Wednesday 4 January 1659/60

Early came Mr. Vanly to me for his half-year’s rent, which I had not in the house, but took his man to the office and there paid him. Then I went down into the Hall and to Will’s, where Hawly brought a piece of his Cheshire cheese, and we were merry with it. Then into the Hall again, where I met with the Clerk and Quarter Master of my Lord’s troop, and took them to the Swan and gave them their morning’s draft, they being just come to town. Mr. Jenkins shewed me two bills of exchange for money to receive upon my Lord’s and my pay. It snowed hard all this morning, and was very cold, and my nose was much swelled with cold. Strange the difference of men’s talk! Some say that Lambert must of necessity yield up; others, that he is very strong, and that the Fifth-monarchy-men [will] stick to him, if he declares for a free Parliament. Chillington was sent yesterday to him with the vote of pardon and indemnity from the Parliament.

From the Hall I came home, where I found letters from Hinchingbroke and news of Mr. Sheply’s going thither the next week. I dined at home, and from thence went to Will’s to Shaw, who promised me to go along with me to Atkinson’s about some money, but I found him at cards with Spicer and D. Vines, and could not get him along with me. I was vext at this, and went and walked in the Hall, where I heard that the Parliament spent this day in fasting and prayer; and in the afternoon came letters from the North, that brought certain news that my Lord Lambert his forces were all forsaking him, and that he was left with only fifty horse, and that he did now declare for the Parliament himself; and that my Lord Fairfax did also rest satisfied, and had laid down his arms, and that what he had done was only to secure the country against my Lord Lambert his raising of money, and free quarter.

I went to Will’s again, where I found them still at cards, and Spicer had won 14s. of Shaw and Vines.

Then I spent a little time with G. Vines and Maylard at Vines’s at our viols.1

So home, and from thence to Mr. Hunt’s, and sat with them and Mr. Hawly at cards till ten at night, and was much made of by them.

Home and so to bed, but much troubled with my nose, which was much swelled.

25 Annotations

David  •  Link

I was struck by the Parliament's resorting to prayer and fasting. It sure shows that they felt themselves to be in a time of great peril for the country.

David Gurliacci  •  Link

14s. won at cards -- in today's money

That 14 shillings, in 1660 money, would be worth 62.33 pounds in 2001, according to this website that converts British pounds from past to present:

If you click on the "source note" in light blue lettering near the top of the page, it gives you some good caveats. Essentially, it says these calculations are very inexact because the relative values of many things can change quite a bit over time. But this may give a rough sense of the value of 1660 money.

Incidentally, that 10 pounds Pepys borrowed a day or two ago would be worth 890.40 pounds today.

(Can anybody tell me how to type in that squiggly "L" sign for pounds on an American keyboard? I've got Windows 98.)

David Gurliacci  •  Link

Fifth Monarchy Men --

"The Fifth Monarchy Men or the Fifth Monarchists were a quasi-political religious party active from 1649-1661. Based on a strong millennium [millenarian?] message, they hoped to reform Parliament and the government for the imminent coming of Christ's Kingdom on Earth. The movement was prominent throughout the Commonwealth and was organized.

The "Fifth Monarchy" or the "Fifth Kingdom" is a Biblical reference. The reference is based on the Old Testament (Daniel 2:44) of a prophecy of a dream by King Nebuchadnezzar. There were envisioned five kingdoms in history, and the last, or Fifth Kingdom, would usher in a new kingdom on earth."

According to the web site where this comes from, these guys WERE organized (reminiscent of the Falun Gong -- and they were persecuted like the Falun Gong by both Protector and King).

For more:

naomi  •  Link

Me thinks.....strange the difference of "old english" men's talk".

Peter Denton  •  Link

UK pound (

Phil  •  Link

Although, because it's a less common character, Movable Type doesn't seem to automatically encode the character into its HTML entity - "& pound;" (without the space) This means the character may not show up at all on some web browsers. "UKP" is a fairly common online notation for pounds, eg UKP10. Or just use 'pounds'!

David Gurliacci  •  Link

Wulf Losee  •  Link

Fifth Monarchists are mentioned again the following year in Pepys' diaries. In the entry for 19 Jan 1660/61 (1660 old style, 1661 new style). "To the Comptroller's, and with him by coach to White Hall; in our meeting Venner [the Fifth Monarchist leader] and Pritchard upon a sledge, who with two more Fifth Monarchy men were hanged to-day, and the two first drawn and quartered." Question: were Venner and Pritchard being displayed on the sledge alive, or were they already 'quartered'?

