The Hartlib Papers

Title:Selection Of Printed Pamphlet, 'The Reformed Virginian Silk-Worm', Virginia Ferrar Et. Al.
Dating:1655
Ref:Selection of text (sig. A2r-v, pp. 1-6)
Notes:Published by Samuel Hartlib. Bound with 'The Reformed Commonwealth of Bees' (included in 2 separate files). [HDC list of The Publications of Samuel Hartlib, Turnbull: No. 51]. Full text comprises: Dedication by Hartlib (sig. A2r-v); Instructions for the increase and planting of Mulberry Trees, anon. (pp. 1-6); Extracts of Letters to Hartlib (pp. 7-8: not included here); A Rare and new-discovered speedy way, and easie meanes of keeping of Silk-worms... by Virginia Ferrar (pp. 8-17: not included here); A Loving Advertisement to all the Ingenious Gentlemen-Planters in Virginia, now upon the Designe of Silke, by Virginia Ferrar (pp. 19-27: not included here); Various letters & writings (pp. 28-40: not included here). First published as 'Glory be to God on High' (1652). [HDC list of The Publications of Samuel Hartlib, Turnbull: No. 39]

[Long-Title and Bibliographical description to 'Glory be to God on high':]
[Ferrar, Virginia et al.]
ST: Glory be to God on high.
Wing Number: H988   Wing Microfilm: 1834.2
[ensgaved frontispiece of Indian Wheat and an Indian Lay, 152x93mm]
Glory be to God on high, Peace on Earth, Good will amongst men | A Rare and New | DISCOVERY | OF | A speedy way, and easie means, found out by a young Lady in England, she having made full proofe | thereof in May, Anno 1652. | For the feeding of Silk-worms in the Woods, | on the Mulberry-Tree-leaves in Virginia: Who after fourty | dayes time present there most rich golden-coloured silken | Fleece to the instant wonderfull enriching of all | the Planters there, requiring from them | neither cost, labour, or hindrance in any | of their other employments | whatsoever. | And also to the good hopes that the Indians, | seeing and finding that there is neither Art Skill or Pains in | the thing: they will readily set upon it, being by the benefit | thereof inabled to buy of the English (in way of | Truck for their Silk-bottomes) all those | things that they most desire. | So that not only their Civilizing will follow, | thereupon, but by the infinite mercie of God, their Conversion | to the Christian Faith, the Glory of our Nation, which | is the daily humble prayer | OF | VIRGINIA for VIRGINIA. | With two Propositions tending to England's and the | Colonies infinite advantage. | [rule] | Printed for Richard Wodenothe in Leaden-hall street. 1652.
4o π4. A-B4 C2; 1A4; [$2 (-π1,2) signed]; 18 leaves
pp. [16] 1-12 [13-20]
Note: Leaves A3 and A4 are fold out maps of Virginia.
[Long-Title and Bibliographical description to 'The Reformed Virginian Silk-Worm':]
[Ferrar, Virginia et al.]
ST: The reformed Virginian silk-worm
Wing Number: H1000   Thomason Tracts: E.840(#13)
[within an ornamental frame, 161x99mm.]
THE REFORMED | VIRGINIAN | SILK-WORM, | Or, a Rare and New | DISCOVERY | OF | A speedy way, and easie means, found out | by a young Lady in England she having made | full proof thereof in May, | Anno 1652. | For the feeding of silk-worms in the woods, on the | Mulberry-Tree leaves in Virginia: Who after fourty dayes | time present their most rich golden-coloured silken | Fleece, to the instant wonderful enriching of | all the Planters there, requiring from | them neither cost, labour, or hindrance | in any of their other emplo- | ment whatsoever. | And also to the good hopes, that the Indians, seeing and finding that there is neither Art, skill, or Pains | in the thing: they will readily set upon it, being | by the benefit thereof inabled to buy of the | English (in way of Truck for their | Silk-bottoms) all those thinss | that they most desire. | [rule] | LONDON, | Printed by John Streater, for Giles Calvert at the Black-Spread-Eagle at the West end | of Pauls, 1655.
4o: A-E4, F2; [$3 (-Al F2) signed]; 22 leaves
pp. [4] 1-17 [18] 19-40

[Selection of text begins:]
[sig. A1r]
                   THE REFORMED
                    VIRGINIAN
                    SILK-WORM,
                Or, a Rare and New
                    DISCOVERY
                        OF
       A speedy way, and easie means, found out
      by a young Lady in England she having made
            full proof thereof in May,
                    Anno 1652.
