Tuesday 2 June 1668

Up, and to the office, where all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and there dined with me, besides my own people, W. Batelier and Mercer, and we very merry. After dinner, they gone, only Mercer and I to sing a while, and then parted, and I out and took a coach, and called Mercer at their back-door, and she brought with her Mrs. Knightly, a little pretty sober girl, and I carried them to Old Ford, a town by Bow, where I never was before, and there walked in the fields very pleasant, and sang: and so back again, and stopped and drank at the Gun, at Mile End, and so to the Old Exchange door, and did buy them a pound of cherries, cost me 2s., and so set them down again; and I to my little mercer’s Finch, that lives now in the Minories, where I have left my cloak, and did here baiser su moher, a belle femme, and there took my cloak which I had left there, and so by water, it being now about nine o’clock, down to Deptford, where I have not been many a day, and there it being dark I did by agreement aller a la house de Bagwell, and there after a little playing and baisando we did go up in the dark a su camera … [and there fasero la grand cosa upon the bed; and that being hecho, did go away – L&M] and to my boat again, and against the tide home. Got there by twelve o’clock, taking into my boat, for company, a man that desired a passage — a certain western bargeman, with whom I had good sport, talking of the old woman of Woolwich, and telling him the whole story.

24 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M provide what's omitted by the ellipsis above:

"I did by agreement andar a la house de Bagwell; and there, after a little playing and baisando, we did go up in the dark a su camera and there fasero la grand cosa upon the bed; and that being hecho, did go away and to my boat again, and against the tide home; got there by 12 a-clock and to bed, taking into my boat, for company, a man that desired a passage, a certain western bargeman, with whom I had good sport, talking of the old woman of Woolwich and telling him the whole story."

Paul Chapin  •  Link

My best guess is that this is Sam's pidgin version of Latin "facere" 'to do'. Anybody have a better idea?

With that, the bowdlerized passage in English would be "we did go up in the dark to her bedroom and there did the big thing upon the bed; and that being done, did go away ..."

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"I did by agreement aller a la house de Bagwell"

By agreement? Is Sam actually sending messages to Mrs B? Presumably there was a system of communicating regularly with the dockyards but surely he would have been tempting fate enclosing private notes to a married woman?

And what was the story of the Old Woman of Woolwich? We are entitled to know.

Mary  •  Link

The Old Woman of Woolwich.

L&M simply states that this story has not been traced. What a pity.

cgs  •  Link

Old woman of blah, before the days of mass communication , there were always fables about a woman that lived a life ? In the town / village beyond the standard hours hike.
Witches or madams that provided the missing modern entertainment, now we can use the ether.

FJA  •  Link

cgs: It is good to have you back on the job. I've missed your salty offerings.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

"There was an old woman of Woolwich......"

No, it doesn't really work.

Grahamt  •  Link

There was an old woman of Woolwich,
Ran a coven just over by Dulwich.
She had a black cat,
A toad and a bat,
That witchy old woman of Woolwich.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Ah, the tale of the Old Woman of Woolwich..." Sam, nodding at his companion. "Yes, a tale of mystery and horror...I remember it well. It all began during my first undergrad break when I took commission for my father and with three master cloth salesmen entered the town of Woolwich. We had been walking for miles...And miles...And miles..."

nix  •  Link

Add me to the cgs welcoming committee.

cgs  •  Link

Thank you all, have been peeping/lurking but not commenting due to inefficient finger poking on the ereader.

pepfie  •  Link


PC, I've got no better idea than yours regarding your translation. Obviously, he reports whatsoever he or they were doing in the immediate past, and equally obviously that "fasero" must be derived in some way from Latin facere. I do believe, however, that he knew his Latin quite well, and I know there is only one Latin verb form fēcerō (I shall have done) first-person singular future perfect active indicative of faciō which doesn't make any sense at all. The same goes for Italian fécero (they have done) third-person plural past historic of fare. Neither Spanish hacer to which the following ppl. hecho relates nor French faire have any forms ending on -ero. So I think "fasero" belongs to a separate Romance language I'd call Romantic Pepysian.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"a certain western bargeman, with whom I had good sport, talking of the old woman of Woolwich"

L&M note western bargemen plied upstream from London Bridge; Woolwich lay in the territory of their rivals, plying downriver.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Got there by twelve o’clock, taking into my boat, for company, a man that desired a passage — a certain western bargeman, with whom I had good sport, talking of the old woman of Woolwich, and telling him the whole story."

L&M: Western bargemen plied upriver from London Bridge: Woolwich lay in the territory of their rivals, plying downriver.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Charles II: June 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 418-468. British History Online

June 2. 1668
Sir John Chicheley to Sam. Pepys.

I am just going down to my ship, and request you to put Lord Anglesey in mind of ordering money for the tickets due to the men on board.
I am going for the Downs, so if not speedily paid, my men will have but too much reason to suspect there was a trick to get them on board.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 13.]

Be nice to Adm. Sir John Chickeley, Pepys ... he's going to be a Commissioner of the Navy with you soon. https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl…

June 2. 1668
Thos. Sandes to Williamson.

I found many sad persons on my return home, caused by your sister Kilner having been interred the day before.

Your mother took away the little girl that was left living;
I delivered the guinea to the husband, who will employ it and the rest you sent for the use of the child.

