Sunday 21 April 1667

(Lord’s day). Up, and John, a hackney coachman whom of late I have much used, as being formerly Sir W. Pen’s coachman, coming to me by my direction to see whether I would use him to-day or no, I took him to our backgate to look upon the ground which is to be let there, where I have a mind to buy enough to build a coach-house and stable; for I have had it much in my thoughts lately that it is not too much for me now, in degree or cost, to keep a coach, but contrarily, that I am almost ashamed to be seen in a hackney, and therefore if I can have the conveniency, I will secure the ground at least till peace comes, that I do receive encouragement to keep a coach, or else that I may part with the ground again. The place I like very well, being close to my owne house, and so resolve to go about it, and so home and with my wife to church, and then to dinner, Mercer with us, with design to go to Hackney to church in the afternoon. So after dinner she and I sung “Suo Moro,” which is one of the best pieces of musique to my thinking that ever I did hear in my life; then took coach and to Hackney church, where very full, and found much difficulty to get pews, I offering the sexton money, and he could not help me. So my wife and Mercer ventured into a pew, and I into another. A knight and his lady very civil to me when they come, and the like to my wife in hers, being Sir G. Viner and his lady — rich in jewells, but most in beauty — almost the finest woman that ever I saw. That which we went chiefly to see was the young ladies of the schools,1 whereof there is great store, very pretty; and also the organ, which is handsome, and tunes the psalm, and plays with the people; which is mighty pretty, and makes me mighty earnest to have a pair at our church, I having almost a mind to give them a pair, if they would settle a maintenance on them for it. I am mightily taken with them. So, church done, we to coach and away to Kingsland and Islington, and there eat and drank at the Old House, and so back, it raining a little, which is mighty welcome, it having not rained in many weeks, so that they say it makes the fields just now mighty sweet. So with great pleasure home by night. Set down Mercer, and I to my chamber, and there read a great deal in Rycaut’s Turkey book with great pleasure, and so eat and to bed. My sore throat still troubling me, but not so much. This night I do come to full resolution of diligence for a good while, and I hope God will give me the grace and wisdom to perform it.

  1. Hackney was long famous for its boarding schools.

13 Annotations

cape henry   Link to this

"...I have a mind to buy enough to build a coach-house and stable..."Sort of jumps off the page, doesn't it?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"to Hackney...we to coach and away to Kingsland and Islington, and there eat and drank at the Old House, and so back,"

We've seen this before; in 1665-1666 it was a routine.

See Michael Robinson on Thu 18 Jun 2009, 06:22am.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/06/17/#c28...

” … to Islington, … our tour by Hackney home, …”

Would seem to just be the reverse of the evening route SP has taken to calling the ‘Grand Tour’:

” … our long tour by coach, to Hackney, so to Kingsland, and then to Islington, there entertaining them by candlelight very well, and so home …”
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/05/11/

Per Terry F.’s note
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/05/16/#c28...

CGS   Link to this

find very a mews ing
.
cape henry

“…I have a mind to buy enough to build a coach-house and stable…”

Paul Chapin   Link to this

" the organ, which is handsome ... and makes me mighty earnest to have a pair at our church"

SP's use of "pair" to refer to an organ caught my attention, so I went a-googling, and found the following passage on page 33 of _The Art of Organ Building_ by George Ashdown Audsley, complete with a reference to today's entry:

