Saturday 28 January 1659/60

I went to Mr. Downing and carried him three characters, and then to my office and wrote another, while Mr. Frost staid telling money. And after I had done it Mr. Hawly came into the office and I left him and carried it to Mr. Downing, who then told me that he was resolved to be gone for Holland this morning. So I to my office again, and dispatch my business there, and came with Mr. Hawly to Mr. Downing’s lodging, and took Mr. Squib from White Hall in a coach thither with me, and there we waited in his chamber a great while, till he came in; and in the mean time, sent all his things to the barge that lay at Charing-Cross Stairs. Then came he in, and took a very civil leave of me, beyond my expectation, for I was afraid that he would have told me something of removing me from my office; but he did not, but that he would do me any service that lay in his power. So I went down and sent a porter to my house for my best fur cap, but he coming too late with it I did not present it to him. Thence I went to Westminster Hall, and bound up my cap at Mrs. Michell’s, who was much taken with my cap, and endeavoured to overtake the coach at the Exchange and to give it him there, but I met with one that told me that he was gone, and so I returned and went to Heaven, where Luellin and I dined on a breast of mutton all alone, discoursing of the changes that we have seen and the happiness of them that have estates of their own, and so parted, and I went by appointment to my office and paid young Mr. Walton 500l.; it being very dark he took 300l. by content. He gave me half a piece and carried me in his coach to St. Clement’s, from whence I went to Mr. Crew’s and made even with Mr. Andrews, and took in all my notes. and gave him one for all. Then to my Lady Wright and gave her my Lord’s letter which he bade me give her privately. So home and then to Will’s for a little news, then came home again and wrote to my Lord, and so to Whitehall and gave them to the post-boy. Back again home and to bed.

26 Annotations

Lance  •  Link

"telling money" = "counting money," as in "telling" one's rosary beads.

Wulf Losee  •  Link

" being very dark he took 300l. by content."

This means that young Mr. Walton accepted Pepys' count ("tell") without checking it.

Anybody have any idea who Mr. Walton is? He's definitely well-to-do because he has a coach.


Wulf Losee  •  Link

"...and made even with Mr. Andrews, and took in all my notes. and gave him one for all."

I assume this also is a financial transaction. What does he mean when he says he "gave him one [note] for all"? Are these some sort of bank draft or cheque? I thought paper money (in Europe) was invented by John Law, 55 years in the future...


David Quidnunc  •  Link

porters, Luellen, borrowing, note

Porters -- We've seen porters once or twice before in the diary. Part of the job description seems to include acting as a messenger across town. Pepys also mentioned a "carrier" who seems to take messages out to Hinchingbrooke -- a kind of long-distance postman or mailman or courier, I guess.

Luellen -- there he is again without a "Mr." I like the idea that Pepys doesn't use "Mr." with Luellen's name because he's particularly close to Luellen. Notice that Hawley, another friend, does get a "Mr." (Yet Greatorex didn't get a "Mr." and we haven't seen any indication he was very close to Pepys. Maybe with Greatorex it was a slip and with Luellen it's closeness.) The Mister-y continues . . .

borrowing -- Some days ago, I made a big issue out of the fact that Pepys said suspiciously little about borrowing money from Crew. It seemed to be a part of a pattern of Pepys saying the bare minimum about his financial embarrassment. I still thnk that, but this entry shows why Pepys didn't say much about that transaction -- because he only had to deal with Crew's man, Andrews, making the matter seem like a pretty run-of-the-mill transaction.

"note" -- one of the definitions in Webster's New World Dictionary: "7 a) a written promise to pay a sum of money or a written acknowledgement of a debt from which a promise of payment can be inferred" -- in other words, an I.O.U. This may be the answer Wulf's question: he took back all his smaller I.O.U.'s and gave Walton one that totaled them all up into one easy-to-keep piece of paper.

Danski  •  Link in "Bank Teller," "Automated Telling Machine"... you get the idea :o)

As far as Samuel's "notes" are concerned, I believe the origin lies within the practice of giving someone to whom money was due the written promise of the issuer to pay a given sum in cash upon presentation.

As the payment of these "notes" was due on demand and incumbent upon the issuer, they were often passed on to third (or more) parties as a form of payment in themselves, and developed a theorectical, rather than intrinsic monetary value.

