Monday 8 June 1668


Father’s servants (father having in the garden told me bad stories of my wife’s ill words), 14s.
one that helped at the horses, 2s.
menders of the highway, 2s.
Pleasant country to Bedford, where, while they stay, I rode through the town; and a good country-town;
and there, drinking, 1s.
We on to Newport; and there ’light, and I and W. Hewer to the Church,
and there give the boy 1s.
So to Buckingham, a good old town. Here I to see the Church, which very good, and the leads, and a school in it:
did give the sexton’s boy 1s.
A fair bridge here, with many arches: vexed at my people’s making me lose so much time;
reckoning, 13s. 4d.
Mighty pleased with the pleasure of the ground all the day. At night to Newport Pagnell; and there a good pleasant country- town, but few people in it. A very fair — and like a Cathedral — Church; and I saw the leads, and a vault that goes far under ground, and here lay with Betty Turner’s sparrow: the town, and so most of this country, well watered. Lay here well, and rose next day by four o’clock: few people in the town: and so away.
Reckoning for supper, 19s. 6d.
poor, 6d.
Mischance to the coach, but no time lost.

13 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" Buckingham, a good old town. Here I to see the Church, which very good, and the leads, and a school in it:...A fair bridge here, with many arches:....most of this country, well watered."

Compare *Through England On a Side Saddle, IN THE TIME OF WILLIAM AND MARY. BEING THE DIARY OF

"Buckinghamtown..., a very neate place and we passed the river Ouise over a very high bridge tho' the river seemed not then so very full, but it swells after great raines which makes them build their arches so large."…

Katherine  •  Link

How'd the sparrow get into the story?

PHE  •  Link

'De rekening' is Dutch for 'the bill' in a restaurant. Living in Belgium, I have been learning some Dutch and surprised at seeing the strong link with English and especially some of our older expressions, words and some grammatical constructions.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

A fascinating piece of journalistic note-taking. Enough detail to remind him of the fuller stories when time allows and, most important, a list of expenses.

Georgiana Wickham  •  Link

"Reckoning, 13s. 4d"

The National Archives estimates this is about £55 in today's terms. Is this just for lunch in Buckingham? I know Pepys is doing well now, but this still seems a lot to me.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

14s to keep the staff happy after Queen Bess' rages. Peace at home, priceless.

I suppose, given the lack of grim reports and Bess' managing to hang on through the full visit this time, things began ok with our fair lady bringing and happily bestowing Pall's wedding gifts and reasonably content visiting Lady Sandwich, then boredom, worry over what Sam was up to, annoyance with Papa-in-law's comments about her dress, late mornings, airs, flirations, etc, etc...Stir in Pall's newfound pleasure in being her own mistress with a devoted Jackson and it's not hard to see an explosion in progress...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder if the sparrow was the early warning equivalent of a canary in the mine.

Or perhaps...

"There's a special providence even in the fall of a sparrow, Betty."

"Oh, Mr. Pepys...That's beautiful, sir. Where be it from, sir?"

"Shakespeare, dearest Betty...From 'Hamlet', the soulful young prince himself. My favorite play..."

"Oh, yes..."

"Yes, Betty...A special providence has brought us together...Here. Now. You see, Betty...A Clerk of the Acts of His Royal Majesty's Navy is like any other man...Same hopes, same dreams. Only a COA is more...Lonely, Betty."

"I can see that Mr. P. Oh, me sparrow...Oh..."

"Damned bird...My periwig is not a nesting...Hmmn...God damnit, stupid bird." shakes fist at sparrow perched on vault rock.

Distinctly hear a birdsized chuckle there...

"Sorry, sir. He likes to target dark, warm places..." Betty, apologetically...Sam shaking hastily removed wig...Damn, any water about?

Hmmn...? Perhaps an opportunity to avoid a total loss?

"Yes...As do I...Dearest Betty...Oh...Damn, you bird!!!"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

On the road for a sight-seeing tour of towns and country SW of Brampton and NW of London.

"“Reckoning, 13s. 4d”

The National Archives estimates this is about £55 in today’s terms. Is this just for lunch in Buckingham? I know Pepys is doing well now, but this still seems a lot to me."

One wonders how many were Pepys's "people" at this point, but even so....

Chris Faulkner  •  Link

There is a local expression which I've not heard since I was a boy; where a shop or restaurant 'reckoned up' the bill. Which means to total all the purchases. I used to take my Mothers grocery order to the local shop and when I picked it up later, was always told to make sure it had been 'reckoned up properly', making sure the shopkeeper hadn't 'accidentally' over charged.

cgs  •  Link

Three R's
No longer required, now
Listening to tape
no cursive writing key pad
Use computer type calculator key pad
Ergo no need to know therefore I am

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Here I to see the Church, which very good, and the leads, and a school in it:"

L&M: The Royal Latin School occupied a chantry chapel in St Peter's Church -- the only church in Buckingham at that time. The church was rebuilt 1777-81 and again in the 19th century. Descriptions in R. Symonds, Diary (ed. Long), p. 20 [1644][ Browne Willis, Hist. Buck. (1745), ch. xii.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"At night to Newport Pagnell"

L&M: Presumably a slip for Bicester, which lay between Buckingham and Oxford. The description of the town and of the church, however, fits not Bicester but Newport, which Pepys had passed through earlier in the day.

psw  •  Link

cgs annotations...some of my favorites...making me laugh out loud. A wit he rightly r.

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