Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt

Remembrances for master S. to giue him the better occasion to informe himselfe of some things in England, and after of some other things in Turkie, to the great profite of the Common weale of this Countrey. Written by the foresayd master Richard Hakluyt, for a principall English Factor at Constantinople 1582.

Since all men confesse (that be not barbarously bred) that men are borne as well to seeke the common commoditie of their Countrey, as their owne priuate benefite, it may seeme follie to perswade that point, for each man meaneth so to doe. But wherein men should seeke the common commoditie, and what way, and by what meane that is to bee brought about, is the point or summe of the matter, since euery good man is ready to imploy his labour. This is to bee done by an infinite sort of meanes, as the number of things bee infinite that may be done for common benefite of the Realme. And as the chiefe things so to bee done be diuers, so are they to be done by diuers men, as they bee by wit and maner of education more fit, or lesse fit, for this and for that. And for that of many things that tend to the common benefite of the State, some tend more, and some lesse, I finde that no one thing, after one other, is greater then Clothing, and the things incident to the same. And vnderstanding that you are of right good capacitie, and become a Factor at Constantinople, and in other partes in Turkie, I finde no man fitter of all the English Factors there, then you. And therefore I am so bold to put you in minde, and to tell you wherein with some indeuour you may chaunce to doe your Countrey much good, and giue an infinite sorte of the poore people occasion to pray for you here throughout the Realme this that I meane is in matter of Cloth, &c.

1 First, you cannot denie but that this Realme yeeldeth the most fine Wooll, the most soft, the most strong Wooll, the most durable in Cloth, and most apte of nature of all other to receiue Die, and that no Island or any one kingdome so small doeth yeeld so great abundance of the same and that no Wooll is lesse subiect to mothes, or to fretting in presse, then this as the old Parliament robes of Kings, and of many noble Peeres to be shewed may plainly testifie.

2 There is no commoditie of this Realme that may set so many poore subiects on worke, as this doeth, that doeth bring in so much treasure, and so much enrich the merchant, and so much employ the Nauie of this Realme, as this commoditie of our Wooll doeth.

Ample and full Vent of this noble and rich commoditie is it that the common weale of this realme doeth require.

Spaine nowe aboundeth with Wools, and the same are Clothed. Turkie hath Wools, and so haue diuers prouinces of Christendome and of Heathenesse, and cloth is made of the same in diuers places.

1 But if England haue the most fine, and the most excellent Wools of the world in all respects (as it cannot bee denied, but it hath). 2 If there may bee added to the same, excellent artificiall, and true making, and excellent dying. 3 Then no doubt but that we shall haue vent for our Clothes, although the rest of the world did abound much more with Wool then it doeth, and although their workemanship and their dying were in euery degree equal with ours of England, vnlesse the labour of our people imployed that way, and the materials vsed in dying should be the cause of the contrary by dearth.

But if Forren nations turne their Wools, inferiour to ours, into truer and more excellent made cloth, and shall die the same in truer, surer, and more excellent and more delectable colours, then shall they sell and make ample vent of their Clothes, when the English cloth of better wooll shall rest vnsold, to the spoyle of the Merchant, of the Clothier, and of the breeder of the wooll, and to the turning to bag and wallet of the infinite number of the poore people imploied in clothing in seuerall degrees of labour here in England.

Which things wayed, I am to tell you what things I wish you in this Realme, and after in Turkie, to indeuour from time to time, as your laisure may permit the same.

Before you goe out of the Realme, that you learne:

1 To know wooll, all kind of clothes made in this realme, and all other employments of wooll, home or forren, be the same in Felt clokes, felt hats, in the red knit cap for Barbarie, called Bonettos rugios colorados, or whatsoeuer, &c.

All the deceits in Clothmaking; as the sorting together of Wools of seuerall natures, some of nature to shrink, some to hold out, which causeth cloth to cockle and lie vneuen.

The euill sorting of threed of good or bad wooll, some tootoo 1 hard spun, some tootoo soft spun deliuered to be wouen.

The faults in Weauing.

The faults in Walking,2 Rowing, and Burling and in Racking3 the Clothes aboue measure vpon the Teintors: all which faults may be learned of honest men, which faults are to be knowen to the merchant, to be shunned and not to be vsed.

