Sunday 1 January 1659/60

Blessed be God, at the end of the last year I was in very good health, without any sense of my old pain, but upon taking of cold.1

I lived in Axe Yard having my wife, and servant Jane, and no more in family than us three.

My wife … [, after the absence of her terms for seven weeks, – L&M] gave me hopes of her being with child, but on the last day of the year … [the hope was belied.]2 [she hath them again. – L&M] The condition of the State was thus; viz. the Rump, after being disturbed by my Lord Lambert, was lately returned to sit again. The officers of the Army all forced to yield. Lawson lies still in the river, and Monk is with his army in Scotland. Only my Lord Lambert is not yet come into the Parliament, nor is it expected that he will without being forced to it.

The new Common Council of the City do speak very high; and had sent to Monk their sword-bearer, to acquaint him with their desires for a free and full Parliament, which is at present the desires, and the hopes, and expectation of all. Twenty-two of the old secluded members3 having been at the House-door the last week to demand entrance, but it was denied them; and it is believed that [neither] they nor the people will be satisfied till the House be filled.

My own private condition very handsome, and esteemed rich, but indeed very poor; besides my goods of my house, and my office, which at present is somewhat uncertain. Mr. Downing master of my office.

(Lord’s Day) This morning (we living lately in the garret) I rose, put on my suit with great skirts, having not lately worn any other, clothes but them.

Went to Mr. Gunning’s chapel at Exeter House, where he made a very good sermon upon these words: — “That in the fulness of time God sent his Son, made of a woman,” &c.; showing, that, by “made under the law,” is meant his circumcision, which is solemnized this day.

Dined at home in the garret, where my wife dressed the remains of a turkey, and in the doing of it she burned her hand.

I staid at home all the afternoon, looking over my accounts.

Then went with my wife to my father’s, and in going observed the great posts which the City have set up at the Conduit in Fleet-street.

Supt at my, father’s, where in came Mrs. The. Turner and Madam Morrice, and supt with us. After that my wife and I went home with them, and so to our own home.

94 Annotations

First Reading

nick sweeney  •  Link

Why does Pepys begin with reference to the 'condition of the State'? With good reason: England was facing its biggest political crisis since the execution of Charles I. Oliver Cromwell had died in 1658, and his son Richard's attempt to sustain the Protectorate had collapsed within months. Cromwell jr. had recalled the Rump parliament in 1659, before resigning as Lord Protector. However, the republican John Lambert dissolved the Rump in September of that year, following the example of Cromwell during the Civil War. Other parliamentarians called upon the country's generals to defend Parliament; one of those generals was Mon(c)k. Cromwell's commander in Scotland, who declared his support for the Rump, and rebutted Lambert's military challenge.

However, with these competing factions offering little likelihood of political stability in England, rumours were rife of a radical solution, with Monck as its instigator...

nick sweeney  •  Link

Had Pepys idly surveyed the pews at Exeter House chapel (now the site of the Lyceum Theatre) he'd have seen that other great diarist, John Evelyn, who recorded it thus: "Begging Gods blessing for the following Yeare, I went to Excester Chapell, where Mr. Gunning began the Yeare on 4: Gal: from 3. to 7th shewing the Love of Christ in sheding his bloud so early for us..." Small world. (And yes, Pepys' boss, Sir George Downing, subsequently gave his name to the most famous street in London...)

Phil  •  Link

Thanks for the wonderful info Nick. I added the location of Exeter House to the list of places for which I have locations, so it should now always be a link in the diary entries (linking to a map). Having added that, I took the liberty of removing your link to Streetmap as that site couldn't find the supplied postcode!

James R. Hannay  •  Link

The diary itself, as well as the rest of Pepys' book collection, is available to the public free of charge at:

The Pepys Library
Magdalene College

Telephone: (01223) 332115
Fax: (01223) 332187

David Gurliacci  •  Link

Historian Thomas Macaulay gave this description of what fears were called up by the political crisis:

[T]he dangers which threatened the country were such that, in order to avert them, some opinions might well be compromised, and some risks might well be incurred. It seemed but too likely that England would fall under the most odious and degrading of all kinds of government, under a government uniting all the evils of despotism to all of the evils of anarchy. Anything was preferable to the yoke of a succession of incapable and inglorious tyrants, raised to power, like the Deys of Barbary, by military revolutions recurring at short intervals. Lambert seemed likely to be the first of these rulers: but within a year Lambert might give place to Desborough, and Desborough to Harrison. As often as the truncheon was transferred from one feeble hand to another, the nation would be pillaged for the purpose of bestowing a fresh donative on the troops."

