Monday 3 November 1662

Up and with Sir J. Minnes in his coach to White Hall, to the Duke’s; but found him gone out a-hunting. Thence to my Lord Sandwich, from whom I receive every day more and more signs of his confidence and esteem of me. Here I met with Pierce the chyrurgeon, who tells me that my Lady Castlemaine is with child; but though it be the King’s, yet her Lord being still in town, and sometimes seeing of her, though never to eat or lie together, it will be laid to him. He tells me also how the Duke of York is smitten in love with my Lady Chesterfield (a virtuous lady, daughter to my Lord of Ormond); and so much, that the duchess of York hath complained to the King and her father about it, and my Lady Chesterfield is gone into the country for it. At all which I am sorry; but it is the effect of idleness, and having nothing else to employ their great spirits upon. Thence with Mr. Creede and Mr. Moore (who is got upon his legs and come to see my Lord) to Wilkinson’s, and there I did give them and Mr. Howe their dinner of roast beef, cost me 5s., and after dinner carried Mr. Moore as far as Paul’s in a coach, giving him direction about my law business, and there set him down, and I home and among my workmen, who happened of all sorts to meet to their making an end of a great many jobbs, so that after to-morrow I shall have but a little plastering and all the painting almost to do, which was good content to me. At night to my office, and did business; and there came to me Mr. Wade and Evett, who have been again with their prime intelligencer, a woman, I perceive: and though we have missed twice, yet they bring such an account of the probability of the truth of the thing, though we are not certain of the place, that we shall set upon it once more; and I am willing and hopefull in it. So we resolved to set upon it again on Wednesday morning; and the woman herself will be there in a disguise, and confirm us in the place. So they took leave for the night, and I to my business, and then home to my wife and to supper and bed, my pain being going away. So by God’s great blessing my mind is in good condition of quiet.

27 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

L&M notes confirm more rumor-mongering about Ladies C.: the first was "often the subject of such rumours" and "Presumably the Countess went to her husband's house at Bretby, Derbyshire; but she seems to have been back in court in December."
* * *
Thus it seems that telling tales "is the effect of idleness, and having nothing else to employ...great spirits upon," and that it is a Mortal Sin.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"but it is the effect of idleness"
methinks the sins of the Duke of York were Lust and Sloth,deadly sins but not really mortal sins;they could send you to Purgatory for many years but not to Hell for all eternity.(thank God Halloween is over)

A. Hamilton  •  Link

the woman herself will be there in a disguise

This quest for John Barkstead's gold in the cellars of the Tower is turning into a classic romance!

