Sunday 19 February 1659/60

(Lord’s day).

Early in the morning I set my books that I brought home yesterday up in order in my study. Thence forth to Mr. Harper’s to drink a draft of purle, whither by appointment Monsieur L’Impertinent, who did intend too upon my desire to go along with me to St. Bartholomew’s, to hear one Mr. Sparks, but it raining very hard we went to Mr. Gunning’s and heard an excellent sermon, and speaking of the character that the Scripture gives of Ann the mother of the blessed Virgin, he did there speak largely in commendation of widowhood, and not as we do to marry two or three wives or husbands, one after another. Here I met with Mr. Moore, and went home with him to dinner, where he told me the discourse that happened between the secluded members and the members of the House, before Monk last Friday. How the secluded said, that they did not intend by coming in to express revenge upon these men, but only to meet and dissolve themselves, and only to issue writs for a free Parliament.

He told me how Haselrigge was afraid to have the candle carried before him, for fear that the people seeing him, would do him hurt; and that he is afraid to appear in the City. That there is great likelihood that the secluded members will come in, and so Mr. Crew and my Lord are likely to be great men, at which I was very glad.

After diner there was many secluded members come in to Mr. Crew, which, it being the Lord’s day, did make Mr. Moore believe that there was something extraordinary in the business.

Hence home and brought my wife to Mr. Mossum’s to hear him, and indeed he made a very good sermon, but only too eloquent for a pulpit. Here Mr. L’Impertinent helped me to a seat. After sermon to my father’s; and fell in discourse concerning our going to Cambridge the next week with my brother John.

To Mrs. Turner where her brother, Mr. Edward Pepys, was there, and I sat a great while talking of public business of the times with him. So to supper to my Father’s, all supper talking of John’s going to Cambridge.

So home, and it raining my wife got my mother’s French mantle and my brother John’s hat, and so we went all along home and to bed.

40 Annotations

First Reading

Keith Wright  •  Link

No use to consult a Biblical Concordance for Ann or St. Anne. The Chambers guide to "Saints" by Alison Jones says that this "immensely popular figure . . . must certainly have existed," but "Absolutely no historical details are known about the grandmother of Christ, not even a name." A cult devoted to her was in evidence by the 6th century, based on the apocryphal 2nd-century "Infancy Gospel of James."

In old age, Anna [sic] laments her childlessness and her supposed widowhood; her husband Joachim is actually fasting 40 days in the desert. She prays to be given a child in old age, like Abraham and Sarah, and conceives Mary through the agency of the Lord---a prefiguration of the Virgin Birth---though luckily Joachim reappears, and acquiesces in this sign of heavenly favor.

Whew! How Mr. Gunning cited the King James in support of any of this is a nice conundrum; this tale is not part of the standard Apocrypha. (The curious can find it in "The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version," from HarperCollins.) That Gunning speaks eloquently against marrying two or three wives is droll, in light of . . .

Keith Wright  •  Link

Sorry, memory plays funny tricks. Let's just say that Pepys seems to remember Gunning's "Scriptural" advisory concerning serial matrimony.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Anna in the Bible

Latham & Matthews cite Luke 2:25 and following. They say she's the holy woman, a widow, who received Jesus, an infant, at the Temple and who is traditionally thought to be Mary's mother.

Peregrina  •  Link

Mr. Mossum, whose sermon Sam thought too eloquent for the pulpit:
In all probability Robert Mossom, author of several sermons preached at London and printed about the time of the Restoration, who was in 1666 made Bishop of Derry. In title page of his "Apology in behalf of the Sequestered Clergy (1660),he calls himself "Preacher of God's word at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, London."
Source:Diary of Samuel Pepys,deciphered by Rev. J. Smith from the original MS, with notes by Richard Lord Braybrooke.(A 1924 edition published by J.M. Dent.)

steve h  •  Link

remarriage and divorce

This seemingly innocent subject was at the heart of dispute about the future of the Church of England. In 1643, John Milton wrote a radical tract addressed to Parliament and the Westminster Assembly of Divines. It was called "The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce." His argument was that the Church should no longer make a sacrament of matrimony and should allow for civil marriage and divorce, getting rid of the residues of Roman Catholic canon law. (Not surprisningly, Milton was interested in getting a divorce for himself after a hasty marriage to a Royalist family!)
Other Puritans argued for wider latitude for divorce, but not so radically. Divorce in cases of adultery with the the right to remarriage was allowed for the innocent party. But it was not a civil matter.
Of course, the C of E was founded in order to arrange a divorce. Not until 1857 was a civil divorce court established in England. And only in 2002, did the bishops vote to allow divorced people to marry in church! American 17th century Puritans allowed for divorce, but it was uncommon.

