Friday 3 February 1659/60

Drank my morning draft at Harper’s, and was told there that the soldiers were all quiet upon promise of pay. Thence to St. James’s Park, and walked there to my place for my flageolet and then played a little, it being a most pleasant morning and sunshine. Back to Whitehall, where in the guard-chamber I saw about thirty or forty ‘prentices of the City, who were taken at twelve o’clock last night and brought prisoners hither. Thence to my office, where I paid a little more money to some of the soldiers under Lieut.-Col. Miller (who held out the Tower against the Parliament after it was taken away from Fitch by the Committee of Safety, and yet he continued in his office). About noon Mrs. Turner came to speak with me, and Joyce, and I took them and shewed them the manner of the Houses sitting, the doorkeeper very civilly opening the door for us. Thence with my cozen Roger Pepys, it being term time, we took him out of the Hall to Priors, the Rhenish wine-house, and there had a pint or two of wine and a dish of anchovies, and bespoke three or four dozen bottles of wine for him against his wedding. After this done he went away, and left me order to call and pay for all that Mrs. Turner would have. So we called for nothing more there, but went and bespoke a shoulder of mutton at Wilkinson’s to be roasted as well as it could be done, and sent a bottle of wine home to my house. In the meantime she and I and Joyce went walking all over White Hall, whither General Monk was newly come, and we saw all his forces march by in very good plight and stout officers. Thence to my house where we dined, but with a great deal of patience, for the mutton came in raw, and so we were fain to stay the stewing of it. In the meantime we sat studying a Posy1 for a ring for her which she is to have at Roger Pepys his wedding. After dinner I left them and went to hear news, but only found that the Parliament House was most of them with Monk at White Hall, and that in his passing through the town he had many calls to him for a free Parliament, but little other welcome. I saw in the Palace Yard how unwilling some of the old soldiers were yet to go out of town without their money, and swore if they had it not in three days, as they were promised, they would do them more mischief in the country than if they had staid here; and that is very likely, the country being all discontented. The town and guards are already full of Monk’s soldiers. I returned, and it growing dark I and they went to take a turn in the park, where Theoph. (who was sent for to us to dinner) outran my wife and another poor woman, that laid a pot of ale with me that she would outrun her. After that I set them as far as Charing Cross, and there left them and my wife, and I went to see Mrs. Ann, who began very high about a flock bed I sent her, but I took her down. Here I played at cards till 9 o’clock. So home and to bed.

38 Annotations

David Bell  •  Link

It sounds as though the apprentices of London were living up to their reputation for violent disorder, much as the students of Paris in the 1960s.

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

If memory serves, hasn't Pepys held his own against all comers so far ("but I took her down")? Some of us would be disinclined to chronicle being bested, but one imagines SP might relate it with equal mattter-of-factness.

Eric Walla  •  Link

Re: "but I took her down"

I'm sorry if I miss it, but are you saying this has something to do with a contest? I don't quite understand (which isn't the first time here, but I'm sure to be set straight in the follow-ups).

What a great mix of political drama and ordinary daily events! I myself do not see how he can keep from making longer running commentaries and philosophizing about the situation around him. Maybe the lateness of the hour and a firm grip on what the diary is all about keeps him reined in. Matter-of-factness indeed!

Anita Rowland  •  Link

"who began very high about a flock bed I sent her, but I took her down."

began very high = very upset or angry? so I think in this case "took her down" is either "calmed her down" or out-argued her.

Flock bed, a bed filled with flocks or locks of coarse wool, or pieces of cloth cut up fine. "Once a flock bed, but repaired with straw." Pope

Margaret  •  Link

Could it be that he had taken her a down bed, not a flock bed?

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

My understanding is that Mrs. Ann, being displeased for some reason about the flock bed he had provided, began taking a high tone with Pepys---on her high horse, you might say---but he got the better of her in dispute. The idiom "to take [someone] down" has appeared earlier in these annotations somewhere. Can Phil's Search help?

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

P.S. ---As in "took her down a peg." (An Americanism?)

