A Brief Apologie of Certen Newe Inventions

hath bene a publicke viewe taken in London by some of her
Majesties prime Counsell, and diverse other Gentlemen
and Citizens for goodworship and account, with the Authors
excuse for not publishing the same, to the generall
good of his countrey.

PUBLISHED BY Richard Field


The great and manifold miseries, the dangerous and desperat mischiefes, into the which the poorer sort of people do dayly and hourely fall and runne headlong for want of sufficient worke and labor to employ themselves in their honest callings, together with the sundrie and sharpe calumniations wherewith these few inventions have bin of late dayes most wrongfully and vehemently charged, by the ignorant and yet malitious enemies of all ingenious devises, have forced me both against my nature, purpose and profession, to undertake this untimely and unpolished labor, wherunto I am rather encouraged, that i might the better suppresse and overthrow that base and blind position, or rather Paradoxe of the vulgar sort against the infinite nature of every science, that there is no excellent devise more to be found out or expected in these latter and unfrutefull dayes, then hath bene alreadie discovered by our wife and learned auncestors. Which absurd & senslesse opinion, i hold both needlesse and impertinent to confute by reason, seeing there are diverse newe and profitable conclusions and experiments, within this small compasse, even readie to muster them selves against it.

For who would ever have thought it possible before the invention of Clockes and Dials to have distinguished the dayes into houres, moneths into dayes, & years into moneths, or that man should have been able to call the celestiall orbs to a true account of their motions.

How much are we beholding to the first inventor of the Card, by which a more safe and shorter course hath benefound out for the Pilot, the was ever known before?


What graveman or magistrate of our Metropolitan Citie, when that excellet waterforce at the bridge, was first attempted by that worthie Enginer Peter Morris, would either lend his eare or open his purse, to the accomplishment of so memorable a worke, although the pestiferous and continuall noysome ayers of the Citie, the fearful and most furious flames of ruinated houses, with open throate, exclaimed and cried out for that element, which at this day (to the' immortall memorie of the man)is plentifully coveyed eve through the stately streets of Lodo. Did not one of the most ancient amogst our Seigniors in the presence of two hundreth Getlemen at the least, and in the hearing of that most learned senator the Atlas of Englad(be it spoke without ossense to any other of our most honorable and wise statesmen) openly pronounce, that the reason of the small regard which the Citie had of this so necessarie an engine, was only because they thought the same not fesible? And yet such was the undaunted courage & assured hope of the Artiste, (although fewe men else would beleeve that which hein a perfect Idea had plotted in his own brains) as that he never gave over his first purpose, until he had throughly effected the same in action, from hence all the double forces in waterworkes (wherein no stroke is idle) had their first beginning, & are now become common in diverse parts of this land, to the great benefit of all drie townes and places, whereby they may derive unto themselves sufficient water even from the lowest rivers or deepest springs that can be found.

3. A woodden uessell is boyle in.

If i should here tell you of a woodden vessell, being of the content of 30 gallons, and made of clest boord, by an ordinary Cooper, and yet the same so defensible against, fire, as that a bucke of cloathes hath bene driven therein, without the helpe either of any kettle, buckingtub, or other chimney or furnesse whatsoever, and that the same may beso enlarged as that everie Nobleman, Gentleman, and Farmer of England, may use the same for his brewing vessell, in as full and sufficient manner as now he doth his copper kettle, without all danger of burning, what sewel or firing soever it shall please him to spend therein, I wonder into what astonishment I should bring the unbeleeving and senslesse blockes and penifathers of our time, (whose pictures & portratures have bene so huely drawne of late, by two good perspective Painters, in their several and sharp inuectives both of [...] date)as that not withstanding I have just cause to write with a ranke pen, and inkefull of gaull against them, yet since I finde them there so truly discovered and displaced, I will referre them to those christall looking glasses, there to behold their perfect counterfeites, when they can finde any leisure from their wordly reckonings. But if i should proceed further, (me thinks now i hearesome of them whispering in mine eare with a [...]) and assure them that in everie brewing, they shall save the one moitie of the wood and cole which now they spend, I think they would be ready to hisse me out of the schooles for a Ramist, except their covetous humor do herein affoord some help to their weake faith and incredulitie. Yet since it hath pleaded one of the Lords of her Majesties privie Counsell, with three other Gentleman all well born & good schollers, (whose names upon just cause I must suppresse for a time) to affoord me their favourable presence, whilest the vessell was forced to boyle with a fewe flaming stickes, I will referre the credite and royal performance of this secret unto their gravecensures, not doubting but that in some reasonable time by one meanes or other, the same shall manifest it selfe, both in the Kitchins and Brewhouses of the most sufficient Gentlemen, & richest Farmers of thsi land, which hitherto with some other inventions, to my great griefe, losse, and discredit( I know not by what froward fates or misfortune) hath bene staied, crossed, or coldly commended in Court, and most [...] disgraced, and contumeliously handled in my native soyle at home.

