A deepe Snow: In which Men and Cattell haue perished, To the generall losse of Farmers, Grasiers, Husbandmen, and all sorts of people in the Countrie; and no lesse hurtfull to Citizens. Written Dialogue-wise, in a plaine familiar talke betweene a London Shop-keeper, and a North-Country-man. In which, the Reader shall finde many thinges for his profit.
Woodcut illustration of citizens and animals in the snow.
Imprinted at London by W.W. for Thomas Langley in Iuie lane where they are to be sold. 1615.

The great Snow.
The speakers: A Cittizen, a North-Country-man.
GOD saue you Sir: here’s a Letter directs me to such a signe as that hanging ouer your doore; (and if I be not deceaued) this is the Shoppe: Is not your name Maister N. B?
N. B. is my name (Father:) What is your businesse?
Nor. I haue Letters to you out of the North.
Cit. From whom, I pray?
Nor. From one Maister G. M. of Y.
Cit. I know him very well; and if I may heare by you that he is in health, I shall thinke you a bringer of good and happie newes.
Nor. Good and happy newes doe I bring you then; (for thankes be to God) health and hee haue not parted this many a yeare.
Cit. Trust me, your tidings warmes my heart, as cold as the weather is.

Nor. A Cup of muld Sacke (I thinke) would doe you more good. But to put a better heate into you, I haue from your friende and mine, brought you two Bagges full of comfort, each of them weighing a hundred pound of currant English money.
Citt. Birlady
Money is
more com
fortable to a Cittizen, than
burnt Wine.
SThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)ir, the Sacke you spake of, would not goe downe halfe so merrily, as this newes: For Money was neuer so welcome to Londoners (especially tradesmen) as it is now.
Nor. Why? Is it as scanty heere, as with vs? I thought if the Siluer age had been any where, your Cittie had challenged it. Mee thinkes our Northerne Climate, should onely be without Siluer Mynes, because the Sunne (the soueraigne breeder of rich Mettals) is not so prodigall of his beames to vs. Why Gap in transcription. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process.[…] haue been told, that all the Angels of the Kingdome fly vp & downe London:
No such matter.
Nay I haue heard, that one of our ruffling Gallants in these dayes, weares more Riches on his Backe, in Hatte, Garters, and Shooe-stringes, then would maintaine a good pretty Farme in our Country,
Oh braue doings.
and keepe a Plough-land for a whole yeare.
Cit. Wee care not how braue our Gallants goe, so their names stand not in our Bookes: For when a Cittizen crosses a Gentleman,
I beleeue it.
hee holdes it one of the chiefest Cheapeside-blessings.
Nor. I vnderstand you Sir: You care not what Cullours they weare, so you keepe them not in Blacke and White.
Citt. You measure vs rightly: for the keeping of some so, (that carry their heads full high) makes many a good Shop-keeper oftentimes to hide his Head. So that albeit you that dwell farre off, and know not what London meanes, thinke (as you say) that al the Angels of the Kingdome, fly vp & downe heere. We, whole Wares lie dead vpon our hands for want of quicke Customers,
see no such matter: but if any Angels doe fly, they haue either their Winges broken and fly not farre; or else are caught like Partidges, a few in a Couie. Albeit Sir, I haue all this while helde talke with you, yet mine eye hath runne ouer these Letters, and acknowledge my selfe your debtor, in respect an Age so reuerend (as your head warrants you are) hath been the Messenger. But I hope Sir, some greater especiall businesse of your owne besides, drew you to so troublesome a Iorney.
Nor. Troth Sir, no extraordinarie businesse: The Countimans hands are now held aswell in his Pocket, as the Shopkeepers. That drew mee to London, which drawes you Cittizens out of your Houses; or to speake more truely, driues you rather into your Houses.
Cit. How meane you Sir, the Weather?
Nor. The very same. I haue been an old Brier, and stood many a Northerly Storme:
An old man
the Windes haue often blowne bitterly in my Face, Frostes haue nipped my Blood, Ysickles (you see) hang at my Beard, and a hill of Snow couers my Head. I am the Sonne of Winter, and This text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)so like the Father, that as hee does, I loue to be seene in This text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)all places. I had as leife walke vp to the knees in Snow, as to tread vpon Turkie Carpets: And therefore my Iorney to see London once more ere I die, is as merry to mee, as if I were a Woman and went a Gossipping; For the Earth shewes now,
Earth lyes in, all in white.
as if shee lay inne, (All in White.)
Cit. Belike then you haue heard she hath been deliuered of some strange prodigious Birthes, that you come thus farre, to see her Child-bed?
Nor. I haue from my Childhood spent my best daies in trauell, and haue seene the wonders of other CountriThis text has been supplied. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)es, but am most in loue with this of mine alone.
Cit. Where, if any be borne neuer so well proportiond, within a day or two it growes to be a Monster.

