ride vp and downe in a slot, rabet, or regall betwéene two péeces of timber, that are framed and set vpright of fiue yardes in height. In the neather end of the sliding blocke is an ax keied or fastened with an iron into the wood, which being drawne vp to the top of the frame is there fastened by a woodden pin (with a notch made into the same after the maner of a Samsons post) vnto the middest of which pin also there is a long rope fastened that commeth downe among the people, so that when the offendor hath made his confession, and hath laid his necke ouer the neathermost blocke, euerie man there present dooth either take hold of the rope (or putteth foorth his arme so neere to the same as he can get, in token that he is willing to sée true iustice executed) and pulling out the pin in this maner, the head blocke wherein the ax is fastened dooth fall downe with such a violence, that if the necke of the transgressor were so big as that of a bull, it should be cut in sunder at a stroke, and roll from the bodie by an huge distance. If it be so that the offendor be apprehended for an ox, oxen, shéepe, kine, horsse, or anie such cattell: the selfe beast or other of the same kind shall haue the end of the rope tied somewhere vnto them, so that they being driuen doo draw out the pin wherby the offendor is executed. Thus much of Halifax law, which I set downe onelie to shew the custome of that countrie in this behalfe.

Roges and vagabonds are often stocked and whipped, scolds are ducked vpon cucking-stooles [Sidenote: Mute.] in the water. Such fellons as stand mute and speake not at their arraignement are pressed to death by huge weights laid vpon a boord, that lieth ouer their brest, and a sharpe stone vnder their backs, and these commonlie hold their peace, thereby to saue their goods [Page 313] vnto their wiues and children, which if they were condemned should be confiscated to the [Sidenote: Cleargie.] prince. Théeues that are saued by their bookes and cleargie, for the first offense, if they haue stollen nothing else but oxen, shéepe, monie, or such like, which be no open robberies, as by the high waie side, or assailing of anie mans house in the night, without putting him in feare of his life, or breaking vp of his wals or doores, are burned in the left hand, vpon the brawne of the thombe with an hot iron, so that if they be apprehended againe, that marke bewraieth them to haue beene arraigned of fellonie before, whereby they are sure at that time to haue no mercie. I doo not read that this custome of sauing by the booke is vsed anie where else than in England, neither doo I find (after much diligent inquirie) what Saxon prince ordeined that law. Howbeit, this I generallie gather thereof, that it was deuised to traine the inhabiters of this land to the loue of learning, which before contemned letters and all good knowledge, as men onelie giuing themselues to husbandrie and the warres, the like whereof I read to haue beene amongst the Gothes and Vandals, who for a time would not suffer euen their princes to be lerned for weakening of their courages, nor anie learned men to remaine in the counsell house, but by open proclamation would command them to auoid, whensoeuer anie thing touching the state of the land was to be consulted [Sidenote: Pirats.] vpon. Pirats and robbers by sea are condemned in the court of the admeraltie, and hanged on the shore at lowe water marke, where they are left till three tides haue ouerwashed them. Finallie, such as hauing wals and banks néere vnto the sea, and doo suffer the same to decaie (after conuenient admonition) whereby the water entereth and drowneth vp the countrie, are by a certeine ancient custome apprehended, condemned, and staked in the breach, where they remaine for euer as parcell of the foundation of the new wall that is to be made vpon them, as I haue heard reported.

And thus much in part of the administration of iustice vsed in our countrie, wherein notwithstanding that we doo not often heare of horrible, merciles, and wilfull murthers (such I meane as are not sildome séene in the countries of the maine) yet now and then some manslaughter and bloudie robberies are perpetrated and committed, contrarie to the lawes, which be seuerelie punished, and in such wise as I before reported. Certes there is no greater mischéefe doone in England than by robberies, the first by yoong shifting gentlemen, which oftentimes doo beare more port than they are able to mainteine. Secondlie by seruingmen, whose wages cannot suffice so much as to find them bréeches, wherefore they are now and then constreined either to kéepe high waies, and breake into the wealthie mens houses with the first sort, or else to walke vp and downe in gentlemens and rich farmers pastures, there to sée and view which horsses féed best, whereby they manie times get something, although with hard aduenture it hath béene knowne by their confession at the gallowes, that some one such chapman hath had fortie, fiftie, or sixtie stolne horsses at pasture here and there abroad in the countrie at a time, which they haue sold at faires and markets farre off, they themselues in the meane season being taken about home for honest yeomen, and verie wealthie drouers, till their dealings haue been bewraied. It is not long since one of this companie was apprehended, who was before time reputed for a verie honest and wealthie townesman, he vttered also more horsses than anie of his trade, because he sold a reasonable peniworth, and was a faire spoken man. It was his custome likewise to saie, if anie man hucked hard with him about the price of a gelding; So God helpe me gentleman or sir, either he did cost me so much, or else by Iesus I stole him. Which talke was plaine inough, and yet such was his estimation, that each beleeued the first part of his tale, and made no account of the later, which was the truer indéed.

Our third annoiers of the common-wealth are roges, which doo verie great mischeefe in all places where they become. For wheras the rich onelie suffer iniurie by the first two, these spare neither rich nor poore: but whether it be great gaine or small, all is fish that commeth to net with them, and yet I saie both they and the rest are trussed vp apace. For there is not one yeare commonlie, wherein thrée hundred or four hundred of them are not deuoured and eaten vp by the gallowes in one place and other. It appeareth by Cardane (who writeth [Page 314] it vpon the report of the bishop of Lexouia) in the geniture of king Edward the sixt, how Henrie the eight, executing his laws verie seuerelie against such idle persons, I meane great théeues, pettie théeues and roges, did hang vp threescore and twelue thousand of them in his time. He seemed for a while greatlie to haue terrified the rest: but since his death the number of them is so increased, yea although we haue had no warres, which are a great occasion of their breed (for it is the custome of the more idle sort, hauing once serued or but séene the other side of the sea vnder colour of seruice to shake hand with labour, for euer, thinking it a disgrace for himselfe to returne vnto his former trade) that except some better order be taken, or the lawes alreadie made be better executed, such as dwell in vplandish townes and little villages shall liue but in small safetie and rest. For the better apprehension also of theeues and mankillers, there is an old law in England verie well prouided, whereby it is ordered, that if he that is robbed, or any man complaine and giue warning of slaughter or murther committed, the constable of the village wherevnto he commeth and crieth for succour, is to raise the parish about him, and to search woods, groues, and all suspected houses and places, where the trespasser may be, or is supposed to lurke; and not finding him there, he is to giue warning vnto the next constable, and so one constable after serch made to aduertise another from parish to parish, till they come to the same where the offender is harbored and found. It is also prouided, that if anie parish in this businesse doo not hir dutie, but suffereth the théefe (for the auoiding of trouble sake) in carrieng him to the gaile, if he should be apprehended, or other letting of their worke, to escape the same parish, is not onlie to make fine to the king, but also the same with the whole hundred wherein it standeth, to repaie the partie robbed his damages, and leaue his estate harmlesse. Certes this is a good law, howbeit I haue knowne by mine owne experience, fellons being taken to haue escaped out of the stocks, being rescued by other for want of watch & gard, that théeues haue beene let passe, bicause the couetous and greedie parishoners would neither take the paines, nor be at the charge to carrie them to prison, if it were far off, that when hue and crie haue béene made euen to the faces of some constables, they haue said; "God restore your losse, I haue other businesse at this time." And by such meanes the meaning of manie a good law is left vnexecuted, malefactors imboldened, and manie a poore man turned out of that which he hath swet and taken great paines for, toward the maintenance of himselfe and his poore children and familie.



The greatest part of our building in the cities and good townes of England consisteth onelie of timber, for as yet few of the houses of the communaltie (except here & there in the West countrie townes) are made of stone, although they may (in my opinion) in diuerse other places be builded so good cheape of the one as of the other. In old time the houses of the Britons were slightlie set vp with a few posts & many radels, with stable and all offices vnder one roofe, the like whereof almost is to be séene in the fennie countries and northerne parts vnto this daie, where for lacke of wood they are inforced to continue this ancient maner of building. It is not in vaine therefore in speaking of building to make a distinction betwéene the plaine and wooddie soiles: for as in these, our houses are commonlie strong and well timbered, so that in manie places, there are not aboue foure, six, or nine inches betwéene stud and stud; so in the open and champaine countries they are inforced for want of stuffe to vse no studs at all, but onlie franke posts, raisins, beames, prickeposts, groundsels, summers (or dormants) transoms, and such principals, with here and there a griding, whervnto they fasten their splints or radels, and then cast it all ouer with thicke claie to keepe out the wind, which otherwise would annoie them. Certes this rude kind of building made [Page 315] the Spaniards in quéene Maries daies to woonder, but chéeflie when they saw what large diet was vsed in manie of these so homelie cottages, in so much that one of no small reputation amongst them said after this maner: "These English (quoth he) haue their houses made of sticks and durt, but they fare commonlie so well as the king. Whereby it appeareth that he liked better of our good fare in such course cabins, than of their owne thin diet in their princelike habitations and palaces. In like sort as euerie countrie house is thus apparelled on the out side, so is it inwardlie diuided into sundrie roomes aboue and beneath; and where plentie of wood is, they couer them with tiles, otherwise with straw, sedge, or reed, except some quarrie of slate be néere hand, from whence they haue for their monie so much as may suffice them.

The claie wherewith our houses are impanelled is either white, red, or blue, and of these the first dooth participat verie much with the nature of our chalke, the second is called lome, but the third eftsoones changeth colour so soone as it is wrought, notwithstanding that it looke blue when it is throwne out of the pit. Of chalke also we haue our excellent Asbestos or white lime, made in most places, wherewith being quenched we strike ouer our claie workes and stone wals, in cities, good townes, rich farmers and gentlemens houses: otherwise in stéed of chalke (where it wanteth for it is so scant that in some places it is sold by the pound) they are compelled to burne a certeine kind of red stone, as in Wales, and else where other stones and shels of oisters and like fish found vpon the sea coast, which being conuerted into lime doth naturallie (as the other) abhorre and eschew water whereby it is dissolued, and neuerthelesse desire oile wherewith it is easilie mixed, as I haue séene by experience. Within their doores also such as are of abilitie doo oft make their floores and parget of fine alabaster burned, which they call plaster of Paris, whereof in some places we haue great plentie, and that verie profitable against the rage of fire.

In plastering likewise of our fairest houses ouer our heads, we vse to laie first a laine or two of white morter tempered with haire vpon laths, which are nailed one by another (or sometimes vpon reed or wickers more dangerous for fire, and made fast here and there with saplaths for falling downe) and finallie couer all with the aforesaid plaster, which beside the delectable whitenesse of the stuffe it selfe, is laied on so euen and smoothlie, as nothing in my iudgment can be doone with more exactnesse. The wals of our houses on the inner sides in like sort be either hanged with tapisterie, arras worke, or painted cloths, wherin either diuerse histories, or hearbes, beasts, knots, and such like are stained, or else they are seeled with oke of our owne, or wainescot brought hither out of the east countries, whereby the roomes are not a little commended, made warme, and much more close than otherwise they would be. As for stooues we haue not hitherto vsed them greatlie, yet doo they now begin to be made in diuerse houses of the gentrie and wealthie citizens, who build them not to worke and feed in as in Germanie and else where, but now and then to sweat in, as occasion and néed shall require. This also hath béene common in England, contrarie to the customes of all other nations, and yet to be séene (for example in most stréets of London) that many of our greatest houses haue outwardlie béene verie simple and plaine to sight, which inwardlie haue beene able to receiue a duke with his whole traine, and lodge them at their ease. Hereby moreouer it is come to passe, that the fronts of our stréets haue not béene so vniforme and orderlie builded as those of forreine cities, where (to saie truth) the vtterside of their mansions and dwellings haue oft more cost bestowed vpon them, than all the rest of the house, which are often verie simple and vneasie within, as experience dooth confirme. Of old time our countrie houses in steed of glasse did vse much lattise and that made either of wicker or fine rifts of oke in chekerwise. I read also that some of the better sort, in and before the times of the Saxons (who notwithstanding vsed some glasse also since the time of Benedict Biscop the moonke that brought the feat of glasing first into this land) did make panels of horne in stéed of glasse, & fix them in woodden calmes. But as horne in windows is now quite laid downe in euerie place, so our lattises are also growne into lesse vse, bicause [Page 316] glasse is come to be so plentifull, and within a verie little so good cheape if not better then the other.

I find obscure mention of the specular stone also to haue béene found and applied to this vse in England, but in such doubtfull sort as I dare not affirme it for certeine. Neuerthelesse certeine it is that antiquitie vsed it before glasse was knowen, vnder the name of Selenites. And how glasse was first found I care not greatlie to remember euen at this present, although it be directlie beside my purposed matter. In Syria phenices which bordereth vpon Iurie, & néere to the foot of mount Carmell there is a moore or marris, wherout riseth a brooke called sometime Belus, and falleth into the sea néere to Ptolemais. This riuer was fondlie ascribed vnto Baall, and also honored vnder that name by the infidels, long time before there was anie king in Israell. It came to passe also as a certeine merchant sailed that way loden with Nitrum, the passengers went to land for to repose themselues, and to take in some store of fresh water into their vessell. Being also on the shore they kindled a fire, and made prouision for their dinner, but bicause they wanted treuets or stones whereon to set their kettels on, ran by chance into the ship, and brought great péeces of Nitrum with him, which serued their turne for that present. To be short, the said substance being hot, and beginning to melt, it mixed by chance with the grauel that laie vnder it; and so brought forth that shining substance which now is called glasse, and about the time of Semiramis. When the companie saw this, they made no small accompt of their successe, and foorthwith began to practise the like in other mixtures, whereby great varietie of the said stuffe did also insue. Certes for the time this historie may well be true: for I read of glasse in Iob, but for the rest I refer me to the common opinion conceiued by writers. Now to turne againe to our windowes. Heretofore also the houses of our princes and noble men were often glased with Berill (an example whereof is yet to be séene in Sudleie castell) and in diuerse other places with fine christall, but this especiallie in the time of the Romans, wherof also some fragments haue béene taken vp in old ruines. But now these are not in vse, so that onelie the clearest glasse is most estéemed: for we haue diuerse sorts, some brought out of Burgundie, some out of Normandie, much out of Flanders, beside that which is made in England, which would be so good as the best, if we were diligent and carefull to bestow more cost vpon it, and yet as it is, each one that may, will haue it for his building. Moreouer the mansion houses of our countrie townes and villages (which in champaine ground stand altogither by stréets, & ioining one to an other, but in woodland soiles dispersed here and there, each one vpon the seuerall grounds of their owners) are builded in such sort generallie, as that they haue neither dairie, stable, nor bruehouse annexed vnto them vnder the same roofe (as in manie places beyond the sea & some of the north parts of our countrie) but all separate from the first, and one of them from an other. And yet for all this, they are not so farre distant in sunder, but that the goodman lieng in his bed may lightlie heare what is doone in each of them with ease, and call quicklie vnto his meinie if anie danger should attach him.

The ancient manours and houses of our gentlemen are yet and for the most part of strong timber, in framing whereof our carpenters haue beene and are worthilie preferred before those of like science among all other nations. Howbeit such as be latelie builded, are cōmonlie either of bricke or hard stone, or both; their roomes large and comelie, and houses of office further distant from their lodgings. Those of the nobilitie are likewise wrought with bricke and hard stone, as prouision may best be made: but so magnificent and statelie, as the basest house of a baron dooth often match in our daies with some honours of princes in old time. So that if euer curious building did florish in England, it is in these our yeares, wherin our workemen excell, and are in maner comparable in skill with old Vitruuius, Leo Baptista, and Serlo. Neuerthelesse, their estimation more than their gréedie and seruile couetousnesse, ioined with a lingering humour causeth them often to be reiected, & strangers preferred to greater bargaines, who are more reasonable in their takings, and lesse wasters of time by a great deale than our owne.

[Page 317] The furniture of our houses also exceedeth, and is growne in maner euen to passing delicacie: and herein I doo not speake of the nobilitie and gentrie onelie, but likewise of the lowest sort in most places of our south countrie, that haue anie thing at all to take to. Certes in noble mens houses it is not rare to sée abundance of Arras, rich hangings of tapistrie, siluer vessell, and so much other plate, as may furnish sundrie cupbords, to the summe oftentimes of a thousand or two thousand pounds at the least: whereby the value of this and the rest of their stuffe dooth grow to be almost inestimable. Likewise in the houses of knights, gentlemen, merchantmen, and some other wealthie citizens, it is not geson to behold generallie their great prouision of tapistrie, Turkie worke, pewter, brasse, fine linen, and thereto costlie cupbords of plate, worth fine or six hundred or a thousand pounds, to be deemed by estimation. But as herein all these sorts doo far excéed their elders and predecessors, and in neatnesse and curiositie, the merchant all other; so in time past, the costlie furniture staied there, whereas now it is descended yet lower, euen vnto the inferiour artificers and manie farmers, who by vertue of their old and not of their new leases haue for the most part learned also to garnish their cupbords with plate, their ioined beds with tapistrie and silke hangings, and their tables with carpets & fine naperie, whereby the wealth of our countrie (God be praised therefore, and giue vs grace to imploie it well) dooth infinitelie appeare. Neither doo I speake this in reproch of anie man, God is my iudge, but to shew that I do reioise rather, to sée how God hath blessed vs with his good gifts; and whilest I behold how that in a time wherein all things are growen to most excessiue prices, & what commoditie so euer is to be had, is dailie plucked from the communaltie by such as looke into euerie trade, we doo yet find the means to obtein & atchiue such furniture as heretofore hath beene vnpossible. [Sidenote: Thrée things greatlie amended in England.] There are old men yet dwelling in the village where I remaine, which haue noted three things to be maruellouslie altered in England within their sound remembrance; & other three things too too much increased. [Sidenote: Chiminies.] One is, the multitude of chimnies latelie erected, wheras in their yoong daies there were not aboue two or thrée, if so manie in most vplandish townes of the realme (the religious houses, & manour places of their lords alwaies excepted, and peraduenture some great personages) but ech one made his fire against a reredosse in the hall, where he dined and dressed his meat.

[Sidenote: Hard lodging.]

The second is the great (although not generall) amendment of lodging, for (said they) our fathers (yea and we our selues also) haue lien full oft vpon straw pallets, on rough mats couered onelie with a shéet vnder couerlets made of dagswain or hopharlots (I vse their owne termes) and a good round log vnder their heads in steed of a bolster or pillow. If it were so that our fathers or the good man of the house, had within seuen yeares after his mariage purchased a matteres or flockebed, and thereto a sacke of chaffe to rest his head vpon, he thought himselfe to be as well lodged as the lord of the towne, that peraduenture laie seldome in a bed of downe or whole fethers; so well were they contented, and with such base kind of furniture: which also is not verie much amended as yet in some parts of Bedfordshire, and elsewhere further off from our southerne parts. Pillowes (said they) were thought méet onelie for women in childbed. As for seruants, if they had anie shéet aboue them it was well, for seldome had they anie vnder their bodies, to kéepe them from the pricking straws that ran oft through the canuas of the pallet, and rased their hardened hides.

[Sidenote: Furniture of household.]

The third thing they tell of, is the exchange of vessell, as of treene platters into pewter, and wodden spoones into siluer or tin. For so common were all sorts of tréene stuffe in old time, that a man should hardlie find foure péeces of pewter (of which one was peraduenture [Sidenote: This was in the time of generall idlenesse.] a salt) in a good farmers house, and yet for all this frugalitie (if it may so be iustly called) they were scarse able to liue and paie their rents at their daies without selling of a cow, or an horsse, or more, although they paid but foure pounds at the vttermost by the yeare. Such also was their pouertie, that if some one od farmer or husbandman had béene at the alehouse, a thing greatlie vsed in those daies, amongst six or seuen of his neighbours, and there in a brauerie to shew what store he had, did cast downe his pursse, and therein a noble or six shillings in siluer vnto them (for few such men then cared for gold bicause it was not so [Page 318] readie paiment, and they were oft inforced to giue a penie for the exchange of an angell) it was verie likelie that all the rest could not laie downe so much against it: whereas in my time, although peraduenture foure pounds of old rent be improued to fortie, fiftie, or an hundred pounds, yet will the farmer as another palme or date trée thinke his gaines verie small toward the end of his terme, if he haue not six or seuen yeares rent lieng by him, therewith to purchase a new lease, beside a faire garnish of pewter on his cupbord, with so much more in od vessell going about the house, thrée or foure featherbeds, so manie couerlids and carpets of tapistrie, a siluer salt, a bowle for wine (if not an whole neast) and a dozzen of spoones to furnish vp the sute. This also he taketh to be his owne cléere, for what stocke of monie soeuer he gathereth & laieth vp in all his yeares, it is often séene, that the landlord will take such order with him for the same, when he renueth his lease, which is commonlie eight or six yeares before the old be expired (sith it is now growen almost to a custome, that if he come not to his lord so long before, another shall step in for a reuersion, and so defeat him out right) that it shall neuer trouble him more than the haire of his beard, when the barber hath washed and shauen it from his chin. And as they commend these, so (beside the decaie of housekéeping whereby the poore haue beene relieued) they speake also of thrée things that are growen to be verie grieuous vnto them, to wit, the inhansing of rents, latelie mentioned; the dailie oppression of copiholders, whose lords séeke to bring their poore tenants almost into plaine seruitude and miserie, dailie deuising new meanes, and séeking vp all the old how to cut them shorter and shorter, doubling, trebling, and now & then seuen times increasing their fines, driuing them also for euerie trifle to loose and forfeit their tenures (by whome the greatest part of the realme dooth stand and is mainteined) to the end they may fléece them yet more, which is a lamentable hering. The third thing they talke of is vsurie, a trade brought in by the Iewes, now perfectlie practised almost by euerie Christian, and so commonlie that he is accompted but for a foole that dooth lend his monie for nothing. In time past it was "Sors pro sorte," that is, the principall onelie for the principall; but now beside that which is aboue the principall properlie called "Vsura," we chalenge "Fœnus," that is commoditie of soile, & fruits of the earth, if not the ground it selfe. In time past also one of the hundred was much, from thence it rose vnto two, called in Latine "Vsura, Ex sextante;" thrée, to wit "Ex quadrante;" then to foure, to wit "Ex triente;" then to fiue, which is "Ex quincunce;" then to six, called "Ex semisse," &c: as the accompt of the "Assis" ariseth, and comming at the last vnto "Vsura ex asse," it amounteth to twelue in the hundred, and therefore the Latines call it "Centesima," for that in the hundred moneth it doubleth the principall; but more of this elsewhere. See Cicero against Verres, Demosthenes against Aphobus, and Athenæus lib. 13. in fine: and when thou hast read them well, helpe I praie thée in lawfull maner to hang vp such as take [Sidenote: By the yeare.] "Centū pro cento," for they are no better worthie as I doo iudge in conscience. Forget not also such landlords as vse to value their leases at a secret estimation giuen of the wealth and credit of the taker, whereby they séeme (as it were) to eat them vp and deale with bondmen, so that if the leassée be thought to be worth an hundred pounds, he shall paie no lesse for his new terme, or else another to enter with hard and doubtfull couenants. I am sorie to report it, much more gréeued to vnderstand of the practise; but most sorowfull of all to vnderstand that men of great port and countenance are so farre from suffering their farmers to haue anie gaine at all, that they themselues become grasiers, butchers, tanners, shéep-masters, woodmen, and "denique quid non," thereby to inrich themselues, and bring all the wealth of the countrie into their owne hands, leauing the communaltie weake, or as an idoll with broken or féeble armes, which may in a time of peace haue a plausible shew, but when necessitie shall inforce, haue an heauie and bitter sequele. [Page 319]



[Sidenote: Six and twentie cities in England.]

