Sunday 29 September 1661

(Lord’s day). To church in the morning, and so to dinner, and Sir W. Pen and daughter, and Mrs. Poole, his kinswoman, Captain Poole’s wife, came by appointment to dinner with us, and a good dinner we had for them, and were very merry, and so to church again, and then to Sir W. Pen’s and there supped, where his brother, a traveller, and one that speaks Spanish very well, and a merry man, supped with us, and what at dinner and supper I drink I know not how, of my own accord, so much wine, that I was even almost foxed, and my head aked all night; so home and to bed, without prayers, which I never did yet, since I came to the house, of a Sunday night: I being now so out of order that I durst not read prayers, for fear of being perceived by my servants in what case I was. So to bed.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Bob T  •  Link

I being now so out of order that I durst not read prayers, for fear of being perceived by my servants in what case I was. So to bed.

I like this guy, because who hasn't been there and done that?

daniel  •  Link


Good one, Sam!
pity it is about two hundred years before the developement of aspirin.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

So much for good intentions about not drinking...
The flesh is weak, Sam. But then, good food, good company et al...

AlanB  •  Link

Almost foxed ..... but not quite! Is this a blood sport?

Given the state in which Sam falls into bed he cannot be writing his journal this night either. And neither is Vincent making any postings.

Pedro.  •  Link

"I drink I know not how, of my own accord"

Wish I'd thought of that excuse!

(Bem Vindo, the nome of Vincente has snuck back in on the 16th!)

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "I being now so out of order that I durst not read prayers, for fear of being perceived by my servants in what case I was."

This provides an interesting glimpse into the Sunday night routine at the Pepys household ... Sam, as head of said household, apparently leads everyone, even the servants, in Sunday prayers. I had not realized this. With my more-modern view of religion as a personal matter, I'd assumed that this was something he did alone, or perhaps with Elizabeth.

I wonder what excuse he gave to the staff? Maybe Elizabeth had to "call-in sick" for him?

So, if he was too drunk/buzzed to lead the Sunday prayers, I wonder what the definition of "foxed" is? Passed-out/falling-down drunk?

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

I was even almost foxed..
Interesting to note that the last time he admitted to being foxed was April 23 (Coronacion Day, when he was foxed to the point of actually hurling, whilst sharing a bed with the hapless Shepley) and is again contrite; he does't seem to mind being merrily kettled most of the time, but draws the line at being totally potted!

David  •  Link

Webster's uses this very passage to define foxed:

Fox \Fox\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Foxed; p. pr. & vb. n. Foxing.] [See Fox, n., cf. Icel. fox imposture.] 1. To intoxicate; to stupefy with drink.

I drank . . . so much wine that I was almost foxed. --Pepys.

Mary  •  Link

Household prayers.

This was a practice that continued well into the 20th century in some middle and upper class households in the British Isles. All household staff (no matter how few or how many) would be expected to be present for a formal, usually short, reading of prayers together, proceedings being conducted by the head of the household.

Linda Camidge  •  Link

Foxed - polite variant of f***ed? Is this possible? Or do we have to wait for the Victorians to invent suchlike nonsense?

Mary  •  Link


Sorry to disappoint you, but no. This is transitive use of the vb. to fox: to intoxicate, befuddle with drink.

This meaning derives from the red face that can result from an excess of alcohol, hence resembling the colour of the fox's coat.

Second Reading

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Not so foxed that he don't know that he's foxed! :D

TMN  •  Link

I was foxed last night. It is easy to do on vacation

Bill  •  Link

"I was even almost foxed"

To FOX one, to make him drunk
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Linda Camidge, I think you're right and "foxed" was an antecedent to today's appellation, even if it did have a specific meaning in Sam's day. Words have a way of morphing and this is too good to deny.

Cara  •  Link

As an Englishwoman and a Londoner born less than 5 miles from where Sam lived, I read the entry and 'foxed' immediately said to me that Sam was confused and somewhat out of his head. That to me is the meaning of the word today. As Louise says, words have a way of morphing and English is a living language. I'm absolutely certain Elizabeth would have made some excuse for his non-appearance at prayers. I'm also absolutely certain that none of the servants would have believed the excuse!

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Discoloured sheets in books and manuscripts are also described as "foxed". The discolouration, typically brown, is known as "foxing".

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Do you mean it wasn't for cleverness that I outfoxed my friends last night?

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘foxed, adj. 1. Intoxicated, drunk, stupefied.
1611 L. Barry Ram-Alley iv. i, in W. C. Hazlitt Dodsley's Select Coll. Old Eng. Plays (1875) X. 335 They will bib hard; they will be fine sunburnt, Sufficient fox'd or columber'd, now and then . . ‘

‘fox, v. < fox n.
. . 2. a. trans. To intoxicate, befuddle . .
. . 1660 S. Pepys Diary 26 Oct. (1970) I. 274 The last of whom I did almost fox with Marget ale . . ‘

‘fox-mine-host n. Obs.
1622 J. Mabbe tr. M. Alemán Rogue i. iii. ii. 194 They may afterwards play at Foxe mine Host, or some other Drinking Game at Cards or Dice for their recreation.’

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Good food and laughter, in safety with friends and family ... Pegg Penn will remember these happy times with dear Elizabeth, who helped her get a pretty dress, and good old Uncle Sam, being carefree and funny, in later days.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Today is Michaelmas Day -- which marks the new year in legal, agricultural, educational, and civic affairs in England. It's also a Quarter Day.

About this time almanacs were also becoming popular, and in 1661 one was printed called:
"The twelve moneths, or, A pleasant and profitable discourse of every action, whether of labour or recreation, proper to each particular moneth branched into directions relating to husbandry, as plowing, sowing, gardening, planting, transplanting ... as also, of recreations as hunting, hawking, fishing, fowling, coursing, cockfighting: to which likewise is added a necessary advice touching physick ...: lastly, every moneth is shut up with an epigrame: with the fairs of every month"

This says farmers calculated the number of floods that would occur in the coming year: “They say, so many dayes old the Moon is, on Michaelmas Day, so many Floods after.”

Hopefully this year there aren't many days between the last full moon and September 29.

More about Michaelmas Day at…

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