The English Husbandman
by Gervase Markham
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Now, as soone as you haue drawne forth and figured your knot vpon the face of your quarter, you shall then set it either with Germander, Issoppe, Time or Pinke-gilly-flowers, but of all hearbes Germander is the most principall best for this purpose: diuers doe vse in knots to set Thrift, and in time of need it may serue, but it is not so good as any of the other, because it is much subiect to be slaine with frost, and will also spread vpon the earth in such sort that, without very painefull cutting, it will put your knot out of fashion.

{SN: Yeallow.} {SN: White.} {SN: Blacke.} {SN: Red.} {SN: Blew.} {SN: Greene.} Now there is another beautifying or adorning of Gardens, and it is most generally to be seene in the gardens of Noblemen and Gentlemen, which may beare coate-armor, and that is, instead of the knots and mazes formerly spoken of, to draw vpon the faces of your quarters such Armes, or Ensines, as you may either beare your selfe, or will preserue for the memory of any friend: and these armes being drawne forth in plaine lines, you shall set those plaine shadowing lines either with Germander, Issop, or such like hearbes: and then for the more ample beautie thereof, if you desire to haue them in their proper and liuely colours (without which they haue but one quarter of their luster) you shall vnderstand that your colours in Armory are thus to be made. First, for your mettalls: you shall make your Yeallow, either of a yeallow clay, vsually to be had almost in euery place, or the yeallowest sand, or for want of both, of your Flanders Tile, which is to be bought of euery Iron-monger or Chandelor; and any of these you must beate to dust: for your White you shall make it of the coursest chalke beaten to dust, or of well burnt plaister, or, for necessity, of lime, but that will soone decay: your Blacke is to be made of your best and purest coale-dust, well clensed and sifted: your Red is to be made of broken vselesse brickes beaten to dust, and well clensed from spots: your Blew is to be made of white-chalke, and blacke coale dust mixed together, till the blacke haue brought the white to a perfect blewnes: lastly your Greene, both for the naturall property belonging to your Garden, as also for better continuance and long lasting, you shall make of Camomill, well planted where any such colour is to be vsed, as for the rest of the colours, you shall sift them, and strow them into their proper places, and then with a flat beating-Beetell you shall beate it, and incorporate it with the earth, and as any of the colours shall decay, you shall diligently repaire them, and the luster will be most beautifull.

There is also another beautifying of gardens, which although it last not the whole yeere, yet it is most quaint, rare, and best eye-pleasing, and thus it is: you shall vpon the face of your quarter draw a plaine double knot, in manner of billet-wise: for you shall vnderstand that in this case the plainest knot is the best, and you shall let it be more then a foote betwixt line and line (for in the largenesse consists much beauty) this knot being scored out, you shall take Tiles, or tileshreds and fixe them within the lines of your knot strongly within the earth, yet so as they may stand a good distance aboue the earth and this doe till you haue set out all your knot with Tile: then precisely note the seuerall passages of your knot, and the seuerall thrids of which it consisteth, and then betwixt your tiles, (which are but as the shadowing lines of your knot) plant in euery seuerall third, flowers of one kinde and colour, as thus for example: in one thrid plant your carnation Gilly-flower, in another your great white Geli flower, in another your mingle-coloured Gilly-flower, and in another your blood-red Gilly-flower, and so likewise if you can compasse them you may in this sort plant your seueral coloured Hyacinths, as the red, the blew, and the yealow, or your seuerall coloured Dulippos, and many other Italian and french flowers: or you may, if you please, take of euery seuerall plant one, and place them as afforesaid; the grace of all which is, that so soone as these flowers shall put forth their beauties, if you stand a little remote from the knot, and any thing aboue it, you shall see it appeare like a knot made of diuers coloured ribans, most pleasing and most rare.

