Monday 4 July 1664

Up, and many people with me about business, and then out to several places, and so at noon to my Lord Crew’s, and there dined and very much made of there by him. He offered me the selling of some land of his in Cambridgeshire, a purchase of about 1000l., and if I can compass it I will. After dinner I walked homeward, still doing business by the way, and at home find my wife this day of her owne accord to have lain out 25s. upon a pair of pendantes for her eares, which did vex me and brought both me and her to very high and very foule words from her to me, such as trouble me to think she should have in her mouth, and reflecting upon our old differences, which I hate to have remembered. I vowed to breake them, or that she should go and get what she could for them again. I went with that resolution out of doors; the poor wretch afterwards in a little while did send out to change them for her money again. I followed Besse her messenger at the ‘Change, and there did consult and sent her back; I would not have them changed, being satisfied that she yielded. So went home, and friends again as to that business; but the words I could not get out of my mind, and so went to bed at night discontented, and she came to bed to me, but all would not make me friends, but sleep and rise in the morning angry. This day the King and the Queene went to visit my Lord Sandwich and the fleete, going forth in the Hope.1

55 Annotations

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"to her very high and very foule words from her to me"
Sounds like some four letter words rather than pricklouse's son.

Patricia  •  Link

" and so went to bed at night discontented, and she came to bed to me, but all would not make me friends, but sleep and rise in the morning angry. "

Oh dear. First oath-breaking, and now defiance of Holy Scripture. Ephesians 4:26 "Be wrathful, and yet do not sin; let the sun not set on your anger."

I don't like Sam so much today, his petty tantrums and threats, and parsimony. I wonder how much time he will spend in future years when Bess is gone, regretting his hard treatment of her.

Terry F  •  Link

"After dinner I walked homeward, still doing business by the way"

Aha! Today he waited to walk about and perhaps met some of those who'd already dined for whom he looked the day before yesterday when "At noon to the 'Change, and there, which is strange, [he] could meet with nobody that [he] could invite home to [his] venison pasty...."

OR, Robert Gertz was correct:

Miss Lizzy  •  Link

I agree with you, Patricia. He's comtemplating a purchase of 1000£, but he gets upset over her spending 25s. It does help that he relents when she sends them back, but then he can't forgive her. If he had gotten his money back, do you think he would he would have felt more charitable?
I do wonder what she said, though!

Terry F  •  Link

"If he had gotten his money back...." -- Miss Lizzy. did he not?

"the poor wretch afterwards in a little while did send out to change them for her money again." I thought that meant she/he did...(or?)

Ken Welsh  •  Link

Please, please can't Americanisms like "gotten" be edited out of this historic and almost sacrosanct site?

MissAnn  •  Link

Well, TerryF, comprehension is sometimes a little difficult with the terminology I know, however, Sam did have a little chat with Besse (Bess' messenger) and sent her back with the ear-rings. Apparently Sam was please with the victory as it was and didn't need to follow through with the returning of the items. He really does have control issues, don't know if he's last too long in my household.

serafina  •  Link

At the risk of being indelicate, does anyone know what exactly the cursewords of the day were? I recall that swears and oaths of that time were more centred around using the Lord's name in various sorts of vain rather than the physically descriptive swearing that one hears on the bus today.

Whatever she said, it must have been something more than "ods boddikins" to set Sam off. And where do you suppose Liz learned such colourful language??

Mind you, if I was instructed to take back a pair of 25s earrings, he would have got a mouthfull from me too!

MissAnn  •  Link

Serafina, I would think Liz would be swearing in french (her native tongue) and therefore it could possibly be quite colourful and imaginitive - along the lines of Moliere or Voltaire etc. Let's hope someone comes up with something, I'm dying to know.

It's times like this that Sam makes me glad that I no longer have a husband to justify my purchases to.

Ken Welsh  •  Link

Thank you TerryF. I will do a little more research. But weren't the founding fathers of the USA Jacobites? Therefore the influence might have been a very early one?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

... weren't the founding fathers of the USA Jacobites?

Ironic for July 4th. They were small 'c' conservatives, perhaps, (whose thoughts owed much to C 17th English precedents of various kind) but were completely unimpressed by monarchical claims of any variety be they Stewart or otherwise and, rather than by authority flowing down, stated they believed that government was by consent flowing up:-

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ...

... We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do."