Nor. You say true, and iumpe wich me in that: For I haue but two Eares; yet these two Eares bring me home a thousand tales in lesse then seuen dates: Some I hearken to, some I shake my head at, some I smile at, some I thinke true, some I know false. But because this world is like our Millers in the Countrey, knauish and hard to be trusted; though mine eares be mine owne, and good, yet I had rather giue credite to mine Eyes, although they see but badly, yet I know they will not couzeu me: these foure score yeares they haue not; and that is the reason I haue them my Guides now in this Iourney, and shall be my witnesses (when I get home againe, and sitte (as I hope I shall, turning a Crabbe by the fire) of what wonders I haue seene.
Cit. In good sadnes Father, I am proude that such a heape of yeers (lying on your back) you stoope no lower for them: I come short of you by almost forty at the least, and mee thinks I am both more vnlusty, and (but for head and beard) looke as aged.
Nor. Oh Sir! riotts, riotts, surfets ouernights, and early potting it next morning, sticke white haires vpon Young-mens chinnes, when sparing dyets holds colour: Your cram’d Capons feed you fatte heere in London;
Surfets kill more then the Sword.
but our Beefe and Bacon feeds vs strong in the Countrey. Long sleepes and past-midnights-watchings, dry vp your blouds,
The Country life and Citty hee compared.
and wither your cheekes: Wee goe to bedde with the Lambe, and rise with the Larke, which makes vs healthfull as the Spring. You are still sending to the Apothecaries, and still crying out, Fetch Maister Doctor to me: But our Apothecaries shoppe, is our Garden full of Pot-hearbes; and our Docter is a cloue of Garlicke: Besides, you fall to Wenching, and marry heere in London, when a Stranger may thinke you are all Girles in Breeches, (your chinnes are so smooth,) and like Cock-sparrows, are treading so soone
as you creepe out of the shell,
Early Bridal, make early Burials
which makes your liues short as theirs is: But in our Countrey, wee hold it as dangerous to venture vpon a Wife, as into a Set-battaile: It was 36. eare I was prest to that Seruice; and am now as lusty and sound at heart (I praise my God) as my yoake of Bullockes, that are the seruants to my Plough.
Citt. Yet I wonder, that hauing no more Sande in the Glasse of your life, how you durst set foorth, and how you could come thus farre?
Nor. How I durst set foorth? If it were 88. againe, and all the Spanish Fire-workes at Sea, I would thrust this old battered Breast-plate into the thickest of them. Wee haue Trees in our Towne that beare Fruite in Winter; I am one of those Winter-plummes: And though I taste a little sower, yet I haue an Oake in my Belly, and shall not rotte yet (I hope) for all this blustering weather.
Citt. It were pietie you should yet be felled downe, you may stand (no doubt) and grow many a faire yeare.
Nor. Yes Sir, my growing must now be downe ward, like an Eare of Corne when it is ripe. But I beseech you tell mee, Are all those Newes currant, which wee heare in the County?
Cit. What are they pray?
Nor. Marry sir, that your goodly Riuer of Thames,
The Thames a Nurse to London.
(I call it yours, because you are a Cittizen; and because it is the Nurse that giues you Milke and Hony) Is that (as tis reported) all frozen ouer againe, that Coaches run vpon it?
Cit. No such mattThis text has been supplied. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (PC)er.1
Nor. When I hGap in transcription. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked.[…] it I praThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)yed God to helpe the Fishes; it would Gap in transcription. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked.[…] hard world This text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)with them, if their Houses were taken Gap in transcription. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked.[…]r their heads This text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)Nay Sir, I heard it constantly affirmeThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)d that all the YThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)outh of the Cittie,
did muster vpon it in battaile Array, one halfe against the other: And by my troth, I would haue ambled on my bare ten-Toes a brace of hundred Miles, to haue seene such a triumph.
Citt. In sadnesse (I thinke) so would thousands besides your selfe: But neither hath the Riuer been this yeare (for all the vehement cold) so hard-hearted, as to haue such a glassy crusted floare; neither haue our Youth been vp in Armes in so dangerous a Fielde: Yet true it is, that the Thames began to play a few cold Christmas Gambols; and that very Children (in good Array) great numbers,
Children turd Souldiers
and with War-like furniture of Drummes, Cullours, Pikes, and Gunnes, (fit to their handling) haue sundry times mette Armie against Armie, in-most of the Fieldes about the Cittie; to the great reioycing of their ParThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)ents, and numbers of beholders.
Nor. In good sooth I am sory, I was not one of those standers by: I haue been brought vp as a Scholler my selfe; and when I was young, our Warres were wrangling dispThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)utations: but now it seemes, that Learning surfets, hauing too many Schollers; And that wee shall need Souldiers, when such young Cockrels addresse to a Battaile: It shewes like the Epitome of Warre; and it is a wonder for men to read it. Our Painters in former Ages haue not drawne such Pictures. But you cut mee off from what I was about else to know.
Citt. What is that, Father?
Nor. A Bird came flying into the North, and chattered, that Snowfell in such abundance within and round about the Cittie of London that none without could enter; nor any within passe sGap in transcription. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked.[…].
Citt. Fables, This text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)Fables A mGap in transcription. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked.[…] may by the shadow, haue some guesse how great the substance is: Your owne eye (vpon Gap in transcription. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked.[…] now being in LonThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)don) can witnesse that your NorthThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)ern song went to a wrong tune.

