Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Isle of Dogs


‘Monday 24 July 1665…We set out so late that it grew dark, so as we doubted the losing of our way; and a long time it was, or seemed, before we could get to the water-side, and that about eleven at night, where, when we come, all merry (only my eye troubled me, as I said), we found no ferryboat was there, nor no oares to carry us to Deptford. However, afterwards oares was called from the other side at Greenwich; but, when it come, a frolique, being mighty merry, took us, and there we would sleep all night in the coach in the Isle of Doggs. So we did, there being now with us my Lady Scott, and with great pleasure drew up the glasses, and slept till daylight, and then some victuals and wine being brought us, we ate a bit, and so up and took boat, merry as might be; and when come to Sir G. Carteret’s, there all to bed.’

Samuel Pepys records spending a night on the Isle of Dogs, known only to this blogger as a setting used by an author with the same surname as mine (Iain Sinclair).  Apparently an interesting place for a pint or two.  The Lady Scott in Pepys' diary entry was originally Carolina Carteret, who married Sir Thomas Scott.

Walter Scott knew the Isle of Dogs.  At least well enough to mention it as part of the dialogue in “Peveril of the Peak”.

 "I crave your Grace's pardon humbly," said Sir Geoffrey, "but it is an honour I design for myself, as I apprehend no one can so utterly surrender and deliver him up to his Majesty's service as the father that begot him is entitled to do.--Julian, come forward, and kneel.-- Here he is, please your Majesty--Julian Peveril--a chip of the old block--as stout, though scarce so tall a tree, as the old trunk, when at the freshest. Take him to you, sir, for a faithful servant, /à pendre/, as the French say; if he fears fire or steel, axe or gallows, in your Majesty's service, I renounce him--he is no son of mine--I disown him, and he may go to the Isle of Man, the Isle of Dogs, or the Isle of Devils, for what I care."

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