Sunday 8 February 1662/63

(Lord’s day). Up, and it being a very great frost, I walked to White Hall, and to my Lord Sandwich’s by the fireside till chapel time, and so to chappell, where there preached little Dr. Duport, of Cambridge, upon Josiah’s words, — “But I and my house, we will serve the Lord.” But though a great scholler, he made the most flat dead sermon, both for matter and manner of delivery, that ever I heard, and very long beyond his hour, which made it worse. Thence with Mr. Creed to the King’s Head ordinary, where we dined well, and after dinner Sir Thomas Willis and another stranger, and Creed and I, fell a-talking; they of the errours and corruption of the Navy, and great expence thereof, not knowing who I was, which at last I did undertake to confute, and disabuse them: and they took it very well, and I hope it was to good purpose, they being Parliament-men. By and by to my Lord’s, and with him a good while talking upon his want of money, and ways of his borrowing some, &c., and then by other visitants, I withdrew and away, Creed and I and Captn. Ferrers to the Park, and there walked finely, seeing people slide, we talking all the while; and Captn. Ferrers telling me, among other Court passages, how about a month ago, at a ball at Court, a child was dropped by one of the ladies in dancing, but nobody knew who, it being taken up by somebody in their handkercher. The next morning all the Ladies of Honour appeared early at Court for their vindication, so that nobody could tell whose this mischance should be. But it seems Mrs. Wells1 fell sick that afternoon, and hath disappeared ever since, so that it is concluded that it was her. Another story was how my Lady Castlemaine, a few days since, had Mrs. Stuart to an entertainment, and at night began a frolique that they two must be married, and married they were, with ring and all other ceremonies of church service, and ribbands and a sack posset in bed, and flinging the stocking; but in the close, it is said that my Lady Castlemaine, who was the bridegroom, rose, and the King came and took her place with pretty Mrs. Stuart. This is said to be very true. Another story was how Captain Ferrers and W. Howe both have often, through my Lady Castlemaine’s window, seen her go to bed and Sir Charles Barkeley in the chamber all the while with her. But the other day Captn. Ferrers going to Sir Charles to excuse his not being so timely at his arms the other day, Sir Charles swearing and cursing told him before a great many other gentlemen that he would not suffer any man of the King’s Guards to be absent from his lodging a night without leave. Not but that, says he, once a week or so I know a gentleman must go …, and I am not for denying it to any man, but however he shall be bound to ask leave to lie abroad, and to give account of his absence, that we may know what guard the King has to depend upon. The little Duke of Monmouth, it seems, is ordered to take place of all Dukes, and so to follow Prince Rupert now, before the Duke of Buckingham, or any else. Whether the wind and the cold did cause it or no I know not, but having been this day or two mightily troubled with an itching all over my body which I took to be a louse or two that might bite me, I found this afternoon that all my body is inflamed, and my face in a sad redness and swelling and pimpled, so that I was before we had done walking not only sick but ashamed of myself to see myself so changed in my countenance, so that after we had thus talked we parted and I walked home with much ado (Captn. Ferrers with me as far as Ludgate Hill towards Mr. Moore at the Wardrobe), the ways being so full of ice and water by peoples’ trampling. At last got home and to bed presently, and had a very bad night of it, in great pain in my stomach, and in great fever.

  1. Winifred Wells, maid of honour to the Queen, who figures in the “Grammont Memoirs.” The king is supposed to have been father of the child. A similar adventure is told of Mary Kirke (afterwards married to Sir Thomas Vernon), who figures in the “Grammont Memoirs” as Miss Warmestre.

27 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

O Captain, our Captain, you enliven every entry in which you appear, you living tabloid you. "This is said to be very true," and who would doubt his word? (Doesn't "dropped" make it sound like one just lost hold of the thing?)
And is it not interesting how much can be said by a mere "dot . . . dot . . . dot"?

(Fill us in, somebody.)

Phil Gyford   Link to this

Don't miss Jeannine's In Depth article on Pepys' walk with Captain Ferrers: http://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth/2006/02/08/a_...

jeannine   Link to this

“ a child was dropped by one of the ladies in dancing, but nobody knew who, it being taken up by somebody in their handkercher”
Slight spoiler..
This baby is said to be the child of Winifred Wells, who is a maid of honour to the Queen, and the King. Although this was one of the many “minor” flings that Charles will have throughout his reign, the results, as these things go, was a child, who, although not noted in this entry, was a stillborn baby. Most would assume that a dead child would be given some sort of burial and or handling that would reflect even the lowest form of civility but as we’ll see in time when Sam records the sequel to this episode, that this will most sadly not be the outcome for this little one. Just be sure to note this baby in your mind and "stay tuned".

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: the dropped child

So, is it correct to say that this stillborn child (who "was dropped by one of the ladies in dancing") actually was delivered while Ms. Wells was dancing?

