Thursday 13 August 1663

Lay long in bed with my wife talking of family matters, and so up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and then home to dinner, and after dinner my wife and I to talk again about getting of a couple of good mayds and to part with Ashwell, which troubles me for her father’s sake, though I shall be glad to have the charge taken away of keeping a woman. Thence a little to the office, and so abroad with my wife by water to White Hall, and there at my Lord’s lodgings met my Lady Jemimah, with whom we staid a good while. Thence to Mrs. Hunt’s, where I left my wife, and I to walk a little in St. James’s Park, while Mrs. Harper might come home, with whom we came to speak about her kinswoman Jane Gentleman to come and live with us as a chamber mayde, and there met with Mr. Hoole my old acquaintance of Magdalen, and walked with him an hour in the Parke, discoursing chiefly of Sir Samuel Morland, whose lady is gone into France. It seems he buys ground and a farm in the country, and lays out money upon building, and God knows what! so that most of the money he sold his pension of 500l. per annum for, to Sir Arthur Slingsby, is believed is gone. It seems he hath very great promises from the King, and Hoole hath seen some of the King’s letters, under his own hand, to Morland, promising him great things (and among others, the order of the Garter, as Sir Samuel says); but his lady thought it below her to ask any thing at the King’s first coming, believing the King would do it of himself, when as Hoole do really think if he had asked to be Secretary of State at the King’s first coming, he might have had it. And the other day at her going into France, she did speak largely to the King herself, how her husband hath failed of what his Majesty had promised, and she was sure intended him; and the King did promise still, as he is a King and a gentleman, to be as good as his word in a little time, to a tittle: but I never believe it.

Here in the Park I met with Mr. Coventry, where he sent for a letter he had newly writ to me, wherein he had enclosed one from Commissioner Pett complaining of his being defeated in his attempt to suspend two pursers, wherein the manner of his doing it, and complaint of our seeing him (contrary to our promises the other day), deserted, did make us laugh mightily, and was good sport to think how awkwardly he goes about a thing that he has no courage of his own nor mind to do. Mr. Coventry answered it very handsomely, but I perceive Pett has left off his corresponding with me any more.

Thence to fetch my wife from Mrs. Hunt’s, where now he was come in, and we eat and drunk, and so away (their child being at home, a very lively, but not pretty at all), by water to Mrs. Turner’s, and there made a short visit, and so home by coach, and after supper to prayers and to bed, and before going to bed Ashwell began to make her complaint, and by her I do perceive that she has received most base usage from my wife, which my wife sillily denies, but it is impossible the wench could invent words and matter so particularly, against which my wife has nothing to say but flatly to deny, which I am sorry to see, and blows to have past, and high words even at Hinchinbrooke House among my Lady’s people, of which I am mightily ashamed.

I said nothing to either of them, but let them talk till she was gone and left us abed, and then I told my wife my mind with great sobriety of grief, and so to sleep.

25 Annotations

First Reading

Patricia  •  Link

The Pepys have come up in the world too fast: so that neither Mrs. P knows better than to bandy words with her maid (especially in front of the Sandwich household!), nor Sam knows better than to listen to a maid complain against his wife; and the maid hasn't been born to service or she would know better than to sass her mistress and then complain to the master when the mistress slaps her. What a mess poor Sam is in. Please remember Sam, which side your bread is buttered on......

Robert Gertz  •  Link

From Ashwell's pov, she's not a maid but an experienced teacher and lady's companion. I suspect though I'm right in thinking she embarrassed Bess somehow in front of my Lady with reference to her lack of ability in dance or music. Probably she's a bit too independent and strong-willed in her own right for a young woman as insecure in her role as wife of an up-and-coming fellow as our Bess is and it's time for her to depart the scene.

I would bet that we'll see Bess wanting to return with vigor to her lessons in dance plus perhaps music.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

She needs a job, Sam. And with her energy and charm she'd be great as a sort of unofficial ombudswoman to the sailors' and officers' wives, checking on living conditions, taking complaints, and making you look great as the one member of the administration who cares... The little deferences from the wives would flatter her ego and she has the worldly experience to properly commiserate with the different families' ups and downs in life, plus she's tended to other women before.

