Tuesday 30 September 1662

We rose, and he about his business, and I to my house to look over my workmen; but good God! how I do find myself by yesterday’s liberty hard to be brought to follow business again, but however, I must do it, considering the great sweet and pleasure and content of mind that I have had since I did leave drink and plays, and other pleasures, and followed my business. So to my office, where we sat till noon, and then I to dinner with Sir W. Pen, and while we were at it coming my wife to the office, and so I sent for her up, and after dinner we took coach and to the Duke’s playhouse, where we saw “The Duchess of Malfy” well performed, but Betterton and Ianthe to admiration. That being done, home again, by coach, and my wife’s chamber got ready for her to lie in to-night, but my business did call me to my office, so that staying late I did not lie with her at home, but at my lodgings. Strange to see how easily my mind do revert to its former practice of loving plays and wine, having given myself a liberty to them but these two days; but this night I have again bound myself to Christmas next, in which I desire God to bless me and preserve me, for under God I find it to be the best course that ever I could take to bring myself to mind my business. I have also made up this evening my monthly ballance, and find that, notwithstanding the loss of 30l. to be paid to the loyall and necessitous cavaliers by act of Parliament,1 yet I am worth about 680l., for which the Lord God be praised. My condition at present is this:— I have long been building, and my house to my great content is now almost done. But yet not so but that I shall have dirt, which troubles me too, for my wife has been in the country at Brampton these two months, and is now come home a week or two before the house is ready for her. My mind is somewhat troubled about my best chamber, which I question whether I shall be able to keep or no. I am also troubled for the journey which I must needs take suddenly to the Court at Brampton, but most of all for that I am not provided to understand my business, having not minded it a great while, and at the best shall be able but to make a bad matter of it, but God, I hope, will guide all to the best, and I am resolved to-morrow to fall hard to it. I pray God help me therein, for my father and mother and all our well- doings do depend upon my care therein. My Lord Sandwich has lately been in the country, and very civil to my wife, and hath himself spent some pains in drawing a plot of some alterations in our house there, which I shall follow as I get money. As for the office, my late industry hath been such, as I am become as high in reputation as any man there, and good hold I have of Mr. Coventry and Sir G. Carteret, which I am resolved, and it is necessary for me, to maintain by all fair means. Things are all quiett, but the King poor, and no hopes almost of his being otherwise, by which things will go to rack, especially in the Navy. The late outing of the Presbyterian clergy by their not renouncing the Covenant as the Act of Parliament commands, is the greatest piece of state now in discourse. But for ought I see they are gone out very peaceably, and the people not so much concerned therein as was expected. My brother Tom is gone out of town this day, to make a second journey to his mistress at Banbury, of which I have good expectations, and pray God to bless him therein. My mind, I hope, is settled to follow my business again, for I find that two days’ neglect of business do give more discontent in mind than ten times the pleasure thereof can repair again, be it what it will.

21 Annotations

Pedro  •  Link

"which I am resolved, and it is necessary for me, to maintain by all fair means."

Being resolved, and being a necessity will he only play by the rules?

JWB  •  Link

"...yet I am worth about 680l.,"
Dec.31.'61: "...500 clear in the world." That's + 36% YTD.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam has bound himself by oath again until the next quarter day (Christmas Day)so no more play reviews until then! Glad he got to see one he liked though. The Duchess of Malfi is a fine play and even has its own homepage (http://larryavisbrown.homestead.com/files/Malfi... ).

Australian Susan  •  Link

The Solemn League and Covenant
Both Charles I and Charles II subscribed to this, it seems, just to get theScots to fight for their cause. After Charles II's restoration, he ratted on this and tried to impose episcopacy back on the Scots (failed). Episcoapcy was restored in England and the Book of Common Prayer reinstated. Interesting that Sam doesn't mention this enforcement as being the prime reason for ministers losing their benefices, not the repudiation of the Covenant.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Great summation, with many questions answered (for example, that Sandwich did indeed suggest alterations to the Pepys homestead in Brampton).

"Things are all quiett, but the King poor, and no hopes almost of his being otherwise, by which things will go to rack, especially in the Navy."

Shades of things to come...

dirk  •  Link

"I am worth about 680£”

£680 from 1662 would be worth £55,673.20 now, using the retail price index.


Cumgranissalis  •  Link

"...I am worth about 680£…” that be hard currency not a estimated worth of ‘ouse that ye can borrow monies for ones 6 horse power transportation. Not like many others [me lord for one] they might have cash but owe more.

