Monday 6 February 1659/60

Before I went to my office I went to Mr. Crew’s and paid Mr. Andrews the same 60l. that he had received of Mr. Calthrop the last week. So back to Westminster and walked with him thither, where we found the soldiers all set in the Palace Yard, to make way for General Monk to come to the House. At the Hall we parted, and meeting Swan, he and I to the Swan and drank our morning draft. So back again to the Hall, where I stood upon the steps and saw Monk go by, he making observance to the judges as he went along. At noon my father dined with me upon my turkey that was brought from Denmark, and after dinner he and I to the Bull Head Tavern, where we drank half a pint of wine and so parted. I to Mrs. Ann, and Mrs. Jem being gone out of the chamber she and I had a very high bout, I rattled her up, she being in her bed, but she becoming more cool, we parted pretty good friends. Thence I went to Will’s, where I staid at cards till 10 o’clock, losing half a crown, and so home to bed.

57 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

"...she and I had a very high bout.."
My goodness! The possible interpretations of the interactions of these two are without end!

Eric Walla  •  Link

There we have it! The turkey debate ...

... has reached its conclusion. A Danish fowl!

But the Mrs. Jem saga continues. I wish he would give us a crumb of information what this business is all about.

Eric Walla  •  Link

Excuse me! Of course the recent bout ...

... had been with Mrs. Ann, but it seems a general air of disagreeableness pervades the relationship between their respective houses. You might expect the combination of ague, cards and neck braces to dissolve into testiness. And the fact that it's February -- perhaps the winter is getting on their nerves.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

I did NOT read ahead about the Danish gobblers!

I swear I didn't! (Although I wish I had!)

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

Surely somebody out there can give us an informed insight into what the phrase "I rattled her up, her being in her [flock] bed" means in the idiom of the times. It sounds like, in exasperation, he shook her by the shoulders till her teeth rattled. She'll be needing a neck brace next.

Rodney Fox  •  Link

To all who have read Pepy's before. Thanks for not being a turkey spoiler.RCF.

Pauline  •  Link

"...I rattled her up..."
Hoping to hear from you guys with access to old definitions. My modern dictionery has only one verb form for rattle. From 1729, "to furnish with ratlines." A ratline being a small transverse rope "attached to the shrouds of a ship so as to form the steps of a rope ladder." The word ratchet then pops into mind.

Remember, Sam's hanky panky is recorded in the diary in code, despite his writing the diary in shorthand.

michael f vincent  •  Link

Rattled: maybe it has the same meaning as when we used to use it "we got someone rattled" meaning we got them very worried and upset, anxious;
never used it years so I dont know if they used it still.

john simmons  •  Link

All the "Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories" can say is: "it has reflected the meaning 'talk rapidly' since the late 16th century." Think they are just going at it hammer and tongs per normal.
Hanky panky...
From the same source, in Pauline's code,
dates from the 1930's, don't know if we can use that and stay in parameter's? Please advise...HP would be nice shorthand of our own, so we need not blush.

Susanna  •  Link


It is probably being used in a meaning the OED lists as obsolete: "to scold, rate, or rail at, volubly." The OED adds that it was a usage common between about 1580 and 1730, and cites Pepys' diary, although not this entry.

Andrea  •  Link

'saw Monk go by, he making observance to the judges as he went along'

What does this mean? Can anybody explain?

Also, I think Pauline was right yesterday about Mr Hawly's £24 being not his, since Pepys seems to pay Mr Andrews £60 - which probably means they are all running around with bags full of money to pay people….

Andrea  •  Link


found something else in the OED:

'the cause why many women be ratle of tonge, is bycause they can not rule their mindes' (1541)

and another one, which underlines what Susanna is saying:

'the king so rattled up the bishop, that he was glad to make his peace' (1688)

Grahamt  •  Link

When I gave the meaning of half a crown for the 4th February I wasn't sure that the term was used in Pepys time, well today he lost half a crown at cards. The half crown coin lasted right up until decimalisation. (not much use for 12.5 new pence coin afterwards, though at 30d or 1/8 of a pound it was quite useful)

nick sweeney  •  Link

re: 'making observance to the judges'.

I'd imagine that the judges lined up outside Westminster Hall as an official welcoming party for Gen. Monck, and that he did the honours in return. It's the kind of thing that would have been customary when the court operated out of the Hall, and akin to what you now see in the state opening of Parliament (http://www.parliament.the-station…), since to some extent, Monck was returning if not as sovereign, then as a key arbiter of the country's political future.

