Samuel Pepys Diary 1660 - extracts

The Complete Diary


January 16th

e went towards Westminster on foot, and at the Golden Lion, near Charing Cross, we went in and drank a pint of wine, and so parted; and thence home, where I found my wife and maid a-washing.

I staid up till the bell-man came by with his bell, just under my window as I was writing of this very line, and cried, "Past one of the clock, and a cold, frosty, windy morning." I then went to bed and left my wife and the maid a-washing still.

February 11th

... But the common joy that was everywhere to be seen! The number of bonefires, there being fourteen between St Dunstan's and Temple-bar and at Strand Bridge I could at one view tell 31 fires. In King-streete, seven or eight; and all along burning and roasting and drinking for rumps - there being rumps tied upon sticks and carried up and down. The butchers at the maypole in the Strand rang a peal with their knives when they were going to sacrifice their rump. On Ludgate Hill there was one turning of the spit, that had a rump tied upon it, and another basting of it. Indeed, it was past imagination, both the greatness and the suddenness of it. At one end of the street you would think there was a whole lane of fire, and so hot that we were fain to keep still on the further side merely for heat..

[This night's celebrations passed into history as the "Burning of the Rump"]

February 24th

I rose very early; and taking horse at Scotland-yard ...we both mounted and so set forth about 7 of the clock, the day and the way very foul. About Ware we overtook Mr Blayton ... who went thenceforward with us; and at Puckeridge we baited. Where we had a loin of mutton fried and were very merry; but the way exceeding bad from Ware thither. Then up again and as far as Foulmer [Foulmere], within six miles of Cambridge, my mare being almost tired; here we lay at the Chequer. Playing at cards till supper, which was a breast of veal roasted. I lay with Mr Pierce, who we left here the next morning upon his going to Hinchingbroke to speak with my Lord before his going to London; and we two came to Cambridge by 8 a-clock in the morning, to the Faulcon in the Petty Cury...

March 6th

... I went to see Mrs Jem, at whose chamber door I found a couple of ladies; but she not being there we hunted her out and found that she and another had hid themselfs behind a door. Well, they all went down into the dining room, where it was full of tag, rag and bobtail, dancing, singing and drinking, of which I was ashamed and so after I had stayed a dance or two I went away....

March 16th

... Then to Westminster-hall, where I heard how the parliament had this day dissolved themselfs and did pass very cheerfully through the Hall and the Speaker without his Mace. The whole Hall was joyful thereat, as well as themselfs; and now they begin to talk loud of the King. Tonight I am told that yesterday, about 5 a-clock in the afternoon, one came with a ladder to the great Exchange and wiped with a brush the inscription that was upon King Charles, and that there was a great bonefire made in the Exchange and people cried out "God bless King Charles the Second."

[The gilded inscription "Exit tyrannus, regum ultimus" etc had been painted over the niche which had contained the statue of Charles I. The statue itself had been pulled down in 1650.]

April 2nd

...After dinner I went in one of the boats with my boy before my Lord, and made shift before night to get my cabin in pretty good order. It is but little; but very convenient, having one window to the sea and another to the Deck - and a good bed....

[Pepys was to accompany Montagu on journeys to Holland where the future King Charles was staying. They set sail on April 6th. The King returned to Dover on May 25th, Pepys returned to London on June 10th]

April 21st [Major Henry Norwood was a royalist agent and came on board.]

My Lord doth show them and that sort of people great civility. All their discourse and others' are of the King's coming, and we begin to speak of it very freely. And heard how in many churches in London and upon many signs there and upon merchants' ships in the river they have set up the King's arms.

April 24th

...we were saluted with the news of Lamberts being taken, which news was brought to London on Sunday last: he was taken in Northamptonshire by Colonel Ingolsby, in the head of a party, by which means their whole design is broke and things now very open and safe - and every man begins to be merry and full of hopes.

[This was the last rising of the fanatics before the Restoration, and the last fling of their most dangerous leader. Col. Richard Ingoldsby met the rebels near Daventry on the 22nd. Lambert and his followers were taken without a fight; the rest fled.]

April 25th

... Dined today with Captain Clerke on board the Speaker ... where was the Vice-Admirall, Rear-Admirall, and many other commanders.