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Liz would be swearing in french (her native tongue)"

Miss Ann's comment obliges me to reiterate my annotation to the 22 June 2006 entry. Elizabeth was almost certainly a native speaker of English. Here are the arguments from that earlier annotation:

Elizabeth was born in England, and lived there until the age of 8 or 9. She was taken to France for a few years, maybe 3 or 4, then returned to live in England for the rest of her life. Her father was French, but her mother was Anglo-Irish. Under those circumstances, she was clearly a native speaker of English. She was no doubt fluent in French as well, possibly bilingual (her epitaph credits her with being gifted in languages). But there's no reason to suppose she had any difficulties with English, or spoke differently than anyone else around her in London.

This is not to say that she didn't know, and use on occasion, some choice French swear words.

AussieRene  •  Link

Michael Robinson..Was one of those "inalienable rights" in that oft quoted Yankee document, the right to own slaves too?

DrCari  •  Link

I find it exquisitly satisfying to rant angrily in a language the other party doesn't understand or cannot speak fluently. Hee!

tonyt  •  Link

Apparently Charles II developed a chill through removing his wig and waistcoat owing to the heat on this visit to the fleet.
On his previous visit (June 20th) he had returned with a severe headache due to the wind.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Kenneth Brannaugh on the audio version of the Diary does a wonderful nasty smug bit with the "...being satisfied that she yielded."

I suspect we're seeing here though Sam's bullying and smug sense of victory another little side of Bess-she's vulnerable to feelings of guilt when money is an issue. She brought nothing with her to the marriage, Sam works like a demon and is generous at times, arguing his frugalities are for their security...And I still believe he's winked at her grabbing a few shillings from the household accounts for her parents. Angry as she is, in the end she can't help but feel he's a little justified...I think events will prove (spoiler) she's able and willing to hold her ground on anything truly important.

I'm sorry to see Sam lose his objectivity in this entry...Normally he would indicate some sympathy for her position in his account, however furious he might have been during the action. Still, who hasn't sunk to this level of pettiness...And as always he remains true to the telling of the truth.


So Sam has been offered the chance to act as agent in Crew's land deal? I expect he could expect a fairly generous sales fee? Say 10% of that 1000Ls?


Jefferson and Adams tried to get a clause denouncing the slave trade in the Declaration but were forced to remove it. As for the hypocrisy, sure...And don't forget Native Americans. But the document formally called for an end to absolutism and monarchy in one large area of the Earth and led to the eventual formation of a government that gave most (male) citizens the right to elect their own representatives. It prevented development of a formal aristocracy and rigid class structure, helping to keep doors open for many. It eventually forced a bloody civil war that ended slavery here (forget what a few of my neighbors here in Georgia try to spin about states' rights and Northern oppression, the war was about the right to maintain a slave empire). And in time it couldn't reconcile with segregation or the denial of freedom of association and justice to workers or of women to vote and it forced those bad practices to end or at least begin to end.

All-in-all...We mostly think it's a keeper. However much some may try to dodge its provisions.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So some of the "old differences" revolved around Sam's stinginess or at least his unwillingness to let Bess have control of her own money as well as jealousy it seems.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Come on, Sam'l."


"I said I was sorry. I know I should have asked about it first. Now, come on, where's my little prick-louse's..."

"No. And stop that. I am not amused."


"I let you have them. There's no need to pretend you're sorry, Mrs. Pepys. I am deeply vexed, madam."

"'I am deeply vexed, madam.' Sam'l..."

"And that was fine language you used today. I see the would-be French aristocrat has the mouth of a common street..."

"Sam'l. I was angry. You know I have a fiery temper. And you were being..."

" 'Stingy son of a...' I believe was your depliction. Here I am, slaving away...Am I not in the office till 12 am most nights?...For our security. Denying myself pleasure constantly...Have I not given up my nights with the old fellows? And you are angry because I don't wish to take what little we have...Mostly tied up with that dolt Sandwich...And throw it right into the Thames. Shall we do that, right now? Shall I go and get the pittance we have for our age and throw it into the Thames to prove how liberal I am?"


"Oh, yes. Such a miserable existence I grant you."

jeannine  •  Link

"very high and very foule words from her to me"

Little anecdotes of the time

Speaking of husbands, wives and swear words...When Queen Catherine arrived she could not speak any English so she slowly began to learn the language. Charles thought it quite funny to teach her swear words (telling her some other meaning for the word of course) and then from time to time she would inappropriately let out a cuss and he found it highly amusing.

