Saturday 18 August 1660

This morning I took my wife towards Westminster by water, and landed her at Whitefriars, with 5l. to buy her a petticoat, and I to the Privy Seal. By and by comes my wife to tell me that my father has persuaded her to buy a most fine cloth of 26s. a yard, and a rich lace, that the petticoat will come to 5l., at which I was somewhat troubled, but she doing it very innocently, I could not be angry.

I did give her more money, and sent her away, and I and Creed and Captain Hayward (who is now unkindly put out of the Plymouth to make way for Captain Allen to go to Constantinople, and put into his ship the Dover, which I know will trouble my Lord) went and dined at the Leg in King Street, where Captain Ferrers, my Lord’s Cornet, comes to us, who after dinner took me and Creed to the Cockpitt play, the first that I have had time to see since my coming from sea, “The Loyall Subject,” where one Kinaston, a boy, acted the Duke’s sister, but made the loveliest lady that ever I saw in my life, only her voice not very good. After the play done, we three went to drink, and by Captain Ferrers’ means, Kinaston and another that acted Archas, the General, came and drank with us. Hence home by coach, and after being trimmed, leaving my wife to look after her little bitch, which was just now a-whelping, I to bed.

33 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Wheatley: "Edward Kynaston, engaged by Sir W. Davenant, in 1660, to perform the principal female characters: he afterwards assumed the male ones in the first parts of tragedy, and continued on the stage till the end of King William's reign. He died in 1712."
L&M footnote: "Edward Kynaston, playing Olympia, and now nearly 20 [a boy ?] was one of the last actors to play feminine roles in the Elizabethan tradition."
L&M Companion: "Kynaston [Edward] (?1640-1712). In his day perhaps the best-known boy actor playing female parts; a member of Rhodes company at the Cockpit Theatre 1659-60 and of the King's Company and its successors 1662-99."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

another that acted Archas, the General
Wheatley: "Who played Archas is unknown; but Betterton, ... was early distinguished for playing in 'The Loyal Subject'."
L&M: "Probably Thomas Betterton."
L&M Companion has a long entry on him which starts "Thomas [Betterton](1635-1710) was perhaps the greatest figure in contemporary theare."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Captain Hayward (who is now unkindly put out of the Plymouth to make way for Captain Allen
L&M: "John Hayward had served the Protectorate and had been with Sandwich on both the Baltic and the Dutch voyages of 1659 and 1660. Thomas Allin had been a consistent royalist."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"The Loyall Subject,"
Wheatley: “a tragi-comedy by Beaumont and Fletcher.”
L&M: “a tragicomedy by John Fletcher, first acted in 1618, and published in 1647.”

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

I enjoyed the part where Pepys' wife goes shopping and comes home having spent more than he anticipated.

Some things NEVER change.

But since he gave her 5 l. at the outset, shouldn't the text read later "the petticoat will come to more than 5 l."?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

L&M is in general agreement with Wheatley on the wording and on the monetary values in this entry. They however add a textual footnote to the effect that the manuscript actually had '50l' as the amount SP gave EP before they revised it to '5l'. Admittedly, it is a bit confusing as it stands now but, if the value was left unedited, it certainly would have fouled things up.
L&M go on to say "Gowns were often worn so as to show the upper petticoat which was, therefore, very ornamental"

Pauline  •  Link

"Gowns were often worn so as to show the upper petticoat..." L&M
This is odd, given that I think of the petticoat as a skirty thing from the waist down. Does this mean that "petticoat" included the bodice and that it is the bodice that is shown?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

The Loyal Subject
The title says it all. This play had a interesting resonance in the political climate of the Restoration.

Here's a longish summary from a web site that discusses the feminist implications of the play ("Both plays [The Woman's Prize and The Loyal Subject by John Fletcher] feature strong women who seek greater social and political power than their traditional circumscribed roles allow.”)

