The Holinshed Project

Holinshed Project Home

The Texts

Previous | Next

EEBO page image 284

THE DESCRIPTION OF Scotlande, written at the firſt by Hector Boethus in Latin, and afterwarde tranſlated into the Scottish ſpeech by Iohn Bellendon Archdeacon of Murrey, and now finally into Engliſh, for the benefite of ſuch as are ſtudious in the Hi|ſtories, by W.H.

The Contents of the Chapters conteyned in this Booke.

    Compare 1587 edition: 1
  • 1 OF the boundes of Albion, with the ſundrie commodities thereof, and of the great infirmities that fall vnto the people there for their intemperancie: and finally of the religion vſed there in olde tyme.
  • 2 The deſcription of the Eaſt, VVeſt, and middle borders of Scotlande, with the moſt notable townes and floudes thereof.
  • 3 The deſcription of Galloway, Kile, Carricke, and Cunningham, with the notable townes, lakes, and riuers in the ſame.
  • 4 The ſituation of Renfrew, Cliddeſdale, Lennox Lowmund, Argile, Louchquaber, Lorne, and Kentire, with all the notable things conteyned in the ſame.
  • 5 Of Ros, Stranauerne, and Murray lande, with ſuch Lakes and Riuers as are to be touched there.
  • 6 Of Boene, Anze, Buquhane, Mar, Mernes, Fiffe, and Angus, with the Lakes, Flouddes, Abbeyes, Townes, and other notable commodities there to be ſeene and founde.
  • 7 Of Louthian, Striuelin, Menteith, Calidon wood, Bowgewall, Gareoth, with the notable Cities, Caſtels and Flouds thereof.
  • 8 Of the greate plentie of Hares, Hartes, and other wilde beaſtes in Scotland, alſo of the ſtraunge nature of ſundrie Scottiſh dogges, and of the nature of Salmon.
  • 9 Of the ſundrie kindes of Muskels and Cockles in Scotlande, and Perles gotten in the ſame. Of vncouth and ſtrange fiſhe there to be ſeene, and of the nature of the herbe Citiſus commonly cal|led Hadder.
  • 10 Of the Iles of Scotlande, and ſuch notable things as are to be found in them.
  • 11 Of the nature of their Claike Geeſe, and diuerſe maner of their procreation, and of the Iſle of Thule.
  • 12 The deſcription of Orkenay, and Shetlande, with ſundrie other ſmall Iſles, and of the maners and conditions of the people dwelling in the ſame.
  • 13 Of the maners of the Scottes in theſe dayes, and their compariſon, with the behauiour of the olde, and ſuch as liued long ſince within this Ilande.
  • 14 The deſcription of an auncient Pict, and ſuch as dwelled beyond the wall of Hadrian.
  • 15 Of Biſhoprikes, Vniuerſities, and Counties in Scotland.
EEBO page image 285

