Wednesday 31 October 1660

Office day. Much troubled all this morning in my mind about the business of my walk on the leads. I spoke of it to the Comptroller and the rest of the principal officers, who are all unwilling to meddle in anything that may anger my Lady Davis. And so I am fain to give over for the time that she do continue therein.

Dined at home, and after dinner to Westminster Hall, where I met with Billing the quaker at Mrs. Michell’s shop, who is still of the former opinion he was of against the clergymen of all sorts, and a cunning fellow I find him to be. Home, and there I had news that Sir W. Pen is resolved to ride to Sir W. Batten’s country house to-morrow, and would have me go with him, so I sat up late, getting together my things to ride in, and was fain to cut an old pair of boots to make leathers for those I was to wear.

This month I conclude with my mind very heavy for the loss of the leads, as also for the greatness of my late expenses, insomuch that I do not think that I have above 150l. clear money in the world, but I have, I believe, got a great deal of good household stuff.

I hear to-day that the Queen is landed at Dover, and will be here on Friday next, November 2nd.

My wife has been so ill of late of her old pain that I have not known her this fortnight almost, which is a pain to me.

32 Annotations

Paul Miller   Link to this

"My wife has been so ill of late of her old pain that I have not known her this fortnight almost, which is a pain to me".

The word "know" is used to connote a sexual relationship 17 times in the King James version of the bible.

Genesis 4
1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

1 Kings 1
4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

Genesis 19
5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

ellen   Link to this

Someone please explain what the leads problem is. Is he upset because he can no longer use them/it?

vincent   Link to this

He[SP] is in a bit of tither. He cannot have a night out on the tiles..no cat awalling.. 'Tis a bit chilly I Know, but he cannot see Ursa Major or the other star of the nite, Venus or the little dipper?
Must be a real loss?"...Much troubled all this morning in my mind about the business of my walk on the leads....
"...I spoke of it to the Comptroller and the rest of the principal officers, who are all unwilling to meddle in anything that may anger my Lady Davis. And so I am fain to give over for the time that she do continue therein...."
Madame Davis must really scare these old sea dogs even the Dutch never had this much power:
[Big Bear = ursa major]
the Leads Nice area of roof for relaxing away from the maddening crowd and ahem! the s****s.

vincent   Link to this

"...as also for the greatness of my late expenses, insomuch that I do not think that I have above 150l. clear money in the world, but I have, I believe, got a great deal of good household stuff:..." There is an expression for SP, 10 months past, He did not have a *** to **** i*. And now he is upset. He should read Rev Joslyns Diary for comfort.

john lauer   Link to this

Was the bolt on the chamber door (now broken open) to the leads keeping Sam off the leads? Now it's open ...

Or is its being now broken open exposing his chambers to anyone on the leads? ...

I don't get it at all. Was the bolt on the inside (chamber), or the outside (leads)?

Paul Brewster   Link to this

but I have, I bless God, a great deal of good Household stuffe
L&M: replace "I believe, got" with "I bless God,". Looks like shorthand confusion.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

a pair of old bootes to make leathers for those that I was to wear. To bed.
Wheatley removes the "To bed" that seems out of place in the chronological narrative. In the process, however, one loses some of the sense of an after the fact month-end summing up.

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Sir W. Batten's country house
L&M: “The Rectory Manor House, Church Hill, Walthamstow, Essex. Penn later had a house not far away at Wanstead.”

Location
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=537715&...

An 1848 Directory
http://www.essexvillages.net/villages/walthamst...

“The nearby Rectory Manor estate was sold as building plots after the demolition of the old manor house facing Church Hill in 1897”

http://mazalon.co.uk/aroundwalthamstow.htm

Paul Brewster   Link to this

I hear today that the Queen is landed at Dover
L&M quibble: "The Queen[Mother] had landed at Dover on the 30th."

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Locked Leads?
Reading ahead I can't find another mention of the problem. Odd that this would seem so severe this month and then disappear.

Pauline   Link to this

The leads - entries to date

"Friday, 13 July: I got leave to have a door made me into the leads.

Wednesday, 18 July: This morning the carpenter made an end of my door out of my chamber upon the leads.

Sunday 26 August: on the leads at night

Monday 29 October: So home, where I was told how my Lady Davis is now come to our next lodgings, and has locked up the leads door from me, which puts me into so great a disquiet

Tuesday 30 October: ...my mind being so troubled that I could not mind nor do anything till I spoke with the Comptroller to whom the lodgings belong. I am told Mr. Davis’s people have broken open the bolt of my chamber door that goes upon the leads, which I went up to see and did find it so, which did still trouble me more and more. And so I sent for Griffith, and got him to search their house to see what the meaning of it might be, but can learn nothing to-night. But I am a little pleased that I have found this out."

Sounds like Lady Davis may have discovered that her new lodgings previously had exclusive access to the leads and now she wants that re-established.

Breaking open the bolt of Sam's chamber door may indicate somehow disabling his bolt?

Same has invested money to have a door made from his chamber out unto the leads, with an official OK to do that. So he is understandably upset, on the one hand; but more seems involved. Perhaps a sense that he does not have the inherited standing in any disagreement with a "Lady Davis." He is much a product of the "merit" sense that was voiced in the Commonwealth years. Those years are over, things are back to rank and birthright, but two steps forward and one step back--and Sam is on that step that does not get pulled back?

