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

Open location in Google Maps: 49.494370, 0.107929

4 Annotations

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Le Havre was only a fishing village until 1517, when Francis I had a harbour built there was named Havre-de-Grâce (“Haven of Grace”).

"Enlarged and fortified under the Cardinal de Richelieu and Louis XIV in the 17th century, it was adapted to accommodate bigger vessels under Louis XVI in the late 18th century …"…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

By the end of the 17th century, Havre de Grace was a strategic and important port, on a par with London and Amsterdam:

"The first [NAVIGATION] schools in northwestern Europe popped up near the docks in Amsterdam, Le Havre and London [AT THE END OF THE 17TH CENTURY]. They were run by ambitious entrepreneurs who wore multiple hats: some of them invented new instruments or wrote introductory textbooks, all of which they hoped to sell to their students. Some [OF THE ENTREPRENEURS] were mariners, but most had virtually no experience at sea. Still, they harnessed the power of the printing press, and instruments galore, to help teach new mathematical concepts.

"A master or navigator (pilote in French, piloto in Spanish, stuurluy in Dutch) earned three times as much as an able seaman, and many would eventually secure commissions as captains. Sailors flocked to the classroom to learn the terms that would have been familiar to university students studying cosmography."…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Le Havre: Norman: Lé Hâvre [lɛ ɑvʁ(é)]) is a major port city in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region of northern France.

It is situated on the right bank of the estuary of the river Seine on the Channel southwest of the Pays de Caux, close to the Prime Meridian.
The name Le Havre means "the harbour" or "the port". Its inhabitants are known as Havrais or Havraises.

The city and port were founded by King Francis I in 1517. Economic development in the Early Modern period was hampered by religious wars, conflicts with the English, epidemics, and storms. It was from the end of the 18th century that Le Havre started growing and the port took off first with the slave trade then other international trade. ,,,

TODAY: Le Havre is located 50 kilometres (31 miles) west of Rouen on the shore of the English Channel and at the mouth of the Seine. Numerous roads link to Le Havre with the main access roads being the A29 autoroute from Amiens and the A13 autoroute from Paris linking to the A131 autoroute.

TODAY: Administratively, Le Havre is a commune in the Normandy region in the west of the department of Seine-Maritime. The urban area corresponds roughly to the territory of the Agglomeration community of Le Havre (CODAH) which includes 17 communes ... .

Le Havre occupies the south-western tip of the natural region of Pays de Caux where it is the largest city. It is sandwiched between the coast of the Channel from south-west to north-west and the estuary of the Seine to the south.

When founded in 1517, Le Havre was named Franciscopolis after Francis I. It was subsequently named Le Havre-de-Grâce ("Harbor of Grace"). Its construction was ordered to replace the ancient harbours of Honfleur and Harfleur whose utility had decreased due to silting.

Le Havre is inextricably linked to its harbour. In the 18th century, as trade from the West Indies was added to that of France and Europe, Le Havre began to grow.

The commune of Le Havre consists of 2 areas separated by a natural cliff: one part in the lower part of the town to the south including the harbour, the city centre and the suburbs. It was built on former marshland and mudflats that were drained in the 16th century. The soil consists of several metres of silt deposited by the Seine.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


The upper town to the north, is part of the cauchois plateau: the neighbourhood of Dollemard is its highest point (between 90 and 115 metres (295 and 377 ft) above sea level).
The plateau is covered with a layer of flinty clay and a fertile silt. The bedrock consists of chalk measuring up to 200 m (656 ft) deep. Because of the slope the coast is prone to landslides.

Due to Le Havre's location, the climate is temperate oceanic. Days without wind are rare.

Le Havre's beach may rarely experience flooding. These are caused by a combination of strong winds, high waves, and a large tidal range.

Crossing times to Portsmouth vary ... Popular alternative routes going to areas close to Le Havre include Newhaven to Dieppe, and Poole to Cherbourg.

The name of the town was attested in 1489, even before it was founded by François I in the form le Hable de Grace then Ville de Grace in 1516, 2 years before its official founding.
The name Franciscopolis is found in some documents, also that of Havre Marat (referring to Jean-Paul Marat during the French Revolution but was not imposed). After the French Revolution the '-de-Grace' was not restored which undoubtedly referred to the Chapel of Notre Dame located at the site of the cathedral of the same name. The chapel faced the Chapel Notre Dame de Grace of Honfleur across the estuary.

The oldest building still standing in Le Havre is Graville Abbey, a monastery dedicated to Sainte Honorine, set in grounds on the northern bank of the Seine River. The other medieval building in the city is the Chapel of St.-Michel of Ingouville.
Because of the bombing in 1944, buildings from the Early Modern era arerare: Le Havre Cathedral: the first stone of the building was laid in 1536, and the Church of St. Francis are concentrated in the Notre-Dame and St.-François areas.

The Norman language is still used by the people of Le Havre, part of which is identified as speaking cauchois. Among the Norman words used are: boujou (hello, goodbye), clenche (door handle), morveux (veuse) (child), and bezot (te) (last born).

Le Havre was the birthplace of:
Georges de Scudéry (1601–1667), novelist, dramatist and poet.
Madeleine de Scudéry (1607–1701), writer. ...


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


  • Feb