Friday 27 September 1661

By coach to Whitehall with my wife (where she went to see Mrs. Pierce, who was this day churched, her month of childbed being out). I went to Mr. Montagu and other businesses, and at noon met my wife at the Wardrobe; and there dined, where we found Captain Country (my little Captain that I loved, who carried me to the Sound), come with some grapes and millons from my Lord at Lisbon, the first that ever I saw any, and my wife and I eat some, and took some home; but the grapes are rare things. Here we staid; and in the afternoon comes Mr. Edwd. Montagu (by appointment this morning) to talk with my Lady and me about the provisions fit to be bought, and sent to my Lord along with him. And told us, that we need not trouble ourselves how to buy them, for the King would pay for all, and that he would take care to get them: which put my Lady and me into a great deal of ease of mind. Here we staid and supped too, and, after my wife had put up some of the grapes in a basket for to be sent to the King, we took coach and home, where we found a hampire of millons sent to me also.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Stolzi  •  Link

Ooh! A hamper of melons!

The High Life for Sam and Mrs.

Wonder what kind of melons he means.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Lord Sandwich in kindly mode while no doubt relishing his new status with the King...Fetching his Queen no less.

Nice of him to remember Sam. And Bethie must have got a charge out of preparing a basket of goodies for delivery to good ole Charlie.

Bradford  •  Link

Or just what sort of grapes good enough to earn the epithet "rare."
Can the historically minded explain what it means for a woman, late delivered of a child, to be "churched"?

Kate S  •  Link

"Churching" after childbirth was the first time that the new mother attended church after the birth of her child. It was seen as either a time of thanksgiving that the woman had survived, or by some as a purification of the woman. In some cases it also marks the re-entry of the woman into normal social activity. While new mothers would receive visitors in their home, they would not tend to engage in social activities outside the home until they were churched.

Here's a pointer to service from 100 years before Samuel's time, but the spirit of it lived on for many centuries. This is separate from the christening of the child.…

daniel  •  Link

hamper of millons

i wonder too how much a hamper of them would be! not too many one would hope, regardless of their scarcity.

Pauline  •  Link

hamper of millons
1. A large basket or wickerwork receptacle, with a cover, generally used as a packing-case. In earlier times a case or casket generally; but from 1500 usually of wickerwork.
...1661 PEPYS Diary 27 Sept., We found a hampire of millons sent to me also. 1666 Ibid. 21 Sept., A hamper of bottles of wine....

Kilroy  •  Link

hamper of milons

My best information is that a hamper is somewhere between 1/2 and 1 bushel. With an American grocery bag being about 2/3 bushel; that's around 15-30 melons. (What kind? I've heard that "Honeydew's the money melon!" but I'm figuring the melon's were the size of today's grapefruit.)

So with melons going for 5 to 6 shillings a piece would make Sam's gift from his lord to be between 75 to 180 shillings. Or 360 to 860 in 2002 pounds.

If my rough conversions are correct then Sam got I nice acknowledgment from his lord, no?

Brian  •  Link

"for the King would pay for all" Let's hope that the King remembers to lives up to this arrangement!

JWB  •  Link

from Colonial Williamsburg
"John Randolph, in A Treatise on Gardening (1793) list the "Portugal or Pocket Melon," writing that it also has been called by the name of "King Charles's Melon, because he used to carry one in his pocket,..."

Eric Walla  •  Link

In other words, is that a melon in your pocket ...

... or are you just glad to ... oh, never mind.

Nice link, Kate, on the Churching of Women!

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

The churching of women took place well into the twentieth century - I remember my sister in law going to this service after my nephew was born in 1963.