David Quidnunc  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary entry for today

"I returned to Lond & kept the Fast: Mr. Gunning preaching on 31 Jer[emiah]: 21. concerning Gods infinite mercy to penitents: Generall Monke came now to Lond: out of Scotland, but no man knew what he would do, or declare, yet was he mett on all his way by the Gent: of all the Counties which he pass'd, with petitions that he would recall the old long interrupted Parliament, & settle the Nation in some order, being at this time in a most prodigious Confusion, & under no government, every body expecting what would be next, & what he would do."

David Quidnunc  •  Link

From John Aubrey's (1626-97) "Lives"

"Anno 1659/60 (as I remember) he [Monck] came into London with his Army, about one a clock P.M., being then sent for by the Parliament to disband Lambert's Armie."

john simmons  •  Link

Agree with Warren, on "high."
It also had a connotation of

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Contemporary worries of a royal adviser

From Antonia Fraser's "Royal Charles: Charles II and the Restoration" (1979), p. 170:

"[T]he continued uncertainty of the times is revealed in [Earl of Clarendon, Sir Edward] Hyde's correspondence. As late as 4 February [writing from Europe] he was worried over Monck's 'lewd carriage': if he continued to show himself so obstinate [to Charles II's overtures], they might still have to owe their recovery to a foreign army. . . . And Monck continued to play his cards close to his chest, denying publicly that he had any intention of acting for 'Charles Steward.'"

Pauline  •  Link

“who began very high about a flock bed I sent her, but I took her down.’

Try this: He took her good down bedding and she is berating him that it was inferior “flock.”

This definition from “The name ‘flock’ is given to a material formed of wool or cotton refuse, or of shreds of old woollen or cotton rags, torn by a machine known as a ‘devil.’ This material is used for stuffing mattresses or pillows, and also in upholstery.”

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

Through Phil’s compendious Search, found the earlier instance of “take down,” and realize I must have unconsciously poached from Susanna (sorry):

from Friday 13 January 1659/60:
"And how the Chamberlain of the City did take them down, letting them know how much they were formerly beholding to the City, &c."

"Did Take Them Down: This sounds to me to be something similar to the naval expression of 'taking someone down a few pegs.' " Posted by Susanna on Tuesday 14 January 2003

Further down that entry’s annotations, Grahamt gives a legal reading of the idiom, and language hat reproduces the OED entry for it. (Some smart person can probably link back to them; I don’t know how.)

Pauline  •  Link

"...we sat studying a Posy for a ring for her which she is to have at Roger Pepys his wedding."
What I am getting is that Jane Turner is in charge of various wedding plans for her distant cousin Roger Pepys and "Our Pepys" is assisting her this day. The ring therefore might be from Roger to his bride? The "her" in this sentence might be misleading?

Note: Jane Turner's daughter, Theophila, who races in the park later in this entry, was born in 1652 and is, therefore, a child of about eight.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Historian J.R. Tanner on Moncke & on today:

"[T]he Royalists had already perceived in Monk the instrument best fitted to effect the King's restoration. 'He commandeth . . . a better army than that in England is', wrote Colepepper, 'and in the King's quarrel can bring with him the strength of Scotland'. [ . . . ] On October 17, 1659, Monk [ . . . ] announced his intention of intervening in English politics 'to assert the liberty and authority of Parliament'. [ . . . ] Whether at this stage he had determined to restore the King is doubtful, but events moved fast."

[Through the month of January, Monck and his army slowly approached London.]

"A military riot in London itself enabled him to suggest that some of [Charles] Fleetwood's men should be displaced to make room for his own; and on February 3, 1660, he entered the capital in force."

-- J.R. Tanner, "English Constitutional Conflicts of the Seventeenth Century 1603-1689" (1928) pp. 206-7

michael f vincent  •  Link

"who began very high about a flock bed I sent her, but I took her down."
i.e. her voice rose on high (mad as hell) such cheap bed not suitable for lady's .. SP then calmed her and satisfied her upset state so then they could enjoy a round of cards. Thats my impression.