-- From Thomas B. Macaulay's History of England From the Accession of James II, Vol. I, Chapter 1 (1848).
(text available from Project Gutenberg)

Herself  •  Link

This is a wonderful thing; thanks for undertaking it. Wondering though why you've chosen an expurgated version, when there are complete editions available.

Phil  •  Link

It's actually the most complete copyright-free version that's available. The only better edition, as far as I know, is the one published in the 1970s which is under copyright.

David Moynihan  •  Link

Might be nice to give a little bit of credit to Dr. David Widger, who went to the trouble of scanning and proofing two versions...… has the little notice of who scanned it... all the reward a Gutenberg volunteer expects.

Like what you're doing here though.

Listing of all the works Dr. Widger has scanned for Project Gutenberg is available at…

Monty Burns  •  Link

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

mark  •  Link

Wow - this is very cool. I've been meaning to read Pepys diary for a while now - this site should mean I'll get round to it.


Robin  •  Link

I love the reference to eating left-over turkey - I'm doing the same myself today.
How popular was turkey at that time, it must have been a fairly recent introduction?

Jon Rutherford  •  Link

Congratulations on implementing--in a most attractive format--a wonderful idea.

As a long-time journal writer myself, and a retired civil servant, I feel some kinship with Mr. Pepys. His poignant description of the Great Fire remains in my memory as one of the most gripping passages I read in my school years (in high school, in Garden City, Kansas, USA, circa 1956).

Best wishes for this New Year and for your very civilized undertaking!

language hat  •  Link

This is a great idea brilliantly executed. I've always wanted to read the Diary, and this is the perfect way to do it. Perhaps someone with access to a truly complete edition could supply the "..." text in an annotation? Surely quoting a few words falls under fair use.

PhastPhrog  •  Link

There's one in every crowd...
Good luck with the Pepys' project. Looking forward to reading more.
Hopefully you get many more idiots like trainspotter.

PhastPhrog  •  Link

..or better yet: You *don't* get many more idiots. :-)

Michiel  •  Link

Great site, I will try to follow it daily!

Pity though we have to do with the censored version...

Greetings from a Dutchman (who were not very popular with Pepys, as we shal see in six years...)

wiggy  •  Link

Perhaps some helpful scholar could help us all out by using the 1970s edition to annotate back IN whatever got censored OUT from each day's entries in this Victorian edition.

This tactic would be legal as long as the the missing text each day is short - coming under the 'fair use' rules.

Steven  •  Link

As happy a man as any in the world, for the whole world seems to smile upon me!

Mary  •  Link

Cold Turkey

Turkeys were introduced into England about 90 years before the date of this first entry in the diary. In later years they became popular enough for large flocks of them to be raised in East Anglia. These flocks were herded, on foot, to London in the weeks before Christmas, their feet being protected in small, leather boots that were made expressly for the purpose.

Tina Warburton  •  Link

Thanks for this - I'm finally going to read Pepys. Re the copyright problem, as long as the expurgations don't exceed 5% of the total work, you should be covered under fair dealing if they're restored- I think.

Phil  •  Link

Regarding credit to David Widger, who prepared the Project Gutenberg text... He was already credited on and I have now added a link to his page.

Bob Whaley  •  Link

What a terrific and ambitious project. I wish you great success.

bob geensen  •  Link

a splendid project indeed! I have had the warrington edition in my library for 32 years and shall look forward to a daily "pepys-portion". It is a timely reminder that there are still some civi-lized people around.Thanks from a dutchman living in belgium.

David Brew  •  Link

Wonderful idea, congratulations. Like all good ideas - so simple (afterwards). Looking forward to a daily taste of long ago.

Iain  •  Link

I as many others have think it is a great project and like many others have also wanted to read the diaries. Well done. From a Scot in The Netherlands.

John Morrow  •  Link

This is a wonderful idea: congratulations to all involved with the project. I am curious about Pepys' kidney stone. Is there any information as to where the operation was performed? I realise this took place two year before he started his diary but information may exist elsewhere. I certainly couldn't find any clues in my quite abridged version. As a former employee of Barts Hospital Medical School it ocurred to me that the operation may have taken place on the original hospital site.

me  •  Link

The vast majority of the expurgated remarks have to do with the pain of Pepys' inguinal hernia and the noting of his wife's monthly menstrual cramps. Apparently these two subjects are simply too much for tender sensibilities of Henry B. Wheatley! A pity.

