Sunday 14 February 1663/64

(Lord’s day). Up and to church alone, where a lazy sermon of Mr. Mills, upon a text to introduce catechizing in his parish, which I perceive he intends to begin. So home and very pleasant with my wife at dinner. All the afternoon at my office alone doing business, and then in the evening after a walk with my wife in the garden, she and I to my uncle Wight’s to supper, where Mr. Norbury, but my uncle out of tune, and after supper he seemed displeased mightily at my aunt’s desiring [to] put off a copper kettle, which it seems with great study he had provided to boil meat in, and now she is put in the head that it is not wholesome, which vexed him, but we were very merry about it, and by and by home, and after prayers to bed.

35 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer provides a rote form of catechism (Baptismal promises, Creed etc) for children to learn: it is in the form of question and answer. Probably Mr Mills is being pressured by his Bishop to ensure he has a conforming congregation and is proposing learning the catechism by young persons as a means of encouraging or enforcing orthodoxy. Once the catechism is learned, then the young person is deemed fit to be confirmed by the Bishop on a regular visit and to take Communion. Nowadays preparation for confirmation within the Anglican communion uses a variety of specially written teaching programmes.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

Welcome back, Susan from Down Under! Your informed opinions have been missed. Is it just a coincidence that te England cricketers have also returned?

jeannine  •  Link

An Overlooked Valentine

Valentine's not a day to be cheap
Like our hero Mr. Samuel Pepys!

Off to church to a sermon that's boring
Just encourages one to start snoring

A garden stroll is a fine place for wooing
A lovely wife whom he should be pursuing

Birds and bees fill the radiant air
Glowing light bounces off her lovely hair

Amorous words should have sprung from his lips
A gentle hand on her fine swaying hips

Likening her eyes to the heavens above
Speaking soft words of his undying love

Whispering to her she's a dear piece of art
Who has captured his softly beating heart

Now would have been just the right time
To give her his sweet Valentine

Something little that she could hold dear
With loving words she so longed to hear

Soothing touches to show his heartfelt bliss
He could have cinched it with a gentle kiss

But please friends now I must beg your pardon
Our Sam blew it while walking the garden

Chance for a sweet romance on this garden walk
Lost to banter of Creed, business, shop talk

Garden to a quiet dinner for two
Was all that our Sam had to plan to do

But to dine with a couple who mettle
About cooking in a copper kettle?????

Now where is our Samuel the flirt
Who loves peeking up Mrs. Lane's skirt?

Is he trying to save all his dear money,
Instead of spending on a special honey?

He would have improved his quality of life
If a Valentine he had bought for his wife

But he chose not to spend even a penny
And ended his day without getting any!

jeannine  •  Link

Welcome back Susan!
Now if we only could find Terry F!

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Valentine's Day
As I recall, on every previous Valentine's Day Sam has gone into detail about the custom of having the first woman he sees be his Valentine, and his efforts to make sure it would be somebody suitable for the role. Today, no mention. Because it's Sunday? Or has he just outgrown the custom?

m house  •  Link

Let me add another welcome back to Aussie Susan. I was starting to worry.

jeannine  •  Link

"Or has he just outgrown the custom?"
Paul, I hope not, but I fear so. Sometimes as people move up the career ladder they become so involved with what they perceive as the new & "important" things in life that they forget the more lighthearted "fun" things in life. I wouldn't be surprised if Sam is in this boat, which would be sad from a sentimental side but realistic from the perspective of a man or woman focused in their career opportunity and so much more consumed with business that he or she "forgets" how to have lighthearted fun. Often this happens to people at some point in their life, and then, through the life experience of living, losing loved ones, having disappointments and realizing that life is short, some come back to appreciate and embrace the little niceties of celebrating life and each other while they have it. But Sam is still young, still trying to prosper and hasn't had enough hard knocks to "come out the other side" with a different view.
On another note, King Charles NEVER took his role to heart in that manner and continued to take part in the more frivolous exchange of Valentines and delight in the frivolities. I'm not sure if it was this year or not, but one year he chose Frances Stuart and was overjoyed!

