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1.18. Of the foure high waies sometime made in Britaine by the princes of this Iland. Cap. 19.

Of the foure high waies sometime made in Britaine by the princes of this Iland. Cap. 19.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 _THere are, which indeuoring to bring all things to their Saxon originall, doo affirme, that this diuision of waies, (whereof we now intreat) should apperteine vnto such princes of that nation as reigned here, since the Ro|manes gaue vs ouer: and herevpon they inferre, that Wattling street was builded by one Wattle from the east vnto the west. But how weake their coniectures are in this behalfe, the antiquitie of these streets it selfe shall easilie declare, whereof some par|celles, after a sort, are also set downe by Antoninus; and those that haue written of the seuerall iournies from hence to Rome: although peraduenture not in so direct an order as they were at the first establish|ed. For my part, if it were not that I desire to be short in this behalfe, I could with such notes as I haue alreadie collected for that purpose, make a large confutation of diuerse of their opinions concerning these passages, and thereby rather ascribe the origi|nall of these waies to the Romans than either the British or Saxon princes. But sith I haue spent more time in the tractation of the riuers than was allotted vnto me, and that I sée great cause (notwith|standing my late alledged scruple) wherfore I should hold with our Galfride before anie other; I will omit at this time to discourse of these things as I would, and saie what I maie for the better knowledge of their courses, procéeding therein as followeth.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 First of all I [...]ind, that Dunwallon king of Britaine, about 483 yeares before the birth of our sauiour Iesus Christ, séeing the subiects of his realme to be in sundrie wise oppressed by théeues and rob|bers as they trauelled to and fro; and being wil|ling (so much as in him laie) to redresse these incon|ueniences, caused his whole kingdome to be suruei|ed; and then commanding foure principall waies to be made, which should leade such as trauelled into all parts thereof, from sea to sea, he gaue sundrie large priuileges vnto the same, whereby they became safe, and verie much frequented. And as he had regard herein to the securitie of his subiects, so he made sharpe lawes grounded vpon iustice, for the suppres|sion of such wicked members as did offer violence to anie traueler that should be met withall or found within the limits of those passages. How and by what parts of this Iland these waies were conueied at the first, it is not so wholie left in memorie: but that some question is mooued among the learned, concerning their ancient courses. Howbeit such is the shadow remaining hitherto of their extensions, that if not at this present perfectlie, yet hereafter it is not vnpossible, but that they may be found out, & le [...]t certeine vnto posteritie. It seemeth by Galfride, that the said Dunwallon did limit out those waies by dooles and markes, which being in short time alte|red by the auarice of such irreligious persons as dwelt néere, and incroched vpon the same (a fault yet iustlie to be found almost in euerie place, euen in the time of our most gratious and souereigne Ladie Elizabeth, wherein the lords of the soiles doo vnite their small occupieng, onelie to increase a greater proportion of rent; and therefore they either remooue, or giue licence to erect small tenements vpon the high waies sides and commons; wherevnto, in truth, they haue no right: and yet out of them also doo raise a new commoditie) and question mooued for their bounds before Belinus his sonne, he to auoid all further controuersie that might from thencefoorth insue, caused the same to be paued with hard stone of eightéene foot in breadth, ten foot in depth, and in the bottome thereof huge flint stones also to be pitch|ed, least the earth in time should swallow vp his workemanship, and the higher ground ouer-grow their rising crests. He indued them also with larger priuileges than before, protesting that if anie man whosoeuer should presume to infringe his peace, and violate the lawes of his kingdome in anie maner of wise, neere vnto or vpon those waies, he should suffer such punishment without all hope to escape (by freendship or mercie) as by the statutes of this realme latelie prouided in those cases were due vnto the offendors. The names of these foure waies are the Fosse, the Gwethelin or Watling, the Erming, and the Ikenild.