Sunday 21 August 1664

(Lord’s day). Waked about 4 o’clock with my wife, having a looseness, and peoples coming in the yard to the pump to draw water several times, so that fear of this day’s fire made me fearful, and called Besse and sent her down to see, and it was Griffin’s maid for water to wash her house. So to sleep again, and then lay talking till 9 o’clock. So up and drunk three bottles of Epsum water, which wrought well with me. I all the morning and most of the afternoon after dinner putting papers to rights in my chamber, and the like in the evening till night at my office, and renewing and writing fair over my vowes. So home to supper, prayers, and to bed. Mr. Coventry told us the Duke was gone ill of a fit of an ague to bed; so we sent this morning to see how he do.

Elizabeth Falkener, wife of John Falkener, announced to Pepys the death of “her dear and loving husband” in a letter dated July 19th, 1664 “begs interest that she may be in something considered by the person succeeding her husband in his employment, which has occasioned great expenses.” (“Calendar of State Papers,” Domestic, 1663-64, p. 646)

7 Annotations

JWB   Link to this

I assume that Elizabeth Falkener by common law has 40 days sanctuary in her late husband's house.

JWB   Link to this

Thinking in terms of forty days & fire & fear of fire, I checked to see if it rained on St. Swithin's Day. Sam did not record that it did.

cape henry   Link to this

"...renewing and writing fair over my vowes." These vows must be the >L1000 version. Sort of vows 2.0. It will be interesting to see if we can spot any differences in the terms of this iteration, now so painstakingly committed to paper.

Mark Geraghty   Link to this

"...with my wife, having a looseness..."

Crucially, L&M have

"...with my wife's having a looseness..."

Crucial for poor Elizabeth, that is.

Bradford   Link to this

How big would you think those bottles of Epsom water were? A common beer today? A Big Slurp? A liter? If the last, three bottles of anything might wreak on you, if perhaps leaving your electrolytes a little wacky---thus making you partial to paranoia about house-washing maids. When do you suppose that chore dropped off their job description?

cape henry   Link to this

"...and called Besse and sent her down to see..." Not the first time Monsieur Bravery has sent the maid to check out a suspicious sound.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Been fifteen minutes, Sam'l." Bess, anxious expression.

"I know, I know." Drumming of fingers. "Can't be anything. Jane?!"

"Sir?"

"Go down and see what happened to Besse."

"Sir?"

"Go on, girl." pushing motion with hands.

Like hell will I, Jane sensibly heading for her room once safely out of sight.

"So he sent you next, eh?"

"Besse? Didn't you go down?"

"Not bloody likely. Was I gonna get me head stove in for two pounds a year?"

"Aye."

Fifteen minutes later...

"Sam'l?"

"I know, I know. It does look bad."

Drumming of fingers...

"Uh, Bess?"

"Go to hell, dear."

"Right. We'll wait. The Watch should come by eventually."

***

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