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.

A Prigger of Prauncers. Cap. 6.

A Prigger of Prauncers be horse stealers, for to prigge signifieth in their language to steale, & a Prauncer is a horse, so being put togither, the matter was playn. These go commonly in Ierkins of leather or of whyt fréese, & cary little wands in their hands, and wil walke through grounds and pastures, to search and sée horses méete for their purpose, and if they chaunce to be met & asked by the own∣ners of the ground what they make there, they fayne strayghte that they haue lost their way and desire to be instructed the best waye to such a place. These will also repayre to gentlemens houses & aske their charitie and will offer their seruice. And if you aske thē what they can doe, they will say that they can kepe two or three Geldings and wayte vpon a Gentleman. These haue also their women that walking from them in other places, marke where and what they sée abroade, and sheweth these Priggars therof, whē they méet, which is within a weeke or two, and looke where they steale any thinge, they conuey the same at the least thrée score myles of or more.

¶ There was a Gentleman, a very friend of myne, ryding from London homeward into Kent, hauinge wyth in thrée myles of hys house businesse, alyghted of his horse, and his man also, in a pretye Page  [unnumbered] village, where diuers houses were, and looked about him where he might haue a conuenient person to walke his horse, because hee would speake wt a Farmer that dwelt on the backe side of the sayde villag litle aboue a quarter of a myle from the place where he ligh∣ted and had his man to waight vpon him as it was mete for his cal∣linge, espying a Priggar there standing, thinking the same to dwel there, charging this prety prigging person to walke his horse well, and that they might not stand still for taking of colde, and at his re∣turne (which he said should not be longe) he would giue him a peny to drinke, and so went about his busines. This pelting Priggar, proud of his praye, walketh his horse vp and downe, tyll hee sawe the Gentleman out of sight, and eapes him into the saddell, and a∣way he goeth a mayne. This Gentleman returninge, and fynding not his horses, sent his man to the one end of the village, & he went himselfe vnto the other end and enquired as he went for his horses that were walked and began somewhat to suspecte, bicause neither he nor his man could sée nor find him. Then this getleman diligent∣ly enquired of three or foure town dwellers there, whether any such person, declaring his stature, age, apparell, with so many linaments of his body as he could call to remembrance. And vna voce all sayde that no such man dwelt in their streat, neither in the parish that thei knew of, but somy did wel remember that such a one ••ey saw ther lyrking and huggering twoo houres before the Gentleman came thither and a straunger to them. I had thought quoth this Gentle∣man, he had here dwelled and marched home manerly in his botes far from the place he dwelt not. I suppose at his comming home he sent such wayes as he suspected or thought méete to searche for thys Prigger, but hetherto he neuer hard any tydings againe of his pal∣freys. I had the best gelding stolen out of my pasture that I had a∣mongst others, whyle this booke was fi•• a printing.