'There are verie few Englishmen that know, bicause we want the books':

On English Descriptions of Scotland Before and After 1603

FRAUKE REITEMEIER

UNIVERSITY OF GΦTTINGEN

  1. 'To saie the truth, it is much vnfitting for him that professeth Diuinitie, to applie his time any otherwise vnto contemplation of ciuill histories' (Harrison 1808b, [i]). This is how William Harrison excuses himself to his patron for having 'wasted' his time on writing a geographical description of Scotland in 1577. He has a good reason, though: 'the knowledge therof may redound to the great benefit of so manie as read or heare the same' (Harrison 1808b, [ii]), and for this reason alone has he undertaken the task – since 'there are verie few Englishmen that know, bicause we want the books' (Harrison 1808b, [ii]). It is a scarcity of books, then, on which Harrison lays the blame for his fellow literate Englishmen's scanty knowledge of Scotland. He goes on to do his part to remedy the alleged lack by prefixing his description to the Scottish section of the book commonly called 'Holinshed's Chronicles'. Some twenty-six years later, James VI, King of this largely unknown Scotland, becomes King of England and the question arises: What does the educated Englishman know about Scotland at this moment in time? The question is of course difficult to answer as not all knowledge finds its way into books or other manuscript or printed sources. The extent of knowledge would differ regionally, too. Englishmen along the coast, for example, where there were good trading relations with Scotland (Palliser 1983, 282), would know other things and have different ideas and opinions about the Scots than, say, Englishmen in Devon, to whom Scotland possibly was little more than a term. In order to attempt an answer, however, the question could be rephrased: What could an educated Englishmen learn about Scotland from books, if he wanted to? Harrison laments a lack of knowledge in 1577 due to a scarcity of suitable English sources. Is the situation really as bad as he makes it out to be, or is it just a rhetorical device on the author's part? And if he is right in his judgement, has the situation changed by 1603?

  2. The investigation of the range and nature of information on Scotland that could be found by 1603 in English books will form the centre of this essay, with a view to determine whether James's accession had any impact on the amount and correctness of knowledge about Scotland. To that end, a short overview will first show how Scotland was presented in English books prior to 1603. The analysis then follows of one text in particular that was published before and after 1603 in two different editions, which will demonstrate how far the Scottish origin of the new King had any influence on English authors and their images of Scotland, before finally permitting some more general conclusions as to the attitudes of English authors and the impact of James's accession on them.

    I

  3. Anybody interested in learning about foreign countries had few books to choose from in the sixteenth century. Books specifically dedicated to imparting information on a country's geography, economy, politics and religion – such as today's almanacs – had not been invented. It is true that the Renaissance had brought a new interest in geography, especially in geographic measurements (Wilford 1981, 95-99), and accordingly a new genre was developed for texts that introduce the reader to the principles of astronomy, geography, and surveying (Klein 2001, ch. 2). Some of these, like William Cuningham's Cosmographical Glasse of 1559, also contain basic facts on several countries. Cuningham's book consists mainly of didactic dialogues that are meant to help readers understand and use astronomy and mathematics for geographical computations.

  4. It is only in the fifth and rather short part of the text that descriptions of any kind follow. They are announced in a comparatively grand way, stating that 'Regions, Prouinces, Ilandes, Cities, Townes, Villages, Hilles: also the commodities of euerye Countrye, the natures of th'Inhabitauntes, Lawes, Rightes, and Customes' will be 'exactlye described' (Cuningham 1559, 168). The title is misleading, though; the 'exact descriptions' contain only very basic facts, as the entry on Edinburgh shows: 'Edenbrugh [sic] called Alata castra is the chief Citie in all Scotlande. 17.15.59.20.' (Cuningham 1559, 175.) Cuningham is well aware that this is a very important piece of information. To underline it, the entry is especially emphasized by using a larger font size and by placing a stylized arrow in front of it. Yet the information as such is well-nigh cryptic in its brevity, at least to modern readers, since Edinburgh lies on the mainland, and travellers would naturally use the main roads to reach the city. Yet in sixteenth-century Scotland even the high roads were little more than tracks (Lythe 1975, 67), and there were few signposts (Wilson 1984, 43). Cuningham points out what uses could be made of the latitude and longitude in navigation, especially at sea; of course travellers could also use the technique to find their way around. Besides, knowing one's latitude and longitude can also help in determining the time of day, and to predict the movements of the stars.

