Wednesday 2 January 1660/61

Up early, and being called up to my Lord he did give me many commands in his business. As about taking care to write to my uncle that Mr. Barnewell’s papers should be locked up, in case he should die, he being now suspected to be very ill. Also about consulting with Mr. W. Montagu for the settling of the 4000l. a-year that the King had promised my Lord. As also about getting of Mr. George Montagu to be chosen at Huntingdon this next Parliament, &c.

That done he to White Hall stairs with much company, and I with him; where we took water for Lambeth, and there coach for Portsmouth.

The Queen’s things were all in White Hall Court ready to be sent away, and her Majesty ready to be gone an hour after to Hampton Court to-night, and so to be at Portsmouth on Saturday next.

I by water to my office, and there all the morning, and so home to dinner, where I found Pall (my sister) was come; but I do not let her sit down at table with me, which I do at first that she may not expect it hereafter from me. After dinner I to Westminster by water, and there found my brother Spicer at the Leg with all the rest of the Exchequer men (most of whom I now do not know) at dinner. Here I staid and drank with them, and then to Mr. George Montagu about the business of election, and he did give me a piece in gold; so to my Lord’s and got the chest of plate brought to the Exchequer, and my brother Spicer put it into his treasury. So to Will’s with them to a pot of ale, and so parted.

I took a turn in the Hall, and bought the King and Chancellor’s speeches at the dissolving the Parliament last Saturday.

So to my Lord’s, and took my money I brought ‘thither last night and the silver candlesticks, and by coach left the latter at Alderman Backwell’s, I having no use for them, and the former home. There stood a man at our door, when I carried it in, and saw me, which made me a little afeard.

Up to my chamber and wrote letters to Huntingdon and did other business.

This day I lent Sir W. Batten and Captn. Rider my chine of beef for to serve at dinner tomorrow at Trinity House, the Duke of Albemarle being to be there and all the rest of the Brethren, it being a great day for the reading over of their new Charter, which the King hath newly given them.

21 Annotations

J. Bailey  •  Link

"There stood a man at our door, when I carried it in, and saw me, which made me a little afeard."

The gold Pepys carries in is likely in some sort of pouch visible to strangers, at least as he enters his door, making him uncomfortable. The weight of these 80 or so gold coins is also probably noticible. Yet, he does not tell us about hiding this money or putting it in a safe or similar. Does it go under the floorboards or behind a brick in the fireplace?

Pepys is now worth considerably more than he was two days ago.

David A.Smith  •  Link

"I do not let her sit down at table ... at first that she may not expect it"
How much we can infer from that throwaway line, including Sam's distrust of his sister's motivations, his awareness of the need immediately to establish new rules of engagement, and his nicely (coldly) calculated soupcon of familial hospitality, enought to slake but not enough to whet her appetite for his nouveau-riche reserve!
Even his unconscious choice of present tense bespeaks an internal resolution as much as a reflective narration.

Charlezzzzz  •  Link

... took my money... home.
It's interesting to watch how Pepys takes care of his money. Suppose everything you had was in gold or silver plate, and that there were no safe banks, no trustworthy stockbrokers (ha!) and a strange man stands outside your door, watching you as you take it home. You might bury some in the cellar, or in the back yard, and worry about burglars; lend some to "safe" friends, and worry about their honesty; invest some in "gifts" to your boss; lend some to high superiors, and maybe never get it back... leave some plate with the "Alderman" goldsmith...go shares in a your wife jewelry, perhaps... we'll see Pepys constantly trying to keep his growing wealth safe. And constantly worrying about it, worrying himself sick sometimes.

vincent  •  Link

David :Just the pecking order or hierarchy; She is not there to be a ladie of Leasure: "Must earn her keep" Slops,and other sundry tasks ,[upstairs , downstairs bit], to help with ake of 'ead etc.. 'Tis the story of romance novels.
Of course, One could say she be apprenticed to learn 'ow to run a proper establishment.
Even Sons of "well to do" had to take orders from the 'elp till they knew all the functions, then when fully aware of the business then they could take the Reins of the family concern. 'tis only the modern that start at the top and work their way down.

vincent  •  Link

"...where we took water for Lambeth, and there coach for Portsmouth. The Queen's things were all in White Hall Court ready to be sent away, and her Majesty ready to be gone an hour after to Hampton Court to-night, and so to be at Ports mouth on Saturday next…”
this sentences is mixed??
Me laud to Portsmouth a 4 day trip
the queen? . elsewhere?

vincent  •  Link

"...I having no use for them{the 'sticks], and the former home..."
do not understand "former home"
now we know he returned the candlesticks for "credit?" just like modern times?

Paul Chapin  •  Link

"the former home"
The "former" is his money, which he took home.

Mary  •  Link

The Queen's destination.

I had assumed that Henrietta Maria was making a journey to France and that Sandwich was part of the official party accompanying her at least as far as Portsmouth, her port of embarcation. Perhaps future entries will confirm or refute this.

Although the queen did not permanently depart for France until 1665, it appears that she made numerous visits there in the intervening years.

Mary  •  Link

The chine of beef.

I love the idea that one could 'lend' someone a chine of beef for a dinner-party; presumably Sir. W. will either replace the joint at some future date or pay Sam its value.

