Monday 15 June 1668

(Monday).

Up, and with Mr. Butts to look into the baths, and find the King and Queen’s full of a mixed sort, of good and bad, and the Cross only almost for the gentry. So home and did the like with my wife,
and did pay my guides, two women, 5s.
one man, 2s. 6d.
poor, 6d.
woman to lay my foot-cloth, 1s.
So to our inne, and there eat and paid reckoning, 1l. 8s. 6d.
servants, 3s.
poor, 1s.
lent the coach man, 10s.
Before I took coach, I went to make a boy dive in the King’s bath, 1s.
I paid also for my coach and a horse to Bristol, 1l. 1s. 6d.
Took coach, and away, without any of the company of the other stage-coaches, that go out of this town to-day; and rode all day with some trouble, for fear of being out of our way, over the Downes, where the life of the shepherds is, in fair weather only, pretty. In the afternoon come to Abebury, where, seeing great stones like those of Stonage standing up, I stopped, and took a countryman of that town, and he carried me and shewed me a place trenched in, like Old Sarum almost, with great stones pitched in it, some bigger than those at Stonage in figure, to my great admiration: and he told me that most people of learning, coming by, do come and view them, and that the King did so: and that the Mount cast hard by is called Selbury, from one King Seall buried there, as tradition says.
I did give this man 1s.
So took coach again, seeing one place with great high stones pitched round, which, I believe, was once some particular building, in some measure like that of Stonage. But, about a mile off, it was prodigious to see how full the Downes are of great stones; and all along the vallies, stones of considerable bigness, most of them growing certainly out of the ground so thick as to cover the ground, which makes me think the less of the wonder of Stonage, for hence they might undoubtedly supply themselves with stones, as well as those at Abebury.
In my way did give to the poor and menders of the highway 3s.
Before night, come to Marlborough, and lay at the Hart; a good house, and a pretty fair town for a street or two; and what is most singular is, their houses on one side having their pent-houses supported with pillars, which makes it a good walk. My wife pleased with all, this evening reading of “Mustapha” to me till supper, and then to supper, and had musique whose innocence pleased me,
and I did give them 3s.
So to bed, and lay well all night, and long, so as all the five coaches that come this day from Bath, as well as we, were gone out of the town before six.

15 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...the Mount cast hard by is called Selbury, from one King Seall buried there, as tradition says."

Silbury Hill is less than a mile to the south of Avebury.

John Aubrey (‘Monumenta Britannica’): “No history gives any account of this hill; the tradition only is, that King Sil or Zel, as the countrey folke pronounce, was buried here on horseback, and that the hill was raysed while a posset of milke was seething.” http://www.dot-domesday.me.uk/henge.htm

L&M ascribe this quotation to Aubrey's *Topographical Collections*.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So home and did the like with my wife..."

What, took her back and through?...Looked into her bath? Or is this some new Pepysian slang for connubial ... ?

***
"...where the life of the shepherds is, in fair weather only, pretty..." Excellent point. And in bad, pretty miserable...

Mary  •  Link

"having their pent-houses supported with pillars"

Thus creating a colonnade, I presume, which affords protection to pedestrians.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Having moved to the West Country from London thirty years ago, it's been a pleasure seeing all the sights again for the first time through Sam's eyes.

His expenses are interesting as well, good to see his generosity to "the poor", but I wonder about the 'woman to lay my foot-cloth'. Anybody know what this entailed?

Adam  •  Link

‘woman to lay my foot-cloth’ probably refers to someone working in the baths. Maybe they get out and stand on a cloth so they don't go flying off on the slippery stones.

LKvM  •  Link

"how full the Downes are of great stones . . . most of them growing out of the ground so thick as to cover the ground, which makes me think less of the wonder of [Stonehenge], for hence they might undoubtedly supply themselves with stones . . . ."

True, but they aren't all local sarsens at Stonehenge, and maybe our modern knowledge that its bluestones came (somehow) all the way from Preseli in Wales might have kept Sam's "admiration" piqued, as it does today, with wondering how they got there.

Douglas Robertson  •  Link

“So home and did the like with my wife…”

He seems to mean that he visited the baths again, this time with Elizabeth instead of with Mr. Butts.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"In the afternoon come to Abebury,"

L&M: The common spelling of Avebury (Wilts.) until the 19th century.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Mount cast hard by is called Selbury, from one King Seall buried there, as tradition says."

L&M: Charles II had visite both Avebury and Silbury in 1663 under Aubrey's guidance.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"it was prodigious to see how full the Downes are of great stones; and all along the vallies, stones of considerable bigness, most of them growing certainly out of the ground so thick as to cover the ground, which makes me think the less of the wonder of Stonage, for hence they might undoubtedly supply themselves with stones, as well as those at Abebury."

L&M: All the Avebury sones and most of those at Stonehenge were of locak sarsen, Sarsen stones are sandstone blocks found in quantity in the United Kingdom on Salisbury Plain and the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire; in Kent; and in smaller quantities in Berkshire, Essex, Oxfordshire, Dorset, and Hampshire. They are the post-glacial[1] remains of a cap of Cenozoic silcrete that once covered much of southern England – a dense, hard rock created from sand bound by a silica cement, making it a kind of silicified sandstone. This is thought to have formed during Neogene to Quaternary weathering by the silicification of Upper Paleocene Lambeth Group sediments, resulting from acid leaching.[2]

The word "sarsen" (pronunciation ['sa:sǝn]) is a shortening of "Saracen stone" which arose in the Wiltshire dialect. "Saracen" was a common name for Muslims, and came by extension to be used for anything regarded as non-Christian, whether Muslim, pagan Celtic, or other.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarsen

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"what is most singular is, their houses on one side having their pent-houses supported with pillars, which makes it a good walk."

