Sunday 30 March 1662

(Easter day). Having my old black suit new furbished, I was pretty neat in clothes to-day, and my boy, his old suit new trimmed, very handsome. To church in the morning, and so home, leaving the two Sir Williams to take the Sacrament, which I blame myself that I have hitherto neglected all my life, but once or twice at Cambridge.1 Dined with my wife, a good shoulder of veal well dressed by Jane, and handsomely served to table, which pleased us much, and made us hope that she will serve our turn well enough.

My wife and I to church in the afternoon, and seated ourselves, she below me, and by that means the precedence of the pew, which my Lady Batten and her daughter takes, is confounded; and after sermon she and I did stay behind them in the pew, and went out by ourselves a good while after them, which we judge a very fine project hereafter to avoyd contention.

So my wife and I to walk an hour or two on the leads, which begins to be very pleasant, the garden being in good condition.

So to supper, which is also well served in. We had a lobster to supper, with a crabb Pegg Pen sent my wife this afternoon, the reason of which we cannot think; but something there is of plot or design in it, for we have a little while carried ourselves pretty strange to them.

After supper to bed.

24 Annotations

Bradford  •  Link

If "the precedence of the pew . . . is confounded," how is leaving after Lady Batten and daughter liable to help "avoyd contention"?
And though we have no doubt traversed this problem before, what are the mechanics of this rooftop garden? It can't just be plants in pots, to merit the description of "being in good condition."

daniel  •  Link

"I was pretty neat in clothes to-day,"

The Progress of a Rake begins!

In all fairness to Sam, it has been quoted that Shakespeare was first to present the world with the Modern Man. Sam is the first to present (in the form of himself) the Modern Guy. Spending money on clothes, drinking a bit too much, feeling guilty about it, keeping up good relations with the boss and (later) dallying around with the maid; Sam shows us a familar portrait of our contemporary selves.

dirk  •  Link

Rev. Ralph Josselin's Diary

"God good to us in many outward mercies, a dry Sabbath in an open church and wet season for which mercy the lords name be praised. god good to me in many outward mercies for all my soul rejoices in him. my heart up in the word to arouse sinners.

When I came to view my outward estate. I find my layings out are 192£.19s.11d. my whole receipts. - 117£.15.9. my debts were 80£ now at least. 86£.5s. my debts owing me were more by 27£ than now. my charge is 199£.4s.11d. which exceeds my receipts 81£.10s. but through mercy my stock is better than last year by some pounds and my building has cost me at least a 100£ so that my estate is not impaired blessed be my good god.”

When Sam goes through the same exercise, the results are more impressive…

vicenzo  •  Link

Lowers must always allow ones uppers to sweep down the aisle to allow the Minister to bestow the bended Knee to the correct height. This the way of maniacal system doth work. For this the Plimoth mob left under James 1 and further mobs continued to leave for better pastures. Tis why non quaking Quakers kept their forelocks firmly under 'at.
"...and after sermon she and I did stay behind them in the pew, and went out by ourselves a good while after them, which we judge a very fine project hereafter to avoyd contention...." Saved the Battens sinning themselves with Expletives or un lady like oaths..

vicenzo  •  Link

Joclyn does not have access to the same providers of Wealth, notice that the poor Rev., has to rely on wool and sheep and mangols and the goodness of his tythes and We[e]dings.

Pauline  •  Link

rooftop garden
Bradford, I read it as walking on the leads looking down into the garden. Hard to imagine walking on the leads for an hour or two. I suppose much of the time spent leaning on the parapet and gazing at the garden below.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Observance of Easter.
Sam notes his own smart appearance and his boy's, but no mention of Elizabeth's: do hope she got new clothes for Easter or at least new trimmings and maybe a new hat. Precedence in Church was Very Important and remained so for ages. In Victorian times, when one had to purchase a pew, people would stint themselves in other ways in order to maintain their middle class appearance by having a good pew in Church. Even in the '80's in the village where I last lived in the UK, in Kent, the Big House in the village had its own splendid carved box pew for itself and the family went up to the altar rail to receive communion first and left Church first.
Note that Sam does not stay on in Church for the Eucharist service, even though the other Navy Officers do. He can't quite fall into these new ways, but the note to the diary entry shows he was careful enough to make sure he had a certificate of sacramental participation in order to "prove" his orthodoxy and therfore his patriotic loyalty as a State servant. This became essential in the 1670s.

PHE  •  Link

Why avoid the sacrement?
I assume this is when you file up to the priest to take bread and/or wine - as in a mass(am I right?). Was Sam's avoidance simply because he couldn't be bothered, or because he felt uncomfortable with it for religious reasons?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sacramental usage using the Book of Common Prayer.
With the introduction of the BCP this year (1662), the formal pattern of services was re-established. As the Church of England is an Established State Church, conforming was essential to be in Government and to attend Universities. Sam, having been used to the reformed services of the Commonwealth era (when the BCP was banned as "Papist"), is now having to conform, but is having problems with this. (Note that the Sir Williams don't!). The usual practice for services at that time would have been to have Morning Prayer (aka Mattins)in the morning and Evening Prayer (aka Evensong) in the afternoon. This would either have been a said service or one with hymns, sung psalm and perhaps an anthem if there was a proper choir. There would have been a lengthy sermon. A few times a year, but *always* at Easter, the office of Holy Commonion (aka Eucharist or The Lord's Supper) would follow in an abbrieviated form and people either did or did not stay on for this. This pattern was still very common in England right up until the reforms of service in the 1960's, although many churches in the 19th century began to introduce regular weekly services of the Eucharist following Oxford Movement reforms (see for information on this movement). Now Sam is a Government servant and, although it has not happened yet, soon details of your church practice for civil servants will come under intense scrutiny. If you were not seen to conform, you could find yourself on a treason charge. Sam is uneasily aware that he should be conforming so as not to risk his career, but he can't feel comfortable doing this. Note that he went to Cambridge, not Oxford - Cambridge University was much more amenable to reforming ideas than Oxford (the latter was the seat ofthe Royalist Govt in exile during part of the Civil War.

