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Kentish Karen has posted two annotations/comments since 24 September 2023.

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Third Reading

About John Slater

Kentish Karen  •  Link

Re. Slater the messenger / cook: I wonder if he ever served in the navy & could have learned his culinary skills there? I have no idea a) if he did, & b) what the state of food / cooking onboard ship was actually like in the 17th century... presumably the captain / officers / VIP passengers at least required some sort of decent meals? It can't always have been just weevil-y biscuits? (I think I remember Sam dining in cabins on his sea-going travels a few months ago?)

About Sunday 23 September 1660

Kentish Karen  •  Link

Margate is indeed about 80 miles from London. The roads back then were unreliable, though fairly direct (today's A2 runs more or less along the old Roman road to London). Most people would have come to Margate by boat, and it remained a popular means of travel throughout the Victorian era (quicker & cheaper than by coach & horses). Steamships first started running a regular London to Margate route in 1815 and guaranteed the journey would take a comparatively speedy 8 hours! So in Pepys's time and by sail it would have taken longer than that - and if the winds were against you (or if there was no wind at all) it must have seemed like days. Today it's quite blustery & while the washing is drying nicely in the garden, it's choppy out to sea!