Monday 17 November 1662

To the Duke’s to-day, but he is gone a-hunting, and therefore I to my Lord Sandwich’s, and having spoke a little with him about his businesses, I to Westminster Hall and there staid long doing many businesses, and so home by the Temple and other places doing the like, and at home I found my wife dressing by appointment by her woman that I think is to be, and her other sister being here to-day with her and my wife’s brother, I took Mr. Creed, that came to dine, to an ordinary behind the Change, and there dined together, and after dinner home and there spent an hour or two till almost dark, talking with my wife, and making Mrs. Gosnell sing; and then, there being no coach to be got, by water to White Hall; but Gosnell not being willing to go through bridge, we were forced to land and take water, again, and put her and her sister ashore at the Temple. I am mightily pleased with her humour and singing. At White Hall by appointment, Mr. Creed carried my wife and I to the Cockpitt, and we had excellent places, and saw the King, Queen, Duke of Monmouth, his son, and my Lady Castlemaine, and all the fine ladies; and “The Scornfull Lady,” well performed. They had done by eleven o’clock, and it being fine moonshine, we took coach and home, but could wake nobody at my house, and so were fain to have my boy get through one of the windows, and so opened the door and called up the maids, and went to supper and to bed, my mind being troubled at what my wife tells me, that her woman will not come till she hears from her mother, for I am so fond of her that I am loth now not to have her, though I know it will be a great charge to me which I ought to avoid, and so will make it up in other things. So to bed.

30 Annotations

First Reading

Jeannine  •  Link

Today Sam notices that Charles is surrounded by Lady Castlemaine as well as the Duke of Monmouth (Jamie Crofts,his illegitimate son by Lucy Walters). As Davison reports (p 165) “Charles by this time had created his illegitimate son James, Duke of Monmouth. It was not without one last flare of protest from Catherine, justly insulted at the suggestion of a public recognition of the boy. The Duke of York wrote to the Lord Chancellor [Clarendon] on the matter.

‘My brother hath spoken with the Queen yesterday concerning the owning of his sonne, and in much passion she told him that from the time he did any such thing she would never see his face more. I would be glad to see you before you go to Parliament that I may advise you what is to be done, for my brother tells me he will do whatever I please’.

Catherine’s last flame of protest against the indignities offered her was probably made now. To create a son of another woman a Duke of Royal House was an outrage on herself and to any future children she might have. Charles only bent in reparation to women whom, like Lady Castlemaine he had injured in reputation, and to their children, was determined to openly acknowledge his son, and load him with honours. He was always extremely fond of all his left-handed children, and it gave him pleasure to shower favors on them. In spite of Catherine’s declaration that she would see his face no more, the patent was granted, and throughout his life Catherine treated the Duke of Monmouth, as she treated all of the rest of Charles’ children, with sweet and unvarying kindness. He was granted precedence over every other Duke in the Realm, except the Duke of York, and loaded with such distinction and favour that people whispered he was Charles’ lawful son, and would be his successor.”

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"I am mighty pleased with her humour and singing............for I am so fond of her..."
Well Sam since you appreciate music so much you should give details like what kind of music is she singing; unless you are interested in something else in which case you should also give details!

Bradford  •  Link

"I know it will be a great charge to me which I ought to avoid, and so will make it up in other things."

Oh, the joys of balancing the household's moral budget.

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"Very good, Gosnell, again and try a bit higher please. Keep that head raised, neck up." Sam advices, as a beaming Miss Gosnell complies.

Bess noting his eyes are somewhat lower than the young lady's throat.

"My dear. Your idea of getting a companion was absolutely..." he catches a fierce glare.
“I know it will be a great charge to me which I ought to avoid, and so will make it up in other things...”

Something tells me it won't be Sam's clothing budget that will suffer.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The Scornful Lady is another Beaumont and Fletcher play (the Rice and Webber of their day - many very popular plays). Sam always seems to prefer B & F plays to Shakespeare.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The reference to Wayneman here reminds us that nearly all the time when Sam seems to be on his own, he will actually have Wayneman trotting along behind him. (and wouldn't it be interesting to have *his* diary - come on, Robert G - give us a taste!)

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"...and it being fine moonshine..." I too watched a beautiful full moon above the palm trees last night, and again just now. [could see the man too].

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

So the huffing be for nowt " home I found my wife dressing by appointment by her woman that I think is to be..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Winifred G (Gosnell)'s mom considers the matter...

"And the lady?"

"Oh, Mrs. Pepys was as lovely as Balthazar said, Mum. Though she seemed a tad displeased with me later in the evening, after we'd headed back with Mr. Pepys."

"Eh? What was that about?"

"I've no idea, it was just after I'd finished singing for him. Mr. Pepys is such an educated man, Mum and appreciated my voice so. And so sweet to me..."

Appreciated other things by the sound of it, Mum Gosnell thinks.

"They seem very nice people. Always going to plays and well-known at Court, Balthazar says." Winnie notes hopefully.

"Mr. St. Michel also told you he was the heir to a French estate and an aristocrat educated in the finest French schools."

"The family's seen hard times, Mum. Balty's sure one day..."

"Well, when he does, I consider his suit. Till then...Well, it's not a Court position but you might catch some lord's, even the King's, eye. And this Pepys works at the Admiralty...Always the chance to learn something marketable. The Dutch and French are hot for inside info these days."

"And they go to plays lots." Gosnell happily notes.

"Oh, I said that."

Paul Dyson  •  Link

They had done by eleven o’clock. A late evening play, in cold November, suggests effective theatre lighting and heating. Anyone know how this was achieved?

