Tuesday 20 June 1665

Thankes-giving-day for victory over ye Dutch. Up, and to the office, where very busy alone all the morning till church time, and there heard a mean sorry sermon of Mr. Mills. Then to the Dolphin Taverne, where all we officers of the Navy met with the Commissioners of the Ordnance by agreement, and dined: where good musique at my direction. Our club —[share]—1 come to 34s. a man, nine of us.

Thence after dinner, to White Hall with Sir W. Berkely in his coach, and so walked to Herbert’s and there spent a little time … [avec la mosa, sin hazer algo con ella que kiss and tocar ses mamelles, que me haza hazer la cosa a mi mismo con gran plaisir. – L&M] Thence by water to Fox-hall, and there walked an hour alone, observing the several humours of the citizens that were there this holyday, pulling of cherries, —[The game of bob-cherry]— and God knows what, and so home to my office, where late, my wife not being come home with my mother, who have been this day all abroad upon the water, my mother being to go out of town speedily. So I home and to supper and to bed, my wife come home when I come from the office.

This day I informed myself that there died four or five at Westminster of the plague in one alley in several houses upon Sunday last, Bell Alley, over against the Palace-gate; yet people do think that the number will be fewer in the towne than it was the last weeke!

The Dutch are come out again with 20 sail under Bankert; supposed gone to the Northward to meete their East India fleete.

38 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"game of bob-cherry"

Four men playing at bob-cherry
(Miniature only) Bas-de-page scene showing four men playing at bob-cherry.
Image taken from Queen Mary Psalter.
Originally published/produced in England (London?); circa 1310-1320.
Shelfmark/Page: Royal 2 B. VII, f.166v
Language: Latin

Volpone; Or, The Fox
by Ben Jonson Act I, Scene i

Volp. What should I do,
But cocker up my genius, and live free
To all delights my fortune calls me to?
I have no wife, no parent, child, ally,
To give my substance to; but whom I make
Must be my heir: and this makes men observe me:
This draws new clients daily to my house,
Women and men of every sex and age,
That bring me presents, send me plate, coin, jewels,
With hope that when I die (which they expect
Each greedy minute) it shall then return
Ten-fold upon them; whilst some, covetous
Above the rest, seek to engross me whole,
And counter-work the one unto the other,
Contend in gifts, as they would seem in love:
All which I suffer, playing with their hopes,
And am content to coin them into profit,
And look upon their kindness, and take more,
And look on that; still bearing them in hand,
Letting the cherry knock against their lips,
And draw it by their mouths, and back again.—


Terry Foreman  •  Link

"so walked to Herbert’s and there spent a little time … ."

"...so I walked to Herberts and spent a little time avec la mosa, sin hazer algo con ella que kiss and tocar ses mamelles, que me haza hazer la cosa a mi mismo con gran plaisir. (spent a little time with the beautiful one, making love with her to kiss and touch her breasts which made me do the thing [orgasm] with great pleasure)..." http://www.pepys.info/bits2.html#…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Wonder if this "beautiful one" be the same "flower"-a nameless summer passion? If so, Sam seems to be losing control in this one.

Thanks, Terry.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Robert, L&M identify this "flower" as Sarah Udall, who worked for Herbert at the Swan in New Palace Yard. They were uncertain about the earlier blossoms.

dirk  •  Link

"so I walked to Herberts and spent a little time avec la mosa, sin hazer algo con ella que kiss and tocar ses mamelles, que me haza hazer la cosa a mi mismo con gran plaisir"

An extraordinary combination of English, French, Spanish, English again, Spanish, French, Spanish, and finally French again: a fine example of Pepys' Lingua Franca. Terry, may I suggest the following more litteral, more or less word by word, translation, with I think some subtle (and some less subtle) differences with yours? ;-)

"so I walked to Herberts and spent a little time with the girl, without doing anything with her but kiss and touch her breasts, which makes me do the thing to myself with great pleasure"

dirk  •  Link

John Evelyn's diary

"To Lond: represented the state of the S[ick] & Wo[unded]: to his Majestie being in Council; for want of mony, who orderd I should apply to my L: Tressurer & Chan: of Exchequer upon what fonds to raise the mony promised: at which time we also presented to his Majestie divers expedients for retrenchment of the charge: This Evening making my Court to the Duke, I spake with Monsieur Cominges the French Ambassador & his highnesse granted me six Prisoners Embdeners, who were desirous to go to the Barbados with a Merchant:"

Embdeners ???

