Sunday 22 March 1662/63

(Lord’s day). Up betimes and in my office wrote out our bill for the Parliament about our being made justices of Peace in the City.

So home and to church, where a dull formall fellow that prayed for the Right Hon. John Lord Barkeley, Lord President of Connaught, &c. So home to dinner, and after dinner my wife and I and her woman by coach to Westminster, where being come too soon for the Christening we took up Mr. Creed and went out to take some ayre, as far as Chelsey and further, I lighting there and letting them go on with the coach while I went to the church expecting to see the young ladies of the school, Ashwell desiring me, but I could not get in far enough, and so came out and at the coach’s coming back went in again and so back to Westminster, and led my wife and her to Captain Ferrers, and I to my Lord Sandwich, and with him talking a good while; I find the Court would have this Indulgence go on, but the Parliament are against it. Matters in Ireland are full of discontent.

Thence with Mr. Creed to Captain Ferrers, where many fine ladies; the house well and prettily furnished. She [Mrs. Ferrers] lies in, in great state, Mr. G. Montagu, Collonel Williams, Cromwell that was, and Mrs. Wright as proxy for my Lady Jemimah, were witnesses. Very pretty and plentiful entertainment, could not get away till nine at night, and so home. My coach cost me 7s. So to prayers, and to bed.

This day though I was merry enough yet I could not get yesterday’s quarrel out of my mind, and a natural fear of being challenged by Holmes for the words I did give him, though nothing but what did become me as a principal officer.

22 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

Mrs. Ferrers, a sidelight: the companion says that "Jane, sister of a Scottish earl, was thought by her family to have married beneath her."

Interesting that the "dashing and volatile" Ferrers (the Companion again) has a house that Pepys the Particular finds "well and prettily furnished."

Glyn  •  Link

It won't be any consolation to your widow that you were in the right, Sam. If Captain Holmes decides to pick a fight with you, you're dead. And he doesn't seem a very forgiving man to me, anyway,

TerryF  •  Link

"our bill for the Parliament about our being made justices of Peace in the City"

L&M note this was in fact a memorandum. Pepys and his fellows in the Nzvy Office were already JP's in the four counties where the shipyards were located -- in that capacity Sam had Field jailed. But had they all been JP's in London, i.e. in the Navy Office itself, Field could not have served Pepys or any other with a subpoena -- so L&M.

The memo did eventually produce an act of Parliament making the Officers of the Navy Office justices of Peace in the City; about which I defer to in Aqua Scripto.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"I defer to in Aqua Scripto"
Where is he?

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin's diary today:

"A healthful, dry season, somewhat cold with eastern winds. god good to me and mine in manifold mercies, only my wife illish, but perhaps breeding, the lord be our portion. the parliament viz. commons zealous against papists."

dirk  •  Link

"If Captain Holmes decides to pick a fight with you, you’re dead."

re - Glyn

Not necessarily -- duels ended when "first blood was drawn". Of course this could be lethal, but it wasn't meant to be. The trouble might be that Capt. Holmes -- as the insulted party -- would have the right to choose the weapon (pistol or sword), and was likely to choose either the one he was best at or the one he know was Sam's worst...

dirk  •  Link

"while I went to the church expecting to see the young ladies of the school, Ashwell desiring me"

Could anybody clarify this strange phrasing?

Paul Chapin  •  Link

the young ladies and Ashwell
Here's what I read between the lines. A group of young ladies from some school, possibly connected to Ashwell in some way, have gone to the church. Ashwell wanted Sam to see them and tell her about them, perhaps how they were dressed, but he couldn't get far enough into the church to see them.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...we took up Mr. Creed..."

Why the devil do we have to bring him? a fuming Bess glares.

"You are prepared, Mr. Creed?" Sam eyes him.

"Always, Mr. Pepys." Creed opens coat to reveal gun, knife, hatchet.

"...and so I to my Lord..."

"Creed?" low hiss to Creed watching the street from Sandwich's front doorway.

"Not a sign, Pepys."


"But I'd recommend we wait a bit longer. Wouldn't wish to mar Cap't Ferrers' happy day with screams and the splattering of blood."

"No...Wouldn't wish to do that."