Geoffrey Langlois  •  Link

Thank you. This is a marvellous way to look again at the diaries, a printed edition of which is helping to support my dust collection. This brings back memories of a brief visit to a one-room museum to Pepys and Price Hal in (I think) Fleet Street. I stumbled across it in 1985 or '88 while on an aimless walk and was charmed. You are doing us a wonderful service and we're grateful.

Aaron  •  Link

Thank you. I just heard of your wonderful gift to the online world, and in the best format -- in additon to having newsfeeds available. I'm only a few days behind, must get to it -- after listening to npr's interview.

Paul Miller  •  Link

I am going to try the daily diary readings on this site, who knows maybe I will still be reading ten years from now. I must recommend the biography Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
by Claire Tomalin, an excellent read!

Ian Mathers  •  Link

This seems to be the place to post congratulations and thanks to Phil, so here is where I'll do it. I'm a Canadian university student who had been sort of meaning to get around to Pepys' diary ever since I heard of it, but realistically if not for this site I probably never would have. Naysayers be damned, increased exposure of this work alone is worth the project and format. I can't believe people are actually complaining that this somehow cheapens them. This site gives me more faith in humanity. Kudos.

Scaryduck  •  Link

A fantastic concept, wonderfully executed. This site should show a few bloggers and diarists (myself included) how it should be done.

peter payzant  •  Link

Expurgated text:
The original text, censored by Wheatly, read "she hath them again", according to the edition edited by Latham and Matthews.

language hat  •  Link

More unexpurgation:
Peter, you beat me to it; I got tired of waiting for someone to post the omitted material and went to the library on my lunch hour to find it. But the words you quote mean nothing without the previous omitted text (after "My wife..."), so my trip was not wasted. The first omitted words were: "after the absence of her terms for seven weeks"; i.e., her period was late.

I also noticed that the online text is seriously overedited, with much punctuation and even spelling/usage changed to no evident point. In particular, it's "...and hath sent to Monke" (not "had"), lots of commas have either been omitted or changed to semicolons, and "Morris" has been changed to "Morrice"; furthermore, a comma has been added in an actively confusing place in the first sentence of the second paragraph ("any other, clothes"). Since the last is presumably a scanning glitch, I hope it at least can be fixed in this version, though I don't see why the omitted words couldn't be added as well.

Phil  •  Link

Yes, there are differences between the text on this site and that of the 19070s Latham & Matthews edition (which I assume you looked at). As the explains, the text on this site comes from the 1893 edition of the diary, which is far from perfect. Latham & Matthews go into some detail about the problems with it. Any problems are not strictly to do with the "online text", but the "1893 text."

Should errors in the 1893 text be corrected before being put online? The only way they could really be corrected is by reference to Pepys' original shorthand -- Latham & Matthews is just another interpretation (albeit far more comprehensive) rather than the One True Text. If I were to correct errors in the 1893 text before posting it online I would have to decide where to draw the line. Do I just add in missing words? Do I correct punctuation? Do I correct obvious spelling errors? Do I research anything that looks like it *might* be a spelling error? Any line drawn would be arbitrary and would create yet another version of the text which, due to lack of time and resources, would not be an entirely satisfactory one.

Therefore I have taken the decision to present the 1893 text exactly as it is on Project Gutenberg, with no alterations other than separating out the footnotes. This makes it clear where the source, and any errors, comes from. Any corrections, clarifications or amendments should be made in the annotations, something everyone is making a wonderful job of! So thank you!

Virginia Hall  •  Link

One of my fifth grade students (who wishes to remain anonymous) showed me this site and we love it!! She heard about it on NPR and we have enjoyed browsing through the diary. We thank you for making this available to the world - old and young alike!!
-Durham, North Carolina

Susanna  •  Link

"my suit with great skirts"

Pepys was apparently following the fashion set by Louis XIV of France for "petticoat breeches". There is an illustration here:…

Susanna  •  Link

Pepys' Operation

He was cut for the stone by Thomas Holiyer, who was a surgeon at St. Thomas's Hospital. We are told "it came out intact, the size of a tennis ball. The proud (and lucky!) survivor had it set in a case, which cost him twenty-four shillings." (Roy Porter, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Mankind) He may have survived because he was first on the day's list to be operated on (so the surgeon's tools and hands were relatively clean), and because the operation was done not at the hospital but at the home of a relative. The incision was about 3 inches long and the extraction took less than a minute. (Liza Picard, Restoration London)

Rich Merne  •  Link

I am fascinated by the insight into medieval times which Pepys'writings give. In particular it brings me to mind of the state of, and methods of medical proceedures etc. at the time. Anaesthetic !!, sutures(internal)!!. I'd love to know more about these and other aspects of life then. Also I am very curious if there are as yet unpublished passages (censured etc.)

