A Historical Survey of the Customs, Habits, & Present State of the Gypsies
by John Hoyland
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Transcribed from the 1816 WM. Alexander edition by David Price, email Many thanks to Kensington Library, London, for allowing the use of their copy in cross-checking the transcription.

A HISTORICAL SURVEY OF THE CUSTOMS, HABITS, & PRESENT STATE OF The Gypsies; DESIGNED TO DEVELOPE The Origin of this Singular People, AND TO PROMOTE The Amelioration of their Condition.

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BY JOHN HOYLAND, Author of an Epitome of the History of the World, &c.

[Picture: Decorative divider]



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Entered at Stationers' Hall.

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Printed by HARGROVE, GAWTHORP, & COBB, Herald-Office, York.


The author of the following Survey, has frequently had opportunity of observing the very destitute and abject condition of the Gypsey race, in the counties of Northampton, Bedford, and Herts. The impressions received from viewing a state so derogatory to human nature, induced him to make numerous inquiries, in order to ascertain if necessity compelled their continuance, under circumstances so deplorable as their condition exhibited.

Not meeting with satisfactory intelligence on application to various individuals, to whose observation Gypsies are frequently presented, the author was excited to an examination of history, for the developement of a case involved in so much obscurity; and aggravated by circumstances so repugnant to the mild and genial influences of the Christian Religion.

He must not however omit to state, that in Northamptonshire, William Allen, who is in the profession of the law, at Higham Ferrers, and Steward to Earl Fitzwilliam, very warmly interested himself on the subject. He said it afforded him much pleasure to find, that some attention was excited to the condition of the Gypsies, and that he should be glad to co-operate, as far as was in his power, in any measures likely to conduce to the reformation of this greatly neglected class of British subjects.

He volunteered his services to find out the nearest Gypsey rendezvous, and soon procured information of an encampment which the writer visited. An account of the visit will appear in the following sheets. The first assurance that the Gypsies really had a language peculiar to themselves, which the author received, was from this intelligent and obliging professor of the law, who had heard children, as well as adults among them, speak it with great fluency.

He also observed, that the situation of this people daily became increasingly deplorable, in consequence of the establishment of associations for the prosecution of felons; and that the fear of apprehension as vagrants, and the progressive inclosures near towns and villages, had a tendency to drive them to a greater distance from the habitations of man. And he was fully of opinion, as these houseless wanderers were expelled from Township after Township, without any provision being made for their refuge, that it was high time their case should obtain the consideration of the public.

Of the historic authorities whence the author has derived information and interesting observation, he has to place in the foremost rank, the Dissertation of the learned H. M. G. Grellmann, translated a few years since, by the late M. Raper, Esq. F.R.S. & A.S. He has, however, to acknowledge himself indebted to various other intelligent authors, whose writings will be noticed in the course of the work.

Another source of information, and which relates especially to the present state of the Gypsies in Great Britain, has been opened through inquiries instituted in most parts of the nation, by the author, aided by several obliging and able coadjutors. The results of these inquiries, it scarcely need be added, will be presented to the reader in their proper places.

The author has much regretted, that scarcely any of the splendid histories of Counties in England, and even those in which the Gypsies abound, have in the least noticed that part of the population which so strongly claims our attention. By bringing their situation into view, the historian might not merely have served the cause of humanity; he would have advanced the interest of the state, by promoting an object of so much public utility, as the improvement of the whole Gypsey race cannot fail to prove.

A comparative view of their customs and habits, and how far they appear coincident in different countries, may afford a criterion by which to judge if they have all had one origin. By thus tracing them to that source, we may possibly discover the occasion of their peculiarities; and if the means hitherto employed to counteract them, have proved unsuccessful, we may be prepared to consider of others, better adapted to correct the errors of their education.

Conceiving that any scheme for ameliorating the condition of the Gypsies, would not only be premature, but might prove highly injudicious, before obtaining a knowledge of their history, the author has endeavoured to collect, from the most authentic European authorities to which he could have access, a general view of this people, in the different parts of the world to which they have resorted; and from these and the other sources of information, he has subjoined accounts of their state in Great Britain, and of the suggestions offered by other individuals for their improvement; concluding the subject with a review of the whole, and proposing a plan to be set on foot for accomplishing this desirable object.



Various Appellations of them—Their arrival in Europe page 9


Accounts of the Gypsies in various Countries page 17


The Habits, Occupations, and Polity of the page 37 Continental Gypsies


Political Regulations on the Continent respecting page 61 Gypsies


The Gypsies in Great Britain page 75


The present State of the Gypsies in Scotland page 91


On the Origin of the Gypsies page 112


Comparative view of the Gypsey, Hindostanie, and page 131 Turkish languages


Present State of the Gypsies in England page 151


Present State of the Gypsies in and about London page 175


Sentiments of various persons on the moral condition of page 191 the Gypsies


Review of the Subject, and Suggestions for page 221 ameliorating the condition of the Gypsies in the British Empire


Various appellations of them—Their arrival in Europe.

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The different appellations by which the People whom we denominate Gypsies, have been distinguished, appear generally to have had reference to the countries, from which it was supposed they had emigrated.

Grellmann states, that the French, having the first accounts of them from Bohemia, gave them the name of Bohemiens, Bohemians. That the Dutch apprehending they came from Egypt, called them Heydens, Heathens. In Denmark, Sweden, and in some parts of Germany, Tartars were thought of. The Moors and Arabians, perceiving the propensity the Gypsies had to thieving, adopted the name Charami, Robbers, for them.

In Hungary, they were formerly called Pharaohites, (Pharaoh Nepek) Pharaoh's people; and the vulgar in Transylvania continue that name for them. The idea of the English appears to be similar, in denominating them Gypsies, Egyptians; as is, that of the Portuguese and Spaniards, in calling them Gitanos. But the name Zigeuners, obtained the most extensive adoption, and apparently not without cause; for the word Zigeuner, signifies to wander up and down—for which reason, it is said, our German ancestors denominated every strolling vagrant Zichegan.

The Gypsies are called not only in all Germany, Italy, and Hungary Tziganys; but frequently in Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia, Cyganis. But the Turks, and other Eastern nations name them, Tschingenes.

The origin of this people has been a subject of inquiry for more than three hundred years. Many persons have been anxious to discover "who these guests were, that, unknown and uninvited, came into Europe in the fifteenth century, and have chosen ever since to continue in this quarter of the globe."

Continental writers state, that it is incredible how numerous the hordes of this people are, and how widely dispersed over the face of the earth. They wander about in Asia, the inferior of Africa, and have established themselves in most of the countries of Europe. Grellmann is of opinion, that America is the only part of the world, in which they are not known. Though no mention appears to be made of them by Authors who have written on that quarter of the globe; yet no doubt remains, of their having been in Europe nearly four hundred years.

Wilhelm Dilick in his HESZISCHEN Chronik, scit 229, beyn Jahr 1414, informs us they arrived the same year in the Hessian territories; but no mention of them appears in the public prints till three years afterward. Mention is made of their being in Germany as early as the year 1417; when they appeared in the vicinity of the North sea. Fabricius, in Annalibb Misn, says, they were driven from Meissen in 1416, but Calvisius corrects this date by changing it to 1418.

Sir Thomas Browne in his "Vulgar Errors," page 287, says, "their first appearance was in Germany, since the year 1400; nor were they observed before in other parts of Europe, as is deducible from Munster, Genebrard, Krantzius and Ortelius."

In Germany they spread so rapidly, that in 1418, their names were recorded in the annual publications of various parts of the country. They travelled in hordes, each having his leader, sometimes called Count, others had the title of Dukes, or Lords of Lesser Egypt.

In 1418 they were found in Switzerland, and in the country of the Grisons; and in 1422 they made their appearance in Italy. The Bologna Chronicle states, that the hordes which arrived in that city, on the 18th of July, 1422, consisted of about one hundred men, the name of whose leader, or Duke as they termed him, was Andreas. They travelled from Bologna to Forli, intending to pay the Pope a visit at Rome.

Their appearance in France bears the date of 1427, when the French say, they straggled about Paris, having arrived on the 17th day of August in that year.

German Historians are agreed, that when the Gypsies first made their appearance in Europe, they chose to be considered as Pilgrims; and that their profession met with the more ready belief, as it coincided with the infatuation of the times. The learned Grellmann states, that several old writings mention the credulity, with which people cherished the idea, that they were real pilgrims and holy persons; that it not only procured for them toleration, but safe-conducts in many places.

