Sunday 22 January 1659/60

I went in the morning to Mr. Messum’s, where I met with W. Thurburn and sat with him in his pew. A very eloquent sermon about the duty of all to give good example in our lives and conversation, which I fear he himself was most guilty of not doing. After sermon, at the door by appointment my wife met me, and so to my father’s to dinner, where we had not been to my shame in a fortnight before. After dinner my father shewed me a letter from Mr. Widdrington, of Christ’s College, in Cambridge, wherein he do express very great kindness for my brother, and my father intends that my brother shall go to him.

To church in the afternoon to Mr. Herring, where a lazy poor sermon. And so home with Mrs. Turner and sitting with her a while we went to my father’s where we supt very merry, and so home. This day I began to put on buckles to my shoes, which I have bought yesterday of Mr. Wotton.

16 Annotations

Susanna  •  Link

Mr. Widdrington

Mr. Widdrington was probaby Ralph Widdrington, who appears at this time to have been Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge (later he would become Lady Margaret Professor of divinity, also at Cambridge). His brother, Sir Thomas, was at this time a member of the Council of State.

Nicholas Laughlin  •  Link

"This day I began to put on buckles to my shoes"

Latham-Matthews notes that this was a new fashion; Pepys is doing his best to be trendy!

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Another Widdrington, Edward, lived at Axe Yard

And he was related to both the speaker of the House and Ralph Widdrington of Cambridge. Pepys mentions meeting "my Lord Widdrington" two days ago, and I thought it was Edward, but Thomas appears to have been one of his superiors at the Exchequer and so has a better claim to the "my lord" title. Here's a link to Friday's page:

David Quidnunc  •  Link

The information in my link just above comes from Claire Tomalin's "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self," p. 68.

Christopher  •  Link

How can Mr Widdrington become Lady Margaret?

James  •  Link

Okay, probably a bit late to be asking this question. How do you pronounce Pepys? I've heard several variations, having chatted with a group of friends about the online diary. Thanks!

M. Stolzenbach  •  Link

We may note from this entry that in those times even people who weren't terribly devout often went to church twice of a Sunday.

I was amused by Pepys' criticism of the morning preacher as not "giving good example in ... life and conversation." If the diarist had any thoughts or questions as to whether HE measured up to this standard, we don't hear about them.

And then in the evening there was that "lazy poor sermon"!

I would love to know at which churches Mssrs. Messum and Herring held forth.

Nix  •  Link

Of course they went to church -- there wasn't anything else to do! The offices, pubs, etc. where Pepys passes the other days were all closed on Sunday. He was an intensely sociable man, and the place to find gatherings of people on a Sunday was in a church.

Eric Walla  •  Link

Re: Pronunciation of Pepys

Is that correct to say it is generally pronounced "Peeps"? The 1893 notes make it sound as if "Pepis" is (was) the pronunciation preferred by scholars. Admittedly this is not what they believed Pepys himself would have said so the modern judgment may have changed.

Please let me know if I'm misreading something.

Jim Rain  •  Link

Re: Pronounciation of Pepys

As I read the 1893 notes, it appears that in the 17th century it may have been pronounced something closer to "Papes" than "Peeps".

language hat  •  Link

I gather that the family today says "Peppis" (two syllables) but that Pepys himself clearly used a one-syllable pronunciation, whether Peeps (the usual pronunciation of his name today) or Pepps or Payps. Here's the conclusion of the 1893 article (and it would be well to point out that the bit on pronunciation comes at the very end of the long, long page):

"The most probable explanation is that the name in the seventeenth century was either pronounced ‘Pips’ or “Papes’; for both the forms ‘ea’ and ‘ey’ would represent the latter pronunciation. The general change in the pronunciation of the spelling ‘ea’ from ‘ai’ to ‘ee’ took place in a large number of words at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth-century, and three words at least (yea, break, and great) keep this old pronunciation still.”

Glyn  •  Link

M.Stolzenbach: All I know is that Mr Messum was an Anglican (Episcopalian) preacher and Mr Herring was a Presbyterian one, but I don't think that is relevant to whether he liked those particular sermons because he praised Presbyterian preachers at other times. It sounds like Pepys (Peeps!) and his wife attended a lot of different churches.

But I think NIX is mistaken in saying that the pubs and taverns were shut on Sundays. I believe that they were closed ONLY during the services but were open for the rest of the day. All-day closing was more of a Victorian thing I think.

Roger Miller  •  Link

Does anyone know what sort of service the one on Sunday morning was?

When Pepys says that he left after the sermon does he imply that he didn't stay for the sacrament, assuming it was a eucharist?

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