The practice was continued by The Bank of England, beginning in 1694.

This from the Bank Of England Website:

"In 1694 the Bank of England was established and almost immediately started to issue notes in return for deposits. The crucial feature that made Bank of England notes a means of exchange was the promise to pay the bearer the sum of the note on demand. This meant that the note could be redeemed at the Bank for gold or coinage by anyone presenting it for payment".

michael f vincent  •  Link

re:coin and paper ious: for the ordinary folk checques and bank accounts were a nono for the working stiff back in the 1950's. We always had to be paid in the coin of the realm, giving bank robbers a wonderful opportunity to make a good living.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Uh, sorry

In my note above, I should have written:

Luellin, not Luellen

"gave Andrews" not "gave Walton."

Andrew Caley  •  Link

Is Charing Cross Stairs the same as Hungerford Stairs? I gather that Hungerford Stairs was an embarkation point on the Thames under what is now Charing Cross Station. Anyone know if they are one and the same?

P Benson  •  Link

"...made even with Mr. Andrews, and took in all my notes and gave him one for all,"
Sounds like he gave a note for a handful of IOUs. So if there were no bank notes, did he take a consolidated IOU? And how does that make things "even"?

Mike  •  Link

"my best fur cap"
whilst all this talk of monetary transactions is very interesting, I was more intrigued by the reference to the cap.
Sam was very wary of Mr Downing's offer of a position a couple of days ago and now he's finally had his suspicions allayed. Following on from yesterday's annotation about courtesy and etiquette, does Sam feel like he needs to make a gesture to Mr Downing to acknowledge his generosity?
Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Grahamt  •  Link

Re: "...and made even with Mr. Andrews, and took in all my notes. and gave him one for all."

Is it possible that Pepys passed on a note for money owed him in exchange for his debts to Andrews, thereby making him and Andrews “even”? If the note was from a senior person then it would presumably be more acceptable to Andrews than Sam’s notes.

janet gyford  •  Link

Re the discussion about people referred to as 'Mr' and people just referred to by their surname, do we know how accurate the translation into English from Pepys' code was ? Could 'Mr' sometimes have been there in his code, but left out in the translation, because of the difficulty of reading and/or interpreting his original ? It's an easy omission to make, even when transcribing much easier things.

Bottsie  •  Link

If "Mr. Walton accepted Pepys’ count (“tell”) without checking it" does that mean Pepys was 200l up?
Did he then use this money to make "even with Mr. Andrews"?

Glyn  •  Link

Instead of saying Mr X and Mr Y, perhaps he just says Mr X and Y, to save space. But possibly he would also have called some of his friends just by their surname - it's something that upper-class Englishmen still do (thank god I'm not one of them). Didn't that English butler always do it on the Magnum detective show?

Although the Bank of England won't come into existence until later in Pepys' life, there had been lots of private banks around for centuries. Governments pretty much run on paper, and I imagine it was much the same in Pepys time.

The Bank of England has its own free museum which most people don't know about. When I visited the objects on display included a hand-written letter from Martha Washington about her bank account (pre-Revolution, of course), lots of gold bars and a genuine million-pound note. Sadly, they don't give free samples although a medieval craftsmen will make coins for your children.

gerry healy  •  Link

Re the Hungerford Stairs it seems according to The London Encyclopedia that they are one and the same as Charing Cross Stairs.Hungerford Market was built un 1682 in the gardens of the house of Sir Edward Hungerford which had burnt down in 1669. The market itself burnt down in 1854 and was demolished in1860 to make way for Charing Cross Station.
Re Luellin it may well be a sign of intimacy.
I have always called my closest friends by their surnames since schooldays.

Warren Keith Wright  •  Link

From the link, it would seem that an allegorical pub-crawl from Heaven to Purgatory to Hell could probably be effected in one evening, though doubtless it would be more suitable if this were Boswell's diary. (A project for the next millennium.)

Peter O'Donnell  •  Link

I was pleased to hear this morning that Claire Tomalin won the Whitbread literary prize for her book on Pepys, beating off four other finalists including her husband Michael Frayn see

On another point, stairs generally were steps down to the river for embarking on ferry boats, Conan Doyle has Sherlock Holmes using them in the last years of the nineteenth century.

