Friday 12 June 1668

(Friday).

Up, finding our beds good, but lousy; which made us merry. We set out, the reckoning and servants coming to 9s. 6d.
my guide thither, 2s.
coachman, advanced, 10s.
So rode a very good way, led to my great content by our landlord to Philips-Norton, with great pleasure, being now come into Somersetshire; where my wife and Deb. mightily joyed thereat, —[They were natives of that county. - B.]— I commending the country, as indeed it deserves. And the first town we came to was Brekington, where, we stopping for something for the horses, we called two or three little boys to us, and pleased ourselves with their manner of speech, and did make one of them kiss Deb., and another say the Lord’s Prayer (hallowed be thy kingdom come). At Philips-Norton I walked to the Church, and there saw a very ancient tomb of some Knight Templar, I think; and here saw the tombstone whereon there were only two heads cut, which, the story goes, and credibly, were two sisters, called the Fair Maids of Foscott, that had two bodies upward and one belly, and there lie buried. Here is also a very fine ring of six bells, and they mighty tuneable.
Having dined very well, 10s.
we come before night to the Bath; where I presently stepped out with my landlord, and saw the baths, with people in them. They are not so large as I expected, but yet pleasant; and the town most of stone, and clean, though the streets generally narrow. I home, and being weary, went to bed without supper; the rest supping.

23 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Up, finding our beds good, but lousy; which made us merry."

Perhaps they sang and danced? Somehow I can't picture lice making one merry. But I suppose if one must travel in the 17th century, one must be prepared to make merry with them. Interesting that Bess didn't grouse about them...She always seems able to bear anything and even eager to when Sam's with her, even to that time she nearly killed herself riding with him and collapsed at the inn.

Mary  •  Link

"hallowed be thy kingdom come"

Not, of course, the exact wording of the Lord's Prayer. Is Pepys recording an amusing mistake by a small boy?

Mary  •  Link

L&M reads "our beds good, but we lousy."

Jackie  •  Link

Getting lousy from the beds is probably the reward for pulling rank the night before and getting the landlord to turf a peddlar out of the bed which he'd clearly paid for and settled in to.

JWB  •  Link

Fair Maids & Knight Templar:

"There is good reason to believe the legend, for its oddity and for the fact that the church saw fit to commemorate the sisters. Foscott is a hamlet a few miles from Norton. When Pepys saw the tomb, the effigy of the two sisters was cut in stone on the floor of the nave. This has since disappeared except for the two heads which are set on the wall inside the tower, one clearly defined and one much worn.

The ancient tomb, thought by Pepys to be that of a Knight Templar, is now thought to be that of a man of law, dated from circa 1460."

-brief historical guide to Norton St Philip, adapted from a village tour written in 1978 by Jeremy Taylor, Sita Smyth and Pat Lawless

http://www.hks.demon.co.uk/norton/history.htm

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“Having dined very well”

"The Fleur de Lys. http://www.hks.demon.co.uk/norton/fleur.htm
Across the road from the George [Inn}, stands a building which, from internal evidence of its beam structure, may be nearly as old as the George itself. It was opened as an inn in 1584. Not long afterwards, in 1615, Queen Anne of Denmark, wife of James the First, stopped here to dine on her way back from taking the waters at Bath. Dinner for herself and her retinue cost £2 13s 0d. Samuel Pepys, his wife and maid, also dined here on their way to Bath in 1668. Their bill was 10s, 0d. On the north wall of the 'Fleur' can still be seen a coat of arms, much worn away, but with sufficient detail left to suggest the arms of the Fortescue family who owned land in the district in the 16th century. An interesting link between Norton St Philip and the Wars of the Roses: John Fortescue, who had married Isabella, daughter of John Jamyss of Philip's Norton, was Chief Justice to King Henry VI and so supported the Lancastrian cause. Later he was pardoned by the victorious Yorkist King, Edward IV."
http://www.hks.demon.co.uk/norton/history.htm

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"At Philips-Norton I walked to the Church, and there saw a very ancient tomb of some Knight Templar, I think;"

L&M: It was in fact the tomb of an unidentified lawyer, c. 1469, in barrister's gown; now in the s. aisle: illust. in J.C. Collinson, Hist. Somerset (ed. Braikenridge), iii., pt. 3, p. 371.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"here saw the tombstone whereon there were only two heads cut, which, the story goes, and credibly, were two sisters, called the Fair Maids of Foscott, that had two bodies upward and one belly, and there lie buried."

