Thursday 25 December 1662

(Christmas Day). Up pretty early, leaving my wife not well in bed, and with my boy walked, it being a most brave cold and dry frosty morning, and had a pleasant walk to White Hall, where I intended to have received the Communion with the family, but I came a little too late. So I walked up into the house and spent my time looking over pictures, particularly the ships in King Henry the VIIIth’s Voyage to Bullen;1 marking the great difference between their build then and now. By and by down to the chappell again where Bishopp Morley preached upon the song of the Angels, “Glory to God on high, on earth peace, and good will towards men.” Methought he made but a poor sermon, but long, and reprehending the mistaken jollity of the Court for the true joy that shall and ought to be on these days, he particularized concerning their excess in plays and gaming, saying that he whose office it is to keep the gamesters in order and within bounds, serves but for a second rather in a duell, meaning the groom-porter. Upon which it was worth observing how far they are come from taking the reprehensions of a bishopp seriously, that they all laugh in the chappell when he reflected on their ill actions and courses.

He did much press us to joy in these publique days of joy, and to hospitality. But one that stood by whispered in my ear that the Bishopp himself do not spend one groat to the poor himself.

The sermon done, a good anthem followed, with vialls, and then the King came down to receive the Sacrament. But I staid not, but calling my boy from my Lord’s lodgings, and giving Sarah some good advice, by my Lord’s order, to be sober and look after the house, I walked home again with great pleasure, and there dined by my wife’s bed-side with great content, having a mess of brave plum-porridge and a roasted pullet for dinner, and I sent for a mince-pie abroad, my wife not being well to make any herself yet. After dinner sat talking a good while with her, her [pain] being become less, and then to see Sir W. Pen a little, and so to my office, practising arithmetique alone and making an end of last night’s book with great content till eleven at night, and so home to supper and to bed.

41 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"King Henry the VIIIth’s Voyage to Bullen"

L&M say the painting in question is "The Embarkation of Henry VIII" sc. at Dover 1520 by an unnamed artist which may be viewed here…

Terry F  •  Link

The Groom-Porter was a title granted by the king of England to the official in charge of organizing gambling in the Tudor court. Later, he also regulated English gaming halls. Eventually, the term became used for the owner, or operator of a gaming hall.…

jeannine  •  Link

"that they all laugh in the chappell when he reflected on their ill actions and courses" perhaps in a normal situation it would be risky to preach a sermon criticizing the ways of the King's court when he is the head of the church itself, but, since it is Charles, perhaps not. He never seemed to be ruffled by these types of sermons, and for the most part, the bishops who tried to preach him into cleaning up his act got away mostly unscathed, and in this case, ignored.

Australian Susan  •  Link

What a lovely domestic picture of Sam and Elizabeth dining. She tucked up in bed and Sam by her bedside, enjoying their seasonal treats and Sam ensuring they had a mince pie, even if it was a takeaway one! But, poor Elizabeth later on, left forlorn whilst Sam goes off to the office. Maybe she had a good chat with Jane. Presumably Will Hewer had been allowed to visit family on this day.
Slightly off topic: family frienmd once drifted away from family party, glass in hand, to his study and continued working on his book. Wife discovered him and was so incencsed, she seized a pile of papers and threw them over the hedge into next door's garden. They had to retrieve them next day, but I never found out who did the convoluted explanation to the neighbour. Wonder if Elizabeth ever felt the same?
With reference to RG's annotation from yesterday - at least Sam did not have free-loading relatives to feed! ("Sorry, Balty, old chap. Poor Beth is far to till to deal with visitors." )

Martha R  •  Link

Plum Porridge

There is an 18th century recipe for plum porridge at this site:…

If you do a google search for plum porridge, today's diary entry comes up first.

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin's diary today:

"preached on Isay. 53.11. and dined some friends in our new hall for which I bless god. a fierce frost with an east wind after a greater flood on a very great flood."

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

J Evelyn : our Curate on 4:Phil 4

dirk  •  Link

Isay. 53.11

"He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." (King James Bible)

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Phil 4 : 4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice

Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (KJV)"
another version/arguement: :by Thomas Hobbes
Chapter IV.
That the Law of Nature is a Divine Law…

Terry F  •  Link

Further context for I.A.S's note that Thomas Hobbes states in Chapter IV. of *De Cive* "That the Law of Nature is a Divine Law," cites Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (KJV)” among other biblical texts to *parallel* the CLAIM that seeking PEACE is the law of nature; the *argument* therefor is provided by *Leviathan*, where the WAR of all against all prevails in a state of nature until a power that overawes compels all to recognize the prudence of seeking PEACE not WAR.

Terry F  •  Link

"to White Hall, where I intended to have received the Communion with the family" -- i.e. the professional family to which Pepys belongs (his personal family being yet at home and elsewhere).

Bradford  •  Link

One wonders if, in later years, Pepys had the chance to hear Purcell's setting, c. 1682-85, of "Rejoice in the Lord alway" (see In Aqua Scripto, above), known as "The Bell Anthem" (Z49) from the cascading scale figure featured in the opening bars and ritornelli? Worth seeking out.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

In fairness to Sam, he stayed on after dinner and Bess may have wanted to sleep.