Nor. And yet by your fauour, I thinke you haue not seene your Cittie so whited this fourtie yeares.
Cit. Indeede our Chronicles speake of one deepe Snow onely,
The great Snow 36. yeare agoe.
memorable to our time; and that was about 34. or 36. yeares agoe.
Nor. Nay, not so much, but of your white Beares, Bulles, Lions, &c. we had the description as fully, as if with Snow-bals in our hands, your Prentises and wee silly Country clownes had been at their bayting. I remember when I traueld into Russia, I haue there seene white Beares, and white Foxes: But some credulous fooles would needes sweare vs downe, that your Cittie was full of such Monsters; and that they ran aliue in the Strees, and deuowred people: But I see your Gyants, and tirrable heardes of Beastes, haue done your Cittie good seruice; for in stead of Grasse, they haue had cold Prouander, and helped to rid away the greater part of your Snow.
Citt. They haue indeede: And yet albeit an Arme from Heauen hath for seuerall yeares one after another, shaken Whips ouer our Land, sometimes scourging vs with strange Inundations of Flouds; then with mercilesse Fires,
Diuers warnings, but no amendmeThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)nt.
destroying whole Townes: then with intollerable and killing Frostes, nipping the Fruites of the earth: also for a long season, with scarcitie of Uictuals, or in therein great plentie, exceedingly sold deare: And now last of all, with deepe and most dangerous Snowes. Yet (as all the former lashes, the prints being worne out, are forgotten; so of this, wee make but a May-game, fashioning ridiculous Monsters of that,
God striThis text has been supplied. Reason: The ink has faded, obscuring the text. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)kes, & we lauThis text has been supplied. Reason: The ink has faded, obscuring the text. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)gh as if he did but iest.
which God in vengeance poures on our heades; when in doing so, wee mocke our owne selues, that are more monstrous and vgly in all the shapes of sinne.
Nor. You melt (Sir) out of a heape of Snow,
A good disThis text has been supplied. Reason: The ink has faded, obscuring the text. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (PC)ti2llation.
very profitable and holsome instructions.