Munster declares, that they carried about with them passports and seals from the Emperor Sigismund, and other Princes; by means of which, they had free passage through different countries and cities; and that he had himself seen, an attested copy of such a letter to the possession of some Gypsies at Eberbach.

Krantz, Stumpf, Guler, and Laurentius Palmirenus, all agree in this statement.. The Gypsies at Bologna also shewed an instrument from Sigismund; but he appears to have granted this to them, not as Emperor, and in Germany; but in Hungary, and as King of Hungary. A pass of Uladislaus II. might also be quoted, which the Gypsies obtained chiefly on account of their supposed sanctity and pilgrimage. In Transylvania, it is asserted they received letters of protection from the House of Bathory.

Webner says, that the Gypsies in France quoted ancient privileges, granted to them by the former Kings of that country.

Crusius, Wurstisen, and Guler, mention papal permissions for wandering unmolested through all Christian countries, as long as the term of their pilgrimage lasted; which they asserted was seven years. But at the expiration of that term, they represented that their return home was prevented by soldiers stationed to intercept them.

The impression their pretensions had made on the people among whom they came, did not entirely subside during half a century; but afterward, "the Gypsies being watched with a more jealous eye, it appeared but too clearly, that, instead of holy pilgrims, they were the mere refuse of humanity, who, often, under pretexts of safe-conducts, committed all manner of excesses."

Their impositions being detected, it is probable some of them were reduced to the necessity of having recourse to legitimate means of subsistence, for within thirty years afterward, we have accounts of Gypsies in Hungary being employed in the working of iron. This occupation, appears from old writings, to have been a favourite one with them. Bellonius also takes notice of its being so; and there is a record of the Hungarian King Uladislaus, in the year 1496, cited by the Abbe _Pray_ in his Annals; and by _Friedwalsky_ in his Mineralogy, wherein it is ordered, "_That every _officer and subject_, _of whatever rank and condition_, _do allow to Thomas Polgar_, _leader of twenty-five tents of wandering Gypsies_, _free residence every where_, _and on no account to molest him_, _or his people_; _because they had prepared military stores for the Bishop Sigismund at Funfkirchen_."



Accounts of the Gypsies in various countries.

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To propose means for improving the condition of Gypsies, before we have informed ourselves of their real state, and what has been done for them, would be as injudicious, as for a Physician to prescribe for a patient, without being acquainted with the nature or extent of his disease, and the means attempted for his cure. To form a just opinion, on the case of the Gypsies, it appears necessary to ascertain their general habits, and their mode of life.

From Pasquier's Recherches de la France, B. IV. C. 9, is selected the following account of the Gypsies in that country: "On August 17th, 1427, came to Paris, twelve Penitents, Penanciers, as they called themselves, viz: a Duke, an Earl, and ten men, all on horse-back, and calling themselves good christians. They were of Lower Egypt, and gave out, that not long before, the Christians had subdued their country, and obliged them to embrace christianity, on pain of being put to death. Those who were baptized, were great Lords in their own country; and had a King and Queen there. Some time after their conversion, the Saracens over-ran their country, and obliged them to renounce christianity.

"When the Emperor of Germany, the King of Poland, and other Christian Princes, heard of this; they fell upon them, and obliged the whole of them, both great and small, to quit their country, and go to the Pope at Rome; who enjoined them seven years' penance, to wander over the world, without lying in a bed. They had been wandering five years when they came to Paris; first the principal people, and soon after the commonalty, about 100, or 120, reduced from 1000, or 1200, when they came from home; the rest being dead, with their King and Queen. They were lodged by the police, out of the city, at Chapel St. Denis

"Nearly all of them had their ears bored, and one or two silver rings in each, which they said were esteemed ornaments in their country. The men were black, their hair curled; the women remarkably black, all their faces scarred, deployez, their hair black, their only clothes a large old shaggy garment, flossoye, tied over the shoulders with a cloth or cord, sash, lien, and under it a poor petticoat, roquet. In short, they were the poorest miserable creatures that had ever been seen in France; and notwithstanding their poverty, there were among them women, who by looking into people's hands told their fortunes. And what was worse, they picked people's pockets of their money; and got it into their own, through telling these things by art, magic, &c.

"But though this was the common report, I spoke to them several times, yet I never lost a farthing by them; or ever saw them look into people's hands. But the Bishop of Paris, hearing of it, went to them with a Friar Preacher, named Le petit Jacobin, who, by the Bishop's order, preached a sermon excommunicating all the men and women who pretended to believe these things; and had believed in them, and shown their hands; and it was agreed that they should go away, and they departed for Pontoise, in September.

"This was copied from an old book in the form of a journal, drawn up by a doctor of divinity in Paris, which fell into the hands of Pasquier; who remarks upon it, that however the story of a penance savours of a trick, these people wandered up and down France, under the eye, and with the knowledge of the magistrates, for 100, or 120 years. At length, in 1661, an edict was issued, commanding all officers of justice, to turn out of the kingdom, in the space of two months, under pain of the gallies, and corporal punishment, all men, women and children, who assumed the name of Bohemiens, or Egyptians."

Dufresne, in his Glossary V. AEgyptiaci, confirms Pasquier's character of them in these words: "AEgyptiaci, Gallice Egyptiens, Bohemiens, vagi homines, harioli, et fatidici, qui hac et illac errantes, ex manu inspectione futura proesagire se fingunt; ut de marsupiis incautorum nummos corrogent;" which may be thus translated, "Egyptians called by the French Egyptiens, Bohemiens, vagabonds, soothsayers and fortune-tellers, who, wandering up and down, pretend to foretel future events from the inspection of the hand, for the purpose of obtaining money from persons not careful of their purses, &c."

Grellmann speaks of Gypsies "being numerous in Lorraine and Alsatia, before the French Revolution, but especially in the forests of Lorraine. They increased in this district, in consequence of their having been assiduously looked after in the dominions of the late Duke Deux-Fonts, and driven from thence; whither his successor would not suffer them to return. He adds, that an order of the provincial council, held at Tarragona, in 1591, subjected them to the magistrates, as people "quos vix constat esse Christianos, nisi ex eorum relatione, cum tamen sint mendaces, fures, deceptores, et aliis sceleribus multi eorum assueti;" in English, "who are scarcely allowed to be Christians, except from their own account of themselves, seeing they are liars, thieves, cheats, and many of them accustomed to other kinds of wickedness."

Twiss, in his Travels p. 179, gives the following account of them in Spain: "They are very numerous about, and in, Murcia, Cordova, Codis, and Ronda. The race of these vagabonds is found in every part of Europe. The French call them Bohemiens, the Italians Zingari, the Germans Ziegeuners, the Dutch Heydenen, Pagans, the Portuguese Siganos, and the Spaniards Gitanos, in Latin, Cingari.

"Their language, which is peculiar to themselves, is every where so similar, that they are undoubtedly all derived from the same source. They began to appear in Europe in the 15th century, and are probably a mixture of Egyptians and Ethiopians. The men are all thieves, and the women libertines. They follow no certain trade, and have no fixed religion. They do not enter into the order of society, wherein they are only tolerated. It is supposed there are upwards of forty thousand of them in Spain; great numbers of them are innkeepers in the villages, and small towns; and they are every where fortune-tellers.

"In Spain, they are not allowed to possess any lands, nor even to serve as soldiers. They marry among themselves, stroll in troops, about the country, and bury their dead under water. Their ignorance prevents their employing themselves in any thing, but in providing for the immediate wants of nature; beyond which even their roguishness does not extend; and, only endeavouring to save themselves the trouble of labour, they are contented if they can procure food by showing feats of dexterity; and only pilfer to supply themselves with the trifles they want; so that they never render themselves liable to any severer chastisement, than that of whipping, for having stolen chickens, linen, &c. Most of the men have a smattering of physic and surgery, and are skilful in tricks performed by slight of hand."

"The foregoing account is partly extracted from Le Voyageur Francois, Vol. XVI.; but the assertion that they are all so abandoned, as that author says, is too general. I have lodged many times in their houses, and never missed the most trifling things, though I have left my knives, forks, candlesticks, spoons, and linen at their mercy."

Swinburne states, that "they swarm more in the province of Granada, than in any other part of the realm. This singular sect have kept themselves separate from the rest of mankind ever since their first appearance which has been recorded in history.

