A new diary entry appears here at the end of each day.

Friday 20 September 1661

Will Stankes and I set out in the morning betimes for Gravely, where to an ale-house and drank, and then, going towards the Court House, met my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas, with Bradly, the rogue that had betrayed us, and one Young, a cunning fellow, who guides them. There passed no unkind words at all between us, but I seemed fair and went to drink with them. I said little till by and by that we come to the Court, which was a simple meeting of a company of country rogues, with the Steward, and two Fellows of Jesus College, that are lords of the town where the jury were sworn; and I producing no surrender, though I told them I was sure there is and must be one somewhere, they found my uncle Thomas heir at law, as he is, and so, though I did tell him and his son that they would find themselves abused by these fellows, and did advise them to forbear being admitted this Court (which they could have done, but that these rogues did persuade them to do it now), my uncle was admitted, and his son also, in reversion after his father, which he did well in to secure his money. The father paid a year and a half for his fine, and the son half a year, in all 48l., besides about 3l. fees; so that I do believe the charges of his journeys, and what he gives those two rogues, and other expenses herein, cannot be less than 70l., which will be a sad thing for them if a surrender be found.

After all was done, I openly wished them joy in it, and so rode to Offord with them and there parted fairly without any words. I took occasion to bid them money for their half acre of land, which I had a mind to do that in the surrender I might secure Piggott’s, which otherwise I should be forced to lose.

So with Stankes home and supped, and after telling my father how things went, I went to bed with my mind in good temper, because I see the matter and manner of the Court and the bottom of my business, wherein I was before and should always have been ignorant.

Thursday 19 September 1661

Up early, and my father and I alone into the garden, and there talked about our business, and what to do therein. So after I had talked and advised with my coz Claxton, and then with my uncle by his bedside, we all horsed away to Cambridge, where my father and I, having left my wife at the Beare with my brother, went to Mr. Sedgewicke, the steward of Gravely, and there talked with him, but could get little hopes from anything that he would tell us; but at last I did give him a fee, and then he was free to tell me what I asked, which was something, though not much comfort.

From thence to our horses, and with my wife went and rode through Sturbridge but the fair was almost done. So we did not ‘light there at all, but went back to Cambridge, and there at the Beare we had some herrings, we and my brother, and after dinner set out for Brampton, where we come in very good time, and found all things well, and being somewhat weary, after some talk about tomorrow’s business with my father, we went to bed.

Wednesday 18 September 1661

The next morning up early and begun our march; the way about Puckridge very bad, and my wife, in the very last dirty place of all, got a fall, but no hurt, though some dirt. At last she begun, poor wretch, to be tired, and I to be angry at it, but I was to blame; for she is a very good companion as long as she is well.

In the afternoon we got to Cambridge, where I left my wife at my cozen Angier’s while I went to Christ’s College, and there found my brother in his chamber, and talked with him; and so to the barber’s, and then to my wife again, and remounted for Impington, where my uncle received me and my wife very kindly. And by and by in comes my father, and we supped and talked and were merry, but being weary and sleepy my wife and I to bed without talking with my father anything about our business.

Tuesday 17 September 1661

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] …And the next morning got up, telling my wife of my journey, and she with a few words got me to hire her a horse to go along with me. So I went to my Lady’s and elsewhere to take leave, and of Mr. Townsend did borrow a very fine side-saddle for my wife; and so after all things were ready, she and I took coach to the end of the town towards Kingsland, and there got upon my horse and she upon her pretty mare that I hired for her, and she rides very well. By the mare at one time falling she got a fall, but no harm; so we got to Ware, and there supped, and to bed very merry and pleasant.

Monday 16 September 1661

This morning I was busy at home to take in my part of our freight of Coles, which Sir G. Carteret, Sir R. Slingsby, and myself sent for, which is 10 Chaldron, 8 of which I took in, and with the other to repay Sir W. Pen what I borrowed of him a little while ago. So that from this day I should see how long 10 chaldron of coals will serve my house, if it please the Lord to let me live to see them burned.

In the afternoon by appointment to meet Dr. Williams and his attorney, and they and I to Tom Trice, and there got him in discourse to confess the words that he had said that his mother did desire him not to see my uncle about her 200l. bond while she was alive. Here we were at high words with T. Trice and then parted, and we to Standing’s, in Fleet Street, where we sat and drank and talked a great while about my going down to Gravely Court,1 which will be this week, whereof the Doctor had notice in a letter from his sister this week. In the middle of our discourse word was brought me from my brother’s that there is a fellow come from my father out of the country, on purpose to speak to me, so I went to him and he made a story how he had lost his letter, but he was sure it was for me to go into the country, which I believed, and thought it might be to give me notice of Gravely Court, but I afterwards found that it was a rogue that did use to play such tricks to get money of people, but he got none of me. At night I went home, and there found letters from my father informing me of the Court, and that I must come down and meet him at Impington, which I presently resolved to do… [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

  1. The manorial court of Graveley, in Huntingdonshire, to which Impington owed suit or service, and under which the Pepys’s copyhold estates were held. See July 8th, 1661, ante. — B.

Sunday 15 September 1661

(Lord’s day). To my aunt Kite’s in the morning to help my uncle Fenner to put things in order against anon for the buriall, and at noon home again; and after dinner to church, my wife and I, and after sermon with my wife to the buriall of my aunt Kite, where besides us and my uncle Fenner’s family, there was none of any quality, but poor rascally people. So we went to church with the corps, and there had service read at the grave, and back again with Pegg Kite who will be, I doubt, a troublesome carrion to us executors; but if she will not be ruled, I shall fling up my executorship. After that home, and Will Joyce along with me where we sat and talked and drank and ate an hour or two, and so he went away and I up to my chamber and then to prayers and to bed.

Saturday 14 September 1661

At the office all the morning, at noon to the Change, and then home again. To dinner, where my uncle Fenner by appointment came and dined with me, thinking to go together to my aunt Kite’s that is dead; but before we had dined comes Sir R. Slingsby and his lady, and a great deal of company, to take my wife and I out by barge to shew them the King’s and Duke’s yachts. So I was forced to leave my uncle and brother Tom at dinner and go forth with them, and we had great pleasure, seeing all four yachts, viz., these two and the two Dutch ones. And so home again, and after writing letters by post, to bed.

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