The following Editor’s Introduction is divided into 5 sections:
|• Section 1||Preliminaries|
|• Section 2||Part 1 of The Planter’s Speech|
|• Section 3||Part 2 of The Planter’s Speech|
|• Section 4||Publication and distribution|
|• Section 5||References|
Introducing: Thomas Tryon’s The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ... (1684)
This 80-page treatise was first printed in 1684 as chapters 4 and 5 of Tryon’s handbook on animal husbandry and veterinary medicine, The Country-Man’s Companion. This book, which was reprinted in 1688, argued for the humane treatment of all our “Fellow-Creatures”:
The Righteous Man (saith the inspired Prophet) is Merciful to his Beast: Which Mercy, Compassion or Pittifulness consists not only in his not abusing them with excessive Labour, and unreasonable Stripes and Hardships, but in providing for them convenient Food, and helping to free them of Diseases and Infirmities, when by his own or other Negligence or ignorant Conduct, Distempers are brought upon them; or rather in such a prudent and moderate Government and Use of them, as may prevent, and give no occasion for such Evils.
’Tis generally said, and very truly, That Man is the Vice-Roy of the Creation, and to him is given Dominion over the Beasts of the Earth; but this rule is not absolute or tyrannical, but qualified as it may most conduce, in the first place, To the Glory of God, 2dly, To the real Use and Benefit of Man himself, and not to gratifie his fierce and wrathful or foolish and wanton Humor; and 3rdly, As it best tends to the helping, aiding and assisting those Beasts, to the obtaining all the Advantages their Natures are by the great, bountiful and always beneficent Creator made capable of; For as a Shepherd is the Ruler of his Flock and yet is bound to feed as well as fleece them: And as Angels, though of a kind superior to us, yet by Gods Decree are Ministring Spirits, and often imploy’d for the good of their Inferior (Man) so will not any wise, or (which is all one) good Man think it below him to descend to do good Offices to these under-graduated Fellow-Creatures of his, whom some with a proud disdainful Scorn call Dumb Creatures and Brute Beasts, though yet they will have a Voice to cry against their Oppressions; and if all things were rightly weighed, the former would appear much more Brutish (that is, more Absurd, and acting more contrary to the pure Dictates of unbyass’d and indepraved Nature) than the latter. It being certain that Lyons and Tygers are not more savage and cruel, Geese and Asses not half so stupid, Foxes and Monkies less knavish and ridiculous, Wolves not more ravenous, nor Goats more lascivious than abundance of those grave Bearded Animals that pride themselves with the empty Title of Rational Souls, whilst the whole bent of their Lives and Actings is Diametrically opposite to all the Precepts of Reason, and even of common Sense.
This is not said to undervalue the Noble Dignity of Humane Nature, whereon the Adorable All-bless’d Creator vouchsafed originally to impress his own Image, but to remind that Insolent Creature (Man) (too apt to forget it) of his miserable degenerate state, and to awaken him to aspire to that real Dignity which he seems almost wholly to have forgot.
And as in a former Treatise I have endeavoured to bring Man acquainted with, and prudently to govern himself (an Empire far more Happy and Glorious than any the Alexanders or the Caesars could by their Murthering Arms achieve) so in this short Discourse my aim is to offer some Helps for his better Management of two of the most useful Inferior Creatures committed to his charge, I mean, Horses and Sheep, concerning both which I have observed great Errors to have been committed, as well to their own Loss and Damage as to the Prejudice of those poor Creatures, by many that have the keeping of them.
(T. Tryon, The Country-Man’s Companion, 1st edn., 1684, A2r–A3v)
The archaic phrase “Inferior Creatures” will strike many of us today as at odds with a pointed animal-rights message, but for Tryon the phrase was simply descriptive of his culture’s socio-political hierarchies, and nothing more. “Superior” (powerful) and “Inferior” (less powerful) creatures did not imply value judgments or rankings based on the innate worth of either class. Indeed, Tryon was a radical egalitarian, arguing that equality for all was the true natural order of things, and a guiding principle for any utopian “Society of Clean and Innocent Livers,” as he hoped would be constructed in the American colonies of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In the section of his posthumously-published Memoirs entitled “Some certain Principles, Maxims and Laws, which ought to be imbraced and observed by all such as have the Government either of Families, or Societies, and would Train them up in Temperance, Cleanness, Order, and innocency of Life,” Tryon mandated:
6. Thou art to believe, that as all the illuminated and beautified Creatures, both of the Celestial and Terrestrial Globe, are the Works of the Eternal Creator, and have his Image and Signature stamped upon them, each according to its kind: So likewise, that his Paternal Love, Care, and preserving Power, is equally dispensed to each in due measure, according to its kind, even to the meanest of them.
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon ..., 1705, 74–5)
9. The preserving Powers of the Almighty, being equal and universal, not Limited to any particular Creature. Thou art therefore to take notice that the good Powers of Life, are as near and dear to one Creature, as to another; to the most Inferior, as much as to the most Superior.
10. Thou shalt therefore believe, that it is a great and heinous Evil against thy Father, to oppress, starve, or kill any Creature, they being all his Children; and that as thou art bound to honour and imitate him, thou oughtest to preserve them in their natural Strength and Beauty, remembring that Health and Life are as valuable and precious to the Creatures, to each in its Kind, as to Man.
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon, 1705, 76–8)
1. Thou shalt not kill, oppress, hunt, hurry, nor offer any kind of Violence either to Mankind, or any Creature, either of the Air, Earth, or Water; they all bear thy Creator’s Image, and have his Laws of Order, Number, Weight and Measure, stamped in the Center of their Lives. Many of them likewise, are thy faithful Servants: And as true Religion chiefly consists in the imitating of our Creator; thou shalt therefore govern them in Love, Mercy, and Equality, even as he governs the World; all the numerous Inhabitants whereof, are his Children, both Superior and Inferior, and accordingly his Paternal preserving Care over them, is universal, and without partiality: And as thou wouldest not have thy Children whom thou hast begot, made and created, by Vertue and Power of the in-dwelling Word planted in the Center of thy Life; so neither must thou dare to destroy, or violate any Creature whatsoever; for they are thy Brethren, having the same Father, Creator, and Preserver with thy self, and participate equally with thee, according to their Natures, of his Care and Influence.
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon, 1705, 82–4)
The same egalitarian principle applied to human interrelations, causing Tryon to remove the economic underpinnings of his culture’s gender hierarchies by mandating that “thy Daughters” inherit “equally ... with thy Sons”:
11. Thou shalt imitate thy great Creator, in the distribution of thy Favours and Goods to thy Children, and as he has an equal regard to all his Offspring, distributing his fructifying Dews on every Field, and his preserving Care to every Creature: So shalt thou be equally careful of all thy Children, and shalt be impartial in the distribution of thy Talents amongst them, making thy Daughters equally Sharers with thy Sons, and thy younger Children with the Eldest: But if any of thy Children transgress the Laws of Innocency and Cleanness, and defile himself, dishonouring and disobeying thee; then thou shalt not give him any Portion or Share of thy Goods, unless with great Submission he acknowledge his Fault, and forsake the Evil.
12. If any one die Childless, he shall divide his Estate into so many Portions as he hath Relations, duely weighing their Nearness and Circumstances; first having allotted one Portion for the use of the Poor, which shall not be less than the Tenth of the whole.
13. If any one, who has joyned himself to the Society of Clean and Innocent Livers, dies without a Will; in such a Case, the Heads or Elders of such Society, shall divide his Estate amongst his Children, if he have any; or if he have none, then amongst his Relations, still reserving one Portion for the Poor. And if the Intestate leave Wife and Children, the Wife shall have no more than each Child; all things shall be performed in Equality.
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon, 1705, 89–92)
Such themes are consistent throughout Tryon’s oeuvre. Whether dealing with mundane domestic matters such as the health hazards of “soft Feather-beds,” the generation of fleas and their cure, and the proper preparation of inexpensive vegetarian “Pottage, Gruels and Paps” — or pressing social matters having to do with educational reform, religious freedom and “Liberty of Conscience,” colonialism, slavery, human rights, and animal cruelty — or the most weighty cosmic matters preoccupying mystic philosophers, such as the divinely-inspired mathematical patterns, beauty and splendor of “the Lofty Illuminated Orderly Coelestial Governments” — all of Tryon’s published works reflect, like The Country-Man’s Companion and The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., on questions of the nature of the universe and the individual’s relationship to God and his world. No subject was too small, or too large, for his prolific pen and his savvy publishers, earning him a broad audience, both at home and abroad:
During the 1690s most of Tryon’s works went into two or three editions, and seem to have been widely read by sectarians of various schools, both in Britain and in North America, one being Benjamin Franklin, who read and absorbed The Way to Health in his youth. The number of Tryon’s works in collections in the United States shows the extent of his influence on protestant emigrants....
(V. Smith, ODNB entry for Thomas Tryon, n. pag.)
By all accounts, Thomas Tryon — an autodidact, vegetarian, Pythagorean and disciple of the Silesian mystic Jakob Böhme (or Boehme, 1575–1624), philosopher–mystic in his own right (a precocious child, he had his first mystic experience at the age of 6), erstwhile colonist, successful London merchant, and polymath author — was a remarkable individual.
At the end of the 18th century, Tryon was profiled by the printseller James Caulfield (1764–1826), who specialized in Portraits, Memoirs, and Characters of Remarkable Persons (especially those with entertainment value who “lived to a great age, deformed persons, convicts, &c.”). Caulfield’s short letterpress biography of Tryon, accompanied by a new reproduction of White’s by-then rare portrait engraving, cast Tryon as “a singular Enthusiast” and amusement for Enlightenment sensibilities, at the same time commending his bootstrapping work ethic:
Thomas Tryon was one among many instances to prove how much personal industry, aided by prudence, may effect. He was born at Bibury, in Gloucestershire, of parents in a very humble situation; his father was a plasterer and tile-maker, and, at five years of age, rendered his son useful towards earning a part to support himself, by spinning and carding of wool, and assisting him in his own trade of a plasterer, which occupation he quitted to assume the office of a shepherd. At thirteen years of age he first began to learn to read, and at fourteen, by the strictest frugality, he found himself master of several sheep, one of which he gave to be taught the art of writing; and, shortly afterwards, he sold his whole stock of sheep for three pounds, and with that sum in his pocket made the best of his way to London, in hopes of improving his little fortune: he was not long in finding a situation, and became apprentice to a hat-maker, at Bridewell Dock: he paid the greatest attention in learning his business, to which he devoted the whole of the day, and amused himself the greatest part of the night in reading; he was peculiarly attached to books of astrology and the occult sciences, and Lilly, Partridge, Booker, and others of the same class, were his infallible oracles. In imitation of Roger Crabb, the Uxbridge hermit, he rejected the use of animal food, and affected to consider the lives of the dumb creation as sacred. Having heated his imagination to the highest pitch, he boasted that by his “temperance, cleanliness, and innocency,” he was purified for celestial enjoyment, and had felt himself inspired with divine illuminations. He possessed, however, sufficient prudence to take care of that which the generality of the world call “the main chance.” He entered and pursued business with such attention and success, that he accumulated a considerable fortune. His amusements and fancies were innocent, and hurt none; and, like some other humourists, marked the progress of the spirit in a journal, in which he carefully noted the mighty working wonders of his prolific brain, and at forty-eight commenced author upon other subjects, not less extraordinary than the preceding.
Tryon was of a sensible, enthusiastic mind, acting entirely from his own resolves; not submitting to the guidance or advice of any one; had society or friendship directed him, or assisted his experience and application, he might have produced something worthy remark, and we might have admired, and been improved, instead of wondering and smiling at his singular mode of burying birds, or laughing at his abomination of woollen cloth, and his permission for our wearing linen.
He died, August 21, 1703, at the age of 69, when perhaps he had thoughts of remaining a series of ages in this world, through his tenderness to beasts, birds, fishes, insects and reptiles.
(J. Caulfield, Portraits, Memoirs, and Characters, of Remarkable Persons, from the Revolution in 1688 to the End of the Reign of George II, 4 vols., 1819–20, 1.54–6)
Tryon was certainly an outlier, even when judged by his own age with its Baroque sensibilities, and took note of this fact in most of his works, including the title-page for his The Knowledge of a Man’s Self the Surest Guide to the True Worship of God, and Good Government of the Mind and Body, written — “in opposition to tradition, custom and bigottry, the governors of the present, and all preceding generations” — for others, like himself, who sought radical change in their lives. Of note, one of these kindred spirits was the famous woman playwright, poet and novelist, Aphra Behn (1640?–1689), said to be “the first professional woman writer.”
As such, Behn was also an outlier, and as a writer for the Restoration stage (where all manner of depravity held sway), Behn developed a reputation for lewd, immoderate, and unfeminine behavior. However, as critic George Woodcock points out, this bad-girl caricature was at odds with the autobiographical commentary infusing the commendatory poem she wrote on Thomas Tryon’s The Way to Health, Long Life, and Happiness (1st edn., 1683):
[W]hile [Behn] enjoyed convivial gatherings, she was always moderate in her tastes, and does not appear to have encouraged debauchery. Indeed, she seems in later life to have been converted to a fairly rigorous abstinence, if we are to judge from one of her poems addressed to “the author of that Excellent Book Intituled The Way to Health, Long Life, and Happiness”. This was Thomas Tryon, a Pythagorean and disciple of Jacob Boehme, who wrote an interesting early manual on rational principles of health, advocating a vegetable diet, with a planned use of herbs, and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and similar luxuries. Tryon expressed his ideas in a remarkably moderate and unfanatical way, and remains one of the most interesting and readable advocates of this way of life. Aphra Behn was evidently much impressed by his theories, and saw their close connection with her own naturalism and her recurring vision of the Golden Age of primitive men.....
This poem, and the fact that Tryon himself prefixed it not only to The Way of Health, but also to his later book, The Way to Make All People Rich; or Wisdom’s Call to Temperance and Frugality, seem to show that, at least in the later period of her life, there was no substance whatever in the accusations of immoderate debauchery that were levelled against Aphra Behn. This concern for abstinence may indeed seem somewhat incompatible with the introduction of milk punch, which evidently belongs to an earlier period; nevertheless, there is a sense of dignity and proportion in all Aphra Behn’s work, and a hatred of extremes of behaviour, that make it seem unlikely that she was ever addicted to immoderation in her style of life. No doubt she lived gaily and generously, but not luxuriously or violently; her love of pleasure was truly Epicurean, in that she seems to have preferred taking it in a balanced manner to indulging it in excess.
(G. Woodcock, The Incomparable Aphra, 1948, 85–7)
At age 47, Aphra Behn became a chronic sufferer of “some very painful and even conspicuously distorting form of rheumatic disease” (Woodcock, 194). The satirist Robert Gould jeered her physical deformities in print (“Sappho, famous for her Gout, and Guilt”) as did an anonymous versifier in the early part of 1687 (“Long with a Sciatica she’s beside lame, / Her limbs distortur’d, Nerves shrunk up with pain”).
However much time and sickness had worn away her beauty and twisted her into an ageing cripple, to be mocked by the wits of a hostile faction, she remained a woman of spirit from whose eyes the old gaiety and defiance were never wholly absent, who still regarded life and people with a vast and sympathetic interest. Struggling against growing odds, she went on writing, no longer for fame so much as for the bread that was necessary to keep her weakening body alive. The struggle had reached a bitter stage, and all her good humour was needed to enable her to live through the last two difficult years of her comparatively short life.
(G. Woodcock, The Incomparable Aphra, 1948, 195)
This painful disease no doubt added to the urgency with which she turned, late in life, to the “natural” regimens recommended by Thomas Tryon in his works eulogizing the benefits of a moderate diet, and abstinence from drink and luxurious living. The two authors had much in common, including time spent in the “West Indies,” with Behn at the new English colony of Surinam from 1663–4, and Tryon at Barbados for about 5 years, 1663–4 and c.1664/5–1668/9. The colonial experience had been formative for both. “Behn claimed that her virgin muse was American and implied that it was in Surinam that she wrote her first play, The Young King, partly based on the romance Cléopâtre by La Calprenède.” (J. Todd, ODNB entry for Aphra Behn, n. pag.) As recorded in his autobiographical fragment, Tryon’s experience in the Americas included the mystic revelation
About Two Years after Marriage, I took a Voyage to Barbadoes, where I staid about a Year; but in some little time after my return home, I went for Holland; but my Errand there not succeeding to my expectation, I quickly returned home; and after a short stay, went again for Barbadoes, where I continued about Four Years, making Beavers to Success. During some part of this time, I was mightily stirred up to a more than ordinary Abstinence, which call of Wisdom I obeyed, and lived for some Weeks on Bread and Water, the liberty of Eggs, Milk, Butter and Cheese, and every thing proceeding from the Animal Kingdom, being denied me; in which the Lord manifested himself to me most wonderfully, and taught and shewed me many great mysteries; which Mercy and Love I hope I shall never forget. After this I returned for England ....
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon ..., 1705, 40–2)
that set him on the path to wisdom:
The Knowledge of a Man’s Self, is a Key to the Knowledge of all other things: But this Self-knowledge is never the Subject of Discourse in a Publick House. No, thou must retire within thy self, and by turning thy Mind inwards, and living Temperately, Innocently, and Abstemiously, obeying the Voice of Wisdom, thou wilt attain that Rich Treasure which is accompanied with incomprehensible Satisfaction. By imploying our time, as we mentioned before, and living strictly in our Method of Self-denial, it pleased the Lord to make manifest to me many things which I never sought, or so much as thought of in the beginning of my Separation [i.e., from the vanities of this world] ....
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon ..., 1705, 51–3)
and which he would later teach to others in his books:
About the 48th Year of my Age, I had an inward Instigation to Write and Publish something to the World; and this Impression was upon my Spirit to that degree, that I could not be satisfied, till I had set down in Writing several things the Lord had manifested to me, relating both to Divine and Natural Wisdom; recommending to the World Temperance, Cleanness, and Innocency of Living; and admonishing Mankind against Violence, Oppression, and Cruelty, either to their own Kind, or any inferior Creatures, giving them Wisdom’s Bill of Fare, what Foods and Drinks are most proper for preserving the Health, and Chearfulness, both of Body and Mind. I writ down several Mysteries relating to God, and his Government in the Methods of Nature, which I had not by hear-say, nor borrowed from other Authors, but as they were impressed upon me by my good Genius through the Mercy of God. And if any be awakened by my Writings, and stirred up to obey Wisdom’s Voice, which is continually crying aloud to them from the Center of their own Hearts; let them give the Praise and Glory to the Almighty Power: To whose innocent Laws, if they would heartily submit themselves, he would make himself more and more known unto them, and fill their Minds not only with Knowledge, but with a full Peace and compleat Satisfaction.
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon ..., 1705, 54–6)
Behn’s poem promoting Tryon’s books and Pythagorean lifestyle took note of the fact that “Fools & Madmen thy great Work condemn,” advising Tryon (and by extension, his readers) to “scorn the Sots that want the Sence to learn” from him as she had:
On the Author of that excellent and learned Book, entituled, The Way to Health, long Life and Happiness.
Haile Learned Bard! who dost thy power dispence,
And show’st us the first state of Innocence,
That happy Golden Age, when man was Young,
When the whole Race was Vigorous and strong;
When Nature did her wonderous Dictates give,
And taught the noble Salvage [i.e., savage] how to live;
When Christal Streams, and every plentious Wood
Afforded harmless Drink and wholesome Food.