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The Fosse goeth not directlie but slopewise ouer the greatest part of this Iland,Fosse. beginning at Dot|nesse or Totnesse in Deuonshire, where Brute som|time landed, or (as Ranulphus saith, which is more likelie) at the point of Cornwall, though the eldest writers doo séeme to note the contrarie. From hence it goeth thorough the middle of Deuonshire & Sum|mersetshire, and commeth to Bristow, from whence it runneth manifestlie to Sudberie market, Tetbu|rie, and so foorth holdeth on as you go almost to the midde waie betweene Glocester and Cirnecester, (where the wood faileth, and the champeigne coun|trie appeareth toward Cotteswald) streight as a line vntill you come to Cirnecester it selfe. Some hold EEBO page image 113 opinion that the waie, which lieth from Cirnecester to Bath, should be the verie Fosse; and that betwixt Cirnecester and Glocester to be another of the foure waies, made by the Britons. But ancient report grounded vpon great likelihood, and confirmed also by some experience, iudgeth that most of the waies crossed ech other in this part of the realme. And of this mind is Leland also, who learned it of an abbat of Cirnecester that shewed great likelihood by some records thereof. But to procéed. From Cirnece|ster, it goeth by Chepingnorton to Couentrie, Leir|cester, Newarke, and so to Lincolne ouerthwart the Watlingstreet: where, by generall consent of all the writers (except Alfred of Beuerleie, who extendeth it vnto Cathnesse in Scotland) it is said to haue an end.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The Watlingstréet begun (as I said) by Dun|wallo, but finished by Gutheline,Watling stréet. of whome it is di|rectlie to be called Gutheline stréet, though now cor|rupted into Watlingstréet, beginneth at Douer in Kent, and so stretcheth through the middest of Kent vnto London, and so foorth (peraduenture by the mid|dest of the citie) vnto Verolaminm or Uerlamcester, now saint Albons, where, in the yeare of grace, one thousand fiue hundred thirtie & one, the course there|of was found by a man that digged for grauell wher|with to mend the high waie. It was in this place eighteene foot broad, and about ten foot déepe, and stoned in the bottome in such wise as I haue noted a|fore, and peraduenture also on the top: but these are gone, and the rest remaine equall in most places, and leuell with the fields. The yelow grauell also that was brought thither in carts two thousand yéeres passed, remained there so fresh and so strong, as if it had béene digged out of the naturall place where it grew not manie yéeres before. From hence it goeth hard by Margate, leauing it on the west side. And a little by south of this place, where the priorie stood, is a long thorough fare vpon the said street, méetly well builded (for low housing) on both sides. After this it procéedeth (as the chronicle of Barnwell saith) to Caxton, and so to Huntingdon, & then forward, still winding in and out till it not onelie becommeth a bound vnto Leicestershire toward Lugbie, but also passeth from Castleford to Stamford, and so foorth by west of Marton, which is but a mile from Tor|keseie.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Here by the waie I must touch the opinion of a traueller of my time, who noteth the said stréet to go another waie, insomuch that he would haue it to crosse the third Auon, betwixt Newton and Dow|bridge, and so go on to Binford bridge, Wibtoft, the High crosse, and thence to Atherston vpon Ancre. Certes it may be, that the Fosse had his course by the countrie in such sort as he describeth; but that the Watlingstréet should passe by Atherston, I can|not as yet be persuaded. Neuerthelesse his coniec|ture is not to be misliked, sith it is not vnlikelie that thrée seuerall waies might méet at Alderwaie (a towne vpon Tame, beneath Salters bridge) for I doo not doubt that the said towne did take his name of all three waies, as Aldermarie church in London did of all thrée Maries, vnto whom it hath béene de|dicated: but that the Watlingstréet should be one of them, the compasse of his passage will in no wise permit And thus much haue I thought good to note by the waie. Now to returne againe to Leland, and other mens collections.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The next tidings that we heare of the Watling|stréet, are that it goeth thorough or neere by the parke at Pomfret, as the common voice also of the coun|trie confirmeth. Thence it passeth hastilie ouer Ca|stelford bridge to Aberford, which is fiue miles from thence, and where are most manifest tokens of this stréet and his broad crest by a great waie togither, al|so to Yorke, to Witherbie, and then to Borowbridge, where on the left hand thereof stood certeine monu|ments, or pyramides of stone, sometimes placed there by the ancient Romanes. These stones (saith Leland) stand eight miles west from Bowis, and al|most west from Richmond is a little thorough fare called Maiden castell, situate apparantlie vpon the side of this stréet. And here is one of those pyrami|des or great round heapes, which is three score foot compasse in the bottome. There are other also of lesse quantities, and on the verie top of ech of them are sharpe stones of a yard in length; but the greatest of all is eighteene foot high at the least, from the ground to the verie head. He addeth moreouer, how they stand on an hill in the edge of Stanes m [...]e, and are as bounds betwéene Richmondshire, and West|merland. But to procéed. This stréet lieng a mile from Gilling, and two miles from Richmond com|meth on from Borowbridge to Catericke, eightéene miles; that is, twelue to Leuing, & six to Catericke; then eleuen miles to Greteie or Gritto, fiue miles to Bottles, eight miles to Burgh on Stanes moore, foure miles from Applebie, and fiue to Browham, where the said stréet commeth thorough Winfoll parke, and ouer the bridge on Eiemouth and Lo|der, and leauing Perith a quarter of a mile or more on the west side of it, goeth to Carleill seuenteene miles from Browham, which hath béene some nota|ble thing. Hitherto it appeareth euidentlie, but going from hence into Scotland, I heare no more of it, vn|till I come to Cathnesse, which is two hundred and thirtie miles or thereabouts out of England.