Saturday 11 January 1667/68

Lay some time, talking with my wife in bed about Pall’s business, and she do conclude to have her married here, and to be merry at it; and to have W. Hewer, and Batelier, and Mercer, and Willet bridemen and bridemaids, and to be very merry; and so I am glad of it, and do resolve to let it be done as soon as I can. So up, and to the office, where all the morning busy, and thence home to dinner, and from dinner with Mercer, who dined with us, and wife and Deb. to the King’s house, there to see “The Wild-goose Chase,” which I never saw, but have long longed to see it, being a famous play, but as it was yesterday I do find that where I expect most I find least satisfaction, for in this play I met with nothing extraordinary at all, but very dull inventions and designs. Knepp come and sat by us, and her talk pleased me a little, she telling me how Mis Davis is for certain going away from the Duke’s house, the King being in love with her; and a house is taken for her, and furnishing; and she hath a ring given her already worth 600l.: that the King did send several times for Nelly, and she was with him, but what he did she knows not; this was a good while ago, and she says that the King first spoiled Mrs. Weaver, which is very mean, methinks, in a prince, and I am sorry for it, and can hope for no good to the State from having a Prince so devoted to his pleasure. She told me also of a play shortly coming upon the stage, of Sir Charles Sidly’s, which, she thinks, will be called “The Wandering Ladys,” a comedy that, she thinks, will be most pleasant; and also another play, called “The Duke of Lerma;” besides “Catelin,” which she thinks, for want of the clothes which the King promised them, will not be acted for a good while. Thence home, and there to the office and did some business, and so with my wife for half an hour walking in the moonlight, and it being cold, frosty weather, walking in the garden, and then home to supper, and so by the fireside to have my head combed, as I do now often do, by Deb., whom I love should be fiddling about me, and so to bed.


29 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Ossory to [his father] Ormond
Written from: [London]
Date: 11 January 1668

Lord Arlington has conversed with the King upon the subject of the Duke[of Ormond]'s letter. The King makes no difficulty as to the appointment of a Deputy to govern in the Duke's absence, and will, the writer believes, do his part to prevent any mischance to the Duke's injury, as far as he may have the power.

Sir Robert Howard [ http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/10619/ ] complains of the Duke for having given to Sir Allan Broderick a Commissionership [under the Act of Settlement for Ireland] which, at first, had been intended for Howard himself, according to his own account.

http://www.rsl.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/projects/cart…

Margaret  •  Link

...“Catelin,” which she thinks, for want of the clothes which the King promised them, will not be acted for a good while."

I assume from this that players (or perhaps the company) had to buy hand-me-down clothes from the nobility. I remember reading that in Elizabethan England, actors were actually forbidden to wear their aristocratic costumes on the street--does anyone know if this was still the case in the 1660s?

Lady's maids and valets gained a good part of their earnings by selling old clothes to the actors.

These days, when clothes are so cheap, it's hard to remember what a huge expense even one suit of clothes could be.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"I do find that where I expect most I find least satisfaction"
Right. When I watch a movie that's been hyped to the skies I'm often disappointed.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a play shortly coming upon the stage, of Sir Charles Sidly’s, which, she thinks, will be called “The Wandering Ladys,”...

evidently not: L&M say it was probably the play Sedley called "The Mulberry-Garden".

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"and so by the fireside to have my head combed, as I do now often do, by Deb., whom I love should be fiddling about me..."

Uh oh.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Lay some time, talking with my wife in bed about Pall’s business, and she do conclude to have her married here, and to be merry at it; and to have W. Hewer, and Batelier, and Mercer, and Willet bridemen and bridemaids, and to be very merry; and so I am glad of it, and do resolve to let it be done as soon as I can."

Considering Bess' own wedding was but a mean thing relatively speaking, a generous impulse...Though I imagine Pall would prefer to do her own wedding planning and choose her own attendants.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Addison De Witt Pepys shoots down one of Fletcher's best...Ouch.

Rather sweet how Sam's and Elizabeth Knipp's relationship has progressed...Much as he has to watch it given Bess' jealousy, there seems a sincere shared love of the theater between them developing into a friendship, despite sexual overtones, which have faded surprisingly on Sam's part at least. She seems to honestly enjoy his company and sharing the backstage gossip with a true lover of the stage and he clearly relishes it.

How poor Bess feels at having him pay so much attention to another woman who can offer such fascinating info to him, we can guess at.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"she says that the King first spoiled Mrs. Weaver, which is very mean, methinks, in a prince,"
I'm intrigued by the definition of "spoiled" here. Does this mean that Mrs Weaver was a respectable married woman (before being ruined)as opposed to Moll and Nell who were just actresses and no better than they ought to be (to quote my late grandmother).

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Bess, take that comb away and do it yourself.

On the other hand, poor Betty Michell gets a break.

