Saturday 6 February 1663/64

Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and so at noon to the ’Change, where I met Mr. Coventry, the first time I ever saw him there, and after a little talke with him and other merchants, I up and down about several businesses, and so home, whither came one Father Fogourdy, an Irish priest, of my wife’s and her mother’s acquaintance in France, a sober, discreet person, but one that I would not have converse with my wife for fear of meddling with her religion, but I like the man well. Thence with my wife abroad, and left her at Tom’s, while I abroad about several businesses and so back to her, myself being vexed to find at my first coming Tom abroad, and all his books, papers, and bills loose upon the open table in the parlour, and he abroad, which I ranted at him for when he came in. Then by coach home, calling at my cozen Scott’s, who (she) lies dying, they say, upon a miscarriage. My wife could not be admitted to see her, nor anybody. At home to the office late writing letters, and then home to supper and to bed. Father Fogourdy confirms to me the newes that for certain there is peace between the Pope and King of France.

35 Annotations

First Reading

jeannine  •  Link

"Then by coach home, calling at my cozen Scott's, who (she) lies dying, they say, upon a miscarriage."
Every day life included so much death in Sam's world. Issues associated with motherhood often lead to death. Between miscarriages, babies that couldn't be delivered, puerperal fevers (quite often associated with germs from dirty hands/instruments) it seems almost a miracle that so many babies and mothers actually survived.

cumgranosalis  •  Link

none the less, London's population had grown from 1570 and now expanded it's wall, with a third of the [approx] be with out West for the free aire and gallants and east and south for the workers and the foundires and work shops.
See maps of 1570, 1642 and 1666 for emphasis.

Nate  •  Link

"London's population had grown from 1570 "

Primarily ue to its fecundity or from immigration, I wonder?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So Sam has been doing right by Tom...But no comment as to his condition.

Father Fogourdy...Interesting fellow. I've made use of him actually in my tales. Dangerous...And not a little courageous...of Sam to risk association with a priest.

One likes our boy very much today, doesn't one?

cumgranosalis  •  Link

Aliens [Big business always wants cheap labor from where ever it be found] be wot sustains the growth, with some 'elp from the hatching department.
No tele, or other diversions allow the the process to begin, but chest ailments along with the poxes, small and large, invitation [importation]of vermin from the Merchants, kept the exploding birth rate under control. Around London [Sout and east[ was a big bog or wet land which was removed by the succes of people wanting to build their businesses and homes.
Another explanation be the more foods be available from the surrounding counryside and the world, along with all the spices that get the appetite excited. Sugars might explain why more brainy solutions be found to the question of the Big WHY.

Bryan M  •  Link

Fecundity or Immigration?

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey website has a section: A Population History of London, that provides the answer. They note that in contrast to the steady growth rate of the capital, this was a period of low overall population growth, or even stagnation, in England.
"(T)he last three to four decades of the seventeenth century are probably the period in its history during which the highest proportion of London's inhabitants were migrants. Most would have come as apprentices or as domestic servants seeking employment. One estimate suggests that a sixth of all people born in England needed to live some part of their lives in London simply to account for the capital's population growth in this period.
This combination of low overall fertility rates with high levels of migration substantially skewed the age structure of London. Low fertility rates, for instance, generally result in a low overall dependency ratio (the number of old and young people supported by the working population). For England as whole this ratio reached its lowest point in the 1670s. Because a high number of London's inhabitants were relatively young migrants over the age of 14, the effect would be even more powerful in the capital. In other words, London in the late seventeenth century was not a city of children or the elderly. Instead, it was dominated by young men and women in their teens and twenties."

Ruben  •  Link

"Issues associated with motherhood often lead to death"
My opinion is that this uncertainty about life and death, mostly of children but also of new mothers, was one of the reasons society did not invest in them as much as in older male children.
When you send a 10 years old boy to school your investment will probably result in an adult male that will "function" for 2-3 or 4 decades.
A female, in contrast, was an uncertain investment, considering her function as a potential mother and the risks involved.

Ruben  •  Link

"Issues associated with motherhood often lead to death"
Investment is not just financial, it is mostly emotional resources.

Pedro  •  Link

Father Fogourdy

Could be Fogarty?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Fogarty for Fogourdy is surely correct him being an Irish priest. I've wondered if the Fogourdy spelling was the result of the good Father's time in France. Did he perhaps even pass himself off as a Frenchman at times to avoid harassment?

Was there perhaps a more sinister connection between him and Bess?

Pedro  •  Link

Fogarty for Fogourdy is surely correct him being an Irish priest...Was there perhaps a more sinister connection between him and Bess?

Intrigue and espionage maybe, as Catherine's priest Richard Russell is regarded as a spy (Strickland, the Lives of the Queens of England).

Looking in Patrick Delaforce's book, Pepys in Love: Elizabeth's Story, alerted to us by Jeannine. Fogarty has a couple of mentions. Delaforce writes as if he were Elizabeth telling us her story.

