Turkey (bird)

The Turkey

This bird was unknown to the civilized world till the discovery of this Continent. It was found here both in its wild and domesticated state; and still occupies the whole range of the western hemisphere, though the wild turkey disappears as the country becomes settled. The wild is larger than the domesticated bird, sometimes weighing over 30 lbs. dressed. The color of the male is generally a greenish brown, approaching to black, and of a rich, changeable, metallic lustre. The hen is marked somewhat like the cock, but with duller hues. Domestication through successive generations dims the brilliancy of their plumage, and lessens their size and hardiness. It also produces a variety of colors, though they are mostly of a black, buff, pure white, or speckled.

They give evidence of the comparative recency of their domestication, in the instinct which frequently impels the cock to brood and take care of the young. Nothing is more common than for the male bird to supply the place of the hen, when any accident befalls her, and to bring up a family of young chicks with an equally instinctive regard for their helplessness and safety.

The flesh of this bird, both wild and tame, is exceedingly delicate and palatable; and though not possessing the high game flavor of some of the smaller wild-fowl, and especially of the aquatic, as the canvass-back duck, &c., it exceeds them in its digestibility and healthfulness. The turkey is useful principally for its flesh, as it seldom lays over a nest-full of eggs in one season, when they brood on these and bring up their young. If full-fed, and their first eggs are withdrawn from them, they frequently lay a second time.


Those intended for breeders should be compact, vigorous, and large, without being long-legged. They should be daily, yet lightly fed through the winter, on grain and roots, and some animal food is always acceptable and beneficial to them. They are small eaters, and without caution will soon get too fat. One vigorous male will suffice for a flock of 10 or 12 hens, and a single connection is sufficient for each. They begin to lay on the approach of warm weather, laying once a day, or every other day, till they have completed their litter; which in the young or indifferently fed, may be 10 or 12, and in the older ones, sometimes reaches 20. The hen is sly in secreting her nest, but usually selects a dry, well-protected place. She is an inveterate setter, and carefully hatches most of her eggs.

The young may be allowed to remain for 24 hours without eating, then fed with hard-boiled eggs made fine, or crumbs of wheat bread. Boiled milk, curds, and buttermilk afford an excellent food. As they get stronger, oat or barley-meal is suitable, but Indian-meal, uncooked, is hurtful to them when quite young. They are very tender, and will bear neither cold nor wet, and it is of course necessary to confine the old one for the first few weeks. When able to shift for themselves, they may wander over the fields at pleasure; and from their great fondness for insects, they will rid the meadows of innumerable grasshoppers, bugs, and beetles, which often do incalculable damage to the farmer. Early chickens are sufficiently grown to fatten the latter part of autumn or the beginning of winter, which is easily done on any of the grains or boiled roots. Both are better for being cooked. They require a higher roosting-place than hens, and are impatient of too close confinement, preferring the ridge of a barn, or a lofty tree, to the circumscribed limits of the ordinary poultry-house. When rightly managed and fed, turkeys are subject to few maladies; and even these, careful attention will soon remove.

That these fowls, which at present are everywhere common, were brought to us from a different part of the world, is, I believe, generally admitted; but respecting their original country, and the time when they were first introduced into Europe, there is much difference of opinion among those who in later times have made researches on that subject 1502. I shall therefore compare what has been advanced on both sides with what I have remarked myself, and submit my decision to the judgement of the reader.

