Wednesday 14 November 1666

Up, and by water to White Hall, and thence to Westminster, where I bought several things, as a hone, ribbon, gloves, books, and then took coach and to Knipp’s lodging, whom I find not ready to go home with me. So I away to do a little business, among others to call upon Mr. Osborne for my Tangier warrant for the last quarter, and so to the Exchange for some things for my wife, and then to Knipp’s again, and there staid reading of Waller’s verses, while she finished dressing, her husband being by. I had no other pastime. Her lodging very mean, and the condition she lives in; yet makes a shew without doors, God bless us! I carried him along with us into the City, and set him down in Bishopsgate Street, and then home with her. She tells me how Smith, of the Duke’s house, hath killed a man upon a quarrel in play; which makes every body sorry, he being a good actor, and, they say, a good man, however this happens. The ladies of the Court do much bemoan him, she says. Here she and we alone at dinner to some good victuals, that we could not put off, that was intended for the great dinner of my Lord Hinchingbroke’s, if he had come. After dinner I to teach her my new recitative of “It is decreed,” of which she learnt a good part, and I do well like it and believe shall be well pleased when she hath it all, and that it will be found an agreeable thing. Then carried her home, and my wife and I intended to have seen my Lady Jemimah at White Hall, but the Exchange Streete was so full of coaches, every body, as they say, going thither to make themselves fine against tomorrow night, that, after half an hour’s stay, we could not do any [thing], only my wife to see her brother, and I to go speak one word with Sir G. Carteret about office business, and talk of the general complexion of matters, which he looks upon, as I do, with horrour, and gives us all for an undone people. That there is no such thing as a peace in hand, nor possibility of any without our begging it, they being as high, or higher, in their terms than ever, and tells me that, just now, my Lord Hollis had been with him, and wept to think in what a condition we are fallen. He shewed me my Lord Sandwich’s letter to him, complaining of the lack of money, which Sir G. Carteret is at a loss how in the world to get the King to supply him with, and wishes him, for that reason, here; for that he fears he will be brought to disgrace there, for want of supplies. He says the House is yet in a bad humour; and desiring to know whence it is that the King stirs not, he says he minds it not, nor will be brought to it, and that his servants of the House do, instead of making the Parliament better, rather play the rogue one with another, and will put all in fire. So that, upon the whole, we are in a wretched condition, and I went from him in full apprehensions of it. So took up my wife, her brother being yet very bad, and doubtful whether he will recover or no, and so to St. Ellen’s [St. Helen’s], and there sent my wife home, and myself to the Pope’s Head, where all the Houblons were, and Dr. Croone, and by and by to an exceeding pretty supper, excellent discourse of all sorts, and indeed [they] are a set of the finest gentlemen that ever I met withal in my life. Here Dr. Croone told me, that, at the meeting at Gresham College to-night, which, it seems, they now have every Wednesday again, there was a pretty experiment of the blood of one dogg let out, till he died, into the body of another on one side, while all his own run out on the other side.1 The first died upon the place, and the other very well, and likely to do well. This did give occasion to many pretty wishes, as of the blood of a Quaker to be let into an Archbishop, and such like; but, as Dr. Croone says, may, if it takes, be of mighty use to man’s health, for the amending of bad blood by borrowing from a better body.

After supper, James Houblon and another brother took me aside and to talk of some businesses of their owne, where I am to serve them, and will, and then to talk of publique matters, and I do find that they and all merchants else do give over trade and the nation for lost, nothing being done with care or foresight, no convoys granted, nor any thing done to satisfaction; but do think that the Dutch and French will master us the next yeare, do what we can: and so do I, unless necessity makes the King to mind his business, which might yet save all.

Here we sat talking till past one in the morning, and then home, where my people sat up for me, my wife and all, and so to bed.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Gresham College — from the Hooke Folio Online

Nou 14. 1666. (expt. of transfusion tryed) with successe)

the Expt. of the Inclining pendulum was repeated & mr Hooke was orderd to bring in a scheme of it and a description of its vses. -
[ page ] 56
(Blunt about chariott) suggesting that if mr Hooks spring saddle should doe well the springs thereof should be

(Blunts English wines, a pea producing the first year 513 the 2d a peck & half and the 3d year fiue bushells
mr Hoskins queryd what spt. it would yeald compared to french iruie. Dr Crone to try)

Sr. R Moray Deuonshire Loadstones for the Repository. Dr Cotton of Deuonshire Loadstones.) Dr Charleton ^ /a/ Coccothraugtes
[… ] comitted to mr Hooke for the Repository

about Sorbiers Expulsion - [… ]…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Vampire spaniel?


