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This description of Ireland in the reign of Charles II. is taken from a translation of a French original which appeared in the second volume of Grose and Astle's Antiquarian Repertory. Both in the first edition of the Repertory, which was issued in 1779, and in the second, published in 1809 by Edward Jeffery, the name of the French author is given as M. Jorevin de Rocheford, and the notes of the English editors constantly refer to the author as Monsieur Jorevin. But though they state that the work was published in Paris in 1672, the editors nowhere mention its title. A diligent search through all available biographical and bibliographical dictionaries entirely failed to identify any such author, and this volume had already passed through the press before any further information regarding the book and its origin could be procured. It was only on the eve of publication that a visit to the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris enabled the present editor to establish the writer's identity. None of the catalogues in the library contained the name Jorevin de Rocheford; but in Père Lelong's Bibliothèque Historique de la France, 1778, mention was made of a work by Albert Jouvin, de Rochefort, published in 1672, in three volumes, each of two parts, of which the full title proved to be: Le Voyageur d'Europe; où sont les Voyages de France, d'ltalie et de Maltre, d'Espagne et de Portugal, des Pays-Bas, d'Allemagne et de Pologne, d'Angleterre, de Danemark et de Suède: Par Monsieur A. Jouvin, de Rochefort: Dedié à Monsieur de Pomponne, Sécrétaire d'Estat. Paris, 1672. At pp. 47293 of Part VI was found the original from which the translation here reprinted was made for the Antiquarian Repertory. Beyond the description of the author in Lelong's catalogue as Tresorier de France nothing further has been ascertained concerning M. Jouvin's career.1
Chester lies at the mouth of the river Dee, where it enlarges itself into the form of a gulf, in which by the assistance of the tide vessels come up to the town. On this account it may be reckoned among the good sea-ports, since it is the ordinary passage of the packet-boat, messengers and merchandise, going from England to Ireland.
The plan is nearly formed by two great streets, which cross each other in the middle, and as they are very broad at this crossing, they make a fine and spacious area, which serves for the market-place, in which is the town house. Turning on the right hand, the way leads to the great church, where I saw a tomb worth remarking. The wall on the bridge is very agreeable; the gate which shuts it in is like
p.410a strong little castle; there is then a suburb. Chester is esteemed one of the strongest towns in England, on account of its fine high walls, the many towers by which it is defended, and its strong castle, standing in the highest part of the town, which it commands. It has been much damaged during the late wars. Under the usurpation of Cromwell the town was almost entirely ruined, after having sustained a long siege. The first thing I did on my arrival at Chester was to learn when the packet-boat would sail for Dublin; it had set off some days before; but I found a trading vessel laden with divers merchandises, in which I took my passage for Ireland. This vessel was at anchor in the gulf, near the little village of Birhouse,3 eight miles from the town. Here are some large storehouses for the keeping of the merchandise to be embarked for Ireland, as is generally done every month from hence to Ireland, and reciprocally from Ireland to England, from whence all the letters, the messengers, and vessels that are to pass go first to the village of Holeyd,4 which is in the island of Mona or Anglesey, as a place of rendezvous, there being a very good harbour, from whence a boat commonly sets out for Dublin.
