Friday 13 July 1660

Up early, the first day that I put on my black camlett coat with silver buttons. To Mr. Spong, whom I found in his night-down writing of my patent, and he had done as far as he could “for that &c.” by 8 o’clock.

It being done, we carried it to Worcester House to the Chancellor, where Mr. Kipps (a strange providence that he should now be in a condition to do me a kindness, which I never thought him capable of doing for me), got me the Chancellor’s recepi to my bill; and so carried it to Mr. Beale for a dockett; but he was very angry, and unwilling to do it, because he said it was ill writ (because I had got it writ by another hand, and not by him); but by much importunity I got Mr. Spong to go to his office and make an end of my patent; and in the mean time Mr. Beale to be preparing my dockett, which being done, I did give him two pieces, after which it was strange how civil and tractable he was to me.

From thence I went to the Navy office, where we despatched much business, and resolved of the houses for the Officers and Commissioners, which I was glad of, and I got leave to have a door made me into the leads. From thence, much troubled in mind about my patent, I went to Mr. Beale again, who had now finished my patent and made it ready for the Seal, about an hour after I went to meet him at the Chancellor’s. So I went away towards Westminster, and in my way met with Mr. Spong, and went with him to Mr. Lilly and ate some bread and cheese, and drank with him, who still would be giving me council of getting my patent out, for fear of another change, and my Lord Montagu’s fall.

After that to Worcester House, where by Mr. Kipps’s means, and my pressing in General Montagu’s name to the Chancellor, I did, beyond all expectation, get my seal passed; and while it was doing in one room, I was forced to keep Sir G. Carteret (who by chance met me there, ignorant of my business) in talk, while it was a doing. Went home and brought my wife with me into London, and some money, with which I paid Mr. Beale 9l. in all, and took my patent of him and went to my wife again, whom I had left in a coach at the door of Hinde Court, and presented her with my patent at which she was overjoyed.

So to the Navy office, and showed her my house, and were both mightily pleased at all things there, and so to my business.

So home with her, leaving her at her mother’s door. I to my Lord’s, where I dispatched an order for a ship to fetch Sir R. Honywood home, for which I got two pieces of my Lady Honywood by young Mr. Powell. Late writing letters; and great doings of music at the next house, which was Whally’s; the King and Dukes there with Madame Palmer, a pretty woman that they have a fancy to, to make her husband a cuckold. Here at the old door that did go into his lodgings, my Lord, I, and W. Howe, did stand listening a great while to the music. After that home to bed.

This day I should have been at Guildhall to have borne witness for my brother Hawly against Black Collar, but I could not, at which I was troubled.

To bed with the greatest quiet of mind that I have had a great while, having ate nothing but a bit of bread and cheese at Lilly’s to-day, and a bit of bread and butter after I was a-bed.

38 Annotations

Grahamt  •  Link

A couple of typos:
Gutenburg scan errors?
night-down = night-gown
recepi = receipt.

Dockett is used today (as docket) in Britain to mean a record of work done (timesheet) or generally as "paperwork". Here it means "An abstract of the contents of proposed letters patent, written on the monarch's bill which authorized their preparation and copied into a register” (SOED)

Grahamt  •  Link

a costly eastern fabric. Later, a light cloth used for cloaks etc., made of various materials

Grahamt  •  Link

"I did give him two pieces, after which it was strange how civil and tractable he was to me. "
I love how the sarcasm drips from Pepys' writing at times like this. A strand of British humour that continued through Oscar Wilde and Fawlty Towers to Blackadder and The Office.

