Friday 10 August 1660

I had a great deal of pain all night, and a great loosing upon me so that I could not sleep. In the morning I rose with much pain and to the office. I went and dined at home, and after dinner with great pain in my back I went by water to Whitehall to the Privy Seal, and that done with Mr. Moore and Creed to Hide Park by coach, and saw a fine foot-race three times round the Park between an Irishman and Crow, that was once my Lord Claypoole’s footman. (By the way I cannot forget that my Lord Claypoole did the other day make enquiry of Mrs. Hunt, concerning my House in Axe-yard, and did set her on work to get it of me for him, which methinks is a very great change.) Crow beat the other by above two miles.

Returned from Hide Park, I went to my Lord’s, and took Will (who waited for me there) by coach and went home, taking my lute home with me. It had been all this while since I came from sea at my Lord’s for him to play on. To bed in some pain still.

For this month or two it is not imaginable how busy my head has been, so that I have neglected to write letters to my uncle Robert in answer to many of his, and to other friends, nor indeed have I done anything as to my own family, and especially this month my waiting at the Privy Seal makes me much more unable to think of anything, because of my constant attendance there after I have done at the Navy Office. But blessed be God for my good chance of the Privy Seal, where I get every day I believe about 3l.. This place I got by chance, and my Lord did give it me by chance, neither he nor I thinking it to be of the worth that he and I find it to be.

Never since I was a man in the world was I ever so great a stranger to public affairs as now I am, having not read a new book or anything like it, or enquiring after any news, or what the Parliament do, or in any wise how things go. Many people look after my house in Axe-yard to hire it, so that I am troubled with them, and I have a mind to get the money to buy goods for my house at the Navy Office, and yet I am loth to put it off because that Mr. Man bids me 1000l. for my office, which is so great a sum that I am loth to settle myself at my new house, lest I should take Mr. Man’s offer in case I found my Lord willing to it.

39 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

A) still tempted ? and unsure of his abilities. No time to for his other interests. If only he could see into the future and have 20:20 foresight?
Such Dilemma and of course the wine does not help his clarity of thought.
B) I wonder If "Crow" was an American Indian? any details?

chip  •  Link

L&M have great looseness in the first line, no wonder there. And also, news-book instead of new book in the final paragraph. The note on John Claypole says he was a son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell; Lord by virtue of office (Lord of the Bedchamber to the Protector) and of membership of Cromwell's Upper House. He had a taste for sport (somewhat to the dismay of the godly): hence perhaps the racing footman. Footmen were often athletic (cf. the 'running footman' who trotted alongside coaches, saving them from spills) and Irishmen had a reputation for fleetness of foot. What I don't understand is why Pepys thinks the race is so fine when Crow wins by two miles. Hardly sounds close! And to add to temptation is the calculation surely going on in Pepys' mind that 3l times 365 is over a 1000l per annum. Sell the post he's thinking, and bury the money in Axe Yard!

vincent  •  Link

news book vs new book totally different meaning: I believe ?, a two or more sheeted(quarto)paper was referred to as a (news) book?
Hide Park, Crown property (two years later J. Evelyn gave a great Catalogue of game(four legged and feathered) that resided there:) May be the Irishman got held up on Rotten Row where all the Ladies rode side saddle?

vincent  •  Link

Just jogged it 3 times around the outer edge of the modern park,it appears to be 22000 meters or there abouts..(just kidding) Need a London Runner to give a true figure. modern map…

Alan Bedford  •  Link

I wonder If "Crow" was an American Indian? any details?

Well, it’s certainly possible, albeit not probable. American Indians had been brought to England as slaves in the first two decades of the seventeenth century. The best known, at least in the U.S., was Squanto, a Patuxent, who later befriended the colonists at Plimoth (now Plymouth) Massachusetts in 1621-22. A short biographical sketch may be found at:…

Mary  •  Link

Crow's possible origins.
It seems slightly more likely that, if not a native Briton, Crow could easily have been a negro slave. In 1596 Elizabeth I had already decreed that all 'blackamoors' should be sent back to Spain or Portugal as they were disturbing local labour markets. It became very fashionable for the wealthy to have 'blackamoor' page boys and personal servants, as their complexions set off the pale-skinned beauty of the women of the family. 'Crow' could well have been a name bestowed on such a servant by an English master. See Liza Picard in 'Restoration London' pp178-179.

Dell Adams  •  Link

I think it most likely that Crow was English or himself Irish. The name Crowe is seen occasionally today (e.g. the actor Russell Crowe), and there's a town here in California called Crow's Landing.

Dell Adams  •  Link

Now check me on this. When he says that Claypoole wants to buy his house and that this "methinks is a great change", does he mean it's a great change or a great *exchange*, i.e., a big deal in the sense of an important event or in the sense of a major business transaction?

