Friday 21 December 1660

By water to Whitehall (leaving my wife at Whitefriars going to my father’s to buy her a muff and mantle), there I signed many things at the Privy Seal, and carried 200l. from thence to the Exchequer, and laid it up with Mr. Hales, and afterwards took him and W. Bowyer to the Swan and drank with them. They told me that this is St. Thomas’s [day], and that by an old custom, this day the Exchequer men had formerly, and do intend this night to have a supper; which if I could I promised to come to, but did not.

To my Lady’s, and dined with her: she told me how dangerously ill the Princess Royal is and that this morning she was said to be dead. But she hears that she hath married herself to young Jermyn, which is worse than the Duke of York’s marrying the Chancellor’s daughter, which is now publicly owned.

After dinner to the office all the afternoon. At seven at night I walked through the dirt to Whitehall to see whether my Lord be come to town, and I found him come and at supper, and I supped with him. He tells me that my aunt at Brampton has voided a great stone (the first time that ever I heard she was troubled therewith) and cannot possibly live long, that my uncle is pretty well, but full of pain still.

After supper home and to bed.

23 Annotations

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"how dangerously ill the Princess Royal is" I wonder how did she catch the smallpox and if she was on isolation!

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

This stone thing seems to run in the family somewhat, doesn't it? First Sam, then his mother and now his aunt? Is the tendency to get kidney and bladder stones hereditary, does anybody know?

dirk  •  Link

St. Thomas's Day

How come that Hales and Bowyer know that 21 December is St. Thomas's Day, and Sam doesn't know that - and doesn't know about the customary supper either?

Many popular and private customs seem to have been linked with this saint's day throughout the centuries. Interesting is the following quote:

"'St. Thomas's Day' (or 'Mumping Day', 'Gooding Day', 'Corming Day', or 'Thomassing Day'. It was traditionally believed in the British Isles that this was a very good day for a range of commercial and private practices:

'The day of St Thomas, the blessed divine
Is good for brewing, baking and killing fat swine.'
'St Thomas Gray, St Thomas Gray,
Longest night and shortest day.' "


vincent  •  Link

"...At seven at night I walked through the dirt to Whitehall to see whether ..."
Mud mud nuthink quite like it for cooling the blud.

Mary  •  Link

St. Thomas's Day supper.

Just guessing, but perhaps this was another of those 'futile' festivities that had been outlawed under the Commonwealth, but which the men of the Exchequer now seek to reinstate.

PHE  •  Link

St Thomas's Day dinner
Seems surprising that Sam didn't go along to this, given he loves eating and drinking and that it would be an opportunity for networking. Perhaps he couldn't decline supper with Sandwich.

Christo  •  Link

It seems that some stones arise from a hereditary cause but most do not:
'The medical name for the process of stone formation is called urolithiasis (renal lithiasis or nephrolithiasis). Stones may form because:
• the urine becomes too saturated with salts that can form stones or
• the urine lacks the normal inhibitors of stone formation.

About 80 percent of the stones are composed of calcium; the remainder, of various substances, including uric acid, cystine, and struvite. Struvite stones - a mixture of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate - are also called infection stones, because they form only in infected urine. Stones vary in size from too small to be seen with the eye alone to 1 inch or more in diameter. A large staghorn calculus (stone) may be shaped by the renal pelvis, and may fill it and the tubes that drain into it. One of the hereditary occurrences of this disease occurs when, due to a defect of the renal tubules, the amino acid cysteine is excreted in uncontrolled volumes and leads to cysteine stones being formed.',,8065-1669940,0…

JWB  •  Link

St. Thomas Day...
Sam,the polititian, would be wary of any association that smacks of catholicism; especially being saddled under and profitting(later) from the patronage of York.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"urolithiasis" someone at this site mentioned sometime ago that he had seen the kidney or bladder stones that were found at SP's autopsy; it would be interesting to find out if these stones were ever analized, then we would know more about his diagnosis.

John Blackburn  •  Link

Samuel's Stones

Liza Picard in "Restoration London" Ch. 6 suggests that "high intake of protein and ...the adulteration of flour with chalk to whiten it" may have contributed to Pepys' problem.
Another recent Pepys biography ("Samuel Pepys - a Life" by Stephen Coote) makes the same suggestion (Ch. 1). Chalk is calcium carbonate and might well be a cause for a build-up of insoluble compounds in the body. In my case, gallstones made the removal of the gall-bladder necessary (and urgent). These stones are, the specialist informed me, 50% calcium carbonate and 50% cholesterol.
The Coote bigraphy also suggests (p.23) that the operation had the effect of "...damaging the ducts from Pepys' testicles that for the rest of his life he would be sterile but not impotent".

David Quidnunc  •  Link

"going to my father's to buy her a muff and mantle"

L&M render this phrase differently: "... going to my father's, with him to buy her a muffe and Mantle ..."

I don't know whether or not L&M actually added "with him" or whether it was erroneously omited in the earlier editions. L&M's version makes clear the the only possible meaning -- Sam wouldn't be going to Whitehall with his father to buy the clothing *from* his father.

Perhaps the significance of having his father along (unless his father was out doing his own Christmas shopping) was that John Pepys, as a tailor, might know of a particularly good merchant to go to, or even get a good discount from. Or maybe John just knew what a good price might be and what good, quality workmanship would look like. Obviously, neither a muff nor a mantle would need any tailoring.

Bill  •  Link

"the Duke of York’s marrying the Chancellor’s daughter, which is now publicly owned."

Finally acknowledged after 3 1/2 months.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

'.... St Thomas Gray, St Thomas Gray,
Longest night and shortest day.' "

According to Ronald Hutton*, this rhyme was first recorded in the late 19th century. It can't go back to Pepys' time as, by the Julian calendar, the shortest day was already gone, on 11th December. Britain didn't adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752.

* Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain - for the full version google the rhyme.

Louise  •  Link

Sam's Aunt Anne Pepys was not his blood relative. She came into the family when she married Sam's uncle, Robert, so her kidney stone affliction could not have been hereditary from Pepys family, though perhaps from her own.

The Princess Royal was not dead on this day as Sam had heard from the Countess of Sandwich. She died tree days later on Christmas Eve.

Edith Lank  •  Link

Giving a talk on Pepys one time, I mentioned the fact that Sam kept the stone and occasionally displayed it -- upon which someone in the audience got up and said he had seen that stone, somewhere in London...?

joe fulm  •  Link

The house workmen must have been relieved when Sam headed to Whitehall to work and stayed out until late. He'd had his beady eye on them working the past couple of days. His house kettle probably got used more today.

Annie B  •  Link

Or maybe Sam is lookong for advice from his dad about a gift for Elizabeth... Elizabeth appears to be close with her father-in-law!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"They told me that this is St. Thomas’s [day], and that by an old custom, this day the Exchequer men had formerly, and do intend this night to have a supper; which if I could I promised to come to, but did not."

The feast of St Thomas the Apostle was a dies non (Principle of no-work-no-pay… observed by all courts of law; any other reason for this Exchequer supper has not been traced, See also dinner on The feast had not been revived at the restoration of the Exchequer in 1654. In 1670 the clerks of the Recept were upbraided for observing several holidays in excess of the legal number: CTB, iii (pt i), p. 568. (L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my aunt at Brampton...cannot possibly live long"

Ann, wife of Robert Pepys, died in October 1661. (L&M note)

Log in to post an annotation.

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