Saturday 4 February 1664/65

Lay long in bed discoursing with my wife about her mayds, which by Jane’s going away in discontent and against my opinion do make some trouble between my wife and me. But these are but foolish troubles and so not to be set to heart, yet it do disturb me mightily these things. To my office, and there all the morning. At noon being invited, I to the Sun behind the ‘Change, to dinner to my Lord Belasses, where a great deal of discourse with him, and some good, among others at table he told us a very handsome passage of the King’s sending him his message about holding out the town of Newarke, of which he was then governor for the King. This message he sent in a sluggbullet, being writ in cypher, and wrapped up in lead and swallowed. So the messenger come to my Lord and told him he had a message from the King, but it was yet in his belly; so they did give him some physique, and out it come. This was a month before the King’s flying to the Scotts; and therein he told him that at such a day, being the 3d or 6th of May, he should hear of his being come to the Scotts, being assured by the King of France that in coming to them he should be used with all the liberty, honour, and safety, that could be desired. And at the just day he did come to the Scotts. He told us another odd passage: how the King having newly put out Prince Rupert of his generallshipp, upon some miscarriage at Bristoll, and Sir Richard Willis1 of his governorship of Newarke, at the entreaty of the gentry of the County, and put in my Lord Bellasses, the great officers of the King’s army mutinyed, and come in that manner with swords drawn, into the market-place of the towne where the King was; which the King hearing, says, “I must to horse.” And there himself personally, when every body expected they should have been opposed, the King come, and cried to the head of the mutineers, which was Prince Rupert, “Nephew, I command you to be gone.” So the Prince, in all his fury and discontent, withdrew, and his company scattered, which they say was the greatest piece of mutiny in the world. Thence after dinner home to my office, and in the evening was sent to by Jane that I would give her her wages. So I sent for my wife to my office, and told her that rather than be talked on I would give her all her wages for this Quarter coming on, though two months is behind, which vexed my wife, and we begun to be angry, but I took myself up and sent her away, but was cruelly vexed in my mind that all my trouble in this world almost should arise from my disorders in my family and the indiscretion of a wife that brings me nothing almost (besides a comely person) but only trouble and discontent. She gone I late at my business, and then home to supper and to bed.

  1. Sir Richard Willis, the betrayer of the Royalists, was one of the “Sealed Knot.” When the Restoration had become a certainty, he wrote to Clarendon imploring him to intercede for him with the king (see Lister’s “Life of Clarendon,” vol. iii., p. 87).

29 Annotations

Margaret   Link to this

I'm glad that Sam paid Jane her wages.

The story about the messenger is interesting -- I'm glad Sam puts in these anecdotes that really have nothing at all to do with him. I'm wondering about the "physique" -- did that make the messenger vomit, or was it more gross than that? Probably more gross, considering the time involved in delivering the message.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"He told us another odd passage: how the King having newly put out Prince Rupert of his generallshipp, upon some miscarriage at Bristoll, and Sir Richard Willis1 of his governorship of Newarke, at the entreaty of the gentry of the County, and put in my Lord Bellasses, the great officers of the King’s army mutinyed, and come in that manner with swords drawn, into the market-place of the towne where the King was; which the King hearing, says, “I must to horse.” And there himself personally, when every body expected they should have been opposed, the King come, and cried to the head of the mutineers, which was Prince Rupert, “Nephew, I command you to be gone.” So the Prince, in all his fury and discontent, withdrew, and his company scattered, which they say was the greatest piece of mutiny in the world."

Pepys doesn't know it, but this passage is odd in what it says of what the King did and said.

A better account: "Oct 16 - The King orders that Rupert must not enter Newark. Rupert ignores this and is met by the Governor Sir Richard Willis, Charles Gerrard and an escort of 100 men.
[Oct 21] Rupert demands a court martial in an attempt to clear his name. This court very quickly finds in favour of Rupert and Charles makes a statement absolving him from any act of disloyalty or treason at Bristol. The court martial was overseen by Lord Astley, Lord Belasyse, Lord Cork, Lord Lindsey, and Gerrard, Richard Willis and John Ashburnham.

But Charles is angry and removes Richard Willis from being Governor of Newark.

[Oct 26] Rupert, Willis, Maurice and Gerrard march to the King [where he is at dinner] and protested. Charles orders them out and they retreat to the Governor's house and demand a fair trial for Willis. The King refuses but says he will allow passes to anyone who wishes to leave his service and go oversees.

...Gerrard apologises to the King but Rupert defiantly leaves Newark with about 200 men and heads for Belvoir Castle. Rupert later heads back towards Oxford and stays at Woodstock." http://www.theteacher99.btinternet.co.uk/ecivil...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

the “Sealed Knot.”

