Sunday 16 March 1661/62

(Lord’s day). This morning, till churches were done, I spent going from one church to another and hearing a bit here and a bit there. So to the Wardrobe to dinner with the young Ladies, and then into my Lady’s chamber and talked with her a good while, and so walked to White Hall, an hour or two in the Park, which is now very pleasant. Here the King and Duke came to see their fowl play. The Duke took very civil notice of me. So walked home, calling at Tom’s, giving him my resolution about my boy’s livery. Here I spent an hour walking in the garden with Sir W. Pen, and then my wife and I thither to supper, where his son William is at home not well. But all things, I fear, do not go well with them; they look discontentedly, but I know not what ails them. Drinking of cold small beer here I fell ill, and was forced to go out and vomit, and so was well again and went home by and by to bed. Fearing that Sarah would continue ill, wife and I removed this night to our matted chamber and lay there.

40 Annotations

Bradford  •  Link

Interesting, Sam's round of sermon-sampling. Any bets on what sort of fowl play the King's and Duke's birds get up to?

Alan Bedford  •  Link

" The Duke took very civil notice of me."

Ah, yes, to see and be seen! "Good day, your grace". "Ah, Master Pepys. How nice to see you this afternoon". And everyone walks on....

dirk  •  Link

"small beer"

A "second brewing": a fairly refreshing drink with an alcohol content of 0.8 volume percent on average. Good if you're thirsty, but would not make you drunk. Presumably not always of superior quality.


vicenzo  •  Link

'Tis March time, birds and the bees time "...came to see their fowl play...." Sam can also smell spring in the air with a spring in his step, eyeing the new options, fouling the the different pews.
I doth think it be Sam watching bird island and punning to himself.
We we need an OED for the mention.

daniel  •  Link

"do not go well with them; they look discontentedly, but I know not what ails them."

Perhaps his son's Quakerism is causing them trouble.

Harry  •  Link

"Drinking of cold small beer here I fell ill"

On a gravestone a few metres from the entrance to Winchester Cathedral there is this appropriate inscription:

"Here sleeps a Hampshire Grenadier,
Who caught his death by drinking cold small Beer,
Soldiers be wise from his untimely fall,
And when ye're hot dring Strong or none at all.

The gravestone was replaced by the North Hants Militia in 1802 in consequence of the original stone being destroyed, and again replaced by the North Hampshire Regiment in 1966."

Mary  •  Link

"removed to our matted chamber"

This can be taken two ways. Either Sam and Elizabeth were so concerned about Sarah that they moved to a room closer to hers so that they might be near her in the night, or they moved farther away ot avoid being disturbed by her during the night. I prefer the former interpretation, but others may differ.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"their fowl" Are these the St James Park pelicans?
Re Sam and Elizabeth's chamber removal - I took this to mean they want to be further away from the maid - possibly because of contagion: they thought then that illness frquently came from bad air emanating from the one ill and being breathed in by those around (that's one reason why the judiciary carried nosegays to hold to their noses - another was because of the stench of the common people!).

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"a bit here and a bit there"
Ah the remote control!

Bill Braithwaite  •  Link

I hope this doesn't put him off GREEN BEER for today!!

Happy St. Paddy's Day! ;)))

Rex Gordon  •  Link

The Birds in St James Park ...

L&M, in their note to Sam's entry for 18 August 1661, say: "The modern Birdcage Walk preserves the memory of this aviary, which was greatly extended, if not founded, by Charles II. Most of the birds were water-birds living on the ponds or in a decoy; others - e.g. the exotic varieties presented by the E. India Company - were kept in a 'poultry-house'. In 1661 there were parrots and cassowaries; in 1663 pelicans, Indian ducks, Muscovy ducks and white crows. Descriptions in Mundy, v. 156-8 (1663); Monconys, ii. 22-3, 58 (1663); Evelyn, 9 February 1665; Magalotti, p. 168 (1669)."

