Sunday 10 November 1667

(Lord’s day). Mighty cold, and with my wife to church, where a lazy sermon. Here was my Lady Batten in her mourning at church, but I took no notice of her. At noon comes Michell and his wife to dine with us, and pretty merry. I glad to see her still. After dinner Sir W. Pen and I to White Hall, to speak with Sir W. Coventry; and there, beyond all we looked for, do hear that the Duke of York hath got, and is full of, the small-pox; and so we to his lodgings; and there find most of the family going to St. James’s, and the gallery doors locked up, that nobody might pass to nor fro and a sad house, I am sure. I am sad to consider the effects of his death, if he should miscarry; but Dr. Frazier tells me that he is in as good condition as a man can be in his case. The eruption appeared last night; it seems he was let blood on Friday. Thence, not finding [Sir] W. Coventry, and going back again home, we met him coming with the Lord Keeper, and so returned and spoke with him in White Hall Garden, two or three turns, advising with him what we should do about Carcasse’s bringing his letter into the Committee of Parliament, and he told us that the counsel he hath too late learned is, to spring nothing in the House, nor offer anything, but just what is drawn out of a man: that this is the best way of dealing with a Parliament, and that he hath paid dear, and knows not how much more he may pay, for not knowing it sooner, when he did unnecessarily produce the Duke of Albemarle’s letter about Chatham, which if demanded would have come out with all the advantages in the world to Sir W. Coventry, but, as he brought it out himself, hath drawn much evil upon him. After some talk of this kind, we back home, and there I to my chamber busy all the evening, and then to supper and to bed, my head running all night upon our businesses in Parliament and what examinations we are likely to go under before they have done with us, which troubles me more than it should a wise man and a man the best able to defend himself, I believe, of our own whole office, or any other, I am apt to think.

5 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"...the Duke of York hath got, and is full of, the small-pox; and so....he was let blood...."

The long-standing trust in bloodletting is interesting, and though "William Harvey disproved the basis of the practice in 1628, and the introduction of scientific medicine, la méthode numérique, allowed Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis to demonstrate that phlebotomy was entirely ineffective in the treatment of pneumonia and various fevers in the 1830s....Bloodletting was also popular in the young United States of America, where Benjamin Rush (a signatory of the Declaration of Independence) saw the state of the arteries as the key to disease, recommending levels of bloodletting that were high even for the time. George Washington asked to be bled heavily after he developed a throat infection from weather exposure. Almost 4 pounds (1.7 litres) of blood was withdrawn prior to his death from a throat infection in 1799....Leeches became especially popular in the early nineteenth century. In the 1830s, the French imported about forty million leeches a year for medical purposes, and in the next decade, England imported six million leeches a year from France alone. Through the early decades of the century, hundreds of millions of leeches were used by physicians throughout Europe." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodletting

A friend goes from Murray, KY to Memphis, TN periodically where blood is drawn by sanitary leeches due to a condition he acquired on a trip to the Amazon.

RogerTheWeather   Link to this

'Mighty cold, and with my wife to church, where a lazy sermon'.
November 1667 was a tad colder than average, being ranked 159th coldest in the last 351 years (ie since 1659), this in contrast to the currently mild November(so far) in Londinium.
I guess the maids would have ensured a warm start for Sam and Liz.....
On this topic-ish. Does anybody know if Sam would have paid the Hearth Tax that was around at the time, or did The Navy pick up the tab?

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Does anybody know if Sam would have paid the Hearth Tax that was around at the time, or did The Navy pick up the tab?"

Mr. Pepys and the other Navy Board members were lodged in a building acquired by the government in 1654 for £2400 from Sir John Wolstenholme http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/5301/
(L&M Companion)

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I plsyed Ben Rush once at a performance pitting him against Jacob Bigelow, author of the famous "Discourse on Self-Limiting Diseases" at Old Sturbridge Village many years ago. Naturally I lost the debate, but though Bigelow remains my hero in the matter, I did retain an appreciation for Rush's honest and eager desire to fight disease with any tools at hand.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...a lazy sermon..."

"Dearly beloved, the past two years should have shown us that life sucks. Deal with it, amen."

"Lord, isn't that the same sermon he gave us last Sunday?" Sam hisses to Bess.

"Look, we're getting out fast. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, darling."

Log in to post an annotation.

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