Sunday 19 February 1664/65

Lay in bed, it being Lord’s day, all the morning talking with my wife, sometimes pleased, sometimes displeased, and then up and to dinner. All the afternoon also at home, and Sir W. Batten’s, and in the evening comes Mr. Andrews, and we sung together, and then to supper, he not staying, and at supper hearing by accident of my mayds their letting in a rogueing Scotch woman that haunts the office, to helpe them to washe and scoure in our house, and that very lately, I fell mightily out, and made my wife, to the disturbance of the house and neighbours, to beat our little girle, and then we shut her down into the cellar, and there she lay all night. So we to bed.

21 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Are the Irish firelockmen on the way?

Ossory to Ormond
Written from: [Dublin]

Date: 19 February 1665
....
Has received the Duke's letter of February 11th. Immediately upon its receipt, the writer gave due instructions for the assembling of the prescribed detachments of foot soldiers at Youghal and at Dublin within the time limited [to be shipped for naval service].

Adds some particulars as to the appointment of Commissioners for sale of Prizes.

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects...

Pedro   Link to this

"to beat our little girle, and then we shut her down into the cellar, and there she lay all night."

1°C / 33.8°F
(monthly average for February 1665)

cape henry   Link to this

"...sometimes pleased, sometimes displeased..." About as dispassionate a remark as you'll find. Leaving aside the next scene, this again portrays Elizabeth in the light of chief servant, someone to be assessed more or less item by item on the balance sheet. This seems to have become matter-of-fact for Sam, but one has to imagine it is anything but for Elizabeth. She is, after all, still a very young woman.

dirk   Link to this

The good Rev. Josselin is plagued by scabies...

His diary entry for today:
"God good to me in manifold mercies, the scab a very great trouble to me, lord heal and help me, god good in his word, he essays to bring my heart to more inward seriousness with him, lord effect it, and let me live unto you."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scabies
The disease still exists today, even in our part of the world. Particularly people living in poor housing, or the homeless fall victimes to the parasite.

Ralph Berry   Link to this

"...to beat our little girle, and then we shut her down into the cellar.."

Was she responsible for letting in "a rogueing Scotch woman" or was it she was the unfortunate at the bottom of the pecking order? I wonder if the dog got kicked as well!

Mary   Link to this

to rogue.

OED intransitive verb. To wander idly about after the manner of rogues; to live like a rogue or vagrant.

The beating and banishment of the girl seem harsh to us. However, let's not forget that Sam keeps a very large sum of money about the premises and will certainly not want people such as the roguing Scotch woman to be admitted. She's been hanging around the office for some time and could well have picked up information about how well Sam is doing these days.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"....Lay in bed, it being Lord’s day, all the morning ..."
Tsk. Tsk. Not a good example to set to the household! And no prayers in the evenings, just, I infer, echoing sobs from the maid in the cellar lying in cold and damp.
What is the household to do to cope with the extra work since the dismissal of Jane except employ casual labour. If Sam didn't want this to happen, he should have made it plain! But i agree with Mary about Sam being worried about his money stored in the house. All the more reason to see that the household gets another properly employed, vetted, reference-bearing servant.

Pedro   Link to this

"and at supper hearing by accident of my mayds their letting in a rogueing Scotch woman that haunts the office"

Toil and trouble for the little girl blamed for letting in one of those Scottish witches. Here Pepys says "their" letting in, so why is she singled out?

Michael McCollough   Link to this

Remember the story of the eight-year-old servant girl picking up the new safe from a few months back? Maybe this was the only servant they could beat, and lucky they were at that.

jeannine   Link to this

"Remember the story of the eight-year-old servant girl picking up the new safe from a few months back? Maybe this was the only servant they could beat, and lucky they were at that."

Gee Michael-nothing would probably please us all more than to read tomorrow's entry where the little girl comes up from the cellar, picks up that heavy safe and drops it on Sam's head!

Clement   Link to this

"and at supper hearing by accident of my mayds...and that very lately, I..."

These sound like rumors that Sam is reporting, not facts. Since he says heard "that very lately I" and does not offer a corroborating version of the event I doubt that it actually occurred.

If he had reported some other version of the rumor that gave reasons for what he supposedly did he could be relating the spin that the maids put on the event that occured, but instead he reports the actual event as a rumor.

Clement   Link to this

More specifically, the "rogueing Scotch woman" sounds like intelligence that Sam gained through evesdropping, but that the cellar punishment of the little girlie is an exageration or complete fabrication. I'm certainly not making excuses for Sam but I think the sentence is constructed with this meaning.

Mary   Link to this

rumours?

Or simply an unguarded remark or two that alerts him to the fact that the roguing Scotch woman has been in the house?

Clement   Link to this

Yes, Mary, agreed. I think our posts overlapped--the (likely papist) Scottish witch (on Pedro's authority) was indeed loose in the house of an administrative officer of the Royal Navy.

I wonder if she was she paid through Elizabeth's house maintenance funds, or simply with food and perhaps other cast off items. It's unlikely that the maids paid her out of their meager wages.

JWB   Link to this

"...Pepys is our best source about the treatment of servants."

"Gender, Sex, and Subordination in England, 1500-1800"By Anthony Fletcher,p 161

http://books.google.com/books?id=xsQlhchQT2wC&p...

Glyn   Link to this

Did the servants pay the Scottish woman themselves? Or just say, help us out and you can have something to eat and perhaps some clothing?

JWB   Link to this

I'm sorry, but that page # is 216 not 161 in Fletcher.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

JWB, Fletcher is very interesting indeed. Not only p. 216, which quotes today's dealings with the servants who allegedly admitted the "rogueing Scotch woman" to the precincts of the house -- and might have been a source of info or of entry for even more criminal types -- but those pages that follow it that treat other people and cases. Fletcher observes: "It is the lack of a distinction between private and public responsibility in this system that is striking. Exasperated masters regularly sought help of a local justice." (p. 217) Methinks this another indication that private "affairs" (in most any sense) and matters were only beginning to be so at this time.

Australian Susan   Link to this

pace LH, but I think "very lately" actually means "recently" at this time.

language hat   Link to this

Yes, "lately" is "Not long since; within a short time past; within recent times; recently, of late" (OED).

Robert Gertz   Link to this

It seems Sam wants a fair division of the beating between him and Bess and feels uncomfortable beating a female servant. One wonders if she hurt her arm or Sam kindly suggested longer rods. It's odd he was so anxious to have the beating and didn't halt it when the girl's cries aroused his neighbors, given his nervousness about such things in the past. But hey, it was Bess who took the fall as abusive employer this time...Heh, heh.

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