Tuesday 27 November 1660

To Whitehall, where I found my Lord gone abroad to the Wardrobe, whither he do now go every other morning, and do seem to resolve to understand and look after the business himself.

From thence to Westminster Hall, and in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield’s coachman, and one of his footmen killed. At the Hall I met with Mr. Creed, and he and I to Hell to drink our morning draught, and so to my Lord’s again, where I found my wife, and she and I dined with him and my Lady, and great company of my Lord’s friends, and my Lord did show us great respect.

Soon as dinner was done my wife took her leave, and went with Mr. Blackburne and his wife to London to a christening of a Brother’s child of his on Tower Hill.

And I to a play, “The Scorn-full Lady.”

And that being done, I went homewards, and met Mr. Moore, who had been at my house, and took him to my father’s, and we three to Standing’s to drink. Here Mr. Moore told me how the House had this day voted the King to have all the Excise for ever.

This day I do also hear that the Queen’s going to France is stopt, which do like me well, because then the King will be in town the next month, which is my month again at the Privy Seal. From thence home, where when I come I do remember that I did leave my boy Waineman at Whitehall with order to stay there for me in the court, at which I was much troubled, but about 11 o’clock at night the boy came home well, and so we all to bed.

46 Annotations

First Reading

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

'The Scornful Lady' by Beaumont and Fletcher, first produced in 1616, features a serving maid called 'Abigail' - I think this is the origin of the use of the word as a generic name for a maidservant.

vincent  •  Link

"...Here Mr. Moore told me how the House had this day voted the King to have all the Excise for ever..." A very important piece of legislation , I do beleive. Carte blanche to all the taxes[revenue that is ].

Ruben  •  Link

Abigail was one of King David's wifes. She had an outstanding personality and is extensively quoted in the Bible. I am sure that in SP's time every learned person in the Kingdom knew this Bible story.
Following I quote from the Bible the most interesting part. It is a litttle long, but it explains a lot about her personality. Consider that in those days a lady would better keep her thougths to herself...
In verse 24 you may find the reason for a maid to be called Abigail.
1 Samuel 25
1: And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
2: And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
3: Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
4: And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.
5: And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:
6: And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.
7: And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.
8: Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.
9: And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
10: And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.
11: Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?
12: So David's young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.
13: And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.
14: But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them.
15: But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields:
16: They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
17: Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.
18: Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
19: And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.
20: And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.
21: Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good.
22: So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
23: And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,
24: And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
25: Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
26: Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
27: And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.
28: I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
29: Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
30: And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;
31: That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
32: And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:
33: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
34: For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
35: So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
36: And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.
37: But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
38: And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.
39: And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head, And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.
40: And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee to take thee to him to wife.
41: And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
42: And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.

Mary  •  Link

"one of his footmen killed"

Road rage is not a new phenomenon: it just has a new name.

andy  •  Link

"except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall."

Doncha love the old testament?

helena murphy  •  Link

Thank you Ruben,that is a lovely story and thanks to all the other annotators who help to make the site so entertaining.

Steve  •  Link

"- and in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield’s coachman, and one of his footmen killed."

Fatal RTA, traffic backed up. The morning rush hour has always been dangerous and frustrating.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"a falling out ... and one of his footmen killed"
We should remark not so much the dispute but that it led to fatal violence, that doubtless will have no further consequences.
It was only nine years earlier that, in Leviathan, Hobbes described life as "Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (which has always seemed to me the ideal name for a City law firm). The police force will not be invented (by Sir Robert Peel) for 225 years, nor the concept of a proper judicial inqurity for some other long time.

Gary J. Bivin  •  Link

"which do like, me well"
I assume that the comma is splurious. Our Sam is well pleased at the prospect of being on stage when the Big Boss is around.

language hat  •  Link

The police force will not be invented for 225 years:
Yes, I read a novel set in the 17th century in which the protagonist was set upon in the street at night and reflected that if the night watch happened to be anywhere near and heard the commotion, they would certainly hasten elsewhere, having no wish to get mixed up in an altercation. The concept that private violence was a public concern took a long time to get established.