Mary  •  Link


Rich Merne  •  Link

Sorry Mary, a momentary slip due to the fact that I had just before been dredging older stuff. I twigged it too late just as I had it posted, thanks anyway.

Brooke  •  Link


The notes add that Sam's wound reopened decades later. This is, I've read, characteristic of SCURVY. In severe cases, long-healed and decades-old scars would reopen, as if the wound had just occurred. I've come to this diary a little late for responses--but are there any notes on this?

It makes me highly suspicious that Sam wasn't taking his one-a-day and was neglecting his fruits and veggies--in later years anyway. I'll be looking for references to his diet more closely from now on.

dirk  •  Link


The following passages seem to suggest that there was scurvy around - also among non sailors - in the 16th, 17th, and early 18th c.

"Diet was strong on protein and carbohydrate but weaker on vitamins C and D. Hence scurvy (especially at sea) and rickets were common conditions among the lower classes."…

"The records of the years 1755-63 list the most common ailments dealt with as: ague, rheumatism, fever, venereal disease, abcesses and ulcerated skin, scurvy, swollen, sore or painful limbs, asthma, dropsy, injuries from accidents, consumption and tumours. Also mentioned are hysterical flatulency, melancholy, bloody flux, leprosy and paronchia- inflammation of the fingernails."…

Fern Luker  •  Link

I am a decendent of George Downing through his daughter Margaret Lullium Downing and although he was an old rascal I still take pride in my history.So about fifteen years ago I met a fellow in Houston, Texas and we became more than just casual friends. He was interested in geneology and so was I and after about a year we discovered that our relatives had known and dispised each other. It amazed both of us how down through the generations families keep bumping into each other and we don't even realise it. Allen is gone now, but when I read Pepy's diary and the references he makes to his friends and associates, somehow I feel my friend's presence standing beside me in that long grey line smiling, and waiting for me to join him.

Capt.Petrus.S. Dorpmans  •  Link

"...,without any sense of my old pain..."

Pepys had been cut for the stone on March 26, 1658. by Mr.James Pierce, a surgeon.

Daniel Baker  •  Link

Pepys's home at Axe Yard was right across the street from Scotland Yard, later to become famous as London's police HQ.

language hat  •  Link

"Pepys’s home at Axe Yard was right across the street from Scotland Yard"

No it wasn't, it was blocks south of Great Scotland Yard. Please don't add misinformation to the annotations.

Daniel Baker  •  Link

Ouch. Sorry. It appeared to me on the map that Axe Yard was across from Little Scotland Yard (which I erroneously thought was also part of the police HQ). Is that correct, or is Axe Yard even further south than that?

Daniel R. Baker  •  Link

OK, I was definitely way off. I found Axe Yard on Susanna's map…, and it isn't even on Whitehall. It's on King Street, just south of where Whitehall used to split into King Street and Parliament Street. Closer to the Privy Garden than to Scotland Yard. Sorry about the mistake.

language hat  •  Link

No problem, and sorry about the grumpy tone.

Betina Luker Foreman  •  Link

I just noticed a post by Fern Luker. Fern if you are out there please contact me. I believe we are related and I would love to get in touch. I think our connection is through John William Luker Jr. of Houston Texas. Please contact me (512)771-6318. Thank you!!

Jim Retzer  •  Link

Perhaps I'm a novice to this sort of question, but I'm utterly confused when I try to match up days of the week to Pepys' dates.

He very clearly states in his opening diary entry that January 1st is the Lords Day -a Sunday. However, when I referred to a perpetual calendar for the year 1660, I discovered that January 1st fell not on a Sunday, but on a Thursday.

The only months that year in which the dates cited (specifically the 1st and 8th)fall on a Sunday is February -which in 1660 had only 29 days- and August, which had the requisite 31.

This chronological confusion spreads across the whole of the Diary as far as I can tell.

Can someone explain this to me?

Mary  •  Link

Are you sure that your perpetual calendar has taken account of the 1752 Great Calendar Change from Julian to Gregorian, which resulted in the "lost" eleven days?

Second Reading

Bill Greenwell  •  Link

Some confusion here. Lady Day was and is March 25th. When the calendar changed in 1752 the tax year was changed after objections that taxes would be levied on too short a year. The authorities had removed eleven days (starting with Sept 3 1752), and therefore 'reimbursed' the taxpayers by adding eleven days - and an apologetic extra, twelfth one. Hence our tax year starts on April 6th.

So we have a church year that follows the conception of Jesus (March 25th) through to his birth, nine months later (Dec 25th), a calendar year, and a tax year.

