Saturday 11 February 1659/60

This morning I lay long abed, and then to my office, where I read all the morning my Spanish book of Rome. At noon I walked in the Hall, where I heard the news of a letter from Monk, who was now gone into the City again, and did resolve to stand for the sudden filling up of the House, and it was very strange how the countenance of men in the Hall was all changed with joy in half an hour’s time. So I went up to the lobby, where I saw the Speaker reading of the letter; and after it was read, Sir A. Haselrigge came out very angry, and Billing1 standing at the door, took him by the arm, and cried, “Thou man, will thy beast carry thee no longer? thou must fall!” The House presently after rose, and appointed to meet again at three o’clock. I went then down into the Hall, where I met with Mr. Chetwind, who had not dined no more than myself, and so we went toward London, in our way calling at two or three shops, but could have no dinner. At last, within Temple Bar, we found a pullet ready roasted, and there we dined. After that he went to his office in Chancery Lane, calling at the Rolls, where I saw the lawyers pleading. Then to his office, where I sat in his study singing, while he was with his man (Mr. Powell’s son) looking after his business. Thence we took coach for the City to Guildhall, where the Hall was full of people expecting Monk and Lord Mayor to come thither, and all very joyfull. Here we stayed a great while, and at last meeting with a friend of his we went to the 3 Tun tavern and drank half a pint of wine, and not liking the wine we went to an alehouse, where we met with company of this third man’s acquaintance, and there we drank a little. Hence I went alone to Guildhall to see whether Monk was come again or no, and met with him coming out of the chamber where he had been with the Mayor and Aldermen, but such a shout I never heard in all my life, crying out, “God bless your Excellence.” Here I met with Mr. Lock, and took him to an alehouse, and left him there to fetch Chetwind; when we were come together, Lock told us the substance of the letter that went from Monk to the Parliament; wherein, after complaints that he and his officers were put upon such offices against the City as they could not do with any content or honour, that there are many members now in the House that were of the late tyrannical Committee of Safety. That Lambert and Vane are now in town, contrary to the vote of Parliament. That there were many in the House that do press for new oaths to be put upon men; whereas we have more cause to be sorry for the many oaths that we have already taken and broken. That the late petition of the fanatique people presented by Barebone, for the imposing of an oath upon all sorts of people, was received by the House with thanks. That therefore he [Monk] do desire that all writs for filling up of the House be issued by Friday next, and that in the mean time, he would retire into the City and only leave them guards for the security of the House and Council. The occasion of this was the order that he had last night to go into the City and disarm them, and take away their charter; whereby he and his officers say that the House had a mind to put them upon things that should make them odious; and so it would be in their power to do what they would with them. He told us that they [the Parliament] had sent Scott and Robinson to him [Monk] this afternoon, but he would not hear them. And that the Mayor and Aldermen had offered him their own houses for himself and his officers; and that his soldiers would lack for nothing. And indeed I saw many people give the soldiers drink and money, and all along in the streets cried, “God bless them!” and extraordinary good words. Hence we went to a merchant’s house hard by, where Lock wrote a note and left, where I saw Sir Nich. Crisp, and so we went to the Star Tavern (Monk being then at Benson’s), where we dined and I wrote a letter to my Lord from thence. In Cheapside there was a great many bonfires, and Bow bells and all the bells in all the churches as we went home were a-ringing. Hence we went homewards, it being about ten o’clock. But the common joy that was every where to be seen! The number of bonfires, there being fourteen between St. Dunstan’s and Temple Bar, and at Strand Bridge I could at one view tell thirty-one fires. In King-street seven or eight; and all along burning, and roasting, and drinking for rumps. There being rumps tied upon sticks and carried up and down. The butchers at the May Pole in the Strand rang a peal with their knives when they were going to sacrifice their rump. On Ludgate Hill there was one turning of the spit that had a rump tied upon it, and another basting of it. Indeed it was past imagination, both the greatness and the suddenness of it. At one end of the street you would think there was a whole lane of fire, and so hot that we were fain to keep still on the further side merely for heat. We came to the Chequers at Charing Cross, where Chetwind wrote a letter and I gave him an account of what I had wrote for him to write. Thence home and sent my letters to the posthouse in London, and my wife and I (after Mr. Hunt was gone, whom I found waiting at my house) went out again to show her the fires, and after walking as far as the Exchange we returned and to bed.

79 Annotations

First Reading

Eric Walla  •  Link

Ho Hum, just another day in London ...

I'm just surprised that the Great Fire didn't start then and there (or is this a spoiler ...).

A nice touch, taking his wife out to see the fireworks.

Keith Wright  •  Link

Strange, how Pepys's talent for reckoning up figures adds immeasurably to his reportage. He doesn't just say "I saw a great many bonfires," he counts them: "The number of bonfires, there being fourteen between St. Dunstan’s and Temple Bar, and at Strand Bridge I could at one view tell thirty-one fires. In King-street seven or eight". Can't you just see him, walking along, and keeping a count all the while?