The question, whether turkeys or turkey-fowls were known to the Greeks and the Romans, will depend upon defining what those fowls were to which they gave the name of meleagrides  and gallinæ Africanæ; for in the whole ornithology of the ancients, there are no other kind that can occasion doubt. It has however been justly remarked by Perrault and others, that every thing which we find related by the ancients of the meleagrides  can be applied only to the pintado or Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris, Linn.), and not to the turkey; and that the gallinæ Africanæ were only a variety of the former, or a species that approached nearly to them. Their spots, disposed in such a manner as if formed by drops, on account of which, in modern times, they have been called pintados  and pientades, and the marks on the feathers of the wings, accord perfectly with the description given of them by Clytus, the scholar of Aristotle 1503 ; though in northern countries, some Guinea fowls are found, the colour of which is more mixed with white. But this is a variation not uncommon among birds in general when removed from their native country, as is proved by the white peacocks, which were first observed in Norway. The coloured hood of thick skin which covers the head has also been accurately described by Clytus, as well as the coloured fleshy excrescence on the bill (palearia carunculacea ). In size the meleagrides  were like our largest common fowls, which is true also of the pintado; and we must acknowledge with Clytus, that its naked head is too small in proportion to the body. The figure of the pintado, like that of the partridge, and its drooping tail, correspond equally well with the epithet gibberæ, especially as the position of its feathers occasions its back to appear elevated or bent upwards. The feet are like those of the domestic fowl, but they are destitute of the spurs with which those of the latter are furnished; and the pintado lays spotted eggs, as described by Aristotle; but these, by the manner in which the fowls are reared in Europe, are liable to variations. It deserves to be remarked above all, that both sexes of the meleagrides  are so like, that they can scarcely be distinguished; and this circumstance alone is sufficient to confute those who pretend that the meleagrides  were our turkeys. Had that been the case, it is impossible that Clytus in his description, which seems to have been drawn up with great care, should have omitted the proud and ridiculous gestures of the turkey-cock when he struts about with his tail spread out like a fan, or thrown into a circular form, and his wings trailing on the ground, or the long excrescence that hangs down from his bill, and the tuft of black hair on his breast. The unpleasant cry, and the unsocial disposition of the meleagrides, are observed in the Guinea fowls, which, as the ancients justly remarked, frequent rivers and marshes, where turkeys on the other hand never thrive.

The ancients assure us that the native country of the meleagrides  was Africa 1504 , where the Guinea fowls are still found in a wild state, but where our turkeys were never seen wild. When writers however mention places not in Africa, to which the former were brought, we are not to suppose that they were carried thither directly from Africa. The difference which Columella and Pliny 1505  make between the meleagrides  and gallinæ Africanæ is so trifling, as to imply only a variety of the species; and the opinion of Pallas, who has occasionally collected a number of important observations which may serve to explain the natural history of the ancients, is highly probable, that we are to understand under it the Numida mitrata, which he has described. The red crest which the last-mentioned bird always has, and which almost alone distinguishes it from the common Guinea fowl, seems fully to prove this opinion 1506. I shall here take occasion to remark, that Buffon erroneously affirms that the Guinea fowls, which were transmitted from the Greeks and the Romans, became extinct in Europe in the middle ages; for we find mention made of them in English writers, under the name of Aves AfricanæAfræ, so early as about the year 1277 1507.

That the ancients were not acquainted with our turkeys is still further confirmed by the testimony of various historians and travellers, who assure us in the first place, that these birds are still wild in America; secondly, that they were brought to us from that country; and thirdly, that before the discovery of the New World they were not known in Europe. Besides, we are enabled, from the information which they give us, to see how and when these animals were conveyed to those countries where they at present are reared as domestic fowls; and these proofs appear to me so strong, that I conclude Barrington asserted the contrary, that he might obtain assent not so much by the force of truth as by advancing absurdities. All animals multiply more easily, and become larger, stronger, and more fruitful in those places which nature has assigned to them for a residence, that is, where they originally lived wild; and this observation seems to hold good in regard to the turkeys in America. It is indeed probable that the number of wild animals will always decrease in proportion as countries are peopled, and as woods are cut down and deserts cultivated; it is probable also, that at last no wild animals will be left, as has been the case with sheep, oxen and horses, which have all long ago been brought into a state of slavery by man. The testimony therefore of those who first visited America, and who found there wild turkeys, deserves the greater attention.