Citt. To increase which, I pray good Father, tell me what of your selfe you know, or haue heard from others touching the effects of this wenderfull Snow, in those Countries Northward, through which you haue trauelled?
Nor. My Countrie affaires (sometimes vsing Grasing, sometimes following other profitable courses, as the seasons and aduantages of times lead me) haue made me or my Seruants, continuall traders and trauellers into all the North parts of England: And vpon mine owne knowledge I can assure you, that at other times, when Winter hath but shewen his ordinarie tyrannie, the Countries of Cumberland, Northumberland, Yorkshire, Lancashire, and all those adioyning, haue been so hid in Snow, that a man would haue thought, there was no more possibly to be found in the world.
Citt. So then you must conclude, that the heapes of Snow in those former times, being this yeare doubled and trebled, the miserie that falles with it, must by consequence, be multiplyed.
Snowes in other parts of England.
Nor. Multiplyed! I haue met with some that haue come from the Peake in Darbyshire, others (since my comming to Towne) that haue been in Nottingham, Cambridge-shire, and the Ile of Ely; who verily beleeue (vpon the daily cryes of poore people, not onely there, but in many other Countries besides) that neuer any Calamitie did happen to them so full of terrour, and so sodainely to vndoe them, their Wiues and Children, as this Snow.
Citt. It is lamentable.
Nor. Mine Eyes are witnesses (bad though they be) that some Countries which stand high, shew for all the world, like the Alpyne Hilles parting France and Italie: (I thanke God, in younger dayes I haue trauelled that way, and therefore know what I speake) for the heads of
those Hilles are couerd with these white Winter-lockes in the hottest dayes of Sommer. And it is to be feared, that in some of our farre Countries, Sommer will haue made his progresse a good way into our Land, before the Earth will disgest these cold Pellets off from her stomacke.
Citt. It is to be feared indeed: the more is the pitty.
Nor. Why I will tell you Sir, if you saw some places by which I haue passed but within these three weeks, you would verily thinke,
Freezeland come from beyond Sea.
that Freezland were come ouer Sea, swimming on a cake of Ice, and that it was lodged in England. Nay you would, if you dwelt as coldly and miserably, as some poore people of our owne Nation doe, you would almost sweare, that those partes of England lay vnder the Frozen Zone, and scarce remember there were a Sunne in Heauen, so seldome doe his fyres cast any heate vpon them.
Citt. But I pray Sir. What are the greatest hurtes and miseries, that people with you (so farre from vs) complaine of? And what kind of world is it with you in the Countrie?
Nor. The world with vs of the Country runns vpon the old retten wheeles;
The world no changeling.
for all the Northern Cloth that is wouen in our Country, will scarce make a Gowne to keepe Charitie warme, shee goes so a-cold: Those that are Rich, had neuer more Money; and Couetousnesse had neuer lesse pittie. There was neuer in any Age, more Money stirring,
Money This text has been supplied. Reason: The ink has faded, obscuring the text. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (PC)keepes her bed and is not stirring.
(if Curmundgions would let it come foorth,) nor euer in any Age more stirre to get Money. Farmers now are slaues to racking prodigall Landlords; and those Landlords are more seruile slaues to their owne Riots and Luxurie. But these are the common Diseases of euery Kingdome,
Old diseases hardly cured
and therfore but common newes. But your desire Sir, is to know how wee spend the dayes of our frosty and snowy-lock’d Age in the
Citt. That I would heare indeed, Father.
Nor. Beleeue me Sir, as wickedly (you must thinke) as you can heere in the Cittie: It goes as hard with vs, as it does with you,
The poore Countrymans misery.
if not harder. The same cold hand of Winter is thrust into our bosomes, the same sharpe and bitter Ayre strikes woundes into our bodyes: the same Snowy flakes and flockes of Heauen fall on our Heades, and couer our Houses: the same Sunne shines vpon vs, but the same Sunne scarce heates vs so much as it does you. The poore Plough-mans children sit crying and blowing their Nayles as lamentably,
His wife and children.
as the Children & Seruants of your poore Artificers: Hunger pincheth their Cheekes as deepe into the Flesh, as it doth into yours heere. You cry out, you are vndone by the extreame prices of Foode and Fuell; and wee complaine wee are ready to die for want both of Uictualles and Wood. All your care is to prouide for your Wiues, Children, and Seruants, in this time of sadnesse: but Wee goe beyonde you in cares;