And more on bad language of the times...A while back we were discussing male-female relations and I remember an annotator saying that people wanting another view on the subject should read the poems of John Wilmot (Rochester). So, being the curious type that I am and interested in the male-female dynamics on the time, I did just that. Wilmot is not reading for polite society and you practically need a 'swear-translation" dictionary to get through it, but believe me there was a whole and wildly colorful set of words out there not for the faint at heart. I doubt that Elizabeth would have known 1/100th of them, but I do know that in a later time that Sam had a collection of Rochester's work so he must have. I'd also imagine that just about anything that Elizabeth said to Sam in the course of this argument would have bothered him. This argument seems to me to have been more focused on control, respecting his role, etc. so it's anyone's guess just how "foule" her "foule words" were.

Xjy  •  Link

"Please, please can't Americanisms like "gotten" be edited out of this historic and almost sacrosanct site?"

Ken, any editing should be focused on the diary text, and that's mostly already been done before it gets anywhere near our screens. What you or I or anyone else chooses to say about the diary here in the comments is up to us, in our own language. We certainly don't have to restrict ourselves to some imagined mid-17th century usage. You write as you wish, I write as I wish, and it all comes out in the wash...

What should be authentic here (beyond the text as far as is possible) is really only our interest in Pepys and his age, all the rest is part of the glorious diversity of humankind. Like.

Homo sum: humani nil a me alieno puto...

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"being satisfied that she yielded"

Wow. Think what a marriage counselor today would do with that. Sam obviously has some control issues here. 25s *was* a lot of money then, so Sam probably could have had a reasonable expectation of being consulted (although, Elizabeth may have been taking the "do it and beg forgiveness later" route, rather than asking permission when she knew he'd say no), but the phrase above shows that, when it comes to finances, he considers himself Lord and Master, not to be trifled with.

"He offered me the selling of some land of his in Cambridgeshire, a purchase of about 1000l., and if I can compass it I will."

Question: Is Crew asking Sam to act as agent, as Robert suggests, or is he trying to sell the land to Sam? If it's the latter, the fact that Sam was "very much made of there by him" during lunch is kind of amusing ...

Don McCahill  •  Link

> gave most (male) citizens the right to elect their own representatives

Well, not quite. Only a tiny fraction of males were allowed to vote in the early elections. About 1% of the population voted (wealthy landowners) and even those were not to be trusted to vote for President. Even today the Electoral College is running that show.

America was the first modern democracy ... it just didn't happen in 1776 like most people think.

language hat  •  Link

"Please, please can't Americanisms like 'gotten' be edited out of this historic and almost sacrosanct site?"

Xjy was a lot nicer about it than I was going to be. I'll just point out that, aside from being needlessly combative, you were completely wrong: "gotten" is by far the older form. OED:

"The forms of the pa. pple. retaining the original vowel (ON. getenn) are found in literature down to the 16th c., and in the north midlands and Yorkshire getten is still the dialectal form. From the beginning of the English history of the vb., however, it has, like most verbs with ME. open e in the present stem, tended to assume the conjugation of vbs. of the e, a, o series (originally confined to roots ending in a liquid); thus in the 13th c. we find geten, gat, goten parallel with stelen, stal, stolen. In the 16th c. the pa. tense was often got, by assimilation to the pa. pple.; in the 17th c. this became the usual form, though gat is used in the Bible of 1611 and still occurs in archaistic poetry. In England the form gotten of the pa. pple. is almost obsolete (exc. dial.) being superseded by got."

I think you'll agree there were neither Jacobites nor English-speaking Americans in the 13th century.

Martin  •  Link

And besides that, "almost sancrosanct"?

Bradford  •  Link

"Almost," indeed! I do vow and protest. . . .

Miriam  •  Link

You would think the Bishop or Homeboy were back in town.

Rachel  •  Link

Hi all. I'm writing something about Pepys' time period and want to make sure I'm understanding how the word 'compass' was used at the time. He uses it right near the start of today's entry ("...if I can compass it I will"). I can't find an entry for the verb 'compass' in either of my Pepys glossaries. Does he mean 'manage', or something else? Thanks...