I second Phil's imperative about Jeannine's article -- very enlightening and impressive work!

Love the scene in the ordinary ... can't you just see Creed and Sam exchanging looks while the Parliament men rail on about "the errours and corruption of the Navy"? But it sounds as if he was very politic in his response.

I wonder what Sam has come down with?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Jeannine’s In Depth article

Provides a most perfect illustration of the difference, and the bridges that can be made, between street gossip and information with background analysis. And demonstrates also how different the one is from the other. It's a beautifully written and constructed piece of prose with allusions, unstated, to several other C 17 authors; quite takes the breath away to see this done at all so splendidly, let alone so fast!

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Correction - last line of above

... done at all, yet so splendidly ...

dirk   Link to this

"once a week or so I know a gentleman must go..."

L&M: "to his whore"

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Is there a lurking Medico in the wings, that can give a very rough opinion to the Question , "Can there be a connection what What Samuell ate well and his upset tummy and fever"?
"...to the King’s Head ordinary, where we dined well,.....
....I found this afternoon that all my body is inflamed, and my face in a sad redness and swelling and pimpled, so that I was before we had done walking not only sick but ashamed of myself to see myself so changed in my countenance, so that after we had thus talked we parted and I walked home with much ado .....
....to bed presently, and had a very bad night of it, in great pain in my stomach, and in great fever...."

jeannine   Link to this

"Dropped Baby"
Todd, I have read many versions of this baby at the ball story in biographies of other people of the time, all with a different twist (it was stillborn, alive, the ladies of the court raised, it, etc.) My guess (from the point of view of someone who has given birth) would be that the child was born elsewhere and perhaps left in the room where the dance would be taking place. "Dropping" a baby in between dance steps, without missing a beat and without notice would be the envy of many a mother, I'm sure!
Having a child solo, without money for support, with a "good name" to uphold, etc. often meant that babies born in this manner were abandoned so that the lady could hide the fact that she'd given birth, not bring shame to herself and/or family and keep herself "marketable" in the marriage arena. Sometimes, in the better cases, the father/mother would secretly smuggle the child away, pay a poor family, distant relative, etc. to raise the child.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: Dropped Baby

Thanks, Jeannine, that makes more sense. I had had visions of Monty Python and the "Every Sperm Is Sacred" scene from "The Meaning of Life" when I first read this.

The fact that "the father/mother would secretly smuggle the child away..." is, of course, the basis of many a story or novel from that time. Like most stories, there's a basis in truth.

Michael R, you're correct in pointing out the difference between gossip and truth, but the thing that struck me after reading Jeannine's article was how close to the truth Ferrers' account was!

A. Hamilton   Link to this

the errours and corruption of the Navy

It seems the Parliament men were well informed, and although Sam "did undertake to confute, and disabuse them: and they took it very well, and I hope it was to good purpose," he already knows the Navy is getting a bad reputation, vide this entry from yesterday:

"Mr. Coventry came before the time of sitting to confer about preparing an account of the extraordinary charge of the Navy since the King’s coming, more than is properly to be applied and called the Navy charge."

The profligate court must have been as great a threat to the Navy budget as all the merchant corruption that has caught Sam's attention. Jeannine's In Depth article on today's court gossip makes reference to the urgency of meeting the expenses of the royal mistresses, and earlier Sam told us of the cost of entertaining the Russian ambassadors. That money has to come from somewhere, and it looks like the Navy takes a big hit. Sam has mentioned the Navy's thin purse, the shameful dodge of paying off crews with scrip that they must sell at steep discount to goldsmiths who turn around and expect to receive full value from the Treasury, which intends to stiff them, and the difficulties of victualling Tangiers (and we know from the background that the victualler goes bankrupt because the Navy never reimburses him). It is not a pretty picture.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

Escrito em Agua, methinks you are right, Sam is probably having a severe allergic reaction, what with the itching and redness and swelling all over his body( Urticaria)

adam w   Link to this

This lurking medico is having touble putting it all together.

"All my body is inflamed, and my face in a sad redness and swelling and pimpled" - sounds very much like urticaria, since it seems to have had a rapid onset. This could have been an allergic reaction to something at the King's Head ordinary, food or wine, but the history is too long, as the red swollen face must be related to: "this day or two mightily troubled with an itching all over my body which I took to be a louse or two that might bite me". Insect bits can certainly precipitate generalised urticaria.

Cellulitis (localised skin infection) can be a red, swollen and itchy reaction to insect bites too but Sam's problem sounds too widespread for that.

How this fits with "a very bad night of it, in great pain in my stomach, and in great fever" is not so clear. Allergic urticaria can cause fever but stomach pains are less likely; perhaps dining well at the King's head while brewing acute urticaria is enough of an explanation. Cellulitis would give him a fever, but if that's what he's got then he's seriously ill.