Roger Miller  •  Link

Praise-God Barbon (or Barebone)

This is the 1911 encyclopedia article on this devout leather-seller who is campaigning against the restoration of the monarchy.…

D Menchaca  •  Link

Posthouses and private messengers -- I assume that Sam sent these letters off to Montagu by post-chaise as the fastest way. Were all inns along the post roads drop off points for mail? What would Sam have had to pay to make sure his letters arrived at their destination? Did he not have time to find someone to go on horseback? Were there designated servants who would collect and deliver letters from the depots? I tried to google and kept getting ads for the Posthouse chain of hotels in UK and pages about the Crying of Lot 49.

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

With all this going on, it's good to see Sam keeping his eye on the really important things in life: sleeping late, reading, singing, eating and drinking.

"Indeed it was past imagination, both the greatness and the suddenness of it."

What a wonderful sentence for a great public event, such a turnabout of all expectations.

The roasting of the rumps is great, too. A fine day, a fine entry.

Charles Weng  •  Link

The Bonfires of Britain

The last time I experienced this sort of thing was during Guy Fawke's Day festivities in Surrey. These days, with greater population density and greater observance of civil order (or one would hope), bonfires are much less spontaneous than the ones noted by Sam on this day. Nevertheless, the giddiness in the air was unmistakeable, then and now.

As a Catholic in Britain, I was rather amused at all the effigies of the Pope burnt on Guy's Day. No rumps were on the roast, but beer flowed freely everywhere.

michael f vincent  •  Link

re: Mail
Private courier was a method:
carrier pigeon another, not much spoken about because it was I believe the best spy method and if caught, in to the Tower you go.
Anyway here is a page that gives a little info on communicating pre IT.…

The first 'MASTER OF THE POSTS' was Sir Brian Tuke,
(The Picture of Sir Brian Tuke is from the National Postal Museum card (london)SWL 90/1 )

who held that position from 1516-1545, during the

For instance, this letter written by John Heath from his office in the Inner Temple, (one of the Inns of Court in London) is dated 'Last of 10th 1660' and is addressed to 'Mr. Robert Clayton, a Scrivener Neere the old Exchange'.
Address to Robert clayton
The contents of this letter show that it was privately delivered, ....

The first Postmaster General was Colonel Henry Bishop, who held the position from 1660-1663
.Free Franks their is always someone who wants to do it for nothing ..(congress?)
- (Free Postage for Members of Parliament etc.)

for a map see…

steve h  •  Link


By this time, the word "thou" in daily speech was associated almost exclusively with Quakers, though it was common enough 50 years earlier. They used this familiar form as a mark of plainness in speech, using "thou" for an individual instead of the originally more formal "you". In Shakespearean English thou was typically reserved for children, servants, spouses, and dear friends. By thouing everyone, Quakers were asserting universal equality. This form of address, naturally, was a source of irritation and/or ridicule for most non-Quakers.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Tomalin on Pepys as a reporter & writer

This widow of a journalist (killed in the Mideast) writes:

"The first set-piece of the diary . . .

"You can't read these pages without being . . . impressed by his capacity to watch, listen and take in everything. The entry may look as though it wrote itself, but the effects are worked with skill, the rhythm of the long sentences leading you through the streets, their momentum occasionally broken by pauses -- marked by semicolons -- to drink, observe or talk. The three pieces of direct speech used to punctuate the passage raise the sense of immediacy . . . Pepys is lucky enough, or skilful enough, to find Monck's secretary Lock; he takes him to a tavern, extracts the substance of Monck's letter to parliament directly from him and writes down its six points. This is businesslike stuff, but he also lets us feel how his own awareness of the importance of the day through which he is living expands and permeates everything as the hours go by."

-- Claire Tomalin, "Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self," pp 97-98. (Another great passage in her book.)

For another great piece of Pepys's writing, this from one of his dispatches to Montagu, go to the John Hewson page:…

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"Whatever the pompous history in 8vo. sayes"

John Aubrey thinks he has the inside scoop. Apparently this was written years later. Aubrey, whom Pepys would have seen at the Rota club, is known for larding his accounts with rumors, but this is interesting:

"Thredneedle Street was all day long, and late at night, crammed with multitudes, crying out, 'A free Parliament, a free Parliament,' that the aire rang with their clamours. One evening, he comeing out on horseback, they were so violent that he was almost afrayd of himselfe, and so, to satisfie them (as they used to do to importunate children) 'Pray be quiet, yee shall have a free Parliament.' This about 7, or rather 8, as I remember, at night. Immediately, a Loud Holla and shout was given, all the Bells in Citie ringing and the whole Citie looked as if it had been in a flame by the Bonfires, which were prodigiously great and frequent and ran like a Traine over the Citie, and I saw some Balcones that began to be kindled. They made little Gibbets and roasted Rumpes of mutton; nay, I saw some very good Rumpes of Beefe. Healths to the King, Charles II, were drank in the streets by the Bonfires, even on their Knees, . . . So that the return of his most gracious Majestie was by the hand of God, but as by this person meerly accidental, whatever the pompous history in 8vo. sayes.

