Wednesday 15 October 1662

My mind, though out of trouble, yet intent upon my journey home, being desirous to know how all my matters go there, I could hardly sleep, but waked very early; and, when it was time, did call up Will, and we rose, and musique (with a bandore for the base) did give me a levett; and so we got ready; and while breakfast was providing, I went forth (by the way finding Mr. George Mountagu and his Lady, whom I saluted, going to take their coach thus early to proceed on their journey, they having lodged in the chamber just under me all this night) and showed Mr. Cooke King’s College Chapel, Trinity College, and St. John’s College Library; and that being done, to our inn again: where I met Dr. Fairbrother brought thither by my brother Tom, and he did breakfast with us, a very good-natured man he is, and told us how the room we were in was the room where Cromwell and his associated officers did begin to plot and act their mischiefs in these counties.

Having eat well, only our oysters proving bad, we mounted, having a pair of boots that I borrowed and carried with me from Impington, my own to be sent from Cambridge to London, and took leave of all, and begun our journey about nine o’clock. After we had rode about 10 miles we got out of our way into Royston road, which did vex me cruelly, and the worst for that my brother’s horse, which was lame yesterday, grows worse to-day, that he could not keep pace with us. At last with much ado we got into the road again, having misguided also a gentleman’s man who had lost his master and thought us to be going the same way did follow us, but coming into the road again we met with his master, by his coat a divine, but I perceiving Tom’s horse not able to keep with us, I desired Mr. Cooke and him to take their own time, and Will and I we rode before them keeping a good pace, and came to Ware about three o’clock in the afternoon, the ways being every where but bad. Here I fell into acquaintance and eat and drank with the divine, but know not who he is, and after an hour’s bait to myself and horses he, though resolved to have lodged there, yet for company would out again, and so we remounted at four o’clock, and he went with me as far almost as Tibbald’s and there parted with us, taking up there for all night, but finding our horses in good case and the night being pretty light, though by reason of clouds the moon did not shine out, we even made shift from one place to another to reach London, though both of us very weary. And having left our horses at their masters, walked home, found all things well, and with full joy, though very weary, came home and went to bed, there happening nothing since our going to my discontent in the least degree; which do so please me, that I cannot but bless God for my journey, observing a whole course of success from the beginning to the end of it, and I do find it to be the reward of my diligence, which all along in this has been extraordinary, for I have not had the least kind of divertisement imaginable since my going forth, but merely carrying on my business which God has been pleased to bless.

So to bed very hot and feverish by being weary, but early morning the fever was over.

38 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

"...I have not had the least kind of divertisement imaginable since my going forth, but merely carrying on my business..."
Interesting comment. Had he steeled himself to be all business and spend his time in Brampton with the papers before him and to worry in bed and to gather good counsel? A resolve (as in his vows against drink and theatre) that gives strength for the endeavors ahead, and in fact swarmed over his court case and put the terms of dealing with his Uncle Tom back in his own hands? And is this why we don't hear a word of how his mom is and little about the domestic scene. Perhaps Elizabeth's report from the country and the small time he could reasonably be away inspired and allowed him to be all business.

Maybe he thinks a certain level of family matters are concerns best relegated to his wife?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

My goodness, the energy of this man!

Two virtually sleepless nights (or, at least very restless ones), and he still has the steel to ride from Brampton to London in one day. Let's hope that his "old troubles" do not resurface in a day or two as a result of this...

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

For anyone who has traipsed that[ and came to Ware about three o?clock in the afternoon, the ways being every where but bad] route, will indeed know that the way be cccold and damp and be muddy and soaking Miserable in late October, especially those like I,that could afford only shanks pony, not like the gents in their modern ponies skiddle down from Cambridge drinking their whisky and sodas in the bar car on the way to Kings X watching the blur of brown.
In order to enjoy that ambience ye have to dump the Limo and chauffeur, raingear and do without the brandy sniffer.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"... worst for that my brother?s horse, which was lame yesterday, grows worse to-day, that he could not keep pace with us...." I dothe think, reading obliquely, these horses be the ones from the London stables, not rented from the Post houses, when Master be thirsty, then the 'ostler will feed the the 'orse too, but ye get the same old nag.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Follow up "...And having left our horses at their masters, walked home, found all things well..." poor horses they be weary too. So it dothe appear that the horses did the whole trip too, even if ye be lame, no rest for the wicked.

