Friday 24 January 1667/68

Up before day to my Tangier accounts, and then out and to a Committee of Tangier, where little done but discourse about reduction of the charge of the garrison, and thence to Westminster about orders at the Exchequer, and at the Swan I drank, and there met with a pretty ingenious young Doctor of physic, by chance, and talked with him, and so home to dinner, and after dinner carried my wife to the Temple, and thence she to a play, and I to St. Andrew’s church, in Holburne, at the Quest House, where the company meets to the burial of my cozen Joyce; and here I staid with a very great rabble of four or five hundred people of mean condition, and I staid in the room with the kindred till ready to go to church, where there is to be a sermon of Dr. Stillingfleete, and thence they carried him to St. Sepulchre’s. But it being late, and, indeed, not having a black cloak to lead her [Kate Joyce] with, or follow the corps, I away, and saw, indeed, a very great press of people follow the corps. I to the King’s playhouse, to fetch my wife, and there saw the best part of “The Mayden Queene,” which, the more I see, the more I love, and think one of the best plays I ever saw, and is certainly the best acted of any thing ever the House did, and particularly Becke Marshall, to admiration. Found my wife and Deb., and saw many fine ladies, and sat by Colonell Reames, who understands and loves a play as well as I, and I love him for it. And so thence home; and, after being at the Office, I home to supper, and to bed, my eyes being very bad again with overworking with them.

15 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

24th January, 1668. We went to stake out ground for "building a college for the Royal Society at Arundel-House, but did not finish it, which we shall repent of.

Pepys wrote a week ago "Creed...tells me of Mr. Harry Howard’s giving the Royal Society a piece of ground next to his house, to build a College on"…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Doctor of physic"

This may be a bit obsolete by Pepys's day, but perhaps not.

"Chaucer's character of his Doctor of Physic introduces us to a world of thought so different from our own that it would need many pages to offer an adequate commentary on it. In his day every part of the human body was supposed to be under the domination of one of the twelve Signs or Constellations (see Chaucer's Astrology), Aries governing the head, Taurus the neck, etc. Knowledge of these relations was thought so essential that a picture illustrating them was placed in all the early printed Books of Hours or prayer books for lay use, and a physician was supposed to choose the part of the body at which to bleed a patient according to the sign then in the ascendant. Complications were introduced by the sign under which the patient was born, which was thought to rule his destiny through life; by the sign in the ascendant when his illness began, etc., etc. The skill of the astrologer-physician would be exercised in calculating the hours when the balance of contending influences would be most favourable to his patient, and choosing these for the application of his remedies. These remedies were directed, in the case of disease, to restoring the balance of the four qualities of hot, cold, dry, and moist. [As to these the popular 15th-16th century compendium, The Kalender of Shepherdes, remarks "the whiche whan they be well tempred and egall ‘that one surmount not the other ' than the body of a man is hole. But whan they ben unegall and myssetempred, that one domyne over another, than a man is seke or dysposed to sekeness; and they ben the qualytes that the bodyes holdeth of the elementes that they ben made and composed of, that is to wete of the fyre heet, of the water colde, of the ayre moyste, and of the erth drye" (Pynson's edition, 1506, ed. Sommer, 1892, p. 107).] Chaucer's physician to attain the degree of Doctor of Physic must have mastered all this lore, besides what was known of anatomy and other medical studies, properly so called. He must have been a rich man to take the degree of Doctor, which involved great expenses in fees, presents, and feasting. But he was himself thrifty and abstemious, with a touch of miserliness, and the tendency to despise theological studies, which was supposed, down to the days of Sir Thomas Browne, who wrote his Keligio Medici as a protest, to characterize his profession. In the Ellesmere manuscript the Doctor is shown in a purple surcoat and stockings, with a blue hood trimmed with white fur. He carries with him the large flask, which was taken as the pictorial emblem of his profession, and is scrutinizing its contents."…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"But it being late, and, indeed, not having a black cloak to lead her [Kate Joyce] with, or follow the corps, I away, and saw, indeed, a very great press of people follow the corps."

