Monday 11 May 1668

Up, and to my office, where alone all the morning. About noon comes to me my cousin Sarah, and my aunt Livett, newly come out of Gloucestershire, good woman, and come to see me; I took them home, and made them drink, but they would not stay dinner, I being alone. But here they tell me that they hear that this day Kate Joyce was to be married to a man called Hollingshed, whom she indeed did once tell me of, and desired me to enquire after him. But, whatever she said of his being rich, I do fear, by her doing this without my advice, it is not as it ought to be; but, as she brews, let her bake. They being gone, I to dinner with Balty and his wife, who is come to town to-day from Deptford to see us, and after dinner I out and took a coach, and called Mercer, and she and I to the Duke of York’s playhouse, and there saw “The Tempest,” and between two acts, I went out to Mr. Harris, and got him to repeat to me the words of the Echo, while I writ them down, having tried in the play to have wrote them; but, when I had done it, having done it without looking upon my paper, I find I could not read the blacklead. But now I have got the words clear, and, in going in thither, had the pleasure to see the actors in their several dresses, especially the seamen and monster, which were very droll: so into the play again. But there happened one thing which vexed me, which is, that the orange-woman did come in the pit, and challenge me for twelve oranges, which she delivered by my order at a late play, at night, to give to some ladies in a box, which was wholly untrue, but yet she swore it to be true. But, however, I did deny it, and did not pay her; but, for quiet, did buy 4s. worth of oranges of her, at 6d. a-piece. Here I saw first my Lord Ormond since his coming from Ireland, which is now about eight days.

After the play done, I took Mercer by water to Spring Garden; and there with great pleasure walked, and eat, and drank, and sang, making people come about us, to hear us, and two little children of one of our neighbours that happened to be there, did come into our arbour, and we made them dance prettily.

So by water, with great pleasure, down to the Bridge, and there landed, and took water again on the other side; and so to the Tower, and I saw her home, I myself home to my chamber, and by and by to bed.


16 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"as she brews, let her bake"

A traditional song about marriage contains a riff on the old saying

Wee Cooper of Fife

There was a wee cooper who lived in fife
Nickety, nockety, noo, noo, noo
And he has gotten a gentle wife
Hey Willie Wallacky, hey John Dougall
Alane quo’ rushety, roo, roo, roo

She wouldna bake, she wouldna brew
Nickety, nockety, noo, noo, noo
For spoiling o’ her comely hue
Hey Willie Wallacky, hey John Dougall
Alane quo’ rushety, roo, roo, roo

Here are 8 more stanzas and a midi file of the melody: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/song-midis/Wee_…

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Wow, Sam is remarkably innocent with Mercer ... wonder what gives? Afraid that she'll talk?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Methinks he needs a companion for society's sake. What think y'all?

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Well, Terry, I think that may be a generous interpretation. In the past he has been known to tocar Mercer's mamelles. And with his wife away he is probably feeling even randier than usual. So I don't really understand his restraint on this occasion. He did seem to enjoy her company though, however platonically.

Mary  •  Link

More to the point, why is Mercer's mother allowing her daughter to keep company with Sam in this way? Doesn't she know that Elizabeth is away from home?

As for Sam's restraint on this occasion, music may be the answer. He loves to sing (whether privately or to an audience) and judges Mercer to be a vocalist worthy of his and others' attention. He can get his illicit thrills from any number of other young women, but there are precious few who can accompany him delightfully in song.

adamw  •  Link

Can anyone explain the refusal of his cousin and aunt to stay for dinner - "they would not stay dinner, I being alone"? Would it really have been improper for a mother and daughter to dine together with an unaccompanied male relative? Or maybe it is just the practicalities - no lunch prepared because most of the the household is away from home.

Regarding Mercer, she is now a close family friend, not just an employee: I suspect both sentiment and prudence will make him watch his behaviour.

Mary  •  Link

stay.

Pepys does not actually say "stay for" or "stay to" dinner.

The verb "to stay" could be used transitively at this period and carried the meaning "to delay". It's just possible that the ladies decided not to delay their own dinner since Pepys was alone (i.e. no Elizabeth in the house). They've imparted their morsel of family gossip and, deprived of any opportunity for chat with the lady of the house, decide to be on their way.

However, it's just as likely that Sam was completely alone in the house if he's arranged to dine with Balty. Elizabeth is away and perhaps the cook-maid has been given the morning off.

Geoff Hallett  •  Link

Just caught up. What would Meg Penn Lowther think if it were possible for her to know that we were discussing her underwear nearly 350 years on. Great stuff. The end of the Diary is approaching too fast.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Beware the wrath of Orange Mary, Sam...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"had the pleasure to see the actors in their several dresses, especially the seamen and monster"

L&M: Probably Caliban.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

May 11. 1668
H. W. to Williamson.