Grahamt  •  Link

a door made me into the leads:
Lead: A (garden) path; an alley. L16. (SOED)

Grahamt  •  Link

"Madame Palmer, a pretty woman that they have a fancy to, to make her husband a cuckold":
The link shows how prescient Pepys was. A "woman of easy virtue" by any century's standards.

martha wishart  •  Link

A woman of easy virtue perhaps, but greater ambition. Pepys had quite an eye for her, and she was his favorite of all the royal mistresses. According to Antonia Fraser, he bought a copy of a portrait of Barbara Palmer by Sir Peter Lely.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

A couple of typos:
Gutenberg scan errors?
Yes: night-down is given as night-gown in both Wheatley and L&M.

No: recepi is correct per both Wheatley and L&M. The word is written in italics in L&M. The Reader's Guide to the L&M describes their use of italics as follows: "Italics are all editorial, but (in e.g. headings to entries) often follow indications given in the MS. (by e.g. the use of larger writing)." L&M defines recepi as writ of receipt issued by Chancery.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"for fear of another change, and my Lord Montagu's fall
L&M surmise in a footnote that Spong was made fearful by the predictions of his friend William Lilly (Mr. Lilly), the astrologer.

vincent  •  Link

1: "where we despatched" :"where I dispatched": was? and is a variable in spelling , but did it have rules at that time ?:
2: Officialism rather than officiousness must be a "dna" requirement for all bureaucrats; of course there are some exceptions:
3:Getting things done: still needs that personal touch,
4: Glad that the little wife was overjoyed.
5: Oh sure! It was the music they listened to.
5: "This day I should have been at Guildhall to have borne witness for my brother Hawly against Black Collar, but I could not" Court, witness, What is black collar?

Paul Brewster  •  Link

After that to Worcester House
Wheatley: The Earls of Worcester had a large house in the Strand between Durham Place and the Savoy, the site of which is now marked by Beaufort Buildings, which Lord Clarendon rented while his own mansion was building.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

went to my wife again, whom I had left in a coach at the door of Hinde Court

L&M footnote: "It seems probable from this entry that Elizabeth Pepys's parents lived in Hind Court at this period - perhaps until 1662 ... The diary never gives explicit information, and Pepys was not allowed by his wife to visit them."

Paul Brewster  •  Link

vincent  •  Link

Thanks Paul : do appreciate. What the eye sees and ear hears is sometimes so different:

vincent  •  Link

It is Friday 13th "nowt said" May be everyone one was a little nervous with all of the olde superstitions still around? Cash trumpts predictions.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

"where we despatched" :"where I despatched":
L&M has it spelled the same in both cases.

It really pays to read the L&M discussion of spelling in Volume I, 1660 pp. lvii - lxi. It’s much too long to quote completely but it gives a very clear picture of the problems associated with rendering a spelling style when translating shorthand. I think the key phrases are “Thus the general principle adopted for spelling shorthand-forms in this edition was that ordinarily the spelling was to be in present-day British style, but that when the shorthand indicated a seventeenth-century variation in spelling, and when that spelling indicated both a seventeenth-century pronunciation and a spelling that Pepys himself used, it should be spelled in the appropriate non-modern style [based on a reading of the shorthand].”

L&M also take a dig at Wheatley's spelling: "To spell in seventeenth-century style (where it can be said to exist) is, however, not only difficult, but also leads to scholarly tampering. This is what Wheatley tried to do, and the result is a free-hand antique, in which nothing can be relied on."

A quick check of L&M Volume I indicates that they're pretty consistent. They've used despatch in all but one of the 18 instances I could find. In the exceptional case L&M uses "dispatcht". Wheatley seems to mix them freely; he uses despatch in 10 of the 18 cases.

By the way, the OED describes Despatch as a variant spelling of dispatch and gives simple pride of place to dispatch but otherwise treats both equally, "dispatch, despatch v."

