January 1663

A lot of sam’s time this month is spent on arranging provisons for Tangier, and finalizing his very own Navy manuscript. In the meantime he’s feeling more and more at home at court, “walking among the courtiers, which I perceive I shall be able to do with great confidence, being now beginning to be pretty well known among them” — although to his dislike he finds “that there is nothing almost but bawdry at Court from top to bottom.”

Both Sir W. Penn and “My Lord” Mountague fall ill this month, and Sam’s wife complains about her lack of a female companion — something Sam will have to deal with soon. Pepys makes a promise to himself to “God willing, perfect and bind myself to, that so I may, for a great while, do my duty, as I have well begun, and increase my good name and esteem in the world, and get money, which sweetens all things, and whereof I have much need.”

Over the first week of January Sam goes to see ‘The Villaine’, ‘Claracilla’, ‘Twelfth Night’ (again) and ‘The Adventures of Five Hours’ but then resolves to see no more plays before “Easter, if not Whitsuntide next, excepting plays at Court.”

On 9 January an angry Sam burns Elizabeth’s letters — “I and she never were so heartily angry in our lives as to-day almost” — but he repents afterwards and buys her a new “Moyre gown” to make up.

On 30 January Samuel makes up his account, and finds himself to be worth only £640, but then again: “I have had great expenses this month. I pray God the next may be a little better, as I hope it will.”

See the full diary entries for January 1663

February 1663

The Tangier business is again high on Sam’s professional agenda this month. At home there is some regret about Jane, the maid, leaving her employment with the household over “some words she spoke boldly and yet I believe innocently and out of familiarity to her mistress about us weeks ago.” But Mary Ashwell has arrived to keep Elizabeth company from now on.

The ongoing dispute over uncle Robert’s inheritance, after months of long and difficult argument, finally ends with both Sam and Thomas Pepys signing an out-of-court settlement on the 14th although the terms and the financial implications are not very favourable to Sam.

On 21 February Sam is nearly arrested by the bailiffs, over some unpaid court fees in the Field business. The comical cat and mouse game lasts the entire day, before the matter is finally settled.

Sam’s birthday sees him briefly breaks his vows and visit two plays. On the 27th he is treated to a learned lecture on “kidneys, ureters, &c”, and in the dissecting room of “Chyrurgeon’s Hall” is shown “very clearly the manner of the disease of the stone and the cutting.”

On the last day of the month “making up my month’s account”, Sam finds that he is “at a stay with what I was last, that is 640l.

See the full diary entries for February 1663

March 1663

This is a rather uneventful month for Sam, who spends most of his time on the usual Navy business, and the meetings of the Tangier Committee — where on the 30th “we all of us sealed and signed the Contract for building the Mole … a thing which I did not at all understand, nor any or few of the whole board.”

On 12 March Ashwell comes to live with the Pepyses. Sam finds her “a pretty ingenuous girl”, which pleases him very well, and he hopes she “will be very good entertainment for my wife without much cost.” On the 16th he also discovers “she do play pretty well … upon the harpsicon.”

On a national level, the King has asked for “Indulgence” for the “Papists”, but this is being hotly opposed by Parliament on the 6th.

On the 26th it’s “five years since it pleased God to preserve me at my being cut of the stone“, but “because of my wife’s being ill and other disorders by my servants being out of order” Sam isn’t able to celebrate this in his usual manner.

On 29 March Sam finds himself “as I think, fully worth 670l.”

See the full diary entries for March 1663

April 1663

On the home front April finds Sam confronted with the hard task of making clear to his father that the old man is spending more money than he should, although (on the 20th) “he is not anything extravagant, and yet it do so far outdo his estate that he must either think of lessening his charge, or I must be forced to spare money out of my purse to help him through, which I would willing do as far as 20l. goes.” Elizabeth has her first dancing lesson on the 25th.

Professionally, as well as his usual work with the Navy and Tangier Committee he must deal with the growing tension within the Navy Board, in particular between Sir William Batten and himself, which becomes apparent on the 25th.

