Wednesday 19 June 1661

All the morning almost at home, seeing my stairs finished by the painters, which pleases me well. So with Mr. Moore to Westminster Hall, it being term, and then by water to the Wardrobe, where very merry, and so home to the office all the afternoon, and at night to the Exchange to my uncle Wight about my intention of purchasing at Brampton. So back again home and at night to bed.

Thanks be to God I am very well again of my late pain, and to-morrow hope to be out of my pain of dirt and trouble in my house, of which I am now become very weary.

One thing I must observe here while I think of it, that I am now become the most negligent man in the world as to matters of news, insomuch that, now-a-days, I neither can tell any, nor ask any of others.

38 Annotations

First Reading

david cooper  •  Link

"it being term" -- what does this mean?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"that I am now become the most negligent man in the world as to matters of news" I sympathize with you SP,particularly nowadays!No news is good news

Ruben  •  Link

"the most negligent man in the world as to matters of news"
For someone surviving by knowledge of what was going on, no news were BAD news, as he was desattached from the milking cow.

Pauline  •  Link

"One thing I must observe here while I think of it..."
This is new, isn't it? 'Talking to himself' as he writes the day's entry. Can anyone remember him doing this before? Does it indicate remembering to make a note of something he wants to remedy--getting back to keeping abreast of the news? Is he using the diary to make a note to himself?

vicente  •  Link

His Leader feels safe.He [Sam]has his pocket full, can buy the little woman a bit of lace now and again and 'imself the theatre seats and books, and treating the lads to Simpson's of the Day.[no complaints there, has Will arunning] The Catholics,The Friends, and other dissident groups are seeking satisfaction via appeals thru proper channels i.e Parliament, the Anglicans are trying standard channels attempting to get judicial control and can use the Pulpit for the routine of encouraging the pew to donate and support CII in his efforts to enjoy the good life.
Every one is fed up with armed men that were running around. So now The dissatisfied ones either have no power or they have reach their level of incompetence and are not going to upset the apple dray yet. They will soon forget [naturally]and feel ill done by. So mean while, the pubs, and business meeting places are quiet just the buzz of normal deals and the unemployed have found ways of keeping the ale flowing, as all business interests, are for all appearances, booming, money is circulating which prevents upsetting the hoi polloi.

vicente  •  Link

Sam missed another important meeting " 'at our society about poysons againe. We gave Nux Vom : to birds that killed them out-right, afterwa[r]ds, because some writers affirmed Sublimate was its conterpoyson, we tried it on other birds, but it succeded not:" J Evelyn 19 june, 1661 [De Beers ed.}

Australian Susan  •  Link

"it being term"
The Law Term, when Courts sat.

Mary  •  Link

"my late pain"

Sam has not specifically mentioned his 'old pain' recently. Perhaps he regards the 'cold' that he took after bathing his feet in the Thames (and after a day of rash diet) as a chill 'on the kidneys' ......... reputed to be a very treacherous ailment by people of my grandparents' generation

Australian Susan  •  Link

"my late pain"
My grandmother thought in the 60s that the wearing of mini-shirts and not wearing a vest would give one a chill on the kidneys. I used to wear a liberty bodice as a child in the 50s to guard against getting chilled. Anyone else remember liberty bodices? Sam would probably have thought them an excellent garment. To those of a pre-antibiotic generation (as my grandmother was: 1876-1967)any suggestion of something which could lead to infection was frightening. Bacterial infections so often led to death.

Bob T  •  Link

My late pain.
I remember liberty bodices, but because I am male, I was not told what they actually were, other than "something girls wore". Wet feet caused colds, as did going out without drying your hair properly after visiting the swimming baths, or, just having washed it. A cold in the kidneys was a serious thing, although I doubt if it has a medical definition. In the 50's and earlier, many things were quite different. If anything was uncomfortable, or even painful, then it had to be character building; anyone remember woollen vests? Our Sam lived in a rough and tumble world, and it persisted for a long time. One of my school masters used to say, "Don't snivel boy, I haven't hit you yet." Thank God those days are over.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

my intention of purchasing at Brampton.

Sam thinking of an establishment? Have I been inatentive, or is this the first mention?

This is the way the gentleman rides: 'propity,propity,propity'

BradW  •  Link

To those of a pre-antibiotic generation any suggestion of something which could lead to infection was frightening. Bacterial infections so often led to death.

