Sunday 5 June 1664

(Lord’s day). About one in the morning I was knocked up by my mayds to come to my wife who is very ill. I rose, and from some cold she got to-day, or from something else, she is taken with great gripings, a looseness, and vomiting. I lay a while by her upon the bed, she being in great pain, poor wretch, but that being a little over I to bed again, and lay, and then up and to my office all the morning, setting matters to rights in some accounts and papers, and then to dinner, whither Mr. Shepley, late come to town, came to me, and after dinner and some pleasant discourse he went his way, being to go out of town to Huntington again to-morrow. So all the afternoon with my wife discoursing and talking, and in the evening to my office doing business, and then home to supper and to bed.

13 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"my taken with great gripings, a looseness, and vomiting"

A good thing they did NOT sleep together this night. Well-intended of Sam'l to give her some attention, but having been sick like that from reaction to a med, I wonder how much she treasures his cuddling. A good day to check on her from time to time, caress her forehead and cheek, then retire.

Judith Boles  •  Link

Poor Elizabeth, sounds like food poisoning to me. Having once suffered that fate while traveling...all I wanted was my Mother...I was 35 at the time.

cape henry  •  Link

It is unspoken here, but those violent symptoms could have been the beginning of Elizabeth's end. It may be that Pepys attends her to reassure himself as much as her. Also, he uses the term 'cold' to describe her condition indicating that it was then the sort of catch all term given to various symptoms it remains today.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

I be blowed, I dothe thought that Samuell be sharing the same divet, Strewth he did not 'ear the fuss, waited until little Suzy shook him out of his dreams. I be glad that it were not that Elizabeth that be knocked up. [UM]
Ah! the good olde dayes when sharing a paliasse and the glories....

Robert Gertz  •  Link

It was surprising to hear they weren't sleeping together. But it may have to due with Sam's recent health problems and he mentioned a cold. Still, interesting the idea the first thing they did with the new wealth was to get separate bedrooms...Regardless of the potential status symbol for the times.

Poor Bess...But I'm sure the attention was appreciated. I know for us the presence of the mated one is always preferred to suffering alone and mutually expected as per the vows no matter the aliment or degree of unpleasant side effects. Poor Sam for that matter...

"Discoursing and talking..."

"So, honey...Oh...Quick!...Pot!!" Sam slides chamber pot over.

Discreet observation of birds outside window.

"All better?..."

"Much. But Sam'l, you're still having pain, I can tell when you walk like you're trying to avoid touching the ground on one side..."

"Oh, that's all done with for...Ohhhh..."


"It's nothing, don't...Ohhhhhhh...worry."

"Oh, Sam'l. It can't be the stone. It has to be something else. Not that, oh dear Lor...Ohhhhhh...Pot!!!!"

Nix  •  Link

"great gripings, a looseness, and vomiting" --

Sounds a whole lot like the flu to me.

OED doesn't cite a published usage of "grippe" for influenza until the 19th century, but shows 17th century use of "grip" to mean "An intermittent spasmodic pain in the bowels."

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Familiar symptoms ...

Ah yes, I can sympathize with Bess. I once had to shorten a vacation in the UK and fly home two days early because of just such an attack. Gastroenteritis, they called it. Couldn't keep anything down, or in, not even water. Back home, I required intravenous fluids to re-hydrate. I had a view of a bit of Woodstock from our room at the Feathers hotel, and a great view of the bathroom fixtures. Joan kept me well informed of how interesting Blenheim and Oxford were.

Terry F  •  Link

Reverend Ralph Josselin

June. 5, God good to us in outward mercies, my family recovering more health(.) the war with Holland proceeds. the King abused by infamous pictures. for which lewd courses give occasion, the lord remember afflicted christendom(,) but men are troubled to see their evil represented to them, though they glory and boast among their likes in the doing of it.…

"the King abused by infamous pictures" cp. Danish cartoons of Muhammad?…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"the King abused by infamous pictures. for which lewd courses give occasion, ..."

Do you think he is objecting to Lely's "Windsor Beauties"?

The Windsor Beauties are a famous collection of paintings by Sir Peter Lely, painted in the early to mid 1660s. They were originally housed in the Queen's bedchamber in Windsor Castle (hence the name Windsor Beauties).

Why would Charles II hang pictures of his girlfriends in Catherine's chambers? Seems unnecessarily unkind.

For more see…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... but men are troubled to see their evil represented to them, though they glory and boast among their likes in the doing of it."

Maybe Rev. Josselin should read Mr. Spencer’s Book of Prodigys. Of course, we don't know who "men" refers to, or who is doing the representing, or what is considered "evil" ... but we can agree bad boys love to boast of their conquests to their peers.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... but that being a little over I to bed again, and lay, and then up and to my office ..."

Been there: sick spouse finally stabilizes, so you go to bed, hoping to get a couple of hours of shut eye -- but instead lie there staring at the ceiling, waiting for the alarm to ring so you can go to work. Exhausting. At least Pepys has maydes to tend to Elizabeth during the day.

Bill  •  Link

“she is taken with great gripings”

The GRIPES, a wringing or twisting of the Bowels
---An universal etymological English dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ' . . she is taken with great gripings, . . '

griping, n.1 < gripe v.1 . . The action of gripe v.1 in various senses.
. . 1526 Bible (Tyndale) Matt. iv. f. v They brought vnto hym all sicke people, that were taken with divers diseases and gripinges. [So Coverdale, Geneva; 1611 torments.]
. .a1665 J. Goodwin Πλήρωμα τὸ Πνευματικόv (1670) ix. 260 Secret wringings, and gripings, and gnawings of Conscience.

. . gripe, v.1 < Common Germanic . .
. . 8.b. absol. To produce pain in the bowels as if by constriction or contraction; to cause ‘gripes’.
1702 J. Floyer in Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 23 1171 Crato describes Sena as if it had Viscidum quid, by which it gripes . . ‘


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