Thursday 1 June 1665

Up and to the office, where sat all the morning, at noon to the ’Change, and there did some business, and home to dinner, whither Creed comes, and after dinner I put on my new silke camelott sute; the best that ever I wore in my life, the sute costing me above 24l.. In this I went with Creed to Goldsmiths’ Hall, to the burial of Sir Thomas Viner; which Hall, and Haberdashers also, was so full of people, that we were fain for ease and coolness to go forth to Pater Noster Row, to choose a silke to make me a plain ordinary suit. That done, we walked to Cornehill, and there at Mr. Cade’s stood in the balcon and saw all the funeral, which was with the blue-coat boys and old men, all the Aldermen, and Lord Mayor, &c., and the number of the company very great; the greatest I ever did see for a taverne. Hither come up to us Dr. Allen, and then Mr. Povy and Mr. Fox. The show being over, and my discourse with Mr. Povy, I took coach and to Westminster Hall, where I took the fairest flower, and by coach to Tothill Fields for the ayre till it was dark. I ’light, and in with the fairest flower to eat a cake, and there did do as much as was safe with my flower, and that was enough on my part. Broke up, and away without any notice, and, after delivering the rose where it should be, I to the Temple and ’light, and come to the middle door, and there took another coach, and so home to write letters, but very few, God knows, being by my pleasure made to forget everything that is. The coachman that carried [us] cannot know me again, nor the people at the house where we were.

Home to bed, certain news being come that our fleete is in sight of the Dutch ships.

1 Jun 2008, 11:12 p.m. - Margaret

Can someone explain what the "fairest flower" is? When he says, "...there did do as much as was safe with my flower, and that was enough on my part," it sounds as if he's philandering again, but perhaps I'm reading too much into it.

1 Jun 2008, 11:47 p.m. - Terry

The Fairest Flower This is bound to be Betty Martin (b. Lane), Sam's mistress who hangs out at Westminster Hall. See

1 Jun 2008, 11:59 p.m. - Tony Eldridge

Whoever she is, Sam is taking James Bond precautions against being discovered - going to a 'house' where he is not known, changing coaches at the Temple. Perhaps, in his new camelott suit, he's worried about being spotted by the paparazzi.

2 Jun 2008, 2:01 a.m. - JWB

"Oh, says fair flower to Sam 'That's a fine four-in-hand, A girl could feel grand in any such caravan' Says Sam to Fair Flower: "My hat's off to you It's a Vincent Black Lightning 1662..." Apologies to Richard Thompson

2 Jun 2008, 2:20 a.m. - CGS

Vincent Black Lightning, could you be referring to Rev Thomas Vincent the tempest one , preaching in the streets that be full of sin, who bring rage of the heavens on to the mean streets.

2 Jun 2008, 3:25 a.m. - Terry Foreman

"blue-coat boys and old men" -- the official mourners L&M note that Vyner had been President of Christ's Hospital, which this note by Pauline identifies as "The Bluecoat school for orphans and other poor children" The origins of bluecoat dress "Bluecoat schools date back to Tudor times and the long blue coat which gives the uniform its name is a survival of the ordinary attire of schoolboys and apprentices of that time. (See this detail of a 16th century tomb. ) The uniform was first adopted at Christ's Hospital in the 16th century and many subsequent charitable foundations imitated this style of uniform, becoming known as bluecoat schools. The white neckbands derive from the similar neckgear worn by 18th century clergy while knee breeches were also added to the outfit in the Georgian period. "Blue was a favoured colour for charity school children because in Tudor and Stuart times it was the cheapest available dye for clothing. Blue-dyed materials were economical and implied a humble status and were accordingly avoided by gentlemen and the aristocracy." "old men" L&M say: "Old men or women were often a feature of funeral processions, their number corresponding to the years of the deceased."

2 Jun 2008, 3:29 a.m. - Terry Foreman

The annotation to Christ's Hospital by Pauline

2 Jun 2008, 11:06 a.m. - Robert Gertz

I suspect that "the fairest flower" is someone other than Mrs. Martin. Sam's much more casual about his relationship with her. This sounds like he picked up a young and pretty girl and her age and beauty made him a bit nervous as to being seen by coachmen and the like. I'd have to check the book at home but I believe Tomalin agrees with me. "...delivering the rose where it should be..." just doesn't sound like our plump-legged Betty, though I imagine she'd be very pleased if it were so. *** Heaven... "Idiots..." Bess smirks, reading. "Just yesterday you were running after the greatest painter in England then to do my portrait...And no one catches on that we'd want to get away from Mum Pepys alone for a while? See, I tole you a little fantasy rendezvous would be fun then and later, remembering." "You did look bewitching in that little mask, my rose." Sam grins.

