Saturday 30 March 1667

Up, and the French periwigg maker of whom I bought two yesterday comes with them, and I am very well pleased with them. So to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and thence with my wife’s knowledge and leave did by coach go see the silly play of my Lady Newcastle’s, called “The Humourous Lovers;” the most silly thing that ever come upon a stage. I was sick to see it, but yet would not but have seen it, that I might the better understand her. Here I spied Knipp and Betty, of the King’s house, and sent Knipp oranges, but, having little money about me, did not offer to carry them abroad, which otherwise I had, I fear, been tempted to. So with [Sir] W. Pen home (he being at the play also), a most summer evening, and to my office, where, among other things, a most extraordinary letter to the Duke of York touching the want of money and the sad state of the King’s service thereby, and so to supper and to bed.

9 Annotations

Mary  •  Link

Margaret Cavendish.

An interesting woman, not least because her portrait at the Wikipedia site linked displays a face that is not the usual Restoration Beauty - it shows some individuality.

She wrote "The Blazing World" which has been described as " the earliest work of science fiction." I wonder whether it reminds anyone else of some recent fantasy writing.

Bradford  •  Link

Virginia Woolf's classic essay, "The Duchess of Newcastle," alerts us that in April 1667, when the Duchess came from her country seat at "Welbeck to pay her respects at Court," crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of her, "and the curiosity of Mr Pepys twice brought him to wait in the Park to see her pass." What he saw will be told in the entry for 26 April 1667.

[Woolf's sparkling portrait of the woman and her works can be found in "The Common Reader" (First Series, 1925), "Collected Essays" vol. 3 (1968), and "The Essays of Virginia Woolf: Volume 4, 1925-1928" (1994).]

Terry Foreman  •  Link


Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Dutchesse of Newcastle, had a rep among the cognoscenti as a natural philosopher and will be a guest of the Royal Society this coming 23 May. Pepys will not attend the meeting at Arundel House -- he will be chasing another skirt -- but the planning for the occasion and the event itself will be noted in great detail by Robert Hooke (and will be posted here).

Her entry in the Stanfored Encyclopedia of Philosophy:…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...thence with my wife’s knowledge and leave..."

Such a good boy...You know, Sam, that "wife's knowledge and leave"'s not gonna go over well among the boys at the coffeehouse.


"Admiral Sir Will..."

"Enjoying the play?"


"...Minus thy better half? Why, the other night at our place she was holding forth quite proudly on your faith in keeping a solemn vow not to playgo alone... Not breaking our oaths now are we?"

"No, Sir Will..." grimly. "My wife was quite willing..."

"She let you go. Now that is kind."



"Dad, what dost thou here?"


"Dad, Mom hath sent me all about to find thee. Didst
not thee give thy promise to attend no plays without her? As Mr. Pepys here did his dear wife. Well met, Mr. Pepys.

"Well met indeed, young Will..." grin.

"Dad? Mom will hath thy hide, thou knowest..."

"William...You never saw me here." Penn, sternly.

"Dad? Thou wouldst have me tell Mother a..."

"Will...If thou wishth thy mother to never learn about thy little escapade in France last year...Thou wilt keep thy mouth shut and thus both honor thy father and avoid occasion to sin. Amen?"

"Amen..." Sam nods solemnly.

"Amen." Will Jr. sighs. "How's the play?"

"Think I'd find your 'escapade' more interesting..." Sam notes.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a most extraordinary letter to the Duke of York touching the want of money and the sad state of the King’s service thereby,"

L&M: Navy Board to Duke of York, 31 March (in Pepys's hand), Longleat, Coventry MSS, 97, ff. 677-8; copy (in Gibson's hand) NMM, LBK/8, pp.471-2; printed in Further Corr., pp. 165-6. The Board stated that it needed £40,000 per week, and complained that not a penny had arrived of the £30,000 or so which had supposedly been made available five weeks before.

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