  5. Not everything is dealt with in such a summary way; Cuningham's entry on London is six times as long. This may be hardly surprising given the pride Englishmen felt for their, in many ways extraordinary, capital city (Lenman 1977, 33 f.). Edinburgh, however, had roughly 30,000 inhabitants and was thus comparable in size to England's second largest city, Bristol (Lenman 1977, 33). Cuningham's Cosmographical Glasse is a typical example of late sixteenth-century textbooks on geography. Readers interested in a comprehensive description of a country will be disappointed; anybody searching for facts on Scotland in particular will find nothing helpful.

  6. Largely the same applies to the also relatively new genre of geographical encyclopedia-style dictionaries, like John Thorie's Theatre of the Earth. The book does not contain any didactic passages on astronomy and measurement; instead, it alphabetically lists short passages on towns, cities, all sorts of geographical features, and countries in general. Thorie's book explicitly addresses 'all such as delight to be acquainted with the knowledge of strange countries, and the scituation thereof, and especially [. . .] travellers' (Thorie 1601, titlepage). Relevant, though brief, information could be expected, then. As far as Scotland is concerned, though, Thorie is often sadly misinformed, partly even completely ignorant of the subject he treats of. The entry on the Scots runs: 'Scoti, The people of Scotland, who in old times past did feed on mans flesh, as S. Ierome and S. Chrisostome affirme' (Thorie 1601, [Bb4]r). Thorie presents a Scotland to his readers that is inhabited by a savage people, formerly man-eaters, today only slightly more civilized: 'They that dwell on this side the South part of the said hill, are very ciuile people, and speake the English tongue, or at least a tongue not much different from our tongue, but they that inhabite the north part of Grampius, are wilde sauage people in life and language, much like the wild Irish' (Thorie 1601, [Bb4]r). Especially in the north people are little better than the Irish, then, which is tantamount to being barbarians. 1 Apart from that, virtually no useable facts are mentioned: nothing on economy, agriculture, the riches or poverty of people and countryside alike, on religion or politics. Scotland as a country is merely described as situated in the northern part of Britain, internally divided by the 'hil Grampius' (Thorie 1601, [Bb4]r) – nothing more is said. The book also contains entries on several Scottish islands, all of them only partly correct and exceedingly basic.

  7. The geographically-oriented genres of the sixteenth century, then, are rather unhelpful to Englishmen interested in obtaining hard facts on Scotland. They give little useable information in the first place; and what information they contain is usually either outdated – as the recurrent reference to St Chrysostom illustrates – or simply wrong. Some sort of remedy to this ignorance could be found in other genres, though, most notably in historiographical texts.

  8. Two different books deserve to be mentioned in this context. One is what is commonly referred to as 'Holinshed's Chronicles' of 1577 and 1587 respectively, the other William Camden's Britannia of 1586. Both of them contain descriptions of Scotland that are more than just two or three pages in length, and since both of them were published in folio, they contain far more information on Scotland than any of the other texts. There is one difference, though: Holinshed's Chronicles was published in English, Camden's Britannia in Latin, and it was only the second edition of 1607, considerably enlarged and corrected, that was to be translated into English by Philemon Holland in 1610. Until 1603, Camden's text was therefore only available to the Latin-speaking reading public. Since this investigation is restricted to English-language texts, it will not be dealt with any further in this context. 2

  9. Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland treat of the several countries separately, prefixing the narration of historical events with a description of the country in question. The section on Scotland is by the same William Harrison quoted at the beginning, but he is merely the translator, not the actual author of the text. Many deficiencies in his descriptions of England and Scotland are directly related to his disinclination to travel (Booth 1968, 20 et passim); Harrison has little first-hand knowledge about the countries he describes. In fact, at the time of publication of the Scottish section Harrison's text is already some fifty years old: Harrison has turned the descriptive parts of John Bellenden's 1535 Chronicle of Scotland into English (Booth 1968, 31), fully aware that Bellenden himself has translated Hector Boece's Scotorum historia libri of 1526 into Scots (Harrison 1808b, [ii]). Neither Bellenden nor Harrison himself have added or corrected anything, as far as factual information is concerned. 3 The reader of Holinshed's Scottish description, then, is presented with an already in some parts outdated image of Scotland, which is not corrected even in the considerably enlarged second edition of 1587 (Booth 1968, 59).

