Thursday 7 February 1666/67

Lay long with pleasure with my wife, and then up and to the office, where all the morning, and then home to dinner, and before dinner I went into my green dining room, and there talking with my brother upon matters relating to his journey to Brampton to-morrow, and giving him good counsel about spending the time when he shall stay in the country with my father, I looking another way heard him fall down, and turned my head, and he was fallen down all along upon the ground dead, which did put me into a great fright; and, to see my brotherly love! I did presently lift him up from the ground, he being as pale as death; and, being upon his legs, he did presently come to himself, and said he had something come into his stomach very hot. He knew not what it was, nor ever had such a fit before. I never was so frighted but once, when my wife was ill at Ware upon the road, and I did continue trembling a good while and ready to weepe to see him, he continuing mighty pale all dinner and melancholy, that I was loth to let him take his journey tomorrow; but he began to be pretty well, and after dinner my wife and Barker fell to singing, which pleased me pretty well, my wife taking mighty pains and proud that she shall come to trill, and indeed I think she will. So to the office, and there all the afternoon late doing business, and then home, and find my brother pretty well. So to write a letter to my Lady Sandwich for him to carry, I having not writ to her a great while. Then to supper and so to bed. I did this night give him 20s. for books, and as much for his pocket, and 15s. to carry him down, and so to bed. Poor fellow! he is so melancholy, and withal, my wife says, harmless, that I begin to love him, and would be loth he should not do well.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

Search your memory: can you recall Pepys ever showing this degree of loving alarm for anyone, even Elizabeth? (Was the incident of illness on the road to Ware during the Diary period? I can't find it, offhand.) It is terrible to think how much more he shall tremble come a certain day in November 1669.

sean adams  •  Link

Loving Concern: 14 September 1663

Carl in Boston  •  Link

he shall tremble come a certain day in November 1669
It'll all be over. We all fear and tremble at the thought. Let's dance until then.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Ware, 1663. The salmon dinner, 1660. Numerous affectionate bits that add up to Bess being the soul of the Diary. The thing about Sam is he seems one of those quite able to compartmentalize his sincere love for Bess in one box and his desire to ... every willing (and many unwilling) woman who comes his way.


Still if one of us went back and told him and convinced of the dreadful time approaching, he'd probably weep, vow, treat Bess like an angel...For three months, then gradually slide back. Human.

And yet in a way I firmly believe he never will recover...

And who knows, may we should try...If the opportunity ever comes. He might just surprise us.


Alternate universe...1669


"Bess, my love...Believe me. Brampton is much better...for my eyes."

"You cheap little..."

"How about Scotland? Or your mother's family's place in Ireland? Bess, I swear...France is not a good choice this year."

"I'll go myself...You know what...I will..."


Drat the fellow, why didn't he leave some proof to show her?

"Bess, I can't go to France...I've been warned."

"The French King isn't interested in you."

"Prophecy, Bess...That I'll...Lose something of irreplaceable value."

"Will Hewer can watch your gold..."

"Bess...After what's happened this year...Do you really want me in Paris?" shrewd look.


"Brampton...Or some place even more isolated from temptation, Bess?"

"I'd watch you every second."

"Bess...Look, read my Diary...Hewer can decode it for you. You will never want me near another attractive woman again, let alone in Paris, I swear."

cum salis grano  •  Link

"...I did this night give him 20s. for books..." You be very generous. 21 shillings, be "wot" I got when I got the Queens shilling in the 40's, it sounds very small in this "rabid" inflation. As the Inflation is so bad it it is hard to judge the generosity, As then a good income be 50 quid for the year, in other words Brother got the value of 2 weeks income or enough to keep a mayde [no questions asked too]for the year.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"...and said he had something come to his stomach very hot."
Peptic ulcer?

Background Lurker  •  Link

'“wot” I got when I got the Queens shilling in the 40’s'

That Queen would have to be Her Imperial Majesty The Queen-Empress, Queen Victoria, would it not?

Indeed, sagacity (if not always clarity) comes with age.

Robert Gertz  •  Link


"'Harmless'?" John stares. "Thanks to your Diary, I'm 'harmless' for all eternity?"

"Johnny, harmless is good." Bess pats him. "Sam and I meant it as a compliment."

"Indeed..." Sam, unable to restrain smile.

OW! "Bess?!"

cum salis grano  •  Link

Queens shilling be a term for wearing kharki, as one is not suitable for receiving brain food, thus the reason for the lack of clarity.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

CGS/csg, I think Background Lurker's point was that at the time you were wearing the khaki in the 40s, the reigning monarch was male, hence you would have been receiving the king's shilling, not the queen's.

cum salis grano  •  Link

touché, just a touch of forgetfulness
"Mendacem memorem esse oportere"
Quintilian Institutio Oratoria,m IV, 2,91

OED c. to take the shilling, the King's or Queen's shilling: to enlist as a soldier by accepting a shilling from a recruiting officer

(a practice now disused).

