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.

17 Annotations

First Reading

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.

Second Reading

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.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

New periwigs and the theater ... and he's in mourning? Oh, his costume hasn't arrived yet, so he's not REALLY in mourning. Yet he seemed genuinely upset two days ago. This is one of the occasions I really don't understand Pepys.

And another outing with Admiral Penn ... is he keeping his enemy close, or just torturing himself?

Mary K  •  Link

a most summer evening.

L&M show the same text. So what is Pepys saying here? Has the weather suddenly turned warm? Or is this just the sort of evening that one might enjoy in summer - a visit to the playhouse, a glimpse of some attractive acquaintances and a companionable walk home with a colleague?

John G  •  Link

I did not know that Pepys wore a 'bun or tea-cake' on his head! Ha ha!
This is the description of a 'Whigg' given when one hovers one's cursor over the 'periwigg' in the first line. Sorry, don't know how to correct this or to whom to refer this.
John G, Sydney

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thanks, John G -- that is a funny mis-link as you say ... I dropped Phil Gyford a note about it.

And Mary K -- I find the best way to track the weather is by reading Rev. Josselin's Diary.
Top right you'll see a "Read More" box. On other days -- e.g. tomorrow -- there is also a "Also on this Day" box. That's where Phil posts links to both Rev. Josselin's Diary, but also the Houses of Commons and Lords when they are in session.

Rev. Josselin lived in Essex, which is close to London. Recently he did a 2 month dump of weather information. The report for these few days was:
"29. 30. frosty mornings, but calm warm days: 31. so but not frost - dry and warm to Ap: 7."

John G  •  Link

Many thanks San Diego Sarah.
Also will investigate the Josselin diary.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Up, and the French periwigg maker of whom I bought two yesterday ..."

IMAO this must be the same person as "... a French house to dinner, and so enquired out Monsieur Robins, my perriwigg-maker, who keeps an ordinary, ..." identified by Pepys on Sunday, May 12, 1667. M. Robins was a busy man.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys thinks this March evening is in summer. We would say spring. He only mentions summer and winter in the Diary.

The seasons vary based on where you are, and by which country colonized your country.
In temperate zones, seasons are usually split into four; in tropical zones, usually two; in South Asia, usually six.
Older calendars may have five or ten.

The word 'summer' dates to the Proto-Indo-European root sem, meaning “half,” suggesting Europe originally only knew two seasons. From Proto-Indo-European (the root of all major European languages) sem transformed into: sumor, sumar, somer, etc.

Winter also comes from Proto-Indo-European: wed, meaning water, wet, or rainy. Directly, English “winter” comes from the Proto-Germanic wintruz.

A survey of words describing springtime in the 14th to 16th centuries shows many: vere, primetide, and especially lenten. The variety suggests ‘spring’ was not used widely; the season was peripheral to winter and summer.

Autumn could be described as harvest time, but “harvest” was not the name of the season; it was what you did in late summer/early winter.

Mentions of winter, summer and spring seasons date back to the 12th century;. Spring's name may not have been settled, but the idea it was a season came much earlier than that of autumn.

Autumn has French roots; in modern French the word is automne. It also has Latin roots, coming from the word autumnus.

Autumn first shows up in English in late 14th/early 15th century manuscripts, coexisting with “harvest” as a description for another 200 years.

Fall is different. It first shows up in the mid-16th century in England as “the fall of the leaf,” which was shortened to “fall.” Like “harvest,” it is descriptive, but it is also a poetic observation of what makes this season different.

The etymology of “fall” can be traced to Middle English, Old English, Proto-Germanic, and then Proto-Indo-European, In each era it looked like “fall” and meant “fall.”

The recognition of fall/autumn as a season began when American colonies began to separate linguistically from British English. Ever since the Normans, English has been littered with scraps of French, so writers like James Howell (1594? – 1666) began to agitate for sensible changes to English spelling — e.g. logique to logic.

Noah Webster, of Webster’s Dictionary, was an ardent spelling reformer; while his work advocated sensible changes, his motivation was also political. He changed words like “center” and “color”. Webster was widely adopted, showing the colonists wanted to change the way they spoke and wrote to differentiate themselves from their imperialist masters.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Now I'm into this Spring Fall Autumn thing, I find another nugget:

"... on October 2, 1920, by a contributor from the West Country identified as Martlet: ‘I wish the old word “fall” could again be used instead of “autumn”,’ he or she wrote. ‘It is quite wrongly perceived as an Americanism ... I have a long memory reaching to the ’fifties [1850s], and can certainly aver that the word ‘autumn’ was never used by the country folk at all.'


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