Sunday 28 December 1662

(Lord’s day). Up and, with my wife to church, and coming out, went out both before my Lady Batten, he not being there, which I believe will vex her. After dinner my wife to church again, and I to the French church, where I heard an old man make a tedious, long sermon, till they were fain to light candles to baptize the children by. So homewards, meeting my brother Tom, but spoke but little with him, and calling also at my uncle Wight’s, but met him and her going forth, and so I went directly home, and there fell to the renewing my last year’s oaths, whereby it has pleased God so much to better myself and practise, and so down to supper, and then prayers and bed.

9 Annotations

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

went out both before my Lady Batten... which I believe will vex her.
Do we think this was a mistake on Sam's part, or a deliberate slight?

dirk   Link to this

"was a mistake on Sam’s part"

I'm not sure whether it was a mistake. Could have been deliberate, but not necessarily with the intention to vex the Lady. I'm no expert at 17th c protocol (which I'm pretty sure played some part in leaving the church), but the fact that her husband wasn't with her, might mean that Sam & Elizabeth had precedence in terms of protocol. Any experts?

Australian Susan   Link to this

Deliberate slight?
Hmm. hard to tell, isn't it? But Sam hasn't been above trouncing the Battens on status before, so maybe it was accidently-on-purpose. ("My dear Lady Batten, I didn't see you there!")And everyone in church will have noticed this. (without soap operas on tv, people had to make their own entertainment and going to church figured largely in this).
Lovely image of fed-up vergers tramping around the church (no doubt muttering about their rheumatics and the cost of candles) to provide sufficient illumination for the baptisms. Wonder if the poor mums and babes had had to endure the "tedious long sermon" as well or if they had just rocked up for the sacrament?
I also wonder why Elizabeth didn't go to the French Church too, but instead went back to St Olave's. Too far to walk when still feeling poorly and in cold weather? Or looking for another chance to snub the Battens?

Australian Susan   Link to this

Protocol
A wife takes the status of a husband (unless she has higher status in her own right).
So, Sir W not being there should have made no difference - I think the "he not being there" was just an added note - to indicate that she was on her own and the snubbing was not to both. Wonder where he was?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Sam..." Bess smiles her most winning one on seeing him emerge. " 'Rhodes II' was so good. Couldn't we see it one more time?"

Moral dilemma... Sam freezes up in perplexity. Oaths newly sworn...Poor wretch seeking a little fun.

"Just once more...I haven't seen half the ones you have this year. And I have been good about losing Gosnell, haven't I? You said so..." Slight pout...

Highly attractive slight pout...

Ummn...

Solemn oaths...Poor lonely Bess.

Great play...Dwindling finances.

Hmmn. Expense (and hassle) of new companion...Easy points with Bethie for a few shillings.

"Well...I suppose."

celtcahill   Link to this

I had in the past read this as meaning that Lady B would be vexed that her husband wasn't there. My goodness, rank determined who left the church first ? No wonder Grampa left - two of 'em - 13 generations ago in 1637.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Sam'l?"

"Dear?"

"I was just trying to figure this out. You make 350ls per annum, right?"

Why did I ever mention that...? "Ummn...Yes, dearest."

"And you pay out 100ls to old Mr. Barlow, each year right? Sweet old man."

"Uh...Yes. And what a sweet old fellow he is, Beth. You know we ought to go visit him...Say today?"

"Oh, yes...But Sam. If you've only worked at the Naval Office for two years and you only get 250ls not counting expenses..."

"Yes, yes...Why don't we be off? Poor Barlow must be lonely at this time of year."

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Thus the expression "After thee the my Laud [{under ones breath} and there goes an ass]"

Australian Susan   Link to this

Leaving Church
Remember that the Battens, Penns, Pepys etc. had their own gallery in St Olave's with its own entrance, so what Sam and Elizabeth did would be *very* obvious.

People did not only leave church according to status, but they would go up to the altar to receive communion in order of rank too. In the last Parish we were in before we left England (in '91), this was still happening, with the lady from the manor going up to the altar rails first. She had her own box pew too. I have to admit, when I was rostered to do church cleaning, I did not clean that pew ("let her clean her own" I muttered to myself.)

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.