Friday 5 June 1668

[The rough notes for the journal from this time to the 17th of June are contained on five leaves, inserted in the book; and after them follow several pages left blank for the fair copy which was never made.]


At Barnet, for milk, 6d.
On the highway, to menders of the highway, 6d.
Dinner at Stevenage, 5s. 6d.

13 Annotations

First Reading

cgs  •  Link

Most interesting ? Charge for fixing the King's Highway.

Katherine  •  Link

It's days like this with just the rough notes that bring home to me how much I'll miss the diary when we come to the end. What happened on the highway? Were they merry? How was the dinner at Stevenage? Who got baisired?

Jenny  •  Link

These rough notes and the money Sam paid each day make the diary even more real for me. Milk 6d. I love it.

JWB  •  Link

Highway menders...

"Tudor statutes had placed responsibility on each parish to maintain all its roads. This arrangement was adequate for roads that the parishioners used themselves but proved unsatisfactory for the principal highways that were used by long-distance travellers and waggoners.[4] During the late 17th century, the piecemeal approach to road maintenance caused acute problems on the main routes into London. As trade increased, the growing numbers of heavy carts and carriages led to serious deterioration in the state of these roads and this could not be remedied by the use of parish statute labour. An alternative approach to coordinate effort on a single highway that passed through several parishes was introduced in 1663, when an Act of Parliament gave the local justices powers to erect tollgates on a section of the Great North Road, between Wadesmill, Hertfordshire; Caxton, Cambridgeshire; and Stilton, Huntingdonshire."…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Charles II: June 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 418-468.…

June 5/15. 1668
Thos. Gwynn to Sam. Cottington, merchant of London.

I wonder at not receiving the news, and would make it to your advantage to supply me;
a person at, Amsterdam and another at Delft would have the papers.
I will continue correspondence on any terms you please.
Endorsed, “Post Office, 9 June, 1 a.m.”
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 54.]

A previous letter to Cottington with European intelligence at… 5/15.

I suspect the endorsement means the letter was opened and copied in the "Black Room" at the Post Office. The fact we have a letter to a merchant in the official files indicates it was copied before being delivered to Mr. Cottington.

June 5. 1668
Pass for Sir Rich. Temple, Bart., and George Wilde,
with their servants, a coach and 10 horses, to France.
Minute. [S.P. Dom., Entry Book 30, f. 34.]

Sir Richard Temple, MP 1634-1697: 3rd Baronet of Stowe.
According to his Parliamentary Bio: "He was given leave to go to France during the recess for his health; but before he departed to drink the waters at Montpelier he composed a discourse urging the King to put all his trust in the anti-Clarendonians, with a policy of religious moderation and the punishment of all miscarriages. There is no evidence that it was ever presented."

So he's off for a "holiday" in France ... ??? Curious timing.
When Catherine of Braganza was visiting English Spas in hopes of getting pregnant, Montpelier was considered too expensive.

June 5. 1668
Warrant to the Lord Keeper
to affix the great seal to two commissions, the one using the style of King, and the other of Prince of Portugal,
empowering Sir Rob. Southwell, Envoy Extraordinary, to treat and conclude articles of commerce with that Crown.
Minute. [S.P. Dom., Entry Book 30, f. 36.]

June 5. 1668
Warrant to the Lord Keeper
to affix the great seal to two instruments containing the King's ratifications and guarantee for the peace between Spain and Portugal.
Minute. [Ibid. f. 36.]

June 5. 1668
The Monmouth, Downs.
Sir Thos. Allin to the Navy Commissioners.

His Royal Highness wishes the provisions of the Monmouth and 5 others to be completed for 4 months;
the victualler at Dover has no orders to supply them;
asks what orders there are in London.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 56.]

June 5. 1668
Pass for Sir Edm. Godfry and Godfrey Harrison,
with two servants, to France.
Minute. [S.P. Dom., Entry Book 30, f. 34.]

[Was Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, whose murder in 1678 led to the Popish Plot?]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"So on to Brampton for the night?"

No, Terry. Too far for a one day trip, even on a good horse.
Pepys mentions stopping at Stevenage 5 times in the Diary, but never names the Inn.
There were many, as it was one of the junctions for coaches going to many places throughout the kingdom.
On one occasion Elizabeth missed the London coach, so she caught the York coach instead, and met up with Pepys at Stevenage that way.

