Sunday 23 July 1665

(Lord’s day). Up very betimes, called by Mr. Cutler, by appointment, and with him in his coach and four horses over London Bridge to Kingston, a very pleasant journey, and at Hampton Court by nine o’clock, and in our way very good and various discourse, as he is a man, that though I think he be a knave, as the world thinks him, yet a man of great experience and worthy to be heard discourse. When we come there, we to Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, and there discoursed long with him, he and I alone, the others being gone away, and so walked together through the garden to the house, where we parted, I observing with a little trouble that he is too great now to expect too much familiarity with, and I find he do not mind me as he used to do, but when I reflect upon him and his business I cannot think much of it, for I do not observe anything but the same great kindness from him. I followed the King to chappell, and there hear a good sermon; and after sermon with my Lord Arlington, Sir Thomas Ingram and others, spoke to the Duke about Tangier, but not to much purpose. I was not invited any whither to dinner, though a stranger, which did also trouble me; but yet I must remember it is a Court, and indeed where most are strangers; but, however, Cutler carried me to Mr. Marriott’s the house-keeper, and there we had a very good dinner and good company, among others Lilly, the painter.

Thence to the councill-chamber, where in a back room I sat all the afternoon, but the councill begun late to sit, and spent most of the time upon Morisco’s Tarr businesse. They sat long, and I forced to follow Sir Thomas Ingram, the Duke, and others, so that when I got free and come to look for Cutler, he was gone with his coach, without leaving any word with any body to tell me so; so that I was forced with great trouble to walk up and down looking of him, and at last forced to get a boat to carry me to Kingston, and there, after eating a bit at a neat inne, which pleased me well, I took boat, and slept all the way, without intermission, from thence to Queenhive, where, it being about two o’clock, too late and too soon to go home to bed, I lay and slept till about four, [Continued tomorrow. P.G.]

28 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The life of a summer bachelor...Familiar to say, denizens of Washington, D.C. like the young FDR at least until the development of air conditioning kept the wife at home.

dirk  •  Link

The Rev. Josselin's diary

"The weather somewhat uncertain, I am even overclogged with business and few hands(,) god carry me through this trouble, my farm turned into my hands, the plague hot. 1089. burials, 1761. lord hold thy hand, proceed not in wrath."


Is there anybody who can figure this out? 1089 burials or 1761? The Reverend's syntax is really hopeless...

dirk  •  Link

And Evelyn's diary gives different figures still...

"There perished this weeke above 2000, & now there were two houses shut up in our parish:"

Martin  •  Link

"I was not invited any whither to dinner, though a stranger, which did also trouble me; but yet I must remember it is a Court, and indeed where most are strangers"

In the first part of the sentence, "though a stranger" should be read as "as though I were a stranger", not "although I was a stranger."

So, Sam catches a dose of reality with respect to his desired upward social mobility. It's not likely that any of us today, dropping by Buckingham Palace or the White House, would be invited for lunch, either. We'd most of us be strangers.

Eric Walla  •  Link

I would take it that there were 1761 burials total, with 1089 of them due to the plague. Anyone else?

tyndale  •  Link

Eric is right. The Bill of Mortality for July 18 registered 1761 deaths total, 1089 of them due to the plague. I'm looking at a broadside from August 8 which summarizes the Bills up to that point. Here are its numbers (including the one that will be released in two days - you can see why Sam suddenly became worried this week):

April 25 - 398....2
May 2 - 388....0
May 9 - 347....9
May 16 - 353....3
May 23 - 385....14
May 30 - 399....17
June 6 - 405....43
June 13 - 558....112
June 20 - 611....168
June 27 - 684....267
July 4 - 1006...470
July 11 - 1268...725
July 18 - 1761...1089
July 25 - 2785...1843


language hat  •  Link

"In the first part of the sentence, “though a stranger” should be read as “as though I were a stranger”, not “although I was a stranger.”"

That doesn't make sense. In the first place, there's no way “though a stranger” can be read as “as though I were a stranger” -- English doesn't work that way. In the second place, he goes on "but yet I must remember it is a Court, and indeed where most are strangers"; in other words, "since most are strangers, I can't expect special treatment for being a stranger myself." (Mind you, I'm not sure what "stranger" means in this context.)

jeannine  •  Link

“Thence to the councill-chamber, where in a back room I sat all the afternoon, but the councill begun late to sit, and spent most of the time upon Morisco’s Tarr businesse.”

Thanks to Terry for pinging me to find this reference in the (NWB) Navy White Book (from the L&M note). Please note that the NWB is NOT in chronological order (or any order that I can figure out?) so if years are not noted, it’s not really clear where the entry took place.