You're right, Sue, we tend to forget just how much infection and death weighed on folks for the thousands of years prior to current living memory. When Elizabeth was ill, and Sam was critical of her for staying in their home during renovations, I suspected he was expressing a vague fear that a dirty house might lead to a life-threatening infection for her.

It's a bit off-topic, but I always thought "Pinocchio" and "Cinderella" were tinged with this fear of infection and death, because the untimely deaths of beloved family members in the back-story left the main characters (Giapetto, Cinderella) with deep emotional scars. I've never read the original Pinocchio, but Disney has Giapetto say that he wanted a wooden boy because he would be indestructable, compared to a human boy--a phrase that spoke volumes coming from the gentle old man.

Bob T  •  Link

To those of a pre-antibiotic generation any suggestion of something which could lead to infection was frightening

I remember reading some advise given in a "Dr Spock" book written when medicine was still an inexact science. The author advised parents not to become too attached to their children, because they would probably die while still young.

Mary  •  Link

The Brampton purchase.

A few weeks ago (sorry - I haven't been able to pin down the date) it was proposed to Pepys that he should buy a parcel of land in Brampton that would march with the land that he expected to inherit from his uncle. He's clearly been muliing the suggestion over and has decided to go ahead with the deal.

Pauline  •  Link

" In the 50's and earlier…If anything was uncomfortable, or even painful, then it had to be character building”
Oh yeah, I remember those 50s!!

Liberty vests must be like the (now-phrased) tank-top style “undershirts” that girls wore here in the States.

Mary  •  Link

The liberty bodice
was not like a tank-top; more in the line of corsetry. You can see one or two very elegant (!) models still available at

The style worn in my childhood was made of stout cotton and came complete with buttons at the lower edge, to which one's woollen, winter stockings were supposed to be attached.

JWB  •  Link

No news
With Montagu at sea, Sam's out of the loop, no longer a conduit-the boss isn't asking and others not trying to get to the boss though him. Then he keeps returning to Wardrobe, which raises to my mind the idea of his inhabiting a Potemkin village, and in a Potemkin village there is never any news. To look behind stage props I keep going to Macaulay… , who, of course,has props of his own, but...well I just like reading Macaulay.

vicente  •  Link

"An Act for a free and voluntary Present to His Majesty."
Yep they were in session see :Hodie 3avice lecta est Billa,

From: British History Online
Source: House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 19 June 1661. House of Lords Journal Volume 11, ().
Date: 20/06/2004

Copyright 2003 University of London & History of Parliament Trust

vicente  •  Link

Liberty bodice today means freedom to show of the navel and diamond and surrounding tissue, to all and sundry.

Jim  •  Link

Australian Sue and BradW, you are not off topic -- it is important that we remember just how different life is today and how close death was to people of Sam's era -- I'm old enough to remember when vacination meant against small pox but the rest (polio, rubella, whooping cough, etc.) were all diseases we either feared or suffered. My kids don't really understand when I mention nightmares about iron lungs. We always must remember how tenuous and fragile life was in Sam's day, sans antibiotics, sans antiseptics, sans vacines... and with small pox and bubonic plague, etc.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Liberty bodices, "catching cold" etc.
Thank you, Mary! Have just had a nostaliga trip in the woods website. Yes, there is a liberty bodice on p.30 of the online catalogue.Our grandmothers were obviously soul mates and shared the collective consciousness of their times. We make so many assumptions now: babies will survive, they will be born healthy, people are not likely to die in child birth and so on. Sam would have thought otherwise. Mary, Queen of Scots (not that long before this time) had to make her will as she went into labour as it was assumed by all that she might die and, being an important person, she needed to have her affairs in order before she died.

dirk  •  Link

Human fragility

A philosophical note - slightly off topic. All this makes me realise how fragile our civilization has become. A couple of major (or even minor) catastrophes may take many things away we for granted. (Even a generalized electricity failure may be sufficient to destroy most of our social and medical infrastructure - and break through the varnish layer we call civilized behaviour.) We have become so dependent that it's really frightening to think how we could survive without all these things

Sam's life was of course dependent on outside factors too, but maybe less than ours.

vicente  •  Link

Off topic yes and no, reading SP gives us the idea of what it has taken to sit down to eat strawberries all year round with Devon clotted cream in Antartica or where ever. Our lives depend on Water,Salt,Oxygen. All technology[and brains] have done, is to make sure that we eat,drink,sleep and have fun and then transpose all the materials in to satisfying our unending requirements. We are indeed lucky not just to survive by picking up random life giving items, the way our feathered and mammal free friends do. Indeed Civilisation could collapse easily as it did near Sodum. The experiments at the society are fun to read.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

I also remember liberty bodices, and wearing them as a small child in the fifties. I remember them as a thick white material, possibly slightly padded, and fastening up the front with white rubber buttons.

