Thursday 29 August 1661

At the office all the morning, and at noon my father, mother, and my aunt Bell (the first time that ever she was at my house) come to dine with me, and were very merry. After dinner the two women went to visit my aunt Wight, &c., and my father about other business, and I abroad to my bookseller, and there staid till four o’clock, at which time by appointment I went to meet my father at my uncle Fenner’s. So thither I went and with him to an alehouse, and there came Mr. Evans, the taylor, whose daughter we have had a mind to get for a wife for Tom, and then my father, and there we sat a good while and talked about the business; in fine he told us that he hath not to except against us or our motion, but that the estate that God hath blessed him with is too great to give where there is nothing in present possession but a trade and house; and so we friendly ended. There parted, my father and I together, and walked a little way, and then at Holborn he and I took leave of one another, he being to go to Brampton (to settle things against my mother comes) tomorrow morning. So I home.

10 Annotations

Australian Susan   Link to this

"were very merry"
All seems fine now between Sam and his mum, which is good for family relations!

"we friendly ended"
No mention of what Tom and the young lady might have thought about all this. Once money is involved, marriage becomes a thing of contracts and agreements - romance never allowed to peep in at the door. Anyone read any of the Paston correspondence from the 15th century? Even knowing about arranged marriages and so on, I found the attitudes expressed there alien and shocking - no thought is given at all to anyone's feelings. Sam and his dad have echos of this.

vicente   Link to this

"...there came Mr. Evans, the taylor, whose daughter we have had a mind to get for a wife for Tom, and then my father, and there we sat a good while and talked about the business; in fine he told us that he hath not to except against us or our motion, but that the estate that God hath blessed him with is too great to give where there is nothing in present possession but a trade and house; and so we friendly ended..."
Speculation?
Mr Evans has too many daughters [mouths to feed], name less wench may know how to make button holes. Tom need's seamstress? Check teeth, young and sound?[ brood mare ] [good childbearing hips]?
The dowry available means he should get into a good stable and stallion, enough cash to get a title too maybe? Why settle for a bed and sheets.
Tough negotiator is our Mr Evans, [no flys on 'im][under breath, not that good a taylor either, me Evans remember, knows a good needle and thread man when he sees one.]
In other words, from an outsiders point of view NO dice. No quid pro quo.

vicente   Link to this

question?"...(to settle things against my mother comes)..." is the bracket in the wrong place?????

Mary   Link to this

placing of the brackets.

L&M gives the same reading. And why not? Innuendo?

vicente   Link to this

'All seems fine now between Sam and his mum, which is good for family relations'
I do not see it that way, the last line makes it seem that there be a touch of tension between Pops and Mother.

Pauline   Link to this

"a touch of tension between Pops and Mother."
(to settle things against my mother comes)
He's going first to get the house ready: move in their furniture? whatever. I don't see a speck of tension in that. Sam preceded Elizabeth to their new home. Took care of all the arrangements.
(But perhaps Margaret is so far gone in her irrationality that he best do it himself: the turmoil too frustrating for her. Guess it depends on what you think has been bothering Margaret these past 8 months.)

helena murphy   Link to this

Arranged marriage was neither alien nor shocking then, nor is it now. It is today the norm throughout North Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It has a very high success rate compared with marriage in the west. In cultures where the young do not date freely the joy of a couple at the prospect of their arranged marriage cannot be measured. The system falters when greedy parents demand too high a dowry or have too high expectations, as in today's entry, thus depriving a son or daughter of happiness,.

Ruben   Link to this

Arranged marriage
May be Mr. Evans, the taylor, knew Tom from the trade and did not want him in his family.
But respecting Mr. Pepys he gave an answer that made the deal impossible.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"alien and shocking"
Helena, I was using these words specifically in relation to the attitudes of the Pastons as revealed in their letters, (which seemed to have been the norm in 15th century England). I believe that people arranging marriages today in many cultures do so with more care and compassion than that.An example from the Paston latters: one of the male Pastons bewails the fact that he cannot sell a ten year old girl in his charge for a high enough price and so won't make as much out of her as he hoped.

Pedro   Link to this

And on this day 29th August 1661...

De Ruyter fell in near Gibraltar with Montague, who was on his way to Lisbon. He sent his secretary on board the Admiral's ship to present his compliments and acquire knowledge of the situation in the Med.

(Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Blok)

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