"Their origin remains a problem not to be satisfactorily solved; and I doubt whether the Gitanos themselves, have any secret tradition that might lead to a discovery of what they really were in the beginning, or from what country they came. The received opinion sets them down as Egyptians, and makes them out to be the descendants of those vagabond votaries of Isis, who appear to have exercised, in ancient Rome, pretty much the same profession as that followed by the present Gypsies, viz: fortune-telling, strolling up and down, and pilfering.

"Few of them employed themselves in works of husbandry, or handicrafts; indeed the Spaniards would not work with them. Except a small part of them who follow the trades of blacksmiths, and vintners, most of them are makers of iron rings, and other little trifles, rather to prevent their being laid hold of as vagrants, than really as a means of subsistence. Several of them travel about as carriers and pedlars.

"Though they conform to the Roman Catholic mode of worship, they are looked upon in the light of unbelievers; but I never could meet with any body that pretended to say what their private faith and religion may be. All the Gypsies I have conversed with, assured me of their sound Catholicism; and I have seen the medal of Nuestra Senora del Carmel sewed on the sleeves of several of their women.

"They seldom venture on any crimes that may endanger their lives; petty larceny is the utmost extent of their roguishness.

"The men are tall, well built, and swarthy, with a bad scowling eye, and a kind of favorite lock of hair left to grow down before their ears, which rather increases the gloominess of their features; their women are nimble and supple jointed; when young they are generally handsome, with fine black eyes. Their ears and necks are loaded with trinkets and baubles, and most of them wear a large patch on each temple."

Of the Italian Gypsies, the same traveller in his journey through Calabria, p. 304, gives the following account: "The landlord of the inn at Mirti, earnestly recommended to the servants to leave nothing out of doors, as there was an encampment of Zingari, or Gypsies, who would lay their hands upon any part of the baggage, that was not watched with the strictest attention. His caution led me to an inquiry into the state of this strange tribe of vagrants, of whom I had seen great numbers in Spain. The result of this account, combined with those I had received from others, is as follows:

"The Gypsies of Calabria do not contract alliances with any other class of inhabitants; but marry among themselves.

"It is not possible to say where they reside, as they have no fixed habitations; and consequently possess neither house nor land, but pitch their tents wherever they think proper to make any stay. They support life by the profits of handicrafts; but more by swapping asses and horses.

"They generally work in iron, and make trivets, knitting needles, bodkins, and such trifles. Their dress is extremely shabby; they shave their chins, but indulge a great length of hair, which they seldom disturb with either comb or scissars.

"As to their religion, it is a secret which they keep locked up in their own breasts. They seem to have no great veneration for the Virgin Mary, but are supposed to believe in Christ. All the proof we have of their belief, depends upon appearances, and an occasional conforming to the ceremonies of the Roman Catholic religion, in marriages, burials, &c.; but if the priests start any difficulties, they manage the matter without their interference, and perform the functions according to their own ceremonies, which in many points resemble those of the heathens.

"At their weddings they carry torches, and have paranymphs to give the bride away, with many other unusual rites.

"It is in reality, almost absurd to talk of the religion of a set of people, whose moral characters are so depraved, as to make it evident they believe in nothing capable of being a check to their passions. They are usually accounted pilferers, cheats, faithless, and abandoned to dissoluteness.

"They tell fortunes, and play juggling tricks, just as they do in all other countries where they are to be found. In 1560, they were banished the kingdom as thieves, cheats, and spies for the Turks. In 1569 and 1685, the order was resumed, but not being enforced, had little effect.

"A Gypsey being brought to trial for a larceny, declared, that his law allowed him to take as much from others, every day, as sufficed for his maintenance.

"These people make use of two languages, one Calabrian, with a foreign accent and pronunciation; the other a peculiar one of their own, which in sound, seems to have great affinity to the Oriental tongues; and is spoken when they have secrets to impart to each other. They sleep like dogs in a kennel, men, women, and children huddled together."

The learned Grellmann states, that "Gypsies were universally to be found in Italy; insomuch, that even Sicily and Sardinia were not free from them.

"But they were the most numerous in the dominions of the church; probably because there was the worst police, with much superstition. By the former they were left undisturbed; and the latter enticed them to deceive the ignorant, as it afforded them an opportunity of obtaining a plentiful contribution, by their fortune-telling and enchanted amulets.

"There was a general law throughout Italy, that no Gypsey should remain more than two nights, in any one place. By this regulation, it is true, no place retained its guest long; but no sooner was one gone, than another came in his room. It was a continual circle, and quite as convenient to them, as a perfect toleration would have been. Italy rather suffered, than benefited, by this law; as, by keeping those people in constant motion, they would do more mischief there, than in places where they were permitted to remain stationary."

It appears from the Dissertation of Grellmann, that he had examined with great care and attention, the continental authorities on the subject of Gypsies. He asserts, that "In Poland and Lithuania, as well as in Courland, there is an amazing number of Gypsies.

"That they are to be found in Denmark and Sweden, is certain, but how numerous they are in those countries we cannot pronounce, and therefore proceed to the south east of Europe.

"The countries in this part seem to be the general rendezvous of the Gypsies; their number amounts in Hungary, according to a probable statement, to upwards of 50,000.

"Cantemir says, the Gypsies are dispersed all over Moldavia, where every Baron has several families of them subject to him.

"In Wallachia and the Sclavonian mountains, they are quite as numerous. Bessarabia, all Tartary, Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania, swarm with them; even in Constantinople they are innumerable. In Romania, a large tract of Mount Haemus, which they inhabit, has acquired from them the name Tschenghe Valkan, the Gypsey mountain. This district extends from the city Aydos, quite to Phillipopolis, and contains more Gypsies than any other province in the Turkish empire."

Our countryman Edward Daniel Clark, in his travels in Russia, Tartary, &c. so lately as the year 1800, states, "that after the ceremony of the resurrection at Moscow, a party of Gypsies were performing the national dance, called Barina; others were telling fortunes, according to their universal practice, or begging for presents of oranges or ice.

"This extraordinary people, found in all parts of Europe, were originally one of the Castes of India, driven out of their territory, and distinguished among Indian tribes, by a name which signifies thieves. They have a similar appellation among the Fins, and with the same signification.

"They preserve every where the same features, manners, and customs, and what is more remarkable, almost always the same mode of dress. The extraordinary resemblance of the female Gypsies to the women of India, was remarked by the British officers and men, in Egypt, when General Baird arrived with his army to join Lord Hutchinson. The Sea-poys had many of their women with them, who were exactly like our Gypsies.

"In their dress, they lavish all their finery upon their heads. Their costume in Russia is very different to that of the natives. The Russians hold them in great contempt; never speaking of them without abuse; and feel themselves contaminated by their touch, unless it be to have their fortunes told. Formerly they were more scattered over Russia, and paid no tribute; but now they are collected, and all belong to one nobleman, to whom they pay a certain tribute, and work among the number of his slaves."

P. 209, he writes: "At Woronetz, the Gypsey tribe are very prevalent, and a mixed race, resulting from their intermarriage with the Russians."

Dr. Clarke observes, Chap. 18, p. 440, 441 of his Travels, between Kertchy and Caffa, in the Crimea: "In the villages we found parties of Tzigankies or Gypsies, encamped as we see them in England, but having their tents stationed between their waggons, in which they move about the country.

"Poultry, cats, dogs, and horses, were feeding all round them, seeming like members of the same family. The Gypsies are much encouraged by the Tartars, who allow them to encamp in the midst of their villages, where they exercise the several functions of smiths, musicians, and astrologers. Many of them are wealthy, possessing fine horses, and plenty of other cattle; but their way of life, whether rich or poor, is always the same. As we entered their tents they arose, and cast a sheep's hide over their bodies. The filth and stench of these people were abominable."

In the second, part of his Travels, p. 644, he writes respecting the Gypsies: "We found this people in Nauplia, under the name they bear in Moldavia, of Tchinganes. How they came thither no one knew; but the march of their ancestors, from the North of India to Europe, so lately as the beginning of the 15th century, will account for their not being found further towards the South; and this is now so well ascertained, that no one would expect to meet a Gypsey, upon any of the southern shores of the Mediterranean.

"To have found them in the Peloponnesus is rather remarkable, considering that their whole tribe at first did not exceed half a million."

