Sunday 16 September 1660

(Sunday). To Dr. Hardy’s church, and sat with Mr. Rawlinson and heard a good sermon upon the occasion of the Duke’s death. His text was, “And is there any evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it?”

Home to dinner, having some sport with Wm. [Hewer], who never had been at Common Prayer before.

After dinner I alone to Westminster, where I spent my time walking up and down in Westminster Abbey till sermon time with Ben. Palmer and Fetters the watchmaker, who told me that my Lord of Oxford is also dead of the small-pox; in whom his family dies, after 600 years having that honour in their family and name. From thence to the Park, where I saw how far they had proceeded in the Pell-mell, and in making a river through the Park, which I had never seen before since it was begun. Thence to White Hall garden, where I saw the King in purple mourning for his brother.1

So home, and in my way met with Dinah, who spoke to me and told me she had a desire to speak too about some business when I came to Westminster again. Which she spoke in such a manner that I was afraid she might tell me something that I would not hear of our last meeting at my house at Westminster.

Home late, being very dark. A gentleman in the Poultry had a great and dirty fall over a waterpipe that lay along the channel.

33 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

walking up and down in Westminster Abbey all sermon time
L&M replace "till" with "all"

Paul Brewster  •  Link

she hath a desire to speak to [me] about some business when I come to Westminster again
L&M make a sensible conjecture and replace "too" with "to [me]"

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"And is there any evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it?"
L&M: “A loose recollection of Amos, iii. 6.”
Here’s the actual verse from the King James:
Amos 3:6 - Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

my Lord of Oxford is also dead of the small-pox
Not so fast.
Wheatley: "Aubrey De Vere, then twentieth Earl of Oxford, survived till March 12, 1702/3, when the title became extinct."
L&M: "The report was mistaken: the Earl (20th in succession since 1142) had smallpox ... but did not die until 1703, when the main line of the family did indeed become extinct for lack of legitimate male heirs. They had held the title for 500 (not 600) years. In 1626 the succession had been saved by a second cousin (the 20th Earl's father) who after some difficulty established his right to the title."
Sounds like a tenacious line ...

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Pell-mell, and in making a river through the Park,
L&M: "Work on the new Mall (replacing the old Pall Mall) was probably completed by January 1661, when a keeper was appointed. ... The canal and lake were also made at this time, the water being brought from the Thames. Soldiers were employed in the digging."

J Callan  •  Link

"something that I would not hear of our last meeting at my house at Westminster"
Hmmm... worried he might have got the young lady in trouble, perhaps? Rather confirms how far the "dallying" went, doesn't it?…

helena murphy  •  Link

The flying of black flags was also associated with death and mourning,although Pepys does not comment on their appearance in London for the death of the Duke of Gloucester. In February 1649 when Prince Rupert commanded the royalist fleet in Kinsale, Southern Ireland, he immediately hoisted black flags and sails on all ships in memory of the executed king.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

"something that I would not hear of our last meeting at my house at Westminster"

So she obviously didn’t say no, or he wouldn’t have been worried about any possible consequences. Am I correct in thinking Diana Crisp was unmarried at this point? It was much easier for married women not to worry about consequences, of course. Good job they hadn’t invented DNA testing then.

Brian G McMullen  •  Link

Paul -

The location you gave for St.Dionis is proved out by the Rocque map. The link is:…

and the church is seen on the left side of the map about halfway down.

Mary  •  Link

Naughty Dinah

is by no means married. The daughter of Pepys' Axe Yard neighbour and friend, Mrs. Crisp.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"something that I would not hear"
Uh oh.
What lawyers would call "an admission against interest," this is hard to construe in any way *other* than Sam worries Dinah will tell him she's pregnant. O the perfidious ways of men....
Good catches, J and Jenny and Mary.

Glyn  •  Link

Come on, guys! - it was only 12 days ago, that's got to be too soon for her to know that. Surely she wouldn't know for at least a month.

Anyway, have the historians yet established which of Samuel or Elizabeth were infertile (or both)?

