Friday 19 June 1668

When between two and three in the morning we were waked with my maids crying out, “Fire, fire, in Markelane!” So I rose and looked out, and it was dreadful; and strange apprehensions in me, and us all, of being presently burnt. So we all rose; and my care presently was to secure my gold, and plate, and papers, and could quickly have done it, but I went forth to see where it was; and the whole town was presently in the streets; and I found it in a new-built house that stood alone in Minchin-lane, over against the Cloth-workers’-hall, which burned furiously: the house not yet quite finished; and the benefit of brick was well seen, for it burnt all inward, and fell down within itself; so no fear of doing more hurt. So homeward, and stopped at Mr. Mills’s, where he and she at the door, and Mrs. Turner, and Betty, and Mrs. Hollworthy, and there I stayed and talked, and up to the church leads, and saw the fire, which spent itself, till all fear over. I home, and there we to bed again, and slept pretty well, and about nine rose, and then my wife fell into her blubbering again, and at length had a request to make to me, which was, that she might go into France, and live there, out of trouble; and then all come out, that I loved pleasure and denied her any, and a deal of do; and I find that there have been great fallings out between my father and her, whom, for ever hereafter, I must keep asunder, for they cannot possibly agree. And I said nothing, but, with very mild words and few, suffered her humour to spend, till we begun to be very quiet, and I think all will be over, and friends, and so I to the office, where all the morning doing business. Yesterday I heard how my Lord Ashly is like to die, having some imposthume in his breast, that he hath been fain to be cut into the body.1 At noon home to dinner, and thence by coach to White Hall, where we attended the Duke of York in his closet, upon our usual business. And thence out, and did see many of the Knights of the Garter, with the King and Duke of York, going into the Privychamber, to elect the Elector of Saxony into that Order, who, I did hear the Duke of York say, was a good drinker: I know not upon what score this compliment is done him. Thence with W. Pen, who is in great pain of the gowte, by coach round by Holborne home, he being at every kennel —[?? D.W.]— full of pain. Thence home, and by and by comes my wife and Deb. home, have been at the King’s playhouse to-day, thinking to spy me there; and saw the new play, “Evening Love,” of Dryden’s, which, though the world commends, she likes not. So to supper and talk, and all in good humour, and then to bed, where I slept not well, from my apprehensions of some trouble about some business of Mr. Povy’s he told me of the other day.

11 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

19th June, 1668. To a new play with several of my relations, "The Evening Lover,"* a foolish plot, and very profane; it afflicted me to see how the stage was degenerated and polluted by the licentious times.

* There is no play extant with this name ; it may perhaps be a second title to one ; Mr. Evelyn frequently mentions only one name of a play that has two. Or it may be Dryden's comedy of " An Evening's Love, or, The Mock Astrologer," ['s_Love ] which is indeed sufficiently licentious.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"W. Pen...being at every kennel —[?? D.W.]— full of pain. "

I wonder if Pepys here refers to a hacking cough associated with bronchitis-type contagious disease that affects dogs, esp. in kennels. though why gout might cause this I know not.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“W. Pen…being at every kennel —[?? D.W.]— full of pain.“

L&M Select Glossary says kennel ~ channel < cannaille = a street drainage-gutter.

Perhaps these made the streets uneven to walk on? so adding to gout pain.

jenny  •  Link

Can you imagine bumping in a carriage over every drain whilst suffering from gout? Excrutiating.