2 Then to learne of the Diers to discerne all kind of colours; as which be good and sure, and which will not hold: which be faire, which not; which colours by the dearth of the substances bee deare, and which by reason of the cheapenesse of the Materials with which they be died, be cheape colours.

3 Then to take the names of all the materials and substaunces vsed in this Citie or in the realme, in dying of cloth or silke.

To learne to know them, as which be good, which bad.

And what colours they die.

And what prices they be of.

And of them which bee the Naturals of this Realme, and in what part of the Realme they are to be had.

And of all the forren materials vsed in dying to know the very naturall places of them, and the plentie or the scarcenesse of each of them.

These things superficially learned in the realme before you goe, you are the fitter in forren parts to serue your Countrey, for by this meanes you haue an enterie into the thing that I wish you to trauell in.

What you shall doe in Turkie, besides the businesse of your Factorship.

1 Forasmuch as it is reported that the Woollen clothes died in Turkie bee most excellently died, you shall send home into this realme certaine Mowsters or pieces of Shew to be brought to the diers hall, there to be shewed, partly to remooue out of their heads, the tootoo great opinion they haue concerned of their owne cunning, and partly to mooue them for shame to endeuour to learne more knowledge to the honour of their countrey of England, and to the vniuersall benefit of the realme.

2 You shall deuise to amend the Dying of England, by carying hence an apte yoong man brought vp in the Arte, or by bringing one or other from thence of skill, or rather to deuise to bring one for Silkes, and another for Wooll and for Woollen cloth, and if you cannot worke this by ordinarie meanes, then to worke it by some great Bassas meane, or if your owne credite there be not sufficient by meane of your small abode in those parties, to worke it by the helpe of the French ambassador there resident, for which purpose you may insinuate your selfe into his acquaintance, and otherwise to leaue no meane vnsought that tendeth to this end, wherein you are to doe as circumstances may permit.

3 Then to learne to know all the materials and substances that the Turkes vse in dying, be they of Herbes, simple or compound, be they plants, Barkes, Wood, Berries, Seedes, Graines, or Minerall matter, or what els soeuer. But before all other, such things as yeeld those famous colours that carrie such speciall report of excellencie, that our Merchaunts may bring them to this realme by ordinarie trade, as a light meane for the better vent of our clothes.

4 To know the vse of those, and where the naturall place of them and of ech of them is, I meane the place where ech of them groweth or is bred.

5 And in any wise, if Anile that coloureth blew be a naturall commodity of those parts, and if it be compounded of an herbe, to send the same into this realme by seed or by root in barrell of earth, with all the whole order of sowing, setting, planting, replanting, and with the compounding of the same, that it may become a naturall commodity in this realme as Woad is, to this end that the high price of forreine Woad (which deuoureth yeerely great treasure) may be brought downe. So shall the marchant buy his cloth lesse deare, and so he shalbe able to occupy with lesse stocke, be able to afoord cloth cheaper, make more ample vent, and also become a greater gainer himselfe, and all this to the benefit of this realme.

6 To do the like with herbe and plant, or tree that in dying is of any excellent vse, as to send the same by seed, berry, root, &c: for by such meanes Saffron was brought first into this realme, which hath sent many poore on worke, and brought great wealth into this realme. Thus may Sumack, the plant wherewith the most excellent blacks be died in Spaine, be brought out of Spaine, and out of the Ilands of the same, if it will grow in this more colde climat. For thus was Woad brought into this realme, and came to good perfection, to the great losse of the French our olde enemies. And it doth maruellously import this realme to make naturall in this realme such things as be special in the dying of our clothes. And to speake of such things as colour blew, they are of greatest vse, and are grounds of the most excellent colours, and therefore of all other to be brought into this realme, be it Anile or any other materiall of that quality.

7 And because yellowes and greenes are colours of small prices in this realme, by reason that Olde and Greenweed wherewith they be died be naturall here, and in great plenty, therefore to bring our clothes so died to common sale in Turkie were to the great benefit of the merchant, and other poore subiects of this realme, for in sale of such our owne naturall colours we consume not our treasure in forren colours, and yet we sell our owne trifles dearely perhaps.

