Sunday 24 November 1661

(Lord’s day). Up early, and by appointment to St. Clement lanes to church, and there to meet Captain Cocke, who had often commended Mr. Alsopp, their minister, to me, who is indeed an able man, but as all things else did not come up to my expectations. His text was that all good and perfect gifts are from above. Thence Cocke and I to the Sun tavern behind the Exchange, and there met with others that are come from the same church, and staid and drank and talked with them a little, and so broke up, and I to the Wardrobe and there dined, and staid all the afternoon with my Lady alone talking, and thence to see Madame Turner, who, poor lady, continues very ill, and I begin to be afraid of her. Thence homewards, and meeting Mr. Yong, the upholster, he and I to the Mitre, and with Mr. Rawlinson sat and drank a quart of sack, and so I to Sir W. Batten’s and there staid and supped, and so home, where I found an invitation sent my wife and I to my uncle Wight’s on Tuesday next to the chine of beef which I presented them with yesterday. So to prayers and to bed.

33 Annotations

First Reading

Martin King  •  Link

"to St. Clement lanes to church"
Should that be St. Clement Danes, a well known London church?

dirk  •  Link

chine of beef

Purchased on saturday, will be eaten on tuesday. And no refrigeration! Lucky it's November, and probably cold enough in the cellar (or wherever) to preserve the meat. One more reason to slaughter the animals this time of year.

dirk  •  Link

Evelyn's diary today:

"This night his Majestie fell into discourse with me Concerning Bees &c"

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"but as all things else did not come to my expectations"
I know exactly what you mean Sam, the best plays,opera,poetry etc are in your head

Bradford  •  Link

"with Mr. Rawlinson sat and drank a quart of sack"

Your humble servant just went to the cupboard, thence to verify his recollections of English measure. If Sam means a quart (rather than using it as meaning "a fair amount"), that's 32 oz., or 946ml.

Your standard bottle of sack nowadays, as with wine, is 750ml. If the two men drank equal amounts, that would be about 473ml apiece. There's no way of knowing the alcohol content; but the famous brand which quotes Pepys on the label is 20.5%.

If your same humble servant drank almost two-thirds of a bottle of that stuff---not to mention everything else Sam downed this day---well, to quote Dorothy Parker, "One more drink and I'd have been under the host."

(Usual disclaimer pertains.)

There's an engraving of the portrait of Elizabeth, which matches the famous one of Sam by John Hayls, 1666---but the destruction of the original has surely been chronicled somewhere else on this site, and a link given to both likenesses. Search, and ye shall find.

vicente  •  Link

"...Quart of sack...": On a cold and dark 'knight', where Jack Frost be a visiting , I've been known to dispense a bottle of Jerez special blended in Bristol or a bottle of the man in a cape from Oporto or couple green bottles of Vinho Verde, with no ill effects, wot keeps me from the Law, may be is, finishing it off with a nice glass of Liquor amarguinha [Almond] serve chilled and sweetened with half a lemon and good dose of Turkish coffee that keeps me on me old pins.
So one {Sam] who is use to wetting his whistle before work, and imbibing at [wet dinner] the noon hour, it should not be a problem.

Bullus Hutton  •  Link

Madame Turner, who, poor lady, continues very ill, and I begin to be afraid of her..
I am suprised nobody has questioned Sam's being afraid "of" her, surely he means afraid "for" her?
After all, she is a cousin, and he's just come from church where he has learned that "all good and perfect gifts are from above" so one would expect a certain degree of sympatico!
Last time he saw her she was still suffering from the ague. Anyway, she must be almost 50 now, and survives to a ripe old 70 according to Vincente's background note.

Xjy  •  Link

"an invitation sent my wife and I"
Well, well, well, not even Sam gets it right. Good sign the case system is as good as dead even that long ago.
But he would have written "an invitation sent me to my uncle Wight's..."
I wonder... "an invitation sent his wife and he..." hmmm

Mary  •  Link

"afraid of her"

Probably no-one has questioned this usage because we have discussed it before.

Mary  •  Link

St. Clement's lane to church.

L&M note that this was St. Clement's in Eastcheap, a different church altogether.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and drank a quart of sack"
Vicente, I am afraid of your liver!!!

Ruben  •  Link

Chine of beef
keeping the meat in a cool cellar for a few days is the proper way of handling it. Specially if you want to roast it.

Pedro.  •  Link

"Licor amarguinha"

It is a good job Catarina will bring tea with her and not "Medronha", otherwise Sam may not have finished his diary, and Vincente could have ended up in the Antipodes!

Faux Guy  •  Link

These pseudonyms are very liberating!

"Getting and spending we lay waste our powers."

