Monday 9 January 1659/60

For these two or three days I have been much troubled with thoughts how to get money to pay them that I have borrowed money of, by reason of my money being in my uncle’s hands.

I rose early this morning, and looked over and corrected my brother John’s speech, which he is to make the next apposition,1 and after that I went towards my office, and in my way met with W. Simons, Muddiman, and Jack Price, and went with them to Harper’s and in many sorts of talk I staid till two of the clock in the afternoon. I found Muddiman a good scholar, an arch rogue; and owns that though he writes news books for the Parliament, yet he did declare that he did it only to get money; and did talk very basely of many of them. Among other things, W. Simons told me how his uncle Scobel was on Saturday last called to the bar, for entering in the journal of the House, for the year 1653, these words: “This day his Excellence the Lord General Cromwell dissolved this House;” which words the Parliament voted a forgery, and demanded of him how they came to be entered. He answered that they were his own handwriting, and that he did it by virtue of his office, and the practice of his predecessor; and that the intent of the practice was to — let posterity know how such and such a Parliament was dissolved, whether by the command of the King, or by their own neglect, as the last House of Lords was; and that to this end, he had said and writ that it was dissolved by his Excellence the Lord G[eneral]; and that for the word dissolved, he never at the time did hear of any other term; and desired pardon if he would not dare to make a word himself when it was six years after, before they came themselves to call it an interruption; but they were so little satisfied with this answer, that they did chuse a committee to report to the House, whether this crime of Mr. Scobell’s did come within the act of indemnity or no.

Thence I went with Muddiman to the Coffee-House, and gave 18d. to be entered of the Club. Thence into the Hall, where I heard for certain that Monk was coming to London, and that Bradshaw’s lodgings were preparing for him.

Thence to Mrs. Jem’s, and found her in bed, and she was afraid that it would prove the small-pox. Thence back to Westminster Hall, where I heard how Sir H. Vane was this day voted out of the House, and to sit no more there; and that he would retire himself to his house at Raby, as also all the rest of the nine officers that had their commissions formerly taken away from them, were commanded to their farthest houses from London during the pleasure of the Parliament. Here I met with the Quarter Master of my Lord’s troop, and his clerk Mr. Jenings, and took them home, and gave them a bottle of wine, and the remainder of my collar of brawn; and so good night. After that came in Mr. Hawly, who told me that I was mist this day at my office, and that to-morrow I must pay all the money that I have, at which I was put to a great loss how I should get money to make up my cash, and so went to bed in great trouble.

44 Annotations

First Reading

David Gurliacci  •  Link

CORRECTION: "new books" should read "news books"

in the third sentence. "News books" are newsletters or newspapers of that day. Amazing the difference in meaning that one little letter makes, isn't it?

David Gurliacci  •  Link

Henry Muddiman was said to be the best journalist of the age (although there wasn't much competition).

Pepys meets Muddiman just at the start of his career as a journalist. Muddiman published the first edition of his "Parliamentary Intelligencer" on Dec. 26 and his other weekly newsletter/newspaper "Mercurius Publicus" appeared "on the following Thursday week" (does anyone know what that phrase means?). By the end of his career he had founded the London Gazzette which was still around in the 1920s (does it still exist?).

Muddiman, a schoolmaster ("a good scholar," Pepys points out), was given permission by the Rump Parliament to publish a "news book" at the urging of General Monck's agent in London. The other two men with a license to print news apparently ignored Monck, who must have realized the value of good public relations. When Monck later issued some statements, including a demand that the Rump Parliament call an election, they were broadcast to the public through Muddiman.

Muddiman's reports were said to be fair, and he didn't tend to make enemies. Monck's wife, the widow of a tradesman on the Strand, may have known Muddiman, the son of a Strand tradesman.

"Pepys . . . recorded his impression that he [Muddiman] was . . . 'an arch rogue' for speaking 'basely' of the Rump. Needless to add, he was soon to be undeceived as to the nature of the parliament for which the new journalist was writing."

