Wednesday 24 December 1662

Lay pleasantly, talking to my wife, till 8 o’clock, then up and to Sir W. Batten’s to see him and Sir G. Carteret and Sir J. Minnes take coach towards the Pay at Chatham, which they did and I home, and took money in my pocket to pay many reckonings to-day in the town, as my bookseller’s, and paid at another shop 4l. 10s. for “Stephens’s Thesaurus Graecae Linguae,” given to Paul’s School: So to my brother’s and shoemaker, and so to my Lord Crew’s, and dined alone with him, and after dinner much discourse about matters. Upon the whole, I understand there are great factions at Court, and something he said that did imply a difference like to be between the King and the Duke, in case the Queen should not be with child. I understand, about this bastard.1 He says, also, that some great man will be aimed at when Parliament comes to sit again; I understand, the Chancellor: and that there is a bill will be brought in, that none that have been in arms for the Parliament shall be capable of office. And that the Court are weary of my Lord Albemarle and Chamberlin. He wishes that my Lord Sandwich had some good occasion to be abroad this summer which is coming on, and that my Lord Hinchingbroke were well married, and Sydney had some place at Court. He pities the poor ministers that are put out, to whom, he says, the King is beholden for his coming in, and that if any such thing had been foreseen he had never come in. After this, and much other discourse of the sea, and breeding young gentlemen to the sea, I went away, and homeward, met Mr. Creed at my bookseller’s in Paul’s Church-yard, who takes it ill my letter last night to Mr. Povy, wherein I accuse him of the neglect of the Tangier boats, in which I must confess I did not do altogether like a friend; but however it was truth, and I must own it to be so, though I fall wholly out with him for it. Thence home and to my office alone to do business, and read over half of Mr. Bland’s discourse concerning Trade, which (he being no scholler and so knows not the rules of writing orderly) is very good. So home to supper and to bed, my wife not being well … . This evening Mr. Gauden sent me, against Christmas, a great chine of beef and three dozen of tongues. I did give 5s. to the man that brought it, and half-a-crown to the porters. This day also the parish-clerk brought the general bill of mortality, which cost me half-a-crown more.2

  1. James Crofts, son of Charles II. by Lucy Walter, created Duke of Monmouth in 1663, Duke of Buccleuch in 1673, when he took the name of Scott.
  2. The Bills of Mortality for London were first compiled by order of Thomas Cromwell about 1538, and the keeping of them was commenced by the Company of Parish Clerks in the great plague year of 1593. The bills were issued weekly from 1603. The charter of the Parish Clerks’ Company (1611) directs that “each parish clerk shall bring to the Clerks’ Hall weekly a note of all christenings and burials.” Charles I. in 1636 granted permission to the Parish Clerks to have a printing press and employ a printer in their hall for the purpose of printing their weekly bills.

26 Annotations

Tony Eldridge   Link to this

I did give 5s. to the man that brought it and half a crown to the porters.
That's a hell of a tip for just delivering the meat - it sounds more like a payment for the men to keep their mouths shut. Anyway, Merry Christmas to you, Sam.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"breeding young gentlemen for the sea"
embryo of a Naval Academy?

Australian Susan   Link to this

If you read the background note on Mr G, it sounds as though this was a desperate attempt on his part to get paid! Possibly he could ill afford the beef and tongues. Although maybe it had gone through the books already and Sam was getting victuals his office had pledged to pay for? Or is that too cynical?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Eight o'clock?! Well...It is Xmas eve.

"At this festive time of the year, Mr. Pepys, we of your ole alma matter like to hit our more successful alumni up for books. A Greek language thesarus would be of immense benefit."
***
"...none in arms for the Parliament shall be capable of office..."

Hmmn...Sam grins, picturing an office devoid of all but himself and Coventry.

"Me?" Charles stares. "Stab all those turncoat ex-Cromwellians who helped drag my beloved father to the chopping blocking block in the back now that my position is secure?"
***

Good ole Povey already getting hit...Amazingly nice guy, that poor fellow.
***

Sam? Watch that Xmas tipping...Half a crown here, half a crown there...And no yearly net gain for the Pepys.

Of course a pound or two on a nice present for Bess would not be money badly spent.
***

"That's right Hewer. A toast." Balty rises, glass in hand taken from Will, having invited himself and new wife to Xmas dinner at the Pepys. Sam glaring but resigned...Does pick-up my poor wretch's spirits to have him with us.

"To my dear sister, Elisabeth." Sincere beam. "The richest lass in town."

"What the heck have you been telling him?" Sam hisses...Bess shrugs. My brother, what you gonna do?

"God bless us, every one..." notes Will.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...a great chine of beef and three dozen of tongues..." just backbone and not a wag amongst them. From "...being no scholler and so knows not the rules of writing orderly..." Gauden known to keep greasing the the palms , the tongues be a warning to those that need to know what happens to loose tongues.

dirk   Link to this

"... Mr. Creed ..., who takes it ill my letter last night to Mr. Povy, wherein I accuse him of the neglect of the Tangier boats, in which I must confess I did not do altogether like a friend; but however it was truth, and I must own it to be so, though I fall wholly out with him for it"

Professional integrity comes at a price. A rare quality, then as well as now.

jeannine   Link to this

"difference like to be between the King and the Duke, in case the Queen should not be with child"... an ongoing theme will be the succession of the reign and the balancing act between Charles, his brother James (Duke of York) and his bastard son James (Duke of Monmouth) by Lucy Walters. I can't help but wonder how much of this ongoing struggling over this issues was used by Charles to ensure that he got compliance by his brother--somehow playing off the pawns against each other???? Also, how horrible for Queen Catherine, so early into her marriage, to already feel the pressure of producing an heir. Must have been a very tension filled place to live.

jeannine   Link to this

“Stephens’s Thesaurus Graecae Linguae,” totally off topic here, but how timely to have a reference to a dictionary. On the Christmas episode of Spongebob (favorite of 9 year old, and I admit to liking him too!), a character says something in a complete sentence and Spongebob replies... "I hope that Santa gives me a dictionary so I can understand what you said". From time to time reading Sam I feel the same way!

