Monday 12 March 1659/60

This day the wench rose at two in the morning to wash, and my wife and I lay talking a great while. I by reason of my cold could not tell how to sleep. My wife and I to the Exchange, where we bought a great many things, where I left her and went into London, and at Bedells the bookseller’s at the Temple gate I paid 12l. 10s. 6d. for Mr. Fuller by his direction. So came back and at Wilkinson’s found Mr. Sheply and some sea people, as the cook of the Nazeby and others, at dinner. Then to the White Horse in King Street, where I got Mr. Buddle’s horse to ride to Huntsmore to Mr. Bowyer’s, where I found him and all well, and willing to have my wife come and board with them while I was at sea, which was the business I went about. Here I lay and took a thing for my cold, namely a spoonful of honey and a nutmeg scraped into it, by Mr. Bowyer’s direction, and so took it into my mouth, which I found did do me much good.

42 Annotations

First Reading

David Bell  •  Link

See the annotations for yesterday, on the issue of just what was being washed. As surmised, it seems to be laundry, and the maid would have to rise early to set the fire to heat the water.

language hat  •  Link

White Horse:
Oddly, this is not in the extensive list of taverns in the Companion.

I can also find no information about where Huntsmore is; anybody know?

George Peabody  •  Link

I'd like to know more about "Bedell the bookseller" if anyone has information.

sam  •  Link

about the nutmeg -
by Sam's description, it would seem that the nutmeg solution is a new one on him... i seem to remember reading somewhere that a good quantity of it could produce somewhat of a natural high. Does anybody know any more about this, especially in relation to the time. I don't think food and drink has covered it yet..

Keith Wright  •  Link

[Gabriel] Bedell (d. 1668). Bookseller and publisher, at Middle Temple Gate; fl. from 1646.
---thus the Companion, complete, p. 24; apparently he appears only in the 1660 diary. As for the source, anybody have a copy of Henry R. Plomer's "A Dictionary of Printers and Booksellers in England, Scotland and Ireland," Vol. 1, 1640-67 (Oxford: Bibliographical Society, 1907) ready to hand?

Alan Bedford  •  Link

The "White Horse" may have been a stable, given that Sam went there to get Mr. Buddle's horse. Huntsmore may have been a town or parish. It certainly was too far to walk, but seems to be an easy half-day round trip on horseback, since he left after the midday meal.

Hhomeboy  •  Link

Chez Bowyer in Huntsmore boarding arrangements...

Why, with all the friends and relatives around, is Pepys packing son épouse off to la maison Bowyer…

Is there something I’ve missed and what is it that Bowyer does or is that makes Sam decide on that address.

Was there a French-speaking person in that household; was Elizabeth friends with someone in the household; was Bowyer a strict moralizing type who would ensure Elizabeth was kept in puritan purdah?

Also, who looks after the blackbird and household menagerie in Sam and Elizabeth’s absence…the “wench”?

And what of Huntsmore? Where was it? Is Bowyer’s quartier more pastoral or did it feature ‘healthier’ surrounds or fresher air than axe yard?

(As I noted previously, SO FAR I am reluctantly resisting ‘reading ahead’ or checking on later entries in L&M, which is also why I’m denying myself the pleasures of the companion but I shall probably emulate Sam quite soon and break my resolutions—repeatedly!)

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Oops! I should have paid more attention. Looks like Sam spent the night at Mr. Boywer's in/at Huntsmore. By the way, there is a Huntsmore house in or near Shackleford, in Surrey County. Might that be the place? (Anyone have a copy of L & M?)

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Okay, Huntsmore is/was a hamlet in the parish of Iver, Buckinghamshire, mentioned in "Magna Brittania" (1806), quoted at:…
"Thorney is the principal hamlet in the parish; Riskins, Sutton, Shredding-Green, Grist, Bengers, Delaford, and Huntsmore, are in the parish."

For my fellow non-Brits, it's west from London, maybe 20 air miles from Sam's home in London (just northwest of Heathrow Airport.)