Morisco was ‘the tar’ man who had a monopoly on the tar industry. In June of 64 there is an entry in Sam’s NWB about trying to negotiate with Morisco for his tar. After some price/quantity discussion Sam notes that he has some concern that Morisco may not want to do business with the Navy as it may upset his normal (and, my note, probably paying) customers. The notes for Feb 15, 26, 27 (no year noted) states that there was to be a transaction taking place but Morisco would not delivery it without ‘present money’. It goes on to say

“ Carteret hath promised them payment presently, and then we shall have the tar. Question: what I may infer from hence.
But more, I am told that the part of the tar we are to receive is very bad tar. But more of this when it is received.

Feb 24. …….though the tar be good, yet are found to have more water than usual – four or five gallons. And at this day Morisco doth say he will not deliver any more than what he hath till he hath the rest of his money to the full value of his tar, he having I think received about 700£ before he parted with the first 100 lasts. ….

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Wow, tough day at the office today for our Sam ... Coventry "too great now to expect too much familiarity with"; a pointless meeting with the Duke; no dinner invitation from the Duke, Coventry or the other "executives" at the "firm" (has to settle for a vendor invitation instead); a largely wasted afternoon waiting for his turn at the next meeting, which forces him to miss his ride home. His good humor and ability to find bright spots throughout this entry (a good sermon, Lely at lunch, a good supper at a "neat inne") is encouraging. I'll have to remember this next time I'm having a tough day at work.

Love the final description of the time -- "too late and too soon to go home to bed"!

Mary  •  Link

'though a stranger'

There is a particular use in English of the term 'stranger.' When the House of Commons is sitting and a member cries, :I spy strangers!" it means that there are members of the public or press present in their allotted galleries and that the matter under discussion should not be followed any further until they have been removed from the chamber. Thus the stranger is someone who does not belong in the place as of right, only as a courtesy.

Perhaps 'strangers' at Court were those who had no appointed place there. Then, if one takes Pepys's statement at face value, it would seem to imply that it was customary for those members of the court doing business with 'strangers' to offer them some sort of hospitality appropriate to the particular time of day.

Pepys consoles himself with the thought that, in the last analysis, all at the king's court are strangers - saving, of course, for the king himself and his royal relations.

CGS  •  Link

stranger = outsider , not on the A list or MOP, not from the same Old Boys Union. Not accepted by the boys.'Tis Like me, not for the hi table.

Martin  •  Link

Mary: "it would seem to imply that it was customary for those members of the court doing business with ‘strangers’ to offer them some sort of hospitality appropriate to the particular time of day"

Perhaps, but that doesn't seem logical either -- why should those coming by for one-time business be treated that way? With "most are strangers" he implies that most at Court are _not_ entitled to hospitality. It still seems to me that Sam feels entitled to lunch from Coventry, or somebody, precisely because he does _not_ feel like a stranger at Court, having been there a number of times times on business, being known by name by the King, and indeed ultimately dining with Marriott, the housekeeper; in other words, he feels treated "as though he were a stranger". LH, that may not be how English works, but Sam often drops words he thinks are understood by his reader (himself) -- in this case "as". Then, he comes to twin realizations that this is the Court, where ordinary mortals should not expect too much, and, "indeed", that most of the crowd are strangers and perhaps he still is one, as well.

CGS  •  Link

[Aphetic a. OF. estrangier (mod.F. étranger) = Pr. estrangier, Sp. extrangero, Pg. estrangeiro, It. straniere, straniero:{em}popular L. *extr{amac}ne{amac}rius, f. L. extr{amac}ne-us: see EXTRANEOUS and STRANGE adjs.
The OF. word (like its equivalents in the other Rom. langs.) is primarily and chiefly an adj.; in Eng. the subst. use is primary, such adjectival uses as exist (see 13 below) being almost wholly developed from the attributive use of the n.]
1. a. One who belongs to another country, a foreigner; chiefly (now exclusively), one who resides in or comes to a country to which he is a foreigner; an alien.
Now somewhat rare; the recent examples show mixture of sense 2 or 4.

1651 HOBBES Leviath. II. xix. 101 Strangers (that is, men not used to live under the same government, nor speaking the same language). 1667 MILTON P.L. XII. 358 At last they seise The Scepter, and regard not Davids Sons, Then loose it to a stranger.

5. a. A non-member of a society. Now rare.

b. Parliament. One who is not a member or official of the House, and is present at its debates only on sufferance. So occas. with reference to a court of justice.
I spy strangers: the formula used by a member in demanding the expulsion of strangers from the House.

6. A person not of one's kin; more fully, stranger in blood. Also, a person unconnected by ties of friendship or the like. {dag}to put on the stranger: to affect a distant manner.

7. a. One who has no share in (some privilege or business). Const. of, from. ? Obs.

