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3.23. Of baths and hot welles. Chap. 23.

Of baths and hot welles. Chap. 23.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 _AS almightie GOD hath in most plentifull maner besto|wed infinit, and those verie notable benefits vpon this Ile of Britaine, whereby it is not a little inriched: so in hot and naturall baths (whereof we haue diuerse in sundrie pla|ces) it manifestlie appéereth that he hath not forgot|ten England. There are sundrie baths therefore to be found in this realme, of which the first is called saint Uinconts, the second Halliewell; both being places (in my opinion) more obscure than the other two, and yet not seldome sought vnto by such as stand in need. For albeit the fame of their forces be not so generallie spread, yet in some cases they are thought to be nothing inferior to the other, as diuerse haue often affirmed by their owne experience and triall. The third place wherein hot baths are to be found is néere vnto Buxston, a towne in Darbishire, si|tuat in the high Peke, not passing sixtéene miles from Manchester, or Markechesterford, and twentie from Darbie, where, about eight or nine seuerall welles are to be séene; of which thrée are counted to be most excellent: but of all, the gratest is the hotest, void of corruption, and compared (as Iones saith) with those of Summersetshire, so cold indéed, as a quart of boiling water would be made if fiue quartes of running water were added therevnto; whereas on the other side, those of Bath likened vnto these, haue such he at appropriated vnto them, as a gallon of hot water hath when a quart of cold is mixed with the same. Herevpon the effect of this bath worketh more temperatlie and pleasantlie (as he writeth) than the other. And albeit that it maketh not so great spéed in cure of such as resort vnto it for helpe: yet it dea|leth more effectuallie and commodiouslie than those in Summersetshire, and infer withall lesse greeuous accidents in the restreining of naturall issues, strengthening the affeebled members, assisting the liuelie forces, dispersing annoious oppilations, and qualifieng of sundrie griefes, as his experience hath oft confirmed. The like vertues haue the other two, but not in such measure: and therefore their ope|ration is not so speedilie perceiued. The fourth place where baths are, is kings Newnam, and within cer|teine miles of Couentrie, the water wherof (as it is thought) procéedeth from some rocke of allume, and this I vnderstand by diuerse glouers which haue béene there, and also by mine owne experience, that it hath a tast much like to allume liquor, and yet no|thing vnplesant nor vnsauorie in the drinking. There are thrée welles in all, but the chiefest and best of them riseth out of an hill, and runneth toward the south, & from thence infinit plentie of water without EEBO page image 215 any notable diminution of the spring is dailie caried into sundrie parties of the realme, & droonke by such as haue néed to occupie the same. Of the other two, one is reserued for such as be comelie personages and void of lothsome diseases: the other is left com|mon for tag and rag; but clensed dailie as the other is, whereby it becommeth the wholesomer. Manie diseases also are cured in the same, as the palsie, dim|nesse of sight, dulnesse of hearing, but especiallie the collike and the stone, old sores and gréene wounds; so that I suppose there was neuer anie compound me|dicine of greater and more spéedie force in these be|halfes, than the vse of this simple liquor is to such as doo frequent it. The said water hath a naturall pro|pertie also following it which is rare, for if a leafe, or sticke of ash, oke, &c: doo fall into the same, within a short space, such store of fine sand (comming no doubt out of the earth with the water) will congeale and gather about it, that the forme being reserued, and the inner part not lightlie altered, it will seeme to become an hard stone, and much like vnto that which is ingendred in the kidneis of a man, as I haue séene by experience. At the first entrance it is verie cold, but after a season it warmeth the goer in, casting him into an indifferent heat. And this is furthermore remembred of it, that no man hath yet susteined anie manner of impeachment through the coldnesse of the same. The vertue thereof was found 1579 about Whitsuntide, by a man who had woun|ded himselfe, & comming by the same water, thought onelie to wash the blood from his hand therewith, and so to go home and séeke for helpe by surgerie: finallie finding the paine well asswaged, & the wound faire clensed, he departed, and misliking his vsuall medi|cins, he eftsoones came againe, and so often indéed vnto the said water till his hand was healed outright without anie other practise. By this meanes also he became a counsellor to other being hurt or in paine, that they should trie the vertue of this spring, who finding ease also, gaue out such commendation of the said water, that now at this present their fame is fullie equall, and the resort vnto them nothing inferi|or to that of the old baths. Beside this, the cures of such diseases as their forces do extend vnto, is much more speedie than we may haue at the other; and this is one commoditie also not smallie to be considered of. The fift place of baths or medicinable welles is at an hamlet called Newton, a little from saint Neots, or (as we pronounce it) saint Needs, which is ten or twelue miles from Cambridge, where two springs are knowne to be, of which the one is verie sweet and fresh, the other brackish & salt; this is good for scabs and leaperie (as it is said) the other for dim|nesse of sight. Uerie manie also doo make their re|paire vnto them for sundrie diseases, some returning whole, and some nothing at all amended, bicause their cure is without the each and working of those wa|ters. Neuer went people so fast from the church, ei|ther vnto a faire or market, as they go to these wels, and those neere Rugbie, both places being discouered in this 1579 of Grace. I heare of another well to be found also about Ratcliffe néere London, euen at the same season. But sith rumors are now spred almost of euerie spring, & vaine tales flie about in maner of euerie water, I surcease to speake at all of anie o|ther, till further experience doo trie whether they be medicinable or not: and yet I doubt not but most of these alredie mentioned haue heretofore bin knowne & remembred also, though confusedlie by the writers of old time; & yet in processe of time either neglected or forgotten, by meanes of sundrie troubles and turmoiles made in this realme by Danes, and other outward enimies, whereby their manifold benefit hath woonderfullie béene missed.