Monday 22 October 1660

Office day; after that to dinner at home upon some ribs of roast beef from the Cook’s (which of late we have been forced to do because of our house being always under the painters’ and other people’s hands, that we could not dress it ourselves). After dinner to my Lord’s, where I found all preparing for my Lord’s going to sea to fetch the Queen tomorrow.

At night my Lord came home, with whom I staid long, and talked of many things. Among others I got leave to have his picture, that was done by Lilly, copied, and talking of religion, I found him to be a perfect Sceptic, and said that all things would not be well while there was so much preaching, and that it would be better if nothing but Homilies were to be read in Churches.

This afternoon (he told me) there hath been a meeting before the King and my Lord Chancellor, of some Episcopalian and Presbyterian Divines; but what had passed he could not tell me.

After I had done talk with him, I went to bed with Mr. Sheply in his chamber, but could hardly get any sleep all night, the bed being ill made and he a bad bedfellow.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

nothing but Homilies were to be read in Churches
L&M: "A common view among the upper classes. The homilies issued by royal authority ... enjoined political obedience, and were used as substitutes for sermons by parsons not licensed to preach."

Nix  •  Link

Can someone elaborate a bit more on the distinction between homiles and sermons? My understanding of religious practice is minimal, but I had the impression (from my wife) that, at least in American Catholic usage, the terms are synonymous.

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

the distinction between homiles and sermons..
Nix - the distinction is subtle. While a sermon is an extended lecture intended to enlighten, instruct or inspire through interpretation of scriptures, a homily is simply a short story to offer moral moral advice or admonition. The implication here is that they are platitudes, trite, banal and cliched, a kind of precursor to the spin doctoring of the political masters of the day!

vincent  •  Link

Any ideas how this was done."... I got leave to have his picture, that was done by Lilly, copied ..."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Homily (per OED) "A religious discourse addressed to a congregation; a sermon; esp. a practical discourse with a view to the spiritual edification of the hearers, rather than for the development of a doctrine or theme: see quot. 1883. In the Church of England spec. applied to the discourses contained in the Books of Homilies published in 1547 and 1563 for use in parish churches.

chris bailey  •  Link

I'd like to know precisely what Sam means by a 'perfect Sceptic'.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

Among others I got leave to have his picture
L&M: "Lely had already painted at least two portraits of Sandwich; this was probably the portrait (head and shoulders in black, wearing the insignia of the Garter) later at Hinchingbrooke. The copyist was Emanuel de Critz [we'll here more about this in weeks to come] .... The copy was bought at the Pepys Cockerell sale of 1848 by Lord Braybrooke and is now at Audley End .... De Critz made a repitition from Pepys copy ... and copies of the design are not uncommon, e.g. in the National Portrait Gallery ...."…

Paul Brewster  •  Link

This afternoon (he told me) there hath been a meeting
L&M: "The conference at Worcester House, resulting in the issue of the King's Declaration of 25 October ... The meeting had been broken up by the news that the Duchess of York was in labour, and none of the participants seem to have been sure what had been agreed on."

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"I found him to be a perfect Sceptic, and said that all things would not be well while there was so much preaching, and that it would be better if nothing but Homilies were to be read in Churches."

Thanks to Paul's careful citations, and with the religious conflicts of the 17th century as background, I interpret this comment as follows: Lord Sandwich discloses that he is not partial to any sect's doctrine, seeing the sermons of competing divines as expressions of political division. He would prefer that preachers be neutered politically by being required to employ a standardized
approach to religious instruction, using
commentaries approved by the
ecclesiatical authorities ("homilies").

vincent  •  Link

sermon vs homilies " my take: sermon as this is the only answer , don't argue , a homilie was or has a softer tone and a more practical lesson on a point of issue:

Paul Brewster  •  Link

What is "a perfect Sceptique" in SP's mind.
The OED gives us at least four shades of meaning. It's a little too long to include here so I've chosen the one I like best and my favorite supporting quote.

