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1.2. Of the position, circuit, forme and quan|titie of the Ile of Britaine. Cap. 2.

Of the position, circuit, forme and quan|titie of the Ile of Britaine. Cap. 2.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 _BRitannia or Britain,How Bri|taine lieth from the maine. as we now terme it in our English toong, or Brutania as some pronounce it (by reason of the letter y in the first syllable of the word, as antiquitie did sometime deliuer it) is an Ile lieng in the Ocean sea, directlie ouer against that part of France which conteineth Picardie, Norman|die, and thereto the greatest part of little Britaine, which later region was called in time past Armorica , of the situation thereof vpon the sea coast, vntill such time as a companie of Britons (either led ouer by some of the Romane Emperours, or flieng thither from the tyrannie of such as oppressed them here in this Iland) did setle themselues there, and called it Britaine, after the name of their owne countrie, from whence they aduentured thither. It hath Ireland vpon the west side, on the north the maine sea, euen to Thule and the Hyperboreans; and on the east side also the Germane Ocean, by which we passe dailie through the trade of merchandize, not onlie into the low countries of Bel|gie, now miserablie afflicted betwéene the Spanish power and popish inquisition (as spice betwéene the morter and the pestell) but also into Germanie, Friezeland, Denmarke, and Norwaie, carrieng from hence thither, and bringing from thence hither, all such necessarie commodities as the seuerall countries doo yéeld: through which meanes, and besides common a|mitie conserued, traffike is mainteined, and the neces|sitie of each partie abundantlie reléeued.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 It conteineth in longitude taken by the middest of the region 19. degrees exactlie:The longi|tude and la|titude of this Ile. and in latitude 53. de|grées, and thirtie min. after the opinions of those that haue diligentlie obserued the same in our daies, and the faithfull report of such writers as haue left notice there|of vnto vs, in their learned treatises to be perpetuallie remembred. Howbeit, whereas some in setting downe of these two lines, haue séemed to varie about the pla|cing of the same, each of them diuerstie remembring the names of sundrie cities and townes, whereby they affirme them to haue their seuerall courses: for my part I haue thought good to procéed somewhat after another sort; that is, by diuiding the latest and best chards each way into two equall parts (so neere as I can possible bring the same to passe) wherby for the middle of lati|tude, I product Caerlile and Newcastell vpon Tine, (whose longest day consisteth of sixtéene houres, 48. mi|nuts) and for the longitude, Newberie,Longest day. Warwike, Shef|field, Skipton, &c: which dealing, in mine opinion, is most easie and indifferent, and likeliest meane to come by the certeine standing and situation of our Iland.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Touching the length and bredth of the same,The com|passe of Bri|taine. I find some variance amongst writers: for after some, there are from the Piere or point of Douer, vnto the farthest part of Cornewall westwards 320. miles: from thence againe to the point of Cathnesse by the Irish sea 800. Wherby Polydore and other doo gather, that the circuit of the whole Iland of Britaine is 1720. miles, which is full 280. lesse than Caesar dooth set downe, except there be some difference betwéene the Romane and British miles, as there is indéed; wherof hereafter I may make some farther conference.

Martianus writing of the bredth of Britaine, hath on|lie 300. miles, but Orosius hath 1200. in the whole com|passe. Ethicus also agreeing with Plinie , Martianus, and Solinus , hath 800. miles of length, but in the breadth he commeth short of their account by 120. miles. In like maner Dion in Seuero maketh the one of 891. miles: but the other; to wit, where it is broadest, of 289. and where it is narowest, of 37. Finally, Diodorus Siculus affirmeth the south coast to conteine 7000 furlongs, the second; to wit, à Carione ad Promontorium 15000. the third 20000. and the whole circuit to consist of 42000. But in our time we reckon the breadth from Douer to Cornewall, not to be aboue 300. miles, and the length from Douer to Cathnesse, no more than 500. which ne|uerthelesse must be measured by a right line, for other|wise I see not how the said diuision can hold.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The forme and fashion of this Ile is thrée cornered,The [...] as some haue deuised, like vnto a triangle, bastard sword, wedge, or partesant, being broadest in the south EEBO page image 3 part, and gathering still narrower and narrower, till it come to the farthest point of Cathnesse northward, where it is narrowest of all, & there endeth in maner of a promontorie called Caledonium & Orchas in British Morwerydh, which is not aboue 30. miles ouer, as dai|lie experience by actuall trauell dooth confirme.

The old writers giue vnto the thrée principall cor|ners, crags,Promonto|ries of Bri|taine. points, and promontories of this Iland, thrée seuerall names. As vnto that of Kent, Cantium, that of Cornewall, Hellenes, and of Scotland, Caledo|nium, and Orchas; and these are called principall, in re|spect of the other, which are Taruisium, Nouantum, Epi|dium, Gangacum, Octapites, Herculeum, Antiueste|um, Ocrinum, Berubium, Taizalum, Acantium, &c : of which I thought good also to leaue this notice, to the end that such as shall come after, may thereby take oc|casion to seeke out their true places, wherof as yet I am in maner ignorant, I meane for the most part; bicause I haue no sound author that dooth leade mée to their knowledge.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Furthermore,The distãce from the maine. the shortest and most vsuall cut that we haue out of our Iland to the maine, is from Douer (the farthest part of Kent eastward) vnto Calice a towne in Picardie 1300 miles from Rome, in old time called Petressa and Scalas , though some like better of black|nesse where the breadth of the sea is not aboue thir|tie miles. Which course, as it is now frequented and vsed for the most common and safe passage of such as come into our countrie out of France and diuers other realms, so it hath not beene vnknowne of old time vnto the Romans, who for the most part vsed these two hauens for their passage and repassage to and fro; al|though we finde, that now and then diuerse of them came also from Bullen, and landed at Sandwich, or some other places of the coast more toward the west, or betweene Hide and Lid; to wit, Romneie marsh, which in old time was called Romania or Romanorum insula) as to auoid the force of the wind & weather, that often molesteth seafaringmen in these narrowe seas, best liked them for their safegards. Betweene the part of Holland also, which lieth néere the mouth of the Rhene and this our Iland, are 900. furlongs, as Sosimus saith; and besides him, diuers other writers, which being con|uerted into English miles, doo yeeld 112. and foure od furlongs, whereby the iust distance of the neerest part of Britaine, from that part of the maine also dooth cer|teinlie appéere to be much lesse than the common maps of our countrie haue hitherto set downe.

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