Wednesday 9 January 1660/61

Waked in the morning about six o’clock, by people running up and down in Mr. Davis’s house, talking that the Fanatiques were up in arms in the City. And so I rose and went forth; where in the street I found every body in arms at the doors. So I returned (though with no good courage at all, but that I might not seem to be afeared), and got my sword and pistol, which, however, I had no powder to charge; and went to the door, where I found Sir R. Ford, and with him I walked up and down as far as the Exchange, and there I left him. In our way, the streets full of Train-band, and great stories, what mischief these rogues have done; and I think near a dozen have been killed this morning on both sides. Seeing the city in this condition, the shops shut, and all things in trouble, I went home and sat, it being office day, till noon. So home, and dined at home, my father with me, and after dinner he would needs have me go to my uncle Wight’s (where I have been so long absent that I am ashamed to go). I found him at home and his wife, and I can see they have taken my absence ill, but all things are past and we good friends, and here I sat with my aunt till it was late, my uncle going forth about business. My aunt being very fearful to be alone. So home to my lute till late, and then to bed, there being strict guards all night in the City, though most of the enemies, they say, are killed or taken. This morning my wife and Pall went forth early, and I staid within.

25 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

"the Fanatiques were up in arms in the City … and with him I walked up and down as far as the Exchange"

The (Royal) Exchange is at the absolute heart of the City, where the Fanatics are said to be - and Pepys knows that they are up to 500 strong and to have killed people - most of them are experienced veteran soldiers whereas Pepys has always been a civilian. Yet our boy rises before sunrise and goes out to confront them with an unloaded gun. Perhaps he was braver than he himself realized.

Glyn  •  Link

This morning my wife and Pall went forth early, and I staid within.

Presumably the morning of Thursday: Pepys writing his entry in the next morning.

Conrad  •  Link

Sam was recently paid off for having been associated with some sort of military group, so maybe, he had some training in the use of weapoms & as such should have been able to handle himself. He seems to be saying that,for appearances sake, even though afraid, he should be seen on the streets armed & ready for action, talking to the men of the "Trained bands" with, I suspect much bravado.

Emilio  •  Link

" the Fanatiques were up in arms in the City"

L&M bring us up with current events; the facts aren't any less dramatic than the rumors flying on this third day of the rebellion:

"Driven from the woods by hunger, Venner's band had under the cover of darkness slipped past the regulars sent after them and had returned to the city in the early morning of the day. They were now being hunted down by large forces of militia, and by regulars under York and Albemarle."

Mary House  •  Link

Another example of Pepys at his best: capturing the scene with energy and economy.

vincent  •  Link

Conrad: last jan it was mentioned he received 25L[quid] for being a trooper:"...Thence into London, to Mr. Vernon's and I received my L25 due by bill for my troopers' pay...."
21st jan: being paid so much did not mean he knew which end of the blunder buss to hold as his job was I believe was "muster" or to make register or enrolling of officers and men in the outfit up in Huntington.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Sam's Military Training

Last January Sam did indeed receive L25, but it was for his troopers' pay -note the apostrophe. The devil is perhaps in the details: if the text reflects Sam's shorthand accurately then the only way I can interpret this is that Sam was acting as paymaster to troopers whom he had mustered (enlisted, recruited).

Emilio  •  Link

trooper's pay

L&M have the apostrophe before the "s" in last Jan.'s entry; the money is a personal payment to Sam, but is due to Montagu's patronage rather than any military knowledge on Sam's part. The phrase harks back to the 4 Jan. entry: "Then into the Hall again, where I met with the Clerk and quartermaster of my Lord's troop. . . . Mr. Jenkings [the quatermaster's clerk] showed me two bills of exchange for money to receive upon my Lord's and my pay." Here's L&M's explanation:

"Appointed to the command of a regiment of horse in September 1658, Montagu had been dismissed on the fall of Richard Cromwell in the following spring. His men were now commanded by Col. Matthew Allured, but Pepys (who had been taken on as colonel's secretary without performing any functions - a fairly common practice) still referred to the regiment as 'my Lord's'."

J A Gioia  •  Link

Waked in the morning about six o'clock, by people running up and down in Mr. Davis's house…

we get an idea of how thin the walls between the houses were. i wonder how clearly arguments or the wails of beaten servants came through.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"no good courage at all, but that I might not seem to be afeared"
Despite Sam's genuine modesty, this is a very definition of courage: to do what you think is right even though it scares you.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"no good courage at all,but that I might not seem to be afeared" I think, and he seems to say so, that it was only for show,like some politicians nowadays that don military garb for the press,but that have never been to war and are warmongers.