TO THE RIGHT VVORSHIPFVL Maiſter Thomas Secford Eſquier and Maiſter of the Requeſtes, William Hariſon vvisheth all knovvledge of God, with dayly increaſe of his giftes at this preſent, and in the worlde to come life euerlaſting.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 _HAuing by your ſingular curteſie receyued great helpe in my deſcription of the riuers and ſtreames of Britain, and by conference of my trauaile vvith the platformes of thoſe fevv ſhires of England vvhich are by your infi|nite charges alreadie finiſhed (as the reſt ſhall be in time by Gods helpe, for the ineſtimable benefite of ſuche as inhabite this Ilande) not a little pulliſhed thoſe rough courſes of diuerſe vvaters not exactly before time de|ſcribed by Leland our Countreyman, or any auncient vvriter, I coulde not deuiſe anye thing more agreable vvith mine abilitie & your good nature (vvhich great|ly fauoureth anye thing that is done for a commoditie vnto many) than to ſhevv ſome token of my thankefulneſſe for theſe your manifold kindneſſes, by the dedication of my ſimple tranſlation of the deſcription of Scotland at this tyme vnto your vvorſhip. In deede the trauaile taken herein is not great, by|cauſe I tie not my tranſlation vnto his letter, neither the treatiſe of it ſelfe ſuch, as ta|keth vp any huge rovvme in the volume of this Chronicle. But ſuch as it is, & vvhat ſoeuer it is, I yeeld it vvholy vnto you, as a teſtimonie of my good vvill, vvhich de|teſteth vtterly to receyue any benefit though it be neuer ſo ſmal, and not to be thank|full for it. Certes my vocation is ſuch, as calleth me to a farre other kind of ſtudie, ſo that I exerciſe theſe things onely for recreation ſake: and to ſay the truth, it is muche vnſitting for him that profeſſeth Diuinitie, to applie his time any other vviſe vnto contemplation of ciuill Hiſtories. And this is the cauſe vvherfore I haue choſen ra|ther, onely vvith the loſſe of three or foure dayes to tranſlate Hector out of the Scot|tiſh (a tongue verie like vnto ours) than vvith more expence of time to diuiſe a nevve, or follovv the Latin copie, vvhich is farre more large and copious. Hovv excellently if you conſider the arte, Boethus hath penned it and the reſt of his Hiſtorie in the La|tin, the skilfull are not ignorant: but hovv profitably and compendiouſly Iohn Bel|lendon Archdeacon of Murrey his interpretour hath turned him from the Latin into the Scottiſh tongue, there are verie fevve Engliſh men that knovv, bycauſe vve want the bookes. VVherefore ſith the learned reade him in his ovvne ſtile, and his Coun|treymen in their naturall language, vvhy ſhould not vve borovv his deſcription and read the ſame in Engliſh likevviſe, ſith the knovvledge thereof may redounde to the great benefit of ſo many as heare or read the ſame. Accept therefore (right vvorſhip|full) this my ſimple offer, and although I aſſure my ſelfe, your naturall inclination to be ſuch, as that it vvill take nothing in ill part that is vvell meant tovvard you, hovve rudely ſoeuer it bee handled in the doing, yet I vvill not let to craue pardon for my preſumption, in that I dare be ſo bold as to offer ſuch a trifle vnto you, whom more vveightie affayres doe dayly call from things of ſo ſmall impor|taunce. Almightie God keepe your vvorſhip from time to time in his feare, and bleſſe you and my good Ladie your vvife, vvith ſuch increaſe of his benefites, as may moſt redounde to his glorie, and your ovvne ad|uauntage.

EEBO page image 286EEBO page image 1

1.1. ¶The boundes of Albion with the ſundry commodities thereof, and of the great infirmities that fall vnto the people there for their intemperancy, and finally of the Religion vſed there in old tyme. Chap. 1.

