Saturday 17 March 1659/60

This morning bade adieu in bed to the company of my wife. We rose and I gave my wife some money to serve her for a time, and what papers of consequence I had. Then I left her to get her ready and went to my Lord’s with my boy Eliezer to my Lord’s lodging at Mr. Crew’s. Here I had much business with my Lord, and papers, great store, given me by my Lord to dispose of as of the rest. After that, with Mr. Moore home to my house and took my wife by coach to the Chequer in Holborn, where, after we had drank, &c., she took coach and so farewell. I staid behind with Tom Alcock and Mr. Anderson, my old chamber fellow at Cambridge his brother, and drank with them there, who were come to me thither about one that would have a place at sea. Thence with Mr. Hawly to dinner at Mr. Crew’s. After dinner to my own house, where all things were put up into the dining-room and locked up, and my wife took the keys along with her. This day, in the presence of Mr. Moore (who made it) and Mr. Hawly, I did before I went out with my wife, seal my will to her, whereby I did give her all that I have in the world, but my books which I give to my brother John, excepting only French books, which my wife is to have.

In the evening at the Admiralty, I met my Lord there and got a commission for Williamson to be captain of the Harp frigate, and afterwards went by coach taking Mr. Crips with me to my Lord and got him to sign it at table as he was at supper. And so to Westminster back again with him with me, who had a great desire to go to sea and my Lord told me that he would do him any favour. So I went home with him to his mother’s house by me in Axe Yard, where I found Dr. Clodius’s wife and sat there talking and hearing of old Mrs. Crisp playing of her old lessons upon the harpsichon till it was time to go to bed. After that to bed, and Laud, her son lay with me in the best chamber in her house, which indeed was finely furnished.

30 Annotations

First Reading

Keith Wright  •  Link

Perhaps this entry was later carefully written up from notes made at the time; but in the part which concludes with the sealing of Pepys’s will there is a sobriety of tone, followed by an exactness of circumstantial detail (old Mrs. Crisp playing "her old lessons" on the harpsichon), which suggests the extra attention paid to an event far removed from the daily routine. On the eve of departure, even the most sanguine traveler may tacitly sense the possibility that this might prove a voyage from which one will not return.

mw  •  Link

For me, interesting details and important events are best noted at the time. One may be unable to write in which case notes are a possible solution however notes and subsequent writing up have become an anathema to me. I may well comment on an event again but rarely am I able to capture that detail or the correct event intensity that is part of daily diary writing. Also knowing the value of the daily write up I often cannot be bothered with a later attempt.

Certainly the second paragraph adds to the gravitas of Sam's departure and the relevence of his will in that process. Keith, granted Sam's use of shorthand and the precise detail I suspect this was written at or very near the time.

What is of growing interest is the development of Sam's literary style.

Mary  •  Link

Sam and Elizabeth

Today's entry clearly shows Sam's real affection for Elizabeth. Comment has been made upon the fact that he always calls her 'my wife' in the Diaries, never by name, but this would have been normal at this time (indeed well into the 19th Century in certain milieux) and implies no necessary distance or coolness. Married couples regularly addressed one another as 'Husband' or 'Wife'(or Mr./Mrs., Sir/Madam, My Lord/My Lady/Lady)except in their most intimate moments.

Sam probably spins in his grave every day as we make free with his Christian name.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

I'm puzzled by the mention of a "Mr. Crips" and a "Mrs. Crisps" in the space of 5 lines within a single diary entry. Is this possibly a transposition of characters that occurred while Sam was drafting the entry or perhaps one that crept in when the shorthand was translated? Are they related in any way or is this simple coincidence?

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Written then or later?
My guess is that Mr Pepys wrote this entry this day or the next. He gets things out of order, which implies to me that he was writing "off the cuff."

For instance, he first writes about saying farewell to his wife, and then only later mentions that they had locked up their belongings and Mrs. Pepys had taken the key before she left. And *then* he describes the making of the will, which also happened before his wife left.

I agree that tone is more sober, and affecting, than we're used to. That might be another hint that he wrote this while he was still in the grip of the emotions of this farewell.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"This morning bade adieu in bed to the company of my wife."

I bet he did, I bet he did!!

But seriously, folks, I agree with the points above that this entry stands out both for its affection expressed to Elizabeth and for its somberness of tone. A very affecting entry, one that brings us even closer to the man behind the diary.