Balty'll no doubt drop by soon enough...Though in fairness at Xmas, he seems good company and even Sam seems willing to accept advice on household matters, etc from him. (The guy no doubt has style and charm) Not to mention of course post-Diary efforts in which he will shine for his bro-in-law. Perhaps in a way Sam thinks back to his somewhat humiliating time as cousin Ed's servant and gofer in referrence to Balty and that and Bess' obvious affection keep him tolerant.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bishop Morley pompously lecturing the court while too cheap to offer a shilling to the poor at Xmas. Nice reporting, Sam.

I can't resist picturing actor Robert Morley as this one...

Martha Rosen  •  Link

Plum Porridge

Thanks for the suggestion, Terry. I did put the link on the Background Info page. I'm glad you found it lovely, but I have to say I'd rather read the recipe than cook or eat it!

Terry F  •  Link

Martha Rosen, do you think plum porridge served as a post-Christmas purgative?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

rereading Christmas day notes: Banning the Event/word still comes to the fore, it dothe raise much ire, be it the plum duff or the fruit cake that gets many a belly rumble, to the point of the word 'merry' [Mary] gets the juices a frothing then and now. So "*****". as we all seek peace?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Robert Gertz,you have a future in casting!Perfect!but who would play Sam?
thats the question?

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

"who would play Sam?"

Actor James Marsters in a wig would be my guess if Robert does the casting. (Yes, Robert I know his character is Elisabeth's soul in your tale but I'd consider it part of your soul switching.)

My sister says Tim Allen-that peripatetic quality. Colin Firth would be my choice.

I imagine Balty is able to charm birds off the trees. Johnny Depp perhaps?

Terry F  •  Link

Thomas Hobbes's connection to Charles II

During the runup to the Civil War in England, Hobbes was among many who fled to Paris, where, in "1647, Hobbes was engaged as mathematical instructor to the young Charles, Prince of Wales, who had come over from Jersey around July. This engagement lasted until 1648 when Charles went to Holland" where the *De Cive*, circulated privately since 1642 was published at the Elzevir press in Amsterdam. This defense of undivided sovereignty without divine right enabled Hobbes to be welcomed by Cromwell in 1651; in that year were published in London his English translation of it and the Puritan *Leviathan: or the Matter, Form and Power of a Commonwealth, ecclesiastical and civil*, in the Latin edition of which (1668) he made a few PC changes and declared himself a loyal subject of King Charles.

Sources: *Leviathan, Parts I and II*, "Editor's Introduction" by Herbert W. Schneider (Bobbs-Merrill, 1958) and…

Terry F  •  Link

Re Bishop Morley's alleged neglect of the poor

L&M say he was well-known for his generosity to them.

Dan Jenkins  •  Link

A minor clarification to the Plum Porridge recipe, do not use the 285340 grams of white bread the recipe calls for (that would be 285 kg, or 629 lbs). It should be 285-340 g.

As the recipe says in the footnote, "it is advised that only experienced cooks should attempt" :-)

Glyn  •  Link

So Sarah hasn't quietly gone away but instead has found a job where Elizabeth will be forced to see her every day.

Glyn  •  Link

Sorry, this is the wrong Sarah.

gingerd  •  Link

"leaving my wife not well in bed"
Presumably "not well of those", Elizabeth's periods seem to have been pretty regular (see entry 23rd Nov) and she often seems to have spent the day in bed when they were upon her. Does anyone know if that was normal behaviour for women of that era?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

What be Normal ?: one never mentions the unmentionables. Unfortunately many suffer from the ab/sub-normal. So we will never know who.
For any given condition, there be some that never suffer, they fail to understand, those that have some symptoms and sometimes they could complain or else suffer in silence, and there be those that will ceased to survive.
Life in the raw.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Bess did have those awful sores which must have made it hell.

But perhaps the retreating for bed was an act of love...

"If I get out of bed and he's not here, I will kill the little... today. Therefore, since by all that's holy I do love my little... I will stay in bed."

Pauline  •  Link

'those awful sores '
Not related in any way to having her period.

Would be normal that she was a bit headachy, bloated, enervated, or emotionally fragile for the first day or two of her period. Also, whatever her "sanitary" method, it would be easiest to just curl up in bed with it the busy first day.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

mince pies

Consumed lots and lots of tiny mince pies (meatless variety) this Christmas in Twickenham. Delicious.

Eoin  •  Link

with vialls, and then the King came down to receive the Sacrament.

