Monday 19 August 1661

At the office all the morning; at noon the children are sent for by their mother my Lady Sandwich to dinner, and my wife goes along with them by coach, and she to my father’s and dines there, and from thence with them to see Mrs. Cordery, who do invite them before my father goes into the country, and thither I should have gone too but that I am sent for to the Privy Seal, and there I found a thing1 of my Lord Chancellor’s to be sealed this afternoon, and so I am forced to go to Worcester House, where severall Lords are met in Council this afternoon. And while I am waiting there, in comes the King in a plain common riding-suit and velvet cap, in which he seemed a very ordinary man to one that had not known him. Here I staid till at last, hearing that my Lord Privy Seal had not the seal here, Mr. Moore and I hired a coach and went to Chelsy, and there at an alehouse sat and drank and past the time till my Lord Privy Seal came to his house, and so we to him and examined and sealed the thing, and so homewards, but when we came to look for our coach we found it gone, so we were fain to walk home afoot and saved our money.

We met with a companion that walked with us, and coming among some trees near the Neate houses, he began to whistle, which did give us some suspicion, but it proved that he that answered him was Mr. Marsh (the Lutenist) and his wife, and so we all walked to Westminster together, in our way drinking a while at my cost, and had a song of him, but his voice is quite lost.

So walked home, and there I found that my Lady do keep the children at home, and lets them not come any more hither at present, which a little troubles me to lose their company. This day my aunt Fenner dyed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Mary House  •  Link

"...drinking a while at my cost.." I'm amused that Pepys always mentions when he picks up the tab.

Eric Walla  •  Link

Poor Sam, pining after the children ...

... Is this an indication of his desire for children of his own, or another example of the child within? Or are the two traits in fact intertwined?

The whistling episode also bears noting for the constant watchfulness all travelers must maintain as they go about their business.

Mary  •  Link

Neate houses.

According to L&M footnote, there were market-gardeners' houses and houses of entertainment on the river-bank opposite Vauxhall.

'Neat' refers to cattle. It is a name applied to the common domestic ox or cow. The neate houses are therefore cattle-sheds.

Glyn  •  Link

the Neate Houses…

That's a shame, Mary; I had hoped he meant "neat" as in "cool" or "ace", and was using Californian slang 300 years ahead of schedule. To find the Neat Houses, click on this map, and then go to the bottom LEFT corner-square and then click on that square's own bottom RIGHT corner. You'll find the Neat Houses leading off from "Chelsea Bridge" over a small river that I suppose has now been built over. This map dates from 85 years after this entry (i.e. 1746) but the ground probably was the same in 1661.

Chelsea, like Pepys' home, is on the north side of the river, and if he walked homeward in a straight line then that would be a distance of almost 5 miles (8 km). However, that would mean crossing the Thames twice. Since they walked to Westminster they probably did NOT cross the river but instead followed it as it curved around, so you can add a little bit more distance to the journey. On the map, Chelsea appears to be completely rural, so it would have been a nice 2-hour walk if the weather was good and you'd finished work for the day, which is presumably why they didn't catch a boat.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

$10 million

I haven't been paying attention in class, and don't know who the annotator "B." is, but if our earlier exercises in comparative values are roughly right, the correct figure here, in round numbers, should be $2 million.

Nix  •  Link

The Neate Houses --

Glyn, do you know London well enough to correlate the location shown on the Rocque map with a present-day location? Is there a "Neathouse Row" or some such street name lingering from this old site?

vicente  •  Link

For L8000, one could get the Queens bed "...The Queenes Bed was an Embrodery of silver on Crimson Velvet. and cost 8000 pounds, being a present made by the states of Holland,...." JE at Hajmpton court 4 june 1662.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Suspicious Whistling
I was intrigued by the passage "he began to whistle, which did give us some suspicion." I assume that he means that Moore and Pepys feared that the stranger's whistling was a signal for a confederate to come and rob them. It did turn out to be a call, but only to Mr. and Mrs. Marsh. I wonder if the Neat Houses were somewhat disreputable, that Pepys feared robbers lurking among them.

