The Survey of Cornwall The First Book by Richard Carew

The first Booke.

Cornwall, the farthest Shire of England Westwards, hath her name by diuers Authors diuersly deriued. Some (as our owne Chroniclers) draw it from Corineus, cousin to Brute, the first Conqueror of this Iland: who wrastling at Plymmouth (as they say) with a mightie Giant, called Gogmagog, threw him ouer Cliffe, brake his necke, and receiued the gift of that Countrie, in reward for his prowesse: Some, as Cerealis, (no lesse mistaken perhaps in that, then in his measures) from Cornu Galliae, a home or corner of Fraunce, whereagainst nature hath placed it: and some, from Cornu Walliae, which (in my conjecture) carrieth greatest likelyhood of truth.

For what time the Saxons, after many bloudie inuasions [Anno Dom. 586.] as Pirates, began at last to plant their dwellings [2a] and take roote in this Iland, as Conquerors, the Britons, by them supplanted, were driuen to seeke their safegard in the waste Moores, craggie Mountaines, and wild Forrests of Wales and Cornwall, where the Countries barrennesse barred their pursuers from victuals, and the dangerousnesse of the passages laid them open to priuie inuasions. Such as had in this sort withdrawne themselves, the Saxons termed Welshmen, by interpretation strangers, for so they were to them, as they to the Countrie: and their place of abode they called Welshland, sithence turned to Wales, euen as by the same reason, they giue still the same name to Italy. Now, Cornwall being cast out into the Sea, with the shape of a horne, borrowed the one part of her name from her fashion, as Matthew of Westminster testifieth, and the other from her Inhabitants; both which conjoyned, make Cornwalliae, and contriued, Cornwall: in which sence, the Cornish people call it Kernow, deriued likewise from Kerne a home. Neither needeth this composition to be accompted any way vncouth, seeing the same is made familiar vnto vs by the like in other Countries, as of Herbipolis in Germanie, Lombardie in Italy, Paleocastrum in Crete, and Neoportus in Carniola: all which, with many other, are likewise compacted of double languages.

This ill-halfening hornie name, hath (as Corneto in Italy) opened a gap to the scoffes of many, who not knowing their owne present condition, or at least their future destinie, can be contented to draw an odious mirth from a publike infamie. But seeing the wisest Enditer, hath directed the penne of his holiest writers to vse this terme, not only in a good meaning, but also in a significant sense, and to sanctifie the thing itselfe in sundrie parts of his seruice: such iesters dishonest indiscretion is rather charitably to bee pittied, then their exception either angerly to be grieued at, or seriously to bee confuted.

I am not ignorant, how sorely the whole storie of Brute, is shaken by some of our late writers, and how stiffely supported by other some: as also that this wrastling pull betweene Corineus and Gogmagog, is reported to have befallen at Douer. For mine owne part, though I reuerence antiquitie, and reckon it a kind of wrong, to exact an ouer-strict reason for all that which vpon credite shee deliuereth; yet I rather incline to their side, who would warrant her authoritie by apparant veritie. Notwithstanding, in this question, I will not take on me the person of either Iudge, or stickler: and therefore if there bee any so plunged in the common floud, as they will still gripe fast, what they haue once caught hold on, let them sport themselves with these coniectures, vpon which mine auerment in behalf of Plymmouth is grounded. The place where Brute is said to haue first landed, was Totnes in Cornwall, and therefore this wrastling likely to haue chaunced there, sooner then elsewhere. The Prouince bestowed on Corineus for this exployt, was Cornwall. It may then be presumed, that he receiued in reward the place where hee made proofe of his worth, and whose prince (for so with others I take Gogmagog to have beene) hee had conquered, euen as Cyrus recompenced Zopirus with the Citie Babylon [Herodotus], which his policie had recouered. Againe, the actiuitie of Deuon and Cornishmen, in this facultie of wrastling, beyond those of other Shires, dooth seeme to deriue them a speciall pedigree, from that graund wrastler [3] Corineus. Moreouer, vpon the Hawe at Plymmouth, there is cut out in the ground, the pourtrayture of two men, the one bigger, the other lesser, with Clubbes in their hands, (whom they terme Gog-Magog) and (as I haue learned) it is renewed by order of the Townesmen, when cause requireth, which should inferre the same to bee a monument of some moment. And lastly the place, hauing a steepe cliffe adioyning, affordeth an oportunitie to the fact. But of this too much.

Cornwall is seated (as most men accompt) in the Latitude of fiftie degrees, and thirtie minutes; and in the Longitude of sixe.

The Shire extendeth in length to about seuentie miles: the breadth, as almost no where equall, so in the largest place, it passeth not thirtie, in the middle twentie, and in the narrowest of the West part, three. The whole compasse may hereby be coniectured.

It bordereth on the East with Deuon, divided therefrom, in most places, by the ryuer Tamer, which springing neere the North Sea, at Hartland in Deuon, runneth thorow Plymmouth Hauen, into the South. For the rest, the maine Ocean sundreth the same, on the North from Ireland, on the West from the Ilands of Scilley, and on the South from little Britaine. These borders now thus straightned, did once extend so wide, as that they enabled their inclosed territorie, with the title of a kingdome. Polidore Virgil allotteth it the fourth part of the whole Iland, and the ancient Chronicles report, that Brute landed at Totnes in Cornwall, a Towne now seated in the midst of Deuon. Moreover, vntill Athelstanes time, the Cornish-men bare equal sway in Excester with the English: for hee it was who hemmed them within their present limits. Lastly, the encroaching Sea hath rauined from it, the whole Countrie of Lionnesse, together with diuers other parcels of no little circuite: and that such a Lionnesse there was, these proofes are yet remaining. The space between the lands end, and the Iles of Scilley, being about thirtie miles, to this day retaineth that name, in Cornish Lethowsow, and carrieth continually an equall depth of fortie or sixtie fathom (a thing not vsuall in the Seas proper Dominion) saue that about the midway, there lieth a Rocke, which at low water discouereth his head. They terme it the Gulfe, suiting thereby the other name of Scilla. Fishermen also casting their hookes thereabouts, haue drawn vp peeces of doores and windowes. Moreouer, the ancient name of Saint Michaels Mount, was Caraclowse in Cowse, in English, The hoare Rocke in the Wood: which now is at euerie floud incompassed by the Sea, and yet at some low ebbes, rootes of mightie trees are discryed in the sands about it. The like ouer- flowing hath happened in Plymmouth Hauen, and diuers other places.

In this situation, though nature hath shouldred out Cornwall into the farthest part of the Realme, and so besieged it with the Ocean, that, as a demie Iland in an Iland, the Inhabitants find but one way of issue by land: yet hath shee in some good measure, counteruailed such disaduantage, through placing it, both neere vnto, and in the trade way betweene Wales, Ireland, Spaine, France, & Netherland. The neerenesse helpeth them, with a shorter cut, lesse peril, and meaner charge, to vent forth and make returne of those commodities, which their [4] owne, or either of those Countries doe afford: the lying in the way, bringeth forraine shipping to claime succour at their harbours, when, either outward, or homeward bound, they are checked by an East, South, or South-east wind: and where the Horse walloweth, some haires will still remaine. Neither is it to bee passed ouer without regard, that these remote quarters, lie not so open to the inuasions of forraine enemies, or spoyles of ciuil tumults, as other more inward parts of the Realme, which being seated neerer the heart, are sooner sought, and earlyer ransacked in such troublesome times: or if the Countries long naked sides, offer occasion of landing to any aduerse shipping, her forementioned inward naturall strength, increased by so many Lanes and Inclosures, straightneth the same to a preying onely vpon the outward Skirts by some pettie fleetes: For the danger of farder piercing, will require the protection of a greater force for execution, then can there be counteruailed with the benefit of any bootie, or conquest, were they sure to preuaile. And if to bee free from a dammage, may passe for a commoditie, I can adde, that the far distance of this Countie from the Court, hath heretofore afforded it a Supersedeas from takers & Purueyours: for if they should fetch any prouision from thence, well it might be marked with the visard of her Highnes prerogatiue, but the same would verie slenderly turne to the benefit of her Majesties house keeping: for the foulenesse and vneasinesse of the waies, the little mould of Cornish cattel, and the great expence of driuing them, would defaulke as much from the iuft price to the Queene, at the deliuering, as it did from the owners at the taking. Besides that, her Highnesse shipping should heerethrough bee defrauded of often supplies, which these parts afford vnto them.

Vpon which reasons, some of the Purueyours attempts, heretofore through the suite of the Countrie, the sollicitation of Sir Richard Gremuile, the credite of the Lord Warden, and the graciousnesse of our Soueraigae, were reuoked and suppressed, and the same vnder her Highnesse priuie Seale confirmed. Notwithstanding, when her Majestie made her pleasure afterwards knowne, that shee would have a generall contribution from euerie Shire, for redeeming this exemption, Cornwall opposing dutie against reason, or rather accompting dutie a reason sufficient, yeelded to vndergoe a proportionable rate of the burthen. So they compounded to furnish ten Oxen after Michaelmas for thirtie pound price; to which, by another agreement with the Officers, they should adde fortie markes of their owne. Vpon half a yeeres warning either partie might repent the bargaine. This held for a while; but within a short space, either the carelesnesse of the Iustices in imposing this rate, or the negligence of the Constables in collecting it, or the backwardnesse of the Inhabitants in paying the same, or all these together ouerslipped the time, and withheld the satisfaction. Hereon downe comes a Messenger with sharpe letters from the Officers of the Greene cloth. The conclusion ensued, that his charges must bee borne, and an higher price disbursed for the supplie. Thus it fareth too and fro, and the Cornishmen seeme to hold a Wolfe by the eares: for to make payment the people are unwilling, as in a charge heretofore vnusuall, to undergoe the [5] managing hereof, the Iustices strayne courtesie, as in a matter nothing plausible, and appertaining to ouer-many partners, for the well effecting, and yet to breake they are both afraid, suspecting that a heauier load will follow, if this composition be once set at large.

These commodities goe not vnaccompanied with their inconueniences: for to Cornwall also hath Pandora’s Boxe beene opened. One is, that the farre distance from the higher seates of Iustice, rippeth a wider gap to intruding iniuries, and increaseth the charge and time of procuring their redresse. Which due occasion of discouragement, the worst conditioned, and least cliented Petiuoguers, doe yet (vnder the sweet baite of revenge) convert to a more plentiful prosecution of actions. The ordinarie trade of these men is, where they perceiue a sparke of displeasure kindling, to increase the flame with their bellowes of perswasion. Hath such a one abused you, saith he? Anger him a little, that breaking out into some outragious words, you may take advantage thereof; and you shall see how we will hamper him: warrant you he shall fetch an errand to London, & beare part of your charges too. After the game hath beene brought in by this Winlesse, the poore foule is bound not to release his aduersarie, without his Attournies consent, who plieth the matter with so good a stomack, as hee eateth the kernell, whilest they fight about the shell. At last, when the fountain of his Clients purse is drawne drie, by his extravagant fees of Pro consilio, pro expeditione, pro amicitia Vicecomitis, &c. besides the packing betweene the Vndersheriffe and him, of docketing out Writs neuer sued foorth, the mediation of friends must shut up the matter in a comprimise. Another discommoditie groweth, that whereas London furnisheth all prouisions (euen Tynne, and such other arising in the same Countrie) of best stuffe, fashion, store, and cheapnesse: the hard procuring, and farre carriage, addeth an extraordinarie increase of price to the Cornish buyers: and for matters of benefit, or preferment, by suits at Court, either the opportunitie is past, before notice can arriue so far: or the following there, and losse the whiles at home, will require a great and assured gaine in the principall, to warrant the hope of a sauing bargaine in the appurtenance.

Touching the temperature of Cornwall, the ayre thereof is cleansed, as with bellowes, by the billowes, and flowing and ebbing of the Sea, and therethrough becommeth pure, and subtill, and, by consequence, healthfull. So as the Inhabitants doe seldome take a ruthful and reauing experience of those harmes, which infectious diseases vse to carrie with them. But yet I haue noted, that this so piercing an ayre, is apter to preserue then recouer health, especially in any languishing sicknesse which hath possessed strangers: neither know I, whether I may impute to this goodnesse of the ayre, that vpon the returne of our fleete from the Portugall action, 1589. the diseases which the Souldiers brought home with them, did grow more grieuous, as they carried the same farther into the land, then it fell out at Plymmouth, where they landed: for there the same was, though infectious, yet not so contagious, and though pestilentiall, yet not the verie pestilence, as afterwards it proued in other places.

The Spring visiteth not these quarters so timely, as the Easterne parts. Summer imparteth a verie [6] temperate heat, recompencing his slow-fostering of the fruits, with their kindly ripening. Autumne bringeth a somewhat late Haruest, specially to the middle of the Shire, where they seldome inne their Corne before Michaelmas. Winter, by reason of the Southes neere neighbourhead, and Seas warme breath, fauoureth it with a milder cold then elsewhere, so as, vpon both coastes, the Frost and Snow come verie seldome, and make a speedie departure. This notwithstanding, the Countrie is much subiect to stormes, which fetching a large course, in the open Sea, doe from thence violently assault the dwellers at land, and leaue them vncouered houses, pared hedges, and dwarfe-growne trees, as witnesses of their force and furie : yea, euen the hard stones, and yron barres of the windowes, doe fret to be so continually grated. One kind of these stormes, they call a flaw, or flaugh, which is a mightie gale of wind, passing suddainely to the shore, and working strong effects, vpon whatsoeuer it incountreth in his way.

The Cornish soyle, for the most part, is lifted vp into many hils, some great, some little of quantitie, some steepe, some easie for ascent, and parted in sunder by short and narrow vallies. A shallow earth dooth couer their outside, the substance of the rest consisteth ordinarily in Rockes and Shelse, which maketh them hard for manurance, & subiect to a drie Summers parching. The middle part of the Shire (sauing the inclosures about some few Townes and Villages) lieth waste and open, sheweth a blackish colour, beareth Heath and spirie Grasse, and serveth in a maner, onely to Summer Cattel. That which bordereth vpon either side of the Sea, through the Inhabitants good husbandrie, of inclosing, sanding, and other dressing, carrieth a better hue, and more profitable qualitie. Meadow ground it affoordeth little, pasture for Cattel and Sheepe, store enough, Corne ground plentie.

