Sunday 25 March 1660

(Lord’s day). About two o’clock in the morning, letters came from London by our coxon, so they waked me, but I would not rise but bid him stay till morning, which he did, and then I rose and carried them in to my Lord, who read them a-bed. Among the rest, there was the writ and mandate for him to dispose to the Cinque Ports for choice of Parliament-men. There was also one for me from Mr. Blackburne, who with his own hand superscribes it to S.P. Esq., of which God knows I was not a little proud. After that I wrote a letter to the Clerk of Dover Castle, to come to my Lord about issuing of those writs.

About ten o’clock Mr. Ibbott, at the end of the long table, begun to pray and preach and indeed made a very good sermon, upon the duty of all Christians to be stedfast in faith.

After that Captain Cuttance and I had oysters, my Lord being in his cabin not intending to stir out to-day. After that up into the great cabin above to dinner with the Captain, where was Captain Isham and all the officers of the ship. I took place of all but the Captains; after dinner I wrote a great many letters to my friends at London.

After that, sermon again, at which I slept, God forgive me! After that, it being a fair day, I walked with the Captain upon the deck talking. At night I supped with him and after that had orders from my Lord about some business to be done against to-morrow, which I sat up late and did and then to bed.

36 Annotations

David Bell   Link to this

Sam's shipboard Sunday

is interesting for what we see, and how it compares with the later customs depicted in the many novels of Naval exploits in the wars against France.

In particular, it seems that My Lord is not displacing the ship's Captain in the way that later Admirals did, perhaps because this is not formally his flagship. Also, Sam is being treated as an important person, his place at the dining table being higher than all but the ship's captains there.

Obviously, this is a consequence of his job, and we've already seen him decide whether or not to wake my Lord. My own reckoning is that his recent life in London, reporting to Montagu (and others?) must have been important work. The apparent insignificance of his place in the earlier pages of the Diary is misleading.

Now he has his reward.

Keith Wright   Link to this

As might be expected, "coxon" is a variant of "coxswain"---which aside from its significance in rowing means "a sailor who has charge of a ship's boat and its crew".
As for terms of address:
On 22 March, John Simmons noted Pepys's rise to "gentleman" in regards to his sword, and looked ahead to the receipt of the letter addressed to "S.P. Esq." Plainly Pepys has not became "a member of the English gentry ranking below a knight," so this is "a title of courtesy usu. placed in its abbreviated form after the surname". But what particular mark of social distinction transforms Mr. Samuel Pepys into Samuel Pepys, Esquire, in the eyes of his contemporaries?

David Quidnunc   Link to this

"sermon again, at which I slept"

Perhaps:

--Sam didn't get back to sleep quickly after he was woken up the night before.

--He wasn't sleeping too well now that he was aboard ship.

--Mountagu hadn't adjusted to shipboard sleeping either.

Nix   Link to this

Perhaps, too, he drank bountifully at dinner, in celebration of his elevated status. If the sermon was belowdecks -- even in the "Great Cabin" -- it was likely quite stuffy.

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Sam's sleeping

Sam did sleep well the first night on board (23 March entry), so it's unlikely that it was a problem adjusting to his new sleeping quarters.

john s.   Link to this

Terms of address...
Esquire and gentleman both derive from old French usage, of the two, esquire:
"a man belonging to the higher order of the English gentry" takes precedence over gentleman,"in later use it denoted a man of good family." Both from "The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories." Our Sam, by land ownership (his uncle), by his great aunt Paulina's marriage to Sir Sydney Montagu, mother to My Lord, and his education, lived on the edges of being a gentleman. His father's occupation held him back, however. It is his own hard work and association with Montagu's rising star that will allow him to wear a sword and incline others to address his letters, SP, esq. It might not be correct usage, but a little flattery, well placed...like butter...

Pauline   Link to this

Sam’s sleeping
So we are ruling out the possibility that the sermon was soporific?

Alan Bedford   Link to this

Happy New Year!
(It's March 25th, Lady Day, first day of 1660, for those living then!)

language hat   Link to this

Pauline, I was thinking the same thing!

This is a lively and action-packed entry; I'm glad he managed to find time for the diary during his busy shipboard days.