Gresham College...1666...

"You may murmur if you will..."

Murmur, murmur, murmur...

"Right..." Mr. King fumes but continues... "But I foresee a day when this experiment in the transfusion of blood will be followed by others."

"Others..." Mr. Coxe echoes.

"Til one day the brains of smart people will be kept alive by transfusion into the bodies of dumb people..."

Murmur, murmur...

Say...Several take pause...

Would be nice to live another fifty in some dumb young footman.

Still...Some one is sure to...

"Unholy!!...Papist!!!...Out with them!!" cry is raised.

Hmmn...Somehow...Hooke thinks, monitioning for King and Coxe to exit, stage left, post-haste with surprisingly frisky spaniel...

That juxtaposition just doesn't...

"This is not over!!" King shakes fist.

(Spoiler...Halt now or like Dr. Praetorius of "Bride of Frankenstein" risk knowing too much...)

November 1669...

A drunken, broke King is grabbed by two men as he stumbles back to his lodgings...

And finds himself covered in hood, dragged to coach, and after a rather short ride, dragged into a building and sat in a chair. His hood jerked off to reveal a short, bug-eyed man in periwig looking anxious and jotting notes.

"Mr. King? I apologize for having you brought here under such circumstances but time was of the essence."


"Best not to identify myself just now Mr. King...Wouldn't want to have to have you deposited into the Thames for my safety should you refuse my request...The request, Mr. King, of a desperate, desperate man. And a loving husband..."


"Water!" Bucket thrown at King...

"Sorry, Mr. King...Time as I said. Mr. King, I learnt of your transfusion experiments in '66 and have followed your work since. I understand you have continued your efforts, though without proper support. Though you have achieved such results as might astound...Or horrify...The world were they to be known?"

"Hic...Have me at a disad..hic..vantage, sir."

"Mr. King...You once said you dreamed of transfusing the human brain. And I understand that you have worked in secret to make that dream a reality. Without sanction, I should say."

"Sir?" King snaps alert at the implied threat.

"Not to worry, Mr. King. In fact...I have a subject for you."

Sam waves to servant who reluctantly pulls curtain...


Robert Gertz  •  Link

Sorry, I've been writing "monitor" a lot in a paper tonight... Motioning.


Any way, it would explain why Skinner's family was a tad upset with Sam for a while.

CGS  •  Link

House of Lords : Busy day for House. A bill to bastardize and a bill save the Island from Irish milk and steaks along with a bill to establish pecking order of English Lords over Irish and other Lordly ones.
House of Commons : organised the lads to find ways for the King to get monies for his Navy and his Household and there by keep his mistresses in lace.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Smith ... hath killed a man upon a quarrel in play"

Should this have read "in A play"?

R Waller  •  Link

"and there staid reading of Waller’s verses,"
Sam would have known my 8Greats Grandfather since they were both members of the Royal Society, although Edmund Waller was by now well into his sixties.

Sam would also have found a sympathetic ear for the navy and shipping as evidenced by a couple of Waller's better known quotes:
"Others may use the ocean as their road; Only the English make it their abode."

"Let us look to our Government, fleet and trade, 'tis the best advice the oldest Parliament man among you can give you, and so God bless you."

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ...and there staid reading of Waller’s verses, ..."

Business ...

To the King on His Navy
Where'er thy navy spreads her canvas wings,
Homage to thee, and peace to all, she brings:
The French and Spaniard, when thy flags appear,
Forget their hatred, and consent to fear.
So Jove from Ida did both hosts survey,
And when he pleas'd to thunder, part the fray.
Ships heretofore in seas like fishes sped,
The mightiest still upon the smallest fed:
Thou on the deep imposest nobler laws,
And by that justice hast remov'd the cause
Of those rude tempests, which, for rapine sent,
Too oft, alas, involv'd the innocent.
Now shall the ocean, as thy Thames, be free
From both those fates, of storms and piracy.
But we most happy, who can fear no force
But winged troops, or Pegasean horse:
'Tis not so hard for greedy foes to spoil
Another nation, as to touch our soil.
Should Nature's self invade the world again,
And o'er the centre spread the liquid main,
Thy power were safe; and her destructive hand
Would but enlarge the bounds of thy command:
Thy dreadful fleet would style thee lord of all,
And ride in triumph o'er the drowned ball:
Those towers of oak o'er fertile plains might go,
And visit mountains, where they once did grow.