"Back again, Pepys? I thought you had a christening to go to..." Sandwich clearly eager to be rid of his guest.

"Plenty of time, my lord. Plenty of time." nervous glance at Creed at the door who puts up a hand. Not quite yet...

"Yes. Well, Pepys, I'm glad you could stop by."

Ummn..."With regard to your loan, my lord..."

"Secured. And now if you'd excuse me, my friend. I think you must be going."


"Ferrers?" Holmes emerges from the back room where he's been hiding all evening.

"They're gone, Holmes."


"Thought it'd be the Tower for me for sure. God, what was I thinking, Robert? A room full of the King's officers, nearly all titled, and I burst out like that at little Pepys."

"Well, thank the Lord you and Pepys didn't meet here. You'd've had to challenge him and he'd've called in every constable or guard in the vicinity. Plus he had that Creed with him."

"The Puritan? Hardly one to..."

"Now Sherlock, after Cromwell you ought to know. Nothing like a former religious zealot turned practical man of affairs when it comes to killin'."

Stolzi  •  Link

the young ladies and Ashwell

Mary Ashwell had been at the school in Chelsea before coming to the Pepyses, according to this note in February…

“at the school, where Mary Ashwell is”

"L&M note that she worked as a supervisor of little children"

I am guessing that she admired the older girls, and thought Pepys would find them a pretty sight. We are not told Mrs Pepys' opinion on his going to take a look at all this femininity!

Glyn  •  Link

Thanks Dirk. The trouble for Pepys is that he's almost certainly no good with either weapon, and Holmes certainly is. Even today, any stab wound over 2 inches deep (5 cm) deep can be fatal and it's even worse in the 1660s.

Perhaps the reason he is getting up early (up betimes) is because he's having difficulty sleeping (I know that I would).

Scott  •  Link

What does "Cromwell that was" mean? Is it directed at Collonel Williams as a commonwealth supporter?

TerryF  •  Link

“Cromwell that was"

L&M note in part: "Henry Cromwell...cousin of the Protector, but a royalist, changed his surname...and adopted that of his early [16th c] ancestor, Richard Williams...."

Good eyes, Scott!

matthew newton  •  Link

'but I could not get in far enough'
Churches were so well attended?
Any views on congregation numbers?

Mary  •  Link

church attendance.

Indeed churches were well attended at this time. It was expected that all reasonable folk would go to church at least once each Sunday and any who failed to go "without reasonable excuse" could be fined 1 shilling .... a significant sum.

Churchgoing, in addition to its spiritual reassurance and values, also provided considerable social benefits. Moreover, when 'star' speakers were delivering their sermons, church attendance could provide an instance of exhilerating 'entertainment' and considerable crowds might try to cram into the service.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

" ... my wife and I and her woman by coach to Westminster, ..." and " ... and led my wife and her to Captain Ferrers, ..." We all assume Ms. Ashwell accompanied the Pepys, but Sam doesn't say that. Both these comments seem dismissive, so maybe Sam was annoyed he had agreed to Ashwell's wish for him to go to the church event and look at the young women. He doesn't say how long he had to stand around waiting for the coach to come back. Probably more than an hour. The weather in Essex was "A healthful, dry season, somewhat cold with eastern winds." March easterly winds blowing down the Thames can be very chilly, and Sam always worries about his "delicate condition". He is already worried by Holmes' behavior, and this was a further irritation.

Bryan  •  Link

" ... my wife and I and her woman by coach to Westminster, ..."

It's a safe assumption that "her woman" refers to Ms Ashwell, for example from two weeks previous on March 15 "Up and with my wife and her woman Ashwell the first time to church, ..."

SP indicated his state of mind during the day: "This day though I was merry enough ...". SP regularly records things not going quite to plan without any indication of annoyance. Today for example, too early for the christening, so a quick coach ride to Chelsea to get some fresh air. It was probably just an accepted part of life.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Socially, Elizabeth's relationship to Ashwell is similar to Sam's with Will Hewer.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

" Matters in Ireland are full of discontent."

Any links to what SP is referring to here? Was the Restoration content with Cromwell's work in Ireland enough to continue it's mayhem?

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