Thursday 22 November 1660

This morning came the carpenters to make me a door at the other side of my house, going into the entry, which I was much pleased with.

At noon my wife and I walked to the Old Exchange, and there she bought her a white whisk and put it on, and I a pair of gloves, and so we took coach for Whitehall to Mr. Fox’s, where we found Mrs. Fox within, and an alderman of London paying 1000l. or 1500l. in gold upon the table for the King, which was the most gold that ever I saw together in my life.

Mr. Fox came in presently and did receive us with a great deal of respect; and then did take my wife and I to the Queen’s presence-chamber; where he got my wife placed behind the Queen’s chair, and I got into the crowd, and by and by the Queen and the two Princesses came to dinner. The Queen a very little plain old woman, and nothing more in her presence in any respect nor garb than any ordinary woman. The Princess of Orange I had often seen before. The Princess Henrietta is very pretty, but much below my expectation; and her dressing of herself with her hair frized short up to her ears, did make her seem so much the less to me.

But my wife standing near her with two or three black patches on, and well dressed, did seem to me much handsomer than she.

Dinner being done, we went to Mr. Fox’s again, where many gentlemen dined with us, and most princely dinner, all provided for me and my friends, but I bringing none but myself and wife, he did call the company to help to eat up so much good victuals. At the end of dinner, my Lord Sandwich’s health was drunk in the gilt tankard that I did give to Mrs. Fox the other day.

After dinner I had notice given me by Will my man that my Lord did inquire for me, so I went to find him, and met him and the Duke of York in a coach going towards Charing Cross. I endeavoured to follow them but could not, so I returned to Mr. Fox, and after much kindness and good discourse we parted from thence.

I took coach for my wife and me homewards, and I light at the Maypole in the Strand, and sent my wife home.

I to the new playhouse and saw part of the “Traitor,” a very good Tragedy; Mr. Moon did act the Traitor very well.

So to my Lord’s, and sat there with my Lady a great while talking. Among other things, she took occasion to inquire (by Madame Dury’s late discourse with her) how I did treat my wife’s father and mother. At which I did give her a good account, and she seemed to be very well opinioned of my wife.

From thence to White Hall at about 9 at night, and there, with Laud the page that went with me, we could not get out of Henry the Eighth’s gallery into the further part of the boarded gallery, where my Lord was walking with my Lord Ormond; and we had a key of Sir S. Morland’s, but all would not do; till at last, by knocking, Mr. Harrison the door-keeper did open us the door.

And, after some talk with my Lord about getting a catch to carry my Lord St. Albans a goods to France, I parted and went home on foot, it being very late and dirty, and so weary to bed.

39 Annotations

First Reading

language hat  •  Link

it being very late and dirty:
I suspect this is the OED's definition 4:
Of the weather: Foul, muddy; at sea, wet and squally, bad.
1660 Jer. Taylor Duct. Dubit. ii. 168 (L.) When this snow is dissolved, a great deal of dirty weather will follow. 1745 P. Thomas Jrnl. Anson's Voy. 102 As soon as we came out to Sea, we had the same squally dirty Weather as before we came in. 1836 Marryat Midsh. Easy xix, It begins to look very dirty to windward.

vincent  •  Link

An country side expression in UK was
" what foul weather not fit for ducks"
dirty because of the mud and and dung etc. that came to being.The chunnels [gunnels] were most likely briming over with waste on the the way to the main river.

vincent  •  Link

"...and an alderman of London paying 1000l. or 1500l. in gold upon the table for the King, which was the most gold that ever I saw together in my life..."
1000 pound = 30 lbs aprox or an hours worth of work at the mint. [4hr day]

In 1654 Gold bullion is recorded in London as having a value of £2 10s 3(3/4)d per ounce
In each week of August 1653 at the Tower of London, coins to the value of twenty thousand pounds were minted.…
see money

vincent  •  Link

light for alight: light (6th meaning) dismount
"...I took coach for my wife and me homewards, and I light at the Maypole in the Strand,..."

vincent  •  Link

GORGET: (a) A military defense for the neck.(b) The gorget as women's attire is described in an anonymous dictionary from 1571: "A gorget, a Lawne wherewith women cover their pappes." "And gorgets brave, with drawn-work wrought,A temptin ware they are you know, Wherewith (as nets) vaine youths are caught." (Pleasant quippes-Glosson) pappes = breast

Barbara  •  Link

It's lovely that Pepys was pleased that Elizabeth was more handsome than the princess: I hope he told her so.

Today the weather in London is wet and dirty. Typical late November.

Mary  •  Link

The Queen, a little plain, old woman.

Little and plain she may have been, but not so old by today's reckoning, having been born in 1609. She was to die at the age of 60 in 1669

Mary  •  Link

..a door, going into the entry...