The Sealed Knot was a secret Royalist association which plotted for the Restoration of the Monarchy during English Interregnum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealed_Knot

Carl in Boston   Link to this

"Lay long in bed discoursing with my wife about her mayds"
Good, good, so far, so good, best news in quite a while.........
"a wife that brings me nothing almost (besides a comely person) but only trouble and discontent"
Sam will drool, and Liz will rule, she will win, he has to obey, she's beautiful
"They did give him some physique, and out it come"
Margaret asks, come out the front, or come out the back? He had to be on the road more than one hour, and his digestion had to bring the lead ball into his intestines. I vote for this scenario: they revved him up with physic, aimed him against the wall, and he blew that lead ball out his .... Just the same, the ball is up in the air, which way it came out, you decide. I know which way my money is on.
How about some more about the flowers of England, that last bit was beautiful.

cgs   Link to this

lead poisoning? another entry for SP:

sluggbullet,

1. a. A piece of lead or other metal for firing from a gun; a roughly-formed bullet.
1622 MS. Sessions Roll, Durham, Unum tormentum anglice a gun oneratum cum quadam plumbea machina vocata a Slugg.

7. attrib. and Comb., as slug-bullet, -cartridge, -gun, -shot; slug-loaded adj.; slug-line Journalism, an identifying title, usu. occupying one slug, accompanying a news story in draft and galleys; slug-setting Printing, the method of setting an entire line of type on a single slug; so slug-set a.
1665 PEPYS Diary 4 Feb., This message he sent in a *slugg-bullett, being writ in cypher, and wrapped up in lead.

an aside:
1902 A. M. WORTHINGTON Dynamics of Rotation (ed.4) p. viii, I have ventured to give the name of a ‘slug’ to the British Engineer's Unit of Mass, i.e., to the mass in which an acceleration of one foot-per-sec.-per-sec. is produced by a force of one pound.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"...But these are but foolish troubles and so not to be set to heart, yet it do disturb me mightily these things...."

Why does Elizabeth's quick temper with her domestics and mishandling of them, which Sam here admits to being "foolish", still disturb him so much? Do many men either of that time or later really bother much about the servants? As long as the household ran and they got food and clean bedding and the slops emptied, fires lit and so on, why would he bother about the how and the when? Or is this a hangover from the medieval concept of household and family being one? Sam certainly refers to family as meaning the servants as well. But, from my own experience, my husband (who works l-o-n-g hours) is not in the least bit interested in how our household runs as long as it does!

The section about the bullet reminded me (queasily) of the time my two year old son swallowed the head of a Lego man........

jeannine   Link to this

“Pepys doesn’t know it, but this passage is at odds in what it says of what the King did and said.”, Yes Terry, in regards to Rupert, Sam is once again off in his information.

All information& quotes from “Prince Rupert :The Last Cavalier” by Charles Spencer

Rupert arrived in Newark and the King had lost control of the town. “Sir John Oglander, a Royalist knight, witnessed similar debauchery elsewhere: ”Truly all, of the greatest part, of the Kings’ commanders, were so debased by drinking, whoring and swearing that no man could expect God’s blessings on their actions.’ When Charles tried to establish order, he was ignored.

A large welcoming party greeted Rupert outside the town walls, while the king skulked inside. Rupert rode into Newark, dismounted, and to the consternation of Sir Edward Walker, an eyewitness, ‘comes straight into the [King’s] presence, and without any usual ceremony, tells his Majesty that he has come to render an account of the loss of Bristol,’ Charles refused to acknowledge his nephew’s presence and, appalled by his insolence, walked silently to his supper chair, Rupert eagerly trying to open a dialogue. The king started to eat and addressed only Maurine [Rupert’s younger brother].

Rupert’s persistence eventually won through, thought, and Charles agreed to his request for a court martial. Sitting in judgment were seven Royalist grandees, including the Earl of Linsey (son of the general slain at Edgehill), Lord Astley, Lord Gerard, Sir Richard Willis (governor of Newark), Lord Bellasis, and John Ashbeunham. Bellasis and Ashburnham were Digby’s men [note:Digby is Rupert’s political enemy and had become favored by Charles I at this time], but the court martial’s verdict was unanimous: the prince was declared innocent of cowardice and treachery. The panel accepted that Rupert would have defended Bristol’ to the last man: though the tender regard he had to the preservation of so many officers and soldiers, was the chief reason that induced him to capitulate for the whole; they having so long and faithfully served us.’ Charles’s counterclaim – that he would have saved the city if his nephew had held out for longer – was rejected.

