Sunday 2 December 1666

(Lord’s day). Up, and to church, and after church home to dinner, where I met Betty Michell and her husband, very merry at dinner, and after dinner, having borrowed Sir W. Pen’s coach, we to Westminster, they two and my wife and I to Mr. Martin’s, where find the company almost all come to the christening of Mrs. Martin’s child, a girl. A great deal of good plain company. After sitting long, till the church was done, the Parson comes, and then we to christen the child. I was Godfather, and Mrs. Holder (her husband, a good man, I know well), and a pretty lady, that waits, it seems, on my Lady Bath, at White Hall, her name, Mrs. Noble, were Godmothers. After the christening comes in the wine and the sweetmeats, and then to prate and tattle, and then very good company they were, and I among them. Here was old Mrs. Michell and Howlett, and several married women of the Hall, whom I knew mayds. Here was also Mrs. Burroughs and Mrs. Bales, the young widow, whom I led home, and having staid till the moon was up, I took my pretty gossip to White Hall with us, and I saw her in her lodging, and then my owne company again took coach, and no sooner in the coach but something broke, that we were fain there to stay till a smith could be fetched, which was above an hour, and then it costing me 6s. to mend. Away round by the wall and Cow Lane, for fear it should break again; and in pain about the coach all the way. But to ease myself therein Betty Michell did sit at the same end with me … Being very much pleased with this, we at last come home, and so to supper, and then sent them by boat home, and we to bed.

When I come home I went to Sir W. Batten’s, and there I hear more ill newes still: that all our New England fleete, which went out lately, are put back a third time by foul weather, and dispersed, some to one port and some to another; and their convoys also to Plymouth; and whether any of them be lost or not, we do not know. This, added to all the rest, do lay us flat in our hopes and courages, every body prophesying destruction to the nation.

26 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

”“…. Away round by the wall and Cowlane, for fear it should break again, and in pain about the coach all the way. But to ease myself therein, Betty Michell did sit at the same end with me, and there con su mano under my manteau, I did pull off her cheirotheca [ glove ] and did tocar mi cosa con su mano [ touch my thing with her hand ] through my chemise, but yet so as to hazer me hazer la grande cosa
[ to do me to do the big thing ] ­ she did let me hazerle sin mucho trabaho [ do this without much effort ]. Being very much pleased with this, we at last came home; and so to supper, and then sent them by boat home, and we to bed.”

CGS  •  Link

who be we????????????????

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... every body prophesying destruction to the nation."

Assume SP must be alluding to publications such as this:

Mingzeis, Alexander.
Englands alarum, or vvarning-piece. Declaring by ten infallible evidences, that her ruine and destruction is at hand. This therefore may serve to stir up the carnal and secure Christians for a due preparation in these troublesome times against the Lords coming.
London For Fr. Coles 1666.
8vo., [iv], 12 p.; Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), M2192A

A quick and dirty search of ESTC (England -- God -- Wrath -- Early works to 1800 sorted by: Year) suggests this type of publication peaked in 1658-9.

cape henry  •  Link

Indeed this is a somewhat confusing chronology with a shifting cast of characters. But for a very long time I have wondered how Elizabeth could possibly remain unaware of her husband's - um - extracurricular activities. This demimonde in which he conducts much of his practical life surely must be a gushing fountain of gossip. And here we find her unambiguously in the midst of a circumstance during which he has certain relations with one of his girlfriends somehow in the coach? Is this to be believed?

cape henry  •  Link

Also of note: the coach breaks down and Pepys has to pay for the repairs?

CGS  •  Link

"...I knew mayds...." surely it be 'I knew as maydes'???

CGS  •  Link

Cape Henry, success breeds more challenges, until caught.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

“…I knew mayds.” is what L&M transcribe.

"whether any of them be lost or not, we [the Navy Office?!] do not know."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

December 2 dind with me Monsieur Ki[e]vit, a Dut[c]h Gent: Pensioner of Roterdam [ ],
who came over hither for protection, being of the Prince of Oranges party, now not wellcome in Holland: The King knighted him for some merit in the princes behalfe: he should (if caught) have ben beheaded with Monsieur Buat
[… ], & was brother in Law to Van Tromp, the Sea Generall &c: with him came downe Mr. Gab: Sylvius, & Mr. Williamson, Secretarie to my L: Arlington: Sir Kiviet came downe to examine, whither the soile about the river of Thames would be proper to make Clinker-brick with & to treate with me about some accommodations in order to it:…

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Cape Henry, they would be packed tightly together in a coach without lights - plenty of opportunity for a bit of friendly groping and all the more exciting with their respective spouses nearby. Ah, when I was young.......

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"tocar mi cosa con su mano"
and the husband was nearby!In Portuguese it is called:"corno manso",tame cuckold that is.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think Bess prefers not to see as much as possible, plus the game has always been played in her court...She the beauty whom Sam is jealous of, he the not unattractive but hardly one to set others' hearts aflutter devoted wooer who took her at such cost. No doubt Sam plays it well and by turns is affectionate and romantic...Particularly in those morning romps. What interests me is how poor young Betty reacts to Sam's little game in the coach. I doubt a young wife today would quietly accept even a good friend's playful attempt in that direction. Of course he may be exaggerating the matter; it could have been a quick touch that he laughed off but found quite stimulating. No doubt young Mrs. Mitchell can look forward (lucky girl) to more such attentions.