Lynne  •  Link

Crow could have been English or Irish. As in many European countries, his ancestor would have been named for his dark hair.

Mary  •  Link

Crowe's origins
If Crow had been Irish, it's more likely that Pepys would have referred to a race between Crow and another Irishman, isn't it? His phraseology implies that Crow is of one sort and the Irishman another. It also sounds as if Crow's name may have been tolerably well known in London, otherwise why mention it? Pepys himself does not seem to have had any particular connection with Lord Claypole and L&M have nothing to offer on him.

Benni  •  Link

It is likely Pepys knew Crow, because he had been employed by 'his lord'. The other one, not knowing his name, was simply referred to as 'an Irishman'.

chip  •  Link

I believe the great 'change' refers to Claypoole's fall from grace as Cromwell's son-in-law to seeking out what must have been a fairly humble abode. At least that is what I got.

Pauline  •  Link

(e.g. the actor Russell Crowe)
Who is one-sixteenth Maori. (Just one of those threads that appear in our work, but doesn't really fit the design.)

Paul Brewster  •  Link

The L&M Companion lists an Alderman William Crow and a Captain [George] Crow. In these short entries, neither of them is noted to have anything distinctive about their origin. We'll meet the Alderman on 21 October 1660 and SP will refer to him as "Crowes the upholsterer in Saint Bartholmew".

Brian McMullen  •  Link

I agree with Chip's assessment regarding Claypoole's desire to purchase the Axe-yard property. Listen to SP's words, 'which methinks is a very great change'. SP is emphasizing the complete reversal of their respective roles. This must have been heady!

vincent  •  Link

This Crow was A footman very unlikely to become an Alderman(a succesful business man) or weekly possible to be a Captain in military service [Navy or Army ](to get to Capitan One needed family connections or be like in service fom very Young age.)
The rise and fall of the Claypoole's fortunes. No longer needed Footmen et al.(My reason for N.American connection are two fold, 1) Ability to run long distances and 2) the names of birds and animals were given to Imports from foreign soil as there was Job function, no family or village/town connection.People who were not on the A list were named for their Speciality or whence from they came. London was a booming place, People at all levels of education came to make a fortune ,were dragged there, (being newly available labour force ) or had left an uncomfortable environment.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

My reference to the L&M was merely to note that the name Crow was not an uncommon one in England at the time and not that Crow the footman was related to anyone in the L&M Companion. Here's another thought on the origin of the name:

"The English surname Crow is of nickname origin, deriving from the physical or personal characteristic of the original bearer. In this instance, the name is traceable to the Old English term "cawe" which means "crow", and it would have been used to describe on whose black hair was likened by his peers to the dark plumage of the crow. Alternatively, some scholars suggest that in certain cases, this name referred to one who lived by or near the sign of the crow. In medieval times, the local inns would often use a signboard as a means of abstracting custom. These signs often contained elaborate depictions of animals, birds or fantastic creatures, such as the griffin. These then became local landmarks and would have been used as a convenient means of identifying those who lived or worked in their vicinity. In this case, the name would be of local origin, deriving from the place where the original bearer once lived or held land. References to this name in written records may be found as early as the twelfth century. In 1180 one Ailwin Crawe was noted in the "Pipe Rolls" for Wales and in 1187 there is mention of a Nicholas Crowe in the "Pipe Rolls" for Norfolk. There is no record of the arrival of the first of the name in America, however, it is documented that one Adam Crowe, aged nineteen, took passage on the "Thomas" bound for Virginia on August 21, 1635.
From an amateur genealogy site…

John T  •  Link

Am I the only one who is baffled by this obsession with the idea of Crow as an Indian? Is there anything in his name or Pepys' description that suggests he is anything other than a local athlete? Aren't we in danger of mythologising some sentimental image of an American Indian runner when the likelihood is he was just a canny lad from the East End?

Michael F  •  Link

John T.: I think it's the name "Crow." It's the Anglicized name of a tribe and this may suggest a Native American name. This happens a lot. An Anglo-American colleague of mine surnamed "Brown" married an equally Anglo man surnamed "Wing" and became "Brown-Wing." Now the first question she hears from new acquaintances is ALWAYS "Is that an Indian name?"

vincent  •  Link

Why the Interest? First it is a name Or is it? The Irishman had no name: All other entries have valid reason for being mentioned, an acquaintance, a notable Person, relation or prurient interest(girl). He does not mention the nobodies like the chap that removes the night soil or other tradesmen that he comes into contact with , like a big segment of the population they are faceless and nameless unless they attract the eye or pocket book.
Was this Race around hide park a contest or to entertain the publick? was their City Money riding on the Outcome.
The Claypooles were plentyful, many set up the the newly profitable schemes, Lots of googling tracking down the various characters, There was even a Cromwell Claypoole, which would upset Carlus Rex II.