The term "pair" has no relation to the number of keyboards, or to the tonal divisions of the instrument, notwithstanding the fact that certain authorities believe it has. The Organ with two keyboards was, in olden time, properly called a "double Organ," or double Regal." Mr. Albert Way, in "Promptorium Parvulorum" (Camden Society publication), remarks: "It appears that the usual term 'a pair of Organs' has reference to the double bellows, whereby continuous sound was produced." He overlooked the fact that the term "pair" was applied to other musical instruments that had no bellows. Douce, an authority quoted by Way, tells us that a pair of Organs means an instrument "formed with a double row of pipes." This is, of course, incorrect; for the term was applied, as in the inventory above mentioned, to both single and double Regals. Pepys, in his "Diary," describing his visit to Hackney Church, on April 20th, 1667, says: "That which I went chiefly to see was the young ladies of the schools, whereof there is a great store, very pretty; and also the Organ, which is handsome and tunes the psalm and plays with the people; which is mighty pretty, and makes me mighty earnest to have a pair at our church, I having almost a mind to give them a pair if they would settle a maintenance on them for it." The use of the singular "it" is significant. Rimbault says: "Some authorities tell us that 'a pair of Organs' meant an Organ with two stops. But this could not have been the case; as, in Henry the Eighth's Household Book, we read of 'a payer of Virginalls with four stoppes.' The truth is, that 'a pair of Organs' meant simply an Organ with more pipes than one. ... Jonson, Heywood, and other of the older poets, always use the term 'pair' in the sense of an aggregate, and as synonymous with 'set': thus we have 'a pair of chessmen,' 'a pair of beads,' 'a pair of cards,' 'a pair of Organs,' &c. When speaking of a flight of stairs, we often say a 'pair' of stairs. Therefore this ancient form of expression, although obsolete in most cases, is still in use at the present day."

Michael Robinson   Link to this

" ...and also the organ, which is handsome, and tunes the psalm, and plays with the people; which is mighty pretty ..."

Thought to be by Dallham (1665); full description, bibliography incl. this entry, etc.
James Boeringer "Organa Britannica: Organs in Great Britain 1660-1860:" Lewisburg: Bucknell Univ. Press, (1986) p. 271
http://books.google.com/books?id=5VV1F9WbkjIC&p...

Carl in Boston   Link to this

the organ, which is handsome, and tunes the psalm, and plays with the people; which is mighty pretty
I play pipe organ, and my teacher once said he finally concluded the purpose of an organist is to help the congregation sing the hymns.
"Pair" is an obscure way to speak of an organ, it probably meant the two keyboards or manuals. There can be one or two manuals, even three if you're lucky.
The regal is a portable organ with a small keyboard played by one man and the bellows worked by another. There are just a few pipes of very raspy and loud sound. In a medieval procession, a regal would have make bagpipes sound wimpy. I like regal stops, posaune too.

language hat   Link to this

"'Pair' is an obscure way to speak of an organ, it probably meant the two keyboards or manuals."

This is not true, read Paul Chapin's comment above. "Pair" originally did not need to refer to doubled things; stairs were routinely called "a pair of stairs."

cape henry   Link to this

And lest we forget, LH, one would look ridiculous in a trouser.

arby   Link to this

I wonder what the count of "bests" would be in this diary? Just today, "...best pieces of musique... that I ever did hear in my life", and "almost the finest woman that ever I saw." The "musique", women and plays must have been superlative way back when. One has to admire his enthusiasm for the finer things in life, or maybe wonder about his critical faculties. rb

Michael Robinson   Link to this

” the organ, which is handsome … and makes me mighty earnest to have a pair at our church”

Analogous use of 'pair' about six months ago:

"River full of lighters and boats taking in goods, and good goods swimming in the water, and only I observed that hardly one lighter or boat in three that had the goods of a house in, but there was a pair of Virginalls in it. "
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/09/02/

Michael Robinson   Link to this

” the organ, which is handsome … and makes me mighty earnest to have a pair at our church”

Another singular 'pair' in the Thomas Pepys's Taylor's Shop Inventory @ "2 Chamber":-

" ... & coverled a pair of virginals & a Frame In the closset to this chamber ..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth/2007/03/31/in...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Apparently A "pair of virginals" was standard usage until C 20.

Scroll down here
http://www.lexic.us/definition-of/pair_of_virgi...

and here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginals
This confirms the earlier hunches as to the referents of the plural.

djc   Link to this

Hackney church. I was christened there.

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