Adrianne Truett  •  Link

Of course, there was a rather famous "White Horse Tavern" where Anglican reformers met to debate theology and other such issues, but I believe that may have been in Oxford.

Grahamt  •  Link

Huntsmoor Park is between Iver and Uxbridge, (at the side of Chris Rea's "Road to Hell": the M25) on what is now the western edge of Greater London. See:… for a map. Zoom out to see it in relation to Heathrow and London. There is also an aerial photo of Huntsmoor Park farm.

Mary  •  Link

Boarding with the Bowyers

Surely Sam is simply making prudent arrangements for Elizabeth's safety whilst he is away. With the benefit of hindsight, we know that the move towards restoration of the monarchy is going to be successful and relatively trouble free, but the political situation in London is not yet firmly settled in March 1660. Sam may well feel that his wife will be safer 20 miles out of London than lodged with either set of parents, neither of whom is 'in the loop' where political developments are concerned.

Sam Dodsworth  •  Link


Nutmeg is a 'natural high', but not very popular because the effective dose is very close to the level that produces toxic symptoms. In any case, you'd need at least an entire nutmeg to produce any kind of effect - Pepys is just using a few gratings.
There's no obvious reason why nutmeg should help, and no strong tradition that I know of for nutmeg as a herbal medicine. If it works at all, it's probably as an aromatic to clear the head in the manner of Eucalyptus.

jean-paul buquet  •  Link

About "the White Horse in King Street": there is a "White Horse Yard, in King Street, W." listed in "Remarks on London: Being an Exact Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Borough of Southwark, and the Suburbs and Liberties contigious to them?” by W. Stow. (London, 1722).
Merci for this wonderful site!

jean-paul buquet  •  Link

Re. White Horse in King Street, more info:
On the 1746 London map by John Rocque, see "White Horse Pa" (Passage) runs west to east between Great Swallow Street and King Street.
To see the relevant map section, scroll down in the left frame to "King Street in Sheet D1" (the first one) and click.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

RE: Boarding with the Bowyers

Sam, who appears to have consulted his father for advice, would have two big reasons that I can think of for shipping Elizabeth out of London:

(1) Personal safety. People already are approaching him because they know he's Mountagu's man. People will know Sam is out of town. Burglary, robbery and rape would be the big worries, I suppose. But that's a reason for getting the women lodging in a home with trustworthy men, not for getting them out of London. The situation is a bit more dangerous because there are a lot of soldiers around. The dangers stemming from the political situation would be a riot, mutiny or clash of armies -- all reasons to be out of London. (He MUST have been able to make arrangements for her to stay in London if he wanted to -- even Mountagu's Whitehall lodgings would be available, although, oddly, Mountagu himself isn't staying there for some reason.)

(2) Adultery. That's far easier in the city than in the countryside. Particularly with all those young men in uniform -- boisterous, often drunk, probably flirting with women on the streets and in the taverns, looking for someone different from the whores they have to pay. Sam must be having nightmares. I doubt he would have brought up the subject of adultery with her. It seems to me that he put off telling her about his trip and about his arrangements for her to avoid arguing with her about any of it. Perhaps there was a similar argument before his voyage to the Baltic in the spring of 1659.

Joe  •  Link

Sea Voyage
Do we (or indeed does Sam) have any idea how long the voyage will be?

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Re: Sea Voyage
Well, I'm sure that some folks around here have read ahead, so they know how long Sam will be at sea. You and I have not, so we'll have to wait.

Sam knows he's going to pick up King Charles in France, and it's going to be ceremonial, so it will probably take longer than usual. Plus, he'll be on the ship as long as Mountagu wants him there.

(Besides, the Hoverspeed hasn't been invented yet, so we know it'll take a lot longer than two hours!)

language hat  •  Link

Jean-Paul: Thanks!
So this is not the King St. we've become familiar with, running through Whitehall in Westminster, but a totally different King St., now called Kingly St., east of Regent St. just below Oxford St.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

About that book

EXPENSIVE: That book, at 12l.10s.1d., is almost a quarter of his annual Exchequer salary. He's clearly feeling like he's just won the lottery. But if he's worried about the dangers of the trip, it's hardly the most prudent step to be taking. If he died, Elizabeth would clearly be better off with the money.