The Duke of Monmouth is married on the 20th, and installed on the 23rd. Parliament, now with the full support of the King, continues to take a hard stand against the “Papists”, which is the subject of much heated debate. Against this background, the news of the Irish Catholiques’ insurrection on the 3rd is all the more worrying.

On 4 April, with some delay Pepys is finally in a position to celebrate his annual feast for his cutting of the stone. On the 26th he finds himself “worth full 700l., for which I bless God, it being the most I was ever yet worth in money.”

See the full diary entries for April 1663

May 1663

Sam continues his efforts to settle the estate at Brampton with meeting with Will Stankes and his father on the 1st. Sam explains to his father that he will have to limit his living expenses to £50 per year, and the reality of this restriction brings tears to Sam and his father.

Sam and Elizabeth have their share of turmoil this month beginning with an argument on 2nd May where Sam calls Elizabeth a “beggar” and she responds that he is a “pricklouse.” The following day Elizabeth expresses concern that Sam is paying too much attention to Ashwell and not enough to her. On 4th May Elizabeth starts her dancing lessons with Mr. Pembleton. Sam also joins the dance lessons, starting with instructions on a coranto. Sam takes the ladies (Elizabeth and Ashwell) to a play on the 8th and afterwards comments that he was a “little shamed that my wife and woman were in such a pickle, all the ladies finer and better dressed in the pitt than they used, I think, to be.” As the dancing lessons continue, Sam’s “old disease” of jealousy arises leaving Sam to spy on Elizabeth and Pembleton and on 15th May he wrote, “I am ashamed to think what a course I did take by lying to see whether my wife did wear drawers to-day as she used to do and other things to raise my suspicion of her, but I found no true cause of doing it.” By month end Sam has expressed his jealousy of Pembleton to Elizabeth and she shares her jealousy of his attentions towards Ashwell with him.

In work related activities, Deane of Woolwich introduces Sam to a new device, a “little sliding ruler,” which he uses to measure timber on the 11th. Tom Hater brings news of his dismissal to Sam, who spends much of the month trying to keep Hater employed. The great dispute about the value of the “pieces of eight” begins on the 11th and continues through the next day when Sam proudly announces that the parties have been brought over to his side of the debate. On the 19th Sam visits the Assay Office and records the detail of the making of money.

Court gossip includes concern on 14th May over the possibility that Charles II will put the “crown upon the little Duke,” Monmouth. The next day Sam voices greater concern that “The King do nothing but pleasure, and hates the very sight or thoughts of business, that my Lady Castlemaine rules him.” Sam also reports that “It seems the present favourites now are my Lord Bristol, Duke of Buckingham, Sir H. Bennet, my lord Ashley, and Sir Charles Barkeley; who, among them, have cast my Lord Chancellor upon his back.” Finally Louis XIV is reported ill and although there are rumors that he has been poisoned, by the 31st it is known that he had the measles.

Sam enjoys the gift of a blackbird from Rundell on the 22nd and is awoken the next morning by its beautiful tunes. He buys two books, “Improvement of Trade” and “Counsell to Builders” and reads a play called the “Five Houres Adventure.” The plays he sees this month include “the Humerous Lieutenant,” “Hamlett” and “The Slighted Mayde.” Much to his pleasant surprise, his wife’s former lady, Gosnell is on stage for the latter two plays, making her acting debut.

See the full diary entries for May 1663

June 1663

The corruption of the Navy and conflicts consume much of Sam’s energies, including issues of Coventry’s censure of the House; Carteret and Creed’s ongoing issues with accounts, and Batten’s corruption. Sam works on developing his mathmatique skills with his sliding ruler, and on 9th June Creed explains to him Mr. Jonas Moore’s “duodecimal arithmetique.” On 13th June, while investigating different suppliers of tarr, Sam receives a barrel of sturgeon as a bribe from Batten and ponders if he will return it. Sam’s work on the purchase of hemp brings him pleasure when “the Duke do take notice of me.”