E’re that Ingratitude in Man was found,
His Mother-Earth with Iron Ploughs to wound;
When unconfin’d, the spacious Plains produc’d
What Nature crav’d, and more than Nature us’d;
When every Sence to Innocent delights,
Th’ agreeing Elements unforc’d invites;
When Earth was gay, and Heaven was kind and bright,
And nothing horrid did perplex the sight.
Unprun’d the Roses and the Jes’mine grew,
Nature each day drest all the World a-new,
And Sweets without mans aid each moment grew;
Till wild Debauchery did the Mind invade,
And Vice and Luxury became a Trade;
Surer than War it laid whole Countries waste,
Nor Plague, nor Famine ruin’d half so fast:
By swift degrees we took the Poyson in,
Regarding not the danger, nor the Sin.
Delightful, Gay and Charming was the Bait,
While Death did on th’ inviting Pleasures wait
And ev’ry Age produc’d a feebler Race,
Sickly their days, and those declin’d apace,
Scarce Blossoms blow, and wither in less space;
Till Nature thus declining by degrees,
We have recourse to rich Restoratives,
By dull advice from some of learned Note,
We take the Poyson for the Antidote;
Till sinking Nature, cloy’d with false Supplies,
O’re-charg’d, grows fainter, languishes and dyes.
These are the Plagues that o’re this Island reign,
And has so many threescore Thousands slain,
Till you the saving Angel, whose blest hand
Has sheath’d that Sword that threatn’d half the Land.
More than a Parent, Sir, we you must own,
They give but Life, but you prolong it on:
You an innocent Power with Heaven do show,
Give us long Life and lasting Vertue too.
Such were the mighty Patriarchs of old,
Who God in all his Glory did behold:
Inspir’d like you, they Heaven’s Instructions show’d,
And were as Godds amidst the wondering Crowd:
Not he that bore th’ Almighty Wand, cou’d give
Diviner dictates how to eat, and live:
And so essential was this cleanly Food
For mans eternal Health, eternal Good,
That God did for his first lov’d Race provide
What thou by Gods Example hast prescrib’d.
Oh! Mayst thou live to justifie thy Fame,
To Ages lasting, as thy glorious Name!
May thy own Life make thy vast Reasons good,
(Philosophy admir’d, and understood!)
To every Sence ’tis plain, ’tis great, and clear,
And divine Wisdom does o’re all appear.
Learning and knowledge does support the whole,
And nothing can thy mighty Truth controul.
Let Fools & Madmen thy great Work condemn,
I’ve try’d thy Methods, and adore thy Theam.
Adore the Soul that [c]ou’d such Truths discern,
And scorn the Sots that want the Sence to learn.
(A. Behn, poem prefixed to The Way to Make All People Rich: or, Wisdoms Call to Temperance and Frugality in a Dialogue between Sophronio and Guloso ..., by T. Tryon, 1685, n. pag.)
Behn’s poetic précis of Tryon’s philosophy of life is an excellent introduction to themes which were central to his The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ....
§ Part 1 of The Planter’s Speech
I have written elsewhere at this website about how the happiness doctrine was a core principle for English republicanism by the time Thomas Jefferson wrote “the pursuit of happiness” into the Declaration of Independence for the fledgling American republic: “... We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness....” (U.S. Declaration of Independence)
There, I suggested that both Aristotle and Algernon Sidney were possible influences for this foundational concept.
Here, I would like to suggest that Thomas Tryon may have also been an influence. Certainly, his discussion of “your proposed Happiness in America” in part 1 of The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ... indicates that the god-given right of all to pursue a “happy” life drove the Anglo-American colonial project from its inception:
Our business therefore here in this New Land is not so much to build Houses, and establish Factories, and promote Trades and Manufactories, that may enrich our selves, (though all these things in their due place are not to be neglected) as to erect Temples of Holiness and Righteousness, which God may delight in; to lay such lasting Frames and Foundations of Temperance and Virtue as may support the Superstructures of our future Happiness, both in this and the other World.
(T. Tryon, The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., 1684, 8)
To secure such happiness for present and future generations, Tryon advocated “some degree” of separation “from the Vanities of this World” (The Planter’s Speech, 24) so that a sustainable regional economy could be built around
Simplicity, as well in Cloathing, as in Meats, Drinks and Exercises, by which we shall not only free our selves from unnecessary Bonds, needless Changes, vain Fashions, burthensome Inconveniences we have many Years laboured under, but also teach our Posterity this important Truth, That the fewer things we need, the Happier we are, and the more quiet we shall lead our Lives; Superfluity and Extravagant Desires being the Mother of all Need, Labour, Pain, Trouble and Diseases.
(T. Tryon, The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., 1684, 24–5)
Here, as elsewhere, Tryon disdained the over-consumption of natural resources (a public commons) by the idle rich. In chapter 3 of The Country-Man’s Companion Tryon complains about the imbalances of an economy (like London’s) based on “vain and superfluous” consumption:
... do not some particular Persons spend as much daily in Wine, strong Drink and Rich Food, (compounded with as many Ingredients as there are weeks in the Year) as would well sustain ten, twenty or forty People in simple harmless Food? And is there not spent daily in one City, viz. in London, near Fifty Thousand Pounds Sterling in Wine, Brandy, and other Spirits and strong Liquors? which is Eighteen Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds Sterling every year? A Prodigious Sum of Money to be swallowed up and pissed away in one year, by a parcel of Spoil-Goods, on a spot of Ground not above six or seven Miles long, and three or four broad! The greatest part of all which is spent in superfluity, and by idle People, as well to their own particular Prejudice, in point of Health, as to the Impoverishment of the Publick, and Robbing of the more Poor and Industrious of those necessary Supplies which God and Nature bountifully allow’d to all Mankind....
(T. Tryon, The Country-Man’s Companion, 1st edn., 1684, 91)
Not only did such a system waste precious resources, it promoted plutocracy and more idleness.
... My Father got an Estate by Oppression, Blood and Violence, and made me his Heir, why then should I work? Had not I Slaves to do my Drudgery? I am a Gentleman born and bred, who shall hinder me from taking my Pleasure in Carrouzing, Pampering my Carcass, diverting my self in all manner of Uncleanness and Idleness?
(T. Tryon, The Country-Man’s Companion, 1st edn., 1684, 97)
In Tryon’s view, the entitled children of the well-off were an especial threat to the new-building of a godly Christian society in America.
... Therefore the Wise Antients, and great Princes and Prophets, the better to obey the Commands of God, and imitate his Works, both Coelestial and Terrestrial, were skilled, not only in sublime Arts and Sciences, but also in all Husbandry, and the mannagement of Cattel; As Abraham the great and Pious Father of the Faithful, and his Son Isaac, and his Grand-son Jacob, and Royal David, &c. whose Sepulchers, or the Shadows of their Memories our modern superfluous DONS pretend to Honour, and yet at the same time scorn to imitate them, but hate and contemn their Deeds. That famous Patriarch Isaac did not say to his Son Jacob, Thou art my Heir, it does not become thee to spend thy time to understand Husbandry, or to be a Plow-man or a Shepherd, and a Companion of Clowns and Rusticks, but I will have thee bred a Gentleman, that is, Eat and drink of the best, and superfluously, and do no work, but ride up and down in thy Coach, and be waited upon by a parcel of Servants altogether as idle as thy self; and thou shalt Rack thy Tenants, and Domineer over the Poor, and oppress and violate their Rights, and spend their Labours, and the sweat of their Brows in Riot and Wantonness, and lead a lazy swaggering Life, and bear all out because thou art my Son, and well Descended. But alas! these Maxims of Education were not known or practised in those days, but the Prudent Fathers brought up their Dutiful and Laborious Children to their own Trades, and in honest Country Imployments. Jacob had twelve Sons, how many of them did he make Lawyers, University-men, or Inns-of-Court-Gentlemen? No, No; they were every one of them Shepherds, and were not ashamed of their Occupation, nor thought it any dishonour to their Birth; for those were the Golden Times, so much celebrated by the Antients, when Kings and Princes studied Wisdom, and preferr’d the true Knowledge of God and Nature in themselves before the vain Conceits of Ignorance, Ambition, or the outward and barren Noise of Lip-Learning, but Tutor’d their Children in the Mysteries of undisguised Nature, and contented themselves with plain Country-Lives, mean Clothing and simple Food, which render’d them sound and healthful, both in Body and Mind; their Children for that Reason being not so (subject to such a number of Diseases as ours, nor to Immature Deaths ....
(T. Tryon, The Country-Man’s Companion, 1st edn., 1684, 94–6)
Tryon’s fix for this immediate danger is to counsel that Pennsylvania’s colonial “Superiors” be required to lead by example, and thus “accustom themselves to an higher degree of Temperance and Self-Denial” than those they govern (The Planter’s Speech, 25). Fully aware that this, alone, would not be sufficient to protect against the socioeconomic threat from “vain and superfluous” consumption, Tryon also recommended that the North American colonists implement laws and/or high taxes to force the desired changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns.
And to ensure the happiness of all those laboring to build the new American paradise, Tryon pressed for a shortened, 6-hour work day:
The usual time of our Labour need not exceed Six Hours in a natural day; for if every one performs that duely according to the Obligation which the Lord hath laid upon men in general, without exception, & content themselves with innocent Fruits, Grains and Seeds, and observe the Rules of Moderation and Temperance, you may assure your selves, that six hours Labour in a day will plentifully supply us with all things necessary for Life, Health or Pleasure; Not that the rest of our time should be spent in Idleness, much less wasted in vain Gaming or Riot, but imployed in meditating on the Works of God and Nature, innocent and useful Conference, reading profitable Books, refreshing our Spirits with the sweet Airs of Musick, practising curious and beneficial Arts, as Planting, Inoculating, Grafting, studying the Science of Numbers, the Use of the Globes, the Theory of Navigation, and all the parts of the Mathematicks, for those whose Genius leads them thereunto; Others to gain skill by Experience in the Knowledge of Herbs, Plants, and other Vegetations, to distinguish them by their Names, Shape and Virtues, take notice of their Agreement with, or Antipathy to each other; and particularly to observe the Signature of each; for on every thing God has engraven certain Mystick real Characters, fully expressing its true Nature and Vertues to such as can obtain the skill to read that Essential Alphabet; also reading of true and select Histories, wherein by taking notice of the Revolutions, Confusions, Slaughters and Miseries men in all Ages have brought upon themselves, by their Lusts and Pride, we may both learn to detest their Ways which lead to those Confusions, and be excited to a greater gratitude to God for his Mercies to us, in planting us under more happy Circumstances.
(T. Tryon, The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., 1684, 33–5)
Tryon’s own work experience probably inspired this passage. At 18 years of age, when Tryon first went to London in 1652, he “bound my self Apprentice to a Castor-maker, at Bridewel-Dock, near Fleet-Street” (Memoirs, 17–18). Hat-making was “a laborious Trade” (Memoirs, 18) in which — by choice, in order to maximize his income — Tryon “wrought hard all day, from Five or Six in the Morning, till Ten or Eleven at Night” (Memoirs, 19) after which he would “sit up two or three Hours reading” (Memoirs, 19), studying astrology, medicine, “and several other natural Sciences and Arts” (Memoirs, 25).
I was not put upon this tedious daily working by my Master; for in our Trade ’tis customary for Apprentices to have a certain Task alotted them; which Task, being handy at my Trade, I not only fulfilled with ease, but by that my assiduous working, earned Five, Six, or Seven Shillings a Week, which my Master always readily paid me; And therewith I furnished my self with Books, paid my Tutors, and served all my occasions; but indeed, having no other way to raise Money, was thereby forced to work thus early and late. And I made the same advantage of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsontide Holydays; and would be at Work or Study, whilst my Fellow-servants were abroad taking their Pleasure.
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon ..., 1705, 19–21)
As organized when he was young, most trades did not allow “time for such Imployments of the Brain,” yet Tryon “was so intent on my Study, that I abridged my self of my Sleep and Rest.” (Memoirs, 19) Under the new world order, this would not be necessary. Employees and apprentices would be able to balance work and personal growth, without running down the body in the process.
For Tryon, allowing sufficient time and opportunity for everyone to get to “know thyself” was key to a happy, well-ordered society and well-run government — a vision later enshrined in the title of the last original work of his to be published, the two-volume The Knowledge of a Man’s Self the Surest Guide to the True Worship of God, and Good Government of the Mind and Body (1703–4). Tryon not only believed that “the Knowledge and true Understanding of a Man’s self, is preferable to all other Knowledge; for thereby he will discern the moving Spiritual Powers and Vertue of all the Laws of his Creator” (Memoirs, 80). He also believed that the creator gave man “Divine and Humane Wisdom, that he might learn how to govern himself, and all things under him” (Memoirs, 75).
As with all mystics, Tryon regards the inner “Voice of Wisdom” (Memoirs, 34), “made and created, by Vertue and Power of the in-dwelling Word planted in the Center of thy Life” (Memoirs, 84), as the only means of attaining “the true knowledge of God, Nature, and our selves” (The Planter’s Speech, 30).
... all other Learning or Knowledge, which depends on Custom, Chance and Tradition, is not a mans own; and therefore is but a bare Opinion, which most are apt to vary and change, and to have but little faith in, because such knowledge does not arise from the Root of their own Lives, but is forrein, spurious, adventitious, borrowed from abroad, and taken up upon the uncertain Credit of the People, who rarely know any thing as they ought to know. Nor does any thing make mans depraved state appear, more than for him to entertain vain Opinions, and follow Custom instead of Reason and the Nature of things; this being the only path that does keep so many in blindness and ignorance; and tho I love and honour Husbandmen for the Use, the Innocence, the Laboriousness and the Antiquity of their Calling, yet I must not flatter them so far, as not to tell them, that many of them are thus guilty of following too pertinaciously old Customs, not much unlike the Irish, whom nothing but the penalty of an Act of Parliament would restrain from fixing their Tackling to their Horses Tails in Plowing and Drawing, and from getting out their Corn by burning up the Straw, though they daily saw the Advantages of the English using Collars and Traces, and of their Threshing, whereby they had Straw to supply their Cattel in Winter, when many of theirs starved; yet they would keep to their old Barbarous Custom still, till they were cudgelled out of it by a Statute.
(T. Tryon, The Country-Man’s Companion, 1st edn., 1684, 7–8)
It follows from this that Tryon would be deeply suspicious of ceding health care in the new North American colony to an oligarchy of medical professionals working within a for-profit medical establishment, as existed in Europe. And so he was:
We ought by all means to discountenance all Babylonical Letter-learned Physitians, both for the Soul or Body; and on the contrary to direct [a]nd teach every one to hearken unto their own Genius and the Voice of Wisdom in themselves, which being minded, will teach every one the right Cure far better than their Mercinary Prescriptions.
(T. Tryon, The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., 1684, 25)
Tryon believed (with some justification) that the public health was maintained by “good government” of oneself and society, rather than by resorting to pharmaceuticals, which were marketed to patients using rhetorical trickery:
... whensoever Men are minded for their own particular Interest to advance any Unequal Meats, Drinks or Medicines, though they be never so injurious to the Health and Preservation of the Human Nature, to effect those Private Designs, they first christen the Things with Vertuous Names, and attribute to them a great number of Noble Qualifications, whereby Ignorant and Credulous People are impos’d upon; and it has principally been by those Methods that Foul Gross Meats and Drinks, and also Poisonous Medicines have been insinuated, and have obtain’d; tho’ they have no such Vertuous Properties as the Lying Authors have stamped on them; as is most apparent by their Operations and the Effects they produce. So that Interest, Fancy, Ignorance and Lying have been the Original of most of the numerous Vertues that Physicians and others tell you are contained in those Drugs, Herbs, Seeds and Grains. But notwithstanding that every Days Experience gives those Mountebanks the lye; yet so foolish are Men, that they believe every Foppish Flattering Spa[r ?]k, both in Meats, Drinks and Medicines, when at the same time the Authors believe nothing of it, or have little assurance themselves, it being in them only a Gamester’s Trick to get Money.
(T. Tryon, vol. 2 of The Knowledge of a Man’s Self the Surest Guide to the True Worship of God, and Good Government of the Mind and Body, 1704, 143–4)
The Quaker Gulielma Maria Penn (née Springett; d. 1694), wife of the Quaker leader and founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn (1644–1718), was one stellar example of the type of alternative health care regime Tryon recommended for the new colony. According to the Penns’ friend, John Aubrey,
W. Penn, esq., married Gulielma Maria Springet, daughter of Sir William Springet, of the Springets of the Broyles in Sussex.
She was a posthuma of her father, a young gent. of religion and courage who dyed at the siege of Arundel. His daughter was his image in person and qualities, virtuous, generous, wise, humble; generally beloved for those good qualities and one more—the great cures she does, having great skill in physic and surgery, which she freely bestows.
She early espoused the same way, about anno 1657. She was a great fortune to her husband, being worth de claro above 10,000 li. Her fortune, quality, and good humour gave her the importunity of many suitors of extraordinary condition, e.g. lord Brookes and lord J[ohn] [Vaughan], etc.; but valueing the unity of beliefe and the selfe deniall of her profession above the glories of the world, resisted their motions till Providence brought a man of equall condicion and to herself to the syncere embracing of the same fayth, whose mariage haz been crowned with a continued affection.
(J. Aubrey, Brief Lives, ed. A. Clark, 2 vols., 1898, 2.134–5)
At least one other accomplished female physician is known to have been working in the colonies in the 1680s. Her cure for snakebite was passed to Royal Society scientists by the Rev. Dr. John Clayton, a resident of Virginia (minister at Jamestown) between April 1684 and May 1686:
A Gentlewoman, that was a notable Female Doctress, told me, that a Neighbour being bit by a Rattle-Snake, swelled excessively; some days afterwards she was sent for, who found him swell’d beyond what she thought it had been possible for the Skin to contain, and very Thirsty. She gave him Oriental Bezoar shaved, with a strong Decoction of the aforesaid Dittany, whereby she recovered the Person: To the best of my Remembrance, it was he that told me, asking him afterwards, what he felt when the Snake first bit him? He said, it seemed as if a flash of Fire had ran through his Veins.
(J. Clayton, “A Continuation of Mr. John Clayton’s Account of Virginia,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 18.210, May 1694, 133–4)
To Tryon, healthy, educated women were at the heart and center of a thriving society.
The whole Preservation of Mens Health and Strength does chiefly reside in the Wisdom and Temperance of Women. Therefor the ancient Wise Men in former Ages, did direct and accustom their Women to a higher degree of Temperance than the Men. Which Customs of Sobriety the Women of several Countries do maintain to this day, as in Spain, great part of France, Italy, and many great Countries under the Dominion of the Grand Seignior [i.e., the Muslim nations of the Ottoman Empire]. Their Women do always drink Water, their Food being for the most part of a mean and simple Quality; and for this Reason neither they nor their Children are subject to several Diseases which our Women and Children are. Wine and strong Drink should be sparingly drunk by Women, till they are past Child-bearing; because the frequent and common drinking of strong Drinks, does generate various Distempers in the Female Sex, such as are not fit to be discoursed of in this Place, which their Children often bring with them into the World. If the Seed be good, yet if the Ground be bad, it seldom brings forth good Fruit. Also Women are our Nurses for fifteen or sixteen Years; and they do not only suffer us to be Gluttons, by letting us eat and drink often, of their ill-prepared Food, beyond the power of the Digestive Faculty, and more than the Stomach can bear; but many of them will entice us to Gluttony, and some will force their Children to eat even against their Stomachs, till they cast it up again. Now if it be a difficult Point for a Man of Age and Experience to observe the necessary Rules of Temperance, how careful then ought Mothers and Nurses to be in ordering their Children? A great part of the Children that die, especially in Towns and Cities, is occasioned either by the Intemperance of their Mothers, during the time they go with Child, or afterwards by their unnatural and badly-prepared Food, and suffering them to eat to excess ....