In the travels, written by Bell, of Antermony, Vol. 2, p. 157, he states: "During my stay at Tobolski, I was informed that a large troop of Gypsies had been lately at that place, to the number of sixty or upwards. The Russians call these vagabonds, Tziggany. Their sorry baggage was carried upon horses and asses. The Vice-Governor sent for the chief of this gang, and demanded whither they were going. They answered to China. He stopped their progress and sent them back."

"Bishop Pococke met with these people, still further to the Eastward. He says, the Chingani, who are spread all over the world, are in great abundance in the North of Syria, and pass for Mahometans. They live under tents, and sometimes in grots under ground.

"They make a coarse sort of tapestry, or carpet work, for hangings of saddles and other uses; and when they are not far from towns, deal much in cattle, and have a much better character than their relations in Hungary, and the Gypsies in England; who are thought by some to have been originally of the same tribe.

"These and the Turcomen, with regard to offence, are under the Pasha and Cadi; though they have a sheik to every encampment, and several great ones over them: but with regard to taxes, they are immediately under the Grand Seignior; whose tribute is collected yearly, by an officer over each of these people; one being called the Turcoman-Agasi, an officer of great credit, and the other the Chingani-Agasi, who go round the Turkish dominions to collect the taxes from these people." Travels, Vol. 2, Part 1, p. 207, 208.

Grellmann says: "Independently of the number of Gypsies in Egypt, and some parts of Asia, could we obtain an exact estimate of them in the countries of Europe, the immense number would probably greatly exceed what we have any idea of. At a moderate calculation, without being extravagant, they might be reckoned at between seven and eight hundred thousand.

"What a serious matter of consideration, when we reflect that the greatest part of these people, are idlers, cheats, and thieves!

"What a field does this open for the contemplation of Governments!"


The Habits, Occupations, and Polity of Continental Gypsies.

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The first of them that came to Europe, appeared ragged and miserable, unless we allow their leaders to have been an exception. In like manner their descendants have continued for hundreds of years, and still remain. This is particularly remarkable in the countries about the mouth of the Danube, which abound with Gypsies; namely Transylvania, Hungary, and Turkey, in Europe; where they dress even more negligently than in other parts.

It is a fact that these people enjoy a good state of health more uninterruptedly, and perfectly, than persons of the most regular habits, and who pay the greatest attention to themselves. Neither wet nor dry weather, heat nor cold, let the extremes follow each other ever so quickly, seem to have any effect upon them. Any prevailing sickness, or epidemical disorder, sooner penetrates into ten habitations of civilized people, than finds its way into a Gypsey's tent.

Though they are fond of a great degree of heat, and to lie so near the fire, as to be in danger of burning, yet they can bear to travel in the severest cold, bareheaded, with no other covering than some old rags carelessly thrown over them.

The causes of these bodily qualities, or at least some of them, evidently arise from their education, and hardy manner of life.

The pitiless mother takes her three months old child on her back, and wanders about, in fair and foul weather, in heat or cold; there it sits winter and summer, in a linen rug, with its head over her shoulder. Gypsey women never use a cradle, nor even possess such a piece of furniture. The child sleeps in their arms, or on the ground. When a boy attains three years of age, his lot becomes still harder. Whilst an infant, and his age reckoned by weeks and months, he was wrapt in rags, but now deprived of these, he is equally with his parents, exposed to the rigour of the elements, for want of covering; he is now put to trial how far his legs will carry him; and must be content to travel about with, at most, no other defence for his feet than thin socks.

Thus he acquires a robust constitution by hardships and misery; but though the children of Gypsies do not partake of what the refinements of art and of tenderness would account advantages, writers are unanimous in stating, they are good-looking, well-shaped, lively, clever, and have fine eyes. The Gypsies, in common with uncivilized people, entertain unbounded love for their children. This is a source of inexcusable neglect: Gypsey children never feel the rod, they fly into the most violent passions, and at the same time hear nothing from their parents but flattering and coaxing. In return they act with ingratitude, as is commonly the consequence of such education.

Gypsies would long ago have been divested of their swarthy complexions, had they discontinued their filthy mode of living. The Laplanders, Samoieds, as well as the Siberians, likewise, have brown, yellow-coloured skins, in consequence of living from their childhood, in smoke and dirt, in the same manner as the Gypsies.

Experience shows that their dark colour, which is continued from generation to generation, is more the effect of education, and manner of life, than of descent. Among those who serve in the Imperial army, where they have learned to pay attention to order and cleanliness, there are many to be found, whose extraction is not at all discernible in their colour; though they had, probably, remained to the age of twelve or fourteen years under the care of their filthy parents.

A Gypsey considers a covering for the head as useless, and if he does not obtain socks, which the female Gypsies in Moldavia and Wallachia knit with wooden needles for the feet, he winds rags about them, which are laid aside in summer. He is not better furnished with linen, as the women neither spin, sew, nor wash. But this inattention is not from indifference about dress; on the contrary, they are particularly fond of clothes, which have been worn by people of distinction. The following, which appeared in the Imperial Gazette, is very much to the purpose: "Notwithstanding these people are so wretched, that they have nothing but rags to cover them, which do not at all fit, and are scarcely sufficient to hide their nakedness; yet they betray their foolish taste, and vain ostentation, whenever they have in opportunity." The women are as fond of dress as the men, and equally expose themselves to the ridicule of the considerate and reflecting part of mankind.

They are remarkable not only in hanging their ragged clothes about them instead of garments, according to the Eastern custom; but their whole arrangement is singular. Several of their leaders have horses, asses, or mules with them, on which they load their tents and effects, with their whole family also. They have likewise dogs in their train, with which Krantz asserts they are used illegally, to destroy game; but probably the dogs are not kept so much for that purpose, as to take fowls and geese.

One strange peculiarity in the ideas of Gypsies we have hitherto forborn to mention, but, disgusting as the task of recording it way be, it is so well authenticated, as to have excited the notice of the Hungarian Legislature; and as it will be found to have some reference to the origin of this singular race of human beings, it must not be withheld from public view. The greatest luxury to them is, when they can procure a roast of cattle that have died of any distemper: to eat their fill of such a meal, is to them the height of epicurism. When any person censures their taste, or shows surprise at it, they say: "The flesh of a beast which God kills, must be better than that of one killed by the hand of man." They therefore embrace every opportunity of obtaining such dainties.

They are particularly fond of animals that have died by fire; therefore, whenever a conflagration has happened, the next day, the Gypsies from every neighbouring quarter assemble, and draw the suffocated, half-consumed beasts out of the ashes; men, women, and children, in troops, joyfully carrying the flesh home to their dwellings.

The Gypsies in Hungary, who have settled habitations, are very partial to gold and silver plate, particularly silver cups, which is a disposition they have in common with the wandering tribes. They let slip no opportunity of acquiring something of this kind; and will even starve themselves to procure it. Though they seem little anxious to heap up riches for their children, yet these frequently inherit a treasure of this sort; and are obliged in their turn to preserve it as a sacred inheritance. This inclination to deprive themselves of necessaries that they may possess a superfluity, as well as many others of their customs, is curious, yet appears to be ancient; and it was probably inherent in them when they were first seen by Europeans.

Historians assert, that of all the different people who have migrated into foreign countries, a single instance is not to be found, which accords with that of the Gypsies. The religious rites and observances of the Jews were calculated to prevent their imbibing the customs and habits of other nations. But it is universally admitted, that Gypsies did not bring any particular religion with them from their native country, by which they could be distinguished among other people; being as inconstant and unsettled respecting religion, as they are to place of residence.

Indeed it is asserted, that no Gypsey has any idea of submission to any fixed profession of faith; that patents suffering their children to grow up as themselves, without education or instruction, they acquire little knowledge either of morality or justice; that few of them wilt attend to any discourse on religion, but they hear it with indifference, if not with impatience and repugnance. Despising all remonstrance; they endeavour to live without the least solicitude concerning a future state of being.

The Turks are so fully convinced of the little religious sincerity possessed by Gypsies, that although a Jew, by becoming a Mahometan, is freed from the payment of the Charadsch, the Gypsies are not; at least in the neighbourhood of Constantinople, they are compelled to pay the poll-tax, even though their ancestors for centuries had been Mahometans, or though they should actually have been a pilgrimage to Mecca. The privilege of wearing a white turban, is the only advantage their conversion gives them, over unbelieving Jews and Gypsies.

