Wednesday 1 January 1661/62

Waking this morning out of my sleep on a sudden, I did with my elbow hit my wife a great blow over her face and nose, which waked her with pain, at which I was sorry, and to sleep again.

Up and went forth with Sir W. Pen by coach towards Westminster, and in my way seeing that the “Spanish Curate” was acted today, I light and let him go alone, and I home again and sent to young Mr. Pen and his sister to go anon with my wife and I to the Theatre.

That done, Mr. W. Pen came to me and he and I walked out, and to the Stacioner’s, and looked over some pictures and maps for my house, and so home again to dinner, and by and by came the two young Pens, and after we had eat a barrel of oysters we went by coach to the play, and there saw it well acted, and a good play it is, only Diego the Sexton did overdo his part too much.

From thence home, and they sat with us till late at night at cards very merry, but the jest was Mr. W. Pen had left his sword in the coach, and so my boy and he run out after the coach, and by very great chance did at the Exchange meet with the coach and got his sword again.

So to bed.

42 Annotations

vicenzo  •  Link

One new years resolution down the drain "...and in my way seeing that the "Spanish Curate" was acted today, I light and let him go alone,…”
available for home reading : a quote “Good Doctor, do not school me
For a fault you are not free from: “

Bradford  •  Link

The Perils of Intimacy; but had Sam stayed awake would it have made Elizabeth hurt any the less?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"did overdo his part too much"
so what else is new?!

daniel  •  Link

"hit my wife a great blow over her face and nose"

How can you not like this guy for describing this in such a way. Poor Beth, perhaps she was "sore" and prefered the the company of young W. Penn (founder of my town) in going to the theatre to her hubbie after such a startling New Year's event.

jbailey  •  Link

Not only has he attended a play, he has gone shopping for things for his house! Just a day after bemoaning his spendthrift ways.

He has become quite a theater critic, also.

Stolzi  •  Link

Mr W. Pen's sword

He will have to give up wearing that after he becomes a Quaker.

In a famous story it is told that he found this almost impossible - swords were bound up with one's identity and social class - and Quaker leader George Fox answered his inquietude with a simple "Wear it as long as thou canst, William."

RexLeo  •  Link

"...Waking this morning out of my sleep on a sudden, I did with my elbow hit my wife a great blow over her face and nose,"

At least now we know that they are sleeping on the same bed.

David A. Smith  •  Link

"Waking ... did with my elbow hit my wife a great blow"
Concur with Daniel, how can you not like the guy after such a description?
We've all been there, Sam.

Ruben  •  Link

was it William Penn, Samuel's friend that become a Quaker or was it his son William Penn who founded the American Colony?

johnt  •  Link

Mr W. Pen rather than his father , the most unQuakerish and military, Sir W.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: "One new years resolution down the drain"

I wonder if you folks need to read cagey Sam's writing a little more closely? Yesterday, he vowed that he is "resolved to keep [these promises] *according to the letter of the oath* which I keep by me" ... if you look at the emphasis I added, I think it's obvious that Sam has allowed himself enough wiggle room to attend plays (and, presumably, imbibe) *under certain conditions.* There would be benefits to this, of course -- in Restoration society he doesn't want to be viewed as a prudish puritan playbasher, yet if he at least restrains himself, then perhaps he'll save a bit of change (and stay more sober). A bit of cake left over, even after he's had a couple of bites.

As for the sword, surely it's the Sr. Sir Penn whom the sword belongs to?

Belated New Year wishes to all, and many thanks to Phil, as we start Year 3 of the Diary.

Sjoerd  •  Link

It seems JohnT is right: the quaker was Mr W, son of Admiral Sir W., Pepys' colleague, so the link to Penn in "people" is not accurate.

It seems Pennsylvania IS named after the father, not the son.

"In payment for a debt King Charles II owed his father, Admiral Sir William Penn"

Stolzi  •  Link

Pen mightier than sword?

The way I read it, Sam was with Sir Wm. (the elder) briefly in the morning, but spent a good deal of time later on with the younger Penns, one of whom is "Mr. W," and that it was Mr. W. Pen who left his sword in the coach. I guess, the one in which the young Penns and the young Pepyses rode to the play; or else they also took a coach to return home, and in this one "Mr. W. Pen had left his sword."

Sjoerd  •  Link

sorry Phil, the link is spot on, one for the father, one for "Young mr. Pen", nothing inaccurate about it.

