Friday 22 March 1660/61

This morning I rose early, and my Lady Batten knocked at her door that comes into one of my chambers, and called me to know whether I and my wife were ready to go. So my wife got her ready, and about eight o’clock I got a horseback, and my Lady and her two daughters, and Sir W. Pen into coach, and so over London Bridge, and thence to Dartford. The day very pleasant, though the way bad. Here we met with Sir W. Batten, and some company along with him, who had assisted him in his election at Rochester; and so we dined and were very merry. At 5 o’clock we set out again in a coach home, and were very merry all the way. At Deptford we met with Mr. Newborne, and some other friends and their wives in a coach to meet us, and so they went home with us, and at Sir W. Batten’s we supped, and thence to bed, my head akeing mightily through the wine that I drank to-day.

24 Annotations

First Reading

daniel  •  Link


it sounds like this "business trip" had too many rounds of martinis for our poor Sam. somehow i suspect that this will not be the last time that we encounter Sam's intemperate sufferings!

ellen  •  Link

Living the high life seems to agree with his stone but not his head.

dirk  •  Link

"... though the way bad"

Could be that the road is all mud and soaked by yesterday's rain - see rev. Josselin's weather report yesterday.

Emilio  •  Link

"At 5 a-clock we set out again, I in a coach home"

This from L&M--so I wonder, did everyone not go in the coach, or did everyone not go home when Sam did?

Susan  •  Link

L & M notwithstanding, it seems to me, from reading the diary entry as a whole, that everyone went home at the same time in one large, loud, rollicking group. SP really knew how to have a good time! The opening sentence also reminds us of the physical proximity all the inhabitants of the Naval tied houses lived in - and near to the work offices as well. If Mrs Davis was of a sober disposition it is no wonder she was fed up with her young, noisy and party-loving neighbours. SP hardly ever draws attention to hearing other people's noise in the neighbouring dwellings - maybe they were all used in those times in the city to living crowded together - aural pollution was just a fact of 17th century urban life - like mice and lice.

vincent  •  Link

So Sam has a connecting door to "The Battens". The Elizabeth has to do the Honors not the Daughters .
Four (4) to the coach while Sam enjoys wadding through the Muck and ruts galore {down to the Axles}, on a rented Nag. The coach, most likely, 4 inside[ladies ] and the men enjoying the view{ the evening after lots of rain could turn out rather nice even a get some rainbows too}, one with coachman {and He with aked head too, and aked saddle seat no doubt}

Mary  •  Link

" I in a coach home"

Sam is making the point that, although he had ridden to Dartford on horseback, he made the return journey in a coach. Perhaps one of the lesser members of Sir William Batten's company had to give up his seat to Sam and had the pleasure of riding the hired horse back to London along muddy roads in the dusk.

Sam doesn't mention how Elizabeth travelled; Lady Batten clearly intenede her to be one of the company. Presumably she squeezed into the coach too; one somehow doesn't see her riding pillion behind Sam.

Rich Merne  •  Link

"Knocked at her door that comes into one of my chambers". Could this be the door mentioned at Nov. 22nd., '60, "came the carpenters to make me a door", or is there another one as I seem to remember; a one connecting more directly. I'm dredging as I write.

JWB  •  Link

Party pooper...
How easy can Batten sit for Rochester, considering it's exposed position, his double dealing with Dutch and wars to come?

Pauline  •  Link

"So my wife got her ready"
vincent, I read it as getting herself ready.

Pauline  •  Link

"Knocked at her door that comes into one of my chambers"
The Davises must live on one side of Sam and Elizabeth and the Battens on the other.

serafina  •  Link

How long do you estimate the travel time from Pepys house to his destination? It used to take me 1/2hr -45 minutes to go from London Bridge to Deptford on a bus. Must have been an awfully long day for them.

vincent  •  Link

SP speaks for 'imself 16 jan and also 18th..."...and put on my boots, and so over to Southwarke to the posthouse, and there took horse and guide to Dartford and thence to Rochester (I having good horses and good way, come thither about half-an-hour after daylight, which was before 6 o'clock and I set forth after two), …”
The Captains went with me to the post-house about 9 o'clock, and after a morning draft I took horse and guide for London; and through some rain, and a great wind in my face, I got to London at eleven o'clock

helena murphy  •  Link

It seems that in the seventeenth century architects had not yet invented the corridor,so to get from one part of a building to another one simply walked through a succession of other people's rooms. There seems to be a lack of hallways where Pepys is living ,if he is merely separated from his neighbours by a door. This proximity however gives rise to an expected form of etiquette as Lady Batten knocks rather than just barging in on Sam. This model of architectural design is a great setting for domestic melodrama,farce and comedy of all kinds.

