Wednesday 5 June 1661

This morning did give my wife 4l. to lay out upon lace and other things for herself. I to Wardrobe and so to Whitehall and Westminster, where I dined with my Lord and Ned Pickering alone at his lodgings. After dinner to the office, where we sat and did business, and Sir W. Pen and I went home with Sir R. Slingsby to bowls in his ally, and there had good sport, and afterwards went in and drank and talked. So home Sir William and I, and it being very hot weather I took my flageolette and played upon the leads in the garden, where Sir W. Pen came out in his shirt into his leads, and there we staid talking and singing, and drinking great drafts of claret, and eating botargo and bread and butter till 12 at night, it being moonshine; and so to bed, very near fuddled.

26 Annotations

First Reading

dirk  •  Link


On Sunday 2 July it had been full moon (12 July Gregorian calendar) at 02:11.

Must have been quite romantic, music by moonlight. But what about the neighbours, Sam?

Leo Starrenburg  •  Link

This is the first time I see Samuel mentioning 'sport' in his diary.

My first encounter with Samuel was in an episode of the Goon show, where he 'did sport with Mrs Fitz-Simmons'

And things don't change very much over the centuries: I'm off to bed and very near fuddled as well.

cheers, Leo.

JWB  •  Link

Claret & botargo. Salt in the botargo titers postassium in wine to counter diuresis. Important up on the leads.

vicente  •  Link

on the 2nd "...It rained very hard, as it hath done of late so much that we begin to doubt a famine,..." now this " ...and it being very hot weather ..." must have been a bit muggy too, no midges mentioned.

vicente  •  Link

On this day the goose no longer could have its grass, "...Bill to inclose Ground at Parsons Green.
Hodie 1a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for confirming of an Enclosure of Land, formerly used for a Common Highway, from Parsons Greene to Southfeild, in Fulham; and the settling of other Land for a Common Highway there, in Lieu thereof."
E. of Derby's Bill:..."

From: British History Online
Source: House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 5 June 1661. House of Lords Journal Volume 11, ().
Date: 06/06/2004

Copyright 2003 University of London & History of Parliament Trust

mary house  •  Link

Another lovely word picture of a warm summer night. Makes one quite envious of Sam, except for the botargo, of course.

daniel  •  Link

what a delight!

it is wonderful to read of these historical figures at such ease. i wonder though if Eliz. had a nice day; the four quid probably kept her busy for the greater part of the day but would she have felt compelled to turn in early while the gentlemen horsed around on the roof?

vicente  •  Link

contrast this with Daniel's thought.The modern young man: "those who love the idea of a leisured lifestyle, but lack the time to lead it."
Cash-rich, time-poor Britons waste £1,725 a year on must-have gear they’ll never use…

daniel  •  Link

ah, how sad!

for the moment at least, Sam seems to be a great example of a quality of life that is not dependant on these trappings. Elizabeth though has her material needs-lace and such. one hopes that she too can enjoy such conviviality with friends from time to time.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"drinking great drafts of claret"
This is the second time in recent days (the other was the wine and anchovies occasion) when we have seen Sam entertaining himself with wine and a very salty accompaniment. Surely this would have made the wine taste rather nasty? I would never drink decent red wine with pickled fish products! Or would the anchovies and roe not be so salty? Or was the wine what we in Australia called cask wine? [sold in a plastic bag]. That apart, what a lovely word picture!

Douglas Robertson  •  Link

From the link to "botargo" in today's entry: "Botargo was chiefly used to promote drinking by causing thirst, and Rabelais makes Gargantua eat it." (Cf. the salted beer nuts that certain bars in our day provide gratis to their patrons.) Perhaps we may infer from this that Sam was in the mood for a bender, in which case his palate would have been none too discriminating.

Mary  •  Link

Slingsby's bowling alley.

If Slingsby's Navy Office quarters really included a bowling alley, this would serve to indicate just how well appointed the whole house was in the days when it was still a large, domestic dwelling and not part of the government establishment.

Last year a kind annotator pointed us in the direction of a London pub that still has a traditional, wooden bowling alley, but I've been unable to trace the reference.

Mary  •  Link

"great drafts of claret"

I like that "very near fuddled"!

Bob T  •  Link

It doesn't really matter if the wine was of good quality or not, if Sam was sinking "great drafts" of it. Even Old Porch Climber starts to taste good after a bit.

The munchies that Sam has when drinking reminds me of the DanNor, (Danes and Norwegians) troops with the UNEF in Egypt. They would drink beer, eat sardines, and thoroughly enjoy themselves. We stayed with jerky and peanuts :-)

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"botargo was" what happened to botargo? Substituted by Marmite?

Giovanna  •  Link

Botargo (botarga) Mullet roe pressed and dried - still to be had in Italy, but it is salty.

Leslie Silberhans  •  Link

Bottarga is indeed available today. It resembles ancovies more than anything else, but is much less salty. In the U.S., however, it costs about $80 a pound.

StewartMcI  •  Link

Susan, et al.

No one for caviar and champagne ???

Remember also that claret then was not the rich vintage wine we know today from Bordeaux but a lighter "clairet" somewhere between a red and a rosé as still occasionally made, e.g. by Christine Valette at Mondot

Pedro  •  Link

On this day...

A chap called Newton enrolled at Trinity College at Cambridge.

Cum grano salis  •  Link

And it cost him 12s 4d to get there. [Impensia Propria]
One item of need be his chamber pot that cost 2s/2d.
He was a fresh faced sizar

Heldmyw  •  Link

Botarga, particularly the Sardinian botarga, is an ethereal, ever so lightly fishy miracle.

The 'brick' when gently grated onto fresh,hot pasta and dressed with a bit of excellent olive oil and garlic is a treat worthy of the highest respect.

I know I post this in a long-deserted cavern, but perhaps future generations of Pepys fans will find this...

Best wishes! Eat the botarga!

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Botargo is [ indeed ] a Mediterranean delicacy of salted, cured fish roe, typically from grey mullet, tuna, or swordfish.
Closely related names are used for it in various languages: bottarga (English), bottarga (Italian), butàriga (Sardinian), botarga (Occitan, Spanish, and Catalan, poutargue or boutargue (French), butarga (Portuguese), batarekh or butarkhah (Arabic), and avgotaraho (Greek αυγοτάραχο).…

Bill  •  Link

Partying on the roof until midnight with music, food and alcohol! I can relate.

Bill  •  Link

"drinking great drafts of claret"

CLARET [Clairet, F. of Clarus, L. clear] a general Name for the red Wines of France.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Guess what OED has for 'botargo':

‘botargo, n. < Italian botargo < Arabic buṭarkhah < Coptic outarakhon,< Coptic ou- indefinite article + Greek ταρίχιον pickle . . ’
A relish made of the roe of the mullet or tunny
1598 Epulario H ij b, To make Botarge, a kind of Italian meat, fish spawn salted.
. . 1653 T. Urquhart tr. Rabelais 1st Bk. Wks. xxi, Hard rowes of mullet called Botargos.
1661 S. Pepys Diary 5 June (1970) II. 115 Drinking of great draughts of Clarret and eating botargo and bread and butter.
1702 W. J. tr. C. de Bruyn Voy. Levant xlii. 170 They..take out the Spawn, of which..they make Boutargue.
1735 Swift Panegyrick on D— in Wks. II. 292 And, for our home-bred British Chear, Botargo, Catsup, and Caveer . . ‘

Liz  •  Link

Early social distancing, although it wasn’t compulsory for them!

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