Thomas Morton Quotes

The Salvages are accustomed to set fire of the Country in all places where they come, and to burne it twice a year, viz.: at the Spring, and the fall of the leaf. The reason that moves them to doe so, is because it would other wise be so overgrown with underweeds that it would be all a coppice wood, and the people would not be able in any wise to pass through the Country out of a beaten path…. this custom of firing the Country is the meanes to make it passable; and by that meanes the trees growe here and there as in our parks: and makes the Country very beautifull and commodious.


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Thomas Morton was born in Devon, England in 1579, into a conservative Anglican family of the Devon gentry. Devon at that time was considered the "dark corner of the land" by Protestant reformers, due to its traditionalist intransigence, which included not only a High Church Anglicanism, that shared many traits with Catholicism, but also a paternalistic populism combined with rural folk tradition that, for the Puritans, came close to paganism. To the local inhabitants, however, it was merely "Old England" — this culture was firmly ingrained in him.

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