I'm not sure where the longish note leaves us. As this exercise (and the previous cat/nap/crap adventure) has clearly demonstrated, translating shorthand leaves open a wealth of possibilities for the exercise of scholarly judgment (or lack thereof).

chip  •  Link

Paul Brewster, you are amazing. Yet I remain convinced that the sheets Pepys is embossing are those he borrowed from Howe, namely the foolsCAP of the day before. He grabbed them in a moment of clairvoyance. Today he shelled out 11 to get 2 pounds back (assuming those pieces are pounds), sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. He shows no fear of Friday the 13th (regardless of the addition of those two numbers). And after all it is touching how he makes sure his wife is there to see his patent and their new home (though he claims it as his own). Surely he was happy to drop her off at the in-laws to gloat over his success.

vincent  •  Link

Paul Brewster; Chip said everything correctly: I wish I was not such a scin flint but thanks Paul:

Brad  •  Link

Fascinating bio on Madame Palmer (born Villiers). It called to mind the fictional Diana Villiers with whom both Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin were so smitten, but who broke the spell by dallying with the wealthy Dover merchant instead. Those poor guileless Bluejackets, always at the mercy of a keen-eye widow.

dennis nottage  •  Link

a short comment in reply to Graham - "the leads" in this context was the term used for the flat roof of a house. As will be seen, Samuel became very fond of taking the air and admiring the view from his lofty perch!

David Goldfarb  •  Link

"Recepi" is Latin for "I have received". Probably a normal thing to have on an official receipt of the day.

Grahamt  •  Link

Leads and leads:
The text says "INTO the leads" (pronounced leeds) rather than "ONTO the leads" (pronounced leds) That is what made me think that, here anyway, he was talking about an alley rather than the roof. I haven't read ahead, so I may have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

A couple of days will help clear this up or confuse it ... On the 18th of July 1660, Pepys will write, "This morning the carpenter made an end of my door out of my chamber upon the leads."

The L&M Select Glossary is pretty definite. "Leads: flat space on roof top, sometimes boarded over and leaded".

Here's the OED:
Lead n[1] (led) ...
7. pl. a. The sheets or strips of lead used to cover a roof; often collect. for a lead flat, a lead roof, "occas. construed as sing. "

a. 1578-9 in Willis & Clark Cambridge (1886) I. 538 Mending the leddes over the librarie chambers. 1588 Bp. Andrewes Serm. Spittle (1641) 5 He looketh downe on his brethren, as if he stood on the top of a Leads. 1625 Bacon Ess., Building (Arb.) 550 A Goodly Leads upon the Top, railed with Statua’s interposed. a1635 Corbet Iter Bor. (1647) 133 Gardens cover howses there like leades. 1726 Leoni Alberti’s Archit. I. 78 Leads or Terrasses from whence the Soldiers may be molested with stones or darts. 1760 C. Johnston Chrysal (1822) I. 238 A cat whom she used to meet in the evenings, upon the leads of the house. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet ch. xiii, Trumbull clambered out upon the leads. 1873 Dixon Two Queens II. vii. vi. 42 A blare of trumpets from the leads told every one that [etc.].

vincent  •  Link

Lead ; a soft malleable ductile metal ,great for sealing joints against the elements(weather): very popular for centuries until the thieves could steal it from building roof's; Used to shield telephone lines in London (and elsewhere for years). Dictionary still speaks of a flat lead roof, the lead needed to seal against that pleasing skin enhansing moisturiser of a London morning, not to lead one to one's fall.

Grahamt  •  Link

I concur:
The phrase "upon the leads." does mean on the roof. Could "into the leads" be a typo for onto or unto? One doesn't go out IN the tiles/leads, but ON.

Paul Brewster  •  Link

into/onto the leads
I wonder if the same discussion regarding the distinctions between Americano and BritSpeak with regard "in the high street" and "on the high street" applies here. I’m not sure we’re going to get any more certain about the probability of a typo without a better description of Shelton than I have access to. My material (a one page table from Wheatley’s Pepysiana) shows a special symbol for “into” but provides no specific information about “onto”. Of course if we had access to a facsimile edition ... Oh, well.

Susanna  •  Link


Actually, Paul, it's worse. "In the high street" would almost certainly turn into "on the main street" in American English.

