Wednesday 18 September 1661

The next morning up early and begun our march; the way about Puckridge very bad, and my wife, in the very last dirty place of all, got a fall, but no hurt, though some dirt. At last she begun, poor wretch, to be tired, and I to be angry at it, but I was to blame; for she is a very good companion as long as she is well.

In the afternoon we got to Cambridge, where I left my wife at my cozen Angier’s while I went to Christ’s College, and there found my brother in his chamber, and talked with him; and so to the barber’s, and then to my wife again, and remounted for Impington, where my uncle received me and my wife very kindly. And by and by in comes my father, and we supped and talked and were merry, but being weary and sleepy my wife and I to bed without talking with my father anything about our business.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro.  •  Link


24 Feb 60 on way to Cambridge, and after Ware, Sam
baited, "where we had a loin of mutton fried, and were very merry."…

At the moment the Puckeridge Hunt may not be a happy, due to the vote in the Commons on the 16 September 2004 to ban fox hunting.

(Talking of falls, I hope Vicente is on holiday, and not had another fall from a great height!)

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"...but I was to blame; for she is a very good companion as long as she is well."

Take *that*, all ye who think Sam is wholly ignorant of his own shortcomings... :-)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...a very good companion..." A sweet bit indeed-we get a glimpse at, for the time, a very happy couple-Would even Montague say that about loveable Lady Jem?

Yes, Sam was a snippy jerk but he probably snapped at her for a second (c'mon, I've done it, male or female you've done it to one you love who couldn't keep your pace for a bit) and felt guilty all day enough to record it to his blame...Few spouses indeed who would do so without trying to mitigate themselves in their own journal.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"18 September 1661"
towards the end of summer; Daniel Defoe is being born somewhere.

daniel  •  Link

"...but I was to blame; “

indeed, this exchange is typical of Sam and Liz’s relationship. he is short with her, she offended, he feels guilty and then goes and buys her a trinket (of increasing wealth in relation to his fortunes throughout the diary). what she really seems to want is better treatment and more attention from her otherwise loving husband.

Eric Walla  •  Link

So Liz fell in the "very last dirty place of all"--is he upset just due to tiredness, or due to the luck of it, ALMOST getting past the dirt, then ... boom! (I'm glad I'm not riding with Sam. I doubt I would've made it there.)

Oh, and I thought Defoe would be about to toddle by now. Wasn't he born 1660?

Vincent Bell  •  Link

Googled Defoe : I think your find that Daniel is celebrating his first birthday around this time of year. "For more than a decade (in the 1780s) he traded wholesale in a wide range of goods, including stockings, wine, tobacco, and oysters" & later ship insurance(http://www.gradesaver.c… - with a stall on a main street near the Royal Exchange in Cornhill, London. Sam may be well have aquired one or more items that actually passed through Defoe's business - Cornhill was one of Sam's haunts. I like these connections. Anyway whilst Defoe wrote "A Journal of the Plague Year" which he actually experienced at age 5! Sam will no doubt be giving us the pleasure of a real first hand account.

dirk  •  Link

"got a fall"

With yesterday's fall, that makes two in two days. Shouldn't blame Elisabeth's riding though, for riding a side saddle isn't as stable as astride a standard saddle (although it's more comfortable to some extent over short distances).

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Daniel Defoe"
My mistake; too young to be borne again.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Dirk, have you ever ridden side-saddle? It is a safer seat than astride and the rider is less likely to fall, but if you do fall, the fall is more likely to cause injury. Elizabeth has been very lucky in her tumbles. If you are balanced correctly, you are stable. The problems I find with it is that, as I am used to riding astride, you have to change how you balance and your upper (right)knee seems always to be in the way of your hands on the reins. If you have never ridden astride, which presumably, Elizabeth wouldn't have, she would not have had adjustments. Another option, would have been for Sam to have hired a strong horse and to attach a pillion saddle to the back of his saddle for Elizabeth to ride on. This form of transport was very common. As it is not mentioned as an option, I think we can conclude that Elizabeth had some competence in riding, but was out of practice.

Glyn  •  Link

Take a look at this great aerial view of Impington that Vincent found:…

You can still clearly see the old, small fields, and also how flat (and treeless) much of Cambridgeshire is. The town was laid out around the main road on a medieval streetplan that doesn't seem to have changed much.

I've tried to work out how closely related "cozen Angier" is to Sam and Elizabeth but failed - it does seem, though, that they had a very extended family with whom they kept in contact and whose genealogy they knew very well, certainly better than we know today (how many of your own second or third cousins do you know?)

JWB  •  Link

"After passing through the hands of the Chauvent and Colville families the manor came into the possession of the Burgoynes in 1428. A memorial brass to John Burgoyne is in Impington church. His heirs divided the manor into two parts and sold them. ...In 1568 Christ's College purchased the manor of Burgoynes, and by 1579 John Pepys was in possession of the other part, called Ferme-part, and had commenced the building of Impington Hall. " -Histon & Impington On-line
Impington Hall-…

dirk  •  Link

Evelyn's diary today, ref the Royal Society!

"To Lond: This day was our Petition to his Majestie for his royal Graunt authorizing our Society to meete as a Corporation &c: with severall privileges, was read: An Experiment of flame in flame was tried: I went home:"

Australian Susan  •  Link

Lovely aeriel view, but "old small fields" may have been a recent fact. Medieval fields were very large and only when enclosure happened were they reduced to a small rectangle. Enclosure started in the late 16th century, so Impington may have had its small fields by then, but the changes went on into the 18th century and some parts of England (e.g. Laxton in Notts, Braunton in Devon and the Isle of Portland in Dorset) still have their huge medieval field systems.

Lynn  •  Link

John Angier is brother-in-law to Sam's 1st cousin once removed - so not really Pepys' cozen.

To also answer Glyn's query, I'm in contact with third cousins, a fourth cousin once removed, and a sixth cousin once removed - thanks to lots of research though!

David A. Smith  •  Link

"and I to be angry at it, but I was to blame"
Everyone has a patience reservoir. Throughout the day, it slowly fills (sleep refills it faster). Stress -- adversity, pain, fatigue, tension, anxiety, fear -- drains it. When it hits zero, you lose your temper, regardless of who is there or what triggers it (hence small stimuli can lead to large explosions). Elizabeth, being the person Sam is with most often, gets her share of these.
But he has the good grace to recover his equanimity and, we hope, to apologize verbally and non-verbally ...

vicente  •  Link

Later, one will read of 1 acre lots. Enclosures along with the draining of the Fens, started back under CI, part of why it was off with 'is 'ead.
"...Medieval fields were very large and only when enclosure happened were they reduced to a small rectangle. Enclosure started in the late 16th century..."
Strangely small fields came about because of debts [gamboling?] had to be paid, and slicing up of properties. Then in the 1970's, they removed the hedges, then came the the "Oklahoma problem of top soil erosion", good dirt dissapearing into the skies. If they had plowed large acreage without wind breaks, the dryer land would loose it quality soil very quickly , the fen lands were wetter but had drainage ditches which kept the acre small.
Remember: 1 horse, one plow, 1 acre a day.
Only poor land that was suitable for stock not tillable would be large,and of course, the Kings reserves for his private pleasures.

vicente  •  Link

"...the way about Puckridge very bad, and my wife, in the very last dirty place of all, got a fall, but no hurt, though some dirt...."
There be two nice spots, suitable for getting muddied, just north of Puckeridge there be two crossings of the road by the river Rib. .
I'm glad that he[Sam] did not ask the local yokel for help, for he might have been shown the way to the village of Nasty.…

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