Tuesday 8 January 1660/61

My wife and I lay very long in bed to-day talking and pleasing one another in discourse. Being up, Mr. Warren came, and he and I agreed for the deals that my Lord is to, have. Then Will and I to Westminster, where I dined with my Lady. After dinner I took my Lord Hinchinbroke and Mr. Sidney to the Theatre, and shewed them “The Widdow,” an indifferent good play, but wronged by the women being to seek in their parts. That being done, my Lord’s coach waited for us, and so back to my Lady’s, where she made me drink of some Florence wine, and did give me two bottles for my wife. From thence walked to my cozen Stradwick’s, and there chose a small banquet and some other things against our entertainment on Thursday next. Thence to Tom Pepys and bought a dozen of trenchers, and so home.

Some talk to-day of a head of Fanatiques that do appear about Barnett, but I do not believe it.

However, my Lord Mayor, Sir Richd. Browne, hath carried himself very honourably, and hath caused one of their meeting-houses in London to be pulled down.

29 Annotations

Emilio  •  Link


"course of fruits, sweets and wine; slight repast" (L&M Glossary)

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"of a head of fanatiques that do appear about Barnett,but I do not believe it" somewhat confusing to me;is he talking about a leader of the Fanatiques? or is it a head stuck in a pole? or a ghost?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "head of Fanatiques"

It looks to me, from the context of the sentence, as if he's using the word "head" in the sense of a group of something ... yet I've been unable to find that meaning for the word in my contemporary resources. Can anyone with access to the OED elaborate on this?

Also, anyone care to elaborate on "but wronged by the women being to seek in their parts"? I don't quite understand that.

I love the first sentence of today's entry. It's a wonderful little glimpse into Sam and Elizabeth's love life ... they obviously enjoy each other's company, on many levels. Oh, how I wish my job allowed for that kind of flexibility in its scheduling! (He seems to blow off work completely today.)

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"...and there chose a small banquet and some other things against our entertainment on Thursday next." But Stradwick is a confectioner, and purchasing a banquet fom him did not seem to make sense.

So I looked on Dictionary.com and found this "obsolete" definition: "2. A dessert; a course of sweetmeats; a sweetmeat or sweetmeats."

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

"head" = group, I think, doesn't someone in Shakespeare talk of "making head against..."?

"but wronged by the women being to seek in their parts"? I think this means the women (actresses) didn’t know their lines.

language hat  •  Link

head of Fanatiques:
Going through the OED entry for "head," I at first thought this was an extension of:
7 d An indefinite number or collection of animals, esp. of game.
1601 Death Earl of Huntington iv. ii. in Hazl. Dodsley VIII. 292 This howling like a head of hungry wolves.

But then I came to definition 30, which not only exactly fits the context but cites this very sentence:
30 A body of people gathered; a force raised, esp. in insurrection. (See also to make a head, 57 b). Obs.
1588 Shaks. Tit. A. iv. iv. 63 The Gothes have gather'd head. 1596 Shaks. 1 Hen. IV, i. iii. 284 To saue our heads, by raising of a Head. 1631 Gouge God's Arrows i. £69. 115 Korah.. impudently gathered an head against Moses and Aaron. 1661 Pepys Diary 8 Jan. Some talk to-day of a head of Fanatiques that do appear about Barnett.

Here’s 57b, referred to above:
to make a head (sense 30): to raise a body of troops. Obs.
1593 Shaks. 3 Hen. VI, ii. i. 141 In the Marches heere we heard you were, Making another Head, to fight againe. 1627 Drayton Miseries Q. Marg. 153 That Warwick.. Had met the Duke of York, and made a head Of many fresh and yet unfought-with bands. 1648 Evelyn Mem. (1857) III. 8 To make a handsome head, and protect such as shall recruit.

vincent  •  Link

"head" was used in my time as a grouping of cattle or cabbages [ that was before 'i herd' of a dictionary].

ellen  •  Link

How about a herd of Fanatiques?

Tim Aldrich  •  Link

"My wife and I lay very long in bed to-day"

Could anyone suggest what 'very long' might mean for Sam? As I'm not sure what would have been considered normal working hours for someone like him around this time.

Lily_Belle  •  Link

Where was Caen Wood?
Mentioned in yesterday's notes. I've got a vague idea it was away to the NW (near Highgate?). Would that be the same head of fanatiques as emerged at Barnet one day later?

Mary  •  Link

Caen Wood.

I've found 18th and 19th Century references to Caen Wood and Caen Wood Towers in Highgate, which is indeed not very far from Barnet.

slowjoe  •  Link

I think it's possible that Kenwood (where the House now stands between Highgate & Hampstead, just off the Heath) is in fact a corruption of the original Caen Wood.

Captain Caveman  •  Link

'The Widow' is probably a play by Thomas Middleton. Middleton, however, had two plays with 'the widow' in the title: 'The Widow' (1616) featuring a leading lady named Martia; and 'The Widow of Watling Street', more commonly called 'The Puritan' and sometimes called 'The Puritan Widow'(1606). The latter was a satire on the puritans.

The 1616 play (which is probably what Pepys saw) is not online, but here's the 1606 play:

Emilio  •  Link

"wronged by the women being to seek in their parts"

L&M have a note to explicate this phrase. Like the Captain above, they reason that Pepys saw the 1616 play:

"The play was a comedy by Thomas Middleton, written c. 1616 and published in 1652. The faulty memorising of parts was not uncommon in the Restoration theatre because of its repertory system and the frequent changes of programme."

So the play was ruined for Sam because some of the women kept having to pull out scripts to read their lines. It doesn't even sound like they were being prompted, which would have been bad enough.

In a bit over a week Sam has seen five plays, all at the same venue, and that pace is taking a toll on the performers. Many of the women performers are no doubt new to the stage, and some don't seem to be adapting well to the punishing schedule.