L&M: One of the twins was said to have died 'at a tate of maturity' so that 'the survivor was constrained to drag about her lifeless companion, till death released her from her horrid burden': Collinson, loc. cit. The stone remains on the n. wall of the Tower.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"we come before night to the Bath; where I presently stepped out with my landlord, and saw the baths, with people in them."

L&M: Descriptions of 17th-century Bath are in BM Lansdowne, 213, ff. 339+ [1634]; J. Childrey, Britannia Baconica (1661), pp. 32-3; Mundy, iv. 7-8 [1639]; T. Guidott, Discourse of Bathe (1676), ch. xii; James Yonge, Journal (ed. Poynter, pp. 183-4 [1681]; C. Fiennes, Journeys (ed. Morris), pp. 18+ [?1687]. Drawings by Schellinks (1662) are in Drawings of Engl. in 17th cent. (ed. P. H. Hulton, ii. pls 19 (general), 20 (King's Bath) . Cf. P. R. James, The baths of Bath in 16th & 17th centuries.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

June 12. 1668
The Edgar, King road, Bristol.
Capt. John Wettwang to the Navy Commissioners.

The 101 men from Portsmouth came to Bristol 4 days since, but only 60 have come aboard.
We hear that more will come when their money is gone.
Many of the men we had before have run away because worked so hard.

We should be able to man in a short time, if out in the King road.

If it is dry weather, we will give a good account of the rigging next week.
The carpenters' and joiners' work is almost done.
We discharged the flyboat that had the guns and stores.

We will send the Merlin into King road to press all the men she can, so that they may be ready for us when we come out.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 103.]

@@@
June 12. 1668
Pass for 9 horses belonging to M. De Ruvigny.
Minute. [S.P. Dom., Entry Book 30, f. 36.]

June 12. 1668
Order to the farmers of customs to assist in the embarkation of M. De Ruvigny's goods and baggage.
Minute. [S.P. Dom., Entry Book 30, f. 36.]

THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR IS GOING HOME?

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June 12. 1668
Yarmouth.
Rich Bower to Williamson.

Has nothing but lies for news;

it is reported that the Londoners are afraid every night of having their throats cut before morning, and that for preventing thereof, the Lord Mayor sent from house to house, to order them to have their arms in readiness to defend themselves.

There is a French Ship which has lain at Harwich 6 months, and as she has 16 guns and 32 men, and no one is permitted to go aboard her; this is conceived to be of dangerous consequence.

Col. Atkins of London sent word to Mr. Woodroft of Yarmouth that the Bishop of Canterbury was put out of his bishopric and all public offices.

Forty or 50 laden colliers have passed southward,

and a Yarmouth vessel has sailed for Rotterdam with 30 passengers from Norwich and Yarmouth, which may make the common people there as jealous of them as the English are of the French that are said to come over;
or they may be so ingenious as to apprehend that the passengers fled for fear, if the story of the Lord Mayor gets over before them.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 111.]

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June 12. 1668
Rye.
James Welsh to Williamson.

There was a sharp dispute at Dieppe between one of the King's frigates of 40 guns, and a French man-of-war of 35 guns, because the latter would not lower her flag,
and they fought smartly for two hours, 'board and board, as they call it";
the French flag at last coming down, the quarrel ended.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 112.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

June 12. 1668
Earl of Carlingford to Williamson.

The paper enclosed for my quit-rent is insignificant, the direction not being to the present governor; I want it mended and returned.

The warrant for my horses was useless, ''customs free'' being blotted, which forced me to have 3 horses at Chester, as I could not transport them without paying 14/.;
if I cannot have exemption from such an intolerable charge, I will have them sold.

I hear of great alterations in Court, and hope they are all for his Majesty's good.

Some Tories appear in the north [of Ireland], but if the Lord Deputy's directions for suppressing them be diligently put into execution, they will quickly be destroyed.
[2 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 113.]

