Samuel Rowlands.

Greenes ghost havnting conie-catchers / Wherein is set down, the arte of humouring. The arte of carrying stones. Will. St. lift. Ia. Fost. law. Ned Bro. catch. and Blacke Robins kindnesse. With the conceits of Doctor Pinch-backe a notable makeshift. Ten times more pleasant then anything yet publishe online

. (page 2 of 4)
Online LibrarySamuel RowlandsGreenes ghost havnting conie-catchers / Wherein is set down, the arte of humouring. The arte of carrying stones. Will. St. lift. Ia. Fost. law. Ned Bro. catch. and Blacke Robins kindnesse. With the conceits of Doctor Pinch-backe a notable makeshift. Ten times more pleasant then anything yet publishe → online text (page 2 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

drawne to the tauerne after fuch a like order called for a
pinte of wine, the drawer brought it him, and a goblet
with it, and fet them both on the table, and went his way:
Whie, quoth this Fawnegueft, what a goblet hath the fel-
low brought vs here, it wil not hold halfe a draught .-• So ho
(quoth he) no attendance giuen here.? He carie it to him
my felfe, fmce no body will come: for of all things I loue
not to drinke in thefe squirting cups, fo downe the ftaires,
forth of the doores he goes with the goblet vnder his cloake,
and left his newe acquaintance and fmall remembrance
to paie thr6e pound for a three-penie fhot.

Such Fawneguefls were they, that meeting a prentife,
who had beene to receiue a hundred pound for his mafter,
fodainly in the middeft of Cheapfide in the dale time, and
open market ftept to him, as if they had bin familiarly ac-
quainted with him, and fodainly cafl the hinder fkirt of his
cloake ouer his face, making as though they had iested
with him, and feeming to thrufh their cold hands in his
necke, one of them thratled him fo fore by the wind-pipe,
that he could make no noife, but fodainly funke to the



Greenes Ghoft

ground muffled in his cloke, while the other took from him
the bagge with the money which he had vnder his arme,
which done, they ranne away laughing, as if that the deede
were done in ieft.

Soone after the market folks and people paffmg by to
& fro perceiuing the youth lie ftill on the ground & not ftir
vp, flepped to him, and feeing in what ftate he was, rubbed
and chafed him, and gaue him Aqua vitse, fo that foone after
he came againe to himfelf : then looking about him, & feeing
the people fo gathered together, he cried vnto them, O,
where's my money! They wondring to heare him talke
of mony, told him both how his companions left him, and
they found him, whereby the people knowing how he was
deceiued, made after them, but they were neuer heard of
till this day.

But thefe are Gentlemen Batfowlers in comparifon
of the common rablement of Cutpurfes and pickpockets,
and no man that fees them but would imagine them to be
Caualiers of verie good fort. Marie there be a band of
more ndedy mates, called Termers, who trauell all the yeere
from faire to faire, and haue great doing in Weftminfter
hall. Thefe are the Nips and Foifts; whereof the firfl part
of Conicatching entreateth, and thefe haue their cloyers
and followers, which are verie troublefome to them, for
they can no fooner draw a bung but thefe come in for their
tenths, which they generally tearm fnapping, or fnappage.

Now if the Cutpurfe denie fnappage, his cloyer or
follower forthwith boyles him, that is, bewrayes him, or
feazeth on his cloake, which the Nip dares not withftand, fo
Richard Farrie a notable Lift of fixtie yeares of age was
ferued, who beeing dogged or followed by a Cloyer called
lohn Gibfon, who hauing f6ene him pierce a hogfhed in the
beginning of a faire challenged him for fnappage: which
old Farrie denied, becaufe Gibfons wife (as hee then faid)
was a pickpocket, and yet would part with nothing. Then
did Gibfon fweare that he fhuld not buy one peniworth of
ware that day (which is the right cutpurfe phrafe of get-


haunting Conicatchers.

ting a purchafe) and thereupon he fhadowed him vp and
downe, and mard his market quite, as hee had before

In reuenge whereof the faid Richard Farrie at Way-
hill faire laft, hearing where Gibfon had purloined a
purfe with thirteene nobles in it, fent a luftie fellow of his
profeflion, a yoong dealer in the arte of cloying or follow-
ing named lames Roades, that was fmce hanged at Dor-
chefter, who being apparelled like a feruingman, came to
demaund his miftreffe purfe of Gibfon, which he faid he
faw him vnlawfully take awaie, as if indeed he had b^ene
the Gentlewomans man that had the gl6eke. Which Gib-
fon at the firft vtterly denied, but afterward being further
threatned with danger of his life, yeelded the purchafe vn-
to Roades, which was immediatelie ifhared betweene him
and old Farrie.