"Well! A free parliament was chosen . . . "

-- Aubrey's Brief Lives, George Monck
(Doesn't that "Well!" sound just like Alistair Cooke?)

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"... dissipates that nest of robbers ..."

Diarist John Evelyn's entire entry for today:

"I visited Mr. Boyle, where I met the Earle of Corke. A signal day: Monk perceiving how infamous and wretched a pack of knaves would have still usurped the Supreame power, & having intelligence that they intended to take away his commission, repenting of what he had don to the Citty, & where he & his forces quarterd; Marches to White hall, dissipates that nest of robbers, & convenes the old Parliament, the rump-parliament (so cal'd as retaining some few rotten members of the other) being dissolved; and for joy wheroff, were many thousands of rumps, roasted publiquely in the Streetes at the Bonfires this night, with ringing of bells, & universal jubilee: this was the first good omen."

PHE  •  Link

This is undoubtedly a great piece of journalism enabling the reader to feel he is really there. Is this the first piece of great journalism in the English Language - or has Pepys taken lessons from newspapers of the day? I pressume that without television and radio - and in a society that loved good conversation - being able to recount a good description of events (either verbally or in print) was an appreciated skill. Although we know Sam was a good conversationalist, we are never able to sit in on this. Perhaps he recounted this same story to many aquaintances over the following days.

Grahamt  •  Link

Re: thou
"By this time, the word ‘thou’ in daily speech was associated almost exclusively with Quakers”. Around London perhaps. Thee and thou (or thah in local dialect) were still in common use in the 1960/70’s in the north of England around Notts, Derbyshire and Yorkshire. (Not currently a quaker stronghold) They were used as in Shakespeare’s time for friends, family, children and inferiors, thus the exclamation from someone who thought they were being spoken to disrespectfully: “Don’t you thee and thah me!”
The same distinction in second person pronouns exists in modern French and German with tu/vous and du/sie.

Larry Bunce  •  Link

Use of Thou
A radio program called "People, Places, and Books" by Gilbert Highet (Scottish born professor of classics at Columbia U in NY) had a bit on the use of 'thou.'
At the treason trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, the prosecutor said, "Thou viper! I thou thee, thou traitor."
To which Raleigh supposedly replied, "Yes, I had noticed your lack of good manners."

j.simmons  •  Link

Re David Q's quote from John Aubrey:
"Healths to the King...even on their knees..." This would be the ultimate salute, as when the king was being served his meals, or one was taking orders from his hand, it was done on bended knee.

steve h  •  Link

committee of safety again

This group has already been annotated before, but a few more words might be helpful. These two committees, one in May 1659, the other in Oct-Dec 1659 took power in lieu of a sovereign, whether king or protector (the Cromwells). The immediate reason seems to be fear of anarchy. By this date, the committee had lost its powers as the Rump reasserted itself and members like Lambert and Vane had been exiled from London.
Among the members of the committees we have encountered are:
- Charles Fleetwood [who has to answer for "borrowing" money from the Treasury during the Commitee's tenure and promises he Parliament to repay it -- Pepys Jan 31]
- Sir Arthur Hesilrige, baronet (or Haselrig) [who gets dissed here by the Quaker]
- Sir Henry Vane, Jr [Whose exile to his country estate is reported by Pepys on Jan 9]
- William Sydenham {Voted out of parliament, as Pepys reports on Jan. 18]
- John Lambert [the leader who "disturbed " the Rump, which was reseated as Pepys reports on Jan 1; now returned to London]
-Sir James Harrington [coffee house debater on Jan 9, well footnoted by David Gurliacci on that date's annotations]

steve h  •  Link

Macaulay on Monck's declaration

"As soon as his declaration was known, the whole nation was wild with delight. Wherever he appeared thousands thronged round him, shouting and blessing his name. The bells of all England rang joyously: the gutters ran with ale; and, night after night, the sky five miles round London was reddened by innumerable bonfires. "

Glyn  •  Link

The Fall of the English Republic
must have been like the day the Berlin Wall collapsed.

Everyone's on the streets celebrating, building bonfires, and burning rumps of meat. And at the very end of the evening Sam takes his wife Elizabeth out to the Royal Exchange which is a good hour's walk away - so the streets must have been very safe despite the boisterous nature of the celebrations.

Oliver Cromwell had died of illness at the age of 59. I believe that if he had lived another 10 years the republic would have survived its teething troubles and would have prospered; but his successors were inexperienced and incompetent and it was not to be.

Anyway, I'm a Royalist (AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN) God Save King Charles!

Jenny Mills  •  Link

To Charles Weng,

When and where did you see the Pope being burnt at Guy Fawke's night?! I never realised there was such strong anti-papism in England.

I have, however, seen effigies of Margaret Thatcher, Sadam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden being burnt on the bonfire!

Nix  •  Link


This is a really exciting entry -- he definitely captures the feeling of the earth moving under foot -- Monck has changed sides and the Parliament is over.

Six weeks ago I would have had only the vaguest idea what this meant (and had never heard of Monck). The diary, through this website and the great annotations, gets into the blood. Thanks especially to those of you who have given us the context for these momentous events.