Glyn  •  Link

I've just worked out that half-a-crown (=2 shillings and 6 pennies = an eighth of a pound) would have paid Jane the maid's wages for about two weeks. So it wasn't a great sum but still would have bought quite a lot of things.

As I understand it, Pepys' office job for Downing at the moment is paying out money to returning sea-captains in the English fleet, so they can in turn pay off their crew. And whether that's busy or not depends on when the ships arrive home.

In the meantime he's also looking after Montagu's affairs, and that includes looking after Mrs Jem. Pepys doesn't think that Mrs Ann (her housekeeper) is treating her properly and today had an argument with her about it. Have I got that right?

And is Mr Downing still out of the country - so Pepys can slacken off a bit while the boss is away?

W arren  •  Link

Samuel Johnson defines the verb to rattle as " to scold; to rail with clamour", which seems to fit.

brommers  •  Link

Who rattled your cage?

gerry healyg  •  Link

In my youth when someone was rattled they were twitchy,nervous,upset. A word much in vogue with sporting journalists.

language hat  •  Link

"rattled her up":
Yes, Susanna has the appropriate meaning. It's OED def. 7; here are some citations (with and without "up"):

7 a To scold, rate, or rail at, volubly. Common c 1580-1730.
1542 N. Udall Erasmus's Apophthegmes sig. K5, How Diogenes ratleed & shooke vp couetous persones. 1600 Abbot Exp. Jonah 68 He so rebuketh Jonas, and ratleth him for his drowsiness. 1667 Pepys Diary 9 Aug., I did soundly rattle him for neglecting her so much as he has done. 1931 S. W. Ryder Blue Water Ventures xvi. 217 He should have rattled his officer-of-the-watch for slackness.

b So with up or off. Obs.
1547 Latimer in Foxe A. & M. (1563) 1349/2 Peraduenture ye wyll set penne to paper, and al to rattle me vp in a letter. 1560 Daus tr. Sleidane’s Comm. 202 b, The diuines of Collon assailed Bucer sore, and rattled hym vp with manye opprobrious wordes. C. 1650 Heylin Laud (1668) 263 The King so rattled up the Bishop, that he was glad to make his peace.

Mike  •  Link

'I had a very high bout, I rattled her up, she being in her bed, but she becoming more cool, we parted pretty good friends.'

Maybe she got real mad because she was in bed and Pepy kept rattling the door until she got up and answered it. Then she calmed down she found out why he came.

Harry  •  Link


although i now live in north america, i know that 'rattle' is still in common use in the uk, either to describe someone as being unnerved by events or people e.g. "that got him really rattled..." or as a verb, to illustrate someone being long winded and verbose "he rattled on and on..."

i suspect the verb "to rail" meaning to scold is derived from the original meaning of rattle, as used by Pepys. i doubt rattle in this context has any sexual connotation, although it's possible; english euphemisms for sexual activity come and go like changes in the wind,even nowadays(listen to any English comedian), and it's usage with this slang meaning may have been long forgotten.

anyway, i'm rattling on.....

steve h  •  Link

Speaking of Johnson's dictionary

Is there a facsimile version online? I can't seem to find one, though there is a CD-ROM version.

Mike  •  Link

Was it really a turkey? I always believed turkeys to be an american bird. Was there a European variety or had they already been imported and domesticated in europe?

When did potatoes and corn become common in europe?

Mike Monette  •  Link

Could someone spell out the monetary units and abbreviations used in the diary?
I'd like to know what an l. and a d. are, how many d.'s you need to make an l., how many shillings in a pound, and any other useful related information. Thanks.

David Chapman  •  Link

Twelve pennies in a shilling - there
being four farthings in a penny.
Two shillings and six pennies in a
Twenty shillings in a pound.
Twent one shillings in a guinea.

Arrow  •  Link

l. = pound (from the Latin libra)

d. = penny (from the Latin denarius)

Julia  •  Link

Maybe "rattled her up" does mean "knocked her up," which I understand in the UK means "woke her up." I, too, doubt any HP was going on with Mrs. Ann, but it's funny to note that "knocked her up" in the US means "got her pregnant."

For more US slang . . . I must give Phil and all you Pepys posters your props for such a wonderful site. It's always a bright spot in my workday.