Nate  •  Link

learning the catechism by young persons ...

I had to go through that in the Lutheran church some years ago - but it didn't take.

Welcome back Susan.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

I guess the heat wave be over in the Antipedes, so glad that thee be back in thy pew Aus. Susan, to keep us mere disbeleiving mortals 'onest.

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Jeannine : Lluverly but S P be quite rite not to spend foolish monies on gloves and things, while he be busy recycling the clothing.
waste not want not

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Canon LIX (1604). Ministers to catechize every Sunday.

EVERY Parson, Vicar, or Curate, upon every Sunday and Holy-day, before Evening Prayer, shall, for half an hour or more, examine and instruct the youth and ignorant persons of his parish, in the Ten Commandments, the Articles of the Belief, and in the Lord's Prayer; and shall diligently hear, instruct, and teach them the Catechism set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. And all fathers, mothers, masters, and mistresses, shall cause their children, servants, and apprentices, which have not learned the Catechism, to come to the Church at the time appointed, obediently to hear, and to be ordered by the Minister, until they have learned the same.

And if any Minister neglect his duty herein, let him be sharply reproved upon the first complaint, and true notice thereof given to the Bishop or Ordinary of the place. If, after submitting himself, he shall willingly offend therein again, let him be suspended; if so the third time, there being little hope that he will be therein reformed, then excommunicated, and so remain until he will be reformed. And likewise if any of the said fathers, mothers, masters, or mistresses, children, servants, or apprentices, shall neglect their duties, as the one sort in not causing them to come, and the other in refusing to learn, as aforesaid; let them be suspended by their Ordinaries, (if they be not children,) and if they so persist by the space of a month, then let them be excommunicated.

In force at the time and for a couple more centuries; more for SP to snooze through. And perhaps the reason Pepys never thought of becoming a parson: --

That all the said Ecclesiastical Persons above mentioned shall usually wear in their journeys Cloaks with Sleeves, commonly called Priests' Cloaks, without guards, welts, long buttons or cuts. And no Ecclesiastical Person shall wear any Coif or wrought Night-cap, but only plain Night-caps of black silk, satin, or velvet ... In private houses, and in their studies the said Persons Ecclesiastical may use any comely and scholar-like apparel, provided that it be not cut or pinkt; and that in publick they go not in their Doublet and Hose, without Coats or Cassocks; and also that they wear not any light-coloured Stockings.… -

Jesse  •  Link

"we were very merry about it"

Of course, it's rich Uncle Wight and what's a little "head that it is not wholesome" anyway. Contrast with 17 January and dinner with "Sir W. Pen and there supped with him much against my stomach, for the dishes were so deadly foule that I could not endure to look upon them."

Ruben  •  Link

Aussie Susan is back
That happened 2 days ago!
I look forward to read more from our antipodal friend.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Thank you! Thank you!
I have very much missed you all - overwhelmed by matters domestic.....
I gradually caught up and read everything I had missed.
I hope my husband does not read Canon 74 as quoted above - he might want to start wearing a black silk night cap..... [conjures up weird mental picture].
I have been aware of Canons of course, and have wondered how much they were enforced. Interesting to see this in action with Sam's reporting of Mr Mills's announcement. The current Bp of London is Humphrey Henchman (1663-1675). Here is his likeness…
I have not been able to find out much about him, except that he preached a sermon in 1662 (when Bp of Salisbury) on the Biblical foundation of confirmation, which sounds as though he was very much in favour of this sacrament and a return to pre-1649 orthodoxy. He is notorious for charging Londond stationers high storage costs during the Fire ofLondon aftermath and for wanting orthodox priests in chrage of Parishes despite a dearth after the Pklague year. So, a Bp likely to enforce the rules over preparing people for confirmation in an orthodox manner.

Pedro  •  Link

Now if we only could find Terry F!

I posted a similar comment a couple of days ago, but no one has picked up on this. As TerryF suffers from MS it is worrying that we have not heard from him.