Charles II sent Theobald Taaffe, 1st Earl of Carlingford (1603 - 1677) on a diplomatic mission to the Habsburg Emperor Leopold and the prince-bishop of Munster in 1665 to solicit their co-operation against the Netherlands. That was his final public appointment.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

My Lord Sandwich, still packing his bags in Madrid, is also very merry today, or was very recently, as his colleague from Venice, Catterin Belegno, is cabling home that "Sandovich is waiting for a ship to take him from St. Ander to London"; the Muscovite ambassador is leaving too, and "Presents of equal quality have been sent by the queen to both; to the English ambassador a very rich one and 4000 doubles as a contribution to his maintenance" [https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-paper…].

4,000 doublons! Gulp. In a country still dripping with gold and silver, that would be good money - 16,000 dollars judging from https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/6260, "The famed Gold Doubloon was worth (...) approximately 4 dollars". At 53 shillings/Charles II silver dollar as per https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces89726.html, and 20 shillings/pound, would that be, good Lord, £42,400??

Even assuming some confusion along the way between the various species of doublons and dollars in circulation, compare this with the budget of £4,000 which Parliament had granted Sandwich last year, which we had thought quite enough already.

Part of the rationale was that my Lord wouldn't have to pay for his drinks too often. Indeed; there he goes, the English ambassador, his pockets heavy with the host country's money. England and Spain are currently best friends, and 'tis but the normal courtesies of princes, but still. Most of it may have gone to the multitude of debts and unpaid bills that must have accumulated in his (wildly successful) two years' tenure, but 4,000 still looks like a nicely round number. Surely the Queen, if she agreed to cover those costs, would have generously covered them entirely, and then some.

Sandwich, as he relaxes on his way home, can certainly pay the $4 they charge for a whisky even in first class, make plans to fund his own crusade to liberate Crete from the Turks, and hope that no one in London will ever know or care about the "very rich... contribution to his maintenance".

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Most of it may have gone to the multitude of debts and unpaid bills that must have accumulated in his (wildly successful) two years' tenure ..."

I suspect that was the intent of Queen Regent Mariana of Austria. I doubt her doublons left the country.
Of the payments I know about so far, Monmouth received more for a couple of months partying in Paris and staying with his aunt than Sandwich got for 2 years of negotiations commuting between Madrid to Lisbon.

"In a country still dripping with gold and silver, that would be good money ..." Hhmmmm, not so sure about that.
There was less gold and silver coming from the New World these days. And at the Pope's prompting, instead of investing in Spain, the riches had gone for 150 years to underwriting the Religious European Wars.
Even paying the troops had been problematic. When the money was sent up the Channel, Queen Elizabeth picked them off to fund the Protestant cause.
So the Pope suggested using some friendly Genoa bankers ... who paid him enough commission to build the Vatican. After taking their cut, the Genoa Bankers sent the gold up through France so the money did reach the troops. The Spanish had been borrowing from those Genoa Bankers since the 1550s.

Once paid, the troops bought the usual wine, women and song ... the merchants bought paper, silks, art, tea and gunpowder ... it is estimated in about five generations the wealth of the New World ended up in China.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

A long but fascinating article on the subject:
http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/history-slav…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"with great pleasure, being now come into Somersetshire; where my wife and Deb. mightily joyed thereat, — [They were natives of that county. - B.]"

Elizabeth St. Michel was born 23 October, 1640 at or around Bideford, in DEVONSHIRE.

What was B. thinking?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Capt. John Wettwang -- really! -- I wonder what sort of work he does which is so hard his crew ran away.

If Pepys makes it to Bristol, perhaps they will meet.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... and pleased ourselves with their manner of speech ..."

The London toffs mock children for speaking the local dialect. Still happens ... so the kids develop their own language and do mean things to the tourists. Lucky for Pepys his coach hadn't been egged when he wanted to leave.

Remember the fleas? That can be arranged, you know.

mwainer  •  Link

"Merry?"
You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Charles II: July 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 469-516.
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-paper…

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July 2. 1668
Certificate by Lord Arlington,
that on 12 June, Sir Wm. Temple, resident at Brussels,
lately Ambassador Extraordinary at the treaty at Aix,
being returned from his employment
presented himself at Whitehall to his Majesty.
[S.P. Dom., Entry Book 30, f. 73.]

Liz  •  Link

“L&M: One of the twins was said to have died 'at a tate of maturity' so that 'the survivor was constrained to drag about her lifeless companion, till death released her from her horrid burden': “
I imagine this wouldn’t have taken long - necrotic tissue from the deceased would cause sepsis in the surviving twin.

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