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A Historical Survey of the Customs, Habits, & Pres

And practising their cosening art


No Gypsey, except he be a gold-washer, shall keep a horse.

4. Also the gold-washers must refrain from all kinds of bartering at the annual fairs.

5. The magistrates of every place must be very attentive that no Gypsey waste his time in idleness; but at those seasons, when they have no employment, either for themselves or any landholder, to recommend them to some other person, with whom they shall be compelled to work for hire.

6. They are to be kept particularly to agriculture; therefore

7. It is to be observed, where possible, that every territorial Lord, who takes any Gypsies under his jurisdiction, do allot them a certain piece of ground to cultivate.

8. Whoever is remiss in his husbandry, shall be liable to corporal punishment.

9. They shall be permitted to amuse themselves with music, or other things, only when there is no field work for them to do.

Such were the regulations adopted by the Emperor Joseph II. for the purpose of civilizing, and rendering good and profitable subjects, upwards of eighty thousand of miserable wretches, ignorant of God and of virtue.


justify;"> SECTION V.

The Gypsies in Great Britain.

* * * * *

The traits of character and the habits of the Gypsies on the Continent of Europe, exhibited in this work, are sufficient for an examination, in what degree these people correspond with those under the same denomination in England.

The earliest account which the writer of this section has been able to collect from British History, was printed in the year 1612; when a quarto work, by S. R. was published, to detect and expose the art of juggling and legerdemain; in which is the following description of the Gypsies.

"This kind of people, about a hundred years ago, beganne to gather an head, as the first heere, about the southerne parts. And this as I am informed, and can gather, was their beginning: Certain Egyptians banished their country, (belike not for their good conditions,) arrived heere in England, who for quaint tricks and devices, not known heere, at that time, among us, were esteemed, and had in great admiration; insomuch, that many of our English _Loyterers_ joined with them, and in time learned their craftie cosening.

"The speach which they used, was the right Egyptian language, with whom our Englishmen conversing, at least learned their language. These people continuing about the country, and practising their cosening art, purchased themselves great credit among the country people, and got much by palmistry, and telling of fortunes; insomuch, they pitifully cosened poor country girls, both of money, silver spoons, and the best of their apparelle, or any goods they could make."

From this author, it is collected, they had a leader of the name of _Giles Hather_, who was termed their King; and a woman of the name of _Calot_, was called Queen. "These riding through the country on horseback, and in strange attire, had a prettie traine after them."

After mentioning some of the laws passed against them, this writer adds: "But what numbers were executed on these statutes you would wonder; yet, notwithstanding, all would not prevaile, but they wandered as before uppe and downe, and meeting once in a yeare at a place appointed; sometimes at the Peake's Hole in Derbyshire, and other whiles by Ketbroak at Blackheath."

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