Thursday 9 March 1664/65

Up and to the office, where we sat all the afternoon. At noon to dinner at home, and then abroad with my wife, left her at the New Exchange and I to Westminster, where I hear Mrs. Martin is brought to bed of a boy and christened Charles, which I am very glad of, for I was fearful of being called to be a godfather to it. But it seems it was to be done suddenly, and so I escaped. It is strange to see how a liberty and going abroad without purpose of doing anything do lead a man to what is bad, for I was just upon going to her, where I must of necessity [have] broken my oath or made a forfeit. But I did not, company being (I heard by my porter) with her, and so I home again, taking up my wife, and was set down by her at Paule’s Schoole, where I visited Mr. Crumlum at his house; and, Lord! to see how ridiculous a conceited pedagogue he is, though a learned man, he being so dogmaticall in all he do and says. But among other discourse, we fell to the old discourse of Paule’s Schoole; and he did, upon my declaring my value of it, give me one of Lilly’s grammars of a very old impression, as it was in the Catholique times, which I shall much set by. And so, after some small discourse, away and called upon my wife at a linen draper’s shop buying linen, and so home, and to my office, where late, and home to supper and to bed. This night my wife had a new suit of flowered ash-coloured silke, very noble.

34 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Dyson  •  Link

Paule’s Schoole

Just a note or two which may help fellow readers who are unfamiliar with British (especially English) secondary education terminology, if they are following up the very interesting link on St Paul's School.

Public school: this term means in fact "private" school, where pupils pay fees to attend, sometimes very high (£25,000+ p.a.) if they are boarders (i.e. live there during term time). Such schools are increasingly finding ways, such as bursaries funded by former pupils, to admit able children from lower-income backgrounds. There is pressure from the present government to do this, which would in part return them to their original purpose of educating poor children. Most of these schools have very high academic standards and send their leavers to the top universities. Not all are boarding schools - many of the best ones take only day pupils. The majority are single sex, some are mixed/co-ed. Some are of very old foundation - St Paul's itself is approaching its 500th anniversary.

State school: many are funded by the local educational authority, largely through government grants, but their are now other sources, including private finance. Education is free, although there are incidental expenses for meals, uniform and contributions towards extra-curricular activities. The variety of these schools is now bewildering. All have to follow a national curriculum but many now specialise in particular areas (e.g. Performing Arts) which allows some latitude. Some are academically selective, most are comprehensive. The standard of achievement varies widely.

Apologies if the above repeats anything previously provided.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"Up and to the office, where we sat all the afternoon. At noon to dinner at home, and then abroad with my wife"...

Is "afternoon" here a mistake on Sam's part?

CGS  •  Link

Re: the Public School 'twas invented by the kings to get future new blood [ improve the DNA and blood lines ]into the upper stratosphere's of politics, to run the system, slightly differing from the Ottoman Janissaries system.

Common and publick be words to make the lessers feel part of the upper system.
It be relative to the peak of the pyramid of power, [anything less than a member of the baronial group be common and publick no matter if thee be an esquire or dubbed one.
Ordinary Schools [ for the clerical religious and civil ] be coming into vogue at this period of time even for the female of the species, many of the earlier public schools e.g. Downside] got their start by finding suitable talent for the future bishops et-al and other administrators of the religious movement.
Other wise, the other money making work was taught thru the apprentice system [Secrets by ear, by suitable ear only] that then evolved into the technical/trade schools, like City and Guilds and [higher]National exams of the 20th century .
[just an over view]

cape henry  •  Link

"...Lord! to see how ridiculous a conceited pedagogue he is, though a learned man, he being so dogmaticall in all he do and says." An archetype that has not changed one iota down through the centuries.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Public Schools

The designation came about because of the difference between being "privately educated" i.e. by tutors in your home or "publicly educated" i.e. by going to a school. In Sam's day, the terms were not used: it came about in the 18th century. Schools (boys only of course!) were seen as rough places and some parents preferred to keep their more sensitive sons at home. If they were destined for the navy, they might be off on a ship as a midshipman at 12. Thereafter their education would be at the hands of the officers and consist of learning to navigate a ship and manage the men.
Although Downside existed from 1606, it didn't move to England until 1814. See…

Res Ipsa  •  Link

Am I to understand that Sam wanted to have a roll in the hay with Mrs. Martin when she's in bed recovering from childbirth? Someone, please enlighten me. Yikes!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

What a pity it wasn't...Samuel.