The first author in whom I find mention of them is Oviedo, who wrote about the year 1525 1508. He has described them minutely with that curiosity and attention which new objects generally excite; and as he was acquainted with no name for these animals, till then unknown to the Europeans, he gave them that which he thought best suited to their figure and shape. He calls them a kind of peacocks, and he relates that even then, on account of their utility, and the excellent taste of their flesh, they were not only reared and domesticated by the Europeans in New Spain, where they were first found, but that they were carried also to New Castille, and to the West India islands. The other fowls likewise which he describes we have without doubt procured from America, such for example as the Crax alector 1509 . Lopez de Gomara, whose book was printed in 1553, makes use of the name gallopavo ; and says that the animal resembles in shape the peacock and the domestic cock; and that of all the fowls in New Spain its flesh is the most delicious 1510. In the year 1584 wild turkeys were found in Virginia 1511. René de Laudonniere found them on his landing in North America in 1564 1512. Fernandez also reckons them among the birds of Mexico; and takes notice of the difference between those that were wild and those which had been tamed 1513. Pedro de Ciesa saw them on the isthmus of Darien 1514 , and Dampier in Yucatan 1515. Besides the testimony of many other later travellers which have been already quoted by Buffon, and which I shall not here repeat, the accounts of Kalm and Smyth in particular deserve to be noticed. The former, who visited Pennsylvania in 1784, says, “The wild turkeys run about here in the woods. Their wildness excepted, they are in nothing different from ours, but in being generally a little larger, and in having redder flesh, which is, however, superior in taste. When any one finds their eggs in the woods, and places them under a tame hen to be hatched, the young, for the most part, become tame also; but when they grow up they make their escape. On this account people cut their wings before they are a year old. These wild turkeys, when tamed, are much more mischievous than those tamed by nature 1516.” Smyth assures us that wild turkeys are so abundant in the uncultivated country behind Virginia, and the southern provinces, that they may be found in flocks of more than five thousand 1517.

These testimonies, in my opinion, are sufficiently strong and numerous to convince any naturalist that America is the native country of these fowls; but their weight will be still increased if we add the accounts given us when and how they were gradually dispersed throughout other countries. Had they been brought from Asia or Africa some centuries ago, they must have been long common in Italy, and would have been carried thence over all Europe. We, however, do not find that they were known in that country before the discovery of America. It is certain that there were none of them there at the time when Peter de Crescentio wrote, that is to say, in the thirteenth century 1518 ; else he would not have omitted to mention them where he describes the method of rearing all domestic fowls, and even peacocks and partridges. The earliest account of them in Italy is contained in an ordinance issued by the magistrates of Venice, in 1557, for repressing luxury, and in which those tables at which they were allowed are particularised. About the year 1570 Bartolomeo Scappi, cook to pope Pius V., gave in his book on cookery several receipts for dressing these expensive and much-esteemed fowls 1519. That they were scarce at this period appears from its being remarked that the first turkeys brought to Bologna were some that had been given as a present to the family of Buonocompagni, from which Gregory XII., who at that time filled the papal chair, was descended.

That these fowls were not known in England in the beginning of the sixteenth century, is very probable; as they are not mentioned in the particular description of a grand entertainment given by archbishop Nevil 1520 ; nor in the regulations made by Henry VIII. respecting his household, in which all fowls used in the royal kitchen are named 1521. They were, however, introduced into that country about the above period; some say in the year 1524; others, in 1530; and some, in 1532 1522. We know, at any rate, that young turkeys were served up at a great banquet in 1555 1523 ; and about 1585 they were commonly reckoned among the number of delicate dishes 1524.