But no chance, I know...

aqua  •  Link

The rules of pecking be in a state of flux, 'twas why Charles I lost his crown's resting place, he wanted complete obeyance. Just the other day [Sams that be], the Quakers be given bed and no board at the local nick for not doffing the cap to the powers to be. The Levellers etal, be having the differing of opinion about equality. The streets be full of silly talk that the serfs be same as those that ride in fancy carriages how ridiculous, it permeated all stratas. This was the era where a butcher boy has become an Admiral, but now that the C of E wants the old system back,strict lines of communication between penitant and the Laudly ones, bringing back the separation of mob from clergy by reinstalling the Alter rail.
These horrible ideas of blue blud and and red bludded ones being on the same levell be under attack.
Such a modern idea Equality, arn, Know thy place aqua

andy  •  Link

and then I told my wife my mind with great sobriety of grief, and so to sleep

no nookies tonight then.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...then I told my wife my mind with great sobriety of grief..."

"You have been scandalously abused, Mrs. Pepys. The girl must go."

"But what about the horsewhipping and stocks?"

"If it were in my power, darling..."

"What good is it to be Clerk of the Acts if you can't have an uppity girl put in stocks and horsewhipped, Sam'l?"

"I shall be very sparing in my praise in her letter of recommendation, dear."


TerryF  •  Link

"Commissioner Pett...defeated in his attempt to suspend two pursers...a thing that he has no courage of his own nor mind to do."

This was predicted a fortnight ago, so why should it be risible?

1 August - Messrs. Coventry & Pepys "conclude that [Pett] is not able to [' to correct and suspend officers that do not their duty' ] in that yard...what with his old faults and the relations that he has to most people that act there."…

Poor Peter Pett is not an administrator, he's a master shipwright.

Pepys seems bent on making men miserable who are mismatched to their positions. Is there no alternative to provide an efficient Navy - e.g., enhancing the pay-grade of men matched to their positions? It's all about performance, isn't it? Well, I guess doing that is above Pepys's own pay-grade.

Pedro  •  Link

“Poor Peter Pett is not an administrator, he’s a master shipwright. Pepys seems bent on making men miserable who are mismatched to their positions.”

I think you are right Terry. Sam has made other remarks, in the confines of his Diary, about others such as Lawson and Lord Windsor, but does not have the power to make them miserable.

The pursers seem, like many others, to have obtained their positions through patronage. As has been suggested previously, it would be hard to dismiss someone who has backing from above. This puts Pett in an unenviable position, and maybe someday Sam may be put in a similar situation, and we can have some good sport!

Some info from Gentlemen and Tarpulins by J.D.Davies…

“Pursers were usually former clerks from the dockyards, the Navy Board, or other government offices, and from 1662 onwards they had to pay substantial sureties, which varied according to the rate of the ship, before entering office.

Certainly, Edward Gregory, purser of the largest ship in the Navy, the Sovereign, in the early 60’s, admitted that he had purchased the post from his predecessor. The payment of fees to the secretaries of state and the Admiralty, and to their clerks, was an accepted part of the method of obtaining a commission or warrant…”

aqua  •  Link

Re: companion or mayde[ upstairs, downstairs],when no money is involved a compannion can converse and have a differing opinion without being asked to empty the chamber de nuit. When thee give monies then the Laud and master can become very cavalier and demand the works,[may not get them like they did pre king John]. Money rules, curtesy can be dismissed.

aqua  •  Link

Errata: courtesy in lieu of curtsey [which all good maydes learn to do, nice and low ] better than tugging forelock.

Bradford  •  Link

"I told my wife my mind with great sobriety of grief,
And thought, with Ashwell gone, we might from wrangles find relief."

Half a lovely fourteener, couldn't resist.

Australian Susan  •  Link


The problems which have arisen here demonstrate the uneasy position that ladies' companions were in (and also governesses). They are *not* servants, but they are not equal to the lady of the house either. In later centuries, this position became more clearly defined. Ladies'companions and governesses were often of gentle birth, but poor and however well-educated, were always kept in their place (cf any of the Bronte sisters'novels). In the 17th century, household/family were almost used as synonyms (Sam does this) and when Ashwell came to live with them, she was defined as a companion and accepted as a member of the family/household. Now they are trying to be rid of her, she has suddenly turned into a "mayde" - much easier to despise and dismiss. Unfair, Sam! (though by the end of today's entry, he does seem to be in two minds about all this).

dirk  •  Link

"My Lord" Montagu's family matters:

Walter Montagu to Sandwich [about My Lord's son, Hinchinbroke, who is completing his education in France]
23 August 1663 (new style)
= 13 August British calendar

"Upon consideration of what the Earl was pleased to impart about Lord Hinchinbroke, the writer is of opinion that Lord Sandwich will do well to leave his son at the Academy [in Paris?] for the winter, that he may perfect his exercises. In the Spring, he may usefully visit the rest of France, and such other foreign parts as the Earl may best like; and with "a discreet companion", armed with the due authority."