As in old time we read that there were eight and twentie flamines and archflamines in the south part of this Ile, and so manie great cities vnder their iurisdiction: so in these our daies there is but one or two fewer, and each of them also vnder the ecclesiasticall regiment of some one bishop or archbishop, who in spirituall cases haue the charge and ouersight of the same. So manie cities therefore are there in England and Wales, as there be bishopriks & archbishopriks. For notwithstanding that Lichfield and Couentrie, and Bath and Welles, doo séeme to extend the aforesaid number vnto nine and twentie: yet neither of these couples are to be accounted, but as one entier citie and sée of the bishop, sith one bishoprike can haue relation but vnto one sée, and the said see be situate but in one place, after which the bishop dooth take his name. It appeareth by our old and ancient histories, that the cities of this southerlie portion haue beene of excéeding greatnesse and beautie, whereof some were builded in the time of the Samotheans, and of which not a few in these our times are quite decaied, and the places where they stood worne out of all remembrance. Such also for the most part as yet remaine are maruellouslie altered, insomuch that whereas at the first they were large and ample, now are they come either vnto a verie few houses, or appeare not to be much greater in comparison than poore & simple villages. Antoninus the most diligent writer of [Sidenote: Sitomagus.] the thorough fares of Britaine, noteth among other these ancient townes following, as Sitomagus, which he placeth in the waie from Norwich, as Leland supposeth (wherin they went [Sidenote: Nouiomagus.] by Colchester) to London, Nouiomagus that lieth betwéene Carleill and Canturburie, within [Sidenote: Neomagus.] [Sidenote: Niomagus.] ten miles east of London, and likewise Neomagus and Niomagus which take their names of their first founder Magus, the sonne of Samothes, & second king of the Celtes that reigned in this Iland; and not "A profunditate," onelie, as Bodinus affirmeth out of Plinie, as if all the townes that ended in Magus should stand in holes and low grounds: which is to be disprooued in diuerse cities in the maine, as also here with vs. Of these moreouer sir Thomas Eliot supposeth Neomagus to haue stood somewhere about Chester; & George Lillie in his booke of the names of ancient places, iudgeth Niomagus to be the verie same that we doo now call Buckingham, and lieth farre from the shore. And as these and sundrie other now perished tooke their denomination of this prince, so there are diuerse causes, [Sidenote: Salisburie of Sarron.] which mooue me to coniecture, that Salisburie dooth rather take the first name of Sarron the sonne of the said Magus, than of Cæsar, Caradoc or Seuerus (as some of our writers doo imagine) or else at the least wise of Salisburge of the maine, from whence some Saxons came to inhabit in this land. And for this later not vnlikelie, sith before the comming of the Saxons, the king of the Suessionenses had a great part of this Iland in subiection, as Cæsar saith; and in another place that such of Belgie as stale ouer hither from the maine, builded and called diuerse cities after the names of the same from whence they came, I meane such [Sidenote: Sarronium.] [Sidenote: Sarronsburg.] as stood vpon the coast, as he himselfe dooth witnesse. But sith coniectures are no verities, and mine opinion is but one mans iudgement, I will not stand now vpon the proofe of this matter, least I should séeme to take great paines in adding new coniectures vnto old, in such wise to deteine the heads of my readers about these trifles, that otherwise peraduenture would be farre better occupied in matters of more importance. To procéed therefore. As soone after the first inhabitation of this Iland, our cities began no doubt to be builded and increased, so they ceased not to multiplie from time to time, till the land was throughlie furnished with hir conuenient numbers, whereof some at this present with their ancient names, doo still remaine in knowledge, though diuerse be doubted of, and manie more perished by continuance [Sidenote: Greater cities in times past when husbandmen also were citizens.] of time, and violence of the enimie. I doubt, not also but the least of these were comparable to the greatest of those which stand in our time, for sith that in those daies the most part of the Iland was reserued vnto pasture, the townes and villages either were not at all [Page 320] (but all sorts of people dwelled in the cities indifferentlie, an image of which estate may yet be seene in Spaine) or at the lestwise stood not so thicke, as they did afterward in the time [Sidenote: The cause of the increase of villages.] of the Romans, but chéefelie after the comming of the Saxons, and after them the Normans, when euerie lord builded a church neare vnto his owne mansion house, and thereto imparted the greatest portion of his lands vnto sundrie tenants, to hold the same of him by coppie of court roll, which rolles were then kept in some especiall place indifferentlie appointed by them and their lord, so that the one could haue no resort vnto them without the other, by which means the number of townes and villages was not a little increased. If anie man be desirous to know the names of those ancient cities, that stood in the time of the Romans, he shall haue them here at hand, in such wise as I haue gathered them out of our writers, obseruing euen their manner of writing of them so neare as to me is possible, without alteration of anie corruption crept vp into the same.

1 London otherwise called Trenouanton.
Cair Lud.
Londinum or Longidinium.
Augusta of the legion Augusta that soiourned there, when the Romans ruled here.
2 Yorke otherwise called [Sidenote: Leouitius placeth Yorke in Scotland de eclipsibus.] Cairbranke.
Vrouicum or Yurewijc.
Eorwijc or Eoforwijc.
[Sidenote: A legion conteined sixtie centuries, thirtie manipuli, thrée cohortes.] Victoria of the legion victrix that laie there sometime.
3 Canturburie. Duroruerno aliàs Duraruenno
4 Colchester Cair Colon.
Cair Colden.
Cair Colkin of Coilus.
Cair Colun, of the riuer that runneth thereby.
Colonia, of the colonie planted there by the Romans.
Coloncester.Plin. lib. 2. ca. 75.

5 Lincolne. Cair Lud Coit, of the woods that stood about it.
Cair Loichoit, by corruption.
6 Warwijc had sometime 9 parish churches. Cair Guttelin.
Cair Line or Cair Leon.
Cair Gwair.
Cair Vmber.
Cair Gwaerton.
7 Chester vpon Vske was a famous vniuersitie in the time of Arthur. Cair legion.
Ciuitas legionum.
8 Carleill. Cair Lueill.
Cair Leill.
Cair Doill.
9 S. Albanes. Cair Maricipit.
Cair Municip.
Cair Wattelin, of the street wheron it stood.
10 Winchester. Cair Gwent.
Cair Gwin.
Cair Wine.
Venta Simenorum.
11 Cisceter. Cair Churne.
Cair Kyrne.
Cair Kery.
Cair Cery.
12 Silcester. [*]Cair Segent. [Sidenote: * Cair Segent stood vpon the Thames, not farre from Reding.]
[Page 321] 13 Bath. Cair Badon.
Aquaæ solis.
14 Shaftesbyry. Cair Paladour.
15 Worcester. Wigornia.
Cair Gworangon.
Cair Frangon.
10 Chichester. Cair Key or Kair Kis.
Cair Chic.
17 Bristow. Cair Odernant Badon.
Cair Bren.
Venta Belgarum.
18 Rochester.
Durobreuis, corruptlieDurobrouis.

19 Portchester. Cair Peris.
Cair Porcis.
20 Cairmarden. Cair Maridunum.
Cair Merdine.
Cair Marlin.
Cair Fridhin.
21 Glocester. Cair Clowy.
Cair Glow.
22 Leircester. Cair Beir.
Cair Leir.
Cair Lirion.
Wirall, teste. Matth. West. 895.
23 Cambridge. Grantabric.
Cair Graunt.
24 Cair Vrnach, peraduenture Burgh castell.
25 Cair Cucurat.
26 Cair Draiton, now a slender village.
27 Cair Celennon.
28 Cair Megwaid.

As for Cair Dorme (another whereof I read likewise) it stood somewhere vpon the Nene in Huntingdon shire, but now vnknowne, sith it was twise raced to the ground, first by the Saxons, then by the Danes, so that the ruines thereof are in these daies not extant to be séene. And in like sort I am ignorant where most of them stood, that are noted with the star. I find in like sort mention of a noble citie called Alcluid ouer and beside these afore mentioned, sometime builded by Ebracus of Britaine, as the fame goeth, and finallie destroied by the Danes, about the yeare of Grace 870. It stood vpon the banks of the riuer Cluda, to wit, betwéene it and the blanke on the north, and the Lound lake on the west, and was sometime march betwéene the Britons and the Picts, and likewise the Picts and the Scots; neuerthelesse, the castell (as I heare) dooth yet remaine, and hath béene since well repared by the Scots, and called Dombrittain or Dunbritton, so that it is not an hard matter by these few words to find where Alcluid stood. I could here, if leisure serued, and hast of the printer not require dispatch, deliuer the ancient names of sundrie other townes, of which Stafford in time past was called Stadtford, and therfore (as I gesse) builded or the name altered by the Saxons, Kinebanton now Kimbalton. But if anie man be desirous to sée more of them, let him resort to Houeden in the life of Henrie the second, and there he shall be further satisfied of his desire in this behalfe.

[Sidenote: When Albane was martyred Asclepiodotus was legat in Britaine.]

It should séeme when these ancient cities flourished, that the same towne, which we now call saint Albons, did most of all excell: but chéefelie in the Romans time, and was not onelie nothing inferior to London it selfe, but rather preferred before it, bicause it was newer, and made a Municipium of the Romans, whereas the other was old and ruinous, and inhabited onelie by the Britons, as the most part of the Iland was also in those daies. Good notice hereof also is to be taken by Matthew Paris, and others before him, out of whose writings I haue thought good to note a few things, whereby the maiestie of this ancient citie may appeare vnto posteritie, and the former estate of Verlamcester not lie altogither [Page 322] (as it hath doone hitherto) raked vp in forgetfulnes, through the negligence of such as might haue deserued better of their successours, by leauing the description thereof in a booke by it selfe, sith manie particulars thereof were written to their hands, that now are lost and perished. Tacitus in the fouretéenth booke of his historie maketh mention of it, shewing that in the rebellion of the Britons, the Romans there were miserablie distressed, "Eadem clades" (saith he) "municipio Verolamio fuit." And here vpon Nennius in his catalog of cities [Sidenote: Sullomaca and Barnet all one, or not far in sunder.] calleth it Cair municip, as I before haue noted. Ptolome speaking of it, dooth place it among the Catyeuchlanes, but Antoninus maketh it one and twentie Italian miles from London, placing Sullomaca nine mile from thence, whereby it is euident, that Sullomaca stood néere to Barnet, if it were not the verie same. Of the old compasse of the walles of Verolamium there is now small knowledge to be had by the ruines, but of the beautie of the citie it selfe you shall partlie vnderstand by that which followeth at hand, after I haue told you for your better intelligence what "Municipium Romanorum" is: for there is great difference betwéene that and "Colonia Romanorum," sith "Colonia aliò traducitur a ciuitate Roma," but "Municipes aliundè in ciuitatem veniunt, suísq; iuribus & legibus viuunt:" moreouer their soile is not changed into the nature of the Romane, but they liue in the stedfast fréendship and protection of the Romans, as did somtime the Ceretes who were the first people which euer obteined that priuilege. The British Verolamians therefore, hauing for their noble seruice in the warres deserued great commendations at the hands of the Romans, they gaue vnto them the whole fréedome of Romans, whereby they were made Municipes, and became more frée in truth than their Colonies could be. To conclude therefore, Municipium is a citie infranchised and indued with Romane priuileges, without anie alteration of hir former inhabitants or priuileges; whereas a Colonie is a companie sent from Rome into anie other region or prouince, to possesse either a citie newlie builded, or to replenish the same from whence hir former citizens haue beene expelled and driuen out. Now to proceed.

In the time of king Edgar it fell out, that one Eldred was abbat there; who being desirous to inlarge that house, it came into his mind to search about in the ruines of Verolamium (which now was ouerthrowne by the furie of the Saxons & Danes) to sée if he might there come by anie curious péeces of worke, wherewith to garnish his building taken in hand. To be short, he had no sooner begun to dig among the rubbis, but he found an excéeding number of pillers, péeces of antike worke, thresholds, doore frames, and sundrie other péeces of fine masonrie for windowes and such like, verie conuenient for his purpose. Of these also some were of porphyrite stone, some of diuerse kinds of marble, touch, and alabaster, beside manie curious deuises of hard mettall, in finding whereof he thought himselfe an happie man, and his successe to be greatlie guided by S. Albane. Besides these also he found sundrie pillers of brasse, and sockets of latton, alabaster and touch, all which he laid aside by great heaps, determining in the end (I saie) to laie the foundation of a new abbaie, but God so preuented his determination, that death tooke him awaie, before his building was begun. After him succeeded one Eadmerus, who followed the dooings of Eldred to the vttermost: and therefore not onlie perused what he had left with great diligence, but also caused his pioners to search yet further, within the old walles of Verolamium, where they not onelie found infinite other péeces of excellent workemanship, but came at the last to certeine vaults vnder the ground, in which stood diuers idols, and not a few altars, verie superstitiouslie and religiouslie adorned, as the pagans left them belike in time of necessitie. These images were of sundrie mettals, and some of pure gold, their altars likewise were richlie couered, all which ornaments Edmerus tooke awaie, and not onelie conuerted them to other vse in his building, but also destroied an innumerable sort of other idols, whose estimation consisted in their formes, and substances could doo no seruise. He tooke vp also sundrie curious pots, iugs, and cruses of stone and wood most artificiallie wrought and carued, and that in such quantitie, besides infinite store of fine houshold stuffe, as if the whole furniture of the citie had béene brought thither of purpose to be hidden in those vaults. In procéeding further, he tooke vp diuerse pots of gold, siluer, brasse, glasse and earth, [Page 323] whereof some were filled with the ashes and bones of the gentils, the mouths being turned downewards (the like of which, but of finer earth, were found in great numbers also of late in a well at little Massingham in Norffolke, of six or eight gallons a péece, about the yeare 1578, and also in the time of Henrie the eight) and not a few with the coines of the old Britons and Romane emperours. All which vessels the said abbat brake into péeces, and melting the mettall, he reserued it in like sort for the garnishing of his church.

He found likewise in a stone wall two old bookes, whereof one contained the rites of the gentils, about the sacrifices of their gods, the other (as they now saie) the martyrdome of [Sidenote: This soundeth like a lie.] saint Albane, both of them written in old British letters, which either bicause no man then liuing could read them, or for that they were not woorth the keeping, were both consumed to ashes, sauing that a few notes were first taken out of this later, concerning the death of their Albane. Thus much haue I thought good to note of the former beautie of Verolamium, whereof infinite other tokens haue beene found since that time, and diuerse within the memorie of man, of passing workemanship, the like whereof hath no whers else béene séene in anie ruines within the compasse of this Ile, either for cost or quantitie of stuffe.

Furthermore, whereas manie are not afraid to saie that the Thames came sometimes by this citie, indeed it is nothing so; but that the Verlume (afterward called Vere and the Mure) did and dooth so still (whatsoeuer Gildas talketh hereof, whose books may be corrupted in that behalfe) there is yet euident proofe to be confirmed by experience. For albeit that the riuer be now growne to be verie small by reason of the ground about it, which is higher than it was in old time; yet it kéepeth in maner the old course, and runneth betwéene the old citie that was, and the new towne that is standing on Holmehirst crag, as I beheld of late. Those places also which now are medow beneath the abbaie, were sometimes a great lake, mere, or poole, through which the said riuer ran, and (as I read) with a verie swift and violent course, wheras at this present it is verie slow, and of no such deapth as of ancient times it hath beene. But heare what mine author saith further of the same. As those aforsaid workemen digged in these ruines, they happened oftentimes vpon Lempet shels, péeces of rustie anchors, and keeles of great vessels, wherevpon some by and by gathered that either the Thames or some arme of the sea did beat vpon that towne, not vnderstanding that these things might aswell happen in great lakes and meres, wherof there was one adioining to the north side of the citie, which laie then (as some men thinke) vnwalled, but that also is false. For being there vpon occasion this summer passed, I saw some remnant of the old wals standing in that place, which appeared to haue béene verie substantiallie builded; the ruines likewise of a greater part of them are to be séene running along by the old chappell hard by in maner of a banke. Whereby it is euident that the new towne standeth cleane without the limits of the old, and that the bridge whereof the historie of S. Albane speaketh, was at the nether end of Halliwell stréet or there about, for so the view of the place doth inforce me to coniecture. This mere (which the Latine copie of the description of Britaine, written of late by Humfrey Lhoid our countrie man calleth corruptlie "Stagnum enaximum" for "Stagnum maximum") at the first belonged to the king, and thereby Offa in his time did reape no small commoditie. It continued also vntill the time of Alfrijc the seuenth abbat of that house, who bought it outright of the king then liuing, and by excessiue charges drained it so narrowlie, that within a while he left it drie (sauing that he reserued a chanell for the riuer to haue hir vsuall course, which he held vp with high bankes) bicause there was alwaies contention betwéene the moonks and the kings seruants, which fished on that water vnto the kings behoofe.

In these daies therefore remaineth no maner mention of this poole, but onelie in one stréet, which yet is called Fishpoole stréet, wherof this may suffice for the resolution of such men, as séeke rather to yéeld to an inconuenience, than that their Gildas should séeme to mistake this riuer.

Hauing thus digressed to giue some remembrance of the old estate of Verolamium, it is now time to returne againe vnto my former purpose. Certes I would gladlie set downe with the names and number of the cities, all the townes and villages in England and Wales, with their [Page 324] 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 soone found by the bishoprikes, sith euerie sée hath such prerogatiue giuen vnto it, as to beare the name of a citie, & to vse Regale ius within hir owne limits. Which priuilege also is granted to sundrie ancient townes in England, especiallie northward, where more plentie of them is to be found by a great deale than in the south. The names therefore of our cities are these:

S. Dauids.
S. Asaph.

Whose particular plots and models with their descriptions shall insue, if it may be brought to passe, that the cutters can make dispatch of them before this chronologie be published. Of townes and villages likewise thus much will I saie, that there were greater store in old time (I meane within three or foure hundred yeare passed) than at this present. And this I note out of diuerse records, charters, and donations (made in times past vnto sundrie religious houses, as Glassenburie, Abbandon, Ramseie, Elie, and such like) and whereof in these daies I find not so much as the ruines. Leland in sundrie places complaineth likewise of the decaie of parishes in great cities and townes, missing in some six, or eight, or twelue churches and more, of all which he giueth particular notice. For albeit that the Saxons builded manie townes and villages, and the Normans well more at their first comming, yet since the first two hundred yeares after the latter conquest, they haue gone so fast againe to decaie, that the ancient number of them is verie much abated. Ranulph the moonke of Chester telleth of generall surueie made in the fourth, sixtéenth, & ninetéenth of the reigne of William Conquerour, surnamed the Bastard, wherein it was found, that (notwithstanding the Danes had ouerthrowne a great manie) there were to the number of 52000 townes, 45002 parish churches, and 75000 knights fées, whereof the cleargie held 28015. He addeth moreouer that there were diuerse other builded since that time, within the space of an hundred yeares after the comming of the Bastard, as it were in lieu or recompense of those that William Rufus pulled downe for the erection of his new forrest. For by an old booke which I haue, and sometime written as it séemeth by an vndershiriffe of Nottingham, I find, euen in the time of Edw. 4. 45120 parish churches, and but 60216 knights fées, whereof the cleargie held as before 28015, or at the least 28000: for so small is the difference which he dooth séeme to vse. Howbeit if the assertions of such as write in our time concerning this matter, either are or ought to be of anie credit in this behalfe, you shall not find aboue 17000 townes and villages, and 9210 in the whole, which is little more than a fourth part of the aforesaid number, if it be throughlie scanned.

Certes this misfortune hath not onelie happened vnto our Ile & nation, but vnto most of the famous countries of the world heretofore, and all by the gréedie desire of such as would liue alone and onelie to themselues. And hereof we may take example in Candie of old time called Creta, which (as Homer writeth) was called Hecatompolis, bicause it conteined an hundred cities, but now it is so vnfurnished that it may hardlie be called Tripolis. Diodorus Siculus saith, that Aegypt had once 18000 cities, which so decaied in processe of time, that when Ptolomeus Lagus reigned, there were not aboue 3000: but in our daies both in all Asia & Aegypt this lesser number shall not verie readilie be found. In time past in Lincolne (as the fame goeth) there haue beene two and fiftie parish churches, and good record appeareth for eight and thirtie: but now if there be foure and twentie it is all. This inconuenience hath growen altogither to the church by appropriations made vnto monasteries and religious houses, a terrible canker and enimie to religion.

[Page 325] But to leaue this lamentable discourse of so notable and gréeuous an inconuenience, growing (as I said) by incroching and ioining of house to house, and laieng land to land, whereby the inhabitants of manie places of our countrie are deuoured and eaten vp, and their houses either altogither pulled downe or suffered to decaie by litle and litle, although sometime a poore man peraduenture dooth dwell in one of them, who not being able to repare it, suffereth it to fall downe, & thereto thinketh himselfe verie friendlie dealt withall, if he may haue an acre of ground assigned vnto him whereon to kéepe a cow, or wherein to set cabbages, radishes, parsneps, carrets, melons, pompons, or such like stuffe, by which he and his poore household liueth as by their principall food, sith they can doo no better. And as for wheaten bread, they eat it when they can reach vnto the price of it, contenting themselues in the meane time with bread made of otes or barleie: a poore estate God wot! Howbeit what care our great incrochers? But in diuers places where rich men dwelled sometime in good tenements, there be now no houses at all, but hopyards, and sheads for poles, or peraduenture gardens, as we may sée in castell Hedingham, and diuerse other places. But to procéed.

It is so, that our soile being diuided into champaine ground and woodland, the houses of the first lie vniformelie builded in euerie towne togither with stréets and lanes, wheras in the woodland countries (except here and there in great market townes) they stand scattered abroad, each one dwelling in the midst of his owne occupieng. And as in manie and most great market townes, there are commonlie thrée hundred or foure hundred families or mansions, & two thousand communicants, or peraduenture more: so in the other, whether they be woodland or champaine, we find not often aboue fortie, fiftie, or thrée score households, and two or three hundred communicants, whereof the greatest part neuerthelesse are verie poore folkes, oftentimes without all maner of occupieng, sith the ground of the parish is gotten vp into a few mens hands, yea sometimes into the tenure of one, two or thrée, whereby the rest are compelled either to be hired seruants vnto the other, or else to beg their bread in miserie from doore to doore.

There are some (saith Leland) which are not so fauourable when they haue gotten such lands, as to let the houses remaine vpon them to the vse of the poore; but they will compound with the lord of the soile to pull them downe for altogither, saieng that if they did let them stand, they should but toll beggers to the towne, therby to surcharge the rest of the parish, & laie more burden vpon them. But alas these pitifull men sée not that they themselues hereby doo laie the greatest log vpon their neighbors necks. For sith the prince dooth commonlie loose nothing of his duties accustomable to be paid, the rest of the parishioners that remaine must answer and beare them out: for they plead more charge other waies, saieng; I am charged alreadie with a light horsse, I am to answer in this sort and after that maner. And it is not yet altogither out of knowledge, that where the king had seuen pounds thirteene shillings at a taske gathered of fiftie wealthie householders of a parish in England: now a gentleman hauing three parts of the towne in his owne hands, foure housholds doo beare all the aforesaid paiment, or else Leland is deceiued in his Commentaries lib. 13. latelie come to my hands, which thing he especiallie noted in his trauell ouer this Ile. A common plague & enormittie, both in the hart of the land and likewise vpon the coasts. Certes a great number compleine of the increase of pouertie, laieng the cause vpon 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 neuer so full, &c: but few men doo sée the verie root from whence it dooth procéed. Yet the Romans found it out, when they florished, and therefore prescribed limits to euerie mans tenure and occupieng. Homer commendeth Achilles for ouerthrowing of fiue and twentie cities: but in mine opinion Ganges is much better preferred by Suidas for building of thrée score in Inde, where he did plant himselfe. I could (if néed required) set downe in this place the number of religious houses and monasteries, with the names of their founders that haue béene in this Iland: but sith it is a thing of small importance, I passe it ouer as impertinent to my purpose. Yet herein I will [Page 326] commend sundrie of the monasticall votaries, especiallie moonkes, for that they were authors of manie goodlie borowes and endwares, néere vnto their dwellings, although otherwise they pretended to be men separated from the world. But alas their couetous minds one waie in inlarging their reuenues, and carnall intent an other, appéered herin too too much. For being bold from time to time to visit their tenants, they wrought off great wickednesse, and made those endwares little better than brodelhouses, especiallie where nunries were farre off, or else no safe accesse vnto them. But what doo I spend my time in the rehearsall of these filthinesses? Would to God the memorie of them might perish with the malefactors! My purpose was also at the end of this chapter to haue set downe a table of the parish churches and market townes thorough out all England and Wales: but sith I can not performe the same as I would, I am forced to giue ouer my purpose: yet by these few that insue you shall easilie see what order I would haue vsed according to the shires, if I might haue brought it to passe.

Shires.Market townes.Parishes.
Middlesex. 3 73
London within the walles, and without.120
Surrie. 6140
Sussex. 18312
Kent. 17398
Cambridge. 4163
Bedford. 9 13
Huntingdon. 5 78
Rutland. 2 47
Barkeshire. 11150
Northhampton. 10326
Buckingham. 11196
Oxford. 10216
Southhampton. 18248
Dorset. 19279
Norffolke. 26625
Suffolke. 25575
Essex. 18415



It hath béene of long time a question in controuersie, and not yet determined, whether holds and castels néere cities or anie where in the hart of common-wealths, are more profitable or hurtfull for the benefit of the countrie? Neuertheles it séemeth by our owne experience that we here in England suppose them altogither vnnéedfull. This also is apparent by the testimonie of sundrie writers, that they haue béene the ruine of manie a noble citie. Of Old Salisburie I speake not, of Anwarpe saie nothing more than of sundrie other, whereof some also in my time neuer cease to incroch vpon the liberties of the cities adioining, thereby to hinder them what and wherin they may. For my part I neuer read of anie castell that did good vnto the citie abutting theron, but onelie the capitoll of Rome: and yet but once good vnto the same, in respect of the nine times whereby it brought it into danger of vtter ruine and confusion. Aristotle vtterlie denieth that anie castle at all can be profitable to a common wealth well gouerned. Timotheus of Corinthum affirmeth, that a castle in a common wealth is but a bréeder of tyrants. Pyrhus king of Epire being receiued also on a time into [Page 327] Athens, among other courtesies shewed vnto him, they led him also into their castell of Pallas, who at his departure gaue them great thanks for the fréendlie intertainment; but with this item, that they should let so few kings come into the same as they might, least (saith he) they teach you to repent too late of your great gentlenesse. Caietanus in his commonwealth hath finallie no liking of them, as appéereth in his eight booke of that most excellent treatise. But what haue I to deale whether they be profitable or not, sith my purpose is rather to shew what plentie we haue of them, which I will performe so far as shall be néedfull?

