Sunday 16 February 1661/62

(Lord’s day). To church this morning, and so home and to dinner. In the afternoon I walked to St. Bride’s to church, to hear Dr. Jacomb preach upon the recovery, and at the request of Mrs. Turner, who came abroad this day, the first time since her long sickness. He preached upon David’s words, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord,” and made a pretty good sermon, though not extraordinary. After sermon I led her home, and sat with her, and there was the Dr. got before us; but strange what a command he hath got over Mrs. Turner, who was so carefull to get him what he would, after his preaching, to drink, and he, with a cunning gravity, knows how to command, and had it, and among other things told us that he heard more of the Common Prayer this afternoon (while he stood in the vestry, before he went up into the pulpitt) than he had heard this twenty years.

Thence to my uncle Wight to meet my wife, and with other friends of hers and his met by chance we were very merry, and supped, and so home, not being very well through my usual pain got by cold.

So to prayers and to bed, and there had a good draft of mulled ale brought me.

29 Annotations

First Reading

JWB  •  Link

David's words:
Psalm 118, verse 17.

chris  •  Link

What would mulled ale be like? If it involves anything like the ingredients of mulled wine, it sounds revolting.

john lauer  •  Link

The first sounds good, but pretty toxic; the second does appear sweet and revolting.

vicenzo  •  Link

Mulled ale great for a physic. especially when the Rum doth be a jigger of Jamaica; I Can vouch for the results: Removes all of the Toxics in one fell swoop.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"cunning gravity,knows how to command"
Amazing how SP analises people!

vicenzo  •  Link

Remember this gent doth be non-conforming, except he be normal as doth appear to be following the money trail.

Bullus Hutton  •  Link bed, and there had a good draft of mulled ale brought me..
Mulled or no, I have always drawn the line at drinking beer in bed!

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

With a cold in the head I do not say no to a hot grog with a good bit of brandy or cognac, no? But, indeed, beer?

C.J.Darby  •  Link

I'm getting fixated about why Beth should not go to church and himself twice of a Sunday. Golf not being so widspread at the time perhaps its his way of avoiding the washing up.As for mulled ale I had an old Uncle who loved mulled stout and he made it by pouring a bottle of Guinness into a jerrycan adding two tablespoons of sugar and stirring with a red hot poker,great stuff.

Bob T  •  Link

Mulled Ale

The ingedients are approximately:
2 pints ale
1 glass of brandy

Good stuff if you have a cold. Pretty good too when you don't

Mary  •  Link


The regular practice is for Sam to go to church alone in the morning, and then for both Sam and Elizabeth to attend the afternoon service. Other women mentioned by Sam also seem to be encountered at the afternoon services rather than at the morning ones, so it looks as if this may be a general pattern of behaviour.

However, it is not an invariable rule of the Pepys household and it's possible that Elizabeth hasn't attended church at all today, but has gone visiting instead, being joined by Sam at Uncle Wight's later in the afternoon.

As for what Elizabeth does with her Sunday mornings, this is presumably the sole day in the week when she can count on her husband getting home for lunch at a reasonably predictable time, so perhaps she oversees the preparation of a good Sunday dinner.

serafina  •  Link

I had a grandfather that did the same trick with Guiness and a hot poker! Must have been 'trendy' at the time!

vicenzo  •  Link

red hot poker : 'Twas the most common way to warm liquids, there be only the Stove or fireplace with red hot coals and non of the modern ways of flipping a switch. The stove being occupied with other work.
Re Sunday Dinner: It was, for many families the main time to have the whole brood and extended ones sit down and be a sharing thoughts of the day, [the little ones to be seen and not heard but be herded together].
Re: In most Cultures the gathering of peoples to worship was [and in some cases still are] separated by gender.
Prayers must not be upset by carnal desire.

Glyn  •  Link

Mrs Turner, who has just recovered from a life-threatening illness, is running around looking after every request by the Dr. who gets exactly what he wants without even appearing to ask for it (sounds like a character in a Jane Austen novel). I wonder if Pepys is a little jealous because she never gives him the same treatment.