Many other adornations and beautifyings there are which belong to the setting forth of a curious garden, but for as much as none are more rare or more esteemed then these I haue set downe, being the best ornaments of the best gardens of this kingdome, I thinke them tastes sufficient for euery husbandman, or other of better quality which delighteth in the beauty and well trimming of his ground.


How for the entertainment of any great Person, in any Parke, or other place of pleasure, where Sommer-bowers are made, to make a compleat Garden in two or three dayes.

If the honest English husbandman, or any other, of what quallity soeuer, shall entertaine any Noble personage, to whom hee would giue the delight of all strange contentment, either in his Parke, or other remote place of pleasure, neere vnto Ponds, Riuer, or other waters of cleerenesse, after hee hath made his arbors and Summer-bowers to feast in, the fashion whereof is so common that euery labourer can make them, hee shall then marke out his garden-plot, bestowing such sleight fence thereon as hee shall thinke fit: then hee shall cast forth his alleys, and deuide them from his quarters, by paring away the greene-swarth with a paring spade, finely, and euen, by a direct line (for a line must euer be vsed in this worke) then hauing store of labourers (after the vpper-most swarth is taken away) you shall cast vp the quarters, and then breaking the mould and leuelling it, you shall make sad the earth againe, then vpon your quarters you shall draw forth either Knots, Armes, or any other deuise which shall be best pleasing to your fancie, as either knots with single or double trayles, or other emblemicall deuise, as Birds, Beasts, and such like: and in your knots where you should plant hearbes, you shall take greene-sods of the richest grasse, and cutting it proportionably to the knot, making a fine trench, you shall lay in your sod, and so ioyning sod to sod close and arteficially, you shall set forth your whole knot, or the portrayture of your armes, or other deuise, and then taking a cleane broome that hath not formerly beene swept withall, you shall brush all vncleanenesse from the grasse, and then you shall behold your knot as compleat, and as comely as if it had beene set with hearbes many yeeres before. Now for the portrayture of any liuing thing, you shall cut it forth, ioyning sod vnto sod, and then afterward place it into the earth. Now if within this plot of ground which you make your garden piece there be either naturall or arteficiall mounts or bankes vpon them, you may in this selfe-same manner with greene sods set forth a flight, either at field or riuer, or the manner of hunting of any chase, or any story, or other deuise that you please, to the infinit admiration of all them which shall behold it: onely in working against mounts or bankes you must obserue to haue many small pinnes, to stay your worke and keepe your sods from slipping one from another, till such time as you haue made euery thing fast with earth, which you must rame very close and hard: as for Flowers, or such like adorments, you may the morning before, remoue them with their earth from some other garden, and plant them at your best pleasure. And thus much for a garden to be made in the time of hasty necessity.


How to preserue Abricots, or any kinde of curious outlandish-stone-fruit, and make them beare plentifully be the Spring or beginning of Summer neuer so bitter.

I haue knowne diuers Noblemen, Gentlemen & men of vnder quallitie, that haue beene most laborious how to preserue these tender stone-fruits from the violence of stormes, frost and windes, and to that end haue beene at great cost and charges yet many times haue found much losse in their labours, wherefore in the end, through the practise of many experiments, this hath beene found (which I will here set downe) the most approuedst way to make them beare without all kinde of danger. After you haue planted your Abricot, or other delicate fruit, and plasht him vp against a wall in manner as hath beene before declared, you shall ouer the tops of the trees all along the wall, build a large pentisse, of at least sixe or seauen foote in length: which pentisse ouer-shaddowing the trees, will, as experience hath found out, so defend them, that they will euer beare in as plentifull manner as they haue done any particular yeere before. There be many that will scoffe, or at least, giue no credit to this experiment, because it carrieth with it no more curiositie, but I can assure thee that art the honest English Husbandman, that there is nothing more certaine and vnfallible, for I haue seene in one of the greatest Noblemens gardens in the kingdome, where such a pentisse was made, that so farre as the pentisse went, so farre the trees did prosper with all fruitfulnesse, and where the pentisse ended, not one tree bare, the spring-time being most bitter and wonderfull vnseasonable.