On 21 October the king was obliged to sign the humiliating verdict. He then declared he would be leaving for Oxford. His parting shot was the dismissal of Willis as governor, and his replacement by Digby’s acolyte, Bellasis……”

Rupert, Gerard and about 20 followers set upon the King as Willis’s friendship to him had cost him his position. John Evelyn’s Diary then recorded that “Digby’s character, however, was supported by Bellasis, the governor, and several others, but the Princes, Rupert and Maurice, side with Gerard. At length swords were drawn, and the King rushed to part them… ‘

Private conversations between the King, Rupert and Maurice took place and the Princes finally determined that “Digby and his faction are too firmly in favour for the king to treat them favourably or honourably. With regret they decide to quit Newark.

The king watched from the castle window as the princes led away 400 of his supporters. Eyewitnesses recalled seeing tears in Charles’s eyes as the columns rode off.”

Jesse   Link to this

"...the indiscretion of a wife that brings me nothing almost (besides a comely person) but only trouble and discontent"

My thinking is that Pepys is looking to his wife to manage the household w/o "indiscretion" and other issues and w/o him having to get *involved*. She's having trouble obviously and he's annoyed. Probably not his only frustration w/his "comely" Mrs. who perhaps may be excused by her youth.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Why does Elizabeth’s quick temper with her domestics and mishandling of them, which Sam here admits to being “foolish”, still disturb him so much? Do many men either of that time or later really bother much about the servants?"

I think there are several issues, private and public. Privately the disturbance in the household for a man like Sam who enjoys people and seems to like to have a cheery atmosphere must grate. The servants don't vanish when he comes in and their natural human discontent however suppressed makes for an unpleasant home. Bess is likely on edge and anxious to have Sam favor her part, while tormented by this evidence that she is unable to run her home well and meet her husband's exacting standards. (No doubt Sam does his best to rub in his long hours, constant diligence, etc,etc) She'll be even less likely to handle relations with future servants well after this. And that can't make for happiness in their personal relationship, all adding up to a home he once found a haven becoming a place he would rather avoid. On the practical side, he's lost another maid he valued and it will be harder to get good servants as the word of mouth about Bess spreads. Publicly, Jane is talking about the situation so neighbors and strangers are learning details about his home problems while visitors (proper entertaining of important clients and 'friends' becoming more and more crucial to Sam's advancement) may find themselves poorly served.

I've always felt Sam's remark in this entry that Bess brings him nothing to be about the lowest point in their relationship-even future infidelities don't quite matter so much as this angry grouse on his part regarding his poor choice. She must sense his feelings from his attitude if not by his direct statement and that can only deepen her anxiety...She's failed as a child-bearer, and now as a household manager and the husband and lover who threw all common sense aside to win her (something she must treasure), lately increasingly neglectful, now seems to be regretting his choice. It's sad that Sam can't see much of the problems at home stem from his own selfishness and withdrawl-she senses his pulling away from her and it's turning a high-spirited, good-hearted, loving young woman into a lonely, anxious, angry, and bitter one.

Spoiler-Thank heaven a rescuer is on the way...And her name ironically is also Jane.

Margaret   Link to this

Thank-you, Terry & Jeannine, for explaining what was going on with Charles I & Prince Rupert; I really couldn't understand Sam's explanation.

I live in that part of the world once known as "Rupert's Land" (named after him though he never came near the place) and feel a special interest in the prince. He led a very interesting life--too bad he never kept a diary. Was he really a pirate at one time, before the restoration?

CGS   Link to this

Prince Rupert: Was he really a pirate? nae just a NGO. of the day. Pirate was an 'ero to some, Pain to some others and was useful foil for errors done by the Powers to be.
The Inter Regnum was a period when Charles II was a king to some , Renegade to others , and an embarrassment to others, so his supporters had to fend for themselves by any means. If Charles had lost his bid to get his crown, like his first borne then History would be different.

Pedro   Link to this

Sealed Knot, Bringing the Past to Life…

http://www.thesealedknot.org.uk/

Mary   Link to this

a word for Elizabeth.

Let's not forget that we're only hearing Sam's side of the argument, and we all know how many hours a day Sam spends wrapped in the bosom of his extended 'family'. Precious few.

Is Jane such a paragon? We don't know because Sam has no idea how she has been behaving whilst he is out practically all day, every day. He's not too happy with her behaviour now that she's been dismissed. Perhaps he is too ready to accept her account of Elizabeth's behaviour, notably with regard to Tom. Tom is Sam's boy, not Elizabeth's, and it should be up to Sam to see that the lad is properly employed.

