A Moste true and marueilous straunge wonder, the lyke hath seldom ben seene, of .XUII. Monstrous fisshes, taken in Suffolke, at Downam brydge, within a myle of Ipswiche. The .XI. daye of October. In the yeare of our Lorde God. M.D.LX.UIII.

[figure]

FYrste you shall vnderstande, that the begynners first Uenterers to take these fishes, was Nycholas Gibbins, and Ihon Carnaby, with theyr men: after came Iohn Baker, and Robert Haulley wt theyr men, being all Saylers & Shipmen dwelling in Ipswiche, with other, besydes manye of the countrey ther about, whyche when they harde of it, came thyther to helpe, and see the taking of them.

¶Also, of these .xvii. fyshes, there was a male, and a female, that was more howge and monstrous then the other .xv. For the least of these .ii. fisshes, were .xxvii. foote longe: and as bigge in the middle eche of them, as .iii. Buttes of Malmezie, and of a marueylous great strength, as it is well known to dyuers in Ipswich & other places, beside those men aboue named. For they tyed one of these fysshes to a boat, to brynge hit to Ips­wich wharfe, and being so tied to the boat, swam awaye wyth the boat & all the men that weare in it, toward the sea a maruaylous swyft pace, for all that they could do: this was when the tyde came in, for they had made prouision before, whē the water was loo, to tie great roapes about theyr tayles and finnes with small boates, and by such meanes as they could. (And as I sayd before) the tyde commyng in & the fyshe hauinge water, swam away with the boat so fast toward the sea, that if ther had not byn rescue of other boates and such vessels as they had thear, that boat and all they in it, had ben lost and vtterlie cast away. But as God wold haue it, by the helpe of thother boates or vessels, tieng the fishe also. Brought him by force to a conuenient place, and tied him fast to a tree with strong Cable roapes, and so vsyng theym one by one, founde meanes to brynge theim to Ipswych wharfe. Wher they were layd with great labour and trouble, besyde breaking of theyr wyndlace & a great Cable roape, wyth halyng them vp, they weare of suche maruaylous greatnes, strength and wayght. Som of them laye vpon the wharfe .ii. dayes and a nyght before they weare dead, and yet they strooke them wyth Axes & other weapons to kyll them. The ryuer wherin they weare taken was coloured red, wt the blood that issued from theyr woundes, whyle they weare a takyng, y water beinge so deepe that a H [...]y might well ryde thear in. Thear was also .iii. Butchers a hole day cutting out one of these fysshes, and as ma­nye to carye it awaye with hand barous to the town ware house, and the Butchers were fayne to put on bootes to stand in to cut it out, it was so deepe & full of garbyge? this fishe was a mans heyght in thicknes, from the top of the backe to the bone: and his bones as harde as stones, that the Butchers mard al theyr Axes they occupied about them. The other .xv. fisshes were .xxiiii. foote longe, and som of them .xxi. foote, and byg according to theyr length. But the .ii. biggist, male and female, was .xxvii. foote long, and as byg in the middle as .iii. Buttes of malmsie. Hauinge a round snout. His mouth wyde, gapinge aboue a yeard broad. And had xliiii. teeth, one beinge wayed & waith a pound & a halfe, viii. inches & a half long, and aboue .vi. inches in compas about, yet none of the biggest. Also a great long tung, a marueylous byg head, & is a yeard betweene the eies, Upon theyr heds were holes, as big that a man might put in both his fistes at once, out of the which they did spoute a great quantitie of water whyle they were a takinge, that they had almoste dround .ii. boates men and all, with spoutynge of water: for the water wold assende vppwarde from the fisshes, as hie as any house, and so fall doun & weet all them that were within theyr reache moste cruellie. Also they were white beneath the eyes a hand broad, theyr eies blacke, and no bigger then the eyes of a Calfe. Theyr backes as blacke as ynke, so smoth & bryght y one myght haue seene his face on it, as in a dim Glasse. Theyr bellies as whyte as mylke. And vpon their backes they had eche of them one great blacke Fin growing, and sum of them were a yeard and a halfe long, verie thycke, & strong, and .ii. great blacke ones vnderneath the fore part of his bellye. Also the male, one of the .ii. biggest had a yerde, that when it was out, was more then .iii. quarters of a yearde long, and as byg toward his bodye as a mans arme sleeue & all, by the elboe. His tayle was .iii. yeardes long, and .ii. yerdes broad verye thycke & blacke, & wonderfull stronge: for .x. tall men stood vppon his tayle, & he liftng his tayle vp, ouer thrue theym all. Also when he had lifted vp his tayle it was of such monstrous waight strength, and bygnes, that when it fell the verye grund wold rynge, and shake therwith. Thys fyshe was cut out in peeces, and geuen away to diuers in the towne that did eate of it, and was verye good meate, eyther rosted or bakt, (so much of it as was kept sweete) and the meate of them bakt tasted lyke red Deere. And as they cut it out it was wayed by pee­ces, so that the verye boddye of this one fishe, wayed .LII. hondred the bare carckas, besyde many lytle peecis that was geuen away vnwaied to crauers that stood by, & besydes a Carte loade of garbyge that came oute of his bellye, so that all together was aboue threescore hondred and od.

If the men of Ipswych had knowne so muche betyme whyle they were sweete, as they haue sence, they might haue made .ii.C. marche more of them then is now made. But now they bee barreld vpp to make Oyle of, and will not bee sold for a great peece of monney.

¶And this you maye see, the perfect and true discripcion, of these straunge fishes, wherin is to be noted, the straung and marueylous handye workes of the Lord, blessed be God in all his giftes, & holye in all his workes, the Lordes name bee praysed, in them, and for them, for euer and euer. So be it.

Quod. Timothie Granger.

Imprynted at London in Fleetestreate▪ at the signe of S. Iohn Euangelist by Thomas Colwell.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.