Somehow, I don't think many of them had the requisite black cloak either. On the other hand, most probably didn't have "The Maiden Queen" calling to them like a siren.

Good Lord, look at that rabble... "Tom, boy...?"

"Ten minutes to curtain, sir."


"All right, Kate...Just let me get...Boy, where be my black cloak?"

Your cue, Thomas...Sam eyes him.


"Uh, cloak, Mr. Pepys? I don't think I have it, sir. I fear I left it at home, sir."

"What? No cloak? Godswounds, boy! How could you be so thoughtless?! Oh, this is terrible. Kate, I'm sorry, I fear I can't lead you to church like this, no proper mourning for poor Tony."

"I've a black bedsheet...We could wrap it round you. I mean, Samuel, this rabble of mean persons will hardly..."

"No, oh, no...It would be disrespectful, Kate. Your son or Will Joyce here can do the honors. My profound apologies, Kate. I promise you the boy will suffer severely for it. Come, you rogue..."

"But cousin Pepys, I've a..." Will Joyce begins...

Sam and Tom nowhere to be seen...

"Of course, boy, you understand we couldn't leave Mrs. P unchaperoned...And such a funeral was not a fit place for her." Sam notes as they catch breath and the nearest coach...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...sat by Colonell Reames, who understands and loves a play..."

"I'm Samuel Pepys..."

"And I'm Bullen Reymes..."

"And you are...'At the Plays with Pepys and Reymes'..."

"Today's play, Sam is a favorite of us both, the classic 'The Maiden Queen' by John Dryden, starring the incomparable Rebecca Marshall as the Queen..."

"Yes, produced and directed by Thomas Killigrew, this play really is one of my personal top ten, Bullen...With the ravishing Nell Gwyn as Florimel. whom I've raved about as so great performance of a comical part was never, I believe, in the world before."

"Lord, will you two be quiet and let me hear the damned play?!" Bess fumes...

martinb  •  Link

In the midst of death Pepys is in ... the theatre?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

All the world's a stage, after all...

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I to St. Andrew’s church, in Holburne, at the Quest House, where the company meets to the burial of my cozen Joyce"

Presumably because the Quest House of Joyce's own parish, St Sepulchre's, had suffered in the Fire.
For Quest Houses see:…
(L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"saw the best part of “The Mayden Queene,” certainly the best acted of any thing ever the House did, and particularly Becke Marshall"

She played the Queen of Sicily. (L&M)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Charles II seems to have rounded up lots of soldiers to fight for the Dutch, even if he can't find sailors for love nor money.
Spain is currently an English ally, and occupies half of the Netherlands; they are transporting English or Spanish troops to Ostend? (rhetorical question)

But someone might know the answer to this one:
Louis XIV is attacking Flanders which is occupied by the Spanish. Is the Dutch Republic now also protecting the Spanish? If so, what a strange turn of events, but my enemy's enemy is my friend once again.

Jan. 24. 1668
John Clarke to Hickes.
A Spanish man-of-war from St. Sebastian, with 300 soldiers for Ostend, has left port with 5 other ships, having 1,500 soldiers,
and 1,200 more are ready to embark for the relief of the Netherlands.
Arrival of other vessels.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 233, No. 48.]

Jan. 24 1668
Same to Williamson.
To the same effect.
[Damaged. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 233, No. 49.]…

Batch  •  Link

"a very great rabble of four or five hundred people of mean condition" -- the deceased appears to have had many friends. I am a person of mean condition and can't imagine that I would have even 50 persons at my wake, much less 400.

