Monday 21 May 1660

So into my naked bed1 and slept till 9 o’clock, and then John Goods waked me, [by] and by the captain’s boy brought me four barrels of Mallows oysters, which Captain Tatnell had sent me from Murlace.2

The weather foul all this day also.

After dinner, about writing one thing or other all day, and setting my papers in order, having been so long absent.

At night Mr. Pierce, Purser (the other Pierce and I having not spoken to one another since we fell out about Mr. Edward), and Mr. Cook sat with me in my cabin and supped with me, and then I went to bed.

By letters that came hither in my absence, I understand that the Parliament had ordered all persons to be secured, in order to a trial, that did sit as judges in the late King’s death, and all the officers too attending the Court.

Sir John Lenthall moving in the House, that all that had borne arms against the King should be exempted from pardon, he was called to the bar of the House, and after a severe reproof he was degraded his knighthood. At Court I find that all things grow high. The old clergy talk as being sure of their lands again, and laugh at the Presbytery; and it is believed that the sales of the King’s and Bishops’ lands will never be confirmed by Parliament, there being nothing now in any man’s, power to hinder them and the King from doing what they have a mind, but every body willing to submit to any thing.

We expect every day to have the King and Duke on board as soon as it is fair.

My Lord do nothing now, but offers all things to the pleasure of the Duke as Lord High Admiral. So that I am at a loss what to do.

27 Annotations

Nix  •  Link

"At Court I find that all things grow high."

What does he mean by "high"? Is that a good thing or a bad one? The comments that follow seem to carry overtones of disapproval, but that would seem to be at odds with his position as a supporter of the King.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"At Court I find that all things grow high"
I think the following OED sense applies:
14. a. Showing pride, self-exaltation, resentment, or the like; haughty, pretentious, arrogant, overbearing; wrathful, angry. Of words, actions, feelings, etc.: hence (now only dial.) of persons.

From a cursory search of the diary text it looks like the words "high" or "height" and "bishop" go hand in hand.

On the 20th of March 1661, Pepys will say "And indeed the Bishops are so high, that very few do love them"

and on the 22nd of June 1662, He'll say "At all which I know not what to think; but, I confess, I do think that the Bishops will never be able to carry it so high as they do."

and again on the 30th of June 1662 "This I take to be as bad a juncture as ever I observed. The King and his new Queene minding their pleasures at Hampton Court ... and the height of the Bishops, who I fear will ruin all again."

It might be of interest to do a more complete lexical analysis to get a clearer glimpse of the psychology going on here. Maybe it's a bit of SP's puritan up bringing showing through.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Sir John Lenthall ... degraded his Knighthoode
L&M give a clearer description in their footnote: "On 12 May, in a debate on the bill of indemnity, objection had been taken to Lenthall's argument that 'he that first drew his Sword against the King, committed as high an Offence, as he that cut off the King's head.' He was reprehended by the House and on the 23rd lost his seat, the election having been the subject of a double return ... The House did not deprive him of his knighthood, which would have been beyond its powers. His title was a Cromwellian creation and lapsed with the Restoration."

john lauer  •  Link

"At Court ... high."
Surviving as "high-and-mighty," dated by Webster from 1654.

vincent  •  Link

"At Court I find that all things grow high" High and mighty: on his high horse;
haughty, pretentious, arrogant, overbearing; wrathful, angry: They are feeling their power again: the opposition on the run. The Clergy believe they have the best Authority over the Great ignorant masses: So what's changed: from Carlos rex I. Back to doffing ones cap for us, who are below in the scuppers and gunners et al.

language hat  •  Link

"four barrels of Mallows oysters":
I'm sure they're right about St. Malo (and I love those old Anglicized forms), but it's a striking coincidence with Mallows Bay in the Potomac River:…

"This river once teemed with wildlife to a degree that we can only now envision as an outrageous cartoon-parody: fish so thickly populating the river that you could catch them with a frying pan; limitless quantities of oysters fresh for the taking"

language hat  •  Link

Murlace, Morlaise:
Presumably Morlaix, the port in Brittany (100 miles or so west of St-Malo).

PHE  •  Link

Pepys's unease
I detect a sense of unease on the part of Pepys in the statement: "there being nothing now in any man's, power to hinder them and the King from doing what they have a mind, but every body willing to submit to any thing”. He shows a sense of discomfort and guilt at the ease and completeness with which the country has swapped allegiances, when only in January the return of Richard Cromwell was a viable option. He also seems cynical about Montagu’s pandering to the Duke of York - Montagu, according to Claire Tomlinson, being one of Oliver Cromwell’s most loyal supporters.

