Monday 24 March 1661/62

Early Sir G. Carteret, both Sir Williams and I on board the Experiment, to dispatch her away, she being to carry things to the Madeiras with the East Indy fleet. Here (Sir W. Pen going to Deptford to send more hands) we staid till noon talking, and eating and drinking a good ham of English bacon, and having put things in very good order home, where I found Jane, my old maid, come out of the country, and I have a mind to have her again. By and by comes La Belle Pierce to see my wife, and to bring her a pair of peruques of hair, as the fashion now is for ladies to wear; which are pretty, and are of my wife’s own hair, or else I should not endure them. After a good whiles stay, I went to see if any play was acted, and I found none upon the post, it being Passion week. So home again, and took water with them towards Westminster; but as we put off with the boat Griffin came after me to tell me that Sir G. Carteret and the rest were at the office, so I intended to see them through the bridge and come back again, but the tide being against us, when we were almost through we were carried back again with much danger, and Mrs. Pierce was much afeard and frightened. So I carried them to the other side and walked to the Beare, and sent them away, and so back again myself to the office, but finding nobody there I went again to the Old Swan, and thence by water to the New Exchange, and there found them, and thence by coach carried my wife to Bowes to buy something, and while they were there went to Westminster Hall, and there bought Mr. Grant’s book of observations upon the weekly bills of mortality, which appear to me upon first sight to be very pretty. So back again and took my wife, calling at my brother Tom’s, whom I found full of work, which I am glad of, and thence at the New Exchange and so home, and I to Sir W. Batten’s, and supped there out of pure hunger and to save getting anything ready at home, which is a thing I do not nor shall not use to do. So home and to bed.

28 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"a pair of peruques"---artificial curls (Shorter Pepys glossary).

Spoiler: In 1666, when fashion advocated "fair" sidelocks for even "black" women (i.e. brunette), such as Elizabeth, Samuel indeed objected violently.

Let us draw attention once again to Liza Picard's invaluable 1997 book "Restoration London," which takes as its framework the Diary period; see "General Reference > History Resources" for that, and for a link to Graunt's Bills of Mortality. "Pretty" might refer to the book's production values, but hardly to its contents.

dirk   Link to this

"and so back again myself to the office, but finding nobody there I went again to the Old Swan, and thence by water to the New Exchange, and there found them"

We've seen similar entries before. I appears that a good part of Sam's working day is often spent merely looking for the people he works with. Something one cannot really imagine nowadays.

roboto   Link to this

"but the tide being against us, when we were almost through we were carried back again with much danger"
This sounds like a "near miss" auto accident today.

language hat   Link to this

"and to save getting anything ready at home, which is a thing I do not nor shall not use to do"

I can hear Mrs. P. sighing heavily...

Pauline   Link to this

"...I went again to the Old Swan, and thence by water to the New Exchange, and there found them, and thence by coach carried my wife..."
Dirk, I thought it was his wife and La Belle Pierce that he went to find, retracing his steps and knowing where they had likely moved on to. Perhaps he goes to Batten that evening to get a reprise of the meeting he has missed.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Experiment

Isn't this an unusually "modern" name for a ship in the 17th century, when the meaning of the word was turning from "experience" to something close to our sense of a scientific test -- a usage beginning with or around the time of Bacon?

Pauline   Link to this

"...out of pure hunger and to save getting anything ready at home, which is a thing I do not nor shall not use to do."
As Elisabeth has come home with him, I read this differently, language hat. I read it as he does not, nor intend to make it a habit to, impose on friends for food when it is not an open invitation (like at the Wardrobe) or an offered invitation. But he needed to meet with Batten and finds himself very hungry--the maid is sick and his wife is just back home and will need at least a little time to get something ready. Your reading works too.

Alan Bedford   Link to this

"...which appear to me upon first sight to be very pretty."

I think that's in the sense of "Clever; adroit" (American Heritage Dictionary, definition 2). Graunt's book was one of the first statistical studies of mortality that led to modern actuarial science.

vicenzo   Link to this

Sam after reading the Chart would be affeared and also could take solice, no one died from excessive drinking but Ague be one of the leading causes of departure: [see grant/graunt]

Ruben   Link to this

Captain Graunt,
from the collection of Otago University, were a virtual visit is a must. (They have a lot of objects from Pepys time, including a set of playing cards that belonged to Pepys).
see: http://www.stat.ucla.edu/history/people/graunt.... for Graunt
and
http://www.library.otago.ac.nz/exhibitions/lond...
for Otago's University "Glimpses of London's Past"

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"by water to the New Exchange, and there found them"
Like Pauline, I think the 'them' here refers to Elizabeth and Mrs. Pierce, not to Sam's office mates. Otherwise the immediately following clause about taking his wife by coach to Bowes makes no sense. But Dirk is right that Sam spends a lot of time looking for people he works with. Apparently it was a normal, expected part of life. At least Sam doesn't seem to express frustration about it, or report that others were put out that he wasn't there for the 10 AM meeting.