Mary  •  Link

Sceptical Sam.

At some point during the first year of the diary Sam reported Mountagu as declaring that he was 'sceptical as to matters of religion' and Sam commented privately 'as so am I.'

Sam attends church fairly regularly as that is an act befitting his social/professional position; he enjoys offering his own critique of the sermons that he hears but this is a decidedly intellectual, rather than spiritual, exercise.

AussieRene  •  Link

Sorry, Daniel, "Guy's" only exist in America. Sam is English.

Bob T  •  Link

"Guy's" only exist in America. Sam is English
That’s not true. Fawkes was a Guy.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

" ... seated ourselfs, she below me"

There were three pews in the Navy Board gallery. The one below would be at the front, and therefore the Battens, by rank, would expect to sit there. (L&M)

Mary's comment is on target about Sam's attitude to church attendance. But going to church has attractions besides sermons. Sam often remarks upon the pretty ladies at whom he gazes longingly ... probably during those "dull, lazy" sermons he hears so many of.

Nix  •  Link

No Guys in England --

Would he then be the first Modern Lad?

JWB  •  Link

the Eucharist
Anglicans saw the sacraments as sine qua non for grace, hence to be regularly attended. Puritans thought grace freely given, and therfore sacraments (eucharist and baptism), while a sign or seal of grace , were not necessary for its attainment.

Australian Susan  •  Link

From the biographies I have of Sam (Tomalin and Bryant), it seems unclear (maybe L&M gives more)what studies Sam had made of theology, but his statement quoted by Mary above seems to indicate he did not rate this highly. I don't think, if you asked him, if Sam would be able to repeat the standard Anglican definition of a sacrament "it is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace." Like most people, he seems to be comfortable with what he is used to and that does not include receving the sacrament, even on a day of obligation. Later on (post Diary) it becomes a matter of social and career survival and for some, actual, survival to be seen to be a regular worshipper in regular BCP services.

daniel  •  Link

"Would he then be the first Modern Lad?"

In my humble opinion he would.

john lauer  •  Link

"[G]uy" made it into Moss's British/American dictionary (1978) as "' A ‘guy’ is an effigy of Guy Fawkes, traditionally burned '”.

vicenzo  •  Link

A man is never at a loss when it comes to being Vain.
Pexatus pulchre rides mea, Zoile, trita. Sunt haec trita quidem, Zoile, sed mea sunt.
In your beautiful woolens, you ridicle me, MR Z, in fact they are my well worn threadbare threads, But they are Mine.
extracted from Martial II, 58

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder what became of the 20pds Beth was to get for Easter clothes. Or is our boy too preoccupied to mention her new outfit?

"We got the Battens good today, eh Bethie? Pon my soul, they'll remember this service."

"Indeed Sam'l...But what do ye think of my..."

"My, this old suit of mine turned out well. Though I should think about getting another...Soon."

"Yes, darling but..."

"The cuffs are just as I like. See here, Beth? Nothing like a refurbished good old-style black..."

"Yes, very fine, my darling but how do you like my..."

"The buttons could use a certain something. I must have Tom put in new silver ones. And I don't know about my shoes. Beth, what do you think of the shoes?"



"This is a new dress I'm wearing..." a hard stare...

"Oh...Yes, very nice. Now as to my shoes..."

Terry F.  •  Link

"There were three pews in the Navy Board gallery. The one below would be at the front, and therefore the Battens, by rank, would expect to sit there. (L&M)"

A gallery of banked box-pews, perhaps not unlike those Rex Gordon cites:…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This does not accord with the certificate which Dr. Mines wrote in 1681, where he says that Pepys was a constant communicant."

At this period there was monthly communion at St Olave's, but in the whole of the diary Pepys never once records receiving it. At Christmas of this year he intended to, but 'came a little too late; on Easterday of both 1662 and 1665 he went to church but left it to his companions to stay on for communion. It is unlikely that he failed to record his partaking. But speaking in the Commons on 16 February 1674 and defending himself against the charge of Popery, he is reported to have affirmed, 'without ostentation', that he 'received the communion seven or eight times, and no less than six times a year, in twenty years'. And in 1681 Dr Milles, Rector of St Olave's, certified that he had been a constant communicant, and from June 1660 until Whitsunday 1681 had missed only two of the principal celebrations. Pepys dictated the form of the certification. Milles seems to have given him a similar certification in 1672 on the occasion of this candidacy for parliament. (An L&M note for this date provides sources for each claim.)

Bill  •  Link

"This does not accord with the certificate which Dr. Mines wrote in 1681, where he says that Pepys was a constant communicant. See Life of Pepys in vol. i."

This footnote is taken from the "Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith" (v.1, 1854) which includes the wording of the certificate on page xxxiii.

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