Monday 1 February 1663/64

Up (my maids rising early this morning to washing), and being ready I found Mr. Strutt the purser below with 12 bottles of sacke, and tells me (which from Sir W. Batten I had heard before) how young Jack Davis has railed against Sir W. Batten for his endeavouring to turn him out of his place, at which for the fellow’s sake, because it will likely prove his ruin, I am sorry, though I do believe he is a very arch rogue.

I took Strutt by coach with me to White Hall, where I set him down, and I to my Lord’s, but found him gone out betimes to the Wardrobe, which I am glad to see that he so attends his business, though it troubles me that my counsel to my prejudice must be the cause of it. They tell me that he goes into the country next week, and that the young ladies come up this week before the old lady. [?? D.W.] Here I hear how two men last night, justling for the wall about the New Exchange, did kill one another, each thrusting the other through; one of them of the King’s Chappell, one Cave, and the other a retayner of my Lord Generall Middleton’s.

Thence to White Hall; where, in the Duke’s chamber, the King came and stayed an hour or two laughing at Sir W. Petty, who was there about his boat; and at Gresham College in general; at which poor Petty was, I perceive, at some loss; but did argue discreetly, and bear the unreasonable follies of the King’s objections and other bystanders with great discretion; and offered to take oddes against the King’s best boates; but the King would not lay, but cried him down with words only. Gresham College he mightily laughed at, for spending time only in weighing of ayre, and doing nothing else since they sat.

Thence to Westminster Hall, and there met with diverse people, it being terme time. Among others I spoke with Mrs. Lane, of whom I doubted to hear something of the effects of our last meeting about a fortnight or three weeks ago, but to my content did not. Here I met with Mr. Pierce, who tells me of several passages at Court, among others how the King, coming the other day to his Theatre to see “The Indian Queene” (which he commends for a very fine thing), my Lady Castlemaine was in the next box before he came; and leaning over other ladies awhile to whisper to the King, she rose out of the box and went into the King’s, and set herself on the King’s right hand, between the King and the Duke of York; which, he swears, put the King himself, as well as every body else, out of countenance; and believes that she did it only to show the world that she is not out of favour yet, as was believed.

Thence with Alderman Maynell by his coach to the ’Change, and there with several people busy, and so home to dinner, and took my wife out immediately to the King’s Theatre, it being a new month, and once a month I may go, and there saw “The Indian Queene” acted; which indeed is a most pleasant show, and beyond my expectation; the play good, but spoiled with the ryme, which breaks the sense. But above my expectation most, the eldest Marshall did do her part most excellently well as I ever heard woman in my life; but her voice not so sweet as Ianthe’s; but, however, we came home mightily contented. Here we met Mr. Pickering and his mistress, Mrs. Doll Wilde; he tells me that the business runs high between the Chancellor and my Lord Bristoll against the Parliament; and that my Lord Lauderdale and Cooper open high against the Chancellor; which I am sorry for. In my way home I ’light and to the Coffee-house, where I heard Lt. Coll. Baron tell very good stories of his travels over the high hills in Asia above the clouds, how clear the heaven is above them, how thicke like a mist the way is through the cloud that wets like a sponge one’s clothes, the ground above the clouds all dry and parched, nothing in the world growing, it being only a dry earth, yet not so hot above as below the clouds. The stars at night most delicate bright and a fine clear blue sky, but cannot see the earth at any time through the clouds, but the clouds look like a world below you.

Thence home and to supper, being hungry, and so to the office, did business, specially about Creed, for whom I am now pretty well fitted, and so home to bed.

This day in Westminster Hall W. Bowyer told me that his father is dead lately, and died by being drowned in the river, coming over in the night; but he says he had not been drinking. He was taken with his stick in his hand and cloake over his shoulder, as ruddy as before he died. His horse was taken overnight in the water, hampered in the bridle, but they were so silly as not to look for his master till the next morning, that he was found drowned.

44 Annotations

First Reading

Glyn  •  Link

The Monday washing-day blues, pedestrian rage and sudden death, inter-office politics, the Montagu girls are coming to town, the king in a jovial mood, the weighing of air, Betty Lane keeps quiet, the king's mistress refuses to be ignored, Sam and Elizabeth (escaping from the washing) take the afternoon off to see the new smash-hit and enjoy it, an English explorer talks about his exploits in the high mountains of Asia (and he must have been very high-up indeed), a little work before bed, and then Pepys hears from a son that the man who was a 'second father' to the young clerks has drowned. Right, let's see how Robert Gertz manages to deal with that little lot!

jeannine  •  Link

"They tell me that he goes into the country next week, and that the young ladies come up this week before the old lady. [?? D.W.]"

