Monday 27 July 1668

Busy all the morning at my office. At noon dined, and then I out of doors to my bookseller in Duck Lane, but su moher not at home, and it was pretty here to see a pretty woman pass by with a little wanton look, and je did sequi her round about the street from Duck Lane to Newgate Market, and then elle did turn back, and je did lose her. And so to see my Lord Crew, whom I find up; and did wait on him; but his face sore, but in hopes to do now very well again. Thence to Cooper’s, where my wife’s picture almost done, and mighty fine indeed. So over the water with my wife, and Deb., and Mercer, to Spring-Garden, and there eat and walked; and observe how rude some of the young gallants of the town are become, to go into people’s arbours where there are not men, and almost force the women; which troubled me, to see the confidence of the vice of the age: and so we away by water, with much pleasure home. This day my plate-maker comes with my four little plates of the four Yards, cost me 5l., which troubles me, but yet do please me also.


20 Annotations

LKvM  •  Link

Sam Pepys, stalker of pretty women "with a little wanton look."
I'll be very interested to read annotations about "young gallants . . . going into people's arbours where there are not men . . . ."

Jenny  •  Link

The irony of the two incidents in one diary entry seems to escape Sam entirely.

Max Gay  •  Link

I have been an avid reader of the diary and the annotations but have refrained from commenting until this entry. The entry today makes me think that while by our standards Samuel is lascivious and wanton in his dealings with women, the almost offhand way he refers to the actions of "young gallants" makes me think that in his day Samuel may have been considered a bit of a prude. And his less aggressive manner may have in fact been a welcome change for some of those women who were accustomed to rougher treatment.

Jesper  •  Link

By describing this pretty woman as looking "wanton" I imagine Sam is implying that she was a prostitute out trawling the streets for trade. And his following her would suggest that the thought of getting a bit on the side may have entered his mind.

Obviously it wasn't meant to be as he lost track of her before deciding one way or the other. And his subsequent expression of dismay towards the younger generation's lewd behavior also suggests a man in several minds on the subject of carnality.

Tony Eldridge  •  Link

One of Sam's great appeals is his willingness to describe his several minds with an honesty that we can all recognise.
To wit: "cost me £5, which troubles me but yet do please me also"

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Certainly Sam thought the young lady was the willing type at least. Added to his uncomfortable feeling toward the "gallants" would offer some hope that he required some willing interest or cooperation on the lady's part to proceed beyond a certain degree of groping. Hard to say though if he's simply annoyed that the young blokes do it openly, in a public place by light of day rather than keep it for say, a dark coach or one's quiet closet.

Sounds as though Sam couldn't get the plates paid for by the Office.

***
Well, at least he hasn't started trying to use the eyes to accomplish his goals. "Oh, miss? I hate to trouble you but..." sigh...

Robert Gertz  •  Link

The Duck Lane bookseller seems a wise fellow...

"And that pretty wife of yours...Another errand?"

"Delivery, sir. Will that be all, sir?"

"Could she perhaps deliver these?"

"Oh, no, sir...Busy all day, sir. Be happy to deliver myself, sir."

"No, no. I'll not trouble you. I'll return for them."

"Very good, sir. A moment for your change, sir" goes back.

Hiss..."This mean I'm stuck back here all day, tomorrow, too?"

"Would you rather wait on him?"

"No...Plenty to do back here."

Nate  •  Link

Jasper, Robert, and Max: his use of "gallants" suggests to me that they are from the upper class as well and they know that they are immune for discipline unless they pick the wrong young woman, ie, one of their own class who complains.

AnnieC  •  Link

The pretty woman's "little wanton look" suggests the possibility that she recognised Sam the famous groper even though not personally acquainted.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"The pretty woman’s “little wanton look” suggests the possibility that she recognised Sam the famous groper even though not personally acquainted."

Intriguing...One does wonder at what point gossip about Sam has to start making the rounds when he seems so unable to restrain himself with any vulnerable woman...While on the other hand, he does generally stick to women often considered at this time fair game for a man in his position of power, sooner or later he has to acquire some notoriety. To be fair a desperate woman turning to him for support...A widow like Burroughs for example...seems to leave him with something for her trouble and he is not brutal physcially so he may actually have a rather good rep compared with other men with something like his power. I could see a Bagwell insisting to his wife that Mr. Pepys is a true gentleman who keeps his word and would not use her roughly. Sadly many did not measure up to Sam's behavior, awful thought.

languagehat  •  Link

"The entry today makes me think that while by our standards Samuel is lascivious and wanton in his dealings with women, the almost offhand way he refers to the actions of 'young gallants' makes me think that in his day Samuel may have been considered a bit of a prude."

