Thursday 27 December 1660

In the morning to Alderman Backwell’s again, where I found the candlesticks done, and went along with him in his coach to my Lord’s and left the candlesticks with Mr. Shepley. I staid in the garden talking much with my Lord, who do show me much of his love and do communicate his mind in most things to me, which is my great content.

Home and with my wife to Sir W. Batten’s to dinner, where much and good company. My wife not very well went home, I staid late there seeing them play at cards, and so home to bed.

This afternoon there came in a strange lord to Sir William Batten’s by a mistake and enters discourse with him, so that we could not be rid of him till Sir Arn. Breames and Mr. Bens and Sir W. Pen fell a-drinking to him till he was drunk, and so sent him away. About the middle of the night I was very ill — I think with eating and drinking too much — and so I was forced to call the maid, who pleased my wife and I in her running up and down so innocently in her smock, and vomited in the bason, and so to sleep, and in the morning was pretty well, only got cold, and so had pain … [in pissing – L&M] as I used to have.

28 Annotations

First Reading

dirk  •  Link

"the maid, who pleased my wife and I in her running up and down so innocently in her smock"

Sam still has an eye for beauty (his wife too apparently) - in spite of his hangover. As we know, Jane was a very attractive young woman...

Bradford  •  Link

The "Shorter Pepys" fills in the last sentence's lacuna:

"and in the morning was pretty well---only got cold and so have pain in pissing, as I used to have."

After such a night, most of us in the morning would have felt like Hell, unless we too are 27 going on 28. Eheu fugaces labuntur anni!

vincent  •  Link

the saying brings up 263 versions in "G"
eheu! fugaces labuntur anni.:
Eheu ! fugaces, Postume, Postume, labuntur anni !
Alas! our fleeting years pass away

EHEV fugaces, Postume, Postume
labuntur anni nec pietas moram
rugis et instanti senectae
adferet indomitaeque morti;…

Eheu fugaces Horace (65 B.C.- B.C.)
(Horace, 14th Ode)
Voilà bien des amis que nous perdons en peu d’années,
tis too true.
Eheu ! fugaces, Postume, Postume, labuntur anni !

Mary  •  Link

".. and in the morning was pretty well.."

Here is another of those plain indications that Pepys often wrote up his diary in retrospect rather than last thing at night on the day in question.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"there came in a strange lord"...

Anyone have any ideas about this? Strange indeed...

helena murphy  •  Link

The appearance of the "strange lord" whom nobody seems to know does add an interesting gothic touch to the journal's entry worthy of Sheridan Le Fanu.It is a pity that the writing of fiction does not come into its own until well into the next century,as Sam's humour,curiosity, observation and evident love of writing are also the hallmarks of a good storyteller.

dirk  •  Link

the "strange lord"

I checked the remaining part of Pepys' diary (as thoroughly as I could!) and there is no more mention of this "strange lord".

This is probably just one of these situations we've all been in, where an unwelcome intruder imposes himself on a company of friends. In real life we wouldn't bother to ask his name either. I don't think there's any more to this.

dirk  •  Link

the "strange lord" revisited

It strikes me, as an afterthought, that a situation like this might easily have led to a duel, had it been handled with less care (in this case they just made him drunk). Duels were pretty cheap in Sam's days if someone felt insulted.

If my info is correct, duelling wasn't officially banned in England until 1828.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

"the strange lord"
SP describes the unknown and unwelcome visitor as a 'lord'. Assuming that Sam was using the word literally, how did he know that the visitor was a lord. By his dress? Throughout the middle ages there were countless statutes governing who could wear what;(a 14th. century villein would have been ill-advised to wear ermine); but in 1660? I think this calls for specialist help.

George  •  Link

"the strange lord"
Is this not just another example of the changing use of language with strange as in stranger, meaning a lord that he had not met before and knew not?

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

'only got cold and so have pain in pissing, as I used to have'

Sam's autopsy showed a large collection of stones in one of his kidneys, so perhaps his tendency to form and pass stones had more to do with his pain in pissing than anything else.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: The strange lord

Yes, George, that's exactly as I read it -- that this person (presumably a lord) was a stranger, not that he was strange (though this also may have been the case!)

Nix  •  Link

The "strange lord" --

Here's another possible usage, from OED:

"11. Of persons: a. Unfriendly; having the feelings alienated. b. Distant or cold in demeanour; reserved; not affable, familiar, or encouraging; uncomplying, unwilling to accede to a request or desire. Obs.

