Monday 23 April 1666

Being mighty weary last night, lay long this morning, then up and to the office, where Sir W. Batten, Lord Bruncker and I met, and toward noon took coach and to White Hall, where I had the opportunity to take leave of the Prince, and again of the Duke of Albemarle; and saw them kiss the King’s hands and the Duke’s; and much content, indeed, there seems to be in all people at their going to sea, and [they] promise themselves much good from them. This morning the House of Parliament do meet, only to adjourne again till winter. The plague, I hear, encreases in the towne much, and exceedingly in the country everywhere.

Thence walked to Westminster Hall, and after a little stay, there being nothing now left to keep me there, Betty Howlett being gone, I took coach and away home, in my way asking in two or three places the worth of pearles, I being now come to the time that I have long ago promised my wife a necklace.

Dined at home and took Balty with me to Hales’s to show him his sister’s picture, and thence to Westminster, and there I to the Swan and drank, and so back again alone to Hales’s and there met my wife and Mercer, Mrs. Pierce being sitting, and two or three idle people of her acquaintance more standing by. Her picture do come on well. So staid until she had done and then set her down at home, and my wife and I and the girle by coach to Islington, and there eat and drank in the coach and so home, and there find a girle sent at my desire by Mrs. Michell of Westminster Hall, to be my girle under the cooke-mayde, Susan. But I am a little dissatisfied that the girle, though young, is taller and bigger than Su, and will not, I fear, be under her command, which will trouble me, and the more because she is recommended by a friend that I would not have any unkindness with, but my wife do like very well of her.

So to my accounts and journall at my chamber, there being bonfires in the streete, for being St. George’s day, and the King’s Coronation, and the day of the Prince and Duke’s going to sea. So having done my business, to bed.


16 Annotations

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Thence walked to Westminster Hall, and after a little stay, there being nothing now left to keep me there, Betty Howlett being gone, I took coach and away home, in my way asking in two or three places the worth of pearles, I being now come to the time that I have long ago promised my wife a necklace."

Interesting redirection of focus...

jeannine  •  Link

I found this interesting and I didn’t know this about Monck (Albermarle), so I thought I’d post it. Its a little background about him, and quite favorable, leading up to today’s entry. It’s from “The Rupert and Monck Letter Book” edited by Powell and Timings.

“With the outbreak of the Second Dutch War Monck acted as the Duke of York’s deputy ashore, and bent his efforts to the supplying of the fleet. When the Duke returned from sea service to administer the Navy from land, Monck was called to a new and dangerous duty. The plague had broken out. Together with Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Craven Monck boldly faced the danger, regardless of his own safety. All who could had fled from that stricken city. Only these three remained. The King, Court, and merchants had fled, leaving the poor, who could not, to their fate. By their simple presence the three brought courage to the failing hearts of the poor. They drew up a rough code of sanitary regulations. Infected houses were placed out of bounds to all save doctors and nurses; the clothing of the dead was burnt, and their bodies collected and buried in lime; robbery and theft were severely punished. Above all the three visited the sick and dying, and by their example and words of cheer they encouraged the living to face boldly the danger from which there was no escape.

Thus it was when, in November 1665, Clarendon brought him the news that he was to be appointed General at Sea with Rupert, that Monck said he thought he could do the King better service by staying in London to deal with the plague, but it was pointed out to him that the necessity of going out against the Dutch was pre-eminent; to which he agreed.

The situation was grave, for in January France and Denmark had allied themselves with the Dutch. So, on April 23, 1666, the admirals took command of the fleet at Nore.”

Don McCahill  •  Link

> But I am a little dissatisfied that the girle, though young, is taller and bigger than Su, and will not, I fear, be under her command

And perhaps not under the command of the master, when he wants a quick grope?

language hat  •  Link

Thanks much for that quote, jeannine! But a crucial "and" was omitted:

"Together with Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury, AND the Earl of Craven Monck boldly faced the danger..."

Without it, it's impossible to figure out who "these three" are!

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"But I am a little dissatisfied that the girle, though young, is taller and bigger..."

Ooof! Arggh...

"Mr. Pepys, sir? Are you all right, sir? I did say, no, sir."

