Saturday 3 March 1659/60

To Westminster Hall, where I found that my Lord was last night voted one of the Generals at Sea, and Monk the other. I met my Lord in the Hall, who bid me come to him at noon. I met with Mr. Pierce the purser, Lieut. Lambert, Mr. Creed, and Will. Howe, and went with them to the Swan [L&M say “Sun” P.G.] tavern. Up to my office, but did nothing. At noon home to dinner to a sheep’s head. My brother Tom came and dined with me, and told me that my mother was not very well, and that my Aunt Fenner was very ill too. After dinner I to Warwick House, in Holborn, to my Lord, where he dined with my Lord of Manchester, Sir Dudley North, my Lord Fiennes, and my Lord Barkly. I staid in the great hall, talking with some gentlemen there, till they all come out. Then I, by coach with my Lord, to Mr. Crew’s, in our way talking of publick things, and how I should look after getting of his Commissioner’s despatch. He told me he feared there was new design hatching, as if Monk had a mind to get into the saddle. Here I left him, and went by appointment to Hering, the merchant, but missed of my money, at which I was much troubled, but could not help myself. Returning, met Mr. Gifford, who took me and gave me half a pint of wine, and told me, as I hear this day from many, that things are in a very doubtful posture, some of the Parliament being willing to keep the power in their hands. After I had left him, I met with Tom Harper, who took me into a place in Drury Lane, where we drank a great deal of strong water, more than ever I did in my life at one time before. He talked huge high that my Lord Protector would come in place again, which indeed is much discoursed of again, though I do not see it possible. Hence home and wrote to my father at Brampton by the post. So to bed.

This day I was told that my Lord General Fleetwood told my lord that he feared the King of Sweden is dead of a fever at Gottenburg.

45 Annotations

Adrianne   Link to this

What exactly is strong water?

Hhomeboy   Link to this

Conditions aboard the British ship of state are seemingly perfervid &unsettled...but Sam already knows that the restoration pices are falling nicely into place.

Pepys' wait outside the dining chamber at Warwick House was one of those Hentyesque moments wherein our protagonist debriefs the chief after he has huddled with his principal plotters, who, paranoid of Monk, hatch the plan to put the restoration on a fast track...

That there were competing camps of public opinion is illustrated by Pepys' account of his 'strong water' binge with deluded Mr. Gifford, who, had he known that the two Mantagu's, Manchester and the Gen.--the country's leading Cromwell nemeses--were plotting together, would not have placed even a farthing on the likelihood of a Cromwell comeback.

Indeed, in a few weeks time, such speculation, would cost even clerks their jobs...and others their freedom and/or their lives.

On the previous day, March 2, Pepys was making himself useful to Crew, whose office was filled with job-seekers and those currying favour; Pepys left Crew's hurriedly after receiving some instructions from Crew himself, and went immediately to write a dispatch to George Downing...

Somehow, I think there were other subjects in the letter than mere household arrangements...Downing is already abroad and operational--and quite likely far advanced in his royalist recon agenda and espionage mission...

Surely the need to communicate partially in code must have been established already...Pepys, who has an ideal cover as well as legitimate 'domestic duties' ,and therefore an accepted 'non-political' communications role, is already a seasoned intermediary/messenger between the high-stakes players and their operatives.

And so our Sam is truly in the thick of things.

steve h   Link to this

King of Sweden

Carl (Charles) X Gutav Johansson King Of Sweden was born on 8 Nov 1622 in Nykhoping, Shodermanland, Sweden. Not the true heir, he became king by acclaim in 1654 after the abdication of the famous Queen Christina, and died on 13 Feb 1660 in Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden. In his short reign, he had major miliatry campaigns against Denmark (crossing the ice in a famous capaign to attack Copenhagen, winning what is no southern Sweden or Skane, and against the Poles (occupying Warsaw and Cracow). His early death happened just as he was about to launch ever more conquests. His death was a significant event for all Europe. I imagine that Montague had met with him in his recent Scandanavian travels.

