Saturday 20 October 1660

This morning one came to me to advise with me where to make me a window into my cellar in lieu of one which Sir W. Batten had stopped up, and going down into my cellar to look I stepped into a great heap of …[turds – L&M] by which I found that Mr. Turner’s house of office is full and comes into my cellar, which do trouble me, but I shall have it helped.

To my Lord’s by land, calling at several places about business, where I dined with my Lord and Lady; when he was very merry, and did talk very high how he would have a French cook, and a master of his horse, and his lady and child to wear black patches; which methought was strange, but he is become a perfect courtier; and, among other things, my Lady saying that she could get a good merchant for her daughter Jem., he answered, that he would rather see her with a pedlar’s pack at her back, so she married a gentleman, than she should marry a citizen.

This afternoon, going through London, and calling at Crowe’s the upholster’s, in Saint Bartholomew’s, I saw the limbs of some of our new traitors set upon Aldersgate, which was a sad sight to see; and a bloody week this and the last have been, there being ten hanged, drawn, and quartered. Home, and after writing a letter to my uncle by the post, I went to bed.

47 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

Arf arf! A pox on your Shakespearean witty word plays, there's nothing like someone else stepping or falling into a heap of ... to lift the spirits.

But again I'm puzzled ... Mary said that the Turners were previously neighbours at Pepys family home in Salisbury Court. Now it seems as if they have the neighbouring house in Seething Lane - are they stalking Sam?

So Sam is still looking at how to improve the house, in this case by making a new window in the cellar (presumably for deliveries of coal, wood etc). And if the lavatory is outside the house (as it should be) then the stuff is seeping inwards, which is nasty. Perhaps people forgot to empty the stuff regularly because of the various changes in ownership of these houses.

At this point in time, London was still small enough in both size and population for the stuff to be collected at night (by the 'night soil workers') and carried into the countryside where it could be either dumped in the river (as we do), or sold to farmers, and other occupations (tanners, etc). It wasn't until a century or so later, and the widespread use of the flushing toilet, that things really became dangerous.

Collecting the night soil might not have been a glamorous trade, but I suppose they were unlikely ever to go out of business.

Paul Miller  •  Link

"I saw the limbs of some of our new traitors set upon Aldersgate, which was a sad sight to see; and a bloody week this and the last have been"

Bless you Sam.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

great heap of turds
per L&M

Paul Brewster  •  Link

she would have a good Merchant
L&M's "would have" seems a little less harsh than Wheatley's "could get"

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Mr. Turners house of office
L&M: "Water closets had not yet been adopted even by the well-to-do. They are said to have been invented by Sir John Harington (a godson of Queen Elizabeth who published books on the subject) but required a good water-supply and elaborate plumbing."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

when he was very merry, and did talk very high
L&M: "On 15 November Lady Sandwich was to hire a French maid, and not long afterwards Sandwich had a suit costing £200 made in France for the coronation … and appointed Ferrer as his Master of Horse.”

Wasn’t this the same fellow that SP described with the following words: “He seemed to be in a melancholy humour, which, … was for that he had lately lost a great deal of money at cards.”…

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Mr. Turners
Thomas Turner does not appear to be related to John and Jane Turner of Salisbury Court, parents to SP's favorite eight/nine year old, The. Thomas Turner as a "Clerk-General of the Navy Office" or "Purveyor of Petty Provisions" was probably entitled to a house in the same complex with SP.

Emilio  •  Link

"he would have a French cook, and a master of his horse, and his lady and child to wear black patches"

Yes indeed, a change of administration makes all the difference. Following on Paul B.'s thought, I wonder what people think are the roots of this cavalier gusto, just days after his "indisposition" while his old confederates were being killed? Is he:
a) simply enjoying a host of pleasures that had been impossible to indulge in not long before;
b) sincerely throwing himself into the spirit of what will be expected of him in the new court;
c) creating some social camouflage for himself by so doing;
d) celebrating that it wasn't him on the scaffold yesterday;
e) etc.
The possibilities seem almost endless.

vincent  •  Link

'Me Laud' still has a touch of the 'noveau riche' "...but he is become a perfect courtier; and, among other things, my Lady saying that she could get a good merchant for her daughter Jem., he answered, that he would rather see her with a pedlar's pack at her back, so she married a gentleman, than she should marry a citizen…” Still likes the idea of honest labor or living rather than preening around the Palace and all of the distractions that he has seen. Or Making barrels of money in the Merchant trading sitting dru(i)nking, waiting and cannooddling for the boat to come in.

vincent  •  Link

"Wasn't this the same fellow that SP described …..”
'Pecuniae imperare oportet,, non servire' Syrus, Maxims
simply put, he is rich till he has to pay up. {debt not seen till man comes with the Baliff }[ala credito cardus. or ceptum in cera referit or sumup likes thart ]

vincent  •  Link

Emillio: Sandwich was a very practical man, seen life and death from the ground and water up; He has sent men into the thick of Gushing blood from man and horse. He has smelt it & tasted it. He is adjusting to the easier life that money and fame does bring. He was no armchair general/admiral siting in a bunker or cockpit on wing but on horse or deck in the swirling mist of anger, smoke, neighing, screams ,colateral damage, death, amputation and blood blood.

