The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:

12 Annotations

language hat  •  Link

From the Companion:

St. James's Park. Formed and walled in by Henry VIII, transformed by Charles II and much modified by George IV. The diary has many references to its use by the King and his circle, to the degree of semi-privacy preserved there, and to the great alterations in its lay-out made in the '60s, but no set of plans of those alterations has yet appeared. It contained at this time a lake and canal, a physic garden and several deer-houses.

Glyn  •  Link

St James Park was next to St James Palace (now long-gone) and very near to Pepys' office.

Although there were still open fields nearby, parks were less common. This map shows buildings were beginning to grow around it:

And this map from about 80 years later, show the Park after its alterations by King Charles 2nd:


vincent  •  Link

St James Park and rest of city 173?
"....St. James's Park is something more than a mile in circumference, and
the form pretty near oval; about the middle of it runs a canal 2,800
feet in length and 100 in breadth, and near it are several other
waters, which form an island that has good cover for the breeding
and harbouring wild ducks and other water-fowl; on the island also
is a pretty house and garden, scarce visible to the company in the
park..... the shining equipage of the soldiery, will find their eyes and ears agreeably entertained by the
horse ..."
london 1731 written 17xx Don Manoel Gonzales

Also pages of description of London town . A regular tour guide for "Toute de mondo popoli including the commutors rushing from black fryers ste" It may be 70 years later. London of the 1940's is closer to SP than changes that have come to be 'til now (the 21st c), since first I went prancing down the mall to Buck. Pal.

paul galpin  •  Link

St. James's Palace (now long-gone)

Glyn is somewhat precipitate to describe St. James's Palace thus, since it still stands, close to St. James's Park, sandwiched between The Mall and Pall Mall - where it can be seen on the second map referenced by Glyn.

The Palace remains a Royal Residence as well as housing some of the offices of the Royal Household. Further information about the Palace can be found at

dirk  •  Link

A contemporary anecdote...

"It was [...] in St. James's Park the Duke of York, meeting John Milton one day, asked him if his blindness was not to be regarded as a just punishment from heaven, due to his having written against the martyred king. "If so, sir," replied the great poet and staunch republican, "what must we think of his majesty's execution upon a scaffold?" To which question his royal highness vouchsafed no reply."

"Royalty Restored or London under Charles II", ch.XIX

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Dankerts, Henrik (Dutch c.1625-1680)

Whitehall and Westminster from St James's Park; view looking E along the Park with the Mall left and the canal right, in the distance from left to right, Northumberland House, the houses bordering on Whitehall, Wallingford House, the Banqueting House, Holbein's Gate, the Cockpit, the Clock Tower, the West gate of New Palace Yard, Westminster Hall, St Margaret's, Westminster and the Abbey, in the mid-distance towards the left a tall post or maypole with a group of figures to the left
Pen and brown ink, with grey wash and watercolour; on three conjoined sheets with two strips interpolated

Executed, after c. 1662

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Dankerts, Henrik (Dutch c.1625-1680)

St James's Park from the NE; view of the park seen from the eastern end of the canal and looking directly along it towards a distant building, probably Tart Hall, in the foreground three statues of classical figures, the central one representing a gladiator, along both sides of the canal, rows of young trees forming avenues running outwards diagonally, on the extreme left beyond a wall with a gateway, a double-gabled house with balcony and to its right other buildings, to the right a maypole (?) and beyond it the Mall visible through an avenue of taller trees

Pen and brown ink, over graphite, with grey, brown and blue-green wash; on two conjoined sheets
Executed, after c. 1662

Pedro  •  Link

The Canada Goose

The Canada goose is a native of the American Atlantic seaboard, and records purport it to have been introduced to England by King Charles II (or more likely a collector), around 1660, having acquired a number of birds as additions to his wildfowl collection in St James's Park, London. Due to this Royal connection it soon became popular in country gardens with lakes and ponds across England, especially due to its striking plumage and call. It became a wildfowl staple with landed gentry and country estates. Surprisingly, despite its popularity, the first recorded entry for breeding does not occur until 1890. However, this may be the first wild breeding record, rather than captive. The records do not give a distinction. The Canada goose has taken 200 years to spread nationally, via escapees, released birds and possibly human intervention (see pest control below), in the wild and become acknowledged on the British list as a native bird1.

Bill  •  Link

James's (St.) Park, a park of 58 1/2 acres (shaped not unlike a boy's kite), originally appertaining to the Palace of St James's. It was first formed and walled in by Henry VIII., replanted and beautified by Charles II.
Charles II threw the several ponds (Rosamond's Pond excepted) into one artificial canal, built a decoy for ducks, a small ring fence for deer, planted trees in even ranks, and introduced broad gravel walks in place of narrow and winding footpaths. Well might Dr King exclaim:

"The fate of things lies always in the dark;
What Cavalier would know St James's Park?
For Locket stands where gardens once did spring
And wild ducks quack where grasshoppers did sing."
Waller describes in pretty if somewhat languid and diffuse verse his vision of the charms of completed St James's, -- the groves with lovers walking in their amorous shade; the gallants dancing by the river's side, where they bathe in summer and in winter slide; the crystal lake in which a shoal of silver fishes glide, while laden anglers make the fishes and the men their prize.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.