Sunday 11 August 1667

(Lord’s day). Up by four o’clock, and ready with Mrs. Turner to take coach before five; which we did, and set on our journey, and got to the Wells at Barnett by seven o’clock, and there found many people a-drinking; but the morning is a very cold morning, so as we were very cold all the way in the coach. Here we met Joseph Batelier, and I talked with him, and here was W. Hewer also, and his uncle Steventon: so, after drinking three glasses and the women nothing, we back by coach to Barnett, where to the Red Lyon, where we ‘light, and went up into the great Room, and there drank, and eat some of the best cheese-cakes that ever I eat in my life, and so took coach again, and W. Hewer on horseback with us, and so to Hatfield, to the inn, next my Lord Salisbury’s house, and there rested ourselves, and drank, and bespoke dinner; and so to church, it being just church-time, and there we find my Lord and my Lady Sands and several fine ladies of the family, and a great many handsome faces and genteel persons more in the church, and did hear a most excellent good sermon, which pleased me mightily, and very devout; it being upon, the signs of saving grace, where it is in a man, and one sign, which held him all this day, was, that where that grace was, there is also the grace of prayer, which he did handle very finely. In this church lies the former Lord of Salisbury, Cecil, buried in a noble tomb. So the church being done, we to our inn, and there dined very well, and mighty merry; and as soon as we had dined we walked out into the Park through the fine walk of trees, and to the Vineyard, and there shewed them that, which is in good order, and indeed a place of great delight; which, together with our fine walk through the Park, was of as much pleasure as could be desired in the world for country pleasure and good ayre. Being come back, and weary with the walk, for as I made it, it was pretty long, being come back to our inne, there the women had pleasure in putting on some straw hats, which are much worn in this country, and did become them mightily, but especially my wife. So, after resting awhile, we took coach again, and back to Barnett, where W. Hewer took us into his lodging, which is very handsome, and there did treat us very highly with cheesecakes, cream, tarts, and other good things; and then walked into the garden, which was pretty, and there filled my pockets full of filberts, and so with much pleasure. Among other things, I met in this house with a printed book of the Life of O. Cromwell, to his honour as a soldier and politician, though as a rebell, the first of that kind that ever I saw, and it is well done. Took coach again, and got home with great content, just at day shutting in, and so as soon as home eat a little and then to bed, with exceeding great content at our day’s work.

13 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Quite a lovely day...

W. Hewer, host. Does Will live in Barnett now? Would be a long commute each day, I imagine.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Hewer had lodgings in London. Also a partner with his uncle, Robert Blackborne. he became rich and invested in real estate.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

best cheese-cakes that ever I eat in my life,
This is a Pepysism, over and over, "the best (xxxx) that ever I (ate, saw, drank, yyyy) in all my life." Jolly good, what? Cheesecake I can't abide, but a pocket of filberts and and a look at Elizabeth in a fetching straw hat would set me up for the day.

language hat   Link to this

"...and did become them mightily, but especially my wife."

I trust he told her that!

A wonderful entry; no cares of state, just luxe, calme et volupté.

Mary   Link to this

"pockets full of filberts"

Lucky Sam; the accursed, non-native grey squirrels have already eaten all the immature filberts on our trees, but they had not yet been introduced to Britain from America in the seventeenth century.

Although 'filberts' is glossed 'hazelnuts' here, in this part of SE England the term refers to cobnuts (somewhat more elongated in shape) rather than hazelnuts. Kentish cobnuts are delicious - if you can just get to them before the grey squirrels scoff the lot.

Mary   Link to this

the becoming straw hats.

I was hoping that Sam might have bought one for Eizabeth. There is clearly some sort of fashion for dressing 'en paysanne' in London this 1667 summer.

highheeledhistorian   Link to this

Such amazing detail, down to how much the men and women respectively drank. I agree with Mary, the straw hats sound very becoming! :D

language hat   Link to this

highheeledhistorian: Please stop signing your posts. It's unnecessary and makes you look like a spammer.

Phoenix   Link to this

A lovely summer's day with friends - timeless. Monet and Rohmer come to mind.

" ... did hear a most excellent good sermon, which pleased me mightily, and very devout; it being upon, the signs of saving grace, where it is in a man, and one sign, which held him all this day, was, that where that grace was, there is also the grace of prayer, which he did handle very finely."

Though the lack of funds, indebtedness, commissions of inquiry, resignations and general discontent with government that Sam writes of resonate today this sermon surely is a reminder of how far we've come. It's likely that it would be incomprehensible to most youth today and irrelevant to nearly everyone else. But "the church being done" does suggest that for Sam it was not much more than a obligatory stop in day of shared pleasure. I'm smitten.

JWB   Link to this

“pockets full of filberts”

Wonder if the owner of the filberts thought any more of Pepys than Mary does of grey squirrels. At least you can eat the squirrels & recoup your investment, but a Pepys pasty...

Terry Foreman   Link to this


Filbert, Hazel and Cob seem, ah, affiliated

cum salis grano   Link to this

"just at day shutting in," crawled in before the last bell at closing time, saved a bribe.

Eric Walla   Link to this

"Nuts" is right. I've been spending the last two weeks watching the squirrels strip our filbert tree bare. I don't know if there are batches they miss, or what timing they instinctively obey, but they're at it every morning. Now I can name one of them Sam!

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