Derek  •  Link

Building a knowledge base.

I'm conscious that after only a month questions on factual issues keep recurring (e.g. the questions from Mike & Mike Monette on turkeys and currency just above, both of which were discussed int some detail in response to yesterday's entry). I'm wondering if there's any way Phil might be able to extend the new Background Reading section to provide links to 'key' (always very subjective, I know) topics and 'key' annotations/discussions.

The Search function works fine for the Diary text but there's so much wonderful information in the annotations that will become unusable unless it can be indexed and easily retrieved and navigated.

I realise this is asking a lot - and it's all down to the success of the site and its project. Maybe we could have a discussion (in a separate space) on how this might be achieved?

AS  •  Link

"rattled up"
I am very surprised to learn that this phrasal verb is not in common usage. I would use it as readily as anything to describe the state of being confused, upset or anxious - or just plain "worked up" or overly excited about something negative. Anyone else out there who considers it everyday language?

Pauline  •  Link

Yep, I use it. My brain gets "rattled"
when presented with too many demanding and emtional things in one minute all needing an answer right now. That "can't think straight" moment.

Which might describe Mrs. Ann if Sam were making free with her.

Rattle might be a codish word Sam would use for arousing Mrs. Ann's resistance to his advances or response to them.

Michiel van der Leeuw  •  Link

Danish Turkey
What a pity! Bang goes my turkey-breeding-in-the-Netherlands study ...:-)

language hat  •  Link

Do people read previous annotations before posting? This has been defined above, at 5:19 and 3:14; it has nothing to do with the current usage ("the state of being confused, upset or anxious" as AS puts it), it means "yell at" (as we would now say). They had an argument, he yelled at her, she cooled down, they parted friends. No mystery here.

Andrea  •  Link


Does anybody know why dinner changed from being served during the day (basically what we call lunch) to being served in the evening? and when?

sorry, i am having a question day today...

Pauline  •  Link

Do people read previous annotations before posting?
Yes. Our usage today is not totally cut off from the usage of yore.
Any idea why he is so interested in finding her alone so he can yell at her?

Rodney Fox  •  Link

David! Don't forget the Florin - the two shilling piece.

Jodi  •  Link

In parts of the US (think small farming communities in Nebraska), it's still Breakfast-Dinner-Supper, not Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner. I've always wondered why, too.

David Glotzer  •  Link

Danish Fowl:
I haven't read ahead about this either, but I did go looking for information about Danish breeds and found this web site:…
which discusses a variety of breeds the Danes were apparently the first to domesticate and now work to preserve genetically. They cite two fowl only, e a type of duck and a pigeon (racing). Tomalin does mention that Pepys raised pigeons at Axe Yard.
I'd like to be "spoiled" and find out what the turkey significance is?

helena murphy  •  Link

General Monke would have bowed to the judges out of courtesy. It was a formal era in spite of all that tavern hopping.The drums the previous night may have been announcing the general's presence in london.
Walter raleigh is credited with bringing the potatoe to Ireland which he planted on his estate in Co. Cork , in the late Elizabethan era.

steve h  •  Link


It is said that Charlemagne was the first to have dinner at noon, partly because he was a big eater and couldn't wait any longer. Certainly, in the 17th and 18th centuries, dinner came at midday, or perhaps two or three p.m. Gradually in the 19th century it began to be the evening meal. A key reason for the change may have been the change to an industrial society, combined with commuting (working far away from home). Only after dark would the family be home and have the time to have a full meal together. In agrarian and more sedate locations, midday dinner can still be the rule. .

Judy  •  Link

David and Rodney. What about a tanner and a bob? Or to put it another way 18pence = 1/6d

john simmons  •  Link

From "Noblesse Oblige" by N.Mitford:
"U-speakers eat luncheon in the middle of the day and dinner in the evening. Non-U speakers (also U-children and U-dogs) have their dinner in the middle of the day." A very funny book and worth the search...

tamara  •  Link

The women in aprons who dished up our lunch every day at school (1960s) were known as "the dinner ladies." The cash we brought to school to pay for it was called "dinner money." And yet we still called it lunch. But that was in the pre-Thatcher days when our free midmorning milk came in individual bottles and we bought blue tickets every week to buy currant buns to go with the milk. My, I feel quite sentimental...