Speaking from many years' experience of living in developing countries with live-in servants in the house, I can attest to the fact that it is not always easy to build working relationships that are equally satisfactory to both partners in the employers' marriage.

George R   Link to this

"a word for Elizabeth.

Let’s not forget that we’re only hearing Sam’s side of the argument, and we all know how many hours a day Sam spends wrapped in the bosom of his extended ‘family’. Precious few."

As there is only one Bess and she is now well outnumbered by the dissmissed servants, it looks like Sam is, perhaps reluctantly, beginning to think the servants are in the right. After all as the husband he has a hold on her but feels an obligation to go along,reluctantly again, with her whims.

Pedro   Link to this

Prince Rupert; was he really a pirate?

An interesting question and as cgs suggests there is a fine line between piracy and privateering. I think that Rupert and Holmes have been harshly labelled by many historians as pirates, whereas other Royalists such as Allin and Carteret as privateers. Taking the Wikipedia definition, a pirate commits robbery mainly at sea, but without commission. The privateer does the same thing but is commissioned with letters of marque issued from a sovereign state.

Rupert led the Royalist fleet on its epic voyage from 1649 to 1652, along with Holmes, that went to the Mediterranean, West Africa an over to the West Indies. Perhaps it is the connection with the West Indies that has caused the label.

Allin was a Lowestoft (Royalist) shipbuilder whose ship was seized by the Parliamentarians and converted to a warship. He and other Royalist went over to the continent and fitted out vessels to distress the Yarmouth (Parliamentarian) trade. It is said that 21 out of the 23 Iceland fishery ships were captured by these Royalist Privateers.

From the Encyclopedia Carteret declared for the King and held out on Jersey for three years while taking part in lucrative privateering.

To add to the confusion, while Rupert was being chased by Blake after giving him the slip at Lisbon, he sent a ship to chase a French prize. The French ship was driven towards Blake’s fleet and was taken by them as a prize. Neither Rupert of Blake had a right to take the Frenchman.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

So I sent for my wife to my office, and told her that rather than be talked on I would give her all her wages for this Quarter coming on, though two months is behind, which vexed my wife
Elizabeth is clearly wrong and flying in the face of modern law. One cannot stiff a worker for back pay and dismiss them without paying, which she was doing. In this, Sam is right. A workman is worthy of his hire, as it says in The Good Book.

Paul Dyson   Link to this

Slugg

This word is often used for bullets in "Westerns", whether films, books or comics, for example in the old epitaph from Boot Hill, Tombstone and elsewhere:

Here lies Lester Moore,
Six slugs from a 44,
No Les,
No More.

An example of a word persisting in American English after they had disappeared in the old country.

Mary   Link to this

"this quarter coming on"

I wonder which quarter we are talking about. The current quarter runs from December 25th to Lady Day (March 25th). "Coming on" could be taken to mean 'next quarter' i.e. Lady Day to Midsummer Day. However,it seems more likely that we are concerned with the current quarter, which still has the better part of 2 months (actually 7 weeks) to run (coming on).

Jane was first given her notice on January 5th, just 10 days into the current quarter, and immediately took time off to go and look for another position. One month later she leaves and Sam insists on paying her in full to the end of the quarter in seven weeks' time even though she has only worked a part of it. Elizabeth is especially vexed because this leaves the Pepyses two months out of pocket (behind).

Strictly speaking, Jane and others like her should have been employed on an annual contract which could not be broken in mid-term unless by mutual consent or because of serious misdeeds by the employee or after reasonable cause had been shown to a magistrate. In practice, the letter of the law was by no means always adhered to and many servants were turned out with no notice and little, if any, payment. By contemporary standards Jane has not done badly at all; she's had a month in which to look for another job and I see no suggestion that she was to be cast adrift with no pay at all. The argument between Sam and Elizabeth is about how much she should be paid, not whether she should be given any pay. Jane wants to be paid for the whole quarter, not just for a part of it,and that is what she achieves. Does she calculate that Sam will pay up in order to avoid gossip?

As for the reasons for Jane's dismissal, they are not entirely clear, but on January 5th Sam agrees that "she hath faults and is cunning" (i.e. crafty, devious, sly). On January 6th he reports "they say a little apt to scold - but I hear her not." (But he isn't at home as much as the rest of the household).

There is clearly friction within the household. Whether Jane or Elizabeth is the prime cause of this we cannot tell for sure, but one of them has to go and it's not going to be Mrs. Pepys. That really would get the neighbourhood, the Navy Office and Sam's professional colleagues' tongues wagging.

language hat   Link to this

Just to clear up CGS's OED definition, it's for "slug," not "slugbullet," a compound that apparently occurs only here.

jeannine   Link to this

"Was he really a pirate at one time, before the restoration?"

