Friday 2 March 1659/60

This morning I went early to my Lord at Mr. Crew’s, where I spoke to him. Here were a great many come to see him, as Secretary Thurlow who is now by this Parliament chosen again Secretary of State. There were also General Monk’s trumpeters to give my Lord a sound of their trumpets this morning. Thence I went to my office, and wrote a letter to Mr. Downing about the business of his house. Then going home, I met with Mr. Eglin, Chetwind, and Thomas, who took me to the Leg [another tavern] in King’s street, where we had two brave dishes of meat, one of fish, a carp and some other fishes, as well done as ever I ate any. After that to the Swan tavern, where we drank a quart or two of wine, and so parted. So I to Mrs. Jem and took Mr. Moore with me (who I met in the street), and there I met W. Howe and Sheply. After that to Westminster Hall, where I saw Sir G. Booth at liberty. This day I hear the City militia is put into good posture, and it is thought that Monk will not be able to do any great matter against them now, if he have a mind.

I understand that my Lord Lambert did yesterday send a letter to the Council, and that to-night he is to come and appear to the Council in person. Sir Arthur Haselrigge do not yet appear in the House. Great is the talk of a single person, and that it would now be Charles, George, or Richard again.1 For the last of which, my Lord St. John is said to speak high. Great also is the dispute now in the House, in whose name the writs shall run for the next Parliament; and it is said that Mr. Prin, in open House, said, “In King Charles’s.”

From Westminster Hall home. Spent the evening in my study, and so after some talk with my wife, then to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

David Bell  •  Link

"A quart or two of wine"...
For those not familiar with old British measures, a quart is two pints. This sounds like the four of them had roughly a pint each, which seems usual for Sam and his friends.

Roger Miller  •  Link

"Sir G Booth" is Sir George Booth of Cheshire, who was originally on the parliamentary side but became disillusioned and led an insurrection in 1659. Defeated by Lambert at Winnington, his property was sequestered and he was imprisoned in the Tower.

This information came from:…

Pepys mentioned on 21st February that Booth's case was to be considered by Parliament and he is now noting that he has been freed.

David Quidnunc  •  Link


THURLOW -- John Thurloe, secretary of state during the Interregnum and head of one of the best spying operations in the world at that time. George Downing, Pepys's boss at the Exchequer and a lower-ranking spymaster, had worked with Thurloe, as had Samuel Morland, a spy and, formerly, tutor of Pepys at Magdalene.

EGLIN -- Samuel Edlin was the man who blushed when the bawdy story was told about him on 18 Feb. He graduated from Magdalene in 1657, four years after Pepys.…

CHETWIND -- James Chetwynd, a Chancery clerk we saw with clerks Will Symonds (the brother of Chetwind's wife) and John Gregory on 20 Feb.…

THOMAS -- A government clerk, first name unknown; his second of three appearances in the diary, all this year.

HOWE, Will -- junior to Pepys in Mountagu's service. He lives at Mountagu's Whitehall lodgings. This is the first time he appears (perhaps he was with Mountagu in Hinchingbrooke). He traveled with Mountagu to the Baltic in 1659. After the diary years, he becomes a judge in the Barbados.
-- Robert Latham's Companion volume (10) to the diary.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Thanks for the "People" entries, David!

They're proving an invaluable reminder for me (and others, I'm sure) of the various roles of the many players in this great drama.

steve h  •  Link


Carp is the most common "farmed fish" of its day. It is native to China, where it has been cultivated since the 7th Century BC. Carps were brought to ancient Rome, but were spread throughout Europe and to England by monks between the 13th and 16th centuries. (They supplied monasteries with food for Fridays.) Carp is particularly easy to raise, as it tolerates less than perfect water conditions, eats almost anything, and grows quickly. Here's a contemporary recipe for stewing carp:…

Presumably, Pepys ate on this date soemthing more appetizing.

Mary  •  Link

The city militia

L & M note that 10,000 foot had been raised, the commissions being filled up with royalists. A susbtantial force.

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

"Charles, George, or Richard again"

"George" presumably would be General Monk.

mark  •  Link

"A quart or two of wine" and conducts more business after that. Fantastic stamina. Were Londoners already drinking coffee by this time, or was that fashion still more in the future?

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

Sorry about that!

I somehow missed note 1 which identified George Monk in "Charles, George, or Richard again."

As for the question as to whether Londoners were drinking coffee yet, the answer seems to be, "yes, if they had money." We have a note on coffee at…


which I guess we should get in the habit of checking.