According to Wim van der Meij's biographical note, he is currently the rector of St Martin's without Ludgate, which is only a 5-minute walk away. One gets the impression that Pepys doesn't like him very much. Last time Pepys wrote about him he said that he "made a lazy sermon, like a Presbyterian". So presumably he (and Mrs Turner?) have radical views.

Glyn  •  Link

Correction: I meant St Martin within Ludgate (not without). ("Without/within" means "outside/inside" at this time.)

Australian Susan  •  Link

"heard more of the Common Prayer"
As Dr J loses his benefice later in this year for non-conformity, presumably his comment on hearing words from the BCP was one of approbium, not approval. Wonder if Sam also felt unhappy about this - he doesn't say. I agree with Glyn's reading of Sam's mind: he's jealous! But I also think he's a bit fed up that not only is she running around after this man, but that he's not worthy of her attentions!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

One of the most interesting bits was to hear that our Beth actually has friends of her own...

And the astounding bit that Sam didn't spend part of this one finding fault with them.

Pauline  •  Link

"...strange what a command he hath got over Mrs. Turner..."

What is interesting here is that Jane, upon recovering from a long and serious illness, requests Sam's presence at her first outing'a church service wherein the minister preaches 'I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord'. The minister is at Jane's house after the service behaving with 'cunning gravity” as an honored guest. It struck me that he had ministered to Jane in her illness and the credit for her survival is going to his religious beliefs and prayers, and some measure to himself as well. But it may also be that Jane was already committed to his church and his beliefs and is now humble in face of her recovery. At any rate, Sam is invited as a close friend and cousin of Jane's; but we must also remember that when he had his stone surgery four years ago, it was Jane who provided the ways and means and place for him to safely have the surgery—he survived a surgery that many did not. Every March he soberly celebrates his surgery, and Jane is the guest of honor. So we have two survivor stories here, and two objects of gratitude.

From my perspective, Sam is uncomfortable seeing his energetic and independent cousin kowtowing to the minister's every need and finds the minister phony in his gravity. He may fear as well (from the words he quotes from the sermon) that Jane will now press him to take on the religious view presented by Dr. Jacomb.

john lauer  •  Link

re: "heard more...". Just so no one is left confused about approval vs. opprobrium: ap- is from ad-, to; op-, against.

(A great advantage of computers as dictionaries is that they tell you when you get the first letter wrong. Also a big help since English breaks "rules" so often.)

language hat  •  Link

Since we're getting into etymology, this is from Latin 'disgrace, infamy, reproach; abusive language or word,' from opprobrare 'to reproach, taunt': ob- (op- before voiceless consonant) 'against' + probrum 'reproach; infamous act.' Approbare, the source of "approve," is based on probus 'upright, good, virtuous,' so the similarity in sound is accidental.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Dr. Jacomb ... and Pauline's post

Dr. Jacomb, according to L&M, was a Presbyterian. I think Pauline's intuitive assessment of Jane's and Sam's respective reactions to him is brilliant and spot on.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

More on Dr. Thomas Jacombe ...

Per L&M's Companion volume, he was "a leading Presbyterian divine, Rector of St Martin, Ludgate from 1650 until his extrusion in 1662; thereafter active as an unofficial preacher or lecturer. Known to Cromwell as 'Long Tom of Ludgate'."

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sorry I got my "a" and "o" confused. Must be this Oztralian occent.

David Ross McIrvine  •  Link


One representation in the National Portrait Gallery, a line engraving from a collection of Farewell Sermons by nonconformist or nonjuring Ministers. I would guess that Jacombe--who is still cited and quoted, and whose sermons are still in print--was in this collection because he gave the funeral sermon for the famous Puritan Richard Vines.

no image at the NPG site…

But you can find one over here…


Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"a good draft of mulled ale"

To MULL Wine, to soften, to make sweet or gentle, to burn, i.e. to make hot, and season it with Spice, Sugar, &c.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1675.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

As I say to my English friends as it occurs so frequently in their speech "It's extraordinary how ordinary extraordinary is in England." And here it is as yet not limned.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"He preached upon David’s words, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord,” and made a pretty good sermon, though not extraordinary."

L&M: The text was from Ps. 118, xvii [KJV: I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.]; the preacher (Thomas Jacombe, Rector of St Martin's, Ludgate Hill) a Presbyterian. Jane Turner had been ill since at least November 1661:…

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