Friday 7 December 1660

This morning the judge Advocate Fowler came to see me, and he and I sat talking till it was time to go to the office. To the office and there staid till past 12 o’clock, and so I left the Comptroller and Surveyor and went to Whitehall to my Lord’s, where I found my Lord gone this morning to Huntingdon, as he told me yesterday he would. I staid and dined with my Lady, there being Laud the page’s mother there, and dined also with us, and seemed to have been a very pretty woman and of good discourse.

Before dinner I examined Laud in his Latin and found him a very pretty boy and gone a great way in Latin.

After dinner I took a box of some things of value that my Lord had left for me to carry to the Exchequer, which I did, and left them with my Brother Spicer, who also had this morning paid 1000l. for me by appointment to Sir R. Parkhurst. So to the Privy Seal, where I signed a deadly number of pardons, which do trouble me to get nothing by. Home by water, and there was much pleased to see that my little room is likely to come to be finished soon.

I fell a-reading Fuller’s History of Abbys, and my wife in Great Cyrus till twelve at night, and so to bed.

23 Annotations

First Reading

chris  •  Link

What are these deadly pardons that seem to trouble Sam today?

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"What are these deadly pardons that seem to trouble Sam today?"

I'd be inclined to think that Sam's troubled because there will be no money coming to him for signning and sealing these pardons. The money Sam earns from his Privy Seal position comes from those who are petitioning the King, or are having official papers registered. No money is generated from the acts of the King (such as these pardons.)

Paul Miller  •  Link

"and my wife in Great Cyrus till twelve at night"

Longest novel in French Literature, 10 volumes. Elizabeth will not need to browse the book stalls anytime soon.

Scudéry, Madeleine de [1656], Artamène ou le grand Cyrus

online text

vincent  •  Link

"...So to the Privy Seal, where I signed a deadly number of pardons, which do trouble me to get nothing by..." I presume, from the on going trials of the lesser mortals. Those who signed the request and were disallowed?
But I do love the phrase "deadly number of pardons".
Again NO compensation for the waxing of the waning lives.

Larry Bunce  •  Link

Sam has used various forms of 'to bed' so far, but is this the first instance of the complete 'and so to bed?'

Pauline  •  Link

"...left them with my Brother Spicer, who also had this morning paid 1000l. for me by appointment to Sir R. Parkhurst."
I wonder if this box of jewels to the Exchequer brought in the 1000l and this is money to "settle the militia."

Mary  •  Link

The box of jewels

I'm not sure that the jewels and the sum of £1000 are so closely connected. The words “who ALSO had this morning” read as if the two matters are concurrent rather than consequent upon one another.

Yesterday Sam was asked to ‘lay up’ these valuables; to lay up usually means to store, put safely away, to save for future use. Sandwich is going to be out of town for a few days; he wants to be sure that these items will be in safe storage whilst he is away.

David Goldfarb  •  Link

>is this the first instance of the complete "and so to bed?"

Hardly. The first instance of the phrase was January 4, 1659/60; the first time it was the very end of the entry was February 10.

Bardi McLennan  •  Link

"and so to bed" has become SP's signature phrase, but "that I ever have seen in my life before" runs a close second. When I was 12 my English teacher told me I wrote a better run-on sentence than Pepys - and from that day he has been My Man!

Ruben  •  Link

"that I ever have seen in my life before" is an exalted way to remind the reader that life is a wonderful adventure.

Daniel Baker  •  Link

Pepys does not mention what he and Judge Advocate Fowler talked about. Fowler's visit comes soon after Pepys helped advance the plan to pay the seamen half their wages in cash and the other half in tickets at interest; perhaps Fowler has questions about the legality of this? Fowler either was or soon would be in charge of the Chatham Chest for disabled seamen, and thus was to some degree responsible for their welfare.

