Sunday 3 September 1665

(Lord’s day). Up; and put on my coloured silk suit very fine, and my new periwigg, bought a good while since, but durst not wear, because the plague was in Westminster when I bought it; and it is a wonder what will be the fashion after the plague is done, as to periwiggs, for nobody will dare to buy any haire, for fear of the infection, that it had been cut off of the heads of people dead of the plague. Before church time comes Mr. Hill (Mr. Andrews failing because he was to receive the Sacrament), and to church, where a sorry dull parson, and so home and most excellent company with Mr. Hill and discourse of musique. I took my Lady Pen home, and her daughter Pegg, and merry we were; and after dinner I made my wife show them her pictures, which did mad Pegg Pen, who learns of the same man and cannot do so well. After dinner left them and I by water to Greenwich, where much ado to be suffered to come into the towne because of the sicknesse, for fear I should come from London, till I told them who I was. So up to the church, where at the door I find Captain Cocke in my Lord Brunker’s coach, and he come out and walked with me in the church-yarde till the church was done, talking of the ill government of our Kingdom, nobody setting to heart the business of the Kingdom, but every body minding their particular profit or pleasures, the King himself minding nothing but his ease, and so we let things go to wracke. This arose upon considering what we shall do for money when the fleete comes in, and more if the fleete should not meet with the Dutch, which will put a disgrace upon the King’s actions, so as the Parliament and Kingdom will have the less mind to give more money, besides so bad an account of the last money, we fear, will be given, not half of it being spent, as it ought to be, upon the Navy. Besides, it is said that at this day our Lord Treasurer cannot tell what the profit of Chimney money is, what it comes to per annum, nor looks whether that or any other part of the revenue be duly gathered as it ought; the very money that should pay the City the 200,000l. they lent the King, being all gathered and in the hands of the Receiver and hath been long and yet not brought up to pay the City, whereas we are coming to borrow 4 or 500,000l. more of the City, which will never be lent as is to be feared. Church being done, my Lord Bruncker, Sir J. Minnes, and I up to the Vestry at the desire of the justices of the Peace, Sir Theo. Biddulph and Sir W. Boreman and Alderman Hooker, in order to the doing something for the keeping of the plague from growing; but Lord! to consider the madness of the people of the town, who will (because they are forbid) come in crowds along with the dead corps to see them buried; but we agreed on some orders for the prevention thereof. Among other stories, one was very passionate, methought, of a complaint brought against a man in the towne for taking a child from London from an infected house. Alderman Hooker told us it was the child of a very able citizen in Gracious Street, a saddler, who had buried all the rest of his children of the plague, and himself and wife now being shut up and in despair of escaping, did desire only to save the life of this little child; and so prevailed to have it received stark- naked into the arms of a friend, who brought it (having put it into new fresh clothes) to Greenwich; where upon hearing the story, we did agree it should be permitted to be received and kept in the towne. Thence with my Lord Bruncker to Captain Cocke’s, where we mighty merry and supped, and very late I by water to Woolwich, in great apprehensions of an ague. Here was my Lord Bruncker’s lady of pleasure, who, I perceive, goes every where with him; and he, I find, is obliged to carry her, and make all the courtship to her that can be.

22 Annotations

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"to have received it stark naked"
No bubo, no fleas,still could be incubating.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...that it had been cut off of the heads of people dead of the plague."

Sounds like Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett have a whole product line available.
***

Come on, Sam...Admit you're intrigued about Ms. Williams. Oh, to be a Lord and have such convenient service, so much easier than this rooting around to Deptford after Mrs. Bagwell and trying to hook up with any available pretty tavern maid.

Till that fatal day...

"Well, a pleasant day, Mary, my girl."

Cough... "G'bye Mr. P.!" Cough.

"Alls well at your dinner over there, Mr. Pepys, sir? You're white as a sheet."

"Just a touch of seasickness...Row us out of here, now!" Feeling head...