There haue béene in times past great store of castels and places of defense within the realme of England, of which some were builded by the Britons, manie by the Romans, Saxons, and Danes, but most of all by the barons of the realme, in & about the time of king Stephan, who licenced each of them to build so manie as them listed vpon their owne demeasnes, hoping thereby that they would haue imploied their vse to his aduantage and commoditie. But finallie when he saw that they were rather fortified against himselfe in the end, than vsed in his defense, he repented all too late of his inconsiderate dealing, sith now there was no remedie but by force for to subdue them. After his decease king Henrie the second came no sooner to the crowne, but he called to mind the inconuenience which his predecessour had suffered, and he himselfe might in time sustaine by those fortifications. Therefore one of the first things he did was an attempt to race and deface the most part of these holds. Certes he thought it better to hazard the méeting of the enimie now and then in the plaine field, than to liue in perpetuall feare of these houses, and the rebellion of his lords vpon euerie light occasion conceiued, who then were full so strong as he, if not more strong; and that made them the readier to withstand and gainesaie manie of those procéedings, which he and his successours from time to time intended. Herevpon therefore he caused more than eleuen hundred of their said castels to be raced and ouerthrowne, whereby the power of his nobilitie was not a little restreined. Since that time also, not a few of those which remained haue decaied, partlie by the commandement of Henrie the third, and partlie of themselues, or by conuersion of them into the dwelling houses of noble men, their martiall fronts being remooued: so that at this present, there are verie few or no castels at all mainteined within England, sauing onlie vpon the coasts and marches of the countrie for the better kéeping backe of the forren enimie, when soeuer he shall attempt to enter and annoie vs.

The most provident prince that euer reigned in this land, for the fortification thereof against all outward enimies, was the late prince of famous memorie king Henrie the eight, who beside that he repared most of such as were alreadie standing, builded sundrie out of the ground. For hauing shaken off the more than seruile yoke of papish tyrannie, and espieng that the emperour was offended for his diuorce from quéene Catharine his aunt, and thereto vnderstanding that the French king had coupled the Dolphin his sonne with the popes néece, and maried his daughter to the king of Scots (whereby he had cause more iustlie to suspect than safelie to trust anie one of them all as Lambert saith) he determined to stand vpon his owne defense, and therefore with no small spéed, and like charge, he builded sundrie blockehouses, castels, and platformes vpon diuerse frontiers of his realme, but chieflie the east and southeast parts of England, whereby (no doubt) he did verie much qualifie the conceiued grudges of his aduersaries, and vtterlie put off their hastie purpose of inuasion. But would to God he had cast his eie toward Harwich, and the coasts of Norffolke and Suffolke, where nothing as yet is doone! albeit there be none so fit and likelie places for the enimie to enter vpon, as in those parts, where, at a full sea they may touch vpon the shore and come to land without resistance. And thus much brieflie for my purpose at this present. For I néed not to make anie long discourse of castels, sith it is not the nature of a good Englishman to regard to be caged vp as in a coope, and hedged in with stone wals, but rather to meet with his enimie in the plaine field at handstrokes, where he maie trauaise his ground, choose his plot, and vse the benefit of sunne shine, wind and weather, to his best aduantage & commoditie. Isocrates also saith that towres, walles, bulworkes, soldiers, [Page 328] [Sidenote: The best kéepers of kingdomes.] and plentie of armour, are not the best keepers of kingdomes; but fréends, loue of subiects, & obedience vnto martiall discipline, which they want that shew themselues either cruell or couetous toward their people. As for those tales that go of Beston castell, how it shall saue all England on a daie, and likewise the brag of a rebellious baron in old time named Hugh Bigot, that said in contempt of king Henrie the third, and about the fiftith yeare of his reigne:

If I were in my castell of Bungeie,
Vpon the water of Waueneie,
I wold not set a button by the king of Cockneie,

I repute them but as toies, the first méere vaine, the second fondlie vttered if anie such thing were said, as manie other words are and haue béene spoken of like holds (as Wallingford, &c:) but now growen out of memorie, and with small losse not heard of among the common sort. Certes the castell of Bungeie was ouerthrowen by the aforesaid prince, the same yeare that he ouerthrew the walles and castell of Leircester, also the castels of Treske and Malesar, apperteining to Roger Mowbraie, and that of Fremlingham belonging likewise to Hugh Bigot, wherof in the chronologie following you may read at large. I might here in like sort take occasion to speake of sundrie strong places where camps of men haue lien, and of which we haue great plentie here in England in the plaine fields: but I passe ouer to talke of any such néedlesse discourses. [Sidenote: The Wandles in time past were called Windles.] This neuerthelesse concerning two of them is not to be omitted, to wit, that the one néere vnto Cambridge now Gogmagogs hill, was called Windleburie before time, as I read of late in an old pamphlet. And to saie the truth I haue often heard them named Winterburie hilles, which difference may easilie grow by corruption of the former word: the place likewise is verie large and strong. The second is to be séene in the edge of Shropshire about two miles from Colme, betwéene two riuers, the Clun or Colunus, and the Tewie otherwise named Themis, wherevnto there is no accesse but at one place. The Welshmen call it Cair Carador, and they are of the opinion, that Caractatus king of the Sillures was ouercome there by Ostorius, at such time as he fled to Cartimanda quéene of the Brigants for succour, who betraied him to the Romans, as you may sée in Tacitus.



It lieth not in me to set down exactlie the number & names of the palaces belonging to the prince, nor to make anie description of hir graces court, sith my calling is and hath béene such, as that I haue scarselie presumed to péepe in at hir gates, much lesse then haue I aduentured to search out and know the estate of those houses, and what magnificent behauiour is to be séene within them. Yet thus much will I saie generallie of all the houses and honours perteining to hir maiestie, that they are builded either of square stone or bricke, or else of both. And thervnto although their capacitie and hugenesse be not so monstrous, as the like of diuerse forren princes are to be séene in the maine, and new found nations of the world: yet are they so curious, neat, and commodious as any of them, both for conuenience of offices and lodgings, and excellence of situation, which is not the least thing to be considered of in building. Those that were builded before the time of king Henrie the eight, reteine to these daies the shew and image of the ancient kind of workemanship vsed in this land: but such us he erected after his owne deuise (for he was nothing [Sidenote: King Hen. 8. not inferior to Adrian and Iustinian.] inferiour in this trade to Adrian the emperour and Iustinian the lawgiuer) doo represent another maner of paterne, which as they are supposed to excell all the rest that he found standing in this realme, so they are and shall be a perpetuall president vnto those that doo come after, to follow in their workes and buildings of importance. Certes masonrie did neuer [Page 329] better flourish in England than in his time. And albeit that in these daies there be manie goodlie houses erected in the sundrie quarters of this Iland; yet they are rather curious to the eie like paper worke, than substantiall for continuance: whereas such as he did set vp excell in both, and therefore may iustlie be preferred farre aboue all the rest. The names of those which come now to my remembrance, and are as yet reserued to hir maiesties onelie vse at pleasure are these: for of such as are giuen awaie I speake not, neither of those that are vtterlie decaied, as Bainards castell in London builded in the daies of the Conquerour by a noble man called William Bainard, whose wife Inga builded the priorie of litle Donemow in the daies of Henrie the first; neither of the tower roiall there also, &c: sith I sée no cause wherefore I should remember them and manie of the like, of whose verie ruines I haue no certeine knowledge. Of such I saie therfore as I erst mentioned, we haue first of [Sidenote: White hall.] all White hall at the west end of London (which is taken for the most large & principall of all the rest) was first a lodging of the Archbishops of Yorke, then pulled downe, begun by cardinall Woolseie, and finallie inlarged and finished by king Henrie the eight. By east of this standeth Durham place, sometime belonging to the bishops of Durham, but conuerted also by king Henrie the eight into a palace roiall, & lodging for the prince. Of Summerset place I speake not, yet if the first beginner thereof (I meane the lord Edward, the learned and godlie duke of Summerset) had liued, I doubt not but it should haue beene well finished and brought to a sumptuous end: but as vntimelie death tooke him from that house & from vs all, so it prooued the staie of such procéeding as was intended about it. Wherby it commeth to passe that it standeth as he left it. Neither will I remember the Tower of London, which is rather an armorie and house of munition, and therevnto a place for the safekéeping of offenders, than a palace roiall for a king or quéene to soiourne in. Yet in times past I find that Belline held his aboad there, and therevnto extended the site of his palace in such wise, that it stretched ouer the Broken wharfe, and came further into the citie, in so much that it approched néere to Bellines gate, & as it is thought some of the ruines of his house are yet extant, howbeit patched vp and made warehouses in that tract of [Sidenote: S. Iames.] ground in our times. S. Iames sometime a nonrie, was builded also by the same prince. Hir [Sidenote: Oteland.] [Sidenote: Ashridge.] [Sidenote: Hatfield.] [Sidenote: Enuéeld.] [Sidenote: Richmond.] grace hath also Oteland, Ashridge, Hatfield, Hauering, Enuéeld, Eltham, Langleie, Richmond [Sidenote: Hampton.] builded by Henrie the fift, Hampton court (begun sometime by cardinall Woolseie, [Sidenote: Woodstocke.] and finished by hir father) and therevnto Woodstocke, erected by king Henrie the first, in which the quéenes maiestie delighteth greatlie to soiourne, notwithstanding that in time past it was the place of a parcell of hir captiuitie, when it pleased God to trie hir by affliction and calamitie.

[Sidenote: Windsor.]

For strength Windlesor or Winsor is supposed to be the chéefe, a castell builded in time past by king Arthur, or before him by Aruiragus, as it is thought, and repared by Edward the third, who erected also a notable college there. After him diuerse of his successours haue bestowed excéeding charges vpon the same, which notwithstanding are farre surmounted by the quéenes maiestie now liuing, who hath appointed huge summes of monie to be emploied vpon the ornature and alteration of the mould, according to the forme of building vsed in our daies, which is more for pleasure than for either profit or safegard. Such also hath béene the estimation of this place, that diuerse kings haue not onelie béene interred there, but also made it the chiefe house of assemblie, and creation of the knights of the honorable order of the garter, than the which there is nothing in this land more magnificent and statelie.

[Sidenote: Gréenewich.]

Gréenewich was first builded by Humfreie duke of Glocester, vpon the Thames side foure miles east from London, in the time of Henrie the sixt, and called Pleasance. Afterwards it was greatlie inlarged by king Edw. 4. garnished by king Hen. 7. and finallie made perfect by king Hen. 8. the onelie Phenix of his time for fine and curious masonrie.

[Sidenote: Dartford.]

Not farre from this is Dartford, and not much distant also from the southside of the said streame, somtime a nonnerie builded by Edward the third, but now a verie commodious [Sidenote: Eltham.] palace, wherevnto it was also conuerted by K. Henrie the eight. Eltham (as I take it) was [Page 330] builded by king Henrie the third, if not before. There are beside these moreover diuerse other. But what shall I néed to take vpon me to repeat all, and tell what houses the quéenes maiestie hath? sith all is hirs, and when it pleaseth hir in the summer season to recreat hir selfe abroad, and view the estate of the countrie, and heare the complaints of hir poore commons iniuried by hir vniust officers or their substitutes, euerie noble mans house is hir palace, where shée continueth during pleasure, and till shée returne againe to some of hir owne, in which she remaineth so long as pleaseth hir.

[Sidenote: Of the court.]

The court of England, which necessarilie is holden alwaies where the prince lieth, is in these daies one of the most renowmed and magnificent courts that are to be found in Europe. For whether you regard the rich and infinit furniture of household, order of officers, or the interteinement of such strangers as dailie resort vnto the same, you shall not find manie equall therevnto, much lesse one excelling it in anie maner of wise. I might here (if I would, or had sufficient disposition of matter concerned of the same) make a large discourse of such honorable ports, of such graue councellors, and noble personages, as giue their dailie attendance vpon the quéenes maiestie there. I could in like sort set foorth a singular commendation of the vertuous beautie, or beautifull vertues of such ladies and gentlewomen as wait vpon hir person, betweene whose amiable countenances and costlinesse of attire, there séemeth to be such a dailie conflict and contention, as that it is verie difficult for me to gesse, whether of the twaine shall beare awaie the preheminence. This further is not to be omitted, [Sidenote: English courtiers the best learned & the worst liuers.] to the singular commendation of both sorts and sexes of our courtiers here in England, that there are verie few of them, which haue not the vse and skill of sundrie speaches, beside an excellent veine of writing before time not regarded. Would to God the rest of their liues and conuersations were correspondent to these gifts! for as our common courtiers (for the most part) are the best lerned and indued with excellent gifts, so are manie of them the worst men when they come abroad, that anie man shall either heare or read of. Trulie it is a rare thing with vs now, to heare of a courtier which hath but his owne language. And to saie how many gentlewomen and ladies there are, that beside sound knowledge of the Gréeke and Latine toongs, are thereto no lesse skilfull in the Spanish, Italian, and French, or in some one of them, it resteth not in me: sith I am persuaded, that as the noble men and gentlemen doo surmount in this behalfe, so these come verie little or nothing at all behind them for their parts, which industrie God continue, and accomplish that which otherwise is wanting!

Beside these things I could in like sort set downe the waies and meanes, wherby our ancient ladies of the court doo shun and auoid idlenesse, some of them exercising their fingers with the needle, other in caulworke, diuerse in spinning of silke, some in continuall reading either of the holie scriptures, or histories of our owne or forren nations about vs, and diuerse in writing volumes of their owne, or translating of other mens into our English and Latine toong, whilest the yoongest sort in the meane time applie their lutes, citharnes, prickesong, and all kind of musike, which they vse onelie for recreation sake, when they haue leisure, and are free from attendance vpon the quéenes maiestie, or such as they belong vnto. How manie of the eldest sort also are skilfull in surgerie and distillation of waters, beside sundrie other artificiall practises perteining to the ornature and commendations of their bodies, I might (if I listed to deale further in this behalfe) easilie declare, but I passe ouer such maner of dealing, least I should séeme to glauer, and currie fauour with some of them. Neuerthelesse this I will generallie saie of them all, that as ech of them are cuning in somthing wherby they kéepe themselues occupied in the court, so there is in maner none of them, but when they be at home, can helpe to supplie the ordinarie want of the kitchen with a number of delicat dishes of their owne deuising, wherein the Portingall is their chéefe counsellor, as some of them are most commonlie with the clearke of the kitchen, who vseth (by a tricke taken vp of late) to giue in a bréefe rehearsall of such and so manie dishes as are to come in at euerie course throughout the whole seruice in the dinner or supper while: which bill some doo call a memoriall, other a billet, but some a fillet, bicause such are commonlie [Page 331] hanged on the file, and kept by the ladie or gentlewoman vnto some other purpose. But whither am I digressed?

I might finallie describe the large allowances in offices, and yearelie liueries, and therevnto the great plentie of gold and siluer plate, the seuerall péeces whereof are commonlie so great and massie, and the quantitie therof so abundantlie seruing all the houshold, that (as I suppose) Cyniras, Cresus, and Crassus had not the like furniture: naie if Midas were now liuing & once againe put to his choise, I thinke he could aske no more, or rather not halfe so much as is there to be séene and vsed. But I passe ouer to make such néedlesse discourses, resoluing my selfe, that euen in this also, as in all the rest, the excéeding mercie and louing kindnesse of God dooth wonderfullie appéere towards vs, in that he hath so largelie indued vs with these his so ample benefits.

In some great princes courts beyond the seas, & which euen for that cause are likened vnto hell by diuerse learned writers that haue spent a great part of their time in them, as Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, one (for example) who in his epistle "Ad aulicum quendam," saith thus: "An non in inferno es amice, qui es in aula, vbi dæmonum habitatio est, qui illic suis artibus humana licèt effigie regnant, atque vbi scelerum schola est, & animarum iactura ingens, ac quicquid vspiam est perfidiæ ac doli, quicquid crudelitatis & inclemētiæ, quicquid effrænatæ superbiæ, & rapacis auariciæ, quicquid obscenæ libidinis, fædissimæ impudicitiæ, quicquid nefandæ impietatis, & morum pessimorum, totum illic aceruatur cumulatissimè, vbi stupra, raptus, incestus, adulteria, principum & nobilium ludi sunt, vbi fastus & tumor, ira, liuor, fædáque cupido cum socijs suis imperauit, vbi criminum omnium procellæ virtutúmque omniū ínenarrabile naufragium, &c." In such great princes courts (I saie) it is a world to sée what lewd behauiour is vsed among diuerse of those that resort vnto the same, and what whoredome, swearing, ribaldrie, atheisme, dicing, carding, carowsing, drunkennesse, gluttonie, quareling, and such like inconueniences doo dailie take hold, and sometimes euen among those, in whose estates the like behauiour is least conuenient (whereby their talke is verified which say that the thing increaseth and groweth in the courts of princes sauing vertue, which in such places dooth languish and dailie vade away) all which enormities are either vtterlie expelled out of the court of England, or else so qualified by the diligent endeuour of the chiefe officers of hir graces household, that seldome are anie of these things apparantlie séene there, without due reprehension, and such seuere correction as belongeth to those trespasses. Finallie to auoid idlenesse, and preuent sundrie transgressions, otherwise likelie to be committed and doone, such order is taken, that euerie office hath either a bible, or the bookes of the acts and monuments of the church of England, or both, beside some histories and chronicles lieng therein, for the exercise of such as come into the same: whereby the stranger that entereth into the court of England vpon the sudden, shall rather imagine himselfe to come into some publike schoole of the vniuersities, where manie giue eare to one that readeth, than into a princes palace, if you conferre the same with those of other nations. Would to God all honorable personages would take example of hir graces godlie dealing in this behalfe, and shew their conformitie vnto these hir so good beginnings! which if they would, then should manie grieuous offenses (wherewith God is highlie displeased) be cut off and restreined, which now doo reigne excéedinglie, in most noble and gentlemens houses, wherof they sée no paterne within hir graces gates.

[Sidenote: Traines of attendants.]

I might speake here of the great traines and troopes of seruing men also, which attend vpon the nobilitie of England in their seuerall liueries, and with differences of cognisances on their sléeues, whereby it is knowen to whome they apperteine. I could also set downe what a goodlie sight it is to sée them muster in the court, which being filled with them dooth yéeld the contemplation of a noble varietie vnto the beholder, much like to the shew of the pecocks taile in the full beautie, or of some medow garnished with infinit kinds and diuersitie of pleasant floures. But I passe ouer the rehearsall hereof to other men, who more delite in vaine amplification than I, and séeke to be more curious in these points than I professe to be.

The discipline of firme peace also that is mainteined within a certeine compasse of the [Page 332] princes palace, is such, as is nothing inferiour to that we sée dailie practised in the best gouerned holds & fortresses. And such is the seuere punishment of those that strike within the limits prohibited, that without all hope of mercie, benefit of clergie, or sanctuarie, they are sure to loose their right hands at a stroke, and that in verie solemne maner, the forme whereof I will set downe, and then make an end of this chapter, to deale with other matters.

[Sidenote: Striking within the court and palace of the prince.]

At such time therefore as the partie transgressing is conuicted by a sufficient inquest impanelled for the same purpose, and the time come of the execution of the sentence, the sergeant of the kings wood-yard prouideth a square blocke, which he bringeth to some appointed place, and therewithall a great beetle, staple, and cords, wherewith to fasten the hand of the offendor vnto the said blocke, vntill the whole circumstance of his execution be performed. The yeoman of the scullarie likewise for the time being, dooth prouide a great fire of coales hard by the blocke, wherein the searing irons are to be made readie against the chiefe surgeon to the prince or his deputie shall occupie the same. Upon him also dooth the sergeant or chiefe farrour attend with those irons, whose office is to deliuer them to the said surgeon when he shall be redie by searing to vse the same. The groome of the salarie for the time being or his deputie is furthermore appointed to be readie with vineger and cold water, and not to depart from the place vntill the arme of the offendor be bound vp and fullie dressed. And as these things are thus prouided, so the sergeant surgeon is bound from time to time to be readie to execute his charge, and seare the stumpe, when the hand is taken from it. The sergeant of the cellar is at hand also with a cup of red wine, and likewise the chiefe officer of the pantrie with manchet bread to giue vnto the said partie after the execution doone, and the stumpe seared, as the sergeant of the ewerie is with clothes, wherein to wind and wrap vp the arme, the yeoman of the poultrie with a cocke to laie vnto it, the yeoman of the chandrie with seared cloths, and finallie the maister cooke or his deputie with a sharpe dressing knife, which he deliuereth at the place of execution to the sergeant of the larder, who dooth hold it vpright in his hand, vntill the execution be performed by the publike officer appointed therevnto. And this is the maner of punishment ordeined for those that strike within the princes palace, or limits of the same. Which should first haue beene executed on sir Edmund Kneuet, in the yeare 1541. But when he had made great sute to saue his right hand for the further seruice of the king in his warres, and willinglie yéelded to forgo his left, in the end the king pardoned him of both, to no small benefit of the offender, and publication of the bountifull nature that remained in the prince. The like priuilege almost is giuen to churches and churchyards, although in maner of punishment great difference doo appeere. For he that bralleth or quarelleth in either of them, is by and by suspended "Ab ingressu ecclesiæ," vntill he be absolued: as he is also that striketh with the fist, or laieth violent hands vpon anie whome so euer. But if he happen to smite with staffe, dagger, or anie maner of weapon, & the same be sufficientlie found by the verdict of twelue men at his arrainement, beside excommunication, he is sure to loose one of his eares without all hope of release. But if he be such a one as hath béene twise condemned and executed, whereby he hath now none eares, then is he marked with an hot iron vpon the chéeke, and by the letter F, which is seared déepe into his flesh, he is from thencefoorth noted as a common barratour and fraie maker, and therevnto remaineth excommunicate, till by repentance he deserue to be alsolued. To strike a clearke also (that is to saie) a minister, is plaine excommunication, and the offendor not to be absolued but by the prince or his especiall cōmission. Such also is the generall estate of the excōmunicate in euerie respect, that he can yéeld no testimonie in anie matter so long as he so standeth. No bargaine or sale that he maketh is auaileable in law, neither anie of his acts whatsoeuer pleadable, wherby he liueth as an outlaw & a man altogither out of the princes protection, although it be not lawfull to kill him, nor anie man otherwise outlawed, without the danger of fellonie. [Page 333]



How well or how stronglie our countrie hath béene furnished in times past with armor and artillerie, it lieth not in me as of my selfe to make rehersall. Yet that it lacked both in the late time of quéen Marie, not onlie the experience of mine elders, but also the talke of certeine Spaniards not yet forgotten, did leaue some manifest notice. Vpon the first I néed not stand, for few will denie it. For the second I haue heard, that when one of the greatest péeres of Spaine espied our nakednesse in this behalfe, and did solemnelie vtter in no obscure place, that it should be an easie matter in short time to conquer England, bicause it wanted armor, his words were then not so rashlie vttered, as they were politikelie noted. For albeit that for the present time their efficacie was dissembled, and semblance made as though he spake but merilie, yet at the verie enterance of this our gratious quéene vnto the possession of the crowne, they were so prouidentlie called to remembrance, and such spéedie reformation sought of all hands for the redresse of this inconuenience, that our countrie was sooner furnished with armour and munition, from diuerse parts of the maine (beside great plentie that was forged here at home) than our enimies could get vnderstanding of anie such prouision to be made. By this policie also was the no small hope concerned by Spaniards vtterlie cut off, who of open fréends being now become our secret enimies, and thereto watching a time wherein to atchieue some heauie exploit against vs and our countrie, did therevpon change their purposes, whereby England obteined rest, that otherwise might haue béene sure of sharpe and cruell wars. Thus a Spanish word vttered by one man at one time, ouerthrew or at the least wise hindered sundrie priuie practises of manie at another. In times past the chéefe force of England consisted in their long bowes. But now we haue in maner generallie giuen ouer that kind of artillerie, and for long bowes in déed doo practise to shoot compasse for our pastime: which kind of shooting can neuer yéeld anie smart stroke, nor beat downe our enimies, as our countrie men were woont to doo at euerie time of néed. Certes the Frenchmen and Rutters deriding our new archerie in respect of their corslets, will not let in open skirmish, if anie leisure serue, to turne vp their tailes and crie; Shoote English, and all bicause our strong shooting is decaied and laid in bed. But if some of our Englishmen now liued that serued king Edward the third in his warres with France, the bréech of such a varlet should haue beene nailed to his bum with one arrow, and an other fathered in his bowels, before he should haue turned about to sée who shot the first. But as our shooting is thus in manner vtterlie decaied among vs one waie, so our countrie men wex skilfull in sundrie other points, as in shooting in small péeces, the caliuer, and handling of the pike, in the seuerall vses whereof they are become verie expert.

Our armour differeth not from that of other nations, and therefore consisteth of corslets, almaine riuets, shirts of maile, iackes quilted and couered ouer with leather, fustian, or canuas, ouer thicke plates of iron that are sowed in the same, & of which there is no towne or village that hath not hir conuenient furniture. The said armour and munition likewise is kept in one seuerall place of euerie towne, appointed by the consent of the whole parish, where it is alwaies readie to be had and worne within an houres warning. Sometime also it is occupied, when it pleaseth the magistrate either to view the able men, & take note of the well kéeping of the same, or finallie to sée those that are inrolled to exercise each one his seuerall weapon, at the charge of the townesmen of each parish according to his appointment. Certes there is almost no village so poore in England (be it neuer so small) that hath not sufficient furniture in a readinesse to set foorth thrée or foure soldiers, as one archer, one gunner, one pike, & a bilman at the least. No there is not so much wanting as their verie liueries and caps, which are least to be accounted of, if anie hast required: so that if this good order may continue, it shall be vnpossible for the sudden enimie to find vs vnprouided. [Page 334] As for able men for seruice, thanked be God, we are not without good store, for by the musters taken 1574 and 1575, our number amounted to 1172674, and yet were they not so narrowlie taken, but that a third part of this like multitude was left vnbilled and vncalled. What store of munition and armour the quéenes maiestie hath in her storehouses, it lieth not in me to yéeld account, sith I suppose the same to be infinit. And whereas it was commonlie said after the losse of Calis, that England should neuer recouer the store of ordinance there left and lost: that same is at this time prooued false, sith euen some of the same persons doo now confesse, that this land was neuer better furnished with these things in anie kings daies that reigned since the conquest.

