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and magnificent arches on the bridge, which containeth fourteen arches in all. On the two aforesaid arches are these words, graven in large letters,
CÆSARI: N: P: D. PONTIFICI AVGVRI And on the other side these words, much defaced, and hard to read.
There are belonging to this town of Xainctes three principal gates. The first, Porte St. Louis, which stands to the suburbs called Britoniens ;—the second, Porte d'Equière, standing to the suburbs of St. Vivier ;—the third, Porte du Pont, which openeth to the bridges.
Three leagues from Sainctes, through a fine woody country, is the town of Brisambourg, where is a little castle, famous for the bringing up of that valiant soldier, the marshal de Biron, who was beheaded in the reign of Henry the Fourth, 1602. Five leagues from Sainctes, up the river Charente, stands the town of Coniac, or Cognac, a very pleasant place, less than Sainctes, nor having much remarkable in it; but is a mayor town; and hath many privileges belonging unto it. From thence cometh the Cognac wine,” whereof we drink in England in the summer.
The 3rd of September I parted from Sainctes, for Rochelle. Two leagues down the river stands the town of Taillebourg, where is a very long bridge. Here was also a very strong castle, belonging to the prince of Taranta; but was demolished by the king, Henry IV. in the late troubles. Three leagues from hence is the town of Touneboutonne, which hath also been walled. Here is a little old castle, something resembling Norwich castle; but much less. The fifth of September I came to Rochelle, which hath formerly been a famous, strong, and populous place; but the walls were demolished by Louis XIII; those of the religion expelled; the round church given unto the Jesuits; and some convents built in and about it; and hath little or nothing left
1 They are wanting in MS. 2 It appears that at this time vessels were regularly freighted with the light wines of the South of France to Yarmouth; some of the best of those wines are produced along the banks of the Garonne, especially the left bank. But Cognac has been celebrated for its eaux de vie rather than its wines.
of its strength and beauty, but some towers, which, by the last war, are much defaced, or going to ruin; as the lanterntower (light-house) and the two towers which enclose the harbour, between which there is a great chain, which openeth unto vessels which come in, and lie within the town. There are here divers merchants-English, Scotch, and Dutch.
I went to see the isle of Rhé, passing by water; a pleasant island, where much salt is made. Therein is the town of St. Martin's, and a fair fort of St. Martin's by it. There is also another, but smaller fort upon the same island, named Fort Depré. There are also some small wines made. From Rochelle I also went into the isle of Oleron. There are few things of remark in this island, besides a strong castle and St. Peter's church, or chapel, in the town of St. Peter's, which stands in the middle of the isle. From hence we crossed to Brouage, a very strong place, and accounted impregnable. It is indeed a notable fortification, and hath scarce any but soldiers in it. It was built to defend the coast, and bridle these parts of France. From thence, along the sea-coast, we came to Moyre, where there is a good steeple, like that of Eutropius at Sainctes, but much less. From hence we passed to Chastel-à-Lyon, which is an old castle, said to be built by the English; but now much eaten by the sea; and that night we returned again to Rochelle.
Feb. 25, 1661-2. I parted from Rochelle for Nantes. Four leagues from Nantes stands the town of Maran or Marran, a remarkable place for the great quantity of corn which useth to be laden from hence for other parts. From hence to Nantes, there was little remarkable. Nantes is a very fair city, seated on the river Loire, before it runneth into the
It is also ancient; and is called the maiden-city, because it hath never been taken by force. It is walled about with a strong wall. There is also a castle, built very fairly on the water side. The bridge is very long over the river, reaching from island to island, till it cometh to the other side. There are also very great suburbs, which are accounted bigger than the city. The cathedral church of St. Peter's is fair : it hath a very fair frontispiece, but no spire. The quire is very neat and noble; the doors of the church are of brass ; and upon them the images of St. Peter and St. Paul. In the church of St. Clere, in the middle of the quire, there is a very stately tomb of white and black marble, erected for the duke and duchess of Britany; but of what duke and duchess I could not learn. There are also
other churches, convents and monasteries; and here is also great resort of merchants, English, Flemish, and other nations ; and here are also embarked the Orleans, Blois and Anion wines and commodities, to be transported into other parts.
From Nantes I parted for Paris ; and that night came to a small city about seven leagues off, called Ancenis; the walls whereof are now rased. Here hath also been a very strong castle; but it is now demolished. From thence I came to Angers, the capital city of the dukes of Anjou; large and populous, and well accommodated with all provision. It is also a bishopric. The cathedral church of St. Maurice is noble, and hath a high steeple ; according to the common saying among them: Haut clocher; pauvre escolier; riche putain.
