Saturday 14 November 1668

Up, and had a mighty mind to have seen or given her a little money, to which purpose I wrapt up 40s. in paper, thinking to have given her a little money, but my wife rose presently, and would not let me be out of her sight, and went down before me into the kitchen, and come up and told me that she was in the kitchen, and therefore would have me go round the other way; which she repeating and I vexed at it, answered her a little angrily, upon which she instantly flew out into a rage, calling me dog and rogue, and that I had a rotten heart; all which, knowing that I deserved it, I bore with, and word being brought presently up that she was gone away by coach with her things, my wife was friends, and so all quiet, and I to the Office, with my heart sad, and find that I cannot forget the girl, and vexed I know not where to look for her. And more troubled to see how my wife is by this means likely for ever to have her hand over me, that I shall for ever be a slave to her — that is to say, only in matters of pleasure, but in other things she will make [it] her business, I know, to please me and to keep me right to her, which I will labour to be indeed, for she deserves it of me, though it will be I fear a little time before I shall be able to wear Deb, out of my mind. At the Office all the morning, and merry at noon, at dinner; and after dinner to the Office, where all the afternoon, doing much business, late. My mind being free of all troubles, I thank God, but only for my thoughts of this girl, which hang after her. And so at night home to supper, and then did sleep with great content with my wife. I must here remember that I have lain with my moher as a husband more times since this falling out than in I believe twelve months before. And with more pleasure to her than I think in all the time of our marriage before.

22 Annotations

First Reading

Murasaki_1966  •  Link

Moher? can anyone cast some light on this word?

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Wife. Sam's saying he hasn't had this much sex with Bess in a while...Nor has she ever gotten so much out of it. I'd guess from this one and his note that he knows Bess will do everything possible to please him that he's hinted to her...Or flat out said...There was a deficiency in the physical relationship and Bess took him up on it with a vengeance. So amongst that raging (Bess# and those frantic weeping sessions #Sam) has been some pretty passionate contact. It's interesting...I get the feeling for all her legit anger and hurt, Bess is feeling guilty that perhaps she hasn't given Sam what he needs...Even neglected him. Meanwhile our little scamp is already scheming to find ways to seek out the current bright toy snatched from him.

Decent of Sam to admit, even to himself, that his fear of Bess' gaining the upper hand has only to do with matters of "pleasure" and that on the whole, he believes poor Bess only wants to do her damnest to be a good and loving wife to him...And heartbreaking to see his better nature and love for her struggling here with his honest admission that he can't kill his desire for Deb.

One does of course sense Sam is relishing this whole thing as a great dramatic and comedic artist. For all the nightmare, it's the opportunity of a lifetime for our Diarist and he's determined to capture every moment.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

John Evelyn's Diary

14th November, 1668. To London, invited to the consecration of that excellent person, the Dean of Ripon, Dr. Wilkins [… ], now made- Bishop of Chester; it was at Ely House
[… ], the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Cosin, Bishop of Durham, the Bishops of Ely, Salisbury, Rochester, and others officiating. Dr. Tillotson preached. Then, we went to a sumptuous dinner in the hall, where were the Duke of Buckingham, Judges, Secretaries of •State, Lord-Keeper, Council, Noblemen, and innumerable other company, who were honorers of this incomparable man, universally beloved by all who knew him.

This being the Queen's birthday, great was the gallantry at Whitehall, and the night celebrated with very fine fireworks.

My poor brother continuing ill, I went not from him till the 17th, when, dining at the Groom Porters, I heard Sir Edward Sutton play excellently on the Irish harp; he performs genteelly, but not approaching my worthy friend, Mr. Clark, a gentleman of Northumberland, who makes it execute lute, viol, and all the harmony an instrument is capable of; pity it is that it is not more in use; but, indeed, to play well, takes up the whole man, as Mr. Clark has assured me, who, though a gentleman of quality and parts, was yet brought up to that instrument from five years old, as I remember he told me.

Murasaki_1966  •  Link

Thanks everyone for the clarification. I've only started reading the Diary this year. I have to say, I misread it as "mother", and was rather startled....then I thought it must be about Bess. Thanks for setting me straight.

Jenny  •  Link

"that I have lain with my moher as a husband more times"

This is called "hysterical bonding" and goes with the infidelity territory.

