John Taylor, the
[Or get this item
Renascence Edition was transcribed by Risa Stephanie Bear, January,
the text as found in Works of John Taylor, The Water Poet, Ed.
Charles Hindley, London: Reeves & Turner, 1876.
to this presentation is copyright © 2008 The
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T H E
P E N N Y L E
The Money-lesse perambulation,
of Iohn Taylor, Alias
the Kings Majesties
HOW HE TRAVAILED ON FOOT
From London to Edenborough in Scotland, not
any Money to or fro, neither Begging, Borrow-
ing, or Asking Meate, drinke or
With his Description of his Entertainment
in all places of his Iourney, and a true Report
of the vnmatchable Hunting in the Brea
of Marre and Badenoch in
With other Obseruations, some serious and
worthy of Memory, and some merry
and not hurtfull to be Remembred.
Lastly that (which is Rare in a Trauailer)
all is true.
L O N D O N
Printed by Edw. Allde, at the charges of the
TO THE TRULY
NOBLE AND RIGHT
HONORABLE LORD GEORGE MAR-
quis of Buckingham, Viscount Villiers, Baron of
Whaddon, Justice in Eyre of all his Majesty's
Forests, Parks, and Chases beyond Trent, Master
of the Horse to his Majesty, and one of the Gentle-
men of his Highness Royal Bed-Chamber, Knight
of the most Noble Order of the Garter, and
one of his Majesty's most Honorable
Privy Council of both the
Kingdoms of England
IGHT Honorable, and
worthy honoured Lord, as in my Travels, I was entertained, welcomed,
and relieved by many Honourable Lords, Worshipful Knights, Esquires,
Gentlemen, and others both in England and Scotland. So now your
Lordship's inclination hath incited, or invited my poor muse to shelter
herself under the shadow of your honorable patronage, not that there is
any worth at all in my sterile invention, but in all humility I
acknowledge that it is only your Lordship's acceptance, that is able to
make this nothing, something, and withal
engage me ever.
TO ALL MY LOVING ADVENTURERS,
BY WHAT NAME OR TITLE SOEVER,
MY GENERAL SALUTATION.
Travels of mine into Scotland, were not undertaken, neither in
imitation, or emulation of any man, but only devised by myself, on
purpose to make trial of my friends both in this Kingdom of England,
and that of Scotland, and because I would be an eye-witness of
divers things which I had heard of that Country; and whereas many
shallow-brained Critics, do lay an aspersion on me, that I was set on
by others, or that I did undergo this project, either in malice, or
mockage of Master Benjamin Jonson, vow by the faith of a
Christian, that their imaginations are all wide, for he is a gentleman,
to whom I am so much obliged for many undeserved courtesies that I have
received fron him, and from others by his favour, that I never to be so
impudent or ungrateful, as either to sufferer any man's persuasions, or
mine own instigation to incite me, to make so bad a requital, for so
much goodness formerly received; so much for that and now Reader, if
That I should write of cities' situations,
Or that of countries I should make relations:
Of brooks, crooks, nooks; of rivers, bournes and rills,
Of mountains, fountains, castles, towers and hills,
Of shires, and piers, and memorable things,
Of lives and deaths of great commanding kings,
I touch not those, they not belong to me;
But if such things as these you long to see,
Lay down my book, and but vouchsafe to read
The learned Camden, or laborious Speed.
And so God speed you and me, whilst I
Yours in all
Lordlings, list (if you have lust to list)
I write not here a tale of had I wist:
But you shall hear of travels, and relations,
Descriptions of strange (yet English) fashions.
And he that not believes what here is writ,
Let him (as I have done) make proof of it.
The year of grace, accounted (as I ween)
One thousand twice three hundred and eighteen,
And to relate all things in order duly,
Twas Tuesday last, the fourteenth day of July,
Saint Revels day, the almanack will tell ye
The sign in Virgo was, or near the belly:
The moon fun three days old) the wind full south;
At these times I began this trick of youth.
I speak not of the tide, for I understand,
My legs I made my oars, and rowed by land,
Though in the morning I began to go
Good fellows trooping, flocked me so,
That make what haste I could, the sun was set,
E're from the gates of London I could get.
At last I took my latest leave thus late,
At the Bell Inn, that's extra Aldersgate.
There stood a horse that my provant should carry,
From that place to the end of my fegary,
My horse no horse, or mare, but gelded nag,
That with good understanding bore my bag:
And of good carriage he himself did show,
These things are excellent in a beast you know.
There in my knapsack, (to pay hunger's fees)
I had good bacon, biscuit, neat's-tongue, cheese
With roses, barberries, of each conserves,
And mithridate, that vigorous health perserves:
And I entreat you take these words for no-lies,
I had good Aqua vitæ, Rosa so-lies:
With sweet Ambrosia, (the gods' own drink)
Most excellent gear for mortals, as I think,
Besides, I had both vinegar and oil,
That could a daring saucy stomach foil.
This foresaid Tuesday night 'twixt eight and nine,
Well rigged and ballasted, both with beer and wine,
I stumbling forward, thus my jaunt begun,
And went that night as far as Islington.
There did I find (I dare affirm it bold)
A Maidenhead of twenty-five years old,
But surely it was painted, like a whore,
And for a sign, or wonder, hang'd at door,
Which shows a Maidenhead, that's kept so long,
May be hang'd up, and yet sustain no wrong.
There did my loving friendly host begin
To entertain me freely to his inn:
And there my friends, and good associates,
Each one to mirth himself accommodates.
At Well-head both for welcome, and for cheer,
Having a good New ton, of good stale beer:
There did we Trundle down health, after health,
(Which oftentimes impairs both health and wealth.)
Till everyone had filled his mortal trunk,
And only No-body was three parts drunk.
The morrow next, Wednesday Saint Swithins day,
From ancient Islington I took my way.
At Holywell I was enforced carouse,
Ale high, and mighty, at the Blindman's House.
But there's a help to make amends for all,
That though the ale be great, the pots be small.
At Highgate Hill to a strange house I went,
And saw the people were to eating bent,
In either borrow'd, crav'd, ask'd, begg'd, or bought,
But most laborious with my teeth I wrought.
I did not this, 'cause meat or drink was scant,
But I did practise thus before my want;
Like to a tilter that would win the prize,
Before the day he'll often exercise.
So I began to put in use, at first
These principles 'gainst hunger, 'gainst thirst.
Close to the Gate, there dwelt a worthy man,
That well could take his whiff, and quaff his can,
Right Robin Good-fellow, but humours evil,
Do call him Robin Pluto, or the devil.
But finding him a devil, freely hearted,
With friendly farewells I took leave and parted,
And as alongst I did my journey take,
I drank at Broom's well, for pure fashion's sake,
two miles I travell'd then without a bait,
The Saracen's Head at Whetstone ent'ring straight,
I found an host, that might lead an host of men,
Exceeding fat, yet named Lean, and Fen.
And though we make small reck'ning of him here,
He's known to be a very great man there.
There I took leave of all my company,
Bade all farewell, yet spake to No-body.
Good reader think not strange, what I compile,
For No-body was with me all this while.
And No-body did drink, and, wink, and scink,
And on occasion freely spent his chink.
If anyone desire to know the man,
Walk, stumble, Trundle, but in Barbican.
There's as good beer and ale as ever twang'd,
And in that street kind No-body is hang'd.
But leaving him unto his matchless fame,
I to St. Albans in the evening came,
Where Master Taylor, at the Saracen's Head,
Unasked (unpaid for) me both lodged and fed.
The tapsters, hostlers, chamberlains, and all,
Saved me a labour, that I need not call,
The jugs were fill'd and fill'd, the cups went round,
And in a word great kindness there I found,
For which both to my cousin, and his men,
I'll still be thankful in word, deed, and pen.
Till Thursday morning there I made my stay,
And then I went plain Dunstable highway.
My very heart with drought methought did shrink,
I went twelve miles, and no one bade me drink.
Which made me call to mind, that instant time,
That drunkenness was a most sinful crime.
When Puddle-hill I footed down, and past
A mile from thence, I found a hedge at last.
There stroke we sail, our bacon, cheese, and bread,
We drew like fiddlers, and like farmers fed.
And whilst two hours we there did take our ease,
My nag made shift to mump green pulse, and peas.
Thus we our hungry stomachs did supply,
And drank the water of a brook hard by.
Away toward Hockley in the Hole, we make,
When straight a horseman did me overtake,
Who knew me, and would fain have giv'n me coin,
I said, my bonds did me from coin enjoin,
I thanked and prayed him to put up his chink,
And willingly I wished it drowned in drink.
Away rode he, but like an honest man,
I found at Hockley standing at the Swan,
A formal tapster, with a jug and glass,
Who did arrest me: I most willing was
To try the action, and straight put in bail,
My fees were paid before, with sixpence ale,
To quit this kindness, I most willing am,
The man that paid for all, his name is Dam,
At the Green Dragon, against Grays-Inn gate,
He lives in good repute, and honest state.
I forward went in this my roving race,
To Stony Stratford I toward night did pace,
My mind was fixed through the town to pass,
To find some lodging in the hay or grass,
But at the Queen's Arms, from the window there,
A comfortable voice I chanced to hear,
Call Taylor, Taylor, and be hang'd come hither,
I looked for small entreaty and went thither,
There were some friends, which I was glad to see,
Who knew my journey; lodg'd, and boarded me.
