Sunday 19 April 1663

(Easter day). Up and this day put on my close-kneed coloured suit, which, with new stockings of the colour, with belt, and new gilt-handled sword, is very handsome.

To church alone, and so to dinner, where my father and brother Tom dined with us, and after dinner to church again, my father sitting below in the chancel. After church done, where the young Scotchman preaching I slept all the while, my father and I to see my uncle and aunt Wight, and after a stay of an hour there my father to my brother’s and I home to supper, and after supper fell in discourse of dancing, and I find that Ashwell hath a very fine carriage, which makes my wife almost ashamed of herself to see herself so outdone, but to-morrow she begins to learn to dance for a month or two.

So to prayers and to bed. Will being gone, with my leave, to his father’s this day for a day or two, to take physique these holydays.

35 Annotations

First Reading

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Oh, the temptation to come up with multiple jokes about Ashwell and her fine carriage is almost too strong, but given that it's Easter in Sam's world I'll show more respect than he did (I'll endeavor to stay awake, anyway) and resist.

TerryF  •  Link

Easter's 1662 Book of Common Prayer scripture lessons

Exodus 12:1-14 (yawn)/ Rev. 1:4-18

Evening (afternoon)
Isaiah 51:1-16 or Exodus 14 / John 20:1-23 or Romans 6:1-13 (zzzzz)

For links to the texts…

dirk  •  Link

The troubles in Ireland:

Written from: Dublin Castle
Date: 19 April 1663

A Warrant, by the Duke of Ormond, to the Officers of Customs in the Port of Dublin, and others, for the seizure of any arms that may be brought into that port, and for delivery thereof to the Earl of Mount-Alexander, Master of the Ordnance, or to his order.

Bodleian Library…

Bradford  •  Link

Have we been vouchsafed hitherto just what the color of the coloured suit is? Most of us would specify "I put on my close-kneed green-and-yellow checked suit" from sheer pride that we had new stockings to match.

What fitter way to close out Lent than a dose of physique? All right, don't fall over each other with suggestions.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Ah, the invitation to the dance...I've barely been able to contain myself.


Wow, a day or two's leave to take physique. Enjoy your...ummn, Will.

"That boy ever coming downstairs?" Mr. Hewer frowns to his wife. A groan from Will upstairs audible. "For the love of Christ I told him just to tell his boss he was coming home to take physique, not to actually take the stuff."


Sam's behavior towards Ashwell remains exemplary. Hmmn...Either Sam is in contented, exemplary husband mode (and having a terrific time with Bess); Ashwell's a very sweet, innocent, but rather plain schoolmarmish type; her dad left an indelible impression of how he would treat any 'incidents' on Sam; or our boy is keeping mum about some things.

daniel  •  Link

"my close-kneed coloured suit, which, with new stockings of the colour, with belt, and new gilt-handled sword, is very handsome. "

My, oh my Sam, you surely cut a very dashing figure. That sleeping Scotsman had Nothing on you!

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Easter 1662 "Proper Lessons"

The table in the 1662 book states the "Proper Lessons" (sic) for Easter Day are:-

Mattins: 1st. Lesson Exodus 12 vv 1 - 20; 2nd. Lesson Revelations 1 vv 10-20

Evensong: Ist Lesson Exodus 12 v 29 or Exodus 14; 2nd Lesson John 20 vv 11-19 or Revelation 5

Terry F, above, appears to be reading the Revised Table of Lessons of 1922 (13 Geo 5 No. 3)

TerryF  •  Link

Terry F, above, appears to be reading the Revised Table of Lessons of 1922

Michael Robinson, evidently I was, un(half)wittingly; thanks for setting the record straight.

andy  •  Link

To church alone

...turning a few heads? And where was Bess?

What did everyone else wear? Did the ladies wear Easter bonnets?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Easter Day
No mention today that there was a Eucharist service today, which would be usual for Easter Day. What Sam seems to have attended is the normal pattern of Morning and Evening Prayer (aka Mattins & Evensong). If he had stayed on for a Eucharist service after Mattins, I am sure he would have mentioned it. If so, the readings for that would have been for the Epistle: Colossians 3:1-7 and for the Gospel John 20:1-10.
Note that poor old father pepys has to sit down in the body of the Church whilst Sam is up in his Navy Office gallery - you would have thought he could have made room for his dad - especially as neither Elizabeth, Ashwell nor Will were there. Rather rude.
Actually just had second thoughts about that: maybe dad is a bit deaf and wants to be near the preacher???

matthew newton  •  Link

and new gilt-handled sword,
did i miss this purchase?

