Sunday 26 May 1661

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed. To church and heard a good sermon at our own church, where I have not been a great many weeks. Dined with my wife alone at home pleasing myself in that my house do begin to look as if at last it would be in good order. This day the Parliament received the communion of Dr. Gunning at St. Margaret’s, Westminster. In the afternoon both the Sir Williams came to church, where we had a dull stranger. After church home, and so to the Mitre, where I found Dr. Burnett, the first time that ever I met him to drink with him, and my uncle Wight and there we sat and drank a great deal, and so I to Sir W. Batten’s, where I have on purpose made myself a great stranger, only to get a high opinion a little more of myself in them. Here I heard how Mrs. Browne, Sir W. Batten’s sister, is brought to bed, and I to be one of the godfathers, which I could not nor did deny. Which, however, did trouble me very much to be at charge to no purpose, so that I could not sleep hardly all night, but in the morning I bethought myself, and I think it is very well I should do it. Sir W. Batten told me how Mr. Prin (among the two or three that did refuse to-day to receive the sacrament upon their knees) was offered by a mistake the drink afterwards, which he did receive, being denied the drink by Dr. Gunning, unless he would take it on his knees; and after that by another the bread was brought him, and he did take it sitting, which is thought very preposterous. Home and to bed.

28 Annotations

Hic Retearius   Link to this

Sam does it again.

Multum in parvo! [Much in small compass] "where I have on purpose made myself a great stranger, only to get a high opinion a little more of myself in them." We have all thought the thought and navigated accordingly but not expressed the matter so succinctly.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"and I to be one of the godfathers" why is he hesitating? financial responsabilities?

dirk   Link to this

"trouble me very much to be at charge to no purpose"

Yes, I read this to mean that he expects this to cost him money - and responsability - in the future, and it serves no purpose: it will not advance his carreer and he won't gain anything from it.

dirk   Link to this

Prin's behaviour

Prin was both a fervent royalist and a strict puritan. The latter may have something to do with his original refusal to kneel down for the bread and wine.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Having had reference recently to Sam watching a Catholic Mass, we now have him reporting on the other end of the liturgical spectrum: the Presbyterian practice of receving the eucharist standing. Not surprising that high church Dr Gunning will have none of this and refuses to administer to Prin. The mood of the congregation is against him ("thought very preposterous") - as most of the MPs(whatever their private thoughts) conform to the usual Anglican practice of kneeling at the sanctuary rails.

dirk   Link to this

Rev. Josselin's diary for today

"A busy week in my business, god good in the preservation of things and persons, though divers dangers at hand. the weather moist and cold, weeks abound in our crop, meadows flow, yet the nation frolic as if no displeasure of heaven towards us in all; god good to me in the word, my babe ill, god awaken my heart to wrestle with him for it, which I hope he will accept, and command deliverance for it"

Unpleasant weather apparently - Sam hasn't said much about it lately...

dirk   Link to this

sermon

Evelyn heard a sermon on 7: Mat: 21.

"Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in
heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Pauline   Link to this

"...high opinion a little more of myself ..."
Seems to have worked, they've asked him to stand godfather.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Children were baptised in those times very soon after birth. Godparents often had naming rights and were expected to give quite costly presents. Maybe Sam either feels he has no gain as he cannot name the child or that he cannot gain further networking advantage through the Battens.

Louis Anthony Scarsdale   Link to this

And yet Pepys plainly says later, "but in the morning I bethought myself, and I think it is very well I should do it."

After due consideration, he sees some benefit, be it direct or indirect, pecuniary or disinterested. The question: is any more heard of it?

Pauline   Link to this

"...trouble me very much to be at charge to no purpose..."
This Batten daughter is not Martha, Sam's valentine this year; Martha didn't marry until 1663. Maybe it is her sister Mary? Maybe there were other sisters?

So this "charge" may just mean the responsibilites of being a godfather; and "no purpose" could mean that he is not close to the parents or a relative and does not see himself as being a reasonable choice or the person likely to be expected to assume real responsibility for the child in any way.

I think he decides that it is meant as an honor to him (or even a tap on his prospects) and agrees because it is politic.

vicente   Link to this

Read elsewhere that Gunning appears to be neo Roman, liking the traditions of yesteryear and that it fits to-days observation.
http://www.newblehome.co.uk/bates/biog-memoir.html

vicente   Link to this

On googling of Prin, it does fit his lifes thinking. "...Mr. Prin (among the two or three that did refuse to-day to receive the sacrament upon their knees) was offered by a mistake the drink afterwards, which he did receive, being denied the drink by Dr. Gunning, unless he would take it on his knees; and after that by another the bread was brought him, and he did take it sitting, which is thought very preposterous. see Prin

Roger Arbor   Link to this

"Upon their knees"... i.e. Venerating the Host. An idle comment of SP brings the whole controversy of what is actually happening at 'Communion' down to Parish level. Did the average layman... SP is certainly that... actually understand or care? Or were they (and dear Samuel) simply concerned to toe the line, and not rock the boat? (Sorry about the mixed metaphor).

"Charge at no purpose"... Maybe nothing financial. Perhaps SP recording his (observable) scepticism at the efficacy of baptism? Or perhaps knowing himself to be such a sceptic, Sam is doubting his own qualification for such a post?