The countrymans care, aboue the Cittizen.
not onely our Wiues, our Children, and household Seruants, are vnto vs a cause of sorrow, but wee grieue asmuch to beholde the miserie of our poore Cattell (in this frozen-hearted season) as it doth to looke vpon our owne Affliction. Our Beastes are our faythfull Seruants, and doe their labours truely when wee set them to it: they are our Nurses that giue vs Milke;
they are our Guides in our Iornies; they are our Partners, and helpe to inrich our State: yea, they are the very Upholders of a poore Farmers Lands and Liuings.
Alas then! what Maister (that loues his Seruant as hee ought) but would almost breake his owne heartstringes with sighing, to see those pine and mourne, as they doe. Nay,
to see Flockes of Sheepe lustie and liuely to day, and to morrow, lying in heapes strangled
in the Snow.
The Ground is bare, and not worth a poore handfull of Grasse. The Earth seemes barren, and beares nothing; or if shee doth, most vnnaturally shee killes it presently, or suffers it (through cold) to perish. By which meanes, the lustie Horse abates his flesh,
Horses, Oxen, LambeThis text has been supplied. Reason: The ink has faded, obscuring the text. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (PC)s3
and hanges the head, feeling his strength goe from him: the Oxe standes bellowing, the ragged Sheepe bleating, the poore Lambe shiuering and staruing to death.
The poore Cottager that hath but a Cow to liue vpon, must feed vpon hungry meales (God knowes) when the Beast her selfe hath but a bare Commons; nay, in searching to fill her belly with those hungry Meales, is perhaps on a sodaine, drowned in a ditch.
Hee that is not able to bid all his Cattell home, and to feast them with Fodder out of his Barnes, shall scarce haue Cattell at the end of Sommer to fetch in his Haruest: which charge of feeding so many Mouthes, is able to eate a Country-mans estate, it by prouidence hee cannot preuent such stormes. Adde vnto these Mischiefes, these following Miseries,
Hay sold at extreame rates.
that Hay (to feed Cattell) is not onely excessiue deare, but so scant, that none almost is to be had: the like of Straw, which is raysed to an exceeding price: Then the spoyling of whole Warrens, the rotting of our Pastures and Meddowes: And last of all, the vndooing of poore Carriers, they being not able, (by reason of deepe Waters,
Carriers vndone.
deepe Snowes, and dangerous Wayes) either to transport commodities and benefites from vs to your Cittie, or from your Cittie to vs. And thus haue I to satisfie your desire, giuen you in a few wordes a description of an ample, and our lamentable countrie Miserie, happening vnto vs, by reason of this cold and vncomfortable Weather.
Cit. The Story you haue told (albeit, it yet makes
my heart bleed, to thinke vpon the calamity of my poore Countreymen;) was vttered with so graue a iudgement, and in a time so well befitting your age, that I kept mine eares open, and my lippes lockt vppe, for I was loath to interupt you till all was told. But I pray Sir, besides this generall hurtes (of which, the whole Kingdome hath a smarting share,) what particuler accidents can you report, worthy to be remembred for the strangenesse of them?
Nor. There is no mischeefe borne alone (you know:) Calamities commonly are (by birth) Twinnes; I will therefore (like one of your London Traders,) giue ouer selling these sadde and bad Commodities in grosse and whole-saile, and fall to put them away by retaile.
Cit. As I haue been your Customer for the one, so I will pay you ready thankes (as my best payment) for the other.
Nor. I wish no better; neyther doe I promise to put these Wares into your hands for the best that are, but in such sort as they came to me; so I hope you will receiue them.
Cit. Gladly.
Nor. Because then you are a Cittizen your selfe, I will tell you what was truely reported to mee of a mischaunce happening to a couple of Londoners now since Christmas.
Citt. I hearken to you Sir.
A Tale of two Londoners ryding into the North.
Nor. They two hauing great occasion to ride into the North, it fortuned that in passing ouer a great Heath or Commons, on either side of which, were Woods; and beeing not aboue two Miles (to their thinking) from the next towne; yet night approching, and the Snow (which then coldly and thickly fell) being by the winde so sharply driuen, and beating in their faces, that they could not looke vp to obserue the way; they were thereby forced to
