Wednesday 21 April 1669

Up; and with my own coach as far as the Temple, and thence sent it to my cozen Turner, who, to ease her own horses, that are going with her out of town, do borrow mine to-day. So I to Auditor Wood’s, and there to meet, and met my Lord Bellassis upon some business of his accounts, and having done that did thence go to St. James’s, and attended the Duke of York a little, being the first time of my waiting on him at St. James’s this summer, whither he is now newly gone and thence walked to White Hall; and so, by and by, to the Council-Chamber, and heard a remarkable cause pleaded between the Farmers of the Excise of Wiltshire, in complaint against the justices of Peace of Salisbury: and Sir H. Finch was for the former. But, Lord! to see how he did with his admirable eloquence order the matter, is not to be conceived almost: so pleasant a thing it is to hear him plead. Then at noon by coach home, and thither by and by comes cozen Turner, and The., and Joyce, in their riding-clod: they being come from their lodgings to her husbands chamber, at the Temple, and there do lie, and purpose to go out of town on Friday next; and here I had a good dinner for them. After dinner by water to White Hall, where the Duke of York did meet our Office, and went with us to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury; and there we did go over all the business of the state I had drawn up, of this year’s action and expence, which I did do to their satisfaction, and convincing them of the necessity of providing more money, if possible, for us. Thence the Duke of York being gone, I did there stay walking with Sir H. Cholmly in the Court, talking of news; where he told me, that now the great design of the Duke of Buckingham is to prevent the meeting, since he cannot bring about with the King the dissolving, of this Parliament, that the King may not need it; and therefore my Lord St. Albans is hourly expected with great offers of a million of money,1 to buy our breach with the Dutch: and this, they do think, may tempt the King to take the money, and thereby be out of a necessity of calling the Parliament again, which these people dare not suffer to meet again: but this he doubts, and so do I, that it will be to the ruin of the nation if we fall out with Holland. This we were discoursing when my boy comes to tell me that his mistress was at the Gate with the coach, whither I went, and there find my wife and the whole company. So she, and Mrs. Turner, and The., and Talbot, in mine: and Joyce, W. Batelier, and I, in a hackney, to Hyde Park, where I was ashamed to be seen; but mightily pleased, though troubled, with a drunken coachman that did not remember when we come to ‘light, where it was that he took us up; but said at Hammersmith, and thither he was carrying of us when we come first out of the Park. So I carried them all to Hercules-Pillars, and there did treat them: and so, about ten at night, parted, and my wife, and I, and W. Batelier, home; and he gone, we to bed.

23 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"by and by comes cozen Turner and The and Joyce in their riding-clothes:" (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"but this he doubts [ = fears ], and so do I"

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Why would Sam be ashamed to be seen in Hyde Park with his wife and female cousins? Was it because they were riding in a hackney?

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Correction: with Batelier and Joyce Norton, the other ladies going in Sam's and Elizabeth's coach. But the question remains, why ashamed?

Chris Squire  •  Link

Yes, it was the hackney he was ashamed of, I think, because not everyone who saw him in it would realise that his coach was in front full of his friends and relations so that there was no room for him. He was eminent enough to be the object of gossip, much of it then as now deliberately malicious.

OED doesn't know about 'riding clods' and doesn't give the 'clods' = 'clothes' sense of clod. This may be a misreading of the original shorthand diary.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"met my Lord Bellassis upon some business of his accounts"

L&M note this case was due to be heard at 9 a.m. The excise-farmers accused three aldermen of Salisbury of helping three brewers of the city to evade payment of the highly unpopular excise duty on beer by giving twenty-two 'erroneous and false judgments. Those aldermen were discharged from custody on the 23rd

Linda F  •  Link

Re: "riding-clod" and "riding clothes" could there have been an eth (lower case d with a stroke through the top, sound of soft "th") somewhere in the etymological history?

Today's entry is how I want to remember SP. I pray that the diary will end on such a note, and not with his skulking about courting/ creating disaster for himself and Bess.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Millions from Louis. Hmm. All this before the secret Treaty of Dover!

ONeville  •  Link

There used to be a saying "Don't cast a clout 'til May (blossom) is out". Clout being a singular item of clothing. The word was used widely in Lancashire when I was a lad.

Mary  •  Link


Neither 'eth' (voiced, not unvoiced) nor 'thorn' (it's unvoiced partner) would have had any place at all in Sam's orthography.

tld  •  Link

It was feared the boy (Jack) had smallpox yesterday. Today he's answering the door or hanging with Sam's wife?

Linda F  •  Link

TF and Mary,

Many thanks; was just wondering, having learned of the use of, for example, "fader" for "father" in earlier spoken English, tied to the eth (yes, the "th" today in "clothes" is much softer). Wondered if anything like this survived into SP's day, and made it into written Engish in connection with clod/clothes. A transcription error makes sense.

john  •  Link

"riding clod"

The modern term is "riding clogs" (always heard in the plural).

Mary  •  Link

Riding clog(s)

John, could you please specify where this is heard in Modern English?

DiPhi  •  Link

Where is Language Hat when we need him?

Jenny  •  Link

In New Zealand we call clothes "clobber" colloquially. Maybe that's where clogs comes from.

Jenny  •  Link

I've done it again. Riding clod not clogs. I take that as being clad in their riding clothes.

Mary  •  Link

This question of riding-clod"

The first annotation in this sequence (thank you, Terry) showed that the L&M reading at this point is "riding-clothes." There is no editorial note that this reading is an emendation or substitution, nor that the Pepys shorthand is unclear in this instance, so perhaps we would do best to accept L&M's scholarship and settle on their version. To quote Dellboy Trotter (for UK readers), "You know it makes sense."

Australian Susan  •  Link

@Mary. Good ol' Delboy. Now I wonder what Sam would have made of that particular Cockney shyster?! Deeply suspicious, but maybe drawn to one of Del's amazing deals.......

john  •  Link

"Riding clogs" I have heard used in riding stables in eastern Canada (but nowhere else, in truth). Elsewhere, "riding togs" is the common phrase.

languagehat  •  Link

I agree with Mary: it's “riding-clothes,” so there's no point speculating about other phrases.

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