Wednesday 16 January 1660/61

This morning I went early to the Comptroller’s and so with him by coach to Whitehall, to wait upon Mr. Coventry to give him an account of what we have done, which having done, I went away to wait upon my Lady; but coming to her lodgings I find that she is gone this morning to Chatham by coach, thinking to meet me there, which did trouble me exceedingly, and I did not know what to do, being loth to follow her, and yet could not imagine what she would do when she found me not there. In this trouble, I went to take a walk in Westminster Hall and by chance met with Mr. Child, who went forth with my Lady to-day, but his horse being bad, he come back again, which then did trouble me more, so that I did resolve to go to her; and so by boat home and put on my boots, and so over to Southwarke to the posthouse, and there took horse and guide to Dartford and thence to Rochester (I having good horses and good way, come thither about half-an-hour after daylight, which was before 6 o’clock and I set forth after two), where I found my Lady and her daughter Jem., and Mrs. Browne and five servants, all at a great loss, not finding me here, but at my coming she was overjoyed. The sport was how she had intended to have kept herself unknown, and how the Captain (whom she had sent for) of the Charles had forsoothed her, though he knew her well and she him. In fine we supped merry and so to bed, there coming several of the Charles’s men to see me before, I got to bed. The page lay with me.

47 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Again, no mention of luggage!

Sam goes home to put on his boots, but makes no mention of gathering up clothing and/or carrying luggage. Again, does anyone have info about how people handled trips like this back then? Did they carry "necessaries" with them, or did innkeepers/hosts provide the essentials, and clothes just got worn and worn and worn and worn...

(FWIW, I just asked about this at )

Nice to see that Sam has his priorities straight, and takes care of her who helps take care of him who helps take care of him. :-)

Love the use of "forsooth"! I'm going to try to use that in conversation over the weekend...

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"The page lay with me"Does anybody know the age of this page? Had SP lived in Neverland in the XXI century he would be in big trouble if the page was under 14 years old.

Judith Boles  •  Link

" The sport was how she had intended to have kept herself unknown..." Could anyone explain why "my lady" would wish to remain anonymous?

Carolina  •  Link

The Page, I was just wondering, was he the guide ? or staffmember of My Lady's.
In either case, he is sleeping with the "lower" classes again.

As for Todd's worry about luggage, Sam never mentions undressing, or washing before he goes to bed either. Were the same underclothes worn until they fell off ?
Did they just change outer garments for the occasion or fashion? If so, what did Jane wash on washdays ?
One shudders to think !!

Glyn  •  Link

"about half-an-hour after daylight, which was before 6 o’clock"

What does "after daylight" mean here?

"and so over to Southwarke to the posthouse"

The posthouse: from which you travelled "post-haste". A bit like the Pony Express in 19th-century America except no-one was shooting arrows at you. (I wonder if Elizabeth was at home when he dashed back to get his boots?)

Glyn  •  Link

From a Travel Guide of the period:
"From London to Dover 71 Miles, thus reckoned.
To Deptford 5, to Crayford 8, to Dartford 2, to Northfleet 5, to Chalkstreet 3, to Rochester 5, [WHERE PEPYS STOPPED] to Sittingbourn 11, to Bocton Street 2, to Canterbury 5, to Dover 15, a Place in Kent, well fortified both by Art and Nature, and defended by a large and strong Castle. It enjoys large Immunities; is one of the Cinque Ports; and yields a Prospect to Calais in France, to which it is the readiest Passage, the Channel here being but 7 Leagues [21 MILES/35 KM] over."

He changed horses at least once (perhaps twice) and he and his guide must have been riding flat out. Before the invention of the railway, a man on a galloping horse was the fastest possible way to travel.

I'm quite puzzled as to why Pepys felt he had needed to go back to London (which is exactly in the opposite direction to where he ended up). If he had stayed in the Dockyards for just one day longer he could have attended on the King and his brother (getting his face known) as they toured the place, and then met Lady Montague as she passed by on her way to Chatham; or else have a much shorter journey to the coast. It doesn't sound as if he had any particularly urgent work in London (with Lord Montague out-of-town), and while Pepys may be the type of person who doesn't want to be away from his desk for too long he does seem to have been expected elsewhere.

