Tuesday 13 February 1665/66

Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the ‘Change, and thence after business dined at the Sheriffe’s [Hooker], being carried by Mr. Lethulier, where to my heart’s content I met with his wife, a most beautifull fat woman. But all the house melancholy upon the sickness of a daughter of the house in childbed, Mr. Vaughan’s lady. So all of them undressed, but however this lady a very fine woman. I had a salute of her, and after dinner some discourse the Sheriffe and I about a parcel of tallow I am buying for the office of him. I away home, and there at the office all the afternoon till late at night, and then away home to supper and to bed. Ill newes this night that the plague is encreased this week, and in many places else about the towne, and at Chatham and elsewhere. This day my wife wanting a chambermaid with much ado got our old little Jane to be found out, who come to see her and hath lived all this while in one place, but is so well that we will not desire her removal, but are mighty glad to see the poor wench, who is very well and do well.

11 Annotations

cape henry  •  Link

Nice to see Sam "mighty glad" at the success and contentment of Jane - he doesn't often show disinterested pleasure in the good fortune of others, especially those of lesser status. On the other hand, he leaves poor Mrs. Lethulier wondering all these centuries if this diary makes her look fat.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Jane is back...!

Ok, spoiler...But many of us know she's soon to return...


cgs  •  Link

oh! so modern, T-shirt and some old raggedy petty coats.
No formal clothing just some 'Stuff' from Casual shop
"... all of them undressed,..." ready for the boudoir.

Australian Susan  •  Link

If I'd been Mrs Hooker, I would have been rather cross with Mr L.for bringing a near stranger back to the house to talk business when they are all obviously worried out of their wits about poor Mrs Vaughan dying probably, in childbed (puerpural fever?). Sam is usually pretty leery about remaining near anyone who is ill, for fear of contagion, so he had obviously been convinced that poor Mrs V is seriously ill with complications arising from the birth and not, therefore, at risk of passing on plague to our Sam.

Mary  •  Link

So Jane 'is very well and do well" and appears to be happy in her current place of employment, yet Sam still refers to her as "poor wench." He can hardly be referring to the girl's financial position, so he uses the adjective almost as an affectionate but slightly condescending diminutive.

The L&M Companion gives no information about Jane's family background, so it's impossible to tell whether she might be "poor" because of a sad, personal history. (The same epithet is not applied to her brother Wayneman). She has shown herself to be capable and resourceful, so can't be called "poor' on either of those scores. Could Sam be betraying a suspicion that she possesses qualities that, in other circumstances, would allow her to progress well beyond the status of domestic servant?

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... where to my heart’s content I met with his wife, a most beautifull fat woman."

SP has been hot and bothered at church for a while:
"...hoping to see and salute Mrs. Lethulier, whom I did see in passing, but no opportunity of beginning acquaintance, but a very noble lady she is, however the silly alderman got her."
"Here I saw again my beauty Lethulier."

Lawrence  •  Link

I know this is many years in the future, but am I right in thinking that Jane get's a ring at Samuel's funeral?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"am I right in thinking that Jane get’s a ring at Samuel’s funeral?"

The L&M Companion says her elder surviving son, Pepys's godson, Samuel Edwards did.

Sean Adams  •  Link

“am I right in thinking that Jane get’s a ring at Samuel’s funeral?”

Claire Tomlin in her biography is both more and less informative:
'Jane Penny, "little old Jane", who was given five guineas for her mourning as well as a ring would have been represented by her son Lieutenant Edwards, unless he were at sea.'

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Ill newes this night that the plague is encreased this week"

L&M: 6-13 February there were 59 plague burials and 52 the previous week.

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