Thursday 29 October 1663

Up, it being my Lord Mayor’s day, Sir Anthony Bateman.

This morning was brought home my new velvet cloake, that is, lined with velvet, a good cloth the outside, the first that ever I had in my life, and I pray God it may not be too soon now that I begin to wear it.

I had it this day brought, thinking to have worn it to dinner, but I thought it would be better to go without it because of the crowde, and so I did not wear it. We met a little at the office, and then home again and got me ready to go forth, my wife being gone forth by my consent before to see her father and mother, and taken her cooke mayde and little girle to Westminster with her for them to see their friends.

This morning in dressing myself and wanting a band, I found all my bands that were newly made clean so ill smoothed that I crumpled them, and flung them all on the ground, and was angry with Jane, which made the poor girle mighty sad, so that I were troubled for it afterwards.

At noon I went forth, and by coach to Guild Hall (by the way calling at Mr. Rawlinson’s), and there was admitted, and meeting with Mr. Proby (Sir R. Ford’s son), and Lieutenant-Colonel Baron, a City commander, we went up and down to see the tables; where under every salt there was a bill of fare, and at the end of the table the persons proper for the table. Many were the tables, but none in the Hall but the Mayor’s and the Lords of the Privy Council that had napkins1 or knives, which was very strange. We went into the Buttry, and there stayed and talked, and then into the Hall again: and there wine was offered and they drunk, I only drinking some hypocras, which do not break my vowe, it being, to the best of my present judgement, only a mixed compound drink, and not any wine. If I am mistaken, God forgive me! but I hope and do think I am not.

By and by met with Creed; and we, with the others, went within the several Courts, and there saw the tables prepared for the Ladies and Judges and Bishopps: all great sign of a great dinner to come. By and by about one o’clock, before the Lord Mayor came, come into the Hall, from the room where they were first led into, the Lord Chancellor (Archbishopp before him), with the Lords of the Council, and other Bishopps, and they to dinner. Anon comes the Lord Mayor, who went up to the lords, and then to the other tables to bid wellcome; and so all to dinner. I sat near Proby, Baron, and Creed at the Merchant Strangers’ table; where ten good dishes to a messe, with plenty of wine of all sorts, of which I drunk none; but it was very unpleasing that we had no napkins nor change of trenchers, and drunk out of earthen pitchers and wooden dishes.2

It happened that after the lords had half dined, came the French Embassador, up to the lords’ table, where he was to have sat; but finding the table set, he would not sit down nor dine with the Lord Mayor, who was not yet come, nor have a table to himself, which was offered; but in a discontent went away again.

After I had dined, I and Creed rose and went up and down the house, and up to the lady’s room, and there stayed gazing upon them. But though there were many and fine, both young and old, yet I could not discern one handsome face there; which was very strange, nor did I find the lady that young Dawes married so pretty as I took her for, I having here an opportunity of looking much upon her very near.

I expected musique, but there was none but only trumpets and drums, which displeased me. The dinner, it seems, is made by the Mayor and two Sheriffs for the time being, the Lord Mayor paying one half, and they the other. And the whole, Proby says, is reckoned to come to about 7 or 800l. at most.

Being wearied with looking upon a company of ugly women, Creed and I went away, and took coach and through Cheapside, and there saw the pageants, which were very silly, and thence to the Temple, where meeting Greatorex, he and we to Hercules Pillars, there to show me the manner of his going about of draining of fenns, which I desired much to know, but it did not appear very satisfactory to me, as he discoursed it, and I doubt he will faile in it.

Thence I by coach home, and there found my wife come home, and by and by came my brother Tom, with whom I was very angry for not sending me a bill with my things, so as that I think never to have more work done by him if ever he serves me so again, and so I told him.

The consideration of laying out 32l. 12s. this very month in his very work troubles me also, and one thing more, that is to say, that Will having been at home all the day, I doubt is the occasion that Jane has spoken to her mistress tonight that she sees she cannot please us and will look out to provide herself elsewhere, which do trouble both of us, and we wonder also at her, but yet when the rogue is gone I do not fear but the wench will do well.