Glyn  •  Link

No further consequences? On the contrary, I imagine that the murderer will shortly be carted to Tyburn Gallows to dance the rope fandango.

A while ago Language Hat posted a link to the trials at the Old Bailey courthouse. It was just after Pepys time but a long time before the creation of the Police Force:


If you have a particularly trivial mind you can type your name or surname in and see if anything comes up (nothing interesting for me).

And Phil has put a whole section about the laws of the time in the Reference Section at:


By the way, David Smith - did you notice that Sam took your advice about the paintings, and a few days later went to buy some more - but his wife was with him this time!

Ruben  •  Link

"those who pissed against the wall" are males: men + dogs. The intention is: I will kill not only Nabal and his men but also his beasts (his possesions). This very graphic expression repeats itself in other parts of the Bible and is part ot its greatness.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Ruben - thanks for the extra info. That story had obviously escaped me!

Peter  •  Link

Poor young Waineman must be wondering what he has got involved in. Sam is getting into a habit of telling him to wait somewhere and then forgetting all about him (see 21st October). At least Waineman has the sense to give up and make his own way home after a decent period.

Conrad  •  Link

It is jumping to conclusions to say that the Drayman is a murderer. The footman may have been killed in the accident. The difference of opinion between the Drayman & the Coachman may well be over right of way, excessive speed, etc.

john lauer  •  Link

"...which do like, me well,"
was perhaps "which do like I well", after misreading the "I" as a comma, and inserting "me" to make some (less grammatical) sense of it. Oh, to see the original!

vincent  •  Link

"...This day I do also hear that the Queen's going to France is stopt, which do like, me well, because then the King will be in town the next month…” I do believe, he means it is a good idea , Queen has a good influence on son Chas.

vincent  •  Link

"...in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield's coachman, and one of his footmen killed….” ‘Tis like arguing of a trucker with the chauffer of a Roller. ‘Tis a shame, that SP does not inform us of the out-come of this meeting of minds and limbs {mud, mud everywhere and the beer? must get to the pub!..}

vincent  •  Link

From Glyn's lead: here is one account of accident ending in only a branding
William Crow, for that he driving an empty Cart with 4 Horses the Fore-Horse did strike and throw the Deceased to the Ground, and the near Wheel of the Cart ran over the Small Part of the Deceased's Back, of which she instantly died

Ruben  •  Link

may be that if the King is out of town there is no bussiness in the Privy Seal, and no money and other gratuities or benefits will come in SP's hands.

Mary  •  Link

'which do like, me well'

Wherever it came from, the comma appears entirely spurious. 'It do like I well' makes no grammatical sense at all; this impersonal construction using 'like' to mean 'please' already exists in Anglo-Saxon, remains current throughout the 16th and 17th Centuries (many instances in Shakespeare) and does not completely disappear from general use until the 19th Century

Peter  •  Link

Like Ruben, I also assumed that Sam's reasons for being pleased that the King would stay in town were selfish. The Privy Seal money is probably a factor, but I wonder if Sam also sees it as an opportunity to shine and be noticed ...possibly even by the King himself.

john lauer  •  Link

The point is that the subject is "I", not the queen's stopping, "which I do like well", to use non-Shakespearean word-order, Mary.

Mary  •  Link

'which do like me well

It's worth noting that the L&M edition at this point gives: " which doth like me well." This seems a more convincing reading all round; the comma has disappeared and 'do' has become'doth', taking us back to more typical 17th Century idiom.

language hat  •  Link

"The point is that the subject is 'I'"
john: You're misunderstanding 17th-century use. They didn't say "I like it," they said "it liketh me" (with "me" in what is traditionally called the dative, ie = "to me"; cf "He gave me the book").

