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VOYAGES AND TRAVELS.
THE VOYAGE OF DON MANOEL GONZALES, (LATE MERCHANT) OF THE
CITY OF LISBON IN PORTUGAL, TO GREAT BRITAIN: CONTAINING AN HISTORICAL, GEOGRAPHICAL, TOPOGRAPHICAL, POLITICAL, AND ECCLESIASTICAL ACCOUNT OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND; WITH A CURIOUS COLLECTION OF THINGS PARTICULARLY RARE, BOTH IN NATURE AND ANTIQUITY.
TRANSLATED FROM THE PORTUGUESE MANUSCRIPT.
(From the Harleian Collection, Vol. I. p. 9.)
CHAPTER I.-Containing the Reasons of the Author's Voyage to England, &c. In my infancy, my parents, being on both sides descended from new Christians, to appear more devout and attached to the established church, and so the better to screen themselves from the eye of the Portugueze inquisition, put me on the habit of a jesuit, and determined to breed me a scholar at least, if not a father of that society. In consequence of this resolution, I, as soon as age would permit, was sent to their public school of St. Antoaon, or St. Anthony the Great, at Lisbon, where not only languages, but all the liberal sciences are taught; and in a few years was to determine, whether I would enter into the society, or succeed to my father's business of a merchant, who then was declining, both with age and infirmities of body. My tutor laid close fiege to my affections, well knowing that, as then I was the only surviving child of my parents, all their substance (and they were accounted rich) would center with me in their society for ever, could i be persuaded to become a jesuit: to whom I had almost yielded ; till my mother interposing, with solid reasons convinced me, that for the present it would be better, both for her and myself, to enter into partnership with my father, alledging that I was not yet so capable to judge how an ecclesiastical life, un. der vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, might consist with my growing inclinations and propensity of nature ; that as the whole paternal estate would be seized on for their own use, upon my father's death, she must be ruined, or become obsequious
to the society for a mean subsistence, or perchance be obliged to end her days in a monastic confinement: and again, that should I happen to give them any provocation, or break their orders or rules, I might be-unjesuited, expelled their society, and excluded both from my inheritance, and all means of living. And then, she added, that if in after-life my inclinations continued, when youth was conquered, and the world could yield me no pleasure, I might then do as I pleased ; and it would yet be time enough to retire.
Thus advised, I no longer appeared at St. Anthony's, nor in my student's dress; yet my bookish inciination continued : But the course of my studies was changed, for instead of Aristotle's Philosophy, School Divinity, and Casuistry, I now relished nothing but Voyages, Travels, and Geography; and such other books as would lead me into a just notion of the world, and assist me in that state of life I then had just entered into.
As for languages, I had been very happy in taking them at school; so that I was at no loss in reading authors of diverse nations, except the English: for though the English factory at Lisbon is both the richest and the largest, an there is also an English college, an English nunnery, and two Irish colleges, and a nunnery of that nation also, who speak the English tongue ; and I may add, though our greatest dealings in the mercantile way are with the subjects of Great Britain, none of the natives endeavour to teach or learn their language. Therefore my next step towards obtaining true ideas of a nation I, in all probability, was to deal with during my life, was to search not only for Portugueze and Spanish, but for French and Italian authors; yet I could find none in any of these languages, that are any other than mere fuperficial accounts, and, in my opinion, no way capable to convey just ideas of so deserving a people, nor fufficient to infruct a foreigner how to manage an advantageous commerce with them. For so long as we are kept ignorant of any country, and traffic with its natives only by factors of their own nation, settled among us, we must take only what they please to import, and at their own times and price, to our own great loss : whereas a merchant, that is thoroughly acquainted with the product, manufacture, and genius of the nations he traffics with, has the advantage to supply himself with the best commodities, in the best seasons, and at the cheapest rates. Consequently,
I, resolving to merchandise with Great Britain, resolved also, first to learn the language, and then to make a voyage to the island itself. I soon made myfélf master of as much of the English tongue, as to enable me to attempt my intended voyage, without the incumbrance and the accidents that often befal gentlemen, who are obliged to trust all to an interpreter. Having gained my parents consent, I embarked with their blessing, on board the packet, on the 23d of April, being St. George's day, commonly called the patron of England; and, after a pleasant voyage of seven days, we arrived safe at Falmouth, the 30th of April 1730, N. S. ;
CHAPTER II.-A Chorographical Description of England *. BEING thus accompanied and instructed, it was to be my peculiar care to improve my journey to the uses I first intended, at my departure from Lilbon; and, in particu. lar, to render it, for the fụture, subservient to my mercantile way of life: Therefore I began to take minutes of the soil, produce, and manufactures of every county through
In the original this is the ninth chapter, feven chapters being filled with a hafty and imperfect history of England, which can nowise interest the reader.
which we passed; and made my particular obfervations on the genius of the people, their different methods of dealing; and distinguished the feveral cities, towns, and villages, which are most remarkable for trade and navigation; of all which, take the following true, though rude and unpolished account. -I begin with Cornwall, the county in which I landed.
Cornwall is the most western county of England, and is so washed by the sea on the north, fouth, and west, and the river Tamer on the east, that it is a perfect peninsula fhaped like a horn. I presently found the people of this county valued themselves upon some pretensions above the other part of the nation, which I was informed was their ability in wrestling, and strength of body; their having most of the old British blood in their families; and their peculiar honour of giving title of Duke without crea. tion to the eldest son of the King of Great Britain.