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary for today:

"I this day delivered my Discourse concerning Forest-trees to our Society upon occasion of certain Queries sent us by the Commissioners of his Majesties Navy: being the first Booke that was Printed by Order of the Society, & their Printer, since it was a Corporation (*):"

(*) Published as "Sylva" in 1664

You can read the book online at:…
But beware: "To a modern reader the book is, at first sight, archaic, obscure, and intimidating. This is largely because of Evelyn's use of terms which are now obsolete and his habit of continually reinforcing his points by including passages from Latin or Greek authors, or making oblique references to mythological events."

Pauline  •  Link

"...Evelyn?s use of terms which are now obsolete and his habit of ...."
How well we fare here in the arms of Sam Pepys, our 'modern man'.

dirk  •  Link

Further on "Sylva"

"In 1662 the Commissioners of the Navy addressed a series of inquiries about the management of woodland to the Royal Society. The former importance of timber is easy to forget. In the seventeenth century it was the single most important natural resource after food, as it had been for centuries. As fuel and as a building material it was depended on by all sections of the community. More importantly the nation's defence relied on the availability of timber. [...] On 17 September 1662 Sir Robert Moray, member and sometime president presented the inquiries to the Royal Society. Evelyn was one of the authorities to whom they were referred. The others were Dr Jonathan Goddard, John Winthrop and Christopher Merret, all mentioned in Sylva. Evelyn's job was to synthesize all the findings and present them which he did on 15 October 1662. [...]"…

Australian Susan  •  Link

Timber and the Navy
You can still see at Chatham Old Dockyard the long stone troughs where the masts were seasoned before use. This must have been one of the things Sam inspected when there. We will all remember his concerns about timber in The Forest of Dean and also Epping. Good timber for shipping was vital: later on in the history of the Navy, there was interest in the pines to be found on Norfolk Island (east of Australia) as potential masts. Cook proposed to grow flax on the Island, so it could become a source of replacement masts and sails in the far east. Much like a fuel depot today (Ascension Island is an example). Unfortunately, Norfolk island Pines proved useless as masts: the pines grow too quickly and are brittle - the ones experiemented with snapped too easily. It is about to be the two hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar (21st Oct). The successful naval campaign which led up to this battle depended largely on the good practices for victualling and other supplies, laid down by Sam at this time and during the 1670s. The ships of the line grw from just over 100 around 1790 to over 400 at the time of Trafalgar (1805). An enormous achievement for Naval administration. Sam would have been very proud if he could have seen his efforts pay off like this.

Xjy  •  Link

Sam rushing back
I see that no-one even toys with the idea that Sam might be in a hurry to get back to Beth and his home comforts... ;-)

Pedro  •  Link

Modern mention of Sylva, Campbell-Culver (The origin of Plants) says...

Evelyn's great work, Sylva: A Discourse of Forest Trees (1664), came about because of the acute shortage of trees for shipbuilding. It Was a constant problem, not only for the original construction of the ships but also for their repair. In the first year of the Royal Society (1662), the timber problem was put to a small committee, of which John Evelyn was a member. He delivered his conclusions on the 15th October, in a paper read to a meeting of the Society, which included such able thinkers as Robert Boyle, Issac Newton, Sir Christopher Wren and Samuel Pepys.

It must have been a tremendous meeting, the result of which, even today, is insilled in our psyche. As a country, we have always desired to be self-sufficient in timber (although apparently near the bottom of the European league for the amount of wooded countryside we possess), and there are today various schemes and grants giving encouragement to the planting of trees....The idea of planting a "Millenium Forest" to mark the end of the second millenium was and exciting and visionary development...John Evelyn would have thoroughly approved of the idea.

Pedro  •  Link

"my brother's horse, which was lame yesterday, grows worse to-day, that he could not keep pace with us."

"A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood."

Blake...Auguries of Innocence.

Jeannine  •  Link

Todd, perhaps the "old troubles" aren't the only thing Sam should be worried about....."only our oysters proving bad" sounds more immediately worrisome to me!

Conrad  •  Link

"we met with his master, by his coat a divine" What sort of person is a 'divine' & what sort of coat might he be wearing to indicate his status as a 'divine'? We know he is a gentleman who could navigate his way along Royston Road without getting lost, unlike his man & Sam's party.