Ruben  •  Link

I looked at
and found that..."The Brown pelicans seems to spent most of their times resting, but some times they play around among themselves! They are very friendly to each other, they treat each individual with respect, and kindness. They are birds that anyone would like to watch. This popular huge bird has clown of personality, doing just about anything for a fish.When the pelicans eat their meal they seem to enjoy it, just as other animals do."
I do not know which kind of Pelican they had in the Park, but the Brown Pelican is a good bet, as they lived on the east coast of North America and the Caribe.

Stolzi  •  Link

The Birds in St James Park -

I wonder what “living in a decoy” means?

Sam does not seem to fear that his vomiting might mean the same ailment that Sarah has.

JWB  •  Link

"removed to our matted chamber"
I think Sarah, in the normal course of things, would have slept in the same chamber as her mistress. They’ve moved out,leaving Sarah in her bed, to be away from her.

Bob T  •  Link

Small beer
This morning after I came back from the "Y", I grabbed a can of low alcohol beer from the fridge, and took it out on the sun-deck. It was while I was listening to the birds arguing, and uttering threats, that I realised that I was drinking Sam's small beer. It is made by Labatt's and has a 0.5% alcohol contents, and mine was a lot colder than Sam would ever have had. Maybe the quality control in those days wasn't what it should have been.

JohnT  •  Link

I presume this is Sam using brother Tom in his tailoring capacity to produce a livery for Wayneman. But what does the livery consist of for the servant of a man who presumably does not have a coat of arms ?

Rex Gordon  •  Link

What "living in a decoy" means ...

The word "decoy" is derived from a Dutch word, "endekooy", or "duck cage". Originally a decoy was a trap into which ducks were driven, by dogs or serfs or some other suitable labor. The decoys Sam saw some of the birds living in must have been large cages. The Book of Duck Decoys by Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey (1886) has descriptions of hundreds of them, and illustrations. See it here:

Sjoerd  •  Link

I never knew your "decoy" came from our "de kooy". We had a lot of these in this part of our country (Holland), and Kooyman is a very common name.

Apart from using dogs or "serfs or other suitable labour" (?) the main attraction of a "kooy" for passing wild ducks were the tame ducks or ducks with clipped wings already there. Or WOODEN ducks of course. So, interesting word, decoy.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The ones presently in St James's Park (anecdotally descended from 17thc ones) are white ones with black bits on the wings (just like the ones I see here in Queensland). Presumably, as they are not recorded until 1663, Sam did not see them on his walk today. We had a discussion about the cassowaries last year.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Reference for the previous discussions on birds in the Park was Sunday, August 18th, 1661.

BradW  •  Link

More on "kooy"

It occurs to me that "kooy" seems similar (both in meaning and physical structure) to the English "coop," meaning a structure for enclosing chickens. My dictionary says that coop came to English from the Norse "kaup," a wooden can, via Middle Eglish "coupe," a basket. Still I wonder if the Norse and Dutch terms don't have a common Germanic root.

Pedro  •  Link

Information from Essex.

March: 16. A hopeful morning for dryness, the lord be blessed for every act of mercy and bounty. god good to us in our many outward mercies, god gave me a comfortable Sabbath, my heart sensible of its nothing, god good in giving us bowels to relieve one in want by fire. my son very cheerful and looks well, his fellow apprentice is going away, the lord do him good by all. this day. Corbet , Okey , and Barkstead formerly Lt. of the Tower, who were taken in Holland by Sir George Downing formerly scoutmaster of Cromwells army, were committed to the tower, what changes god makes in the world. who also was Okeys chaplain.

dirk  •  Link

coop & decoy: a common Germanic root?

I doubt it.
According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

decoy: de+kooi = the cage - from Middle Dutch coie, from Latin cavea

coop: Middle English coupe, possibly from Middle Dutch kupe = basket, tub, from Germanic *kupon, possibly from Latin cupa, cask (modern Dutch: kuip)

vicenzo  •  Link

As Sam saw all the fowl in courting plumage, then he knew, he better deck out his lad, to let the world know that he has the farthings to parade his boy around the City. "livery" from the Latin liberare, da! in Roma it be called it "vestis famularis" domestic tunic [blanket][now it be familiar shirt or Tea shirt with coffe stains].
" hour or two in the Park...": 'tis why the preety do love the Balls , promena[r]ding, or parading with parasol, etc. 'Tis a joy to watch, it being Easter soon.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"The Duke took very civil notice of me..."

