Tuesday 5 November 1661

At the office all the morning. At noon comes my brother Tom and Mr. Armiger to dine with me, and did, and we were very merry. After dinner, I having drunk a great deal of wine, I went away, seeming to go about business with Sir W. Pen, to my Lady Batten’s (Sir William being at Chatham), and there sat a good while, and then went away (before I went I called at home to see whether they were gone, and found them there, and Armiger inviting my wife to go to a play, and like a fool would be courting her, but he is an ass, and lays out money with Tom, otherwise I should not think him worth half this respect I shew him). To the Dolphin, where he and I and Captain Cocke sat late and drank much, seeing the boys in the streets flying their crackers, this day being kept all the day very strictly in the City. At last broke up, and called at my Lady Batten’s again and would have gone to cards, but Sir W. Pen was so fuddled that we could not try him to play, and therefore we parted, and I home and to bed.

25 Annotations

dirk   Link to this

crackers

Did Wayneman's fireworks accident on 2 November have anything to do with this? Probably.

dirk   Link to this

"seeing the boys in the streets flying their crackers"

What's the occasion? Some festival I'm not aware of? (I'm not British, so I hope I can be forgiven here.)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Nice of Sam to butter up brother Tom's customer...Though I wonder what Beth thought of Mr. A, his "attentions", and Sam's tolerance for them.

Nice to think they had a merry time making fun of the would-be playboy.

Anyone keeping track of the number of times our Bess has been hit on?

vicente   Link to this

Maybe pre-celebration of 5 of nov[Guye FFalkes, gun powder plot?] like they do for the 4th of July [USA]
An Ass eh!who Sam or Armiger, never leave a man in his cups with a wench who may be in her cups ?
Iniuriam faclius quam feras Syrus Maxims
it's easier to do a wrong than endure one.

Pedro.   Link to this

Last year.
"This 5th of November is observed exceeding well in the City; and at night great bonfires and fireworks."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/11/05/#ann...

Conrad   Link to this

In 1605, Guy Fawkes (also known as Guido - yes, really) and a group of conspirators attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had had a rough time under her reign had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. Alas, he was not, and this angered a number of young men who decided that violent action was the answer.

One young man in particular, Robert Catesby suggested to some close friends that the thing to do was to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King, maybe even the Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics. Today these conspirators would be known as extremists, or terrorists.

To carry out their plan, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder - and stored them in a cellar, just under the House of Lords.

But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear that some innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack. Some of the plotters started having second thoughts. One of the group members even sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th. Was the letter real?

The warning letter reached the King, and the King's forces made plans to stop the conspirators.

Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of November 5th, was caught, tortured and executed.

It's unclear if the conspirators would ever have been able to pull off their plan to blow up the Parliament even if they had not been betrayed - some people think the gunpowder they were planning to use was so old as to be useless. Since Guy Fawkes and his colleagues got caught before trying to ignite the powder, we'll never know for certain.

Even for the period which was notoriously unstable, the Gunpowder Plot struck a very profound chord for the people of England. In fact, since the failed coup, the reigning monarch only enters the Parliament once a year, on what is called "the State Opening of Parliament". Prior to the Opening, and according to custom, the Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars of the Palace of Westminster. Today, the Queen and Parliament still observe this tradition.

These days, Guy Fawkes Day is also known as Bonfire Night. The event is commemorated every year with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire.

Some of the English have been known to wonder whether they are celebrating Fawkes' execution or honoring his attempt to do away with the government.

RexLeo   Link to this

"...he is an ass, and lays out money with Tom, otherwise I should not think him worth half this respect I shew him"

It is interesting to see Sam putting up with a guy who is outrageously flirting with his wife for the sake of his no good brother but would not lift a finger to help Beth's brother. She has a right to feel aggrieved.

Conrad   Link to this

Dirk, here in Australia, as children, many years ago we called our fireworks, 'crackers' & we celebrated Guy Fawkes night with a traditional bonfire & Guy, that had been built up for a number of days beforehand. Fireworks these days have been banned for a number of years because of the injuries & accidental fires they caused. We still have a bonfire night but it is not now connected with Guy Fawkes & is now performed in May a cool month here in Australia, by licenced fireworks handlers. Wayneman's injury is most certainly connected with the Guy Fawkes celebration.

Vince   Link to this

Re: "What's the occasion? Some festival I'm not aware of? (I'm not British, so I hope I can be forgiven here.)” For the benefit of Dirk & any other non British readers not in the know -

Guy Fawkes night, November 5th each year, is celebrated up & down this country. It is to celebrate the capturing of Guy Fawkes & friends before they blew up the Houses of Parliament, as Conrad tells the story of above.

In many areas there is often with a massive communial bonfire on which a made up effigy of Guy Fawkes may be flung to burn plus the setting off of a whole load of fireworks.

For example where I live the three kids next door have had their bedroom windows open all evening watching the fireworks randomly appear in the air fired off from numerous various private house’s gardens. There fireworks parties are, no doubt, in full flow - again each with a big as you can fire in the garden area, a private fireworks display plus food - drink & chat no doubt - the kids love it.