Source: Cambridge History of English and American Literature (1907-21), Vol. 7…
(Muddiman is discussed at the bottom of this page. You can click on the link at the lower right hand corner of that pages for more and more and more information about Muddiman.)

Nicholas Laughlin  •  Link

"On the following Thursday week" means simply the following Thursday.

Roger Miller  •  Link

Muddiman's London Gazette still exists as one of the the official newspapers of record in the United Kingdom.

See the online version at…

David Gurliacci  •  Link


"The [Rota] Club met at a coffee-house called the Turk's head, which was kept by one Miles, in Palace Yard, 'where you take water,' as Audrey remarks, and which was frequented by a number of 'ingeniose gents' . . . "

(Do you take water there because the coffee is bad?)
-- Cambridge History of English and American Literature, same web page as above.

Nicholas Laughlin  •  Link

Here is a longer excerpt from Aubrey's note on James Harrington (founder of the Rota) in the Brief Lives:

"...Anno 1659, the beginning of the Michaelmas-terme, [Harrington] had every night a meeting at the (then) Turke's head, in the New Pallace-yard, where they take water, the next house to the staires, at one Miles's, where was made purposely a large ovall-table, with a passage in the middle for Miles to deliver his Coffee.... The Discourses in this kind were the most ingeniose, and smart, that ever I heard, or expect to heare, and bandyd with great eagernesse: the Arguments in the Parliament howse were but flatt to it."

Aubrey goes on to say that the Rota "was given over upon General Monke's comeing-in."

Susanna  •  Link

Thursday Week

This referred to probably not the Thursday that was 3 days after Monday the 9th, but to the Thursday of the week following.

Charles Weng  •  Link

It was hardly surprising that Mr Pepys would be missed at his office, since he hardly ever spent any time there. Aside from digesting political gossip around Westminster (as though he was also writing a "news book"), his duties thus far had been little more than dispensing salaries to Navy officers, which was surely not a daily chore.

How does one read the money troubles Pepy was experiencing on this day? Was it embezzlement -- whereby our diarist conveniently "borrowed" public funds at his disposal until he could discreetly return the money at a later time? Were his debts mostly personal in nature -- and if so, who were his creditors? And why was his uncle keeping his purse strings?

Nicholas Laughlin  •  Link

Pepys had apparently lent some money to his cousin Beck; his uncle Robert seems to have been acting as a go-between. In the entry for 26 January he records that Beck was not yet able to repay the debt: "Beck desires it four months longer, which I know not how to spare." But within the next few months Pepys's money troubles were to disappear, after he was appointed Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board.

Rebecca Savastio  •  Link


Does he mean that Mrs. Jem thinks she has small-pox? Why would he be so blase' about something like that? Or is small-pox something different than what I'm thinking of?

Wooden Rivet  •  Link

"...she was afraid that it would prove the small-pox."

My understanding is that small-pox was a sad, but inevitable, part of life. Nearly everyone contracted it by their mid-20s, and either lived (and developed immunity) or died. Mrs Jem would have been very apprehensive, if she thought that she had contracted it, but if Mr. Pepys had already been through the ordeal, he would know he had nothing to (himself) fear. The resolution for Mrs. Jem is in God's hands alone, and there is nothing Pepys can do to influance it for good or ill.

Charles Weng  •  Link

Diary entries have the semblance of a narrative. Yet the diarist is not in full control of plot and character developments -- despite his ability to dictate and anticipate future events to a great extent, or the degree of his inclination to censure, embellish or pass judgment onto what he saw and heard at his private leisure.

I haven't read Pepys since I was a teenager, and I welcome the idea that Restoration London is all new to me once again. Yet, as I delve into this weblog, I find myself in the trap of treating the diary as a dramatic serial, hoping for those salacious, contrived plot twists, ironies, suspense and climax...

