Wednesday 1 April 1668

Up, and to dress myself, and call as I use Deb. to brush and dress me …, and I to my office, where busy till noon, and then out to bespeak some things against my wife’s going into the country to-morrow, and so home to dinner, my wife and I alone, she being mighty busy getting her things ready for her journey, I all the afternoon with her looking after things on the same account, and then in the afternoon out and all alone to the King’s house, and there sat in an upper box, to hide myself, and saw “The Black Prince,” a very good play; but only the fancy, most of it, the same as in the rest of my Lord Orrery’s plays; but the dance very stately; but it was pretty to see how coming after dinner and with no company with me to talk to, and at a play that I had seen, and went to now not for curiosity but only idleness, I did fall asleep the former part of the play, but afterward did mind it and like it very well. Thence called at my bookseller’s, and took Mr. Boyle’s Book of Formes, newly reprinted, and sent my brother my old one. So home, and there to my chamber till anon comes Mr. Turner and his wife and daughter, and Pelling, to sup with us and talk of my wife’s journey to-morrow, her daughter going with my wife; and after supper to talk with her husband about the Office, and his place, which, by Sir J. Minnes’s age and inability, is very uncomfortable to him, as well as without profit, or certainty what he shall do, when Sir J. Minnes dies, which is a sad condition for a man that hath lived so long in the Office as Mr. Turner hath done. But he aymes, and I advise him to it, to look for Mr. Ackworth’s place, in case he should be removed. His wife afterwards did take me into my closet, and give me a cellar of waters of her own distilling for my father, to be carried down with my wife and her daughter to-morrow, which was very handsome. So broke up and to bed.


34 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The ellipsis hides how Pepys began this day

"Up, and to dress myself; and called, as I use, Deb to brush and dress me and there I did again as I did the last night con mi mano, but would have tocado su thing; but ella endeavored to prevent me con much modesty by putting su hand there about, which I was well pleased with and would not do too much, and so con great kindness dismissed la; and I to my office, where busy till noon, and then out to bespeak some things against my wife's going into the country tomorrow."

L&M text.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Does Sam never worry that one of these girls will tell Bess?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

And, Robert, Deb and Bess are about to embark on a long and possibly stressful stay in the country with Sam'l's Papa and who knows who else, where the interpersonal dynamics might get revelatory.

He is sooooo clueless.

Mary  •  Link

The modern cellaret: a set of three spirits bottles, usually of cut glass, on a small, wooden stand. Designed to stand on a sideboard or side table.

Christopher Squire  •  Link

‘cellar, n.1 < Anglo-Norman celer . . classical Latin cellārium storeroom,
. . 3. A box, esp. one for holding drinks and glasses; a case of bottles, a cellaret. Obs. Cf. salt-cellar n., and note in etymology.
1603    Accts. Treasurer Scotl. f. 275v, in Dict. Older Sc. Tongue at Sellar,   Twa glas selleris coverit with selch skins to carie the drink in xxviii li.
. . 1668    S. Pepys Diary 1 Apr. (1976) IX. 145   His wife afterward did‥give me a cellar of waters of her own distilling.’ [OED]

It is pleasant to note that the word for this very important part of the civilised life has barely changed since it was coined 2000 years ago.And it has been very widely borrowed by the other non-Romance languages:

‘ . . Old Dutch kelleri, Old Saxon kellari, Old High German kellari, Old Icelandic kellari, Old Swedish, källare, Old Danish kæller . . ’

The cellaret is also called a tantalus, because it can be locked to stop the servants getting at it.

Iwan Griffiths  •  Link

Hello, I don't know if this is the place to ask this, I'm currently writing a dissertation on the significance of Pepys. I'm wondering if anyone is aware of a historian or and historiographical text which question the significance of Pepys and his diary?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Carl in Boston  •  Link

His wife afterwards did take me into my closet, and give me a cellar of waters of her own distilling
A noble experiment, worthy of the Royal Society. I wonder if she was making brandy or whiskey? I think brandy, as wine would have been easy to find and easy to distill. Whiskey would have been more difficult as she would have to make a mash of corn or rye, to make a beer, then distill the beer. She would have quite a good size still, to be producing enough spirit to give away. Maybe this is a test market for her.
if anyone is aware of a historian or and historiographical text which question the significance of Pepys and his diary?
As for this preposterous thought, I can't imagine any barbarian historian who would question the significance of Samuel Pepys. Impossible.

john  •  Link

"Does Sam never worry that one of these girls will tell Bess?"

This goes back to my ongoing query about the expected norms of behaviour towards domestics in that era. Is Sam an aberration or was this common with every young master?