I embarked, then, in this vessel, which set sail at four in the afternoon, the weather bad and rainy; on account whereof, after we got out of the gulf and the mouth of this river, within sight of the town of Flint and its strong castle, we chose not to expose ourselves much to the sea, when the wind was so furious and so contrary that it split all our sails, and obliged us to put out all our anchors, one of which broke as the storm augmented. This, together with the horrid spectacle of surrounding rocks, which seemed to threaten our destruction, threw us into great terrors, the sea seeming opening to swallow us up, without any resource. This lasted all the night, but the dawn of day brought us a stark calm, attended with rain, which ceased when the wind became fair, although this did not last long; for as we could not, for want of depth of water, pass the straits that lie between the land and the Isle of Anglesey, we turned round
p.411about to go to the village of Holeyd, distant from Chester more than sixty miles, to embark the merchandise and passengers, who come to this place as a rendezvous from England to go to Dublin, the capital town of Ireland. We anchored in this port; during which time we went to walk in the village and about the island, which seemed fruitful in corn. We saw the post arrive, who gave his packet to the captain of our ship. There were a good many persons who waited for a passage to Ireland. Among them was a young man who spoke a little French; he was a clockmaker, and had worked in the galleries of the Louvre in Paris; with whom, entering into some discourse, touching the skill and valour of the English, he said he should not fear two Frenchmen. It would not be, said I (in answer to him), a man of your sort that could terrify me sword in hand, when all on a sudden he drew his sword, crying out, Defend yourself. Whilst I learned to fence at Rome, there were several English with whom I practised, whose faults I easily discovered; and, in fine, observing this young man assaulted me precipitately, by keeping always on the defensive, and considering his default, I retired a long way, which caused this young, giddy-headed fellow to throw himself almost out of all kind of guard. He had a sword of the French fashion, long and slender, that would not cut, which is the ordinary way of using the sword in England. Stopping, then, all on a sudden, I gave him a thrust in the under part of the right arm, which made him cry out to me, in the presence of many persons, who prevented me from killing him in the rage I was then in at being attacked by such a young coxcomb. I broke his sword on a rock, after having disarmed him, and he was blamed by all for having attacked me without cause. This did not prevent our embarking with a very favourable wind, which carried us that day to Dublin, a distance of fifty miles.
Dublin is the capital city of the kingdom of Ireland, situated on the river Leffer,5 where the tide rises near two
p.412fathoms, by which large barks are brought up to a quay in the middle of the town, and loaded vessels remain at anchor at its mouth, under cover of some high mountains, which run out into the sea in form of a promontory. We landed at the little village of Ranesin,6 which is on the borders of that little gulf, from whence we entered into a great suburb, where stands the college of the University, which I visited after having found an inn at the Mitre, in the little part of the town,7 separated by the river which runs through it. On the morrow, being accompanied by a French merchant who lived there, I went to see this grand college. I was introduced to the principal,8 who was a man of great wit and learning. He showed me a fine library, in which were many very scarce books; among others he lent me that of Camdenus Britannicus, who has written the history and description of England, enriched with maps of every county and the plans of all the cities. This man was curious to hear me speak of the city of Paris, and of the French customs, and seemed astonished that out of mere curiosity I should come to see Ireland, which is a country so retired, and almost unknown to foreign travellers. He likewise showed me a fine garden, very well taken care of, wherein was a great parterre representing a sun-dial, and in the middle a tree that served for the gnomon. There was a vine nailed against the back part of a chimney exposed to the mid-day sun, and yet nevertheless its grapes never would ripen, the climate being too cold, which is the case with many fruit trees that cannot live here, or at least bring their fruits to maturity. In the garden is a very fine terrace, from which is a view of this great sea-port. I was shown from the terrace the mountain of Plinlimont,9 which is in the principality of Wales, in England; the weather, it is true, was then very fine and clear. This grand college has two
p.413large courts, encompassed with lodgings; the schools are in the second, as also the church, where he showed me the tomb of a doctor who founded and endowed this university.10 He afterwards invited me to dinner, where I had great pleasure, not so much for the good cheer, as because during that time he entertained me with the account of many fine things respecting the kingdom of Ireland.