In family matters, Sam is “deadly mad” to discover that his wine cellar has been left ajar and half of his wine drunk. The mystery remains unsolved. Sam’s jealousy of Pembleton slowly declines as he prepares for Elizabeth and Ashwell to go to the country. The ladies leave mid-month and Sam fills his home time playing with a variety of his musical instruments, including the violin, pipe, triangle virginal and lute. At her request, Sam sends Elizabeth a lovely petticoat. On the 23rd, Sam has mixed feeling when Wayneman runs away. On the 29th, Sam has a dalliance with Mrs. Lane and notes that “I have used of late, since my wife went, to make bad use of my fancy with whatever woman I have a mind to, which I am ashamed of, and shall endeavor to do so no more.”

Sam enjoys the variety of seeing his first prize fight (1st June), watching the Russian Embassador and his people “down lousing themselves” (6th), and hearing that the German Princess is cleared of charges (7th). He picks up books including the new “Concordance of the Bible”, and reads the “History of England”. Sam comments to his enjoyment of Chaucer and before retiring one night has Will read part of a Latin chapter to him.

Sam ends the month with a lengthy summary of his situation and that of the country.

See the full diary entries for June 1663

July 1663

The sound of heavy rain and Creed’s “business of his accounts” (1 July) begin the month; with these accounts more settled by the 6th. Sam takes satisfaction in listing the Kings ships in his Navy collection (6). Work with merchants continues much as usual through the month with Navy news of Carteret’s young daughter being married (30).

Sensational charges against Sir Charles Sedley and Lord Bristoll’s haranguing speech before the Commons House begin the month’s legal/political activities (1). On the 10th, Bristol “hath this day impeached my Lord Chancellor in the House of Lords of High Treason” (the chief articles of which Sam dutifully records in this Diary entry). The Lord’s House agrees that the charges are not treason, but vote a Committee to examine them further (14).

A letter from Sam further provokes the tension between Elizabeth, Ashwell, Pall and John Sr. in Brampton (1, 5, 8). On the 7th Sam spies Wayneman and has him stripped of his best suit, which he had taken when he ran away. Sam receives a visit from “my Jane” Birch, who begs him to reconsider taking back her wayward younger brother, but to no avail (28).

Sam’s wandering eyes have him plotting of ways to see Bagwell’s wife (9, 27). He is once again, ashamed of a tousing episode with Mrs. Lane (18). Sam appreciates a horse and foot march and discharge of guns for a French Marquisse (4), while royal activities at Whitehall (13) leave Sam dreaming of “sporting” with the beautiful Frances Stewart (13) and the Queen (15). Other appetites are also indulged this month with Sam’s palate happily sated with the first cherries he’s eaten this year (7), eels, lobster, Mrs. Turner’s hot umble pie and homemade spirits (8), a 30 year old Malago Sack (20), cheesecake, tarts and custard (24), and a “brave dish of cream, the best I ever eat in my life” (25). Sam takes pleasure in reading Bacon’s “Faber fortunae” (20), Ben Johnson’s “Devil is an asse” (22) and “The Politician Cheated” (29).

See the full diary entries for July 1663

August 1663

At the Ropehouses, Sam experiments to decide “which is stronger, English or Riga hemp, the latter proved the stronger, but the other is very good’. While at the yard, the accuracy of the Timber Measurer’s work displeases Sam (3rd). Sam picks up his measuring rule (7th) and studies it until his head aches, returning to the yard to do his own measuring. Sam is very pleased with his rule and brings it to Greatoreax’s for engraving (10.

Family affairs are in disarray, beginning with Sam’s letter from Elizabeth (4) expressing her concerns about Ashwell, who is let go by month’s end (16, 17, 25). The joiners arrive midmonth and for six days Sam’s house is continuously dirty as they do their work. Sam is disappointed in his brother John’s lack of knowledge and calls him to task on his areas of studies (7, 8), later calling him an “Asse and coxcomb” (20), for which he is sorry. His midmonth visit with his brother Tom (10) adds to his upset as Sam “do fear that he do not understand his business, nor will do any good in his trade” and demands to see his brother’s accounts (11).