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The last place of our baths, is a citie in Sum|mersetshire, which taketh his name of the hot wa|ters there to be séene and vsed. At the first it was called Cair Bledud, and not Cair Bledune, as some would haue it, for that is the old name of the ancient castell at Malmesburie, which the Saxons named Yngleburne. Ptolomie afterward called it Thermae, other Aquae solis, or Scamannia, or Acmancester, but now it hight generallie Bath in English, and vn|der that name it is likelie to continue. The citie of it selfe is a verie ancient thing, no doubt, as may yet appeare by diuerse notable antiquities ingraued in stone, to be séene in the wals thereof; and first of all betweene the south gate and the west, and betwixt the west gate and the north.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The first is the antike head of a man, made all flat, with great locks of haire, much like to the coine that I haue seene of Antius the Romane. The second betweene the south and the north gate is an image, as I take it, of Hercules, for he held in each hand a serpent, and so dooth this. Thirdlie there standeth a man on foot with a sword in his one hand, and a buck|ler stretched out in the other. There is also a branch that lieth folded and wreathed into circles, like to the wreath of Alcimedon. There are moreouer two naked images, whereof the one imbraceth the other, beside sundrie antike heads, with ruffeled haire, a greiehound running, and at his taile certeine Ro|mane letters, but so defaced that no man liuing can read them at this present. There is moreouer the i|mage of Lacaon, inuironed with two serpents, and an other inscription, and all these betwéene the south and the west gates, as I haue said before.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Now, betweene the west and north gate are two inscriptions, of which some words are euident to be read, the residue are cleane defaced. There is also the image of a naked man, and a stone in like sort, which hath Cupidines & labruscas intercurrentes, and a table ha|uing at each hand an image vined and finelie flori|shed both aboue and beneath. Finallie (sauing that I saw afterward the image of a naked man grasping a serpent in each hand) there was an inscription of a toome or buriall, wherein these words did plainelie appeare, Vixit annos xxx: but so defusedlie written, that letters stood for whole words, and two or thrée letters combined into one. Certes I will not saie whether these were set into the places where they now stand by the gentiles, or brought thither from other ruines of the towne it selfe, and placed after|ward in those wals, in their necessarie reparations. But howsoeuer the matter standeth, this is to be ga|thered by our histories, that Bladud first builded that citie there, and peraduenture might also kindle the sulphurous veines, of purpose to burne continuallie there in the honour of Minerua: by which occasion the springs thereabout did in processe of time become hot & not vnprofitable, for sundrie kinds of diseases, Indeed the later pagans dreamed, that Minerua was the chéefe goddesse and gouernesse of these wa|ters, bicause of the néerenesse of hir temple vnto the same. Solinus addeth furthermore,Chap. 25. how that in hir said temple, the fire which was continuallie kept, did neuer consume into dead sparkles; but so soone as the embers thereof were cold,The Pyritis is found al|most in euerie veine of met|tall in great plentie, diuer|sities and co|lour, and som|times mixed with that mettall of whose excre|ments it con|sisteth. they congealed into clots of hard stone: all which I take to be nothing else than the effect of the aforesaid fire, of the sulphu|rous veine kindled in the earth, from whence the wa|ters doo come. That these baths or waters are deri|ued from such, the marchasites, which the Grecians call Pyritis, per antonomasiam (for being smit with the i|ron, it yéeldeth more sparkes than anie flint or calce|donie, and therefore seemeth to deserue the name a|boue the rest) and besides these other stones mixed with some copper, and dailie found vpon the moun|teins EEBO page image 216 thereabouts will beare sufficient witnesse, though I would write the contrarie. Doctor Turner also the father of English physicke, and an excellent diuine, supposeth that these springs doo draw their forces from sulphur: or if there be anie other thing mingled withall, he gesseth that it should be salt pe|ter, bicause he found an obscure likelihood of the same, euen in the crosse bath. But that they partici|pate with anie allume at all, he could neuer till his dieng daie be indured to beléeue. I might here (if I thought it necessarie) intreat of the notable situati|on of the citie, which standeth in a pleasant bottome, inuironed on euerie side with great hils, out of the which come so manie springs of pure water by sun|drie waies vnto the citie, and in such abundance, as that euerie house is serued with the same by pipes of lead, the said mettall being the more plentious and lesse of value vnto them, bicause it is not had far off from those quarters. It should not be amisse also to speake of the foure gates, number of parish churches, bridges, religious houses dissolued, and their foun|ders, if place did serue therefore: but for so much as my purpose is not to deale in this behalfe, I will o|mit the mention of these things, and go in hand with the baths themselues, wherof in the title of this cha|piter I protested to intreat.