Jenny Dought  •  Link

The Germans still use this dative form for some things. If you want to say you're hot, you say 'Es ist mir heiss', which literally means 'it is to me cold'. If you say 'ich bin heiss', which makes more sense to an English speaker, you're making a different statement altogether (and if you're female and unaccompanied, don't say it to a man).

Kevin Peter  •  Link

I had to look up what a drayman was. So here's the definition according to www.onelook.com in case you are in the same situation.

(n.) A man who attends a dray.


noun: a low heavy horse cart without sides; used for haulage

name: A surname (rare: 1 in 100000 families; popularity rank in the U.S.: #14081)

Grahamt  •  Link

A drayman:
I guess all the Brits had assumed, like me, that a drayman was the same then as now. The guy that delivers the barrels of beer to the pub.

Pedro  •  Link

On this day 28th November…

Allin has sailed from Algiers…

"About noon we were frightened. The cooper going to stave an empty cask in my storeroom of the Purser's, wherein had been aqua vitae, a candle in one hand and his adze in the other, a piece of snare dropped upon a piece of cork that tumbled into the cask and fired, he presently clapped a poor-jack upon the bunghole and called out fire, but it was out before anyone came to his assistance, although all people were ready with wet cloths and buckets of water, but it much troubled me for the frightening of My Lord and Lady "

(Journal of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson)

Rainer Doehle  •  Link

A few days ago, on 12 November, Samuel was dining in Heaven, today he is in Hell. That's a remarkable decline. There were three alehouses at Westminster called "Heaven", "Purgatory", and "Hell", obviously referring to one another: http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclo…

So remember, it's just a very short way from Heaven to Hell.

cgs  •  Link

"...there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord Chesterfield’s coachman, and one of his footmen killed...."
Besides committing Manslaughter the "poor illiterate "lawyerless" one, the Drayman violated the privileges of a Laudly one and it would have gotten the deliveryman a spell on tyburnes limb even if he failed to even wound the becostumed man.
just a thought.

Second Reading

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Let me get this straight. David tries a shake down on Nabal and foolishly Nabal tells the henchmen to take a hike. Abigail realizes the mistake and tries to make amends. David likes the way she handles herself and sure enough Nabal winds up dead a few days later. Like we're supposed to believe God killed him? Then Abigail cuts the only deal a widow in her situation can and marries the local creep. Good thing she had her looks! God be blessed. Then again, Nabal was from that low life Caleb clan so it was all for the better anyways. What a terrible story and lousy moral!

Tonyel  •  Link

Excellent précis, Gerald. Whether it's Nabal or the drayman, the idea of the meek inheriting the earth has never really caught on, has it?

Nate Lockwood  •  Link

"the meek inheriting the earth" is analogous to "when hell freezes over" is it not?.

MarkS  •  Link

On the story of Nabal:

a) David was not a Christian, so the comments about the meek inheriting the earth are not relevant. This is the Old Testament, not the New - there is a big difference.
b) There is a lot more to the story if you understand some of the cultural subtleties.

A couple of links:

Nabal on Wikipeda

A good line-by-line commentary which brings out details which may be unclear to a modern reader

Tonyel  •  Link

Thanks Mark, but perhaps I should have made it clearer that this was a mild joke. I don't take any sort of superstition very seriously.

MarkS  •  Link

Tonyel, this is not about our own belief systems, either yours or those of any other modern commentators. Nor do I think this is an appropriate forum to advocate personal convictions about the nature of reality.

This about understanding historical texts, beliefs, concepts, and attitudes - especialy those of Pepys' time, but also those more generally related to it.

Every single writer, from the Middle Ages up to at least the middle of the 20th century, was familiar with the Bible and took it for granted that all his readers were equally familiar with it. So many references and allusions were not explicit. It was expected that readers would simply understand them.

For that reason alone, anyone wanting a reasonable knowledge of Western literature, history or culture should read the Bible at some stage. This has nothing to do with belief. It is a vital historical text for understanding the history of the past.