WHICH BOOK? On Feb. 15, Pepys read "The church-history of Britain" by Thomas Fuller for two hours at a bookseller's at St. Paul's, so it's a pretty good guess that that's the one he bought today. Latham & Matthews tell us he liked to read that book on Sundays and that he kept it in his library (it's probably at Magdalene now). I can't find a reference to this day in the L&M index volume either under Fuller (p 25) or "books insufficiently identified" (p 29). Three other books of Fuller's are mentioned in the diary, none as frequently as this one.

HAVE I GOT A DEAL FOR YOU: The "by his direction" may mean he was being given a limited-time offer for that price from the bookseller, Bedell (as if he were a car salesman -- in fact, it all sounds like the purchase of an expensive car after a big job promotion). I bet he even bought it on credit.

Fred Bacon  •  Link

Paid for Mr. Fuller by his direction

Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe that Mr. Fuller asked Sam to settle a bill for him at the booksellers. According to the background info, Mr. Fuller is a close friend of Montague's and an acquaintance of Sam's. I don't believe that Sam shelled out 12l of his own.

KVK  •  Link

Actually, isn't this more likely to be *William* Fuller, the schoolmaster at Twickenham whose pupils include two of Montagu's children? Fuller was only a schoolmaster for two years, 1659-1661, so he's probably teaching Montagu's children right now.

I doubt Thomas Fuller's history cost 12 pounds. I don't have good information on book prices in 1660, but I don't think they would have changed much from 1641. The Cambridge history of literature notes:…

"A curious tract entitled Scintilla, or a Light broken into darke Warehouses, published anonymously in 1641, throws some interesting light on the doings of the monopolists and the way in which they had raised the prices of the books which they had gotten into their grasp. Church Bibles, which formerly cost thirty shillings, are now, it is said, raised to two pounds, and large folio Bibles in roman print, which used to sell at 12s. 6d., now cost twenty shillings. The prices of other editions, before being raised, were: the Cambridge quarto Bible, with Psalms, 7s., the London quarto Bible, with notes and concordance, also 7s., and Bibles in octavo, 3s. 4d. Testaments in octavo cost 10d., and in duodecimo, 7d.; the Book of Common Prayer, 3s. in folio, and 1s. 6d. in quarto. "

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Book prices, Fullers

Good points on book prices, KVK. You've convinced me. Here's another book price: Pepys buys a "great book of songs" from Playford on 13 Feb. "which he sells always for 14s." Sam may just be paying a bill.

But it could just as easily be the author Thomas Fuller he's referring to: This Fuller is "patronized by the Mountagus of Boughton" according to the L&M Companion volume. This May, Pepys mentions meeting with this Thomas Fuller (there's also another Thomas Fuller). The L&M index has no page reference for today's entry in any of the three Fuller listings.

Mary  •  Link

Paid for Mr. Fuller

Fred Bacon is undoubtedly right; Sam is settling Fuller's outstanding account at the bookseller's on Fuller's own instructions.

Frank G  •  Link

"Sam knows he’s going to pick up King Charles in France"

Charles Stuart at this stage had departed France, and was residing in the Dutch city, (at that time no more than a small town) of The Hague. So it is to Holland that Sam will be sailing to collect the King.

Roger Miller  •  Link

Fuller and the bookseller

If you remember, a Mr Fuller produced some bills on the 23rd February but Pepys didn't have any cash to pay him.…

The Fuller from 23rd February was "forced to travel in the Catholic countries" and so is most likely to be Willam Fuller who was expelled from Christ Church Oxford, during the revolution and who is teaching Montagu's son in Twickenham.

Perhaps today's transaction is settling those bills.

Phil  •  Link

Re: Fuller. My mistake. I've changed the link to point to William Fuller, rather than Thomas.

