Saturday 23 July 1664

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the ’Change, where I took occasion to break the business of my Lord Chancellor’s timber to Mr. Coventry in the best manner I could. He professed to me, that, till, Sir G. Carteret did speake of it at the table, after our officers were gone to survey it, he did not know that my Lord Chancellor had any thing to do with it; but now he says that he had been told by the Duke that Sir G. Carteret had spoke to him about it, and that he had told the Duke that, were he in my Lord Chancellor’s case, if he were his father, he would rather fling away the gains of two or 3,000l., than have it said that the timber, which should have been the King’s, if it had continued the Duke of Albemarle’s, was concealed by us in favour of my Lord Chancellor; for, says he, he is a great man, and all such as he, and he himself particularly, have a great many enemies that would be glad of such an advantage against him.

When I told him it was strange that Sir J. Minnes and Sir G. Carteret, that knew my Lord Chancellor’s concernment therein, should not at first inform us, he answered me that for Sir J. Minnes, he is looked upon to be an old good companion, but by nobody at the other end of the towne as any man of business, and that my Lord Chancellor, he dares say, never did tell him of it, only Sir G. Carteret, he do believe, must needs know it, for he and Sir J. Shaw are the greatest confidants he hath in the world.

So for himself, he said, he would not mince the matter, but was resolved to do what was fit, and stand upon his owne legs therein, and that he would speak to the Duke, that he and Sir G. Carteret might be appointed to attend my Lord Chancellor in it.

All this disturbs me mightily. I know not what to say to it, nor how to carry myself therein; for a compliance will discommend me to Mr. Coventry, and a discompliance to my Lord Chancellor. But I think to let it alone, or at least meddle in it as little more as I can.

From thence walked toward Westminster, and being in an idle and wanton humour, walked through Fleet Alley, and there stood a most pretty wench at one of the doors, so I took a turn or two, but what by sense of honour and conscience I would not go in, but much against my will took coach and away, and away to Westminster Hall, and there ’light of Mrs. Lane, and plotted with her to go over the water. So met at White’s stairs in Chanel Row, and over to the old house at Lambeth Marsh, and there eat and drank, and had my pleasure of her twice, she being the strangest woman in talk of love to her husband sometimes, and sometimes again she do not care for him, and yet willing enough to allow me a liberty of doing what I would with her. So spending 5s. or 6s. upon her, I could do what I would, and after an hour’s stay and more back again and set her ashore there again, and I forward to Fleet Street, and called at Fleet Alley, not knowing how to command myself, and went in and there saw what formerly I have been acquainted with, the wickedness of these houses, and the forcing a man to present expense. The woman indeed is a most lovely woman, but I had no courage to meddle with her for fear of her not being wholesome, and so counterfeiting that I had not money enough, it was pretty to see how cunning she was, would not suffer me to have to do in any manner with her after she saw I had no money, but told me then I would not come again, but she now was sure I would come again, but I hope in God I shall not, for though she be one of the prettiest women I ever saw, yet I fear her abusing me.

So desiring God to forgive me for this vanity, I went home, taking some books from my bookseller, and taking his lad home with me, to whom I paid 10l. for books I have laid up money for, and laid out within these three weeks, and shall do no more a great while I hope.

So to my office writing letters, and then home and to bed, weary of the pleasure I have had to-day, and ashamed to think of it.

41 Annotations

First Reading

jeannine  •  Link

"Journal of the Earl of Sandwich" edited by R.C. Anderson (Appendix V)

(Sandwich MSS., Letters from Ministers, etc. Vol. I, f. 31)

My Lord Sandwich. It is now more than a week since Captain Reynolds, Commander of his Majesty's ship the Gift, bound for Guinea, did inform me that he had all his stores on board and was ready to sail, and that from myself by word of mouth and also by signification of my pleasure in writing from my secretary he had directions to carry the said ship into the Downs, and it is a full week since he had his last sailing orders, notwithstanding all which and that he hath not appeared to complain of any want or defect, yet I am informed that on Thursday night last the said ship was at Erith. The precedent of such a neglect is of such dangerous a consequence as that it ought not to be passed over silently, and therefore I desire you, so soon as Captain Reynolds shall arrive in the Downs, to examine the matter and if you find him faulty (as it is most probable you will, since the wind hath been fair during the whole time of the neglect), I desire you to remove Capt. Wilgresse (who formerly desired that voyage in the Company's service) into that ship, directing him to execute the orders formerly given to Captain Reynolds, which you may demand of him, and upon notice of it I shall send you down another commander for the Hector, that so no time may be lost for the dispatch of the fleet to Guinea. *I am your very affectionate friend -James*

St. James's, 23rd July 1664

[Note from Anderson: Words in ** are in autograph]

JWB  •  Link

Gertrude Stein , dittographer. Who knew?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Falling in love again...Never wanted to. What is Sam to do...He's...Helpless.

