Thursday 22 June 1665

Up pretty betimes, and in great pain whether to send my mother into the country to-day or no, I hearing, by my people, that she, poor wretch, hath a mind to stay a little longer, and I cannot blame her, considering what a life she will through her own folly lead when she comes home again, unlike the pleasure and liberty she hath had here. At last I resolved to put it to her, and she agreed to go, so I would not oppose it, because of the sicknesse in the towne, and my intentions of removing my wife. So I did give her money and took a kind leave of her, she, poor wretch, desiring that I would forgive my brother John, but I refused it to her, which troubled her, poor soul, but I did it in kind words and so let the discourse go off, she leaving me though in a great deal of sorrow. So I to my office and left my wife and people to see her out of town, and I at the office all the morning. At noon my wife tells me that she is with much ado gone, and I pray God bless her, but it seems she was to the last unwilling to go, but would not say so, but put it off till she lost her place in the coach, and was fain to ride in the waggon part. After dinner to the office again till night, very busy, and so home not very late to supper and to bed.

11 Annotations

dirk   Link to this

John Evelyn's diary today

"We waited on the Chancellor of the Exchequer; & got an order of the Council for our mony, to be paied to the Tressurer of the navy to our Receiver:"

Australian Susan   Link to this

This is so sad. And Sam hiding across the Yard in the office too. I don't really see that Sam could not mend the bridges between himself and his brother. We have the Sam here today who very much stands on his dignity as a Government Official, with a right to rule and run his family. His use of the words "poor wretch" and [softer] "poor soul" show his inward compassion, but i wonder how much this came out in outward dealings. "kind words" - hmm. Don't think he can really sugar that pill. And it is obvious the whole household is concerned with Margaret's state of mind. How does Elizabeth feel about all this? We know from past experiences that Elizabeth can lose her patience and temper quickly and Sam has had to pour the oil on the troubled waters, but there has been no hint of that during this stay of Margaret's, so we would infer that the two of them have got on all right. Wonder what the atmosphere in the home was like after he got back there this night. And I am uncertain just what Sam is implying by saying "I cannot blame her, considering what a life she will through her own folly lead when she comes home again, unlike the pleasure and liberty she hath had here." Are things wrong between the Pepys parents? Or has she antagonised the community in Brampton.?

dirk   Link to this

"...put it off till she lost her place in the coach, and was fain to ride in the waggon part"

Second class travel instead of 1st class. Should we imagine Sam's mother sitting in the open air, like the people in the back seats of the coach in this picture???

http://www.georgianindex.net/horse_and_carriage...
[scroll down to "Postillion"]

Robert Gertz   Link to this

You would think Meg could take John Sr. easily with that truss of his if he gave her any trouble or got on his high horse these days. One good kick and he'd be flat on his back. I'm guessing there's more to the story at Brampton.

Of course Sam would prefer not to reflect that a major reason Mum has such a miserable life in Brampton is that he's a bit of a stingy sob with that tiny allowance.

Bess has done the dutiful daughter-in-law well during the trip. It may have helped that Sam appears to have opened the purse strings a little.

Perhaps what really hurts Sam in the John Jr. affair is to know that Tom shared John's feelings to some extent. He was closer to Tom in his increasingly pompous, overbearingly paternalistic way than any of the other surviving siblings and probably felt betrayed after discovering their correspondence regarding their increasingly pompous and overbearingly paternalistic brother.


A. De Araujo   Link to this

"she was to the last unwilling to go"
OMG with the plague raging she should be the first to get inside the coach! I am beginning to doubt her sanity.

CGS   Link to this

She ain't soe daft if ye never experience the fens mud and the Gt Ouze, the river was not named for its beauty. how goes the song, "Mud , Mud , nutin' quite like it for coolen the blud"

Pedro   Link to this

“but put it off till she lost her place in the coach, and was fain to ride in the waggon part.”

She could probably of lost her place on the coach even being a few minutes late as yesterday Sam reported…”I find all the towne almost going out of towne, the coaches and waggons being all full of people going into the country.”

Even at this time at Oxford Anthony Wood saw tourches of mounted guards at the four bridges of Oxford keeping watch against the entry of unwelcome Londoners.

(The Great Plague by Moote and Moote)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Meg Pepys has probably seen plenty of plagues but rarely had the kind of grand time, including the clothes shopping, that Bess and indeed many of Sam's relatives and friends seem to have shown her.

Indeed it looks like only her doltishly insensitive son paid her scant attention. But, she's used to that...And a little risk of death is unlikely to faze her.

dirk   Link to this

"with the plague raging she should be the first to get inside the coach" (re A. De Araujo)

"And a little risk of death is unlikely to faze her." (re Robert Gertz)

Aren't we seeing this a little bit too much through 21st century eyes? Don't forget they didn't have a clear idea of contagion through personal contact yet!

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"maybe so Dirk although the contagiousness in this case was not exactly by personal contact.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

My meaning was that she had little fear of staying in London. Clearly from the flight now witnessed by Sam, and the efforts to mark and shut up homes where plague has surfaced, people are aware of some danger to staying in the city and around plague victims.

(Spoiler...Sam will indicate an awareness of danger in coming into contact with victims as the plague worsens.)

Meg Pepys, a tough old lady, has seen it before (at least on a lesser scale) and isn't quite ready to give up the best time she's had in a while, perhaps ever.

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