Europe, British Isles, South-East England, Kent, Rochester [Map]

Rochester, Kent is in Kent.

894 Battle of Farnham

1450 Jack Cade's Rebellion

1665 Battle of Lowestoft

1665 Great Plague of London

1666 Four Days' Battle

1672 Battle of Solebay

1688 Glorious Revolution

Rochester, Kent [Map] is located where the River Medway widens before it joins the Thames Estuary at Sheerness Isle of Sheppey [Map].

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 644. This year died at Rochester, Kent [Map], on the tenth of October, Paulinus, who was first Archbishop at York, and afterwards at Rochester. He was bishop nineteen winters, two months, and one and twenty days. This year the son of Oswy's uncle (Oswin), the son of Osric, assumed the government of Deira, and reigned seven winters.

On 10 Oct 644 Archbishop Paulinus of York died at Rochester, Kent [Map].

Bede. 676. In the year of our Lord's incarnation 676, when Ethelred, king of the Mercians, ravaged Kent with a powerful army, and profaned churches and monasteries, without regard to religion, or the fear of God, he among the rest destroyed the city of Rochester, Kent [Map]; Putta, who was bishop, was absent at that time, but when he understood that his church was ravaged, and all things taken away, he went to Sexwulf, bishop of the Mercians, and having received of him a certain church, and a small spot of land, ended his days there in peace; in no way endeavouring to restore his bishopric, because (as has been said above) he was more industrious in spiritual than in worldly affairs; serving God only in that church, and going wherever he was desired, to teach church music. Theodore (age 74) consecrated Cuichelm bishop of Rochester in his stead; but he, not long after, departing from his bishopric for want of necessaries, and withdrawing to other parts, Gebmund was substituted in his place.

In 676 King Æthelred of Mercia destroyed Rochester, Kent [Map].

Charter S165. 811. In nomine domini nostri Iesu Christi . Regnante in perpetuum eodem deo et domino nostro Iesu Christo . Ego Coenwulf gratia dei rex Merciorum . Uiro uenerabili Beornmodo episcopo . Trado terram iuris mei id est quasi tria aratra . ad meridianam plagam ciuitatis quae dicitur . Hrofescester [Map] . Ut habeat et possideat et cuicumque uoluerit illo uiuente seu moriente æternaliter tradendam concedo . Sunt autem huius telluris termini notissimi ab oriente uia puplica a meridiae Uuldaham . ab occidente flubius Meduwege ab aquilone Mearateag , Siquis hanc donationem meam infringere aut minuere temptauerit sciat se rationem redditurum ante tribunal aeterni iudicis nisi prius deo et hominibus digne emendauerit . Et praedicta terra sit libera ab omni regali et saeculari seruitio . Adiectis denberis in commune saltu . Otanhyrst . et Fraecinghyrst . Sceorfesstede . Crangabyras . Wihtherincfaladsto . et Haeseldaen .

Ego Coenwulf rex Merciorum hanc donationem meam signo sancte crucis Christi confirmaui .

Ego Wulfred archiepiscopus consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Deneberht episcopus consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Aeðelwulf episcopus consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Sigered rex consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Aelbðryð regina consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Heardberht dux consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Beornmod episcopus consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Beornnoð dux consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Cynehelm dux consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Eadberht dux consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Cyneberht propinquo regis consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Coenwald propinquo regis consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Quoenðryð filia regis consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Eanberht dux consensi et subscripsi .

Ego Aeðelheah consensi et subscripsi .

Scripta est autem haec kartula anno dominicae incarnationis . dccc axi a . indictione . iiii a . His testibus consentientibus et subscribentibus .

A.D. 811. Coenwulf, king of Mercia, to Beornmod, bishop; grant of 3 sulungs (aratra) to the south of Rochester [Map] (at Borstal), Kent, with appurtenant swine-pastures in the Weald. Latin with bounds.

Archive: Rochester

MSS: 1. BL Cotton Ch. viii. 31 (s. ix1; BM Facs., ii. 10)

Note 2. London, Soc. Ant., 175, 186r (s. xviii)

Note 3. Maidstone, Kent Archives Office, DRc/R1 (Textus Roffensis), 136v-137r (s. xii1; facsimile)

Note 4. Maidstone, Kent Archives Office (Liber Temporalium), 4r (s. xiv)

Printed: Hearne, Textus Roffensis, pp. 96-7; Thorpe, Reg. Roff., pp. 21-2; K 198; B 339; Campbell, Rochester, no. 17.

Comments: Bond 1878, p. 7, MS 1 a later imitation; Stevenson 1914, p. 697 n. 41, contemporary; Wallenberg, KPN, pp. 121-4, on place-names; Stenton 1970, p. 131 n. 2, contemporary; Campbell, Rochester, p. xiv, later than 811 but not significantly so, rather suspicious in form, p. xvi, refers to Borstal (cf. endorsement), p. xxiii, authentic; Witney 1976, pp. 235-6, on swine-pastures; Dumville 1987, p. 11.

Notes: Written in stages by two co-operating scribes, the first responsible for the main text and witness-list, the second for alterations, the addition of the names of swine-pastures and the dating clause.A.D. 811. Coenwulf, king of Mercia, to Beornmod, bishop; grant of 3 sulungs (aratra) to the south of Rochester (at Borstal), Kent, with appurtenant swine-pastures in the Weald. Latin with bounds.

Assers Life of Alfred 884. 884. 66. Deliverance of Rochester.143 In the year of our Lord's incarnation 884, which was the thirty-sixth of King Alfred's life, the aforesaid army divided into two parts: one body of them went into East Frankland, and the other, coming to Britain, entered Kent, where they besieged a city called in Saxon Rochester [Map], situated on the east bank of the river Medway. Before the gate of the town the heathen suddenly erected a strong fortress; but they were unable to take the city, because the citizens defended themselves bravely until King Alfred (age 35) came up to help them with a large army. Then the heathen abandoned their fortress and all the horses which they had brought with them out of Frankland, and, leaving behind them in the fortress the greater part of their prisoners on the sudden arrival of the king, fled in haste to their ships; the Saxons immediately seized upon the prisoners and horses left by the heathen; and so the latter, compelled by dire necessity, returned the same summer to Frankland.

Note 143. Largely from the Chronicle.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 885. This year separated the before-mentioned army in two; one part east, another to Rochester [Map]. This city they surrounded, and wrought another fortress around themselves. The people, however, defended the city, until King Alfred (age 36) came out with his army. Then went the enemy to their ships, and forsook their work. There were they provided with horses; and soon after, in the same summer, they went over sea again. The same year sent King Alfred (age 36) a fleet from Kent into East-Anglia. As soon as they came to Stourmouth, there met them sixteen ships of the pirates. And they fought with them, took all the ships, and slew the men. As they returned homeward with their booty, they met a large fleet of the pirates, and fought with them the same day; but the Danes had the victory.

