Tuesday 7 November 1665

Up, and to Sir G. Carteret, and with him, he being very passionate to be gone, without staying a minute for breakfast, to the Duke of Albemarle’s and I with him by water and with Fen: but, among other things, Lord! to see how he wondered to see the river so empty of boats, nobody working at the Custome-house keys; and how fearful he is, and vexed that his man, holding a wine-glasse in his hand for him to drinke out of, did cover his hands, it being a cold, windy, rainy morning, under the waterman’s coate, though he brought the waterman from six or seven miles up the river, too. Nay, he carried this glasse with him for his man to let him drink out of at the Duke of Albemarle’s, where he intended to dine, though this he did to prevent sluttery, for, for the same reason he carried a napkin with him to Captain Cocke’s, making him believe that he should eat with foule linnen. Here he with the Duke walked a good while in the Parke, and I with Fen, but cannot gather that he intends to stay with us, nor thinks any thing at all of ever paying one farthing of money more to us here, let what will come of it.

Thence in, and Sir W. Batten comes in by and by, and so staying till noon, and there being a great deal of company there, Sir W. Batten and I took leave of the Duke and Sir G. Carteret, there being no good to be done more for money, and so over the River and by coach to Greenwich, where at Boreman’s we dined, it being late. Thence my head being full of business and mind out of order for thinking of the effects which will arise from the want of money, I made an end of my letters by eight o’clock, and so to my lodging and there spent the evening till midnight talking with Mrs. Penington , who is a very discreet, understanding lady and very pretty discourse we had and great variety, and she tells me with great sorrow her bitch is dead this morning, died in her bed. So broke up and to bed.

11 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Gee, what happened to "cousin George"? Apparently Sandwich's drop in value has caused Carteret to draw things in a bit. I take it Sam is now the "fellow" who handled some of his [Carteret's] son's wedding (curse the day) arrangements and always has his official hand out for money for the Navy.

Thanks Judy, I really appreciate the image you've left us with regarding your pooch. Would you could have been even a mite more discreet.

Mrs. P too socially inaccessible to warrant Sam's less elevated attentions? Or not attractive enough? Or...

"Ooof..." Sam struggles to rise from the floor.

"Pepys. We were having such a fine conversation."

"Ummmph...Mrs...P...Would...You...Con...sider...Remmmmoving your...Foot...Fromm..." gasping rattle...

"Oh...Sorry." Mrs. P removes foot from throat. "You will behave now? I was enjoying our talk so much. I have so much interest in the affairs of our Navy."

"Yes, yes..." Sam gives feeble wave.

cape henry  •  Link

"...nor thinks any thing at all of ever paying one farthing of money more to us here..." The irony here, of course, is that this is more or less the circumstance that the "seamen" find themselves in with regard to Pepys and the Navy Office, no?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"though this he did to prevent sluttery"
Good, after all one did not know then how the plague was transmitted.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

"he carried this glasse with him for his man to let him drink out of"
Exactly. This was a pretty good idea to prevent transmission of plague. Carteret might have had a few other good habits to keep away disease.
As for the foul linen, he may have seen surgeons who operated with lightning speed but kept the bloody, dirty smocks as proof they did a lot of work. He might have thought that the surgeons would do better with clean clothes.

cgs  •  Link

so difficult to link cause and effect.

cgs  •  Link

Slut such a nice word,
it has been written a score of times
[Of doubtful origin: cf. G. (now dial.) schlutt, schlutte, schlutz, in sense 1. Forms having some resemblance in sound and sense also occur in the Scand. languages, as Da. slatte (? from LG.), Norw. slott, Sw. dial. slåta, but connexion is very doubtful.]
---------------- interesting use.

4. a. A piece of rag dipped in lard or fat and used as a light.
1609 C. BUTLER Fem. Mon. (1634) 151 Matches are made of linen rags and Brimstone, after the manner that maids make Sluts.
b. In playful use, or without serious imputation of bad qualities.
1664 PEPYS Diary 21 Feb., Our little girl Susan is a most admirable slut, and pleases us mightily.

1. a. A woman of dirty, slovenly, or untidy habits or appearance; a foul slattern.

"...the most ill-favoured slut that ever I saw in my life,..."

"...and there I took occasion, from the blacknesse of the meat as it came out of the pot, to fall out with my wife and my maid for their sluttery, and so left the table,..."


"...Dined at home all alone, and taking occasion from some fault in the meat to complain of my maid’s sluttery, my wife and I fell out, and I up to my chamber in a discontent..."


1. Sluttishness, filthiness, dirtiness, untidiness.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam's comments on Carteret's obsessiveness reminds me of the behaviour of some people when the transmission of Aids was not clearly understood: people became fearful of touch and kissing, carried their own bottles of water around, drank beer from the bottle and so on.

Second Reading

LKvM  •  Link

keys = quais

john  •  Link

Pepys seems to have a soft spot for dogs. He recorded his happiness upon finding his lost dog and recorded the loss of Penington's dog.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meanwhile at the Oxford Court, Charles II today takes a stand against misinformation by authorizing the first issue of The Oxford Gazette.
After their return to London, it became the London Gazette, published twice a week.

The London Gazette is not a conventional newspaper covering general news: it is the official journal of the British government and is published on behalf of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, making it subject to Crown copyright. When it was first published, it was sent by post to subscribers, rather than being purchasable on the streets from hawkers.

The London Gazette’s appearance came during a particularly turbulent time. The English Civil Wars were within recent memory, and had been partly fueled by propaganda, with both sides utilizing printing to support their causes and denounce their enemy.

The Restoration was one of glamour, excess, and also political instability. Charles II’s crown was far from secure.

The term ‘fake news’ is a 21st century one, but applies equally to 17th century Britain. Impartial, current, comprehensive news coverage was needed. Instead, information was often delivered late, and was frequently written with political and/or religious bias.

In 1665, plague struck London hard, forcing Charles II and his Court to relocate to Oxford. Fear of infection made many courtiers afraid to handle the miscellaneous London pamphlets, but the need for accurate news remained.

Charles therefore ordered a journal be printed in Oxford. The new journal would provide an authoritative alternative to the disorganized London press. The Gazette’s strap line has always been ‘Published by Authority.’

Pepys later remarked that the London Gazette was ‘full of newes, and no folly in it’.

When Charles II returned to London, the Oxford Gazette also moved, and was renamed and continued to be printed twice a week.

One famous issue, number 85, provided a timely and faithful account of the Great Fire of London, during which the paper’s printing facilities had been destroyed.

Today The Gazette is printed every weekday, publishing bills passed in Parliament, appointments to public office, military awards, and other official business.

It is also available online: every copy having now been digitized, but I find it hard to navigate their system (I suspect I need a subscription).

For more information about the Gazette's more recent history, see
Again, you may need a subscription to this fun site.

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