To the office a little, to set down my Journall, and so home late to supper and to bed.

The Queen mends apace, they say; but yet talks idle still.

34 Annotations

jeannine  •  Link

From Pepys At Table by Driver and Berriedale-Johnson

...(p. 75-76) "But 'burnt' claret, the hypocras with which Pepys allowed himself to be deceived, and Christmas Lamb's wool -spiced ale with apples- are simple devices that have changed little over the centuries. Party guests who have followed Pepys intermittent example and sworn off wine altogether may be glad to of a cup which could certainly have been made with summer fruit available to Pepys, whether or not the idea occurred to him." Their recipes follow for a variety of "hypocras" recipes (some including wine!)

From the section subtitled AN HYPOCRAS OF WHITE WINE are 3 of the 5 recipes that Pepys may have enjoyed.

Mulled Wine

Into an enameled or stainless steel pan put 3 bruised cloves, ½ stick of cinnamon, lemon and orange peel pared, 4 ozs of sugar, and half a pint of water. Boil together for 15 minutes; then add grated nutmeg, a pint of full-blooded red wine, and a wine-glass of port. Do not allow to boil again, but heat, strain, and serve.


Bruise together a cinnamon stick, ½ oz. coriander seeds, a blade of mace, and 1 oz of green ginger. Boil a quart of water with 8 ozs sugar for 5 minutes to make syrup.
Macerate the spices for an hour or two in some of the wine (red or white) you propose to use. Heat the mixture with the rest of the bottle of wine, the juice of half a lemon, a gill of brandy, the syrup to taste, strain clear and serve.

Lamb's Wool

Roast 8 apples; mash the, and add a quart of old ale (Winter Warmer or equivalent will do nicely). Press and strain; add grated nutmeg, powdered ginger, and sugar to taste as it heats.

Patricia  •  Link

"the first that ever I had in my life" This sounds like the old Sam, delighted in each step up in the world, yet soon he is fretting over the cost of it. (And I notice he is reluctant to wear it in public because it is so nice.)

in aqua altissimus  •  Link

"...Will..." never leave a fox in the chicken coop, there be enough feathers for all the paliasses, reqired for bedding a wench.

Terry F  •  Link

"and one thing more"

Pepys apparently believes that Will Hewer's behavior all day long today is the last straw for Jane Birch, who also has had to deal episodically with her Mistress's (and, of course, also her Master's), ah, kind correction, and so she - the admirable Jane - tenders her resignation.

Clement  •  Link

"...that Will having been at home all the day, I doubt is the occasion that Jane has spoken to her mistress tonight that she sees she cannot please us and will look out to provide herself elsewhere..."

I believe "I doubt" really means "I (have no) doubt (but that he)," which would seem to be the opposite of what he says. Perhaps this is clearer to others but I tend to stumble on this device, though the occasionally puzzling sentences are fun to solve.

The only clues I see as to when Sam means the opposite of what he says seem to be context and some familiarity with recurring diary themes--this one being that Will is a rogue who spoils the maids.

So "the rogue" is advising Jane that she shouldn't stand for Sam's huff, and she should announce her impending departure in order to bring the mister and missus to a greater appreciation of the laboring help.
If this is true Will really is undermining the Pepys' management of their staff, by helping them play against a weakness in the Pepys' position, which recently is a difficulty keeping good help.
I don't understand what is so offensive about Tom's failure to include a bill with his work for Sam. Is he upset because it's evidence of careless business practice, or is it something else?

in aqua altissimus  •  Link

Sam ye be safe, ye be not physics giver, only doctors of medicine take the Hippocratic oath "...I only drinking some hypocras, which do not break my vowe, it being, to the best of my present judgement, only a mixed compound drink [true, fruit and straind vinum], and not any wine. If I am mistaken, God forgive me! but I hope and do think I am not...."