  For the feeding of Silk-worms in the Woods, on the
Mulberry-Tree Leaves in Virginia : Who after fourty dayes
 time, present their most rich golden-coloured silken
     Fleece, to the instant wonderful enriching of
        all the Planters there, requiring from
         them neither cost,labour,or hindrance
           in any of their other employments
                    whatsoever.
  And also to the good hopes, that the Indians, a seeing
  and finding that there is neither Art, Skill, or Pains
   in the thing : they will readily set upon it , being
      by the benefit thereof inabled to buy of the
           English (in way of Truck for their
             Silk-bottoms) all those things
                 that they most desire.
---------------------------------------------------
                       LONDON
 Printed by John Streater, for Giles Calvert at the
        Black-Spread-Eagle at the West end
                  of Pauls, 1655.
[sig. A2r]
                [decorative block]
                  TO THE Reader.
  Ingenious Reader,
I have in my Legacy of Husbandry bequeathed something unto thee concerning Silk-worms,which hath wakened many to search after the means to advance that part of Husbandry. But because the Letter of King Iames to the Lords Lieutenants of the severall Shires of England, for the increasing of Mulberry Trees, and the breeding of Silk-worms, for the making of Silk in this Nation, had not annexed unto them in that Treatise the Instructions tending to that purpose, and being but few, wholly out of print, and very much desired: I thought good upon the occasion of the printing of this Letter to those of Virginia, to publish it also for the benefit of those who shall be willing to employ themselves in this way of industry, which seemeth to be brought unto a more perfect and speedy accomplishment than heretofore hath been known either here or in France, as by the contentes of this adjoyned Letter (wherein the Experiment of vertuous Lady of this Nation for the breeding of Silk-worms, is addressed unto the Planters of Virginia) is set forth to encourage both them and others to set upon this work, to benefit themselves and the Nation thereby. And truly the Gentleman who doth addresse this Letter to the Planters of the Virginian Colonie is much to be commended for his affectionto the publick, because he doth not conceal (as some Muck-worms do for private ends) the Advantages [catchword: which]
[sig. A2v]                 To the Reader.
which may be repeaed by singular industrious Attempts or experiments of profit;but desires the benefit of others,even of all, to be encreased. And it were to be wished, that every one to whom God (from whom comes every good & perfect gift) doth impart any rare and profitable Secret of Industry, would open himselfe towards his Brethren, as this publick-hearted Gentleman doth; then would all hands be set a work, and every one would become instrumentall to serve himselfe and his Neighbours in Love, and overcome the burthen of povertie, which for want of employment and decay of Trade, doth lie so heavie upon very many, whose burthens might be either born, or made easie, if all the gifts of God were made use of, for the end for which he doth bestow them, namely, to profit withall towards others, as it becommeth the Members of the same Christian, and Human, and Nationall Society; for the same rule holds in all these respects among such as understand what it is to be a good Commonwealths-man in the State, as well as in the Communion of Saints: And to this good and generous inclination, which I wish may more and more abound in them with the grace of God, I shall leave thee and rest,
               Thy most assured and faithfull servant,
                    SAMUEL HARTLIB
[catchword: Instructions]
[p. 1]
     [Title on following pages:] The Reformed Virginian Silk-worm.
                    [decorative block]
        Instructions for the increase and Planting of
                    Mulberry-trees.
What ground is fit for the Mulberry-seeds, how the same is to be ordered, and in what sort the seeds are to be sowed therein.
The ground which ought to be apointed for this purpose besides the natural goodness of it, must be reasonably well dunged, and withall so situated, as that the heat of the Sun may cherish it, and the nipping blasts of either the North wind or the East, may not annoy it: The choice thereof thus made; that the seeds may the better prosper, and come up after they be sown, you shall? dig it two foot deep, breaking the clods as small as may be, and afterwards you shall divide the same into several Beds of not above five foot in breadth, so that you shall not need to indanger the Plants by treading upon them, when either you water or weed them.
     The Mulberry seeds you shall lay in water for the space of 22 hours, and after that you shall dry them again half dry, or some what more, that when you sow them they may not cleave together: Thus done, you must cast them upon the forelaid Beds, not altogetherso thick as you use to do other garden Seed, and then cover them with some fine earth (past through a Sive) about half an inch thick.   In dry weather you shall water them every two dayes at the farthest, as likewise the plants that shall come of them; and keep them as clean from weeds as possibly you can.