Sam goes on a walk with Mr. Castel and receives a foreboding warning of things to come. On “our way met some gypsys, who would needs tell me my fortune, and I suffered one of them, who told me many things common as others do, but bade me beware of a John and a Thomas, for they did seek to do me hurt, and that somebody should be with me this day se’nnight to borrow money of me, but I should lend him none.” (22)

Gossip abounds and Sam’s concerns about Lord Sandwich’s apparent interest in Mrs. Becke increases (10). Lord Bristoll flees when there are warrants issued for his arrest. Sam seems pleased that Lady Castlemaine, “who rules the King in matters of state,” seems out of favor. Sam is pleased to hear that the Queen, who is in Tunbridge, is becoming a very debonair lady and more pleasing to the King (11). At month’s end the King, Queen and their Courts moves to Bath.

See the full diary entries for August 1663

September 1663

Sam shares a coach with the Lord Mayor riding to the Sessions House in Old Bayley, where they watch some “ordinary tryalls” and the share dinner (2). John brings Sam a letter from Thomas asking to borrow 20_l_, which Sam declines and then happily records that what the Gypsy told him in August was apparently true (3).

Sam enjoys furnishing his house and buys a chintz for Elizabeth (5) and assorted things for her closet including dogs, tongs and a shovel from the ironmongers (7). While managing his personal funds carefully, he also manages those of the King with great care as he contracts with Sir W. Warren for 3000_l_ worth of masts (10).

Sam readies himself for his travels and asks Elizabeth ‘Well! Shall you and I never travel together again?” (13) to which she replies that she will join him. They leave the next day and on the journey Elizabeth takes violently ill, making Sam fearful of her life. Elizabeth mends enough to proceed to Brampton and then Hinchingbrooke and visits with Lady Sandwich. Sam and his father discuss finances (15). Sam takes a side trip to visit his Aunt and Uncle Perkins whose off-beat lifestyle surprises Sam (17). Sam and Elizabeth return home and Sam catches up on his work with the mast contract. Sam ends the month with an illness (most likely a bad cold) which he believes he got after a frolic with Mrs. Lane which took place by an open window (27).

See the full diary entries for September 1663

October 1663

Sam’s interesting month begins with the return of the King and his Court and a series of full Navy Board meetings (1st). The board examines Cocke’s second account, a bill to Captain Smith and issues regarding timber (6). In the midst of all of the official Navy duties Sam records another round in the ongoing differences between Mr. Coventry and Sir George Carteret (12). The Tangier and Africa Committees meet (14) to discuss Sally and then the Articles of Peace (16). Later in the month the board reviews accounts of Mr. Gauden’s, who invites Sam to a wonderful dinner afterwards (17).

Sam’s health takes a turn for the worse (7) and remains quite disturbed for a week. He details his illness (colic/constipation) with visits to Mr. Hollyard for assorted powders, drink, syrup, electuary and a glister, which finally offer him relief. He dutifully records the steps he will follow if ever found in this predicament again (13). While Sam is on the mend, he hears news that the Queen is “very sick, if not dead” (17) with an illness that will have her swaying between life and death for several weeks. Sam orders a velvet cloake and then puts a hold to his order the next day, until he sees if the Queen will live or die (21, 22). By month’s end, Sam shows his fashionable new clothes and periwigs to Creed and balances his budget after his splurge (31).

The painter’s work leaves the house in “the dirtiest pickle” (10) for Elizabeth. The two go church and Pembleton is there, but when Elizabeth points out his wife and the “good jewel at her breast” Sam is relieved of any lingering jealousy (18). Sam begins to teach Elizabeth arithmetic so she can study globes (21, 30). Other house issues involve Will’s “corrupting the mayds by his idle talke and carriage” causing Sam to contemplate sending him out of his house (31).

Sam indulges in varying religious experiences when he reads the “Church History of Fuller’s, and particularly Crammer’s letter to Queen Elizabeth” (11) and then enjoys an unusual visit to a Jewish Synagogue (14).

See the full diary entries for October 1663

November 1663

Much focus this month is on the fashion of periwigs, including the Duke who states that he will start wearing one, along with talk of the King’s intention to do the same (2). The next day Sam allows his wig maker to cut off his hair (3) and then he buys a case to house his new fashion (4). Throughout the month, Sam ponders how people will react to his periwig and even the Duke offers a fond joke on Sam’s altered look (4, 8, 9).

