The resitall by D. Cooper, forth of his booke, Thesaurus lin∣guae Romeo & 〈…〉 of Britaine.
BRitayne the most noble Ile of the worlde,* wherein be contayned Eng∣londe, and Scotlande. It lyeth from Germany, West: from Fraunce and Spaine, West Northwest. The forme therof is lyke a Triangle: the length is extended into the North to the further∣most part of Scotland, called Calidonia, which Plinius, Solinus & Martianus do agrée to be 800. miles. The bredth of it after Martianus, is 300. Italian miles. The narrowest distaunce betwéene this Ile and Callis sands (called of Plinye, Gessoriacum in Gallia) is 50. Italian miles, it is now gessed to be 30. English miles. Of ye first naming of this Ile, is yet no certain determination: forasmuch, as there remaineth no auncient Historie making thereof remembrance, the olde Britaine bookes (such as were) being all destroyed by the Saxons: who indeuo∣red themselues to extinct (or blot out) vtterlye, the honourable renowme, with the name of Britones, lyke as ye Goshs dealt with the Romanes. Also the parte of Titus Liuius, where the Conquest of Britaine is remembred, with the Histo∣ries of Iulius Rusticus, and diuers o∣ther noble Writers, that wrote special∣lye of this Countrey, are vtterly perish∣ed.
Such as remaine, as the Commen∣taryes of Iulius Caesar, Cornelius Ta∣citus, Diodorus Siculus, and they that wrote of Cosmographie, haue omitted the originall beginning of the name.
The Historye of Gyldas the Briton can not be founde, who was after the Saxons had inuaded this Realme: and therefore might lacke such Bookes, as should best instruct him. As for Beda sée∣meth to haue séene nothing written of that matter. For where he sayeth, that this Ile tooke the name Britania, of the inhabitants of Britayne in Fraunce, it is nothing lyke to be true: For that Countrey, was (not long before the time of Beda) named, Armorica, and Armoricus Tractus, when this Ile was called of most auncient Wri∣ters, Brittania, and (as Solinus wri∣teth) séemed to be another worlde, Page 219 forasmuch as the West parte of Gallia, was thought to be the vttermost parte of this world. Also Iulius Caesar wri∣teth, that the places of this Ile were vnknowen to French men, sauing to a fewe Merchaunts: and yet they knew no farther, than the Sea Coaste next toward Fraunce. Moreouer the same Britons affirme, that it was lefte a∣mong them in remembraunce, that the innermost part of the countrey, was in∣habited of them, which had their first be∣ginning in the same Ile. This well con∣sidered, with the authoritie of the Wri∣ter, both an excellent Prince, and also a great learned man, and •o•s himselfe in this Ile, it is not to be doubted, but that he most diligently searched for the• true knowledge of the •uncientie thereof, &c. And yet, because this Ile, excelled all the other in euery condition, it was of some priuately called Albion, that is to saye, more happie or richer. This coniecture, approcheth more nigh ye true similitude, than the other mentions, except there be any auncient historie, before the time of Gefferie of Monmoth or Beda, which may more probably consute that I haue declared: to such will I gladlye giue place.
Finallye, I thought it alwayes more honoroble, to haue receiued the first name by such occasion as I haue reher∣sed, and the generation of the Inhabi∣tants of this lande, to be either equall with ye most auncient, or mixed with ye most wise & valiant people of Greece, vanquishers & subduers, of Troians, thē to take the name & first generation of a vaine Fable, or of a man, if any such were, which after he had slaine his Fa∣ther, wandred about ye world vncertaine where so dwell. Also to aduaunt vs to come of the Troy•ns,•anisers of their awne countries destruction, by fauola∣ring the adulterye of P••ée and Helena. Of whome soeuer procéeded anye other notable monument, but that they were also breakers of their oath and promise• Yet this follye is founde almost in all people, which contend to ••aetheir P•• genitours comes first from Troy• which fantasie maye well be laughed at among wise men. The faith of Christ was first receyued in this realme, after the incar∣nation. 156. yeares.
Britaine or Brutaine, which by two names is called Englande and Scot∣lande, is an Ilande in the Occean sea, sertuate right ouer against Fraunce.
One part of which Ile, Englishmen do inhabite, another parte Scottes: the thirde, Welsh men: the fourth parte, Cor•eth men. All they, either in lan∣guage, condition, or lawes, doe differ a∣mong themselues. Iohn Stowe in his description of England, &c.
The chiefest Citie is London, stan∣ding in Middlesex, on the North side of the Riuer of Tamise, over which Ri∣uer, is a great Bridge placed, of stone hauing buyldings verye rare, and mer∣uailous, &c.
Englande is fruitefull of Beastes, and aboundeth with Cattell, whereby the Inhabitaunts be rather for the most parte, Grasiers than Plough men, because they giue themselues more to féeding, than to fillage.
The originall from Brute, of the Realme of England, (notwithstanding Lanquer yéeldeth not that it was vn∣inhabited when Brute arriued (after common Historyes,) the yeare of the worlde, •855. and the yeare before the incarnation .1108.
Whereof after Brute, Locrine, hée hadde the middle parte of Britaine, nowe called Englande, with the superi∣oritie of all this Ile: vnto Camber hée gaue Wales, and to Albauact Scot∣land, &c.