Thursday 25 August 1664

Up and to the office after I had spoke to my taylor, Langford (who came to me about some work), desiring to know whether he knew of any debts that my father did owe of his own in the City. He tells me, “No, not any.” I did on purpose try him because of what words he and his wife have said of him (as Herbert told me the other day), and further did desire him, that if he knew of any or could hear of any that he should bid them come to me, and I would pay them, for I would not that because he do not pay my brother’s debts that therefore he should be thought to deny the payment of his owne.

All the morning at the office busy. At noon to the ’Change, among other things busy to get a little by the hire of a ship for Tangier. So home to dinner, and after dinner comes Mr. Cooke to see me; it is true he was kind to me at sea in carrying messages to and fro to my wife from sea, but I did do him kindnesses too, and therefore I matter not much to compliment or make any regard of his thinking me to slight him as I do for his folly about my brother Tom’s mistress.

After dinner and some talk with him, I to my office; there busy, till by and by Jacke Noble came to me to tell me that he had Cave in prison, and that he would give me and my father good security that neither we nor any of our family should be troubled with the child; for he could prove that he was fully satisfied for him; and that if the worst came to the worst, the parish must keep it; that Cave did bring the child to his house, but they got it carried back again, and that thereupon he put him in prison. When he saw that I would not pay him the money, nor made anything of being secured against the child, he then said that then he must go to law, not himself, but come in as a witness for Cave against us. I could have told him that he could bear witness that Cave is satisfied, or else there is no money due to himself; but I let alone any such discourse, only getting as much out of him as I could. I perceive he is a rogue, and hath inquired into everything and consulted with Dr. Pepys, and that he thinks as Dr. Pepys told him that my father if he could would not pay a farthing of the debts, and yet I made him confess that in all his lifetime he never knew my father to be asked for money twice, nay, not once, all the time he lived with him, and that for his own debts he believed he would do so still, but he meant only for those of Tom.

He said now that Randall and his wife and the midwife could prove from my brother’s own mouth that the child was his, and that Tom had told them the circumstances of time, upon November 5th at night, that he got it on her.

I offered him if he would secure my father against being forced to pay the money again I would pay him, which at first he would do, give his own security, and when I asked more than his own he told me yes he would, and those able men, subsidy men, but when we came by and by to discourse of it again he would not then do it, but said he would take his course, and joyne with Cave and release him, and so we parted.

However, this vexed me so as I could not be quiet, but took coach to go speak with Mr. Cole, but met him not within, so back, buying a table by the way, and at my office late, and then home to supper and to bed, my mind disordered about this roguish business — in every thing else, I thank God, well at ease.

24 Annotations

First Reading

jeannine  •  Link

"neither we nor any of our family should be troubled with the child"

That human life could be reduced to only the possibility of a financial burden on Sam, how sad. Today is a difficult day to 'like' Sam or his family. The nasty side of me is thinking that God didn't give him a child for a reason, especially when I consider the biggest blessing of my life to be my child. Forgive me all for saying so, but his attitude towards a young, defenseless human being, as shown today seems to show he didn't deserve one.

Bradford  •  Link

And strange that after years of trying, when it seems clear enough that they shall not have children of their own, that---as far as I can remember, or that we have been told---neither Elizabeth nor Samuel think of taking in what is, after all, a relation of his, to make up the deficiency. It gives another sense to the old epitaph once seen on many a tombstone: "There is an empty place in our home that never can be filled."

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

In (lukewarm) defense of Sam, I can only say that perhaps he had doubts about the child's legitimacy, in both senses of the word -- Was it really Tom's? Sam is not 100% certain (though he seems open to the idea). And then there's the stigma associated with the child being a bastard ... Puritan Sam doesn't want to be tarred with that brush, for a number of reasons.

Finally, of course, there are the different mores of his time. If it were me, now, I would do everything I could to determine the child's paternity (aided by modern technology) and, if it were my brother's, help take care of it. But our world and our morals are far different than his (as of course both of you realize).

Still, it would be nice to be able to sit down with him and get an accounting of his reasoning on all this...

Ruben  •  Link

May be Samuel is skeptic about his brother's potential paternity. It would have been easy to "cuckold" a child, to a recently dead father (Tom), specially when not only Sam but everyone else in his surroundings knew he had no children of his own. Then, he still could have adopted the child, and years later learn it was someone's else's descendent and not his brother's.
I do not know, but it is possible that he was not asked to adopt, but only to pay the upbringing of this child. As we know, a pay includes mostly money, and not love or care. Sam's relation to money needs no comment.
And yet, I remember that in the past he entertained children and was happy to do that.