Mary  •  Link

John T's cry of bafflement.
Despite my expatiation on the black servant possibility, I essentially agree that we don't need to look for a non-English origin for Crow. However, the suggestion that this chap might have been of N. American Indian extraction seemed so improbable when viewed from the eastern side of the Atlantic (that really would have provoked some comment by Sam)that I was tempted to respond with a less improbable but mildly exotic alternative. It's all been an entertaining digression, but we're unlikely to get to a definitive answer, I think.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"so great a sum that I am loth to settle"
In the midst of all his busy-ness, Sam's thinking has changed: he has now concluded that IF he can cash out his newfound position, he should do it.
Meanwhile, consider the wonderfully humble, "This place I got by chance, and my Lord did give it me by chance, neither he nor I thinking it to be of the worth that he and I find it to be."
Yes, Vincent, if only he could look into the future! But as Sam himself acknowledges, he is a tyro in the position, and he feels himself running breathlessly to catch up with his duties, and he can be forgiven for wishing he could just take the money and run ....

Reginald Edwards  •  Link

Here in Harrison, AR I have a friend whose name is Brent Crow. He states his ancestors came from England in the 1600's.


Reg Edwards

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Claypole (21 August 1625 – 26 June 1688), was an officer in the Parliamentary army in 1645 during the English Civil War. He was created Lord Cleypole by Oliver Cromwell, but this title naturally came to an end with the Restoration of 1660.

Claypole married Elizabeth, Oliver Cromwell's second daughter, before October 1646, and raised a troop of horse for Parliament to oppose Charles II in 1651. He was master of the horse to his father-in-law the Lord Protector. A Member of Parliament in 1654 and 1656, he was one of Cromwell's peers in 1657. After the restoration of the monarchy he lived quietly, but may have been briefly imprisoned as a suspect in a plot in 1678, only to be released when no evidence of his involvement was presented.…

Bill  •  Link

loosing/looseness. This definition below was my first thought, considering SP's drinking and eating habits lately.

5. Diarrhoea; flux of the belly.
---A Dictionary Of The English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Dick Wilson  •  Link

So Pepys says "Hi friends! I've got diarrhea and a back-ache, so let's all go for a carriage ride in the Park!"

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

I agree with Bill that 'loosing' = 'looseness' here tho' OED does not give this meaning; also that 'Crow' is no more than an English surname.

‘looseness . . 4. Laxity (of the bowels), esp. as a morbid symptom; diarrhœa . .
1586 T. Randolph in H. Ellis Orig. Lett. Eng. Hist. (1827) 2nd Ser. III. 121 He fell into a greate losenes of his bodye.
. . 1663 R. Boyle Some Considerations Usefulnesse Exper. Nat. Philos. ii. v. xi. 232 If rubarb be justly affirmed to be an excellent medicine in loosenesses . . ‘

Adam  •  Link

Running 3 laps of Hyde park would be close to 18 miles. I assume that can't be the case, and more likely there was a route around it or something which didn't span the boundary circumference. The official website suggests that Kensington Gardens (the western bit of the park) was part of Hyde Park proper at the time prior to remodelling so it would still be a long distance.

Third Reading

David G  •  Link

In response to the exchange ten years ago, Sam’s back pain could well have come from a kidney stone. I can personally attest that back pain is a symptom when a stone is passing!

LKvM  •  Link

Pepys will say he is "loose" when he has diarrhea or something close to it, and that he is "bound" when he is constipated.
This terminology is still encountered in the rural southern United States, where many immigrants from England settled. My mother-in-law (and her son, my husband) were country folk and would frequently speak of this food or that as "bindin'," meaning it would cause constipation.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... for him, which methinks is a very great change."

Sir John Claypole MP is looking for a town abode close to Whitehall -- he's still got his country mansion, but his mother-in-law has taken up residence there. He must have been planning some redemption of his name and reputation -- other Cromwells were able to do that.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Many people look after my house in Axe-yard to hire it, ..."

There is usually a housing crisis in London -- especially when Parliament is in session, and especially when there is a change-over in administrations. The Old Guard need to finish their business before they pack up and relocate, but the in-coming Guard are eager to get settled. Axe Yard was prime turf (location, location, location), even if the house was "rustic".

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meanwhile in Essex, the Rev. Ralph says the harvest was good, but he's concerned that the Act of Oblivion will "be moderate".

He's in the heart of Presbyterian country, and prays that God's acts of oblivion will be "famous and large" because he knows many sinners.