This 'entry' seems to be the passage-way between houses or an alley-way ( a sense that has largely been lost from modern, standard English, though is still used in some parts of the country).

It sounds as if Pepys is having a private, back or side door created for his house. For the tradesmen? For the sake of discretion? or simply so that he won't have to rouse the watchman again when visitors leave so late that the main gate has been locked?

gerry  •  Link

A famous "entry" is that which is continually referred to in Upstairs Downstairs. The small area outside the servant's hall whence they enter and leave the house via a set of stairs to the street.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Pappes=Breasts"Are you sure Vincent? at least in Portuguese "papo=goiter"and "papada=double chin" all refering to the neck rather than breasts.

Ruben  •  Link

"Pappes=Breasts" Are you sure Vincent? at least in Portuguese …”
same in Spanish ,also meaning a pork or cow delicacy (cooked from some neck muscles) and a rooster (it has a big papada!)

E  •  Link

"paying 1000l. or 1500l. in gold ... which was the most gold that ever I saw together in my life" -- this seems to answer the queries (commenting on 12 November 1660) about whether Sam transported £3000 as coin or as some form of promisoory note.

Mary  •  Link

The entry again.

I haven't seen Upstairs, Downstairs for donkey's years, but what Gerry describes sounds more like the 'area' than the 'entry'. Many town houses of Regency, Victorian and Edwardian vintage still boast an area.

Judy Bailey  •  Link

Do I understand correctly that the Queen and Princesses ate dinner in a "presence" room, while surrounded by a crowd of people, including Pepys and his wife, who simply watched, but did not join in the meal?

And then "Dinner being done, we went to Mr. Fox's again, where many gentlemen dined with us, and most princely dinner, all provided for me and my friends, but I bringing none but myself and wife, he did call the company to help to eat up so much good victuals.”

So, Pepys and some of the other guests then went out for a dinner where they actually ate? And who, then, “provided” this princely dinner?

Peter  •  Link

Vincent is quite correct in that there is a word "pap" meaning breast. I believe it is Middle English in origin and was still used in country areas at least 20 years ago and probably still is.

Roger Arbor  •  Link

How is the gold passed to the King obtained? Is it a tax? Or a gift? The City was immensely wealthy of course, and the paymasters of all... but how and why?

vincent  •  Link

Gold ? a possibility is that a minor title or a small monopoly request is in the works or even a purchase of some royal real estate. Actually the possibilities are endless , due the control that Rex has and no abilities to create wealth to satisfy his cravings and appetites.

helena murphy  •  Link

Royalty did dine in sight of members of the public such as Pepys and his wife in this instance. There is a painting by Gerard Houckgeest which now forms part of The Royal Collection,of Charles I and Henrietta Maria dining in public at Whitehall. Members of the public can be seen looking down at them from a balcony in the background. Perhaps the old tradition is making a bit of a comeback as in recent days a vast television audience would have seen Elizabeth II escort President Bush into the banqueting hall in Buckingham Palace where one had the pleasure of listening to their speeches of welcome,and I daresay there were those who would have loved to watch them eat too ,in fact the menu was actually broadcast to the viewers so we have not changed that much after all since the 17th century.

helena murphy  •  Link

Unfortunately many writers of history have latched on to Pepys' unflattering portrayal of Henrietta Maria's appearance here, but she would have deliberately dressed plainly and modestly in keeping with her status as the widow of the martyred king. This would have been in stark contrast to her sumptuous elegant clothing visible in all her portraits prior to the outbreak of civil war.The description reminds one of the sombre attire of Queen Victoria after the early death of Prince Albert.In spite of their unadorned dress however such women had the knack of having strong men at their beck and call,(Pepys evidently not being one of them.) Henrietta had Lord St.Albans,the widowed Queen of Bohemia had Lord Craven and did not Victoria have John Brown in her life?

Zeneca  •  Link

I notice that the Princess of Orange, (according to her hyperlinked anotation here) dies on December 24th 1660, of smallpox, just one month after this meeting.

Firenze  •  Link

paps - not just the female breast, to judge from the AV rendered of Revelation 1:13 'And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle'.

Which sex they had in mind when naming the Paps of Jura you will have to decide.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

For "pap" as breast ... from Bottom, playing Pyramus, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, 5,1, 291-94:

"Out sword, and wound
The pap of Pyramus.
Ay, that left pap
Where heart doth hop."

Nix  •  Link

"a very little plain old woman" --

portraits of Queen Henrietta Maria (definitely NOT "warts and all"):……

"Although van Dyck's portrait implies a lady of elegance, contemporary account described Henrietta Maria as 'a short woman perched on her chair, with long bony arms, irregular shoulders and teeth protruding from her mouth like a fence'."

