Friday 1 May 1663

Up betimes and my father with me, and he and I all the morning and Will Stankes private, in my wife’s closet above, settling our matters concerning our Brampton estate, &c., and I find that there will be, after all debts paid within 100l., 50l. per annum clear coming towards my father’s maintenance, besides 25l. per annum annuities to my Uncle Thomas and Aunt Perkins. Of which, though I was in my mind glad, yet thought it not fit to let my father know it thoroughly, but after he had gone out to visit my uncle Thomas and brought him to dinner with him, and after dinner I got my father, brother Tom, and myself together, I did make the business worse to them, and did promise 20l. out of my own purse to make it 50l. a year to my father, propounding that Stortlow may be sold to pay 200l. for his satisfaction therein and the rest to go towards payment of debts and legacies. The truth is I am fearful lest my father should die before debts are paid, and then the land goes to Tom and the burden of paying all debts will fall upon the rest of the land. Not that I would do my brother any real hurt. I advised my father to good husbandry and to living within the compass of 50l. a year, and all in such kind words, as not only made, them but myself to weep, and I hope it will have a good effect. That being done, and all things agreed on, we went down, and after a glass of wine we all took horse, and I, upon a horse hired of Mr. Game, saw him out of London, at the end of Bishopsgate Street, and so I turned and rode, with some trouble, through the fields, and then Holborn, &c., towards Hide Park, whither all the world, I think, are going, and in my going, almost thither, met W. Howe coming galloping upon a little crop black nag; it seems one that was taken in some ground of my Lord’s, by some mischance being left by his master, a thief; this horse being found with black cloth ears on, and a false mayne, having none of his own; and I back again with him to the Chequer, at Charing Cross, and there put up my own dull jade, and by his advice saddled a delicate stone-horse of Captain Ferrers’s, and with that rid in state to the Park, where none better mounted than I almost, but being in a throng of horses, seeing the King’s riders showing tricks with their managed horses, which were very strange, my stone-horse was very troublesome, and begun to, fight with other horses, to the dangering him and myself, and with much ado I got out, and kept myself out of harm’s way.

Here I saw nothing good, neither the King, nor my Lady Castlemaine, nor any great ladies or beauties being there, there being more pleasure a great deal at an ordinary day; or else those few good faces that there were choked up with the many bad ones, there being people of all sorts in coaches there, to some thousands, I think.

Going thither in the highway, just by the Park gate, I met a boy in a sculler boat, carried by a dozen people at least, rowing as hard as he could drive, it seems upon some wager.

By and by, about seven or eight o’clock, homeward; and changing my horse again, I rode home, coaches going in great crowds to the further end of the town almost. In my way, in Leadenhall Street, there was morris-dancing which I have not seen a great while. So set my horse up at Game’s, paying 5s. for him. And so home to see Sir J. Minnes, who is well again, and after staying talking with him awhile, I took leave and went to hear Mrs. Turner’s daughter, at whose house Sir J. Minnes lies, play on the harpsicon; but, Lord! it was enough to make any man sick to hear her; yet I was forced to commend her highly.

So home to supper and to bed, Ashwell playing upon the tryangle very well before I went to bed.

This day Captain Grove sent me a side of pork, which was the oddest present, sure, that was ever made any man; and the next, I remember I told my wife, I believe would be a pound of candles, or a shoulder of mutton; but the fellow do it in kindness, and is one I am beholden to.

So to bed very weary, and a little galled for lack of riding, praying to God for a good journey to my father, of whom I am afeard, he being so lately ill of his pain.

55 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

Or, in a nutshell, "I only lied to him for his own good and surely my loving deception will never be found out."
A wise woman once said to me, "Don't kid yourself. There aren't any secrets in this world."

Are we to gather from his behavior that a stone-horse is a stallion, not a gelding? "A young girl is to be told that a stallion is a bigger sort of horse." (Flaubert)

Perhaps there can be a musical duel: in this corner, Betty Turner jangling on the harpsicon---and in corner this Our Ashwell, mistress of the tryangle!

