Wednesday 21 November 1660

Lay long in bed. This morning my cozen Thomas Pepys, the turner, sent me a cupp of lignum vitae for a token. This morning my wife and I went to Paternoster Row, and there we bought some green watered moyre for a morning wastecoate. And after that we went to Mr. Cade’s to choose some pictures for our house. After that my wife went home, and I to Pope’s Head, and bought me an aggate hafted knife, which cost me 5s. So home to dinner, and so to the office all the afternoon, and at night to my viallin (the first time that I have played on it since I came to this house) in my dining room, and afterwards to my lute there, and I took much pleasure to have the neighbours come forth into the yard to hear me.

So down to supper, and sent for the barber, who staid so long with me that he was locked into the house, and we were fain to call up Griffith, to let him out. So up to bed, leaving my wife to wash herself, and to do other things against to-morrow to go to court.

21 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

"...So up to bed, leaving my wife to wash herself, and to do other things against to-morrow to go to court.
..." I guess a bath and lavendar waters for the The Presentation.

language hat  •  Link

some green watered moyre for a morning wastecoate:
moire (mwar, mwO:(r), mO@(r)). Also 7 moyre. [Fr. moire, according to Fr. lexicographers an adoption of some form of Eng. mohair.]
Originally a kind of watered mohair; afterwards, any textile fabric (but usually silk) to which a watered appearance is given in the process of calendering; a watered or clouded silk. Moire antique, explained by Fr. lexicographers to mean a watered silk of large pattern, is in Eng. use practically synonymous with moire, which is apprehended as a shortened form.

1660 Pepys Diary 21 Nov., We bought some greene-watered moyre, for a morning wastecoate. 1664 Pepys Diary, 8 May, A new black cloth suit and cloak lined with silk moyre. 1751 Chesterf. Let. to Son 22 Apr. II. 136 Talk pompons, moires, &c., with Madame de Blot. 1855 Mrs. Carlyle Lett. II. 268 [Dressmaker loq.] I don't think I ever saw so trashy a moire.

vincent  •  Link

WAISTCOAT: A garment worn by both men and women, and serving various purposes. "Why have you taken your wast-cotes? Is it so colde?" (Erondell's French Garden, 1605) "So opening and putting off his double, he was in a Scarlet Wastecoate."
more at…
1650 Artificial Changeling John Bulwer
The upstart impudence and innovation of naked breasts, and cutting or hallowing downe the neck of womens garments below their shoulders, an exorbitant and shamefull enormity and habit, much worn by our semi-Adamits, is another mere peice of refined Barbarisme… Another foolish affection there is in young Virgins, though grown big enough to be wiser, but that they are led blind-fold by custome to a fashion pernitious beyond imagination; who thinking a Slender-Waste a great beauty, strive all that they possibly can by streight-lacing themselves, to attain unto a wand-like smalnesse of Waste, never thinking themselves fine enough untill they can span their Waste.
+ other fashions of the times.…

vincent  •  Link

"...And after that we went to Mr. Cade's to choose some pictures for our house. After that my wife went home ….” Once bitten twice shy? He will not repeat that mistake again. the last time it might have cost SP a restocking fee.

Mary  •  Link

....leaving my wife to wash herself....

A special day calls for special measures. The daily routine usually called for little more than washing hands and face, perhaps with Spanish (Castile or castle) soap. Alum was a substance recognised as countering 'stench under the armholes' by acting as a desiccant.

There were public bath-houses, but the most frequent method of home-bathing by those who deemed it desirable was the strip-wash/stand-up-wash-down, using a cloth damped with scented water.

J A Gioia  •  Link

... to my lute there, and I took much pleasure to have the neighbours come forth into the yard to hear me.

sam must be a pretty good player if his practicing, and singing probably, draws people out from their homes. i wish my neighbors appreciated my guitar playing so.

and the night watch locks the barber in! i am picturing row houses facing a courtyard with a single gateway in.

Pedro  •  Link

On this day 21st November I660...

Allin is near Tangier on his voyage to Constantinople.

"This morning I clapped one Shoare (name uncertain) neck and heels for striking right over my Lieutenant, and after he laid 2 hours, the Countess (Winchilsea) begged for his release upon promise of his future good behavior.

(Journal of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson)

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

We have an encyclopedia entry for Pope's Head Alley, which "was a centre for the sale of cutlery, turnery and toys." So I think that's where Sam went today since he bought a knife. And not the tavern as suggested by the link above.…

John Matthew IV  •  Link

"and sent for the barber"

Did barbers normally make housecalls or work out of barbershops?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Did barbers normally make housecalls or work out of barbershops?"

Some -- at least one -- did both -- over several years.

For this visit L&M reference Richard Jervas, who had a barber-shop in Westminster near Whitehall Palace and Axe Yard, where Pepys lived when he started the Diary. Jervas enjoyed Pepys's custom at least from March 1660 to May 30 1668 -- and likely longer and surely more often than referenced in the diary. In the course of the diary Jervas followed the fashion and also supplied periwigs.…

John Wheater  •  Link

"...locked into the HOUSE..."
The gates of the Navy Office 'gated community' (see 2-8-60). Puzzled he should call it 'house'.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...locked into the HOUSE..."
The gates of the Navy Office 'gated community' (see 2-8-60). Puzzled he should call it 'house'.
It has but one door. Might we say "compound"?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Seething Lane property was a big house which the Navy took over and divided up into several townhouses and the offices for the Board. That's why they shared basements, and windows were not always situated where they should be had the houses been designed individually.