Terry F  •  Link

"subsidy men"

Those of such financial substance as would be liable to pay subsidy-taxes (L&M Select Glossary). "In the 1500s the subsidy was a tax invented in England by Thomas Wolsey in 1513 that taxed based on the ability to pay. It was created in order that Henry VIII could pay for war with France while maintaining his lifestyle."…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Suffer the little children...In each and every age, it seems. It is hard to like Sam today but probably future ages will condemn us for our callousness toward the suffering of much of the world's children in our time. I will choose to believe Bess was never told.


JWB  •  Link

Fireworks (Nov 5) & Poor Tom's guilt

Even most ardent environmentalist will ooh & augh as heavy metal oxides descend upon thier respiratory system & reports concuss their auditory nerves. One under the spell of these demonic devices begs our sympathy and foregiveness.

Re-reading… leaves little doubt of Tom's guilt. And how would you be acting with such carrying on:

"1647 Details of Firework Display -London
5 November 1647-

Firework display: "before the Lords and Commons of Parliament and the militia of london in commemoration of God's great mercy in delivering this kingdom from the hellish plots of papists, acted in the damnable Gunpowder Treason"
Gunner George Brown designed the display with a printed programme which explained what each
tableau conveyed:-

"1. Fire-balls burning in the water, and rising out of the water burning, showing the papist's conjuration and consultation with infernal spirits, for the destruction of England's king and parliament.

2.Fire-boxes like meteors, sending forth many dozen rockets out of the water, intimating the popish spirits coming from below to act their treasonous plots against England's king and parliament.

3. Fawkes with his dark lantern, and many fire-boxes, lights, and lamps, ushering the pope into England, intimating the plot to destroy England's true king and parliament.

4. Pluto with his fiery club. Presenting himself maliciously bent to destroy all that have hindered the pope from destroying England's king and parliament.

6. Runners on a line, intimating the papists sending to all parts of the world, for subtle cunning and malicious plotters of mischief against England's king and parliament.

7. A fire-wheel, intimating the display of a flag of victory over the enemies that would have destroyed
England's King and parliament.

8. Rockets in the air, showing the thankfulness of all well-willers to true religion, for the deliverance of England's king and parliament.

9. Balloons breaking in the air, with many streams of fire, showing God's large and bounteous goodness towards England's king and parliament.

10. Chambers of lights, showing England's willingness to cherish the light of the glorious gospel therin to be continued.

11. A great bumber -ball br eaking in pieces, and discharging itself of other its lights, holding forth the cruelty of the papists to England's king and parliament.

12. Fire-boxes among the spectators, to warn them to take heed forthe future that they cherish none that are enemies to England's king and parliament.
-A Modell of the Fire-Works to be presented in Lincolnes-Inne Fields on the 5th of Novemb. 1647. (London 1647) A good source for contemporary fireworks: Francis Malthus, "A treatise of Artifician Fire-Works, both for Warres and Recreation"(London, 1629) and John White. "A rich Cabinet, with Variety of Inventions...Whereunto is added avariety of Recreative Fire-works, both for Land, Aire, and water." (London, 1651)

There were also bonfires and bells."…

Australian Susan  •  Link

Wonderful descriptions of fireworks! I had not realised the technology was so advanced at that time. Shame it was all expended on what we now would call religious bigotry.

"Suffer the little children" means "Allow the little children" and has nothing to do with bodily injury. No doubt LH or someone with access to OED can let us know when the meaning changed.

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

Suffer : Suffer the little children"

suffer: it be any form of pain, from thee whom dothe read my verbiage to thee that be suffering some physical pain or suffer the death so that thee may be better off.
There many subtle variations of one paying ones dues.
Allowing is not one of them.
OED next

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

"Suffer the little children"
5. trans. To submit patiently to. Obs.

I. To undergo, endure.

1. trans. To have (something painful, distressing, or injurious) inflicted or imposed upon one; to submit to with pain, distress, or grief. a. pain, death, punishment, {dag}judgement; hardship, disaster; grief, {dag}sorrow, care.

1651 HOBBES Leviath. II. xxviii. 163 If a subject shall..deny the authority of the Representative of the Common-wealth,.. he may lawfully be made to suffer whatsoever the Representative will.
1676 Charge in Offce of Clerk of Assize 102 The offender shall suffer Imprisonment for a year.

b. wrong, injury, loss, shame, disgrace.

1640-1 Kirkcudbr. War-Comm. Min. Bk. (1855) 76 Besyde the disgrace that our nation sufferis throw thair goeing naked in a strange countrie. 1
b. wrong, injury, loss, shame, disgrace.

c. bodily injury or discomfort, a blow, wound, disease. arch.

2. To go or pass through, be subjected to, undergo, experience (now usually something evil or painful).

a1656 STANLEY Hist. Philos. V. xi. (1701) 185/2 Whensoever they seem to effect any thing, we shall find that they suffer it long before.
1662 TUKE Adv. 5 Hours IV. i, W' had better suffer than deserve our fate.

