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2.4. Of the deuiſion of Englande as it is now generally named into Shyres Cap. 4.

Of the deuiſion of Englande as it is now generally named into Shyres Cap. 4.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Trinoban|tes. Ordolukes. Tegenes. Silures. Brigantes. Cankes. Canges.IN reading of auncient writters as Caeſar Tacitus and others, we finde mention of ſundrie regions to haue béene ſometyme in this Iſlande, as of the Trinobantes, Ordolu|kes, Tegenes, Silures, Icenes, Brigantes, Cãges, and Kentiſhmen and ſuch like, but ſith the ſe|uerall places where moſt of them laye, are not perfitelye knowne vnto the learned of theſe dayes, I doe not meane to pronounce my iudgement alſo vpõ ſuch doubtfull caſes, leaſt that in ſo dooing I ſhoulde but increaſe coniectures, and leading peraduenture the reader frõ the more probable, intangle him in the ende with ſuch as are of leſſe value & nothing ſo lykely to be true, Alfride brought Englande into ſhires which the Britons diuided by Cantredes and the Daxons by famil|lies. as thoſe which other men haue ſet downe before me. It ſhall ſuffice therfore to begin with ſuch a ground, as from whence ſome better certaintie of thinges may be deriued, and that is with the eſtate of our Iſlande in the time of Alfrede, who firſt deuided England into ſhyres, whi|che before his tyme, and ſithence the cõming of the Saxons, was limited out by familes and hydelandes, as Wales hath alſo béene by hundreds of townes, which then were cal|led Cantredes, as olde recorde doth witneſſe. Into how many ſhyres the ſayde Alfrede did firſt make this particion of the Iſlande, it is not yet founde out, howbeit if my coniecture be any thing at all, I ſuppoſe that he left not vnder eyght and thirtie, ſith we finde by no good author that aboue fiftéene haue bene ad|ded by any of his ſucceſſours, [...] ſh [...]re [...] one. ſith the time of his deceaſe. This prince therefore hauing made the generall partition of his kingdome into ſhyres, or ſhares, he deuided againe the ſame into lathes, as lathes into hundreds, & hundredes into tithinges, or denaries, as di|uers haue written, and M. Lambert follo|wing their authorities, hath alſo giuen out, ſaying almoſt after this manner in his de|ſcription of Kent. The Danes (ſaith he) both before, and in the time of king Alfrede, had flocked by the ſea coaſtes of this Iſlande in great numbers, ſometimes waſting and ſpoi|ling with ſworde and fire, whereſoeuer they might arriue, & ſometime taking great bo|ties with thẽ to their ſhips, [...] ſ [...]me [...] their [...] without dooing any farder hurt, or damage to the countrey. Thys inconuenience continuing for manye yeares togither, cauſed our huſbandmen to abandon their tillage, and gaue occaſion and hardneſſe to euill diſpoſed perſons, to fall to the lyke pillage, as practiſing to followe the Danes in theſe theyr theftes and robberies. And the better to cloake their miſchiefe with all, they feigned thẽſelues to be Daniſh Py|rates, and woulde ſometime come alande in one port, and ſometime in an other, driuing dayly great ſpoyles as the Danes had done vnto their ſhips before them. The good king Alfrede therfore (who had marueylouſly tra|ueyled in repulſing the barbarous Danes) eſpying this out rage, & thinking it no leſſe the part of a politicke prince to roote out the noyſome ſubiect, then to holde out the forren aduerſarie: by the aduice of his nobilitie, and thexample of Moſes (who followed the coun|ſell of Iethro his father in law to the like ef|fect) deuided the whole realme into certaine partes or ſectiõs, which (of the Saxon worde, Schyran, ſignifying to cut) he termed ſhires or as we yet ſpeake, ſhares, or portions,Erle [...] and appointed ouer euery ſuch one ſhire an Erle or Alderman or both, to whome he commit|ted the gouernement of the ſame. Theſe ſhyres alſo he brake into leſſer partes, wher|of ſome were called lathes, of the worde Ge|lathian, which is to aſſemble togither, other hundredes for that they coined iuriſdiction ouer an hundred pledges, & other tithinges, bycauſe there were in eache of them to the EEBO page image 74 number [...] perſons, whereof euery one frõ time to time was [...] for others good abearing. He prouided alſo that euery man ſhoulde procure himſelfe to be receyued into ſome tithing, to the ende, that if any were founde of ſo ſmall and h [...]