Tuesday 26 May 1668

Up by four o’clock; and by the time we were ready, and had eat, we were called to the coach, where about six o’clock we set out, there being a man and two women of one company, ordinary people, and one lady alone, that is tolerably handsome, but mighty well spoken, whom I took great pleasure in talking to, and did get her to read aloud in a book she was reading, in the coach, being the King’s Meditations;1 and then the boy and I to sing, and so about noon come to Bishop’s Stafford, to another house than what we were at the other day, and better used. And here I paid for the reckoning 11s., we dining together, and pretty merry; and then set out again, sleeping most part of the way; and got to Bishopsgate Street before eight o’clock, the waters being now most of them down, and we avoiding the bad way in the forest by a privy way, which brought us to Hodsden; and so to Tibalds, that road, which was mighty pleasant. So home, where we find all well, and brother Balty and his wife looking to the house, she mighty fine, in a new gold-laced ‘just a cour’. I shifted myself, and so to see Mrs. Turner, and Mercer appearing over the way, called her in, and sat and talked, and then home to my house by and by, and there supped and talked mighty merry, and then broke up and to bed, being a little vexed at what W. Hewer tells me Sir John Shaw did this day in my absence say at the Board, complaining of my doing of him injury and the board permitting it, whereas they had more reason to except against his attributing that to me alone which I could not do but with their condent and direction, it being to very good service to the King, and which I shall be proud to have imputed to me alone. The King I hear come to town last night.

22 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ormond to Colonel Edward Cooke
Written from: Moor Park
Date: 26 May 1668

States his opinion concerning the pending question as to the procedure of the Commissioners of the Court of Claims at Dublin. ...

... Is prepared to ask the King to grant leave of absence to Colonel Cooke, & to his fellow Commissioner Sir Edward Dering [ http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclo… ], but only on condition that no use is to be said of such license "until the judging & needful part" of their work is done. ...

Has often met the Marquess of Worcester [ http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclo… ], and has received great civilities from him. Except when here at Moor Park, the writer thinks that, within three weeks, he has scarcely eaten five meals at his own table.

Is curious to know if certain days of May have been, in Ireland, days of excessive rain. Here, on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th inst, the sun was not once seen. ...


Terry Foreman  •  Link

Written from: Dublin - 26 May 1668

Cooke to Ormond

States, at great length and with many details and comments, particulars of the Duke of York's Land-Claims as stated by H.R.H. agents in Dublin. ...

The Duke's claims, says the writer, consist of these parts: [I] "Some that were allowed, and satisfied; [II] Some allowed, & not yet satisfied; [III] Some, alleged to be allowed, but not granted [by the Commissioners] to be so; [IV] Some, left under consideration; [V] Some that were disallowed formerly which yet the Duke's agents design to be heard upon [in MS.: "to be heard to"] again." ...

Archbishop of Dublin to Ormond

Further particulars concerning Lord Orrery, & his purposed journey into England; suggestions as to the business of the ensuing session of the Irish Parliament; and other details of pending public affairs.


JWB  •  Link


A day trip to Cambridge & he comes back writing Latin.

Chris Squire  •  Link

‘just a cour’:
‘justaucorps, n. Etym: French, < juste close-fitting + au corps to the body . .
A close-fitting garment: spec.
a. A body-coat reaching to the knees, worn in the latter half of the 17th and part of the 18th cent.
b. An outer garment worn by women in the latter part of the 17th c.
c. Sc. A jacket or waistcoat with sleeves.
. . 1667 S. Pepys Diary 26 Apr. (1974) VIII. 187 With her velvet-cap‥and a black juste-au-corps.
. . 1705 W. Elstob in T. Hearne Remarks & Coll. (1885) I. 107 His justaucorps brac't to his body tight.
. . 1887 J. Dodds in W. Cunningham Diary Introd. p. xxviii, He had also a Justycoat, or tightly-fitting body coat.’ [OED]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the King’s Meditations"

L&M note "His Majesties prayers at the time of his restraint" were printed at the end of the *Eikon Basilike* in the first (1649) and subsequent editions to Charles II's disapproval.

The first edition title is "Meditations upon Death, after the Votes of Non-Addresses and His MAJESTIES closer Imprisonment In Carisbrooke-Castle." http://anglicanhistory.org/charle…

An upliftin morning's readings!

Mary  •  Link

"then set out again, sleeping most part of the way"

Either 17th century coaches had much better 'shock-absorbers' than I had realised, or Pepys is one of those lucky souls who can sleep on a washing-line, so to speak.

NJM  •  Link

Interesting to look at the timings for the journey. My online route planner gives the distance at 75 miles and taking one hour twenty mins on our modern roads. So Sam left at 6am and arrived back at 8pm - assuming an hour stop for the meal the journey time was 13 hours so approx five and a half or six miles an hour - on poor rain soaked roads at that time not bad going. If walking pace is about four miles an hour they were travelling at a little better than that - no boy racers with go faster stripes down the side of the coach then!

Geoff Hallett  •  Link

Sam, being the character that he is was probably the instigator of the readings and the singing on the coach but it seems to have been part of life. They seem to break into song anytime, anywhere. It puts our claim in the old days that we had to entertain ourselves into perspective.

Mary  •  Link

Average walking pace.

