Friday 15 November 1661

At home all the morning, and at noon with my wife to the Wardrobe to dinner, and there, did shew herself to my Lady in the handkercher that she bought the lace for the other day, and indeed it is very handsome. Here I left my wife and went to my Lord Privy Seal to Whitehall, and there did give him a copy of the Fees of the office as I have received them, and he was well pleased with it. So to the Opera, where I met my wife and Captain Ferrers and Madamoiselle Le Blanc, and there did see the second part of “The Siege of Rhodes” very well done; and so by coach set her home, and the coach driving down the hill through Thames Street, which I think never any coach did before from that place to the bridge-foot, but going up Fish Street Hill his horses were so tired, that they could not be got to go up the hill, though all the street boys and men did beat and whip them. At last I was fain to send my boy for a link, and so light out of the coach till we got to another at the corner of Fenchurch Street, and so home, and to bed.

15 Nov 2004, 11:34 p.m. - Australian Susan

"all the street boys and men did whip and beat them" Interesting that it doesn't occur to Sam to get out of the coach and walk up the hill to relieve the horses, nor that it was cruel to whip and beat them excessively. Who would all these street boys and men be? Just hanging about? Link boys? Messengers? Hawkers? Slightly anachronistic note: that children's classic Black Beauty was written solely to promote better treatment for the cab horses of London and was sponsered by the fledgling RSPCA, which also got the profits from the author, Anna Sewell. The hackney coach horeses of London town had another 300 years of beatings before they got a champion.

15 Nov 2004, 11:39 p.m. - RexLeo

"...did shew herself to my Lady in the handkercher that she bought the lace for the other day," For a new mother my Lady seems to have awful lot of time to spare - I wonder how much face time each kid in those days had with their mother?

15 Nov 2004, 11:59 p.m. - Bradford

Makes one hope that one wasn't a draft horse in a former life or, for that matter, in a future one. Mighty the difficulty explain why this maneuver had been wisely avoided before?

16 Nov 2004, 2:46 a.m. - dirk

John Evelyn's diary entry for today: "I dind with the Duke of Ormond: his Grace told me there were no Moules in Ireland, nor any Ratts

16 Nov 2004, 2:46 a.m. - vicente

Sam has not said that he has seen part 1 ... note to entry:"The first English professional actress was Mrs. Coleman, who acted Ianthe in Davenant

16 Nov 2004, 2:49 a.m. - vicente

Thats wot 'appens when ye take the wrong way."...down the hill through Thames Street, which I think never any coach did before from that place to the bridge- foot, but going up Fish Street Hill his horses were so tired,..." impatient lot.

16 Nov 2004, 3:02 a.m. - vicente

"...there did give him a copy of the Fees of the office as I have received them, and he was well pleased with it..." plays it by the book, [money bees like 'oney, it sticks] Sam has his eyes on the long hawl. render unto the Kaiser, Kaisers share, render unto self mine, or summert like that. Sam must have learnt 'is lessons well at St Pauls. Pecunia non satiat avaritiam, sed inritat. by one Syrus , maxims money doesn't satisfy greed, just [****** ****] aggravates it

16 Nov 2004, 6:19 a.m. - Grahamt

Re: John Evelyn's diary: It sounds like the Duke of Ormond has kissed the Blarney stone, and the scientifically minded Evelyn has taken it all in. If a Duke says it, it must be true...

16 Nov 2004, 7 a.m. - Roger Arbor

Fish Street Hill is, yes a hill. It still causes the daily commuters to puff a bit if they walk up it at any pace. The London Marathon each year passes its foot...

16 Nov 2004, 8:27 a.m. - Firenze

Lace hanky: I am assuming Elizabeth is sporting something shawl-like round her neck and shoulders deeply trimmed with her 120/- worth of lace, rather than a few inches of cambric. 'Kerchief' and its compounds is an interesting study: only 'hand-kerchief' seems to have survived to the present. But 'neck-kerchief' was still going in Victorian times. Anyone any information on what a Restoration hanky (as opposed to hanky-panky) would have been like/used for?