On the other hand...She does work at Whitehall and Lord knows Charles might just possibly stoop every now and then.

"Your Majesty...Charlie...You're not serious?"

"I'm afraid so, Jamie."

"But...Your mistress...However much I think her a vicious, wicked... Charlie, she's the most beautiful..."

"Yes, yes. And that's fine. As is my dear Catherine. But, come now, Jamie. You must know every now and then, a man like me can't resist...Looking round?"

"Sire. Damnit, Charlie...A shopgirl?"

"Actually, she's rather a capable businesswoman. That fellow of yours...Name escapes me, the one always bustling about...Ah, yes. Pepys knows her. And, uh, married...I believe."


"You know speaking of the little fellow, Sandwich tells me his wife, though apparently a very modest girl, is rather the..."

"Can we focus a moment, Charlie?!"

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"one of Lilly’s grammars of a very old impression, as it was in the Catholique times, which I shall much set by."

I'm afraid L&M have dug up the wrong Lily here. The link refers (by L&M's authority) to William Lilly, a celebrated astrologer who was still alive at the time of the diary. The grammar Sam is referring to, however, is a Latin grammar attributed to William Lily (or Lilye), the first headmaster of St. Paul's school, who lived from 1468-1522. The grammar served as the standard Latin grammar in English schools for over 300 years. Shakespeare learned Latin from it, and refers to it in three plays.

If Sam had been talking about something written by his contemporary William Lilly, the reference to "Catholique times" would make no sense.


Paul Chapin  •  Link

More on Lilly's grammar, or L&M rehabilitated

I checked the link once again, and the title from L&M that the link on "grammar" leads to is correct, referring to the 16th century Latin grammar. It is the link from the preceding word, "Lilly's", that is wrong. So L&M are absolved of error.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Is “afternoon” here a mistake on Sam’s part?"

L&M find so, substituting "morning" with a small note "b MS. 'afternoon'"

"It is strange to see how a liberty and going abroad without purpose of doing anything do lead a man to what is bad"


Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... one of Lilly’s grammars of a very old impression ..."

In addition to the three early, and very rare, editions of 'Paules accidence' I have listed in the encyclopedia, Pepys owned also:

Lily, William, 1468?-1522.
[De generibus nominum]Guilehelmi Lilii grammatici & poetæ eximij, Paulinæ scholæ olim moderatoris, de generibus nominum, ac uerborum præteritis & supinis, regulæ pueris apprime utiles. Opus recognitum & adauctum, cum nominum ac uerborum interpretamentis, per Ioannem Rituissum scholæ Paulinæ præceptorem
[Varient] Guilehelmi Lilii grammatici & poetæ eximii, Paulinæ scholæ olim moderatoris, de generibus nominum, ac verborum præteritis & supinis, regulæ pueris apprime utiles
[Excudebat Antverpiae : Martinus Cæsar, Anno a Christo nato millesimo, quingentesimo. trigesimo quinto [1535]]
[56] p., sig A-C⁸ D⁴; 8⁰.
Unique surviving copy in the Pepys Library

Without the physical volumes in front of me I can not determine from catalog descriptions alone, or the description in the L&M footnote, which of these, if any, SP might be alluding to in the diary text.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"'Tis I, Mr. Crumlum, sir. Samuel Pepys, sir."

"Pepys? Pepys...Bwawrf...Yes, yes...Pepys."

"Yes, sir. I've come to see you as I promised."

"Yes, yes. And are you as mediocre in maintaining your Latin as ever, Pepys?"

"I hope so, sir. I've been focusing on mathematics these days, sir. For my Navy work...I'm the King's..."

