Monday 26 August 1661

This morning before I went out I made even with my maid Jane, who has this day been my maid three years, and is this day to go into the country to her mother. The poor girl cried, and I could hardly forbear weeping to think of her going, for though she be grown lazy and spoilt by Pall’s coming, yet I shall never have one to please us better in all things, and so harmless, while I live. So I paid her her wages and gave her 2s. 6d. over, and bade her adieu, with my mind full of trouble at her going.

Hence to my father, where he and I and Thomas together setting things even, and casting up my father’s accounts, and upon the whole I find that all he hath in money of his own due to him in the world is but 45l., and he owes about the same sum: so that I cannot but think in what a condition he had left my mother if he should have died before my uncle Robert. Hence to Tom Trice for the probate of the will and had it done to my mind, which did give my father and me good content.

From thence to my Lady at the Wardrobe and thence to the Theatre, and saw the “Antipodes,” wherein there is much mirth, but no great matter else. Hence with Mr. Bostock whom I met there (a clerk formerly of Mr. Phelps) to the Devil tavern, and there drank and so away. I to my uncle Fenner’s, where my father was with him at an alehouse, and so we three went by ourselves and sat talking a great while about a broker’s daughter that he do propose for a wife for Tom, with a great portion, but I fear it will not take, but he will do what he can. So we broke up, and going through the street we met with a mother and son, friends of my father’s man, Ned’s, who are angry at my father’s putting him away, which troubled me and my father, but all will be well as to that.

We have news this morning of my uncle Thomas and his son Thomas being gone into the country without giving notice thereof to anybody, which puts us to a stand, but I fear them not.

At night at home I found a letter from my Lord Sandwich, who is now very well again of his feaver, but not yet gone from Alicante, where he lay sick, and was twice let blood. This letter dated the 22nd July last, which puts me out of doubt of his being ill. In my coming home I called in at the Crane tavern at the Stocks by appointment, and there met and took leave of Mr. Fanshaw, who goes to-morrow and Captain Isham toward their voyage to Portugal. Here we drank a great deal of wine, I too much and Mr. Fanshaw till he could hardly go. So we took leave one of another.

39 Annotations

dirk  •  Link

"letter dated the 22nd July last"

Sent off 22 July - arrived 26 August.
32 days to get from Alicante to London! I wonder whether the letter went by regular mail (coach north through Spain, then France, then Thurn & Taxis mail boat to cross the channel) or by one of His majesty's Ships...

dirk  •  Link

"45£, and he owes about the same sum”

So Sam’s father’s net financial value is nil! Compare to Sam’s statement some time ago that he (Sam) found himself to worth 500£ plus.

Glyn  •  Link

and so harmless, while I live

Regarding the phrase "while I live", a contemporary Londoner might say instead "as I live and breathe" - it just emphasises how strongly he feels about what he's saying.

2 shillings and 6 pence = 30 pennies. Jane gets paid at a rate of two pennies a day (3 pounds a year), so this is the equivalent of 15 days' pay for Jane; and talking of money matters, is the 28-year-old son is now worth 10 times more than his father?

Meanwhile, Jane is leaving her job and the city and so is Pall (reluctantly); his father's servant Ned is leaving his job (not voluntarily); Thomas and his son Thomas have already left the city for Brampton (surreptitiously); and Mr Fanshaw and Captain Isham are leaving for Portugal (drunkenly).

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: " that I cannot but think in what a condition he had left my mother if he should have died before my uncle Robert."

No wonder Sam's mother has been nagging her husband! Sounds as if he hasn't exactly been keeping up his side of the bargain.

Otherwise, an action-packed entry. My head's reeling after simply reading it, and I haven't even hit the wine (yet). At least we've found another reason why Sam was mad at Pall ... she's been a bad influence on (sweet) Jane.

daniel  •  Link

Australian Susan?

what do you find of the "Antipodes," wherein there is much mirth, but no great matter else?

Pat  •  Link

The Antipodes. Richard Brome (written 1636), perhaps his best-known play, in which the central character is afflicted by a morbid obsession with travel and the exotic. In order to cure him, the other characters organize an elaborate charade to trick him into believing he has travelled to the other side of the world, and in the process are all forced to confront the idea of a society where everything is upside-down.

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

*The Antipodes, or, The World Turn'd Upside Down* Richard Brome comedy, 1636.

