Wednesday 6 June 1660

In the morning I had letters come, that told me among other things, that my Lord’s place of Clerk of the Signet was fallen to him, which he did most lovingly tell me that I should execute, in case he could not get a better employment for me at the end of the year. Because he thought that the Duke of York would command all, but he hoped that the Duke would not remove me but to my advantage.

I had a great deal of talk about my uncle Robert, and he told me that he could not tell how his mind stood as to his estate, but he would do all that lay in his power for me.

After dinner came Mr. Cooke from London, who told me that my wife he left well at Huntsmore, though her health not altogether so constant as it used to be, which my heart is troubled for. Mr. Moore’s letters tell me that he thinks my Lord will be suddenly sent for up to London, and so I got myself in readiness to go.

My letters tell me:

That Mr. Calamy had preached before the King in a surplice (this I heard afterwards to be false).

That my Lord, Gen. Monk, and three more Lords, are made Commissioners for the Treasury.

That my Lord had some great place conferred on him, and they say Master of the Wardrobe.

That the two Dukes2 do haunt the Park much, and that they were at a play, Madam Epicene, the other day.

That Sir. Ant. Cooper, Mr. Hollis, and Mr. Annesly, late President of the Council of State, are made Privy Councillors to the King.

At night very busy sending Mr. Donne away to London, and wrote to my father for a coat to be made me against I come to London, which I think will not be long.

At night Mr. Edward Montagu came on board and staid long up with my Lord. I to bed and [continues tomorrow. P.G.]

25 Annotations

First Reading

Nix  •  Link

"and that they were at a play, Madam Epicene, the other day" --

Does this mean the theaters have reopened? Or would it have been a private, clandestine performance?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"Epicene, or the Silent Woman," a comedy, by Ben Jonson.
"first acted in 1609, published in 1616, and now performed by Michael Mohun and other players at the Red Bull Theatre in St. Johns’s St, Clerkenwell … This is the first record of a post-Restoration performance." per L&M

Mike Hudak  •  Link

"When, in the summer of 1660, General Monk occupied London for the restored King, Charles II, three of the old theatres were still standing empty. These were soon put into repair, and applied anew to theatrical uses, although only two of them seem to have been open at any one time. The three were the Red Bull, dating from Elizabeth's reign, in St. John's Street, Clerkenwell, where Pepys saw Marlowe's "Faustus"; Salisbury Court, Whitefriars, off Fleet Street; and the Old Cockpit in Drury Lane, both of which were of more recent origin." - Pepys Club - "Occasional Papers Published For Members Of The Samuel Pepys Club 1917-1923" - Edited by Philip Norman, taken from "Pepys And Shakespeare" by Sir Sidney Lee (read 30 Nov. 1905) - Chiswick Press, London 1925

chip  •  Link

Page 29 of Tomalin's unequalled biography (a must for anyone hooked on this site) mentions that the Globe had been destroyed in 1644. When the puritan ordinance was due to run out 4 years later, actor-managers quickly mounted plays for New Year's Day (1648). "At once the streets were jammed with the carriages of eager theatregoers." Parliament of course promptly clamped down, "but the persecution was never entirely effective."

Vince  •  Link

Mr. Calamy had preached before the King in a surplice (this I heard afterwards to be false); is this another indication of SP backwards editing - anyone any idea of when he would have found this 'to be false' and why was it important am I missing something about Mr Calamy or should a nonconformist not appear before the King in a surplice?

Mary  •  Link

The surplice

was originally a vestment used in the Roman Catholic church and would have been seen as provocatively 'high' at the time of the Restoration. As late as the mid-nineteenth century its use in the anglican church was still a matter of considerable controversy. The years 1844-45 saw hot debate over 'the surplice question' and as late as 2nd November 1848 an Exeter newspaper, 'The Exeter Flying Post', was reporting a riot at St. Olave's Church when the incumbent insisted on wearing a surplice.

Arbor  •  Link

The Surplice question. Whilst at Theological college ('95-'98) many of my fellow theologs felt obliged to 'conform' to the still current Anglican practice of wearing a surplice when leading/preaching... dismissed by many as 'stupid dresses'... so the controversy is still alive 340-odd years later!

steve  •  Link

There's information on the state of the theatres on the plays background page.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

The surplice issue
L&M weigh in on this one: "Edmund Calamy, sen., was one of the first of twelve or so Presbyterians made royal chaplains at this time as a reward for their party's services at the Restoration. They were not required to use the Payer Book or to wear surplices, to which they objected. Henry Townshend's diary ... has the story that Calamy asked to be excused from wearing the surplice, only to be told that the King would not in this case bother him to preach at all."

helena murphy  •  Link

The wearing of the surplice would have more correctly smacked of Arminianism, that movement within Protestanism which Charles I unwisely sought to impose on Calvinist Scotland in the 1630's and which led to the outbreak of the Bishop's War, the prologue to the Civil War. Arminianism was theologically close to Roman Catholicism as Jacobus Arminius, the Dutch theologian taught that salvation was not necessarily predetermined , but could be achieved by the good works of the sinner. William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, propagated Arminianism in England, fell foul of the extreme puritan faction and was executed for his beliefs in January 1645. Therefore the wearing of the surplice would recall the religious divisions of the past which rent Britain asunder.

language hat  •  Link

I'd like to thank Mary and Helena for providing the background necessary for grasping what's going on here -- and Arbor for confirming that it's still going on!

Glyn  •  Link

Presumably these were genuine female actresses in the women's roles, rather than boys - very shocking. And would they have come across from Europe with the Royalists.

