Saturday 21 June 1662

Up about four o’clock, and settled some private business of my own, then made me ready and to the office to prepare things for our meeting to-day.

By and by we met, and at noon Sir W. Pen and I to the Trinity House; where was a feast made by the Wardens, when great good cheer, and much, but ordinary company. The Lieutenant of the Tower, upon my demanding how Sir H. Vane died, told me that he died in a passion; but all confess with so much courage as never man died. Thence to the office, where Sir W. Rider, Capt. Cocke, and Mr. Cutler came by appointment to meet me to confer about the contract between us and them for 500 tons of hemp. That being done, I did other business and so went home, and there found Mr. Creed, who staid talking with my wife and me an hour or two, and I put on my riding cloth suit, only for him to see how it is, and I think it will do very well. He being gone, and I hearing from my wife and the maids’ complaints made of the boy, I called him up, and with my whip did whip him till I was not able to stir, and yet I could not make him confess any of the lies that they tax him with. At last, not willing to let him go away a conqueror, I took him in task again, and pulled off his frock to his shirt, and whipped him till he did confess that he did drink the whey, which he had denied, and pulled a pink, and above all did lay the candlestick upon the ground in his chamber, which he had denied this quarter of a year. I confess it is one of the greatest wonders that ever I met with that such a little boy as he could possibly be able to suffer half so much as he did to maintain a lie. I think I must be forced to put him away. So to bed, with my arm very weary.

45 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

Poor Wayneman.
This is the downside of servants being part of the family - Sam here exercises the rights of a father to chastise his child. He is in loco parentis to Wayneman. Wonder what Jane thought whilst all this was going on.Masters were supposed to beat their apprentices if they needed it and beating boys was considered good for them until the middle years of last century.
Now, his crimes. Drinking the whey I can understand. That had been set aside to make cheese once the cream had been used for butter and laying a candlestick on the ground would be likely to cause a fire - highly dangerous - but *what* is "pulled a pink" - a misprint?

Bradford  •  Link

"The Shorter Pepys" gives "pinke," which the Companion calls a "sweet-smelling garden flower," still common today. Unless it was a prized houseplant, the "crime" seems nugatory. Apparently no one ever told Sam, "This is going to hurt me more than it will you," but maybe once he's older he'll learn.

Interesting to compare the agendas revealed by simultaneous "eyewitnesses" to Vane's departure from this life. A pity Pepys missed getting a look.

Leslie Katz  •  Link

On 29 May of the same year,

"To the Old Spring Garden, and there walked long, and the wenches gathered pinks."

Glyn  •  Link

"Wonder what Jane thought whilst all this was going on..."

According to the above entry, she was one of the maids who complained about him, which we can believe or not.

"and above all did lay the candlestick upon the ground in his chamber"

What does that mean?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam demanding to know!

"Sir John! I demand to know how Sir Harry died!!" Holds pistol at Lieutenant of the Tower Sir John Robinson's head...

"Pepys...It's my life to say." Sam cocks his pistol (true to the Republican Commonwealth that he is). "Oh, very well! He died with so much courage as never man died."

"Write said lines in me diary here and sign it for posterity!"

Sir John reluctantly signs. "The King shall hear of this, Pepys!"

"I fear no...mere King." our Sam proudly retorts. "Besides, this is merely for posterity...Not for nearly 300 years shall it see light of day."

"Offer him a bribe, Sam'l." our equally heroic, but practical Elisabeth suggests.

Sir John agrees, on sight of the generous bribe, to keep mum.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I'd still like to know what "private business" of his own he settled at 4am.

Pauline  •  Link

"...that such a little boy as he..."
He is somewhere between 11 and 13 years old at this time. His sister, Jane, is 18.

Pauline  •  Link

"...pulled a pink..."
L&M Companion Large Glossary also has the definition (referenced to iii.116) as "poniard, pointed weapon". The flower reference is to iii.95. Does anyone know if we are on page 95 or 116 of the third volume?

As part of his livery, Wayneman may pack such an item--defined in current Merriam-Webster as "a dagger with a usu. slender blade of triangular or square cross section".

