Wednesday 14 May 1662

All the morning at Westminster and elsewhere about business, and dined at the Wardrobe; and after dinner, sat talking an hour or two alone with my Lady. She is afeard that my Lady Castlemaine will keep still with the King, and I am afeard she will not, for I love her well. Thence to my brother’s, and finding him in a lie about the lining of my new morning gown, saying that it was the same with the outside, I was very angry with him and parted so. So home after an hour stay at Paul’s Churchyard, and there came Mr. Morelock of Chatham, and brought me a stately cake, and I perceive he has done the same to the rest, of which I was glad; so to bed.

40 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

Who were the other lucky recipients of a Stately Cake, and what would such a construction have been like at this period? Did they know the concept of the triple-layer? Would it have been glazed? Or would it feature icing, or frosting? Is there any left?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Thence to my brother's"
How about Ma and Pa Pepys? Long time no heard.

Leslie Katz  •  Link

The culinary annotations are more impressive in the Dracula blog. There they give the recipes for the dishes mentioned. (Just kidding, Bradford! I'd like to know the answers too.)

dirk  •  Link


"[...] the precursors of modern cakes (round ones with icing) were first baked in Europe sometime in the mid-17th century. This is due to primarily to advances in technology (more reliable ovens, manufacture/availability of food molds) and ingredient availability (refined sugar). At that time cake hoops--round molds for shaping cakes that were placed on flat baking trays--were popular. They could be made of metal, wood or paper. Some were adjustable. Cake pans were sometimes used. The first icings were usually a boiled composition of the finest available sugar, egg whites and [sometimes] flavorings. This icing was poured on the cake. The cake was then put back into the oven for a while. When taken out the icing cooled quickly to form a hard, glossy [ice-like] covering. Many cakes made at this time still contained dried fruits (raisins, currants, citrons).
During the 17th-18th centuries, both the English and Americans feasted on "great cakes," sometimes called "bride's cakes" or "bride's pies" as the event required. These special cakes were also not unlike traditional fruitcake."


Alan Bedford  •  Link


Dirk - Please post that item in the background information. It's very informative.

dirk  •  Link

She is afeard that my Lady Castlemaine will keep still with the King, and I am afeard she will not, for I love her well.

Am I the only one who doesn't quite understand the meaning of this sentence?

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

It is called rustificating;'How about Ma and Pa Pepys? Long time no heard'
otherwise known as the goldern years or paying out all the gold one has colleceted.
rust: an oxidation of Iron.
iron: to press the creases out of wrinkles.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"... brought me a stately cake..." The recipe is to be passed on to friendly cousins, to cure hunger in the next century after some cordon bleu tweeking.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

I doth think Sam be enamoured by a slim ankle. This be Spring and only now do we have clues why the male of species goes to pieces at the sight of Young female body parts. It be the nasal sensory power of the female hormone that only affects the masculine brain without warning.[Along with late Aprils showers and the elm tree bowl]
On the Other hand it may that Saxon idea of only the Nordic types be fit for a King.
Just an old man's observation.[title me DOM]

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Dear Dotty Old Man,

I am only surprised to learn that Castlemaine is Nordic. Otherwise I'm in complete accord re Sam's infatuation - though its a bit like loving a sceen goddess.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Was Lady Sandwich wanting Lady Castlemaine to be parted from the King because her influence was not doing Lord Sandwich's career any good? Anyone with access to a biog. of Sandwich have any information on this dislike? Or is it just she wants to see the Queen having a place of influence as presumably Lord S has had a chance to get to know her during the voyage and would hope she would promote him with Charles, if anything came up, but would not be in such a position of influence if Charles still kept with the Roayl mistress?? With hindsight, we know what happened, but at this time, it was no doubt assumed Catherine would have a whole litter of little Princelings and be the centre of Court interest, approval and approbation.
Sam, as Andrew points out, just sees her as the Julia Roberts of the 17th century!

Australian Susan  •  Link

"..done the same to the rest, of which I am glad".
Strange. Sam is usually pleased to be singled out for attention,gifts etc. Here he is the opposite.

