Friday 13 September 1661

This morning I was sent for by my uncle Fenner to come and advise about the buriall of my aunt, the butcher, who died yesterday; and from thence to the Anchor, by Doctor’s Commons, and there Dr. Williams and I did write a letter for my purpose to Mr. Sedgewick, of Cambridge, about Gravely business, and after that I left him and an attorney with him and went to the Wardrobe, where I found my wife, and thence she and I to the water to spend the afternoon in pleasure; and so we went to old George’s, and there eat as much as we would of a hot shoulder of mutton, and so to boat again and home. So to bed, my mind very full of business and trouble.

14 Annotations

dirk   Link to this

"my aunt, the butcher"

Just for the sake of clarity: it's not the aunt who was a butcher, but her late husband, William Kite.

dirk   Link to this

"Gravely business"

Sam has been seeing several people about his family problem lately - a pity he rarely ever gives us any detail on the contents of these consultations.

RexLeo   Link to this

"... there eat as much as we would of a hot shoulder of mutton"

The first all you can eat buffet!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"a hot shoulder of mutton"
It seems to me that SP is on a low carbohydrate or better a high protein diet; he is always eating beef,mutton,oysters,venison and an occasional fruit; unless of course the daily bread and potatoes are not worth mentioning.

Mary K McIntyre   Link to this

Not a bad Friday the 13th, after all. Did they observe the superstition back then?

On another note, did not the aunt have carried on the business after her husband's death? She would, therefore, have been Sam's aunt, the butcher.

BradW   Link to this

to spend the afternoon in pleasure

So are Sam and the Mrs. back to being close again it seems. At the risk of over-analyzing a fine afternoon, I wonder just how "pleasure" in this sentence would translate today? Leisure? A fun time? Falling back in love? Being frivolous? The range of possible nuance here is intriguing. Since they went "to the water" for their pleasure could it mean skinny dipping in the Thames?

daniel   Link to this


i suspect that bread is a consistant accompaniment along with the other victuals thus not worthy mentioning to Sam.

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

Mary, for Friday 13 see: .
Yes, it was an unlucky day in those days as well. Ships did not sail from their harbour on Friday 13.

Lawrence   Link to this

Mr Sedgewick, of Cambridge, Steward of Graveley manor. Per L&M.

JWB   Link to this

100+ words
That's some meaty sentence.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"to spend the afternoon in pleasure"
Interesting, though slightly later, use of the word pleasure as a verb: When the Duke of Marlborough came back from a long campaign, he was so delighted to see his wife again, that he (according to her writings) "pleasured me twice in his jackboots".

dirk   Link to this

did the aunt carry on the business after her husband's death?

Re - Mary K McIntyre

Not likely. Butcher Kite died 9 years ago, and auntie afterwards remarried (and lost her second husband too). A woman as a butcher would have been unacceptable in the 17th c to the guild *and* in terms of social “correctness” - even nowadays it must be rare to find a woman running a butcher’s business on her own (I don’t know of any).

Nigel Pond   Link to this

"to spend the afternoon in pleasure"

Susan, I think this could mean something other than hanky-panky. Could it just not mean that spent the afternoon enjoying a cruise on the river?

Australian Susan   Link to this

Nigel, yes, I do not think for a moment that Sam was doing anything other than enjoy the scenery, the refreshments and his wife's company! I was just reminded of Sarah Churchill's remarks, by the discussion on the word "pleasure".

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