Does Phil, or any other annotator, know if we could contact him to offer our encouragement? He has not responded to email.

Tom Burns  •  Link


I too had this experience in the 1960s, in Catholic school. We studied the Baltimore catechism for several years, with the questions and answers becoming more complex and detailed as we got older. We were confirmed in the 7th grade - during the ceremony, the bishop could pose one of these questions to the about-to-be confirmed - a possibility we lived in dread of! Don't know if this is still the practice in the Church or not...

jeannine  •  Link

Now if we only could find Terry F!

I found him and just got off the phone with him. He's had some health issues but is home (just today) and recuperating. He hopes to re-join us soon. He wishes to extend a Happy Valentine's Day to all fellow Pepysians!

language hat  •  Link

He hopes to re-join us soon.

Hurray! Thanks for passing on this excellent news, jeannine.

Mary  •  Link

she is put in the head that it is not wholesome.

This surely means that someone has put the idea into Aunt Wight's head that it is not good to boil meat in a copper pan. Uncle Wight has gone to great pains (and expense?)to obtain this splendid vessel and now his wife isn't sure that it's safe to cook meat in.

Glyn  •  Link

What's wrong with these London women? Its' Valentine's Day, Pepys gets his wife a used flag, Uncle Wight gets his a copper pan, where's the gratitude?

jeannine  •  Link

What's wrong with these London women? Its' Valentine's Day!

Gee Glyn, consider this a little friendly advice because I'm such a caring person. When you are creating your list of potential Valentine's gifts for that special someone and those highly romantic things like iron, blender, new bathroom plunger, cleaning supplies, etc. come to mind, it might be a really good idea to cross off any sharp objects or blunt instruments from that list. You see the recipient's idea of a romantic gift and your idea of a romantic gift might not exactly be the same. And though we'd really like to see your picture on the front page of the paper someday, we'd rather not see it below the caption reading "A Sad but Justifiable Valentines Day Massacre".

Eric Walla  •  Link

Since I'm trying to keep myself one Pepys day at a time, I don't want to glance ahead, but since Valentine's Day was such a no-show for this entry, will they celebrate tomorrow, after "Lord's Day?" It seemed too important on prior occasions to be dropped suddenly without an explanation.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Welcome back to "real time," Susan ...

Any parson who follows the 1604 Canons today and wanders about in stockings and silk nightcap probably will cause complete consternation to his flock and some difficulty for his bishop! Gaiters on the other hand ...…

cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Catechism, the hand out that I received, was a lesson that Jacobs ladder be a string attached to a blimp and that hell was a raging infurno stirred up by a blitz.
Then there be the seven vails or sins that be I be warned against after reading a stone tablet that was issued in a dessert that has a bush burning.

The sins be luxuria,gula, avaritia,acedia, ira, invadia, superbia.
known as Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Vanity.

Lust : Pleasure, enjoyment of the senses or the flesh to the extreme. Hell has to wait til the STD's get control.
...{too much, luxury,extravagance}
Gluttony: Earthly punishment be paying for diet control or participate in health disorders.{ gula gullet}
Greed : Participate in the Stockmarket, Newmarket or blackmarketor a PAL organisation so that thee can pay to enjoy the other sins.
Sloth: join a Union, or fail to empty the Garbage/Rubbish, after watching the the sinful ads that will egg one on with envy.
and blame others why thee cannot participate in the best sins.
....Acedia{ rare in latin };Sloth= inertia,segnitia,desidia ignavia
...Laziness; ignavia,pigritia, piger [lazy,slow]
Wrath: the aftermath of neglecting to follow up on a lustful adventure
Envy:When thee drule watching the goggle box.
Vanity: when thee try to get ahead of the Jone's. in obtaining the latest fashion piece.
Pride: is when thee have successfully accomplished in the participations of all the worth while sins.

