Thursday 15 November 1666

This [morning] come Mr. Shepley (newly out of the country) to see me; after a little discourse with him, I to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home, and there dined, Shepley with me, and after dinner I did pay him 70l., which he had paid my father for my use in the country. He being gone, I took coach and to Mrs. Pierce’s, where I find her as fine as possible, and himself going to the ball at night at Court, it being the Queen’s birth-day, and so I carried them in my coach, and having set them into the house, and gotten Mr. Pierce to undertake the carrying in my wife, I to Unthanke’s, where she appointed to be, and there told her, and back again about business to White Hall, while Pierce went and fetched her and carried her in. I, after I had met with Sir W. Coventry and given him some account of matters, I also to the ball, and with much ado got up to the loft, where with much trouble I could see very well. Anon the house grew full, and the candles light, and the King and Queen and all the ladies set: and it was, indeed, a glorious sight to see Mrs. Stewart in black and white lace, and her head and shoulders dressed with dyamonds, and the like a great many great ladies more, only the Queen none; and the King in his rich vest of some rich silke and silver trimming, as the Duke of York and all the dancers were, some of cloth of silver, and others of other sorts, exceeding rich. Presently after the King was come in, he took the Queene, and about fourteen more couple there was, and began the Bransles. —[Brawl—a dance D.W.]— As many of the men as I can remember presently, were, the King, Duke of York, Prince Rupert, Duke of Monmouth, Duke of Buckingham, Lord Douglas, Mr. [George] Hamilton, Colonell Russell, Mr. Griffith, Lord Ossory, Lord Rochester; and of the ladies, the Queene, Duchess of York, Mrs. Stewart, Duchess of Monmouth, Lady Essex Howard, Mrs. Temples Swedes Embassadress, Lady Arlington; Lord George Barkeley’s daughter, and many others I remember not; but all most excellently dressed in rich petticoats and gowns, and dyamonds, and pearls. After the Bransles, then to a Corant, and now and then a French dance; but that so rare that the Corants grew tiresome, that I wished it done. Only Mrs. Stewart danced mighty finely, and many French dances, specially one the King called the New Dance, which was very pretty; but upon the whole matter, the business of the dancing of itself was not extraordinary pleasing. But the clothes and sight of the persons was indeed very pleasing, and worth my coming, being never likely to see more gallantry while I live, if I should come twenty times. About twelve at night it broke up, and I to hire a coach with much difficulty, but Pierce had hired a chair for my wife, and so she being gone to his house, he and I, taking up Barker at Unthanke’s, to his house, whither his wife was come home a good while ago and gone to bed. So away home with my wife, between displeased with the dull dancing, and satisfied at the clothes and persons. My Lady Castlemayne, without whom all is nothing, being there, very rich, though not dancing. And so after supper, it being very cold, to bed.

25 Annotations

CGS  •  Link

While the King spends, Parliament seeketh monies.

Concealed Monies.

A BILL for the more effectual Bringing-in of Monies, and other Things, belonging to, and concealed from, his Majesty, was read the First time.
then Papists
"For the Prevention of the Insolency of the Papists,"

L. insolentia: see prec. n. and -ENCY.]

1. The quality of being insolent; = INSOLENCE 1.
1494 FABYAN...
1650 WELDON Crt. Jas. I 62 Those made him proud, overvaluing himselfe, and under-valuing others, and infected with a kinde of insolency.

Margaret  •  Link

"...being never likely to see more gallantry while I live, if I should come twenty times."

I guess that it wasn't until the next century that the word "gallantry" came to mean "illicit sexual encounters".

Ruben  •  Link

This 15 November 1666 Samuel Pepys was writing for us, I am sure...

Mary  •  Link

"only the Queen had none"

Could this have been a deliberate sartorial statement by the queen? Her dignity needed no 'bling' to support it?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

So Sam wangled an entry to the ball from Dr. Pierce and surprised Bess with it? Leading one to wonder how she took it... Then let Bess go in on her own while he slipped off to watch the dancing court ladies, like a visitor to the Sultan's harem, peering at them from a hiding place. Bess then got home by carried chair, called in by Dr. Pierce though Sam did try to fetch a carriage...Sounds like a rather strange evening for her. Though of course we're getting it in bits and Sam may have actually spent time with her.

Meanwhile, poor Barker waited the whole evening at Unthankes?


Robert Gertz  •  Link

The King is giving a ball...

"What do you mean, you lost a slipper, Bess? You know how much those things cost?"

"Oh, not to worry Samuel..."

"Search out my kingdom and find the mysterious woman whose foot fits this slipper!" Charles hands slipper to courtier.

"No need to tell Cathy about this little foot fetish." he adds, shrewd nod.

"My slipper!" Barker cries, happily.

"This one? You sure?" Charles, eyeing the awe-struck Barker.

Well...Eyes her...Could be...I was quite sloshed. And she's pretty enough.

Two years later...

"So you didn't actually come to that ball?" Charles eyes the former Barker, now Duchess of Pembroke.

And by far the sweetest of his mistresses to date.

"When Mrs. P said she lost it, after borrowin' it, thought I'd buy it from the Mister for sure. But it all worked well, eh, Charlie...Sire?"

Samuel  •  Link

'I guess that it wasn’t until the next century that the word “gallantry” came to mean “illicit sexual encounters”'.