Pepys mentions walking across the garden to the office, so I imagine a hollow square block, and the night watchman being needed to show the barber the way out through a maze of buildings, add-ons and passageways.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Ah, I found it. This was Walshingham's house, which was taken over by the Navy Board in 1656:

Navy Office, Seething Lane
Building From 1656 To 1788
Categories: Armed Forces, Politics & Administration

"This is the site of Walsingham's mansion, this was the Navy Office in which Samuel Pepys lived and worked. Survived the Great Fire partly due to Pepys' efforts. Destroyed by another fire in 1673 (where was Pepys?), rebuilt 1674-5 and demolished in 1788 when the office moved to Somerset House."…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Countess of Winchilsea was the long-suffering Mary Seymour (died 1672).

Heneage Finch, 2nd/3rd Earl of Winchilsea was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire 1660-1669, according to the L&M index Pepys calls him "Lord Winchelsea."

Late in 1660 Heneage Finch, Earl of Winchilsea sailed on an important embassy to Sultan Mahomet Chan IV, and published an account of it the same year. Winchilsea remained as English ambassador at Constantinople eight years.

Mary Seymour was Winchilsea's second wife; daughter of William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset and Lady Frances Devereux. They married around 1650.

The first Countess of Winchilsea was his grandmother, made a Countess in her own right. Because she was a woman, there was debate if he should be titled as the 2nd or 3rd Earl. The confusion continues to this day.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

At Whitehall today an extraordinary meeting was held:

For a background on the persecution of the Quakers and other non-conformists from 1650-1680, see…

Briefly: The historian "Reay concentrated on the period up to 1660, and his conclusion, that 'popular animosity was a mixture of xenophobia, class hatred, ignorance and a superstition that merged with the world of witchcraft', showed little empathy with the Quakers' enemies. He identified the Quakers as the rich or as 'middlemen and speculators', while depicting them as a threat to the social order. 'Ignorance was nurtured by the propaganda of gentry and ministers and the unthinking populace was given 'magistrate's licence' to use violence against Quakers.
After 1660, the records of sufferings give a different picture: that persecution was the work of self-interested priests, officials and informers, and that the Quakers' sufferings distressed their fellow-citizens and neighbors, who did what they could to mitigate them."

In October 1660 George Fox was released on his own recognizance from jail in Lancaster, and travelled to London where he appeared at the King’s Bench before 3 judges, but was acquitted of being “an enemy to the King, etc.”.…

In November 1660, George Fox presented this document to Charles II, who seems to have listened as he tried for 20 years to bring in legislation with relief specifically naming the Quakers.


"George Fox and others.

"Presented to the King upon the 21st day of the 11th Month, 1660.

"This Document can be read in full on The Quaker Writings Home Page."…

[Text from the 2 Volume 8th and Bicentenary Edition of Fox's Journal, London: Friends' Tract Association, 1891.]

MartinVT  •  Link

"A cup of lignum vitae"

Here is such a cup, from Sam's time, that sold in 2016 for 11,500l.…
As a turner, this is the kind of thing cozen Thomas may have been making.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

So why did cozen Thomas "the turner" give Sam a cup? Perhaps just a shared interest in woodworking, since Tom gave Sam a set of tools a month ago (…), but there may also be something to celebrate. We find in today's State Papers a brief note, recording a "Grant to Thos. Pepys of an Almsroom in Winchester Cathedral". Assuming this isn't a homonym, then we know (from…) a Thomas Pepys who "at his death [in 1676] was living as an almsman in Sion College": Uncle Thomas, the turner's papa. Alas, Sion College (in London) has nothing to do with Winchester Cathedral (in Hampshire, visit at…), but that won't stop us from connecting the dots.

An almsroom is a crashpad for the indigent, which is what uncle T is right now, granted as a "gift of the crown", and so not easy to get (says…). Perhaps Sam lent a hand with the application, and gets a mug in return.

And maybe there's more than meets the eye, because on the same day another almsroom is also granted at Winchester to a certain "John Williamson". Not the most uncommon name in England, but if it's the future P.A. and intelligencer to the king, maybe there's different qualities of almsrooms and having one in a cathedral isn't the bleak dead-end it seems at first.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Much as I like the idea that Pepys had a hand in giving Thomas Pepys Snr. such a safe haven for his retirement, I think he would have told us about what lengths he had had to go to in such awful weather, etc. and whether or not he thought "a cupp of lignum vitae for a token" a sufficient token.
If he had to pay off someone for the favor, which he undoubtedly would have had to do, I think the cup would be of something more valuable than lignum vitae.

I suspect Thomas Jr. is thrilled a member of the family is taking an interest in woodworking, and encouraging Pepys to try his hand to see if he has any talent.

But you never know ...

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.