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Remembrances for master S. to give 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 private 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 every 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 bee done for common benefite of the Realme. And as the chiefe things so to bee done be divers, so are they to bee done by divers 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 understanding 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 indevour you may chaunce to doe your Countrey much good, and give 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. 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 receive 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 subject to mothes, or to fretting in presse, then this, as the old Parliament robes of Kings, & of many noble Peeres to be shewed may plainly testifie.
  2. 2 There is no commoditie of this Realme that may set so many poore subjects on worke, as this doeth, that doeth bring in so much treasure, and so much enrich the merchant, and so much employ the Navie 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 have divers pro vinces of Christendome and of Heathenesse, and cloth is made of the same in divers places.

1 But if England have 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 have 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 every degree equal with ours of England, unlesse the labour of our people imployed that way, and the materials used 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 unsold, 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 severall 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 indevour from time to time, as your laisure may permit the same.

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

    • To know wooll, all kind of clothes made in this realme, and all other employments of wooll, home or forren, be ye same in Felt clokes, felt hats, in the red knit cap for Barbarie, called Bonettos rugios colorados, or whatsoever, &c.
    • All the deceits in Clothmaking; as the sorting together of Wools of severall natures, some of nature to shrinke, some to hold out, which causeth cloth to cockle and lie uneven.
    • The evill sorting of threed of good or bad wool, some tootoo hard spun, some tootoo soft spun delivered to be woven.
    • The faults in Weaving.
    • The faults in Walking, Rowing, and Burling, and in Racking the Clothes above measure upon 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 used.
    • 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.
    • Then to take the names of all the materials and substaunces used 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 used 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 serve your Countrey, for by this meanes you have an enterie into the thing that I wish you to travell in.

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

  1. 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 remoove out of their heads, the tootoo great opinion they have conceived of their owne cunning, and partly to moove them for shame to endevour to learne more knowledge to the honour of their countrey of England, and to the universall benefit of the realme.
  2. 2 You shall devise to amend the Dying of England, by carying hence an apte yoong man brought up in the Arte, or by bringing one or other from thence of skill, or rather to devise 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 leave no meane unsought that tendeth to this end, wherein you are to doe as circumstances may permit.
  3. 3 Then to learne to know all the materials and substances that the Turkes use in dying, be they of Herbes, simple or compound, be they Plants, Barkes, Wood, Berries, Seedes, Graines, or Minerall matter, or what els soever. 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 right meane for the better vent of our clothes.
  4. 4 To know the use 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. 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 devoureth 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 affoord cloth cheaper, make more ample vent, and also become a greater gainer himselfe, and all this to the benefit of this realme.
  6. 6 To do the like with herbe & plant, or tree that in dying is of any excellent use, as to send the same by seed, berry, root, &c: for by such meanes Saffron was brought first into this realme, which hath set 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 marvellously 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 use, 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 material of that quality.
  7. 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 marchant, and other poore subjects 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. 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 rivers cannot make Walkmilles 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 have in all Shires store of milles upon falling rivers. And these rivers being in temperate zones are not dried up in Summer with drought and heat as the rivers be in Spaine and in hotter regions, nor frozen up in Winter as all the rivers 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 have also for scowring our clothes earths and claies, as Walkers clay, and the clay of Oborne little inferior to Sope in scowring and in thicking. Then also have we some reasonable store of Alum and Copporas here made for dying, and are like to have increase of the same. Then we have many good waters apt for dying, and people to spin and to doe the rest of all the labours we want not. So as there wanteth, if colours might be brought in and made naturall, but onely Oile: the want whereof if any man could devise to supply at the full with any thing that might become naturall in this realme, he whatsoever he were that could bring it about, might deserve immortall fame in this our Common wealth, and such a devise was offered to the Parliament and refused, because they denied to endow him with a certaine liberty, some others having 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 devise was a marchant, and is dead, and withall the devise is dead with him.
    It is written by one that wrote of Afrike, 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 divers Cities in Italy . If this herbe will prosper in this realme, our marchants may easily bring of it, &c.
  9. 9 Having 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 used 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. 10 And if you shall finde that they make any cloth of any kind not made in this realme, that is there of great use, 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 devise to make, the more ample vent of our commoditie we shall have, and the more sale of the labour of our poore subjects 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 selves according to the desires of forren nations, be it that they desire thicke or thinne, broad or narowe, long or short, white or blacke.
  11. 11 But with this proviso 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 us 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 have as great care as he may for the universall 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 subjects 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. 12 And if of necessity we must be forced to receive 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 divers other places, that this realme may have that brought in for as base prices as is possible, and that falling out with one place we may receive 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. 1 How many severall colours be died is to be learned of our Diers before you depart.
  2. 2 Then how many of those colours England doth die of her owne naturall home materials and substances, and how many not.
  3. 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. 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 endevoured earnestly by you. It may bring downe the price of Woad and of Anile.

