Thursday 11 June 1668


Up, and W. Hewer and I up and down the town, and find it a very brave place. The river goes through every street; and a most capacious market-place. The city great, I think greater than Hereford. But the Minster most admirable; as big, I think, and handsomer than Westminster: and a most large Close about it, and houses for the Officers thereof, and a fine palace for the Bishop. So to my lodging back, and took out my wife and people to shew them the town and Church; but they being at prayers, we could not be shown the Quire. A very good organ; and I looked in, and saw the Bishop, my friend Dr. Ward. Thence to the inne; and there not being able to hire coach-horses, and not willing to use our own, we got saddle-horses, very dear.

Boy that went to look for them, 6d.
So the three women behind W. Hewer, Murford, and our guide, and I single to Stonage; over the Plain and some great hills, even to fright us. Come thither, and find them as prodigious as any tales I ever heard of them, and worth going this journey to see. God knows what their use was! they are hard to tell, but yet maybe told.
Give the shepherd-woman, for leading our horses, 4d.
So back by Wilton, my Lord Pembroke’s house, which we could not see, he being just coming to town; but the situation I do not like, nor the house promise much, it being in a low but rich valley. So back home; and there being ’light, we to the Church, and there find them at prayers again, so could not see the Quire; but I sent the women home, and I did go in, and saw very many fine tombs, and among the rest some very ancient, of the Montagus.1 So home to dinner; and, that being done, paid the reckoning, which was so exorbitant;
and particular in rate of my horses, and 7s. 6d.
for bread and beer, that I was mad, and resolve to trouble the master about it, and get something for the poor; and come away in that humour: 2l. 5s. 6d.
Servants, 1s. 6d.
poor, 1s.
guide to the Stones 2s.
poor woman in the street, 1s.
ribbands, 9d.
washwoman, 1s.
sempstress for W. Hewer, 3s.
lent W. Hewer, 3s.

Thence about six o’clock, and with a guide went over the smooth Plain indeed till night; and then by a happy mistake, and that looked like an adventure, we were carried out of our way to a town where we would lye, since we could not go so far as we would. And there with great difficulty come about ten at night to a little inn, where we were fain to go into a room where a pedlar was in bed, and made him rise; and there wife and I lay, and in a truckle-bed Betty Turner and Willett. But good beds, and the master of the house a sober, understanding man, and I had good discourse with him about this country’s matters, as wool, and corne, and other things. And he also merry, and made us mighty merry at supper, about manning the new ship, at Bristol, with none but men whose wives do master them; and it seems it is become in reproach to some men of estate that are such hereabouts, that this is become common talk. By and by to bed, glad of this mistake, because, it seems, had we gone on as we intended, we could not have passed with our coach, and must have lain on the Plain all night. This day from Salisbury I wrote by the post my excuse for not coming home, which I hope will do, for I am resolved to see the Bath, and, it may be, Bristol.

27 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Iune 11. 1668. S R Southwell 50ll towards Colledge)

mr Hooke brough in a written account of the seed of mosse by him Obserued to be of that Exceeding smalnesse that about 770 millions are required to make the weight of one graine the method of computing whereof he explained to the company. the paper was orderd to be registred (mr Ray promisd to assist D Cox) Mr Hook suggested that it was worth inquiry whether there were any values in Plants. which he conceiued to be very nessary for conueying the Iuice of plants tree sometimes vp to the height of 200. 300 & more feet. which he saw not how it could be performed wthout values as well as motion.

The same brought in a written account to shew the Dilation of bodys whereby they are made to fill a larger space then they did before not only when they are hot, but perfectly cold, It was orderd to be registred.

There was made an Expt of the porousnesse of sand being first well shaken & prest together, to see how much water it would take in afterwards. the sand was white howr glasse sand and the quantity here vsed weighed 9 [ounce] 6 [drachm] the sand and water imbibed weighed together 11 [ounce] 1 1/2 [drachm] . the Curator was orderd to bring in writing a full account of this expt. and to try the like about the porousnesse of Ashes the next day, as also the expt. of weighing a Sal gem in oyle of turpentine (about Steno expt.) the Rarefying engine to be brought to Arund house)

The curator was put in mind to make the Expt. of the floridnesse of the Blood in the arterys after it has past the Lungs.

(mr Slingsby Indian Gold Coloured ske[i]nes) [ ]…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I did go in, and saw very many fine tombs, and among the rest some very ancient, of the Montagus....1. The Montacutes, from whom Lord Sandwich’s family claimed descent"

L&M note the tomb of Sir John de Montacute is now in the n. aisle of the nave of this church.…

I cannot confirm my Lord Sandwich's descent from the Montacutes.