Chris Squire  •  Link

‘impostume n.
1. A purulent swelling or cyst in any part of the body; an abscess.
. . 1642 D. Rogers Naaman 440 When the disease was ripe, he lets out the impostume.
. . 1686 R. Boyle Free Enq. Notion Nature 228 Producing sometimes inward Imposthumes . . ‘

‘kennel, n.2 <Later form of cannel n.1 (q.v.); for the vowel, compare ketch, keg, kedge... The surface drain of a street; the gutter: = cannel n.1 2.
. . 1631 Bp. J. Hall Occas. Medit. (ed. 2) (2nd state) §ciii, A Scavenger working in the Kennel.
1764 T. Harmer Observ. xii. i. 35 Having no kennels in the streets to carry off the water, it was ancle-deep . . ‘

nothing to do with:

‘kennel, n.1 <apparently < Old Northern French *kenil = French chenil...
1. a. A house or cot for the shelter of a house-dog; . . ‘


Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hmmn...Unless Bess dreams of going into the convent she once stayed at as a child I can't imagine how going into France would keep one out of all trouble.

I'm amazed she stuck it out at Brampton the whole time, this time. I imagine after enduring John Sr's gimlet eye on her spending and his grim unhappiness with her "natural flirtatiousness"(?) for weeks to please Sam, hearing all day long about his antics from Jane and others was quite too much to bear.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder if Sam will be interested enough to try and uncover who blabbed to Bess about his behavior.

The suspects:

Jane...My personal choice...Her motive, the fire in Barbados triggering old resentments about Wayneman. And she'd know how to do it for maximum effect while seeming innocent out of long experience with the Pepys.

Meg Lowthrer...A possibility...She might have come by and started gabbing a bit too much, perhaps with purpose. Her motive...She wasn't kidding when returning Sam's advances and saying she'd like to be married to him.

Betty Knepp, Betty Pierce...Another possibility...Innocent praise for Sam's "many kindnesses", perhaps a kindly-meant warning from Pierce who seems to find Sam amusing but always manages to hold him at a distance via pregnancy or convenient children.

Will Hewer...Almost certainly the back-up Bess would turn to for corroboration...And perhaps innocent enough to foolishly spill the beans without realizing. Though one never knows what evil lurks in the hearts of boss' wife-besotted chief clerks.

Admiral Sir Will Penn...Assuming he could manage to hobble over with his gout. Unlikely as Sam has the goods on him marital infidelitywise, no doubt.

Sir John Minnes...Probably never realized Bess wsa away.

Mrs. Turner...She'd have inside evidence and would be likely to pay a call on Bess on her return. Hmmn...She's always looking for housing security...And if Sam and Bess broke up with disgrace to Sam...

Mr. Povy...Outside chance...But he'd have motive.

Creed...He'd do it just for the fun of it but I suspect Bess doesn't like him. She never makes Sam nervous regarding him and never is indicated by Sam as seeming to enjoy his company despite his ubiquitous presense in their lives.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...a new-built house that stood alone in Minchin-lane, over against the Cloth-workers’-hall...burned furiously:"

L&M note newsletters said it was apparently arson, for which a beggar was condemned and hanged in October. It was alleged it was revenge for having been refused alms by the owner of the house, but "many think he was hired to do it."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Interesting side insight into John Locke's polymath interests regarding his role as Cooper's household physician in that cyst operation. I wonder if Sam will seek details.

"And thence out, and did see many of the Knights of the Garter, with the King and Duke of York, going into the Privychamber, to elect the Elector of Saxony into that Order, who, I did hear the Duke of York say, was a good drinker: I know not upon what score this compliment is done him." One of the very few jokes James can be said to have made, I'd say...

Georgiana Wickham  •  Link

I like the fact that Pepys's curiosity overtook his care for his gold and papers.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"So we all rose; and my care presently was to secure my gold, and plate, and papers..."


"What?" Sam eyes Bess...

"Oooh...Heaven is a place called France..." she hums, slamming door on him.

"Hewer?...What the devil's?..."


"Speak up, man for God's sake. Last time she 'went to France', I didn't see her for seventy years. And she's my probation officer here..."

"Sir...Plate, gold, papers? Was there something...Missing?"

"Hewer? Oh, you mean my wall hangings? She was upset I forgot about them?"

"Sir, were you by any chance reincarnated for a while as an American actor named Chad Everett?" Hewer eyes him.

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