Australian Susan  •  Link

My brother was churching women until well into the 70s. With the introduction of the new service book in the Church of England (1980), the service was transformed into the Thanksgiving After the Birth of a Child. This service is used for either church going mums for when they first come to church with the child or as an alternative rite of passage for those who want "something" in church, but whodon't want (or the priest refuses)the sacrament of baptism.
Interesting that Sam refers to this with no comment. Churching would not have taken place in Commonwealth times: it was seen to have "papist" influences and too much concerned with penitence and cleansing. Here in Australia, our Anglican Church has a Thanksgiving for the birth of a child service. Does the American Episcopal Church?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Prayer Books
In the life of the Diary, the Church of England is about to issue the 1662 Prayer Book (still authorised for use today) which became the standard form throughout the Anglican Communion into the mid 20th century and an esxtremely influential and important book.It was essentially similar to the Elizabethan prayer book for which Pauline provides a link above.

vicente  •  Link

For those that want to know the teachings of the Anglican church 1600's…
"Proper Lessons to Be Read
for the First Lessons Both at Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer on the Sundays throughout the Year, and for Some Also the Second Lessons"
to be red and on wot sundaes:…
I be a Deist?? maybe? not know which Sunday be which Sunday:

Terry F  •  Link

Oldenburg to Spinoza, September 27, 1661

MOST EXCELLENT FRIEND, -- Your learned letter has been delivered to me, and read with great pleasure. I highly approve of your geometrical method of proof, but I must set it down to my dulness, that I cannot follow with readiness what you set forth with such accuracy....
I will send the book [Robert Boyle's The Sceptical Chymist,] I promised
[… ], whenever the Dutch Ambassadors send (as they frequently do) a messenger to the Hague, or whenever some other friend whom I can trust goes your way. I beg you to excuse my prolixity and freedom, and simply ask you to take in good part, as one friend from another, the straightforward and unpolished reply I have sent to your letter, believing me to be without deceit or affectation,

Yours most faithfully,
HENRY OLDENBURG [Secretary of The Royal Society]
London, 27 Sept., 1661.…

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"comes Mr. Edwd. Montagu (by appointment this morning) to talk with my Lady and me about the provisions fit to be bought, and sent to my Lord along with him"

A month ago, August 27, Sam and "my Lady" were discussing the "Mr. Edward Montagu" who was spending "5000l. for my Lord’s departure for Portugal". The annotation said this "Edward" was Sandwich's young son Hinchingbrooke, but I argued for Ned. Here the discussion continues between them and we see that it is indeed Ned. And, slight spoiler alert, they were right to be worried about his ability to handle large amounts of money.

Bill  •  Link

"she went to see Mrs. Pierce, who was this day churched, her month of childbed being out"

The Thanksgiving of Women after CHILD-BIRTH, Commonly called, The Churching of Women.
The Woman at the usual time after her Delivery, shall come into the Church decently apparrelled, and there shall kneel down in some convenient place, as hath been accustomed, or as the Ordinary shall direct: And then the Priest shall say unto her,
Inasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his goodness to give you safe deliverance and hath preserved you in the great danger of Childbirth you shall therefore give hearty thanks unto God and say, ... [etc, etc.]
---The Book of Common Prayer, 1687

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘churching, n.
1. The public appearance of a woman at church to give thanks after childbirth; the ceremony performed at this time. Also: an instance of this. Now chiefly hist.The churching ceremony typically takes place on the fortieth day after the birth, as a reference to the Purification of the Virgin Mary in accordance with Mosaic Law (see Luke 2:22-40, Leviticus 12:2-8). It is usually the first time after the birth the woman may take Communion. The ceremony has been largely discontinued in the Western Church, but still takes place in some Eastern churches.
. . 1552 Bk. Common Prayer (STC 16279) Churchynge of Women sig. R.iv (heading) , The thankes geuing of women after childe birth, commonly called the Churchynge of women . . ‘

‘ . . 1667 M. A. F. Fox Touch-stone 70 The like may be said also of their Churching women, and Marrying people with Rings: but it appeareth that the main end of these Practices, are to get money of people.’

AndreaLouise Hanover  •  Link

Melons are staple fruit in South Africa, Prefer the orange over the green though.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"at noon met my wife at the Wardrobe; and there dined, where we found Captain Country (my little Captain that I loved, who carried me to the Sound)"

Richard Country had left Lisbon in 13 September with letters for the Duke of York. In May 1659 he had carried Pepys in the Hind to the Baltic with private letters to Mountagu. Pepys was in 1679 to be the means of having him preferred to the sinecure position of gunner on the Royal Charles. (L&M note)

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