It's all there, but not quite as one would expect from, say, the dramas of Sheridan or Moliere. Pepys' panorama of mid-17th century London was truly bigger than life, its intrigue bubbling beneath the description of every minutiae that our diarist had dispatched to the future.

So, bring on the Plague and the Great Fire!

Wulf Losee  •  Link

"...and that Bradshaw

Wulf Losee  •  Link

In response to Charles Weng's posting about Pepys' money situation: "...I was put to a great loss how I should get money to make up my cash."

Pepys obviously borrowed some money from the accounts of the Exchequer. Probably he had to do an accounting of the cash in his till [or rather the money in his "cash"] the following day. Hawly seems to be rather matter of fact about the money. By 17th Century standards, borrowing money this way may have been perfectly above board. I doubt if he'd be borrowing money from the accounts of the Exchequer without Downing's authorization. Certainly, Pepys didn't feel very secure about his position under Downing.* So I think this was legitimate by the standards of the day -- as long as Pepys paid the money back.

Downing, on the other hand (serving as a mostly absentee office-holder) probably received more than just the monies of his salary from his position in the office of the Exchequer. As the paymaster for the army, he probably had some pull with the disgruntled soldiery (albeit this is pure unsupported speculation on my part).

* Plot Spoiler: later in the month Pepys is worried that Downing will let him go in favor of his co-worker Mr. Hawly. But the money he borrowed never becomes an issue.

James Casey  •  Link

Poor Mr. Pepys. Hope you get the money!

Eunice Muir  •  Link

How much did Mr. Pepys have to pay to obtain his position? As I understand it in those days, offices were bought from those who had the power to grant them, and they did not come cheap. e.g. The governer of Newgate prison had to pay a small fortune for the appointment, then made his money from charging board and lodging from the prisoners, charging visitors for the priviledge, etc. Pepys probably had to pay off his "benefactor" and make up the money from various perks.

PHE  •  Link

When was coffee introduced to England? I think tea had yet to come as Pepys describes his first taste of it sometime later in the diary. Was coffee ever frowned upon as a 'stimulant', or coffee houses frowned upon as places where people could meet and plot? Coffee has always been popular in muslim countries as a 'legal' stimulant.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"Mr Scobel's Crime"

Can anyone enlighten us as to exactly why Parlaiment is so het up against what Mr Scobel wrote in the House Journal? Is the Rump trying to maintain some party line where they were never "disolved" only "interrupted"? This anecdote certainly shows the timeless hallmarks of political dictatorship: revising history, inventing new language to promote the party line, and punishing as ex post facto criminals people who inconveniently (even though involuntarily) give the lie to version of history one is trying to impose.

Nicholas Laughlin  •  Link


The first coffeehouse in London opened in 1652, according to the timeline given here:…

Pepys records drinking his first cup of tea on 25 September, 1660; the note in Latham-Matthews says "It was imported via Holland from c. 1658, but cost c. £2 per lb."

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Mark Schapiro's article "Muddy Waters" (published in the Utne Reader Nov/Dec 1994 and excerpted at… ,) says the Ottomans introduced coffee to Europe on the first half of the 16th century. Coffee may have been one of the early crops in the Virginia colony (ca 1607), which suggests that it was well-known in England by that time. The first English coffee house was opened in 1652.

David Gurliacci  •  Link

Getting a job

Pepys appears to have been a political appointee, probably hired by Downing because of Pepys's connection with Montagu (who was extremely close to Oliver Cromwell at the time Pepys was hired and still influential after Cromwell's death).

Claire Tomalin's "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self" says on page 67, "These are the clerks of Cromwell's London . . . their jobs mostly secured through family connections and recommendations."

Stephen Coote's "Samuel Pepys: A Life" says (p. 26): "Quite how Pepys came by his new job at the Exchequer is unclear, for the Exchequer itself was hidebound with hereditary life appointees. Family influence may have had its part to play and it is possible that Montagu, for whom Pepys still ran errands, had a hand in his kinsman's fortunes since he belonged to the same political circle as Pepys's new employer, George Downing."