As for the rules caste in stone.
First find and have on retainer a lawyer then thee can decide whether thee can obey thy Boss, or use his name in vain , or change him for another, or steal thy neighbour's life, spouse, good name, brain, food or palliasse. If all esle fails, honor thy genetic suppliers.
P.S. one can always try Chastiy,Temperance,Charity,Diligence,Forgiveness, Kindness, or even Humility

Pedro  •  Link

"a lesson that Jacobs ladder be a string"

Well, that was certainly not a lazy sermon!

Bradford  •  Link

And indeed cooking in a copper kettle (as opposed to using one in your moonshine still) is not a good idea. Our indispensable Liza Picard, in "Victorian London: The Life of a City, 1840-1870," gives us the reason (pp. 152-53):

"The outside layer of a copper pan conducts heat well, but copper should not be in contact with food, which is why copper pans are lined with tin. This wears off, with long use or over-enthusiastic cleaning, so it has to be renewed regularly. One of the first things Alexis Soyer did when he arrived in the Crimea in 1854 was to inspect the huge copper vessels used for cooking, in Florence Nightingale's hospital at Scutari. As he feared, there was 'not an atom of tin' on them; they were all, promptly, retinned. Iron saucepans did not look so pretty but were much safer."

All Picard's books mate high entertainment with plentiful information, and this volume is the most accomplished yet.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

copper kettle ... it is not wholesome,

Following up on Bradford:-
Copper "oxide coating is sometimes porous and powdery, and copper ions are easily leached into food solutions. Copper ions can have useful effects: they stabilize foamed egg whites, and the green color of cooked vegetables is improved by their presence. But the human body can excrete copper only in limited amounts, and excessive intake may cause gastrointestinal problems and, in more extreme cases, liver damage. No one will be poisoned by the occasional meringue whipped in a copper bowl ..."

Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen NY 2004 rev. edn., p. 790

Charlene  •  Link

Copper poisoning

Acidic foods and foods that cook for a long time (as was typical of meat dishes in the 17th century) will pick up more copper than things like egg whites.

Copper is also a pain to use - it only conducts heat evenly if it is perfectly shiny, and in a damp climate unlacquered copper can lose its shine in a matter of hours. (You can't cook with lacquered copper, of course.) Famous cooks may recommend cooking with copper-coated pans, but famous cooks have someone to shine the pans every morning.

dirk  •  Link

Some Valentine's Day fot the Rev. Josselin today...

" wife in danger by a cow, preserved by god. my praises to the god of my mercy"

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a lazy sermon of Mr. Mills, upon a text to introduce catechizing in his parish, which I perceive he intends to begin"

This was another sign of Milles' conversion from Puritanism. He had begun 'to nibble at the Common Prayer' on 4 November 1660 and was first seen in a surplice on 26 October 1662. (L&M footnote)

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I had the same experience as Tom Burns with catechism in the Catholic church. I remember worrying what question I might be asked by the bishop but I don't remember the question or my answer. I must have "passed" because I was confirmed that day.

I also had the same experience as Nate--it didn't take, at least not past age 18.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I love the expression "out of tune" as a metaphor for grumpy and distracted from the company.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . my uncle out of tune . . ‘

‘tune, n. < A peculiar phonetic variant of tone n., appearing first in 14th cent. < Greek τόνος . .
. . 3. b. fig. in phr. in tune, out of tune, in or out of order or proper condition; in or out of harmony with some person or thing . .
. . 1605 S. Rowlands Hell's broke Loose 21 If Silver in my Pockets do not ring, All's out of tune with mee in eu'ry thing.
. . c1680 W. Beveridge Serm. (1729) I. 332 If our bodies be out of tune so are our minds too . . ‘

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . to put off a copper kettle . . ‘

‘put off v. < Old English . .
. . 9. trans b. To dispose of (a commodity) by sale; to sell . . Obs.
. . 1662 W. Gurnall Christian in Armour: 3rd Pt. 454 As if it were of little more importance to marry a child, than it is to put off a horse or cow at a fair.
1705 tr. W. Bosman New Descr. Coast of Guinea xx. 390 He may put off every Pipe for the worth of Twopence . . ‘

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.