Mary House  •  Link

I read "after daylight" to mean "after sunset," when daylight no longer exists. Poor Sam must have been in quite a state to ride so furiously for fear of disappointing Lady Montague.

dirk  •  Link

"about half-an-hour after daylight, which was before 6 o'clock”

Interesting! This can be interpreted in two ways: either the sun rose sometime before 5:30 (“half-an-hour after daylight”=”before 6 o’clock”), or the sun rose qometime before 6:00 (“daylight”=”before 6 o’clock”), depending on which part of the first clause the pronoun “which” refers to.

Either way - considering it’s early January - this suggests a clock system different from ours: at 5:30 or 6:00 hrs (according to our present system) in the morning there is no light yet this time of year. ???

dirk  •  Link

"daylight" - correction

My mistake - it's of course 6 o'clock in the afternoon. I had it all wrong.

dirk  •  Link

"Sam never mentions undressing, or washing before he goes to bed" (Carolina)

Specific clothing for the night (nightshirts, gowns etc) was not yet commonly used. Most people slept naked, or if it was really very cold with some old piece of clothing (an old shirt e.g.). So "undressing" to go to bed would have meant just that in many cases. For Sam this is obviously such an everyday event that he doesn't mention it in his diary (would you keep track in your diary of your brushing your teeth in the morning?).

As for washing, the rule was that you washed your hands and face when you got up in the morning. During the day you would only bother to wash your hands (or any other parts of the body) if one or other unfortunate event had made them particularly dirty. As a rule you would only wash all over every so many weeks.

No specific web references, but an article on the history of private life, with some refs to personal hygiene:…

Ruben  •  Link

may be SP was not alone. His boy would carry his luggage and that being a routine, is not mentioned in the diary except in special cases.

Pauline  •  Link

"The sport was how she had intended to have kept herself unknown"-
Yes, Judith, this is very intriguing. I wonder if there was a misunderstanding on her part about where Sam was and if she went to meet him there just for the journey and interest of it.

Perhaps a woman of her position was free to travel from one protective place to another, but arriving and the expected “protection” not there put her in a bad position. She calls the captain and he understands her position and extends a greater formality than already being well known to her calls for, to protect her.

Sam is astute to the situation when he learns that Mr. Child (protective male attached to her husband’s household, as is Sam) has had to turn back. Sam takes off “post-haste” and is received with joy and relief.

Judy Bailey  •  Link

I doubt very much if Pepys takes "luggage" or does much packing for any trip. He tells us only that he goes home to put on his boots. Since people did not change clothing every day or commonly use special clothing to sleep in, no luggage was necessary.

He usually tells us when his "boy" Will accompanies him and he does not mention him here or luggage. In fact, he points out that he sleeps with the page.

Mary  •  Link

Sam's movements.

In answer to Glyn's question, Sam betrays no knowledge of any impending visit to the Dockyards by Charles and James, so he returns to London when he feels that his business there is done. He expects to find Lady M in town and that is where at least part of his duty lies.

Lady Montagu, however, appears to have gone on her own jaunt to Kent on a whim, knowing that Sam had preceded her but not knowing that he had already returned to London. Perhaps she had got wind of a royal visit and assumed that Sam knew about it too?

Whatever the reason, both parties make mistaken assumptions about the other's movements and Sam is thrown into a panic when he realises that Lady M. has gone to Rochester with no 'competent' escort. Hence the rush back home to get his boots (street-shoes not being suitable for hard riding)and the hiring of a post-boy to show him the fastest route to Chatham.

Xjy  •  Link

Sam's duties and priorities
First himself, then his patron -- including my Lady and Jem -- *then* his office. This explains why he was so surprised at all the captains and high officers showing deference to him at the dockyards. He is only slowly discovering the position in the hierarchy that his personal connections have propelled him into. And of course his duty to his patron means that if my Lady heads off on a wild goose chase expecting to find Sam (dragging a large family party with her) then Sam had better be there whether he is or not :-) He spots a crisis like lightning and spares no effort to find a solution! Adroit, adaptable, conscientious, energetic!!

Harry  •  Link

From a Travel Guide of the period

According to the Michelin guide the distance from London to Rochester is 30 miles (48 km) and he has managed to get there in less than four hours (from home or from Southwark?). When the traffic is bad it would be difficult to do better nowadays

Mary  •  Link

Sam's horsemanship.