The world's restorer once could not endure,
That finish'd Babel should those men secure,
Whose pride design'd that fabric to have stood
Above the reach of any second flood:
To thee His chosen, more indulgent, He
Dares trust such power with so much piety.…

... or pleasure?

To Phyllis

Phyllis! why should we delay
Pleasures shorter than the day?
Can we (which we never can)
Stretch our lives beyond their span,
Beauty like a shadow flies,
And our youth before us dies.
Or, would youth and beauty stay,
Love has wings, and will away.
Love has swifter wings than Time;
Change in love to heaven doth climb.
Gods, that never change their state,
Vary oft their love and hate.
Phyllis! to this truth we owe
All the love betwixt us two.
Let not you and I inquire
What has been our past desire;
On what shepherds you have smiled,
Or what nymphs I have beguiled;
Leave it to the planets too,
What we shall hereafter do;
For the joys we now may prove,
Take advice of present love.…

Michael Robinson  •  Link

“Smith … hath killed a man upon a quarrel in play”

L&M agree with this text.

Spoiler. They footnote that Smith returned to the stage very shortly.

Mr. Gunning  •  Link

Play could also mean gambling, although Smith was an actor. Gambling could easily lead to murderous quarrels. The missing 'A' could be meaningful.

Here is an example of 'play' by Boswell:

I mentioned a new gaming-club, of which Mr. Beauclerk had given me an account, where the members played to a desperate extent.
Johnson: "Depend upon it, Sir, this is mere talk. Who is ruined by gaming? You will not find six instances in an age. There is a strange rout made about deep play: whereas you have many more people ruined by adventurous trade, and yet we do not hear such an outcry against it."
Thrale: "There may be few people absolutely ruined by deep play; but very many are much hurt in their circumstances by it."
Johnson: "Yes, Sir, and so are very many by other kinds of expence."

CS  •  Link

Here's a possible argument for "in a play" versus "in play" (although I'm neutral on what is meant here). Playwright George Farquhar apparently started professional life as an actor, but he fled the stage after a terrifying accident. Here is what happened according to the Dictionary of National Biography and biographer Shirley Strum Kenney: "By 1696 Farquhar had joined the acting company in the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin, but stage fright and a weak voice hampered his performances.... After two seasons he left Smock Alley when, as Guyomar in John Dryden's The Indian Emperor, he forgot to exchange his sword for a foil and consequently injured the actor playing Vasquez."

That was 30 years after Pepys wrote this entry, but it shows that awful accidents did happen.

arby  •  Link

Can anyone explain to me what "...yet makes a shew without doors, God bless us!" means?

Mr.Gunning  •  Link


Although Mrs. Knipp's lodging and living conditions are poor she dresses very well and puts on a good visual 'shew' or show 'without doors' or ouside of her lodging. 'God Bless us!' Would be Sam giving thanks to God for blessing us with this.

arby  •  Link

Ah, of course, 'outdoors'. Thanks! I say of course now, but I would never have got it. rb

CGS  •  Link

“…yet makes a shew without doors, God bless us!..

”A case of show best togs for the neighbours but the underwear be in tatters. Always show best facade, then Samuell remembers how Lucky he be, just 6 yrs past he be in a garrett finding ways to get Chateau Briand for providing daily gossip.

CGS  •  Link

Dueling be popular and Parliament is considering having it banned as so many are dieing due to the lack of practice.

As the stage is a reflection of the world on the Strand, the actors have no coaches to put a protective tip on the blade i.e. a tennis ball, in order to protect the inept from seeing a surgeon or mortician.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"experiment of the blood of one dogg let out,till he died,into the body of another"
Do all dogs have the same blood type?

CGS  •  Link

never forget "..In 1598 the English playwright Ben Jonson fought a duel, mortally wounding an actor by the name of Gabriel Spencer..."
The Duel, wiki
pen and sword, still mightier than a lone actor.

Ruben  •  Link

Dogs and blood
from the Google
"Yes, a dog does have a specific blood type, although its not the familiar ABO system used to determine human blood type. The actual number of blood type combinations in dogs is still a matter of dispute amongst experts, but the basic blood type test for canines allows for a minimum of eight distinctive results...only one blood type is considered universally acceptable for unmatched transfusions, a type known as DEA 1.1 negative. Dogs who test negative for another antigen called DEA 4 are ideal donors, but this is the equivalent of finding a rare AB negative blood type in humans..."

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Gambling could easily lead to murderous quarrels.