Joe  •  Link

It's usually an effigy of Guy Fawkes that is burnt, not the Pope, these days.
November 5th is known as "Guy Fawkes Night"

language hat  •  Link

More information on "thee" and "thou"
is available at this Languagehat entry:…
(Scroll down to Dec. 4 if the link leaves you at the top of the monthly archive.)
I'd like to add my thanks for the additional diary entries and historical extracts!

bruce  •  Link

Reading the diary entries for the last few days, I can't help feeling that Pepys seems to have spent most of his days networking with various "important" people, visiting taverns and dealing with family issues. He doesn't seem to have spent a fixed period of his day in one place working on documents or managing people. In reality did he sit down and do lots of clerical or managerial work (and didn't see fit to include it in the diary entries), or was he one of these people who earn their crust by knowing the right contacts and greasing the paths of politics?

Can someone give me insight into what his job description might have looked like!?

Charles Weng  •  Link

Guy Fawke's Night

I think it was near Lewes (of the Norman castle fame) in either '88 or '89 that I saw the Pope effigies. They were not particular jibes (good-humoured or otherwise) at JPII or the contemporary Catholic Church, but simply a historical reminder of the deep rivalries between Protestant Britain and Catholic Europe.

Anyway, the raucous celebration of Guy Fawke's during that November night was the closest experience I had to compare with the kind of evening Sam and his compatriots enjoyed, as they welcomed the fall of the Rump Parliament.

bruce  •  Link

To Jenny Mills

The Pope is always burnt in effigy during the bonfire night celebrations in Lewes, East Sussex. (My boyhood home). Lewesians will emphasize that it's not the current Pope being burned - remembrance of times past...

During the 60s, at least, Lewes in the late evening must have looked like a small scale version of Pepy's vision of London, with bonfires large (public) and small (private) burning all opver the town and visible from high points.

tamara  •  Link

Guy Fawkes' Night
is indeed famous in Lewes--I went when I was an undergraduate at nearby Sussex University and was stunned by what a crazy big deal it was and how jammed and loud and almost violent, 400-plus years after the Gunpowder Plot. There were lots of effigies, and I think one was definitely the Pope.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

The Irony of Thee
I think it's rather funny that the original meaning of thee, thine and thou (as opposed to you and yours) has been lost and that they now have in the popular mind (at least in the States) a general sense of archaic and, therefore, formal speech.

I was speaking of this at a Rennaisance Fair to one of the performers, who are drilled every week on their patter, and she was unaware that "thou" would have been used only on servants and such, or else intimates.

Those who grew up with the old prayers and the King James bible (or even translations from the early 20th C) will sometimes say it's disrepectful to drop the "Thee" and "Thou" when addressing God. The irony here is that, of course, the those aren't respectful. The outrageousness of the old language was that it dared to speak to the All Mighty as an intimate friend.

I'm enough of a traditionalist to think the loss of the "thou" is for the worse, but I suppose that four hundred years is too far to roll back the calendar, even for me.

helena murphy  •  Link

There was royalist support if clandestine throughout the three kingdoms of England Ireland and Scotland for Charles 11. One such movement was called The Sealed Knot.Its members were in constant contact with the royal court in exile in Europe. Their was also silent Catholic support for Charles 11 to whom he owed his life after his defeat at Worcester in 1651. The Stuart monarchs never lost their appeal, an appeal which oliver Cromwell and his associates never seemed to have. In spite of their considerable abiities like all military men who seize power, it was rule through fear and the sword.

Bored  •  Link

I have never ever heard of an effigy of the pope being burnt, it must just be a local tradition at Lewes. I'd be extremely surprised if it happens anywhere else. Its always Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up Parliament, whose effigy is burnt.

Charles Weng  •  Link

The Bonfires Remembered

Talking about Guy Fawke's Night proves to be an interesting tangent to this day's diary entry, does it not?

Thanks to Bruce and Tamara for refreshing my memory -- Lewes is indeed a lovely town in East Sussex.

It was quite an affair: there a huge scaffolding with live "actors" in papal (or papist, to give it a historical context) garb, doing a wild dance or two before everything came down in flames.

However, I didn't recall much of young children in fancy dress begging "a penny for the Guy," which is said to be a (if not "the") precursor of trick-or-treating on All-Hallow's Eve, or Halloween.

The Gunpowder Plot itself also is an interesting parallel to the occasion observed by Sam on this memorable night. In either event, constitutional monarchy prevailed.

Charles Weng  •  Link

Pepy's "job description"

During the earlier diary postings, it was discussed here at length that Pepy's job was essentially to be the the eyes and ears of his aristocratic employers during this most volatile of times in English politics. Given his socialbility and affinity for gossip, the appointment was ideal.

Ostensibly, Pepys dispensed wages to the Naval officers, something like a human resources officer of today. Given the usual practice of "discretionary" access to public funds by civil servants of the period, it proved to be an endless source of scruples for our diarist.