Clement  •  Link

I missed Terry's alternate interpretation before posting my post about Will's influence on Jane. Not sure which seems more likely.

in aqua altissimus  •  Link

So Jane does the ironing, i.e. press Sam's Ties [Ribbons] "...This morning in dressing myself and wanting a band, I found all my bands that were newly made clean so ill smoothed that I crumpled them, and flung them all on the ground, and was angry with Jane, which made the poor girle mighty sad, so that I were troubled for it afterwards..."
Sam should have put them in the press then thee be sure they be flat.['tis wot i dun when i wanted me old cravat nicellee puffed up, put them into the old trouser press or me old man's tie press.]

cum grano salis  •  Link

under every Wich there pans for salt [see Salt by Mark Kurlansky and the importance of a few grains]
"...where under every salt there was a bill of fare..." best guess be a Salt cellar then verified by OED:
7. a. = SALT-CELLAR.
1493 in Somerset Med. Wills (1901) 310 To John Wymer and Margarete his wif a cuppe and a salt of silver. 1495 Trevisa's Barth. De P.R. VI. xxii. 212 Knyues spones & saltes [Bodl. MS. salers] ben sett on ye borde.
1663 PEPYS Diary 29 Oct., Under every salt there was a bill of fare.

Terry F  •  Link

"doubt" also meant "suspect" in Pepys's day.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and one thing more, that is to say, that Will having been at home all the day, I doubt is the occasion that Jane has spoken to her mistress tonight that she sees she cannot please us and will look out to provide herself elsewhere, which do trouble both of us, and we wonder also at her, but yet when the rogue is gone I do not fear but the wench will do well."

And here we see the problem with Will is not so much his dallying with the maids as his firebrand Puritan-Republican chatter, probably not all that different from Sam's a few years ago when he flirted with Republican ideas under the Commonwealth. Will's no doubt been lecturing the maids that they're equal in God's eyes, etc and the Pepys, mistress and master, have no right to kick fellow Christians and citizens around and that he, personally, will not bear such treatment for much longer.

Damned radical...A snake in your garden, Sam, rout him out, I'm warning you.

Is this our Jane or is it another? I thought Jane Birch left after Wayneman and has not yet returned, though she will.

Terry F  •  Link


Robert, I too was a bit surprized when L&M identified this Jane, in a note, as Waynman Birch's sister - I'm taking their word for it.

SleepyDopeyGrumpy  •  Link

And then there's always the possibility that Sam, although he says he was "troubled" after his spoiled brat (most certainly not at his best there) hissy fit, irrationalized his way out of that troubledness by blaming it all on Will. There are times when such a hissy fit is the last nail in the coffin of a difficult employer/employee relationship. Jane is smart enough not to need Will or anyone else to tell her that this might be an impossible situation. And mind you, Monday those damn bells rang at 1:00 a.m., she's worked herself into a puddle, and doesn't get to go visit her friends in Westminster, or even see the silly pagaents.

Clement  •  Link

"Jane" from Aug 31: "This noon came Jane Gentleman to serve my wife as her chamber mayde. I wish she may prove well."

This after two entries of introduction on Aug 13 and 14, and before three subsequent entries this month.

It doesn't seem likely that this is Jane Birch.

Barry  •  Link

Looking back at previous Lord Mayor's Days described by Sam, it appears this is the first year he has made it to the feast. In 1660 he only mentions viewing the pageants, finding them "poor and absurd". In 1661 Sam was invited to the Mayor's feast but didn't attend, dining with the Battens instead "because of the crowd"; no mention of the pageants. In 1662 he was again invited to the feast but spent the day at work; no mention of the pageants. In 1663 he finally makes it to the dinner, declining to wear his new velvet cloak (again that "crowd") but doesn't like the table setting, the dinner music, or the appearance of the ladies; the pageants are "silly".

Willie  •  Link

Anyone else notice this unusual week?

