Thursday 1 September 1664

A sad rainy night, up and to the office, where busy all the morning. At noon to the ’Change and thence brought Mr. Pierce, the Surgeon, and Creed, and dined very merry and handsomely; but my wife not being well of those she not with us; and we cut up the great cake Moorcocke lately sent us, which is very good. They gone I to my office, and there very busy till late at night, and so home to supper and to bed.

29 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

Wheatley actually transcribes "of those" -- unprecedented!

Glyn  •  Link

And while we're recovering from the shock, a reminder that this month on Saturday September 15th, there is our annual (?) get-together at The Samuel Pepys bar in Stew Lane, 48 Upper Thames Street, London, from 2pm.

Other things occurring on that day are London Open House weekend and the Thames Festival.

Here are the websites:…

and here's some more information:…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Other things occurring on that day ...

The current exhibition "The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection: Renaissance and Baroque" (The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace) includes many works SP could very well have encountered:-…

For a recent review:-

At the Royal Collection Peter Campbell
LRB | Vol. 29 No. 17 dated 6 September 2007

Much of what is on show in the Queen's Gallery until 20 January has been in the Royal Collection for a very long time. Charles I himself very probably commissioned one of the most remarkable pictures, Orazio Gentileschi's Joseph and Potiphar's Wife. Although the paintings Charles had gathered together were efficiently dispersed at auction under the Commonwealth (a few were kept by Parliament, in particular the Raphael cartoons and Mantegna's Triumph of Caesar), many were retrieved at the Restoration, with almost equal efficiency. Some of the greatest pictures had been sold abroad but as the notes on provenance in the catalogue show, there was much to be recovered (not always ungrudgingly) from English hands. And a lot more was added by later monarchs. However, pictures the catalogue notes as being 'recovered at the Restoration' include many of the finest things in The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection: Renaissance and Baroque.…

Bradford  •  Link

How "lately" was Moorcocke's great cake sent? Liable to be some variety of heavily glazed fruitcake (as suggested in the link), or wouldn't it have staled rather rapidly?

("New Yorker" cartoon: A witch, confronting a sadly sagging gingerbread house, exclaims, "Drat! I forgot to add sodium propionate to retard spoilage!")

jeannine  •  Link

"Liable to be some variety of heavily glazed fruitcake"...well Bradford I was hopefully thinking some delicious cake was being shared but at the mention of fruitcake all I can think of it that it could (besides cockroaches) be one of those objects that would survive a nuclear blast - just the word brings to mind the brick fruitcake 2 friends would send back and forth to each other over alternating years at Christmas. This went on for many years, each person decorating it as a household item for their year on duty -the fruitcake doorstop, the fruitcake paperweight, etc. Maybe Sam could have drilled a hole in it for stage of his would have saved him the chunk of change he spent on the case.....

JWB  •  Link

14 May '62

"So home after an hour stay at Paul's Churchyard, and there came Mr. Morelock of Chatham, and brought me a stately cake, and I perceive he has done the same to the rest," Chatham being a dockyard, I suppose the "rest" is the rest of the board. Note the more likely "Morelock" than the Shakesperean "Moorcocke".

Ruben  •  Link

the great cake Moorcocke
I will say nothing about Moorcocke.
I checked "cake history" and found some interesting information.
About fruitcake: "Crusaders and hunters were reported to have carried this type of cake to sustain themselves over long periods of time away from home".
"1700s - In Europe, a ceremonial type of fruitcake was baked at the end of the nut harvest and saved and eaten the next year to celebrate the beginning of the next harvest, hoping it will bring them another successful harvest."
Those interested can read more in:… and continue:…

JWB  •  Link

Not all fruitcake created equal

Tet 1966 I was Marine on patrol in Viet Nam. About sunup we entered a vegitable garden and proceeded down the outer row, careful not to step on the plants, when an elderly gentleman, with the prototypical gray, whispy Vietnamese beard, stepped out of the hedge. I thought he had come out to scold us; but, no we were the first to cross his threshold on the 1st day of Tet and as such were to be honored. He took us into his house and served us tea and a fruitcake fit for kings.

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

Fruit cake has got a bad reputation but has saved many an old codger that has been stuck in forbidden lands, was very grateful to get a parcel that took 3 months or more to travel, only finally to arrive and get hastily devoured.

jeannine  •  Link


Ooops! Now that I've apparently called out the PETF (people for the ethical treatment of fruitcake) and been reminded that all fruitcake are not created equal (JWB -yours noted above sounded delicious and delightful!!), I'll try my best to redeem myself by adding this recipe from Robert May's "The Accomplisht Cook", 1660 (as it appears in "Pepys at Table" by Driver and Berriedale-Johson).


