Friday 5 December 1662

Up, it being a snow and hard frost, and being up I did call up Sarah, who do go away to-day or to-morrow. I paid her her wages, and gave her 10s. myself, and my wife 5s. to give her. For my part I think never servant and mistress parted upon such foolish terms in the world as they do, only for an opinion in my wife that she is ill-natured, in all other things being a good servant. The wench cried, and I was ready to cry too, but to keep peace I am content she should go, and the rather, though I say nothing of that, that Jane may come into her place.

This being done, I walked towards Guildhall, thither being summoned by the Commissioners for the Lieutenancy; but they sat not this morning. So meeting in my way W. Swan, I took him to a house thereabouts, and gave him a morning draft of buttered ale; he telling me still much of his Fanatique stories, as if he were a great zealot, when I know him to be a very rogue. But I do it for discourse, and to see how things stand with him and his party; who I perceive have great expectation that God will not bless the Court nor Church, as it is now settled, but they must be purified. The worst news he tells me, is that Mr. Chetwind is dead, my old and most ingenious acquaintance. He is dead, worth 3,000l., which I did not expect, he living so high as he did always and neatly. He hath given W. Symons his wife 300l., and made Will one of his executors.

Thence to the Temple to my counsel, and thence to Gray’s Inn to meet with Mr. Cole but could not, and so took a turn or two in the garden, being very pleasant with the snow and frost. Thence to my brother’s, and there I eat something at dinner and transcribed a copy or two of the state of my uncle’s estate, which I prepared last night, and so to the Temple Church, and there walked alone till 4 or 5 o’clock, and then to my cozen Turner’s chamber and staid there, up and down from his to Calthrop’s and Bernard’s chambers, till so late, that Mr. Cole not coming, we broke up for meeting this night, and so taking my uncle Thomas homewards with me by coach, talking of our desire to have a peace, and set him down at Gracious-street end, and so home, and there I find Gosnell come, who, my wife tells me, is like to prove a pretty companion, of which I am glad. So to my office for a little business and then home, my mind having been all this day in most extraordinary trouble and care for my father, there being so great an appearance of my uncle’s going away with the greatest part of the estate, but in the evening by Gosnell’s coming I do put off these thoughts to entertain myself with my wife and her, who sings exceeding well, and I shall take great delight in her, and so merrily to bed.

17 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"summoned by the Commissioners for the Lieutenancy"

L&M note: "A militia act (14 Car. II c.3 [14 Car. II."An Act for ordering the Forces in the several Counties of this Kingdom." From: 'House of Lords Journal Volume 11: 5 March 1663', Journal of the House of Lords: volume 11: 1660-1666, pp. 486-89. URL:…. Date accessed: 05 December 2005.]) had just been passed, and under it a commission of lieutenancy was appointed to act for London. Pepys, with a salary less than £500 p.a., was liable to be charged with providing a foot-soldier and his arms."

Mr. Chetwind "made Will one of his executors."

L&M note: "James Chetwind and Will Symons were members of Pepys's 'old crew' of government clerks -- the former in the Exchequer, the latter in the Council Office. Chetwind had died a bachelor, and in his will (13 November 1662; proved 13 January 1662) left ca. £2000 in the hands of bankers, as well as other property. Symon's daughter was a beneficiary (£200) as well as his wife."

"a copy or two of the state of my uncle’s estate, which I prepared last night"

L&M note: "Two copies in Pepys's hand (the first entitled 'Mr Robert Pepys his Estate at the Time of his Death. July 5 1661.) are in PL.... For details see *Comp[anion].*: Pepys, Robert'. Cf. Thomas Pepys the Turner to John Pepys (father of Samuel), 17 February 1663: 'My father and all of us ar sorie for the assertion that my cos samuell hath given us of the smalness of that estate which by most knowing persons was said and belived to be aboundantly Larger than it doth prove it self and of that troble which it hath occasioned...."

This, alas, is a SPOILER in more than one sense.

Glyn  •  Link

I think they gave Sarah the equivalent of two months' wages in addition to her back pay.