The names of our greatest ordinance are commonlie these.

Robinet, whose weight is two hundred pounds, and it hath one inch and a quarter within the mouth.

Falconet weigheth fiue hundred pounds, and his widenesse is two inches within the mouth.

Falcon hath eight hundred pounds, and two inches and a halfe within the mouth.

Minion poiseth eleauen hundred pounds, and hath three inches and a quarter within the mouth.

Sacre hath fiftéene hundred poundes, and is thrée inches and a halfe wide in the mouth.

Demie Culuerijn weigheth three thousand pounds, and hath foure inches and a halfe within the mouth.

Culuerijn hath foure thousand pounds, and fiue inches and an halfe within the mouth.

Demie Canon six thousand pounds, and six inches and an halfe within the mouth.

E. Canon eight thousand pounds, and seauen inches within the mouth.

Basiliske 9000 pounds, eight inches, and thrée quarters within the mouth. By which proportions also it is easie to come by the weight of euerie shot, how manie scores it doth flée at point blanke, how much pouder is to be had the same, & finallie how manie inches in height ech bullet ought to carrie.

The names of the greatest ordinance. Weight of the shot. Scores of cariage. Pounds of pouder. Height of bullet.
Robinet. 1 li. 0 ¼1
Falconet. 2 li.14 2
Falcon. 16
Minion. 173
Sacre. 5 18 5
Demie Culuerijn. 9 20 9 4
Culuerijn. 18 2518
Demie canon. 30 3828
Canon. 60 2044
E. Canon. 42 2020
Basiliske. 60 2160

I might here take iust occasion to speake of the princes armories. But what shall it néed? sith the whole realme is her armorie, and therefore hir furniture infinit. The Turke had one gun made by one Orban a Dane, the caster of his ordinance, which could not be drawen to the siege of Constantinople, but by seauentie yokes of oxen, and two thousand men; he had two other there also whose shot poised aboue two talents in weight, made by the same Orban. But to procéed. As for the armories of some of the nobilitie (whereof I also haue seene ar part) they are so well furnished, that within some one barons custodie I haue séene [Page 335] thrée score or a hundred corslets at once, beside caliuers, hand-guns, bowes, sheffes of arrowes, pikes, bils, polaxes, flaskes, touchboxes, targets, &c: the verie sight wherof appalled my courage. What would the wearing of some of them doo then (trow you) if I should be inforced to vse one of them in the field? But thanked be God, our peaceable daies are such, as no man hath anie great cause to occupie them at all, but onelie taketh good leisure to haue them in a readinesse, and therefore both high and lowe in England

Cymbala pro galeis pro scutis tympana pulsant.

I would write here also of our maner of going to the warres, but what hath the long blacke gowne to doo with glistering armour? what sound acquaintance can there be betwixt [Sidenote: Malè musis cum Marte.] Mars and the Muses? or how should a man write anie thing to the purpose of that wherewith he is nothing acquainted? This neuerthelesse will I adde of things at home, that seldome shall you see anie of my countriemen aboue eightéene or twentie yéeres old to go without a dagger at the least at his backe or by his side, although they be aged burgesses or magistrates of anie citie, who in appeerance are most exempt from brabling and contention. Our nobilitie weare commonlie swords or rapiers with their daggers, as dooth euerie common seruing man also that followeth his lord and master. Some desperate cutters we haue in like sort, which carrie two daggers or two rapiers in a sheath alwaies about them, wherewith in euerie dronken fraie they are knowen to worke much mischiefe; their swords & daggers also are of a great length, and longer than the like vsed in anie other countrie, whereby ech one pretendeth to haue the more aduantage of his enimie. But as manie orders haue béene taken for the intollerable length of these weapons; so I sée as yet small redresse: but where the cause thereof doth rest, in sooth for my part I wote not. I might here speake of the excessiue staues which diuerse that trauell by the waie doo carrie vpon their shoulders, whereof some are twelue or thirtéene foote long, beside the pike of twelue inches: but as they are commonlie suspected of honest men to be theeues and robbers, or at the leastwise scarse true men which beare them; so by reason of this and the like suspicious weapons, the honest traueller is now inforced to ride with a case of dags at his sadle bow, or with some pretie short snapper, whereby he may deale with them further off in his owne defense before he come within the danger of these weapons. Finallie, no man trauelleth by the waie without his sword, or some such weapon, with vs; except the minister, who cōmonlie weareth none at all, vnlesse it be a dagger or hanger at his side. Seldome also are they or anie other waifaring men robbed without the consent of the chamberleine, tapster, or ostler where they bait & lie, who féeling at their alighting whether their capcases or budgets be of anie weight or not, by taking them downe from their sadles, or otherwise see their store in drawing of their purses, do by and by giue intimation to some one or other attendant dailie in the yard or house, or dwelling hard by vpon such matches, whether the preie be worth the following or no. If it be for their turne, then the gentleman peraduenture is asked which waie he trauelleth, and whether it please him to haue another ghest to beare him companie at supper, who rideth the same waie in the morning that he doth, or not. And thus if he admit him or be glad of his acquaintance, the cheate is halfe wrought. And often it is séene that the new ghest shall be robbed with the old, onelie to colour out the matter and kéepe him from suspicion. Sometimes when they knowe which waie the passenger trauelleth, they will either go before and lie in wait for him, or else come galloping apace after, wherby they will be sure, if he ride not the stronger, to be fingering with his purse. And these are some of the policies of such shrews or close booted gentlemen as lie in wait for fat booties by the high waies, and which are most commonlie practised in the winter season about the feast of Christmas, when seruing men and vnthriftie gentlemen want monie to plaie at the dice and cards, lewdlie spending in such wise whatsoeuer they haue wickedlie gotten, till some of them sharplie set vpon their cheuisances, be trussed vp in a Tiburne tippet, which happeneth vnto them commonlie before they come to middle age. Wherby it appéereth that some sort of youth will oft haue his swinge, although it be in a halter.

[Page 336] I might also intreat of our old maner of warfare vsed in and before the time of Cesar, when as the cheefe brunt of our fight was in Essedis or wagons; but this I also passe ouer, noting neuerthelesse out of Propertius, that our said wagons were gorgeous and gailie painted, which he setteth downe in these foure verses insuing, Arethusæ ad Lycotam, lib. 4, eleg. 3.

Te modò viderunt iteratos Bactra per ortus,
  Te modò munito Sericus hostis equo,
Hiberníque Getæ, pictóque Brittannia curru,
  Vstus & Eoa discolor Indus aqua.



There is nothing that hath brought me into more admiration of the power and force of antiquitie, than their diligence and care had of their nauies: wherein, whether I consider their spéedie building, or great number of ships which some one kingdome or region possessed at one instant; it giueth me still occasion, either to suspect the historie, or to thinke that in our times we come verie farre behind them. For what a thing is it to haue a ship growing on the stub, and sailing on the sea within the space of fiue and fiftie daies? And yet such a nauie was to be séene in the first war of Carthage, led thither by Duellius the Romane. In the warres also against Hieron two hundred and twentie tall ships bare leafe & saile within fiue and fortie daies. In the second warre of Carthage the nauie that went with Scipio was felled in the wood, and séene to saile on the sea fullie furnished in sixe weekes: which vnto them that are ignorant of things doth séeme to be false, and vnpossible. In like maner for multitude, we find in Polybius, that at one skirmish on the sea the Romans lost seauen hundred vessels, which bare ech of them fiue rowes of ores on a side, and the Carthaginenses fiue hundred. And albeit the formes and apparell of these vessels were not altogither correspondent to our ships and gallies made in these daies: yet the capacitie of most of them did not onelie match, but farre excéed them; so that if one of their biremes onlie conteined so much in burden as a ship of ours of six hundred tun: what shall we thinke of those which had seauen rowes of ores walking on a side? But least I should séeme to speake more of these forren things than the course of the historie doth permit without licence to digresse: giue me leaue (I beséech thee gentle reader) to wade yet a little further in the report of these ancient formes & kinds of vessels. For albeit that the discourse hereof maketh little to the description of our present nauie in England: yet shall the report thereof not be vnprofitable and vnpleasant to such as shall reade among the writings of their capacities and moulds. It shall not be amisse therefore to begin at the nauie of Xerxes, of which ech meane vessell (as appéereth by Herodot) was able to receiue two hundred and thirtie souldiers, and some of them thrée hundred. These were called triremes, and were indéede gallies that had thrée rowes of ores on euerie side; for the word Nauis is indifferentlie applied so well to the gailie as ship, as to the conuersant in histories is easie to be found. In old time also they had gallies of foure rowes, fiue rowes, six, seauen, eight, nine, twelue, yea fifteene rowes of ores on a side; iudge you then of what quantitie those vessels were. Plinie lib. 7. noteth one Damasthenes to be the first maker of the gallies with two rowes called biremes: Thucidides referreth the triremes to Ammocles of Corinthum; the quadriremes were deuised by Aristotle of Carthage; the quinquiremes by Nesichthon of Salamina; the gallie of six rowes by Xenagoras of Syracusa: from this to the tenth Nesigiton brought vp; Alexander the great caused one to be made of twelue; Ptolomeus Soter of fiftéene; Demetrius the sonne of Antigonus of thirtie; Ptolom. Philad. of fortie; Ptol. Triphon of fiftie: all which aboue foure were none other (in mine opinion) than vnweldie carts, and more seruing for pleasure and to gaze vpon, [Page 337] than anie vse in the wars for which they should be deuised. But of all other I note one of fortie rowes, which Ptolo. Philopater builded, conteining 200 and eightie cubits in length, and eight and fortie cubits in breadth: it held also foure thousand ores, foure hundred mariners, and three thousand souldiers, so that in the said vessell were seauen thousand and foure hundred persons: a report incredible, if truth and good testimonie did not confirme the same. I must needs confesse therefore, that the ancient vessels far exceeded ours for capacitie: neuerthelesse if you regard the forme, and the assurance from perill of the sea, and therewithall the strength and nimblenesse of such as are made in our time, you shall easilie find that ours are of more value than theirs: for as the greatest vessel is not alwaies the safest, so that of most huge capacitie is not alwaies the aptest to shift and brooke the seas: as might be seene by the great Henrie, the hugest vessell that euer England framed in our times. Neither were the ships of old like vnto ours in mould and maner of building aboue the water (for of low gallies in our seas we make small account) nor so full of ease within, sith time hath ingendred more skill in the wrights, and brought all things to more perfection than they had in the beginning. And now to come vnto our purpose at the first intended.

The nauie of England may be diuided into three sortes, of which the one serueth for the warres, the other for burden, and the third for fishermen, which get their liuing by fishing on the sea. How manie of the first order are mainteined within the realme, it passeth my cunning to expresse: yet sith it may be parted into the nauie roiall and common fleete, I thinke good to speake of those that belong vnto the prince, and so much the rather, for that their number is certeine & well knowne to verie manie. Certes there is no prince in Europe that hath a more beautifull or gallant sort of ships than the quéenes maiestie of England at this present, and those generallie are of such exceeding force, that two of them being well appointed and furnished as they ought, will not let to encounter with thrée or foure 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 anie forren barkes so conuenientlie made, to brooke so well one sea as another lieng vpon the shore in anie part of the continent as those of England. And therefore the common report that strangers make of our ships amongst themselues is dailie confirmed to be true, which is, that for strength, assurance, nimblenesse and swiftnesse of sailing, there are no vessels in the world to be compared with ours. And all these are committed to the regiment and safe custodie of the admerall, who is so called (as some imagine) of the Gréeke word Almiras a capiteine on the sea, for so saith Zonaras "in Basilio Macedone & Basilio Porphyriogenito," though other fetch it from Ad mare the Latine words, another sort from Amyras the Saracen magistrate, or from some French deriuation: but these things are not for this place, and therefore I passe them ouer. The quéenes highnesse hath at this present (which is the foure and twentith of hir reigne) alreadie made and furnished, to the number of foure or fiue and twentie great ships, which lie for the most part in Gillingham rode, beside thrée gallies, of whose particular names and furnitures (so far foorth as I can come by them) it shall not be amisse to make report at this time.

The names of so manie ships belonging to hir maiestie as I could come by at this present.

The Bonaduenture.
Elizabeth Ionas.
White Beare.
Philip and Marie.
Marie Rose.
Swift sute.
Dread nought.
Barke of Bullen.

It is said, that as kings and princes haue in the yoong daies of the world, and long since framed themselues to erect euerie yeare a citie in some one place or other of their kingdoms (and no small woonder that Sardanapalus should begin & finish two, to wit, Anchialus and [Page 338] Tharsus in one daie) so hir grace dooth yearelie build one ship or other to the better defense of hir frontiers from the enimie. But as of this report I haue no assured certeintie, so it shall suffice to haue said so much of these things: yet this I thinke worthie further to be added, that if they should all be driuen to seruice at one instant (which God forbid) she should haue a power by sea of about nine or ten thousand men, which were a notable companie, beside the supplie of other vessels apperteining to hir subiects to furnish vp hir voiage.

Beside these hir grace hath other in hand also, of whome hereafter as their turnes doo come about, I will not let to leaue some further remembrance. She hath likewise thrée notable gallies: the Spéed well, the Trie right, and the Blacke gallie, with the sight whereof and rest of the nauie roiall, it is incredible to saie how greatlie hir grace is delighted: and not without great cause (I saie) sith by their meanes hir coasts are kept in quiet, and sundrie forren enimies put backe, which otherwise would inuade vs. The number of those that serue for burden with the other, whereof I haue made mention alreadie, and whose vse is dailie séene, as occasion serueth, in time of the warres, is to mée vtterlie vnknowne. Yet if the report of one record be anie thing at all to be credited, there are 135 ships that exceed 500 tun, topmen vnder 100 and aboue fortie 656: hoies 100: but of hulkes, catches, fisherboats, and craiers, it lieth not in me to deliuer the iust account, sith they are hardlie to come by. Of these also there are some of the quéenes maiesties subiects that haue two or three, some foure or six, and (as I heard of late) one man whose name I suppresse for modesties sake, hath bene knowne long since to haue had sixtéene or seuentéene, and emploied them wholie to the wafting in and out of our merchants, whereby he hath reaped no small commoditie and game. I might take occasion to tell of the notable and difficult voiages made into strange countries by Englishmen, and of their dailie successe there: but as these things are nothing incident to my purpose, so I surcease to speake of them. Onelie this will I ad, to the end all men shall vnderstand somewhat of the great masses of treasure dailie emploied vpon our nauie, how there are few of those ships, of the first and second sort, that being apparelled and made readie to sale, are not woorth one thousand pounds, or thrée thousand ducats at the least, if they should presentlie be sold. What shall we thinke then of the greater, but especiallie of the nauie roiall, of which some one vessell is woorth two of the other, as the shipwrights haue often told me? It is possible that some couetous person hearing this report, will either not credit it at all, or suppose monie so emploied to be nothing profitable to the queenes coffers: as a good husband said once when he hard there should be prouision made for armor, wishing the quéenes monie to be rather laid out to some spéedier returne of game vnto hir grace, bicause the realme (saith he) is in case good enough, and so peraduenture he thought. But if as by store of armour for the defense of the countrie, he had likewise vnderstanded that the good kéeping of the sea, is the safegard of our land, he would haue altered his censure, and soone giuen ouer his iudgement. For in times past, when our nation made small account of nauigation, how soone did the Romans, then the Saxons, & last of all the Danes inuade this Iland? whose crueltie in the end inforced our countrimen, as it were euen against their wils, to prouide for ships from other places, and build at home of their owne, whereby their enimies were oftentimes distressed. But most of all were the Normans therein to be commended. For in a short processe of time after the conquest of this Iland, and good consideration had for the well kéeping of the same, they supposed nothing more commodious for the defense of the countrie, than the maintenance of a strong nauie, which they spéedilie prouided, mainteined, and thereby reaped in the end their wished securitie, wherewith before their times this Iland was neuer acquainted. Before the comming of the Romans, I doo not read that we had anie ships at all, except a few made of wicker and couered with buffle hides, like vnto the which there are some to be seene at this present in Scotland (as I heare) although there be a little (I wote not well what) difference betwéene them. Of the same also Solinus speaketh, so far as I remember: neuerthelesse it may be gathered by his words, how the vpper parts of them aboue the water onelie [Page 339] [Sidenote: The Britons fasted all the while they were at the sea in these ships.] were framed of the said wickers, and that the Britons did vse to fast all the whiles they went to the sea in them: but whether it were doone for policie or superstition, as yet I doo not read.

In the beginning of the Saxons regiment we had some ships also, but as their number and mould was litle and nothing to the purpose, so Egbert was the first prince that euer throughlie began to know this necessitie of a nauie, and vse the seruice thereof in the defense of his countrie. After him also other princes, as Alfred, Edgar, Ethelred, &c: indeuoured more and more to store themselues at the full with ships of all quantities, but chieflie Edgar, for he prouided a nauie of 1600 aliàs 3600 saile, which he diuided into foure parts, and sent them to abide vpon foure sundrie coasts of the land to keepe the same from pirats. Next vnto him (and worthie to be remembred) is Etheldred, who made a law, that euerie man holding 310 hidelands, should find a ship furnished to serue him in the warres. Howbeit, and as I said before, when all their nauie was at the greatest, it was not comparable for force and sure building, to that which afterward the Normans prouided; neither that of the Normans anie thing like to the same that is to be séene now in these our daies. For the iourneies also of our ships, you shall vnderstand, that a well builded vessell will run or saile commonlie thrée hundred leagues or nine hundred miles in a wéeke, or peraduenture some will go 2200 leagues in six wéekes and an halfe. And suerlie, if their lading be readie against they come thither, there will be of them that will be here, at the west Indies, & home againe in twelue or thirteene wéekes from Colchester; although the said Indies be eight hundred leagues from the cape or point of Cornewall, as I haue beene informed. This also I vnderstand by report of some trauellers, that if anie of our vessels happen to make a voiage to Hispaniola or new Spaine, called in time past Quinquezia and Haiti, and lieth betwéene the north tropike and the equator, after they haue once touched at the Canaries, (which are eight daies sailing or two hundred and fiftie leages from S. Lucas de Barameda in Spaine) they will be there in thirtie or fourtie daies, & home againe in Cornewall in other eight wéekes, which is a goodlie matter, beside the safetie and quietnesse in the passage. But more of this elsewhere.



There are (as I take it) few great townes in England, that haue not their wéekelie markets, one or more granted from the prince, in which all maner of prouision for houshold is to be bought and sold, for ease and benefit of the countrie round about. Wherby as it cōmeth to passe that no buier shall make anie great iourneie in the purueiance of his necessities: so no occupier shall haue occasion to trauell far off with his commodities, except it be to séeke for the highest prices, which commonlie are néere vnto great cities, where round and spéediest vtterance is alwaies to be had. And as these haue béene in times past erected for the benefit of the realme, so are they in many places too too much abused: for the reliefe and ease of the buier is not so much intended in them, as the benefit of the seller, Neither are the magistrats for the most part (as men loth to displease their neighbours for their one yeares dignitie) so carefull in their offices, as of right and dutie they should bée. For in most of these markets neither assises of bread nor orders for goodnesse and swéetnesse of graine, and other commodities that are brought thither to be sold, are anie whit looked vnto; but ech one suffered to sell or set vp what and how himselfe listeth: & this is one euident cause of dearth and scarsitie in time of great abundance.

I could (if I would) exemplifie in manie, but I will touch no one particularlie, sith it is rare to sée in anie countrie towne (as I said) the assise of bread well kept according to the statute. And yet if anie countrie baker happen to come in among them on the market daie [Page 340] with bread of better quantitie, they find fault by and by with one thing or another in his stuffe; whereby the honest poore man, whome the law of nations doo commend, for that he indeuoureth to liue by anie lawfull meanes, is driuen awaie, and no more to come there vpon some round penaltie, by vertue of their priuileges. Howbeit though they are so nice in the proportion of their bread, yet in lieu of the same, there is such headie ale & béere in most of them, as for the mightinesse thereof among such as séeke it out, is commonlie called huffecap, the mad dog, father whoresonne, angels food, dragons milke, go by the wall, stride wide, and lift leg, &c. And this is more to be noted, that when one of late fell by Gods prouidence into a troubled cōscience, after he had considered well of his reachlesse life, and dangerous estate: another thinking belike to change his colour and not his mind, caried him straightwaie to the strongest ale, as to the next physician. It is incredible to saie how our maltbugs lug at this liquor, euen as pigs should lie in a row, lugging at their dames teats, till they lie still againe, and be not able to wag. Neither did Romulus and Remus sucke their shee woolfe or shéepheards wife Lupa, with such eger and sharpe deuotion, as these men hale at hufcap, till they be red as cockes, & litle wiser than their combs. But how am I fallen from the market into the alehouse? In returning therefore vnto my purpose, I find that in corne great abuse is dailie suffered, to the great preiudice of the towne and countrie, especiallie the poore artificer and householder, which tilleth no land, but laboring all the wéeke to buie a bushell or two of graine on the market daie, can there haue none for his monie: bicause bodgers, loders, and common carriers of corne doo not onlie buie vp all, but giue aboue the price, to be serued of great quantities. Shall I go anie further? Well I will saie yet a little more, and somewhat by mine owne experience.

At Michaelmasse time poore men must make monie of their graine, that they may paie their rents. So long then as the poore man hath to sell, rich men will bring out none, but rather buie vp that which the poore bring, vnder pretense of seed corne, or alteration of graine, although they bring none of their owne, bicause one wheat often sowen without change of séed, will soone decaie and be conuerted into darnell. For this cause therefore they must needs buie in the markets, though they be twentie miles off and where they be not knowne, promising there if they happen to be espied (which God wot is verie seldome) to send so much to their next market, to be performed I wot not when.

If this shift serue not (neither dooth the fox vse alwaies one tracke for feare of a snare) they will compound with some one of the towne where the market is holden, who for a pot of hufcap or merie go downe, will not let to buie it for them, and that in his owne name. Or else [Sidenote: Suborned bodgers.] they wage one poore man or other, to become a bodger, and thereto get him a licence vpon some forged surmise, which being doone, they will féed him with monie, to buie for them till he hath filled their lofts, and then if he can doo any good for himselfe so it is, if not, they will giue him somewhat for his paines at this time, & reserue him for an other yeare. How manie of the like prouiders stumble vpon blind créekes at the sea coast, I wote not well; but that some haue so doone and yet doo vnder other mens wings, the case is too too [Sidenote: Bodgers licenced.] plaine. But who dare find fault with them, when they haue once a licence? yea though it be but to serue a meane gentlemans house with corne, who hath cast vp all his tillage, bicause he boasteth how he can buie his graine in the market better cheape, than he can sow his land, as the rich grasier often dooth also vpon the like deuise, bicause grasing requireth a smaller household and lesse attendance and charge. If anie man come to buie a bushell or two for his expenses vnto the market crosse, answer is made; Forsooth here was one euen now that bad me monie for it, and I hope he will haue it. And to saie the truth, these bodgers are faire chapmen, for there are no more words with them, but Let me see it, what shall I giue you, knit it vp, I will haue it, go carie it to such a chamber, and if you bring in twentie seme more in the weeke daie to such an Inne or sollar where I laie my corne, I will haue it and giue you pence or more in euerie bushell for six wéekes day of paiment than an other will. Thus the bodgers beare awaie all, so that the poore artificer and labourer cannot make his prouision in the markets, sith they will hardlie now a daies sell by the [Page 341] bushell, nor breake their measure; and so much the rather, for that the buier will looke (as they saie) for so much ouer measure in a bushell as the bodger will doo in a quarter. Naie the poore man cannot oft get anie of the farmer at home, bicause he prouideth altogither to serue the bodger, or hath an hope grounded vpon a greedie and insatiable desire of gaine, that the sale will be better in the market: so that he must giue two pence or a groate more in a bushell at his house than the last market craued, or else go without it, and sléepe with an hungrie bellie. Of the common carriage of corne ouer vnto the parts beyond the seas I speake not; or at the leastwise if I should, I could not touch it alone but néeds must ioine other prouision withall, whereby not onelie our fréends abroad, but also manie of our aduersaries and countriemen the papists are abundantlie relieued (as the report goeth) but sith I sée it not, I will not so trust mine eares as to write it for a truth. But to returne to our markets againe.