Tomalin and Coote are too cautious, I think. From what I've learned about Downing, I can't imagine him hiring Pepys without having Montagu in mind and either getting something in return for the hiring or hoping for something from Montagu, even if it were just gratitude.

I think this is how government hiring is done (at the clerk level, at least) in most times and places, unless a civil-service law is passed. I assume Downing was given a certain amount of money to run his part of the Exchequer and expected to use the funds however he wanted (including pocketing it) as long as the job got done. In a very real sense, Pepys was not so much a government employee as he was Downing's (and Montagu's) employee, to be hired or fired at will and used for personal or public tasks as they saw fit.

Apparently Pepys' job was only part-time work. Coote's book (p. 27) has quote from the Latham and Mathews companion volume to the Diary, which says that clerks like Pepys were expected to "attend constantly every morning throughout the year" except Sundays and holidays, and in the afternoon "when need requires." Being on call in the evenings was also part of the job, according to Tomalin. Given his financial situation, it looks like Pepys was underemployed.

George Peabody  •  Link

More on coffee:
John Evelyn's diary entry for May 10 1637 records that "There came in my time to the College [Balliol] one Nathaniel Conopios, out of Greece, from Cyril, the patriarch of Constantinople... He was the first I ever saw drink coffee." A footnote claims: "Coffee was introduced in [England] in 1641. The first coffee house in England was at Oxford, 1650; the first in London, 1652."

language hat  •  Link

More on the Gazette:
From the Oxford Companion to English Literature (1st ed., 1932):

"The Oxford Gazette was the first real newspaper, other than a newsletter, to be published in England. It appeared in November 1665, the court being then at Oxford owing to the great plague, and was started by Henry Muddiman under the direction of Sir Joseph Williamson, as a supplement to Muddiman's newsletters. It later became the 'London Gazette', which still survives. The 'London Gazette' is not now a newspaper, but a record of official appointments, notices of bankruptcies, &c., and in war time it is the official register of casualties."

David Gurliacci  •  Link

James Harrington (1611-77) and "Oceana"

Charles I liked Harrington, but it wasn't just monarchists who disliked "The Commonwealth of Oceana," according to the the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica:

"By order of Cromwell it [Oceana] was seized when passing through the press. Harrington, however managed to secure the favour of the Protector's favourite daughter, Mrs. Claypole; the work was restored to him, and appeared in 1656, dedicated to Cromwell.

"The views embodied in Oceana, particularly that bearing on vote by ballot and rotation of magistrates and legislators, Harrington and others (who in 1659 formed a club called the 'Rota') endeavoured to push practically, but with no success. In November 1661, by order of Charles II, Harrington was arrested, apparently without sufficient cause, on a charge of conspiracy, and was thrown into the Tower. . . .

"The Oceana is a hard, prolix, and in many respects heavy exposition of an ideal constitution . . . the main ideas are two in number, each with a practical corollary. The first is that the determining element of power in a state is property generally, property in land in particular; the second is that the executive power ought not to be vested for any considerable time in the same men or class of men. . . .

"Oceana contains many valuable ideas, but it is irretrievably dull."…

For anyone still interested, the full text of "Oceana" is here:…

John Adams, second U.S. president, wrote about "Oceana" here (also difficult reading):…

"After the Restoration, Harrington was put in the Tower, and then removed to Portsea Castle. His imprisonment turned him mad, so that he fancied his perspiration turned sometimes to flies and sometimes to bees, but all his hallucinations were inoffensive."
-- "Samuel Pepys and his World," by Henry B. Wheatley (1889) p. 20

Harrington's portrait:…

language hat  •  Link

Background of the money crisis
from Bryant's bio:

"Money difficulties were causing him much anxiety: the little nest-egg of £40 or so which he had so carefully saved was in the hands of his Uncle Robert of Brampton, from whom he had expectations and who had lent it out at interest to his cousin Eleanour Becke, who could by no means be prevailed upon to part with it for another four months; and Samuel needed cash badly to balance his accounts at the office. On the evening of Monday, January 9th, there was a crisis…"

And on the temptations of his job:

"…it was temptingly easy to borrow the money [the cash received from state departments and held for disbursement] for private purposes in the hopes that one would be able to refund it without inconvenience when the day of reckoning came. Pepys himself was somewhat prone to fall into this free and easy habit."

