Sunday 29 March 1668

(Lord’s day). Up, and I to Church, where I have not been these many weeks before, and there did first find a strange Reader, who could not find in the Service-book the place for churching women, but was fain to change books with the clerke: and then a stranger preached, a seeming able man; but said in his pulpit that God did a greater work in raising of an oake-tree from an akehorne, than a man’s body raising it, at the last day, from his dust (shewing the possibility of the Resurrection): which was, methought, a strange saying. At home to dinner, whither comes and dines with me W. Howe, and by invitation Mr. Harris and Mr. Banister, most extraordinary company both, the latter for musique of all sorts, the former for everything: here we sang, and Banister played on the theorbo, and afterwards Banister played on his flageolet, and I had very good discourse with him about musique, so confirming some of my new notions about musique that it puts me upon a resolution to go on and make a scheme and theory of musique not yet ever made in the world. Harris do so commend my wife’s picture of Mr. Hales’s, that I shall have him draw Harris’s head; and he hath also persuaded me to have Cooper draw my wife’s, which, though it cost 30l., yet I will have done. Thus spent the afternoon most deliciously, and then broke up and walked with them as far as the Temple, and there parted, and I took coach to Westminster, but there did nothing, meeting nobody that I had a mind to speak with, and so home, and there find Mr. Pelling, and then also comes Mrs. Turner, and supped and talked with us, and so to bed. I do hear by several that Sir W. Pen’s going to sea do dislike the Parliament mightily, and that they have revived the Committee of Miscarriages to find something to prevent it; and that he being the other day with the Duke of Albemarle to ask his opinion touching his going to sea, the Duchess overheard and come in to him, and asks W. Pen how he durst have the confidence to offer to go to sea again, to the endangering the nation, when he knew himself such a coward as he was, which, if true, is very severe.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"churching women"

In the 1559 and 1662 Book of Common Prayer The Thanksgiving of Women after Child-Birth
Commonly called Churching of Women.
http://www.eskimo.com/~lhowell/bcp1662/occasion...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"I to Church, where I have not been these many weeks before"

L&M note the last time was 26 January. For confirmation see http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1214/#re...

Christopher Squire   Link to this

Re: ’but was fain to change books with the clerk’:

‘fain, adj. and adv. Old English fægen, fægn = Old Saxon fagan . .
. . 2. a. Const. to with inf. Glad under the circumstances; glad or content to take a certain course in default of opportunity for anything better, or as the lesser of two evils.
. . 1631    W. Gouge Gods Three Arrowes ii. §26. 170   Men were faine to eate horse-flesh.
1693    J. Locke Some Thoughts conc. Educ. §89. 105   Castalio was fain to make Trenchers at Basle to keep himself from starving . .

b. This passes gradually into the sense: Necessitated, obliged.
. . 1676    M. Hale Contempl. i. 103   In this condition, he is fain to bear his burdensom Cross towards the place of his Execution.
. . 1685    H. More Paralipomena Prophetica 315   A Cannon of so vast a bigness, that it was fain to be drawn by seventy yoke of Oxen . . ‘ [OED]

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...the Duchess overheard and come in to him, and asks W. Pen how he durst have the confidence to offer to go to sea again, to the endangering the nation, when he knew himself such a coward as he was, which, if true, is very severe."

A little beyond severe into raising questions about the Duchess' emotional and mental stability, I'd say...

Hard to imagine how Albemarle and Penn might have fielded that one.

Duchess storms off...Violent door slam, followed by pin drop silence...Mice are heard behind the walls, apparently congregating in shock...

Penn eyes Albemarle who is looking anywhere else he can, then desperately choosing to shove the incident into the ole memory hole, resumes...

"Uh...Yes, well, Penn, as to whether you should go to sea..."

john   Link to this

"God did a greater work in raising of an oake-tree from an akehorne, than a man’s body raising it, at the last day, from his dust"

The former certainly helps the earth more.

martinb   Link to this

"an akehorne". I like the sound of that.

mary k mcintyre   Link to this

I am such a dilatory Reader that I am missing the backstory on the Duchess... but laughed out loud trying to picture the room, the moment after she'd left it.

Arthur Perry   Link to this

"... I had very good discourse with him about musique, so confirming some of my new notions about musique that it puts me upon a resolution to go on and make a scheme and theory of musique not yet ever made in the world."

I normally hate spoilers, but I'm dying to know if Pepys ever wrote such a work. He has mentioned this several times over the past few months. I can't seem to find any such published work via basic web search.

Australian Susan   Link to this

Churching

It seems from the structure of Sam's entry, that the clergyman was doing a churching during the normal service of mattins, which is unusual - it would normally be done after the service with the woman coming to the minister to be churched when the normal Sunday morning congregation was departing. Churching was, on paper, a thanksgiving after childbirth (a hazardous event in the 17thc), but developed into the concept that a woman needed to be somehow passed fit for entry into society again (conflating this event with something like the Jewish 40 day purification rites mentioned in the Bible in Luke). This lingered on as part of folk religion in the C of E into the 1970s. My brother used to be asked to church women after childbirth before they felt comfortable going to parties or dances etc. With the arrival of the Alternative Service Book in 1980, this rite had been transformed into a straightforward Thanksgiving after Childbirth which was used by Vicars either as a welcome to a parish family when they first came to church with the new baby or as an alternative to baptism for families wanting something, but not full baptism. It is in Common Worship (replacement for the ASB) and it is in the Australian Anglican prayer book.

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