David Vaeth  •  Link

Given Sam's openness in describing a multitude of sins over the years, I've assumed he's honest (with us and with himself) about most everything in his diary. But, surprisingly, until now there was hardly any indication of his increasing romantic feelings toward Deb.

languagehat  •  Link

"And more troubled to see how my wife is by this means likely for ever to have her hand over me, that I shall for ever be a slave to her — that is to say, only in matters of pleasure, but in other things she will make [it] her business, I know, to please me and to keep me right to her, which I will labour to be indeed, for she deserves it of me, though it will be I fear a little time before I shall be able to wear Deb out of my mind."

This remarkable sentence all by itself justifies the time we've put into reading the Diary. Downright Proustian levels of analysis and self-revelation.

arby  •  Link

"I have no hand, no hand at all! She has the hand, I have no hand!" to quote George. Is there any human condition Seinfeld didn't touch on?

martinb  •  Link

"my wife was friends, and so all quiet"

This is interesting too, and seems to pre-date the OED's first recorded use of "to be friends". Looks entirely "modern" in meaning: the calm after the storm of her anger.

r l battle  •  Link

And so the Deb Willet era ends. It's interesting to reread the entries related to the melodrama.
10/25 "my wife" discovers Sam & Deb in a very compromising situation. There follows three days of ranting that Sam takes full responsibilty for & hopes will blow over
10/28 things quiet down as Bess waits for Sam to dismiss Deb. She waits for six days.
11/3 Bess decides she's waited long enough & begins the full court press dogging his every moment at home, never letting him out of her sight. Sam, as the king of his castle, does the hiring/firing and needs to know that if Deb stays it will be a very unpleasant household.
11/12 Finally, after eight days of crying,wailing and knashing of teeth, Sam caves and very reluctantly dismisses Deb.

JWB  •  Link


Pepys : Proust :: Little Debbie : Madeleine

Jenny  •  Link

"And so the Deb Willet era ends..."

-Spoiler- Ah, not quite yet.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sorry this is late - reading Evelyn's diary entry (thanks, Terry), I note the fireworks for the Queen's birthday. Had he not had such overwhelming domestic concerns, I am sure we would have heard about this from Sam who would have made sure he witnessed this - fireworks were still a novelty. But, apart from the demands of his regular work, Sam has been neglecting the public arena, so much of a maelstrom is he in. It reminds me of Keats's last months in England - his letters, his friends' letters, diaries etc are all taken up with his wretched health and the vain hope of the trip to Italy. Yet, during that summer there played out in the public arena, the trial of Queen Catherine - one of the most momentous events of the 1820s : not heeded by those so stricken as Keats's circle were.

Mary  •  Link

For Catherine read Caroline.

Caroline of Brunswick, never actually crowned Queen of England.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I wonder if Deb would have agreed; was virginity a thing valued by society at the time?"

Deb came from a good family; she would not have submitted willingly GIVEN THE CHOICE.
Virginity matters to fathers ("you did WHAT with my little girl") and wealthy suitors (remember Katherine Howard's premarital problems with Henry VIII) ... upper class marriage was a financial transaction, and had zero to do with feelings.

What mattered to the women was not getting caught. Getting married made it possible to play, for both men and women of all classes. This is when they could indulge their emotions, and any resulting pregnancy would be welcomed. The general rule was that women had the heir and spare before indulging.

Any unmarried woman who became pregnant would find herself hidden away by a wealthy family and probably destined to be a spinster aunt tolerated by her siblings, or a poor family would turn her out and she would probably become a prostitute. And the term "shotgun wedding" comes to mind.

I wonder what would have happened to Peg Penn had Pepys had his way with her before her marriage.

Was this universally followed? No ... Venetia Anastasia Stanley and Kenelm Digby's love story tell us that strong-willed people had private lives. However, Kenelm wasn't the heir to the Dukedom:…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Ooooops ... should read "Kenelm wasn't the heir to the Earldom" (of Bristol).

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Sam's saying he hasn't had this much sex with Bess in a while...Nor has she ever gotten so much out of it. I'd guess from this one and his note that he knows Bess will do everything possible to please him that he's hinted to her...Or flat out said...There was a deficiency in the physical relationship and Bess took him up on it with a vengeance."

