Thursday 23 April 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and at noon comes Knepp and Mrs. Pierce, and her daughter, and one Mrs. Foster, and dined with me, and mighty merry, and after dinner carried them to the Tower, and shewed them all to be seen there, and, among other things, the Crown and Scepters and rich plate, which I myself never saw before, and indeed is noble, and I mightily pleased with it. Thence by water to the Temple, and there to the Cocke alehouse, and drank, and eat a lobster, and sang, and mighty merry. So, almost night, I carried Mrs. Pierce home, and then Knepp and I to the Temple again, and took boat, it being darkish, and to Fox Hall, it being now night, and a bonfire burning at Lambeth for the King’s coronation-day. And there she and I drank; … [and yo did tocar her corps all over and besar sans fin her, but did not offer algo mas; – L&M] and so back, and led her home, it being now ten at night; and so got a link; and, walking towards home, just at my entrance into the ruines at St. Dunstan’s, I was met by two rogues with clubs, who come towards us. So I went back, and walked home quite round by the wall, and got well home, and to bed weary, but pleased at my day’s pleasure, but yet displeased at my expence, and time I lose.

27 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M reveal what the above ellipsis hides:

"...And there she and I drank; and yo did tocar her corps all over and besar sans fin her, but did not offer algo mas; and so back, and led her home, it being now ten at night...."

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Royal Society today at Arundel House — from the Hooke Folio Online

Ap: 23. 1668. The Expt. to shew that 2 mettalline bodys weigh more in Water where mixed than when weighed both together Apart was put off, the Beam of the Ballance not being well adiusted nor a set of weights acurately diuided ready which was orderd to be fitted against next meeting

(Dr. holder [… ] about deafnesse for want of the tension of the Timpanum)

Dr. needhams [… ] letter Read conteining some obiections against mr Hooks deductions from the Expt. he formerly made of preserving animalls aliue by blowing into their Lungs aliue it was orderd to be Lent mr Hooke to consider it as also that Dr. Lower should be desired to make the expt. mentiond in the Sd Letter concerning the matter in debate & Dr. King to assist in it

(This Gaue occasion to Discourse of Respiration, wher mr D. Cox suggested that he thought it worth while to examine & separate the parts of air, to know what there may be in it that may make it soe necessary for Respiration & said he had done somewt in this particular)

minerall water from Milson in Wilts tinging galls) mr. Euelyn. shels from Brockly in kent found 50 foot deep)…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This gave occasion to discourse of respiration; whereupon Mr. Daniel Coxe suggested, that it was proper to examine and separate the parts of the air, in order to know what there may be in it, that may make it so necessary for respiration. He being asked, whether himself had not done something in this particular, answered in the affirmative; and being desired to communicate it to the society, promised to do so, when he should have proceeded somewhat farther therein, and brought it to more maturity."

It has been argued that phlogiston theory prevented the early recognition of oxygen and its roles.…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...and, among other things, the Crown and Scepters and rich plate, which I myself never saw before, and indeed is noble, and I mightily pleased with it."

"Pepys, come back with that plate!!" Robinson giving chase.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"....and so back, and led her home, it being now ten at night; and so got a link; and, walking towards home, just at my entrance into the ruines at St. Dunstan’s, I was met by two rogues with clubs, who come towards us. So I went back, and walked home quite round by the wall, and got well home..."

"You hold them off, boy." Runs...


(Heck I was ready to believe he'd left Knepp there...But he did say he'd led her home first.)


"He run off, Mr. Knepp. Did our best, sir, but he tossed the linkboy at us and run off."

Christopher Squire  •  Link

A merry St George's Day indeed.

Salutary to be reminded that he was living next to acres of ruins, infested by thieves, vagabonds and robbers, some no doubt former honest working men thrown out of work by the Plague and the Fire. Not everyone was prospering as Our Hero was at this time.

Robin Peters  •  Link

A while ago he was a man proudly carrying a new sword. What has become of that?

Robin Peters  •  Link

Second thoughts- a wise man runs just as fast as a coward.

JWB  •  Link

Seems an all-togeather fitting & proper manner for Pepys to celebrate Chas.II's coronation day.

jeannine  •  Link

Second thoughts- a wise man runs just as fast as a coward.

As children, when speaking of the local bully, our version of a famous quote was "He who turns and runs away, lives to run another day......"