Other some things to be remembred.

  1. IF you can finde out 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 Devonshire kersies doth set many more people on worke then a sacke spunne for broad cloth in a grosser threed, so a sacke of wooll 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 indevour that, you worke great effect. And no doubt that a marvellous vent may be found out of them into Afrike by the way of Alexandria, and by Alcayer Southeast and Southwest thence.
  2. 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 indevour may be drawen to great trade.
  3. 3 Saffron the best of the universall world groweth in this realme, and forasmuch as it is a thing that requireth much labour in divers 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 use in those parts. It is a spice that is cordiall, and may be used 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 yerely of that commodity fifteene moiles laden, and that those regions notwithstanding lacke sufficiencie of that commodity. But if a vent might be found, men would in Essex about Saffronwalden and in Cambridge shire revive the trade for the benefit of the setting of the poore on work. 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.
  4. 4 There is a walled towne not farre from Barbarie, called Hubbed, toward the South from the famous towne Telensin, about six miles: the inhabitants of which towne in effect be all Diers. And it is sayd that thereabout they have plenty of Anile, & that they occupy that, and also that they use there in their dyings, of the Saffron aforesayd. 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 understand it. It is reported at Saffronwalden that a Pilgrim purposing to do good to his country, 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 love in this our age were in our people that now become great travellers, 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 having that care, brought from all coasts of the world into Italie all arts and sciences, and all kinds of beasts and fowles, 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 ancesters, then had our life bene savage 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 injoy, without which our life were to be sayd barbarous: for these things and a thousand that we use more the first inhabitors of this Iland found not here. And in time of memory things have bene brought in that were not here before, as the Damaske rose by Doctour Linaker king Henry the seventh and king Henrie 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 travell, and the Abricot by a French Priest one Wolfe Gardiner to king Henry the eight: and now within these foure yeeres there have bene brought into England from Vienna in Austria divers 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 serve for pleasure and for some use, like as our vines doe, which we cannot well spare, although the climat so colde will not permit us to have good wines of them. And many other things have bene brought in, that have degenerated by reason of the colde climat, some other things brought in have 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 have received 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 Tabacco hath bene brought hither out of the West Indies, it groweth heere, and with the herbe many have bene eased of the reumes, &c. Each one of a great number of things were woorthy of a journey to be made into Spaine, Italy , Barbarie, Egypt , Zante , Constantinople, the West Indies, and to divers 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 have some care heerein, and to set before their eyes the examples of these good men, and to endevour to do for their parts the like, as their speciall businesses may permit the same. Thus giving you occasion by way of a little remembrance, to have a desire to do your countrey good, you shall, if you have any inclination to such good, do more good to the poore ready to starve for reliefe, then ever any subject did in this realme by building of Almeshouses, and by giving of lands and goods to the reliefe of the poore. Thus may you helpe to drive 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.

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1582 AD (1)
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