In a few days time there will be a free communal bonfire one evening with literally thousands of people coming to a grass park just down the road where a large travelling fair (rides, dodgems etc) will be set up right by the huge fire (it has already been built ready for this event) - later a load of fireworks will be set off over half an hour or so & then on mass everyone will go home - to come, do it all again, exactly this time next year as this & so on… & on..

Louis   Link to this

Armiger, not provided with a link here, is, according to the L&M Companion,
[William] Armiger (apparently his first name is never given in the Diary):

"A Norfolk connection ('cousin') of Pepys, who lodged with Pepys's brother Tom, the tailor. Richard Mansuer, his maternal uncle, had married Alice, widow of Thomas Pepys of South Creake, Norf., who was great-grandfather of Jane Turner and great-great-uncle of Pepys. William Armiger and one of his sons owed money to Tom Pepys at his death. He had ten sons and nine daughters."

So why does he lodge with Tom? Were these 19 all out on their own by this time? His dates, it would seem, are not known.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"It is interesting to see Sam putting up with a guy who is outrageously flirting with his wife for the sake of his no good brother but would not lift a finger to help Beth's brother. She has a right to feel aggrieved.”

Maybe so, but why is poor Tom “no good”? He seems a nice fellow if no scholar and rather awkward due to his speech impediment. Balty, on the other hand…

upper_left_hand_corner   Link to this

More info about the 5th of November celebrations and their motivation can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Night

Philip   Link to this

"It is interesting to see Sam putting up with a guy who is outrageously flirting with his wife for the sake of his no good brother but would not lift a finger to help Beth's brother. She has a right to feel aggrieved.”

Brother Tom has a speech impediment and is perhaps a little slow but is an honest tradesman. Beth’s brother, on the other hand, is a worthless would-be dandy who continues to be a bother to Pepys with his schemes and pretentions, undoubtedly using his relationship to Pepys to advance himself in the eyes of others. Pepys nevertheless repeatedly assists his no-talent brother-in-law for his wife’s sake. It is well to bear in mind that in those days a grandiose scheme could land the perpetrator, and his backers, in serious danger. Pepys is right to be cautious with his brother-in-law. He could be ruined by the actions of this imprudent wannabe.

David A. Smith   Link to this

"courting her, but he is an ass, and lays out money with Tom"
Here, I think, is the key -- Sam would have nothing to do with Armiger, but Armiger shows dim Tom a good time, so Sam smirks and quaffs and lets Armiger clumsily drool at Elizabeth. I suspect Sam also has a good maritally-calibrated awareness that Elizabeth probably cannot stand the profligate Armiger, which makes it easier for Sam to watch, as cock of the walk.

Stolzi   Link to this

It begins to look to me as if, for William Penn the founder of Penneylvania, becoming an austere and pious Quaker was an act of wild adolescent rebellion against his parent Sir W! :)

vicente   Link to this

Son same as father for some, for others son be different, 'tis a problem for most families to have a son that not follow pops into the fray of life.

Pedro.   Link to this

Conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot.

For a description and a print showing the Conspirators see...

http://www.library.wisc.edu/etext/BookofDays/14...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"It begins to look to me as if, for William Penn the founder of Penneylvania, becoming an austere and pious Quaker was an act of wild adolescent rebellion against his parent Sir W!"

It's the 60s, right? Will Jr is a college student...Quakerism is about as 'hippie, flower-child' as one can get at this time.

Australian Susan   Link to this

William Penn Jr
Don't forget - the younger Penn has just been rusticated (expelled) from Oxford. Yes, very much the rebellious student!

Mary   Link to this

Rustication.

According to L&M, Penn jr.was sent down (expelled) not rusticated. Rustication involves being sent away from the university for a fixed period (perhaps the remaining portion of a full term) before being allowed back into one's college. Not as drastic as being sent down.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Even worse!!

Louise Hudson   Link to this

"After dinner, I having drunk a great deal of wine, I went away, seeming to go about business with Sir W. Pen, to my Lady Batten’s (Sir William being at Chatham) . . ."

"seeming to go about business"? Was Sam so inebriated that he didn't know whether he was going about business or not?

I wonder at the state of his liver.

Sasha Clarkson   Link to this

No Louise - 'seeming' in this context means pretending: he was escaping company he found disagreeable, in the hope that they would leave more quickly.

James Wood   Link to this

'seeing the boys in the streets flying their crackers'
I checked Wheatley to be convinced 'flying' was correct, and not 'firing'. We are discussing fire-crackers, are we not? The OED gives 'to fly' a meaning of 'to discharge in the air as a missile.

Chris Squire UK   Link to this

Re: 'seeming to go about business' - 'pretending' is what is meant, I think. when Sir W left he went with him but not to the office but to somewhere quiet at Lady B's where he could recover his addled wits.
...........
“Remember, remember,
the Fifth of November.
I see no reason
why Gunpowder Treason
should ever be forgot.”

Quite right too. The intent was to blow up the House of Lords when everyone of importance was in it and mount a coup to install a Roman Catholic monarch. The plot nearly succeeded. It would have led to civil war, pogroms against the Catholics and who knows what horror and terror - the Germans had the Thirty Years’ War 1618 - 1648. The United Kingdom had peace until the Civil Wars broke out in 1642.

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