Whey is in Drink.
Whey. In the 17th century, a milkmaid would send a stream of new, warm milk directly from a cow into a bowl of spiced cider or ale. A light curd would form on top with a lovely whey underneath. This, according to Elizabeth David, was the original syllabub.
Pepy's Diary. 21 Jun 1662. He being gone, and I hearing from my wife and the maids' complaints made of the boy, I called him up, and with my whip did whip him till I was not able to stir, and yet I could not make him confess any of the lies that they tax him with. At last, not willing to let him go away a conqueror, I took him in task again, and pulled off his frock to his shirt, and whipped him till he did confess that he did drink the whey, which he had denied, and pulled a pink, and above all did lay the candlestick upon the ground in his chamber, which he had denied this quarter of a year. I confess it is one of the greatest wonders that ever I met with that such a little boy as he could possibly be able to suffer half so much as he did to maintain a lie. I think I must be forced to put him away. So to bed, with my arm very weary.
Pepy's Diary. 30 May 1663. Up betimes, and Creed and I by water to Fleet Street, and my brother not being ready, he and I walked to the New Exchange, and there drank our morning draught of whay, the first I have done this year; but I perceive the lawyers come all in as they go to the Hall, and I believe it is very good.
Pepy's Diary. 06 Jun 1663. Lay in bed till 7 o'clock, yet rose with an opinion that it was not 5, and so continued though I heard the clock strike, till noon, and would not believe that it was so late as it truly was. I was hardly ever so mistaken in my life before. Up and to Sir G. Carteret (age 53) at his house, and spoke to him about business, but he being in a bad humour I had no mind to stay with him, but walked, drinking my morning draft of whay, by the way, to York House [Map], where the Russia Embassador (age 18) do lie; and there I saw his people go up and down louseing themselves: they are all in a great hurry, being to be gone the beginning of next week. But that that pleased me best, was the remains of the noble soul of the late Duke of Buckingham (age 35) appearing in his house, in every place, in the doorcases and the windows.
Pepy's Diary. 10 Jun 1663. Thence, Creed happening to be with us, we four to the Half Moon Tavern [Map], I buying some sugar and carrying it with me, which we drank with wine and thence to the whay-house, and drank a great deal of whay, and so by water home, and thence to see Sir W. Pen (age 42), who is not in much pain, but his legs swell and so immoveable that he cannot stir them, but as they are lifted by other people and I doubt will have another fit of his late pain. Played a little at cards with him and his daughter, who is grown every day a finer and finer lady, and so home to supper and to bed. When my wife and I came first home we took Ashwell and all the rest below in the cellar with the vintner drawing out my wine, which I blamed Ashwell much for and told her my mind that I would not endure it, nor was it fit for her to make herself equal with the ordinary servants of the house.
Pepy's Diary. 24 Aug 1663. Up very early, and my joyners came to work. I to Mr. Moore; from him came back home again, and drew up an account to my Lord, and that being done met him at my Lord Sandwich's (age 38), where I was a good while alone with my Lord; and I perceive he confides in me and loves me as he uses to do, and tells me his condition, which is now very well all I fear is that he will not live within compass, for I am told this morning of strange dotages of his upon the slut at Chelsea, even in the presence of his daughter, my Lady Jem, and Mrs. Ferrets, who took notice of it. There come to him this morning his prints of the river Tagus and the City of Lisbon, which he measured with his own hand, and printed by command of the King (age 33). My Lord pleases himself with it, but methinks it ought to have been better done than by jobing. Besides I put him upon having some took off upon white sattin, which he ordered presently. I offered my Lord my accounts, and did give him up his old bond for £500 and took a new one of him for £700, which I am by lending him more money to make up: and I am glad of it. My Lord would have had me dine with him, but I had a mind to go home to my workmen, and so took a kind good bye of him, and so with Creed to St. James's, and, missing Mr. Coventry (age 35), walked to the New Exchange, and there drank some whey, and so I by water home, and found my closett at my office made very clean and neat to my mind mightily, and home to dinner, and then to my office to brush my books, and put them and my papers in order again, and all the afternoon till late at night doing business there, and so home to supper, and then to work in my chamber, making matters of this day's accounts clear in my books, they being a little extraordinary, and so being very late I put myself to bed, the rest being long ago gone.
