Wednesday 1 February 1664/65

Lay long in bed, which made me, going by coach to St. James’s by appointment to have attended the Duke of Yorke and my Lord Bellasses, lose the hopes of my getting something by the hire of a ship to carry men to Tangier. But, however, according to the order of the Duke this morning, I did go to the ’Change, and there after great pains did light of a business with Mr. Gifford and Hubland [Houblon] for bringing me as much as I hoped for, which I have at large expressed in my stating the case of the “King’s Fisher,” which is the ship that I have hired, and got the Duke of Yorke’s agreement this afternoon after much pains and not eating a bit of bread till about 4 o’clock. Going home I put in to an ordinary by Temple Barr and there with my boy Tom eat a pullet, and thence home to the office, being still angry with my wife for yesterday’s foolery. After a good while at the office, I with the boy to the Sun behind the Exchange, by agreement with Mr. Young the flag-maker, and there was met by Mr. Hill, Andrews, and Mr. Hubland, a pretty serious man. Here two very pretty savoury dishes and good discourse. After supper a song, or three or four (I having to that purpose carried Lawes’s book), and staying here till 12 o’clock got the watch to light me home, and in a continued discontent to bed. After being in bed, my people come and say there is a great stinke of burning, but no smoake. We called up Sir J. Minnes’s and Sir W. Batten’s people, and Griffin, and the people at the madhouse, but nothing could be found to give occasion to it. At this trouble we were till past three o’clock, and then the stinke ceasing, I to sleep, and my people to bed, and lay very long in the morning.

33 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

News from Mr. Coventry and reports on HoC debate inventoried the the Carte Calendar

William Coventry to Sandwich
Written from: St James'

Date: 1 February 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 149
Document type: Holograph

Communicates results of a Council of War at which the King and H.R.H. were present.

Adds that a letter taken up at sea bespeaks the wreck of a ship from Portugal.

Heads of Considerations tendered in the debate of the House of Commons ... concerning outlawries, ... in reference to the 'Act of Oblivion'

Date: 1 February 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 81, fol(s). 246

Short Considerations in reference to the 'Act of Oblivion', rejected, upon debate, in the House of Commons, ... 1 February 1664 [O.S.]

Date: 1 February 1665

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 81, fol(s). 248…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Act of Oblivion.

A Bill to explain the Act of Oblivion, was read the Second time.

The Question being put, That the Bill be committed;

It passed in the Negative.…


"The Indemnity and Oblivion Act is an Act of the Parliament of England (16 Cha. II c. 11), the long title of which is 'An Act of Free and General Pardon, Indemnity, and Oblivion'.[1]

"The Indemnity and Oblivion Act fulfilled the guarantee given in the Declaration of Breda that reprisals against the establishment which had developed during the English Interregnum would be restricted to those who had officiated in the regicide of King Charles I. It followed the Act of Pardon, which pardoned people for any acts of treason committed in the civil war.

"The passage of the Indemnity and Oblivion Act through the Convention Parliament was secured by Lord Clarendon, the first minister of King Charles II and it became law on August 29, 1660 during the first year of the English Restoration."…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Heads of Considerations tendered in the debate of the House of Commons … concerning outlawries, … in reference to the ‘Act of Oblivion’"

The Q seems to be just who and what are exempt from persecution. We are evidently, 5 years on, still in a period of legal confusion for some whose job is law-enforcement.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Oh, Sam! Sam! Your behaviour today in the diary is mirrored today in 2008! This made me laugh! It is so like slamming the door and stomping off to see a movie on your own in a sulk and to avoid frozen silences at home. Note how he carefully brought his book of songs with him to keep the company together ("Let's just have one more part-song! It's not late!"). Wonder what Tom thought of all this!
Sam did spend a lot of today beavering away feathering his own nest (yeach - mixed metaphors)and getting his desired ends and a share in the honey pot despite missing our on the carve-up first thing.

Re: the Act mentioned by TF above - you can pass the Act, but people will still remember and harbour bitter grudges.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Lay long in bed, which made me, going by coach to St. James’s by appointment to have attended the Duke of Yorke and my Lord Bellasses, lose the hopes of my getting something by the hire of a ship to carry men to Tangier."

My goodness, what has happened to our go-getting Sam? To miss out on hopes of getting something for the sake of a longer snore in bed?!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Is this the first appearance of the Houblons?