This thing foone after came to Gibfons eare, who was
throughly laughed to fcorne for his labour.

Manie there be of thefe wicked perfons, and alfo lewd
Officers, who like fhadowes or cloyers, do nothing all day
long but follow the Lifts vp and downe, pinching them
for fnappage : and not one of them that hath the right dex-
teritie in his fingers, but they know, & will conceale and
patronize if neede require. Marie, if there be a nouice, that
hath not made himfelfe knowne to their congregation, hde
fliall foone be fmelt out, and haue no remiffion, vnleffe hee
purchafe it by priuy pilferie.

Thefe Cutpurfes of Sturbridge fell their luggage
commonly at a towne called Botfham, where they k6epe
their hall at an odde houfe, bowzing and quaffing, and haue
their trulles attendant vpon them fo briflce as may be.

How a Cheefemonger had his bag cut out of his
Aprone hanging before him.

T this faire it was, though long fmce, that the cheefe-

monger had his pocket cut out ol^ his aprone, which

C all



Greenes Ghoft

all the whole Colledge of Cutpurfes had affayed, which
none but one could bring to paffe, and he indeed was a
do6lor in his arte : for going to the Chdefemongers boothe
to buy a chdefe, he gaue him monie for one of the greateft,
and defired him to cut it in peeces, and put it behind him in
the cape of his cloake. He did fo, and the whileft he was
thrufting it in, hee cut his pocket with tweluc pounds
out of his apron before him : for which deede he liueth re-
nowmed in the Cutpurfe chronicles, and for his fake they
yearely make a feaft, and drinke to the foule of his decea-
fed carkaffe.

There be diuers forts of Nips and Foyfts both of the
citie and countrie : thefe cannot one abide the other, but are
at deadly hatred, and will boyle and difcouer one another,
by reafon one is hindrance to the other. And thefe the for-
mer bookes haue omitted. There are alfo fundrie other
Lawes, not heretofore fpoken of, namely lames Foflers
Law, or lames Fofters Lift: which grewe thus.

How a cofoning Lift ftole a cloake out of a
Scriueners fhop.

THis fellow came into a Scriueners fliop to haue a
letter written to his wiues mother, fignifying that
his wife was run awaie with another knauc, and had ca-
ried awaie all that he had, and that he had rather be han-
ged then be troubled anie longer with fuch a whore. But it
muft n^eds be written in hafte, for his owne father doth
carie it, and he goes awaie ftraight. All the while he is tel-
ling his tale, he cafl a leering eye about the fhop, to fee if
there were euer a cloake vpon a by-fettle, or anie other boo-
tie that he might tranfport vnfeene vnder his owne cloak.
By chance he efpied one, fo he leaned againft the wall
where it lay, and with his hands behind him, he gathered it
vp cleanly by little and little: then fodainly ftarting vp,
faid. Yonder is my father that would carie it, and I will
run after him to call him againe. So out of the doores ran



haunting Conicatchers.

he with all fpeed, hauing the cloake vnder his arme, cry-
ing, Ho father, father, leauing the Scriuener yet writing
his letter, who mift not his cloake till a great while after,
that he faw him not returne againc.

There is a cunninger kind of Lift, when a Batfowler
walking in an cuening in the ftreetes, will faine he hath
let fall a ring or a lewell, and come to a fhop well furni-
fhed with wares, and defire the prentife of the houfe to
lend his candle to looke it : he fufpefleth no guile, lends it
him: and the Batfowler goes poaring vp and downe by
the doores, as if he had lofb fomething in deed, by and by he
lets the candle fal to and it goes out. Now I pray you good
yong man, faith he, do fo much as light me this candle a-
gaine : fo goes the fellow in to light the candle, while hee
fteales what he will out of the fhop, and gets him going
while the light commeth.