1707 HEARNE Collect. 27 Mar. (O.H.S.) II. 2 He did take a shilling, but not with any intent of listing.

Ruben  •  Link

L&M’s medical expert, Dr. C.E. Newman, opined this am “alarming but harmless…vaso-vagal attack”….

Well, this was in the old days. If this medical expert could come back in our days, he would be surprised how harmful this little vaso-vagal attack can be...for him.
He should send his patient to a series of examinations, most of them just to be sure (that he is not sued by the patient's lawyer, mind you). This may be his patient first epileptic episod, diabetic glucose control imbalance, a hypothalamic gland condition, something in his suprarenal glands, some not-so-legal drug abuse or deficit, a brain or parathyroid tumor and who knows what.
After he comes back with all the examinations (the list is long) the patient will be send to specialists, that will ask for their own examinations, and so forth.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ruben, so the 1970's were "in the old days"? Dr. C.E. Newman was one of a number of scholarly experts conscripted by Latham and Matthews to help them enrich the Diary projects details. See this acknowledgment in L&M Vol. I

Terry Foreman  •  Link

William Levinge [signed: "L.W.", endorsed: "Mr Leaving"] to Lane
Written from: London
Date: 7 February 1667

Sir George Lane's letter, of the 5th January, was shewn to his Majesty, who expressed approval of the present writer's desire to serve him in Ireland, and of coming (in order thereto), to attend the Lord Lieutenant. ...

Adds some particulars of the late proceedings amongst "the Fanatics"; of a notable discovery concerning them, "managed by one Dr John Hendon, a very learned person"; and of the connexion of the Duke of Buckingham with them, & with their seditious plots.


[Information concerning the intercourse between the Duke of Buckingham and Dr John Hendon; in the Tower of London, and elsewhere.] 1667

pepf  •  Link

TF:"1970’s were “in the old days”?"

Yes, indeed. Medical knowledge decays at present with an alarming half-life of 5 years so 6 - 8 half-lives have elapsed since then.

Second Reading

john  •  Link

L&M quote a Dr. Newman diagnosing a "vasal-vagal attack" (now called syncope…) and opines the hotness in the stomach due to gastric reflux. I would guess a bad case of nerves before the event.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Adds some particulars of the late proceedings amongst "the Fanatics"; of a notable discovery concerning them, "managed by one Dr John Hendon, a very learned person"; and of the connexion of the Duke of Buckingham with them, & with their seditious plots."

I'm guessing that this is John Heydon, who is mentioned in our encyclopedia 10 times in annotations, and one of his publications is linked, so Heydon was a "player," but outside Pepys' circle.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'William Levinge [signed: "L.W.", endorsed: "Mr Leaving"]'
... "his Majesty, who expressed approval of the present writer's desire to serve him in Ireland, and of coming (in order thereto), to attend the Lord Lieutenant. ..."

This is all a guess: SPOILER:
In July 1667 a former republican conspirator, John Mason, will be transferred from the Tower of London to York for trial and probable execution, escorted by {amongst others) a William Leving, a former rebel who had turned King’s Evidence and was due to testify against Mason.

At an inn near Doncaster, Col. Thomas Blood springs an ambush. Despite falling from his horse three times and sustaining a wound to the face and a sword thrust through his arm, Blood wins the brawl, grabs John Mason, and escapes.

Shortly after William Leving will be found poisoned in his jail cell in York, a murder probably arranged by George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, Col. Thomas Blood’s principal patron.

Information from: Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London -- By Nigel Jones

According to the free bit of William Leving's Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, he was a parliamentarian army officer and spy, and a native of co. Durham, although his parentage and early life are obscure. He served as a junior officer in the regiment of Sir Arthur Hesilrige during the civil war.

William Leving had been involved in the 1663 Farnley Wood Plot -- see Knaresburgh and Its Rulers -- By William Wheater -- 1907…

After which Leving probably struck a "plea bargain", because State Papers show his being recommended as a spy on April 3, 1664 by Sir Roger Langley, high sheriff of Yorkshire, to Secretary of State Henry Bennet.
And on October 5, 1664, Bennet issues a Certificate of Employment for William Leving, and requests that he not be molested or restrained.

Leving must have met Buckingham during these adventures, as Buckingham was Lord Lt. of Yorkshire and responsible for suppressing the uprisings there of 1662 and 1663.
see FAIRFAX, General of Parliament's forces in the English Civil War -- John Wilson, 1985 -- page 186 -- ISBN 0-7195-4207-3

No hint found yet of why William Leving might be going to Ireland to be of service to Ormonde, besides his obvious involvement in conspiracies against Charles II.

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