Travels Over England, Scotland and Wales
England, Scotland and Wales
A True and Exact Description of the
Chiefest Cities, Towns and Corporations;
With the Antiquities of divers other Places, with the most Famous Cathedrals, and other Eminent Structures; of several Remarkable Caves and Wells, with many other Divertive Passages never before Published
At last we came to the renowned City so Glasgow, which (lying in Liddisdail) was indeed the furthest of all our Northern Circuit; 'tis situated upon the River Glotta, or Cluyd, over which is placed a very fair Bridge supported with eight Arches, and for pleasantness of Sight, sweetness of Air, and delightfulness of its Gardens and Orchards enriched with most delicious Fruits, surpasseth all other places in this Tract: the Buildings in this Town are very large and beautiful; and the Tolbooth itself so stately a Structure, that it appears rather to be a Palace than a Prison: This has formerly been the See of an Arch-Bishop, and in the Year 1554 an University which consists of one College, was founded here by Arch Bishop Turnbill for a Rector, a Dean of Faculty, a Principal or Warden to teach Theology and three Professors to teach Philosophy: Afterwards [Page 203] some Clergymen professed the Laws here, being invited to that Profession rather by the convenience of Collegiate Life, and the immunities of the University, then by any considerable Salary. King James the Sixth, A.D. 1577. did establish twelve Persons in the College, viz, a Prinicipal, three Professors of Philosophy, called Regents, four Scholars called Bursars, an Oeconomist or Provisor, who furnisheth the Table with Provisions, the Principal's Servant, a Janitor and a Cook.
The Cathedral is very fair ancient Fabrick built by Bishop John Achaian, A.D. 1135. It oweth Thanks to the Memory of King James the Sixth; and which is most remarkable, to the Mob it self at that time, for its preservation from Ruine: for the Ministers here having perswaded the Magistrates to pull it down, and to build two or three other Churches with the materials thereof, and the Magistrates condescending, a Day was appointed and Workmen ready to demolish it, but the common Tradesmen having notice given them of this design, convene in Arms, and oppose the Magistrates, threatening to bury the Demolishers of it under the Ruines of that ancient Building, where upon the matter was referred to the King and Council who decided the controversy in the Tradesmens Favor, and reproving very sharply the Magistrates for their Order, so that it still continues with four other Churches here beside for the exercise of their Religion.
The City is governed by a Mayor, and is very eminent for its Trade and Merchandize, and is noted upon Record for being the place, where William Wallace, the Renowned Champion of Scotland, was traitorously Betrayed by Sir John Menteith, and delivered upto our King Edward the First, by whose Order he was afterward publickly executed in Smithfield.
Passing away hence by Hamilton, a famous Palace then belonging to Duke Hamilton, which hath a fair and spatious Park adjoyning to it, we had two Days journy very doleful and dangerous Mountains in the Company of some Scotch Gentlemen, who were going that way for England, where the Weather was ill, the ways worse, and the long Miles with their Way-bitts at the end of them worst of all, where our Lodging was hard, our Diet course and our Bodies thin, that it might easily be discerned how we had lately passed through the Territorys of Famine, who Reigns very potently over that cold and pinching Region.
But coming at length to Dunfries in the County of Nidisdail it made use some amends, for being situate between two Hills upon the Mount of the RiverNid, over which laid a Bridge of large fine Stones, it appears to be one of the most flourishing Towns in this Tract, notable no less for its ancient Castle and Manufacture of Cloath, then for the Murder of John Cummins, one of the most Renowned Personages for his Retinue and Equipage in all this Kingdom, whom Robert Bruce, for fear he should fore-stall his way to the Crown, run quite through with his Sword in the Fryars Church, and soon obtain'd his pardon from the Pope, though he had committed so great, a Murder in so sacred a Place.
After this we came to Anandale at the Mouth of the River Anan in the County of Anandale, bordering upon our own Nation, which lost all its Glory and Beauty upon the War, which raised in Edward the Sixth's Days; in these two last named Counties have been bred a fort of warlike Men, who hath been infamous for Robberys and depredations, for they dwell upon Solway-Frish, a fordable Arm of the Sea at low Water, through which frequently they have made inroads into England to fetch home great Booty's, and in [Page 205]which they were wont after a delightful manner on Horse-back with Spears to hunt Salmons, of which there are in these parts a very great abundance
After we had passed these borders we arrived these borders we arrived again safe in our native Soil, within the precincts of Cumberland, which like the rest of the Northern Countries hath a sharp piercing Air; Soil is fertile for most part both with Corn and Cattel, and in some parts hereof with Fish and Fowl; here are likewise several Minerals, which of late have been discovered; not only Mines of Copper, but some veins of Gold and Silver, as we were informed have been found, and of all the Shires, we have, it is accounted the best furnished with the Roman Antiquites: Nor is it less renowned for its exceeding high Mountains; for beside the Mountain called Wrye-Nose, on the top of which near the high side are to be seen Three Shire Stones within a foot of each other, on in this Country, another in Westmorland, and a third in Lancashire, there are three other Hills, Skiddaw, Lanvallin and Casticand, very remarkable: Skiddaw riseth up with two might High Heads, like Parnassus, and beholds Scruffel Hill, which is The Hill of Anandale in Scotland, and accordingly as mists rise, Skiddaw or fall upon these heads, the People, thereby prognosticate of the change of Weather, Singing this Rhime,
And there goes also, this usual by Word concerning the height, as well of this Hill, as of the other two.
Nay, so liberal to it is Nature in the distribution of her largesses, that she seems to have enriched it with everything, that may any way be conducible to Health, as well as Wealth, for there such Varities of vulnerary Plants, which grow plentifully in these parts, especially near to the Picts-Wall, that in the beginning of Summer, many Persons, that are curious in these things, come hither out of Scotland on purpose to Simple; here are likewise upon the Sea-Coast very frequently discovered Trees at Low-water, which have been covered with Sand, and that in many other mostly places of the Shire they digg up Trees without boughs and that by the directions of the dew (the say) in Summer, which they observe ne'er stands upon that Ground, under which they lie.