16 Nov 2004, 8:57 a.m. - Mary

Lace handkercher. Quite a cunning use for an expensive piece of lace. It will catch the eye and draw attention away from the less glamorous habit beneath; perhaps Milady quietly recognises that Sam won't be persuaded to renew Elizabeth's entire wardrobe at one go, so this represents the best 'bargain' at present.

16 Nov 2004, 9:01 a.m. - Mary

casual labour in the streets. A common feature of London and other towns well into the 19th century. Small sums could be earned by carrying luggage, holding a horse whilst the rider stopped to call in somewhere, taking messages, helping to push an overladen cart ..... all manner of small services.

16 Nov 2004, 6:41 p.m. - A. De Araujo

"casual labour in the streets" Still very much in evidence at least in New York,"squishy" guys who clean your windshield if u want it or not,and in Brazil street kids that will keep an eye on your parked car for a tip and you better give it otherwise next time you that is your car will be sorry.

16 Nov 2004, 8:31 p.m. - vicente

"casual labour in the streets", it is world over. Streets of California have collection points for those wishing to earn their way, some zones have even provided school {language enhancement) to those that fail to get work that day. Lisbon down town have car watchers, along with other cities in this world where the wealth is available to trickle down fart'h'ing at a time..

16 Nov 2004, 10:24 p.m. - JonTom Kittredge

"I wonder how much face time each kid in those days had with their mother?" For someone of the Sandwiches' class, my guess is that, by our standards, not much. I believe that the custom for wealthy families was to give a child to a wet nurse. When weaned, it would be put in the charge of a regular nurse. It seems as if, at this time, child-rearing was seen as menial labor that, like cooking, should be left to servants, if one had them. In the cult of the family that grew up in the later 18th C, mothering was idealized, and women were expected to be more involved with their children. I'm not sure how much affect that had on the actual lives of upper-class children, though. They still seem to have spent most of their time with nurses, governesses and other servants, with an hour or two with mother before their tea. I don't think that the young W Churchill was unusual in regarding his mother as a beautiful "butterfly," who dwealt in another world.

17 Nov 2004, 12:19 a.m. - Robert Gertz

Sam may have simply forgotten to mention he of course got out and walked up the hill...He seems to be someone who has the normal feeling for animals. God, I hope it (the "handkerchef") was a decent piece of wardrobe after all the griping Sam did about it... The Montague girls seem very affectionate, sweet kids without much haughtiness who have kept a firm place in Sam's heart...I doubt they would be so unless our Lady Jemina was a pretty fine mother.

17 Nov 2004, 1:45 a.m. - Bradford

Anent Milady's proxy refurbishing of Elizabeth's wardrobe, one wonders how long Sam will defer to this, so to speak, petticoat government. re "p.g.": DISCLAIMER: I did not invent nor do I approve of the ulterior connotations of that term. Here is the address to complain to:

17 Nov 2004, 1:49 a.m. - Pauline

"Sam may have simply forgotten to mention he of course got out and walked up the hill..." Except that Elizabeth is with him and all dressed up in her new "handkercher." I read "so by coach set her home" to refer to dropping Mme Le Blanc off at the Wardrobe.

17 Nov 2004, 3:47 a.m. - vicente

Life, animal or 'uman, is not that highly regarded, yes, books give lip service, but in practice, it takes 2nd place except when it is our hide, and when it is used to impress those that Must be impressed. Why should they be nice to old nags when men would drag 'umans to Tyburn and put a noose then"....." etc., take his belongings before he expired then put 'is noodle on a pole. It would be entertainment to get those beasts of burden especially if they are nearly ready for the Nackers [glue etc.] yard., just like Bedlam on a Sunday afternoon. so don't expect any out cry like the one, one hears over Reynard in todays world. 'tis why the old saying " dont worry about flogging a dead horse."

