Wednesday 18 June 1662

Up early; and after reading a little in Cicero, I made me ready and to my office, where all the morning very busy. At noon Mr. Creed came to me about business, and he and I walked as far as Lincoln’s Inn Fields together. After a turn or two in the walks we parted, and I to my Lord Crew’s and dined with him; where I hear the courage of Sir H. Vane at his death is talked on every where as a miracle.

Thence to Somerset House to Sir J. Winter’s chamber by appointment, and met Mr. Pett, where he and I read over his last contract with the King for the Forest of Dean, whereof I took notes because of this new one that he is now in making. That done he and I walked to Lilly’s, the painter’s, where we saw among other rare things, the Duchess of York, her whole body, sitting instate in a chair, in white sattin, and another of the King, that is not finished; most rare things. I did give the fellow something that showed them us, and promised to come some other time, and he would show me Lady Castlemaine’s, which I could not then see, it being locked up! Thence to Wright’s, the painter’s: but, Lord! the difference that is between their two works. Thence to the Temple, and there spoke with my cozen Roger, who gives me little hopes in the business between my Uncle Tom and us. So Mr. Pett (who staid at his son’s chamber) and I by coach to the old Exchange, and there parted, and I home and at the office till night. My windows at my office are made clean to-day and a casement in my closet. So home, and after some merry discourse in the kitchen with my wife and maids as I now-a-days often do, I being well pleased with both my maids, to bed.

33 Annotations

First Reading

dirk  •  Link

"My windows at my office are made clean to-day"

In the 17th c cleaning the windows was not exactly something one did on a regular basis - say weekly or even monthly. I happen to have period info at hand (unfortunately it's in printed form and not in English) about window cleaning in 17th/18th c Europe, and it appears that the only ones who did this regularly were ... the Dutch! Which made them the laughing stock of many other nations, who thought this was ridiculous - you could as well wait for the rain!

Bradford  •  Link

Wagers now being accepted on how long Pepys's approval of his maids endures.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"I being well pleased with both my maids"
We don't know what he is pleased with:
how they dress? how they clean,maybe they do windows!

daniel  •  Link


Having lived there for a while, I understand the views of other Euros today about Dutch, uhm, traits and how unusual that would have been viewed in Sam's age. Little did they know then but some very seventeenth century Dutch characteristics-cleaniness, venture capitalism-would become standard practice today.

Jesse  •  Link

"Lord! the difference that is between their two works"

At first I thought the difference was quality. Thanks to the Internet… and… we can easily make our own comparisons. It must be style.

I was at the Getty museum last month and standing next to the portrait by Lely, he became somewhat an acquaintance, who knew Pepys, and it somehow made this diary a little less abstract… .

JWB  •  Link

"...a little in Cicero"
When the fate of the Catilina conspirators was the question before Rome, Cicero entered the Forum and in a loud voice said simply: "They have lived". Lord Crew's conversation with Sam indicates that the memory of Vane and the Regicides will not be dismissed so out of hand.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Cock of the walk Pepys bandying quips about the kitchen with the girls as he did what?...Was merrily made to scrub and dry dishes?...Taught them snatches of his latest favorite song?...Indulged their pleas to hear the latest juicy court gossip?...Made the girls laugh while engaging in a fast-paced mock argument in French with Bess?...Laid out plans for the new addition to the house, perhaps including a new and more efficient kitchen, with Bess that left the two maids speechless with wonder?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In fairness to Sam I think at least some of the wagers on the maids should be how long Bess will get along with them.

Mary  •  Link

"well pleased with both my maids"

At this period, and certainly at this social level, the entire household (master, mistress and servants) was viewed as a kind of family. We can take it for granted that Sam is expressing satisfaction here with the way that the maids work. Implicitly he is also expressing pleasure at the way that they fit in to the household family.

DrCari  •  Link

We mustn't forget the recent return of Jane. She was a beloved and valued servant who left and has only lately returned to the household. She is Wayneman's elder sister as well.

Sjoerd  •  Link

Raby Castle's Three Ghosts

The execution of Sir Henry Vane the Younger did impress people to such an extent that in Raby Castle (County Durham), one of his prisons, he is said to still appear as one of the three resident ghosts:

Henry Vane the Younger also carries a grudge from the grave. He was imprisoned when the Stuarts returned to Raby Castle and executed under a trumped up treason charge. They wouldn't let him speak to his people at the execution and the sheriff ordered the trumpeters to blow loud to drown out the sound of his voice. He was still speaking when his head rolled off. Every night Sir Henry sits writing at his desk in the library at Raby. There is something strange about him. His body ends at the shoulders. His head lies on the desk facing him, the lips moving as if dictating a letter or making a speech."…

Ruben  •  Link

Montague's fleet (with Pepys) were in Dutch country the 14 May 1660 and this is part of that day's annotation:
"The Hague is a most neat place in all respects. The houses so neat in all places and things as is possible."

Pedro  •  Link

"My windows at my office are made clean to-day"

Sam, perhaps the Portuguese did not like cleaning windows!

"That there are there no glass windows, nor will they have any;"…

Ruben  •  Link

Portugal's sky is more luminous. Portugal is not cold as England. The need for insulation during rain and cold is not so important as in England.