Stolzi  •  Link

Young Mr. Pen
was quite young: born Oct. 14, 1644. He was soon to get in trouble at university over his incipient Quakerism.

Sir William's title was apparently a simple knighthood hence not inherited by his son (but I can't find a reference on this).

daniel  •  Link


We call him Billy in Philadelphia, by the way.

vicenzo  •  Link

State of mind,["...a great blow over her face and nose, which waked her with pain,..."] anxiety, bills- bills personnel & office,and trying to come up with logic for getting thems on the continent not to be incontinent and show respect by dipping ones flag to the deck when passing a member from the isles. Shows Mr. Pepyse slowly thinking along royal lines and the ideas of monarcy, so much be forgotten about the head that was removed from the body Carlos rex one.
He should revisit the Treatise 'De Jure Majestatis' [of the rights of Soverignty]

Australian Susan  •  Link

William Penn the Younger was already in trouble at University - rusticated last term!

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"I did with my elbow hit my wife"
Had it been a kick we could say:oh he suffers from RLS(Restless Leg Syndrome)the poor fellow,but in this case no excuses.

dirk  •  Link

"At least now we know that they are sleeping on the same bed." re RexLeo

This time yes, and probably many nights, but not necessarily every night.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...went forth with Sir W. Pen by coach towards Westminster, and in my way seeing that the "Spanish Curate" was acted today, I light and let him go alone, and I home again and sent to young Mr. Pen and his sister to go anon with my wife and I to the Theatre…”

It seems as if our boy sneaked out of a day’s work and got young Will Penn, Jr. and sis in collusion. It must have been quite a play, though if the play-and-fun-loving Admiral Sir Will Sr. wouldn’t slip out, I would assume it was supposed to be a fairly busy day at work. Possibly only the Admiral was really needed at Westminster and our Clerk of the Acts felt he could be spared…

Sam Pepys? Let one of the titled ones at the office think him nonessential?

It must have been quite a play…

Wulf Losee  •  Link

What does Sam mean by "traps" in the sentence "...and to the Stacioner's, and looked over some pictures and traps for my house…” Luggage? Some sort of decorative cloth? Gad! I miss my OED.

Mary  •  Link


OED cites this form as "a modern word of colloquial origin, apparently shortened from 'trappings'." Earliest citation 1813. Meaning - belongings, portable aricles for dress, furniture, use; personal effects.

Here it looks as though Pepys provides a very much earlier example of this usage; the sense of the passage is that he is buying pictures and other bits and pieces for the house.

Do you have any thoughts on this, Language Hat?

There are two other possible, but unlikely, meanings for the word in this context:
1. a cooking-pan; last recorded use 1430
2. A flight of stairs.

Glyn  •  Link

Just how did the young Mr William Penn retrieve his sword? I'm unclear from the entry which of two possibilities happened. Did the two teenagers (William and Wayneman) frantically chase after the departing taxi and finally catch up with it at the (Royal) Exchange at Cornhill? That's a good 15-minute walk from their house down by the river at the Tower of London, and they would be running uphill in the dark and through badly lit streets to the highest part of the City.

Alternatively, did William Penn only realize that the sword was missing some time later, so he and Wayneman walked randomly through the City streets until they recognized the coach purely by chance? The odds against that happening must have been high and again it would have taken at least 30 minutes to get there and back in addition to the time spent searching for the cab. Would there have been some sort of taxi rank at the Exchange where they could expect the driver to return to, and is this where they caught the cab initially?

It's interesting that young Penn is wearing a sword. If I recall correctly, Pepys himself only began wearing a sword some time earlier this year and it's an offense to draw your sword in the City without a very good reason. I imagine the cost of a new sword would have taken a hefty dent out of Penn Junior's allowance!

Australian Susan  •  Link

Hackney Carriages
Did specific carriages ply for trade along certain routes? Did they buy the right to ply for trade in a particular area? If the system was regulated in some way at this time, then tracking down the vehicle you used would have been easier for the man who left his sword in a carraige. Presumably they did not then have the equivalent of a Lost Property Office for the hackney carriage trade!

dirk  •  Link

Hackney Carriages


"Originally, hackney coaches, quite often the unwanted coaches of aristocratic families and still bearing their coats of arms, were used to carry people on short journeys from place to place, operated out of inn yards. In 1638 an entrepreneur named Captain Baily had the brainwave of parking them at stands in the street. Baily placed his four hackney coaches at the Maypole in the Strand, established a fare schedule for trips to different parts of London, and dressed his drivers in livery so that they would be easily recognisable to customers."