We couldn't possibly understand ancient Greek literature without having some understanding of ancient Greek mythology. That that doesn't mean that we have to believe ancient Greek mythology. It's the same with the Bible. It's a vital text for understanding the whole of Western culture.

Also, theology played such a pivotal role throughtout Western history that one has to understand some of the theological issues in order to have a good understanding of history.

The biggest single issue in 17th century Europe was the rift between between Catholics and Protestants. How can one possibly understand the history of the times without understanding the details of what the beliefs and issues were?

Even such a 'scientist' as Sir Isaac Newton was a deeply religious Christian his whole life. Newton spent far more time and energy writing about mystical interpretations of the Bible than he ever did on science or mathematics.

It's all very well to say, "Oh, I'm ever so superior in my understanding of reality than they were (at least, in so far as my currently evolved ape-brain allows me to understand the nature of reality at all)". But that doesn't get us anywhere in terms of understanding Western history, philosophy, literature, art, and culture.

Tonyel  •  Link

MarkS, I don't disagree about the relevance of religion in the 17thC. However, I was merely using the line about the meek as a familiar cliché in the 21stC. Just because David was not a Christian doesn't make it irrelevant - although it's getting less and less amusing.
Perhaps we should not take up any more annotation space on this.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Moore told me how the House had this day voted the King to have all the Excise for ever."

L&M: The King was to have half the duties for life, and the other half was settled on the Crown in perpetuity:

Crown Revenue

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"From thence to Westminster Hall, and in King Street there being a great stop of coaches"

L&M: Traffic-blocks became much commoner in the narrow streets of London with the growth of population, trade and wheel traffic in the 17th century. See N. G. Brett-James, Growth of Stuart London, ch. xvii. Pepys was once held up for 1 1/2 hours: see https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/… .

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...This day I do also hear that the Queen's going to France is stopt, which do like, me well, because then the King will be in town the next month…”

vincent conjectures: "I do believe, he means it is a good idea , Queen has a good influence on son Chas.

But he forgets the critical phrase: "This day I do also hear that the Queen’s going to France is stopt, which do like me well, because then the King will be in town the next month, which is my month again at the Privy Seal."

L&M explain the office will then be the busier(and more profitable [for Pepys and the other clerks]): see https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/… and

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

According to Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate. Written December 10/01, 1660:

"It being desirable for many reasons that the king should see the present parliament dissolved, and considering that if the queen left for France on Monday as proposed, and he accompanied her and had to remain long away from London, as might easily happen at the present season, if the wind was contrary, especially as the queen decided to cross from Portsmouth to Havre de Grace, he might not be present at the dissolution when his presence is most necessary in order to sign the bills passed, he has persuaded his mother to delay her departure.
To this she readily consented, especially as she does not wish to be travelling at Christmas time, now at hand.
So her departure is postponed; they do not say until when, but it must be until after the dissolution, and some would even put it until after the king's coronation."

Lots more gossip at
Citation: BHO Chicago MLA
'Venice: December 1660', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32, 1659-1661, ed. Allen B Hinds (London, 1931), pp. 220-233.
British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/…

Travel in 17th Century England in the winter was a muddy, cold, wet, miserable thing to do. The gales in the Channel are dangerous and can last for days. Altogether this trip was a dangerous undertaking.
I suspect Queen Mother Henrietta Maria (1) wanted to finalize the Minette/Philipe union, and (2) not be present when Anne Hyde moved into St. James's Palace with her son, and be recognized as the Duchess of York.

But Charles II rightly didn't want to be catching his death on the road to or at Portsmouth while those Presbyterian MPs were pulling last minute fast ones before dissolving Parliament.

So they settle on having a Happy Family Christmas as a good cover story, while most English people scratch their heads and say "what's Christmas?"

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... Soon as dinner was done my wife took her leave, and went with Mr. Blackburne and his wife to London ..."