Now I haue seene some great Personages (whose pursses may buy their pleasures at any rate) which haue in those pentisses fixed diuers strong hookes of Iron, and then made a canuasse of the best Poldauie, with most strong loopes, of small corde, which being hung vpon the Iron hookes, hath reacht from the pentisse to the ground, and so laced with corde and small pulleys, that like the saile of a ship it might be trust vp, and let downe at pleasure: this canuasse thus prepared is all the Spring and latter end of Winter to be let downe at the setting of the Sunne, and to be drawne vp at the rising of the Sunne againe. The practise of this I referre to such as haue abillitie to buy their delight, without losse, assuring them that all reason and experience doth finde it most probable to be most excellent, yet to the plaine English Husbandman I giue certaine assurance that the pentisse onely is sufficient enough and will defend all stormes whatsoeuer. And thus much for the preseruation and increase of all tender Stone-fruit, of what nature, or climbe bred, soeuer.


How to make Grapes grow as bigge, full, and as naturally, and to ripen in as due season, and be as long lasting as either in Fraunce or Spaine.

Diuers of our English Gardiners, and those of the best and most approued'st iudgements, haue beene very industrious to bring Grapes, in our kingdome, to their true nature and perfection: and some great persons I know, that with infinit cost, and I hope prosperous successe, hath planted a Vineyard of many Acres, in which the hands of the best experienced french-men hath beene imploied: but for those great workes they are onely for great men, and not for the plaine English Husbandman, neither will such workes by any meanes prosper in many parts of our kingdome, especially in the North parts: and I that write for the generall vse, must treate of vniuersall Maximes: therefore if you desire to haue Grapes in their true and best kinde, most earely and longest lasting, you shall in the most conuenient part of your garden, which is euer the center or middle point thereof, build a round house, in the fashion of a round Doue-coate, but many degrees lower, the ground worke whereof shalbe aboue the ground two or three brickes thickenesse, vpon this ground-plot you shall place a groundsell, and thereon, fine, yet strong studs, which may reach to the roofe: these studs shalbe placed better then foure foote one from another, with little square bars of woode, such as you vse in glasse windowes, two betwixt euery two studs, the roofe you may make in what proportion you will, for this house may serue for a delicate banqueting house, and you may either couer it with Leade, Slate or Tile, which you please. Now, from the ground to the top, betweene the studs, you shall glase it, with very strong glasse, made in an exceeding large square pane, well leaded and cimented. This house thus made, you shall obserue that through the bricke worke there be made, betweene euery two studs, square holes, cleane through into the house; then on the out-side, opposite against those holes, you shall plant the roote of your Vine, hauing beene very carefull in the election and choise thereof: which done, as your Vine groweth you shall draw it through those holes, and as you vse to plash a Vine against a wall, so you shall plash this against the glasse window, on the in-side, and so soone as it shall beginne to beare Grapes you shall be sure to turne euery bunch, so that it may lye close to the glasse, that the reflection of the Sunne heating the glasse, that heate may hasten on the ripening, & increase the groath of your Grapes: as also the house defending off all manner of euill weather, these Grapes will hang ripe, vnrotted or withered, euen till Christmas. Thus haue I giuen you a tast of some of the first parts of English Husbandry, which if I shall finde thankefully accepted, if it please God to grant mee life, I will in my next Volumne, shew you the choise of all manner of Garden Hearbes and Flowers, both of this and other kingdomes, the seasons of their plantings, their florishings and orderings: I will also shew you the true ordering of Woodes, both high and low, as also the breeding and feeding of all manner of Cattell, with the cure of all diseases incident vnto them, together with other parts of Husbandry, neuer before published by any Author: this I promise, if God be pleased: to whom be onely ascribed the glory of all our actions, and whose name be praised for euer. Amen.