Colin Gravois  •  Link

"and by (and by) the captain's boy brought me four barrels of Mallows oysters, which Captain Tatnell had sent me from Murlace” -- staggers the imagination that Sam should wake up on board with a present of four barrels of oysters. I presume we are not talking about modern-sized barrels, but nevertheless, where do you store that in a tiny shipboard cabin, how do they “keep,” etc. (imagine they are shucked and in brine); will Sam be holding oyster parties every night now with that lode, but also staggering is that they have been asea for some time now and yet have the wherewithal to order and have shipped stuff like that.

Glyn  •  Link

I take "high" to mean important (not trivial), so by extension it could be perilous. This usage hasn't completely died out in England, for example High Street rather than Main Street, High Court, high king, etc. And Parliament may soon be debating about "high" crimes and misdemeanours.

Annotating the Annotation: I find it sweet that the Victorian editor of this day's entry could write: "... It was formerly the custom for both sexes to sleep in bed without any nightlinen." For both sexes!! How shocking, but an example of how 17th and 21st century customs are sometimes closer to each other than for the people in between.

Glyn  •  Link

Coincidentally, Paul Brewster's second comment also quotes "high" in the sense of important rather than prideful or arrogant: "as high an Offence ..."

Nix  •  Link

I had assumed "without any nightlinen" meant bare mattresses, not bare bodies.

(So naive.)

serafina  •  Link

Wow - with all those oysters it's no wonder Sam looks longingly at the ladies!!

vincent  •  Link

Zeeuwse oesters (Oysters from Zeeland I believe the zeeland area abounds in Oysters : I not being an expert but I bet these came from zeeland not from Brittany:
here a zeeland recipe:…

my dutch is limited to curse words but this needs a Dutchmans input:
Oesters van weleer: een historische

Brad W  •  Link

re: "High"

We had a discussion awhile back about several characters "speaking very high" to one another, and the consensus then seemed to be that "high" meant angrily, or at least in an agitated manner. I can certainly see that interpretation for "high" fitting Sam's passage today. I can imagine the Royalists, now seeing that things are going to fall their way, switching from a placating and tentative posture to venting their wrath at the Regicides and their supporters.

Glyn  •  Link

But it does appear from Pepys account that Lenthall was punished by Parliament for being TOO Royalist. We have a compromise here rather than a surrender, and negotiations are still continuing.

Ed Brickell  •  Link

re: "High"

I'm inclined to interpret the use of "high" by SP as meaning something closer to arrogant in nature, or overly sure of oneself ... not necessarily angry.

Many of the old guard, including the old clergy cited in this passage, would definitely be feeling a bit "high" with the reapperance of the King ... this definition would seem to work best in the context of this passage.

vincent  •  Link

"high" SP used ANGRY not HIGH: fri may 11 he did say "shore last night made me very angry. " so maybe did mean " on high horse"

vincent  •  Link

"high" SP used ANGRY not HIGH: on other occasions too!

Bonny  •  Link

I take the word 'high' in this context as meaning 'high church' rather than 'low church': that is, closer to Catholicism and conservative C of E than to Protestantism; it sounds as though the C of E clergy are getting cocky and thinking they'll wax in power and the Puritans' power will continue to wane.

vincent  •  Link

"High" meaning to "Laud" it over the Hoi Poloi

James Mallows  •  Link

After one year as an oyster farmer in Scotland, 1973, we discovered the Sam/Mallows connection; we have family ties with Brittany, France. I can still easily eat 2-3 dozen fresh oysters straight from the sea !

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Proceedings against the Regicides. [HoC last Saturday]

MR. Pryn reports, that according to the Commands of this House, he carried the Votes of this House, touching the Seizing and Securing of the Persons and Estates of them who sat in Judgment upon the late King, when Sentence of Death was given against him, who are fled; and to stop the Ports to hinder their Escape: And the Lords return Answer, that they will send Answer by Messengers of their own.…

Weavethe hawk  •  Link

The "regicides" are now in for a very rough ride, starting with Maj-General Thomas Harrison. Pepys will, later in the year, give a rather cool and brief description of the man's execution. Men who were, not long ago, being honored and promoted, are now being vilified and hunted down. The turncoats are ruling the roost.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Sir John Lenthall moving in the House, that all that had borne arms against the King should be exempted from pardon, he was called to the bar of the House, and after a severe reproof he was degraded his knighthood. "

Commons Journal 12 May; Exceptions to a Member's Words.

Some Exception was taken to some Words spoken by Mr. Lenthall, a Member of this House, in the Debate of the Bill of General Pardon, to the Effect following; viz. "He that first drew his Sword against the King, committed as high an Offence, as he that cut off the King's Head:"

Mr. Lenthall, standing up in his Place, explained himself; and withdrew.

And the main Question being put; it was

Resolved, That Mr. Lenthall be called to the Bar; and there receive the Reprehension of the House.…

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.