Hils of greatest name and height are, Hinxten, Rowtor, Brownwelly, S. Agnes, Haynborough, the foure Boroughs, Roche, Carnbray, and the two Castellan Danis.

In the rest of this earthy description, I will begin with such mynerals as her bowels yeeld forth, and then passe on to those things, of growing, and feeling life, which vpon her face doe relieue themselues.

These mynerals are not so deepe buried by nature in the entrailes of the Earth, nor so closely couched amongst the Rockes, but that desire of gaine with the instrument of Art can digge them vp: they may bee diuided into stones and mettals.

Quarrie stones are of sundrie sorts, and serue to diuers purposes. For walling, there are rough, and Slate: the rough maketh speedier building, the Slate surer. For Windowes, Dornes, and Chimnies, Moore stone carrieth chiefest reckoning. That name is bestowed on it, by the Moores or waste ground, where the same is found in great quantitie, either lying vpon the ground, or verie little vnder. This stone answereth the charge of fetching, with the fairenes of his whitish colour, containing certaine glimmering sparkles, and counteruaileth his great hardnesse in working, with the profit of long endurance, nature hauing ordained the same, as of purpose, to withstand the fretting weather. There are also three other sorts of stones, seruing to the same vse, and hewed with lesse, though differing labour: Pentuan digged out of the Sea Cliffes,and in colour [7] somewhat resembleth gray Marble, Caraclouse blacke, not vnlike the Ieat; the third taken out of inland Quarries, and not much differing from the Easterne free stone.

The Sea strond also in many places, affordeth Peeble-stones, which washed out of the earth, or falling from the Rockes, and there lying loose, are, by often rolling of the waues, wrought to a kind of roundnesse, and serue verie handsomely for pauing of streetes and Courts.

For couering of Houses there are three sorts of Slate, which from that vse take the name of Healing-stones. The first and best Blew: the second, Sage-leafe coloured, the third and meanest Gray. The Blew, and so the rest, are commonly found vnder the walling Slate, when the depth hath brought the workmenn to the Water. This Slate is in substance thinne, in colour faire, in waight light, in lasting strong, and generally carrieth so good regard, as (besides the supplie for home prouision) great store is yeerely conueied by shipping both to other parts of the Realme, and also beyond the Seas, into Britaine and Netherland.

They make Lyme, moreouer, of another kind of Marle-stone, either by burning a great quantitie thereof together, with a seruent fire of Furze, or by maintaining a continuall, though lesser heate, with stone Cole in smaller Kils: this is accompted the better cheape, but that yeeldeth the whiter Lyme.

Touching mettals: Copper is found in sundrie places, but with what gaine to the searchers, I haue not beene curious to enquire, nor they hastie to reueale. For at one Mine (of which I tooke view) the Owre was shipped to bee refined in Wales, either to saue cost in the fewell or to conceale the profit.

Neither hath nature denyed Siluer to Cornwall, though Cicero excluded the same out of all Britaine: and if wee may beleeve our Chroniclers reports, who ground themselues vpon authenticall Records, king Edward the first, and king Edward the third, reaped some good benefit thereof. But for our present experience, what she proffereth with the one hand, shee seemeth to pull backe with the other, whereof some Gentlemen not long sithence, made triall to their losse: howbeit, neither are they discouraged by this successe, nor others from the like attempt.

Tynners doe also find little hoppes of Gold amongst their Owre, which they keepe in quils, and sell to the Goldsmithes oftentimes with little better gaine, then Glaucus exchange.

Yea it is not altogether barren of precious stones, and Pearle: for Dyamonds are in many places found cleauing to those Rockes, out of which the Tynne is digged: they are polished, squared, and pointed by nature: their quantitie from a Pease, to a Walnut: in blacknesse and hardnesse they come behind the right ones, and yet I haue knowne some of them set on so good a foile, as at first sight, they might appose a not vnskilfull Lapidarie.

The Pearle (though here not aptly raunged) breed in bigge Oysters, and Muscles, greater in quantitie, then acceptable for goodnesse, as neither round nor Orient. Perhaps Caesar spoyled the best beds, when he made that gay Coate of them, to present his graundame Venus.

Cornwall is also not altogether destitute of Agates [8] and white
Corall, as by credible relation I haue learned.

But why seeke wee in corners for pettie commodities, when as the onely mynerall of Cornish Tynne, openeth so large a field to the Countries benefit? this is in working so pliant, for sight so faire, and in vse so necessarie, as thereby the Inhabitants gaine wealth, the Merchants trafficke, and the whole Realme a reputation: and with such plentie thereof hath God stuffed the bowels of this little Angle, that (as Astiages dreamed of his daughter) it ouerfloweth England, watereth Christendome, and is deriued to a great part of the world besides. In trauailing abroad, in tarrying at home, in eating and drinking, in doing ought of pleasure or necessitie, Tynne, either in his owne shape, or transformed into other fashions, is alwayes requisite, alwayes readie for our seruice: but I shall rather disgrace, then endeere it by mine ouer-weake commendation, and sooner tire myselfe, then draw the fountaine of his praises drie. Let this therefore suffice, that it cannot bee of meane price, which hath found, with it, Dyamonds, amongst it Gold, and in it Siluer.

The Cornish Tynners hold a strong imagination, that in the withdrawing of Noahs floud to the Sea, the same tooke his course from East to West, violently breaking vp, and forcibly carrying with it, the earth, trees, and Rocks, which lay any thing loosely, neere the vpper face of the ground. To confirme the likelihood of which supposed truth, they doe many times digge vp whole and huge Timber trees, which they conceiue at that deluge to haue beene ouerturned and whelmed: but whether then, or sithence, probable it is, that some such cause produced this effect. Hence it commeth, that albeit the Tynne lay couched at first in certaine strakes amongst the Rockes, like a tree, or the veines in a mans bodie, from the depth whereof the maine Load spreadeth out his branches, vntill they approach the open ayre: yet they haue now two kinds of Tynne workes, Stream, and Load: for (say they) the foremencioned floud, carried together with the moued Rockes and earth, so much of the Load as was inclosed therein, and at the asswaging, left the same scattered here and there in the vallies and ryuers, where it passed; which being sought and digged, is called Streamworke: under this title, they comprise also the Moore workes, growing from the like occasion. They maintaine these workes, to haue beene verie auncient, and first wrought by the Iewes with Pickaxes of Holme, Boxe, and Harts horne: they prooue this by the name of those places yet enduring, to wit, Attall Sarazin, in English, the Iewes offcast, and by those tooles daily found amongst the rubble of such workes. And it may well be, that as Akornes made good bread, before Ceres taught the vse of Corne; and sharpe Stones serued the Indians for Kniues, vntill the Spaniards brought them Iron: so in the infancie of knowledge, these poore instruments for want of better did supplie a turne. There are also taken vp in such works, certaine little tooles heads of Brasse, which some terme Thunder-axes, but they make small shew of any profitable vse. Neither were the Romanes ignorant of this trade, as may appeare by a brasse Coyne of Domitian’s, found in one of these workes, and fallen into my hands: and perhaps vnder one of those Flauians, the Iewish workmen made here their first arriuall.

[9] They discouer these workes, by certaine Tynne-stones,lying on the face of the ground, which they terme Shoad, as shed from the maine Load, and made somwhat smooth and round, by the waters washing & wearing. Where the finding of these affordeth a tempting likelihood, the Tynners goe to worke, casting vp trenches before them, in depth 5, or 6. foote more or lesse, as the loose ground went, & three or foure in breadth, gathering vp such Shoad, as this turning of the earth doth offer to their sight. If any ryuer thwart them, and that they resolve to search his bed, hee is trained by a new channell from his former course. This yeeldeth a speedie and gaineful recompence to the aduenturers of the search, but I hold it little beneficiall to the owners of the soyle. For those low grounds, beforetime fruitfull, hauing herethrough their wrong side turned outwards, accuse the Tynners iniurie by their succeeding barrennesse.

To find the Load-workes, their first labour is also imployed in seeking this Shoad, which either lieth open on the grasse, or but shallowly couered. Hauing found any such, they coniecture by the sight of the ground, which way the floud came that brought it thither, and so giue a gesse at the place whence it was broken off. There they sincke a Shaft, or pit of five or six foote in length, two or three foote in breadth, and seuen or eight foote in depth, to proue whether they may so meete with the Load. By this Shaft, they also discerne which was the quicke ground (as they call it) that mooued with the floud, and which the firme, wherein no such Shoad doth lie. If they misse the Load in one place, they sincke a like Shaft in another beyond that, commonly farther vp towards the hill, and so a third and fourth, vntill they light at last vpon it. But you may not conceiue, that euerie likelyhood doth euer proue a certaintie: for diuers haue beene hindered, through bestowing charges in seeking, and not finding, and many vndone in finding and not speeding, whiles a faire show, tempting them to mvch cost, hath, in the end, fayled in substance, and made the aduenturers Banckrupt of their hope and purse.

Some have found Tynne-workes of great vallew, through meanes no lesse strange, then extraordinarie, to wit, by dreames. As in Edward the sixts time, a Gentlewoman, heire to one Tresculierd, and wife to Lanine, dreamed, that a man of seemely personage told her, how in such a Tenement of her Land, shee should find so great store of Tynne, as would serue to inrich both her selfe and her posteritie. This shee reuealed to her husband: and hee, putting the same in triall, found a worke, which in foure yeeres, was worth him welneere so many thousand pounds. Moreouer, one Taprel lately liuing, & dwelling in the Parish of the hundred of West, call’d S. Niot, by a like dreame of his daughter (see the lucke of women) made the like assay, met with the effect, farmed the worke of the vnwitting Lord of the soyle, and grew thereby to good state of wealth. The same report passeth as currant, touching sundrie others; but I will not bind any mans credite, though, that of the Authors haue herein swayed mine: and yet he that will afford his eare to Astrologers and naturall Philosophers, shall haue it filled with many discourses, of the constellation of the heauens, and the constitution of mens bodies, fitting to this purpose.

[10] There are, that leauing these trades of new searching, doe take in hand such old Stream and Loadworks, as by the former aduenturers haue beene giuen ouer, and oftentimes they find good store of Tynne, both in the rubble cast vp before, as also in veines which the first workmen followed not. From hence there groweth a diuersitie in opinion, amongst such Gentlemen, as by, iudgement and experience, can looke into these matters; some of them supposing that the Tynne groweth; and others, that it onely separateth from the consumed offall. But whosoeuer readeth that which Francis Leandro hath written touching the yron mynerals, in the Ile of Elba, will cleaue perhaps to a third conceite: for hee auoucheth, that the trenches, out of which the Owre there is digged, within twentie or thirtie yeeres, become alike ful againe of the same mettall, as at first, & he confirmeth it by sutable examples, borrowed from Clearchus, of Marble, in Paros Iland, and of Salt, in India, deducing thence this reason, that the ayre and water replenishiing the voide roome, through the power of the vniuersall agent, and some peculiar celestiall influence, are turned into the selfe substance; and so by consequence, neither the Owre groweth, nor the earth consumeth away: and this opinion, Munster in his Cosmographie, doth seeme to vnderprop, affirming, that neere the Citie of Apolonia in Dalmatia, the veines whence Brasse is digged, are filled in like maner. So doth he report, that neere Ptolomais, there lieth a round valley, out of which glassie Sand being taken, the winds fill the pit againe, from the upper part of the adioyning mountaines; which matter is conuerted into the former substance and that euen Mettals throwne Into this place, doe vndergoe the like Metamorphosis.

The colour both of the Shoad and Load, resembleth his bed, as the Sea sand doth the Cliffes, and is so diuersified to reddish, blackish, duskie, and such other earthy colours.

If the Load wherein the Tynne lieth, carrieth a foote and halfe in breadth, and be not ouerbarren, it is accompted a verie rich worke: but commonly the same exceedeth not a foote, vnlesse many Loads runne together.

When the new found worke intiseth with probabilitie of profit, the discouerer doth commonly associate himselfe with some more partners, because the charge amounteth mostly verie high for any one mans purse, except lined beyond ordinarie, to reach vnto: and if the worke doe faile, many shoulders will more easily support the burthen. These partners consist either of such Tinners as worke to their owne behoofe, or of such aduenturers as put in hired labourers. The hirelings stand at a certaine wages, either by the day, which may be about eight pence, or for the yeere, being betweene foure and sixe pound, as their deseruing can driue the bargaine: at both which rates they must find themselues.

If the worke carrie some importance, and require the trauaile of many hands, that hath his name, and they their Ouerseer, whome they terme their Captaine: such are the Pel, Whilancleuth, in English, The worke of the Ditches: Pulstean, that is, The myrie head: Crueg braaz, The great Borough: Saint Margets, and many surnamed Balls, which betoken the Vales where the works are set on foote.

[11] The Captaines office bindeth him to sort ech workman his taske, to see them applie their labour, to make timely prouision, for binding the worke with frames of Timber, if need exact it, to place Pumpes for drawing of water, and to giue such other directions. In most places, their toyle is so extreame, as they cannot endure it aboue foure houres in a day, but are succeeded by spels: the residue of the time, they weare out at Coytes, Kayles, or like idle exercises. Their Kalender also alloweth them more Holy-dayes, then are warranted by the Church, our lawes, or their owne profit.

Their ordinarie tooles, are a Pick-axe of yron, about sixteene inches long, sharpned at the one end to pecke, and flat-headed at the other, to driue certaine little yron Wedges, wherewith they cleaue the Rockes. They haue also a broad Shouell, the vtter part of yron, the middle of Timber, into which the staffe is slopewise fastned.