Robert Gertz  •  Link Stonehenge...

"My, this is fabulous..." Bess eyeing stones of the two rings. "Sam'l? What could they possibly be for?" she peers through an opening in one colossal stone, then through the one lined up past it.


"Lord knows Bess...Inigo Jones says the Romans did build it. Perhaps a temple or a fortress building."

"Not up to their usual standards, if so." Will Hewer notes, passing round a large one.

"Just be pleased to be very careful, folks." the guide notes. "The stones of the outer ring is a bit less well set and some of the locals been trying to take a few for their building over the years."

"Sam'l..." Bess calls, still peering...Hmmn...If the moon were just over there...And I stretch just a bit.

"What is it now, Bess?" Sam, sighing. "You heard the guide say not to handle the stones."

"Just back up against the outer stone, there." Bess waves... "Sam'l...I think this place might have used for astronomy. It's like when you were showing me how to find one star from another..."

"I knew I'd regret those lessons..." Sam notes to Hewer, chuckling. "Bess..."

"This one lines up with that one and if we could just put the moon there..." Bess points. "I'm sure..."

"This one...?" Sam shakes head. "Nonsense, the thing just happens to be here..." Slaps stone.

"Sir, no!" the guide gasps. As stone after stone of the outer ring come down like dominos...


"Well...I suppose we'd ought to be going. Very interesting place..." he notes to the shocked guide staring at the rubble.

JWB  •  Link

Tomb of Sir John de Montacute

View taken from nave, showing southwest corner of tomb.Montacute (d. 1390) was the second son of the Earl of Salisbury. Tomb chest and effigy are of carved sandstone; effigy was originally painted and gilded.…

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Mr Hook suggested that it was worth inquiry whether there were any values in Plants" (Hooke Folio - thanks TF)

Here "values" = valves.

cgs  •  Link

Nice catch Paul C. uvw - double you spoken, written double vee.
V is you?

sf ., i j dah!

john  •  Link

"and find them as prodigious as any tales I ever heard of them"

Good to see him properly awed.

JWB  •  Link

Note Speed's depiction of "The river goes through every street...". Must have been a 'very brave place' on a hot summer day.

arby  •  Link

Was Stonehenge in Sam's day much like we see it today, or have fallen stones been raised since his time?
And thanks for the "valves" Paul, I mindlessly skimmed over it.

Mary  •  Link

The following link shows an earlier 17th century view of the stones, which were slightly later examined by John Aubrey in 1666.

The first reliable survey of the monument is said to be that made by John Wood, a Bath architect, in 1740.

Fallen stones were repositioned at various dates in the 20th century.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Note Speed’s depiction of “The river goes through every street""

Of his 20 July 1654 visit there, John Evelyn reported: "and so we came to Salisbury, and saw the most considerable parts of the city. The market place, with most of the streets, are watered by a quick current and pure stream running through the middle of them, but are negligently kept, when with a small charge they might be purged and rendered infinitely agreeable, and this made one of the sweetest towns, but now the common buildings are despicable, and the streets dirty."

L&M note these water-courses ran through the streets until the 19th century.

LKvM  •  Link

"some great hills, even to fright us"

Round barrows, Silbury Hill, Marlborough Mound?

Glyn  •  Link

"they are hard to tell, but yet maybe told."

Is 'tell' being used in the sense of 'counted' (from where we get 'bank teller')?

I keep admonishing myself to cycle from Salisbury to Stonehenge but will avoid Old Sarum, which is much too hilly.

Mary  •  Link


More in the sense of 'estimate, discern'

e.g. "Is that a cow or a bull in that field?"
"I cannot tell from this distance."

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"But the Minster most admirable;"

L&M: The palace, unlike the cathedral, had suffered badly during the troubles; the hall had been pulled down, a passage opened up for public use through the close wall, most of the main building converted to an inn, and the rest let out to tenements. Seth Ward (Bishop, 1667-89) rebuilt it at a cost of over £2,000: Walter Pope, Life (1697), p. 63.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"saw the Bishop, my friend Dr. Ward."

Ward was, like Pepys, a Fellow of the Royal Society. He had taugght mathematics to Pepys's patron, Sandwich. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"So the three women behind W. Hewer, Murford, and our guide"

L&M note Murford, the Navy Office messenger who accompanied them on this journey, but whose presence has not been mentioned before in his notes.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day from Salisbury I wrote by the post my excuse for not coming home, which I hope will do, for I am resolved to see the Bath,"

L&M: 'The Bath', not 'Bath', was a common 17th-century form of the name.