By this time the poore occupier hath all sold his crop for néed of monie, being readie peraduenture to buie againe yer long. And now is the whole sale of corne in the great occupiers hands, who hitherto haue threshed little or none of their owne, but bought vp of other men, so much as they could come by. Hencefoorth also they begin to sell, not by the quarter or load at the first, for marring the market, but by the bushell or two, or an horsse-load at the most, therby to be séene to keepe the crosse, either for a shew, or to make men eger to buie, and so as they may haue it for monie, not to regard what they paie. And thus corne waxeth deere, but it will be déerer the next market daie. It is possible also that they mislike the price in the beginning for the whole yeare insuing, as men supposing that corne will be litle worth for this, & of better price in the next yeare. For they haue certeine superstitious obseruations, whereby they will giue a gesse at the sale of corne for the yeare following. And our countriemen doo vse commonlie for barleie where I dwell, to iudge after the price at Baldocke vpon S. Matthewes daie, and for wheat as it is sold in séed time. They take in like sort experiment by sight of the first flockes of cranes that flée southward in winter, the age of the moone in the beginning of Ianuarie, & such other apish toies, as by laieng twelue cornes vpon the hot hearth for the twelue moneths, &c: whereby they shew themselues to be scant good christians, but what care they so they may come by monie? Herevpon also will they thresh out thrée parts of the old corne, toward the latter end of the summer, when new commeth apace to hand, and cast the same in the fourth vnthreshed, where it shall lie vntill the next spring, or peraduenture till it must and putrifie. Certes it is not deintie to sée mustie corne in manie of our great markets of England, which these great occupiers bring foorth when they can kéepe it no longer. But as they are inforced oftentimes vpon this one occasion somwhat to abate the price, so a plague is not seldome ingendred thereby among the poorer sort that of necessitie must buie the same, wherby manie thousands of all degrees are consumed, of whose deaths (in mine opinion) these farmers are not vnguiltie. But to proceed. If they laie not vp their graine or wheat in this maner, they haue yet another policie, whereby they will séeme to haue but small store left in their barnes: for else they will gird their sheues by the band, and stacke it vp of new in lesse roome, to the end it may not onlie séeme lesse in quantitie, but also giue place to the corne that is yet to come into the barne, or growing in the field. If there happen to be such plentie in the market on anie market daie, that they cannot sell at their own price, then will they set it vp in some fréends house, against an other or the third daie, & not bring it foorth till they like of the sale. If they sell anie at home, beside harder measure, it shall be déerer to the poore man that bieth it by two pence or a groat in a bushell than they may sell it in the market. But as these things are worthie redresse, so I wish that God would once open their eies that deale thus, to sée their owne errours: for as yet some of them little care how manie poore men suffer extremitie, so that they may fill their purses, and carie awaie the game.

It is a world also to sée how most places of the realme are pestered with purueiours, who take vp egs, butter, chéese, pigs, capons, hens, chickens, hogs, bakon, &c: in one market, vnder pretense of their commissions, & suffer their wiues to sell the same in another, or to [Page 342] pulters of London. If these chapmen be absent but two or thrée market daies, then we may perfectlie sée these wares to be more reasonablie sold, and therevnto the crosses sufficientlie furnished of all things. In like sort, since the number of buttermen haue so much increased, and since they trauell in such wise, that they come to mens 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 inforced to bring it to the market townes, & fewer of these butter buiers were stirring, our butter was scarslie woorth eighteene pence the gallon, that now is worth thrée shillings foure pence, & perhaps fiue shillings. Wherby also I gather that the maintenance of a superfluous number of dealers in most trades, tillage alwaies excepted, is one of the greatest causes why the prices of things become excessiue: for one of them doo cōmonlie vse to out bid another. And whilest our countrie commodities are commonlie bought and sold at our priuate houses, I neuer looke to see this enormitie redressed, or the markets well furnished.

I could saie more, but this is euen inough, & more peraduenture than I shall be well thanked for: yet true it is though some thinke it no trespasse. This moreouer is to be lamented, that one generall measure is not in vse throughout all England, but euerie market towne hath in maner a seuerall bushell, and the lesser it be, the more sellers it draweth to resort vnto the same. Such also is the couetousnesse of manie clearkes of the market, that in taking view of measures, they will alwaie so prouide, that one and the same bushell shall be either too big or too little at their next comming, and yet not depart without a fee at the first: so that what by their mending at one time and empairing the same at another, the countrie is greatlie charged, and few iust measures to be had in anie stéed. It is oft found likewise, that diuerse vnconscionable dealers haue one measure to sell by, & another to buie withall, the like is also in weights and yet all sealed and bronded. Wherefore it were verie good that these two were reduced vnto one standard, that is, one bushell, 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 mooued in this land. Of the complaint of such poore tenants as paie rent corne vnto their landlords, I speake not, who are often dealt withall very hardlie. For beside that in the measuring of ten quarters, for the most part they lose one through the iniquitie of the bushell (such is the gréedinesse of the appointed receiuers thereof) fault is found also with the goodnesse and cleannesse of the graine. Wherby some péece of monie must néeds passe vnto their purses to stop their mouths withall, or else my lord will not like of the corne; Thou art worthie to loose thy lease, &c. Or if it be cheaper in the market, than the rate allowed for it is in their rents, then must they paie monie and no corne, which is no small extremitie. And thereby we may see how each one of vs indeuoureth to fléece and eat vp another.

Another thing there is in our markets worthie to be looked vnto, and that is the recariage of graine from the same into lofts and sollars, of which before I gaue some intimation: wherefore if it were ordered, that euerie seller should make his market by an houre, or else the bailie, or clearke of the said market to make sale therof according to his discretion, without libertie to the farmer to set vp their corne in houses and chambers, I am persuaded that the prices of our graine would soone be abated. Againe, if it were enacted that each one should kéepe his next market with his graine, and not to run six, eight, ten, fouretéene, or twentie miles from home to sell his corne, where he dooth find the highest price, and therby leaueth his neighbours vnfurnished, I doo not thinke but that our markets would be farre better serued than at this present they are. Finallie if mens barns might be indifferentlie viewed immediatlie after haruest, and a note gathered by an estimat, and kept by some appointed & trustie person for that purpose, we should haue much more plentie of corne in our towne crosses than as yet is commonlie seene: bicause each one hideth and hoordeth what he may vpon purpose either that it will be déerer, or that he shall haue some priuie veine by bodgers, who doo accustomablie so deale, that the sea dooth load awaie no small part thereof into other countries & our enimies, to the great hinderance of our common-wealth at home, [Page 343] and more likelie yet to be, except some remedie be found. But what doo I talke of these things, or desire the suppression of bodgers being a minister? Certes I may speake of them right well, as féeling the harme in that I am a buier, neuerthelesse I speake generallie in ech of them.

To conclude therefore, in our markets all things are to be sold necessarie for mans vse, and there is our prouision made commonlie for all the wéeke insuing. Therefore as there are no great townes without one weekelie market at the least, so there are verie few of them that haue not one or two faires or more within the compasse of the yeare assigned vnto them by the prince. And albeit that some of them are not much better than Lowse faire or the common kirkemesses beyond the sea, yet there are diuerse not inferiour to the greatest marts in Europe, as Sturbridge faire neere to Cambridge, Bristow faire, Bartholomew faire at London, Lin mart, Cold faire at Newport pond for cattell, and diuerse other, all which or at leastwise the greatest part of them (to the end I may with the more ease to the reader and lesse trauell to my selfe fulfill my taske in their recitall) I haue set downe, according to the names of the moneths wherein they are holden, at the end of this booke, where you shall find them at large, as I borowed the same from I. Stow, and the reports of others.



In euerie shire of England there is great plentie of parkes, whereof some here and there, to wit, welnere to the number of two hundred for hir daily prouision of that flesh apperteine to the prince, the rest to such of the nobilitie and gentlemen as haue their lands and patrimonies lieng in or néere vnto the same. I would gladlie haue set downe the iust number of these inclosures to be found in euerie countie: but sith I cannot so doo, it shall suffice to saie, that in Kent and Essex onelie are to the number of an hundred, and twentie in the bishoprike of Durham, wherein great plentie of fallow deere is cherished and kept. As for warrens of conies, I iudge them almost innumerable, and dailie like to increase, by reason that the blacke skins of those beasts are thought to counteruaile the prices of their naked carcases, and this is the onelie cause whie the graie are lesse estéemed. Néere vnto London their quickest merchandize is of the yong rabbets, wherfore the older conies are brought from further off, where there is no such speedie vtterance of rabbets and sucklings in their season, nor so great losse by their skins, sith they are suffered to growe vp to their full greatnesse with their owners. Our parkes are generallie inclosed with strong pale made of oke, of which kind of wood there is great store cherished in the woodland countries from time to time in ech of them, onelie for the maintenance of the said defense, and safe-keeping of the fallow déere from ranging about the countrie. Howbeit in times past diuerse haue been fensed in with stone walles (especiallie in the times of the Romans, who first brought fallow déere into this land, as some coniecture) albeit those inclosures were ouerthrowne againe by the Saxons & Danes, as Cauisham, Towner, and Woodstocke, beside other in the west countrie, and one also at Bolton. Among other things also to be séene in that towne, there is one of the fairest clockes in Europe. Where no wood is, they are also inclosed with piles of slate; and therto it is doubted of manie whether our bucke or doe are to be reckoned in wild or tame beasts or not. Plinie deemeth them to be wild, Martial is also of the same opinion, where he saith, "Imbelles damæ quid nisi præda sumus?" And so in time past the like controuersie was about bees, which the lawiers call "Feras," tit. de acquirendo rerum dominio, & lib. 2. instit. But Plinie attempting to decide the quarell calleth them "Medias inter feras & placidas aues." But whither am I so suddenlie digressed? In returning therefore vnto our parks, I find also the circuit of these inclosures in like manner conteine often times a walke of foure or fiue miles, and sometimes more or lesse. Wherby it is to be séene [Page 344] what store of ground is emploied vpon that vaine commoditie, which bringeth no manner of game or profit to the owner, sith they commonlie giue awaie their flesh, neuer taking penie for the same, except the ordinarie fée and parts of the déere giuen vnto the kéeper by a custome, who beside three shillings foure pence, or fiue shillings in monie, hath the skin, head, vmbles, chine, and shoulders: whereby he that hath the warrant for an whole bucke, hath in the end little more than halfe, which in my iudgement is scarselie equall dealing; for venison in England is neither bought nor sold, as in other countries, but mainteined onelie for the pleasure of the owner and his friends. Albeit I heard of late of one ancient ladie, which maketh a great game by selling yeerelie hir husbands venison to the cookes (as another of no lesse name will not sticke to ride to the market to sée hir butter sold) but not performed without infinite scoffes and mockes, euen of the poorest pezzants of the countrie, who thinke them as odious matters in ladies and women of such countenance to sell their venison and their butter, as for an earle to feele his oxen, sheepe, and lambs, whether they be readie for the butcher or not, or to sell his wooll vnto the clothier, or to kéepe a tan-house, or deale with such like affaires as belong not to men of honor, but rather to farmers, or grasiers; for which such, if there be anie may well be noted (and not vniustlie) to degenerate from true nobilitie, and betake themselues to husbandrie. And euen the same enormitie tooke place sometime among the Romans, and entred so farre as into the verie senate, of whome some one had two or thrée ships going vpon the sea, pretending prouision for their houses; but in truth following the trades of merchandize, till a law was made which did inhabit and restraine them. Liuie also telleth of another law which passed likewise against the senators by Claudius the tribune, and helpe onelie of C. Flaminius, that no senator, or he that had beene father to anie senator should possesse anie ship or vessell aboue the capacitie of thrée hundred amphoras, which was supposed sufficient for the cariage and recariage of such necessities as should apperteine vnto his house: sith further trading with merchandizes and commodities dooth declare but a base and couetous mind, not altogither void of enuie, that anie man should liue but he; or that if anie gaine were to be had, he onelie would haue it himselfe: which is a wonderfull dealing, and must néeds proue in [Sidenote: Tillage and mankind diminished by parkes.] time the confusion of that countrie wherein such enormities are exercised. Where in times past, manie large and wealthie occupiers were dwelling within the compasse of some one parke, and thereby great plentie of corne and cattell séene, and to be had among them, beside a more copious procreation of humane issue, whereby the realme was alwaies better furnished with able men to serue the prince in his affaires: now there is almost nothing kept but a sort of wild and sauage beasts, cherished for pleasure and delight; and yet some owners still desirous to inlarge those grounds, as either for the bréed and feeding of cattell, doo not let dailie to take in more, not sparing the verie commons whervpon manie towneships now and then doo liue, affirming that we haue alreadie too great store of people in England; and that youth by marrieng too soone doo nothing profit the countrie, but fill it full of beggars, to the hurt and vtter vndooing (they saie) of the common wealth.

[Sidenote: The decaie of the people is the destruction of a kingdome.]

Certes if it be not one curse of the Lord, to haue our countrie conuerted in such sort from the furniture of mankind, into the walks and shrowds of wild beasts, I know not what is anie. How manie families also these great and small games (for so most kéepers call them) haue eaten vp and are likelie hereafter to deuoure, some men may coniecture, but manie more lament, sith there is no hope of restraint to be looked for in this behalfe, because the corruption is so generall. But if a man may presentlie giue a ghesse at the vniuersalitie of this euill by contemplation of the circumstance, he shall saie at the last, that the twentith part of the realme is imploied vpon déere and conies alreadie, which séemeth verie much if it be not dulie considered of.

King Henrie the eight, one of the noblest princes that euer reigned in this land, lamented oft that he was constreined to hire forren aid, for want of competent store of souldiors here at home, perceiuing (as it is indeed) that such supplies are oftentimes more hurtfull than profitable vnto those that interteine them, as may chéeflie be seene in Valens the emperor, our [Page 345] Vortiger, and no small number of others. He would oft maruell in priuate talke, how that when seauen or eight princes ruled here at once, one of them could lead thirtie or fortie thousand men to the field against another, or two of them 100000 against the third, and those taken out onelie of their owne dominions. But as he found the want, so he saw not the cause of this decaie, which grew beside this occasion now mentioned, also by laieng house to house, and land to land, whereby manie mens occupiengs were conuerted into one, and the bréed of people not a little thereby diminished. The auarice of landlords by increasing of rents and fines also did so wearie the people, that they were readie to rebell with him that would arise, supposing a short end in the warres to be better than a long and miserable life in peace.

Priuileges and faculties also are another great cause of the ruine of a common wealth, and diminution of mankind: for whereas law and nature dooth permit all men to liue in their best maner, and whatsoeuer trade they be exercised in, there commeth some priuilege or other in the waie, which cutteth them off from this or that trade, wherby they must néeds shift soile, and séeke vnto other countries. By these also the greatest commodities are brought into the hands of few, who imbase, corrupt, and yet raise the prices of things at their owne pleasures. Example of this last I can giue also in bookes, which (after the first impression of anie one booke) are for the most part verie negligentlie handled: whereas if another might print it so well as the first, then would men striue which of them should doo it best; and so it falleth out in all other trades. It is an easie matter to prooue that England was neuer lesse furnished with people than at this present; for if the old records of euerie manour be sought, and search made to find what tenements are fallen, either downe, or into the lords hands, or brought and vnited togither by other men: it will soone appéere, that in some one manour seuentéen, eightéene, or twentie houses are shrunke. I know what I saie by mine owne experience: notwithstanding that some one cotage be here and there erected of late, which is to little purpose. Of cities and townes either vtterlie decaied, or more than a quarter or halfe diminished, though some one be a little increased here and there; of townes pulled downe for sheepe-walks, and no more but the lordships now standing in them, beside those that William Rufus pulled downe in his time; I could saie somewhat: but then I should swarue yet further from my purpose, wherevnto I now returne.

Wée had no parkes left in England at the comming of the Normans, who added this calamitie also to the seruitude of our nation, making men of the best sort furthermore to become kéepers of their game, whilest they liued in the meane time vpon the spoile of their reuenues, and dailie ouerthrew townes, villages, and an infinit sort of families, for the maintenance of their venerie. Neither was anie parke supposed in these times to be statelie enough, that conteined not at the least eight or ten hidelands, that is, so manie hundred acres or families (of as they haue béene alwaies called in some places of the realme carrucats or cartwares) of which one was sufficient in old time to mainteine an honest yeoman.

King Iohn trauelling on a time northwards, to wit 1209 to warre vpon the king of Scots, because he had married his daughter to the earle of Bullen without his consent: in his returne ouerthrew a great number of parkes and warrens, of which some belonged to his barons, but the greatest part to the abbats and prelats of the cleargie. For hearing (as he trauelled) by complaint of the countrie, how these inclosures were the chéefe decaie of men, and of tillage in the land, he sware with an oth that he would not suffer wild beasts to féed vpon the fat of his soile, and sée the people perish for want of abilitie to procure and buie them food that should defend the realme. Howbeit, this act of his was so ill taken by the religious and their adherents, that they inuerted his intent herein to another end; affirming most slanderouslie how he did it rather of purpose to spoile the corne and grasse of the commons and catholikes that held against him of both estates, and by so doing to impouerish and bring the north part of the realme to destruction, because they refused to go with him into Scotland. If the said prince were aliue in these daies, wherein Andrew Boord saith there are more parks in England than in all Europe (ouer which he trauelled in his owne [Page 346] person) and saw how much ground they consume, I thinke he would either double his othes, or laie the most of them open that tillage might be better looked vnto. But this I hope shall not néed in time, for the owners of a great sort of them begin now to smell out, that such parcels might be emploied to their more game, and therefore some of them doo grow to be disparked.

Next of all we haue the franke chase, which taketh something both of parke and forrest, and is giuen either by the kings grant or prescription. Certes it differeth not much from a parke; nay, it is in maner the selfe same thing that a parke is, sauing that a parke is inuironed with pale, wall, or such like: the chase alwaie open and nothing at all inclosed, as we see in Enuéeld & Maluerne chases. And as it is the cause of the seisure of the franchise of a parke not to kéepe the same inclosed, so it is the like in a chase if at anie time it be imparked. It is trespasse, and against the law also, for anie man to haue or make a chase, parke, or frée warren without good warrantie of the king by his charter or perfect title of prescription: for it is not lawfull for anie subiect either to carnilate, that is, build stone houses, imbattell, haue the querke of the sea, or kéepe the assise of bread, ale, or wine, or set vp furels, tumbrell, thew, or pillorie, or inclose anie ground to the aforesaid purposes within his owne soile, without his warrant and grant. The beasts of the chase were commonlie the bucke, the roe, the fox, and the marterne. But those of venerie in old time were the hart, the hare, the bore and the woolfe; but as this held not in the time of Canutus, so in stéed of the woolfe the beare is now crept in, which is a beast cōmonlie hunted in the east countries, and fed vpon as excellent venison, although with vs I know not anie that féed thereon or care for it at all. Certes it should seeme, that forrests and franke chases haue alwaies béene had, and religiouslie preserued in this Iland for the solace of the prince, and recreation of his nobilitie: howbeit I read not that euer they were inclosed more than at this present, or otherwise fensed than by vsuall notes of limitation, whereby their bounds were remembred from time to time, for the better preseruation of such venerie and vert of all sorts as were nourished in the same. Neither are anie of the ancient laws prescribed for their maintenance, before the daies of Canutus, now to be had; sith time hath so dealt with them that they are perished and lost. Canutus therefore seeing the dailie spoile that was made almost in all places of his game, did at the last make sundrie sanctions and decrées, whereby from thenceforth the red and fallow déere were better looked to throughout his whole dominions. We haue in these daies diuerse forrests in England and Wales, of which, some belong to the king, and some to his subiects, as Waltham forrest, Windlesor, Pickering, Fecknam, Delamore, Gillingham, Kingswood, Wencedale, Clun, Rath, Bredon, Weire, Charlie, Leircester, Lée, Rokingham, Selwood, New forrest, Wichwood, Hatfeeld, Sauernake, Westbirie, Blacamore Peke, Deane, Penrise, & manie other now cleane out of my remembrance: and which although they are far greater in circuit than manie parkes and warrens, yet are they in this our time lesse deuourers of the people than these latter, sith beside much tillage, & manie townes are found in each of them, wheras in parks and warrens we haue nothing else than either the keepers & wareners lodge, or at least the manor place of the chéef lord & owner of the soile. I find also by good record, that all Essex hath in time past wholie béene forrest ground, except one cantred or hundred; but how long it is since it lost the said denomination in good sooth I doo not read. This neuerthelesse remaineth yet in memorie, that the towne of Walden in Essex standing in the limits of the aforesaid countie doth take hir name thereof. For in the Celtike toong, wherewith the Saxon or Scithian spéech dooth not a little participate, huge woods and forrests were called Walds, and likewise their Druides were named Walie or Waldie, bicause they frequented the woods, and there made sacrifice among the okes and thickets. So that if my coniecture in this behalfe be anie thing at all, the aforesaid towne taketh denomination of Wald and end, as if I should say, The end of the wooddie soile; for being once out of that parish, the champaine is at hand. Or it may be that it is so called of Wald and dene: for I haue read it written in old euidences Waldæne, with a diphthong. And to saie truth, Dene is the old Saxon word for a vale or lowe bottome, as Dune [Page 347] or Don is for an hill or hillie soile. Certes if it be so, then Walden taketh hir name of the woodie vale, in which it sometime stood. But the first deriuation liketh me better, and the [Sidenote: Gipping, of going vp to anie place.] highest part of the towne is called also Chipping Walden, of the Saxon word [g]ipping, which signifieth Leaning or hanging, and may verie well be applied therevnto, sith the whole towne hangeth as it were vpon the sides of two hils, wherof the lesser runneth quite through the middest of the same. I might here for further confirmation of these things bring in mention of the Wald of Kent: but this may suffice for the vse of the word Wald, which now differeth much from Wold. For as that signifieth a woodie soile, so this betokeneth a soile without wood, or plaine champaine countrie, without anie store of trées, as may be seene in Cotswold, Porkewold, &c. Beside this I could saie more of our forrests, and the aforesaid inclosures also, & therein to prooue by the booke of forrest law, that the whole countie of Lancaster hath likewise beene forrest heretofore. Also how William the Bastard made a law, that whosoeuer did take anie wild beast within the kings forrest should lose an eare; as Henrie the first did punish them either by life or lim: which ordinance was confirmed by Henrie the second and his péeres at Woodstocke, wherevpon great trouble insued vnder king Iohn and Henrie the third, as appeareth by the chronicles: but it shall suffice to haue said so much as is set downe alreadie.

Howbeit, that I may restore one antiquitie to light, which hath hitherto lien as it were raked vp in the embers of obliuion, I will giue out those laws that Canutus made for his forrest: whereby manie things shall be disclosed concerning the same (wherof peraduenture some lawiers haue no knowledge) and diuerse other notes gathered touching the ancient estate of the realme not to be found in other. But before I deale with the great charter (which as you may perceiue, is in manie places vnperfect by reason of corruption, and want also of congruitie, crept in by length of time, not by me to be restored) I will note another breefe law, which he made in the first yeare of his reigne at Winchester, afterward inserted into these his later constitutions, canon 32, & beginneth thus in his owne Saxon tong; "Ic will that elc one," &c: I will and grant that ech one shall be worthie of such venerie as he by hunting can take either in the plaines or in the woods, within his owne fée or dominion; but ech man shall abstaine from my venerie in euerie place, where I will that my beasts shall haue firme peace and quietnesse, vpon paine to forfet so much as a man may forfet. Hitherto the statute made by the aforesaid Canutus, which was afterward confirmed by king Edward surnamed the Confessor; & ratified by the Bastard in the fourth yeare of his reigne. Now followeth the great charter it selfe in such rude order and Latine as I find it word for word, and which I would gladlie haue turned into English, if it might haue sounded to anie benefit of the vnskilfull and vnlearned.

Incipiunt constitutiones Canuti regis de foresta.

"Hæ sunt sanctiones de foresta, quas ego Canutus rex cum consilio primariorum hominum meorum condo & facio, vt cunctis regni nostri Angliæ ecclesijs & pax & iustitia fiat, & vt omnis delinquens secundum modum delicti, & delinquentis fortunam patiatur.

[Sidenote: Pegeed.]

1. "Sint tam deinceps quatuor ex liberalioribus hominibus, qui habent saluas suas debitas consuetudines (quos Angli Pegened appellant) in qualibet regni mei prouincia constituti, ad iustitiam distribuēdam, vna cum pœna merita & materijs forrestæ cuncto populo meo, tam Anglis quàm Danis per totum regnum meum Angliæ, quos quatuor primarios forestæ appellandos censemus.

[Sidenote: Lespegend.]

[Sidenote: Nunc forte Fringald.] 2. "Sint sub quolibet horum, quatuor ex mediocribus hominibus (quos Angli Lespegend nuncupant, Dani verò yoong men vocant) locati, qui curam & onus tum viridis tum veneris suscipiant.

3. "In administranda autem iustitia nullatenus volo vt tales se intromittant: mediocrésq; [Sidenote: Ealdermen.] tales post ferarum curara susceptam, pro liberalibus semper habeantur, quos Dani Ealdermen appellant. [Page 348] [Sidenote: Tineman.] 4. "Sub horum iterum quolibet sint duo minutorum hominum, quos Tineman Angli dicunt, hi nocturnam curam & veneris & viridis tum seruilia opera subibunt.

5. "Si talis minutus seruus fuerit, tam citò quàm in foresta nostra locabitur, liber esto, omnésq; hos ex sumptibus nostris manutenebimus.

[Sidenote: Michni.]

6. "Habeat etiam quilibet primariorum quolibet anno de nostra warda, quam Michni Angli appellant, duos equos, vnum cum sella, alterum sine sella, vnum gladium, quinque lanceas, vnum cuspidem, vnum scutum, & ducentos solidos argenti.

7. "Mediocrium quilibet vnum equum, vnam lanceam, vnum scutum, & 60 solidos argenti.

[Sidenote: * [Sic.]]

8. "Minutorum quilibet, vnum[*] lanceam, vnam arcubalistam, & 15 solidos argenti.