KVK  •  Link

Are we sure it is William and not Thomas?

Nix  •  Link

Twelve and a half pounds seems like a lot of debt for book purchases -- a quarter of a respectable middle class man's annual income. Perhaps Bedell the bookseller was also acting as a banker, making cash advances for Fuller's benefit.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

I'm in Fuller retreat!

KVK wonders (just above) if we can be sure it's William Fuller that Pepys is talking about -- we can't. There just isn't enough information. I'd personally prefer it if we somehow could have links between this entry and pages for all three Fullers.

Roger Miller's annotation shows that William Fuller is the most likely candidate. (L&M identify him as the Fuller of 23 Feb. who Pepys can't pay.) An arrangement for Mountagu to pay off one of Fuller's/Twickenham's London debts works to Mountagu's and Fuller's advantage. Only Bedell is left holding the IOU for a few more weeks.

The Fullers, all ministers, are a bit confusing. The Thomas Fuller who is NOT an author is fellow of Christ's College Cambridge [don't be confused with William Fuller's association with Christ College, OXFORD]. This non-author Thomas Fuller was the one who described Widdrington's quarrelsome relations at Cambridge to Pepys at the end of the 21 Feb. entry. L&M have no entry for him in the Companion volume, but the index volume shows this Fuller appearing in the diary only six more times, all in 1664. (By that point, the other Thomas Fuller, the author, has already passed on to a Better World.

Michael L  •  Link

Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but I missed where we have read that Sam knows he's going to pick up the King? Which day's entry said that?

David Bell  •  Link

I expect we'll soon be reading Sam's account of the voyage...

For a comparison, the modern ferry trip from Hull to Rotterdam takes about fifteen hours, overnight. The crossings from East Anglia are somewhat quicker. But these modern ships are much faater than any 17th Century warship. It could take all day to get from London to the mouth of the Thames.

Even at this time of year, the North Sea can be rough and stormy. One thing we sometimes forget, as modern readers, is how much more effect weather could have on travel. Monck, for instance, as a General-at-Sea, and as a General, would be well aware, when he arrived in London, of how long it would be before he needed to commit himself to the Restoration, or not. He had until spring at least, to concentrate on London and the Parliament.

Pauline  •  Link

I've missed it too, Michael L.
Has the reason for this voyage been stated? As for how long a voyage, might it just be getting the ship out there to be in place as events unfold? Time dependent on what happens?

Hhomeboy  •  Link

"...Has the reason for this voyage been stated?...."

I haven't see a direct reference; as noted previously, Sam is quite subtle, usually very discrete and habitually indirect about affairs of state in which he is potentially in the know--until they actually happen.

Also, if you accept Fenton and others' pt-of-view--ie. that Sam is writing for posterity--then you'll appreciate he likes to keep some drama in his narrative.

Psychologically, Sam is going on a voyage over which he has no control: in that day and age there were no guarantees that a calamity--natural or man-made--might not wreck everything...or that the King might choose another means of return...

Q: will Sam take his diary book on board ship? Or will he make notes surreptitiously and then write up his days at sea and abroad upon his return?

