Thursday 27 June 1661

To my father’s, and with him to Mr. Starling’s to drink our morning draft, and there I told him how I would have him speak to my uncle Robert, when he comes thither, concerning my buying of land, that I could pay ready money 600l. and the rest by 150l. per annum, to make up as much as will buy 50l. per annum, which I do, though I not worth above 500l. ready money, that he may think me to be a greater saver than I am. Here I took my leave of my father, who is going this morning to my uncle upon my aunt’s letter this week that he is not well and so needs my father’s help. At noon home, and then with my Lady Batten, Mrs. Rebecca Allen, Mrs. Thompson, &c., two coaches of us, we went and saw “Bartholomew Fayre” acted very well, and so home again and staid at Sir W. Batten’s late, and so home to bed. This day Mr. Holden sent me a bever, which cost me 4l. 5s.1

  1. Whilst a hat (see January 28th, 1660-61, ante) cost only 35s. See also Lord Sandwich’s vexation at his beaver being stolen, and a hat only left in lieu of it, April 30th, 1661, ante; and April 19th and 26th, 1662, Post.—B.

22 Annotations

Louis Anthony Scarsdale   Link to this

Lest anyone entertain mad thoughts about why Pepys would purchase "a piece of armor protecting the lower part of the face; a helmet visor," be assured that a beaver is merely a "hat made of beaver's fur or an imitation of it" (L&M Companion), though at this time "imitation" must surely mean "a cheaper pelt that could be mis/taken for beaver."

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"to be a greater saver than I am" was there inflation at the time? how about interest rates? there were moneylenders for sure.

vicente   Link to this

"Bartholomew Fayre" acted very well
as noted “A version of the text of Ben Jonson's play can be found at http://eserver.org/drama/bartholomew-fair.txt "

vicente   Link to this

Was Sam gazumped???"and did buy a new hat, cost between 20 and 30 shillings, at Mr. Holden's.”
“…This day Mr. Holden sent me a bever, which cost me 4l. 5s.1
…” no farthing I’m glad to see.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/05/21/
Just the other day the ordinary upped the ante , and now the beaver [n]tailed him.
But then he could afford it, what is 18 mths wages for the Maid that we don’t hear of these days, delousing his locks, ‘tis nuthink.
And who said that tailors were savy.
I do find myself to be clearly worth 500l. in money
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/05/24/

vicente   Link to this

A. De Araujo;There was some inflation, more food was required because of more mouths to feed but not the wages as more workers than jobs.

deepfatfriar   Link to this

"...and there I told him how I would have him speak to my uncle Robert, when he comes thither, concerning my buying of land, that I could pay ready money 600l. and the rest by 150l. per annum, to make up as much as will buy 50l. per annum, which I do, though I not worth above 500l. ready money, that he may think me to be a greater saver than I am."

Am I reading this incorrectly, or is SP asking dad to lie to dad's brother (who is maybe at death's door) about how well-heeled SP is? And then off to the theatre, tra la?

PHE   Link to this

That hat
Seems odd that Sam should be buying a fur hat in June. Surely, this isn't an off-season bargain price. Perhaps there's a long waiting list and you just have to get one when you can.

Ed Whipple   Link to this

I doubt the "bever" refers to a fur hat, it's more than likely to be a felt hat made from beaver fur.

Check out:

http://www.thehatsite.com/felt.html

Australian Susan   Link to this

Fur or Felt
I think this was a very fine felted hat made from beaver fur or if it was a pretend one - rabbit fur. A hat blocked from felted fur is much better quality than one blocked from felted wool.

PHE   Link to this

The 'bever' link quotes L&M glossary referring to a 'fur hat', but I agree that felt seems more probable.

Nix   Link to this

"though I not worth above 500l. ready money" --

I suspect Samuel is doing what real estate speculators have done since time immemorial: offered more than they have, because they think the deal is good enough that if accepted they can scramble to cover it somehow. (Speaking as a real estate lawyer who has managed never to make a dime in real estate himself!)

Another Judy   Link to this

Has SP ever taken Elizabeth to the theatre? She seems to be very much little wifey left at home whilest himself is out gadding with the lads and lassies!

JWB   Link to this

Inflation
For the year 1661= -5.26% Citation: John J. McCusker, "What Was the Inflation Rate Then?" Economic History Services, 2001, URL : http://www.eh.net/hmit/inflation/

dirk   Link to this

Inflation Rate

Note the *minus* sign! So prices actually decreased as compared to 1660.
(I doublechecked at the site - it's not a typing error.)

Andrew Hamilton   Link to this

" that I could pay ready money 600l. and the rest by 150l. per annum, to make up as much as will buy 50l. per annum"

Can anyone supply a gloss on this clause? My guess is that the unnamed total sum is "as much as will buy 50l. per annum" and is greater than 750l., which suggests an interest rate around 5% to 6% p.a. But I can't quite see how the annual income figures in a land purchase.

JonTom Kittredge   Link to this

"As much as will buy 50l. per annum"
Mr Hamilton, I was curious about that myself. I was wondering if that meant "as much land as will bring an income in rents of fifty pounds a year."

Pauline   Link to this

"by 150l. per annum, to make up as much as will buy 50l. per annum"
I was thinking it was like a mortgage: 50L annual payment to principal, 100L interest.

dirk   Link to this

"ready money 600£ and the rest by 150£ per annum, to make up as much as will buy 50£ per annum”

A reference to a mortgage is unlikely, as this would have been calculated in annuities - where the parts of intrest and principal in the downpayment are variable and *not* fixed (at say 100£ and 50£ resp).

50£ per annum could refer to either intrest or expected revenue. Theoretical economic rationale would predict that “at the limit” both be equal (under ideal conditions) - in economic practice this would suggest that both be reasonably close to each other.

vicente   Link to this

I do believe it should be to get an income from the property. For what other reason could there be, but to buy working property. He is not that wealthy [yet] to have it stand idle for his weekend pleasure ['untin', shootin' and 'ishin'], it is too far away to play the Gentleman farmer or invite the the two Willies over for a hot toddy. a 5-8% return was a good standard basic rate of return, [no pepercorns allowed]. South of the river was the place to play the landed gentry part. Land was a nice conservative investment, unlike buying into a spice boat or 'baccy boat [that was more of a dot com affair] Hi risk, but when successful was very lucrative . A major fly in the ointment[investment] was the Weather, scurvy, and pesky feriners that liked to have easy pickings, and some very cheap labour and loot for their love interests.\
"Pecuniae imperare oportet , non servire." Syrus, Maxims
http://www.sfd.pl/temat46241/
wot better reconmendation?

E   Link to this

Vicente -- Investing in shipping
I have jsut been reading Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond, which looks at the question of why different societies have "progressed" at different rates. (A fascinating sweep over all of human history.) I wonder if Vicente has pointed up one cause -- the sophisticated legal arrangements created to share the risks of investing in ship voyages, leading to limited companies able to invest in all kinds of large ventures beyond the reach of individuals.

vicente   Link to this

E: A marvelous point. Sharing risk yet be adventuresome. A Giant step in utilisation of 'uman Greed, each jostles for the upper return at the same time covering the proverbial.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"Sharing risk yet be adventuresome. " At this point the English have been at this for more than 200 years.

Company of Merchant Adventurers of London
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_of_Mercha...

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