Pauline  •  Link

Yes, Emilio, we need to consider our Lord Montagu/Sandwich
He is such a central character in Sam's life.; and being older and born higher in rank, he presents us with considerations that don't apply in our close following of Sam's life.
Vincent is right to point out that Sandwich has been a player in the historical events and has been intelligent, shrewd, and given and risked a great deal as a player.
To me, he appears to be at odds and ends with 'What now?' He has won position and wealth, but may be missing the 'high' of the fight to get there. Hence, the gambling and other 'passions' we will find him pursuing. In this exchange he and his wife are showing that they realize what it all means to them and to their children. The “talking high,” together with Sam’s reaction, leaves me feeling that things were sort of out of hand in the conversation as my lord and lady tote up the possibilities. On the other hand, Sam seems to take them quite seriously as having become courtiers most perfectly. I think we watch and see how it unfolds over the next 9-1/2 years.

About this 'gentlemen' or 'citizen' business. I find I am assuming Sam is a citizen. What do you think?

JWB  •  Link

Sam may be getting his Lords in order.

Mary  •  Link

..which was a sad sight to see..

Perhaps Sam was feeling simple pity for those whose end had been so violent, but 'sad' at this date also carries the connotation of 'heavy, sober, sobering' and this sense may inform his reaction, too.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Interested in Glyn's 'night soil workers'... but didn't Dickens write of the cesspools surrounding Tellsons Bank in Tale of Two cities? Set 130 years later...

... and don't forget the parallel development of 'soil closets' where earth is used instead of water. Apparently a touch a go thing that the WC won over the SC.

Mary  •  Link

citizen v gentleman

There is a clear distinction here; a citizen ( a town or city dweller) might indeed be prosperous and respectable, but in societal terms he ranked well below a gentleman, who would be distinguished by the possession of land or landed property. A citizen, no matter how wealthy, could be dismissed as a mere tradesman.

Sam is indeed a citizen but not, in these terms a gentleman. It may have caused him just a tiny prick of pique to hear his own class dismissed in this way.

Helen Ayers  •  Link

Please, Glyn, to what use would tanners put 'night soil'? The ancient tannery here at Canterbury was ever a smelly place, but surely...

Robert  •  Link

Tanners and night soil: I think they used urine to cure the hides.

Gentlemen versus citizens: Sandwich is saying that he would rather see his daughter married to a gentleman with no money than a merchant or citizen with a lot of money.

Pepys is servant and is definitely not a gentleman, as Mary points out. Sandwich though has always been a gentleman as his family are landed gentry. He has become a noble but is not an arriviste.

The fact that Pepys has mentioned it does seem to indicate that it upset him somewhat rather than amusing him. It is another reminder that the cousins are on either side of a very great class divide. One that was present when they were born and cannot be bridged.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

I read an autobiography of a woman born in Hull around 1900, and where she lived they still had night soil men coming round during her childhood.

J A Gioia  •  Link

I saw the limbs of some of our new traitors...

i think a genuine royalist would have called them simply 'traitors'. to me, 'our new traitors' shows sam holding a realistic, if not cynical, attitude towards the freshly coined loyalties of the new status quo.

Paul Burgess  •  Link

Soil Closet
My partner grew up on a farm in the Black Country (West Midlands of England) in 1950s and these were still in use then. They backed onto a lane and could be emptied from there onto a cart or truck. They did not have electricity either!

Matthew  •  Link

I seem to remember that in Shakespeare's time "citizen" meant especially "merchant", that being the main business of the city of London.

vincent  •  Link

"Night soil" even today, in the most modern of cities, there still exist night soil removal systems : very modernised, not spoken of or smelt, but the tanker like truck with heavy duty hose and power pump still remove waste from toilets not on the Sewage system,mostly Parks. [ a case of out of site out of mind].
Back in the Fifties in the U.K. the Houses in Victorian working sections of Industrial cities too many to name, had their toilets at the back near an exit and an alley for the collection of night soil.[Not on the sewage pipe system].

vincent  •  Link

You can make a lord out of a country bumkin but never take the bumkin out of the lord. Sumart like thart.['tis the first seven years that matter, so says a misquote of the Jesuits]

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Sam the Gentleman

Hopefully I won't step into a great heap of turds by reminding everyone of Sam's pride on 25 March, when he was first addressed as " S.P. Esq., of which God knows I was not a little proud." If I read the annotations correctly, the term meant something back then, and was an indication that Sam had joined The Gentlemen's Club. True? Not true?…

The entries of the last couple of weeks have been, to me, particularly compelling -- so much is going on, so many shifts in the political landscape and in personalities ... the diary entries truly are a revelation. Such a clear, unfettered style for the time. He's a brilliant writer.

vincent  •  Link

ESQ: yes it is true , it puts him in a class above Gentleman But people being human are are always looking for the put down. I mean to say a"P**** louse" how can he amount to much, His family tree is full of failures and and sucesses Dr.s (paduan Yuck)
of law, medicine and religion, besides wood turners, silk weavers, ever forbid even farmers, estate managers etc.

