MARKHAM, Gervase


MARKHAM, Gervase Cheape and good husbandry for the well-ordering of all beasts

London, T[homas] S[nodham] for Roger Jackson, 1623


4to, pp. [xxii] 179 [i]; [par.] A-2A 2B². lacking [par]1, blank except for fleuron. “Includes an abridgement of his ‘How to chuse, ride, trayne, and dyet, both hunting horses and running horses’ (STC 17350), which was in turn an enlarged edition of his: ‘A discource of horsmanshippe’.” ESTC. Roman letter, some Italic. Floriated and historiated woodcut initials, full-page woodcut ‘A platforme for ponds’, woodcut and typographical headpieces and ornaments, bookplates of Richard Schwerdt (1862-1939), and William Foyle (1885-1963), on pastedown and front endpaper respectively. A little age-yellowing, some minor spotting on first few leaves. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in C19 red morocco, covers bordered with double blind rule, rebacked, spine laid down, blind inner dentelles.

The Schwerdt-Foyle copy of the third edition. This work on the rearing of animals lays particular emphasis on the treating of illnesses and is a valuable record of veterinary medicine. Book one is dedicated to the ‘foure-footed beasts’; the horse (for diseases of the liver, ‘the signes to know it is a stinking breath and a mutuall looking towards his body’, treat with aristolochia longa), cow (for the killing of lice ‘annoit their body with fresh grease, pepper, stavesaker and quicksilver), sheep (‘if your lambe be sick, you shall give it mares-milke, or goats-milke, or their own dammes milke mixt with water to drinke, and keepe it very warme’), goats (‘goates are very much subiect unto the dropsie … the signe whereof is a great inflamation and heate in the skin: the cure is to seeth wormewood in water and salt, and give a pint thereof to the goate to drink divers mornings’) and rabbits (on madness in ‘conies’: ‘ you shall know it by their wallowing and rumbling with their heels upward & leaping in their boxes. The cure is to give them harethistle to eat’). Book two has further chapters on poultry (‘if your poultrie have sore eyes, you shall take a leafe or two of ground-ivie and chawing it in your mouth, suck out the iuyce and spit it into the sore eye’; ‘To speake of the breeding of swannes is needlesse, because they can better order themselves in that business then any man can direct them, onely where they build their nests, you shall suffer them to remaine undisturbed, and it will be sufficient’), hawkes, (apoplexie or ‘falling evil’ in hawkes, ‘a certaine vertigo or dizinesse of the braine’, can be treated with the juice of the herb asterion gathered ‘when the Moone is in the Waine, and in the signe Virgo’), bees (weak swarms that come late in the year can be fortified throughout the winter ‘by daily smearing their stone before the place of their going in and out with hony and rose-water mixt together’ and fish (a mixture of salarmoniake, chives and calves kell beaten together and shaped into pellets, thrown into a corner of the pond will draw carpe, breame, chevin or barbell).

‘Markham, apart from his works on a variety of subjects, wrote several on husbandry which contain treatises on horsemanship, hunting, hawking, fishing and other sports. Although some of the matter found in these is traceable to previous writers, the author’s knowledge is remarkable’ (Schwerdt – one of the great collections of books on country pursuits of modern times). “Many books on agriculture and gardening were published during the century, but from the historical point of view the most important are those of Markham, because they appeared at an early stage in the new development, were widely read, and full of useful information and sound advice.” Anne Wilbraham ‘The Englishman’s Food: Five Centuries of English Diet’

ESTC S112039. STC 17338. Schwerdt II, p.10 (this copy). Poynter. 22.1 (1st edn).
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