Paul Miller  •  Link

" where Hawly brought a piece of his Cheshire cheese, and we were merry with it."
Cheshire cheese is the oldest cheddar type cheese, and the oldest named cheese in Britain. There are 3 varieties, a white, a 'red' (actually yellow in color) which is dyed with annatto, and a blue-veined variety originally considered undesirable when it occured accidently. There is also a pub just off Fleet street called "Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese" that existed in Pepys time and is still there today, having been rebuilt after the great fire.

David Goldfarb  •  Link

Actually, the "alt-163" or "alt-156" stuff doesn't work for "every system"

Tari Elensar  •  Link

Lord Lambent should be Lambert; must specifically look out for words that will pass spell check.

Peter Payzant  •  Link

"...chest of viols."
The Viola da Gamba (or viol) is played by thousands of people today, both amateurs and professionals. Ceck out the web sites of the Viola da Gamba Society of Great Britain:
and the Viola Da Gamba Society of America:

ToastyKen  •  Link

Actually, David, on Macs, you need nothing fancy... Just type option-3. :)

David Gurliacci  •  Link

The sign for the British pound

At Phil Gyford's suggestion, I'll be using l., d., s., UKP, pounds or shillings in future postings. But I AM glad that I now know how to type in the

John Keys  •  Link

Actually, the ISO code (ISO Standard 4217) for British Pounds is GBP and not UKP.

Phil  •  Link

True and it's fine to use that. But that doesn't stop UKP being "a fairly common online notation," and one I come across at least as often as GBP.

Dana  •  Link

The bass viol was not the only member of the consort referred to as a 'viola da gamba'. In point of fact all parts: tenor, bass, etc. were held between the legs (or knees) and thus qualifiy for the general term 'viola da gamba'. Do please refer to the Viola Da Gamba Society of your chosen continent for accurate information on this lovely instrument.

Lyn  •  Link

What kind of cards were they likely to be playing?

Emilio  •  Link

"two bills of exchange for money to receive upon my Lord's and my pay"

L&M provide this footnote to explain the transaction:

"Appointed to the command of a regiment of horse in September 1658, Montagu had been dismissed on the fall of Richard Cromwell in the following spring. His men were now commanded by Col. Matthew Alured, but Pepys (who had been taken on as colonel's secretary without performing any functions - a fairly common practice) still referred to the regiment as 'my Lord's'."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Mr. Jenkins shewed me two bills of exchange for money to receive upon my Lord’s and my pay."

These Bills of Exchange ... were they like a Letter of Credit today? And who "cashed" them so Sandwich and Pepys could collect their pay? I thought noblemen were responsible for paying their own troops. If they lost their command, why is he being paid? Is L&M any help here please?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ah. Two questions, San Diego Sarah. L&M help with one of them.

Appointed to the command of a regiment of horse in September 1658, Mountagu [who hadn't "raised" them under the Commonwealth] had been dismissed on the fall of Richard Cromwell in the following spring. His men were now commanded by Col. Matthew Alured, but Pepys (who had been taken on as colonel's secretary without performing any function -- a fairly common practice) still refers to the regiment as 'my Lord's'. The command was remodeled on 12 January, and Mountagu became colonel again on 20 April. In November the troop was disbanded:

I presume this definition of 'bill of exchange" held then: A bill of exchange is essentially an order made by one person to another to pay money to a third person.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thanks, Terry -- I've been poking around this evening, puzzling over how Pepys would be paid and by whom. Mr. Jennings -- The Latham Index describes him as "of the Privy Seal." Privy Seal Office:

Admiral Edward Montagu (not to be confused with cousin General Edward Montagu) was one of Richard Cromwell's Privy Councillors, and transferred in the same role to Charles II. However, there are these pesky months in between when no one appears to be in charge and Parliament and the Army figure out who will succeed Richard, which is where Pepys is living now. While the "civil service" such as it was struggled on, the listing of Keepers of the Privy Seal (to whom Jennings apparently reported) has no one listed as being in charge for these months. Adm. Montagu is one of four Keepers of the Privy Seal for Charles after May 1660.

What I'm trying to get at is, who did Jennings report to? How did he have access to Parliamentary money to pay Pepys and Montagu? Why are they being paid if Montagu is no longer attached to his Regiment (in which case this is more of a pay-off than pay for no work)? I don't know enough about the New Model Army to know if the government undertook to pay the soldiers, instead of the nobleman who raised the regiments. In the chaos of the times, Pepys had access to cash at the office to pay the rent ... and gamble ... but what were the common citizens going through?

"Mr. Jenkins shewed me two bills of exchange for money to receive upon my Lord’s and my pay." Pepys doesn't sound worried about not getting paid ... I would be in the circumstances.

I don't really expect an answer. These young people entertaining themselves at Will's by gambling, because there is no work at the office, is one way to pass the time and keep their nerves at bay. After years of stress, worry and uncertainty, gambling and drinking are ways of self-medicating. At least Pepys is trying to find useful things to do.

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