Concerning her father's involvement with Queen Henrietta...

"The Queen was a devout Roman Catholic and her court was dominated by her chaplain Bishop de Mende and her eight remaining Capucin priests...Father Fogarty, and Irish priest, joined her entourage later on and became friendly with my mother and myself, much to my father's indignation"

(Later) "Balty and I were lured away in Paris to my Great Uncles' designated convents. But the nuns did not have time to work on me before our escape from Paris was engineered (by her father)...One ghost from the youthful past to reappear has been Father Fogourdy. He is an Irish Catholic priest, who knew my mother and I when we were living in Paris. He came to me and my mother several times, out of friendship, in the spring of '64..."

Don McCahill  •  Link

I've wondered if the Fogourdy spelling was the result of the good Father's time in France

More likely it is just the bad spelling of the day (Johnson won't write his dictionary for almost 100 years). Our Sam probably hasn't seen the man's name written out, and is given his phonetic guess at what it might be.

Or not.

Martin  •  Link

Peace with the Pope.
"[Pope] Alexander [VII] inherited a number of church and foreign policy problems from his predecessor. From the very beginning his pontificate clashed with the policy of King Louis XIV of France and his prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin. There was no French ambassador to Rome until 1662 when the Duc de Crequi - also hostile to the papacy - was named. Seeking to weaken the Papal States, France supported the territorial claims of the Farnese and Este families. The pope was also excluded from participating in the 1659 Peace of the Pyrenees between France and Spain.

Relations went from bad to worse. Louis XIV accused the Vatican of violating diplomatic immunity and threatening the life of the French ambassador with Corsican troops. The Duc de Crequi was recalled and the papal nuncio expelled from Paris. Louis then occupied Avignon and Venaissin - both papal enclaves - and threatened to invade the Papal States. Alexander was forced to submit to the Treaty of Pisa in 1664, disband the Corsican guard and erect a monument in Rome commemorating his reconciliation with Louis."

Interesting that in these days before CNN, Sam frequently satisfies his hunger for accurate news and information by obtaining private confirmation through his network of contacts.

language hat  •  Link

"More likely it is just the bad spelling of the day"
Exactly. Sam's spelling of many names differs from our standardized forms.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Fogarty/Fogourdy ...

reminds me of Kelly/Killy, as in Jean Claude, the champion French skier of the 1960s, descended from Irish immigrants.

L&M, in their note, spell it "Fogarty." They continue: Fogarty had presumably been known to (Elizabeth and her mother) during their stay in Paris, c. 1652-3. Irish Catholic priests were normally educated in France in this period. Pepys was often frightened that his wife would turn Catholic, despite her Huguenot upbringing: (Slight spoiler) see esp. March 20, 1664's entry.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

Fogarty/Fogourdy ...

Isn't it the case that English spellings of Irish surnames, and some Christian Names, are anglicised versions of Irish Gaelic? Throw in a tendency to interchange "t" and "d" in phonetics and a Tipperary accent and it's surprising young Peeps got as close as he did.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"the Farnese and Este families"
The future wife of the Duque of York,was Maria Beatrice d'Este.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Childbirth was a life-threatening proceeding until well into the 19th century. Queen Mary of Scotland was made to make out her will when due to go into labour as it was thought quite likely she would not survive: this was regarded as normal prudence, not outlandish behaviour. Later than our period, I have been reading recently about the Gossip family of York who in the mid 18th century had 11 children all of whom except one predeceased the mother. And she had to endure (there is a detailed description by the father who watched) having a dead baby cut up inside her and extracted with instruments. (she had other children after that). Everyone knows that all of Patrick Bronte's children died before he did and regard this, quite rightly as a very sad event, but it was by no means exceptional. In the Parish of Thornton (where the older Bronte children were born) diligent research in Parish registers has found at least two other families of 7 children who died before their parents.
Even today, miscarriage is very common (but one does not tend to die of it)Nearly every female I know well enough to talk of these things has had a miscarriage. And only into the second quarter of the 20th century could women go into labour knowing the outcome would almost cetainly be a healthy live child.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"all his books, papers, and bills loose upon the open table in the parlour, and he abroad,"

I first read this as Sam the neat freak being thrown by the disarray, but I think now that he is more likely concerned about thieves - after all, Sam easily got into the house. Or is it a privacy issue which has upset Sam?

Kevin Peter  •  Link

I think it's most likely that Sam is upset because all those papers, bills, etc. are there for anyone to come and peruse them or even take them. Any visitor who came wandering in could help themselves to the papers while they waited. There was no doubt sensitive information there and receipts and so forth that Tom could not afford to lose.

Since debt receipts were traded freely back then, anyone who took those could then collect on the debt later and get some free money.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"peace between the Pope and King of France." Trouble is brewing ...…

Monday 14 December 1663

"They say also that the King of France hath hired threescore ships of Holland, and forty of the Swede, but nobody knows what to do; but some great designs he hath on foot against the next year."