LindaF  •  Link

Poor Sarah! Must think two months' severance wasn't nearly enough to live on in London or anywhere. Is this a case of fashion-challenged help swept out, not splendid enough for newly magnificent digs? What is Beth thinking by adding this Gosnell creature to the household (per the background link, a woman of completely dubious reputation)? And Sam is altogether too charmed by this turn of events (so much for the sentiment of Sarah's parting), especially after today's first-hand experience of "the law's delay."

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

5 bob a month, be the going rate for thems that toil in making beds. [all found i.e. bed to sleep in and warmth of the dying embers];

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...dubious reputation..." Oooh, I would guess at this time, Winifred was simply an overly eager and flirty, talented and pretty girl of respectable family, with stars in her eyes regarding the new opportunities on stage...And at court. Likely her little vageries with moral strictures are yet to come...

At least for Beth's sake...And our idiot hero whom we know would never hold out...Let us hope.

Though with Balty as her sponsor...

"Respectable girl?!" Bess screams at her brother who wisely covers head, seeking the nearest exit. "This is what you call, 'respectable', brother?"

Sam shrinking down in chair, grateful to see someone else a target of Bess' justifiable wrath...


Well, at least we've finally got something regarding Bess' dislike of Sarah. While we'll never know if perhaps there's more to it...Sarah nearly catching Bess juggling the kitchen books to help out the aged ps or perhaps noting an unauthorized visit of Captain Ferrers?...Certainly having to spend every day in house with a grumbling, complaining, angry type would be cause for wishing her gone.

It may even be true that poor Sarah just doesn't look the part of [future]milord and milady Pepys' servant now that the house is redone and Gosnell is moving in, whereas Jane is young and pretty, so will do, as well as being more or less "family" for Bess.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

cousin Turner... his office

The link should be to John Turner the attorney, not Jane, his wife.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"But I do it for discourse, and to see how things stand with him and his party"

Our Sam, the politician...

"He hath given W. Symons his wife 300l"

Anyone care to parse this for me? Is there a word missing or something?

Kind of a frustrating day for him, innit? Lots of walking around looking for people who end up not being where he expects them to, or waiting for people who never show...

stolzi  •  Link

"W. Symons his wife" = "W. Symons's wife".

Our possessive in 's is actually an abbreviation.

Ruben  •  Link

and so to the Temple Church, and there walked alone till 4 or 5 o’clock,
Why? what does it mean?
I think Samuel walks enough...

Chris Toronto  •  Link

"Our possessive in ‘s is actually an abbreviation."

Actually it isn't. The genitive "'s" (originally without the apostrophe) is as old as the language itself. Compare with the "s" in German. The locution "W. Symons his wife" appears later in English and has similar parallels in dialects of other languages (German and Dutch, for example).

Glyn  •  Link

Ruben: This Temple Church is the one featured in "The Da Vinci Code" and was (and still is) where the lawyers have their offices (in the groups of buildings called the "Inner Temple" and the "Middle Temple"). So Pepys is killing time before his separate appointments with the lawyers Turner, Calthrop, and Bernard rather than go away and then come back again.

It's actually quite abstemious of him, because there were and still are a lot of taverns close by that he could have gone to (e.g. the Cheshire Cheese).

roc  •  Link

Picture of Gosnell?

Anyone have a link to a picture of Ms. Gosnell, perhaps from her career on the stage?

Pauline  •  Link

Picture of Gosnell?
Funny how we get demanding of the Internet to provide our every desire.

RaSchi  •  Link

Yeah, a color photo would be nice ;-)

tc  •  Link

...and I was ready to cry too...

It is comments like this that humanize wonderful Sam, a man with a sensitive soul... to paraphrase a quote from another sensitive soul, "he feels her pain".

Second Reading

john  •  Link

"... so took a turn or two in the garden, being very pleasant with the snow and frost."

And so it was this morning with frost covering the spyrea in a white sheath, feeling Sam's pleasure across the centuries.

Liz  •  Link

Butter ale has had a bit of a revival- see the Harry Potter Books/films (J K Rowling).

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