Sunday 22 January 1664/65

(Lord’s day). Up, leaving my wife in bed, being sick of her months, and to church. Thence home, and in my wife’s chamber dined very merry, discoursing, among other things, of a design I have come in my head this morning at church of making a match between Mrs. Betty Pickering and Mr. Hill, my friend the merchant, that loves musique and comes to me a’Sundays, a most ingenious and sweet-natured and highly accomplished person. I know not how their fortunes may agree, but their disposition and merits are much of a sort, and persons, though different, yet equally, I think, acceptable.

After dinner walked to Westminster, and after being at the Abbey and heard a good anthem well sung there, I as I had appointed to the Trumpett, there expecting when Jane Welsh should come, but anon comes a maid of the house to tell me that her mistress and master would not let her go forth, not knowing of my being here, but to keep her from her sweetheart. So being defeated, away by coach home, and there spent the evening prettily in discourse with my wife and Mercer, and so to supper, prayers, and to bed.

13 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Matchmaker, matchmaker...I wonder how Sandwich will take Sam's idea regarding his niece considering how he once scorned Lady Jem's notion of finding a rich merchant for young Jemina.

Of course Elizabeth's only a niece...And if Hill's loaded...


Odd that Sam didn't clear things with the Gervais' since they had asked him to speak with Jane. One would have thought he'd leap at the chance to have them press her to keep this one with him. But, like the Macbeths, he is yet but young in these deeds...


Bess continues to get on with Mercer...Must be a record for endurance by now.

Patricia  •  Link

Today's entry serves as a reminder that the master/mistress had the ability to quash marriage plans made by their servants without their consent. Does anyone know how long this state of affairs continued?

Still, I doubt they can truly control Jane any more than parents today can keep their teenagers from dating the "wrong sort".

Margaret  •  Link

Patricia -- Tomalin tells us about Jane, in her chapter "Three Janes", but I think that this would count as a spoiler, so I should say no more.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"my wife in bed, being sick of her months"

Is this the first time Wheatley has written right out how 'twas with Elizabeth?

jeannine  •  Link

“Journals of the Earl of Sandwich” edited by R.C. Anderson

22nd. Sunday. Wind N.W. In the evening weighed anchor bound for the Downs. At sunset up with Bembridge Point, which shut in with Swan Cliff S.W. ½ W. Dunnose opened before S.W. ½ S. a point.
Ships in company: my Squadron, London, Montagu, Dreadnought, Revenge, Princess, Assurance, Pearl, Gift. Sir William Berkeley’s, Resolution, Gloucester, Henrietta, Foresight, Sapphire, Guernsey, Portland, Forester.
This morning came into the Spit-head from the westward the York and East India Merchant, and as we went out to Bembridge Point we found the Bristol at anchor, came in also from the westward.

cape henry  •  Link

Patricia's question is an interesting one, and I believe that in Pepys' time that sort of semi-chattel system was beginning to break down. But it would not be until about the middle of the 18th Century, and the rise of British craft industries, such as pottery and hand-wrought luxuries (toys) - to name only a couple of examples - that a good deal of labor mobility was made possible and hence the retirement of much of the old system of master/servant relations.

Linda F  •  Link

I think Sam is far from "young" in his (mis)deeds involving assignations with Jane or any of his many other interests. He quite probably did not let the Gervaises know that he meant to meet Jane away from their home or establishment because it WAS an assignation: if he wanted to speak to her "for her own good" about her choice of a spouse, he would of course do so at the Gervaises'. Because asking Jane to meet him at a tavern tips his hand, he doesn't tell them this. If the meeting could at all have been construed as innocent, Jane had only to tell the Gervaises herself that it was Sam she planned to meet, and the very same housemaid could have accompanied her there. No, this sounds like Sam once more improperly pressing his suit where he should not. If Jane told the Gervaises of Sam's true intentions --that far from attempting to convince her to marry their favored candidate, Sam had advised her to marry as she chose, so long as she met him, too, on the side -- the Gervaises may have sent the housemaid to make Jane's excuses. Or Jane herself may have had no intention of meeting Sam, but sent the housemaid to make her excuses in a way that would suggest otherwise. As others have observed before this, all of them could have been complicit in discussing politely matters inherently unmentionable.

cgs  •  Link

Many people remind me of the Moon, you only get to see the face that they present, one has to be devious to see the flip side, as here, read Samuell's diurnal.

One method of seeing the converse [reverse/perverse] side of the publick human is to listen to the below stairs crowd, as many fail to notice the helping hands, best place to get the family secrets.

The 'uman is the animal that can fake body language and that baring of molars is not the smile that thee think it is, it really is an indication of the shredding that the may get.

dirk  •  Link

It has happened before, but I'm surprised again at the ease with which Sam switches from an almost certainly potentially adulterous meeting with Jane to his regular home life: she didn't show up, so back home "and there spent the evening prettily in discourse with my wife and Mercer, and so to supper, prayers, and to bed."

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Dirk, surely there would have been an assumption among men of substance (and those who aimed to be) that extra marital liaisons were almost commonplace.
Where most marriages are arranged on a financial or territorial basis the husband could be expected to stray if the opportunity arose. The King set an obvious example.

Quite different from our own dear queen, of course. But still normal today among the aristocracy (alledgedly).

A.De Araujo  •  Link

"So being defeated"
Sex as a War Game!How retro!!!

Rex Gordon  •  Link

Is there a husband in Betty Pickering's future?

L&M provide a slightly spoiling footnote to today's entry: "Betty Pickering, Sandwich's niece, eventually married (of all people) John Creed."

The parenthetical comment is theirs, not mine.

Pedro  •  Link

Weather report from Gibraltar...

"All morning windy and rainy from SSW to SW. The merchantmen down yards and topmasts. Thick and hurry durry weather, but proved calm in the night...

(Journals of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson)

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