On Friday morn, as I would take my way,
My friendly host entreated me to stay,
Because it rain'd, he told me I should have
Meat, drink, and horse-meat and not pay or crave.
I thank'd him, and for his love remain his debtor,
But if I live, I will requite him better.
From Stony Stratford the way hard with stones,
Did founder me, and vex me to the bones,
In blustering weather, both for wind and rain,
Through Towcester I trotted with much pain,
Two miles from thence, we sat us down and din'd,
Well bulwarked by a hedge, from rain and wind.
We having fed, away incontinent,
With weary pace toward Daventry we went.
Four miles short of it, one o'ertook me there,
And told me he would leave a jug of beer,
At Daventry at the Horse-shoe for my use.
I thought it no good manners to refuse,
But thank'd him, for his kind unasked gift,
Whilst I was lame as scarce a leg could lift,
Came limping after to that stony town,
Whose hard streets made me almost halt right down.
There had my friend perform'd the words he said,
And at the door a jug of liquor staid,
The folks were all informed, before I came,
How, and wherefore my journey I did frame,
Which caused mine hostess from her door come out,
(Having a great wart rampant on her snout.)
The tapsters, hostlers, one another call,
The chamberlains with admiration all,
Were fill'd with wonder, more than wonderful,
As if some monster sent from the Mogul,
Some elephant from Africa, I had been,
Or some strange beast from the Amazonian Queen.
As buzzards, widgeons, woodcocks, and such fowl,
Do gaze and wonder at the broad-faced owl,
So did these brainless asses, all amaz'd,
With admirable Nonsense talk'd and gaz'd,
They knew my state (although not told by me)
That I could scarcely go, they all could see,
They drank of my beer, that to me was giv'n,
But gave me not a drop to make all ev'n,
And that which in my mind was most amiss,
My hostess she stood by and saw all this,
Had she but said, come near the house my friend,
For this day here shall be your journey's end.
Then had she done the thing which [she] did not,
And I in kinder words had paid the shot.
I do entreat my friends, (as I have some)
If they to Daventry do chance to come,
That they will baulk that inn; or if by chance,
Or accident into that house they glance,
Kind gentlemen, as they by you reap profit,
My hostess care of me, pray tell her of it,
Yet do not neither; lodge there when you will,
You for your money shall be welcome still.
From thence that night, although my bones were sore,
I made a shift to hobble seven miles more:
The way to Dunchurch, foul with dirt and mire,
Able, I think, both man and horse to tire.
On Dunsmoor Heath, a hedge doth there enclose
Grounds, on the right hand, there I did repose.
Wit's whetstone, Want, there made us quickly learn,
With knives to cut down rushes, and green fern,
Of which we made a field-bed in the field,
Which sleep, and rest, and much content did yield.
There with my mother earth, I thought it fit
To lodge, and yet no incest did commit:
My bed was curtain'd with good wholesome airs,
And being weary, I went up no stairs:
The sky my canopy, bright Phœbe shin'd
Sweet bawling Zephyrus breath'd gentle wind,
In heav'n's star-chamber I did lodge that night,
Ten thousand stars, me to my bed did light;
There barricadoed with a bank lay we
Below the lofty branches of a tree,
There my bed-fellows and companions were,
My man, my horse, a bull, four cows, two steer:
But yet for all this most confused rout,
We had no bed-staves, yet we fell not out.
Thus nature, like an ancient free upholster,
Did furnish us with bedstead, bed, and bolster;
And the kind skies, (for which high heav'n be thank'd,)
Allow'd us a large cov'ring and a blanket;
Auroras face 'gan light our lodging dark,
We arose and mounted, with the mounting lark,
Through plashes, puddles, thick, thin, wet and dry,
I travelled to the city Coventry.
There Master Doctor Holland caused me stay
The day of Saturn and the Sabbath day.
Most friendly welcome, he me did afford,
I was so entertain'd at bed and board,
Which as I dare not brag how much it was,
I dare not be ingrate and let it pass,
But with thanks many I remember it,
(Instead of his good deeds) in words and writ,
He used me like his son, more than a friend,
And he on Monday his commends did send
To Newhall, where a gentleman did dwell,
Who by his name is hight Sacheverell.
The Tuesday Julys one and twentieth day,
I to the city Lichfield took my way,
At Sutton Coldfield with some friends I met,
And much ado I had from thence to get,
There I was almost put unto my trumps,
My horse's shoes were worn as thin as pumps;
But noble Vulcan, a mad smuggy smith,
All reparations me did furnish with.
The shoes were well remov'd, my palfrey shod
And he referred the payment unto God.
I found a friend, when I to Lichfield came,
A joiner, and John Piddock is his name.
He made me welcome, for he knew my jaunt,
And he did furnish me with good provant:
He offered me some money, I refus'd it,
And so I took my leave, with thanks excus'd it,
That Wednesday, I a weary way did pass,
Rain, wind, stones, dirt, and dabbling dewy grass,
With here and there a pelting scatter'd village,
Which yielded me no charity, or pillage:
For all the day, nor yet the night that follow'd.
One drop of drink I'm sure my gullet swallow'd.
At night I came to a stony town called Stone.
Where I knew none, nor was I known of none:
I therefore through the streets held on my pace,
Some two miles farther to some resting place:
At last I spied a meadow newly mow'd,
The hay was rotten, the ground half o'erflow'd:
We made a breach, and entered horse and man,
There our pavilion, we to pitch began,
Which we erected with green broom and hay,
To expel the cold, and keep the rain away;
The sky all muffled in a cloud 'gan lower,
And presently there fell a mighty shower,
Which without intermission down did pour,
From ten a night, until the morning's four.
We all that time close in our couch did lie,
Which being well compacted kept us dry.
The worst was, we did neither sup nor sleep,
And so a temp'rate diet we did keep.
The morning all enrob'd in drifting fogs,
We being as ready as we had been dogs:
We need not stand upon long ready making,
But gaping, stretching, and our ears well shaking:
And for I found my host and hostess kind,
I like a true man left my sheets behind.
That Thursday morn, my weary course I fram'd,
Unto a town that is Newcastle nam'd.
(Not that Newcastle standing upon Tyne)
But this town situation doth confine
Near Cheshire, in the famous county Stafford,
And for their love, I owe them not a straw for't;
But now my versing muse craves some repose,
And whilst she sleeps I'll spout a little prose.
In this town of Newcastle, I overtook
an hostler, and I asked him what the next town was called, that was in
my way toward Lancaster, he holding the end of a riding rod in
his mouth, as if it had been a flute, pip'd me this answer, and said, Talk-on-the-Hill;
I asked him again what he said Talk-on-the-Hill: I demanded the
third time, and the time he answered me as he did before, Talk-on-the-Hill.
I began to grow chloeric. and asked him why he could not talk, or tell
me my way as well there as on the hill; at last I was resolv'd, that
the next town was four miles off me, and that the name of it was,
Talk-on-the-Hill: I had not travelled above two miles farther: but
my last night's supper (which was as much as nothing) my mind being
informed of it by my stomach. I made a virtue of necessity, and went to
breakfast in the Sun: I have fared better at three Suns many times
before now, in Aldersgate Street, Cripplegate, and new Fish
Street; but here is the odds, at those Suns they will come upon a
man with a tavern bill as sharp cutting as a tailor's bill of items: a
watchman's-bill, or a welsh-hook falls not half so heavy upon a man;
besides, most of the vintners have the law in their own hands, and have
all their actions, cases, bills of debt, and such reckonings tried at
their own bars; from whence there is no appeal. But leaving these
impertinences, in the material Sunshine, we eat a substantial dinner,
and like miserable guests we did budget up the reversions.
And now with sleep my muse hath eased her brain I'll
turn my style from prose, to verse again.
That which we could not have, we freely spar'd,
And wanting drink, most soberly we far'd.
We had great store of fowl (but 'twas foul way)
And kindly every step entreats me stay,
The clammy clay sometimes my heels would trip,
One foot went forward, the other back would slip,
This weary day, when I had almost past,
I came unto Sir Urian Leigh's at last,
At Adlington, near Macclesfield he doth dwell,
Belov'd, respected, and reputed well.
Through his great love, my stay with him was fix'd,
From Thursday night, till noon on Monday next,
At his own table I did daily eat,
Whereat may be suppos'd, did want no meat,
He would have giv'n me gold or silver either,
But I, with many thanks, received neither.
And thus much without flattery I dare swear,
He is a knight beloved far and near,
First he's beloved of his God above,
(Which love he loves to keep, beyond all love)
Next with a wife and children he is blest,
Each having God's fear planted in their breast,
With fair demaines, revenue of good lands,
He's fairly bless'd by the Almighty's hands.
And as he's happy in these outward things,
So from his inward mind continual springs
Fruits of devotion, deeds of piety,
Good hospitable works of charity,
Just in his actions, constant in his word,
And one that won his honour with the sword,
He's no carranto, cap'ring, carpet knight,
But he knows when, and how to speak or fight,
I cannot flatter him, say what I can,
He's ev'ry way the complete gentleman.
I write not this, for what he did to me,
But what mine ears, and eyes did hear and see,
Nor do I pen this to enlarge his fame.