Love's never been his game, try hard though he may...
Just not made that way, he can't help it.

Men like him cluster like fool moths about a flame...And if their wings burn...

Hey, the Fleet Alley lass' not to blame...

Falling in lust, er love, again...Never wanted to. What's poor Sam to do...

Seek Betty..."

Well, Lola-Lola was supposed to be English...At least in the English version of "The Blue Angel". Though I don't quite see our boy winding up dead, clutching at his desk and contracts book ala poor Prof. Rath.

I hate to say it Sam (actually I don't but for form's sake...) but Homer Simpson's mantra is probably your best guide here... "Gotta be a good husband."

Words to live by, my friend.

"'Ere, that little fellow? The one with the bad wig...Must have lice the way he keeps scratchin'...Who keeps hopping around like a rabbit?"

"Yes. He is the one. Go, destroy him with your beauty." rub of hands... "And my friend Wight will be properly grateful." Iuduco notes with leer.


tg  •  Link

And Sam ought to feel ashamed tonight. To resist the tempation of the pretty wench in the doorway, he promptly takes off for Betty. Honor and conscience and abstinence have nothing to do with it, only the fear of those diseases down there. And after two sessions in little more than an hour with the lovely Betty, he's back sniffing around in Fleet Alley soon after! The weather forecast: A lusty day today with a sprinkling of shame towards the evening.

andy  •  Link

or at least meddle in it as little more as I can

often the best strategy.

"Dear Bess, How are you? I had a busy day today, and in the evening bought some books. Yours ever, Sam.

Mark Time  •  Link

"the wickedness of those houses, and the forcing a man to present expense"


"fear of her not being wholesome"

Two good reasons for Sam to resist temptation.

jeannine  •  Link

"And Sam ought to feel ashamed tonight. To resist the tempation of the pretty wench in the doorway, he promptly takes off for Betty. Honor and conscience and abstinence have nothing to do with it, only the fear of those diseases down there."

When sex enters into Sam's brain
He knows he should surely abstain
He'd do as he pleases
Yet fear of diseases
Sends him off to see Mrs. Lane.......

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam, Sam...No long term data on the effects of sporting with Betty M/L. What, does she wear a charm to ward off vd that you're so confident of safety? Or in truth, despite a willingness to sport and be toused and your boasts, does our Betty kindly but firmly refuse to go beyond a certain point?

"Oh, my God. Samuel? How could you do this to me?!"

"Bess, I... Well...I... She never had any marks about her..."

More seriously, I think this relationship is revealing and a bit touching (stop that!) in a way. Obviously Betty Lane is the closest thing to a female friend Sam has besides perhaps Jane Turner (my Lady Jem being on a different level of pedestal) and I suspect a large part of her attraction for him is her companionship and willingness to listen with attention to our boy's eager tales of his doings. As a businesswoman with a knowledge of trade she can appreciate his efforts and successes and sympathize with his frustrations. He can't really talk in confidence on a lot of matters to most of his male associates now, there's too much risk of revealing things that must be kept secret and even if he were inclined to confide in his wife, Bess can't be allowed to know everything lest his Pepysship lose face as Lord and Master, so Betty must provide a treasured sounding board.

The sex being very nice, too...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Dearest Bess,

What a day, my girl. Another fright over that Clarendon and his damned trees, may God burn them all down. Now Coventry is insisting we should be forthright and have the Duke demand access just when I thought I had managed to end on a good and secure note with the Earl. Lord, keep me from this business.

Afraid I took a peek a few fancy ladies in Fleet Alley after, just trying to walk off the tension. Lord, there was one you would not believe, Bess. Pretty as a picture, you could believe her of quite respectable birth if we met socially. No, I did not meddle with her, I'm not such a fool...But oh, your boy was grappling with Satan for a mo, I must admit. Come home soon.

Now I must confess I did stop by Betty Martin's...Mrs. Lane, now married to some blockhead named Martin whom I will no doubt shortly be opportuned for as of course he is in the naval service. And we did, yes, take a wee trip over to Lambeth and well... But you know it was only a bit of sporting, love. Did make an interesting entry in my Diary.

That's all and the worst, I swear. You see I keep my promise to tell all.

Did I mention to come home soon?

Oh and I got the books in. We can start in as soon as you come.

