Monday 15 October 1660

Office all the morning. My wife and I by water; I landed her at Whitefriars, she went to my father’s to dinner, it being my father’s wedding day, there being a very great dinner, and only the Fenners and Joyces [Katherine and Anthony, Mary and William. P.G.] there. This morning Mr. Carew was hanged and quartered at Charing Cross; but his quarters, by a great favour, are not to be hanged up.

I was forced to go to my Lord’s to get him to meet the officers of the Navy this afternoon, and so could not go along with her, but I missed my Lord, who was this day upon the bench at the Sessions house. So I dined there, and went to White Hall, where I met with Sir W. Batten and Pen, who with the Comptroller, Treasurer, and Mr. Coventry (at his chamber) made up a list of such ships as are fit to be kept out for the winter guard, and the rest to be paid off by the Parliament when they can get money, which I doubt will not be a great while.

That done, I took coach, and called my wife at my father’s, and so homewards, calling at Thos. Pepys the turner’s for some things that we wanted. And so home, where I fell to read “The Fruitless Precaution” (a book formerly recommended by Dr. Clerke at sea to me), which I read in bed till I had made an end of it, and do find it the best writ tale that ever I read in my life. After that done to sleep, which I did not very well do, because that my wife having a stopping in her nose she snored much, which I never did hear her do before.

18 Annotations

Paul Brewster   Link to this

but his quarters, by a great favour, are not to be hanged up
L&M footnote: "John Carew was a regicide, but also (being a republican and a Fifth Monarchist) an opponent of Cromwell. The Commons had only by a small majority excepted him from the Act of Indemnity, and now, after his condemnation and execution, his quarters were granted to his brother and given decent burial that night."

Paul Brewster   Link to this

'The Fruitless Precaution'
SP is introduced to this book and we commented on it on 12 May 1660 .
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/05/12/

Paul Brewster   Link to this

such ships as are fit to be kept out for the winter guard
The L&M footnote says that 35 were chosen ("Large ships were unable to ride out the winter seas.")

vincent   Link to this

Snoring, Reading in bed; What was the source of lite? 1 candle power?
A stooping? Did she have a Nose bleed?
"...which I read in bed till I had made an end of it, and do find it the best writ tale that ever I read in my life. After that done to sleep, which I did not very well do, because that my wife having a stopping in her nose she snored much, which I never did hear her do before...."

Glynn   Link to this

A stopping - A blocked nose

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

'his quarters, by a great favour, are not to be hanged up'

Well I bet that was a relief for him...

Mary   Link to this

Reading in bed

Yes, candle-light. Gas-light won't be available until the 19th Century and oil-lamps have not yet come into use. The light from the candle may have been maximised by the addition to the candle-stick of a reflector behind the flame.

Numerous fires were caused every year by the careless use and positioning of candles. In the 1640's a Lord Mayor of London issued a particular warning about fire-hazards to the citizens, quoted by Picard (Restoration London).

"If you will use Candle all night, let your Candlestick be a pot of water brim full, and set it where it shall stand, and then light a Candle and stick a great pin in the bottom of the Candle, and let it slowly into the water, and it will burn all night without danger...."

upper_left_hand_corner   Link to this

Thanks Mary, interesting example of early scientific understanding!

Mary's quote from Picard regarding the candlestick in water is early evidence of instinctive understanding of surface tension.

The comment about the pot being "brim full" is the giveaway. Try this yourself -- if you put a bottom-weighted candle in a wide-mouthed cup or pot that has been filled so that the water is actually higher than the brim, then surface tension will force the candle to stay in the middle of the vessel. The candle will also hollow itself out since the wax touching the water will be too cool to melt.

M.Stolzenbach   Link to this

We often talk here of the samenesses of life in all periods, but in this entry we see also the great differences.

Pepys talks just as we might about a wedding anniversary dinner at the folks' - then drops in an almost casual, daily-news sort of comment about a prisoner who had his dead body hacked into four quarters.

Think not only of the man who had this done to him, but of the men who were obliged to do it as part of their jobs.

Mary House   Link to this

I don't find this to be a great difference at all. We watch daily atrocities on television and then cheerfully resume our mundane activities.

Nate Lockwood   Link to this

How big in diameter are the candles we are talking about and what were thay made of.

Beeswax was quite expensive and the "wax" candles we use today are from the mid 19th century, I think. Did most folks use tallow candles? Rotten things.

Mary   Link to this

Candles

Most 'household' candles at this date would have been smelly, tallow candles; beeswax candles were indeed too expensive for general, everyday use. Paraffin-wax candles did not appear until the early 19th Century, though in the U.S. some candles were made earlier than this from the bayberry (myrica cerifera) that was native to the north-eastern states. Other names for the bayberry are wax berry and candle berry. The fruit has a waxy covering that could be refined.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"My wife...to my father’s to dinner, it being my father’s wedding day, there being a very great dinner, and only the Fenners and Joyces there." -- an obligatory event: these are not Samuel's preferred company. There will be leftovers.

MarkS   Link to this

In case anyone wants to read "the best writ tale that ever I read in my life", here it is on Google Books, in the 1727 edition, translated by "Thos. Brown, Mr. Savage, and Others". In this edition Scarron's story is called "The Useless Precaution":

http://books.google.com/books?id=pjc0AAAAMAAJ&p...

Pepys calls it the best tale he ever read, but I take this as hyperbole. I think he just means it was very good, and he enjoyed it.

Dick Wilson   Link to this

"This morning Mr. Carew was hanged and quartered at Charing Cross; but his quarters, by a great favour, are not to be hanged up."
A great favour to whom? Carew would not object.

MarkS   Link to this

A great favour to his family and friends. As noted in the first annotation at the top, "his quarters were granted to his brother and given decent burial that night."

arby   Link to this

There will be many many instances of "the best that ever... in my life" over the life of the Diary. I do admire his enthusiasm.

Gerald Berg   Link to this

I have to disagree with Mary House statement:
" I don't find this to be a great difference at all. We watch daily atrocities on television and then cheerfully resume our mundane activities."

Walking into your local butcher shop in no way compares to visiting an abattoir.
It is one thing to having inadvertently "seen" a viewing of grotesque violence via the tube and another to experience the actual event. The idea trivialises the reality of horror.

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