Pepys' Diary: Famine by Christmas

Updated: Dec 16, 2021



To the coffee house behind the Exchange. There, much talk of the likelihood of a famine across the land. The fields are full of produce yet there are none to pick it. If picked there is no means to transport it, as all the carters, wherryman, and pack horse drivers where expelled to Bohemia, Silesia,and Hungary in the great Purge last year.


Milord Raab is being petitioned to despatch the felons from the Hulks off Woolwich to the fields to work the fields. The stronger types will be chained to great wagons and pull them loaded with food and goods to the Towns. This will be a Great Undertaking and if it fails, it is feared plenty of persons will starve by the Winter.


There has been much disorder at the news and many Ruffians have fought with each other in the roads for what scraps they can find. Other scoundrels have been seen stealing fuel from depots and carrying it away in flimsy nets. Would that there were covered in tar and set aflame as an example to others.


And so home to fashion a hiding place for our drinks and victuals in readiness for the Mobbe.


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