I'm considerably impressed with his riding ability. For a man who spends almost all of his time in the city and who has mentioned taking to horse no more than a handful of times in the last 12 months, this is an impressive ride, not least because it was clearly done at top speed. By rights, he should be as stiff as a board tomorrow; we shall see.

Daniel  •  Link

Excuse my thickness, but what is the significance of the quote
"and so to bed"?
It seems to be one of the most cited from Pepys...

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"The sport was how she had intended to have kept herself unknown"-

I believe that Lady M. had at least intended to surprise Sam et al., which is why she did not send word ahead of her intentions. She may have traveled in disguise, which would explain why the Captain did not immediately recognize her.

The conceit of disguise is, of course found commonly in plays from Shakespeare through the Restoration. She may have found the idea of traveling in disguise very theatrical.

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"…and so to bed"

Sam occasionally uses the phrase "and so to bed" (or a variant thereof) to conclude the day’s diary entry. Not nearly as frequently as you’d think, though, given how closely the phrase is associated with the diary.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

"I’m quite puzzled as to why Pepys felt he had needed to go back to London."

In further answer to Glyn's question, Sam seems to me the sort of person who attends to the business in front of him. Having completed his mission to arm the work force of the shipyards, he'd naturally turn to thoughts of his London duties and rsponsibilities. The comedy of errors that led Lady Montague to seek him at Chatham was a common sort of misadventure in the days before the telephone. Nowadays Blackberry messages would fly back and forth to share the news of the King's visit to the Dockyards and ascertain Sam's plans. Of course, it appears Lady Montague planned to surprise Sam by pretending to be an unknown lady calling on him -- perhaps a teasing reference to his known eye for beauty and taste for adventure? It was a risk to set out not knowing his plans, and Sam was right to appreciate the awkward situation she had put herself in and hasten to look after her welfare. Altogether a gallant gesture.

Ed LeZotte  •  Link

Why, what would the diary be without "and so to bed" ? -- it's, well, part of literary history is it not? Certainly is in my book.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"at a great loss, not finding me here, but at my coming overjoyed"
Amplifying Mary's and Xjy's comments, Sam measures himself by the reactions of others (Montagu firstly, Lady M secondly). This is also why he's non-plussed when strangers show him deference; he hasn't fully internalized that he is not merely Montagu's man but now, by virtue of his Office, a person in his own small right.
Meanwhile, to gain my Lord's or Lady's smile, Sam will rush pell-mell about Pall Mall, sparing no thought for himself. Though such anxiety can descend into toadying, Sam's breathless arrival and genuine concern will be ever charming to Lady M., and to Montagu. "Such a one," my Lord will think, "will always serve me as I would wish." And as the Restoration spins its ever-more-complex webs of intrigue and power, that simple unswerving loyalty will be, I suspect, ever rarer.

helena murphy  •  Link

I agree with Alan that Lady Montague's behaviour here is the stuff of Restoration comedy. It also testifies to the little mild innocent flirtation between the two,at Chatham Lady Montague becomes the damsel in distress purely due to her own antics when she does not find him ,and Sam sets off in "gallant mode" to her rescue!It is altogether a very enjoyable episode and one can imagine Sandwish guffawing at the lighter side of life when he gets to hear of it.

Eric Walla  •  Link

I agree, a most enjoyable entry ...

... but how about an analysis of "and so to bed"? I believe Daniel is asking what particular merit does the phrase hold. WHY is such a common phrase part of literary history?

From my angle I would suggest that a large percentage of phrases that enjoy historical status do not in themselves form something extraordinary. It is their fate to be inseparable from the greater text as a whole, just as Ed suggests. An allusion to the phrase clues listeners into the fact that they share a common education, a common aesthetic, perhaps entirely common values with the speaker. We share the same books, we may share much else (OK, going overboard here).

"And so to bed" acts both as a notable repetition in the text and, I would say, demonstrates Sam's intention (or conceit) in every entry: to record everything significant that occurs in his day, from waking until sleep.

JWB  •  Link

Restoration comedy?
Heads are on pikes, "upholsters on horseback" are patrolling the streets, thousands are being picked up and thrown into prison, Fanatics are seen here and eveywhere setting off panic and alarms. Lady Montigu's not on a jount,on a whim; she's running for her safety and in disguise. You can imagine Sam's fate if anything had happened to her. As an aside on nightdress, I think it was Tomalin who wrote the Sam had probably never seen his wife, Elizabeth, naked.