Is the sermon perhaps a reaction to more freethinking Puritan views on divorce and the role of the church?

Milton's tract is available at:…

Keith Wright  •  Link

Thanks, D.Q.! The exact verses about "Anna, a prophetess . . . of a great age" are Luke 2:36-38---where it would have been pertinent to mention her being the mother of Mary, information not given there.

The Chambers book continues: "There is a strong resemblance to the Old Testament story of Hannah and the birth of Samuel (1 Samuel 1), and the identity in Hebrew of 'Anne' and 'Hannah' (both meaning 'grace') suggests that this may be the source of the [mother of Mary] legend and not merely an illuminating parallel."

Not for the first time in making a point in a sermon, amplification assists an unforthcoming text.

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

Anna the Prophetess = St Anna, mother of the Virgin?

This is fascinating - I had never heard of this identification anywhere else. And don't think much of it.

1) When Mary visits Elizabeth, also in the Gospel of Luke, it is carefully mentioned that Elizabeth was her cousin. But no word of any relationship to the widow Anna in the Temple.

2) If the widow Anna in the Temple is 88 years old and was married for only seven years, as Luke 2:36 states, this would make Mary, as her child, far, far too old.

I don't want to argue with Mr Wright or his reference, but the general teaching of the Church is that Mary was conceived by her parents in the normal manner (except that they were aged and had been barren heretofore). The Orthodox Church even has a traditional icon of Joachim and Anna gently embracing, signifying this fact.

Here is the text of the apocryphal Gospel; you will see that Joachim and Anna are told that they will conceive, not that Anna has conceived miraculously in Joachim's absence.…

Pauline  •  Link

"Anna, or Anne, St..." from 1906 Chambers's Encyclopaedia
"...according to tradition, wife of St. Joachim, and mother, after twenty years of barrenness, of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. The first to mention her is St. Epiphanius, in the 4th century; but toward the 8th, we find her all but universally held in honour. Her body is said to have been transferred from Palestine to Constantinople in 710; and since that time many churches have boasted of relics of her person, no less than three having equally good claims of having her head. She is the patron -saint of carpenters. Her festival falls on the 26th of July; with the Greeks, on the 9th of December. St Anne d'Auray, in Brittany, is a famous place of pilgrimage; and St Anne de Beaupre, near Quebec, is its counterpart in the New World."

And, Keith, your memory lapse is drollishly "nonspoiler."

Fred Coleman  •  Link

Steve H is welcome to believe that "the C of E was founded in order to arrange a divorce". But to preface this glib and oversimplified statement with "of course", gives one the impression that this is the accepted truth of the matter. This is not the place to refute such an opinion. Sufficient to say that there are many church historians and ecclesiastical scholars who would not agree with this origination of the Church of England.

Andy Thomas  •  Link

Warm beer with herbs...nowadays in France you can get "Picon Bière” which is a highly alcoholic supplement to charge a glass with (say a standard English spirit measure)and then pour the beer in. Picon - there was apparently a Colonel Picon in the 19th century who marketed the stuff - is full of herbs and spices, it changes the character of the beer completely, for the better. Look for it near the Dubonnet at the Supermarché in any beer drinking area of France (I found it in Strasbourg). In nightclubs order a “Picon Zinc”, it’s ready mixed.

Keith P  •  Link

And who might Haselrigge be - and why so afraid?

First time annotater - but have been with you all the way since 1 January 1659/1660! Intriguing, educational,almost like living in a dual time-zone. Thanks for the website!

Keith P  •  Link

Sorry! should have searched beforehand -Sir Arthur H. mentioned 13th and 19th January! Feasting with Sam.

