Saturday 12 August 1665

The office now not sitting, but only hereafter on Thursdays at the office, I within all the morning about my papers and setting things still in order, and also much time in settling matters with Dr. Twisden. At noon am sent for by Sir G. Carteret, to meet him and my Lord Hinchingbroke at Deptford, but my Lord did not come thither, he having crossed the river at Gravesend to Dagenhams, whither I dare not follow him, they being afeard of me; but Sir G. Carteret says, he is a most sweet youth in every circumstance. Sir G. Carteret being in haste of going to the Duke of Albemarle and the Archbishop, he was pettish, and so I could not fasten any discourse, but take another time. So he gone, I down to Greenwich and sent away the Bezan, thinking to go with my wife to-night to come back again to-morrow night to the Soveraigne at the buoy off the Nore. Coming back to Deptford, old Bagwell walked a little way with me, and would have me in to his daughter’s, and there he being gone ‘dehors, ego had my volunte de su hiza’. Eat and drank and away home, and after a little at the office to my chamber to put more things still in order, and late to bed.

The people die so, that now it seems they are fain to carry the dead to be buried by day-light, the nights not sufficing to do it in. And my Lord Mayor commands people to be within at nine at night all, as they say, that the sick may have liberty to go abroad for ayre. There is one also dead out of one of our ships at Deptford, which troubles us mightily; the Providence fire-ship, which was just fitted to go to sea. But they tell me to-day no more sick on board. And this day W. Bodham tells me that one is dead at Woolwich, not far from the Rope-yard. I am told, too, that a wife of one of the groomes at Court is dead at Salsbury; so that the King and Queene are speedily to be all gone to Milton. God preserve us!

37 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Coming back to Deptford, old Bagwell walked a little way with me, and would have me in to his daughter’s; and there, he being gone 'dehors [out], ego had my volunte de su hija. [I had my way with his daughter.] Eat and drank and away home, and after a little at the office to my chamber to put more things still in order, and late to bed." [Duncan Grey translation]

Pedro  •  Link

On this day…

Sandwich and the Fleet are anchored at Lerwick and awaiting Teddiman to join them and not yet knowing of the defeat. He called a Council of War to deliberate the conduct of the Fleet, and as there was only 13 days left of beer, 6 weeks dry provisions, and the men becoming more sickly every day with divers high spotted fever, he decided to steer a course to the coast of England with all industry. He left the Speedwell to stay 3 days to meet any other ships.

Locals told of a fleet of 50 ships seen on Tuesday last, but this could have been De Ruyter, East Indiamen or Teddiman.

During the time spent at Bressay Sandwich made a survey of the harbour, and describes in fascinating detail the Island and the lifestyle of the inhabitants. A little of which is recorded below…

“Not one tree of any sort in all the island nor any sort of game, land fowl or beasts except a few conies. The fruits of the Island are not enough to feed the people all the year round, which there are about 12,000 people in 10 parishes. They subsist by corn brought from the Orkneys and Norway and the Dutch…”

(Summary from The Journal of Edward Montagu edited by Anderson)

Lerwick has a population (2001) of approximately 6,830 residents…

dirk  •  Link

From the Carte Papers, Bodleian Library…

Arlington [Sir Henry Bennet was created Baron Arlington 14 March 1665; and Earl of Arlington 22 April, 1672] to Lord Ormond

Written from: Sarum
Date: 12 August 1665

After many goings & comings betwixt the Governor-General at Bergen & us [the English fleet under the Earl of Sandwich], ... our men, resolved to fall upon the Hollander, with the help of their own metal only. If the wind had not failed we had in all probability burnt or taken fifty sail of ships. ... In the attempt we [lost], in killed & wounded, 400 men; ... six captains killed; [and] Mr Montague [In MS. "Mountague"] & Mr Wyndham, volunteers...

Ralph Berry  •  Link

"... wither I dare not follow him, they being afeard of me"

Do we know why they would be "afeard" of Sam. Is it because of the plague or am I missing something?

Michael L  •  Link

Is the daughter of "old Bagwell" the same woman as "Bagwell's wife", or is this yet another Bagwell woman that Sam has his way with?

tg  •  Link

I'm a bit confused as to who "old Bagwell" and his daughter are? Is this Mrs. Bagwell or is this another young lady offered up by a family member in the hopes of reaping some reward? The link goes to Mrs. Bagwell's husband.

tg  •  Link

Michael L. Great minds think alike and fools seldom differ.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Dagenhams, whither I dare not follow him, they being afeard of me" Sam mentioned before the folks here were increasingly afraid of people coming from London. I would guess it's reached a pretty dangerous point, complete with roadblocks and angry, frightened thugs with guns and pitchforks.

