A rather curious account of a mermaid spotted off the coast of Wales in 1603. Taken from A most strange and true report of a monsterous fish, who appeared in the forme of a woman, from her waste upwards (1604)
ON Fryday the xvij. day of Februarie last past 1603. about three of the clocke in the after noone, one Thomas Raynold of Pendine, (a Village in the Countie of Carmarden) a very honest and substanciall Yeoman, walking neare the shores side, not far from a high Land or Poynt in the same parish, called Hollogoho, betweene Gylmanes Poynt and Tolwen, he saw swimming in the Sea (neare the Poynt) a most strange and wonderfull thing: the greatnes and rarenes whereof, being of that forme and length, albeit he was a man of good sence and spright, having reason and judgement, more then many of no better education, drove him so to admire there at, that he spent the better part of two howers viewing of it, as it drave with the Tyde towardes the shore, betweene the two Poynts: where he did discover it at his full pleasure in this forme. The shape of a very lively Woman, from her wast upwardes, which was all above the water: her cullour browne: a very large and faire Paire: over which (to his seeming) was a thing like a Hood, about her necke in maner of a white Band, her Brestes round and very white, with two fayre handes, everie thing formally as a Woman.
Thomas Raynold having with great wonder noted all this, neare two howers space, in good fight, and tooke good notise thereof, imagining what might be thought, of unbeleeving people, if he should report it, having no body to justifie his wordes, although he be a man of credite: yet leaving it for a time, as waighing his reputation, speedeth him in all haste to the Towne, where, so many of his honest neighbours and coosens as he could sodainely finde, he caused to goe with him to the Poynt, where he left it, to witnesse what he had seene.
Who likewise had good view thereof halfe an houre and more, never changing any shape, but as Raynold had seene it. A most dreadfull woonder to many of those beholders, which diversly censured thereof: some being afrayde, least it might be otherwise then it shewed: Standing thus amazed at the sight, with turning of the Tyde, it made way from the place where they saw it swimming: then in swimming, (which was more admirable) it appeared in cullour gray, with eares like a Hound, but somewhat greater and shorter: her backe like unto a Cock-boate, a full yard or more in breadth: her tayle to their seeming, two fothomes in length: in her swimming she went South-east to the Sea: Then came shee North-east to Tolwen, where shee continued untill night: at which time, the darkenesse of the night approching, the beholders lost her sight, and from that time, was never seene more, or heard of as yet, about all the coast. Three howers full or more, they had perfect sight of her, as I have written.