Their maner of working in the Loadmines, is to follow the Load as it lieth, either sidelong, or downe-right: both waies the deeper they sincke, the greater they find the Load. When they light vpon a smal veine, or chance to leefe the Load which they wrought, by means of certaine firings that may hap to crosse it, they begin at another place neere-hand, and so draw by gesse to the maine Load againe. If the Load lie right downe, they follow it sometimes to the depth of fortie or fiftie fathome. These Loadworkes, Diod.Sic.l.5.cap.8. seemeth to point at, where hee saith, that the Inhabitants of Veleriumm Promontorie, digge vp Tin out of rockie ground. From some of their bottomes you shal at noone dayes discrie the Starres: the workmen are let down and taken vp in a Stirrup, by two men who wind the rope.

If the Load lie slope-wise, the Tynners digge a conuenient depth, and then passe forward vnder ground, so farre as the ayre will yeeld them breathing, which, as it beginneth to faile, they sinke a Shaft downe thither from the top, to admit a renewing vent, which notwithstanding, their worke is most by Candle-light. In these passages, they meete sometimes with verie loose earth, sometimes with exceeding hard Rockes, and sometimes with great streames of water.

The loose Earth is propped by frames of Timber-worke, as they go, and yet now and then falling downe, either presseth the poore workmen to death, or stoppeth them from returning. To part the Rockes, they haue the foremencioned Axes, and Wedges, with which, mostly, they make speedie way, and yet (not seldome) are so tied by the teeth, as a good workman shall hardly be able to hew three foote, in the space of so many weekes. While they thus play the Moldwarps, vnsauorie Damps doe here and there distemper their heads, though not with so much daunger in the consequence, as annoyance for the present.

For conueying away the water, they pray in aide of sundry deuices, as Addits, Pumps &. Wheeles, driuen by a streame, and interchangeably filling, and emptying two Buckets, with many such like: all which notwithstanding, the Springs so incroche vpon these inuentions, as in sundrie places they are driuen to keepe men, and some-where horses also at worke both day & night, without ceasing, and in some all this will not serue the turne. For supplying such hard seruices, they haue alwaies fresh men at hand.

[12] They cal it the bringing of an Addit, or Audit, when they begin to trench without, and carrie the same thorow the ground to the Tynworke, somewhat deeper then the water doth lie, thereby to giue it passage away.

This Addit, they either fetch athwart the whole Load, or right from the braunch where they worke, as the next valley ministreth fittest opportunitie, for soonest cutting into the Hil: and therfore a Gentleman of good knowledges, deduceth this name of Addit, Ab aditu ad aquas. Surely the practice is cunning in deuice, costly in charge, and long in effecting: and yet, when all is done, many times the Load falleth away, and they may sing with Augustus bird, Opera & impensa periit. If you did see how aptly they cast the ground, for conueying the water, by compassings and turnings, to shunne such hils & vallies as let them, by their two much height or lownesse, you would wonder how so great skill could couch in so base a Cabbin, as their (otherwise) thicke clouded braines.

As much almost dooth it exceede credite, that the Tynne, for and in so small quantitie, digged vp with so great toyle, and passing afterwards thorow the managing of so many hands, ere it come to sale, should be any way able to acquite the cost: for being once brought aboue ground in the stone, it is first broken in peeces with hammers; and then carryed, either in waynes, or on horses backs, to a stamping mill, where three, and in some places sixe great logges of timber, bound at the ends with yron, and lifted vp and downe by a wheele, driuen with the water, doe breake it smaller. If the stones be ouer-moyst, they are dried by the fire in an yron cradle or grate.

From the stamping mill, it passeth to the crazing mil, which betweene two grinding stones, turned also with a water-wheele, bruseth the same to a fine sand: howbeit, of late times they mostly vse wet stampers, & so haue no need of the crazing mils, for their best stuffe, but only for the crust of their tayles.

The streame, after it hath forsaken the mill, is made to fall by certayne degrees one somwhat distant from another; vpon each of which, at euery discent lyeth a greene turfe, three or foure foote square, and one foote thick. On this the Tinner layeth a certayne portion of the sandie Tinne, and with his shouell softly tosseth the same to and fro, that through this stirring, the water which runneth ouer it, may wash away the light earth from the Tinne, which of a heauier substance lyeth fast on the turfe. Hauing so cleansed one portion, he setteth the same aside, and beginneth with another, vntil his labour take end with his taske. The best of those turfes (for all sorts serue not) are fetched about two miles to the Eastwards of S. Michaels Mount, where at a low water they cast aside the sand, and dig them vp: they are full of rootes of trees, and on some of them nuts haue beene found, which confirmeth my former assertion of the seas intrusion. After it is thus washed, they put the remnant into a wooden dish, broad, flat, and round, being about two foote ouer, and hauing two handles fastened at the sides, by which they softly shogge the same to and fro in the water betweene their legges, as they sit ouer it, vntill whatsoeuer of the earthie substance that was yet left, be flitted away. Some of later time, with a sleighter inuention, and lighter labour, doe cause certaine boyes to stir it vp and downe with their [13] feete, which worketh the same effect: the residue after this often cleansing, they call blacke Tynne, which is proportionably diuided to euerie of the aduenturers, when the Lords part hath beene first deducted vpon the whole.

Then doth each man carrie his portion to the blowing house, where the same is melted with Char-coale fire, blowne by a great paire of Bellowes, mooved with a water-wheele, and so cast into peeces of a long and thicke squarenesse, from three hundred to foure hundred pound waight, at which time the owners marke is set thereupon. The last remooue, is to the place of Coynage, which I shall touch hereafter. I haue alreadie told you, how great charge the Tynner vndergoeth, before he can bring his Owre to this last mill: whereto if you adde his care and cost, in buying the wood for this seruice, in felling, framing, and piling it to bee burned, in fetching the same, when it is coaled through such farre, foule, and cumbersome wayes, to the blowing house, together with the blowers two or three Moneths extreame and increasing labour, sweltring heate, danger of skalding their bodies, burning the houses, casting away the worke, and lastly their ugly countenances, tanned with smoake and besmeared with sweate: all these things (I say) being duly considered, I know not whether you would more maruaile, either whence a sufficient gaine should arise to counteruaile so manifold expences, or that any gaine could traine men to vndertake such paines and perill. But there let vs leaue them, since their owne will doth bring them thither. During the Tinnes thus melting in the blowing house, diuers light sparkles thereof are by the forcible wind, which the bellows sendeth forth, driuen vp to the thatched roofe. For which cause the owners doe once in seuen or eight yeeres, burne those houses, and find so much of this light Tynne in the ashes, as payeth for the new building, with a gainefull ouerplus. A strange practise (certes) for thrifts sake, to set our house on fire. Others doe frame the Tunnels of the Chimnies verie large and slope, therein to harbour these sparkles, and so saue the burning. This casualtie may bee worth the owner some ten pound by the yeere, or better, if his Mil haue store of sutors. But sithence I gathered stickes to the building of this poore nest, Sir Francis Godolphin, (whose kind helpe hath much aduanced this my playing labour) entertained a Duch mynerall man, and taking light from his experience, but building thereon farre more profitable conclusions of his owne inuention, hath practised a more sauing way in these matters, and besides, made Tynne with good profit, of that refuse which the Tynners reiected as nothing worth.

We will now proceede, to take a view of the orders and customes most generally vsed among the Tynners.

Their workes, both Streame and Load, lie either in seuerall, or in wastrell, that is, in enclosed grounds, or in commons. In Seuerall, no man can search for Tynne, without leaue first obtained from the Lord of the soile; who, when any Myne is found, may worke it wholly himselfe, or associate partners, or set it out at a farme certaine, or leaue it vn wrought at his pleasure. In Wastrell, it is lawfull for any man to make triall of his fortune that way, prouided, that hee acknowledge the Lordes right, by sharing out vnto him a certaine part, which they call toll: a custome fauouring more of [14] indifferencie, then the Tynners constitutions in Deuon, which inable them to digge for Tynne in any mans ground, inclosed, or vnclosed, without licence, tribute or satisfaction. Wherethrough it appeareth, that the Law-makers rather respected their owne benefit, then equitie, the true touch of all lawes. The Wastrel workes are reckoned amongst chattels, and may passe by word or Will. When a Myne is found in any such place, the first discouerer aymeth how farre it is likely to extend, and then, at the foure corners of his limited proportion, diggeth vp three Turfes, and the like (if he list) on the sides, which they terme Bounding, and within that compasse, euery other man is restrained from searching. These bounds he is bound to renew once euerie yeere, as also in most places to bestow some time in working the Myne, otherwise hee loseth this priuiledge. The worke thus found and bounded, looke how many men doe labour therein, so many Doales or shares they make thereof, and proportionably diuide the gaine and charges. The Lord of the soyle is most-where allowed libertie to place one workman in euerie fifteene for himself, at like hand with the aduenturers, if hee be so disposed.

They measure their blacke Tynne, by the Gill, the Toplisse, the Dish and the Foote, which containeth a pint, a pottel, a gallon, and towards two gallons.

Townes specially priuiledged for the Coynages, are Helston, Truro, Lostwithiel, and Liskerd. The times of Coynage come twise in the yeere, Viz. about Midsummer and Michaelmas: but because it falleth out verie often that the Tynne which is wrought, cannot be blowen and brought thither, against the limited dayes, there are, in fauour of the Tynners, certaine later times assigned, which they terme Post-coynages.

The officers deputed, to manage this Coynage, are, Porters, to beare the Tynne, Peizers to weigh it, a Steward, Comptroller, and Receiuer to keepe the accompt, euerie of which haue entertainement from her Maiestie, and receiue a fee out of the coyned Tynne.

For the maner of Coynage: the Blockes or peeces of Tynne, are brought into a great roome ordained for that purpose, and there first peized, then tasted, that is, proued whether they be soft Tynne or hard, and after, marked with their Maiesties stampe. To the hard (lesse worth by fiftie shillings in the thousand than the soft) the letter H. is added, e’re it come from the blowing-house. Each thousand must answere fortie shillings to the Queene, which with the other incident fees being satisfied, then, and not before, it is lawfull for the owner to alienate and distract the same.

But about the price there groweth much adoe, betweene the Marchants and the owners, before they can iumpe to an agreement. The Marchant vnfoldeth his packe of strange newes, which either he brought with him from London (where most of them dwell) or forged by the way, telling what great likelyhood there is of warres, what danger of Pirates at Sea, how much of the fore-bought Tynne lieth on their hands, &c. The owner, on,the other side, stoppeth his eares against these charmes, answeres his newes with the Spaniards, Credo en Dios, encounters his reasons, with the present scarcitie and charges of getting and working Tynne, and so keeping vp the price, Iniquum petit, ut aequum ferat. In the end, after much bidding, and louing, varying, and [15] delaying, commonly that Marchant who hath most money to bestow, and that owner who hath most Tynne to sell, doe make the price, at which rate the Marchant is bound to yeeld present payment for so much Tynne as shall be brought him, and, of necessitie, must bargaine for tenne thousand at the least. Others notwithstanding are not bound to buy or sell at this price, but euerie man left at libertie, to make his best market.

The Tynne so sold, hath vsually amounted heretofore to the worth of thirtie or fortie thousand pound in money, and carried price betweene twentie and thirtie pound the thousand, sometimes higher, and sometimes lower, according to the quicke vent and aboundance, or the dead sale and scarcitie; wherein yet some haue obserued, that this so profitable, and vendible a marchandize, riseth not to a proportionable enhauncement, with other lesse beneficiall, and affected commodities, and they impute it partly to the Easterne buyers packing, partly to the owners not venting, and venturing the same.

Here I must either craue or take leaue of the Londoners, to lay open the hard dealing of their Tynne Marchants in this trade. When any Western Gent, or person of accompt, wanteth money to defray his expences at London, he resorteth to one of the Tynne Marchants of his acquaintance, to borrow some: but they shall as soone wrest the Clubbe out of Hercules fist, as one penie out of their fingers, vnlesse they giue bond for euerie twentie pound so taken in lone, to deliuer a thousand pound waight of Tyn at the next Coynage, which shal be within two or three months, or at farthest within half a yeere after. At which time the price of euerie thousand, will not faile to be at least twentie three, prehaps twentie five pound: yea, and after promise made, the party must be driuen (with some indignitie) to make three or foure errands to his house, ere hee shall get the money deliuered. In this sort, some one Marchant will haue 5. hundred pound out beforehand, reaping thereby a double commoditie, both of excessiue gaine for his lone, and of assurance to be serued with Tyn for his money. This they say is no Vsurie, forsooth, because the price of Tynne is not certainely knowne beforehand: (for once onely within these twelue yeeres, of set purpose to escape the penaltie of the Law, they brought it a little vnder twentie pound the thousand:) but if to take aboue fiftie in the hundred be extremitie, whatsoeuer name you list to giue it, this in truth can bee none other, then cutthroate and abominable dealing. I will not condemne all such as vse this trade, neither yet acquite those who make greatest pretence of zeale in Religion: and it may be, that some vpon by-respects, find somwhat friendly vsage in Vsance, at some of their hands: but the common voice saith, that for the most part, they are naught all.

And yet how bad soeuer this fashion may justly bee accompted, certaine of the same Countrymen do passe farre beyond it, as thus: The Marchant, that hee may stand assured to haue Tynne for his money, at the time of Coynage or deliuerance, besides his trade of lone abouementioned, layeth out diuers summes beforehand, vnto certaine Cornishmen, owners of Tynworkes, or otherwise of knowne sufficiencie, who are bound to deliuer for the same, so many thousands of Tynne, as [16] the money shal amount vnto, after the price agreed vpon at the Coinages. To these hungrie flies, the poore labouring Tynner resorteth, desiring some money before the time of his pay at the deliuerance: the other puts him off at first, answering he hath none to spare: in the end, when the poore man is driuen through necessitie to renew his suite, he fals to questioning, what hee will do with the money. Saith the Tynner, I will buy bread and meate for my selfe and my houshold, and shooes, hosen, peticoates, & such like stuffe for my wife and children. Suddenly herein, this owner becomes a pettie chapman: I will serue thee, saith he: hee deliuers him so much ware as shall amount to fortie shillings, in which he cuts him halfe in halfe for the price, and four nobles in money, for which the poore wretch is bound in Darbyes bonds, to deliuer him two hundred waight of Tynne at the next Coynage, which may then bee worth fiue pound or foure at the verie least. And as mischiefe still creepes onward, this extreme dealing of the London Marchant and Countrie chapman, in white Tynne is imitated (or rather exceeded) by the wealthier sort of Tynners themselues in the blacke, by laying out their money after thus much the marke: which trade, though subtill and darke, I will open as plainely as I can.