As a fairly new executive administrator in DC, you are understandably pleased when US Vice-President Dick Cheney takes you by the hand and addresses you by name.

Mark Pearson  •  Link

Ruben- Regarding Pelicans and Muscovies,
Life as a ranger lets you have a go at rescue attempts of the local wildlife now and then. We saved one Brown Pelican last year who had collapsed due to exhaustion. He would hold my hand very gently in his beak as we transported him to a shelter. I belive he sensed our intent. Meet a muscovy once just north of Victoria B.C. who would happily walk up tp the helicopters as they landed. All made a point to great him. He would really get put out if you ignored him.I wonder how well the birds were treated in the aviary in St. James Park?

Glyn  •  Link

For the record, the pelicans that are now in St James' Park are fed every day at 3 pm. I am fairly sure that some are from Poland and Russia, and some from Louisiana in the USA.

Bill  •  Link

"Here the King and Duke came to see their fowl play"

Water-fowl appear to have been kept in St. James's Park from the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but the ponds were replenished after the Restoration.
---Wheatley, 1899.

Bill  •  Link

"The Duke took very civil notice of me. So walked home, calling at Tom’s, giving him my resolution about my boy’s livery."

If the Duke notices one, perhaps it is time to dress up the servants. Sam's ascent in his world is accelerating,

Bill  •  Link

"Drinking of cold small beer here I fell ill"

But for the Brewing of Small-Beer, or common Ale, take something above the quantity of a Barrel of Water scalding hot, which put into your Mashing-tub alone; let it cool 'till you can see your Face in it, and put to it four Bushels of Malt, pouring of it in by degrees, and stirring of it well: Let it stand on the Malt two Hours then draw it off, and let it boil an Hour and an half in Summer, or an Hour in Winter; and when it is boiled enough, it will look curdled. Of this first Wort you may make a Barrel of Ale: After this is boiled, scald about a Barrel of Water more, and put it upon your Malt, letting it stand an Hour and an half: This draw off, and put the same quantity of hot Water on again, observing the same Rules, as before directed, of this you may make an Hogshead of Small-Beer.
---The Whole Art of Husbandry. J. Mortimer, 1716.

Bill  •  Link

"an hour or two in the Park, which is now very pleasant. Here the King and Duke came to see their fowl play"

The fate of things lies always in the dark;
What Cavalier would know St. James's Park?
For Locket's stands where gardens once did spring,
And wild ducks quack where grasshoppers did sing.
---The Poetical Works of Dr. William King. W. King, 1781.

Baz  •  Link

Would I be correct in concluding that Sir W Penn's son, also William, is linked to Pennsylvania?

HRW  •  Link

Can anyone explain a "matted chamber"?

odorsey  •  Link

HRW, see the second entry from the top. Seems it just meant covered or laid with mats.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘decoy, n.2 < Decoy . . was preceded by a simple form coy < Dutch kooi of the same meaning . .; but the origin of the de- is undetermined.
1. A pond or pool out of which run narrow arms or ‘pipes’ covered with network or other contrivances into which wild ducks or other fowl may be allured and there caught.
. . a1684 J. Evelyn Diary anno 1665 (1955) III. 404 His Majestie was now finishing the Decoy in the Park . . ‘

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘mat, v.1
. . 2. trans. (usu. in pass.). a. To cover or protect with mats or matting; to provide with a mat. Also with up.
. . 1664 J. Evelyn Kalendarium Hortense 81 in Sylva Keep the Doors and Windows of your Conservatories well matted.
1672–3 in Trans. Devonshire Assoc. Adv. Sci. (1894) 26 345 Ffor stopping of the presentment at the Deane Ruralls Renewing ffor nott Matting the seates . . ‘

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