Wednesday 26 June 1661

To Westminster about several businesses, then to dine with my Lady at the Wardrobe, taking Dean Fuller along with me; then home, where I heard my father had been to find me about special business; so I took coach and went to him, and found by a letter to him from my aunt that my uncle Robert is taken with a dizziness in his head, so that they desire my father to come down to look after his business, by which we guess that he is very ill, and so my father do think to go to-morrow. And so God’s will be done. [As his heir Pepys appears consolable over his Uncles illness. D.W.]

Back by water to the office, there till night, and so home to my musique and then to bed.

18 Annotations

First Reading

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"And so God's will" when combined with uncle Robert's will one gets the best of both worlds.

vicente  •  Link

Another session missed at the Society by Our Man. Evelyn doth record for the 26th "Tried more Vipers and poysond arrows to dogs &c: but they succeeded not:"

Australian Susan  •  Link

Did anyone care at this time about the cruelty to the dogs the Royal Society used in their experiments? Or was this just a 19th century developed sensibility?
Does this take us back to the slavery type discussions?

Ruben  •  Link

before Mickey Mouse there was a clear distinction between animals and Men. When animals began to sing and speak and dance, they changed their Public Image and stance.
I remember how my teacher at a secondary school(1955) opened the head of a dove and with a small spoon took out the cerebellum, just to show us how it could not fly whitout that part of the brain.
In the 60', when learning Medicine, I remember the sacrifice of scores of more or less irrational living creatures. One of the more potent ways to teach a student how an heart works is by a "preparation" (first described by Prof Sterling, or Stirling?), made by taking the heart and lungs out of a living dog (without the rest) and measuring pressure and pulse. This contraption will "work" for a few days, if given glucose and Oxigen.
My first visit to Barcelona in 1959, included the Plaza de Toros. I am ashamed to this day to have been part of the public. Still, today it is Sunday and in Spain 20 or 40 bulls will be sacrificed just for fun... and not, at least, for science.
Today, Sunday, millions in the West, take their guns, rifles, fishing rods, and go out to kill animals, just for the atavic pleasure of the kill, and not because their are hungry. And this is the XXI century.

Alan Bedford  •  Link


Let's not go there....

JWB  •  Link

A Roman road runs through it...
Huntingdonshire, seat of the dying Robert and Sam's birthplace, as well as Cambridgeshire ("Descended from ye antient family of Pepys of Cottenham in Cambridgeshire."-Sam's words)were long Roman. I've ancestors from that neck of the woods named "Titus". Pepys or the two syllable variant "Pepis" sounds Roman to me too. Has there ever been a determination of the source of Sam's surname?

vicente  •  Link

Roman and older roads of Cam:Tracing Ermine Street
Thiefstreet must be the strangest of the many names borne by parts of the old Roman road that bisected the county on its way from London to York. For centuries an important route, records show that Edward the Confessor regarded it as one of four royal roads that has been known since mediaeval times as Ermine Street.
It changes its name eight times between entering Cambridgeshire at Royston, and reaching the all-important crossing of the River Great Ouse at Huntingdon. Further northwards it becomes the A1 with more changes and finally leaves the county as a footpath skirting Burghley Park to the east of Stamford.…
also via devana [a14 a45] crosses near by and then there is the Ichfield way [ lots of google for roman roads and ermine.]

Second Reading

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Wim van der Meij’s link no longer works but a search on the site leads to this:

‘Descendants of Thomas Pepys

First Generation

1. Thomas Pepys 1 was born about 1389 in of, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, England. Thomas was Bayliffe to the Abbott in 1434 in Crowland, Cambridgeshire, England.

According to Arthur Bryant: "for two hundred and fifty years the Abbey of Crowland was served by Pepizes, as Reeves, rent collectors, haywards, granators."

"The first Pepys of whom I have been able to find any record is Thomas Pepys said on the authority of the Court Rolls of the manor of Pelhams in Cottenham Cambridgshire to have been "bayliffe to the Abbot of Crowland,. in the 12th Henry VI (A.D. 1434). It is probably therefore that he was born in the latter part of the preceeding century, or toward the end of the reign of Richard II. Of his son Robert nothing is recorded further than that he was of Cottenham."
From: the genealogy given by P. H. Pepys esq. published in "Diary and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys esg" by Rev Mynors Bright. Dodd, Mead and Co, NY 1889. (Written in 1876).