And Keith W, at least now we know who gets Sam's books!

j a gioia  •  Link

events out of order?

i am not so sure. reading between the lines: "This morning bade adieu in bed to the company of my wife..." one suspects a conjugal farewell, distinct from the later parting at the coach.

clearly our man is not looking forward to the voyage. the making of the will, the house and posessions locked with his wife having the (only!) key; staying this last night in a strange house listening to an old woman play the harpsichord. the melancholy rises from this passage like a fog.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"Mr. Crips" and "Mrs.Crisp" are probably son and mother, although the antecedents are difficult to follow. Sam refers to going to "...his mother’s house by me in Axe Yard…” and the two obvious antecedents are “my Lord” or “Mr. Crips.” If Mountagu ‘s mother lived in Axe Yard, we’d probably have been aware. My money’s on option B.

A misspelling has likely crept in, somewhere in the past 350 years.

Pauline Benson  •  Link

Mr. Crips and Mrs.Crisp and Old Mrs. Crisp and Laud
I too was reading it that Sam and Mr. Crisp (Crips) go home to Mr. Crisp's mother's house, where Sam will stay until his departure. I wonder, though, if "old Mrs. Crisp" isn't a third person, the grandmother of Mr. Crisp and mother-in-law of Mrs. Crisp? And Mr. Crisp has a younger brother, Laud. I assume younger, still a child, because of Sam uses his first name.

Keith Wright  •  Link

When in doubt, copy:
CRISP (CRIPPS). "Pepys's friend and neighbour, Mrs. Crisp, lived in a roomy house . . . near the s.-w. corner of Axe Yard, . . . Her son Laud was by 1663 an officer of the King's Wardrobe," but despite petitioning to join the Chapel Royal ("Pepys admired his voice"), "He was still in the Wardrobe in 1667." (Companion, pp. 81-82)
J. A. Gioia has the right take, I think: it seems there are private then public farewells, in the order described.

Pauline  •  Link

OK, Keith, I'm seeing one Mrs. Crisp
And Mr. Crisp doesn't have a wife. Is Mr. Crisp Laud?

Eric Walla  •  Link

I agree that the signing of the will ...

... stands outside the main chronology of the text (as Sam notes himself), but I believe it in error to suggest that the locking up of the household belongings is out of sequence (this passage is stated quite strongly to be after dinner and after Elizabeth's departure). Obviously Mrs. Pepys has one key and Sam a duplicate. I assume the most basic locks of this time were not overly complicated affairs.

Pauline  •  Link

"...after Elizabeth’s departure..."
Elizabeth gets on the coach before dinner, Sam goes to his house after dinner. I think he just observes that all things have been locked up, maybe looks around the other rooms sentimentally. I think the moving and locking was done before and Elizabeth took the keys. He likely has things for his voyage and his clothes, etc., available outside the locked room. Maybe he went back to grab his tooth twig.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Many Restoration theatregoers found Shakespeare crude and old-fashioned, preferring the smoother and more 'regular' works of Ben Jonson.

Dryden, in his Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668), said that Shakespeare had 'the largest and most comprehensive soul' but that 'He is many times flat, insipid; his Comick wit degenerating into clenches; his serious swelling into Bombast. But he is alwayes great...'

Interested parties can read the whole of Dryden's essay on…

Eric Walla  •  Link

Yes, Pauline, I think you've got it ...

... "where all things were put up" must refer to a true past tense, and touchingly Sam was observing both that all was done properly and that his wife truly was gone away. Either that or he had a bottle stashed away and he couldn't get to it!

mary  •  Link

no bottle of wine

I've added a background note on wine and bottles.

Esme  •  Link

I still haven't quite fathomed how dangerous things are thought to be. I noticed when the plan was laid for Mrs Pepys' stay in the country that it fitted the pattern of the family preparing for a sudden flight from the capital. This entry looks all too casual to support this view ... except, oddly, some of the expected occurrences connected with such a plan have happened.

If the tide turned back to Parliamentarianism, the Montagu and Pepys families are perhaps especially at risk as they could be accused of being turncoats (although that maybe wasn't unusual). So don't put Mrs Pepys in a Montagu household, where she might get caught up in a house arrest. Don't keep her in town with family members, where she might be out visiting friends when the signal to run was received. Much better (if she is willing) to plant her out of town along the road down which the family might have to retreat, with the family valuables in her safekeeping.

