Friday 2 November 1660

Office. Then dined at home, and by chance Mr. Holliard called at dinner time and dined with me, with whom I had great discourse concerning the cure of the King’s evil, which he do deny altogether any effect at all.

In the afternoon I went forth and saw some silver bosses put upon my new Bible, which cost me 6s. 6d. the making, and 7s. 6d. the silver, which, with 9s. 6d. the book, comes in all to 1l. 3s. 6d. From thence with Mr. Cooke that made them, and Mr. Stephens the silversmith to the tavern, and did give them a pint of wine. So to White Hall, where when I came I saw the boats going very thick to Lambeth, and all the stairs to be full of people. I was told the Queen was a-coming;1 so I got a sculler for sixpence to carry me thither and back again, but I could not get to see the Queen; so come back, and to my Lord’s, where he was come; and I supt with him, he being very merry, telling merry stories of the country mayors, how they entertained the King all the way as he come along; and how the country gentlewomen did hold up their heads to be kissed by the King, not taking his hand to kiss as they should do. I took leave of my Lord and Lady, and so took coach at White Hall and carried Mr. Childe as far as the Strand, and myself got as far as Ludgate by all the bonfires, but with a great deal of trouble; and there the coachman desired that I would release him, for he durst not go further for the fires. So he would have had a shilling or 6d. for bringing of me so far; but I had but 3d. about me and did give him it. In Paul’s church-yard I called at Kirton’s, and there they had got a mass book for me, which I bought and cost me twelve shillings; and, when I came home, sat up late and read in it with great pleasure to my wife, to hear that she was long ago so well acquainted with. So to bed.

I observed this night very few bonfires in the City, not above three in all London, for the Queen’s coming; whereby I guess that (as I believed before) her coming do please but very few.

25 Annotations

martha wishart  •  Link

The King's evil was scrofula-a skin disease that people believed could be cured by the touch of the King. This custom was resumed upon the Restoration.

vincent  •  Link

Very Interesting " the Catholic " connection [Huguenot -Protestant? or Catholic] the debate: Missal vs King James: {aside in 3 days the other debate the plot to elevate the old blood pressure and more bon fires };

vincent  •  Link

I am a little shocked -"...but I had but 3d. about me and did give him it..." then he comes up with twelve bob (bob's yer Uncle) for a Missal?

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Vincent is being very subtle about the whole thing, but...

For those who have recently joined us, it should be pointed out that Elizabeth Pepys' family was Hugenot, not Catholic, which is the reason they left France. It would appear that there is a certain amount of irony in Sam's purchase of the missal. Or perhaps not...

dirk  •  Link

3d vs. 12 shillings

I can see only three possibilities here

1. It's a matter of coins, not the money he has with him: he had only 3 d in small change, but he must have had a larger sum of money with him (in higher denomination coins).
2. He somehow obtained more money in between - but this would surprise me very much, since he would almost certainly have mentioned this (and how or why) in his diary. The diary entries are always so detailed!!!
3. He purchased the missal on credit: not impossible, but again I would expect him to mention that explicitly in his diary entry.

I personally tend to go for the first alternative.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Mass book... don't forget, new readers, that we have covered this ground before. Elizabeth was the daughter of a Hugenot refugee, but he was a convert from Catholicism. Read the notes on Religion/Catholicism and Religion/Atheism. Most informative.

Grahamt  •  Link

I think he must have bought the book with a promissary note.
If he had 12 shillings with him, he could have paid the cabby one of them, or got 6d change.

Mary  •  Link

Bilking the cabby

But perhaps Sam had only a sovereign or two in his pocket; the bookseller might be able to give him change for 12 shillings, but the cabby couldn't be counted upon to do so.

Had the coachman been prepared to wait whilst Pepys made his purchase (thus obtaining change)and then taken him all the rest of the way home, he might, perhaps, have been offered the full fare. Cutting short the journey (? horse alarmed by the fires) cost him dear.

Mary  •  Link

The bonfires

It looks as if there are plenty of celebratory fires in Westminster, which is a separate city and more closely associated with royalty, but very few ("not above three") in London (the City) itself. It's easy for us to forget that the City of London was often of a vey different political temper to Westminster and its other environs. Pepys is making a pertinent observation here.

