Friday 4 April 1662

By barge Sir George, Sir Williams both and I to Deptford, and there fell to pay off the Drake and Hampshire, then to dinner, Sir George to his lady at his house, and Sir Wm. Pen to Woolwich, and Sir W. Batten and I to the tavern, where much company came to us and our dinner, and somewhat short by reason of their taking part away with them. Then to pay the rest of the Hampshire and the Paradox, and were at it till 9 at night, and so by night home by barge safe, and took Tom Hater with some that the clerks had to carry home along with us in the barge, the rest staying behind to pay tickets, but came home after us that night. So being come home, to bed. I was much troubled to-day to see a dead man lie floating upon the waters, and had done (they say) these four days, and nobody takes him up to bury him, which is very barbarous.

30 Annotations

Bradford   Link to this

"I was much troubled to-day to see a dead man lie floating upon the waters, and had done (they say) these four days, and nobody takes him up to bury him, which is very barbarous."

Why, Sam, nobody's stopping you. There (italicized) would be a diary entry.
Who bore responsibility for taking care of the dead, found in the streets or rivers of London?

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"and had done(they say)these four days"
No piranhas or crocodiles in the Thames,but wasn't there any scavenger creature to do the job?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"Floaters"

For the ninteenth century answer to this problem see the frontispiece to Dickens' "Our Mutual Friend" (1865)
http://humwww.ucsc.edu/dickens/OMF/prey.html

Much of the plot of the novel revolves around the activity of Hexam, the waterman, who makes his living scavenging the Thames for dead bodies.

http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/lit-med/lit-med-db/...

Pauline   Link to this

"...where much company came to us and our dinner, and somewhat short by reason of their taking part away with them...."
Anyone making clever headway with this? I can see the food ordered getting spread thin among a growing group interested in being with Sam and Sir. Wm (just one), but not that anyone would come and take food 'away with them'. Or 'short' as in this side of anger---that company came because the food was on the Navy and filled their pockets and went off?

carlc   Link to this

I don't think they had "Thames scavengers" back then, it seems they really came about in Victorian times (check Henry Mayhew's writings). This entry reminds me of a friend who visited China and came back with a photo of a dead man who was floating in the river, with nobody to retrieve him for at least a few days.

dirk   Link to this

"and I to the tavern, where much company came to us and our dinner, and somewhat short by reason of their taking part away with them"

I read this:

"and I to the tavern, where many came to our table, and we were left somewhat short of food because these people took part of our food away with them"

vicenzo   Link to this

'No piranhas or crocodiles' better pickings on Thames Street than on the Thames River.

Sean   Link to this

"so by night home by barge safe, and took Tom Hater with some that the clerks had to carry home along with us in the barge, the rest staying behind to pay tickets...." Can anyone figure out what it is that the clerks are carrying home in the barge? When I first read this entry I thought that Sam might have been refering to drunken people. Also, some people stayed behind to "pay tickets". Could this mean citations (as in speeding "tickets"), bar tabs, or something else? Just wondering.

vicenzo   Link to this

Ticket was a form of IOU. The sailors had not been Paid for a time and they had NEEDS, so like many of the working stiffs, they had no credit, or even pawnable goods, so they borrowed money from the saving ones , and for this they gave a Ticket which was bought by many for half the value. Now those that hold the Tickets get paid at Face value and walk away with their gains.
There are many modern forms of debt and its collection by those that were deemed credit unworthy by the Betters.
When I was getting the Queens Shilling [28 bob a week], Many lads had drunk it long before the next hand out, others ladds spent nowt and kept the money til demob, so they had a down payment for a small business, which amounted to approx 150 quid. Then it be a kings ransome. Also many sailors were conscripted with a Bludgeon at this time. [There is a nice word but I forgot it]

vicenzo   Link to this

Ticket was lowest form of Authorisation to be on Board a ship, the other be a Warrant for NCO types and of Course there be the Commissioned Types {Captains, etc}
It was the pay book of the day that spelt out duties and pay. Of course for infringements of conduct unbecoming a jack tar and wearing out lashes, it be ammended to deduct monies. [2 years no pay for dropping a sail in to the Drink of course].
This is an imperfect description.
So at the end of the voyage you be paid off, but it took time from hoving to in the bay, till the Clerks came to pay off, they had first find out how much, then go get or find said monies. Then when you gave over your Ticket and they totalled up numbers [1/4ds] and gave the you coin of the Realm and if silver be missing gave over an IOU, which was then sold for cash.
So the Tickets be PayBooks that had to be collected [ hence the phrase. no ticket no eat] . Negate most of my previous obnoxious post.

vicenzo   Link to this

Ticket: this is an Issue one will see again By Sam. In the future Diary. There are many problems and scandals on this in the House of Parliament Records.