Saul Pfeffer  •  Link

20,000 L is worth 1.9 Million Ls
according to "How much is it worth today"
which is about US$ 2.56

language hat  •  Link

"To find the Neat Houses, click on this map"

I'm confused. I clicked on the lower left square, but "then click on that square's own bottom RIGHT corner” made no sense — there were no further squares to click, and most of that section of the map is open fields — where’s the "Chelsea Bridge"?

Glyn  •  Link

This is a better way to find it:…

and move your cursor to the right.

Sorry Nix, but I have no idea how this relates to present-day Chelsea, perhaps others can do better.

vicente  •  Link

What happened to the Neate, flowers and fresh veggies and ? Best bet, pre- eminent Domain, did remove production from the people by more enclosures?, so that the noveau riche could have their country houses. The tems at this time be xed by one bridge, totherwise, one used the skill of the skulls.
Modern map. The walk home could have been across the fields, like when I was a Ladd, never did take the long way, horses and cows and milk maids knew better.That may be why our Sam got a frit, not recognising the tune that be played.……
The Royal Hospital Chelsea was founded in 1682 by King Charles II as a home for soldiers who were unfit for further duty because of injury or old age.
17th Century, see John Evelyn, he was heavily involved in military hospitals.
The Civil War, between Charles I and Parliament, which started in 1642, required changes to the existing arrangements. Therefore, in 1645 Parliament decreed that pensions to disabled soldiers should be paid from national funds, not local taxation.
The Restoration of Charles II, in 1660, and the disbandment of the Parliamentary Army and the return of exiled Royalist forces made the improvement of provision for the welfare of old or disabled soldiers a more pressing matter
strange that the garden show be here behind the "neat farms.……
1692 buildings and river tems.……

JWB  •  Link

Waylaid @ the Neate House
Ain't this Col. Blood territory?

maureen  •  Link

Neate Houses. There is now a Neathouse Place - between Wilton Road and Vauxhall Bridge Road - but to the North of the neat houses shown on the Rocque map. In its present form it is no more than a short tunnel through an ugly building which allows my No 2 bus and others to negotiate the one-way system. The well-ordered canals and lakes may represent reality but could possibly be prettification by the map maker. This was marshy land which, despite intense building all around, was not drained or built upon until the creation of Victoria (rail) Station in 1862. Still mainly rail tracks and yards. LH, the Chelsea Bridge on Rocque is - looks like - a footbridge over the canal just West of the Neate Houses, not the one over the Thames which we know and love. Chelsea Waterworks - bottom of that sheet - is still there, with fine C19 buildings.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"... and my wife goes along with them by coach, and she to my father's and dines there, and from thence with them to see Mrs. Cordery, who do invite them before my father goes into the country, and thither I should have gone too but that I am sent for to the Privy Seal…”

The inconsiderate Lord Roberts strikes again! Though Sam must’ve appreciated both the chance to look good in front of Dad and Beth (sent for by the Privy Seal, no less)…Not to mention the chance to offer Beth proof that his lengthy absences from home really do involve important government work (occasionally).

StewartMcI  •  Link


£1.9 million closer to $3.5 million

language hat  •  Link

Glyn: Thanks for your second map link--worked like a charm!

Pedro  •  Link

Sandwich on this day 19th August...

"We were bound for Tetuan, but the wind was blowing fresh contrary we came to an anchor in Fuengirola bay within 2 miles of the castle. In the evening Monsieur de Ruyter, his Rear Admiral and one man of war more came to anchor by us. De Ruyter sent his Judge Advocate on board me in compliment...

(Journal of Edward Montagu by Anderson)

Mary  •  Link

location of the Neat Houses

According to L&M Companion, we are looking at the present-day London district of Pimlico.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I am sent for to the Privy Seal, and there I found a thing of my Lord Chancellor’s to be sealed this afternoon"

Dockets for two grants made to Clarendon were issued on the 17th -- one of Cornbury Park, Oxon., and the other of the offices of Bailiff and Ranger of Whichwood Forest, Oxon.: CSPD 1661-2, pp. 65, 66. (L&M note)

These adjoined and today form the civil parish of Cornbury and Wychwood in West Oxfordshire which includes the country estate of Cornbury Park and the ancient former Royal Forest of Wychwood.…

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