8 The woolles being naturall, and excellent colours for dying becomming by this meanes here also naturall, in all the arte of Clothing then we want but one onely speciall thing. For in this so temperate a climat our people may labor the yere thorowout, whereas in some regions of the world they cannot worke for extreme heat, as in some other regions they cannot worke for extreme colde a good part of the yere. And the people of this realme by the great and blessed abundance of victuall are cheaply fed, and therefore may afoord their labour cheape. And where the Clothiers in Flanders by the Flatnesse of their riuers cannot make Walkmilles4 for their clothes, but are forced to thicken and dresse all their clothes by the foot and by the labour of men, whereby their clothes are raised to an higher price, we of England haue in all Shires store of milles vpon falling riuers. And these riuers being in temperate zones are not dried vp in Summer with drought and heat as the riuers be in Spaine and in hotter regions, nor frozen vp in Winter as all the riuers be in all the North regions of the world: so as our milles may go and worke at all times, and dresse clothes cheaply. Then we haue also for scowring our clothes earths and claies, as Walkers clay, 5 and the clay of Oborne little inferior to Sope in scowring and in thicking. Then also haue we some reasonable store of Alum and Copporas here made for dying, and are like to haue increase of the same. Then we haue many good waters apt for dying, and people to spin and to doe the rest of all the labours we want not. Supply of the want of oile. So as there wanteth, if colours might be brought in and made naturall, but onely Oile: the want whereof if any man could deuise to supply at the full with any thing that might become naturall in this realme, he whatsoeuer he were that could bring it about, might deserue immortall fame in this our Common wealth, and such a deuise was offered to the Parliament and refused, because they denied to endow him with a certaine liberty, some others hauing obtained the same before, that practised to worke that effect by Radish seed, which onely made a triall of small quantity, and that went no further, to make that Oile in plenty: and now he that offered this deuise was a marchant, and is dead, and withall the deuise is dead with him.

It is written by one that wrote of Afrike, Leo Africanus lib. 8. that in Egypt in a city called Muhaisira there be many milles imployed in making of Oile of the seed of an herbe called Sesamum. Pena and Lobell, Physicians, write in our time, that this herbe is a codded herbe full of oily seed, and that there is plenty of this seede brought out of Egypt to diuers Cities in Italy. If this herbe will prosper in this realme, our marchants may easily bring of it, &c.

9 Hauing heerein thus troubled you by raising to your minde the consideration of certaine things, it shall not be impertinent to tell you that it shall not be amisse that you note all the order of the degrees of labour vsed in Turky, in the arte of Clothing, and to see if any way they excell in that profession our people of these parts, and to bring notice of the same into this realme.

10 And if you shall finde that they make any cloth of any kind not made in this realme, that is there of great vse, then to bring of the same into this realme some Mowsters, that our people may fall into the trade, and prepare the same for Turkie: for the more kinds of cloth we can deuise to make, the more ample vent of our commoditie we shall haue, and the more sale of the labour of our poore subiects that els for lacke of labour become idle and burdenous to the common weale, and hurtfull to many: and in England we are in our clothing trade to frame our selues according to the desires of forren nations, be it that they desire thicke or thinne, broad or narrowe, long or short, white or blacke.

11 But with this prouiso alwayes, that our cloth passe out with as much labour of our people as may be, wherein great consideration ought to be had: for (if vent might so admit it) as it were the greatest madnesse in the world for vs to vent our wooll not clothed, so were it madnesse to vent our wooll in part or in the whole turned into broad cloth, if we might vent the same in Kersies: for there is great difference in profit to our people betweene the clothing of a sacke of wooll in the one, and the like sacke of wooll in the other, of which I wish the marchant of England to haue as great care as he may for the vniuersall benefit of the poore: and the turning of a sacke of wooll into Bonets is better then both &c. And also not to cary out of the realme any cloth white, but died if it may be, that the subiects of this realme may take as much benefit as is possible, and rather to seeke the vent of the clothes died with the naturall colours of England, then such as be died with forren colours.