Battle of Farnham

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 894. This year, that was about twelve months after they had wrought a work in the eastern district, the Northumbrians and East-Angles had given oaths to King Alfred (age 45), and the East-Angles six hostages; nevertheless, contrary to the truce, as oft as the other plunderers went out with all their army, then went they also, either with them, or in a separate division. Upon this King Alfred gathered his army, and advanced, so that he encamped between the two armies at the highest point he could find defended by wood and by water, that he might reach either, if they would seek any field. Then went they forth in quest of the wealds, in troops and companies, wheresoever the country was defenceless. But they were also sought after most days by other companies, either by day or by night, both from the army and also from the towns. The king had divided his army into two parts; so that they were always half at home, half out; besides the men that should maintain the towns. The army came not all out of their stations more than twice; once, when they first came to land, ere the forces were collected, and again, when they wished to depart from their stations. They had now seized much booty, and would ferry it northward over Thames into Essex, to meet their ships. But the army rode before them, fought with them at Farnham, routed their forces, and there arrested the booty. And they flew over Thames without any ford, then up by the Colne on an island. Then the king's forces beset them without as long as they had food; but they had their time set, and their meat noted. And the king was advancing thitherwards on his march with the division that accompanied him. But while he was advancing thitherwards, the other force was returning homewards. The Danes, however, still remained behind; for their king was wounded in the fight, so that they could not carry him. Then collected together those that dwell in Northumbria and East-Anglia about a hundred ships, and went south about; and with some forty more went north about, and besieged a fort in Devonshire by the north sea; and those who went south about beset Exeter [Map]. When the king heard that, then went he west towards Exeter with all his force, except a very considerable part of the eastern army, who advanced till they came to London; and there being joined by the citizens and the reinforcements that came from the west, they went east to Barnfleet. Hasten was there with his gang, who before were stationed at Milton, and also the main army had come thither, that sat before in the mouth of the Limne at Appledore. Hasten had formerly constructed that work at Barnfleet, and was then gone out on plunder, the main army being at home. Then came the king's troops, and routed the enemy, broke down the work, took all that was therein money, women, and children and brought all to London. And all the ships they either broke to pieces, or burned, or brought to London or to Rochester [Map]. And Hasten's wife and her two sons they brought to the king, who returned them to him, because one of them was his godson, and the other Alderman Ethered's. They had adopted them ere Hasten came to Bamfleet; when he had given them hostages and oaths, and the king had also given him many presents; as he did also then, when he returned the child and the wife. And as soon as they came to Bamfleet, and the work was built, then plundered he in the same quarter of his kingdom that Ethered his compeer should have held; and at another time he was plundering in the same district when his work was destroyed. The king then went westward with the army toward Exeter, as I before said, and the army had beset the city; but whilst he was gone they went to their ships. Whilst he was thus busied there with the army, in the west, the marauding parties were both gathered together at Shobury in Essex, and there built a fortress. Then they both went together up by the Thames, and a great concourse joined them, both from the East-Angles and from the Northumbrians. They then advanced upward by the Thames, till they arrived near the Severn. Then they proceeded upward by the Severn. Meanwhile assembled Alderman Ethered, Alderman Ethelm, Alderman Ethelnoth, and the king's thanes, who were employed at home at the works, from every town east of the Parret, as well as west of Selwood, and from the parts east and also north of the Thames and west of the Severn, and also some part of North-Wales. When they were all collected together, they overtook the rear of the enemy at Buttington on the banks of the Severn, and there beset them without on each side in a fortress. When they had sat there many weeks on both sides of the water, and the king meanwhile was in Devonshire westward with the naval force, then were the enemy weighed down with famine. They had devoured the greater part of their horses; and the rest had perished with hunger. Then went they out to the men that sat on the eastern side of the river, and fought with them; but the Christians had the victory. And there Ordhelm, the king's thane, was slain; and also many other king's thanes; and of the Danes there were many slain, and that part of them that came away escaped only by flight. As soon as they came into Essex to their fortress, and to their ships, then gathered the remnant again in East-Anglia and from the Northumbrians a great force before winter, and having committed their wives and their ships and their booty to the East-Angles, they marched on the stretch by day and night, till they arrived at a western city in Wirheal that is called Chester [Map]. There the army could not overtake them ere they arrived within the work: they beset the work though, without, some two days, took all the cattle that was thereabout, slew the men whom they could overtake without the work, and all the corn they either burned or consumed with their horses every evening. That was about a twelvemonth since they first came hither over sea.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 999. This year came the army about again into the Thames, and went up thence along the Medway to Rochester, Kent [Map]; where the Kentish army came against them, and encountered them in a close engagement; but, alas! they too soon yielded and fled; because they had not the aid that they should have had. The Danes therefore occupied the field of battle, and, taking horse, they rode as wide as they would, spoiling and overrunning nearly all West-Kent. Then the king (age 33) with his council determined to proceed against them with sea and land forces; but as soon as the ships were ready, then arose delay from day to day, which harassed the miserable crew that lay on board; so that, always, the forwarder it should have been, the later it was, from one time to another;-they still suffered the army of their enemies to increase;-the Danes continually retreated from the sea-coast;-and they continually pursued them in vain. Thus in the end these expeditions both by sea and land served no other purpose but to vex the people, to waste their treasure, and to strengthen their enemies."

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 1130. Hugh, abbot of Reading, was elected archbishop of Rouen. Christ church, at Canterbury, was dedicated with great pomp, by William, archbishop of that city, on the fourth of the nones [the 4th] of May. The following bishops were present at the consecration:- John, bishop of Rochester, Gilbert of London, Henry of Winchester (age 32), Simon of Worcester, Alexander of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, Godfrey of Bath, Everard of Norwich, Sigefrid of Chichester, Bernard of St. David's; with Owen, bishop of Evreux, and John, bishop of Séez, from beyond sea. On the fourth day afterwards——that is, on the nones [the 7th] of May—the city of Rochester, Kent [Map] was destroyed by fire, while the king was there; and on the day following, being the feast of our Lord's Ascension, the new church of St. Andrew was consecrated by William the archbishop, some of the beforementioned bishops assisting him in the service. [Ansger], the excellent prior of Lewes, was elected at Winchester abbot of Reading, and afterwards ordained; also Ingulph, prior of Winchester, having been elected at Woodstock abbot of Abingdon, was ordained by RogerRoger, bishop of Salisbury. William, abbot of Gloucester, having voluntarily resigned his pastoral charge by reason of age, chose, with the consent of the brethren, a pious monk, of the same house, named Walter, who was ordained abbot by Simon, bishop of Worcester, on Sunday, the nones [the 3rd] of August. Serlo, also, a canon of Salisbury, was ordained abbot by the same bishop, at Blockley, an episcopal vill, and appointed to govern the abbey of Cirencester. Robert, prior of the church of Llanthony, being elected to the see of Hereford, was consecrated at Oxford, by William (age 60), archbishop of Canterbury. Henry, king of England, went over the sea.

On 08 Sep 1297 John Moels 1st Baron Moels (age 28) summoned to a military council at Rochester, Kent [Map].

Calendars. 22 Jan 1308 King Edward II of England (age 23). Dover, Kent [Map] To the Sheriff of Kent. Order to provide 75 thousands of wood and 200 quarters of charcoal for the expenses of the King's household on his return from parts beyond the sea, so that he have at Dover, Kent [Map] against the King's return 25 thousands of wood and 30 quarters of coal, and at Canterbury, Kent [Map] 30 thousands of wood and 100 quarters of coal, and at Rochester, Kent [Map] (Rofham) 20 thousands of wood and 70 quarters of coal; to be delivered by indenture to John de Sumery, scullion (scutell') of the king's household, or such as supply his place. Witness: Piers Gaveston 1st Earl Cornwall (age 24).

Calendars. 20 Mar 1382. Commission to John de Cobleham, Robert de Asshton, constable of Dover castle and warden of the Cinque Ports, Robert Bealknap, John Philipot, Nicholas Brembre, John Newenton, John Horne son of Nicholas Horue, William Rykhull, Thomas Shardelowe, William Symme and Adam Elys to enquire who are responsible for the repair of the bridge of Rochester [Map] over the Medeweye, which is in such ruin as to be impassable, and to compel them to repair it.

1450 Jack Cade's Rebellion

Chronicle of Gregory 1450. 1450. Ande at Rochester [Map] ix [11] men were be-heddyd at that same tyme, and her heddys were sende unto London by the kyngys commaundement, and sette uppon London Brygge [Map] alle at one tyme; and xij [12] heddys at a nothyr tyme were brought unto London at a sette uppe undyr the same forme, as hysa was commaundyd by the kyng. Men calle it in Kente the Harvyste of Hedys. Willb

Note a. So in MS.

Note b. The Christian name "Will." is added by a somewhat later hand. The date " 1451 " is also added in the margin in a hand decidedly more modern.

On 04 Mar 1472 Richard Lee (age 67) died in Rochester, Kent [Map].

Hall's Chronicle 1522. 01 Jun 1522. The morrow after, these princes removed to Sytingborne [Map], and the next day to Rochester [Map], where the Bishop (age 52) received them with the whole Covent, and on Monday they came to Gravesende [Map] by one of the clock, where they took their barges, and there were thirty barges appointed, for the strangers, and so by six of the clock they landed at Grenewiche [Map], the same Monday, the second day of June, where the Emperor (age 22) was of the King newly welcomed, and al his nobility, and at the hall door the Queen (age 36) and the Prynces (age 6), and all the Ladies received and welcomed him: and he asked the Queen (age 36) blessing (for that is the fashion of Spain, between the aunt and the nephew) the Emperor (age 22) had great joy to see the Queen his aunt, and in especially his young cousin German [first-cousin] the lady Mary (age 6). The Emperor was lodged in the King’s lodging, which was so richly hanged, that the Spaniards wondered at it, and specially at the rich cloth of estate: nothing lacked that might be gotten, to cheer the Emperor and his lords, and all that came in his company, were highly feasted.

Evelyn's Diary. 19 May 1641, we made a short excursion to Rochester [Map], and having seen the cathedral, went to Chatham [Map] to see the Royal Sovereign, a glorious vessel of burden lately built there, being for defence and ornament, the richest that ever spread cloth before the wind. She carried an hundred brass cannon, and was 1200 tons; a rare sailer, the work of the famous Phineas Pett, inventor of the frigate-fashion of building, to this day practised. But what is to be deplored as to this vessel is, that it cost his Majesty (age 40) the affections of his subjects, perverted by the malcontent great ones, who took occasion to quarrel for his having raised a very slight tax for the building of this, and equipping the rest of the navy without an act of Parliament; though, by the suffrages of the major part of the Judges, the King (age 40) might legally do in times of imminent danger, of which his Majesty (age 40) was best apprised. But this not satisfying a jealous party, it was condemned as unprecedential, and not justifiable as to the Royal prerogative; and, accordingly, the Judges were removed out of their places, fined, and imprisoned.

Evelyn's Diary. 12 Oct 1641. From Dover, I that night rode post to Canterbury, Kent [Map]. Here I visited the cathedral [Map], then in great splendour, those famous windows being entire, since demolished by the fanatics. The next morning, by Sittingboume [Map], I came to Rochester [Map], and thence to Gravesend [Map], where a light-horseman (as they call it) taking us in, we spent our tide as far as Greenwich [Map]. From hence, after we had a little refreshed ourselves at the College, (for by reason of the contagion then in London we balked the inns,) we came to London landing at Arundel-stairs [Map]. Here I took leave of his Lordship (age 56), and retired to my lodgings in the Middle Temple, being about two in the morning, the 14th of October.

