Saturday 4 May 1661

Up in the morning and took coach, and so to Gilford, where we lay at the Red Lyon, the best Inn, and lay in the room the King lately lay in, where we had time to see the Hospital, built by Archbishop Abbott, and the free school, and were civilly treated by the Mayster.

So to supper, and to bed, being very merry about our discourse with the Drawers concerning the minister of the Town, with a red face and a girdle. So to bed, where we lay and sleep well.

40 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

"The Drawers" in this sense are the waiters at the inn who are drawing wine and beer from the barrels downstairs in the cellar and carrying it upstairs for the guests. Pepys, Creed etc are sharing convivial jokes with the servants about the local dignitaries.

Bradford  •  Link

"At his girdle" means "in his pocket"; but what about the noun on its own? "Fashion" in the Background so far says nought.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"concerning the mimister of the Town,with a red face and girdle" he was John Holland who wrote a book: "The Smoke of the bottomless pit" that was hostile to the Ranters and Quakers but why does he have a red face( rouge? alcoholic?) and a Girdle!?

dirk  •  Link


"belt or sash worn around the waist" (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

Possibly some kind of conspicuous ceremonial sash here?

William Crosby  •  Link

"Hospital"--This caught my eye having just finished Trollope's The Warden and Barchester Towers. Both relate in some respect to the Church of England's system of "hospitals" for the elderly and controlled by the Church through the government. If you haven't read Trollope, which certainly I had not, you are missing a treat. While not concerned with the Pepysian epoch, you do see the further unfolding of the reformation in a perspective that makes Pepys and the protestant movement, money, and politics accessible in the moment. In a sense, the "hospital" is a retirement home, not a hospice though closer in meaning I suppose--and certainly not a health care facility.

Vicente  •  Link

The trip: Taking it easy or was it all up hill up to London town? ['up to town', a figure of speech, never down to London town].
Two days out three back? He did complain or was it just a comment about his companion. Of course the entry was delayed by a few days so it could be just retrospective thinking. How many times has he said slept well?
No aked 'ead. The ales must have been diluted?

Oz Stu  •  Link

The ales must have been diluted?

Good point from what we know of his appetite for grog, but more likely that the presence of the Mrs. restrained his behaviour.

Vicente  •  Link

Another thought, was this Coach a Publick hire? therefore could only be available for fixed times. It left late yesterday.

Mary  •  Link

Another Red Lion inn.

Pepys also stayed at the Red Lion in Portsmouth and (although he did not mention it) there was another Red Lion in Petersfield, the town where the party stopped for 'bait' on the outward journey.

Apparently the Red Lion is the most popular name for a pub/inn in England. Reference was often made to powerful men in the adoption of devices for inns, and the Red Lion has a long history, having been part of the heraldic devices of both John of Gaunt and James I and VI.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"slept well"
Maybe Sam comments on sleeping well as he does not expect to in inns (bed bugs, mouldy bedding, noisy inn yards, having to share and so on).

Australian Susan  •  Link

Almshouses & Hospitals & Grammar Schools
There are many foundations of these from the middle of the 16th century onwards to cope with the lack of such welfare and educational provision after the closure of religious houses by Henry VIII in the 1530s. They also provided accomodation for travellers, so led to the growth of inns too.

Mary  •  Link

English pub history, further.

Thanks to Pedro for his link. I was surprised to be told that the Red Lions were the commonest pubs, but thought that perhaps I lived in the wrong area of England to see many of them. The London-Portsmouth road looks well supplied with them in Pepys time.

AlanB  •  Link

Public House names. Following Our Sam's recording of Charlie's great escape by hiding in the oak tree at Boscobel, a new pub name quickly spreads across the kingdom - that of the 'Royal Oak'. I wonder when Sam will stay at his first Royal Oak?

Harry  •  Link

So to bed, where we lay and sleep well

Yesterday, when David brought up the question about Sam's exact meaning when he speaks of "laying with his wife", Dirk provided a list of entries where he had used the word "lay" and pointed out that in only three cases there was or might be a sexual connotation. He concluded that we probably should not jump too quickly to conclusions;

This is a problem which has been worrying my probably unclean mind, so I'm glad someone else brought it up. My interpretation is that as far as his wife is concerned this is not really so innocent. When Sam drops off on his bed after a hard day's work or partying he uses his "and so to bed" trademark. I don't know whether they normally share a bed, but if so he is not conscious of her presence. On the other hand, when he feels amorous or just cuddly, for instance when sharing a strange bed away from home, he uses the "lay with" term to record a fond memory. Or am I being too romantic?

Barbara  •  Link

Even though Sam's sexual "away from home" peccadillos are fair game, do we really need to get so excited as to whether a respectable married couple have intercourse or not?

Eric Walla  •  Link

Thanks, Vicente, for the map link.