“Olimpia, the duke's sister, … advises the duke and attempts to counteract the influence of his malicious counsellor Boroskie. Whereas Boroskie encourages the young ruler to govern absolutely and without regard to input from his other advisers, Olimpia tries to heal her brother's growing estrangement from his nobles and often reminds him of his responsibility to act with justice for the good of the kingdom. But she is usually ignored by the duke and is even ordered to desist. Later in the play, however, after circumstances have forced the duke to see the error of his ways, Olimpia acts as her brother's emissary to the retired general Archas, the ‘loyal subject’ of the play's title. She is given the responsibility of convincing Archas to assist the duke in rescuing the kingdom from an invading army even though the duke has recently abused, imprisoned, and tortured Archas; she succeeds in her persuasion, and Archas saves the kingdom. Without Olimpia working as mediator and ambassador, the play's end would needs have been tragic rather than tragicomic, and her role as intermediary is made manifest by the flurry of wedding plans that end the play: the duke is to marry the daughter of Archas and Olimpia is to marry his son, cementing the union of the two houses.”…

From a Marxist critique of Shakespeare:

“… these dramatists [Beaumont and Fletcher] were still trying to bolster up a feudalism that was crumbling under the rising bourgeois tide. … This tendency is even more pronounced in Fletcher’s tragi-comedy, The Loyal Subject, in which the hero suffers great abuse at the hands of his monarch, who finally restores him to grace.”…

G. Surrency  •  Link

"upper petticoat"

Petticoats are worn under the dress and make the skirt of the dress stand out from the body. Many petticoats can be worn at the same time. The dress can be shorter than the petticoat so that the petticoat trim can be seen.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"Gowns were often worn so as to show the upper petticoat"- L&M

That’s probably the outermost of several stiffly starched petticoats. “Think crinolines,” says my lady wife.

vincent  •  Link

petticoats there are: some interesting connections. Out of style dead as a dodo(1930's half way down)…
a street since when:("...Back in 1603 there was a Petticoat Lane shown on maps ..."…

then their is modern fashion from (".... Our striped petticoat is too pretty to hide ...")…

Then their is the tradition of Pantomine A left over from boy plays girl. (and was such fun) where the boy is better looking than the girl? and as for Auntie? well!

chip  •  Link

I found it touching that Pepys' father convinces his daughter-in-law to spend some of what he (the father) sees as ample funds that his son is earning. Obviously, the father likes his daughter-in-law, unlike the relationship between Pepys and Elizabeth's family. Perhaps the father, not gaining anything in his Wardrobe endeavors, found this way to influence at least someone's wardrobe.

vincent  •  Link

The ladies delight shopping for another outfit: Yesterday she has Mr Unthanke over for a spot of eats ( her Tailor non the less) and now off to ***** My! my! (warning fellers never let on whats in the wallet? just kidding maybe?)
Papa P does seem to like our Eliza.

Pauline  •  Link

"to influence at least someone's wardrobe”
Ah, chip, clever point!
So “upper petticoat” might mean the top one of several, the one that would show beneath a shorter or hitched-up-in-a drape outer skirt? And we aren’t talking the exposed lace and decolletage that gets Elizabeth’s portrait cut into strips in the 1830s by a shocked family retainer.

Mary  •  Link

The £5 petticoat
I take it that Pepys Sr. influenced Elizabeth to buy a really expensive fabric for the petticoat itself, which used up the £5, and also to buy lace (very expensive at a time when it was all hand-made and might well be enriched with gold and silver thread). This could have taken the final account well over the original budget. No doubt he used his expertise as a tailor in offering sound advice on the benefits of investing in a really good cloth.

Petticoats at this time were meant to be seen and admired; the front panel would be the most highly decorated and embellished and would show between the front edges of the overskirt, which could sometimes be pinned back in the nature of a bustle. See Picard, Restoration London, for detailed descriptions.

Arbor  •  Link

The Petticoat... £5, that’s £452 today! Some petticoat.

J A Gioia  •  Link

a perfect entry

we have elizabeth's shopping (and with the tailor over at the house yesterday one suspects a new wardrobe pending), family matters, navy business, theater going, pub crawling and, the best for last, my lady's dog dropping a litter as sam, after a very long day, totters off to bed by himself.

debra  •  Link

Petticoat picture
After much searching for a picture showing a typical dress of the time, with the front of the skirt open to display the elaborate petticoat, this is the best I could find. It's an engraving of Catherine of Braganza with Charles II, dating from about 1662, from the National Portrait Gallery in London.…

I will keep looking for a better illustration (but not right now, as I should be working!)