Mary  •  Link

I don't think one could say that this was common with every young master, but was certainly an occupational hazard for many living-in maidservants and would remain so for another 200+ years.

A girl such as Deb Willet (an orphan whose sole family support seems to have been the aunt who arranged her employment at Seething Lane) would plainly be at greater risk of persistent moves of this sort than the better connected and supported Mary Mercer.

Mary tolerated a certain amount of personal attention from Sam but was not (or,rather, her mother was not) about to let herself be treated like a common apprentice when it came to a question of absenting herself from the house without permission. She, though dismissed by Elizabeth on this point, left the Pepys's employ with her dignity intact and the two families retained social ties.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Mercer is likewise a curious case...She actually seems to have become a close family friend, suggesting Bess regretted her burst of temper with her and made some sort of amends. I can't believe one of the household girls Sam's dallied with hasn't dropped a word or two which suggests Sam and Bess have a tacit agreement that so long as his fooling is not threatening to her status she'll close eyes to it. On the other hand, she must cherish the fact that Sam married her for wild, uncalculated passion and love and perhaps she really is nervous but uncertainly clueless as to his "activities". If so, Mary Mercer and several Pepysian household maids are very kind ladies indeed.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Too bad about the cellar...It conjured such visions of John Sr. with enough moonshine to turn the Brampton place into an inn.

***
So all that gold is still waiting patiently at Brampton, isn't it? Amazing that Sam hasn't freaked and raced there before long now to dig it up. Rather touching that he hasn't the sightest concern that any of those who are in the know would consider betraying him...Hey, men and women have killed for much less.

Of course it might explain why Bess seems surprisingly willing to go to Brampton this spring...One would think it would take wild horses to drag her after last time.

"You seem very eager to see Brampton again, Bess?"

"Oh, I just love being in the country, Sam'l...Ummn will Dick Gibson being coming up with me?"

"No...'Dick' will not." Mental note to Hewer cancelling Mr. Gibson's trip to guide Bess to Brampton.

Damn...I'll just have to kill the old man alone and carry the gold myself to the coast, then send for sweet Dick, Bess sighs.

"I do believe I have good news, Bess. I think I can accompany you this time. I need to look the place over." And get my gold, you scheming...

Damn...Now I'll have to kill two men. Still...Narrow look at Sam followed by beaming smile...There's surely be a certain pleasure in at least one of them. And I know someone who'd be only too glad to assist for a share...

"Perhaps Mary Mercer could ride up with us as well...She's such good company, Sam'l."

And handy with a club and a shovel...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Uh...Bess?"

"Sam'l...I'm busy getting things together with Deb."

"Yes...Ummn...I was wondering. Deb...Didn't by any chance happen to mention...Ummn?"

"Sam'l?"

"I mean, just by any chance...Some foolishness...The other night that I engaged in...That such a young girl might possibly...By chance...Taken in a completely wrong way?"

"Sam'l..." fond smile... "You know I would never take such foolishness seriously...Even if Deb took it in a completely wrong way. Don't let it trouble you..." pat.

At least until we get to Brampton and I get my hands on that gold and an ax...You little...Grim look as Sam happily heads for his study, all concerns fled...Such a lucky man, am I to have such an understanding spouse.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Meanwhile, in Brampton...

A dignified visiting Pall takes queenly tone as befitting a married woman.

"So, me esteemed brother and his wife should be comin' soon to spend time, Father?"

"Tis so, daughter." John Sr. nods.

"'ll be a good thing to have Mr. Pepys with us from London. News of the world and the great city, eh? And the family all together." Jackson notes respectfully.

"Ay." John nods.

"Tis a wicked place, London but he has prospered there...As did you, certainly, Father Pepys."

"Ay. Well enough."

"But good Mr. Pepys'll be seein' to the land here, as he is due to come into the place one day, eh, Father Pepys?"

"Ay. When I be laid in my grave."

"Long years for that, we pray, eh Pall? But, Father Pepys, I would speak with Mr. Pepys as to the look of the ground in the garden...Tis not lookin' to my mind as it should."

"In the garden?"

"Aye, FAther Pepys...Has a bad look to it the ground does...You bein' a man of the city most of yer life, you may not be noting it but to a local man, a farmer like me..."

"I'm sure there's nothing serious there..."

"Oh, but my John reads the land like a book, Father..." Pall beaming at Jackson. "You ought to see him on our land..."

"Ay? Well, there's no need to trouble yourself, Mr. Jackson. I'll mention it to Samuel when he comes."

