Friday 10 April 1663

Up very betimes and to my office, where most hard at business alone all the morning. At noon to the Exchange, where I hear that after great expectation from Ireland, and long stop of letters, there is good news come, that all is quiett after our great noise of troubles there, though some stir hath been as was reported. Off the Exchange with Sir J. Cutler and Mr. Grant to the Royall Oak Tavern, in Lumbard Street, where Alexander Broome the poet was, a merry and witty man, I believe, if he be not a little conceited, and here drank a sort of French wine, called Ho Bryan,1 that hath a good and most particular taste that I never met with. Home to dinner, and then by water abroad to Whitehall, my wife to see Mrs. Ferrers, I to Whitehall and the Park, doing no business. Then to my Lord’s lodgings, met my wife, and walked to the New Exchange. There laid out 10s. upon pendents and painted leather gloves, very pretty and all the mode. So by coach home and to my office till late, and so to supper and to bed.

  1. Haut Brion, a claret; one of the first growths of the red wines of Medoc.

23 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

"after great expectation from Ireland...good news...that all is quiett after our great noise of troubles there"

The "noise" that awakened the "great expectation" [i.e., prospect] was from reports of Friday 3 April 1663 "that there is some bad news from Ireland of an insurrection of the Catholiques there," clarified by Clement http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/04/03/#c43874 and Mary.

dirk   Link to this

"leather gloves, very pretty and all the mode"

"Mode" here synonymous with "fashion".
Interesting to note that *both* words go back to French, and ultimately to Latin -- and have the same basic meaning!

Mode:
"French from Old French, fashion, manner, from Latin modus."

Fashion:
"Middle English facioun, from Old French façon, appearance, manner, from Latin facti, factin-, a making, from factus, past participle of facere, to make, do."

(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company)

So, it seems that when talking about fancy dress, one couldn't and can't do without the (real or supposed) elegance of the French vernacular... ;-)

TerryF   Link to this

Mary re Friday 3 April 1663 “insurrection of the Catholiques” in Ireland.

L&M offers the terse comment that a number of Tories (i.e. Catholic peasants) had risen in protest against the decision of the Court of Claims. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/04/03/#c43875

Tory
1566, "an outlaw," specifically "a robber," from Ir. toruighe "plunderer," originally "pursuer, searcher," from O.Ir. toirighim "I pursue," related to toracht "pursuit." About 1646, it emerged as a derogatory term for Irish Catholics dispossessed of their land (some of whom subsequently turned to outlawry); c.1680 applied by Exclusioners to supporters of the Catholic Duke of York (later James II) in his succession to the throne of England. After 1689, Tory was the name of a British political party at first composed of Yorkist Tories of 1680. Superseded c.1830 by Conservative, though it continues to be used colloquially. In American history, Tory was the name given after 1769 to colonists who remained loyal to George III of England. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=tory...

Not politics, folks, just etymology - we get defined by our opponents, yes?

Australian Susan   Link to this

Rumblings from Ireland again. In 1801, Ireland was forced into a union with England and Scotland and its flag added to the Union Flag which incorporated the English flag of St George and the Scottish Saltire or St Andrew's Flag (supposedly representing the odd-shaped cross on which St Andrew was executed). Now the origins of this Union Flag were that the Naval ships, after 1603, had to have a combined flag as they were a combined navy - thus the creation of the flag, (and that's why there is no Welsh representation on it as the Welsh did not have an independent navy in 1603)but the design was not settled until 1687 and guess who set the design parameters? yes, our Sam. Just the kind of thing he would have liked to have got neat, tidy and consistent. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/489...

TerryF   Link to this

Contra Wheatley's note's claim that Haut Brion is from Medoc...

"Haut-Brion is a First Great Growth of Bordeaux. Actually it is the only one not coming from the Médoc area, but from Pessac Léognan in Graves." - Jean-Philippe Delmas, the third generation of Delmas in charge of oenology at Château Haut Brion http://www.terroir-france.com/interview/haut-br...

