Sunday 22 July 1660

Lord’s day. All this last night it had rained hard. My brother Tom came this morning the first time to see me, and I paid him all that I owe my father to this day. Afterwards I went out and looked into several churches, and so to my uncle Fenner’s, whither my wife was got before me, and we, my father and mother, and all the Joyces, and my aunt Bell, whom I had not seen many a year before. After dinner to White Hall (my wife to church with K. Joyce), where I find my Lord at home, and walked in the garden with him, he showing me all the respect that can be. I left him and went to walk in the Park, where great endeavouring to get into the inward Park,1 but could not get in; one man was basted by the keeper, for carrying some people over on his back through the water.

Afterwards to my Lord’s, where I staid and drank with Mr. Sheply, having first sent to get a pair of oars. It was the first time that ever I went by water on the Lord’s day. Home, and at night had a chapter read; and I read prayers out of the Common Prayer Book, the first time that ever I read prayers in this house. So to bed.

36 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

at night had a chapter read
L&M note: "Of the Bible; a common ellipsis. ... One of the few occasions on which Pepys records[well sort of] reading the Bible."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

It was the first time that ever I went by water on the Lord's day.
L&M note: “Because of his official position Pepys was not subject to the general rules against Sunday hire.”

Paul Brewster  •  Link

one man was basted by the keeper
From the OED: baste, v
trans. To beat soundly, thrash, cudgel.
1533 Bellenden Livy iii. (1822) 223 He departit weil basit, and defuleyeit of his clething. ?a1550 Rob. Hood (Ritson) iii. 102 He paid good Robin back and side, And baist him up and down. Ibid. 364 Their bones were baste so sore. 1596 P. Colse Penelope (1880) 172 Would not sticke to baste your bones. 1660 Pepys Diary 1 Dec., I took a broom, and basted her, till she cried extremely.

john lauer  •  Link

"baste", i.e., lambaste.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

It's interesting to see how all these word echo each other ... From an OED perspective, I guess you could baste someone or lam someone but to really do the job you would lambaste them.

lambaste, v
[? f. lam v. + baste v.]
a. trans. To beat, thrash. colloq.
1637 I. Jones & Davenant Brit. Tri. 18 Stand off a while and see how Ile lambaste him. 1678 J. Phillips Tavernier's Trav. i. viii. 52 Otherwise they would be fin'd, and lambasted with a good Cudgel.

lam, v
1. trans. To beat soundly; to thrash; to "whack". Now colloq. or vulgar.
1595 [implied in belam]. 1596 Thomas Dict. (1606), Defusto, to lamme or bumbast with strokes. 1631 Celestina ix. 111 They will not sticke to strip them and lamme them soundly.

Mary  •  Link

.... one man was basted....
Why, I wonder? Is the implication that this was an opportunist entrepreneur who was turning an illegal penny by 'plying for hire' on a Sunday in a Royal park?

Arbor  •  Link

Funny how all the relatives appear to 'congratulate' the coming man. Or am I just an old cynic?

Sam P  •  Link

Travelling by water on the Lord's day - whatever next! The man's sensibilities & standards are in decline; has the rot set it - will Sunday trading follow?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Sam, maybe that's why he feels the need to read from the Bible and Common Prayer Book later in the day!

And Mary, that's exactly how I read the part about the man getting basted -- it sounds like entrance to the "inward Park" was restricted, and our enterprising friend was punished for bending the rules.

J A Gioia  •  Link


interesting that 'on the lam' is old u.s. slang for fleeing a crime; and another way of saying flee is 'to beat it'.

Brian McMullen  •  Link

I am getting very confused. First, he pays his brother all that is owed to his father. Once again, it appears that SP is hiding from his father. Then he meets up with his father at his uncle's house to share a dinner. It sounds like he expected to see him so why pay the brother?

One other thing, "...he showing me all the respect that can be". Has SP come this far in such a short time?

Gordie Forrest  •  Link

Common usage of "lambaste" in the UK these days is centered more around verbal abuse rather than physical. At least it was so in my youth.