Jeannine  •  Link

Lady Chesterfield-another "virtuous lady, treated badly....
Lord Chesterfield was a rogue and a ladies' man who “played the field”. He was a major lover of Lady Castlemaine before and during her marriage and overlapping the beginning time period of her affair with Charles II. During his period he feigned great affection for and then married married Elizabeth Butler, daughter of Ormond. Per Grammont” he had therefore married Lady Chesterfield without loving her, and had lived some time with her in such coolness, as to leave her no room to doubt of his indifference. As she was endowed with great sensibility and delicacy, she suffered at this contempt: she was at first much affected with his behaviour, and afterwards enraged at it; and, when he began to give her proofs of his affection, she had the pleasure of convincing him of her indifference.” Over time she began to “understand” and adopt to the ways of Charles' court and realized her marriage as a loss. In her loneliness she had her eyes set not only on the Duke of York but also a cousin James Hamilton. Around this time her husband had started to “fall in love” with his wife, which, in the court of Charles II was a laughable act of a fool. Lady Chesterfield began flirting around between Hamilton and the Duke of York. In order to throw the suspicion elsewhere, Hamilton started to plant the seed in Lord Chesterfield’s head that his wife was having an affair with the Duke. This made Chesterfield, in his jealousy, ever vigilant of that relationship while Hamilton was sneaking letters back and forth with his wife unnoticed. As all of this progressed none of the parties were particularly honest with the other but Lord Chesterfield’s suspicions were growing as was his jealousy of the Duke. Finally after a few suspicious situations including an incident where his wife ended up alone with the Duke during a guitar playing session, Chesterfield walked into a bombshell. He explained to Hamilton, who was now his confidant (per Grammont) that the Duke “was just now with my wife at a card party in the Queen’s chamber…They imagined they were cleverly hiding in the crowd. I do not know what had become of the Duke’s hand, but I know very well that his arm had disappeared right up to the elbow. He turned round and saw me, and was so disconcerted by my presence that in drawing away his hand he came near to completely undressing Lady Chesterfield”, As Pepys reports Lady Chesterfield was scurried away. Per Grammont “ The court was filled with the story of this adventure; nobody was ignorant of the occasion of this sudden departure, but very few approved of Lord Chesterfield's conduct. In England they looked with astonishment upon a man who could be so uncivil as to be jealous of his wife; and in the city of London it was a prodigy, till that time unknown, to see a husband have recourse to violent means to prevent what jealousy fears, and what it always deserves. They endeavoured, however, to excuse poor Lord Chesterfield, as far as they could safely do it, without incurring the public odium, by laying all the blame on his bad education. This made all the mothers vow to God, that none of their sons should ever set a foot in Italy, lest they should bring back with them that infamous custom of laying restraint upon their wives.” According to Allen Allen (‘The Royal Whore”, p87), nobody in the court at this time knew that Lady Chesterfield was four months pregnant. “Lady Chesterfield had a child at Bretby, and though Lord Chesterfield was uncertain whether he had become a father he saw that at least he had the decision on who should be godfather, and chose Lord Clarendon. He comforted himself with the thought that he, Chesterfield still wore among the courtiers the faint halo of the fathership of Lady Castlemaine’s first child”…

Jeannine  •  Link

"yet her Lord being still in town, and sometimes seeing of her, though never to eat or lie together"
Poor Roger Palmer, as Allen Andrews reports in "The Royal Whore" ..."When courtiers whispered that Barbara was pregnant again in October 1662, they recognized that Roger Castlemaine, who had been itching to go into Europe, would not be given pass to leave the country". Roger's unofficial "role" had been reduced to one where in order to make it look "proper" for his wife he was supposed to be in the vicinity of his wife around the time she became pregnant and when she delivered. Charles handled this by denying him leave when it was "convenient" for him to be "around".

Jeannine  •  Link

A. DeAraujo... James' sins... according to Charles II, James' biggest fault was to pick mistresses (aka "targets") that were homely and skinny. Charles preferred the "beauties" of the day but his brother went after a different type and was teased about it regularly. Both were Libertines and had a series of mistresses, one night stands, etc. throughout their lifetimes, although James did somewhat reform while in exile and married to Mary of Modena. Both fathered a string of bastard children. James was a less flagrant about his activities, not so open to general "whoring" and clearly not as insensitive to the feelings of either of his wives in the process.

Pauline  •  Link

"not so open to general “whoring” and clearly not as insensitive to the feelings of either of his wives in the process'
My head spins! Jeannine, should all this be a Pepys discussion group topic? Does it specifically relate to today's entry?

Lady Chesterfield in Background wanders about lost in her history---does the above long, long post belong there? Attributions? Your considerable knowledge counts! But ground us, and consider where we will look for this wealth of information.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sandwich replies to Lady Jem's question on how Sam is...

"Jemina, I find cousin Sam'l to continue in his thrift and care and innocence...So long as I take care he should remain so. And he keeps to his office. I feel quite a content with him."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"At all which I am sorry; but it is the effect of idleness, and having nothing else to employ their great spirits upon."

This seems a recurring affliction for royals...

"So Charlie." Jamie takes a seat. "What shall we employ our great spirits upon today?"

Charles ponders...James ponders.

