MRP: 18th March 1665/66, Letter from Sir Henry Oxinden to Sir GO, Corner (London)

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18th March 1665/66, Letter from Sir Henry Oxinden to Sir GO, Corner (London)

BL, Add. MS. 40, 708-40, 713, vol, 235, year 1665, ff. 3-4

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09/09/09, CSG: Completed transcription
15/12/11, CSG: Created page & posted transcription to wiki

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(1) Check transcription against physical manuscript at BL & add foliation to transcription


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BL, Add. MS. 40, 708-40, 713, vol, 235, year 1665, ff. 3-4

Dear Brother

Last night about 12 or one o’clock I sent Johnson[1] wte: a letter of the sadd news of our Sisters death[2] to find out the East India ship, which he found newly gone out of the Hope,[3] and sent the letter by White[4] of the Swan[5] at Gravesend, to a friend of his at Deale to be sent aboard, But in case ye letter miss arriving I send wth: great reluctance this least it renew yor: greif, to Informe you of the Best Sister, the best ffreind, and the best woman in the world is dead; she died after nine weeks sickness of an extreame vomiting, purging and last of all to XXXX how a ?Thrush XX her days, she hath made a will and desired you and I to be executors as I heare, for I have not yet XXXX the will, being desirous that my Neph:w Dallyson[6] should be XXXX: as it whome XXXX from Hamptons tomorrow morning, Mr Raworth[7] hath promised mee to write out a ??Codicil (Copy?) to send you XXXX in a letter of his, for your fuller satisfaction. I shall XX my pte. And duty therin & desire your instructions, and directions as to your XXXX in the will, for Merchants affaires I do intend to XXX the assistance of Mr. Mascall[8] who I judge to be wise and faithfull and a XX XXX of you, the goods contayned in the Innvoyes I intend to gett out of the Cust.: house, sowhen I return from Burying our Derre Sister in de. Chancell of Winghm:[9] I intend to be on Saturday, in Towne againe to looke after your Bussiness instead of a xxxxx, yo:r ??Muske is sould to Coz. Boone[10] at 2:3: the Tunne, Amergrsa is sould at 5:3 the ??ounce but none of yo:s is yet sould, but at my return I will advise for xxx upon Mr. Mascall supposing him most proper and fit pson then the XXX Indiamen, who some judge none of the best in the world, in my absence I will employ James Oxinden[11] who (though I say it) is now Ingenious, & has lived 2 yeares in Italy, where all are merch:tes & XXXX quite a good Acco:te of trade there, but when you are weary of your ?Volunteer ?Servants , wee will give and Acc:tt, & be no longer so, wqee XXX as being next of your name and Bloud, Truly Brother things are in great confusion at present. I will give you a XXXX Acctt: of them by the next Convoy, my Coz. [missing word – worm hole, but I think it says “Dick”] Oxinden,[12] sends his humble XXXX to you, so doth your XXXX XXXX & XXX honest Sarah,[13] I am

Corner March the 18:th 1665

Your most affectionate and loving Brother
Henry Oxinden



"Gravesend was often the last port of call for ships to take on provisions before sailing on their journeys of exploration or trade. This led to the growth of a large number of inns and taverns to serve these ships and their crews. In 1662 there were 77 licensed houses in the parishes of Gravesend and Milton, but by 1778 the number had dropped to 47."[14]

The Hope

"THE HOPE lies N.E. by N. and S.W. by S. and is about 2 miles long. There are two shelves in this reach, both on the N.W. side. The uppermost, called the Ovens, a quarter of a mile in length, lies just below the Coal-house or Upper Hope-point. Keep Gravesend open of the Point till East-Tilbury-church bears W. by N. and it will lead you clear of and below it: the lower shelf is Mucking-flat, which extends about half a cable's length from the west shore in the bight, and stretches down nearly to a creek called Shell-haven. Ships in working down may stand into 5 fathoms on the Essex, and 6 fathoms on the Kentish side. The flood tide is slack on the east side of this reach: and, close to the shore, no tide sets at all: ship, therefore, when working upwards, must not stand too far over to the eastward, because, if the head gets into less tide than the stern, it may occasion their missing stays, and running on shore."[15]