Judy  •  Link

Coffee: introduced into europe during 15thC and the first coffeehouse opened in London in 1652. Charles II described them as "seminaries of sedition." Don't think he was that keen on them!

j.simmons  •  Link

Coffee Houses and Party Politics...
With the advent of Tories and Whigs, coffee houses became popular gathering spots for one faction or another. Very convenient spots to sit around and plan your next move, all under the guise of drinking an innocent cup of coffee. Am sure there is a site that can name the coffee houses and their party affiliations.

Aside: When did drinking hot chocolate come into fashion?

David Quidnunc  •  Link


J. Simmons -- the English knew about chocolate since at least 1652, when a translation of a Spanish text about chocolate was printed in London. They must've had chocolate by then, or there would be no use for the book or pamphlet or whatever it was.

I put up a link to that web page in the handy dandy background section (there's a background page for coffee, too, in case anybody has something to add). Go here for the link:…

Susanna  •  Link

Coffee Houses

Here's an interesting website on the history of London's coffee houses, with descriptions of some of their specific clienteles (in the decades after the diary, for example, the Tories would meet at the Cocoa-Tree, and the Whigs at the St. James, both in Westminster, the home of many a politically-oriented coffee house):…

Emilio  •  Link

Here's (my) annotation in the Background section, featuring Macaulay writing on the coffee house in 17th century politics. In addition to a nice picture of the atmosphere and usefulness of coffee houses, if you follow the link he gives a long description of various London coffee houses, including Will's in Covent Garden:…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I understand that my Lord Lambert did yesterday send a letter to the Council, and that to-night he is to come and appear to the Council in person."

The letter was read in parliament on the 1st… Lambert did not obey the order to appear on the 2nd. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir Arthur Haselrigge do not yet appear in the House."

He and a few republicans of the old guard had seceded on 21 Febtuary. They were said to be secretly in touch with Lambert. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Great also is the dispute now in the House, in whose name the writs shall run for the next Parliament; and it is said that Mr. Prin, in open House, said, “In King Charles’s.”"

These rumours persisted for some time. A pamphlet published about a month earlier ( The pedigree and descent of his excellency General Monck ) had attempted to prove Monck was of the blood royal. (L&M)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Great also is the dispute now in the House, in whose name the writs shall run for the next Parliament; and it is said that Mr. Prin, in open House, said, “In King Charles’s.”"

L&M: Prynne was in charge of the bill for the dissolution and on 1 March argued that this was the only valid form of summons and that the Long Parliament had been dissolved by the death of the King in 1649. He used landguage just as bold on the same issue a week later: T. Carte, op. cit., ii. 312-13.

Third Reading

Ensign Tom  •  Link

“… and so after some talk with my wife, then to bed.”

I sometimes wonder about Pepys’ bilingual household and how much French and English were spoken within its walls. No doubt an eavesdropper would have heard predominantly English conversations in the Pepys’ home, yet both Sam and his wife Elizabeth spoke French as well. In Elizabeth’s case, it was the result of having been born in Paris of French Huguenot parents. As for Pepys, the source of his French is unknown though biographer Claire Tomalin speculates that the Pepys family may have taken in a French-speaking lodger when Sam and his brother Tom were youths living at home.

In any case, my guess is that more French was spoken in the Pepys home than we might think. For example, whenever Elizabeth lost her temper with Sam for his persistent wandering eyes and hands in the company of other women, I can easily imagine her lapsing into her native French as she vented her anger towards him. Similarly, after the argument was over and husband and wife were on their way to becoming “good friends” again, I can hear Sam murmuring to Elizabeth in French as he consoled and comforted her. There must also have been occasions when Sam and Elizabeth spoke French in front of their servants when they wished to convey information to each other confidentially.

Sam’s seems to have been reasonably fluent in French. He knew “good … French” and “the worst French” when he heard them, as stated in his entries for May 15 and August 24, 1660 respectively, and was also able to enjoy a “French comedy” with Elizabeth, as he records on August 30, 1661. Almost eight years later, on May 5, 1669, he is pleased to note that during a dinner at the Spanish ambassador’s residence he was able to do more than hold his own in the table conversation, “and I made much use of my French and Spanish here, to my great content.” I don’t think it’s too much to conclude that Pepys was able to maintain his French in good working order through daily conversations with his wife.

Elizabeth, however, longed for more opportunities to speak her native language as suggested by her request for a “French mayde” on August 23, 1664, which Sam attributes to his wife having spent the previous day with her mother. Sam grudgingly agreed to the idea, as long as the young woman was qualified and a Protestant.

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