17 Nov 2004, 4:07 a.m. - vicente

'I wonder how much face time each kid in those days had with their mother' ??? The same mix as now , Some kids be wanted, some be found under under the goose gog bush. some be on the Rubbish heap getting scraps. some be getting farthings for lighting the way, then sleeping in some nook and cranny. Some be mothers little pets, others be under peds. {feet} some be spoiling maters figure, Some pater will need some to keep the old blud line a running. some be entertaining as they do today. The odds of surviving to be a somebody was very slim.

17 Nov 2004, 4:50 a.m. - Australian Susan

Wet nurses etc. The upper class practice of putting children to a wet nurse meant that the contraceptive efect of breastfeeding was lost. If you had an uxorious husband, this would result in repeated, rapid pregnancies. Antonia Fraser in her book on women in the 17th century (The weaker vessel )worked out that Henrietta Maria (Charles I's wife) was almost constantly pregnant (she had several miscarriages). Charles was known for his devotion to his wife and disdain for those who kept mistresses, but one wonders if the queeen might have liked some relief...! Lucy Hutchinson was thought to be really weird to want to breastfeed her own babies. The most recent biographer of Sam (Claire Tomalin) has also written an excellent biog of Jane Austen. In this she refers to the many children fathered by Jane's brothers (except two who fathered none) and a family of cousins who had 19 children - JA said they really should have separate bedrooms. JA was bought up till the age of 2 by a village family with daily visits from mother.

17 Nov 2004, 4:57 a.m. - Australian Susan

Lucy Hutchinson Sorry, did not reference her: wife of important Puritan during Civil War and Interregnum period. See and (scroll down for picture)

18 Nov 2004, 4:39 a.m. - Jenny Doughty

Susan - yes, but according to Claire Tomalin's biography of Jane Austen, Mrs Austen made it a practice to breastfeed all her own babies for the first three months before she gave them over to the wet nurse, and in fact Jane had a little longer with her mother than most of the Austen children. An excellent (but out of print, sadly) book on the history of child care practices is Christina Hardyment's 'Dream Babies', which I think a library could probably get hold of if anybody is interested.

20 Nov 2004, 9:39 p.m. - Grahamt

Wet Nursing: A wet nurse would be a luxury only a few could afford. As well as paying the women for her services, food and board would need to be provided so that she was always on hand for demand feeding. Little is said of the woman's own child. After all, she wouldn't be nursing if she hadn't just had a child of her own. This child would get "second helpings" though of course the mother's milk supply would naturally increase according to the demand, just as the mother of twins' does. On the other hand, with high infant mortality, one might expect that there would be grieving mothers who would make the best of a bad situation by becoming suurogate mothers to upper class children. See Shakespeare's Juliet's Nurse to see how the nurse is more like a modern mother to her, than Juliet's actual mother is.

20 Nov 2004, 10:07 p.m. - Grahamt

Handkerchers: It seems from reading Moll Flanders (Daniel Defoe: 1722, but set in 17th century) that dresses were very low cut and the handkerchief around the shoulders was a way of protecting a woman's modesty. Lace would allow something to be glanced but not too much as to appear wanton. Certainly, the removal of the handkerchief in Moll Flanders and Fanny Hill (Cleland, 1749) was the prelude to "Hanky Panky" (Apt, as the colloquial English for handkerchief is hanky)

16 Nov 2014, 5:45 p.m. - john

Draft horses had a better life (urban and rural) in that they seem to have been reasonably fed and cared for. Urban carriage horses were treated horribly. I recall reading that over 40 dead horses were removed daily in late 19th century New York City and that most were worked to death in three years. I suspect that same in London. The coming of the horseless carriage eliminated much suffering and cruelty.

5 Mar 2021, 5:42 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"Here I left my wife and went to my Lord Privy Seal to Whitehall, and there did give him a copy of the Fees of the office as I have received them, and he was well pleased with it." L&M: Cf. the accounts of receipts from Privy Seal fees dated 1 October, and covering 15 March - 1 July 1661 in Rawl. A 174, ff. 259+ (in an unidentified clerk's hand).