Samuel Pepys Diary 1662 - extracts

The Complete Diary


January 1st 1662

aking this morning out of my sleep on a sudden, I did with my elbow hit my wife a great blow over her face and nose, which waked her with pain - at which I was sorry. And to sleep again.

January 23rd

All the morning with Mr Berchenshaw and after him Mr Moore, in discourse of business; and at noon by coach by invitation to my Uncle Fenners, where I find his new wife, a pitiful, old, ugly, illbread woman in a hatt, a midwife. Here were many of his and as many of her relations, sorry mean people. And after choosing our gloves, we all went over to the Three Crane taverne, and (though the best room in the house) in such a narrow doghole we were crammed (and I believe we were near 40) that it made me loathe my company and my victuals; and a sorry poor dinner it was too.

January 27th

This morning, going to take water upon Tower hill, we met with three Sleddes standing there to carry my Lord Monson and Sir H. Mildmay and another to the gallowes and back again, with ropes about their neck. Which is to be repeated every year - this being the day of their sentencing the King

Viscount Monson, Sir Henry Mildmay and Robert Wallop had been members of the regicide tribunal, but had not attended its later meetings and did not sign the death-warrant. At their trial in July 1661 their lives had been spared, but they had suffered degradation from all titles and offices, forfeiture of estates and life imprisonment, as well as the punishment described here.

February 18th

... Having agreed with Sir Wm Pen and my wife to meet them at the Opera, and finding by my walking in the streets, which were everywhere full of brick battes and tyeles flung down by the extraordinary Winde the last night (such as hath not been in memory before, unless at the death of the late Protector) that it was dangerous to go out of doors; and hearing how several persons have been killed today by the fall of things in the streets and the pageant in Fleetstreete is most of it blown down, and hath broke down part of several houses, among others Dick Brigdens, and that one Lady Sanderson, a person of Quality in Covent garden, was killed by the fall of the house in her bed last night, I sent my boy home to forbid them to go forth....

Windy Tuesday was certainly the best documented, and in s England perhaps the worst, storm between 1362 and 1703.

February 25th

...At noon with Mr Moore to the Coffee-house, where among other things, the great talk was of the effects of this late great wind; and I heard one say that he hath five great trees standing together blown down, and going to lop them - one of them, as soon as the lops were cut off, did by the weight of the root rise again and fasten. We have letters from the Forrest of Deane, that above 1000 oakes and as many beeches are blown down in one walke there. And letters from my father tells me of 20 hurt to us down at Brampton.

The Forest of Dean was the largest of the English nurseries of naval timber.

February 28th

... Home; and to be as good as my word, I bid Will get me a rod, and he and I called the boy up to one of the upper rooms of the Controllers house toward the garden, and there I reckoned all his faults and whipped him soundly; but the rods were so small that I fear they did not much hurt to him, but only to my arme, which I am already, within a Quarter of an houre, not able to stir almost. After supper, to bed.

March 1st

... thence to the Opera and there saw Romeo and Julett, the first time it was ever acted [after the Restoration] But it is the play of itself the worst that ever I heard in my life, and the worst acted that ever I saw these people do; ....

April 19th

This morning before we sat, I went to Allgate; and at the Corner shop, a drapers, I stood and did see Barkestead, Okey and Corbet drawne toward the gallows at Tiburne; and there they were hanged and Quarterd. They all looked very cheerfully. But I hear they all die defending what they did to the King to be just - which is very strange ....

June 30th

This I take to be as bad a Juncture as ever I observed.

The King and his new Queene minding their pleasures at Hampton Court. All people discontented; some that the King doth not gratify them enough; and the others, Fanatiques of all sorts, that the King doth take away their liberty of conscience; and the heighth of the Bishops, who I fear will ruin all again. They do much cry up the manner of Sir H Vanes death, and he deserves it. They clamour against the chimny-money and they say they will not pay it without force. And in the meantime, like to have wars abroad. - and Portugall to assist, when we have not money to pay for any ordinary layings-out at home.

Myself all in dirt about building of my house and Sir W Batten's a storey higher. Into a good way; fallen on minding my business and saving money, which God increase; and I do take great delight in it and see the benefit of it. In a longing mind of going to see Brampton, but cannot get three days time, do what I can.

In good health, my wife and myself

October 11th

... I mounted and rode to Huntingdon and so to Brampton, where I find my father and two Brothers and Mr Cooke, my mother and sister. So we are now all together, God knows when we shall be so again. I walked up and down the house and garden, and find my father's alterations very handsome; but not so but that there will be cause enough of doing more if ever I should come to live there; but it is, however, very well for a country [house], being as any little thing in the country.

October 13th

Up to Hinchingbrooke and there with Mr Sheply did look all over the house; and I do, I confess, like well of the alterations and do like the staircase; but there being nothing done to make the outside more regular and moderne, I am not satisfied with it, but do think it be too much to be laid out upon it.

Thence with Sheply to Huntingdon to the Crowne, and there did sit and talk and eat a breakfast of cold roast beef. And so he to St Ives market and I to Sir Robt Bernard for counsel - having a letter from my Lord Sandwich to that end....

...Thence home, and with my father took a melancholy walk to Portholme, seeing the country-maids milking their Cowes there (they being now at grasse) and to see with what mirth they come all home together in pomp with their milk, and sometimes they have musique go before them.

October 14th

... and without eating or drinking, take leave of father, mother, Pall (to whom I did give 10s but have shown no kind of kindness since I came, for I find her so very ill-natured that I cannot love her, and she so cruel an Hypocrite that she can cry when she please) and John, and away - calling in at Hinchingbrooke and taking leave in three words of my Lady and the young ladies; and so by Moonelight most bravely all the way to Cambrige with great pleasure....