Evelyn's Diary. 06 Feb 1652. I embarked early in the packet boat, but put my goods in a stouter vessel. It was calm, so that we got not to Dover [Map] till eight at night. I took horse for Canterbury, Kent [Map], and lay at Rochester [Map]; next day, to Gravesend [Map], took a pair of oars, and landed at Sayes Court [Map], where I stayed three days to refresh, and look after my packet and goods, sent by a stouter vessel. I went to visit my cousin, Richard Fanshawe (age 43), and divers other friends.

Pepy's Diary. 16 Jan 1661. This morning I went early to the Comptroller's (age 50) and so with him by coach to Whitehall, to wait upon Mr. Coventry (age 33) to give him an account of what we have done, which having done, I went away to wait upon my Lady; but coming to her lodgings I find that she is gone this morning to Chatham, Kent [Map] by coach, thinking to meet me there, which did trouble me exceedingly, and I did not know what to do, being loth to follow her, and yet could not imagine what she would do when she found me not there. In this trouble, I went to take a walk in Westminster Hall [Map] and by chance met with Mr. Child, who went forth with my Lady to-day, but his horse being bad, he come back again, which then did trouble me more, so that I did resolve to go to her; and so by boat home and put on my boots, and so over to Southwarke to the posthouse, and there took horse and guide to Dartford and thence to Rochester, Kent [Map] (I having good horses and good way, come thither about half-an-hour after daylight, which was before 6 o'clock and I set forth after two), where I found my Lady and her daughter Jem., and Mrs. Browne' and five servants, all at a great loss, not finding me here, but at my coming she was overjoyed. The sport was how she had intended to have kept herself unknown, and how the Captain (whom she had sent for) of the Charles had forsoothed1 her, though he knew her well and she him. In fine we supped merry and so to bed, there coming several of the Charles's men to see me before, I got to bed. The page lay with me.

Note 1. To forsooth is to address in a polite and ceremonious manner. "Your city-mannerly word forsooth, use it not too often in any case".-Ben Jonson's Poetaster, act iv., sc. 1.

Pepy's Diary. 18 Mar 1661. This morning early Sir W. Batten (age 60) went to Rochester, Kent [Map], where he expects to be chosen Parliament man. At the office all the morning, dined at home and with my wife to Westminster, where I had business with the Commissioner for paying the seamen about my Lord's pay, and my wife at Mrs. Hunt's. I called her home, and made inquiry at Mr. Greatorex's (age 36) and in other places to hear of Mr. Barlow (thinking to hear that he is dead), but I cannot find it so, but the contrary.

Pepy's Diary. 21 Mar 1661. This day I saw the Florence Ambassador go to his audience, the weather very foul, and yet he and his company very gallant. After I was a-bed Sir W. Pen (age 39) sent to desire me to go with him to-morrow morning to meet Sir W. Batten (age 60) coming from Rochester, Kent [Map].

Pepy's Diary. 22 Mar 1661. This morning I rose early, and my Lady Batten knocked at her door that comes into one of my chambers, and called me to know whether I and my wife were ready to go. So my wife got her ready, and about eight o'clock I got a horseback, and my Lady and her two daughters, and Sir W. Pen (age 39) into coach, and so over London Bridge, and thence to Dartford. The day very pleasant, though the way bad. Here we met with Sir W. Batten (age 60), and some company along with him, who had assisted him in his election at Rochester, Kent [Map]; and so we dined and were very merry.

Pepy's Diary. 08 Apr 1661. Up early, my Lady Batten knocking at her door that comes into one of my chambers. I did give directions to my people and workmen, and so about 8 o'clock we took barge at the Tower, Sir William Batten (age 60) and his lady, Mrs. Turner (age 38), Mr. Fowler and I A very pleasant passage and so to Gravesend, Kent [Map], where we dined, and from thence a coach took them and me, and Mr. Fowler with some others came from Rochester, Kent [Map] to meet us, on horseback. At Rochester, Kent [Map], where alight at Mr. Alcock's and there drank and had good sport, with his bringing out so many sorts of cheese. Then to the Hillhouse at Chatham, where I never was before, and I found a pretty pleasant house and am pleased with the arms that hang up there. Here we supped very merry, and late to bed; Sir William telling me that old Edgeborrow, his predecessor, did die and walk in my chamber, did make me some what afeard, but not so much as for mirth's sake I did seem. So to bed in the treasurer's chamber.

Pepy's Diary. 10 Apr 1661. After that back home, and there eat a little dinner. Then to Rochester, and there saw the Cathedrall [Map], which is now fitting for use, and the organ then a-tuning. Then away thence, observing the great doors of the church, which, they say, was covered with the skins of the Danes1, and also had much mirth at a tomb, on which was "Come sweet Jesu", and I read "Come sweet Mall", &c., at which Captain Pett and I had good laughter.

Note 1. Traditions similar to that at Rochester, Kent [Map], here alluded to, are to be found in other places in England. Sir Harry Englefield, in a communication made to the Society of Antiquaries, July 2nd, 1789, called attention to the curious popular tale preserved in the village of Hadstock, Essex, that the door of the church had been covered with the skin of a Danish pirate, who had plundered the church. At Worcester, likewise, it was asserted that the north doors of the cathedral had been covered with the skin of a person who had sacrilegiously robbed the high altar. The date of these doors appears to be the latter part of the fourteenth century, the north porch having been built about 1385. Dart, in his "History of the Abbey Church of St. Peter's, Westminster", 1723 (vol. i., book ii., p. 64), relates a like tradition then preserved in reference to a door, one of three which closed off a chamber from the south transept-namely, a certain building once known as the Chapel of Henry VIII, and used as a "Revestry". This chamber, he states, "is inclosed with three doors, the inner cancellated, the middle, which is very thick, lined with skins like parchment, and driven full of nails. These skins, they by tradition tell us, were some skins of the Danes, tann'd and given here as a memorial of our delivery from them". Portions of this supposed human skin were examined under the microscope by the late Mr. John Quekett of the Hunterian Museum, who ascertained, beyond question, that in each of the cases the skin was human. From a communication by the late Mr. Albert Way, F.S.A., to the late Lord Braybrooke.

Pepy's Diary. 11 Apr 1661. At 2 o'clock, with very great mirth, we went to our lodging and to bed, and lay till 7, and then called up by Sir W. Batten (age 60), so I arose and we did some business, and then came Captn. Allen, and he and I withdrew and sang a song or two, and among others took pleasure in "Goe and bee hanged, that's good-bye". The young ladies come too, and so I did again please myself with Mrs. Rebecca, and about 9 o'clock, after we had breakfasted, we sett forth for London, and indeed I was a little troubled to part with Mrs. Rebecca, for which God forgive me. Thus we went away through Rochester, Kent [Map], calling and taking leave of Mr. Alcock at the door, Capt. Cuttance going with us. We baited at Dartford, and thence to London, but of all the journeys that ever I made this was the merriest, and I was in a strange mood for mirth.

Pepy's Diary. 03 Jul 1662. Thence to my office all the afternoon as long as I could see, about setting many businesses in order. In the evening came Mr. Lewis to me, and very ingeniously did enquire whether I ever did look into the business of the Chest at Chatham, Kent [Map];1 and after my readiness to be informed did appear to him, he did produce a paper, wherein he stated the government of the Chest to me; and upon the whole did tell me how it hath ever been abused, and to this day is; and what a meritorious act it would be to look after it; which I am resolved to do, if God bless me; and do thank him very much for it.

Note 1. Pepys gives some particulars about the Chest on November 13th, 1662. "The Chest at Chatham, Kent [Map] was originally planned by Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins in 1588, after the defeat of the Armada; the seamen voluntarily agreed to have 'defalked' out of their wages certain sums to form a fund for relief. The property became considerable, as well as the abuses, and in 1802 the Chest was removed to Greenwich, Kent [Map]. In 1817, the stock amounted to £300,000 Consols".-Hist. of Rochester, Kent [Map], p. 346. B.

Pepy's Diary. 02 Aug 1662. After dinner we to boat, and had a pleasant passage down to Gravesend, Kent [Map], but it was nine o'clock before we got thither, so that we were in great doubt what to do, whether to stay there or no; and the rather because I was afeard to ride, because of my pain...; but at the Swan [Map], finding Mr. Hemson and Lieutenant Carteret (age 21) of the Foresight come to meet me, I borrowed Mr. Hemson's horse, and he took another, and so we rode to Rochester, Kent [Map] in the dark, and there at the Crown Mr. Gregory, Barrow, and others staid to meet me. So after a glass of wine, we to our barge, that was ready for me, to the Hill-house, where we soon went to bed, before we slept I telling upon discourse Captain Cocke (age 45) the manner of my being cut of the stone, which pleased him much. So to sleep.