The Carte Papers, Bodleian Library…

Joe  •  Link

"and so away (their child being at home, a very lively, but not pretty at all)"

I love Pepys' candor, but I do hope he didn't offer this reflection anywhere else but here.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"with Mr. Hoole my old acquaintance of Magdalen, and walked with him an hour in the Parke, discoursing chiefly of Sir Samuel Morland, whose lady is gone into France. "

Both William Hoole (Howell) and Morland had been Fellows of Magdelene. The latter had been Pepys's tutor. His wife came from Normandy. (L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"It seems he buys ground and a farm in the country, and lays out money upon building, and God knows what! so that most of the money he sold his pension of 500l. per annum for, to Sir Arthur Slingsby, is believed is gone."

In 1660 Morland had been given a baronetcy, a place in the Privy Chamber and a pension for his services to the King during the Interregnum, when he passed on information gained from his employment in Secretary Thurloe's office. His improvidence was notorious: in a short account he wrote of his life in 1689 (in a letter to Tenison) he cpmplains of there 'reports of...excessive prodigalities'. But the stories appear to have been justified. In the same letter Morland says that ge was at this period in debt, and forced to sell the pension below its value. Slingsby, he relates, was said to have bought it for Lady Green with the Ling's money. He denies having had any real estate:… (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"he hath very great promises from the King [in] letters under his own hand, to Morland, promising him great things (and among others, the order of the Garter"

Morland repeats this claim in his letter to Tenison. (Per L&M footnote)

Bill  •  Link

Moreland's letter to Tenison that Terry mentions ("The autobiography of Samuel Morland, in a letter addressed to Archbishop Tenison) can be found in "A Collection of Letters Illustrative of the Progress of Science in England" on page 116.…

Marquess  •  Link

Sam seems to be taking a balanced approach between his wife and Ashwell.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . to be as good as his word . . to a tittle . . ‘:

‘tittle, n. < Middle English titel . .
. . 2.b. to a tittle, with minute exactness, to the smallest particular, to a T.
1607   F. Beaumont Woman Hater iii. iii. sig. E3v,   Ile quote him to a tittle.
1700   S. Patrick Comm. Deut. xxviii. 53   This was fulfilled to a tittle by Vespasian and his son Titus . . ‘

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Mentions of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Tenison (1636 – 1715) are here, a review of his legacy seems relevant, especially as the Diary years shaped many of his challenges:

Exerpted from: The Church of England, 1714–1783’, in Establishment and Empire: The Development of Anglicanism, 1662–1829,
ed. Jeremy Gregory (Oxford History of Anglicanism, volume 2) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 49–67.
Published 2017…

‘My last gave you an account of the Death of our good Lord, and the
circumstances of it; To this I am now to add that the Bishop of Lincoln kissed the King’s hand for the Archbishopric yesterday.’

So Archbishop Tenison’s chaplain, Edmund Gibson, announced Tenison’s death and William Wake’s succession to the see of Canterbury in late December 1715.

From one perspective, Archbishop Tenison’s passing might seem to mark the end of a long, divisive era in the nation’s religious and political history. This chapter argues that it did not; rather, subsequent Church leaders confronted many of the same challenges that had confronted Tenison and other late Stuart churchmen, and they confronted them in Tenisonian ways.

To understand the 18th-century Church of England, then, requires starting with Archbishop Thomas Tenison and the world from which he emerged.

Thomas Tenison served as archbishop of Canterbury under Queen
Anne (r. 1702–14), the last of the Stuarts, the royal family whose members had been usurped not once but twice during the religio-political revolutions of the 17th century.

Queen Anne came to the throne in 1702, hoping to heal the wounds opened up by England’s ‘troubles’. The 17th century had been brutal for the Church of England. The institution had nearly been destroyed in the 1650s, during England’s stretch of ‘unkingship’ and religious disestablishment.

Even after the monarchy’s restoration and the Church of England’s re-establishment in 1660, the memory of those years remained fresh and reminded churchmen what might happen if religious Dissenters got their way.

The Test and Corporation Acts (1661, 1673) disbarred Protestant Dissenters from public office, hoping to prevent a return of the religious and political anarchy of the mid-century.

Yet the Glorious Revolution (1688–9), itself a response to the ‘thoroughgoing project of Catholic modernization’ of James II’s reign, had ushered in a new kind of religious settlement, one which had at its core the Toleration Act (1689), a piece of legislation which allowed the Church to retain its establishment status while at the same time depriving the institution of its functional monopoly on public worship and legally confirming and condoning England’s religious pluralism.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Tenison’s challenge was to reconcile the Church of England to the post-revolutionary state. Edmund Gibson reckoned Tenison, the son of a royalist and a Williamite appointee in 1694, had mostly succeeded.
Gibson explained, ‘many others have more state politicks but he had the true Christian Policy; great goodness, and Integrity improved by long Experience and a natural Sedateness and Steadiness of Temper; and a general knowledge of men and of things. Had it not pleased God to raise up such an one to steer, in the storm times that we have had (for these last 20 years) the Church in all human probability must have been shipwrecked over and over.’