After dinner, home, not a little contented to see how I am treated and with what respect made a fellow to the best commanders in the fleet. ...

May 2nd

News of the Parliament's votes yesterday, which will be remembered for the happiest May-Day that hath been many a year to England.

The King's letter was read in the House, wherein he submits himself and all things to them - as to an act of Oblivion to all, unless they shall please to except any; - as to the confirming of the Sales of the King's and Church lands ...

... Great joy yesterday at London; and at night more bonefires then ever and ringing of bells and drinking of the King's health upon their knees in the streets, which methinks is a little too much.

May 23rd

... I hear that his Majesty did with a great deal of affection kiss my Lord upon his first meeting.
The King, with the two Dukes, the Queen of Bohemia, Princesse Royalle, and Prince of Orange, came on board; where I in their coming in kissed the Kings, Queen and Princesses hands ... Infinite shooting off of the guns, and that in a disorder on purpose, which was better then if it had been otherwise.

Upon the Quarter-deck [The King] fell in discourse of his escape from Worcester. Where it made me ready to weep to hear the stories that he told of his difficulties that he had passed through. As his travelling four days and three nights on foot, every step up to the knees in dirt, with nothing but a green coat and a pair of country breeches on and a pair of country shoes, that made him so sore all over his feet that he could scarce stir.

Yet he was forced to run away from a miller and other company that took them for rogues.

His sitting at table at one place, where the master of the house, that had not seen him in eight years, did know him but kept it private; when at the same table there was one that had been of his own Regiment at Worcester, could not know him but made him drink the Kings health and said that the King was at least four fingers higher than he.

Another place, he was by some servants of the house made to drink, that they might know him not to be a Roundhead, which they swore he was.

At Roane he looked so poorly that the people went into the rooms before he went away, to see whether he had not stole something or other.

May 25th

I went [to accompany the King to the shore] ... with a dog that the King loved (which shit in the boat, which made us laugh and me think that a King and all that belong to him are but just as others are) ... and so got on shore when the King did, who was received by Generall Monke with all imaginable love and respect at his entrance upon the land at Dover. Infinite the Croud of people and the gallantry of the Horsmen, Citizens, and Noblemen of all sorts.

May 27th

My Lord hath sumoned all the commanders on board him to see the ceremony. Which was thus:

Sir Edw., putting on his Coate and having laid the George and Garter and the King's letter to my Lord upon a Crimson Cushion ... makes three congees to him, holding the cushion in his arms. Then laying it down with the things upon it upon a chair - he takes the letter and delivers it to my Lord, which my Lord breaks open and gives him to read. It was directed to "Our trusty and well beloved Sir Edw. Montagu, Knight, one of our Generalls at sea and our Companion elect of our Noble Order of the Garter." The contents of the letter is to show that the Kings of England have for many years made use of this honour as a special mark of favour to persons of good extraction and virtue ... and that whereas my Lord is of a noble family and hath now done the King such service by sea at this time as he hath done, he doth send him this George and Garter to wear as Knight of that Order ....

So the Herald, putting the ribbon about his neck and the garter about his left leg - he salutes him with joy as Knight of the Garter and that was all.

June 10th

... At my father's found my wife. After dinner, my wife and I walk in Lincolnes-Inne walks. After prayers she home and I to my Lord. ... To bed with my wife.

June 18th

Back again to the Admiralty and so to my Lord's lodgings, where he told me that he did look after the place of the Clerk of the Acts for me.

[This was secretary to the Navy Board, which conducted the civil administration of the Navy. In this post, held until 1673, Pepys made his reputation as an administrator.]

June 20th

... Another letter to Captain Cuttance, to send the barge that brought the King on Shoare to Hinchingbrooke by Lynne. [King's Lynne]

June 26th

...I went to Secretary Nicholas to carry him my Lord's resolutions about his title which he hath chosen, and that is Portsmouth.

[He changed his mind and chose Sandwich. Mountagu had no close connection with either Portsmouth or Sandwich, but both had maritime interests. Huntingdon, which would have been the most obvious territorial title for him to take, was already an Earldom in the Hastings family.]

July 10th

His bille is to be Earle of Sandwich, Viscount Hinchingbrooke, and Baron of St Neots.

