Thursday 15 June 1665

Up, and put on my new stuff suit with close knees, which becomes me most nobly, as my wife says. At the office all day. At noon, put on my first laced band, all lace; and to Kate Joyce’s to dinner, where my mother, wife, and abundance of their friends, and good usage. Thence, wife and Mercer and I to the Old Exchange, and there bought two lace bands more, one of my semstresse, whom my wife concurs with me to be a pretty woman. So down to Deptford and Woolwich, my boy and I. At Woolwich, discoursed with Mr. Sheldon about my bringing my wife down for a month or two to his house, which he approves of, and, I think, will be very convenient. So late back, and to the office, wrote letters, and so home to supper and to bed.

This day the Newes book upon Mr. Moore’s showing L’Estrange1 (Captain Ferrers’s letter) did do my Lord Sandwich great right as to the late victory.

The Duke of Yorke not yet come to towne. The towne grows very sickly, and people to be afeard of it; there dying this last week of the plague 112, from 43 the week before, whereof but [one] in Fanchurch-streete, and one in Broad-streete, by the Treasurer’s office.

18 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Time to evacuate Elisabeth, despite no visible signs of panic yet in town. I wonder how she felt about it, though I imagine she appreciated Sam's concern for her. At this point they may both be viewing it as simply the routine summer getaway trip for her, since Brampton has clearly not been working out. Surprising that Sam's not nervous about going to a large public gathering of his more "commonplace" relatives and their friends-I'd think he'd be a little fearful.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"put on my new stuff suit with close knees, which becomes me most nobly, as my wife says."

Re close knees see 12 June 1662:
"This morning I tried on my riding cloth suit with close knees, the first that ever I had; and I think they will be very convenient, if not too hot to wear any other open knees after them."…

Yes, Robert, I too wish the first thing on SP's mind upon rising weren't how he looked, but his family's welfare -- and his own, with a fatal contagious disease abroad in the town.

JWB  •  Link

On June11, I misread the "General Bill of Mortality" taking the 13th for the 11th, & the 11th being 1st day of the week, I mistakenly assumed the count for the week began that day. It does not. The 13th, Tuesdays, entry on the bill recounts the previous week. Thus the week of the 6th to the 13th of June, 558 were buried in the City & Liberties, of those 112 died of the plague, as Sam enters in his diary today.…

CGS  •  Link

Stuff, nice word to hide meaning like stuff an nonsence:
5 12. attrib. and Comb. a. attrib. passing into adj.: Made of stuff or woollen cloth (see sense 5c).

c1643 LD. HERBERT Autobiog. (1824) 162 A..person came to me apparelled in a black stuff suit

see 5c:
5. a. Material for making garments; woven material of any kind.
1617 MORYSON Itin. I. 208 My selfe and my brother bought each of us a long coat of as course stuffe as we could find

b. In particularized sense: A kind of stuff; a textile fabric.
1604 E. G[RIMSTONE] D'Acosta's Hist. Ind. IV. xli. 320 The Indians make stuffs of this wooll wherewith they clothe themselves.

1625 in Foster Eng. Factories India (1909) III. 62 ‘Neccanies, semeanes, dimittes, stuffs, gumlack, blood~stones, and the rest’ will be sent as ordered.

a1627 MIDDLETON Anything for Quiet Life II. ii. (1662) D1, But if you'd have a Petticoat for your Lady, here's a stuff.

1660 F. BROOKE tr. Le Blanc's Trav. 92 They make stuffes of the bark of a tree, to cover their nakednesse.

c. spec. A woollen fabric (see quot. 1882).
c1643 [cf. stuff suit 11a].

1712 STEELE Spect. No. 264 {page}1 He dresses himself according to the Season in Cloth or in Stuff.

1735 DYCHE & PARDON Dict., Stuff, in Weaving, is any Sort of Commodity made of Woollen Thread, &c. but in a particular Manner those thin light ones that Women make or line their Gowns of or with.

1882 CAULFEILD & SAWARD Dict. Needlework 465 Stuffs. This term..may be applied to any woven textile,..but it more especially denotes those of worsted, made of long or ‘combing wool’..

. Stuffs are distinguished from other woollen cloths by the absence of any nap or pile.

8 What is worthless; rubbish.
8c. Indecent matter. Obs.
1749 FIELDING Tom Jones XII. v, A grave matron told the master [of a puppet-show] she would bring her two daughters the next night, as he did not show any stuff.

d. phr and stuff, and such-like useless or uninteresting matters. colloq.