I now know he had something to do with the white slave trade, deporting prisoners to the new world -
but where does the candle fit in? And who would carry it?

Mike Bursell  •  Link

The practice of adding different herbs to beer was widespread until the 19th century, I believe. I know of at least one brewery (nice a local to me!) that makes a beer called "Umbel Ale", which has a coriander base, and is a good curry accompaniment. My wife, who's not a bitter drinker, also likes it on occasion - it's very different to normal bitter. The brewery, for the interested, is Nethergate, in Clare (Suffolk). They also do some other great beers, including the powerful and award-winning porter "Old Growler".

Roger Miller  •  Link

Haselrigge and the candle

Haselrigge has good reason to be anxious. We've seen how men like Montagu are sufficiently flexible in their allegiances to adapt to the changing circumstances. This is not going to be possible for Haselrigge.

The secluded members are meeting at night. Haselrigge understandably prefers to be in the shadows away from the candle where he will not attract the attention of people who, now that his power has gone, might seek to repay the brutality he has dealt out to others.

Glyn  •  Link

Meeting "between the secluded members and the members of the House" (with)Monck 2 days earlier.

To recap, the secluded (or excluded) members were the majority of MPs who were expelled from Parliament many years earlier, leaving the more radical and republican MPs in control. Now Monck has brought them back; and the existing members are apprehensive that they'll use their majority to persecute them. But they are instead reassuring them that they'll only come back into Parliament simply to arrange for new national elections.

After all, why not? They can afford to be magnaminous because they know that the tide of affairs is flowing their and the king's way. Incidentally, how many years ago were the last elections?

Glyn  •  Link

Some of the streets have lighting but not many. So Pepys, Haselrigge etc. always took servants with lanterns or candles with them to light the way in front of them as they go through the dark winter streets. And it would have been very dark indeed: London in February; no street lighting; narrow streets; building with roofs jutting out a long way so hiding the stars and moon.

Haselrigge is just scared that if someone sees him in the darkness, they'll chuck a brick at him.

Alan  •  Link

Heating and blending ale and beer with herbs and fruit and even whipped with eggs (sometimes called a flip) was a common winter habit in both the UK and also North America before, say, 1850. Each house would base its popularity in part on special recipes.

Laura K  •  Link

St. Anne in art

Many artists have depicted St. Anne as Mary's mother and hint at an immaculate conception and virgin birth for Mary. Whether or not this is backed up by scripture, I have no idea (nor do I care, personally), but it was at least thought to be a biblical reference at various points in history.

Laura K.

Mary  •  Link

Seventeenth Century street lighting

According to Picard (op.cit.) it had been mandatory since the fourteenth century for householders in the city to hang out a candle or a lantern between the hours of dusk and nine o'clock during the winter months, but the rule seems to have been regularly ignored.

Link-boys with torches were regularly employed to light the traveller's way. In 1667 the Grand Duke of Tuscany commented favourably on London's well-lit streets; one wonders whether the disruption brought about by the Great Fire inspired a recognition of the need for better lighting?

language hat  •  Link

"Picon": thanks, Andy!
This solves a mystery that's been bothering me for years: in Andrei Bely's (wonderful) novel Petersburg, a character is asked if he wants "picon" in his drink, and I couldn't find it in either Russian or English dictionaries. Now I know!

Here's the OED entry for "purl"; I particularly like the alternate name "dog's nose":

a Formerly, A liquor made by infusing wormwood or other bitter herbs in ale or beer. "Purl-royal", a similar infusion of wormwood in wine.
b Later, A mixture of hot beer with gin (also called "dog's nose"), sometimes also with ginger and sugar: in repute as a morning draught.

1659-60 Pepys Diary 19 Feb, To Mr. Harper's to drink a draft of Purle. 1707 Mortimer Husb. (1721) II. 341 As grateful to the Stomach as the best Purl-Royal, or Wormwood Wine. 1712 Addison Spect. No. 317 Friday.. Twelve a-Clock... Drank a Glass of Purl to recover Appetite. 1764 Lloyd Fam. Epist., O Purl! all hail... Mum, Porter, Stingo, Mild and Stale. 1865 Dickens Mut. Fr. i. vi, For, it would seem that Purl must always be taken early. 1903 Licensed Traders' Dict., Purl, hot beer with a glass of gin in it, re-christened 'dog nose' in later days.