"Mathematics? Loathsome stuff...Are you a grubbing clerk in a shop or something? Work for Lord what-his-name, your cousin, don't you? Take some tea, boy. Don't stand on ceremony."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. Actually, sir I work for His Majesty at the Naval..."

"Mathematics...Bah...Building ships or something, is that it? Waste of your time at Paul's that's clear. How's your Greek, boy? Straight out of your head, I suppose."

"Well, not quite, sir. I do try..."

"Grubbing with numbers...And they don't even use the Roman anymore...Bah."

"Yes, sir...Well, sir I must go. Good-bye, ole Mr. Crumlum,sir."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Mr. Crumlum, sir? About the tea, sir? How did you manage..."

"Yes, yes. I've my connections, boy. By the way what the devil is that rat's nest on your head?"

"My periwig, sir?"

"Damned thing looks ready to send forth a family of vermin..."

"Yes, sir."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

And here’s the real thing:

The text Dirk links to is an Oxford printing of 1709, (note the Fell types on the title and introduction but used only in the footnotes of the work) in fact a later reprint of the Oxford edition of 1699. It is an unusual editon in that it does not include the "Brevissima Institutio", the grammar in Latin edited and partly written by Thomas Robertson, customarily included in editions of Lily since 1519, but in this edition published separately. The eight London editions published about the time of Pepys' schooldays (1640-1650) all include the "Brevissima Institutio" and it continued to be included in the majority of London editions at least to 1800.

The text known later as Lily Grammar appears to have stabilized in a edition of 1519([A short introduction of grammar] Brevissima institutio London: R. Woolfe 212p.) which was a compilation and amalgamation of several individual works published in Lily's lifetime (? 1468-1522). Based on the holdings in his collection the very early copy Pepys appears to be discussing today appears to differ from this 'standard version.' But perhaps just the observation of "a ridiculous a conceited pedagogue ..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Goodnight and thank you, Diana…
We are grateful you rated a page, not-so-good-as-you-should-be
We’ll think of you every time we read that entry; We’d allow you to stay but you’d be in Bess’ way.

So enjoy your five minutes and go…

Sam: Oh, but it’s when a love affair dies…But we have pretended enough. It’s best that we stop deceiving ourselves…

Which means…

Goodnight and thank you, Ms. Martin…
You’ve completed your task…What more can we ask of you now?

Please sign Sam’s book on the way out the door…If you miss anything, call for it care of Seething...

But I don’t think Sam’ll answer, somehow.

Sam: Oh, but it’s sad when a love affair dies…But when we were hot, we were hot.
I hope you’ll look back on the good times we’ve shared.

Which means…

Goodnight and thank you, Ms. Bagwell,
Your sufferings have won you a place among Sam’s most scurrilous deeds…

We hope that your husband enjoys the sea air…We trust that you’ll be discreet as Sammy…

Don’t let the office door hit your behind…

Sam: Oh, but it’s sad when a love affair dies…But our sin has tormented my soul.
It’s best we resume the path of virtue.

Which means…

Crisp, Martin, Bagwell-

“This is a club I should never have joined. That twerp has made us look fools. We thought we’d get better from our little Sam. But we’re back to the old standard rules…”

Sam: A shopgirl or wife of some junior schmo is all very well but a would-be nobleman knows…

He needs a rich lady to monopolize…With fingers in dozens of very deep pies…

Bess: “Oh, but it’s sad when a love affairs dies…”

Chris  •  Link

Two interesting plays coming up at the Burton Taylor in Oxford[England] for those with a Pepsyian interest:
Thursday 13 & Saturday 15 March at 7.30pm

By Siobhan Nicholas
History is on trial. This genius of the 17th Century provoked loyalty, jealousy, controversy, and hatred. In hot blooded times, passions explode. Robert Hooke - your time has come.

Tickets: £10 (discounts £8)
For Booking and Event information, please visit or contact the Box Office on 01865 305305.

Friday 14 & Saturday 15 March

By Siobhan Nicholas
A bawdy and moving exploration of the marriage of Samuel Pepys and his wife, Elizabeth: his diary, his world and his women - but told from her point of view.