"It's as if there be something foul in the land herself, Father Pepys. Perhaps I should dig it up a bit and..."

"No need, boy...No need. Samuel will see to it when he comes. Now I see it's gettin' on and you two should be..."

"Tis hard work for a city man...I should be glad to help with it. Just a little turning over the soil to see if there's something foul beneath...Mayhaps an animal carcasse or..."

"Yes, yes...I'll mention it to Samuel. Now you two should be off before it gets too late..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Of course most came up in October 67 but he'd thought there was still a bit left.

Mary  •  Link

Sam's peccadilloes

I'm not sure that our friend would have had the gall to preempt the attitude of Winston Churchill's father. When detected in 'crime' by his wife, Lord Randolph Churchill protested,
"But what does the occasional cook or housemaid matter?"

nix  •  Link

"but it was pretty to see how coming after dinner and with no company with me to talk to, and at a play that I had seen, and went to now not for curiosity but only idleness, I did fall asleep the former part of the play, but afterward did mind it and like it very well" --

The First Act Nod -- another aspect of life that hasn't changed in 350 years. Happens to me pretty much every time I go to the theater or concert hall (unless one of my kids is performing, of course).

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"out and all alone to the King’s house, and there sat in an upper box, to hide myself, and saw “The Black Prince,” a very good play; but only the fancy, most of it, the same as in the rest of my Lord Orrery’s plays; but the dance very stately"

Pepys sat above the boxes his superiors (the King, &c.) would sit in, knowing it's uncommon for theatre-attendees to turn around to see who sits behind and above them. L&M note the play was a tragedy [not Pepys's preference], and like most of Orrery's plays was concerned with the commonplace theme of the conflict between love and honor. The dance was part of a highly spectacular episode at the outset of Act II, when men and women descended from cloud-machines, danced and returned 'into the Clouds'.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Restoration spectacular

The Restoration spectacular, or elaborately staged machine play, hit the London public stage in the late 17th-century Restoration period, enthralling audiences with action, music, dance, moveable scenery, baroque illusionistic painting, gorgeous costumes, and special effects such as trapdoor tricks, "flying" actors, and fireworks. These shows have always had a bad reputation as a vulgar and commercial threat to the witty, "legitimate" Restoration drama; however, they drew Londoners in unprecedented numbers and left them dazzled and delighted....All plays of the period featured music and dancing and some scenery, most of them also songs....The King's Company's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane was not up to lakes of rolling fire; only the "machine house" at Dorset Garden was, and that belonged to the competition, the Duke's Company. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoration_spectac…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

A cellarette or cellaret is a small furniture cabinet, available in various sizes, shapes, and designs which is used to store bottles of alcoholic beverages such as wine and whiskey.
Wood box containers as freestanding alcoholic beverage cabinets first appeared in Europe in the fifteenth century to hold and to secure alcoholic beverages in public houses. Cellarettes first appeared in colonial America in the eighteenth century as a form of the European liquor cabinet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellarette

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I advise him to it, to look for Mr. Ackworth’s place, in case he should be removed."

What I've found since my last post on Acworth's dilemma:

March 26. 1668
Greenwich.
Charles Porter to Sam. Pepys.
Mr. Acworth has used his utmost endeavours to procure the witnesses appointed to wait on your Honours, but the absence of one in the country, and the sickness of another, cause him to request a week's time to bring them;
I would have waited on you, but can say nothing until you have heard these witnesses.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 68.]

March 27. 1668
Crayford.
Sam. Bartlett to Chas. Porter, Middle Temple.
I am desired by Mr. Acworth to be with you on Thursday to justify my certificate, but the Quarter Sessions, which I attend as deputy to the clerk of the peace, being next week, I cannot attend until the Tuesday following.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 88.]

'Charles II: March 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 262-320. British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

No mention of William Acworth in the April, 1668 correspondence

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

April 1. 1668
Lyme.
Anth. Thorold to Hickes.

The Samuel has arrived from Crosick laden with salt, the Kingfisher from St. Malo, and the Francis from Morlaix with linen cloth.

They speak of great pressing in all the ports for seamen,
say that Mons. Beaufort is intended down the Channel this spring,
and boast of a thorough conquest of the Netherlands.

[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 174.]

'Charles II: April 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 320-369. British History Online
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers…

For the "thorough conquest of the Netherlands":
https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/5855/#c55…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

April 1. 1668
Whitehall
Order signed by Charles II, Duke of Albemarle, and Lord Arlington,
for 40 soldiers to each of the 3 companies in Jersey, to make up each to 100;
yearly cost of 120 men at 8d. a day per man, 1,456/.
Also, like order for each of the two companies at Guernsey, yearly cost of the 80 men, 970/. 13s. 4d.
[S.P. Dom., Gar. II. 237, No. 181.]