They always want to know what Daddy did or does in order classify, are yer a poodle? or wolfhound ? When In Re-ality the Human gene is trully scrambled, one cannot predict the outcome of result of mating, a sows ear or silk purse.
One has to wait until the last breath before one can make a judgement. Take that learned Gentleman of No 10 fame.
So is he a Gent.? by style?, position?, Birth?, Manners, Or degree he earnt or is it the OST he wears or that B*****Y a**** he has of Salisbury yard.. Ye of the Jury must decide?

Glyn  •  Link

Does Pepys mood seem different from other entries, perhaps for obvious reasons? Normally he would be at least irritated by his neighbour's culpability but he seems to react here quite calmly - perhaps the happenings of the last several days have given him a bigger sense of proportion. But the day's events do seem a little weird: yesterday Sandwich was worried about poverty and now he's going to acquire expensive servants, as well as he and his wife allowing Pepys into their discussion about their marriage plans for Jem.

But maybe Sandwich wants to make sure Jem is safely married before his own head ends up on a pole on London Bridge.

Peter  •  Link

Re Glyn's point above. I had also noticed something different in the last week or so. I was coming to the conclusion that he perhaps has some disquiet about the new regime and his place in it. Barbaric executions; disrespectful sniggering in church services; gambling; his master looking to take on more of the trappings of the courtier and making snide comments obliquely aimed at Sam (intentionally or not). He may not be sure at the moment that the new masters are going to be any better than the old.

Dirk Van de putte  •  Link

"night soil"

The urine was indeed used to cure the leather. This is an age old method, already used by the Romans. If I remember correctly at some point the Romans even levied a tax on human urine, because it was a much wanted commodity!!! Correct me if I'm wrong...

George  •  Link

The urine was indeed used to cure the leather. This is an age old method, already used by the Romans. It was also used in the fulling of woven woolen cloth. Quite a useful commodity

Mary  •  Link

A domestic use for urine

Picard notes that urine also had its place in the domestic laundry. Combined with wood-ash, it formed the 'ley' (lye) that was used to soak dirty linen in the buck (wash) tub. The ley could be used either hot or cold. After a sufficiently long soak to loosen dirt, clothes were then vigorously rinsed with water before hanging to dry. Lovely.

Pedro  •  Link

On this day 20th October 1660...

Allin sails from the Downs in the Plymouth bound for Constantinople. On board were the Lord Ambassador, Earl of Winchilsea, and his wife and family, sailing to take up the post of Consul.

Second Reading

Rob  •  Link

The Roman emperor who levied taxes on urine was Tiberius who told his son who didn't fancy the idea "Pecunia non Olet" or money doesn't stink....

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

It was Vespasian actually Rob, and the quote is paraphrased from a reported conversation with his son Titus. (They were both Titus Flavius Vespasianus.) Vespasian was quite a wit. When he was dying, he referred to the Roman habit of "deifying" emperors and said "Væ, puto deus fio!" ("Oh! I think I'm becoming a god!")…

Bill  •  Link

Is Sam a "gentleman?"

[a bit of a spoiler]: On December 10, 1660 we will see that "esquire" is a higher rank than "gentleman", at least for tax purposes. Sam was prepared to pay at the "esquire" rate but was pleased to only be charged at the "gentleman" rate.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘Montagu [Mountagu], Edward, first earl of Sandwich (1625–1672), army and naval officer and diplomat, was . . the second but eldest surviving son of Sir Sydney Montagu, MP for Huntingdonshire, master of requests, and groom of the bedchamber to James I, and his wife, Paulina, formerly Pepys . .

Pepys's diary presents a picture of his ‘my lord’ almost as a true Renaissance man: the generous patron, the cheerful if sometimes moody companion, the hopeless manager of money, the competent artist and musician. He had an ear for languages, mastering Spanish by the end of his embassy, and his fascination with topography, mathematics, astronomy, and navigation emerges clearly from his manuscript journals, which are still held by his family . . ‘ [DNB]

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"On 15 November Lady Sandwich was to hire a French maid, and not long afterwards Sandwich had a suit costing £200 made in France for the coronation … and appointed Ferrer as his Master of Horse."