Also Women have the entire Management of all things that concern our Healths, during the whole time of our Lives; they prepare and dress our Food, and order all things in our Houses, both for Bed and Board. There is not one Man of a hundred that understand or takes any notice of whether his Food be well prepared or not; and if his Bed stinks, he is used to it, and so counts it all well. Mens Time and Study is chiefly taken up about getting a Livelihood, and providing things necessary for themselves and Families; so that there is not one among a thousand that understands any thing what belongs to the Preservation of his Health. Whatever the Women do and say touching the Preparation of [foods ?] and other ordering of Families for Health, most Men believe, [not ?] making the least scruple or question of the truth thereof. And well they may: For the chiefest Doctors of our Times do bow before them, and are altogether as subject to the Rules and Directions of Women, as other Men.
(T. Tryon, A Treatise of Cleanness in Meats and Drinks, of the Preparation of Food, the Excellency of Good Airs, and the Benefits of Clean Sweet Beds ..., 1682, 13–14)
Tryon was especially concerned with the health of English colonists transplanted to the foreign climes of the East and West Indies, and wrote extensively about how to better adapt to local circumstances (what and when to eat and drink, in particular), noting that
hankering after strong Liquors, and other the like Superfluities, destroy’d the Healths and Estates of many Thousands in these Western Indies, (as they are called) of our Country-men, viz. in Jamaica, Barbadoes and the Leward [i.e., Leeward] Islands, where they have and do make it a common practice to sell their excellent Butter, Eggs, Fruits, and fragrant Herbs, their Hens, Turkies, Ducks, &c. to purchase Rum, Brandy, Wine, and putrified stinking salt Flesh and Fish, which have destroy’d their Healths, emptied their Purses, and rendered them in every respect Unhappy.
(T. Tryon, The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., 1684, 14)
He was one of the first to comment on the growing incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome in North America, and mentions it in part 1 of The Planter’s Speech:
In Women they [i.e., alcoholic drinks] destroy and corrupt the very Radix of Nature, and intail a great Number of incurable Diseases on Posterity.
(T. Tryon, The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., 1684, 11)
(Over three centuries later in 2016, medical research into Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders [FASD] mostly confirms Tryon’s early observations, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommending that fertile women who are not on birth control abstain from drinking alcohol [see citations for R. J. Ignelzi and Daniel Wheaton in the References section at the end of this webessay].)
And as the colonists’ dietary habits migrated back-and-forth with them, Tryon warned against Europe’s growing appetite for imported sweets, especially the negative effects of this on children:
Again, The Food of most Children, of late Years, is so enriched with West and East-India Ingredients, that is, with Sugar and Spices, that thereby their Food becomes so hot in operation, that it does not only breed too much Nourishment, which generates Obstructions and Stoppages, but it heats the Body, drying up and consuming the Radical Moisture, and infecting the Blood with a sharp fretting Humour, which in some Complexions and Constitutions causeth Languishing Diseases ... so that the Joynts and Nerves become weak and feeble: in others, with the help of bad Diet, and other Uncleanliness, does cause Botches, Boils, and various sorts of Leprous Diseases....
(T. Tryon, A Treatise of Cleanness in Meats and Drinks, of the Preparation of Food, the Excellency of Good Airs, and the Benefits of Clean Sweet Beds ..., 1682, 15)
It was in order to remedy such evils that Tryon addressed so many books to “good House-Wifes” around the world, exhorting them to wrest control over their own lifestyles and the deteriorating health of a nation: for example, the aptly titled
The good houswife made a doctor, or, Health’s choice and sure friend: being a plain way of nature’s own prescribing, to prevent & cure most diseases incident to men, women and children, by diet and kitchin-physick only. Being an appendix to the book entituled, The way to health, &c. or a further demonstration of the philosophy therein contained. With some remarks on the practice of physick and chymistry. By Philotheos Physiologus, the author of The way to health, long life and happiness. The country-man’s companion, &c.
which first appeared in 1685.
Other examples of self-reliant, community-based healers were pointed to among the slaves brought to the Americas from the African continent. In part III (“A discourse in way of dialogue, between an Ethiopean or Negro-slave and a Christian, that was his master in America”) of Tryon’s anti-slavery tract, the effectiveness of traditional African medical practices is made clear:
’Tis not so long ago, that I was taken from him [i.e., the slave’s father, and a “Heathen Philosopher”] and sold hither, that I have forgot much of his Talk, and yet I remember some of his Skill, whereby I have Cured several of my Country-men since I came hither, of Diseases, that your Doctors could not help, either so surely or so suddainly.
(T. Tryon, Friendly Advice to the Gentlemen-Planters of the East and West Indies in Three Parts, 1684, 152)
And, of course, the American Indian already followed a locavore diet, and when left undisturbed, modelled in practice (lifestyle and activities) the very temperance and sobriety which Tryon preached. The longevity of aboriginal inhabitants was legendary, as in this popular 16th-century account of the Timucuan Indians (of the area presently known as St. Augustine, Florida) by the Huguenot painter and cartographer, Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues:
Although they have great festivities, after their manner, yet they are very temperate in eating, and, in consequence, they live to a great age; for one of their inferior chiefs affirmed to me that he was three hundred years old, and that his father, whom he pointed out to me, was fifty years older; indeed, this last personage, I confess, looked like nothing but the bones of a man covered with a skin. Such facts might well make us Christians ashamed, who are so immoderate in indulgence both in eating and drinking, who shorten our own lives thereby, and who richly deserve to be put under the authority of these savages and of brute beasts, to be taught sobriety.
(J. Le Moyne de Morgues, Brevis Narratio eorum quae in Florida Americae Provincia Gallis Acciderunt, Frankfurt, 1591; Eng. edn., 1875, 11)
Native Americans’ medical skills were also legendary, and Europeans were fascinated to learn of indigenous drugs and cures for everything from “fits of the mother” (a uterine disorder, the major symptoms of which were a sensation of fullness in the abdomen and chest with difficulty in breathing or choking; the condition was later renamed hysteria) to “Dysenteries and other Belly Fluxes” to cancer. In 1672, the travel writer John Josselyn (c.1608–1700?) reported on an AmerIndian cure for a hard cancer, known as a scirrhus, using tobacco:
An Indian dissolv’d a Scirrhous Tumour in the Arm and Hip, with a fomentation of Tobacco, applying afterwards the Herb stamp’d betwixt two stones.
(J. Josselyn, New-England’s Rarities Discovered ... Together with the Physical and Chyrurgical Remedies wherewith the Natives Constantly Use to Cure their Distempers, Wounds, and Sores ... Illustrated with Cuts, 1st edn., 1672, 98)
§ Part 2 of The Planter’s Speech
Part 2 (“The complaints of the birds and fowls of heaven to their creator, for the oppressions and violences most nations on the earth do offer unto them, particularly the people called Christians, lately settled in several provinces in America”) is one of the earliest calls for wise environmental stewardship of lands which would later constitute the United States.
It is a blistering animal-rights manifesto, in which Tryon not only promotes the more ethical treatment of animals in general, but also uses the speechifying of anthropomorphized North American birds to expose the hypocrisy of Anglo-American settlers,
coming into our Indian Territories for the sake of a good Conscience, and that they might exercise their Minds and Liberties in peaceable Well-doing, which the Sword of Wrath disquieted and hindered them from enjoying in their own Country ... with hellish Engines of Wrath, Cruelty and Bloodshed, as Guns, Swords, Powder, &c. as if they had been marching into the Fields of Mars, rather than into a Land of Tranquility and Repose.
(T. Tryon, The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., 1684, 45–6)
The birds express the true Christian values which Tryon hoped would be institutionalized and enculturated in the utopian setting of the new world, all the while mocking ungodly European cultures, such as when the birds tweet about the absurdity of race prejudice among humans:
... Nor are we [American birds] offended with each other, because our Feathers are not all of a length or of the same colour ....
(T. Tryon, The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., 1684, 47)
From the first (lasting) Anglo-American settlement at Jamestown, Virgina, European planters were tasked with converting the indigenous populations to Christianity. This was one of the mandates of settlement, and it was an embarassment to all concerned that the English had failed so miserably at it. So Tryon was not saying anything new when he rebuked English planters for dereliction of their Christian duty. But there was plenty that was new in what he advised as to how this religious conversion should be accomplished; in his vision of an egalitarian and democratic multicultural society; and, in his passion for economic and environmental justice.
As to be expected, Tryon was alarmed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in North America, interweaving this with a genuine concern over cultural genocide (Tryon always felt that the Spartan-like indigenous lifestyle was much better suited to the Americas than was European-style high living) and environmental degradation. In particular, he warned that the introduction of unfettered merchant capitalism was altering the Native American economy, and not for the better:
And so far as we [i.e., North American birds] can perceive, we shall quickly be but in little better Condition, if the Trade of Violence, Killing and Inhumanity be encouraged, as it has been hitherto; for the Europeans and Christians are far more expert in the feats of Arms, and these Murthering Mysteries than our former Masters, the Indians, whom the Christians and others do in contempt call Heathens, Barbarians and Savage Wild People, which indeed is true, and in their Barbarity they do as much Mischief as they can; but they had not where-with to destroy us in any considerable Numbers, neither are they such cunning Artists in the dark Wrath and Devilish Practices of Killing, nor did they attempt us but to satisfie their Hunger; whereas now they are encourag’d to make a Trade of selling our Bodies for Brandy, Rum and strong Liquors, which the Christians give them in Exchange, though the same proves almost as great a Mischief to the Indians as to us, and in the end will prove of as fatal Consequence to the Christians themselves.
For by selling the Indians Guns, Powder, &c. they grow more expert in all kind of Violence, and practise the same not only upon us, but oft-times on one another, and in time, no doubt will attempt the same on those who furnish them with these Mortiferous Tools, as by Experience is found they have done in other places. Besides, the Christians bring them acquainted with the several sorts of pernicious intoxicating strong Drinks, before mentioned, the use of which makes them Mad, and tenfold more Devilish and Inhumane than they were before; for the more savage, wild and bruitish any Man is, both the more fond is he of such strong Liquors, and the more mischievous Effects have they upon him; so that rather than they will be without those abominable Drinks, after once they have tasted them, they will travel night & day with all Pains and Cunning imaginable, to hunt, kill and destroy us, and all other Creatures, not so much (now) for Food, as for the Skins, Feathers or Carkasses to sell, that so they may be able there-with to procure those baneful Drinks; whereas before the Christians Arrival they only were able to kill some few of us, and that too, as it were, for Necessity, for Food, and Skins to cover them in the Winter; but since they hunt Fish, and torment all the innocent Inhabitants of the Elements, so that they cannot have any rest or security; for they will sell the choicest of their Skins & Furs to procure a little Rum or Brandy, or a Gun, Powder, Shot, and the like, which only tend to their own Destruction, as well as ours; for as with the one they take away our sweet Lives, so with the other they ruin their own Healths, contract various Diseases never before heard of amongst them; and besides, put themselves to a World of needless Slavery and Toil to procure to themselves these Mischiefs. And is it not a shame that it should be said, (and too truly) that where the Christians come in new Plantations, they instead of converting, have often debauched the old neighbouring Indians and Heathen-Natives, and rendred many of them worse than they were before?
(T. Tryon, The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ..., 1684, 51–3)
This argument seems odd coming from someone who directly profited — “making Beavers to Success” (Memoirs, 41) — from the North American fur trade, which expanded rapidly in the early decades of the 17th century. In his section on “The order, charge and gaines to be expected” from developing the Anglo-American fishery, Captain John Smith comments that “it is certaine, from Cannada and New England, within these six yeeres [1615–1620] hath come neere twenty thousand Bever skinnes” (J. Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles ..., 1624, 242). Tryon’s glum assessment of the social and environmental costs of this free-wheeling transatlantic trade is thus an interesting bookend to Thomas Hariot’s more optimistic outlook almost a century earlier. In his A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1588), Hariot, who had surveyed pre-Anglo-Virginia (present-day North Carolina, into Virginia) for Sir Walter Ralegh from June 1585 to June 1586, reported that the English could piggy-back on the Indians’ sustainable trade in deer skins without adding to the waste:
Dear skinnes dressed after the manner of Chamoes or undressed are to be had of the naturall inhabitants thousands yeerely by way of trafficke for trifles: and no more wast or spoyle of Deare then is and hath beene ordinarily in time before.
(T. Hariot, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, 1588, B3r)
As the diplomat and scholar Sir Robert Southwell (1635–1702) reported to the Royal Society a little over a century after Hariot’s Virginia was first published, the lucrative trade in deerskins relied on the unpaid, skilled labor of Algonquian women, with one woman able to “dress eight or ten Skins in a day” by traditional means, which Southwell described as follows:
The Felt being taken off is first streined by Lines, or otherwise, most like the Clothiers Racks, but for no other purpose but to dry them.
The Brains of the Deer, whether Buck or Doe, is taken out and mesled [i.e., intermixed], and dawbed [daubed] on Moss or dryed Grass, and then dryed in the Sun, or by a Fire to preserve them.
When the Hunting time is over, the Women dress the Skins; first, by putting them in a Pond, or Hole of Water, to soak them well. Then they with an old Knife fixed in a Cleft-Stick, force off the Hair, whilst they remain wet. The Hair being taken or forced off, they put as many Skins as they have made so ready, into a Kettle or Earthen Pot, and a proportion of the Deers Brains, before spoken of, into the Kettle with the Skins; and then put them over a Fire till they are more than Blood-warm; which will make them ladder and scour perfectly clean; which done, they with small sticks wrest and twist each Skin as long as they find any Wet to drop from them, letting them remain so wrested some Hours; and then they untwist each Skin, and put them into a sort of a Rack, like a Clothiers Rack (which they fix at every place they come to, with no more Trouble than two small Poles set upright, and two more put athwart, all fixed with their own Barcks,) and extend them every way by Lines, and as the Skin dries, so they with a dull Hatchet, or a Stick slatted, and brought to a round edge, or a Stone fitted by nature for that purpose, rub them all over to force all the Water and Grease out of them, till they become perfectly dry: which is all they do.
And one Woman will dress eight or ten Skins in a day; that is, begin and end them. I intimate this because the Men never do it.
(R. Southwell, “The Method the Indians in Virginia and Carolina Use to Dress Buck and Doe Skins,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, No. 194, 1691, 532–3)
Both Hariot and Tryon were unusual in their well-documented sympathy with Algonquian beliefs and customs, despite their expected use of Christian-inflected epithets such as “savages” (in the early-17th century, often spelled “salvages”) in their writings. Predictably, neither man’s utopian vision for Anglo-American trade came to pass. In Pennsylvania, as in the Carolina-Virginia-Maryland colony, the transatlantic fur trade’s reliance on Americans’ (indigenous and immigrant, alike) growing thirst for alcoholic beverages only became more pronounced with time. Colonial official James Logan (1674–1751), the Penns’ business agent in Pennsylvania for nearly 30 years, was perhaps the most aggressive promoter of the new commercial model which used alcohol as a means of exchange:
On his return to Pennsylvania in 1711 Logan engaged in the fur trade, using tactics described by Frederick Tolles as “hard, venturesome, unscrupulous if necessary”, as he got fur traders into debt and supplied them with rum for the Native Americans—even though the colony’s laws and the Quaker meeting forbade selling alcohol to the American Indians (Tolles, 90). By 1715 he was sending £1000 in furs per year to England. He called the wagons for transporting the furs from his trading post on Conestoga Creek “Conestoga wagons”, and this continued to be the way Americans named the hooped, canvas-covered wagons used for westward migration.
(J. W. Frost, ODNB entry for James Logan, n. pag.)
Like George Keith, James Logan — who excelled at negotiating with everyone, from Native Americans to British royal officials, bringing his business acumen and executive skills to bear in all matters — argued that Quaker principles were incompatible with governing, and at one point Logan advised William Penn to sell the right to government in his proprietary colony. A Quaker, but “not a strict pacifist,” Logan “believed there was little difference between a magistrate’s use of force and a defensive war.”
Seeing a coming imperial war with France, in 1741 at the Philadelphia yearly meeting (an annual gathering of Friends from Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West New Jersey) Logan sent a treatise justifying war and seeking to persuade Quakers to withdraw from government. Quakers’ successful pursuit of wealth, he argued, made Pennsylvania a tempting target. The treatise had no immediate effect, but set a series of principles that would be considered in later wars.
(J. W. Frost, ODNB entry for James Logan, n. pag.)
Logan’s counter-arguments concerning guns and governance posed a real challenge for Quaker politics and politicians going forward, especially given Logan’s large sphere of influence.
Logan never lost his passion for learning and book collecting, being interested in astronomy, biology, optics, and numismatics as well as Greek and Latin classics. He collected a library of over 3000 volumes, which he bequeathed to the city of Philadelphia. He taught himself fluxions (calculus) by reading Newton’s Principia mathematica. Logan conducted scientific experiments on the sexuality of plants, and his results were published by the Royal Society and praised by Linnaeus. Robert Brown later named a genus after Logan, Logania, which in turn was employed to form the family name Loganiaceae. He had discussions with and opened his library to young scientists, including John Bartram, Thomas Godfrey, and Benjamin Franklin. Logan defended Godfrey’s claim to having invented the quadrant against John Hadley, and introduced Bartram’s work to Linnaeus. Logan also carried on a learned correspondence on many subjects with such diverse scholars as Peter Collinson, Cadwallader Colden, and William Jones. Like many scientists of his time, Logan believed that reason could discover a cosmic order and that science helped religion by describing the works of God. Logan died on 31 October 1751 at his home, Stenton, Germantown, Pennsylvania, and was buried in the Friends’ burial-ground, Arch Street, Philadelphia.
(J. W. Frost, ODNB entry for James Logan, n. pag.)
In contrast to Quakers like Logan, Tryon’s radical ideal of realizing the Holy Commonwealth by the establishment of a covenanted community in Pennsylvania and New Jersey led him, in later years, to renounce all trade in animal hides, mandating
Thou shalt not use the Skins of any living Creature for Shooes, Gloves, Saddles, or any other thing whatsoever. Thou shalt not lie on Down or Feather-beds, nor on the Beds of such as eat Flesh or Fish, or drink strong Drink.
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon ..., 1705, 86)
in the list of “Laws of Innocency and Cleanness” that would institutionalize Pythagorean abstinence and chastity, as culled from the manuscripts available to his female publisher after his death.
