Monday 30 May 1664

Lay long, the bells ringing, it being holiday, and then up and all the day long in my study at home studying of shipmaking with great content till the evening, and then came Mr. Howe and sat and then supped with me. He is a little conceited, but will make a discreet man. He being gone, a little to my office, and then home to bed, being in much pain from yesterday’s being abroad, which is a consideration of mighty sorrow to me.

29 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

Holiday - for the King's Birthday and restoration: only in the 19th century did this become a public holiday as one of the 4 introduced Bank Holidays - Whit Monday (now transmogrified in to the Late Spring Bank Holiday which sounds ever so bureaucratic).) The others were Easter Monday, August Bank Holiday Monday (rain a certainty on that day of course) and Boxing Day in England, New Year's Day in Scotland.

cape henry  •  Link

The two things that seem to give Sam his most "content" are an increase in wealth at the end of the month and what he considers successful study of some sort.

Terry F  •  Link

Very nice and, yes, more appropriate sites, Michael. Would there were more recordings of change ringing, esp. London's, on the web than there seem to be.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...being in much pain from yesterday's being abroad, which is a consideration of mighty sorrow to me"

Poor fellow...The spectre of the stone's return looming. It must be terrifying for him and for Bess.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Worst of all...To be checked and threatened with illness just at the time Sir William Penn is moving to assume a prominent role. It must be killing him.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

And yet, one of those quietly joyous days devoted to pleasant study...I will choose to think Bess came up with a nice drink for her ill boy and they spent a happy hour with Sam eagerly teaching his latest acquired craft.

Terry F  •  Link

"Sam eagerly teaching his latest acquired graft," read I. No, no, NO.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Graft, craft..."All directions lead to greater increase and God doth expressly charge 'Be ye fruitful and multiply'."

"You're sure this is legitimate, Sam'l?"

"Bess?! You are addressing Samuel Pepys, Clerk of the Acts of His Royal Majesty's Navy. Besides, it's here in print." hands her his copy of Audley.

"Chapter Sixty-Two? 'The Upper More Side of War: Opportunity.'" Bess reads.

"See. It be enshrined in print."

Bradford  •  Link

"He is a little conceited, but will make a discreet man."

Delicious, these inadvertant self-portraits.

Were Sam only a few years older one could console him, saying, "What you are mistaking for permanent reminders of mortality are but the flitting pangs of middle age." But then of course---actuaries, have you your figures ready?---he may be, for his era, middle-aged already.

Bradford  •  Link

And speaking of the standardisation or standardization of English orthography, the correct spelling of the word, class, is "inadvertent." How can you memorize this and avoid embarrassing mistakes in the future? Simply remember that the word descends (through back-formation) from the Latin verb "advertere," to advert. After you've had to look it up three separate times, you will remember how to spell it.

Rex Gordon  •  Link

"the bells ringing ..."

From Peter Acktroyd, "London: The Biography," Chapter 5: "It might be surmised that the effect of the bells ended with the Reformation, when London ceased to be a notably pious Catholic city, but all the evidence suggests that the citizens continued to be addicted to them. A German duke entered London on the evening of 12 September 1602, and was astonished by the unique character of the city's sound. "On arriving in London we heard a great ringing of bells in almost all the churches going on very late in the evening, also on the following days until 7 or 8 o'clock in the evening. We were informed that the young people do that for the sake of exercise and amusement, and sometimes they lay considerable sums of money as a wager, who will pull a bell longest or ring it in the most approved fashion. Parishes spend much money in harmoniously-sounding bells, that one being preferred which has the best bells. The old Queen is said to have been pleased very much by this exercise, considering it as a sign of the health of the people." ... Another German traveller, of 1598, wrote that Londoners are "vastly fond of great noises that fill the ear, such as the firing of cannon, drums, and the ringing of bells, so that it is common for a number of them ... to go up into some belfry, and ring the bells for hours together for the sake of exercise." A chaplain to the Venetian ambassador similarly reported that London boys made bets "who can make the parish bells be heard at the greatest distance."

(Ackroyd recommends "The Acoustic World of Early Modern England," by Bruce R. Smith, from which this account is taken.)

No wonder that on a holiday the bells would be ringing all morning, all over the city, as Sam lay long in bed. It is a lovely image.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

If thee cannae remember thy amo amas, I loved a lass, then add a backgound pop up dictionary, that can be helpful to us that failed the gramm'e'r school test of rud'e'mentary words.

RE: middle age, be 45-53 if thy mean geometric mean or median, because there be many that obtained 90 plus i.e Hobbes 1588- 1679 or average that be close to mid to late 20's, in that half of the population of London town be under 24? thereby Sam is truly over the hill?

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

re: middle age :Samuell be past the mid point of survival when past 16, as there be less people over 16 than under:
From gaunt statistics of Graunt

11. It follows also, that of all, which have been conceived, there are now alive 40 per Cent. above sixteen years old, 25 above twenty six years old, & sic deinceps, as in the above Table: there are therefore of Aged between 16, and 56, the number of 40, less by six, viz. 34; of between 26, and 66, the number of 25 less by three, viz. 22: sic deniceps.