Per L&M -Sandwich's 2 daughters Lady Jemima and Lady Paulina Mountagu, & his niece Elizabeth Pickering were coming to town ahead of his wife ("my old lady")

jeannine  •  Link

"Among others I spoke with Mrs. Lane, of whom I doubted to hear something of the effects of our last meeting about a fortnight or three weeks ago, but to my content did not"
Glyn, you may be right, perhaps Sam was just relieved that she didn't say anthing to lead others within hearing distance to believe that they had been together, but when I read this I thought that he was relieved that she didn't say anthing to him that would mean that she thought she could be pregnant.

Glyn  •  Link

Jeannine, that would make more sense. In a way it's a pity for Pepys that she wasn't.

Anyone know at what altitude Lieutenant-Colonel Baron would have been to have noticed what he did?

Patricia  •  Link

Surely W. Bowyer's father wasn't riding his horse through the river? Wouldn't it be too deep to try that? If not, how came both horse and man to be in the water?

deepfatfriar  •  Link

"Here I hear how two men last night, justling for the wall about the New Exchange, did kill one another, each thrusting the other through;..."

A generation or two later, wit had replaced swordplay:

"I never give the wall to a scoundrel," said a man who met Chesterfield, one day in the street. "I always do," said Chesterfield, stepping with a bow into the road."

cumgranosalis  •  Link

"old lady " an olde hoi polloi expression for ones wife, after wedding.

cumgranosalis  •  Link

NIH or IDNII, very popular syndrom 'Tis why most inventions take eons to mature, because they need a man of substance to explain them, thereby HE getS the ROYALTIES, ALONG WITH THE PATENT.
Poor Petty, who would waste so much money on a double hulled boat.

cumgranosalis  •  Link

invented : English adventurer and pirate William Dampier, travelling around the world in the 1690s in search of business opportunities, once found himself on the southeastern coast of India, in Tamil Nadu on the Bay of Bengal. He was the first to write in English about a kind of vessel he observed there. It was little more than a raft made of logs. "On the coast of Coromandel," he wrote in 1697, "they call them Catamarans…
US Navy has now got a doubled boat.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and took my wife out immediately to the King's Theatre, it being a new month, and once a month I may go..."

Well, one...He took Bess to the hit play. And two, he didn't claim it was strictly for her sake.

"...spoke with Mrs. Lane, of whom I doubted to hear something of the effects of our last meeting about a fortnight or three weeks ago, but to my content did not..."

Yeah, thank God for impotence, eh?

Then again Napoleon among others probably would have been lucky to be such.

"Guess there's no need to dump my lucky star, Josephine. And since there'll be no dynasty, better forgo that Russian invasion plan and try to win the Spanish and such over to a European Republic as well."


"Oh, that was a marvellous play, honey. Thanks for leaving a little spot open in the vows."

"We must indulge ourselves once in a bit, my Bessie. For tomorrow we drown in the Thames like poor ole Bowyer."

Stricken look from Bess... "'Father' Bowyer? Dead?"

Ooops...Hadn't meant to let it out quite like...

"Oh, Sam'l...And we still haven't heard from poor Tom."


"Your brother. The one who may be dying a horrible death?"

"Oh, right...Yes. That Tom."


Robert Gertz  •  Link

"All this money spent...All my efforts to keep this project secret, even to my poor wife's embarassment...You fine people tell me all you've done is weigh ayre. And you say I shouldn't tease your fellow philosophers?" Charles glares a bit. "Now look, Barbara...Where's my flying superweapon that will make this Nation invincible?"

"If your Majesty would let me explain...We need to know if the flammable gas we've isolated really is lighter than ayre." Castlemaine sighs. "We do maketh progress, Sire. I feel confident the first airship will fly before the Dutch engage us."

"Sire...Dr. Castlemaine. A group ahead." a rap from the Royal Coach's driver.

"Quick..." Charles hisses, embracing her.

"Say, are you pregnant? Again?" he asks on releasing England's greatest and somewhat crimsoning natural philosopher.

"Well..." Barbara blushes. "We see each other so rarely with me so occupied on this project since your Restoration, sire."

"Tell Roger I wish I knew his secret...And of course we'll include a nice land grant for it when we use the 'king's bastard' story again. At least so long as you and he keep churning them out we'll never have a problem diverting Crown funds to your work via my "bastard children" and "extravagant mistress".