Good thing Sam left his mighty sword at home as it could easily have been used against him. He may be 'our hero' but he's never been one of those fighting types of guys.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Lively day in Commons

Habeas Corpus.

A BILL to prevent the Refusal of Writs of Habeas Corpus, was read the First time....

Ordered, That the Committee of Grievance do sit on Monday next.

Navy Debts.

A Bill on the Behalf of the Navy Creditors, was read the First time....

Administrators' Accounts.

An ingrossed Bill, sent from the Lords, for settling the Accounts of Administrators, was read the First time.....

Money received for indigent Officers....

Irish Land Adventurers....

Encouraging Navigation.

A BILL, on the Behalf of Dr. Chamberlaine, to improve the Art of Navigation, was read the Second time....

Impeachment of Pett.

Resolved, &c. That the Articles against Peter Pett be ingrossed.…

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Two rogues with clubs may mean curtains for our boy...Link boy, that is...And the rich bloke writing notes behind him while looking for the nearest exit route.

"Meow." Rogues, link boy, Pepys the note writer, look up a mound of rubble to see a woman in black cat outfit hissing from atop said mound.

"Bloody Hell! It's either the devil herself or the mysterious Catwoman of the Ruins!!" Rogue #1 cries.

"Don't hurt us lady...We're just former solid workingmen forced to a life of intimidation. We never hurt anyone...And our net take's never more than a few pounds a week!"

"Crime overpaid for sure. Scat." Drawling hiss...Rake of rather long, artificially enhanced claw. Rogues dispursing with howls of fear. As does link-boy...As does rich note-writing bloke...

Though...Sam halts after one block.

I know that hiss...Turning.

Nothing...Long gone.

No...It couldn't be...


Brampton...Next morning...

"What twas that damned racket last night at three am? Sounded like cats runnin' over the fence through the garden." John Sr. frowns at the table...

And where's the damned cream got to?

"Mrs. Pepys?" Deb, nudging...Hmmn...Bess blinks awake...

"Country hours too much for ye, daughter-in-law?" John, narrow-eyed look. Probably those wild nights at Hinchingbroke with Lady Sandwich. She couldn't have gotten in bofore midnight last night.

"Oh, not at all, father-in-law..."

"What's that on yer hand, girl?" John eyes strange contraption on Bess' left forefinger.

"What, father-in-law? Oh...Just...A tool Sam'l gave me...Ummn...For pulling books down..."

"Oddest thing...Looks like a giant claw..."

"Works very well, father-in-law."

"Pa!" Pall's voice...Slam of front door. "Did ye all see the giant cat last night prowling roundabouts? Mr. Jackson took after it he did, but couldn't find a trace...Just a giant paw print in the mud outside the house here."

Bess, pensive...Deb uncertain...

"Did ye not hear or see of it, sister Bess?" Pall takes seat. "Mr. Jackson says it was a great black thing...And fast...Oh..."

Damned right...To make it all the way and back in one night...Bess thinks, yawning...

Australian Susan  •  Link

Although always called "boys", the people carrying the links could be mature men (possibly fallen on hard times). So one does wonder if the rogues with clubs might be league with the link boys sometimes.

Jim  •  Link

"I was met by two rogues with clubs, who come towards us. So I went back . . ."

"Better a live donkey, than a dead lion" Sir Ernest Shackleton

In 1908, Shackleton almost made it the South Pole, but because he didn't have enough food to reach the Pole he turned back. When asked why he "went back" he gave the above quote.
I think Sam would have agreed with him.

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"Lively day in Commons"
No doubt they got wind of the imminent prorogation. Legislatures everywhere tend to defer taking decisive action until the last possible moment.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"all to be seen there, and, among other things, the Crown and Scepters and rich plate, which I myself never saw before, and indeed is noble, and I mightily pleased with it."

L&M note the crown jewels at this time are listed and described on pp. 30+ of
A Circumstantial account of the preparations for the coronation of His Majesty King Charles the Second and a minute detail of that splendid ceremony, with all the particulars connected with it; including the enstallation of knights, creation of peers, etc., to which is prefixed, an account of the landing,reception, and journey of His Majesty from Dover to London. From an original manuscript/ by Sir Edward Walker, Knight.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Watch continues ...

April 23. 1668
Rich. Watts to Williamson.

The Mary and Constant Warwick have gone westward to view the motions of the French fleet.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 238, No. 184.]