"1338 R. BRUNNE Chron. (1810) 50 Olaf in Norweie..bare him ouer strange to e kyng Knoute. ?a1366 CHAUCER Rom. Rose 1065 These losengers thorough flaterye Haue maad folk ful straunge be There hem ought be pryue. 1423 JAS. I Kingis Q. cii, And though I was vnto our lawis strange, By ignorance, and noght by felonye. 1509 HAWES Past. Pleas. XXXIV. (Percy Soc.) 173 Be straunge unto hym, as ye knowe nothyng The perfite cause of his true commyng. 1538 ELYOT Dict. Addit., Auersus, straunge, vnacquaynted. a1568 A. SCOTT Poems (S.T.S.) xxi. 18, I fand hir of ane staffage kynd, Bath staitly, strange, and he. 1592 SHAKES. Rom. & Jul. II. ii. 102, I should haue beene more strange, I must confesse. a1593 MARLOWE Edw. II, II. iv. 1162 If he be straunge and not regarde my wordes. 1633 ROWLEY Match at Midn. III. i. F4b, I was strange, in the nice timerous temper of a Maid. 1700 CONGREVE Way of World IV. v, Mil... Let us never Visit together, nor go to a Play together, But let us be very strange and well bred. 1763 CHURCHILL Night 87 The strange reserve, the proud affected state Of upstart knaves grown rich, and fools grown great."

vincent  •  Link

"strange bird " I still use that phrase to mean odd, different from anyone else that I do know:

David A. Smith  •  Link

"and so had pain in pissing as I used to have"
Not a good evening for our boy: overindulgence, a rather spectacular evacuation, and the next morning, painful kidney stones (I think the doctors will confirm this amateur diary-gnosis) amidst a hangover.
You too would wait a day before writing up an entry such as this one ...

Pauline  •  Link

"I THINK with eating and drinking too much."

Isn't this just how we maintain some innocence (self respect) today! "MAYBE it was because I had too much to drink last night."

Emilio  •  Link

"and so had pain in pissing as I used to have"

I think David is exactly right in making this connection. The dehydration from a night of hard drinking would create ideal conditions both for a hangover and for new stones to form. The situation brings up truly painful associations for me as well; I know right where you're coming from, Sam . . .

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a rather spectacular evacuation" -i today Pepys's vomit; yesterday Penn's "physic". Merry Christmas is restored in England!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The second day of Christmas Parliament passed an Order for 10,000£. to the D. of York.

"ORDERED, by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, That the Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds be, and is hereby, presented unto his Highness James Duke of Yorke, as a Testimony of the Houses great Respect to his Highness; and that the said Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds be, and is hereby, charged on the Arrears of the Excise, in Course, and paid for his said Highness to such Person as he shall appoint to receive the same, after the other Sums charged by former Orders of this Parliament on the Receipt of Excise shall be satisfied: And the Commissioners of the said Receipt are hereby authorized and required to make Payment thereof to his said Highness's Assigns accordingly; whose Acquittance, together with this Order, shall be to the said Commissioners of Excise a sufficient Warrant and Discharge in this Behalf."…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

CORRECTING MY POST: the 27th December is the third day of Christmas.

Third Reading

Bill  •  Link

1. Foreign; another country.
2. Not domestick.
3. Wonderful; causing wonder.
4. Odd; irregular; not according to the common way.
5. Unknown; new.
6. Remote.
7. Uncommonly good or bad.
8. Unacquainted.
---Samuel Johnson, Dictionary, 1755

unusual; uncommon; wonderful
---Bailey, An Universal Etymological English Dictionary, 1721

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"If my info is correct, duelling wasn't officially banned in England until 1828."

Oh no -- dueling was constantly being banned. That made no difference -- when people wanted to fight, they went about it surreptitiously. The 1828 effort was the last ban, so it gets the credit.

Formal dueling with rapiers and later pistols (as opposed to taking an irritating person to a secluded place and beating the daylights out of him) was introduced into England during Queen Elizabeth’s reign with the spread of Italian honor and courtesy literature. Castiglione's Libro del Cortegiano (Book of the Courtier) published 1528 and Girolamo Muzio's Il Duello published 1550 stressed the need to protect one's reputation and social standing by formalizing the circumstances under which an insulted party should issue a challenge.
Englishman Simon Robson published The Court of Ciuill Courtesie in 1577 which tells us dueling had become accepted.
Italian fencing masters Rocco Bonetti and Vincento Saviolo also set up fencing schools in London.

By King James reign, dueling was accepted by the militarized peerage. One famous duel was held in 1613 in Holland between Edward Bruce, 2nd Lord Kinross and Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset over the beautiful Venetia Stanley, during which Bruce was slain. Yes, they went to Holland to evade James' wrath.