But to make others imitate the same,
For like a trumpet were I pleas'd to blow,
I would his worthy worth more amply show,
But I already fear have been too bold,
And crave his pardon, me excus'd to hold.
Thanks to his sons and servants every one,
Both males and females all, excepting none.
To bear a letter he did me require,
Near Manchester, unto a good Esquire:
His kinsman Edmund Prestwitch, he ordain'd,
That I was at Manchester entertain'd
Two nights, and one day, ere we thence could pass,
For men and horse, roast, boiled, and oats, and grass;
This gentleman not only gave harbour,
But in the morning sent me to his barber,
Who laved, and shaved me, still I spar'd my purse,
Yet sure he left me many a hair the worse.
But in conclusion, when his work was ended,
His glass inform'd, my face was much amended.
And for the kindness he to me did show,
God grant his customers beards faster grow,
That though the time of year be dear or cheap,
From fruitful faces he may mow and reap.
Then came a smith, with shoes, and tooth and nail,
He searched my horse's hoofs, mending what did fail,
Yet this I note, my nag, through stones and dirt,
Did shift shoes twice, ere I did shift one shirt:
Can these kind things be in oblivion hid?
No Master Prestwitch, this and much more did,
His friendship did command and freely gave
All before writ, and more than I durst crave.
But leaving him a little, I must tell,
How men of Manchester did use me well,
Their loves they on the tenter-hooks did rack,
Roast, boiled, baked, too—too—much, white, claret, sack,
Nothing they thought too heavy or too hot,
Can follow'd can, and pot succeeded pot,
That what they could do, all they thought too little,
Striving in love the traveller to whittle.
We went into the house of one John Pinners,
A man that lives amongst a crew of sinners)
And there eight several sorts of ale we had,
All able to make one stark drunk or mad.
But I with courage bravely flinched not,
And gave the town leave to discharge the shot.
We had at one time set upon the table,
Good ale of hyssop, 'twas no Æsop-fable:
Then had we ale of sage, and ale of malt,
And ale of wormwood, that could make one halt,
With ale of rosemary, and betony,
And two ales more, or else I needs must lie.
But to conclude this drinking aley-tale,
We had a sort of ale, called scurvy ale.
Thus all these men, at their own charge and cost,
Did strive whose love should be expressed most,
And farther to declare their boundless loves,
They saw I wanted, and they gave me gloves,
In deed, and very deed, their loves were such,
That in their praise I cannot write too much;
They merit more than I have here compil'd,
I lodged at the Eagle and the Child,
Whereas my hostess, (a good ancient woman)
Did entertain me with respect, not common.
She caus'd my linen, shirts, and bands be washed,
And on my way she caus'd me be refreshed,
She gave me twelve silk points, she gave me bacon,
Which by me much refus'd, at last was taken,
In troth she prov'd a mother unto me,
For which, I evermore will thankful be.
But when to mind these kindnesses I call,
Kind Master Prestwitch author is of all,
And yet Sir Urian Leigh's good commendation,
Was the main ground of this my recreation.
From both of them, there what I had, I had,
Or else my entertainment had been bad.
O all you worthy men of Manchester,
(True bred bloods of the County Lancaster)
When I forget what you to me have done,
Then let me headlong to confusion run.
To noble Master Prestwitch I must give
Thanks, upon thanks, as long as I do live,
His love was such, I ne'er can pay the score,
He far surpassed all that went before,
A horse and man he sent, with boundless bounty,
To bring me quite through Lancaster's large county,
Which I well know is fifty miles at large,
And he defray'd all the cost and charge.
This unlock'd pleasure, was to me such pleasure,
That I can ne'er express my thanks with measure.
So Mistress Saracoal, hostess kind,
And Manchester with thanks I left behind.
The Wednesday being July's twenty nine,
My journey I to Preston did confine,
All the day long it rained but one shower,
Which from the morning to the ev'ning did pour,
And I, before to Preston I could get,
Was soused, and pickled both with rain and sweat,
But there I was supplied with fire and food,
And anything I wanted sweet and good.
There, at the Hind, kind Master Hind mine host,
Kept a good table, bak'd and boiled, and roast,
There Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I did stay,
And hardly got from thence on Saturday.
Unto my lodging often did repair,
Kind Master Thomas Banister, the Mayor,
Who is of worship, and of good respect,
And in his charge discreet and circumspect.
For I protest to God I never saw,
A town more wisely govern'd by the law.
They told me when my Sovereign there was last,
That one man's rashness seem'd to give distaste.
It griev'd them all, but when at last they found,
His Majesty was pleas'd, their joys were crown'd.
He knew, the fairest garden hath some weeds,
He did accept their kind intents, for deeds:
One man there was, that with his zeal too hot,
And furious haste, himself much overshot.
But what man is so foolish, that desires
To get good fruit from thistles, thorns and briars?
Thus much I thought good to demonstrate here,
Because I saw how much they grieved were;
That any way, the least part of offence,
Should make them seem offensive to their Prince.
Thus three nights was I staid and lodged in Preston,
And saw nothing ridiculous to jest on,
Much cost and charge the Mayor upon me spent,
And on my way two miles, with me he went,
There (by good chance) I did more friendship get,
The under Sheriff of Lancashire we met,
A gentleman that lov'd, and knew me well,
And one whose bounteous mind doth bear the bell.
There, as if I had been a noted thief,
The Mayor delivered me unto the Sheriff.
The Sheriff's authority did much prevail,
He sent me unto one that kept the jail.
Thus I perambuling, poor John Taylor,
Was given from Mayor to Sheriff, from Sheriff to Jailor.
The Jailor kept an inn, good beds, good cheer,
Where paying nothing, I found nothing dear,
For the under-Sheriff kind Master Covill nam'd,
(A man for house-keeping renowm''d and famed)
Did cause the town of Lancashire afford
Me welcome, as if I had been a lord.
And 'tis reported, that for daily bounty,
His mate can scarce be found in all that county.
The extremes of miser, or of prodigal,
He shuns, and lives discreet and liberal,
His wife's mind, and his own are one, so fix'd,
That Argus eyes could see no odds betwixt,
And sure the difference, (if there difference be)
Is who shall do most good, or he, or she.
Poor folks report, that for relieving them,
He and his wife, are each of them a gem;
At the inn, and at his house two nights I staid,
And what was to be paid, I know he paid:
If nothing of their kindness I had wrote,
Ungrateful me the world might justly note:
Had I declared all I did hear, and see,
For a great flatterer then I deem'd should be,
Him and his wife, and modest daughter Bess,
With earth, and heav'n's felicity, God bless.
Two days a man of his, at his command,
Did guide me to the midst of Westmoreland,
And my conductor with a liberal fist,
To keep me moist, scarce any alehouse missed.
The fourth of August (weary, halt, and lame)
We in the dark, to a town called Sedbergh came,
There Master Borrowed, my kind honest host,
Upon me did bestow'd unasked cost.
The next day I held on my journey still,
Six miles unto a place called Carling hill,
Where Master Edmund Branthwaite doth reside,
Who made me welcome, with my man and guide.
Our entertainment, and our fare were such,
It might have satisfied our betters much;
Yet all too little was, his kind heart thought,
And five miles on my way himself me brought,
At Orton he, I, and my man did dine,
With Master Corney a good true Divine,
And surely Master Branthwaite's well beloved,
His firm integrity is much approved:
His good effects, do make him still affected
Of God and good men, (with regard) respected.
He sent his man with me, o'er dale and down,
Who lodged, and boarded me at Penrith town,
And such good cheer, and bedding there I had,
That nothing, (but my weary self) was bad;
There a fresh man, (I know not for whose sake)
With me a journey would to Carlisle make:
But from that city, about two miles wide,
Good Sir John Dalston lodg'd me and my guide.
Of all the gentlemen in England's bounds
His house is nearest to the Scottish grounds,
And fame proclaims him, far and near, aloud,
He's free from being covetous, or proud;
His son, Sir George, most affable, and kind,
His father's image, both in form and mind,
On Saturday to Carlisle both did ride,
Where (by their loves and leaves) I did abide,
Where of good entertainment I found store,
From one that was the mayor the year before,
His name is Master Adam Robinson,
I the last English friendship with him won.
He (gratis) found a guide to bring me through,
From Carlisle to the city Edinburgh:
|My thanks to Sir John and Sir
Geo. Dalston, with Sir Henry Curwin.
This was a help, that was a help alone,
Of all my helps inferior unto none,
Eight miles from Carlisle runs a little river,
Which England's bounds, from Scotland's grounds doth
Without horse, bridge, or boat, I o'er did get
On foot, I went, yet scarce my shoes did wet.
I being come to this long-looked-for land,
Did mark, remark, note, renote, view'd, and scann'd;
And I saw nothing that could change my will,
But that I thought myself in England still.
The kingdoms are so nearly join'd and fix'd,
There scarcely went a pair of shears betwixt;
There I saw sky above, and earth below,
And as in England, there the sun did show;
The hills with sheep replete, with corn the dale,
And many a cottage yielded good Scottish ale;
|The afore-named knights had
given money to my guide, of which he left some part at every ale-house.