Nix  •  Link

Actually, I believe the split between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was technically an annulment rather than a divorce -- Henry's contention was that the marriage was invalid because she had previously been married to his brother, and that the supposed papal dispensation that permitted the marriage was illegal.

Glyn  •  Link

" commendation of widowhood, and not as we do to marry two or three wives or husbands, one after another"

So he wasn't preaching for or against divorce, but instead saying that if your husband dies then you should remain faithful to his memory and should not remarry. It's true that there weren't divorces for people in those days, but marriages probably didn't last any longer then than they do now. Women died in childbirth: men and women died from disease. So most people would have married 2 or 3 times in their life: perhaps the preacher thought that this was somehow wrong.

Ali  •  Link

Actually, the immaculate conception refers to Mary's conception, not Jesus'. She had to be free of original sin to be pure enough to carry Jesus. But *her* parents would have been able to get her started in the normal way.

Susanna  •  Link

The Long Parliament

The Parliament that has now been called back was first elected in 1640. (It is known to historians as the "Long Parliament.") The Rump was created after Col. Pride's "purge" of its royalist members in December 1648, leaving only the hardcore revolutionaries (if I may use such a term), and paving the way for the execution of Charles I. Oliver Cromwell had later become disgusted with the Rump and sent it home. He also called elections for a couple of other parliaments in the 1650s, but he found those no more agreeable than the Rump, and sent them home as well. The Rump had reasserted itself after his death and the fall of his son, Richard.

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

Laura K. wrote

"Many artists have depicted St. Anne as Mary’s mother and hint at an immaculate conception and virgin birth for Mary.”

There’s some backup for this (but note that it’s identified as an error) in the Catholic Encyclopedia passage following:

“According to Epiphanius it was maintained even in the fourth century by some enthusiasts that St. Anne conceived without the action of man. This error was revived in the West in the fifteenth century. (Anna concepit per osculum Joachimi.) In 1677 the Holy See condemned the error of Imperiali who taught that St. Anne in the conception and birth of Mary remained virgin (Benedict XIV, De Festis, II, 9).”

This is a useful link for looking up various things. Catholic Encyclopedia:

Jim  •  Link

Interesting that Purl contained wormwood, the active ingredient in Absinthe. Wormwood is mildly hallucinogenic, due to the presence of the chemical thujone. Absinthe is illegal in the USA, but I have heard that it is legal in UK. More information on wormwood, including recipes from Pepys day:…

Bob T  •  Link

Purl, which was Pepys" morning draft, started in the Middle Ages as a mixture of wormwood, gentian, calamus, horseradish, and other bitter herbs which had been soaked in ale for a couple of months. It's purpose was more medicinal than nutritional. By Dickens time it had changed to hot ale, gin and spices.

Nigel Pond  •  Link

Re: The Immaculate Conception

There has been a debate raging on this very subject on the letters page of The Times, for the past week or so (as at May 19th, 2003).

Second Reading

arby  •  Link

Welcome back, Annotations! Thank you, Phil, I'm looking forward to years with Sam, as well as with many old and new friends in the annotations.

Dave Bonta  •  Link

It turns out that the psychoactivite properties of thujone have been much exaggerated. See

In any case, according to British beer historian Martyn Cornell on his blog Zythophile, a milder form of wormwood was used in purl. He is, however, describing the later form of purl (see language hat's quote from the OED above):
"Purl was ale heated until almost boiling (never actually boil any hopped drink, the bitterness is likely to be ramped up to an extremely unpleasant level) with a shot of gin, generally in the ration of 10 parts ale to one part spirits, and flavourings of the maker’s choice: usually something bitter, such as Roman wormwood (less powerful than “standard” wormwood), with perhaps orange peel, ginger and, by the middle of the 19th century at least, sugar."…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Whither Anne, Mary's mother?

