Monday 27 April 1663

Up betimes and to my office, where doing business alone a good while till people came about business to me.

Will Griffin tells me this morning that Captain Browne, Sir W. Batten’s brother-in-law, is dead of a blow given him two days ago by a seaman, a servant of his, being drunk, with a stone striking him on the forehead, for which I am sorry, he having a good woman and several small children.

At the office all the morning, at noon dined at home with my wife, merry, and after dinner by water to White Hall; but found the Duke of York gone to St. James’s for this summer; and thence with Mr. Coventry, to whose chamber I went, and Sir W. Pen up to the Duke’s closett. And a good while with him about our Navy business; and so I to White Hall, and there alone a while with my Lord Sandwich discoursing about his debt to the Navy, wherein he hath given me some things to resolve him in. Thence to my Lord’s lodging, and thither came Creed to me, and he and I walked a great while in the garden, and thence to an alehouse in the market place to drink fine Lambeth ale, and so to Westminster Hall, and after walking there a great while, home by coach, where I found Mary gone from my wife, she being too high for her, though a very good servant, and my boy too will be going in a few days, for he is not for my family, he is grown so out of order and not to be ruled, and do himself, against his brother’s counsel, desire to be gone, which I am sorry for, because I love the boy and would be glad to bring him to good.

At home with my wife and Ashwell talking of her going into the country this year, wherein we had like to have fallen out, she thinking that I have a design to have her go, which I have not, and to let her stay here I perceive will not be convenient, for she expects more pleasure than I can give her here, and I fear I have done very ill in letting her begin to learn to dance.

The Queen (which I did not know) it seems was at Windsor, at the late St. George’s feast there; and the Duke of Monmouth dancing with her with his hat in his hand, the King came in and kissed him, and made him put on his hat, which every body took notice of.

After being a while at my office home to supper and to bed, my Will being come home again after being at his father’s all the last week taking physique.

39 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

All last week taking physic? My God, Hewer!


Bess wants to put on her new dancing shoes and party, eh? I would not be in a hurry to send her off to Brampton, Samuel.

The late Capt. Browne...

Bet Sam spent an uncomfortable day eyeing his servants carefully after hearing of that little incident.


Don McCahill  •  Link

Three days after beating the boy until he (Pepys) was out of breath, and now the ingrate wants to find other employment. Good help is so hard to find.

Alan Chance  •  Link

... made him put on his hat? Can anyone explain.

jerry Atkinson  •  Link

I found Mary gone from my wife, she being too high for her, though a very good servant,
More evidence today that Elizabeth has a hard time getting along with anyone. Rather than the "poor mistreated Elizabeth," which we often see in these annotations, I say, "poor Pepys--how do you live with her/"

jeannine  •  Link


From Davidson's biography about Queen Catherine (p 170)
"A great ball was given in St. George’s Hall, and Catherine, now proficient in dancing, opened it with the bridegroom. While he was dancing, with hat in hand, the King came in, and, kissing him before the Court, told him to put his hat on. This permission, only extended to royalties of the direct line, confirmed to the world in the opinion that Charles meant to make the boy his heir."

People who were not of the "direct line" (ie. legitimate heirs)should always have their hats off for the King, etc. By telling him he could put his on, it was a "shock" to the audience and tongues were wagging. A bastard child would never have been "allowed" that type of honor. At this time, and into the future, there will be rumors, questions, etc. regarding the legitimacy of Monmouth. There are those who believe that Charles actually married his mother Lucy Walters and there is a mysterious "black box" that she kept which some say held the marriage certificate and/or some other important documents related to their relationship. Anyway, by allowing him to put on his hat, Charles is just feeding into the frenzy that Monmouth is legitimate, and will continue to do so throughout Monmouth's life.
When you start to add up the "signs" that Sam has recently reported on (like Monmouth's coat of arms missing the "baton sinister" that is the sign of illegitamcy) it's easy to see why people are "reading" Charles' actions as a sign of Monmouth being legitimate and why it's a quite noteworthy thing for Sam to write about.

Gary J. Bivin  •  Link

I have been reading a series of novels by Niel Stephenson called "The Baroque Cycle", which take place in England and Europe ("Christendom") in the latter half of the 17th century. Our Sam appears several times in a supporting role. I can't vouch for the degree of historical accuracy in the novels, but Stephenson seems to know the era quite well.

As I recall, the hat incident is mentioned somewhere in the story (I'm not inclined to search through the three books that I currently have at the moment). It was taken as a sign that Charles was publically recognising Monmouth as his son, and possible heir if (as it happened) no legitimate offspring came about.

(Not really much of a spoiler) London, Sam (ane we, by proxy) are in for hard times in the next few years.

TerryF  •  Link

A blatant slap at the Queen, surely also part of the shock!

