A caueat o[r warening, for [?]] common cursetor[s vulgarely called [?]] vagabones, set forth by Tho[mas Harman, Esquier, for the [?]] vtilitie and profit of his natur[all countrey. Newly augmented and [?] en]larged by the first author [...] the tale of the second ta[...] crank, with the true [...]or, and also his puni[...] dissembling, most [...] hearer or reader [...]
Harman, Thomas, fl. 1567.
Page  [unnumbered]

A counterfet Cranke. Cap. 11.

THese that do counterfet the Cranke be yong knaues and yonge harlots, that déeply dissemble the falling sicknes. For the Crank in their language is the fallinge euill, I haue séene some of these with fayre writings testimonials, with the names and eales of sme men of worship in Shropshyre, and in other Shires farre of, that I haue wel known and haue taken the same from them. Many of these do go without writings, and will go halfe naked, and looke most pitiously. And if any clothes be giuen them they immediately sell the same, for weare it they will not, because they would be the more pitied, and we are filthy clothes on their heads, and neuer goe without a péece of whyte sope about them, which if they sée cause or present gayn, they will priuely conuay the same into their mouth, & so worke the same there, that they will fome as it were a Boore, and maruelosly for a tyme torment them selues, and thus deceiue they the common people, and gayne much. These haue commonly their harlots as the other.

¶ Uppon Alhallonday in the morning last Anno Domini 1566. or my boke was halfe printed, I meane the first impression, there came earely in the morninge a counterfet Cranke vnder my lodginge at the whyte Fryers within the cloyster, in a little yard or court wher¦abouts lay two or thre great Ladyes, being without the liberties of London, wherby he hoped for the greatter gayne: this Cranke there lamentably lamenting, and pitifully crying to be relieued, declared to diuers there his paynful and miserable disease. I being rysen and not halfe ready, hard his dolful words and ruful mournings, hear i him name the fallen sicknes, thought assuredlye to my selfe, that hée was a depe desembler: so comming out at a sodayne, and beholding his ougly and yrksome attyre, his lothsom and horible coūtinance, it made me in a maruelous perplexity what to think of him, whether it were fained or trueth for after this maner went he: he was naked from y wast vpward, sauing he had an old Ierkin of leather, patched and that was lose about him, that all his bodye lay out bare a filthy soul cloth he ware on his head, being cut for the purpose, hauing a na¦row place to put out his face, wt a bauer made to trusse vp his beard, and a string that tyed the same down close about his necke, with an old felt hat which he still caried in his hand, to receyue the charitye and deuotion of the people, for that would he hold out from him, ha∣uing his face from the eyes downward, all smerd with fresh bloud, Page  [unnumbered] as though he had new fallen, and bin tormented with his paynefull panges, his ierken being all berayde with durte and myre, and hys harte and hosen also, as thoughe hée hadde wallowed in the myer: surely the sight was monstrous and terrible. I called him vnto me and demaunded of him what he ayled. A good maister, quoth he, I haue the gréeuous and payneful disease called the falling sickenes: why, quoth I, how commeth thy ierkin, hose and hat so berayd wyth durt and myer, and thy skin also? A good maister I fell down on the backesyde here in a fowle lane harde by the water syde, and there I laye almost all night, and haue bled all moste all the bloude out in my body. It raynd that morninge very faste: and whyle I was thus talking with him, a honest poore woman that dwelt thereby, brou∣ght him a fayre lynnen cloth, and bid hym wype his face therewith, and there being a tobbe standing full of rayn water, offered to giue him some in a dishe, that he might make himselfe cleane, he refuseth the same: why dost thou so quoth I? A syr saith he, if I shoulde washe my selfe, I should fall to bleding a fresh agayne, and then I shoulde not stop my selfe: these words made me the more to suspecte hym.

Then I asked of him where he was born, what his name was, how long he had this disease, and what time he had ben here about Lon∣don, and in what place syr (sayth he) I was borne at Leycestar, my name is Nicholas Genings, and I haue had this falling sicknes viij yeares, and I can get no remedy for the same, for I haue it by kind, my father had it and my friends before mee, and I haue bene these two yeares here about London, and a yere and a half in Bethelem: why wast thou out of thy wittes, quoth I? yea syr that I was.

