25 May 1815
adams-john10 Neal Millikan Travel and Touring, International Health and Illness

25. V. London. We breakfasted this morning at six, and at Seven left Dover with two Post-Chaises, Mrs. Adams and myself in one—Lucy and Charles in the other.

Itinerary of the Journey from Dover to London.

Miles. Post-Houses Inn-keepers 2 Chaises, 4 Horses 2 Drivers Turnpikes Extra Total
From Dover to York-Hotel A. Payne £: S: D. £: S: D. £: S: D. £: S: D £: S: D
Canterbury. 16 King’s Head Friday 2:8: 8: 3:4 2: 3:1:4
Sittingbourn 16 George Marshall 2:8: 6: 3:6 1: 2:18:6
Rochester 11 King’s Head Holloway 1:13 6: 2: 1:6 2:2:6
Dartford. 15 George & Bull Etherington and Micklefield 2:5 7:6 2:8 5: 3:0:2
London 18 2:14 9: 2:8 1:6 3:7:2
76 11:8 1:16:6 14:2 11: 14:9:8

The expence of traveling in this manner is about the same as in France— There however I had the additional charge, and trouble of a Carriage. In England the charge is the same, whether they furnish you Carriages or only Horses—one shilling and six pence a mile for a Post Chaise and pair, and the same for the horses alone. From three to four Shillings to each driver, a shilling to the hostler, and between 2 and 4 Shillings for Turnpikes are paid at each Stage. The expences of traveling by Post have exactly doubled since I first knew them in 1778. and in England they have also doubled since I first knew them in 1783. The expences at Inns upon the road, and almost all others in England are nearly double what they are in France— The face of the Country from Dover to London was quite familiar to me— I had travelled the whole way twice, and the greater part of it, many times. Although eighteen years have elapsed since I was last in England, its outward appearance remains much the same, and the ride from Dover to London is one of those which present the Country in its most favourable light.— We met on the road a regiment of soldiers marching to Dover, to embark for Flanders; many beggars, and families of apparent paupers wandering about the Country without shed or shelter— The Cities have all the show of prosperity, but with an extraordinary proportion of Cards upon the houses advertising them for sale. We did not stop on the road to dine, but took at Dartford, each a Sandwich and a glass of ale.— When we alighted at the Inn, there for that purpose, a man came in to the chamber where we were, stating himself to be a revenue Officer, charged to detect the smuggling of silks and laces, and observing that there was a Portmanteau Trunk in the Chaise in which I had arrived— I told him I had come to this Country in the character of a public Minister, and therefore not subject to the operation of the revenue Laws— He said he could not know that— I replied that I would shew it to him, and took from my pocket Lord Castlereagh’s Passport.— He did not look at it, but made an awkward apology for having intruded upon me, and withdrew in some confusion— We stopp’d at the Green-Man, Blackheath at the six Mile Stone, and found there Mr Williams one of Mr Beasley’s Clerks, with a Letter from him, informing me that he had taken lodgings for me, at N. 67 Harley-Street, Cavendish Square, and that we should find there our two eldest Sons, George and John, who had just arrived from America— Mr Beasley added that he lived in the same Street, and invited us to dine with him at half past six O’Clock— It was seven however when we received the Note, and eight when we arrived at our lodgings in London. We found our dear sons whom we had not seen for nearly six years— George grown almost out of our knowledge—John yet small for his age. Mr Saml: G. Perkins, in whose care they came from America, and Mr Todd were at the door when we alighted, and promised to call to-morrow Morning— Mr Beasley, shortly afterwards came in— Mr Crawford had left the same lodgings last Monday, and our 258sons came into them the next day. Mr Gallatin and Mr Clay, as I expected, are in London— Mr Bayard, at Plymouth, on board the Neptune; and so ill that he cannot be landed— Mrs Adams was so much overcome by the fatigue of the Journey, following so immediately upon the Sea-sickness of the Voyage, and by the agitation of meeting so unexpectedly her long absent children, that she was obliged to retire, and twice fainted— She was relieved by a warm bath. There are public baths in the house where we lodge— My Sons gave me many Letters from my father, mother, and other friends, which engaged me until after Midnight.