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2.10. Of the maner of Buylding and furniture of our houſes. Cap. 10.

Of the maner of Buylding and furniture of our houſes. Cap. 10.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 THe greateſt parte of our buylding in the cities and good townes of Englande conſiſteth onely of timber, for as yet fewe of the houſes of the comminalty (except here & there in the weſt country townes) are made of ſtone, although they may in my opinion in diuers other places be builded ſo good cheape of the one as of the other. In olde tyme the houſes of the Brytons were ſlitely ſet vppe with a few poſtes and many radles, the like whereof almoſt is to be ſéene in the fenny countries vnto this day, where for lacke of wood they are inforced to continue this aun|cient maner of buylding. It is not in vayne therefore in ſpeaking of buylding to make a diſtinction betweene the playne and wooddye countrie, for as in theſe, our houſes are com|monly ſtrong & wel timbered, ſo that in many places, there are not aboue 6. or nine ynches betwéene ſtudde and ſtudde, ſo in the open & champaine ſoyles they are inforced for want of ſtuffe to vſe no ſtuddes at all, but only ray|ſines, groundſelles, tranſomes, and vpright principalles, with here and there an ouer|thwart poſt in their walles, whereunto they faſten their Splintes or radles, and then caſt it all ouer wyth clay to kéepe out the winde, which otherwyſe woulde anoy them. In like ſort as euery country houſe is thus apparel|led on the out ſide, ſo is it inwardly deuided into ſundrie rowmes aboue and beneth, and where plentie of wood is, they couer thẽ with tyles, otherwyſe with ſtraw, ſedge, or réede, except ſome quarry of ſlate be neare hande, from whence they haue for theyr money, ſo much as may ſuffice them. The clay where|with our houſes are empanelled is eyther white, redde, or blewe, and of theſe the firſt doth participate very much with the nature of our chalke, the ſeconde is called lome, but the thirde eftſoones changeth coulour ſo ſoo [...]e as it is wrought, notwithſtanding that it looke blew when it is throwne out of the pit. Of chalke alſo we haue our excellent whyte lime made in moſt places, wherewith we ſtricke ouer our clay workes & ſtone walles, in Cities, good Townes, riche fermers, and gentlemens houſes: otherwyſe in ſtéede of chalke (where it wanteth for it is ſo ſcant that in ſome places it is ſolde by the pounde) they are compelled to burne a certaine kind of redde ſtone, as in Wales, and elſe where other ſtones, as I haue ſéene by experience. Within their doores alſo ſuch as are of abili|tie doe oft make their flowers, and parget of fine Alabaſter burned, which they cal plaſter of Paris, whereof in ſome places we haue great plentie, & that very profitable agaynſt the rage of fire. In plaſtering likewiſe of our fayreſt houſes ouer our heades, we vſe to lay firſt a Laire or two of white m [...]rter tempe|red with heire vpon Lathes, which are nay|led one by an other, (or ſometimes vpõ rede or wickers more daungerous for fyre and made faſt here and there with ſappelathes for falling downe) and finallye couer all with the aforeſayde plaſter, which beſide the delectable whiteneſſe of the ſtuffe it ſelfe, is layed on ſo euen and ſmouthly as nothing in my iudgement can be done with more exact|neſſe. This alſo hath bene cõmon in england, contrarie to the cuſtomes of all other Na|tions, and yet to be ſéene (for example in moſt ſtréetes of London) that many of our grea|teſt houſes haue outwardly béene very ſim|ple and plaine to ſight, which inwardly haue béene able to receyue a Duke with his whole trayne and lodge them at their eaſe. Hereby moreouer it is come to paſſe, that the frontes EEBO page image 85 of our ſtréetes haue not béene ſo vniforme & orderly buylded as thoſe of forrain cities, where to ſaye truth, the vtterſide of theyr manſions and dwellings, haue oft more coſt beſtowed vpon