Monday 18 March 1660/61

This morning early Sir W. Batten went to Rochester, where he expects to be chosen Parliament man.

At the office all the morning, dined at home and with my wife to Westminster, where I had business with the Commissioners for paying the seamen about my Lord’s pay, and my wife at Mrs. Hunt’s.

I called her home, and made inquiry at Greatorex’s and in other places to hear of Mr. Barlow (thinking to hear that he is dead), but I cannot find it so, but the contrary. Home and called at my Lady Batten’s, and supped there, and so home.

This day an ambassador from Florence was brought into the town in state.

Good hopes given me to-day that Mrs. Davis is going away from us, her husband going shortly to Ireland. Yesterday it was said was to be the day that the Princess Henrietta was to marry the Duke d’Anjou in France.

This day I found in the newes-booke that Roger Pepys is chosen at Cambridge for the town, the first place that we hear of to have made their choice yet.

To bed with my head and mind full of business, which do a little put me out of order, and I do find myself to become more and more thoughtful about getting of money than ever heretofore.

54 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

Good hopes given me to-day that Mrs. Davis is going away from us,

It's pathetic to see how scared Pepys seems to be of the old lady - did she have that effect on everyone, or was it just him?

Josh  •  Link

"I do find myself to become more and more thoughtful about getting of money than ever heretofore."

In case you thought he had been holding back. But will he describe his diligence as "painful"? (See annotations to yesterday's entry.) One doubts it, somehow.

Pauline  •  Link

"Good hopes given me to-day that Mrs. Davis is going away from us..."
This is the "lady" (his neighbor) who locked Pepys's access to the leads against him. I too am glad she is likely to leave.

Pauline  •  Link

"But will he describe his diligence as 'painful'?”
I hope there was some pain in the painstaking step of going round to see how Barlow’s stint here on earth was going. Remember, Sam is paying Barlow L100 a year for life his reversion to Sam’s post as Clerk of the Acts, and Sam had taken heart in how old and decrepit Barlow appeared.

Susan  •  Link

It seems Elizabeth's knees made an overnight recovery!

Susan  •  Link

Was SP so interested this week in finding out if Barlow was still alive because it was about to be Lady Day (March 25th) and thus pay day?? Maybe he hoped he would not have to pay up. One hundred pounds sterling a year was a considerable sum.

Ruben  •  Link

I found in the newes-booke that Roger Pepys is chosen at Cambridge for the town, the first place that we hear of to have made their choice yet...
News-booke is News-paper?
Chosen at Cambridge for the town ?
For what? for Parliament?

Mary  •  Link

Elizabeth's knees

We seem to have leapt to the conclusion that she damaged the joints themselves. Perhaps she simply grazed them badly; painful and a nuisance at the time, but hardly serious.

Ruben  •  Link

Elizabeth's knees
were only 20 or 21 years old (or young). So no wonder she was OK next day. (How did they say OK in SP’s world?

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Ruben - Chosen at Cambridge...

Yes, as a Member Of Parliament for the town. The University elected its own MP's (two of them!), having been granted that right in 1615.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Newes-booke. Yes Ruben, newspaper was my interpretation, although I have always been under the impression that newspapers ("broadsheets") made their appearance in the 18th.c. The only other interpretation I can think of is that the newes-booke was perhaps a more comprehensive version of the Court Circular, chronicling the goings-on not only at the Court, but in the law, politics and the corridors of power.

Matthew  •  Link

Getting of money:
I wonder if the subject of covetousness is ever mentioned in the sermons he attends?

Pedro.  •  Link

Shame I cry!
Someone must stand up for poor old Mrs.Davis against the "Sam can do no wrong lobby."
No doubt I will be corrected if I am wrong, but Mrs.Davis was there before our Sam.
Then along comes the young upstart and knocks the place about without so much as a by your leave. Brings the monkeys and the dogs that mess all over the house. Brings all his mates round for merr'ymaking till late, and practices the odd instrument now and again.
It's that bad she is moving across the Irish Sea!

Ruben  •  Link

in this cruel world there is only one way to survive in the memory of others. This way is known in the Academy as: "Publish or Perish".
Now tell me: what have you red lately from Mrs. Davis?

David A. Smith  •  Link

"business, which do a little put me out of order"
Ever lie awake at night, having just bought an expensive new house, wondering how you'll make those enormous mortgage payments and what'll happen if you don't?
Sam is levered (geared) to the gills and spending money at a prodigious rate on everything from fripperies to status symbols (in this day and time, an essential business expense). He wouldn't confess his anxieties unless they worried him on many counts.