I returned him thanks, in leaving him to see the palace of the Viceroy, Monsieur the Duke of Ormont, uncle to the King, who has a fine court, and a suite altogether royal; among them are several French gentlemen.11 This Castle is at one of the ends of the town, and within its ancient walls, which at present do not contain one third of its extent. The Castle is strong, enclosed by thick walls, and by many round towers that command the whole town; on them are mounted a good number of cannon. The court is small, but the lodgings, although very ancient, are very handsome, and worthy of being the dwelling of the Viceroy. The principal gate is in a great street, called Casselstrit, that runs from one end to the other of the town; in the middle of it is an open space in which the principal streets of Dublin meet. That of Aystrit12 is fine; in it is the town-hall with a fine clock,
p.414which is before Christ Church. This great church seems to me to have been some abbey; the cloisters are converted into shops of tradesmen, and the abbey-house serves for the court in which pleadings are held. This same street passes by the open place called Fichsterit,13 which is the fish-market, that terminates at one of the ancient city gates between two great towers, where are the two prisons. Beyond this is a great suburb, which is at present both the best and largest part of Dublin. A little river runs through the largest street, called Tomstrit,14 wherein dwell several workmen of different trades for the conveniency of this rivulet, of which they make use, and that waters and cleanses all the suburb, the houses of which are fine and straight. I went to see the metropolitan church of St. Patrick, tutelar of all Ireland: it has been much damaged by thunder, and principally its high tower. There is an open spot used for the marketplace like that called the Haymarket. Here is a large covered market-house. So that Dublin, with its suburbs, is one of the greatest and best-peopled towns in Europe, and the residence of all the nobility of the kingdom of Ireland. There is a stone bridge, which joins that small part of the town called Oxmonton to the greater. On that side which lies by the water is a great quay, where are the finest palaces in Dublin. I was there shown the ancient abbey of St. Mary, formerly, after that of Armagh, the richest in the whole island; at present only the ruins of it are remaining. I lodged in this suburb, from whence I often went to walk in the great meadows by the side of the river, contemplating the country and the situation of this famous town, which seemed to me to be near high mountains on one side, and on the other adjoining to a fine country, with this advantage that it is in the middle of the island of Ireland; so that the produce of the country may be conveniently brought thither from every part, as well as what comes by sea from foreign countries, with which, by the means of its port, it may traffic.
One may go to the town of Kilkenny, which lies fifty
p.415miles from Dublin, to see the fine castle of Monsieur the Duke of Ormont, rich on every side with marble, and ornamented with many things so curious, that those who have seen it say that it surpasses many palaces of Italy. It is only ten leagues from Waterford, which is one of the good sea-ports of this kingdom, as are those of Wexford, Cork, Kinsale, Limerick and Galway, from whence sail every year many vessels, loaded with leather, butter, cheese, tallow, salt meat, and fish; as also with a kind of cloth manufactured in the country, which is very cheap, and is carried to Spain, Italy, and often to the American Islands, from whence a return is made of divers merchandises of those countries, as I have observed in several sea-ports of this kingdom, which is the richest of all Europe in things necessary for human life, but the poorest in money. This causes provisions to be so cheap, that butter and cheese are commonly sold at a penny the pound; a pound of beef, at the butchery, for eight deniers; veal and mutton a penny; a large salmon just out of the sea, threepence; a large fresh cod, twopence; a pair of soles, or quaviver, above a foot broad, a penny; an hundred herrings, threepence; so that one is served with flesh and fish in the best manner for twelvepence a day. In fine, this is the land of plenty. And, moreover, on the road, if you drink two pennyworth of beer at a public-house, they will give you of bread, meat, butter, cheese, fish, as much as you choose; and for all this you only pay your twopence for the beer, it being the custom of the kingdom, as I have experienced wherever I have been.
This island is between the degrees 51 and 56. It may be about 200 French leagues in length, and fifty in breadth. It has several large towns, great castles, and good sea-ports. They have suffered much in the last civil wars on account of religion, when they were almost all ruined, the inhabitants punished, and the rest banished from the kingdom for having resisted the will of their King, and persisted in following the Catholic religion, which was rooted in the hearts of many. These have been forbidden, upon pain of death, to return,
p.416for fear that the religion might in time revive, and little by little increase in the kingdom. In truth the Irish are naturally inclined to the Catholic religion; there are even in Dublin more than twenty houses where mass is secretly said, and above a thousand places, and subterraneous vaults and retired spots in the woods, where the peasants assemble to hear mass celebrated by some priests they secretly maintain. I consider it as a fact that one third of the Irish are Catholics, wherefore if any Catholic prince was to attempt the conquest of Ireland, I believe he would be readily seconded by the inhabitants. On this account perhaps it is that there are garrisons in all the maritime places, and the entries and ports are always guarded. There are several great lakes, and large bodies of standing water in the middle of this kingdom, all full of fish; and in some places very high mountains, such as those of Torne, Anna, [?] and those near the town of Armagh, which was formerly the capital of the kingdom, but has been ruined in the wars between the Protestants and Catholics, when it was burned, so that at present it is but a kind of deserted village. There are, however, among these mountains many great meadows, where a number of cattle are fed, for which the country seems more proper than for the growing of corn, so that many persons live on the produce of their lands, without having any intercourse with the towns; on which account it is said by many, that in Ireland there are provinces inhabited by savages.
