Thursday 15 February 1665/66

Up, and my wife not come home all night. To the office, where sat all the morning. At noon to Starky’s, a great cooke in Austin Friars, invited by Colonell Atkins, and a good dinner for Colonell Norwood and his friends, among others Sir Edward Spragg and others, but ill attendance. Before dined, called on by my wife in a coach, and so I took leave, and then with her and Knipp and Mercer (Mr. Hunt newly come out of the country being there also come to see us) to Mr. Hales, the paynter’s, having set down Mr. Hunt by the way. Here Mr. Hales’ begun my wife in the posture we saw one of my Lady Peters, like a St. Katharine.1 While he painted, Knipp, and Mercer, and I, sang; and by and by comes Mrs. Pierce, with my name in her bosom for her Valentine, which will cost me money. But strange how like his very first dead colouring is, that it did me good to see it, and pleases me mightily, and I believe will be a noble picture. Thence with them all as far as Fleete Streete, and there set Mercer and Knipp down, and we home. I to the office, whither the Houblons come telling me of a little new trouble from Norwood about their ship, which troubles me, though without reason. So late home to supper and to bed.

We hear this night of Sir Jeremy Smith, that he and his fleete have been seen at Malaga; which is good newes.

18 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Hales’ begun my wife in the posture we saw one of my Lady Peters, like a St. Katharine"

"It was the fashion at this time to be painted as St. Catherine, in compliment to the queen."

Catherine of Braganza as St Catherine
published by Richard Tompson, after Jacob Huysmans
mezzotint, 1678-1679 (circa 1664)…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Houblons come telling me of a little new trouble from Norwood about their ship"

For their ship see 22 January -- "a business of Mr. Hubland’s, about getting a ship of his to go to Tangier, which during this strict embargo is a great matter, and I shall have a good reward for it, I hope."…

Lawrence  •  Link

My wife not coming home all night? dropping Hill off, so what is going on here? not saying Sam doesn't deserve it?

Lawrence  •  Link

Sorry, should have read better? Hunt set down, not Hill! guess that happened before Sam got Wind of it??? what a gossip I'am? sorry!

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"his [Hayls] very first dead colouring"

The first or preparatory layer of colour in a painting. So "dead-colour" v. trans., to paint in dead colour; "dead-colouring" vbl. n.

1658 W. Sanderson Graphice 63 First to speak of dead-colours. 1672 in H. Walpole Vertue's Anecd. Painting (1786) III. 128, 5 June, Dr. Tillotson sat+to Mr. Lely for him to lay in a dead colour of his picture. 1788 Sir J. Reynolds Disc. xiv. (1876) 94 That lightness of hand which was in his dead colour, or first painting. c1843 H. Greenough in Flagg Life W. Allston (1893) 182 This dead color I paint solidly, with a good body of color.

1658 W. Sanderson Graphice 64 Pictures by a good Master, begun, and dead-coloured only. 1668 Excellency of Pen & Pencil 82 In this Dead-colouring you need not be over curious+the colours may be mended at the second Operation. Ibid. 101 For a light-red Garment, first dead-colour it with Vermilion. c1790 J. Imison Sch. Art. II. 58 After the student has covered over, or as artists term it, has dead-coloured the head. 1859 Gullick & Timbs Paint. 230 The Dead-colouring is the first or preparatory painting, and is so termed because the colours are laid cold and pale to admit of the after-paintings.

AussieRene  •  Link


When painting with pastels there is a colour/stick called "kaput mortum"

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

Dead coloring is also called underpainting, usually monochrome. Caput mortuum is a rich purple.

"Caput mortuum (variously spelled caput mortum or caput mortem), also known as Cardinal purple, is the name given to a purple variety of haematite iron oxide pigment, used in oil paints and paper dyes. It was a very popular colour for painting the robes of religious figures and important personages (e.g. art patrons)."…

"In its simplest terms, an underpainting is a monochrome version of the final painting intended to initially fix the composition, give volume and substance to the forms, and distribute darks and lights in order to create the effect of illumination. The lack of color probably explains the word "dead" in the term "dead painting." Color was then applied over the underpainting only when it was thoroughly dry. Underpaintings were usually executed in warm earth tones on neutral grey grounds. Raw umber, at times mixed with black, were frequently used for this purpose. Cool grey underpaintings were also employed.…"

Mary  •  Link

earth-toned, monochrome underpainting.

Anyone who saw a British TV programme some years go that showed Michael Noakes beginning to work on a portrait of the actor Robert Morley will understand what Pepys means here. With a dilute application of a reddish-brown paint on a piece of cloth, Noakes swiftly roughed out the 'ghost' of the sitter and the armchair in which he sat onto the canvas. No brushes or other instruments were used, just a piece of cloth. The image, devoid of all detail or other colour, was immediately recognisable as Morley. Magic.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bess looks pretty nice in the engaving for a lady out all night the night before. Might explain that wandering eye, though. Say, surely the Halys session wasn't spur of the moment, Sam must have intended this for some time as a gift...Spoiler...

