Monday 2 January 1659/60

In the morning before I went forth old East brought me a dozen of bottles of sack, and I gave him a shilling for his pains.

Then I went to Mr. Sheply who was drawing of sack in the wine cellar to send to other places as a gift from my Lord,1 and told me that my Lord had given him order to give me the dozen of bottles.

Thence I went to the Temple to speak with Mr. Calthropp about the 60l. due to my Lord, but missed of him, he being abroad. Then I went to Mr. Crew’s and borrowed 10l. of Mr. Andrewes for my own use, and so went to my office, where there was nothing to do. Then I walked a great while in Westminster Hall, where I heard that Lambert was coming up to London; that my Lord Fairfax was in the head of the Irish brigade, but it was not certain what he would declare for. The House was to-day upon finishing the act for the Council of State, which they did; and for the indemnity to the soldiers; and were to sit again thereupon in the afternoon. Great talk that many places have declared for a free Parliament; and it is believed that they will be forced to fill up the House with the old members. From the Hall I called at home, and so went to Mr. Crew’s (my wife she was to go to her father’s), thinking to have dined, but I came too late, so Mr. Moore and I and another gentleman went out and drank a cup of ale together in the new market, and there I eat some bread and cheese for my dinner. After that Mr. Moore and I went as far as Fleet-street together and parted, he going into the City, I to find Mr. Calthrop, but failed again of finding him, so returned to Mr. Crew’s again, and from thence went along with Mrs. Jemimah home, and there she taught me how to play at cribbage. Then I went home, and finding my wife gone to see Mrs. Hunt, I went to Will’s, and there sat with Mr. Ashwell talking and singing till nine o’clock, and so home, there, having not eaten anything but bread and cheese, my wife cut me a slice of brawn which I received from my Lady; which proves as good as ever I had any. So to bed, and my wife had a very bad night of it through wind and cold.

17 Annotations

Phil  •  Link

"Sack" is...
"the name used in the sixteenth century during the reign of Elizabeth I for sherry or other fortified wines from malaga or the Canary Islands. Such wines were known as Malaga Sack and Canary Sack. The word comes from the Spanish sacar, meaning ‘to take out’ or ‘to export.’”


David Gurliacci  •  Link


The first known reference to this card game is from 1630. Players keep score on a cribbage board by moving pegs around tiny holes.

The game is "not difficult to pick up but can take some time to play well" and is popular around the world, according to this website:

David Gurliacci  •  Link

(1) "cooked boar's flesh."

(2) It can also mean "headcheese" which is "a loaf of jellied, seasoned meat, made from parts of the head and feet of hogs."

(No more disgusting than hot dogs or spam. Mmmmmmmmm!)

David Gurliacci  •  Link


Didn't see the first "trackback" below before I posted the "brawn" definitions. Looks like Burnt Toast already had the definition, and an even better description.

She also had the same reaction: "Mmm"

Eunice Muir  •  Link

It is fascinating to read how people got in touch with each other prior to the telephone. Mr. Pepys seems to have spent a lot of his day walking to and from the homes and offices of people he needed to see. They also seem to have had far more personal contact than we have today.

PHE  •  Link

Communication: It is cetainly fascinating to see how business was carried out relatively efficiently without our modern means of communication. As is seen later in the diary, messangers were used regularly, sometimes several times a day to pass news and messages around London and to arrange meetings. Verbal communication was also the principal means of keeping abreast of the news, so that personal meetings, conversation, and stopping to chat to people was a common and important part of day-to-day life - and pressumably much more sociable than today.

PHE  •  Link

"and so went to my office, where there was nothing to do" What a briliant line! How many of us wish this could happen to us?

Martin  •  Link

This is a great idea! I found myself wondering just what the city and it's inhabitants looked like in the 17th Century.

After some googling I came across what I was looking for. This site has images and information on the city of London and on what people wore in that era.

The url shows fashions of the 17th Century, then follow the link "17th Century London" to see images of London and read info about it.

M. Stolzenbach  •  Link

Interesting - I'd always heard that "sack" was a "dry" wine, from French sec, Spanish seco. (And that's what my Webster's thinks)

I'm betting that the "wind" Mrs. Pepys suffered from was not coming through the window, but was internal; that she had, er, gas.

peter2168  •  Link

This is the first time I have encountered this site and I must say, I love it.

Came to it through an NPR interview in the U.S.

language hat  •  Link

M. Stolzenbach:
"Sack" (earlier "wyne seck") is indeed from "sec" (dry), but it has never referred to a dry wine. Etymology usually doesn't have much to do with current meaning. A comparable example from the wine world is "claret," which etymologically means 'clear (i.e., light red) wine' but refers to Bordeaux, which is not like that at all. If you're curious, the OED has a long historical discussion at the start of its entry (sack sb 3).

Graham  •  Link

More brawn than brains

My father was partial to brawn which was a frequent visitor to our fridge. As mentioned in other postings this consisted of shredded pork in a meat jelly and was particularly good on toast.

I recently spent some time in Finland where I discovered the local supermarket also stocked this "delicacy". Unfortunately this appeared to be more jelly than pork so I forwent the pleasure of reliving this particular childhood experience.

Martyn  •  Link

The reference to Lord Fairfax as being the 3rd Baron of that name is incorrect. He was a Scottish Lord and as such was not a baron but the 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron. Baron in Scotland is a feudal title which may be acquired by buying land that holds the title.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Then I went to Mr. Sheply who was drawing of sack in the wine cellar to send to other places as a gift from my Lord,1 and told me that my Lord had given him order to give me the dozen of bottles."

In 1660 Christmas gifts to your family, friends, equals and betters were given at New Years. Christmas "boxes" were given to your servants and apprentices on the day after Christmas (hence the name, Boxing Day). So Mr. Sheply is measuring into bottles the New Year's gifts of sack (sherry or fortified wine from Malaga or the Canary Islands), and "old East" is delivering the gifts.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Cribbage was a relatively new game: Sir John Suckling ... also ‘invented the game of cribbage’, as all the circumstantial evidence affirms and none contradicts.

For more information see: Tom Clayton, ‘Suckling, Sir John (bap. 1609, d. 1641?)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 6 April 2014]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

According to John Aubrey, cribbage was created by the English poet Sir John Suckling in the early 17th century, as a derivation of the game "noddy." While noddy has disappeared, crib has survived, virtually unchanged, as one of the most popular games in the English-speaking world.

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