Wednesday 29 May 1661

(King’s birth-day). Rose early and having made myself fine, and put six spoons and a porringer of silver in my pocket to give away to-day, Sir W. Pen and I took coach, and (the weather and ways being foul) went to Walthamstowe; and being come there heard Mr. Radcliffe, my former school fellow at Paul’s (who is yet a mere boy), preach upon “Nay, let him take all, since my Lord the King is returned,” &c. He reads all, and his sermon very simple, but I looked for new matter. Back to dinner to Sir William Batten’s; and then, after a walk in the fine gardens, we went to Mrs. Browne’s, where Sir W. Pen and I were godfathers, and Mrs. Jordan and Shipman godmothers to her boy. And there, before and after the christening; we were with the woman above in her chamber; but whether we carried ourselves well or ill, I know not; but I was directed by young Mrs. Batten. One passage of a lady that eat wafers with her dog did a little displease me. I did give the midwife 10s. and the nurse 5s. and the maid of the house 2s. But for as much I expected to give the name to the child, but did not (it being called John), I forbore then to give my plate till another time after a little more advice.

All being done, we went to Mrs. Shipman’s, who is a great butter-woman, and I did see there the most of milk and cream, and the cleanest that ever I saw in my life. After we had filled our bellies with cream, we took our leaves and away. In our way, we had great sport to try who should drive fastest, Sir W. Batten’s coach, or Sir W. Pen’s chariott, they having four, and we two horses, and we beat them. But it cost me the spoiling of my clothes and velvet coat with dirt.

Being come home I to bed, and give my breeches to be dried by the fire against to-morrow.

28 Annotations

First Reading

StewartMcI  •  Link

A "porringer" (also a caudle cup) in England is a small two handled cup in silver, used to feed porridge, or caudle or broth to women convalescent after childbirth, and to young infants. Note that "porringer" on the other side of the pond has a different meaning, a single handled cup like a large wine taster, used for the same purpose.

Pauline  •  Link

"...Mr. Radcliffe, my former school fellow at Paul's (who is yet a mere boy)…”

“Mere boy” as in two years younger than Sam.

For the rest, it looks like some part of Sam’s indecision about godfatherhood was because he didn’t know how it was going to work and what was expected of him. He certainly armed himself (with silver), kept alert to how to behave/proceed (corner of the eye to Mrs. Batten), and kept quiet counsel to himself (figure out how to gift under advice later).

Then a rolicking chariott ride throwing up mud all the way home.

mary house  •  Link

I don't understand the passage about the lady who eats wafers with her dog. What do others make of this?

Louis  •  Link

The adjustments given in Latham's "Shorter Pepys" helps clarify a little:

"we were with the women {plural} above in her chamber; but whether we carried ourselfs well or ill, I know not---but I was directed {i.e., instructed what to do and when} by young Mrs. Batten."

Think of how we would use "passage" as synonymous with "incident" in reference to an occurrence in a story. Pepys here uses it for an occurrence in real life. The line

"One passage of a lady that eat wafers with her dog did a little displease me."

could be paraphrased as:

"There occurred an incident where a woman who was eating wafers shared them with her dog, an act I did not care for."

---i.e., one of the women "above." It's hard to tell if the woman was taking a bite, then giving Spot a bite, and then finishing it off herself, or merely eating the same item as her pet.
The L&M Companion says that wafers were "a light, thin, crisp cake, baked in wafer-irons, eaten with wine," citing this entry. Williams-Sonoma sells these very irons; such wafers are also a Scandinavian custom.

vicente  •  Link

Lap dogs were very popular and still are, even in this day of enlightened peoples, you still find that these balls of fluff still get such treatment as sharing the meal,dishes or and cutlery and with their mistresses.[didoms oh didims did Sam give you a bad look?][Yuk]

vicente  •  Link

Not too often a Gent sees all the women oohing and ahing " aint he like blah........". He was seemingly embarrassed at what to say and do with all these fine feathered people acting like thy do in the more humble of abodes. Also with Midwife, [Wet]nurse? maids all a tither and just he and the old Salt."..but whether we carried ourselves well or ill, I know not..."

Emilio  •  Link

"He reads all, and his sermon very simple, but I looked for new matter."

This is the passage I didn't quite get--why would Sam hope for new matter in a simple sermon given by a 'mere boy'? The L&M reading that Sam "looked for no better" from him makes more sense to me in context.

Diana Bonebrake  •  Link

My, but they knew had to have a good
time in Sam's Jolly Olde England!

vicente  •  Link

Sam is not fooled by THE chair, this time
"...King Harry's chair, where he that sits down is catched with two irons, that come round about him, which makes good sport…”…

vicente  •  Link

In Essex, little more N.E.,the Rev Josslyn did note: "29. A thanksgiving day for K Charles return to the crown. I preached, very few hearers a sad wet season. etc."
[mud mud glorious mud, not fit for ducks either it doth seem]

Australian Susan  •  Link

The text for the sermon is from 2 Samuel 19:30, which actually reads in the KJV "Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house". Sam does not usually give texts. One wonders if his recollection is faulty or if the preacher was not using the Authorised version. I took Sam's comments to mean that he expected better from the man, despite his youth, especially as he had written all the sermon down. Maybe Mr Radcliffe is being cautious in these still uncertain times and preaching a very conservative sermon.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"cleanest that ever I saw in my life"
We expect our butter and cream to be clean and free from specks, insects etc. Sam's comment reminds us that it was much harder to keep up standards of cleanliness in domestic circumstances than it is now and great cleanliness gave cause for remark.