Spoiler-it will not be the last, in any case.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the people at the madhouse"

L&M conjecture this might be the Penns' house, a suggestion they best support by the observation that there was no real asylum nearby, to which I add both the process of elimination (What neighbors have not been named?) and Pepys's earlier negative comments about certain members of that household.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"After supper a song, or three or four (I having to that purpose carried Lawes’s book),..."

For the Encyclopedia pages on Henry Lawes (1595-1662):…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"...there with my boy Tom eat a pullet, ... I with the boy to the Sun behind the Exchange, ..."

Yesterday: "I will take a course with the boy, for I fear I have spoiled him already."

Eating pullet and then drinking and singing songs all evening is not 'spoiling' the boy? Or by 'a course' might SP mean introducing him to the 'rigors' of the masculine world, eating, singing and drinking, rather than the softer attentions of of the women at home. Surely educational visits to Betty and Mrs. Bagwell could not be next?

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Aus Sue, I loved your mixed metaphor of beavers and feathers. Makes me think of "horse of a different feather," one of my favorites.

CGS  •  Link

Debtors Relief.
Abuses of Prisons
Uniting Churches.
The broad sheets would have a field day printing up the doings of the elected ones.
along with the
Act of Oblivion.
Roads need fixing.
Hertfordshire Roads.
Samuell knows all about those ex roman roads , seems like that were not fixed since the Romans left.
Then there are all those bankrupt lordly lands to be organized.
No mortgage relief here.…

dirk  •  Link

Just for the record:
"Houblon" is French for "hops" (the plant used in making beer).

Roy Feldman  •  Link

"We called up Sir J. Minnes’s and Sir W. Batten’s people, and Griffin, and the people at the madhouse..."

Whoa -- Pepys lives near a madhouse? Or is that just commentary on the nearby government offices?

Mary  •  Link

"I with the boy..."

Sam is making an apparently significant point of the fact that the boy accompanies him today, whereas we've heard nothing of Tom's daily doings for some time. It seems that the boss is adopting the less painful option of removing Tom from the scene of discord (i.e. getting him out from under Jane's feet) rather than taking harsher measures to counteract the alleged spoiling.

Tom has plainly become a great favourite with both Sam and Elizabeth.

Mary  •  Link

"and the people at the madhouse"

I initially misread this word as 'malthouse' and still have a niggling question in mind. L&M state that there was no madhouse near the Navy Office, but there could have been a malthouse. Does any annotator have enough knowledge of Pepys's shorthand system to be able to tell whether the one word could have been misread for the other?

Pedro  •  Link

"a great stinke of burning, but no smoake. We called up Sir J. Minnes’s and Sir W. Batten’s people, and Griffin, and the people at the madhouse,"

Bedlam in the Pepys household!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Hmmn...If the Penn/madhouse suggestion is right maybe I was right about Penn Sr. and Jr.'s nocturnal ramblings on the roof.


It does seem after the threatening tone toward Tom yesterday, Sam has revealed that he's as attached to the boy as Bess and no punishment other than removal was intended.

Still, must be hard on Bess to lose the company of someone she could unleash her frustrated maternals on... Sam's jealousy rearing a bit, perhaps? "No one gets mothered by Bess but me!" What a pity for her Sam never considered adopting his poor niece.

If it really is a madhouse, how convenient for disposing of that troublesome but luckily poor and unprotected girlfriend.

"I'm afraid this Bagwell/Welsh/Martin/Crisp/etc, etc, etc woman is quite insane. Can you imagine, accusing me of foul and immodest behavior with her? Ummn... Mr. Pratt, I hope you realize...Given her wild accusations, this is a somewhat 'delicate' matter."

"We'll see to her,sir. I assure you 'special' care will be taken." Pratt in solemn tone...Thin smile.

"Very good." Sam eyes the screaming ex- being dragged off.

Hmmn...Scary-looking fellow that Pratt...Ought to be on the stage, he notes, hurrying away from the pleading, fading screams...


alanB  •  Link

As we shall soon be discovering, when in London there's no smoke without fire. Turning up at midnight, and missing all the day's meals may be the cause for you-know-who to be smouldering with rage. Sam needs to look under his bed.

.. just love the idea of Sam referring to the Penns as the madhouse. What must the Penns have thought of the arguments at the Pepys' house last night? Those neighbours from hell....