Pepy's Diary. 04 Aug 1662. So took barge at the dock and to Rochester, Kent [Map], and there Captain Cocke (age 45) and I and our two men took coach about 8 at night and to Gravesend, Kent [Map], where it was very dark before we got thither to the Swan [Map]; and there, meeting with Doncaster, an old waterman of mine above bridge, we eat a short supper, being very merry with the drolling, drunken coachman that brought us, and so took water. It being very dark, and the wind rising, and our waterman unacquainted with this part of the river, so that we presently cast upon the Essex shore, but got off again, and so, as well as we could, went on, but I in such fear that I could not sleep till we came to Erith, Kent, and there it begun to be calm, and the stars to shine, and so I began to take heart again, and the rest too, and so made shift to slumber a little. Above Woolwich, Kent [Map] we lost our way, and went back to Blackwall [Map], and up and down, being guided by nothing but the barking of a dog, which we had observed in passing by Blackwall [Map], and so, [Continued tomorrow]

Pepy's Diary. 13 Nov 1662. Up and began our discontent again and sorely angered my wife, who indeed do live very lonely, but I do perceive that it is want of work that do make her and all other people think of ways of spending their time worse, and this I owe to my building, that do not admit of her undertaking any thing of work, because the house has been and is still so dirty. I to my office, and there sat all the morning and dined with discontent with my wife at noon, and so to my office, and there this afternoon we had our first meeting upon our commission of inspecting the Chest, and there met Sir J. Minnes (age 63), Sir Francis Clerke, Mr. Heath, Atturney of the Dutchy, Mr. Prin (age 62)n, Sir W. Rider, Captn. Cocke, and myself. Our first work to read over the Institution, which is a decree in Chancery in the year 1617, upon an inquisition made at Rochester, Kent [Map] about that time into the revenues of the Chest, which had then, from the year 1588 or 1590, by the advice of the Lord High Admiral (age 29) and principal officers then being, by consent of the seamen, been settled, paying sixpence per month, according to their wages then, which was then but 10s. which is now 24s. We adjourned to a fortnight hence.

Pepy's Diary. 13 Jul 1663. So, it being high day, I put in to shore and to bed for two hours just, and so up again, and with the Storekeeper and Clerk of the Rope-yard [Map] up and down the Dock and Rope-house, and by and by mustered the Yard, and instructed the Clerks of the Cheque in my new way of Callbook, and that and other things done, to the Hill-house, and there we eat something, and so by barge to Rochester, Kent [Map], and there took coach hired for our passage to London, and Mrs. Allen, the clerk of the Rope-yard's [Map] wife with us, desiring her passage, and it being a most pleasant and warm day, we got by four o'clock home. In our way she telling us in what condition Becky Allen is married against all expectation a fellow that proves to be a coxcomb and worth little if any thing at all, and yet are entered into a way of living above their condition that will ruin them presently, for which, for the lady's sake, I am much troubled.

Evelyn's Diary. 02 Aug 1663. This evening I accompanied Mr. Treasurer and Vice-Chamberlain Carteret (age 53) to his lately married son-in-law's, Sir Thomas Scott (age 25), to Scott's Hall. We took barge as far as Gravesend, Kent [Map], and thence by post to Rochester, Kent [Map], whence in coach and six horses to Scott's Hall; a right noble seat, uniformly built, with a handsome gallery. It stands in a park well stored, the land fat and good. We were exceedingly feasted by the young knight, and in his pretty chapel heard an excellent sermon by his chaplain. In the afternoon, preached the learned Sir Norton Knatchbull (who has a noble seat hard by, and a plantation of stately fir trees). In the churchyard of the parish church I measured an overgrown yew tree, that was eighteen of my paces in compass, out of some branches of which, torn off by the winds, were sawed divers goodly planks.

Pepy's Diary. 14 Dec 1663. Then we fell to talk of Sir J. Minnes's (age 64) and Sir W. Batten's (age 62) burning of Oliver's head, while he was there; which was done with so much insulting and folly as I never heard of, and had the Trayned Band of Rochester, Kent [Map] to come to the solemnity, which when all comes to all, Commissioner Pett (age 53) says it never was made for him; but it troubles me the King (age 33) should suffer £100 losse in his purse, to make a new one after it was forgot whose it was, or any words spoke of it.

In 1665 Robert Fowler was appointed Mayor of Rochester, Kent [Map].

Evelyn's Diary. 04 Jan 1665. I went in a coach, it being excessive sharp frost and snow, toward Dover, Kent [Map] and other parts of Kent, to settle physicians, chirurgeons, agents, marshals, and other officers in all the sea ports, to take care of such as should be set on shore, wounded, sick, or prisoners, in pursuance of our commission reaching from the North Foreland, in Kent, to Portsmouth, Hampshire [Map], in Hampshire. The rest of the ports in England were allotted to the other Commissioners. That evening I came to Rochester, Kent [Map], where I delivered the Privy Council's letter to the Mayor to receive orders from me.

Evelyn's Diary. 11 Jan 1665. To Rochester, Kent [Map], when I took order to settle officers at Chatham, Kent [Map].

Battle of Lowestoft

Evelyn's Diary. 08 Jun 1665. Came news of his highness's (age 35) victory, which indeed might have been a complete one, and at once ended the war, had it been pursued, but the cowardice of some, or treachery, or both, frustrated that. We had, however, bonfires, bells, and rejoicing in the city. Next day, the 9th, I had instant orders to repair to the Downs, so as I got to Rochester, Kent [Map] this evening. Next day I lay at Deal, Kent [Map], where I found all in readiness: but, the fleet being hindered by contrary winds, I came away on the 12th, and went to Dover, Kent [Map], and returned to Deal, Kent [Map]; and on the 13th, hearing the fleet was at Solbay, I went homeward, and lay at Chatham, Kent [Map], and on the 14th, I got home. On the 15th, came the eldest son of the present Secretary of State to the French King, with much other company, to dine with me. After dinner, I went with him to London, to speak to my Lord General for more guards, and gave his Majesty (age 35) an account of my journey to the coasts under my inspection. I also waited on his Royal Highness (age 31), now come triumphant from the fleet, gotten into repair. See the whole history of this conflict in my "History of the Dutch War"..

Pepy's Diary. 03 Aug 1665. By and by he and I fell into acquaintance, having known me formerly at the Exchequer. His name is Nokes, over against Bow Church [Map]. He was servant to Alderman Dashwood. We promised to meet, if ever we come both to London again; and, at parting, I had a fair salute on horseback, in Rochester, Kent [Map] streets, of the lady, and so parted.

Pepy's Diary. 19 Aug 1665. Slept till 8 o'clock, and then up and met with letters from the King (age 35) and Lord Arlington (age 47), for the removal of our office to Greenwich, Kent [Map]. I also wrote letters, and made myself ready to go to Sir G. Carteret (age 55), at Windsor; and having borrowed a horse of Mr. Blackbrough, sent him to wait for me at the Duke of Albemarle's (age 56) door: when, on a sudden, a letter comes to us from the Duke of Albemarle (age 56), to tell us that the fleete is all come back to Solebay [Map], and are presently to be dispatched back again. Whereupon I presently by water to the Duke of Albemarle (age 56) to know what news; and there I saw a letter from my Lord Sandwich (age 40) to the Duke of Albemarle (age 56), and also from Sir W. Coventry (age 37) and Teddiman; how my Lord having commanded Teddiman with twenty-two ships1.

Note 1. A news letter of August 19th (Salisbury), gives the following account of this affair:-"The Earl of Sandwich being on the Norway coast, ordered Sir Thomas Teddeman with 20 ships to attack 50 Dutch merchant ships in Bergen harbour; six convoyers had so placed themselves that only four or five of the ships could be reached at once. The Governor of Bergen fired on our ships, and placed 100 pieces of ordnance and two regiments of foot on the rocks to attack them, but they got clear without the loss of a ship, only 500 men killed or wounded, five or six captains among them. The fleet has gone to Sole Bay to repair losses and be ready to encounter the Dutch fleet, which is gone northward" (Calendar of State Papers, 1664-65, pp. 526, 527). Medals were struck in Holland, the inscription in Dutch on one of these is thus translated: "Thus we arrest the pride of the English, who extend their piracy even against their friends, and who insulting the forts of Norway, violate the rights of the harbours of King Frederick; but, for the reward of their audacity, see their vessels destroyed by the balls of the Dutch" (Hawkins's "Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland", ed. Franks and Grueber, 1885, vol. i., p. 508). Sir Gilbert Talbot's "True Narrative of the Earl of Sandwich's Attempt upon Bergen with the English Fleet on the 3rd of August, 1665, and the Cause of his Miscarriage thereupon", is in the British Museum (Harl. MS., No. 6859). It is printed in "Archaeologia", vol. xxii., p. 33. The Earl of Rochester, Kent [Map] also gave an account of the action in a letter to his mother (Wordsworth's "Ecclesiastical Biography", fourth edition, vol. iv., p. 611). Sir John Denham (age 50), in his "Advice to a Painter", gives a long satirical account of the affair. A coloured drawing of the attack upon Bergen, on vellum, showing the range of the ships engaged, is in the British Museum. Shortly after the Bergen affair forty of the Dutch merchant vessels, on their way to Holland, fell into the hands of the English, and in Penn's "Memorials of Sir William Pen (age 44)", vol. ii., p. 364, is a list of the prizes taken on the 3rd and 4th September. The troubles connected with these prizes and the disgrace into which Lord Sandwich (age 40) fell are fully set forth in subsequent pages of the Diary. Evelyn writes in his Diary (November 27th, 1665): "There was no small suspicion of my Lord Sandwich (age 40) having permitted divers commanders who were at ye taking of ye East India prizes to break bulk and take to themselves jewels, silkes, &c., tho' I believe some whom I could name fill'd their pockets, my Lo. Sandwich himself had the least share. However, he underwent the blame, and it created him enemies, and prepossess'd ye Lo. Generall (Duke of Albemarle (age 56)), for he spake to me of it with much zeale and concerne, and I believe laid load enough on Lo. Sandwich at Oxford". (of which but fifteen could get thither, and of those fifteen but eight or nine could come up to play) to go to Bergen; where, after several messages to and fro from the Governor of the Castle, urging that Teddiman ought not to come thither with more than five ships, and desiring time to think of it, all the while he suffering the Dutch ships to land their guns to their best advantage; Teddiman on the second pretence, began to play at the Dutch ships, (wherof ten East India-men,) and in three hours' time (the town and castle, without any provocation, playing on our ships,) they did cut all our cables, so as the wind being off the land, did force us to go out, and rendered our fire-ships useless; without doing any thing, but what hurt of course our guns must have done them: we having lost five commanders, besides Mr. Edward Montagu, and Mr. Windham. This Mr. Windham had entered into a formal engagement with the Earl of Rochester, Kent [Map], "not without ceremonies of religion, that if either of them died, he should appear, and give the other notice of the future state, if there was any". He was probably one of the brothers of Sir William Wyndham, Bart. See Wordsworth's "Ecclesiastical Biography", fourth. edition, vol. iv., p. 615. B.