"I'm not one of...Them."


"Old Bagwell." I'd say it's got to be Will Bagwell's dad and Sam, pretty low to accept the man's invite in order to abuse his daughter-in-law. May you walk in to find Uncle Wight with Bess...Well, for Bess' sake, Lord Sandwich or Lord Hinchingbrook.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Aye, Robert, the L&M index indicates Old Bagwell is the father of Mrs. Bagwell's husband -- goodness knows what she has told/tells him about Pepys (she seems to have her own sexual drive going on here).

Linda F  •  Link

Agree with Jeannine's post yesterday that Sam's weakness for women (and profit) seems well known to a certain population: in two days, two fathers (one a father-in-law) have pandered to it. Cf: Sam refusing a gift of plate recently from a would-be business associate, indignant that the man might have thought he could expect something in return.
Sam prepares house, books, and papers against possible death, but engages in behavior that he knows and accepts puts him at risk of eternal damnation.

Ruben  •  Link

"Sam ...possible death... but engages in behavior that ... puts him at risk of eternal damnation".

One of the facts of life in the young and healthy is that the closer you are to DEATH the stronger the drive to SEX.

jean-paul  •  Link

@Ruben… Not only the young and healthy Ruben, not only!

GrahamT  •  Link

Isn't it a bit of an assumption that it is Sam's reputation as a womaniser that draws these men to offer their daughters? We have no evidence that he has that reputation. His is the only record of his activities from this period, and I can't remember him mentioning any reputation of this sort.
Could it not be that this was, if not common, an accepted practice for getting favours from powerful men? The threat of impending death through the plague, and the chance of getting sons/husbands a place away from the threat may have caused an increase in this activity - but that is also an assumption.
In the case of Mrs Bagwell, Sam is already conducting an ad hoc affair with her, so it is puzzling why her father in law has got involved, unless it is to apply more pressure - in which case he, and presumably his son, know what is going on - or he doesn't know the score and thinks he has "persuaded" her to do this for his son. In either case it would be considered morally reprehensible in our day, but Sam doesn't turn a hair, though we know he does consider himself a moral man, especially compared to the courtiers. A case of not looking a gift horse in the mouth, perhaps.

Pedro  •  Link

“Though we know he does consider himself a moral man, especially compared to the courtiers”

We have seen how Sam considers himself a moral man, especially compared to the Court and its hangers on. But some of the players in our drama, notably Evelyn, Boyle and others would not agree with him. We can see that the Court itself is not considered moral by many people of the age, and that Sam is bound up in this section of society.

So may I presume to ask the question of my learned friends…

Do we get a distorted view of the morality of the age from readings of the Diary? And how would many from other parts of England, and from poorer backgrounds, consider this behaviour?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think many outside the court, even given the time, would label Sam's behavior immoral, though they might shrug their shoulders and note there is nothing to be done. And Sam has never tried to claim it to be morally justifiable. He simply notes it, occasionally vows to refrain from it, and moves on. In our time it's only been of recent origin that such behavior comes with consequences and even now in many cases the consequences can be easily dodged if one is well connected and wealthy enough. Yet the behavior remains immoral by the standards of both times. Were Charles a more moral man, insisting on enforcing standards, Sam would probably be far more cautious and perhaps even refrain. Same occurs today in our various governments.


I don't think "Old Bagwell" is aware of the situation though it's awful for Mrs. B if he is encouraging it as well as his son. But as always, regardless of any sexual interest stirring on her part, regardless of any Baqwellian scheming, Sam is abusing his position.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and would have me in to his daughter's"
Pimping apparently was quite acceptable then;Sam a while back tried to pimp his wife to his rich uncle.

matthew newton  •  Link

I thought it was the other way around?
Sam found out his wife had been approached by his uncle.
And he was quite put out about it.
Anyone else throw some light on this one?

Albatross  •  Link

Possibly this more relaxed attitude towards "pimping" one's daughter, daughter-in-law, or spouse, emerges from the treatment at the time of women as property? If a woman is considered little different from a horse, why would one be censured for letting someone go for a ride on loan? (I'm NOT endorsing this point of view, just trying to understand it...)