1611 SIR J. DIGBYE Let. 2 Feb. in 10th Rep. Hist. MSS. Comm. App. I. 559 The French Ambassr here is much dejected that he has been made a mere stranger in this business.

b. Law. One not privy or party to an act. Const. to. Also, one not standing towards another in some relation implied in the context.

1642 tr. Perkins' Profit. Bk. x. §691. 298 The feoffees..are strangers unto the lease [AF. ils sont estranges a le lease]. 1765

8. Something alien; something that has no place in (a class, the nature of a thing, a person's character, thoughts, or discourse). Const. to. Obs.

12. slang. A guinea.

to stranger:
1. trans. To make a stranger of; to alienate.
1605 SHAKES. Lear I. i. 207 Will you with those infirmities she owes,..Dow'rd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath, Take her or leaue her.

2. To make strange.

Pedro  •  Link

I spy strangers! …Strangers Gallery.

Above the seats is the Stranger's Gallery which is the name for the pubic gallery as all members of the public are strangers. Monarchs cannot enter the House of Commons and Charles I once tried to enter via the Strangers Gallery in a disguise but he was spotted immediately.…

Douglas Robertson  •  Link

What happened to senses 2 through 4, CGS? I lean toward reading "stranger" here loosely according to sense 1, as a synonym for "visitor" or "out-of-towner," and toward paraphrasing and amplifying the passage thus: "...although I am a visitor to this place, and hence feel entitled to some measure of hospitality [cf. Hamlet's "As a stranger bid it welcome"]; I must remember this is no ordinary house but a court--i.e., the King's house--and, hence, a place where most people are visitors (hence no more free to give or receive hospitality than I am)...".

adamw  •  Link


I think Sam's comments make perfect sense. He has travelled some distance to meet these people on business, and expects the courtesy of an invitation to eat, just as we would now if we'd travelled for hours to a business meeting over lunchtime. The only justification he can see for this failure to follow the normal rules of hospitality is that he is at a royal court (even if it is one displaced into the countryside) where many strangers turn up to do business, and so perhaps the court can be excused for not feeding them all. I don't get the impression he's convinced by his own explanation - he still feels he's been treated shabbily.

So what house was Mr Marriott the housekeeper of? A part of the royal court? It sounds like Sam was mollified by discovering such distinguished company as Lely at dinner. Maybe he has actually found, rather by chance, the place where the more distinguished visitors to court were fed & watered. Odd that he didn't know this beforehand, but maybe everything has changed with the move of the court into the country - none of the familiar local Whitehall alehouses.

CGS  •  Link

The English have a thing about gentlemen versus the professionals [players] 'Twas a time when the gents did not play for money or work either as the gents would think that the Pros. be strange and not one of them.

3 could fit too:

Strange: 2 thru 4 OED2. a. One who is not a native of, or who has not long resided in, a country, town, or place. Chiefly, a new comer, one who has not yet become well acquainted with the place, or (cf. 4) one who is not yet well known.
1626 BACON New Atlantis 5 He came to conduct vs to the Strangers House... The Strangers House is a faire and spacious House, built of Brick,

b. In parochial registers: A person not belonging to the parish. Obs.
The Latin equivalent extraneus (extranea) was also commonly used.

3. a. A guest or visitor, in contradistinction to the members of the household. Now chiefly with mixture of sense 4.
to make a stranger of: to treat with ceremony, not as one of the family. Chiefly with negative.
b. Any of the things which are popularly imagined to forebode the coming of an unexpected visitor, e.g. a floating tea-leaf in the cup; an excrescence on the wick of a candle, causing guttering; a piece of soot flapping on the bar of the grate; a moth flying towards one.
4. a. An unknown person; a person whom one has not seen before; also in wider sense, a person with whom one is not yet well acquainted. Phrases, a perfect, a total, an utter stranger. Const. to.
b. Said playfully of a newborn child. Usu. little stranger.
‘Welcome, little stranger!’ was a quotation common in the early part of the 19th century, and sometimes printed or embroidered on articles for nursery use.
d. Predicatively, said of one whose visits have long ceased. Similarly in phr. to be (quite) a stranger and varr., said of an infrequent visitor. Also, one who never visits (a place), an absentee from.

language hat  •  Link

"Sam often drops words he thinks are understood by his reader"

I have never seen an example even remotely parallel to how you think this one works, and if you start assuming that Sam *must* have meant what you want him to mean and any inconvenient gaps can be filled by "well, he was writing for himself," you enter the realm of the DaVinci Code. Sam writes perfectly clear, if colloquial English, and when he says "I was not invited any whither to dinner, though a stranger," he can mean only "although I was a stranger."

Mary  •  Link

"words ..... understood by his reader."