* * * * *


[Transcriber's notes

The following changes have been made and anomalies noted.

A Former Part

Chap. II.

'adicted to nouelty and curiouity' changed to 'adicted to nouelty and curiousity'

Chap. III.

'Plough houlder when hee cometh to' scan is unclear

'two much earth' probable misprint for 'too much earth'

Chap. IIII.

'the of point your share' changed to 'the point of your share'

Chap. V.

'of that which you soil'd:' changed to 'of that which you foil'd:'

Chap. VI.

'the ridge of you land againe.' probable misprint for 'the ridge of your land againe.'

'Tare-Cockle, or such like,' scan is unclear

'After your land is soild,' changed to 'After your land is foild,'

Chap. VII.

'and if you ffnde' changed to 'and if you finde'

'Manure of beasts which can be-gotten' probable misprint for 'Manure of beasts which can be gotten'

'your fould of Seepe' changed to 'your fould of Sheepe'

'frost, winde, and weathe,rmakes' changed to 'frost, winde, and weather, makes'

'no wing accoridng' changed to 'no wing according'

Chap. IX.

'much barrainnesse, espcially' changed to 'much barrainnesse, especially'

'it shall be needlesse to write' scan is unclear

The First Part

Chap. I.

'you most turne euery furrow' probable misprint for 'you must turne euery furrow'

'hee must sooner stirer' changed to 'hee must sooner stirre'. Scan is unclear.

Chap. II.

'euery thing with is most apt' changed to 'euery thing which is most apt'

Chap. III.

'their naturall lighnesse' changed to 'their naturall lightnesse'

'as hath, beene showed before' changed to 'as hath beene showed before'

Chap. IIII.

'it is most, certaine' changed to 'it is most certaine'

'Cornes in their gardens thus, set seeing' changed to 'Cornes in their gardens thus set, seeing'

Chap. V.

'vpon the or fourth field' changed to 'vpon the third or fourth field'

'is ninam Barly,' probable misprint for 'is niam Barly,'

Chap. VI.

'as we see in dayly experience,' changed to 'as we see in dayly experience.'

The Second Part of the First Booke

Chap. I.

'perfect ground-plot, you' scan is unclear

'twelue or fourteene foote on of another,' probable misprint for 'twelue or fourteene foote one of another,'

'thorny and sharpe, trees,' changed to 'thorny and sharpe trees,'

Chap. IIII.

'you shall tak one of your grafts' changed to 'you shall take one of your grafts'

Chap. V.

'Grafting betweene the barke.' scan is unclear in sidenote

'not aboue tree grafts at the most' changed to 'not aboue three grafts at the most'

'Grafting on the toppes of trees.' scan is unclear in sidenote

'and to contincu' changed to 'and to continue'

Chap. VI.

'Of the replanting of Trees, and furnishing the Orchard,' changed to 'Of the replanting of Trees, and furnishing the Orchard.'

Chap. VII.

'it is a ready away' changed to 'it is a ready way'

'two much fertillitie' probable misprint for 'too much fertillitie'

'steepe it Mfor alt' changed to 'steepe it for Malt'

Chap. VIII.

'for any peculyar pofit' changed to 'for any peculyar profit'

Chap. IX.

'and growriuelled' changed to 'and grow riuelled'

'they can by meanes indure,' changed to 'they can by no meanes indure,'

Chap. XI.

'then contiunally labour' changed to 'then continually labour'

Chap. XII

'Of Poales.' scan is unclear in sidenote


'dry more Hoppes then any one man' scan is unclear

Chap. XVII.

'then betwxit your tiles' changed to 'then betwixt your tiles'

Chap. XVIII.

'CHAP: XVIII.' changed to 'CHAP. XVIII.'

'single or double trayles,' scan unclear

Chap. XIX.

'to the pliane English Husbandman' changed to 'to the plaine English Husbandman'



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