Why is a side of pork any odder a gift than a barrel of oysters, received with pleasure on previous occasions? Spoilage, perhaps. Perhaps everyone at the office could receive some pork chops, or shortribs. A pound of beeswax candles, which don't stink like tallow and are much more expensive, I'll accept any day.

daniel  •  Link

"a side of pork, which was the oddest present, sure, that was ever made any man; "


in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Sorry, I had the gall to rite this:At least, it not be an oak gall for his makeing ink for his nightly writings "...little galled for lack of riding..." [Rare] Gall to become sore from rubbing or chaffing after riding.

Roy Feldman  •  Link

...this horse being found with black cloth ears on, and a false mayne, having none of his own...

Any explanations for this singular apparition?

Kilroy  •  Link

"there was morris-dancing which I have not seen a great while"

I'm going to start looking for more info on "morris-dancing" as the annotation is bare. My interest is that it reminded me of something the Dauphin said in Henry V, 2-4:

"Therefore, I say 'tis meet we all go forth to view the sick and feeble parts of France: And let us do it with no show of fear; No, with no more than if we heard that England were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance"

If this was a novel dance in Harry's time it would be nearly 250 years old to Sam, No?

Michael L  •  Link

"…this horse being found with black cloth ears on, and a false mayne, having none of his own…

Any explanations for this singular apparition?"

It sounds like it was stolen and is being disguised, or the owner was a criminal who did not want to be identified from his horse. Kind of the 17th C. equivalent of changing the license plates on a stolen car.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Apparition : A nag stolen ?, left in the Stables of Sandwich, no clue whose it be, especially as it be disguised. It sounds awefully like the nag be used in the commission of a crime, there by be not good for a Witness who dothe exclaime ,"Your Honor , it had big floppy Ears and full mane".
The accused, Your Honor " this be my little grey mare, see grey mane and short ears."see above.

GrahamT  •  Link

Morris dancing was revived in the Victorian era and again in the 60's folk revival. It is now quite common in Britain. I saw two different Morris dancing troupes this weekend: one in my high street; one at Kew Gardens.

Mary  •  Link

"saw him out of London"

It sounds as if Father Pepys is leaving London for home on horseback; quite an undertaking for a man who was suffering such agonies from a hernia only yesterday.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

set my horse up at Game’s, paying 5s. for him.
This seems quite expensive just for overnight feed and stabling. Surely Sam isn't intending to keep the Captain's horse?

Bryan M  •  Link

Samuel’s Progress

Sunday 1 September 1661

Captain Holmes … being a cunning fellow, and one (by his own confession to me) that can put on two several faces, and look his enemies in the face with as much love as his friends. But, good God! what an age is this, and what a world is this! that a man cannot live without playing the knave and dissimulation.

Friday 1 May 1663

Of which, though I was in my mind glad, yet thought it not fit to let my father know it thoroughly, but … I did make the business worse to them … Not that I would do my brother any real hurt. I advised my father to good husbandry and to living within the compass of 50l. a year, and all in such kind words, as not only made, them but myself to weep, and I hope it will have a good effect.

Lesson 14 from Pepys’ Political Primer: It can be useful for the would-be dissimulator to hone his skills in a sympathetic (i.e. less suspicious) environment.

We can only hope that Sam's tears were genuine.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Changing the appearance of stolen horses was very common and continued so until thieves started taking cars which had to be resprayed etc. Horses used to get their coats dyed and their nmanes and tails cropped or dyed. An old horse might find it had had a piece of freshly peeled root ginger inserted where the sun don't shine which had the effect of making him prance about and look much younger than his years: good sellign point. LH will probably contracdict me, but I think this is the origin of the phrase "to ginger up". The infamuse highwayman, Dick Turpin, was a horse theif who was adept at changing what horses looked like: this is an activity with a long pedigree.Unlike the poor horses. Sam's expeierence with the stallion getting frisky reminds me of an anecdote about film. When the Lord of the Rings was being filmed, the horse ridden by Viggo Mortensen in the final part of the movie trilogy was a stallion and they had one day of filming when he was totally badly behaved and hopless: it transpired one of the other horses on set was a mare in season: total no-no for filming with a stallion (if you want the astallion to behave). Wonder if this was Sam's horse's problem? I have been on the other end of that - riding a mare In An Interesting State: it's the pits. Even some geldings get interested. (if they've been gelded late).