Mary   Link to this

The taking-up of corpses.

In general, best left to the parish authorities. If you 'rescued' a corpse, you might find yourself held responsible for funeral charges.

Xjy   Link to this

tickets
The OED has the following surprisingly straightforward etymology:
[In 16th c. (1528) tiket, aphetic form of *etiket, a. obs. F. etiquet "a little note, breuiate, bill, or ticket; especially such a one, as is stucke vp on the gate of a Court, signifying the seisure &c of an inheritance by order of iustice"; or the parallel F. "tiquette "a ticket fastened within the mouth of a Lawyers booke bag, and containing the titles of the bookes, [etc.]; any inscription, superscription, title, note, or marke set on th’outside of a thing..; also, a token, billet, or ticket, deliuered for the benefit, or aduantage of him that receiues it" (Cotgr.):OF. estiquet(te (1387 in Hatz.-Darm.), f. estiquer, to stick, fix, from Teutonic; ad. OLG. stek-an = OHG. stehhan, Ger. stechen to stick, fix. The primary sense was "a little note or notice affixed to anything, a label", whence extended as in Cotgrave, and in the senses below. It is notable that our earliest instances are Irish and Scotch; but English examples in some senses appear c1600. See also ETIQUETTE, repr. a later sense of the Fr. word.]
Well, not quite so straightforward given the Germanic origin “stick” ;-) Sticker and ticket are cognates. Stolen by the French, then stolen back again.
Just the ticket!
Tickety-boo…

JohnT   Link to this

Sam has mentioned seeing a dead body before, on 4 December 1661. On that occasion, I think, it was washed ashore at Westminster.

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/12/04/

Glyn   Link to this

I suppose his name was Bob.

BradW   Link to this

"so by night home by barge safe, and took Tom Hater with some that the clerks had to carry home along with us in the barge, the rest staying behind to pay tickets". Can anyone figure out what it is that the clerks are carrying home in the barge?

My guess would be coin. They’re there to pay off crewmen, so they had to take along a chest of money, right? So at 9 PM the line of limeys is getting shorter, and they realize they won’t need all the cash they brought, so Pepys hires a barge and takes along Tom to help protect the Navy’s gold, rather than leave the leftover money in the care of the clerks. And so to bed, on a pile of doubloons.

Peter   Link to this

Glyn.... yes, he got caught up with Eddy.

Ruben   Link to this

"I was much troubled to-day to see a dead man lie floating upon the waters, and had done (they say) these four days, and nobody takes him up to bury him, which is very barbarous."

In his organized, authoritarian and stratified world, I think that Sam was bothered because there was no authority in charge of taking care of the corpse. He, personally, was in charge of something else.
“I don't think they had "Thames scavengers" back then”…
Interesting but macabre remarks on the rescue of corpses and the “habits and social life of the drown” in Alfred Jarry incredible short story (I am afraid it was not translated to English).

Rex Gordon   Link to this

... a dead man floating ...

"Dead houses" used to line the banks of the Thames, to which were brought the bodies of those who (in the words of ubiquitous posters) were "found drowned." Three or four suicides or accidents a week were laid upon a shelf, or within a wooden "shell", to await the attentions of beadle and coroner. (Ackroyd, London: The Biography, p. 542.)

Only a few decades after the diary years, weekly newspaper reports of deaths reveal how common drownings were. See this link:

http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/grub/deaths.htm

Life in London looks rather harsh. Many couldn't bear it, it seems.

vicenzo   Link to this

Ticket has been used many times before with interesting info. use search Ticket:
This subject is one main reason Sams becomes a success and the future of the Navy.

