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5.9. Of quarries of stone for building. Chap. 9.

Of quarries of stone for building. Chap. 9.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 _QUarries with vs are pits or mines, out of which we dig our stone to build withall, & of these as we haue great plentie in England, so are they of diuerse sorts, and those verie profitable for sundrie necessarie vses. In times past the vse of stone was in maner dedicated to the building of churches, religious houses, princely pala|ces, bishops manours, and holds onlie: but now that scrupulous obseruation is altogither infringed, and building with stone so commonlie taken vp, that a|mongst noble men & gentlemen, the timber frames are supposed to be not much better than paper worke, of little continuance, and least continuance of all. It farre passeth my cunning to set downe how manie sorts of stone for building are to be found in Eng|land, but much further to call each of them by their proper names. Howbeit, such is the curiositie of our countrimen, that notwithstanding almightie God hath so blessed our realme in most plentifull maner, with such and so manie quarries apt and meet for piles of longest continuance, yet we as lothsome of this abundance, or not liking of the plentie, doo com|monlie leaue these naturall gifts to mould and cin|der in the ground, and take vp an artificiall bricke, in burning whereof a great part of the wood of this land is dailie consumed and spent, to the no small decaie of that commoditie, and hinderance of the poore that perish oft for cold.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Our elders haue from time to time, following our naturall vice in misliking of our owne commo|dities at home, and desiring those of other countries abroad, most estéemed the cane stone that is brought hither out of Normandie: and manie euen in these our daies following the same veine, doo couet in their works almost to vse none other. Howbeit experience on the one side, and our skilfull masons on the other (whose iudgement is nothing inferiour to those of o|ther countries) doo affirme, that in the north and south parts of England, and certeine other places, there are some quarries, which for hardnesse and beautie are equall to the outlandish greet. This maie also be confirmed by the kings chappell at Cambridge, the greatest part of the square stone wherof was brought thither out of the north. Some commend the veine of white frée stone, slate, and méere stone, which is be|twéene EEBO page image 235 Pentowen, and the blacke head in Corne|wall, for verie fine stuffe. Other doo speake much of the quarries at Hamden, nine miles from Milberie, and pauing stone of Burbecke. For toph stone, not a few allow of the quarrie that is at Dresleie, diuerse mislike not of the veines of hard stone that are at Oxford, and Burford. One praiseth the free stone at Manchester, & Prestburie in Glocestershire; another the quarries of the like in Richmont. The third liketh well of the hard stone in Clee hill in Shropshire; the fourth of that of Thorowbridge, Welden, and Ter|rinton. Whereby it appeareth that we haue quarries inow, and good inough in England, sufficient for vs to build withall, if the péeuish contempt of our owne commodities, and delectations to inrich other coun|tries, did not catch such foolish hold vpon vs. It is al|so verified (as anie other waie) that all nations haue rather néed of England, than Eugland of anie other. And this I thinke may suffice for the substance of our works. Now if you haue regard to their ornature, how manie mines of sundrie kinds of course & fine marble are there to be had in England? But chieflie one in Staffordshire, an other neere to the Peke, the [...] to the lord Chaindois) the fift at Eglestone, which is o [...] blacke marble, spotted with graie or white spots, the sixt not farre from Durham. Of white marble also we haue store, and so faire as the Marpesian of Pa|ris Ile. But what meane I to go about to recite all, or the most excellent? sith these which I haue named alredie are not altogither of the best, nor scarselie of anie value in comparison of those, whose places of growth are vtterlie vnknowne vnto me, and where|of the blacke marble spotted with greene is none of the vilest sort, as maie appeare by parcell of the paue|ment of the lower part of the quire of Paules in London, and also in Westminster, where some pée|ces thereof are yet to be séene and marked, if anie will looke for them. If marble will not serue, then haue we the finest alabaster that maie elsewhere bée had, as about saint Dauids of Wales; also neere to Beau manour, which is about foure or fiue miles from Leicester, & taken to be the best, although there are diuerse other quarries hereof beyond the Trent, as in Yorkeshire, &c: and fullie so good as that, whose names at this time are out of my remembrance. What should I talke of the plaister of Axholme (for of that which they dig out of the earth in sundrie pla|ces of Lincolne and Darbishires, wherewith they blanch their houses in stead of lime, I speake not) certes it is a fine kind of alabaster. But sith it is sold commonlie but after twelue pence the load, we iudge it to be but vile and course. For my part I cannot skill of stone, yet in my opinion it is not without great vse for plaister of paris, and such is the mine of it, that the stones thereof lie in flakes on vpon an other like plankes or tables, and vnder the same is an excéeding hard stone verie profitable for building, as hath often times béene prooued. This is also to be marked further of our plaister white and graie, that not contented with the same, as God by the quarrie dooth send and yéeld it foorth, we haue now deuised to cast it in moulds for windowes and pillers of what forme and fashion we list, euen as alabaster it selfe: and with such stuffe sundrie houses in Yorkshire are furnished of late. But of what continuance this de|uise is like to proue, the time to come shall easilie be|wraie. In the meane time sir Rafe Burcher knight hath put the deuise in practise, and affirmeth that six men in six moneths shall trauell in that trade to sée greater profit to the owner, than twelue men in six yeares could before this tricke was inuented.