  10. Harrison sets about describing Scotland by dividing the country into the different shires. His main interest lies in the geographic and economic situations of the counties, on their respective suitability for agriculture, farming or cattle-breeding, and in the richness of the soil with respect to minerals and ore. Occasionally monasteries or places of pilgrimage are mentioned, though not very often. A comparison of Harrison's to Bellenden's text reveals that Harrison follows his original quite closely, only occasionally inserting short comments of his own. 4 Scotland is presented to the reader as a mainly rural country with a large population – or at least that is the conclusion the reader is left to draw from the many heads of cattle that Harrison mentions – but with few large settlements. Towns are hardly alluded to, and the same applies to trade and crafts. A country so actively interested in promoting and increasing her trade as England therefore must necessarily have felt superior by far to backward Scotland. Even as far as education is concerned, Scotland is shown to be behindhand. Of the three medieval Scottish universities – Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrews – only two are mentioned in passing, which hints at their relative insignificance, at least in the author's eyes. 5 That the existence of a university meant there was a sizeable community to support that university (Fletcher 1995, 39) may of course have been clear to Harrison's contemporary readers. Harrison himself certainly does not point it out; he does not even seem to know.

  11. So, in 1603, the educated Englishman interested in gaining information about Scotland from printed English sources would get roughly this impression: Scotland has hardly more than one notable city, which is at the same time its capital. Its soil is generally poorer than in England and the ground is only suitable for cattle farming. The Scots are poor as they do not trade; they are credulous and superstitious, not least because they still worship saints; and indeed they are little more than barbarians, having no history to speak of, no renowned places of education, and obviously neither a literature nor otherwise a culture of their own. There is little enough in such an image to attract Englishmen in 1603. Though at least some of the basic facts are correct, the overall picture is one-sided as far as the choice of facts is concerned and partly even out-dated. Yet it is doubtful whether contemporaries would have noticed and disapproved of that.

    II

  12. Apart from Camden's Britannia, none of the texts was published in an enlarged or corrected edition after 1603, most likely because they were regarded mainly as works of reference. The first book to be used as a geographical textbook, however, went through several editions, each of them corrected, some of them enlarged. It was used at Oxford University, introduced by its author, George Abbot.

  13. Abbot was the son of a Canterbury clothworker. He received his elementary training at the free grammar school of Guildford and went on to enrol in Balliol College, Oxford, finally receiving his doctor in divinity there in 1597. Like his other family members he was a firm Protestant, which would have given him access to Puritan networks at Oxford. He soon attracted the interest of several members of the English nobility, which led to his nomination as Dean of Winchester in 1599/1600, in addition to his other posts at Oxford University. After the accession of James I in 1603, Abbot also made personal contacts with the Royal household and the King himself, not least by attending the Hampton Court conference of 1604 where he was named one of the committee to revise the older translation of the Bible. This and other services led to his appointment as Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield in 1609, and one year later to his promotion to the archbishopric of Canterbury. All in all, Abbot was not only a learned man with considerable rhetorical abilities as well as a staunch adherent of the reformed church, but he seems to have been a man of some travelling experience and diplomatic skills.

  14. The first edition of his Brief Description of the Whole World was chiefly written for his students at Balliol College in 1599, but it was soon to become very popular with the English reading public. 6 It is indeed a brief description, numbering all in all only some 63 pages. Britain – meaning both England and Scotland – is not dealt with in a separate section like France or Italy, but in a section dedicated to the insulae septentrionales, the Northern islands; the complete section takes up only three pages.

  15. In the light of what has been said about similar geographically-oriented texts it hardly comes as a surprise that Abbot has very little to say about Scotland as a country. It is, so he says, a kingdom in its own right, not annexed to or incorporated into England. As to the Scots, Abbot has only little more information to give. Even the 'civilized' Scots in the Lowlands cannot properly speak English. According to him, they speak it 'barbarously' (Abbot 1599, [D1]v), a strongly negative comment even in the late sixteenth century (Moore 1910, 15; Knowles 1997, 77 f.); and the uncivilized Scots living on the West coast do not speak any English at all but Irish. Abbot does not elaborate this point any further, but to the reader the implication is clear: The West Coast and Highland Scots are Irish in everything but their places of habitation, and must therefore be regarded as equally 'naturally [. . .] rude and superstitious' (Abbot 1599, [D1]r) as the Irish themselves, a people Abbot presents as completely ignorant even of the simplest measures of farming and agriculture. 7 Abbot does not comment on the qualities of the soil, on agriculture or trade in Scotland, leaving the reader to draw his own conclusions, which will most likely be negative.

