Thursday 7 January 1663/64

Up, putting on my best clothes and to the office, where all the morning we sat busy, among other things upon Mr. Wood’s performance of his contract for masts, wherein I was mightily concerned, but I think was found all along in the right, and shall have my desire in it to the King’s advantage. At noon, all of us to dinner to Sir W. Pen’s, where a very handsome dinner, Sir J. Lawson among others, and his lady and his daughter, a very pretty lady and of good deportment, with looking upon whom I was greatly pleased, the rest of the company of the women were all of our own house, of no satisfaction or pleasure at all. My wife was not there, being not well enough, nor had any great mind. But to see how Sir W. Pen imitates me in everything, even in his having his chimney piece in his dining room the same with that in my wife’s closett, and in every thing else I perceive wherein he can. But to see again how he was out in one compliment: he lets alone drinking any of the ladies’ healths that were there, my Lady Batten and Lawson, till he had begun with my Lady Carteret, who was absent, and that was well enough, and then Mr. Coventry’s mistresse, at which he was ashamed, and would not have had him have drunk it, at least before the ladies present, but his policy, as he thought, was such that he would do it. After dinner by coach with Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Minnes by appointment to Auditor Beale’s in Salisbury Court, and there we did with great content look over some old ledgers to see in what manner they were kept, and indeed it was in an extraordinary good method, and such as (at least out of design to keep them employed) I do persuade Sir J. Minnes to go upon, which will at least do as much good it may be to keep them for want of something to do from envying those that do something. Thence calling to see whether Mrs. Turner was returned, which she is, and I spoke one word only to her, and away again by coach home and to my office, where late, and then home to supper and bed.

10 Annotations

Jesse   Link to this

"Sir W. Pen imitates me in everything"

Pepys irritation w/Penn is interesting. On paper Penn has quite an impressive resume and yet, day-to-day, the small things can add up. Just 'today', with the imitation and drinking the health of Mr. Coventry's "mistresse" there might be a bit of an early Falstaff in the making. Entertaining to some, though often understandably annoying to those directly bearing the brunt.

jeannine   Link to this

"Mr. Coventry's mistresse"
Is this the first we hear of her? Not sure if she is ever named. From the bio that Vincent links into under Coventry he never married. There were quite a few men who never married (who due to their titles, etc. I would have thought would be encouraged to by the King), including Prince Rupert. With all of the social importance of having a legitimate heir and need for money it seems interesting that some in high places chose to remain unmarried.

Angus   Link to this

"...which will at least do as much good it may be to keep them for want of something to do from envying those that do something."

I wish I'd said that - nice one!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"Sir W. Penn immitates me in everything"
Obviously he wants to be you Sam.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Mr Coventry's mistress ...

L&M say she has never been identified.

Rex Gordon   Link to this

Penn's "policy" ...

L&M's glossary defines this as "cunning" or "self-interest." Had she been present, would Penn have drunk to Elizabeth's health?

Bradford   Link to this

"his lady and his daughter, a very pretty lady and of good deportment, with looking upon whom I was greatly pleased, the rest of the company of the women were all of our own house, of no satisfaction or pleasure at all. My wife was not there":

Aesthetic admiration, and the tacit and touching tribute that, had Elizabeth been there, it would have been to the credit of "our own house". She, on the other hand, knows what entertainments are skipworthy.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...I spoke one word only to her..."

"Janey!!!!"

"Dear God? Who was that fellow in the coach passing just now, yelling?"

"Cousin Samuel." The states without hesitation.

"You're sure? I couldn't make out a word he said."

"Mother...Only Cousin Samuel would come driving by like a madman, screaming your name to us, and wearing the perfect suit material for such dusty work. Excuse me, I must go and note this in my Journal."

Hmmn...Right...The one with the rather good, hand-drawn picture of Sam on the inside cover...I'd been meaning to ask her about that, Jane thinks.

"1/8/64...The Journal of Theophilia Turner..."

"My dear cousin and fellow Diarist came by to see Mot (scratch)...me today."

A. Hamilton   Link to this

"Mr. Coventry's mistresse"
Is this the first we hear of her?

Aye, Jeannine, I think so. Wonder how Sir Wm. phrased the toast? "To the wench that Mr. Coventry, sly man, keeps from us. I have seen her, and well he might." Belated Happy New Year to all.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...then Mr. Coventry's mistresse, at which he was ashamed, and would not have had him have drunk it, at least before the ladies present, but his policy, as he thought, was such that he would do it." Sure sounds like Penn was playing with fire if Coventry was embarrassed at his mentioning the significant other before the ladies present.

"Penn? What did the Duke want with you? Penn?!" Batten stares at his stricken-looking friend.

"I've been given a new sea command." Sir Will Penn blinks, as if unable to comprehend the magnitude of the disaster.

"A sea commnad? Where? Aganist the Dutch?

Penn shakes head... "It seems I'm the only man...On Coventry's recommendation...Who could map the coast of Upper Western North America and find the long-sought Northwest Passage. Or die trying, as His Grace said."

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