Thursday 30 May 1661

To the Wardrobe and there, with my Lord, went into his new barge to try her, and found her a good boat, and like my Lord’s contrivance of the door to come out round and not square as they used to do. Back to the Wardrobe with my Lord, and then with Mr. Moore to the Temple, and thence to Greatorex, who took me to Arundell-House, and there showed me some fine flowers in his garden, and all the fine statues in the gallery, which I formerly had seen, and is a brave sight, and thence to a blind dark cellar, where we had two bottles of good ale, and so after giving him direction for my silver side-table, I took boat at Arundell stairs, and put in at Milford … [What could he have done at Milford to require censorship? D.W.]

So home and found Sir Williams both and my Lady going to Deptford to christen Captain Rooth’s child, and would have had me with them, but I could not go.

To the office, where Sir R. Slingsby was, and he and I into his and my lodgings to take a view of them, out of a desire he has to have mine of me to join to his, and give me Mr. Turner’s.

To the office again, where Sir G. Carteret came and sat a while, he being angry for Sir Williams making of the maisters of this fleet upon their own heads without a full table. Then the Comptroller and I to the Coffee House, and there sat a great while talking of many things.

So home and to bed.

This day, I hear, the Parliament have ordered a bill to be brought in for the restoring the Bishops to the House of Lords; which they had not done so soon but to spite Mr. Prin, who is every day so bitter against them in his discourse in the House.

37 Annotations

Australian Susan  •  Link

"Silver side table"
Is this a table to show off silver on? Surely not made from silver?
Good to see Sam keeping "shtum" when Sir G vents his spleen against the absent Sir Ws and making sure he spends time with Slingsby - "talking of many things". Network, network. Bet Sam was careful to do a lot of listening and agreeing, but also not taking anyone's part too much. His comments on Church matters show that he thinks Prin was shot himself in the foot by making such a rigorous stand against Bishops.

daniel  •  Link

spoiled clothes

i wonder whether Sam's breeches and finery dried out enough for today's affairs.

Bradford  •  Link

"went into his new barge to try her, and found her a good boat, and like my Lord's contrivance of the door to come out round and not square as they used to do.”

Shades of Hobbiton. Does a round door have but one hinge on one side and the bolt on the other to hold it to? Which salty tar will enlighten us?

mary house  •  Link

I like Hic's amusing description of the "hideous ordeal" of the baby shower and note that today Sam is careful to avoid participation in yet another christening.

Australian Susan  •  Link

The Gap
Anyone with an L&M know what the missing words are? What was Sam up to at Milford?

Mary  •  Link

The missing passage.

" and put in at Milford and there behind the door of the stairs shit, there being a house of office there."

Mary  •  Link

Another domestic makeover?

It was only on 27th May that Sam got Slingsby's agreement to the Pepys household taking over one small room from the Comptroller's lodgings. Now, having had second thoughts, Slingsby proposes taking over the whole of the Pepys' lodgings and finding accommodation for them elsewhere in the building. We'll have to wait and see whether Sam comes to regret having raised the matter in the first place.

George  •  Link

"To the office, where Sir R. Slingsby was, and he and I into his and my lodgings to take a view of them, out of a desire he has to have mine of me to join to his, and give me Mr. Turner's.”
By this should we take “Lodgings” as being the office accomodation? After all the work on the new stairs it would seem a tragedy if the household were to be moved so soon.

Kevin Sheerstone  •  Link

Bradford - round door

I'm not a salty tar but I have a feeling that this reference to a 'round door' might be significant. Could Sam be referring to the now- standard hatch, i.e: a 'door' on a ship with parallel sides but a semicircular top and bottom; a scuttle in other words, in which case 'rounded' would have been a better description.

I know we have sailors among our posters - help!

helena murphy  •  Link

I think that there was silver furniture,silver framed wall mirrors and side tables in the 17th century ,but today they are of course very rare.
Sam's table is perhaps silver alloyed with another metal.The silver was highly decorative and I believe such pieces were on show to the general public in 2003 when part of the royal collection was displayed in Buckingham Palace in celebration of Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953.I recall seeing two such pieces then. Perhaps somebody would like to further inform us on the matter.