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 If neither alabaster nor marble dooth suffice, we haue the touchstone, called in Latine Lydius lapis, shi|ning as glasse, either to match in sockets with our pillers of alabaster, or contrariwise: or if it please the workeman to ioine pillers of alabaster or touch with sockets of brasse, pewter, or copper, we want not al|so these mettals. So that I think no nation can haue more excellent & greater diuersitie of stuffe for buil|ding, than we maie haue in England, if our selues could so like of it. But such alas is our nature, that not our own but other mens do most of all delite vs; & for desire of noueltie, we oft exchange our finest cloth, corne, tin, and woolles, for halfe penie cockhorsses for children, dogs of wax or of chéese, two pennie tabers, leaden swords, painted feathers, gewgaws for fooles, dogtricks for disards, hawkeswhoods, and such like trumperie, whereby we reape iust mockage and re|proch in other countries. I might remember here our pits for milstones, that are to be had in diuerse places of our countrie, as in Angleseie, Kent, also at Queene hope of blew gréet, of no lesse value than the Colaine, yea than the French stones: our grind|stones for hardware men. Our whetstones are no lesse laudable than those of Creta & Lacedemonia, albeit we vse no oile with them, as they did in those parties, but onelie water, [...] the Italians and Naxi| [...] [...] th [...]irs: whereas they that grow in Cili|cia must haue both oile and water laid vpon them, or else they make no edge. These also are diuided either into the hard greet, as the common that shoomakers vse, or the soft gréet called hones, to be had among the barbars, and those either blacke or white, and the rub or brickle stone which husbandmen doo occupie in the whetting of their sithes.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 In like maner slate of sundrie colours is euerie where in maner to be had, as is the flint and chalke, the shalder and the peble. Howbeit for all this wée must fetch them still from farre, as did the Hull men their stones out of Iseland, wherewith they paued their towne for want of the like in England: or as sir Thomas Gresham did, when he bought the stones in Flanders, wherwith he paued the Burse. But as he will answer peraduenture, that he bargained for the whole mould and substance of his workemanship in Flanders: so the Hullanders or Hull men will saie, how that stockefish is light loding, and therfore they did balasse their vessels with these Iseland stones, to keepe them from turning ouer in their so tedious a voiage. And thus much brieflie of our quar|ries of stone for building, wherein oftentimes the workemen haue found strange things inclosed, I meane liuelie creatures shut up in the hard stones, and liuing there without respiration or breathing, as frogs, todes, &c: whereof you shall read more in the chronologie following: also in Caius Langius, Wil|liam of Newburie, Agricola, Cornelius of Amster|dam, Bellogius de a quatilibus, Albert the great, lib.19. cap. 9. De rebus metallicis, and Goropius in Nilosco|pio, pag. 237, &c. Sometime also they find pretious stones (though seldome) and some of them perfectlie squared by nature, and much like vnto the diamond, found of late in a quarrie of marble at Naples, which was so perfectlie pointed, as if all the workemen in the world had cõsulted about the performance of that workemanship. I know that these reports vnto some will séeme incredible, and therefore I stand the lon|ger vpon them; neuerthelesse omitting to speake par|ticularlie of such things as happen amongst vs, and rather séeking to confirme the same by the like in o|ther countries, I will deliuer a few more examples, whereby the truth hereof shall so much the better ap|peare. For in the middest of a stone not long since found at Chius, vpon the breaking vp thereof, there was seene Caput panisci inclosed therin, very perfectlie formed as the beholders doo remember. How come the grains of gold to be so fast inclosed in the stones EEBO page image 236 that are & haue béene found in the Spanish Baetis? But this is most maruellous, that a most delectable and sweet oile, comparable to the finest balme, or oile of spike in smell, was found naturallie included in a stone, which could not otherwise be broken but with a smiths hammer. Goropius dooth tell of a pearch per|fectlie formed to be found in Britaine: but as then committed into hard stone, vpon the top of a crag. Aristotle and Theophrast speake of fishes digged out of the earth, farre from the sea in Greece, which Sene|ca also confirmeth, but with addition that they are pe|rillous to be eaten. In pope Martins time, a serpent was found fast inclosed in a rocke, as the kernell is within the nut, so that no aire could come to it: and in my time another in a coffin of stone at Auignion, wherein a man had beene buried, which so filled the roome, and laie so close from aire, that all men woon|dered how it was possible for the same to liue and continue so long time there. Finallie I my selfe haue séene stones opened, and within them the substances of corrupted wormes like vnto adders (but far shor|ter) whose crests and wrinkles of bodie appeared al|so therein, as if they had bene ingraued in the stones by art and industrie of man. Wherefore to affirme [...] that as well liuing creatures, [...] stones, gold, &c: are now and then found in our quarries, shall not hereafter be a thing so incredible as manie talking philosophers, void of all experience, doo af|firme, and wilfullie mainteine against such as hold the contrarie.

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