PHE  •  Link

Rather Pepys than Evelyn
I haven't looked at John Evelyn's diary before, but judging by the extract given above, I think if this was his weblog, I'd probably struggle to maintain interest. This demonstrates the unique power of Pepys to both inform and entertain.

Glyn  •  Link

FREE (though 2nd-hand) BOOK

This may be the wrong place to post this, but I'll take a chance. I've just finished reading "1700: Scenes from London Life" by Mary Waller which shows London during Pepys lifetime: "presents almost a glut of the kind of daily life (and death) detail which proves utterly engaging, striking chords of familiarity or describing almost unimaginable worlds. We discover where people lived and worked, how they behaved, what they wore and ate and how horrifically they suffered from illness and injury. A booming London appears modern in its commercialisation and overt materialism. It was "the most magnificent city in Europe" yet "the streets were open sewers" and life there was so precarious that it might be described as "a mere prelude to death". It's very useful for reading this diary.

But I will happily pass on my copy to anyone who wants it (*except Londoners) - and if there is more than one person then I'll pick their name at random in two weeks time (or maybe in a fortnight). Just e-mail me but please do NOT send me your address (I'll ask for that only if you are successful).

I'll gladly mail this book to Anywhere in the world but with the stipulation that you yourself must pass the book on within 6 months of receiving it.

*NB Londoners are disqualified because they can temporarily buy new copies of the the book from the Bookcase Discount Bookshops in Baker St, Charing Cross, Kensington, Baker St etc.

andy thomas  •  Link

I agree with Pauline (01:57)- Sam took {modern sense , "had taken"} down [to] her, down meaning feathers I think.

Pauline  •  Link

...but I took her down...
Any chance Pepys too saw the two readings we have found for this and had a chuckle as he wrote it?

Glyn  •  Link

Yeah, right. And where do you think Sam is going to find a shop still open and selling down (=duck feathers) in the dark dead of night in the middle of the famous duck plague of 1660 when carrying a duck after curfew was the sure sign of a witch? Has anyone calculated how many sacks of duck feathers Sam would have needed to carry in order to stuff a bed? (Can you get down off a duck, no but you can get down off an elephant.) Focus, focus - there's another 10 years of this.

The lady was irritated, and Samuel "calmed" her down - it was part of his job as Montagu's steward in London to look after her.

Glyn  •  Link

to Priors, the Rhenish wine-house...

This was also known as the "Old Rhenish Winehouse" and will be mentioned at least four times in the diary (today, 16 March, and 11 October of this year, and 2 Sept 1661). Apparently it was about halfway down King Street.

John Simmons  •  Link

High...took her down...Very good
Pauline, not only reasonable,
but giving us a chuckle too. Even
if he didn't take her swans down.
(Elizabeth I was said to dance very high, meaning in a stylish and proud manner.)
In David's quote of Monck not acting for Charles Steward, he is also playing with words, and bringing the young prince down a peg or two. He refers back to the origins of the Stuart/Stewart name, when David I of Scotland appointed Walter Fitz Alan High Steward of Scotland. Six stewardships later the Fitz Alans were signing themselves: Stewart. Stuart would come later with the royal line's French connections.

M. Stolzenbach  •  Link

The "flock bed I sent her"

This would presumably be the bedding he took to Mrs. Ann for her "fits of ague," mentioned in the entry for Wed. Feb. 1. Or some of it.

I do love the idea of Mrs Pepys running races with a child in the park!

As to the ring, I think it is for Mrs. Turner, to be paid for by Roger. As today "favors" are given to members of the wedding party. I know that "mourning rings" were given to the guests at funerals.

language hat  •  Link

"bespoke three or four dozen bottles of wine for him"
I hope they were clearer with the wineseller! But perhaps we'll get an account of the argument when the wine is delivered: "We ordered four dozen! Look at all these guests!" "Sorry, sir, but it says in the order book 'three dozen'..."

language hat  •  Link

"we saw all his forces march by in very good plight"
"Plight" did not then have the negative connotation it does today; it's originally the same word as "plait," meaning first 'manner of folding' and then 'manner of being; condition, state.' Some examples from the OED:

1534 More Treat. Passion Wks. 1288/2 And [to] lyue here in suche pleasaunt plight as we shuld have lyued if Adam had not synned. 1596 Drayton Leg. iv. 214 Being in so excellent a plight. 1652-62 Heylin Cosmogr. i. (1682) 269 The Town remaining in as good plight..for Trade and Buildings, as most Towns do which want a navigable River. 1768 Blackstone Comm. III. i. 9 Nothing shall be distreined for rent, which may not be rendered again in as good plight as when it was distreined. 1838-9 Fr. A. Kemble Resid. in Georgia (1863) 124 It is a happy and hopeful plight for us both. 1851 Gallenga Italy 251 Not in the best plight or order.

Paul Miller  •  Link

[see Mrs. Ann, who began very high about a flock bed I sent her, but I took her down.] I think context is key here, she "began" very "high" and Samuel took her down. Using the word began connotes that she ended up in another state namely began high ended down. I love minutia.

Andrea  •  Link

'in the park, where Theoph. (who was sent for to us to dinner) outran my wife'

I agree with M.Stolzenbach - isn't this fabulous. But grown-ups seemed to have enjoyed games like this. Blindman's bluff for example was played and thoroughly enjoyed by adults.

Dai B  •  Link

On Wed 1 Feb Sam notes that he sent Mrs Ann some bedding 'for her to lie in now she hath her fits of ague'. Ague was malaria and a 'fit' was likely to be an intermittent fever peak, during which the sufferer would have had drenching sweats capable of soaking the bed-clothes. It seems reasonable to speculate that Sam had sent her an inferior type of mattress to sleep on during these sweats in order to preserve her better bed-linen. Was Mrs Ann ungratefully remarking on the comfort of this temporary mattress?

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

Paul Miller speaks for all of us, and for Pepys too: it's the minutiae that make the big picture come to life. Tune in later for today's exciting installment!

Pauline  •  Link

"‘s the minutiae…”
Yes, and the puzzling out and speculations, not to mention the more solid information we exchange, give us more to work with in understanding our man Pepys and his times—and more fun.

Susanna  •  Link

Liza Picard's "Restoration London"

I have read it. It is interesting and entertaining, and I recommend it. It does contain "spoilers" about Pepys, as she uses and refers to the diary often.

Mark  •  Link

This is somewhat off topic, but I thought some might find it slightly amusing. I, generally, read Sam's diary at work. To stop us from going to "bad" sites, they've installed a program called Websense on our network. Websense blocks our favorite site claiming it falls within the forbidden "Political Groups" catagory. Are my employers afraid I'm for the Restoration, or against it, that's what I want to know. ;:)

Todd_Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Web filters

Mark, that's too funny ... I also mostly read the diary from work, and we also have a Big Brother filter working away in the background ... but so far I've been able to reach this site, no problem. However, I do have friends to whom I've recommended the site, and they've had the same problem as you.

No doubt your autocratic managers are afraid that, once Sam lifts the skirts of the the monarchy and demonstrates that they put on their pantaloons one leg at a time just like the rest of us, you'll no longer hold management in the awe that you currently do ... as we ALL do, right, folks? Uh, people...?

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

re Pepys contra Evelyn, just ran across this from poet and critic James Fenton:

"a diary written for posterity (Pepys) may have quite a different quality from a journal designed to be handed down as a family treasure (Evelyn)."

Just like comp. teachers tell us, audience counts. WKW

(Quote from "Turgenev's Banana," reviewing writings on illness by Woolf, Daudet, Donne, and Gosse Sr.
13 Feb. New York Review of Books, p. 48.)

michael f vincent  •  Link

Mrs Ann and her flock bed.
SP should have offered her a paliasse filled with straw (which was still being used in the 1930's in the Engish army ) remembering we use the phrase the High and mighty and nothing too good ( hard) for her ladyship

Paul W  •  Link

re Web Filters

I suspect the reason this site is blocked is because it is hosted on the same server as the Stop Esso campaign. The IP address of is


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