There is a Lift called Will. St. Lift, whofe maner is to
go vp and downe to Faires in a blew coate, fometimes in
his doublet and hofe, and fometimes in a cloake, which
commonly he puts off when he comes thither: this fellow
waiteth diligently when any rich yeoman. Gentleman,
or gentlewoman goes into an Inne to laie vp his cloak,
capcafe, fauegard, Portmantua or any other luggage, fo
following them, marks to whom they are deliuered: then
comes he within halfe an houre after puffing and blow-
ing for the cloake, capcafe, portmantua, fword, or fuch like,
and in his maiflers name demandeth it, giuing the wife,
maid, tapfter, hoftler, or fome of the houfe two pence or a
groate for laying it vp. Which hauing receiued, he is foone
gone, and neuer returneth. This fellow will fometime
ftand bareheaded, and offer to hold a Gentlemans ftirop,
and verie diligently attend vpon him when he alighteth
at anie great Inne, and feemeth fo feruiceable, as if he
were an hofller or chamberlaine belonging to the houfe:
yea and fometimes follow him out of doores as his man,
and attend vpon him to the Faire very orderly: within
halfe an houre after, when he f(6es his new maifter is fo

C 2 bu-


Greenes Ghofl

bufic in the Faire, that he cannot haflily retunie to his
lodging before him, he will come backe to the Inne run-
ning, and tell them his Maifter hath fent him to them for
his clokebag or Portmantua in all hafte: for he is vpon
paiment of money, and muft n6eds haue it. They thinking
him verilie to be the Gentlemans man, becaufe at his
comming he was fo neceffarie about him, they deliuer
vnto him whatfoeuer the Gentleman left with them, who
notwithflanding when the true owner commeth, they are
faine to anfwer it out of their owne purfes.

A flie tricke of Cofonage lately done in

BEfides this, there is a kind of Lift called Chopchain, as
when a Gentleman like a batfowl er hath hired a chain
for a day or two vpon his credit, or hath fome of his friends
bound for the reftoring of it againe, goes to S. Martines,
and buyes for a little money another copper chaine, as
like it as male be: then comes he to the Goldfmith, and
vpon the right chaine offers to borrow twentie pounds:
the Goldfmith toucheth it to fee if it be counterfeit or no:
then finding it good, he tendereth him his money : which the
whileft he is doing, and that both money and chaine lies
yet vpon the ftall, what doth me he, but fumbles and plaies
with the linkes carelelly, as if he minded another matter,
fo by a fine tricke of Legerdemaine gathers it vp into his
hand & chops the copper chaine in place, leaning him that
pawne for his twentie pounds.

How a man was cofoned in the euening by
buying a guilt fpoone.

"^ 7"% 7"Hileft I was writing this, I was giuen to vn-

V V derfland of another like exploit nothing inferi-

our to any of the former. A fellowe like a clowne that

knew all points in his tables, and had beene maifter of



haunting Conicatchers.

his trade manie yeares together, walking through Sil-
uer flreete in London fuddenly in the dark fpurned a faire
gilt fpoone (as it feemed) being wrapt vp in a paper, which
before he purpofely let fall : the people thinking fome other
had loft it, and that it had beene his good luck aboue the reft
to find it, gan to flocke about him for to looke on it, and ad-
mired his fortune in meeting with it. He counterfeiting
the fimple foole as well as he could: Now a Gods will
what fhall I do with fuch a Gugav/? would fome other bo-
die had found it for me, for I know not what it is good for.
Why, faid one of the ftanders by, wilt thou take money
for it? I, quoth he, I would I had a crov/ne for it. And I
will come fomwhat neere you, faith the other, for thou fhalt
haue all the money in my purfe, which is foure fhillings, fo
forth he drewe his purfe, and gaue him the money. And
verie well content with the bargain, he put it vp, and faid,
I marie, this money will doe me more good then twentie
fpoones, and let them k^epe fuch toies that lift, for I had
rather haue one groat in my purfe then a cart loade of
fuch trumperie. So away he went laughing in his fleeue,
to thinke how he had cofoned him that thought to ouer-
reach him : & he that was fo cofoned, as it were triumphing
at his bargaine, could neuer looke enough on the fpoone,,
but went prefently and caried it to the Goldfmith, to know
what it was worth. Birlady fir v/hen he came thither, the
fpoone was found to be but braffe faire gilded ouer, and
worth but feuen pence at the moft, if he fliould fell it, which
was a heauie cooling card to his heart, and made him
fweare, that for that fpoones fake he would neuer be in his
plate againe while he lined.