Conrad  •  Link

Jeannine, do you think he uses the word bad to mean 'not so nice' rather than too old & rotten to eat? I know a single smelly oyster can really spoil your meal.

Jeannine  •  Link

Good point Conrad, I am sure we'll find out in tomorrow's entry if "bad" was "really bad"!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: bad oysters

I don't know if we'll need to wait until tomorrow ... in past episodes, bad oysters made their reappearance rather quickly!

Mary  •  Link

a divine.

A priest, a member of the clergy, an ecclesiastic.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

bad oysters & Sam's energy & endurance

Sam probably spurned the "bad" (smelly) oysters, conserving his energy. Don't forget he is a young man in good physical condition. What would truly exhaust a desk-bound modern would be less troubling to one who walks everywhere as a matter or course.

A.Hamilton  •  Link

More on Sam's ride

The distance from Cambridge to Ware is roughly 35 miles, not allowing for the accidental detour. Sam's riding time was about 6 hours, giving him a rate of about 6 mph. Inference: he was walking his horse. Distance from Ware to Cheshunt (Theobalds)is about 10 miles. That would put riders leaving Ware at 4 PM at Theobalds sometime close to 5:40, or just toward the end of twilight on that day. From Theobalds to Sam's neighborhood was another 15 or 16 miles,or about 2.5 hours riding, longer if the horses were tired. I estimate Sam reached home around 9 PM. A long and tiring day -- he was up early and took a walking tour of Cambridge before breakfast -- but not, I would think, one requiring superhuman efort for a fit man not yet 30 years old. I don't know enough about horses to know whether a 60 mile walk would be out of the ordinary for a hired horse in those days.

Steve Shervais  •  Link

Music in the morning.
So he and Will are up early, playing "dueling bandores", and then he goes down to greet the Montague's, who (poor souls) were stuck in the room beneath them. No doubt he asked them how they slept, and did they have a nice levett.

Jeannine  •  Link

Sam's ride...Todd & A. Hamilton.. I didn't really see an endurance issue with Sam and his ride, but rather the use of different muscles. Walking, which Sam does ALL the time uses one set of muscles, while riding a horse a totally different set, so to be "in the saddle" for that amount of time must have been exhausting.
To offer a humorous perspective on the 'different muscles' used walking vs. riding...when visiting some "horse" people on their farm many years ago, a very "fit" female friend of mine who had never been on a horse decided to give it a try. Once she got herself up and settled in the saddle, she exclaimed, "this is so awkward, like getting ready for childbirth!"

Dan Jenkins  •  Link

As Australian Susan and Pedro observed, respectively, "Good timber for shipping was vital" and "... the acute shortage of trees for shipbuilding. It was a constant problem..."

The demand for white pines for masts was one of the sparks to the American Revolution. My old home town (Weare, New Hampshire) in 1772 instigated the Pine Tree Riot, one of the first acts of rebellion. It was over the taking (without compensation) of pine trees for the Navy.

So Sam's efforts in the Naval administration lead, in part, to the American Revolution. In a distant way, he's one of the Founding Fathers. ;-)

Pauline  •  Link

"...musique (with a bandore for the base) did give me a levett."
I wondered if this might be a wake-up reveille provided by the inn (or perhaps by Sir George Montagu's people to rouse him and his lady). Or a further alumni perk sent around by the college.

Terry F  •  Link

Sam has used his riding muscles quite often, as a quick search on "horse" shows --…
He has often stopped at Ware with no sweat; so, Jeannine, his ride may not be as exhausting to a young horseman as it might be to an otherwise "fit" "urban cowgirl."

Australian Susan  •  Link

Riding uses the muscles on the insides of the thighs and the pelvic area and bottom to maintain your seat and the calf muscles for control and direction-giving. Of course, if you are a poor rider or one with no regard for your mount, you use your hands and arms to haul the horse's mouth about for directions and artificial aids to "encourage" (whip, spurs). I had not thought of the riding/childbirth analogy before, but on thinking about it, I must say that instructions yelled at me by midwives and an ex-cavalry major were remarkably similar ("Push! Push! Use your bottom!" and so on).

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: riding

Aussie Susan and Jeannine, I do remember my riding instructors telling the older women in "coded" language they thought I wouldn't understand to use "those" muscles. Caused the women a bit of glee, and helped them ride better!

