Saturday 11 August 1660

I rose to-day without any pain, which makes me think that my pain yesterday was nothing but from my drinking too much the day before.

To my Lord this morning, who did give me order to get some things ready against the afternoon for the Admiralty where he would meet. To the Privy Seal, and from thence going to my own house in Axeyard, I went in to Mrs. Crisp’s, where I met with Mr. Hartlibb; for whom I wrote a letter for my Lord to sign for a ship for his brother and sister, who went away hence this day to Gravesend, and from thence to Holland. I found by discourse with Mrs. Crisp that he is very jealous of her, for that she is yet very kind to her old servant Meade. Hence to my Lord’s to dinner with Mr. Sheply, so to the Privy Seal; and at night home, and then sent for the barber, and was trimmed in the kitchen, the first time that ever I was so. I was vexed this night that W. Hewer was out of doors till ten at night but was pretty well satisfied again when my wife told me that he wept because I was angry, though indeed he did give me a good reason for his being out; but I thought it a good occasion to let him know that I do expect his being at home. So to bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"nothing but from my drinking too much the day before" He is right about the drinking but it was not an ordinary hangover; hangover gives one a headache not back pain; kidney stones give you back pain.

Mary House  •  Link

Being trimmed in the kitchen. Is this a sign of Pepys' improved financial condition to have the barber come to his house?

chip  •  Link

Tomalin's epilogue mentions the autopsy of Pepys..."the left kidney contained seven irregular stones joined in a mass adhering to his back, the surrouding areas including the gut much inflamed, septic and mortified, the bladder gangrenous and the old wound from the stone operation broken open again. The lungs were full of black spots and foam, the guts discoloured, flaccid, empty and inflamed; but the heart and right kidney were sound." Not too pleasant I know, but perhaps of interest to the medical people reading.

Mary  •  Link

Being trimmed in the kithen
Mary House is probably right. It can't be that there was no room in the old, Axe Yard house for Pepys to be trimmed there. That was a house of eight hearths in which he was initially taxed on five hearths and, by the time that the diary opened, had also taken over the three hearths that had previously been the responsibility of the Beales, who had moved to the Axe tavern. (L&M Companion)

David A. Smith  •  Link

"nothing but from my drinking"
The City of London Museum exhibition on Pepys has some sample kidney stones of such size that one gets a pain in the back just from LOOKING at them!

Eric Walla  •  Link

An interesting psychological portrait Sam paints of himself ...

... angry that Hewer stays out late, happy that he cries, satisfied with his reason for staying out late, making a point out of it in any case. Oh, the demanding life of a master in the 17th C!

David A. Smith  •  Link

"to let him know that I do expect"
I agree with Eric Walla: Sam is learning how to be a boss, a role unfamiliar to him except being on the receiving end of Montagu's direction. I expect it will take him a while to learn how to mix the necessary skills.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

W Hewer
Not to spoil the plot but ... Given that Will is going to become his lifelong friend, it's clear that SP will learn the skills very well indeed (specifically with regard Mr. Hewer).

Glyn  •  Link

No, I don't buy that: Pepys is not an inexperienced manager. Before the Diary began, and while Montague was mostly away from London, Pepys ran important parts of his household, kept the servants in line (including hiring and firing?), and looked after Mistress Jem's business affairs (both mother and daughter). He was answerable to Montagu but seems to have had great freedom of action.

This is more a growth in responsibility and experience rather than being something completely new. Also, of course, people were accustomed to taking on more responsibility at a younger age than we do now perhaps because people died younger. For example, look at Montagu: an important general for several years and now Admiral of the Fleet but still only 35 (I think).

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Pain in the back not from stones, methinks.

I think Sam may have been right in his prognosis. Look at his original complaint from the day before (including Chip's correction): "I had a great deal of pain all night, and a great looseness upon me so that I could not sleep." Combine some less-than-fresh food (a distinct possibility in those times) along with all that Rhenish wine on the 9th, and you can end up with plenty of back pain and "looseness." (If the word refers to his bowels, as I think it does ... Language Hat, care to weigh in on whether or not that meaning is correct?)