Ruben  •  Link

Property vs. Property
Famous Turkish Sage Nasar El Din's donkey died. For 3 days he cried and shouted, till his neighbor tired of the noise came to him and asked: "how come when your wife passed away a year ago you cried for an hour and that was it, and now I have to hear you for days on end? And the Sage answered:"when my dear wife passed away friends and family came to me and told me not to worry, that they will bring me a new wife, but this time I cry and cry and still did not get any proposals concerning the donkey."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Uncle Wight's proposition

"my wife came and told me how kind my uncle Wight had been to her to-day, and that though she says that all his kindness comes from respect to her she discovers nothing but great civility from him, yet but what she says he otherwise will tell me, but to-day he told her plainly that had she a child it should be his heir, and that should I or she want he would be a good friend to us, and did give my wife instructions to consent to all his wife says at any time, she being a pettish woman, which argues a design I think he has of keeping us in with his wife in order to our good sure, and he declaring her jealous of him that so he dares not come to see my wife as otherwise he would do and will endeavour to do."…

CGS  •  Link

Londoners were warned that their evil ways will get them. 'Twas the comet of doom [1664], and now that all the kings men have left town [ except our man Sam], along with the blessed Curers of sin and Curers of flesh, have left the streets to the unwanted and the poor and the likes of Thomas Vincent whom Sam never crossed his paths, other wise he would have given up on the sins of the flesh.
Like many when faced with making the transition to the unknown will seek their greatest pleasures [some called it sin ] while they can, as The Bros. Vincent, unwanted by the established Clergy, goes about trying to save the souls and lives of those that do not have the means to save themselves .
One day people that were healthy one day in six days be waiting to dumped into a mass grave with quick lime. No one had knowledge how one person got the call and another was overlooked.
It even made Atheists believe according to the Preacher.

glyn  •  Link

They are very right to be troubled by a man dying of the plague in a ship in Deptford. The disease is likely to spread very quickly in confined conditions like that.

tyndale  •  Link

"Do we get a distorted view of the morality of the age from readings of the Diary?"

I would argue that as far as moral ideas go, the nation is divided into very distinct groups (whose anatomy I can't claim to trace). After all, you had a decade of war, followed by a decade of puritans ruling over a somewhat alienated people, followed by an immediate reverse and the influx of a new ruling party who had spent the 50s soaking up French influence. There hasn't been a chance for any kind of a common ethos to form that most of the population might agreeably share in.

CGS  •  Link

The range of morality from non to infinite, has not changed from that day in Eden 'til now , we only see a slither that our brainwashed filters permit us to access that computer that we call a brain. We cannot handle all that information.
It is not unlike looking at the moon, how many times have any of us seen it this year [a slither or even the full], and only if thee look at a Nasa Photo could we see the other side.
In other words we see things through what we have already been exposed to [ There is a nice Chinese word for it that was taught in POW camp], most of it on faith of the exposer, thus it is always skewed, It takes lots of thinking to get a "fair and balanced" view.
'tis my take , cum salis grano.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

to Dagenhams, whither I dare not follow him, they being afeard of me; but Sir G. Carteret ... being in haste of going to the Duke of Albemarle and the Archbishop, he was pettish, and so I could not fasten any discourse, but take another time.

Poor Sam, only recently the bosom friend of the Carteret family, now shunned (even by Sir George) because he continues in plagued London.

Bagged again: For what it is worth, I don't assume old Bagwell is pimping. It is likely however that he knows there is a connection between Mrs. B and Sam and that it might work to his son's advantage.

Did the Bagwells distract him from his planned river outing with Elizabeth, or am I missing something?

JonTom in Cambridge  •  Link

"Daughter" for Daughter-in-law
In reference to SP (apparently) referring to "Old Bagwell's" daughter-in-law as his daughter, I seem to recall that the same usage occurs in Austin: i.e. that she has characters referring to "my brother" when they mean their brother-in-law (and similarly for other relatives by marriage. Interestingly, I believe that one of her characters uses the term mother-in-law for his stepmother (i.e. his father's second wife).

CGS  •  Link

JonTom: Daughter has many meanings in relationships
3. Used as a term of affectionate address to a woman or girl by an older person or one in a superior relation. Obs. or arch.
4. A girl, maiden, young woman (with no express reference to relationship). Obs. or arch.

