Thursday 27 December 1666

Up; and called up by the King’s trumpets, which cost me 10s. So to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon, by invitation, my wife, who had not been there these 10 months, I think, and I, to meet all our families at Sir W. Batten’s at dinner, whither neither a great dinner for so much company nor anything good or handsome. In the middle of dinner I rose, and my wife, and by coach to the King’s playhouse, and meeting Creed took him up, and there saw “The Scornfull Lady” well acted; Doll Common doing Abigail most excellently, and Knipp the widow very well, and will be an excellent actor, I think. In other parts the play not so well done as used to be, by the old actors. Anon to White Hall by coach, thinking to have seen a play there to-night, but found it a mistake, so back again, and missed our coach[man], who was gone, thinking to come time enough three hours hence, and we could not blame him. So forced to get another coach, and all three home to my house, and there to Sir W. Batten’s, and eat a bit of cold chine of beef, and then staid and talked, and then home and sat and talked a little by the fireside with my wife and Creed, and so to bed, my left eye being very sore. No business publick or private minded all these two days. This day a house or two was blown up with powder in the Minorys, and several people spoiled, and many dug out from under the rubbish.

32 Annotations

First Reading

Australian Susan  •  Link

Reading this quickly, I read the opening as "called up by the King's strumpets" and had a glorious vision of my Lady Castlemaine, Nell Gwyn et al, throwing pebbles at the windows and calling out.......[ In your dreams, Sam, in your dreams!]

Australian Susan  •  Link

Seriously, what is this? Googling does not turn up anything relevant and why is Sam doing this today (he doesn't seem to need to get up promptly today more than most days). 10 shillings is a great deal of money for an alarm call!
In 19th and 20th century industrial England, knocker-uppers were employed by factories to go and knock with sticks on people's windows. Or the manufactory had a bell - at the bottom of the street where my parents-in-law lived in Stoke-on-Trent (home of Wedgwood - it really is like diamonds in a dungheap) - there was a small pottery which had a huge bell on the side wall (like a church bell) which used to be rung to call people to work. Everyone worked locally in those days. But when I knew it, it was already closed down and became a supermarket later.
So, what is going on here, then?

Glyn  •  Link

Sounds more like a charity event. The royal trumpeters play a quick burst of music, knock on a door, and the householder gives some money in aid of the local poor, or whoever. That's just a guess.

CGS  •  Link


CGS  •  Link

Tis the season for thinking and helping the less fortunate, a for runner of the Salvation Army, nothing like a few hi notes to get some single notes.

There is another Organisation that predates this time in getting Charity by music.

CGS  •  Link

Interesting in seeing how to reserve the return trip.

"...but found it a mistake, so back again, and missed our coach[man], who was gone, thinking to come time enough three hours hence, and we could not blame him. So forced to get another coach,..."

cape henry  •  Link

Interesting that Mr. & Mrs. Pepys would bolt in the middle of Batten's dinner, no matter how paltry, go to a play, to-and-fro some more, and then return later for cold cuts.

CGS  •  Link

I dothe lvve the use of ftage namef for the characterf, I do not have to guess what they be up to, i'm pre-warned.
Loveless et al.

Jesse  •  Link

"called up by the King’s trumpets"

There's an odd chance that trumpets = messengers and that one must/should pay/tip for the privilege of being "called". An interesting use from about twenty years earlier notes "Rupert sent a trumpet [a messenger under truce]"

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... called up by the King’s trumpets, which cost me 10s."

L&M note this as "A Christmas box" and I assume they trailed round likely contributors in Whitehall and other similar residences. The Sergeant-trumpeter, Gervase Price, was an acquaintance:

" ..., and among other things walked a good while with the Serjeant Trumpet, who tells me, as I wished, that the King’s Italian here is about setting three parts for trumpets, and shall teach some to sound them, and believes they will be admirable musique."…

In the middle of this (long) page is a photo of the current Household Trumpeters in State Dress, unchanged since Charles II day:…
[Spoiler. I believe the separate group of household trumpeters were disbanded in 1667, when Charles had to retrench expenditure, and since then have been drawn from the Life Guards]

Michael Robinson  •  Link

The diary reference mentioned on the first page of the article linked by jean-paul:

"So to White Hall; where I staid to hear the trumpets and kettle-drums, and then the other drums, which are much cried up, though I think it dull, vulgar musique."…

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"several people spoiled"

I assume this means killed. First time I've seen this usage. I do miss my OED.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Yes! "voluntary" charitable donations: Like "give us some money or we'll sing another carol" carol singers [sic].

In France, the Pompiers (kind of combination firefighters and paramedics) come round before Christmas and sell you a copy of their calendar for the next year. Considered very bad form if you refuse to buy one and you also need to offer a drink (which is usually accepted). Firefighters' calendars here feature luscious unclothed firemen with draped hoses, but, alas, the French ones have pictures engines.....not quite the same.

I still think my original idea would work - the King's Strumpets would collect vast amounts of lucre....

Mary  •  Link

"all our families'

I take this to mean that the Battens are holding a Christmas 'open house' for all the Navy Office residents. At this date the term 'family' could still be used to denominate all the members of a household (servants included) and not just those who were directly related to one another.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

” … called up by the King’s trumpets..."

"At that time, the trumpet was, in its musical use, primarily an emblematic instrument. It was the sound of the Last Judgment; the attribute of Fame; the symbol of law, legitimacy, civic power, royalty, La Gloire, Mars, Mercury, the Muses, and the carnival huckster."*

[We can guess which of these Pepys meant to pay for!]

*Mary Rasmussen, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Summer, 1976), p. 320, review of Don L. Smithers, *The Music and History of the Baroque Trumpet before 1721.*

CGS  •  Link

Family [familiar] those under the roof, as in a census of older times.
As Mary pointed out.