I observe young Sam is doing a lot of spending lately. First we have,
in late October, the altered lute: "there found my Theorbo done, which pleases me very well, and costs me 26s. to the altering." On Nov. 11, the lace:
"So to the Wardrobe, where I found my Lady had agreed upon a lace for my wife of 6l., which I seemed much glad of that it was no more, though in my mind I think it too much, and I pray God keep me so to order myself and my wife

dirk  •  Link

Hypercorrectness - "an invitation sent my wife and I"

Xjy, you say this is a "Good sign the case system is as good as dead even that long ago." Quite the contrary actually: the fact that Sam *doesn't* use the preposition "to" here, is a clear indication I think that he experiences this a "dative case" form.

Interestingly the opposite occasionally occurs in present day English: the inflected form surviving in grammatically correct writing (e.g. "whom"), and very few people left with that "natural feeling" when to use it correctly (and not "who").

Glyn  •  Link

If you click on St Clements, you'll see that it goes to an entry for St Clement's Eastcheap rather than St Clement's in the Strand, although no-one has written about it yet.

This raises a question that I've wondered about for a while. i.e. if Phil is not an expert on Pepys, then how does he always seem to know which place to link to? Similarly, if a diary entry only gives someone's surname the link usually gives their first names as well. Where is this information coming from?

vicente  •  Link

Most of those, that were of the writing types in 1600's, were schooled heavily by rote [rot, tommy] in that un-common lingua Latine, there by getting english in/on [dative or onto or into accusing] a tizzy, the object of ones sentence, be it direct [accusing ] or indirect [on the sly ] thereby it be dative. Therefore it would be in a muddle 'weather' it be it 'to' or 'for'.
So one gets upset when for e.g in lingua anglais. Mother says "did you give a money to the woman" or "did you give a money for the woman"; but in Latin it would be same pecuniam feminae dat in both cases, so in my limited view, one would sometimes misapply the word to/for.
Ablative would cause one to ablate trying 'to', 'by', 'from', 'in', 'against' or 'with':
there by one must read the writers mind and between the lines.
Femina est in aqua - 'woman is from the water'. or 'women is to water'
That is why we leave translating to reel Macadamins from one that has a hard time translating castra poenis.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

'a quart of sack'
Bradford - it's probably worse than you think. An American pint is 16 fl oz, so a quart is 32 fl oz, but an English pint is 20 fl oz so a quart is 40 fl oz - a whole cup more!

Peter  •  Link

It being Friday afternoon ...... What's the difference between Sam's favourite tipple and the sound made by an inebriated duck? ......One is a quart of sack,......

upper_left_hand_corner  •  Link

Jenny, british pints are indeed larger, but british fluid ounces are smaller than american fl.oz.

fluid ounce (Imperial) fl oz (Imp) ≡ 1/160 gal (Imp) = 28.413 062 5 mL

fluid ounce (U.S.) fl oz (US) ≡ 1/128 gal (US) = 29.573 529 562 5 mL

pint (U.S. fluid) pt (US fl) ≡ 1/8 gal (US) = 473.176 473 mL

pint (Imperial) pt (Imp) ≡ 1/8 gal (Imp) = 568.261 25 mL

quart (U.S. fluid) qt (US) ≡ 1/4 gal (US fl) = 0.946 352 946 L

quart (Imperial) qt (Imp) ≡ 1/4 gal (Imp) = 1.136 522 5 L

(from… )

More than 2/3 of a modern 750mL (which is smaller than the old 5th of a gallon anyway) bottle per person. Indeed worse than Bradford's estimate, but not quite as bad as you thought. Average wine is about 9-10% alcohol but these days with increased sugar in the grapes it's tending up toward 13% (watch out at those holiday parties!). There are about 3 wine-sized glasses per pint, give or take. 3 glasses of a 20% alcohol beverage would have the alcohol of about 6 glasses of regular wine! Tolerable if you're used to it, have a full stomach of food, and aren't driving, I suppose.

upper_left_hand_corner  •  Link

Oops, only 2 glasses of sack per person, I didn't see that the quart was being shared 3 ways (Mr. Yong, Mr. Rawlinson and Sam). Not so bad --- more like 4 standard servings of alcohol.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Upper left hand corner - interesting, but as the difference is only 1.1ml, and since a teaspoonful is about 5 ml, that means that an American pint is around 17.5 fluid ounces in Imperial measurements, so Sam would still have had more to drink than if he'd been drinking in US measures.

upper_left_hand_corner  •  Link

One imperial quart split 3 ways:

One-third of an imperial quart = 378.84 mL

One-third of a US quart = 315.45 mL

Difference of 2.23 Imp. fluid ounces. So yes, Jenny, as you said, somewhat more than US measures, by a little less than half a glass. And about 4 standard servings of alcohol, as I said (one shot of vodka = about 50 mL, sack about 1/2 the potency of vodka).