Yesterday they visited Mr Pepys Senior, and could have picked up valuables. She would hardly have been sent off with them without escort -- and we were told yesterday that Will Bowyer is going with her. If he couldn't, is the trip booked for Saturday so that Sam himself could go, and get back again for work on Monday?

On the other hand, an escort might have been provided routinely, without there being valuables involved. It could be natural to say goodbye to the senior Pepyses. Huntsmore is on the way West, are there any Pepys roots there? And this is a private diary written in code of a sort, so concealment of motives seems unnecessary.

Pauline  •  Link

Elizabeth in flight or in danger?
I would guess that arrangements have been made for Elizabeth to board with the Bowyers because it is not "proper" for a young woman of her class (as Sam's wife, the striving-to-better-themselves class) to reside alone while her protective male (father, brother, husband, guardian) is away in service to the navy. Sam is going to live on a ship.

The Bowyers were probably chosen for some of the following reasons: they were friends of Elizabeth, they had room for Elizabeth and her maid and her dog, they had many daughters, they wanted her, Sam wanted her to be happy wherever she was going to be, it was considered healthful to be in the country, women of a the better classes often lived in the country, times are in transition and there are soldiers in London. I don't think she was in any danger as the wife of the secretary of the commander of the fleet.

michael f vincent  •  Link

"bade adieu in bed to the company of my wife " private, first things first.
i a gioia, thanks
Safety and stench:
Remember- Its not a done deal yet lots of pitfalls, so care has to made cover ones derriere. Politics are still very volatile. The streets are not that safe.

Second Reading

Lisa  •  Link

"I did before I went out with my wife, seal my will to her, whereby I did give her all that I have in the world, but my books which I give to my brother John, excepting only French books, which my wife is to have."
Two days ago he said he was giving all his books to John. Perhaps Elizabeth reminded him she might like to have the books written in her native language, French.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Of the five wills Pepys made in the period of the diary (this being the first), no trace apparently remains. (L&M footnote)

Autumnbreeze Movies  •  Link

Am I wrong in thinking that English would've been the native language of Elizabeth Pepys's Irish mother and so it was also Elizabeth's native language, as well as French after her father and her stay in France?

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

If anyone is, like Autumnbreeze, confused about Elizabeth's background, a good summary is at…

She was a Devonian -- and anyone familiar with that dialect will atest she might as well have been speaking French for most Londoners -- in fact, so many Londoners had spent time in France, they would probably have preferred that she did speak French.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys sounds depressed -- not only did he omit mention of Will Bowyer escorting Elizabeth to his parents' home, but he also forgot to say that the dog and Jane Booth left as well. The house must have been very empty when he went back for the final look around.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I wonder where Autumnbreeze got the idea that Dorothea St.Michel was of Irish origin.
One of the more tantalizing possibilities about Elizabeth's lineage is:

"Another interesting point of debate has to do with the parentage of Elizabeth’s mother, Dorethea.
"Marjorie Astin’s biography of Elizabeth, which differs on this point from all others ..., states that Dorethea was the “daughter of Lavinia and Matthew Penneford of Gort, and widow of Thomas Fleetwood. She was closely connected with the Kingsmills, a family of considerable worth and consequence, who had resided at Basingstoke, Hants, from the12th to 16th century; they had received a grant from the Royal Mill there, from which they derived their name.” (Astin, p.10). Perhaps it is best to put these “details of debate” into the broader perspective, where through this letter we will see that the results infer that Elizabeth had a “curious childhood, full of poverty and unrest, for her father was often abroad earning his bread as a soldier.” (Astin, p.12)."

The letter from Balty St.Michel to Pepys as part of his Popish Plot defense gives all the details.

Balty says he and Elizabeth were born in Bideford, Devon. His letter is about 1/3 of the way through an article at…

Scube  •  Link

Thanks SDS. Very helpful.

3Lamps  •  Link

As an Army officer with over 20 years' service and multiple overseas deployments, this week's entries have been amazingly familiar. Pepys' needing to prepare what he will take, organise his will, make accommodation arrangements for his wife, store his furniture, arrange payments of bills in advance, all while still attending to the duties of his new job, are exactly what happens today day prior to a long-term military deployment. Indeed, the scenes are so familiar that my spouse and I have felt melancholy at times this week while reading the diary, such is the extent to which it has reminded us of the nature of our own partings.