Pepy's Diary. 25 Sep 1665. Found ourselves come to the fleete, and so aboard the Prince; and there, after a good while in discourse, we did agree a bargain of £5,000 with Sir Roger Cuttance for my Lord Sandwich (age 40) for silk, cinnamon, nutmeggs, and indigo. And I was near signing to an undertaking for the payment of the whole sum; but I did by chance escape it; having since, upon second thoughts, great cause to be glad of it, reflecting upon the craft and not good condition, it may be, of Captain Cocke (age 48). I could get no trifles for my wife. Anon to dinner and thence in great haste to make a short visit to Sir W. Pen (age 44), where I found them and his lady (age 41) and daughter (age 14) and many commanders at dinner. Among others Sir G. Askue (age 49), of whom whatever the matter is, the world is silent altogether. But a very pretty dinner there was, and after dinner Sir W. Pen (age 44) made a bargain with Cocke (age 48) for ten bales of silke, at 16s. per lb., which, as Cocke (age 48) says, will be a good pennyworth, and so away to the Prince and presently comes my Lord on board from Greenwich, Kent [Map], with whom, after a little discourse about his trusting of Cocke (age 48), we parted and to our yacht; but it being calme, we to make haste, took our wherry toward Chatham, Kent [Map]; but, it growing darke, we were put to great difficultys, our simple, yet confident waterman, not knowing a step of the way; and we found ourselves to go backward and forward, which, in the darke night and a wild place, did vex us mightily. At last we got a fisher boy by chance, and took him into the boat, and being an odde kind of boy, did vex us too; for he would not answer us aloud when we spoke to him, but did carry us safe thither, though with a mistake or two; but I wonder they were not more. In our way I was [surprised] and so were we all, at the strange nature of the sea-water in a darke night, that it seemed like fire upon every stroke of the oare, and, they say, is a sign of winde. We went to the Crowne Inne, at Rochester, Kent [Map], and there to supper, and made ourselves merry with our poor fisher-boy, who told us he had not been in a bed in the whole seven years since he came to 'prentice, and hath two or three more years to serve. After eating something, we in our clothes to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 02 Oct 1665. Thence to Rochester, Kent [Map], walked to the Crowne, and while dinner was getting ready, I did there walk to visit the old Castle [Map] ruines, which hath been a noble place, and there going up I did upon the stairs overtake three pretty mayds or women and took them up with me, and I did 'baiser sur mouches et toucher leur mains1' and necks to my great pleasure: but, Lord! to see what a dreadfull thing it is to look down the precipices, for it did fright me mightily, and hinder me of much pleasure which I would have made to myself in the company of these three, if it had not been for that. The place hath been very noble and great and strong in former ages.

Note 1. TT. baiser sur mouches et toucher leur mains. Kiss their beauty spots and touched their hands.

Great Plague of London

Pepy's Diary. 07 Oct 1665. Thence back the back way to my office, where very late, very busy. But most of all when at night come two waggons from Rochester, Kent [Map] with more goods from Captain Cocke (age 48); and in houseing them at Mr. Tooker's lodgings come two of the Custome-house to seize them, and did seize them but I showed them my 'Transire'. However, after some hot and angry words, we locked them up, and sealed up the key, and did give it to the constable to keep till Monday, and so parted. But, Lord! to think how the poor constable come to me in the dark going home; "Sir", says he, "I have the key, and if you would have me do any service for you, send for me betimes to-morrow morning, and I will do what you would have me". Whether the fellow do this out of kindness or knavery, I cannot tell; but it is pretty to observe. Talking with him in the high way, come close by the bearers with a dead corpse of the plague; but, Lord! to see what custom is, that I am come almost to think nothing of it.

Evelyn's Diary. 17 Oct 1665. I went to Gravesend, Kent [Map]; next day to Chatham, Kent [Map]; thence to Maidstone, Kent [Map], in order to the march of 500 prisoners to Leeds Castle, Kent [Map], which I had hired of Lord Culpeper (age 39). I was earnestly desired by the learned Sir Roger Twysden (age 68), and Deputy-Lieutenants, to spare Maidstone from quartering any of my sick flock. Here, Sir Edward Brett (age 57) sent me some horse to bring up the rear. This country, from Rochester, Kent [Map] to Maidstone, Kent [Map] and the Downs, is very agreeable for the prospect.

Four Days' Battle

Evelyn's Diary. 01 Jun 1666. Being in my garden at 6 o'clock in the evening, and hearing the great guns go thick off, I took horse and rode that night to Rochester, Kent [Map]; thence next day toward the Downs and seacoast, but meeting the Lieutenant of the Hampshire frigate, who told me what passed, or rather what had not passed, I returned to London, there being no noise, or appearance at Deal, Kent [Map], or on that coast of any engagement. Recounting this to his Majesty (age 36), whom I found at St James' Park [Map], impatiently expecting, and knowing that Prince Rupert (age 46) was loose about three at St. Helen's Point at N. of the Isle of Wight, it greatly rejoiced him; but he was astonished when I assured him they heard nothing of the guns in the Downs, nor did the Lieutenant who landed there by five that morning.

Pepy's Diary. 04 Jun 1666. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes (age 67) and Sir W. Pen (age 45) to White Hall in the latter's coach, where, when we come, we find the Duke (age 32) at St. James's, whither he is lately gone to lodge. So walking through the Parke we saw hundreds of people listening at the Gravel-pits, [Kensington] and to and again in the Parke to hear the guns, and I saw a letter, dated last night, from Strowd (age 38), Governor of Dover Castle, which says that the Prince (age 46) come thither the night before with his fleete, but that for the guns which we writ that we heard, it is only a mistake for thunder1 and so far as to yesterday it is a miraculous thing that we all Friday, and Saturday and yesterday, did hear every where most plainly the guns go off, and yet at Deale [Map] and Dover, Kent [Map] to last night they did not hear one word of a fight, nor think they heard one gun. This, added to what I have set down before the other day about the Katharine, makes room for a great dispute in philosophy, how we should hear it and they not, the same wind that brought it to us being the same that should bring it to them: but so it is. Major Halsey, however (he was sent down on purpose to hear newes), did bring newes this morning that he did see the Prince (age 46) and his fleete at nine of the clock yesterday morning, four or five leagues to sea behind the Goodwin [Map], so that by the hearing of the guns this morning we conclude he is come to the fleete.

Note 1. Evelyn (age 45) was in his garden when he heard the guns, and be at once set off to Rochester, Kent [Map] and the coast, but he found that nothing had been heard at Deal (see his "Diary", June 1st, 1666).

Pepy's Diary. 11 Jun 1666. He gone, at noon I home to dinner, and after dinner my father and wife out to the painter's to sit again, and I, with my Lady Pen (age 42) and her daughter, to see Harman (age 41); whom we find lame in bed. His bones of his anckle are broke, but he hopes to do well soon; and a fine person by his discourse he seems to be and my hearty [friend]; and he did plainly tell me that at the Council of War before the fight, it was against his reason to begin the fight then, and the reasons of most sober men there, the wind being such, and we to windward, that they could not use their lower tier of guns, which was a very sad thing for us to have the honour and weal of the nation ventured so foolishly. I left them there, and walked to Deptford, Kent [Map], reading in Walsingham's Manual, a very good book, and there met with Sir W. Batten (age 65) and my Lady at Uthwayt's. Here I did much business and yet had some little mirthe with my Lady, and anon we all come up together to our office, where I was very late doing much business. Late comes Sir J. Bankes (age 39) to see me, and tells me that coming up from Rochester, Kent [Map] he overtook three or four hundred seamen, and he believes every day they come flocking from the fleete in like numbers; which is a sad neglect there, when it will be impossible to get others, and we have little reason to think that these will return presently again. He gone, I to end my letters to-night, and then home to supper and to bed.