Her choices to avoid such delights: Learn to use a knife in a dark place;have young Mitchell pound Sam into cattle feed; take the Betty Pierce route and endure endless pregnancies.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I wonder how Sam introduces Bess to Betty Martin... Though apparently Mrs. M. has a fair rep as a businesswoman to gather such a crowd to her for the christening.

"I still don't understand why the woman wants you to be her child's godfather? She barely knows us."

"Well, I've been her...Customer...For years, Bess. She and I have been hand-in-glove on a number of occasions. I see her constantly...On office business, you understand."

"Why are you blushing, Sam'l? I mean besides your bothering poor Mrs. Mitchell there. Just break a finger if he keeps it up, Betty."

"Bess...Just trying to keep our Betty from falling in this rocking coach."

"Uh-huh. Well why don't you let Mr. Mitchell do that and keep me from sliding about. So why was that Martin's sister Doll eyeing you all the while? I hear she is very bad news..."

"Really?" Eagerly...Uh... "Really?"

"I have enough sores, darling."

"Bess? Guests?"

"I doubt there's much more we could shock dear Mrs. Mitchell with after your little initiation. So about your trips down Betty and Doll Lane...?"

C.J.Darby  •  Link

"and then to prate and tattle, and then very good company they were, and I among them."I think this a wonderfully descriptive passage of having a good time among friends with light hearted banter after so much doom and gloom.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

This is an astounding entry to me. If I'm reading this correctly -- and I've read it several times now, to make sure I am -- there were only four people in the coach: the Mitchells and the Pepys. Betty and Sam are on one end of the coach, while Elizabeth and Michael on the other. The coach can't have been that big, it can't have been *that* dark, yet Sam still gets a handjob -- to the point of orgasm! -- *in front of his wife and the husband of the woman giving it to him*.

Granted, it's under a good deal of clothing, and "without much effort," but *still*. I know it was the Swinging (16)60s, but it seems that there's something more going on here. Something about the mores of the times and/or situation? Betty obviously didn't mind too much, since she played along -- the slightest resistance would have been noted, after all.

And, as others have noted, Sam brings Elizabeth into right into the Lion's Den -- a social situation that includes *both* his Betties. Wow.

JWB (mid-continent)  •  Link

1)"Born prematurely on April 5, 1588, when his mother heard of the coming invasion of the Spanish Armada, Thomas Hobbes later reported that "my mother gave birth to twins: myself and fear." Wikipedia

2)"This, added to all the rest, do lay us flat in our hopes and courages, every body prophesying destruction to the nation." Pepys

Is this mind-set of islanders?

Australian Susan  •  Link

I'd love to hear Pen's reaction to the coach mishap - surely continuing to drive in it would have made the problem worse! And all to save 6s.

Mrs Noble is described when you mouse over as a "servant" to Lady Bath: Lady-in-Waiting is a better description, I think. Something she obviously boasts about - getting to Court and all.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Hey, Penn...I have your coach towed all the way in from Whitehall and all you got for me is domestic ale?" Chugs bucket of ale...

"Hey, Meg..." lewdly eyes Margaret who gives sheepish look.

"Hey, Penn...You see the latest pamphlet makin' the rounds?" Waves pamplet.

Oh, no... Admiral Sir Will sighing, reaching for pamphlet...Will's not at it again?

"Whoops, Penn." Sam slaps Admiral Sir Will's forehead with pamphlet. "You're so gulliable, Penn."

Will Jr. enters, sighing...Not Pepys again. Why doth Dad tolerate this jackass?

"Don't forget we need those reports tomorrow, Penn. Hey, Will...Say hello to your Mom for me...Night, Meg." Leering, saunters off.

"Dad...You said I could take the coach and now that idiot's gone and wrecked it."

"Now, Will...Pepys is our best administrator..."

"Dad? You're conqueror of Jamaica..."

"...And smart enough to sit patiently whilst we let Mr. Pepys come to be seen as the office personified...Always keep an eye out to the future, boy. And a fall guy handy."

Oh...Meg sighs, slightly. Nervous look as Will Jr. and Admiral Sir Will eye her.

Nix  •  Link

All I can figure is that that Elizabeth must have been aware of Samuel's relations with the Bettys, and (as long as it wasn't under her roof) must have accepted it as part of the standards of sexual and class relations in their time. She fared no worse in that departmnet than the Queen of England.

CGS  •  Link

"...I took my pretty gossip to White Hall with us, and I saw her in her lodging, and then my owne company again took coach, and no sooner in the coach but something broke,..."

Tis what 'appens when there be excess activity, the suspension system cannot accept large changes in pressure.

John Phillips  •  Link

Todd - Both pairs of seats faced forwards rather than face to face?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"What is the full name of Mrs Noble?"

The L&M Index says only NOBLE, Mrs ----------, servant to Lady Bath. There are many in the Diary whose full names are unknown

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Away round by the wall and Cow Lane, for fear it should break again; and in pain about the coach all the way. "

L&M note Cow Lane was famous for its coachmakers.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"then we to christen the child."

L&M: She was christened Catherine, the name made fashionable by the Queen. She only lived to be two.

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