Sunday 31 August 1662

(Lord’s day). Waked early, but being in a strange house, did not rise till 7 o’clock almost, and so rose and read over my oaths, and whiled away an hour thinking upon businesses till Will came to get me ready, and so got ready and to my office, and thence to church. After sermon home and dined alone. News is brought me that Sir W. Pen is come. But I would take no notice thereof till after dinner, and then sent him word that I would wait on him, but he is gone to bed. So to my office, and there made my monthly accounts, and find myself worth in money about 686l. 19s.d., for which God be praised.

And indeed greatly I hope to thank Almighty God, who do most manifestly bless me in my endeavours to do the duties of my office, I now saving money, and my expenses being little.

My wife is still in the country; my house all in dirt; but my work in a good forwardness, and will be much to my mind at last.

In the afternoon to church, and there heard a simple sermon of a stranger upon David’s words, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the way of the ungodly,” &c., and the best of his sermon was the degrees of walking, standing, and sitting, showing how by steps and degrees sinners do grow in wickedness.

After sermon to my brother Tom’s, who I found has taken physic to-day, and I talked with him about his country mistress, and read Cook’s letter, wherein I am well satisfied, and will appear in promoting it; so back and to Mr. Rawlinson’s, and there supped with him, and in came my uncle Wight and my aunt. Our discourse of the discontents that are abroad, among, and by reason of the Presbyters. Some were clapped up to-day, and strict watch is kept in the City by the train-bands, and letters of a plot are taken. God preserve us! for all these things bode very ill. So home, and after going to welcome home Sir W. Pen, who was unready, going to bed, I staid with him a little while, and so to my lodging and to bed.

28 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F,  •  Link

"David's words, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the way of the ungodly," &c.”

L&M note: “A loose recollection of Ps.i.1. [ Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.]”

“Our discourse of the discontents that are abroad….and letters of a plot are taken.”

L&M note: “”It had been feared that a rising had been fixed for 24 August (when the Act of Uniformity was to come into full force), or for the 28th [sic: I wonder why that day?]. Alarms continue for the next two months: see the evidence summarized by W.C.Abbott in AHR , 14/512-13. Cf. [3 September].

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Ralph Josselin's diary today:

"all hopes of suspension of the act of uniformity taken away. god good to me in my freedom to preach(,) three ministers and multitudes of our christian neighbours hearing, oh lord provide for our security, I trust in thee, keep me from evil and deliver me from evil."

Terry F,  •  Link

Do Will's duties now include buttling?

Last night "My man me to bed;" and this morning "Waked over my oaths, and whiled away an hour thinking upon businesses till Will came to get me ready" -- is this punishment or...?

Today Sam reads over his oaths in the AM instead of doing it just before bed.

I like the latter custom -- methinks it better prepares him for the work week.

Peter  •  Link

Love the "about" £686 19s. 2 1/2d…..

Leslie Katz  •  Link


I can never see such a reference without thinking of Dryden's wonderful lines about the "rude militia".

Alan Bedford  •  Link

"Do Will's duties now include buttling?”

I was thinking more on the line of a (small b) batman: “n : an orderly assigned to serve a British military officer” or an actor’s dresser.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Those exact figures...But what if Bess has taken it into her mind to have a new bonnet or obtain some lace from dear old dad-in-law? Much as dad Pepys may possibly frown upon an extravagant half-French wife, the chance to unload a few choice goods might be overwhelming...

Still, in fairness to our good Bess it's likely she'd hold off without Sam's approval.

I'm surprised Sam mentions no anxious letters from her regarding the remodeling work...I'd think she'd be fretting and writing each day. Though perhaps she has...Other things...Occupying her mind right now.

"Margeret? What be that strange music outside?" John Pepys looks out the kitchen window into the darkness as the strains of an unfamilar instrument, a guitar, sound across the air.

Bess attempting to repress a nervous look...

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Dryden's rude militia

"The country rings around with loud alarms,
And raw in fields the rude militia swarms;
Mouths without hands, maintained at vast expense,
In peace a charge, in war a weak defence.
Stout once a month they march, a blustering band,
And ever, but in time of need at hand.
This was the morn when, issuing on the guard,
Drawn up in rank and file, they stood prepared
Of seeming arms to make a short essay.
Then hasten to be drunk, the business of the day."

Dryden, from Cymon and Iphigenia

dirk  •  Link

Elizabeth - "I'd think she'd be fretting and writing each day.”

Writing, and even more sending letters was slightly more cumbersome in Sam’s time than it is now. We don’t even know whether Elizabeth could write, or write with any degree of fluency (she was a woman after all, and far less women mastered the art of writing than men). So, no, I don’t think it’s likely she’ll be writing every day…

Australian Susan  •  Link

Preaching on David
Often sermons on David are on his adultery with Bathsheba and his sending her husband Uriah to his death (front line fighting): all of this rather close to home as regards the Royal Court, although Charles has no intentions of taking Milady Castlemaine to wife nor of disposing of her husband. This Royal Court has, alas, no Nathan to denounce and shame the King into good behaviour. See 2 Samuel 11 and 12, culminating in Nathan's splendid declamation: "You are the man!"