Evelyn's Diary. 14 Nov 1666. I went my winter circle through my district, Rochester, Kent [Map] and other places, where I had men quartered, and in custody.

Evelyn's Diary. 18 Nov 1666. At Rochester, Kent [Map].

Pepy's Diary. 30 Jun 1667. At the foot of Rochester, Kent [Map] bridge, at the landing-place, I met my Lord Bruncker (age 47) and my Lord Douglas (age 21), and all the officers of the soldiers in the town, waiting there for the Duke of York (age 33), whom they heard was coming thither this day; by and by comes my Lord Middleton (age 59), the first time I remember to have seen him, well mounted, who had been to meet him, but come back without him; he seems a fine soldier, and so every body says he is; and a man, like my Lord Teviott, and indeed most of the Scotch gentry, as I observe, of few words. After staying here by the water-side and seeing the boats come up from Chatham, Kent [Map], with them that rowed with bandeleeres about their shoulders, and muskets in their boats, they being the workmen of the Yard, who have promised to redeem their credit, lost by their deserting the service when the Dutch were there, my Lord Bruncker (age 47) went with Lord Middleton to his inne, the Crowne, to dinner, which I took unkindly, but he was slightly invited.

Pepy's Diary. 30 Jun 1667. Several complaints, I hear, of the Monmouth's coming away too soon from the chaine, where she was placed with the two guard-ships to secure it; and Captain Robert Clerke, my friend, is blamed for so doing there, but I hear nothing of him at London about it; but Captain Brookes's running aground with the "Sancta Maria", which was one of the three ships that were ordered to be sunk to have dammed up the River at the chaine, is mightily cried against, and with reason, he being the chief man to approve of the abilities of other men, and the other two slips did get safe thither and he run aground; but yet I do hear that though he be blameable, yet if she had been there, she nor two more to them three would have been able to have commanded the river all over. I find that here, as it hath been in our river, fire-ships, when fitted, have been sunk afterwards, and particularly those here at the Mussle, where they did no good at all. Our great ships that were run aground and sunk are all well raised but the "Vanguard", which they go about to raise to-morrow. "the Henery", being let loose to drive up the river of herself, did run up as high as the bridge, and broke down some of the rails of the bridge, and so back again with the tide, and up again, and then berthed himself so well as no pilot could ever have done better; and Punnet says he would not, for his life, have undertaken to have done it, with all his skill. I find it is true that the Dutch did heele "The Charles" to get her down, and yet run aground twice or thrice, and yet got her safe away, and have her, with a great many good guns in her, which none of our pilots would ever have undertaken. It is very considerable the quantity of goods, which the making of these platforms and batterys do take out of the King's stores: so that we shall have little left there, and, God knows! no credit to buy any; besides, the taking away and spending of (it is possible) several goods that would have been either rejected or abatement made for them before used. It is a strange thing to see that, while my Lords Douglas and Middleton do ride up and down upon single horses, my Lord Bruncker (age 47) do go up and down with his Hackney-coach and six horses at the King's charge, which will do, for all this time, and the time that he is likely to stay, must amount to a great deal. But I do not see that he hath any command over the seamen, he being affronted by three or four seamen before my very face, which he took sillily, methought; and is not able to do so much good as a good boatswain in this business. My Lord Bruncker (age 47), I perceive, do endeavour to speak well of Commissioner Pett (age 56), saying that he did exercise great care and pains while he was there, but do not undertake to answer for his not carrying up of the great ships. Back again to Rochester, Kent [Map], and there walked to the Cathedral as they were beginning of the service, but would not be seen to stay to church there, besides had no mind, but rather to go to our inne, the White Hart, where we drank and were fain (the towne being so full of soldiers) to have a bed corded for us to lie in, I being unwilling to lie at the Hill house for one night, being desirous to be near our coach to be gone betimes to-morrow morning. Here in the streets, I did hear the Scotch march beat by the drums before the soldiers, which is very odde.

Pepy's Diary. 30 Jun 1667. Lord's Day. Up about three o'clock, and Creed and I got ourselves ready, and took coach at our gate, it being very fine weather, and the cool of the morning, and with much pleasure, without any stop, got to Rochester, Kent [Map] about ten of the clock, all the way having mighty pleasant talk of the fate that is over all we do, that it seems as if we were designed in every thing, by land by sea, to undo ourselves.

Pepy's Diary. 23 Dec 1667. Thence meeting there with Creed, he and I to the Exchange [Map], and there I saw Carr stand in the pillory for the business of my Lord Gerard (age 49), which is supposed will make a hot business in the House of Commons, when they shall come to sit again, the Lords having ordered this with great injustice, as all people think, his only fault being the printing his petition before, by accident, his petition be read in the House. Here walked up and down the Exchange [Map] with Creed, and then home to dinner, and there hear by Creed that the Bishops of Winchester and of Rochester, Kent [Map], and the Dean of the Chapel, and some other great prelates, are suspended: and a cloud upon the Archbishop ever since the late business in the House of Lords; and I believe it will be a heavy blow to the Clergy. This noon I bought a sermon of Dr. Floyd's, which Creed read a great part of to me and Mr. Hollier (age 58), who dined with me, but as well writ and as good, against the Church of Rome, as ever I read; but, Lord! how Hollier (age 58), poor man, was taken with it. They gone I to the office, and there very late with Mr. Willson and my people about the making of a new contract for the victualler, which do and will require a great deal of pains of me, and so to supper and to bed, my wife being pretty well all this day by reason of her imposthume being broke in her cheek into her mouth. This day, at the 'Change [Map], Creed shewed me Mr. Coleman, of whom my wife hath so good an opinion, and says that he is as very a rogue for women as any in the world; which did disquiet me, like a fool, and run in my mind a great while.

Pepy's Diary. 30 Dec 1667. Thence to White Hall, and there to visit Sir G. Carteret (age 57), and there was with him a great while, and my Lady and they seem in very good humour, but by and by Sir G. Carteret (age 57) and I alone, and there we did talk of the ruinous condition we are in, the King (age 37) being going to put out of the Council so many able men; such as my Lord Anglesey (age 53), Ashly (age 46), Hollis (age 68), Secretary Morrice (age 65) (to bring in Mr. Trevor), and the Archbishop of Canterbury (age 69), and my Lord Bridgewater (age 44). He tells me that this is true, only the Duke of York (age 34) do endeavour to hinder it, and the Duke of York (age 34) himself did tell him so: that the King (age 37) and the Duke of York (age 34) do not in company disagree, but are friendly; but that there is a core in their hearts, he doubts, which is not to be easily removed; for these men do suffer only for their constancy to the Chancellor (age 58), or at least from the King's ill-will against him: that they do now all they can to vilify the clergy, and do accuse Rochester, Kent [Map] [Dolben]... and so do raise scandals, all that is possible, against other of the Bishops. He do suggest that something is intended for the Duke of Monmouth (age 18), and it may be, against the Queene (age 58) also: that we are in no manner sure against an invasion the next year: that the Duke of Buckingham (age 39) do rule all now, and the Duke of York (age 34) comes indeed to the Caball, but signifies little there. That this new faction do not endure, nor the King (age 37), Sir W. Coventry (age 39); but yet that he is so usefull that they cannot be without him; but that he is not now called to the Caball. That my Lord of Buckingham (age 39), Bristoll (age 55), and Arlington (age 49), do seem to agree in these things; but that they do not in their hearts trust one another, but do drive several ways, all of them. In short, he do bless himself that he is no more concerned in matters now; and the hopes he hath of being at liberty, when his accounts are over, to retire into the country. That he do give over the Kingdom for wholly lost. So after some other little discourse, I away, meeting with Mr. Cooling. I with him by coach to the Wardrobe, where I never was since the fire in Hatton Garden [Map], but did not 'light: and he tells me he fears that my Lord Sandwich (age 42) will suffer much by Mr. Townsend's being untrue to him, he being now unable to give the Commissioners of the Treasury an account of his money received by many thousands of pounds, which I am troubled for.

Pepy's Diary. 05 Jan 1668. From the Vice-Chamberlain (age 58) up and down the house till Chapel done, and then did speak with several that I had a mind to, and so intending to go home, my Baroness Carteret (age 66) saw and called me out of her window, and so would have me home with her to Lincoln's Inn Fields to dinner, and there we met with my Lord Brereton (age 36), and several other strangers, to dine there; and I find him a very sober and serious, able man, and was in discourse too hard for the Bishop of Chester, who dined there; and who, above all books lately wrote, commending the matter and style of a late book, called "The Causes of the Decay of Piety", I do resolve at his great commendation to buy it. Here dined also Sir Philip Howard (age 37), a Barkeshire Howard, whom I did once hear swear publickly and loud in the Matted Gallery that he had not been at a wench in so long a time. He did take occasion to tell me at the table that I have got great ground in the Parliament, by my ready answers to all that was asked me there about the business of Chatham, Kent [Map], and they would never let me be out of employment, of which I made little; but was glad to hear him, as well as others, say it. And he did say also, relating to Commissioner Pett (age 57), that he did not think that he was guilty of anything like a fault, that he was either able or concerned to amend, but only the not carrying up of the ships higher, he meant; but he said, three or four miles lower down, to Rochester, Kent [Map] Bridge, which is a strange piece of ignorance in a Member of Parliament at such a time as this, and after so many examinations in the house of this business; and did boldly declare that he did think the fault to lie in my Lord Middleton (age 60), who had the power of the place, to secure the boats that were made ready by Pett, and to do anything that he thought fit, and was much, though not altogether in the right, for Spragg, that commanded the river, ought rather to be charged with the want of the boats and the placing of them.