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The Erming stréet, which some call the Lelme, stretcheth out of the east,Erming stréet. as they saie, into the south|east, that is, from Meneuia or S. Dauids in Wales vnto Southampton, whereby it is somewhat likelie indeed that these two waies, I meane the Fosse and the Erming, should méet about Cirnecester, as it commeth from Glocester, according to the opinion conceiued of them in that countrie. Of this waie I find no more written, and therefore I can saie no more of it, except I should indeuor to driue awaie the time, in alleging what other men say thereof, whose minds doo so farre disagrée one from another, as they doo all from a truth, and therefore I giue them ouer as not delighting in such dealing.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The Ikenild or Rikenild began somewhere in the south,Ikenild. and so held on toward Cirnecester, then to Worcester, Wicombe, Brimcham, Lichfield, Dar|bie, Chesterfield; and crossing the Watlingstréet somewhere in Yorkeshire, stretched foorth in the end vnto the mouth of the Tine, where it ended at the maine sea, as most men doo confesse. I take it to be called the Ikenild, because it passed thorough the kingdome of the Icenes. For albeit that Leland & other following him doo séeme to place the Icenes in Norffolke and Suffolke; yet in mine opinion that can not well be doone, sith it is manifest by Tacitus, that they laie néere vnto the Silures, and (as I gesse) either in Stafford and Worcester shires, or in both, except my coniecture doo faile me. The author of the booke, intituled Eulogium historiarum, doth call this stréet the Lelme. But as herein he is deceiued, so haue I dealt withall so faithfullie as I may among such diuersitie of opinions; yet not denieng but that there is much confusion in the names and courses of these two latter, the discussing whereof I must leaue to other men that are better learned than I.

Now to speake generallie of our common high waies through the English part of the Ile (for of the rest I can saie nothing) you shall vnderstand that in the claie or cledgie soile they are often verie déepe and troublesome in the winter halfe. Wherfore by EEBO page image 114 authoritie of parlement an order is taken for their yearelie amendment, whereby all sorts of the com|mon people doo imploie their trauell for six daies in summer vpon the same. And albeit that the intent of the statute is verie profitable for the reparations of the decaied places, yet the rich doo so cancell their portions, and the poore so loiter in their labours, that of all the six, scarcelie two good days works are well performed and accomplished in a parish on these so necessarie affaires. Besides this, such as haue land lieng vpon the sides of the waies, doo vtterlie neglect to dich and scowre their draines and water|courses, for better auoidance of the winter waters (except it may be set off or cut from the meaning of the statute) whereby the stréets doo grow to be much more gulled than before, and thereby verie noisome for such as trauell by the same. Sometimes also, and that verie often, these daies works are not imploied vpon those waies that lead from market to market, but ech surueior amendeth such by-plots & lanes as séeme best for his owne commoditie, and more easie passage vnto his fields and pastures. And whereas in some places there is such want of stones, as thereby the inhabitants are driuen to seeke them farre off in other soiles: the owners of the lands wherein those stones are to be had, and which hitherto haue giuen monie to haue them borne awaie, doo now reape no small commoditie by raising the same to excessiue prices, whereby their neighbours are driuen to grieuous charges, which is another cause wherefore the meaning of that good law is verie much defrauded. Finallie, this is another thing like|wise to be considered of, that the trées and bushes growing by the stréets sides; doo not a little keepe off the force of the sunne in summer for drieng vp of the lanes. Wherefore if order were taken that their boughs should continuallie be kept short, and the bushes not suffered to spread so far into the narrow paths, that inconuenience would also be remedied, and manie a slough proue hard ground that yet is déepe and hollow. Of the dailie incroching of the co|uetous vpon the hie waies I speake not. But this I know by experience, that wheras some stréets with|in these fiue and twentie yeares haue béene in most places fift [...] foot broad according to the law, whereby the traueller might either escape the théefe, or shift the mier, or passe by the loaden cart without danger of himselfe and his horsse; now they are brought vnto twelue, or twentie, or six and twentie at the most, which is another cause also whereby the waies be the worse, and manie an honest man encombred in his iourneie. But what speake I of these things where|of I doo not thinke to heare a iust redresse, because the error is so common, and the benefit thereby so swéet and profitable to manie, by such houses and co|tages as are raised vpon the same.

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