Thursday 2 April 1663

Up by very betimes and to my office, where all the morning till towards noon, and then by coach to Westminster Hall with Sir W. Pen, and while he went up to the House I walked in the Hall with Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, that I met there, talking about my business the other day with Holmes, whom I told my mind, and did freely tell how I do depend upon my care and diligence in my employment to bear me out against the pride of Holmes or any man else in things that are honest, and much to that purpose which I know he will make good use of. But he did advise me to take as few occasions as I can of disobliging Commanders, though this is one that every body is glad to hear that he do receive a check. By and by the House rises and I home again with Sir W. Pen, and all the way talking of the same business, to whom I did on purpose tell him my mind freely, and let him see that it must be a wiser man than Holmes (in these very words) that shall do me any hurt while I do my duty. I to remember him of Holmes’s words against Sir J. Minnes, that he was a knave, rogue, coward, and that he will kick him and pull him by the ears, which he remembered all of them and may have occasion to do it hereafter to his owne shame to suffer them to be spoke in his presence without any reply but what I did give him, which, has caused all this feud. But I am glad of it, for I would now and then take occasion to let the world know that I will not be made a novice. Sir W. Pen took occasion to speak about my wife’s strangeness to him and his daughter, and that believing at last that it was from his taking of Sarah to be his maid, he hath now put her away, at which I am glad. He told me, that this day the King hath sent to the House his concurrence wholly with them against the Popish priests, Jesuits, &c., which gives great content, and I am glad of it. So home, whither my father comes and dines with us, and being willing to be merry with him I made myself so as much as I could, and so to the office, where we sat all the afternoon, and at night having done all my business I went home to my wife and father, and supped, and so to bed, my father lying with me in Ashwell’s bed in the red chamber.

22 Annotations

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

for I would now and then take occasion to let the world know that I will not be made a novice.
A fascinating insight - Sam is no physical hero in the style of all the sea-dogs around him, but he has the courage of his convictions and sense of duty.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Alas, poor Sarah...We knew her gossipy mouth, Sir Will. No doubt you and Lady Penn experienced it too.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"this day the King hath sent to the House his concurrence wholly with them against the Popish priests, Jesuits, &c., which gives great content..."

"Oh, yes. I am so very happy to give the fanatical maniacs who called my mother a Papist whore and cut my sainted father's head off full license to torment Catholics to their dear little hearts' content." Charles signs with beaming flourish...

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

But Charles's good night sleep be a good Papist.
Money Talks: Grand Pa, rather have the Kingdom by being a Protesting one and not go with his boy friend's Catholick ways than go along with His GG Mater [Mary Q o' Scots], she had already lost her chance at the Crown, being strung up for claiming the Crown or where it be a Papist Problem and all of Father Allen's and his students messing in the Eliza's balliwick.
Lesson: Neck or Grub, King John failed that test[Magna Carta thing], along with a few others.
Choice in life: Discretion be the better part of valor or Test thy beliefs in the beyond. [Politicks]

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Hear be the reply: Charles R
Answer to Representation.
HIS Majesty having seriously considered and weighed the humble Representation and Petition of his Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, and the great Affection and Duty with which the same was presented unto him; and after having made some Reflections upon Himself, and His own Actions; is not a little troubled, that his Lenity and Condescensions towards many of the Popish Persuasion, which were but natural Effects of His Generosity and Good-nature, and after having lived so many Years in the Dominions of Roman Catholick Princes, and out of a just Memory of what many of them had done and suffered in the Service of his Royal Father, of blessed Memory, and of some eminent Services performed by others of them towards His Majesty Himself, in the Time of His greatest Affliction, have been made so ill Use of, and so ill deserved, that the Resort of Jesuits and Priests, into this Kingdom, hath been thereby increased; with which his Majesty is, and hath long been, highly offended: And, therefore, His Majesty readily concurs with the Advice of His Two Houses of Parliament; and hath given Order for the Preparing and Issuing out such a Proclamation as is desired; with the same Clause, referring to the Treaty of Marriage, as was in the Proclamation, which, upon the like Occasion, issued out, upon the Advice of both Houses of Parliament, in the Year 1640: And His Majesty will take further care, that the same shall be effectual, at least to a greater Degree than any Proclamation of this Kind hath ever been: And his Majesty further declares, and assures both His Houses of Parliament, and all His loving Subjects of all His Dominions, That, as His Affection and Zeal for the Protestant Religion, and the Church of England, hath not been concealed, or untaken Notice of in the World; so He is not, nor ever will be, so solicitous for the settling His own Revenue, or providing any other Expedients for the Peace and Tranquillity of the Kingdom, as for the Advancement and Improvement of the Religion established; and for the using and applying all proper and effectual Remedies, to hinder the Growth of Popery: Both which He doth, in Truth, look upon as the best Expedient to establish the Peace and Prosperity of all His Kingdoms.
Given at Our Court at Whitehall, the First Day of April 1663, in the Fifteenth Year of Our Reign.
Thanks for Message.
Resolved, &c. That the humble Thanks of this House be returned to the King's Majesty, for his gracious Message.
Resolved, &c. That the Concurrence of the Lords be desired to this Vote: And that Mr. Solicitor General do go to the Lords, to desire their Concurrence.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 2 April 1663', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 462-64. URL: Date accessed: 03 April 2006.