Pepy's Diary. 05 Feb 1668. Up, and I to Captain Cocke's (age 51), where he and I did discourse of our business that we are to go about to the Commissioners of Accounts about our prizes, and having resolved to conceal nothing but to confess the truth, the truth being likely to do us most good, we parted, and I to White Hall, where missing of the Commissioners of the Treasury, I to the Commissioners of Accounts, where I was forced to stay two hours before I was called in, and when come in did take an oath to declare the truth to what they should ask me, which is a great power; I doubt more than the Act do, or as some say can, give them, to force a man to swear against himself; and so they fell to enquire about the business of prize-goods, wherein I did answer them as well as I could, answer them in everything the just truth, keeping myself to that. I do perceive at last, that, that they did lay most like a fault to me was, that I did buy goods upon my Lord Sandwich's (age 42) declaring that it was with the King's allowance, and my believing it, without seeing the King's allowance, which is a thing I will own, and doubt not to justify myself in. That that vexed me most was, their having some watermen by, to witness my saying that they were rogues that they had betrayed my goods, which was upon some discontent with one of the watermen that I employed at Greenwich, Kent [Map], who I did think did discover the goods sent from Rochester, Kent [Map] to the Custom-House officer; but this can do me no great harm. They were inquisitive into the minutest particulars, and the evening great information; but I think that they can do me no hurt, at the worst, more than to make me refund, if it must be known, what profit I did make of my agreement with Captain Cocke (age 51); and yet, though this be all, I do find so poor a spirit within me, that it makes me almost out of my wits, and puts me to so much pain, that I cannot think of anything, nor do anything but vex and fret, and imagine myself undone, so that I am ashamed of myself to myself, and do fear what would become of me if any real affliction should come upon me. After they had done with me, they called in Captain Cocke (age 51), with whom they were shorter; and I do fear he may answer foolishly, for he did speak to me foolishly before he went in; but I hope to preserve myself, and let him shift for himself as well as he can. So I away, walked to my flageolet maker in the Strand, and there staid for Captain Cocke (age 51), who took me up and carried me home, and there coming home and finding dinner done, and Mr. Cooke, who come for my Lady Sandwich's (age 43) plate, which I must part with, and so endanger the losing of my money, which I lent upon my thoughts of securing myself by that plate. But it is no great sum-but £60: and if it must be lost, better that, than a greater sum. I away back again, to find a dinner anywhere else, and so I, first, to the Ship Tavern, thereby to get a sight of the pretty mistress of the house, with whom I am not yet acquainted at all, and I do always find her scolding, and do believe she is an ill-natured devil, that I have no great desire to speak to her. Here I drank, and away by coach to the Strand, there to find out Mr. Moore, and did find him at the Bell Inn, and there acquainted him with what passed between me and the Commissioners to-day about the prize goods, in order to the considering what to do about my Lord Sandwich (age 42), and did conclude to own the thing to them as done by the King's allowance, and since confirmed.

Pepy's Diary. 17 Feb 1669. Up, and with W. Hewer (age 27) with me to Lincoln's Inn, by appointment, to have spoke with Mr. Pedley about Mr. Goldsborough's business and Mr. Weaver's, but he was gone out, and so I with Mr. Castle (age 40), the son-in-law of Weaver, to White Hall to look for him, but did not find him, but here I did meet with several and talked, and do hear only that the King (age 38) dining yesterday at the Dutch Embassador's, after dinner they drank, and were pretty merry; and, among the rest of the King's company, there was that worthy fellow my Lord of Rochester (age 21), and Tom Killigrew (age 57), whose mirth and raillery offended the former so much, that he did give Tom Killigrew (age 57) a box on the ear in the King's presence, which do much give offence to the people here at Court, to see how cheap the King (age 38) makes himself, and the more, for that the King (age 38) hath not only passed by the thing, and pardoned it to Rochester, Kent [Map] already, but this very morning the King (age 38) did publickly walk up and down, and Rochester, Kent [Map] I saw with him as free as ever, to the King's everlasting shame, to have so idle a rogue his companion. How Tom Killigrew (age 57) takes it, I do not hear. I do also this day hear that my Lord Privy Seale do accept to go Lieutenant into Ireland; but whether it be true or no, I cannot tell. So calling at my shoemaker's, and paying him to this day, I home to dinner, and in the afternoon to Colonel Middleton's house, to the burial of his wife, where we are all invited, and much more company, and had each of us a ring: and so towards evening to our church, where there was a sermon preached by Mills, and so home. At church there was my Lord Brouncker (age 49) and Mrs. Williams in our pew, the first time they were ever there or that I knew that either of them would go to church. At home comes Castle to me, to desire me to go to Mr. Pedly, this night, he being to go out of town to-morrow morning, which I, therefore, did, by Hackney-coach, first going to White Hall to meet with Sir W. Coventry (age 41), but missed him. But here I had a pleasant rencontre of a lady in mourning, that, by the little light I had, seemed handsome. I passing by her, I did observe she looked back again and again upon me, I suffering her to go before, and it being now duske. I observed she went into the little passage towards the Privy Water-Gate, and I followed, but missed her; but coming back again, I observed she returned, and went to go out of the Court. I followed her, and took occasion, in the new passage now built, where the walke is to be, to take her by the hand, to lead her through, which she willingly accepted, and I led her to the Great Gate, and there left her, she telling me, of her own accord, that she was going as far as, Charing Cross [Map]; but my boy was at the gate, and so je durst not go out con her, which vexed me, and my mind (God forgive me) did run apres her toute that night, though I have reason to thank God, and so I do now, that I was not tempted to go further.

Pepy's Diary. 27 Mar 1669. Up, and did a little business, Middleton and I, then; after drinking a little buttered ale, he and Huchinson and: I took coach, and, exceeding merry in talk, to Dartford: Middleton finding stories of his own life at Barbadoes, and up and down at Venice, and elsewhere, that are mighty pretty, and worth hearing; and he is a strange good companion, and; droll upon the road, more than ever I could have thought to have been in him. Here we dined and met Captain Allen (age 57) of Rochester, Kent [Map], who dined with us, and so went on his journey homeward, and we by and by took coach again and got home about six at night, it being all the morning as cold, snowy, windy, and rainy day, as any in the whole winter past, but pretty clear in the afternoon. I find all well, but my wife abroad with Jane, who was married yesterday, and I to the office busy, till by and by my wife comes home, and so home, and there hear how merry they were yesterday, and I glad at it, they being married, it seems, very handsomely, at Islington [Map]; and dined at the old house, and lay in our blue chamber, with much company, and wonderful merry. The Turner and Mary Batelier bridesmaids, and Talbot Pepys and W. Hewer (age 27) bridesmen. Anon to supper and to bed, my head a little troubled with the muchness of the business I have upon me at present.

Evelyn's Diary. 25 Mar 1672. Being come back toward Rochester, Kent [Map], I went to take order respecting the building a strong and high wall about a house I had hired of a gentleman, at a place called Hartlip, for a prison, paying £50 yearly rent. Here I settled a Provost-Marshal and other officers, returning by Feversham [Map].

1672 Battle of Solebay

Evelyn's Diary. 31 May 1672. I received another command to repair to the seaside; so I went to Rochester, Kent [Map], where I found many wounded, sick, and prisoners, newly put on shore after the engagement on the 28th, in which the Earl of Sandwich (deceased), that incomparable person and my particular friend, and divers more whom I loved, were lost. My Lord (who was Admiral of the Blue) was in the "Prince", which was burnt, one of the best men-of-war that ever spread canvas on the sea. There were lost with this brave man, a son of Sir Charles Cotterell (age 57) (Master of the Ceremonies), and a son (age 32) of Sir Charles Harbord (his Majesty's (age 42) Surveyor-General), two valiant and most accomplished youths, full of virtue and courage, who might have saved themselves; but chose to perish with my Lord, whom they honored and loved above their own lives.

Evelyn's Diary. 02 Jun 1672. Trinity Sunday, I passed at Rochester, Kent [Map]; and, on the 5th, there was buried in the Cathedral [Map] Monsieur Rabiniére, Rear Admiral of the French squadron, a gallant person, who died of the wounds he received in the fight. This ceremony lay on me, which I performed with all the decency I could, inviting the Mayor and Aldermen to come in their formalities. Sir Jonas Atkins (age 62) was there with his guards; and the Dean and Prebendaries: one of his countrymen pronouncing a funeral oration at the brink of his grave, which I caused to be dug in the choir. This is more at large described in the "Gazette" of that day; Colonel Reymes (age 58), my colleague in commission, assisting, who was so kind as to accompany me from London, though it was not his district; for indeed the stress of both these wars lay more on me by far than on any of my brethren, who had little to do in theirs. I went to see Upnor Castle, Kent [Map], which I found pretty well defended, but of no great moment.