muffle themselues in their Cloakes ouer head and cares, and to trust to the poore Beastes vnder them, to guide them to the Towne, which they knew was not farre off.
Citt. So sir.
Nor. But their Horses, hauing libertie of Reynes giuen them, sought to receiue as little of the blustering Stormes as their Maisters did, and turning their heads as much as they could out of it, left the beaten Path (all hidden in Snow,) and forsaking the direct way to the Towne, had gotten on a suddaine into one of the Woods as least foure or fiue Miles: By which time, the two Londoners wondring they were not yet at the Towne; and being halfe dead with cold, looked vp, & found themselues not onely out of their way, but that the Sky was so darke, that they had no hope to come into the right way againe: Trees they saw on euery side, and thicke Groues, but not so much as the glimpse of a Candle a farre off in any house, (which is as a Loadstarre to a discomforted Traueller in the night,) no neither (for all their listning) could they heare the voyce either of Man or Beast, to assure them that people were not farre off from them.
Citt. Most lamentable.
Nor. To stay there still was dangerous; to goe forward (they knew not whither) more dangerous: of two euils, they made choyce of the least; and that was, to trust to the merry of Almighty God,
Good Gap in transcription. Reason: The ink has faded, obscuring the text.[…] and a bad Inne.
to preserue them in that place till morning. Their Horses they tyed vp, to a cold Maunger, and to worse Prouander: their Maisters had as bad an Inne, as the Seruants: Meate had they none, Fire had they none, no Bedde but the Earth, no Light but the Starres of Heauen.
Citt. You make Water euen stand in mine Eyes at the report.
Nor. In this dolefull estate chearing vp one another
the best that they could; and walking vp and downe to keepe their numbed bodyes in heate, behold, one of the two, what with cold, and what with conceite of so vnfortunate an accident, fell sodainely sicke. What comfort was neere him? none, but his friend, that stood at the same doore of mercie with him.
Citt. Alacke, alacke.
Nor. That dangerous cold Feauer more and more shaking him;
One of them dyes.
the last fitte that held him, ended both his sicknesse, and his life.
Citt. Dyed hee there?
Nor. There, in the Armes of his Friend, and his mother (the Earth) hee dyed.
Citt. What a terrour was this to his dessolate Companion?
Nor. How could it be otherwise? Yet God suffering one to liue, least the Fowles of the Ayre, should haue deuowred both, and so their deaths not haue bin knowne. Hee, so soone as euer any light from heauen shewen-foorth, tooke his way and leaue of his dead Friend, to finde out some Towne; and did so: where, to some of the dwellers relating the sadde storie of himselfe and Friend, pittie (as it could This text is the corrected text. The original is u (KL)not otherwise choose) so stirred in their bosomes, that along they went with him to the dolefull place and spectacle; which taking vp, and hauing bestowed due rites of Buriall vpon it; the other Friend, ouer grieuing at the losse of his Companion, and at so rare and vnheard-of a Calamitie, fell likewise extreamely sicke in the same Towne: And whether he did recouer or not, I haue not heard.
Citt. I haue not heard of a Newes that so deepely hath strucke sorrow into mee.
Nor. I beleeue you: Let blacke Cloudes fly togeather; heere be more of the same sadde coloure, which I report not for certaine truthes, but as flying Newes;
and these they are. I heard, that a company of Horse-men riding togeather,
Other stranThis text has been supplied. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (PC)ge4euents.
spyed another Horseman ryding singly by himselfe, some quarter of a Mile before them in plaine view, and on a sodaine was vanished cleane out of sight; at which they all much wondring, considering the planenesse of the way; and misdoubting the worst, noted the place (so neere as they could) where they lost a sight of him: And putting Spurres to their Horse, came, and found both Man and Horse into a Pitte of Snow, strugling and striuing for life. Whereupon, leaping from their Horses, with much adoe they saued both Horse and Man, and drew them foorth. In labouring to doe which, not farre from him, lay three or foure men more, and their Horses vnder them, buried in the same Pitte of Snow.
Citt. To second this report of youres: A Customer of mine, no longer agone then yesterday, told mee heere in my Shoppe, that vpon New-market Heath in Cambridge shire, three men in seuerall places, were found dead in the same manner.