Firenze  •  Link

According to this portrait -… - she seems to be either brunette or possibly auburn.

I think 17th C (and earlier) usage of 'love' for another person also covers fondness, friendship, admiration, aspirational longing etc. A Hamilton is right: Castlemaine as royal mistress is supermodel/film star/celeb of her day.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"done the same to the rest, of which I am glad".
This may be just my devious mind, but there was a fashion for some cakes to contain coins, etc. If this was a bribe, or kick-back, Sam might not have wanted to be singled out too obviously - if the two Sir W's also got their "cakes", no-one would get jealous.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"my Lady Castlemaine"
Thanks for the site Firenze; milady is definetelly brunette or "black" and very self assured and beautiful! I feel sorry for Catarina.

Pedro  •  Link

Was Lady Sandwich wanting Lady Castlemaine to be parted from the King because her influence was not doing Lord Sandwich's career any good?

I don't think we can draw anything sinister or devious from this remark by Sam's delightful Lady. Given the proximity of her lodgings in Whitehall, to that of Castlemaine, it would just be gossip that Sam loved to discuss with her.
Tomalin says that at the time of the start of the Diary she was 35 and already had 8 children. She adds that her life had been distinguished by courage and discretion, and her virtues included a warm heart, good humour and a straight forward disposition.
She also says that Jemima's upbringing did not prepare her for court of the new King, and maybe , as she has now been part of it for 2 years, she would have a lot of sympathy for the new Queen.

Pedro  •  Link

More on Lady Sandwich.

From the Ollard Biography on Sandwich the only references to Castlemaine...

Sandwich by his easy manners took trouble to remain on good terms with the mistress of Charles. Also that she was a bitter enemy of Clarendon.

One thing that Ollard does say about the relationship with his wife, "it is hardly surprising that their family life should set a pattern of happiness and affection".

JWB  •  Link

"screen goddess" "Julia Roberts" & "film star"
Looke closely @ Firenze's called-up portrait of Barbara Palmer by JMWright. To the right. Doesn't that look like lighted streets of LA seen from Hollywood Hills @ sunset ? And what's that she's holding? A shephardess's crook or a coach whip? "Enquiring minds want to know".

Pauline  •  Link

"my Lady Castlemaine"
L&M describes her as tall and fair, with blue eyes.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Saxon idea of only the Nordic types be fit for a King.

I think I completely missed Vincent's point, which on reflection I take to be that the old insular prejudice may be at play in Sam's preference. Castlemaine is good old Anglo-Saxon-Norman, whereas the new queen .... (but isn't she a descendant of John of Gaunt?)

serafina  •  Link

I think Lady Sandwich is just being idealistic in her comments, wanting Catherine to have a fair chance with her new husband and hopes that Castlemaine will step aside and give them that opportunity (we know she wont!) As Castlemaine provides a lot of entertainment for the Court as well as the King, I can understand Pepys comment that he does not wish to see her go - life at court might be mightly dull without Barbara and her antics!

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

The Painting; it be good; The skin be Nordic, nice pale lucid delicate and fragile while the Gallic Eyes and Hair be the finishing touch.
Prejudice: yep; Home grown is always be better.
The crook be for herding all those sheepeyes, more reach than the fourth finger.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hmmn...Palmer portrait doesn't quite blow me away, our Bess is much prettier. But the real Castlemaine I'm sure was quite the beauty.

Poor Puritan Lady Jem must be quite overwhelmed in these loose times. Still, a tough lady who braved having Charles I in her home during the war, she'll deal. As for Sam, it must have been an interesting conversation...He trying to nod to his dear Lady Jem "Oh, yes. The vile mistress should be sent away." while fervently praying to God that the beautious, fun Castlemaine keep to court where the groundlings can catch an occasional glimpse.