"Horse-Drawn Cabs,Their Drivers and Their Times"

dirk  •  Link

Hackney Carriages - cont'd

See also:

"The history of the London taxi dates back to 1639 when the Corporation of Coachmen obtained a licence to ply for hire in London. By 1654 Parliament limited the number of carriages plying for trade in London and Westminster to 300, increased in 1661 to 400 and 700 in 1694. Passenger safety concerns led to the introduction of 'Conditions of Fitness' in 1679."


Glyn  •  Link

Breaking New Year Resolutions

I for one am not in a position to be censorious of Sam. I made a new year's resolution to stop spamming this site with inane messages (such as this one) and that lasted exactly three days! Sorry about that.

vicenzo  •  Link

Glyn: not spam but bits of tasty ham
as to Resolutions : in 'twas once 'ritten that by one Roman, Ovid by name, in ars Armatoria,I, 443. 'Promittas facito: pollicitis dives quilibet esse potest '.
otherwise in saxon "make a lot of promises: any body can be rich in them".

Orrin  •  Link

I am forever leaving my walking sticks behind (and have lost some mighty handsome ones too, dagnabbit!), so I have a deal of sympathy to Sir Wm.

Glad I don't have to carry a sword. Much more expensive than a stick.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Hackney Carriages
Fascinating, Dirk - Many thanks.

Jackie  •  Link

Hackney Carriages nowadays are subject to very strict rules, with drivers having to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the routes and be of good character (vital if they are taking people places). Curiously, there is still a rule in London that all hackney carriages must carry a spare bale of hay for the horse. Nowadays, the horse isn't assumed to eat very much and tiny bales of hay are made which fit into the glove compartments of the modern taxis.

Pedro.  •  Link

Hackney Carriages.

Looking in L&M Companion much of the information has already been given here, and in the background information, but this may be of interest from Restoration London by Liza Picard-
"Hackney coachmen were notoriously unmannerly; so much so that in 1662 the Lord Mayor ordered the city constables 'to be always personally suppress disorders in the City arising from Hackney coachmen...who by their rudeness and insolent behaviour to persons of quality riding or walking through the City, compel them to trade in the suburbs...- to the loss of the City within the walls. John Evelyn describes London as "pestered with hackney-coaches and insolent carremen'."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to the Stacioners and looked over some pictures and maps for my house"

So transcribe L&M. The only "traps" here were set bt the well-intentioned Wheatley.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to the Stacioner’s, and looked over some pictures and [maps] for my house"

That would be the shop of John Cade (… ) at the sign of The Globe in Cornhill near the Royal Exchange, which he'd frequented before beginning the Diary in notebooks he'd bought there.

Bill  •  Link

@Terry: So transcribe L&M. The only "traps" here were set bt the well-intentioned Wheatley.

Wheatley has "pictures and maps for my house" so the conversion to digital caused the problem.

Tonyel  •  Link

A small query, but how would you lose a sword in a coach? Surely the scabbard and sword hung from a belt - or did gentlemen unshackle themselves each time they sat down?

john  •  Link

How to sit with a sword is an interesting question. The billets are long enough to allow you to sit without unhooking but my recollection is that you always hold the pommel and the sword is beside you. I would guess that the confines of a carriage physically preclude that so he had to unhook it.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

DNB has:

‘Penn, Sir William (bap. 1621, d. 1670), naval officer, was baptized in St Thomas's Church, Bristol, on 23 April 1621, the son of Giles Penn, a seaman and merchant of the city . . ’

‘Penn, William (1644–1718), Quaker leader and founder of Pennsylvania, was born in the liberty of the Tower of London on 14 October 1644, the son of Sir William Penn . .

Penn entered Christ Church, Oxford, in 1660 as a gentleman commoner. . . By the winter of 1661 Penn left Oxford and went to the continent, ostensibly to escape the political controversy that was arising from the stringent enforcement of the Act of Uniformity on the university which even required students to wear surplices . . ‘

Annie B  •  Link

Poor Beth!! What a way to start the new year... with a smack to the face!

Terry Foreman  •  Link


This is an early reference to Pepys's purchase of prints for the decoration of his house, and among the earliest known references to the increasing use of prints for this purpose. (L&M note)

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