Thus euerie dale they haue new inuentions for their
villanies, and as often as fafhions alter, fo often do they
alter their ftratagems, ftudying as much how to compaffe
a poore mans purfe, as the Prince of Parma did to win a
towne. Neither is this fpoonefelling the gainfulleft of
their artes, although in one day they made away a dozen
fo. I but it is a tricke by the waie for a fupper or a breake-

C 3 faft


Greenes Ghoft

fafl, which no man at the firft can defcrie. Ouerpafling
this catalogue of Lifts and Cutpurfes, Gentlemen, I
will acquaint you with a ftrange newe deuifed arte of
ftone-carying, wherein is contained the right vfe of the
chalke and the poafb, as alfo a neceffarle caueatc for vi-
ctuallers and nickpots, how to bev/are of fuch infmua-
ting companions.

The Arte of carying flones.

FIrft and foremofh you muft note, that leaning an Ale-
wife in the lurch, is termed making her carie flones,
which ftones be thofe great Oes in chalke that ftand be-
hind the doore : the weight of euerie one of which is fo great
that as manie fhillings as there be, fo many times fh6e
cries O, as groning vnder the waight thereof. Now fir, of
thefe Oes twentie fhillings make a iuft loade, and tenne
pound a bargeful. But here lies the cunning, how to com-
paffe an honeft Affe that will vndertake fuch a burthen:
firft this is a generall precept amongft them, that he muft
be fome odde drunken companion that they deale vpon,
and his wife a good wench, that fo fhe may bee fallen in
with, and wipe off her guefts fcores, if fo he haue no monie
to difchargc it: a thing that manie women of that kind
will willingly do to haue fport and faue their honeftie. Yet
if this cannot conueniently be brought to paffe, or that in
refpefl of her age fhe is not worth the taking vp, then will
they be fure their goodman hoaft muft be a certaine kind
of bawd, or a receiuer of cutpurfes, pickpockets, or fuch
like, whereby it fo fals out, that if he and they fquare about
crownes, they may flop his mouth with threatning to be-
traie him to the Beadle of Bridewell, or telling Hind of
Newgate what hofpitalitie he kdepes. Nay further, they
will obferue if he at anie time raile againft anie feuere
luftice that hath the punifhment of fuch notorious per-
fons, and if he do (as in fome drunken humour or other he
will ouerfhoote himfelfe in that kind) then will they con-



haunting Conicatchers.

ceale it, neuer difccoer it, but domindere ouer them, throv/e
the pots againft the wall, for he and his houfe is forfeit vn-
to them, Againe, it male fo happen that hofpcs mens male
be an old feruingman, who hath belonged in his dales to
fome famous recufant that hath long fmce broke vp houfe,
and now being turned out of feruice, he hath no trade to
Hue on, but muft marie a whore, and keepe vi6tualling ei-
ther in Weftminfler, or in the fuburbs of London. Then
cocke a hoope, they are better then euer they were. For if he
be of the right ftampe he will be exclaiming againft the
ftate, or thofe that keepe his maifler, or he will enter into
commendations of the old Religion : and this is the onely
thing they defire, they neuer wifh a finer fellow to feed on..
A Gods name let him fet forth his beefe and brewes, and
trudge euerie day to the market to buy Capons & rabbets :
for if they run neuer fo much in his debt, if they tell him of
a purfeuant, he will neuer threaten the with a fergeant. A
number more of thefe obferuations do appertaine to ftone
carying, as namely at their firft comming to their lodg-
ing they bee as free as an Emperour, and draw all the ac-
quaintance that they can procure to fpend their money
there before another place, fo that the hofl and hofleffc may
conceiue great matter of hope of hauing their houfe cu-
ftomed by their lying in it, and eate no meat but haue ei-
ther the good man or the goodwife ftill with him at dinner
or fupper, which will plucke the ftones on his fhoulders the
fafler, if fo he fuffer his guefts to run on the fcore. And this
in anie cafe they fet dov/n for a generall rule, that they
He not aboue two moneths in one place, for longer the ale-
fcore is not able to hold out, and the poore man ouerpreffed
fo exceffiuely, in a malecontent humour will rather grow
defperate, and not care for anie danger they can bring him
to, then fuffer more then flefh and bloud can endure, or not
rather haue his will on them for vfmg him fo badly.