A cursory look at church registers shows that, for the churches at least, reckoning the beginning of a year was always from March 25th until 1753. For quite some time the year was shown as 'n.s.', that is, 'new style'.

Kerstin  •  Link

The left-over turkey incident: might it be that his wife was still upset because she had thought that she was pregnant. Notice the lack of comment or emotion that she is not ...

Autumnbreeze Movies  •  Link

I've been reading the diary for many months now and, after initially feeling bewildered in the 17th century world of daily events, common phrases and puzzling encounters with people great and small, have arrived at the date of 10 November 1667, the second half of my reading done on this site (the first, on my Kindle). Thanks to this website, my understanding of Pepys's London soared; I now feel at home in his world, and very involved in its joys and troubles. I've also become aware that when I began to read the entries, I was so overwhelmed that I missed a lot as there were no annotations or explanations on the Kindle (I did a bit of researching myself, discovered a few things, and as I was doing this stumbled upon this wonderful website). So now I'm reading the first entries again, and the annotations, to make up for my loss. Thank you, Phil, and everybody who contributed to it!

meech  •  Link

I second the last annotation. I've wanted to read this diary for many years, and finally got an ebook version, but was having difficulty figuring out the cast of characters and meanings of many entries. In trying to research these I came upon this fabulous website and although I was up to August, I too have started over. What a difference! Now I have come back to Day One just to thank Phil and everyone who has made an entry thoughout these past ten years. Looking forward to the next ten.

Autumnbreeze Movies  •  Link

'My wife … gave me hopes of her being with child, but on the last day of the year … '

My wife, after the absence of her terms for seven weeks, gave me hopes of her being with child, but on the last day of the year she hath them again. (from L&M edition)

Tripleransom  •  Link

Late to the party, but I've been enjoying the RSS feed over on LiveJournal, so I decided to double back and start at the beginning.
Thanks to everyone who has added these annotations, which make it much easier to understand what-all is going on!

eileen d.  •  Link

I just discovered this site, following the same path described by Autumnbreeze Movies (14 Oct 2014). Thank you, Phil! Thank you Project Gutenberg volunteers! Thank you, amazing long-time annotators! And thank you, internet for opening the wide world for me.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Then went with my wife to my father’s, and in going observed the great posts which the City have set up at the Conduit in Fleet-street."

Anyone know anything about these great posts? It sounds as if there were a few of them, but they did not obstruct traffic. My only idea is that the City fathers had positioned them there in case the Trained Band needed to fight off Admiral Lawson's men, or ... ? If that was the case, Pepys would surely have seen other piles of obstructions.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Then went with my wife to my father’s, and in going observed the great posts which the City have set up at the Conduit in Fleet-street."

L&M: John Pepys, a tailor, occupied a house and shop in Salisbury Court (abutting into St Bride's Churchyard) off the s. side of Fleet St.

The posts were part of the city's defenses which parliaments was now trying to dismantle; on the following day the city agreed to remove them. (Per footnotes)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

This article sheds light on why Pepys wrote his Diary:…

In 1656 John Beadle, an Essex minister, wrote a manual on how to keep a diary and explained the variety of types that were written in the 17th century:

'We have our state diurnals, relating to national affairs. Tradesmen keep their shop books. Merchants their account books. Lawyers have their books of pre[c]edents. Physitians have their experiments. Some wary husbands have kept a diary of daily disbursements. Travellers a Journal of all that they have seen and hath befallen them in their way. A Christian that would be more exact hath more need and may reap much more good by such a journal as this. We are all but stewards, factors here, and must give a strict account in that great day to the high Lord of all our ways, and of all his ways towards us'.

Diary-writing seems to have become a common genre that covered many different functions. One count in 1950 put diaries written before 1700 at 363, and since then many more have been discovered.

Beadle suggests we look for many factors to explain 17th century diary-keeping, including the growing literacy rate. a more literate culture, changes in the education system, cheaper paper and a heightened awareness of the 'self'. But one factor, the impact of the Protestant reformation on the world of the 'thankful Christian', stands out.

The most common reason for keeping a diary was to keep an account of providence or God's ordering of the world and of individual lives. Ralph Josselin called the diary he kept between 1641 and 1683 'a thankfull observation of divine providence and goodness towards me and a summary view of my life'.

Diaries allowed authors to meditate on personal failings - a type of written confession in a Protestant world that rejected the need for a Catholic priest to mediate sins. The diarist could count his blessings, give thanks for births or marriages, or seek consolation for illness and death. In an age when life in this world and salvation in the next were uncertain, diaries were a way of making sense of and ordering existence. They reflected the intensely introspective and anxious, self-examining religiosity of the 17th century, particularly among the 'hotter sort' of Protestants, such as the Presbyterians, independents, Baptists and Quakers.