Hic Retearius  •  Link

Baby shower.

Now did poor old Sam and the other godfather ended up trapped among "the girls" in what amounts to today's baby shower and find themselves in social shoal water without a chart? If so, Sam for sure would rather have hung on a sword and tramped up and down making an appearance of suppressing insurrection or doing something sensible like surveying a swamped vessel! We males can well understand that Sam didn't know what to do and needed a "pilot" to keep him off the social sandbars: Mrs. Batten: "That's the midwife over there; have you, ahh, "spoken" to her, Mr. Pepys?", "Usually the godfathers do such and such now." and "Ahh, would you like to be seated over here, gentlemen?" and so on. Even after it was all over, the situation had been so alien that he did not know if he had been an oaf.

With the social pressure off, the fellows can get back to boy business and do what they would do today out of relief after such a hideous ordeal: go hell-driving across town in a race!

vicente  •  Link

This was the first Anniversary appointd by Act of Parliament to be observed as day of gen:Thanksgiving for the miraculous restauration of his Majestie: Our Viccar preaching on 118 Psal: 24 Requiring us to be Thankfull & rejoice , as indeede we had Cause:
choose yer version:
24: This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.…

Ps 118:24
118:24 This [is] the {l} day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
(l) In which God has shown chiefly his mercy, by appointing me king and delivering his Church.…
24 For thy testimonies are my meditation: and thy justifications my counsel…

Mary  •  Link

Poor Sam.

After spending the afternoon feeling a bit like a fish out of water, he spoils his fine clothes during the ride home. It's going to be a job to get that velvet coat looking good again after being well spattered with mud. One bit of luck, though: that bellyful of cream didn't make him sick on the return journey.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Vicente - Yuk

"Cave canem" says the small but disgruntled poodle lying on her cushion beside my monitor. (They really do understand every word you say, you know.)

Ruben  •  Link

Kevin Sheerstone:
have you acquire your "cave canem" in Pompei?

David A. Smith  •  Link

"His sermon very simple, but I looked for new matter"
Responding to Emilio: Sam is a critic! He expects sermons to enlighten, uplift, and engage the listeners by *interpreting the scripture* to provide a homily relevant to the day. Even in changing times -- *especially* in changing times -- a preacher is esteemed who can relate the Word of God to tests his flock will face in the week upcoming. One imagines Mr. Radcliffe fraught with nerves, stammering over his text, and saying nothing beyond it.
And yes, methinks Sam doth protest too much, inflating himself versus this 'mere boy'.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"a Lady that eat wafers with her dog" All good dogs go to Heaven!...

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam & Dogs
Although Sam (last year) was initially pleased when his brother-in-law gave Elizabeth a pretty little black dog, he is soon cross when it fouls the house (threatening to throw it out of the window). He shows off the puppies to friends, but is soon having a row with Elizabeth (which typically he regrets very quickly!) over confining the dog to the cellar becaue it still fouls the house. Sam seems to like dogs if they keep quiet (he has complained about barking as well), don't make a mess and are not too doated over!

Rich Merne  •  Link

"who should drive fastest", Boy racers rule in 17th cent.!!! Interesting to note that the two horse rig won. There is no certainty that four horses sharing a similar load to that shared by two, will travel any faster. Also the management of four and their matching is exponentially greater than the ditto of two. In such a situation; other things being equal, I'd put mymoney on the *two horse* any time.

Mary  •  Link

coach v chariot.

OED quotes this Pepys entry to illustrate the use of the term 'chariot' to describe a vehicle that became more common during the 18th century: viz. a light, four-wheeled vehicle with only two, back seats.

Thus Sam is riding in a vehicle that is lighter, and hence more manoeuvrable than a coach, less likely to get bogged down on wet roads and probably less likely to overturn. Not so surprising that he and Sir Wm. Penn won the race.

StewartMcI  •  Link

On Dogs and Sermons...

"Many are chosen, but few come when you call them..." CANINES 3.5

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Stewart McI:

Bloody briliant.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"heard Mr. Radcliffe...preach upon 'Nay, let him take all, since my Lord the King is returned,' &c.; "

L&M say the text is a loose recollection of 2 Samuel 19:30: " And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house." (KJV) Very fit for the occasion.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Last year in the House of Commons on this day…

Anniversary of the Restoration.

Resolved, That a Bill be prepared for keeping of a perpetual Anniversary, for a Day of Thanksgiving to God, for the great Blessing and Mercy he hath been graciously pleased to vouchsafe to the People of these Kingdoms, after their manifold and grievous Sufferings, in the Restoration of his Majesty, with Safety, to his People and Kingdoms: And that the Nine-and-twentieth Day of May, in every Year, being the Birth Day of his Sacred Majesty, and the Day of his Majesty's Return to his Parliament, be yearly set apart for that Purpose.

Bill  •  Link

"put six spoons and a porringer of silver in my pocket"

PORRINGER, a small deep Dish for liquid Things.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

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