Pauline  •  Link

"Lady Batten knocks rather than just barging in"
I imagined this door permanently locked or barred given the current divisions of the lodgings. That Lady Batten was just doing alarm-clock duty: knocking and calling out.

Each residence within the compound must surely have its own entry door and be quite self-contained. Maybe there are interior doors between "units" that reflect previous configurations of which rooms go with which residences.

Mike Barnas  •  Link

How long do you estimate the travel time from Pepys house to his destination?

Perhaps less than an hour. Traffic studies in my hometown (Chicago, Illinois) showed motorized traffic on major North-South routes moving at the same pace in 1970 as horsedrawn traffic had in 1890 -- 11 miles an hour. I suspect that the condition of the roads (mud, ruts) may have slowed the coaches, at times, if not the riders.

vincent  •  Link

Mike Barnas: Sam said himself, how long :jan 16th and 18th. 4hrs to Rochester and 2 hrs by horse from Deptford back to base.

vincent  •  Link

re: sharing common space or wall or garden or door thru the wall: remember:
"..This morning one came to me to advise with me where to make me a window into my cellar in lieu of one which Sir W. Batten had stopped up, and going down into my cellar to look I stepped into a great heap of ?? by which I found that Mr. Turner's house of office is full and comes into my cellar, which do trouble me, but I shall have it helped….”

Pedro.  •  Link

Sam's Drinking.(Trivia)
Assuming that Sam drinks every day there are about 10 times he admits to having too much, and almost every time describes in a different way. Some being:
Too much drinking that day.
Drink enough in my head.
Head full of drink.
So to bed after drunk too much.
To-day not well of my last night's drinking yet.
My brains somewhat troubled with so much wine.
My head was troubled and was not very well all night.
my head akeing mightily through the wine that I drank to-day.

Mary  •  Link head akeing mightily....

Part of the reason for Sam's fairly frequently mentioned headaches attributed to drink may be that the wine that he takes is not of especially good quality. His headaches often seem to come on sooner than one might expect from drinking a half-way decent wine. According to L&M, all wines were drunk young at this time ..... too young, perhaps, for comfort.

As regards, quantities taken, readers have sometimes expressed surprise/horror at the number of bottles consumed at a sitting, but perhaps we should not assume that 17th Century wine-bottles held the same 75cl that we tend to expect today. They were not cylindrical but square and squat (per L&M) and may well have held less than the modern standard bottle.

Pedro.  •  Link

"my head akeing mightily"
When Sam has a bad head it is, by his own admission, that he has had one over the eight.(Pints or halves) He drinks enough to know a good pint from a bad one. He's just one of the lads, he's young, he enjoys it, he can afford it and the wife don't complain.

vincent  •  Link

For some Red wine doth lead to migraine, and yet the white or young wines [personal experience] give much pleasure [in moderation]and for others, it could be the opposite. Each food or drink does NOT get the same results. Each stomache doth process the materials of life differently. Mothers milk could poison some and others imbibing do prosper. We are not all on the same formula. 'Tis well to Listen to the the reactions of the body to ones intake.

dirk  •  Link

17th c. bottles

Description & pics of old English wine bottles:…
A rough calculation of the contents, based on measurements given = 1 liter.

"The wine bottle was probably first seen in the early half of the 17th. Century and its shape altered dramatically during the next two centuries. The 17th. and 18th. Century bottles were known as "shaft and globe" or "onion" because of the shape of the body and neck and these were stoppered with a tapered cork bound with wax linen. They stood upright on the shelf."

The inventor of the modern standardised wine bottle: Sir Kenelm Digby 1603 - 1665:…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Code for tippling seems to be "merry" -- so perhaps there are time "merry" and the kind of beverage that make the "ake."

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