Generally, diaries are the records of men and women of higher status. Their journals mingle a world of public events with private ones. Acting as key mediators of local authority or privileged to receive and disperse information, they were aware of the seismic nature of the events through which they were living.

Samuel Pepys seems to have begun his diary because he was aware of the crisis affecting the nation at the start of 1660. ...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Twenty-two of the old secluded members having been at the House-door the last week to demand entrance,"

This was on the morning of 27 December. The 22 included John Crew, father-in-law of Pepys's patron, Edward Mountagu. (L&M nore)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Went to Mr. Gunning’s chapel at Exeter House, where he made a very good sermon upon these words: — “That in the fulness of time God sent his Son, made of a woman,” &c.; showing, that, by “made under the law,” is meant his circumcision, which is solemnized this day."

Peter Gunning (later Bishop of Chichester) had since c. 1656 made Exeter House Chapel in the Strand an important centre of illegal Anglicanism. The text given here is a loose recollection of Galatians 4:4: "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law," KJV. This and many later instances in the diary suggest that his verbal memory for biblical [lectionary] texts was often faulty. (Per L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Supt at my, father’s, where in came Mrs. The. Turner and Madam Morrice"

Theophila (eight-year-old daughter of John and Jane Turner, who lived close by in Salisbury Court) was a relative of Pepys, her mother being daughter of John Pepys of Ashtead, Surrey. Madam Morris has not been identified. Spinsters, as well as married women were commonly addressed or referred to by the prefix 'Mistress' ('Mrs.') -- 'Miss' being a word of opprobrium. 'Madam' denoted an older person (usually a widow) as well as a Frenchwoman. (L&M note)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Diary of Ralph Josselin (Private Collection)
1.1.1660 (Sunday 1 January 1660)
document 70012180
January: 1: This week past god good to me and mine in many outward mercies the season frosty and so has continued now nearly 7 weeks. but the hardness of our hearts insensibleness of sin, and regardlessness of god are Englands miseries(,) this day god was good to me in the word, his love in his sons blood was very sweet to me.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The good Rev. Ralph wrote his occasional diary for decades, and they are available on line. He was very pious, and as you can see he was not overly familiar with punctuation. His observations about the weather, his relationships, the news as it reaches the wilds of Essex, and how it was received by the common man, are illuminating.

Cryssa Bazos has written an article which explains why the good Rev. Ralph's observations during the coming years are important, which I recommend:


David H  •  Link

Hi all, just joined and really enjoying what I've been reading so far.

I have a question about the 'Conduit in Fleet-street' that Pepys refers to on this day. The annotation in the entry above points readers to the Holborn Conduit but that was to the north of Fleet Street. Isn't Pepys in this instance referring to the conduit on Fleet Street at the junction with Shoe Lane and the site of his former home in Salisbury Court? The Agas map clearly identifies a conduit at this point:…

Were 'great posts' set up at this conduit?


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’. This is the opening sentence of L.P. Hartley’s "The Go-Between" (1953) and has become an historical cliché. The past really does not have an independent existence, but is being continually updated by adventurous sightseers: it is a frequently reexamined scene, an endangered world plundered by souvenir-hungry historical tourists like us. Tread lightly; leave behind as little debris as possible; be respectful ... they think differently from us for good but frequently obscure reasons.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

David H ... I checked the link and it seems Phil Gyford agreed with you as the link is now as you suggested. If you have any more helpful catches like that, feel free to email him ... at the bottom right of the page there is a box called ABOUT ... and there's his email.

And as to the great posts ... so far no one has come along who knows the answer. Check back frequently. And please post some more; this is a blog.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

From now on, where the 1893 edition has ellipses (…) marking omitted phrases, I will be gradually adding in the text for them taken from the Latham & Matthews edition, in [brackets] and marked with "L&M". We see the first two of these in this diary entry.

Third Reading

Matt Newton  •  Link

Hurray! A new year and a new reading begins of the greatest diary in the world.
Many thanks Phil.

Ironsights  •  Link

THIS time, I won't miss an entry.

EyeOnMadisonStreet  •  Link

I'm happy I've caught the train this time around. For so many reasons, Pepys' diary has been good for me since I discovered it over a year ago.

First, I needed to escape from the current world, the disasters and outrages of 2020. I started in the 18th century, with Tristram Shandy, Tom Jones and Moll Flanders. These wonderful books were havens for me and helped me regain my equilibrium, providing much needed perspective on the human condition.