The Swan, Gravesend

"[Saturday 2 August 1662] After dinner we to boat, and had a pleasant passage down to Gravesend, 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, finding Mr. Hemson and Lieutenant Carteret of the Foresight come to meet me, I borrowed Mr. Hemson’s horse, and he took another, and so we rode to Rochester in the dark"[16]

"[Monday 4 August 1662] [Pepys had been viewing samples of hemp at Chatham docuk with Captain Cocke] So took barge at the dock and to Rochester, and there Captain Cocke and I and our two men took coach about 8 at night and to Gravesend, where it was very dark before we got thither to the Swan; 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, 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 we lost our way, and went back to Blackwall, and up and down, being guided by nothing but the barking of a dog, which we had observed in passing by Blackwall, and so..."[17]
  1. Johnson was Sir George Oxenden's personal servant
  2. Elizabeth Dallison had died at seven in the evening on March 17th, 1665/66, as reported by Sir Henry in the preceeding letter he is referring to, (17th March 1665/66, Letter from Sir Henry Oxinden to Sir GO, Deane)
  3. The Hope is the first reach after Gravesend reach as a ship makes its way out of the Thames ('Directions for the River Thames, from London to the Nore' in John Chandler, The new seaman's guide, and coaster's companion, pts. 1-3, (London, 1809), pt. 1, p. 6. See, viewed 03/01/12)
  4. White has not been identified. See Missing faces
  5. On August 4th, 1662, Samuel Pepys ate supper at the Swan Inn, Gravesend. He was returning from Chatham dock, where he had viewed samples of hemp with Sir William Ryder's commercial partner, Captain George Cocke. He dined merrily with his "drolling, drunken coachman that brought us" and "an old waterman of mine above bridge." Unfamiliar with this part of the Thames, the waterman mistakenly went ashore before Erith on the Essex bank. Between Woolwich and Blackwall they went up "up and down, being guided by nothing but the barking of a dog." The Swan Inn is also mentioned by the Gravesend historian and naturalist, Robert Pocock, in his published diaries. ('Monday 4 August 1662', Samuel Pepy's diary,, viewed 03/01/12; George Matthews Arnold, Robert Pocock, the Gravesend historian, naturalist, antiquarian, botanist, and printer (London, 1883), pp. 78, 134-135, 199)
  6. Maximilian Dallison, Elizabeth Dallison's eldest child and only son, who lived at the Hamptons in West Peckham, Kent
  7. Robert Raworth, a lawyer of Gray's Inn, was a family friends and legal advisor. He had prepared Elizabeth Dallison's last will and testament as she lay sick
  8. John Mascall, a London merchant
  9. Both Sir Henry and Sir George Oxenden were attached to the parish church of Wingham, Kent, where many generations of their family was buried. Sir George specified in his will a substantial sum of money to repair and furnish the church and a further substantial sum to build a monument in the church to commemorate his father and relations lying "in or neere the chancell att Wingham Church" (Sir George Oxenden will)
  10. Christopher Boone, London merchant and cousin of Sir Henry and Sir George Oxenden
  11. James Oxenden, Sir Henry Oxenden's eldest son. He had returned from travels on the continent to Italy. Sir Henry had earlier written to his brother that James was in Montpellier. (XXXX)
  12. Richard Oxinden
  13. Sarah Waynman, Elizabeth Dallison's long servant maid servant
  14. This is the footnote text
  15. 'Directions for the River Thames, from London to the Nore' in John Chandler, The new seaman's guide, and coaster's companion, pts. 1-3, (London, 1809), pt. 1, p. 6. See, viewed 03/01/12
  16., viewed 03/01/12
  17., viewed 03/01/12