"Château Haut-Brion is a First Growth in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. It is one of the most expensive and prestigious wines in France. It is located in Pessac, Graves just one mile (2 km) from the city of Bordeaux (Appellation Graves Controlée). The vineyard consists of 109 acres (441,000 m²) producing 12,000 to 15,000 cases of wine each year. It is the only non-Medoc estate to be included in the famous 1855 classification.[...] The wine has a complex bouquet of ripe fruit, tobacco and mineral, earthy scents. The wine is rich, ripe, medium to full-bodied and well structured. A wine that seems to balance power and elegance, richness and harmony perfectly. It goes very well with beef, lamb, veal and game.
"Diarist Samuel Pepys, Philosopher John Locke, Cardinal Richelieu and U.S. President Thomas Jefferson all wrote about the special quality of wine produced at Haut-Brion."....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_Haut-...

alanB.   Link to this

This visit to The Royall Oak tavern is the first mention of what is now one of the most popular public house names in Britain. Sam has yet to write down Charles' account of his time in the Boscobel Oak so is this tavern named after the Royal Oak ship or in tribute to the King's derring-do?

R. O. Curtis   Link to this

Ho Bryan...
Of all the many things Sam has eaten and drunk over the past few years, this 16xx Haut Brion is probably the one I'd most like to have tasted... wonder how many "Parker Points" it would have earned?

language hat   Link to this

Ho Bryan

Quite a shock to unsuspectingly dive into this entry and discover it's the source of a quotation I've seen repeated for decades!

R.O. Curtis, I doubt Parker would have liked it -- it surely wasn't the "huge" blockbuster type he favors (to the detriment of wine, especially as an accompaniment to food, in my opinion). I too would love to be able to try it!

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

Ho Bryan

When I was young I got the (wrong) impression that the name of the estate was a French corruption of an Irish name (O'Brian) and was owed to one of the many Irish families that took up the wine trade in Bordeaux. I particularly enjoyed one (true) story about the wine, recounted by my father, who was there. While serving in the 1950s as the American ambassador to France, C. Douglas Dillon -- who inherited Chateau Haut Brion from his father -- gave a luncheon at the residence for some distinguished guests, and as a special treat he had the butler bring up a bottle of the'28 Chateau Haut Brion, a great rarity because the Germans took off most of the good pre-war wines during their occupation. The wine was served wrapped in a linen cloth. Fresh glasses were set out, and everyone inhaled the aroma deeply and took a small sip, pronouncing the wine extraordinary -- except one guest. This man's family had owned CHB before the Dillons bought it in '35, and he had spent a lot of time there. "Doug," he said quietly, "This is not the '28. It is the '29," a faster-maturing year (but still delicious). Dillon flushed at being challenged at his own table, especially by this guest. He had the butler bring the bottle to the table and upwrap it, and lo! it was indeed the '29. Best wine snob story I know. (My father's office at the time, coincidentally, was in the Hotel Tallyrand, named for the French diplomat who was a previous owner of Chateau O'Brian.)

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Ho Bryan
Robert Parker gives the 1945 Ch. Haut Brion 100 points. I wasn't abe to access his evaluation of earlier vintages, but he gives a similar score to Margaux wines from the early years of the 20th century. CHB in the 17th Century was one of the earliest vintners to introduce new technologies and to focus on the English market. While the style has almost certainly changed, and the vines have changed, my guess is that it would have scored high with a 17th Century Parker.

Bradford   Link to this

Wouldn't we like to know how what Pepys tasted compares with a vintage of similar age today?---for there's no clue as to how old or young his draft was. Maybe in the next world. . . .

dirk   Link to this

how what Pepys tasted compares with a vintage of similar age today ?

Bradford, the "vintage" concept hadn't been invented yet. Wines were not meant to be stored for ageing, but were comsumed as soon as they were available -- far too young according to modern standards.

But in most cases this was not a great loss, for neither had the "domain" been invented yet. The wine "unit" was the region: the occasional higher quality and lots of lower quality grapes were processed together -- with very few exceptions. So most, if not nearly all wines would be rather mediocre, by our modern (spoiled) standards.