Though pulling a dagger would seem more serious than leaving his candlestick on the floor of his chamber. And I can see him coming on through the garden and reaching out and pulling a pink as he strides past it. Either seems young teenlike.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Wayneman - guilty or not?
Everyone seems to assume, with Sam, that Wayneman finally told the truth after being severely beaten. Maybe. We don't know the basis for the accusations by Elizabeth and "the maids" (one of whom was Wayneman's sister Jane). But it also seems possible that Wayneman simply gave in and said whatever it took to stop the beating. It is well known that torture victims can be made to "confess" to pretty much anything.
Today I don't like Sam very much.

Pauline  •  Link

Wayneman - guilty or not?
Yes, Paul, that was my original reaction too. Then I lost that thread in trying to picture the pink episode.

I don't like Sam much today either. Or Uncle Sam for that matter, as to torture.

JWB  •  Link

Lies they tax us with.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Tanning of a rear end :some derrieres be very sensitve to a cane and the crack of the cane in air will send some recients to crumble in a heap with Crocodile tears before a strike be made and with others, the hide be tougher than an Alligator or Rhino.
Loved to listen to the CRACK and Yowl when waiting in line for ones turn. On one occasion, I be disappointed, heard 12 whacks and then the receiver of said blow came out with a big grin.
[believe it or not.]
So I can well believe that young Wayneman could take the dose and it would drive any punisher bonkers by showing a smirk.
Normal punishment be, 2 rare, 3 mostly then for repeat offences up to 12 and if more be needed then the derriere be submitted for update when the weals be not a glowing.

For the Navy and Army Flogging be the normal for Centuries , and they be lashings that could leave a man not breathing.
Corporal Punishment was only reduced in living memory, still popular in the War to end all wars.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...pulled a pink,..." my mind???? if it be part of the removal of petticoat , i.e. no derriere protection? then he put the candlestick on the ground? as last defiant gesture.
"Weary arm " that be wot me old 'ousemaster didoth say when He finish his task of correcting me faults. Can still touch me old toes.[creak]

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

pinke: slang years ago, be the little finger. minor version of a bronx cheer.

Mary  •  Link

"pulled a pinK"

Today's entry appears on p. 116 of vol.3. Therefore the reference would be to the weapon. (see Pauline's point, above).

My speculation is that Wayneman stands accused of two potentially dangerous domestic crimes. Firstly, he's been playing about with some sort of weapon, much as one of my small grandsons might lay about him with a 'Jedi light-sabre'. Secondly, and most seriously, he has set his candlestick on the floor of his room, where it may very easily be kicked over and set a fire; candlesticks have to be set down in safe places ... on a table or a shelf.

In the first case, Wayneman risked injuring someone; in the second, he could have risked the safety of the entire household.

Mary  •  Link

Trinity House feasts.

L&M notes that their feasts were notoriously gargantuan. Many years later, after he had become Master of the Corporation in 1677, Pepys succeeded in banning the feasts for the duration of his year of tenure.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Convicts here in Australia both male and female were subject to fearsome floggings for decades, but the pattern for this was derived from Army and Naval practice, especially the latter. Furthermore, many of the female convicts (especially on the Second Fleet) were prostitutes and flogging was a common punishment for them. If you read the Laws to do with vagabonds from the 16th and 17th centuries, whipping "out of the Parish" was regular practice for dealing with "sturdy beggars". It was all a very different world. Some convicts ended up with their bones showing through the skin permanently as a result of repeated floggings.

GrahamT  •  Link

Master Birch birched:
Wayneman has the wrong surname for a rascal. It could put the idea into his master's mind.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"which he had denied this quarter of a year"
This beating was all wrong as far as timing and intensity.

MikeCamel  •  Link

When I was at prep school (only 25 years or so ago), there was a graduated set of "whackings". Slipper, then plimsoll (an old-style training shoe - a green-stripe one, I think), then cane.

We were whacked on the bottom, and I never received the cane (I was just too much of a goody-goody, I guess). The birch (very whippy birch twigs) was banned for use on children before I went to school. As long as you have some clothes on, it doesn't hurt too much - though a cane is nastier. I guess that a whip in Sam's case would be a horsewhip, and I can't speculate on that. And, of course, the more you're whacked, the more you'll feel it (to a degree).