Nor. Not vnlikly. And in many other Countries, many more, both Men, Women, and Children, haue perished, that neuer will come within reach of our knowledge.
Cit. It is to be feared.
Nor. Amongst so much sowre meate, I should do you wrong, if I did not set one pleasing Dish before you; I will therefore tell you a merry Tale of a Collier, that happened since this great Snow.
Cit. I shall be glad to heare it.
Nor. I call it merry, in respect of the sodaine accident attending on it, albeit it fell out sadly enough for the poore Collier: And thus it was.
Citt. Come on Sir.
Nor. In my approching neere London, I ouertooke
a Collier,
A Tale of a Collier.
and his Teame loaden, walking as stately as if they scornd to carry Coales; for their pace was iust like that of Malt-mens Horses when they march to London with full Sackes on their backes. I asked honest Grimme, Why hee made no more haste, to put heate into his Horses and him selfe, seeing the Weather so cold? Not so (cryed hee) no more haste then good; Soft Fire makes sweete Malt: Let mee trotte to day, that I may amble more easily tomorrow. If I should put my Horses into a chafe, they may hap put me into such a cold sweate, as the last day a Brother of mine (a Coale-carrier too) fell into, which strucke him so to the heart, that fiue loade of Coales cannot yet warme him.
Cit. Belike then, hee tooke an extraordinary cold.
Nor. You shall heare. I prayde my black-facde Gentleman to tell the Newes out: And so (his whissle lying still) he reported, That a Collier going to London with a load of Coales, hee himselfe ryding by, on a little sorrie Nagge, it fortuned that a Gentleman discharging his Birding-peece at Fowle, some of the small Shott flying through a Hedge, happened to tickle my fellow Colliers Nagge:
The Colliers Horse will stand on no ground.
which hotte showre put more courage into him, then euer the Whip was able to giue him, insomuch that he ran away with the Collier as fast, as if hee had been ryding to Hell, to serue their Fornaces there with Fyring: the whole Teame spying their Maister in his vn-vsuall post-gallop, and frighted with the noyse of the Peece, left the High-way (their ordinarie beaten path,) and as if the Diuell had daunc’d in one of the Sackes,
The blacke Tragedie.
after the Collier they ran, who cryed, Hey, and Hoe, and Ree, and Gee; but none of his carterly Rethoricke was able to stay them, vntill Cart & Coales were ouerthrowne, and with the fall, the Axletree broken. By which time, albeit the Colliers Nagge were halfe come to his wittes, yet the Collier himselfe began to be
starke mad.
Cit. By my fayth hee had reason.
Nor. And in that furie (quoth the other Collier) hee fell a cursing of Gunnes,
The Collier tickle-it for Satyre
bade a Pox of all Powder; cryed out, It was a shame, that poore harmelesse Birds could not be suffered in such pittifull cold weather, to saue them-selues vnder a Bush, wheThis text is the corrected text. The original is u (KL)n euery lowsie Beggar had the same libertie, but that euery paltrie Peter-gunner, must fart Fire and Brimstone at them. But,
Hinc illae Lacrimae.
the wofull spectacle of his Great Coale, turude and grinded into Small, by the iogging and ioulting: And his Horses beeing in such a durtie pickle, made him giue ouer cursing: So that taking his Teame out of the Cart, and tying the Fore-horse to a Hedge, backe gallops my fellow Goose-stealer, to the next Towne for a new Axeltree. In whose vnhappie blacke absence, the former Bird-killer making another shoote, the whole Teame (now madder then before, as beeing not vsed to such Musicke, brake from the Hedge; and beeing out of their Croydon Caronto,
Madd horse play.
vp Hill, and downe Dale, they flye, as if Wild-fire had been tyed to their tayles; vntill at last, happening into a narrow Lane, deepely filled vp with Snow, on they rushe: the first (like ill Companie on a Shroue-tuesday) drawing on the second, and so hee the third; and then not beeing able to turne backe, but strugling and beating way in that cold passing, where none was to be had: In the This text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)ende beeing tyred with striuing, downe the poore BeaThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)stes fell, and there were styffled in the Snow. Thus was the Colliers Tale to mee; but what the lamentations of the other Collier were at his comming backe, I thinke you may guesse.
Cit. Such, that I warrant you, he wept more warme water, then euer he had at any countrie Barbers to wash his smutty Face on a Satterday night.