"The Queen...and the Duke of Monmouth dancing" etc., apparently putting the status of her marriage and of any of her heirs in public question.

jeannine  •  Link

Blatant slap at the Queen.. the other day Sam also mentioned that Charles hadn't "supped" with the Queen for the last 3 months. This was a very low point in their marriage, he was extremely neglectful of her at this time so it's doubtful that he even considered her feelings, her role in his life, etc. Charles performed his public "duties" involving Catherine as needed, but then blew her off, partied with Castlemaine and carried Monmouth in tow. He will always tend to "spoil" his favorites (while they are his favorites) throughout his life. To Catherine, being ignored, overlooked and on the receiving end of these types of public (and private) insults will become a way of life.

Clement  •  Link

"A blatant slap at the Queen"

Yes, this must have been at the front of the King's intention--he seems to enjoy playing the rascal, regardless of how cruel the joke may be. By this point he either still enjoys provoking Catherine to contest, or has utterly lost respect and is in a foul enough mood to signify it publicly.
While the rest of the court will interpret this action as politically significant my suspicion is that it is due to Charles prediliction for creating personal drama at court.

Clement  •  Link

simultaneous slapping

Whoops, Jeannine beat me to the cheek.

Bradford  •  Link

A) Pepys was not planning to send Elizabeth back to the country this summer, but
B) It will cost too much for her to stay in town.
Must she board at the Halfway House?

jeannine  •  Link

"my Will being come home again after being at his father’s all the last week taking physique"
Now there's a line that requires some serious attention! Will is probably in heaven next to Sam and smacking him on the head over that little gem (with a mallet supplied by Wayneman, of course). Good thing all of the people that Sam mentioned in this type of manner were dead before Sam's diary became public or they probably would have gotten together and killed him.

celtcahill  •  Link

Mrs Pepys may not get out much herself, but she is married to a man of parts who speaks nearly daily with the Duke Of York, and she will not be talked down to, nor taken for an equal in her very class-concsious society.

She nearly replaces the staff whenever Sam's fortunes go up, if he can get away with telling the Knights of his office how to conduct themselves, and stay out of trouble with it, this is just recognition of his increased powers .

I find it quite odd yet that he never gets Knighted nor ever complains of it, though he'd resent the cost no end.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Any guesses to the future of this servant that ' dun in ' the kapitan.
"Good help is so hard to find."
Keel haul, lashes then strung up,walk the plank, hauled off to a hulk or be made to bring in sugar canes?
Bad ale it be, mixed with some anise no doubt.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

No animosity ???? between those forward, a mid ships and the aft enders? "...met Captain Browne of the Rosebush: at which he was cruel angry: and did threaten to go to-day to the Duke at
.....went down on board the Rosebush at Woolwich, and found all things out of order, but after frightening the officers there, we left them to make more haste
no eh! SNAFU: wot be that?

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

It be the New Cooks fault, she dothe bring over fancy ideas from the halls of power, and Samuell had praised her for her cordon bleu ways, may be too preety for Eliza , and then gives our Bess Lip. Oh well speculate tis modern way.

Bradford  •  Link

Have we established the likely identity of the purgatives common at this period? (Picard gives no details; nor is anything listed under “Health and Medicine,”… )
I memorably heard, c. 1980, an elderly radio preacher reminiscing about being administered, in boyhood, "a round of calomel that the atomic bomb was made of!" (There's nothing like small-town radio. Calomel can have dire toxic qualities if overused.) A week's treatment would leave you limp as an old rubber tube---unless it was also regarded as a tonic? Certainly any system that could withstand this protracted assault must have been robust. Hewer lived to be around 73, Pepys 70.

E  •  Link

There is other evidence about the King's relationship with the Queen. Jeannine's annotation of 20th April 1663 included a letter from the King to his sister Minette, written on the Duke of Monmouth's wedding day:

".....I send you here a title of a little booke of devotion, in Spanish, which my wife desires to have, by the directions you will see where ‘tis to be had, and pray send two of them by the first conveniency...."

Things don't sound as frosty as one might have supposed.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Poor Will! I have this image of him sitting around glumly and uncomfortably at home with his mum popping her head round the door, eyebrows raised - "Anything yet?" Dolorous shake of head from Will. "Better have another dose, dear."

TerryF  •  Link


Ye doctors all of every rank
With their long bills that break the bank,
Of wisdom's learning, art, and skill
Seems all composed of calomel.
lf any fatal wretch be sick
Go call the doctor, haste, be quick,
The doctor comes with drop and pill
But don't forget his calomel.
Well, if I must resign my breath,
Pray let me die a natural death
And if I must bid all farewell,
Don't hurry me with calomel.

(3 of 8 stanzas for Bradford's sake)…

dirk  •  Link

17th c. purgative

A recipe from *the* 17th c. standard work by Nicholas Culpeper's: "The Complete Herbal and English Physician"

"Syrupus de Cichorio cum Rhubarbaro -- Or Syrup of Succory with Rhubarb"

Take of whole Barley, the roots of Smallage, Fennel, and Sparagus, of each two ounces, Succory, Dandelyon, Endive, smooth Sow-thistles, of each two handfuls, Lettuce, Liverwort, Fumitory, tops of Hops, of each one handful, Maiden-hair, white and black, Cetrachs, Liquorice, winter Cherries, Dodder, of each six drams, to boil these take sixteen pounds of spring water, strain the liquor, and boil in it six pounds of white sugar, adding towards the end six ounces of Rhubarb, six drams of Spikenard, bound up in a thin slack rag the which crush often in boiling, and so make it into a Syrup according to art.