  16. This impression is further increased by Abbot's explicit remark on the barbarous past of the Scots: 'The Scots were in times past a most barbarous people. Of whom Saint Ierome reporteth: that he sawe some of them in his time in Fraunce to feede on mans flesh' (Abbot 1599, [D1]v – [D2]r). He does not say that times have changed; instead he uses St Jerome's observation to demonstrate that the Scots have always been exceedingly uncivilized, up to the point of cannibalism. Being savage is not necessarily only a negative trait of character; Abbot goes on to say that the Scots have never been wholly conquered by the Romans. This remark could of course be meant to express that the barbarity of the Scots was the last bulwark against the Roman invasion, showing the Scots to be fierce fighters for freedom. Abbot's consistent use of the word 'barbarous', however, seems to point rather in the direction of another interpretation, meaning that the Scots were so savage and barbarous that not even the Romans with their otherwise outstanding civilizing powers could convert them. The 1599 edition of Abbot's Brief Description, then, gives only a very rough and negative outline of Scotland as a country inhabited by a superstitious, incompetent and utterly uncivilized people. In this, the book does not differ materially from other similarly oriented texts of the late sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth centuries.

  17. Six years later, in 1605, a second edition was published, which shows a substantial increase both in size and substance. The number of pages goes up to 164; large sections are rewritten or at least corrected and amended. As in the earlier edition, Britain is dealt with in the passage on the Northern islands; there is still no separate heading for Britain. This passage also shows an increase: The number of pages rises to 18, the paragraphs concerned with Scotland now take up about one quarter of the whole section compared to two sentences, plus another two on the Hebrides and Orkney, in the 1599 edition. At first glance it seems that much more – and more substantial – information will be found.

  18. The very first sentence points out the great political stability Scotland has enjoyed in the past: 'The Northerne part of Britaine is Scotland, which is a Kingdome in it selfe, and hath been so from very auncient time, without any such conquest, or maine transmutation of state, as hath bin in other Countries' (Abbot 1605, [N2]v). This is followed by geographical information: Scotland, Abbot states, is surrounded on three sides by the sea, on the fourth it is joined to England. Apart from the rough outlines, the author describes Scotland to be divided into two parts, the Highlands and the Lowlands. However, none of the geographically dividing features – the rivers Tweed and Clyde, for example, or the Grampians – are mentioned, nor are Hadrian's or Severus's Wall; Abbot is content to paint a very hazy image. The short characterization of the respective inhabitants of Highlands and Lowlands has been toned down somewhat as far as the heavy stress on the uncivilized state is concerned; but still Abbot's choice of words shows his doubts and mistrust:

    The Lowland is the most ciuill part of that Realme, wherin Religion is more orderly established, and yeeldeth reasonable subiection vnto the King: But the other part, called the Hyeland, which lyeth further to the North, or else bendeth towards Ireland, is more rude and sauage; and whither the King hat not so good accesse, by reason of Rocks and Mountaines, as to bring the Noblemen which inhabite there, to such due conformitie of Religion, or otherwise, as he would. (Abbot 1605, [N2] v)

    With regard to religion, one of the main features of culture to Abbot and his contemporaries, Scotland is not yet quite on a par with England; the Lowlands are only 'more civilized' than the rest of Scotland, and the inhabitants of the North are still rude and savage. This, however, is only due to the difficulties of accessing the Highlands, or at least so Abbot alleges. It is no fault of the King, then, but of the obviously stubborn inhabitants that hide behind natural barriers in order not to change their ways.

