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.

23 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.rootsweb.com/~hdecent/c…

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

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.

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