Nix  •  Link

"I paid him all that I owe my father" --

It sounds to me like Pepys pere sent Tom over to collect. Perhaps he is irritated with Samuel over the Wardrobe job, perhaps it is inconvenient for him to come, or perhaps he is just embarassed about dunning his son directly. While it is not surprising that they encounter each other later at Fenner's, my impression is that it is neither expected nor unexpected -- Sunday dinner usually involves some, but not necessarily all, of the extended family, but I haven't noticed any particular pattern as to who is there on a given Sunday.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"I paid him all that I owe my father"
A note from the L&M companion might serve to characterize SP’s father: “The letters he wrote to the diarist from Brampton reveal however an unsophisticated and rather dependent character. He gladly allowed first the diarist and then, in the 70s, his other surviving son John to look after his affairs.” At this time, SP's brother Thomas was apprenticed to his father and will take over his business in the next year.

vincent  •  Link

"...Afterwards I went out and looked into several churches..." one hundred to pick from, What was he looking for? A Preacher or a fair lady or was it the rain ? not satisfied, went to the family do, He does seem to be at a loss, 'tis sunday, no real entertainment, reminds me of my Youth now't to do. Then he spies a common trick of the under priveledge trying to get pass the (olde)gate keeper(and not getting away with it ) for any event old or modern. He does seem to be so restless he even reads the Prayer book, not for salvation i'm sure.

Glyn  •  Link

"having first sent to get a pair of oars"

Unless I'm mistaken and he intends to find a boat and row himself home, I presume he means he sent for a pair of men to row him home. Rather like booking a taxi-cab.

In Language Hat's absence, I'd say it was the same grammatical construction that he used on the 17th about "carts drinking in the street" (meaning horses or possibly their drivers).

But it's interesting that he's now using the privileges of office: I wonder if they charged extra for working on a Sunday and for waiting time?

Vincent's comment about Samuel visiting a number of churches is interesting. I personally think he was sincerely a religious man, but perhaps he's looking for a new church with a good preacher, following his move to a new home.

Michael F  •  Link

Glyn, yes. "A pair of oars" seems to be a classic metonymy -- using a salient part to denote the whole. Since it is a "pair" of oars and a boatman has two arms for rowing, he seems to mean a single boatman. Similar terms would include "a good strong back," "a pretty pair of eyes," or terms like "a suit, a skirt, a Ph.D., or a beard." For that matter, "The Crown", which means the person who wears the crown.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Afterwards I went out and looked into several churches
His wandering from church to church leads me down a slightly different path. I think we've caught SP in a rather spiritual mood as he's writing today's entry. It's there in the selection of events he describes (i.e., wandering from church to church, remarking on using the watermen on a Sunday, and reading the BCP and Bible). I’m lead to wonder if this is in the spirit of his repeated expressions of thanks to God when things go his way. After all, things are really going well for him at this point…

vincent  •  Link

Yep, Glyn & Michael F. -A man is known by his work. there are so many examples. When he retires he is at a loss, is without a name, shame to be Identified as such, but such Identification makes it easier to handle, Just look at some of the Surnames (job,location or gooseberry bush). Even In good Portraits one must add the element of The career(CV) to the background to get the full character.

rower  •  Link

"A pair of oars..."

Further to Michael F.: could not a pair of oars as likely refer to two oarsmen? Oars really only come as a set- one cannot row with one oar (except in circles, although of course one oar can propel a small boat through sculling off the transom.) But it takes two to tango, too.

Glyn  •  Link

Rowing on the Thames

If you look at this illustration:…

you will see (1) how busy the Thames was, and (2) that Michael F was probably correct, because most of them are being rowed by a single rower only - which also means, of course, that there is no need to share the payment.

(Click on the NORTH button, to get back to where Pepys was.)

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

".one man was basted".
I tend to agree with Gordie Forrest here - I think the basting rather took the form of “‘Ere, wotcher fink you’re doin’..?” rather than actually cudgelling the man senseless for his misdemeanor. Even the verbal onslaught would pique SP’s sense of propriety enough for him to record a comment.