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. British History Online…

June 11. 1668
Jane Crane to Rob. Francis.

Was pained by not receiving the promised news, and attributed it to his being ill, which turned out to be the fact.
Thanks for bestowed.
[2 pages. S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 96.]


June 11. 1668
The Monmouth, Downs.
Sir Thos. Allin to the Navy Commissioners.

I understood from Col. Middleton and Sir John Mennes that order was given to the victualler at Dover to supply the Dartmouth with a month's provisions, upon which the captain sent for it;
but the victualler had received no order, and could not deliver any without one from me.

I do not understand this;
I want an order for their speedy supply, they having no provisions abroad but what were spared by the Constant Warwick.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 99.]

June 11. 1668
Roger Eastwood to the Navy Commissioners.

The work being pretty well over, I desire the discharge of the pressed men.

I hope to despatch the Centurion and other vessels named within a fortnight.

As for Capt. Briant's information about joiners on the Leopard, I cannot help unless I should take all the joiners from other works.

Mr. Mayors promised to send some masts, &c., but none have yet come.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 100.]

June 11. 1668

Reference to the Treasury Commissioners of the petition of Robert, Earl of Ailesbury
for a grant to him and his heirs male of the stewardship of the honour of Ampthill and the manors thereof.
[S.P. Dom., Entry Book 18, p. 311.]

Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury (later styled Aylesbury) and 2nd Earl of Elgin, PC, FRS (c. March 1626 – 20 October 1685), was a Scottish politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1663, when he inherited his father's title as Earl of Elgin. Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire in 1660 - 1661. In 1664 he was created Earl of Allesbury, Viscount Bruce of Ampthill and Baron Bruce of Skelton. He was Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire from 1660 and Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and Hampshire from 1681 to his death.


Buffalo Gal  •  Link

"They are hard to tell but yet may be told." It was believed that there was a magic to standing stones that made them impossible to count accurately. There is a good Wikipedia article on Countless Stones.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Murford, the Navy Office messenger who accompanied them on this journey, but whose presence has not been mentioned before in his notes."

That makes 7 in the coach ... a bit crowded. Maybe Tom Edwards is riding shotgun, or on the roof, or with the luggage in a sling at the back?

It also makes those bills for such an expensive lunch that much less expensive.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Let us spare a thought for Will Murford, as he briefly surfaced from among the human office equipment known as "my Clerks", and won't reappear. Sam regularly feeds them and banters with them at his own table, as a feudal lord his retainers. But their lives, opinions, jokes, anecdotes and theater reviews are lost to us, as he does not sees them fit to record any more than yesterday's ink-change to the copy machine.

Murford, then, gets one-and-a-half line in Robert Latham's 600-page Pepys Companion (UC Press, 2000,…) At least he will forever be "young Murford". Indeed on his previous appearance, again accompanying Sam into the country, he rode his own horse alongside Sam's coach, so, as befits a messenger, he was (then) a swift and supple young man, good enough a rider for the Navy's communications. On his last appearance, back on October 7-9, he was also derided as the guy "not knowing how to open our door", among "other pleasant simplicities". A messenger however had to have enough wits to deal with the road's many complications (highwaymen, floods, lame horses, full inns, bad roads, bad guides, weather, no signage, detours, getting lost in the woods, more highwaymen, etc); maybe he was in training. On that particular trip Sam also happened to dig out the remainder of his buried gold from Brampton, so there would have had to be some trust between Sam and young Murford.

So why is he here? Did he need vacations too? Fun enough to be in the entourage? Just part of the security detail? Happens to know the road? His being a messenger can't be accidental.

"Mr Pepys", commissioner Pett had told Sam last week, "I'm so happy for you that His Grace granted this vacation, you surely deserve it, but, ah, if urgent matters should come up, uh..."

"Well, I won't be here for them, I'm afraid".

"At least can you take a messenger and check in once in a while?"

And so Sam, workaholic that he is, equipped with the latest in portable scriptoriums, is constantly checking on Murford - to Bess' despair that he can't let go of work, even here. They're about a 10-hour ride to London now, as the post goes (the State Papers' "Post Labels" collection, e.g. at…, shows Bristol-London to have taken ~24 hours in 1667, with stops). He can shuttle back to the office every night.

Alas, despite all the Post Office propaganda on how their high-speed network covers all of England, Mumford always shakes his head: Nope, no service here; road not good enough. Or it's the horse that constantly needs some hay - every inn they enter, the first query is, "can we recharge the horses here?"

