Friday 13 January 1659/60

Coming in the morning to my office, I met with Mr. Fage and took him to the Swan. He told me how high Haselrigge, and Morly, the last night began at my Lord Mayor’s to exclaim against the City of London, saying that they had forfeited their charter. And how the Chamberlain of the City did take them down, letting them know how much they were formerly beholding to the City, &c. He also told me that Monk’s letter that came to them by the sword-bearer was a cunning piece, and that which they did not much trust to; but they were resolved to make no more applications to the Parliament, nor to pay any money, unless the secluded members be brought in, or a free Parliament chosen.

Thence to my office, where nothing to do. So to Will’s with Mr. Pinkney, who invited me to their feast at his Hall the next Monday. Thence I went home and took my wife and dined at Mr. Wades, and after that we went and visited Catan. From thence home again, and my wife was very unwilling to let me go forth, but with some discontent would go out if I did, and I going forth towards Whitehall, I saw she followed me, and so I staid and took her round through Whitehall, and so carried her home angry. Thence I went to Mrs. Jem, and found her up and merry, and that it did not prove the small-pox, but only the swine-pox; so I played a game or two at cards with her. And so to Mr. Vines, where he and I and Mr. Hudson played half-a-dozen things, there being there Dick’s wife and her sister. After that I went home and found my wife gone abroad to Mr. Hunt’s, and came in a little after me. — So to bed.

44 Annotations

First Reading

Paul  •  Link

Wow! This is so much better than Emmerdale!

Pawpaw  •  Link

Bravo. Please keep the diary coming. I read it every day.

For me it is a kick to read about someone's personal life from the 1600's.

(My grand kids think I'm almost that old.)

Best Regards.

Nicholas Laughlin  •  Link

Sir Arthur Hesilrige & Col. Herbert Morley were members of the committee appointed by parliament to negotiate with the City. The Common Council (the City's governing body) had recently voted in favour of a free parliament (i.e. newly elected). Gen. George Monck had written to the council about this matter on 6 January, but his letter was deliberately ambiguous; the councillors were unable to determine whether he favoured the Rump or a free parliament.

More knowledgeable annotators may be able to provide further details.

David Gurliacci  •  Link

Haselrigge, Morley, Lord Mayor

(Caution: Plot spoiler for Haselrigge's future, if anyone cares about his future)

"SIR ARTHUR HASELRIGGE, Bart. [Baronet], of Nosely, co. [county of?] Leicester, and M.P. for that county; colonel of a regiment in the Parliament army, and much esteemed by Cromwell. In March following he was committed to the tower, where he died January 1661."

"Probably Colonel Morely, Lieutenant of the Tower."

"Sir Thomas Allen, created a baronet at the Restoration. He was ruined by his expenses as lord mayor."

-- All above taken from notes in John Warrington's edition of "The Diary of Samuel Pepys" Everyman's Library, last reprint 1963, Vol. 1, p. 7.

Nicholas Laughlin  •  Link


While we're naming names: the Chamberlain of the City who "did take them down" was Thomas Player, sr.

crouchback  •  Link

lots of questions! what does he mean when he says the chamberlain 'took down' haselrigge and morley ... and what was the substance of monk's letter, and what did it signify? i'm just not quite clear on this whole first passage.

crouchback  •  Link

also... glad to see the day of the week added to entries ... er ... was friday the thirteenth a big deal in those days?

Eric Walla  •  Link

Do I detect a bit of marital strife? Does the young bride suspect that he is looking into a bit more than Mrs. Jem's swinepox? Or is she lonely at home and wants company?

This just seems more and more vital and current as the days go by.

Kerker  •  Link

If Mrs. Jem is thirteen (languagehat's annotation for Mrs Jem on Saturday, 7 January), in what way would Pepys "be looking in a bit more than swinepox" when visiting the young lady?

Susanna  •  Link

Did Take Them Down

This sounds to me to be something similar to the naval expression of "taking someone down a few pegs."

