Tuesday 10 September 1661

At the office all the morn, dined at home; then my wife into Wood Street to buy a chest, and thence to buy other things at my uncle Fenner’s (though by reason of rain we had ill walking), thence to my brother Tom’s, and there discoursed with him about business, and so to the Wardrobe to see my Lady, and after supper with the young ladies, bought a link and carried it myself till I met one that would light me home for the link. So he light me home with his own, and then I did give him mine. This night I found Mary, my cozen W. Joyce’s maid, come to me to be my cook maid, and so my house is full again.

So to bed.

23 Annotations

Pauline  •  Link

"...we had ill walking..."
In this entry we find Sam and Elizabeth seeming to go their separate ways, but then it is revealed that they are together,though it is unclear if and when they have eventually parted company. I think it is the case more often than we realize that Elizabeth accompanies Sam but Sam doesn't spell it out in the diary.

RexLeo  •  Link

"..and so my house is full again"

No sign of sulking; P is feeling content. He must have gotten over it.

Conrad  •  Link

Pauline the ill walking was caused by the rain which, they being together, had to endure togther. Sam often leaves out words such as "'with' my wife into wood street to buy a chest" His shorthand can often cause misinterpretations & I think you are right in the assumption that he doesn't always tell the whole story in each days entry.

vicente  •  Link

The whole troth nutin' but the troth:
my take is from the world of yesteryear: 'e 'as a covering from the elements, she gets the full blast of an English soaking. Remember there is a little narrow path [over hang] up along side the houses, and MAYBE, he not be the Gent: but the Esq: and the overflow of rooftop collections be coming our Elizas way. Or it could be that nice case of MUD, Mud everywhere that gives that fashionable besplattered look. Then after Supper he be the gent, as the impressionable young fillies be there, he be so generous with his link lite too..
If ye never walked in an English drizzle and sloshed along in shoes [cannae afford gallooshes]and slurped ones feet in soggy socks, ye have missed a treat.

upper_left_hand_corner  •  Link

"bought a link and carried it myself ..."
Such a menial activity for our Esquire. Somebody he knows might see him! Not to mention the danger of singeing oneself. And it is easier to follow the lantern bearer than to hold it close and lose your night vision.

Pauline  •  Link

Conrad, my point was the "we" of this phrase. I understood the ill weather. Just an under sense in the accumulation of reading the diary that he often uses the first person and then there are indications that Elizabeth was with him. In this case this phrase is precedeed by "then my wife into Wood Street"--a sense that they went their separate ways. Perhaps when he accompanies his wife on her errands it is "she", when she accompanies him on his comings and goings it is "I".

Mary  •  Link

Parting of the ways?

It seems that Sam and Elizabeth went together to buy the chest in Wood Street and maybe also to Uncle Fenner's. Thereafter, it's likely that Elizabeth returned home and Sam went about the rest of the day's business by himself. Why trail long skirts through the mucky streets any longer than necessary once the domestic errands have been accomplished?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Where's Beth/the link carrier...

It's also possible the whole reason S. Pepys, Esq. needed the other fellow to carry the link was that Beth was with him the whole way and he had to help her over the mud and rough way. Her presence would likely have been requested by Lady Jem and she has been with him on nightly strolls before...Most famously the night of the bonfires where they had to continually drink toasts.

And thus we see how we lost some potentially fascinating tidbits...

"What are ye writing, Sam'l?...Come to bed, ma petit..." "Just setting down how we howled when we fell in the mud tonight on the way..." "No, no...Mon Dieu, can you not leave that out? Pllleeasse?...So embarrassing? Sam'l...You don't want to embarrass your Elisabeth?...Hmmn? (gentle kiss)..."

Well...Pepys eyes Diary. Perhaps, just this once.

helena murphy  •  Link

I wonder why Sam did not consider going home by coach as he has previously travelled around in one. Would this be an example of false economy on such a wet day?

J A Gioia  •  Link

though by reason of rain we had ill walking

'cuse the off-topic question; but with all the rain sam & co. have been walking through i was wondering if the english mania for gardening had taken hold by 1661.

i am guessing london had to spread into the surrounding fields before the hydrangia could make its damp way across the city; but i am sure there are some gardeners here who could say when a mild passtime bacame a national obsession.