Emilio  •  Link

More on Fanatiques

L&M confirm that the rumor of the Fifth Monarchists being in Barnet probably came about because of their retreat to Caen Wood.

Also this about the meeting house that was pulled down: "Probably Venner's meeting-house in Swan Alley, off Coleman St; but there appears to be no trace of this order in the city records."

The location is at the bottom left of this map from 1746:


Bedlam Hospital is just to the north, the Guildhall off to the west.

Aiptek  •  Link

I can't imagine that they would allow people onstage to pull out scripts and read them. No audience would put up with that, especially one that probably included men who had seen the excellent condition of the theatre in France. They would have been hooted off the stage.

Surely 'seek in their parts' meant they broke up the flow of the play by interjecting unseemly pauses as they tried to remember their lines; or mispoke lines and then corrected themselves. That's what insufficiently trained actors do all the time.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"in bed to-day talking and pleasing one another in discourse"
Am I the only vulgar-minded person who thinks that Sam is being euphemistic even with his diary?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

David, you're not alone.

The same "vulgar-minded" thought occured to me, but given Sam's absolute honesty elsewhere in the diary, I moved on to other vulgar thoughts.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"pleasing one another"I also think that he meant intercourse

language hat  •  Link

Y'all are barking up the wrong tree. I know we like to think everything is about sex these days, and many now-innocuous words have meant 'sexual intercourse' in the past (eg "conversation"), but "discourse" is not one of them. (See the OED, which faithfully notes such meanings.) No, it simply means Sam and the missus enjoyed lazing in bed talking that morning, which (I can assure you from personal experience) is one of the joys of marriage.

helena murphy  •  Link

I find Sam's developing platonic rapport with the impeccable Lady Sandwich very interesting. She obviously likes him as a man and like many a" trophy wife " needs company and attention from some other male apart from her husband. It is altogether a safe flirtation for both,he quite a raconteur in her company and entirely overcome by her social graces,she also gossiping with him and happy with his interest in her,in Sandwich and their children.It is also delightful that neither of their partners evinces even the slightest jealousy.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"back to my Lady's, where she made me drink”
As the marvelously thorough annotations detail, Pepys and Lady Montagu have known each other for 17 years (they met when he was 10 and she a one-year-bride of 18). Sam’s probably more like an adoring younger brother, and she a sophisticated elder sister to Pepys’ Elizabeth.

Mary  •  Link

Pepys and my Lady.

Let's not forget that there is a formal aspect to this relationship. Pepys is Sandwich's man and undoubtedly feels a sense of responsibility towards Lady S. whilst Sandwich is still away on escort duty with the old queen. It's a happy fact that this is an agreeable duty for Sam and pleasantly acceptable to her. There is no need for the question of jealousy to arise on either Elizabeth's or Sandwich's part, but Sam must be very glad that Lady Sandwich in no way resembles 'Lady' Davis.

Laura K  •  Link

Pepys and My Lady

Re Helena Murphy's comment above, we really have no idea if either Mrs Pepys or Sandwich was jealous of this friendship, as we don't hear their points of view.

If Elizabeth was overt in her jealousy, Sam might mention it - but depending on the business of the day, he might not. And that would be our only clue.

I'm not implying there was jealousy. But I think it's best not to make assumptions about anyone's feelings that aren't specifically mentioned in the diary.

Bill  •  Link

"she made me drink of some Florence wine"

The red Florence wine is most commended for a table wine of any in Italy; and doubtless it is most wholesome, and, to them who are used to it, also most gustful and pleasant. It is of a deeper colour than ordinary claret, which is caused by letting it stand longer upon the husks or vinacea before it be pressed. For it is the skin only which gives the tincture, the interior pulp of the grape being white.
---Travels Through the Low Countries. J. Ray, 1738.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘head, n.1 . . VI. Uses arising from or associated with particular phrasal or verbal constructions.
. . 43. A body of people gathered; a force raised, esp. in insurrection or revolt. See also to make a head at Phrases 4k(b). Obs.
In quots. 1590, 1598 perh.: a standard or similar object around which troops may gather.

1381 in R. H. Robbins Hist. Poems 14th & 15th Cent. (1959) 55 (MED), Takeþ wiþ ȝow Iohan Trewman and alle hijs felawes and no mo, and loke schappe ȝou to on heued and no mo.
. . 1661 S. Pepys Diary 8 Jan. (1970) II. 8 Some talk today of a head of Fanatiques that doth appear about Barnett.
1781 G. Washington Let. 27 Mar. in Writings (1891) IX. 195 They cannot draw a head of men together as suddenly as their exigencies may require.’

‘seek, v. . . III. Uses of the infinitive to seek.
. . 20. Of a person, his faculties, etc.:
a. At a loss or at fault; unable to act, understand, etc.; puzzled to know or decide. Const. indirect question introduced by how, what, etc.; also to (do). Obs. or arch. Also much, far, all to seek ; †new to seek, utterly at a loss.
1390 J. Gower Confessio Amantis I. 61 Thi wittes ben riht feer to seche.
. . 1654 O. Cromwell Speech 12 Sept. in Lett. & Speeches (1871) IV. 52 We were exceedingly to seek how to settle things.
. . 1709 Ld. Shaftesbury Moralists ii. i. 47 But what real Good is, I am still to seek.
. . 1886 R. L. Stevenson Kidnapped xx. 190 For the details of our itinerary, I am all to seek.’

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord Mayor, Sir Richd. Browne, hath carried himself very honourably, and hath caused one of their meeting-houses in London to be pulled down."

L&M: Probably Venner's meeting-house in Swan Alley, off Coleman St; but there appears to be no trace of this order in the city records.

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