The River of THAMES. 29

The River of THAMES.

called in Latin Corinium; whereof Cirncester Town in Glocestershire (by which it cometh) doth take the Denomination in most Opinions.

From hence it hasteth unto Creekelade, alias Crekanford, Lechlade, Radcote Bridge, Newbridge, and Evesham, in Worcestershire, receiving (by the way) an infinite sort of small Streams, Brooks, Becks, Waters and Rundels. And here (on this side of the Town) divideth it self into two Courses. Of which one goeth straight to Botley and [Hinksey in Berkshire;] the other passeth by Godstow [in Oxfordshire,] a Village not far off. This latter spreadeth it self also (for a while) into sundry smaller Branches, which run not far, before they be reunited; and then beclipping sundry pleasant Meddows, it passeth at length by Oxford, of some supposed rather to be called Ouseford, of this River: where it meeteth with the Charwell. A little from whence the original Branches do join, and go together by Abbandune (alias Sensham, or Abbington, as we call it) although no part of it (at the first) came so near the Town as it now doth, till a Branch thereof was led thither from the main Stream, through the Industry of the Monks, as (beside the Testimony of old Records thereof, yet extant to be seen) by the Decay of Cair Dour, now Dorchester it self, sometime the Thorowfare from Wales, and the West Country, unto London, which ensued upon this Fact, is easy to be seen.

Creeklade. Lechlade. Radcotebridge. Newbridge, Evesham.

Oxford or Ouseford, so called of the River Charwell.

Abbandune, or Abbington.

Some write that the main Stream was brought thither, which ran before between Andredesy and Culingham, Carr Dour, Dorchester.

From hence it goeth to Dorchester in Dorsetshire, and so unto Thame in Oxfordshire, where joining with a River of the same Denomination, it loseth the Name of Isis or Ouse, (whereof Ousennie at Oxford is producted) and from thence is called Thamesis all along as it passeth. From Thame it goeth to Wallingford [in Berkshire,] and so to Reading in the same County; which (in Time past) of the Number of Bridges there, was called Pontium. Albeit, that the English Name doth rather proceed from Rhee or Ree, the Saxon Word for a Water-Course or River; which may be seen in Overee, or Suthree, or Surrey, for over the Ree, or South of the Ree; as to the Skilful doth readily appear. Yet some hold, (and not altogether against Probability and Likelihood, that the Word Suthree, is so called of Sudrijc; to wit, the South Kingdom, whereunto (in part) the Thames is a Bound. But that holdeth not in Denomination, either of the said Church, or name of the foresaid County. Others affirm likewise, that Reading is so called of the Greek Word reo, REO) which is to overflow.

Ousenie at Oxford.

Thamesis at Thame, and so forward.

Reding, sometime Pontium.

S. Mary over Rhee.

Sudrye, the South Kingdom.

(REO) Reding, to overflow.

Surely, as neither of these Conjectures are to be contemned, so the last cometh most near to mine Aid, who affirm, that not only the Course of every Water it self, but also his overflowing, was in times past called Rhee, by such Saxons as inhabited this Island. And even to this Day, in Essex I have oft observed, that when the Lower Grounds (by rage of Waters) have been overflown, the People beholding the same have said, All in on a Rhee; as if they would have said, all is now a River. Albeit the Word River is derived from the French, and borrowed by them from the Latins; but not without Corruption, as it was brought to them. I will not here give notice how far they are deceived, which call the aforesaid Church by the Name of St. Mary Auderies, or St. Mary over Ise or Isis. But I will proceed with the Course of this Noble Stream; which, howsoever these Matters stand, it hath passed by Reading, and there received the Kenet, which cometh from the Hills that lye West of Marlborough and Wilts, and then the Thetis, commonly called the Tide, that cometh from Thetisford. It hyeth thence to Sudlington, otherwise called Maidenhead in Berks, and so to Windleshore, or Windsore, Eaton, and then to Chertsey in Surrey, where Erkenwald, Bi- shop of London, sometime builded a Religious House or Cell, as I do read.

The Saxon Name to Watecourses and Overflows.

All is on a Rhee, All is now a River.