What a special chapel to attend that the King took communion there. I wonder if anyone else other than he, the bishop and the servers did so. It seems as if the Holy Communion part of the service up to the reception was covered musically by a string concert. The whole Prayer Book service that Sam attended was likely rather long, and a musical piece might have placated the non-recipients during the King's reception.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

a good anthem followed, with vialls,

"During his long exile Charles had picked up continental, particularly French, tastes, which the music of his Chapel soon reflected. Sunday anthems were now enlivened with instrumental interludes or "symphonies", dance-like in the French manner and played (to the scandal of conservative-minded persons) not on the time-honored comets and sackbuts but on new-fangled violins, instruments hitherto associated more with the tavern than the church. The Chapel Royal was only modest in size -- around seventy feet by thirty -- but it had galleries along both sides. making it possible for a string consort and a group of solo voices to answer each other antiphonally at first-floor level, above the heads of the full choir in the stalls below. This gave an extra dimension - quite literally - to performances of the new "symphony anthems".

There was no question of reviving the old polyphonic style since too many continental influences and the personal taste of the king were opposed to it. Also, with the introduction of the verse anthem, orchestras were now introduced into churches, with violins to the fore, supplanting the old viols is they had already done in chamber music. The new concerted harmonies with continuo displaced the polyphonic fantasy. The Consort of Four Parts (1660) by Locke, which combines the fantasy with elements of the dance suite, was the last of this genre to be published while its glorious crown, the fantasies of the young Purcell, was to remain in manuscript. The Italian trio sonata admired by Purcell was having a growing success, but above all it was dances in the manner of Lully that won the royal favour."

Charles II, in fact, formed a band of twenty-four violins on the same pattern as the Vingt-quatre violons of the French king. This was under the musical directorship first of a German, and later of a Frenchman, Louis Grabu, a somewhat feeble imitator of Lully who for ten years enjoyed every mark of royal favour. Charles II had even hoped to attract Lully in person to his court, but instead was obliged to be content with Cambers, who was in fact an excellent musician and had, with his partner Perrin, won a royal monopoly in France for operatic performances, No doubt delighted to obtain such a brilliant position after being cheated of his monopoly by I,L Cambert enjoyed a brief success in London before his unsatisfactory career ended in 1677 with his murder by his valet."…

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"But one that stood by whispered in my ear that the Bishopp himself do not spend one groat to the poor himself."

On the contrary, Morley was well-known for his charity. The King had said, on Morley's translation to the rich see of Winchester in May 1662, that he would be no better off himself for the change, since he gave so much to the poor (DNB) (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Methought he made but a poor sermon, but long, and reprehending the mistaken jollity of the Court for the true joy that shall and ought to be on these days, he particularized concerning their excess in plays and gaming, saying that he whose office it is to keep the gamesters in order and within bounds, serves but for a second rather in a duell, meaning the groom-porter."

L&M: An office of the Lord Steward's department of the King's Household, who supervised and received the profits of the gaming allowed there during the twelve days of Christmas, in which the King himself often took part. (The office -- at this time held by Sir Richard Hobart -- was abolished in 1783.) Play rook place both in the Privy Chamber and in the Groom-Porter's lodgings. Pepys visited the Groom-Porter's on 1 January 1668; Evelyn on 6 January 1662 and 8 January 1558. J. Addison, Hist. gambling in Engl., pp. 41+; Evelyn, iii. 308, n. 4. This officer also supervised the betting when the court went to the horse-races: see Shadwell, True Widow, V. 2.

meech  •  Link

Thank you, Terry, for being persistent. So many of the original links are gone, I’m thrilled to have a ‘live’ one.

Third Reading

London Miss  •  Link

I would suggest that poor Elizabeth was suffering from Endometriosis. It can cause very painful, debilitating periods and it also affects fertility, causing difficulties in getting pregnant……

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Agreed, London Miss -- and they didn't have Midol!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Merry Christmas, Pepysians:

The Holly and the Ivy is a "modern" work, from about 1700. The song may have derived from earlier songs in which holly and ivy feature, of which there are many including one version supposedly set to music by Henry VIII.

However, the song has its roots in even more ancient traditions, to those of the Druids and Romans. The holly was symbolic of man (rigid with prickly leaves and berries like drops of blood) and the ivy of woman (gentle, clinging, requiring support). Holly was associated with the Roman Saturnalia, while ivy was associated with Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. Holly was considered lucky and a symbol of immortality; the Romans used it to decorate their homes and to make wreathes for celebrations such as weddings. The Romans considered ivy a symbol of prosperity, charity and fidelity.

In Celtic tradition, holly was a feature of summer and winter solstice celebrations. From earliest times, decorating with evergreens during the dark winter months was popular.
When absorbed into Christian tradition, the holly represents Christ (the Crown of Thorns, and the Blood of the Crucifixion), and the ivy represents Mary. Apparently, the bitterness of holly’s bark was associated with the vinegar and gall given to Christ during the Crucifixion. The twining habit of ivy was supposed to remind the faithful to rely on God.

The words were first published in 1710 in a broadside sheet. They are not logical, and ivy is only mentioned in the title and the first verse. This absence leads to speculation about missing verses, or changes of lyrics.

The music with which we are familiar today was documented in 1909, but the origins are apparently unknown. This version was done by Kings College, Cambridge in 2008, shown on You Tube:…

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