Emilio  •  Link

Re: Best fur cap, Mr.
A (relieved) token of thanks for Downing's generosity sounds like a good theory to me. Pepys obviously felt very strongly about the gesture as well, from all the attempts he made to get it to Downing. No doubt he thought cementing himself in Downing's good graces would not be a bad idea, either.
The gift would have been especially appropriate and thoughtful in the circumstances - Downing would no doubt have appreciated something warm to keep the wind off his ears during the sea trip to Holland. Pepys certainly did have a flair for such social graces.
As for editorial glitches: It's possible that an odd "Mr." could get dropped from a name, but in a carefully edited edition like either the 1893 or Latham and Matthews it would not happen at all often, and certainly not systematically with a particular name. Pepys may also have left some off inadvertently, but again probably not often: He's nothing if not attuned to the people around him and their comparative ranks in society, and a key part of that was identifying each person he met by the correct title, whether Mr., Mrs., Sir, Lady, or my Lord. It's prolly best to assume that Pepys knows what he's doing most of the time when the diary mentions someone by surname only, even if it's not always clear what his reasons are. For me it makes sense that he would do this for someone who was a mate or otherwise closer to him than the average person on the street, particularly with Simons, Luellin, or others who literally were clerks, the same as him.

EIS  •  Link

I agree with 'Emilio'... In addition to personal intimacy, couldn't there possibly be an intentional mark of social or class distinction in calling somebody 'Mr' as opposed to simply using their name without title? I interpret these different uses as an indication of status not unlike addressing schoolteachers or employers today. Also, in other historical diaries that I have read it was very common to describe close friends of equal or higher social standing as 'Mr' or 'Mrs' despite their being personally intimate with the author.

Duncan  •  Link

"He gave me half a piece..."

What does "piece" mean in this context?

David Bell  •  Link

from whence I went to Mr. Crew's and made even with Mr. Andrews, and took in all my notes. and gave him one for all.

Are we getting confused by the pronouns?

Is “made even with Mr. Andrews” one transaction, and the rest another? Who is Mr. Andrews?

I’m also wondering if Pepys kept his financial records elsewhere, and the diary is no more than a reminder.

Jackie  •  Link

I read once somewhere that "Mr." was a term coming into increasing general use during that Century. Many tended to use the term "Mr." to indicate that somebody had reached a certain rank of gentleman and indicated a level of influence and income.

By the end of Pepy's life, it was becoming more general to use "Mr." for anybody who was what we'd nowadays consider middle class, but the labouring classes were referred to by their surnames, or formally as "Goodman".

Pepys was working as what we'd now regard as an office job with a considerable amount of influence. He obviously mixed with people who were better off than himself, so my reading is that anybody that he is calling "Mr." is either somebody who he sees as a social equal, or a superior in terms of money or influence.

Ogion  •  Link

Mr X or just X?
In present-day Germany they also have the custom of calling men just by their surname sometimes. The rules are a little complicated when you try to write them down, but easy to learn by listening. In any case, the thing to remember is that this is indirect discourse. Pepys is telling us about other people. In Germany at least, there's a lot of leeway about calling someone by his last name when talking *about* him. It's important not to leave out the title if you are talking to a superior about another superior. Maybe also when talking to a child about an adult. But in general indirect speech, it wouldn't matter too much.

When writing in his diary, I could accept that Pepys would use both forms for anyone, without necessarily sticking to one form or the other and without implying anything about the person's rank.

(BTW, this applies only to men. In Germany, women above 18 or so are always referred to as Mrs. [Frau] no matter their marital status. And as for first names... well, that's a whole 'nother can of worms.)

Paul Dyson  •  Link

Bank of England notes still say I PROMISE TO PAY THE BEARER ON DEMAND THE SUM OF… and have a facsimile of the Chief Cashier’s signature.

This is a fascinating site - just catching up.

Chris  •  Link

Use of Surnames.
I attended an English Public school, which in fact is a private school. At this school we, the pupils, always addressed each other with our surnames. Even best friends were known by their surnames. Could this be the case here as well?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"I went by appointment to my office and paid young Mr. Walton"

Presumably son of Robert Walton, draper of London, who had supplied clothes to the army: orders for payment are in CSPD 1659-60, pp. 118, etc.: PRO, E 403/1757 (15v January). (L&M note)

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