However, I've seen the results of a slightly inebriated setting about with a cane, which started getting the bare backs of legs: that was considered bad form, and was clearly very painful.

I suspect that Waynemann was in some real pain, and give him some credit for sticking by his story for so long.

I don't blame Sam too much: it was considered normal behaviour ("spare the rod and spoil the child" was a well-known phrase), and Sam's clearly worried about the alleged crimes. Don't forget that a house fire doesn't just put your household at risk, as Sam is to discover in a little over four years...

GrahamT  •  Link

Judicial birching of young offenders:
Abolished in mainland Britain in 1948, but remained until 1976 in the Isle of Man. (but law not repealed until 1993!) See for pictures of the vicious hazel birches. Wayneman probably got off lighter than someone birched in the 1960/70s.
The cane in British (private) schools lasted even longer.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Given the facts that Will Hewer and Sam's maids and staff seem to find him a good master in general, (No entries that Will's uncle Robert came to complain and threaten lawsuits, no serious wrangling by maids' families...That we know of, I know, but one has to work with what info one has) I think it's likely Wayneman is a troublesome kid who resists both kindnesses and abuse. He may feel himself to have a legit grievance with Sam and that may make him more obstinate but I can't quite buy that Bess and the maids are making false charges against him. If he's pulling a dagger, ( perhaps intimidating other boys his age? perhaps threatening the maids and his own sis?) as young Mr. Tough, he's become a serious liability. If his candlestick prank was an act of anger with a serious threat to burn the house down in the night, then he's one dangerous kid. It's hard to judge and would help if Sam made it clear that even Jane was charging him and maybe a little afraid of him, etc... I don't enjoy the image of a little boy being severely whipped but Sam is in his way trying to impose discipline and deal with a very difficult situation. And again, I can't imagine that if Wayneman had a loving and kind disposition that Bess and Jane wouldn't be making much of him and spoiling him while Sam would be eagerly teaching him and thinking of ways to get him a career in the Naval Office as he grows.

Stolzi  •  Link

"so much courage as never man died"

His late Majesty, King Charles I., did very well too. So soon we forget!

Xjy  •  Link

Floggem and Whippit
Hm, anyone know any images that might resemble Sam's "whip"?
Why does everyone assume that slaves are duty-bound to be not only obedient but also "loving and kind" towards their owners?`
I say "slave" because obviously Sam's "boy", like any slave "boy" anywhere, isn't a free agent to pursue his own development, nor are his parents in a position to give him an education without this humiliating and one-sided vulnerability to violence.
Interesting of course, that rich families long insisted on subjecting their offspring (especially boys) to this kind of ritualized and brutal humiliation. Says everything about the kind of monsters they aimed to create.
So let's weep at poor Sam tiring his arm, and heap blame and moral turds on the victim's head. Fiat voluntas fortioris. Flagellum gaudium meum.

Araucaria  •  Link

Others have noted before that Sam seems to be more violent after viewing executions. I wasn't entirely convinced of this earlier, but I'm starting to wonder.

In this entry he is merely thinking about the Vane execution, and yet he gets pretty worked up over whipping the boy.

Telling, isn't it?

Maurie Beck  •  Link


Through the eighteenth century torture was considered a valid way to elicit a truthful confession. It's amazing how many heretics and witches confessed. Perhaps the boy is guilty and perhaps not.

I might have mispoke when I said through the eighteenth century. Torture can be very effective in eliciting a response.

LAF  •  Link

As somber as Sam's whipping of Wayneman is (and I don't like him much today, either), the text suggests that as egregious as the alleged misdeeds were -- ("above all" putting one's candle on the floor, maybe amid rushes identical to the wick of the candle?)-- Sam beat Wayneman because he was convinced that the boy was lying. We'll never know whether Wayneman was incorrigible and stoic or maligned and stoic; we have only his courage or recalcitrance (depending upon point of view) mirroring the much remarked (and Wayneman would have heard of it) courage or recalcitrance of Sir H. Vane. But it is entirely credible that the child (and he is) ultimately confessed simply to stop the beating (Sir H. Vane, after all, had only a moment to suffer by comparison). The chief joy and frustration of the diary (as others have remarked over these few years) is that Sam gives us so much detail that what he doesn't is maddening. Will Sunday prayer and reflections soften Sam's determination to cut Wayneman free?