L&M: A few pillars of the penthouses still remain on the n. side of the main street. Much of the town had been recently rebuilt after the disastrous fire of 1653.

So probably no colonnade.

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
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

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June 15. 1668 Sir Phil. Musgrave to Williamson.
I have made my intelligencer write the enclosed.

I wonder that Cocks, being held to be so rational, should have such wild things in his thoughts, unless there be some more perfectly formed design than he thinks fit to discover.

I have advised the correspondent at Durham to continue his meetings with him, and endeavour to discover who are his London Correspondents, and what friends are depended on in the northern counties;
also to encourage him in his desire to get ammunition and provisions into Raby Castle, and to send a weekly account.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 129.]

Encloses,
Report from and intelligencer [H.W.]

I am informed by Mr. Cocks that they are settling a militia in Scotland, have raised 20,000 men, and secured many friends [Quakers], and intend to secure all they have any jealousy of ”for our turns are the next, and easily may they butcher or cut our turns are the next, and easily may they butcher or cut our throats in Prison."

He talked of the castles, and what a refuge they would be for friends to repair to for security, in the approaching dangerous times, which would undoubtedly produce their murder, and said their great want was ammunition.
He and others will try to procure some.

He advised me to provide a good horse, in case they should be forced to forsake the castle, but thinks that 100 men might long keep it against 10,000 opposers;
that provisions could easily be laid in, and that friends should be advised to go there for safety;
that they are to profess to defend King and laws, and if forced to leave the castle, they hope Bradford, Halifax, Leeds, Wakefield, and Sheffield, would raise a considerable force;
that though there are many Papists in Lancashire, yet the Presbyterians and zealous Protestants much exceed their number;
that there are to profess to defend king and laws, and if forced to leave the castle, they hope Bradford, Halifax, Leeds, Wakefield, and Sheffield would raise a considerable force;
that though there are many Papists in Lancashire, yet the Presbyterians and zealous Protestants much exceed their number;
that there are many in Newcastle, Sunderland, Shields, and Muggleswick Park, and that he would go to confer with Baronet Liddell and other friends as to what was best to be done, and also train up an able gelding to bide fire;
also that there would be a general rising in and about London on the 4th of July next,
-- 9 June 1668,
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No, 129i.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sir Philip Musgrave (1607 - 1678) was offered a peerage on the eve of the Restoration. The patent still survives, but conscious of his impaired estate he preferred to accept the King’s bounty in another way.
He was appointed governor of Carlisle and granted at a nominal rent the tolls on cattle imported into Cumberland and Westmorland from Scotland and Ireland.
At the general election of 1661 he was returned for Westmorland, and became an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament.
On Clarendon’s dismissal, Musgrave, who did not ‘covet the knowledge of state mysteries’, asked Charles II to dispense with his attendance at the next session of Parliament in view of his age and infirmity, and the difficulty of the journey to Westminster.
But he had taken his seat by 9 Nov. 1667, when he was one of the delegation sent to ask the Duke of York about the fortification of Sheerness.
He continued to serve on all committees aimed at nonconformists. AS HE WAS CATHOLIC, THAT COULD HAVE BEEN DIFFICULT.
https://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/…

It occurs to me that informant H.W. may be telling Gov. Musgrave the stories he wants to hear.

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June 15. 1668
Hull.
Chas Whittington to Williamson.

Vessels are daily passing and repassing,
and 3 or 4 have sailed for Holland, richly laden with cloth,
and other Hull commodities.

Vessels from Norway report that the people up the country die very fast, either by sickness or famine;
that corn is very reasonable, but the people are so poor by a 3 years' dearth, and the war, that they are not able to buy, and are forced to grind the bark of trees for bread;
the poorer sort flock to the coast for subsistence.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 128.]

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June 15. 1668
Chester.
Ma. Anderton to Williamson.

The Exchange of Chester has arrived from Dublin;
a passenger says it is confidently reported that there is to be an insurrection in the north of Ireland by 700 Tories or fanatics, and that one Douglas is at the head of them.

Supposes they are of the latter sort, that country being for the most part inhabited by Scots.
Wishes suppression or destruction of all rebels.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 132.]

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June 15. 1668
Reference to the Treasury Commissioners
of the petition of the mayor and aldermen of Newcastle-on-Tyne,
for a re-hearing of the dispute between the town and Lord Gerard,
concerning a lease which he has obtained of the castle.
[S.P. Dom., Entry Book. 18, p. 312.]

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June 15. 1668
Deal.
Sir. R. Southwell to Mr. Francis.

I want all the news manuscripts that you write,
and will be accountable to you for them.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 241, No. 134.]

AMB. ROBERT SOUTHWELL IS OFF TO PORTUGAL.
PRESUMABLY THAT’S HIM, WAITING FOR A SHIP, WRITING TO MR. FRANCIS IN WILLIAMSON’S OFFICE?

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