There seems to be a general consensus that, attendant conditions being equal, women walk, on average, at a rate of 3 mph and men (greater muscle mass) at 3.5 mph. These are speeds at which conversation can be maintained and which should only leave the walker slightly short of breath at the end of a sustained period of the exercise.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...Sir Jo. Shaw did this day in my absence say at the Board, complaining of my doing of him injury and the board permitting it, whereas they had more reason to except against his attributing that to me alone which I could not do but with their consent and direction, it being to very good service to the King, and what I shall be proud [to] have imputed to me alone."

L&M note this concerned 35 tons of hemp recently sent by Shaw to the Woolwich ropeyard, 15 or 16 of which had been rejected by the clerk.

N.B. @JWB, L&M also repair the "condent"....

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"one lady alone, that is tolerably handsome, but mighty well spoken, whom I took great pleasure in talking to, and did get her to read aloud in a book she was reading, in the coach, being the King’s Meditations"

PRAYERS Used by His MAJESTY in the time of His Troubles and Restraint.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

May 25. 1668
Rich. Bower to Williamson.

I see that the King has to appoint the commissioners to put in execution the Act for raising 310,000l. upon wines and brandies.
I understand the management of it, and would venture to undertake it.
You have before pressed me to think of something wherein you or Lord Arlington might do me good.

The Drake and several light colliers have passed to the northward.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 240, No. 127.]


May 25. 1668
Thos. Holden to Hickes.

An Ostender has arrived from the Bay of Biscay, being pressed into the King of Spain’s service to carry soldiers for Flanders, of which she has 300 aboard besides officers.
She reports that Don John came out with them with 28 sail, and believes he is safely arrived at Ostend.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 240, No. 128.]


'Charles II: May 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 369-418. British History Online

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

oooops ... the above should have gone into yesterday.


May 26. 1668
John Carlile to Williamson.

I have seen Cartell, the master of the vessel, who acknowledges to having 2 parcels of wine for the King, consigned to Mr. Vandeput;
I hope ere this he is in London with it.

Mr. Blayney’s detaining my salary has much impaired my credit;
I shall not receive a penny if my petition, left with Mr. Morris, is not preferred to the Lords Commissioners.

I pray assistance if it must come to that, as all my accounts were adjusted and allowed by the Commissioners in Nov. 1666.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 240, No. 135.]


May 26. 1668
Petition of Rachel, widow of Capt. Allen Covel, to the King, for relief.

Her husband was commander and part owner of the St. Antonio frigate, which after being properly equipped at Laraux, was hired for his Majesty’s service at St. Sebastians in Sept. 1659, by Lord Arlington, then his Majesty’s resident in Spain, at the rate of 1,000 pieces of eight for freight by the month, for which freight Lord Arlington became obliged to her late husband;
nothing has been paid, although 2,000 pieces, for 2 months, are due.

Her husband dying has not only left her in a very poor and sad condition, but also exposed her to the merciless rigour of the other part-owners of the frigate, who daily threaten to imprison her and seize upon the little she has left, unless she speedily satifies their respective shares of the freight due.
With reference thereon to Lord Arlington.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 240, No. 136.]


May 26. 1668
John Russell to the Navy Commissioners.

Desires them to send a vessel for timber;
the wharf being so full, shall be compelled to hire a piece of land to lay it on;
also for the removal of some timber from Hull, as it takes great damage remaining there.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 240, No. 138.]

Squeaky wheel -- second request.

JayW  •  Link

Hodsden and Tibalds. Both local to me, and the road would probably have been what is now the A1010 which runs through Hoddesdon, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross and on through North London to Bishopsgate. What little remains of Tibalds (Theobalds Palace) is in what is now Cedars Park, where I used to walk in my lunch hour occasionally when I was working. Theobalds Park is on the other side of the dual carriageway of the A10, cut off from the site of the old palace. Until a few years ago, the original Temple Bar was in Theobalds Park, but it has now been returned to the City and is close to St Paul’s Cathedral.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... and we avoiding the bad way in the forest by a privy way, which brought us to Hodsden; ..."

The forest would be Epping Forest, which was 60 times larger than it is today. As it was a former royal hunting preserve, there would probably be few real 'roads' through it ... lots of tracks and informal ways, subject to flooding ... and given how bad the roads were then anyways, that Pepys would call them bad tells you just how bad.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

And now I'm wondering what "a privy way" means.

Over someone's private property?
A way not marked on the maps of the day, known only to university students and farmers?

It can't have been that "privy" or a commercial coach couldn't have taken the route. Maybe it was just the long way around, and privy indicates the driver knew it as an alternative route, to avoid being stuck in the mud in the middle of woodlands. Presumably he wasn't carrying any mail, or there would have been complaints about any deviation.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... and got to Bishopsgate Street before eight o’clock ..."

I think we can assume Pepys and Tom arrived back at the coaching inn from whence they had departed last Saturday:

"Up by four o’clock; and, getting my things ready, and recommending the care of my house to W. Hewer, I with my boy Tom, whom I take with me, to the Bull, in Bishopsgate Street, ..."

Glen gave the Bull an interesting review at

How interesting that Balty and Esther had taken the opportunity to have a weekend in town, and had kicked out Hewer.

Third Reading

Michaela  •  Link

Interesting that it seems quite unexceptional in Sam’s time to persuade a stranger to read aloud from her book for your entertainment; I wonder what would happen if I asked someone to do that for me the next time I’m on a train?

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