9. "Sint omnes tam primarij, quàm mediocres, & minuti, immunes, liberi, & quieti ab [Sidenote: Hundred law.] omnibus prouincialibus summonitionibus, & popularibus placitis, quæ Hundred laghe Angli [Sidenote: Warscot.] dicunt, & ab omnibus armorum oneribus, quod Warscot Angli dicunt, & forincesis querelis.

10. "Sint mediocrium & minutorum causæ, & earum correctiones, tam criminalium quàm ciuilium per prouidam sapientiam & rationem primariorum iudicatæ & decisæ: primariorum verò enormia si quæ fuerint (ne scelus aliquod remaneat inultum) nosmet in ira nostra regali puniemus.

11. "Habeant hi quatuor vnam regalem potestatem (salua semper nobis nostra præsentia) quatérq; in anno generales forestæ demonstrationes & viridis & veneris forisfactiones, quas [Sidenote: Muchehunt.] Muchehunt dicunt, vbi teneant omnes calumniam de materia aliqua tangente forestam, eántque [Sidenote: Ofgangfordell. Purgatio ignis triplex ordalia.] ad triplex iudicium, quod Angli Ofgangfordell dicunt. Ita autem acquiratur illud triplex iudicium. Accipiat secum quinque, & sit ipse sextus, & sic iurando acquirat triplex iudicium, aut triplex iuramentum. Sed purgatio ignis nullatenus admittatur, nisi vbi nuda veritas nequit aliter inuestigari.

[Sidenote: Pegen.]

12. "Liberalis autem homo. 1. Pegen, modo crimen suum non sit inter maiora, habeat [Sidenote: Forathe.] fidelem hominem qui possit pro eo iurare iuramentum. 1. Forathe: si autem non habet, ipsemet iuret, nec pardonetur ei aliquod iuramentum.

13. "Si aduena vel peregrinus qui de longinquo venerit sit calumniatus de foresta, & talis est sua inopia vt non possit habere plegium ad primam calumniam, qualem * nullus Anglus iudicare potest: tunc subeat captionem regis, & ibi expectet quousque vadat ad iudicium ferri & aquæ: attamen si quis extraneo aut peregrino de longè venienti * * sibi ipsi nocet, si aliquod iudicium iudicauerint.

14. "Quicúnq; coram primarios homines meos forestæ in falso testimonio steterit & victus fuerit, non sit dignus imposterum stare aut portare testimonium, quia legalitatem suam perdidit, [Sidenote: Halfehang.] & pro culpa soluat regi decem solidos, quos Dani vocant Halfehang, alias Halsehang.

15. "Si quis vim aliquam primarijs forestæ meæ intulerit, si liberalis sit amittat libertatem & omnia sua, si villanus abscindatur dextra.

16. "Si alteruter iterum peccauerit, reus sit mortis.

17. "Si quis autem contra primarium pugnauerit, in plito emendet secundum pretium sui [Sidenote: Pere & Pite.] ipsus, quod Angli Pere & pite dicunt, & soluat primario quadraginta solidos.

[Sidenote: Gethbrech.]

18. "Si pacem quis fregerit, ante mediocres forestæ, quod dicunt Gethbrech, emendet regi decem solidis.

19. "Si quis mediocrium aliquem cum ira percusserit, emendetur prout interfectio feræ regalis mihi emendari solet.

20. "Si quis delinquens in foresta nostra capietur, pœnas luet secundum modum & genus delicti.

[Sidenote: Ealderman.]

21. "Pœna & forisfactio non vna eadémq; erit liberalis (quem Dani Ealderman vocant) & illiberalis: domini & serui: noti & ignoti: nec vna eadémq; erit causarum tum ciuilium tum criminalium, ferarum forestæ, & ferarum regalium: viridis & veneris tractatio: nam crimen veneris ab antiquo inter maiora & non immeritò numerabatur: viridis verò (fractione chaceæ nostræ regalis excepta) ita pusillum & exiguum est, quòd vix ea respicit nostra constitutio: qui in hoc tamen deliquerit, sit criminis forestæ reus. [Page 349] 22. "Si liber aliquis feram forestæ ad cursum impulerit, siue casu, siue præhabita voluntate, ita vt cursu celeri cogatur fera anhelare, decem solidis regi emendet, si illiberalis dupliciter emendet, si seruus careat corio.

23. "Si verò harum aliquot interfecerit, soluat dupliciter & persoluat, sitque pretij sui reus contra regem.

[Sidenote: Staggon or Stagge.]

24. "Sed si regalem feram, quam Angli Staggon appellant, alteruter coegerit anhelare, alter per vnum annum, alter per duos careat libertate naturali: si verò seruus, pro vtlegato [Sidenote: Frendlesman.] habeatur, quem Angli Frendlesman vocant.

25. "Si verò occiderit, amittat liber scutum libertatis, si sit illiberalis careat libertate, si seruus vita.

26. "Episcopi, abbates, & barones mei non calumniabuntur pro venatione, si non regales feras occiderint: & si regales, restabunt rei regi pro libito suo, sine certa emendatione.

27. "Sunt aliæ (præter feras forestæ) bestiæ, quæ dum inter septa & sepes forestæ confinentur, emendationi subiacent: quales sunt capreoli, lepores, & cuniculi. Sunt & alia quàm plurima animalia, quæ quāquam infra septa forestæ viuunt, & oneri & curæ mediocrium subiacent forestæ, tamen nequaquā censeri possunt, qualia sunt bubali, vaccæ, & similia. [Sidenote: Bubali olim in Anglia.] Vulpes & lupi, nec forestæ nec veneris habentur, & proinde eorum interfectio nulli emendationi subiacet. Si tamen infra limites occiduntur, fractio sit regalis chaceæ, & mitiùs emendetur. Aper verò quanquam forestæ sit, nullatenus tamen animal veneris haberi est assuetus.

28. "Bosco nec subbosco nostro sine licentia primariorum forestæ nemo manum apponat, quòd si quis fecerit reus sit fractionis regalis chaceæ.

[Sidenote: Ilices aliquando in Britānia nisi intelligatur de quercu.]

29. "Si quis verò ilicem aut arborē aliquam, quæ victum feris suppeditat sciderit, præter fractionem regalis chaceæ, emendet regi viginti solidis.

30. "Volo vt omnis liber homo pro libito suo habeat venerem siue viridem in planis suis super terras suas, sine chacea tamen; & deuitent omnes meam, vbicúnq; eam habere voluero.

[Sidenote: Greihounds.]

31. "Nullus mediocris habebit nec custodiet canes, quos Angli Greihounds appellant. Liberali verò, dum genuiscissio eorum facta fuerit coram primario forestæ licebit, aut sine genuiscissione dum remoti sunt à limitibus forestæ per decem miliaria. quando verò propiùs venerint, emendet quodlibet miliare vno solido. Si verò infra septa forestæ reperiatur, dominus canis forisfaciet & decem solidos regi.

[Sidenote: Velter.]

[Sidenote: Langeran.] [Sidenote: Ramhundt.] 32. "Velteres verò quos Langeran appellant, quia manifestè constat in ijs nihil esse periculi, cuilibet licebit sine genuiscissione eos custodire. Idem de canibus quos Ramhundt vocant.

33. "Quòdsi casu inauspicato huiusmodi canes rabidi fiant & vbiq; vagātur, negligentia [Sidenote: Pretium hominis mediocris.] dominorum, redduntur illiciti, & emendetur regi pro illicitis, &c. Quòdsi intra septa forestæ reperiantur, talis exquiratur herus, & emendet secundum pretium hominis mediocris, quòd secundum legem Werinorum. 1. Churingorum, est ducentorum solidorum.

34. "Si canis rabidus momorderit feram, tunc emendet secundum pretiū hominis liberalis, [Sidenote: Pretium liberi hominis.] quod est duodecies solidis centum. Si verò fera regalis morsa fuerit, reus sit maximi criminis."

And these are the constitutions of Canutus concerning the forrest, verie barbarouslie translated by those that tooke the same in hand. Howbeit as I find it so I set it downe, without anie alteration of my copie in anie iot or tittle. [Page 350]



After such time as Calis was woone from the French, and that our countriemen had learned to trade into diuerse countries (wherby they grew rich) they began to wax idle also, and therevpon not onlie left off their former painfulnesse and frugalitie, but in like sort gaue themselues to liue in excesse and vanitie, whereby manie goodlie commodities failed, and in short time were not to be had amongst vs. Such strangers also as dwelled here with vs, perceiuing our sluggishnesse, and espieng that this idlenesse of ours might redound to their great profit, foorthwith imploied their endeuours to bring in the supplie of such things as we lacked, continuallie from forren countries; which yet more augmented our idlenes. For hauing all things at reasonable prices as we supposed, by such means from them, we thought it méere madnesse to spend either time or cost about the same here at home. And thus we became enimies to our owne welfare, as men that in those daies reposed our felicitie in following the wars, wherewith we were often exercised both at home and other places. Besides this, the naturall desire that mankind hath to estéeme of things farre sought, bicause they be rare and costlie, and the irkesome contempt of things néere hand, for that they are common and plentifull, hath borne no small swaie also in this behalfe amongst vs. For hereby we haue neglected our owne good gifts of God, growing here at home as vile and of no valure, and had euerie trifle and toie in admiration that is brought hither from far countries, ascribing I wot not what great forces and solemne estimation vnto them, vntill they also haue waxen old, after which they haue béene so little regarded, if not more despised amongst vs than, our owne. Examples hereof I could set downe manie, & in manie things, but sith my purpose is to deale at this time with gardens and orchards, it shall suffice that I touch them onelie, and shew our inconstancie in the same, so farre as shall séeme & be conuenient for my turne. I comprehend therefore vnder the word garden, all such grounds as are wrought with the spade by mans hand, for so the case requireth. Of wine I haue written alreadie elsewhere sufficientlie, which commoditie (as I haue learned further since the penning of that booke) hath beene verie plentifull in this Iland, not onlie in the time of the Romans, but also since the conquest, as I haue séene by record: yet at this present haue we none at all or else verie little to speake of growing in this Iland: which I impute not vnto the soile, but the negligence of my countrimen. Such herbes, fruits, and roots also as grow yéerelie out of the ground, of seed, haue béene verie plentifull in this land, in the time of the first Edward, and after his daies: but in processe of time they grew also to be neglected, so that from Henrie the fourth till the latter end of Henrie the seuenth, & beginning of Henrie the eight, there was litle or no vse of them in England, but they remained either vnknowne, or supposed as food more méet for hogs & sauage beasts to feed vpon than mankind. Whereas in my time their vse is not onelie resumed among the poore commons, I meane of melons, pompions, gourds, cucumbers, radishes, skirets, parsneps, carrets, cabbages, nauewes, turneps, and all kinds of salad herbes, but also fed vpon as deintie dishes at the tables of delicate merchants, gentlemen, and the nobilitie, who make their prouision yearelie for new séeds out of strange countries, from whence they haue them aboundantlie. Neither doo they now staie with such of these fruits as are wholesome in their kinds, but aduenture further vpon such as are verie dangerous and hurtfull, as the verangenes, mushroms, &c: as if nature had ordeined all for the bellie, or that all things were to be eaten, for whose mischiefous operation the Lord in some measure hath giuen and prouided a remedie.

Hops in time past were plentifull in this land, afterwards also their maintenance did cease, and now being reuiued, where are anie better to be found? where anie greater commoditie to be raised by them? onelie poles are accounted to be their greatest charge. But sith men haue learned of late to sow ashen keies in ashyards by themselues, that inconuenience in short [Page 351] time will be redressed. Madder hath growne abundantlie in this Iland, but of long time neglected, and now a little reuiued, and offereth it selfe to prooue no small benefit vnto our countrie, as manie other things else, which are now fetched from vs; as we before time when we gaue ourselues to idlenesse, were glad to haue them other. If you looke into our gardens annexed to our houses, how woonderfullie is their beautie increased, not onelie with floures, which Colmella calleth Terrena sydera, saieng:

"Pingit & in varios terrestria sydera flores,"

and varietie of curious and costlie workmanship, but also with rare and medicinable hearbes sought vp in the land within these fortie yeares: so that in comparison of this present, the ancient gardens were but dunghils and laistowes to such as did possesse them. How art also helpeth nature in the dailie colouring, dubling and inlarging the proportion of our floures, it is incredible to report: for so curious and cunning are our gardeners now in these daies, that they presume to doo in maner what they list with nature, and moderate hir course in things as if they were hir superiours. It is a world also to sée, how manie strange hearbs, plants, and annuall fruits, are dailie brought vnto vs from the Indies, Americans, Taprobane, Canarie Iles, and all parts of the world: the which albeit that in respect of the constitutions of our bodies they doo not grow for vs, bicause that God hath bestowed sufficient commodities vpon euerie countrie for hir owne necessitie; yet for delectation sake vnto the eie, and their odoriferous sauours vnto the nose, they are to be cherished, and God to be glorified also in them, bicause they are his good gifts, and created to doo man helpe and seruice. There is not almost one noble man, gentleman, or merchant, that hath not great store of these floures, which now also doo begin to wax so well acquainted with our soiles, that we may almost accompt of them as parcell of our owne commodities. They haue no lesse regard in like sort to cherish medicinable hearbs fetched out of other regions néerer hand: insomuch that I haue séene in some one garden to the number of three hundred or foure hundred of them, if not more; of the halfe of whose names within fortie yéeres passed we had no maner knowledge. But herein I find some cause of iust complaint, for that we extoll their vses so farre that we fall into contempt of our owne, which are in truth more beneficiall and apt for vs than such as grow elsewhere, sith (as I said before) euerie region hath abundantlie within hir owne limits whatsoeuer is needfull and most conuenient for them that dwell therein. How doo men extoll the vse of Tabacco in my time, whereas in truth (whether the cause be in the repugnancie of our constitution vnto the operation thereof, or that the ground dooth alter hir force, I cannot tell) it is not found of so great efficacie as they write. And beside this, our common germander or thistle benet is found & knowne to bée so wholesome and of so great power in medicine, as anie other hearbe, if they be vsed accordinglie. I could exemplifie after the like maner in sundrie other, as the Salsa parilla, Mochoacan, &c: but I forbeare so to doo, because I couet to be bréefe. And trulie the estimation and credit that we yéeld and giue vnto compound medicines made with forren drugs, is one great cause wherefore the full knowledge and vse of our owne simples hath bene so long raked vp in the imbers. And as this may be verified, so to be one sound conclusion, for the greater number of simples that go vnto anie compound medicine, the greater confusion is found therein, because the qualities and operations of verie few of the particulars are throughlie knowne. And euen so our continuall desire of strange drugs, whereby the physician and apothecarie onlie hath the benefit, is no small cause that the vse of our simples here at home dooth go to losse, and that we tread those herbes vnder our féet, whose forces if we knew, & could applie them to our necessities, we wold honor & haue in reuerence as to their case behooueth. Alas what haue we to doo with such Arabian & Grecian stuffe as is dailie brought from those parties, which lie in another clime? And therefore the bodies of such as dwell there, are of another constitution, than ours are here at home. Certes they grow not for vs, but for the Arabians and Grecians. And albeit that they maie by skill be applied vnto our benefit, yet to be more skilfull in them than in our owne, is follie; and to vse forren wares [Page 352] wares when our owne maie serue the turne is more follie; but to despise our owne and magnifie aboue measure the vse of them that are sought and brought from farre, is most follie of all: for it sauoureth of ignorance, or at the leastwise of negligence, and therefore woorthie of reproch.

Among the Indians, who haue the most present cures for euerie disease, of their owne nation, there is small regard of compound medicins, & lesse of forren drugs, because they neither know them nor can vse them, but worke woonders euen with their owne simples. With them also the difference of the clime dooth shew hir full effect. For whereas they will heale one another in short time with application of one simple, &c: if a Spaniard or English man stand in need of their helpe, they are driuen to haue a longer space in their cures, and now and then also to vse some addition of two or three simples at the most, whose forces vnto them are throughlie knowne, because their exercise is onelie in their owne, as men that neuer sought or heard what vertue was in those that came from other countries. And euen so did Marcus Cato the learned Roman indeuor to deale in his cures of sundrie diseases, wherein he not onelie vsed such simples as were to be had in his owne countrie, but also examined and learned the forces of each of them, wherewith he dealt so diligentlie, that in all his life time, he could atteine to the exact knowledge but of a few, and thereto wrote of those most learnedlie, as would easilie be séene, if those his bookes were extant. For the space also of 600 yéeres, the colewort onelie was a medicine in Rome for all diseases, so that his vertues were thoroughlie knowne in those parts.

In Plinies time the like affection to forren drugs did rage among the Romans, whereby their owne did grow in contempt. Crieng out therefore of this extreame follie, lib. 22. cap. 24, he speaketh after this maner: "Non placent remedia tam longè nascentia, non enim nobis gignuntur, immò ne illis quidem, alioquin non venderent; si placet etiam superstitionis gratiâ emantur, quoniam supplicamus, &c. Salutem quidem sine his posse constare, vel ob id probabimus, vt tanto magis sui tandem pudeat." For my part I doubt not, if the vse of outlandish drugs had not blinded our physicians of England in times passed, but that the vertues of our simples here at home would haue béene far better knowne, and so well vnto vs, as those of India are to the practisioners of those partes, and therevnto be found more profitable for vs than the forren either are or maie be. This also will I ad, that euen those which are most common by reason of their plentie, and most vile bicause of their abundance, are not without some vniuersall and especiall efficacie, if it were knowne, for our benefit: sith God in nature hath so disposed his creatures, that the most néedfull are the most plentifull, and seruing for such generall diseases as our constitution most commonlie is affected withall. Great thanks therefore be giuen vnto the physicians of our age and countrie, who not onelie indeuour to search out the vse of such simples as our soile dooth yéeld and bring foorth, but also to procure such as grow elsewhere, vpō purpose so to acquaint them with our clime, that they in time through some alteration receiued from the nature of the earth, maie likewise turne to our benefit and commoditie, and be vsed as our owne.

The chiefe workeman, or as I maie call him the founder of this deuise, is Carolus Clusius, the noble herbarist, whose industrie hath woonderfullie stirred them vp vnto this good act. For albeit that Matthiolus, Rembert, Lobell, and other haue trauelled verie farre in this behalfe, yet none hath come néere to Clusius, much lesse gone further in the finding and true descriptions of such herbes as of late are brought to light. I doubt not but if this man were in England but one seuen yéeres, he would reueale a number of herbes growing with vs, whereof neither our physicians nor apothecaries as yet haue anie knowledge. And euen like thankes be giuen vnto our nobilitie, gentlemen, and others, for their continuall nutriture and cherishing of such homeborne and forren simples in their gardens, for hereby they shall not onlie be had at hand and preserued, but also their formes made more familiar to be discerned, and their forces better knowne than hitherto they haue béene.

And euen as it fareth with our gardens, so dooth it with our orchards, which were neuer furnished with so good fruit, nor with such varietie as at this present. For beside that we [Page 353] haue most delicate apples, plummes, peares, walnuts, filberds, &c: and those of sundrie sorts, planted within fortie yéeres passed, in comparison of which most of the old trées are nothing woorth: so haue we no lesse store of strange fruit, as abricotes, almonds, peaches, figges, corne-trees in noble mens orchards. I haue scene capers, orenges, and lemmons, and heard of wild oliues growing here, beside other strange trees, brought from far, whose names I know not. So that England for these commodities was neuer better furnished, neither anie nation vnder their clime more plentifullie indued with these and other blessings from the most high God, who grant vs grace withall to vse the same to his honour and glorie! and not as instruments and prouocations vnto further excesse and vanitie, wherewith his displeasure may be kindled, least these his benefits doo turne vnto thornes and briers vnto vs for our annoiance and punishment, which he hath bestowed vpon vs for our consolation and comfort.

We haue in like sort such workemen as are not onelie excellent in graffing the naturall fruits, but also in their artificiall mixtures, whereby one trée bringeth foorth sundrie fruits, and one and the same fruit of diuers colours and tasts, dallieng as it were with nature and hir course, as if hir whole trade were perfectlie knowne vnto them: of hard fruits they will make tender, of sowre sweet, of sweet yet more delicate, béereuing also some of their kernels, other of their cores, and finallie induing them with the sauour of muske, ambre, or swéet spices at their pleasures. Diuerse also haue written at large of these seuerall practises, and some of them how to conuert the kernels of peaches into almonds, of small fruit to make farre greater, and to remooue or ad superfluous or necessarie moisture to the trées, with other things belonging to their preseruation, and with no lesse diligence than our physicians doo commonlie shew vpon our owne diseased bodies, which to me dooth seeme right strange. And euen so doo our gardeners with their herbes, whereby they are strengthened against noisome blasts, and preserued from putrifaction and hinderance, whereby some such as were annuall, are now made perpetuall, being yéerelie taken vp, and either reserued in the house, or hauing the rosse pulled from their rootes, laid againe into the earth, where they remaine in safetie. What choise they make also in their waters, and wherewith some of them doo now and then keepe them moist, it is a world to sée; insomuch that the apothecaries shops maie séeme to be needfull also to our gardens and orchards, and that in sundrie wise: naie the kitchin it selfe is so farre from being able to be missed among them, that euen the verie dishwater is not without some vse amongest our finest plants. Whereby and sundrie other circumstances not here to bée remembred, I am persuaded, that albeit the gardens of the Hesperides were in times past so greatlie accounted of because of their delicacie: yet if it were possible to haue such an equall iudge, as by certeine knowledge of both were able to pronounce vpon them, I doubt not but he would giue the price vnto the gardens of our daies, and generallie ouer all Europe, in comparison of those times, wherein the old exceeded. Plinie and other speake of a rose that had thrée score leaues growing vpon one button: but if I should tell of one which bare a triple number vnto that proportion, I know I shall not be beléeued, and no great matter though I were not, howbeit such a one was to be séene in Antwarpe 1585, as I haue heard, and I know who might haue had a slip or stallon thereof, if he would haue ventured ten pounds vpon the growth of the same, which should haue bene but a tickle hazard, and therefore better vndoone, as I did alwaies imagine. For mine owne part, good reader, let me boast a litle of my garden, which is but small, and the whole Area thereof little aboue 300 foot of ground, and yet, such hath béene my good lucke in purchase of the varietie of simples, that notwithstanding my small abilitie, there are verie néere thrée hundred of one sort and other conteined therein, no one of them being common or vsuallie to bee had. If therefore my little plot, void of all cost in keeping be so well furnished, what shall we thinke of those of Hampton court, Nonesuch, Tibaults, Cobham garden, and sundrie other apperteining to diuerse citizens of London, whom I could particularlie name, if I should not séeme to offend them by such my demeanour and dealing? [Page 354]



There is no one commoditie in England, whereof I can make lesse report than of our waters. For albeit our soile abound with water in all places, and that in the most ample maner: yet can I not find by some experience that almost anie one of our riuers hath such od and rare qualities as diuers of the maine are said to be indued withall. Virtruuius writeth of a well in Paphlagonia, whose water séemeth as it were mixed with wine, & addeth thereto that diuerse become drunke by superfluous taking of the same. The like force is found In amne Licesio, a riuer of Thracia, vpon whose bankes a man shall hardlie misse to find some traueller or other sléeping for drunkennesse, by drinking of that liquor. Néere also vnto Ephesus are certeine welles, which taste like sharpe vineger, and therefore are much esteemed of by such as are sicke and euill at ease in those parts. At Hieropolis is a spring of such force (as Strabo saith) that the water thereof mixed with certaine herbes of choise, dooth colour wooll with such a glosse, that the die thereof contendeth with scarlet, murreie, and purple, and oft ouercommeth the same. The Cydims in Tarsus of Cilicia, is of such vertue, that who so batheth himselfe therein, shall find great ease of the gowt that runneth ouer all his ioints. In one of the fortunate Iles (saith Pomponius the Cosmographer) are two springs, one of the which bringeth immoderate laughter to him that drinketh thereof, the other sadnesse and restraint of that effect, whereby the last is taken to be a souereigne medicine against the other, to the great admiration of such as haue beholden it. At Susis in Persia there is a spring, which maketh him that drinketh downe anie of the water, to cast all his téeth: but if he onlie wash his mouth withall, it maketh them fast, & his mouth to be verie healthfull. So there is a riuer among the Gadarens, wherof if a beast drinke, he foorthwith casteth hoofe, haire, and hornes, if he haue anie. Also a lake in Assyria, neere vnto the which there is a kind of glewie matter to be found, which holdeth such birds as by hap doo light thereon so fast as birdlime, by means wherof verie manie doo perish and are taken that light vpon the same: howbeit if anie portion hereof happen to be set on fire by casualtie or otherwise, it will neuer be quenched but by casting on of dust, as Caietanus dooth report. Another at Halicarnassus called Salmacis, which is noted to make such men effeminate as drinke of the water of the same. Certes it maie be (saith Strabo) that the water and aire of a region maie qualifie the courage of some men, but none can make them effeminate, nor anie other thing because of such corruption in them, sooner than superfluous wealth, and inconstancie of liuing and behauiour, which is a bane vnto all nature, lib. 4. All which, with manie other not now comming to memorie, as the Letheus, Styx, Phlegeton, Cocitus, &c: haue strange & incredible reports made of them by the new and ancient writers, the like wherof are not to be found in England, which I impute wholie to the blessing of God, who hath ordeined nothing amongst vs in this our temperate region, but that which is good, wholesome, and most commodious for our nation. We haue therefore no hurtfull waters amongst vs, but all wholesome and profitable for the benefit of the people. Neuertheles as none of them is to be found without hir fish: so we know, by experience, that diuerse turne ash, some other elme, and oken stakes or poles that lie or are throwne into them into hard stone, in long continuance of time, which is the strangest thing that I can learne at this present wherevpon to rest for a certentie. Yet I read of diuerse welles, wherevnto our old writers ascribe either wonderfull vertues, or rare courses, as of one vpon the shore, beyond the which the sea floweth euerie daie twise a large mile and more; and yet is the surge of that water alwaies seuen foot from the salt sea: whereby it should séeme that the head of the spring is mooueable. But alas I doo not easilie beleeue it, more than that which is written of the Lilingwan lake in Wales, which is néere to the Seuerne, and receiueth the flowing sea into hir chanell as it were a gulfe, and yet is neuer full: but when the sea [Page 355] goeth awaie by reason of the ebbe, it casteth vp the water with such violence, that hir banks are ouerflowne and drowned, which is an absurd report. They ad also, that if all the people of the countrie stood neere to the same, with their faces toward the lake, in such maner that the dashing of the water might touch and wet their clothes, they should haue no power to go from thence, but mawgre their resistance be drawne into that gulfe and perish; whereas if they turned their backs vnto the same, they should suffer no such inconuenience though they stood neuer so néere. Manie other such like toies I could set downe of other welles and waters of our countrie. But whie should I write that for other men to read, whereto I giue no credit my selfe, more than to the report which Iohannes du Choul dooth make in his description of Pilots lake, "In monte Pilati in Gallia," or Boccatius of the Scaphigiolo in the Appenine hils, or Fœlix Malliolus of Pilats lake "In monte fracto" (where Iacobus de Voragino bishop of Gene, & Ioachimus Vadianus in Pompon. Melam doo also make mention) sith I take them but for fables, & far vnworthie that anie good man should staine his paper with such friuolous matters as are reported of them, being deuised at the first by Satanas the father of lies, for the holding of the ignorant & credulous in their superstitions and errors. Such also is the tale that goeth of Wenefrids well, & nothing inferior to that of Mercurie néere to port Caperia in Rome, wherein such as went by would dip branches of baie, and sprinkle the same vpon themselues: and so manie as stood about them, calling vpon Mercurie, and crauing pardon for their sinnes, as if that ceremonie had bene of force vnto forgiuenesse and remission of their trespasses. And so it appeareth partlie by Cicero, who (being a man neither thinking well of their owne gods nor liking of the augures) dooth write in his first De legibus (except my memorie faile me) "aspersione aquæ labem tolli corpoream, & castimoniam corporis præstari," which maketh me to thinke further, that they thought it equall with our late holie-water, wherewith it maie be compared. I might further also (if I would) make relation of diuerse welles, which haue wrought manie miracles in time of superstition, as S. Butolphs well in Hadstocke, S. Germans well at Falkeburne, Holie well at S. Albones and London, and sundrie other in other places: but as their vertues are now found out to be but baits to draw men and women vnto them, either for gaine vnto the places where they were, or satisfaction of the lewd disposition of such as hunted after other gaine, so it shall suffice to haue touched them far off. Onlie this will I ad, that we haue no hurtfull waters, no not vnto our shéepe, though it please Cardan to auouch otherwise; for our waters are not the causes, but the signes of their infections when they drinke, as I elsewhere haue noted in the chapter of cattell, as also that we haue a spring neere Saffron Walden, and not farre from the house of the lord Audleie, which is of such force, that it looseth the bodie of him that drinketh therof in verie gentle maner, and beside that is verie delectable & pleasant to be taken, as I haue found by experience. I heare also of two welles néere London, of which the one is verie excellent water, the other will beare no sope, and yet so situat that the one is hard by the other. And thus much of waters.