JWB  •  Link

Traitor to Parliament's fleet to become an MP. It's as if Am. Revolution failed and Bennedict Arnold chosen to represent Conn. in London.

Pedro.  •  Link

Publish and be Damned.
"and I do find myself to become more and more thoughtful about getting of money than ever heretofore."
Is Sam slowly forgetting his roots in Axe Yard where he thanked God for the money he had then?
Remember 18 March 1660 "From thence homewards, and called at Mr. Blagrave's, where I took up my note that he had of mine for 40s., which he two years ago did give me as a pawn while he had my lute. So that all things are even between him and I.”
As we say here looking up at the Academy “The more ye get, the more ye want.”

cindy b  •  Link

...more and more thoughtful about getting of money...
Is it possible that Sam is concerned about money problems at work rather than in his personal life?

David A. Smith  •  Link

"more and more thoughtful about getting of money"
For 'thoughtful about,' read 'preoccupied with'.
I think Sam, far from forgetting his roots, is aware of how his life is changing and how *he* is changing. His diary is a confessional, not a court of judgment.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"about getting of money than ever heretofore"seems to me that the times were achanging,you didn't have to be born in the nobility to have power; you had to have money though; a little like, mutatis mutandis, the rapper 50 cent: Get rich or die trying...

vincent  •  Link

"...I do find myself to become more and more thoughtful about getting of money than ever heretofore...." spent [money] must not exceed income [a theory that is frown'd upon], it matters not the quantity: 1d,1s, 1L,1Ml, 1bl, thee can always spend more. 'Tis spending that is fun. There I do believe are 6 residences for those that Enjoy the art [of spending that is ]. There are those that need help in the Colonies { an indentured Servant, I do believe it is named} to help thee out when thee have exhausted all resources [over ones head and trying to stay ahead of sheriff ].

Susan  •  Link

The Mercury (newsbook referenced in The Bishop's annotation above), was a Government propaganda vehicle - used by Parliament during it's regime in the 1650's to broadcast the party line: not an independent publication. Other publications sprang up critical of the Government (i.e. pro-Royalist) so that by 1657, all were banned except for the Mercury and The Publick Intelligencer. Does anyone know if these pamphlet publucations had become independent in the 1660's or were still being used just to desseminate the approved Government information? Was the 1657 ban still in place? Also, JWB - who is Bennedict Adam?

Kevin Peter  •  Link

Susan, Benedict Arnold was a very successful and talented General during the American Revolution, and led American armies to a number of victories against the British. He took exception to the alliance between the United States and France, and in return plotted with the British turn a fort over to them.

He is regarded by the residents of the U.S. as a disgusting traitor, but is naturally much better regarded by the British.

Like Batten, Benedict Arnold helped out one side greatly, but then "turned coats" and helped out the other side.

Here's an article about him:…

Glyn  •  Link

For Batten and for Arnold:

"Traitors never prosper, what's the reason?

If they prosper none dare call it treason"

I wonder who first said that?

The Bishop  •  Link

There was no 'Mercurius Newsbook'. There were between a dozen and two dozen different newsbooks that used Mercurius as part of their title: Mercurius Civicus, Mercurius Aulicus, Mercerius Britanicus, Mercurius Pragmaticus, Elenchticus, Rusticus, Politicus and many others.

The pro-royalist newsbooks were around during the Civil War. Once it was over they pretty much disappeared. They weren't part of the 1650s.

During the civil war there had been several newsbooks that supported Parliament. Afterwards, they were all suppressed (because the Parliamentary cause had split into faction, and the newsbooks were taking sides among the factions), and one writer/editor was allowed to produce newsbooks. He had a Thursday paper - the Mercurius Politicus - and a Monday paper - the Public Intelligencer. There was also a newsbook produced in French, and that's all there was in the '50s.

In 1559 Parliament's newswriter lost his monopoly, and several other men got into the journalism game. Then in July of 1660 Charles II's council ordered that one Muddiman would be the only one allowed to publish newsbooks from this point on.

Pedro.  •  Link

His diary is a confessional, not a court of judgment.
Do we not place ourselves before the merciful judgement of God when at the confessional?

J A Gioia  •  Link

skidding off topic...

the fort general arnold attempted to turn over was west point, at a very strategic bend of the hudson river between albany and new york city. it would become in short order the u.s.'s chief army college.

