Sunday 22 April 1660

(Easter Sunday). Several Londoners, strangers, friends of the Captains, dined here, who, among other things told us, how the King’s Arms are every day set up in houses and churches, particularly in Allhallows Church in Thames-street, John Simpson’s church, which being privately done was, a great eye-sore to his people when they came to church and saw it. Also they told us for certain, that the King’s statue is making by the Mercers’ Company (who are bound to do it) to set up in the Exchange.

After sermon in the afternoon I fell to writing letters against to-morrow to send to London. After supper to bed.

23 Annotations

Keith Wright  •  Link

At this time John Simpson, a Barrister of the Inner Temple, was "one of the four Common Pleaders of the city of London." Why exactly would his adherents be put out by the King's arms being put up in the church he attends?

The Mercers' Company was "bound to do it" (crafting a statue of the King): required by the terms of their guild?

Pauline  •  Link

"...being privately done was, a great eye-sore..."
I'm guessing that privately done means some inartistic soul took up chisel and brush. The professional painters/makers of these arms are probably pretty busy these days. Think your brother-in-law, his chainsaw, and the left-over day-glo paint in his garage.

Glyn  •  Link

Presumably the King's statue is of the old, dead king (Charles I), rather than the new one.

chip  •  Link

Does anyone else find it odd that SP does not mention it is Easter Day? Is this because he is on board? And at odds with the minister? He does not fail the sermon.

vincent  •  Link

Work! work! does make jack a dull boy, no prayers or sermon to praise or groan about, not a drop of wine either ,was it that "bottle of wine which was a very great favour." or maybe that " barrel of pickled oysters" provided another " aked head " maybe he (SP)wrote this at a latter date.
Good Friday was not mention either!

Emilio  •  Link

Today's L&M footnotes
On John Simpson: He "was notoriously anti-monarchical," which is why he comes automatically to mind in response to the king's arms being put in that particular church. This is also ironic, since the Companion notes that in 1678 he has gained the position of King's Serjeant, and will be knighted in the same year. Obviously, he doesn't let his principles get in the way of his career.
On the Mercers: "The Mercers were made trustees of the Exchange by Sir Thomas Gresham, who founded it in 1566-8." Maybe they don't have to go to as much work as all that, though - is this the same statue that until recently was buried in a metal shop's back garden?
Gresham was also founder of Gresham College in London, of which we will be hearing more later in the diary.

mary  •  Link

a great eye-sore

I read this differently from Pauline. The arms were reinstated on the private initiative of certain members of the church, rather than after formal agreement with the minister, vergers, wardens, parochial church council etc. and were a particular cause of surprise and offence to John Simpson and like-minded members of that congregation.

vk  •  Link

Lambert is surprised and captured at Daventry today, the 22nd, by Colonel Sir Richard Ingoldsby, a Regicide who hopes to win a pardon by taking Lambert.

Lambert had issued a proclamation calling on all supporters of the "Good Old Cause" to rally on the battlefield of Edgehill (where the first battle of the civil war was fought) but received negligible response.

Ingoldsby will be notable among the other regicides for claiming that Cromwell grabbed his hand and forced him to sign the death warrant.

Matthew  •  Link

I believe that parliament had banned the celebration of Christmas and Easter because of their pagan origins. Was this still in force, legally or in practice?

Dale Wallace  •  Link

Aren't the first two words of the post (Easter Sunday)? Isn't that part of the original? It looks to me that he did mention Easter.

Jim  •  Link

The Puritans certainly were opposed to celebration of Christmas -- during the years Pepys kept his diary celebration of Christmas was illegal in the Massachusetts colony:

"For preventing disorders, arising in several places within this jurisdiction by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other communities, to the great dishonor of God and offense of others: it is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shilling as a fine to the county."

From the records of the General Court,
Massachusetts Bay Colony
May 11, 1659

This law was dropped 22 yrs later but Christmas would not become a commonly celebrated holiday in Boston.

However, I don't know about Easter. (The law says "Christmas or the like...") Puritans didn't approve of Lent (too papist and too Church of England) but as various people have noted, they practiced denial of pleasure all year 'round.

