Tuesday 23 August 1664

Lay long talking with my wife, and angry awhile about her desiring to have a French mayde all of a sudden, which I took to arise from yesterday’s being with her mother. But that went over and friends again, and so she be well qualitied, I care not much whether she be French or no, so a Protestant. Thence to the office, and at noon to the ’Change, where very busy getting ships for Guinny and for Tangier. So home to dinner, and then abroad all the afternoon doing several errands, to comply with my oath of ending many businesses before Bartholomew’s day, which is two days hence. Among others I went into New Bridewell, in my way to Mr. Cole, and there I saw the new model, and it is very handsome. Several at work, among others, one pretty whore brought in last night, which works very lazily. I did give them 6d. to drink, and so away. To Graye’s Inn, but missed Mr. Cole, and so homeward called at Harman’s, and there bespoke some chairs for a room, and so home, and busy late, and then to supper and to bed. The Dutch East India Fleete are now come home safe, which we are sorry for. Our Fleets on both sides are hastening out to Guinny.

23 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"to the 'Change, where very busy getting ships for Guinny and for Tangier."

One of the "businesses" conducted at the 'Change. Ships' agents must have been there on tap, as 'twere.

Terry F  •  Link

"I went into New Bridewell...and there I saw the new model, and it is very handsome. Several at work"

L&M explain that New Bridewell was a house of correction in Clerkenwell; it had a new-model workroom for the inmates. Not quite Foucault's Panopticon, for seeing how behavior's being modified (corrected), but....

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"A French maid?!!"

"We were looking for a new companion for me, after all."

"Perhaps you'd like one of the Queen's ladies instead. Maybe Lady Castlemaine is looking for extra work!"

"I just want someone I can talk to without everyone in the whole Navy complex knowing. Some nice young girl of good family...And a pretty young French girl from Paris might know all the latest fashions."

"Love...ly. All the latest fashions? Well, when we're old and alone on the streets begging, it'll be very comforting to have them I'm sure."

Wait...Pretty? Young? French maid?

What am I doing?

"Hmmn...You know, Bess. Perhaps I'm being a bit... hasty. While it would be a hideous expense, I suppose a fashionable young maid might be a suitable thing for a rising young couple like us. Eminently suitable."

Terry F  •  Link

"my oath of ending many businesses before Bartholomew's day, which is two days hence."

So writ he this night, but St. Bart's Day is tomorrow, 24 August.

Terry F  •  Link

Elizabeth Pepys's father had converted at age 21 to the faith of the survivors of the 1572 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of Huguenots = Reformed or Calvinist Protestants. Disowned by his Catholic father, he fell into the Queen Mother's entourage and emigrated to England. I wonder how "Bartholomew's day" was regarded by Alexander Marchant, Sieur de St. Michel? Interesting that his son-in-law would use it as a deadline.

Xjy  •  Link

"handsome new model" "pretty whore"

Sightseeing for a well-placed civil servant - new styles of repression, and the prettiest new prisoners. Even tips 'em after noting how lazy they are. Unless he tipped the screws, of course, which is probably more likely, come to think of it.

language hat  •  Link

"all of a sudden"

This antedates the OED's earliest citation (1681-6 J. SCOTT Chr. Life III. 66 All of a sudden, and without any.. previous Instructions, they were heard to speak...) by two decades. (Before then, the phrase was simply "of a sudden" or, even earlier, "of the sudden.")

Pedro  •  Link


From The Book of Days (1869)

Adjoining to St. Bride's Churchyard, Fleet-street, is an ancient well dedicated to the saint, and commonly called Bride's Well. A palace erected near by took the name of Bridewell. This being given by Edward VI to the city of London as a workhouse for the poor and a house of correction, the name became associated in the popular mind with houses having the same purpose in view. Hence it has arisen that the pure and innocent Bridget--the first of Irish nuns--is now inextricably connected in our ordinary national parlance with a class of beings of the most opposite description.

matty  •  Link

Re the OED citation for "all of a sudden", since Sam's diary is in code and/or other languages, would they even consider a translation of it as reliable/citable source?

cape henry  •  Link

"...and so homeward called at Harman's, and there bespoke some chairs for a room." Pepys is incessant in his remodeling and redecoration. One supposes that his travels through the homes and offices of the gentry and nobility give him clues and he obviously uses them.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder if Harman's place would have been set up as more of a private house with workroom attached or if he would have a small shop, say like Charles Laughton's Hobson's in "Hobson's Choice" with small but busy shop and some examples on display.

cape henry  •  Link

It's how I imagine a lot of these businesses, RG, with the dwelling above or behind the 'shop' whatever it might be. Some businesses, of course, are in one or another of the 'Changes, but I think of the craftsmen in their own smallholdings.