Pauline  •  Link

Sam as Journalist
Sam was "reporting," writing by dispatch, to Downing and Montagu, his employers, who were both waiting out these events from a distance. I can image one or both of them really impressed on Sam the need for detail in his reports, the need to understand as if they were there. So he's all eyes and ears for them, but he's there experiencing it for himself too and that goes into the diary.

Add to this Sam's intelligence, eagerness, and his interest in acting and we get this action-packed, compelling writing.

Nix  •  Link

Still more on "thee" and "thou" --

The parallel formal and informal usages remain in the romance languages. Readers of Hemingway are sometimes mystified by the strange, archaic speech patterns of his characters -- he is translating their supposed Spanish dialogue literally, with lovers, comrades and family members addressing each other as "thee" and "thou".

Glyn  •  Link

Pepys is more hard-working than he seems from these diary notes, but at the moment both of his bosses (Montague and Downing) are out of town.

As well as the jobs mentioned above, he has to keep Montague's London household running smoothly. This includes looking after Mrs Jem Montague who is his patron's eldest daughter, and who is staying in London because she needs to see a doctor for her neck, so that is partly why he visits her so often although he also likes her.

As Nix has shown, You and Thou are a bit like Du and Sie in modern German and like Tu and Vouz in modern French.

Bored  •  Link

Asking "A Penny For The Guy" was very common 20 or 30 years ago, but has gradually become rarer over the years, perhaps because both the new and the old penny are now worth very little due to inflation.

EIS  •  Link

Burning the pope in effigy in Britain
wasn't uncommon at celebrations - at least well into the eighteenth century. To Protestant Britain the pope symbolised the significant evil of Catholic absolutism and the arbitrary rule of tyranny - in contrast to Britain's own balanced constitution and the rule of law. 'No popery' was a common declaration not only opposing Catholic religious practices, but also demonstrating a British prejudice against Catholic rule, which supposedly involved an inherent injustice.

These prejudices can probably be traced back to the controversial reign of Queen Mary I, the first and last openly ACCEPTED Catholic monarch since the English reformation, and they certainly had huge implications during the reigns of the executed King Charles I (a crypto-Catholic) as well as his two sons!

(sorry to be a spoiler!)

Laura Brown  •  Link

Guy Fawkes Day

From Peter and Iona Opie's 1959 classic "Lore and Language of Schoolchildren":

"The guys range in ambitiousness from the fifteen-foot effigy stuffed with rockets, Roman candles, and other whooshers, annually erected at Edenbridge in Kent where the celebration of the Fifth is adult-organised, and is almost a cult, to that of the humble penny-for-the-guy city child, with face as black as a piccaninny [sorry -- this *was* the 1950s], who when asked 'Where's the guy?' replied 'I am'. ... Indeed, during the war, the effigy was sometimes made to look like Hitler, and doubtless attracted further pennies in consequence. (Authors' footnote: This transference is, in itself, in keeping with the past. Other figures which have been mortified on this day include: The Old Pretender, Napoleon, Cardinal Wiseman, Nana Sahib, Kruger, the Kaiser, Colonel Nasser [1956], and, of course, the Pope. Evelyn in his diary, 5 November 1673, wrote: 'This night the youths of the Citty burnt the Pope in effegie, after they had made procession with it.' Up to the beginning of the twentieth century the day was often known as 'Pope Day'.) ... Only at St Peter's School, York, do they make a bonfire but burn no guy. Guy Fawkes went to school there, and it is not thought good form to burn the effigy of an old boy."

helena murphy  •  Link

there is no evidence, historical or otherwise to indicate that Charles I was a crypto catholic. He supported and wished to strengthen the established church that he inherited from his Tudor predecessors, and for this he also fought parliament. Charles II may have been a crypto catholic as he converted on his death bed. his brother James, Duke of York was a professed catholic for which he had to resign as lord High Admiral of the fleet.Their brother Henry, Duke of Gloucester clung tenaciously to his father's faith perhaps because he had visited the King shortly before his execution.

j a gioia  •  Link

thou & you

a friend told me that when her quaker grandmother (in philadelphia, pa. about 1930) got upset with her she'd say "thoust little 'you', thee!" meaning something like "i'm so annoyed right now i could almost call thou a you."

richard waller  •  Link

claire tomalin's husband is michael frayn,the much alive english author.what's this about mideast reporters or am i missing something?

David Quidnunc  •  Link

RE: Tomalin's husband

Richard -- Claire Delavenay married Nick Tomalin in 1955. He was killed by a Syrian missile on the Golan Heights while reporting for the Sunday Times (of London) in September 1973. For a profile of Claire Tomalin in the Observer:…

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Irresistable quote:

"ratlike cunning, a plausible manner, and a little literary ability"

-- the late Nick Tomalin's
"celebrated . . . summary of the 'only' qualities required for success in journalism." This from a book review in The Observer, 5 May 2002 ("Reporting on the Reporters"):…

The quote's flippant and just barely on topic here -- but it's too good not to share. And it may just describe Pepys pretty well, too.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Correction: Nick Tomalin

(Sorry, my last post on this tangent.)