Ruben  •  Link

"And so to bed"
I hardly heard about SP before 2003. English is a foreign language to me.
I read with an English dictionary by my side.
First thing that struck me was the immediacy and economy of his wording.
(May be because it is a diary). There are days that SP goes to bed with a ligth and reads. But when he says "and so to bed", the intention, I think, is that darkness precludes activity like writing or reading, so he sleeps.
In our time it is different, as you can go to bed and read, watch TV or hear the radio easily.
That is the reason that if you use SP's words today it will sound anachronistic.

Carolina  •  Link

Ruben, you write better English than most English !
"and so to bed" to me sounds the same as when you finish a letter to someone and you have nothing else to say, and you say , "must go now"

I must say, I don't really care that much for all these analyses, I just enjoy what Sam writes.
The other day when he said about all the neat houses, he described so much in nine! lines.

Just now, looking back over recent diary entries, he gives us so much information in so few words. No modern writer could hope to equal him, and we have the temerity to question his every word !!!
The man was a genius and lovable with it!
I will say though, if he had realised how good he was at commenting on events, he would, probably, have been unbearable !

David A. Smith  •  Link

"And so to bed"
It appeals because it is so pithy, so mundane, and so final. Whatever else happened during the day -- a king restored, a city burned down (spoiler alert!), a hideous plague (another!) -- when it is done, 'and so to bed.' It is Sam's textual signature.

Laura K  •  Link

"No modern writer could hope to equal him, and we have the temerity to question his every word"

Hm. Seems to me I read many a writer, modern and otherwise, who are Pepys' equal and then some. I do enjoy Sam's style, very much so, but calling him a genius seems a bit over the top to me.

Each to her own, of course, but for many of us, the annotations add invaluable insight - they really make this website. Rather than rely solely on my own feeble insights, I have the benefit of dozens of other readers, their specialized knowledge, and their ongoing research. For many or most of us, the annotations are why we read the diary here and not in book form.

language hat  •  Link

"she's running for her safety and in disguise”
Where on earth do you get this? If that were the case, Sam would hardly have talked about “the sport.”

Pauline  •  Link

Lady Sandwich and "running for safety"
Being protective of her has to do with her position as Lord Sandwich's wife and his position as commander of the Navy -- status considerations, not questions of physical safety. She requires the kind of reception that just suddenly showing up doesn't prepare for. If she chooses to show up informally as Sam is fulfilling an asssignment in Chatham, he is in a position to smooth such an informal arrival. To just arrive on her own puts the captains in a tailspin. Sam was not the Naval officier assigned to distribute arms and muster the troops in Chatham, Lord Batten was. Lady Montagu/Sandwich got it wrong and Sam had returned early to town. Once it is all sorted out, she gets the salute owing to her station; and Sam avoids Batten.

I'm guessing. And enjoying both her and Sam's interest in the tour of ships they are given. They really are soul mates. All other considerations matter naught, this friendship warms the heart.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

17th century practices

I agree, Roger, it seems reasonable to believe that the vast majority of the time this was as innocent as Jackson says he is when he's slept with kids. On the other hand, the tiny minority who molested children probably amounted to a lot of uncaught child abuse.

Liza Picard's "Restoration London" has this to say about sodomy and pages (Chap. 10, p. 162):

"As to buggery, Samuel [Pepys] sanctimoniously recorded that 'blessed be God, I do not to this day know what is the meaning of it, nor which is the agent nor which the patient'; but his friends assured him that 'buggery is now almost grown as common among our gallants as in Italy, and the very pages of the town begin to complain of their masters for it' (that is, it was not in their contracts of employment)."

Picard was quoting from Sam's entry of 1 July 1663. The words appear about two-thirds of the way through the entry, which is five(!) pages long in L&M (Vol. 4, p. 210).