Ireland is commonly divided into four provinces : these are, Ultonia,15 Connacie,16 Lagenie and Momonie,17 sub-divided into their counties. There is but one principal and large river in all the kingdom, which is called Shannon. Those who would go from Dublin to London must take the great road from London to Bornek,18 to St. Alban's, Dunsta,19 Brigil,20 Stanistritford,21 Daventry, Couentru,22 Colsid,23 Lechefild,24 Strone,25 Nantich,26 Chester; here is the packet-boat and ordinary passage to Dublin, which is 120 miles; so that
p.417from London to Dublin it is 270 miles, or 120 common French leagues.27 Those who go from Dublin to Edinburgh, the capital of the kingdom of Scotland, must take the way I did, along the soft-coasts by several little ports, where one may often meet with a passage for Scotland; although they say the packet-boat, which is the ordinary one, goes from Portpatrick, that consists of five or six houses near Olderflet,28 six miles from Knock Fergus Carrickfergus, and arrives at Donocady Donaghadee, crossing an arm of the sea about fifteen miles broad. From thence one may go straight to Edinburgh, without going through the town of Glasco. This is the shortest way from Dublin, the capital of Ireland, to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, being 200 miles, or 100 common leagues of France.
I left Dublin in my way to Scotland, and on my route passed through an agreeable country, having a view of the sea-coast and the towns of Sandré and Souldres,29 where is a ruined castle. On the way we saw several of these small castles, all ruined in the last wars. I found afterwards some meadows, and many herds of oxen, cows and calves, which are not naturally large, the climate of this country being too cold, but when transported into a warmer country they become large and robust. From thence the road lies by Ardof,30 and a castle near Bardelet.31 In the inland parts of Ireland they speak a particular language, but in the greatest part of the towns and villages on the sea coast only English is spoken. At length I arrived at
Drodaph32 is one of the biggest and most populous towns in the kingdom, occasioned by her traffic on the sea, as well
p.418on account of the goodness and safety of its port, as of its being placed in a country full of all kinds of provisions, and situated on the river Boyne, bordered by two hills, whereof it occupies the greatest part, which makes it a very strong place, with a castle in the highest part of the town, on the side by which I entered, where it appeared almost in ruins; but the walls of the town are still entire and defensible; here is always a garrison, as in the most important place of the kingdom. Passing over a bridge, which joins this part of the town to the larger, you come to a great quay, bordered by vessels, which come hither from all parts of Europe. The tide here rises near a fathom and a half, and the river would be deep enough, and capable of bearing large vessels, if the entrance had not been greatly damaged, and almost stopped up by the sands which it brings with it from the mountains wherein it rises. From this bridge you come to a fine and broad street, which forms a square in its centre, which serves for a parade; here is the town-house, towards which tend most of the best streets in the town. I was there on a Sunday, and was told that if I was desirous of hearing mass, one would be said at two miles distance from the town. It would be astonishing to relate the numbers of Catholics that I saw arrive from across the woods and mountains to assemble at this mass, which was said in a little hamlet, and in a chamber poorly fitted up. Here I saw, before mass, above fifty persons confess, and afterwards communicate with a devotion truly Catholic, and sufficient to draw these blind religionists to the true faith. The chapel in which the priest celebrated mass was not better adorned than the chamber; but God does not seek grand palaces, He chooses poverty and pureness of heart in those that serve Him. This priest informed me that the Irish were naturally inclined to the Catholic faith, but that there were many in different parts of the kingdom who found great difficulty to perform freely the functions of their religion. He had studied long in France, and spoke the French language well. He told me the Irish Catholics did not eat either flesh or eggs on Wednesdays, Fridays, or Saturdays; that they followed the
p.419commandments of the Church, and of our holy Father the Pope, whom they acknowledged for chief of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. This good man discoursed with me touching many difficulties there were in exercising the Catholic religion among the Protestants. He kept me with him for the space of half a day. Thence I returned to lodge at Drodaph. I left it on the next morning, and came into an open country, by a road almost all paved, to Doulers33 and Keltron,34 on a river, from whence you approach the seaside, which you must follow, and afterwards pass over a river near Dondalk.