Michael Robinson  •  Link

laughed at, for spending time only in weighing of ayre,

"Reading in 1657 of Otto von Guericke's air-pump,[the vacuum pump] he [Boyle] set himself with the assistance of Robert Hooke to devise improvements in its construction, and with the result, the "machina Boyleana" or "Pneumatical Engine", finished in 1659, he began a series of experiments on the properties of air. ... An account of the work he did with this instrument was published in 1660 under the title New Experiments Physico-Mechanical. Among the critics of the views put forward in this book was a Jesuit, Franciscus Linus (1595-1675), and it was while answering his objections that Boyle enunciated the law that the volume of a gas varies inversely as the pressure, which among English-speaking peoples is usually called after his name, ...."

"... Boyle's law, also known as the Boyle Mariotte law, is one of the gas laws, which states that the product of the pressure and volume of a fixed quantity of ideal gas, when held at a fixed temperature, is equal to a constant. ..."……

AussieRene  •  Link

Correct me if I'm wrong but arn't the Himalaya's in Asia?

andy  •  Link

Boyle's Law

Watt's potts never Boyle (Sellar & Yeatman, 1066 and all that)

Anyhow Sam suffered from infertility not impotence as both Bess and Betty can testify.

Firenze  •  Link

I don't see the Himalaya mentioned in the entry: simply 'the high hills in Asia' - which could well be, and more likely to be, a coastal range. (Hence the comparison with north-west US).

Mary  •  Link

The drowing of Father Bowyer.

L&M plausibly suggest that Bowyer may have been trying to ford the Thames somewhere near his Buckinghamshire home. However, it might be worth recalling that the river had no embankments at this date, and so any journey on horseback along its banks could prove dangerous. The horse need only stumble, or shy at an unexpected sound or movement and both horse and rider could end up in the water.

Martin  •  Link

"justling for the wall"
The two gents who fatally perforated each other presumably were jostling (roughly shoving) one another, with knives or swords out. But what's the meaning of "for the wall" here? Trying to get up on the wall?

Don McCahill  •  Link

But what's the meaning of "for the wall" here?

I suspect it is the preferred place to walk along the sidewalks. If the buildings over hang, then one dumping a chamber pot from above is less likely to hit the person closest to the wall.

Pedro  •  Link

"justling for the wall"

On the Late Chancellor by the Duke of Buckingham.

To ale, and tosts, and the mirth of a Catch
And all the witty disputes with the watch
To meat without Napkins, & trenchers of bread
Which in many a quarrel has been flung at thy head
To a sack by thy side, & a knife in thy pocket
In an old sheath that stinks like a Candle ith socket
To thy pleasant walks to Westminster Hall
In a Durty terme, and thy justlings for the wall
To thy breakfast in Hell, with lack pots by th' Tally
Thy returne in a Sculler, & dinner in Ram ally…

Mary  •  Link

"I have the wall!"

This was the usual cry from one pedestrian to another who was walking in the opposite direction on the same side of the street. Both would wish to walk closer to the wall; quite apart from the danger (mentioned above) of slops being tossed out of an overhead window, the roadway itself would normally be decidedly dirty, with a possibly stinking kennel running down the middle of it.

Altercations certainly did arise when neither pedestrian was willing to give way to the other and, as in this case, could provoke serious incidents.

James in Illinois  •  Link

On the "weighing of ayre": It was in 1648 that a brother-in-law of Pascal took a dish of mercury and a glass tube up to the top of a nearby mountain of 3000ft and showed that the height of the mercury column in the tube dropped as they went higher--this "Torricellian vacuum" was a barometer. Pascal had predicted the result, based on the notion that there was less weight of "ayre" at higher altitudes. So the issue of the weight of the air was something with which the the scientists of the time were very much concerned. Edwin Boring's History of Experimental Psychology (p. 577)gives a lengthy account. Further information about Gresham College can be found at

Rex Gordon  •  Link

"I have the wall!"

I wonder if the first one to claim the wall got it, all other things being equal, like calling "Shotgun!" as three are entering a car. No wonder two obstinate and proud men could wind up running each other through.

Claiming the wall was probably a safety concern, too. The streets were not just filthy, but dangerous. From London: The Biography (Peter Ackroyd), page 96: "The number of cars, drays, carts and coaches, more than hath been accustomed, the streets and lanes being straitened, must needs be dangerous, as daily experience proveth" - dangers not tempered when coachmen lashed their horses forward without checking what was behind them and inebriated drivers quarrelled frequently and violently in the street over who had right of passage. And there was the noise "where even the very earth quakes and trembles, the casements shatter, tatter, and clatter." (Ackroyd quoting Stow's "Survey")

When I was a boy, I was taught that the gentleman always walks on the streetward side of the lady. I had no idea where the custom came from.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

justling, jostling, per OED:

The action of the verb JOSTLE; the shock of the tournament; clashing; collision; knocking or pushing about.