  19. The stress Abbot lays on religion in this passage seems somewhat out of place at first sight, since the whole text rarely deals with matters of religion, but the point he makes would have seemed important to his readers. Even before the accession of James I there had been apprehension as to the future king's conduct in religious matters, which had somewhat shifted in focus after the Hampton Court conference of 1604. Abbot was one of James's supporters, himself tending to Calvinist doctrine (Christophers 1966, xv); at the same time he was opposed to the ideas of the more conservative nobility in the north of Scotland (Donaldson 1985, 195 ff.). Religion is therefore used not only to characterize the Lowland Scots as being more civilized – after all, the stronghold of the Scottish reformation was in the Lowlands – but also as a shorthand for the Scots' regionally different views of loyalty to the Crown, as he saw it.

  20. On the whole, Abbot states, Scotland is poorer than England, but of late the economic situation has become better through foreign trade. Interestingly Abbot singles out Spain as Scotland's trading partner, a country whose relations with England were exceedingly difficult, both sides having been engaged in war for several years, but which was important for England's spice imports and had become even more so after Portugal had become a Spanish province in 1581 (Lipson 1931, 270 ff.). There could be a slight attempt at pointing towards possible benefits for England here. If Scotland can trade with Spain, England will in the long run also profit from it in a united Britain. Abbot himself does not draw this conclusion, being very reticent about the implications of his remarks, but it is there in the background.

  21. There is a consensus that Spain was virtually closed to English merchants (Read 1914, 516; Donaldson 1965, 248; Clay 1984, 116). Obviously Scots merchants had occasionally acted as intermediaries for their English counterparts in Spain (Donaldson 1965, 249). But it is difficult to assess how extensive the Scottish trade with Spain really was, as there are few meaningful sources; it was obviously not of very great importance to the Scottish economy (Lythe 1975, 64). Whether the English trade could really improve through the union of the Crowns therefore seems rather doubtful. It is quite possible that Abbot simply wanted to point at the better political relations with Spain that James I had enjoyed during his reign as King of Scotland, which could reflect back to English relations – especially after the recently concluded peace treaty with Spain.

  22. This positive impression of the Scots as a people intent on improving the country's condition is quickly countered, though, by more negative remarks. Apart from their lack of command of the English language which Abbot comments on – in much the same words he used in his earlier edition – implying their still somewhat uncivilized state, he also presents the Scots as quarrelsome troublemakers: In the border country, Abbot reports, 'divers Outlawes and vnruly people' (Abbot 1605, N1r) live who cannot be brought under control. Of course, this reflects on both countries, England and Scotland; yet it is mentioned in the description of Scotland, leaving a bad impression of the Scots in the first place. In any case, the remark is somewhat strange given the fact that there were no borders after the accession of James I, since he considered – and styled – himself as King of Great Britain, and it appears even more so as it is missing in the earlier edition of the text.

  23. Abbot goes on to comment on the somewhat curious fact that two kingdoms could exist for so long without having been united. The examples he gives for previous unions between states shows that he considers the coexistence of two independent states in a relatively small island as against the natural order – though, again, he does not openly say so. The reason he gives is the political manoeuvring of the French, thus deftly avoiding an open slight to either country. To weaken England, France used to pay the Scots large sums. Again, Abbot does not draw any conclusions himself, but the direction is clear: the Scots are potential traitors who prefer to ally themselves to their neighbour's worst enemy rather than with the English. The clear censure is further backed by Abbot's repetition of the allegedly cannibal past of the Scots. This passage as well as the paragraphs on the Hebrides and Orkney are taken verbatim from the earlier edition.

  24. Abbot's second edition of his Brief Description, then, shows a somewhat more detailed image of Scotland. The author now gives some pieces of information on Scotland's geography, economy, religion and the Scottish people. These facts are admittedly exceedingly basic and can sometimes hardly be backed even by modern research; information from other, more detailed descriptions are not included – neither Holinshed's Chronicles nor Camden's Britannia, let alone any of the Scottish sources are made use of. Abbot appears to have relied mainly on his own knowledge of Scotland without caring to search for more information, perhaps sometimes even deliberately dropping or veiling interesting facts for political reasons. Yet it seems that Abbot has recognized a need for further elaboration of his account of Scotland after the accession of James I. A comparison with the earlier version shows that Abbot did not simply add information to what he had written before, but redrafted his text, obviously reconsidering what new information he wanted to give, and in what sequence he wanted to arrange it. But the attitude behind the facts is still characterized mainly by caution and wariness. Although recent progress is admitted and even actively pointed out, the overall impression of the alleged Scottish barbarity still sticks firmly in the mind. The picture of Scotland is thus broadened, but hardly more differentiated.