Mary  •  Link


Yes, Pepys means, "if I can manage it, find a way to do it, I will".

Rachel  •  Link


Robert Gertz  •  Link

Indeed I should have said gradual extension to most (male) citizens...

It remains a keeper, however.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

As I recall, Sam was profoundly troubled by Bess' use of the word "devil" in Pembleton's presence, so the foul words may have covered a considerable range include some we would accept and others we might chuckle at.

Sam would love a lot of the music, probably delight in Star Wars and Pirates and some other film blockbusters but I suspect he'd have a lot of trouble with our world.

Bess, on the other hand...

Eh, they're both survivors. They'd deal.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Today's marital tempest is a strong contrast to yesterday's evening idyll. Ups and downs in the relatioship, and yes, Sam appears to have control issues. As for the Cambridgeshire land, L1000 is out of Sam's financial reach, so the alternative interpretation, that he's being asked to be agent, for a commission, seems likelier.

pk  •  Link

25 shillings: a back of the envelope calculation.

If Sam has a total wealth of around £1000 (recent entry: "£951., for which God be blessed") then 25s is approximately 0.125% of their assets. In modern London a couple's wealth might be tied up in their house/flat, the average price of which is about £350000. If we include other goods and chattels their total wealth might be say £400000. If we take 0.125% of that we get £500. This sum would be worthy of discussion in most of those households, I would have thought, so, is it all that suprising that Sam was bit put out?. Even if my calculations are twice as high as they should be, £250 is still an appreciable sum.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I must admit at $500 for a pair of earrings, I would like to discuss it.

(I didn't say no, dear, just...Discuss.)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

And it should never be forgotten "stingy boy" has laid out a bundle on Bess' study. I seriously wonder how many women of the day's husbands would have rushed to give their spouse such a thing as a private study.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Homo sum: Humani nil a me alieno puto"
Homo and Puto would sound awful in the hoods of New York, but it is actually a quotation from Terentius, much admired by Karl Marx meaning: I am a Man and nothing human is alien to me.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"But weren't the founding fathers of the USA Jacobites? "
They be the most polygot lot, having an opportunity to rise to their own level of competence, where back in their own back yard they had to succumb to the whims of those that had unlimited power.
All the other societies had polygot thinking that had no voice, except in revolution,they be ruled by a minority who claimed their genes be special.
From the various interpretations of the Bible through the agnostic and other methods of thinking by Espinoza, Hobbes, Descartes, Milton, Bunyon, Rochester et al, the idea that everyone should have a say in how their life be run was formed.

Every thing be an Opinion except where it can be QEDed.

Sacrosanct: I have a feeling not many of the Pepsian acadamiams in their moroccian hide bound chairs and books, sipping their Sack of Cadiz wino, view this site with any pure thoughts.

Some thoughts from one that has no credentials of yellowed papyrus, or other ribbons of right of passage, dothe like to see the views of the middling sort from the worms eye view.

There be plenty of polished editions from the Betters.

In Samuell's time the elected officials were elected by their 'Piers', that be those that owned properies worth 10L or more and not be Popish or any other fanatic like Ranters or a Quaker, that be males, not females and that numbered far less than 10 percent of the Population.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"... the right to own slaves too?"

AussieRene, This is not the appropriate site for an extended discussion of this question but its fair to say that some consciences were troubled by the discrepancy; and sufficiently so to change their behavior over time. Washington who freed his slaves in his will is one famous example. Edmund S. Morgan 'American Slavery, American Freedom: the ordeal of colonial Virginia,' 1975, is one very readable "classic" from the extensive literature on the topic.

Terry F  •  Link

Of course, AussieRene, while agreeing with Michael Robinson, I think he would in turn agree that British slavery -- the enslavement of Britons and their trading and holding slaves, is not far off-stage, is a fact of life today, 4 July 1664, and has been and will again be the topic of proper annotation and discussion.

Terry F  •  Link

Of course, when we discuss British slavery we'll count the Americans as at the least honorary British: their Declaration of Independence complains, i.a., that, even 112 years from now, they have been deprived by George III's regime of *their* (British) "constitution."

jeannine  •  Link

"I seriously wonder how many women of the day's husbands would have rushed to give their spouse such a thing as a private study."