¶The boundes of Albion with the ſundry commodities thereof, and of the great infirmities that fall vnto the people there for their intemperancy, and finally of the Religion vſed there in old tyme. Chap. 1.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 _THe Ile of Albion contayneth in the whole circũference two thouſande myles, hauing in length 700. and in breadth 300. as appeareth well by the coaſt therof that lieth ouer a|gaynſt Fraunce where it is broadeſt, and from whence it gathereth narrower and narrower, till it come to the vtter Marches & laſt boundes of England and Scotland. For betwixte the M [...]le of Galloway that is on the weſt ſide ouer againſt the Iriſh ſeas, and Saint Ebbes head, that lieth vpon the Germaine Ocean towarde the eaſt, are ſcarcely 130. myles, and thenceforth it groweth ſmaller and ſmaller till it touch vpõ the North ſeas, where it is not aboue 30. miles, as I noted before in the deſcriptiõ of Brytaine. This Ile is repleniſhed with people, horſes, and all other kindes of cattell and corne in moſte aboundant maner, except it be in ſuche places where as God of his ſingular goodneſſe [...] otherwiſe indued the ſoyle with ritche mynes of Gold, Siluer, Tinne, Braſſe, Copper, & quick|ſiluer, whiche for the moſt parte are ſo plentiful, that they ſuffiſe not onely for the neceſſaries of the whole Iland, but alſo of ſundry regiõs that are ſituate round aboute it, if the inhabitauntes were ſkilfull and painefull to deale withall ac|cordingly. But the abundaunce of all other things requiſite for the vſe of man, that is found generally in our Iland, maketh the people leſſe carefull of theſe commodities, and more gyuen to idleneſſe. For beſide the great plenty of thoſe things whiche heauen and earth do miniſter, as graſſe, corne, and cattell, and foules of ſundry kindes, there is ſuche ſtore of fiſhe in all parties of our ſeas, eſpecially towarde the North, that the ſame would ſuffiſe to feede and ſuſtayne all the people of the Iland, if there were none other commodities to be found within the ſame. For the inhabitants of all countries that border vpõ vs, as Fraunce, Flaunders, Zealande, Hol|lande, and a great part of Germany (eſpecially thoſe whiche lie neare vnto the coaſt) do ſayle hither with great numbers of veſſels dayly to fiſhe vpon our coaſts, and buie ſuch as we haue already caught, not only for their owne vſe, but alſo for the Lenton prouiſion of ſuch nations as lie vpon the Leuant ſeas, where they ſell the ſame at theyr owne willes, with very ſpeedy vtterance. Many other riche and precious cõ|modities are to be gotten in the ſayd Ile, wher|of the aforenamed nations do make no ſmall accompte; beſide theſe common things. What ſhall I ſay of our wolles, Dionyſius A|lexanotinus ſaith that the wool of Bri|taine is often ſponne ſo fine that it is in manner com|parable to the ſpyders draught. whiche are in ſo high eſtimation in all landes, bicauſe of their neceſ|ſary vſes, and wherof a great part is ſo fine, and ſofte, that of it are made, the coſtly ſkarlettes, pliaunt gloues, and many other grayned and delicate clothes, of whiche I thought good to make this mention, bycauſe the reporte thereof is not yet made common and generally knowẽ to all men.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Certes this I dare boldly affirme, that if the kingdomes of Brytaine had ſuche grace giuen them from aboue as they they might once liue in vnitie, or by any meanes be brought vnder the ſubiectiõ of one Prince, they ſhould ere long feele ſuch a ſauour in this amity, that they wold not onely liue frankly of their owne, without a|ny forain purchaſe of things, but alſo reſiſt all outward inuaſion, with ſmal trauayle and leſſe dammage. For as touching their perſons, and likewiſe theyr notable wittes, apt bothe for the attayning of learnyng and knowledge of han|dycraftes, they are inferiour to no other nation.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 4 Therevnto we finde them to be couragious and hardy, offering themſelues often vnto the vttermoſt perils with great aſſurance, ſo that a man may pronounce nothing to be ouer harde or paſt their power to performe, if they woulde giue themſelues to liue temperately, and follow their predeceſſors in moderation of diet. Ther|fore it (is as I thinke) that almighty God in his prouidente diſpoſition of al things, hath ordey|ned their groundes (otherwiſe plentifully indued with all kindes of commodities) to be deſtitute and voyde of wine, as forſeeing that the ſayde liquor whiche bringeth greateſt benefite vnto o|ther countries, woulde come in the ende to be moſt pernicious and noyſome vnto them. For they are giuen to ſuch vnnatural rauening and greedy deſire of forraine thinges (whileſt they contempne or not regarde their owne) that they cannot refrayne the immoderate vſe of Wine, and exceſſe vſed in drinking of the ſame: In ſo much that we may ſee diuers to be ouertaken & haũted, not only with ſundry kinds of grituous maladies common to vs & them of the mayne, but alſo many other whiche they haue not, ney|ther be any thing at all acquainted, with as ex|periẽce dayly teacheth. Some by long ſickneſſe and languiſhing greefes do grow into ſuche de|formitie only thorow exceſſiue feeding, & greedy abuſe of wine, that if you knew them whẽ they were children and young men, you ſhall hardly remember them when they be old and aged: and that which more is in compariſon of other that EEBO page image 2 liue more ſoberly, you will hardly thinke thẽ to be borne in the Ile, but rather ſuppoſe them to be chaungelings and monſters, brought out of other countries to gaze & looke vpon: diuerſe of them thorow the cõtinuall vſe of wine, are mo|leſted in their age, with phreneticall pangs and paſſions? ſeldome alſo ſhal you ſee thoſe that are giuen much vnto wine and ſuch welfare, to be|come parents of many children, ſith their natu|rall moyſture and generatiue force, is much a|bated, if not altogither extinguiſhed by ſuch im|moderate diet. But to returne to our purpoſe, the Albanes or Brytons, as Ceſar in his Com|mentaries, & Tacitus in his Annales do report, were very religious, after the maner of religion vſed in old time. For in thoſe dayes the Prieſts of Brytaine named Druides, were very expert both in naturall and Morall Philoſophy, and from thence came the firſt profeſſors of that ſect and opinion into Fraunce. The principall ſeat alſo of their Prieſtes was in the Ile of Man, whiche was reputed at that ſeaſon, for the wel-ſpring and foũtayne of all learning and know|ledge, and after that their Prieſtes were ones conuerted to the Catholike fayth, they perſe|uered in the ſame with great conſtancie, with|out any note of Hereſie.

Previous | Next