Jim  •  Link

I meant to say that Christmas would not become a commonly celebrated holiday in Boston until the mid-1800's.

Eric Walla  •  Link

It looks as if Sam is more preoccupied ...

... with a different resurrection this Easter. It would be interesting to know what the sermon was about, as he had chronicled in his earlier days in London. It also seems notable, at least from this distance, that he did not cease working, even if the holiday wasn't celebrated, for at least the one day--what if anything DID the religious community do to mark the occasion?

vincent  •  Link

sermon : I missed that minor detail need specs: so sorry

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Aren’t the first two words of the post (Easter Sunday)?

Phil, is the designation of the holiday in the original entry, or did you add them there as a service to us, the readers?

Phil  •  Link

They're in the Project Gutenberg text. I don't have L&M to hand to say if they're in there too...

vk  •  Link

The Ordinance of June 8 1645, abolishing saints' days, and the three festivals of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide:

"Forasmuch as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, and Whitsuntide, and other festivals, commonly called holydays, have been heretofore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained, that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called: holydays, be no longer observed as festivals, any law, statute, custom, constitution, or canon, to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding.

"And that there may be a convenient time allotted for scholars, apprentices, and other servants, for their recreation, be it ordained, that all scholars, apprentices, and other servants, shall, with the leave of their masters, have such convenient, reasonable recreation, and relaxation from labour, every second Tuesday in the month throughout the year, as formerly they used to have upon the festivals'; and masters of scholars, apprentices, and servants, shall grant to them. respectively such time for their recreation, on the aforesald. Second Tuesday in the month, as they may conveniently spare from their extraordinary necessary service and occasions; and if any difference arise between masters and servants concerning the liberty hereby granted, the next justice of peace shall reconcile it."

vk  •  Link

Debate over Easter

This issue was debated after Parliament had captured the King and was holding him at Holmby House. The following is from Daniel Neal’s History of the Puritans and Certain Puritan Theologians (published 1738):

The king was highly displeased with this ordinance; and therefore, while the affair was under debate, he put this query to the Parliament commissioners at Holmby House, April, 23, 1647.

"I desire to be out-resolved of this question, Why the new reformers discharge the keeping of Easter? My reason for this query is, I conceive the celebration of this feast was instituted by the same authority which changed the Jewish Sabbath-into the Lord's Day or Sunday, for it will not be found in Scripture where Saturday is discharged to be kept, or turned into the Sunday; wherefore it must be the Church's authority that changed the one and instituted the other; therefore my opinion is, that those who will not keep this feast may as well return to the observation of Saturday, and refuse the weekly Sunday. When anybody can show me that herein I am in an error, I shall not be ashamed to confess and amend it; till when you know my mind. C. R." [Charles Rex]

Sir James Harrington presented his majesty with an answer to this query, in which he denies that the change of the Sabbath was from the authority of the Church, but derives it from the authority and example of our Saviour and his apostles in the New Testament; he admits that, if there was the like mention of the observation of Easter, it would be of Divine or apostolical authority; but as the case stands, he apprehends, with great reason, that the observation of the Christian Sabbath, and of Easter stands upon a very different footing.

Mary  •  Link


is the heading for this entry in L&M.

Paul Gatenby  •  Link

'The King's Arms being set up'. In All Saints' Church, Pytchley Kettering Northamptonshire one of these Royal coats of arms can stll be seen, with the names of the churchwardens of the time. It used to be fixed above the chancel arch but when the chancel was restored in the 1830's it was moved to the tower wall at the west end.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

The early Plymouth Plantation was split between Church Members, called "Saints", and the non-member servants, called "Strangers". On Christmas day, Governor Bradford led the Saints out to work in the fields, while the Strangers protested that to labor on Christmas was a violation of conscience. At noon, the Saints returned, and found the Strangers playing at "Stool Ball" (Like cricket or baseball, only you had to sit on a stool to be "safe"). The Governor declared that it violated his conscience that some would play while others worked, so he make them work, and "took away their playthings." Merry Christmas!

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