David Quidnunc   Link to this

"Political Presbyterians

and active in plans for a restoration" according to L&M (Vol. 1, note 4 for this date):

MANCHESTER -- second earl of, a/k/a Edward Mountagu -- was a cousin of Pepys's "my lord" Mountagu. A leader of the Presbyterians in Parliament, this Mountagu had a "mild and generous temper, and was widely esteemed," as well as a strong puritan who accepted a "modified episcopacy" as the price of social order. He had married the Earl of Warwick's widow, and so he's at Warwick House. He is one of SEVEN Edward Mountagus mentioned in the diary. One of his nieces, Anne Mountagu, in 1632 married . . .

NORTH, Sir Dudley (1602-77) -- of Cambridgeshire, formerly secluded from Parliament.

FIENNES, Nathaniel (d. 1669) -- his first & last appearance in the diary.

BARKLY -- Berkeley, George (1628-98) -- 9th baron Berkeley. He lives largely a nonpolitical life and becomes a member of the Royal Society. He is part of the main branch of the Berkeley family, centered in Gloucestershire, and Pepys usually calls him Lord George Berkeley to distinguish him from Lord Berkeley of Stratton.
-- other sources: L&M's index volume (11) & Latham's Companion volume (10).

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Other People

PIERCE -- Andrew Pearse, friend and relative of Pepys's friend (and recent traveling companion), Navy surgeon James Pearse. Andrew is purser on the Naseby (1657-60).

LAMBERT, Lt. David -- of the Navy. Lambert, Pearse, WILL HOWE and JOHN CREED [identified yesterday] were all with Mountagu in the 1659 Baltic expedition. On that trip, Mountagu (in Copenhagen) DID in fact meet . . .

CHARLES X of Sweden, well described by Steve H. just above. Charles died 13 Feb., New Style/ 3 Feb. Old Style -- exactly a month ago.

GIFFORD -- "probably" Henry, who is assistant to Gaulter Frost Jr., treasurer of the Council of State. This is Gifford's first & last appearance.

HARPER, Tom -- There was a Tom Harper who gave Pepys political news on 9 Feb., but L&M's index volume gives no citation for one on this date. Another Tom Harper, a Deptford storekeeper, doesn't appear until 1667.

-- L&M Vol. 1, index, companion volumes.

Susanna   Link to this

Warwick House

About 150 years later it seems to have been the home of the Princess Charlotte (heiress of George IV). Here is an engraving of it during this period:

http://www.motco.com/index-london/SeriesSearchP...

Today it seems to be the home of the Westminster College of Computing.

Keith Wright   Link to this

"Strong waters" were distilled spirits---i.e., liquor, as opposed to ale and beer, wine, the other day's metheglin, usw. See "Food and Drink" for shamelessly cribbed condensed note. Can others provide educated detail? Glyn?

misemefein   Link to this

While "strong water" is defined by the OED as "any form of alcoholic spirits used as a beverage", Sam most likely is referring to gin, which had somewhat recently arrived in London from Holland. See http://www.tastings.com/spirits/gin.html or http://www.ginvodka.org/history/origingin.html

michael f vincent   Link to this

gin started as a medicine in the mid 1600's
a source of extra info:
Gin was created by a Dutch chemist, Dr. Sylvius in mid 1600s. His intention was to invent a medicine that would clean blood for kidney disorders. He called it "genever," meaning juniper in French, because he used neutral grain spirits flavoured with the juniper.
http://www.cocktailtimes.com/hist_spirits/gin.html
http://www.umich.edu/~ece/student_projects/drin...
drinking in England had almost entirely involved fermented liquors, such as ale, cider and beer.
cider sales peaked in 1670 and started falling (was it gin? It was very cheap ); The Puritans pet peeve was hangovers. Whiskeys became popular with travel more "umph" per cask and could watered down.

