Sunday 23 March 1661/62

(Lord’s day). This morning was brought me my boy’s fine livery, which is very handsome, and I do think to keep to black and gold lace upon gray, being the colour of my arms, for ever. To church in the morning, and so home with Sir W. Batten, and there eat some boiled great oysters, and so home, and while I was at dinner with my wife I was sick, and was forced to vomit up my oysters again, and then I was well. By and by a coach came to call me by my appointment, and so my wife and I carried to Westminster to Mrs. Hunt’s, and I to Whitehall, Worcester House, and to my Lord Treasurer’s to have found Sir G. Carteret, but missed in all these places. So back to White Hall, and there met with Captn. Isham, this day come from Lisbon, with letters from the Queen to the King. And he did give me letters which speak that our fleet is all at Lisbon;1 and that the Queen do not intend to embarque sooner than tomorrow come fortnight. So having sent for my wife, she and I to my Lady Sandwich, and after a short visit away home. She home, and I to Sir G. Carteret’s about business, and so home too, and Sarah having her fit we went to bed.

  1. One of these letters was probably from John Creed. Mr. S. J. Davey, of 47, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, in 1889 had in his possession nine long letters from Creed to Pepys. In the first of these, dated from Lisbon, March, 1662, Creed wrote: “My Lord Embassador doth all he can to hasten the Queen’s Majestie’s embarquement, there being reasons enough against suffering any unnecessary delay.” There appear to have been considerable delays in the arrangements for the following declaration of Charles II. was dated June 22nd, 1661: “Charles R. Whereas his Maj. is resolved to declare, under his Royall hand and seale, the most illustrious Lady Infanta of Portugall to be his lawfull wife, before the Treaty shall be signed by the King of Portugall; which is to be done only for the better expediting the marriage, without sending to Rome for a dispensation, which the laws of Portugall would require if the said most Illustrious Infanta were to be betrothed in that Kingdome,” &c.

19 Annotations

vicenzo   Link to this

There was an R in the month: "... I was sick, and was forced to vomit up my oysters again,..." Quick recovery too.

Bradford   Link to this

Hasn't our boy been throwing up a lot lately?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"being the colour of my arms forever"
Does he have arms already? what do they look like?

Clement   Link to this

Evacuating the bitter, puritan taste of his new year's resolutions, which disagreed with his natural constitution.
Or the oysters were old and the small beer gone off after a recent warm spell.

Clement   Link to this

Not his specifically his arms, but his family's.
They appear over a door at the Pepys Building in Magdalene College, Cambridge. Anyone local who can nip over and take a digital photo? I can't find a web link.

Pepys' motto: "Mens cujusque is est quisque" ("The mind's the man"), also appears over the door.

One possibility from a genealogical page:

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

'Sarah having her fit' - can anybody throw any light on this?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Sarah having her fit..."

Sarah had an ague I believe so she probably has been passing through periods of severe fever, vomiting, convulsions perhaps... Sam's not too specific but our boy and girl may deserve some credit for staying up to comfort the poor kid till the crisis was past.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Lucky Sam...And us...with those oysters...

I'm reminded of the scene in the film "Topsy-Turvy" where Gilbert and Sullivan actor George Grossmith's shake-down session with D'Oyly Carte is interrupted for similiar reasons...

Pedro   Link to this

Coat of arms..Pepys Family.

Appears on the Impington village sign.

Pedro   Link to this

"tomorrow come fortnight"

Tommorrow week, tomorrow fortnight. Phrase still used in many parts of England.

DrCari   Link to this

Sam refers to the Queen in Lisbon preparing to "embarque." This would appear to suggest that a proxy marriage between Charles II and Catherine of Braganza took place before her arrival in England. At the formal presentation of Catherine to King Charles, he is reported to have artlessly quipped, "You have sent me a Bat!"

JohnT   Link to this

There seems to be no problem with conducting semi-official business on the Sabbath, at least after he has been to church. This is a long way removed from the biblical origins of the Third Commandment.

Accustomed to the recent English Protestant rigours of keeping Sunday such a deadly boring day, this seems odd so soon after the Puritan heyday.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

" ... the colour of my arms ..."

L&M: Pepys now used the arms confirmed to Thomas Pepys of South Creake, Norf., in 1563. They were sable, on a bend or, between two nags' heads erased argent, three fleurs de lys of the field. They are still to be seen on the monument he put up to his wife in St Olave's after her death ... and on the rosewater cup and dish he gave as Master to the Clothworkers' Company in 1677.

Pedro   Link to this

"This would appear to suggest that a proxy marriage between Charles II and Catherine of Braganza took place before her arrival in England."

The point of sending Catarina, unmarried, besides being a great compliment to the reigning monarch, was that she could be married with the style and titles that belonged to her. Without the blessing of the Pope. If married in Portugal, she would have been called Catarina the daughter of the late Duke of Braganza, and not a royal princess of Portugal.
Clarendon in his papers says..."The most jealous nation in the world chose rather to send the daughter of the kingdom to be married in England, and not to be married until she came thither".

Summary from Cambell-Davidson's Biography of Catherine.

David A. Smith   Link to this

"forced to vomit up my oysters again"

Does anyone know where Sam might have gone to relieve himself in this way? Surely not in the dining room itself. We are in the time of the chamber pot, but oyster evacuation seems a bit -- well, *visible* -- compared with discreetly turning away for a tinkle ...

A. Hamilton   Link to this

vomit up my oysters again

A queasy stomach because of yesterday's roistering, perhaps? Vomiting an alternative to being testy with wife and servants?

Mary   Link to this

turbulent oysters.

A few days ago, Sam described how he had to 'go out' to vomit after drinking small beer. Both then and now he probably made for the garden, the gutter or the house of office, assuming that time allowed.

vicenzo   Link to this

There be hearth that he pay tax on; then cover the puke in the fire ash.
which made me think of when he be peruked. Da!

Pedro   Link to this

King Charles, he is reported to have artlessly quipped, "You have sent me a Bat!"

From Davidson's biography of Catherine, she says that this remark was written by Lord Dartmouth in his notes to Burnet's history. She describes Burnet, as many others do, as "the forever inaccurate". The remark is contrary to many other accounts, including Sandwhich, who was present at the first meeting.

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