Evelyn's Diary. 02 Jun 1672. At Sheerness [Map], I gave his Majesty (age 42) and his Royal Highness (age 38) an account of my charge, and returned to Queenborough [Map]; next day dined at Major Dorel's, Governor of Sheerness; thence, to Rochester, Kent [Map]; and the following day, home.

Evelyn's Diary. 08 Sep 1672. I lay at Gravesend, Kent [Map], thence to Rochester, Kent [Map], returning on the 11th.

Evelyn's Diary. 10 Nov 1675. At Rochester, Kent [Map], the major, Mr. Cony, then an officer of mine for the sick and wounded of that place, gave the ladies a handsome refreshment as we came by his house.

Glorious Revolution

Evelyn's Diary. 13 Dec 1688. The Prince of Orange (age 38) is advanced to Windsor, Berkshire [Map], is invited by the King (age 55) to St. James's [Map], the messenger sent was the Earl of Faversham (age 47), the General of the Forces, who going without trumpet, or passport, is detained prisoner by the Prince (age 38), who accepts the invitation, but requires his Majesty (age 38) to retire to some distant place, that his own guards may be quartered about the palace and city. This is taken heinously and the King (age 38) goes privately to Rochester, Kent [Map]; is persuaded to come back; comes on the Sunday; goes to mass, and dines in public, a Jesuit saying grace (I was present).

Evelyn's Diary. 17 Dec 1688. That night was a Council; his Majesty (age 38) refuses to assent to all the proposals; goes away again to Rochester, Kent [Map].

In 1787 William James Chaplin was born in Rochester, Kent [Map].

On 28 Jul 1794 Archibishop Charles Longley was born in Rochester, Kent [Map].

Siege of Leeds Castle

Letters of Horace Walpole. Rochester, Kent [Map], Sunday.

We have finished our progress sadly! Yesterday after twenty mishaps we got to Sissinghurst to dinner. There is a park in ruins, and a house in ten times greater ruins, built by Sir John Balier, chancellor of the exchequer to Queen Mary. You go through an arch of the stables to the house, the court of which is perfect and very beautiful. The Duke of Bedford has a house at Cheneys, in Buckinghamshire, which seems to have been very like it, but is more ruined. This has a good apartment, and a fine gallery, a hundred and twenty feet by eighteen, which takes up one side: the wainscot is pretty and entire: the ceiling vaulted, and painted in a light genteel grotesque. The whole is built for show: for the back of the house is nothing but lath and plaster. From thence we Went to Bocton-Malherbe, where are remains of a house of the Wottons, and their tombs in the church; but the roads were so exceedingly bad that it was dark before we got thither, and still darker before we got to Maidstone: from thence we passed this morning to Leeds Castle [Map].347 Never was such disappointment! There are small remains: the moat is the only handsome object, and is quite a lake, supplied by a cascade which tumbles through a bit of a romantic grove. The Fairfaxes have fitted up a pert, bad apartment in the fore-part of the castle, and have left the only tolerable rooms for offices. They had a gleam of Gothic in their eyes, but it soon passed off into some modern windows, and some that never were ancient. The only thing that at all recompensed the fatigues we have undergone was the picture of the Duchess of Buckingham348, la Ragotte, who is mentioned in Grammont-I say us, for I trust that Mr. Chute is as true a bigot to Grammont as I am. Adieu? I hope you will be as weary with reading our history as we have been in travelling it. Yours ever.

Note 347. A very ancient and magnificent structure, built throughout of stone, at different periods, formerly belonging to the family of Crovequer. In the fifteenth of Edward II Sir Thomas de Colepeper, who was castellan of the castle, was hanged on the drawbridge for having refused admittance to Isabel, the Queen-consort, in her progress in performing a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. The manor and castle were forfeited to the crown by his attainder, but restored to his son, Sir Thomas Colepeper. By his Diary of May 8, 1666, it appears to have been hired by Evelyn for a prison. "Here," he says, "I flowed the dry moat, made a new drawbridge, brought spring-water into the court of the castle to an old fountain, and took order for the repairs."-E.

Note 348. Mary, Duchess of Buckingham, only daughter of Thomas, Lord Fairfax.-E.

Watling Street. From Durobrivae [Map] the road continues through Park Pale, Kent [Map], Vagniacis [Map], Dartford, Kent [Map], Noviomagus [Map], Bexley, Kent [Map], down Shooter's Hill, Greenwich [Map] past Eltham Common, Kent [Map] to Greenwich Park [Map] where the road either (or both):

1. went along the Old Kent Road [Map] and crossed the River Thames at either the London Bridge [Map] or a ford near Westminster Bridge [Map] after which it continued north past St Mary-le-Bow Church, Cheapside [Map], Newgate Gate [Map], Ludgate Hill [Map] and over the River Fleet at Fleet Bridge [Map] to Marble Arch [Map].

2. continued north-west through Camberwell, Surrey [Map] crossing the River Thames near Vauxhall Bridge [Map] after which it continued north to Marble Arch [Map].

Europe, British Isles, South-East England, Kent, Rochester, Crown Tavern

Pepy's Diary. 02 Aug 1662. After dinner we to boat, and had a pleasant passage down to Gravesend, Kent [Map], but it was nine o'clock before we got thither, so that we were in great doubt what to do, whether to stay there or no; and the rather because I was afeard to ride, because of my pain...; but at the Swan [Map], finding Mr. Hemson and Lieutenant Carteret (age 21) of the Foresight come to meet me, I borrowed Mr. Hemson's horse, and he took another, and so we rode to Rochester, Kent [Map] in the dark, and there at the Crown Mr. Gregory, Barrow, and others staid to meet me. So after a glass of wine, we to our barge, that was ready for me, to the Hill-house, where we soon went to bed, before we slept I telling upon discourse Captain Cocke (age 45) the manner of my being cut of the stone, which pleased him much. So to sleep.

Pepy's Diary. 02 Oct 1665. So to walk up and down the Cathedral [Map], and thence to the Crowne, whither Mr. Fowler, the Mayor of the towne, was come in his gowne, and is a very reverend magistrate. After I had eat a bit, not staying to eat with them, I went away, and so took horses and to Gravesend, Kent [Map], and there staid not, but got a boat, the sicknesse being very much in the towne still, and so called on board my Lord Bruncker (age 45) and Sir John Minnes (age 66), on board one of the East Indiamen at Erith, Kent, and there do find them full of envious complaints for the pillageing of the ships, but I did pacify them, and discoursed about making money of some of the goods, and do hope to be the better by it honestly.

Pepy's Diary. 02 Oct 1665. Thence to Rochester, Kent [Map], walked to the Crowne, and while dinner was getting ready, I did there walk to visit the old Castle [Map] ruines, which hath been a noble place, and there going up I did upon the stairs overtake three pretty mayds or women and took them up with me, and I did 'baiser sur mouches et toucher leur mains1' and necks to my great pleasure: but, Lord! to see what a dreadfull thing it is to look down the precipices, for it did fright me mightily, and hinder me of much pleasure which I would have made to myself in the company of these three, if it had not been for that. The place hath been very noble and great and strong in former ages.

Note 1. TT. baiser sur mouches et toucher leur mains. Kiss their beauty spots and touched their hands.

Pepy's Diary. 30 Jun 1667. At the foot of Rochester, Kent [Map] bridge, at the landing-place, I met my Lord Bruncker (age 47) and my Lord Douglas (age 21), and all the officers of the soldiers in the town, waiting there for the Duke of York (age 33), whom they heard was coming thither this day; by and by comes my Lord Middleton (age 59), the first time I remember to have seen him, well mounted, who had been to meet him, but come back without him; he seems a fine soldier, and so every body says he is; and a man, like my Lord Teviott, and indeed most of the Scotch gentry, as I observe, of few words. After staying here by the water-side and seeing the boats come up from Chatham, Kent [Map], with them that rowed with bandeleeres about their shoulders, and muskets in their boats, they being the workmen of the Yard, who have promised to redeem their credit, lost by their deserting the service when the Dutch were there, my Lord Bruncker (age 47) went with Lord Middleton to his inne, the Crowne, to dinner, which I took unkindly, but he was slightly invited.

Europe, British Isles, South-East England, Kent, Rochester, Salutacion Tavern

Pepy's Diary. 10 Apr 1661. So to the Salutacion tavern, where Mr. Alcock and many of the town came and entertained us with wine and oysters and other things, and hither come Sir John Minnes (age 62) to us, who is come to-day to see "the Henery", in which he intends to ride as Vice-Admiral in the narrow seas all this summer. Here much mirth, but I was a little troubled to stay too long, because of going to Hempson's, which afterwards we did, and found it in all things a most pretty house, and rarely furnished, only it had a most ill access on all sides to it, which is a greatest fault that I think can be in a house. Here we had, for my sake, two fiddles, the one a base viall, on which he that played, played well some lyra lessons, but both together made the worst musique that ever I heard. We had a fine collacion, but I took little pleasure in that, for the illness of the musique and for the intentness of my mind upon Mrs. Rebecca Allen.