Thursday 21 September 1665

Up between five and six o’clock; and by the time I was ready, my Lord’s coach comes for me; and taking Will Hewer with me, who is all in mourning for his father, who is lately dead of the plague, as my boy Tom’s is also, I set out, and took about 100l. with me to pay the fees there, and so rode in some fear of robbing. When I come thither, I find only Mr. Ward, who led me to Burgess’s bedside, and Spicer’s, who, watching of the house, as it is their turns every night, did lie long in bed to-day, and I find nothing at all done in my business, which vexed me. But not seeing how to helpe it I did walk up and down with Mr. Ward to see the house; and by and by Spicer and Mr. Falconbrige come to me and he and I to a towne near by, Yowell, there drink and set up my horses and also bespoke a dinner, and while that is dressing went with Spicer and walked up and down the house and park; and a fine place it hath heretofore been, and a fine prospect about the house. A great walk of an elme and a walnutt set one after another in order. And all the house on the outside filled with figures of stories, and good painting of Rubens’ or Holben’s doing. And one great thing is, that most of the house is covered, I mean the posts, and quarters in the walls; covered with lead, and gilded. I walked into the ruined garden, and there found a plain little girle, kinswoman of Mr. Falconbridge, to sing very finely by the eare only, but a fine way of singing, and if I come ever to lacke a girle again I shall think of getting her. Thence to the towne, and there Spicer, Woodruffe, and W. Bowyer and I dined together and a friend of Spicer’s; and a good dinner I had for them. Falconbrige dined somewhere else, by appointment. Strange to see how young W. Bowyer looks at 41 years; one would not take him for 24 or more, and is one of the greatest wonders I ever did see. After dinner, about 4 of the clock we broke up, and I took coach and home (in fear for the money I had with me, but that this friend of Spicer’s, one of the Duke’s guard did ride along the best part of the way with us). I got to my Lord Bruncker’s before night, and there I sat and supped with him and his mistresse, and Cocke whose boy is yet ill. Thence, after losing a crowne betting at Tables —[Cribbage]—, we walked home, Cocke seeing me at my new lodging, where I went to bed. All my worke this day in the coach going and coming was to refresh myself in my musique scale, which I would fain have perfecter than ever I had yet.

14 Annotations

tg  •  Link

So after losing a crown at cribbage, are we to assume that Mr. Pepys delivered only 99 pounds to pay the fees. A shilling a point can add up.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys is pettish because Burgess and Spicer "did lie long in bed to-day," as he himself does on occasion, finding them as somnolent as the entirety of London town is in these plague-times (in what will turn out to be the height of it). Lying low just now can be a good thing, as he himself shows.

Martin  •  Link

As he signaled yesterday, Pepys is visiting Nonesuch House, where the Exchequer has temporarily located his offices on account of the plague.

An extensive description of the place can be found here:

CGS  •  Link

"...there found a plain little girle, kinswoman of Mr. Falconbridge, to sing very finely by the eare only, but a fine way of singing, and if I come ever to lacke a girle again I shall think of getting her...."

Now what dothe he mean? Flea picking???

Spicer 'twas meant to watch over the lodgings , do the constables job, watching for looters.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"And all the house on the outside filled with figures of stories, and good painting of Rubens’ or Holben’s doing. "

Th scheme attributed now to "Nicholas Bellin of Modena who had worked as a stuccatore at Fontainebleau from 1533 to 1537. No documentary evidence links Nicholas to the Nonsuch stuccos, but he was paid for the carving of the Nonsuch slate. Although we know that an Englishman, William Kendall and, later on, a foreigner, Giles Geringe, were responsible for the actual work, it is most likely that Nicholas introduced them to this new technology of the Continental Renaissance."
According to an L&M footnote Evelyn was closer in describing them as "Italian."

Interesting to see that SP's visual knowledge must have been quite limited because the surviving fragments are very far from the style of either painter. SP was familiar with the work of both; he has described being in the Banqueting House, Rubens, and must have seem the Holbein 'Whitehall Mural,' in the 'privy chamber' used for meetings etc. immediately after the 'presence chamber.' Perhaps these were the only two names he knew associated with major Royal decorative commissions.

* Spoiler * The Holbein was destroyed in the fire of 1698 & known now only in the copy painted for Charles II in 1667:-
Surviving partial cartoon:

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and if I come ever to lacke a girle again I shall think of getting her."