PHE  •  Link

Mrs Jem's age
Given that Pepys married his wife when she was 15, you can not assume that 13 was too young. However, as the daughter of his employer and cousin, he was unlikely to have an inapropriate interest.

PHE  •  Link

Who was Pepys writing for?
I'm sure many scolars have considered this in depth. It is interesting that the style of his writing is quite chatty as if he was writing for someone else. However, with the very private nature of much of his diary, he was surely not expecting his friends and family to ever read it. Given that he gives no explanation of who anyone is or any political background, it also seems he was not writing for posterity.
So - presumably just for himself. But then why did he ensure it was kept in his library after his death? By then he perhaps realised it would be an important historical document - but then he made no plans for it to be 'found' - and it could have been lost forever - although 120 years is a long time. In later years, did he ever pick it up to browse through the old passages?

James Casey  •  Link

"Thence to my office, where nothing to do. So to Will’s..."

I'm curious to know if those currently working for the UK Government spend their days in similar fashion.

Ben Hammersley  •  Link

I would imagine Pepys' wife would be a bit nervous about Mrs Jem actually having small pox, and so Pepys' catching it.

Pustulating sores, no matter how much up and merry she may be, are not a turn on. Even then.

mark williamson  •  Link

Pepys biography was on Radio 4 the other week - didn't catch much of it unfortunately but there where a couple of interesting points - his marriage did go through a bad patch and his wife left him for a bit - this happened prior to the diary but I might be wrong. And secondly he did consider whether to destroy the diary in his old age - and I suspect at that point he realised he had documented the times as it where. I presume at this point he is simply writing for himself. In this age of public diaries we forget that for many centuries people have been quietly documenting their own lives for their personal satisfaction only.

Grahamt  •  Link

"Take them (him/her) down" is the traditional way for a British judge to order the court officials to take the prisoner from the dock to the cells, though here it just seems to indicate a dressing down by the Chamberlain.

Mike  •  Link

Does anyone know of a decent period map of London, available on the net, showing the streets clearly, so that we can get some sense of Sam's travels everyday? He always seems to be on the move but is he walking around the block or doing a marathon?

Phil  •  Link

You should be able to get some idea from looking at the Streetmap links on the Place pages, but I realise this could be tricky without an existing knowledge of London! I haven't had much luck finding a decent online period map with streetnames; one problem is that it's a lot of information to display on screen. However, there are quite a few maps here… and I'll mark up a suitable map (perhaps the 1642/43 one) with some of the most important locations. Stay tuned...

dfresh  •  Link

A big shout out to my Pepys!

Jenny  •  Link

Although I can't find a period street map, I can confirm that some of Pepys' walks are quite a distance. He mentioned Cheapside recently (where I work) and from his home/workplace in Westminster is at least a 30 min walk, but probably a lot longer over dirty cobbled streets.

For a bit of non-relevant history, the name Cheapside derives from the old english word 'cheap' meaning market. 'Cheap' became 'chip' became 'shipping' became 'shopping' which we now use to describe purchasing goods (i.e. from the market) and which explains why some English market towns have the prefix 'Chipping' e.g. Chipping Sudbury and Chipping Norton.

Eunice Muir  •  Link

Was smallpox less severe in those days?

Can anyone tell me if smallpox was less severe, or whether it was confused with other poxes. Were the people more immune, as many of them did recover, albeit with scarring. Queen Elizabeth 1 recovered from smallpox and was reputedly scarred. Milkmaids were prized for their clear complexions due to being immune through cox pox infections, or did the dirty unhygenic lifestyle of the 17th century provide greater immunity from disease?

language hat  •  Link

Phil: What a great map collection -- thanks for posting it!
I love old maps. The 1642/43 one looks like it would be ideal if you could blow it up and add relevant names (I have no idea how difficult this stuff is). The 1690 looks like it would be good if blown up; it appears to have street names. (Alas, modern maps are pretty useless because so much has changed, especially in the Westminster area, where almost nothing remains but the palaces and St. James's Park -- the old streets are completely obliterated.)