Of note, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon ... also included a section of “Laws and Orders proper for Women to Observe,” wherein is expressed the typical disdain of the godly for anything associated with seduction and sexual activity; e.g.: “We strictly prohibit and forbid the reading of Plays, Romances, and the like; as also the singing of all kinds of Love-Songs” (Memoirs, 124). More surprising is the dress code for women, which not only includes the expected prohibition on consumer goods made from animal carcasses, but also Tryon’s recommendation that all females over the age of 7 be veiled:
16. You shall keep one Fashion in your Garments or Apparel, which shall be grave, decent, easie, and convenient for Travel, Labour, Work, and Business, either for within, or without Doors. You shall use no superfluous Trimmings, nor fantastick Ornaments: Your Garments shall not be mixed, viz. of Linnen and Woollen, or the like. You shall not make your selves any Garments, nor any sort of Furniture for your Houses, or any sort of Utensiles of the Skins of an Animals, neither shall you use the Fat of any Animal, either for Candles, Soap, or any other Use. He that is endued with Wisdom, Understanding, and a distinguishing Power, has all that his Heart can desire, both in Time and Eternity.
17. All Women above the Age of Seven Years, shall be Vailed when they go abroad. This will not only mightily preserve the Female Beautie’s Power, but advance the natural Esteem, and render them more Valuable.
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon ..., 1705, 125–7)
Hariot’s and Tryon’s arguments promoting wise management of American resources competed with the many accounts of boundless plenty which poured from the press. John Ogilby’s description of Carolina’s abundant, untapped natural resources was typical:
The Rivers are stor’d with plenty of excellent Fish of several sorts, which are taken with great ease in abundance, and are one great part of the Natives Provision, who are never like to want this Recruit, in a Countrey so abounding in large Rivers, there being in that, one small Tract between Port Rasal and Cape Carteret, which are not one Degree distant, five or six great Navigable Rivers, that empty themselves into the Sea. These Rivers are also cover’d with Flocks of Ducks and Mallard, whereof millions are seen together, besides Cranes, Herons, Geese, Curlews, and other Water-Fowl, who are so easie to be kill’d, that onely rising at the discharge and noise of a Gun, they instantly light again in the same place, and presently offer a fresh Mark to the Fowler. At the Mouths of the Rivers, and along the Sea-Coast, are Beds of Oysters, which are of a longer Make than those in Europe, but very well tasted, wherein are often found good large Pearls, which though the unskilful Indians by washing the Oysters do commonly discolour, and spoil their lustre, yet ’tis not to be doubted, but if rightly order’d, there will be found many of value, and the Fishing for them turn to some account.
Besides the easie Provisions which the Rivers and Sea afford, their Woods are well stock’d with Deer, Rabbets, Hares, Turtle-Doves, Phesants, Partridges, and an infinite number of Wood-Pigeons and wild Turkies, which are the ordinary Dishes of the Indians, whose House-keeping depends on their Fishing and Hunting, and who have found it no ill way of Living in so fertile a Countrey, to trust themselves without any labor or forecast, to the Supplies which are there provided to their hands, without the continual trouble of Tillage and Husbandry. Besides, these Woods are fill’d with innumerable variety of smaller Birds, as different in their Notes as Kinds.
(J. Ogilby, America, 1st edn., 1670, 207)
The songbirds were of special value, trapped by American boys for sale to the doting parents of English boys:
Of Virginia Nightingale, or red Bird, there are two sorts, the Cocks of both sorts are of a pure Scarlet, the Hens of a Duskish red; I distinguish them into two sorts, for the one has a tufted Cops on the Head, the other is smooth feather’d: I never saw a tufted Cock with a smooth headed Hen, or on the contrary; they generally resorting a Cock and Hen together, and play in a Thicket of Thorns or Bryars in the Winter, nigh to which the Boys set their Traps, and so catch them and sell them to the Merchants for about Six Pence apiece; by whom they are brought for England; they are something less than a Thrush.
(J. Clayton, “His Letter to the Royal Society,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 17.206, Dec. 1693, 995)
Earlier in the century, Margaret Cavendish documented the English use of trapped birds as pacifiers for children in her poem, “A Dialogue of Birds,” which, like part 2 of Tryon’s The Planter’s Speech, gave birds (lark, nightingale, owl, robin, sparrow, magpie, finch, linnet, jackdaw, partridge, woodcock, peewit, snite, quail, pigeon, swallow, parrot, titmouse, wren, yellow hammer, blackbird, thrush) a voice with which to complain about their cruel treatment and subjection to human whim:
The Sparrow said, were our Condition such [as that of the robin],
But Men do strive with Nets us for to catch:
With Guns, and Bowes they shoot us from the Trees,
And by small shot, we oft our Lifes do leese,
Because we pick a Cherry here, and there,
When, God he knowes, we eate them in great feare.
But Men will eat, untill their Belly burst,
And surfets take: if we eat, we are curst.
Yet we by Nature are revenged still,
For eating over-much themselves they kill.
And if a Child do chance to cry, or brawle,
They strive to catch us, to please that Child withall:
With Threads they tye our legs almost to crack,
That when we hop away, they pull us back:
And when they cry Fip, Fip, strait we must come,
And for our paines they’l give us one small Crum.
(M. Cavendish, “A Dialogue of Birds,” in Poems and Fancies, 1st edn., 1653, 71)
Both Tryon and Cavendish shared their culture’s fascination with the divine harmonies and purity of bird song, making birds the ideal spokes-creatures for Tryon’s radical point of view regarding the “natural Rights” (The Planter’s Speech, 46) afforded equally to all things which are part of God’s creation.
The power of bird song attracted scientific attention as well, especially from the new science, which continued to be intrigued by Pythagoras’ study of sound, and from this, the belief that the whole universe rested on numbers and their relationship. Tryon believed that birds derived their “Natural or Innate Language” — a “Mathematical Order of Speech” — from these “Universal Principles” (while humankind was no longer fluent in the original natural language spoken by Adam):
So that upon the whole it is sufficiently evident that the Language of the Inferior Animals does excel and is more stupendious, musical, short, pertinent and innocent than the Speech and Languages of Men: For the Creatures speak from solid undeniable constant uniform Principles ... It is farther to be considered, that no Creature under Heaven has so much sully’d and debased this harmonious exalted and illuminated Power of Sounds, Tones, Voices and speaking ecchoing Unity as Mankind, who by their contentious Inequality of Mind, and advancing the dark melancholly jarring Notes of horrid Customs and Tradition, with vast pains and unwearied Industry have confounded and almost expungd all Serene Truth, with Words coined and invented on purpose for the promoting and erecting of Selfhood.
(T. Tryon, vol. 2 of The Knowledge of a Man’s Self the Surest Guide to the True Worship of God, and Good Government of the Mind and Body, 1704, 194)
Scholars continue to debate the issues raised here by Tryon, over three centuries ago, concerning birds’ knowledge of a universal grammar, with researchers such as Tim Gentner providing new empirical evidence for Tryon’s revelation “that humans and other animals share basic levels of pattern recognition” (Kiderra, 13) required for language. Gentner’s finding is further substantiated by the recent research with pigeons reported on in February 2015 at the Daily Mail and The Times of India websites (see the References section at the end of this webessay for links). Furthermore, according to Richard Levenson, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at UC Davis Health System, “With some training and selective food reinforcement, pigeons do just as well as humans in categorizing digitized slides and mammograms of benign and malignant human breast tissue” (Carole Gan, “When It Comes to Breast Cancer, Common Pigeon Is No Bird Brain,” n. pag.). Plus, New Caledonian crows’ development and use of technology (hooked stick tools) to collect food has now been documented on video (Sean Greene, “They Have the Tools and Talent: Crows Hard at Work with Devices They Made Are Caught on Camera for First Time,” A9).
In the lesson on songbirds (No. 21) in his influential picture-book teaching children Latin and vernacular “nomenclature of all the chief things that are in the world; and of mens employments therein,” the eminent theologian and educational reformer, Johannes Amos Comenius (aka Jan Amos Komenský; 1592–1670) listed the most notable avian voices in 17th-century Europe: “The party-coloured Parret [callout 5]. The Black-bird, [callout 6]. The stare, [callout 7]. with the Mag-pie, and the Jay, learn to frame Mens Words,” observed Comenius, with the predictable outcome that “A great many are wont to be shut in Cages [callout 8].” (J. A. Comenius, Orbis Sensualium Pictus, Eng. trans. by C. Hoole, 1659, 45)
At the time, there was much debate about whether or not the caged bird was as eloquent, or sang as beautifully, as the free-ranging bird, and Margaret Cavendish, who discerned multiple similarities between birds and European women of the upper classes, easily extended the metaphor of the caged bird to the political realm: women, she wrote,
are kept like birds in cages to hop up and down in our houses, not sufferd to fly abroad to see the several changes of fortune, and the various humors, ordained and created by nature; thus wanting the experiences of nature, we must needs want the understanding and knowledge and so consequently prudence, and invention of men: thus by an opinion, which I hope is but an erronious one in men, we are shut out of all power, and Authority by reason we are never imployed either in civil nor marshall affaires, our counsels are despised, and laught at, the best of our actions are troden down with scorn, by the over-weaning conceit men have of themselves and through a dispisement of us.
(M. Cavendish, epistle “To the Two Universities” in Philosophical and Physical Opinions, 1st edn., 1655, B2v)
Traditionally, veterinary medicine and care of the “inferior creatures,” including birds, fell to those who studied and worked in agriculture. In the latter half of the 17th century, improvements to husbandry were all the rage, prompted by the indefatigable labors of the social reformer Samuel Hartlib and his circle. One such improver was the astrologer and physician Joseph Blagrave (b. 1610, d. in or before 1682), author of The Epitome of the Art of Husbandry, by J. B., Gent. (1669) and New Additions to the Art of Husbandry (1675), as well as a series of ephemerides, books on astrological medicine, and a Supplement or Enlargement to Mr. Nich. Culpepper’s English Physitian, to which Is Annexed a New Tract for the Cure of Wounds by Gunshot (1674). In his New Additions to the Art of Husbandry, Blagrave made an interesting comment about birds’ speech
... of all things that were created, nothing praises and sets forth the Creator, amongst Animal Creatures, more than these poor harmless birds. And it is a thing much to be observed, that of all the Animal Creatures that ever were made, none can learn, or by any means be taught to speak but the bird.
(J. Blagrave, New Additions to the Art of Husbandry ... with Directions for Breeding and Ordering All Sorts of Singing-Birds; with Remedies for their Several Maladies, not before Publickly Made Known, 1st edn., 1675, 135–6)
which drew the attention of Henry Oldenburg, publisher and editor of the world’s oldest continuous scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (est. 1665), who wrote in his book review of Blagrave’s work:
He notes it pag 136. to be very observable, that no Animal besides Birds, can learn, or, by any means, be taught to speak, or to imitate a mans voice: We may add, Nor yet to imitate, and much less to emulate Mans singing, or any music made by man; As our Author records a hot and continued contention between a Gentleman of his Acquaintance, and a Nightingale free in a Grove, for the victory in singing, 79; which story supports the credit of the old contention between the Nightingale and the Lutenist, celebrated in the Elegant Poesie of Famianus Strada. And the famous Lord Peyreske gave his vote, (as Gassendus tells us) for the music of Birds above any Harmony that man can make. And the music of Birds is then sweetest, when they are free, and at full liberty, (and cannot complain of restraint) in a Grove; and where they can choose their Consorts, and the places, and postures of approach or distance, and with choice of Echoes, as our Author noted in the Nightingals and Wood-larks, two Nightingals to two Wood larks, 79. And we have not seen any Animals more fondly loving to Mankind, than Birds. And it seems easie to tame Birds to resort to what Groves we please, (and some have performed it;) there to build their Nests, and to breed up their young, only being furnished with fit materials at hand: And for such as cannot bear our Winter, or our Summer, they may in season be invited into clean enclosures. And when at liberty, they may be confined to one Grove or Thicket adorned with fragrant and health-breathing Trees; and affrighted from fruitful Groves, where they are hurtful; though neither be many furlongs distant from each other, nor from the Lords Mansion.
Neither is there scarce any Animal so fierce, but may be tamed by Music, or by some other way of Cicuration; most of them for Human use. For proof of which, I referr to two ingenuous Chapters, the 8th chapt. of Music, and the 11th of The Art of taming wild Beasts, in the brief Treatise of Human Industry, or Of Human Wit; which deserves to be corrected, and reprinted, and continually augmented, as Arts grow on; so that this Treatise may grow on, as Dictionaries have grown to more perfection. These are for words and discourses; That for Realities, Arts, and Sciences.
Since the most furious of Mankind, and the fiercest of other Animals may be tam’d by Music (as is there instanced chap. 8.) and since the Crocodile, Serpents, Fishes, and Sea-monsters may be made fond and serviceable to Mankind, (as is copiously there instanced chap. 11.) we may thence hope and presume, that the Cicuration of all Animals in the Groves and Woods, in the Wilderness, Seas and Rivers, may hereafter come into more esteem, and into more general use and practise, than now it is; and more compleatly to assert Mans dominion over this whole Globe, than hitherto is attained.
And that this discipline is not a very Novelty, but (of old) belonging to Agriculture, according to the staunch method of learned Varro, when he was 80 years old; we have his testimony ....
’Tis not now for our credit, to loose any ground or footing of the Dominion, which our Ancestors long since acquired. ’Tis a noble Work, and work enough for some ages to come....
Our American Colonies are concern’d for the one, and for the other; for the taming of Man and Beasts; both the Savages, and the Wildernesses. And some have a peculiar faculty and promptness for both. But to tame the wild and savage Man, is the hardest task ... And as those Singing-birds (in the opinion of some) are tamed to best purpose, which are free, and at call, in the Groves; so also are those Savages tamed best, who taste the truest freedom in Civil Government, and Civil Manners, in good Discipline, and in a life of agreeable delights, and reasonable satisfaction. This were to retrive [i.e., retrieve] the prudence of the old Romans, whilst they raised their Empire: Then they reclaimed more Barbarians by their ingenious Civilities, than they subdued by oppression and force, as is gravely testified by Salust. But, when they became unnatural by their luxury and divisions, then they suffered the Inundations, and fell under the feet of Barbarians.
And no Treat can be more safe, innocent, and effectual for an unreclaim’d people, to reduce them to apply their ears to the best documents, than Music; Sometimes to make their Wilderness eccho with the Trumpet, Cornet, and loudest Musick; Sometimes to cheer up all with the merry Flagellate, Flute, Fife, and Pipe: And when the game is ended, to sweeten all with the Lute, Harps, and Violins ....
(H. Oldenburg, “An accompt of some books,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, No. 114, 1675, 324–6)
To my knowledge, no English planters attempted to pacify their Native American neighbors with music, instead of guns, as Oldenburg here suggested, and Oldenburg’s ignorance of pre-colonial Algonquian music traditions must be attributed to the mostly ethnocentric accounts, still circulating in England, of aboriginal rituals and festivities, which often terrified foreign observers (especially the drumming). Describing indigenous music-making in colonial Virginia, the nonconforming presbyterian clergyman, Samuel Clarke (1599–1682), wrote in his compilation of travellers’ narratives (Clarke was never in Virginia himself) that
Their Musick is a thick Cane on which they Pipe as on a Recorder. For their Wars they have a great deep Platter of Wood, which they cover with a skin, upon which they beat as upon a Drum; of these they have Base, Tenor, Countertenor, Mean, and Trebble. If any great person come to the Habitation of a Werowanee, they spread a Mat for him to sit upon, setting themselves just opposite to him; then all the company with a tunable voice of shouting, bid him welcome. Then some of the chiefest make an Oration to him, which they do with such vehemency that they sweat till they drop again....
(S. Clarke, A True, and Faithful Account of the Four Chiefest Plantations of the English in America, 1670, 10)
A more critical interpretation of indigenous music, given by William Strachey (resident at Jamestown from 1610–11 and employed for 3 years as Secretary of State for the new colony of Virginia), was never printed, but circulated widely as a scribal publication within policy-making circles (e.g., “the Ashmole MS,” presented to Sir Allen Apsley, purveyor to the King’s Navy, c.1612; “the Percy Manuscript,” presented to Henry Percy, 9th earl of Northumberland, c.1612; and “the Sloane MS,” presented to Sir Francis Bacon, newly-appointed lord chancellor, in 1618). In Strachey’s opinion, the Powhatans’ sinister music was rife with anti-English sentiments, and their wild song-and-dance reminded him of the Sufis’ Whirling Dervishes:
They have likewise their errotica carmina, or amorous dittyes in their language, some numerous and some not, which they will sing tunable ynough: they have contryved a kynd of angry song against us in their homely rymes, which concludeth with a kynd of Petition unto their Okeus, and to all the host of their Idolls, to plague the Tassantasses (for so they call us) and their posterityes, as likewise another scornefull song they made of us the last yeare at the Falls in manner of Tryumph at what tyme they killed Capt. William West our Lord Generalls nephew, and 2. or 3. more, and tooke one Symon Score a saylor and one Cob a boy prisoners, that song goes thus
1. Mattanerew shashashewaw crawango pechecoma
Whe Tassantassa inoshashaw yehockan pocosack
Whe, whe, yah, ha, ha, ne, he, wittowa, wittowa.
2. Mattanerew shashashewaw, erawango pechecoma
Capt. Newport inoshashaw neir in hoc nantion matassan
Whe whe, yah, ha, ha, etc.
3. Mattanerew shashashewaw erowango pechecoma
Thom. Newport inoshashaw neir in hoc nantion monocock
Whe whe etc.
4. Mattanerew shushashewaw erowango pechecoma
Pockin Simon moshasha mingon nantian Tamahuck.
Whe whe, etc.
Which may signifie how that they killed us for all our Poccasacks, that is our Guns, and for all Capt Newport brought them Copper and could hurt Thomas Newport (a boy whose name indeed is Thomas Savadge, whome Capt Newport leaving with Powhatan to learne the Language, at what tyme he presented the said Powhatan with a copper Crowne and other guifts from his Majestie, sayd he was his sonne) for all his Monnacock that is his bright Sword, and how they could take Symon (for they seldome said our Sirname) Prysoner for all his Tamahauke, that is his Hatchett, adding as for a burthen unto their song what lamentation our people made when they kild him, namely saying how they would cry whe whe, etc., which they mock’t us for and cryed agayne to us Yah, ha ha, Tewittaw, Tewittawa, Tewittawa: for yt is true they never bemoane themselves, nor cry out, giving up so much as a groane for any death how cruell soever and full of Torment.
As for their dauncing the sport seemes unto them, and the use almost as frequent and necessary as their meat and drinck in which they consume much tyme, and for which they appoint many and often meetings, and have therefore, as yt were sett Orgies or Festivalls for the same Pastime, as have at this day the merry Greekes within the Arches; at our Colonies first sitting downe amongest them, when any of our people repayred unto their Townes, the Indians would not thinck they had expressed their welcome unto them sufficiently ynough untill they had shewed them a daunce: the manner of which is thus: one of them standeth by with some furre or leather thing in his left hand, upon which he beates with his right, and sings withall, as if he began the Quier, and kept unto the rest their just tyme, when upon a certayne stroke or word (as upon his Cue or tyme to come in) one riseth up and begynns the daunce; after he hath daunced a while steppes forth an other, as if he came in just upon his rest, and in this order all of them so many as there be one after another who then daunce an equall distaunce from each other in a ring, showting, howling and stamping their feet against the grownd with such force and payne, that they sweat againe, and with all variety of straung [strange] mimick-trickes and distorted faces, making so confused a Yell and noise, as so many frantique and disquieted Bacchanalls, and sure they will keepe stroake just one with another, but with the handes, head, face, and body every one hath a severall gesture, as who have seene the Darvises in their holy daunces in the Moschas [mosques] upon Wednesdayes and Frydayes in Turkey many resemble these unto them, you shall fynd the manner expressed in the figure in the second booke Chapt.