     The time in which you ought to sow them for your best advantage, is either in March, April, or May, when frosts are either altogether past, or at the least not to sharp, or of so long continuance, as to indanger their upspring.   [catchword: There]
[p. 2]
     There is yet another way to sow them, and that is as followeth : you shall (being directed by a strait line) make certain? furrows in the Beds above mentioned, of some four fingers deep, & about a foot in distance the one from the other: After this, you shall open the earth with your hands, on either side of the aforesaid furrows, some two fingers from the bottom, and where you have so opened it, shall you sow your seeds; and then cover them half a finger thick with the earth which before you opened.
When the Plants that are sprung up of the Seeds,are to be removed, and how they are to be planted the first time.
In the moneths of September, October, November, December, March, or April the next yeer after the Seeds are sown, you may remove their plants, (or in the moneth of January, if it be not in forsty weather) and set them in the like Beds as before, and about one foot the one from the other, but first you must cut off their roots about eight inches in length, and their tops about half a foot above their roots,more or lesse, according to the strength of the said plants, for the weaker they be the lesse tops you shall leave them. In this sort you may suffer them to remain weeding and watering them (as need shall require) till they be grown six foot in length above their roots, whereunto when once they have attained, you may cut their tops, and suffer them to spread, alwayes having a care to take away the many branches of succours, that may any way hinder their growth untill they be come to their full length of six foot, as aforesaid.
When, and how the Plants are to be removed the second time, and in what manner they are to be planted where they shall remain.
   In the moneths aforesaid, (according as your plants are waxen strong) you may remove them either into the hedges of your fields, or into any other grounds. If in hedges, you must let them 16 foot the one from the other: if in other ground, intending to make a Wood of them 18 foot at the [catchword: least]
[p. 3]
      3 least. But a moneth before you do remove them, you must make the holes (wherein you purpose to set them) about four foot in breadth, and so deep as that their roots may be well covered, and some half a foot of loose earth left under them, having alwayes a special care so to place them, that they may receive the benefit of the Sun, and not to be shadowed or over-spread by any neighbouring trees.
When and how the Eggs of the Silk-wormes are to be hatched, and how to order the Wormes that shall come of them.
   When the leavs of Mulberry-trees begin a little to bud forth, take the eggs of your Silk-worms, and lay them in a piece of Say, or such like stuff, and in the day time carry them in some warm place about you, in a little safe box, but in the night either lay them in your bed or between two warm pillows, untill such time as the Wormes begin to come forth : then take a piece of paper of the wideness of the said box, and having cut it full of small holes, lay it within the same upon the eggs, and upon that again some few Mulbery-leaves,to which the Wormes as they are hatched, will continually come. These leaves with the Wormes upon them, you must still remove into other boxes, laying fresh leaves as well on those that are removed as on the paper where the eggs are; and this is the course which must be duly kept and observed, untill such times as all the Wormes be come forth of their shels, still keeping the boxes warm, as aforesaid; but no longer about you, but untill the Wormes begin to come forth, out of which boxes you may safely take them, when once they have past their second sicknesse?, and feed the upon shelves of two foot in breadth, and 18 inches one above the other.
     The said shelves are not to be placed in any ground-room, nor yet next unto the tiles, but in some middle room of your house which openeth upon the North and South, that you may the more conveniently give them either heat or aire, according as the time and season shall require. Besides you must not make them close unto the Wals, but so as you may [catchword: passe]
[p. 4]
passe about them the better to look unto the Wormes, and keep them from Rats and Mice, which otherwise might devoure them. You must observe the times of their comming forth, and keep every one, one or two dayes hatching by themselves, that you may the better understand their severall sicknesses or sleepings, which are foure in the time of their feeding. The first commonly some twelve dayes after they are hatched, and from that time at the end of every eight dayes, according to the weather, and their good or ill usage, during which time of every sicknesse, which lasteth two or three dayes, you must feed them but very little, as onely to relieve such of them, as shall have past their sicknesse before the rest, and those that shall not fall into their sicknesse so soon.