Bert Winther   Link to this

Regarding the King of Sweden: Karl X Gustav was a first cousin of Queen Kristina (their grandfather was Karl IX of Sweden). I don’t know where Steve H. found the last name “Johansson” but it is not correct. It is true that even as late as in the 15th century, a man of noble birth would follow the old naming custom of adding “son” to the first name of his father, but by the 17th century the upper classes (nobility and clergy) had long ago discontinued this practice. Karl was the oldest son of Count Johan Kasimir of Pfalz-Zweibrucken and his wife Katarina, daughter of the Swedish king Karl IX. Queen Kristina was the daughter of King Gustav II Adolf, oldest son of Karl IX. Kristina was not quite six years old when her father was killed in the battle of Lutzen (Germany) during the 30-year religious wars. She was considered very intelligent and received an excellent education in the courts of Europe. As a teenager she fell in love with her cousin Karl and they were engaged to be married. Queen Kristina was instrumental in having Karl appointed chief commander of the Swedish army in Germany but she fell out of love and the wedding never took place. Apparently, the break-up was an amicable one, because the Queen negotiated skillfully with the reluctant nobility to have her cousin recognized as successor to the throne. She achieved this concession from the nobility by siding with their opposition ( the lower classes) in the “riksdag” and threatening to cancel some of their land endowments. Her upbringing and association with French scholars, however, caused her to turn against the Protestant ideas that her father, grandfather and indeed her great-grandfather had fought for. After ten years as regent she converted to Catholicism, abdicated in favor of Karl and settled in Rome.
Karl X was born in Nyköping, a small city located south of Stockholm in the province of Södermanland. As king he had to confront several challenges to Swedish rule in the Baltic areas of Poland and Prussia. Soon he found himself at war with Russia, the Netherlands and Denmark. In the Danish campaign during the winter of 1657-58, he attacked from the south by marching with his army through Germany and across the frozen straits of Little Belt and Great Belt towards Copenhagen. It is interesting to note that this crossing was made possible by a dramatic change in the climate with unusually low temperatures observed over a decades-long period in the middle of the 17th century. Today it is believed that this global cool-down was caused by vulcanic eruptions outside of Europe and some historians refer to the period as “the Mini Ice Age”. I hope we’ll see Sam Pepys commenting on the unusual weather pattern as we read his diary for the next ten years.
Steve H. writes that Karl X died in Stockholm. My sources say that he fell ill while staying in Gothenburg (Göteborg) and I have no reason to doubt Pepys report that he died in that city 1660.

Emilio   Link to this

Gin and beer
As noted, gin was fairly new at this time, but by the next century would become a huge public problem. For the moment, however, it was just one of a host of new beverages cutting into the national consumption of beer - by 1673 a petition was presented to Parliament that tea, coffee, and brandy be prohibited in order to support the local brewers.
The problem for English ales began not long before the start of the diary, when both Parliament and the Royalists created excise duties on beer to pay for the Civil War - Parliament had created the first of these in 1643. After the Restoration beer duties became more important than ever, because they became a replacement for the old baronial duties that funded the army. By 1650 the tax on a barrel of strong beer was 2s. 6d. and became gradually greater all the time. At the same time, the government was encouraging the distilling of gin as a cheap alternative, beginning when both Charles II and James II licensed brewers to distill as well. In these circumstances the decline of beer consumption was inevitable, although the situation only hit public awareness well after the time of Sam's diary.

Nix   Link to this

Gin

is the subject of at least one current book:

http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,1208...

helena murphy   Link to this

The Naseby on which Andrew Pearse served as purser must have been that which was renamed the Royal Charles which brought Charles II back from Holland on May 23 1660 with Pepys and Sir Edward Montague also on board.

michael f vincent   Link to this

Taxes/duties doth change ones habits,
thanks Emilio, I do forget to follow the money trail. The Virginians are finding that out. Next the Internet?

Andrea   Link to this

"I staid in the great hall, talking with some gentlemen there, till they all come out."

i sometimes forget that our Sam is not really hanging out with the upper classes on a private level. Here it looks like that he exactly knows where his place in the hierarchy is.
In Medieval times the Great Hall used to be the main room of the house. Everybody from the lord of the house to the lowest servant would dine here together. This changes by the mid / late 15th century with the increasing urge for privacy. The Great Chamber and parlour became popular as private rooms were the lords & ladies of the house ate seperately from there servants. The Great Hall was then only used for big feasts.