(W. Strachey, The Historie of Travell into Virginia Britania, MS. publication written c.1609–1612, new edn., edited by L. B. Wright and V. Freund, 1953, 85–87)
The “figure in the second booke” of his MS. referred to by Strachey would have been a copy of an original drawing (see below) by John White, whose “watercolour images of Native Americans in the late sixteenth century were exceptional for his era and unsurpassed as a visual record of south-eastern tribal life until the advent of photography.” (K. M. Tiro, ODNB entry for White, n. pag.) White was part of the 1585 expedition to the English colony commonly known as “Virginia” (then encompassing the whole of North America between 34° and 45° north latitude), which was promoted and financed by Sir Walter Ralegh, who had paired White (the explorer-artist) with Thomas Hariot (the explorer-scientist) “to collect information about the people, plants, and animals of America for the benefit of subsequent colonization efforts. The sympathetic and lively drawings White produced of Carolina Algonquian life, documenting aboriginal settlement patterns, technology, clothing, body decoration, ceremonial life, and subsistence practices, are among the earliest extant images of Native Americans. These images circulated widely as engravings in the first volume of Theodor de Bry’s America (1590). Although de Bry’s engravings were less naturalistic and accurate than White’s originals, the images became ingrained in the European imagination and helped stimulate the colonial enterprise. They also influenced European pictorial representations of Native Americans for centuries to come.” (K. M. Tiro, ODNB entry for White, n. pag.)
The gloss (first written in Latin by Hariot, then Englished for de Bry by the geographer Richard Hakluyt, then edited at Frankfurt by de Bry, who introduced German-inflected idiosyncratic diction and spelling) for Plate XVIII in de Bry’s Virginia describes the Roanoke Indians’ dance ritual as follows:
The place where they meet is a broade playne, abowt the which are planted in the grownde certayne posts carved with heads like to the faces of Nonnes [nuns] covered with theyr vayles. Ten beeing sett in order they dance, singe, and use the strangest gestures that they can possiblye devise. Three of the fayrest Virgins, of the companie are in the mydds [midst], which imbrassinge one another doe as yt wear [were] turne abowt in their dancinge. All this is donne after the sunne is sett for avoydinge of heate. When they are weerye of dancinge, they goe oute of the circle, and come in untill their dances be ended, and they goe to make merrye as is expressed in the 16 figure.
(T. Hariot, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, new edn. issued and illustrated by T. de Bry, 5 parts, 1590, 4.C2r)
This early illustrated account of Carolina Algonquian life & culture is less inflammatory than Strachey’s impressions of Powhatan-style carnival, with its subversive undercurrents which Strachey interpreted as a threat to English supremacy in the region. Hariot-White-de Bry’s presentation of regional Native Americans as festive and “merry” partners in trade and commerce met Ralegh’s immediate need for public-relations material promoting the colonial enterprise in North America. It also reflected Hariot’s and White’s relatively-benign personal encounters with a people they in many ways admired. In contrast, Strachey’s less sanguine view of Anglo-Algonquian relations reflected the strain of scaled-up colonialism in the Chesapeake tidewater region — evidence that the Jamestown settlement was still precarious, especially in the event of a Powhatan uprising. As documented by Strachey, the increased tensions and mutual suspicion recorded in Powhatan song-and-dance c.1610 suggests that the time for “ingenious Civilities” and musical persuasion, as recommended by Oldenburg, had already passed.
Like Oldenburg and other virtuosi affiliated with the new science movement, Thomas Tryon believed in the power of music to tame the wild beast in all of us, and allotted an important role to music in the utopian godly society he projected onto Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Tryon’s own experiments with musical persuasion, while a shepherd, are documented in the section “Of Sounds, and the Benefits Musical Harmony yields to Men and Beasts, and in particular to Sheep” in his treatise, The Country-Man’s Companion:
... for Sheep are Creatures of a most excellent Composition as to the Elements of the Body and Spirits, and therefore all Harmony and Equality has great Affinity with their Natures, and they are therewith wonderfully delighted and pleased, especially in times of scarcity when Pasturages are hard and scarce, as also in cold rainy wet Weather; for at such times, Musick does as it were compose and moderate their discontented Minds and Spirits, and gently allures them to quietness, which does much suit with the Humour and Disposition of this Creature, and affords them great Benefit.
(T. Tryon, The Country-Man’s Companion, 1st edn., 1684, 82)
To that other 17th-century animal advocate, Margaret Cavendish,
All Birds are full of Spirit, and have more ingenious Fancies than Beasts, as we may see by their curious building of their Nests, in providing for their Young, in avoiding great Storms, in choosing the best Seasons, as by shifting their Habitation, and in their flying in a pointed Figure which cuts or peirceth the Air, which makes the Passage easy, and so in many other things of the like Nature; But the Reason seems to be because the chief Region they live in (which is Air) is pure and serene, when Beasts live together on the Earth, where the Air about is more Grosse by reason of continual thick Vapours that issue out; but the Region wherein Birds fly, is clarified by the Sun, which makes the spirits of Birds more refined, subtill, and more lively, or chearfull; For all Beasts are heavy, and dull in comparison of Birds, having not Wings to fly into the serene Air; But Beasts seem to have as much solid Judgement, & as clear Understandings as Birds, and as providently carefull of their Subsistence and safty [i.e., safety], both for their Young and themselves, as Birds; But Birds have more Curiosity, Fancy, and Chearfullness than Beasts, or indeed than Men; for they are alwaies chirping and singing, hopping and flying about, but Beasts are like Grave, Formal, and Solid Common-Wealths-men, and Birds like elevated Poets.
(M. Cavendish, “Of Birds”, in The Worlds Olio, 1st edn., 1655, 143–4)
Cavendish did not believe that beasts or birds could speak, but she and her huband — a foremost authority on horses, with an international reputation and following, including Thomas Tryon, who reprinted some of “The Lord Cavendishes Receipts” for treating horses from Newcastle’s A New Method and Extraordinary Invention to Dress Horses, and Work Them, According to Nature (1667) — both believed that animals engaged in an elevated form of non-linguistic reasoning and were every bit as intelligent — if not more so — than human beings.
Who knowes; but Birds which in the Aire flyes,
Do know from whence the Blustring Winds do rise?
May know what Thunder is, which no Man knowes,
And what’s a blazing Star, or where it goes.
Whether it be a Chip, fallen from the Sun,
And so goes out, when Aliment is done.
Whether a Sulphurous Vapour drawne up high,
And when the Sulphure’s spent, the Flame doth dye.
Or whether it be a Gelly set on Fire,
And wasting like a Candle doth expire.
Or whether it be a Star wholly intire,
Perchance might know of Birds, could we inquire.
(M. Cavendish, Poems and Fancies, 1st edn., 1653, 105–6)
For Cavendish, function follows form, and man’s “Outward Shape,” which facilitates upright walking and speech, explains his supremacy over other creatures:
The Shape of Man’s Sensitive Body, is, in some manner, of a mixt Form: but, he is singular in this, That he is of an upright and straight Shape; of which, no other Animal but Man is: which Shape makes him not only fit, proper, easie and free, for all exterior actions; but also for Speech: for being streight, as in a straight and direct Line from the Head to the Feet, so as his Nose, Mouth, Throat, Neck, Chest, Stomack, Belly, Thighs, and Leggs, are from a straight Line: also, his Organ-Pipes, Nerves, Sinews, and Joynts, are in a straight and equal posture to each other; which is the cause, Man’s Tongue, and Organs, are more apt for Speech than those of any other Creature; which makes him more apt to imitate any other Creature’s Voyces, or Sounds: Whereas other Animal Creatures, by reason of their bending Shapes, and crooked Organs, are not apt for Speech; neither (in my Opinion) have other Animals so melodious a Sound, or Voice, as Man: for, though some sorts of Birds Voices are sweet, yet they are weak, and faint; and Beasts Voices are harsh, and rude: but of all other Animals, besides Man, Birds are the most apt for Speech; by reason they are more of an upright shape, than Beasts, or any other sorts of Animal Creatures, as Fish, and the like; for, Birds are of a straight and upright shape, as from their Breasts, to their Heads; but, being not so straight as Man, causes Birds to speak uneasily, and constrainedly: Man’s shape is so ingeniously contrived, that he is fit and proper for more several sorts of exterior actions, than any other Animal Creature; which is the cause he seems as Lord and Sovereign of other Animal Creatures.
(M. Cavendish, “Of Man’s Shape and Speech,” in Grounds of Natural Philosophy, 1668, 49–50)
This was a more androcentric argument than Cavendish had made earlier in The Worlds Olio (1655), but the underlying principle remained the same: it is our “shape” that “form[s] and fit[s] things to” the mind; “all Knowledge, by your Form, you gain.” There is nothing innately superior about man: humans are just differently formed, making them “apter for some Actions,” such as speaking, than other animals. From her poem, “Of Humility”:
When with returning Thoughts my selfe behold,
I find all Creatures else made of that Mould.
And for the Mind, which some say is like Gods,
I do not find, ’twixt Man, and Beast such oddes:
Only the Shape of Men is fit for use,
Which makes him seem much wiser then a Goose.
For had a Goose (which seemes of simple Kind)
A Shape to form, and fit things to his Mind:
To make such Creatures as himselfe obey,
Could hunt and shoot those that would ’scape away;
As wise would seem as Man, be as much fear’d,
And, when the [G]oose comes neere, the Man be scar’d.
Who knowes but Beasts may wiser then Men bee?
We no such Errours, or Mistakes can see.
Like quiet Men besides they joy in rest,
To eat, and drink in Peace, they think it best.
Their Food is all they seek, the rest think vaine,
If not unto Eternity remaine.
Despise not Beast, nor yet be proud of Art,
But Nature thank, for forming so each Part.
And since your Knowledge is begot by form,
Let not your Pride that Reason overcome.
For if that Motion in your Braine workes best,
Despise not Beast, cause Motion is deprest.
Nor proud of Speech, ’cause Reason you can shew,
For Beast hath Reason too, for all we know.
But Shape the Mind informes with what doth find,
Which being taught, is wiser then Beast-kind.
(M. Cavendish, “Of Humility,” in Poems and Fancies, 1st edn., 1653, 94–5)
Where Cavendish speculated on the role of comparative anatomy in shaping cognitive abilities and “outward” actions (Cavendish believed that the “inward” nature of human and non-human animals was the same), others in the scientific community, such as the Reverend John Clayton, who first trained as a physician before turning to divinity (without relinquishing his scientific interests), engaged in more hands-on investigations, giving demonstrations of his experimental work before the Royal Society. In a letter written to this august scientific body, dated 17 August 1688, Clayton reported his findings from detailed anatomical studies of American songbirds:
Dr. Moulin and I made in our Anatomy many Observations of Singing Birds to this effect: The Ears of Birds differ much from those of Men or Beasts, there’s almost a direct passage from one Ear to the other of Birds, so that prick but the small Membrane called the Drum on either Ear, and Water poured in at one Ear will run out at the other: But this is not all, but what is much more remarkable, they have no Coclea, but instead thereof there’s a small Cocleous or twisting Passage that opens into a large Cavity, that runs betwixt two Sculls, and passes all round the Head, the upper Scull is supported by many hundreds of small Thred-like Pillers or Fibers, which as we supposed had another use also, to brake the Sound from making any confused Eccho, and to make it one and distinct; this passage we observed betwixt the two Sculls was much larger in Singing Birds than in others that do not sing, so very remarkable that any Person that has been but show’d this may easily judge by the Head what Bird is a Singing Bird, or has aptitude thereto, tho’ he never saw the Bird before, nor knew what Bird it were: This has often made me reflect how much the Modification of Voices depends upon the acuracy [sic] of the Ear, and how deaf Persons become dumb: And since I have observed that many Children that have an acute Wit enough that are slow of Speech, that is long before they speak are much longer before they can pronounce those Letters that are sharps, as g. h. r. and never have an aptitude to learn to sing. Hence I judge that Songs that have many Sharps in them are the difficultest to sing well, and discover any Person’s Skill upon the tryal of Musick most. This I suppose only, having no Skill in Musick my self, nor having ever discoursed any Person about it, as I remember we show’d some of these things to the Royal Society, and I drew some Cuts thereof, and gave the Doctor upon promise that he would put these and many other our joynt Observations in Print, but I hear he is since dead. I have Anatomized most sorts of Creatures, and never found any Four-footed Creature with an Ear like a Bird, unless a Mole; and a Mole has an Ear much like them, with a very thin double Scull, and great Cavity like a Bird, and is very acute of hearing, the Scull by reason of the large Cavity is very slender and easily crush’d, so that a Mole is quickly kill’d with a bruise on the Scull like a Lark, and upon the bruise the Membranes of the Scull turn black; whence Segerus mistake Membranae Cerebri in superficie exteriori omnino nigrae visae: But when I have taken care not to bruise the Scull the Membranes were not black at all, both Segerus and Severinus I think had some perceptions of the different Structure of a Mole’s Ear, but not any thing of its Analogy to a Bird’s Ear; they speak of a Bone Egregie pumicosum: And Segerus says there’s a Ductus ad ossis usque petrosi cavitatem protensus, plurimis fibrillis Membraneis annectabatur.
(J. Clayton, “His Letter to the Royal Society,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 17.206, Dec. 1693, 993–5)
No doubt, had he realized the role such dissections and animal experiments would play in the science of the colonies, Tryon would have added another “Thou shalt not ...” to the “Laws of Innocency and Cleanness” governing his godly utopia in the new world. Such invasive natural inquiry, especially when perpetrated in the name of advancing medical science for the benefit of one species — which had other, more benign, options for improving its health and well-being — over all others, would have been a perverse distortion of the divine order of things. According to Tryon,
The Undergraduated Anim[a]ls do exceed Mankind in all the innocent Delights and true real Pleasures of Life. ... The Inferior Animals do likewise exceed Man in that great and principal Pleasure of Life call’d Health, the Blessing that sweetens all other Injoyments by its amiable courteous healing preserving Operations, without which there is no Delight nor Satisfaction ....
(T. Tryon, vol. 2 of The Knowledge of a Man’s Self the Surest Guide to the True Worship of God, and Good Government of the Mind and Body, 1704, 207)
§ Publication and distribution
I have explained elsewhere (see our What’s Blooming news page, entry dated 5/9/2014) about why Tryon chose to address his call for colonial reforms to the planters of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Here, I want to expand a little on the transatlantic publishing network backing Tryon’s reform program.
Both The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ... and The Country-Man’s Companion close with a publisher’s advertisement for Tryon’s recently-issued 670-page medical handbook, The Way to Health, Long Life, and Happiness (1st edn., 1683). All three titles were “Printed and sold by Andrew Sowle at the Crooked-Billet in Holloway-Lane near Shoreditch.”
Andrew Sowle, known for printing radical and reforming works,
began printing for the Quakers some time before the Restoration ... Early Quaker publications were perceived as posing a serious threat to the social order, and printers rarely showed their name in imprints. Sowle’s name does not appear in imprints before 1680. From that year until 1690 imprints show that he retailed works at his home in Shoreditch “at the sign of the Crooked Billet” and also at “Devonshire New Buildings” near Bishopsgate Street, the site of the first public Quaker meetings in London. In 1687 he added a third outlet in Gracechurch Street, near the main Quaker meeting-house. The papers of Quaker leader William Penn, however, reveal that Sowle was printing for the Society of Friends on a regular basis by 1672, and in 1674 minutes of the Quaker morning meeting name him as one of their official printers. Sowle managed to hide his press from government authorities until 1678....
The Sowle press was the primary channel through which early Quaker works were published, and Andrew Sowle printed works by nearly all of the founders of Quakerism, including authors such as George Fox, Robert Barclay, George Whitehead, Isaac Penington, and William Penn. (Sowle is estimated, for instance, to have printed more than 90 per cent of Penn’s works.) During the eleven years that his name appears in imprints Sowle published well over eighty works for the Friends. The Quakers also relied on the Sowles to organize the distribution of their publications; in this regard, the Sowle press is an important exception to the rule in this period that printing houses generally did not retail their own products. From its beginnings some time near the Restoration until 1829 when it can no longer be traced under any variation of name, this unique publishing operation flourished not only in London but also, through the Bradford connection, in America.
(P. McDowell, ODNB entry for Andrew Sowle, n. pag.)
Tryon was not a Quaker, but he was a radical Puritan and fellow dissenter, having been a practicing Anabaptist for three years,
... My Master [i.e., the London castor-maker with whom Tryon apprenticed] was an honest sober Man, one of those called Anabaptists. After I had been with him about Two Years, I enclined to that Opinion; and was Baptized after their way, and admitted into a Congregation among them, and continued in that Opinion about Three Years: ....
(T. Tryon, Some Memoirs of the Life Mr. Tho. Tryon ..., 1705, 18)
Tryon’s first introduction to Quakerism may have been at Barbados, where prominent landowners such as Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Rous (d. before 1692), and his son John Rous (d. 1695), had converted to Quakerism by 1656 when the son’s A Warning to the Inhabitants of Barbadoes was published at London, with 600 copies distributed in Barbados. The island colony was by then a gateway to the new world for Quaker missionaries, including John Rous, who traveled to New England in 1657, and endured repeated imprisonments and public floggings by the authorities in Plymouth and Boston. After Rous and two other Quaker missionaries had their right ears cut off following their trial and conviction for heresy at Boston, Rous returned to Barbados, and then traveled on to England, where he published harrowing accounts of Quaker sufferings and persecutions inflicted by the Boston authorities, whose “zeal towards God ... is turned in to hypocrisie.”
Despite their differences concerning ritual, doctrine, and church governance, the various Civil War sects and sectarian churches making up the 17th-century radical puritan movement (including Quakers, Presbyterians, Anabaptists, Independents, Fifth Monarchists, Levellers, Diggers, Muggletonians, Seekers, Ranters, Familists, Brownists, and “millenarians”) had core beliefs in common (e.g., that the holy spirit rather than reason was the energizing instrument of salvation) which set them in opposition to the established Anglican Church and its exercise of episcopal authority, which they considered corrupt, idolatrous, or unscriptural. For example, the Anabaptists (literally, I wash again) — whose ranks numbered 40,000 in the 1530s when John of Leiden (aka Jan Beuckelson, d. 1535) and his followers settled in Münster, Westphalia, taking control of the city and establishing a communistic theocracy — were easily linked with the Quakers in the late-17th century (by which time, both missionary movements were, to varying degrees, pacifist; advocated separation of church and state; sought to restore the institutions and the spirit of the primitive church; and refused to swear civil oaths). Although re-baptizers are found “even in the Primitive Church,”
Those properly called Anabaptists, are a Sect of Protestants, who first appeared in the XVIth Century, in some Provinces of Germany, particularly Westphalia, where ... They taught, that Baptism was not to be conferr’d on Children; that it is unlawful to swear, or to bear Arms; that a true Christian cannot be a Magistrate, &c....
The Anabaptists adopted several other Dogmata from the Gnosticks, &c. touching the Incarnation, &c. But those who now retain the Name, have abandoned the greatest Part thereof; and in lieu of the Fanatick Zeal of the antient Founders of the Sect, have given into an Exemplary Simplicity in their Actions, Discipline, Dress, &c. not much unlike the modern Quakers.