jeannine  •  Link

Easter Sam

I stand in suit and gilt-handled sword
Of my dashing looks I never grow bored
To church alone to start this Easter Day
With all my finery I am on display

The Scotchman’s sermon provided my beauty sleep
Of his dull words I heard barely a peep
My handsome self brought untold delights
When Father and I went to visit the Wights

Home to supper and dance with the girls
Giving them both brisk dips and fast twirls
Although Ashwell hath a very fine carriage
My staying silent adds no grief to my marriage

Soon enough my wife will have her chance
As tomorrow she will learn to dance
No more worries that she’ll be outdone
She’ll be whirling and having such fun

While Will has gone to his father’s to seek
A quiet refuge to take his physique
I prefer to spend my holydays
In ways less solemn, more frivolous and gay…

JudithS  •  Link

Where the young scotchman reading, I slept all the While.....I seem to think Sam has a 'thing' for the Scots people, meaning, that he finds them boring.

TerryF  •  Link

JudithS, are there any other Scots Sam has found 'boring'?

Surely not Dr. Creighton, the famous 'Scotchman,' whose sermons he reviews in some detail.

Araucaria  •  Link

Coloured suit, what color?

Somehow I picture something in a deep, rich blue, green or red. Would velvet have been unheard of at that time? And doesn't Sam usually mention when he's purchased a new piece for his wardrobe?

Araucaria  •  Link

Aha, found where Sam earlier mentions the camelott riding cloak arriving, which matched his coloured cloth suit:…

And a bit earlier, he mentions his velvet coat:…

But no mention of color :-(. I can't find out when he ordered the camelott cloak, perhaps there is more information there?

dirk  •  Link

Coloured suit, what color?

At the time "coloured" sometimes simply referred to red.

Cf. the Spanish vino *tinto* (= coloured) for red wine, and the name of the US state of Colorado (for its red soil).

This usage was fairly generalized in the Middle Ages (in all Western European languages), and lingered on into the 16th/17th century to some extent.

But of course there's no way we can know for sure...

TerryF  •  Link

Doesn't “coloured” still simply mean "red" when it has to do with a (facial) reaction to certain situations?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Jeannine you and Muhammad Ali are the best.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Mattins - Morning Prayer etc.

Had always thought this a distinction without a difference -- except as an indication of the form of churchmanship involved. However on looking closely at the various tables of Lessons in the 1662 book note the following:-

The overall title to the table says "Morning and Evening Prayer on Sundays and Other Holy-Days ..." However the tables for these services are headed respectively "Mattins" & "Evensong."

The general callendar of lessons day by day throught the year heads them respectively "Morning Prayer" and "Evening Prayer," as the services are so titled in the main text.

Proctor & Frere, History of the Book of Comon Prayer, appear to use the terms interchangably in their main text and throw no light on the question of usage other than explaining the origin of the differences between the weekly and daily cycle of readings.

dirk  •  Link

Mattins etc

The website of St Paul's Cathedral sheds some light on this confusion:

"In the aftermath of the Reformation in England (and the dissolution of the monasteries) daily worship was simplified. The Book of Common Prayer (first published in 1549) provided two daily offices. The morning service (called Morning Prayer or Mattins) incorporated elements from the Mediaeval services of Mattins and Lauds; and the evening service (called Evening Prayer or Evensong) combined the Mediaeval services of Vespers and Compline. They were devised so as to provide both clergy and laity with a ‘common’ form of daily prayer. Both services have as their central feature the recitation or singing of the Psalms; readings from Scripture and prayers for the Church, the world and those in need. Both services have songs or ‘Canticles’ associated with them. Mattins has the 3rd Century hymn Te Deum Laudamus and the Benedictus es Dominus from Luke’s Gospel. Evensong has Magnificat anima mea Dominum (or the song of Mary from Luke’s Gospel) and Nunc Dimittis (or the Song of Simeon from Luke’s Gospel)."…

Bradford  •  Link

Dirk's cogent arguments for red suit and stockings convinced me: a nice deep claret red. Maybe Jeannine can work it into the verse?

dirk  •  Link

Red Sam - an evocation

Up betimes.
Through the window the sun rises red and golden in the east.

Where's my red suit?

-- Will!
-- Will! -- Oh ***.
-- Mary?
-- Elizabeth?
-- Elizabeth!
-- Liz, wake up!!!
Where has Mary put my fancy red suit?
I want it ... and the stockings as well!

[grunting sound from under the sheets]

Do I have to do everything myself here?
So what? I'll go alone. -- Hope it's not that lousy preacher again.

(A fitting colour for Easter though,
don't you think?
After all Christ's blood
has just saved the world.)

