The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 52.240477, -0.902656

3 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Northampton is a large market town and local government district in the East Midlands region of England. Situated about 67 miles (108 km) north-west of London and around 50 miles (80 km) south-east of Birmingham, Northampton lies on the River Nene and is the county town of Northamptonshire.

Northampton supported the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War. For this reason the town walls and castle were later torn down on the orders of King Charles II as punishment.…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In May 1669 Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, travelled through Northants. on his way from Cambridge to Oxford.
I've standardized the spelling of names I know, corrected scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. I apologize if I guessed incorrectly:

From Wellingborough, the remainder of the country was either clothed with trees, or devoted to tillage or pasture, all the way to Northampton, the chief town of the county, called by the English Northamptonshire.


His highness alighted at the Inn of St. George, situated near the belfry of the principal church. On the arrival of his highness, the bells were immediately rung as a mark of joy, and, being well tuned, the sound of them was very agreeable; but the ringing being continued a great part of the night, they proved a great interruption to sleep. The mayor and aldermen, with whom the civil government rests, came to pay their respects to his highness, who made use of the same formalities towards them as had been adopted in other places.

His highness walked though Northampton, which, both in the structure and elegance of its buildings, is not inferior to the other towns of the kingdom.

He went to see the church close to his lodgings, which was formerly dedicated to St. Andrew, but now profaned by the exercise of the Anglican religion; it was intended by Simon St. Liz, 1st Earl of Northampton, for the place of his burial, having been built by him, along with the castle, which stands on the Western side of the city; his highness then returned, and supped alone.

Northampton, as before described, is the chief town of the county, and is situated almost in the centre of England. It stands on an eminence, which rising gradually, renders the site, in some degree, hilly.


Its circumference, which is 2,120 paces, is surrounded by walls, not far from which runs the river Nen. The streets and the buildings are good, and in a respectable style of architecture; the greater part of them are built of earth, and of stone, a good deal ornamented. The inhabitants are estimated at about 16,000; and all the places of the county are well peopled, in consequence both of the salubrity of the air and the fertility of the soil.

Of these, the most considerable after Northampton, is the city of Peterborough where, united to the monastery built (according to tradition) by King Wolfer, is the cathedral formerly consecrated to St. Peter the Apostle, but now profaned, and it is more celebrated than anything else in the place for the nobleness and antiquity of its structure.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


In it are buried Queen Catherine, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, Sovereigns of Spain, and wife of Henry VIII; also Queen Mary Stuart, daughter of James, Viceroy of Scotland and Madam Mary of Guise, who was first wife of Francis II, King of France, and afterwards of Henry Stuart, son of the Earl of Lenox, a Scotsman, son of Margaret, eldest sister of Henry VIII — both unfortunate women; the one, owing to her divorce, being compelled to die in the village of Kimbolton; and the other, in consequence of suspicions entertained against her by Queen Elizabeth, deprived of life at Fotheringhay.


There are in this county, amongst other things worthy of notice, the castles of Towcester, Kettering, Oundle, and Collyweston, celebrated for the stone quarries, from which they dig not only the stone for ornamenting the buildings, but likewise the slate for covering them; and, therefore, Margaret of Richmond, mother of Henry VII, availing herself of the convenience of these materials, built there a very noble mansion.

The title of Earl of Northampton (which was given to the Earl of Essex by Edward VI) is now enjoyed by my Lord James Compton, one of the most illustrious families in the county of Warwick, from which was descended Henry Compton, who received the title of baron from Queen Elizabeth.

His highness left Northampton for Oxford, in variable weather; the road, almost the whole of the way, was uneven; and the country, for the most part uncultivated, abounding in weeds, which surround on every side the royal villa of Holdenby, a square palace, situated on the highest part of an eminence, of which you have a view on the right, as you go along the road.

In this villa of Holdenby, King Charles I was shut up by order of the Parliament, on suspicion that he had attempted, with the assistance of Lord Murray, to fly from Newcastle in the county of Northumberland, where he was kept in strict confinement by the Scots.
Lord Murray = Sir Robert Moray FRS =…


It was almost destroyed by the Parliamentarians in the time of Cromwell, but was restored by Charles II, and given to my Lord Arlington, and afterwards sold by him to the Duke of York.
Henry Bennet, Lord Arlington =…

After taking a view of Holdenby, we entered into a park, separated by palisades from the adjacent territory, belonging to the villa of Althorp, a seat of my Lord Robert Spencer, Earl of Sunderland, who had given his highness repeated and pressing invitations to visit him there.

For Cosmo’s visit to Althorp, see…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.