ſſe a credite that [...] man woulde become pledge or ſuretie for him, he ſhoulde foorthwith [...]e committed to pryſon, leſt otherwiſe he might happen to do more harme abr [...]de. Hitherto M. Lambe [...] by whoſe [...] we may gather very [...] of the ſtate of this Iſlande in the time of [...]|fride, whoſe inſtitution continued after a ſort vntill the comming of the Normans, who chaunged the gouernement of the realme [...] ſuch wiſe (by bringing in of new officers and offices, after the maner of their countries) that very little of the olde regiment remay|ned more then the bares names of ſome offi|cers (except [...] aduenture in Kent) ſo that [...] theſe dayes it is hard to ſet downe any great certainty of thing as they ſtoode in Alfreds time, more then is remembred, & touched at this preſent. [...]at a [...]th is. Some as it were roming or [...]|uing at ye name Lath affirme that they were certen circuites in euery c [...]ũty or ſhyre, cõ|tayning an app [...]ynted number of townes, whoſe inhabita [...]ntes alwayes aſſembled to know and vnderſtande of matters touching their portions, in to ſome one appoynted place or other within their limites, eſpecial|lye whyleſt the cauſes were ſuch as required not the ayde or aſſiſta [...]nce of the whole coun|tye. Of theſe Lathes alſo (as they ſaye) ſome ſhyres had more ſome leſſe, as they were of greatneſſe. [...]les. And M. La(m)bert seemeth to be of the opinion that the lets of our tyme (wherein these pledges be yet called Franci plegij of the worde Free burghe) doe yeelde some shadow of that politike institutio(n) of Alfrede: but sith my skill is so small in these cases that I dare not iudge any thing at all as of myne owne knowledge, I will not sette downe any thing more than I read, and reading no more of lathes, my next talke shal be of hundredes. [...]ndred [...]eapõ| [...]. The hundrede, and the wapentake is all one, and by this diuision not a name appertynent to a sette number of townes (for then all hundrede shoulde be of equall quantitie) but a limited iurisdiction, within the compasse whereof were an hundred persons called pledges, [...]arie [...]ithing or ten denaries, or tithings of men, of which eache one was bounde for other good abering, and laudable behauiour in the co(m)mon welth of the realme. [...]hing [...] in la| [...] Decu| [...] The chiefe man lykewyse of euerie Denarie or Tithing was in those dayes called a tithing man in latine Decurio, [...]ſhol| [...] but now in most places a borsholder as in Kent, where euery tithing is more ouer named a Burrow,Burrow. although that in the West countrie he be still called a Tithing man, and his circuit a Tithing as haue heard at large. I reade further more and it is partly afore noted, that the sayde Alfride caused eache man of free condicion (for the better maintenaunce of his peace) to be ascribed into some hundred by placing himselfe in one Denarie or other, where he might alwaies haue such as should swere or saye vppon their certen knowledge for his honest behauiour and ciuile conuersation if it should happen at any time, that his credite should come in question. In like sort, I gather out of Leland and other, that if any smal matter did fall out worthie to be discussed, the Tithing man or borsholder (now officers, at the co(m)mandement of ye Constable) should decide the same in their Letes, wheras the greatest causes were referred to the Hundredes, the greater to the Lathes, and the greatest of all to the shire daies, where the Earles or Aldermen dyd set themselues, and make final endes of the same, according vnto Iustice. For this purpose likewise in euery Hundred were 12. men chosen of good age and wisdome, Twelue men. and those sworne to gyue their sentences without respect of person, and in this maner, as they gather were thinges handeled in those daies. In my tyme there are found to be in Englande 40. shyres, and likewise 13. in Wales, Fourtie ſhyres in Englande thirtéene in Wales. and these latter erected of late yeres, by King Henry ye eyght, who made the Bryto(n)s or Welchme(n) equall in all respectes vnto the Englishe, and brought to passe, that both nations should indifferently be gouerned by one law, which in times past were ordred by diuers, & those far descrepant, & disagreyng one wyth an other, as by the seuerall view of ye same, is yet easy to be deserned. The names of the shyres in England are these wherof the first 10. lie betweene the Brittish sea and the Thames.