Wherefore, supposing there be 199112 Males, and the number between 16, and 56, being 34. It follows, there are 34 per Cent. of all those Males fighting Men in London, that is 67694, viz. near 70000: the truth whereof I leave to examination, only the 1/5. of 67694, viz. 13539. is to be added for Westminster, Step…

Carl in Boston  •  Link

the Bells ... the Bells ... the Bells .. says Quasimodo
The story of the bells was beautiful. I passed it on to the right thinking pipe organists North of Boston, some of whom are carilloneurs. It is true that people like loud and brave noises. I played pipe organ last night in a lodge, and they liked the music of Phil Kelsall and music from Star Wars best of all.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

the bells ringing

To see an extended version of the rhyme "Oranges and Lemons" about the bells of London churches, go to the link:

A Cockney is traditionally someone born within the sound of Bow Bells (St Mary-le-Bow)

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link


Thanks, Rex Gordon, for that delightful account of the sounds of London's bells in the days of Elizabeth and James. At the Washington National Cathedral the bell pullers get together one evening a week (I lived within the sound of its bells) and I understand that visitors may be allowed in to watch.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Oranges and lemons say the bells of St. Clemens..."

Though after "1984" who can hear that innocent song without a little chill...

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Issued today,

By the King. A proclamation for recalling and prohibiting sea-men from the services of forreign princes and states.
London : printed by John Bill and Christopher Barker, printers to the Kings most excellent Majesty, 1664.

2 sheets (versos blank) ; obl. 1⁰.
At end of text: Given at our court at Whitehall the 30th day of May, 1664. in the sixteenth year of our reign.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Now Rev. Josselyn and I are confused: Why did everyone "celebrate" Restoration Day yesterday??? Charles II didn't take the day off today -- he was signing bills recalling seamen.

I thought their idea of having a day off was to go to church to give thanks, and then to do some gambling or gamboling.

Bill  •  Link

I hope no one minds if we don't neglect the bells of Wales. "In addition to Rhymney, the poem also refers to the bells of a number of other places in South Wales, including Merthyr, Rhondda, Blaina, Caerphilly, Neath, Brecon, Swansea, Newport, Cardiff, and the Wye Valley."

Pete Seeger - The Bells Of Rhymney…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Now Rev. Josselyn and I are confused: Why did everyone "celebrate" Restoration Day yesterday???"

I'm eating humble pie again ... yesterday was Charles II birthday and anniversary of Restoration Day. My apologies for confusing anyone.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I wonder if he could hear the Bow Bells.

Jon  •  Link

"I wonder if he could hear the Bow Bells."

St Mary le Bow is approximately 1km from Seething Lane. A simplified calculation using the laws of of physics suggests the bells would be about 50-60dBA at Seething Lane. Human dialogue is typically 60-65dBA.
I would suggest that not only could the Bow Bells be heard in Seething Lane but (the wind and large obstructions allowing) they would be loud enough to interfere with conversation in the street.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

So Sam may be a Cockney, though perhaos one must one be BORN within the sound of Bow Bells? He was born in Salisbuty Court, Fleet Street. Do you know, Jon, if Bow bells be heard there? In any case Pepys would probably not admit to it, Cockneys being working class. He would have thought better of himself.

Jon  •  Link

Salisbury Court is almost the same distance away from St Mary le Bow but going West, so the same calculation holds true. I do not know if Sam even knew of Cockney as an expression, but I feel sure he thought of himself as a true Londoner. He knew his way round on foot, by carriage and by water. He seemed to be streetwise and had lots of London contacts.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: Cockney:

‘cockney, n. and adj. < Middle English . . lit. ‘cocks' egg’.
. . 4. spec. a. A person born in the city of London: strictly, (according to Minsheu) ‘one born within the sound of Bow Bells’.
Originally freq. more or less contemptuous or bantering, and particularly used to connote the characteristics in which the born Londoner was supposed to be inferior to other English people.
. . 1617 J. Minsheu Ὴγεμὼν είς τὰς γλῶσσας: Ductor in Linguas (at cited word), A Cockney or Cockny, applied only to one borne within the sound of Bow-bell, that is, within the City of London, which tearme came first out of this tale:

That a Cittizens sonne riding with his father..into the Country..asked, when he heard a horse neigh, what the horse did his father answered, the horse doth neigh; riding farther he heard a cocke crow, and said doth the cocke neigh too? and therfore Cockney or Cocknie, by inuersion thus: incock, q. incoctus i. raw or vnripe in Country-mens affaires . . ‘

‘Cockney’is going out of use nowadays as London is now a multi-national city, the Capital of the World, and the pure accent has died out. Instead we have ‘London’ and ‘Est’ry’:

‘Estuary English n. a term applied (with reference to the estuary of the River Thames) to a type of accent identified as spreading outwards from London, mainly into the south-east of England, and containing features of both received pronunciation and such regional accents as Cockney.

1984 D. Rosewarne in Times Educ. Suppl. 19 Oct. 29/1 What I have chosen to term Estuary English may now and for the foreseeable future, be the strongest native influence upon RP. ‘Estuary English’ is a variety of modified regional speech... ‘Estuary English’ is a mixture of ‘London’ and General RP forms.
1993 Sunday Times 14 Mar. 1/8 It is the classless dialect sweeping southern Britain. Estuary English, the ‘high cockney’ diction typified by Ken Livingstone, Nigel Kennedy and Lord Tebbit, has taken such a hold on the way millions speak that it could become the standard spoken English of the future . . '


JCH  •  Link

According to this sound-map of Bow bells, Sam would most definitely have counted as a Cockney in 1851. Salisbury Court was well within the western reach of the bells' audibility. Presumably 17th-century London would have been less noisy than the 19th-century city, and the bells even clearer.…

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