Peter  •  Link

Evelyn's diary for the day after this, 23 November, reads: "Being this day in the Bed-Chamber of the Princesse Henrietta (where there were many great beauties, & noble-men) I saluted divers of my old friends & acquaintance abroad; his Majestie carying my Wife to salute the Queene & Princesse, & then led her into his Closet, & with his owne hands shew'd her divers Curiosities”
The royal family is obviously very busy these days and meeting all and sundry (or at least the all and sundry who matter)

vincent  •  Link

"tis strange, SP's and JE's wives were in at the Presentation, and not yet aquainted enough to make note in each others journels of this event of 'nodding' [ and that they would be latter involved with each other in so many ways.. so near so far]

Lorenzo  •  Link

'The Traitor' is probably James Shirley's play. Shirley was the major tragedian in the years before the London theatres were closed.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Messagefrom the King-Dissolution of Parliament.…

IN Consideration of the Season of the Year, and the Approach of Christmas, when the Members of Parliament will desire to be at their Houses in the Country; and, in regard of His Majesty's Coronation within a Month after Christmas, the Preparation for which will take up much of His Majesty's Thoughts and Time; and the Time of His Servants, which therefore should be vacant from other Business; his Majesty hath thought fit to declare, That he resolves to dissolve this Parliament, on the Twentieth Day of the next Month; and to call another with convenient Speed; and that this His Purpose may be forthwith communicated to His Houses of Parliament; that they may the more vigorously apply themselves to the Dispatch of the most important Business that depends before them.

Given at Our Court at Whitehall, the 20th Day of November, 1660.

Bill  •  Link

A WHISK ... a Sort of Neck-dress formerly worn by Women.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Bill  •  Link

"I light at the Maypole in the Strand"

There is a token of "Robert Chamberlaine at the Maypole in the Strand," so that it may have been at this house that Pepys alighted (see "Boyne's Trade Tokens," ed. Williamson, vol. i., 1889, p. 755).
---Wheatley, 1896.

Bill  •  Link

"paying 1000l. or 1500l. in gold"

Hard currency again. A gold Double-Crown (10 shillings) from 1660 weighs 4.43 grams and 1£ would weigh 8.86 grams.…

So 1000£ in gold would weight 8.86 kilograms. Or 19.5 pounds. 1500£ would weight 29.3 pounds

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"1500£ would weight 29.3 pounds" Well researched (again) Bill! :)

So £1000 in gold would weigh about 20lb - little enough for one man to carry. So Sandwich's £1000 of a week ago was almost certainly a mixture of silver AND gold.

Mary K  •  Link


See also the description given in the encyclopaedia section under "fashion."

john  •  Link

"This morning came the carpenters to make me a door [...]" Very fast work for an outside door, assuming they framed it as per today (king, jack studs, and all that).

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘whisk, n.1 Etym: . . partly < whisk v., partly < Scandinavian noun represented by Old Norse visk . .
II. 2. A neckerchief worn by women in the latter half of the 17th century. Obs. exc. Hist.
. . 1660 S. Pepys Diary 22 Nov. (1970) I. 299 My wife..bought her a white whiske and put it on.
1688 R. Holme Acad. Armory iii. ii. 17/1 A Womans Neck used both Plain and Laced, and is called of most a Gorgett or a falling Whisk . . ‘

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I light at the maypole in the strand ... "

"On the present site of St. Mary's Church, at the west end, stood a stone cross where the justices itinerant sat at certain seasons, and also on the site was the old Strand well. The cross became decayed, and a maypole was erected either on its site or close beside it.

"The Puritans pulled down the maypole, but after the Restoration another and a much taller maypole, measuring in two pieces 134 feet, was put up by sailors under the direction of James, Duke of York amid the rejoicings of the people. The maypole stood until 1713."

For more information, see:…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"then did take my wife and I to the Queen’s presence-chamber; where he got my wife placed behind the Queen’s chair, and I got into the crowd"

L&M: Members of the royal family dined in semi-public on certain days of the week. The Household Ordinances (c. 1660-70) empowered the gentleman-usher to admit 'Persons of good Fashion and good Appearance that have a desire to see Us at Dinner', and to exclude 'any inferior, Mean or Unknown People: BM, Stowe 562, ff. 3v, 5v. The King dined at a raised table enclosed by a rail.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The Princess Henrietta is very pretty, but much below my expectation; and her dressing of herself with her hair frized short up to her ears,"

L&M: A style fashionable in the 1660's: 'corkscrew curls massed on each side above the ears and wired out away from the face. The front hair . . . strained back . . ., and the back hair brushed up . . . and twisted into a small flat "bun" ': Cunnington, p. 181.

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