PHE  •  Link

Being 38 years old, I am just old enough to remember the old L.S.D -'Pounds shillings and pence' monetary system which was replaced in about 1970. For those younger UK readers and non-UK readers, here is some explanation. An earlier annotator gives the correct Latin terms. 24 l = £24. The modern pound sign is simply a curly L with one or two lines through it as with the $ (now why S for dollar?). Since Pepys’s day, the pound has not been formally devalued - its reduced value being due to inflation (For comparison, the French Franc had two zeros removed in the 1960s). Thus the ‘l’ of the Diary is equivalent to the ‘£’ of today. The pound consisted of 20 shillings, each shilling consisting of 12 pence (‘d’). Thus there were 240 pence in the pound.
We also had the ‘guinea’ which was 21 shillings, but this was no longer a separate coin or note by 1970. In about 1970, the pound was decimilised so that one pound is now 100 pence. The shilling became extinct. One ‘new penny’ is worth 2.4 ‘old pence’ and one shilling was worth 5 new pence. (pence being the plural of penny. I believe that in USA and Canada, one cent is often called a ‘penny’). With the ‘old money’, there were many colloquial terms. Quid = pound (still used); bob = shilling; florin = 2 shillings; farthing = 1/4 penny; ha’penny = 1/2 penny; crown = 5 shillings (or 60 old pence or 25 new pence); 1/2 crown = 2.5 shillings. I’m sure there are more, and I’m sure many British readers know this without thinking - but hopefully this is useful to some. The UK should by now have replaced the pound with the Euro, and will do in time - but that’s another story!

gerry healy  •  Link

This lunch/dinner discussion omits a class difference in the Uk that may still exist? The upper classes had dinner in the evening, the working classes at mid-day.This was a hot topic of conversation in an episode of
Are You Being Served.

michael f vincent  •  Link

dinner/lunch/Supper/high tea:
For the person whose work/occupation was 30 to 60 minute commute, it was the lunch bucket or brown bag. Who could come up with scratch/ 1d ? for bowl of soup;
Main meal (Dinner) was when the family could get together:

Anita Rowland  •  Link

What Time is Dinner?
A good article by Sherrie McMillan, History Magazine.…

"With these late hours for entertainment and parties, and with more artificial lighting, many people in the cities began going to bed later and rising later in the morning. Mealtimes were pushed back as a result. In London, by the 1730s and 40s, the upper class nobles and gentry were dining at three or four in the afternoon, and by 1770 their dinner hour in London was four or five."

Ruth  •  Link

"The modern pound sign is simply a curly L with one or two lines through it as with the $ (now why S for dollar?)."

According to a newly published book (_Greenback_ by Jason Goodwin), some think that the $ symbol came from a Spanish dollar coin which was in wide circulation in the American colonies. The design on one side showed two pillars flanking a design in the middle; a sort of ribbon was loosely wrapped around each of the pillars, giving the left-hand pillar a look similar to our $.

language hat  •  Link

"why S for dollar?":
This is much disputed. From…
we learn that since "names... for the Spanish dollar start with p (and pluralize with s), it was natural for abbreviations like p and ps to be used. Sometimes ps was written as P with a superscript s... Now, what happens if you write P with a superscript s *fast*...? Naturally, you join the letters. Well, now look at the top part of the resulting symbol. There's the $ sign! Reduce the P to a single stroke and you have the form of the $ with a double vertical; omit it altogether and you get the single vertical.... And yes, both these forms are original. Cajori reproduces 14 $ signs from a diary written in 1776; 11 of them have the single stroke, which was the more common form to the end of the century, and 3 have the double stroke."

But… says: "Most probably it was an adaptation of the figure '8', representing the Spanish 'piece of eight' or eight-real coin."

adds an explanation involving the design of Spanish coins: "The Pillars of Hercules were wrapped in escrolls, forming a sort of "S" around the vertical axis of the pillar."

You pays your $$ and you takes your choice!

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Why S for dollar?

That's interesting, Language Hat (and others) ... I'd always heard that the $ sign originally came from the juxtaposition (and, eventually, superimposition) of U and S ... knock the bottom out of the U, leaving only its ascenders, and you end up with a dollar sign.

language hat  •  Link

superimposition of U and S:
Yeah, I'd heard that too, but of course it doesn't make sense when you know that 1) the one-ascender version was the early favorite and 2) it was used in diaries as early as 1776, when it could hardly have been derived from "United States"!

