5 Annotations

First Reading

vicenzo  •  Link

a coach horse must be 14 hands: Lord insist: 10 april 62

Aqua  •  Link

Dray retires "One of the most picturesque traditions of one of England's most picturesque towns comes to an end this week when the dray horses of Southwold are taken out of service."

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Friday 26 October 1660

"After that I to Westminster to White Hall, where I saw the Duke de Soissons go from his audience with a very great deal of state: his own coach all red velvet covered with gold lace, and drawn by six barbes, and attended by twenty pages very rich in clothes."

Barbe horses were very expensive, what we might call quarter horses, and until the beginning of the 17th century mostly confined to Spain.

We had a discussion about them and their place in English history, starting at

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sunday 4 November 1660

"... in our way calling at the Bell to see the seven Flanders mares that my Lord has bought lately, ..."

A Flanders Mare is not a graceful and delicate horse. In Medieval times, Belgium Horses were prized in wars for their tremendous size and strength.

These heavy, war-like draft horses were typically black and ranged from colors to bay, bay-brown to chestnut. They were rarely lighter colors as they are today.

Late in the 17th century, Flanders Mares were not only prized for their strength, but also their eager willingness to pull heavy carriages.


Glen also posted about Flanders Mares at


The Bell Inn
L&M: The Bell on the Strand was a large inn, known as The Bell at the Maypole. It was north of what then was the Strand, near the present church of St. Mary-le-Strand.
It was kept by Thomas Lisle (1664). "A place of great resort by horses, coaches and waggons" (Strype 1720). 26 hearths 1664.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

in 2023 MartinVT observed that Sir W. Batten hangs out at the Dolphin Inn frequently. Pepys mentions going to see him at The Dolphin several times in the Diary.

In "London, Past and Present" H.B. Wheatley tells this story:
By the beginning of the 17th century Bethlehem Hospital had become one of the London sights, and it so continued till the last quarter of the 18th century.
In Webster's "Westward Ho!" (1607), some of the characters, to pass the time while their horses are being saddled at "the Dolphin, Without Bishopsgate," resolve to "crossover" the road "to Bedlam, to see what Greeks are within," and a highly comic scene ensues.
One of the party happening to turn his back, the rest persuade the keeper that their friend is a lunatic, that his "pericranium is perished."

So The Dolphin was close to Seething Lane, and they rented out horses. That would be a convenient place for the Navy Commissioners to rent horses as needed, just as we rent cars.

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