BradW  •  Link

I'm with you Xjy, I nearly cried to picture poor Wayneman desperately searching his memory for any recent controversy he could confess to, to make the blows stop. Though I've known some innately violent 13-year-old boys, one could almost sympathize with Wayneman for pulling a blade if it was his sister's threats to lie to the Pepyses about him that prompted it.

We'll never know in 2005 who was guilty of what, except that Sam, like most men of his era, was probably guilty of lacking the moral courage to stop the cycle of violence. God help any children the adult Wayneman ever had in his charge, even if Sam's "correction" of 21 June 1662 actually had its intended effect.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Violence doth bring forth Violence:
A wee bit delayed perhaps in his case. Brutality when unleashed brings out the worst in a human, once it gets into a crowd it rushes on til it splutters out of fuel. As pointed out, this lashing out at the rear end of Birch has been a common theme. [ at least it was not the Cat or Dog or spider monkey that be the receiver of wrath]
Confession only satisfies the preconceived thoughts and the torturer, never reveals the whole truth.
This period of time has just relinquised the rack for the sainted ones, extracting toe/finger nails to get the perceived truth.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Fire Dangers
Although the floors in Sam's house would not have had rushes on them, the dangers were great.
Here in Brisbane, we still have many,many houses built of wood ((known as 'Queenslanders' and very attractive). However, if one catches fire, even in 2005, the fire brigade know that even if they respond as as speedily as possible, they can only hope to save the neighbouring houses, if that. Only last week, we had a fire which also burnt out the next door house before being extinguished and this is with high pressure hoses and fire personnel in fireproof clothing etc. It must have been ten times as scary in the 17th century. Also - that fire I have described was caused by a candle being left unattended.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

'Sam, like most men of his era, was probably guilty of lacking the moral courage to stop the cycle of violence'

The need to do so probably wouldn't cross his mind if he was a typical man of his period.

Pauline  •  Link

'a typical man of his period'
As we are, more or less, typical of our era. What, oh what, will we be under this kind of scrutiny for 343 from now?

Mary  •  Link

"lacking moral courage"?

Not at all. He was upholding accepted moral values by punishing the boy for both the crimes and for lying about them. His moral duty towards his servants lay in keeping them on the straight, narrow and upright.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"A typical man of his period"
Along the lines of Pauline’s comment, it’s unknowable what people 343 years from now will think of us, but I find it useful to try to guess what Sam and his contemporaries would think of *us*. As appalled as we are by their morals, they would be at least as horrified by ours.

Social equality would be hard enough for them, let alone our freedom of the press and religion, equality of the sexes, on-demand divorce, cohabitation before marriage, and social acceptance of homosexuality.

I certainly prefer the morals of my time to those of Sam’s. And I think that, when we read the diary, we can hardly avoid bringing our own standards into play. Still, when we judge Pepys and his friends, it’s only fair that we submit ourselves to their judgment, too.

language hat  •  Link

So you think he would only object to good things about us?
Letting us off pretty easily, aren't you?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Good point, LH. I think Pauline hints pretty broadly earlier in today's annotations about some of our modern sins, and Glyn's reference a day or two ago to Phil's post about Roombas and military robots are a good indication of where things could go from here ... I think we sometimes give ourselves too much credit for being civilized. We've only been on this planet a short time, and human nature too often shows its brutal roots.

But at least this group thinks about it! You can usually count on a lot of annotations when Sam disciplines the staff...

Peter  •  Link

... or his monkey, Todd. Remember that?