(E. Chambers, Cyclopaedia, 2 vols., 1728, s.v. Anabaptists, 1.81–2)
Sectarian alliances were quite fluid, however, and Chambers lists over 26 Anabaptist splinter sects:
As they multiplied, they divided into a great number of Sects; which took particular Denominations, either from the Leaders thereof, or the peculiar Opinions, which they superadded to the general System of Anabaptism.--The principal were the Muncerians, Catharists, Enthusiasts, Silentes, Adamites, Georgians, Independants, Hutites, Melchiorites, Nudipedalians, Mennonites, Bulcholdians, Augustinians, Servetians, Monasterians, Libertins, Deoreliotians, Semperorantes, Polygamites, Ambrosians, Clancularians, Manifestarians, Bacularians, Pacificators, Pastoricides, Sanguinarii, &c.
(E. Chambers, Cyclopaedia, 2 vols., 1728, s.v. Anabaptists, 1.82)
But the general values binding the heretical sects which formed what has been called “the left wing of radical Puritanism” (C. Hill, The World Turned Upside Down, 313) held. Numerous religious writers, such as the millenarian George Foster (fl. 1650), popularized a message of social levelling (the end of inequality and the overthrow of plutocracy) akin to Tryon’s, and believed, as did Tryon, in the recovery of Eden as a vegan paradise, where other animals enjoyed the same universal freedoms as human beings.
In particular, there was much cross-over between Quakers and Pythagoreans and Behemists, like Tryon. For example, as a young man, the Quaker bibliographer and writer John Whiting (1656–1722) read the works of Sir Walter Ralegh and Jakob Böhme (or Boehme).
Boehme’s theosophist philosophy blended mystical religious experience based on an understanding of the soul, alchemy, and Paracelsian medicine which found a ready audience of those disaffected by religious factionalism. Boehme’s ideas of a personal spiritual relationship with God predated and were similar to those of George Fox; the Behemists eventually amalgamated with the Quakers, who downplayed Boehme’s enthusiasm for astrology. The Silesian’s hermetic philosophy was also popular among natural philosophers who responded to his vision that science was the way to understand the workings of the universe.
(K. G. Baston, ODNB entry for John Sparrow, n. pag.)
In such manner, those who were far less radical than Tryon also were drawn to the Religious Society of Friends. For example, the natural philosopher, Anne, Viscountess Conway (1631–1679), converted to Quakerism late in life, as did her resident physician from 1670 until 1679, the medic, chemist and Christian cabbalist Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont (1614–1698), who co-edited her Principia Philosophiae (1690) — a theodicy and monadology inspired by her own cabbalistic studies, which would in turn influence the Monadologie (1714) of the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716). The viscountess converted to Quakerism over the rigorous objections of her family, and friends such as the Cambridge Platonist, Henry More (and, indeed, her family never accepted her religious conversion and would not honor her wishes for a Quaker burial, insisting instead on a Church of England funeral, and on burying her according to the Anglican rite). (S. Hutton, ODNB entry for Anne Conway, n. pag.) Lady Conway was known to, and visited by, all the Quaker leaders of her day (George Fox, Robert Barclay, George Keith, William Penn), and she operated quietly behind the scenes, using her social position to help other Quakers who had been persecuted by the state and imprisoned for their beliefs.
Still others in high positions had an affinity for Quaker doctrine, even if they had no intention of converting. One such was Sir William Davenant (1606–1668), a Royalist and valued member of Henrietta Maria’s circle, by whom he was engaged in court propaganda, especially the spectacular Caroline masques on which he collaborated with Inigo Jones, “the two men combining to give full expression to Stuart autocratic ideals.” (M. Edmond, ODNB entry for William Davenant, n. pag.) After the royalist armies were defeated and Davenant joined the exiled court at St Germain-en-Laye near Paris, Henrietta Maria arranged for Davenant to take up an appointment in the North American colonies, and in May 1650, Davenant set sail for Virginia accompanied by about 36 French convict-weavers, whose services were needed in order to launch a silk industry in the colony. Davenant was captured at sea by the Parliamentarians, and imprisoned by the commonwealth, for having been an enemy combatant, until October 1652 — “a victim of bureaucracy and muddle.” (Edmond, n. pag.) After the restoration of Charles II, “he opened a modern theatre with scenery, built up a distinguished company of players of both sexes, revived old plays [several by Shakespeare] and promoted writers of new ones, and exercised a virtual stage monopoly until his sudden death.” (Edmond, n. pag.) “In a long career through great social change, William Davenant kept abreast of and sometimes advanced the tastes of the day” (Edmond, n. pag.), so it is not insignificant that this cultured man, who defied the Commonwealth ban on the playhouses and never catered to Puritan sensibilities, believed that Quakerism would prevail over the Anglican church:
His private opinion was that Religion at last,—e.g. a hundred yeares hence,—would come to settlement, and that in a kind of ingeniose Quakerisme.
(J. Aubrey, Brief Lives, ed. A. Clark, 2 vols., 1898, 1.209)
Despite severe treatment, Quakers were “a growing economic segment of society, in England as well as Ireland. By 1677 there were at least fourteen substantial Quaker merchants in London alone. These, together with Quaker merchants and tradesmen throughout England and Ireland, represented a sizeable contribution to the economic growth of the country.” (M. K. Geiter, ODNB entry for William Penn, n. pag.)
The Sowles had 10 children, of whom 3 daughters survived to adulthood, all becoming Quaker printers like their father.
Tace Sowle, born on 29 March 1666, succeeded her father as head of the Sowle press in 1691, which thrived under her management. Her name appeared “in nearly 300 imprints during the first fifteen years of her career (1691–1705)” and she was “the leading Quaker printer and bookseller for more than half a century (1691–1749),” during which time she printed “more than one hundred works by thirteen different women (including one non-Quaker, the leader of the Philadelphian Society, the visionary Jane Lead.” (P. McDowell, ODNB entry for Tace Sowle, n. pag.) Tace Sowle also published (posthumously) two works by the American alchemist and medical practitioner, George Starkey, born in Bermuda in 1628.
Even as a wealthy independent businesswoman, Tace Sowle had to deal with the stigma of Quakerism, as is made clear by the London bookseller, John Dunton (1659–1732), who felt compelled to defend his good report of her character and religious reverence:
Mrs. Tacy Sowle------She is both a Printer, as well as a Bookseller, and the Daughter of one; and understands her Trade very well; being a good Compositor her self: Her Love and Piety to her aged Mother, is eminently remarkable; even to that Degree, that she keeps her self unmarried for this only Reason (as I have been inform’d) That it may not be out of her Power to let her Mother have always the Chief Command in her House.
I have known this Eminent Quaker for many Years (have been generously treated at her House) and must do her the Justice, to say, I believe her a Conscientious Person.
If any blame me for being thus charitable, I can’t help it; for I cannot think it a peice [sic] of Religion to anathematize from Christ, all such as will not subscribe to every one of my Articles; but am conscious to so many Errors, speculative and practical, in my self, that I know not how to be severe towards others; for since Christs Church is not limited to any Nation or Party, (as is own’d in Robert Barclay’s Apology, &c. which Mrs. Sowle once presented to me) I do believe sincerity, and holiness will carry us to Heaven, with any Wind, and with any Name. At least, I have so much charity as to think all those Persons go to Heaven, whether they be Church-Men, Presbyterians, or Quakers, &c. in whom I see so much Goodness and Vertue, as is visible in the Life and Conversation of Mrs. Sowle[.]
(J. Dunton, The Life and Errors of John Dunton Late Citizen of London ... Together with the Lives and Characters of a Thousand Persons Now Living in London ..., 1705, 300–1)
Perhaps spurred by her homeland’s institutionalized prejudice — or just because it was good business — Tace Sowle sought out new markets and built a flourishing international book trade:
The Quakers relied on Sowle Raylton to oversee the national and international distribution of their books and tracts, and she shipped several thousands of items every year, not only throughout Great Britain and Ireland but also to continental Europe and other “foreign partes beyond the seas” (the American colonies and the Caribbean).
(P. McDowell, ODNB entry for Tace Sowle, n. pag.)
This alone ensured that Tryon’s books were broadly distributed. But Tace Sowle had other important connections that ensured her access to the American market, including in Pennsylvania where she herself owned 1000 acres of land.
In 1685, Tace’s sister, Elizabeth Sowle (d. 1731), married a family apprentice, William Bradford (1663–1752), and emigrated with him to Pennsylvania, where they became the first Quaker printers in the American colonies. Bradford was based in the Oxford township, near Philadelphia, from 1685 until he moved to New York in 1693. In both locations he remained connected to the Sowle family business back in London, importing various published works from his sister-in-law for sale in colonial America.
Among Bradford’s earliest imprints after setting up in New York was George Keith’s An Exhortation & Caution to Friends concerning Buying or Keeping of Negroes (New York, 1693) — a radical abolitionist statement, and the first protest against slavery printed in America. Keith’s Exhortation repeats arguments first broached by Thomas Tryon in his Friendly Advice to the Gentlemen-Planters of the East and West Indies in Three Parts (London, 1684) and The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ... (London, 1684) — both of which were printed by Andrew Sowle while Bradford was his apprentice (Bradford was freed on 3 December 1684). So this is one case where we can clearly trace the influences of one author upon another.
In such manner did radical works and ideas circulate through the sociointellectual networks nurtured by those in the print trade who kept authors and scholars worldwide abreast of relevant publications in their fields.
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Aubrey, John. “Brief lives”, chiefly of contemporaries, set down by John Aubrey, between the years 1669 & 1696. Ed. by Andrew Clark. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1898.
Baston, K. Grudzien. “Sparrow, John (1615–1670), translator and lawyer.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Bätschmann, Oskar. Nicolas Poussin: dialectics of painting. Translated by Marko Daniels. London: Reaktion Books, 1990.
Behn, Aphra. “On the author of that excellent and learned book, entituled, The way to health, long life and happiness.” In The way to make all people rich: or, Wisdoms call to temperan[c]e and frugality in a dialogue between Sophronio and Guloso, one a lover of sobriety, the other addicted to gluttony and excess. By Philotheos Physiologus, the author of The way to health, The country-man’s companion, The good house-wife made a doctor, &c. By Thomas Tryon. [London]: Printed and sold by Andrew Sowle, in Holloway-Lane, Shoreditch, 1685.
This was the first printing of the commendatory verses by Aphra Behn promoting Thomas Tryon’s The Way to Health, Long Life, and Happiness, 1st published in 1683.
Tryon later included Behn’s verses with the 3rd edn. (1697) of his The Way to Health, Long Life, and Happiness.
Böhme, Jakob. Aurora. That is, the day-spring. Or dawning of the day in the Orient or morning-rednesse in the rising of the sun. That is the root or mother of philosophie, astrologie & theologie from the true ground. Or a description of nature. I. How all was, and came to be in the beginning. II. How nature and the elements are become creaturely. III. Also of the two qualities evill and good. IIII. From whence all things had their original. V. And how all stand and work at present. VI. Also how all will be at the end of this time. VII. Also what is the condition of the kingdom of God, and of the kingdom of Hell. VIII. And how men work and act creaturely in each of them. All this set down diligently from a true ground in the knowledge of the spirit, and in the imp[u]lse of God. By Jacob Behme Teutonick philosopher. Being his first book. Written in Gerlitz in Germany anno Christi M.DC.XII. on Tuesday after the day of Pentecost of Whitsunday aetatis suae 37. London: Printed by John Streater, for Giles Calvert, and are be sold at his Shop at the Black-Spread-Eagle at the West-End of Pauls, 1656.
Aurora ... or a Description of Nature is an English translation, by John Sparrow, of Jakob Böhme’s Morgenröte im Aufgang (Amsterdam, 1634). Wenceslaus Hollar engraved the allegorical frontispiece for Sparrow’s translation.
“Boehme was not an easy author to understand, as Sparrow himself admitted in his preface to his translation, XL Questions Concerning the Soule (1647): ‘some will think it so hard to attaine … when they read the answer to the first Question … that they will forbeare to take so much paines as they suppose it requisite’ (sig. A3v). Sparrow went on to encourage his readers to overcome their hesitation, and provided alternate translations or interpretations in the margins to help with difficult concepts. Boehme himself had provided glossaries to his works which Sparrow included in his translations.” (K. G. Baston, ODNB entry for “Sparrow, John (1615–1670), translator and lawyer”, online edn., 2004, n. pag.)
Bowerbank, Sylvia. “Lead [née Ward], Jane (1624–1704), mystic and author.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Brown, Alexander. The Genesis of the United States. A narrative of the movement in England, 1605-1616, which resulted in the plantation of North America by englishmen, disclosing the contest between England and Spain for the possession of the soil now occupied by the United States of America; set forth through a series of historical manuscripts now first printed together with a reissue of rare contemporaneous tracts, accompanied by bibliographical memoranda, notes, and brief biographies. Collected, arranged, and edited by Alexander Brown. 2 vols. 1890; rpt. New York: Russell & Russell, 1964.
Caulfield, James. Portraits, memoirs, and characters, of remarkable persons, from the revolution in 1688 to the end of the reign of George II. Collected from the most authentic accounts extant. By James Caulfield. In four volumes. 4 vols. London: H. R. Young and T. H. Whitely, 1819–20.
Cavendish, Margaret. Grounds of natural philosophy: divided into thirteen parts, with an appendix containing five parts. The second edition, much altered from the first, which went under the name of Philosophical and physical opinions. London: A. Maxwell, 1668.
3rd edn. (retitled) and Cavendish’s final work on her life’s passion, natural philosophy: “Of all my Works, this Work which I have Writ, / My Best Belov’d and Greatest Favorite” (M. Cavendish, epistle “To my Just Readers” in Philosophical and Physical Opinions, 2nd edn., 1663, 457).
This 3rd edn. of Cavendish’s scientific “master-piece” was printed by a woman (Anne Maxwell), plus revised and edited by the duchess herself.
For “this beloved Child of my Brain,” Margaret alone claimed responsibility for corrections, alterations, and additions to the text, “never putting it [her book] to suck at the Breast of some Learned Nurse, whom I might have got from among your Students, to have assisted me; but would, obstinately, suckle it my self, and bring it up, without the help of any Scholar” (M. Cavendish, epistle “To All the Universities in Europe” in Grounds of Natural Philosophy, 1668, a2v).
Cavendish, Margaret. The philosophical and physical opinions. Written by her excellency, the lady marchionesse of Newcastle. London: Printed for J. Martin and J. Allestrye at the Bell in St. Pauls Church-Yard, 1655.
1st edn. of Cavendish’s scientific “master-piece”: “... my beloved of all my works, prefering it as my master-piece, although I do beleeve it will not please my Readers, because as I have said in some of my Epistles, few take delight in the study of Natural Philosophy” (M. Cavendish, epistle “To the Reader” in Philosophical and Physical Opinions, 1st edn., 1655, A3v). This work was reissued in 1663 and 1668 (the 3rd revised edn. retitled Grounds of Natural Philosophy).
Cavendish, Margaret. Poems and fancies. Written by the right honourable, the Lady Margaret countess of Newcastle. London: Printed by T. R. for J. Martin and J. Allestrye, 1653.
1st edn. This work was reissued in 1664 and 1668, with the 3rd edn. printed by a woman: Anne Maxwell.
I have chosen here to quote from the error-ridden 1st edn. of Poems and Fancies, rather than the corrected editions of 1664 and 1668, because Cavendish’s unedited first edition is a truer representation of the woman who boasted, “my Work goes out into the World like an Unpolish’d Stone or Metall, a meer Rough-cast without any Gloss or Splendor.” (M. Cavendish, Philosophical and Physical Opinions, 2nd edn., 1663, b4r)
Margaret Cavendish did not produce what Minh-ha T. Trinh has called “well-behaved writing.” (Trinh, Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism, 1989, 17) She had no patience for revision, preferring, like most of us, to “make” rather than to “mend.” As such, she out-sourced the drudge work of “rectifying” the many imperfections of each editio princeps, written and printed in haste, with one exception: her book of natural philosophy, Philosophical and Physical Opinions (1655, 1663, 1668).
Cavendish, Margaret. The worlds olio. Written by the right honorable, the Lady Margaret Newcastle. London: Printed for J. Martin and J. Allestrye at the Bell in St. Pauls Church-Yard, 1655.
1st edn. This work was reissued in 1671, and printed by a woman: Anne Maxwell.
Again, I have chosen to quote from the 1st edn., even though “In my Book called the Worlds Olio, there are such grosse mistakes in misplacing of Chapters, and so many literall faults, as my book is much disadvantaged thereby.... I do not lay all the faults in my book to the Printers or Correctors charge, for that would be so great an injustice, as I could never forgive my self for the crime, for the Chapters that are misplaced are through my fault, by reason I sent some part of it after the book was in the presse, and it seems that the Printer or Corrector not understanding where to place them, put them in a wrong place. ¶ But the literate faults I lay to their charge, whereof I cannot choose but complain, for in some places it is so falsly printed, as one word alters the sense of many lines; whereby my book is much prejudiced, and not onely by putting in false words, as a costements, for accoutraments, ungrateful for ungraceful, muster for mufler, and the like; but the significancy of words, to expresse a singular for a plural; yet I must confesse that this book is much truer Printed then my book of Poems, for where this book hath one fault, that hath ten....” (M. Cavendish, Philosophical and Physical Opinions, 1st edn., 1655, A4r)
Cavendish, William. A new method and extraordinary invention to dress horses, and work them, according to nature; as also, to perfect nature by the subtilty of art; which was never found out, but by the thrice noble, high, and puissant prince William Cavendishe. Duke, marquess, and earl of Newcastle; earl of Ogle; viscount Mansfield; and baron of Bolsover, of Ogle, of Bertram, Botham, and Hepple: gentleman of his majesties bed-chamber; one of his majesties most honourable privy-councel; knight of the most noble Order of the Garter; his majesties lieutenant of the county and town of Nottingham; and justice in Ayre Trent-North: who had the honour to be governour to our most glorious king, and gracious soveraign, in his youth, when he was prince of Wales; and soon after was made captain general of all the provinces beyond the river of Trent, and other parts of the kingdom of England; with power, by a special commission, to make knights. London: Printed by Tho. Milbourn in the year 1667.
This was the first English printing of Newcastle’s magnificent La Méthode nouvelle et Invention extraordinaire de Dresser des Chevaux (originally printed at Antwerp in 1657/8, with an engraved title-page and 42 additional copper-plates executed by Lucas Vosterman and others, after designs by Abraham van Diepenbeeck).
Despite its similar title, Newcastle’s A New Method and Extraordinary Invention to Dress Horses, and Work Them, According to Nature was not a translation of the original French work. In the dedication to Charles II, Newcastle refers to this as his “Second” book of horsemanship, and repeats this classification in his epistle “To the Readers”: “... having again, since my Return to my Native Country, had much leisure, in my solitary Country Life, to recollect my Thoughts, and try new Experiments about that Art; I now, for the more particular Satisfaction of my Country-men, Print this second Book, in English; which being neither a Translation of the first, nor an absolutely necessary Addition to it, may be of use by it self, without the other, as the other hath been hitherto, and is still, without this; but both together will questionless do best” (b1r–v).
