Friday 19 April 1661

Among my workmen and then to the office, and after that dined with Sir W. Batten, and then home, where Sir W. Warren came, and I took him and Mr. Shepley and Moore with me to the Mitre, and there I cleared with Warren for the deals I bought lately for my Lord of him, and he went away, and we staid afterwards a good while and talked, and so parted, it being so foul that I could not go to Whitehall to see the Knights of the Bath made to-day, which do trouble me mightily. So home, and having staid awhile till Will came in (with whom I was vexed for staying abroad), he comes and then I went by water to my father’s, and then after supper to bed with my wife.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Vicente  •  Link

" being so foul that I could not go to..." still in use in my day when it was not fit for M**, Bird nor beast.
Rights [of way] of priveledge of Betters.
Re: old Wm Penn, he was very disappointed in his son, if what one reads is true.
Equality was one of the main thoughts of revolution. Does not sit well with Royalty to be twarted, for that matter, any other Dictatorial system, Tsar, Emir,Sultans,Kings, Kaisers, Emperor et al., and the representatives.
In cap and duffing it, I found out one of the ways to beat the rule was to have a cap under the Hat. Oh! my Dreaded Liege, I am in so much Awe of Thee.[Duff, see not no tonture]

Emilio  •  Link

Will and the workmen (19th)

Annoyance at Will being away has become a regular theme, but I wonder if Sam has a very practical reason for his irritation today--he doesn't want to leave until someone else is around to keep an eye on the workmen. So far Sam has shown an almost miraculous lack of concern in the diary about keeping tabs on the workmen: no complaints about them idling away the day, or not showing up at all in the morning, or having to send them back to correct their own shoddy work. This is completely different from my own experience with contractors, and you would especially think that someone as exacting as Sam would have found something he didn't like by this point.

Does anyone have an explanation for this downright weird situation?

Susan  •  Link

I thought when I read the bit about Will that it was because of the large sum of money mentioned a few days ago which is hidden away somewhere in Sam's house. He wants to make sure someone he can trust is always around. Having said that, I also agree that Sam's behaviour is unusual, for someone of such a fastidious and careful nature. Maybe he either has so much on his mind (coronation, ships to Portugal, money) he is not paying attention, or he has delegated detailed overseeing to Will, but, being Sam, cannot resist "being about my workmen" whenever he can. He hasn't complained about the length of time either, but if I was Elizabeth I would be getting fed up with not being in my own house and asking about this. Sam hasn't mentioned her being querulous.

JWB  •  Link

Jemima's Sulk
Being Puritan and daughter of Parliamentarian, I suppose Coronation holds no pleasure for Lady Sandwich. Plus she's pregnant now with her 9th, isn't she?

Hic retearius  •  Link

Sam and his workmen et tout à fait.

Could it be that Sam is beginning to be seen a bit less as a jumped up clerk and more as a sharp fellow with a future who will be moving upwards in the administration in coming years? Maybe Sam’s workmen are being especially diligent and productive on this latest project realizing that finding work with the navy and maybe elsewhere in future might be difficult if they do otherwise. They might be aiming now to leave behind an exemplar of superior workmanship right there in Sam’s own house and where he will be looking at it every day for years.

Jesse  •  Link

"could not go to Whitehall to see the Knights of the Bath made to-day"

John Evelyn seems to have made it. From his diary, " was in the Painted Chamber, Westminster. I might have received this honor; but declined it. The rest of the ceremony was in the chapel at Whitehall, when their swords being laid on the altar, the Bishop delivered them."

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

A large number of Knights of the Bath were made at the Coronation. A list is given in Haydn's "Book of Dignities," by Ockerby, 1890, p. 763.
---Wheatley, 1899.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The text of Haydn's "Book of Dignities" can be seen at…

Search for 1661, and you'll find a few entries like this:

King Charles II.
1661. Algernon, E. of Northumberland.
The king crowned, Apr. 23.

I think this means that Charles II elevated Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland, to being a Knight of the Bath effective April 23, 1661. He acted as the Lord High Constable at the coronation of Charles II, but played no part in public affairs after this.

Sadly Haydn doesn't scan well, so it's best to read the PDF, but it still needs additional research if you want to nail down who got what.

The PDF and other formats are at…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I wonder why John Evelyn refused all honors throughout his life. As did Robert Boyle. Boyle was an ardent Christian, and probably thought his religious views and the politics of honors wouldn't mix. Evelyn was an ardent Anglican, so maybe he had the same reservations?

LKvM  •  Link

Sort of a spoiler:
Regarding John Evelyn, who refused the honor, and Robert Boyle, and questions in later years about why Samuel Pepys did not receive/accept a knighthood, the conjecture given for Sam is usually that he did not want the "charge," i.e., the expense. Maybe that was true for Evelyn and Boyle too.

Eric the Bish  •  Link

“ and then … to bed with my wife.” To bed, but not to “lie with”. This seems to mean no more than it says.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Awww, poor Sammy who missed all the fun at the the Knights of the Bath. All toil and no fun, and then this foul rain... Perhaps he can still catch up with it in Mercurius Politicus, in which summary by Thos. Rugge - who starts it with "I then beeing employed as a barber tooke this notis", go figure - the beautiful ceremony fills three full pages. We'll copy them in full on another day, but in a nutshell, the Knights - 68 of them, no doubt a few names already in Sam's book - have spent the night at Westminster in the "Cort of Request", where they were indeed provided a tub and linen and "bathed more or less as each of them found convenient" (or least repellent), then they put on the rough homespun of the humble monk, until today when they changed into lordly garb and were touched by H.M. with the Sword of State. And then everyone had ribbons, musick and a great dinner, to which Sam wouldn't have been invited anyway.

It was interesting to watch as a complete creation, the Order of the Bath and its Mysteries having just been invented. Someone at the palace must have spent a while poring at old books and having brainstorms, to come up with, as the knights file past at the end, the idea of the King's master cook standing with a chopping knife, reminding them that if they ever broke their oath, "I must hack of your spurres from your heeles". And why not?

But missing the fun might have grated a bit also because, while Sam keeps putting full half-days at the office, everyone else in government is having a pre-Coronacion break. Francesco Giavarina, the Venetian ambassador, sighs in yesterday's weekly dispatch, for the second week in a row, that he has nothing to report because everyone is away, "by reason of so many ceremonials, which are performed in the most punctilious and sumptuous manner without stint of gold"; indeed, "there is a truce to all business (...) the secretariat at the palace is closed, neither the magistrates nor anyone else will treat of anything". Francesco has already made clear that he thinks those indolent Englishmen, forever at their dinners and masques, aren't a very serious people; not like us, hyper-efficient and always industrious Venetians. But 'tis true, that no minutes for the Treasury Committee are at hand for the 16 days from April 10-26. Frolic, frolic everywhere. Except, in the Navy office, that lone window with a trembling light...

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