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

Open location in Google Maps: 51.490361, 0.065858

12 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

Woolwich Dockyard
Founded in 1512, followed by a ropeyard half a mile away in 1610, it was particularly important during the 16th and 17th centuries. But its value gradually declined owing to limited space, facilities and the silting of the Thames. By 1800 it was restricted to shipbuilding; fitting vessels built at Deptford or merchant yards; and refitting small ships from the Nore

vincent  •  Link

The Royal Dockyards of Deptford and Woolwich
a little insight to the 17C dockyards at…
As well as dry docks for building ships, and wet docks for fitting them out, all dockyards had a large mast pond where long lengths of timber (up to 35 metres long) were soaked before being used to build ships. The wood had to be well seasoned so that the planks would not split or shrink in the water. The earliest dry docks had a wall of mud blocking one end. When a ship was ready to be launched it took twenty men one month of digging to remove the wall so that the dock could fill with water. This performance was repeated for every launch. Launching the vessels became much easier after flood gates were built at one end of the dry dock in 1574.

Stanley Skinner  •  Link


Woolwich is a gritty, industrial town, the easternmost suburb of London on the south bank of the River Thames, about ten miles from the capital.
The town has long had military associations, notably, in the past with the establishment of the Royal Dockyard in 1512, its prime purpose being to build the Great Harry, Henry VIII

vincent  •  Link

working in the dock yard
Being an apprentice was by no means an easy trade to gain entrance to. In the 17th century sixteen was an advanced age at which to begin work, since the children of the poorer classes were expected to do something for themselves from the age of five.
Then the apprentice had for seven years to give his earnings to his master that is until he was 23 Thus for an outsider the time and ....
....In 1664 the Navy Board issued an order that every apprentice was to be 16 years of age at the time of entry and was to serve seven years...

thjeres more about conditions and perks [chips]

Terry F.  •  Link

Woolwich Dockyard
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"Woolwich Dockyard was an English naval dockyard founded by King Henry VIII in 1512 to build his flagship Henri Grace a Dieu (Great Harry), the largest ship of its day.

"Like its counterpart at Deptford, it was probably chosen for its position - on the south bank of the tidal River Thames conveniently close to Henry's palace at Greenwich.

"Its facilities ultimately included two large dry docks, a substantial basin (now used by local anglers), numerous storehouses, a gatehouse and clockhouse, gun bastions, and, in later years, a large metal-working factory used to produce anchors and other iron items used in ship-building."…

Terry F.  •  Link

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

" a town in south-east London, England in the London Borough of Greenwich, on the south side of the River Thames, [...]
"Its history is strongly associated with Britain's military past. It was home to the Woolwich Dockyard (founded in 1512), the Royal Arsenal (dating back to 1671), the Royal Military Academy (1741) and the Royal Horse Artillery (1793); it still retains an army base and the Royal Artillery Museum. [...]…

Terry F  •  Link

"The Royal Dockyard expanded westwards as far as Bowater Road. To the east its limit was marked by the Mast Pond - now under the Ferry truck park. Shallow water and a lack of room to expand caused Woolwich to be overtaken by the Dockyards at Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham during the Napoleonic wars. This period, too, marked the closure of the Royal Ropeyard at Woolwich. The ropeyard was established from around 1573 to supply the whole of the Royal Navy. Until around 1750 it employed over 400 people. Woolwich ropeyard was one of the greatest rope manufactories in the world at the time, and would have been as significant as later roperies at Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth."

Here is a map of the Woolich Dockyard, 1748.

"The resources needed to build a ship of the line were staggering; in addition to up to 2,000 mature trees, each ship required between 30 and 40 miles of rope, which needed renewing every 2 or 3 years. The Woolwich Ropeyard, eventually 1,080' long, produced standard 100 fathom (600 foot) lengths of rope. Now largely lying under Beresford Street, it stretched from the Arsenal Gatehouse to Riverside House."…

Second Reading

Kyle in San Diego  •  Link

Why does Sam have his wife stay in Woolich during the plague and for the night of the Sept 4th during the Great Fire? What property does he own there or which of his friends own property that he is able to do this?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Kyle, go to the top of this Encyclopedia page, and next to "Annotations" you'll see a tab "References (189)". On the References page you'll see a link by date to every one of the 189 mentions to Woolwich. Select the ones in early 1665 and discover for yourself the answers to your questions.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Now I've caught up with Kyle, I see why he asked the question.

Woolwich was one of the first truly mechanised factories in the world. Shipbuilding and rope making there were on an industrial scale. Pepys and the other members of the Navy Board were familiar with many of the craftsmen, and some are mentioned by name during the Diary years.

One manager Pepys mentions often was William Sheldon, who had something to do with the accounts, at whose home Elizabeth Pepys and their household stayed during the Plague. This included Alice (Pepys' cookmaid who lasted from 1665-1666 according to the index), Tom Edwards and Sue, the children, and at the start of her stay, Mary Mercer, her companion (who seems to have moved out by the end of the stay).

Sheldon's home must have been large and on the river, by the dockyard, as Pepys describes it like this on July 21, 1662:

"Thence to the dock, where we walked in Mr. Shelden’s garden, eating more fruit, and drinking, and eating figs, which were very good, and talking while the Royal James was bringing towards the dock, and then we went out and saw the manner and trouble of docking such a ship ..."

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










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