Pauline  •  Link

"...did she have that effect on everyone, or was it just him?"
from October 31 last:
Much troubled all this morning in my mind about the business of my walk on the leads. I spoke of it to the Comptroller and the rest of the principal officers, who are all unwilling to meddle in anything that may anger my Lady Davis. And so I am fain to give over for the time that she do continue therein.

Laura K  •  Link

benedict arnold

In the US, "Benedict Arnold" is used as a generic term for a traitor or turncoat. I'd guess that only a small percentage of Americans could tell you who Arnold was or what he actually did. The phrase is also used as an adjective, as in a "Benedict Arnold senator," an elected official who doesn't side with her/his party or constituents.

Pedro.  •  Link

The Wife of the Clerk to Lord Berkley of Stratton (Mrs.Davis)

Appologies I'm glad she is going as well! (see below)
Lord Berkeley of Stratton

In 1647 Berkeley assisted the King in his flight from Hampton Court to the Isle of Wight.
On his return to England at the Restoration he was placed on the staff of the Admiralty, appointed Lord President of Connaught for life, a Privy Councillor, a Master of the Ordnance, a member of the Committee of Tangier and, in 1670, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In 1675 he was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary at the Congress of Nimeguen but his health was now failing.
For a number of years from 1652 he also acted as the manager of the Duke of York's household during which time, according to Samuel Pepys (27 Sep, 1668), he obtained some irregular benefit from the letting of the Duke's wine licences.
Shrewd move by Sam!

Susan  •  Link

Thanks to The Bishop for an admirable summary of a complex situation. My precis was far too brief. Thanks to Dirk too for an admirable history link about newspapers and their beginnings.
Thanks to all contributors from the US about Bennedict Arnold, but all the information has led me to conclude that to compare Arnold with Batten is unfair. Batten remained true to his country and to the Navy. Keeping Britain an inviolate nation depended on a good Navy (until the Zeppelin raids over London in WWI) and by and large the Parliamentarian Naval commanders seem to have considered that protecting British shores was of paramount importance, no matter who was ruling the country.Do other people think Batten was a traitor??

vincent  •  Link

I fail to see the connection. As a MP[Batten] he would be in a better position to help the Navy. The London MP's were in my estimation pro Money[from the merchant class] [not for King or Country] [sure wrap their conscience up in few pieces of gold ] using the navy to bring Legitimate[and robbed] goods from those places like Barbados, Jamaica,Virginia, Indias and other profitable locations.They only tolerated the crown as long they could trade.For us lesser mortals were aspire to higher Ideals [but]. One should read Williams Owens Poem :
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.
8 October 1917 - March, 1918
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - it is sweet and right to die for your country. In other words, it is a wonderful and great honour to fight and die for your country…

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

I don't see the Arnold connection to Batten either,
but apropos the Arnold thread, his name is a term of opproprium in American politics to this very time, cf. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry denouncing "Benedict Arnold CEOs" who outsource jobs to foreign lands. (Traitors to the American workforce, in his view.)

Laura K  •  Link

arnold / batten

I don't see the connection either, based on what I've read here. I was just trying to fill in who Benedict Arnold was.

Andrew H: Of course, I thought of the Kerry line, too. I'm glad you mentioned it, as I was purposely trying not to!

tc  •  Link

Dulce et Decorum Est...

Thanks to vincent for reminding us of Wilfred Owens' great poem about the horrors of a WWI gas attack; it should be required reading for all politicians prone to bellicosity... always apropos, but never more so now...

Terry F  •  Link

Image of Mercurius Aulicus. Communicating the Intelligence and Affaires of the Court
7[6]-13[12] April [1645]
The British Library E.279.(8.)
Copyright ©2000, The British Library Board…

A somewhat self-serving view in part: "Perhaps the greatest tragedy in all English history began in 1642 when, for five years, families and friends were divided by violent struggle. Respect for the monarchy was as great then as it is today; but it was squandered by Charles I and Civil War ensued. Out of Cromwell's eventual victory came a period of absolute rule just as arbitrary. In communicating the affaires of Court, Mercurius Aulicus can claim to be Englands first regular newspaper, printed at Oxford and reprinted in London almost throughout the entire war."…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Yesterday it was said was to be the day that the Princess Henrietta was to marry the Duke d’Anjou in France."

L&M note the marriage was not celebrated until 21/31 March, the postponement due partly to the recent death of Mazarin and partly to a delay in obtaining papal dispensation for the marriage of first cousins. (Anjou was the brother of Louis XIV, Henrietta the sister of Louis's first cousin Charles II.)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day I found in the newes-booke that Roger Pepys is chosen at Cambridge for the town...."