When I was an investigator in the military police my office colleagues handled a murder arising from such an encounter between two American soldiers and a Korean soldier (the victim) disputing who should stand aside at a narrow point on a mountain path. (South Korea, 1954)

Pedro  •  Link

"weighing of ayre"

Charles was known to refer to the Fellows of the Royal Society as his "band of jesters" who spent time in trying to weigh the air.

John Evelyn wrote Fumifugium, or the Inconvenience of Aer and the Smoke of London Dissipated, in 1661. And in his Diary for 9th March, 1661...

I went with that excellent person and philosopher, Sir Robert Murray, to visit Mr. Boyle at Chelsea, and saw divers effects of the coliple for weighing air.

Meanwhile "over the high hills in Asia above the clouds, how clear the heaven is above them...The stars at night most delicate bright and a fine clear blue sky. "

Maurie Beck  •  Link

over the high hills in Asia above the clouds,......... the ground above the clouds all dry and parched, nothing in the world growing.

Sounds like the Himalaya or other ranges in central Asia to me; definitely not coastal. If you've ever seen pictures well above timberline in the Himalaya, it is usually very dry and barren, with little or no vegetation. When storms move in, the peaks are often well above a thick layer of clouds below.

Pedro  •  Link

"Lt. Coll. Baron tell very good stories of his travels over the high hills in Asia above the clouds.?

There seems some confusion from the Background as to whether it was Argal or Benjamin Baron, however allowing that he was a merchant, he could have travelled to Asia. The merchant factories in India are all around the coastal area, and it seems unlikely that many Europeans would yet have penetrated much inland. So what height would he need to be to have his head above the clouds?

There is a range of mountains called the Western Ghats along the western coast of India where the highest peak reaches 8652ft and but average 3 to 5000ft.

Britannica says of the Himalayas...

"The earliest journeys through the Himalayas were undertaken by traders, shepherds, and pilgrims. The pilgrims believed that the harder the journey, the nearer it brought them to salvation or enlightenment; while the traders and shepherds accepted crossing passes as high as 18,000 to 19,000 feet as a way of life. For all others, however, the Himalayas constituted a formidable and fearsome barrier.

The first Himalayan sketch map of some accuracy was drawn up in 1590 by Antonio Monserrate, a Spanish missionary to the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar. In 1733 a French geographer, Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d'Arville, compiled the first map of Tibet and the Himalayan range based on systematic exploration."

language hat  •  Link

I think it's extremely unlikely he means the Himalayas.
The fact that that's the first thing that pops into our minds when we think of "mountains in Asia" is irrelevant. Remember that the original meaning of Asia was "whatever's across the Bosporus" (in the first instance, Asia Minor or Anatolia), and remember also that Turkey and nearby areas of what we think of as "the Near East" have tremendous mountain ranges, which I think are far more likely candidates.

cumgranosalis  •  Link

There be many Asian hills above 1000 Metres to choose from that could be enjoyed by those that had only seen Highgate hill.
Turkey be full of rocks [over 1,000 M]reaching for the clouds, including the one that Noah rested his Ark on, Mt Ararat at 5,165 M [16946 ft]
There be the Persian hillocks that be above 1,000 M one reaching 5,671 M [18,605 ft] Mt Damavand, then there be the infamous Caucasus with land rising to above 5000 M [Kazbek 5,057M :16,558 ft]
Those that be travelling would find in Ural mountain range, would find some impressive peaks, when looking for some ermine.
The Argros mountain range [Iran] could be of interest to a Merchant, the Merchants had a Base in Muscat and the odd one would take a hike to Tehran via Isfahan.
Just Sailing along the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian sea to Mumbai would be impressed with the Western Ghats [1000 metres plus]
Back to Turkey, the Taurus mtn's be intimidating to many [eg. Mt Aladag, 11,066 ft.
ref: Snowdownia be 1,085 M [3,560ft ]and Ben Nevis be 1,343 M and there be not a fell above 980 M [3,210ft], in England .

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"Mr. Pickering and his mistress"
Just in case anyone is confused, "mistress" here means something like "sweet-heart." Indeed, the the annotation for "Mrs." Wilde shows that she married Mr. Pickering the previous September.

Bradford  •  Link

More about "The Indian Queen" from the noted critic Andrew Porter, in the June 2006 issue of "Opera," pp. 718-19:

The play (1664) is by Dryden and his brother-in-law Richard Howard. With geographical and historical freedoms and in high heroic couplets they presented conflicts martial and emotional between the Peruvian Inca, his daughter Orazia, his general Montezuma, and the usurping and the lawful Queens of Mexico, Zempoalla and Amexia. In the last act, a killing and two suicides clear the way for the marriage of Montezuma, revealed to be the long-lost Mexican crown prince, and the Inca's daughter. Pizarro and Cortez arrive in Dryden's 1667 sequel, "The Indian Emperor, or the Conquest of Mexico."