them, then all the reaſt of the houſe, which are often very ſimple and vn|eaſie within, as experience doth confirme. Of olde tyme our country houſes in ſtéede of glaſſe dyd vſe much lattis and that made ey|ther of wicker or fine riftes of oke in cheker|wyſe. I reade alſo that ſome of the better ſorte in and before the tymes of the Saxons did make panels of horne in ſtéede of glaſſe, and fixe them in woodden calmes, but as horne is quite layde downe in euery place, ſo our lattiſes are alſo growne into leſſe vſe, bycauſe glaſſe is come to be ſo plentifull, & within a very little ſo good cheape as the o|ther. Heretofore alſo the houſes of our prin|ces and noble men were often glaſed wyth Beril, (an example wherof is yet to be ſéene in Sudley caſtell) & in diuers other places, with fine chriſtall, but this eſpecially in the time of ye Romaines, wherof alſo ſome frag|mentes haue béene taken vp in olde ruines. But nowe theſe are not in vſe, ſo that onely the cleareſt glaſſe is moſt eſtéemed for we haue diuers ſortes ſome brought out of Bur|gundie, ſome out of Normandy, much out of Flaunders, beſide that which is made in Englande ſo good as the beſt, and eache one that may, will haue it for his building. More|ouer the manſion houſes of our country tow|nes & villages, (which in champaine groũde ſtande altogither by ſtréetes, and ioyning one to an other, but in woodelande ſoyles diſperſed here and there, eache one vpon the ſeuerall groundes of their owners) are buil|ded in ſuche ſort generally, as that they haue neither dairy, ſtable, nor bruehouſe, annexed vnto them vnder the ſame rooſe (as in many places beyonde the ſea) but all ſeparate from the firſt, and one of them from an other. And yet for all this, they are not ſo farre diſtant in ſunder, but that the goodman lying in his bed may lightly heare what is done in eache of them with eaſe, and call quickly vnto his meney if any daunger ſhoulde attache hym. The auncient maners & houſes of our gen|tlemen are yet & for the moſt part of ſtrong tymber. Howbeit ſuch as be lately buylded, are commõly either of bricke or harde ſtone, their rowmes large and ſtately and houſes of office farder diſtaunt frõ their lodginges. Thoſe of the Nobility are likewiſe wrought with bricke and hard ſtone as prouiſion may beſt be made: but ſo magnificent and ſtately as the baſeſt houſe of a Barren doth often match with ſome honours of princes in olde tyme, ſo that if euer curious buylding dyd floriſh in Englande, it is in theſe our dayes, wherein our worckemen excell, and are in maner comparable in ſkill with olde Vitru|nius, and Serlo. The furniture of our houſes alſo excéedeth, and is growne in maner euen to paſſing delicacie: & herein I do not ſpeake of the Nobilitie and gentrie onely, but euen of the loweſt ſorte that haue any thing at all to take to. Certes in Noble mens houſes it is not rare to ſée abundance of Arras, riche hangings of Tapiſtry, ſiluer veſſell, and ſo much other plate, as may furniſh ſũdrie cup|bordes to the ſumme oftẽtimes of a thouſand or two thouſande pounde at the leaſt: wher|by the value of this and the reaſt of their ſtuffe doth grow to be ineſtimable. Likewiſe in the houſes of Knightes, Gentlemẽ, Mar|chauntmen, and ſome other wealthie Citi|zens, it is not geſon to beholde generallye their great prouiſion of Tapiſtrie, Turkye worke, Pewter, Braſſe, fine linen, and ther|to coſtly cupbords of plate woorth fiue or ſixe hundred pounde, to be demed by eſtimation. But as herein all theſe ſortes doe farre ex|céede their elders, and predeceſſours, ſo in time paſt, the coſtly furniture ſtayed there, whereas now it is deſcended yet lower, euen vnto the inferiour Artificers and moſt Fer|mers, who haue learned alſo to garniſh their cubbordes with plate, their beddes with ta|piſtrie, and ſilke hanginges, and their tables with fine naperie, whereby the wealth of our countrie doth infinitely appeare. Neyther do I ſpeake this in reproch