Lawrence  •  Link

I bet Sam looked brave to everyone there, with his pistol drawn and his sword by his side, he must have been a little bit worried, "bit like those feelings of kittens" you had when you were young and somebody at school wanted to fight with you, and he'd seen London in the grip of this sort of trouble before.

Ruben  •  Link

May be SP had some experience with weapons. Anyone learning at Oxford in the 1600 should know something basic about that, I think...

Mary  •  Link

Noisy neighbours

The building in Seething Lane which housed the Navy Office itself and a number of its senior officers was part of a property originally built in the early part of the 16th Century. In 1606 the whole, large house was bought by two men, Nicholas Slater and John Wolstenhulme, who divided the property, Wolstenhulme taking the northern part of the building. In 1654 Wolstenhulme sold his section to the Navy Office, who promptly subdivided the premises into office space plus accommodation for its officers. Thus some of the 'walls' between the various dwellings were possibly no more substantial than partitions and noise may have carried easily from one household to another.

Liza Picard's 'Restoration London' has an interesting history of the site and the house.

Laura K  •  Link

sam's courage or lack thereof

I agree with Glyn, Sam was brave! Most people who act courageously, speaking honestly after the event, will tell you they were afraid. Pushing through fear to act appears as bravery from the outside.

vincent  •  Link

Reuben: SP is Granta man not an Isis man Please !!!! and remember 'is little trip to Delf with is scabord et al. None the less it was foolhardy but it does impress one to do what yer scared of.

Emilio  •  Link

This morning my wife and Pall went forth early, and I staid within.

This sentence is at the beginning of the Thurs. entry in L&M. Perhaps the sentence was unclearly positioned in the transcription Wheatley was using.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Sam's pistol
I agree, Sam was brave. He didn't have powder but he certainly had *****.

Rainer Doehle  •  Link

Talking about courage ...

"after dinner he would needs have me go to my uncle Wight’s (where I have been so long absent that I am ashamed to go)."

I know how that feels like. You neglect an old acquaintance or some family member for months and years and then suddenly you have to pay him a visit, not knowing whether he will take your long absence ill or not. Pepys was lucky enough that his uncle didn't. Strange contrast though to see Pepys fearing his own uncle on the one hand, but presenting himself with sword and pistol on the other so that others don't think he is a coward.

Second Reading

Gerald Berg  •  Link

FIne. SP was brave. Now let us all find a new word for the truly brave.
Fine. SP was trained with firearms. Which means he had sense not to have the material to arm a gun lying around. That's the best of training!
I think Sam had to make a show for lively hood. So he got out his rusty sword with pistol club and made an appeal to competence. Here we are behind the mask.
I like his character and love the way he writes! No more so then when reading the diarist excerpts from various other authors cited in the annotations over time. Much appreciated!

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Sam was not ‘brave’: he did his duty, as he was bound to do by his position, by buckling on his sword (which he probably has little idea how to use) and pocketing a useless pistol and showing himself in the street to calm the frightened locals. Then he went home.

True bravery is conduct like this:
Woolwich attack: Watch mum tell how she confronted terrorist after soldier Lee Rigby had been hacked to death…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I'm flabberghasted that "brave" Pepys let Pall and Elizabeth go out -- possibly with 13-year-old Wayneman in tow? -- knowing of the on-going riots. What was he thinking?
(I suspect they went to his father's to prepare meals for his guest, Peter Honywood, since it's too soon for Margaret Pepys to have returned from Huntingdon… )

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

Today’s entry cautions me how casually we use the expression “up in arms” for simply being riled about some slight or the foibles of whichever current government. Indeed, those of Sam’s generation knew just how serious “up in arms” could be.

Tonyel  •  Link

Let's face it, Sam was afeard to go out but more afeard to to be seen not to go out. He showed his face on the street and then went home and sat until noon. Office politics triumphed over common sense. Most of us would have done the same in his position.

Edwin  •  Link

@SDS - in 2004, Emilio posted the following - it seems that things had settled down by Thursday morning:

This morning my wife and Pall went forth early, and I staid within.

This sentence is at the beginning of the Thurs. entry in L&M. Perhaps the sentence was unclearly positioned in the transcription Wheatley was using.

Log in to post an annotation.

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