Excerpt from a modern synopsis by "Shakespeare's Globe Theatre" at

"Peregrine Joyless has been driven mad with his obsession to travel the world and so his family bring him to London for help. A famous doctor sets about curing Peregrine by pretending to take him to the Antipodes - or the world upside down - where lawyers beg not to be payed, deer pursue the hounds, women rule the men, and they keep their cats in cages from 'mice that would devour them else'."

The play, claims Clare Dover in the Sept. 9, 2000 number of the *British Medical Journal*, created "one of the first practicing psychiatrists on to the English stage."…

Remember Sam has just seen Brome's *The Joviall Crew* recently. Again, that was the last play performed before the Parliament closed the theaters.

Brome was a Caroline playwright and poet, who wrote not only about city issues (*The Antipodes* is an urban comedy) but also about the folk of the rural north, and about some oddball women.

Some more on Brome:

Australian Susan  •  Link

"Much mirth". Well, there's not much mirth around at the moment!Facing dreadful election - dire choice between 2 poor politicos and now we learn that Australians have to pass language test to be allowed to get into the UK (on BBC website yesterday). Makes us as cross as cats on a hot barbie. Sorry -off topic!
The play is concerned with topsy-turveydom, but Sam would have been very intrigued by Australian wildlife if he had ever seen any - pity he never commented on the cassowaries! What would he have made of kangaroos and platypuses?

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link

There is a complete scholarly text of
Brome and Heywood's *The Late Lancashire Witches* online at…

Gabriel Egan, who is the editor, also has links to the Non-Shakespeare Dramatic Database at the home page

as well as links to his other publications, from which section his edition of Heywood & Brome's play comes.

Bradford  •  Link

Sam very sanguine today---"all will be well as to that." No doubt, depending on the hour of writing, the clarifying effect of the drinks.

Jesse  •  Link

"wherein there is much mirth, but no great matter else"

Some of us might find much "great matter" in clever "mirth". The synopsis seems enticing. I wonder if there's a clue about Sam's sense of humor here or is he a typical man of his time?

john lauer  •  Link

Tom and Tom leave "without giving notice thereof to anybody, which puts us to a stand, but I fear them not."

To put to a stand, to stop; to arrest by obstacles or difficulties. --Webster (1913), via

Does this mean: Tom and Tom left without a word, which we can't explain, but we are not worried about them.

The meaning is not clear.

vicente  •  Link

"...So I paid her her wages and gave her 2s. 6d. over, and bade her adieu..." And he seems to think he is Mr Wonderful. Not bad TIP for all that delousing.
reminds me of an old farmer story.
one boy, one mans day work dun
Two boys, half boys day work dun
Three boys, nowt dun.

vicente  •  Link

Nice social comment....
"...going through the street we met with a mother and son, friends of my father's man, Ned's, who are angry at my father's putting him away, which troubled me and my father, but all will be well as to that…”
They no be knowing, that Paps does not even have an angel to show for his lifes work.
No wonder Ma be blankety blank.
Sam indicates that things will work out, I wonder? does he mean that the local poor house will supply a penny loaf and paliasse?

Pauline  •  Link

" uncle Thomas and his son Thomas being gone into the country without giving notice thereof to anybody...but I fear them not."
Uncle Thomas is the heir-at-law to Uncle Robert's estate and has claim on some properties not properly documented for direct willing by Uncle Robert to Sam and his father. These past days they have been settling with the Trice brothers. There is more ahead to come to agreement with Uncle Thomas and his son. It is reasonable that Sam express interest in their going quietly up to Brampton ahead of Mr. Pepys--even concern; but he probably feels confident that he and his father established their interests in all the various meetings they had before leaving Brampton after the funeral.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"All will be well as to that"
This could refer to their "troubled" consciences - meaning we shall soon push the niggling conscience out of sight. Or is that too cynical?
Maybe Sam and dad have plans to make things better? But certainly not of dad's immediate resources (lack thereof!). Maybe from the Great Legacy?? After all, they are in "great content" about this and it seems to have gone to probate with no problems, now they have satisfied the Trice faction.
"puts us to a stand"
I took that to mean they were flummoxed by this and could neither understand nor proceed, but are not bothered by this possibly underhand action - maybe because of the "great content" about the will being proved. Sort of None Can Touch Us Now! HA! kind of attitude.
"hardly forbear weeping"
Sam is genuinely fond of Jane, I'm sure.But is Elizabeth suspicious? Wonder if he discussed the 2/6d with her?