Nix  •  Link

"looked into several churches" --

He's shopping. We know from the early months that Samuel likes a good sermon on a Sunday, preferably at a church with a good congregation. He's new in London -- he wouldn't have attended churches over here while he was living in Westminster, especially when he couldn't take a water taxi. With a church every hundred yards or so, I think he's trying to get a sense of which ones are likely to provide social and intellectual stimulation. I'm a little surprised he didn't make it a point to make himself known in his own parish this first Sunday in the neighborhood, for practical reasons. But I don't read him as being in a particularly spiritual mode -- more that he's just trying to get a sense of his new neighborhood.

Nigel Pond  •  Link

"Oars" and "sculls"

Technically speaking there is a distinction between "oars" and "sculls" -- oars (or even more correctly, "blades") being the long ones each manned by a single rower, and sculls being the shorter ones that come in pairs manned by a single sculler. For water transportation, sculls were used, as speed was not of the essence and one man could ply the trade alone. In competition there are events for sculling and rowing, and indeed the famous "Doggett's Coat and Badge" is a sculling race for Thames watermen.

Oustide technical circles, the word "oars" is used to mean both types.

vincent  •  Link

"...I read prayers out of the Common Prayer Book, the first time that ever I read prayers in this house..."
Actually This a very important statement: not seven months ago, one would have been basted, at best or more likely, for having the said book in ones possession and If you had made an enemy of the Judge, he would have thrown the book at you, and with luck you would escape being entertained at the "Fleet","Bridewell" or maybe the "Tower": The Climate has truly changed:

Glyn  •  Link

The above table of fares dates from 1722 but probably wasn't much different from 60 years earlier.

So if Pepys is a regular commuter by boat, it will cost him 6 pennies each way by oars (going fast) for all stops from London Bridge to Westminster, but only 3 pennies each way by sculls (going more slowly).

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Mr. Temple drowned himself: the manner thus. He took a pair of oars at the temple stairs and bid the men row to Greenwich; when he going under the bridge, as the men were ordering their oars, he leaped into the Thames.
---The State letters of Henry earl of Clarendon. 1765.

Husband and Wife are as a pair of Oars, to row their Children and Servants to their desired Haven ...
---The grounds and occasions of the comtempt of the clergy and religion. J. Eachard, 1685.

Tonyel  •  Link

There is a memorial in a church in Devizes, Wiltshire to five young people who drowned while rowing on a pond in 1751. While regretting this, it also makes clear that it was their fault for going rowing on a Sunday.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

And Abe Lincoln should NEVER have gone to the theater on Good Friday.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘baste, v.3 Etym: Of uncertain origin, not known before 16th cent . . Possibly . . a figurative use of baste v.2: compare anoint in sense of thrash.
trans. To beat soundly, thrash, cudgel.
. . 1660 S. Pepys Diary 1 Dec. (1970) I. 307, I took a broom and basted her till she cried extremely.’

‘baste, v.2 Etym: Origin unknown . .
1. a. To moisten (a roasting joint, etc.) by the application of melted fat, gravy, or other liquid, so as to keep it from burning, and improve its flavour.
. . 1736 Compl. Family-piece i. ii. 106 Tie your Lobsters to the Spit alive, baste them with Water and Salt.

b. transf. or fig.
. . 1609 Shakespeare Troilus & Cressida ii. iii. 183 That basts his arrogance with his owne seame* . . ‘
* = 1. Fat, grease. Obs.

‘lambaste, v. Etymology: ? < lam v. + baste v.3
a. trans. To beat, thrash. colloq.
. . 1678 J. Phillips tr. J.-B. Tavernier Indian Trav. i. viii. 52 in tr. J.-B. Tavernier Six Voy., Otherwise they would be fin'd, and lambasted with a good Cudgel . .

b. fig. To scold, castigate.
1886 Harper's Mag. July 321/2 With an avalanche of facts, sarcasm and ridicule..a more complete lambasting and more vigorous and thorough roasting than Wise gave Bontelle was never known . .
1867 W. H. Smyth Sailor's Word-bk., Lambusting, a starting with a rope's end.’


