Thursday 24 May 1666

Up very betimes, and did much business in my chamber. Then to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon rose in the pleasantest humour I have seen Sir W. Coventry and the whole board in this twelvemonth from a pleasant crossing humour Sir W. Batten was in, he being hungry, and desirous to be gone. Home, and Mr. Hunt come to dine with me, but I was prevented dining till 4 o’clock by Sir H. Cholmly and Sir J. Bankes’s coming in about some Tangier business. They gone I to dinner, the others having dined. Mr. Sheply is also newly come out of the country and come to see us, whom I am glad to see. He left all well there; but I perceive under some discontent in my Lord’s behalfe, thinking that he is under disgrace with the King; but he is not so at all, as Sir G. Carteret assures me. They gone I to the office and did business, and so in the evening abroad alone with my wife to Kingsland, and so back again and to bed, my right eye continuing very ill of the rheum, which hath troubled it four or five days.

8 Annotations

cgs   Link to this

4 hr wait to serve up the spoils , or how to get the cook steamed up and over heated.

cape henry   Link to this

CGS is on to something. The household cooks for the wealthy often had to cope with days like this and worse. Extra people could turn up without notice, while those expected might not turn up at all. Think of how often Pepys, in his daily wanderings, haphazardly arrives for dinner at someone's home. We can assume that within this social fabric provisions for this were made, by dispatching a boy to run ahead and warn the house for instance, but in the days before microwaves, feeding six when you have prepared for four would not be a cinch. Also, without refrigeration, leftovers had short lives. (I recall from somewhere reading a note written by the painter Albrecht Durer - from a bit earlier period, obviously - after being invited to lunch by someone and complaining about having been shorted an egg in his "salit" because the cook had no more.)

ONeville   Link to this

The eye? Perhaps an allergic reaction? There must have been plenty of pollen around at that time of year.

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"my right eye"
Doubt allergic reaction since it is usually bilateral.

Australian Susan   Link to this


Very often a household which was reasonably well off, such as Sam's now, would do a large roast joint. This was then eaten cold or recooked as something for supper if any left over and the servants would eat as well. This meant a meal could be expanded without much problem - it just meant there was less cold meat left over. They often ate meat which we would have considered 'high'.

Harvey   Link to this

The servants are probably the key... two extra visitors for dinner are no problem if two of the servants miss out.

Sapphire   Link to this

Just catching up (I'm waaaaaaaay behind#. The eye thing sounds like conjunctivitis #i.e., pink eye).

Mary   Link to this

right eye ...very ill of the rheum

Pepys is complaining of a persistently weepy eye, but mentions no pain. Blocked tear duct caused by a minor infection, perhaps. He doesn't seem to be brewing a streaming cold, otherwise he would surely have made a note of that.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.