Ann Garbett   Link to this

one more word about gin--in the next century Hogarth's paired engravings of Gin Alley and Beer Lane demonstrate the artist's sense that gin was leading to the destruction of the solid virtues of English life which beer had fostered. Gin Alley is probably the more familiar of the pair with its picture of poor people depraved by strong drink, drunken mothers letting babies fall from their breasts, starving beggars battling stray dogs for food.

Danski   Link to this

You can find copies of Hogarth's Beer Street and Gin Lane, together with an excellent commentary here:

http://www.haleysteele.com/hogarth/plates/beer_...

The main point to note is the sense of joyful, thriving industry in Beer Street, contrasted with the rack and (mother's) ruin of Gin Lane...

Kim Forbes   Link to this

Can some Brit give this American a definition of Hentyesque.

Thanks
Kim

Phil   Link to this

Or some American could give this Brit a definition (judging solely from HHomeboy's email address and domain name, he's in America). Clear language is good.

Alan Bedford   Link to this

"Hentyesque" - presumably refers to the the works of George Alfred Henty, 19th century British writer, who wrote some 144 books with a fictional boy hero who met many important individuals throughout history. The books are evidently back in print. See http://www.prestonspeed.com/About%20Henty.html

Hhomeboy   Link to this

Exactly so Alan Bedford!

Hentyesque because as others have noted 'our Sam' is kept waiting outside in the great hall...had he been inside the dining rooms, even as a trusted servant, one could make the case for a Shakespearean analogy.

Many of Henty's works feature fiercely loyal ingenue protagonsists who are intimate role players serving 'great men' in the hallowed battles and wars of Britain's colonial/imperial apogee.

Unlike Kipling's works, wherein there is always an Icarus-like foreshadowing of an eternal and tragic fall from grace, in nearly all of Henty's works the ethos and glory of empire may suffer temporary setbacks and tactical defeats or localized humiliations but the sun never sets--except to hasten an ever more brilliant new dawn!

I stuck that jibe in because it seems to me that part of the fascination for modern/post-modern readers of Pepys' all-too-brief diary (in contrast perhaps to Evelyn's or lively regional accounts such as can be found in Ralph Thoresby's journal entries) is a sort of "Dallas cum Disney cum Fanny Hill cum Charles Bukowski" set of stereotypes and expectations, which we all then fallaciously 'observe' in cute, sly, clever Sam's rather undistinguished, rote prose.

When I was a precocious (voracious early reader) expat Canadian child growing up in Kensington Gardens and then in St. John's Wood and Chelsea in the late 50's and accompanying my slightly boho parents to fashionable coffee shops, I was fascinated by Pepys because I was able to apprecriate through his eyes (in order to 'realistically' or plausibly imagine--much like kids read war comics) the Plague and the Great Fire plus the atmosphere in the taverns and allies of the City.

One of the conclusions I have come to in the early days of this, my second re-read of Pepys (the first having occurred in my late teens after the publication of the L&M edition) is that for a variety of reasons, Sam conceals as much as he reveals in these pages...

BTW, Sam's everlasting value is that he personifies and epitomizes in many ways the soul of John Bull: a nice example from "today's" entry is the allusion to his religious debate with his Quakerish mother, whom he is visiting in order to comfort her during her recent bout of illness.

Despite this filial mission, he and his disputatious mother soon disagree...remember that Sam has been attending Parliament's leading Presbyterian faction grandee, Manchester, at Manchester's wife's ancestral pile...Sam's diary entry signals his bedrock instincts for the Church of England and that instinctually & spiritually Pepys eschews the views of dissenters...

...Whether those views be of the northern elites or redolent with the levelling precisions of the Quakers and their ilk--who will soon be mightily oppressed for the better part of the century to follow.

In Charles II, England is about to get a King very much in the cultural traditions of Henry VIII and of the cunning political legacies of the Founder of the Church of England's extraordinary daughter.

As we all know, Sam will be a success financially , culturally and politically (although not in his personal and family life).