Bradford   Link to this

Thanks, Dirk, for this historical reminder-clarification. Now I can boldly state what I hesitated to suggest before---that Pepys may well have been drinking Haut Brion Nouveau.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Re alanB's entry.
I have been trying to do (somewhat hastily in lunchbreak) research into this. the first Royal Oak ship was launched in 1664, so the pub name predates this, but as the account of Charles in the oak tree had not yet been written, is this an instance of oral history being used in the pub name? Searching for details of this, I cannot find any mention of WHEN the name came into use, just its derivation. As far as i know, Charles is the only monarch to have an association with an oak tree. (Incidently, the Crown still pays a pension to direct descendents of the Penderel family who assisted Charles at the time of the oak tree episode - and you can still see the hiding place in Boscobell house where he hid). See The Escape of Charles II after the Battle of Worcester by Ollard (Sandwich's biographer). So, this name coming up now seems rather a puzzle.
By the way, the first Royal Oak ship was very shortlived - the Dutch sank her in 1667.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

all wines would be rather mediocre ...

Just over 20 years ago I took as a professional fee 1/2 case of Tokay vintage 1875 -- despite failing corks t'was excellent with a fine nose, but it was frail and did collapse and oxidize rapidly after about 20 minutes exposure to air.

The cache was accompanied by original autograph testimonials from the American writers Emerson and Longfellow, circa 1876, and over a century later more than lived up to their praise as a "restorative."

language hat   Link to this

Andrew Hamilton: What a great story!
Reminds me of Roald Dahl's "Taste"; anyone who hasn't read it should do so at once:
http://membres.lycos.fr/jpcharp/Taste.html

Clement   Link to this

Life through Rose-colored (wine) Glasses

I second appreciation for the annotation stories and background today, and am glad that oenophilia gets some leeway with off-topic enforcement. I'm certain that our 17th C. subjects would find it interesting too.

While it's difficult to know the quality of wine Sam enjoyed then, there are plenty today that are consumed young and are quite good, so I think we can accept his judgement of a wine being "good and most particular" when he awards it.

R. O. Curtis   Link to this

Ho Bryan...
Thanks to all for the information on CHB... presumably we can all agree that Sam, vows notwithstanding, has tasted enough wine in the past few years to know something special when it hits his palate, nouveau or ancien.

dirk   Link to this

Everything you always wanted to ask about wines but were afraid to ask...

http://civinous.blogspot.com/

Pedro   Link to this

“but as the account of Charles in the oak tree had not yet been written”

The legend of the Royal Oak already appears to be common knowledge, as can be seen from the annotation for Leaden Hall Street…

At the coronation of Charles II, the first triumphal arch erected in Leadenhall Street, near Lime Street, for the king to pass under on his way from the Tower to Westminster, is described in Ogilby’s contemporary account of the ceremony as having in its centre a figure of Charles, royally attired, behind whom, ‘on a large table, is deciphered the Royal Oak bearing crowns and sceptres instead of acorns; amongst the leaves, in a label.

Solomon Key   Link to this

Australian Susan: "By the way, the first Royal Oak ship was very shortlived - the Dutch sank her in 1667."
Wrong. The Royal Oak sunk by the Dutch was of the Royal Navy. The Royal Oak referenced by Pepys was of the East India Company and a merchant ship, sunk off the Scilly Isles in 1665:
Name of Vessel: Royal Oak
Tons: 400
Number of Voyages: 1
Period of Service (Seasons): 1663
Year Lost: 1665
Location: Isles of Scilly
See Catalogue of East India Company Ships' Journals and Logs 1600-1834
National Archives: GB/NNAF/O94727
Record Reference: HCA 14/53

Mark Shuper   Link to this

Edmund Penning-Rowsell notes in his magisterial "The Wines of Bordeaux" that this entry marks the first mention in English of a Bordeaux wine estate. The wine was probably sold by hoghead and decanted from the cask. Another century would pass before Bordeaux wines bottled with corks made a regular appearance in the market; London wine merchants would continue to buy Bordeaux in hogshead and bottle the wine in London until well into the 20th century.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Alas, the claim "that this entry marks the first mention in English of a Bordeaux wine estate" has not been shared.

A 2 October 2014 post by Jane Anson at Decanter.com notes that "Until now, the earliest known mention of Haut-Brion was in the English National Archives at Kew, London. It features in King Charles II’s cellar book in 1660, the year of his Restoration to the English throne. It is also mentioned in the diary of parliamentarian Samuel Pepys, from the same era. / ‘The 1660 mention was already the first known record of a wine bearing the name of the estate on which it was grown,’ Prince Robert [of Luxembourg, owner of Chateau Haut-Brion] told Decanter.com."

Read more at http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/587597/h...

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