'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…

William Clifford  •  Link

In the ensuing century or so, they must have gone out of fashion as....”While today it’s considered a delicacy, lobster was once a poor man’s food. Thanks to its overabundance, people quickly became sick of the shellfish and only fed it to animals, prisoners, and indentured servants. However, lobster became a popular luxury food in the late 1800s and remains one to this day.”

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Yesterday Pepys "So to the fishmonger’s, and bought a couple of lobsters, ..."

He never told us if he went partying with them in his bag, returned them to the fishmongers, went home and dropped them off before going to the party, or sent the boy home with them ... much depends on where the asparagus garden was located.

Today Pepys eats lobster, so he either took one there and had them cook it for him before it went bad, or he had a great hankering for lobster and found an inn serving it.

According to the following article, native lobster are just coming into season in mid April, so Pepys followed the calendar closely this year:…

Not sure where they caught lobster in the 17th century to supply the London market ... I'm guessing just about everywhere on the East and South coast.

Scarborough seems to be popular these days, which is hardly local. And a giant one was caught off Portsmouth in 2011, and sent to an aquarium for retirement.…

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Stepping silently over the rubble, the two rogues espy the insouciant couple, already visible in the glow that Billy the Link-boy helpfully holds aloft. They finger their heavy clubs in happy anticipation. What fool can be trudging through the Ruines at this hour, and on a festival day at that?

"Best-looking customers in a week", whispers one. "A guinny they'll try escape by the alley on the left where Big Joe waits for them". He already inhales to yell, "stand and deliver" when the senior thief clamps a hand on his mouth.

"Stay. Leave them be. He's a brother, I see".

"The squire in the finery, he's a brother thief?"

"And not just any. Du Vall the French guy carries his likeness in his wallet and showed me the other day. That be Sam 'Golden-Tongue' Pepys of the Navy Office".

"The 'Navy Office'? It really exists? I thought that was tavern-talk".

"You're new to the trade. The Navy Office. Carkesse, Sandwich, Penn, Brouncker, all these legends. We think we steal, but they plunder, up and down the coast, even at sea, right from the King's pocket. You know what 'breaking bulk' is?"

"Nay, I only know 'breaking heads'. You think we can be Navy Officemen too, someday?"

"You'll need to learn your letters, so I guess not".

"Or at least get his autograph on my club?"

But it's too late. Sam has hurriedly turned into the alley on the left.

"You win. Here's your guinea. Now go tell Big Joe to stand down".

[A note: Read the life of Claude Du Vall, his infamous if elegant exploits and how he met his just desserts in 1670, in the "Burglars, Robbers and Highwaymen" section of the posterior but highly enlightening - motivational, to some - "Newgate Calendar", reproduced at…]

john  •  Link

I wonder about those rogues and how Pepys could have outrun them, given that they were probably close to be illuminated by a link. (At any rate, our first instruction at the dojo was how to outrun a bully.)

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Sam, whose pride is to be a paragon of righteousness and honesty, congratulates himself on his street smarts and thorough knowledge of his city, which tonight allowed him to save his money and fair Knepp from evil, despite being (ahem) a very average athlete. He was, to be fair, a bit puzzled at how easy it was, and at the gentlemen he passed in the labyrinth of obscure alleys, who bowed and smiled and doffed their hats at him. He reflects that London may be ruined, but courtesy is not, and ascribes it to respect for His Majesty on this very Coronation Day, and so to bed.

Gerald Berg  •  Link

Correction: Pepys is a molester not a lover.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thank you, Gerald.


This has puzzled me all month, and I haven't brought it up thinking that there might have been a hint of an answer forthcoming.

Usually Elizabeth goes out of town in the summer because it's when the sickness comes to town. April is not the summer. So why has Elizabeth gone to Brampton so early this year?

Did Pepys fear an invasion or homegrown unrest so much he got her out of town? But not to much as to send the family gold with her.
And why was she so willing to go? I'm seeing hints that there was fun to be had at Hinchingbrooke this year, but whether or not these are spoilers from Robert Gertz, I know not. Perhaps she had organized something during the unreported days she spends with her friends?
This is The Season in London ... the theater and The Ring (if Pepys will allow her to go with her friends) are in full swing.
All that's in Brampton is John Pepys, with no live-in help. Did she really volunteer to go and keep him company and take up the slack after Pall moves on with Jack, while finding someone to keep house for him? Somehow, I think not ...

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