[Sidenote: Great abundance of wood sometime in England.]

It should séeme by ancient records, and the testimonie of sundrie authors, that the whole countries of Lhoegres and Cambria, now England and Wales, haue sometimes béene verie well replenished with great woods & groues, although at this time the said commoditie be not a little decaied in both, and in such wise that a man shall oft ride ten or twentie miles in ech of them, and find verie little or rather none at all, except it be néere vnto townes, gentlemens houses, & villages, where the inhabitants haue planted a few elmes, okes, hazels, or ashes about their dwellings for their defense from the rough winds, and keeping of the stormie weather from annoiance of the same. This scarsitie at the first grew (as it is [Page 356] thought) either by the industrie of man, for maintenance of tillage (as we vnderstand the like to be doone of late by the Spaniards in the west Indies, where they fired whole woods of verie great compasse therby to come by ground whereon to sow their graines) or else thorough the couetousnesse of such, as in preferring of pasture for their shéepe and greater cattell, doo make small account of firebote and timber: or finallie by the crueltie of the enimies, whereof we haue sundrie examples declared in our histories. Howbeit where the rocks and quarrie grounds are, I take the swart of the earth to be so thin, that no tree of anie greatnesse, other than shrubs and bushes, is able to grow or prosper long therein for want of sufficient moisture wherewith to feed them with fresh humour, or at the leastwise of mould, to shrowd, staie vpright, and cherish the same in the blustering winters weather, till they may grow vnto anie greatnesse, and spread or yéeld their rootes downe right into the soile about them: and this either is or may be one other cause, wherefore some places are naturallie void of wood. But to procéed. Although I must needs confesse that there is good store of great wood or timber here and there, euen now in some places of England, yet in our daies it is far vnlike to that plentie, which our ancestors haue séene heretofore, when statelie building was lesse in vse. For albeit that there were then greater number of mesuages and mansions almost in euerie place; yet were their frames so slight and slender, that one meane dwelling house in our time is able to counteruaile verie manie of them, if you consider the present charge with the plentie of timber that we bestow vpon them. In times past men were contented to dwell in houses, builded of sallow, willow, plumtree, hardbeame, and elme, so that the vse of oke was in maner dedicated wholie vnto churches, religious houses, princes palaces, noblemens lodgings, & nauigation: but now all these are reiected, [Sidenote: Desire of much wealth and ease abateth manhood, & ouerthroweth a manlie courage.] and nothing but oke anie whit regarded. And yet sée the change, for when our houses were builded of willow, then had we oken men; but now that our houses are come to be made of oke, our men are not onlie become willow, but a great manie through Persian delicacie crept in among vs altogither of straw, which is a sore alteration. In those the courage of the owner was a sufficient defense to kéepe the house in safetie, but now the assurance of the timber, double doores, lockes and bolts must defend the man from robbing. Now haue we manie chimnies and yet our tenderlings complaine of rheumes, catarhs and poses. Then had we none but reredosses, and our heads did neuer ake. For as the smoke in those daies was supposed to be a sufficient hardning for the timber of the house; so it was reputed a far better medicine to kéepe the good man and his familie from the quacke or pose, wherewith as then verie few were oft acquainted.

Of the curiousnesse of these piles I speake not, sith our workemen are growne generallie to such an excellencie of deuise in the frames now made, that they farre passe the finest of the old. And such is their husbandrie in dealing with their timber, that the same stuffe which in time past was reiected as crooked, vnprofitable, and to no vse but the fire, dooth now come in the fronts and best part of the worke. Wherby the common saieng is likewise in these daies verified in our mansion houses, which earst was said onelie of the timber for ships, that no oke can grow so crooked but it falleth out to some vse, & that necessarie in the nauie. It is a world to sée moreouer how diuerse men being bent to building, and hauing a delectable veine in spending of their goods by that trade, doo dailie imagine new deuises of their owne to guide their workemen withall, and those more curious and excellent alwaies than the former. In the procéeding also of their workes, how they set vp, how they pull downe, how they inlarge, how they restreine, how they ad to, how they take from, whereby their heads are neuer idle, their purses neuer shut, nor their bookes of account neuer made perfect.

"Destruunt, ædificant, mutant quadrata rotundis"

saith the poet. So that if a man should well consider of all the od crotchets in such a builders braine, he would thinke his head to haue euen inough of those affaires onelie, & therefore iudge that he should not well be able to deale in anie other. But such commonlie are our [Page 357] workemasters, that they haue beside this veine afore mentioned, either great charge of merchandizes, little lesse businesse in the commonwealth, or finallie no small dealings otherwise incident vnto them, wherby gaine ariseth, and some trouble oft among withall. Which causeth me to wonder not a little how they can plaie the parts so well of so manie sundrie men, whereas diuerse other of greater forecast in apparance can seldome shift well or thriue in anie one of them. But to our purpose.

We haue manie woods, forrests, and parks, which cherish trées abundantlie, although in the woodland countries there is almost no hedge that hath not some store of the greatest sort, beside infinit numbers of hedgerowes, groues, and springs, that are mainteined of purpose for the building and prouision of such owners as doo possesse the same. Howbeit as euerie soile dooth not beare all kinds of wood, so there is not anie wood, parke, hedgerow, groue, or forrest, that is not mixed with diuerse, as oke, ash, hasell, hawthorne, birch, béech, hardbeame, hull, sorfe, quicken aspe, poplers, wild cherie, and such like, wherof oke hath alwaies the preheminence, as most méet for building and the nauie, whervnto it is reserued. This tree bringeth foorth also a profitable kind of mast, whereby such as dwell néere vnto the aforesaid places doo cherish and bring vp innumerable heards of swine. In time of plentie of this mast, our red and fallow déere will not let to participat thereof with our hogs, more than our nete: yea our common pultrie also if they may come vnto them. But as this [Sidenote: The like haue I séene where hens doo féed vpon the tender blades of garlike.] abundance dooth prooue verie pernicious vnto the first, so these egs which these latter doo bring foorth (beside blackenesse in color and bitternesse of tast) haue not seldome beene found to bréed diuerse diseases vnto such persons as haue eaten of the same. I might ad in like sort the profit insuing by the barke of this wood, whereof our tanners haue great vse in dressing of leather, and which they buie yearelie in Maie by the fadame, as I haue oft séene: but it shall not néed at this time to enter into anie such discourse, onlie this I wish, that our sole and vpper leathering may haue their due time, and not be hasted on by extraordinarie slights, as with ash, barke, &c. Whereby as I grant that it séemeth outwardlie to be verie thicke & well doone: so if you respect the sadnes thereof, it dooth prooue in the end to be verie hollow & not able to hold out water. Neuerthelesse we haue good lawes for redresse of this enormitie, but it cōmeth to passe in these as in the execution of most penall statutes. For the gaines to be gotten by the same being giuen to one or two hungrie and vnthriftie persons, they make a shew of great reformation at the first, & for a litle while, till they find that following of sute in law against the offendors is somwhat too chargeable and tedious. This therefore perceiued, they giue ouer the law, and fall to the admission of gifts and rewards to winke at things past, and when they haue once gone ouer their ground with this kind of tillage, then doo they tender licences, and offer large dispensations vnto him that shall aske the same, thereby to doo what him listeth in his trade for an yearelie pension, whereby the bribour now groweth to some certeine reuenues, & the tanner to so great libertie that his lether is much worse than before. But is not this a mockerie of our lawes, & manifest illusion of the good subiect whom they thus pill & poll? Of all oke growing in England the parke oke is the softest, and far more spalt and brickle than the hedge oke. And of all in Essex, that growing in Bardfield parke is the finest for ioiners craft: for oftentimes haue I seene of their workes made of that oke so fine and faire, as most of the wainescot that is brought hither out of Danske, for our wainescot is not made in England. Yet diuerse haue assaied to deale without okes to that end, but not with so good successe as they haue hoped, bicause the ab or iuice will not so soone be remoued and cleane drawne out, which some attribute to want of time in the salt water. Neuerthelesse in building, so well the hedge as the parke oke go all one waie, and neuer so much hath beene spent in a hundred years before, as is in ten yeare of our time; for euerie man almost is a builder, and he that hath bought any small parcell of ground, be it neuer so little, will not be quiet till he haue pulled downe the old house (if anie were there standing) and set vp a new after his owne deuise. But wherevnto will this curiositie come?

Of elme we haue great store in euerie high waie and elsewhere, yet haue I not séene [Page 358] thereof anie togither in woods or forrests, but where they haue béene first planted and then suffered to spread at their owne willes. Yet haue I knowen great woods of béech and hasell in manie places, especiallie in Barkeshire, Oxfordshire, and Buckinghamshire, where they are greatlie cherished, & conuerted to sundrie vses by such as dwell about them. Of all the elms that euer I saw, those in the south side of Douer court, in Essex néere Harwich are the most notable, for they grow (I meane) in crooked maner, that they are almost apt for nothing else but nauie timber, great ordinance, and béetels: and such thereto is their naturall qualitie, that being vsed in the said behalfe, they continue longer, and more long than anie the like trées in whatsoeuer parcell else of this land, without cuphar, shaking, or cleauing, as I find.

Ash commeth vp euerie where of it selfe, and with euerie kind of wood. And as we haue verie great plentie and no lesse vse of these in our husbandrie, so are we not without the plane, the vgh, the sorfe, the chestnut, the line, the blacke cherrie, and such like. And although that we inioy them not in so great plentie now in most places, as in times past, or the other afore remembred: yet haue we sufficient of them all for our necessarie turnes and vses, especiallie of vgh; as may be séene betwixt Rotheram and Sheffield, and some stéeds of Kent also, as I haue béene informed.

The firre, frankincense, and pine, we doo not altogither want, especiallie the firre, whereof we haue some store in Chatleie moore in Darbishire, Shropshire, Andernesse, and a mosse néere Manchester, not far from Leircesters house: although that in time past not onelie all Lancastershire, but a great part of the coast betwéene Chester and the Solme were well stored. As for the frankincense and pine, they haue béene planted onelie in colleges and cloisters, by the cleargie and religious heretofore. Wherefore (in mine opinion) we may rather saie that we want them altogether: for except they grew naturallie, and not by force, I sée no cause whie they should be accounted for parcell of our commodities. We haue also the aspe, whereof our fletchers make their arrowes. The seuerall kinds of poplars of our turners haue great vse for bolles, treies, troughs, dishes, &c. Also the alder, whose barke is not vnprofitable to die blacke withall, and therfore much vsed by our countrie wiues in colouring their knit hosen. I might here take occasion to speake of the great sales yéerelie made of wood, whereby an infinit quantitie hath bin destroied within these few yéers: but I giue ouer to trauell in this behalfe. Howbeit thus much I dare affirme, that if woods go so fast to decaie in the next hundred yeere of Grace, as they haue doone and are like to doo in this, sometimes for increase of sheepwalks, and some maintenance of prodigalitie and pompe (for I haue knowne a well burnished gentleman[*] that hath borne threescore at once in one [Sidenote: * This gentleman caught such an heate with this sore loade that he was faine to go to Rome for physicke, yet it could not saue his life, but hée must néeds die homewards.] paire of galigascons to shew his strength and brauerie) it is to be feared that the fennie bote, broome, turffe, gall, heath, firze, brakes, whinnes, ling, dies, hassacks, flags, straw, sedge, réed, rush, and also seacole will be good merchandize euen in the citie of London, wherevnto some of them euen now haue gotten readie passage, and taken vp their innes in the greatest merchants parlours. A man would thinke that our laws were able inough to make sufficient prouision for the redresse of this error & enormitie likelie to insue. But such is the nature of our countriemen, that as manie laws are made, so they will kéepe none; or if they be vrged to make answer, they will rather séeke some crooked construction of them to the increase of their priuat gaine, than yéeld themselues to be guided by the same for a common-wealth and profit to their countrie. So that in the end whatsoeuer the law saith we will haue our willes, whereby the wholesome ordinances of the prince are contemned, the trauell of the nobilitie & councellors as it were derided, the common wealth impouerished, & a few onelie inriched by this peruerse dealing. Thus manie thousand persons doo suffer hinderance by this their lewd behauiour. Hereby the wholesome laws of the prince are oft defrauded, and the good meaning magistrate in consultation about the common wealth vtterlie neglected. I would wish that I might liue no longer than to sée foure things in this land reformed, that is: the want of discipline in the church: the couetous dealing of most of our merchants in the preferment of the commodities of other countries, and hinderance of their owne: the [Page 359] holding of faires and markets vpon the sundaie to be abolished and referred to the wednesdaies: and that euerie man, in whatsoeuer part of the champaine soile enioieth fortie acres of land, and vpwards, after that rate, either by frée deed, copie hold, or fee farme, might plant one acre of wood, or sowe the same with oke mast, hasell, béech, and sufficient prouision be made that it may be cherished and kept. But I feare me that I should then liue too long, and so long, that I should either be wearie of the world, or the world of me; and yet they are not such things but they may easilie be brought to passe.

Certes euerie small occasion in my time is enough to cut downe a great wood, and euerie trifle sufficeth to laie infinit acres of corne ground vnto pasture. As for the taking downe of houses, a small fine will beare out a great manie. Would to God we might once take example of the Romans, who in restreint of superfluous grasing, made an exact limitation, how manie head of cattell ech estate might kéepe, and what numbers of acres should suffice for that and other purposes. Neither was wood euer better cherished or mansion houses mainteined, than by their lawes and statutes. Such also was their care in the maintenance of nauigation, that it was a great part of the charge of their consuls, yéerelie to view and looke vnto the hilles whereon great timber did grow, least their vnnecessarie faults for the satisfaction of the priuat owner, and his couetous mind might prooue a preiudice vnto the common wealth, in the hinderance of sufficient stuffe for the furniture of their nauie. Certes the like hereof is yet obserued in Venice. Read also I praie you what Suetonius writeth of the consulship of Bibulus and Cesar. As for the wood that Ancus Martius dedicated toward the maintenance of the common nauie, I passe it ouer, as hauing elsewhere remembred it vnto another end. But what doo I meane to speake of these, sith my purpose is onlie to talke of our owne woods? Well, take this then for a finall conclusion in woods, that beside some countries are alreadie driuen to sell their wood by the pound, which is an heauie report: within these fortie yéeres we shall haue little great timber growing aboue fortie yéeres old; for it is commonlie séene that those yoong staddles which we leaue standing at one & twentie yéeres fall, are vsuallie at the next sale cut downe without any danger of the statute, and serue for fire bote, if it please the owner to burne them.

[Sidenote: Marises and fennes.]

Marises and fennie bogges we haue manie in England, though not now so many as some of the old Roman writers doo specifie, but more in Wales, if you haue respect vnto the seuerall quantities of the countries. Howbeit as they are verie profitable in the summer halfe of the yéere, so are a number of them which lie lowe and néere to great riuers, to small commoditie in the winter part, as common experience dooth teach. Yet this I find of manie moores, that in times past they haue béene harder ground, and sundrie of them well replenished with great woods, that now are void of bushes. And for example hereof, we may sée the triall (beside the roots that are dailie found in the déeps of Monmouth, where turfe is digged, also in Wales, Aburgauennie, and Merioneth) in sundrie parts of Lancashire, where great store of firre hath growen in times past, as I said, and the people go vnto this daie into their fens and marises with long spits, which they dash here and there vp to the verie cronge into the ground. In which practise, (a thing commonlie doone in winter) if they happen to smite vpon anie firre trées which lie there at their whole lengths, or other blocks, they note the place, and about haruest time, when the ground is at the driest, they come againe and get them vp, and afterward carieng them home, applie them to their vses. The like doo they in Shropshire with the like, which hath beene felled in old time, within 7 miles of Salop. Some of them foolishlie suppose the same to haue lien there since Noies floud: and other more fond than the rest, imagine them to grow euen in the places where they find them, without all consideration that in times past, the most part, if not all Lhoegres and Cambria was generallie replenished with wood, which being felled or ouerthrowne vpon sundrie occasions, was left lieng in some places still on the ground, and in processe of time became to be quite ouergrowne with earth and moulds, which moulds wanting their due sadnesse, are now turned into moorie plots. Wherby it commeth to passe also, that great plentie of water commeth betwéene the new loose swart and the old hard earth, that being drawen [Page 360] awaie by ditching and draines (a thing soone doone if our countrie-men were painfull in that behalfe) might soone leaue a drie soile to the great lucre and aduantage of the owner. We find in our histories, that Lincolne was somtime builded by Lud brother to Cassibelan, who called it Cair Ludcoit, of the great store of woods that inuironed the same: but now the commoditie is vtterlie decaied there, so that if Lud were aliue againe, he would not call it his citie in the wood, but rather his towne in the plaines: for the wood (as I heare) is wasted altogither about the same. The hilles called the Peke were in like sort named Mennith and Orcoit, that is, the wooddie hilles and forrests. But how much wood is now to be séene in those places, let him that hath béene there testifie, if he list; for I heare of no such store there as hath béene in time past by those that trauell that waie. And thus much of woods and marises, and so far as I can deale with the same.



As almightie GOD hath in most plentifull maner bestowed infinit, and those verie notable benefits vpon this Ile of Britaine, whereby it is not a little inriched: so in hot and naturall baths (whereof we haue diuerse in sundrie places) it manifestlie appéereth that he hath not forgotten England. There are sundrie baths therefore to be found in this realme, of which the first is called saint Vincents, the second Halliewell; both being places (in my opinion) more obscure than the other two, and yet not seldome sought vnto by such as stand in need. For albeit the fame of their forces be not so generallie spread, yet in some cases they are thought to be nothing inferior to the other, as diuerse haue often affirmed by their owne experience and triall. The third place wherein hot baths are to be found is néere vnto Buxston, a towne in Darbishire, situat in the high Peke, not passing sixtéene miles from Manchester, or Markechesterford, and twentie from Darbie, where, about eight or nine seuerall welles are to be séene; of which thrée are counted to be most excellent: but of all, the greatest is the hotest, void of corruption, and compared (as Iones saith) with those of Summersetshire, so cold indéed, as a quart of boiling water would be made if fiue quartes of running water were added therevnto; whereas on the other side, those of Bath likened vnto these, haue such heat appropriated vnto them, as a gallon of hot water hath when a quart of cold is mixed with the same. Herevpon the effect of this bath worketh more temperatlie and pleasantlie (as he writeth) than the other. And albeit that it maketh not so great spéed in cure of such as resort vnto it for helpe: yet it dealeth more effectuallie and commodiouslie than those in Summersetshire, and infer with all lesse greeuous accidents in the restreining of naturall issues, strengthening the affeebled members, assisting the liuelie forces, dispersing annoious oppilations, and qualifieng of sundrie griefes, as his experience hath oft confirmed. The like vertues haue the other two, but not in such measure: and therefore their operation is not so speedilie perceiued. The fourth place where baths are, is kings Newnam, and within certeine miles of Couentrie, the water wherof (as it is thought) procéedeth from some rocke of allume, and this I vnderstand by diuerse glouers which haue béene there, and also by mine owne experience, that it hath a tast much like to allume liquor, and yet nothing vnplesant nor vnsauorie in the drinking. There are thrée welles in all, but the chiefest and best of them riseth out of an hill, and runneth toward the south, & from thence infinit plentie of water without anie notable diminution of the spring is dailie caried into sundrie parties of the realme, & droonke by such as haue néed to occupie the same. Of the other two, one is reserued for such as be comelie personages and void of lothsome diseases: the other is left common for tag and rag; but clensed dailie as the other is, whereby it becommeth the wholesomer. Manie diseases also are cured in the same, as the palsie, dimnesse of sight, dulnesse of hearing, but especiallie the collike and the stone, old sores and gréene wounds; [Page 361] so that I suppose there was neuer anie compound medicine of greater and more spéedie force in these behalfes, than the vse of this simple liquor is to such as doo frequent it. The said water hath a naturall propertie also following it which is rare, for if a leafe, or sticke of ash, oke, &c: doo fall into the same, within a short space, such store of fine sand (comming no doubt out of the earth with the water) will congeale and gather about it, that the forme being reserued, and the inner part not lightlie altered, it will seeme to become an hard stone, and much like vnto that which is ingendred in the kidneis of a man, as I haue séene by experience. At the first entrance it is verie cold, but after a season it warmeth the goer in, casting him into an indifferent heat. And this is furthermore remembred of it, that no man hath yet susteined anie manner of impeachment through the coldnesse of the same. The vertue thereof was found 1579 about Whitsuntide, by a man who had wounded himselfe, & comming by the same water, thought onelie to wash the blood from his hand therewith, and so to go home and séeke for helpe by surgerie: finallie finding the paine well asswaged, & the wound faire clensed, he departed, and misliking his vsuall medicins, he eftsoones came againe, and so often indéed vnto the said water till his hand was healed outright without anie other practise. By this meanes also he became a counsellor to other being hurt or in paine, that they should trie the vertue of this spring, who finding ease also, gaue out such commendation of the said water, that now at this present their fame is fullie equall, and the resort vnto them nothing inferior to that of the old baths. Beside this, the cures of such diseases as their forces do extend vnto, is much more speedie than we may haue at the other; and this is one commoditie also not smallie to be considered of. The fift place of baths or medicinable welles is at an hamlet called Newton, a little from saint Neots, or (as we pronounce it) saint Needs, which is ten or twelue miles from Cambridge, where two springs are knowne to be, of which the one is verie sweet and fresh, the other brackish & salt; this is good for scabs and leaperie (as it is said) the other for dimnesse of sight. Verie manie also doo make their repaire vnto them for sundrie diseases, some returning whole, and some nothing at all amended, bicause their cure is without the reach and working of those waters. Neuer went people so fast from the church, either vnto a faire or market, as they go to these wels, and those neere Rugbie, both places being discouered in this 1579 of Grace. I heare of another well to be found also about Ratcliffe néere London, euen at the same season. But sith rumors are now spred almost of euerie spring, & vaine tales flie about in maner of euerie water, I surcease to speake at all of anie other, till further experience doo trie whether they be medicinable or not: and yet I doubt not but most of these alredie mentioned haue heretofore bin knowne & remembred also, though confusedlie by the writers of old time; & yet in processe of time either neglected or forgotten, by meanes of sundrie troubles and turmoiles made in this realme by Danes, and other outward enimies, whereby their manifold benefit hath woonderfullie béene missed.