  • Kent
  • Sussex
  • Surrey
  • Hampshyre Deuon
  • Barkeshyre
  • Wilshyre
  • Dorset shyre
  • Somerset
  • Deuon
  • Cornewall

Compare 1587 edition: 1 There are moreouer on the north ſide of the Thames, & betwéene the ſame & the riuer Trent, which paſſeth thorowe the middeſt of Englande as Polidore ſayth 16. other ſhires, whereof ſixe lye towarde the eaſt, the reſt to|warde the weſt, more into the middeſt of the countrye.

  • Eſſex.
  • Middleſex.
  • Hartfordſhire.
  • Suffolke.
  • Norfolke.
  • Cambridge ſhyre.
  • Bedforde.
  • Huntingdon.
  • EEBO page image 84Buckingham.
  • Oxford.
  • Northampton.
  • Rutland.
  • Lewceſterſhire.
  • Nottingham ſhyre.
  • Warwicke.
  • Lincolne.
We haue 6. alſo that haue there place weſt|ward towardes wales, whoſe names inſue.
  • Gloceſter.
  • Hereford.
  • Worceſter.
  • Shropeſhi [...].
  • Stafford.
  • Cheſterſhire.
And theſe are the 32. ſhires which lie by ſouth of the Trent. Beyonde the ſame ryuer we haue in lyke ſort other 8. as
  • Darby.
  • Yorke.
  • Lancaſter.
  • Comberlande.
  • Weſtmerland.
  • Richemonde.
  • Durham.
  • Northumberland.
So that in the portiõ ſometime called Lhoe|gres, there are nowe fourtie ſhyres. In Wales furthermore are 13. wherof 7. are in ſouth Wales.
  • Cardigan, or
  • Cereticon.
  • Penmoroke, or
  • Penbrooke.
  • Caermardine.
  • Glamorgan.
  • Mone [...]h.
  • Breckenocke.
  • Radnor.
In Northwales likewiſe are 6. that is to ſay
  • Angleſey.
  • Carnaruon.
  • Merioneth.
  • Denbighe.
  • Flint.
  • Montgomery.
Which being added to thoſe of Englãd yéeld 53. ſhires or coũties,Odde par|celles of ſhyres. ſo ye vnder the Queenes Maieſty are ſo many Counties, whereby it is eaſily diſcerned, that hir power farre ex|céedeth that of Offa, who of olde time was highelye honoured for that he had ſo much of Brytaine vnder hys ſubiection as after|warde conteined 39. ſhyres, when the diuiſi|on was made, whereof I ſpake before.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Thys is moreouer to be noted in our de|uiſion of ſhyres, that they bee not alwayes counted or laid togither in one percel, wher|of I haue great marueyle. But ſith the occa|ſion hath growen as I take it either by Pri|uyledge or ſome lyke occaſion, it is better bryefelye to ſet downe howe ſome of theſe partes lye then to ſpende the tyme in ſéeking a iuſt cauſe of thys their odde diuiſion. Firſt therfore I note that in the part of Bucking|ham ſhyre betwéene Amondeſham, and Be|conſfelde, there is a péece of Hartforde ſhyre to be founde, enuironed rounde about wyth the countye of Buckingham, and yet thys patche is not aboue thrée myles in length & two in breadth at the verye moſt. In Barke|ſhyre alſo betwéene Ruſcombe and Oking|ham is a péece of Wilſhyre, one myle in breadth and foure myles in length, whereof one ſide lyeth on the Loden riuer. In the bor|ders of Northamton ſhyre directlye ouer againſt Luffelde a towne in Buckingham|ſhyre, I fynde a percell of Oxford [...] ſhyre not paſſing two miles in compaſſe.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 With Oxford ſhyre diuers doe participat [...] in ſo much that a péece of Gloceſter ſhyre, lyeth halfe in Warwicke ſhyre and halfe in Oxforde ſhyre, not very farre from Hor [...]|ton. Such another patche is there, of Gloce|ſter ſhyre not farre from long Compton, but lying in Oxforde county: and alſo a péece of Worceſter ſhire, dyrectly betwéene it and Gloceſter ſhyre: Gloceſter hath ye third péece vpon the North ſide of the W [...]r [...]