July 13th

[Pepys collected the patent for his post as Clerk and showed it to his wife along with his new rooms, which were soon to become their new house]

So to the Navy Office and showed her my house, and were both mightily pleased at all things there, and so to my business.

August 28th

... To bed - a little troubled that I fear my boy Will is a thief and hath stole some money of mine - perticularly a letter that Mr Jenkins did leave the last week with me with half a crown in to send to his son.

August 29th

Before I went to the office my wife and I examined my boy Will about his stealing of things, as we doubted yesterday; but he denied all with the greatest subtlety and confidence in the world....

Home to dinner; and there I find that my wife hath discovered my boy's theft and a great deal more then we imagined. At which I was vexed and entend to put him away.... Home at night; and find that my wife hath found out more, of the boy's stealing 6s out of W Ewres closet and hid it in the house of office - at which my heart was troubled.

September 5th

The Duke of Glocester is fallen ill and it is said will prove the small-pox.

September 13th

This day the Duke of Glocester dyed of the small-pox - by the great negligence of the doctors.

[They had forecast recovery and had prescribed nothing]

September 21st

...Back by water about 8 a-clock; and upon the water saw the corps of the Duke of Gloucester brought down by Somerset House stairs to go by water to Westminster to be buried tonight.

[Funerals were commonly held at night, to the light of torches which were extinguished at the grave]

September 25th

To the office, where Sir W Batten, Collonel Slingsby, and I sat a while; ... And afterwards did send for a Cupp of Tee (a China drink) of which I never had drank before) and went away.

[the tea was imported via Holland from 1658 and cost £2 per pound]

October 13th

To my Lord's this morning, where I met with Captain Cuttance. But my Lord not being up, I went out to Charing-cross to see Major-Generall Harrison hanged, drawn and quartered - which was done there - he looking as cheerfully as any man could do in that condition.

[Thomas Harrison was a regicide, participating in the killing of Charles I]

He was presently cut down and his head and his heart shown to the people, at which there was great shouts of joy. ....

Thus it was my chance to see the King beheaded at White-hall and to see the first blood shed in revenge for the blood of the King at Charing-cross.

October 20th

This morning one came to me to advise with me where to make me a window into my cellar in lieu of one that Sir W Batten had stopped up; and going down into my cellar to look, I put my foot into a great heap of turds, by which I find that My Turner's house of office is full and comes into my cellar, which doth trouble me; ...

...This afternoon, going through London and calling at Crowes the upholster in Saint Bartholmew - I saw the limbs of some of our new Traytors set upon Aldersgate, which was a sad sight to see; and a bloody week this and the last have been, there being ten hanged, drawn, and quarterd.

November 6th

... in great haste to our office, where we met all commonly, for the sale of two ships by an inch of candle (the first time that ever I saw any of this kind), where I observed how they do invite one another and at last how they all do cry; and we have much to do to tell who did cry last.

[This was the usual method of auction-sale. A section of wax candle an inch in length was lit for each lot, and the successful bidder was the one who shouted immediately before the candle went out.]

November 15th

... And so to Mr de Cretz ... and here we stayed and did see him give some finishing touches to my Lord's picture; so that at last it is complete in my mind, and I leave mine with him to copy out another for himself ...

[This copy was of the portrait of Montagu by Lely]

My Lord did this day show me the King's picture which was done in Flanders, that the King did promise my Lord before he ever saw him and that we did expect to have had at sea before the King came to us. But it came today. And endeed it is the most pleasant and the most like him that ever I saw picture in my life.

[A full length painted at the end of the Interregnum by a hitherto unidentified artist ?Simon Luttichuys? and one of the most impressive portraits painted of the King before the Restoration.]

November 22nd

... And then did take my wife and I to the Queenes presence-Chamber. Where I got my wife placed behind the Queenes chaire and I got into the crowd.; and by and by the Queen and the two princesses came to dinner. The Queen, a very little plain old woman and nothing more in here presence in any respect nor garb than any ordinary woman. The Princesse of Orange I have often seen before. The Princess Henriettee is very pretty, but much below my expectation - and her dressing of herself with her hair frized short up to her eares did make her seem so much the less to me.

But my wife, standing near her with two or three black patches on and well dressed, did seem to me much handsomer than she.