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Regarding recepi/receipt - in Victorian times and for the first couple of decades at least of the 20th century, the word pronounced and nowadays spelled 'recipe', meaning the instructions for cooking a particular dish, was spelled 'receipt'.

Sorry to go back so far, but I've only just come back from holiday and I'm still catching up!

vincent  •  Link

Just remembered. One used a "res a pay" to bake a kake, One got a "re seat" for the bill one paid.
In/on As for the Romans they used according to the dictionary In= above/ below/ in/ on/ etc when used with an ablative or with accusative(subject) into/ on to. No wonder we are confused.

Pedro.  •  Link

"and some money, with which I paid Mr. Beale 9l. in all, and took my patent of him and went to my wife again"

From Liza Picard's Restoration London..

"He (Sam) had, unknowingly, an indirect contact with the most prominent woman artist of the time...he had to pay £9 to a Mr. Beale whose wife Mary became the family breadwinner in 1670, charging £10 for a three-quarter portrait in oils, £5 for a head and shoulders.”

Michael Robinson  •  Link

finished my patent and made it ready ...

The patent survives in the Natonal archives at Kew:

"Pepys Samuel. Grant by King Charles II of the Office of Clerk of the Ships. Appointment of the first civil servant.
TS 21/80"

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"This day I should have been at Guildhall to have borne witness for my brother Hawly against Black Collar, but I could not, at which I was troubled."

L&M wonder whether this was "the case (of ejectment from lands) " of this date in which one John Collier was defendant. Methinks "Black Collar" might have been his unflattering nickname -- a riff on his dark hair or complexion, and surname.

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

".... THEY have a fancy to, to make her husband a cuckold ..."
A bit of fraternal rivalry?

Dick Wilson  •  Link

He's got it! He is Clerk of the Acts and he has all the finished official paperwork to prove it. Of course, Barlow has a similar patent, and Sam might have to buy the old boy off, but that should pose no great problem. If the King should fire Sandwich, Pepys remains Clerk of the Acts. If the King should fire Pepys, his successor would have to buy the office from Pepys.
But our boy Sam is still insecure. He is now one of the Principal Officers of the Navy, entitled to full participation in the work of the Navy Board, and with all the perquisites that come with that post. However, there is a tendency for the other members of the Board to say "We will meet, confer, and make decisions; you take notes and keep records, you are just our clerk". Sam has to assert himself, to participate. The main perk of the office is the right to occupy one of the houses. Sam is nailing that one down, too. By getting Board approval to make a door to the leads, the Board tacitly approves Pepys' occupancy of the house.
By the way, the British pronunciation of "clerk" rhymes with ark, bark, shark, lark. Americans rhyme it with jerk, cirque, Turk, lurk. Sam probably used the British pronunciation.
Unencumbered by thought or evidence, I think "leads" here refers to the roof, perhaps a roof garden, some benches or so. I can't think that a ground-level garden in Seething Lane would do anything but stink something awful.

Rob  •  Link

Give it a few pages and you will see that Leads is indeed some sort of flat roof where the proud owner of the house could take some "ayre" in and enjoy the views. If I am not mistaken (spoiler alert!) our boy looks from the leads to the Great Fire drawing near...

Ivan  •  Link

Has Mr Pepys got the house he wanted originally? The choice of house seems to have passed off very smoothly. I expected some conflict over this. Pepys' diary entry makes the matter seem almost like an afterthought. " I went to the Navy Office, where we despatched much business and resolved of the houses for the Officers and Commissioners, which I was glad of, and I got leave to have a door made me into the leads."
So did he get his first choice of house? He appears to be pleased. I wonder if all the new occupants were as pleased as Mr Pepys. I also wonder if Bess had expressed her views about which house they should have and whether she was equally pleased. It seems noteworthy that Sam can ask for a new door to be fitted and that his wish is granted.

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