A foote of blacke Tynne (as is before said) containeth in measure two gallons; the waight vncertainely followeth the goodnesse. A foote of good Moore-tyn, (which is counted the best sort) will way about foure-score pound. Of the Myne Tynne (which is meaner) fiftie two pound: of the worst fiftie pound. Two pound of good blacke Tynne, being melted, will yeeld one of white: twentle eight or thirtie foote of the best, fortie: of the middle, 52. of the meanest, a thousand. Now the wealthier sort of Tynners, laying out part of their money beforehand, buy this black Tynne of the poore labourers, after so much the marke: that is, looke how many markes there are in the price, made at the Coynage for the thousand, so many two pence halfepenie, three pence, or foure pence, partly after the goodnesse, and partly according to the hard conscience of the one, and necessitie of the other, shal he haue for the foote: as if the price be twentie sixe pound, thirteene shillings & foure pence the thousand, therein are fortie markes: then shall the poore Tynner receiue of him who dealeth most friendly, for euerie foote of his best blacke Tynne (of which as was said, about thirtie will make a thousand) fortie times foure pence: viz. thirteene shillings and foure pence, which amounteth to twentie pound the thousand: whereas that foote at the price, is worth aboue fiue pence the marke. Likewise will hee pay for the meaner blacke Tynne (of which about fortie foote will make a thousand) three pence the marke, which is ten shillings the foote, and so shall he haue also after twentie pound for the thousand: for the worse they giue lesse, rateably. By which proportion, how vncertaine so euer the goodnesse of the Tynne, or the greatnesse of the price do fall, their gaine of a fourth part at least riseth alwaies certainly. Whereto adding, that they lay out beforehand but a portion of the money due, and that onely for some small time, you shall find it grow to the highest degree of extremitie.

But whether it proceedeth from this hard dealing, or for that the Tynners whole familie giue themselues [17] to a lazie kind of life, and depend only upon his labour and gaynes; which often ill succeeding adventurers, & such ouer-deare bought Tynne daylie impaire, or from both these together; once it hath beene duly obserued, that the parrishes where Tynne is wrought, rest in a meaner plight of wealth, then those which want this dammageable commoditie: and that as by abandoning this trade, they amend, so by reuiuing the same, they decay againe; whereas husbandrie yeeldeth that certayne gaine in a mediocritie, which Tynneworkes rather promise, then performe in a larger measure.

Let vs now examine what course of Iustice is held for deciding such controuersies as befall in Tinne causes, and with what priuileges they are endowed and encouraged.

After such time as the Iewes by their extreame dealing had worne themselues, first out of the loue of the English inhabitants, and afterwards out of the land it selfe, and so left the mines vnwrought, it hapned, that certaine Gentlemen, being Lords of seuen tithings in Blackmoore, whose grounds were best stored with this Minerall, grewe desirous to renew this benefit: and so vpon suit made to Edmond, Earle of Cornwal, sonne to Richard, king of the Romans, they obtayned from him a Charter, with sundrie Priuileges: amongst which, it was graunted them to keepe a Court, and hold plea of all actions, life, lymme, and land excepted: in consideration whereof, the sayd Lords accorded to pay the Earle a halfpeny for euery pound of Tynne which should be wrought; and that for better answering this taxe, the sayd Tynne should bee brought to certayne places purposely appointed, and there peized, coyned, and kept, vntill the Earles due were satisfied. Againe, the Lords of these Tithings, were, for their parts, authorised to manage all Stannerie causes, and, for that intent, to hold parliaments at their discretion, and in regard of their labour, there was allotted vnto them the toll-Tynne within those Tithings, which their successours doe yet enioy. This Charter was to be kept in one of the Church steeples, within those Tithings, and, the Seale had a Pick-axe and Shouell in saultier grauen therein. This I receiued by report of the late master William Carnsew, a Gentleman of good qualitie, discretion, and learning, and well experienced in these mynerall causes, who auouched himselfe an eye-witnesse of that Charter, though now it bee not extant. Howbeit, I have learned, that in former time, the Tynners obtained a Charter from king Iohn, and afterwards another from king Edward the first, which were againe expounded, confirmed and inlarged by Parliament, in the fiftieth yeere of Edward the third, and lastly strengthened by Henrie the seuenth.

King Edward the firsts Charter, granteth them liberty of selling their Tynne, to their best behoofe. Nisi (saith he) nos ipsi emere voluerimus. Vpon which ground certaine persons in the Reignes of K. Edward 6. & Queene Marie, sought to make vse of this preemption, (as I have beene enformed) but either crossed in the prosecution, or defeated in their expectation, gaue it ouer againe; which vaine successe could not yet discourage some others of later times from the like attempt, alleadging many reasons how it might proue beneficiall both to her Highnesse and the Countrie, and preiudiciall to none saue onely the Marchants, who practised a farre [18] worse kind of preemption, as hath beene before expressed. This for a while was hotely onsetted and a reasonable price offered, but (upon what ground I know not) soone cooled againe. Yet afterwards it receiued a second life, and at Michaelmas terme 1599. the Cornishmen, then in London, were called before some of the principal Lords of her Maiesties Council, and the matter there debated, by the Lord Warden, in behalfe of the Countrie, and certaine others deputed for the Marchants, who had set this suite on foote. In the end it grew to a conclusion, and Articles were drawne and signed, but they also proued of void effect.

Last of all, the said Lord Warden, in the beginning of Nouember 1600. called an assembly of Tynners at Lostwithiel, the place accustomed, impanelled a Iurie of twentie foure Tynners, signified her Maiesties pleasure both for a new imposition of six pound on euerie thousand, that should bee transported (ouer and aboue the former fortie shillings, and sixteene shillings alreadie payable) as also that her Highnesse would disburse foure thousand pound in lone to the Tynners, for a yeres space, and bee repayed in Tynne at a certaine rate.

By the foreremembred ancient Charters, there is assigned a warden of the Stanneries, who supplieth the place, both of a Iudge for Law, and of a Chancellour for conscience, and so taketh hearing of causes, either in Forma iuris, or de iure & aequo. Hee substituteth some Gentleman in the Shire of good calling and discretion, to be his Vice-Warden, from whom either partie, complainant or defendant, may appeale to him, as from him (a case of rare experience) to the Lords of the Councill, and from their Honours to her Maiesties person: other appeale or remoouing to the common law they gaynsay.

The Gayle for Stannery causes is kept at Lostwithiel, and that office is annexed to the Comptrolership.

The Tynners of the whole shire are diuided into foure quarters, two called Moores, of the places where the Tynne is wrought, viz. Foy moore, and Blacke moore: the other, Tiwarnaill and Penwith. To each of these is assigned by the L. Warden, a Steward, who keepeth his Court once in euery three weekes. They are termed Stannery Courts of the Latine word Stannum, in English Tynne, and hold plea of whatsoeuer action of debt or trespasse, whereto any one dealing with blacke or white Tynne, either as plaintife or defendant, is a party. Their maner of triall consisteth in the verdict giuen by a Iurie of sixe Tynners, according to which the Steward pronounceth iudgement. He that will spare credit to the common report, shall conceiue an ill opinion touching the slippings of both witnesses and iurours sometimes in these Courts: For it is sayd, that the witnesses haue not sticked now and then to fatten their euidence, rather for seruing a turne, then for manifesting a truth, and that the Iurours verdict hath fauoured more of affection then of reason, especially, in controuersies growne betweene strangers and some of the same parts. And such fault-finders vouch diuers causes of this partialitie: One, that when they are sworne, they vse to adde this word, my conscience, as the Romans did their Ex animi mei sententia, which is suspected to imply a conceyted enlargement of their othe: Another, that the varietie of customes, which in euery place (welneere) differ one from another, yeeldeth them in a maner an vnlimited [19] scope, to auerre what they list, and so to close the best Lawyers mouth with this one speech, Our custome Is contrary. And lastly, that they presume upon a kind of impunity, because these sixe mens iuries fall not within compasse of the Star-chambers censure, and yet the L. Wardens haue now & then made the pillory punishment of some, a spectacle, example, and warning to the residue. For mine owne part, I can in these Tynne cases, plead but a hearesay experience, and therefore will onely inferre, that as there is no smoke without a fire, so commonly the smoke is far greater then the fire. Strange it were, and not to be expected, that all poore Tynne Iurours and witnesies, should in such a remote corner alwayes conforme themselues to the precise rule of vprightnesse, when we see in the open light of our public assises, so many more iudicious and substantiall persons now and then to swarue from the same.

In matters of important consequence, appertayning to the whole Stannery, the L. Warden, or his Vnderwarden, vseth to impannell a Iury of foure and twenty principall Tynners, which consist of sixe out of euery quarter, returnable by the Maiors of the foure Stannery townes, and whose acts doe bind the residue.

Next to the liuelesse things, follow those which pertake a growing life, and then a feeling.

The women and children in the West part of Cornwall, doe vse to make Mats of a small and fine kinde of bents there growing, which for their warme and well wearing, are carried by sea to London and other parts of the Realme, and serue to couer floores and wals. These bents grow in sandy fields, and are knit from ouer the head in narrow bredths after a strange fashion,

Of herbes and rootes for the pot and medicine, Cornishmen enioy a like portion in proportion with other Shires, which somewhere also receiueth an increase by the sowing and planting of such as are brought thither from beyond the seas. The like may bee sayd of rootes, and sallets for the table, saue that (I suppose) Cornewall naturally bringeth forth greater store of Seaholm and Sampire, then is found in any other County of this Realme. The Seaholme roote preserueth eyther in sirrup, or by canding, is accepted for a great restoratiue. Some of the gaully grounds doe also yeeld plenty of Rosa solis. Moreouer natures liberall hand decketh many of the sea cliffes with wilde Hissop, Sage, Pelamountayne, Maiorum, Rosemary, and such like well-fauouring herbes.

In times past, the Cornish people gaue themselues principally, (and in a maner wholly) to the seeking of Tynne, and neglected husbandry: so as the neighbours of Deuon and Sommerset shires, hired their pastures at a rent, and stored them with theyr owne cattell.

As for tillage, it came farre short of feeding the Inhabitants mouthes, who were likewise supplyed weekely at their markets from those places, with many hundred quarters of corne and horseloades of bread. But when the Tynneworkes began to fayle, and the people to increase, this double necessitie draue them to play the good husbands, and to prouide corne of their owne. Labour brought plentie, plentie cheapnesse, and cheapnesse sought a vent beyond the seas, some by procuring licence, and more by stealth (if at least the common brute doe not wrong them with a slaunder) [20] so as, had not the Imbargo with Spaine (whither most was transported) foreclosed this trade, Cornwall was likely in few yeeres, to reape no little wealth by the same. And yet, whosoeuer looketh into the endeauour which the Cornish husbandman is driuen to vse about his Tillage, shall find the trauell paineful, the time tedious, and the expences verie chargeable. For first, about May, they cut vp all the grasse of that ground, which must newly be broken, into Turfes, which they call Beating. These Turfes they raise vp somewhat in the midst, that the Wind and Sunne may the sooner drie them. The inside turned outwards drieth more speedily, but the outside can better brooke the change of weather. After they haue beene throughly dried, the Husbandman pileth them in little heapes, and so burneth them to ashes.

Then doe they bring in Sea sand, of greater or lesser quantitie, partly after their neerenesse to the places, from which it is fetched, and partly by the good husbandrie, and abilitie of the Tiller. An ordinarie Horse wil carrie two sackes of Sand, and of such the borderers on the Sea, doe bestow, 60. at least, in euerie Acre, but most Husbands double that number. The Inland soyle requireth not so large a proportion, and in some places, they sow it almost as thinne as their Corne: for if they should strow the same verie thicke, the ground would become ouer-rancke, and choke the Corne with weeds. A little before plowing time, they scatter abroad those Beat-boroughs, & small Sand heaps vpon the ground, which afterwards, by the Ploughes turning downe, giue heate to the roote of the Corne. The tillable fields are in some places so hilly, that the Oxen can hardly take sure footing; in some so tough, that the Plough will scarcely cut them, and in some so shelfie, that the Corne hath much adoe to fatten his roote. The charges of this Beating, Burning, Seeding and Sanding, ordinarily amounteth to no lesse then twentie shillings for euerie Acre: which done, the Tiller can commonly take but two crops of wheate, and two of Oates, and then is driuen to giue it at least seuen or eight yeres leyre, and to make his breach elsewhere.

Of Wheat there are two sorts, French, which is bearded, and requireth the best soyle, recompencing the same with a profitable plentie: and Notwheate, so termed, because it is vnbearded, contented with a meaner earth, and contenting with a suteable gaine.

Rye is employed onely on those worst grounds, which will beare no Wheate. Barley is growne into great vse of late yeeres, so as now they till a larger quantitie in one Hundred, then was in the whole Shire before: and of this, in the deare seasons past, the poore found happie benefit, for they were principally relieued, and the labourers also fed, by the bread made thereof; whereas otherwise, the scarcitie of Wheate fel out so great, that these must haue made many hungrie meales, and those out-right haue starued. In the Westerne-most parts of Cornwall, they carrie their Barley to the Mill, within eight or nine weekes from the time that they sowed it; such an hastie ripening do the bordering Seas afford. This increase of Barley tillage, hath also amended the Cornish drinke, by conuerting that graine into Mault, which (to the il relishing of strangers) in former times they made onely of Oates.

