Sunday 14th July 1661

(Lord’s day). At home, and Robert Barnwell with us, and dined, and in the evening my father and I walked round Portholme and viewed all the fields, which was very pleasant. Thence to Hinchingbroke, which is now all in dirt, because of my Lord’s building, which will make it very magnificent. Back to Brampton, and to supper and to bed.

29 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro.  •  Link

Portholme and viewed all the fields, which was very pleasant.

The fields must still be very pleasant..."Portholme Meadow, 257 acres (104 hectares), reputed to be the largest open meadow in the country Portholme is registered as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)."…

From the above site it says that the landlady at the Black Bull is Goody Stanke(r)s. Could this be the first wife of Will Stankes as mentioned by Pauline (L&M) in the background info? In this her name is Joan, however Phil has shown his wife as Goody Stankes!……

daniel  •  Link

alles in ordnung!

Pauline  •  Link

Joan and Goody
Isn't Goody like a nickname of respect, for "goodwife"? Therefore Joan and Goody could be one and the same in this case?

Stolzi  •  Link


was a title like "Mrs," but used, I believe, for people of lesser degree. Doubtless a contraction of "Goodwife."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...Hinchingbroke, which is now all in dirt, because of my Lord's building, which will make it very magnificent…”

Might be best to rename it “Goingbroke…Quickly.” Pride goeth before a fall, Montague. Wonder how your sweet lady Jemina feels about all the building and outlay.

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

Yes, yes, this entry too displays perhaps more poignantly than at any time the strong relationship that Sam enjoys with his family, especially his father - remember he is still a young guy, notwithstanding his evident smarts.
Wow, he is so troubled about wrestling with the details of the will, he hasn't kept up his diary for many days - this is his brief but carefully structured attempt to get back on track with his journal - however, with his mind still awhirl with Tom Trice's impending caveat and his mind much troubled with his aunt's base, ugly humours, he seeks solace in a long walk with his dad in familiar surroundings, focusing on the beauty of the fields,the future improvements to Hinchingbroke, thence to familiar surroundings at Brampton.
Was he doing this for the benefit of his dad, or for himself?
The wonderful thing about Sam is that each way he’s a winner!

Pauline  •  Link

Well-known to us from the Salem witch trials; therefore, a Puritan connection in the back of my mind. Googling around it appears that it was a “courtesy title for women not of noble birth”. One source saying that Goodman (and his better half, Goodwoman) were between freeman and gentlemen, but this may not be well documented. From a lifetime of reading, I have culled the sense of a woman respected by her community because of her position: her husband pulls a certain weight, she runs a respectable inn, whatever. The Puritan connection may just be using the existing word more fully and wholly as a courtesy title for the everyman, pious class — it certainly carries a connotation that fits well with the Puritan ethic.

As Stolzi says above, like “Mrs”. Some women lose their first name and are always called “Goody” and this has seemed to me to indicate that such a woman stands out (sometimes by age and wisdom of experience) from the other goodwives. I could be wrong.

Pauline  •  Link

"The wonderful thing about Sam is that each way he's a winner!”
Bullus, you are right on!

Pauline  •  Link

I mean, you rawk!

adam w  •  Link

Port Holme is still a fine expanse of green meadow, if you ignore the motorway cutting across one corner and the main east coast railway on another. It's unspoilt enough to imagine how it must have looked in the 17th century. Oddly, Oxford's Port meadow also claims to be the biggest. Confusion somewhere?
'Port' because they're beside major rivers? (as water meadows often are...)

Ruben  •  Link

port is derived from Latin. The word was used not only for a "port" with water but also for a narrow passage between two mountains or the entrance to a place after a narrow passage.

adam w  •  Link

There aren't many mountains in Huntingdonshire or Oxfordshire, and I'm not sure a watermeadow 2 miles across would count as a narrow passage. I reckon a port for river traffic is the most likely origin - the Ouse was a major artery.
I can't find anything on google for the Huntingdon meadow but apparently the Oxford name comes from 'portman' meaning burgess - i.e. the townspeople had rights over the land.

Ruben  •  Link

"Basic Latin Elements that All English Speakers and Readers Should Know"
and find:
port-, portat- (Latin: carry, bring, bear).
port- (Latin: door, gate, entrance, harbor).

Pedro.  •  Link

(Vincente) A view of the area.

I am not sure if Vincente meant this, but if you go to the site he quotes and enter your town, for example Brampton, you get a map of the surrounding area at various scales. But if you then click on aerial view on the left hand side and enter again you can see a small view from 5000 feet. (With the prospect of buying of course)

dirk  •  Link

port, portus

In the Middle Ages the term was sometimes used to indicate an important centre of trading - whether it was a port (harbour) or not. For major trade centres the term "emporium" was also used.

dirk  •  Link


A Scandinavian word, commonly applied to a (very) small tributary to a river. I don't know the exact meaning of the word, but it's not uncommon in parts of Western Europe where Viking settlements existed. (We have a Holme near Antwerp, in Belgium, too.)

dirk  •  Link


The generic holmr, together with a side-form holmi, is of frequent occurrence in Scandinavia. Etymologically the element is related to Latin culmen "peak" but it occurs in Scandinavia both independently and in place-names with two main senses: 1) "a (small) island", 2) "raised land, often surrounded by watercourses, ditches, marshland or the like". The related English word holm is only recorded in the senses "sea, ocean, wave" (OED) and it seems certain that the element holmr in place-names in England and Scotland is of Scandinavian origin.