    III

  25. Abbot's way of broadening without really deepening the range of facts appears to be typical of authors that acknowledge the need for examining Scotland more closely than before. It can be concluded, then, that the accession of James I to the English throne had virtually no impact on English descriptions of Scotland: Few authors seem to have thought it necessary to re-evaluate Scotland in their books, and even if authors chose to enlarge their accounts, they did so in rather a token fashion, not really interested in actively discovering anything new. All this points to a widespread indifference. The image of the Scots as a superstitious and barbarous people sticks especially in the back of everybody's head, and at least the majority of the English seems to have been happy with it, irrespective of its correctness. This is the more surprising as England had in the minds of many Englishmen been, in effect, enlarged by Scotland, instead of combining to form that new political entity called Great Britain; it could have been expected that there would at least have been a curiosity on their part.

  26. It is quite possible that the English were too preoccupied with the troubles with the Netherlands and Spain to care much about Scotland. Quite certain is that some of the assets of Scotland would not even be thought possible by some. This is for example true of the gold that could be found on Crawford Moor: Abbot for one states that gold cannot exist in Britain because of the cold climate (Abbot 1605, N1r).

  27. Even after several years this apparent indifference does not materially change. There is still no noticeable interest in potentially lucrative Scottish commodities such as Scottish gold, or Scottish pearls, which were highly prized in the middle ages up to the beginning of the seventeenth century (Steuart 1919/1920, 292). Instead, the notion of superstition becomes even more firmly entrenched with the depiction of the witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth in 1606, which soon after becomes a stock element of descriptions of Scotland. The Englishman's lack of knowledge about Scotland in fact has little to do with 'wanting the books', as Harrison had alleged in 1577. English authors do not even consult, let alone use the detailed descriptions that are extant for their knowledge of Scotland, and they are happy to continue propagating the same essentially unproven ideas about their next neighbours out of a deeply ingrained indifference or carelessness. No wonder, then, that John Taylor time and again registers surprise about the Scots and Scotland in his 1618 Penniless Pilgrimage, as for example, when invited to dinner in Edinburgh, he is apparently taken aback by the quantity and quality of the food provided as well as the amount of alcohol available, the latter point being recorded with heavy-handed irony:

    There I found entertainment beyond my expectation or merite, and there is Fish, Flesh, Bread and Fruite, in such varietie, that I thinke I may offencelesse call it superfluitie or satietie. The worst was, that Wine and Ale was so scarce, and the people there such Mizers of it, that euery night before I went to bed, if any man had asked mee a Ciuill question, all the wit in my head could not haue made him a Sober answer.' (Taylor 1618, [D2]v).

Notes

  1. On the English perception of the Irish especially in Elizabethan and early Stuart times see Klein (2001), ch. 6; Cavanagh (1993), 116-131; Jardine (1993), 60-75.

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  2. There are a number of texts that could be dealt with additionally, among them Camden's Britannia and George Buchanan's Rerum Scoticarum historia, both of which were only available in Latin by 1603, and both of which were aimed at a different reading public than the texts published in English. They are highly interesting, though, and merit a more detailed analysis, especially as far as the image of Scotland and the Scots is concerned, than has been given in the past years.

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  3. On the relation between Boece's text and Bellenden's translation see Royan (1998) and Chambers/Seton (1919/1920).

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  4. Mostly these comments are negative. Bellenden is already cautiously critical of some of his fellow countrymen's tendency to believe in omens such as the appearance of strange fishes: 'Those that are giuen to the obseruations of rare and vncouth sights, belιeue that this beast is neuer sιene [sic] but against some great trouble' (Bellenden 1977, 6; my italics). The corresponding Latin text reads: 'Magnum id malum regno portendere id monstrum dum apparet volunt' (Boece 1574, 4). Harrison in his turn ascribes all Scots superstition to a national characteristic: 'wherefore their onelie sight dooth brιed [sic] great terror vnto the Scotish nation, who are verie great obseruers of uncouth signes & tokens' (Harrison 1808a, 11, my italics).

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  5. The fourth major Scottish university, Edinburgh, was not founded till 1582.

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  6. The English Short Title Catalogue lists 16 different imprints of the text between 1599 and 1664. For a discussion of the several editions and surviving copies, see Christophers (1966), 5-19.