Viv Midlane  •  Link

I'm really surprised about the confusion over 'Thursday week'. Isn't this still universal in 21st Century English? I certainly use it. It just means not next Thursday, but the one a week later.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

I think the confusion stems from its lack of use in American English.

Not to worry, Viv, a glimpse at the lyrics of Elvis Costello's "Wednesday Week" will show that you're not alone... :^)

Viv  •  Link

Thanks for the reference, now I know 50m English speakers in the UK are getting things right. Then there's 'Wednesday Week' by the Undertones - same name, different song.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

James Harrington -- not mad after all?

His "mad" idea that his sweat could produce bees and flies was also held by Aristotle and Pliny.

See the first two annotations at the 14 December 1660 page:…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"that he did it by virtue of his office, and the practice of his predecessor;"

Before 1640 there seems to have been no regular usage requiring the clerk to record a dissolution. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the intent of the practice was to — let posterity know how such and such a Parliament was dissolved, whether by the command of the King, or by their own neglect, as the last House of Lords was;"

At the time of Charles I's execution the House of Lords had dwindled to about six members. It never met after 6 February 1649 and was abolished by an act of 19 March 1649. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"they did chuse a committee to report to the House, whether this crime of Mr. Scobell’s did come within the act of indemnity or no."

He appears to have been acquitted. The offending entry was expunged from the Journal. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence into the Hall, where I heard for certain that Monk was coming to London, and that Bradshaw’s lodgings were preparing for him."

John Bradshaw (president of regicide tribunal) had occupied the Deanery, Westminster, from 1649 until his death in October 1659. In fact, it was the Prince's Lodgings in Whitehall which were prepared for Monck:… and… and…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence back to Westminster Hall, where I heard how Sir H. Vane was this day voted out of the House"

Commons Journal record of it:… Sir Henry Vane, jun. , of Raby Castle, co. Durham, a leading republican, was now under parliament's displeasure because of his association with the army during the 'interruption' of the Rump. 'The rest of' it is misleading. Vane was not one of the officers. The latter, chief of whom was Lambert, had had their commissions withdrawn in October 1669, and had thereupon suspended the Rump. These orders of banishment proved ineffective, (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I was put to a great loss how I should get money to make up my cash"

On 4 January Pepys had borrowed money from the office to pay his rent. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I rose early this morning, and looked over and corrected my brother John’s speech, which he is to make the next apposition"

On Apposition (Opposition) Day at St Paul's School the pupils performed exercises in the presence of visiting examiners. Senior pupils, like John Pepys, delivered orations in competitions for the 15 exhibitions awarded to those going on to Oxford or Cambridge. For John's success, see…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I found Muddiman a good scholar, an arch rogue; and owns that though he writes news books for the Parliament, yet he did declare that he did it only to get money; and did talk very basely of many of them."

L&M: The newsbooks were the weekly newspapers Parliamentary Intelligencer and its Thursday edition Mercurius Publicus, both written by Muddiman and Giles Dury. They were now written not on the Rump's behalf, but on Monck's, and soon came to support the cause of a free parliament: J. B. Williams (J. B. Muddiman), Hist. Engl. journalism, pp. 174-5; EHR, 23/255+.
English journalism in the 17th century…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