This county (Avondale) in former times,
Was the cursed climate of rebellious crimes:
For Cumberland and it, both kingdoms borders,
Were ever ordered, by their own disorders,
Some sharking, shifting, cutting throats, and thieving,
Each taking pleasure in the other's grieving;
And many times he that had wealth to-night,
Was by the morrow morning beggared quite:
Too many years this pell-mell fury lasted,
That all these borders were quite spoil'd and wasted,
Confusion, hurly-burly reign'd and revell'd,
The churches with the lowly ground were levell'd;
All memorable monuments defaced,
All places of defence o'erthrown and razed.
That whoso then did in the borders dwell,
Liv'd little happier than those in hell.
But since the all-disposing God of heaven,
Hath these two kingdoms to one monarch given,
Blest peace, and plenty on them both have shower'd,
Exile, and hanging hath the thieves devour'd,
That now each subject may securely sleep,
His sheep and neat, the black the white doth keep,
For now those crowns are both in one combin'd,
Those former borders, that each one confine,
Appears to me (as I do understand)
To be almost the centre of the land,
This was a blessed heav'n-expounded riddle,
To thrust great kingdoms skirts into the middle.
Long may the instrumental cause survive.
From him and his, succession still derive
True heirs unto his virtues, and his throne,
That these two kingdoms ever may be one;
This county of all Scotland is most poor,
By reason of the outrages before,
Yet mighty store of corn I saw there grow,
And as good grass as ever man did mow:
And as that day I twenty miles did pass,
I saw eleven hundred neat at grass,
By which may be conjectur'd at the least,
That there was sustenance for man and beast.
And in the kingdom I have truly scann'd,
There's many worser parts, are better mann'd,
For ln the time that thieving was in ure,
The gentles fled to places more secure.
And left the poorer sort, to abide the pain,
Whilst they could ne'er find time to turn again.
The shire of gentlemen is scarce and dainty,
Yet there's relief in great abundance plenty,
Twixt it and England, little odds I see,
They eat, and live, and strong and able be,
So much in verse, and now I'll change my style,
And seriously I'll write in prose awhile.
To the purpose then: my first night's lodging
in Scotland was at a place called Moffat, which they
say, is thirty miles from Carlisle, but I suppose them to be
longer than forty of such miles as are betwixt London and Saint
Albans, (but indeed the Scots do allow almost as large
measure of their miles, as they do of their drink, for an English
gallon either of ale or wine, is but their quart, and one Scottish mile
(now and then, may well stand for a mile and a half or two English) but
howsoever short or long, I found that day's journey the weariest that
ever I footed; and at night, being come to the town, I found good
ordinary country entertainment: my fare and my lodging was sweet and
good, and might have served a far better man than myself, although
myself have had many times better: but this is to be noted, that though
it rained not all the day, yet it was my fortune to be well wet twice,
for I waded over a great river called Esk in the morning,
somewhat more than four miles distance from Carlisle in England,
and at night within two miles of my lodging, I was fain to wade over
the river of Annan in Scotland, from which river the
county of Annandale hath its name. And whilst I waded on foot,
my man was mounted on horseback, like the George without the
Dragon. But the next morning, I arose and left Moffat behind
me, and that day I travelled
twenty-one miles to a sorry village called Blythe, but I was
blithe myself to come to any place of harbour or succour, for since I
was born, I never was so weary, or so near being dead with extreme
travel: I was foundered and refoundered of all four, and for my better
comfort, I came so late, that I must lodge without doors all night, or
else in a poor house where the good wife lay in child-bed, her husband
being from home, her own servant maid being her nurse. A creature
naturally compacted, and artificially adorned with an incomparable
but as things were I must either take or leave, and necessity made me
enter, where we got eggs and ale by measure and by tail. At last to bed
I went, my man lying on the floor by me, where in the night there were
pigeons did very bountifully mute in his face: the day being no sooner
come, and having fifteen miles to Edinburgh, mounted upon my
ten toes, and began first to hobble, and after to amble, and so being
warm, I fell to pace by degrees, all the way passing through a fertile
country for corn and cattle: and about two of the clock in the
afternoon that Wednesday, being the thirteenth of August, and the day
of Clare the Virgin (the sign being in Virgo) the moon
four days old, the wind at west, I came to take rest, at the wished,
long expected, ancient famous city of Edinburgh, which I
entered like Pierce Penniless, altogether moneyless but I thank God,
not friendless; for being there, for the time of my stay, I might
borrow, (if any man would lend) spend if I could get, beg if I had the
impudence, and steal, if I durst adventure the price of a hanging, but
my purpose was to house my horse, and to suffer him and my apparel to
lie in durance, or lavender instead of litter, till such time as I
could meet with some valiant friend, that would desperately disburse.
Walking thus down the street, (my body being
tired with travel, and my mind attired with moody, muddy, Moor-ditch
melancholy) my contemplation did devotely pray, that I might meet one
or other to prey upon, being willing to take any slender acquaintance
of any map whatsoever, viewing, and circumviewing every man's face I
met, as if I meant to draw his picture, but all my acquaintance was Non
est inventus, (pardon me, reader, that Latin is none of my own, I
swear by Priscians Pericranium, an oath which I have ignorantly
broken many times.) At last t I resolved, that the next gentleman that
I meet withal should be acquaintance whether he would or no: and
presently fixing mine eyes upon a gentleman-like object, I looked on
him, as if I would survey something through him, and make him my
perspective: and he much musing at my gazing, and I much gazing at his
musing, at last he crossed the way and made toward me, and then I made
down the street from him, leaving to encounter with any man, who came
after me leading my horse, whom he thus accosted. My friend (quoth he)
doth yonder gentleman, (meaning me) know me, that he looks so wistly on
me? Truly sir, said my man, I think not, but my master is a stranger
come from London, and would gladly meet some acquaintance to
direct him where he may have lodging and horse-meat. Presently the
gentleman, (being of a generous disposition) overtook me with
unexpected and undeserved courtesy, brought me to a lodging, and caused
my horse to be put into his own stable, whilst we discoursing over a
pint of Spanish, I relate as much English to him, as made him lend me
ten shillings, (his name was Master John Maxwell) which money I
am sure was the first that I handled after I came from out the walls of
London: but having rested two hours and refreshed myself,
the gentleman and I walked to see the City and
the Castle, which as my poor unable and unworthy pen can, I will truly
The Castle on a lofty rock is so strongly
grounded, bounded, and founded, that by force of man it can never be
confounded; the foundation and walls are unpenetrable, the rampiers
impregnable, the bulwarks invincible, no way but one it is or can be
possible to be made passable. In a word, I have seen many straits and
fortresses, in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain
and England, but they must all give place to this unconquered
Castle, both for strength and situation.
Amongst the many memorable things which I was
shewed there, I noted especially a great piece of ordnance of iron, it
is not for battery, but it will serve to defend a breach, or to toss
balls of wild-fire against any that should assail or assault the
Castle; it lies now dismounted. And it is so great within, that
it was told me that a child was once gotten there: but I, to make trial
crept into it, lying on my back, and I am sure there was room enough
and spare for a greater than myself.
So leaving the Castle, as it is both defensive
against my opposition, and magnific for lodging and receite, I
descended lower to the City, wherein observed the fairest and goodliest
street that ever eyes beheld, for I did never see or hear of a street
of that length, (which is half an English mile from the Castle to a
fair port which they call the Nether-Bow) and from that port,
the street which they call the Kenny-gate is one quarter of a
mile more, down to the King's Palace, called Holy-rood-House,
the buildings on each side of the way being all of squared stone, five,
six, and seven stories high, and many bye-lanes and closes on each side
of the way, wherein are gentlemen's houses, much fairer than the
buildings in the High Street, for in the High Street the merchants and
tradesmen do dwell, but the gentlemen's mansions and goodliest houses
are obscurely founded in the aforesaid lanes: the walls are eight or
ten foot thick, exceeding strong, not built for a day, a week, or a
month, or a year; but from antiquity to posterity, for many ages; there
I found entertainment beyond my expectation or merit, and there is
fish, flesh, bread and fruit, in such variety, that I think I may
offenceless call it superfluity, or satiety. The worst was, that wine
and ale was so scarce, and the people there such misers of it, that
every night before I went to bed, if any man had asked me a civil
question, all the wit in my head could not have made him a sober answe
I was at his Majesty's Palace, a stately and
princely seat, wherein I saw a sumptuous chapel, most richly adorned
with all appurtenances belonging to so sacred a place, or so royal an
owner. In the inner court I saw the King's arms cunningly carved in
stone, and fixed over a door aloft on the wall, the red lion being in
the crest, over which was written this inscription in Latin,
Nobis hæc invicta miserunt, 106
I enquired what the English of it was? it was told me as followeth,
which I thought worthy to be recorded.