Among warlike nations, many instances have occurred, in which the people subdued, being more enlightened than their conquerors, the latter have adopted the manners of the former. After the conquest of Greece, the Romans assumed the manners of the Greeks; and the Turks in like manner assumed those of the Gauls. The Mancheans vanquished the Chinese, but Chinese customs prevailed over those of the Mancheans.


Our countryman Dr. Clarke, page 4, of part the second of his Travels in Greece, says: "There is every reason to believe that the Turks themselves, at the conquest of Constantinople, adopted many of the customs, and embraced many of the refinements of a people they had subdued.

"Their former habits had been those of nomad tribes, their dwellings were principally tents, and the camp, rather than the city, distinguished their abode."

But Grellmann observes, Gypsies who have not established themselves by force in any country, nor obtained toleration from any Government, remain unchanged. Though they behold fixed dwellings on every side of them, with settled inhabitants, they nevertheless, proceed in their own way, and continue, for the most part, unsocial, houseless wanderers.

To their excessive indolence and aversion to industry, may be attributed the poverty and want which are generally their lots. They dislike every kind of employment which requires application; and had rather suffer hunger and nakedness, than provide against these privations, on the conditions of labour. They therefore practise music and palmistry, which allows them many idle hours; or addict themselves to vicious habits and unlawful courses. Though no one of them marries a person who is not of Gypsey extraction, there is not any people among whom marriage is contracted with less consideration, or accomplished with less solemnity.

Some Gypsies, who are stationary, have regular habitations, according to their situation in life. To this class belong those who keep public-houses in Spain; and others in Transylvania and Hungary, who follow some regular business; which latter have their own miserable huts near Hermanstadt, Cronstadt, Beatritz, Grosswaradein, Debrezin, Eperies, Karchan, and other places. But by far the greater number of these people, lead a very different kind of life; ignorant of the comforts attending a fixed place of residence, they rove from one district to another in hordes; having no habitation, but tents, holes in the rocks, or caves: the former shade them in summer, the latter screen them in winter.

Many of these people, particularly in Germany and Spain, do not even carry tents with them, but shelter themselves from the heat of the sun, in forests shaded by the rocks, or behind hedges. They are very partial to willows, under which they erect their sleeping places at the close of the evening. Some live in their tents, in their language called Tschater, during both summer and winter; which latter indeed the Gypsies generally prefer.

In Hungary, those who have discontinued their rambling way of life, and built houses for themselves, seldom let a spring pass without taking advantage of the first settled weather, to set up a tent for their summer residence. Under this, each enjoys himself with his family, nor thinks of his house till winter returns, and the frost and snow drive him back to it.

The wandering Gypsey in Hungary and Transylvania, endeavours to procure a horse; in Turkey, an ass serves to carry his wife and a couple of children, with his tent. When he arrives at a place he likes, near a village, or a city, he unpacks, pitches his tent, ties his animal to a stake to graze, and remains some weeks there: or if he do not find his station convenient, he breaks up in a day or two, loads his beast, and looks out for a more agreeable situation. His furniture seldom consists of more than an earthen pot, an iron pan, a spoon, a jug and a knife; with sometimes the addition of a dish. These serve for the whole family.

Working in iron is the most usual occupation of the Gypsies. In Hungary, this profession is so common, that there is a proverb: "So many Gypsies so many smiths."

The same may be said of those in Transylvania, Wallachia, Moldavia, and all Turkey in Europe; at least such workers in fire are very numerous in all those countries. But the Gypsies of our time, are not willing to work heavy works; they seldom go beyond a pair of light horse shoes. In general, they confine themselves to small articles, such as rings and nails; they mend old pots and kettles; make knives, seals, and needles; and sometimes they work in tin and brass. Their materials, tools, and apparatus, are of a very inferior kind. The anvil is a stone; the other implements are a pair of hand bellows, a hammer, a pair of pincers, a vice, and a file. These ape the tools which a Nomadic Gypsey takes with him in his perambulations.

Whenever he is disposed to work, he is at no loss for fuel: on his arrival at a station where he proposes to remain a few days, he takes his beast, loads him with wood, builds a small kiln, and prepares his own coal. In favourable weather, his work is carried on in the open air; when it is stormy, he retires under his tent. He does not stand, but sits down on the ground cross-legged to his work; which position is rendered necessary, not only by custom, but by the quality of his tools. The wife sits by to work the bellows, in which operation she is assisted by the elder children. The Gypsies are generally praised for their dexterity and quickness, notwithstanding the bad tools they have to work with.

Another branch of commerce much followed by Gypsies, is horse-dealing, to which they have been attached from the earliest period of their history. In those parts of Hungary, where the climate is so mild, that horses may lie out all the year, the Gypsies avail themselves of this circumstance to breed, as well as to deal in horses; by which they sometimes not only procure a competency, but grew rich. Instances have been known on the Continent, of gypsies keeping from fifty to seventy horses each; and those the best bred horses of the country; some of which they let out for hire, others they exchange or sell. But this description of Gypsey horse-dealers is not numerous; the greater number of them deal in inferior kinds.

In addition to the two professions before-mentioned, commonly followed by the men, some of them employ themselves as carpenters and turners; the former making watering troughs and chests; the latter turn, trenchers and dishes; make sieves, spoons, and other trifling articles, which they hawk about. Many of them, as well as the smiths, find constant employment in the houses of the better sort of people; for whom they work the year round. They are not paid in money, but beside other advantages find a certain subsistence.

Those who are not thus circumstanced, do not wait at home for customers, but with their implements in a sack thrown over their shoulders, seek business in the cities and villages. When any one calls, they throw down the bundle, and prepare the apparatus for work, before the door of their employer.

The Gypsies have a fixed dislike to agriculture; and had rather suffer hunger, or any privation, than follow the plough. Since the year 1768, the Empress Theresa has commanded that the Hungarian, and Transylvanian Gypsies should be instructed in husbandry; but these orders have been very little regarded. At this time there are so few of them farmers in those parts, that they are undeserving of notice. In Spain and other European countries, it would be difficult to find one who had ever made a furrow in his life.

Respecting fortune-telling, with which the female Gypsies impose on people's credulity in every district and corner of Europe, the origin, of the imposition is not to be attributed to them: the cheat was known and practised in Europe before their arrival; being deeply rooted in the ignorance of the middle age. The science of divination here was said to be already brought to a greater degree of perfection than among them. Rules were invented to tell lies from the inspection of the hand, in which the poor Gypsies were accounted mere bunglers. They in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were esteemed supernumeraries; there being men of great learning, who not only read lectures in Colleges on the art of chiromancy; but wrote many books, vilifying these people, and endeavouring to spoil their market. But these wise men are no more; their knowledge is deposited in the dead archives of literature; and probably had there been no Gypsies, with them would have died the belief in chiromancy, as is the case with respect to astrology, necromancy, oneirocritica, and the other offspring of imbecile fancy.

We must not omit to mention the occupation of gold-washing, by which thousands of Gypsies, of both sexes, in the Banat, Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldavia, procure a livelihood in summer; who, in winter, make trays and troughs, which they sell in an honest way.

It is not permitted for every one, without exception, to be a gold-washer; such only can follow the employment as have permission from the office of Mons, where a College was established by the Empress Theresa, in 1748. In the seventh article of instructions granted, the Gypsies were allowed the privilege of washing for gold, for which each person pays a tribute to Government.

The gold-washers in Transylvania and the Banat, pay four guilders annually in gold dust. The tribute collected in Wallachia and Moldavia does not go into the public treasury, but belongs to the Princesses for pin-money.

The consort of the Wallachian Hospodar, Stephen Rakowitza, in the year 1764, received from her Rudars, being two hundred and forty in number, twelve hundred and fifty-four drachms. The gold-washers in the Banat and Transylvania, dispose of their shares at the Royal Redemption-Office, in Zalatuya. The earnings of these people vary with time, and at different places; during heavy rains and floods they are usually most successful. The Transylvanian rivers yield the most gold. It is said, all the rivers and brooks which the rain forms, produce gold; of these the river Aranyasch is the richest; insomuch, that Historians have compared it to the Tagus and Pactolus.


In Travels through the Banat of Temeswar, Transylvania, and Hungary, in the year 1770, described in a series of letters to Professor Ferber, on the mines and mountains of these different countries, by Baron Inigo Born, Counsellor of the Royal Mines, in Bohemia, page 76, is the following account:

"Observations on the Gold-washings, in the Banat, by Counsellor Koezian. Translated by R. E. Ruspe.