It seems to have had no Tuesday and two Thursdays.

Terry F  •  Link

this unusual week!

Willie, keen read! either 1663 was an odd year, or Phil will fix it (I've emailed him your observation).

Terry F  •  Link

"my wife being gone forth by my consent"

Just reminding himself who's the Head of the household.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Thanks Willie and Terry - it's fixed now. Sorry about that.

Rashers  •  Link

In the uncensored version Pepys lets us know that he called at Mr Rawlinson's "to shit". Lucky Mr Rawlinson.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think Clement's got it as to which Jane we're dealing with here.


Yes, I'd read that about Sam's stopping. But perhaps Rawlinson's HOO is especially nice and worthy of a pause.

"Bess, you wouldn't believe it. Marble ceilings and walls, mirrors. A lovely girl brought me something to read. And I thought Mr. Povey's place was something special."

Australian Susan  •  Link


Before forks were common, napkins were hung over the right arm. You were holding your knife in your right hand and cut your meat etc with that, holding the meat with your left hand. You then wiped the dirty fingers of your left hand on the napkin. Gradually forks were used to steady the meat as it was cut, not the left hand, and you used thefork, not the left hand, to convey food to the mouth,. The napkin then was moved either to be tucked into the clothing to catch drips from the fork (they were originally two-tined so not so efficient as four-tined forks)or onto the lap for a similar purpose. Using the hand to convey food to the mouth was probably more effective than a two-tined fork, but became considered to be very vulgar.

cum grano salis  •  Link

forks for pitching in 1605;
OED: I. A pronged instrument. [OE. forca wk. masc., force wk. fem., ad. L. furca fem., fork (for hay, etc.), forked stake, gallows, yoke.
The use of the word in Eng. was doubtless extended by the influence of the ONF. form forque, fourque (Central OF. forche, fourche), from which some of the Eng. senses are derived. The L. word is found in nearly all the Rom. and Teut. langs.: cf. Pr. forca, Sp. horca, Pg. forca, It. furca, OHG. furcha (mod. Ger. furke), Du. vork, all chiefly in sense 'pitchfork'; also ON. forkr, forked stake.]

1. a. An implement, chiefly agricultural, consisting of a long straight handle, furnished at the end with two or more prongs or tines, and used for carrying, digging, lifting, or throwing; also with word prefixed indicating its use, as digging-, dung-, hay-, etc. fork: see those words; also FIRE-FORK, PITCH-FORK, etc.
c1000 ÆLFRIC Hom. (Th.) I. 430 -ufan mid heora forcum hine ydon.

1573 BARET Alv. F 892 A Forke, or trout speare with three points, fuscina.
1573 TUSSER Husb. liii. (1878) 120 At Midsommer, downe with the brembles and brakes, and after, abrode with thy forks and thy rakes.
b. A similar implement used as a weapon.
13.. K. Alis. 1191 Fiftene thousand of fot laddes, That..hadde, Axes, speres, forkis, and slynges.
c. The forked tongue (popularly supposed to be the sting) of a snake. Obs.
1603 SHAKES. Meas. for M. III. i. 16 Thou dost feare the soft and tender forke Of a poore worme.
1605 Macb. IV. i. 16.
2. a. An instrument with two, three, or four prongs, used for holding the food while it is being cut, for conveying it to the mouth, and for other purposes at table or in cooking. For carving-, dessert-, fish-, pickle-, table-fork, etc. see those words.
[silver fork for getting the green ginger out ]
1463 Bury Wills (Camden) 40, I beqwethe to Davn John Kertelynge my silvir forke for grene gyngour.
1589 Pasquil's Ret. Diij, At the signe of the siluer forke and the tosted cheese.
1605 B. JONSON Volpone IV. i, Then must you learn the use And handling of your silver fork at meals.

