Tuesday 4 June 1661

The Comptroller came this morning to get me to go see a house or two near our office, which he would take for himself or Mr. Turner, and then he would have me have Mr. Turner’s lodgings and himself mine and Mr. Davis’s. But the houses did not like us, and so that design at present is stopped.

Then he and I by water to the bridge, and then walked over the Bank-side till we came to the Temple, and so I went over and to my father’s, where I met with my cozen J. Holcroft, and took him and my father and my brother Tom to the Bear tavern and gave them wine, my cozen being to go into the country again to-morrow.

From thence to my Lord Crew’s to dinner with him, and had very good discourse about having of young noblemen and gentlemen to think of going to sea, as being as honourable service as the land war. And among other things he told us how, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, one young nobleman would wait with a trencher at the back of another till he came to age himself. And witnessed in my young Lord of Kent, that then was, who waited upon my Lord Bedford at table, when a letter came to my Lord Bedford that the Earldom of Kent was fallen to his servant, the young Lord; and so he rose from table, and made him sit down in his place, and took a lower for himself, for so he was by place to sit. From thence to the Theatre and saw “Harry the 4th,” a good play. That done I went over the water and walked over the fields to Southwark, and so home and to my lute. At night to bed.

19 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

A River Runs Through It

1st crossing: by ferry to London Bridge and then walks over it to Bankside.

2nd crossing: "till we came to the Temple, and so I went over to my father's". They walked westwards by the river until the Temple gardens were directly opposite and then Pepys hailed a ferry to visit his father in Salisbury Court.

3rd crossing: and took Tom to the Bear tavern, which is back on the other side of the Thames and to reach it they caught another ferry (or possibly walked across London Bridge).

4th crossing: thence to Lord Crew's to dinner. I'm guessing this is back on the north side of the river in either the City or in Westminster. The Theatre seems to have been there as well and must have had artificial lighting since it would have been getting dark by then. London in June - not really dark until about 9 pm? I think most outdoor performances started mid-afternoon - if it was one of those, then he crammed a lot into the morning.

5th crossing: "That done I went over the water and walked over the fields to Southwark" Still surprisingly energetic and walking for the sake of exercise to get over his meal (or visiting the brothels in Southwark, or at least ogling the girls? - but I don't think so on this occasion or he would have probably said so - I think he's a young man walking home through the cornfields on a fine summer's evening).

6th crossing: "And so home and to my lute." He walks back across London Bridge (or catches a ferry to Tower of London steps, which is nearer home).

M.Stolzenbach  •  Link

At night to bed.

Good plan!

But after a very cultural day: HARRY THE FOURTH, and the lute. Better than television, says I.

Louis  •  Link

"But the houses did not like us": interesting swap of object and subject---perhaps from a precedent in Latin?

dirk  •  Link

"But the houses did not like us"

Maybe it's not a swap of object and subject. It could just be that "to like" is used here with the meaning "to please". Language hat?

vicente  •  Link

"But the houses [did vs were} not like[d] [By] us"
It reads to me as the awkward Saxon Passive rather than the modern Active of 'but we did not like the houses'.
Is it not the passive tense, not much liked [ by ]modern writing.
Today, Is it not better use the verb actively rather than in the passive mode , so P.C.?[macho mihi] From one that is not an english minor even.

Douglas Robertson  •  Link

Technically, "like" here is quasi-transitive or impersonal (cf. "methinks") rather than passive: my Oxford Universal dictionary reports as its first (and hence, I believe, oldest) definition of the word: "intr. To please, suit a person. Cheifly quasi-trans. with dat[ive]. Also impersonal, as in 'it likes me'. Now only arch. and dial." Notionally, everybody's on the mark here; I just want to point out that there's nothing anomolous about Sam's usage here.

Douglas Robertson  •  Link

"Harry the 4th." Shakespeare? If so, I wonder which part.

Mary  •  Link

"the houses did not like us"

Douglas's explanation is the right one .... and we have discussed this point before.

Interesting that Sam offers no opinion about this proposed change of lodging. We might have expected him either to be enthusiastic (if the Comptroller's lodgings were much more desirable than his own) or unwilling, if the opposite were the case.