106, forefathers have left this to us
This is a worthy and memorable motto, and I think few kingdoms or none
in the world can truly write the like, that notwithstanding so many
inroads, incursions, attempts, assaults, civil wars, and foreign
hostilities, bloody battles, and mighty foughten fields, that maugre
the strength and policy of enemies, that royal crown and sceptre hath
from one hundred and seven descents, kept still unconquered, and by the
power of the King of Kings (through the grace of the Prince of Peace)
is now left peacefully to our peaceful king, whom long in blessed
peace, the God of peace defend and govern. But once more, a word or two
of Edinburgh, although I have scarcely given it that due which
belongs unto it, for their lofty and stately buildings. and for their
fair and spacious street, yet my mind persuades me that they in former
ages that first founded that city did not so well in that they built it
in so discommodious a place; for the sea, and all viable rivers being
the chief means for the
enriching of towns and cities, by the reason of traffic with foreign
nations, with exportation, transportation, and receite of variety of
merchandizing; so this city had it been built but one mile lower on the
seaside, I doubt not but it had long before this been comparable to
many a one of our greatest towns and cities in Europe, both for
spaciousness of bounds, port, state, and riches. It is said, that King
James the fifth (of famous memory) did graciously offer to purchase for
them, and to bestow upon them freely, certain low and pleasant grounds
a mile from them on the seashore, with these conditions, that they
should pull down their city, and build it in that more commodious
place, but the citizens refused it; and so now it is like (for me), to
stand where it doth, for I doubt such another proffer of removal will
not be presented to them, till two days after the fair.
Now have with you for Leith, whereto I
no sooner came, but I was well entertained by Master Bernard Lindsay,
one of the grooms of his Majesties bed-chamber, he knew my estate was
not guilty, because I brought guilt with me (more than my sins, and
they would not pass for current there) he therefore did replenish the
vaustity of my empty purse, and discharged a piece at me with two
bullets of gold, each being in value worth eleven shillings white
money; and I was creditably informed, that within the compass of one
year there was shipped away from that only port of Leith,
fourscore thousand boles of wheat, oats, and barley into Spain,
France, and other foreign parts and every bole contains
the measure of four English bushels, so that from Leith only
hath been transported three hundred and twenty thousand bushels of
corn; besides some hath been shipped away from Saint Andrews,
from Dundee, Aberdeen, Dysart, Kirkaldy,
Kinghorn, Burntisland, Dunbar, and other
portable towns, which makes me to wonder that a kingdom so populous as
it is, should nevertheless sell so much bread-corn beyond the seas, and
yet to have more than sufficient for themselves.
So I having viewed the haven and town of Leith,
took a passage boat to see the new wondrous Well, to which many a one
that is not well, comes far and near in hope to be made well: indeed I
did hear that it had done much good, and that it hath a rare operation
to expel or kill divers maladies; as to provoke appetite, to help much
for the avoiding of the gravel in the bladder, to cure sore eyes, and
old ulcers, with many other virtues which it hath, but I (through the
mercy of God, having no need of it, did make no great inquisition what
done, but for novelty I drank of it, and I found the taste to be more
pleasant than any other water, sweet almost as milk, yet as clear as
crystal, and I did observe that though a man did drink a quart, pottle,
or as much as his belly could contain, yet it never offended or lay
heavy upon the stomach, no more than if one had drank but a pint or a
I went two miles from it to a town
called Burntisland, where I found many of my especial good
friends, as Master Robert Hay, one of the Grooms of his
Majesty's Bed-chamber, Master David Drummond, one of his
Gentlemens-Pensioners, Master James Acmootye, one of the Grooms
of the Privy Chamber, Captain Murray, Sir Henry Witherington
Knight, Captain Tyrie, and divers others: and there Master Hay,
Master Drummond, and the good old Captain Murray did
very bountifully furnish me with gold for my expenses, but I being at
dinner with those aforesaid gentlemen, as we were discoursing, there
befel a strange accident, which I think worth the relating.
I know not upon wat occasion they began to
talk of being at sea in former times, and I (amongst the rest) said, I
was at tthe taking of Cadiz; whereto an English gentleman
replied, that he was the next good voyage after at the Islands: I
answered him that I was there also. He demanded in what ship I was? I
told him in the Rainbow of the Queens: why (quoth he) do you not know
me? I was in the same ship, and my name is Witherington.
Sir, said I, I do remember the name well, but
by reason that it is near two and twenty years since I saw you, I may
well forget the knowledge of you. Well said he, if you were in that
ship, I pray you tell me some remarkable token that happened in the
voyage, whereupon I told him two or three tokens; which he did know to
be true. Nay then, said I, I will tell you another which (perhaps) you
have not forgotten; as our ship and the rest of the fleet did ride at
anchor at the Isle of Flores (one of the Isles of the Azores)
there were some fourteen men and boys of our ship, that for novelty
would go ashore, and see what fruit the island did bear, and what
entertainment it would yield us; so being landed, we went up and down
and could find nothing but stones, heath and moss, and we expected
oranges, lemons, figs, musk-mellions, and potatoes; in the mean
space the wind did blow so stiff, and the sea was so extreme rough,
that our ship-boat could not come to the land to fetch us, for fear she
should be beaten in pieces against the rocks; this continued five days,
so that we were almost famished for want of food: but a last (I
squandering up and down) by the providence of God I happened into a
cave or poor habitation, where I found fifteen loaves of bread, each of
the quantity of a penny loaf in England, I having a valiant
stomach of the age of almost of a hundred and twenty hours breeding,
fell to, and ate two loaves and never said grace: and as I was about to
make a horse-loaf of the third loaf, I did put twelve of them into my
breeches, and my sleeves, and so went mumbling out of the cave, leaning
my back against a tree, when upon the sudden a gentleman came to me,
and said, " Friend, what are you eating? Bread, (quoth I,) For God's
sake, said he, give me some. With that, I put my hand into my breech,
(being my best pantry) and I gave him a loaf, which he received with
many thanks, and said, that if ever he could requit it, he would.
I had no sooner told this tale, but Sir Henry
Witherington did acknowledge himself to be the man that I had given
the loaf unto two and twenty years before, where I found the proverb
true, that men have more privilege than mountains in meeting.
In what great measure he did requite so small
a Courtesy, I will relate in this following discourse in my return
through Northumberland: so leaving my man at the town of Burntisland,
I told him, I would but go to Stirling, and see the Castle
there, and Withal to see my honourable friends the Earl of Mar,
and Sir William Murray Knight, Lord of Abercairney, and
that I would return within two days at the most: but it fell out quite
contrary; for it was and five and thirty days before I could get back
again out of these noble men's company. The whole progress of my travel
with them, and the cause of my stay I cannot with gratefulness omit;
and thus it was.
A worthy gentleman named Master John Fenton,
did bring me on my way six miles to Dunfermline, where I was
well entertained, and lodged at Master John Gibb his house, one
of the Grooms of his Majesty's Bed-chamber, and I think the oldest
servant the King hath: withal, I was well entertained there by Master Crighton
at his own house, who went with me, and shewed me the Queens Palace; (a
delicate and Princely Mansion) withal I saw the ruins of an ancient and
stately built Abbey, with fair gardens, orchards, meadows belonging to
the Palace: all which with fair and goodly revenues by the suppression
of the Abbey, were annexed to the crown. There also I saw a very fair
church, which though it be now very large and spacious, yet it hath in
former times been much larger. But I taking my leave of Dunfermline,
would needs go and see the truly noble Knight Sir George Bruce,
at a town called the Culross: there he made me right welcome,
both with variety of fare, and after
all, he commanded three of his men to direct me see his most admirable
coal mines; which (if man can or could work wonders) is a wonder; for
myself neither in any travels that I have been in, nor any history that
I have read, or any discourse that I have heard, did never see, read,
or hear of any work of man that might parallel or be equivalent with
this unfellowed and unmatchable work: and though all I can say of it,
cannot describe it according to the worthiness of his vigilant
industry, that was both the occasion, inventor, and maintainer of it:
yet rather than the memory of so rare an enterprise, and so
accomplished a profit to the commonwealth shall be raked and smothered
in the dust of oblivion, I will give a little touch at the description
of it, although I amongst writers, am like he that worse may hold the
The mine hath two ways into it, the one by sea
and the other by land; but a man may go into it by land, and return the
same way if he please, and so he may enter into it by sea, and by sea
he may come forth of it: but I for varietys sake went m by sea, and out
by land. Now men may object, how can a man go into a mine, the entrance
of it being into the sea, but that the sea will follow him, and so
drown the mine? To which objection thus I answer that at low water
mark, the sea being ebbed away, and a great part of the sand bare; upon
same sand (being mixed with rocks and crags) did the master of this
great work build a round circular frame of stone, very thick, strong,
and joined together with glutinous or bituminous matter, so high withal
that the sea at the highest flood, or the greatest rage of storm or
tempest, can neither dissolve the stones so well compacted in the
building or yet overflow the height of it. Within this round frame, (at
all adventures) he did set workmen to dig with mattocks, pickaxes, and
other instruments fit for such purposes. They did dig forty feet down
right into and through a rock. At last they found that which they
expected, which was sea coal, they following the vein of the mine, did
dig forward still: so that in the space of eight and twenty, or nine
and twenty years, they have digged more than an English mile under the
sea, so that when men are at work below, an hundred of the greatest
ships in Britain may sail over their heads. Besides, the mine is most
artificially cut like an arch or a vault, all that great length, with
many nooks and bye-ways: and it is so made, that a man may walk upright
in the most places, both in and out. Many poor people are there set on
work, which otherwise through the want of employment would perish. But
when I had seen the mine, and was come forth of it again; after my
thanks given to Sir George Bruce, I told him, that if the
plotters of the
Powder Treason in England had seen this mine, that they (perhaps) would
have attempted to have left the Parliament House, and have undermined
the Thames and so to have blown up the barges and wherries wherein the
King, and all the estates of the kingdom were. Moreover, I said, that I
could afford to turn tapster at London, so that I had but one quarter
of a mile of his mine to make me a cellar, to keep beer and bottled ale
in. But leaving these jests in prose, I will relate a few verses that I
made merrily of this mine.