Remember that, according to Elizabeth, Pepys hadn't taken care of business from February - August 1667:

Friday 2 August 1667

"This noon my wife comes to me alone, and tells me she had those upon her and bid me remember it. I asked her why, and she said she had a reason. I do think by something too she said today, that she took notice that I had not lain with her this half-year, that she thinks that I have some doubt that she might be with child by somebody else. Which God knows never entered into my head, or whether my father observed anything at Brampton with Coleman I know not. But I do not do well to let these beginnings of discontents take so much root between us."…

Pity he didn't heed his own advice.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The volume of Domestic State Papers covering correspondence from Oct. 1668 to Dec. 1669 is at…

Nov. 14 1668.
Certificate by Lord Chamberlain Manchester,

In consequence of certain addresses made to the King by Mary May, for an order whereby she might take legal course against Sir Hen. de Vic, Chancellor of the Order of the Garter — for recovery of money which she pretends he was indebted to her, upon a bond made at Brussels and taken in the name of Wm. Gibson –
I wished to know his Majesty's pleasure upon it, when he declared that the moneys were owing by himself;
that it was not Sir Hen. de Vic's, but his Majesty's own proper debt, and that he was willing the deponent should make this known to Hugh May, who prosecuted the business, and all others concerned therein.
[Copy. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 87.]

The King to Mr. Hannam.
Having heard so much of your affection to our person, we wished to have conferred with you, and would have used much freedom, but it was better for both that you did not stay; we believe the person then trusted by you intended to betray us both.

We hope it will not be long before we meet, and without putting you to the trouble of a journey.

If you can dispose your friends to assist you with the loan of such money as they can spare, we will take it very kindly from them, and they shall be losers.
If you are able to lend us 200/. and will deliver it to Sir H. De Vic, it will be a seasonable service, and advance an affair in which we hope you will all be gainers.

With certificate by [Viscount] Cornbury, May 19, 1668, that the above is a copy of the King's letter to Mr. Hannam, about the time, as near as he can remember, that his Majesty was at Brussels.
[Copies. 14 pages. S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 871.]
Sir Henry de Vic (1597 - 1671) was married to Margaret Carteret (1630 – 1684), the daughter of Sir Philip Carteret of Jersey, by whom he had Charles De Vic, Baronet, and Anne-Charlotte De Vic.
Henry de Vic was born in Guernsey, a son of John de Vic and Elizabeth Pageot.

For 20 years Henry de Vic was resident at Brussels and worked closely with Charles II during his exile. Sir Henry was created a baronet in 1649. In 1660 he was appointed secretary for the French tongue and Chancellor of the Order of the Garter, and in 1662 he became controller of the household to the Duke of York. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.……
Margaret Carteret de Vic (1630 – 1684):
Birthplace: St. James’s, London
Death: Whitehall Palace, London,
Immediate Family: Daughter of Vice-Adm. Sir George Carteret, 1st Bart. of Metesches and Lady Elizabeth de Carteret

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Partner of Charles II of England

Mother of Archibald Stewart (a suggested Charles II bastard I haven’t heard of before) and
James de la Cloche (the real James had probably died by 1667?):……

Sister of Sir Philip de Carteret, FRS; Anne Slanning; Elizabeth De Carteret; James De Carteret; our Adm. Sir George De Carteret MP, and Caroline De Carteret


Regardless of how accurate this blog entry is, Charles II appears to have trusted Sir Henry de Vic with some of his greatest secrets. No wonder he's taking responsibility for the bills.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Nov. 14 1668.
Abra. Ansley and 2 partners to the Navy Commissioners.

Want 4 of the largest granadoe shells, ready filled, for the first experiment on the pink,
she being too weak to be weighed.
Shells will not be of a body large enough for the Phænix;

will give an account of the experiment.
S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 84.]

Nov. 14 1668.

Warrant for a counterpart to pass the great seal, of an indenture
whereby the Duke of York grants the King 5,382/. 10s. from the profits of the Post Office,
the reservation of the same being omitted from the Act of Parliament granting the said profits,
and the power of granting wine licences, to the Duke.
[S.P. Dom., Entry Book 26, f. 41.]

Nov. 14 1668.
Rich. Watts to [Williamson].

Several vessels drove, cut, slipped through the great storm and rain, which did considerable harm.
About 100 sail are in the Downs.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 90.]
I would LOVE to see 100 sailing ships in the Downs today.

Nov. 14 1668.
John Peables to Williamson.

Dr. Drake of Pontefract, who was so dignified by his Majesty after his restoration for which he thanks you -
desires you to procure him the small Prebend of South Newbold in this county.
The living is only 14/. per annum, and has lapsed to his Majesty by the advancement of Dr. Wilkins to the Bishopric of Chester.
[S.P. Dom., Car. II. 249, No. 91.]

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

It occurs to me, belatedly, that my thoughts on how unwanted pregnancies were hidden and the nobel women had a difficult time in their later lives could have been linked to my later "discoveries" about Lady Margaret Carteret de Vic ... she is ignored as being Sir Henry's wife nearly everywhere.

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