Australian Susan  •  Link

John of Gaunt and Portugal.
John's second wife was Constanza of Castile. His daughter by her married into the Portuguese royal family, so, yes, Catherine is very, very distinatly related to her husband. John of Gaunt's thrid wife, Katherine Swynford was the grandmother of Margaret Beaufort, who married Edmund Tudor son of Owen Tudor and Katherine de Valois, father of Henry Tudor who deposed Richard III to become Henry VII, father of Henry VIII. Henry's sister married the King of Scotland, James V, whose daughter Mary was the father of James VI & I, father of Charles I, who was father of present monarch Charles II. So both descend from John of Gaunt and before that Edward III.

Bradford  •  Link

Many thanks to Dirk: the result would probably be a rather hard sugar-icing which probably fractured when cut into. The favors or coins that Alan asks about were put in Twelfth Night cakes, for which see the background information (going back right to the start of the Diary).
But who else got one?
And are those recipes the Count's or his pursuers, Leslie?

Jeannine  •  Link

Sam -Lady Jemina -Lasy Castlemaine & Morality & the Conflicts of Charles' court
A few comments follow from a few sources, mostly from Ollard's books "Cromwell's Earl" and "Image of the King (about the character of Charles I and Charles II)and other reading I've left summaries of in the further reading sections (related biogrpahies, etc.)

The Sandwich marriage, like the Pepys marriage was one based on "love". Jemina could be described as good, thoroughly devoted to her husband, moral and somewhat simple & pure in her ways. She she was working her way into the role of a "noble wife" and not born into affluence, upper class, etc. Her morals would reflect the beliefs of "good and church-going type wives", new to the court and its loose values. By character, she would want nothing to do with Lady Castlemaine, by necessity to support her husband's rise in status, she HAD to "go with the flow" so to speak, even if privately she would like to see any marriage include fidelity, as that's what is preached in church, etc.
The culture of the court was one where everyone who wanted to get ahead had to follow Charles' lead. The politics, backstabbing etc. that people used to raise themselves over others is rampant in Charles' reign. The other element was how changeable the environment was. If Charles liked one person on one day, then everybody followed that lead --if he disliked that person the next day then everyone moved in that direction --there was very little integrity and little consistency. For now Charles was infatuated with Lady Castlemaine, so everyone else was. Charles was the hot rock star of the time, she was the hot sex symbol of the time. Lady Castlemaine's character is CONSISTENTLY described as demanding, scheming, self-centered, greedy beyong words, hot tempered, low class, very sexual and unfaithful to every man (including Charles). The interesting thing about their relationship is that Charles didn't care about fidelity from his mistresses --he thought so little of people that he didn't expect her faithfulness, nor would he ever expect to give any faithfulness in return.
Pepys, as always, is so interesting because he struggled with things like this. Today Castlemaine is his idea of the hot sex symbol and he'd be lost without the fantasy, on another day he'd sit through a sermon condeming adultery and would fully agree with that too. He had some level of guilt over his own exploits outside of his marriage yet he still transgressed. This is probably why he's such a wonderful diarist --everything is in the moment and very fluid.

Jeannine  •  Link

A side anecdote from the future
Thougth I'd add this as an after thought -as this story gives an idea of the court and how things worked with the Mistresses, etc. This is from Carte's book on James Butler the Duke of Ormode. About 10 or so years in the future--Charles's lead Mistress, Louise (French, beautiful, arrogant, greedy and powerful) tells Elizabeth (wife of James, the Duchess of Ormond) that she wants to be invited for dinner. Louise, expects to be given a huge dinner party in her honor. Elizabeth, being a lady of class, knows that in public as a wife of a nobleman,she has to accept Louise with all of the politeness that good society would expect of a Lady and she consistently does. On the other hand, privately and as a woman of strong moral character, she has no tolerance for a fancy whore and no desire to mix with a women who would live in such a sinful, morally deprived manner. Elizabeth can not slight Louise, so she does exactly as asked and invites her to dinner. Elizabeth then totally dismisses her entire household, sending her daughters and any of the "good women" away so that when Louise shows up instead of a room full of people to bow down to her -- she is given an exceptional meal, well served, nothing undone --and nobody else there except Elizabeth (and the usual servants) to attend her. Needless to say, Louise is furious but never invites herself again. Nobody could criticize Elizabeth, who did exactly as asked --but did it on her own terms.