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  7. Abbot states that 'the countrie [is] good and fruitfull: but that for want of tillage in diuers places, they suffer it to growe into bogges, and desertes' (Abbot 1599, [D1]v).

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List of Works Cited

Abbot, George. 1599. Description of the Whole Worlde. Wherein is Particularly Described, all the Monarchies, Empires, and Kingdomes of the same with their Seuerall Titles and Situations thereunto Adioyning. London: Printed by T. Iudson, for Iohn Browne.

Abbot, George. 1605. A Briefe Description of the Whole Worlde. Wherein is Particularly Described all the Monarchies, Empires, and Kingdomes of the same: Newly Augmented and Enlarged; with their Seuerall Titles and Situations thereunto Adioyning. London: Printed [by W. White] for Iohn Browne.

Bellenden, John. 1977. H. Boethius, Chronicle of Scotland (1540?). Amsterdam/Norwood, N.J: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.

Boece, Hector. 1574. Scotorvm historiζ prima gentis origine, cvm aliarvm et rervm et gentivm illvstratione non vulgari, libri xix. Paris: J. Ferrerius.

Booth, Stephen. 1968. The Book Called Holinshed's Chronicles. An Account of its Inception, Purpose, Contributors, Contents, Publication, Revision and Influence on William Shakespeare. [San Francisco, Ca.]: Book Club of California.

Cavanagh, Sheila T. 1993. ' "The Fatal Destiny of that Land": Elizabethan Views of Ireland.' In Representing Ireland: Literature and the Origins of Conflict, 1534–1660, edited by Brendan Bradshaw, Andrew Hadfield, and Willy Maley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 116-131.

Chambers, R.W. and Seton, W. 1919/1920. 'Bellenden's Translation of the History of Hector Boece.' In Scottish Historical Review 17: 5-15.

Christophers, Richard A. 1966. George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1562–1633: A Bibliography. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.

Clay, C.G.A. 1984. Economic Expansion and Social Change: England 1500–1700. Vol. 2: Industry, Trade and Government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cuningham, William. 1559. The Cosmographical Glasse, Conteinyng the Pleasant Principles of Cosmographie, Geographie, Hydrographie, or Nauigation. London: John Day.

Donaldson, Gordon. 1965. James V – James VII. Edinburgh/London: Oliver and Boyd.

Donaldson, Gordon. 1985. Scottish Church History. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.

Fletcher, John M. 1995. 'The Foundation of the University of Aberdeen in its European Context.' In The Universities of Aberdeen and Europe, edited by Paul Dukes. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 9-56.

Harrison, William. 1808a. 'The Description of Scotland, Written at the first by Hector Boetius in Latine, and afterward Translated into the Scotish Speech by John Bellenden Archdeacon of Murrey, and now finallie into English by W.H.' In Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. In six volumes. Vol. 6: Scotland. London: Printed for J. Johnson, F. C. and J. Rivington [et al.], 1-28.

Harrison, William. 1808b. 'To the Right Worshipfull Maister Thomas Secford Esquire and Maister of the Requests'. In Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. In six volumes. Vol. 6: Scotland. London: Printed for J. Johnson, F. C. and J. Rivington [et al.], s. p. [i-ii].

Jardine, Lisa. 1993. 'Encountering Ireland: Gabriel Harvey, Edmund Spenser, and English Colonial Ventures.' In Representing Ireland. Literature and the Origins of Conflict, 1534–1660, edited by Brendan Bradshaw, Andrew Hadfield, and Willy Maley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 60-75.

Klein, Bernhard. 2001. Maps and the Writing of Space in Early Modern England and Ireland. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Knowles, Gerry. 1997. A Cultural History of the English Language. London: Arnold.

Lenman, Bruce. 1977. An Economic History of Modern Scotland 1660–1976. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books.

Lipson, E. 1931. The Economic History of England. 3 vols. Vol. 2: The Age of Mercantilism. London: A. and C. Black.

Lythe, S.G.E. and Butt, J. 1975. An Economic History of Scotland 1100–1939. Glasgow and London: Blackie.

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Contents © Copyright 2004 Frauke Reitemeier.
Format © Copyright 2004 Renaissance Forum. ISSN 1362-1149. Volume 7, Winter 2004.
Technical Editor: Andrew Butler. Updated 23 December 2004.