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 There are two springs of water (as Leland saith) in the west south west part of the towne,Crosse bath. whereof the biggest is called the crosse bath, of a certeine crosse that was erected sometime in the middest thereof. This bath is much frequented by such as are diseased with leaprie, pockes, scabs, and great aches: yet of it selfe it is verie temperate and pleasant, hauing ele|uen or twelue arches of stone in the sides thereof, for men to stand vnder, when raine dooth ought annoie them.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The common bath, or as some call it, the hot bath,Common bath. is two hundred foot, or thereabout from the crosse bath, lesse in compasse within the wall than the other, and with onelie seauen arches, wrought out of the maine inclosure. It is worthilie called the hot bath, for at the first comming into it, men thinke that it would scald their flesh, and lose it from the bone: but after a season, and that the bodies of the commers thereto be warmed throughlie in the same, it is more tollerable and easie to be borne. Both these baths be in the middle of a little stréet, and ioine to S. Tho|mas hospitall, so that it may be thought that Regi|nald bishop of Bath made his house néere vnto these common baths, onelie to succour such poore people as should resort vnto them.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The kings bath is verie faire and large,King bath. standing almost in the middle of the towne, at the west end of the cathedrall church. It is compassed about with a verie high stone wall, and the brims thereof are mu|red round about, where in be two and thirtie arches for men and women to stand in separatlie, who being of the gentrie for the most part,Hot houses in some coun|t [...]res little [...]etter than brodels. doo resort thither in|differentlie, but not in such lasciuious sort as vnto o|ther baths and hot houses of the maine, whereof some write more a great deale than modestie should reueale, and honestie performe. There went a sluce out of this bath, which serued in times past the prio|rie with water, which was deriued out of it vnto two places, and commonlie vsed for baths, but now I doo not thinke that they remaine in vsage.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 As for the colour of the water of all the bathes, it is most like to a déepe blew,Colour of the water of the baths. and réeketh much af|ter the maner of a seething pot,Taste of the water. commonlie yéelding somwhat a sulpherous taste, and verie vnpleasant sa|uour. The water also that runneth from the two small baths, goeth by a dike into the Auon by west, and beneath the bridge: but the same that goeth from the kings bath turneth a mill, and after goeth into Auon aboue Bath bridge, where it loseth both force and tast, and is like vnto the rest. In all the three baths a man maie euidentlie see how the water bubbleth vp from the springs.Fall or issue of the water. This is also to be no|ted, that at certeine times all entrances into them is vtterlie prohibited, that is to saie, at high noone, and midnight: for at those two seasons, and a while be|fore and after, they boile verie feruentlie, and become so hot that no man is able to indure their heat, or anie while susteine their force and vehement wor|king. They purge themselues furthermore from all such filth as the diseased doo leaue in each of them, wherfore we doo forbeare the rash entrance into them at that time: and so much the rather, for that we would not by contraction of anie new diseases, depart more gréeuouflie affected than we came vnto the ci|tie, which is in déed a thing that each one should re|gard. For these causes therefore they are common|lie shut vp from halfe an houre after ten of the clocke in the forenoone,Hot good to enter into baths at all seasons. to halfe an houre after one in the af|ternoone, and likewise at midnight: at which times the kéeper of them resorteth to his charge, openeth the gates, and leaueth (or should leaue) frée passage vnto such as come vnto them. Hitherto Leland.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 What cost of late hath béene bestowed vpon these baths by diuerse of the nobilitie, gentrie, commu|naltie, and cleargie, it lieth not in me to declare: yet as I heare, they are not onelie verie much repared and garnished with sundrie curious péeces of worke|manship, partlie touching their commendation, and partlie for the ease and benefit of such as resort vnto them; but also better ordered, clenlier kept, & more friendlie prouision made for such pouertie as dailie repaireth thither. But notwithstanding all this, such is the generall estate of things in Bath, that the rich men maie spend while they will, and the poore beg whilest they list for their maintenance and diet so long as they remaine there: and yet I denie not but that there is verie good order in that citie for all de|grées. But where shall a man find anie equall regard of poore and rich, though God dooth giue these his good gifts fréelie, & vnto both alike? I would here intreat further of the customs vsed in these baths, what num|ber of physicians dailie attend vpon those waters, for no man (especiallie such as be able to interteine them) dooth enter into these baths before he consult with the physician; also, what diet is to be obserued, what particular diseases are healed there, and to what end the commers thither doo drinke oftimes of that medicinable liquor: but then I should excéed the li|mits of a description. Wherefore I passe it ouer to o|thers, hoping that some man yer long will vouchsafe to performe that at large, which the famous clearke Doctor Turner hath brieflie yet happilie begun, tou|ching the effects & working of the same. For hither|to I doo not know of manie that haue trauelled in the natures of those baths of our countrie, with anie great commendation; much lesse of anie that hath re|uealed them at the full for the benefit of our nation, or commoditie of strangers that resort vnto the same.

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