The Doleful Lamentation of Cheapside Cross
Textual Note and Credit
Source: The dolefull lamentation of cheap-side crosse: or old England sick of the staggers. London, 1641. Wing D1837. Sig. A1r, A4r, and A4v.
The prose passage transcribed here comes from a short pamphlet on religious dissent. The pamphlet is a single quarto gathering of eight leaves. The pamphlet advertises itself as a lamentation by the Eleanor Cross in Cheapside; the title page is illustrated with a woodcut image of the cross showing the four levels of the cross with niches for statuary, the railing around the cross, and three male figures pointing at the cross. Speeches or laments made by buildings or monuments were not uncommon in the literature of early modern London. In such texts, the urbs functions as the non-partisan voice of the constructed city. Sometimes, the personified building or monument is the voice of a parent lamenting over illness or strife. In other cases, the speaker appears to be impartial but takes the side of one of the groups within the conflicted communitas. In this pamphlet, the Cross’s speech concludes a third-person critique of sectarianism.
The transcription is diplomatic. MoEML’s transcription preserves the long ſ. Lineation is preserved in the transcription of the title page, but not font size. Because the work is prose, line breaks are not preserved elsewhere, nor are the hyphens necessitated by line breaks in the documentary witness. I preserve orthography (including the variable i/j and u/v), capitalization, italicization, and punctuation. Non-standard spacing before and after punctuation marks is not preserved.
TEI tagging of places and personal names on MoEML is always an act of interpretation. TEI tags point to the most likely location. I have consulted Stow’s A Survey of London and other sources where the place referent is not obvious. Where I have had to make a choice, I note my rationale in a mouseover editorial note.
The dolefull Lamentation of
Or old England ſick of the Staggers.
The diſſenting, and diſagreeing in matters of opinion, together
with the ſundry ſorts of Sects now raving and reigning, be-
ing the maine cauſes of the diſturbance and hinde-
rance of the Common-wealth.
[Woodcut image of Cheapside Cross and three male figures]
London, Printed for F.C. and T.B. 1641.
Text of "The doleful lamentation" epilogue.
The dolefull Lamentation of Cheap-ſide Croſſe, which
was baſely abuſed and wronged.
I, Iaſper Croſſe, ſcituated in Cheap-ſide , London, vpon Munday night, being the 24 of Ianuarie, the ſigne being in the head and face, which made me the more ſuffer; and in the yeare one thouſand ſixe hundred forty and one, when almoſt everie man is to ſeek a new Religion; and being then high water at London Bridge, as their braines and heads were full of malice and envy: I the foreſaid Iaſper Croſſe was aſſaulted and battered in the Kings high way, by many violent and inſolent minded people, or rather ill-affected Brethren; and whether they were in the heighth of zeale, or elſe overcome with paſſion , or new wine lately come from New-England, I cannot be yet reſolved; but this I am ſure, and it may bee plainly ſeen by all that paſſe by me, that I was much abuſed and defaced, by a ſort of people which I cannot terme better than a mad and giddy headed multitude, who were gathered together from all parts, to wrong my antiquity, and ancient renowned name, ſo much ſpoken of in forraine parts. Had I ever done theſe my Brethren the leaſt offence, I ſhould be ſorrie, and am ſtill willing to ſubmit and referre my ſelfe to the grave and moſt juſt Senators now aſſembled.