Mary  •  Link

A tale of two earls

An L&M footnote explains the point of precedence here: the earldom of Kent was created in 1465 and that of Bedford in 1550. Thus Kent, as the elder, took precedence over Bedford.

However, the footnote casts doubt on the veracity of the tale. Neither the 5th Earl of Kent (d. 1573) nor the 6th Earl (d. 1615) was a ward of Bedford and both would have been too old (27 and 32 respectively) to have been waiting on the most likely candidate for the earldom of Bedford in Elizabeth's reign, Francis 2nd Earl of Bedford, who died in 1585.

Both Kent and Bedford have since become Dukedoms.

Mary  •  Link

Harry the 4th.

Per L&M footnote, this was Shakespeare's Henry IV Part I, being played by Killigrew's company at the Vere Street theatre.

Xjy  •  Link

Jockeying for position
No comment on the housing from Sam, cos it was pretty much like for like. Benefits would be what each of the swappers made of the exchange. Also, the Comptroller was a superior, wasn't he? Which would mean Sam needs to play a diplomatic game anyway.
The comment comes in the "all things come to him who waits" homily on my lords of Bedford and Kent. Sam still identifying with the good servant, of course, but thinking more and more of becoming a master himself.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

The two earls: Warrington says about this:
"the earldom of Kent was erected for the Grey family in 1465; that of Bedford for the Russells in 1550."

Jackie  •  Link

Chivalry was a funny thing. Although the incident mentioned almost certainly never happened, it was certainly in keeping with the ideals and it may well be that by Pepy's time the late Middle Ages was regarded as a bit of a golden age in this respect.

However, the idea the the nobility had all been expected to serve in their youth in the menial tasks, such as at table, polishing armour, dressing Lords etc., is something which used to be taken as read, but had gone out of fashion by Pepy's time and, no doubt, this was reflected in the behaviour of young nobles in his time who probably did not treat the servants as well (never having experienced service at all) and for whom the fashion of the terribly delicate, fainting dandy nobleman caracature was starting to come in "La, sir, I fear I shall faint...".

Those older nobles who had experienced in their formative years what it was like to try to serve breakfast to a surly Lord with a hangover were probably better behaved towards their servants than those who had not.

vicente  •  Link

Pecking order: v.very important to stand in the correct order."To the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
"The humble Petition of George Lord Berkley, for his Place in this present Parliament, above and before the Lord De la Ware;

From: British History Online
Source: House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 17 May 1661. House of Lords Journal Volume 11, ().
URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/…
Date: 05/06/2004

Copyright 2003 University of London & History of Parliament Trust

Pauline  •  Link

"...to my Lord Crew's to dinner with him, and had very good discourse about having of young noblemen and gentlemen to think of going to sea, as being as honourable service as the land war.”

I wonder if this conversation is just by chance or if Crew or Sam specifically intended this “education and training” session. It certainly is the kind of thoughtful discourse that builds Sam’s sucessful naval career over the coming decades.

Nix  •  Link


Henry IV (both parts "abridged" into one four-hour presentation) just won the Tony Award for best Broadway revival.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"But the houses did not like us"

To LIKEN to please.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

3. To please; to be agreeable to
---A Dictionary of the English Language. Samuel Johnson, 1756.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘like v. 1
. . 1.c. to like well or ill : to be pleasing or the reverse.
. . 1667 Milton Paradise Lost vi. 353 They..colour, shape or size Assume, as likes them best.
1668 S. Pepys Diary 22 Nov. (1976) IX. 372 My boy's Livery is come home..and it likes me well enough
. . 1832 Arnold Serm. II. 320 If there be no God,..let us eat and drink, or follow what likes us best.’

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to my Lord Crew’s to dinner with him, and had very good discourse about having of young noblemen and gentlemen to think of going to sea,"

It was necessary to attract men of honour into the service, but also to maintain standards of technical skill and to keep the navy as free as possible from political graft. Pepys, in common with most naval administrators of his time, came to see that the admission of gentleman captains led to intolerable inefficiency. (L&M note)

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.