Australian Susan  •  Link

Morris Dancing and folk practices
One of the things I have researched in my past life is the survival of paganism into the modern world. Folk song, dance, drama etc are all vehilces for this. A problem is distinguishing between the genience survival and the rebirth of a custom from books. One researcher told me to look at the 19th century photographs of folk performers: if the people in them were smiling, it was a revivial; if they looked serious or miserable: it was a genuine survival. So, look for the dancers looking grim, not the ones driving Volvos. And a hey nonny no to you all.

Mary  •  Link

"set my horse up at Game's"

This is not the captain's horse, but the hired nag. Sam notes that he changed horses again as he was leaving the park. the five shillings was presumably the hire fee.

OzStu  •  Link

..set my horse up at Game’s, paying 5s. for him.
Having just stumped up more $$ for my daughters riding lessons, 5s. for a days hire sounds pretty good (even allowing for 90x inflation).

Stolzi  •  Link

"living within the compass of 50l. a year"

I'd like to know within what "compass" Sam himself proposes to live. We often get a reckoning up of his total estate, but not a budget of his expenses.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

“living within the compass of 50l. a year”

I understand this passage to say that Sam is urging major economies on his father (whom he had found to be spending 100l. a year). He tells his father he will have but 30l. a year income, supplemented by 20l. from Sam, for a total of 50l, when in fact he expects his father to have 70l., including the 20l. supplement. Maybe he doubts that his father, mother and Pall can stay within budget and worries that they will run up debts?

A. Hamilton  •  Link

So set my horse up at Game’s, paying 5s. for him.

I estimate this to be about 50l in today's money, or about what it would cost to rent a small car for the day in London.

jeannine  •  Link

To add to Bryan's insightful comparison of disimulation...there are perhaps 2 examples of this in today's entry
"and all in such kind words, as not only made, them but myself to weep, and I hope it will have a good effect. "
"Mrs. Turner’s daughter, at whose house Sir J. Minnes lies, play on the harpsicon; but, Lord! it was enough to make any man sick to hear her; yet I was forced to commend her highly."
I personally found the second one delightfully worded and quite funny. That could easily be chalked up to a polite 'white lie' used to avoid hurting someone's feelings, which is something that happens to everyone at some time or another. The sincerity behind the first quote left me wondering where Sam was really coming from on this issue, crocodile tears perhaps?.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"as not only made them but myself weep"
Three grown up men shedding tears!
Now what were they thinking? for that we need perhaps Robert Getz immagination.

language hat  •  Link

"LH will probably contradict me"

No, my sources tell me your explanation of "ginger up" is correct. Thanks for sharing that great story!

celtcahill  •  Link

They dance a 'morisca' in Zeferrelli's Romeo and Juliet. I've been informed that it is at the root of our American Square dancing.

celtcahill  •  Link

I think the tears sincere enough - fact is, Dad has two children unmarried and a wife who's a little spendy now & then and likely needs the reminding.

Sam's got a severe case of oldest child syndrome which is perfectly appropriate for his time though, and certainly his particular situation.

Pedro  •  Link

“Three grown up men shedding tears!”

Does this monetary situation warrant that all three should be reduced to tears? Many of the characters we meet in the Diary have lived through a bloody Civil War, and must have witnessed situations that would reduce most people to tears.

I imagine “Margaret the Unquiet” seeing this…

“Men, just look at them. Eleven children in fourteen years would give them something to cry about!”

TerryF  •  Link

Thanks to Lynn a cycling videoclip of Ravensbourne Morris Men (fd. 1947) dancing The Upton Stick Dance Boxing Day 2003 straight-faced.…

The wikipedia article cites several theories about its origin in several places, including "the Romanian 'morisca', which means 'little mill'", etc., which leads me to wonder whether it is Roma?

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

Morris Dancing
I was briefly on a Morris Dance side in college, twenty-five years ago, in Chicago. I was very, very bad it, but it was fun anyway. If you have never seen it, and get the chance, I highly recommend it. It is lively and flashy and exotic (very unlike the rest of what we see as English culture).

"I’ve been informed that it is at the root of our American Square dancing."

