Thursday 2 May 1667

To the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and then abroad to my Lord Treasurer’s, who continues so ill as not to be troubled with business. So Mr. Gawden and I to my Lord Ashly’s and spoke with him, and then straight home, and there I did much business at the office, and then to my own chamber and did the like there, to my great content, but to the pain of my eyes, and then to supper and to bed, having a song with my wife with great pleasure, she doing it well.

10 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

May. 2. 1667 (Dr. Kings paper of mangy dog)

Dr. Lower of breaking the ductus thoracicus [… ]) Pequets vessell a Limpheduct from kidney to chyle Receptacle [… ].

mr. Hooke proposd tht Expt. of measuring the Circumference of the earth for next munday at St. James park at the chanell. Orderd tht the apparatus for it vizt a telescope of 12 or 15 foot & stakes to be ready for that time.…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

("I've another, if you like." "Why not, Bess?")

"I wish I 'ad some one to love me...SOOMeone to call me their own...

Someone to live wid' me always...I'm tired of livin' alone.

Beauoootiful light o' the ocean,

Beautiful light on the sea,

Beautiful light on the ocean;

Me love, I been waitin' for thee.

A hundred plus years I been married.

I wish I 'ad died an ole maid.

For I never seen nothin' but trouble,

My 'usband won't...Stick at his trade...

'e promised before we was 'arried,

That we'd be gallant and gay;

And every night of the winter

We'd go to some ball or some play.

I wish you'd go down to [wherever],

And get him away if you can,

For you never know what's going to 'appen...

To my foolish flirting young man....

For I have to get up in the mornin'

Labor and toil all the day;

And then in the evening go chase 'im

Then put our dear..." Tear running down one cheek... "...children away. ..

Oh..." Pause...


"Oh...What is the use of repenting;

Where there's a will there's a way.

Cause...Any old thing for a 'usband

Is better than to be an old maid.

Beautiful light on the ocean,

Beautiful light on the sea,

Beautiful light on the ocean;

My true love, I'm comin' for thee."

(Ummn...Oh... Weeping sound.


"Thank you. Bess? I stick at my trade these days...?"

"Of course, Sam'l. Sweetheart it's 2 am and it was just a song."

"'any old thing?...'"

"Just a song, honey."

"You just seemed so sad... I was home quickly today..."

"So you were and it was very nice."

Note to self...Music hath charms...Bess thinks, contentedly.)

A. Hamilton  •  Link

Great song!

Second Reading

Robert Harneis  •  Link

In some ways, this simple entry is Sam at his best.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Unlamented by Pepys, today died George Withers, a poet and Parliamentarian. He had spent most of the 1660s in prison for writing an unpublished poem critical of the Cavalier Parliament.

George Wither (1588–1667) was born in June 1588 at Bentworth, near Alton, Hampshire, the eldest of 10 children of George Wither (1563–1629) of Bentworth and his wife, Mary Hunt (d. 1643), of nearby Theddon (or Fidding) Grange.

His long life spanned one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of England, during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, King James I and VI, King Charles, the Civil Wars, the Parliamentary period and the Restoration period of Charles II.

Between the ages of 15 and 17 George Wither studied at Magdalen College, Oxford. Despite his neighbors' advice that his father put him to some mechanic trade, he was sent to one of the Inns of Chancery, eventually obtaining an introduction at Court.

George Wither came into conflict with the Stationers' Company in the 1620s and 1630s over 2 main issues: his attempts to publish his psalms, and his royal patent of 1623. The monopoly on the English psalter was held by senior members of the company. Wither unsuccessfully tried to get his psalms published in 1625 in Cambridge as a way of circumventing this monopoly, and they were eventually published in the Netherlands.

In 1625, the plague struck London and provided the occasion for George Wither's ‘Historie of the pestilence’ -- a copy of which is found in Pepys' Library, but not mentioned in the Diary.

Late in 1629 there was an upturn in George Wither's fortunes when he inherited -- along with his mother -- his father's estate at Bentworth.

When George Wither was 42 he married Elizabeth Emerson of South Lambert in the early 1630s. They had 6 children but only 2, Robert, born in 1635, and Elizabeth, survived infancy. According to Aubrey, Elizabeth Emerson Wither was ‘a great wit, and would write in verse too’.

John Taylor, the Water Poet, in his vitriolic attack on George Wither, charged him with cheating Dr. Howson, bishop of Durham, out of £500 when he was his steward, possibly in the early 1630s. Wither does not refer to Dr. Howson or to time spent in Durham in any of his writings.

George Wither probably traveled in the Low Countries in the early 1630s. The dedication to 'The Psalmes of David', published in the Netherlands in 1632, speaks of an audience with the exiled Elizabeth of Bohemia/the Winter Queen, who may have given him at this time the presents of jewels and plate that he was later forced to sell.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


On 8 September 1642, after the outbreak of the first civil war, George Wither received the commission of captain for a Surrey troop of horse, and he served in the parliamentary forces for a year.

On 14 October, 1642 Capt. Wither was appointed commander of Farnham Castle under the direction of Robert Devereaux, 3rd Earl of Essex, Sir Richard Onslow, and Nicholas Stoughton. He later complained that provisions and numbers were inadequate and he received little aid.

When the Royalist army entered Surrey, Capt. Wither received orders from London to abandon Farnham Castle. That night, with the Royalist army only a few miles away, he took his servants and wagons to the castle and rescued ammunition and men.

On the following day Royalist forces, commanded by Sir John Denham, took Farnham Castle and plundered Wither's nearby Wanborough estate, forcing out Elizabeth Wither and their children.

