Tuesday 17 September 1661

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] …And the next morning got up, telling my wife of my journey, and she with a few words got me to hire her a horse to go along with me. So I went to my Lady’s and elsewhere to take leave, and of Mr. Townsend did borrow a very fine side-saddle for my wife; and so after all things were ready, she and I took coach to the end of the town towards Kingsland, and there got upon my horse and she upon her pretty mare that I hired for her, and she rides very well. By the mare at one time falling she got a fall, but no harm; so we got to Ware, and there supped, and to bed very merry and pleasant.

9 Annotations

First Reading

RexLeo  •  Link

"..and she rides very well."

I hope he told her that. Coming from a fine horseman like him, she would have appreciated it. Overall a pretty picture of domestic life.

Glyn  •  Link

By coach then horse, Sam and Elizabeth have ridden 21 miles (34 km) today, Elizabeth doing it mostly sidesaddle; and they are not yet halfway on their journey because they must ride another 30 miles (48 km) to Cambridge tomorrow.

The source for this is the excellent W. Stow who gave a list of journeys using the roads of this time:


"From London to [Kings] Lynn 98 Miles, thus reckoned.
To Enfield Wash 10, to Hoddesdon 7, to Ware 4, to Puckeridge 6, to Barkway 8, to Fowlmere 7, to Cambridge 9, to Stretham 12, to Ely 4, to Littleport 5, to Soutbery 6, to Downham 6, to Seeching 7, to Lynn 5, an antient, large and well built Town in Norfolk, containing 3 Parish Churches; encompassed with a Wall and deep Trench; and otherwise called Lyn Regis, also Bishops Lyn, and Llyn by the Welsh, signifying a Lake, seated near the Mouth of Owse River."

Australian Susan  •  Link

We have not heard of Elizabeth riding at all before this entry, I think (?). Even if she was not a very accomplished horsewoman, she probably would not have got saddle-sore riding side saddle - it is much comfier than riding astride.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and she with a few words..."

Hmmn...And those words might have been...

"I'm...Going..." (grim-faced, clenched teeth)

"Yes, dear."

"Sam'l...We could have such a nice time riding together...Through all those bonny open fields and meadows. Alone." (coy look)

"Well...If you must go alone, I suppose I could go and see dear...cute...Lord Somerset." (sly look) "You remember that footman with the feathers the other day?...Well, he brought me the sweetest note... Not that I intended to meet Somesy alone like he asked when the three of us met, but since you have such confidence in me, leaving me alone like this..."

"I'll rent a horse for you..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Seriously, it's no small thing for Beth to hop on a horse and ride out on the roads with Sam for miles, at no small risk on said unpoliced roads. However nice a change it is for her, she's clearly anxious to be a full companion and wants to be with him.

'I love you' was never said more sweetly.

andy  •  Link

what a very sweet, loving tale of Elizabeth's "few words" and how powerful they are. "and she rides very well" -there are always new things to find out about your lover.

Margaret  •  Link

You don't think they slept in the Great Bed of Ware, do you? Surely he would have found that worth writing about.

Second Reading

john  •  Link

Odd that Sam would not have seen Elizabeth ride before now. I know no one who has ridden side-saddle (including me, of course) but, Australian Susan, have you actually ridden so and for so long?

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