The King and Court are bringing back customs from French exile

L&M: For the spread of French influence, see Charles Bastide, he Anglo-French Entente in the Seventeenth Century, ch. iv.…

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

Sam does not mention today whether he discussed with My Lord the 80L that he figured last night he is owed. Presumably a dinner with My Lord and My Lady together was not a good time to discuss business. (And, between turds in the cellar and limbs on the Aldersgate, his mind may have been elsewhere.) Let's see how long it takes him to get reimbursed.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Isn’t this the same fellow that SP described with the following words: “He seemed to be in a melancholy humor, which, … was for that he had lately lost a great deal of money at cards.”'

The difference in mood, in my limited experience, depends on whether one wins or loses at the tables the night before. This sounds like Sandwich came home with a profit last night.

Lady Jem wants her daughter to have stability. Sandwich wants her to have nobility (which will improve his reputation, social standing and power).
Sadly stability and nobility rarely go together, as the noble's ancient pile/castle endlessly needs a new roof, etc. etc. etc.

Pepys probably feels this is sad: he likes Mrs. Jem, and would want her happiness, which is not a consideration in this conversation.

That is one of the hugh benefits of being a self-made Gentleman or an Esquire -- he could have his Elizabeth.

Ellie  •  Link

I’ve been reading and enjoying these annotations daily for a long time now but have only once before posted my own.
Two things struck me as worth mentioning today:
1) On the subject of night soil removal, someone (Vincent?) mentioned present day large tankers emptying conveniences at parks etc. It brings to mind the similar process often used by narrow boat dwellers. Every three or four weeks the waste tank has to be emptied and the boat is moored at one of many boatyards for a pump out. At one marina I was tickled to see a tanker emblazoned with the title Suckcess Services Ltd.
2) On the subject of uses for urine, it was used well into the 20th century in the highlands of Scotland for « waulking » or fulling cloth. It involved soaking the woven cloth in urine and then placing it on a table where the local women would sit and pummel it in time to « waulking songs » which would help to make the process bearable, probably even enjoyable. It’s now demonstrated (minus the urine) as an interesting part of highland culture. The songs are usually led by one woman singing each verse which is then repeated by the others.

Tonyel  •  Link

Here in rural Somerset UK we still use 'septic tank' drainage where the fluids, after treatment, are drained into soakaways and the remaining solids are pumped out by a tanker once a year. Our local tankers are often painted with jolly slogans like "Yesterday's Meals on Wheels".

In the old days of earth floors, someone had a right to dig up the floor in Spring (very unpopular with the occupants) to recover the urine salts. Hence, I assume, the term 'Night soil men'.

Neville  •  Link

Like many discoveries, the use of urine for fulling and tanning could well have been found by accident. One can imagine the scene.
If I had been Sam, I would be thinking "Where's my 80 quid?" when Sandwich was banging on about his spending.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I saw the limbs of some of our new traitors set upon Aldersgate, which was a sad sight to see; and a bloody week this and the last have been, there being ten hanged, drawn, and quartered."

Although it's not recorded in the Diary, some people were horrified by this punishment. Some young people decided to do something about it when they became of age. One was Pepys' colleague, Adm. William Penn's son -- also a William -- who is currently a teenager in Ireland looking after his parent's estates. Her hasn't had any sort of enlightment or calling yet.

But after the Diary, when Charles II awards him lands in America to settle the accounts with the Penn family, he does make some changes to civil laws concerning offenders:

"William Penn [JR], in his new colony [PENNSYLVANIA], was concerned with fostering a humane and fair means of dealing with transgression, a belief born of experience. As a convert to Quakerism he’d had hard experience with both the jails and courtrooms of London.

"Since the founding of the religion by George Fox in the 1640s, Quakers had been subject to persecution. In the late 17th century, after Charles II passed a set of acts that attempted to weaken dissent and protect the Church of England, besides being stocked, stoned, and whipped, more than 13,000 Quakers were imprisoned in England. Hundreds died while incarcerated.

"Penn’s Great Law — a series of statutes by which the Colony was to be governed — aimed to ensure the procedures for trial and sentencing in the Pennsylvania colony would be simple, understandable, and equitable. Although the blood punishments didn’t disappear, they were fewer and milder than those in England and in the other colonies. The death sentence was abolished for all crimes except premeditated murder, which was in accord with predominant Quaker thinking on capital punishment. In Penn’s colony, every county prison was to be a workhouse, and felons were either to be fined or sentenced to a certain amount of time at hard labor in a “house of Correction”.

"Still, Penn’s laws, although less severe, were based on traditional means of carrying out justice.”

This evolved/devolved into today's penal system -- with one surprising outcome which has nothing directly to do with Penn Jr. or the Diary.…

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