Who inhabited this Iland before the
comming of Brute: of Noah & his three sonnes, among whom the whole
earth was diuided: and to which of their portions this Ile of Britaine
The First Chapter.
WHAT manner of people did first inhabite this our country, which
hath most generallie and of longest continuance béene knowne
among all nations by the name of Britaine as yet is not certeinly
knowne; neither can it be decided frō whence the first
inhabitants there of came, by reason of such diuersitie in iudgements
as haue risen amongst the learned in this behalfe. But sith the
originall in maner of all nations is doubtfull, and euen the same
The originall of nations for the most part vncerteine.
for the more part fabulous (that alwaies excepted which we find in
the holie scriptures) I wish not any man to leane to that which shall
be here set downe as to an infallible truth, sith I doo but onlie
shew other mens coniectures, grounded neuerthelesse vpon likelie
reasons, concerning that matter whereof there is now left but little
other certeintie, or rather none at all.
To fetch therefore the matter from the farthest, and so to stretch
it forward, it séemeth
Whither Britaine were an Iland at the first.
Geog. com. lib.
No Ilands at the first, as some
by the report of Dominicus Marius Niger that in the beginning, when
God framed the world, and diuided the waters apart from the earth,
this Ile was then a parcell of the continent, and ioined without any
separation of sea to the maine land. But this opinion (as all other
the like vncerteinties) I leaue to be discussed of by the learned:
howbeit for the first inhabitation of this Ile with people, I haue
thought good to set downe in part, what may be gathered out of such
writers as haue touched that matter, and may séeme to giue
some light vnto the knowledge thereof.
First therefore Iohn Bale our countrieman, who in his time greatlie
trauelled in the search
In the first part of the acts of the English
Britaine inhabited before the floud.
G. Berosus ant. lib. 1.
of such antiquities, dooth probablie coniecture, that this land was
inhabited and replenished with people long before the floud, at that
time in the which the generation of mankind (as Moses writeth) began
to multiplie vpon the vniuersall face of the earth: and therfore it
followeth, that as well this land was inhabited with people long
before the daies of Noah, as any the other countries and parts of the
world beside. But when they had once forsaken the ordinances
appointed them by God, and betaken them to new waies inuented of
themselues, such loosenesse of life ensued euerie where, as brought
vpon them the great deluge and vniuersall floud, in the which
perished as well the inhabitants of these quarters, as the residue of
the race of mankind, generallie dispersed in euerie other part of the
whole world, onelie Noah & his familie excepted, who by the
prouidence and pleasure of almightie God was preserued from the rage
of those waters, to recontinue and repaire the new generation of man
of vpon earth.
AFTER the flood (as Annius de Viterbo
In comment, super 4. lib. Berosus de antiquit, lib. 1. Annius ut suor.
and reason also enforceth, Noah was the onlie monarch of
all the world, and as the same Annius gathereth by the account of
Moses in the 100. yeare after the flood, Noah diuided the earth among
his thrée sonnes; assigning to the possession of his eldest
sonne all that portion of land which now is knowne by the name of
Asia; to his second sonne Cham, he appointed all that part of the
world which now is called Affrica: and to his third sonne Iapher was
allotted all Europa, with all the Iles therto belonging, wherin among
other was conteined this our Ile of Britaine, with the other Iles
IAPHET AND HIS SONNES.
Iohannes Bodinus ad fac. hist. cagn. I'ranciscus Tarapha.
IAPHET the third son of Noah, of some called Iapetus, and of others, Atlas Maurus (because he departed this life in Mauritania) was the first (as Bodinus affirmeth by the authoritie and consent of the Hebrue, Gréeke & Latine Writers) that peopled the countries of Europe, which afterward he diuided among his sonnes: of whom Tuball (as Tarapha affirmeth) obteined the kingdome of Spaine. Gomer had dominion ouer the Italians, and (as Berosus and diuers other authors agrée) Samothes was the founder of Celtica, which conteined in it (as Bale witnesseth) a great part of Europe, but speciallie those countries which now are called by the names of Gallia and Britannia.
Britaine inhabited shortlie after the floud.
Thus was this Iland inhabited and peopled within 200 yéeres after the floud by the children of Iaphet the sonne of Noah: & this is not onlie prooued by Annius, writing vpon Berosus, but also confirmed by Moses in the scripture, where he writeth, that of the offspring of Iaphet, the Iles of the Gentiles (wherof Britain is one) were sorted into regions in the time of Phaleg the sonne of Hiber, who was borne at the time of the diuision of languages.
Theophilus episcop. Antioch. ad Anfol. lib. 2.
The words of Theophilus a doctor of the church, who liued an. Dom. 160.
Herevpon Theophilus hath these words: "Cùm priscis temporibus pauci forent homines in Arabia & Chaldæa, post linguarum diuisionem aucti & multiplicati paulatim sunt: hinc quidam abierunt versus orientem, quidam concessere ad partes maioris continentis, alij porrò profecti sunt ad septentrionem sedes quæsituri, nec priùs desierunt terram vbiq; occupare, quàm etiam Britannos in Arctois climatibus accesserint, &c." That is;
"When at the first there were not manie men in Arabia and Chaldæa, it came to passe, that after the diuision of toongs, they began somewhat better to increase and multiplie, by which occasion some of them went toward the east, and some toward the parts of the great maine land: diuers went also northwards to seeke them dwelling places, neither staid they to replenish the earth as they went, till they came vnto the Iles of Britaine, lieng vnder the north pole." Thus far Theophilus.
These things considered, Gildas the Britaine had great reason ta thinke, that this countrie had bene inhabited from the beginning. And Polydor Virgil was with no lesse consideration hereby induced to confesse, that the Ile of Britaine had receiued inhabitants foorthwith after the floud.