None of the 17th-century edns. of Newcastle’s manual of dressage published at London (this rev. Eng. edn. and a Fr. trans. of it in 1667, a 2nd impression of the Fr. trans. in 1671, and a 2nd impression of the original Eng. in 1677) were illustrated.
Chambers, Ephraim. Cyclopædia, or, an universal dictionary of arts and sciences. Containing the definitions of the terms, and accounts of the things signify’d thereby, in the several arts, both liberal and mechanical, and the several sciences, human and divine: the figures, kinds, properties, productions, preparations, and uses, of things natural and artificial: the rise, progress, and state of things ecclesiastical, civil, military, and commercial: with the several systems, sects, opinions, &c. among philosophers, divines, mathematicians, physicians, antiquaries, criticks, &c: the whole intended as a course of antient and modern learning. Compiled from the best authors, dictionaries, journals, memoirs, transactions, ephemerides, &c. in several languages, by E. Chambers. 2 vols. London: Printed for J. and J. Knapton [and 18 others], 1728.
Chambers, Ephraim, rev. by George Lewis Scott, et al. A supplement to Mr. Chambers’s Cyclopædia: or, universal dictionary of arts and sciences. In two volumes. London: Printed for W. Innys and J. Richardson, R. Ware, J. and P. Knapton, T. Osborne, S. Birt, T. and T. Longman, D. Browne, C. Hitch and L. Hawes, J. Hodges, J. Shuckburgh, A. Millar, J. and J. Rivington, J. Ward, M. Senex, and the Executors of J. Darby, MDCCLIII .
Clarke, Samuel. A true, and faithful account of the four chiefest plantations of the English in America. To wit, of Virginia, New-England, Bermudus, Barbados. With the temperature of the air: the nature of the soil: the rivers, mountains, beasts, fowls, birds, fishes, trees, plants, fruits, &c. As also, of the natives of Virginia, and New-England, their religion, customs, fishing, huntings, &c. Collected by Samuel Clarke, sometimes pastor in Saint Bennet-Fink, London. London: Printed for Robert Clavel, Thomas Passenger, William Cadman, William Whitwood, Thomas Sawbridge, and William Birch, 1670.
Clayton, John. “Mr. John Clayton, rector of Crofton at Wake-Field, his letter to the Royal Society, giving a farther account of the soil, and other observables of Virginia.” Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London 17.206 (Dec. 1693): 978–98.
Letter 4 of 5 (in the published series of letters on the natural history of Virginia). Clayton’s letter is postmarked 17 August 1688, and so was written at least 5 years before publication in the Royal Society’s journal.
Clayton, John. “A continuation of Mr. John Clayton’s account of Virginia.” Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London 18.210 (May 1694): 121–35.
Letter 5 of 5 (in the published series of letters on the natural history of Virginia). This letter of Clayton’s, also postmarked 1688, was written about 6 years before publication in the Royal Society’s journal.
Comenius, Johannes Amos. Joh. Amos Commenii Orbis sensualium pictus. Hoc est, omnium fundamentalium in mundo rerum, & in vita actionum, pictura & nomenclatura. Joh. Amos Commenius’s Visible world. Or, a picture and nomenclature of all the chief things that are in the world; and of mens employments therein. A work newly written by the author in Latine, and High-Dutch (being one of his last essays, and the most suitable to children’s capacities of any that he hath hitherto made) & translated into English, by Charles Hoole, teacher of a private grammar-school in Lothbury, London. For the use of young Latine-scholars. Nihil est in intellectu, quod non priùs fuit in sensu. Arist. London: Printed for J. Kirton, at the Kings-Arms, in Saint Paules Church-yard, 1659.
Comenius’s bilingual primer, first published in Latin and High Dutch (Noribergae: M. Endter, 1658), and translated into English within a year of its publication by the English schoolmaster Charles Hoole (1610–1667), combined the “Universal Language” of pictures with Latin and vernacular text set in parallel columns, resulting in what John Evelyn described as a “Hieroglyphical Grammar” (J. Evelyn, Sculptura, or, the History, and Art of Chalcography and Engraving in Copper, 1662, 139) intended by its author to teach not just Latin vocabulary, but also the arts and sciences, moral and natural philosophy, to boys and girls alike.
Crafted by Comenius as a children’s “Encyclopaedia of all intelligible, and memorable things that either are, or have ever been in rerum Natura” (J. Evelyn, Sculptura, or, the History, and Art of Chalcography and Engraving in Copper, 1662, 141), the pansophical Orbis Sensualium Pictus was an immediate success and universally popular. It was translated into most European and some of the Oriental languages (Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Mogul), continuing as a textbook of the German schools for nearly 200 years, despite vocal detractors during the Enlightenment who were increasingly at odds with Comenius’s brand of pansophy, the ultimate goal of which was a millennial recovery of the knowledge that mankind had lost when expelled from the Garden of Eden.
The last English edition of Orbis Sensualium Pictus appeared in 1777, and was reprinted in the United States in 1812. So Comenian pedagogy also made its way across the Atlantic, and was influential in the Americas as well as in Europe. Indeed, the New England Puritan, Cotton Mather, recorded in his Magnalia that Comenius had at one point even been solicited to become President of Harvard College (subsequent to the resignation of President Dunster in 1654): “That brave old man, Johannes Amos Commenius, the fame of whose worth has been Trumpetted as far as more than three languages (whereof everyone is indebted unto his Janua) could carry it, was indeed agreed withal, by one Mr. Winthrop in his travels through the Low Countries, to come over to New England, and illuminate their Colledge and Country, in the quality of a President, which was now become vacant. But the solicitations of the Swedish Ambassador diverting him another way, that incomparable Moravian became not an American.” (C. Mather, qtd. in The Orbis Pictus of John Amos Comenius, ed. by C. W. Bardeen, 1887, ii) Comenius’s great design of a Pansophic Institute, or College of the Sciences, held real appeal for Americans with advanced views such as John Winthrop, looking to reform the organization of human affairs in the new world in order “to ensure that a right philosophy, religion, and politics could lead to harmony and enlightenment, rather than division and chaos.” (M. Greengrass, ODNB entry for Johannes Amos Comenius, n. pag.)
Conway, Anne. The principles of the most ancient and modern philosophy concerning God, Christ and the creatures, viz. of spirit and matter in general; whereby may be resolved all those problems or difficulties, which neither by the school nor common modern philosophy, nor by the Cartesian, Hobbesian, or Spinosian, could be discussed. Being a little treatise published since the author’s death, translated out of the English into Latin, with annotations taken from the ancient philosophy of the Hebrews; and now again made English. By J. C., Medicinæ Professor. [London]: Printed in Latin at Amsterdam, by M. Brown, 1690, and reprinted at London, 1692.
Conway’s text was written, in English, c.1672–1673, but was left unpublished at her death in 1679; her manuscript was translated into Latin and published posthumously (Principia Philosophiae Antiquissimae et Recentissimae) in 1690 in Francis Mercury van Helmont’s Opuscula Philosophica (Amsterdam: by M. Brown, 1690); this was then retranslated back into English by “J.C. Medicinaea” and published at London, under its original title, in 1692.
Henry More and Francis Mercury van Helmont oversaw the initial translation of Conway’s unpublished MSS. into Latin (it has been suggested that More himself may have done the translating), and Helmont took the Latinized text to Amsterdam for initial publication “in Latin, that thereby the whole World might be in some sort benefitted, and so the same become of Publick Good” (Publisher, “To the Reader”, The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy, 1692, A2v).
The identity of the English translator “J. C.” is uncertain. Some have speculated that he was Jacobus Crull; others, that he was John Clark, M.D.; and I would suggest that he may have been John Chandler, who Englished J. B. van Helmont’s Physick Refined in 1662 and J. B. van Helmont’s Works in 1664.
Publication costs for the English edition were offset, at least in part, by medical advertising. The following ad was prefixed to the 1692 edn. of Anne Conway’s The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy by its anonymous publisher:
“Having the care of the Publication of this Piece committed to my Charge, I thought, for the Good of the Publick, to give them the knowledge of the following Elixir, &c.
“The Elixir Proprietatis (so highly commended by the Renowned Paracelsus and Helmont) it resisteth all Putrefaction of the Blood, strengtheneth the Digestive Faculty. Its Excellent Virtues are prevalent in Curing of continual Fevers, Quotidian and Tertian Agues, Small Pox, and Measles, or Swine Pox, with other Pestilential Distempers; as also the Palsy, Apoplexy, Falling-Sickness, Asthma’s, Tabes, or Consumption of the Lungs. Its Dose is from 10 to 20, 30, or 40 drops in a Glass of Sack. This Noble Elixir is Philosophically prepared, by John Spire, Chymico Medicus, at four Shillings the Ounce. Who hath, by his Labour and Study in the Chymical Art, attained unto several secret Arcanums, (not vulgarly known) particularly a Soveraign Remedy for the Gout. If any one is desirous thereof, or the aforesaid Elixir Proprietatis, Let them apply themselves to my Friend, Mr. Dorman Newman, at the King’s Arms in the Poultry, and the Author at his House in Horsly-down-Fair-street, Southwark; or at his Country House, at the upper end of Twitnam, near the Sign of the White-Hart, in Middlesex.” (Advertisement, A1v)
DailyMail.com website. “Are pigeons like children? Birds identify objects in the same way as infants learning words.” Posted 5 February 2015.
“They may only have a brain the size of a thimble, but it appears pigeons can categorise and name objects in the same way as human children learn new words. ¶ A new study from the University of Iowa has shown that the birds are capable of learning to categorise 128 different photographs into 16 basic categories. ¶ Scientists taught three pigeons to attribute different breeds of dog or types of shoe, for example to a particular symbol in exchange for a reward.” (n. pag.)
“Professor Bob McMurray, another psychologist who took part in the study, said the results showed that human learning is not as unique as was previously believed.” (n. pag.)
For more reporting on this, see below citation for The Times of India website.
Dunton, John. The life and errors of John Dunton late citizen of London; written by himself in solitude. With an idea of a new life; wherein is shewn how he’d think, speak, and act, might he live over his days again: intermix’d with the new discoveries the author has made in his travels abroad, and in his private conversation at home. Together with the lives and characters of a thousand persons now living in London, &c. Digested into seven stages, with their respective ideas. He that has all his own mistakes confest, stands next to him that never has transgrest, and will be censur’d for a fool by none, but they who see no errors of their own. Foe’s Satyr upon himself, P.6. London: Printed for S. Malthus, 1705.
Edmond, Mary. “Davenant [D’Avenant], Sir William (1606–1668), poet, playwright, and theatre manager.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, Oct. 2009.
Frost, J. William. “Logan, James (1674–1751), colonial official and scholar.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, Sept. 2012.
Gan, Carole. “When it comes to breast cancer, common pigeon is no bird brain.” University of California News website, posted 18 November 2015.
SUMMARY: “If pigeons went to medical school and specialized in pathology or radiology, they’d be pretty good at distinguishing digitized microscope slides and mammograms of normal vs. cancerous breast tissue, a new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis and the University of Iowa has found.” (C. Gan, n. pag.)
Geiter, Mary K. “Penn, William (1644–1718), Quaker leader and founder of Pennsylvania.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, Jan. 2007.
Greene, Sean. “They have the tools and talent: crows hard at work with devices they made are caught on camera for first time.” Los Angeles Times, 25 December 2015, A9.
“Two species on Earth are known to use hook-shaped tools: humans and New Caledonian crows. ... There are crows all over the world, but the species on New Caledonia, a forested island in the South Pacific, are renowned for their ability to make and use tools. Among other things, they fashion sticks into sharp poking instruments and use them to ‘fish’ for wood-boring larvae hiding in dead wood or tree trunks.” (S. Greene, A9)
“Other bird species are known to use tools. For instance, the Galapagos woodpecker finch uses cactus spines and twigs to hunt for insects, and the Egyptian vulture bangs stones against ostrich eggs to crack them open. ¶ But the New Caledonian crow actually fashions its tools into a hook shape, which is unheard of for any non-human species. This gives the crows access to food sources that are hard to reach by using only their beaks.” (S. Greene, A9)
“... Rutz hopes his videos can provide some insight into bigger questions about how tool using evolved and why it’s so rare in nature. ¶ ‘That seems to be an evolutionary puzzle,’ he said. ‘Why do so few animals use tools, and why are we humans so good at it?’” (S. Greene, A9)
Greengrass, M. “Comenius, Johannes Amos [Jan Amos Komenský] (1592–1670), theologian and educationist.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, Oct. 2007.
Hariot, Thomas. A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia of the commodities there found and to be raysed, as well marchantable, as others for victuall, building and other necessarie uses for those that are and shalbe the planters there; and of the nature and manners of the naturall inhabitants: discovered by the English colony there seated by Sir Richard Greinvile Knight in the yeere 1585. which remained under the government of Rafe Lane Esquier, one of her Majesties Equieres, during the space of twelve monethes: at the speciall charge and direction of the Honourable Sir Walter Raleigh Knight, Lord Warden of the stanneries; who therein hath beene favored and authorised by her Majestie and her letters patents: directed to the adventurers, favourers, and welwillers of the action, for the inhabiting and planting there: by Thomas Hariot; servant to the abovenamed Sir Walter, a member of the Colony, and there imployed in discovering. London: [By R. Robinson], 1588.
1st English edn. (1588, old-style dating). Hariot’s Report, a little quarto volume privately printed in February 1589 N.S., was in fact an “epitome” (akin to an executive summary) of a much more detailed Chronicle documenting his experience and survey of the area then known as Virginia (present-day North Carolina, into Virginia), conducted in that Algonquian country from June 1585 to June 1586.
The Report was rushed into print to defend Sir Walter Ralegh’s interest from those who “woulde seeme to knowe so much as no men more,” and who “had little understanding, lesse discretion, and more tongue then was needful or requisite.” With such slanders abroad, there was an urgent need to promote the Virginia enterprise, since the Assignment of Ralegh’s Charter was set to expire by the limitation of six years on 24 March 1590 if no colonists had been shipped or plantation attempted.
Hariot intended to follow up his summary Report with publication of the entire Chronicle, but never quite got around to it (self-promotion by way of publication was never a priority for Hariot, leaving many of his scientific colleagues frustrated that so little about his research, discoveries, and inventions was known to the learned world).
Unfortunately, Hariot’s original Virginia MS. is lost. Hariot’s Report was reprinted by Richard Hakluyt in his The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589), and reissued in a lavishly-illustrated edition by Theodore de Bry in 1590 (reprinted many times thereafter), but “all the fruits of our labours” documented in Hariot’s Chronicle of pre-Anglo-Virginia will probably never be known.
Hariot, Thomas, and Theodore de Bry. A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia of the commodities and of the nature and manners of the naturall inhabitants. Discovered by the English colony there seated by Sir Richard Greinvile Knight in the yeere 1585. Which remained under the governement of twelve monethes, at the speciall charge and direction of the Honourable Sir Walter Raleigh Knight lord Warden of the stanneries who therein hath beene favoured and authorised by her Majestie and her letters patents: This fore booke is made in English by Thomas Hariot servant to the abovenamed Sir Walter, a member of the Colony, and there imployed in discovering. Cum gratia et privilegio Caes. Matis Speciali. Francoforti ad Moenum: Typis Joannis Wecheli, sumtibus vero Theodori de Bry anno M D XC. Venales reperiuntur in officina Sigismundi Feirabendii, .
3rd English edn. (1590) of Hariot’s Virginia narrative of 1588, issued by Theodore de Bry, of Frankfort-on-the-Main.
De Bry’s edition of Hariot’s Report was printed in four languages (English, French, German, and Latin), and was illustrated with a map and a series of 22 plates expertly engraved by de Bry, after the original watercolors made in Virginia by Hariot’s companion, John White, expedition artist for Ralegh’s Roanoke voyages.
Each plate is accompanied by a brief description, apparently by Hariot (although some scholars have attributed these to White), with the gloss “translated out of Latin into English by Richard Hackluit,” as explained by de Bry on the divisional title-page (sig. E1r) introducing the new section of “true pictures” appended to his illustrated edn. of Hariot’s Report.
Hill, Christopher. The world turned upside down: radical ideas during the English revolution. New York: The Viking Press, 1972.
Hulton, Paul. America, 1585: The complete drawings of John White. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press and British Museum Publications, 1984.
Hutton, Sarah. “Conway [née Finch], Anne, Viscountess Conway and Killultagh (1631–1679), philosopher.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, Sept. 2010.
Ignelzi, R. J. “UCSD doctors refute studies condoning drinking during pregnancy.” San Diego Union-Tribune website, posted 22 June 2012.
“[Christina] Chambers pointed out the overwhelming evidence of more than 30 years of research supporting the conclusion that alcohol, especially alcohol consumed in a binge pattern, can be harmful to the developing baby. ¶ ‘Individual women metabolize alcohol differently, and vary in terms of how susceptible they may be to having an affected child,’ Chambers said. ‘Although we do not want to alarm women who find out they are pregnant and realize that they have consumed low levels of alcohol before they knew they were pregnant, we emphasize that a “safe” amount of alcohol that any individual woman can drink while pregnant is impossible to establish. The best advice continues to be that women should avoid alcohol entirely during the nine months that she is carrying the baby.’” (Ignelzi, n. pag.)
Josselyn, John. New-Englands rarities discovered: in birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, and plants of that country. Together with the physical and chyrurgical remedies wherewith the natives constantly use to cure their distempers, wounds, and sores. Also a perfect description of an Indian squa, in all her bravery; with a poem not improperly conferr'd upon her. Lastly a chronological table of the most remarkable passages in that country amongst the English. Illustrated with cuts. By John Josselyn, gent. London: Printed for G. Widdowes at the Green Dragon in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1672.
Josselyn spent time in New England from 1638–9 and again in 1663–1671, arriving at Boston, and then residing with his brother at Black Point, Scarborough, Maine for almost eight and a half years. His New-Englands Rarities Discovered was noticed by the Royal Society, and Josselyn dedicated his second work, An account of two voyages to New-England: wherein you have the setting out of a ship, with the charges ... A description of the countrey, natives and creatures, with their merchantil and physical use; The government of the countrey ... A large chronological table of the most remarkable passages, from the first discovering of the continent of America to the year 1673 (1st edn., 1674), to the president and fellows of the Royal Society.
The appended “perfect description of an Indian squa” referred to in the full title of New-Englands Rarities Discovered was unusual in celebrating the beauty of American women of color over that of the white European woman, no matter how rosy her cheeks. For an HTML transcription of Josselyn’s Perfect Description, click/tap here.
Keith, George. An exhortation & caution to Friends concerning buying or keeping of negroes. [New York: Printed by William Bradford, 1693].
A digital reissue (2014) of George Keith’s An Exhortation & Caution to Friends Concerning Buying or Keeping of Negroes (1693) is available in the Roses.CommunicatingByDesign.com Historical Section.
Kiderra, Inga. “The birds and the b’s.” @ucsd: a UC San Diego alumni publication 3.3 (September 2006): 13.
Kiderra’s news brief describes a research project with European starlings conducted by Tim Gentner (psychology department, UCSD) and colleagues at the University of Chicago (their study was published in the journal, Nature).