2 Jun 2008, 1:29 p.m. - JWB


2 Jun 2008, 1:39 p.m. - Bradford

Isn't this sudden eruption of floral imagery interesting? Were there flower-sellers in the purlieus of Westminster Hall that could have suggested the application? Apparently Pepys did not go so far as to pluck, so to speak, the fairest flower ("and that was enough on my part")---a euphemism already old at the time he wrote.

2 Jun 2008, 2:06 p.m. - Wim van der Meij

I have a feeling the "fairest flower" is a (young and) pretty prostitute, whom Sam takes to Tothill Fields to do with her as he pleases, but not all the way (?). Then he takes her back, covering his tracks.

2 Jun 2008, 2:28 p.m. - Wim van der Meij

Or is the above too obvious, and am I too blunt?

2 Jun 2008, 2:54 p.m. - Albatross

No, I think you've got it. Does anyone else find it a little weird that Sam follows a funeral with a tryst?

2 Jun 2008, 5:01 p.m. - Glyn

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying.

2 Jun 2008, 5:03 p.m. - Glyn

And in her case, maybe before the year is ended. The days are getting hotter.

2 Jun 2008, 6:38 p.m. - Rex Gordon

A slight spoiler ... Flowers are very much on Sam's mind. Tomorrow he'll be sniffing after them again at the Harp-and-Ball and Westminster Hall, "visit(ing) the flowers in each place." He must be referring to anonymous prostitutes, as Wim posts, for he never affords Betty Lane the courtesy of a botanical euphemism.

2 Jun 2008, 7:21 p.m. - CGS

so Samuell thee should listen to thy fellow Londoner at:'s+Terrible+Voice+in+the+City++Thomas+Vincent&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=WsCgauqIY_&sig=WTqkMLZzlw9QVIuVoDHHUTHGik4#PPA4,M1

2 Jun 2008, 7:32 p.m. - Vince

Well Sams so excited by his philandering with the flower in the park that his obviously rather good memory deserts him as he tries to write his letters. Looks like Sam has just introduced himself to something new & exciting - anonymous prostitutes its seems. Hope he kept his 24 pound suit clean (about £2400 in today's money I think 5000 US dollars) - & anyway shouldn't he be buying suits from his brother whose taken over the family tailor business - bit of a one is Sam.

2 Jun 2008, 7:46 p.m. - Mal

RE "Does anyone else find it a little weird that Sam follows a funeral with a tryst?" He refers to the funeral as "the show," as if it were an entertainment, which no doubt it was: a public event rather than a personal loss. After all, he wore his grandest clothes, presumably in order to show off. Wasn't Tothill Fields a neighborhood of ill-repute? There was a pest hospital there and a prison, and it was considered a thieves' den. Taking the air in marshy fields full of plague burials seems peculiar; perhaps "taking the air" was a code for "renting a room." ;-)

2 Jun 2008, 8:27 p.m. - Rex Gordon

An interesting history of Tothill Fields:

2 Jun 2008, 8:31 p.m. - JWB

funeral then tryst Perhaps we're reviewing some long lost ritual of obeisance to Tuesco at the foot of Toote's Hill; something to do with the lost Hamburg fleet perhaps- Teut being god of merchants.

2 Jun 2008, 9:10 p.m. - Pedro

And with the Fleet Sandwich records… “At noon I made an observation of the sun, very good as I think, by my sea-quadrant and found the latitude 52 00, but others found the latitude 52 30 and perhaps my sea-quadrant may err 30 in most observations. This afternoon a very great fleet of colliers passed by bound for London, out of which our ships took men (notwithstanding the Proclamation prohibiting it) and indeed there was necessity for it, we expecting a battle daily and wanting seamen much. About 1 o’clock…and then looking out we all saw them, about 100 sail, which we judged the Dutch fleet…At 10 o’clock at night, the tide of ebb then beginning, we set sail and plied off towards the enemy all night and the morning following.” (Journal of Edward Montagu edited by Anderson)

2 Jun 2008, 9:15 p.m. - Pedro

Allin records… “We spied the fleet, Captain Lambert first. He fired a gun and let his topgallant sheets fly. So did I and stood to the fleet…” (Journals of Thomas Allin edited by Anderson)