ſhe née [...] Falbrocke, as Barkeſhyre hath one percell alſo vpon the ſelfe ſide of the ſame water, in the verye edge of Gloceſterſhyre Lykewyſe an other in Oxforde ſhyre, not verye farre from Burford: and the thirde ouer agaynſt Lache lade, which is parted from the mayne countye of Barkeſhyre by a lyttle ſtrake of Oxford ſhyre. Who woulde thinke that twoo Fragmentes of Wilſhyre were to be ſéene in Barkeſhyre vpon the Loden, and the ry|uer that falleth into it: whereof and the lyke ſith there are verye manye, I thinke good to gyue thys briefe admonition. For although I haue not preſentlye gone thorowe wy [...] them al, yet theſe maye ſuffice to giue notice of thys thinge, whereof moſt readers as I perſwade my ſelfe are ignorant. But to pro|céede with our purpoſe, ouer eache of theſe ſhyres in time of neceſſity is a ſeuerall Lée [...]|tenant choſen vnder the Prince, [...] who beyng a noble man of calling, hath almoſt regall authoritie ouer the ſame for the tyme beyng in many caſes which doth cõcerne his office: otherwyſe it is gouerned by a Shirife, [...] who is reſident & dwelling ſomewhere within the ſame coũty, whom they call a Vicount, in re|ſpect of ye Erle (or as they called him in time paſt the Alderman) that beareth his name of the Countye, although it be ſeldome ſéene in Englande, that the Earle hath any great ſtore of poſſeſſions, or oughtes to doe in the County whereof he taketh hys name, more then is allowed to him, thorowe his perſo|nall reſiauns, if he happen to dwell and bée reſident in the ſame. In the election alſo of theſe Mageſtrates, dyue [...]able Perſons aſ|well for wealth as wiſdome, are named by the commons, at a tyme and place appointed for theyr choyſe, whoſe names beyng dely|uered to the Prince, he foorthwyth prick|eth ſome ſuche one of them, as he pleaſeth to aſſigne vnto that office, to whome he cõmit|teth the charge of the county, and who here|vpon is Shirife of that ſhyre, for one whole yeare, or vntill another be choſen. [...] The Shi|rife alſo hath his vnder Shirife that ruleth & EEBO page image 75 holdeth the ſhyre courtes, & law daies vnder hym, vpon ſufficient caution, vnto the high Shirife for hys true execution of Iuſtice, and yéelding of accoumpt, when he ſhall be ther|vnto called. There are likewyſe vnder him certayne Bayliffes, [...]ifes. whoſe office is to ſerue & returne ſuch writtes & proceſſes as are di|rected vnto thẽ frõ the high Shirife, to make ſeazure of the goodes and cattelles, and ar|reſt the bodyes of ſuch as doe offende, pre|ſenting eyther their perſons vnto him, or at the leaſtwyſe taking ſufficient bonde, or o|ther aſſuraunce of them for theyr due appe|rance at an appointed tyme, when ye Shirife by order of law ought to preſent them to the Iudges according to his charge. [...]e [...]nſta| [...] In euerye hundred alſo are one or moe high conſtables according to the quãtity of the ſame, who re|ceyuing writtes and iniunctions from the high Shirife vnder his ſeale, doe forthwith charge the pety conſtables of euery towne, with in their limites, [...]y con| [...]es. with the execution of ye ſame.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 In eche countye likewiſe, are ſundrye law dayes holden at their appointed ſeaſons, of which ſome retaine the olde Saxon name, and are called Motelaghe. [...]