According to the account of some writers, turkeys must have been known much earlier in France; but on strict examination no proofs of this can be found. The earliest period assigned for their introduction into that country is given by Beguillet 1525 , who confidently asserts that they were brought to Dijon under the reign of Philip the Bold, about the year 1385. Had this French author quoted his authority, we might have discovered what gave rise to his mistake; but as he has not, one cannot help suspecting that the whole account is a fiction of his own. De la Mare also is in an error when he relates that the first turkeys in France were those which Jaques Cœur, the well-known treasurer to Charles VII., brought with him from the Levant, and kept on his estate in Gatinois, after he had received the king's permission to return to the kingdom. This Cœur, however, who was banished in 1450, never returned, but died in the island of Chio in the year 1456 1526. Equally false is the account given by Bouche in his History of Provence, that René, or Renatus, king of Naples and duke of Anjou, first brought turkeys into the kingdom, and reared them in abundance at Rosset 1527. This author gives as his authority the oral tradition of the neighbourhood, which certainly cannot be put in competition with testimony of a more authentic nature. Another Bouche 1528 , who a few years ago wrote also a History of Provence, and who has collected many things that do honour to Renatus, makes no mention of this service, though he could not be ignorant of what had been before related by his namesake. Had these fowls been known so early as the time of that monarch, who died in 1480, it is impossible that they could have been so scarce in France as they really were above a hundred years after. The assertion, often repeated, but never indeed proved, that they were first brought to France by Philip de Chabot, admiral under Francis I., is much more probable. Chabot died in 1543; and what Scaliger says, that in 1540 some turkeys were still remaining in France, may be considered as alluding to the above circumstance. This much however is certain, that Gyllius, who died in 1555, gave soon after the first scientific description of them, which has been inserted both by Gesner and Aldrovandus in their works on ornithology. The same year the first figure of them was published by Bellon. About the same time they were described also by La Bruyere-Champier, who expressly remarks that they had a few years before been brought to France from the Indian islands discovered by the Portuguese and the Spaniards 1529. How then could Barrington assert that this Frenchman meant the East and not the West Indies? They must, however, have been a long time scarce in France; for, in the year 1566, when Charles IX. passed through Amiens, the magistrates of that place did not disdain to send him, among other presents, twelve turkeys 1530. This information seems to agree with the account often quoted, that the first turkeys were served up, as a great rarity, at the wedding dinner of that monarch in the year 1570 1531 ; but it seems the breed of these fowls was not very common under Charles IX.; for they are not named in the ordinances of 1563 and 1567, in which all other fowls are mentioned. In the year 1603, Henry IV. caused higglers to be punished who carried away turkeys from the country villages without paying for them, under a pretence that they were for the use of the queen 1532. I shall here also remark, that I can nowhere find that the Jesuits are entitled to the merit of having introduced these fowls into France 1533.

As these American fowls must have been carried to Germany through other lands, we cannot expect to find them in that country at an earlier period. Gesner, who published his Ornithology in 1555, seems not even to have seen them. We are, however, assured by several authors, such as B. Heresbach 1534 Colerus 1535  and others, that turkeys were brought to Germany so early as 1530; and in the same year carried to Bohemia and Silesia 1536. Respecting the northern countries, I know only, on the authority of Pontoppidan, that they had been in Denmark two hundred years before his time.

As these fowls are found at present both in Asia and Africa, it may be worth while to inquire at what period they were carried thither, especially as these quarters of the world have been by some considered as their native countries. In China there are no other turkeys than those which have been introduced from other parts, as we are expressly assured by Du Halde, though he erroneously adds that they were quite common in the East Indies. They were carried to Persia by the Armenians and other trading people, and to Batavia by the Dutch 1537. In the time of Chardin they were so scarce in Persia that they were kept in the Emperor's menagerie 1538. In the kingdom of Congo, on the Gold Coast, and at Senegal, there are none but those belonging to the European factories. According to Father de Bourzes there are none of them in the kingdom of Madura; and we are told by Dampier that this is the case in the island of Mindanao. Prosper Alpinus also gives the same account in regard to Nubia and Egypt; and Gemelli Carreri says there is none of them in the Philippines; though I agree with Buffon in laying very little stress upon the Travels known under that name, which we have reason to suppose not genuine.

It is worthy of remark, that Cavendish found a great number of turkeys in the island of St. Helena so early as the year 1588; and Barrington misapplies this circumstance to prove that these fowls did not come from America. It is, however, very doubtful whether Cavendish really meant our turkeys, as he says, “Guiney cocks, which we call turkeys 1539 ;” for the first name belongs to what are at present called pintados; and it is therefore uncertain which kind ought here to be understood. But even allowing that they were turkeys, is it improbable that they should be on an island which had often been visited by the Portuguese? The account of De la Croix is of as little weight; for he says that in the woods of Madagascar there are many coqs d'Inde 1540 . De la Croix published his book in 1688, at which time there were in South America wild horses and wild cattle. Does this, therefore, invalidate the certainty of these animals being carried thither from Europe?