David Vaeth  •  Link

Completely off topic, but if you don't mind, Phil, i'd like to tout another daily blog called "Disunion", sponsored by the NYTimes. It began this past October and is, like this diary blog, a day-by-day parallel to events past, in this case the American Civil War -- for this purpose, October 2010 was October 1860. So, today's entry is about January 12th, 1861. Various contributors throughout the week and always, in my opinion, fascinating.
website ==> http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/dis…

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Spoiled
Tony, I read this to mean he took her virginity. I don't know whether that's right or not.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

Paul and Terry, thanks for your comments and the annotation on Mrs Weaver. I had made the old mistake of assuming that 'Mrs' implied a married woman.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" Mis Davis is for certain going away from the Duke’s house, the King being in love with her"

L&M note according to Downes (pp. 23-4) it was her singing of 'My Lodging it is on the Cold Ground' in The Rivals which so charmed the King that 'it rais'd her from her Bed on the Cold Ground, to a Bed Royal.' She bore him a daughter in 1672.
https://archive.org/stream/rosciusanglicanu00down…

mountebank  •  Link

There appears to have been an upgrading from "the girl" to "Deb" over the past day or so.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Spoiled: I read this to mean he took her virginity. I don't know whether that's right or not."

And nor do we, quite honestly.
My take is that we should remember the Stuarts did not have "Victorian" attitudes. They were a lusty bunch (after wars this frequently happens, think the Roaring Twenties and the Swinging Sixties).
But they did care about someone's reputation.
Mrs. Weaver's reputation was ruined by Charles II; not so much Moll Davis and Nell Gwyn because they were financially favored and maintained long relationships with the King, which was verging on respectable.
Mrs. Weaver has nothing to show for her exposure to gossip.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I've been trying to find my reference on this one, but nooooo, not to be found today ...

What I recall is that George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham was horrified by how much money his cousin, the fair lady Barbara Villiers Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine, had fleeced out of the public purse, and how chasing the fair lady Francis Stuart had broken the King's heart in the middle of war. Buckingham decided that Charles II being involved with titled ladies was not a good thing, and way too expensive. Instead, Charles should dally with pretty, charming, talented and disposable actresses, who would be much less demanding and expensive. Buckingham set about making the introductions.

Over time Buckingham found out this wasn't so (remember Nellie's solid silver bed?), but I'm sure many Courtiers were relieved that the pressure had been removed from their wives and daughters -- at least, so far as the King was concerned. James didn't get the memo, but he wasn't as extravagant to begin with.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... and to have W. Hewer, and Batelier, and Mercer, and Willet bridemen and bridemaids, and to be very merry; ..."

I would be furious if I were Pall.

It sounds like Elizabeth wants to throw some sort of social event, dressing up Pall and her socially-limited beau with lots of the Pepys' younger friends to make some phoney impression. The truth might be as simple as Elizabeth not wanting to be dragged to Brampton again in this bad weather, to attend a celebration at the local, with no new clothes or bragging rights involved.

I'm amazed Pepys went for it.

His impinging factor: Deb Willet.
A grooming opportunity to dress up Deb and make her feel special.
Thus Pepys is making Elizabeth feel secure. "YES Dear." "Whatever you want, sweetheart." "How high do you want me to jump?"
All the time scheming how to put Deb into very merry compromising positions.
We know you too well, Mr. Pepys.

John G  •  Link

Is it just me?
I have been looking at the portraits of all the various women mentioned in these pages for years now, and they all look like the same person!

John G.
Sydney

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Just the same painter-- mediocre Peter Lely. Chuck's fav.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It's not just you, John G.
Lely had his limitations ... plus too much work, so he took on too many apprentices. Many have made the same observation about the ladies' faces.

Linda C  •  Link

This is quite off topic but I was reading an old issue (May 2006 so OLD) of British Heritage magazine and in the article about SP it says there is a museum devoted to him at 17 Fleet St in London. Has anyone been there? I assume it's gone because I can't find any mention of it on-line.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

17 Fleet Street is one of the few remaining buildings Pepys would have known.

2003 was the 300th anniversary of Pepys' death, so maybe they had still had a display then which is now disbanded?

Let's hope, when our current affliction is over, Prince Henry's rooms will open again for us to enjoy.

https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/attr…

Linda C  •  Link

Thanks for the info. Our daughter lives in London so next time we're there (when? when?) we'll have to check this out. But too bad the museum is gone.

John G  •  Link

Thanks for the rescue San Diego Sarah and Gerald Berg.
Some years ago I posted a similar observation to Wikipedia about sundry portraits therein and received assurances from various experts that they were indeed verified as being the nominated sitters' true images!
Overwork is a good excuse! Thanks.
John G
Sydney

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Of course, we shouldn't forget that Chas. seemed to have had a 'type' of woman in mind so, not entirely Lely's fault.

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