Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter ii: Of Denmark in particular, and the Island of Zealand - An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor
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chapter ii: Of Denmark in particular, and the Island of Zealand - Robert Molesworth, An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor 
An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor, Edited and with an Introduction by Justin Champion (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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Of Denmark in particular, and the Island of Zealand
This being the most considerable, and in value four parts in five of all the Territories belonging to the Crown of Denmark, I shall give a more particular account of it than of the rest. Others, I know, have given us the Genealogies and Succession of its Kings, ancient Names, Inhabitants, Conquests, etc. my business is only to inform how it stands at this day, and to enter no further into the former History, or the Geography of the Country, than is necessary to the understanding the present State of it.
Denmark then, properly so called, consists of many Islands in the Baltick Sea, and of that part of the Continent which is now called Jutland: The Dutchy of Sleswick, which I reckoned in the former Chapter as part of it, shall be treated of by it self, because it is divided between the King and the Duke of Holstein Gottorp; whereas these above-mentioned are wholly the King’s. Jutland is the biggest and most fertile Country, but the Islands are more considerable in regard of their Situation, especially Zealand; because Copenhagen, the Chief City of Denmark, is seated in it, and the famous passage of the Sound is bordered by its Shoar, where, on the narrowest part the Town of Elsinor stands: wherefore I shall begin with a description of them, and first of Zealand.
It is almost of a Circular Figure, and contains about 180 English Miles in Circumference; I cannot commend its Fertility, there being no Bread corn growing in any part of it except Rye, which indeed is in good quantity, and whereof most of their Bread is made. There are few Meadows in it, and yet there is no want of good Hay: Most of their Grass, which is short and sweet, grows by the sides of their Corn Fields, or in some scattered spots of Marish Grounds. It has no Rivers, nor above half a score Brooks that are able to turn a Mill; to supply this, there is a great number of fine Lakes sufficiently stored with Fish. The Air is but indifferent, especially in and near Copenhagen; which is occasioned by the frequent Fogs and low Situation; yet Colds of the Lungs are very rare here; this I attribute to the pureness of their firing, which is Beechwood, the only sort of Timber trees which abound in this Island. About one fourth part of it is Forest, lying open for the King’s Hunting and his Game, such as Staggs, Wild-Boars, Roe-Bucks, etc. these are such Sacred things that no Body dares touch them, though they find them in whole Herds destroying their Corn, to the infinite yearly damage of the poor Peasants.
The Face of the Land is pleasant in many places, abounding with little Hills, Woods and Lakes in a very agreeable diversity. For Sea-Ports, that most excellent one belonging to Copenhagen must make amends for the want of them, not only in this, but many other of the Islands; there being few others, that I know of, capable of harbouring a Vessel of 200 Tuns.
Neither is this a sensible want, because there are no Commodities in this Island for Exportation: In good years, that is, wet ones (for the Soil being altogether Sandy, requires frequent Rains, even thus far North) there may be some overplus of Rye; and I have been told, that about forty years ago, ten or twelve Dutch Flyboats found yearly their Lading at Kiog, a pretty flourishing Town at that time, within twenty English Miles of Copenhagen; but of late they seem to be well satisfied if the Product of the Isle maintains in this sort of Grain the Inhabitants of it: Not that the numbers of these are increased, but Husbandry is not so much encouraged now as when the Taxes of the poor Country People were less frequent and grievous.
The Cattle here are generally small and lean; kept within doors seven or eight Months in the Year; where their Feeding is partly Hay, partly Brewers Grains, Roots, Weeds, and such Trash as their Owners can provide for them. In Summer time their Beef is sweet and juicy; but Wether Mutton was a rare thing till of late; nor is it common now, they being not used to Geld their Sheep; and therefore ’twas usually eaten while it was Lamb.
The feeding of the Commonalty generally throughout all Denmark is very mean; the Burgers and Citizens sustaining themselves with Ryebread, Salt-flesh, Stock-fish, Bacon, and very bad Cheese; insomuch that the Inspectors of our Markets in England, who use to destroy or send to the Prisons all such Victuals as are not judged wholsom, would (if they found them no better provided than at Copenhagen) go near to empty the Markets, and leave little to either Buyer or Seller. The Peasants live on Roots, white Meats, and Rye-bread; seldom tasting fresh Fish, and scarce ever Flesh, unless on some extraordinary Festivals, as on St. Martin’s Eve, when each Family in Denmark, without fail, makes merry with a roasted Goose at Supper.