David Quidnunc   Link to this

Now just hold on there a minute

The good Reverend Ibbott did such a fine job in the morning sermon! He couldn't have had only one good sermon up his sleeve.

Pauline   Link to this

"After that, sermon again"
Almost sounds like he had only one up his sleeve for this Sunday.

Alfred Pinkham   Link to this

As to Sam's sleeping. He is on a ship that always has some movement with the tide or wind. He has been working hard and has been aboard long enough to become accustomed to the motion. For some the first few days at sea are very sleepy days I think it is the lesser form of sea sickness. No air below decks and a droning voice and it's nap time.

PHE   Link to this

Esquire
Although just an ordinary bloke, I received letters addressing me as 'Esq' up to about 10 years ago (normally from mailshots aiming to flatter me I think), but I don't see it now. Either its just gone out of fashion, or I've dropped down in the social scale.

Glyn   Link to this

The English class system
I agree with Peter that "Esq" seems to have finally dropped out of usage. My English teacher once said that he was mildly flattered to receive letters addressed to "Gilbert Bennett Esq"; and happy to receive letters addressed to "Mr Gilbert Bennett"; but not to receive letters addressed to "Mr Gilbert Bennett Esq" because that was ungrammatical - you couldn't be both a Mister and a Squire simultaneously.

So Pepys being addressed as "Esquire" means people are perceiving him as moving up the social scale and Pepys realises it; and class was important in England in those days (not now, of course).

The Swiftsure seems to be riding at anchor at present, with no immediate plans to leave harbour. Do we know which port they are moored in? I am guessing somewhere at the mouth of the Thames such as Deal or Gravesend. I suppose Montagu and his staff have moved out of London to be closer to the Fleet and so cut down on delays liaising with the ships and their captains.

helena murphy   Link to this

Pepys career to date is a wonderful example of well merited social mobility. He is highly educated, reliable and capable, associated with the aristocracy and at The Admiralty and in Whitehall seen in the corridors of power. He is courteous and convivial,yet does not lack the common touch. He represents the new breed of bureaucrat which sprang up in the seventeenth century.
In France, in the same century,there were two classes of nobility, the nobless de l'epee or sword nobility based on birth, and the noblesse de la Robe or robe nobility whose members were often drawn from men of talent within an increasing important and expanding bureacracy.Very often their offices, and they were ennobled. Social attitudes were changing and Mr. Blackburne addresses Sam as Esquire,simply because he feels that he deserves it. I like to think of Montague giving the nod also had he seen that letter.

Keith Wright   Link to this

As Helena says, part of Pepys's pride is that he knows others have seen how Blackburne addressed his letter.
Merriam-Webster's "Word Histories" (New York, 1989) adds that in American English esquire "has been largely appropriated by lawyers, who since the nineteenth century have used it when referring to or addressing each other in writing." (Should like to know if this still obtains.)
The only person who's ever used it on snail-mail to me was a fellow American, a long-time UK resident and member of the C of E clergy, with obviously jocular intent---and, as PHE notes, dropped it about a decade back. The precise format of egalitarian e-mail addresses don't abet social climbing, much.

j.a. gioia   Link to this

esquire

almost 20 years ago i wrote lord snowden in regards to some photo-related business and recieved a reply addressed to me as 'esq'. i must admit i felt a faint echo of sam's thrill at seeing the envelope.

and, yes, in the states 'esq' is used now only among lawyers as an address of professional courtesy.

Laura K   Link to this

american attys & "esq"

My day-job is in the legal field. Attorneys in the US are addressed in writing as "Jane Doe, Esq." once they are formally admitted to the bar. Not every law firm does this, but the older, larger firms all do.

Mark   Link to this

I'm a day behind...
I'm curious about the term "box of the ear". When I first read it I didn't think anything of it as the idea of boxing someone's ears was still relatively common in my youth. Does the term, as I'd assume (and we all know what that can get you), from the sport of boxing. A quick Google showed that official rules for ungloved boxing won't be written for another 40 years or so, and the famous Marquis' decades after that. So, was boxing called boxing then? Was it a common "sport" in the sense of today, with professional boxes etc? Or was it more a matter of two guys just "fightin'"?