And will go nicely
with the golden handle of my sword.
Thank you so much...

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"and new gilt-handled sword,
did i miss this purchase? " Nope.
Sam tells his alta ego only that that he deems to be necessary for his future reference, not all that boring dull normal events and spendings. carpe diem,....

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Matins / Morning Prayer -- even more boredom

Dick: Thanks for the link. However all the St Paul's site is doing is summarizing a detailed 60/80 p. evolution of the structure of services as laid out in Proctor & Frere, not why the same service is called Matins/Evensong in one calendar (The Sunday & Holy Day) and Morning /Evening prayer in the second, daily, calendar and in the main body of the BCP (1662) text.

The usage Matins / Evensong goes back at least to the Prayer Book of Edward VI, 1549, but so far as I can trace quickly, using quotations of primary material in secondary sources only, the usage of Morning / Evening prayer appears first in the "Considerations on the Book of Common Prayer" produced by the Committee of House of Lords on March 1st. 1640 which is clearly a strongly puritan text, not just anti Laudian being issued on the day of his execution.

This Matins/Morning etc. is no casual difference given the times. My thought is, were the Bishops through the nedium of the weekly Calendar slipping back into the text of the 1662 book high church titles, Matins & Evensong, which are certainly anti-Presbyterian and anti-puritan, for the names of the services the vast majority of the population would attend. Given the care taken at the time in establishing true texts and true copies of the 1662 book this can be no printer's error or mere accident of copying from earlier sources.

"Spoiler Alert" There would appear to be no way to establish actual intent because the records of debates in Convocation and related documents for this period were to be lost in the fire of 1666. However I doubt such fine points of usage concerned our diarist because one gets the sense that Pepy's, despite his interest in the forms of Catholic and French services as spectacle and human anthropology, would have been a good Anglican dozing along with the mainstream flow; not personally interested in such niceties except and in so far as they trouble the extreme fringes into action and consequently impact the order of civil society.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

I'm going to take up Todd's suppressed urge and refer back to the 20th of August last, when Sam referred to the hostess at Mr. Barwell's establishment as "a well-cariaged woman," causing me & others to recollect one of the joys of my youth, the Pogo sequence on "her carriage is a thing of beuty."


Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

"Up and this day put on my close-kneed coloured suit"

Did everyone the first time around know what a close-kneed suit was? Not me though. Could he mean that his suit wasn't baggy-kneed? Or perhaps that the pants didn't end at the knee (where stockings might begin)? Well no, he has stockings. I'm sure someone will tell us.

Mary K  •  Link

the new suit

At some point in the past we had quite a discussion about the change in fashion from "petticoat breeches" (very full in fabric, looking more like a knee-length skirt than any kind of breeches; it was even possible mistakenly to put them on with both legs inside the same leg of the garment) to much closer-fitting breeches that fastened just below the knee. However, a brief troll through the Encyclopaedia has proved unproductive, so perhaps we have lost track of this thread.
A look at pictures of Charles II (the supreme leader of fashion, of course) shows how he fairly soon abandoned the flowing breeches for the closed-knee type - and Pepys is dressing in the latest fashion here.

Mary K  •  Link

mea culpa

For 'troll' read 'trawl' in the above note.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

JudithS on 20 Apr 2006 • Link • Flag

Where the young scotchman reading, I slept all the While.....I seem to think Sam has a 'thing' for the Scots people, meaning, that he finds them boring.

In passing I found one example, "…

Sunday 26 October 1662 (Lord’s day).
Up and put on my new Scallop, and is very fine. To church, ... Then to church again, and heard a simple Scot preach most tediously.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Charles II (the supreme leader of fashion, of course)" -- does anyone know when Louis XIV started sending out dolls dressed in mock-ups of his latest fashions? I suspect Louis wanted royalty in other countries to start using French brocades, lace and workmanship, so this was as much marketing as vanity. Anyone know?

Bill  •  Link

"and new gilt-handled sword"

"and in Fleet Street bought me a little sword, with gilt handle, cost 23s." Friday 20 March 1662/63.

Bill  •  Link

"Up and this day put on my close-kneed coloured suit" redux

Slight spoiler alert. On June 12, this year, Sam will write:
"This morning I tried on my riding cloth suit with close knees, the first that ever I had; and I think they will be very convenient, if not too hot to wear any other open knees after them."

The phrase "open knees" makes me think the suit stopped at the knee (close to the knee?) and then stockings all the way down. Here is a website about Pepys and his clothes with a few pictures. Maddeningly it mentions his suit with "closed knees" with no further comment!…

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