3. a. intr. To undergo or submit to pain, punishment, or death.

1686 tr. Chardin's Trav. Persia 118 We suffer'd for no want of any thing. a1721
b. from or (now rare) under a disease or ailment.

4. To be the object of an action, be acted upon, be passive. Now rare.

1656 STANLEY Hist. Philos. V. vi. (1701) 161/2 These principles are called Elements, of which Air and Fire have a faculty to move and effect; the other parts, Water and Earth to suffer.
1667 MILTON P.L. I. 158 Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable Doing or Suffering.

5. trans. To submit patiently to. Obs.

6. intr. To endure, hold out, wait patiently. (Often with abide, bide.) to suffer long: to be long-suffering. Obs.

7. trans. To resist the weight, stress, or painfulness of; to endure, bear, stand. Obs. exc. dial.

1634 SIR T. HERBERT Trav. 146 Some [Persians]..can suffer short wide stockings of English cloth or Kersies. 1640 T. BRUGIS Marrow of Physicke II. 140 Let the pan be no hotter than you can suffer your hand on it. 1673 RAY Journ. Low C. 70 These Waters [sc. Baths of Aken]..are very easie to suffer.

8. To be affected by, subjected to, undergo (an operation or process, esp. of change). Now only as transf. of 1.
a1425 t

9. a. intr. To undergo the extreme penalty; to be put to death, be executed. Now rare in literary use exc. of martyrdom.

1652 LAMONT Diary (Maitland Club) 46 He was..sent to Stirling..wher he was appointed to suffer, and was executed there.
a1700 EVELYN Diary 13 June 1649 Sir John Owen, newly freed from sentence of death among the Lords that suffer'd.

Australian Susan  •  Link

RG was referencing the Biblical quotation familiar to us in the KJV thus "And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God."Mark 10: 13-14. In modern translations, this is rendered as "People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs." (NRSV. The NJB is very similar). "Suffer" here means allow - it is linked to our current usage - suffrance. People use this KJV quotation to say that Jesus wanted little children to endure harm, which is not what was meant at all. Or newspapers of the more slip-shod kind use "Suffer the little children..." in quotation marks to headline an article on, for example children starving in Darfur and miss the point of the quotation completely [SOUND FX: grinding teeth]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

To be clear, I meant the commonly accepted ironic use of the phrase...Not to quote Christ fully. Though of course William Styron and others have even managed to make the full phrase a chilling one in certain contexts and it was the likely eventual fate of poor Elizabeth "Taylor" Pepys. Nice background on the word, though, thanks BoS.

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

In a lighter tone on the S word. : For marriage there be three rings. The Engagement ring, the Wedding ring, then there be the Suffering

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

My apologies: after wading thru all 19 versions of " to Suffer" .
[a. AF. suffrir, soeffrir, -er = OF. sof(f)rir, mod.F. souffrir, corresp. to Pr. suffrir, so-, It. sofferire, Sp. sufrir, Pg. sof(f)rer:{em}pop. L. *suffer{imac}re, for sufferre, f. suf- = SUB- 26 + ferre to bear.]

I. To undergo, endure.

16. trans. (by ellipsis of inf.) To permit or allow (a person) to do a certain thing; {dag}to let alone. Also occas. absol. arch.
1604 DEKKER King's Entert. 277 Even children (might they have been suffred) would gladly have spent their little strength.

1663 WOOD Life (O.H.S.) I. 483 Then all went in, soe many that were suffered.

1700 T. BROWN tr. Fresny's Amusem. 97 One of them would have been poking a Cranes Bill down his Throat,..but the Doctors would not suffer him.

1818 COBBETT Pol. Reg. XXXIII. 492 Let us hear him now, if indignation will suffer us.

1878 J. P. HOPPS Jesus x. 37 How would I have blest you if you would have suffered me!

If any one wants to suffer thru the whole entry, I be more than happy to Email it for their scrutiny along with Suffering.

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

I be bothered by meaning of Suffer in St Mark 10.14. I of little learning, wondered why St Mark in all his other uses of "Suffer", meaning mostly to pay the price of, reread the text, and St Mark be talking of that modern subject of man divorcing his spouse and leaving his children.
My dumb interpretation be that the children were suffering from the divorce, and they should not pay the price of the parents other pleasures, and not be ostracized but be allowed to goto heaven.
It would be nice to have a translations straight from the Greek.

St. Mark "Marriage is not to be dissolved. The danger of riches. "

As shown by Samuel, a child of an illicit relation is unacceptable by the the people except when it be royal progeny [Bastard : Fitzed].

