Wednesday 24 July 1661

This morning my wife in bed tells me of our being robbed of our silver tankard, which vexed me all day for the negligence of my people to leave the door open.

My wife and I by water to Whitehall, where I left her to her business and I to my cozen Thomas Pepys, and discoursed with him at large about our business of my uncle’s will. He can give us no light at all into his estate, but upon the whole tells me that he do believe that he has left but little money, though something more than we have found, which is about 500l.

Here came Sir G. Lane by chance, seeing a bill upon the door to hire the house, with whom my coz and I walked all up and down, and indeed it is a very pretty place, and he do intend to leave the agreement for the House, which is 400l. fine, and 46l. rent a year to me between them. Then to the Wardrobe, but come too late, and so dined with the servants. And then to my Lady, who do shew my wife and me the greatest favour in the world, in which I take great content.

Home by water and to the office all the afternoon, which is a great pleasure to me again, to talk with persons of quality and to be in command, and I give it out among them that the estate left me is 200l. a year in land, besides moneys, because I would put an esteem upon myself.

At night home and to bed after I had set down my journals ever since my going from London this journey to this house.

This afternoon I hear that my man Will hath lost his clock with my tankard, at which I am very glad.

25 Annotations

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"that my man Will hath lost his clock with my tankard,at which I am very glad." How can he be so petty?!...

Bradford   Link to this

"How can he be so petty?" The same way he can lie to folks at the office about his inheritance---why does this sound so contemporary?---though nowadays, when nothing is secret, he'd probably be found out and shown up.
Even we who love Sam would like to tell him, on days like this, to get a grip, man.

Yonmei   Link to this

Well, remember, Pepys thinks it's partly Will's fault for not closing the door (I assume the thieves just walked in) and is therefore feeling (with some justification, I think) satisfaction that Will's carelessness has made him suffer as well as Pepys himself.

It is petty, but understandable.

daniel   Link to this

yes! Sam, warts and all...

JWB   Link to this

Inside job?
Surely Will's clock would have been in his room, some out of the way cubbyhole, say on the third floor. How much portable stuff would a sneak thief have had to pass up, save the tankard, before he got to Will's room? How well do you think Pall knew the inside of Will's room? And do you really think this is an honest post by Sam?

dirk   Link to this

"...which is 400£ fine, and 46£ rent a year to me between them”

I must admit that I don’t quite understand this whole affair. Can somebody provide a sensible explanation?

dirk   Link to this

Evelyn's diary for today:

24. There was a Camel shewen in our Towne, newly broght from the Levant, which I saw, as I had others.

vicente   Link to this

Sam should be happy, he did not have to ride a Camel today "...There was a Camel shewen in our Towne, newly bro[u]ght from the Levant, which I saw, as I had others. 24 J. Evelyn P. 425 De Beers version.

"..to talk with persons of quality and to be in command, and I give it out among them that the estate left me is 200l. a year in land, besides moneys, because I would put an esteem upon myself..." Oh! those Hayseeds, [Thee are known by the company thy keep;}
may be he remembers being taught "Quantum quisque sua nummorum servat in arca, tantum habet et fidei. "Juvenal, Satirae, III, 143-144
Loosely put: Your word is only as good as the money ye doth have in your piggy bank:
The google has the educated answer

vicente   Link to this

The 500L is about not trusting on how much cash and valulables lieing around for the taking, [ gee whiz I thought the old geezer had more dough than that?] says Sam pumping his coz. Tommy.
Strange, Money always brings the "best out in people."
The 4oo quid etc., is to do with the house he finds in street, advertising it's availability"

He being Sir G. Lane and Sir G. wants Sam and/or his coz, to do the honors of interceedeing with the Owner; 'tis my take.
Petty? look at the old Baily site , a Human can be strung, drawn and degutted for removing 5 bob from another of the better sort.
Ye doth not mess with a man and his beer tankard.

Mary   Link to this

What has Will lost?

L&M read 'cloak' rather than 'clock'. This makes better sense in context.

Derek Louw   Link to this

"which is 400£ fine, and 46£ rent a year to me between them"

“I must admit that I don't quite understand this whole affair. Can somebody provide a sensible explanation”

Dirk - I think this is a premium (a one off payment to secure the lease of the property) of £500 plus £46 per annum rent. Quite a nice little bit of income in those days, although it is not clear to me who gets it. He also does not give the term of the lease - I would have thought it would have to be a good few years for that premium.

Xjy   Link to this

Cloak or clock?
There was me (brain-numb) thinking that Will kept his pocket-watch in the tankard overnight, so it was stolen along with it. But pocket-watches weren't so common then and certainly not among the serving classes. But I'm surprised the thief only took a tankard and a cloak -- were they the only things lying around?? Surely not.