Oh, I seriously doubt that. I'm pretty sure he's just applying the usual double (or triple) standard ("I am a gallant cavalier, you are somewhat crude in your approach to the ladies, those guys over there are sexist pigs").

Australian Susan  •  Link

Women alone

At the end of the nineteenth century, a woman could be arrested simply for walking the street by herself. It was assumed, if she was without maid, chaperone or respectable male companion, that she was Up To No Good. This mindset lingered on for far too many years into the 20th century - if a female was alone with a man, of course, intercourse had taken place because men had uncontrollable urges and if you were alone with a man, what did you expect? And this is also used for all those defences [sic] of rape - that the female person was "asking for it", by her behaviour, mode of clothing or demenour.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Apropos of what I wrote above - has anyone else read Dorothy Richardson's Pilgrimage series of novels? Apart from being, wopderfully, the first stream of consciousness novels, they are full of the dilemmas of the young woman at the start of the 20th century trying to be independent, but walking a social minefield. In the Diary, we note that Bess is hardly ever described as being out alone - she takes a maid or female companion with her or Sam drops her off and collects her from respectable places.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

'Charles II: July 1668', in Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1667-8, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London, 1893), pp. 469-516. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-paper…

@@@
July 27. 1668
Wm. Sherwood to Williamson.

I beg you will substitute the petition sent for a former one, as I was mistaken in supposing that transportation came of course.

I pray you as you have saved my life, to propagate the good work you have begun, by obtaining my liberty from so sad and loathsome a place, where I lie in great poverty, so that I may serve in any of his Majesty’s plantations.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 153.]
---
Encloses,
Petition of Wm. Sherwood, prisoner in Newgate, to the King, for a pardon.

Was condemned to die at the Sessions, for stealing goods and money belonging to Jos. Williamson, but was reprieved;
was never before guilty of any such offence, and was driven to it by loose persons;
but re-delivered what was in his hands, and discovered the remainder, part of which was also re-delivered.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 153i.]

@@@
July 27. 1668
Edinburgh.

News
that the attempt on the Archbishop of St. Andrews is likely to lead to many discoveries.

Rob. Grey, from the West port, whose wife is a great Whig, is taken, and confesses that 1 of 3 persons who lodged in his house shot the Bishop of Orkney;
Major Learmond and the laird of Boscob were 2 of the 3.
Also that Learmond escaped out of a window during the search.

Mrs. Duncan, a minister’s wife, he says can tell more, but as she will not confess, she will be put in the boots.

Many others named by Grey are imprisoned, and others will be, as the Council are calling in all conventiclers.

The Bishop will be cured without losing his arm.

The Bishop of Glasgow [Alex. Burnet] is in town, and will help well in the discovery of the fanatics.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 243, No. 154.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... and observe how rude some of the young gallants of the town are become, to go into people’s arbors where there are not men, and almost force the women; which troubled me, to see the confidence of the vice of the age: ..."

If Pepys can see these young gallants (i.e. unemployed wealthy young bucks) inviting themselves into the company of, and almost forcing themselves upon, unescorted women, then Elizabeth and Deb can see them as well. I don't think Pepys wants their thoughts -- and suspicions -- to go there.

MOST OF THE TIME he is more cautious than this. Not all the time, granted.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Edinburgh Account refers to

[July 14.] 1668
Account
that as [James Sharp] Archbishop of St. Andrews and [Andrew Honyman] Bishop of Orkney were taking coach at the lodgings of the Archbishop, High Gate, Edinburgh, on 11 July, a young gentleman fired a pistol with 5 or 6 bullets at the Archbishop, but missed him, and wounded the Bishop's arm dangerously.
https://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/07/14/#c553…

LKvM  •  Link

Re women walking alone, Elizabeth was angry at Sam and walked away alone at the beginning of the diary, when they were still living in Axe Yard.
The assumed guilt of a woman caught alone with a man is clear in "Vanity Fair" when Becky Sharp is surprised by the piano alone with a man: "I am innocent!" she says instantly.
Also, even today, it "trouble[s] me, to see the confidence of the vice of the age." You're right on, Sam.

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