Like the monarchs he served, Tenison’s worldview was forged in the crucible of the 17th century’s religio-political wars and he had moved into Lambeth Palace determined to effect peace between Church and state. No one doubted his commitment to reforming and revitalizing the Church. He had a well-deserved reputation as a model parish priest in central London parishes like St. Martin-in-the-Fields; he had long supported religious societies like the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) and the Society for the Promotion of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG); an energetic bishop of Lincoln and archbishop of Canterbury, he had worked to improve both clerical quality and Church discipline; and he had written powerfully against both popery and anti-Trinitarianism.

But Archbish Tenison’s sympathies were those of a resolute Whig, He was actively involved in the seven bishops’ resistance to James II’s promulgation of the Declaration of Indulgence in 1688; he worked in 1689 to pass a comprehension bill; he had no truck with non-jurors; he zealously promoted the Hanoverian succession; and he saw the Whigs as the only sure guarantors of a Protestant England.

However, the Church–Whig alliance Archbishop Tenison tried to forge sat poorly with the lower clergy, who were mostly Tory and who did not believe the Protestant Church of England might only be safe when those most committed to the Protestant succession — the Whigs — controlled both Church and state.

Unsurprisingly, even during the spells of Whig supremacy during Queen Anne’s reign, Archbishop Tenison could do little to quell the Tory cries of ‘Church in danger’, or to prevent a crisis like that which attended Henry Sacheverell’s Perils of False Brethren sermon in 1709 and his subsequent trial and acquittal.

Despite Archbishop Tenison’s Whig irenicism, he died in December 1715, having helped to improve Church–Whig relations, but having failed ‘to prevent the church ... from becoming the battlefield of political faction’.

The policies pursued in Church and state after 1689 aimed to prevent a return to revolution. This is hardly registered in the historiography of the Church of England, an institution which played such a great part in the nation’s tumultuous post-Revolution history.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


A more personal look from Wiki:…

He was born at Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, the son and grandson of Anglican clergymen, both named John Tenison; his mother was Mercy Dowsing.
He was educated at Norwich School, went to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, as a scholar on Archbishop Matthew Parker's foundation. He graduated in 1657, and was chosen fellow in 1659.

For a short time he studied medicine, but in 1659 was privately ordained.

As curate of St. Andrew the Great, Cambridge from 1662, he set an example by his devoted attention to the sufferers from the plague.

In 1667 he was presented to the living of Holywell-cum-Needingworth, Huntingdonshire, by the Earl of Manchester, to whose son he had been tutor, and in 1670 to that of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich.

In 1680 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and was presented by Charles II to the important London church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

Tenison, according to Gilbert Burnet, "endowed schools including Archbishop Tenison's School, Lambeth, founded in 1685 and Archbishop Tenison's School, Croydon, founded in 1714, set up a public library, and kept many curates to assist him in his indefatigable labours".

Being a strenuous opponent of the Church of Rome, and "Whitehall lying within that parish, he stood as in the front of the battle all James II's reign".

He publicly supported the Glorious Revolution, with some private misgivings, especially concerning the ejection of Archbishop William Sancroft and the other "non-juring" bishops. Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon in his diary records some frank remarks made by Tenison on this subject at a dinner party in 1691:
"That there had been irregularities in our settlement; that it was wished that things had been otherwise, but that we were now to make the best of it, and support this government as it was, for fear of a worse."

He preached a funeral sermon for Nell Gwyn in 1687, in which he represented her as truly penitent – a charitable judgment that did not meet with universal approval. The general liberality of Tenison's religious views won him royal favor, and, after being made Bishop of Lincoln in 1691, he was promoted to Archbishop of Canterbury in December 1694.

He was disliked by Queen Anne who thought him too low church.

A strong supporter of the Hanoverian succession, who shocked many by referring to Queen Anne's death as a blessing, he was one of 3 officers of state to whom was entrusted the duty of appointing a regent until the arrival of George, whom he crowned on 20 Oct., 1714.

For the last time at the coronation of an English monarch, the Archbishop asked if the people accepted their new King. The witty Catherine Sedley, former mistress of James II, remarked: "Does the old fool think we will say no?".
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