Mary  •  Link


Yes, this is the Navy Office accommodation (cf. the modern concept of 'company housing' or living quarters on a military base). They are lodgings in the sense that this is where senior officers of the Navy Office are lodged during their terms of office. They are not lodgings in the later sense of a small, back room up two pair of stairs for which a weekly rent is paid to the owner who probably also lives on the premises.

Mary K. McIntyre  •  Link

Silver sidetable = a table to keep your silver in, like our modern sideboard or buffet table, surely!

OT - was in London 7-17 May, made sure I paid a visit to the Cock to eyeball the G Gibbons fireplace (& hoist a 1/2 to SP!). The husband's English rellies thot I was a bit silly, but hey.

Hic Retearius  •  Link


It's difficult to know if this is wandering off topic here on the main board but nautical terms are important to us. "Scuttle" has a number of meanings to seamen, both noun and verb, and readers will not be burdened with an enumeration of them. A hatch to allow the passage of crewmen is not among the meanings, at least in my minor experience. The sole exception might be a rough opening made in the side or bottom of a foundered vessel by salvors in order to get at her cargo but what Sam seems to be talking about is an opening for the passage crewmen and passengers.

If by "round", Sam means "circular", the best guess here in answer to Kevin's plea is that Sam is talking about a booby hatch. It is difficult to believe, however, that such an obvious idea was an innovation at so recent a date. Sam is no sailor and maybe Sandwich presents it to Sam as novel merely in that it is being used in a small vessel where Sam misunderstands and sees the idea as an innovation because of his inexperience of vessel design.

If Sam means "rounded", then it may simply be that the corners are radiused or that top and bottom are arcs exactly as Kevin has suggested.

Let's see if someone else has a better insight.

Bob T  •  Link

The missing passage
Does anyone know why this rates an entry in his diary.

Allan Russell  •  Link

Bob, the missing passage is why Sam is great, he tells us every detail, mundane to important. We learn from his honesty, I wouldnt write that in my diary, but that is why I am not a great diarist/blogger.

Bob T  •  Link

The missing passage.
We can safely assume that this is something that Sam does on a regular basis, right? My point is, what makes this one rate a diary entry? He didn't log all the others. Was it because he used what used to be called "a public convenience"? Maybe they weren't so common as they are today, and that's what made it's use rate a diary entry.
We're reading this stuff 300 years later, and I'm sure that we are missing a lot because we don't have an intimate knowledge of Sam's world.

Pauline  •  Link

".. Sir R. Slingsby...and I into his and my lodgings to take a view of them, out of a desire he has to have mine of me to join to his, and give me Mr. Turner's.

We had to date deduced that the Davis’ were on one side of the Pepyses and the Battens on the other. The Davises have moved to Ireland, leaving one side open to either Turner or Slingsby. So it is all more jumbled together than I imagined.

Perhaps in this case they are talking only about office space in the compound, not the actual lodging apartments. Have we had any indication that Slingsby lives in the compound?

vicente  •  Link

Scuttle from the horses mouth; Seamans grammar.A Scuttle hatch is a little Hatch doth cover a little Square-hole we call Scuttle , where but one man alone can go down into the Ship, they are in divers places of the Ship whereby men pa[f]ss from Deck to Deck, and there is alf[s]o Scuttles Grated, to give light to them betwixt Decks, and for the f[s]moak of Ordnance to paf[s]s away by.
from Page 7 of the Sea-mans Grammar.
So my guess it was that it was now rounded top and bottom to allow easier lifting, fitting a Mans bod, he not being square but rather rounded.

Hic Retearius  •  Link

Well done, Vincente! It was right there in plain sight. Kevin, you are vindicated!

"Square-hole we call Scuttle , where but one man alone can go down into the Ship"

Today one would call that a booby hatch but it would always be circular or it wouldn't be a booby hatch. (The expression has another meaning that of a horizontal hatch in the deck leading below and fitted with a coaming and weather shield, a companion.) The great advantage of a booby hatch is that it has no corners. With no corners, a sail can be roused out rapidly or drawn below rapidly since there are no corners in which it can foul.

Can it be that we have stumbled onto the fact that the circular plan of the booby hatch was a second great innovation to which we should attribute the name "Sandwich"?