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I seem to recall reading that London's death rate was greater than its birth rate until the nineteenth century. One reason for labour being available from the country was that the various Enclosure/Inclosure Acts, and "improvements" to land management resulted in peasants being thrown off the land with no means of support, thus leaving them with little option but to try their luck in the towns.

Of course, younger sons of landowners were in a similar position, hence Sam's father John ended up as a gentleman tailor in Fleet Street.…

Bill  •  Link

For Sasha cumgranosalis:

British Isles:
England in 1600 had 4.2 million; by 1650, 5.5 million. As of 1700, it was down to 5.2 million (the really big growth didn't start until after 1750).
Scotland, 1 million in 1600, 1 million in 1650, 1.2 million in 1700.
Ireland, 1 million in 1600, 1.5 million in 1650, 2 million in 1700.…

In the mid-1670s, when the [Old Bailey] Proceedings began to be published, the population of the capital was approximately 500,000. Fourteen years later, Gregory King, Britain’s first great demographer, estimated it at 527,000. This was a period of low overall population growth, even stagnation in England and was characterised by a very late age at marriage, low illegitimacy rates, and relatively low levels of birth within marriage.…

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Jeannine: "it seems almost a miracle that so many babies and mothers actually survived."

Not many did survive. The reason there were enough babies to continue the population was because there were so mamy conceived in those days of no effective birth control. A loss of 36% before the age of six would hardly be noticed, demographically speaking.

"Demographers estimate that approximately 2% of all live births in England at this time (17th century) would die in the first day of life. By the end of the first week, a cumulative total of 5% would die. Another 3 or 4% would die within the month. A total of 12 or 13% would die within their first year. With the hazards of infancy behind them, the death rate for children slowed but continued to occur. A cumulative total of 36% of children died before the age of six, and another 24% between the ages of seven and sixteen. In all, of 100 live births, 60 would die before the age of 16."…

Many young mothers died, too, and women of childbearing age. It's easy to think that it would have taken a miracle for the population to survive.

Robert Harneis  •  Link

More than a little off subject is the tragic life of Ignaz Semmilweis 1818-1865, a Hungarian obstetrician who drastically reduced mortality amongst mothers by washing hands and instruments with chlorinated lime. Unfortuately he could not explain why the procedure was so effective which enabled his numerous medical enemies to prevent the spread of his ideas. They eventually got him sacked and as a result the mortality rate soared again, which troubled them not a bit. To read the whole astonishing story see -…

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Thank you Bill :)
Interesting figures - what would have been the main factors in the English decline between 1650 and 1700?

As well as war, plague and any change in marital habits, this is the era when emigration to North America took off, for both political and economic reasons. It's difficult to find stats though ...

Bill  •  Link

Sasha: "what would have been the main factors in the English decline between 1650 and 1700?"

A very cursory google search gives quite large casualty estimates for the English Civil Wars. One site suggested 12% of the population! Surely this was a factor.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Hi Bill - in England, the Civil War was over by 1651, and although some troops would have been lost in Ireland, according to your figure the defeated Irish increased their population post 1650.

In 'History Of England Under The Stuarts', G M Trevellyan* quoted figures in the tens of thousands for English emigration to America in the early 1600s, but nothing for the later period.

Of course, the Great Plague of 1665-6 killed an estimated 200 000 people; smallpox and other diseases regularly culled town and city populations: this seems to have outweighed war, and emigration.…

*Trevellyan quotes Justin Winsor's book linked below as the source of his statistics; I suspect that there's a lot more information there relevant to this discussion. :)…

Bill  •  Link

Far be it from me to pontificate on the English civil wars or evaluate sources or historians. But I did find this on…

"10% - the drop in the birth rate in the 1650s compared to the 1630s."

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

I recommend Peter Laslett’s The World We Have Lost on these topics - still the best introduction after 50 years:

‘ . . In 1965 he published The World We Have Lost, which was made up of a series of essays questioning particular assumptions about life in pre-industrial England. His findings overturned much conventional wisdom . . Laslett was a passionate believer in spreading the benefits of higher education to all, and he was instrumental in the foundation both of the Open University and the University of the Third Age.

Something of the same concern for ordinary people lay behind his work on the history of population and society: he felt indignant that academics should spend so much time studying the deeds of the prominent and should take so little interest in the most basic facts of the ordinary life of our ancestors – how long did they live? How did they treat their children? Did they get enough to eat? Nowadays we know a lot more about these issues (and take a lot more interest in them) than when Laslett was embarking on his work; for that alone, Laslett deserves much of the credit.’…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"England in 1600 had 4.2 million; by 1650, 5.5 million. As of 1700, it was down to 5.2 million (the really big growth didn't start until after 1750). ..."

This interesting graph showing the rise in populations of the major cities on the planet from 1500 to 2018 shows London as consistently growing. I guess it all depends on what you include in your calculation as being "London":…

Liz  •  Link

Currently another plague is happening worldwide: over 36 million cases and over 1 million deaths due to COVID-19.

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