The Holinshed Project

Holinshed Project Home

The Texts

Previous | Next

3.17. ¶ Of common or artificiall Salt made in Englande. Cap. 17.

¶ Of common or artificiall Salt made in Englande. Cap. 17.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 THere are in Englande certaine welles where Salt is made, whereof Lelande hath written aboundantly in his comenta|ryes of Brytaine, and whoſe words onely. I wyll ſet downe in Engliſhe as he wrate th [...], becauſe he ſéemeth to haue had diligent con|ſideration of the ſame, without adding any thing of my owne vnto hym, except it bée where neceſſitie doth infore me for ye méere aid of the reader, in the vnderſtanding of his mynd. Directing therefore his iourney from Worceſter in his peregrination and labo|rious iourney ouer Englande, he ſaith thus. From Worceſter I rode to the Wiche by incloſed ſoyle, hauing méetely good Corne grounde, ſufficient woode and good paſture, aboute a ſixe myles of. Wiche ſtandeth ſomewhat in a valley or lowe grounde, be|twixt two ſmall hylles on the left ripe (for ſo he calleth the bancke of euery brooke thorow out all his Engliſhe treatizes) of a pretie ryuer which not farre beneathe the Wiche is called Salope brooke. The beautye of the Towne in maner ſtandeth in one ſtreat, yet be there many lanes in the Towne beſides.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 There is alſo a meane Church in ye maine ſtreate and once in the wéeke, an indifferent rounde markette. The Towne of it ſelfe is ſomewhat foule and durty when any rayne falleth by reaſon of much caryage thorowe ye ſtreates, which are very yll paued or rather not paued at all. The great aduauncement alſo here, is by makyng of Salte, and though the commoditye thereof be ſinguler great, yet the Burgeſſes be poore, generally EEBO page image 125 becauſe Gentlemen haue generallye for the moſt parte gotten the great gaine of it into their handes,A cõmon plage in all thinges of any great commodity for one beateth ye buſhe but another catcheth ye the birdes, as we may ſée in Bat|fowling. whileſt the poore Burgeſ|ſes yéelde vnto all the labour. There are at this preſent time thrée honored Salters: and thrée Salt ſprings in the Towne of Wiche, whereof the principall is within a bu [...]ſhoote of the ryght rype (or banke) of the riuer that there commeth downe: and this ſpring is double ſo profitable in yéelding of Salte ly|quor, as both the other. Some ſay (or rather fable) that this Salte ſpring did fayle in the tyme of Richarde dela Wiche Byſhoppe of Chicheſter, and that afterwardes by his in|terceſſion it was reſtored to the profit of the olde courſe (ſuch is the ſuperſtiton of the peo|ple) in remembraunce whereof, or per|aduenture for the zeale which the Wiche men and Salters did beare vnto Rycharde Dela Wiche there countryman, they vſed of late times on his daye (which commeth once in the yere) to hange this Salt ſpring or Wel about which tapiſſery, and to haue ſun|dry games, drinkinges, and fooliſh reuelles at it. But to procede. There be a great num|ber of Salte cotes about this Well, wherin the Salte water is ſodden in leades, and brought to the perfection of pure white ſalt. The other two Salte ſpringes be on the left ſide of the ryuer a prety waye lower then ye firſt, and as I founde at the very ende of the Towne. At theſe alſo be diuers fornaces to make Salt, but the profite & plenty of theſe two are nothing comparable to the gayne, yt ryſeth by the greateſt. I aſked of a Salter how many fornaces they had at all the thrée ſpringes, and he numbred them to eightéene ſcore that is thrée hundred and ſixtie, ſaying howe euery one of them payde yearely ſixe ſhillings and eight pence to the king. The truth is that of olde they had liberties giuen vnto them for thrée hundreth furnaces or mo, and therevpon they gyue a fée farme (or vectigall) of one hunnreth pounde yearely. Certes the penſion is as it was, but the num|ber of fornaces is nowe increaſed, to foure hundreth. There