Monday 8 April 1661

Up early, my Lady Batten knocking at her door that comes into one of my chambers. I did give directions to my people and workmen, and so about 8 o’clock we took barge at the Tower, Sir William Batten and his lady, Mrs. Turner, Mr. Fowler and I. A very pleasant passage and so to Gravesend, where we dined, and from thence a coach took them and me, and Mr. Fowler with some others came from Rochester to meet us, on horseback. At Rochester, where alight at Mr. Alcock’s and there drank and had good sport, with his bringing out so many sorts of cheese. Then to the Hillhouse at Chatham, where I never was before, and I found a pretty pleasant house and am pleased with the arms that hang up there. Here we supped very merry, and late to bed; Sir William telling me that old Edgeborrow, his predecessor, did die and walk in my chamber, did make me some what afeard, but not so much as for mirth’s sake I did seem. So to bed in the treasurer’s chamber… [continued tomorrow. P.G.]

19 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

In L&M, this passage continues over to the ninth of April. SP apparently added the number 9 in the margin at what he considered to be the start of the new day. Wheathley ends this day's passage in the middle of a sentence and tomorrow's entry will start with the rest of the sentence, "And lay and sleep well ..."

David A. Smith  •  Link

"some what afeard, but not so much as for mirth's sake I did seem”
Adult play is complex, including feigning fear both for its effect and to compliment one’s host.

dirk  •  Link

"old Edgeborrow did die and walk in my chamber, did make me some what afeard. So to bed in the treasurer's chamber.”

I’m not sure whether I read this correctly:
Sam doesn’t want to sleep in the room where Edgeborrow died and “walked” (= haunted?), and therefore goes to bed in the Treasurer’s room???

vincent  •  Link

"...old Edgeborrow..." seems to have made Sam a little edgy, lacked some sleep and could not finish his diary entry thinking of the possibilities. Such a long day, the Tower [no ghosts] to Gravesend [enough said]Rochester[Catherdral, glaring down and cheese too] finally to Chatham.

Mary  •  Link


(Per L&M Footnote). Kenrick Edisbury, Surveyor of the Navy 1632-38, had lived at Hill House, which was then the official residence of the surveyors.

I take the entry to indicate that Pepys did indeed sleep in the allegedly haunted chamber.

Lawrence  •  Link

"Up early, my Lady Batten knocking at her door that comes into one of my chambers" I know we've touched on this one before, I'm guessing that they didn't live cheek by jowl at the Navy offices, so would this have been the norm? were any of the other Houses there joined in this way? When I was growing up, we lived in a farm cottage that had a cupboard in a doorway that would have originally led next door.

helena murphy  •  Link

Anne Fanshawe,wife if Sir Richard Fanshawe, gives an account of an encounter with a ghost while spending the night in the house of Lady Honor O'Brien , in Limerick ,in the winter of 1649.
"About one o'clock I heard a voice that wakened me. I drew the curtain,and, in the casement of the window,I saw,by the light of the moon,a woman leaning into the window,through the casement,in white,with red hair and pale and ghastly complexion:She spoke loud,and in a tone I had never heard,thrice,"A horse," and then,with a sigh more like the wind than breath she vanished,and to me her body looked more like a thick cloud than substance. I was so much frightened,that my hair stood on end,and my night clothes fell off."

Anne awoke her husband and they both saw that the window was still open. The next morning Lady Honor ,fearing that they may have been disturbed explained that a cousin,whose ancestors owned the house had died during the night, and that whenever a member of the family died this woman, who had been wronged and murdered ages before by the owners,appeared at the window.

The Fanshawes left immediately for Galway ,from whence they took sail for Spain.

MacCarthy,Women Writers 1621-1744 , Cork Univrsity press 1946

E  •  Link

"my Lady Batten knocking at her door that comes into one of my chambers"
Why does he bother to explain about the door? This does look like writing with an eye to other readers, not just himself in later life.

Mary  •  Link

Navy Office lodgings.

The building that housed the Navy Office and the lodgings of Sam, the Battens etc. had originally been one, large house, which had been partitioned to provide living and working accommodation. Hence they did all live cheek by jowl to a certain extent. Some neighbours were easier to get on with and others (e.g. 'Lady' Davis) much less so.

J A Gioia  •  Link

'did die and walk in my chamber...'

is anything more british than a fondness for ghosts? okay -- a fondness for animals... however the possible existance of walking spirits seems to have been a favorite topic between boswell and johnson, and they just seem to keep popping up over there…

don't they?

Pauline  •  Link

"...did make me some what afeard, but not so much as for mirth's sake I did seem.”
I take it that it frightened him somewhat, but within the range that he could *seem* to be joking with them all about it—put it off as mock fear.

Peter  •  Link

Pauline, the way I read it was that it did concern him a bit, but that he put on a mock show of being very afraid in order to get a few laughs from the company. It sounds to me like the kind of bravado that often masks a truly anxious state.

vincent  •  Link

Why no ghosts[but there are] in USA, Not too many houses have housed many generations of people to get attached, they too often move on or houses are totally refashioned before they get a resident unhappy departed. I did live once in an old house[USA]that had continuous same genetic connection, strange it was too, strangely it is only a stones throw from Sleepy Hollow too. Naturally ones keeps quiet about those kinds of exposures, otherwise someone will help thee with a visit to the ether to verify the experience.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Of ghoulies & ghosties & long-leggity beasties & things that go bump in the night

In the American southern highlands, settled in the 18th century by Scots-Irish, there is a strong tradition of the supernatural. My family summer house, for example, is called "Hanty Branch Hill" because, according to legend, the property is haunted by a bushwhacker (see the novel & movie "Cold Mountain", a landmark visible from our porch). The poor fellow amassed lots of silver & gold from robbing good folk in the valleys and buried his stash near
a spring feeding the "branch" (local designation for creek) on the hillside. Along came one of our frequent landslides and carried away the stash, whereupon he, disconsolate, hung himelf.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"Then to the Hillhouse at Chatham"

A plan, with front and side elevations, of the Hill-house as it was in 1698, is in King's MS. 43. The ground on which it stood is now included in the Marine Barracks. In the "Memoirs of English Affairs, chiefly Naval, from the year 1660 to 1673, written by James, Duke of York," there is a letter from James to the principal officers of the Navy (dated May 10th, 1661), in which he recommends that the lease of the Hill-house should be bought by them if it can be obtained at a reasonable rate, as the said house "is very convenient for the service of his Majesty's Navy."
---Wheatley, 1899.

Third Reading

徽柔  •  Link

I've never figured out how the Christian faith is compatible with the fear of ghosts. can't the SP just read the Bible over him?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

For an organization with a Holy Ghost, that sounds reasonable to us post-Enlightenment spirits. But they were a superstitious lot, with an incomplete understanding of cause-and-effect -- besides which, although I profess not to believe in ghosts, I have experienced one event that defies logical explanation.

There are situations which defy all understanding. Where is your Bible when you need it? On a shelf somewhere. Which passage do you read?

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