THAT have wasted,
months, weeks, days, and hours
In viewing kingdoms, countries, towns, and towers,
Without all measure, measuring many paces,
And with my pen describing many places,
With few additions of mine own devising,
(Because I have a smack of Coryatizing)
Our Mandeville, Primaleon, Don Quixote,
Great Amadis, or Huon, travelled not
As I have done, or been where I have been,
Or heard and seen, what I have heard and seen;
Nor Britain's Odcombe (Zany brave Ulysses)
In all his ambling, saw the like as this is.
I was in (would I could describe it well)
A dark, light, pleasant, profitable hell,
And as by water I was wafted in,
I thought that I in Charon's boat had been,
But being at the entrance landed thus,
Three men there (instead of Cerberus)
Convey'd me in, in each one hand a light
To guide us in that vault of endless night,
There young and old with glim'ring candles burning
Dig, delve, and labour, turning and returning,
Some in a hole with baskets and with bags,
Resembling furies, or infernal hags:
There one like Tantalus feeding, and there one,
Like Sisyphus he rolls the restless stone.
Yet all I saw was pleasure mixed with profit,
Which proved it to be no tormenting Tophet.
For in this honest, worthy, harmless hell,
There ne'er did any damned Devil dwell;
And th' owner of it gains by 't more true glory,
Than Rome doth by fantastic Purgatory.
A long mile thus I passed, down, down, steep, steep,
In deepness far more deep, than Neptunes deep,
Whilst o'er my head (in fourfold stories high)
Was earth, and sea, and air, and sun, and sky:
That had I died in that Cimmerian room,
Four elements had covered o'er my tomb:
Thus farther than the bottom did I go,
(And many Englishmen have not done so;)
Where mounting porpoises, and mountain whales,
And regiments of fish with fins and scales,
'Twixt me and heaven did freely glide and slide,
And where great ships may at an anchor ride:
Thus in by sea, and out by land I past,
And took my leave of good Sir George at last.
The sea at certain places doth leak, or soak
into the mine, which by the industry of Sir George Bruce, is all
conveyed to one well near the land; where he hath a device like a
horse-mill, that with three horses and a great chain of iron, going
downward many fathoms, with thirty-six buckets fastened to the chain,
of the which eighteen go down still to be filled, and eighteen ascend
up to be emptied which do empty themselves (without any man's labour)
into a trough that conveys the water into the sea again; by which means
he saves his mine which otherwise would be destroyed with the sea,
besides he doth make every week ninety or a hundred tons of salt, which
doth serve most part of Scotland, some he sends into England,
and very much into Germany: all which shows the painful
industry with God's blessings to such worthy endeavours: I must with
many thanks remember his courtesy to me, and lastly how he sent his man
to guide me ten miles on the way to Stirling, where by the way
I saw the outside of a fair and stately house called Allaway,
belonging to the Earl of Mar which by reason that his honour
was not there, I past by and went to Stirling, where I was
entertained and lodged at one Master John Archibalds, where all
my want was that I wanted room to contain half the good cheer that I
might have had there! he had me into the castle, which in few words I
do compare to Windsor for situation, much more than Windsor
in strength, and somewhat less in greatness: yet I dare affirm that his
Majesty hath not such another hall to any house that he hath neither in
England or Scotland, except Westminster Hall which
is now no dwelling hall for a prince, being long since metamorphosed
into a house for the law and the profits.
This goodly hall was built by King James
the fourth, that married King Henry the Eight's sister, and
after was slain at Flodden field; but it surpasses all the
halls for dwelling houses that ever I saw, for length, breadth, height
and strength of building, the castle is built upon a rock very lofty,
and much beyond Edinburgh Castle in state and magnificence, and
not much inferior to it in strength, the rooms of it are lofty, with
carved works on the ceilings, the doors of each room being so high,
that a man may ride upright on horseback into any chamber or lodging.
There is also a goodly fair chapel, with cellars, stables, and all
other necessary offices, all very stately and befitting the majesty of
From Stirling I rode to Saint Johnstone, a
fine town it is, but it is much decayed, by reason of the want of his
Majesty's yearly coming to lodge there. There I lodged one night at an
inn, the goodman of the house his name being Patrick Pitcairne,
where my entertainment was with good cheer, good lodging, all too good
to a bad weary guest. Mine host told me that the Earl of Mar,
and Sir William Murray of Abercairney were gone to the
great hunting to the Brae of Mar; but if I made haste I
might perhaps find them at a town called Brekin, or Brechin,
two and thirty miles from Saint Johnstone whereupon I took a
guide to Brechin the next day, but before I came, my lord was
gone from thence four days.
Then I took another guide, which brought me
such strange ways over mountains and rocks, that I think my horse never
went the like; and I am sure I never saw any ways that might fellow
them I did go through a country called Glen Esk, where passing
by the side of a hill, so steep as the ridge of a house, where the way
was rocky, and not above a yard broad in some places, so fearful and
horrid it was to look down into the bottom, for if either horse or man
had slipped, he had fallen without recovery) a good mile downright; but
I thank God, at night I came to a lodging in the Laird of Edzell's
land, where I lay at an Irish house, the folks not being able to speak
scarce any English, but I supped and went to bed, where I had not laid
long, but I was enforced to rise, I was so stung with Irish musquitoes,
a creature that hath six legs, and lives like a monster altogether upon
man's flesh, they do inhabit and breed most in sluttish houses, and
this house was none of the cleanest, the beast is much like a louse in England,
both in shape and nature; in a word, they were to me the A. and
the Z. the prologue and the epilogue, the first and the last
that I had in all my travels from Edinburgh; and had not this
Highland Irish house helped me at a pinch, I should have sworn that all
Scotland had not been so kind as to have bestowed a louse
upon me: but with a shift that I had, I shifted off my cannibals, and
was never more troubled with them.
The next day I travelled over an exceeding high mountain, called mount Skene,
where I found the valley very warm before I went up it; but when I came
to the top of it, my teeth began to dance in my head with cold, like
Virginal's jacks; and withal, a most familiar mist embraced me round,
that I could not see thrice my length any way: withal, it yielded so
friendly a dew, that did moisten through all my clothes: where the old
Proverb of a Scottish mist was verified, in wetting me to the skin. Up
and down, I think this hill is six miles, the way so uneven, stony, and
full of bogs, quagmires, and long heath, that a dog with three legs
will out-run a horse with four; for do what we could, we were four
hours before we could pass it.
Thus with extreme travel, ascending and
descending, mounting and alighting, I came at night to the place where
I would be, in the Brae of Mar, which is a large county, all
composed of such mountains, that Shooter's Hill, Gad's Hill, Highgate
Hill, Hampstead Hill, Birdlip Hill, or Malvern's Hills, are but
mole-hills in comparison, or like a liver or a gizard under a capon's
wing, in respect of the altitude of their tops, or perpendicularity of
their bottoms. There I saw Mount Ben Aven, with a furred mist
upon his snowy head instead of a nightcap: (for you must understand,
that the oldest man alive never saw but the snow was on the top of
divers of those hills, both in summer, as well as in winter.) There did
I find the truly Noble and Right Honourable Lords John Erskine
Earl of Mar, James Stuart Earl of Murray, George
Gordon Earl of Enzie, son and heir to the Marquess of
Huntly, James Erskine Earl of Buchan, and John Lord Erskine,
son and heir to the Earl of Mar, and their Countesses, with my much
honoured, and my best assured and approved friend, Sir William
Murray Knight, of Abercairney, and hundred of others
Knights, Esquires, and their followers; all and every man in general in
one habit, as if Lycurgus had been there, and made laws of
equality: for once in the year, which is the whole month of August, and
sometimes part of September, many of the nobility and gentry of the
kingdom (for their pleasure) do come into these Highland Countries to
hunt, where they do conform themselves to the habit of the Highland
men, who for the most part speak nothing but Irish; and in former time
were those people which were called the Red-shanks. Their habit
is shoes with but one sole apiece; stockings (which they call short
hose) made of a warm stuff of divers colours, which they call tartan:
as for breeches, many of them, nor their forefathers never wore any,
but a jerkin of the same stuff that their hose is of, their garters
being bands or wreaths of hay or straw, with a plaid about their
shoulders, which is a mantle of divers colours, of much finer and
lighter stuff than their hose, with blue flat caps on their heads, a
handkerchief knit with two knots about their neck; and thus are they
attired. now their weapons are long bows and forked arrows, swords and
targets, harquebusses, muskets, dirks, and Lochaber axes. With these
arms I found many of them armed for the hunting. As for their attire,
any man of what degree soever that comes amongst them, must not disdain
to wear it; for if they do, then they will disdain to hunt, or
willingly to bring in their dogs: but if men be kind unto them, and be
in their habit; then are they conquered with kindness, and the sport
will be plentiful. This was the reason that I found so
many noblemen and gentlemen in those shapes But to proceed to the
My good Lord of Mar having put me into
that shape, I rode with him from his house, where I saw the ruins of an
old castle, called the castle of Kindroghit. It was built by
King Malcolm Canmore (for a hunting house) who reigned in Scotland
when Edward the Confessor, Harold, and Norman William
reigned in England: I speak of it, because it was the last
house that I saw in those parts; for I was the space of twelve days
after, before I saw either house, corn field, or habitation for any
creature, but deer, wild horses, wolves, and such like creatures, which
made me doubt that I should never have seen a house again.