If it was Samuel who was infertile, then we with hindsight know that Diana was NOT pregnant by him - so what else might she be wanting to discuss? Asking money from Sam perhaps (?), which would always be a source of great discomfort to him. Anyway, he might be just as uncomfortable about kisses and cuddles if Diana wanted to confess to Elizabeth (or am I remembering an episode synopsis from 'Days of Our Lives')?

Laura Brown  •  Link

Modern-day doctors with all the physical evidence in front of them often can't figure out why a couple can't have children -- so it's probably a bit overambitious to try to diagnose the Pepyses now. The only clue is that, to the best of my knowledge, Pepys did not father a child by anyone else.

There's no question, though, who would have been blamed for the infertility at the time. Barrenness was almost always considered to be the wife's 'fault' unless there was compelling evidence to the contrary (for example, if she had had children with a previous husband).

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Pepys'infertlity" seems like I read somewhere that SP was infertile as a result of having had that operation for the stone in his bladder;

Laura Brown  •  Link

As to whether Diana could have suspected she was pregnant at this point -- a pregnant woman does indeed miss her period 11 to 16 days after conception. Pregnancy would not necessarily have been detected so early in Pepys's day, but it was possible (think back to the very beginning of the diary, when Pepys hopes that his wife is pregnant because she's a few weeks late).

Linda Pollock's book 'A Lasting Relationship,' a history of parents and children from the 17th through the 19th centuries, contains a section about how women determined that they were pregnant. It usually was not considered a sure thing until the mother felt the child moving in the womb. Some guessed it earlier, but sometimes the opposite was true -- Pollock cites the case of one woman who had mysterious stomach discomfort and wondered if she could possibly be with child. Her suspicions were confirmed three WEEKS later when she gave birth to a healthy son.

Barbara  •  Link

A De Auarjo remembers correctly - in the L & M Companion, under Health, it is thought that the operation for the stone probably damaged Sam's ducts so he became sterile without being impotent. A pity he didn't know that: it would have saved him considerable worry from time to time.

language hat  •  Link

"something that I would not hear of our last meeting"
I don't think it's necessary to jump to fears of pregnancy. Anyone who's ever wound up in, er, sudden intimacy with someone they do not see as a mate for life (and perhaps would not have gotten intimate with if it hadn't been for that last drink) is likely to understand the feeling: "Oh god, he/she's not going to act like we're a couple now, I hope..."

Glyn  •  Link

language hat is probably right. Pepys seems happy to have casual liaisons and flirtations with women such as Betty Martin but his long-term commitment is to his wife.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"Which she spoke in such a manner"
I hope Glyn, Language Hat and others are right, and that he's afraid of embarrassing protestations of love rather than of missed cycles ... but this entry sure *sounds* guilty.

Mary  •  Link

Dinah's plan?

Could be the exercise of entrapment. Suppose that she was already pregnant (and knew it) at the time that she dallied with Pepys, and that Sam represents a much better financial proposition (rising man) as a putative father than the real father at this point. Highly speculative as a scenario, but knot unknown, surely?

J Callan  •  Link

"it was only 12 days ago, that

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"I saw the King in purple mourning for his brother."

The colours of the mourning dress are different in different countries. In Europe, the ordinary colour for mourning is black; in China, it is white; in Turky, blue, or violet; in Ethiopia, brown; in Egypt, it is yellow; and kings and cardinals mourn in purple.
---A new complete English dictionary. J. Marchant, 1760.

Tonyel  •  Link

“And is there any evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it?”

Seems a little unfair to blame God for everything - or am I missing the point?

Frank G.  •  Link

"Seems a little unfair to blame God for everything - or am I missing the point?"

Either God is omnipotent or he's not, surely?

Aliceb  •  Link

Why has William Hewer never been to common prayer before?

John Pennington  •  Link

Samuel always has the worse-case scenario in mind. Usually this helps him because in his preparations and business he goes above and beyond. In this instance, his instinct betrayed him:

1. Sam was too alarmed to release it hadn't yet been long enough to confirm a pregnancy. His reference to pregnancy is unmistakable.
2. Diana was floating the idea of an ongoing casual relationship and Sam totally whiffed at it. If he'd had his usual presence of mind, he would've understood.

