Thursday 22 October 1663

Up to the office, where we sat till noon and then I home to dinner, and after dinner with my wife to her study and there read some more arithmetique, which she takes with great ease and pleasure. This morning, hearing that the Queen grows worse again, I sent to stop the making of my velvet cloake, till I see whether she lives or dies. So a little abroad about several businesses, and then home and to my office till night, and then home to supper, teach my wife, and so to bed.

15 Annotations

Terry F   Link to this

So the velvet cloaks were for mourning, not for vanity?

This surely doesn't apply to the perruque.

Another view?

jeannine   Link to this

"This morning, hearing that the Queen grows worse again, I sent to stop the making of my velvet cloake, till I see whether she lives or dies"
Terry I believe that the cloak was for vanity and he did not want to be seen wearing it if Queen Catherine died as he'd be too "flashy". That's why he sent to Tom to stop making it.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Also he might need to fit himself, Bess, and the servants, including Will Hewer and his other clerks with suitable mourning gear as befitting a high government official. Quite a cost.

The cloak could wait.

Hmmn...Bess urged him to get new clothes. I suppose that's one way, especially now that her math has improved.

Wonder if she now can employ "Vinny-math" as Vinny did in "Life With Father".

"But Bess...Look. Yesterday I gave you fifty shillings for ribbon and cloth. But instead you went and bought this monstrousity of a little pug dog. Which I shall toss out the window should he mess the new carpet again."

"Oh, Sam'l that's cruel to lil' Sam."

"Wait. And you then charged the ribbons and cloth to Unthankes."

"Well, surely you want your cloth. And I have to be properly dressed, Sam'l. Besides the dog was only thirty shillings...Even though he's so adorable. So you owe me twenty shillings."

"What? Yes but now we owe fifty shillings more to Unthankes."

"Only forty-five. I bargained with him as Lady Batten suggested since he overcharges." proud beam. So in total you owe me twenty-five shillings."

"What? Wait."

language hat   Link to this

"he did not want to be seen wearing it"

That I can understand, but why tell the tailor to stop making it? Is he afraid if the queen dies the tailor will run out into the street and shout "Our Queen is dead, and Sam Pepys is making a velvet cloak, the vile cur!"?

Mary   Link to this

Sartorial consequences of a royal death.

If the court were to go into a long period or mourning following the death of a queen, there might be a fear that the cloak could be entirely out of fashion by the time that normal costume was resumed.

Following on from the points made by RG and Jeannine, Pepys works closely enough to the court (those meetings with the Duke of York) to make the adoption of proper mourning essential in the event of the queen's death.

Bradford   Link to this

The Companion (under "Dress: Men's Hair") notes that Pepys had two periwigs made (their chosen term), "and wore them from Nov. 1663" (p. 100).

Mourning, as Mary notes, could be lengthy, and fashion fickle. Neither "Funerals" nor "Dress: Ceremony" gives details on the length of mourning for royalty, but the latter does say that Uncle Robert Pepys's death, in July 1661, required full mourning for the entire household for three months, followed by second mourning (p. 103). I've lent my Picard, but surely she addresses the topic?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Word reaches the Court that Sam Pepys has halted production of his velvet cloak. Plunging all into deepest gloom.

I mean if a shrewd fellow with finger on London's pulse like Pepys has written her off...

"It may mean nothing, my dearest Katie." Charles tries comforting his stricken mate.

"Oh...If Samuel Pepys would cancel a new velvet cloak on report of my condition, I am surely fargone and lost...Remember me...Charles..."

Mary   Link to this

Picard on mourning.

She makes two pertinent points. Firstly, that correct mourning was more important for men than for women, as men were more in the public eye.

Secondly, that mourning had not only to be black, but to be DULL and black: no shiny surfaces, black buckles for clothing rather than bright metal ones.[Spoiler]. Sam, at a later date, will even blacken the soles of his shoes lest lighter leather might shock the church congregation when he knelt in prayer.

However, nothing on the length of court mourning. I'll look for some reference to to length of mourning declared upon the death of Charles's favourite sister, Minette.

Terry F   Link to this

Royal mourning - one instance recorded earlier

11 May 1662 "I saw the King now out of mourning, in a suit laced with gold and silver, which it was said was out of fashion." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/05/11/

He had been in mourning for his aunt, Elisabeth née Stuart, Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia, who died February 13, 1662 - so the period of mourning had lasted ca. 90 days.

Terry F   Link to this

A female-only mourning dress is widow's weeds

widow's weeds

The weed in widow's weeds is...derived from Old English wáed [that should be an æ with a macron...], meaning 'garment; clothing'....

This weed is chiefly current as a plural in the sense 'mourning garments', almost always in the phrase widow's weeds, but in earlier use it is found in more general senses, such as 'a garment; clothing' ("Spare diet, patient labour, and plain weeds"--Wordsworth, Prelude); 'the skin of a person or animal regarded as a garment' ("There the snake throws her enammel'd skin,/Weed wide enough to rap a fairy in"--Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream); 'a garment distinctive of a particular profession, sex, etc.' ("They...saw the good man in a religious weed"--Malory, Morte d'Arthur; "They who to be sure of Paradise/Dying put on the weeds of Dominic"--Milton, Paradise Lost); and others. http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?dat...

Chy   Link to this

"That I can understand, but why tell the tailor to stop making it?" asks Languagehat.

Old chum, it is obvious: Sam is somewhat parsimonious. Careful with money. A bit closefisted.

He's tighter than a duck's bum.

Bryan M   Link to this

On the other hand LH also asks: Is he afraid if the queen dies the tailor will run out into the street and shout "Our Queen is dead, and Sam Pepys is making a velvet cloak, the vile cur!"?

Well, maybe. Remember the tailor is brother Tom. Sam declined to lend Tom 20 quid at the beginning of last month and a couple of days ago probably chided him at some length about his tardiness:
Wednesday 21 October "Up, and by and by comes my brother Tom to me, though late (which do vex me to the blood that I could never get him to come time enough to me, though I have spoke a hundred times; but he is very sluggish, and too negligent ever to do well at his trade I doubt)..." Would we expect Sam to have kept such thoughts to himself when it came to family?

More seriously, the cloak was most likely for use in the coming winter. If there was an extended period of mourning it would be nearly summer before Sam could display his finery again. Not tight, just pragmatic.

language hat   Link to this

Well explained - thanks, all!

john   Link to this

"and there read some more arithmetique, which she takes with great ease and pleasure."

Were there stereotypes then of women being poor in arithmetic?

celtcahill   Link to this

" john on Tue 24 Oct 2006, 9:16 pm | Link
"and there read some more arithmetique, which she takes with great ease and pleasure."

Were there stereotypes then of women being poor in arithmetic?
"
Sam has some stereotypes with Liz, and not others.

I don't imagine anyone he knows would have thought to teach their wife math, but Sam does it partly for his own fun and learning - and so she can manage the money a little better...

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