A better laugh is the fact that there might be a madhouse hard by. I can just see two inmates dancing a nightly jig on the leads to annoy the inmates in the Pepys household.

JWB  •  Link

"In the 17th century people with mental health problems were often cared for privately. In 1661 the Rev John Ashbourne was stabbed by a patient who had been cared for in his house. Ashbourne was renowned in Suffolk as a 'clerical mad-doctor', and after his death Ashbourne's wife and son, who unlike Ashbourne had received the Cambridge licence to practise medicine from Trinity College, continued to run the 'mad-business' until at least 1686. This system of private treatment began with Helkiah Crooke, physician to James I and Bethlem Hospital who took patients into his own home for treatment. From boarding a single lunatic it was a short step to providing accommodation for numbers of patients, and thus setting up a private madhouse.

Two doctors set up madhouses in London in the 1670s. John Archer, one of Charles II's 'Physitians in Ordinary', and Thomas Allen, a physician at Bethlem Hospital who also ran a private asylum. Allen seems to have been a humanitarian scientist who prevented his colleagues from transfusing sheep's blood into a man, and also ordered the first postmortem recorded at the Bethlem Hospital. One of his patients was James Carkesse, a clerk in Samuel Pepys's office at the Admiralty. Treatment varied according to ability to pay. Elsewhere in the country a Mistress Miller 'mad for two years' was treated by diet, glysters (large syringes used for purging), leeches, fresh cyder drinks, warm herb baths, and applying animal organs such as 'warm lungs of lambs' to her shaven head."

Katherine Darton, "Notes on the history of mental health care"…

language hat  •  Link

"eat a pullet"

This is my annual reminder that in contexts like this "eat" is the old past tense, pronounced ETT.

CGS  •  Link

OED: Mad house: 1. A house set apart for the reception and detention of the insane; a mental hospital or home, a lunatic asylum. Now colloq. (also arch.).
(first entry)1679:
Today's entry be worthy of being OED'd , as it has not been used in the sense of a normal establishment of going up in an uproar of craziness .
Arguments galore between father and son normal but adding a dose of religious fervor.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"I tell you we're not mad. We're here from the 21st century to meet the great Samuel Pepys, your great naval administrator and author of one of the world's great diaries."

"Who? Samuel Peeps? Never heard of him."

"He writes of the Great Plague and of the Great Fire..." one of us tries.

"And candidly about his numerous affairs with women..." another, eagerly...Shaking his official "Sam Pepys" periwig.

"Sound like a bunch of Quakers to me, sir. All that rantin' about Plague and Fires."

"Actually there is a Mr. Pepys in the Naval Office. I've had him summoned. Ah, Mr. Pepys, is it, sir?"

"SAM!!!" joyous cries. "Did you bring Bess?" "Lets all go out for venison pasty!" "I want to talk with you about the entry on 1/19/63!!" One of us in the group in the cell raises a banner "Justice for Mrs. Bagwell!"

Pepys staring...Especially at the "Sam and Bess" T-shirts and periwigs.


"We think they're crazed Quakers, sir. But they seemed to know your name. Babblin' about a Diary full of stories of plagues and fires and lewd acts with women. Do you know them from court, sir?"

Sam nervously glancing at the Bagwell banner...Hmmn...

"No, no. They must have heard my name at some fanatiques' meeting. Dutch agents, perhaps. A plot against the government no doubt. I'd lock them up securely, gentlemen...And let no one hear their mad lies."

Carl in Boston  •  Link

there is a great stinke of burning, but no smoake
I wonder if they had an eruption of stinke from one of the many outhouses or open sewers. Today many rivers which used to be open sewers in London are paved over, such as the Fleet River, and nobody knows they are underneath. There could have been an open sewer nearby with an eruption of bubbled up sewer gases being confused with stinke of burning. There could even have been a spontaneous fire from the methane buildup in cesspools, which would burn off the volatiles and give a stink of burning. There could have been a lot of cows nearby, their manure is quite liquid and when it starts fermenting makes a most wonderfuly powerful stinke. London didn't get the name The Great Wen for nothing. When it comes to categories of stinke, there are endless varieties which can be confused with burning. The measurement of stinke is my job. At my age, it has come to this.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sam can't help pausing before one gentleman in apparently normal attire, perhaps a bit too clean, no periwig. "Mr. Pepys." respectful nod.