Thanks for 10/., which my cousin Fielding has obtained, and will not be wanting in answering your expectations for it.

Henry Blucket, the great speaker amongst the Baptists,
and Blenkinsop, a colonel in Oliver’s army,
were at Bartholomew Hartwood’s, and sent for me, but were gone before I arrived.

They wished friends would not be so timorous, but would be undaunted spirits, for now the trying times drew apace, and there was no question but the Lord would appear for His people, and a very short time would manifest it.

George Harwood says he has received such satisfaction from them that he would freely volunteer life and all.

Ed. Alwaine said that there had been another attempt to fire the city, and that one was taken in the very act, upon which two soldier like men, singularly well-mounted and appointed, endeavoured a rescue, whereupon one of the latter was captured, who gave himself out as a prophet, and prophesied that within two months London would be burnt, and about that time the French would land in England.

I saw John and Thos. Parkinson, Quakers, who had been coursing the country as far as Kendal;
they were well mounted, and their horses said to be worth 30/.
John Parkinson was a petty schoolmaster in Durham, and has lately been in Holland, where he intends going again.

He says that the English officers, such as [Thos.] Kelsey and [John] Desborow, are in a very brave condition, and talk of the great ones in England, not valuing them a groat;
also that the Hollanders laugh at the articles they engaged to, as to sending over such English as had made their escape thither, if found guilty;
since whosoever got into Holland might be made free in 4 hours, and be as secure as any in the world.

They were troubled at the sending over [Col John] Okey and others, who were either hanged or beheaded.

Knowing that I was once under Kelsey in Kent, he offered to carry any letters if I wrote to him.

These Parkinsons were as complete in their garb as if they had 500/. a year;
I know not what trade John drives, but as he rides about the country, I think he may be employed about some business from Holland, and so, spy like, carries intelligence there.
He says that the Spaniards and French have agreed to have at England, but that Holland keeps them out of it, as De Ruyter said he loved not England so ill that the Frenchmen should invade it.

I desire directions as to further proceedings.
Endorsed, “Durham intelligence.”
[1 ¾ pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 200.]

'Charles II: May 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, pp. 369-418.
https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-paper…

H.W. previously wrote on May 1 about his visit to Sunderland and Cleadon, mentioning Newcastle, Shields, and Durham. I think he's in Yorkshire.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/05/01/#c552…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Once again a stormy Channel has been of assistance to England:

May 11. 1668
Lyme.
Anth. Thorold to Hickes.

The Lily and 4 other ships from Morlaix say that they are again fitting for trade there, and speak confidently of peace with Spain;

that the Ostenders are commanded in,

and that Beaufort has put into Brest with his fleet, much disabled by the storms, but that they are fitting them up again to receive soldiers, who are being sent.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 201.]

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May 11. 1668
Weymouth.
John Pocock to Hickes.

The Palm Tree from Calais reports that during the time the Spanish fleet lay there, to convoy Don John for Flanders, 9 or 10 of the commanders were killed in a quarrel about a wench;
and that 8 or 9 weeks since, the whole fleet of 35 sail went for the Groyne to take in soldiers.

Hears by the George from Portugal that the Duke de Beaufort with his fleet is riding before the Groyne, to keep Don John from coming to Flanders.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 203.]

So that's what the French are after, not an invasion ... just as Stephane told us a month ago.

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May 11. 1668
Yarmouth.
Leo. Bower to Williamson.

Sixty light colliers have gone northward.

A great Dane, laden with deals from Norway, struck upon the sands and filled with water, but the men, &c., were saved by a mackerel fisher boat.

A vessel has arrived from Dunkirk with some English soldiers, taken prisoners by the French, but set at liberty since the peace.

The hogshead of knives is not as represented, but there is a barrel containing knives, flints, &c., which has been taken by the customs' officers into the storehouse till an owner comes for it.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 204.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Poor Denis Gauden ...

May 11. 1668
The Greenwich,
Downs.
Capt. Rich. Beach to the Navy Commissioners.

The hoyman that has his six weeks’ provisions will not part with it until Sir Denis Gauden pays him.

Begs despatch;
has spent a third of his beer and provisions already;

desires they will order the victualler to recruit him from Dover, or allow the purser money or credit.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 205.]

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May 11. 1668
The French Victory,
between Gravesend and the Hope.
Capt. John Fortiscue to Sam. Pepys.

The men that had tickets have received their pay.

The rest of his provisions have not come down;
has written to know whether it is the victualler’s or the hoyman’s fault;
begs despatch, the season being far spent.

His master is now in London; expects his pilot this evening.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 239, No. 207.]

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