Aaron  •  Link

I can only assume this bussiness with Holmes is what leads to the possible duel between the two. The strong words of "knave, rogue, coward" are not to be taken lightly. Rogue and coward when used in relation to a gentleman, esspecially one within the military could mean some serious problems down the road.
His wife's strangeness isn't all that strange for the times. John Milton by this time is broke and has been married 3 times to women who would get along quite well with Mrs. Pepys; although, it is ironic that this behavior becomes the norm and male expression of marriage issues becomes faux pas.

Pauline  •  Link

"...I to remember him of Holmes’s words against Sir J. Minnes, that he was a knave, rogue, coward, and that he will kick him and pull him by the ears.."
Sounds like Sam is reminding Penn that Holmes used these words agains Minnes and in the future it is to Penn's " owne shame to suffer them to be spoke in his presence without any reply" other than what Sam "did give him, which, has caused all this feud." Staking out the moral high ground and putting the maul in Penn's hand.

tonyt  •  Link

'Up by very betimes'.
I wonder what the distinction was between this and 'Up betimes' (which we discussed in the annotations for 23rd March 1662/3)? My guess is that this was earlier - when it had only just started to get light.

Harry  •  Link

Up by very betimes’

Does betimes mean early, in which case "very betimes" could mean very early? or does it relate to sunrise, where "very betimes" would mean in the very early stages of sunrise, at barely first light?

Stolzi  •  Link

His Majesty

doesn't care nearly as much about getting his revenues, as he does about firmly establishing Protestantism.

Tell us another one, Charlie!!

Stolzi  •  Link

Poor Sarah, indeed...

being made the football of the great.

R. O. Curtis  •  Link

"...take as few occasions as I can of disobliging Commanders..."
Yet another piece of advice that one would do well to heed even today!

Bradford  •  Link

The fine art of "telling [your] mind freely," within carefully chosen limits, to those you know will broadcast it hither and yon with a minimum amount of effort on your part. As useful in a great city as in a small town.

TerryF  •  Link

Pauline, No reply to Holmes "which, has caused all this feud” was recorded in the Diary entry of 7 December 1661 , so perhaps this sentence should be reconsidered? I find the last clause of it puzzling.

Pauline  •  Link

"...without any reply but what I did give him, which, has caused all this feud."
I think Sam is saying that his reply in standing up to Holmes has made the feud, and that it is necessary to stand up to the kind of lambasting that Holmes gave Minnes--a neccesary feud-causing, and honor to him who did stand up and reply.

The "without any" is telling Penn that no other reply, and especially NOT replying, meets the case.

I also think Sam is spinning the altercation between himself and Holmes into its best light for his reputation. The words may have been in heat and in quick retort, now Sam is mopping up and calmly giving out the good sense and honor of standing up to Holmes.

Terry, that we don't know what Sam actually replied to Holmes is part and parcel of making our way as best we can.

dirk  •  Link


If one accepts the meaning "by time" -- i.e. "on time" -- for "betimes", then "very betimes" would mean "very much on time" -- i.e. earlier than required.

This meaning of "betimes" would correspond fully to the meaning of the obsolete Dutch (my language) word "bijtijds". To me this makes sense.

birdie  •  Link

"betimes" - Dirk, we have been through this once before. The root of the word is "between times", i.e., between night and day (dawn).

Here is a repeat of my earlier annotation on the subject - Many older words and expressions in the English language are similar to their Scandinavian equivalents. Old Swedish words for “early” are “arla” and its synonym “bittida”. They are still used in some expressions even though “tidig” today would be the most common translation for “early”.

Of course, “arla” has the same root as the English “early”. Its synonym “bittida” ("betimes" in English) literally means “between times". Today it is most often pronounced and spelled "bitti".

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Dirk, 'bijtijds' is an old Dutch word, but not obsolete at all. It is still used often enough.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

And the meaning is 'in time' or even 'earlier than expected'.

Peter  •  Link

Woe betide......?

language hat  •  Link


There is no need to guess about the meanings of words (especially based on the meanings of vaguely similar words in other languages); that's what dictionaries are for. The word means 'At an early hour, early in the morning' (OED).

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