Interestingly, two aspects of this preparation to depart seem to have significantly changed in the last 360-or-so years. First, my own spouse has much more of a say in what her own living arrangements will be while I am away than Elizabeth Pepys did, informed as she was of what her living arrangements would be only after Sam had made them. If I tried to do things this way with my spouse, I may well not have one for much longer! Second, the time required and complexity of making arrangements for bill payments, storage of furniture, wills, etc., seems to be much longer and have many more bureaucratic steps these days. I wish I could do these things as easily as Sam did, though I say that noting that perhaps he simply did not record the details of any paperwork he may have had to complete. These aspects aside, the human and emotional elements of Pepys' immanent departure upon a potentially dangerous overseas trip show remarkable consistency with what one experiences today.

This is my first annotation on the diary, and my first reading of it (I have been doing so daily since the start of the third reading). Thank you so much Phil for creating such a beautiful website, and to all those who have posted annotations over the past 20 years. The history captured in the annotations, especially those from 2003, is as historically fascinating as the diary itself.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I wonder where Autumnbreeze got the idea that Dorothea St.Michel was of Irish origin."

Turns out I owe Autumnbreeze an apology. Turns out Dorothea's father was probably Francis Kingsmill, and the Kingsmills were Anglo-Irish:

Pauline says about Elizabeth Pepys' religion:
"Her father (Alexandre de St. Michel) was born a French Catholic, but converted to the Protestant faith as a young professional soldier fighting in Germany. He married Dorothea, the daughter of Sir Francis Kingsmill, in Ireland." Quoting from Claire Tomalin, Samuel Pepys: The Unequaled Self.…

And Language Hat reminds us:
"Description of Elizabeth and the marriage" from Bryant's Pepys bio:
"He [PEPYS] had not long left Cambridge when he met his match. She was the daughter of a French Huguenot who had come over to England with Queen Henrietta Maria, lost his place at Court..., and married the daughter of an Anglo-Irish gentleman ..."…

The Kingsmills were well-to-do and connected. Perhaps Dorothea was disinherited for marrying a tradesman? Her father, Francis, would have been a junior branch of the family, and would probably have had to make his way in life on his own.

Jeannine and the gang also discussed at length Dorothea and the Kingsmill family at…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meanwhile, letters were crossing the Channel, between all sorts of people.

One was William Morice, MP, who managed the estates of his wife, Elizabeth Prideaux of Soldon, Cornwall’s kinsman, Gen. George Monck, and he was his ‘greatest confidant’.
Morice took his seat in the Long Parliament on the return of the secluded Members, and at Monck’s request was made governor of Plymouth.

Charles II, aware of the contribution Gov. Morice could make to the Restoration, wrote to him on 17 March, 1660:
‘the good offices you have and will perform for me are so meritorious that they deserve all the trust and confidence I can repose in you’; and let it be known that he would appoint him secretary of state as ‘the most grateful and obliging thing’ that could be done for Monck.

SPOILERS from here on:

On 1 May, ‘in a very eloquent oration’, Morice was the first to speak in the House for a restoration, and was among those ordered to prepare the answer to Charles II’s letter.

In a personal letter of thanks for his appointment as secretary, he suggested Charles II should write again to Parliament, reiterating the promises contained in the declaration of Breda, and stating his desire that Parliament should advise what policies he should pursue.
This, Morice said, would ‘bring you hither by a conquest of hearts as well as by the right of inheritance, and make your empire more safe by being less absolute’.

He was one of the MPs sent to confer with the Lords' committee over the King’s reception, and at Charles II’s request he accompanied Monck to welcome him at Dover.

Gov. William Morice MP was knighted on 27 May, 1660 when he was appointed the Secretary of State for the North.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"my boy ..."

Who (or what) was, originally, a “boy”? No one knows.

In the 13th century, a boie was a servant, but already in that time the provenance of the word was obscure. A century later, the term started being used to indicate a male child.

The word doesn’t sound Germanic, but it’s not clear whether it was imported to England by the Normans either.

One interpretation traces back the term to an unattested vulgar Latin verb, *imboiare (in etymological notation, the asterisk indicates a word that has been reconstructed on the basis of the comparative method, rather than found in source material), possibly connected with the Latin boia, meaning yoke or collar, and with the concept of slavery.…

Pepys clearly uses the term to indicate a young male servant in this, and most, cases in the Diary. But there are also times when he doesn't mean a servant. So I conclude the word had transformed in English by the 17th century.

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