I wonder if the word 'dinner" is misleading here ... it refers to the main meal of the day. Presumably his main meal this Friday was in the evening at Stevenage. It is possible they went a bit further to sleep somewhere else if they were on horses, but if they are travelling by public coach, they stayed in Stevenage.

London to Stevenage is about 27 miles ... Stevenage to Huntingdon is about 28 miles.

I say "they" because you don't travel alone; the livery stable can provide a "guide" to make sure you get where you want to go without absconding with the horse, and then take the horse back to its owner.
Tom Edwards is probably in tow, and possible others ... cousin Joyce is no longer available, but Howe and Creed have been around recently. Maybe someone from the Sandwich household is going to Hinchingbrooke with the weekly vegetable and venison order?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I also considered a toll, JWB, but decided against it because Pepys doesn't say that.

"On the highway, to menders of the highway," sounds like he gave the foreman of a gang of workers sixpence for their trouble ... maybe getting something out of the road, or putting planks over a broken culvert, so the coach could pass. These aren't multi-lane highways. A herd of sheep on a country road, and you're there for hours, even today.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meanwhile, in Deptford, two ships left for Hudson’s Bay taking Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers, fur traders financed by Prince Rupert, to explore the area.

Sadly Radisson and the Eaglet experienced crippling damage during a gale and had to return to Ireland.

But Groseilliers was successful. The Nonsuch arrived safely at James Bay, the southern dip of Hudson’s Bay. There they built the first trading fort, naming it Charles Fort (Waskaganish, Quebec today), which they called Rupert’s House, and they named the major river which flows into James Bay "Rupert River".

During the winter of 1668 and spring and summer of 1669 the adventurers trapped and traded so in the autumn of 1669, the Nonsuch returned to England carrying a prized cargo of beaver furs. The pelts were valued at £1,233, the equivalent of a laborer’s lifetime wages.

This first venture did little more than cover costs. But it was a success.

Why did two Frenchmen need Rupert's money to make the trip? They tried to raise the money from French sources in 1659, by applying for a trading license from the governor of New France, the Marquis d’Argenson, to explore the upper Great Lakes. The governor finally agreed, provided they included several of his friends.

Radisson and Groseilliers agreed, but quickly took off, leaving the governor’s palls behind. They travelled north of the Great Lakes, trapping better furs than they had seen before.

When Radisson and Groseilliers returned, Gov, Marquis d’Argenson was furious, fined them, seized their furs and imprisoned Groseilliers.

This only increased their resolve to explore Hudson’s Bay, but realized they needed to do so from the water rather than slogging over land. For ships they needed financial backing.

Radisson and Groseilliers tried to find French investors, but then turned to the English in Massachusetts, where in Boston they met Col. George Cartwright, a commissioner for Charles II of England.

Cartwright immediately saw the potential and he travelled with Radisson and Groseilliers to London where they presented the opportunity to Charles II in 1665.

Charles, eager for new revenue streams, brought in his cousin, Prince Rupert. Being at heart an adventurer, Rupert invested £270.

While they were organizing the expedition, they worked through the plague, the second Anglo-Dutch war, and the Great Fire with the subsequent financial downturn, but they finally secured these two small ships to travel to Hudson’s Bay. The success of just one ship was enough to bring the necessary return and the information needed for Hudson's Bay to be taken seriously.

The Hudson’s Bay Company was incorporated on May 2, 1670 by royal charter granted by Charles II. Prince Rupert was the first governor. The Company controlled of the area around Hudson’s Bay known as Rupert’s Land, spanning approximately 1.5 million square miles.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The founding of the Hudson's Bay Company is a multicultural joint venture story, thanks to an English King, a German Prince and a pair of French fur trappers who were not given the respect they deserved in their homeland.

For maps and more details, see the story as written by a Canadian whose husband is of Greek descent, I believe, even though his name is Italian. Vive la difference:


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

June 5. 1668
Wm. Sherwood to Williamson.
[we later find out Sherwood is in Newgate, and was one of the thieves who stole from Williamson's house]

Being informed that his Majesty’s free pardon is with the Lord Chief Justice, I crave to be included in it;
otherwise I shall have to remain in prison till another is granted at Michaelmas.

I am informed that Howard Coney lodges about St. James’s Market; if set at liberty, I could be instrumental in recovering your property in Coney’s hands, as Capt. Thomas does not know him.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 52.]

Third Reading

Trevor M Randall  •  Link

Truncated entry, maybe, but who knew the void could be filled so adequately with a brief history of turnpikes?! Thanks for the wiki link JWB!

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