[A Com. Teutonic and Common Aryan word of relationship, OE. dohtor (-ur, -er) = OFris. dochter, OS. dohtar (MDu., Du., LG. dochter), OHG. tohter (MHG. tohter, Ger. tochter), ON. dótter (:{em}dohter), (Sw., Norw. dotter, Da. datter), Goth. dauhtar:{em}OTeut. *doht{emac}r; corresp. to pre-Germanic *dhuk{sm}t{emac}r from original *dhugh{schwa}{sm}t{emac}r, whence Skr. duhitar-, Zend du{gamma}{edh}ar, Armen. du{shacek}tr, OSlav. d{ubreve}{shacek}t{imac}, Lith. dukt{emac}: cf. also Gr. {theta}{upsilon}{gamma}{gaacu}{tau}{eta}{rho}. Generally referred to the verbal root *dhugh-, Skr. duh- to milk.
The normal modern repr. of OE. dohtor, ME. do{ygh}ter, is doughter still used in 16th c., and now represented by Sc. dochter, dowchter, north. Eng. dowter. The form daughter appeared in the 16th c. (substituted in Cranmer's ed. of the Bible for Tindale's and Coverdale's doughter, whence in all later versions, and always in Shakespeare and later writers). It appears to be of southern origin, and analogous to the southern phonetic development of bought, sought, thought: a Wells will of 1531 has dahtorrs: cf. the mod. Somerset and Devon ({sm}d{fata}{lm}t{schwa}(r)).
In OE. the dative sing. was dehter; genitive dohtor (sometimes dehter); the uninflected genitive continued in use to the 16th c. The plural shows a variety of forms, viz. OE. dohtor, -ur, -er (like the sing.), dohtru, dohtra, North-umb. dohter, dohtero; the first of these app. did not survive the OE. stage; the form in -u, -a, is represented in early ME. by Layamon's dohtere, dohtre; but Layamon has also dohtren, which survived in S.W. dialect to 1500. Ormin has dohhtress, and the later text of Layamon dohtres, which is always found in northern ME., and became the standard form. An umlaut plural de{ygh}ter appears n the West Midland Alliterative Poems of 14th c. and the Troy-book of c 1400; it occurs elsewhere with inflexional endings, dehtren, de{ygh}teres: cf. brether, brethren. The unfixedness of the form is seen in this, that the earlier text of Layamon has both dohtere and dohtren, the later both dohtren and dohtres; the MSS. of Chaucer also show both doughtres and doughtren, Hali Meidenhad has dohtren and dehtren, the Alliterative Poems de{ygh}ter and de{ygh}teres.
With the OE. plural forms, cf. OFris. dohtera and dohteren, OHG. tohter, tohterâ, tohterûn, MHG., with umlaut, töhter, Ger. töchter, LG. dechter. The original Teutonic nom. pl. was *dohtriz, in early Norse runes dohtriR, whence regularly Norse d{oeacu}tr, d{oeacu}ttr; a corresponding OE. *d{oe}hter, *dehter is not found, but the ME. West Midland de{ygh}ter may be its descendant. The other forms in the various languages are later, and analogical. For OE. dohtor, dohtru, -ra, see the similar forms under BROTHER: it is possible that those in -ru, -ra, northern -ero, are assimilated to -os, -or stems like lombru, -ra, -ero. ME. do{ygh}tren, de{ygh}tren exemplify the usual passage of vowel plurals in early southern ME. into the -en type, and Ormin's dohtress the early ascendancy of -es plurals in the north and midlands.]

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"much time in settling matters with Dr. Twisden."

L&M: This was to adjust accounts with Thomas Povey, whom Pepys had succeeded as Treasurer to the Tangier Committee. Pepys now gave an acquittance of £692 to Dr Twysden (attorney for Sir Hugh Cholmley), payable to Povey. For Pepys's note on the transaction, and for Povey's receipt, see the Rawlinson MSS, Bodeian Library, A 172, f. 163r. Cf.……

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I down to Greenwich and sent away the Bezan"

A yacht much used by Pepys in his river journeys. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"And my Lord Mayor commands people to be within at nine at night all, as they say, that the sick may have liberty to go abroad for ayre. "

There appears to ne no basis for this story: Bell, Plague, p. 176. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I am told, too, that a wife of one of the groomes at Court is dead at Salsbury; so that the King and Queene are speedily to be all gone to Milton."

Rechte Willton, the Earl of Pembroke's house, three miles from Salisbury. The project to grow there was soon abandoned, and the court moved to Oxford on 23 September. The plague victim was the wife of a groom in the service of an equerry yo the Queen: efforts were made to conceal the illness: ibid., p. 171. (L&M note)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Rev. Thomas Vincent (1634–1678) an English Puritan Calvinistic minister and author.

Thomas Vincent was the second son of John Vincent, elder brother of Nathaniel Vincent (both prominent ministers), born at Hertford in May 1634.

After attending Westminster School, and Felsted grammar school, Essex, Thomas Vincent entered Christ Church, Oxford, in 1648, matriculated 27 February 1651, graduated B.A. March 16, 1652, and M.A. June 1, 1654, when he was chosen catechist.