Dennis Richards  •  Link

I'm intrigued by Sam's urgent need to get to Rochester/Chatham as quickly as possible. We know from Glyn that the distance from London ( I assume Southwark ((pronounced 'suthuck' I believe!))) to Rochester is 28 miles and he completes the journey in just over 4 hours- an average speed of 7 miles per hour. Not being a rider myself I don't know what the average speed of a man on horseback would be in these conditions,or how long a horse could keep going at that speed, does anyone know? Since both Chatham and Dover are important naval towns, there would be a well established system of post houses along the way at which a tired horse could be exchanged for fresh horse both for Sam and his guide who I suppose was needed for his familiararity with the shortcuts en-route. I would think that there was more than one horse change in a journey of this nature, and one which in Sam's day could be quite hazardous.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Sam's horsemanship

Pony Express riders averaged 10 miles per hour, according to various websites about the 1860-61 mail service in the American West. The riders were young men selected for their endurance in the saddle; they supposedly had only 2 minutes to change mounts, which they did every 10-15 miles. They rode an average of 33 miles before handing off the mail to a new rider. If one assumes that Sam changed mounts at least twice during his trip, taking 30 minutes to do so, "post haste" would appear to be a fitting description of his pace.

wisteria53  •  Link

re luggage: changes of clothing would have been an unneccessary luxury in an era where washing was infrequent. Within living memory - my mother-in-law remembered poorer families in North Wales between the wars being sewn into their clothing for the winter (and Sam's travelling in that season now).

Bradford  •  Link

The Ellis show was a musical adaptation of J. B. Fagan's 1926 play of the same title, starring Edmund Gwynn as Samuel and French actress Yvonne Arnaud (1892-1958) as Elizabeth, a role for which she was long remembered. The site Roger M. gives above indicates that recorded excerpts of the musical exist, with Mantovani conducting a ten-piece orchestra in Ellis's "intriguing 17th century style score containing a mixture of musical influences such as a madrigal, jig, saraband and rigaudon in a variety of numbers including" Pepys's own setting of "Beauty Retire," and of course a title song "And So to Bed." A theme song for a Website?

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

"And so to bed"

Yes, as inseperable from Pepys as "elementary, my dear Watson" is from Sherlock Holmes. But at least Sam did use his phrase - nowhere in the works of Conan Doyle does "elementary, my dear Watson" appear, or so I am informed by those who have read the lot, something I do not intend to do.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"how the Captain (whom she had sent for) of the Charles had forsoothed her, though he knew her well and she him."

FORSOOTH, an Interjection of Contempt or Derision. See further in the Encyclopedia

Louise  •  Link

We in the 20th century are so used to clean clothes and clean bodies that we don't think about what sanitation was like 400 years ago. If we were to go back to Pepys' London we'd be horrified at the lack of cleanliness--by our standards--even among the aristocracy. The smell of dirty bodies would be overpowering. Don't forget, it was the era of the contents of chamber pots being thrown out of windows--the only means of sanitation. Baths were nearly unheard of. It was said of one of the queens that she took a bath once a month whether she needed one or not.

"And so to bed" was like saying, "Day is done."

Mary K  •  Link

"the only means of sanitation"

Not so, despite the frequency with which this canard appears. Recall that Pepys's own accommodation had its house of office, as did his neighbours. The inhabitants of other substantial dwellings would have had similar facilities. There were also public conveniences ( usually close to the Thames) at points in the city of London. Defenestration may have been common, but it was not the only means of sanitation in the city.

Weavethe hawk  •  Link

Dental hygene would have been non-existant as well. The oder from people's breath alone would be overwhelming to modern sensitivities.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED confirms the meaning given in the link above:

'forˈsooth v. (trans.) to say ‘forsooth’ to, treat ceremoniously.
1661 S. Pepys Diary 16 Jan. (1970) II. 15 The sport was how she had entended to have kept herself unknown and how the Captaine..of the Charles had forsoothed her, though he knew her well enough, and she him.'

Michaela  •  Link

Ruth Goodman the historian, who has experimented in living for short periods as they did in other historical periods, says that not smelling bad was very important (in Tudor times, so I imagine In the 17th century too) as the link between bad smells and illness was clear. Outer clothes were not washed, but under linen might have been more often. Not every day though. The idea was to wash hands and face and to rub down with linen cloth rather than bathing.
She has found that washing the body in the modern way with soap but not changing linen leads to a horrible smell, but not washing but changing linen more regularly leads to no noticeable smell other than woodsmoke (in the context of a Tudor farm). Also, returning to the modern world, she found the smell of modern synthetic perfumes in soap and shampoo etc stuck unpleasantly in her throat. Although the very poor and struggling might have smelt much worse than today, on the whole people don’t smell better today - just different.

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