What is the kepers name of the house? his name is (quoth he) Iohn Smith then quoth I, hée muste vnderstande of thy disease, if thou hadest the same for the time thou wat there, he knoweth it wel, ye not only he, but all the house besyde, quoth this Cranke, for I came thens but within this fortnight. I had stand so longe reasoning the matter with him, that I was a cold and went into my chamber and made me ready, and commaunded my seruant to repayr to bethlem and bring me true word from the kéeper there, whether anye suche man hath ben with him as a prisoner, hauing the disease aforesayd, and gaue him a noe of his name & the kéepers also: my seruant re∣turning to my lodging, dyd assure me that neyther was there euer any such man there, neither yet any keper of any suche name, but hee that was the kéeper sent mée his name in writing, affirminge that he letteth no man depart from him, vnlesse he be fet aways by Page  [unnumbered] his friendes, and that none that came from him begged aboute the Citie: then I sent for the Printer of this booke, and shewed him of this dissembling Crank, and how I had sent to Bethelem to vnder∣stand the trth, and what aunsweare I receiued againe, requiringe him that I might haue some seruant of his to watch him faythfully that daye, that I might vnderstand trustely to what place he would repaire at night vnto, and thyther I promysed to goe my selfe, to see their order, and that I would haue him to associate me thyther: hée gladly graunted to my request, and sent two boyes that bothe dili∣gently & vigilantly, accomplisht the charge giuen them, & found the same Cranke about the Temple, where about the most parte of the day he begged, vnlesse it were abou xii. of the clocke, hee wente on the backsyde of Clementes Ine without Temple barre, there is a lane that goeth into the Fieldes, there hée renewed his face agayne with freshe bloud, which he caried about him in a bladder, and daw∣bed on fresh dyrte vpon his, ierken, hat and hosen.

And so came backe agayne vnto the Temple, and sometyme to the Water syde, and begged of all that passed by: the boyes behelde how some gaue grotes, some sire pence, some gaue more: for hée looked so ougley and yrksomly, that euery one pitied his miserable case that beheld him: to be shorte, there he passed all the daye tyll night approched and when it began to be some what dark, he went to the water syde and toke a Skoller, and was set ouer the water into Saincte Georges fieldes, contrary to my expectation: for I had thought he would haue gonne into Holborne, or to saynt Gylles in the field: but these boyes with (Argues and Lynces tyes) sette sure watch vppon him, and the one toke a Boate and followed him, and the other went back to tell his maister.

The boy that so folowed him by water, had no money to pay for his boate hyre, but layd his Penner and his nckhorne to gage for a penny, and by that tyme the boye was set ouer: his maister wyth all celeritie had taken a Boate and followed him a pace. Now had they a syght still of the Cranke, whiche crossed ouer the fieldes to∣wardes Newington, and thither the went, & by that time they came thether, it was very darke. The Printer had there no acquaintance, neyther any kinde of weapon about him, neyther knewe he howe farre the Cranke would goe, because hee then suspected that they dogged him of purpose, hee there stayed him, and called for y Con∣stable, which came foorth diligently, to inquire what the matter was. This zelous Printer charged this officer with him as a ma∣lefactor, Page  [unnumbered] and a dissembling vagabond: the Constable woulde haue layd him all night in the Cage that stode in the streat: nay saith this pytyfull Printer, I pray you haue him into your house, for this is lyke to be a cold night and he is naked, you kepe a vittelling house, let him be well cherished this night, for he is well able to paye for the same, I knowe well his gaynes hath ben great to day, and your house is a sufficient pryson for the tyme, and we will there searche him: the Constable agreed thereunto, they hadde him in and caused him to washe himself: that done, they demaunded what money hée had about him, sayth this Cranke, so God helpe me I haue but xij. pence, and plucked out the same of a little purse. Why haue you no more quoth they? no sayth this Cranke, as God shall saue my soule at the day of iudgment. We must sée more quoth they and began to strip him, then he plucked out another purse wherein was xl. pence. Tush sayth this Printer I must sée more, this Cranke sayth, I pray God I be damned both body and soule, if I haue any more: No saith this Printer, thou false knaue here is my boye that did watch thée al this day, and sawe when suche men gaue thée péeces of sire pence, grots and other money, and yit thou hast shewed vs none but smal money. When this Cranke heard this, and the boy vowing it to his face, he relented and plucked out another purse wherein was eight shillings & od money, so had they in the whole that he had begged y day. xiij. shillings iij. pence half peny: then they stript him starke na∣ked, and as many as saw him, sayd they neuer saw hansommer mā, with a yellow fleren beard, and fayre skinned without any spot or greffe, then the good wyfe of the hause fet her goodmans old cloke, and caused the same to be cast about him, because the sight shoulde not abashe her shamefast maydens, nether loth hir squaimish sight. Thus he set him downe at the Chemnes end, and called for a pot of Béere and dranke of a quart at a drafte, and called for another, and so the third, that one had ben sufficient for any reasonable man: the drynk was so stronge, that I my self the next morning tasted therof, but let the reader iudge what, and how much he would haue dronke if he had bene out of fear. Then when they had thus wrong water out of a flint, in spoylīg him to his euill gottē goods, his passing pence & fleting trashe. The Printer with this officer were in ioly ioylitie, and deuised to search a barne for som roges, & vpright men, a quar∣ter of a myle from the house, that stode alone in the fieldes, & wente out about their busines, leauing this cranke alone with hys wyfe & maydens: this crafty Crāk espying al gon, requested y good wife that Page  [unnumbered] he might go out on the backsyde to make water and to exonerat his pa••ch, sh had him draw the atch of the doore & go out, neither thin king or mistrusting he would haue gone away naked: but to cōclude