4. A portable Pumpe

This Pumpe with the easie labor of one man, will deliver 5 or 6 . Tunnes of water everie houre, it may be placed out of all danger of shot, it is verie durable & of small price, and if there happen any great leake, there may be two or three of them laid up in some corner of the ship, to be used upon occasion: It needeth no fastning at all to the ship, but is removeable at pleasure. These Pumps are portable to and fro, and therefore verie [...] also for the [...] of fenne countries.

5. A wholesome and lasting uictuall for the [...]

This food is of an easie price, for I am assured that two peniworth thereof will be a sufficient meale to aby reasonable stomacke, and it serveth both in stead of bread and meate, it will last a yeare or two, and for ought that i can imagine to the contrarie, it may well last 6 or 7 yeares. It may be reserved till other food do faile in the ship, and yet I know it may be so handled in the dressing as that it may verie wel be served in for one of the last and most delicate dishes at the table, and so i have diverse times accounted of the same in mine owne house, it is uerie light of carriage, and there may be quantitie inough thereof had at all times of the yeare.

6. How to distill great store of salt water into fresh, by using the ordinarie beese kettle only.

Since there hath bene some good use found of the distillation of Sea-water in time of necessitie, for which purpose there have been diverse fortes of distillatorie vessels devised of late, whereof most of them are of great charge, & some of them have occupied more roome in the ships the might coveniently be spared. I thought it not amisse to offer this invention for the whole navie of England, as the easiest and cheapest of all other that i could devise or see practised either by any land or water Chimist.

7. How to defend fresh water from purefaction.

It is possible many waies to prepare fresh water, wherby the same shall not be subject to putrefaction, and that with small and easie charge, so as the whole art be perfor- med upon the land, or after the ships have newly watred, it is possible inough to preserve the same for many moneths togither, so as it shall not be offensive either in smel or taste to the Mariner. I have heard this secret well accounted of, until that maner of distillation at the Sea was found out, & I see no reason, why it should loose his whole credit not withstanding the same, since without all question there is great difference betweene common water that is fresh by nature, and the Sea water that is thought to be fresh by distillation.

This is a selection from the original text


food, quantity, stomach, victuals, water, wholesome

Source text

Title: A BRIEFE APOLO- GIE OF CERTAINE NEW INVENTIONS, WHEREOF THERE hath bene a publicke viewe taken in London by some of her Majesties prime Counsell, and diverse other Gentlemen and Citizens for goodworship and account, with the Authors excuse for not publishing the same, to the generall good of his countrey.

Author: Hugh Platt

Publisher: Richard Field

Publication date: 1593

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bib name / number: STC (2nd ed.), / 19977 Bib name / number: ESTC, / S94737 Physical description: [3] leaves : Copy from: Society of Antiquaries of London. Library

Digital edition

Original author(s): Hugh Platt

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Image one
  • 2 ) Image two
  • 3 ) Image three


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > nonfiction prose > science

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