Work has ongoing issues with masts, hemp and timber. Sam writes a letter regarding the mast contract to Sir George Carteret (14, 15, 16, 25), who assures Sam that “we may tell one another at any time any thing that passes among us at the office or elsewhere wherein we are either dissatisfied one with another, and that I should find him in all things as kind and ready to serve me as my own brother”, a welcome compliment from the Treasurer of the Navy.

While work frictions play out through the month, more serious concerns cause worry regarding Sam’s patron, Lord Sandwich. While My Lord and Sam share Court gossip about others (6), days later Mr. Pierce makes Sam aware that the King has noticed Lord Sandwich’s absence from the Court (9). Sam shares his concerns with Mr. Moore (12) and then takes action by writing a letter of reproof to warn his Lordship of the gossip and perceived damage to his reputation (17, 18). Lord Sandwich, never one to lose his cool in a situation, addresses these issues with Sam to find out the background to the gossip and the people involved (22). By month end, Mr. Pierce confirms with Sam that Lord Sandwich “is resolved to go no more to Chelsy” (28), which is a blessing for all.

On the home front, Elizabeth Pepys finds herself with health problems with a most painful “hollow sore place” and receives care from Mr. Hollyard (12, 16, 17, 18). Sam hears that his former boy Wayneman has behaved so poorly with Mr. Davis that he is shipped off to Barbados (14). Sam writes to Will’s uncle to hasten his removal from the house (4) and together they break the news to Will (9). Sam sees a weeping Will move out by midmonth, noting as he goes to bed “This night I think is the first that I have lain without ever a man in my house besides myself, since I came to keep any” (14).

See the full diary entries for November 1663

December 1663

Sir George Carteret announces that the Navy is out of debt and the local talk is that the Navy’s credit is as good as any other merchants upon the Change (3). Amidst this fiscally encouraging news Sam faces many personal conflicts this month as he receives gifts/payouts from the merchants whose contracts he has advanced (9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 29). Sam find that “So hard it is for a man not to be warped against his duty and master’s interest that receives any bribe or present, though not as a bribe, from any body else. But she [Mrs. Russell in this case] must be contented, and I to do her a good turn when I can without wrong to the King’s service” (10).

In family matters, brother Tom visits Sam to discuss the possibility of Wheatley’s daughter for his wife (10, 13). Sam’s cousin Edward Pepys dies (15) and Sam records the details of his passing and subsequent funeral (17, 23). No doubt Edward’s death plants a seed of worry in Elizabeth’s mind as she asks Sam what would become of her if he died. Sam writes that he will make up a will to provide for her (25).

Sam enjoys Mr. Coventry’s “excellent stories” and lively tales from Mr. Harrington and some East country merchants (5, 11). Gossip about Louis XIV’s “unduking” of dukes along with his preparations of ships against the Dutch creates uncertainty as Sam records that “The great talke is the designs of the King of France, whether against the Pope or King of Spayne nobody knows; but a great and a most promising Prince he is, and all the Princes of Europe have their eye upon him” (7,12, 31). Sam struggles throughout the month to figure out his own uncertainties as he wonders where he stands in the eyes of Lord Sandwich (7, 8, 14, 21, 22, 23).

Sam buys a copy of Cardinal Mazarin’s will (11), enjoys his ongoing reading of Rushworth, and splurges on assorted reading (10) and a map (26). He struggles with his desire to see the much admired play Henry VIII, but does not succumb to the temptation (10, 22, 24). Sam finds a strange enjoyment in the oddity of seeing his first cock fight (21).

Sam’s year ends with him expressing disappointment in his brothers Tom and John, and Elizabeth’s brother Balty. He finds his value above 800l., living only with his wife Elizabeth and “Jane Gentleman, Besse, our excellent, good-natured cookmayde, and Susan, a little girle, having neither man nor boy, nor like to have again a good while, living now in most perfect content and quiett, and very frugally also; my health pretty good” (31).

See the full diary entries for December 1663