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.

20 Annotations

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.,_3rd_…

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."

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.

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