"The Gospel of James, also known as the Infancy Gospel of James or the Protoevangelium of James. " There's an "External link" to the text at the bottom of this article.…

Irishyankee  •  Link

Wormwood products (Absinthe) have been legal in the U.S. since 2007.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Luke 2:36-38 - King James Version (KJV)

36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.…

For the legend of her having been the mother of Mary see the posts above of Keith Wright et al.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Moore...told me the discourse that happened between the secluded members and the members of the House, before Monk last Friday. How the secluded said, that they did not intend by coming in to express revenge upon these men, but only to meet and dissolve themselves, and only to issue writs for a free Parliament."

L&M: Presumably Moore got his news from John Crew, who attended the meeting. The conference failed to reach agreement.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Diary of Ralph Josselin (Private Collection)
19.2.1660 (Sunday 19 February 1660)
document 70012305
Feb: 19. God good to me and all mine in outward mercies, the lord in mercy accept us delight in us, and do us good, the spring cheerful, my business much, god holds my head and heart I praise him, that I am not overset, god was good to me in the Sabbath, the rest of it a great mercy to my weary body, oh let the word be so to my soul, my heart sucked much comfort out of it for which I bless and praise my god,

I observe a providence. a Man I was hiring one Peakes son, declined me to go to a Quaker I know not his motives, there he fell sick of the smallpox, and his mother keep[ing] him came home and died, the lord watch over me and mine for good.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... he did there speak largely in commendation of widowhood, and not as we do to marry two or three wives or husbands, one after another."

Why did the former annotators go off on divorce? The sermon seems to be asking for respect and support for widows, and after three Civil Wars and famine, there were thousands of them in the country. I read somewhere that about 1/10th of the men in the UK died during the period 1643 and 1660.

And then Glyn says, "So most people would have married 2 or 3 times in their life: ..." NO: the women frequently died in childbirth during the first 10 years of their relationship, and the widowers remarried another wealthy heiress of widow to take control of their money and inheritances. But if the man died first, the money and property went to the sons, unless a lawyer somewhere had done some fancy footwork.

Some woman who were left money chose widowhood over remarriage to avoid this fate. I'm thinking of a canny businesswoman like Anne St.John Lee Wilmot, Countess of Rochester, who spent the Interregnum persuading Parliament not to take the Lee and Wilmot properties, while smuggling information for the Sealed Knot to Charles II (i.e. she was on both sides at the same time).

Poor country people often didn't bother to get married. If you had no property, it didn't really matter, no one cared, and clergymen were expensive. By the end of the 17th century this was much less true. But impressed 'husbands' left 'widows' and children none the less. This must have been a big concern to the clergy and parish poor law administrators nationwide.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


John Evelyn's Diary – he and Mary Browne Evelyn live at Saye's Court, Deptford.


10 February, 1660.
Now were the gates of the city broken down by Gen. Monck; which exceedingly exasperated the city, the soldiers marching up and down as triumphing over it, and all the old army of the fanatics put out of their posts and sent out of town.


Gen. George Monck…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

SORRY ... posted the latter in the wrong day!

Third Reading

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

What was the attire for venturing out into rainy weather in those days? Surly not the umbrella, but a (hooded?) woolen cloak or a hoodless cloak and, I assume a wide brimmed, hat?

Would the cloak be made from wool with the natural oils retained for water repellence?

Ensign Tom  •  Link

Ahoy, Nate! If you do a search for the word "tarpaulin" you will find several references in the Diary to clashes between Gentleman Captains and Tarpaulins in the Restoration Navy. As you might guess, Gentleman Captains tended to be foppish courtiers who knew little to nothing of the sea or nautical matters, but liked the idea of striking a heroic pose on the quarterdeck of one of King Charles' men-of-war while sailing into battle. Or perhaps not sailing into battle if they could find a plausible reason to avoid it.

Tarpaulins, on the other hand, was the pejorative term given to those experienced seamen who had worked their way up through the lower deck ranks and possessed the knowledge and hands-on experience to serve as a sea officer or even command a vessel. However, because of their lack of pedigree and patronage, they were often scorned and their talents left to wither on the vine, so to speak.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that, in Pepys' time, there was a waterproof or water-resistant clothing material called tarpaulin, which usually consisted of tarred or heavily oiled canvas, and was worn by sailors at sea.

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