Jersey and Guernsey are the two largest of the Channel Islands, and are closer to France than to England, and therefore have always been a temptation to the French (and Hitler).

For reasons I am not aware of, I can't think of any time the British have used them as a jumping off point for an attack on the French. But they are always areas of concern at times like this. (Politically and economically today they are independent of Britain ... it's complicated, but think Malta and Gibraltar, not Surrey and Essex.)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

April 1. 1668
Falmouth.
Thos. Holden to Williamson.

The Eagle of London has arrived from Barbados with sugar, and reports that Sir John Harman intended coming away.

The William from Tresseres reports that a blazing comet appeared in that island on 16 March.

The Judith from Dover met Sir John Harman with 12 more in his company, and several English and Dutch at sea.

Sir Thos. Allin continues cruising between Falmouth and the Lizard.

Arrival of other ships.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 237, No. 172.]

@@@

Careful, Adm. Harman, or you'll meet Mons. Beaufort before you reach land. You do know there's a hot welcome awaiting, I presume?

@@@

Why is Adm. Allin and the English fleet off the Lizard? I believe he is awaiting Don John/Juan of Austria and the Spanish fleet.

The only hint I have is a month old (I've omitted the chat):

March 10. 1668
Harwich.
Capt. Silas Taylor to Williamson.

... A gentleman arrived in the Holland packet-boat says that all things appear confused at Brussels and Louvaine; that the horsemen are badly horsed, the foot ill-apparelled, both wanting pay, and both given to robbing and begging; that the people are dejected,
and all their expectation is in Don Juan's coming thither;
that Louvaine is a fortification of very large circumference, and only guarded by the burgesses, except 3 troops of pitiful horse.

On the other side the Hollanders look about them; a garrison of six regiments of foot and one of horse is at Maestricht, their works amended, and engineers busy reinforcing all their frontier towns, and raising men.
[S.P. Dom., Car II. 236, No. 71.]
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-paper…

So the Spanish Netherlands expect Spain to send troops to protect them from French and Dutch Republic troops?
Good luck with that.
For what happened https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/5855/#c55…

The March 10 letter from Harwich was written before the peace was declared. So now Don Juan is coming to the Aachen meeting to negotiate the Peace Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle, when he is Queen Regent Mariana of Austria's sworn enemy?
Seems unlikely.

So why is Allin off the Lizard/Cornwall, when Beaufort and the French are off Dover/Kent? He's at the wrong corner of the island.

arby  •  Link

Thanks, SDS.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... to talk with her husband about the Office, and his place, which, by Sir J. Minnes’s age and inability, is very uncomfortable to him, ..."

On January 11, 1664 Charles II teased Mennes about shaking, and it was speculated that he had Parkinson's Disease. If that's true, it is a slowly developing brain disease, and Mennes would not have improved in the last four years:

"This morning I stood by the King arguing with a pretty Quaker woman, that delivered to him a desire of hers in writing. The King showed her Sir J. Minnes, as a man the fittest for her quaking religion, saying that his beard was the stiffest thing about him, and again merrily said, looking upon the length of her paper, that if all she desired was of that length she might lose her desires; ..."

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/01/11/

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Whiskey would have been more difficult as she would have to make a mash of corn or rye, to make a beer, then distill the beer."

Most households were making their own beer, Carl.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

You're welcome, Arby ... I thought learning the facts would help me understand why people were doing what they were doing. It doesn't seem to be the case yet!

Eric the Bish  •  Link

Ref Robert Gertz’ queston (1 Apr 2011): “Does Sam never worry that one of these girls will tell Bess?”

Well sometimes yes: 1 Aug 1662: “I had also a mind to my own wench, but I dare not for fear she should prove honest and refuse and then tell my wife.”

Wishing you all a blessed 2021 Good Friday (Easter a little later this year than in 1668).

Tonyel  •  Link

The Servant Problem:

Surely, the maid's situation is that she is disposable - no contracts, employment tribunals, etc. On the other hand, her master is protected by his wealth and social position. His wife, whether she believes him or not, is unlikely to take the side of a 'wronged' maid which could make her own position vulnerable.

It's not fair, or pretty, but it's the way the world works - then and today.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

One thing Pepys is doing successfully is ensuring that Bess remains lonely. Deb (her companion) has dirty secrets now. Thanks for nothing Sam.

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