Oooh... Groan.

"Mrs. Pepys? Mr. Pepys..." Cut to frantic Sam alternating between prayerful poster of desperate pleading, waving, and agonized groans.

"...took a fall, ma'am." benevolent smile. Thank ye, thank ye...Sam's expression.

"You've been falling a lot this year, dearest." Bess concernedly notes, helping him upstairs.

Lawrence  •  Link

Thanks Jeannine, that was very interesting, I suppose things are about to become interesting for us, but not any poor soul who were living and working around the Naval yards,at this time in our history? God pray them a good end to this mess!

Carl in Boston  •  Link

Jeannine, you did the business. The curtain parts and there stands Monck, a leader of his time, and example through the ages. What a man.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... and away home, in my way asking in two or three places the worth of pearles, I being now come to the time that I have long ago promised my wife a necklace."

All the picture viewing and studio visits this month must have made SP realize that Elizabeth has developed some serious skill as a painter:

"Up, and after much pleasant talke and being importuned by my wife and her two mayds, which are both good wenches, for me to buy a necklace of pearle for her, and I promising to give her one of 60l. in two years at furthest, and in less if she pleases me in her painting, ..."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1665/08/22/

Australian Susan  •  Link

It being about to be Mothers' Day here, our local jeweller is, hopefully, exhibiting a lovely string of Tahitian black pearls - for a mere $19,000....... I wonder if Sam will suddenly go off the idea when he finds out how expensive good pearls are...watch this space. Wonder if he will offer Bess a pearl ring......

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This morning the House of Parliament do meet, only to adjourne again till winter."

Commons Journal

Parliament further prorogued.

The Usher of the Black Rod knocking at the House Door, no further Proceeding could be had.
A Message from the Lords, by Sir John Eyton, Usher of the Black Rod;
Mr. Speaker,
The Lords, commissionated by his Majesty, desire the Presence of this House in the House of Peers.
And Mr. Speaker, with the House, went up to attend the Lords.
And his Majesty's Commission was read in the House of Peers; Whereby the Parliament was prorogued to the Eighteenth Day of September next.
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/commons-jrnl/v...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"The plague, I hear, encreases in the towne much, and exceedingly in the country everywhere. "

L&M: 40 plague victims had been buried in London during 10-17 April; 28 during the previous week (GL) and the fear was that the warmer weather would bring still worse news. After May, however, the worst was over in the capital. In the provinces the the peak of the epidemic was reached in the summer -- a few towns such as Deal and Colchester, suffering proportionately more heavily than London. See https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/07/04/ and https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1666/08/09/

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... and so home, and there find a girl sent at my desire by Mrs. Michell of Westminster Hall, to be my girl under the cook-maid, Susan. But I am a little dissatisfied that the girl, though young, is taller and bigger than Su, and will not, I fear, be under her command, ..."

I confess I've lost track of the maids. But seems to me that his little girl ("Su" above), is not the same person as the cook-maid "Susan" (above). Little Su sounded as if she was about 9 when she arrived a couple of years ago, and I don't think the Pepys would have a now-13-year-old in charge of the food. If this was one and the same person, I don't think he would have used two versions of the same name in two sentences.

Seniority counts, and Pepys needs "Su" who has been working for "Susan" to teach this new girl the ropes. If the new girl is taller than "Su" it may be hard for her to do this.

I wondering if this might be the same Susan last heard from in August 1663 who seems to have worked for the Pepys a few times:
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/08/19/

Of course, we will never know for sure ...

Tonyel  •  Link

"This morning the House of Parliament do meet, only to adjourne again till winter."

Given the shambolic way that our modern parliamentarians have been acting over Brexit, one can only wish they might follow suit.

Tonyel  •  Link

I confess I've lost track of the maids. But seems to me that his little girl ("Su" above), is not the same person as the cook-maid "Susan"

I begin to wonder if Sam called all his junior maids Susan when he could not recall their actual names. It was common practice in some of the great houses, even into the 20th century, to allocate a previous holder's name to a specific post.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

"there eat and drank in the coach and so home,"

First example of a drive thru for pickup dining?

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