Grahamt  •  Link

Hmmm.. this looks familiar. Didn't I say something similar only a few days ago against the 4th Feb entry? I also pointed out that florins were Victorian and Guineas arrived three years after the diary entry, so not really relevant.
I agree with Derek that we should have a knowledge base (but would anyone read it before posting?)
Just my three-pennorth. (= 3d = 1.25p = 2c - worth)

Nigel Pond  •  Link

Re Dinner

When I was growing up in the North of England (Manchester), the colloquiallisms were "breakfast, dinner, tea", "tea" being the main meal of the day and not just tea, butties (sandwiches) and biscuits!!

TezMc  •  Link

I recall reading somewhere (unfortunately don't remember where) that the dollar symbol came from 'Pieces of eight'.. The problem of using nibbed pens or quills being that you can do strokes downwards fairly easily, but making marks 'up' the paper.. IE away from you could cause the pen to catch against the paper, flicking ink all over the page you've been writing on (this has happened to me too many times while doing ink drawings).

And so, the 8 would be formed with an S, with a diagonal stroke from top-right to bottom-left...

This diagonal stroke eventually evolving into a single vertical stroke.

I've no idea if this is true or not, but it sounds plausible to me.

Second Reading

Tripleransom  •  Link

PHE said " The UK should by now have replaced the pound with the Euro, and will do in time - but that’s another story!"

That was in 2003 and look how well that prediction turned out.

This discussion of English pre-decimalisation coinage is really useful oto a ocnfused American.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"So back again to the Hall, where I stood upon the steps and saw Monk go by, he making observance to the judges as he went along."

Surely nick sweeney (above) catches the spirit of the reception at Westminster Hall…

L&M elaborate: A small group of M.P.'s in procession, led by the Sergeant-at-Arms, accompanied Monck from the Court of Wards, where he had been waiting, to the House. Monck was equally careful in his demeanor towards parliament itself to convey his respect for civil authority. He received parliament's thanks and made a speech, but 'out of his great respects to the Parliament' declined to sit on the chair offered to him: Mercurius Politicus, 9. February, p. 1081. (L&M)…

Third Reading

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

We now turn to Thomas Rugge, who's at the old Rump - excuse me, at Parliament, and just witnesseth the grand entry of General Monk. Thomas, tell us what ye saw.

"Generall Monk, beeing' in his lodgings att Whit Hall, hee had notis that the House had a disier for to see him. Hee came into the Corte of Wards, who beeinge theire, the Serjeant-att-Armes went unto him with the mace and his Lordship atended the Serjant, who went befor him with the mace on his shoulder, beeing' acompaned with Mr. Scott and Mr. Robinson. Beeinge com into the Parlimenent House, hee was conducted unto the place on the left hand within the barre, wheare ware a chaire faced with velvett for the Generall to sitt one. His Lordshipp beeinge com and haveinge made obeysance, Mr. Speaker disired him to sitt downe, but out of his greate respects to the Parliment hee craved leave to bee excused and stood behind the chaire. Wheareupon Mr. Speaker made a speech to Generall Monck. It was very long (...)"

Yes, Thomas, the general may have regretted not sitting down, then; pray summarize, will ye.

"His oration was full of eloquolent words. [Hee said] that man is but an instrement in the hands of God to his owne work [but that man had tried to do things his way and now look at the result:] the face of this land was covred with a gloomy and black cloude and the whole nation left, in the judgment of man, to the utermost of mine. And a little cloude was discerned afarre in Lord Generall Monks hand, and that by the provedence [of] its conduct it did disperse the miseries of the nations and became a glorious mercy to them all. (...)"

So Monk is an instrument of God, he disperseth storm clouds from the brow of Nations by raising his Hand. Almost the Second Coming, isn't it. And what did the general say to that?

"(...) that hee did nothing' but his duty (...)" This bee Thomas Rugge, Mercurius Politicus News, Westminster.

Interesting. As it happens, among the heaps and heaps of books about General Monk that the book-sellers are now rushing out, we at Mercurius Politicus came across this one, just published to-day, "The Pedegree and Descent of his Excellency Generall Monck", which is "setinge forth how hee is decsended from Kinge Edward the Third". Food for thought! Comin' up next: Is the future of poultry in... Denmark?? We'll be right back, after this short break.

[Jingle] Do catch Mercurius Politicus live, at…

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