Sunday 5 January 1667/68

(Lord’s day). Up, and being ready, and disappointed of a coach, it breaking a wheel just as it was coming for me, I walked as far as the Temple, it being dirty, and as I went out of my doors my cozen Anthony Joyce met me, and so walked part of the way with me, and it was to see what I would do upon what his wife a little while since did desire, which was to supply him 350l. to enable him to go to build his house again. I (who in my nature am mighty unready to answer no to anything, and thereby wonder that I have suffered no more in my life by my easiness in that kind than I have) answered him that I would do it, and so I will, he offering me good security, and so it being left for me to consider the manner of doing it we parted. Taking coach as I said before at the Temple, I to Charing Cross, and there went into Unthanke’s to have my shoes wiped, dirty with walking, and so to White Hall, where I visited the Vice-Chamberlain, who tells me, and so I find by others, that the business of putting out of some of the Privy-council is over, the King being at last advised to forbear it; for whereas he did design it to make room for some of the House of Commons that are against him, thereby to gratify them, it is believed that it will but so much the more fret the rest that are not provided for, and raise a new stock of enemies by them that are displeased, and so all they think is over: and it goes for a pretty saying of my Lord Anglesey’s up and down the Court, that he should lately say to one of them that are the great promoters of this putting him and others out of the Council, “Well,” says he, “and what are we to look for when we are outed? Will all things be set right in the nation?” The other said that he did believe that many things would be mended: “But,” says my Lord, “will you and the rest of you be contented to be hanged, if you do not redeem all our misfortunes and set all right, if the power be put into your hands?” The other answered, “No, I would not undertake that:” — “Why, then,” says my Lord, “I and the rest of us that you are labouring to put out, will be contented to be hanged, if we do not recover all that is past, if the King will put the power into our hands, and adhere wholly to our advice;” which saying as it was severe, so generally people have so little opinion of those that are likely to be uppermost that they do mightily commend my Lord Anglesey for this saying.

From the Vice-Chamberlain up and down the house till Chapel done, and then did speak with several that I had a mind to, and so intending to go home, my Lady Carteret saw and called me out of her window, and so would have me home with her to Lincoln’s Inn Fields to dinner, and there we met with my Lord Brereton, and several other strangers, to dine there; and I find him a very sober and serious, able man, and was in discourse too hard for the Bishop of Chester, who dined there; and who, above all books lately wrote, commending the matter and style of a late book, called “The Causes of the Decay of Piety,” I do resolve at his great commendation to buy it. Here dined also Sir Philip Howard, a Barkeshire Howard, whom I did once hear swear publickly and loud in the matted gallery that he had not been at a wench in so long a time. He did take occasion to tell me at the table that I have got great ground in the Parliament, by my ready answers to all that was asked me there about the business of Chatham, and they would never let me be out of employment, of which I made little; but was glad to hear him, as well as others, say it. And he did say also, relating to Commissioner Pett, that he did not think that he was guilty of anything like a fault, that he was either able or concerned to amend, but only the not carrying up of the ships higher, he meant; but he said, three or four miles lower down, to Rochester Bridge, which is a strange piece of ignorance in a Member of Parliament at such a time as this, and after so many examinations in the house of this business; and did boldly declare that he did think the fault to lie in my Lord Middleton, who had the power of the place, to secure the boats that were made ready by Pett, and to do anything that he thought fit, and was much, though not altogether in the right, for Spragg, that commanded the river, ought rather to be charged with the want of the boats and the placing of them. After dinner, my Lord Brereton very gentilely went to the organ, and played a verse very handsomely. Thence after dinner away with Sir G. Carteret to White Hall, setting down my Lord Brereton at my Lord Brouncker’s, and there up and down the house, and on the Queen’s side, to see the ladies, and there saw the Duchesse of York, whom few pay the respect they used, I think, to her; but she bears all out, with a very great deal of greatness; that is the truth of it. And so, it growing night, I away home by coach, and there set my wife to read, and then comes Pelling, and he and I to sing a little, and then sup and so to bed.

20 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link


Alas, poor Tony. That was kinder than you knew, Sam.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Here dined also Sir Philip Howard, a Barkeshire Howard, whom I did once hear swear publickly and loud in the matted gallery that he had not been at a wench in so long a time."

One could say "impressive honesty". Or perhaps, "No more ale for Sir Philip, steward."

Ruben  •  Link

'The causes of the decay of Christian piety...'

Every generation has this kind of books, etc.
Jorge Manrique, the Spanish poet that lived 200 years before Pepys said:
"cómo, a nuestro parecer,"
"cualquiera tiempo pasado"
"fue mejor."

"apparently to us" "whichever past day" "was better (than today)."

GrahamT  •  Link

"Sir Philip Howard, a Barkeshire Howard"
I had believed that the British pronunciation of Berkshire changed to Barkshire during the Regency period, certainly after the American Revolution, in which country it is pronounced as written.
This entry, assuming the shorthand was transcribed phonetically, seems to show that it preceded that by at least 100 years.
Can someone with L&M confirm that "Barkeshire" is not just a Wheatley anachronism?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

I think nowadays we tend more toward "Closing of the American Mind" or "Dawn to Decadence..." style books insisting our civilization is in decline as we try to adjust to an ever wider mix of cultures and ideas. Though there are still books around on the decline of faith, etc, even though all indications are that religious feeling is still quite powerful in the was true in Sam's day.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Nice to see Sam's tribute to the Duchess of York's gallantry under fire.