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"...took money in my pocket to pay many reckonings to-day in the town..." Interesting, how people obtained merchandise without heavy coin. Signed the tab, wax of course,no need for 16 digit number, his name be good enough, now this be the day of reckoning, 'tis why paper money dothe say "** *** ** *****", all else cash.

m   Link to this

Bill of Mortality

For a reproduction of the title page to the annual issue, which Pepys paid for today, see:-

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/MOLsite/exhibi...

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"Bill of Mortality"
The antecedent of The Morbidity and Mortality reports issued periodically by The Center of Disease Control(CDC) and The Departments of Health of various cities in The USA.
I wonder if London was the pioneer or if it was done before somewhere else?

Stolzi   Link to this

"He pities the poor ministers that are put out, to whom, he says, the King is beholden for his coming in, and that if any such thing had been foreseen he had never come in."

Interesting that such an almost-treasonous statement can be made in this age of the chopping block. Englishmen have always valued their liberties and here is an example. Also shows, I suppose, that Lord Crew trusted his man.

Alan Bedford   Link to this

In March of this year (1662), John Graunt published a statistical study of the Bills of Mortality, "Natural and Political Observations made upon the Bills of Mortality". Sam bought a copy, and now he's buying the current edition of the source material. A polymath, our Sam.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

see John Graunt:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/2630/

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Interesting odds for Ladbrooks/Vegas or the assurance /insurance cos.
http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/Graunt/11-12.html

#10. From whence it follows, that of the said 100 conceived there remains alive
at six years end :64.
At Sixteen years end :40
At Twenty six :25
At Tirty six :16
At Fourty six :10
At Fifty six :6
At Sixty six :3
At Seventy six :1
At Eight :0
but there be sum that dothe cock a snoot.

andy   Link to this

and to bed, my wife not being well . . . .

for the record, what's excised here? no nookies?

dirk   Link to this

Graunt's mortality statistics

A modern text on Graunt's mortality figures.
http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/2630/#c3...

Terry F   Link to this

"my wife not being well, she having her months upon her."

So L&M.

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

What kind of tongues were these three dozen? Ox tongues are quite large, and I can't imagine how Sam's household would get through 36 of them before they'd gone off, even in cold weather.

Ruben   Link to this

Tongues
why ox tongues? I am sure they were not pigeon tongues but they are many different tongues to choose from. It may be they were already cooked and ready to make into a conserve.
Spanish keep tongues in "escabeche". They cook the tongue in vinegar and spices and keep them well till spring. No refrigeration needed.

dirk   Link to this

Tongues

Could even be short for "tonguefish", very common in the North Sea.

tonguefish, tongue-fish:

"Any of various marine flatfishes of the family Cynoglossidae, having the posterior part of the body tapering to a point."
(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

"Left-eyed marine flatfish whose tail tapers to a point; of little commercial value."
(WordNet 2.0, Princeton University)

Australian Susan   Link to this

Tongues
Possibly calves' tongues. They would not be very large and almost certainly salted and preserved. A great deal of slaughtering would have been undertaken in October/November becuase of not having to feed animals through the winter. The meat was then salted or cured to provide meat through the winter. I guess that the tongues were packed tightly in salt into little barrels and rolled off a porter's trolley into the Pepys house. Good Christmas present, especially as Mrs P is poorly at the moment and not up to much extreme cooking.

celtcahill   Link to this

" Sam hisses…Bess shrugs. "

Hee Hee. And the French shrug so well....

Patricia   Link to this

Mrs. P was ill on Nov. 23rd. She must not have discomfort every month, or else Sam sometimes fails to mention it (which I doubt, he being OCD about most things.)

Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Bills of mortality Pepys acquired were not Graunt's book, Natural and Political Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality (1662 Old Style or 1663 New Style) [which] used analysis of the mortality rolls in early modern London as Charles II and other officials attempted to create a system to warn of the onset and spread of bubonic plague in the city. Though the system was never truly created, Graunt's work in studying the rolls resulted in the first statistically based estimation of the population of London. His work ran to five editions by 1676." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Graunt

"Bills of mortality [Pepys bought] were the weekly mortality statistics in London, designed to monitor burials from 1592 to 1595 and then continuously from 1603. The responsibility to produce the statistics was chartered in 1611 to the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks. The bills covered an area that started to expand as London grew from the City of London, however they became fixed in 1636. New parishes were then only added where ancient parishes within the area were divided. Factors such as the use of suburban cemeteries outside the area, the exemption of extra-parochial places within the area, the wider growth of the metropolis, and that they recorded burials rather than deaths, made their data invalid." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bills_of_mortality

Terry Foreman   Link to this

Pepys bought the 1st edition of John Graunt's Natural and Political Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality last 23 March http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/03/24/

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