...for both of them as he gets painted too...Still, Bess was clearly very excited about the painting, zipping in to call Sam from his great dinner, and even willing to tolerate Knipp. Wonder if perhaps these two have bonded a little in their recent joint partying, particularly last night sans Sam. They certainly have a lot to commisserate about in their mutual husbands...And Bess does seem to have a sympathetic heart when reached at the right moment (Say, when the other lady isn't flirting with Sam or the servant isn't politely suggesting to the young Mrs. P that he or she knows much better). And clearly, though he's made no elaborate mention of it in the Diary, Sam has been finding a happy balance recently of including Bess in some of the fun. It won't likely last long...Sam will surely return to finding some other interests in Knipp and his other female friends than their musical ability and Bess will find herself left at home again...Without a real temperament to bear it quietly, however much she may try. Still, it's nice to see them having a grand time together, surely a great release of tension after this last horrible year.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and by and by comes Mrs. Pierce, with my name in her bosom for her Valentine, which will cost me money"

Why? No statute of limitations on Valentine's gifts? (And maybe the whole "cost me money" aspect is why Elizabeth had to call Mr. Hill upstairs yesterday...?)

A.. Hamilton  •  Link

Swinging London, 1666

Wife out all night with Mrs. Knepp (who later plays the leader of a group of sex-starved ladies in Country Wife); party moves on to the painter's studio; lots of singing for Sam with Knepp (Bab Allen) and Mercer; and then comes Mrs. Pierce. A jolly time. Scene from a film by Antonioni?

Glyn  •  Link

You can tell that she is meant to be St Catherine because of the Catherine Wheel in the bottom corner. This was the painting that was later destroyed by an outraged Victorian servant because of the amount of breast on show, so this engraving is all that remains of it.

Are there any computer experts here who could recolour this painting?

I'd always assumed that she was dressed as St Catherine because they often went to St Catherine's church (long gone) ner the St Katherine's Docks area near where they lived which is now a marina.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... very first dead colouring ..."

An unfinished Thomas Gainsborough, 1727-1788, clearly showing the under painting:

The Housemaid circa 1782-6
Oil on canvas
support: 2349 x 1486 mm frame: 2608 x 1737 x 115 mm…

Ric Jerrom  •  Link

Just catching up after days away: thrilled by the bibliofanatic thread of a couple of days ago, surprised no-one mentioned Archbishop Marsh's Library in Dublin - check or better still visit: biblioXanadu!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"We hear this night of Sir Jeremy Smith, that he and his fleete have been seen at Malaga; which is good newes."

So the dire "certain newes, that by storms Sir Jer. Smith’s fleet is scattered, and three of them come without masts back to Plymouth" of 10 January 1665/66… did not spell the loss of the fleet as a whole after all!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“We hear this night of Sir Jeremy Smith, that he and his fleete have been seen at Malaga; which is good newes.”

As Sandwich had supported the strategic posting of a "strong squadron" at the mouth of the Med to thwart the "Spain and France from uniting their Med and Atlantic fleets, to harry and pillage the treasure fleets returning from Spanish America, to reach the pirates of Algiers and Tripoli, and their no less rapacious Christian rivals the Knights of St John in Malta" in the Commonwealth days (Ruben quoting Ollard… ); in 1665-6 "So long as the [2nd Anglo-Dutch] war was confined to England and Holland the English neglect of the Straits and Mediter- ranean is at least comprehensible, inasmuch as the desired concentration must be in English waters, and Dutch interests in the Mediterranean were compara- tively small. With the entrance of Louis XIV into the arena, however, the range of naval action widened, the importance of the ' Gibraltar defile ' begins. The English successes of the first year's war, coupled with the ever growing power of Tangier as a naval station, as the mole stretched out further and the harbour grew, gave Louis a prospect of England supreme at sea holding / the key to the Mediterranean with which she could lock out all hopes of France's naval growth. Peace over- tures failed, so in January, 1666, Louis declared war on England.

"The French fleet was divided, part at Toulon under de Beaufort, part under du Quesne on the west coast. Colbert's intention was that Beaufort should have joined du Quesne and if possible united with the Dutch fleet before the English fleet came out 1 . Pre- cisely at this time, however, England made a move which seemed to show the fullest appreciation of the importance of the Straits and Tangier : Sir Jeremy Smith, a man with a fighting reputation, was sent out to the Straits with a small but strong squadron. To all but the English the move seemed brilliant and deliberate. With Jeremy Smith in the Straits, Beau- fort's fleet could not be induced to budge, and in the meantime the Anglo-Dutch War continued and France was helpless. And then, as it were to confirm and strengthen that move, a small additional squadron was sent out to escort Sandwich to Spain."

*The navy of the restoration, from the death of Cromwell to the treaty of Breda : its work, growth and influence* ARTHUR W. TEDDER, B.A., Cambridge: at the University Press, 1916, pp. 99-100.…

Second Reading

john  •  Link

"and by comes Mrs. Pierce, with my name in her bosom for her Valentine, which will cost me money." Here is the Pepys we have come to know and love/hate.

L&M note that the painting in the entry has not survived. The family rumour is that it was destroyed by a cook during the Victorian era (due to the hypocritical sensitivities of the time, no doubt).

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