This is not the most fruitful part of England, the foil being for the most part moun. tainous, thin, and rocky underneath : yet the vallies are fat with corn and good pasture; the hills are rich in tin and copper mines; and they every where abound in wild fowls, especially the dainty woodcock. Nor must I forget their produce of eringo, samphire, fine flate, and marble. But their chief metal and manufacture is tin. When the ore is brought above ground in the stone, it is broke with hammers, and then carried to the stamping mills, which make it ready for other mills, whereby it is ground to powder. After it is washed and cleared from earth, &c. it is melted at the blowing-houses into pigs of three or four hundred weight, marked with the owner's name, and the value is set upon it at the coining-house, where it is affayed, to know what it is worth. The times for coining or making it, are Midsummer and Michaelmas; and for such as have not their tin then ready, there is a post-coinage at Lady-day and Chriltmas. The stamp is, the seal of the duchy of Cornwal. The tinners are regulated by Stannary laws, so called from stannum, the Latin word for tin; and the trials of their causes are by juries, returned by the mayors of the stannary towns; for which purpose, courts are held by the Lord Warden of the stannaries, who has also a deputy. When all the legal duties are satisfied, the tinner may fell his tin where he will; only, if the King, or the Duke of Cornwall, have a mind to be purchasers, they have a right of prc. emption.
The coinage towns are Lelkard, Lest withiel, Truro, Helston, and Pensance; and the tinners are reckoned at least 100,000.
The mundic, in which the tin lies as in its bed, yields such a quantity of lapis calami. naris, for making brass, that instead of importing copper and brass, which yearly here tofore did amount to 100,000l. they now export as much, if not more.
In this county also is carried on a great trade for pilchards, which are caught be. tween July and November, of which the merchants export valt quantities to foreign markets, and for which they fit them by fuming, pressing, and pickling : These are falted but not gutted, the entrails being reckoned the best part; and, after having been piled in heaps in a cellar for ten days, and pressed, to drain off the superfluous moisture of the blood and salt, they are barrelled up with pickle, for France; but without it, for Spain, Italy, and other hotter countries.
We pass through this county into Devonshire, travelling eastward; which being not so much incompassed with the sea, is of a more pure air ; and both the roads are better, and the Toil more fruitful; though Devonshire has many both hills and woods.
Its commodities are corn, cattle, wool, &c. and its manufactures, kerses, ferges, druggets, perpetuanas, long-ells, shalloons, narrow cloths, &c. as also bonelace.
That part called the South-hams is famous for its noble rough cyder : In other parts of it mines of tin have been formerly discovered in such abundance, that in King John's time the coinage of Devonshire was set to farm for 100l. a-year, when Cornwall paid but 66). 185. 4d.; and it has four stannary towns, with as many stannary courts, and towns of coinage; which are Plympton, Tavistock, Ashburton, and Chagford; but there is very little tin dug in this country now.
Veins of loadstone are found here, which I was told, a learned naturalist says generally run east and west, contrary to the received opinion, that the loadstone gave a a northerly direction; because its natural position in the mine is supposed to be north and south. Here are quarries of good stone for building, and also of fate for covering houses ; and of the latter great quantities are exported.
Proceeding still eastward, we entered the pleasant and fruitful county of Dorset, or Dorsetshire, which not only produceth great plenty of corn, pasture, cattle, wild fowl and filh, but hemp and flax; and great quantities of cloth are made here, both woollen and linen. Nor can any shire match its plenty of excellent stone in the quarries at Portland and Purbeck, in the last of which marble has been dug up sometimes); and from Blacknore Forest may be brought sufficient timber to serve the whole county: And what a conveniency this is to the inhabitants, appears, from the elegance of the buildings, not only of the gentlemen's seats, but in their towns. Many kinds of earth, that are useful, are dispersed up and down the county : particularly, the best tobacco pipe-clay, which, as I was told, would sell at London for 30s. a-ton.
From hence we travelled into Somerselshire, so called from its being the warmest county in the whole island of Britain. It is a very rich, plentiful, populous and pleafant county, famous among the graziers for its large sheep and oxen; and among merchant-adventurers, for its commodious havens. But the roads in winter are very foul and bad for travellers.
It abounds with grain of all kinds, of which it supplies home and foreign markets with vast quantities. Its hills afford mines of coal, lead, and copper. Wood thrives here, as well as in any shire in the kingdom; and teazles (a sort of thistles used by the cloth-dressers) grow scarce any where else. Ocre is dug up, on and about Mendip hills; and of lapis calaminaris (without which, and copper, there is no making of brass) more is dug up here than in all the kingdom besides. As this county is rich in pasture, no wonder it yields such great quantities of cheese, of which the best and biggest in England are made, at Chedder, and reckoned as good as Parmesan; and it is worthy both the observation and imitation of such as desire to excel in this branch of trade, that the whole milk of the parish is, by the agreement of the parishioners, preserved for the making of it. Its oxen are as large as those of Lancashire and Lincoln. fhire ; and the grain of the flesh is said to be finer. Its vales feed and fatten a prodigious number of sheep, and of the largest size. Its mastiff dogs are the boldest of all others of the kind at baiting the bull, a sport in which the ruder sort of people among them, and some of the low-bred gentry, take perhaps too much delight, as well here, as in other parts of this nation.
All sorts of cloth is manufactured here; as broad and narrow kerseys, druggets, serges, duroys and shalloons, together with stockings and buttons; and in the southeast parts of the shire are made great quantities of linen. The value of the woollen manufacture alone here, in the first hands, has been rated at a million a-year; and if a calculation was made of its other manufactures : and its produce by mines, tillage, feeding, grazing, dairies, &c. it would undoubtedly exceed any county of the kingdom in riches, both natural and acquired, Yorkshire not excepted; due allowance being made