"Take half a bushel of the best flour you can get, very finely searced, and lay it on a large pastry board, make a hole in the middle thereof, put to it three pounds of the best butter you can get; with 14 pounds of currants finely picked and rubber, three quarts of good new thick cream, warmed, 2 pounds of fine sugar beaten, 3 pints of new ale barm or yeast, 4 ounces of cinnamon beaten fine and searsed, also an ounce of beaten ginger, 2 ounces of nutmegs beaten fine and searsed, put in all these materials together, and work them into indifferent stiff paste, keep it warmed till the oven be hot, them make it up and bake it, being baked an hour and a half ice it, then take four pounds of double refined sugar, beat it and searce it and put it in a cleaned scowered skillet the quantity of a gallon, and boil it to a candy height with a little rosewater, then draw the cake, run it all over and set it in the oven till it be candied".

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

East Anglia be seeded with names that no offspring would want to have in this name conscience world, so a lad or lass that was asked "where from", so that they could have a name to separate them from all other William'es and Thomas'es et al and not knowing ones pere, would be given the monika of Snoring, Bumsted, Nasty, Piddle, Ugly, Hatch and so on.
So it be that, thee must go around some interesting yardes of churches with unkepmt markers [ they, that be left]to do some brass rubbings and get some memorable names, along with this find on line:

John MOORCOCKE & Agnes COOKES married 24-Nov 1627…
Strange Most Cookes would be named Agnes in my haystacking days.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Jeannine, Mr. May's cake sounds like it would take two strong people to carry it.

Australian Susan  •  Link


What's the meaning of sad here? With all the talk of fruit cake, I wondered if it was something like sad in the failed cake sense: flat and heavy?


It is still common for the top tier of the traditional wedding cake to be kept and used for the first baby's Christening cake a year hence. So they do keep. especially if well steeped in brandy.


Well, CGS raised this first! Remember that the famous Tolpuddle Martyrs were actually Tolpiddle Martyrs until Bowlderised by refined London newspaper writers. They lived near the River Piddle in Dorset.

language hat  •  Link


Probably the OED's definition 8:

Of colour: Dark, deep. In later use, influenced by sense 5 ["Characterized by sorrow, sorrowful"]: Not cheerful-looking; neutral-tinted, dull, sober.
The Ger. satt and MDu. sat (Du. zat) have the sense 'dark' or 'deep' as applied to colours, as a direct development from the primary sense 'full' (see sense 1 above ["Having had one's fill; satisfied; sated, weary or tired (of something)").
c1412 HOCCLEVE De Reg. Princ. 695 And where be my gounes of scarlet, Sanguyn, murreye, & blewes sadde & lighte. [...] a1539 in Archæologia XLVII. 53 Noo more to use rede stomachers but other sadder colers in the same. 1578 HUNNIS Hyvef. Hunnye xxxvii. 92 Colours lyght and sad. 1600 SURFLET Country Farm VI. xxii. 802 Russet wines: In the number wherof, are contained the red wines, or sad, and light red. 1609 C. BUTLER Fem. Mon. 105 The second Summer, this light yellow is changed to a sad. 1658 ROWLAND tr. Moufet's Theat. Ins. 936 Long and slender shanks of a very sad black colour. 1686 PLOT Staffordsh. 201 First of a dark greenish colour, growing sadder by degrees as the plant decays, till it approaches a black. 1799 G. SMITH Laboratory II. 311 Dubbing, of the down of a sad grey cat. [...]

A.De Araujo  •  Link

As oposed to moorhen ;)

Cum Grano Salis  •  Link

A.De Araujo you be rite on: thanks to the OED:
MOOR n.1 + COCK n.1
The word is attested earlier as a surname: Walterus Morcoc (1202).]

The male of the red grouse, Lagopus lagopus. Also male of the black grouse, Tetrao tetrix; a blackcock. Cf. MOORHEN n. 2.1329-30

1427 Acts Parl. Scotl. (1814) II. 16/2 Blak cokes gra hennys and mur cokes.

not be confused with an inhabitant of Mauretania,

1. Originally: a native or inhabitant of ancient Mauretania, a region of North Africa corresponding to parts of present-day Morocco and Algeria. Later usually: a member of a Muslim people of mixed Berber and Arab descent inhabiting north-western Africa (now mainly present-day Mauritania), who in the 8th cent. conquered Spain.
but associated with the moors of England;
moor I. Simple uses.