Paul Brewster   Link to this

Another set of leads
I thought Pauline might have missed a quote from 22 September 1660 in her excellent history of the lead issue until I reread the entry. I found that I had been confusing two sets of leads, those at his current home (the subject of this week's annoyance) and those at his Lord's lodgings. The latter gives rise to that wonderful quote, "I staid here all day in my Lord's chamber and upon the leads gazing upon Diana". I realized that this confusion lead me to the mistaken belief that SP was most concerned that Lady Davis may have discovered his secret lead-based relationship but obviously not so.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/09/22/

vincent   Link to this

no more leads

vincent   Link to this

"... My wife has been so ill of late of her old pain that I have not known her this fortnight almost, which is a pain to me...." SP! strange thinking? A Pun or self concern, missing the the night life? Really quite strange thinking, is my take.

Mary   Link to this

Sam is upset about the leads problem

because he finds that the house that he thought would provide him with a roof-terrace, in modern terms, now seems to have had that amenity removed.

For city-dwellers, flat, leaded roofs provided useful space, especially in the warmer weather, for recreation away from the smell of the streets and the heat of the house itself. Sam had plans for using the leads, but it looks as if they are going to be put on hold, for a while at least.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"to cut an old pair of boots to make leathers for those I was to wear" Is he recycling? Does he have a corn? I didn't quite get it.

Mary   Link to this

... to make leathers for those I was to wear..

Sam wants to wear a smart, new or newish pair of boots for the trip; but riding is likely to stain and mark the leather of these boots from ankle to knee; horses sweat and leave a sticky deposit (look at your hands, the next time you stroke a horse), the stirrup-leathers rub and so on. He therefore cuts up the old boots in order to making gaiters that he can wear over the new boots and so protect them from damage.

language hat   Link to this

Thank you all
for the explanations of the questions that popped into my mind regarding the leads, the boots, &c. -- the sort of everyday thing not likely to be addressed in the footnotes of learned commentaries. And thanks again, Phil, for the site.

helena murphy   Link to this

In my experience many a drama has taken place on a rooftop,not least of people toppling over!Knowing Sam's penchant for pretty ladies it could also be the perfect rendez'vous as it probably was for servants, and still is in certain parts of the world. What really interests me is how Lady Davis gets the officials not to interfere and thereby take her part. Does she make out her own security is at risk and therefore they feel obliged to lent her an ear and even be protective?
She clearly feels uncomfortable with the idea of Pepys prowling about up there and incidentally is her husband behind this as well?

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Celebrating Halloween -- Pepys didn't

American and Canadian readers may wonder whether Pepys ever celebrated Halloween, since the holiday is ancient. In Pepys's time, the Irish would have celebrated on this date, but the Reformation had long since put a stop to the holiday in England. In a familiar pattern (something like the history of Christmas), the English Protestants came up with a very similar holiday and moved it forward by several days to Nov. 5, Gunpowder Plot Day.

Gunpowder Plot Day page:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/313/

Grahamt   Link to this

Considering that Hallowe'en was when witches were said to be abroad, and witches were still being burnt at the stake in the 17th century, then no, Samuel wouldn't have celebrated All Hallows Eve, but he might have celebrated All Hallows (Saints) Day on the 1st November. Traditionally,it is when one remembers the deceased by putting fresh flowers on the graves.

deepfatfriar   Link to this

Gen 19:5

Whether this is an instance of "know" has a sexual connotation is widely disputed among scholars and theologians, which dispute is in part the source of a schism-in-progress.

vincent   Link to this

Gen 19:5....And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are
the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto
us, that we may know them.

Glyn   Link to this

the Queen is landed at Dover

The technical term for this is TRANSFRETATION: "The action of crossing a strait, especially the crossing of the English Channel by a monarch". The source is The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary which, because it is only 3,767 long obviously has to exclude the really obscure words. (See if you can use this word in conversation.)

language hat   Link to this

transfretation:
What a great word! Oddly, the full OED defines it less specifically:

transfre'tation. Obs. [ad. late L. transfreta

Pauline   Link to this

TRANSFRETATION
Just to be silly at this: the base word here seems to be "fret," not unreasonable for these royals fleeing and returning cross-channel.

Glyn, you wryness in the face of the obscure is appreciated.

Birdie   Link to this

Glyn, my greatest fret is that transfretation onboard the Concorde is no longer possible.

stewart Cavalier   Link to this

Fret is the French for freight

languagehat   Link to this

True but irrelevant; the French word is from Dutch vracht 'freight,' whereas transfretation is from Latin fretum 'a strait, channel.'

Sasha Clarkson   Link to this

Witches were not burned at the stake in England, where the penalty for witchcraft was hanging. Nor did juries always convict. Even in the Pendle Witch trial. one of the defendants was acquitted.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pendle_witches

I have my own doubts about some historical judgements in the Wiki article, but Robert Neill's novel, 'Mist over Pendle' is excellently researched and gives a very plausible narrative about what might have happened.

The law in Scotland was different, and the persecutions were generally more frequent and ferocious.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_trials_in_e...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Today's 40th birthday: 1620 John Evelyn, diarist

Tonyel   Link to this

"Lady" Davis. From the later references to her, Sam was being sarcastic here - she was plain Mrs Davis but, by the sound of it, not the best neighbour to have. She certainly seems to have scared the Comptroller.

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