Dondalk is a small town, consisting almost of one great street, situated near the bank of a small river, which at high water has sufficient depth to bring vessels nearly up to the town, if the sands did not choke the entry. Near it are to be seen a chain of high mountains, which run out into the sea, where they form a promontory, seen in front on leaving the town after passing this river, over which there is no bridge. I never saw finer fish, and so great a variety as in the market of this little place. It must be owned that the coasts of Ireland and Scotland are the most abundant in fish of any in Europe. Water-fowl are frequently here taken in such quantities, and sold so cheap, as to take away the pleasure of sporting for them; for my part I will say that I could never have believed it, however it might have been affirmed to me, if I had not seen them in flocks on the seashore, and sometimes the air for leagues together darkened by these fowl. There are besides, in the interior parts of the country, several large lakes and pools full of fish. Among these in the province of Ultonie, that of St. Patrick's Purgatory is remarkable; it has a little island, where, near a convent, the voices of divers persons may be heard under a rock, groaning and lamenting like the souls of persons suffering in purgatory; therefore the inhabitants of the place say that St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, besought
p.420God that He would cause the cries of the souls in purgatory to be heard here in order to convert the people to the Christian religion, whence this lake has been named St. Patrick's Purgatory, or the Purgatory of the Island.35 One may from this judge, that in general fish is as plenty in the middle of the island as on the sea-coasts which surround it. It is saying everything to relate that navigators who frequent these parts complain that their vessels are sometimes obstructed by the quantities of fish they meet with in their course.
It is a peculiarity in this island that there are no venomous animals, not even frogs, toads, lizards, spiders, nor any other kind, which is a mark of the purity and goodness of its air. Some persons have tried the experiment whether any creatures of this sort brought from other places would live here, but it is a certainty that they die as soon as they arrive in the country; and farther it is said, that the touch of a native of Ireland proves mortal to any of these animals in any foreign country whatsoever, and that a circle being made about any venomous creature with a stick which grew in this island, the animal will instantly die. Let not, then, the island of Malta boast of being the only island in the world which neither nourishes nor suffers any venomous animals, since we have that of Ireland so near to us which has this natural virtue, enjoyed by Malta only some little time, and that by a particular miracle of St. Paul, as the sacred history informs us, and as we have related in the voyage to Malta.