The last place of our baths, is a citie in Summersetshire, which taketh his name of the hot waters there to be séene and vsed. At the first it was called Cair Bledud, and not Cair Bledune, as some would haue it, for that is the old name of the ancient castell at Malmesburie, which the Saxons named Yngleburne. Ptolomie afterward called it Thermæ, other Aquæ solis, or Scamannia, or Acmancester, but now it hight generallie Bath in English, and vnder that name it is likelie to continue. The citie of it selfe is a verie ancient thing, no doubt, as may yet appeare by diuerse notable antiquities ingraued in stone, to be séene in the wals thereof; and first of all betweene the south gate and the west, and betwixt the west gate and the north.

The first is the antike head of a man, made all flat, with great locks of haire, much like to the coine that I haue seene of Antius the Romane. The second betweene the south and the north gate is an image, as I take it, of Hercules, for he held in each hand a serpent, and so dooth this. Thirdlie there standeth a man on foot with a sword in his one hand, and a buckler stretched out in the other. There is also a branch that lieth folded and wreathed into circles, like to the wreath of Alcimedon. There are moreouer two naked images, [Page 362] whereof the one imbraceth the other, beside sundrie antike heads, with ruffled haire, a greiehound running, and at his taile certeine Romane letters, but so defaced that no man liuing can read them at this present. There is moreouer the image of Lacaon, inuironed with two serpents, and an other inscription, and all these betwéene the south and the west gates, as I haue said before.

Now, betweene the west and north gate are two inscriptions, of which some words are euident to be read, the residue are cleane defaced. There is also the image of a naked man, and a stone in like sort, which hath "Cupidines & labruscas intercurrentes," and a table hauing at each hand an image vined and finelie florished both aboue and beneath. Finallie (sauing that I saw afterward the image of a naked man grasping a serpent in each hand) there was an inscription of a toome or buriall, wherein these words did plainelie appeare, "Vixit annos xxx" but so defusedlie written, that letters stood for whole words, and two or thrée letters combined into one. Certes I will not saie whether these were set into the places where they now stand by the gentiles, or brought thither from other ruines of the towne it selfe, and placed afterward in those wals, in their necessarie reparations. But howsoeuer the matter standeth, this is to be gathered by our histories, that Bladud first builded that citie there, and peraduenture might also kindle the sulphurous veines, of purpose to burne continuallie there in the honour of Minerua: by which occasion the springs thereabout did in processe of time become hot & not vnprofitable, for sundrie kinds of diseases. Indeed the later Pagans dreamed, that Minerua was the chéefe goddesse and gouernesse of these waters, bicause of [Sidenote: Chap. 25.] the néerenesse of hir temple vnto the same. Solinus addeth furthermore, how that in hir said temple, the fire which was continuallie kept, did neuer consume into dead sparkles; but so soone as the embers thereof were cold, they congealed into clots of hard stone: all which I take to be nothing else than the effect of the aforesaid fire, of the sulphurous veine kindled in the earth, from whence the waters doo come. That these baths or waters are [Sidenote: The Pyritis is found almost in euerie veine of mettall in great plentie, diuersities and colour, and somtimes mixed with that mettall of whose excrements it consisteth.] deriued from such, the marchasites, which the Grecians call Pyritis, per antonomasiam (for being smit with the iron, it yéeldeth more sparkes than anie flint or calcedonie, and therefore seemeth to deserue the name aboue the rest) and besides these other stones mixed with some copper, and dailie found vpon the mounteins thereabouts will beare sufficient witnesse, though I would write the contrarie. Doctor Turner also the father of English physicke, and an excellent diuine, supposeth that these springs doo draw their forces from sulphur: or if there be anie other thing mingled withall, he gesseth that it should be salt peter, bicause he found an obscure likelihood of the same, euen in the crosse bath. But that they participate with anie allume at all, he could neuer till his dieng daie be induced to beléeue. I might here (if I thought it necessarie) intreat of the notable situation of the citie, which standeth in a pleasant bottome, inuironed on euerie side with great hils, out of the which come so manie springs of pure water by sundrie waies vnto the citie, and in such abundance, as that euerie house is serued with the same by pipes of lead, the said mettall being the more plentious and lesse of value vnto them, bicause it is not had far off from those quarters. It should not be amisse also to speake of the foure gates, number of parish churches, bridges, religious houses dissolued, and their founders, if place did serue therefore: but for so much as my purpose is not to deale in this behalfe, I will omit the mention of these things, and go in hand with the baths themselues, wherof in the title of this chapiter I protested to intreat.

There are two springs of water (as Leland saith) in the west south west part of the towne, [Sidenote: Crosse bath.] whereof the biggest is called the crosse bath, of a certeine crosse that was erected sometime in the middest thereof. This bath is much frequented by such as are diseased with leaprie, pockes, scabs, and great aches: yet of it selfe it is verie temperate and pleasant, hauing eleuen or twelue arches of stone in the sides thereof, for men to stand vnder, when raine dooth ought annoie them.

[Sidenote: Common bath.]

The common bath, or as some call it, the hot bath, is two hundred foot, or thereabout from the crosse bath, lesse in compasse within the wall than the other, and with onelie seauen [Page 363] arches, wrought out of the maine inclosure. It is worthilie called the hot bath, for at the first comming into it, men thinke that it would scald their flesh, and lose it from the bone: but after a season, and that the bodies of the commers thereto be warmed throughlie in the same, it is more tollerable and easie to be borne. Both these baths be in the middle of a little stréet, and ioine to S. Thomas hospitall, so that it may be thought that Reginald bishop of Bath made his house néere vnto these common baths, onelie to succour such poore people as should resort vnto them.

[Sidenote: Kings bath.]

The kings bath is verie faire and large, standing almost in the middle of the towne, at the west end of the cathedrall church. It is compassed about with a verie high stone wall, and the brims thereof are mured round about, where in be two and thirtie arches for men and women to stand in separatlie, who being of the gentrie for the most part, doo resort thither [Sidenote: Hot houses in some countries little better than brodels.] indifferentlie, but not in such lasciuious sort as vnto other baths and hot houses of the maine, whereof some write more a great deale than modestie should reueale, and honestie performe. There went a sluce out of this bath, which serued in times past the priorie with water, which was deriued out of it vnto two places, and commonlie vsed for baths, but now I doo not thinke that they remaine in vsage.

[Sidenote: Colour of the water of the baths.]

As for the colour of the water of all the bathes, it is most like to a déepe blew, and reeketh much after the maner of a seething pot, commonlie yéelding somwhat a sulpherous [Sidenote: Taste of the water.] taste, and verie vnpleasant sauour. The water also that runneth from the two small baths, goeth by a dyke into the Auon by west, and beneath the bridge: but the same that goeth from the kings bath turneth a mill, and after goeth into Auon aboue Bath bridge, where it loseth both force and tast, and is like vnto the rest. In all the three baths a man maie euidentlie [Sidenote: Fall or issue of the water.] see how the water bubbleth vp from the springs. This is also to be noted, that at certeine times all entrances into them is vtterlie prohibited, that is to saie, at high noone, and midnight: for at those two seasons, and a while before and after, they boile verie feruentlie, and become so hot that no man is able to indure their heat, or anie while susteine their force and vehement working. They purge themselues furthermore from all such filth as the diseased doo leaue in each of them, wherfore we doo forbeare the rash entrance into them at that time: and so much the rather, for that we would not by contraction of anie new diseases, depart more gréeuouslie affected than we came vnto the citie, which is in déed a thing [Sidenote: Not good to enter into baths at all seasons.] that each one should regard. For these causes therefore they are commonlie shut vp from halfe an houre after ten of the clocke in the forenoone, to halfe an houre after one in the afternoone, and likewise at midnight: at which times the kéeper of them resorteth to his charge, openeth the gates, and leaueth (or should leaue) frée passage vnto such as come vnto them. Hitherto Leland.

What cost of late hath béene bestowed vpon these baths by diuerse of the nobilitie, gentrie, communaltie, and cleargie, it lieth not in me to declare: yet as I heare, they are not onelie verie much repared and garnished with sundrie curious péeces of workemanship, partlie touching their commendation, and partlie for the ease and benefit of such as resort vnto them; but also better ordered, clenlier kept, & more friendlie prouision made for such pouertie as dailie repaireth thither. But notwithstanding all this, such is the generall estate of things in Bath, that the rich men maie spend while they will, and the poore beg whilest they list for their maintenance and diet so long as they remaine there: and yet I denie not but that there is verie good order in that citie for all degrées. But where shall a man find anie equall regard of poore and rich, though God dooth giue these his good gifts fréelie, & vnto both alike? I would here intreat further of the customs vsed in these baths, what number of physicians dailie attend vpon those waters, for no man (especiallie such as be able to interteine them) dooth enter into these baths before he consult with the physician; also, what diet is to be obserued, what particular diseases are healed there, and to what end the commers thither doo drinke oftimes of that medicinable liquor: but then I should excéed the limits of a description. Wherefore I passe it ouer to others, hoping that some man yer long will vouchsafe to performe that at large, which the famous clearke Doctor Turner hath brieflie yet happilie [Page 364] begun, touching the effects & working of the same. For hitherto I doo not know of manie that haue trauelled in the natures of those baths of our countrie, with anie great commendation; much lesse of anie that hath reuealed them at the full for the benefit of our nation, or commoditie of strangers that resort vnto the same.



Hauing taken some occasion to speake here and there in this treatise of antiquities, it shall not be amis to deale yet more in this chapter, with some of them apart, & by themselues, whereby the secure authoritie of the Romans ouer this Iland maie in some cases more manifestlie appeare. For such was their possession of this Iland on this side of the Tine, that they held not one or two, or a few places onelie vnder their subiection, but all the whole countrie from east to west, from the Tine to the British sea, so that there was no region void of their gouernance: notwithstanding that vntill the death of Lucius, and extinction of his issue, they did permit the successors of Lud and Cimbaline to reigne and rule amongest them, though vnder a certeine tribute, as else-where I haue declared. The chéefe cause that vrgeth me to speake of antiquities, is the paines that I haue taken to gather great numbers of them togither, intending (if euer my Chronologie shall happen to come abroad) to set downe the liuelie portraitures of euerie emperour ingrauen in the same: also the faces of Pompeie, Crassus, the seuen kings of the Romans, Cicero, and diuerse other, which I haue prouided readie for the purpose, beside the monuments and liuelie images of sundrie philosophers, and kings of this Iland, since the time of Edward the Confessor. Wherof although presentlie I want a few, yet I doo not doubt but to obteine them all, if friendship at the leastwise procured for monie shall be able to preuaile. But as it hath doone hitherto, so the charges to be emploied vpon these brasen or copper images, will hereafter put by the impression of that treatise: whereby it maie come to passe, that long trauell shall soone proue to be spent in vaine, and much cost come to verie small successe. Whereof yet I force not greatlie, sith by this means I haue reaped some commoditie vnto my selfe, by searching of the histories, which often minister store of examples readie to be vsed in my function, as occasion shall mooue me. But to procéed with my purpose.

Before the comming of the Romans, there was a kind of copper monie currant here in Britaine, as Cæsar confesseth in the fift booke of his Commentaries, but I find not of what maner it was. Hereto he addeth a report of certeine rings, of a proportionate weight, which they vsed in his time, in stead likewise of monie. But as hitherto it hath not bene my lucke (I saie) to haue the certeine view of anie of these, so after the comming of the Romans, they inforced vs to abandon our owne, and receiue such imperiall monies or coines, as for the paiment of their legions was dailie brought ouer vnto them. What coines the Romans had, it is easie to be knowne, and from time to time much of it is found in manie places of this Iland, as well of gold and siluer, as of copper, brasse, and other mettall, much like stéele, almost of euerie emperour. So that I account it no rare thing to haue of the Roman coine, albeit that it still represent an image of our captiuitie, and maie be a good admonition for vs, to take heed how we yéeld our selues to the regiment of strangers. Of the store of these monies, found vpon the Kentish coast, I haue alreadie made mention in the description of Richborow, and chapter of Iles adiacent vnto the British Albion, and there shewed also how simple fishermen haue had plentie of them, and that the conies in making profers and holes to bréed in, haue scraped them out of the ground in verie great abundance. In speaking also of S. Albans, in the chapter of townes and villages, I haue not omitted to tell what plentie of these coines haue bene gathered there: wherfore I shall not néed here to repeat the same againe. Howbeit this is certeine, that the most part of all these antiquities, to be found [Page 365] within the land, & distant from the shore, are to be gotten either in the ruines of ancient cities and townes decaied, or in inclosed burrowes, where their legions accustomed sometime to winter, as by experience is dailie confirmed. What store hath béene séene of them in the citie of London, which they called Augusta, of the legion that soiourned there, & likewise in Yorke named also Victrix, of the legion Victoria, or Altera Roma (because of the beautie and fine building of the same) I my selfe can partlie witnesse, that haue séene, & often had of them, if better testimonie were wanting. The like I maie affirme of Colchester, where those of Claudius, Adrian, Traian, Vespasian, and other, are oftentimes plowed vp, or found by other means: also of Cantorburie, Andredeschester (now decaied) Rochester, then called Durobreuum, Winchester, and diuerse other beyond the Thames, which for breuitie sake I doo passe ouer in silence. Onlie the chiefe of all and where most are found in deed, is néere vnto Carleon and Cairgwent in Southwales, about Kenchester, thrée miles aboue Hereford, Aldborow, Ancaster, Bramdon, Dodington, where a spurre and péece of a chaine of gold were found in king Henrie the eight his daies, besides much of the said Roman coine, Binchester, Camalet, Lacocke vpon Auon, and Lincolne, Dorchester, Warwike, and Chester, where they are often had in verie great abundance. It seemeth that Ancaster hath beene a great thing, for manie square & colored pauements, vaults, and arches are yet found, and often laid open by such as dig and plow in the fields about the same. And amongst these, one Vresbie or Rosebie, a plowman, did ere vp not long since a stone like a trough, couered with another stone, wherein was great foison of the aforesaid coines. The like also was séene not yet fortie yeares agone about Grantham. But in king Henrie the eight his daies, an husbandman had far better lucke at Harleston, two miles from the aforesaid place, where he found not onelie great plentie of this coine, but also an huge brasse pot, and therein a large helmet of pure gold, richlie fretted with pearle, and set with all kind of costlie stones: he tooke vp also chaines much like vnto beads of siluer, all which, as being (if a man might ghesse anie certeintie by their beautie) not likelie to be long hidden, he presented to quéene Katharine then lieng at Peterborow, and therewithall a few ancient rolles of parchment written long agone, though so defaced with mouldinesse, and rotten for age, that no man could well hold them in his hand without falling into péeces, much lesse read them by reason of their blindnesse.

In the beginning of the same kings daies also at Killeie a man found as he eared, an arming girdle, harnessed with pure gold, and a great massie pomell with a crosse hilt for a sword of the same mettall, beside studs and harnesse for spurs, and the huge long spurs of like stuffe, whereof one doctor Ruthall got a part into his hands. The boroughs or buries, wherof I spake before, were certeine plots of ground, wherin the Romane souldiers did vse to lie when they kept in the open fields as chosen places, from whence they might haue easie accesse vnto their aduersaries, if anie outrage were wrought or rebellion mooued against them. And as these were the vsuall aboads for those able legions that serued dailie in the wars, so had they other certeine habitations for the old and forworne souldiers, whereby diuerse cities grew in time to be replenished with Romane colonies, as Cairleon, Colchester, Chester, and such other, of which, Colchester bare the name of Colonia long time, and wherein A. Plautius builded a temple vnto the goddesse of Victorie (after the departure of Claudius) which Tacitus calleth "Aram sempiternæ dominationis," a perpetuall monument of that our British seruitude. But to returne vnto our borowes, they were generallie walled about with stone wals, and so large in compasse that some did conteine thirtie, fourtie, three score, or eightie acres of ground within their limits: they had also diuerse gates or ports vnto each of them, and of these not a few remaine to be seene in our time, as one for example not far from great Chesterford in Essex, néere to the limits of Cambridgshire, which I haue often viewed, and wherein the compasse of the verie wall with the places where the gates stood is easie to be discerned: the like also is to be séene at a place within two miles south of Burton, called the Borow hils. In these therefore and such like, and likewise at Euolsburg, now S. Neots, or S. Needs, and sundrie other places, especiallie vpon the shore and coasts of Kent, as Douer, [Page 366] Rie, Romneie, Lid, &c: is much of their coine also to be found, and some péeces or other are dailie taken vp, which they call Borow pence, Dwarfs monie, Hegs pence, Feirie groats, Jewes monie, & by other foolish names not woorthie to be remembred. At the comming of the Saxons, the Britons vsed these holds as rescues for their cattell in the daie and night, when their enimies were abroad; the like also did the Saxons against the Danes, by which occasions (and now and then by carieng of their stones to helpe forward other buildings néere at hand) manie of them were throwne downe and defaced, which otherwise might haue continued for a longer time, and so your honour would saie, if you should happen to peruse the thickenesse and maner of building of those said wals and borowes. It is not long since a siluer saucer of verie ancient making was found néere to Saffron Walden, in the open field among the [Sidenote: Sterbirie a place where an armie hath lien.] Sterbirie hils, and eared vp by a plough, but of such massie greatnesse, that it weighed better than twentie ounces, as I haue heard reported. But if I should stand in these things vntill I had said all that might be spoken of them, both by experience and testimonie of Leland in his Commentaries of Britaine, and the report of diuerse yet liuing, I might make a greater chapter than would be either conuenient or profitable to the aeader: wherefore so much onelie shall serue the turne for this time as I haue said alreadie of antiquities found within our Iland, especiallie of coine, whereof I purposed chiefelie to intreat.



The Saxon coine before the conquest is in maner vtterlie vnknowne to me: howbeit if my coniecture be anie thing, I suppose that one shilling of siluer in those daies did counterpeise our common ounce, though afterward it came to passe that it arose to twentie pence, and so continued vntill the time of king Henrie the eight, who first brought it to thrée shillings and foure pence, & afterward our siluer coine vnto [Sidenote: Copper monie.] brasse & copper monies, by reason of those inestimable charges, which diuerse waies oppressed him. And as I gather such obscure notice of the shilling which is called in Latine Solidus, so I read more manifestlie of another which is the 48 part of a pound, and this also currant among the Saxons of our Ile, so well in gold as in siluer, at such time as 240 of their penies made vp a iust pound, fiue pence went to the shilling, and foure shillings to the ounce. But to procéed with my purpose. After the death of K. Henrie, Edward his sonne began to restore the aforesaid coine againe vnto fine siluer: so quéene Marie his successour did continue his good purpose, notwithstanding that in hir time the Spanish monie was verie cōmon in England, by reason of hir mariage with Philip king of Spaine.

[Sidenote: Siluer restored.]

After hir decease the ladie Elizabeth hir sister, and now our most gratious quéene, souereigne and princesse, did finish the matter wholie, vtterly abolishing the vse of copper and brasen coine, and conuerting the same into guns and great ordinance, she restored sundrie coines of fine siluer, as péeces of halfepenie farding, of a penie, of three halfe pence, péeces of two pence, of thrée pence, of foure pence (called the groat) of six pence vsuallie named the testone, and shilling of twelue pence, whereon she hath imprinted hir owne image, and emphaticall superscription. Our gold is either old or new. [Sidenote: Old gold.] The old is that which hath remained since the time of king Edward the third, or béene coined by such other princes as haue reigned since his deceasse, without anie abasing or diminution of the finesse of that mettall. Therof also we haue yet remaining, the riall, the George noble, the Henrie riall, the salut, the angell, and their smaller peeces, as halfes or quarters, though these in my time are not so common to be séene. I haue also beheld the souereigne of twentie shillings, and the péece of thirtie shillings, I haue heard likewise of péeces of fortie shillings, three pounds, fiue pounds, and ten pounds. But sith there were few of them coined, and those onelie at the commandement of kings, yearelie to bestow where their maiesties thought good in lieu [Page 367] of new yeares gifts and rewards: it is not requisit that I should remember them here amongst our currant monies.

[Sidenote: New gold.]

The new gold is taken for such as began to be coined in the latter daies of king Henrie the eight, at which time the finesse of the mettall began to be verie much alaied, & is not likelie to be restored for ought that I can see: and yet is it such as hath béene coined since by his successors princes of this realme, in value and goodnesse equall and not inferiour to the coine and currant gold of other nations, where each one dooth couet chiefelie to gather vp our old finer gold: so that the angels, rials, and nobles, are more plentifullie seene in France, Italie, and Flanders, than they be by a great deale within the realme of England, if you regard the paiments which they dailie make in those kinds of our coine. Our péeces now currant are of ten shillings, fiue shillings, and two shillings and six pence onelie: and those of sundrie stamps and names, as halfe souereigns (equall in weight with our currant shilling, whereby that gold is valued at ten times so much siluer) quarters of souereigns (otherwise called crownes) and halfe crownes: likewise angels, halfe angels, and quarters of angels, or if there be anie other, in good sooth I know them not, as one scarselie acquainted with any siluer at all, much lesse then (God it wot) with any store of gold.

The first currant shilling or siluer péeces of twelue pence stamped within memorie, were coined by K. Henrie the eight in the twentith yeare of his reigne, & those of fiue shillings, and of two shillings and six pence, & the halfe shilling by king Edward the sixt: but the od péeces aboue remembred vnder the groat by our high and mightie princesse quéene Elizabeth, the name of the groat, penie, two pence, halfe penie, and farding, in old time the greatest siluer monies if you respect their denominations onelie, being more ancient than that I can well discusse of the time of their beginnings. Yet thus much I read, that king Edward the first in the eight yeare of his reigne, did first coine the penie and smallest péeces of siluer roundwise, which before were square, and woont to beare a double crosse with a crest, in such sort that the penie might easilie be broken, either into halfes or quarters: by which shift onelie the people came by small monies, as halfe pence and fardings, that otherwise were not stamped nor coined of set purpose.

Of forren coines we haue all the ducats, the single, double, and the double double, the crusadoes, with the long crosse and the short: the portigue, a péece verie solemnelie kept of diuerse, & yet oft times abased with washing, or absolutelie counterfeited: and finallie the French and Flemish crownes, onlie currant among vs, so long as they hold weight. But of siluer coines, as the soules turnois, whereof ten make a shilling, as the franke dooth two shillings, and thrée franks the French crowne, &c: we haue none at all: yet are the dalders, and such often times brought ouer, but neuerthelesse exchanged as bullion, according to their finenesse and weight, and afterward conuerted into coine, by such as haue authoritie.

In old time we had sundrie mints in England, and those commonlie kept in abbaies and religious houses before the conquest, where true dealing was commonlie supposed most of all to dwell: as at Ramseie, S. Edmundsburie, Canturburie, Glassenburie, Peterborow, and such like, sundrie exemplificats of the grants whereof are yet to be seene in writing, especiallie that of Peterborow vnder the confirmation of pope Eugenius: wherevnto it appeereth further by a charter of king Edgar (which I haue) that they either held it or had another in Stanford. But after the Normans had once gotten the kingdome into their fingers, they trusted themselues best with the ouersight of their mints, and therefore erected diuerse of their owne, although they afterward permitted some for small péeces of siluer vnto sundrie of the houses aforesaid. In my time diuerse mints are suppressed, as Southwarke, Bristow, &c: and all coinage is brought into one place, that is to saie, the Tower of London, where it is continuallie holden and perused, but not without great gaine to such as deale withall. There is also coinage of tin holden yearelie at two seuerall times, that is to saie, Midsummer and Michaelmas in the west countrie; which at the first hearing I supposed to haue béene of monie of the said mettall, and granted by priuilege from some prince vnto the towns of [Page 368] Hailestone, Trurie, and Lostwithiell. Howbeit, vpon further examination of the matter, I find it to be nothing so, but an office onlie erected for the prince, wherin he is allowed the ordinarie customes of that mettall: and such blocks of tin as haue passed the hands of his officers, are marked with an especiall stampe, whereby it is knowne that the custome due for the same hath ordinarilie béene answered. It should séeme (and in my opinion is verie likelie to be true) that while the Romans reigned here, Kingstone vpon Thames (sometime a right noble citie and place where the Saxon kings were vsuallie crowned) was the chiefe place of their coinage for this prouince. For in earing of the ground about that towne in times past, and now of late (besides the curious foundation of manie goodlie buildings that haue béene ripped vp by plowes, and diuerse coines of brasse, siluer, and gold, with Romane letters in painted pots found there) in the daies of cardinall Woolseie, one such huge pot was discouered full as it were of new siluer latelie coined; another with plates of siluer readie to be coined; and the third with chaines of siluer and such broken stuffe redie (as it should appeere) to be melted into coinage, whereof let this suffice to countenance out my coniecture. Of coins currant before the comming of the Romans I haue elsewhere declared, that there were none at all in Britaine: but as the Ilanders of Scylira, the old Romans, Armenians, Scythians, Seritans, Sarmatians, Indians, and Essences did barter ware for ware, so the Britons vsed brasse or rings of iron, brought vnto a certeine proportion, in steed of monie, as the Lacedemonians & Bisantines also did, & the Achiui (as Homer writeth) who had (saith he) rough peeces of brasse and iron in stéed of coine, wherewith they purchased their wines.