The word survives in English in the form holme and is now used (1) of the small grassy islands of the Northern Isles and (as a foreign word) of islands in Scandinavia, and (2) in Scotland and the north of England of "a piece of flat low-lying ground by a river or stream, sub-merged or surrounded in time of flood". Names first recorded in comparatively young sources may well not have been coined until after the word had been adopted as a loanword in English.

In the English and Scottish counties listed above I have found 176 names in -holmr recorded in sources from before circa 1500. Outside the areas in which there was Scandinavian settlement, the generic is only of sporadic occurrence.

See also:…

Sjoerd  •  Link

I had only heard of "goody" in "Goody Two Shoes", and whaddayaknow, the whole thing (Childrens' book anno 1765) is online !…

Glyn  •  Link


Time travel back about 1,200 years, take a map and draw a line from Liverpool to London. Everything north of that line is ruled by the Vikings until you reach Scotland which extends further south than it does today, perhaps as far as Newcastle. To the west are the native British in what is now Wales, south-west England (i.e. Cornwall and Devon) and "Britain" (Brittany/Bretagne in France). The Saxons control what is left. For this reason, we have or have had areas around London called Wessex (ruled by the west Saxons), Sussex (south Saxons) and Essex (east Saxons) but never had a Norssex because that area was controlled by the Vikings.

So in the north of England there are numerous names of Scandinavian settlements with place names ending in, for instance, "by" (e.g. Whitby and Selby, and 210 such in Yorkshire) and "thorpe" (e.g. Scunthorpe), and Cambridge was once ruled by the Vikings although they left few traces there.

Pauline  •  Link

"by" (e.g. Whitby and Selby, and 210 such in Yorkshire) and "thorpe" (e.g. Scunthorpe)
In modern Norwegian: “by” is “town” and “torp” a small farm.

vicente  •  Link

Port Holme; it now lies beween the rail way North / South line on the west and is surrounded by the river [ouse] on the north, east and south , On the East Bank of the Ouse lies Dvrovigvtvm {GodManchester}, I guess it has a Roman connection. There being a nice olde Roman road too, meadows do seem to be invaded by camping grounds [not Roman].
That path may be the one that the Sam and his Nag did ride on.It does seem to go from the house back door right into the meadows.…
Studying the Map and all the Annos . It is aptly named for where it is located. Another Odd ball name used in the Fens, is 'Pimple' meaning a hillock that very rarely gets drowned in the floods of the Wet lands. I.E. a good place to be when the local rivers really flood every couple of blu moons.

Pedro.  •  Link

Another Goody.

According to Tomalin Sam, as a youngster, was sent away from time to time with his brother Tom, into the fresh air outside London. This was to Kingsland, where a nurse was found for the boys, and Sam remembers her as Goody Lawrence.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Glyn is wrong about the borders of Scotland. In the North-East, the borders of "Alba" did not move south of the Forth until 950 or so. Berwick and East Lothian were part of Bernicia, the Angle rump of Northumbria, which was ruled from Bamburgh and stretched from the Forth to the Tees. Hence the origin of Scots English. Indeed, as everything South of the Tees was by now Saxon or Danish, one could argue that Scots and Geordie are the only "true" English! ;)

Viking influence is evident in parts of West Wales too. Swansea, "Sweyn's Eye" is allegedly named after Sweyn Forkbeard, father of Cnut. Here in Pembrokeshire we have "holm"s like Skokholm, and even a village called Freystrop, which seems to be a corruption of Freyrstorp - Freyr's village, named after the Norse god.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Anyone notice how seldom Pepys mentions his wife? He often talks about going to bed at the end of his entries but never mentions where his wife is, or whether they sleep together or separately. Whatever the arrangement is I should think he would sometimes mention her presence or absence at bedtime. She was often unwell, too, but he seems to hardly ever say anything about her on a day to day basis.

Al Doman  •  Link

@Louise Hudson: not quite sure where you're going with this, and at the risk of walking into a minefield I'll offer a few observations.

Sam is often away from his wife. During these periods he knows nothing of what she's doing; there was no telephone, Facebook, e-mail etc. At best one might expect him to record when he left, and when he returned; maybe a note that he misses her. Sometimes the reader is expected to infer that if he travels, he is in general away from his wife, and that is not noteworthy. In contrast from time to time she does travel with him, and these travels are often well-recorded.

One of the great strengths of this diary is that Sam often records aspects of daily life which could be considered beneath the notice of "serious" diarists. As others here have observed it "brings the diary to life". That said, there's still a tendency for anyone to take things for granted. At this point, despite their young (especially her) ages, they have been married 6-odd years.

There is the tendency for us in the 21st century to judge the characters in the diary by our standards. The lamentable fact is that in 17th century England, women were not equal to men e.g.… . While Sam trusts Elizabeth to run their household she cannot help him with his business affairs. When consumed by business, Elizabeth is far from his mind, and often will be remarked on only if there are unexpected domestic issues which affect Sam, or that he feels he needs to address because they were not adequately dealt with by his wife.

When one adds all that up, perhaps it's not so strange Elizabeth isn't mentioned in the diary every day.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘goody, n.1: Shortened < goodwife n., as hussy < housewife.
1. a. A term of civility formerly applied to a woman, usually a married woman, in humble life; often prefixed as a title to the surname. Hence, a woman to whose station this title is appropriate . .
1559 Will of John Eltoftes (P.R.O.: PROB. 11/42B) f. 19, Goody Wilkes [also Goodwyff Wylkes].
. . 1664 A. Wood Life & Times (1892) II. 15 To gooddy Gale for mending my stockings, 6d.
1708 F. Fox in Hearne Remarks & Coll. 3 July (O.H.S.) II. 117 Goody Vesey my bed~maker.
1708 T. Ward England's Reformation (1716) 156 Fame, a busie tatling Guddy.’

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