     The whole time that the Worms to feed, is about nine Weeks, whereof untill they come unto their first sicknesse, give them young Mulbery-leaves twice every day, but few at a time; from thence untill their second sickness, twice every day in greater quantity; and so from their second to their third sicknesse, increasing the quantity of the leaves, according as you perceive the Wormes to grow in strength, and clear of sicknesse: from the third untill their fourth sicknesse, you may let them have so many as they will eat, alwayes having a care that you give them none, but such as are dry, and well aired upon a Table or cloth, before they be laid upon them, and withall gathered so neer as may be; at such times as either the Sun or Winde hath cleared them of the dew that falleth upon them.
     For the feeding of Worms you need observe no other order then this, lay the Mulberry-leaves upon them, and every two or three dayes remove them, and make clean their boxes, or shelves, unlesse in times of their sicknesse, for then they are not to be touched; the leaves which you take from them when you give them fresh to feed upon, you must lay in some convenient place, and upon them a few new leaves, to which the Worms that lay hidden in the old, will come, and then you may passe them with the said new leaves [catchword: to]
[p. 5]
to the rest of the worms: And now lest any thing should be omitted, which serves to perfect the discovery of so excellent a Benefit, I will advise you to be very diligent in keeping clean their Boxes, or shelves, as being a speciall means whereby to preserve them; wherefore when you intend to do it, you shall remove them together with the uppermost leaves whereon they lie, unto other boxes or shelves, for with your hands you may not touch them, till they have throughly undergone their third sicknesse, and then may you passe them gently with clean hands, without doing them any harm: provided that the party that commeth neer them smell not of Garlick, Onions, or the like. The first five weeks of their age you must be very carefull to keep them warm, and in time of rain or cold weather, to set in the room where they remain, a pan with coals, burning in it now and then some Juniper, Benjamin, and such like, that yieldeth sweet smels. But afterwards unlesse in time of extraordinary cold, give them aire, and take heed of keeping them too hot, being alwayes mindfull to store the room with herbs and flowers which are delightfull and pleasing to the smell. As the wormes increase in bigness, you shall disperse them abroad upon more boards, or shelvs, and not suffer them abroad upon more boards, or shels, and not not suffer them to lie too thick together: and if you finde any of them broken, or of a yellow glistering colour inclining to sickness, cast them away, lest they infect the rest, and sort such as are not sick, the greatest and strongest by themselves, for so the lesser will prosper the better.
When and how to make fit rooms for the worms to work their bottoms of silk in, and in what sort the said bottoms are to be used.
   AS soon as by the clear amber-coloured bodies of your worms, you shall perceive them ready to give their silk, you must (with heath made very clean, or with the branches of Rosmary, the stalkes of Lavendar, or such lik) make Arches between the foresaid shelves.
   Vpon the branches and sprigs whereof, the wormes will fasten themselves, and make their bottoms, which in fourteen dayes after the worm beginneth to work them, you may [catchword: take]
[p.6]
take away; and those which you are minded to use, for the best silk, you must either presently winde, or kill the worms which are within them, by laying the said bottoms two or three dayes in the Sun, or in some Oven after the bread baked therein is taken out, and the fierceness of the heat is alaid. The other bottomes which you intend to keep for seed, you must lay in some convenient warme place, untill the worms come forth, which is commonly some sixteene or twenty dayes from the beginning of their work: and as they do come forth you must put them together upon some piece of old Say, Grogeran, the backside of old Velvet, or the like, made fast against some Wall, or Hangings in your house.
   There they will ingender, and the Male having spent himselfe, falleth down, and in short time after dieth, as also doth the Female when she hath laid her egges, which egges, when you perceive them upon the Say or Grogan, &c. to be of a grayish colour, you may take them off gently with a knife, and having put them into a piece of Say or such like, keep them in a covered box amongst your woollen cloaths, or the like till the year following: But not in any moist room, for it is hurtfull for them, neither where there is too much heat, least the wormes should be hatched before you can have any food for them.
   The making of a Wheel, as likewise the way to winde the said silk from the bottoms, can hardly be set down so plainly, as to be rightly understood: Wherefore when time shall serve, there shall be sent into every County of this Kingdom, a Wheel ready made, and a man that shall instruct all such as are desirous to learn the use thereof: Till when, I will commend these brief instructions to be carefully considered of all such as are willing to benefit either themselvs or their Country, that being skilfull in the Contemplation, they may the readier, and with less errour apply themselves to Action, which painfull industry, with Gods assistance, will quickly perfect.