Xjy   Link to this

On yer knees!
This is about the dignity of Man. All men (people) are equal, so bowing the knee to another person is a sign of slavery. Especially kings/queens and priests. Elected representatives are (at best) foremost among equals, not superior by nature.
More to Puritan practices (and their grovelling Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, etc counterparts) than meets the eye.
Sam is into the dignity (ie status, ie place in the pecking order) of Sam as the slave of his master -- an attitude very deeply ingrained in society today. Pity.
And we sneer at the old practice of kowtowing to Oriental despots!!

alanb   Link to this

The annual reminder that Sam dies today in 1703. Being bedridden he will not be able to get down on his knees.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Kneeling at Communion
is not about "grovelling". It is about veneration. The problem in those days was that the low church faction felt kneeling to receive at communion was too close to worshipping the host and too close to Catholicism. They made a great deal of standing to receive and of calling the furniture on which the communion meal was prepared The Lord's Table and *not* an Altar (evoking sacrifice and the dreaded Catholic Mass). Prin is being consistent with his view. The others may be humbling themselves before God (the symbolism behind kneeling to receive), but they may just be conforming. Prin receiving in the wrong order (wine before bread) and then being taken the host to his pew I think shows that some people in the sanctuary party thought Dr G was overdoing it to refuse Prin and were outflanking him, even to following Prin back to his pew to ensure he received. In the context of the 1660s, not conforming to the generally accepted Anglican practice was not just being rude to the priest, but politically foolish.

JWB   Link to this

Knee benders
The two parts of today's entry come from one mind. Batten makes an imposition Sam can't refuse and he bends. The priest imposes on Prin and he stands. In a passive voice-"is thought preposterous" the Puritan apostate resolves into bed.

vicente   Link to this

Batten is THE Uncle of the new borne"...Here I heard how Mrs. Browne, Sir W. Batten's sister, is brought to bed, and I to be one of the godfathers, which I could not nor did deny…”
Re Prin: He is earless for his thinking so why change now. But Let’s face it a good segment of the population only want to enjoy life, The symbols of control are overlooked except when shoved into ones face.

dirk   Link to this

"Elected representatives are (at best) foremost among equals" re - Xiy

What you say is correct - but only according to 21st c. democratic principles (and even these aren't observed everywhere in our own times). Keep in mind Sam was living in the 17th c. where the mere idea of *electing* the people who should govern you (or the priest for that matter!) would have been seen as prepostrous by most, subversive by others.

Glyn   Link to this

Xjy: "This is about the dignity of Man. All men (people) are equal, so bowing the knee to another person is a sign of slavery."

(1) They are here bowing to God rather than to man, which can't be seen as anything more than veneration to the Almighty.

(2) Bowing the knee to another person is a sign of slavery: how would that be different than standing up when the American President enters a room at the White House, even if you are a foreigner? It's a sign of courtesy and respect rather than obeisance.

(3) But as Dirk points out: as far as the 17th century is concerned (unless you are truly a part of the lunatic fringe) to say that all people are born equal, is as ludicrously and obviously wrong as saying that all people are born with the same weight. Perhaps it's a facet of evolution: the best blacksmith, tailor, or lord is likely to be one whose ancestors were also blacksmiths, tailors or lords. God has assigned everyone their station in life: and while you can move up the scale during your life through your own efforts you still give respect to your “betters” on the way as well as being courteous to your “inferiors”.

Glyn   Link to this

This seems appropriate.

"Cornelius Cooke was the owner of the Bear at London Bridge, Southwark from 1648 onwards through the time of the Diary. Earlier during the Civil War he became a captain of a local militia, rising to the rank of Colonel in Comwell's army. Although later a church warden, his nonconformist tendencies got him into trouble when he and a gang of others pulled down the altar rails for which he was put in the pillory and heavily fined. The curate claimed that the gang insisted on the curate giving them the sacrament sitting after 500 others had received it kneeling, and they told the curate that if he did not, they would drag him about the church by the ears.

Source: "Taverns and Tokens of Pepys' London" (published in 1976) George Berry”

vicente   Link to this

The seed's of to-days freedoms of thought were a hatching by the dozen at this time. It is why this Diary is so useful. This empirical way of evolving, devolving, dissolving, revolving and resolving, and then spun 'till we have what we are a seeing to-day. "...Elected representatives are (at best) foremost among equals..." [now elected by PAC's]

Ruben   Link to this

Elected representatives
In the 19 century big estates were sold when part of the deal were "so and so voters", meaning that you bougth the land, the hamlets, the houses, were this people lived.
Then you have a fancy for Parliament...

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

- made myself a great stranger... -
How is Sam behaving here "being a stranger"?

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

How is Sam behaving here "being a stranger"?

Wim, I read that as meaning that Sam has deliberately not been there for a while, in order to make it seem as if he is such a busy and important man that he can’t spare the time, thus hoping to increase his worth in their eyes.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

L&M; note it was the House of Commons, not Parliament that "received the communion of Dr. Gunning at St. Margaret’s, Westminster" per an order passed 13 May that all members receive Anglican communion on pain of exclusion.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

This order was challenged last Wednesday -- on the eve of this long weekend:

Members taking the Communion. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

Sir Ralph Ashton, one of the Members of this House, desired he might be admitted to shew his Reason why he could not (as his particular Case was) with a good Conscience receive the Communion, as he was enjoined by the Order of this House.

Whereupon some other Members going about to draw into Debate the Order of this House, made the Thirteenth of May Instant, for all the Members of this House to receive the Communion, which is to be administered according to the Form prescribed in the Liturgy of the Church of England on Sunday next;

The Question was put, That Liberty should be given to debate again the said Order;

And it passed in the Negative, that there should not be any Liberty given to debate the same.

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