"After the several natural advantages of the Temeswar Banat, some of its rivers are known to yield gold dust; I could not neglect the object when I travelled in these parts.

"The gold-washing in the Banat, is properly the business of the Gypsies, Zigeuner, and left, as it were, to this poor people, as an exclusive trade. This laid me under the necessity of applying to them for instruction.

"The river Nera, in Almash, carries gold dust; and seemed to me the fittest for my purpose; accordingly I caused some Gypsies, reputed to be skilful, to make a washing, near a village called Boshowitz; and I saw with pleasure, that with much dexterity, and in a few minutes time, they cleared in the trough, the value of some groshes of gold: they showed me likewise among their gold dust, some pieces of remarkable bigness."

It has been stated, that when Gypsies first arrived in Europe, they had leaders and chiefs to conduct their various tribes in their migrations.

Grellmann says, this was necessary, not only to facilitate their progress through different countries and quarters of the globe; but to unite their force, if necessary, and thereby enable them to make a more formidable resistance when opposed; and likewise, to carry any plan they might have formed, more regularly into effect.

We accordingly find in old books, mention made of Knights, Counts, Dukes, and Kings, among this people. Crucius cites a Duke, Michael; Muratorio, a Duke, Andreas: and Arentinus records a King, Zindelo: not to speak of inscriptions on monuments erected in different places to the memories of Duke, Panuel; Count, Johannis; and a Knight, Petrus, in the fifteenth century.

But no comment is necessary to show how improperly these appellations were applied. Though the Gypsey chiefs might be gratified with such titles; and their descendants probably esteemed them persons of rank, it was merely a ridiculous imitation of what they had seen, and perhaps admired, among civilized people. Nevertheless, the custom of having leaders and chiefs over them, prevails to this time, at least in Hungary and Transylvania; probably it may also still exist in Turkey, and other countries, where these people live together in great numbers.

Their chiefs, or waywodes, were formerly of two degrees in Hungary. Each petty tribe had its own leader, beside which, there were four superior waywodes, of their own caste, on both sides the Danube and Teisse; whose residences were at Raab, Lewentz, Szathmar, and Kaschan; and to these the smaller waywodes were accountable. But now, only one superior waywode is appointed in all Transylvania, who has authority over the gold-washers in those parts. The Gypsies, however, still continue the custom among themselves, of choosing certain persons, whom they make heads over them, and call by the exalted Sclavonian title of waywode.

It would appear extraordinary, that any well-regulated state should allow these people a distinct establishment in the heart of the country; did not the Hungarian writers assign as a reason, that in the commotions and troubles occasioned by the Turkish wars, in former centuries, they were, by means of their waywode, more easily summoned when occasion required, and rendered useful to the community.

In Transylvania, the magistrates do interfere with regard to the person whom this or that horde hath elected chief, and impose an obligation on him; but it is only that he should be careful to prevent his subjects from absconding, when the time arrives for them to discharge their annual tribute at the Land Regent's chamber. He has no right to interfere in disputes or quarrels which the Gypsies have among themselves, or with other people, further than to give notice of them to the regular courts of the district, where they happen to be.



Political Regulations on the Continent, respecting Gypsies.

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To the ignorance and superstition of the middle age, must be attributed the powerful ascendency which the Gypsies obtained over the minds of men. In addition to the chiromantic deception, practised by the women, they followed also the profession of exorcism; and were greatly in request during the prevalence of a belief in witchcraft.

They were employed to cure bewitched cattle, and to loosen the spells of enchantment; for which they had nostrums of various kinds, consisting of roots and amulets, made of unfermented dough, marked with strong figures, and dried in the sun.

For a long time little attention was paid to them, but at last the evil became enormous, and complaints against them were so loud, that Governments were constrained to take official notice of them. Exemplary punishments were judged necessary; and, at length, the most cruel and barbarous kinds were resorted to. What a blot upon the history of those times, are the dreadful tortures of quartering alive, and breaking upon the wheel! These means being insufficient to prevent the perpetration of crimes; it was thought expedient to banish the Gypsies.

German waiters say, that King Ferdinand of Spain, who esteemed it a good work to expatriate useful and profitable subjects—Jews, and even Moorish families—could much less be guilty of an impropriety in laying hands on the mischievous progeny of Gypsies. The edict for their extermination, was published in the year 1492. But instead of passing the boundaries, they only slunk into hiding-places, and shortly after appeared in as great numbers as before.

The Emperor Charles V. persecuted them afresh; as did Philip II. also. Since that time they have nestled in again, and have been also threatened with another storm, but it has blown over without taking effect.

In France, Francis I. passed an edict for their expulsion; and at the Assembly of the States of Orleans, in 1561, all Governors of cities received orders to drive them away with fire and sword. Nevertheless, in process of time, they had collected again, and increased to such a degree, that, in 1612, a new order came out for their extermination.

In the year 1572, they were compelled to retire from the territories of Milan and Parma; and at a period somewhat earlier, they were chased beyond the Venetian jurisdiction. They were not allowed the privilege of remaining unmolested in Denmark, as the code of Danish law specifies: "The Tartars, Gypsies, who wander about every where, doing great damage to the people, by their lies, thefts, and witchcraft, shall be taken into custody by every magistrate."

Sweden was not more favourable, having attacked them at three different times: A very sharp order for their expulsion came out in 1662. The Diet of 1723 published a second, and that of 1727, repeated the foregoing with additional severity.

They were excluded from the Netherlands under pain of death, partly by Charles the Vth, and afterwards by the United States, in 1582. But the greatest number of sentences of exile, have been pronounced against them in Germany. The beginning was made under Maximilian I, at the Augsburgh Diet, in 1500, where the following was drawn up, respecting those people who call themselves Gypsies, roving up and down the country.

"By public edict, to all ranks of the empire, according to the obligations under which they are bound to Us, and the Holy Empire; it is strictly ordered, that in future they do not permit the said Gypsies, since there is authentic evidence of their being spies, scouts, and conveyers of intelligence, betraying the christians to the Turks, to pass or remain within their territories; nor to trade; neither to grant them protection, nor convoy. And that the said Gypsies do withdraw themselves, before Easter next ensuing, from the German dominions; entirely quit them, nor suffer themselves to be found therein: as in case they should transgress after that time, and receive injury from any person, they shall have no redress, nor shall such person be thought to have committed any crime."

The same business occupied the attention of the Diet, in 1530, 1544, 1548, and 1551; and was also again enforced in the improved police regulation of Frankfort, in 1577.

Several Princes were however so little attentive to these orders of the empire, that instead of endeavouring to drive out the Gypsies, they on the other hand, furnished them with passports and safe-conducts; but by far the greater number exerted themselves to the utmost, to clear their states of them.

Perhaps there is not any civilized state, Hungary and Transylvania excepted, where this remedy has not been tried; but in the first place it had very little effect, and that little was only temporary. Even if every civilized nation had driven out the Gypsies at the same time, Europe could not have been entirely cleared of them, so long as they preserved an asylum in Turkey. Now as experience evinces there is no country in which a constant, equal attention, is paid to the execution of the laws, they would, in more, or less time, have again insinuated themselves into the neighbouring countries; from these into others; and have recommenced where they left off.

But a general extermination never did take place. The law for banishing them passed in one state before it was thought of in the next, or when a like order had long become obsolete, and sunk into oblivion. These guests were therefore merely compelled to shift their quarters to an adjoining state, where they remained till the Government, there, began to clear them away, upon which the fugitives either retired back whence they came, or went on progressively to a third place, thus making a continual revolution.

Secondly, this remedy was premature: endeavouring to exterminate, was the same as if a surgeon should proceed directly to the amputation of a diseased limb, because it created inconvenience to the rest of the body. Whereas the first inquiry ought to be, whether the disorder is of such a nature as not to be removed, but by entire separation. This is a desperate course, and should only be adopted, when no other can be efficacious.

It is to be regretted that, not until the reign of the Empress Theresa, does there appear to have been any plan laid down for the gaining over these poor ignorant people to virtue, and to the state. Historians represent that the wise dispositions she enjoined respecting the Gypsies in Hungary, were intrusted to people inadequate to the task.