Pepy's Diary. 18 May 1664. So home again and to Sir W. Pen (age 43), who, among other things of haste in this new order for ships, is ordered to be gone presently to Portsmouth [Map] to look after the work there. I staid to discourse with him, and so home to supper, where upon a fine couple of pigeons, a good supper; and here I met a pretty cabinet sent me by Mr. Shales, which I give my wife, the first of that sort of goods I ever had yet, and very conveniently it comes for her closett. I staid up late finding out the private boxes, but could not do some of them, and so to bed, afraid that I have been too bold to-day in venturing in the cold. This day I begun to drink butter-milke and whey, and I hope to find great good by it.
Pepy's Diary. 07 Jun 1665. Thence, it being the hottest day that ever I felt in my life, and it is confessed so by all other people the hottest they ever knew in England in the beginning of June, we to the New Exchange, and there drunk whey, with much entreaty getting it for our money, and [they] would not be entreated to let us have one glasse more.
Pepy's Diary. 15 May 1667. This morning my wife had some things brought home by a new woman of the New Exchange, one Mrs. Smith, which she would have me see for her fine hand, and indeed it is a fine hand, and the woman I have observed is a mighty pretty looked woman. Up, and with Sir W. Batten (age 66) and Sir J. Minnes (age 68) to St. James's, and stopt at Temple Bar for Sir J. Minnes (age 68) to go into the Devil's Taverne [Map] to shit, he having drunk whey, and his belly wrought.
Pepy's Diary. 20 May 1668. Thence walked to the King's playhouse, and saw "The Mulberry Garden" again, and cannot be reconciled to it, but only to find here and there an independent sentence of wit, and that is all. Here met with Creed; and took him to Hales's (age 68), and there saw the beginnings of Harris's (age 34) head which he draws for me, which I do not yet like. So he and I down to the New Exchange, and there cheapened ribbands for my wife, and so down to the Whey house and drank some and eat some curds, which did by and by make my belly ake mightily. So he and I to White Hall, and walked over the Park to the Mulberry-Garden [Map]1, where I never was before; and find it a very silly place, worse than Spring-garden, and but little company, and those a rascally, whoring, roguing sort of people, only a wilderness here, that is somewhat pretty, but rude. Did not stay to drink, but walked an hour and so away to Charing Cross [Map], and there took coach and away home, in my way going into Bishopsgate Street, to bespeak places for myself and boy to go to Cambridge in the coach this week, and so to Brampton [Map], to see my wife. So home, and to supper and to bed.
Note 1. On the site of the present Buckingham Palace and gardens. Originally a garden [Map] of mulberry trees, planted by James I in 1609 with the intention of cultivating the manufacture of English silks.
Pepy's Diary. 27 May 1668. Thence after dinner to the office, and there did a little business, and so to see Sir W. Pen (age 47), who I find still very ill of the goute, sitting in his great chair, made on purpose for persons sick of that disease, for their ease; and this very chair, he tells me, was made for my Lady Lambert! Thence I by coach to my tailor's, there to direct about the making of me another suit, and so to White Hall, and through St. James's Park to St. James's, thinking to have met with Mr. Wren (age 39), but could not, and so homeward toward the New Exchange, and meeting Mr. Creed he and I to drink some whey at the whey-house, and so into the 'Change [Map] and took a walk or two, and so home, and there vexed at my boy's being out of doors till ten at night, but it was upon my brother Jackson's (age 28) business, and so I was the less displeased, and then made the boy to read to me out of Dr. Wilkins (age 54) his "Real Character", and particularly about Noah's arke, where he do give a very good account thereof, shewing how few the number of the several species of beasts and fowls were that were to be in the arke, and that there was room enough for them and their food and dung, which do please me mightily and is much beyond what ever I heard of the subject, and so to bed.