Ivory bones with ebony spots
Oft-times lead to cemetery lots
And the game I got into the other night
Ended up in pistol shots

From "Somebody else, not me" (Not the Dave van Ronk version)

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Thank you Ruben

Australian Susan  •  Link

At the start of this entry, Sam says he bought a "hone". Could anyone with access to L&M confirm what is meant by this?

Also, is the punctuation wrong in the section where Sam records about reading verses. Should there be a full stop after "dressing" and a comma after "by" so it would read:
"...and there staid reading of Waller’s verses, while she finished dressing. Her husband being by, I had no other pastime." Or is this twisting Sam's intentions??

Michael Robinson  •  Link

@Australian Susan

L&M read (the dashes are authorial):
"... bought several things -- as, a hone -- ribband -- gloves -- books. And then ..."

Your supposition about SP's intentions was correct, L&M reads:

" ... and then to Knipp again, and there stayed, reading of Waller’s verses while she finished her dressing -- her husband being by, I had no other pastime. Her lodging very mean,..."

Mary  •  Link

a hone.

I imagine that the hone is exactly what it says that it is: a kind of whetstone, used for putting a good edge onto knives, scissors, razors etc. The size and shape of the hone bought would depend upon the kind of work that it was needed for.

Perhaps the kitchen knives at Seething Lane were blunt.

CGS  •  Link

"Perhaps the kitchen knives at Seething Lane were blunt."
,or may be the rapiers need a little attention too.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"pretty experiment of the blood of one dogg let out ..."

The original publication of 'Philosophical Transactions,' setting out the questions to be answered, part of a new web-site from the Royal Society ( http://trailblazing.royalsociety.… ) describing 350 years of scientific publication:

Tryals Proposed by Mr. Boyle to Dr. Lower, to be Made by Him, for the Improvement of Transfusing Blood out of One Live Animal into Another
Phil. Trans. 1665-1666 1, 385-388

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Tryals Proposed" was last February. Today will be reported as:

The Success of the Experiment of Transfusing the Bloud of One Animal into Another
Philosophical Transactions (1665-1678)
Vol. 1 (1665 - 1666), p. 352
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL:

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"That there is no such thing as a peace in hand, nor possibility of any without our begging it, they being as high, or higher, in their terms than ever"

L&M: Since accepting the Swedish mediators in July 1666, Britain had abated her terms , abandoning, e.g. her attempt to foist the Prubce of Orange on to the Dutch. The latter still refused to make a separate treaty without French agreement. See Feiling, pp. 209-11.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"at the meeting at Gresham College to-night, which, it seems, they now have every Wednesday again"

L&M: Since the Fire thr Rolyal Siciety had net regularly on its usual day -- Wednesday -- with only two exceptions: 5 September because of the Fire itself, and 10 October because of the fast. Birch, ii. passim. Pepys had not attended any meeting since 11 April.

Elisabeth  •  Link

So to the Exchange for some things for my wife...

Despite the fire and anxiety about the state of the nation, business seems to be good at the site of the Royal Exchange. I can only assume that merchants there are successfully improvising shops and stalls in what remains of the building.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


"On a cold day in 1667, the renegade Jean-Baptiste Denis plucked an insane man off the streets of Paris and transfused him with cow’s blood.
A few days later, the patient was dead – and the transfusionist soon faced murder charges…

"Set in 17th-century London and Paris, Blood Work (W.W. Norton, 2011) is a story of political infighting, professional backstabbing, and the struggle to control the most powerful commodity in 17th-century Europe: knowledge.

"Using blood transfusion as a frame for the larger social history of the Scientific Revolution, I track the confluence of cultural, political, and religious forces in a world undergoing radical transformation as science and society changed at a pace never before imagined.

"I came across the fascinating – and bizarre – story of early animal-to-human transfusions as many professors do…while preparing a lecture on the history of blood circulation (discovered in 1628 by William Harvey) for one of my history of medicine classes at Vanderbilt University. My work on the Denis case would soon lead me through the violent and dirty streets of early Paris, into the affluent homes of French nobles, and across the Channel to a plague-ridden and fire-destroyed London.

"As I hunted down answers to the madman’s death, I became fascinated by how one of the most common procedures in medicine today – blood transfusion – had such a long and fraught history. With the possibilities of genetic manipulation, stem cell research, and cloning, I do think we’re also deep in a similar moment of Scientific Revolution.

"Time will only tell which of our modern discoveries stick, and which ones are cast aside for another 150 years like transfusion was after the Denis trial. And like the early transfusionists, we have to ask the same time-worn questions they did: How far are we willing push the limits of science? And at what price?"

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