On leaving Oxford, Thomas Vincent became chaplain to Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester.

In 1656 Thomas Vincent was incorporated at Cambridge. He was soon put into the sequestered rectory of St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, London, and held it until the Uniformity Act of 1662 ejected him.

Thomas Vincent retired to Hoxton, where he preached privately while assisting Thomas Doolittle in his school at Bunhill Fields.

During 1665, Thomas Vincent preached constantly in parish churches. He said, “And if Monday night was dreadful, Tuesday night was more dreadful, when far the greatest part of the city was consumed: many thousands who on Saturday had houses convenient in the city, both for themselves, and to entertain others, now have not where to lay their head; and the fields are the only receptacle which they can find for themselves and their goods; most of the late inhabitants of London lie all night in the open air, with no other canopy over them but that of the heavens: the fire is still making towards them, and threateneth the suburbs; it was amazing to see how it had spread itself several times in compass; and, amongst other things that night, the sight of Guildhall was a fearful spectacle, which stood the whole body of it together in view, for several hours together, after the fire had taken it, without flames (I suppose because the timber was such solid oak,) in a bright shining coal as if it had been a palace of gold, or a great building of burnished brass.”

Thomas Vincent’s account of the plague in “God’s Terrible Voice in the City by Plague and Fire,” 1667, is graphic; seven in his own household died.

For more information see…...

StanB  •  Link

Some interesting points made above regarding the Plague which is now reaching a critical point, the death toll often referred to is 100,000 however it could be a lot higher than that. The bills recorded 68,594 plague deaths in 1665 but this is likely to be far short of the true total.
The searchers, shunned because of their contact with victims, were suspected even at the time of using catch-all terms like ‘feaver’ and ‘consumption’.
This would have increased with people’s reluctance to admit to plague in their households.
The five next biggest causes of death also spike over the summer so it’s likely many of those were actually plague deaths. Data from the Bills of Mortality illustrates the careless nature in which a lot of deaths were categorised its highly likely a lot of these deaths were in fact plague.
Feaver 4,664

Consumption 3,173

Spotted Feaver 1,855
Meningitis or typhus

Teeth 1,931
Death of an infant during teething

French pox, lethargy and the Kings-evil
As this small selection shows, many of the 99 causes of death listed in the bills seem obscure.
A sophisticated understanding of infection was still 200 years away and the searchers lacked even basic medical knowledge held by doctors of the day.
London was hugely unsanitary and people, including terrible numbers of babies, succumbed to ailments now trivial and easily treated.
Surfeit 1,130
Suggested definition: Vomiting from overeating
Rising of the Lights 288
Generally thought to be croup - possibly applied to any death involving shortness of breath
Imposthume 196
Scowring 80
Purging of the bowels, probably diarrhoea or dysentery
Kings-evil 62
Scrofula, a swelling caused by tuberculosis of neck and lymph glands
Timpany 23
Swelling or tumour
Overlaid 17
Possibly accidental suffocation of breastfeeding infant by a wet-nurse
Plannet 6
A sudden affliction, paralysis or an aneurysm, thought to be caused by the influence of the planets
Mother 2
Convulsions, suffocation or choking affecting women, possibly epilepsy
Wen 1
Tumour or cyst on the skin, often the scalp. London was nicknamed the Great Wen in the nineteenth century
There is now a theory suggesting that it wasn't the black rat that brought the plague to Europe but the giant gerbil, I'll leave that one with you

Tonyel  •  Link

"Do we get a distorted view of the morality of the age from readings of the Diary?"

I would suggest that we tend to get a distorted view of our own age as well, based on our first-world experience. I believe there are societies today where it is considered hospitable to offer one's wife to a visitor.

And, come to think of it, the English joke about laying down one's wife for one's king still has a strong element of truth about it.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

And for an annotation from Covid-19 lockdown: People have a renewed interest in the plague and Pepys today.

I now understand why he did not document more of the horrors. Like him, I looks for diversions from the reality -- I'm eating too much comfort food, while Pepys found his comfort in wine, women and song. But then, he didn't lockdown. And we have our share of the Rev. Thomas Vincents promising that if people go to Church, God will protect them -- but He isn't. I'll explore Loimologia, a book written by a physician named Nathanial Hodges, later:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

They lived, as the poet John Milton wrote at the time, in a “universe of death.”

We're better at hiding the fact than they could in 1665, but as we approach the end of our second COVID year, it is straggering to think that 5,200,000 people have died prematurely -- that we know of.…

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