Uncomfortable as they were, they were called 'liberty' bodices because unlike the stays of an earlier generation of girls, they did not constrain the body at all.

I used to have (lost it, alas!) a bound volume of 'The Girls' Own Paper' from 1900 and 1901, which frequently ran articles on the evils of tight lacing to achieve the desirable hourglass figure.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Vincent you are a naughty man! The picture at dark angel is like nothing I ever wore, but the woods picture is *exactly* right!

language hat  •  Link

Liberty bodice:
Thanks to all for this information; I had never heard of such a thing. Here's a page on "The fall of the corset and rise of the girdle":…

It has this to say on the LB:

"The use of stay bands and other forms of stiffened or corded vests would continue until the 1920's but in 1908 Symingtons revolutionised children's underwear by developing the "Liberty Bodice." It was an instant success as a soft, lightweight, warm knitted cotton vest top which had front buttons for ease of dressing and tied fabric bands or "tapes" round it for support. No longer would children be required to use a boned garment or tight bindings, freedom or "liberty" of movement was the healthy way. Over 3 million bodices were produced and sold each year, eventually replacing children's stay bands completely. The Liberty Bodice remained in use in England until the 1960's (fig. 46) Even an adult version was introduced which can still be obtained in an orthopaedic form for the elderly.”

Laura K  •  Link

human fragility, antibiotics, etc.

This is late, but... It's worth remembering that there are still places in the world - too many - where death during childbirth, infant mortality and death from the simplest infection are still daily realities. Thousands of children die each year for lack of clean drinking water (dysentery, chronic diarrhea). In some ways, portions of the globe are closer to Sam's time than the lives we annotators live.

Second Reading

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Bob T writes of Dr. Benjamin Spock. I doubt He would have advised parents to not become too attached to their children in his era, which was after antibiotics were developed. His famous book, Baby and Child Care, was published in 1947. He might have been citing an era before antibiotics when parents might have been given that advice, but he would never have advised that in 1947. His book represented a mid twentieth-century view of raising children.

Eric Rowley  •  Link

I still believe that medicine is an inexact science. The more that "they" think "they" know the more that slips away or even causes harm. Ponder the situation of antibiotics, mentioned above. The group from ten years ago which I fully enjoy reading their insights sing praises to antibiotics. Now, how many strains of bacteria have morphed and strengthened from antibiotic's improper and over use on viruses. When I was a child in the 1970's, you received antibiotics for every little sniffle. The bacteria that were around learned to adapt to them and now can not be killed by them, hence the super-bacteria. What a situation we have put ourselves in. Aah, retrospect; is it not glorious...

john  •  Link

Eric, it is not so much that medicine is inexact as its practitioners do not heed warnings. In his Nobel lecture (1945), Fleming said: "The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non‐lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant."

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Eric, whatever has happened to antibiotics since they were introduced--and new more resiliant ones have been developed since--antibiotics have saved millions of lives that would have been lost, and antibiotics are still saving millions of lives every day. They have, in fact, changed the course of history. If you are so sure that because some bacteria have become resistant that antibiotics are now useless, will you stand on your principles and refuse to have them administered to you or your loved ones the next time they or you are in danger of dying of infection?

Eric Rowley  •  Link

Please note that it is the misuse of antibiotics that have done the misdeeds about which I have written. Not the correct usage.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Methinks this antibiotics back-and-forth has gone at least as off-topic as that over the liberty-bodice.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The liberty bodice (Australian and British English), like the emancipation bodice or North American emancipation waist, was an undergarment for women and girls invented towards the end of the 19th century, as an alternative to a corset.

In the United Kingdom they were well known for decades, with some older women still using them in the 1970s. A liberty bodice was a simply-shaped sleeveless bodice, often made of warm, fleecy fabric, usually with suspenders (US garters) attached. It might be straight or slightly curvy, and sometimes had buttons to fasten on other underwear: drawers (knickers or US panties) or petticoat/slip. A vest (US undershirt) might be worn underneath. The bodices had no boning, unlike corsets, although some had firm cloth strapping which might encourage good posture.…

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