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

"...I saw the new model, and it is very handsome..." making of a miniature scale of the building, Model maker still nice work.
2nd Sentence :"...Several at work, among others, one pretty whore brought in last night, which works very lazily..." model and whore only got into the OED in the same sentence in 1963 [c. euphem. A prostitute. 1963 ]
A. n. I. A representation of structure, and related senses.

1. a. A set of designs (plans, elevations, sections, etc.) for a projected building or other structure; a similar set of drawings made to scale and representing the proportions and arrangement of an existing building. Also (occas.): a plan of a town, garden, etc.

4. a. A three-dimensional representation, esp. on a small scale, of a person or thing or of a projected or existing structure; esp. one showing the component parts in accurate proportion and relative disposition.
1611 T

1662 S. PEPYS Diary 30 July (1970) III. 149 Cooper..begun his lecture upon the body of a ship{em}which my having of a modell in the office is of great use to me, and very pleasant and useful it is.

as for The Runway & Photo version it be
b. A person employed to wear clothes for display, or to appear in displays of other goods.
Originally used of women, and still usually understood in this sense unless preceded by a modifying word, as child, male, etc.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"... ending many businesses before Bartholomew's day,"

Might this have to do with SP's tailoring ancestry? According to Paul Brewster's note in the 'Encyclopedia' Bartholomew Fair was the largest cloth fair in the country & as such presumably would be the major venue for the settling of trade accounts.


Paul Chapin  •  Link

Matty asks if the OED considers Pepys' diary a citable source.
Answer: definitely, they cite it frequently, as for example in the citations for "model" Cum Grano Salis quotes above.

Terry F  •  Link

James, Duke of York to Sandwich
Written from: St James's

Date: 23 August 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 210
Document type: Original; subscribed & signed

Approves of the plans for the sailing of the Fleet, which Lord Sandwich has submitted.


De Prata to Sandwich
Written from: Lyons

Date: 23 August/2 September 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 223, fol(s). 92-93
Document type: Holograph

The writer, and his companion, await the Earl's orders as to their further travel.

At Lyons, they have met with Lord Annesley and his tutor Mr Forbes, who are about to visit Italy; which Lord Hinchinbroke also desires to see, with the Earl's permission. The month's expenses have amounted to about 1,300 livres.

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"Re the OED citation for 'all of a sudden', since Sam's diary is in code and/or other languages, would they even consider a translation of it as reliable/citable source?"

The OED indeed cites this diary a *lot*, just judging by the number of times an annotator here has quoted the OED to clarify some unfamiliar usage, and the OED entry cites Pepys as a source, often the exact same passage in question.

For an amusing example, see http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1… and the discussion of "coy with." The OED apparently cites this entry as the only known use of this phrase to mean coax. But the L&M correct the phrase as "cog with", which was a contemporary term meaning flatter.

language hat  •  Link

I wrote to the OED with the antedate for "all of a sudden" and got a nice e-mail back thanking me.

pepf  •  Link

"... so she be well qualitied"

GNU Webster's 1913 (1 definition)
1. Furnished with qualities; endowed.

"Wait…Pretty? Young? French maid?" - Well-endowed?

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The "new model" is a prison work-room, not a mannikin.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

St Bartholomew's day was a traditional day for fairs in the English calendar, so I doubt Pepys' oath had anything to do with the massacre. That being said, it would be a truer anniversary of the massacre than St Bartholomew's day in (Pepys') current France, as the massacre, in 1572, antedated the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar (in 1582) by 10 years. England of course kept the Julian calendar until 1752.


Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"I care not much whether she be French or no, so a Protestant."

The political situation being what it is, Pepys does *not* want a Catholic maid in the house, especially as his house is part of the Navy Office complex.

In view of subsequent history , this was a wise precaution by Sam. In later years he was groundlessly accused of Papism by Shaftesbury and others as a proxy to attack James.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The Dutch East India Fleete are now come home safe, which we are sorry for."

Tromp had escorted it via the Shetlands, and it had reached port on 15-17 August. According to the official English newspaper, it was 'not so rich as expected': The Newes, 25 August, p. 551. (L&M note)

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