If this is the same chine that was given to Sam on 19th December, it will be fairly well hung by now, though not necessarily 'over the top'. In the right conditions, beef can be hung for three weeks without harm.

kaimoana  •  Link

Have I missed something about the candlesticks? I'm really confused. As I understand it -
24 Dec. Pett tells him how he bought Mr Coventry a present, but Coventry sent it back. Pepys orders some candlesticks from Alderman Backwell. Presumably he intends to give them to Coventry, Coventry will return them, and heigh ho, Pepys looks generous without having to spend money.
26 Dec. Candlesticks not ready.
27 Dec. Collected candlesticks and took them to Montague. Left with Shepley. So the present was for Montague?
29 Dec. Collected state-plate and cupp in lieu of candlesticks? How can this be? He already has the candlesticks.
2 Jan. Collected candlesticks from Montagues. Has the plan worked and Montague has returned the gift, or were they just left with Shepley for safekeeping?

Mary  •  Link

candlesticks, plate etc.

I suspect that some of these questions may get cleared up on Twelfth Night and that then we may see what exactly is intended for whom.

From today's entry it looks as if the candlesticks were just left with Shepley for safekeeping and have now been returned to Backwell. Perhaps they were only taken 'on approval' in the first place?

Pauline  •  Link

candlesticks, plate etc.

On Dec. 26 he says the gift is for Coventry.
On Dec. 29 he orders the brave state-plate and cupp in lieu of the candlesticks. So he has changed his mind and wants to give the plate and cup instead of the candlesticks.
I wonder if his change of mind is based on the advice of someone at Montagu's on Dec. 27 when he takes them there and then leaves them there -- for safekeeping or because Montagu's is closer to Backwell's shop (and to Mr. Convetry's) and he won't have to lug the heavy things back and forth to Seething Lane in London. Montagu's is a HQ for Sam when he is busy in Westminster -- whether on Montagu's business or business relating to Sam's other positions, even for personal business.

Hic retearivs  •  Link


Phil, allow me to join my voice to those sending along profound thanks. You have established an oasis of sanity on a sometimes culturally desiccated internet! Really, because of the annotations, it's more of a caravanserai at which we who use the net for business purposes may break our stressful journey, confident that those we shall find within will be of like mind and will be a civil company.


The matter of "telling" came up recently and was referred to as an old usage. Really, it is still current. We have all had many an occasion to enter a bank and deal with a teller and, more recently of course, his ubiquitous computer operated replacement. A pugilist still congratulates himself on making a telling blow. Englishmen will understand this usage in particular: on the sad occasion of the passing of the Queen Mother, the writer had the distinction to be called upon by the Tower Captain to take the rope of our 16cwt tenor bell and tell Her Late Majesty's 101 years.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

"...I do not let her [Pall] sit down at table with me..."

I can't help picturing poor Pall as being consigned to a smaller "childrens' table", although of course there were no children. (Memories of Christmasses long past I suppose.) Pall's rather awkward position strikes me as being similar to what would have been that of a governess in later times - not a member of the family but not really a servant either. Sam does not seem to have agonized over such social niceties however, and I assume Pall would have been lumped in with Jane, and the others, and would have accepted it as the norm.

Glyn  •  Link


Alderman Blackwell is a banker and goldsmith with very strong security - so I suspect that people could deposit their valuables with him for safekeeping rather like renting a modern strong-box.

As for Pall, I think this doesn't mean that she has to wait on table, but that she isn't allowed to dine with Sam and Elizabeth as a matter of course.

Has anyone here ever employed a close relative in their family business - and if so, did they treat that close relative any different from the rest of the staff?

Pall's arrival would have slightly upset the employment structure - can she give orders to Jane or Will, for example. I think Sam is just setting the ground rules, which can be relaxed later once everyone knows where they stand in relation to each other.

NB for overseas readers: the distance from London to Portsmouth is about 100 miles (160 km) and the journey is taking 3 (or 4?) days. It would have been much faster 1,200 years earlier in Roman times

David A. Smith  •  Link

"I found Pall (my sister) was come"
Echoing Glyn's observation, I think Sam is well aware that Pall is family, not a servant ... but Sam has been discovering just how *much* family he has about, and if he lets his sister presume to social equality, then she may presume as financial as well, and then the rest of his family may also. There's no time better than first encounter, as Glyn says, to set the ground rules; later he can (and, I expect, will) be more friendly.

vincent  •  Link

The young unmarried daughter has always had a rough life, based on some the stories written by women: they are expected to look after the family in their failing years; even in this day and age the unmarried daughter has a rough life and I have met many that have become the family drudge.[you can see them on any high street or main street gallantly doing their best.]

Nix  •  Link

Pall's plight --

Does the name "Cinderella" ring a bell?

When my kids were in 4th grade their teacher spent part of each year introducing them to folklore and comparative literature and multiculturalism by studying Cinderella stories from many different countries. On reflection, I suppose it should come as no surprise that the story of the poor unmarried daughter mistreated by her family is pretty universal. Among other things, those were the women who took a primary role in raising the children -- which means they got to make up the nursery stories!

Harvey  •  Link

Glyn asks; Has anyone here ever employed a close relative in their family business - and if so, did they treat that close relative any different from the rest of the staff?

Yes, I have... and while they do the same work as a non-related person would do, family members tend to be given much more trust (after all, you know them from way back, and they can't 'do a runner')... they get to see confidential and personal information and have control over money much quicker. Just what you'ld expect really.

simplicio  •  Link

Assuming the parenthetical is in the original text, specifying that "Pall" is his sister is sort of interesting. If the Diary was meant for his eyes only, its hard to see why he'd feel the need to remind his future self who his own siblings are. Especially given that the pet name makes it unlikely he's going to get her confused with any other Paulines he might know.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.