How fay you my maifters, you thinke there is no de-
ceit in a pot of ale, and that there are no cofoners but Co-
nicatchers, but that's not fo, for London is a lickpenie, and



Greenes Ghoft

euerle man hath not a mint in his pocket that liues in it,
fome muft pra6life witcraft, that haue not the gift in kee-
ping a lanes end with a fword and a buckler, or at the leaft
are fo crazed with the Italian bone-ache, that they are a-
fraid to bee crufht in peeces, if they fhould earne their li-
uing in a crowde. But to be briefe, I will tell you a merie
ftorie how this name of Stone-carying firft came vp, and
thus it followeth.

How a Carier of Norwich was made
to carie ftones.

A Gentlewoman that made a fhew as if fhe had beene
of good credit, came to the carier of Nonvich, and told
him fhee was to remoue houfhold, and went to dwell in the
countrie, wherfore fhe craued his friendfhip in fafe tranf-
porting of her things to Norwich : & fo it is (quoth fhe) that
moft of my fubflance confifls in linnen, money, lewels,
and plate, which I put altogether in a great cheft, which
fhe brought thither: As for other trafli He neuer trouble
my felfe with remouing. I pray you haue a great care to it
that it bee fafely laid in the middeft of your cart, where
thdeues maie not eafily come at it, and that it be kept from
raine or wet in anie cafe, promifmg to content him for the
cariage with more then ordinarie due. After it was
f(6ene to come to three hundred weight, he laid it vp imme-
diately in his carte, nor would fhe depart till fhe faw it fafe
packed. About an houre after fhe came to the carier again,
telling him that fhe was afraid fhe fhould be conflrained
to haue recourfe to her cheft, by reafon fhe had a few tri-
fles to buy ere fhe departed, and that fhe wanted fome fiue
or fixe pound. The Carier loath to vnload for fo fmall a
matter, bid her take no care for money, for what fhe nee-
ded fhe fhould haue of him, till fhe came downe into the
countrey. So fixe pounds he lent her: and downe with him
fhe goes with her man as braue as might be. But com-
ming to Windham, fhee gaue him the flip, and he fawe



haunting Conicatchers.

her no more : Home went the Carier, and laid vp the cheft
verie fafe in his ftorehoufc, daily looking when the Gentle-
woman would come for it After a moneth was paft, and
hearing no words of her, fearing he was cofoned, he fent
for the Conftable and fundrie other of his neighbours, and
before them brake vp the cheft, finding nothing in it but
fmall foft frdeftone lapped in ftraw, mixt with Flints and
fuch like ftuffe, beeing very fpeciall things to giue the Ca-
rier his loading. Alas, kind man, this was but heauie ti-
dings for him : for befides the money that he had laid out
of his purfe, he loft the cariage of other luggage, which
would haue returned him greater profit. Yet could not
this nor ten times as much vndoe him, but fetting light of
it, in a merle humour he reported to fome of his friends
the circumftance of all his cariage of ftones. And euer
fince the left hath beene taken vp by odde companions and