I would guess that any connection would be very remote. Western Square dancing is close in form to American contra dancing, which is in turn basically a rowdier descendant of the English country dancing, that is, the very dances that Sam and Elizabeth are learning from Playford's book. Most contra dances are danced in "contra lines" -- that is, in two lines facing each other, with your partner across from you -- but there are plenty of contra-style dances in square formation.

I have spent a lot of time off and on over the years at both contra dancing and English country dancing and I can vouch that they are both easy to pick up and loads of fun. There are groups all over that hold regular dances.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

Morris Dancing and folk practices
For one interesting illustration of the mysteries of the origins of English country/folk/morris dancing see the link about the Britannia Coconutters of Bacup Lancashire

Nix  •  Link

"not only made, them but myself to weep"

When I read this entry I wondered whether the weeping was literal or figurative. It seems odd to me that adults would actually be in tears at even the kindest of words.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Morris Dancing and Country dancing
Different origins! Morris dancing is on the spectrum which includes Mummer's Plays, the Abbots Bromley Horn Dancers, Jack-In-The -Green and other practices which are probably very ancient pagan survivals - though origins have been forgotten and meanings too. Country dancing is just fun, which is what the Morris has become, but wasn't always, especially such esoteric variants as the coconut dancers and the horn dancers.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Local home grown entertainment of pre industrila revolution, be based on religeous tracts as well as heathen dialogue, mixed together to please the uppers and calm down the restless. slowly it would evolve into a controll by the Landed, to control content and make a prophet for some. That be from Padre control to people back to the laud it ones.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: “Three grown up men shedding tears!”

Sam says, "as not only made them but myself to weep"* -- I view the "but myself" to mean Sam *didn't* shed tears. So, as celtcahill mentions, Sam's playing the role of stern oldest son. As far as Sam's motivations go, I think Mr. Hamilton has it spot-on.

* I took out the comma, which was added by editors anyway (like all punctuation in the Diary) and which I believe is incorrectly placed in this instance.

language hat  •  Link

“as not only made them but myself to weep”

Sorry, Todd, but that has to mean Sam wept as well. We have to remember these are 17th-century men; the idea that "men don't cry" is much more modern (and quite silly). Even in the 19th century men wept copiously and unashamedly.

Mary  •  Link

not only but [also]

It's difficult to ignore the presence of that 'only' in the sentence about the shedding of tears. With or without a comma, the reading that sees all three men in tears seems the more natural one.

Roy Feldman  •  Link

Cheers to Bryan M...

...for the contrasting Diary selections given above. The kind of annotation on this Diary that I admire most is the kind in which someone compares the day's entry to other entries that have gone before, thereby demonstrating certain recurrent themes in Pepys's life, or the development of some particular (often confusing) event.

I salute all you industrious annotators for taking the long view and sharing the results with the rest of us!

Chris  •  Link

Thanks to all of you for your excellent site! A mine of information! I am - God help me - translating this volume (1663) into German and without your help would be even more lost than I am already ...

One question about the "little crop black nag". Does the "crop" refer to the following explanation (no ears and mane etc.) or has it got some other meaning?

Mary  •  Link

"little crop black nag"

I took the 'crop' to refer to the horse's lack of mane, indicating that the mane has been hogged: i.e. clipped close to the roots, leaving only a short, bristly ridge of upstanding hair.

Cannot imagine why anyone should wish to lop off a horse's ears, so take the 'having none of his owne' to refer to the mane alone. However, I confess to being baffled by the black, cloth ears ... unless they were simply to disguise the length and shape of the animal's own ears and were worn over or attached to them. Removing a horse's own ears would seem to be nonsensical; a horse tells you quite a lot about his mood and likely behaviour by the way in which he moves his ears.

Lawrence  •  Link

Morris Dancing.
The oldest Living Tradition is Widely excepted as Bampton,(Oxfordshire) There are now three teams dancing in Bampton, mostly due to arguments over money, what they liked to do was go out with exactly six dancers, one Fool, (there being no Clowns in Morris Dancing) one Musician, and I believe one Bagman, that way the Money in their pockets would jingle better, finding myself having danced in Bampton since 1973, my Brothers and Father before me, Im now the Squire, in Bampton there are no elections attached to this Office, so I should technically die before they can replace me, although I'm told I may retire at some point. For those of you interested, try this site. hppt:// the Picture of the Team at the top of the site is my Team, and I'm the Chap just right of the Musician, we're dancing Bonny green garters, the traditional dance we perform before we move on to our next spot on Whit Monday (Spring Bank Holiday).