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I left him and went to walk in the Park, where great endeavouring to get into the inward Park,1 but could not get in; one man was basted by the keeper, for carrying some people over on his back through the water."

"1. This is still railed off from St. James’s Park, and called the Enclosure. ↩"

In "Westminster: St. James's Park" Pages 47-60
Old and New London: Volume 4. Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878, they say:

"St. James's Park, much as we now see it, was laid out by George IV. between the years 1827 and 1829. In form, the enclosure takes somewhat the shape of a boy's kite, the head or broad part of which, towards Whitehall, is bordered by some of the principal Government offices — the Admiralty, the Horse Guards, the Treasury, and the India and Foreign Offices; at the opposite end is Buckingham Palace. In 1857, a suspension bridge for foot-passengers was thrown across the water, so as to form a direct communication between Queen Square and St. James's Street; and the bed of the lake was at the same time cleared out and raised, so that its greatest depth of water does not exceed four feet."

Pepys' quote sounds as if the Enclosure is a name for part of St. James's Park, but why it was fenced off, no idea (protection for Charles II's birds?). And it was separate from the rest of the park by water, but it wasn't an island by the sound of Old & New London. I haven't lived there for 50 years, and remember the Victorian bridge but not the details of the park. Insights anyone?…

"Good fences make good neighbors" -- the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations traces the proverb cited in the heading back to the mid-17th century.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Home, and at night had a chapter read; and I read prayers out of the Common Prayer Book, the first time that ever I read prayers in this house.'

L&M: "Chapter" of the Bible; a common ellipsis: see…

One of the few occasions on which Pepys records reading the Bible.
For family prayers, see J. H. Overton, Life in Engl. Church, p. 334+.

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

There is a good history of St. James's Park here:…

Evidently, King James "kept a collection of animals in the park. They included camels, crocodiles and an elephant. There were also aviaries of exotic birds along what is now Birdcage Walk." Presumably the "enclosure" was for the collection of animals.

In 1660, King Charles II initiated a redesign of the park. But at this point in the year, work had not yet started, so the enclosure was still there. From the park history linked above:

"The new park was probably created by the French landscaper, Andre Mollet. The centrepiece was a straight canal, 2,560ft long and 125ft wide, lined on each side with avenues of trees. The new park was opened to the public for the first time. King Charles II entertained guests here and also courted his favourite mistress, Nell Gwyn. The diarist, John Evelyn, a contemporary of Samuel Pepys, wrote on March 4th 1671:

" 'I had a faire opportunity of talking to his Majestie... & thence walked with him thro St. James's Parke to the Garden, where I both saw and heard a very familiar discourse between... [the King] & Mrs. Nellie'

"King Charles introduced the game, Pelle Melle, from France. This was played on a long fenced court and players used a mallet to hit a ball through a hoop. The courts in St James's Park gave their names to the present day Pall Mall and The Mall. A tradition also began at this time that continues today. In 1664, a Russian ambassador presented a pair of pelicans to the king. Pelicans are still offered to the park by foreign ambassadors and remain one of the most popular sights in the park."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... I paid him all that I owe my father to this day."
"Once again, it appears that SP is hiding from his father."

The other day John Pepys Snr. gave (loaned? sold?) 5/. of pewter to Pepys, who probably needs it for entertaining at the new house. Pepys probably owes some money for his new suits. And Dad and Elizabeth have been out shopping for a couple of days -- maybe she owes him something for those purchases.

Dad sent the young legs over to pick up the cash -- Thomas is much better able to defend himself from the cut-purses, plus Senior probably likes to sleep in on Sundays. This could be a sizeable sum, and young Samuel has the cash, so why not.

I don't think this Wardrobe thing is very serious -- Samuel will avoid being alone with his Dad for a while, until the idea blows over. Father has his own business -- better Pepys keeps him busy with projects or new patrons so he can pay his bills.

Log in to post an annotation.

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