L&M note *The Kingdomes Intelligencer* of 18 March announced the first election results. those of Cambridge University and borough....Roger Pepys, SP's cousin, was Recorder of Cambridge and son of Talbot Pepys of Impington.

Bill  •  Link

"Sir W. Batten went to Rochester, where he expects to be chosen Parliament man"

Sir William Batten was elected M.P. for Rochester March 21st, 1660-61, and held the seat till his death, when he was succeeded by Richard Head, Alderman of Rochester, who was elected November 2nd, 1667.
---Wheatley, 1896.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Glyn et al: the quote is from Queen Elizabeth's godson, Sir John Harington. The correct quote is:

"Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

Harington also invented Britain's first flush toilet. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, he installed one for the Queen in her palace at Richmond.…

Gerald Berg  •  Link

RE: Mrs. Davis. The problem is that sometimes you will find a person that more than willing to live a miserable life. If that person happens to be your neighbour you have a true dilemma. Once engaged with this type of person it becomes a question of who is the more capable of living most miserably. One cannot win! That neighbour should be feared lest they discover your fear. I think of Mrs. Davis as that type of person by the way she cut Pepys off from the leads. No talk, all fiat.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... to Westminster, where I had business with the Commissioners for paying the seamen about my Lord’s pay ..."

Why would Pepys go to Westminster to talk to the Commissioners, who could be found in his Navy Board Office, as linked?

Because, again, I believe these were the Parliamentary Commissioners involved in paying off the Navy, and were currently figuring out where to find a surprise 4,000/., as recently claimed by Sandwich:
Those Commissioner included
William Prynne MP
Col. John Birch MP
Sir Richard Browne MP, the Lord Mayor of London
and Col. Edward King, MP.
And William Jessop was their clerk,

徽柔  •  Link

Poor Princess Minette is getting married to a gay husband who owns a dozen of male favourites, how thrilling...
Luckily the handsome and married Buckingham was paying court to her all the time before the whole French court. Poor Mary Fairfax must be weeping again.
And when Buckingham was summoned back to England there would be Guiche for her.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Are you sure about that, 徽柔 ? Buckingham isn't mentioned in any of the accounts of the wedding that I know about. Please share your source.

Seems to me Buckingham and St.Albans could have returned to England with Sandwich?…

But they could have stayed. One biography said the wedding was a grand event, but gave no details or references, and I'd love to read about it.

徽柔  •  Link

It was from Buckingham's biography,《Great Villiers》by Hester Chapman. Buckingham seemed to talk to the princess in an intimated tone that made Monsieur furious. Though he and the princess were actually talking about another lady at court, Monsieur did not understand English.

徽柔  •  Link

Also from another Buckingham's biography,《George Villiers, second duke of Buckingham, 1628-1687; a study in the history of the restoration》, Monsieur seemed to have complaint to his mother, but " the passion which his father had cherished in bygone days for the Queen now earned indulgence for the son."

徽柔  •  Link

You are welcome ~
Though not related to the topic I found the best biographies of Buckingham the Second were all written by women.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

On the thrills of Minette's union with Monsieur, of course the great Venetian intelligence network has something to say (at…): A dispatch of March 29 (new style) from Alvise Grimani, the ambassador to France, reports that after he offered condolences to the Queen (of England, in her French retreat) for the latest family deaths (of the princess and of Gloucester), she "replied that it had pleased God to deal her heavy blows, as [apart from deaths] she was disturbed by her strong feelings over a marriage that was neither of sufficient rank nor suitable, although she ought not to complain about this". "Suitable" just cries out to be italicized. Perhaps worse than being gay, M. is totally sidelined by Louis, a geopolitical dead-end as alliances go. But not of "sufficient rank", excuse me; if Louis was to fall down the stairs, at this time Philippe duc d'Anjou would still be next in line.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... she was disturbed by her strong feelings over a marriage that was neither of sufficient rank nor suitable, ..."

I read this as being the "disaster" of Anne Hyde's marriage to James, Duke of York, not Minette and Monsieur, Stephane. But it is an obscure reference, so either of us could be right.

As I understand it, being gay was illegal, but not prosecuted if conducted fairly discreetly, and many people chose to demonstrate their affection for other people sexually, but that didn't necessarily make them gay or bi. They were just freer than we are today, with our desire to label attitudes and people.
Being pregnant without a husband was the big no-no.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thanks to 徽柔 for giving us the name of the George Villiers biographies, indeed confirming that Buckingham acted badly when smitted with Princess Henrietta Anne.

I have posted extracts of the info from


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