Ed Marr   Link to this

Where is the Swiftsure?

Last noted as being moored in Long Reach, current maps show this as in Barking Creek, with Barking to the north and Beckton to the South.

Map

http://uk2.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?X=546000...

Nix   Link to this

I'd assume they are still at anchor -- there hasn't been any indication of getting under sail, which seems likely to be an event Samuel would note.

tamara   Link to this

boxing ears

I think it is related to the same "boxing" that is the fighting. My Random House dictionary (the only one handy) says it's from Middle English, ca. 1300–1350, of uncertain origin. I've always thought of it more as a slap to the side of the head than a boxing-style punch, however.

I think competitive boxing, at least as far back as the eighteenth century, was usually known as a "prizefight," or a "mill." But as a sport it was definitely called boxing, even though the men didn't wear gloves (in some pictures I've seen they do seem to have cloth wrapped around their hands).

Ann   Link to this

Re: Boxing of ears:

OED Online says: " 1. trans. orig. To beat, thrash; later, to strike with the fist, to cuff, to buffet: now usually, to strike (the cheek, ear, etc.) with the hand.

1519 W. HORMAN Vulg. 137 §17 He was boxed out of the place: as he had been a started hare. 1589 R. HARVEY Pl. Perc. 12 To boxe a shadowe, and beate their knuckels against a bare wall. 1601 SIR J. OGLE in Sir F. Vere Comm. 150 He..must sit with his hands bound, whilest boyes and devils come and box him about the ears. a1661 B. HOLYDAY Juvenal 206 Xerxes commanded them to give the sea 300 strokes with a scourge, and to box it. 1666 PEPYS Diary 20 Jan., I become angry, and boxed my boy..that I do hurt my thumb. 1704 STEELE Lying Lover II. (1747) 31 LetticeI'll down right box youHold your Tongue, Gipsy. 1783 AINSWORTH Lat. Dict. (Morell) I. s.v. Ear, Boxed on the ear, colaphis, vel alapis, cæsus. 1837 DISRAELI Venetia I. ix. (1871) 42 Attempting to box her son's ears. 1876 BLACK Madcap V. i. 3 I've a good mind to box your ears."

In modern usage: He hit him upside the head. Interesting that Pepys does it again, in 1666.....

Emilio   Link to this

Boxing
As a sport boxing has been around at least since ancient Greece, where it was one of the Olympic sports from 632 BC. The Greeks wore leather straps on their hands for protection, and were allowed to do anything except biting and gouging to bring down their opponent - ouch.
It took the Romans, however, to really accentuate the brutality factor. On their hands they wore the cestus, which was leather straps wrapped around lead or other metal. Fighters did periodically die in those bouts.
I read a note on the web that boxing was only reestablished in England in the 18th century, where they fought bareknuckle. I haven't found any other information, though.

mw   Link to this

A curio: concerning the ESQ and helena murphy's interesting observations concerning the development of the bureaucrat. As SP nears the end of a significant period in English history without royality, is he witnessing the increasing importance of both personal ability and institutions? In comparison to our age (are we at the end of the age of the small man?) it would seem to have a somewhat different authority and control balance. Hence the delight at the esq but also SPs continual desire for humility. Related to that our almost morbid fear at the absence of authority and institutions. Something SP has observed as being no great difficulty when it has occurred in London.

Tom   Link to this

I live in Belfast and my bank statement every quarter is addressed to Thomas Ferguson Esq.

Hhomeboy   Link to this

boxing comments belong in March 24 annotations...

where I have posted my interpretive remarks on Sam's tantrum tap...

Bored   Link to this

I opened a bank account here in the UK when I was 18 and my bank kept sending me things addressed to "A. Bored, Esquire" for many years afterwards. Esquire has never been used by anyone else. At that time it was used for someone who was too young to be a Mister. It is no longer used.

The remark above that SP's rise was due to a meritocracy as he was well educated - then as now it is the access to education in the first place that determines your life and career. Educational institutions now hold the the power to determine your life's chances as your birth once did.