There is also a very strong castle, which they say was built by the English. There are also divers good churches and convents; and many of the nobility and gentry resort hither. We parted from hence; and lodged that night at La Flèche, a town which was given by the king3 unto the Jesuits for an university, which is now the most famous one of France. The Jesuits church is a very brave structure, and richly adorned. From hence we travelled to Conard, a village ten leagues from La Flèche; and passed by the city Le Mans to Nogent, a great bourg, where is a castle standing upon a very high hill, but burnt in the civil wars; and afterwards we came unto Chartres. This is a handsome and
very ancient place, and large, seated upon the river Eure, which runneth into the river Seine. Though there be many remarkable churches, yet the church of Our Lady is very noble, and for antiquities exceedeth all in these parts. For this is said to have been a temple long before the birth of Christ; built by certain druids, who inhabited these parts; which St. Savinian and St. Poteneian, coming into Gaul to convert the people, caused to be enlarged and consecrated to the Virgin Mary. Upon the front of this church are two spires: the one very curiously wrought; the other plain; and in the middle a brave and stately window. On the two sides are two magnificent entrances of ancient work, containing at least fortyeight statues on a side, and innumerable small ones, very well carved. The church within is very large : and about the church innumerable stories carved both in ancient and modern work; but what is most incomparable is the whole passion of our Saviour carved in modern work, in the year 1610. After the sight of many curiosities, we went into the treasury; a very rich place, upon one side of the quire; where, in a box adorned with diamonds and precious stones, crosses, and such like, is said to be the shift or smock of the Virgin Mary, remarkable for many miracles; namely for miraculously causing Rollo, duke of Normandy, not only to raise his siege, but also to change his religion. There is also a phial, in which they hold that there is the milk of Our Lady; and that they also have the flesh, bones, teeth, and hair, and innumerable reliques of Romish saints. We had the favor to touch the Chemise de Chartres in a small silver box made in the fashion of Our Lady's shift. So leaving this place and magnificent piece of antiquity in the morning, we lodged that night at a village called Bonell. The next day, being the 27th of April, 1662, we came unto the great city, and, as the French will have it, the little world of Paris.
3 Henry IV.
It appears, from the following “Journal of a Tour” taken in September with his brother, that young Browne returned from France, in the summer of 1662.
[ms. SLOAN. 1900.] SEPTEMBER the 8, 1662, wee set out for our journy from Norwich, baited that day at Licham and layed at the King's Head in Linne. The next day morning after the towne musick 4 had saluted us, wee saw the churches of St. Margarets and St. Nicholas, both very large and well built parish churches, having each of them a very handsome leaden spire; the oyle mill, the kettle mills which convey fresh water to the towne; the furnace in the glasshouse was out, and so wee mist seeing them make glass. Wee likewise tooke a walke that morning to the lady's mount, and by that time wee came home wee were met with by some friends, who invited us to some excellent Burnham oisters and smelts, and afterwards went along with us to Mr. Kirby's the mayor of the towne, where wee received the courtesy of drinking out of king John's cup, an ancient piece of plate which that king gave to this towne, together with a sword, as a favour for their loyalty to him in the civill wars. These sights and the civility of our friends, with the mayor and the new elect Mr. Bird, had detained us so long that wee began allmost to despaire of getting to Boston that night: but our desire to make all the hast wee could, and to see as much as was possible, in that short time wee had allotted ourselfe for this journy, made us to goe out from Lin about two in the afternoon, though much sollicited to stay. Wee were fferried crosse the water to old Lin, and from thence we went to the Cross Keys, a place where they ordinarily goe on to the Wash: where, taking a guide, it being somewhat late, wee desired to bee conducted in the nighest way to Boston. Hee told us there were two waies to passe, either over two short cuts, or else quite over the long Wash, which latter wee chose, partly because it was the nighest, but chiefly for the novelty to us of this manner of travailing, at the bottome of the sea; for this passage is not lesse convenient at a flood, for navigation, than at an ebbe, for riding on horseback out of Norfolk into Lincolnshiere. The way quite over is very good, and not at all troubled with flies with which all those fenne countrey's are extreamly pestered: but it is somewhat dangerous without a guide, by reason of some quicksands. The way is not all alike, for some is a hard sand, other a softer, and some like a fine green meddow, whose grasse is nothing but glasswort; through all which, together with divers rivers, which are easily fordable at low tide, our convoy made such haste, with his fliing horse, that hee landed us on the banks in Lincolnshire in lesse then two
4 Possibly the minstrels who were attached to most of the numerous gilds of the