Tuesday 10 July 1660

This day I put on first my new silk suit, the first that ever I wore in my life. This morning came Nan Pepys’ husband Mr. Hall to see me being lately come to town. I had never seen him before. I took him to the Swan tavern with Mr. Eglin and there drank our morning draft. Home, and called my wife, and took her to Dr. Clodius’s to a great wedding of Nan Hartlib to Mynheer Roder, which was kept at Goring House with very great state, cost, and noble company. But, among all the beauties there, my wife was thought the greatest. After dinner I left the company, and carried my wife to Mrs. Turner’s. I went to the Attorney-General’s, and had my bill which cost me seven pieces. I called my wife, and set her home. And finding my Lord in White Hall garden, I got him to go to the Secretary’s, which he did, and desired the dispatch of his and my bills to be signed by the King.

His bill is to be Earl of Sandwich, Viscount Hinchingbroke, and Baron of St. Neot’s.1

Home, with my mind pretty quiet: not returning, as I said I would, to see the bride put to bed.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

took her to Dr. Clodius's to a great wedding of Nan Hartlib to Mynheer Roder
It seems to be in the water. … Clodius is either already married or soon to be married to Nan’s sister, Mary Hartlib (nothing more specific than a year, 1660). This circle of friends (Clodius, Roder and Hartlib) seems to share several characteristics. They are foreign-born and of a messianic turn of mind.

Paul Miller  •  Link

"This day I put on first my new silk suit, the first that ever I wore in my life."
We see the euphoria of the Restoration begin to be reflected in fashion. Off with thee you rough puritan garments I'll have silk and color now, and much more to come along this line from Samuel and the king in the next few years.

Eric Walla  •  Link

A fine day all around ...

Best suit, greatest beauty, and the bills ready to put before the King. Sam is feeling fine ... even if the relatives are starting to crawl out of the woodwork.

chip  •  Link

The first line of today's entry is even more extraodinary when one remembers this is a tailor's son writing. Any ideas out there why his bill cost him 7 pieces? I am beginning to suspect that Pepys uses the diary to relieve his conscience of any misdeeds during the day, such as his broken word to return to put the bride to bed, no matter how inconsequential. It is expiatory just writing it down.

Pauline  •  Link

"...among all the beauties there, my wife was thought the greatest."
I think, chip, when your wife is thought the greatest beauty, you hurry home to bed with her.

john lauer  •  Link

"I called my wife..." -- how strange
that sounds, twice, to us today, when it does not mean "on the phone".

Mary  •  Link

Sam's silk suit

Pepys is probably expressing his pride and excitement at the fact that he can now afford to purchase a silk suit. Although the fabric was prized for its ability to take more intense dyes than other fabrics, it was also damaged much more easily, especially by spotting with water (remember all those fine gentlemen whos suits were ruined by the wet weather at the City parade a couple of weeks ago?) and so represented a real extravagance.

As for the bill costing seven pieces, it's an odd enough sum to represent a set, legal fee. That said, it could just as easily be one of those sweetening 'considerations' that are part and parcel of government/state business at this time.

Colin Gravois  •  Link

"not returning, as I said I would, to see the bride put to bed."

What was this ceremony of putting the bride to bed? And what about the groom? Imagine in those days of pre-marital abstinence (or was it really?) he's raring to go, but what's the skinny on this ceremony?

Vince  •  Link

'Called' probably just means 'called on' his wife... But 'carried my wife' - does that mean put in a carriage with himself or physically carried .... unlikely in a smart new suit!

Arbor  •  Link

The "Bedding" and excerpt from


There were very few honeymoon jaunts to the south in those far-off days. Only a favoured few from the county could indulge in such luxuries. But little cared the home folk for that. Their idea of a glorious windup to a wedding was the "bedding" of the newly-married couple. It was announced by the ladies to the male guests that the bridal pair had retired to rest, and all were invited to the bridal chamber to wish the happy couple good-night and good luck. While this was proceeding Kirsty, the dey (dairywoman) would say to the bride "Betsy, maidal (dear), just come oot for a meenadie and hev a wee drop of' ginger cordial," but the bonnie blushing bride's reply was to duck her head under the snow-white counterpane amid roars of hearty laughter. Then Geordie Up would invite the bridegroom to have just a wee "teet" o' "Double Poltney" but Jamie remained as immovable as a graven image, and then more uproarious laughter followed this line of banter. Eventually the guests had to retire, but before doing so they were queued up and each in turn had to kiss the bride and shake hands with the bridegroom on leaving the apartment.