I was about to observe that once again Robert Blackburne was visiting at the Sandwich apartments, but Pepys doesn't quite say that. Instead, it sounds as if Elizabeth has asked the Blackburnes to pick her up from a prearranged spot outside the Palace of Whitehall after lunch.
No harm in emphasizing your family's good connections.

Sandwich has yet to go to work at the House of Lords, which seems to be manditory for all the other peers of the realm. "I'm just too busy rearranging the excess furniture at the Wardrobe" doesn't sound like a good excuse to me.

Awanthi Vardaraj  •  Link

With regards to the meek inheriting the earth, as per both Tonyel and Nate, I present, for your consideration, a quote:

“What a mess the world was in, Vimes reflected. Constable Visit had told him the meek would inherit it, and what had the poor devils done to deserve that?” ― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

A little exploration of the House of Commons' Journal (at https://www.british-history.ac.uk…) has found it quite preoccupied with the business of the Excise, as with diverse other revenue flows which H.M. now has the time (for which God be praised) to rearrange in his direction. To wit, the recent business with gravel &c. and claims thereto over which the Ballast Office has prevailed, but also an extraordinary entry on July 17 on the House's detailed examination of duties charged for various imports and commodities, resolving for instance "That there be no Alteration in the Rate for Figs", or "Abatement of the Rate upon Muscavado Sugar", while the rate on "Fustick Wood" is reduced and we are reassured that "The Particulars (...) concerning Saltpetre, Sizers, Orgazine Silk, Raw China Silk, and Raw Long Silk, were, on the Question, agreed unto".

The day's news, which cannot fail to contribute to the tavern talk around Sam, is that the House has "Resolved, That the other Moiety of the Revenue of the Excise of Beer, Ale, Cyder, Perry, strong Waters, Chocolate, Coffee, Sherbett, and Metheglin, be settled on the King for and during his natural Life".

Chocolate (a.k.a. "Chocoletta") and Coffee are, we understand, herbal drinkes and novelties from New Spain and Turkestan. Metheglin and perry will be of course be familiar to all. A moiety, https://languages.oup.com/google-… more or less helpfully reminds us, is "a part or portion, especially a lesser share". So this Moiety, not "all the Excise" contrary to what Sam heard from the table-pounding drunks around him this morning, goes toward the "Twelve hundred thousand Pounds per Annum Revenue, resolved to be settled on his Majesty", starting next Christmas (next what??), which the House on November 21 had unanimously voted to bestow on the king, at the time expecting just the excise on "Beer, Ale, Cyder, Perry, and strong Waters" to be sufficient.

But 'tis not, and so we're having to tap chocoletta, humble metheglin and the new coffee craze too. There are other claims on the Moiety, such as the budget for the garrison at Dunkirk, £3,450 to be similarly taken from the excise on beer and ale as per a report read on August 25 and a vote just yesterday, November 26. In fact a State Council order referenced on August 8 had mentioned that the lonely soldiers in Dunkirk would also be paid off "Perry, Cyder, and Metheglin", which will, then, go to a different pocket. Their budget was also cut, from the £4,800 that had been appropriated on June 30. On August 8 the House had also resolved that up to £825 of anything left from these accounts would go to "Edward Backwell, Alderman of the City of London", who may now have to find something else to support his lifestyle (he invented the banknote, so we're not concerned). Even General Monck was granted a piece of the Excise receipts, on June 27.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

And wine? An amendment added to the Excise Bill on July 25 sought to exempt it from duty. Which seems odd, given how 'tis mostly imported, but ambassadors such as our friend Giavarina, who all have vast hoards in their cellars, will appreciate the gesture.

And sack? Tax-free, apparently. Meanwhile, drinking the king's health has just taken a new meaning, as might the Puritans' dry regime. Imbibe if you love your sovereign! Now, there's a ready excuse for that coach accident.

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