Audio Described Performance: Sat 11 Mar 2.30pm

Tickets: £10 (discounts £8)
For Booking and Event information, please visit or contact the Box Office on 01865 305305.

language hat  •  Link

Thanks for those links, dirk! The Lavengro passage is delightful:

The very first person to whose care I was intrusted for the acquisition of Latin was an old friend of my fathers, a clergyman who kept a seminary at a town the very next we visited after our departure from ‘the Cross.’ Under his instruction, however, I continued only a few weeks, as we speedily left the place. ‘Captain,’ said this divine, when my father came to take leave of him on the eve of our departure, ‘I have a friendship for you, and therefore wish to give you a piece of advice concerning this son of yours. You are now removing him from my care; you do wrong, but we will let that pass. Listen to me: there is but one good school-book in the world - the one I use in my seminary - Lilly’s Latin grammar, in which your son has already made some progress. If you are anxious for the success of your son in life, for the correctness of his conduct and the soundness of his principles, keep him to Lilly’s grammar. If you can by any means, either fair or foul, induce him to get by heart Lilly’s Latin grammar, you may set your heart at rest with respect to him; I, myself, will be his warrant. I never yet knew a boy that was induced, either by fair means or foul, to learn Lilly’s Latin grammar by heart, who did not turn out a man, provided he lived long enough.’

My father, who did not understand the classical languages, received with respect the advice of his old friend, and from that moment conceived the highest opinion of Lilly’s Latin grammar. During three years I studied Lilly’s Latin grammar under the tuition of various schoolmasters, for I travelled with the regiment, and in every town in which we were stationary I was invariably (God bless my father!) sent to the classical academy of the place. It chanced, by good fortune, that in the generality of these schools the grammar of Lilly was in use; when, however, that was not the case, it made no difference in my educational course, my father always stipulating with the masters that I should be daily examined in Lilly. At the end of the three years I had the whole by heart; you had only to repeat the first two or three words of any sentence in any part of the book, and forthwith I would open cry, commencing without blundering and hesitation, and continue till you were glad to beg me to leave off, with many expressions of admiration at my proficiency in the Latin language. Sometimes, however, to convince you how well I merited these encomiums, I would follow you to the bottom of the stair, and even into the street, repeating in a kind of sing-song measure the sonorous lines of the golden schoolmaster. If I am here asked whether I understood anything of what I had got by heart, I reply - ‘Never mind, I understand it all now, and believe that no one ever yet got Lilly’s Latin grammar by heart when young, who repented of the feat at a mature age.’

Pedro  •  Link

Latest News from Portsmouth (Intelligencer)…

Upon Tuesday, at about 4 in the afternoon, his majesty arrived here in good health, embarking himself yesterday morning in the Catherine; and so he went aboard the Charles, the James, the Triumph, the Resolution and the Royal Oak; finding them all in very brave condition, and full manned with an excellent choice of seamen and soldiers. His Majesty was pleased this morning to go aboard the Royal Oak again, and the Henry, where he took a sudden dinner with Sir George Ascue, the commander of her. It cannot be expressed how strangely his majesty’s personal appearance, in all these princely offices of tenderness and care, operates upon the affections and resolution even of every individual person in this action; who, to say the truth, are of themselves forward enough to push the dispute as far as glory and revenge can carry it.

(Memorials of Sir William Penn by his grandson Granville Penn)

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Another and charming side of Charles to remind us how he managed to retain the affection of so many for so long...Thanks, Pedro.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

And thanks Chris, sounds like a fantasic theater group. Hope someone who can go gives us a summary...I regret more than ever not being able to take a position I was offered at UManchester. Though Gay says I'd've been too busy to go anyway...