Love, and please put that down, my father can't afford to have you breaking things...You can smash something over my head when you get home. Which please, soon.


Jesse  •  Link

"and ashamed to think of it"

Oh, how bourgeois :) Would the indulgence mixed w/shame have been as rare as the middle class was back then? Possibly not. When his Lordship was a little touchy after Pepys broached the subject of his Lordship's affair, it's possible that shame had at least a small part.

Bradford  •  Link

"weary of the pleasure I have had today":
the whole arc of human yearning and satiation.

andy  •  Link

RG: I suspect a large part of her attraction for him is her companionship and willingness to listen with attention

I think her attraction is just that she's available.

I wonder if Mr Martin will find himself suddenly appointed Head of Victualling (East Indies)?

amanterre  •  Link

andy - "I think her attraction is just that she's available"

I agree, at least regarding today's events. Sam got aroused by the "most pretty wench" yet feared to be with her. So he went for the sure thing instead - but apparently this was not enough to 'suffocate the fire'. Why, if not for that reason, would he immediately afterwards return to Fleet Alley?

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

A tail of too brains:
The lower id is always tryin
to out wit the upper one by a ly in.
hunger beats sense.
never put off wot be done now.
So Sam is at least recognising the eternal fight,
and the price be too high so takes flight.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The first sentence in this entry is 13 lines long!! Is this a record??
Thanks Jeannine for the letter from the D of Y to Sandwich. Interesting to see how great an interest he takes and how much he knows.

Erith is in Kent. See…
for location. It is really quite far up the Thames and a long way from the Downs which were the sheltered area of sea off the far east coast of Kent. See…
for smaller scale to show that bit of coast. So Capt R was a very long way from where he ought to have been.

language hat  •  Link

For those who don't know, the first e in Erith is long (EAR-ith).

john o goyo  •  Link

"the wickedness of these houses"

And who buys the service, Sam?

john  •  Link

"the wickedness of these houses"

And who buys the service, Sam?

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

"For those who don't know, the first e in Erith is long (EAR-ith)."
Would that be for the cultured few or for us watermen ?

language hat  •  Link

"Would that be for the cultured few or for us watermen?"

Not sure what you mean; all I know is that the reference sources available to me all give that pronunciation. If the watermen use another, I'll be happy to emend my reference books accordingly.

Pedro  •  Link

"Would that be for the cultured few or for us watermen?"

This may not be what CSG was implying, but an interesting thought...

I am not sure that this would be applicable to other countries, but in England some place names are pronounced quite differently by the actual inhabitants to that considered the norm by the rest of the country. These locals have a long history in their community and the speech is handed down, and perhaps therefore, their version should be right?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"their community and the speech is handed down"
In the USA the same e.g.: Houston street in NY is pronounced like in house; the city of Houston is pronounced like hooston.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Many place names get abbreviated by the locals. Examples are Foi for Fowey (Cornwall) and Oar -EE - wuz for Alrewas (Staffordshire) and, here in Brisbane, the suburb Indooroopilly (which means gully of the white leeches in Turrbul [local Aboringinal lang]) is usually called Indrapilly. But in Kent, as LH points out, "E" is pronounced oddly. As well as his eg of EAR-ith, there is also Eyethorne (near Sandwich) which is called I-thorne by the locals. But the derivation has nothing to do with Eyes (it's a proper name from Anglo-Saxon with a descriptive). And finally we pronounce Brisbane Brisbun, but in California the place there is called BrizBane. Custom.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"the city of Houston [Texas] is pronounced like hooston."
Actually, like hyooston. You're right about Houston Street in New York, though. Interestingly, the second president of Rice University, in Houston, from 1945-1961, was named William Houston, and pronounced his surname like the New York street, not like the city in which he presided.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

LH's Q regarding "Would that be for the cultured few or for us watermen?" amendment be not necessary , I be a bit facetious, as the yokels like to know who the strangers be, so by scuffing or sluffing off, to suit local taste.

Having 'ben' dragged thru a hedgerow backwards so many times, that my speech patten be thoroughly uneducated 'cording to me olde tin can whose dulcet tones be to likein' of his peers. Haven swollowed peachy plums and dropped me haitches and gg's et al would think that reference books would be the work of the acadamians, whom many times, only consort with birds of similar fether.

Standardising of speech and spelling does allow for more people to communicate, but to confuse or eliminate competition we now use mneumonics to sort the chaff from the wheat kernals.

Us hay seeds luv to have on the Gentry.

MissAnn  •  Link

"... we pronounce Brisbane Brisbun, but in California the place there is called BrizBane ..." - We here in Sydney Town call it "BrisVegas".