I. 1. a. The servants of a house or establishment; the household. Obs. exc. in family of servants.
?a1400 Chester Pl. (Shaks. Soc.) I. 213 You are my desciples, and of my familie.
1641 Disc. Pr. Henry in Harl. Misc. (Malh.) III. 522 His family..consisted of few less than five-hundred.

1707 SLOANE Jamaica I. 46 The proprietor keeps a large family for its defence.

1722 DE FOE Plague (1840) 10, I was a single man..but I had a family of servants.

b. The retinue of a nobleman or grandee. Obs.
1548 HALL Chron. 171b, The Kyng, the Quene with all their familie, shortly folowed.
c. The staff of a high military officer or (in India) state official.
d. Rom. Ant. A troop, school (of gladiators).
2. a. The body of persons who live in one house or under one head, including parents, children, servants, etc.
1545 JOYE Exp. Dan. iv. 48/1, I Nebucadnezar, happye and prosperouse in my familie.

1631 Star Chamb. Cases (Camden) 44 His family were himself and his wife and daughters, two mayds, and a man.

b. Happy Family: a collection of birds and animals of different natures and propensities living together in harmony in one cage.
1844 ...

3. a. The group of persons consisting of the parents and their children, whether actually living together or not; in wider sense, the unity formed by those who are nearly connected by blood or affinity. Holy Family: see quot. 1875.
1667 MILTON P.L. x. 216 As Father of his Familie he clad Thir nakedness. 1796

b. A person's children regarded collectively.
1732 POPE Ep.

4. a. Those descended or claiming descent from a common ancestor: a house, kindred, lineage.

other versionsfollow

australian chris  •  Link

Further to Aus. Susan- collective nouns: would they be a "fanfare of strumpets", a "jam of tarts", or possibly "an anthology of pros"? Happy N.Y. to all your readers.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

In the middle of this (long) page is a photo of the current Household Trumpeters in State Dress, unchanged since Charles II day (etc)
Reminds me of Iolanthe, when the Dukes sing:.....
Beat the drum, and blow the trumpet
Tum, tum, ta-ra; tum, tum, ta-ra
Blow the trumpet as directed
Tum, tum - ta -ra; tum, ta-ra, ra.....
All they could do was direct, and pay the trumpeter.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Trumpets at this time had no valves - unlike modern trumpets.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Australian Chris, a marvelous contribution. Come back often.

Don McCahill  •  Link

The first posting by CWS attempts to use the letter f as an s, to provide a sense of history, I guess. But it is incorrect in several ways. First, the character is a long s, and is distinct from, although similar to, the letter f. To our eyes they look similar.

The other error is in using the long s at the end of the word. The terminal s, the one we know today, was always used in that position, and spelling characterſ for characters would be a spelling mistake.

CGS  •  Link

Don McCahill: You are spot on, Absolutly correct.

I just wish surnames reflect character type.
CGS,[Cum Grano Salis] with a pinch of salt or not to be trusted.

JWB  •  Link

long s's

Two uses today: 1) Integration symbol 2) The first pen-stoke of the German s-set.

GrahamT  •  Link

The long s was used in handwriting long after the printed form ceased to be common. In mid 19th century census forms, the long s is more common than the short s. These were generally collected/filled in by educated people of the community (teachers, doctors, etc.) and the handwriting varies considerably. I have marriage certificates from 1848 though with a longer s throughout but not as similar to the f as previously, so it seems that by then, in official documents at least, the long s was shortening to a common form throughout.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"In the middle of dinner I rose, and my wife, and by coach to the King’s playhouse..."

"Enjoying yourself?"

"Oh, yeah."

"Care to get the hell out and run for today's play?"

"My hero still...What's the excuse? Oh, Lady Batten...This is such a nice party. It's so wonderful of you and Sir Will to put this on... Get me out of here, darling...Quickly."

"We're attending Uncle Wight's party. Family trumps."

"My darling..."

CGS  •  Link

The family gathering, it includes the doorman, the downstairs mayde, the delousing Mayde, the mayde that tips out the potty from the upstairs leads, and the mayde, if a bit tipsy, blogs to the whole world all thy indiscretions, thank goodness Samuell is blog free, other wise he would have ended up in the klink, freed of his bullion, like some more infamous modern day men of the world, the wife relaxing in nice Manor house.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"No business public or private minded all these two days."

How soon he forgets ... yesterday he met with the Duke of York and William Coventry, and took over Mennes' job of inspecting the Pursers' Accounts. Power grabs don't count as work???

Jonathan V  •  Link

"In the middle of this (long) page is a photo of the current Household Trumpeters in State Dress, unchanged since Charles II day:…"

What a difference 10 years makes .... is now a Vietnamese web site with everything from "Recipes selected chicken" to "Entertainment" and "Fighting Game." The link takes you to a page on "meanest dog breeds."

In some strange way, it's all reminiscent of Pepys' time.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Dec. 27. 160. [Sir P. Honeywood] to Williamson.
The Flying Greyhound, a privateer from Cowes, was chased by 6 Dutch men-of-war and 6 privateers, bound westward to secure the return of their merchant ships, but escaped in the night, cut off a hoy in their rear, and took a flyboat laden with wine and brandy, pretending to be from Stockholm.
An Ostender reports that 120 sail from Bourdeaux are bound through the Channel, with only 2 small men-of-war convoys.
The West coast is reported clear.
The York has sailed to Spithead.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Up; and called up by the King’s trumpets, which cost me 10s."


"1670 Moral State Eng. 132 The Weights of the Town who played upon Cornets and Haut-bois.
later a band :b. pl. A band of musicians and singers who perambulate the streets by night at the approach of Christmas and the New Year playing and singing carols and other seasonable music for gratuities."

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