I intended to enter into a critical examination of those grounds upon which Barrington endeavours to prove that turkeys were originally brought from Africa; but on reading over his essay once more, I find the greater part of his arguments are sufficiently refuted by what I have proved from the most authentic testimony; and nothing now remains but to add a few observations. Barrington considers it improbable that these fowls should be so soon spread all over Europe, as Cortez first visited Mexico in 1519, subdued the capital in 1521, and returned to Spain in 1527. To me, however, it does not appear incredible; for I could prove by several instances, that the curiosity excited by the most remarkable American productions soon became general. Those, for example, who take the trouble to inquire into the history of maize or Turkish corn will make the same remark; though it is a truth fully established that we procure that grain from America. How soon did tobacco become common! In the year 1599 the seeds were brought to Portugal; and in the beginning of the seventeenth century it began to be cultivated in the East Indies. When Barrington asserts that these fowls were carried to America by the Europeans, in the same manner as horses and cattle, this argument may be turned against himself; for he must doubtless find it equally improbable that they should so soon become common, numerous and wild, in the New World, as they must have been according to the authorities above quoted.

As many fat turkeys were purchased yearly in Languedoc and sent to Spain in the time of cardinal Perron 1541 , it is thence concluded that these fowls were not brought to France through the latter. Perron died in 1620. At that period turkeys were very common; and whoever is acquainted with the industry of the Spaniards will not find it strange that the French should begin earlier to make the rearing of these animals an employment. How falsely should we reason, were we to say that it is impossible the English and French should procure the best wool from Spain, because the Spaniards purchase the best cloth from the French and the English!

One proof by which Barrington endeavours to show that turkeys were esteemed so early as the fifteenth century is very singular. He quotes from Leland's Itinerary that capons of Grease  were served up at an entertainment, under Edward IV., in 1467. The passage alluded to I cannot find; but an author must be very self-sufficient and bold indeed, to convert capons of Grease  into capons of Greece, and to pretend that these were turkeys 1542.

What, however, most excites my surprise is, that the name of these fowls even should be assumed by this writer as a ground for his assertion. Had they, says he, been brought from America, they would have been called American or West Indian fowls; as if new objects had names given to them always with reflection. Names are often bestowed upon objects before it is known what they are or whence they are procured. Ray, Minshew 1543 , and others have been induced by the name turkey-fowls to consider Turkey as their original country; but whoever is versed in researches of this kind must know that new foreign articles are often called Turkish, Italian, or Spanish. Is Turkey the original country of maize? or is Italy the original country of these birds, because they have been sometimes called Italian fowls? Even allowing that turkeys had acquired their German name (kalekuter ) from Calicut, this, at any rate, would prove nothing further than that it was once falsely believed that these animals were brought from Calicut to Europe: but I suspect that the appellation kalekuter, as well as the names truthenneputjen, and puten, were formed from their cry. Chardin offers a conjecture which is not altogether to be neglected. That traveller thinks that these fowls were at first considered as a species of the domestic fowl, and that they were called Indian, because the largest domestic fowls are produced in that country.


1502  The principal works in which information may be found on this subject, are Perrault in Mémoires de l'Académie Royale des Sciences depuis 1666 jusqu'à 1699.—Traité de la Police, par De la Mare, ii. p. 726.—Buffon, Hist. Nat.—Pallas, Spicilegia Zoologica, fascic. iv. p. 10.—Pennant, in the Philosophical Transactions, vol. lxxi. part i. p. 72.—Pennant's Arctic Zoology, vol. ii.—Miscellanies by Daines Barrington. London, 1781, 4to, p. 127.

1503  Athenæus, Deip. lib. xiv. p. 655. Most of those passages of the ancients in which this fowl is mentioned have been collected by Gesner, in his Histor. Avium, p. 461, and by Aldrovandus in his Ornithologia, lib. xiii. p. 18. When we consider the feathers as delineated by Perrault, we shall find the comparison of Clytus more intelligible than it has appeared to many commentators.

1504  Plin. Strabo. The following passage of the Periplus Scylacis, p. 122, which I have never found cited in the history of the meleagrides, is worthy of remark. This geographer, speaking of a lake in the Carthaginian marshes, says, “Circa lacum nascitur arundo, cyperus, stœbe et juncus. Ibi meleagrides aves sunt; alibi vero nusquam nisi inde exportatæ.”