The 1664 "Indian Queen" was lavish: Evelyn called it "a tragedy so beautiful with rich scenes, as the like had never been seen her"; Pepys called it "a most pleasant show". John Bannister wrote the music; and the king lent his 24 Violins. For a 1695 revival, Purcell was engaged as the new composer [but his untimely death required the work to be completed by his brother Daniel]. . . .

Pedro  •  Link

"a killing and two suicides clear the way for the marriage of Montezuma"

Was that the Montezuma who was killed by his own people, and now seeks revenge on all non-Mexicans?

cumgranosalis  •  Link

Mistress an 'onarable title until Charles II's side lines ruined it for all.

Pedro  •  Link

On this day...

On February 1, 1664, Downing obtained a conference with DeWitt and the representatives of the States General and the West India Company. The company's representatives boldly admitted that they had hindered the English ships from trading at Komenda and Cape Corse, because the natives had burned their factory at the former place and had seized their fortress at Cape Corse. This irritating assumption of their ownership of Cape Corse aroused Downing. So far, he had contented himself in supporting the Danish and even the Swedish claims to Cape Corse. Now, notwithstanding the inconsistency of his position, he remarked that, if it was a question of the ownership of Cape Corse, the English could show more rights to the place than any one, since they had been the first to settle it and to trade there; and that even if the Dutch were in possession of it, the English still had a right to trade to the Danish fort of Fredericksburg which was located in the same harbour.

The Journal of Negro History, Volume 4, 1919
by Various Authors

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Today at Gresham College "Mr. Samuel Pepys, esq., was proposed candidate [as a Fellow of the Royal Society] by Mr. Povey."

-- *The history of the Royal Society of London for improving of Natural Knowledge, From Its First Rise* By Thomas Birch, Vol II, pp. 12-13.…

pepf  •  Link

"over the high hills in Asia above the clouds,……… the ground above the clouds all dry and parched, nothing in the world growing"

Baron's description, if not hyperbolic, would exclude the richly forested Western Ghats, cf. e.g.…

An ascent beyond the upper limit of vegetation in the Himalayas (~5000 m), on the other hand, is hard to believe, albeit possible.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link… :

"In January 1664 [GEORGE DIGBY, 2nd EARL OF] Bristol appeared at his house at Wimbledon, and publicly renounced before witnesses his Roman Catholicism and declared himself a Protestant. His motive was probably to secure immunity from the charge of recusancy preferred against him."

gustavo woltmann  •  Link

I like reading this diary, it is a way of distracting yourself on the web when you have nothing to do, good blog Mr. Pepys

StanB  •  Link

Gresham College, Wow what history that place holds,
Pepys visited here in 1666 and witnessed one of the very first Blood Transfusions albeit on Canines, he does make mention of this in the Diary.

From Elizabeth 1st to Elizabeth the 2nd its all here more info follow this link…

Jonathan V  •  Link

Fantastic link, StanB, thanks.

StanB  •  Link

Your welcome Jonathan glad you enjoyed the link

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . of whom I doubted to hear something of the effects of our last meeting . . ‘

There can be no doubt that the sense here is:

‘doubt, v. < Middle English . . Branch II ‘to fear, to be in fear’, a development of the verb in Old French, was an early and very prominent sense of the verb and its derivatives in Middle English . .
. . II. 5. trans. To dread, fear, be afraid of.
. . b. With infinitive phrase or objective clause: To fear, be afraid (that something uncertain will take or has taken place). arch. and dial.
. . 1665 S. Pepys Diary 27 Nov. (1972) VI. 387 Doubting that all will break in pieces in the Kingdom.

6. In weakened sense (app. influenced by I.):
a. To anticipate with apprehension, to apprehend (something feared or undesired).
. . 1703 N. Rowe Fair Penitent ii. ii. 588 Still I must doubt some Mystery of Mischief . . ‘

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

So this is the occasion Charles II poked fun at Sir William Petty for his strange looking sluice vessel, which has just sailed to London from Dublin in winter seas. After this wiser heads quickly prevailed upon Charles to give Sir William due respect, and to launch what must have been Petty’s third, or fourth?, sluice-boat.

For more about Sir William Petty's experiments, see…

Liz  •  Link

Rex Gordon: I was told it was so the gentleman could draw his sword, should the need arise. Presumably there were no left handed gentlemen...

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