The Great Fire of London, Part 2
On Monday, 3 September 1666, Samuel Pepys began sending away his valuable possessions by cart. On Tuesday, 4 September 1666, Sir William Batten “not knowing how to remove his wine, did dig a pit in the garden, and laid it in there”. Samuel Pepys took advantage of this pit and put some papers in there. That evening he, along with Sir William Penn, dug another, now famous pit into which “put our wine in it; and I my Parmazan cheese, as well as my wine and some other things.”
We do not know exactly what wine Samuel Pepys buried but we can get a sense. The previous summer on 7 July 1665, he noted his cellar contained two “two tierces of Claret, two quarter casks of Canary, and a smaller vessel of Sack; a vessel of Tent, another of Malaga, and another of white wine”. A tierce is two-thirds of a hogshead or one-third of a butt which holds some 35 imperial gallons of wine. This pit was no small hole!