12 And if of necessity we must be forced to receiue certaine colours from forren parts, for that this climat will not breed them, I wish that our marchants procure Anile and such other things to be planted in like climats where now it growes, in diuers others places, that this realme may haue that brought in for as base prices as is possible, and that falling out with one place we may receiue the same from another, and not buy the same at the second or the third hand &c. For if a commodity that is to be had of meere necessity, be in one hand, it is dearely purchased.

1. How many seuerall colours be died is to be learned of our Diers before you depart.

2 Then how many of those colours England doth die of her owne naturall home materials and substances, and how many not.

3 Then to bring into this realme herbs and plants to become naturall in our soiles, that may die the rest of the colours, that presently of our owne things here growing we can not yet die, and this from all forren places.

4 There is a wood called Logwood or Palo Campechio, it is cheape and yeeldeth a glorious blew, but our workmen can not make it sure. This wood you must take with you, and see whether the Silke diers or Wooll diers in Turky can doe it, with this one you may inrich your selfe very much, and therefore it is to be endeuoured earnestly by you. It may bring downe the price of Woad and of Anile.

Other some things to be remembred.

If you can finde oat at Tripoly in Syria or elsewhere a vent for the Cappes called in Barbarie, Bonettos colorados rugios, which is a red Scottish cap as it were without brims, you should do your countrey much good: for as a sacke of wooll turned into fine Deuonshire kersies doth set many more people on worke then a sacke spunne for broad cloth in a grosser threed, so a sacke of wool turned into those Bonets doth set many more poore people on worke, then a sacke turned into Kersies, by reason of the knitting. And therefore if you can indeuour that, you worke great effect. And no doubt that a maruellous vent may be found out of them into Afrike by the way of Alexandria, and by Alcayer6 Southeast and Southwest thence.

2 And by the vent of our knit hose of Woollen yarne, Woorsted yarne, and of Linnen thred, great benefit to our people may arise, and a great value in fine Kersies and in those knit wares may be couched in a small roome in the ship. And for these things our people are growen apt, and by indeuour may be drawen to great trade.

3 Saffron the best of the vniuersall world groweth in this realme, and forasmuch as it is a thing that requireth much labour in diuers sorts, and setteth the people on worke so plentifully, I wish you to see whether you can finde out ample vent for the same, since it is gone out of great vse in those parts. It is a spice that is cordiall, and may be vsed in meats, and that is excellent in dying of yellow silks. This commodity of Saffron groweth fifty miles from Tripoli in Syria, on an high hill called in those parts Garian, so as there you may learne at that port of Tripoli the value of the pound, the goodnesse of it, and the places of the vent. But it is sayd that from that hill there passeth yeerly of that commodity fifteene moiles7 laden, and that those regions notwithstanding lacke sufficiencie of that commodity. But if a vent might be found, men would in Essex about Saffronwalden8 and in Cambridge shire reuiue the trade for the benefit of the setting of the poore on worke. So would they doe in Hereford shire by Wales, where the best of all England is, in which place the soile yeelds the wilde Saffron commonly, which sheweth the naturall inclination of the same soile to the bearing of the right Saffron, if the soile be manured and that way employed.