Mary  •  Link

Barkshire is the L&M reading.

Dryden rhymes 'desert' (so spelled) with 'part'. Another authoritative example of the same pronunciation in the 17th century.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Does anyone who knows about the history of such things know what kind of an organ Lord Brereton would have played on? I have seen small organs in grand stately homes, but of a much later date. Lady Carteret would seem to live in quite a grad style. Or was this a tiny portative organ??

Phoenix  •  Link

"I (who in my nature am mighty unready to answer no to anything, and thereby wonder that I have suffered no more in my life by my easiness in that kind than I have) answered him that I would do it..." upon "good security".

Makes it easier not to say no.

nix  •  Link

An online listing of a book by "the Author of the Whole Duty of Man, The Causes of Decay of Christian Piety, and The Gentlemans Calling" suggests that it was Richard Allestree.…

My quick search didn't turn up any other confirmation of his authorship. Allestree's listings in Wikipedia and the Oxford DNB make no mention of it, though Wikipedia does say he is generally considered an author of anonymous works credited to "the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man,'" which I presume is the basis of the bookseller's attribution.

The fortuitous juxtaposition of "The Causes of Decay" and the anecdote about Sir Philip Howard brings to mind a modern day Philip Howard (college classmate of mine), who has written two excellent and bestselling books called "The Death of Common Sense" and "The Collapse of the Common Good."

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Gilbert and Sullivan had a thought about this. The Lord High Executioner's list of people who never will be missed includes "The idiot who praises with enthusiastic tone all centuries but this and every country but his own."

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The causes of the decay of Christian piety, or, An impartial survey of the ruines of Christian religion, undermin'd by unchristian practice written by the author of The whole duty of man.
Allestree, Richard, 1619-1681.
London: Printed by R. Norton for T. Garthwait ..., 1667.
Early English Books online [full text]…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The whole duty of man. With Private devotions
by Richard Allestree…

The Whole Duty of Man is an English high church 'protestant' devotional work, first published anonymously, with an introduction by Henry Hammond, in 1658. It was both popular and influential for two centuries, in the Anglican tradition it helped to define. The title is taken from Ecclesiastes 12:13, in the King James Version of the Bible: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Duchesse of York, whom few pay the respect they used, I think, to her;"

L&M note her father Clarendon had been dismissed in the previous autumn.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"we met with my Lord Brereton, and several other strangers, to dine there; and I find him a very sober and serious, able man, and was in discourse too hard for the Bishop of Chester"

L&M: George Hall was Bishop of Chester, 1662-68. Brereton was chairman of the Brooke House Committee. For hiis roughness in argument, see Bryant, ii. 21+.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Here dined also Sir Philip Howard, a Barkeshire Howard"

L&M: I,e, a son of the Earl of Berkshire. He was M.P. of Carlisle and Colonel of Albemarle;s troop of the Life Guard.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

No office drudgery today, it's all lords and ladies. Meanwhile, in Portsmouth harbour, Mr Philip Latley, the boatswain of (no less) The Sovereign, is scratching a letter - a rarity, a discussion of Sam between third parties:

Jan. 5, "The Sovereign", Portsmouth Harbour: Philip Latley, boatswain of the Sovereign, to Thos. Hayter. Begs his influence with Sam. Pepys, to procure him a month's liberty to come to London on urgent business.

At last, Sam is one of the norns, hidden puppetmaster of mens' destinies ... or at least of boatswains' destinies. Sacrifices will be laid to draw his benevolent gaze. A whole month, though, that must be some business.

And, since we were asked, a note on sourcing: The heavy tomes into which the Public Records Office compiled this and myriad other letters were digitized by Mr. Google - this one in Michigan State University, of all places. The present volume, edited in 1893 and running to September 1668, is accessible at…. Unfortunately it's a stream and there is no way to download.

Mr. Google's industry is well known but he keeps not his URLs short and wieldy, so for convenience I have also crafted this shortcut: We will see, if God grants us until then, if it is stable and if Mr. Google long tolerates such backdoors. Both links take you to the book's elegant cover, and from there you can navigate, search, index and have lots of fun. The letters are in impeccable chronological order, and today's entry is at page 157 - as printed in the book and in the page's own URL (ending in GBS.PP157), and corresponding to page 205 on the scroll bar provided by Mr. Google, a further complication. Henceforth we shall endeavour to quote the printed page number in our trusty ayAB6, as the preacher may do upon starting the sermon which (ahem) Sam again didn't seem to attend today, so busy was he with books on why religion goes to seed.

The PRO would have liked us to reference Mr. Latley's letter as "S.P. Dom., Car. II. 232, No. 38", but this seems useful only if one has access to the stacks of originals so maybe we shall not. And this "Car."? Carolus?? In 1893? Really!

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