I haue beene alwayes prone to maintaine a Paradox, [21] that dearth of corne in Cornwall (for with other Shires I will not vndertake to meddle) so it go not accompanied with a scarcitie, is no way preiudiciall to the good of the Countrie; and I am induced thus to thinke, for the reasons ensuing: There are no two trades, which set so many hands on worke, at all times of the yeere, as that one of Tillage. The Husbandman finding profit herein, is encouraged to bestow paines and charges, for enclosing and dressing of waste grounds, which therethrough afterwardes become also good for pasture. With the readie money, gotten by his weekely selling of corne, he setteth the Artificer on worke, who were better to buy deare bread, being but a part of his meate, and which he counteruaileth againe, by raising the price of his ware, then to sit idly, knocking his heeles against the wall. Their obiection, who feare least the transporting of much away, will leaue too little at home, I answere with this observation: When the price of corne falleth, men generally giue ouer surplus Tillage, and breake no more ground, then will seme to supplie their owne turne: the rest, they imploy in grazing, wherethrough it falleth out, that an ill kerned or saued Haruest, soone emptieth their old store, & leaueth them in necessity, to seeke new reliefe from other places. Whereas on the other side, if through hope of vent, they hold on their larger tillage, this retaineth one yeeres prouision vnder-hand, to fetch in another, which vpon such occasions, may easily bee left at home: and of this, what Cornishman is there, that hath not seene the experience ?

For Fruites, both wild, as Whurts, Strawberies, and Raspies, and longing to the Orchard, as Peares, Plums, Peareplummes, Cherries, Mulberies, Chessenuts, and Walnuts, though the meaner sort come short, the Gentlemen step not farre behind those of other parts; many of them conceiuing like delight to grasse and plant, and the soyle yeelding it selfe as ready to receyue and foster. Yet one speciall priuiledge, which the neerenesse to the South, the fitnesse of some grounds standing vpon lyme stones, the wel growing of Vines, and the pleasant taste of their Grapes, doe seeme to graunt, I haue not hitherto knowne by any to bee put in practise, and that is, the making of Wines: the triall would require little cost, and (perhaps) requite it with great aduantage.

For fewell, there groweth generally in all parts great store of furze, of which the shrubby sort is called tame, the better growne French, & in some, good quantitie of Broome. The East quarters of the Shire are not destitute of Copswoods, nor they of (almost) an intolerable price: but in most of the West, either nature hath denyed that commodity, or want of good husbandry lost it. Their few parcels yet preserued, are principally imployed to coaling, for blowing of Tynne. This lacke they supply, either by Stone cole, fetched out of Wales, or by dried Turfes, some of which are also conuerted into coale, to serue the Tynners turne.

Timber hath in Cornwall, as in other places, taken an vniuersall downefall, which the Inhabitants begin now, and shall heereafter rue more at leisure: Shipping, howsing, and vessell, haue bred this consumption: neither doth any man (welnere) seek to repayre so apparant and important a decay. As for the statute Standles, commonly called Hawketrees, the breach of the sea, & force of the weather doe so pare and gall them, that they can [22] passe vnder no better title then scar-crowes.

Among creatures of a breathing life, I will only note such as minister some particular cause of remembrance.

Touching venimous Wormes, Cornwall can plead no such Charter of natures exemption, as Ireland. The countrey people retaine a conceite, that the Snakes, by their breathing about a hazell wand, doe make a stone ring of blew colour, in which there appeareth the yellow figure of a Snake, & that beasts which are stung, being giuen to drink of the water wherein this stone hath bene socked, will therethrough recouer. There was such a one bestowed on me, and the giuer auowed to haue seene a part of the stick sticking in it: but Penes authorem sit sides.

This mention of Snakes, called to my remembrance, how not long since, a merry Cornish Gentleman tryed that old fable to be no fable, which sheweth the dangerous entertayning of such a ghest. For he hauing gotten one of that kind, and broken out his teeth (wherein consisteth his venome) used to carrie him about in his bosome, to set him to his mouth, to make him licke his spittle, & when he came among Gentlewomen, would cast him out suddenly, to put them in feare: but in the end, their vaine dread proued safer then his foole-hardinesse: for as he once walked alone, and was kissing this gentle playfellow, the Snake in good earnest, with a stumpe, either newly growne vp, or not fully pulled out, bit him fast by the tongue, which therewith began so to rankle and swell, that by the time hee had knocked this foule player on the head, & was come to his place of abode, his mouth was scarce able to contayne it. Fayne was he therefore to shew his mishap, and by gestures to craue ayd in earnest of the Gentlewomen, whom hee had aforetime often scared in sport.

Of all maner vermine, Cornish houses are most pestred with Rats, a brood very hurtfull for deuouring of meat, clothes, and writings by day; and alike cumbersome through their crying and ratling, while they daunce their gallop gallyards in the roofe at night.

Strangers, at their first comming into the West parts, doe complayne that they are visited with the slowe sixe-legged walkers, and yet the cleanely home-borne finde no such annoyance. It may proceed from some lurking naturall effect of the Climate; as wee read, that the trauailers who passe the Equinoctiall, doe there lose this manlike hunting vermine, and vpon their returne recouer them againe.

The other beastes which Cornwall breedeth, serue either for Venerie, or meate, or necessary vses. Beastes of Venery persecuted for their case, or dammage feasance, are Marternes, Squirrels, Foxes, Badgers, and Otters. Profitable for skinne and flesh, Hares, Conies and Deere. The Foxe planteth his dwelling in the steep cliffes by the sea side; where he possesseth holds, so many in number, so daungerous for accesse, and so full of windings, as in a maner it falleth out a matter impossible to disseyze him of this his ancient inheritance. True it is, that sometime when he marcheth abroad on forraying, to reuittaile his Male pardus, the Captaine hunters, discouering his sallies by their Espyal, doe lay their souldier-like Hounds, his borne enemies, in ambush betweene him and home, and so with Har and Tue pursue him to the death. Then master Reignard ransacketh euery corner of his wily [23] skonce, and besturreth the vtmost of his nimble stumps to quite his coate from their iawes. He crosseth brookes, to make them lose the sent, he slippeth into couerts, to steale out of sight, he casteth and coasteth the countrie, to get the start of the way; and if hee be so met, as he find himselfe ouermatched, he abideth, and biddeth them battell, first sending the myre of his tayle against their eyes, in lieu of shot, and then manfully closing at hand-blowes, with the sword of his teeth, not forgetting yet, the whiles, to make an honourable retraict, with his face still turned towardes the enemie: by which meanes, hauing once recouered his fortresse, he then gives the Fico, to all that his aduersaries can by siedge, force, myne, sword, assault, or famine, attempt against him.

The Otters, though one in kind, haue yet two seuerall places of haunt: some keepe the Cliffes, and there breede, and feede on Sea-fish, others liue in the fresh ryuers, and trade not so farre downe, who being lesse stored with prouision, make bold now and then to visite the land, and to breake their fast upon the good-mans Lambs, or the good-wiues pultrie.

Of Conies, there are here and there some few little Warrens, scantly worth the remembring.

Cornwall was stored not long since with many Parkes of fallow Deere. But king Henrie the eight being perswaded (as it is said) by Sir Richard Pollard, that those belonging to the Duke, could steed him with little pleasure in so remote a part, and would yeeld him good profit, if they were leased out at an improoued rent, did condiscend to their disparking. So foure of them tooke a fall together, to wit, Cary bullock, Liskerd, Restormel and Lanteglos. Howbeit,this good husbandrie came short of the deuisers promise, and the Kings expectation: wherethrough the one was shent for the attempt, and the other discontented with the effect. Notwithstanding, as Princes examples are euer taken for warrantable precedents to the subiect: so most of the Cornish Gentlemen preferring gaine to delight, or making gaine their delight, shortly after followed the like practise, and made their Deere leape over the Pale to giue the bullockes place.

Parkes yet remaining, are in East Hundred, Poole, Sir Ionathan
Trelawneys: newly reuiued, Halton, M. Rouses, lately impaled: and
Newton, M. Coringtons, almost decayed. In West Hundred, Boconnock,
Sir Reginald Mohuns. In Powder Hundred, Caryhayes, M.Treuamons.
In Stratton Launcels, M. Chamonds. In Kerier Hundred, Trela warren,
M. Viruans: and Merther, M. Reskymers.

Red Deere, this Shire breedeth none, but onely receiueth such, as in the Summer season raunge thither out of Deuon: to whome the Gentlemen bordering on their haunt, afford so course entertainment, that without better pleading their heeles, they are faine to deliuer vp their carcases for a pledge, to answer their trespasses.

Beastes seruing for meate onely, or Pigs, Goates, Sheepe, and Rother cattell. For meate, draught, and plowing, Oxen: for carriage, and riding, horses: for gard, attendance, and pleasure, Dogs of sundrie sorts.

What time the Shire, through want of good manurance, lay waste and open, the Sheepe had generally [24] little bodies, and course fleeces, so as their Wooll bare no better name, then of Cornish hayre, and for such hath (from all auncientie) beene transported, without paying custome. But since the grounds began to receiue enclosure and dressing for Tillage, the nature of the soyle hath altered to a better graine, and yeeldeth nourishment in greater aboundance, and goodnesse, to the beastes that pasture thereupon: So as, by this meanes (and let not the owners commendable industrie, turne to their surcharging preiudice, least too soone they grow wearie of well-doing) Cornish Sheepe come but little behind the Easterne flockes, for bignes of mould, finenesse of Wooll often breeding, speedie fatting, and price of sale, and in my conceyte equall, if not exceede them in sweetnesse of taste, and freedome from rottennesse and such other contagions. As for their number, while euerie dweller hath some, though none keepe many, it may summe the totall to a iolly rate. Most of the Cornish sheepe haue no hornes, whose wool is finer in qualitie, as that of the horned more in quantitie: yet, in some places of the Countie there are that carrie foure hornes.

The Deuon and Somersetshire grasiers, feede yeerely great droues of Cattell in the North quarter of Cornwall, and vtter them at home, which notwithstanding, Beefe, Whitfull, Leather or Tallow, beare not any extraordinarie price in this Countie, beyond the rate of other places: and yet, the oportunitie of so many Hauens, tempteth the Marchants (I doubt me, beyond their power of resistaunce) now and then to steale a transportation, and besides, vttereth no smal quantitie for the reuitailing of weather-driuen shippes. Some Gentlemen suffer their beastes to runne wilde, in their Woods and waste grounds, where they are hunted and killed with Crossebowes, and Peeces, in the maner of Deere, and by their fiercenesse, and warinesse, seeme to haue put on a part of the others nature. Each Oxe hath his seuerall name, vpon which the driuers call aloud, both to direct and giue them courage as they are at worke.

The Cornish horses, commonly are hardly bred, coursely fed, low of stature, quicke in trauell, and (after their growth and strength) able inough for continuance: which sort proue most seruiceable for a rough and hilly Countrie. But verie few of them (through the owners, fault) retaine long this their naturall goodnesse. For after two yeeres age, they vse them to carrie sackes of Sand, which boweth downe, and weakneth their backes, and the next Summer they are imployed in harrowing, which marreth their pace. Two meanes that so quaile also their stomackes, and abate their strength, as the first rider findeth them ouer-broken to his hands. Howbeit now, from naught, they are almost come to nought: For since the Statute 12. of Henry the eight, which enableth eueri man to seize vpon horses that pastured in Commons, if they were vnder a certaine sise, the Sherifes officers, reckoning themselues specially priuiledged to poll in their masters yeere, haue of late times, whether by his commandement, or sufferance, accustomed to driue those waste grounds, and to seize on those not voluntarie statute-breaking Tits, so as nature denying a great harace, and these carrying away the little, it resteth, that hereafter, not the dammes Foale, but the dames Trotters, be trusted vnto, This consideration [25] hath made me entertain a conceite, that ordinarie Husbandmen should doe well to quit breeding of Horses, and betake themselves to Moyles: for that is a beast, which will fare hardly, liue verie long, drawe indifferently well, and carrie great burdens, and hath also a pace swift, and easie enough, for their Mill and market seruice. By which meanes, looke what is abated from the vsuall number of Hacknies, should (with a gainefull recompence) be added to their goodnes: and hereof this quarter hath alreadie taken some experiment. For, not long sithence, it hapned that one brought ouer an hee Asse, from France, because of the strangenesse of the beast (as euerie thing where it comes first, serves for a wonder) who following his kind, begat many monsters, viz. Moyles, and for monsters indeed, the Countrie people admired them, yea, some were so wise, as to knocke on the head, or giue away this issue of his race, as vncouth mongrels.

Amongst living things on the land, after Beastes, follow Birds, who seeke harbour on the earth at night, though the ayre bee the greatest place of their haunt by day.

Of tame Birds, Cornwall hath Doues, Geese, Ducks, Peacockes, Ginney duckes, China geese, Barbarie hennes, and such like.

Of wild, Quaile, Raile, Partridge, Fesant, Plouer, Snyte, Wood-doue,
Heathcocke, Powte, &c.

But, amongst all the rest, the Inhabitants are most beholden to the Woodcockes, who (when the season of the yeere affordeth) flocke to them in great aboundance. They arriue first on the North-coast, where almost euerie hedge serveth for a Roade, and euerie plashoote for Springles to take them. From whence, as the moyst places which supplie them food, beginne to freeze vp, they draw towards those in the South coast, which are kept more open by the Summers neerer neighbourhood: and when the Summers heate (with the same effect from a contrarie cause) drieth vp those plashes, nature and necessitie guide their returne to the Northern wetter soyle againe.