Mary   Link to this

Bowes.

I wonder whether Pepys left out a letter/symbol here and really meant to write 'Bowles'? John Bowles was a grocer who had premises in New Palace Yard and this location would make clear sense in terms of Sam and Elizabeth's peregrinations today. Whilst Elizabeth is doing her shopping in New Palace Yard, Sam nips across to Westminster Hall and trots back to collect her again. They both then walk the few yards to Tom's place and, having achieved all their errands in that part of Westminster, they walk home via the New Exchange in The Strand.

Wim van der Meij   Link to this

- Weekly bills of mortality - Warrington has the following, to me rather crypic, note on this: "Burnet remarks, 'Own Times, Vol i, p.401, edit. 1823, that 'Sir William Petty published his Observations on the Bills of Mortality, in the name of one Grant, a papist."
This is confirmed by Evelyn, Diary, 22nd March 1675."

JWB   Link to this

Ruben's link to Otago U.
Worth the visit for: "waywiser", "Wrenaissance" and especially Lofting's "new sucking worm engine".

JWB   Link to this

"...drinking a good ham of English bacon"
Wonder if has been rendered liquid by something similar to Lofting's engine? Liquid Spam.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Petty and Gra(u)nt ...

Wim - L&M's footnote to this entry says that "the long-held view that Graunt's friend, Sir William Petty, should have the credit for the book is now discounted: D.V. Glass in Proc. Roy. Soc. B 159/14+. Cf also Dr de Beer's review of the evidence in Evelyn, iv. 60, n.3." (I wonder what they mean :-)

acetonic   Link to this

"I found Jane, my old maid, come out of the country, and I have a mind to have her again"

I wonder if he means to re-employ her or to have her in a different way?

vicenzo   Link to this

Re: Jane: to be re-employed: Sam be tired of the shin nani gangs, his latest under the stairs repartee of help be, plus Ague is a known killing disease, so then the insurance policy.

David A. Smith   Link to this

"peruques ... of my wife’s own hair, or else I should not endure them"
I like this, both for its simple esthetics (he wants Elizabeth to look in public as she does to him) and also, inferentially, that he thinks his wife has lovely hair, and he would not trade it.

David A. Smith   Link to this

"So back again and took my wife"
Concur with Vicente: his phraseology regarding Jane is unambiguous *for the time and the diary,* as my excerpt above demonstrates (vis-a-vis Elizabeth).
It's we who have evolved the word constructions.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Sam and wigs
I think that Sam just doesn't like false hair on women: smacks too much of the lady of the streets perhaps or just gall to his Puritan soul. We have seen other clashes between Sam and Elizabeth over things what she perceives as fashionable and wants to have or do and which he does not like, usually either because he thinks Elizabeth's resultant appearance offensive or because of the expense. Yet he does try to mould his own appearance to what is deemed acceptable in these changing times - though he does feel uneasy about it sometimes.

dirk   Link to this

"a pair of peruques of hair (...), which (...) are of my wife’s own hair"

This means that Elizabeth must have been saving up her own hair for some time.

I don't remember any reference in Sam's diary entries to having a haircut (of course a very down to earth event not worth mentioning), but if Elizabeth's cut off hair was sufficiently long to have it made into "peruques", the time between haircuts must have been considerable.

Just a thought...

vicenzo   Link to this

Ladies and Gents present TOWELS
Baths and Bath-stoves.
A Bill for Erecting and Using of Baths and Bathstoves in the Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales, was this Day read the First time

From: British History Online
Source: House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 24 March 1662. Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8, (1802).
URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com..., Sir George
Date: 26/03/2005

Australian Susan   Link to this

Baths
Tunbridge Wells became the first fashionable inland bathing place using natural springs around this time to be followed by Bath, Clifton and Cheltenham. And sea-bathing then became popular too in south coast resorts such as Weymouth.

Mary   Link to this

Sam's haircuts.

Admittedly he doesn't mention this mundane rite regularly, but this is what he means when he notes every so often that the barber has trimmed him.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Early Sir G. Carteret, both Sir Williams and I on board the Experiment, to dispatch her away, she being to carry things to the Madeiras with the East Indy fleet."

5th instant Pepys had gone "to the Exchange to hire a ship for the Maderas, but could get none." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/03/15/

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I found Jane, my old maid, come out of the country, and I have a mind to have her again."

Jane Birch served the Pepyses from August 1658 to August 1661, from March 1662 to February 1663, and from March 1666 to March 1669. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"...I went to see if any play was acted, and I found none upon the post...."

Playbills were displayed outside the theatres and on posts in the streets (hence 'poster').

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