Sjoerd   Link to this

So did they actually take cash on these payment missions ? Sam doesn't seem overly concerned about going there, only about coming back safely ?

vicenzo   Link to this

NB: Sam fails to mention most of the Lesser clerks by name, exception be Hayter. This gives an idea of how Pecking Order [status] works: He does not mention how many clerks there be, yet be trustworthy enough to get the accounts correct.
The 3 Grandees along with Our Sam who oversees the clerks at Table. There they be sitting or standing to one side watching each Tar lined up with their Ticket. Then each one move briskly forward when their name be called, Present Ticket, to Clark Aye who reads the No. of Days plus daily rate. Clark Bee counts out the necessary coin, hands that to the Head Clark in the centre of Table, it be covered with green cloth, Top Clark [Hayter maybe] takes Ticket and counts out amount, puts said coin [far[t]things and all]in a little sack and presents the bag. The Tar marks his X then about faces on command and mutters Thanks and briskly Joins line awaiting to get "Stand at Ease, Attention , Dismiss" then there be a scramble to get to the Gangplank and away to spend all that coin. One of Grandees or Sam be the one to Pay off the Warrant Group,in privacy.
Ah! those were the days. The rattle or jingle of coin in pocket.

DrCari   Link to this

Sam is troubled by the sight of a body afloat for the past four days. The Thames is known for its current. A morbid question, but wouldn't a corpse normally drift downstream and away from the original location?

Mary   Link to this

Would a corpse float downstream?

Not necessarily: its course would depend on the strength and volume of the tides, (the Thames is tidal well beyond central London) on whether it became trapped in a backwater, got snagged on a jetty and so on and so forth.

Ruben   Link to this

Would a corpse float downstream?
the flow of a river is not laminar, meaning that because of changing breath and depth, velocity will differ at different points and depths. Between the distinct bodies of water moving at different velocities toward the sea, eddys will form, so that some water may move paradoxically upriver.
Bargemen knew that and used this fact in their advantage when rowing upstream. Then, there are the tides, as Mary pointed.
Whole corpses will usually sink and then, begin to float, mostly between layers of water, changing depth from one day to another. The depth depends on external temperature and gases accumulated in the body. After a time the body will emerge but most of it will stay below the surface.
Sic transit gloria mundi.

vicenzo   Link to this

"Drowned" from the bills of Mortality, very few died from drinking Tems water, surprising, because there be huge amount of Traffick that takes place. The number be less than one a week [ 48 in '60], no wonder Sam comments on the sighting, indeed it be quite rare.
http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/Graunt/chart.html

Glyn   Link to this

A De Araujo: "No piranhas or crocodiles in the Thames, but wasn't there any scavenger creature to do the job?”

Perhaps the eels in the Thames would have performed that function, as well as other fish no doubt.

vicenzo   Link to this

I doth believe Dungerness crabs will remove flesh, "waste not ..."

A. De Araujo   Link to this

Thanks Glyn,but you and Peter should have more respect for the departed;repeat after me:Requiem aeterna dona eis Domine and lux perpetua luceat eis.

Pedro   Link to this

"I was much troubled to-day to see a dead man lie floating upon the waters"

Liza Picard-Page 66 “Restoration London”

“The ships that crowded the river threw dead rats and plague-stricken corpses and the detritus of the crew into the water, to join the industrial waste of the bankside tanneries and other noisome trades using the river.”

A modern Watery Grave, see Guardian article..
“along the 213-mile long Thames, a body is retrieved from the river on average every week. The majority (39 last year) are found in the London area.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,13737...

Article from the Norfolk News 1872..
“Fifty-two bodies, says a return now before me, were found in the Thames during the year 1871,”

http://www.concentric.net/~Djfrench/S_Journ/Nor...

Henry Mayhew, in his very influential book London Labour and the London Poor (1861) estimated that there were 13,000 street traders, many of whom he interviewed. They included the children called mud-larks, who scraped the Thames mud for scraps of coal dropped by the bargers; sellers of sheeps’ trotters, ham sandwiches, flowers, and birds’ nests; and costermongers, who sold fish, fruit, and vegetables. There were also the dredgers, who went into the river for dead bodies, and the sewer hunters, who searched for bottles or iron that could be sold.

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