Glyn  •  Link

Is Elizabeth a dog lover, and just how many dogs are there in the Pepys household?

Back on 18 February "At home my wife’s brother brought her a pretty black dog which I liked very well,"

So Balty brought the dog to her rather than to him, but wasn't that a dog rather than a bitch and in any case was a puppy, so surely at under a year old would be too young to be this particular dog. And do they still also have pigeons in dovecotes as well?

And well done to Elizabeth for spending £5 on new clothes; that is more than the annual wages of both their two servants Jane and Will.

Mary  •  Link

the little black dog
that Balty gave to Elizabeth on February 8th is referred to by Sam as 'he' on February 12th when it is causing trouble by pissing in the house, so the dog that is whelping today must be another one.

Roger Miller  •  Link

He hasn't mentioned another dog.

A dog's gestation period is 61 days which would mean that the puppies were conceived on about the 18th of June. Elizabeth brought the dog back from Huntsmore on the 19th.

The dog would have had to be at least 6 months old at that date to be capable of having puppies which would make it just under two months old on 8th February when Balty gave it to Elizabeth. That would be possible.

Perhaps Sam wasn't paying attention back in February when he thought it was a he.

Glyn  •  Link

Outstanding detective work RM although a strange thing to be discussing. (But Chihuahuas and Great Danes are both 61 days?) In retrospect it's curious that there haven't been more references to dogs in his diary. For most of this period he has walked to the office or gone by boat - surely it would have been natural to occasionally take a dog with him, either for protection or to stop it being cooped up in a house with little room for exercise. But Pepys is obviously much more interested in people than in animals.

Ed LeZotte  •  Link

I keep thinking I heard Sam refer to a dog as "Towser" -- ring any bells?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

On the 17th of February 1663/64, SP will say "and by and by home and dined, where I found an excellent mastiffe, his name Towser, sent me by a chyrurgeon."

Daniel Baker  •  Link

Captain Allin's mission will be to bring the Earl of Winchelsea (or Winchilsea, some sources spell it), with his family, to take up the post of consul in the Ottoman capital. I'm not sure what other orders he may have had. Pedro mentions on Jan. 23, 1661, six days after Allin arrives in Istanbul, that he checks in on Captain Gallilee, who has been held prisoner since 1652, many efforts to win his release having failed. Not sure if this was part of Allin's mission, or if he ever was able to do anything for the poor captive.

Linda Camidge  •  Link

I may have got this wrong, but isn't Kynaston the main character in the excellent film Stage Beauty?

Katherine  •  Link

Yes, Linda, IMDB lists the character Ned Kynaston as the boy actor ultimately displaced by an actress. I'll have to see if that's on Netflix; sounds like a good supplement to our Samuel knowledge.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"to buy her a petticoat"

Sam has been spending a good deal of money on his own clothes, both because he now has the money and because his new position requires him to look the part. His wife also must look the part, and Sam's father, a tailor, well appreciates that.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

House of Lords Journal today…

King present.

The King's Majesty, sitting in His Chair of State, commanded the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod to give Notice to the House of Commons to attend Him; who being come, their Speaker presented His Majesty with the Bill for continuing the Excise until the 25th Day of December next.

The Clerk of the Crown read the Title, as followeth: "An Act for continuing of the Excise till the Five and Twentieth Day of December, 1660."

And the Clerk of the Parliaments, by Directions from His Majesty, pronounced the Royal Assent, in these Words,
"Le Roy, remerciant Ses bons Subjets, accepte leur Benevolence, et ainsi le veult."

meech  •  Link

I am a little confused. Sam's father is a tailor. And yet he his having his clothes made by another tailor, and now we see Elizabeth has her own tailor, also not Pepys senior. Yet she apparently goes to senior for her petticoat. Understandable that a women would have a different tailor than a man, but one would think Sam would use his own father's services.

Autumnbreeze Movies  •  Link

meech, Sam's father, the taylor, was retired. I'll say no more - it'll all come out in the diary.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"where Captain Ferrers, my Lord’s Cornet, "

Cornet was originally the third and lowest grade of commissioned officer in a British cavalry troop, after captain and lieutenant.
It was abolished in the Cardwell Reforms of 1871 and replaced by sub-lieutenant. It is equivalent to a modern second lieutenant.…

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