Friday 20 November 1663

Up, and as soon as I could to my Lord Sandwich’s lodgings, but he was gone out before, and so I am defeated of my expectation of being eased one way or other in the business of my Lord. But I went up to Mr. Howe, who I saw this day the first time in a periwigg, which becomes him very well, and discoursed with him. He tells me that my Lord is of a sudden much changed, and he do believe that he do take my letter well. However, we do both bless God that it hath so good an effect upon him. Thence I home again, calling at the Wardrobe, where I found my Lord, but so busy with Mr. Townsend making up accounts there that I was unwilling to trouble him, and so went away. By and by to the Exchange, and there met by agreement Mr. Howe, and took him with a barrel of oysters home to dinner, where we were very merry, and indeed I observe him to be a very hopeful young man, but only a little conceited.

After dinner I took him and my wife, and setting her in Covent Garden at her mother’s, he and I to my Lord’s, and thence I with Mr. Moore to White Hall, there the King and Council being close, and I thinking it an improper place to meet my Lord first upon the business; I took coach, and calling my wife went home, setting Mr. Moore down by the way, and having been late at the office alone looking over some plates of the Northern seas, the White seas, and Archangell river, I went home, and, after supper, to bed.

My wife tells me that she and her brother have had a great falling out to-night, he taking upon him to challenge great obligation upon her, and taxing her for not being so as she ought to be to her friends, and that she can do more with me than she pretends, and I know not what, but God be thanked she cannot.

A great talke there is today of a crush between some of the Fanatiques up in arms, and the King’s men in the North; but whether true I know not yet.

21 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

Balty "taxes" (nice monetary verb) Elizabeth "for not being so as she ought to be to her friends, and that she can do more with me than she pretends".
Remembering that "friends" can include "relations," may we conclude that brother's complaint is that Liz could get Sam to do more for Balty in a worldly cash sense than she does?---which shows Balty doesn't know Sam the way we know Sam.

"[I]ndeed I observe [Mr. Howe] to be a very hopeful young man, but only a little conceited."
"hopeful" = "promising"
Here, by contrast, Pot accurately recognizes Kettle.

"[W]ith a barrel of oysters home to dinner": we once established that this was, by our reckoning, a rather little barrel---anyone remember the dimensions?

cum grano  •  Link

Sailing the white seas above Norway "...having been late at the office alone looking over some plates of the Northern seas, the White seas, and Archangell river..." Sam this be ice berg time?

doctus  •  Link

This should be a good skit on B & S by the resident mind reader:
Sis " use your charms and get the old skin flint to hand over a few crowns so that I May go to the Coffee house"
Strange, how some feel entitled to share others purse.

Terry F  •  Link

"...looking over some plates of the Northern seas, the White seas, and Archangell river..."

L&M note the Navy Board are worried about an overdue hemp ship from that region.

Patricia  •  Link

"taxing her ... that she can do more with me than she pretends, ... but God be thanked she cannot." Ah, I love it! "Bess can't do anything with me, thank God. Nobody can do anything with me." Grounds for much self-satisfaction, is it? LOL!

Ruben  •  Link

some plates of the Northern seas, the White seas, and Archangell river
from Wikipedia:
"Arkhangelsk was known to the Vikings as Bjarmaland. In the 12th century, the Novgorodians established the Archangel Michael Monastery in the estuary of the Northern Dvina. In 1478 the area passed to Muscovy with the rest of Novgorod Republic...In 1555, Ivan the Terrible granted trade privileges to English merchants who founded the Company of Merchant Adventurers and began sending ships annually into the estuary of the Northern Dvina. Dutch merchants also began bringing their ships into the White Sea. In 1584 Ivan ordered the founding of New Kholmogory (which would later be renamed after the nearby Archangel Monastery).
...At the time access to the Baltic Sea was still controlled by Sweden...Arkhangelsk was icebound in winter, it remained Moscow's only link to the sea...In 1693 Peter I ordered the creation of a state shipyard in Arkhangelsk. A year later the ships Svyatoye Prorochestvo (Holy Prophecy), Apostol Pavel (Apostle Paul) and the yacht Svyatoy Pyotr (Saint Peter) were sailing in the White Sea...Arkhangelsk declined in the 18th century as the Baltic trade became ever more important."
As I see it, Mr. Pepys was not appreciating artistic values in the plates but looking for cues or imagining trading oportunities.

Mary  •  Link

"a the North"

This was the Farnley Wood Rising in Yorkshire (also called the Derwentdale Plot). Fomented by Puritan extremists in the West Riding, plans had been ongoing since the spring. However, the government had got wind of it during the summer and had made a number of arrests. The remaining plotters still attempted an uprising on October 12th, but this was rapidly out down.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"... a very hopeful young man, but only a little conceited..."

Mirror onto thyself...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Oh, Lord and he's in a periwig too? Watch it Sam...Perhaps his joy at milord's acceptance of your letter stems from another source...

"William Howe...Clerk of the Acts of the Royal Navy." Howe contentedly reads newly engraved sign. Unable to resist anticipating the moment...

Like the way that rolls out.

Loyal wife our Bess... Though perhaps anxious (with Jane or other maid by?) to let Sam know whose side she's firmly on.

Though I will always believe (and hope that Sam indulgently winks at it)that a few shillings now and then find their way from the Pepys' kitchen account to poor old Mama and Papa St. Michel.