What are are revealed in X-ray like telling details in these early entries are the private thoughts and reflexes which are the true underpinnings of Sam's subsequent material and worldly success as a man held in high esteem by his countrymen.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

A sheep's head?!?

Can anyone enlighten me as to how one eats a sheep's head, for dinner or otherwise?

Gastronomically yours, etc.

sam   Link to this

Sheep's head.

Perhaps sheep heads are prepared and eaten in a similar way to the eating of Pig's heads. This is called 'brawn' is it not? i believe the head would be boiled for a long time and the meat and stock left to set like a jelly. I certainly remeber my father and grandfather talking about dishes like that.I'd like to know a bit more on the subject myself.

Sam.

j.simmons   Link to this

Sheeps "head"...
You're not really eating the "head", just the brains, etc. Am judging this on the Mexican version where a goat/cabrito's head is steamed then baked, not a pretty sight, but consumed with great relish. From the top. If you're lucky, you'll just get the shredded meat and a mound of tortillas and be half way through before they mention what it is. It's OK, as long as you don't have Junior staring you in the face.

Susanna   Link to this

Sheep's Head Recipe

Here's a website with a recipe for sheep's head broth, along with some other traditional recipes (calf's brain fritters, anyone?):

http://www.mackworth4.fsnet.co.uk/meatdishes.htm

Pauline   Link to this

"...how one eats a sheep’s head…”
In Greece, much like j. simmons describes for Mexico, sans tortillas. If I remember right it was New Year’s Eve. The choice pieces for good luck in the New Year were the eyes. While deciding if this was going to be possible for me, the father of the house acted on his perogative, with relish.

Grahamt   Link to this

Hence the old joke...
"A sheep's head please, and leave the eyes in. It's got to see us through the week"

Grahamt   Link to this

A tenuous link between that joke and Pepys:
http://www.tnsf.ca/bennyhill/lyrics/pepys_diary...

Pauline   Link to this

"...how I should look after getting of his Commissioner’s despatch…”
Anyone know what this means?

Grahamt: no link is too tenuous.

Martin K. Foys   Link to this

"how I should look after getting of his Commissioner’s despatch”

Pauline — I see four possibilities, ranked more or less in order of probability:

* What Pepys should now investigate (continuing his role as Montague’s eyes and ears). The OED gives definition 3a. of “look” as “To direct the intellectual eye” — our modern phrase “look into it.”

* What promotion Pepys should expect. Definition 6g ,” as in the citation: 1595 Daniel Civ. Wars ii. viii, “His fortune gives him more than he could looke.”

* How Pepys should behave, or “look,” as in “To have a certain look or appearance” to the world, as in: 1683 Tryon (1697), “How base a thing it is, and how unnaturally it looks, that men should value Money more than the Law of God”

* How Pepys should now dress. Doubtful, as the idiom of “look” meaning appearance of dress is relatively modern.

Grahamt   Link to this

Re: “how I should look after getting of his Commissioner’s despatch”
The phrase “Look after” I read to mean “take care of” as in modern English, meaning how could SP help his lord get his commission.

Grahamt   Link to this

Sorry: stupid typo
for "commission" read "Commissioner's despatch"
I assume this is the official dispatch confirming the commission, which Montagu fears might go astray, thus stopping him taking up the post of General at Sea. He fears that Monk is plotting to be in the driving seat/saddle on his own.

Martin Foys   Link to this

Re: “how I should look after getting of his Commissioner’s despatch”

Grahmt — Yes, I think you’re right. A classic case for me of losing the forest for the trees — I split the phrase, thinking chronologically that Sam should do something _after_ the dispatch was obtained, and so focused on possible meanings of “look” without considering the full phrase.

A bit too complicated, though, and your reading makes much more sense. . .”look after” meaning “take care of” is a well-attested usage in the 17th century.

Pauline   Link to this

Re: “Sorry: stupid typo”
So being General at Sea is a commission? But he said Commissioner. The typo points out the problem I was having with this. It’s more like a Commissioner has a despatch of the commission, but the “his” muddies my understanding of this.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Re: Commissioner’s despatch

The confusion is understandable, Pauline. I read this the same way as Grahamt, and assumed that “Commissioner” was used in the same way as “pensioner” is used to describe someone who gets a pension. So, Sam would make sure that Monty gets the dispatch confirming his commission.

