Monday 28 September 1668

Up betimes, and Knepp’s maid comes to me, to tell me that the women’s day at the playhouse is to-day, and that therefore I must be there, to encrease their profit. I did give the pretty maid Betty that comes to me half-a-crown for coming, and had a baiser or two-elle being mighty jolie. And so I about my business. By water to St. James’s, and there had good opportunity of speaking with the Duke of York, who desires me again, talking on that matter, to prepare something for him to do for the better managing of our Office, telling me that, my Lord Keeper and he talking about it yesterday, my Lord Keeper did advise him to do so, it being better to come from him than otherwise, which I have promised to do. Thence to my Lord Burlington’s house the first time I ever was there, it being the house built by Sir John Denham, next to Clarendon House; and here I visited my Lord Hinchingbroke and his lady; Mr. Sidney Montagu being come last night to town unexpectedly from Mount’s Bay, where he left my Lord well, eight days since, so as we may now hourly expect to hear of his arrival at Portsmouth. Sidney is mighty grown; and I am glad I am here to see him at his first coming, though it cost me dear, for here I come to be necessitated to supply them with 500l. for my Lord. He sent him up with a declaration to his friends, of the necessity of his being presently supplied with 2000l.; but I do not think he will get one. However, I think it becomes my duty to my Lord to do something extraordinary in this, and the rather because I have been remiss in writing to him during this voyage, more than ever I did in my life, and more indeed than was fit for me. By and by comes Sir W. Godolphin to see Mr. Sidney, who, I perceive, is much dissatisfied that he should come to town last night, and not yet be with my Lord Arlington, who, and all the town, hear of his being come to town, and he did, it seems, take notice of it to Godolphin this morning: so that I perceive this remissness in affairs do continue in my Lord’s managements still, which I am sorry for; but, above all, to see in what a condition my Lord is for money, that I dare swear he do not know where to take up 500l. of any man in England at this time, upon his word, but of myself, as I believe by the sequel hereof it will appear. Here I first saw and saluted my Lady Burlington, a very fine-speaking lady, and a good woman, but old, and not handsome; but a brave woman in her parts. Here my Lady Hinchingbroke tells me that she hath bought most of the wedding-clothes for Mrs. Pickering, so that the thing is gone through, and will soon be ended; which I wonder at, but let them do as they will. Here I also, standing by a candle that was brought for sealing of a letter, do set my periwigg a-fire, which made such an odd noise, nobody could tell what it was till they saw the flame, my back being to the candle. Thence to Westminster Hall and there walked a little, and to the Exchequer, and so home by water, and after eating a bit I to my vintner’s, and there did only look upon su wife, which is mighty handsome; and so to my glove and ribbon shop, in Fenchurch Street, and did the like there. And there, stopping against the door of the shop, saw Mrs. Horsfall, now a late widow, in a coach. I to her, and shook her by the hand, and so she away; and I by coach towards the King’s playhouse, and meeting W. Howe took him with me, and there saw “The City Match;” not acted these thirty years, and but a silly play: the King and Court there; the house, for the women’s sake, mighty full. So I to White Hall, and there all the evening on the Queen’s side; and it being a most summerlike day, and a fine warm evening, the Italians come in a barge under the leads, before the Queen’s drawing-room; and so the Queen and ladies went out, and heard them, for almost an hour: and it was indeed very good together; but yet there was but one voice that alone did appear considerable, and that was Seignor Joanni. This done, by and by they went in; and here I saw Mr. Sidney Montagu kiss the Queen’s hand, who was mighty kind to him, and the ladies looked mightily on him; and the King come by and by, and did talk to him. So I away by coach with Alderman Backewell home, who is mighty kind to me, more than ordinary, in his expressions. But I do hear this day what troubles me, that Sir W. Coventry is quite out of play, the King seldom speaking to him; and that there is a design of making a Lord Treasurer, and that my Lord Arlington shall be the man; but I cannot believe it. But yet the Duke of Buckingham hath it in his mind, and those with him, to make a thorough alteration in things; and, among the rest, Coventry to be out. The Duke of York did this day tell me how hot the whole party was in the business of Gawden; and particularly, my Lord Anglesey tells me, the Duke of Buckingham, for Child against Gawden; but the Duke of York did stand stoutly to it. So home to read and sup, and to bed.

