Thursday 26 December 1661

This morning Sir W. Pen and I to the Treasury office, and there we paid off the Amity (Captain Stokes’s ship that was at Guinny) and another ship, and so home, and after dinner Sir William came to me, and he and his son and daughter, and I and my wife, by coach to Moorfields to walk; but it was most foul weather, and so we went into an alehouse and there eat some cakes and ale, and a washeallbowle1 woman and girl came to us and sung to us. And after all was done I called my boy (Wayneman) to us to eat some cake that was left, and the woman of the house told us that he had called for two cakes and a pot of ale for himself, at which I was angry, and am resolved to correct him for it. So home and Sir W. Pen and his son and daughter to supper to me to a good turkey, and were merry at cards, and so to bed.

  1. “The wenches with their wassall bowls About the streets are singing.” — Wither’s Christmas Carol.

    The old custom of carrying the wassail bowl from door to door, with songs and merriment, in Christmas week, is still observed in some of our rural districts. — B.

15 Annotations

Pedro.   Link to this

Washeall-bowle (From L&M Companion)

Wassail bowl, for making wassail (spiced ale drunk on Christmass Eve and Twelfth Night), carried on their rounds by wassailers, who sang carols from house to house.

dirk   Link to this

"And after all was done I called my boy ..."

As far as I can find, this is the first time that we find proof in Sam's diary that Will is with him (them) without Sam mentioning him - until of course Will does something (for better or for worse) which earns him a few words of comment.

This makes it all the more probable that Will has been out with Sam many times (if not most of the time) without being mentioned explicitly in Sam's diary entries.

dirk   Link to this

Will vs Wayneman

There has been some confusion about this before, but is seems I was wrong in assuming Wayneman = Will.

Nonetheless my previous remark stands: servant(s) must often have accompanied Sam on his daily errands, most of the time without being mentioned explicitly in the diary.

Pedro.   Link to this

"And after all was done I called my boy "

Dirk, looking in L&M Companion, the only entry about Wayneman is under “Status and Duties of the Domestic Servants” and says..
“The most junior in years and status was the footboy who ran errands and accompanied his master abroard, wearing sword and livery and, it might be, carrying a link to light the way.

vicenzo   Link to this

"Aaugliter" does this have any thing to do with fortelling.?
augur prophet or augeo, -xi, -actumto enlarge?
lito to sacrifice with omens?

Australian Susan   Link to this

There's a website devoted to the tradition of making wassail - A reversion to saturnalia!

Paul Chapin   Link to this

Vicenzo (aka Vicente & Vincent inter alia) has made a brilliantly erudite interpretation (in jest, I believe) of what seems an evident mis-scan of "daughter".

DrCari   Link to this

Regarding Wayneman and Will:
Naughty Wayneman the incorrigible youngster is the brother of much beloved maidservant Jane. Jane's widowed mother and Jane have begged Sam to look out for Wayneman's welfare and future prospects. Wayneman joined the Pepys household as a boy servant. Will Hewer is another young servant cum trainee-clerk who resided throughout his teen years in Sam's household. Will Hewer featured prominently throughout Sam's lifetime.

Stolzi   Link to this

Christmas revelry at last.

(The wassail, and maybe the turkey as well)

Nate   Link to this

Would this "turkey" be an American turkey or the African "turkey"? If it is an American turkey I think it would have been expensive. I seem to recall that turkeys were expensive to purchase until the 20th century when culture techniques were perfected.

From the "kidzone":
When the Spanish first found the bird in the Americas more than 400 years ago they brought it back to Europe. The English mistakenly thought it was a bird they called a "turkey" so they gave it the same name. This other bird was actually from Africa, but came to England by way of the Turkey (lots of shipping went through Turkey at the time). The name stuck even when they realized the birds weren't the same.

Stolzi   Link to this


According to this page

the merchants from Turkey were still selling the American bird (pavo meleagris) and it was known in England in the time of Shakespeare. The history given here is different from that at kidzone. Take your pick!

The guinea fowl comes from Africa, but from West Africa, not from the parts where Turkish merchants would be trading.

dirk   Link to this


For more on the subject, check the background info:

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"we paid off the Amity (Captain Stokes’s ship that was at Guinny) and another ship"

Major holiday income! L&M report the Amity was given a year's pay; the other ship was probably the George; Thomas Turner and three other clerks were employed.

Bill   Link to this

WASSAIL, WASSEL, a Custom, still used in some Places, on twelfth Day, at Night, of going about with a great Bowl of Ale, drinking of Healths.
WASSELLERS, A Company of People, who make merry and drink together; also Wenches that go about from House to House singing at Christmas.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Bill   Link to this

There is an encyclopedia page for:

Wassail, Wassell

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