Looking forward to more details tomorrow!

adam w   Link to this

my post crossed with A De Araujo, looks like the lurkers agree.

stolzi   Link to this

"...it was her."

Sam speaks as English speakers always have and will, despite the efforts of grammarians.

stolzi   Link to this

Josiah’s words, — “But I and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

That was Joshua, not Josiah. You may find the words in the Book of Joshua in the Bible, Joshua 24:15. A very pregnant passage from which the good doctor could have mined an excellent sermon, alas that he didn't.

But I'm sure that Dr. Duport he didn't say it was Josiah. Now did Pepys make that error, or whoever transcribed his shorthand?

Paul Dyson   Link to this

The Royal Society

There have been a few references in the Diary and Annotations to the Royal Society, most recently in December 2005. Today comes news of the discovery of early minutes of the Society written by Robert Hooke. People involved in it were men whom Sam knew. An article in the Guardian begins with the following paragraph and there is a link which will open the whole article in Guardian Unlimited. Are there any of our Fellowship of Pepysian Annotators out there with £1M to spare to preserve the minutes for the RS?

"A long-lost 17th century manuscript charting the birth of modern science has been found gathering dust in a cupboard in a Hampshire home. Filled with crabby italics and acerbic asides, the 520 or so yellowing and stained pages are the handwritten minutes of the Royal Society as recorded by the brilliant scientist Robert Hooke, one of the society's original fellows and curator of experiments."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,1705...

AlanB   Link to this

A real winter's day with this great frost and the ways being filled with trampled ice whilst others slide in the park. Would there have been anyone responsible for keeping the ways open? What London needs is a 'Mr Plow'.

Terry F   Link to this

Away with such frivolities! Back to the text of the sermon!
Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." http://rosetta.reltech.org/ECanon/search.php?qr...

A fit topic for today's court manners brought back from France; but had Dr. Duport, of Cambridge, so applied the text, it would hardly have been "the most flat dead sermon, both for matter and manner of delivery, that ever [Sam'l] heard"!

celtcahill   Link to this

The rash.

What used to be called neurodermatitis, and still is occaisionally. Makes one wonder if this is another episode where his kidneys seem to blink off in important ways for a few hours or days.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...But I and my house, we will serve the Lord..." I dothe think it be very pointed, as in 'I know how my bread be buttered therefore tacitus * about 'wot I dothe thinke' and I will be nice , and say nutin' about the knightly events.
[*I shall be silent or tactful]
Thank ye all from St Thomas?

dirk   Link to this

Josiah vs. Joshua

There are those who claim that Joshua and Josiah are one and the same... (I'm no Bible expert, so it's not for me to say.)

http://www.askwhy.co.uk/judaism/0340Joshua.html

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

I don't think neurodermatitis can be a correct diagnosis here, because that is a chronic condition and this seems to have flared up pretty quickly. Allergic reaction sounds more likely. Alternatively, could it have been an illness such as measles or chicken pox? Or would those have been familiar enough to Sam that he would have recognised them for what they were?

dirk   Link to this

measles or pox

I would think measles and chicken pox were sufficiently known to be recognised as such by the medical profession in the 17th c. Personally I'd go for food poisoning and/or an allergic reaction.

Terry F   Link to this

"Josiah vs. Joshua"?

Dirk, unfortunately, though the author of the web-page you adduce very carefully dates his essay, he fails both to date the sources he disses (or provide full citations for any) and to consider other prominent views. Joshua and Josiah are centuries apart.

(I do have a little biblical scholarship in my background.)

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

re: stomache Ake; it usually be what thy ate; the pickled Gherkin be pickled by useing large unlined copper pots and the brine would leach out the copper, into that fat juicy guord, giving thy Cucumis angina* a lush green look from the cupric salts.
Test thy gherkin for poison by sticking it, thy pickled green delight with a stainless steel needle and if thy needle turns to the colour of green back, then it be adulterated and ready to give thee thy stomuck an acke,
a mis use of Kulansky Salt p 176.
* " Cumumis anguria"

Australian Susan   Link to this

"very long beyond his hour"

I am uncertain whether this means the sermon lasted for more than an hour or the service did. Morning Prayer (which is what Sam would have been attending) without anthems can be got through in 20 minutes. I think if there was music, Sam would have commented on it as he does when he attends the Chapel Royal. So I think this means the sermon went on for about 40 minutes or more. In the days before it was common to have pocket watches which could be pointedly taken out, shaken and listened to as a Hint to the preacher, I suppose Sam only knew the time when he found a public clock afterwards. On the subject of long sermons, here is a short joke which I think Sam would have appreciated: Small boy is attending church with his father and is of an age to ask questions. To each of his son's questions about what is going on, the father replies, explaining matters to the boy. When sermon time comes round, the preacher removes his watch and puts it in his view on the edge of the lectern. "What does that mean?" whispers the boy. "Nothing at all" replies the father.

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