1505  Columella, viii. 2, 2, p. 634.

1506  I have here quoted nothing more than what I thought requisite to prove that the meleagrides  of the ancients were our Guinea fowls, because I had no intention of treating fully on a subject which has been handled by so many others; and because I had only to show that they were not turkeys. Had not this been the case, it would have been necessary for me to collect into one point of view everything that the ancients have said of these fowls, with the words used by the different writers. It may however be said, that by this mode of examining a disputed point, a mode indeed practised by many, the reader may be led to an ill-founded approbation, because what is not agreeable to the author's assertion may be easily concealed. But this observation is not applicable to me; for I confess that I do not know with certainty whether the Guinea fowls are as careless of their young as the meleagrides  are said to have been; whether their cry, which I have often enough heard, and which is indeed unpleasant, agrees with the κακκάζειν of Pollux, v. § 90; and whether the ἀλεκτρυόνες μεγέθει μέγιστοι, mentioned in Ælian's Hist. Animal, xvi. 2, belong to the Guinea fowls, or, as Pennant will have it, to the Pavones bicalcarati.

1507  Kennet's Parochial Antiquities, p. 287. The meleagrides  also, which Volateran saw at Rome in 1510, were of the same kind.

1508  Sommario dell' Ind. Occid. cap. 3. In the third volume of the Collection of Voyages by Ramusio, Oviedo describes them with great minuteness, which it is unlikely he would have done had these fowls been so well known in Europe as Barrington thinks they were.

1509  The peacock pheasant of Guiana, Bancroft; Quirissai or Curassao, Brown; the crested curassow, Latham.

1510  Hist. de Mexico, p. 343.

1511  Hakluyt, vol. iii. p. 274.

1512  Pennant quotes also De Bry, but that author I never consulted.

1513  “Huexolot gallus est Indicus, quem gallipavonem quidam vocant, noruntque omnes.”—Thesaur. Rerum Med. Novæ Hispaniæ, in Append. Barrington remarks that Fernandez would not have said quem norunt omnes, had these animals been first made known from America; for Mexico was discovered in 1519, and Fernandez appears to have written about 1576. This reason, however, appears to me of little weight; especially as it is certain that these fowls, like many other productions which excited universal curiosity, were soon everywhere common. Besides, it is not certain that these words were really written by Fernandez.

1514  An English translation of Ciesa's Voyage may be found in Stevens's New Collection of Voyages and Travels.

1515  Vol. ii. part ii. p. 65, 85, 114. Leri seems also to have found them in Brazil, see Laet, in his Novus Orbis, Lugd. Bat. 1633, fol. p. 557. As his description, however, is not clear, and as the diligent Marggraf does not mention it among the animals of Brazil, this information appears to be very uncertain.

1516  Kalm's Reise, ii. p. 352.

1517  Tour in the U. S. of America, by J. F. D. Smyth, 1784, 2 vols. 8vo.

1518  Crescentio lived about the year 1280. [His work Ruralium Commodorum lib. xii. was first printed in 1471.]

1519  Opera di M. Bartolomeo Scappi, Venet. 1570, 4to. The copy in the library of our university contains eighteen copper-plates, which represent different kitchen utensils, and various operations of cookery. Among the former is a smoke-jack, molinella a fumo. I am inclined to think that turkeys at this period were very little reared by farmers; for I do not find any mention of them in Trattato dell' Agricoltura, di M. Affrico Clemente, Padovano, in Venetia 1572, 12mo; though the author treats of all other domestic birds.

1520  It is certain that the name does not occur in the List of archbishop Nevil's feast, nor is it mentioned in the Earl of Northumberland's Household-book, so late as the year 1512. See Latham's Birds.

1521  This order, which is worthy of notice, may be found in the Archæologia, vol. iii. p. 157.

1522  Anderson, Hist. Commerce. Hakluyt, ii. p. 165, gives the year 1532; and in Barnaby Googe's Art of Husbandry, the first edition, printed in 1614, as well as in several German books, the year 1530 is mentioned.

1523  Dugdale's Origines Juridiciales, 1671, p. 135.

1524  Pennant quotes the following rhyme from Tusser's Five Hundred Points of Husbandry:—

Beefe, mutton and porke, shred pies of the best,
Pig, veale, goose and capon and turkie well drest;
Cheese, apples and nuts, jolie carols to heare,
As then in the countrie, is counted good cheare.