3. a. Used in pl. for the prongs of a fork. Also transf. Cf. 12.
1674 N. COX Gentl. Recreat. IV. (1677) 40 An made for the most part with three Forks or Teeth.
5. a. A gallows. Also pl. Cf. FORCHE 1.
[So OF. fourche(s, L. furca; the Roman gallows was originally of the shape to fork the fingers: to extend them towards a person as a mark of contempt.
1640 Witts Recreat. Cij, His wife..Behind him forks her fingers. 1668
forkful: f. FORK n. + -FUL.]
As much as may be lifted on a fork.
1641 BEST Farm. Bks. (Surtees) 36 Forkers are to bee foretolde that they give upp goode forkefulls.
[? f. FORK n. + -ET1; cf. F. fourchette table-fork.]

1. A small fork. Also, a prong of a fork.
1583 HOLLYBAND Campo di Fior 209 Picke not thy teeth with a forkette.

1611 COTGR., Fourcheon, a forket; the tooth, or graine of a forke.

[f. FORK v. + -ER1.]
1. = FORK n. 2; perh. mispr. for

a1603 T. CARTWRIGHT Confut. Rhem. N.T. (1618) 416 The Italians now take their meate with a forker.

2. One who forks: a. One who throws up (hay, etc.) with a fork. b. slang. (See quot. 1867).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

A forked digression...

In Norwich's "Byzantium" I remember a story of a Byzantine princess who married an Italian duke or minor king and brought the fork to Western Europe with her. However the future Saint Peter Damian, disgusted with her 'fancy Greek' unwillingness to use her hands like a good Christian, sadistically rejoiced when God punished her arrogance by visiting her with a hideous disease that destroyed her beauty and produced an odor so offensive that only a single dedicated handmaiden could tend the poor lady till she died.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

the French Embassador,up to the lord'stable where he was to have sat;but finding the table set, he would not sit down nor dine with the Lord Mayor............but in a discontent went away again."
Could it be that he was afraid of being poisoned?

language hat  •  Link

"I doubt he will faile in it"
"Doubt" here, and later ("I doubt is the occasion"), means 'think, suspect.'

cgs: Perhaps you could trim your OED quotations to the most directly relevant parts? The lengthy quotes can be hard to wade through.

Glyn  •  Link

Just curious, who is paid the bigger wage: Will Hewer or Jane Birch?

cum salis grano  •  Link

In theory Will Hewer gets a stipen of 50 L and Jane gets 3 quid.
Sam dispenses pocket change to Will and gets to keep the rest for expenses of eating and sleeping on the under bed and for showing the ropes of being apprenticed [learning to become a freeman to earn his own way]. While Jane gets her paliase and grub,broom, smock and pattens and pays nowht. So Will has some pocket change for enchanting the lasses and Jane can get an occasional nicknack.
'tis my guess Will has status and and a few coins thereby be better off than poor Jane.

Glyn  •  Link

Is that 3 pounds a month for Jane rather than 3 pounds a year?

cum salis grano  •  Link

to my best Knowledge it be per annum.
see Eliza Picard London Restoration. pages 248 on incomes. If it be 36 quid per annumm she would be in top 500 K of family incomes of the country [could suPPort a husband. If she live out out of the 'ouse, she would be lucky to get 15 quid a year. Twas gin be popular later in the century.
Official income, perks were never givern.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The French Embassador's situation and the aftermath

The principal table was set, and around the it the Lord Chancellor and other ministers were sitting --- and de Cominges shut out. In a letter to Ormond of 3 November, Anglesey gives an explanation. Only two of the Privy Council knew of the ambassador's coming; it was after three o'clock; the Council had decided to dine before the Lord Mayor's arrival. On the following day the Lord Mayor visited de Cominges and apologised. On the next Lord Mayor's Day, in 1664, fill honours were done to de Cominges. (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I sat near Proby, Baron, and Creed at the Merchant Strangers’ table"

At the City of London Lord Mayors Day dinner, the tables would have been arranged company by company. The Merchant Strangers' Company are a company to encourage and regulate foreign merchants in London.

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