What a fortunate young maiden... Would've been a good day to sing off-key, Miss.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Strange to see how young W. Bowyer looks at 41 years; one would not take him for 24 or more, and is one of the greatest wonders I ever did see."

"Bess? What are you doing here? I'm engaged in..."

"A little back, please Sam'l." she waves him to the side...Bowyer sensing his fate, snarling.

Whoosh...Bowyer, howling and attempting a leap is caught in mid-air...Dust settling.

"Blood of young virgins was his beauty secret, sweetheart." Bess, grabbing and quickly concealing sharpened wood stick. "The plague's offering a fine concealment."

"Another one? Bess, must you kill them before I do my business with them?"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...after losing a crowne betting at Tables —[Cribbage]—, "

Sam, Sam...The road to perdition...

Ralph Berry  •  Link

Yesterday mention of Walthamstowe where I was born and today Ewell where I spent most of my youth. Greenwich to Ewell would have been quite a trek even by coach so no wonder Sam started at the crack of dawn. I remember as a 14 year old having to walk from the West End to Ewell because all transport had been shut down by smog, barely able to find my way. It seemed to take forever. I really do admire Sam's fortitude in the way he gets around, I doubt obesity was a problem for him even with all the venison pasties.

Mary  •  Link


The game is backgammon, not cribbage. "Tables' was the common name for backgammon in earlier days, though became obsolete after about 1750.

The term derives from the 'men' or 'tablets' with which the game is played.

CGS  •  Link

Thanks Mary : no wonder I failed the Mensa test for 5 year olds when I be 18, I could not table anything.
so many uses for the word, no one supplied google for me olde braine.
Table tablis mensa list , inscibed.
etymology most facinating
these snippets from OED.

"...(in plural) game of backgammon or a similar game (c1100),.."
"....board on which backgammon is played (13th cent. or earlier in Anglo-Norman)..."
4. {dag}a. The board on which chess, draughts, backgammon, or another similar game is played. Obs.

a1398 J. TREVISA tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add.) f. 250, A playinge borde {th}at men pleye{th} on at {th}e dys and o{th}ere games, & {th}is manere of table is doubled and y-hight with dyuerse colours.
b. Originally: each of the two folding leaves of a board for playing backgammon or a similar game; chiefly in pl. denoting the board as a whole, esp. in a pair of tables. In later use chiefly: each half of each leaf of a backgammon board, forming together the four areas in which the pieces are moved. Cf. sense 18. 1415

I. A flat slab or board.

* A flat piece of wood, stone, or other hard material.

1. a. A flat and comparatively thin piece of wood, stone, metal, or other solid material; a board, plate, slab, or tablet, esp. one forming a surface used for a particular purpose; (also) a natural formation of this kind, as a lamina of a slaty rock. Now only in specific uses in senses 2 , 4 , 3.
another name for a raft...orpenance for a sinner sinner

1688 R. HOLME Acad. Armory III. 145/1 On this Frame [sc. an easel] Painters set their Cloth or Table while it is in working.

9. a. A table on which a game of cards, dice, or other gambling game is played; a gaming table; (also) the group of players at such a table.
1511 ...

1607 R. C. tr. H. Estienne World of Wonders xxxvii. 298 In stead of giuing thanks, they make the dice trowle vpon the tables: one desires to play at dice, or cards

10. A table used for playing a tabletop ball game such as billiards, snooker, table tennis, etc.
Recorded earliest in billiard-table n. at BILLIARDS n. Compounds 2.
1641 in N. & Q. (1915) 11 227 A billiard table and three bearers. 1664 in G. T. Scott Life in Noble Househ. (1937) xii. 238 (modernized text) For the billiards, the port and balls and other appurtenances to the table.

CGS  •  Link

"...after losing a crowne betting at Tables..."
crowne : 60 pence [25P], those snake eyes could have foolled him.
Of course gents do not go for box cars, only hackies waiting for me lauds do.

dirk  •  Link

From the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library

Sir George Carteret to Sandwich

Written from: Salisbury
Date: 21 September 1665

On his journey to Salisbury from the West, the writer met the King at Weymouth, "who was pleased to give me the relation of your Lordship's good success... most seasonable at this time that the Parliament is so near at hand." Adds that a Council is summoned to meet at Oxford "to advise about the disposal of the fleet this winter".

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