Nicholas Tomalin died 17 Oct. 1973, while covering the Yom Kippur war, according to the Newseum. The quote (which won't ever die) is now repeated all over the world (in the U.K., the U.S., Australia and Nepal, for instance), but there are many slight variations. Here's one:

"The only qualities essential for real success in journalism are ratlike cunning, a plausible manner and a little literary ability."
-- from this Newseum web page:…

Some versions add this sentence (which may have been a bit too flippant for the Newseum to use): "The capacity to steal other people's ideas and phrases is also invaluable."

KMA  •  Link

Milton on King Charles Ist's Catholicism

The following is by Sharon Achinstein from 'Milton and King Charles' which is contained in 'The Royal Image - Representations of Charles I', published by Cambridge University Press in 1999:

'In the late 1630s or early 1640s Milton already harboured suspicions about Charles's allegiance to the Protestant religion. Marriage 'with one of a different religion dangerous', noted Milton ... 'for hence Gregory the 15th is so bold as to count Prince Charles a favourer of the Catholic cause, as he calls it, and of the Roman prelacie, because he sought in marriage a daughter of Spain'.' (p.153)

'Milton stands by his 1641 analysis of England's Spaniolization in religion, but in 1649 he lays blame not on the bishops, but on the king himself. Charles 'professes to own his Kingdom from Christ, and to desire to rule for his glory, and the Churches good: The Pope and the King of Spain profess every where as much; and both practice and all his reasonings, all his enmite against the true Church we see hath bin the same with theirs'.' (p. 155)

'Milton takes notice that the chief campaign of the monarch had been a private war against Protestant ideology in favour of continental absolutism and popery, and he recognizes that Charles's cultural policies were indeed a part of his political policies.' (p. 157)

Pauline  •  Link

A Letter From His Excellencie Lord General Monck, And The Officiers Under His Command, To The Parliament (1660)

Provided by Ian Maxted, County Local Studies Librarian, Exeter Central Library.

“I have put a facsimile of this item on our website at:…

I hope this is of use to the website. I apologise for the quality of the facsimile but the original is very discoloured.”

language hat  •  Link

The facsimile is quite readable; thanks!

fimm  •  Link

I came back and reread this entry after watching the events in Baghdad on the 9th April. Some things don't change, do they?

Yonmei  •  Link

Some things don’t change, do they?

Oh, I think so. The celebrations in London in Pepys time were not marred by looting of government buildings and hospitals. Monk's army was not and alien invasion with intent to colonise. And we have no reason to believe that Pepys was lying to make the popular enthusiasm look greater than it was.

Quite a considerable dfiference, really.

S. Spoelstra  •  Link

The reference to Sir Nicholas Crisp is maybe significant because he was a declared Royalist, recently returned from exile.


In biographies of Sir Nicholas "puritan relatives" are mentioned who would have put in a word for him during his exile. It would be interesting to find out if he was related to "Mrs. Crisp", neighbour of Sam and acquintance of Montague ?

Sir Nicholas turns up later in the diaries of SP and Evelyn in connection with a plan of building a "Sasse" or dock at Depthford.

Glyn  •  Link

"In Cheapside there was a great many bonfires, and Bow bells and all the bells in all the churches as we went home were a-ringing."

I mistakenly thought that Bow Bells must have been in the district of Bow in east London, but in fact the church is St Mary le Bow, which is on Cheapside in the heart of the City.

This is the church’s website:

with a fascinating historical account of Bow Bells:…

There are 12 bells, the latest of which were made in the same foundry that made the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia. Each is inscribed with a verse from the Bible, and the initial letters of each verse spell out “D Whittington” who heard the bells and returned to London to become the city’s most famous Mayor.

adam w  •  Link

A phrase similar to Grahamt's is still used in parts of Yorkshire (try Barnsley) -
'don't tha thee-tha those as don't thee-tha thee'
- clear etiquette for the use of the familiar form.

Jade chennour  •  Link

I think Pepys work is stunning and the detail of the account of the great fire of London is great.Yes i may be a child but i know my good work when i see it, and he has given us all a personal account of the second greast shock Britain has seen in the time.I am on this sight as i am doing a project on the great fire of london and it has helped me significantly.I will tell my friends about this sight. Bye ......

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"So I went up to the lobby, where I saw the Speaker reading of the letter;"

Monck and his officers had decided on resistance to the Rump, and early this morning had sent a letter requiring the parliament to fill their vacancies by 17 February, and to dissolve by 6 May: A letter from his Excellencie the Lord General Monck, and the officers under his command, to the Parliament, in the name of themselves and the souldiers under them
Albemarle, George Monck, Duke of, 1608-1670.
London: Printed by John Macock, 1660. [full text]…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"After that [James Chetwind] went to his office in Chancery Lane, calling at the Rolls, where I saw the lawyers pleading."

The court of the Master of the Rolls (part of Chancery) was held at his official residence in Chancery Lane. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Here we stayed a great while, and at last meeting with a friend of his we went to the 3 Tun tavern"

In Guildhall Yard; Monck's headquarters, 9-10 February. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"met with him coming out of the chamber where he had been with the Mayor and Aldermen, but such a shout I never heard in all my life, crying out, “God bless your Excellence.”"