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

(very first comment above:)
--walking up and down in Westminster Abbey all sermon time
--L&M replace "till" with "all"

"All" feels wrong, "till" feels right. Sam mentions that during this walkabout he is conversing with "Ben. Palmer and Fetters" about the supposed death of the Earl of Oxford. Walking and talking during the sermon would surely be frowned upon, although the Abbey has plenty of room for discourse out of earshot of the seating area for sermons. But, he listened to the sermon and thought it was pretty good. So he sat and listened to it, and the walking was just "till" the sermon, not during it.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Why has William Hewer never been to common prayer before?"

Hewer was born in 1642 -- since his uncle was a Commissioner on the Navy Board, we can assume the family were reasonable good Presbyterians.…

The 1604 Book of Common Prayer was outlawed by Parliament in 1645 to be replaced by the Directory of Public Worship, which was more a set of instructions than a prayer book.…

So Hewer was 3 when it was banned.

The Church of England is struggling to be revived. Hewer is typical of young England. This is not an easy change.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Seems a little unfair to blame God for everything - or am I missing the point?"

Times and attitudes have changed, Frank G.
We live after the Enlightenment.

The Old Testament is about a vengeful God, who punishes His people for not following His rules.
The New Testament is about a loving God. You know, the guy with a white beard who worries abour falling sparrows.

The Stuart Puritans were Old Testament people.
1666 is almost here, and they were anxious about the end of the world. (You know, Revelations and 666.)
Plagues, floods and fires, and even a child's birth defect, are divine punishments for misbehavior or imperfect faith.
Many believed LITERALLY that Charles II and other monarchs were God's representatives on earth -- that's why the Touching for the King's Evil was such a powerful tool for so long.
And they had executed their King 20 years ago. hhhmmmmm ...
Anyone who suspected that such mystical thinking was odd would never say so because that was blasphomy -- and illegal.
They were still prosecuting witches -- and occasionally executing them.
Yes, their God was responsible for the nasty things in life -- the Godly's job was to interpret what the nasty things meant, and correct the offending people, behavior or situation.
You know about the Salem Witch Trials -- they are 30 years in the future.

This is the century where the educated people go from magical thinking to logical and science-based thinking. Not everyone made that change quickly or easily. The Church did not give up its power lightly, and both CofE and RC like their miracles.
Pepys will make the change before our eyes in the next few years, and it will frustrate him greatly.
No one comprehends what an enormous change they are in the midst of, or how the brave new world will work. -- Come to that, we're still having trouble convincing people that democracies are better than dictatorships.

Plan B  •  Link

Sarah that's a very enlightening overview of the period and the changes in philosophy and thinking that were happening in tandem with the upheavals of the time. It is not so easy for us in the 20th Century, living in an age where modern "truths" are accepted almost globally, to imagine the profound shift in religious and scientific thought that was taking place in Sam's world.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Glad you found that helpful, Plan B.

Pepys is pretty good at telling us Who, What, When and Where.
But motivation and context are also important.
Which leaves us with Why and How as our frequently mysterious challenges.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I've been thinking about Plan B's and my exchange about 17th century thinking, and I hope I didn't offend people by calling miracles "magical thinking".

As St. Augustine taught in I believe the 3rd century:
"Miracles strictly so called are those which occur beyond the order of all created nature. However, since we do not know all the forces of created nature, when something happens beyond the order of created nature known to us, through created forces unknown to us, the occurrence is a miracle for us. Consequently when the demons do something by their natural power, these are called miracles not in the strict sense, but miracles relative to us."

By the 17th century all sorts of things we take for granted were complete mysteries to everyone.
Take birds -- we accept as small children that birds can migrate thousands of miles every year, returning to the same pond at roughly the same time annually.
Pepys and Co. had no idea birds migrated. A Swedish bishop wrote a paper stating as a fact that they hibernated.…

This lack of information about everyday things is about to be tackled by the Royal Society. It was an exciting time to live with new information changing people's assumptions.
I think St. Augustine would have welcomed the new information. He was open to not uderstanding everything he called nature.

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