Thursday 28 June 1660

My brother Tom came to me with patterns to choose for a suit. I paid him all to this day, and did give him 10l. upon account.

To Mr. Coventry, who told me that he would do me all right in my business.

To Sir G. Downing, the first visit I have made him since he came. He is so stingy a fellow I care not to see him; I quite cleared myself of his office, and did give him liberty to take any body in. Hawly and he are parted too, he is going to serve Sir Thos. Ingram.

I went also this morning to see Mrs. Pierce, the chirurgeon[‘s wife]. I found her in bed in her house in Margaret churchyard. Her husband returned to sea. I did invite her to go to dinner with me and my wife to-day. After all this to my Lord, who lay a-bed till eleven o’clock, it being almost five before he went to bed, they supped so late last night with the King.

This morning I saw poor Bishop Wren going to Chappel, it being a thanksgiving-day1 for the King’s return.

After my Lord was awake, I went up to him to the Nursery, where he do lie, and, having talked with him a little, I took leave and carried my wife and Mrs. Pierce to Clothworkers’-Hall, to dinner, where Mr. Pierce, the Purser, met us. We were invited by Mr. Chaplin, the Victualler, where Nich. Osborne was. Our entertainment very good, a brave hall, good company, and very good music. Where among other things I was pleased that I could find out a man by his voice, whom I had never seen before, to be one that sang behind the curtaine formerly at Sir W. Davenant’s opera. Here Dr. Gauden and Mr. Gauden the victualler dined with us. After dinner to Mr. Rawlinson’s, to see him and his wife, and would have gone to my Aunt Wight, but that her only child, a daughter, died last night.

Home and to my Lord, who supped within, and Mr. E. Montagu, Mr. Thos. Crew, and others with him sat up late. I home and to bed.

19 Annotations

helena murphy  •  Link

Downing, self righteous and despicable, was one of the least attractive figures of the era. Pepys,the humanitarian, would have been repulsed by Downing's brutality concerning the punishment of the Quaker , James Naylor. Neither does his later entrapment of the regicides in Holland add to his reputation. One senses that this was not done out of principle or royalist sentiment but rather to ingratiate himself even further with the Stuart Court.

steve h  •  Link

The levee

One of the curious things about the 17th century, especialy, the common practice of visiting people while they are still in bad. Not sick people, but just those who haven't yet got up. It's hard to imagine people visiting Bush or Blair or Rupert Murdoch as they sit in their jammies under rumpled bedclothes, and having a conversation. Note also that Pepys visits women as well as men in this situation. How persistent was the custom, I wonder, and where did it it originate, and did Louis XIV make it more popular?

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Why 'poor Bishop Wren'? Because he had been a prisoner?

I note with amusement Pepys' good ear for music in being able to discern the man who sang 'behind the curtain' by his voice, and his characteristic of being pleased with himself for noticing it.

'Home and to my Lord, who supped within' - what does this mean? That Pepys went home first and then went to Montague's and supped with him or that Montague ate at home and Pepys did not eat with him?

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Sir William Davenant was an English poet and dramatist. I have added some sketchy notes and useful links at:

He introduced opera into Britain in 1656 (both the word and the concept of dramatic pageant set to music, although they were probably similar to the 'masques' of the pre-Civil War era.) The performances and performers were clearly familiar to Sam.

john simmons  •  Link

Steve, re Louis and his levee, coucher: He turned it into court theatre, morning and night, rising and going to bed. Only those with the "grande entrees" were present to watch him dress and undress, prepare for his day and night. Saint Simon is the best reference, the translation by Lucy Norton gives one a great view of the daily routine at the French court. It was a deliberate political policy, emasculating the great nobles who had driven him from Paris as a boy during The Fronde.

vincent  •  Link

Glyn: thanks for that observation. What a difference a day can make. Oh! for that 20/20 vision of the future??? Oh well just play your cards and see them fall.

helena murphy  •  Link

To visit in the morning while the host or hostess was in bed may have also signified social acceptance or a degree of social equality previously denied one. Considering that society feasted and gambled right through the early hours of the morning at least ensured Pepys of finding Montague at home and in his bed for the conducting of business. People were then also less inhibited about such practices as they shared rooms ,and servants of rank often slept in the master bedroom to be on call if so needed in the course of the night.

Tim Williams  •  Link

I seem to recall reading that Winston Churchill often worked in bed until late in the AM and received callers in that state.

chip  •  Link

Any chance Pepys literally found Mrs. Pierce (or Pearse) in bed? Or am I reading too much into the following line that her husband is out to sea? I find it charming too that he is so tickled with his ear power to note, with glee, recognizing the mystery singer by voice alone. And he is so clever, already socializing with victuallers. No doubt, he sees his ladder....

vincent  •  Link

"I found her in bed in her house in Margaret churchyard. Her husband returned to sea. I did invite her to go to dinner with me and my wife to-day. "
'tis interesting the mores of the day.
'Tis like the Gallics love les escargot and the Brits put up their nose. The Brits love their winkles and the French , think how ghastly. 'Tis how well we are indoctrinated and have control over the lower brain. The showing of ones navel is so b***** boring now when at one time the male of the species would have ?.

Mary  •  Link

Churchill's morning habits

Not only did Churchill regularly conduct morning meetings from his bed; he also gave his secretary at Chartwell dictation whilst taking his morning bath, though she preferred to sit just the other side of the half-open bathroom door rather than actually in the bathroom with him.

Glyn  •  Link

to my Aunt Wight, but that her only child, a daughter, died last night

Pepys is very matter-of-fact about it, especially as he likes Mary Wight, but childhood mortality was tragically commonplace at this time, and most children wouldn't survive to reach adulthood.

But still, poor woman, especially in her condition: she's six-months pregnant. I wonder if she knows that she's going to have twins? (Both girls.)

Glyn  •  Link

Actually, that's meant to be a question particularly to any women who read this diary but who never post their own comments. Would Aunt Wight be able to tell that she is expecting twins at the 6-month stage? Or is it likely to be a surprise to her?

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

She might wonder that she is 'big for dates' but probably wouldn't be sure that there were twins. I read a book recently called 'A Midwife's Tale', edited by historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, which is the diary of a real midwife named Martha Ballard who practised here in Maine between 1785 and 1812, and at no time does she mention being able to detect twins before they were born. Anybody who is interested can read more of Martha Ballard, and read her diary, at .

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I was pleased that I could find out a man by his voice, whom I had never seen before, to be one that sang behind the curtaine formerly at Sir W. Davenant’s opera. "

L&M note this was either *The Siege of Rhodes* ( ), first presented at Rutland House in 1656, or *The cruelty of the Spaniards in Peru* ( ), first presented at the Cockpit Theatre, Drury Lane, in 1658.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

A few months ago Pepys was afraid that Downing was going to fire him; now he can't wait to be rid of the man. Not only that, but he paid his brother up to date and gave him a 10 Pound advance! How to rub a sibling's nose in your success.
Pepys' fortunes have changed, and he enjoys it.

As for poor Aunt Wright: my mother was an unexpected twin, in 1907. My grandparents, parents, mother's twin, my older brother, and my parents-in-law, all lost a child. It makes you hug the ones you've got a little closer.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Knowing the tailor's trade, as he does, it having been their father's, and Tom's character a bit, methinks Samuel is concerned about Tom's tailoring business, not flaunting his own new success. Stay tuned.

Bill  •  Link

I'm sure Tom is impressed with Sam's success, as Sam means him to be, but Sam's success will involve spending some of that money he's been collecting and fancy new clothes will be high on the list. Keeping it in the family is a bonus.

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