So I wonder to whom Balty promised something he can't deliver via Sam.

"Ey! When do we get the bloody victualling contract for the Deptford docks, St. Michel?!"

It's a little sad, Balty's actually not untalented and will be of some service in the future, apart from his obvious ability to charm, but the kid's apparently been ruined by bizarre aristocrat-in-exile notions of his father. The future Sieur must not dirty his hands with gross labor and low traffic... I loved Sam's practical "he wants bread" remark on that score. Though the best remark remains Napoleon's to his sisters "we wanna be Queens!"

"Judging by your pretensions one would have thought I had deprived you of the inheritance of the King our father."

Bradford  •  Link

"Pepys' Progress": Walk the Thames with Sam and Claire Tomalin.
New BBC Radio posting; full particulars and link here:…

---posted here merely to draw attention to what sounds like a program of great interest.

Sean Adams  •  Link

Four barrels of oysters:
Bradford's question regarding the size was answered in the annotations to 16 Feb 1659/60. The barrels were 7-13 inches high and the oysters were probably on the shell- a few dozen per barrel.

Bradford  •  Link

Thanks, Sean, for burrowing back almost to the beginning of recorded time. Aren't we due for another venison pasty soon too?

JWB  •  Link


" the Public Record Office written by Captain Robert Atkinson of Mallerstang in Westmorland (near Wharton Hall) says that the plotters meant to force the King to fulfil the promises made at Breda with liberty of conscience in religious matters."

"...Bryan Dale (writing in Leeds, although very much later(Bryan Dale, "The Good Lord Wharton")cites Hunter( Letters of eminent men addressed to Ralph Thoresby FRS, ed. Joseph Hunter (2 vols., London, 1832) as claiming that the whole plot had every appearance of being artificial - a contrivance of thegovernment to strike terror into the disaffected. However that may be, twenty-two people were executedand many Nonconformist ministers and large numbers of other innocent victims were imprisoned."…

Terry F  •  Link

"to strike terror into the disaffected"

JWB, good find, and a plausible explanation. Terrorism by the Restoration regime - making sure its brutality is known across the country - is constent with the periodic alarms in London, and the ongoing discussion in Parliament of measures to be taken against "the disaffected" - Papists and "Conventicles."

cumgranosalis  •  Link

Disenchanted have no pull, no vote as they have no property. The streets were full of talk that overflowed from houses of coffee, chocolate and ales, 'til they unite under a charismatic disenchanted royalist, will never cause grief.
For those that capitulated to the charm of Royalty and the devine rights, were enjoying an improved lifestyle of money, wine, song, ***** and free of harassment of armed soldiers demanding thy best bed.

Pedro  •  Link

"a the North"

Not trying to be pedantic, but I am not sure that Sam would be refering to the Farnley Wood Plot in particular. The plot was one of at least two that were part of a Northern conspiracy on the 12th October that become known as the Northern plot.

From JWB's site concerning the Farnley Wood plot and the implication of Lord Wharton, it sites a letter from Captain Robert Atkinson of Westmorland asserting that Lord Wharton was privy to the plot.

Atkinson, an ex-military officer and already involved in much espionage, seems to be an amazing character who led the Kaber-Rigg plot, on the Westmorland and Durham border, on the same night which petered out due to lack of support from larger forces. As the authorities already had wind of the plot 35 were rounded up, including Atkinson, and taken to Appleby goal. The night before his examination he escaped, but later gave himself up in London being interviewed by the King and Buckingham. He again "escaped" again but was recaptured and executed at Appleby in September 1664.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"some plates of the Northern seas, the White seas, and Archangell river,

The White Sea (Russian: Белое море...) is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of Russia. It is surrounded by Karelia to the west, the Kola Peninsula to the north, and the Kanin Peninsula to the northeast.…

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

If anyone is interested in finding out more about Archangel, and its historical importance to Russia, I'd strongly recommend the following, very moving, book. (Personally I tend to read the Amazon reviews and buy elsewhere, as they neither treat their employees well nor pay their taxes - *or* see if it's available in your public library!)…

StanB  •  Link

Farnley Wood
I live literally a stones throw from Farnley the wood has now gone
The countryside to the south east of New Farnley was once cloaked by a huge area of woodland known as Farnley Wood. It was here, on the night of 11th October 1663, that 29 men met to plot the downfall of Charles II. By dawn the conspirators had melted away, disillusioned by a pitiful turnout. However, Joshua Greathead, embittered by slights from his fellow conspirators turned informer and betrayed them to the authorities. As a result of his evidence sixteen men were hung, drawn and quartered at York, several more were executed on the gallows at Chapeltown Moor in Leeds and the remainder were executed at Appleby. Farnley Wood has now disappeared, but be warned, people have reported being hit by flying stones when there is no one in sight to throw them – are ghostly plotters still at large ?

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"A great talke there is today of a crush between some of the Fanatiques up in arms, and the King’s men in the North; but whether true I know not yet."

Pepys is a month late with the news! Buckingham, as Lord Lt. of the West Ridings, had left the pleasures of the Court around the middle of October and riden to Doncaster to lead the restoration of law and order (according to his bio., which never mentions Wharton).

I've posted an abbreviated version of events in Buckingham's encyclopedia from one of his biographies, as there's a sad lack of dates in the narrative.…

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