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Dirk!!!!! you be a modern man, ye forgot thee 'alfpennce it ain't 0.5d.
The 686l. 19s. 2 1/2d ; it would keep most Baronets in full vigor for a year. Notice Sam is not going out to buy the latest Carriage with a livered Six Clydesdales to show off his wealth After Two Years of being at work ye have 8 times ye old annual salary tucked away in ye old sock. He doth sound like a modern Company Leader with his cashing in his shares that he got for looking after bankrupting the joint.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"Do Will's duties now include buttling” As Alan sayeth it be popular [ ‘aving a batman] ‘til the end of the WWII, to have me man check over the whiskers, test the waters for being too warm or cold [elbow test], One does very quickly adjust to the little niceties of life, to be a man of standing, making damn sure that there be no blond hairs or lipstick showing on latest fop wear..

Xjy  •  Link

"little niceties of life"
Hm, a note of bitterness creeping in here ;-) maybe from being a little close to Bonny Prince Big-Ears at Trinity?? "Ah, Vince, old man, come and squeeze the toothpaste onto me brush, will ya, there's a good chap!"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

It would be spoiling to go too far in this but we know Elisabeth reads and Sam writes her, I mainly was surprised she doesn't seem anxious for news of the house works. Even if she couldn't write herself, she could have Dad or someone at the Montagu estate write for her.

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

Elisabeth will surprise us with her skills one day. I'm curious about Sam's not mentioning requests for news of the house from her myself. When my house was abuilding and is a remodeling nothing could/can keep me from finding out what's up, even if I'm off on vacation.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

how by steps and degrees sinners do grow in wickedness

In keeping with this solemn Sunday occasion, I wish to introduce what is sweeping the community of the faithful here and becoming known as the Fourth Great Awakening.…

jan  •  Link

I heard a report yesterday of a man on the Gulf who had kept a journal "every day of his life" (I assume every day of his adult life) and Katrina had taken it. Imagine the loss! Imagine our loss if something of the same had happened to Sam's. How easily could have happened.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Imagine if our Sam in his more dignified old age had chosen to destroy himself the indiscreet journal of his youth...

But fortunately something of our young, life-loving rogue survived in the old man...And besides the Diary left us that fascinating manuscript of the exploits of a certain scalawag named Scott that I sure hope gets published one day.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Andrew - lovely website! It's depressing that sometimes humankind seems just as credulous, superstitous and convinced of our own rightness (or perhaps grasping gratefully at "certainties") as the more strident religious nuts of the 17th century. Here in Australia (and no doubt in the US and the UK) we have groups which homeschool their children and publish their own children's books which, for example, 'explain' dinosaurs in the light of the 'truth'that God created the world in 4004BC. At least we still have satirists!

Australian Susan  •  Link

With reference to Jan and Robert's comments: I wonder if it would have been different if Sam had had children? I kept a diary for years (stopped when I married), but I fully intend to destroy it (before I get senile and forget) as the thought of my children reading it is too much to contemplate!

A. Hamilton  •  Link

FSMism (see my link above).

I should explain that the adherents are called pastafarians.

Second Reading

JayW  •  Link

Train bands: does anyone else recall the tale of John Gilpin, who famously rode from London to Edmonton and continued unwillingly to Ware? He was said to be 'a train band captain'. So the 'train bands' were still operative over 100 years later.
From Wikipedia:
John Gilpin (18th century) was featured as the subject in a well-known comic ballad of 1782 by William Cowper, entitled The Diverting History of John Gilpin.

Mary K  •  Link


"John Gilpin was a citizen
Of credit and renown;
A train-band captain eke was he
Of famous London town....... etc. etc."

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Time was when every schoolboy knew:

‘324. The Diverting History of John Gilpin
William Cowper (1731–1800)

JOHN GILPIN was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A train-band captain eke was he
Of famous London town.

John Gilpin’s spouse said to her dear,
‘Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.

‘To-morrow is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton,
All in a chaise and pair.

‘My sister, and my sister’s child,
Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride
On horseback after we.’

. . And now the turnpike gates again
Flew open in short space;
The toll-men thinking, as before,
That Gilpin rode a race.

And so he did, and won it too,
For he got first to town;
Nor stopped till where he had got up
He did again get down.

Now let us sing, Long live the King!
And Gilpin, long live he!
And when he next doth ride abroad
May I be there to see!…

Recommended if a poem to be learnt by heart for performance is wanted.

Third Reading

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