The Pleasant History of Cawwood the Rook

Or, The assembly of birds with the severall speeches which the birds made to the eagle, in hope to have the government in his absence: and lastly, how the rooke was banished; with the reason why crafty fellowes are called rookes. As also fit morralls and expositions added to every chapter. Printed by T. C  for F. Grove, and are to be sold at his shoppe, at the upper end of Snow-Hill, neere the Sarazens head without Nevv-Gate, 1640.

I’ve been searching for some inner meaning or satirical intent associated with this little book published first in 1640. Certainly the extended title would seem to suggest this, but I really think this is nothing but a child’s picture book. This picture shows an episode in chapter two where our hero Cawwood and his friend the hawk advise a buzzard to wrap up well as he has caught a cold. Consequently the poor buzzard is unaware of the hunter and his birding piece with fatal results, the moral being don’t listen to advice.

Anyway, morals apart the hunter is dressed in one of those short tabbed doublets which I thought (before I started to look at original images) had died out well before the 1640s. I’ve seen so many in pictures now that I believe this was a common item of clothing for men well into this period. He’s also wearing a good pair of breeches, felt hat and shoes.


The pleasant history



Here’s the first page showing Cawwood and the assembly, lorded over by the Eagle. Just because I like it, there’s no costume detail here. It’s not bad though, you can identify several different species


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