S. Mary Auderies, S. Mary over Isis or Ise.


Thetis coming from Thetisford.

Sudlington. Maidenhead. Windleshore. Eaton, Chertsey.

From Chertsey it hasteth directly unto Stanes, and receiving another Stream by the way called the Cole, (whereupon Colebrook standeth) it goeth by [Waybridge, where Guildford River falleth in, thence to Shepperton, Walton upon Thames, Sunbury, Hampton Town, and Court,] Kingston, called Kingston upon Thames, Shene, Sion, Brentford, or Bregentford. Where it meeteth with the Brane or the Brene, another Brook descending from Edgeworth. Upon this Brook also, Sir John Thinne had sometime a sumptuous and stately House, with a marvellous Provision to inclose and retain such Fish as should come about the same. From Brentford it passeth by Mortlake, Putney, Fulham, Battersey, Chelsey, Lambeth, and so to London.

Stanes, Cole, Colebrooke, Kingstone, Shene, Sion, Brentford, Bregentford, Brane, Brene.

Mortlock, Putney, Fulham, Battersey, Chelsey, Lambeth, London.

Our famous River being thus brought to London, and hasting on apace to meet with Oceanus her Amorous Husband; the first Water that it then meeteth withal is the Brome on Kent side, West of Greenwich, whose Head is Bromis in Bromley Parish; and going thence to Lewsham, it taketh in a Water from the East, and so directeth its Course forth right unto the Thames.

Thames beyond London, Eastward.

Brome on Kent side.


The next Water that it meeteth withal is on Essex side, almost against Woolwich, and that is the Lee or Ley. And being past that, the Darwent also meeteth with our Thames on Kent side, two Miles and more beneath Erith, it rising at Tunbridge. The next River that falleth into the Thames, is West of the Wanie Isles, a Rill of no great Fame, neither long Course; for, rising about Coringham, it runneth not many Miles East and by South, till it falls into the Mouth of this River which I do now describe. Last of all we come to the Medway, a notable River, in mine Opinion, watering all the South and South West Parts of Kent: in whose Description we cannot, at this time, proceed any further.

Woolwich, Lee or Ley on Essex side. Darwent on Kent side.

The Wany Isles.


Having in this manner briefly touched this Noble River, and such Brooks as fall into the same; I will insert a Word or two concerning the Commodities of the said River, which I will perform with so much Brevity as is possible; hereby also finding out her whole Tract and Course from the Head to the Fall thereof into the Sea. It appeareth evidently, that the Length thereof is at the least an hundred and eighty Miles, if it be measured by the Journies of the Land. And as it is in course the longest of the three famous Rivers of this Isle; so is it nothing inferior to them in abundance of all kind of Fish. Whereof it is hard to say, which of the Three have either most Plenty, or greatest Variety, if the Circumstances be duly weighed.

Commodities of this noble River.

The Length of the Thames, from the Head to the Fall into the Sea.

What some others write concerning the Rivers of their Countries, it skilleth not, neither will I (as divers do) invent strange things of this noble Stream, therewith to nobilitate, and make it more honourable: But this will I in plain Terms affirm, that it neither swalloweth up Bastards of the Celtish Brood, nor casteth up the right-begotten that are thrown in, (without hurt) into their Mothers Lap; as Politian fableth of the Rhene, Epistolarum, lib. 8. Epist. 6. nor yieldeth Clots of Gold, as the Tagus doth; but an infinite Plenty of excellent, sweet and pleasant Fish, wherewith such as inhabit near to her Banks, are fed and fully nourished.

An honourable Affirmation of the River of Thames.

Politian in lib. 8. Epist.

Epist. 6.

What should I speak of the fat and sweet Salmons daily taken in this Stream, and that in such Plenty, (after the Time of the Smelt is past) as no River in Europe is able to exceed it? But what Store also of Barbels, Trowts, Chevins, Pearches, Smelts, Breams, Roches, Daces, Gudgeons, Flounders, Shrimps, Eeles, &c. are commonly to be had therein, I refer me to them that know by Experience better than I, by reason of their daily

The great Plenty of fat and sweet Salmons taken in the Thames daily.