language hat  •  Link

Jenny: "Shop(ping)" is not from "cheap."
It's from Old English "sceoppa" (pronounced "shoppa"), meaning 'booth'; by Middle English "shoppe" meant 'a house or building where goods are made or prepared for sale and sold' (thence in the 14th century 'a building or room set apart for the sale of merchandise'). The verb is much later, first (around Pepys' time) meaning 'to bring or take (an article) to a shop; to expose for sale in a shop' and a century later becoming 'to visit a shop or shops for the purpose of making purchases or examining the contents.'

Nora  •  Link

According to this site,…

about 10% of the Europeans who contracted smallpox in the 17th and 18th centuries died. Bad news, for sure, but not an automatic death sentence. Native Americans, by contrast, had a 90% death rate because the population hadn't built up resistance.

In modern times, smallpox has a mortality rate of about 30%; presumably, this includes people of all races.

language hat  •  Link

"Take down":
OED (s.v. Take): 80. Take down.
c fig. To abase, humble, humiliate, abate the pride or arrogance of. In quot. 1562, ? to rebuke, reprimand. to take (a person) down a peg: see peg sb.1 3.
1562 [Child-Marriages 112] She had spoken to the said Custance, and taken her downe for the same. 1593 [Peele Chron. Edw. I, Wks. (Rtldg.) 395] I'll take you down a button-hole. 1608 [Topsell Serpents (1658) 755] For revenge, and taking down the pride of this young man. 1796 [Mrs. M. Robinson Angelina II. 27] He seems to experience..satisfaction in what he calls taking me down. 1857 [Maurice Ep. St. John i. 4] Whatever takes down a young man's conceit must be profitable to him.

Phil  •  Link

Re: old maps.

I'm going to see if I can find any old reproduction maps to buy this week and scan in. If not I'll try and mark up that 1642/43 map at the weekend. I think pre-Great Fire maps would be best given how much was destroyed then, and such maps don't seem to have much detail unfortunately.

Judy  •  Link

This is great stuff and many thanks for all the annotations and comments. I wish I could add to it but am more than content to enjoy the fruits of other people research. It's become a daily fix!

Susanna  •  Link

Another Map

There is a map of London, c. 1676 here:…

which might be helpful. It is still under construction, but shows the extent of the Great Fire, the locations of royal palaces, and so forth.

PHE  •  Link

Who Pepys was writing for....
Stevem's link seems to be less about Tomalin's book than just a good article on Pepys by Brooke Allen. It addresses quite well the question of who Pepys was writing for.

It seems to me that reading Pepys is the closest you can get inside someone else's mind. He seems to write exclusively for himself with no self consciousness about what others will think and no attempt to write up his own qualities as all auto-biographers do - in fact complete honesty about his own view of himself (though it is too early in the diary yet to really appreciate this).

Eric Walla  •  Link

Actually my "Mrs. Jem" comment was meant not particularly in relation to her person, but more as a foreshadowing of Samuel's roving eye ... and I thought I read somewhere that Pepys had already gone through smallpox and thus was not in danger.

He does seem the sort that looks for amusement whenever he can, but this does not seem to include the wife to a great extent. Is this a function of the age in which they lived, or a function of their union?

Jenny  •  Link

Language Hat,

Apologies for my error. I based my information on a talk given by a registered tour guide! Can you confirm that the "cheap" in "Cheapside" does actually mean market though? If not, I shall have to investigate at the Museum of London at lunchtime.

Glyn  •  Link

Yes, Jenny - Cheap does mean market in Old English. I wrote a few sentences about that in the list of "Places in the diary" which is on the top of the screen.

Congratulations again on the people who devised this site - brilliant idea!