As for fitness and which muscles you use when riding as opposed to walking or running, I do know the difference. Once, back in the late '80s, I went to Houston on a business trip. After dinner one night, we went to Gilley's, the bar made famous by the film "Urban Cowboy."

We went to check out the bull-riding machine, and I made the mistake of leaving the group for a second (probably to buy a round). When I returned, I found I had been volunteered to ride the bull.

Because I was a bicycle commuter at the time, I was in pretty good shape. Plus, what my friends and the machine operator didn't know was that I'd ridden for years, so I had a bit of an idea of how to deal with a big, bucking animal (basically, you grip with your thighs and calves as hard as you can, leave your upper body loose, and move the opposite way that the "bull" does), so I thought I'd give it a go. The operator started off slow, and when he couldn't throw me, he turned it up ... and up ... and up. I managed to stay on the whole time, much to the amazement (and amusement) of my friends and other onlookers. I didn't buy any more rounds that night.

But when I got up the next morning ... ow ow ow ow. It wasn't my head; instead, I could barely *walk*, which made the series of business meetings the next day particularly painful. So, in other words, the muscle groups you use are very different indeed, as I learned the hard way.

In any case, no mention of the "old trouble" from our boy, so it seems he's in good riding condition.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Those muscles

My riding experience suggests that the muscles used when riding English saddle, especially when posting, are not needed nearly so much with a cavalry saddle, like the McClellan or the familiar Western. The link below provides a visual comparison of a McClellan and a 17th cavalry saddle from the Tower of London. Their designs are pretty close. Of course, we don't know what riding gear Samuel used. But as Tery says, he was often enough on horseback to have exercised the requsite muscles.…

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and having left our horses at their masters,walked home"
The status of Sam's butt,legs,testicles and kidneys would
have depended largelly on his horse's gait.

language hat  •  Link

The discussion of timber for shipping reminded me of the opening of Mandelstam's great poem "He Who Finds a Horseshoe" or (in the translation I'm linking to -- warning, pdf file!) "The Horseshoe Finder":…

We look at a forest and say:
Here's a forest for ships, for masts,
Rose-shadowed pines,
Right to their very tops free of shaggy burdens,
They ought to creak in a windstorm,
Like solitary Italian pines,
In the furious forestless air.
Beneath the wind's salt heel the plumbline holds, set in the dancing deck...

T. Carr  •  Link

Navy Timber...

Like many other place names in Connecticut, my home town of Torrington was originally called "Mast Swamp" as the early settlers were required to supply timber to England for the navy.

I wonder if Connecticut's vast stands of Pine and Live Oak was partial motiviation for the Connecticut charter of 1662. Incidently, the Charter was signed by Charles in April, 1662 and read out on October 9th, 1662 in Hartford.

Caleb  •  Link

Thank you very much.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"and told us how the room we were in was the room where Cromwell and his associated officers did begin to plot and act their mischiefs in these counties."

In the spring of 1643 the Grand Committee for the Eastern Association sat 'at the Bear next Sidney Street' (the Black Bear), and the subcommittee in a room 'next the Grand Committee Chamber': A. Kingston, E. Anglia and Great Civil War, p. 99.… This inn was used in this period for meetings of the J.P.'s in quarter-sessions, and in 1662 for meetings of the commissioners appointed under the Corporation Act. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees and the Propagation of Timber in His Majesty's Dominions by the English writer John Evelyn was first presented in 1662 as a paper to the Royal Society. It was published as a book two years later in 1664, and is recognised as one of the most influential texts on forestry ever published.…

With "External links" to a 1706 4th edition text download from Project Gutenberg.

Bill  •  Link

"we met with his master, by his coat a divine"

In the annotations of 9 July 1662 there was a discussion of the word "coat" in relation to religious ministers and what Sam thought about such persons who wore that coat.…

Bill  •  Link

"After we had rode about 10 miles we got out of our way into Royston road"

The recent death of the American baseball player Yogi Berra reminds me of one of his aphorisms: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'... musique (with a bandore for the base) did give me a levett ...'

I don't think Pepys and Hewer were travelling with musical instruments, or performing a levett in their room at the crack of dawn. I think this was the wake up call delivered by the innkeeper using local musicians, for a tip.

Our encyclopedia has the correct name for these groups:

Waits or waites were British town pipers. From medieval times up to the beginning of the 19th century, every British town and city of any note had a band of waites.…
Also see…

Early morning entrepreneurs.

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