Margaret, as Pedro mentions Rupert was not a 'pirate' but perhaps more of a 'privateer'. This link explains the difference pretty well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privateering

Under Charles I most of Rupert's activity was on land, where he built up an amazing reputation as an army leader. In 1647 his career as an army officer came to an end and he became an Admiral, or a "general-at-sea' as the role was often called then.

Kitson, in his book “Prince Rupert Admiral and General-at-Sea” explains that “When Rupert first took charge of the Royalist fleet at the end of 1648, the Commonwealth government was firmly established in England. For the next four and a half years he kept the Royalist flag flying in the approaches to the Channel, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Caribbean, with no base, harried by Parliamentary commanders like Blake, Ayscue and Penn and subjected to the violence of the elements as well as the enemy. It was a tremendous achievement and illustration of endurance and courage of epic proportions, even though it did little to advance the Royalist cause at the time.”

While at sea, and in the course of confrontations or battles, it was common for ships to get taken over and for any goods on board taken in the process. In the case of people like Carteret and Rupert, a percentage of that was given to the King (or in the case of Charles, when he was Prince of Wales, in his exile). For Rupert it was part of his naval activity where for Carteret, who had a Letter of Marque, it was almost a business. While Charles was in exile, he really needed any money that he could get and authorizing this ‘pirating’ under the name of being a ‘privateer’ or under military action on his behalf was a welcome cash flow when it worked out in his favor.

And as an aside, Rupert had such a fearful reputation that many of the stories about him got blown out of proportion. His stature (about 6’ 5’’) and dark hair gave him a physically striking presence. He also had a very strong temper (which somewhat mellowed with age) and many people even within the Royalist cause were very jealous of him. His army troops and seamen, however, tended to be very loyal to him. Most of what Sam records about him does not align with the actual history. In the case of Sam, for some unknown reason, Rupert starts out in his Diary on a bad footing and never regains it, but rather continues to be the subject of slander from Sam. We also need to understand that Sam often gets his gossip from very biased parties and tends to record it in a way that sounds so factual that one may just believe it to be true.

JWB   Link to this

Elisabeth

Yesterday Sam visited Lady Sandwich. No-one could withstand the comparison.

Nix   Link to this

So today's references to "the King" are to Charles I, not Charles II? (Took a while for that to dawn on me.)

jeannine   Link to this

Yes Nix, Bellases is talking about Charles I.

Glyn   Link to this

It sounds as if Sam is regretting not marrying a richer or more politically connected woman (like his rival Creed will do). Yet he will never remarry after Elizabeth's death and it's hard to know why since that would have been the sensible thing to do, and he would have been a good catch for any young woman or young widow.

By the way, I've just noticed in passing that according to the lists there are now more than 1,400 people who have been mentioned in the Diary in the last four years - that's a fantastically high number.

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Maybe Sam overpaid Jane by two months. I couldn't figure it, there seemed to be a financial screw loose. The usual view is: "It's nothing to do with you, it's all about the money". In this case it's nothing to do with Elizabeth, and nothing to do about the money (chickenfeed), it's all about his reputation. Jane, clever girl, is giving his reputation a good shaking because Elizabeth has shorted her on the wages, and if he doesn't get this over with, his name will be Mudd all over town among the servants. Jane knows this isn't all about money, it's about protection.

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

Plus, it's protection at a bargain -- remember, in terms of salary, Jane (or any of the servants, for that matter) wasn't paid very much at all. A good portion of their recompense was in room and board, and she's losing that by being put out of the house.

CGS   Link to this

Jane's wage be top money at 3d [Truppence ] a day and loaf of bread be 1d and l lb of first class mousetrap be another 4 farthings so by saving her pennies she may be able to find lodgings and have some left over to buy a pair stockings if hers laddered, another 60 denarius.
So how much be available for lodging. Fortunately the middle class was booming and they required good apple pie makers and home made bubble and squeek too.
So our lass better have friends that can put her up on a cot, otherwise she will end like so many others, that be tossed out on their ear, selling oranges and looking for a prince.
Her wages per quarter be 25 bob.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Hmmn...How much did Bob Crachit make, 15 bob a week?

"...looking for a prince." And getting a Pepys...for the weekly grope or worse and occasional cabaret dinner...Or perhaps a poor fiddler for life. Poor Jane W...Hope he's a nice guy at least.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"Newarke"
Newark, New Jersey, used to have a lot of lead poisoning in the old industrial days.

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