I recommend reading the link to John Ogilby's biography. It fits in so well with Sam's story and period.

Sorry for gushing, but I feel I have truly developed a better sense of just what has made Britain great: the land, the circumstances, and in particular the marvelous people given the opportunity to show their merit.

helena murphy  •  Link

Charles II dictated his account of the escape after Worcester to Pepys in 1680,who took it down in shorthand and later oversaw a transcription of it in longhand. However from 1660 onwards there were printed sources by other authors detailing the escape and based on first hand accounts."Boscobel" by Thomas Blount (london,1660,1662)is considered by Richard Ollard to be the best account of the affair. This was approved by the king but Charles later admitted that it contained errors. Either way it may have taken a while for the amazing royal escape to take hold of the national consciousness, and only then manifesting itself in a new popular name for a pub.

Vicente  •  Link

Re: Privacy, it was only for the few priviledged, that did not have to show their short comings to the their fellow sufferers. Fancys schools, Hospitals, Military Service all showed a remarkably lack of decorum sharing common open spaces {called dorms for 'brats' or young gentlemen, no partitions, wards for sick etc. , every one pitched[the walkers] in to help those that were not ambulatory that is , barrack rooms 3 ugly mugs to a 8ft x 4ft bunk space, on troop ships, the storage holds held 20 bunk sets or so with 4 or 5 blokes to the tiered bunk, in the small tents 4 bodies to 8' x 10' tent etc.}, and most who were subjected to the mores of the times, could not have cared less. Ablutions and other functions were more in the open, yet at the same time were very private in spite of the conditions.
To lay just means lay to rest all those thoughts of biblical cognitions.
SP appears to to indicate when there is no pillow separating the waring parties..

Vicente  •  Link

Distance travelled, easy stages,
Petersfield to Portsmouth 15 miles and Petersfield 11 miles from Guildford. Must be that he wanted like so many, to sleep where the famous did lay down, hoping sumert will rub off.[Never did for me, the fleas,they itched just the same]

Pedro.  •  Link

Distance travelled//escape after Worcester.

A Long distance path (for Walkers) is called the Monarch's Way (Worcester to Shoreham) 982km/610 miles.
Britain's second-longest signed walking trail, a lengthy, meandering route following the flight of Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, and including many sites of historic interest.

john lauer  •  Link

'when he speaks of "laying with his wife"' -- he does not!
he spoke of lying, but in the past, so he correctly said lay.

Vicente  •  Link

"Lay", 46 lines of meanings and 26 entries with a nown or adj/adverb attached, in my simple Dictionary, [besides the 36 lines for "Lie", so how many in the OED?] in other words 100 different shaded meanings or more could be possible but not probable? So I guess we should lay off that one, as there is only two lines for the biblical connection. For all that we really know, he might have meant a ballad or simple poem.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Escape of Charles II after Worcester
When I was a teenager, I lived in Abbots Leigh, Somerset (now Avon). The 'big house' of the village is Leigh Court (now a hospital). This was one of the places Charles took refuge in. I walked the tracks around the village taken by Charles to get away surreptitiously. It is great to know that this is now part of a recognised walking trail. I also traced the route in the Midlands between Boscobel, Whiteladies Priory and Hobball Grange - still in the '60s the rural farmland Charles would have seen.

Ruben  •  Link

today is an institution that treats sick people. The word was imported from the Holy Land by the crusaders. The original is "Ushpezin", (I understand it is an Aramic word)meaning what today we would call "hospitality" (not necessarily for sick people).
Interestingly in modern Hebrew they forgot the connection between Hospital and Ushpezin (ushpezin being part of religious festivities) and called the Hospital "House of the Sick".

Second Reading

Gillian Bagwell  •  Link

The Royal Oak:
My novel "The September Queen" ("The King's Mistress" in the UK) is about Jane Lane, who helped Charles escape after the Battle of Worcester. Here's the link to a piece I wrote about the Royal Oak:


I don't know what was the first pub called the Royal Oak, but as I wrote in the article, "On January 15, 1661, Pepys recorded in his diary that he 'took barge and went to Blackwall and viewed the dock and the new Wet dock, which is newly made there, and a brave new merchantman which is to be launched shortly, and they say to be called the Royal Oak.' That ship was probably the first of many namesakes of the tree in which Charles had spent a day."

Gillian Bagwell  •  Link

In the runup to the publication of my novel, I also blogged the daily events of Charles's six-week odyssey trying to get out of England after the Battle of Worcester. If you're interested, start on September 3, 1651:


Robin Peters  •  Link

Both the George Abbot School and Hospital are still very much present in Guildford town to this day. The Red Lion is still there as is the one in Godalming but the next one, at Milford has recently been turned into a mini supermarket and the one at Thursley, at the foot of Hindhead went several years ago.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re Jane Lane, DNB has:

‘ . . Following his defeat at the battle of Worcester. . Charles II went into hiding . . Having availed himself of a pass which Jane had recently obtained . . to visit a pregnant kinswoman . . he accompanied her as a manservant . . mounted on horseback before ‘Mistress Lane’ . . over the next week the king's protectress ‘comported herself with extraordinary prudence and fidelity’ particularly in the streets of Stratford upon Avon, where she and her royal companion collided with a troop of parliamentarian cavalry, a moment of extreme danger which she surmounted by a cool composure.

