Thursday 23 January 1661/62

All the morning with Mr. Berkenshaw, and after him Mr. Moore in discourse of business, and in the afternoon by coach by invitacon to my uncle Fenner’s, where I found his new wife, a pitiful, old, ugly, illbred woman in a hatt, a midwife. Here were many of his, and as many of her relations, sorry, mean people; and after choosing our gloves, we all went over to the Three Crane Tavern, and though the best room in the house, in such a narrow dogg-hole we were crammed, and I believe we were near forty, that it made me loathe my company and victuals; and a sorry poor dinner it was too. After dinner, I took aside the two Joyce’s, and took occasion to thank them for their kind thoughts for a wife for Tom: but that considering the possibility there is of my having no child, and what then I shall be able to leave him, I do think he may expect in that respect a wife with more money, and so desired them to think no more of it. Now the jest was Anthony mistakes and thinks that I did all this while encourage him (from my thoughts of favour to Tom) to pursue the match till Will Joyce tells him that he was mistaken. But how he takes it I know not, but I endeavoured to tell it him in the most respectful way that I could. This done with my wife by coach to my aunt Wight’s, where I left her, and I to the office, and that being done to her again, and sat playing at cards after supper till 12 at night, and so by moonshine home and to bed.

16 Annotations

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"possibility there is of mine having no child"
In that case Tom would be his heir and in the marriage market worth more money! Very practical people!

Bradford   Link to this

"his new wife, a pitiful, old, ugly, illbred woman in a hatt, a midwife."

Great detail. Imagine had she worn none!

"his new wife, a pitiful, old, ugly, illbred woman, not even wearing a hatt, a midwife."

The looks of the hatt must have been on a par with those of the bride: clothes make the woman?

daniel   Link to this

"possibility there is of mine having no child"

Yes, Sam, as the diary goes along, exhibits clear-eyed pragmatism about his and Eliz’s childlessness. He doesn’t discuss it in the diary but one gets the impression that he has come to some closure about it.

“and so by moonshine home “

and so did I tonight! What a nice synchronicity.

Clement   Link to this

The waxing moon Sam walked home by was only three days past New, so it must have been a very clear night to gain much illumination from it.
London night skies were not as sooty as they would become a few generations hence, as population and industry grew.
17th c. lunar phases:

Birdie   Link to this

Clement, re: Moonshine. Again, we have the confusion caused by the Gregorian calendar vs. the Julian. Sam saw a full moon.

Ruben   Link to this

London was already sooty, smoky and foggy enough that Pepys friend Evelyn wrote a nice book about it:
"FUMIFUGIUM: OR, The Inconveniency of the Smoak of LONDON".

Judith Boles   Link to this

"and after choosing our gloves, we all went over to the Three Crane Tavern..." Is there some significance to "choosing our gloves", or does this just mean reclaiming one's own apparel?

Clement   Link to this

Calendar conversion
Yes, thanks, the Calendar page links on this site, with the conversion calculator, are very helpful.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

"... a foggy day in London town ..."

Ruben is correct. As early as 1257 Eleanor of Provence (wife of Henry III) complained about the smoke and pollution of London. Elizabeth I was reported to have been "greatly grieved and annoyed with the taste and smoke of sea-coals." By the 16th century such a pall of smoke hung over the city that the interiors of the more affluent London houses were dark with soot. In the treatise entitled Fumifigium, Evelyn lamented the condition of a city covered by "a Hellish and dismal Cloud of SEA-COAL ... (arising from) the few funnels and Issues, belonging to Brewers, Diers, Lime-burners, Salt and Sope-boylers and some other private trades, One of whose Spiracles alone, does manifestly infest the Aer, more than all the chimnies of London put together." A contemporary of Evelyn described London as enveloped in "Such a cloud of sea-coal, as if there be a resemblance of hell upon earth, it is in this volcano in a foggy day; this pestilent smoak, which corrodes the very yron and spoils all the movables, leaving a soot on all things that it lights; and so fatally seizing on the lungs of the inhabitants, that cough and consumption spare no man." (Taken from Peter Ackroyd, London: The Biography, pp 426-27.)

upper_left_hand_corner   Link to this

As Clement helpfully noted, you can find the following link to moon phases on the calendar page:

From that, you can see that the full moon is on February 3 of 1662 (Gregorian). But then you have to subtract 10 days to get the corresponding Julian date, Jan 24 (or is that Jan 23?). And you find that it was approximately full moon on the night of 23 Jan 1661/2 (Julian).

It has been noted several times that whatever the moon phase is today, it is about the same (plus a day or two) in Pepys' blog. Just a happy cooincidence, I guess. If Phil had chosen to start the blog a year earlier or later it wouldn't have worked out so well.

Pauline   Link to this

"choosing our gloves"
Sounded like a custom such as the providing of mourning clothes or mourning rings. Found the following with a quick google:

“The lovely custom of distributing Wedding Favors has been around since ancient times. In the the late 17th century, guests were given favors such as scarves, garters and gloves.”

Pauline   Link to this

"Now the jest was Anthony mistakes...till Will Joyce tells him that he was mistaken"
I take it that Anthony thought Sam was, in a backwards way, encouraging them to continue looking, but for a bride with more money; while Will gets the message straight and halts Anthony's misunderstanding.

Sounds like this wedding and the company have put a little fear in Sam about adding just any old sister-in-law to his family mix.

vicenzo   Link to this

John Evelyn's FUMIFUGIUM: For those that wish to read his treatise to Charles et al:
there 192 references in the google

Mary   Link to this

the invitation to Uncle Fenner's

was on the occasion of his birthday and also, it appears, to celebrate his acquisition of a new wife (even if she is old, ugly etc. and wears a hat); hence the distribution of gloves as noted by Pauline.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Social Necessities
Sam is here torn between family loyalty and respectability and not wanting to drag himself down socially by being seen in the company of midwives and their ilk! Poor Sam! There is a palpable sense of distaste: everything is "sorry", "poor", "mean", "narrow" and he eats his birthday/wedding celebratory meal in a room which reminds him of a dog kennel. It seems Elizabeth was with him, but there is no comment as to her reactions to all this and Sam whisks her away with him (and Wayneman too presumably). Let's hope the new Mrs Fenner was a kindly woman and made the uncle happy, because it seems his relatives are going to keep their distance now.

Pat Stewart Cavalier   Link to this

A foggy day ...
Aléonore d'Aquitaine, s'il vous plaît ! Like saying Edward I was Scottish.

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