Thus the first day we travelled eight miles,
where there small cottages built on purpose to lodge in, which they
call Lonchards, I thank my good Lord Erskine, he commanded that
I should always be lodged in his lodging, the kitchen being always on
the side of a bank, many kettles and pots boiling, and many spits
turning and winding, with great variety of cheer: as venison baked,
sodden, roast, and stewed beef, mutton, goats, kid, hares, fresh
salmon, pigeons, hens, capons, chickens, partridge, moor-coots,
heath-cocks, capercailzies, and
termagants; good ale, sack, white, and claret, tent, (or Alicante) with
most potent Aquavitæ.
All these, and more than these we had
continually, in superfluous abundance, caught by Falconers, Fowlers,
Fishers, and brought by my Lord's tenants and purveyors to victual our
camp, which consisted of fourteen or fifteen hundred men and horses;
the manner of the hunting is this: five or six hundred men do rise
early in the morning, and they do disperse themselves divers ways, and
seven, eight, or ten miles compass, they do bring or chase in the deer
in many herds, (two, three, or four hundred in a herd) to such or such
a place, as the Nobleman shall appoint them; then when day is come, the
Lords and gentlemen of their companies, do ride or go to the said
places, sometimes wading up to their middles through bournes and
rivers: and then: they being come to the place, do lie down on the
ground, till those foresaid scouts which are called the Tinchel, do
bring down the deer: but as the proverb says of a bad cook, so these
Tinchel-men do lick their own fingers; for besides their bows and
arrows, which they carry with them, We can hear now and then a
harquebuss or a musket go off, which they do seldom discharge in vain.
Then after we had stayed there three hours or there-a-bouts, we might
perceive the deer appear on the round about us, (their heads making a
show like a wood) which being followed close by the Tinchel are chased
down into the valley where we lay; then all the valley on each side
being waylaid with a hundred couple of strong Irish greyhounds, they
are let loose as the occasion serves upon the herd of deer, so that
with dogs, guns, arrows, dirks, and daggers, in the space of two hours,
fourscore fat deer were slain, which after are disposed of some one
way, and some another, twenty and thirty miles, and more than enough
left for us to make merry withal at our rendezvous. I liked the sport
so well, that I made these two sonnets following.
HY should I waste
invention to indite,
Ovidian fictions, or Olympian games?
My misty Muse enlightened with more light,
To a more noble pitch her aim she frames.
I must relate to my great MASTER JAMES,
The Caledonian annual peaceful war;
How noble minds do eternize their fames,
By martial meeting in the Brae of Mar:
How thousand gallant spirits came near and far,
With swords and targets, arrows, bows, and guns,
That all the troop to men of judgment, are
The God of Wars great never conquer'd sons,
The sport is manly, yet none bleed but beasts,
And last the victor on the vanquish'd feasts.
F sport like
this can on the
Where Phœbus flames can never melt the snow;
Then let who list delight in vales below,
Sky-kissing mountains pleasure are for me:
What braver object can man's eyesight see,
Than noble, worshipful, and worthy wights,
As if they were prepar'd for sundry fights,
Yet all in sweet society agree?
Through heather, moss, 'mongst frogs, and bogs, and fogs,
'Mongst craggy cliffs, and thunder-batter'd hills,
Hares, hinds, bucks, roes, are chas'd by men and dogs,
Where two hours hunting fourscore fat deer kills.
Lowland, your sports are low as is your seat,
The Highland games and minds, are high and great.
Being come to our lodgings, there was such
baking, boiling, roasting, and stewing, as if Cook Ruffian had been
there to have scalded the devil in his feathers: and after supper a
fire of fir-wood as high as an indifferent May-pole: for I assure you,
that at the Earl of Mar will give any man that is his friend.
for thanks, as many fir trees (that are as good as any ship's masts in England)
as are worth as if they were in any place near the Thames, or any other
portable river) the best earldom in England or Scotland
either: For I dare affirm he hath as many growing there, as would serve
for masts (from this time to the end of the world) for all the ships,
caracks, hoys, galleys, boats drumlers, barks, and water-crafts, that
are now, or can be in the world these forty years.
This sounds like a lie to an unbeliever; but I
and many thousands do know that I speak within the compass of truth:
for indeed (the more is the pity) they do grow so far from any passage
of water, and withal in such rocky mountains, that no way to convey
them is possible to be passable, either with boat, horse, or cart.
Thus having spent certain days in hunting in
the Brae of Mar, we went to the next county called Badenoch,
belonging to the Earl of Enzie, where having such sport and
entertainment as we formerly had; after four or five days pastime, we
took leave of hunting for that year; and took our journey toward a
strong house of the Earl's, called Ruthven in Badenoch,
where my Lord of Enzie and his noble Countess (being daughter
to the Earl of Argyll) did give us most noble welcome three
From thence we went to a place called Balloch
Castle, a fair and stately house, a worthy gentleman being
the owner of it, called the Laird of Grant; his wife being a
gentlewoman honourably descended being sister to the right Honourable
Earl of Athol, and to Sir Patrick Murray
Knight; she being both inwardly and outwardly plentifully adorned with
the gifts of grace and nature: so that our cheer was more than
sufficient; and yet much less than they could afford us. There stayed
there four days, four Earls, one Lord, divers Knights and Gentlemen,
and their servants, footmen and horses; and every meal four long tables
furnished with all varieties: our first and second course being three
score dishes at one board; and after that always a banquet: and there
if I had not forsworn wine till I came to Edinburgh I think I
had there drunk my last.
The fifth day with much ado we gate from
thence to Tarnaway, a goodly house of the Earl of Murrays,
where that Right Honourable Lord and his Lady did welcome us four days
more. There was good cheer in all variety, with somewhat more than
plenty for advantage: for indeed the County of Murray is the
most pleasantest and plentiful country in all Scotland; being
plain land, that a coach may be driven more than four and thirty miles
one way in it, alongst by the sea-coast.
From thence I went to Elgin in Murray,
an ancient City, where there stood a fair and beautiful church with
three steeples, the walls of it and the steeples all yet standing; but
the roofs, windows and many marble monuments and tombs of honourable
and worthy personages all broken and defaced: this was done in the time
when ruin bare rule, and Knox knocked down churches.
From Elgin we went to the Bishop of Murray
his house which is called Spiny, or Spinay: a Reverend
Gentleman he is, of the noble name of Douglas, where we were
very well welcomed, as befitted the honour of himself and his guests.
From thence we departed to the Lord Marquess
of Huntlys to a sumptuous house of his, named the Bog of
Geethe, where our entertainment was like himself, free, bountiful
and honourable. There (after two days stay) with much entreaty and
earnest suit, I gate leave of the Lords to depart towards Edinburgh:
the Noble Marquess, the Earl of Mar, Murray, Enzie,
Buchan, and the Lord Erskine; all these, I thank
them, gave me gold to defray my charges in my journey.
So after five and thirty days hunting and
travel I returning, past by another stately mansion of the Lord
Marquesses, called Stroboggy, and so over Carny mount
to Brechin, where a wench that was born deaf and dumb came into
my chamber at midnight (I being asleep) and she opening the bed, would
feign have lodged with me: but had I been a Sardanapalus, or a Heliogabulus,
I think that either the great travel over the mountains had tamed me;
or if not, her beauty could never have moved me. The best parts of her
were, that her breath was as sweet as sugar-candian, being very well
shouldered beneath the waste; and as my hostess told me the next
morning, that she had changed her maiden-head for the price of a
bastard not long before. But howsoever, she made such a hideous noise,
that I started out of my sleep, and thought that the Devil had been
there: but I no sooner knew who it was, but I arose, and thrust my dumb
beast out of my chamber; and for want of a lock or a latch, I staked up
my door with a great chair.
Thus having escaped one of the seven deadly
sins as at Brechin, I departed from thence to a town called Forfor;
and from thence to Dundee, and so to Kinghorn, Burntisland,
and so to Edinburgh, where I stayed eight days, to recover
myself of falls and bruises, which I received in my travel in the
Highland mountainous hunting. Great welcome I had showed me all my stay
at Edinburgh, by many worthy gentlemen, namely, old Master George
Todrigg, Master Henry Livingston, Master James Henderson,
Master John Maxwell, and a number of others, who suffered me to
want no wine or good cheer, as may be imagined.
Now the day before I came from Edinburgh,
I went to Leith, where I found my long approved and assured
good friend Master Benjamin Jonson, at one Master John
Stuarts house; I thank him for his great kindness towards me: for
at my taking leave of him, he gave me a piece of gold of two and twenty
shillings to drink his health in England. And withal, willed me to
remember his kind commendations to all his friends: So with a friendly
farewell, I left him as well, as I hope never to see him in a worse
estate: for he is amongst noblemen and gentlemen that know his true
worth, and their own honours, where, with much respective love he is
So leaving Leith I returned to Edinburgh, and within
the port or gate, called the Nether-Bow, I discharged my
pockets of all the money I had: and as I came pennyless within the
walls of that city at my first coming thither; so now at my departing
from thence, I came moneyless out of it again; having in company to
convey me out, certain gentlemen, amongst the which Master James
Acherson, Laird of Gasford, a gentleman that brought me to
his house, where with great entertainment he and his good wife did
On the morrow he sent one of his men to bring
me to a place called Adam, to Master John Acmootye his
house, one of the Grooms of his Majesty's Bed-chamber; where with him
and his two brethren, Master Alexander, and Master James
Acmootye, I found both cheer and welcome, not inferior to any that
I had had in any former place.