Second Reading

Annie B  •  Link

Well that can't be right... can it? This entry makes it sound like he is meeting Laud's mother for the first time, but he has already met Mrs. Crisp.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"If Laud is really Laud Crisp...then his mother is Mrs. Crisp:"

The L&M index confirms that Mrs Crisp is the mother of Diana and Laud and notes Pepys dined with her on this date. The entry does not say he met her for the first time, but she was among the diner guests he did not expect -- which oftrn happens when people drop in to dine unannounced, as we will see again.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

New since your last visit
JB about an hour ago • Link • Flag
And, in an interesting coincidence given the timing, just ran across this at… :

"On this date in 1660, a professional female actress appeared on the English stage in a production of Othello. It’s one of the earliest known instances of a female role actually being played by a woman in an English production. Up until this time, women were considered too fine and sensitive for the rough life of the theater, and boys or men dressed in drag to play female characters. An earlier attempt to form co-ed theater troupes was met with jeers and hisses and thrown produce.

But by the second half of the 17th century, the King’s Company felt that London society could handle it. Before the production, a lengthy disclaimer in iambic pentameter was delivered to the audience, warning them that they were about to see an actual woman in the part. This was, the actor explained, because they felt that men were just too big and burly to play the more delicate roles, “With bone so large and nerve so incompliant / When you call Desdemona, enter giant.”"…

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

It was with Laud the page that Sam was roaming Whitehall Palace back on Nov. 22, trying to get past locked doors in search of Montagu. At the time I though Laud was My Lord's equivalent of one of Sam's houseboys. But now today we have Laud's mom dining with My Lady, and Sam quizzing his proficiency in Latin. So clearly, Laud is not a common servant, but a gentleman-in-training.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"At the time I though Laud was My Lord's equivalent of one of Sam's houseboys."

MartinVT, Pepys has just graduated from being one of Sandwich's houseboys, during the years between Cambridge and now; he had at least one unusual assignment in 1656 when we think he learned to speak Spanish -- but not to write it (see…).

Hewer must now be one of the Pepys' houseboys, as you put it -- who goes on to an honorable career all of his own making. Brother John will be another Pepys graduate.

Think of being in service in one of these great families' homes as being an apprenticeship -- as you say, a gentleman-in-training: it was an honorable way into society, Court, and/or politics.
Sandwich places his "graduates" like Pepys into positions where they will be of most use -- or they end up as his employees at The Wardrobe, or becoming his Master of the Horse or "man of business".
Creed is another of Sandwich's gents-in-training, and -- small SPOILER -- he ends up marrying into a branch of the family.

We call this nepotism today, while acknowledging that who you know still makes a big difference in what opportunities are made available.

One nice thing about Pepys is that he doesn't seem to have cared -- so long as the food was good and the servant didn't steal from him, he appears to have been open-minded about who he hired. Even his love match was somewhat risky and impulsive.
He may now have "Esq." written on his envelopes, but he's out drinking with the boys from the Exchequer, just as before.
Sorry, spoilers galore today; it's hard to discuss character and culture without using examples.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... I signed a deadly number of pardons, ..."

Pepys humor. I can see his grinning as he wrote it.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"This morning the judge Advocate Fowler came to see me, and he and I sat talking till it was time to go to the office."

This appointment with Fowler was sufficiently important to keep Pepys from attending the Middlesex magistrates' court at Hick's Hall this morning.
Would love to know the reasons behind both of these appointments.
YESTERDAY: "Before I went forth this morning, one came to me to give me notice that the justices of Middlesex do meet to-morrow at Hicks Hall, and that I as one am desired to be there, but I fear I cannot be there though I much desire it."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

And now Sandwich has left town, while the House of Lords is still sitting, with Albemarle and the Duke of York there nearly every day.

No one else has found it necessary to go to their county to pay off the troops -- not even his own regiment, as we know.

His behavior really puzzles me.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Diary of Ralph Josselin (Private Collection)
6.12.1660 (Saturday 6 December 1660) document 70012810…

"6. Mr. Pelham giving me leave, I went and gathered elms, ashes, crab stocks, and about half hundred wood set." [CLEANED UP VERSION]

What's a wood set?

Google is no help -- I'll be getting ads for dining room furniture for weeks now.

Tonyel  •  Link

I wonder if Mr Josselin was gathering seedlings from a neighbour's woodland and then planting (or setting) them on his own land? Just a guess.

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