Glyn  •  Link

Two maids? I thought that there was only one (Jane)so who is the other one? Sam and Elizabeth seem to be getting a lot of people to look after just the two of them.

JWB  •  Link

"...a little in Cicero"
An American reads Cicero as defender of the Republic; Sam, I think, reads him as prosecutor of demagogues. Unsure of his position within Restoration establishment, he’s looking for reasons to believe.

language hat  •  Link

"They have lived."

The context (from Plutarch's Life of Cicero):

When Cicero had passed through the forum and reached the prison, he delivered Lentulus to the public executioner with the order to put him to death. Then Cethegus in his turn, and so each one of the others, he brought down to the prison and had him executed. section And seeing that many members of the conspiracy were still assembled in the forum in ignorance of what had been done and waiting for night to come, with the idea that the men were still living and might be rescued, he cried to them with a loud voice and said: "They have lived." For thus the Romans who wish to avoid words of ill omen indicate death.

It seems Sam is impressed (at second hand) with Vane's courage, as who can help but be?

I'm currently reading Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, in which a Jesuit trying to recruit Dixon says:
"...You are a perfect candidate for the Position,- a working Land-Surveyor with astronomical experience. I can assure you of Calvert approval,- that you come of a Quaker Family must appeal to at least one major faction in Pennsylvania,- and further, to the morbid delight of certain devotees of monarchies past, your Family is closely associated with Raby Castle, and thereby the melancholy yet darkly inspirational Tale of Sir Henry Vane the younger."

JWB  •  Link

Glyn- 2 maids
Sarah's back from the dead. She accompanied Elizabeth to church Sunday last.

Stolzi  •  Link

" a lot of people to look after just the two of them."

The two of them, Glyn, with no washing machine, no dryer, no Roomba, no refrigerator, no freezer, no electric iron, no electric range, no central heating, no telephones... And with some pretty high-up friends to entertain from time to time.

Pauline  •  Link

no Roomba
What's that? Not having one, or having heard of one, am I in line for a maid?

And in return the servants (in this case and many) have warm, dry and secure employment, eat well, and are loved/appreciated and protected. And surely these particular servants are thouroughly entertained by their master and mistress and everything they are up to and the feistiness of their relationship.

Miss Ann  •  Link

Stolzi - what is a "roomba"? I've never heard of this here in Australia.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

A Roomba is a robotic vacuum cleaner.
(just in case it's a while before Stolzi gets back on line)

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

11000 hits. a slave without dna roomba [made of electrons and other man made materials], will comb lice on a special command after being progammed, then requireing a debug.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... the Duchess of York, her whole body, sitting instate in a chair, in white sattin ..."

Oliver Millar, in L&M, suggests this may be the portrait in question - he does note that it is not quite full length and and the duchess is not seated in a 'chair of state.' It, with a companion of the Duke (not illustrated on the website), were painted for her father, Clarendon, and perhaps were the most sumptuous contemporary pieces in his collection; perhaps designed to outshine all but the finest of Clarendon's Van Dijck's and much more arresting and larger (71 3/4 x 56 5/8 in.) than the conventional threequarter-length Lely was producing for the chancellor. (Miller 'Sir Petr Lely' London: NPG, 1978. #33, pp. 54-5)…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"to Sir J. Winter’s chamber by appointment, and met Mr. Pett, where he and I read over his last contract with the King for the Forest of Dean, whereof I took notes because of this new one that he is now in making."

Sir John Winter was secretary to the Queen Mother and principal entrepreneur in the Forest of Dean. His last contract had been that of March 1640, by which he had bought a lease of 18,000 acres of the Forest with all ironworks, mines, wood and timber (except ship timber). It had been cancelled by parliament on 21 March because of his delinquency. Now a new contract (concluded on the following 30 July) was in negotiation, by which he was given the lease for 11 years. This in turn was cancelled by the King in 1668 in response to protests against his felling of timber made both by the Commoners of the Forest and in parliament.… (L&M note)

For the exploitation of the Forest 1603-68 see:…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

How Sir John Winter came to have his position vis-à-vis the Forest of Dean

Lydney is a small town and civil parish in the English county of Gloucestershire. It is located on the west bank of the River Severn, close to the Forest of Dean. In 1588 the Vice-Admiral of England Sir William Winter was granted the manor of Lydney in recognition of his services against the Spanish Armada. His grandson was John Winter who was an active royalist during the English Civil War.…

Larry Moore  •  Link

According to the companion Pepys had an extensive art and print selection that had survived. Does anyone know why these have never traveled? I do not recall hearing of any exhibit at US from museums.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

The pictures were scattered and sold and lost, I think. As for the prints, they are in his Library - where

‘ . . In addition, there are special collections of prints, ballads, music, maps, and calligraphy, all of them now the subject of comprehensive published catalogues . . ’…

There is no online catalogue.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I did give the fellow something that showed them us, and promised to come some other time, and he would show me Lady Castlemaine’s, which I could not then see, it being locked up!"

L&M: She sat on many occasions to Lely 'who used to say, that it was beyond the compass of art to give this lady her due, as to her sweetness and exquisite beauty': T. Hearne, Reliq. Hearmianae (1869 ed.), ii. 57-8. Pepys bought a print of one of these portraits:… and…

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