***

Carl in Boston   Link to this

Money, money, money, makes the world go round, makes the world go round

the very money that should pay the City the 200,000l. they lent the King, being all gathered and in the hands of the Receiver and hath been long and yet not brought up to pay the City, whereas we are coming to borrow 4 or 500,000l. more of the City, which will never be lent as is to be feared

Here we sees it plain. If you lend to the King, you will have an awful time getting your money back, let alone the interest. Small wonder no one will lend to the King. Even The City is getting burnt by the King. Small comfort that all the capital was run into the ground by Cromwell, and Charles II has Cromwell's debts to pay off. Charles II has no money, and that's that. No wonder he was the Merry Monarch, all he could do was laugh and hope for better economic times.

CGS   Link to this


People were heavily fined for saving children form the p;ague infested house.
"...Alderman Hooker told us it was the child of a very able citizen in Gracious Street, a saddler, who had buried all the rest of his children of the plague......."

from
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

I.

23 July, 17 Charles II.—Recognizances, taken before Henry Rowe esq. J.P. of William Chapman and John London both of Hackney laborers, in the sum of five pounds each, and of William Francis of Hackney laborer in the sum of ten pounds; For the appearance of the said William Francis at the next S. P. for Middlesex, to answer for "receivinge into his house at Hackney severall children, who were brought out of a place in London very much visited by the plague, to the endangeringe of the inhabitants of the sayd parish of Hackney." 15 Feb., 18 Charles II.

Glyn   Link to this

Click on the painting to enlarge it:

http://tinyurl.com/5gf8pp

It surely must have been this diary entry that inspired this painting.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"the very money that should pay the City the 200,000l. they lent the King"

See 26 October 1664: "It seems the City did last night very freely lend the King 100,000l. without any security but the King’s word, which was very noble."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/10/26/

The City had also lent the King for the same terms £100,000 in June. (L&M note with reference to the Calendar of State Papers Domestic)

Bergie   Link to this

So people of that time suspected that the plague might travel in hair and clothing. They were close to figuring out the answer.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Amazing picture, Glyn, thanks.

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ... Lord Bruncker’s lady of pleasure, who, I perceive, goes every where with him; and he, I find, is obliged to carry her, and make all the courtship to her that can be"

So, Mrs. Bagwell is the better deal ...

A. De Araujo   Link to this

Outstanding Glyn,thank you.

Margaret   Link to this

"Besides, it is said that at this day our Lord Treasurer cannot tell what the profit of Chimney money is..."

I assume this is a tax on each household, according to the number of chimneys in the house--is this correct?

If that's the case, and if the tax persisted for a long time, it would have the effect of people building houses with fewer chimneys, or none at all. I know this happened in Russia--peasant houses were sometimes built without chimneys to avoid the tax (and from habit, Ukrainian immigrants to western Canada would sometimes build homes without chimneys also, or at least the "chimney" from the kitchen would go only as far as the attic, which made the attics very smoky).

Michael Robinson   Link to this

Chimney money

A brief note -- The Hearth Tax 1662-1689 -- Domestic Records Information 32
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/Rd...

Tom Carr   Link to this

"It surely must have been this diary entry that inspired this painting."

The anchor in the painting must surely be an allusion to our Sam.

JWB   Link to this

Anchor has long been symbol of Christian Hope.

Pedro   Link to this

“Anchor has long been symbol of Christian Hope. “

And hence the old Inn names of the Anchor and the Hope and Anchor, taking their names from religious symbolism…

(Letter to the Hebrews (6:19) "We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pub_names

Pedro   Link to this

“and so we let things go to wracke.”

Anyone with OED, when did this first come into use? And when did it become wrack and ruin?

CGS   Link to this

2B..(b) 1577 HANMER Anc. Eccl. Hist. I. ix. 12 Herod..supposing..his rule to goe to wracke, and ruine.

1577 H. BULL tr. Luther's Comm. Ps. (1615) 287 Whiles all things seeme to fall to wracke and ruine.

1585 ABP. SANDYS Serm. 196 Gods familie and the common wealth goe to wracke and ruine.

nown in 3 forms,verb in 4 forms.Forms: 1 wræc, 3-5, Sc. 6 wrak, 4 wrac, 4- wrack, 6-7 wracke. [OE. wræc neut., f. pret. stem of wrecan to drive, etc., WREAK v. Cf. WRACK n.2, by which the later senses (esp. sense 5) may partly have been influenced; in writers of the 16-17th cent. it is sometimes uncertain which word is intended.
The evidence of rhymes shows that early northern ME. instances of the spelling wrak usually have a long vowel, and belong to WRAKE n.1]

Forms: 1 wræc, 3-5, Sc. 6 wrak, 4 wrac, 4- wrack, 6-7 wracke.