Of Hawkes, there are Marlions, Sparhawkes, Hobbies, and somewhere Lannards. As for the Sparhawk, though shee serue to flie little aboue sixe weekes in the yeere, and that onely at the Partridge, where the Faulkner and Spanels must also now and then spare her extraordinarie assistance; yet both Cornish and Deuonshire men employ so much trauaile in seeking, watching, taking, manning, nusling, dieting, curing, bathing, carrying, and mewing them, as it must needes proceede from a greater folly, that they cannot discerne their folly herein. To which you may adde, their busie, dangerous, discourteous, yea, and sometimes despiteful stealing one from another of the Egges and young ones, who, if they were allowed to aire naturally, and quietly, there would bee store sufficient, to kill not onely the Partridges, but euen all the good-huswiues Chickens in a Countrie.

Of singing Birds, they haue Lynnets, Goldfinches, Ruddockes, Canarie birds, Blacke-birds, Thrushes, and diuers other; but of Nightingals, few, or none at all, whether through some naturall antipathie, betweene them and the soyle (as Plinie writeth, that Crete fostereth not any Owles, nor Rhodes Eagles, nor Larius lacus in Italy Storkes) or rather for that the Country is generally [26] bare of couert and woods, which they affect, I leaue to be discussed by others.

Not long sithence, there came a flocke of Birds into Cornwall, about Haruest season, in bignesse not much exceeding a Sparrow, which made a foule spoyle of the Apples. Their bils were thwarted crosse-wise at the end, and with these they would cut an Apple in two, at one snap, eating onely the kernels. It was taken at first, for a forboden token, and much admired, but, soone after, notice grew, that Glocester Shire, and other Apple Countries, haue them an ouer-familiar harme.

In the West parts of Cornwall, during the Winter season, Swallowes are found sitting in old deepe Tynne-workes, and holes of the sea Cliffes: but touching their lurking places, Olaus Magnus maketh a farre stranger report. For he saith, that in the North parts of the world, as Summer weareth out, they clap mouth to mouth, wing to wing, and legge in legge, and so after a sweete singing, fall downe into certaine great lakes or pooles amongst the Canes, from whence at the next Spring, they receiue a new resurrection; and hee addeth for proofe hereof, that the Fishermen, who make holes in the Ice, to dip vp such fish with their nets, as resort thither for breathing, doe sometimes light on these Swallowes, congealed in clods, of a slymie substance, and that carrying them home to their Stoues, the warmth restoreth them to life and flight: this I haue seene confirmed also, by the relation of a Venetian Ambassadour, employed in Poland, and heard auowed by trauaylers in those parts: Wherethrough I am induced to giue it a place of probabilitie in my mind, and of report in this treatise.

After hauing thus laid open euerie particular of the land, naturall order leadeth my next labour, to bee imployed about the water, and the things incident thereunto: the water I seuer into fresh and salt.

Touching fresh Water, euerie hill wel-neere sendeth forth plentifull, fresh, cleare and pleasant springs, profitable for moystning the ground, and wholesome for mans vse, & diuers by running through veines of Mettals, supposed also medicinable for sundrie diseases; of which more in their particular places. These springs, (as seuerall persons assembling, make a multitude) take aduantage of the falling grounds, to vnite in a greater strength, and beget Ryuers, which yet are more in number, and swifter in course, then deepe in bottome, or extended in largenesse. For they worke out their bed through an earth, full of Rockes and stones, suting therethrough, the nature onely of some speciall fishes, of which kind are, Minowes, Shoats, Eeles, and Lampreys. The rest are common to other Shires, but the Shote in a maner peculiar to Deuon and Cornwall: in shape and colour he resembleth the Trowt: howbeit in bignesse and goodnesse, commeth farre behind him. His baites are flies and Tag-wormes, which the Cornish English terme Angle-touches. Of the Ryuers and Hauens which they make, occasion will be ministred vs to speake particularly in the next booke; and therefore it shall suffice to name the chiefest here in generall, which are on the South coast: Tamer, Tauy, Liner, Seaton, Loo, Foy, Fala, Lo. On the North, Camel, Halae.

Of fresh water Ponds, either cast out by nature, or wrought out by Art, Cornwall is stored with verie few, though the site of so many narrow vallies offereth [27] many, with the onely charge of raysing an head. But the Oceans plentifull beames darken the affecting of this pettie starlight: touching whose nature and properties, for his saltnesse in taste, strength in bearing, course in ebbing and flowing, the effects are so well knowne to the vulgar, as they need not any particular relation; and the causes so controuersed amongst the learned, as it passeth mine abilitie to moderate the question: onely this I will note, that somewhat before a tempest, if the sea-water bee slashed with a sticke or Oare, the same casteth a bright shining colour, and the drops thereof resemble sparckles of fire, as if the waues were turned into flames, which the Saylers terme Briny.

Amongst other commodities affoorded by the sea, the Inhabitants make vse of diuers his creekes, for griste-milles, by thwarting a bancke from side to side, in which a floud-gate is placed with two leaues: these the flowing tyde openeth, and after full sea, the waight of the ebbe closeth fast, which no other force can doe: and so the imprisoned water payeth the ransome of dryuing an under-shoote wheele for his enlargement.

Ilands, S. Nicholas in the mouth of Plymmouth, S. George before Loo,
S. Michaels Mount, and the Ilies of Scilley.

Hauens on the South coast there are, Plymmouth, Loo, Foy, Falmouth,
Helford, and the Rode of Mounts bay. On the North, S. Ies, and
Padstowe, of which more hereafter.

Diuers of these are dayly much endammaged by the earth which the Tynners cast up in their working, and the rayne floods wash downe into the riuers, from whence it is discharged in the hauens, and shouldreth the sea out of his ancient possession, or at least, encrocheth vpon his depth. To remedy this, an Act of Parliament was made 23. H. 8. that none should labour in Tynneworks, neere the Deuon and Cornish hauens: but whether it aymed not at the right cause, or hath not taken his due execution, little amendement appeareth thereby for the present, and lesse hope may be conceyued for the future.

Yet this earth being through such meanes conuerted into sand, enricheth the husbandman equally with that of Pactolus: for after the sea hath seasoned it with his salt and fructifying moysture, his waves worke vp to the shore a great part thereof (together with more of his owne store, grated from the cliffes) and the Tillers, some by Barges and Boats, others by horses and waines, doe fetch it, & therewith dresse their grounds. This sand is of diuers kindes, colours, and goodnesse: the kinds, some bigger, some lesser; some hard, some easie. The colours are answerable to the next Cliffes. The goodnesse increaseth as it is taken farther out of the Sea.

Some haue also vsed to carry vp into their grounds the Ose or salt water mudde, and found good profit thereby, though not equalling the sand.

To this purpose also serueth Orewood, which is a weed either growing vpon the rockes vnder high water marke, or broken from the bottome of the sea by rough weather, and cast vpon the next shore by the wind and flood. The first sort is reaped yeerely, and thereby bettereth in quantity and qualitie: the other must be taken when the first tyde bringeth it, or else the next [28] change of wind will carry it away. His vse serueth for barly land. Some accustomed to burne it on heapes in pits at the cliffe side, and so conuerted the same to a kind of wood, but the noysome sauour hath cursed it out of the countrey. This Floteore is now and then found naturally formed like rufs, combs, and such like: as if the sea would equall vs in apparel, as it resembleth the land for all sorts of liuing creatures.

The sea strond is also strowed with sundry fashioned & coloured shels, of so diuersified and pretty workmanship, as if nature were for her pastime disposed to shew her skil in trifles. With these are found, moreouer, certaine Nuts, somewhat resembling a sheepes kidney, saue that they are flatter: the outside consisteth of a hard darke coloured rinde: the inner part, of a kernell voyd of any taste, but not so of vertue, especially for women trauayling in childbirth, if at least, old wiues tales may deserue any credit. If I become blame-worthy in speaking of such toyes, Scipio and Lelius shall serue for my patrons, who helde it no shame to spend time in their gathering.

But to carie you from these trifles, you shall vnderstand, that Cornewall is stored with many sorts of shipping, (for that terme is the genus to them all) namely, they haue Cock-boats for passengers, Sayn-boats for taking of Pilcherd, Fisher-boates for the coast, Barges for sand, Lighters for burthen, and Barkes and Ships for trafficke: of all which seuerally to particularize, were consectari minutias, and therefore I will omit to discourse of them, or of the wrackes proceeding from them, to their great dammage, and the finders petty benefit, to whom, he that inioyeth the Admirals right, by the common custome alloweth a moytie for his labour.

But though I shunne tediousnesse herein, I feare lest I shal breede you Nauseam, while I play the fishmonger: and yet, so large a commoditie may not passe away in silence. I will therefore, with what briefnes I can, shew you, what they are, when they come, where they haunt, with what baite they may be trayned, with what engine taken, and with what dressing saued.

Herein we will first begin with the Peall, Trowt, and Sammon, because they partake of both salt and fresh water, breeding in the one, and liuing in the other.

The Trowte and Peall come from the Sea, betweene March and Midsummer, and passe vp into the fresh ryuers, to shed their spawne. They are mostly taken with a hooke-net, made like the Easterne Weelyes, which is placed in the stickellest part of the streame (for there the fish chiefely seeketh passage) and kept abroad with certaine hoopes, hauing his smaller end fastened against the course of the water, and his mouth open to receiue the fish, while he fareth vp by night.

The Sammons principal accesse, is betweene Michaelmas and Christmas: for then, and not before, the ryuers can afford them competent depth. A time forbidden to take them in, by the Statute thirteene of Richard the second: but if they should bee allowed this priuiledge in Cornwall, the Inhabitants might vtterly quit all hope of good by them, for the rest of the yeere. They are refettest (that is fattest) at their first comming from the Sea, and passe vp as high as any water can carrie them, to spawne the more safely, and, to that end, take aduantage of the great raynie flouds. After Christmas, [29] they returne to the Sea, altogether spent & out of season, whome, as the spring time commeth on, their fry doe follow: and it hath beene obserued, that they (as also the Trowt and Peall) haunt the same ryuers where they first were bred. Vpon the North coast, and to the Westwards of Foy, few or none are taken, either through those ryuers shallownesse, or their secret dislike. To catch them, sundrie deuices are put in practise: one is, with the hooke and line, where they vse Flies for their baite: another, with the Sammons speare, a weapon like Neptunes Mace, bearded at the points. With this, one standeth watching in the darke night, by the deepe pooles, where the Sammons worke their bed for spawning, while another maketh light with a waze of reed. The Sammon naturally resorteth to the flame, playing in and out, and therethrough is discerned, strooken and drawne on land by a cord fastened to the speare. The third and more profitable meanes of their taking, is by hutches. A head of Fagots, or stones, is made acrosse the ryuer, and his greatest part let out, through a square roome therein, whose vpper side giueth passage to the water by a grate, but denieth it to the fish, and the lower admitteth his entrie, thorow certaine thicke laths, couched slope-wise one against another, but so narrowly, as he can find no way of returne, while the streame tosseth him hither and thither, and the laths ends gall him, if he stumble on the place.

They vse also to take Sammons and Trowts, by groping, tickling them vnder the bellies, in the Pooles where they houer, vntill they lay hold on them with their hands, & so throw them on land. Touching these, one scribling of the ryuer Lyner, rymed as ensueth:

THE store-house of Sunnes cheuisance,
The clocke whose measures time doth dance,
The Moones vassall, the Lord of chance,

Ere yeeres compasse his circle end,
From hugie bosome, where they wend,
His scaly broode to greete doth send,
His wife Tellus.

Some haile but with the coasting shore,
Some multiplie the Harbours store,
Some farre into the ryuers bore,
Amongst the rest.

A threefold rowt, of Argus hew,
Kind to encrease, foes to eschew,
With Lyners supple mantle blew,
Themselves reuest.

What time, enricht by Phoebus rayes,
The Alder his new wealth displayes (*)
Of budded groates, and welcome payes
Vnto the Spring.

The Trowts, of middle growth begin,
And eygall peizd, twixt either finne,
At wonted hoste Dan Lyners Inne,
Take their lodging.

Next, as the dayes vp early rise,
In com’s the Peall, whose smaller sise,
In his more store, and oft supplies,
A praise doth find.

Laftly, the Sammon, king of fish,
Fils with good cheare the Christmas dish,
Teaching that season must relish
Each in his kind.

(*) It is said that the fish cometh, when the Alder
leafe is growne to the breadth of a groate.


And of the Sammon in particular.

NOW to the Sammon, king of fish, a trice,
Against whose slate, both skill and will conspire,
Paine brings the fewell, and gaine blowes the fire,
That hand may execute the heads deuice.
Some build his house, but his thence issue barre,
Some make his meashie bed, but reaue his rest:
Some giue him meate, but leaue it not disgest,
Some tickle him, but are from pleasing farre.
Another troope com’s in with fire and sword,
Yet cowardly, close counterwaite his way,
And where he doth in streame, mistrustlesse play,
Vail’d with nights robe, they stalke the shore aboord.
One offers him the daylight in a waze,
As if darknesse alone contriued wiles:
But new Neptune, his mate, at land, the whiles,
With forked Mace, deere school’s his foolish gaze.
Poore Fish, not praying, that are made a pray,
And at thy natiue home find’st greatest harme,
Though dread warne, swiftnesse guide, and strength thee arme,
Thy neerenesse, greatnesse, goodnesse, thee betray.

In the Hauens, great store, and diuers sorts of fish, some at one time of the yeere, and some at another, doe haunt the depthes and shallowes, while the lesser flie the greater, and they also are pursued by a bigger, each preying one vpon another, and all of them accustoming, once in the yeere, to take their kind of the fresh water. They may be diuided into three kinds, shell, flat, and round fish. Of shell fish, there are Wrinkles, Limpets, Cockles, Muscles, Shrimps, Crabs, Lobsters, and Oysters.

Of flat fish, Rayes, Thorn-backes, Soles, Flowkes, Dabs, Playces.

Of round fish, Brit, Sprat, Barne, Smelts, Whiting, Scad, Chad,
Sharkes, Cudles, Eeles, Conger, Basse, Millet, Whirlepole, and
Porpose. The generall way of killing these (that is the Fishermans
bloudie terme, for this cold-blouded creature) is by Weares, Hakings,
Saynes, Tuckes, and Tramels.