Australian Susan  •  Link

"Thurn & Taxis"
Were this great mail company operating internationally as early as this? Their story is amazing. For years I thought they were just a figment of Thomas Pynchon's imagination (see "The Crying of Lot 49" by Thomas Pynchon. Penguin, 1974, ISBN 0140037330)

Mary  •  Link

"propose a wife for Tom"

The question of a marriage for Tom has become urgent, it seems, as this is the second possible wife to have been proposed within the space of a few days. Possibly Father Pepys's departure for Brampton and the leaving of the running of the tailoring firm to Tom makes the matter more pressing; he will need a wife to oversee the domestic side of the family firm.

As to Sam's dismay at his father's precarious financial position, he's only too aware that, had papa died before his brother Robert, Sam would have inherited the burden of supporting the rest of the family on a long-term basis .... fractious mother, student John, disobedient Pall and less-than-promising Tom.

Mary  •  Link

"till he could hardly go" = till he could hardly walk.

Ruben  •  Link

if you are interested in "Thurn & Taxis" read at:
but in Sam’s days letters for London came by a irregular way. Probably by a ship send by his Lordship himself. It took whatever it took to overcome winds, etc.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

"yet I shall never have one to please us better in all things, and so harmless, while I live."

I read this slightly differently from you, Glyn. The phrase 'and so harmless' is set in apposition by the commas around it. If you remove it from the sentence, to me it means he never expects again to have another maid to please them better in all things. The 'and so harmless' is merely another phrase to describe the maid.

bradw  •  Link

friends of my father's man…who are angry…but all will be well as to that

Here’s another way to read this: Sam and Dad are confronted in the street with: “You’ve ruined my good fried Ned, who doesn’t deserve the bad name your dismissal has gotten him! You’re unfair and wicked” or words to that effect. Sam feels the sting a bit, being perhaps unused to hearing the consequences of such decisions, or perhaps guilty about Pall, Will and other dismissals. But he and Dad weigh the pros and cons (“must look after our own interests first,” or “it will shake the lazy ones up and make them better workers for their next master”) and conclude that these moves are for the best.

Gus Spier  •  Link

What is the economic situation at this juncture? Pall sent away, Jane sent away, Ned fired ... Are there droves of rovers in the countryside sleeping under hedgerows and tithing the fields?

Ann  •  Link

Why did Jane have to leave? Was this some sort of indenture? Is Momma sick?

Mary  •  Link

Jane's departure.

At this point, Jane Birch has been working for the Pepys family for 3 years; 2 years in Axe Yard and now a further year in Seething Lane. Her decision to leave their employ, which will become clearer later (small spoiler) is that her mother needs her help at home 'in the country'. We don't know which part of the country she came from.

Jane's younger brother, Wayneman, remains in Pepys's employ.

Pedro.  •  Link

The Antipodes, where are they?

From my perspective in the UK, I have always been led to believe that they were a group of Islands off the coast off New Zealand, and directly on the other side of the Globe. However, it now seems to be a general term for the whole of Australasia.
Is the term used by Annotators in other parts of the Globe to refer to their antipode?

Pauline  •  Link

"a general term for the whole of Australasia"
Interesting point, Pedro. I've made the correction: mine is now the Crozet Islands.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: the Antipodes

The American Heritage Dictionary says this:

1. Australia and New Zealand. Usually used informally.
2. A group of rocky islands of the southern Pacific Ocean southeast of New Zealand, to which they belong. They were discovered by British seamen in 1800 and are so named because they are diametrically opposite Greenwich, England.

Make the "A" lower-case, and you get this:

1. Any two places or regions that are on diametrically opposite sides of the earth.
2. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Something that is the exact opposite or contrary of another; an antipode.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Here we drank a great deal of wine.I too much"
Let us see if he is going to work tomorrow or if he has a headache or if he goes for the morning draft.

vicente  •  Link

On the 24th, I be a thinking that Our Sam was being a tad rebellious in his entry, like oh! well Manana [Portuguese version], he did not let on, that he has a couple of days to be a good ladd and get all the data that Sandwich needs. Remember, when he missed the boat, when His Lordship shipped out the first time. He had to find that special delivery the Dover sole [sorry Margate Hoy].
Of course he had the option to send his package by Hoy again,if Capt:Isham had to tack down the Thames as the wind could have come from Calais, and not from Richmond, [but I do not think that Sam would really risk that again.]