A bit later, but likely something similar!

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

Since he had left his wife at Mrs. Turner's, I'd say it means he "called for" her there on his way back.

"Carried" was discussed a few days back; in the American South, at least until recently, it still meant to take someone somewhere.

Colin Gravois  •  Link

Bedding of the bride.

Thanks, Arbor, for your very enlightening annotation on the bedding of the bride. Clears it all up for us all. Now, BTW, wasn't that a very civilized thing to do, wishing them happiness in the bridal chamber.

Dave*  •  Link

Bedding of the bride is known in other cultures as well. Those who have seen Ang Lee's "The Wedding Banquet" may remember the scene where the Chinese bride and groom lunge for the door to keep out the mob approaching their honeymoon suite, but too late. Dozens of people plow in and immediately get down to mah jhong and drinking, and they don't leave until the couple produces their clothing from under the blankets.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Baron of St. Neot's?
Just for reference Neot was a Celt. He was a Benedictine monk of the ninth century who became a hermit in Cornwall. Tradition has him a dwarf, about 15 inches tall. There is a St. Neot's parish in Cornwall, and a river in the area is called St. Neot's. Sketchy bio is at: http://freepages.folklore.rootswe…

His remains were taken to what is now St. Neot's church in Huntingdonshire (and possibly also to St. Neot's in Cambridgeshire and the monastery of St. Bee in Normandy.)

vincent  •  Link

St Neots Hunts/Camb : one and the same the Tax accessors like to keep the voters on their feet;

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Is this the first silk suit?

Thursday 28 June 1660 -- "My brother Tom came to me with patterns to choose for a suit. I paid him all to this day, and did give him 10l. upon account." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

Sunday 1 July 1660 -- "This morning came home my fine Camlett cloak, with gold buttons, and a silk suit, which cost me much money, and I pray God to make me able to pay for it." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

Katherine Dreher  •  Link

It sounds like it's the suit referred to on 1st July, Terry. This must be the first time he has had a chance to wear it.

MarkS  •  Link

If Montagu had not changed his mind and decided to use the title 'Sandwich', rather than 'Portsmouth', then his descendants would all have had the same title...

...and we would be eating BLT portsmouths today.


Dick Wilson  •  Link

I wonder what color this suit was. Any ideas?

Also. How do you pronounce "Neot's"? Has Montague joined The Knights Who Say "Neot's"?

Bill  •  Link

St NEOTS or Needs, a town in Huntingdonshire; distant from London 41 computed, and 56 measur'd miles.
---A new complete English dictionary. J. Marchant, 1760

Bill  •  Link

St Neots, sn nîts
[î as "ee" in "see"]
---A Manual of English Pronunciation & Grammar for the Use of Dutch Students. JHA Gunther, 1899.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

SPOILER -- not that it ruins anything:

Dick Wilson asks "I wonder what color this suit was. Any ideas?"

At the top of the page on the right is a search bar. I put "suit" in the top line, and selected "Diary entries", and up came hundreds of mentions for consideration. I scrolled through, looking at every entry dated 1660 or 1661, and BINGO:

"From thence home by water, and there shifted myself into my black silk suit (the first day I have put it on this year), ..."

So, Dick, it was a black silk suit.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'"This day I put on first my new silk suit, the first that ever I wore in my life." -- We see the euphoria of the Restoration begin to be reflected in fashion. Off with thee you rough puritan garments I'll have silk and color now, and much more to come along this line from Samuel and the king in the next few years.'

Pepys has now met the Stuart Brothers a few times, and seen how people dress for business in their presence.
He is assuming a new station in life, and needs to be taken seriously.
His fellow Commissioners are Sirs and Members of Parliament and men of distinction, plus they are about a decade older than him.

I don't put his new wardrobe down to euphoria, Restoration exhuberance, or a desire to wear bright colors (as I just discovered, the silk suit was black) -- I think he's trying to dress for success.
I've done the same thing when venturing into unknown business territory.
It's an investment in self-confidence, and a way of taking care of one thing in my control.

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Although the suit is black, it is not, at this date, black because “this is the colour of business”. It will be another hundred years or more before the great masculine renunciation (see “The Psychology of Clothes”, Flügel) when men put aside colourful clothes, leaving such frippery and adornment for women. It’s black because it looks good, although perhaps the availability of more brightly coloured silk was not great in immediately post-Puritan England.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Imagine in those days of pre-marital abstinence (or was it really?) he's raring to go, ...?"