I wish my son Stoddert to gratify your brother in the sale of Milnbeck, the ancientest house of the Williamsons in England,

and I would have Stoddert settled minister of Crosthwait; this being near his habitation, it would enable him to follow his studies with more delight.
Mr. Lowry, born at Cockermouth, the present incumbent, had it from Mr. Nealson, now of Stanwix, by exchange.

As you are acquainted with the bishop, if you will speak to him in Stoddert’s behalf, your brother shall be civilly dealt with as to the sale;
but I have no mind that he shall part with his temporal estate till invested in a spiritual estate near where I live, the way of which is left to you to contrive and for me to requite.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 15.]

June 2. 1668
Rich. Watts to [Williamson].

Sir Thos. Allin has arrived from London;
numbers of Frenchmen have come over and make for London, which startles the people, and raises jealousies amongst them.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 16.]

FRENCHMEN ... headed for London ... now what?

June 2. 1668
Treasury Chambers.
Sir Geo. Downing to Williamson.

The Treasury Commissioners desire him to insert in next Thursday’s Gazette a notice to all that on 24 June, the leases of the country excise will be perfected, and the commissions for the county sub-commisioners ready;

therefore, all farmers of the excise concerned should attend with their arrears of rent, &c., at the excise office in Aldersgate Street next week, to pay their increase of rent, and bring a certificate from the Excise Commissioners that they have cleared with them up to Lady Day;
it will be very inconvenient if the arrears are not cleared, by reason of some alterations about to be made.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 17.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

June 2. 1668
Essex House.
Jo. Eddowes to Williamson.

I doubt not but you will think the enclosed request reasonable, and the Dean and canons [of Exeter] being willing to it, I beg your influence on the petitioner’s behalf.

His Grace of Canterbury desired they would lease no more for lives,
but it often happens that lives expire sooner than years, and the petitioner is eminent in his country for loyalty and adherence to the Church.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 18.]
Petition of Wm. Helyar, of East Coker, Somerset, to the King,
to permit the Dean and canons to grant him a new lease of Berry Farm, Branscombe parish, co. Devon, for 3 lives, on such fine as they shall think fit.

Served the late King in the wars, to the loss of a great part of his estate, and also assisted his present Majesty with a considerable sum of money while he was beyond seas, which has disabled him from providing for his great family of small children.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 18i.]

June 2. 1668
A. Ellis to [Williamson].

Finds the delay in the last Flanders mail was caused by the postmaster of Rochester keeping it for 2 hours, so as to send two mails together.

Cannot attend to receive Lord Arlington’s pleasure in the matter, so desires him to obtain it, and in such a manner as shall establish celerity of despatch, and have some consideration for the poor postmaster.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 241, No. 19.]

They have been really hard on the local postmasters lately. Noone at Court seems to care when it's very muddy out in the countryside, or blowing a gale.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

On May 30, 1668, we had a letter to Williamson written by A. Ellis, datelined from the Letter Office. Hence my comments about the pressure on the post masters to deliver the mail on time.

John Lang  •  Link

Terry Foreman - what do you mean by L&M?

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Quick, quick, they might still be open:

Mr. Ogilby's Lottery of Books (Adventurers comming in ſo fast that they cannot in ſo ſhort time be methodically regiſtred) opens not till Tueſday the 2d of June; then not failing to draw: at the Old Theater between Lincolns-Inn-Fields and Vere-ſtreet.

This in Gazette No. 263, page 2. But nay, la House de Bagwell is so much more interesting a place to be today. But Ogilby (a.k.a. Ogleby) was a cartographer and printer of distinction, and our Sam did try his luck once at the auctions he arranged from time to time, his work presumably being in more demand than he could supply readily (in early 1666, see https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/…). In this case the Adventurers came fast indeed, because Ogilby had already advertised his Lottery in Gazette No. 262 as opening on May 25.

Notice also, how the Adventurers must be methodically regiſtred. 'Tis the new way, do all things methodically.

Stephane Chenard  •  Link

Early morning at the Office. Hewer brings Sam's mail, neatly sorted into the usual three piles: The State business, to be dispatched with all Diligence; the sob stories from suppliers and unpaid sailors, to be fobbed off if at all possible; and the cranks. Everyday there's a few, especially since The Speech made Sam a celeb.

Hewer has saved this one for last: "So, she's an old lady in Woolwich, and the hubby worked all his life at the dockyards there, and she says he never got a penny in ten years and has now died, &c."

"How sad. How does this belong in the nut file?"

"Well she does want money, but if you can't pay up, she wants you - and I'm quoting her, boss, understand - to 'lay with me, and pay with Seed, and beget me a golden-haired child'".

"Ho-hoo". The two other clerks in the room have put down their quills and raised noses from account books.

"And wait, if you wouldn't do it, there's an ultimatum: 'I shall wait until the end of Summer, this being the most Auspicious season, and by the Arts of my black cat, rat and bat, heed me now: In one year to this day, we will be joyous with our newborn son, or you will be afflicted by a Great Sorrow'".

The others guffaw and start making bawdy rhymes in -at. Sam only gives Hewer and his letter a thin smile. Asks him to destroy the letter, given how it could get the old woman of Woolwich in real trouble if found by less open-minded authorities. Rubs his eyes, already painful after a couple of hours of letter-writing. "A year from now, eh?"

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