Friday 22 February 1660/61

All the morning at the office. At noon with my wife and Pall to my father’s to dinner, where Dr. Thos. Pepys and my coz Snow and Joyce Norton. After dinner came The. Turner, and so I home with her to her mother, good woman, whom I had not seen through my great neglect this half year, but she would not be angry with me. Here I staid all the afternoon talking of the King’s being married, which is now the town talk, but I believe false.

In the evening Mrs. The. and Joyce took us all into the coach home, calling in Bishopsgate Street, thinking to have seen a new Harpsicon that she had a making there, but it was not done, and so we did not see it. Then to my home, where I made very much of her, and then she went home. Then my wife to Sir W. Batten’s, and there sat a while; he having yesterday sent my wife half-a-dozen pairs of gloves, and a pair of silk stockings and garters, for her Valentine’s gift.

Then home and to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Lawrence  •  Link

The King being married? I know its not true and its gossip and rumour, but who's he supposedly in wedlock with?

Lawrence  •  Link

Pall, bless her, she's out to dinner to Dad's, hopefully sitting as Sam and Lizzy's equal, telling the assembled family about how Sam and Liz do spoil her so!

Glyn  •  Link

Nice to see the 8-year old Mistress The. making a welcome reappearance.

vincent  •  Link

Glyn: she[The.] was born in 1651, so she is becoming a right young teen- ager ,smart beyond her years, I do think. I do love the phrase "...where I made very much of her, and then she went home...." most likely testing her latin vocabulary????

vincent  •  Link

Fama malum quo non aliud velocius ullum. virgil Aenid, IV, 174 "...Here I staid all the afternoon talking of the King

mary  •  Link

Valentine's gift.

Here is circumstantial evidence that the gloves that Pepys bought at the Exchange on 20th February were indeed for Mrs. Martha. The gloves, stockings and garter mentioned today represent the reciprocal gift from Sir William to Elizabeth. These are all quite intimate gifts, aren't they? All items that will be worn in close contact with the skin.

Lawrence  •  Link

Thanks Emilio stopped concentrating after a befuddled weekend, I've got hold of the thread again now!

andy  •  Link

Quite intimate? I should say so.
I wonder what today's average bloke would think if his mate sent his wife a pair of silk stockings and garters!

Pauline  •  Link

Theophila, "The" was born in 1652
according to Claire Tomalin's Pepys Family Tree. Therefore she is 9 now.

But precocious:…

Mickey  •  Link

I can't wait until tomorrow to post this... Today, Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac" (broadcast on NPR stations across the US) celebrated Sam's birthday with a biographical sketch and a poem from Sam's time by Robert Herrick. He also links to this site.

"The Writer's Almanac" can be found at

Roger  •  Link

Who told them that poem was from Pepys' time? Herrick published all his poems during the civil war, and they were so old-fashioned by then (he had been amassing them in manuscript for decades)that they hardly sold.

Second Reading

joe fulm  •  Link

I have read the diary since last October but cannot make out SP's working hours. Some sailors are ship-locked at the harbours-probably having been at sea for weeks or months- until Pepys' department decides their next journey,and Sam goes home for his dinner every day or is off meeting relatives on workday afternoons. A study of flexitime versus slave labour in history might be interesting.

MarkS  •  Link

@joe fulm

Decisions about where to send ships,etc. are political, not administrative. It's not up to Pepys and his department to decide how to employ HM ships. All armies and navies not actively engaged in war spend most of their time sitting around and waiting, whether today or at any time in history.

On Sam's working hours, the approach is that as long as his gets the job done, it doesn't matter when or how he does it. Sometimes he works late at night to finish something. He usually takes Sundays off, but works six days a week. If necessary, he puts in long hours.

A sentence like "All the morning at the office" in today's entry means perhaps 4-5 hours of solid work. Sam usually doesn't give details of his office work, but that doesn't mean that things are not happening. Even when he is not there, clerks will be continuing to work according to his instructions.

joe fulm  •  Link

thanks for the info markS

Third Reading

徽柔  •  Link

I am very curious--can Sam's sister pall sit with her family at her own father's dinner table?She was servant to her brother ,but still his sister.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

And why, pray, do you disbelieve in the king getting married, Sam?

Aye, not today perhaps, if that's what you meant, and I'll allow you might know him better than we do - tho' we might know stuff too, I know you don't believe either in my coming from the Future, but... no, no, stay. So, married? All kings do, and you know he needs the money, and he's getting crowned in six weekes, so how phantastickal would it be?

And the succession, uh? A litter of little Stuarts running around. Because now, it would be James, no? King James II... ha ha ha. Scared you. Only a jest! (Shudder)

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Gloves, stockings, garters. Pretty intimate things to be giving to someone else’s wife.

Chrissie  •  Link

Stephane Chenard: Sam’s disbelief is in the rumour that the King is already married ( see diary on 18 Feb) not a disbelief that he will get married at all..

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Agreed, Louis. Lady Elizabeth Turner Woodstocke Batten was born in 1625, so she is now 35-ish and presumably "safe". Her shopping trips with Elizabeth seem to be expensive, but she has extended herself in friendship. Plus as I recall, Pepys doesn't like her, all of which might cause him to over spend/over compensate.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I just realized that I read the Valentine's gift the wrong way around. Adm. Batten was very generous to Elizabeth! That Pepys doesn't mention a flare-up of jelousy says a lot -- perhaps she rolled her eyes suitably.

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