After having passed the little river at the end of Dondalk, you must ascend the high mountains which enclose the small town of Carlinfort;36 these I left on my right, and on the left hand Armagh, distant about twenty miles from thence. It was formerly the capital town of this kingdom, and in Catholic times had an archbishopric, one of the four which are in this island, with over nine-and-twenty bishoprics: at present it is only a village, remarkable for the fine
p.421antiquities of an abbey and its handsome church, equal in size to the largest in all England. The way by these mountains is through a desert strewed with flint and other stones, from whence one sees on the left hand some valleys filled with cattle, where I passed a river, and farther on came down over a large wooden bridge, and arrived at Newry. A great gulf is formed here that brings vessels up to the town, which is situated on an eminence, extending to the river's side. Here I feasted on fish, which made me halt here for the space of two days, during which time I diverted myself with walking and visiting the environs. From hence I set out for the mountains by a desert road, covered with flint stones, to Braklen.37 Continuing still by the mountains, I came to a river, from whence I arrived at Dromore, upon a river. They pretended to me that it was a good town, and had formerly a bishopric,38 but there is no appearance of it. I remember I eat of a salad made according to the mode of the country, of I know not what herbs; I think there were sorrel and beets chopt together; it represented the form of a fish, the whole without oil or salt, and only a little vinegar made of beer, and a quantity of sugar strewed over it, that it resembled Mount Etna covered with snow, so that it is impossible to be eaten by any one not accustomed to it. I made my host laugh heartily in the presence of a gentleman, a lord of the town, on asking for oil to season this salad, according to the French fashion, and after having dressed it, I persuaded the gentleman to taste it, who was pleased to hear me speak of the state and customs of France. He had studied at Dublin, and told me he was extremely desirous of seeing France, and that before he died he would certainly make that voyage. He begged me to stay only eight days in his house, promising that I should pass my time in all sorts
p.422of pleasures and diversions, both of walking and the chase; that he rarely saw any strangers or Frenchmen pass through those parts, and he was still more astonished when I informed him that I came only out of curiosity, after having visited the most southern parts of Europe. He showed me many curiosities in his cabinet, as well as all the apartments of his castle, which were well furnished, and hung with tapestry. He knew not how sufficiently to entertain and make me welcome, in order to induce me to remain with him some days; but as I had resolved to prosecute my journey, I was obliged to thank and take leave of him. He conducted me a mile on the way, after which I got to Hilbara,39 otherwise Tilburg, where there is a large castle, one of the finest in Ireland, situated on a river which runs out of a large pool, where I passed over a great causey, which finished where the mountains begin near Lenegiardin,40 whose large castle and its garden are filled with wonders, like many others in the same town, which is on an eminence, the foot whereof is washed by the river. After this the country is but ill-cultivated, and corn dear.
Few windmills are to be seen in Ireland. They eat here, as well as in some parts of Scotland, cakes called kets, which they bake on thin iron plates over a fire; being sufficiently baked on one side, they turn them on the other, till they become as dry as a biscuit. They are made without leaven, and sometimes so ill baked that a person who is not used to them cannot eat them; nevertheless throughout all the inns on the road no other sort of bread is eaten; however, they do not spare to cover them with butter, and thick cheese, here very cheap, costing only a penny per pound. The common people live chiefly on this, especially in places distant from the rivers and lakes. Afterwards I arrived at Belfast, situate on a river at the bottom of a gulf, where barks and vessels anchor on account of the security and goodness of the port; wherefore several merchants live here who
p.423trade to Scotland and England, whither they transport the superfluities of this country. Here is a very fine castle, and two or three large and straight streets, as in a new-built town. One may often procure a passage here for Scotland, but as I could not meet with one, I went to Knockfergus, which is at the entry of this gulf, and within eight miles of Belfast.
