Sunday 21 July 1667

(Lord’s day). Up betimes, and all the morning, and then to dinner with my wife alone, and then all the afternoon in like manner, in my chamber, making up my Tangier accounts and drawing a letter, which I have done at last to my full content, to present to the Lords Commissioners for Tangier tomorrow; and about seven at night, when finished my letter and weary, I and my wife and Mercer up by water to Barne Elmes, where we walked by moonshine, and called at Lambeth, and drank and had cold meat in the boat, and did eat, and sang, and down home, by almost twelve at night, very fine and pleasant, only could not sing ordinary songs with the freedom that otherwise I would. Here Mercer tells me that the pretty maid of the Ship tavern I spoke of yesterday is married there, which I am glad of. So having spent this night, with much serious pleasure to consider that I am in a condition to fling away an angell in such a refreshment to myself and family, we home and to bed, leaving Mercer, by the way, at her own door.


11 Annotations

JWB  •  Link

"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Fern  •  Link

"only could not sing ordinary songs with the freedom that otherwise I would."
Why couldn't they sing ordinary songs? (Complaints from the neighbours?) And does it mean they could sing extraordinary songs? I'm very puzzled.

arby  •  Link

My guess, Fern, is that it's the Lord's day, so only sacred songs. But it is just a guess.

Fern  •  Link

Doh. Thanks, arby. I had in fact just realised that and was hoping to add a note to that effect, but you beat me to it.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"So having spent this night, with much serious pleasure to consider that I am in a condition to fling away an angell in such a refreshment to myself and family"

Sounds like " how lucky am I" or gratitude, but no "praise God" &c.

James Morgan  •  Link

What a lovely picture of a moonlight excursion. It almost sounds Japanese in it's appreciation of nature.
It's also interesting that he could discuss the Ship Tavern beauty with Mercer. There have been other instances of him discussing these beauties with Elizabeth. It seems his admiration for beauty in women was an shared interest, though he does keep his assignations clandestine.

Kew Gardener  •  Link

I love how he's always singing, either at home with his wife, or with friends. I realize there's no TV and this is what they did for entertainment, but it's still a very pleasant and homely image. Do we know what songs they sang, and/or what Pepys preferred?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Do we know what songs they sang, and/or what Pepys preferred?"

Welcome to the fray, Kew. If you go to the little SEARCH box top right, and type in MUSIC, you'll get about 24 references in the Diary to that word. Then change the sort to ENCYCLOPEDIA and you'll find 8 musical references. Do the same with SONG and OPERA and LUTE etc., and you'll find a wealth of Pepys' experiences. Noone has written an in-depth article for the site about his musical achievements yet. If you knowledgeable, perhaps, when you've been around a while ...???

Terry Foreman  •  Link

What Pepys and his friends may have sung:

Samuel Pepys was an avid collector of broadside ballads, which were at the height of their popularity in the 1660s, when Pepys was writing his diary.

Printed a large, single sheet of paper (thus ‘broadside’), these cheap, everyday items usually consisted of a news item, rhyme or ballad. Some 10,000 broadside ballads have survived into the present day, with Pepys’ collection consisting of some 1,800 items.

Often they would include a woodcut illustration and a name of a popular tune to be set to the words. The ballads were written on several topics, and Pepys sorted his into different categories, such as ‘History, True and Fabulous’, ‘Love Pleasant’ and ‘Love Unfortunate’. https://magdlibs.com/2015/01/14/pepys-broadside-b…

His famous collection is available here: https://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/page/pepys

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Up betimes, and all the morning, ... and then all the afternoon in like manner, in my chamber making up my Tangier accounts and drawing a letter, which I have done at last to my full content to present to the Lords Commissioners for Tangier tomorrow; ..."

Those two extra clerks have been earning their keep. Can you imagine the files they had to pour through to justify all the Tangier expenditures for the garrison, mole, etc.? He says "my accounts" so presumably he doesn't have to explain the Povy nightmare files.

https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/02/12/
"Tuesday 12 February 1667
"Up, and to the office, where we sat all the morning, with several things (among others) discoursed relating to our two new assistant controllers, but especially Sir W. Pen, who is mighty troublesome in it."

In retrospect, I wonder what Penn had to hide? Cooking the books because he was out of ready cash and had a daughter to marry off to a rich man?

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