Thursday 9 May 1661

With my workmen all the morning, my wife being ill and in great pain with her old pain, which troubled me much because that my house is in this condition of dirt. In the afternoon I went to Whitehall and there spoke with my Lord at his lodgings, and there being with him my Lord Chamberlain, I spoke for my old waterman Payne, to get into White’s place, who was waterman to my Lord Chamberlain, and is now to go master of the barge to my Lord to sea, and my Lord Chamberlain did promise that Payne should be entertained in White’s place with him. From thence to Sir G. Carteret, and there did get his promise for the payment of the remainder of the bill of Mr. Creed’s, wherein of late I have been so much concerned, which did so much rejoice me that I meeting with Mr. Childe took him to the Swan Tavern in King Street, and there did give him a tankard of white wine and sugar,1 and so I went by water home and set myself to get my Lord’s accounts made up, which was till nine at night before I could finish, and then I walked to the Wardrobe, being the first time I was there since my Lady came thither, who I found all alone, and so she shewed me all the lodgings as they are now fitted, and they seem pretty pleasant. By and by comes in my Lord, and so, after looking over my accounts, I returned home, being a dirty and dark walk. So to bed.

  1. The popular taste was formerly for sweet wines, and sugar was frequently mixed with the wine.

10 Annotations

Australian Susan   Link to this

Poor Elizabeth! Not only toothache, but menstrual problems too! And she was left alone the whole day until late at night. Hope she had someone with her to look after her. Sam, although "troubled" by it all does not record doing anything about relieving the problems!

vicente   Link to this

He doth explain his feelings better to-day; angry and upset doth go to-gether ."... my wife being ill and in great pain with her old pain, which troubled me much because that my house is in this condition of dirt..." The Poor girl, no pain killers available except maybe some "laud en em" or hard liquor?

vicente   Link to this

Why none for the missus? "...there did give him a tankard of white wine and sugar,.." More Rhine wine maybe.

vicente   Link to this

The weather or in his 'ead? {the better half with many problems, enough to drive any one to drink , the House in a state of chaos and he does not have an aked head. "...being a dirty and dark walk..."

Nate Lockwood   Link to this

"The popular taste was formerly for sweet wines, and sugar was frequently mixed with the wine. "

Was lead acetate still used to sweeten wine? I know that it was used in Roman time throught the middle ages and beyond.

Diana Bonebrake   Link to this

According to Claire Tomlinson, Elizabeth Pepys suffered from cysts on her vulva which became infected and abscessed. At this point, her physician had instructed Sam to use a 'tent' to drain the abscess (pass the laudenum)! Both were embarrassed by her condition, wrongly thinking it was caused by sexual activity. Perhaps this is why Sam makes no mention of his efforts to assist her (except that in her condition, a 'dirty' house would be an unhappy environment, indeed). Eventually Sam's surgeon suggested lancing the abscess, but Elizabeth refused to let him, fearing her maids would think she had a 'shameful' disease. The surgeon then decided they would try to treat her 'with fomentations only', which eased things but did not cure the underlying condition.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Diana Bonebrake's comment...
"Eventually Sam's surgeon suggested lancing the abscess, but Elizabeth refused to let him, fearing her maids would think she had a "shameful" disease. The surgeon then decided they would try to treat her "with fomentations only", which eased things but did not cure the underlying condition.”

I recall that Sam was uneasy, to the point of not being able to contemplate it, at the thought of Beth being cut, understandably so given the grim statistics of such things at the time.

Patricia   Link to this

re Mrs. Pepys "old pain", I assumed it was menstrual cramps, not the cysts. It's about 6 weeks since Pepys last mentioned the problem.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the bill of Mr. Creed’s, wherein of late I have been so much concerned"

L&M; note this bill (of £1035) was for expenses Creed had incurred as Deputy-Teasurer of the fleet. Pepys apparently pays him the balance tomorrow: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/05/10/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Correction: Creed's note will be cleared on the 15th: http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/05/15/

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