Sunday 17 June 1660

(Lord’s day). Lay long abed.

To Mr. Mossum’s; a good sermon. This day the organs did begin to play at White Hall before the King.1

Dined at my father’s. After dinner to Mr. Mossum’s again, and so in the garden, and heard Chippell’s father preach, that was Page to the Protector.

And just by the window that I stood at sat Mrs. Butler, the great beauty.

After sermon to my Lord. Mr. Edward and I into Gray’s Inn walks, and saw many beauties.

So to my father’s, where Mr. Cook, W. Bowyer, and my coz Roger Wharton [L&M say “Joyce Norton”. P.G.] supped and to bed.

8 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

"So to my father's…supped and to bed”
I take it that Sam and his wife haven’t reestablished their household yet—that they (or only he?) are staying with his parents.

chip  •  Link

One can only imagine what it was to hear those great beasts, the pipe organs, roar again about the city. The best propaganda there could be. I wonder if the instruments were truly removed or just the consoles. It seems too quick to have reinstalled the pipes and chests. If no one pumped, there was no sound. As for EP, Pauline, I would guess you are right. It still appears to me odd he has not mentioned her more since his return.

vincent  •  Link

His services are needed elswhere, I do beleive, reading between these short and to the miniscule point notes, on (yellow Postits of the day) sheets not encased in a cover or leather Briefcase. 'tis the learning on the run.

Larry Bunce  •  Link

The Puritans did not believe in organs at church, or in having fun in any form, it seems. During the Civil War, some organs were stripped of their metal pipes, which were melted down for bullets. It is nice to hear that some organs had survived both vandalism and neglect during the previous decade.
The pipe organ in recognizably modern form was already 200 years old in 1660.
Would it be a plot spoiler to mention that these London organs were to last only 6 more years, until the Great Fire?

Frank G.  •  Link

Are you sure of that, Larry? If the King was listening to the organ at Whitehall then there seems to me to be no reason to think it was burned during the Fire, which never spread that far.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Whitehall Organs
L&M say "[The organ] was recovered through John Playford's efforts and erected in its old place soon after the Restoration. 'Father' Bernard Smith's new organ there built under John Hingston's supervision, was apparently completed by October 1662."

If I'm reading this note correctly the 1660 organ only had two years to go. The 1662 organ had another 26 years of life. It apparently was destroyed in the Whitehall fire in 1698. Again 'Father' Smith appears to have had a hand in its replacement.

“Four days after the fire, Sir Christopher Wren was given instructions to fit up the Banqueting House as a Chapel Royal to replace the destroyed Tudor chapel. Although he promised to complete the work within three weeks, it was not until Christmas Day 1698 that William III attended a service there. In the following year, a new organ, made by "Father Smith, His Majesty's Musicall Instrument Maker", was installed on a panelled balcony against the west wall opposite the pulpit… from a Banqueting Hall web site.

The 1698 organ apparently lives on - sort of.

"When the Banqueting House was turned into a military museum in 1890, and on Queen Victoria’s instructions, the organ was installed in St. Peter’s Chapel in the Tower. Most of the original instrument had already been removed and the organ was enlarged to accommodate a pedal division. The case of this instrument is a very fine example of its type, dating from 1699, with carving attributed to the master-craftsman of his age, Grinling Gibbons. 300 years later the case was refurbished and restored to capture its original elegance and now houses a new instrument built by the Canadian firm Orgues L'tourneau." from Choir of the Chapel’s Royal, HM Tower of London web site.

helena murphy  •  Link

The freedom,ease and security of the new Restoration London are here conveyed by the stupendous organ music, the flattering portrait of Mrs Butler, the garden and of course the image of the beauties, imitating perhaps the style of the court beauties such as Barbara Villiers,help to illustrate the confidence of a society freed from militant puritanism,civil war, the mob, and authoritarian rule.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

An end to authoritarian rule? After 350 years, do we really need to refight the battles of the 1600s with crude and inaccurate propaganda! Most of us are intelligent enough to know some of the facts and check the rest!

What he get instead of militant puritanism is militant Anglicanism, tithes, the Test Act, Act of Uniformity, more religious persecution than for two decades, etc etc etc. As for Barbara Palmer (nee Villiers), although her time would come soon, I'm not sure whether she was ensconced in court yet. But, beauty or not, her influence on Charles and his court was thoroughly malign. The diarist John Evelyn described her as "The curse of the nation". Others, even Pepys, were more crude!

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