of any man God is my Iudge, but to ſhew that I doe reioyce ra|ther to ſée how God hath bleſſed vs with hys good giftes, and to behold how that in a time wherein all thinges are growen to moſt ex|ceſſiue prices, we do yet finde the meanes to obtayne and atchieue ſuch furniture as here|tofore hath béene vnpoſſible.Thrée thinges greatly amended in Eng|lande. There are olde men yet dwelling in the village where I re|mayne, which haue noted thrée things to be marueylouſly altered in Englande within their ſound remembraunce. One is the mul|titude of chimnies lately erected,Chimnies wheras in their yoong dayes there were not aboue twoo or thrée if ſo many in moſt vplandiſh townes of the realme, (the religious houſes, & man|nour places, of their Lordes alwayes excep|ted, & peraduenture ſome great perſonages) but eache one made his fire againſt a rere|doſſe, in the hall where he dined and dreſſed his meate. The ſecond is ye great amende|ment of lodginge,Hardlodg|ing. for ſayde they our fathers & we our ſelues haue lyen full oft vpon ſtraw pallettes couered onely with a ſhéete vnder couerlettes made of dagſwain or hopharlots EEBO page image 95 (I vſe their owne termes) and a good round logge vnder their heades in ſteade of a boul|ſter. If it were ſo that our fathers or ye good man of the houſe, had a matteres or flockbed, and thereto a ſacke of chafe to reſt hys heade vpon, he thought himſelfe to be as well lod|ged as the Lorde of the towne, ſo well were they contented. Pillowes ſayde they were thought méete onely for women in childebed. As for ſeruants if they had any ſhéete aboue them, it was well, for ſeldome had they any vnder their bodies, to kéepe them from the pricking ſtrawes, that ranne oft thorow the canuas, and raced their hardened hides.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The thirde thinge they tell of,Furniture of houſ|hold. is the ex|change of tréene platters into pewter, and woodẽ ſpoones into ſiluer or tin. For ſo cõmon were al ſorts of tréene veſſelles in old time, ye a man ſhould hardly find four peces of pew|ter (of which one was peraduenture a ſalte) in a good Farmers houſe, and yet for al this frugaltie (if it may ſo be iuſtly called) they were ſcarſe able to lyue and paye their ren|tes,This was in the time of generall ydleneſſe. at their dayes without ſelling of a cow, or a horſe, or more, although they payde but foure pounds at the vttermoſt by the yeare. Such alſo was their pouerty, that if a Fer|mour or huſbundman had béene at the ale|houſe, a thing greatly vſed in thoſe dayes, amongſt ſixe or ſeauen of hys neyghbours, and there in a brauery to ſhewe what ſtore he had, did daſt downe his purſe, and therein a noble or ſixe ſhillings in ſiluer vnto them, it was very likely that all the reſt could not lay downe ſo much againſt it: wheras in my tyme although peraduenture foure pounde of olde rent be improued to fourty or fiftye pound, yet will the farmer thinke his gaines very ſmall toward the middeſt of his terme, if he haue not ſixe or ſeauen yeres rent lying by him, therewith to purchaſe a newe leaſe, beſide a faire garniſhe of pewter on his cow|borde, thrée or foure feather beddes, ſo many couerlettes and carpettes of Tapiſtry, a ſil|uer ſalte, a bowle for wine (if not an whole neaſt) and a duſſen of ſpoones, to furniſhe vp the ſute. Thys alſo he taketh to bée his owne cleare, for what ſtocke of money ſoe|uer he gathereth in all his yeares, it is often ſéene, that the landlorde will take ſuch order with him for the ſame, when he renueth his leaſe (which is commoly eight or ten yeares before it be expyred, ſith it is nowe growen almoſt to a cuſtome, that if he come not to his his lorde ſo long before, another ſhall ſtep in for a reuerſion, & ſo defeate him out right) that it ſhall neuer trouble him more then the heare of his bearde, when the barber hath waſhed and ſhauen it from his chinne.

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