OR, perhaps he worries Charles II's retribution will be too moderate to spare his parishoners -- and maybe he'll lose his parish if he's judged to be too Presbyterian; Parliament is debating how to handle a country full of dissenting ministers.

We're told Rev. Ralph was a Greek and Latin scholar at University -- but his English leaves a bit to be desired. This could read either way.

Neil Wallace  •  Link

In 1660, betting went up to £1000 on the outcome of a foot race, but this became so prevalent that in 1664, King Charles II passed a law to limit bets to £100 ( Charles II, 1664: An Act against deceitfull disorderly and excessive Gameing.… )
Footmen who won often found no one would run against them, so they would run ‘black’, using assumed names and disguises.

April 1721 On Monday morning two running footmen, viz. Thomas Butler, an Irishman, and Peter Hughson, a Scots Highlander, set out from St. Giles's Pound, to run to York and back again in six days, for a wager of five hundred guineas. They ran very lovingly together for about thirty miles, when Butler began to flag, and, as the winner's courage always encreases in such cases, as the loser's decreases, so Hughson left him, bad him good by w'ye, and mended his rate, till at night he was said to be near five miles before him. This, and the exceeding bad weather on Tuesday, which made the roads wet, slipery, and stiff, fateagued the first so, that he fell sick, first vomited, and then had a fit of a high fever four hours, and not being able to stand, much less to run, he gave out, and was bought back on Wednesday in a waggon, and continues very ill. Hughson is gone forward...
Applebee's Original Weekly Journal…

60 years after Pepys, but footmen walking ultramarathons became highly popular, evolved into pedestrianism, which clings on still in the Olympics.

MartinVT  •  Link

"For this month or two it is not imaginable how busy my head has been . . . my waiting at the Privy Seal makes me much more unable to think of anything. . . . Never since I was a man in the world was I ever so great a stranger to public affairs as now I am, having not read a new book or anything like it, or enquiring after any news, or what the Parliament do, or in any wise how things go." Plus, he is worrying about the disposition of his Axe Yard house and the need to acquire furnishings for his new place.

With all that going on, Sam's blood pressure is up, his anxiety level is up, he's stressed, he's feeling overwrought — or "troubled" in his parlance. (And now maybe he's got kidney stones again, which can be caused by stress, or at least a stiff back, also stress-related.) He does not often elaborate this much about his stress level. All this explains why he remains tempted by Mr. Man's offer of 1000L for his Navy job.

Linda C  •  Link

Lord John Claypole was my husband's great-great (and more) Uncle. I'm always intrigued when I see the name Claypole and wonder if it's one of his. We've been to his home, Norborough, and had the great experience of staying there overnight.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In Paris today a tragedy has befallen George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham's sister:
Mary “Mall” Villiers Herbert Stuart, Dowager Duchess of Richmond's only living son, Esme Stuart, 2nd Duke of Richmond, died of smallpox, aged 10.

Esme's body was brought back to London, and buried on 4 September in Westminster Abbey.

It was probably at this point that "Mall" Stuart (1622–1685) returned to England, and joined the Court of her childhood friends, the Stuart Brothers and, of course, her brother.
Good news: There was a fourth husband in her future.

Henriette-Anne, Duchesse d'Orleans (AKA Minette and Madame) corresponded with her older brother, Charles II, from 1659 until her death in 1670. Her letters have been published by Cyril Hughes Hartmann (London, 1924); and more recently by Ruth, Lady Norrington (Peter Owen, 1996).
The letters document clandestine intrafamilial communications on serious political issues -- especially foreign policy -- such as the Secret Treaty of Dover, in which Minette's secret diplomacy played a role.
This correspondence also documents the role of a woman known as "Ephelia" who distinguished herself as an unofficial conduit of royal intelligence during the Interregnum and Secret Treaty of Dover.
Some of that's beyond the Diary, but just be aware that Mary "Mall" Villiers Stuart is someone lurking behind the Stuart activities, who wrote poetry, cross-dressed, fought duels (she was taught to fense years ago by Prince Rupert), and helped to create the mayhem this Court is famous for.
After all, she had lived through the assassination of her father, being forcibly removed from her mother's care, marriage at 12, the death of 3 husbands and both children, the Civil Wars, and exile with Queen Henrietta Maria, and now she's only 38.…………

徽柔  •  Link

“Good news: There was a fourth husband in her future.”
I believe Mall had only 3 husbands, Herbert, Stuart, and Howard. (Though she did have more than one lover)
Strangely enough, "the death of both children" is correct even with little Mary Stuart alive. According to the record in Westminster Abbey, there was also one kid "Charles" buried in the vault of Mall and James Stuart. It was buried in 1640. Very likely Mall had a miscarriage or the infant died very young.

Log in to post an annotation.

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