Nor. You haue heard of some misfortuaThis text is the corrected text. The original is u (KL)ndes, lately happening vnto certaine Grasiers?
Cit. No indeede, Sir.
A Tale of Grasiers.
Nor. Then take it for truth and on my credite, that a good company of them comming vp togeather to London, with great store both of Sheepe and Bullocks, they lost, by reason of the Snowes and deepe Wayes, so many of either (especially of Sheepe) that perished in great numbers, euen on the way, and before their faces, that if they had been sold to their value, it had been a sufficient estate to haue maintainde a very good man, and haue kept him rich all his life time.
Cit. I beleeue you Sir: But I pray Sir, What is your opinion of this strange Winter? Giue mee your iudgement I beseeth you, of these Frostes and Snowes; and what (in the schoole of your Experience) you haue read, 
An old Man is a new Almanacke.
or can remember, may be the effects, which they may produce, or which of consequence are likely now to follow.
Nor. I shall doe my best to satisfie you. When these great Hilles of Snow, and these great Mountaines of Yee be digged downe,
What is likely to happen vpon this great Snowes.
and be made leuell with the Waters; when these hard Rockes shall melt into Riuers, and these white Fethers of Heauen sticke vpon the backes of Floodes; and that sodaine Thawes shall shew, that the Anger of these Winter stormes are mollified: then it is to be feared, that the swift, violent, and vnreThis text has been supplied. Reason: Smudging dating from the original print process. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (KL)sistable Land-currents (or rather Torrents) will beare downe Bridges, beate downe Buildings, ouer-flow our Corne-fields, ouer-run the Pastures, drowne our Cattell, and endanger the liues both of Man and Beast, traualing on their way; And, vnlesse Gods hand of Plentie be held open, a Dearth, to strike the Land in the following Sommer.
Citt. You say right. This Prognostication which
your Iudgement thus lookes into, did alwayes fall out to be true.
Nor. These extraordinarie Feauers (shaking a whole Kingdome) haue alwayes other mortall Diseases wayting vpon them.
Cit. Wee are best to feare it; and by fearing, prouide against them.
Nor. I pray God (at whose commaund, the Sunne sendes foorth his heate, aThis text is the corrected text. The original is u (KL)nd the Windes bitter Stormes to deface the fruites of it,) that in this last Affliction sent downe in Flakes from the angry Element, all other Miseries may be hidden, swallowed, and confounded.
Citt. I gladly, and from my heart, play the Clarke, crying, Amen.
Nor. But I pray Sir, now you haue melted a great part of our North-country Snow out of mee, How hath your Cittie heere (with all their Castles, and S. George a horsebacke to helpe it,) borne off the storme?
Cit. Mary, I will tell you how, sir: Iust as our London Fencers often times doe in their Challenges: Shee has taken it full vpon the Head.
Nor. Mee thinkes, and I see it with mine eyes, it cannot hurt you much; for your Strees are fuller of people then euer they were.
Cit. True sir: but full Streetes, make Shoppes emptie: It’s a signe that Tradesmen and Handy-crafts, haue either little to doe, or else can doe little, by reason of the Weather,
The hurt the Cittie takes by this Snow.
when they throw by their Tooles, fall & to flinging of Snow-bals. I assure you Father, the tyranny of this Season, killes all trading (vnlesse in villanie, which shrinks for no Weather,) so that all commerce lies dead. Besides, it lessens our Markets for prouision, so that all sort of Food was neuer more deare: It eates vp Firing, and almost starues the Poore, who are not able to buy Coale or Wood, the rates vpon euery Frostie
Morning, being lifted vp and raysed at the pleasure of euery paultry Chandler. Men of Occupations, for the most part lie still; as Carpenders, Bricklayers, Playsterers, and such like: not one of these, nor of many other, turnes Alchimist, for (vnlesse they bee Shooe-makers) none can extract or melt a penny of Siluer out of all these heapes of Snow.
Nor. You now haue giuen mee a large satisfaction.
Cit. Nay, if you should walke but alongst one streete onely in London; and that is Thames streete, and to see their Cellers & Ware-houses full of rich Merchandize drownd,
The dwellers in Thames street.
and vtterly spoyld, you would both wonder at the losse, which cannot be set downe; and lament it, albeit you know it to be none of your owne.
Nor. I doe already (by your report, to which I giue much credite) lament it in others, as if it were mine one I loue not these Tragicall passions, I suffer for them vpon the reporting. But putting them by, I pray Sir, seeing I haue vnladen my selfe to you here in your shop, send not you mee home like a Colliers Horse, onely with an empty Sacke on my backe: let mee haue some good Newes to carry with mee.
Cit. The best, & most noble, that I haue at this time, to bestow vpon you, is to request you to step into Smithfield, where you shall see by the carefull prouidence,
The pauing of Smithfield.
care, and industrie, of our Honorable Senators (the Fathers of our Cittie) much Money buried vnder that durtie Fielde, by the hyring of hundreds of Labourers to reduce it (as it is reported) to the fairest and most famous Market-place, that is in the whole Kingdome.
Smithfield made a Marketplace.
Nor. A Market-place! now trust mee, it standes fit for so noble a purpose, and will be a memorable Monument to after Ages, of the royaltie, diligence, wisedome, and brauerie, of this. But where shall your Cheapside Market be then kept, this must either hinder that, or
that this?
Citt. Cheapside shall by this meanes, haue her Streetes freed from that trouble, by sending it hither, if (as it is reported) it proue a Market place.
Nor. It will adde that beautie to that spacious place, which in former times hath by Horses and Pamers, and Butter-wiues, been taken from it: Nay, the very Street it selfe, by this meanes, will shew like a large new Exchange, or Rialta; such a commerce of Gentlemen and Cittizens will be seene there dayly by walking vpon it: I thanke you for this Newes; this goes with mee into the North: And when I heare that the worke is finished, Ile take off one ten yeares of mine, because Ile come vp lustily to London once againe, to see such an honour to your Cittie.
Cit. And when you doe, you shall finde (as Report already giues it out) besides the Market, two goodly Receiptes for Water, fairely built, to adde vnto it the greater glory and beautie.
Nor. Your Cittie is full of honourable deedes; and euer may it be so. I haue troubled you long: your Mony will I bring to you to Morrow morning; in the meane time, because (as durty your Streets are) I must trot vp and downe, to dispatch many businesses. I will for this time, take my leaue of you; and the rather, for that (you see) it hath now left snowing.
Cit. Sir, you are most heartily wel-come.


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Cite this page

MLA citation

Dekker, Thomas. The Great Snow. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022,

Chicago citation

Dekker, Thomas. The Great Snow. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022.

APA citation

Dekker, T. 2022. The Great Snow. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

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Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Dekker, Thomas
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - The Great Snow
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#DEKK1"><surname>Dekker</surname>, <forename>Thomas</forename></name></author>. <title level="a">The Great Snow</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target=""></ref>.</bibl>





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