I would bee loth by this my publiflit Difcouerie to
corrupt the fimple, or teach them knauerie by my book, that
els would haue beene honeft, if they had neuer feene them :
for that were all one as if a Chirurgion that teacheth men
what the plague is, that they might efchew it, fhould bring
his patient that hath a plague fore, into the market place,
and there lance it, whereby all men that looke on, in ft^ed of
learning to auoid it, ftiould be moft dangeroufly infe6led
with it. But my meaning in this is, but to chafe the game
which others haue rowfed; and execute them outright
which Conicatching only hath branded : and although I do
not fpend manie leaues in inueighing againft the vices
which I reckon vp, or time and paper in vrging their odi-
oufnefle fo far as I might: yet you muft not thinke, but I
hate them as deadly as any, and to make manifeft my ha-
tred to them, haue vndertooke this Treatife. But imagine
the Reader to be of this wifdome and difcretion, that hea-
ring fome laid open, he can difcerne it to be finne, and can
fo deteft it, though he be not cloid with a common place of
exhortation. And footh to fay, I thinke euery man to bee of

D my


Greenes Ghofl

my mind, that when they fee a fellow leape from the fubie6t
he is handling, to diffwade them by ftale arguments from
the thing they alreadie deteft, they fhould fl<ip it ouer, and
neuer reade it, gainecope him at the next turning point
to his text.

To difmiffe this parenthefis and returne to circa quod.
I care not fmce this occafion of Stone-carying hath
brought me from talking of the cofonage of men to the
treacherous fubtiltie of women, if I rehearfe you a tale
or two more of Crofbitings lately done by fuch detefta-
ble ftrumpets.

A Tale of a whore that crosbit a Gentleman of the
Innes of Court.

ACertaine queane belonging to a clofe Nunnerie a-
bout Clarkenwell, lighting in the company of a yong
Punie of the Innes of Court, trained him home with her
to her hofpitall : and there couenanting for fo much to giue
him his houferoome all night. To bed they went together
like man and wife. At midnight a crue of her copef-
mates kept a knocking and bufling at the doore. She ftar-
ting fodainly out of her fleepe, arofe and went to the win-
dow to looke out: wherewith flic crying out to him, faid,
that a luftice was at the doore with a companie of billes,
and came to fearch for a feminarie Prieft, and that there
was no remedie but flie muft open vnto them : wherefore
either he muft rife and locke himfelfe in a ffcudie that was
hard by, or they fliould be both caried to Bridewell. The
poore filly youth in a trance, as one new ftart out of fleep,
and that knew not where he was, fufifered her to leade
him whither fhe would, who haftily thruffc him into the
ftudie, and there locked him, and went to let them in. Then
entred Sim Swafhbuckler, Captaine Gogfwounds, and
Lawrence Longfword-man, with their appurtenances,
made inquirie as if they had beene Officers indeed, for a
young Seminarie Prieft that fhould be lodged there that



haunting Conlcatchers.

She fimpered it, and made curtefie, & fpake reuerently vn-
to them, as if fhe had neuer feene them before, and that
they had beene fuch as they f(£emed, and told them fhe knew
of none fuch, and that none lay there but her felfe. With
that through fignes that fhee made, they fpied where his
clothes were fallen downe betweene the cheft and the wall:
Then they began to raile vpon her, and call her a thoufande
whoores, faying they would make her an example, I mary
would they, and vfe her like an Infldell for her lying, nor
would they ftand fearching any longer, but fhee fhould be
conftrained to bring him forth: And that they might bee
fure he fhould not flart, they would carie away his clothes
with them. As for the clofet, becaufe it was a Gentlemans
out of the towne, they would not rafhly breake it open, but
they would fet watch and ward about the houfe till the
morning, by which time they would refolue further what
to do. So out of doores go they with his clothes, doublet,
hofe, hat, rapier, dagger, fhooes, ftockings, and twentie
marks that he had in his' fleeue, which he was to pay vpon
a band the next day for his father, to a merchant in Can-
ning ftreete, and left Nicholas Nouice ftaruing and qua-
king in that doghole. The morning grew on, and yet the

2 4

Online LibrarySamuel RowlandsGreenes ghost havnting conie-catchers / Wherein is set down, the arte of humouring. The arte of carrying stones. Will. St. lift. Ia. Fost. law. Ned Bro. catch. and Blacke Robins kindnesse. With the conceits of Doctor Pinch-backe a notable makeshift. Ten times more pleasant then anything yet publishe → online text (page 2 of 4)