A special court had been summoned for 4 p.m. to deal with Monck's request for quarters. (Per L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Lock told us the substance of the letter that went from Monk to the Parliament"

The letter sent earlier this day after the council of officers. The summary which Pepys gives is accurate and substantial, but does not include Monck's declaration that he would oppose the admission of active royalists to any new parliament (a promise he never fulfilled). Matthew Lock was Monck's secretary. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"That Lambert and Vane are now in town, contrary to the vote of Parliament."

Both had been ordered out of town on 9 January. Vane had been allowed to stay until the 14th on grounds of ill health; Lambert had lain in hiding, but at the moment was under summons to appear before the Council on 13 February. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"That the late petition of the fanatique people presented by Barebone, for the imposing of an oath upon all sorts of people, was received by the House with thanks."

Praisegod Barebone presented a petition on 9 February on behalf of the 'well-affected' inhabitants of London, demanding the imposition of of an oath of abjuration of monarchy:…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the order that [Monck] had last night to go into the City and disarm them, and take away their charter;"

There appears to be no direct proof of any attempt against the charter itself, but parliament had asked the Council of State on the 10th to consider further measures against the city, and on the same day the city Recorderhad been summoned to the Council: (Per L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He told us that they [the Parliament] had sent Scott and Robinson to him [Monk] this afternoon, but he would not hear them. "

Thomas Scott and Luke Robinson were the two M.P.'s sent to attend Monck on his march towards London, and it was they who had introduced him to the House on the 6th. They were now sent by parliament with a conciliatory message. Ludlow (who had the news from Scott himself) says (ii.222) that Monck, after refusing at first to see them, gave them a frigid reception. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"so we went to the Star Tavern (Monk being then at Benson’s)"

Thomas Benson, vintner, kept the Bull's Head Tavern in the n. side of Cheapside, west of Laurence Lane. There Monck spent the early evening writing ketters and arranging billets for his men: HMC, Leyborne-Popham, p. 219; T, Gumble, Life of Gen. Monck (1671), p. 255. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"At one end of the street you would think there was a whole lane of fire, and so hot that we were fain to keep still on the further side merely for heat. "

This night's celebrations passed into history as the 'Burning of the Rump'.

Burning ye Rumps at Temple Barr / Hudibras

Plate 11: a riotous scene in the street beside Temple Bar, the western boundary of the City of London, with the mob hanging and burning representations of members of the Rump Parliament; an effigy of Hudibras himself is carried on a pole. 1726 Etching and engraving - After William Hogarth…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

All this nostalgia about "Guy Fawkes" Night is very previous. It was just bonfires (probably raking up the autumn leaves, and adding whatever needed to be burned from their homes and shops). Before Cromwell they burned the pope in effigy.

In the 1670's a pamphlet, The Burning of the Whore of Babylon, gives us a description of the first spontaneous pope-burning since the 1640's that was held during the celebrations commemorating the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot on November 5, 1673. The author reports the apprentices decided "to make a new addition (to a parade) with a large effigy of the whore of Babylon dressed up with all the popish ornaments."

The author described how the Pope "was carried not in a chair, but as a traytor's head upon the Bridge, fixed upon a pole in procession all about the Poultrey market place, attended with near an hundred torches, and more than a thousand people."…

They also had a special church service giving thanks for the deliverance of James I and VI.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"That there were many in the House that do press for new oaths to be put upon men; whereas we have more cause to be sorry for the many oaths that we have already taken and broken."

The taking of oaths was very important at the time:

I wonder if historian Conal Condren read of Pepys' disillusionment with the process before he wrote his "Argument and Authority: the Presupposition of Oaths and Offices" (Cambridge, New York: Cambridge UP, 2006), p. 61, where he examines the presuppositions of office in early modern England, and argues for the continuing significance of oaths associated with office well into the 18th century.

Condren notes that even philosophers, thought of for their apparent modernity of ideas, still thought largely in these terms. John Locke, in his Second Treatise on Government printed in 1689, states that the “Oaths of Allegiance and Fealty” taken by kings are “nothing but an Obedience according to law, which when he violates … he degrades himself into a private person.”16
16 John Locke, Two Treatises of Government,
ed. Peter Laslett (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988), 2.151.

I'm amazed ... John Locke wrote that after both Charles II and James II had broken about every promise and oath ever invented during his lifetime.

But I suppose they didn't have a better system ... and nor do we now. Except that the internet and video tape seems to better at document the breaking of oaths and the telling of whoppers.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"And that the Mayor and Aldermen had offered him their own houses for himself and his officers; and that his soldiers would lack for nothing."

L&M: The official minute of the meeting simply records the aldermen's agreement to provide quarters in inns and other public houses: LRO, Repert. 67, f.43r. Meantime, the soldiers were drawn up in Finsbury Fields, waiting.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

KMA mentions Milton, and I am disappointed to report that Pepys never mentions knowing him or reading his works.