And they ponder. Charles drumming fingers...

"Check out the new babes-in-waiting?"

"You're on, bro..."

Pauline  •  Link

"...but found him gone out a-hunting..."
Robert Gertz, innocently (and "romantically") I assumed the hunt would end in a vension pasty. "Check out the new babes-in-waiting?” could be quest.

CGS  •  Link

"...found him gone out a-hunting..." better than going a-fishing, not quite so static, but it does seem that pleasure be before business, now in 21st C, it be so serious.[need for an appointement secretary]

CGS  •  Link

Idle hands be the Devils playthings "...but it is the effect of idleness, and having nothing else to employ their great spirits upon..."

CGS  •  Link

Thanks J. it gives a nice sense of the distractions that poor Sam has to deal[ suffer] with while trying to keep the Navy afloat.

Xjy  •  Link

"...great spirits..."
Sam's lickspittle side coming through clearly here.
What's more, I think Jeannine's comments are highly relevant to this entry and to Sam's career and personality in general. They flesh out the kind of thing he noticed and commented on. Royal whoring and attitudes and perspectives relating to it were important matters. Even today they are considered to be of public interest ("crown prince marries long-time whore...") despite the ludicrous irrelevance of the God's Grace Gang these days.

Pedro  •  Link

“yet her Lord being still in town, and sometimes seeing of her, though never to eat or lie together, it will be laid to him”

Roger Palmer is still in town and vehemently claiming that the last child was his.

On reading this entry there is no background information on Lady Chesterfield, and none in L&M? This entry requires a look into the gossip that Sam quotes, and therefore any annotation about this is relevant, irrespective of length. If anyone is not interested in Chesterfield they can move to the next, but please, let’s not discourage any of the annotators from adding to our great experience.

Ruben  •  Link

Lady Chesterfield
Thank you Jeannine for the annotation about this Lady. 300 and more years after all that happened, history becomes flat and only annotations like yours give the possibility to understand Sam's small touches about this Lady. I like the tridimensionality of today's annotations!

language hat  •  Link

"Jeannine’s comments are highly relevant to this entry"

I agree, but they should be copied and added to the background entry for the lady, where they will continue to enlighten for years to come.

Lynn  •  Link

Lady Chesterfield
Sam mentioned her "today", so J's annotation is relevant to today. I too found it interesting.

Pedro  •  Link

James and Lady Chesterfield.

“Charles’ witticism that his brother’s mistresses were so plain that they must have been imposed on him by his confessors as a penance is sometimes quoted as evidence of James’ general boorishness…there is something very unattractive about having a positive taste for plain women. Anne Hyde was undoubtedly plain, but perhaps this early experience gave James a good fright. For Lely made of James’ post-Restoration mistress Lady Chesterfield a doe-like creature with nothing plain about her.

(Antonia Fraser…King Charles II)

Terry F  •  Link

Lady Chesterfield
Sam not only mentioned her “today”, but he expressed concern about her rumored status "today," so J's annotation is relevant not only in the background but also in the foreground, in the swim where Sam and others live; recall his concern three days ago about the moral/political influence of "my Lady Castlemaine, and her faction at Court."

Joe  •  Link

"the effect of idleness"

Note how Pepys is using the Royals as an object lesson. He doesn't write simply that THEY are idle, but that their behavior is a specific instance writ large of a general principle: idleness at work, you might say.

Terry F  •  Link

The Royals -- beset within and without
Pepys's Diary's recent weeks record several perils that threaten to burst London's royalist bubble:
-- laxity;
-- promiscuity (succession's enemy);
-- profligacy;
-- Cromwellian revanchism;
-- other insurencies;
-- feared insurencies;
-- religious instability;
(many recalling Charles's Declaration of Breda (1660) that promised religious toleration...)

All is not well.

(Sam consoles himself with a condo remodeled, office success, time with his wife, and digging for treasure under the Tower.)