Australian Susan  •  Link

The original Greek of Mark 10:14 (rendered in our script as Aphiete) means "make free" or "let loose". We only get the connotations of bodily injury from the use of the word "suffer" by the translators of 1611. Whoever wrote the document we now know as the Gospel of Mark did not intend there to be a meaning of harm. Jesus shows in this pericope the importance he placed upon children which was unusual for his time. Blessing and healing children was as important to him as blessing and healing adults.
In Jewish culture, it was the responsibility of a brother to care for his deceased brother's family. Jesus did not always have much regard for the strict letter of the Jewish Law (which he felt to be stifling of compassion in some instances (cf parable of Good Samaritan)), but Sam's actions in rejecting this child fails not only the Jewish Law and cultural mores, but also Jesus's gospel of compassion. Not a good side of our Sam.

Pedro  •  Link

One that Terry missed?

Mr William Morice to Sandwich

Written from: [London]
Date: 25 August 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 212

Expresses his opinion that a war with Holland will shortly break forth, "the differences multiplying, and the animosities increasing; but until Parliament meet, there will be no action in Europe, - Guinea is likely to be the scene and stage of the first fight, where Holland hath designed to send twelve ships in aid of the West-India Company".

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"comes Mr. Cooke to see me; it is true he was kind to me at sea in carrying messages to and fro to my wife from sea, but I did do him kindnesses too, and therefore I matter not much to compliment or make any regard of his thinking me to slight him as I do for his folly about my brother Tom’s mistress."

Cooke had served with Pepys in the Naseby in the spring of 1660, and Pepys had once lent him 30s.:… He had busied himself as a marriage broker for Tom and had offered far too great a portion:… and…

Bryan  •  Link

Something that does not appear to have been noticed by earlier annotators.
Jacke Noble claims the child was conceived on Guy Fawkes night (with 3 handy witnesses to Tom's confession) but SP recorded her birth on 6 April, only 5 months later. It casts some doubt on Tom's paternity. Tom died on 15 March.…

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"Illegitimate" children in Sam's time were seen as a "curse", to be avoided at all costs--a child bound to become a criminal, no matter how well he might be treated. Sam's horrific attitude (by today's standards) was probably more related to the illegtimacy than his paternity. It wouldn't have mattered whether it was Tom's child and related to Sam or not. The only consideration was that the child was a cursed child who would surely become a cursed adult. (It isn't clear to me whether this child was a boy or a girl. Does anyone know?) Fortunately we have become more enlightened about children born out of wedlock today--and children in general. Children are no longer considered "cursed" by rational people and there are many eager to adopt them and treat them as their own, no matter their origins. Elizabeth, despite her desire for a child probably would also have seen child as a "curse," as most people in her time and class would have done. As sad and disturbing it is to us today, it's part of the ugly history of Western man that we must learn to accept as true.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Despite the stigma of bastardy, attitudes were also dependent upon the wealth and status of the parents. The Duke of Monmouth for example was a Royal bastard, raised to the highest peerage, whom many wanted to succeed his father.

Many wealthy people had illegitimate offspring for whom they took responsibility. The truth about poor Tom alas, is that he could barely look after himself. The other question here, is what became of Margaret, Tom's maid and the alleged mother of this poor child.

The entry of 06/04/1664, suggests that she is still alive, but is no longer in contact with anyone else involved.…

If indeed Margaret did bear Tom's child, did Tom force her to give it up and leave? Did he give her any money to help her on her way? The only other reference to Margaret, in September 1662, suggests that she was fond enough of Tom. It might have caused a family argument if Tom had married his maid, but many did so and it would have been a fait-accompli. There are several aspects of this story which don't make sense.

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I agree, Sasha, much of it doesn't make sense, and for the most part, we have only Sam's diary entries and his view of things to go by. In addition, what the royalty and the aristocracy did, then as now, had little effect on the common people--though more then than now. Many saw royalty and the aristocracy as near gods in Sam's time.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . I matter not much to compliment or make any regard of his thinking me to slight him . . ‘

‘matter v. < Anglo-Norman . .
4. In negative contexts:
a. trans. To care or be concerned about; to regard, heed, mind; . . Now Brit. regional and Caribbean.
. . 1664 H. More Modest Enq. Myst. Iniquity xi. 37 I matter not what careless abuses there may be put upon a word . . ‘
Re: ‘ . . those able men, subsidy men, 
. . ‘
‘subsidy . . 2.b. A pecuniary aid levied by a sovereign, lord, etc., or granted by parliament to a sovereign, for a particular purpose, esp. for defence against foreign attack.

. . subsidy man n. now hist. a person liable to pay a subsidy to a lord; (hence) a person of means or substance.
. . 1597–8 Act 39 Eliz. c. 3 §1 Fower substanciall Howsholders there beinge Subsidy men, or for wante of Subsidy men fower other substanciall Howseholders . . ‘
Re: ’ . . he would take his course . . ’

‘course n. < French . .
22.a A line of (personal) action, way of acting, method of proceeding . . †to take a course: to act in a particular way or with a particular purpose; to take steps (obs.) . . ‘

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