Sunday 1 December 1661

(Lord’s day). In the morning at church and heard Mr. Mills. At home dined and with me by appointment Mr. Sanchy, who should have brought his mistress, Mrs. Mary Archer, of Cambridge, but she could not come, but we had a good dinner for him. And so in the afternoon my wife went to church, and he and I stayed at home and drank and talked, and he stayed with me till night and supped with me, when I expected to have seen Jack Cole and Lem. Wagstaffe, but they did not come.

We this day cut a brave collar of brawn from Winchcombe which proves very good, and also opened the glass of girkins which Captain Cocke did give my wife the other day, which are rare things.

So at night to bed.

There hath lately been great clapping up of some old statesmen, such as Ireton, Moyer, and others, and they say, upon a great plot, but I believe no such thing; but it is but justice that they should be served as they served the poor Cavaliers; and I believe it will oftentimes be so as long as I live, whether there be cause or no.

This evening my brother Tom was with me, and I did talk again to him about Mr. Townsend’s daughter, and I do intend to put the business in hand. I pray God give a good end to it.

37 Annotations

First Reading

Nix  •  Link

"collar of brawn" --

OED says "brawn" may refer generally to "The muscle or flesh of animals as food", but especially pork:

"3. spec. The flesh of the boar. (Often defined as "brawn of a boar", even in 16th c.) In recent use, the flesh of a boar (or swine), collared, boiled, and pickled or potted. [With the restriction of application we may compare the restriction of bacon, a deriv. of back, to the cured back and sides of the pig.]

“1377 LANGL. P. Pl. B. XIII. 62 Wombe-cloutes and wylde braune & egges yfryed with grece. c1386 CHAUCER Frankl. T. 526 Brawen of the tusked swyn. c1440 Promp. Parv. 48 Brawne of a bore, aprina. c1460 Towneley Myst. 89 Lay furthe of oure store, Lo here browne of a bore. 1570 LEVINS Manip. 44 Brawne, caro callata, aprina, callum. 1614 MARKHAM Cheap Husb. (1623) 129 The best feeding of a Swine for Larde, or a Boare for Brawne. 1641 MILTON Animadv. (1851) 200 Is a man therefore noon to Brawn, or Beefe? a1704 T. BROWN Pleas. Ep. Wks. 1730 I. 110 Private deliberations over brawn and guest-ale. 1781 Westm. Mag. II. 47 This turban for my head is collar’d brawn! 1828 SOUTHEY Ep. A. Cunningham, Whether ham, bacon, sausage, souse or brawn.”

Note the use in this definition of “collared”, as Samuel uses it. OED elaborates on this sense of “collar” —

“19. Cookery. {dag}a. The neck-piece (of brawn). Obs. b. A piece of meat (esp. brawn), a fish, etc., tied up in a roll or coil.

“1610 B. JONSON Alch. IV. i, What do you say to a collar of brawn, cut down Beneath the souse? 1617 MINSHEU Ductor, Collar, or necke of brawne..because it is onely the necke of a Boare. c1645 HOWELL Lett. (1650) I. 115 He intends to send you a whole brawn in collers. 1681 J. CHETHAM Angler’s Vade-m. xxxix. (1689) 266 You may serve it [eel] either in collars or in round slices. 1796 H. GLASSE Cookery xviii. 290 Lay..salt over the salmon; so roll it up into a collar, and bind it with broad tape. 1814 BYRON Let. to Moore 9 Apr., A collar of brawn which I swallowed for supper.”

Or as a verb —

“6. Cookery. a. "To roll up (a piece of meat, a fish, etc.) and bind it hard and close with a string" (J.); b. to cut up and press into a roll (see COLLARED 4).

“c1670 MS. Cookery Bk., To Coller Pigg. 1741 Compl. Fam.-Piece I. ii. 149 To collar a Breast of Veal. 1769 MRS. RAFFALD Eng. Housekpr. (1778) 43 To collar Mackarel. Ibid. 303 To collar Beef.”

Bob T  •  Link

Could this brawn have been the same stuff that I was given when I was a kid? It was small pieces of meat that had been boiled until the liquid turned to jelly. It was then cut into slices, and I got it between two slices of bread so that I couldn't see what I was eating. This was because I was convinced that it was made from the brains of dead animals. You can probably still get it at a deli.

I was surprised to read that Sam described gerkins as rare. Maybe it was the dill that made them so.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...they should be served as they served the poor Cavaliers."