Jeannine  •  Link

"All is not well". Exactly (and well summarized) Terry! It'll take a lot more than Sam's "standard" dose of physique to cure all of those ills....

Seriously, all the "gossip" stories, the political and social maneuverings, etc. that are going on around Sam will either directly or indirectly affect his career. He has to make choices every day to decide how to advance himself and protect his personal interests. Although the behavior of the Courts (love affairs, moral corruption, etc.) concerning and around the King, Duke, and higher uppers is totally disgusting, all of this is pertinent to the choices Sam makes every day as he works in this environment. He needs to "please" men like the King and the Duke in order to "stay in the game". In the case of some of Charles' recent choices for promotion (Berkeley, etc. as discussed over the past few days) they will rise based on aligning with the seedier side of bringing pleasure to the King. In the case of Sam, he is plugging away digging a hole and looking for gold, trying to improve the Navy, etc. He could be taking another path and dangling his beautiful wife in the face of the King or Duke to get ahead, but he is not. He could be drinking with the gang, pimping, gambling or whatever but he is not.
In spite of the fact that he's working and committing himself to do reputable service for the monarchy he is still competing in the larger sense with others that will use whatever means they can to get ahead.Sam's challenge will be to move through the growing mass of moral decay, perversions, monetary crunches, politics, etc. without getting engulfed by them. He is aware that things are not well and seems to fear (and rightly so) that they will be getting worse.
Sam is a quick study and doesn't miss a thing. He isn't just writing about gossip but he is taking it in, figuring it out and internalizing his understanding of the subcultures, "good old boys networks", "love triangles" and politics forming around his world and moving carefully to remain afloat in very rocky waters.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Yet another Monday when Sam trots off to wait on the Duke and the Duke is off on pleasure bound.
Loved Robert Gertz's cheeky summing up of what goes through the Royal Minds
Note that Moore has to "pay" for his "free lunch" by paying attention to Sam's law business whilst trapped in a coach with him.
"all the painting" Would that be just plain painting over the plaster? Or decorative painting of scenes? Or woodwork painting? The lovely oak panelling which we admire in 17thc rooms was in those days usually painted over. Presumably Sam would be having this done. Sam has also mentioned hangings in his house (tapestry? plain material?) and rooms lined with silk. I am sure it will all look magnificent when it is done. Watch out for a rash of parties come the Christmas holidays. This is all getting rather Vogue Interiors here, rather than the Tatler or The Times of previous annotations.

CGS  •  Link

Charles had the cash thereby he gets the pick of the litter, James be dependant on getting cash from big brother, and so not too step on toes, gets the seconds, besides which, they the ladies be happy to be in such charming surrounds, enjoying the ambience of appreciation of the fine young men in the corridors of power.
Who would not be pleased to have compliments in poetical form rather than the callous mutterings of the men on drays.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...home to my wife and to supper and bed..." Sounds like a man's weary thankfulness that he has created a little oasis in the sordid world he must plow through. After today's vivid picture of the current situation at court, his remark about Bess yesterday, while patronizing, etc can be seen to reflect his nervous awareness that the muck might reach into his own home if he's not vigilant. Whether he would fight (complain, resign and flee London, duke it out, risk trumped-up charges)if he or Elisabeth were pressured by some court fop looking for pretty new material is perhaps the more important question.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

“my Lady Chesterfield is gone into the country for it”

Peter Cunningham thinks that this banishment was only temporary, for, according to the Grammont Memoirs, she was in town when the Russian ambassador was in London, December, 1662, and January, 1662-63. "It appears from the books of the Lord Steward's office . . . that Lord Chesterfield set out for the country on the 12th May, 1663, and, from his 'Short Notes' referred to in the Memoirs before his Correspondence, that he remained at Bretby, in Derbyshire, with his wife, throughout the summer of that year" (" Story of Nell Gwyn," 1852, p. 189).
---Wheatley, 1899.

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