Colin Gravois brings up an important question: The Stuarts were far from Victorians when it came to sex.

Marriage was a fairly recent requirement:
"The story of British birth, marriage and death records starts way back in 1538. The Church of England split with Rome, and it was decided that every parish priest should keep a register of any baptism, marriage or burial that happened under their jurisdiction.
"... These parish records, which, depending on the priest, could be either highly detailed or not kept at all, are the source of all BMD information up to 1837, when the lack of consistency in record-keeping saw the beginning of civil registration."

During the Interregnum, weddings did not necessarily include church nuptials, because the Puritans considered marriage a civil contract. A magistrate officiated at the ceremony. Samuel and Elizabeth Pepys were married by a magistrate at St. Margaret's, Westminster. He was 22 and she was 14.

Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753 — AKA ‘An Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriage’ — Before this there were two distinct parts to a medieval marriage:
the betrothal, where the two families worked out the financial exchanges
and then the marriage service.
If the couple chose to consummate the marriage before the wedding mass then the marriage was considered valid and the husband took control of all his partner's worldly goods then.
Consummation was recognised by the presence of one child or more. This meant that the landed gentry were losing loads of land to unscrupulous ne'er-do-wells who got to the betrothal stage and then ran off with the bride to be and her assets.
By insisting that the couple wait to consummate the marriage until after the register was signed, the family had much more control over the assets and made sure they went to the person they preferred.
If the marriage wasn't consummated after signing the register it could still be annulled -- and is still one of the valid reasons for divorce. You have to sign the register for a marriage to be legal even now, so a handfasting which does not include a visit to the registrar with witnesses and the solemn declaration that you are free to marry is not legal.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Aristocratic girls usually were bethrothed and sometimes married very young -- sometimes before puberty, so the parents kept the couple apart until they had matured. These unions were about money and land and power, not love. The female's chastity was prime, to ensure inheritance went to legitimate children.

There are many of stories about the woman only sleeping with her husband until she had produced a legitimate heir and spare, after which both husband and wife consider themselves able to play away from home, and the husband accepted whatever children turn up, since they probably won't inherit. (This was good for the gene pool in general.)

But we're talking about Nan Hartlib and Mynheer Roder -- he was a fundamentalist minister, and she came from a poor family who probably lived in cramped quarters. Opportunity would be a fine thing in their case -- if he would even participate; his concern with purity might dampen desire, and since she had been brought up in a Millennialist household, she would take that for granted.

17th century people's relationship with faith and God was much greater than ours. Even people who were not "religious" were conscious of it in a superstitious way. Many of them still thought the heavens revolved around earth, and God was really watching your every move, which were predestined. And some, not so much, of course.

Births and deaths took place at home; the bedroom was frequently occupied by many people at night. How ignorant could children be? Sex was right there.

Teenage hormones are the same today as they were then. What parents wanted and what happened were not/are not necessarily the same thing.

RLB  •  Link

@Sarah: "The Stuarts were far from Victorians when it came to sex" - to be fair, neither were the Victorians, certainly not Vicky herself. As witnessed both by the number of children she and Albert had - rather more than was necessary to ensure an heir and a spare - and by the loving way she wrote of him privately.

Nor were the people in the 17th century quite as backwards as you will have it. The Earth was not flat, and Galileo was punished not for saying it went around the Sun, but for being an arrogant arse about it and insulting those in power while being on a very tottery footing himself. All of that *is* a Victorian, starting in the Enlightenment, myth.

(The Puritans who found themselves kicked out of even the Netherlands and went to found and fundamentally (sic!) shape the USA - those are another matter. But back then, they were a minority.)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

RLB - granted, all you say.
I've been surprised by many annotations during the Diary showed the annitators did not know how racy, earthy, uninhibited -- shall I say joyful? -- the Stuarts were about sex.
The Victorians may have been obsessed by sex, but it was far from a joyful freedom, even if Vicky did chase Albert around the Palace. Most women were taught to close their eyes and think of England.

The Puritans were a predictable backlash to Tudor/Stuart/upper class "unGodliness" -- greed, oppression, call it what you will -- after people found out what the Good Book really taught about being a Christian.
Regardless, just the number of sermons preached promoting ethical sexual behavior tells you how open people's licentious behavior must have been. Live for today for tomorrow you die, etc.