But if he can't be used for communication, at least Mumford has games; he can juggle, and knows card tricks, and recites stories. A most usefull device of a man to have around; you do get to depend on the convenience...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thank you, Stephane, for reminding me about Commissioner Peter Pett: his story has gone dark since his appearance before the House of Commons when they voted to impeach on April 23, 1668.…

"Commissioner Peter Pett was reappointed to his office [at Chatham] after the Restoration, and remained in it until 29 Sept. 1667, when he was charged with being the main cause of the disaster at Chatham in June, and was summarily superseded.
"He was accused, in detail, of having neglected or disobeyed orders from the Duke of York, the Duke of Albemarle, and the navy commissioners to moor the Royal Charles in a place of safety, to block the channel of the Medway by sinking a vessel inside the chain, to provide boats for the defence of the river, and to see that the officers and seamen were on board their ships (ib. 19 Dec. 1667).
"On 18 June he was sent a prisoner to the Tower, on the 19th was examined before the council, and on 22 Oct. before the House of Commons. There was talk of impeaching him, but the accusation was merely the outcome of a desire to make him answerable for the sins of those in high places, and the matter was allowed to drop."…

So on Thursday of next week Commissioner Pett will be removing to the Tower of London.

The Commissioner in your story must have been Sir William PENN ... who's in bed with the gout, but the office clerks can get to him, so that fits.


On William Murford, it's curious there are two William Murfords in the Diary.

One is Capt. William Murford who figures at the beginning of the Diary when Pepys is still hesitant about taking money from anyone in the course of his work.…

Now we have a young Murford ... he could well be a relative/son of the Captain?
Murford is an unusual name.
That might account for his being along: He comes from a well-connected family, and perhaps his riding skills were as good if not better than his clerking abilities?

Peter Johnson  •  Link

About 120 years later another characterful diarist went on a tour through Salisbury - the Hon. John Byng, later and briefly 5th Viscount Torrington. He'd spent 10 days or so sampling the social life of Weymouth with his wife and friends, leaving quite a full account of the place, ending -

'" I shall leave Weymouth, as I should any place of this sort, with pleasure, because I am like a fish out of water at them, and think they are, for a healthy person, a miserable way of killing time, and spending money; with new acquaintance for whom we care not a jot, and toss'd about in bad company, and bad conversation; divested of quiet and comforts; the fortune-hunter, and the dancing would-be-married miss, may admire these pretty haunts of folly, and freedom."

He then went off on his own from Weymouth.

"Sept. 7th [1782]. .... I was on my horse by half past six o'clock.

" Most refreshing was the ride to Sarum, the air was so cool and so sweet; and by the way I saw several deer upon the edge of the chase. I was at Sarum in time for the hot rolls, and was receiv'd at the White Hart, civiilly and attentively; there shaved, and dressed; drank coffee; and then went to survey the cathedral which I had seen before and of which I resumed my old remarks. The close is comfortable, and the divines well seated; but the house of God is kept but in sad order, to the disgrace of our Church, and of Christianity. Whenever I see these things I wish for a return of the authority and Church government of a land. The church-yard is like a cow-common, as dirty and as neglected, and thro' the centre stagnates a boggy ditch. I wonder that the residents do not subscribe to plant near, and rowl the walks, and cleanse the ditch. which might make an handsome canal.

" I hope that when the new bishop arrives, who is a scholar, and a gentleman; he will be shocked at the delapidations of the beautiful old chapter house; and the cloisters; thro' the rubbish of which they are now making a passage for his new Lordships installation in the chapter house.

" Salisbury has the advantage of a stream running thro' every street of the town; which must conduct to comfort, health and cleanliness; but I should fancy, from its being deeply brick'd up, must be often productive of accidents. From Salisbury the road continues very open, steep and unpleasant, without any object to amuse the attention.

" I arrived at Basingstoke at 7 o'clock. where I found an into f good fare, and had a sole and a rabbet for supper....... "

From "The Torrington Diaries; A Selection....", Eyre & Spottiswood, 1954, "Ride into the West: 1782", pages 83 and 84.

Some of the tours are available on line, though not this one, at…

Apologies if anyone thinks I'm straining the bounds of this site too far.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

YES! Yes of course it was William PENN I meant, my lords, Penn not Pett, just a honest mistype, we swear, why, in no wise would our little satire EVER contemplate disregard, or disrespect, of your most rightful Condemnation of the despicable Mr. Penn, I mean Pett, Pett-Pett-Pett, my lords, of course not, such is the Very High Regard your lordships may be assured we have of Parliament, why, but absolutely my lords, and most especially your Most Dignified and Respectable Committee. Yes, yes, of course, yes, thank you so very much my lords.

Pfew. Close call. Thanks Sarah.

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