Knockfergus is a strong town, and one of the most ancient in the kingdom; it is situated, as it were, at one of the ends of the island, at the entry of a gulf environed by mountains, whereby it is sheltered from the wind, having besides a port, enclosed by a great mole built with flints, composing a large quay in the form of a semicircle, by the side of which there are always a number of vessels. The entrance is defended by a huge castle on the sea-shore, elevated upon a rock, that renders it difficult to be scaled. There are garrisons in both the town and castle, as there are in all the strong places in Ireland. I was not disappointed in procuring a passage for Scotland, but the wind being contrary, obliged me to wait eight days, during which time I walked about all the environs of the town, and upon the sea-shore, which are very agreeable. I was well entertained here, both on fish and flesh, for a shilling a day, exclusive of my horse, which I had sent back to Dublin, where I hired him to this place. I nevertheless began to tire, being without company, or any person to discourse with, unless in the English language, in which I had great difficulty to make myself understood in a long discourse, as well as to understand what was said to me in the same tongue, wherefore my whole amusement was to walk and see the town, expecting the change of wind and weather. They took me into the great castle, which is enclosed by very thick walls, and defended by round towers placed all about it, having in the middle a large keep, or dungeon, over whose gate are many pieces of cannon; these command the city, and also the port. About a month before my arrival the garrison was in arms against the Viceroy, who
p.424had not paid them.41 Being informed of this, he equipped six large ships of war and three thousand land forces, and besieged the castle, which resisted three months, without the guns being able to do anything; but provisions and ammunition failing, the mutineers were obliged to make conditions with the Viceroy, who caused five or six of the most guilty to be punished. At the distance of about an hundred paces in the city, near the sea-side, are still to be seen some old towers of an ancient castle. Another day I went to see the great palace, which is at one of the ends of the town. It is a great square pavilion, having, I think, as many windows as there are days in the year. The top is terraced, and surrounded with balustrades; the entry is handsome. You first come into the outer great court, surrounded with the officers' lodgings, having a gallery over it, from whence there is a view of the sea and all over the town; then you advance to a drawbridge between two little turrets, which accompany a small pavilion rising over the gate of the drawbridge; this leads from the first to the second court, and faces the grand edifice. Its staircase is admirable, and its gate or door much more so, on account of many pieces of sculpture and engraving with which it is ornamented. The town has properly but two principal streets; in the largest there is a marketplace, where are the town hall and parade; a small river runs through the middle of it, and empties itself at the port, whither I often went to see if the wind had changed.42
The etymology of Knocfergus,43 according to the opinions of many of the natives, comes from the embarkation made by the King Fergus for Scotland, from near that rock on which the castle stands; a rock being in the Irish tongue called Knock, or Karrick, which added to Fergus, the name of the King, gave the name of Knock Fergus, or Karrick Fergus, to this town.
I knew that the common passage for the post and packet-boat was six miles above the town, at a little village called Larne, and that formerly this passage was to Arglas and to Denocadi,44 villages below Belfast; but for security, and finding an opportunity of passing from Knockfergus, or Karrickfergus, in Scotland, I would wait for proper wind and weather to do it. During my stay I saw the burial of the governor of the town, who was carried in procession about all the streets, followed by the most considerable burghers of the town, and all the officers and soldiers of the garrison, their arms trailing on the ground, with many trumpets playing sorrowfully and in a dismal tone, until they came into the church, where, after all these ceremonies, before he was put into the grave, they fired a general discharge on the spot where he was placed, in the middle of the church.45
As the water throughout England is in general unfit to drink, they make a sort of beer they call Smal Bir, or weak beer, for the servants and children, instead of water. It is made solely of what remains after they have drawn off the good beer, by the addition of water passing through the grains, which is afterwards well boiled up. This small beer is extremely proper to quench thirst and to refresh, but has neither strength nor nourishment.
The wind at length became favourable for leaving Knockfergus, from whence we kept the Irish coast for some time, until it was stark calm. This gave occasion to our sailors to observe, that it was a presage of our having presently a brisk gale; and in effect, early in the morning, so violent a wind arose that, though it was abaft, it obliged us to take in all our sails, and run into the great gulf of Dombritton,46 at the entry of which there is the great rock Aliza.47 The storm increased so much, that the sea often covered our vessel, and passed over it, threatening to bury
p.426us in its waves. This gulf is skirted by high mountains and bare rocks, whence we saw on the right hand Yroüen.48 Towards the approach of night the wind began to abate, owing to some clouds portending rain and a change of wind, which came on with a fury, and in so tempestuous a manner that resistance was impossible, and in the little gulf of Krinock49 our sailors were obliged to put out all the anchors they had, trusting to the mercy of God, in whom was placed all our hope. We arrived there after the storm was over, which both wetted and greatly fatigued our sailors, happy to get off so well. This town is the passage of the Scotch post and packet-boat to Ireland; its port is good, sheltered by the mountains which surround it, and by a great mole, by the side of which are ranged the barks and other vessels, for the conveniency of loading and unloading more easily. We made good cheer together, as companions of fortune. After which I left this town, and coasted the gulf of Dombritton.