In the reconstituted Rump Parliament, Vane was appointed to the new council of state. He also served as commissioner for the appointment of army officers, managed foreign affairs, and examined the state of the government's finances, which were found to be in dismal condition.[172] Through his work General John Lambert was sent to quell Booth's Rebellion, a royalist uprising in August 1659.[173] Lambert's support of non-mainstream religious views like Quakerism, however, ensured his political downfall.[174] After he and other officers were stripped of their command by Parliament in October, they rallied their troops and marched on Parliament, forcibly dissolving it.[175] A committee of safety was formed, composed of the army grandees, and including Vane and Sir Bulstrode Whitelocke. He agreed to serve in part because he feared the republican cause was destined to fail without army support.[176] This committee served only until December, but Vane played a vital role in trying to stop Vice Admiral Lawson from blockading London with some twenty-two ships. He negotiated with Lawson and when he couldn't stop the planned blockade, he informed the Committee of Safety.[177] When the advance of General George Monck's army from Scotland led to the melting away of Lambert's military support, General Charles Fleetwood was forced to turn over the keys to Parliament House to the Speaker which led to the restoration of the full Long Parliament. For taking part in the committee of safety, Vane was expelled (over vocal objections from allies like Heselrige) from the Commons, and ordered into house arrest at Raby Castle.[178][179] He went to Raby in February 1660, but stayed there only briefly and eventually returned to his house at Hampstead.[180]…

Third Reading

EyeOnMadisonStreet  •  Link

Henry Vane sure did lead an active life—19 children!
I love the name Bulstrode Whitelocke; an awesome name on many levels. It would be a brave father to name his son that today, though 30 years ago I might have.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In case you don't know the story behind Bulstrode Whitelocke's name: before the christening the parson disapprovingly questioned the name, so Bulstrode's father explained that the boy was being named after his mother -- it was Bulstrode or Elizabeth.

Stuart first names were often colorful -- or Elizabeth.
I was happy to meet more than one named Denzel.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

From today in Parliament [ALSO ON THIS DAY above]:

"Sir H. Vane.
Sir Henry Vane, having been sent for according to the Resolution aforesaid, came to the House: And, being set in his Place, several Members of the House objected several Matters against him, acted since the late Interruption of the Parliament.

"And several Letters sent from the Commissioners of the Admiralty; the one of the 15th of October 1659, written to Vice-Admiral Lawson, in the Downes; and several Orders of the Commissioners of the Admiralty; one, of the 29th of October 1659; and another of the 31th of October 1659; and another of the 2d of November 1659; were read.

"Sir Henry Vane, standing up in his Place, made Answer to the said several Charges; and, after, sat down again in his Place: And, upon the Debate of the House, It is

"Resolved, That Sir Henry Vane be discharged of being a Member of this Parliament; and he is hereby enjoined forthwith to repair to his House at Raby in the County of Durham; and there to remain, during the Pleasure of the Parliament.

"Colonel Lambert, &c.
Resolved, That Colonel John Lambert, Colonel Disbrowe, Colonel Ashfeild, Colonel Berry, Colonel Kelsey, Colonel Cobbet, Colonel Barrow, Colonel Packer, and Major Creed, and every of them be, and are hereby required and enjoined forthwith to repair to their respective Houses in the Country farthest distant from the City of London; and that they there continue, during the Pleasure of the Parliament.

"Ordered, That the Council of State do see this Vote put in Execution accordingly."


"A body of musketeers sent to arrest a number of the excluded MPs at Arthur Annesley's house, where they are meeting to draw up a declaration complaining at the injustice of their exclusion. The MPs escape before the soldiers arrive. RCII

"Sir Henry Vane expelled from Parliament for having sided with the military junta. -- RCII"…

Getting the opposition out of town and isolated.


One banished was Major Creed -- don't think it could be our John Creed, because:
L&M "Certainly by March 1659 he [JOHN CREED] was established in the Montagu household as a secretary. In that summer he accompanied his master on the Baltic voyage as Admiral's secretary and Deputy-Treasurer of the fleet. But for the Dutch voyage of 1660 Montagu preferred Pepys, ..."
Brother Richard Creed also seems to be gainfully employed elsewhere, and the L&M Companion doesn't mention either of them being a Major.

Doubtless it was a large Puritan family ...

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