Nix  •  Link

Buying the book on credit --

I seem to recall that he has done this before, later squaring up with the bookseller. It seems unlikely that he would carry this large a sum on his person, particularly when he is venturing into a festive crowd with its likely swarm of pickpockets and other miscreants. My impression is that regular dealings with tradesmen were generally done on credit in those days.

Peter  •  Link

In the past Sam has seemed very careful about the things he has put down in his diary, and yet now in the past couple of days he has been quite daring in his actions and his entries. Yesterday writing about his words on the execution of Charles I and today the buying of the missal. The missal is the one that really surprises me. It is a visible act, easily denounced. Has anyone else noticed this new daring, or am I just imagining it? What has brought this about, I wonder? And on dabbling with Catholicism, is Sam just curious, or has he noticed a trend in certain parts of the new regime, and, always having his eye to the main chance, is he preparing himself (just in case)?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Sam,seems to me to be very skeptical in matters os religion; organized atheism was out of the question then; so why not stick with the old familiar devil?

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

A fascinating entry. After the reference to hiring a sculler for six pence and a cab for three, and the purchase of two volumes, a bible and missal, for a total of 1 pound, 15 shillings and six pence (which I take to be 426 pence) I find myself longing for better insight into relative values in Pepys's London.

vincent  •  Link

Pepis London vs 1960's London: "values" The Managing Director sends out for a box of cigars that cost 1/2 month's of his personal sectretary's salary [ cigars 25L secretary salary 40L.]

vincent  •  Link

Re: Missal: A chance for Samuel to show off his Latin reading and comparing it to the new High Church Service [with all the Roman Trappings? ]that has come to pass i.e. Surplace, Cassock etc..
Mary: Great point about the fires.

Peter  •  Link

More on the missal: L&M footnote says "The missal which Pepys retained in his library was a magnificent vellum folio (Missale ad usum Sarum), printed by Pynson in 1520 (PL 2795). When accused of being a Papist, in the Commons' debate of 16 February 1674, Pepys denied ever having had a Popish book in his house."

vincent  •  Link

Bible vs Missal At least he beautified the Bible spending more on King James."...In the afternoon I went forth and saw some silver bosses put upon my new Bible, which cost me 6s. 6d. the making, and 7s. 6d. the silver, which, with 9s. 6d. the book, comes in all to 1l. 3s. 6d. From thence with Mr. Cooke that made them, and Mr. Stephens the silversmith to the tavern, and did give them a pint of wine ..."

Nigel Pond  •  Link

"Missale ad usum Sarum"

The missal according to the Salisbury rite, ie as used in Salisbury Cathedral.

jamie yeager  •  Link

When is a Popish book not a Popish book?
When it is the transitional form between Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism. "The Sarum Rite supplied the foundation for the post-Reformation liturgy and music of the Church of England after the break with Rome in the 1530s. Moreover, its melodies form the musical basis for the golden era of English polyphony in the Tudor and Elizabethan periods. To perform the liturgy of the Sarum Rite is thus, among other things, to explore the roots of the Anglican liturgy." --

Louise Hudson  •  Link

If digestion in Pepys time was anything like it is today, people would have slept propped up in bed to prevent acid reflux, probably even more prevalent in those days considering what they ate, the time they ate their final meal and what they drank, no doubt, lots of beer and ale.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

This is NOT the edition of the Sarum missal Pepys bought and retained, but a contemporaneous one: [Missale secundum vsum ecclesie Sarum Anglicane] by Catholic Church; Morin, Martin, active 1488-1523, printer; Richart, Jehan, active 1494-1517, bookseller; Smith Barry, Arthur Hugh, former owner; Bartrop, Frederic Fox, former owner; Thorp, Thomas, former owner - Published 1497

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The bonfires in the City of London for the Queen Mother's landing

L&M: According to Rugge there were few bonfires in London because she had not travelled through the city and few knew of her arrival. Richard Baxter, the Puritan, detected disturbances in the river-tides caused by the passage across the water of the popish Queen Mother; 'there were that day on the Thames three Tides in about Twelve hours, to the common admiration of the People':
Reliquiæ Baxterianæ: or, Mr. Richard Baxter's narrative of the most memorable passages of his life and times by Baxter, Richard; ed. Matthew Sylvester, 1696. bk i, pt ii. 283.


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