. They haue alſo an other called the Shirifes turne, which they holde twyſe in their times, in euery hundred, and in theſe two latter ſuch ſmall matters as oft aryſe amongſt the inferior ſorte of people, are hard and determined. They haue finally their quarter ſeſſions, wherein they are aſſiſted by the Iuſtices and Gentlemen of the countrey, and twiſe in the yeare Gaile deliuerye, [...]e de| [...]y or [...] aſſi| [...] at which time the Iudges ride a|bout in theyr circuites, into euerye ſeuerall countye (where the nobilitye and Gentlemen wyth the Iuſtices there reſiaunt aſſociate them) and myniſter the lawes of the realme, wyth great ſolemnity and Iuſtice. Howbeit in doing of theſe things, they retayne ſtill the the olde order of the lande, in vſe before the conqueſt, for they cõmit the full examination of al cauſes there to be heard, to ye cõſideratiõ of 12. ſober graue, [...]ueſts. & wiſe men, choſen out of ye ſame countye (which number they call an en|queſt) and of theſe inqueſts there are more or leſſe impaniled a [...]euery aſſize as the nũber of caſes there to be handled, doth craue and re|quire (albeit that ſome one inqueſt hath often diuers to cõſider of) & when they haue to their vttermoſt poure conſulted and debated of ſuch thinges as they are charged with all, they returne againe to the place of Iuſtice, wyth theyr Verdicte in wryting, according whereunto the Iudge doth pronounce his ſẽ|tence, be it for life or death or any other mat|ter, whatſoeuer is brought before him. Beſide theſe officers afore mencioned, there are ſũ|dry other in euery countye, as Crowners, whoſe duety is to enquire of ſuch as come to their death by violence, to attache and pre|ſent the plées of the Crowne,Iuſtices of peax and quorum. to make inqui|rye of treaſure founde. &c. There are dy|uers alſo of the beſt learned of the lawe, be|ſide ſundry Gentlemen, where the number of Lawyers doe not ſuffiſe (and whoſe re|uenues doe amount to aboue twenty pound by the yeare) appointed by eſpeciall com|miſſion from the prince, to looke vnto the good gouernement of hir ſubiectes, in the Coun|ties where they dwell, and of theſe the leaſt ſkilfull in the lawe are of the peace, the other both of the peace and quorum other|wiſe called of Oyer & Determiner, ſo that the firſt haue authoritie onely to heare, the o|ther to heare & determine ſuch matters as are brought vnto their preſence. Theſe alſo doe dyrect theyr warrantes to the kéepers of the Gayles which in their limitations for the ſafe keping of ſuch offenders as they ſhal iudge worthie to be kept vnder warde, vntill the great aſſizes, to thende their cauſes may be further examined before the reſidue of the countye, & theſe officers were firſt deuiſed in the eightéene yeare of Edwarde the thyrde, as I haue béene informed.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 They méete alſo and togither with the Shy|rifes, doe hold their Seſſions at foure times in the yeare,Quarter ſeſſions. whereof they are called quarter Seſſions, and herin they inquyre of the com|mon anoyaunces of the kings léege people, & ſundrie other treſpaſſes determining vppon them as iuſtice doth require. There are al|ſo a thyrde kinde of Seſſions holden by the high Conſtables and Baylifs afore mencio|ned, called Petie Seſſions,Pety ſeſ|ſions. wherein the wei|ghtes & meaſures are peruſed by the Clarke of the market for the countey, who ſitteth with thẽ. At theſe méetings, alſo Victuallers, & in like ſort ſeruants, labourers, roges, and runnagates are often reformed for their ex|ceſſes, although the burning of vagabounds thorow their eares, be referred to ye quarter ſeſſiõs or higher courts of Aſſiſe, where they are adiudged alſo to death, if they be takẽ the third time & haue not ſith their ſecond appre|hention applyed thẽſelues to labor. And thus much haue I thought good to ſet downe ge|nerally of the ſayde counties and their ma|ner of gouernaunce, although not in ſo perfit order as the cauſe requireth, bycauſe that of all the reſt there is nothing wherewith I am leſſe acquainted then with our temporall re|giment, which to ſaye truth doth ſmally con|cerne my calling.

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