I. 1. Retributive punishment; vengeance, revenge; in later use also, hostile action, active enmity, persecution. Obs. exc. arch. or poet.

Freq. coupled with words of similar meaning, as war, wrath, wreak, and tending to pass into sense 2.
c900 tr. Baeda's Hist. IV. xxv.

2. Damage, disaster, or injury to a person, state, etc., by reason of force, outrage, or violence; devastation, destruction.
In very frequent use from c 1580 to c 1640.
c1407 LYDG. Reson & Sens. 5426
...
1561 NORTON & SACKV. Gorboduc V. ii, Loe, here..the wofull wracke And vtter ruine of this noble realme!

b. In the phr. to bring, go, put, run to wrack (and ruin). Also fig. Cf. RACK n.5 1.
(b) 1577 HANMER ....

1585 ABP. SANDYS Serm. 196 Gods familie and the common wealth goe to wracke and ruine.

In freq. use, esp. with go (went), c 1560-c 1680.
1412 LYDG. Chron. Troy Prol. 161 For nere writers, al wer out of mynde, Nat story only, but of nature and kynde The trewe knowyng schulde haue gon to wrak.
....
1667 MILTON P.L. VI. 670 And now all Heav'n Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspred.

3. A disastrous change in a state or condition of affairs; wreck, ruin, subversion. ? Obs.
c1400

1601 SHAKES. All's Well III. v. 24 The miserie is example, that so terrible shewes in the wracke of maiden~hood.

b. The ruin, downfall, or overthrow of a person or persons; adversity, misfortune. Obs.
1426

Paul Dyson   Link to this

“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope”

Taken up in this (? Salvation Army)hymn. Make the link and you get the tune as well!

http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/w/e/h/wehavean.htm

[Link updated from http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/w/e/h/wehavean.htm , 20 Feb 2008. P.G.]

Pedro   Link to this

On this day…

“Although he only had 40 ships De Ruyter sailed eastward on the 3/13th of September. But although the English often appeared to be in the neighbourhood, the two fleets did not actually meet and it was agreed to continue along the south side of Dogger Bank.”

(Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Blok)

Pedro   Link to this

Also on this day Sandwich records…

“Wind SE, fresh. In the morning we saw 7 or 8 strange ships ahead and sent frigates to chase. About 10 o’clock we reckon ourselves 30 leagues from Texel, NNW in 24 fathom. In the evening we took them, 2 great Indiamen and 4 men of war, 1300 prisoners. The Hector of ours sunk by a shot, or his lee ports neglected, the captain and near 80 men drowned. (Captain Cox of the Mary had half his foot taken off with a great shot.)…”

(Journal of Edward Montagu edited by Anderson)

Australian Susan   Link to this

Poignant, evocative picture, Glyn. Thank you. Even has the new clothes mentioned in Sam's anecdote, being held by the girl on the left in the forefront. One does wonder, however, how much this was an urban myth - born out of people's desperation for there to be some light, some hope, some good news out of all this desperation, despair and death.

Chimney tax: This was a difficult tax to assess as people built multiple flues which led to one chimney and so on. Once the window tax was introduced later, it was much easier for the assessors to count. And the effects can still be seen in old houses with blind windows.

Sam and the fleet: he really does not want to face all those "gallant tars" returned from defending our glorious homeland, our native shores and to issue tickets instead of coin as the ships are paid off. Long may the naval war continue! And please let them find some fat Dutch treasure ships to take as prizes and save them from fiscal embarrassment.

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Salvation Army hymn?

Pul's link traces the music and words to two members of the Methodist Episcopal (now United Methodist) church in Philadelphia, but it is the kind of tune that might have been taken up later by the SA. The phrasing and rhythm are reminiscent of Civil War tunes.

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