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary for today:

"To Lond, being chosen one of the Commissioners about reforming the buildings, wayes, streetes, & incumbrances, & regulating the Hackny-Coaches in the Citty of Lond: taking my Oath before my Lord Chancelor, & then went to his Majesties Surveyors Office in Scotland Yard, about naming & establishing officers, adjourning til: 16: when I went to view, how St. Martines Lane might be made more passable into the strand. There were divers Gent: of quality in this Commission:"

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"John of Gaunt"
John of Gaunt's daughter was Phillipa of Lancaster,Alencastro in Portuguese;
on her mothers side Catarina was descendent of The Duques of Medina Sidonia; they are still around.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Nice reading the house of L highway bill etc..
Bill to provide Carriages for the Navy and Ordnance.
Hodie 1a et 2a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for providing Carriages, by Land and by Water, for the Use of His Majesty's Navy and Ordnance."

From: 'House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 14 May 1662', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 11: 1660-1666, pp. 458-60. URL:…. Date accessed: 16 May 2005.
should leftenant be a Lord?
1. That their Lordships do not conceive that from the adding the Word ["Lords"], there be any natural Influence of abridging the King's Power; nor of giving any Exclusion to Commoners from being Lord Lieutenants, since the same Title is given to many Officers; as Lord Chancellors, Lord Chief Justice, Lord President, and the like, who most commonly are Commoners: That their Lordships thought the Word ["Lord"] sitted to be added for the Dignity of so great a Military Command, since it was admitted even in many Dignities inferior to it, both Civil and Military; Lords Lieutenants being in Effect His Majesty's Generals. Now Generals are always called Lords Generals. [.....and more delious sentiments ...sic CSG DOM.]

From: 'House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 14 May 1662', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 11: 1660-1666, pp. 458-60. URL:…. Date accessed: 16 May 2005.

Helen  •  Link

Lady Castlemaine: believe it is through her that much-loved Diana was descended from Charles I and II: has anyone got the family tree that demonstrates this?

Lynn  •  Link

I thought Diana Spencer was descended from Charles II's other mistress, Louise de Kerouaille.

dirk  •  Link

Lady Diana

"Lady Diana Spencer, four times descended from king Charles II (1630-1685) and once from James II (1633-1701), boast no fewer than six lines of descent from MAry Queen of Scots, whom Queen Elizabeth I ordered beheaded in 1585. She had more English blood in her, in fact, than Prince Charles-all of it illegitimate. Four of her ancestors were paramours of kings: Barbara Villiers, Lucy Walters and Louise de Kéroualle all bore out-of-wedlock children of King CharlesII;…”


See also:…
(for those who like genealogical puzzles)

dirk  •  Link


Isn't this a beautiful word?

From Middle English, from "par amour" (by way of love, passionately), from Anglo-Norman, ultimately from French.

Mary  •  Link

Castlemaine's portrait.

It's difficult to tell exactly what it is that she's holding in her right hand, but the angle at which she is holding the staff strongly echoes the angle at which monarchs are portrayed holding the sceptre of state. Making a political point, perhaps, and demonstrating her own self-assurance in her position at court?

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"brought me a stately cake"

CAKE, a flat Loaf of Bread, commonly made with Spice, Fruit, &c.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

OED has:

‘stately, adj. < state n.
. . 2. Befitting or appropriate to a person of high rank or status; magnificent, splendid.
a. Of a place or thing.
. . 1756 T. Nugent Grand Tour II. 256 In winter they have races in stately sledges, besides masquerading and splendid balls.
. . 4. a. Imposing or majestic in size and proportions; nobly or elegantly formed or built.
. . 1700 R. Cromwell Let. 27 Jan. in Eng. Hist. Rev. (1898) 13 116 A statly chine accompaned with a fatt Turkey . . ‘

Third Reading

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