What was done, in her time, for the improvement of their condition, may be seen by the following article extracted from the Anzeigen aus den Kayserl, Konigl Erblandern, or Intelligence from the Hereditary Imperial Royal Dominions.

"Since the year 1768, several decrees regarding these people have been published in the country, Hungary, and the strictest orders despatched to the several districts, in consequence. They were prohibited from dwelling in huts, or tents; from wandering up and down the country; from dealing in horses; from eating animals which died naturally, and carrion; and from electing their own Wayda or Judge. It was intended to extirpate the very name and language of these folks out of the country. They were no longer to be called Gypsies, but New Boors, Uj Magyar; not to converse any longer with each other in their own language, but in that of any of the countries in which they had chosen to reside.

"Some months were to be allowed, after which they were to quit their Gypsey manner of life, and settle like the other inhabitants, in cities and villages; to build decent houses and follow some reputable business. They were to procure Boors' clothing; to commit themselves to the protection of some territorial superior, and live regularly."

Nevertheless, though these regulations were calculated for the good of these people, and the state, the greater part were not in the smallest degree benefited by them. In the year 1773, these orders were not only repeated, but made more rigid; and as even this measure would not answer the end, it was then thought necessary to proceed to extremity with them.

Wherefore it was ordered, that no Gypsey should have permission to marry, who could not prove himself in condition to support a wife and children; that from such Gypsies who had families, the children should be taken away by force; removed from their parents, relations, and intercourse with the Gypsey race. A beginning was made in some places; and where they would not comply voluntarily, they were compelled to submit to the decree.

At Fahlendorf, in Schutt, and in the district of Presburgh, all the children of the New Boors, Gypsies, above five years old, were carried away in waggons, during the night of the 21st of December, 1773, by overseers appointed for that purpose; to order that, at a distance from their parents, or relations, they might be more usefully educated, and become accustomed to work. Those Boors who were willing to receive and bring up these children, were paid eighteen guilders yearly from Government.

On the 24th of April, 1774, between five and six o'clock in the morning, the children of the Gypsies which had been growing up from December of the foregoing year, were again removed from Fahlendorf, in Schutt, and Hideghid, for the purpose of being put under the same course of discipline as the others. Among the children taken away on this occasion, was a girl fourteen years old, who was forced to be carried off in her bridal state. She tore her hair for grief and rage, and was quite beside herself with agitation: but she recovered a composed state of mind; and, in 1776, in Fasching, obtained permission to accomplish her marriage.

So far our intelligence is quoted from the Gazettes, by which we may see how prudently every thing was concerted.

But it must be observed, although the publisher of this information endeavours to conceal it, how little these salutary regulations were put in force; there were scarcely two places in the kingdom where even an endeavour was made to give them proper effect. This supineness must have been unknown to the Emperor Joseph, or he would certainly again have enforced these regulations, to all chiefs and governors, at the same time that he gave orders for their being observed in Transylvania.

The tenor of the decree just mentioned, which was published in the year 1782, was consonant with the intention of Theresa, with regard to the Hungarian Gypsies; namely, that those also in Transylvania should become better men, and more useful inhabitants. For the accomplishment of this end, it prohibits their wandering about, and living under tents; requires that they become settled, and put themselves under some territorial chief. In order to strike immediately at the root of the evil, necessary and minute directions are given for the improvement of their religious ideas and opinions; and, by correcting their vicious habits, for rendering them good citizens.

First, with respect to religion, they must

1. Not only be taught the principles of religion themselves, but early send their children to school.

2. Prevent as much as possible, their children running about naked in the roads and streets, thereby giving offence and disgust to other people.

3. In their dwellings, not permit their children to sleep promiscuously by each other, without distinction of sex.

4. Diligently attend at church, particularly on Sundays and holidays, to give proof of their Christian disposition.

5. Put themselves under the guidance of spiritual teachers, and conduct themselves conformably to the rules laid down by them.

Secondly, with regard to their temporal conduct, and better mode of living, they are bound

1. To conform to the custom of the country, in diet, dress, and language: consequently to abstain from feeding on cattle which have died of distempers; not to go about in such unseemly dresses; and to discontinue the use of their own particular language.

2. Not to appear any more in large cloaks; which are chiefly useful to hide things that have been stolen.

3. No Gypsey, except he be a gold-washer, shall keep a horse.

4. Also the gold-washers must refrain from all kinds of bartering at the annual fairs.

5. The magistrates of every place must be very attentive that no Gypsey waste his time in idleness; but at those seasons, when they have no employment, either for themselves or any landholder, to recommend them to some other person, with whom they shall be compelled to work for hire.

6. They are to be kept particularly to agriculture; therefore

7. It is to be observed, where possible, that every territorial Lord, who takes any Gypsies under his jurisdiction, do allot them a certain piece of ground to cultivate.

8. Whoever is remiss in his husbandry, shall be liable to corporal punishment.

9. They shall be permitted to amuse themselves with music, or other things, only when there is no field work for them to do.

Such were the regulations adopted by the Emperor Joseph II. for the purpose of civilizing, and rendering good and profitable subjects, upwards of eighty thousand of miserable wretches, ignorant of God and of virtue.



The Gypsies in Great Britain.

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The traits of character and the habits of the Gypsies on the Continent of Europe, exhibited in this work, are sufficient for an examination, in what degree these people correspond with those under the same denomination in England.

The earliest account which the writer of this section has been able to collect from British History, was printed in the year 1612; when a quarto work, by S. R. was published, to detect and expose the art of juggling and legerdemain; in which is the following description of the Gypsies.

"This kind of people, about a hundred years ago, beganne to gather an head, as the first heere, about the southerne parts. And this as I am informed, and can gather, was their beginning: Certain Egyptians banished their country, (belike not for their good conditions,) arrived heere in England, who for quaint tricks and devices, not known heere, at that time, among us, were esteemed, and had in great admiration; insomuch, that many of our English Loyterers joined with them, and in time learned their craftie cosening.

"The speach which they used, was the right Egyptian language, with whom our Englishmen conversing, at least learned their language. These people continuing about the country, and practising their cosening art, purchased themselves great credit among the country people, and got much by palmistry, and telling of fortunes; insomuch, they pitifully cosened poor country girls, both of money, silver spoons, and the best of their apparelle, or any goods they could make."

From this author, it is collected, they had a leader of the name of Giles Hather, who was termed their King; and a woman of the name of Calot, was called Queen. "These riding through the country on horseback, and in strange attire, had a prettie traine after them."

After mentioning some of the laws passed against them, this writer adds: "But what numbers were executed on these statutes you would wonder; yet, notwithstanding, all would not prevaile, but they wandered as before uppe and downe, and meeting once in a yeare at a place appointed; sometimes at the Peake's Hole in Derbyshire, and other whiles by Ketbroak at Blackheath."

About the same time, Spellman's Portrait of the Gypsey Fraternity seems to have been taken, ad vivum, and is as follows:

"Egyptiani, Erronum, Impostorumque genus nequissimum, in Continente ortum; sed ad Britannos nostras et Europam reliquam pervolans, nigredine deformes, excocti sole, immundi veste, et usu rerum omnium faedi, &c.;" which may be thus translated, "Egyptians, the worst kind of wanderers and impostors, springing up on the Continent, but yet rapidly spreading themselves through Britain, and other parts of Europe, disfigured by their swarthiness; sun-burnt; filthy in their clothing, and indecent in all their customs, &c."

According to the first of these statements, the arrival of Gypsies in England might be about the year 1512; or ten years at least before the Statute of the 22d of Henry VIII; in the 10th chapter of which, they are described to be, "An outlandish people, calling themselves Egyptians, using no crafte, nor feat of merchandise; who have come into this realm, and gone from shine to shire, and place to place in great company; and used great, subtle, and crafty means, to deceive the people, bearing them in hand, that they by palmistry could tell men's and yeomen's fortunes; and so, many times by crafte and subtlety have deceived the people of their money; and also have committed many heinous felonies and robberies." Wherefore they are directed to avoid the realm, and not to return under pain of imprisonment, and forfeiture of their good and chattels; and upon their trials for any felonies which they may have committed, they shall not be entitled to a Jury de medietate linguae.