Lawrence  •  Link

I'm Not sure how to make that site a link, perhaps someone would help, and post it to background for me.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Identifying animals has been a vexed question since Biblical times (there are arguments in Genesis over stock ownership). What may have happened with the horse with the cloth ears was that his real ears had an identifying clip taken out of them and the cloth was to disguise this identifier. I think crop may also refers to his tail, but the usual verbs for these actions are "dock" for tail cutting and "hog" (as Mary cites) for mane. So it's a puzzle. Certainly cutting off a horse's tail and mane (both of which could be used by the real owner to pick the horse out) would help disguise it. The other common thing to do was to either add in a white foot on a dark horse or paint one out and do the same to a blaze (long mark) or star (short mark) on the front of the horse's head.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: “as not only made them but myself to weep”

LH and Mary, I see your point here. I didn't think that Sam crying wasn't a possibility; I just didn't read the "not only ... but" combination correctly. Thanks!

Patricia  •  Link

Sam doesn't look too good in this one, lying to his old dad and bringing him to tears, even if he meant it for "his own good." Somebody spent a bundle raising Samuel, but he's worried he might have to pay a little of that back in supporting the old folks.
re Stone Horses: To this day, many country fairs forbid stallions on the grounds, and I've seen people remove their prize bulls to a distance while the cows and heifers are showing, just in case.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Stortlow may be sold to pay 200l. for his satisfaction therein and the rest to go towards payment of debts and legacies."

Stankes, who managed the Brampton lands for Pepys's father, reckoned that Stirtloe would fetch £480. Pepys represented (in a letter to his father of 16 May) that its sale would reduce the net value of the estate to £29 p.a. besides the house. (Per L&M footnote)

Bill  •  Link

“and there put up my own dull jade”

A JADE, a sorry Horse, which will not go without much spurring; also a sorry base Woman, a lewd Wench, a Strumpet.
---An universal etymological English dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

So Sam's dissembling to his dad and Tom about the true state of the accounts: he obviously thinks that Papa can't keep track of what's coming in OR going out.

This sounds unkind, but it's based on sober reality: remember that a couple of years ago, Sam audited his dad's affairs before he retired to Brampton and concluded:

"I find that all he hath in money of his own due to him in the world is but 45l., and he owes about the same sum: so that I cannot but think in what a condition he had left my mother if he should have died before my uncle Robert."

That is, after a lifetime of work, his net worth was zero. The implication is that even then, John senior was neither managing his finances, nor aware of his precise situation.…

John York  •  Link

Re Celtcahill's comment above, I thought John still had 3 unmarried children at this time, Tom, Pall and John(Jnr). Have I missed something?

Stortlow may be sold - this producing £200 for his father and the balance paying off some of the oustanding debts & legacies. Interesting that on 11 February 1661/62 Sam was proposing the selling of Stortlow for Tom's benefit "he needs money, and has no mind to marry."…

John(Jnr) was at Cambridge University but never is taken into account as being in need of money in the present or for his future. I wonder who was funding his study.

Tonyel  •  Link

Off topic but worth sharing, I hope:
The Bishop of Hereford, many years ago, was riding in procession through the city on a mare which turned out to be in season. A following stallion mounted her, trapping the Bishop with its forelegs, and "thus they travelled for some distance" no doubt to the delight of the onlookers.

john  •  Link

It is not uncommon to smear a bit of menthal rub inside a stallion's nose to keep him from being distracted by mares. The disguising cloth ear-covers may be fly ear covers, in use today, or decorative covers often displayed on Arabians in shows.

Amusing story of the Bishop and I presume that the Bishop's coat-tails were pinned down. Having attended numerous breeding episodes, I cannot picture the forelegs extending far enough to reach the rider.

Tripleransom  •  Link

A "Morris-dance" was indeed a kind of rowdy folk dance. The source of the expression "Morrising about" meaning to misbehave, no doubt.

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