Russ  •  Link

Not true. Females began performing on the English stage in the 1650s while Cromwell was in power.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord’s place of Clerk of the Signet"

Not a position Mountagu ever held (… ) but one he had a say in filling -- the Duke of York willing: Mountagu "thought that the Duke of York would command all, but he hoped that the Duke would not remove me but to my advantage."

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

William Laud was not "executed for his beliefs". He himself persecuted those, like William Prynne and Bishop Williams, with a different opinion. With Strafford, he encouraged the King's worst excesses, including ship money and the "Bishops Wars" against Scotland. His personal arrogance and manner gave him a gift for making enemies even amongst the King's natural supporters.

In the end his execution was because he he had become a pawn, (or rather a bishop), in the civil war he had done so much to help provoke.

Gillian Bagwell  •  Link

I wrote an article of about 5000 words on "1660: The Year of the Restoration of Theatre" that I won't post here because I may try to publish it as a Kindle Single, so I can't have posted in it its entirety anywhere. If anyone is really interested, I'll be happy to send it to you.

By February or March, three acting companies were performing, but not with official permission, and not with women. In May actors were charged with putting on plays illegally. In July, Thomas Killigrew and William Davenant were authorized to form the King's Company and Duke's Company respectively, and to build theatres. (Their duopoly lasted for thirty years.)

On November 5, 1660 (Bonfire Night), the King's Company presented its first authorized performance, Beaumont & Fletcher's "Wit Without Money," at the Red Bull. The next day they did James Shirley's "The Traitor," and the day after that "The Beggar's Bush" by John Fletcher.

On Thursday, November 7, the King’s Company opened its new home in Vere Street, just off the southwest corner of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which had previously been Gibbons's Tennis Court, presenting Shakespeare’s "Henry IV, Part One." Literally overnight, the players had left behind Elizabethan performance conditions and moved into a new era in English theatre.

Women were not permitted to appear in public theatres (they did appear in court masques) until Charles authorized it soon after his Restoration. On December 8, an actress with the King’s Company, likely Anne Marshall, played Desdemona in Othello. It was the first time that a woman had appeared on an English stage, and the occasion was marked by a special prologue.

I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say that Sam will be at the King's House in a few months and attend the theatre frequently a lot in subsequent years and will have a lot to say about it! Nell Gwynn was one of the earliest actresses, and her career is prominent in my novel "The Darling Strumpet." Sam was a friend of hers and is a character in the book, which was just yesterday reissued in mass market paperback.

Weavethe hawk  •  Link

I would be very interested in the article.

Heather Macbeth  •  Link

"my Lord’s place of Clerk of the Signet"

This would seem to be a mistake (on Pepys' part?) -- Mountagu obtains one of the Clerkships of the Privy Seal
(list of holders)…
not one of the Clerkships of the Signet
(list of holders pre-1660)…
(list of holders post-1660)…
Both the Privy Seal and the Signet were among the four "royal seals;" the others were the Great Seal and the Quarter Seal.…

Same mistake last month, when Mountagu was discussing with Pepys the likelihood of his obtaining the place:
"my Lord . . . did at last think of an office which do belong to him in case the King do restore every man to his places that ever had been patent, which is to be one of the clerks of the signet, which will be a fine employment for one of his sons."…
See WKW's annotation there also suggesting "signet" should be "privy seal."

From the Encyclopedia entry…
and discussion at the links with lists of holders, it would seem that there were four of each Clerkship, and that the (rich and important) holders of the Clerkships typically delegated the actual work to deputies.

Presumably the first sentence of today's entry means that Mountagu (or one of his sons) will hold the Clerkship, and Pepys will "execute" it -- that is, be the deputy.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"That Sir. Ant. Cooper, Mr. Hollis, and Mr. Annesly, late President of the Council of State, are made Privy Councillors to the King."

All had been prominent rebels, but were Presbyterians and recent converts to a restoration. They were admitted to the Privy Council at the end of May, and later raised to the peerage. (L&M note)

Third Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Meanwhile in the House of Commons in Westminster

Letter from Duke of York…

Members to take Oaths.
Resolved, That the Members of this House, who are commissionated and deputed by the Lord Steward of his Majesty's Houshold, to administer the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, in his Absence, to the other Members of this House, do compare with the Roll of the Knights, Citizens, Burgesses, and Barons, returned to serve in this Parliament, the List of the Names of those who have taken the said Oath before the Lord Steward, or the said Commissioners; and thereupon report to the House, what Members, returned to serve, have not taken the said Oaths; to the end it may appear whether any that have not taken the said Oaths do sit in this House.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

And in Lords today in Westminster

about the Queen's jointure:
To desire a present Conference, about Matters of great Importance.

Heads for this Conference.
The Heads of this Conference to be, "That the House of Commons would take into Consideration the Queen's Majesty's Jointure, that for the future it may be duly paid Her, according to the solemn Contract between the Two Crowns; and Her Majesty to be considered for the Arrears since the late Distractions; and Consideration to be had of the Purchasers."

The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the House to manage this Conference.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Concerning the Theatre in England at this time--and going forward

Roscius Anglicanus, or, An historical review of the stage from 1660 to 1706
by Downes, John, fl. 1661-1719; Knight, Joseph, 1829-1907…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Downes (prompter)

John Downes (died c. 1712) worked as a prompter at the Duke's Company, and later the United Company, for most of the Restoration period 1660–1700. His "historical review of the stage", Roscius Anglicanus (1708), is an invaluable source for historians both of Restoration and of Stuart theater.…

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