Jim   Link to this

Esquire used for children...
Yes, back in my youth (and I am but a few weeks short of my 60th natal anniversary) I would receive mail (usually birthday cards from aunts and such) addressed to "James Lawrence, Esquire" (or, sometimes to "Master James Lawrence") -- those being days when even even five year olds in blue collar families in upstate New York wore white shirts, neckties, suit jackets and Fedora hats when dressed for Sunday church services. My mother explained that it would be a sign that I was grown up when the Esquire would be dropped and I would become "Mister" -- Today, however, I think it is only used by lawyers.

michael f vincent   Link to this

Esquire: squire- Language Hat should ave a good answer when 's' for 'es' came into being for many words .
Esquires are the 5th in list of 32 family classifications (1.35 mil fam , 5.5million pop total ) only 30000 esquires)
ref p248 Restoration London Liza Picard

squire was the first major rung to get recognition for ones effort in life
people paid good money to get this title registered. The tax man does so love the extra income.

language hat   Link to this

esquire: squire
Both are from French esquier (modern écuyer); "squire" is attested earlier but that may be chance. Note that there are two different kinds of es- from Old French, one from Latin ex- (usually later re-Latinized, as in "example" and "exchange," but left when the Latin form was not classical, as in "escape") and one added for euphonic reasons to Latin words starting with s + consonant (as in "esquire").

Pauline   Link to this

Let's not forget to consult www.1911encyclopedia.org/
ESQUIRE (0. Fr. escuyer, Mod. Fr. ~cuyer, derived through the form escudier from Med. Lat. scutarius, “ shield-bearer “), originally the attendant on a knight, whose helm, shield and lance he carried at the tournament or in the field of battle. The esquire ranked immediately below the knight bachelor, and his office was regarded as the apprentice stage of knighthood. The title was regarded as one of function, not of birth, and was not hereditary. In time, however, its original significance was lost sight of, and it came to be a title of honour, implying a rank between that of knight and valet or gentleman, as it technically still remains. Thus in the later middle ages esquire (armiger) was the customary description of holders of knight’s fees who had not taken up their knighthood, whence the surviving custom of entitling the principal landowner in a parish “the squire” (see SQUIRE). Camden, at the close of the ióth century, distinguished four classes entitled to bear the style: (i) The eldest sons of knights, and their eldest sons, in perpetual succession; (2) the eldest Sons of the younger sons of peers, and their eldest sons, in like perpetual succession; (3) esquires created by royal letters patent or other investiture, and their eldest sons; (4) esquires by office, e.g. justices of the peace and others who bear any office of trust under the crown. To these the writer in the 3rd edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1797) added Irish peers and the eldest sons of British peers, who, though they bear courtesy titles, have in law only the right to be styled esquires. Officers of the king’s courts, and of the royal household, counsellors at law and justices of the peace he described as esquires only “ by reputation “; and justices of the peace have the title only as long as they are in commission; while certain heads of great landed families are styled “esquires” by prescription. “But the meaner ranks of people,” he adds indignantly, “who know no better, do often basely prostitute this title; and, to the great confusion of all rank and precedence, every man who makes a decent appearance, far from thinking himself in any way ridiculed by finding the superscription of his letters thus decorated, is fully gratified by such an address.”

Sounds like the writer had read Pepys and noted his gratification!

Modern écuyer = rider, horseman

Nigel Pond   Link to this

Esquire:

As an English lawyer having lived in the US for 8 years, it still bothers me to see my female lawyer colleagues referred to as "Esq." - a term which per my upbringing should only apply to males...

Eric Strasser .   Link to this

SP was sworn a justice of the peace on 23 September 1660 and was thereafter entiled to the title of an esquire while in commission. The fact that his family were armigers didn't have any connection, neither did his grand relations although the 'Squires of Impington' branch the family probably were esquires.Unlike a present-day use of the title in SP's time it was a definite title.

pat Stewart Cavalier   Link to this

I know I'm over nine years late, but maybe someone will read it : in present day France, female lawyers and notaries are addressed as "Maître", although the word "maîtresse" does exist - it means either a regular sexual partner or a school teacher.

Katherine   Link to this

Thanks for your post, Pam. I'm still reading recent activity, and I'm sure many others are also.

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