Wednesday 23 July 1662

This morning angry a little in the morning, and my house being so much out of order makes me a little pettish. I went to the office, and there dispatched business by myself, and so again in the afternoon; being a little vexed that my brother Tom, by his neglect, do fail to get a coach for my wife and maid this week, by which she will not be at Brampton Feast, to meet my Lady at my father’s. At night home, and late packing up things in order to their going to Brampton to-morrow, and so to bed, quite out of sorts in my mind by reason that the weather is so bad, and my house all full of wet, and the trouble of going from one house to another to Sir W. Pen’s upon every occasion. Besides much disturbed by reason of the talk up and down the town, that my Lord Sandwich is lost; but I trust in God the contrary.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F.  •  Link

"Brampton Feast"
L&M note: A parish feast....

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"makes me a little pettish.......;being a little vexed that my brother Tom........,quite out of sorts in my mind......the wheather is so bad,and my house all full of wet.....Besides much disturbed...that my Lord Sandwich is lost;"
Enough to drive someone to break an oath and drink some wine to calm his nerves! what did the use as a sedative these days? Camomille Tea?

dirk  •  Link

Camomille Tea?

Yes, very likely. - Although a couple of beers might also do the job, but then again there's Sam's oath...

dirk  •  Link

17th c. sedative

Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654), the writer of "The English physitian", London 1652, would probably have prescribed "balm" (Melissa officinalis).


"It causeth the Mind and Heart to becom merry (...), and driveth away al troublesom cares and thoughts..."…

Terry F.  •  Link

Dirk, great source! Culpepper declines to describe many herbs, other plants, trees, etc., because, as he says about "balm": "This Herb is so wel known to be an Inhabitant almost in every Garden, that I shal not need to write any Description thereof." I wonder to what extent his 17c Readers and you 21c Annotaters* who have lived in England have a shared familiarity with these flora, many alien to me.
(Ironic that the first one he is careful to describe, "GARDEN BAZIL or SWEET BAZIL," is one I learned to grow in my years in Connecticut among Italian-Americans.)
*"Annotaters" = Not tubers, but not all males.

Terry F.  •  Link

Erratum: should be "Culpeper."

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Culpeper and Balm.
I assume this is what we call Lemon Balm which is indeed familiar in the UK as it grows like a weed, self-seeding all over the place. Lemon-scented leaves, I can imagine it being infused as a soothing tea, although personally I find a good Shiraz does the trick. How much longer can Sam stay on the wagon with all his travails?

Terry F.  •  Link

Balm and a good Shiraz.
Culpeper's not keeping Sam 'on the wagon' (as we say in the 'States - long offer-topic story): "Diascorides saith, That the Leaves steeped in Wine, and the Wine drunk, and the Leavs externally applied is a remedy against the sting of Scorpions, and the bitings of mad Dogs, and commendeth the Decoction therof for Women to bath or sit in to procure their Courses; it is good to wash aching Teeth therwith and profitable for those that have the bloody Flux. The Leaves also with a little Nitre taken in Drink, are good against a Surfet of Mushromes, helps the griping pains of the Belly and being made into an Electuary is good for them that cannot fetch their breath:" [deep breathing, preferably over a commode, lid upstanding, of course]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...the trouble of going from one house to another to Sir W. Pen's upon every occasion…”

Sir Will, suddenly returned from Ireland sans family for a special errand, blinks to find a certain unwelcome intruder rather comfortably settled in his home. In his favorite chair, smoking his favorite Dutch pipe in a way certain to ruin it. And pauses as his shock lessens, considering where to lower or immediately discharge his raised pistol…

Sadly, he now spies others with said intruder…A startled Elisabeth, Jane, and Will Hewer entering the room behind Pepys.

Damn, not enough ammo to kill them all and claim he’d mistaken them.


“Sir William?” Sam drops said favorite pipe to floor, shattering it.

“What the devil are you doing in my house?!!”

Destroying my things…Ruining my rugs with that mud and rainwater…Is that my Jamaican battleflag Mrs. Pepys has in her hand?

Ummn…Sam desperately racks brain.

Ah… “Well, Sir Will. Mr. Coventry needed some papers of yours and…”

“Sam’l?” Bess stares at him. “You said Sir Will had given his permission for us to use the house.”

Uh, well…Ummn…

Martha Rosen  •  Link

More 17th century sedatives
Valerian, still available for purchase on herbal medicine websites, has been used since at least the middle ages as a sedative.…

dirk  •  Link


re - Martha Rosen

I thought about that too, but strangely enough Culpeper mentions valerian as a remedy for: "Disury, Strangury, Stitch, terms provokes, breast, short wind, Cough, Flegm, Pestilence, Wind, Headach, Eyes, Pin and Web, Wounds, Splinters, thorns" - but says nothing about its tranquilizing qualities.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Parish Feast
Annual event - probably in abeyance during the 1650s. Notorious for drunken indulgence! Nowadays usually much more decorous affair linked with a Church's Patronal festival (eg our Church is dedicated to the Holy Spirit so our feast day is Pentecost).
For the folkloric history see…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Culpeper, Nicholas, 1616-1654.
The English physitian: or an astrologo-physical discourse of the vulgar herbs of this nation.
London : Peter Cole, 1652.
8 p.l., 255 p. (i.e. 159 p.), [5] p., front. (port.)
Pages numbered 1-92, 189-255.
Harvey Cushing's copy.

This electronic version was prepared by Richard Siderits, M.D., and colleagues by keying from the copy at the Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University. Adaptation to HTML by Toby Appel.…

Linked to Electronic Texts in the History of Medicine

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Great pressures and Sam turns pettish. Small beer, personally I would be freaking out! Two houses under threat. House itself and the House of Work as I gather Sam is finished without Sandwich. Stress indeed.

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