Samuel Pepys portrait by John Hayls, 1666

Samuel Pepys portrait by John Hayls, 1666

Saturday 13 October 1660

To my Lord’s in the morning, where I met with Captain Cuttance, but my Lord not being up I went out to Charing Cross, to see Major-general Harrison hanged, drawn, and quartered; which was done there, he looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition. He was presently cut down, and his head and heart shown to the people, at which there was great shouts of joy. It is said, that he said that he was sure to come shortly at the right hand of Christ to judge them that now had judged him; and that his wife do expect his coming again.

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. From thence to my Lord’s, and took Captain Cuttance and Mr. Sheply to the Sun Tavern, and did give them some oysters. After that I went by water home, where I was angry with my wife for her things lying about, and in my passion kicked the little fine basket, which I bought her in Holland, and broke it, which troubled me after I had done it.

Within all the afternoon setting up shelves in my study. At night to bed.

Sunday 14 October 1660

(Lord’s day). Early to my Lord’s, in my way meeting with Dr. Fairbrother, who walked with me to my father’s back again, and there we drank my morning draft, my father having gone to church and my mother asleep in bed. Here he caused me to put my hand among a great many honorable hands to a paper or certificate in his behalf.

To White Hall chappell, where one Dr. Crofts made an indifferent sermon, and after it an anthem, ill sung, which made the King laugh. Here I first did see the Princess Royal since she came into England. Here I also observed, how the Duke of York and Mrs. Palmer did talk to one another very wantonly through the hangings that parts the King’s closet and the closet where the ladies sit.

To my Lord’s, where I found my wife, and she and I did dine with my Lady (my Lord dining with my Lord Chamberlain), who did treat my wife with a good deal of respect.

In the evening we went home through the rain by water in a sculler, having borrowed some coats of Mr. Sheply. So home, wet and dirty, and to bed.


Pepys flirts with an admirer as his wife Elizabeth sits for a portrait. Artist unknown

Office all the morning. My wife and I by water; I landed her at Whitefriars, she went to my father’s to dinner, it being my father’s wedding day, there being a very great dinner, and only the Fenners and Joyces there. This morning Mr. Carew was hanged and quartered at Charing Cross; but his quarters, by a great favour, are not to be hanged up.

I was forced to go to my Lord’s to get him to meet the officers of the Navy this afternoon, and so could not go along with her, but I missed my Lord, who was this day upon the bench at the Sessions house. So I dined there, and went to White Hall, where I met with Sir W. Batten and Pen, who with the Comptroller, Treasurer, and Mr. Coventry (at his chamber) made up a list of such ships as are fit to be kept out for the winter guard, and the rest to be paid off by the Parliament when they can get money, which I doubt will not be a great while.

That done, I took coach, and called my wife at my father’s, and so homewards, calling at Thos. Pepys the turner’s for some things that we wanted. And so home, where I fell to read “The Fruitless Precaution” (a book formerly recommended by Dr. Clerke at sea to me), which I read in bed till I had made an end of it, and do find it the best writ tale that ever I read in my life. After that done to sleep, which I did not very well do, because that my wife having a stopping in her nose she snored much, which I never did hear her do before.

Tuesday 16 October 1660

This morning my brother Tom came to me, with whom I made even for my last clothes to this day, and having eaten a dish of anchovies with him in the morning, my wife and I did intend to go forth to see a play at the Cockpit this afternoon, but Mr. Moore coming to me, my wife staid at home, and he and I went out together, with whom I called at the upholsters and several other places that I had business with, and so home with him to the Cockpit, where, understanding that “Wit without money” was acted, I would not stay, but went home by water, by the way reading of the other two stories that are in the book that I read last night, which I do not like so well as it.

Being come home, Will. told me that my Lord had a mind to speak with me to-night; so I returned by water, and, coming there, it was only to enquire how the ships were provided with victuals that are to go with him to fetch over the Queen, which I gave him a good account of.

He seemed to be in a melancholy humour, which, I was told by W. Howe, was for that he had lately lost a great deal of money at cards, which he fears he do too much addict himself to now-a-days. So home by water and to bed.

Wednesday 17 October 1660

Office day. At noon came Mr. Creed to me, whom I took along with me to the Feathers in Fish Street, where I was invited by Captain Cuttance to dinner, a dinner made by Mr. Dawes and his brother. We had two or three dishes of meat well done; their great design was to get me concerned in a business of theirs about a vessel of theirs that is in the service, hired by the King, in which I promise to do them all the service I can. From thence home again with Mr. Crew, where I finding Mrs. The. Turner and her aunt Duke I would not be seen but walked in the garden till they were gone, where Mr. Spong came to me and Mr. Creed, Mr. Spong and I went to our music to sing, and he being gone, my wife and I went to put up my books in order in closet, and I to give her her books. After that to bed.

Going down into my cellar I stepped into a great heap of … by which I found that Mr. Turner’s house of office is full and comes into my cellar, which do trouble me, but I shall have it helped.”

Thursday 18 October 1660

This morning, it being expected that Colonel Hacker and Axtell should die, I went to Newgate, but found they were reprieved till to-morrow. So to my aunt Fenner’s, where with her and my uncle I drank my morning draft.

So to my father’s, and did give orders for a pair of black baize linings to be made me for my breeches against to-morrow morning, which was done. So to my Lord’s, where I spoke with my Lord, and he would have had me dine with him, but I went thence to Mr. Blackburne, where I met my wife and my Will’s father and mother (the first time that ever I saw them), where we had a very fine dinner. Mr. Creed was also there. This day by her high discourse I found Mrs. Blackburne to be a very high dame and a costly one.

Home with my wife by coach. This afternoon comes Mr. Chaplin and N. Osborn to my house, of whom I made very much, and kept them with me till late, and so to bed.

At my coming home, I did find that The. Turner hath sent for a pair of doves that my wife had promised her; and because she did not send them in the best cage, she sent them back again with a scornful letter, with which I was angry, but yet pretty well pleased that she was crossed.

Friday 19th October 1660

Office in the morning. This morning my dining-room was finished with green serge hanging and gilt leather, which is very handsome.

This morning Hacker and Axtell were hanged and quartered, as the rest are.

This night I sat up late to make up my accounts ready against to-morrow for my Lord. I found him to be above 80l. in my debt, which is a good sight, and I bless God for it.

Saturday 20 October 1660

This morning one came to me to advise with me where to make me a window into my cellar in lieu of one which Sir W. Batten had stopped up, and going down into my cellar to look I stepped into a great heap of … by which I found that Mr. Turner’s house of office is full and comes into my cellar, which do trouble me, but I shall have it helped.

To my Lord’s by land, calling at several places about business, where I dined with my Lord and Lady; when he was very merry, and did talk very high how he would have a French cook, and a master of his horse, and his lady and child to wear black patches; which methought was strange, but he is become a perfect courtier; and, among other things, my Lady saying that she could get a good merchant for her daughter Jem., he answered, that he would rather see her with a pedlar’s pack at her back, so she married a gentleman, than she should marry a citizen.

This afternoon, going through London, and calling at Crowe’s the upholster’s, in Saint Bartholomew’s, I saw the limbs of some of our new traitors 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 quartered. Home, and after writing a letter to my uncle by the post, I went to bed.

From the 1893 edition of The Diary of Samuel Pepys edited by Henry B. Wheatley, available copyright-free from Project Gutenberg.