jean-paul buquet  •  Link

Re: White Horse in King Street.
Well, this may be in Westminster after all! There is a White Horse Yard in King Street, Westminster, in 1717, mentioned at…
in Advertisement from Old Bailey Proceedings; Sir James Bateman, Wednesday 17th July 1717,1-8, I quote:
"WE Charles and Mary Pearce , who keep the Derby Alehouse in White -horse -yard in Kingstreet, Westminster, do hereby affirm , that our Child was so very ill with its Teeth, that it lay (as we thought and expected in Sorrow and Tears) ready to expire. We sent for the ANODINE NECKLACE, Recommended by Dr. Chamberlen, sold at the Golden Key over against the King's Arms Tavern in Kingstreet, Westminster, and put it about its Neck: It had not wore it above half an Hour, but the Child got up upon his Feet to play, to our great Amazement, and has ever since so visibly recover'd and thriv'd that thro' God's Blessing he is now a brave healthy lusty Boy; of the Truth of which we are ready to satisfy any Person that desires it. July 16,1717."
Furthermore, in 1733, there is a White Horse Inn in Westminster (no mention of King Street here) at…
in William Brown , Joseph Whitlock , theft: burglary, 05 Dec 1733, quote:
"Court. How were you apprehended?
Mitchell. I and the two Prisoners took Horse at the White-Horse-Inn, in Westminster, about seven in the Morning (I forgot the Day of the Month, but it's within these three Weeks) we rode directly to Fulham, over the new Bridge to Putney, so to Kingston-Bridge, and thro' Hampton-Court, to Stains, where we din'd."
Final note (hopefully!): No White Horse Yard or Inn appears on the 1746 and the 1792 London maps. So?...

David Cattarin  •  Link

Re: nutmeg and honey
Nutmeg might (slightly) make you feel good, but the soothing effect is probably from the honey.

Honey has a number of antibacterial and antifungal properties; some understood and some not. In particular, most honeys contain a fair amount of hydrogen peroxide. They also contain vitamin C.

So, the "folk wisdom" of adding honey to your tea when you are ill has some merit.

Rainer Doehle  •  Link

King Street

Interesting, that the republican folks didn't think about changing street names after executing their king. This is more than 10 years after they beheaded Charles I and still no-one seems to be bothered that there still is a King Street in the heart of Westminster. And as far as I can see there was no Cromwell Square or the like in London then. Would be hard to imagine to have a Rue Royale in Paris under Robespierre or any streets named after Tsars in Russia under Lenin.

Daniel Baker  •  Link

Sam says that he and his wife went to the Exchange. The link leads to the New Exchange, on the south side of the Strand. There was also a Royal Exchange, on Cornhill Street, beyond the eastern end of Cheapside. I take it we know that Sam is talking about the New Exchange because its annotations say that it was open to men and women both, while the Royal Exchange was for gentlemen only?

Mary  •  Link

New Exchange = retail "mall"
Royal Exchange = City of London centre for major trade, import/export, commodities, shipping etc.

They serve different functions.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Per Keith Wright's suggestion above and thanks to Google Books, here's Plomer's information about Bedell the printer:

BEDELL (GABRIELL), bookseller in London; Middle Temple Gate, Fleet Street, 1646-68. Is first met with on November 7th, 1646, when, in partnership with Mercy Meighen, q.v., the widow of Richard Meighen, he made an entry in the Registers of the Company of nineteen books which had formerly belonged to R. Meighen. Twelve of these were plays. Later, however, they appear to have dealt principally in law books. In 1650 they took Thomas Collins, q.v., as third partner. In 1654 Mercy Meighen died, and G. Bedell is found in partnership with R. Marriot, T. Garthwayte and J. Crooke, but eventually he and T. Collins settled down together and a list of 86 books, arranged under subjects, published by them in 1656 occurs at the end of T. Goffe's Three excellent Tragedies. Gabriell Bedell died on February 27th, 1967/8 "by taking a cup of poyson, as is reported."

Third Reading

Ensign Tom  •  Link

Sam has a bad head cold that prevents him from sleeping, so he gets up and unwittingly sets about spreading his germs all over the Exchange, Bedell’s the bookseller, Wilkinson’s cookshop, and other places around London before setting off on horseback for Huntsmoor to see Mr. Bowyer and his family, “where I found him and all well”—but probably not for long given Sam’s sniffles. Apparently, Sam is so congested that Mr. Bowyer feels obliged to offer him a spoonful of honey and some nutmeg scrapings as a remedy, which Sam finds has a soothing effect and is certainly less risky and more beneficial than seeing any doctor of the time.

The combined effect of the words nutmeg & honey is to take me back to all those folksy vegetarian restaurants of the 1970s with their sunflower-themed décor, macrame hangings, and affordable menu items based almost entirely on brown rice and beans.

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