In short, Gentner et al. have demonstrated “that starlings can learn simple recursive grammar patterns — of the kind thought to be the exclusive province of humans.” “‘Recursion’ refers to the common characteristic of human grammar that allows for the creation of new utterances by inserting words and clauses within sentences. Chomskian linguists have held not only that this is a universal feature of human language but also that the ability to process it forms the computational core of a uniquely human language facility.” Gentner’s research suggests that starlings are also capable of learning the abstract patterns (grammars) behind bird songs, and then extrapolate from these basic rules to longer sequences. “The finding that starlings can grasp even these simple rules, Gentner says, suggests that humans and other animals share basic levels of pattern recognition and also hints at the likelihood of other cognitive abilities we have in common.”
For new research into avian cognition & language processing (this time, with pigeons) which provides further evidence “that human learning is not as unique as was previously believed,” see citations (above & below) for stories posted on 2/5/2015 to the Daily Mail and The Times of India websites.
Le Moyne de Morgues, Jacques, and Theodor de Bry. Narrative of Le Moyne, an artist who accompanied the French expedition to Florida under Laudonnière, 1564. Translated from the Latin of de Bry, with heliotypes of the engravings taken from the artist’s original drawings. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1875.
Le Moyne’s illustrated Brevis Narratio eorum quae in Florida Americae Provincia Gallis Acciderunt (Frankfurt, 1591) was published as Part II of Theodor de Bry’s 13-part Historia Americae sive Novi Orbis (Frankfurt, 1590-1634). Part I of de Bry’s America, published at Frankfurt in 1590, was de Bry’s edition of Thomas Hariot’s Virginia, with illustrations after John White.
Le Moyne’s Indian drawings and anthropological studies of the Timucuan Indians were well-known in England. Le Moyne (aka Le Moine) was brought to England in September 1565 by Captain John Hawkins, who rescued the Huguenots who had escaped massacre by the Spaniards at Fort Caroline in Florida. “Le Moine, the painter, who was commissioned by Coligny to make a description and map of the country with drawings of all curious objects, etc., remained in England, under the patronage and consulted by the Gilberts, Ralegh, the Sidneys, and others. He died in England about 1587, and not long before his death he published ‘La Clef des Champs, pour trouver plusieurs Animaux, tant Bestes qu’Oyseaux, avec plusieurs Fleurs & Fruits. Anno 1586,’ which is dedicated to Madame Sidney (Sir Philip’s mother) by her very affectionate servant, the author.” (Alexander Brown, Genesis of the United States, 2 vols., rpt. 1964, 1.5)
Lady Mary Sidney (1561–1621), countess of Pembroke, was a patron of Le Moyne’s, and de Bry may well have first learned of Le Moyne from the Sidney family (de Bry “came to England in 1587, commissioned to engrave Thomas Lant’s drawings of Sir Philip Sidney’s funeral which had taken place in February of the previous year”). (P. Hulton, America, 1585, 17)
McDowell, Paula. “Sowle [married name Sowle Raylton], Tace (1666–1749), printer and bookseller.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, Jan. 2008.
Ogilby, John. America: being an accurate description of the new world; containing the original of the inhabitants; the remarkable voyages thither: the conquest of the vast empires of Mexico and Peru, their ancient and later wars. With their several plantations, many, and rich islands; their cities, fortresses, towns, temples, mountains, and rivers: their habits, customs, manners, and religions; their peculiar plants, beasts, birds, and serpents. Collected and translated from most authentick authors, and augmented with later observations; illustrated with notes, and adorn’d with peculiar maps, and proper sculptures, by John Ogilby esq; master of His Majesties revels in the kingdom of Ireland. London: printed by Tho. Johnson for the author, and are to be had at this House in White Fryers, M.DC.LXX .
Oldenburg, Henry. “An accompt of some books.” Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London 10.114 (1675): 314–326.
Reeve, Christopher. “Beale [née Cradock], Mary (bap. 1633, d. 1699), portrait painter.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, Oct. 2008.
Rous, John. A warning to the inhabitants of Barbadoes, who live in pride, drunkennesse, covetousnesse, oppression and deceitful dealings; and also to all who are found acting in the same excess of wickedness, of what country soever, that they speedily repent, and [return ?] from the evil of their wayes, and no longer make a sport of wickedness, but seek the Lord while he may be found, least the Lord destroy them in his fury, and take them away in his anger, and give them their portion in utter darkness, (who now spend the day of their visitation carelesly, out of the fear of the Lord) where shall be weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth for ever. Also, something to the rulers of Barbadoes, that they rule rightly, and do justice on the wicked, who are peace-breakers and transgressors of the pure law of God. Written by one who waits for the redemption of the seed of God, and the destruction of the wicked one, the man of sin; written by a friend of truth and righteousness, John Rous. [London: s.n., 1656].
Smith, John. The generall historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: with the names of the adventurers, planters, and governours from their first beginning Anº: 1584. to this present 1624. With the procedings of those severall colonies and the accidents that befell them in all their journyes and discoveries. Also the maps and descriptions of all those countryes, their commodities, people, government, customes, and religion yet knowne. Divided into sixe bookes. By Captaine John Smith sometymes governour in those countryes & Admirall of New England. London: Printed by J. D. and J. H. for Michael Sparkes, 1624.
1st edn. of an influential work promoting Anglo-American colonization.
“In 1624 Smith produced a folio volume giving The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles: with the names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governours from their first beginning Anº: 1584. to this present 1624. Resplendent with engravings showing the rescue of the author by Pocahontas, personal encounters of the doughty captain with the Indians, war dances, and numerous scenes of Indian life, the volume was destined to excite an enormous interest. Furthermore, long lists of the names of the subscribers to the colonial ventures created a personal appeal to London tradesmen, who could here see their names immortalized in print. Michael Sparke, the stationer for whom the book was printed, seems to have anticipated a heavy demand and had a large edition prepared. New issues with fresh title-pages appeared in 1625, 1626, and 1627, and another issue with the imprint of the stationer J. Dawson was brought out in 1632. Smith knew that the work would attract the attention of London tradesmen. In the Huntington Library there is preserved a copy with a note written on a flyleaf in Smith’s own hand presenting the book to ‘The Worshipfull the Master Wardens & Societie of the Cordwayners of ye Cittie of London.’ Though Smith now proudly signs himself ‘Admirall of New England,’ he is still mindful of the friendship of his brother-tradesmen: ‘Not only in regard of your Courtisie & Love, Butt also of ye Continuall use I have had of your Labours, & the hope you may make Some use of mine, I salute you with this Cronologicall discourse, ...’ And he prays the Cordwainers to give his work ‘Lodging in your Hall freelie to be perused for ever, in memorie of your Noblenesse towards mee, ...’ For professional reasons, the Cordwainers should read his book and encourage colonies in a region where the oyster beds have been destructive of shoes, the author hints, reminding them of ‘how many thousand of shooes hath bin transported to these plantations, ... what vent your Commodities have had & still have, ...’
“In plan, Smith fell back on the previous compilers. He drew from other explorers such material as fitted into his work and embroidered upon it his own tales and observations. Purchas encouraged him and composed a prefatory page of execrable verse in commendation ‘of his friend Captaine John Smith,’ who was likewise commended by John Donne, George Wither, and numerous others less well known. The Admiral of New England had now arrived at the port of popular literature.” (L. B. Wright, Middle-Class Culture in Elizabethan England, 1935, 541–2)
Smith, Virginia. “Tryon, Thomas (1634–1703), vegetarian and author.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Southwell, Robert, Sir. “The method the Indians in Virginia and Carolina use to dress buck and doe skins; as it was communicated to the Royal Society by the honourable Sir Robert Southwell, Knt. their president.” Ed. by Edmond Halley. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 16.194 (July–Sept. 1691): 532–533.
Strachey, William. The historie of travell into Virginia Britania. The Percy Ms., c.1612. Transcribed and edited by Louis B. Wright and Virginia Freund. Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, 2nd ser., no. 103. London: Hakluyt Society, 1953.
William Strachey (1572-1621) — whose encounter with a hurricane and accounts of being shipwrecked in the Bermudas for almost a year, 1609–10, as well as his impressions of the settlement at Jamestown in Virginia, were immortalized by Shakespeare in The Tempest (written c.1610-11, 1st pub. 1623) — became the Virginia Company’s secretary to the colony in 1609 when the previous secretary for that company of merchant-adventurers drowned.
In 1611, Strachey returned to London where he wrote his manuscript report, The Historie of Travell into Virginia Britania, which had been commissioned (and was later suppressed) by the Virginia Company. “Although Strachey provided an eyewitness account of life in early Virginia, his manuscript borrowed heavily from the work of earlier authors, including Richard Willes, James Rosier, and John Smith. He completed the first version of his work [aka the Percy manuscript], which was dedicated to the earl of Northumberland [Henry Percy (1564–1632), 9th earl of Northumberland], in 1612, and during the next six years produced two more versions of his Historie. Strachey’s Historie was as critical of Virginia as the report he wrote in 1610, and for that reason the Virginia Company refused to publish it. The work was first published in 1849 by the Hakluyt Society.” (B. Wood, ODNB entry for Strachey, n. pag.)
The Times of India. “Pigeons are smarter than you thought: New study.” Posted 5 February 2015.
“A new study by researchers from the University of Iowa found that pigeons can categorize and name both natural and manmade objects. And, not just a few. These birds categorized 128 photographs into 16 categories, and they did so simultaneously.” (n. pag.)
For more reporting on this, see above citation for the Daily Mail website.
Tiro, Karim M. “White, John (fl. 1577–1593), colonist and painter.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Todd, Janet. “Behn, Aphra [Aphara] (1640?–1689), writer.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Tryon, Thomas. The country-man’s companion: or, A new method of ordering horses & sheep so as to preserve them both from diseases and causalties, or, to recover them if fallen ill, and also to render them much more serviceable and useful to their owners, than has yet been discovered, known or practised. And particularly to preserve sheep from that monsterous, mortifying distemper, the rot. By Philotheos Physiologus, the author of The way to health, long life and happiness, &c. London: Printed and sold by Andrew Sowle, at the Crooked-Billet in Holloway-Court in Holloway-Lane, near Shoreditch, .
1st edn. (1684). In 5 chapters, described as follows in the table of contents:
Ch. 1: “Of Horses, their Natures, Complexions, and how to preserve them from Surfeits and other Inconveniences whereunto they are subject.” Includes the following sections: “The best way to prevent Surfeits and other Diseases in Horses”; “The ill consequence of keeping Horses in close hot Stables”; “Of Horses Food”; “What Water is best for Horses to drink”; “Shewing the Difference, Nature and Goodness of River-Water, of Spring-Water, of Pump-Water, of Pond-Water.”
Ch. 2: “Of Sheep, their Natures, and the best way to secure them from the Rot, and preserve them healthy.” Includes the following sections: “How to prevent the Scab and Mange in Sheep”; “Also the Diseases of the Gall, Jaundies, Choller, Phlegm, Blinding, Stoppages, Water in the Belly, Red-Water, Coughs, Pains in the Joynts, Lameness in the Feet, &c.”; “The Reasons in Nature what it is that is the chief occasion of the Rot in Sheep, and the Times when it is contracted, and particular directions for the certain prevention thereof”; “Of the Language of Sheep”; “Of the Excellency of a Shepherds Life, and that it is no less Innocent and Honourable than Antient”; “Of Sounds, and the Benefits Musical Harmony yields to Sheep, &c.”
Ch. 3: “Of the Evils that attend an idle and soft Life, and the Benefits of moderate Labour and Exercise.”
Ch. 4: “The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours and Country-men in Pennsylvania, East and West-Jersey, and to all such as have Transported themselves into New Colonies for the sake of a quiet retired Life.”
Ch. 5: “The Complaints of the Birds and Fowls of Heaven, for the Treachery and Violence they sustain from Man.”
Tryon, Thomas. The country-man’s companion: or, A new method of ordering horses & sheep so as to preserve them both from diseases and causalties, or, to recover them if fallen ill, and also to render them much more serviceable and useful to their owners, than has yet been discovered, known or practiced. And particularly to preserve sheep from that monsterous, mortifying distemper, the rot. By Philotheos Ohysiologus, the author of The way to health, long life and happiness, &c. London: Printed and sold by Andrew Sowle, at the Crooked-Billet in Holloway-Court in Holloway-Lane, near Shoreditch, .
2nd issue. A reprint of the original issue of 1684, with no changes to the text.
Tryon, Thomas. Healths grand preservative: or The womens best doctor. A treatise, shewing the nature and operation of brandy, rumm, rack, and other distilled spirits, and the ill consequences of mens, but especially of womens drinking such pernicious liquors and smoaking tobacco. As likewise, of the immoderate eating of flesh, without a due observation of time, or nature of the creature, which hath proved very destructive to the health of many. Together, with a rational discourse of the excellency of herbs, highly approved of by our ancestors in former times. And the reasons why men now so much desire the flesh more than other food. A work highly fit to be persued and observed by all that love their health, and particularly necessary to the female sex, on whose good or ill constitution the health and strength, or sickness and weakness of all posterity does in a more especial manner depend. By Tho. Tryon. London: Printed for the author, and are to be sold by Langley Curtis near Fleet-Bridge, 1682.
Tryon, Thomas. Vol. 2 of The knowledge of a man’s self the surest guide to the true worship of God, and good governent government of the mind and body. In opposition to tradition, custom and bigottry, the governors of the present, and all preceding generations. Or, the third part of the Way to Long-life, health and happiness. By Thomas Tryon, gent. London: Printed for Tho. Bennet, at the Half-Moon in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1704.
Tryon, Thomas. The planter’s speech to his neighbours & country-men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey, and to all such as have transported themselves into new-colonies for the sake of a quiet retired life. To which is added, the complaints of our supra-inferior-inhabitants. London: Printed and sold by Andrew Sowle in Shoreditch, 1684.
This title has been reissued (2014) as an original Roses.CommunicatingByDesign.com digital edition.
Tryon, Thomas. Some memoirs of the life Mr. Tho. Tryon, late of London, merchant: written by himself: together with some rules and orders, proper to be observed by all such as would train up and govern, either familes [sic], or societies, in cleanness, temperance, and innocency. London: Printed by T. Sowle, in White-Hart-Court, in Gracious-Street, 1705.
This title was brought out posthumously by Tace Sowle, with the comment, “We must here acknowledge that those Memoirs here Published, are not what he intended for the Press. We doubt not but those he intended for the Press were Exact, continued in a Series of time, from Year to Year, and enriched with a great many particulars, which would have mightily tended to the Edification of Devout, Serious and Sober-minded People. What loss then is it, that those Memoirs which were so carefully Collected, and to which he had put his last Polishing Hand, were not as carefully preserved. Those Memoirs now spoken of, were not to be found in the place where he assigned them to be; neither can we now, after Eighteen Months search, find them out, which is the Reason we now Publish these; and it is the Reason why these were not Published sooner. And hoping however, that these will contribute something to thy Satisfaction, and stir thee up likewise to Praise and Reverence thy great Creator, whose Goodness is extended over all his Creatures, and Glory and Power manifest in all his Works; shall proceed to give thee an Account of the Death of this our Author ....” (60–2)
As such, the cobbled together title is in 4 parts: part 1 is Tryon’s autobiographical fragment, which abruptly terminates “in the middle of the Scene of his Life, at the 48th Year of his Age; an Age when Men commonly are most known, most active, and their Actions most remarkable, and best worth relating” (Publisher, 57–8); part 2 is the brief biography of Tryon, probably written by publisher Tace Sowle, focused on his excruciating death, “which he bore with greater Patience, Submission, and Resignation than is easie to express” (Publisher, 63); part 3 is entitled “Some certain Principles, Maxims and Laws, which ought to be imbraced and observed by all such as have the Government either of Families, or Societies, and would Train them up in Temperance, Cleanness, Order, and innocency of Life,” and was perhaps intended as a summa of his life and work, but while it mostly sounds a lot like Tryon, on occasion it does not, and the publisher never anywhere claims that it is “under the Warrant of his own Writing” (57), leaving this reader suspicious that it was cobbled together from MSS. in the hands of Tace Sowle; part 4 is entitled “Laws and Orders proper for Women to Observe,” and once again, is of uncertain authorship.
Tryon, Thomas. A treatise of cleanness in meats and drinks, of the preparation of food, the excellency of good airs, and the benefits of clean sweet beds. Also of the generation of bugs, and their cure. To which is added, a short discourse of the pain in the teeth, shewing from what cause it does chiefly proceed, and also how to prevent it. By Tho. Tryon. London: Printed for the Author, and sold by L. Curtis near Fleet-Bridge, 1682.
Tryon, Thomas. The way to health, long life, and happiness, or, A discourse of temperance and the particular nature of all things requisit for the life of man, as all sorts of meats, drinks, air, exercise, &c. with special directions how to use each of them to the best advantage of the body and mind. Shewing from the true ground of nature whence most diseases proceed, and how to prevent them. To which is added, a treatise of most sorts of English herbs, with several other remarkable and most useful observations, very necessary for all families. The whole treatise displaying the most hidden secrets of philosophy, and made easie and familiar to the meanest capacities, by various examples and demonstrances. The like never before published. Communicated to the world for a general good, by Philotheos Physiologus. London: Printed and sold by Andrew Sowle at the Cloaked-Billet in Holloway-Lane near Shoreditch, 1683.
1st edn. of Tryon’s best-selling The Way to Health, Long Life, and Happiness. This was the title celebrated by Aphra Behn in her poem, and advertised by Andrew Sowle at the back of The Planter’s Speech to his Neighbours & Country-Men of Pennsylvania, East & West-Jersey ... and The Country-Man’s Companion.
Tryon, Thomas. The way to health, long life and happiness: or, A discourse of temperance and the particular nature of all things requisite for the life of man; as, all sorts of meats, drinks, air, exercise, &c. with special directions how to use each of them to the best advantage of the body and mind. Shewing from the true ground of nature, whence most diseases proceed, and how to prevent them. To which is added, a treatise of most sorts of English herbs, with several other remarkable and most useful observations, very necessary for all families. The whole treatise displaying the most hidden secrets of philosophy, and made easie and familiar to the meanest capacities, by various examples and demonstrances. The like never before published. Communicated to the world for a general good, by Thomas Tryon, student in physick. The third edition. To which is added a discourse of the philosophers stone, or universal medicine, discovering the cheats and abuses of those chymical pretenders. London: Printed for H. Newman, at the Grashopper in the Poultry, 1697.
3rd edn. of Tryon’s best-selling The Way to Health, Long Life, and Happiness. This was the reissue in which Aphra Behn’s prefatory verses — first published in 1685 with Tryon’s The Way to Make All People Rich: or, Wisdoms Call to Temperance and Frugality in a Dialogue between Sophronio and Guloso ... — were incorporated by Tryon.
Wheaton, Daniel. “Report on women and alcohol raises eyebrows: CDC urges women to stop drinking unless they’re on birth control.” San Diego Union-Tribune (7 Feb. 2016): A5. Retitled “CDC to women: No birth control? No drinking for online posting.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created quite a stir with its new recommendation Tuesday, calling on women of childbearing age to stop drinking unless they were on birth control. ¶ The report says that 3.3 million U.S. women, or 7.3 percent, were at risk for having a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. These disorders are associated with a series of developmental and intellectual disabilities, and occur in 1 of every 3,334 births.” (Wheaton, A5)
Wood, Betty. “Strachey, William (1572–1621), historian of Virginia.” Oxford dictionary of national biography. Online edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Woodcock, George. The incomparable Aphra. London and New York: T. V. Boardman, 1948.