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

Open location in Google Maps: 51.486131, -0.310120

6 Annotations

First Reading

Phil  •  Link

Either mis-spelt by Pepys, or known as Brainford in his time, it is now known as "Brentford."

David Plant  •  Link

Not a mis-spelling; Brentford was the scene of an action early in the civil war when Prince Rupert's cavaliers overran a roundhead garrison and plundered the town. Accounts written at the time refer to the incident as "Brainford-fight" (12th November 1642). By 1722 it had become "Brentford" according to the list of market towns on the London Ancestor site:…

Glyn  •  Link

Also known as Braynford, Brentford and other spellings.

The battle is more commonly known as the "Battle of Turnham Green" and was one of the earliest in the Civil War. The Royalists gained the upper hand initially but after several days fighting retreated, so ending their march on London.

Brentford is at the junction of the Rivers Brent and Thames (and is now the terminus of the Grand Union Canal)and was one of the safest places to cross the river at a time when there were no bridges. Since it is about 10 miles from London it was the first staging post where coach horses were rested or changed before carrying on to Hounslow Heath, Staines, Windsor and Bath. Consequently there were a lot of coaching inns here, and the market was an important one.

Notable buildings include Syon House which was the home of the Duke of Northumberland and still is; and Boston Manor House (free). For modern Brentford read the humorous Brentford trilogy in five parts by Robert Rankin ("East of Ealing", "The Brentford Triangle", "The Sprouts of Wrath" etc.)

vincent  •  Link

better connection for middlesex map…

map of mddx: showing county, save the map to home cmpt for all the middlesex connection like the road to cambridge epping forrest etc.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

On April 5/15, 1669 Cosmo, the future Grand Duke of Turin, visited Brentford, Middlesex, on his way to London.

I've standardized the spelling of names I know, corrected the scanning errors I could figure out, and increased the number of paragraphs. Sometimes I got confused making the N.S./O.S. date conversions, so I apologize if they are wrong:

Thence resuming our journey through the same sort of country as that which we had lately travelled, level, open, and full of villages and houses, we arrived at Brentford, which is half a mile from the villa [SION HOUSE], and 11 from Egham.

Brentford is a very large village, through which the river Thames formerly ran.

His highness dined in company with all the gentlemen who had been to wait upon him; and a very great number of people, men, women, and whoever were curious enough to come, were allowed to enter the dining-room.

After dinner, his highness wished all his retinue to proceed to London, retaining only the noblemen, and a few others; it was for the sake of entering quite incog, that he desired all these gentlemen to set out before him for London, which they accordingly did.

Soon afterwards, my Lord Mandeville, gentleman of the bedchamber, and son of my Lord Edward, Earl of Manchester, Lord Chamberlain, arrived with 2 of his majesty's carriages, and 5 of the royal servants, to congratulate his highness in the name of the king, on his safe arrival, and requesting him to make use of the royal palace of Somerset House, the usual habitation of the queen mother, Henrietta Maria of Bourbon, her majesty herself offering to lend it to his highness.


The serene prince returned thanks, but declined it under the pretext of the practice he had hitherto adopted, and meant everywhere to adopt, in order to the preservation of his incog.

This gentleman was accompanied by his brother; he was received, on leaving his carriage, by the Marquis Guadagno, at the head of the stairs by Signor Dante, and without the threshold of the audience chamber by his highness himself, in whose presence he was seated and covered.

At his departure, he was attended by the same persons to the same places, where he had been received on his arrival.

My Lord Henry Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough, now first gentleman of the bedchamber of the Duke of York, who arrived with compliments on the part of his lord, received the same attention.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

After the departure of the latter, his highness set out for London, which is not more than 7 miles distant; the Signors Dante, Bernardino, Gascoyne, and Paul Falconieri were with him in the carriage, and behind it was Major Andrews; Plat, and a single adjutant, were with the luggage, and a servant behind the carriage; after which followed immediately that of the noblemen.

In this manner his highness entered London, having passed over the whole tract of 7 miles, which, after leaving Brentford, is truly delicious from the abundance of well-built villas and country houses, which are seen in every direction.


Without the city, a numerous crowd of people were assembled, on foot, in carriages, and on horseback, to see him pass. [WHICH PRESUMABLY INCLUDED THE PEPYS' COACH.]


I think we should understand "incog." to mean "informal, unofficial" rather than "having one's true identity concealed" which is today's definition.


His highness, Cosmo, must be considered only as a traveler. Under his direction, the narrator of the records was Count Lorenzo Magalotti, afterwards Secretary to the Academy del Cimento, and one of the most learned and eminent characters of the court of Ferdinand II.

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





  • Apr