The Weare is a frith, reaching slope-wise through the Ose, from the land to low water marke, and hauing in it, a bunt or cod with an eye-hooke, where the fish entering, vpon their coming backe with the ebbe, are stopped from issuing out againe, forsaken by the water, and left drie on the Ose.

For the Haking, certaine Stakes are pitched in the Ose at low water, athwart from Creeke, from shore to shore, to whose feete they fasten a Net, and at ful-sea draw the vpper part thereof to their stops, that the fish may not retire with the ebb, but be taken, as in the Weares.

The Sayne is a net, of about fortie fathome in length, with which they encompasse a part of the Sea, and drawe the same on land by two ropes, fastned at his ends, together with such fish, as lighteth within his precinct.

The Tucke carrieth a like fashion, saue that it is narrower meashed, and (therefore scarce lawfull) with a long bunt in the midst: the Tramell differeth not much from the shape of this bunt, and serueth to such vse as the Weare and Haking.


The particular taking of sundrie kinds of fishes, is almost as diuers as themselues. Wrinckles, Limpets, Cockles, and Muscles, are gathered by hand, vpon the rockes and sands. Many of the Crabs breede in the shels of Cockles, and of the Lobsters in those of Wrinckles, as my selfe haue seene: being growne, they come forth, and liue in holes of Rockes, from whence, at low water, they are dragged out, by a long crooke of yron.

The Shrimps are dipped vp in shallow water by the shore side, with little round nets, fastned to a staffe, not much unlike that which is used for daring of Larkes.

The Ostyers (besides gathering by hand, at a great ebb) haue a peculiar dredge, which is a thick strong net, fastned to three spils of yron, and drawne at the boates sterne, gathering whatsoeuer it meeteth, lying in the bottome of the water, out of which, when it is taken vp, they cull the Oysters, and cast away the residue, which they terme gard, and serueth as a bed for the Oysters to breed in. It is held, that there are of them male, and female. The female, about May, and Iune, haue in them a certaine kind of milke, which they then shead, and whereof the Oyster is engendered. The little ones, at first, cleaue in great numbers, to their mothers shell, from whence, waxing bigger, they weane themselues, and towards Michaelmas, fall away. The Countrie people long retained a conceit, that in Summer time they weare out of kind (as indeed the milkie are) but some Gentlemen making experiment of the contrarie, began to eate them at all seasons, wherethrough, by spending them oftner and in greater quantitie, by spoyling the little ones, and by casting away the vnseasonable, there ensued a scarcitie, which scarcitie brought a dearth, the dearth bred a sparing, and the sparing restored a plenty againe. They haue a propertie, though taken out of the water, to open against the flood time, and to close vpon the ebbe, or before, if they bee touched, the which, not long sithence occasioned a ridiculous chaunce, while one of them through his sodaine Shutting, caught in his owne defence, three yong Mice by the heads, that of malice prepensed, had conspired to deuoure him, and so trebled the valour of the cleft block, which griped Milo by the hands.

Nature hath strowed the shore with such plenty of these shel-fishes, as thereby shee warranteth the poore from dread of staruing: for euery day they may gather sufficient to preserue their life, though not to please their appetite, which, ordinarie with vs, was miraculous to the Rochellers in their siedge 1572.

After Shel-fish succeedeth the free-fish, so termed, because he wanteth this shelly bulwarke.

Amongst these, the Flowk, Sole and Playce follows the tyde up into the fresh riuers, where, at low water, the Countri people find them by treading, as they wade to seeke them, and so take them vp with their hands. They vse also to poche them with an instrument somewhat like the Sammon-speare.

Of Eeles there are two sorts: the one Valsen, of best taste, coming from the fresh riuers, when the great raine floods after September doe breake their beds, and carry them into the sea: the other, bred in the salt water, & called a Conger Eele, which afterwards, as his bignes increaseth, ventreth out into the maine Ocean, & is enfranchised a Burgesse of that vast common wealth: but in harbor they are taken mostly by Spillers made of a cord, [32] many fathoms in length, to which diuers lesser and shorter are tyed at a little distance, and to each of these a hooke is fastened with bayt: this Spiller they sincke in the sea where those Fishes haue their accustomed haunt, and the next morning take it vp againe with the beguiled fish.

For catching of Whiting and Basse, they vse a thred, so named, because it consisteth of a long smal lyne with a hooke at the end, which the Fisherman letteth slip out of his hand by the Boat side to the bottom of the water, and feeling the fish caught by the sturring of the lyne, draweth it vp againe with his purchase. The Porposes are shaped very bigge and blacke. These chase the smaller schoels of fish from the mayne sea into the hauens, leaping vp and downe in the water, tayle after top, and one after another, puffing like a fat lubber out of breath, and following the fish with the flood, so long as any depth will serue to bear them; by which means they are sometimes intercepted: for the Borderers watching vntill they be past farre vp into some narrow creeke, get belowe them with their Boats, and cast a strong corded net athwart the streame, with which, and their lowd and continuall showting and noyse making, they fray and stop them from retyring, vntill the ebbe haue abandoned them to the hunters mercy, who make short worke with them, and (by an olde custome) share them amongst all the assistants with such indifferencie, as if a woman with child bee present, the babe in her wombe is gratified with a portion: a poynt also obserued by the Speare-hunters in taking of Sammons.

Now from within harbour, we will launch out into the deepe, and see what luck of fish God there shall send vs, which (so you talke not of Hares or such vncouth things, for that proues as ominous to the fisherman, as the beginning a voyage on the day when Childermas day fell, doth to the Mariner) may succeed very profitable: for the coast is plentifully stored, both with those foreremembred, enlarged to a bigger size, & diuers other, as namely of shel-fish, Sea-hedge-hogs, Scallops & Sheath-fish. Of fat, Brets, Turbets, Dories, Holybut. Round, Pilcherd, Herring, Pollock, Mackrell, Gurnard, Illeck, Tub, Breame, Oldwife, Hake, Dogfish, Lounp, Cunner, Rockling, Cod, Wrothe, Becket, Haddock, Guilt-head, Rough-hound, Squary Scad, Seale, Tunny, and many others, quos nunc, &c.

The Sheath, or Rasor-fish, resembleth in length and bignesse a mans finger, and in taste, the Lobster, but reputed of greater restoratiue.

The Sea-hedge-hogge, of like or more goodnesse, is enclosed in a round shell, fashioned as a loafe of bread, handsomely wrought and pincked, and guarded by an vtter skinne full of prickles, as the land Vrchin. But the least fish in bignes, greatest for gaine, and most in number, is the Pilcherd: they come to take their kind of the fresh (as the rest) betweene haruest and Alhallon-tyde, and were wont to pursue the Brit, vpon which they feede, into the hauens, but are now forestalled on the coast by the Drouers and Sayners. The Drouers hang certaine square nets athwart the tyde, thorow which the schoell of Pilchard passing, leaue many behind intangled in the meashes. When the nets are so filled, the Drouers take them up, clense them, and let them fall againe.

The Sayners complayne with open mouth, that [33] these drouers worke much preiudice to the Commonwealth of fishermen, and reape thereby small gaine to themselues; for (say they) the taking of some few, breaketh and scattereth the whole schoels, and frayeth them from approaching the shore: neither are those thus taken, marchantable, by reason of their brusing in the meash. Let the crafts-masters decide the controuersie.

The Sayne, is in fashion, like that within harbour, but of a farre larger proportion. To each of these, there commonly belong three or foure boates, carrying about sixe men apeece: with which, when the season of the yeere and weather serueth, they lie houering upon the coast, and are directed in their worke, by a Balker, or Huer, who standeth on the Cliffe side, and from thence, best discerneth the quantitie and course of the Pilcherd: according whereunto, hee cundeth (as they call it) the Master of each boate (who hath his eye still fixed upon him) by crying with a lowd voice, whistling through his fingers, and wheazing certing diuersified and significant signes, with a bush, which hee holdeth in his hand. At his appointment they cast out their Net, draw it to either hand, as the Schoell lyeth, or fareth, beate with their Oares to keepe in the Fish, and at last, either close and tucke it vp in the Sea, or draw the same on land, with more certaine profit, if the ground bee not rough of rockes. After one companie haue thus shot their Net, another beginneth behind them, and so a third, as opportunitie serueth. Being so taken, some, the Countrie people, who attend with their horses and paniers at the Cliffes side, in great numbers, doe buy and carrie home, the larger remainder, is by the Marchant, greedily and speedily seized vpon.

They are saued three maner of wayes: by fuming, pressing, or pickelling. For euery of which, they are first salted and piled vp row by row in square heapes on the ground in some celler, which they terme, Bulking, where they so remaine for fome ten daies, vntil the superfluous moysture of the bloud and salt be soked from them: which accomplished, they rip the bulk, and saue the residue of the salt for another like seruice. Then those which are to be ventred for Fraunce, they pack in staunch hogsheads, so to keepe them in their pickle. Those that serue for the hotter Countries of Spaine and Italie, they vsed at first to fume, by hanging them vp on long sticks one by one, in a house built for the nonce, & there drying them with the smoake of a soft and continuall fire, from whence they purchased the name of Fumados: but now, though the terme still remaine, that trade is giuen ouer: and after they haue bene ripped out of the bulk, reffed vpon sticks, & washed, they pack them orderly in hogsheads made purposely leake, which afterward they presse with great waights, to the end the traine may soke from them into a vessell placed in the ground to receyue it.

In packing, they keepe a iust tale of the number that euery hogshead contayneth, which otherwise may turne to the Marchants preiudice: for I haue heard, that when they are brought to the place of sale, the buyer openeth one hogs-head at aduentures; and if hee finde the same not to answere the number figured on the outside, hee abateth a like proportion in euery other, as there wanted in that. The trayne is well solde, as imployed to diuers vses, and welneere acquiteth the cost in sauing, and the sauing setteth almost an infinite [34] number of women and children on worke, to their great aduantage: for they are allowed a peny for euery lasts carriage (a last is ten thousand) and as much for bulking, washing, and packing them, whereby a lusty huswife may earne three shillings in a night; for towards the euening they are mostly killed.

This commoditie at first carried a very lowe price, and serued for the inhabitants cheapest prouision: but of late times, the deare sale beyond the seas hath so encreased the number of takers, and the takers iarring and brawling one with another, and foreclosing the fishes taking their kind within harbour, so decreased the number of the taken, as the price daily extendeth to an higher rate, equalling the proportion of other fish: a matter which yet I reckon not preiudiciall to the Commonwealth, seeing there is store sufficient of other victuals, and that of these a twentieth part will serue the Countries need, and the other nineteene passe into forraine Realmes with a gainefull vtterance.

The Sayners profit in this trade is vncertayne, as depending upon the seas fortune, which hee long attendeth, and often with a bootlesse trauaile: but the Pilcherd Marchant may reape a speedy, large, and assured benefit, by dispatching the buying, sauing and selling to the transporters, within little more then three moneths space. Howbeit, diuers of them, snatching at wealth ouer-hastily, take mony beforehand, and bind themselues for the same, to deliuer Pilcherd ready saued to the transporter, at an vnder-rate, and so cut their fingers. This venting of Pilcherd enhaunced greatly the price of cask, whereon all other sorts of wood were conuerted to that vse: and yet this scantly supplying a remedie, there was a statute made 35. Eliz. that from the last of Iune 1594. no stranger should transport beyond the seas any Pilcherd or other fish in cask, vnlesse hee did bring into the Realme, for euery sixe tunnes, two hundred of clapboord fit to make cask, and so rateably, vpon payne of forfeyting the sayd Pilcherd or fish. This Act to continue before the next Parliament, which hath reuiued the same, vntill his (yet not knowne) succeeder.

The Pilcherd are pursued and deuoured by a bigger kinde of fish, called a Plusher, being somewhat like the Dog-fish, who leapeth now and then aboue water, and therethrough bewrayeth them to the Balker: so are they likewise persecuted by the Tonny, and he (though not verie often) taken with them damage faisant. And that they may no lesse in fortune, then in fashion, resemble the Flying fish, certaine birds called Gannets, soare ouer, and stoup to prey vpon them. Lastly, they are persecuted by the Hakes, who (not long sithence) haunted the coast in great abundance; but now being depriued of their wonted baite, are much diminished, verifying the prouerb, What we lose in Hake, we shall haue in Herring. These Hakes and diuers of the other forerecited, are taken with threds, & some of them with the boulter, which is a Spiller of a bigger size. Vpon the North coast, where want of good harbours denieth safe road to the fisherboats, they haue a deuice of two sticks filled with corks, and crossed flatlong, out of whose midst there riseth a thred, and at the same hangeth a saile; to this engine, termed a Lestercock, they tie one end of their Boulter, so as the wind comming from the shore, filleth the sayle, and the saile carrieth out the Boulter into the sea, which after the respite of some houres, is drawne in againe [35] by a cord fastned at the neerer end. They lay also certaine Weelyes in the Sea, for taking of Cunners, which therethrough are termed Cunner-pots. Another net they haue long and narrow meashed, thwarted with little cords of wide distance, in which the fish intangleth it selfe, and is so drawne vp.

For Bait they vse Barne, Pilcherd, and Lugges. The Lugge is a worme resembling the Tagworme or Angle-touch, and lying in the Ose somewhat deepe, from whence the women digge them vp, and sell them to the Fishermen: They are descried by their working ouer head, as the Tagworme. And, for lacke of other prouision, the Fishermen sometimes cut out a peece of the new taken Hake, neere his tayle, and therewith baite their hookes, to surprise more of his Canniballian fellowes.

The Seale, or Soyle, is in making and growth, not vnlike a Pigge, vgly faced, and footed like a Moldwarp; he delighteth in musike, or any lowd noise, and thereby is trained to approach neere the shore, and to shew himselfe almost wholly aboue water. They also come on land, and lie sleeping in holes of the Cliffe, but are now and then waked with the deadly greeting of a bullet in their sides.