was of late ſerch made for another Salte ſpring there aboutes by the meanes of one Neweport a Gentleman dwelling at the Wiche, and the place where it was appeareth, as doth alſo the woode and Timber which was ſet aboute it, to kéepe vp the earth frõ falling into the ſame. But thys pitte was not ſence occupied, whether it were for lacke of plentie of the ſalt ſpring, or for letting, or hindering of the profite of ye other thrée. Me thinke that if woode and ſale of Salte would ſerue, they might digge and find more ſalt ſpringes about the Wich thẽ thrée, but there is ſomewhat elſe in the w [...] For I hard that of late yeares a ſalt ſpri [...] was founde in an other quarter of Wor+ [...]ſter ſhire, but it grew to be without any [...] ſith the Wich men haue ſuch a priuiledg [...] that they a [...]ne in thoſe quarters ſhall ha [...] the making of ſalte. The Pittes be ſo ſet a|bout with gutters that ye ſalt water is eaſily turned to euerye mans houſe, and at Na [...] wich very many troughes go ouer the riuer for the commoditie of ſuch as dwell on the o|ther ſide of ye ſame. The ſéeth alſo their ſalt water in fornaces of leade, and lade out the Salte ſome in Caſes of wicker, [...]hor [...] which the water draineth, and the Salt re|maineth. There be alſo two or thrée but very lyttle Salt ſpringes at Dertwitche in a lo [...] bottome, where Salt is ſometyme made. Of late alſo a myle from Cumbremere ab|bay a péece of an hill dyd ſincke & in ye ſame pit roſe a ſpring of ſalt water where the Ab|bot begunne to make ſalt, but the men of the Citie compounded with the Abbot and Co|uent that there ſhoulde be none made there, whereby the pit was ſuffered to go to lo [...]. And although it yéelded ſalte water ſtil of it ſelfe, yet it was ſpoyled at the laſt and filled vp with filth. The Wich men vſe the com|moditie of their ſalt ſpring in drawing and decocting the water of them only by ſixe mõ|nethes in the yere, that is from Midſomer to Chriſtmaſſe, as I geſſe to maintayne ye price of ſalte, or for ſauing of wood, which I thinke to be their principall reaſon. For making of ſalt is a great and notable deſtructiõ of wood and ſhall be greater hereafter, except ſome prouiſion be made for the better increaſe of fiering. The lacke of wood alſo is alredy per|ceiued in places néere the Wiche, for where as they vſed to buye and take their woodde néere vnto their occupyings, thoſe woonted ſpringes are nowe decayed, and they be in|forſed to ſéeke their wood ſo farre as Wor|ceſter towne and all the partes about Bre|niſgraue, Alchirche, and Alceſter. I aſked a ſalter how much wood he ſuppoſed yearly to to be ſpent at theſe fornaces, and he aunſwe|red that by eſtimation there was conſumed about ſixe thouſande load, and it was rounde poale woode for the moſt, which is eaſy to be cleft, and handſomely reuen in péeces. The people that are about the fornaces are very ill couloured, and the iuſt rate of euery for|nace is to make foure loades of ſalt yearely and to euery loade goeth fiue or ſixe quar|ters as they make their account. If the for|nace men make more in one fornace then foure loades it is as it is ſayde imployed to their owne auayle. And thus much hath Le|lande EEBO page image 116 left in memorie of our whyte ſalt, who in an other booke not now in my handes hath touched the making alſo of Bay ſalt in ſome part of our coũtry. But ſith yt is boke deliue|red againe to the owner, the tractaciõ of bay ſalt can not be framed in any order, bycauſe my memorie will not ſerue to ſhew the true maner and the place. It ſhall ſuffice therfore to haue gyuen ſuch notice of it, to thende the reader may knowe that aſwell the Baye as whyte are wrought and made in Englande, and more white alſo vpon the weſt coaſt, to|warde Scotlande out of the ſalt water be|twéene Wyre and Cokermouth. Fnally ha|uing thus intermedled our artificiall Salt with our Minerals, let vs giue ouer and go in hande with ſuch mettals as are growing here in Englande.

Previous | Next