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"I found by discourse with Mrs. Crisp that he is very jealous of her, for that she is yet very kind to her old servant Meade."

I'm not sure that I quite understand what he's saying here. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

language hat  •  Link

Yes indeed, it's the OED's meaning 4:
Laxity (of the bowels), esp. as a morbid symptom; diarrhoea; an attack of diarrhoea.
1586 T. RANDOLPH in Ellis Orig. Lett. Ser. II. III. 121 He fell into a greate losenes of his bodye. 1600 SURFLET Country Farme I. xv. 97 For the loosenes of the belly, some make them meate of the husks of barlie steept in wine. 1663 BOYLE Usef. Exp. Nat. Philos. II. V. xi. 232 If rubarb be justly affirmed to be an excellent medicine in loosenesses. 1702 J. PURCELL Cholick (1714) 163 The Pains grew violent, and a great Looseness succeeded. 1737 BRACKEN Farriery Impr. (1749) I. 217 In Diarrhoea's or Loosenesses.

Pauline  •  Link

Yes, Todd
I too was very puzzled by this. I assume "he" refers to Mr Hartlibb. The elder Mr. Hartlibb did live in Axe Yard. Perhaps he relies on Mrs. Crisp's attentions (and cooking or company) and is exasperated by her solicitations of old Meade.

I just don't know. Does L&M transcribe this the same way? Do we need an older usage of "jealous"?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Mrs. Crisp
L&M have some of the same confusion. Here's their footnote that appears right after this phrase, "I found by discourse with Mrs. Crisp":
"(? Diana) Crisp, the daughter."
I for one don't find it terribly helpful. It certainly does open a range of other possibilities.

vincent  •  Link

Rhubarb! Oh yes a wonderful laxitive: along with Blackberries and oh! so much cheaper.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Note Pepys's use of "brother" to indicate a brother-in-law: "I met with Mr. Hartlibb; for whom I wrote a letter for my Lord to sign for a ship for his brother [Johannes Rothe] and sister [Anne Rothe (b. Hartlib]."

Dick Wilson  •  Link

The working hours of domestic servants and assistants, like Hewer, seem to be awful. It appears that he was supposed to be in attendance on Pepys when his master awoke in the morning. He was to work all day and be there when Pepys went to bed. Only then could he crash. He must have worked a 16 hour day, every day.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I met with Mr. Hartlibb; for whom I wrote a letter for my Lord to sign for a ship for his brother and sister, who went away hence this day to Gravesend, and from thence to Holland."

About the voyage:…

Third Reading

LKvM  •  Link

Re Todd Bernhard:
"I found by discourse with Mrs. Crisp that he is very jealous of her, for that she is yet very kind to her old servant Meade."
"Servant" can also mean "suitor." Meade is her old suitor.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"It appears that he was supposed to be in attendance on Pepys when his master awoke in the morning. He was to work all day and be there when Pepys went to bed. Only then could he crash."

The Diary shows that's not quite true, Dick.

Will Hewer could ask Pepys after dinner if he would be needed for a few hours, as he wanted to -- in this case, visit his mother or friends.
Last week he was out of town apparently, on a trip which involved horseback riding.
Pepys says he goes to Sandwich's to meet up with Hewer, where they had agreed to meet when they had both finished their errands.
There are many times in Hewer's day when he could relax while Pepys is in meetings.
Yes, Hewer was "on duty" more than servants are legally permitted to be these days, but it was a cooperative relationship, and the Pepys provided him with everything. The staff were the Pepys' family in many ways.
Hewer didn't have to commute home for an hour each way every day, shop for and cook his own dinner, fix his own plumbing, pay bills, or do his own cleaning, mending and laundry.

Seething Lane was a little commune, and everyone had their role and responsibilities. It was totally different to our single, alienated, self-reliant mindset.
I guarantee they laughed more than you are used to, every day. There's nothing more funny than folk.
(Also, don't be confused by the Victorian attitude to servants: This wasn't a seen-but-not-heard situation. Again, everyone knew their place and their roles, and so long as no one stepped over the line, things ran every smoothly. Pepys is drawing the line tonight for a 18-year-old.)