Here, and in all Denmark, are but two Seasons of the Year, Winter and Summer; those two other more agreeable ones of Spring and Autumn not being commonly known; the Spring never, and the Autumn seldom; you immediately leap from extremity of Heat to extremity of Cold; and so on the contrary, when Winter is over, from Cold to Heat. During the three Months of June, July, and August, the Heat is much more intense than in England, and very sultry in the Nights, but ’tis a gloomy Heat, and People generally perceive some interposition of thick Vapours between them and the Sun. In Copenhagen, during these three Months, they are constantly troubled with the Plague of Flies, which they endeavour to destroy by a poisoned Water; upon the laying of which in their Kitchins and Chambers, I have seen whole Bushels of dead Flies swept together in one Room.
The Baltick Sea near this City is very ill stored with good Fish; neither did I ever know any Sea-Town of that Consequence worse served with it: Whether it be that the Sea wants its requisite saltiness, (being rather to be esteemed brackish than salt) or that the People are not industrious enough to take them; but I rather believe the former.
The principal things of this Island, and indeed of all Denmark, are the City of Copenhagen, and the Passage of the Sound. I will begin with the City, the rather because when I have done with that I have little more to say of any other in the King of Denmark’s Dominions; there being no other belonging to him much better than our Town of St. Albans.
Copenhagen is no ancient City, nor a very large one; it approaches in bigness nearest to Bristol of any of our English Cities; but it increases in Buildings every day, notwithstanding the many discouragements it lies under. The Fortifications of it enclose a great deal more Ground than is built upon; and many small Buildings, which upon a further increase of its Riches, will be pulled down. Its Situation for Trade is one of the best in the World, because of the excellency of its Port; so that without doubt, were Copenhagen a free City, it would be the Mart and Staple of all the Traffick of the Baltick. This Port is inclosed by the Bulwarks of the Town, the entrance into it being so narrow, that but one Ship can pass at a time; which entrance is every Night shut up with a strong Boom; the Citadel on one side, and a good Block-house well furnished with Cannon on the other, Commands the Mouth of it. Within this Haven rides the Navy Royal, every Ship having his place assigned to it; a wooden Gallery ranges round the whole Inclosure where the Fleet lies, laid over the Water in such manner, that all the Ships may be viewed near at hand as easily and commodiously as if they lay on dry Land. This Harbour is capacious enough to hold 500 Sail, where neither Wind nor Enemies can do them the least mischief. The Road without is very good and safe; being fenced from the Sea by a large Sand Bank, on the Points of which float always a couple of Buoys to direct all Ships that come in or go out. Here are no Tides to fear, but always a sufficient depth of Water. Sometimes indeed, according as the Winds blow in or out of the Baltick, there sets a Current; but ’tis not frequent, nor dangerous. To conclude, this Port may justly be reckoned in all respects one of the best in the whole World.
The Town is strong, being situated in a flat Marish Soil, not commanded by any height; the Air is bad by reason of the stink of the Channels which are cut through it. The Works of it are only of Earth and Sodds, yet raised according to the Rules of Modern Fortification, and in tolerable good Repair. The Buildings both in this City and elsewhere, are generally very mean, being Cagework, and having the Intervals between the Timbers filled up with Brick. ’Tis observable, that all the good Publick Buildings in it, such as the Change, Arsenal, Round-Steeple, etc. were built by King Christian the Fourth, the present King’s Grandfather, and a very brave, though not a Fortunate Prince; who did more with less Revenues than all the succeeding Princes; the Monarchy being at that time neither Hereditary nor Absolute. He used often to say, “That he knew the Purses of his Subjects would be always open for his and the Kingdoms just Occasions; and that he had rather they were his Cash-keepers than a High-Treasurer, who might abuse him.” Although the principal Decorations of this Town are owing to him, yet he either forgot or delay’d the Building of a Palace for himself and his Successors, and no Body has undertaken it since; though certainly in no Kingdom is there greater occasion; this King’s House of Residence being for Situation, Meanness, and Inconvenience the worst in the World; and as singular for badness as the Port is for goodness. Several of the Noblemen, as his High Excellency Guldenlieu, the great Admiral Juel, with others, being infinitely better lodged than the whole Royal Family: Yet to make amends for this, his Majesty has near him an excellent Stable of Horses; and handsome large Gardens, with a good Garden-House, called Rosenburg, some distance from the Palace, at the other end of the Town.