I ignored Galileo to make a point about their personal relationship with God, which many of us do not experience these days either.
What the likes of Montagu thought about God, and what Nan Hartlib and Mynheer Roder believed were light years apart.
Even Robert Boyle and John Evelyn went to great lengths to incorporate their religious beliefs into their science.

So much about life that we take for granted was in flux in the 17th century. Ignore the flux and you don't understand the story. Writing about any specific understates the big picture. It's a quandry which reading the Diary solves, but that takes 9 years.

You mention the Puritans getting kicked out of the Netherlands. Spinoza was also thinking and writing there in the 1660's. His ideas about how to love God were also surpressed, although they were the mirror opposite of those Puritans. Same problem: specifics deny the big picture.

Bottom line: while we undertake this 9 year adventure together, let's be broadminded. Pepys is far from prudish, which should not turn us into default Puritans.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thank you, Eric The Bish, for telling me about the Psychology of Clothes. I find it's available on line at
I'll check it out.

My understanding of how things were in the early 1660's:
The incoming Courtiers had French tailors as well as English ones (Montagu mentions that), and wore colorful French fashions -- one can think of this as a political statement. Dark colors and "sensible" Puritan dress was a reflection of all things Interregnum, and therefore out.
(Think tie dye and levis -vs- couture in the 1970's. Dressing that way showed disrespect to the establishment -- a young people's political statement.)

Back to the 1660's: clothing was very expensive, and therefore people who were not Courtiers continued to wear Puritan clothing hand-me-downs, but added ribbons, or adapted it to be less Puritan. We read of Pepys having his clothes recut.

Plus Pepys was not going to be a Courtier. The social level down from there took care not to misrepresent themselves, or draw too much attention to themselves -- which could have disasterous consequences.

An interesting painting from this time is called Man in Black by Gerard Ter Borch, which shows a fashionable dressed man.

In the early days of the Restoration, alliances to the throne or to Parliament were indicated through clothing.
This man’s ensemble puts forth mixed messages as to who he was.
The lack of excessive decoration, the sombre color, and the capotain suggest he was a Parliamentarian. Clerks traditionally wore black -- divines wore black -- think of the paintings of More and Wolsey: Lord Chamberlains in black -- poor men who wanted to be taken seriously.
The man's longer hair, the fine construction and silhouette of his garments (namely the “shrunken” doublet and rhinegraves), his shoe and knee bows, and the crispness of his appearance suggest he has disposable income and an interest in fashion.
We can assume he is from the wealthier classes based on these clues. He is chosing to dress this way, communicating his station in society, but also showing awareness of the fashionable trends.

I think he represents the model Pepys is trying to follow. Quality, awareness, but restrained.

That is, until October 1666 when Charles II promotes British exports and style by changing everything about men's dress -- and SPOILER, that's about the time we will see Pepys stretch his wardrobe choices, but he'll be living the right sort of life to support these decisions:

[The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm waiting for the Brits to roll out a "Swinging London" campaign, and turn fashion upside down once again. People always spend money to have fun and be stylish.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

A book will be published shortly which addresses
Sexual Politics in Revolutionary England -- By Sam Fullerton
Sexual politics in revolutionary England recounts a dramatic transformation in English sexual polemic that unfolded during the kingdom's mid-17th-century civil wars.
In early Stuart England, explicit sexual language was largely confined to manuscript and oral forms by the combined regulatory pressures of ecclesiastical press licensing and powerful cultural notions of civility and decorum.

During the early 1640s, graphic sex-talk exploded into polemical print for the first time in English history. Over the next two decades, sexual politics evolved into a vital component of public discourse, as contemporaries utilized sexual satire to reframe the English Revolution as a battle between licentious Stuart tyrants and their lecherous puritan enemies.

By the time that Charles II regained the throne in 1660, this book argues, sex was a routine element of English political culture.

• PRICE: £85.00 • ISBN: 9781526175908
• Format: Hardcover
• Pages: 328


"... sex was a routine element of English political culture." I wonder what that really means? But it does support my belief that Pepys' behavior wasn't excessive compared with his contemporary norms.

Perhaps it means the Stuart Brothers' and the Court's sexual exploits were gossiped about openly, and interpreted as being expressions of their rejection of Puritan/Presbyterian mores?

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