16 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The concerns of Pepys and Wren (see yesterday's discourse) are widespread.

Ormond to Ossory
Written from: Whitehall
Date: 28 September 1668

As to public affairs, discontent and despondency were never higher or more universal; nor ever any Court so far fallen to so much contempt. Justice betwixt man and man, indeed, and that upon offenders, is well distributed in the Courts of Judicature. But certainly favours, recompenses, employments, are not so. As to private affairs, the King had been persuaded by the Duke's enemies, that he had not served his Majesty in Ireland with the care & thrift needed. And the King may have been drawn into some promise not to admit of the Duke's return. In the end, his enemies will be found to be also the King's enemies.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M note the three contractors who bid in competition with Gauden were Josiah Child, one King and one Dodington.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Samdwich...Worse than in disrepute, forgotten, or so it seems. And now Coventry's dreams of an efficient technocratic absolutism seem wrecked on the poor foundation of Stuarts he was forced to rely on. Quite a change from those heady early Restoration days...And Sam the survivor, it seems.

Meanwhile Bess continues her autumn orgy...

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"See that...?" grin...

"Hmmn...You know the fellow uses 'seem' a lot."

"'autumn orgy'?" Bess, annoyed. "At least pretend that bothers you a bit."

"Well, I was a progressive sort of husband...A man ahead of his..."

"Oh, please...Say?...You didn't really give Sandwich 500Ls?"

"Bess, he did make it all possible."

"Never gave me 500Ls..."

"Bess, I gave you all...Well, I would've..."

"Uncle Wight would've given me 500Ls."


"Could've given me 200L and Sandwich 200L...I would've settled for that...But, no..."


Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I come to be necessitated to supply them with 500l. for my Lord."

L&M note Pepys immediately sent £500 to Portsmouth by a letter of credit from Edward Backwell drawn on Hugh Salisbury of Portsmouth.

(The web of goldsmith-bankers saves the day!)

Michael L  •  Link

It's a possible spoiler, but does Sandwich ever repay this extravagant loan from Sam?

Mary  •  Link

"a fine-speaking lady .... a brave woman in her parts"

No beauty, but Sam concedes her character, perhaps accomplishments and intelligence.

andy  •  Link

do set my periwigg a-fire, which made such an odd noise, nobody could tell what it was till they saw the flame, my back being to the candle.

In any celluloid adaptation this must surely rank with Jane falling into the boat, as one of Sam's greatest recorded moments! And a graphic counterpoint to the Great Fire.

Teresa Forster  •  Link

'a most summerlike day, and a fine warm evening'

I love it when Sam's weather and our contemporary weather coincide. Here too it has been most fine and warm for the past two days. I noted a high of 26 degrees Wednesday afternoon. The temperature for September 1688 was 14 degrees, but of course this was an average and I quote our maximum.

Mary  •  Link

"which made such an odd noise....."

Couldn't they smell it? Burning hair smells horrible.

Phoenix  •  Link

Amid all the other smells present? Maybe not

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Sam's periwig in flames and he unaware. A comic scene indeed.

JWB  •  Link

Losing face with periwig afire, witnessed by the 2 younger Sandwiches before august gathering, may have precipitated Sam's largess.

(For youall w/ Windows £=Press Num lock, hold Alt key down, type 0163 on Num pad, release Alt key)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Kindness seems to be epidemic today, except for the King to W. Coventry, who -- SPOILER --, L&M note, will..., well, you can imagine what's ccoming.

Glyn  •  Link

"and a fine warm evening, the Italians come in a barge under the leads, before the Queen’s drawing-room; and so the Queen and ladies went out, and heard them, for almost an hour: and it was indeed very good together;"

So the Italian singers serenaded the women from a boat on the river on a fine summer evening - what a romantic image.

JKM  •  Link

Lovely image indeed! Do you suppose this entertainment had been prearranged, or did the Italians do it on spec in the hopes of having money thrown them?

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