As the covid controversy dragged on, I became interested in past epidemics. Though aware of Defoe's A Journal of The Plague Year, I wanted a non-fiction account. This led me to Pepys and I haven't been able to put him down since. Currently on volume 2, but will gladly drop back into volume 1, which my son bought for me as a birthday gift in a nice copy of the Wheatley edition.

Kit UK  •  Link

Looking forward to following along this reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

One thing we can do is find current websites to make up for the links that have been lost over time.

For instance, Suzanne 20 years ago knew about an illustration for the fashionable outfit that Pepys donned today. Here's an alternative site with similar information:…

Cryssa Bazos' article on Rev. Ralph Josselin can now be found at

A tip from an old blogger: Start your reading day by checking the "Recent Activity" box at the top. That way if you ask a question, you'll find out that someone responded. This is a blog, after all.

Happy New Year, bloggers and Phil. 2023 is off to a sterling start.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Having circumnavigated, of Time the end-less Ocean, seven months and three days after leaving Mr. Pepys as he ended his great Diary, we find ourselves back at its Beginning. January 1, 1660, where it all started!

From the time-boat that carried us, we contemplate the mysterious land of 1660. Behind us the great Archival Sea is heaving, sending waves of paper to the beach in front of us – State Papers, gazettes, diplomatic letters, in a spray of ink and dust. On a clear day you can see all the way to 1665 (that smudge of smoke on the horizon?) Some of this land is known to us, as we crossed it from 1665 thro' 1669, but not wanting to be called a Fortune-Teller we shall conceal these Mysteries.

The boat's captain sidles to us and asks, "You sure you want to disembark here, Sir? England's a mess in 1660. It's not safe."

"Is it ever, good captain?"

"What with the Long, the Rump, the Junta, the Return of the Rump, the unpaid militias and soldiers romping about, Lambert and his band, the Scots... Nobody knows who rules in London today. Anything could happen out there."

"Ah, but I am to meet an old friend, you see. A man wise in London ways. On the up. Clerks in the Admiralty Office".

"Pfaugh", the captain spits. "The Admiralty. Useless. The Army at least has promised to pay soldiers once a year. The Admiralty can't even provide peas and beer".

"Hmm. They could use some reorg, true. Maybe someone will do that. Say, have you news of the king?"

"On Christmas day the boatswain fished out a letter that said he was in Brussels. Doing what, on French or Spanish money, the Providence only knows. Well, we'll see you off then. Oh, and happy new year".

john  •  Link

An excellent suggestion, SDS, to update links. Sometimes, the Wayback Machine has archived the originals (such as Suzanne's link…).

Oh, and welcome back, All.

Jim Mullins  •  Link

So glad to be back! Thank you yet again, Phil, for all your hard work.

David Garfield  •  Link

My third time around, so happy it's back. Thanks for doing this.

RM  •  Link

And this third time round the dates and days of the week appear to be in sync with our own!

William Crosby  •  Link

I want to add my expression of great joy at the re-launch for a third journey through the Restoration via the Pepys Diary. A frenzied work schedule kept me from catching up until this morning--but, I sit here in Cleveland, Ohio with a giant smile on my face this morning in the time machine of the Pepys Diary.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The new Common Council of the City do speak very high; and had sent to Monk their sword-bearer, ..."

City of London swords
At ceremonial events it is carried by the Sword Bearer, while the mace is carried by the Serjeant-at-Arms. The City of London has had a Sword of State since before 1373 and the first known sword-bearer of the City was John Blytone, who resigned in 1395.[21]…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

And I agree-- thanks be to Phil for this daily reminder of how lucky we are to live now, trying as they may be.
This time around I am going to be more attentive to Rev. Ralph Josselin -- link top right of the page -- as he is a counter-weight to Pepys. University educated, and serving in a very Presbyterian area, he uses his Diary for two main purposes: It's his Gratitude to God exercise, with lots of helpful notes about the weather and the state of the harvest. It also helps us gauge how fast news travels. Occasionally he mentions things before Pepys.
Pepys rarely admits to fear -- Josselin tells us about his angst. I think he's more representative of the Average Joe than our erudite Diary host.

So what do we know about 17th century Earls Colne?

Earls Colne is a village in Essex, England named after the River Colne, on which it stands, and the Earls of Oxford who held the manor of Earls Colne from before 1086 to 1703.