How many can say cash on the barrel for a town house on a main street in London town [see Picard Rest. London P32]. Houses were going from £300 and up, after the fire of London. they would be inflated, would they not? and how much be a modest place be in NW11 when I be there they were going new for 5,000 quid when elsewhere under 1,000 now going for 1/4 mill. quid +
so it is question of purchase power, which be hard to evaluate, based on mans need to ‘have, wot can’t have’

Australian Susan  •  Link

Sam doesn't own his Navy Office dwelling, so presumably couldn't count that in his assets, nor borrow against it, but I am not sure how he stands at the moment with the Brampton house. Does he have the leasehold of that for his life with the right to pass this lease on? Or does he own the building outright, but only have a lease on the land, freehold of which remains with the herditary landowner. If it is entirely leasehold, one wonders if he has a 'repairing' lease as it is called, whereby the lessee funds all repairs in return for paying less for the lease. What I am getting it is who is responsible for the cost of the proposed repairs/improvements at Brampton?

Mary  •  Link

"who is responsible for the cost....?"

Sam accepts responsibility for the cost: "which I shall follow as I get money."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Duchess of Malfi by John Webster...Neat. I saw it in a well-acted college production once, years ago. Thrills and chills galore, no wonder Sam liked it. Though the sudden change in the central character is a bit jarring. Here's a nice bit about it http://larryavisbrown.homestead.com/files/Malfi...

Finally, a little faint hint of affection and concern towards Tom's marriage project, though he may simply be expressing a wish to have his slower brother settled it seemed like a little genuine feeling crept in.

Sandwich very civil, taking pains on alteration plans for Brampton, eh?

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Sam is again in two minds here: "I am not provided to understand my business, having not minded it a great while..." and a bit further: "As for my office, my late industry hath been such, as I am become as high in reputation as any man there..."

dirk  •  Link

"Sam is again in two minds here"

"I am not provided to understand my business, having not minded it a great while…"

"As for my office, my late industry hath been such, as I am become as high in reputation as any man there…"

Not really in two minds. The first sentence refers to the Brampton affair. The second refers to his Navy job. -- At least that's how I read it in the context of the entry.

Pauline  •  Link

'Not really in two minds'
Dirk, this is how I read it too. Yesterday's statement when he wasn't able to get down to this estate business with Moore made it even clearer. Common experience in settling an estate. You begin with learning and understanding all the issues and ins and outs, then leave it in the hands of the process while getting back to your own daily life business. When it next rears its head, you find that all the details and contingencies again require your focus and some relearning and you feel like you just don't have time to do it again and that you risk not remembering some important point.

Ruben  •  Link

"Sam is again in two minds here"

As I see it, in the context of all this entry, the first part concerns his remorse after being twice to the playhouse, drinking, and the like.
The second part is his estimation of what others think about him and his work.
Both parts complement each other and give him incentive to work harder.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

"I am not provided to understand my business, having not minded it a great while..." Sept.30

Not remorse for playgoing, nor the Navy, but Brampton:

"Then came Mr. Moore thinking to have looked over the business of my Brampton papers against the Court, but my mind was so full of other matters (as it is my nature when I have been a good while from a business, that I have almost forgot it, I am loth to come to it again) that I could not set upon it, and so he and I past the evening away in discourse, and to my lodgings and to bed." Sept. 29

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

Point taken 'Sam doesn't own his Navy Office dwelling’ Clarity, What percentage of to-day’s civil servants have in their little leather sack, monies [ gold coin ] that could buy a medium size house in London Town after 9 quarters of office, starting from dead broke and no family monies and then have properties {which he does not count as an asset that also bring in an income if the law allows, then his paintings that could be donated for tax Riteoffs. [680£]
The only way to buy a london town house to-day for cash, be stock market windfall or sing or play for your grub.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Robert G - you posted the same website as I did!! (earlier) It's good, isn't it.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Thanks for illumination annotators. I was slow to see that the first part I mentioned as for the two minds was about Sam's court business in Brampton.

Pedro  •  Link

The Solemn League and Covenant.

(Both Charles I and Charles II subscribed to this.) Perhaps some clarifaction needed here? Did Charles I actually subscribe?

Australian Susan  •  Link

Yes, Pedro, I was being imprecise: what I had in mind when I said Charles "subscribed" to the SL & C was his "Engagement"with the Scots by which he signed to support Presbyterianism (in return for military support). I am sure he had no intention whatsoever of supporting Presbyterianism. He just wanted the Scots army.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

'Charles II, 1662: An Act for Distribution of Threescore thousand pounds amongst the truly Loyal & Indigent Commission Officers and for assessing of Offices and distributing [the] Moneys thereby raised for theire further supply.', Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 380-388. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

'Charles II, 1662: An Act for the releife of poore and maimed Officers and Souldiers who have faithfully served His Majesty and His Royal Father in the late Wars.', Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 389-390. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co...

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