Writing this has led to the mild speculation that the term's association with a lunatic asylum might have to do with this sail evolution. Presumably no brains or knowledge were required of the man sent down the booby hatch to draw the sail below. As a consequence, perhaps the stupidest man aboard or the one otherwise intractable was always consigned "to the booby hatch".

Mary  •  Link

Neighbours at the Navy Office.

The Pepys' quarters could have shared party walls with neighbours who backed onto their rooms, as well as with those to either side. This was a substantial building that had been subdivided into living accommodation for a number of different families and these apartments were not necessarily composed of front-to-back 'slices' straight through the depth of the premises.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"and there behind the door of the stairs shit" when you gotta go you gotta go; it happened to me when I went to Paris the first time,after I had left the Gare du Nord.

Josh  •  Link

No doubt some fact forever unknown to history made Sam's visit to this particular house of office memorable for him; but what inquiring minds want to know is, in the absence of even a Sears-Roebuck catalogue, what did someone at this time and place in history use in lieu of toilet paper, especially when making an emergency pit-stop like this one? Something, one trusts. And hopes.

dirk  •  Link

"toilet paper"

Presumably not paper (yet): an expensive material! Out toilet paper was born when sufficient used newspapers were around. Now, we know there were already "newspapers" in Sam's time, but I doubt whether there were sufficient to provide a continuous source of TP.

I know of several instances in the 16th & 17th c on the continent when *mussel shells* were in common use for that purpose (don't even ask me how that must have felt!) - in cities close to the sea or an estuary of course.

I guess most people just used their imagination and whatever was available cheaply...

john lauer  •  Link

Some Frenchman is yet to invent that other thingy,
known in "old europe" as the bidet?

Australian Susan  •  Link

When I lived in Botswana, it was common to use the husks of corn cobs for toilet paper. The Romans used similar items such as loofahs.
Maybe Sam mentioned this visit because a house of office (forerunner of public conveniences)out on the streets was a novelty. And he always mentions novelties. Anyone out there know about the history of the development of the public convenience??!

vicente  •  Link

When In Rome do as the Romans do: Dock leaves do well to.

vicente  •  Link

Just look at a modern map, guess wot is marked at the top of Milford street, {does it have its blue plaque}

vicente  •  Link

No word from Sam, maybe Evelyn got it wrong."...30 The Queene arivd, with a traine of Portugueze Ladys in their mostrous fardingals or Guard-Infantas: Their complexions olivaster, & sufficiently unagreable: Her majestie in the same habit, her foretop long & turned aside very strangely: She was yet of the handsomest Countenance of all the rest, & tho low of stature pretily shaped, languishing & excellent Eyes, her teeth wronging her mouth by stiking a little too far out: for the rest sweete & lovely enough: This day was solemnly kept the Anniversary of his Majesties Birth, & restauration: Dr. Alestree preaching in the Chapell:..."

vicente  •  Link

errata so sorry. wrong year

Terry Foreman  •  Link

vicente, it's Commons where William Prynne (MP Bath) rails against the bishops that puts them in political play again

Clergy's temporal Jurisdiction.

Resolved, upon the Question, nemine contradicente, That a Bill be forthwith brought in to repeal an Act made in the 17th Year of the late King, for disenabling all Persons in Holy Orders to exercise any temporal Jurisdiction or Authority: And Sir Heneage Finch is desired to prepare and bring in the said Bill.

Bill  •  Link

"the Parliament have ordered a bill to be brought in for the restoring the Bishops to the House of Lords"

A Bill for the Repeal of "An Act of Parliament intituled an Act for disenabling all persons in holy orders to exercise any temporal jurisdiction or authority," was read a first time in the Commons on June 1st, and a third time on 13th. In the Lords it was read a first time on the 14th, and finally passed on the 18th.
---Wheatley, 1899.

GrannieAnnie  •  Link

Early Toilet Paper: Lamb's Ear plants (Stachys) have silvery fuzzy leaves that feel suede-like. I read they were planted along a pathway one would walk at night, say to the outhouse, and the path was well marked in moonlight by the silvery leaves. En route one might pluck a leaf or two for toilet paper which would feel more comfortable than corn husks and cleaner than shudder-shudder a sponge everyone else has used. Ewwww!

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