To day "...and there met and took leave of Mr. Fanshaw, who goes to-morrow and Captain Isham toward their voyage to Portugal..."
the 24th "... Home and there met Capt. Isham inquiring for me to take his leave of me, he being upon his voyage to Portugal, and for my letters to my Lord which are not ready...."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Little wonder Sam loves casting those growing stacks after seeing his beloved dad's net worth after a lifetime of honest, hard labor...

Thank God for Brampton, dear ole Uncle Robert, and his most timely exit. As Elizabeth is no doubt silently echoing, contemplating having the disapproving in-laws on her hands.

Hope Fanshaw makes the boat... "Farewell and ado to yoooou, fair Portugese ladies..." "Sam'l!? Mon Dieu!"

"Jest hepin gud ole Fany to da boat, honey...Oh, da boat's not here...Fany? Wheresa boat?..." "I...Dunno, Sam'l..."

Pedro.  •  Link

"Capt. Isham...he being upon his voyage to Portugal, and for my letters to my Lord which are not ready."

Presumedly the letters reach Monty by a third person? He would have left Alicante by now and is on his way to secure Tangier ready for the handover to Lord Peterborough in January next year. There is no evidence that he went to Portugal until the Queen was ready to set sail for England.

dirk  •  Link

"Thurn & Taxis"

Thurn & Taxis operated a connection Calais-London and a mail boat Dunkerque-Dover from somewhere around 1600 (could't find the exact dates). The "rapid" service over land Granada-Brussels was guaranteed to take no more than 15 days. I don't know about Alicante. In the 1600's T&T were responsible for postal services from Spain to the outside world (and vice versa), as far as Brussels, Prague, Vienna and Venice, as well as transit mail for Russia and Scandinavia.

dirk  •  Link

Thurn & Taxis and English mail

By sheer coincidence, data on mail volumes from Britain to the continent in 1661/1662 are still available in T&T archives. (It just happens that the average mail volume 1661/1662 was used at a later date as a reference for determining continental postage rates for British letters.)

Averages 1661/1662:

20 080 "single" letters (1/4 ounce),
1 777 "double" letters (1/2 ounce),
1 256 unspecified ounces of mail.

British mail would normally arrive in the port of Antwerp by mail boat (8 boats per month). There a first sorting took place: mail for north and central Europe and Italy was distributed further through Antwerp, mail for France and Spain went to Brussels (1/2 day away from Antwerp) and was sent through from there. There were normally 2 post rides a week.

We also know that e.g. the continental postage rate from Antwerp to Venice for a letter coming from Britain was 9d in 1678 -- to be added to the local postage in Britain itself in order to obtain the total cost for the sender -- so quite expensive really...

"De Post van Thurn und Taxis - La Poste des Tour et Tassis", Brussels, 1992

Bill  •  Link

"which puts us to a stand"

A STAND, a Pause or Stay, Doubt or Uncertainty.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘stand . . 6. A state of being unable to proceed in thought, speech, or action; a state of perplexity or nonplus. Nearly always in the phrases to be at a stand , to put to a stand . .
. . 1657 E. D'Oyley Let. 28 Feb. in Coll. State Papers J. Thurloe (1742) VI. 834 The prints telling me, that the heads of their people are..accounted conspirators..hath put me to some stand how to carry myself towards them.
1739 tr. C. Rollin Anc. Hist. (ed. 2) IV. 212 There is one point however that puts me to a stand . . ‘

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Samuel Pepys to Sandwich

Written from: Lincoln's Inn Fields

Date: 29 August 1661

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 73, fol(s). 585

Document type: Holograph

Mentions family news [see MS. Carte 73, fol. 581]. States that the present season is generally sickly both in town & country; "Even to a contagion, or very neere it" ... "The known Dr. Fuller (of the Holy War) is dead" ... "All but Church matters are very quiet, & them [sic], especially in Scotland, make great noise". Mentions the delay of the fleet for Lisbon, "through want of tidings from Portugal".…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I called in at the Crane tavern at the Stocks by appointment, and there met and took leave of Mr. Fanshaw, who goes to-morrow and Captain Isham toward their voyage to Portugal. "

Lyonel Fanshawe, secretary to his cousin Sir Richard Fanshawe, now going to Lisbon to prepare for the visit of Sandwich, who was to bring Charles II's bride to England. (L&M note)

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