. . After accompanying Charles to Trent . . she [was] forced to take flight herself when .. . information about her involvement in his escape was presented to the council of state . . she trudged on foot, disguised as ‘a country wench’, to Yarmouth, from where she took ship to France.

When Jane arrived in Paris . . she was welcomed by the English court in exile. Charles, who had landed in France two months before, greeted her with the salutation ‘Welcome my life’ . .’ At the Restoration the king granted Jane an annual pension of £1000 . . She died [in] 1689 . .

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to Gilford, where we lay at the Red Lyon, the best Inn, and lay in the room the King lately lay in, where we had time to see the Hospital, built by Archbishop Abbott, and the free school, and were civilly treated by the Mayster."

For a description (1673) of Guildford, see J. Aubrey, The Natural History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey, E. Curll in Fleet-Street., 1718 III 278+…
The Red Lion (at the corner of Market St, now destroyed) had in Aubrey's time 50 bedrooms and was reckoned 'the best inn in England': James Yonge, Journal (ed. Poynter), p. 212; cf. also Evelyn, 22 August 1653. The King's visit had been the previous January, when, on his way to Portsmouth, he had been feasted by the corporation: VCH, Surrey, iii, 561; CSPD 1660-1, p. 466. For Abbott's Hospital, see… The Free Scholl (in High St) dated from c. 1529; the buildings Pepys saw were erected c. 1557. John Graile was Master from 1645 to 1698: VCH, Surrey, ii.170, (L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Pedro. on 5 May 2004 • Link • Flag
Distance travelled//escape after Worcester./
A Long distance path (for Walkers) is called the Monarch's Way (Worcester to Shoreham) 982km/610 miles."

The Monarch's Way is a 625-mile (1,006 km)[1] long-distance footpath in England that approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester.[2] It runs from Worcester via Bristol and Yeovil to Brighton. All of the footpath is waymarked. The waymark is yellow and shows a picture of the ship Surprise above the Prince of Wales three-point feathered crown which is superimposed on a Royal Oak tree (which is at Boscobel House) in black.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"My novel "The September Queen" ("The King's Mistress" in the UK)"

From the way this sentence is written, you may have guessed that Gillian is an American. She has written a well-researched book historically, but gave us a suffragette Jane Lane, rather than the spinster daughter of some elderly parents who had chosen her to care for them in their old age (my guess is she was the least attractive of their daughters). Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book and went on to buy Gillian's more realistic book about Nell Gwyn, but it confirmed my opinion that Americans need to get an English person to critique their fundamental assumptions before diving in head first.

That Jane Lane was a homely country spinster makes her more heroic in my estimation.

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

Yesterday they slept in a room lately occupied by the queen, today in one where the king slept a while back. More brags for Sam to bring back to London! (Surely there was a surcharge by the innkeeper for both of these rooms!)

LKvM  •  Link

" . . . the Monarch's Way (Worcester to Shoreham) 982km/610 miles.
Britain's second-longest signed walking trail, a lengthy, meandering route following the flight of Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, and including many sites of historic interest."
I had no idea that it was so long, or that it took the fugitive king six weeks to cover it! It's truly amazing that a conspicuously 6'2" black-haired Italian-looking man accomplished this remarkable feat.

Petermac  •  Link

Blue plaque on a wall in Petersfield high street reads “ c 1590. This building formed part of the White Hart , Petersfield’s largest coaching inn until the 18th century with stabling for over 100 horses. Charles 11 , Samuel Pepys and Peter the Great all stayed here “.

I tried to upload a photo but failed !

徽柔  •  Link

"lay in the room the King lately lay in"
Wouldn't the king's attendance also entail his furniture to be transported along with him?

john  •  Link

The minister's red face could have been rosacea.

RLB  •  Link

@Ruben (2004): hospital is certainly not from "Ushpezin". It comes - and this is exensively documented - from Latin hospes: host. It is cognate with many other Indo-European words. In fact, the most likely etymology of ushpizin is that it itself comes from a loanword from Persian into Aramaic! It's not English borrowing from Hebrew, it's Aramaic borrowing from Indo-European, and hospital has most certainly been Latinate all along.

RLB  •  Link

@john... possibly. Or he could just be rubicund and merry. After all, with his red sash, he does sound like a bit of a man-about-town, albeit in a harmless manner.

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