But Sam's only anticipated reader is reader is Sam himself. He had no idea that we and our forebears would be picking his words apart so long after his death.

language hat  •  Link

But he writes for himself in perfectly normal, understandable English. He does not write "glory" and mean "a nice knock-down argument," nor does he write "though" when he means "as though."

Mary  •  Link

Precisely so, LH.

Pedro  •  Link

Meanwhile off the coast of Norway…

“…This evening we saw the land of Norway plain from the NE to the East and by North, about 14 leagues off. We catched several cod fish and ling this day and the day before. Yesterday we had a water of the sea near the ship’s side boiling in a circle of some 40 yards in diameter and a core in the centre of about 5 yards in diameter smooth, so that we thought it was a spout beginning to rise, and perhaps it was, but it fell calm, that there wanted wind to raise it, and also our ship ran directly through the middle of it, and yet it boiled in a ring still after that.”

(The Journal of Edward Montagu edited by Anderson)

Australian Susan  •  Link

I agree with Mary over stranger - Sam is using this word in its particular sense to mean someone not of the inner circle of Government. These are not normal times for the Court, which is always constrained for money anyway at this time, and Sam concludes that all those there for Government business but not actually Court officials are too many to be accommodated for meals, but then discovers he is part of a group which *can* expect hospitality - through the Palace housekeeper. Hampton Court was in a semi-rural situation then - there would not have been much available in the locality to feed and water people.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Hampton Court was in a semi-rural situation then - there would not have been much available in the locality to feed and water people."

Au contraire, there's much more food at Hampton Court Palace than at Westminster. It's surrounded by Royal parks full of protected game ready for the hunt. There's acres of land for veggies and chickens and fruit trees. And there's salmon, trout and swans swimming in the Thames, flowing right by the Palace. The hawk master has his falcons ready to go.

Doesn't sound like Charles II and James had much time for this type of fun, though. But others would have been gathering the summer bounty.

JayW  •  Link

I suspect Australian Susan didn’t mean there was a lack of food - more likely that since Hampton Court was in the country, there was a lack of places to eat it.

Geoff Hallett  •  Link

I agree he accepted his place in society, it certainly didn't phase him as next day he reports himself never more contented in his life. Why did Sam never get honours of any kind considering what heights he achieved post diary?

Clark Kent  •  Link

The Stranger, by Leonard Cohen

It's true that all the men you knew were dealers
who said they were through with dealing
Every time you gave them shelter
I know that kind of man
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender,
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.
And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
you find he did not leave you very much
not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
that is so high and wild
he'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger

And then leaning on your window sill
he'll say one day you caused his will
to weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
an old schedule of trains, he'll say
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger.

But now another stranger seems
to want you to ignore his dreams
as though they were the burden of some other
O you've seen that man before
his golden arm dispatching cards
but now it's rusted from the elbows to the finger
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter
Yes he wants to trade the game he knows for shelter.

Ah you hate to see another tired man
lay down his hand
like he was giving up the holy game of poker
And while he talks his dreams to sleep
you notice there's a highway
that is curling up like smoke above his shoulder.
It is curling just like smoke above his shoulder.

You tell him to come in sit down
but something makes you turn around
The door is open you can't close your shelter
You try the handle of the road
It opens do not be afraid
It's you my love, you who are the stranger
It's you my love, you who are the stranger.

Well, I've been waiting, I was sure
we'd meet between the trains we're waiting for
I think it's time to board another
Please understand, I never had a secret chart
to get me to the heart of this
or any other matter
When he talks like this
you don't know what he's after
When he speaks like this,
you don't know what he's after.

Let's meet tomorrow if you choose
upon the shore, beneath the bridge
that they are building on some endless river
Then he leaves the platform
for the sleeping car that's warm
You realize, he's only advertising one more shelter
And it comes to you, he never was a stranger
And you say ok the bridge or someplace later.

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind ...

And leaning on your window sill ...

I told you when I came I was a stranger.

Chris Squire UK  •  Link

Re: ‘ . . where most are strangers; . . ‘

I don’t see a problem here; ‘stranger’ just means ‘visitor’:

‘< Old French . . 3. a. A guest or visitor, in contradistinction to the members of the household . .
. . 1667 Milton Paradise Lost v. 316 And what thy stores contain, bring forth and poure Abundance, fit to honour and receive Our Heav'nly stranger.’ (OED)

The gents he was talking to were not able to offer him dinner, being visitors also. At Whitehall he’d have gone to a tavern to eat that day’s table d’hote (‘special’ as it is called nowadays) at a large common table. There would have been no equivalent at Hampton Court.

So he facing a very thirsty hungry afternoon with no transport - then Cutler reappeared and all was well.

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