Australian Susan  •  Link

"...Our club come to 34s. a man, nine of us..."

Amazing that countpenny Sam is content with this - I think they must have all eaten the same things - so unlike business lunches today (the longsuffering wait staff stand by and shift from foot to to foot [having insisted on the One Bill Per Table rule] and watch attempts at division - "No, no - I didn't have a starter and Clive had the seafood risotto and then there were 4 barramundis.....")

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Emden is a city and seaport in the northwest of Germany, on river Ems. It is the main city of the region of East Frisia....Emden was a very rich city during the 17th century, due to large numbers of Dutch immigrants. It was a center of reformed Protestantism at that time, producing the first Bible translation in Dutch." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emden

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... Our club —[share]1 —come to 34s. a man, ..."

That is equivalent to 3.95 of the 12 silver salts yesterday; hope the food lived up to the price.

Mary  •  Link

Our club...

Perhaps the wages of the musicians were included in the price. One would expect there to be some sort of charge for professional entertainment. I take "at my direction" to mean that it was Pepys who prompted the provision of music to accompany the meal.

Pedro  •  Link

“Thankes-giving-day for victory over ye Dutch….Thence by water to Fox-hall, and there walked an hour alone, observing the several humours of the citizens that were there this holyday, pulling of cherries,—[The game of bob-cherry]— and God knows what,”

This day had been set aside by the King as a national day of celebration and sorrow to thank God for the “signal victory” at sea and to give generously to households suffering from the “sad disease of plague or pestilence”.

The manual “Certain Necessary Directions for the Preservation and Cure of the Plague” listed foods to be avoided and cherries were considered particularly dangerous.

It appears that many people are very worried about the plague, but on June 4th the Intelligencer denied the rumour of “multitudes that dye of the plague in this Towne”. This assurance is plainly at odds with the increasing number of adverts in the Intelligencer hawking all manner of plague preventatives and remedies.

(Perhaps the citizens were taking a little light relief, as Sam does with his musique, from the fears of the plague.)

(Info from The Great Plague by Moote and Moote)

Pedro  •  Link

Ring around a Rosie.

It is interesting, in the light of previous discussions (unable to locate date), that in the book quoted above the Moote’s use the nursery rhyme in the Prologue of the book as describing the plague.

Sjoerd  •  Link

bit of a Herbert

This Herbert, who seems to have several "kinswomen" available for entertainment of others is maybe at the root of the Cockney expression "a bit of a Herbert" ?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Samuel Pepys, Esq.
June 20, 1665

Mr. Pepys,

Sir. Hoping you will not take offense but in true gratitude toward your manifold kindnesses and holding your honor sacred, and remembering your own noble resolve to encourage our Lord Sandwich to return to himself, I am bold to send you this.

Persons at all levels of our administration and in the general, sir, have noted a certain falling-off of late in your attentions to the business of our office, sir. And while some, as you yourself have noted to me, have suggested that you are overburdened by your duties with the Tangier commission as well as the new burdens acquired by you in this war with the Dutch, others, less kindly, do insinuate that your decrease in activity may be due to your recent taking up with one or more young women, particularly a certain Sarah Udall, barmaid of Herbert's. Sir, while I do not for a moment suggest that these allegations are true, the free air I still breathe and every bit of bread that I eat must remind me of my duty to you and yours and I therefore feel I must take this opportunity to acquaint you with these slanderous rumors. I have of course made no mention of these matters to anyone, but I do fear, sir, that idle talk will spread and may lead to unfortunate consequences. I make no suggestions as to what your conduct should be in dealing with these matters, knowing, sir, that you know well how to silence such gossip.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Hayter"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Pepys's plague deaths statistics are low, as Pedro suggests

L&M say the actual figures were 112 deaths from plague this past week (June 13-20) and 168 during the upcoming week (20-27 June).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So what was Mum doing the other day when Bess was at her mother's and Sam dined home alone?



"If you didn't take Mother with you to your mother's?"

"Sam'l...We agreed. My poor parents' shame is never to be exposed to your family." Bess, firmly.

"Yes, yes. But if she wasn't with you. And she wasn't with me?"

"Oh, dear."

Cut to Salisbury Court...

"Thank the dear Lord I finally escaped that girl." Margaret sighs to group of ladies, all old friends from the neighborhood barred by "milord" Pepys' express order from his elegant home. "Thought I'd never get over to see you girls." Sipping ale.