History -- Manor of Earls Colne
In the time of Edward the Confessor Earls Colne belonged to a Saxon noble named Wulfwine, also recorded as Ulwin or Ulwine. Ulwin's whole estate was given to Aubrey de Vere by William the Conqueror. His grandson Aubrey de Vere III became the 1st Earl of Oxford in the mid-12th century.
The Earls had an ancient mansion named Hall Place standing near the site of the present Ashwells in Park Lane.
Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford mismanaged his finances and in 1583 the estate, then comprising the manor and park of seven hundred acres, were purchased from him by his steward Richard Harlakenden.

Village records
Earls Colne is one of the best recorded villages in the UK and has been the subject of a study undertaken between 1972 and 2002 by Professor Alan Macfarlane and his team from the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.
The resulting database contains a large part of the surviving records of the parish over the period 1380–1854. The manorial records have been transcribed from Latin and these together with the parish registers, tithe maps and Ralph Josselin's diary have been indexed by place, person and date.

The Earls Colne Heritage Museum contains the main sections of the permanent exhibition comprise Earls Colne in Earliest Times, the Domesday Book, Colne Priory, The Earls of Oxford, The 1598 Map by Israel Amyce, The Diary of the Rev. Ralph Josselin.

In 1520 the Rev. Christopher Swallow gave lands to the Earl of Oxford for the founding of a school for the instruction of thirty children. Earls Colne Grammar School originally occupied a site in Lower Holt Street, but moved to premises in York Road ...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Colne Priory was founded in the parish by Aubrey de Vere I in about 1103-4 and was dedicated to St. Mary and St. John the Evangelist for monks of the Benedictine order from Abingdon Abbey, Berkshire.
The monastery was surrendered to Henry VIII by the prior on 3 July 1534.

The parish church is dedicated to St. Andrew. The date of the original church is probably earlier than 1100.
The current church was built between 1313 and 1360; the tower was started in 1460 and completed in 1534.
A notable vicar was Ralph Josselin, who was instituted in 1641 and held the post until his death in 1683. ...

Notable people and events
• Thomas Audley (1488–1544), 1st Baron Audley of Walden, Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII of England
• Rev. Thomas Shepard (1605–1649), assistant schoolmaster at Earls Colne Grammar School who emigrated and became a founder of Harvard University
• Rev. Ralph Josselin (1616–1683), vicar, diarist
• Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton (1786–1845), 1st Baronet, MP and campaigner for the 1833 Act abolishing slavery in the British Colonies

For photos, and more recent info, see…

November 2015, the picturesque village of Earls Colne in the scenic Colne Valley, 3-1/2 miles from Halstead and 10 miles from Colchester, was judged the ‘Best in Essex’ in a Country Life survey of commuter hotspots with easy access to London.
The same survey saw Grade II-listed Colne Priory, set in 24 acres of immaculate gardens and grounds on the banks of the River Colne, judged Earls Colne’s best address …
It was the last of a series of manor houses built on the site of a Benedictine priory founded by the de Vere family, Earls of Oxford, in the early 12th century, the remains of which lie buried under lawn in the grounds of Colne Priory ...

Following the dissolution of the medieval Colne Priory in 1536, its land and buildings were granted to John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford, who demolished the priory church and built a manor house on the site.

In 1583, the 17th Earl, Edward de Vere, a spendthrift, sold the manor of Earls Colne to his steward, Roger Harlakenden, whose son, Richard, bought the adjoining manor of Colne Priory in 1592.
Colne Priory remained in the Harlakenden family until 1672, when it passed by marriage to the Androwes family.

For more about the sale of the currant Colne Priory -- but ignore the photos, which are gorgous, see…

Today, the estimated driving distance from London to Earls Colne is 55.13 miles or 88.72 km

Rusty Shackleford  •  Link

I had never heard of Pepys until a few days ago, after falling down a rabbit hole of the year Christmas was cancelled. I came upon a diary entry he made and then discovered the existence of this diary. What a great resource and I love the annotations and background! So it seems like a great time to began at the beginning of this new year and start this new journey!
And hello William, from a fellow Clevelander!

MartinVT  •  Link

Welcome, Rusty! I recommend that while you begin at the beginning, as you have, also catch up with where the current "Reading" is, at Jan. 2, 1661, so that you can catch any "live" comments being posted.

Regertz  •  Link

The garret was at Montague’s wasn’t it? If so then it’s interesting that he still considers it “home”.

Regertz  •  Link

Poor but handsome. Curious that he considers his position in both lights though not rich. I assume he simply means like micawber, 20l in 19 and 6 out result happiness

Regertz  •  Link

Poor but handsome. Interesting that he sees himself in both lights though not, of course, rich. I suppose like Micawber, 20 (or 30)ls in , 19 and 6 out, result happiness.

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