Tuesday 23 April 1667

(St. George’s-day). The feast being kept at White Hall, out of design, as it is thought, to make the best countenance we can to the Swede’s Embassadors, before their leaving us to go to the treaty abroad, to shew some jollity. We sat at the office all the morning. Word is brought me that young Michell is come to call my wife to his wife’s labour, and she went, and I at the office full of expectation what to hear from poor Betty Michell. This morning much to do with Sir W. Warren, all whose applications now are to Lord Bruncker, and I am against him now, not professedly, but apparently in discourse, and will be. At noon home to dinner, where alone, and after dinner to my musique papers, and by and by comes in my wife, who gives me the good news that the midwife and she alone have delivered poor Betty of a pretty girl, which I am mighty glad of, and she in good condition, my wife as well as I mightily pleased with it. Then to the office to do things towards the post, and then my wife and I set down at her mother’s, and I up and down to do business, but did little; and so to Mrs. Martin’s, and there did hazer what I would con her, and then called my wife and to little Michell’s, where we saw the little child, which I like mightily, being I allow very pretty, and asked her how she did, being mighty glad of her doing well, and so home to the office, and then to my chamber, and so to bed.

9 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

23d April, 1667. In the morning, his Majesty went to chapel with the Knights of the Garter, all in their habits and robes, ushered by the heralds; after the first service, they went in procession, the youngest first, the Sovereign last, with the Prelate of the Order and Dean, who had about his neck the book of the Statutes of the Order; and then the Chancellor of the Order (old Sir Henry de Vic [ Chancellor of the Order of the Garter ] ), who wore the purse about his neck; then the Heralds and Garter King-at-Arms, Clarencieux [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarencieux_King_of_… ], Black Rod [ http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/7429/ ]. But before the Prelate and Dean of Windsor went the gentlemen of the chapel and choristers, singing as they marched; behind them two doctors of music in damask robes; this procession was about the courts at Whitehall

Then, returning to their stalls and seats in the chapel, placed under each knight's coat-armor and titles, the second service began. Then, the King offered at the altar, an anthem was sung; then, the rest of the Knights offered, and lastly proceeded to the banqueting-house to a great feast. The King sat on an elevated throne at the upper end at a table alone; the Knights at a table on the right hand, reaching all the length of the room; over against them a cupboard of rich gilded plate; at the lower end, the music; on the balusters above, wind music, trumpets, and kettle-drums. The King was served by the lords and pensioners who brought up the dishes. About the middle of the dinner, the Knights drank the King's health, then the King, theirs, when the trumpets and music played and sounded, the guns going off at the Tower.

At the Banquet, came in the Queen, and stood by the King's left hand, but did not sit. Then was the banqueting-stuff flung about the room profusely. In truth, the crowd was so great, that though I stayed all the supper the day before, I now stayed no longer than this sport began, for fear of disorder. The cheer was extraordinary, each Knight having forty dishes to his mess, piled up five or six high; the room hung with the richest tapessry [sic].


Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Then was the banqueting-stuff flung about the room profusely." (Evelyn - thanks TF)

Food fight? Among the topmost elite of the kingdom, on a solemn occasion? I do think times have changed in some respects.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

" ... The feast being kept at White Hall, ..."

One of the celebrated series of individual costume and figure studies of a Garter Procession by Lely:

The robes had been re-designed following the Restoration. Based on Evelyn's account of the Whitehall procession Oliver Millar thought this the most likely date for the execution of the series of 30.
Millar, O.,(1978). Sir Peter Lely, 1618-80: [catalogue of the] exhibition at 15 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1 [from 17 November 1978 to 18 March 1979]. London: National Portrait Gallery. #86-116, pp. 80-87. @ p.81.

Sixteen of the Drawings are now in the British Museum, the balance spread in a number of institutions. A link to a BM search showing thumbnails of the entire group will not post: to produces the entire group, without quantities of additional extraneous material, use the following in their ‘advanced search’
Category “Object types” – drawing
“Free Text”-- Lely Drawing Garter April
Dates -- FROM AD 1630 TO AD 1670

tg  •  Link

What an interesting afternoon for our hero. He drops the wife off at the mother-in-laws, tries to do some business but ends up over at Mrs Martin doing the hazer thing, then over to check out the new baby of his love Betty Michell. I wonder how long before she is back into his rotation.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Poor Betty...If she escapes childbed fever she has the joy of looking forward to Sam's renewed attempts while caring for a newborn.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Bess must have experienced mixed emotions helping Betty and the midwife with the birth, although after all these years of marriage she has given up hope of a baby of her own. Presumably Betty had no mum nearby to help out at that time.

Brandon Craig Rhodes  •  Link

Note the traditional use of the word "deliver" when used of a pregnant woman: it was not the "baby" that was here "delivered", as though the baby were a parcel brought by a delivery service, but it was in fact the mother that was "delivered of" — in the sense of "rescued from", "saved from"; the King James sense of God as a "deliverer" — the child that had been besetting or burdening her.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" to make the best countenance we can to the Swede’s Embassadors, before their leaving us to go to the treaty abroad, to shew some jollity"

L&M explain the Garter-Day ceremonies were (and are) normally held at St George's Chapel, Windsor. The Swedes acted as mediators in the Anglo-Dutch treaty negotiations.

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