I seriously wonder how many MEN of the TODAY's WIVES would have rushed to give their spouse such a thing as a private study.....probably the ones like me who figured out that it would be the one place that he would be required to keep all of his "crap-o-la" in and that I just bought myself eternal bliss simply by closing the door and not having to look at it! Perhaps the best money I've spent in a long time!

Pedro  •  Link

"and her to very high and very foule words from her to me, such as trouble me to think she should have in her mouth"

But what if she ever found out the pleasure he took seeing the Lady's underwear on the washing line!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Of course as I've noted earlier, Sam's fiendish plan with the study for Bess was to keep her content to be locked up safely at home.

Well, one woman's (my mom) "crapola" was great art in the case of my dad who somehow managed to produce it in a tiny homemade studio box in the basement despite seven demanding kids plus time-jealous spouse. But whether it's great art or just piled up beloved "stuff" or just a place to enjoy a little peace such a thing as a private workroom or study really is a great gift and joy. Even if his motives were mixed, Sam deserves credit for such a gift.

Brian  •  Link

Sam and the Crews:

The other day Sam had a several hour heart-to-heart conversation with Lady Sandwich. Clearly she still greatly considers him her friend. Today her father Lord Crew says he is willing to sell a significant amount of land to Sam, something that landowners not in bankruptcy are generally not eager to do. It seems that the Crew family feelings for Sam are waxing, while Sandwich's feelings for Sam are waning (or at least not recovering very quickly.) I wonder if Lord Crew knows about Sam's letter to Sandwich, and if the family is demonstrating their gratitude for Sam's defense of their honor. How much do the Crews know, and when did they know it??

Patricia  •  Link

*smirks* I HAVE a private study. My husband doesn't.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

This is not the appropriate site for an extended discussion of this question ...

Meaning the time, 1776, not the topic.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Buying or selling?

Andrew, I considered that, but wondered a couple of things: 1) Crew might not be looking to sell the land right away; 2) Sam might be thinking of a way to "creatively" get together the £1000 (leveraging other assets, paying over time, etc.) This is what I thought "if I can compass it" might have meant...

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Sam might be thinking of a way to "creatively" get together the £1000

If SP were to assign to Crew Sandwich's note for the outstanding loan, without recourse, as a substantial down payment this would certainly eliminate the risk to his funds that SP has been so worried about in recent months.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Indeed. Land has always been the Holy Grail for Sam -- it brings security, income, and status. And, if we can reduce his risk with Sandwich, as Michael suggests, this could be a Very Good Thing. Plus, think of the position it'd put Crew in! He'd be hard-pressed to publicly refute his son-in-law's creditworthiness, though he probably knows better than anyone else how much debt he's piling up...

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Michael and Todd,

I hadn't seen the possibilities you mention. Thanks. I was thinking that the Sandwich loan would prevent Sam from offering to buy the land, and took, "If I can compass it" to mean, if I can find a way of selling the land for Lord Crew.

laura k  •  Link

"Please, please can't Americanisms like "gotten" be edited out of this historic and almost sacrosanct site?"

This is an utterly inappropriate comment. Thank you to those who rejected it.

This site is not almost sacrosanct, and annotations are written in the language of the annotators. We don't all use the same words, nor should we have to.


I'm still here every day, by the way, as I have been since Day One of the Diary. I no longer annotate, only lurk, because I have nothing useful to add. But shite like this brought me out. Thanks, as always, to Phil and everyone who makes this site so special.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The land Sale

It never occurred to me that what Sam and Lord Crew were discussing was anything other than Sam being an agent on commission for Lord Crew. Such exalted persons would not grub about in the real estate market themselves, but use agents and one with a family connection (by marriage) and who is obviously able is the natural choice.

The earrings

What is at stake here is who is in charge: Elizabeth had vowed at her marriage to obey Sam. These vows would have been taken seriously and literally: Sam's behaviour is normal for the time: the man was in control in a marriage. Elizabeth was utterly dependent on Sam - she had not even brought any capital wealth into the marriage. What is surprising is her feistiness: Sam could have beaten her black and blue and she would have had no recourse to any law to protect her.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: the land sale

Aussie Sue and Andrew (it's time to rhyme! :-) -- it could very well be that this is about him acting as agent ... hopefully we'll see in the next several months...

Nice to see you back, Laura K! I suspect you have plenty of useful thoughts to add (such as the one above :-)

Neommadex  •  Link

this topic for test cars

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