2 Jun 2008, 10:01 p.m. - Terry Foreman

John Evelyn's Diary (in lieu of Dirk) [June] 1 finished my Accompts at Deale: visited the small forts: ***

3 Jun 2008, 12:02 a.m. - Robert Gertz

"The coachman that carried [us] cannot know me again, nor the people at the house where we were." Poetic, almost Frostian. However... "Why, it's Mr. P again. Glad to have you back aboard, sir. And the dear lady." Hmmn? Bess stares. "I don't think..." Sam tries. "Knew it was you, sir, last time. Mr. Pepys of the Navy. Ah, my brother the sailor talks of you often, describes you to a T, sir. Best man in the adminstration, he calls you, sir. Well, is it off to Tothill again, sir? Did you enjoy it last time, Miss?" Lovely...What a time to learn I have a fan of my efforts, Sam sighs. "Not as much as I intend to tonight." Bess smiles brightly. "Pardonnez-moi, sir." the coachman hisses to Sam, rather loudly, as Bess climbs up and rather grimly takes a seat. "Didn't realize it was a different lass this time." "But almost as game!" Bess calls, taking Sam's arm and smiling at him as he nervously takes seat. "Lets just hope the wife doesn't find out about lil' Lothario here, eh?" she merrily calls to the cabbie. "Lord only knows what she'd do to the little devil." "Will it be Tothill, sir?" "Oh, yes. And the same place you took him last time." Bess, brightly...Beaming on Sam. "I'm sure he's nearly as fond of me as the other wench." "Tothill, whatever...It's all names for Hell now." Sam sighs with shrug. "Oh, yes." Bess nods, brightly. ***

5 Jun 2008, 6:53 a.m. - Australian Susan

Vince - Tom Pepys has died.

5 Jun 2008, 9:35 a.m. - Pedro

On this day 1/11th June… De Ruyter holds a council of War and it is decided against calling at New Holland as the States General had ordered. Provisions would be short and the English would put up a stout defence, and it was obvious that they would try to capture the fleet on tis way home. It was decided to make straight for Newfoundland wher, apart from thinly scattered Indian population, a few French and English colonies were settled along the coast. The meeting place was to be Cape Race and they were to cause as much damage as possible to the English and then try to make the North Sea round the Shetland Isles. (Info from The Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Blok)

6 Jun 2008, 2:38 a.m. - CGS

Tot hills fields be luverly to place to go for a romp. see the motco map for the details.

12 Apr 2018, 4:42 a.m. - Terry Foreman

" to Westminster Hall, where I took the fairest flower, and by coach to Tothill Fields for the ayre till it was dark. I ‘light, and in with the fairest flower" ? Bdggh Lane, or (as suggested by a reference letter to this entry) a firl at the Rise Tavern. Or possibly <ary of the Harp and Ball) (R9semary): Cf, (Per L&M bot)

12 Apr 2018, 5:19 a.m. - Terry Foreman

" to Westminster Hall, where I took the fairest flower, and by coach to Tothill Fields for the ayre till it was dark. I ‘light, and in with the fairest flower" ? Betty Lane, or (as suggested by a reference letter to this entry) a firl at the Roe Tavern. Or possibly Mary of the Harp and Ball) (Rosemary): Cf, Cf. Sir George Ergerigege's letter (2 February 1688); 25. Dramatics Worjs, ed. Brett-Smith, ii, 305n.): 'Renenber me to qii my friends at the Rise and do not forgive the Lilly at the Bar;. (L&M note)

12 Apr 2018, 5:39 a.m. - Terry Foreman

"after delivering the rose where it should be, I to the Temple and ‘light, and come to the middle door," ? The door ot the Middle Temple or the middle door of Temple Bar. (L&M note)

2 Jun 2018, 3:07 a.m. - San Diego Sarah

My guess is that Sam has not retaken his vows for June, and is rewarding himself for a month of hard work before this sort of behavior costs him fines in the poor box again. Amazing he didn't go and see a play while he was at it.

2 Jun 2018, 9:25 a.m. - Geoff Hallett

Loved the whole of this entry. It is the small details of everyday life then and how he writes it that fascinates me. Brilliant.

3 Jun 2018, 3:13 p.m. - Gerald Berg

Prostitutes hang out around Westminster Hall? Good Lord My Lord! Death then sex what could be more engrossing?