Sunday 20 January 1660/61

(Lord’s day). To Church in the morning. Dined at home. My wife and I to Church in the afternoon, and that being done we went to see my uncle and aunt Wight. There I left my wife and came back, and sat with Sir W. Pen, who is not yet well again. Thence back again to my wife and supped there, and were very merry and so home, and after prayers to write down my journall for the last five days, and so to bed.

17 Annotations

First Reading

J Bailey  •  Link

So, now we know for sure. Pepys did NOT take his journal with him on his little jaunt to rescue "my lady." He left it home and is only now writing about all the events of the last very exciting days!

It only makes sense that one would not carry a journal on horseback.

vincent  •  Link

AH! back to listening [with eyes closed I trust ]to the morning sermon without worries or poke in the ribs? But I do wonder if the first service did bring out only the unencumbered or unattached daughters of the betters.[i.e. no chores]Tho this day there was not any eyecatching Damsel.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Josselin's weather report

"A very wet season, great floods"

-- From 20 January 1661 diary entry for the Rev. Ralph Josselin of Earls Colne, Essex.…

Xjy  •  Link

Sam's references to his journal
Interesting that he rarely mentions it. And here he doesn't make any comment on whether the delay made any difference to what he wrote. Or if he had notes for each day… No conscious wrestling with narrative technique!

David A. Smtih  •  Link

"after prayers to write down my journall for the last five days"
To me what's interesting is Sam's fidelity in chronicling; like brushing your teeth (to a modern, that is!), his failure to do this of an evening leaves him feeling psychologically unwashed. What began as a diversion has become a commitment, even an obsession. And I think we will find that, *because* he is writing by himself, for himself, he will become ever more clear, plain, and blunt in his commentary.

stephen waterman  •  Link

"And so to bed" could be Sam's way of saying he is at peace.

vincent  •  Link

Weather and Essex: On that day Rev. Jocelyn's diary has two records:
"...Sunday 20 January 1661 70012885 7001293020.1.1661 (Sunday 20 January 1661)..."
document 70012885
"...Jan: 20. God good to us in many mercies, the season very windy, but dry and warm, its a little spring already, a restraint put on public private meetings all forbidden but in some church or parochial chapel...."
versus DQ's above;
The week before 19th was "...Jan: 13. God good to us in manifold mercies, the season is very open, no cold, only divers winds, ..." was it great floods or dry and warm?

monday{21st} the weather was "...Weather very dry and warm, things spring already, a time beyond ordinary pleasant. but now a little frost in the nights...."


David Quidnunc  •  Link

RE: Josselin's weather report

M. Vincent points out to me that he found a different Josselin diary entry for this date -- with different weather -- at the website where the pastor's diary is posted. The other entry has this to say:

"the season very windy, but dry and warm, its a little spring already," and it can be found here:…

But the diary entry I referred to in my annotation above is also there. You can see them both listed for this date on the index page, here:…

There must have been some error in posting the entries at the Josselin diary website. Otherwise, I don't know what to make of it. You could believe either entry. The "great floods" would be in keeping with the rain Pepys experienced on his trip a few days back, but it's possible it could simultaneously rain hard on Pepys east of London while there's a dry season for Josselin in Essex.

On the other hand, Joselin also comments on the weather the next day, on 21 January, when he says "Weather very dry and warm, things spring already, a time beyond ordinary pleasant, but now a little frost in the nights." Unfortunately the posting of that entry is also confusing -- Josselin may have written it on 28 January from the looks of it. Here's a link:…

Josselin also said it was windy and relatively warm a week ago, on the 13th. So probably the diary entry that M.Vincent spotted is the true one, and the one I posted may be mislabeled for that date. Now I'm having doubts about the reliability of the Josselin diary site, and I'm hoping I'm not doing more harm than good by posting what it says about the weather. The weather may not necessarily tell us anything very interesting about Pepys's life, although I like having any potentially useful information.

Here's a full account of Josselin's description of the weather in 1661:…

dirk  •  Link

RE: Josselin's weather report

David, do continue posting these weather reports! However controversial they may sometimes be, they do provide contemporary background info. - We just have to be aware that they are one person’s (not an expert or a scientific observer) impression of the local situation somewhere outside London.

john lauer  •  Link

the numbering scheme in Josselin's diary, whatever its origin, suggests to me that the duplicate entry in January should simply have been that date in February. Is that an attractive explanation?

Nix  •  Link

Josselin's diary --

Is one version/edition dated old style and the other translated (or transdated) to new style?

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"...after prayers to write down my journall for the last five days,..."

Pepys didn't always write his Diary daily, but kept notes when he was away or extra busy. See Friday 5 June 1668
[The rough notes for the journal from this time to the 17th of June are contained on five leaves, inserted in the book; and after them follow several pages left blank for the fair copy which was never made.]…

John Matthew IV  •  Link

When did Pepys' "journall" become his "diary"?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"When did Pepys' "journall" become his "diary"?"

John Matthew IV , I'm not sure we can know. Even if you mean "when was Pepys's 'Journall' first called his 'diary' in print, we'd need an exhaustive search of literature in print from 1703 to 1825, the first publication of the Diary:

Motivated by the publication of Evelyn's Diary, Lord Granville [1773-1846] deciphered a few pages [What did he call them?].…

John Smith (later the Rector of St Mary the Virgin in Baldock) was then engaged to transcribe the diaries [sic] into plain English: published as Memoirs of Samuel Pepys, Esq., F.R.S., Secretary to the Admiralty in the reigns of Charles II. and James II., comprising his Diary from 1659 to 1669, deciphered by the Rev. John Smith, A.B., of St. John's College, Cambridge, from the original Shorthand MS. in the Pepysian Library, and a Selection from his Private Correspondence. Edited by Richard, Lord Braybrooke. In two volumes. London, Henry Colburn . . . 1825. 4vo.…

Third Reading

MartinVT  •  Link

"back again to my wife and supped there" — it took me a moment, but this means, he went back to uncle and aunt Wight's where he had left Liz, and had supper there with them.

David G  •  Link

After reading John Mathews’s question from 2017, I did a word search in the Diary and noticed that in April 1661, Pepys uses “diary” to refer to the volume in which he was recording his daily entries (that is, the usage that became more common a century later) and also uses “diarys” to refer to the entries he recorded for specific days, which is also still used occasionally, albeit most often as a verb.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"There I left my wife and came back, and sat with Sir W. Pen, who is not yet well again."

Pepys has done this a lot recently, so the conversation must have gone further than the latest office problem, and what to do about the Davis' leads conflict.
My impression is that Pepys likes Slingsby and Penn, but not Batten.

The other day Pepys said "... I perceive none of our officers care much for one another, but I do keep in with them all as much as I can" after another visit -- so that might reflect a Penn opinion.

Batten had been Penn's commanding officer in the Parliamentary navy; Slingsby was also a navy man -- but on the Royalist side. They were all used to command, and probably despised desk jobs and office duties.
Plus when money is short, everyone sees their personal pet project as being more worthy of funding than anyone else's, and it's logical they would squabble over everything, including the price of pencils.
I imagine Pepys sitting, silently observing, as the rest negotiate, complain, pout and grumble until he figures out a compromise that he can record in the Minutes.

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