1893 text

It was not usual at this time to sit down to breakfast, but instead a morning draught was taken at a tavern.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

13 Annotations

First Reading

Roger Arbor  •  Link

Until, that is 17th January 1661 when he enjoyed breakfast with Lady Sandwich. Wonder what was on the menu?

Pedro.  •  Link

30 March 1661 and Sam has not mentioned a morning draft for the longest time since the Diary began.
Perhaps it is life at the Admiralty or does the "Seaman's Grammar" include the phrase;
"Sun above the yardarm."
First snifter at 11.00am?

vincent  •  Link

Sam Lives and works in the same locality. 'Tis harder to find an excuse to stop off at the Local, unless he is on his way to another worksite.
Another reason for not mentioning the quaffing of ale is that it is so routine, that it is not worth mentioning. Many day to day mundane 'doings' are not worth writing about for him but would be very interesting to us, as we are not part of his daily habit.

Paul  •  Link

Most homes at the time did not have water piped to them and the water that was available for washing with was disease ridden anyway. So a watered down ale or sometimes wine was sold at taverns as low levels of alcohol kill these diseases. Hence Pepys' differentiation of strong wine and liquour elsewhere.

Also a convivial way to have a chat etc.

Daniel Baker  •  Link

Did women drink a morning draught at this time, and if so, did they do it in a tavern? My understanding is that women in 18th century America were not allowed to drink in taverns (even if they owned them!), but not sure if this was ever the case in England.

Mary  •  Link

Certainly women (and children) took a morning draught of small beer. Most morning draughts would have been taken at home, not in a tavern.

Beer was very widely available, not just from taverns but also from small, local ale-houses. The brewing of ale was widely practised and in larger households would have been done in house.

Where home-brewing was not practised, ale or beer would have been bought by the barrel by such as could afford to do so, and by the jug or flagon by those who could not. A gallon of small beer (such as would have been taken as the morning draught) would have cost about a penny-halfpenny and strong beer would have been twice that price.

Tina  •  Link

I wonder how strong the draught was in those days. And as far as what was on the breakfast menu of Pepys and Lady Sandwich, knowing Pepys and his love of the ladies, I'm surprised she wasn't, lol. Of course I'm sure Sam would never had betrayed Lord Sandwich like that but he did have a bit of a debaucherous side, lol.

CGS  •  Link

Beer and Ale, one of the staples : the price was fixed by law as well the quantity and so price of corn too.
The taxes were a large part of the Royal economy.
a sample of the problem of the times.

House of Commons:
Retailers of Wine, &c.

A Bill to punish Frauds and Abuses of Retailers of Wine, Ale, Beer, and other Liquors, was read the First time.

Ordered, That it be referred to Mr. Pryn, Sir Edmond Walpoole, Colonel Birch, Mr. Spry, Mr. Trever, Sir Tho. Meers, Sir Robert Atkins, Sir Courtney Poole, Mr. Boscawen; or any Three of them; to prepare and bring in a Bill for settling the Measures and Prices of Wine, Beer, Ale, and other Liquors; and also Measures of Grain; and to inspect the former Laws for that Purpose.
'House of Commons Journal Volume 9: 15 October 1667', Journal of the House of Commons

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

When I came to my Friend's House in a Morning, I used to be ask'd, if I had my Morning Draught yet? I am now ask'd, if I have yet had my Tea?
---An essay on ways and means for inclosing, fallowing, planting. W. Mackintosh, 1729.

Bard. Sir John, there's one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.
---Merry Wives of Windsor. Shakespeare.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Not so fast ... it wasn't necessarily alcoholic ... annotations from Saturday 30 May 1663 (condensed for readability):

"... Creed and I ... to the New Exchange, and there drank our morning draught of whay, the first I have done this year; ... and I believe it is very good."

✹ Ken Welsh on 31 May 2006 • Link • Flag
Well I'll be. All along I thought his morning draught was alcoholic and it turns out to be the same drink as little Miss Muffett enjoyed.

✹ dirk on 31 May 2006 • Link • Flag
morning draught: Could be alcoholic or not: beer (never wine or anything stronger -- and beer was consumed here for its nutritional value), whey, or even by this time hot chocolate...
Cf. "Up and Mr. Creed brought a pot of chocolate ready made for our morning draft." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1…

✹ Mary on 31 May 2006 • Link • Flag
whey: Apparently whey was considered to be more wholesome for adults at this period than whole milk; the latter was deemed most suitable for infants and the elderly. (L&M)

✹ Don McCahill on 31 May 2006 • Link • Flag
Whay: Wasn't the Thames terribly polluted by this time, and thus undrinkable? This led people to drink other things, and whey would be one of the few non-alcoholic drinks available.

✹ jeannine on 31 May 2006 • Link • Flag
Little Miss Muffet http://www.enchantedlearning.com/…...

✹ Nix on 31 May 2006 • Link • Flag
Perhaps the morning draught was fermented whey --http://jds.fass.org/cgi/content/abstract/88/11/...

✹ in Aqua Scripto on 31 May 2006 • Link • Flag
no Yogurt: it be milk that be going sour, mixed with a little baccilus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lact…...

Bill  •  Link

Though it may have been sack-whey!

"Won't you allow him sack-whey?" said the landlady.—"Ay, ay, sack-whey," cries the doctor, "if you will, provided it be very small."
--- The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Henry Fielding, 1749.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

St. Thomas Aquinas identified “eating too soon” as one of the six subtypes of gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins, and those who indulged in breakfast may have been assumed to nurse other “lusty appetites” as well, …

There were some exceptions: Children, the elderly, and sick people got a pass, and laborers who needed calories for the workday would’ve eaten bread, cheese, and ale. But the healthy and well-to-do either abstained or lied about their boorish breakfast habits, possibly getting their fix inside bedchambers with only servants as witnesses.

In time, the prohibition softened. By the late 1500s, Queen Elizabeth was known to eat a breakfast of ale and oat cakes. Coffee and tea — introduced to Europe through trade in the 17th century — became wildly popular, and the Church ultimately loosened breakfast restrictions most people were already ignoring anyway.

Coincidentally, the 15th and 16th centuries were a boom time for egg recipes, when those who couldn’t afford meat could nonetheless raise hens on very little land, and the Church removed eggs from the list of animal foods not to be eaten during Lent.

By 1620, English medical writer Dr. Tobias Venner* was recommending two poached eggs sprinkled with vinegar as a healthy breakfast — although still with the caveat that this wasn’t strictly necessary for sedentary people, students, or anyone between the ages of 25 and 60.

It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that breakfast came into its own as a distinct and openly celebrated meal.

* Tobias Venner (1577–1660), an English physician and medical writer born near North Petherton, Somerset. He was known for writing books aimed at the general public, and his promotion of thermal bathing, particularly in the city of Bath.

Excerpted from: https://www.health.com/syndicatio…

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