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Theatre lighting and heating ...

Before the mid-19th century, when gas lighting became commonplace, oil lamps and candles provided most of a theatre's illumination. At the edge of the stage, limelight lanterns, in which lime was heated to incandesence, provided a brilliant white glare. Hence the phrase, "to be in the limelight". Lights in the auditorium were dimmed for the performance. In Sam's day, heat was provided by warm clothing and the presence of a large number of warm-blooded mammals crammed into a small space.

A.De Araujo  •  Link

Very good Robert Gertz, although for more authenticity in the accent I would reccomend some lessons from in aqua scripto,AKA CGS,Cumgranisalis,Vincenzo und so weiter.

Terry F  •  Link

"To the Duke’s to-day, but he is gone a-hunting"

The Duke did the same thing the day befor yesterday, leaving Pepys and his attendants in the lurch.…

It must be hunting season: prithee, what are the game?
Are venison pasty's again on the diet?

Terry F  •  Link

Correction: Are venison pasty’s again on the menu?

They are always part of the diet, it seems!

Glyn  •  Link

Let's also remember the flocks of geese that will soon be marched through the city on their way to Smithfield butchers to provide Christmas dinners. In fact, there must have been regular processions of cattle being driven into town. although Smithfield was just outside the city wall.

Pedro  •  Link

“but he is gone a-hunting”

The hunting of stags, foxes and maybe boar? Would you believe…

"Later, under the Stuart kings, hunting was seen as a good, healthy noble activity, far removed from the vices and wickedness of the city."…

Dave Bell  •  Link

Limelight is well out of Sam's period, not being used in theatres until 1855, or 1816, depending on which webpage you read.

dirk  •  Link

Are venison pasties again on the menu?


November - Menu of the Month

1. A Shoulder of Mutton and Oysters.
2. A loyn of Veal.
3. Geese roasted.
4. A Pasly of Venison.

Second Course:
1. Two Herns, one larded.
2. A Soust Turbut.
3. Two Pheasants, one larded.
4. A Roll of Beef.
5. A Soust Mullet and Base.
6. Jellies and Tarts.

"The Gentlewoman's Companion: or, A Guide to the Female Sex", 1675…

Australian Susan  •  Link

Re the above: A hern is a Heron. A base is a Bass. Larding is threading strips of fat through meat. Pheasant and heron would be relatively low fat, so need larding to avoid drying out in roasting. Wonder why only one pheasant is to be larded in these menu suggestions?

Brian Durrans  •  Link

Any thoughts on why Mrs Gosnell wasn't willing to go through the bridge? If she were claustrophobic, how long it took to get through might be a factor. If dark, perhaps risk of being groped.

Sean Adams  •  Link

"Any thoughts on why Mrs Gosnell wasn’t willing to go through the bridge?"

She was not a thrill ride addict. The piers of the bridge held back the river and only the bold would shoot the rapids between the piers; others would get off their boat and get on another on the other side.

From Wikipedia:
This produced ferocious rapids between the piers or "starlings" of the bridge, as the difference between the water levels on each side could be as much as six feet (two metres).[5] Only the brave or foolhardy attempted to "shoot the bridge"—steer a boat between the starlings—and many were drowned trying to do so. As the saying went, the bridge was "for wise men to pass over, and for fools to pass under".[6]

Brian Durrans  •  Link

Thanks Sean - very interesting and more plausible.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Venetian Archives.…

276. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.

To delve into the machinations of the sectaries, which is the sole business puzzling the Court at present, the king has appointed the earl of Loderdel, secretary of state for Scotland, and Sir [Henry] Bennet to examine the prisoners, who are countless, and their numbers are increasing every day owing to the constant arrests. They have gone to the Tower of London and there prosecuted with energy their important task. No one would confess, but they have been convicted by evidence, notably that of a minister or preacher, who from zeal for the king laid aside the clerical garb for that of a soldier, the red jacket worn by all the army, and mingling with the infantry and feigning to be on their side, was able to penetrate deeply into the conspiracy which he revealed to the general and others in reward for which he has been raised by the king's bounty to some high position in the Anglican Church. Their villainy being thus made known, they are being tried and there is no doubt that many of them will end their days on the gallows.

It would have been a sanguinary affair. There were 12 desperadoes to assassinate the king, some of whom have been seized. This was arranged on several occasions when his Majesty was at Hampton Court and frequently went hunting, but something always occurred to prevent it. They also meant to murder the duke of York, General Monk and Major General Brun, to surprise the Tower, burn the royal palace and the city, massacre the nobility and the richest citizens and thus turn everything upside down.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"Mr. Creed carried my wife and I to the Cockpitt, "

Looks like pronounitis is not a new phenomenon.

Also, Elizabeth has got her woman and now Sam is happy about it. Maybe he read her letter after all.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"it being fine moonshine"

It's November 27th in the Gregorian Calendar, and according to my software ephemerides (Astrolog 5.4), It's two days after the full moon, so the moon should have been bright and rising at about 6pm in London.

This is confirmed by, which automatically converts to the Julian calendar before 1700.…

john  •  Link

I live in a rural area with the nearest lamp-post a good 10km away. One really appreciates the moonshine in such environs, an appreication possibly lost to (sub)urban dwellers.

jimmigee  •  Link

"and then, there being no coach to be got, by water to White Hall;" In those pre-telephone/pre-Über days, did they send the boy out to hunt up a coach? Perhaps a nearby location where the coaches awaited fares?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"At White Hall by appointment, Mr. Creed carried my wife and I to the Cockpitt

L&M: The royal private theatre adjoined Whitehall Palace. (see link in the text)

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