Ruben  •  Link

I like today's annotations and agree with most.
I would say that our defects are many, but we, at least, I feel, know about them. We are not innocent. At least voices against crimes are raised. And those who want can hear them. Not so in Pepys days. The best you could do was going to America, there to build "your" perfect society. But do not forget how nice and useful it was to see Indians dissapear from view because God was on your side.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Letting Us Off Easily
Not at all, LH. I meant to point out those developments of which we are proud which Restoration-Era people would not see as virtues. I didn't include the things of our world of which we are ashamed -- the persistence of poverty, war, injustice -- because, I hope, we wouldn't celebrate them in pointing out our superiority.

And, just to repeat, none of the items in my previous list are things I would want to give up. I would hardly choose to live in a world, for instance, in which I could be hanged as a sodomite.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"and pulled a pink"

PINK, a well known smelling Flower.
---An Universal Etymological English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"... hearing from my wife and the maids’ complaints made of the boy, ..."

reminds of the first time I was caned as a 10 year old in 1965. My class teacher, the dreaded Miss P, didn't like kids much. A mixed group of us got a bit rowdy one wet lunchtime and all the boys got caned on the hand after she wound the headmaster up about us. At least it was only on the hand. A couple of years later, I remember the the deputy headmistress in my secondary school making a classmate of mine drop his trousers and caning him in front of the class. Corporal punishment wasn't abolished in British state schools until the late 1980s. The decision was far from universally popular amongst parents, but, to be fair, the Deputy in the school I worked in expressed his great relief that he wouldn't have to do it any more!

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: [he] . . pulled a pink: OED has:

‘pink n.4 from pink v.1
. . 2.a. A stab made by a dagger or other pointed weapon.
1601 J. Weever Mirror of Martyrs sig. Cj, At a great word she will her poynard draw, Looke for the pincke if once thou giue the lye.
1639 J. Ford Ladies Triall iii. sig. E4v, The fellowes a shrewd fellow at a pink.’


‘pink v.1 I. Senses related to cutting or piercing.
1. trans. In early use: to ornament (cloth or leather) by cutting or punching eyelet holes, slits, etc., esp. to display a contrasting lining or undergarment; to perforate. In later use: to cut a scalloped or zigzag edge . .
1666 S. Pepys Diary 15 Oct. (1972) VII. 324 A long Cassocke..of black cloth and pinked with white silk under it.
. . 2.b. trans. To pierce, stab, or prick with a pointed weapon or instrument.
. . a1669 H. Foulis Hist. Romish Treasons (1671) vi. ii. 356 Cutting and pinking his body with their swords . . ‘

but NOT ‘pink’ = ‘poniard’.

And it has, as LK spotted, ‘pink n.5 A. n.5 I. The flower.
1. a. Any of various plants of the genus Dianthus (family Caryophyllaceae),
. . 1662 S. Pepys Diary 29 May (1970) III. 95 To the Old Spring garden... And the wenches gathered pinks . . ‘

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘Pull’ in this context = ‘pull up’; the boy intended to pluck a bloom from the pink but the stem was too strong for his fingers and he instead pulled the plant out of the ground. This is easily done if the plant is newly planted and not yet rooted in the soil. If he had replanted it carefully no harm would have been done but instead, no doubt to avoid getting his hands dirty, he left it lying on the soil for others to see and was punished for it. He won’t do it again.

OED has:

‘pull . . 2. a. trans. To pluck or uproot from the ground (a root vegetable, crop, etc.). Cf. to pull up 1 at Phrasal verbs.
. . 1614 S. Purchas Pilgrimage (ed. 2) v. xii. 507 The herbe is..sowne as other herbs, in due time pulled and dried.
1669 Hist. Sir Eger 42 His armes about him could he cast, he pulled herbes and rootes fast . .
1993 M. Russell Gangmasters in Chief (Anglia T.V. shooting script) 4th Ser. 4th Ser. Episode 10. 4 The workers in the fields, bent double, their feet, legs and hands caked in mud as they pull vegetables.‘

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I hearing from my wife and the maids’ complaints made of the boy....I confess it is one of the greatest wonders that ever I met with that such a little boy as he could possibly be able to suffer half so much as he did to maintain a lie. I think I must be forced to put him away."

L&M: For Wayneman Birch's misdeeds, see. e.g.… and…

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