This meaning is new to me (and my dictionary).

language hat  •  Link

Yes, I too am unfamiliar with “gallantry” as “illicit sexual encounters.”

Margaret  •  Link

I wish I could remember the source. Something about "a lady much given to gallantry" who was sentenced to death for infanticide.

Mr. Gunning  •  Link

The closest I could find on Google:

What men call gallantry, and gods adultery, is much more common where the climate's sultry.

Lord Byron

Geoff Hallett  •  Link

I am slightly behind, but am grateful to Michael referring back to 23 October 1663. What a great entry. Apart from the personalised bottles, forged family documents, so off to the scrivener at Bedlam, the Queen slept well but still has the fever, Mullins is dead because of his botched leg amputation, pleased to be told his slyme is coming away in his water, has to take a clyster (enema) instead of butter to keep him loose along with honey and linseed oil.

CS  •  Link

The "gallantry" entry offers two sexual meanings in the Oxford English Dictionary:

8. Amorous intercourse or intrigue.

1678 DUCHESS OF CLEVELAND Let. to Chas. II in Miss Berry Soc. Life Eng. & Fr. (1831) 91 All the world knew that all things of gallantry were at an end with you and I. 1704 SWIFT Mech. Operat. Spirit in T. Tub, etc. 317 All Companions of great Skill and Practice in Affairs of Gallantry. 1774 Chesterfield's Lett. (1792) I. Advt. 14 Gallantry with married women. 1774 T. HUTCHINSON Diary 15 Sept. I. 242 She was not without a charge of gallantry. 1819 BYRON Juan I. lxiii, What men call gallantry, and gods adultery. 1874 PUSEY Lent. Serm. 28 Persons..notorious for their immorality (gallantry, the world calls it).

b. An intrigue with one of the opposite sex.

1706-7 FARQUHAR Beaux Strat. II. i, The French are a People that can't live without their Gallantries. 1727 SWIFT, etc. Mem. P.P. Misc. II. 272, I layed aside the powder'd Gallantries of my Youth. 1750 CHESTERFIELD Lett. (1774) III. 28 Every French woman of condition is more than suspected of having a gallantry.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"But the clothes and sight of the persons was indeed very pleasing, and worth my coming, being never likely to see more gallantry while I live"

Pepys probably means "4. Archaic A bold or stylish appearance."
This comports with L&M's Large Glossary.

CGS  •  Link

No necking etc on the dance floor, just in the closets oh Gallarnt ones.

Funny business on the publick floor is only done by those that never pass 2nd grade ????????

CGS  •  Link

He was much given to gallantry ['given to Gallantry' google] will lead the way into the byways of masked behaviour , "of do as I say, not do as I do"
George IV times
"is the Emperor given to gallantry ' " yes sir " 'Is the empress jealous ' " no sir"...
in a letter by Princess Lieven…

another Wiki

"....and was not given to gallantry, but lacked the prudery to prevent her ladies-in-waiting from flirting with courtiers or royalty....."

Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate, Duchess of Orléans (1652 -1722) married 1663…

CGS  •  Link

another lead:
He was much given to gallantry
"...Now, who shall say that Louis the Fourteenth has not enriched the world?
The Duke of Mantua was sumptuous in his tastes, liberal, chivalrous, voluptuous, extravagant. At the same time he had a cultivated mind, an eye for proportion, and an ear for harmony. He was even pious at times, and like all debauchees had periods of asceticism.

was much given to gallantry,

and his pension-list of beautiful women was not small. He was a poet and wrote some very good sonnets; he was a composer who sang, from his own compositions, after the wine had gone round; he was an orator who committed to memory and made his own the speeches that his secretary wrote...."…

Mark J  •  Link

A tune for a Branle (the "Branle de l'Officiel" published late 16th C in France) is better known with its 19th C English Christmas carol words "Ding Dong Merrily on High."

JKM  •  Link

It seems that Sam was partly bored by the lack of variety in the dances, and partly by the lack of style in the dancers ("only Mrs. Stewart danced mighty finely"). I wonder what the New Dance from France, that apparently was a high point of the evening, looked like?

Pedro  •  Link

“only the Queen had none”

Mary...Davidson, in her biography of Catherine, says that the Court had been in mourning for over 6 months. They burst out into silver and white lace for this night only…The Queen wore no jewels on account of her mourning for her mother.

Mary  •  Link

Just so. Thanks, Pedro.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Barker being left at Unthankes

Bess (and no doubt other ladies) seem to use Unthankes as a kind of Ladies Club. She frequently seems to go there with no mention of actually being measured for clothes and Sam seems to regard it as a kind of rendezvous point. I imagine it as having comfortable rooms to sit in and drink hot chocolate and gossip with fellow ladies.

Mary  •  Link


Being positioned at Charing Cross, this shop was handily placed for ladies living either in London or in Westminster. There were significantly moneyed families in both.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the King in his rich vest of some rich silke and silver trimming, as the Duke of York and all the dancers were, some of cloth of silver, and others of other sorts, exceeding rich. "

L&M: Cs. Lord Herbert to Lady Herbert, London, 17 November: 'Never saw greater bravery...a hundred vests that at the least costs a hundred pounds. Some were adorned with jewels above a thousand....The ladies much richer than the men....the goriousest assembly everybody said that has been in England since the King's return except the Coronacion' (HNC, Beaufort, p. 55).

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