Thanks to all for the amusing and repulsive responses on the sheep’s head! And so to lunch…

john s.   Link to this

Todd, a note on barbacoa....
Barbacoa is not BBQ.
For those foodies whose Spainish is rudimentary, comme moi, and who might get lost in Southwest Texas or Northern Mexico, barbacoa should not be mistaken for BBQ. It is a "specialty" item, a cow's head, steamed, baked and served per above. Cuidado!

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Thanks, John ... but I still think I'll stick to more-conventional cuts of meat!

:^)

Grahamt   Link to this

Re: Commissioner’s despatch
My reading of this phrase was that Montague was getting a commission. (General is a commissioned rank) Someone in the government - the Commissioner - was responsible for sending Montague a dispatch confirming this, thus the “Commissioner’s despatch”.
A Commissioner is still a senior post in British public life, for example a Commissioner of Police, Civil Service Commissioner, Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, etc.

Pauline   Link to this

"...more-conventional cuts of meat..."
Conventional in which country/culture; conventional in what era; conventional in whose household? I wonder what our man Sam would think of fast food? Would he forgo the brew of his time for a 32-ounce coke?

Glyn   Link to this

but missed of my money, at which I was much troubled

I bet he was. According to Michael Vincent and others (see last Wednesday) he is gambling with over a year's income. What's going on, or is there another explanation?

Hhomeboy   Link to this

Good point Pauline...

I lived in the Caribbean for many years; a goat's head soup on the pot was usually a sign of a small celebration (and/or a recent slaughter).

My all-time 'Yipes--I can't believe I'm about to eat this' was sitting in a Beddu tent at a royal feast and being served raw sheep's eyes, ladled into a my small bowl by a servant, who, upon seeing my own eyes widen, added 3-4 more squishy marbles into my bowl while smiling, winking at me and commenting "Fresh killed!"

I won't bother describing my gastronomic adventures in Thailand with various insect dishes, including wasp larvae, which were a prized delicacy with my hosts...

Daniel Baker   Link to this

He wrote his father at Brampton? Not the Brampton up near Sheffield, surely?

The last I recall of Sam's dad, he had come up to Cambridge with our hero.

Interesting phrasing: Fleetwood "feared" that the king of Sweden was dead. I guess this was because Sweden was Protestant, and thus Sweden's king was seen as an ally against Catholic powers like France and Poland?

CGS   Link to this

Daniel, there are usually answers to many questions and they can be found by checking in the Encyclopedia using the search box. This will expedite some solutions quickly.

Brampton:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1768/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

House of Commons Journal may clarify what is said of Mountague
(there is a link at bottom left to yesterday's proceedings)
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Navy and Admiralty.

Ordered, That it be referred to the Council of State, upon Conference with the Generals at Sea, or either of them, to nominate and approve of all the Captains and Lieutenants to be employed in the Navy: And that the Generals at Sea, or either of them, do grant Commissions, under the Seal of the Anchor, to such Captains and Lieutenants as they shall approve of, accordingly: And, in their Absence, that the Commissioners of the Admiralty do grant the same.

Resolved, That General Edward Mountague be, and is hereby, constituted and appointed one of the Commissioners of the Admiralty: And that he be, and is hereby, impowered and authorized to act as one of the Commissioners for the Admiralty, as fully, to all Intents and Purposes, as any other of the Commissioners may or ought to do.

Gerald Berg   Link to this

Sheep's head.

I remember arriving at dusk to Kairouan, Tunisia. After getting our room I hopped down to the Souk to pick up some fruit. What luck! I found a fellow selling half a roasted chicken. Getting back to the hotel we sat down to eat. First thing I noticed was it was missing its wing. Then we noticed the anus had a grimace. The outline of half a goat's head coalesced before our eyes. I had wondered why the fellow selling me the chicken looked so pleased.

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