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Erith there be in Kent pronunce Earith {LH} which when spelt that away would end thee in Fen country, Need a Fen man to give the local dialect of saying the name that be on the Ouse and not on the Tems.

Dan Jenkins  •  Link

"their community and the speech is handed down"
For Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, we pronounce it as "Wista" and Concord, New Hampshire as "Konkid." By this we know how to separate the visitors from the locals.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"in England some place names are pronounced quite differently by the actual inhabitants to that considered the norm by the rest of the country"
I apologize if this thread is getting tedious, but there is a storied resort area in Maine called Mt Desert. If you pronounce it "Mount DES-sert," though, you are likely to be told that it is properly called "Mount des-SERT." But I have been told that only the summer people call it that, and the locals mostly pronounce it "DES-sert", as it's spelled.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Erith often officially spelt sometimes Earith,Erythe,Eryth, was mainly a marsh land usually mated with Plumsted [-stead -sted]now is a small town with great views.
ERITH (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Dartford, hundred of Lessness, lathe of Sutton-At-Hone, W. division of Kent, 2¼ miles (N.) from Crayford; containing 2082 inhabitants. This was once a market-town; was incorporated; and had fairs on Holy-Thursday, Michaelmas-day, and Whit-Tuesday. It is situated on the Thames, which here forms a haven; and there is a branch establishment in connexion with the custom-house: the East India ships frequently anchor opposite the place, in their passage up the river,

From: 'Erith - Essex', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 181-86. URL:…. Date accessed: 26 July 2007.

Earith Cambs.'earth hythe'
having been spelt :

Herhythe, Herhethe (xii cent.); Herethe, Erehethe, Erhuth (xiv cent.); Earette, Earythe (xvi cent.).…. This one has roman coins and other ancient History that the Peepis families walk over at one time or another.


Robert Gertz  •  Link

In Boston, Massachusetts (birthplace) it was "Bastan" and Worcester, Massachusetts (10 years) it was "Woosta". But it's Revere, MA where you have the most fun (Ohmigod, Vinnie). On the other hand it's Londonderry and Derry, New Hampshire (Na Hampshar). But sadly the regional accents are fading into TVspeak...Though a young Indian gentleman representing my computer company had me in stiches on the phone the other day doing a fantastic Boston Bramhim/North Shore Yankee blueblood. Said he picked it up watching "St. Elsewhere" and some movies.

Australian Susan  •  Link

One final bit: Names! Featherstonehaugh-Cholmondely = Fanshawe-Chumley.

GrahamT  •  Link

English place names.
Read Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue" for a section on British place names. He lists some that have five or six different pronunciations, and some with two different spellings.
In my birth county of Nottinghamshire we have Gotham (goatem or gottem, but never goth-am) and Averham (pronounced airum) and two in the West Country that fooled me as a visitor were Frome (froom) and Bicester (bister).
The common ones that catch out US visitors are Leicester and Worcester.
The Featherstonehaughs & Cholmondelys are modern ballet groups (male and female respectively) who often perform together - as well as being English surnames.

GrahamT  •  Link

Don't go down Fleet Lane, Sam, it only leads on to the Road to Ruination. Betty Lane is a far friendlier thoroughfare. Neither lane goes anywhere near the path to Salvation, though.

GrahamT  •  Link

That should of course have been Fleet Alley, not lane.

Second Reading

Marquess  •  Link

Sam, Sam, never satisfied it seems, always wanting more, but fearful least he be undone by some wh*re.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

JonTom Kittredge, though this may not help with the Maine pronunciation of Mt. Dessert, it's easy to know whether it's desert or dessert you want to spell. One s is for sand and two esses are for Strawberry Shortcake. Mount Dessert should be pronounced desSERT, but I can't speak for downeasters who talk funny, anyway. Just to make it more confusing one s desert is also pronounced DeSERT when it's a verb.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my Lord Chancellor, [Mr. Coventry] dares say, never did tell him of it, only Sir G. Carteret, he do believe, must needs know it, for he and Sir J. Shaw are the greatest confidants he hath in the world."

Sir John Shaw was, i.a., surveyor of the royal forests.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

I appreciate that Sam doesn't go on about how guilty he feels. Would make for a very tedious diary.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ' . . he would not mince the matter . . '

'mince, v. < Anglo-Norman . .
. . 4. a. . . to mince matters (chiefly in negative contexts): to use polite or moderate expressions to indicate disapproval, etc.
. . 1668   J. Owen Nature Indwelling-sin xvii. 286   Here it [sc. the law] minceth not the matter with sinners . . '

"13 Park road" lloyds residential

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