Tonyel  •  Link

My thought too. Would they have expected a wake afterwards, perhaps? Free beer and a cake?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

He paid his respects to the widow, and she had lots of company. Away.
I suspect the Joyces didn't have that many real friends. These are acquaintances of the inn she now owns, and their friends, having an afternoon out in hopes of beer and cake afterwards as Tonyel suggests.

What gets me is that Edward Stillingfleet (1635 – 1699), Chaplain to Charles II, gave the oration. Pepys has tried and failed to hear him before now. Considered an outstanding preacher, Stillingfleet was known as "the beauty of holiness" for his good looks in the pulpit, and was called by John Hough "the ablest man of his time".

Where are your priorities, Pepys? The ladies and the theater, apparently.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

1668. England is at peace. Peace, and its horrors: No more money for the fleet, the troops all demobbed and scattering. The Clerk of the Acts often despairs of getting enough to pay suppliers and keep the King's great Navy afloat.

Oh boo-hoo-hoo? Maybe there is hope - from who else than Henry Jermyn, earl of St. Albans, currently on one of his many missions to Paris (he's travelling light - we saw a pass into France for his suite of just 35 horses and 2 mules on January 14, at…). This one is certainly timely, what with the easily mis-interpreted deal with the Dutch, but on this day St. Albans is with another outsize character, the Venetian ambassador to France, Marc Antonio Giustinian, a.k.a. "Golden Guts" (according to his Wikipedia notice - don't ask), a future doge and a terrific cable writer. Venice is, at this time, still in a bloody fight with the Turk, and has called Christiandom for help. Golden Guts memorializes the meeting for the doge and senate, and you can almost see the glasses of prosecco twinkle as St. Albans does a bit of trade diplomacy:

-- "The earl of St. Albans, who is going to London next week, called on me at this house. (...) He promised to do his best for the levy, but warned me of the difficulties in the way, owing to the reduction of the population by reason of the plague and the war which afflicted that country only a few months ago. In a subdued tone he spoke of their trade in the Levant and that he did not know how the Turks would take it. It seemed to me, however, that this was not the obstacle which he had in mind, but that he introduced the point in order to bring your Excellencies to something more profitable for the royal House of England. Thus he went further and said that if the republic should happen to want to hire ships, it would be easy to fill these with men and cause them to proceed to the Levant, while giving out that the Venetians had purchased them in England. In this way the traders would be protected from suffering harm while the republic would get what it wanted. He stopped at this point and from what I understand Prince Rupert has a squadron of thirteen ships which he would like to turn to advantage either by selling or by hiring. I told the earl that I had no commissions about ships but that to raise the question in London could not fail to do good. Paris, the 24th January, 1667 [old style; 1668]"

Mr. Pepys, new plan: We'll sell or lease out the Navy. Please draft a price list. (What's this about Rupert having a squadron for sale?)

The dispatch is in the Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, vol. 35, No. 272 (…).

john  •  Link

SDS, we should note that Elizabeth went to the theatre and not to the service.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"He promised to do his best for the levy ..."

On January 17, 1668, item number 268 explains this proposed levy:

#268. Marc Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On the commission given him to raise 3,000 troops, English and Dutch.
The Count of San Maldich has offered his assistance to make a levy of 1,500 men in each of these countries if their governments will permit it.
I have raised, the question with [HENRY JERMYN] Earl of St. Albans, who is going to England, to invite some person of rank to favor the cause of the most serene republic.
He seemed ready to oblige and promised to send me word.
Paris, 17 January, 1667/68. [M.V.] [Italian.]

So England's counter-offer is 13 ships and Prince Rupert to help the Venetians fight the Turks, since 1,500 soldiers is more difficult to raise because of manpower shortages.
As we've seen, there are reports of sailors disappearing from their ships all the time, while English and Scots Catholics are volunteering to fight for the Spanish against France in Flanders.

Perhaps Charles II doesn't see the need for a major fleet deployment next summer after all, but wants his soldiers kept closer to home.
English merchants will appreciate anything he can do to curb the Barbary Pirates.…

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