"Though the shopping has been fun. That French girl knows clothes almost as well as my John and Sam."

"I hear the boy's gone Court." one old mate, grinning. "Deckin' 'imself in more finery than the King and that poor lass of his."

"It was a blessing for her my comin'." Margaret nods sagely. "First time he's given her a decent clothing budget...And him tryin' to be the gentleman in his new suits, leaving his lady in years-old stuff. I admit I do feel for the girl. She's a bit la-dee-da herself but she does do right by him. And I've heard..."

"So've we all, dear heart." another friend nods wisely, eyeing the rest who all nod.

"It's all that Court..." Margaret, sighing as she downs another ale. "...all wickedness resides there now. Not like in Oliver's day. And it corrupts the best men...Even Eddie Montagu, who was Oliver's right-hand boy...Like a son to him, gave him title and power. Now he's 'my Lord Sandwich' and would hang me for speakin' well of the ole days. And my Sam, no better... Well..."

"Mrs. Pepys." a nervous Will Hewer standing by. "I really think we should go now. You told me Mrs. Pepys wanted me to take you out here. She'll be annoyed and Mr. Pepys will be furious at us being out so long."

"I'm terrified, Mr. Hewer. Will my boy have me whipped out of London? Now sit yourself and we'll be going soon enough."

"But ma'am...He'll be worried. The plague's round here."

"Boy. Look round you here. These ladies among 'em have seen fourscore and more children taken by God. And as many husbands and brothers, sisters and parents...A little plague isn't going to worry us. Now drink your ale and we'll be going soon enough."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Bell Alley, over against the Palace-gate"

On this segment of the Rocque map, Bell Alley is west of the New Westminster Palace Yard, 8 blocks south of Axe-Yard


(Great spy and fly-on-the-wall for us, y'are, Mr. Gertz!)

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Am I right in noticing an upswing in Sam's amatory excursions in recent weeks, compared to any time in the past five years?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"que me haza hazer la cosa a mi mismo con gran plaisir"
Premature ejaculation?

Australian Susan  •  Link


It just shows that people are sloppy historians when it comes to folklore, think it is of no account and don't bother to ferret out proper sources. No one would take such liberties with economic statistics for example. Repeat: There is No Evidence this ditty had anything to do with the plague or that it was around at that time. [insert teeth-grinding noises] Try telling an ornithologist that because swallows and swifts look alike, therefore, they must be related.

dirk  •  Link

From Lady Fanshawe's memoirs
(The wife of Sir Richard Fanshawe, at the time Ambassador in Spain)

"June the 20th, came to this Court by an express, the news of the total rout of the King of Spain's army, commanded by the Marquis of Caracena, by the Portuguese.[Footnote: At Montesclaros, where the Portuguese were commanded by the Marquis de Marialva.] [...] Upon the 7th, anno 1665, came to my husband the happy news of our victory against the Dutch, fought upon the 13th of June, stilo novo."

Note that the dates Lady Fanshawe gives in her memoirs are all "new style" (stilo novo): the Fanshawes are living in Spain, which follows the continental (Gregorian) calendar. For the corresponding date according to the British (Julian) calendar substract 10 days!

The news of the victory near Lowestoft takes 24 days to reach Madrid - that says something of the interaction speed in the 17th c.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Most of the associations I've seen (History Channel) or read (Great Mortality, I think, and several other iffy 14th century plague discussions) of "Ring around the rosey" with plague stem from the Black Death era. However since it seems no printed version of the poem was published before the late 19th century, it's unlikely there is any real association that could be verified. (see for example http://www.snopes.com/language/li… which lists some discussions and some erroneous accounts)

Of course it's not impossible that fragments of the poem did stem from folk memories of the plagues but...

CGS  •  Link

Some would have the Will Shake., was not the source of the great rewrites, what the unclean say is ignored until the man with the papyrus has plagiarized it by writing about it under his John Henry.
The winner is the one that gets it published. There be many things heard at mummy's knee that never gets published as it be too childish. Of course hearsay never makes in the the rule of law.

Ruben  •  Link

Mosa, moza,
in Buenos Aires, till this day, a Moza is a young woman but also a waitress (of any age).