King James asked Solicitor-General Francis Bacon to prosecute would be duelists in the Court of Star Chamber; there were about 200 prosecutions between 1603 and 1625.

King James issued an edict against dueling in 1614, and is thought to have supported an anti-dueling tract by Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland (the Wizard Earl). But dueling continued to spread from the court, mostly into the nobility who had served in the continental wars.

Dueling in England in the 1640s and 50s was checked by the Parliamentarians, whose Articles of War specified the death penalty for would-be duelists. Obviously this didn't apply to the Royalists, who continued to duel quite frequently, to Charles II’s consternation: he needed them alive and well.

Unsurprisingly, dueling in England increased with the Restoration.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


One problem all anti-dueling campaigners had to deal with was that, although all the kings – be they named James, Charles, Louis, William or George – SAID they disapproved of dueling, they were all reluctant to punish their favorites.

The first recorded duel was between David and Goliath. The Bible made dueling an honorable undertaking.

Duels became so common in France that Charles IX issued an ordinance in 1566: anyone taking part in a duel would be punished by death. This became the model for later edicts.

It didn't work: 10,000 Frenchmen are thought to have died during a 10-year period under Henry IV. Henry issued another edict against the practice, telling the nobles to submit their grievances to a tribunal of honor for redress instead.
But dueling continued: between 1685 and 1716, French officers fought 10,000 duels, leading to over 400 deaths.

For more information, see………

P.S. Venetia didn't marry the "winner" -- she married her love, Kenelm Digby. But that's another story, from before the Diary.

David G  •  Link

Dueling may have lasted longer in the US. For example, the original California constitution from 1849 provides as the penalty for dueling or acting as a second in a duel only the loss of the right to vote and disqualification from holding state office.

JB  •  Link

As to dueling in the US….

“"Charleston, probably more than any other American city, was the setting for numerous “affairs of honor,” a euphemism for the abhorrent practice of dueling. According to Dr. David Ramsey, a respected physician and noted historian in the late-18th and early-19th centuries, the propensity for dueling in Charleston was mostly to due to the climate because “warm weather and its attendant increase of bile in the stomach” generated “an irritable temper which made men say and do things thoughtlessly.” Most Charleston duels took place from June through September. A former governor and Charlestonian, John Lyde Wilson, wrote The Code of Honor in 1838, the “rule book” for proper dueling etiquette. Although not officially accepted or endorsed by most Charlestonians, the practice continued throughout South Carolina throughout the War Between the States and was finally legally abolished in the state in 1880.”

"The Cash-Shannon duel, 1880 – This is considered to be the last fatal, and the most documented, duel in South Carolina. The event occurred at Lynches River, near Bishopville, SC. The arguments between Cash and Shannon festered for 27 months, spiraling violently out of control. Growing out of assorted lawsuits, ensuing settlements, and violent-natured people, things came to a head when Shannon alleged that there were monetary shenanigans and fraud involving Cash’s wife, who was “stricken speechless and died.” Cash was out for blood. His challenge was accepted by Shannon. Well-dressed and using all the proper manners, the 2 principals “exchanged pleasantries, took their arranged places on the field, leveled their pistols at each other and fired”. Within minutes, Shannon, a father of 14 children was dead.
This was the final straw for most South Carolinians. This archaic, seemingly barbaric, practice was soon outlawed. It had revealed its total senselessness in a new post-War South. People saw they could be “no longer tolerant of private, prideful violence”.…


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

For those subscribing to Academia, they have an article about reports of violence at the Restoration, with a section devoted to dueling:

News of the Duels – Restoration Duelling Culture and the Early Modern Press -- by Alexander Hay:

In August 1660, the Mercurius Publicus published the following' Royal Proclamation:
“His Majesty … having' formerly in a Declaration published at Brussels November 24 1659, manifested his dislike of impious and unlawful duels, strictly command all his subjects whatever, that they do not by themselves or an" others, either by message, word, writing, or other ways or means, challenge, or cause to be challenged, any person or persons to in duel, nor to carry, accept, or conceal any challenge, nor actually to fight or be a second to any therein.

The proclamation went on to add:
“His Majesty doth thereby declare, That every person that shall offend against the said Command, shall not only incur his Majesties highest displease but shall be incapable of holding any office in His Majesties service, and never after be permitted to come to the Court, or preferred, besides the suffering of such punishments as the Law shall inflict on such offenders.”…

See also:…

RLB  •  Link

@dirk (the very first entry!) - I'm not sure we can immediately spring to that lascivious conclusion. If it were only Samuel, maybe - though not necessarily quite yet - but we really have no hint of that in Elizabeth. I do want to believe that they were merely happy about the way she ran to her business.

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