JWB  •  Link

Begger's Opera
"Though thou art tempted by the linkman's call,
Yet trust him not along the lonely wall;
In the midway he'll quench the flaming brand,
And share thy booty with the pilfering band." John Gray , ca.1727

Ruben  •  Link

though by reason of rain we had ill walking

Because of a growing demand, a coach or a cab will probably be available AFTER the rain, then as now.

vicente  •  Link

' if the english mania for gardening had taken hold by 1661"
yep: John Evelyn invented the heated Glass house [hot house] and wrote of his visits to Gardens fit for the Duke and himself and other interesting involvements. The Wealthy of world like seeing men at work prettying up paths and getting the Gardener to try this and that.

First botanic garden in England, the Oxford Physic Garden

A Design for Plentie, by a Universall Planting of Fruit Trees. Samuel Hartlib.
The English Physician (Culpepper's Complete Herbal). Nicholas Culpepper.

The Compleat Gard'ner. John Evelyn.
Kalendarium Hortense. John Evelyn. Popular gardening almanac.
William Coles (1626-1662). The Art of Simpling.
and much more:

vicente  •  Link

Ruben: never get the horses all lathered up and then get 6d for getting the horses heated up and drenched with rain, mud splattered, then have them stand around waiting for a fever, no place to rub down except back at the old barn.[tis best that they be covered with tarpaulin until the rains be over].

Australian Susan  •  Link

"ill walking"
I took this to mean that it had been raining, was not raining now, but that the roads were "ill" because of all the mud. This would make it difficult to get a coach through the streets, which would be also full of garbage. Sam (with or without his wife) may have been taking shortcuts through alleys where a coach could not have gone. And yes, vicente, horses hate rain!

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

"if the english mania for gardening had taken hold by 1661"

I’ve just finished reading an excellent novel set in a slightly earlier period - the first forty years of so of the seventeenth century. It’s ‘Earthly Joys’, by Philippa Gregory, and is the story of John Tradescant, who was gardener first to Robert Cecil and then to George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, favourite first of James I and then of Charles I. It’s very well-written, the period detail is good, and I found it very absorbing. There’s a sequel, which I would like to read. I’ll copy this annotation into the ‘literature’ link - although it’s before Sam’s time, it gives a good insight into the conditions that led to the Civil War.

It’s plain from this book that gardens were of major importance well before this period.

Australian Susan  •  Link

This man gave his name to the ever-popular tradescanthia plant.
Gardens were popular among the rich and leisured in medieval times - much use of garden as metaphor in medieval verse. Either as safe, enclosed space (as opposed to the wilderness of the outside), as a metaphor for heaven or sometimes in a sexual sense - garden being a symbol of chastity with the gates being broken into in sinful dalliance etc. All this was aristocratic stuff though - peasants dug in the ground to grow food and the middle classes (merchants etc) lived in towns and did not have flower gardens.

dirk  •  Link

"into Wood Street to buy a chest"

Very appropriate name for a street where you could supposedly buy all kind of woodcraft, not just a wooden chest.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Something I learned from the novel about John Tradescant (the elder) was that he was the first person to introduce the horse chestnut into Britain. It's hard to imagine spring in England without it, but it wasn't here until the beginning of the seventeenth century.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

English garden mania c. 1661?

Andrew Marvell wrote his garden lyrics in the 1650s, when he was tutor to Mary Fairfax. dau. of Sir Thomas. Here's a link to "The Mower Against Gardens."


Gerald Berg  •  Link

linkman et al
Henry Fielding: Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great.

I mean, my liege, Only to grace my tale with decent horror;
Whilst from my garret, twice two stories high,
I looked abroad into the streets below,
I saw Tom Thumb attended by the mob,
Twice twenty shoe-boys, twice two dozen links,
Chairmen and porters, hackney-coachmen, whores;
Aloft he bore the grizzly head of Grizzle;
When of sudden through the streets there came
A cow, of larger than the usual size,
And in that moment---guess, oh! guess the rest!
In that moment that cow swallowed up Tom Thumb.

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