"2. One who doubts the validity of what claims to be knowledge in some particular department of inquiry (e.g. metaphysics, theology, natural science, etc.); popularly, one who maintains a doubting attitude with reference to some particular question or statement. Also, one who is habitually inclined rather to doubt than to believe any assertion or apparent fact that comes before him; a person of sceptical temper.
1725 Watts Logic ... The Dogmatist is in haste to believe something. The Sceptick will not take Pains to search Things to the Bottom, but when he sees Difficulties on both Sides resolves to believe neither of them."

vincent  •  Link

Skeptic [ one who practices skeptism] I like the more positive aspect : dict:skeptism: a) the doctrine that knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain.b) a method of suspended judgement.
Unfortunately one has to make radical decisions based totally incomplete information. Not knowing the true odds.
Faith (and trust)is wonderful concept,lets one leap into the unknown. {daily we put blind trust into the daily deeds}And Religion Is certainly the great unknown, therefore there are more sceptics (and Opinions)in this field. But the many fields of endeavour that sceptism was or is needed[maybe].

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Preaching/Homilies... isn't this all too familiar? I am reminded of Margaret Thatcher's annoyance after the Falkland war when the (then) Archbishop of Canterbury insisted on speaking out rather than toe the 'political' line. As a preacher myself, I seek to leave the congregation with a 'challenge to action'... not to make them feel better. Homilies do that!

Mary  •  Link

Sandwich the sceptic

Paul Brewster's OED illustration perfectly sums up Sandwich's present situation. At a time when the whole politico-religious atmosphere is still fundamentally unresolved, he is pragmatically trying to walk a fine but unobtrusive line between different schools of thought and belief.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Not to belabor the point, but I am sure that what Lord Sandwich is saying here is that it would be better if the ministers read only from the approved Book of Homilies, instead of coming up with their own sermons.

The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (originally issued in 1571 and revised later) lists the contents of the Book of Homilies (in Article 35). A list of a few of the titles where bear out that they emphasize political obedience and social order:

1 Of the right Use of the Church.
2 Against Peril of Idolatry.
3 Of repairing and keeping clean of Churches.
4 Of good Works: first of Fasting.
5 Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.
6 Against Excess of Apparel.
20 Against Idleness.
21 Against Rebellion.

Note especially the last!

David Nicol  •  Link

I am new to this site, and so presumably I am missing something obvious, but why is Pepys in bed with Mr Sheply? Why would Montagu make Pepys share a bed with a servant?

Peter  •  Link

On scepticism.... One of the main exponents writing about 80-90 years before Pepys was Montaigne. There is a selection of his essays at this site:…
I would recommend "On Cannibals" which is a good example of his scepticism applied to the way we see the world. Here is a snippet which is apposite to some of the recent events in the diary:
" I conceive there is more barbarity in eating a man alive, than when he is dead; in tearing a body limb from limb by racks and torments, that is yet in perfect sense; in roasting it by degrees; in causing it to be bitten and worried by dogs and swine (as we have not only read, but lately seen, not among inveterate and mortal enemies, but among neighbors and fellow-citizens, and, which is worse, under color of piety and religion), than to roast and eat him after he is dead."
As a French speaker, Sam may have been familiar with "Les Essais". I'm sure that if Sam did read Montaigne he would have found something of a kindred spirit with the same spirit of curiosity, interest in humanity and zest for life.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"...why is Pepys in bed with Mr Sheply?"

Samuel Pepys, although by marriage a relative of Montagu, has been Montagu's household manager and private secretary. Although Sam is now coming up in the world, so is Montagu, and the relationship has not changed radically.

When Sam stays with Montagu (without his wife) it is customary for him to share a bed with his "equal."

vincent  •  Link

"sharing a bed or lay with another not related". Was quite common especially when the weather is rather chilly and damp and need for bed warmers.[not mod con]
a reference:
"The Great Bed of Ware" (1500-1750), made famous when Shakespeare included it in his play "Twelfth Night, was made for an inn in Ware, Herefordshire, and was acquired by the savvy proprietor to generate more business of those traveling to and from London. In those days hotels involved sharing a bed with a bunch of strangers (same sex!), hence the size.…
There are other references in this diary to this practice . "Lay with"

vincent  •  Link

Mr. De Cretz was mentioned on Saturday 30 June 1660
"...Here meeting with Mr. De Cretz, he looked over many of the pieces, in the gallery with me and told me [by] whose hands they were, with great pleasure ..." So Our Sam already had someone in mind to to do this work? He definitely is a well informed fellow.
Emanuel de Critz (1608-65)…
also national portrait gallery london

John De Critz the Elder (circa 1552-1642). 6 portraits.
Thomas De Critz (1607-1653). 1
Emanuel Below:
ceiling painting from portrait.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Great Bed of Ware is an extremely large oak four poster bed, carved with marquetry, that was originally housed in the White Hart Inn in Ware, England. Built by Hertfordshire carpenter Jonas Fosbrooke in 1580, the bed measures 3.38m long and 3.26m wide (ten by eleven feet) and can "sleep" over fifteen people at once. Many of those who have used the bed have carved their names into its posts.…

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

" ... what had passed he could not tell me." I wonder whether this was because the conversations were confidential, or esoteric and incomprehensible?