Craig  •  Link

I just heard the story ( on NPR) about the Pepys' online diary and thought I'd visit. This is the most amazing website, I love it. Those of you who have contributed I am deeply grateful.
I will be a daily visitor.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Marital strife

Just ran across Claire Tomalin's reading of this day's friction between Pepys and his wife (the first quarrel in the diary, Tomalin points out). Tomalin says (p. 195, "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self") that Pepys may have thought he won the argument by firmly escorting her home (Tomalin doesn't say so, but "carried" carries the meaning of "escort") and then leaving the house again, despite her objections. But Elizabeth made her own statement by going out herself -- to the Hunts -- and managed to stay out even later than he did.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"Cheap does mean market in Old English"

To CHEAPEN [Ceapan, Sax. of Kopen, L.S. to buy, kauffen, Teut.] to ask, or to beat down the Price of a Commodity.
CHIPPENHAM [Cyppenham, of Cyppan, Sax. to cheapen, q d. a Market or Marketplace] a Town in Wiltshire.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Kerstin  •  Link

"From thence home again, and my wife was very unwilling to let me go forth, but with some discontent would go out if I did, and I going forth towards Whitehall., I saw she followed me, and so I staid and took her round through Whitehall, and so carried her home angry."

What curious passage. Was she jealous of Mrs. Jem?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"What curious passage. Was she jealous of Mrs. Jem?"

Hard to know what Elizabeth Pepys's issue is just now. In 1659 Mrs. Jem was 13. Pepys, who is employed in part by her father, Edward Mountagu, is tasked to look after her:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"From thence home again, and my wife was very unwilling to let me go forth, but with some discontent would go out if I did, ..."

Sam has all the fun. He looks at lions, and visits and lunches with interesting people. Elizabeth and Jane stay home in their cold rooms, trying to keep the place clean in a cold wet dark January.

The note doesn't specify that he told Elizabeth he was going to see Mrs. Jem. so she probably was (a) bored, and (2) suspicious. What did he do at night in those inns??? So she followed him to find out. Good for her!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

No mention of any coal being procured, so maybe Elizabeth didn't want to be left at home in the dark and cold, and she suspected he was going somewhere fun and warm ... I don't think she had any concerns about Mrs. Jem beyond the smallpox, but maybe she worried about another woman. If he was spying, he wouldn't be able to tell her much about his activities.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He told me how high Haselrigge, and Morly, the last night began at my Lord Mayor’s to exclaim against the City of London, saying that they had forfeited their charter."

L&M: By their recent votes in favour of a free parliament; see…
Sir Arthur Hesilrige (principal leader of the Rump) and Col. Herbert Morley (recently appointed Lieutenant of the Tower) were members of the committee appointed to deal with the city: CJ, vii. 807. The Mayor was Thomas Aleyn, of Leadenhall St.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He also told me that Monk’s letter that came to them by the sword-bearer was a cunning piece, and that which they did not much trust to;"

L&M: Monk's reply, of 6 January 1660, to the city's letter of 29 December 1659. It was not clear from its wording whether Monk stood for the Rump or for a free parliament, and on its arrival the Common Council forbore to debate it because 'they had not been able to discover what his sentiments were'.
Two letters the one, sent by the lord mayor, aldermen, and common council of London, to His Excellency, the Lord Gen. Monck, by their sword-bearer, which letter was sent in answer to a letter formerly publish'd, and sent to the common council by His Excellency, delivered to them by Col. Markham, and Col. Atkins : the other, His Excellencies answer thereunto.
Early English Books Online [full text]…

Third Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

City of London swordbearer...

City of London swords
The City of London swords are five two-handed ceremonial swords owned by the City of London, namely the Mourning (or Black) Sword, the Pearl Sword, the State (or Sunday) Sword, the Old Bailey Sword and the Mansion House Justice Room Sword. A sixth sword, the Travelling Sword of State, replaces the Sword of State for visits outside the City. They are part of the plate collection of Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London.…

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