Australian Susan  •  Link

If one studies folklore and folksong, one learns that there are certain universal stock stories, themes etc. One reads a folk story or song and allocates it to one of these groupings. It's a bit like a biologist looking at a microscope slide: one knows to what biological family to put what you are looking at into. [appalling grammar but You Know What I Mean]. There is a genre, group, them, whatever you label it of Ring Dance Rhymes. These are known from all over the place (many never having had plague). The participants dance one way, dance another way and drop to the ground: it's a form of peasant courtship ritual. Only in the 20th century did such things get debased into being a children's rhyme, before that such ring rhymes were performed by adults. Nowadays very few forms of adult folk dance survive (examples in England are Morris dance and something unique like the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance). So, we don't have children doing these dances, we have young adults. In this period we are looking at, you all may remember that May Pole Dancing had been banned by Cromwell et al, and reinstated by Charles - but al though we are used nowadays to seeing may Pole Dances done by children in villages and schools across England, it would have been adults doing it in the 17th century. Now, when people started to collect folk songs (and this started in our period), they were collecting them from adults. These were not Nursery Rhymes, although nowadays we would only see children singing Ring Rhymes and doing Ring Dances. I repeat: the Ring A Ring A Rosy is part of a huge number of very similar songs combined with back and forth dance and then drop down collected from all over Europe from the 17th century onwards, sung by young adults as a courtship ritual. And yet, one sees all these silly, badly researched documentaries about the plague and they all ,somewhere, have a group of children singing [expletive deleted] Ring A Ring A [expletive deleted] Rosy. [my husband restrains me from hurling more than abuse at the poor television].

all right, I'll get my anorak........

Pedro  •  Link

Aussie Sue.

“It just shows that people are sloppy historians when it comes to folklore”

This does not apply only to folklore, and highlights for me one of the great things about this site, being that the annotators have exposed for posterity many mistakes since the start of the Diary. These include Holmes sailing over at great speed to take New Amsterdam, the Duke of York inventing the in-line battle formation and many others. The latest I can recall is Wikipedia’s claim that the Dutch raised their flag on Sandwich’s ship in the Battle of Lowestoft.

However in this case I must say that “The Great Plague” is an excellent book with numerous sources quoted by the authors. They must be forgiven for this oversight.

(It is a pity that this discussion could not follow the previous, so Recent Activity, get well soon!)

CGS  •  Link

AS: thanks , having 'ben' raised in the backwoods of Essex where some areas only remember the great days of sheep raising, never seeing a foreigner from the great city, the only cars be those that be recycled as waggons, do appreciate the other views of village life.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Thankes-giving-day for victory over ye Dutch.

A form of common prayer, with thanksgiving, for the late victory by His Majesties naval forces: appointed to be used in and about London, on Tuesday the twentieth of June; and through all England, on Tuesday the fourth of July. Set forth by His Majesties authority.
London : printed by John Bill and Christopher Barker, printers to the Kings most excellent Majesty, 1665.
[64] p. ; 4⁰. Sig. A-H⁴.
Wing (2nd ed., 1994), C4120

The proclamation ordering the day was issued on June 14th.:-

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"after dinner, to White Hall with Sir W. Berkely in his coach"

Pepys often writes "Sir William Berkeley", resident Governor of the Province of Virginia in the Diary years, instead of one of his brothers -- Sir Charles, the eldest, or Sir Robert, next eldest -- or Captain William Berkeley.


Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I wonder if Pepys actually wrote "ye Dutch", or whether Wheatley has mistranscribed the shorthand?

As was, I believe, mentioned in an annotation recently, the pseudo archaic "ye", originated as "the" spelt "þe", with a letter thorn "þ" or "Þ" in early-modern English.


Terry Foreman  •  Link

Saha, the link says "Ye olde" is a pseudo-Early Modern English stock prefix, used anachronistically, suggestive of a Merry England,

What;s :pseudo" are the contemporary names of pubs and bars or other shops ("Ye Olde Pizza Parlor"is referenced). The 17th century "Ye" is not "pseudo," but is a hurried way some of Pepys's contemporaries write "the."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I wonder if Pepys actually wrote "ye Dutch", or whether Wheatley has mistranscribed the shorthand?"

Sasha (not Saha, sorry), methinks you rightly suspect Wheatlrey.

StanB  •  Link

Methinks Terry doth have Ye Worlde Cup on his mind, Sasha...
Louis Saha is a French former professional footballer and a good one at that

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Stan, Terry, yes - I meant "pseudo" for the contemporary usage. :)
I'm sure Pepys wouldn't have *said* "ye": I was wondering about the shorthand really ...

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