Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Sasha Clarkson has posted 120 annotations/comments since 16 February 2013.
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About Tuesday 13 August 1661
Is Sam treating Pall "like trash"?
As the scion of a, hitherto, landless branch of a yeoman family, Papa (John) Pepys has been clinging precariously to middle class status, working at a trade. He has invested in the education of the two sons who seemed capable of benefiting from it. But although Sam has done well, the family cannot afford to be complacent. At the time Pall was taken into Sam's household, Papa was of very little net worth. There was not enough money to give Pall much of a dowry, so for her to have a prospect of marriage, she would have to learn to manage a household and not necessarily to depend upon servants, and also be pleasant enough for someone to want to have her. These were the harsh realities of the time: they were much worse for other young women.
With Sandwich's patronage, Sam has started to do well in the world, but his position is precarious. He took Pall into his household as a servant to help with her training to be fit for the world, not pamper her. Sam owed her a helping hand, but not a life of luxury. The only mistress of the household could ever be Elizabeth. Now Papa has inherited Brampton, Sam is effectively saying: "take her back pa - I've done what I can for her, which isn't much because she won't learn her place - she'd be better off with you now."
In fact, Pall eventually found a husband at Brampton via the Sandwich connection, and her younger son, John, became Pepys' heir.
About Sunday 11 August 1661
Sam, at least for now, has lost interest in the Butler sisters, but later he goes to Gray's Inn Walks: THE place to see and be seen!
About Saturday 10 August 1661
Re the new chamber maid: on July 23rd, Pepys recorded that he had decided not to keep Pall: more is revealed later in August.
To those wondering why Uncle William Wight might have expected to have an interest in uncle Robert's will: remember that he and Robert were half-brothers. They might have had a good relationship when William was a toddler.
About Pepys Family Tree updated
Thanks Phi! :)
Might I make a further request for when your busy schedule allows it? (I know from experience that a webmaster's work is never done.)
The Dr Thomas Pepys whom our Sam disdains is the elder brother of Roger Pepys whom he greatly esteems. Could his link be added to the family tree at some point?
About Monday 5 August 1661
The Pepys family tree and place-names have often made me think of Tolkien's fictional hobbit family trees: never more than today, when I was put in mind of the Gamgee-Cotton family tree of Master Samwise! (Though perhaps the Pepyses were more like the Bagginses! :) )
"... Meads towards Haslingfield and CotonWhere das Betreten’s not verboten. ..."
Rupert Brooke, in Berlin, longs to be in Cambridgeshire.'The Old Vicarage, Grantchester'http://www.orchard-grantchester.com/poetry/
About Sunday 4 August 1661
The parson knew his job under the new regime: "God bless the Squire and his relations, and keep us all in our proper stations."
About Friday 2 August 1661
"... much discourse with a fellmonger, a Quaker ..."
Even today, I often chat with accidental travel companions on trains, planes etc. The eye-contact (or lack of it) determines whether discourse is desired.
From the context, it seems that the fellmonger may have been rather older than Sam, so the conversation might have been about rather more than his sins. Many early Quakers were ex-Cromwellian soldiers who renounced violence in the light of their experiences. Like many Independents, they tended to be literate artisans with a trade. Sam was always interested in the details of how tradesmen worked too, partly for his own professional reasons.
About Saturday 3 August 1661
It's very interesting to use Google Maps to look at the situation of the various places connected with the Pepys family around Cambridge: Cottenham, Impington, Brampton and Hinchinbrooke.
"how high the old doctors are in the University over those they found there, ... and, above all, Dr. Gunning."
The political divines who lost their places under the Commonwealth and Protectorate are, like Peter Gunning, now back AND in charge. They are showing their disdain for those who merely led a scholarly life during those times, and are reminding them: "We are the Masters now!"