1. Originally: a marsh; marshland, fen (obs.). Now: any of the flat, low-lying areas of Somerset, England, which were formerly marshland.
{also Devon and Yorkshire along with others }
along name Moor be attached to many birds.

c. In the names of birds found on moorland. moor-bird, a bird which inhabits moorland; esp. a grouse MOORFOWL
moor blackbird the ring ouzel, Turdus torquatus.
moor-buzzard now Brit. regional, the marsh harrier, Circus aeruginosus.
moor coot Brit. regional, the moorhen, Gallinula chloropus.
moor game now Brit. regional, (a) the red grouse, Lagopus lagopus; (b) the black grouse, Tetrao tetrix (rare).
moor harrier = moor-buzzard. moor hawk Brit. regional,
(a) = moor-buzzard; (b) the merlin, Falco columbarius.

moortetter Obs., the stonechat, Saxicola torquata.

moor-tit Brit. regional, the meadow pipit, Anthus pratensis.
moor-titling now Brit. regional, (a) = moortetter; (b) = moor-tit.

ann  •  Link

OK, I know this is a few days late, but try this for a fruitcake you won't forget. I was a definite fruitcake-basher until I tried this one:…

Thanks to my favorite "foodie" Alton Brown

Second Reading

Louise Hudson  •  Link

In Pepys' time "cake" would have been fruitcake rather than what we all think of as the usual cake today, a light, sweet and soft concoction. I wonder who the Moorcocke who sent it was. In any case, Pepys liked the cake, saying it was "very good."

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Ha ha Louise :D

Some of us from the north of England still think the only real cake *is* a fruitcake - at its best eaten with a piece of Wensleydale or Cheddar cheese!

I did compromise yesterday and make a drunken cherry-chocolate cake for a friend's birthday.

StanB  •  Link

Make or Made Sasha ?......Methinks you may have had a slice or seven of the said cake hahaha

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Louise ... JWB on 2 September 2007 answers as best we can your question, " I wonder who the Moorcocke who sent it was."

And Sasha, "did" read just fine until you put that label on it, and now I'm confused.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Sorry Sarah :)

I'm a bit of a grammar fanatic at times (but only for myself).
Studying other languages certainly helped me understand the structure of English better.

This discussion gives me a good excuse to post a link to a smutty grammatical joke about Boston, white fish and the pluperfect subjunctive :D…

Gerald Berg  •  Link

My wife's mother who was English use to make Christmas puddings a year in advance. Delicious to me even if I was from Central European background. Anyways, we once served some to my wife's Russian language instructor - a fine women of Armenian descent. She tried some and got a perplexed and rather disgusted look on her face and asked (in the flat, droll way that only Russians have) "Diana, what is this? Is it meat? I cannot finish it."

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Sasha, interesting that cake oop North is fruitcake. That's new to me.

The drunken cherry chocolate cake you made sounds divine.

The pluperfect subjunctive joke was one I'd heard some years ago. I love jokes about grammar and accents. May I assume one can get "scrod" in the north of England?

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Funnily enough Louise, I haven't heard "scrod" used up north.

Many northerners are perfectly genteel of course. I remember a colleague of mine in Peterlee (Geordie-ish) who crossly told another colleague "Thoo gan 'n see a taxidoermist!"

Chocolate Cherry Cake recipe:

200g flour
1 level tsp baking powder
200g salted butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
4 eggs
150g rich 70%+ chocolate, broken into pieces
2 liquidised bananas
450 g chopped morello glacé cherries, soaked in rum/sherry for 24 hours

Blend in food processor, then add and mix cherries by hand.

Makes ane 7” round cake & a taster
bake for 3 (ish) hours in greased GP-paper lined tin @ 300 Farenheit

Decorate with chocolate icing and M&Ms

Eat cold or warm with cream.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

‘scrod, n. Possibly < Dutch †schrood . .

A young cod weighing less than three pounds, esp. one that is split and fried or boiled. Also used of young forms of other fishes, esp. the haddock, or a fillet cut from one of these fishes.
1841 Spirit of Times 16 Oct. 396/2 Supplied with a few ship biscuit [sic], a dried scrod, a bottle of good swizzle [etc.] . . ‘


Louise Hudson  •  Link

Not surprised Shasha never heard of scrod in the north of England. It's a Cape Cod area word. I grew up in New Jersey--not so far away--and I never heard the word until I was well into my adulthood. It isn't a term that's used very much in the States outside New England except in a few fancy restaurants. When I said I assumed you could get scrod in the North of England, I meant in the pluperfect subjunctive. ;)

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