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

In further evidence of the frantic scramble for bureaucratic plums that continues as the monarchy rebuilds itself, consider this minute from today's session of Parliament's Treasury Committee (at…): "The question of the lease of the Ballast Office".

Ah, the Ballast (or Ballastage) Office. The glamour, the romance of that one; it's in charge of quarrying and hauling around the gravel to ballast ships, and what girl wouldn't fall for the gallant, mysterious ballast-man? Anyway; the Committee's minutes and the State Papers record at least six and perhaps up to 10 petitions from hopeful contenders; plus a claim from Trinity House, which holds a "patent of Lastage and Ballage" which Charles I, who set up the Ballast Office in his final year, apparently forgot about (how could he).

And we say nothing of the petitions for seaweed, or of the bold proposal sent on August 2 by "George Paul" to the king, "for a grant of all mud or oozy lands in England, between high and low water mark (...) now worth nothing" - yea, a squishy empire of no less than the kingdom's entire coastline, as long as it's oozy and bounded by tidelines that must be loosely charted at best, if at all possible to map.

So now there's this tussle, in which the State Papers show that Colonel William Carlos alone has been agitating for at least three months, and which now has the committee throwing up its collective hands in despair and kicking up the file to H.M. himself for resolution.

By late August the Gravel Crisis has reached the very top of the Government. An undated letter from Lord Treasurer Southampton to the king's secretary, placed in the State Papers for next September, will record that one of the petitioners offered £400 to get the patent for 21 years - compare this with the £1,000 Sam has been offered for his complex, intense and strategic position on top of the entire Navy, and decide which is the fairer price.

(As the party goes on, Col. Carlos takes his young associate to a quiet spot near the water-pool: "I want to say one Thing to ye". "Yes sir". "Are ye listening?" "Yes sir, I am". "Just one word: gravel... There's a great future in gravel". See the whole scene at…).

The Treasury opines that it should all really be the King's gravel, but petitions will still be flying in November. Carlos, a far from insignificant character who may have saved the king's life twice at the battle of Worcerster, will get rights to gravel in the Thames (…) but will still be litigating against Trinity House in 1663 (…). Spoiler: Trinity House comes on top in the end (https://trinityhousehistory.wordp…).

MartinVT  •  Link

Since kidney stones are mentioned in the description above of the autopsy of Pepys, the medically-minded may also enjoy this precise description of the operation performed on Pepys two years ago in 1658 to remove his kidney stones, here:…

It states that of the various forms of kidney stone operations available at the time, Pepys underwent "Marian lithotomy," which "remained in vogue until nearly the end of the I7th century. Many of the self-taught itinerant lithotomists used it." (One wonders how a self-taught lithotomist might learn the trade. In any event, Sam used a trained and experienced surgeon.)

For the non-squeamish, here's the description, from that paper, of Sam's operation:

"Preparation a few days earlier was by purging, bleeding, and fomentation to the perineum. He was placed on the table with his buttocks raised, his legs flexed, and the hands bound to the
knees. Immobilization of the limbs was further ensured by four strong men. . . A curved probe or bougie with a slit on its left side was thrust through the urethra and into the bladder. The
scrotum was lifted by an assistant to leave the left side of the perineum exposed. A cut was
made on to the slit in the probe, no larger than the thumb, avoiding the seam of the perineum and the anal orifice. The gorget was inserted into the opened urethra and the channel kept open with the pair of conductors or guiders. The staff was withdrawn. The voracious and vociferous crows-beak or duckbill forceps were passed into the bladder to search for the stone. If the opening was too small Pare's dilator was inserted and opened until the forceps with the stone could be withdrawn. It was examined for cracks or facets; any blood clot or fragments were removed and no pieces left behind. Other forceps were available — for example, Pare's and Aston Keys'. A very large stone could be crushed by heavy forceps (Brodie type) and removed
piecemeal. Pepys's operation was a success. The stone, as big as a tennis ball, was complete and

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