Wednesday 30 December 1668

Up, and vexed a little to be forced to pay 40s. for a glass of my coach, which was broke the other day, nobody knows how, within the door, while it was down; but I do doubt that I did break it myself with my knees. After dinner, my wife and I to the Duke’s playhouse, and there did see King Harry the Eighth; and was mightily pleased, better than I ever expected, with the history and shows of it. We happened to sit by Mr. Andrews, our neighbour, and his wife, who talked so fondly to his little boy. Thence my wife and I to the ’Change; but, in going, our neere horse did fling himself, kicking of the coachbox over the pole; and a great deal of trouble it was to get him right again, and we forced to ’light, and in great fear of spoiling the horse, but there was no hurt. So to the ’Change, and then home, and there spent the evening talking, and so to supper and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I do doubt that I did break it myself with my knees."

doubt = fear

Australian Susan  •  Link

Insurance, Sam, insurance! And suddenly, there are all these extra problems, now you own the coach and horses and are not just using hackneys.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Next it'll be that dent in the side or rear when Bess takes the wheels out for a ride...Then the fuel bills mount as the price of oats fluctuates and OPEC (Oat Producing English Counties# demands higher prices and threatens to shut off fodder production via deals with other producers...Then monthly and yearly maintenance #Reshoe those hooves#...Then a little mishap in the street with Penn's carriage #"No problem at all, Pepys...My lawyer will take care of everything..."). Those carefree days of yore be over, Samuel.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Infant Mortality on the new car, everything going to pot in the first 50 miles for Sam.

andy  •  Link

forced to pay 40s. for a glass of my coach, which was broke the other day, nobody knows how,

This would doubtless count as a failure under ye Ministry of Transport test regime of the time...then there's the insurance, road tax, and the cost of horses always seems to be going up...they don't know what to charge...I blame the King!

best wishes and Happy New Year 1669!


londonpaul  •  Link

Oh dear trouble with the new wheels; nothing changes over the years really does it. Breaking the glass must have made our hero feel a bit like you do when getting a dent in your brand new car in that automotive jungle Sainsbury's supermarket car park. And then the 'engine' plays up which must sow the seeds of doubt about the horse. All this is around town what will happen when he takes it up the Great North Road to Huntingdon?

JWB  •  Link

The 40s in 1670 would be worth 166 GBP in 2005 (UK Archives converter). Bit pricey for glass & labor, but not outrageously so. Believe would have been 'blown plate', hand ground on both sides.…

Mary  •  Link

40s (1668) = £166 (2005)

But if you work on the "Big Mac" principal, replacing the side window of an above-average car in the 21st century is going to cost quite a bit more than £166, mostly because of the cost of labour nowadays.

john  •  Link

Near side is still in use today, even when talking about a single horse. The horse kicking out would not have been that unusual (with the more spirited ones). Fortunately, no serious injuries seemed to have resulted.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Near side - left side. When mounting you get on (unless you are a Japanese warrior - and there may be some other cultures too) on the left side, the side near to you. And it's used for the legs too as in "You should be leading with the near fore, you silly girl!" yelled at me a good few times.........

Mary  •  Link

"the horse kicking out would not have been that unusual..."

Agreed, and let's not forget that this pair of Sam's is, according to his own evidence, only recently broken to carriage-work. In this instance, where kicking over the pole is likely to be more dangerous than simply kicking over the traces, they were lucky that there was not more damage to either the coach or the horse.

john  •  Link

"When mounting you get on [...] on the left side"

Pony-clubbers will remember that to pass your "B" level -- or maybe "C", memory fails -- you must be able to mount from either side.

Australian Susan  •  Link

I think Sam was very lucky indeed not to have had the horse break a leg (and thus have to be put down) - kicking over the traces usually just causes a fall, but the leverages involved in the horse getting a leg over the central pole (or a shaft if it had two) could so easily result in a bone snapping.

Chris Faulkner  •  Link

Near side and offside transfered their useage to motor vehicles as well. But confusing if you are used to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"did see King Harry the Eighth; and was mightily pleased, better than I ever expected, with the history and shows of it. "

L&M note this was a spectacular production -- and we've ween how much he favors extra flywork and music..

LKvM  •  Link

I come from the American "Deep South" (Mississippi), which was mostly settled by people from the British Isles. My name is Dutch, and I was surprised to discover (thanks to Ancestry) that I'm 55% Scottish, 33% English, 5% Irish, only 4% Dutch, and 3% Welsh.
Down here we have the expression " I didn't know him from Adam's all fox," meaning "I didn't know him at all."
It never made any sense whatsoever, but everyone knew what it meant, so making sense didn't matter. It turns out that "Adam's all fox" is a corruption of "Adam's off ox," i.e., the right-side ox of Adam's pair of oxen.
(Adam's near ox has no fame at all.)

Mary K  •  Link

ox > fox

What a delightful derivation.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Question ... how were Sam's knees involved with the glass? Was he doing handstands? The answer lies with how the door was "down". I am confused.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Australian Susan later comes up with this theory:

I understood the glass breaking incident to mean that Sam had a let-down glass window in the coach door with a leather strap to bring it up and down (British Rail had those in the 1950s - anyone remember?) and that he whacked his knee against the door when the glass was in the down position and the door panel was shown to be not thick enough to protect it.

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