How quickly we forget cheering at the King's beheading, eh Samuel?

dirk  •  Link

"and I believe it will oftentimes be so as long as I live, whether there be cause or no"

It's this kind of reflections that touches me - and makes Sam's diary such interesting reading, not merely from a historical point of view.

Pauline  •  Link

"his mistress, Mrs. Mary Archer, of Cambridge"
Having strove to preserve Mary's reputation a few days ago, let's stive some more. Here is a definition from OED for "mistress":

6. a. A woman loved and courted by a man; a female sweetheart. Obs.
By the late 19th cent. this usage was generally avoided as liable to be mistaken for sense 7 [our knee-jerk 'long-lasting sexual relationship/not married' sense].

...c1450 (c1375) CHAUCER Anelida & Arcite 251 Me, that ye calden your maistresse, Your sovereyne lady in this world here. 1509 S. HAWES Pastime of Pleasure (1845) xviii. 83 You are my lady, you are my masteres, Whome I shall serve with all my gentylnes. a1616 SHAKESPEARE Two Gent. (1623) IV. iv. 174, I giue thee this For thy sweet Mistris sake, because thou lou'st her. 1697 DRYDEN tr. Pastorals III, in Virgil Wks. 14 To the dear Mistress of my Love-sick Mind, Her Swain a pretty Present has design'd. 1702 Clarendon's Hist. Rebellion I. I. 11 How Gallant..a thing it would be, for his fetch home his Mistris...

Nix  •  Link

"girkins ... which are rare things" --

I take Samuel to mean "rare" in the sense of unusually good, not scarce or seldom encountered.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"cheering at the King's beheading"
Although Sam was present at Charles's execution, we do not know whether he really even approved of this final act, however much of a republican he was as a teenager. It is clear, however, that he disapproved of Charles as a ruler.

vicente  •  Link

Nix: girkins/ghirkins: your version does makes eminent sense, The Name of the pickler may be the problem [ See Salt by Mark Kurlansky Page 175/6 Solenye Orgursy (salted Cucumber}…

Pickle history began sometime around 2030 B.C., when inhabitants of Northern India brought cucumber seeds to the Tigris Valley.

vicente  •  Link

Charles did spoil the word Mistress. I do think that it was he that gave the word a lesser demeaning use. This King did great disservice to all. It was the female form of Master: For those of the middling sort. The strata being being Queen, Princess, Lady, Mistress and woman. [ the call being The queen and her Consort, Princess and her Prince, Lady and her Lord,Gentlemen and his Wife, Master and his Mistress, then finally, Man and his woman.]

vicente  •  Link

One is known by the company one keeps , and I note that Sam's morning draft, midday, and evening entertainment crowd has change to a more affluent group.

Clement  •  Link

Re: dirk's "it will oftentimes be so"
That was precisely my reaction, and it feels that in these moments Sam steps out of the 'story' and stands beside us, making observations about human intercourse that will be ever timely, not just during his lifetime.
It is an aside to a humanist audience, before he turns back to acting in the play of his times.

When so much of the politico-religioius activity of the time (indeed of all time) seemed utterly unjust and amorally self-serving, Sam's statement echoes humanist sentiments of historical literature from many sources across the eons, all slightly colored with melancholy, as the tolerance and intellectual curiosity that underpin them rarely characterized the politically controlling zeitgeist of their eras.

Xjy  •  Link

Humanist historians
"When so much of the politico-religioius activity of the time (indeed of all time) seemed utterly unjust and amorally self-serving, Sam's statement echoes humanist sentiments of historical literature from many sources across the eons, all slightly colored with melancholy, as the tolerance and intellectual curiosity that underpin them rarely characterized the politically controlling zeitgeist of their eras.”

That would be true and beautiful, Clement, if the “tolerance” wasn’t so often a tolerance for the lousy system in which they live and the “melancholy” wasn’t a stoic resignation to putting up with the perks and fleshpots of academic security and celebrity. (I’m not concerned here with the academic drudges condemned to toil for ever in the chalk mines with only the occasional flick of the overseer’s lash for encouragement, like the poor devils Chaucer’s Monk would have none of:

What sholde he studie and make hymselven wood,
Upon a book in cloystre alwey to poure,
Or swynken with his handes, and laboure,
As austyn bit? how shal the world be served?
Lat austyn have his swynk to hym reserved!