Capt. Wither's troop was ordered to Kingston-on-Thames, where Royalist forces had halted in their march on London, and then on to Turnham Green on 13 November 1642 where he joined a 24,000-man force.

Wither remained in Kent until March 1643, raising money from delinquents and possibly confiscating Royalist property as the king's forces withdrew.

In April 1643 Mary Hunt Wither died and he inherited Bentworth. Capt. Wither may have returned briefly to Bentworth, as in May 1643 he was appointed to a Hampshire committee responsible for raising funds to support the militia.

In August and September 1643 Capt. Wither fought at the siege of Gloucester under Col. John Middleton, one of Robert Devereaux, 3rd Earl of Essex's officers.

Capt. Wither gave his account of his war experiences in 'Campo-musae', dedicated to the Earl of Essex. This was published in December 1643 and went into 3 English editions and one Scottish.

In October 1643 Wither put out his own version of the newspaper Mercurius Rusticus, its title borrowed from a royalist newspaper, which drew on his war experience to offer advice on the defense of Hampshire, Surrey, and Kent.

On 9 July, 1644 Capt. Wither was made a Surrey justice of the peace, he published anonymously 'The Speech without Door'. He claimed this speech was delivered to a public meeting outside parliament and once more offered advice on war policy and defended the sequestration of Royalists' estates as a means of promoting the war effort and effecting social change in the countryside.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Capt. Wither's 'Letters of Advice', published in November 1644, was the first printed response to discussions of the ‘recruiter’ elections and gave directions for the selection of candidates intended to replace those who had joined King Charles in Oxford. He was unsuccessfully standing for a seat in Guildford.

From the mid-1640s Capt. George Wither began to be identified with radicals, in particular with the Levellers.

A passage from 'Vox pacifica' was quoted at the end of a pamphlet put out in September 1645, ‘England's Miserie and Remedie’, which defended John Lilburne. George Wither had been imprisoned at the time as Lilburne and Richard Overton as part of the Presbyterians' attempt to reassert control.

Lilburne admired Wither's 'Vox pacifica;, and in his 'England's Birth-Right Justified' (1645) called on his readers to look to ‘that Gallant man, Major George Withers advice … in his late Book’.

In August 1647 the Presbyterians lost control of parliament when the army marched on London and purged the house of its Presbyterian leaders.
Its actions were justified by Wither in his 'Carmen expostulatorium' (1647).

George Wither was freed on 20 October 1647 and recommended for the position of chief searcher in the customs house at Dover.

Despite being a friend of Cromwell's, Wither's contemplation of Cromwell's death, 'Salt upon Salt' (1659) condemned the change in Cromwell that made him eager to accept the crown and criticized his funeral as an idolatrous show, ‘a very costly Puppet-play’

With the Restoration, Hambledon and the Surrey estates Wither had purchased in 1648 reverted to the bishop of Winchester. And sometime before 1665, he moved to the Savoy, which gave legal sanctuary to debtors.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Wither's 'Furor-poeticus (i.e.) propheticus' (1660) seems dazed by the changing times.

He greeted the restoration with ‘Speculum speculativum, or, A Considering Glass’ (1660), a plea for reconciliation which went to 3 editions.

A reference to Venner's Rising in ‘Fides-Anglicana’ indicates it must have been written after Jan.1661.

George Wither may have then been under surveillance since he was discovered writing 'Vox vulgi', which accused the new parliament of ‘carnal policies’ towards those excluded from the Act of Oblivion.
He was arrested and sent to Newgate in spring 1661, then, owing to illness, moved to the house of a Mr. Northrop, one of Charles II's messengers, in Aug. 1661.

On 14 Aug. 1661 George Wither's trial was ordered by the council,
and on 22 Aug. 1661, he was returned to Newgate;
He remained in Newgate until 24 March 1662, when he was examined before the House of Commons on seditious libel charges, convicted, and sent to the Tower.

On 9 April 1663, Elizabeth Emerson Wither was sent to George Wither ‘to bring from him his Recantation and Submission’.

Despite being denied writing materials, he was able to publish 'An Improvement of Imprisonment' (1661),
Joco-Serio: Strange News, of a Discourse between Two Dead Giants (1661),
The Prisoners Plea (1661-2),
Paralellogrammaton (1662),
A Proclamation … to … Great Brittain (1662),
Verses Intended to the King's Majesty (1662), and
A Declaration of Major George Wither (1662).

Wither was released from the Tower, aged 75, on 27 July 1663.
Undeterred, he continued pamphleteering and published 'Tuba-pacifica' (1664), which warned England against a Dutch war.

A dissident pro-Dutch group led from prison by Col. Robert Lilburne was under investigation in March 1665. One of the books ‘much cried up amongst them’ was a ‘seditious book called “George Withers' New Years Gift”'.

In June 1665 Wither refers to being a prisoner at his house in the Savoy and a ‘private Poem’, books and writings being confiscated (‘An advertisement, Three Private Meditations,' 1665).

On 23 July 1666 a warrant was issued for the arrest of George Wither, Henry Eversden, Sarah Anderston, Elizabeth Goslin, and Margaret Hickes for distributing his 'Sigh for the Pitchers' (1666), a sequel to 'Tuba-pacifica'.

Wither collected his writings from 1662 to 1665 in his 'A Memorandum to London'.

Wither's last work appears to be 'Ecchoes from the Sixth Trumpet' (1666), a collection of extracts from his prophetic poems that was republished posthumously as 'Nil ultra, or, The Last Works of Captain George Wither' (1668)
and 'Fragmenta prophetica, or, The Remains of George Wither' (1669).

George Wither died on 2 May 1667, aged 78, and was buried in the Chapel Royal of the Savoy Hospital in the Strand.

Much more about this prolific author and public figure at……

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