I was also surprised by this:

"Most famous for writing “Paradise Lost,” John Milton is credited with adding 630 words to the English language, including such gems as “complacency,” “debauchery,” and “dismissive.” William Shakespeare comes in second place, originating just under 500 English words." --
Source: Grammarly

Pepys didn't use those words in the Diary either, so the gems took their time spreading.

LKvM  •  Link

"The same distinction in second person pronouns exists in modern French and German with tu/vous and du/sie."
The informal second person plural in German is "ihr," not "sie," which means either "she" or "they."*
To become the formal second person plural "you," "sie" must be capitalized, i.e., "Sie," and it is this "Sie" that is the formal German counterpart of Fr. second person plural "vous."
In English we now use "you" (the old second person plural) as both the second person singular AND the second person plural. The only other second person plural forms that I know of in English nowadays are "y'all" in the American South and "youse" in some Italian-immigrant neighborhoods (in movies and on TV, at any rate).
* Re German "sie," "Sie," and "ihr," to make matters even more confusing, "ihr" is not only the informal second person plural, but also "her."

Carol D  •  Link

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which made Big Ben and America's Liberty Bell (and, Glyn tells us, the Bow Bells) was still operating until recently. You can look up Whitechapel Bell Foundry on Wikipedia.

There are moves now to save it / reopen it.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Not everybody had such a good evening. Praise-God Barebone, the phanatick who had petitioned Parliament to suggest that everyone take an anti-monarchy oath, "had but little thanks of the
boyes, for they broke all his glass windows that belonged to the front of his house", Mercurius Politicus informs us. Praise-God, who looks like such a happy little leprechaun in engravings, was everything the rump-roasters disliked - being on the militia committee can't have made him very popular, for instance - and should have invested in shutters. 'Twas not the first time his premises got trashed and he must have contemplated the bonfires with more than a little nervousness.

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

"... and so we went to the Star Tavern (Monk being then at Benson’s), where we dined and I wrote a letter to my Lord from thence"

D. Menchaca (first reading) may have been correct that mail went out from taverns - else where does Samuel obtain paper, ink and a pen unless he carries his writing supplies with him? Not in his pocket. Pocket, which derives from 'pouch' would have been a pouch secured under his outer clothes. An image flashed by my brain (just finished my morning draught of coffee) of Samuel carrying the briefcase of the times, a bowler, and umbrella as he meanders around the City.

Fougasse  •  Link

Sam and his pockets:

I recently read a fascinating book, 'The Pocket: A Hidden History of Women's Lives, 1660-1900, by Barbara Burman & Ariane Fennetaux.…

While the focus is primarily on the clothes and accessories of women, it does make clear that writing materials were carried in pockets - the practice is described in ‘Pamela’ by Richardson, and ink spots on surviving pockets bear this out. Special travelling writing sets survive from the 18thc (one is pictured in the book) so it might be feasible that Sam was carrying writing material with him in his pockets at that earlier date. A footnote in the book mentions a ‘pocket ink-horne’ (belonging to a woman) at the time of the civil war.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

We're still in shock when remembrancing the Roasting. Can one over-emphasize the extra-ordinariness of the event? Venetian ambassador Giavarina, though hailing from the land of Carnival, does preface his weekly report of February 27 (new style, at…): "I have now to relate the sequel [to his previous dispatch], which is true though it seems impossible (...) No one who did not see it with his own eyes would credit the extravagant things that this fickle climate produces every day and it is hard to give full credence to the reports one receives especially as they refer to matters of extreme importance."

Interestingly the Gazette de France will, in a few days, publish an account of Monk's arrival and subsequent business, with no mention whatsoever of such unruliness in the streets. We infer that the French are so happy under the Sun King, that 'twould be un-Christian to spoil their moode with tales of heretick subversion.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

One would expect a torrent of ballads to have been inspired by the lurid scenes. Surprisingly, the English Broadside Ballad Archive has only half a dozen on offer, that are from 1660 and contain the word "rump". Two of them allude to the cooking thereof:

Thats a thing that would please the Butchers and Cooks,
To see this stinking Rump quite off the hooks,
And Jack-Daw go to pot with the Rooks.

... in "Bumm-Foder, or Waste-Paper Proper to wipe the Nation's RUMP with, or your Own" […], which makes clear that "kiss my Parliment" (that so amused us at…) was only the most demure variation on the theme. This ain't by far the spiciest bit of the song, and Sam would probably have heard them but no way he'd tell us. Also:

A Tail which was eaten up almost of the Pox,
That stunck more like Carion, than ever did Fox,
Or that which was rosted of late at the Stocks.

... in "The Rump serv'd in with a Grand Sallet [salad, at…]. So it seems the rumps, not only being roasted, were somehow roasted at the stocks, where criminals normally be displayed. Ingenious!

Those two and a couple of slightly less scatological others, "Arsy Versy: Or, The Second Martyrdom of the RUMP" […, with a stanza for Praise-God too] and "Chipps of the Old Block; or, Hercules Cleansing the Augaean Stable" […] still make for excellent tavern-rousing and tankard-banging.

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