Love and charity, thoſe my brethren had none at all; for what benefit or credite did it bring to them to come by night like theeves, to ſteale from me here a leg, there a head, here an arm, and there a noſe; they did all goe away from mee the Croſſe with profit: they have not done me ſo much diſhonor as they have done themſelves, and the honourable City, whoſe civill government is a patterne to all Nations: But I will tell you, my croſte  brethren, you both at that time wanted wit and money: wit to govern your hot and over-boyling zeale, and croſſe  money to pay your Land-lords rent: that is a croſſe  to you, not I: and ſo wanting ſuch croſſes  as thoſe, would bee revenged of me, to ſatisfie your malitious croſſe  humours; I am but your ſtocking horſe,  and colour for your future malice, your rage will not ceaſe though you ſhould pull mee downe, and make me levill with the ground: And when ſo done, then you wil cry out that there be croſſes  in the goldſmithes ſhops; which is plate and jewels, ſtanding upon croſſe  ſhelves, thoſe be the croſſes you intend, though your pretence be otherwais: Next the Mercers ſhops whoſe Satten and Velvet lie a croſſe  , and whoſe Counters are acroſſe their ſhops: Then the next croſſes which you will finde fault withall; will bee with thoſe rich monied men, whoſe bags lye croſe  in their cheſts; then with their wives if they bee handſome which you will make to be croſſes  too, in a ſhort ſpace: I ſay deare brethren, if you be ſuffered to pull downe all things that are acroſſe[,]  you will dare to pull a Magiſtrate of his horſe, becauſe he rides acroſſe his horſeback, and pull his chaine to peices becauſe it hangs acroſte his ſhoulders, and if a millers horſe comes to market with a ſack of corn acroſſe his horſeback, and if you ſay it is a croſſe, you then violently wil run and pul it down, and ſhare it as you have done part of me the croſſe: And at length then our Churches will prove croſſes to you, ſpecially if they have bin builded in popiſh times, & ſo in proceſſe of time every thing wil be a croſſe to you that you either love or hate: But I will conclude with this caution that as long as we have ſuch croſs people, croſſe every way, eſpecially to Majeſtrates and men of Authority, and ſtill go unpuniſhed, we ſhall alwayes have ſuch croſſe doings, and ſo I poore Ieffrey Croſſe leave you to your croſſe wives, and your own croſſe opinions.
- Crossed. Several possible meanings, including "bearing or wearing a cross" (OED, crossed, adj.1), "Thwarted" (OED, crossed, adj. 3.a), and "Having a ’cross’ to bear" (OED, crossed, adj. 3.b.).
- Of the English coins in circulation, many had a cross stamped on the reverse. They were legal tender as long as the cross had not been clipped.
- Coins. The cross marked on many coins came to stand synecdochically for the coin itself. With puns on other meanings (Fischer 62–63).
- "Given to opposition" (OED, cross, adj. 5.a) and/or "Ill-tempered, peevish, petulant" (OED, cross, adj. 5.b).
- Stalking horse. "An underhand means or expedient for making an attack or attaining some sinister object; usually, a pretext put forward for this purpose." (OED, stalking-horse, n.2.b). The speaker’s point is that the rabble attacks the Cheapside Cross only to justify the theft of other kinds of crosses.
- Jewellery in the shape of a cross, or church plate; possibly coins, given that goldsmiths were known for exchanging gold for silver and vice versa, and, by 1641, for taking deposits of coin and issuing promissory notes
- "Having a traverse direction" (OED, cross-, comb. form, 1.b.(a)(i))
- Possibly with sense of "cut on the bias"
- Possibly a compositorial misreading of "close."
- Possibly "A trial or affliction" (OED, cross, n., 10.a or 10.b), if the implication is that the addressees, by "finding fault" with the wives of rich men, will turn the husbands into cuckolds
- Comma added for clarity.
- The Dolefull lamentation of Cheap-side crosse. London: Printed for F.C. and T.B., 1641. Wing D1837. Print. British Library copy rpt. Early English Books Online. Web. [If you are logged into EEBO, click on the STC number to go directly to the bibliographic record..]
- Fischer, Sandra K. Econolingua: A Glossary of Coins and Economic Language in Renaissance Drama. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1985. Print.
- Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. Web. Subscr. OED.
- Stow, John. A Survey of London. Reprinted from the Text of 1603. Ed. Charles Lethbridge Kingsford. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1908. Print. [Also available as a reprint from Elibron Classics (2001). Articles written before 2011 cite from the print edition by volume and page number.]