It cleanses the body of venemous humours, as boils, carbuncles, and the like; it prevails against pestilential fevers, it strengthens the heart and nutritive virtue, purges by stool and urine, it makes a man have a good stomach to his meat, and provokes sleep. [...] This I believe, the Syrup cleanses the liver well, and is exceeding good for such as are troubled with hypocondriac melancholy. [...]…

Pauline  •  Link

17th c. purgative
And it works, Dirk. Just reading it gave me hypocondriac melancholy.

Bradford  •  Link

Thanks to Dirk and Terry for the illuminating sidelights. In fact, several slices of first-rate strawberry-rhubarb pie, eaten on an entirely empty stomach, would probably do the job as expeditiously and certainly with less trouble in the concoction.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Chew on some dandelion leaves for an eneruetic and remember the French name for it, which translates as piss in bed!

picus  •  Link

"...Chew on some dandelion leaves for an eneruetic [sic] ..." be this an OZ word meaning energetic, it be not in the Old [sic] English Dictionary.
or be it a version of Latin, Enervatus [adj] weak or the verb enervo, enervare, enervi, enervatum: to unman, just curious { from one of the unwashed}.
DANDELION: An effective natural rich in potassium and a good source of plant protein. Dandelion root is also beneficial for liver problems, and detoxifies poisons from the liver(cleansing), which is important for proper liver function. Dandelion is high in the natural good salts your body must have for proper function.…
Thanks for the French connection

dirk  •  Link


Woodpecker, what happened to the Water Writer?

language hat  •  Link

"be this an OZ word meaning energetic"

I think it was a slip for diuretic. (Enuretic is the adjective for enuresis 'the involuntary discharge of urine,' which is also applicable but not something anyone is likely to want, so I assume A.S. meant diuretic 'tending to increase the excretion of urine.')

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Thanks LH.

adam w  •  Link

Enuresis is exactly what pisse-en-lit means - the French know that diuresis is not always controllable, especially at night!

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

"pisse-en-lit " -"eneruetic[sic]" google gets 2 refs: both Pepys Diary Pepys Diary sat 25 th April 1663
Should have googled it's corrected version, got 309 version's of eneuretic but my simple Websters failed the test. Dictionary , college by Webster failed the scrutiny, I did not know the noun version, the name for this adjective being unfamiliar, therefore I punned it for a learned answer, hoping it would help me and others that may be lurking and missed the connection to Diuretic.
Google be very helpful to those that suffer excess of danderlion tea.
I failed to raise the meaning from OED,not having suffered the embarrassing symptom, and be unfamiliar with the word "Enuretic"
or the connection to diuretic { ME diuretik,LL diureticus GR diouretikos :}
Enuretic [eneuretic] is the adjective for enuresis
Enuresis from Greek Enourein , to urinate thus leading to the Adjective enuretic

Second Reading

Mary Ellen  •  Link

Do you suppose Will was actually home trying to recuperate from his beatings?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Mary Ellen -- Wayneman, "my boy", got the beating, and will be leaving next week, per Sam today. William 'Will' Hewer (1642 – 3 December 1715) was one of Samuel Pepys' man-servants, and later Pepys' clerk, before embarking on an administrative career of his own, and they remained friends for Sam's lifetime.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

A week taking "physique" - ie laxative: the mind boggles!

BTW San Diego Sarah: those were good and very helpful annotations you put on Captain Browne's page! :)

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

The end of Captain Browne: I wonder what happened to the seaman who struck him? There's no mention in the diary of his fate.

The penalty for murder was hanging of course, but an experienced seaman might well be able to escape and find a berth.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I suspect that Wayneman is an orphan, as it's his big brother Will and sister Jane who both advise him and plead his case.

Note that the beatings do not seem to concern his siblings: they still think that the Pepys household is the best place for him. This does not surprise me. Corporal punishment was the norm in British homes and schools until the 1980s, since when attitudes have changed vastly. They were already changing slowly in my own childhood in the 1960s, but practice varied between schools and communities. The worst experiences I have heard of were from friends who went to Roman Catholic schools in the North of England. Interestingly enough, the most deliberate cruelty was always from the teaching nuns.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Perhaps I should have said from SOME of the teaching nuns.

Tonyel  •  Link

The 11th Earl of Sandwich now resides at Mapperton House in Dorset which is open to the public. On show is the handwritten recipe book of the 1st ('our') Earl full of recipes for chocolate drinks and ice cream which he is supposed to have collected when ambassador to Spain.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

7 day physique? 1 day for the administering thereof and 6 days of recovery.

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