Amongst our viands that we had there, I must
not forget the Sole and Goose, a most delicate fowl, which breeds in
great abundance in a little rock called the Bass, which stands
two miles into the sea. It is very good flesh, but it is eaten in the
form as we eat oysters, standing at a side-board, a little before
dinner, unsanctified without grace; and after it is eaten, it must be
well liquored with two or three good rouses of sherry or canary sack.
The Lord or owner of the Bass doth profit at the least two
hundred pound yearly by those geese; the Bass itself being of a
great height, and near three quarters of a mile in compass, all fully
replenished with wild fowl, having but one small entrance into it, with
a house, a garden, and a chapel in it; and on the top of it a well of
pure fresh water.
From Adam, Master John and
Master James Acmootye went to the town of Dunbar with
me, where ten Scottish pints of wine were consumed, and brought to
nothing for a farewell: there at Master James Baylies house I
took leave, and Master James Acmootye coming for England,
said, that if I would ride with, that neither I nor my horse should
want betwixt that place and London. Now I having no money nor
means for travel, began at once to examine my manners and my want: at
last my want persuaded my manners to accept of this worthy gentleman's
undeserved courtesy. So that night he brought me to a place called Cockburnspath,
where we lodged at an inn, the like of which I dare say, is not in any
of his Majesty's Dominions. And for to show my thankfulness to Master William
Arnot and his wife, the owners thereof, I must explain their
bountiful entertainment of guests, which is this:
Suppose ten, fifteen, or twenty men and horses come to lodge at their
house, the men shall have flesh, tame and wild fowl, fish with all
variety of good cheer, good lodging, and welcome; and the horses shall
want neither hay or provender: and at the morning at their departure
the reckoning is just nothing. This is this worthy gentlemen's use, his
chief delight being only to give strangers entertainment gratis: and I
am sure, that in Scotland beyond Edinburgh, I have been
at houses like castles for building; the master of the house his beaver
being his blue bonnet, one that will wear no other shirts, but of the
flax that grows on his own ground, and of his wife's, daughters', or
servants' spinning; that hath his stockings, hose, and jerkin of the
wool of his own sheep's backs; that never (by his pride of apparel)
caused mercer, draper, silk-man, embroiderer, or haberdasher to break
and turn bankrupt: and yet this plain home-spun fellow keeps and
maintains thirty, forty, fifty servants, or perhaps, more, every day
relieving three or fourscore poor people at his gate; and besides all
this, can give noble entertainment for four or five days together to
five or six earls and lords, besides knights, gentlemen and their
followers, if they be three or four hundred men, and horse of them,
where they shall not only feed but feast, and not feast but banquet,
this is a man that desires to know nothing so much, as his duty to God
and his King, whose greatest cares are to practise the works of piety,
charity, and hospitality: he never studies the consuming art of
fashionless fashions, he never tries his strength to bear four or five
hundred acres on his back at once, his legs are always at liberty, not
being fettered with golden garters, and manacled with artificial roses,
whose weight (sometime) is the last reliques of some decayed Lordship:
Many of these worthy housekeepers there are in Scotland,
amongst some of them I was entertained; from whence I did truly gather
these aforesaid observations.
So leaving Cockburnspath, we rode to Berwick,
where the worthy old Soldier and ancient Knight, Sir William Bowyer,
made me welcome, but contrary to his will, we lodged at an Inn, where
Master James Acmootye paid all charges: but, at Berwick
there was a grievous chance happened, which I think not fit the
relation to be omitted.
In the river of Tweed, which runs by Berwick,
are taken by fishermen that dwell there, infinite numbers of fresh
salmons, so that many households and families are relieved by the
profit of that fishing; but (how long since I know not) there was an
order that no man or boy whatsoever should fish upon a Sunday: this
order continued long amongst them, till some eight or nine weeks before
Michaelmas last, on a Sunday, the salmons played in such great
abundance in the river, that some of the fishermen (contrary to God's
law and their own order) took boats and nets and fished, and caught
near three hundred salmons; but from that time until Michaelmas day
that I was there, which was nine weeks, heard the report of it, and saw
the poor people's m'serable lamentations, they had not seen one salmon
in the river; and some of them were in despair that they should never
see any more there; affirming it
to be God's judgment upon them for the profanation of the Sabbath.
The thirtieth of September we rode from Berwick
to Belford from Belford to Alnwick, the next
day from Alnwick to Newcastle, where I found the noble
Knight, Sir Henry Witherington; who, because I would have no
gold nor silver, gave me a bay mare, in requital of a loaf of bread
that I had given him two and twenty years before, at the Island of Flores,
of the which I have spoken before. I overtook at Newcastle a
great many of my worthy friends, which were all coming for London,
namely, Master Robert Hay, and Master David Drummond,
where I was welcomed at Master Nicholas Tempests house. From Newcastle
I rode with those gentlemen to Durham, to Darlington,
to Northallerton, and to Topcliffe in Yorkshire,
where I took my leave of them, and would needs try my pennyless
fortunes by myself, and see the city of York, where I was
lodged at my right worshipful good friend, Master Doctor Hudson
one of his Majesty's chaplains, who went with me, and shewed me the
goodly Minster Church there, and the most admirable, rare-wrought,
unfellowed chapter house.
From York I rode to Doncaster,
where my horses were well fed at the Bear, but myself found out the
honorable Knight, Sir Robert Anstruther at his father-in-law's,
the truly noble Sir Robert Swifts house, he being then High
Sheriff of Yorkshire, where with their good Ladies, and the
right Honourable the Lord Sanquhar, I was stayed two nights and
one day, Sir Robert Anstruther (I thank him) not only paying
for my two horses' meat, but at my departure, he gave me a letter to Newark
upon Trent, twenty eight miles in my way, where Master George
Atkinson mine host made me as welcome, as if I had been a French
Lord, and what was to be paid, as I called for nothing, I paid as much;
and left the reckoning with many thanks to Sir Robert Anstruther.
So leaving Newark, with another
gentleman that overtook me, we came at night to Stamford, to
the sign of the Virginity (or the Maidenhead) where I delivered a
letter from the Lord Sanquhar; which caused Master Bates
and his wife, being the master and mistress of the house, to make me
and the gentleman that was with me great cheer for nothing.
From Stamford the next day we rode to Huntingdon,
where we lodged at the Postmaster's house, at the sign of the Crown;
his name is Riggs. He was informed who I was, and wherefore I
undertook this my pennyless progress: wherefore he came up to our
chamber, and supped with us, and bountifully called for three quarts of
wine and sugar, and four jugs of beer. He did drink and begin healths
like a horse-leech and swallowed down his cups without feeling, as if
he had had the dropsy, or nine pound of sponge in his maw. In a word,
as he is a post, he drank post, striving and calling by all means to
make the reckoning great, or to make us men of great reckoning. But in
his payment he was tired like a jade, leaving the gentleman that was
with me to discharge the terrible shot, or else one of my horses must
have lain in pawn for his superfluous calling, and unmannerly intrusion.
But leaving him, I left Huntington,
and rode, on the Sunday to Puckeridge, where Master Holland
at the Falcon, (mine old acquaintance) and my loving and ancient host
gave me, my friend, my man, and our horses excellent cheer, and
welcome, and I paid him with, not a penny of money.
The next day I came to London, and
obscurely coming within Moorgate, I went to a house and borrowed money:
and so I stole back again to Islington, to the sign of the
Maidenhead,1 staying till Wednesday, that my friends came to meet me,
who knew no other, but that Wednesday was my first coming; where with
all love I was entertained with much good cheer: and after supper we
had a play of the Life and Death of Guy of Warwick, played by
the Right Honourable the Earl of Derby his men. And so on the
Thursday morning being the fifteenth of October, I came home to my
house in London.
THE EPILOGUE TO ALL MY ADVENTURERS
HUS did I neither
spend, or beg, or ask,
By any course, direct or indirectly:
But in each tittle I performed my task,
According to my bill most circumspectly.
I vow to God, I have done SCOTLAND wrong,
(And (justly) against me it may bring an action)
I have not given it that right which doth belong,
For which I am half guilty of detraction:
Yet had I wrote all things that there I saw,
Misjudging censures would suppose I natter,
And so my name I should in question draw,
Where asses bray, and prattling pies do chatter:
Yet (armed with truth) I publish with my pen,
That there the Almighty doth his blessings heap,
In such abundant food for beasts and men;
That I ne'er saw more plenty or more cheap.
Thus what mine eyes did see, I do believe;
And what I do believe, I know is true:
And what is true unto your hands I give,
That what I give, may be believed of you.
But as for him that says I lie or dote,
I do return, and turn the lie in's throat.
Thus gentlemen, amongst you take my ware,
You share my thanks, and I your moneys share.
Yours in all observance and
ever to be commanded,