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Sam and the Execution of the King ...

I recall Sam being upset at the remark of an old schoolmate, met in a tavern, in the presence of current friends, that Sam had been "quite the roundhead" at school. It is likely that Sam, the youthful roundhead, approved of the execution of the King at the time. (Contemporary accounts of the beheading describe it as a quite solemn event, and I doubt that Sam or any of the onlookers cheered it.) But it is clear that the more mature Sam has taken a different and less radical view of what is good for society ... another trait of human personality recognizable across the centuries.

gerry  •  Link

Brawn, which I remember , along with SPAM, being fed prodigious amounts in the aftermath of WW2, is called Head Cheese in America. Fromage de tete in French.

Brian  •  Link

Who are Jack Cole and Lem. Wagstaffe?
Given the context of dinner with fellow Magdalene College graduate Sanchy (Clement Sankey), this sounds like a college buddy reunion that unfortunately didn't work out.

Mary  •  Link

Messrs. Cole & Wagstaffe

Sorry, L&M have nothing to offer on either man.

Bob T  •  Link

is called Head Cheese in America

I was right. It is made out of dead animal's heads. The things that some people do to their kids :-)

upper_left_hand_corner  •  Link

Brawn == Head Cheese !?!!???

These days, not just an awful thing to do to one's kids, but a vector for mad cow disease!

This is vaguely on-topic, sort of ;-). Rats will become a vector for plague in the diary a few years on. One hypothesis holds that pathogens mutate to more virulent form only when they have the chance to spread before killing off the means of transmission.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"I pray God give a good end to it"
Why involve God in marriage arrangements?In Brazil it is delegated to Saint Anthony.

Conrad  •  Link


1/2 pig's head, including the tongue but not the brains
2 pig's trotters
500g (1 lb) shin of beef
2 cloves garlic, chopped
bouquet garni
10 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons wine vinegar

2 onions each stuck with 2 cloves
2 carrots, quartered
2 leeks, split

Put all the meat into a large pot. Cover with water and add garlic,
bouquet garni, peppercorns, vinegar, salt, onion, carrots, and
leeks. Bring to a boil, skim and lower heat. Cover and simmer
for 2 hours, or until meat is tender and comes easily off the bone.
Cool and pull all the meat off the bone, chopping coarsely. Set

Strain the stock and boil until reduced. Add meat and adjust

Cool meat and stock, pour a layer into a loaf tin. Refrigerate
until set. Sprinkle with chopped herbs, lay hardboiled eggs along
the center, and cover with more meat and stock. Refrigerate until
set. Turn out and press into toasted breadcrumbs. Eat cold with
salad, mustard, potatoes and buttered rye bread.

Pedro.  •  Link


Winchcombe is worth a mention, in the heart of the Cotswolds...
"Walk in the wood of Humblebee, the very woods that JRR Tolkien wandered before he created the magnificent 'Lord of the Rings', if you look over your shoulder you may see Strider or even Gandalf himself."
For history see:…

Alan Bedford  •  Link

Brawn (earlier recipe, might be a bit closer to what Sam & company ate)

A 15th-century recipe for brawn was posted by our man vicente at:…

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: Sam and the Execution of the King

Actually, Sam was "quite the Roundhead." Tomalin says that, after the event, "Pepys may even have gone back to school [he was at St. Paul's at the time], because he remembers telling his friends there that if he had to preach a sermon on the king, his text would be, 'The memory of the wicked shall rot.' "

Though I truly believe that Sam wrote the diary only for himself, and not for others, I think he did have the possibility in mind that it might one day be found by people whom he *didn't* want reading it ... hence, the shorthand he used, and the further obfuscation of the mix of languages he uses to describe his amours. Tomalin, in referring to Sam's nervousness about meeting with his friend from St. Paul's in 1660 (which Rex refers to above) also notes that "elsewhere in his Diary he remained studiously non-committal in what he had to say of the execution." Sometimes discretion *is* the better part of valor...

vicente  •  Link

re: youth and latter years. Sam wrote for himself, but even so, we do not always admit to having past errors in judgement even to one self. He puts enough down, that when read, will activate the true memory and feelings.
Our first Loyalty is to ones Stomach or how it gets fed, Logic is then used to reinforce our actions. every bio when read leaves a glowing feeling to those that have read and never have shared the life. The Homo [sapiens ? Rideo] is truly a political animal and will smile, it is so much sweeter than looking at the small print.
Plautus , Epidicus, 382-383
"Non oris causa modo homines aequom fuit sibi habere speculum , sed qui perspicere possent cor sapientiae."
or other wise it be: a man needs a good mirror to scrutinize his heart as well as his face.