Neither W C Pepys or E Chappel include this Thomas and both agree that even his son Robert must be considered apocryphal . . ‘


which links to


where you’ll find our man.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ermine Street is the name of a major Roman road in England that ran from London (Londinium) to Lincoln (Lindum Colonia) and York (Eboracum). The Old English name was "Earninga Straete" (1012), named after a tribe called the Earningas, who inhabited a district later known as Armingford Hundred, around Arrington, Cambridgeshire and Royston, Hertfordshire.[1] "Armingford", and "Arrington" share the same Old English origin. The original Roman name for the route is unknown. It is also known as the Old North Road from London to where it joins the A1 Great North Road near Godmanchester. Ermine Street begins at Bishopsgate, where one of the seven gates in the wall surrounding Roman London was located. From here it runs north up Norton Folgate, Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road through Stoke Newington (forming Stoke Newington Road and Stoke Newington High Street), Tottenham, Edmonton and Eastern Enfield (Ponders End, Enfield Highway, Enfield Wash and Freezywater) to Royston. This section of Ermine Street from London to Royston, Hertfordshire is now largely part of the A10. At this point it crosses the Icknield Way. From Royston, it was formerly the A14 to the A1 but now it is the A1198 to Godmanchester (Durovigutum). Ignoring bypasses and modern diversions, the road through Huntingdon to the Alconbury junction on the A1 gives the line.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I heard my father had been to find me about special business; so I took coach and went to him, and found by a letter to him from my aunt that my uncle Robert is taken with a dizziness in his head,"

L&M: Robert Pepys of Brampton died on 5 July.

Third Reading

LKvM  •  Link

Australian Susan: "Did anyone care at this time about the cruelty to the dogs the Royal Society used in their experiments?" Considering the ghastly cruelty of the public executions the populace was accustomed to seeing, probably not.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Ahhh -- the Commons hasn't forgotten The King's letter after all:

"Pains and Penalties against Regicides.
Ordered, That the Business touching those Persons that are reserved to Pains and Penalties by the Act of Indemnity, and those that are excepted out of the said Act, and those that are convicted, and condemned, in the Tower, for the horrid Murder of his late Majesty, be taken into Consideration on Friday Morning: And that a Bill be then brought in; and the Evidence heard against them: And all such of the King's Council as are not Members of this House, are to have Notice, that they may attend this Service."

Men like John Hutchinson are in the Tower. Are we in for another round of "ghastly cruelty of the public executions"?

Please don't respond -- that would be spoilers.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Vicente: "Another session missed at the Society by Our Man."

Pepys hasn't missed anything. He won't be invited to join the Royal Society for years. Evelyn was a founding member.

Since Vicente hadn't posted the real meeting information, I went looking for the minutes on-line. All our links seem to be dead. Sigh.

Starting in January 1663/4 they begin at…

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Sigh, but the Royal Society's Journal Book for 1660-63 is also preserved at…; albeit in a cute but highly inconvenient animation format which lets you "turn the pages" but takes forever. For quick access deep inside the thick volume, we thought it expedient to click on the download sign in the left-hand menu and got, not a download, but the book's XML version - text as raw as text gets. Better than naught, but argh. Then a CTRL+F search for "1661-06-26" doth retrieve the official record of today's Ordinary meeting, in which the RS confirms that "a dog was bitt at the left foot by a viper, & did swell for 3 or 4 houres, but recovered", while "another dog was hurt with a poysonnous arrow, but no harme appear’d by it." And many other marvels.

No sign of Evelyn, though, and no mention either of any of this in our copy of his Diary (the Project Gutemberg version of the 1901 edition by Walter Dunne), which in fact has no entry between June 4 and June 27. What did Sig. Vicente quote from, we wonder? Does John keep more than one Diary?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Great detective work! Thank you.

And you're right -- my copy of Evelyn has nothing about a Royal Society meeting today either.

More sighs. Posting sources and a close version of the original text is so important. What was Vicente thinking???????????

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

AH-HA -- there may be two versions:

On July 17, 1661 Dirk has posted an Evelyn entry about the Royal Society. My book has nothing for that date:…

Again, Dirk hasn't linked it to a source, or told us his version of a print Diary.


July 17, 1661 is an unusual version of Pepys Diary, probably mimicking the print version. I have suggested to Phil that he standardize our on-line version now that we have so many more in-puts. He agreed, but it may not get done by this July as he has a lot of things going on right now.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I followed your instructions for the XML version, Stephane, and didn't find a July 17, 1661 entry there, either. In fact, only 3 entries for "July" in total. I even tried "iuly" which drew a blank.

So I searched on "viper" and 39 mentions were found. Either it's a very long entry, or the multiple entries will take more time to unravel than I have now.

Too many puzzles to think about in this heat!

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