Leo Africanus lib. 4. 4. There is a walled towne not farre from Barbarie, called Hubbed, toward the South from the famous towne Telensin,9 about six miles: the inhabitants of which towne in effect be all Diers. And it is sayd that thereabout they haue plenty of Anile, and that they occupy that, and also that they vse there in their dyings, of the Saffron aforesayd. This may be learned at Alger. The trueth whereof, in the Southerly ports of the Mediteran sea, is easily learned in your passage to Tripoli, or in returne from thence homeward you may vnderstand it. It is reported at Saffronwalden that a Pilgrim purposing to do good to his countrey, stole an head of Saffron, and hid the same in his Palmers staffe, which he had made hollow before of purpose, and so he brought this root into this realme, with venture of his life: for if he had bene taken, by the law of the countrey from whence it came, he had died for the fact. If the like loue in this our age were in our people that now become great trauellers, many knowledges, and many trades, and many herbes and plants might be brought into this realme that might doe the realme good. And the Romans hauing that care, brought from all coasts of the world into Italie all arts and sciences, and all kinds of beasts and fowile, and all herbs, trees, busks and plants that might yeeld profit or pleasure to their countrey of Italie. And if this care had not bene heretofore in our ancestors, then, had our life bene sauage now, for then we had not had Wheat nor Rie, Peaze nor Beanes, Barley nor Oats, Peare nor Apple, Vine nor many other profitable and pleasant plants, Bull nor Cow, Sheepe nor Swine, Horse nor Mare, Cocke nor Hen, nor a number of other things that we inioy, without which our life were to be sayd barbarous: for these things and a thousand that we vse more the first inhabitors of this Iland found not here. And in time of memory things haue bene brought in that were not here before, as the Damaske rose by Doctour Linaker king Henry the seuenth and king Henry the eights Physician, the Turky cocks and hennes about fifty yeres past, the Artichowe in time of king Henry the eight, and of later time was procured out of Italy the Muske rose plant, the plumme called the Perdigwena, and two kindes more by the Lord Cromwell after his trauell, and the Abricot by a French Priest one Wolfe Gardiner to king Henry the eight: and now within these foure yeeres there haue bene brought into England from Vienna in Austria diuers kinds of flowers called Tulipas, and those and other procured thither a little before from Constantinople by an excellent man called M. Carolus Clusius. And it is sayd that since we traded to Zante that the plant that beareth the Coren is also brought into this realme from thence; and although it bring not fruit to perfection, yet it may serue for pleasure and for some vse, like as our vines doe, which we cannot well spare, although the climat so colde will not permit vs to haue good wines of them. And many other things haue bene brought in, that haue degenerated by reason of the colde climat, some other things brought in haue by negligence bene lost. The Archbishop of Canterburie Edmund Grindall, after he returned out of Germany, brought into this realme the plant of Tamariske from thence, and this plant he hath so increased that there be here thousands of them; and many people haue receiued great health by this plant: and if of things brought in such care were had, then could not the first labour be lost. The seed of Tobacco hath bene brought hither out of the West Indies, 10 it groweth heere, and with the herbe many haue bene eased of the reumes, &c. Each one of a great number of things were woorthy of a iourney to be made into Spaine, Italy, Barbarie, Egypt, Zante, Constantinople, the West Indies, and to diuers other places neerer and further off then any of these, yet forasmuch as the poore are not able, and for that the rich setled at home in quiet will not, therefore we are to make sute to such as repaire to forren kingdomes, for other businesses, to haue some care heerein, and to set before their eyes the examples of these good men, and to endeuour to do for their parts the like, as their speciall businesses may permit the same. Thus giuing you occasion by way of a little remembrance, to haue a desire to doe your countrey good you shall, if you haue any inclination to such good, do more good to the poore ready to starue for reliefe, then euer any subiect did in this realme by building of Almes-houses, and by giuing of lands and goods to the reliefe of the poore. Thus may you helpe to driue idlenesse the mother of most mischiefs out of the realme, and winne you perpetuall fame, and the prayer of the poore, which is more woorth then all the golde of Peru, and of all the West Indies.

1 Tootoo. The duplication is often used for the sake of emphasis. “A lesson tootoo hard for living clay.” Spenser, Faerie Queen, iii., iv., 26.

2 A “Walker” is a fuller of cloth. “She curst the weaver and the walker.” Boy and Mantle, Percy Rel., iii., 5.

3 Stretching. “Two lutes rack’s up / To the same pitch.” The Slighted Maid, p. 53.

4 Fulling, or the art of scouring, cleansing, and thickening cloth, &c., in a mill, makes the material more compact and durable. Walkmill is the old name for a fullingmill.

5 Fuller’s earth, which attains a thickness of 150 feet near Bath.

6 Cairo.

7 A Mule. “Well, make much of him; I see he was never born to ride upon a moyle.”— Every man out of his humour, ii., 3.

8 Saffron Walden — Saffron Weal-den. The woody Saffron Hill.

9 Tlemcen, on a tributary of the Tafna, in Algeria.

10 As these instructions were written in 1582, how can Tobacco have been introduced by Raleigh in 1586, as generally asserted? It is not more probable that it dates from Sir John Hawkin’s voyage 1565?

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55