Bill  •  Link

Sasha, see Paul Brewster's note above.

Mary K  •  Link

Sandwich tells of a meeting, but does not indicate that he was present at it - simply that it took place. Nor does he state that he afterwards spoke with anyone who had been present. The meeting broke up early. Sandwich's ignorance of the proceedings thus seems unsurprising.

Annie B  •  Link

Ha! I love the idea of Sam asking permission to have the portrait copied... what a good way to emphasize your allegiance... just a bit of kissing up to your Lord!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I wonder if people read, or were aware of, previous literary works at this time. I was struck that
"4 Of good Works: first of Fasting.
5 Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.
6 Against Excess of Apparel."
were addressed by William Langland’s 14th-century poem Piers Plowman which opens with a vision, seen by a dreamer as he relaxes on the Malvern Hills. He sees a ‘fair field full of folk’, of many classes and professions, ‘working and wandering as the world asketh’ – a vision of the whole of human society. He quickly realizes that labor is not fairly distributed: while many labor hard but have barely enough to eat, others squander what those laborers toiled for.

A teacher appears and explains to the dreamer that the root of this injustice is greed. The solution is moderation, which is healthy for the soul, the body, the individual and for society.

{Since famine was widespread in the 17th century, it's reasonable to think Charles II's plump mistresses were a political challenge to the church.)

Piers Plowman is also concerned with injustice, so greed forms part of the diagnosis for many of social ills, including corruption in the law, government and church. Over-consumption and excessive desire for anything, even things good in themselves, can cause problems.

Piers Plowman concludes that solutions imposed from outside can only do so much. Moderation demands self-control which is difficult to learn.

The medieval church developed practices intended to help "believers" confront and master the gluttonous desires of the human heart: confession, penance and fasting, hoping to teach people to rule their desires rather than be ruled by them.

I particularly like that the dreamer is warned about ‘spilling’ time and speech. Time is a finite resource. Speech is precious, even sacred, and the poem describes speech with some beautiful metaphors: it is a joyous ‘game of heaven’ and a ‘spire of grace’, a green shoot alive with possibility and hope. Words are ‘God’s gleeman’ (‘minstrel’) and his musical instrument, a ‘fiddle’, which needs to be tuned properly before it can make music. These metaphors imagine words as a source of pleasure: because they are beautiful and powerful it is wrong to waste them.

Many other medieval writers also condemned idle chatter, spreading gossip and slander, which results in hurting others.

I wonder what they would have made of Rochester and the other Wits and Merry Gang members! All represented political statements against the Puritan church.

(This feels uncomfortably modern: mean girls, trolls and ill-considered tweets would certainly come in for sermons and homilies.)

For more on Piers Plowman:…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Piers Plowman (written c. 1370–90) or Visio Willelmi de Petro Ploughman (William's Vision of Piers Plowman) is a Middle English allegorical narrative poem by William Langland. It is written in unrhymed, alliterative verse divided into sections called passus (Latin for "step"). Like the Pearl Poet's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest works of English literature of the Middle Ages, even preceding and influencing Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Piers Plowman contains the first known allusion to a literary tradition of Robin Hood tales.

16th–18th centuries…

Samuel Pepys owned a copy of Piers Plowman. Milton cites "Chaucer's Ploughman" in "Of Reformation" (1641) when he is discussing poems that have described Constantine as a major contributor to the corruption of the church.

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

Again no mention of the 80 quid the boss owes Sam, but presumably he brought it up during their nice evening chat, along with his wish to have the portrait copied, and other topics.

Alter Kacker  •  Link

I dunno about that, Martin — it’s easy to tell yourself you’ll raise the issue with the patrón, but a bit harder when you’re face-to-face.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

L&M say "... the Duchess of York was in labor ..."

Wasn't Anne officially still known as Anne Hyde at this point? Yes, she and James had been married privately twice by now, but the relationship was not publically acknowledged, and Queen Mother Henrietta Maria is on her way, partly motivated to visit in order to stop what she saw as a bad match.

For the background on James and Anne's relationship -- with SPOILERS -- see…

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