Sunday 19 February 1664/65

Lay in bed, it being Lord’s day, all the morning talking with my wife, sometimes pleased, sometimes displeased, and then up and to dinner. All the afternoon also at home, and Sir W. Batten’s, and in the evening comes Mr. Andrews, and we sung together, and then to supper, he not staying, and at supper hearing by accident of my mayds their letting in a rogueing Scotch woman that haunts the office, to helpe them to washe and scoure in our house, and that very lately, I fell mightily out, and made my wife, to the disturbance of the house and neighbours, to beat our little girle, and then we shut her down into the cellar, and there she lay all night. So we to bed.

24 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Are the Irish firelockmen on the way?

Ossory to Ormond
Written from: [Dublin]

Date: 19 February 1665
Has received the Duke's letter of February 11th. Immediately upon its receipt, the writer gave due instructions for the assembling of the prescribed detachments of foot soldiers at Youghal and at Dublin within the time limited [to be shipped for naval service].

Adds some particulars as to the appointment of Commissioners for sale of Prizes.…

Pedro  •  Link

"to beat our little girle, and then we shut her down into the cellar, and there she lay all night."

1°C / 33.8°F
(monthly average for February 1665)

cape henry  •  Link

"...sometimes pleased, sometimes displeased..." About as dispassionate a remark as you'll find. Leaving aside the next scene, this again portrays Elizabeth in the light of chief servant, someone to be assessed more or less item by item on the balance sheet. This seems to have become matter-of-fact for Sam, but one has to imagine it is anything but for Elizabeth. She is, after all, still a very young woman.

dirk  •  Link

The good Rev. Josselin is plagued by scabies...

His diary entry for today:
"God good to me in manifold mercies, the scab a very great trouble to me, lord heal and help me, god good in his word, he essays to bring my heart to more inward seriousness with him, lord effect it, and let me live unto you."
The disease still exists today, even in our part of the world. Particularly people living in poor housing, or the homeless fall victimes to the parasite.

Ralph Berry  •  Link

" beat our little girle, and then we shut her down into the cellar.."

Was she responsible for letting in "a rogueing Scotch woman" or was it she was the unfortunate at the bottom of the pecking order? I wonder if the dog got kicked as well!

Mary  •  Link

to rogue.

OED intransitive verb. To wander idly about after the manner of rogues; to live like a rogue or vagrant.

The beating and banishment of the girl seem harsh to us. However, let's not forget that Sam keeps a very large sum of money about the premises and will certainly not want people such as the roguing Scotch woman to be admitted. She's been hanging around the office for some time and could well have picked up information about how well Sam is doing these days.

Australian Susan  •  Link

"....Lay in bed, it being Lord’s day, all the morning ..."
Tsk. Tsk. Not a good example to set to the household! And no prayers in the evenings, just, I infer, echoing sobs from the maid in the cellar lying in cold and damp.
What is the household to do to cope with the extra work since the dismissal of Jane except employ casual labour. If Sam didn't want this to happen, he should have made it plain! But i agree with Mary about Sam being worried about his money stored in the house. All the more reason to see that the household gets another properly employed, vetted, reference-bearing servant.

Pedro  •  Link

"and at supper hearing by accident of my mayds their letting in a rogueing Scotch woman that haunts the office"

Toil and trouble for the little girl blamed for letting in one of those Scottish witches. Here Pepys says "their" letting in, so why is she singled out?

Michael McCollough  •  Link

Remember the story of the eight-year-old servant girl picking up the new safe from a few months back? Maybe this was the only servant they could beat, and lucky they were at that.

jeannine  •  Link

"Remember the story of the eight-year-old servant girl picking up the new safe from a few months back? Maybe this was the only servant they could beat, and lucky they were at that."

Gee Michael-nothing would probably please us all more than to read tomorrow's entry where the little girl comes up from the cellar, picks up that heavy safe and drops it on Sam's head!

Clement  •  Link

"and at supper hearing by accident of my mayds...and that very lately, I..."

These sound like rumors that Sam is reporting, not facts. Since he says heard "that very lately I" and does not offer a corroborating version of the event I doubt that it actually occurred.

If he had reported some other version of the rumor that gave reasons for what he supposedly did he could be relating the spin that the maids put on the event that occured, but instead he reports the actual event as a rumor.

Clement  •  Link

More specifically, the "rogueing Scotch woman" sounds like intelligence that Sam gained through evesdropping, but that the cellar punishment of the little girlie is an exageration or complete fabrication. I'm certainly not making excuses for Sam but I think the sentence is constructed with this meaning.

Mary  •  Link


Or simply an unguarded remark or two that alerts him to the fact that the roguing Scotch woman has been in the house?

Clement  •  Link

Yes, Mary, agreed. I think our posts overlapped--the (likely papist) Scottish witch (on Pedro's authority) was indeed loose in the house of an administrative officer of the Royal Navy.

I wonder if she was she paid through Elizabeth's house maintenance funds, or simply with food and perhaps other cast off items. It's unlikely that the maids paid her out of their meager wages.

Glyn  •  Link

Did the servants pay the Scottish woman themselves? Or just say, help us out and you can have something to eat and perhaps some clothing?

JWB  •  Link

I'm sorry, but that page # is 216 not 161 in Fletcher.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

JWB, Fletcher is very interesting indeed. Not only p. 216, which quotes today's dealings with the servants who allegedly admitted the "rogueing Scotch woman" to the precincts of the house -- and might have been a source of info or of entry for even more criminal types -- but those pages that follow it that treat other people and cases. Fletcher observes: "It is the lack of a distinction between private and public responsibility in this system that is striking. Exasperated masters regularly sought help of a local justice." (p. 217) Methinks this another indication that private "affairs" (in most any sense) and matters were only beginning to be so at this time.

Australian Susan  •  Link

pace LH, but I think "very lately" actually means "recently" at this time.

language hat  •  Link

Yes, "lately" is "Not long since; within a short time past; within recent times; recently, of late" (OED).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

It seems Sam wants a fair division of the beating between him and Bess and feels uncomfortable beating a female servant. One wonders if she hurt her arm or Sam kindly suggested longer rods. It's odd he was so anxious to have the beating and didn't halt it when the girl's cries aroused his neighbors, given his nervousness about such things in the past. But hey, it was Bess who took the fall as abusive employer this time...Heh, heh.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"I fell mightily out" ....
That's the first time I've heard that expression without the "with". Falling out with someone I am familiar with, and have used in the sense of "we had a falling out";
but never, even in inebriation, did I just "fall out"....

Sam makes Elizabeth beat the "girle", as it's her job to manage the servants. I suspect he's still annoyed about having to get rid of the "cookmayd" the other week.

As to "the disturbance of our house and neighbours", I expect he's rather more worried that the neighbours will think that he's keeping a disorderly house, and putting the security of *all* of them - and the office - at risk. And I don't suppose either Sam or Bess want the likes of Lady Batten to be able to gossip that they are lax with their household.

"Oh yes m'dear" (Lady Batten miaows to her daughter, in an accent from which the Cockney has not entirely disappeared) "Mrs Pepys gives herself such airs about her supposedly noble family, but the truth is they're as poor as church mice - you should see where they live - so she simply hasn't the experience to keep the servants in their place."

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Nice! Today they’d both be arrested and charged with child abuse,as they should have been.

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