These lines he places in the year 1585, in which the edition he quotes was printed; but as there was an edition in 1557, a question arises whether they are to be found there also. [They are not there.—Ed.]

1525  Déscription du Duché de Bourgogne, par MM. Courtépée et Beguillet, Dijon, 1775, 8vo, vol. i. p. 193, and in Déscription Générale et Particulière de la France, Paris, 1781, fol. In the Description of Burgundy, p. 196, the following passage occurs:—“C'est sous le règne de Philippe le Hardi, que les gelines d'Inde furent apportées d'Artois à Dijon en 1385; ce qui montre la fausseté de la tradition, qui en attribue l'apport à l'Amiral Chabot au seizième siècle. Cent ans avant Chabot, Jaques Cœur en avoit transporté de Turquie en son château de Beaumont en Gatinois, et Americ Vespuce en Portugal.”—What impudence to make such an assertion without any proof!

1526  See the works which give a particular account of this Jacques Cœur, and which have been quoted by Meusel in Algemeine Welt Historie, xxxvii. p. 615.

1527  La Chorographie ou Déscription de Provence, par Honoré Bouche, Aix, 1664, 2 vols. fol. ii. p. 479.

1528  Essai sur l'Histoire de Provence, à Marseille, 1785. 2 vols. 4to.

1529  De Re Cibaria, lib. xv. cap. 73, p. 632. This work was first published by the author in 1560, but it was written thirty years before. Turkeys, therefore, at any rate, must have been in France in 1630.

1530  Histoire de la Vie Privée des Français, par Le Grand d'Aussy, i. p. 292.

1531  Anderson. Keysler's Travels.

1532  This is related by Le Grand, from the Journal of L'Etoile.

1533  “On lit, dans l'Année Littéraire, que Boileau, encore enfant, jouant dans une cour, tomba. Dans sa chute, sa jaquette se retrousse; un dindon lui donne plusieurs coups de bec sur une partie très-délicate. Boileau en fut toute sa vie incommodé; et de-là, peut-être, cette sévérité de mœurs, ... sa satyre contre les femmes..... Peut-être son antipathie contre les dindons occasionna-t-elle l'aversion secrette qu'il eut toujours pour les Jésuites, qui les ont apportés en France.”—Helvetius de l'Esprit. Amst. 1759, 12mo. i. p. 288.

1534  De Re Rustica. Spiræ Nemet. 1595, 8vo, lib. iv. p. 640.

1535  Hausbuch, vol. iv. Wittenberg, 1611, 4to, p. 499.

1536  Œkonomische Nachrichten der Schlesischen Gesellschaft, 1773, p. 306. For the festival of the university of Wittenberg, in 1602, fifteen Indian or Turkey fowls were purchased at the rate of a florin each. They were in part dressed with lemon-sauce.

1537  Bell's Travels, i. p. 128.

1538  “Turkeys (poulets d'Inde ) are there foreign and scarce birds. The Armenians, about thirty years ago, carried from Constantinople to Ispahan a great number of them, which they presented to the king as a rarity; but it is said that the Persians, not knowing the method of breeding them, gave in return the care of them to these people, and assigned a different house for each. The Armenians, however, finding them troublesome and expensive, suffered them almost all to perish. I saw some which were reared in the territory of Ispahan, four leagues from the city, by the Armenian peasants; but they were not numerous. Some imagine that these birds were brought from the East Indies; but this is so far from being the case, that there are none of them in that part of the world. They must have come from the West Indies, although they are called cocqs d'Inde  because, being larger than common fowls, they in that resemble the Indian fowls, which are of much greater size than the common fowls of other countries.”—Voyages de Chardin, iv. p. 84.

1539  Hakluyt, ii. p. 825.

1540  Rélation Universelle d'Afrique. Lyon 1688, iv. p. 426.

1541  Perroniana, p. 67.

1542  Leland's Itinerary. Oxford, 1744, vol. vi. p. 5.

1543  Minshew's Guide into Tongues, 1617, fol.