Wednesday 17 June 1668

(Wednesday).

Rose, and paying the reckoning, 12s. 6d.
servants and poor, 2s. 6d.
musick, the worst we have had, coming to our chamber-door, but calling us by wrong names, we lay; so set out with one coach in company, and through Maydenhead, which I never saw before, to Colebrooke by noon; the way mighty good; and there dined, and fitted ourselves a little to go through London, anon. Somewhat out of humour all day, reflecting on my wife’s neglect of things, and impertinent humour got by this liberty of being from me, which she is never to be trusted with; for she is a fool. Thence pleasant way to London, before night, and find all very well, to great content; and there to talk with my wife, and saw Sir W. Pen, who is well again. I hear of the ill news by the great fire at Barbados. By and by home, and there with my people to supper, all in pretty good humour, though I find my wife hath something in her gizzard, that only waits an opportunity of being provoked to bring up; but I will not, for my content-sake, give it. So I to bed, glad to find all so well here, and slept well.

[The rough notes end here.]

6 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I hear of the ill news by the great fire at Barbados. "

L&M note the magazine at the Town of Saint Michael (now Bridgetown) had been destroyed on 18 April.

One of the main ports in the world during the 17th century, St Michael was rich from the sugar and slave trades. A fire in 1659 had destroyed over 200 houses in the city centre. Just 8 years later -- in 1667 -- a hurricane hit Barbados, destroying more of the city. The great fire in 1668 burned down 800 buildings.

http://www.totallybarbados.com/barbados/About_B...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgetown

Carl in Boston   Link to this

I find my wife hath something in her gizzard, that only waits an opportunity of being provoked to bring up; but I will not, for my content-sake, give it
There are times when Sam writes with great eloquence. He could have written a wonderful Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. This has a whiff of Pride and Prejudice.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"I hear of the ill news by the great fire at Barbados."

"Curse you, Sam Pepys!!" Wayneman Birch in rags, covered in burns. "Captured by pirates on the way to this Hell and deprived of me manhood in unspeakable, though thanks to that rather clever pirate doc, survivable manner, whipped and beaten and made near slave here, now this...I'll live to see vengeance done on you yet!!"

"Name, dear?" a charitable matron pauses.

Yes, name...A new name that will strike terror into the heart of Sam Pepys one day...

"My name..." croak...

"There!..." a fervent cry. "I recognize her bag there...Mary, poor girl...Is it you? Oh, what horrible burns...! Mary Skinner, can ye hear your father, dear girl?!"

Bag?...Yes, poor Mary, who always was saying we could be twins...Poor girl, I did try to help...Ah, poor man...

"Is that her, sir?" the lady asked.

"Yes, not too bad in the face, thank God...Mary."

Hmmn...The pirates did say I be rather attrative with long hair...And me face not be too badly cooked...

And it doth be that bug-eyed freak's greatest weakness...

"Oh...Father..." he...er she...Gasped out...

Heh, heh...Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"reflecting on my wife’s neglect of things, and impertinent humour got by this liberty of being from me, which she is never to be trusted with; for she is a fool."

Spoken by the gent who can't handle his wife's summer vacation time alone without chasing girls even to risking compromising his powerful officemate's rather foolish married daughter, feeling up a sleeping actress friend, and potentially putting himself at the mercy of an ambitious junior employee husband of his mistress.

GrahamT   Link to this

I've read the diary for eight years and the first (and probably only) time he mentions my home town, all he says is "through Maydenhead, which I never saw before".
Maidenhead was one of the major staging stops on the Great West Road to Bath and Bristol, as it was one day's ride from London and a main crossing point of the Thames. The current stone bridge dates from the 18th century, so it was probably a wooden bridge when Pepys crossed it.
Pepys and company appear to better the stage coaches somewhat, by the extra 14 miles from Reading to Maidenhead. 42 miles in one day with a stop for lunch in Colnbrook seems quite good considering that most of the roads would have been unmade or poorly maintained - depending how many 'highway menders' were available.
Of course it was near midsummer, so the evenings would be light until late, giving extra safe travelling time, and they didn't have the Hammersmith Flyover tailback to cope with.

Mary   Link to this

The cost of travel.

For interest's sake I've had a look at just how much this jaunt has cost Sam and it comes to a figure not far short of £30. Not perhaps extravagant when compared with the sums that he is prepared to spend on books, plate etc. but is quite a bit to spend on intangibles, even allowing for the cultural/educational aspects of the journey.

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