My point is that be it 4 or 6 standard servings, plus or minus half a serving, it is not an unusual amount to drink for a fellow accustomed to it -- beer comes in sixpacks for a reason, after all. Though you'd never find me indulging to that extent!

Becky Wallower  •  Link

Long after this conversation, could I just confirm that the church referred to is indeed St Clement Eastcheap, in Clements Lane. The rector at the time was Josiah Alsop, and the [Royal] Exchange and Sun Tavern just around the corner. Not far from Pudding Lane, St Clement's burned on the first day of the fire and was later rebuilt by Wren. Alsop died in the parish in 1666, a month after the Great Fire.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above," Epistle of James i. 17.
---Wheatley, 1899.

Bill  •  Link

"by appointment to St. Clement lanes to church"

The 1854 edition of the diary "deciphered by J. Smith" has "St. Clement Danes" and gives this annotation: "So called, because Harold, the Danish king, and others of his countrymen, were there buried."

Wheatly in his edition later in the century also reads "Danes." And he gives this annotation: "Richard Dukeson was the rector of the parish at this time."

There is an encyclopedia entry for St. Clement Danes Church:…

However, despite all this, Becky Wallower seems to have nailed it down to Eastcheap.

Bill  •  Link

Alsop, Josias, He was worried out of this Living by the troublesome Neighbourhood of the Garrison of Taunton, He out-liv'd the Usurpation and was at length Minister of St. Clement's-East-cheap, London.
---An Attempt Towards Recovering an Account of the Numbers and Sufferings of the Clergy of the Church of England. J. Walker, 1714.

bw  •  Link

quart of sack

Would it not be a quart of wine measure, and hence 32 oz? US liquid measure is derived from British wine measure.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

St Clement's, Eastcheap was just round the corner for Pepys.

St Clement Danes is well away from where Pepys lived and socialised casually, being at the Westminster end of Fleet Street, almost in the Strand. I sang there with The King's College London Music Society during the 1970s. The bells do (very delightfully) chime 'Oranges and Lemons', but as both of the current churches are Wren churches replacing older ones, and the rhyme is much older, the eponymy of the rhyme is disputed!……

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

A Imperial (British) quart today is 1.136 litres, a US quart is 0.946 litres. When and how the British and colonial measures diverged is another question.

In Pepys' day there were different measures for different goods. It seems that the American Gallon is the same as what used to be the "wine gallon", which implies that Pepys' company would have been drinking an American quart. The modern Imperial gallon of 4.54 litres was not defined until 1824, and was based on the older "ale gallon" of 4.62 litres.…

Bill  •  Link

QUART, an English Measure, the fourth Part of a Gallon.
GALLON [of Wine,] a measure containing eight Pints, or 231 solid inches.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

"The wine gallon contains 231 cubic inches."
"A gallon dry measure contains 268 4/5 cubic inches."
"The Ale Gallon contains 282 cubic or solid inches."
---A New System of Arithmetic. C.G. Burnham, 1841.

So, by Sasha's information above, a wine gallon is 4.62 x (231/282) litres = 3.78 liters. And a "quart of sack" (in Pepys's day) was .95 litres. Since an American quart is .946 litres, Sasha and bw have it exactly right. A wine gallon (or quart) in Pepys' day is the same as an American gallon (or quart).

The Burnham book (1841) makes no mention of an imperial gallon. Also an imperial gallon is 277.42 cubic inches.

Note that a "quart of sack" (at .95 litre) is not too much more than the standard .75 litre wine bottle of today.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Gayland" to Sandwich
Written from: Arzile [Arzilla, on coast of Morocco]
Date: 24 November/4 December 1661
Shelfmark: MS. Carte 73, fol(s). 633
Document type: Original

Renewed assurances of friendly dispositions and good offices towards the ships of King Charles II.

Carte Calendar Volume 32, June - December 1661
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Edward Edwards, 2005
Shelfmark: MS. Carte Calendar 32
Extent: 464 pages…


Abd Allah al-Ghailan (known to the English as Guyland or Gayland)…

Asilah, also known as Arzila, is one of the most picturesque and historic attractions in Morocco. It is located approximately 50 kilometers outside the city of Tangier and has been dated back to 1500 B.C.
The city was constructed by the Phoenicians as a trade post, but was later conquered by the Portuguese in the 15th century.
By 1549, John III had abandoned Asilah in the midst of an economic crisis and it was taken by Moulay Ismail in the year 1692.…

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.