"....put on my new stuff suit with close knees
stuff, n.1..."
[ME. stoffe, stof, a. OF. estoffe fem., material, furniture, provision (mod.F. étoffe material, stuff, esp. textile material) = Pr., Sp., Pg. estofa, cloth, quality, It. stoffa piece of rich textile fabric. From the OF. word are med.L. estoffa, stoffa, Du. stoffe, stof fem., G. stoff masc., matter, stuff, whence Sw. stoff, Da. stof neut.
The ultimate etymology is obscure. Diez conjectured that the Rom. stoffa and the related vb. stoffare (STUFF v.) are derived from the OHG. *stopfôn (MHG., mod.G. stopfen) to plug with oakum, which (as explained s.v. STOP v.) represents a WGer. adoption of med.L. stupp{amac}re to plug, stop up, f. stuppa tow, oakum. This is open to strong objections: the likelihood of a specifically HG. etymon for a Com. Rom. word is questionable, and the original sense of the Rom. verb appears to be, not ‘to plug or stop up’, but ‘to garnish or store with something’. Whether the n. is the source of the verb, or derived from it, is uncertain; the masc. form in It. stoffo, Pg. estofo quilted material, is undoubtedly a verbal noun.]

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary

"Came Monsieur Brizasiere eldest sonn to the Pr: Sec: of State to the French King, with much other companie to dine with me: After dinner I went with him to Lond to speake to my Lord Gen: for more Guards," [continues tomorrow 16 June]

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Actually I was impressed that Sam was moving to get Bess out to safety so quickly...And quietly. I was just surprised he isn't yet nervous about meeting so many folks who would be frequenting all areas of town in a large gathering.

adamw  •  Link

I don't think this planned sojourn of Elizabeth in Woolwich has anything to do with the plague, although that complacency won't last long. 'Convenient' is not a word you'd use for a refuge from the plague, but it makes sense for a summer holiday retreat.
The chat about finery, and the trip into town with his womenfolk to view pretty seamstresses, suggests that Sam is not yet thinking of the plague as something that could affect him and his family personally. Taking Elizabeth into town is the last thing he would do if he thought there was a risk, and was planning to evacuate her from the city. The worst risk he might see is that she'll notice his roving eye!

cape henry  •  Link

I think adamw has the read on this. There is a casualness here that suggests routine rather than precaution.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Elizabeth's prospective summer sojourn at Woolwich this year

SP's emphasis is on how "convenient" it would be -- a short trip by water.

Pedro  •  Link

And on this day…

On the 15th June 1665 (not sure whether English or Dutch date) an angry crowd of sailor’s wives, children and dependants at Den Briel tried to lynch Johan Evertsen, Lieutenant Admiral of Zeeland, whom they falsely accused of cowardice in the recently fought battle of Lowestoft. The unlucky Admiral was rescued by soldiers just in time, but the authorities did not dare arrest or punish any of the rioters.

(The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1660-1800 by CR Boxer)

dirk  •  Link

Evertsen (re Pedro)

15 June continental calendar - so from the British point of view this actually happened on 5 June.… (in Dutch)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"At Woolwich, discoursed with Mr. Sheldon about my bringing my wife down for a month or two to his house"

William Sheldon was Clerk of the Cheque at Woolwich. Mrs Pepys, with two of her three maids, went down tthere on 5 July and returned to her London home on 2 December. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day the Newes book upon Mr. Moore’s showing L’Estrange (Captain Ferrers’s letter) did do my Lord Sandwich great right as to the late victory."

The Newes, 15 June (p. 449), has the following (from Norwich, 12 June): ''Upon Friday last there came a Person of Quality to this Town from aboard the Right Honourable the Earl of Sandwich (the Prince) who gives us Intelligence ...whereupon our Lord Mayor sent the Swod bearer to invite him to dinner.... It seems the Earl of Sandwich his vessel...was much damnified in the Battle...this Lordship showing himself aloft all the while, as unconcerned, as if he had been in his own Parlour..' But the same issue contnued to heap praise on Rupert (p.442). Roger L'Estrange was the editor. (L&M note)

JeremyB  •  Link

When I went to Chatham Dockyard I learnt the general name for rope was big stuff and small stuff. Big stuff above 3 inches diameter and small stuff smaĺler. Rope was woven hemp. Maybe the trousers he talked of were similar to corduroy.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Terry: "William Sheldon was Clerk of the Cheque at Woolwich. Mrs Pepys, with two of her three maids, went down tthere on 5 July and returned to her London home on 2 December. (L&M note)"

So wthether or not Sam intended the sojourn at Woolwich to be a refuge from the plague, or merely a holiday, it clearly turned out to be the former.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

close knees? I take to mean a legging that goes below the knee i.e. pants?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"close knees"

CLOSE-KNEED : close-fitting at the knees : as opposed to the bagginess fashionable earlier. (L&M Larger Glossary)

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