The Fishermens hookes doe not alwayes returne them good prise: for often there cleaueth to the baite, a certaine fish like a Starre, so farre from good meate, as it is held contagious.

There swimmeth also in the Sea, a round slymie substance, called a
Blobber, reputed noysome to the fish.

But you are tired, the day is spent, and it is high time that I draw to harbour: which good counsell I will follow, when I haue onely told you, In what maner the Fishermen saue the most part of their fish. Some are polled (that is, beheaded) gutted, splitted, powdred and dried in the Sunne, as the lesser sort of Hakes. Some headed, gutted, iagged, and dried, as Rayes, and Thornbackes. Some gutted, splitted, powdred, and dried, as Buckhorne made of Whitings, (in the East parts named Scalpions) and the smaller sort of Conger, and Hake. Some gutted, splitted, and kept in pickle, as Whiting, Mackrell, Millet, Basse, Peall, Trowt, Sammon, and Conger. Some, gutted, and kept in pickle, as the lesser Whitings, Pollocks, Eeles, and squarie Scads. Some cut in peeces, and powdred, as Seale and Porpose. And lastly, some boyled, and preserued fresh in Vinegar, as Tonny and Turbet.

Besides these flooting burgesses of the Ocean, there are also certaine flying Citizens of the ayre, which prescribe for a corrodie therein; of whom some serue for food to vs, and some but to feed themselues. Amongst the first sort, we reckon the Dip-chicke, (so named of his diuiug, and littlenesse) Coots, Sanderlings, Sea-larkes, Oxen and Kine, Seapies, Puffins, Pewets, Meawes, Murres, Creysers, Curlewes, Teale, Wigeon, Burranets, Shags, Ducke and Mallard, Gull, Wild-goose, Heron, Crane, and Barnacle.

These content not the stomacke, all with a like sauorinesse, but some carrie a rancke taste, and require a former mortification: and some are good to bee eaten while they are young, but nothing tooth-some, as they grow elder. The Guls, Pewets, and most of the residue, breed in little desert Ilands, bordering on both coastes, laying their Egges on the grasse, without making any [36] nests, from whence the owner of the land causeth the young ones to be fetched about Whitsontide, for the first broode, and some weekes after for the second. Some one, but not euerie such Rocke, may yeeld yeerely towards thirtie dozen of Guls. They are kept tame, and fed fat, but none of the Sea kind will breede out of their naturall place: Yet at Caryhayes, master Treuanions house, which bordereth on the Cliffe, an old Gull did (with an extraordinarie charitie) accustome, for diuers yeeres together, to come and feede the young ones (though perhaps none of his alliance) in the court where they were kept. It is held, that the Barnacle breedeth vnder water on such ships sides, as haue beene verie long at Sea, hanging there by the Bill, vntill his full growth dismisse him to be a perfect fowle: and for proofe hereof, many little things like birds, are ordinarily found in such places, but I cannot heare any man speake of hauing seene them ripe. The Puffyn hatcheth in holes of the Cliffe, whose young ones are thence ferretted out, being exceeding fat, kept salted, and reputed for fish, as comming neerest thereto in their taste. The Burranet hath like breeding, and, after her young ones are hatched, shee leadeth them sometimes ouer-land, the space of a mile or better, into the hauen, where such as haue leasure to take their pastime, chace them one by one with a boate, and stones, to often diuing, vntill, through wearinesse, they are taken vp at the boates side by hand, carried home, and kept tame with the Ducks: the Egges of diuers of these Fowles are good to bee eaten.

Sea-fowle not eatable, are Ganets, Ospray (Plynyes Haliaeetos.) Amongst which, Iacke-Daw (the second slaunder of our Countrie) shall passe for companie, as frequenting their haunt, though not their diet: I meane not the common Daw, but one peculiar to Cornwall, and therethrough termed a Cornish Chough: his bil is sharpe, long, and red, his legs of the same colour, his feathers blacke, his conditions, when he is kept tame, vngratious, in filching, and hiding of money, and such short ends, and somewhat dangerous in carrying stickes of fire.

After hauing marched ouer the land, and waded thorow the Sea, to discouer all the creatures therein insensible, & sensible, the course of method summoneth me to discourse of the reasonable, to wit, the Inhabitants, and to plot downe whatsoeuer, noteworthily, belongeth to their estate, reall, and personall, and to their gouernment, spirituall, and temporall. Vnder their reall state, I comprise all that their industrie hath procured, either for priuate vse, or entercourse, and traffike.

In priuate life, there commeth into consideration, their Tenements, which yeeld them sustinance, and their houses, which afford them a place of abode. Euerie tenement is parcell of the demaynes, or seruices of some Manner. Commonly thirtie Acres make a farthing land, nine farthings a Cornish Acre, and foure Cornish Acres, a Knights fee. But this rule is ouerruled to a greater or lesser quantitie, according to the fruitfulnesse, or barrennesse of the soyle. That part of the demaines, which appertaineth to the Lords dwelling house, they call his Barten, or Berton. The tenants to the rest hold the same either by sufferance, Wil, or custome, or by conuention. The customary tenant holdeth at Wil, either for yeeres, [37] or for liues, or to them and their heires, in diuers manners according to the custome of the Mannour. Customarie Tenants for life, take for one, two, three, or more liues, in possession, or reuersion, as their custome will beare. Somewhere the wiues hold by widdowes estate, and in many places, when the estate is determined by the Tenants death, and either to descend to the next in reuersion, or to returne to the Lord, yet will his Executor, or Administrator detaine the land, by the custome, vntill the next Michaelmas after, which is not altogether destitute of a reasonable pretence.

Amongst other of this customarie Land, there are seuenteene Mannours, appertaining to the Duchie of Cornwall, who doe euerie seuenth yere, take their Holdings (so they terme them) of certaine Commissioners sent for the purpose, & haue continued this vse, for the best part of three hundred yeeres, through which, they reckon, a kind of inheritable estate accrued vnto them. But, this long prescription notwithstanding, a more busie then well occupied person, not long sithence, by getting a Checquer lease of one or two such tenements, called the whole right in question: and albeit God denyed his bad minde any good successe, yet another taking vp this broken title, to salue himselfe of a desperate debt, prosecuted the same so far forth, as he brought it to the iutty of a Nisi prius. Hereon certayne Gentlemen were chosen and requested by the Tenants, to become suiters for stopping this gap, before it had made an irremediable breach. They repayred to London accordingly, and preferred a petition to the then L. Treasurer Burleigh. His L. called vnto him the Chauncellour, and Coise Barons of the Exchequer, and tooke a priuate hearing of the cause. It was there manifestly prooued before them, that besides this long continuance, and the Importance, (as that which touched the vndooing of more then a thousand persons) her Highnesse possessed no other lands, that yeelded her so large a benefit in Rents, Fines, Heriots, and other perquisites. These reasons found fauourable allowance, but could obtaine no thorough discharge, vntill the Gentlemen became suppliants to her Maiesties owne person, who, with her natiue & supernaturall bounty, vouchsafed vs gratious audience, testified her great dislike of the attempter, & gaue expresse order for stay of the attempt: since which time, this barking Dogge hath bene mufled. May it please God to award him an vtter choaking, that he neuer haue power to bite againe.

Herein we were beholden to Sir Walter Raleghs earnest writing, (who was then in the Countrey) to Sir Henry Killigrews sound aduice, and to Master William Killigrews painefull soliciting (being the most kinde patrone of all his Countrey and Countreymens affaires at Court.)

In times past, and that not long agoe, Holdings were so plentifull, and Holders so scarce, as well was the Landlord who could get one to bee his Tenant, and they vsed to take assurance for the rent by 2. pledges of the same Mannour. But now the case is altred: for a farme, or (as wee call it) a bargaine can no sooner fall in hand, then the Suruey Court shal be waited on with many Officers, vying & reuying each on other; nay thei are taken mostly at a ground-hop, before they fall, for feare of comming too late. And ouer and aboue the old yerely rent, they will giue a hundred or two hundred [38] yeeres purchace and vpward at that rate, for a fine, to haue an estate of three liues: which summe commonly amounteth to ten, or twelve yeeres iust value of the land. As for the old rent, it carrieth at the most, the proportion but of a tenth part, to that whereat the tenement may be presently improued, & somewhere much lesse: so as the Parson of the parish can in most places, dispend as much by his tithe, as the Lord of the Mannour by his rent. Yet is not this deare letting euerie where alike: for the westerne halfe of Cornewall, commeth far short of the Easterne, and the land about Townes, exceedeth that lying farther in the Countrey.

The reason of this enhaunsed price, may proue (as I gesse) partly, for that the late great trade into both the Indies, hath replenished these parts of the world with a larger store of the Coyne-currant mettals, then our ancestours enioyed: partly, because the banishment of single-liuing Votaries, yonger mariages then of olde, and our long freedome from any sore wasting warre, or plague, hath made our Countrey very populous: and partly, in that this populousnes hath inforced an industrie in them, and our blessed quietnes giuen scope, and meanes to this industrie. But howsoeuer I ayme right or wide at this, once certayne it is, that for these husbandry matters, the Cornish Inhabitants are in sundry points swayed by a diuerse opinion, from those of some other Shires. One, that they will rather take bargaines, at these excessiue fines, then a tolerable improued rent, being in no sort willing to ouer a penny: for they reckon that, but once smarting, and this, a continuall aking. Besides, though the price seeme very high, yet mostly, foure yeeres tillage, with the husbandmans payne and charge, goeth neere to defray it. Another, that they fal euery where from Commons to Inclosure, and partake not of some Easterne Tenants enuious dispositions, who will sooner preiudice their owne present thrift, by continuing this mingle-mangle, then aduance the Lords expectant benefit, after their terme expired.

The third, that they alwayes preferre liues before yeeres, as both presuming vpon the Countries healthfulnesse, and also accounting their family best prouided for, when the husband, wife, and childe, are sure of a liuing. Neither may I (without wrong) conceyle the iust commendation of most such wiues, in this behalfe: namely, when a bargaine is so taken to these three, it often falleth out, that afterwards the sonne marieth, and deliuereth his yeruing-goods (as they terme it) to his father, who in lieu thereof, by his wiues assent (which in many auncient deeds was formall) departeth to him and his daughter in lawe, with the one halfe of his Holding in hand.

Now, though after the fathers decease, the mother may, during her life, turne them both out of doores, as not bound by her owne word, and much lesse by her husbands: yet I haue seldome or neuer knowne the same put in practise, but true and iust meaning hath euer taken place.

Yet another vnconscionable quirk some haue of late time pried into, viz. in a ioynt-lease to three intended by the taker and payer, to descend successiuely and intirely, one of them passeth ouer his interest to a stranger, who by rigour of law shall hold it during the liues of the other twaine.


The ordinary couenants of most conuentionary Tenants are, to pay due Capons, doe haruest iournyes, grinde at the Mill, sue to the Court, discharge the office of Reeue and Tithing-man, dwell vpon the Tenement, and to set out no part thereof to tillage, without the Lords licence first obtained. Which conditions are yet enlarged or restrained, according to the Demisors humour.

Vsuall it is for all sorts of Tenants, vpon death, at least, if not surrender, or forfeyture, to pay their best beast for a Heriot: yea, if a stranger, passing thorow the Countrey, chaunce to leaue his carkase behind him, he also must redeeme his buriall, by rendring his best beast, which he hath with him, to the Lord of the soyle: or if he haue none, his best Iewell; or rather then fayle, his best garment then about him, in lieu thereof. But this custome hath beene somewhat shaken, in comming to triall, and laboureth of a dangerous Feuer, though the Cornish Gentlemen vse all possible remedies of almost fas et nefas, by pleading the 11. poynts of the Lawe, to keepe it on liue.

The free Tenants seruices, are ordinary with those of other places, saue that they pay in most places onely fee-Morton releeses, which is after fiue markes the whole Knights fee, (so called of Iohn Earle first of Morton, then of Cornwall, and lastly King of this Land) whereas that of fee-Gloucester is fiue pound. And to accomplish this part, I haue heere inserted a note of the Cornish Knights fees and acres, which I receyued from my learned and religious kinseman Master Robert Moyle.

Record. Feod. Milit. in Cornub. fact.
Anno 3. H. 4. vt sequitur.

HEnricus Dei gratia, Rex Anglia & Franciae, & Dominus Hiberniae, dilectis nobis Vicecom. & Escaetori nostris in Com. Cornub. ac Iohanni Colshil, & Iohanni Tremayn seniori collectoribus auxilij 20. solidorum, de quolibet feod. Milit. tento de nob. fine medio in Com. praedicto ad Blanchiam primogenitam filiam nostram maritand. iuxta formam statuti, anno regni Domini Edwardi nuper Regis Angliae, Aui nostri 25. edict. assignat salutem. Quasdam euidentias, quas de libris, rotulis & memorand. Scaccarii nostri exhiberi fecimus pro informations vestra, super captione inquisitionum diuersorum feodorum in Com. praedicto, viz. de rubro libra unam scedulam, & duos rotulos de euidentiis nuper collectoribus auxilii praedicti, auo nostro ad filium suum primogenitum milit. faciend, anno Regni sui 20. concessi vobis mittimus, sub pede sigilli nostri, mandantes, vt inspect. euidenc. praed. vlterius inde tam per easdem euident. quam per Inquisitiones super praemiss. per vos capiend. pro commodo nostro faciatis, quod de iure per vos videatur faciend: Ita quod euidenc. praed, vna cum toto fac. vestro in premiss. & hoc breue ad Scaccarium nostrum super compot. vestrum proxim. de eodem auxilio redend. Baronibus de dictio Scaccario nostro ibidem liberandum habeatis. Teste Iohanne Cokayn apud Westmonast. 30. die Ianua. Anno Regni nostri 3. Rotl. memorum de anno 3. Hillar. record.

The Survey of Cornwall The First Book Part 2

The Survey of Cornwall

The Survey of Cornwall The First Book
The Survey of Cornwall The First Book Part 2
The Survey of Cornwall The Second Book
The Survey of Cornwall The Second Book Part 2