The Act passed the 27th of the came reign goes farther, as will appear by the following abstract of it: "Whereas certain outlandish people, who do not profess any crafte or trade whereby to maintain themselves, but go about in great numbers from place to place, using insidious, underhand means to impose on his Majesty's subjects, making them believe that they understand the art of foretelling to men and women their good and evil fortune, by looking in their hands, whereby they frequently defraud people of their money; likewise are guilty of thefts and highway robberies: it is hereby ordered that the said vagrants, commonly called Egyptians, in case they remain one month in the kingdom, shall be proceeded against as thieves and rascals; and on the importation of any such Egyptian, he, (the importer) shall forfeit 40 pounds for every trespass."

By the above recited Acts of Parliament, it appears, that it was from their own representation of being Egyptians, they were so denominated in England; and that they did not on their arrival in this country, feign themselves, as in Germany, to be pilgrims; or as in France, to be penitents; neither of which impositions would have been well adapted to the temper of the government of Henry VIII; or to his subversion of papal power, and abolition of monastic influence. The character they assumed, was the best adapted to establish their reputation, for the arts and deception they intended to practise in England. The fame of Egypt in astrology, magic, and soothsaying, was universal; and they could not have devised a more artful expedient, than the profession of this knowledge, to procure for them a welcome reception by the great mass of the people.

From the abstract of the Act of 27th, Henry VIII, we may infer, that the Gypsies were so much in request, as to induce some of our countrymen to import them from the Continent, or at least to encourage their migration to this Island. The importation of these people must have been prevalent from some cause, to require parliamentary interference, and even a fine to prevent it, of such an amount as 40 pounds; which according to the relative value of money, would, at the present time, be equal to a large sum.

During the same reign, we find that a number of Gypsies were reshipped at the public expense, and sent to France.

In the Book of Receipts and Payments, of the 35th of Henry VIII. are the following entries.

"Nett Payments 1st Sept. 36th of Henry VIII,

"Item to Tho. Warner, Sergeant of the Admyraltie, 10th Sept. for victuals prepared for a shippe appointed to convey certaine Egupeians, 58s.—Item to the same Tho. Warner to th' use of John Bowles for freight of said shippe, 6 pounds 5s. Item to Robt. Ap. Rice, Esq. Shriff of Huntingdon for the charge of the Egupeians at a special gaile delivery, and the bringing of them to be conveied over the sees; over and besides the sum of 4 pounds 5s. 0d. growing of seventeen horses, sold at five shillings {82} the piece, as apperythe by a particular book, 17 pounds 17s. 7d. Item to Will. Wever appointed to have the charge of the conduct of the said Egupeians to Callis, 5 pounds."

There were subsequent acts relating to Gypsies in the reign of Ph. & M.; and 5th of Eliz.; by which, "If any person being 14 years old, whether natural born subject or stranger, who had been seen in the fellowship of such persons, or had disguised himself like them, should remain with them one month at once, or at several times, it should be felony without benefit of clergy."

But notwithstanding these measures to extirpate Gypsies, Wraxall, in his History of France, Vol. II. page 32, in referring to the Act of Eliz. in 1563, states, that in her reign, the Gypsies throughout England were supposed to exceed ten thousand.

And it appears by the following Order of Sessions, copied from the Harleian M.S.S. British Museum, No. 364, that about the year 1586, there were great complaints of the increase of vagabonds and loitering persons, &c.

"Orders, Rules, and Directions, concluded, appointed, and agreed uppon, by us the Justices of the Peace, within the countie of Suffolk, assembled at our General Sessions of Peace, holden at Bury the 22d daie of Aprill, in the 31st yeare of the Raigne of our Souraigne Lady, the Queen's Majestie, for the punishinge and suppressinge of Roags, Vacabonds; idle, loyteringe, and lewde persons; which doe, or shall hereafter wander and goe aboute, within the hundreths of Thingo cum Bury, Blackborne, Thedwardstree, Cosford, Babings, Risbridge, Lackford, and the half hundreth of Exninge, in the said countie of Suffolk, contrary to the law, in that case made and provided.

"Whereas, at the Parliement beganne and holden at Westminster, the 8th daie of Maye, in the 14th yeare of the raigne of the Queen's Majestie, that nowe is, one Acte was made, intytuled, "An Acte for punishment of Vacabonds, and for releife of the Pooere, and Impotent." And whereas, at a Session of the Parliament, holden by prorogacon, at Westminster, the eight daie of February, in the 28th yeare of her Majestie's raigne, one other Acte was made and intytuled, "An Acte for settinge of the Poore to work, and for the avoydinge of idleness." By vertue of which, severall Acts, certeyne provisions and remedies been ordeyned, and established, as well for the suppressinge, and punishinge of all roags, vacabonds, sturdy roags, idle and loyteringe persons; as also for the releife, and setting on worke of the aged and impotente persons within this realm; and authoritie gyven to Justices of Peace, in their several charges and commission, to see that the said Acts and Statuts be putte in due execution, to the glorie of Allmightie God, and the benefite of the common welth.

"And whereas also yt appeareth by dayly experience, that the number of idle, vagraunte, loyteringe, sturdy roags, masterles men, lewde and yll disposed persons are exceedingly encreased, and multiplied, committinge many grevious and outeragious disorders and offences, tendinge to the great . . . of Allmightie God, the contempte of her Majestie's laws, and to the great charge, troble, and disquiet of the common welth.—We the Justices of Peace, above speciefied, assembled and mett together at our general sessions above named, for remedie of theis and such lyke enormities which hereafter shall happen to arise or growe within the hundreths and lymits aforesaid, doe by theis presents, order, decree and ordeyne, That there shall be builded or provided one convenient house, which shall be called the House of Correction; and that the same be established within the towne of Bury, within the hundreth of Thingoe aforesaid. And that all persons offendinge or lyvinge contrary to the tenor of the said twoe Acts, within the hundreths and lymitts aforesaid, shal be, by the warrante of any Justice of Peace, dwellinge in the same hundreths or lymitts, committed thether and there be releived, punished, sett to worke, and ordered in such sorte, and accordinge to the directions, provisions, and limitations, hereafter in theis presents declared and specified.

"Fyrst, That yt maie appeare what persons arre to be apprehended, committed and brought to the House of Correction, it is ordered and appointed, That all and every person and persons which shal be found and taken within the hundreths and lymitts aforesaid, above the age of 14 yeares, and shall take upon them to be procters or procurators goinge aboute withowt sufficiente lycence from the Queen's Majestie. All idle persons goinge aboute usinge subtiltie and unlawfull games or plaie—all such as faynt themselves to have knowledge in phisiognomye, palmestrie or other abused sciences—all tellers of destinies, deaths or fortunes, and such lyke fantasticall imaginations."

From the tenor of the above Ordinance, it might be inferred that, at the time of issuing it, Gypsies, and their adherents, abounded in the County of Suffolk; and it may be concluded, that they continued to attach themselves to that part of the nation, as Judge Hale remarks, that "at one Suffolk Assize, no less than thirteen Gypsies were executed upon these Statutes, a few years before the restoration."

To the honour of our national humanity, however, Judge Blackstone observes, there are no instances more modern than this, of carrying these laws into practice; and the last, sanguinary act is itself now repealed. The severe statute of 5th Eliz. c. 20 is repealed by 23d Geo. III. c. 51—and Gypsies are now only punishable under the Vagrant Act, which declares, "that all persons pretending to be Gypsies, or wandering in the habit, and form of Egyptians, shall be deemed rogues, and vagabonds."—17th Geo. II. c. 5.

In Scotland, these people seemed for a time to enjoy some share of indulgence; for a writ in favour of John Faw, Lord and Earl of Upper Egypt, was issued by Mary, Queen of Scots, 1553; and in 1554, he obtained a pardon for the murder of Numan Small.

In 1579, however all the legislative provisions respecting vagrants, beggars, &c. in Scotland, were reduced into one law, by the following very comprehensive statute: "Forameikle as there is sindrie loyabil Acts of Parliament, maid be our soveraine Lord's maist nobil progenitours, for the stanching of maisterful and idle beggars, away putting of Sornares, and provision for the pure: bearing that nane sall be thoiled to beg, nouther to burgh, nor to land, betwixt 14 and 70 zeires.

"That sik as make themselves fules, and ar bairdes, or uther sik like runners about, being apprehended, sall be put into the Kinge's waird, or irones, sa lang as they have ony gudes of their awin to live on. And fra they have not quhairupon to live of their awin, that their eares be nayled to the trone, or to an uther tree, and their eares cutted off, and banished the countrie; and gif thereafter they be found againe, that they be hanged.

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