Xjy   Link to this

Sam's pettiness
Sacking his sister, lying to his colleagues about his "worth", glad poor Will has lost something that will probably cost him a lot more proportionately to replace than Sam's tankard.
The system works for him, and he works for the system. All the rest is window-dressing.
As intelligent, amoral apes we play the percentages, and a vicious society promotes cheats, liars and self-obsessed egotists who don't get caught (and if we're important enough, even if we do get caught). Sam, given his position, helps himself along by good, solid work into the bargain, and the occasional touch of visible noblesse oblige...
Imagine hundreds like him at the time, cockroaches in the kitchen of the new regime, lacking Sam's artistic flair and his delight in work well done. Sickening.

Lawrence   Link to this

As For Sam being misleading to the amount of money he's to get from His/Father's inheritance viz £200… I don’t blame him, anything that puts him on level with the other officers of the navy is a must for him…

Mary   Link to this

Cloak and tankard.

Both items are handy for a thief, as both are easily made away with (don the cloak, conceal the tankard underneath it) and easily traded.

Sjoerd   Link to this

Case of the missing Cloak
Maybe Sam is happy about the missing cloak because that lets Will off the hook for the theft ?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Sam's pettiness…”

Sacking his sister…Only after hearing from dear wife Beth that Pall has been proud and behaving badly. We may not understand or like the idea of Sam keeping his sis a servant but at the time she seemed overjoyed to get out from under Mum and Pop and Sam did lay out the situation to her from the start…

Lying about his worth…”prick-louse” tailor’s son Sam must suffer a thousand slights and cuts every day in that office from the Sirs William and John and a chance to build himself up in the world, apart from Sandwich’s patronage is understandable…

Glad about Will’s loss…Petty but he counted on Will to watch over things while he was gone…Anyone who knows how well Hewer made out from his association with Sam in the end shouldn’t judge Sam too harshly here…

Sam has his noble days…And his notso noble days…And his downright wanta-kick-him-in-the-ass days. Like all of us, including our heros… He just left us an honest account of it. Come on, just this am you had a mean, petty thought about your spouse or a good friend, didn’t you?…Fess up.

vicente   Link to this

This week the House of Lords busy reading and passing laws that will effect and affect Sam and his Future:
Peers neglect to pay up their poll tax, have fourteen days to come up with monies due.
A Bill that will concern Sam [Mr Coventry did present to the House] A bill to regulate the Navy:
More on lead coffin filtch and the body of Archbishop dumped under a dungheap:
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com...

also 'Drain the fens : preserve the kings deer, don't kill them ' tis cruel. A Bill concerning Eccleiastical Jurisdiction. Should the Bishops punish the Wicked again?'

dirk   Link to this

petty Sam?

In a way this entry comes right on time. Some of us have tended to idealize Sam. He's just human!

"Let him who his without sin throw the first stone" &c

vicente   Link to this

Inside job? it has been said before, but one does forget. Juvenal, Satirae, VI, 347
"sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes"
but who will watch the watchman.
Google comes up 5,7xx hits, must be a popular expression.
He's just human!To err is human; to forgive, divine.
Alexander Pope
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alex...
Errare humanum est. Perseverare diabolicum. -- "To err is human. To repeat error is of the Devil." (Seneca )
many claimants?

Pedro.   Link to this

Wills loss.

Another reason why Sam is glad of Will's loss maybe his frustration with Will a few months back, when he was getting above himself and staying abroad late. He even asked Will's uncle to put him straight.

Glyn   Link to this

It's not really important, but perhaps the theft didn't take place on this day, but on one of the days when Pepys was in Brampton. And when he returned home late on Monday night, tired and anxious about the estate, when he asked if everything was OK Elizabeth decided it wasn't the right time to burden him with it.

Pepys bought a tankard earlier in the year for Montagu which was worth over 30 shilling (one and a half pounds). Presumably this was less expensive but probably still cost at least a pound, i.e. a servant's wages for 3 or 4 months.

Pauline   Link to this

"...seeing a bill upon the door to hire the house...he do intend to leave the agreement for the House...to me between them."
It reads as being Cousin Thomas's house with a for-rent sign on it; and after showing the house to Sir G. Lane, with Sam in tow, a decision that Sam will act as agent between them for the lease agreement.

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"which is 400£ fine, and 46£ rent a year to me between them" -- Sc. Pepys was to draw up the legal terms of the lease agreed to between Lane and Thomas Pepys. Sir George Lane was a clerk to the Privy Council, and secretary to Ormond, Lord Steward to the Royal Household. The house to be let was in the fields near St Martin's Lane. Thomas Pepys was to move to Newport St, Covent Garden, where he stayed until 1663, when he went to live at Hatcham, Surrey. ( L&M note )

jpmrb   Link to this

A 353 year-old punchline? "This afternoon I hear that my man Will hath lost his clock with my tankard, at which I am very glad." Petty or not petty? Well, all i can say is that i burst out laughing when i read this! Thanks Samuel.

Log in to post an annotation.

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