Australian Susan  •  Link

Much good reading in the notes today - thanks to all for intelligent exposition!
Now to lower the tone: Mrs Martin's husband was called Samuel, so if she had named a child that, she could have said it was for him and not to induce a Certain Person to stump up as a Godfather. Would Bess have been suspicious? yes, well, probably. On the subject of suspicion, Bess often pays long visits to Unthank's the tailors, but Sam never seems to harbour low thoughts about him as he did about poor Mr Pembleton.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary this day

9 Went to receive the poore burnt Creatures that were saved out of the London fregat in which were blowne up above 200 men by an axident and so perish’d on of the bravest ships in Europe: returning this evening I saw a pillar of Light, of a very strange Colour, & position, being to appearance upright from the body of the setting sunn 7 or 8 yards long & 2 foote broade.

Phil Gyford  •  Link

I have belatedly (only more than three years late!) corrected the link to "Lilly" as per Paul Chapin's earlier annotation. It now refers to the long-dead grammarian, rather than the 17th century astrologer.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I was just upon going to her, where I must of necessity [have] broken my oath"

Made on 23 January for one month and presumably renewed. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"he did, upon my declaring my value of it, give me one of Lilly’s grammars of a very old impression, as it was in the Catholique times, which I shall much set by."

Cromleholme had one of the finest private libraries in London. The book was probably Paules accidence. Ioannis Coleti...aeditio. Una cum quibusdam Guil. Lilii grammatices rudimentis. n.d. : PL 424(5); largely in black-letter (the 'very old impression'), with an Ave Maria and a Paternoster, etc., printed at the beginning. Colet (d. 1519) had founded St Paul's School. The Latin grammar compiled by the first High Master, William Lily (with help from Colet and Erasmus) long continued in use there and at other schools as the standard text-book. Altered only slightly, it was in use at Eton in the 1860's: M. I. Clarke. Classical educ. in Brit. 1500-1900, pp. 7, 51. (L&M note)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

From LAWSON LIES STILL IN THE THAMES by Gill Blanchard, Amberley Publishing 2017, ISBN 978 1 4456 6123 page 180:

"John Evelyn was one of the commissioners appointed to make arrangements for the expected sick and wounded victims of the war. Those from the fleet who needed hospital treatment would be transported to St. Thomas' Hospital in London, where half the buildings were set aside for them. The day after the London disaster he went to receive the "poor burnt creatures" that were saved, and with plans to help the women and orphans. He counted 50 widows, 45 of whom were pregnant. The 25 recorded survivors -- 24 men and one woman -- were rescued because they were travelling in the roundhouse and the coach, the only sections to remain above water after the rest of the ship shattered. These were a suite of rooms -- usually the most important cabins -- high up on the stern of the ship."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Upon Tuesday, at about 4 in the afternoon, his majesty arrived here in good health, ..."

I'm thinking this "His Majesty" is James, Duke of York.

On Monday morning, Pepys saw him trying on his coat and helmet. James must ride fast, with horse relays. It's about 73 miles from London to Portsmouth, and Pepys has over-nighted in places like Godalming and Guildford.

StanB  •  Link

Phil Gyford on 29 Jun 2011
I have belatedly (only more than three years late!) corrected the link to "Lilly" as per Paul Chapin's earlier annotation
And I'm replying 7 years later Phil
What's 10 years between Pepysians, Given Sam's talking to us from nearly 360 years ago
It is but drop in the Thames :)

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘public school’:

‘1. Originally, in Britain and Ireland: any of a class of grammar schools founded or endowed for public use . . Later: a fee-paying secondary school which developed from former endowed grammar schools, or was modelled on similar lines . . The term was officially used . . in 1867 in ‘An Act for the better government and extension of certain Public Schools’.

As this act applied to the ancient endowed grammar schools or colleges of Eton, Winchester, Westminster, Harrow, Rugby, Charterhouse, and Shrewsbury, these have sometimes been spoken of as ‘the Seven Public Schools’; but the name is generally used to include other schools of similar organization*. Traditionally, pupils in the higher forms were prepared mainly for the universities and for public service . .
. . 1707 J. Chamberlayne Angliæ Notitia (ed. 22) 385 London. Publick Schools and Colleges. The first is Westminster School... St. Paul's School... Merchant-Taylors School... Belonging to Christ's Hospital is another famous Grammar Free-School.’

(OED); see also:…

* St Paul’s petitioned successfully to be excluded from the Act.

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