Maurie Beck  •  Link

One hypothesis holds that pathogens mutate to more virulent form only when they have the chance to spread before killing off the means of transmission.

There is always mutation. Most mutations are neutral or deleterious, but some are beneficial. Virulence seems to be associated with the mode of transmission. For example, pathogens that are water-borne or transmitted through a vector (e.g. insects) are generally more virulent than from person to person. The coming plague is transmitted by a flea from the primary host (rats) to humans. In this case, virulence is favored, even if it means the death of the human host. A very sick human host is more likely to be bitten by a flea which passes on the bacteria to new hosts than a less sick host with a less virulent form.

Philip  •  Link

re: Sam and the Execution of the King

Few if any cheered the execution. On the contary:
"there was such a groan by the thousands then present, as I never heard before and desire I may never hear again.". - Philip Henry…

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"a brave collar of brawn"

BRAWN, hard Flesh, sous'd Meat or Boar's Flesh.
BRAWNY, full of Brawn or Sinews, fleshy, lusty, strong.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Bill  •  Link

"who should have brought his mistress"

MISTRESS, the Mistress of an House, a sweetheart or kept Mistress.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Of course, many "disapproved of Charles as a ruler" - even Clarendon at the start of his political career. Up to the beginning of the the second civil war in 1648, Cromwell himself was a moderate, and wished for a constitutional agreement with Charles I, only turning against the King when his untrustworthiness led to renewed bloodshed.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Wot, (as Vicente would say) nothing about the queer phrase "clapping up"? I recall it being around in my youth on the Canadian west coast but not since...

Bill  •  Link

"There hath lately been great clapping up of some old statesmen"

Anschmeidung, die, the Fettering or Clapping up in Irons, the Act of forging together
---Vollständiges Wörterbuch Der Englischen Sprache Für Die Deutschen, 1796.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘clap . . IV. Of action resembling the preceding in its prompt energy, but with no notion of noise.
. . 11. esp. To put (with promptitude or high-handedness) in prison or custody; to imprison, confine. Also simply to clap up ( †to clap fast ): ‘to imprison with little formality or delay’ (Johnson).
. . a1616 Shakespeare Henry VI, Pt. 2 (1623) i. iv. 50 Let them be clapt vp close.
. . 1720 D. Defoe Capt. Singleton 303 Certain Nobles whom the King had clapt up . . ‘

Annie B  •  Link

A few years late, @Araujo but no (or almost-no) saints in Protestant England. Unless there is something unusual about this specific time, generally saints were associated with Catholicism and thus, not a big part of life in Protestant England.

Side note, apparently this is why Protestant traditions celebrate Santa Claus on Dec 25, rather than his original date Dec 6 as he is still celebrates in Belgium and the Netherlands. This was an effort to associate him with Christmas rather than a saint's day. :)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"There hath lately been great clapping up of some old statesmen, such as Ireton, Moyer, and others, and they say, upon a great plot"

The was the Yarrenton or Baxter or Pakington Plot. John Ireton had been Lord Mayor in 1658-9, and Samuel Moyer a member of Cromwell's Council of State. The government claimed to have prevented an uprising and to have uncovered a most important rebel organization. (L&M) In November 1661 Sir John Pakington informed Sir Edward Nicholas of the discovery of a supposed presbyterian plot in his neighbourhood, and forwarded him some intercepted letters which had been brought to hiin. Several ministers, Baxter among the number, were implicated, and arrests were made. The letters were probably forgeries, and the charges were never proved. Andrew Yarrenton, who wrote an account of the affair in 1681, regarded Pakington as the inventor of the plot (which frequently went by his name) and the writer of the letters. Pakington was the intimate friend of Bishop Morlev [see Morley, Gkorge] and of Sir Ralph Clare, and thus came into collision with Richard Baxter. Baxter accused Pakington of having intercepted a letter of his, which proved to be of a purely private nature, and of sending it to London.… Cf. Pepys's scepticism at 30 October 1661. He was himself to suffer similarly as a victim of the Popish Plot on 1679. (L&M note)

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