Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 17

Text, translated from the 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Latin & 1609/1612/1641 Spanish edition:.

17.1. {1606E{Of ENGLAND

17.2. The Southern part of the island of Britain {1608/1612I{called Anglia in Latin and by most other people, but called by various names by the indigenous people}1608/1612I} is, as we have said before, divided into two parts. The part which lies to the East, bordering the German ocean, belongs to the Angles, Saxon people who settled there, in their language called Anglia or England, that is, the Angles' land. The Western part, which is separated from the other by the rivers Severn and Dee, where the ancient British tongue is spoken, belonging to the same Angles or Englishmen, is Wallia or Wales. Yet, the Britons or Welshmen call themselves Cumro {1608/1612I and later instead{C(r)ambros}1608/1612I and later instead}, and the country Cumria {1608/1612I and later instead{Cambria}1608/1612I and later instead}. The English say Saissons {1608/1612I{as if saying Saxons, and the old name of}1608/1612I} [and] Lhoegria. Neither do they know, or at least they will not acknowledge to know what England or an Englishman means. So great a difference is there between the languages of the various nations of this island.
17.3. This whole Southern part, England {1608/1612I{I mean, or rather Lhœgria}1608/1612I} and Wales, have their own king, to whom many dukes, {1606E only{marquises}1606E only}, earls, barons and great noblemen are subjected. It is a country which at all times of the year has a most kind and temperate climate. The air is thick, and therefore subject to much wind, clouds and rain. And therefore, considering the thickness of the air, it is neither oppressed by too much heat nor by too much cold. For it has been established that although it lies more Northerly than Brabant, Flanders and other foreign countries {1608/1612I{across the sea}1608/1612I}, yet here the winter is never so bitter, nor the frost so biting as in those parts. It has everywhere many hills (without wood or water) which all the same bring forth low and short grass, excellent food for sheep. For that reason, infinite flocks of sheep cover them, which either through the kindness of the climate, or the quality of the soil, yield the softest wool, far finer than that from other countries.
17.4. And since this country has no wolves or any other predators, you shall see everywhere flocks of sheep {1609/1612/1641S{day and night}1609/1612/1641S} on the hills and valleys, green pastures, commons, fallows and corn fields. After the crops have been reaped, everyone, through certain ancient customs, puts his cattle in the common [pasture], to wander about without a shepherd. This is indeed that Golden Fleece, of which the riches of the inhabitants consist: a huge amount of gold and silver is yearly brought to the island by merchants who come together from all sides for such merchandise, and the money remains there, for it is by proclamation forbidden that any man takes money out of the realm. It abounds also with all sorts of cattle, except donkeys, mules, camels and elephants. Nowhere in the world are there greater and larger dogs, nor more ferocious ones.
17.5. The soil is very rich and fertile and produces, next to all sorts of corn and grass, all kinds of things. [Of trees,] only the fir tree and, as Cæsar says, the beech, but now it has in various places plenty of beeches. The evergreen bay tree of the Northern countries thrives nowhere better than here. Such an abundance of rosemary grows here in all places, and so high, that they often fence their gardens with it. Of wine they have none, for the grapes seldom ripen here, and it is only planted for shade and pleasure, rather than for fruits and profit. In no {1606E only{Christian}1606E only} country are there so many crows, a very harmful kind of fowl. For not only do these spoil the corn when it is standing and fully grown, but also once it is been cut {1609/1612L and 1609/1612/1641S have instead{are growing}1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S instead}, they will hoard it and dig it up with their bills, so that the farmers are used to set boys in the fields with bows and arrows, (for they are not afraid of human voices) to scare them away.
17.6. The ocean or main sea which beats upon the shores of this island abounds with all kinds of fish, of which the Lucius or pike as they commonly call it is most highly esteemed as a tasteful dish, and for that reason they take them out of fenny pools and rivers, and put them in their fish ponds. There they are purged and cleared of their muddy flavour. They feed them with eels and other small fish, to grow exceedingly fat and of a wholesome and pleasing taste. This fish (which is a very strange thing) is brought alive to the fish market to be sold. Its belly is then opened with a knife to show how fat it is. If it is not sold, it does not die, but after the slit has been sown up, and it has been put back into the pond, among the slimy carps, it heals gradually. Nowhere in the world are there more tasteful oysters, nor more numerous.
17.7. This country also yields gold, silver, copper and iron, though not any of these in great quantities. But lead and tin (the Romans call the one plumbum nigrum [black lead], the other plumbum album [white lead]) of the best quality is found here in great abundance, and is exported to foreign nations.
17.8. The people are tall of stature and fair of countenance, for the most part grey-eyed, and in the manner of their pronunciation resemble the Italians, and in proportions and features of their body they [also] differ little or not at all from them. {1608/1612I{They dress not unlike the French}1608/1612I}. The women, most fair and beautiful {1609/1612/1641{as snow}1609/1612/1641S}, go about attired very decently and in a becoming manner. They mostly eat meat. The drink they use consists of malt beer {1609/1612L only{which they make of corn}1609/1612L only}. It is very good, wholesome and pleasant, much sought after in the Low Countries, and therefore conveyed there in great abundance. At their meals, dinners as well as suppers, they eat well, tastefully, in liberal quantities, and they behave merrily and pleasantly. In war they are courageous and hardy. As good archers, they cannot stand delays and lingering.
17.9. And therefore, when they go to battle and come to blows, one party shall quickly be overthrown by the other, and the conqueror will seize all he can lay his hands on. They build no [new] castles. They do not care to rebuild or maintain those which their ancestors built in former days, and which are now decayed, ruinous or ready to fall. Cities they have, and many fair towns, good hamlets, streets and villages. The main city, market town and imperial seat of their kings is London, situated upon the river Thames. It is spanned by a beautiful stone bridge on twenty piles, well arched. On each side of the bridge houses have been built, so that it seems to be a continued street, rather than a bridge.
17.10. This [information] on the nature of the soil, temperature and air we have mostly gathered from Polydorus {1606E only{Virgill's}1606E only} History of England, because he has described this island accurately. In England these matters are well known and worthy of observation, as the following verse shows: Mons & fons, & pons, ecclesia, femina, lana, {1606E & 1609/1612/1641S only{[that is]: Of rivers & mountains, stone bridges and wool, fair women, and churches, England is full}1606E & 1609/1612/1641S only}.
17.11. Ireland is subject to the crown of England, and so are various smaller isles, as Wight, Man, Anglesey (the ancient seat of the Druids, {1606E only{the Welsh call it Tirmôn mam Gumry, Man, the mother of Wales, the Romans call the former Mona, the latter Menavia)}1606E only} and those which we now call the Sorlinges {1606E only{(the Greek called them Cassiterides)}1606E only}. Guernsey and Jersey with other small islands around them, although close to the coast of France, do belong to England. Humfrey Llwyd has written about England and its antiquities in so fascinating a manner that others before him may justly be accused of great negligence {1609/1612L has instead{hallucinations}1609/1612L instead}. Him did Alexander Nevill follow in his history {1606E only{on the rebellion of Norfolk}1606E only} which he calls Norwicus. Daniel Rogers, my kinsman, has written a book about the manners, laws and customs of the ancient Britons. The same author is also about to write about the command and jurisdiction that the Romans had in Britain}1606E}.

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