"Sir? Can you throw any light on these unfortunate (nervous glance at frowning holder of Bagwell banner) people?"

"I'm not with them, sir." serious look. "I want you to know, I was never off topic. Not once in four years of annotations. You talk shipbuilding and navigation...That's it for me. Not once off the beam, sir." shrewd look, finger point.


Not one day off the mark, the man repeats, wagging finger.

"Very good. Yes, indeed." Sam nods, backing away from the cell.

"I'm thinking Barbados for the lot of them,sir. So long as they can cut cane, the planters don't care if they're loonies or no."

Hmmn...Sam nods. "Yes."

"Sam!" a woman he almost...Recognizes?

"I'm Bess. Well, her descendant through Balty!"

"What?" Hmmn...Especially in that lewd blouse rather...

"...And I'm possessed by her spirit!"

Number of rolled eyes in our group...Oh, please.

"Yes...I see." Sam, a sigh.

Still, really rather...

"...And I have something for you!"

Oh... "Indeed? Well, perhaps we could...Once the gentlemen here find you a suitable change of clothing...(the attandants and doctor eye each other)...Repair to a more private place and discuss this fascinating matter." He moves to stand by her and she socks him in the eye.

"Now miss!" Guard waves her back.

"But I still love you, Sam!"

"Barbados, eh? Excellent idea, Dr. Allen." Sam nods, holding hand to darkening eye.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

(Naturally it's me sneakily claiming to never be off-topic but you'll all lynch me before we get sent off to Barbados, so it's ok.)

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Now here's a stinke about being brought back to topic
While researching the Great Stinke of London, and where it came from, and what it was, and where it went to, the article said this about that:
Pepys's Diary, October 20 1660: "Going down to my cellar ... I put my foot into a great heap of turds."
There we are, all topics lead back to our Great Leader, even stinking topics.

Pedro  •  Link

On this day at Gibraltar…

Allin receives a letter dated the 8th of December 1664 from HRH to go to Harwich. His brother advised him that 3 Dutch men-of-war had gone to ride in the Bay of Bulls to wait his coming…

“But this night, if they rode there, it proved a most terrible storm of wind and rain at SSW and SW and WSW until midnight…The Consul wrote that De Ruyter and Tromp were both expected at Cadiz every day, which argument I used to them, that we had a great many rich yet heavy merchantmen that, if they were to come, would engage us to fight them, although upon disadvantage.

(Info from The Journals of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson)

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"On this day at Gibraltar…
"Allin receives a letter dated 8 December 1664 from HRH to go to Harwich. His brother advised him that 3 Dutch men-of-war had gone to ride in the Bay of Bulls to wait his coming…
“But this night, if they rode there, it proved a most terrible storm of wind and rain at SSW and SW and WSW until midnight … The Consul wrote that De Ruyter and Tromp were both expected at Cadiz ..."

Allin has his hands full. (1) protect all ships from storm; no more wrecks; (2) prepare for attack from combined Dutch fleets of De Ruyter and Tromp; (3) James wants him to go to Harwick (presumably with the merchantmen); but (4) "his brother" (Allin's brother or Charles II?) warns him three Dutch warships will ambush him in the Bay of Bulls.

I assume that "the Consul" is Sir Richard Fanshawe since Cadiz is the port for Madrid, where he was resident.

However, the Bay of Bulls is a new one on me. Google takes me to Newfoundland, which I think is unlikely.

Jon  •  Link

I have come to the conclusion that the Bay of Bulls is what we now know as the greater Bay of Cadiz.
Reading the journals of Sir Thomas Allin, he indicates that while at anchor in the Bay of Bulls they had seen 8 ships sail by at night into Cadiz (20th Dec 1664).
He also says that they came to anchor in the Bay of Bulls and prepared to go into Cadiz (also 20th Dec 1664)
(Information taken from the Journals of Sir Thomas Allin edited by RC Anderson).

Allin does writes of the Bay of Cadiz but I think he is referring to the secondary bay that forms Cadiz Harbour itself.
The greater Bay of Cadiz is the only geographical feature on the South East coast of Spain that I would truly describe as a bay.

Jon  •  Link

Correction to the above - should read South West coast of Spain.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

This was probably a chimney fire, burning off the accumulated soot and tar from several hearths in daily use for several months since their last sweep. Mostly they burn out harmlessly but one that leaks through a brick chimney breast may set fire to the house timbers.

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