when e was out, he cast away the cloke, and as naked as euer he was born he ran a¦way ouer the fields to his own house, as hée afterward said. Now ye next morning beti∣mes I wente vnto Newingtō to vnderstand what was do because I had worde or it was day ye there my printer was, & at my comming thither I harde ye whole cir∣cūstance, as I aboue haue written: and I seeing the matter so fal out, toke order wt the chief of ye parish ye this xiij shillings & iij. pence halfpeny might he the next day equally distributed by their good discretions to the pouertie of the same parish, wherof this crafty cranck had part him selfe, for he had both house and wife in the same parishe, as after you shall heare. But this iewde lewterar could not laye his bones to la∣bour hauing got once the tast of this lewed laysy lyfe, for al this fayr admonition but deuised other suttell sleights to maintaine his ydell liuing, and so craftely clothed him selfe in Mariners apparel, and a∣sociated him self with another of his companions, they hauing both Mariners apparel, went abroad to aske charity of y people, fayning they hadde loste their shippe with all their goods by casualty on the seas, wherewith they gayned much. This crafty Cranke fearing to be mistrusted, fell to another kinde of begging as bad or worse, & apparelled himselfe very well with a fayre black fréese cote, a new payre of whyte hose, a fyne felt hat on his head, a shert of flaunders worke, esteemed to be worth xvi. shillings: and vpon newe yeares day came againe into the whyt fryers to beg: the Printer hauingPage  [unnumbered] occason to go that ways, not thinking of this Cranke, by chaunce met with him who asked his charitie for Gods sake: the printer vew¦ing him well did mistrust him, to be the counterfet Cranke which deceiued him vpon Alhollen daye at night, demaunded to whence he was and what was his name, forsoth saith he, my name is Nicolas Genings, and I came from Lecester to séekeworke, and I am a hat maker by my occupation, and all my money is spent, and if I coulde get money to paye for my lodging this night: I would seke work to¦morowe amongst the hatters. The printer perceiuing his depe dissi¦mulation putting his hand into his purse seeming to giue him some money, and with fayre allusons brought him into the stréete, where he charged the Constable with him, affirminge him to be the coun∣terfet Cranke that ranne away vpon Alholon daye last. The Con∣stable being very loth to medle with him, but the printer knowing him and his depe disceit, desyred he mought be brought before the Debutie of the ward, which straight was accomplished, which whē he came before the debuy, he demaunded of him of whence he was and what was his name, he answered as before he did vnto ye prin∣ter: the Debutie asked the Printer what he woulde laye vnto hys charge, he answered & aleged him to be a vagabond and depe decey∣uer of the people, and the counterfet Crank that ran away vpon Al∣hallon day last from the Constable of Newington and him, and re∣quested him earnestly to send him to ward: the debuty thinking him to be deceiued, but neuerthelesse laid his cōmaundement vpon him, so that the Printer should beare his charges if he could not iustifie it he agréed thereunto. And so he and the Constable went to cary him to the Counter, and as they were going vnder Ludgate, this crafty Crank toke his héeles & ran down the hill as fast as he could dryue, the Constable and the Printer after him as fast as they coulde, but the Printer of ye twayn being lighter of fote, ouertoke him at fleete bridge, and with strong hand caried him to the Counter, and safely deliuered him. In ye morow ye printer sent his boy that stripped him vpon Alhalon day at night to view him because he would be sure, which boy knew him very well: this Crank confessed vnto the De∣buty, ye he had hosted the night before in Kent stréet in Southwarke at the signe of the Cock, which thing to be true, the printer sente to know & found him a lyer, but further, inquiring at length found out his habitation, dwelling in maister Hilles rentes, hauinge a pretye house well stuffed with a fayre ioyne table, and a fayre Cubbard garnished with peuter, hauing an old auncient woman to his wife. Page  [unnumbered] The Printer being sure therof, repaired vnto the Counter, and re∣buked him for his beastly behauiour, & told him of his false fayning, willed him to confesse it and aske forgiuenes: he perceyued him to know his depe dissimulation, relented and confessed all his disceit, & so remayning in the counter thrée dayes, was remoued to Brydwel where he was stript starke naked, and his ougly attyre put vpō him before the maisters thereof, who wondred greatly at his dissimula∣tion: for which offence he stode vpon the Pillery in Cheapsyde, both in his ougly and handsome attyre. And after that went in the myll whyle his ougly picture was a drawing, and then was whypped at a Cartes tayle through London, and his displayd banner caried be∣fore him, vnto his own doore, and so backe to Bryde well again, and their remayned for a time, & at length let at libertie on that condiciō he would proue an honest man and labour truly to get his liuing. And his picture remayneth in Brydewell for a monyment.