Monday 2 March 1662/63

Up early and by water with Commissioner Pett to Deptford, and there took the Jemmy yacht (that the King and the Lords virtuosos built the other day) down to Woolwich, where we discoursed of several matters both there and at the Ropeyard, and so to the yacht again, and went down four or five miles with extraordinary pleasure, it being a fine day, and a brave gale of wind, and had some oysters brought us aboard newly taken, which were excellent, and ate with great pleasure. There also coming into the river two Dutchmen, we sent a couple of men on board and bought three Hollands cheeses, cost 4d. a piece, excellent cheeses, whereof I had two and Commissioner Pett one. So back again to Woolwich, and going aboard the Hulke to see the manner of the iron bridles, which we are making of for to save cordage to put to the chain, I did fall from the shipside into the ship (Kent), and had like to have broke my left hand, but I only sprained some of my fingers, which, when I came ashore I sent to Mrs. Ackworth for some balsam, and put to my hand, and was pretty well within a little while after. We dined at the White Hart with several officers with us, and after dinner went and saw the Royal James brought down to the stern of the Docke (the main business we came for), and then to the Ropeyard, and saw a trial between Riga hemp and a sort of Indian grass, which is pretty strong, but no comparison between it and the other for strength, and it is doubtful whether it will take tarre or no. So to the yacht again, and carried us almost to London, so by our oars home to the office, and thence Mr. Pett and I to Mr. Grant’s coffee-house, whither he and Sir J. Cutler came to us and had much discourse, mixed discourse, and so broke up, and so home where I found my poor wife all alone at work, and the house foul, it being washing day, which troubled me, because that tomorrow I must be forced to have friends at dinner. So to my office, and then home to supper and to bed.

29 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

"the Jemmy yacht (that the King and the Lords virtuosos built the other day)"

Pepys visited the Jemmy 13 August 1662 when it was a-building under the supervision of Commissioner Pett, say L&M, and the newly-formed Royal Society had not been involved.

First raced 5 September 1662

The other day? How time flies, when you're having fun!

Bradford   Link to this

"the other day" indeed makes it sound like an afternoon's work, made up from a kit.

"I did fall from the shipside into the ship (Kent), and had like to have broke my left hand", "shipside" being "the area adjacent to shipping that is used for storage and loading of freight and passengers: dock" (Merriam-Webster).

How big a Holland cheese do you get for 4d.? And did Pepys eat both on the spot, or take some home to the washerwomen? To adapt the esteemed equation,

2y x N = 1 dose of physique

where “y” equals number of oz. per cheese, and "N" the number of days hence that the dose becomes necessary. (Forgive me if this isn't quite accurate, it's been so long since Culinary Mathematics class.)

dirk   Link to this

How big a Holland cheese do you get for 4d.?

No idea -- but for the sake of comparison: in 1625 "a pound of best cheese in the shop or market" would have cost 2½d in Southampton.

Taking into account inflation, this would have been roughly equivalent to 3 and 1/6 d in 1663.
(calculation based on data from )

Not very different from the 4d a piece for the Dutch cheeses.

Stolzi   Link to this

"my poor wife" indeed

The house "foul," a mammoth washing-day just over, guests expected to dinner on the morrow - and HE's "troubled" !

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

Gouda comes approx 1/2 kilo i.e 1lb modern price 4.6 quidEdam come in 1.92kg [7.3L]and there be baby edam too.
Edam has been around along time, in 1649;; Port of Edam exported 1Mil. lbs of the red covered protected cheese.
For the price quoted, cheap moustrap was available for 1d a lb [Eliza Picard Restoration London p146]
so a 2 kilo. red one could well be the cheese of choice.

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

A penny worth of cheese then now be 10 quid or 2400 x, eh! but there be no inflation.

Roger Arbor   Link to this

"... the house foul, it being washing day, which troubled me..."

Be interesting to know, for just how many readers of this blog Monday is STILL 'washing day'. 'Tis in my household and all I know. Why Mondays? How long has this 'tradition' been in existence?

alanB   Link to this

Midnight, Lizzie up to her armpits in suds with Sam's Long Johns hanging above the fire steaming nicely...

"Ah, Elizabeth, I've bought you some cheese to enjoy. I'm off to bed"

EEeeee, Damn ....

Mary   Link to this

Dutch cheeses

These may have been bought against Lent as a tasty variation on the diet of the leaner days.

Firenze   Link to this

Washing Day. I think you had to start on a Monday, because it could take the rest of the week to get things dried, aired, starched and ironed for wearing out on Sunday.

I remember as a child days spent under a sort of forest canopy of clothes hanging from a pulley (with slightly drier ones draped over the fireguard) with stacks of folded ones waiting to go up to the hotpress (a name I think Sam would have used rather than 'airing cupboard').

Harry   Link to this

How big a Holland cheese do you get for 4d.?

Judging from cheeses on display in Paris cheese shops, it could be quite a large cylinder, 5 kilos or more, but not too big that he could't carry two home (unless this was left to Will)

Ruben   Link to this


Dijck, Floris Claesz van
Delft 1574 - Haarlem 1651
Still Life with Fruit, Nuts and Cheese
and read the interesting interpretation

celtcahill   Link to this


A good price while those Duthchmen took notes to pilot their brethren to Chatham some time later. I note that Charles has the same trouble securing his ports that we have, but still manages to have a lot more fun....

Get well Phil, I doubt more Physic will help, but one never knows, really....

A. De Araujo   Link to this

"my poor wife all alone at work,and the house foul,it being washing day"
and I just finished watching "The Magdalene Sisters" a very depressing movie having to do with laundry work.

papa   Link to this

Washing day.
Saturday in Swedish is "lördag" which is short for the ancient "lögaredag" - washing or bathing day.

andy   Link to this

I found my poor wife all alone at work, and the house foul, it being washing day, which troubled me, because that tomorrow I must be forced to have friends at dinner. So to my office,

very helpful, Sam! Having identified and recorded the problem, doing sweet <> all to solve it...

jeannine   Link to this

Somewhere in another galaxy.....
Well, just the other day I too spent time sailing on my yacht, enjoying a wonderful assortment of fine champagnes, oysters, shrimp and imported cheeses. Upon alighting from the yacht, I slipped on my overpriced and very impressive shoes and happened to chip a nail. Immediately I sent off to the my personal manicurist who arrived with a soothing balm and gave me an immediate touch up in that lovely shimmering pale pink that is so "in" this season. I then stopped to dine with a group of socialites at the club. After dinner we went to have drinks by the water while watching the newer, better and much more expensive ships arrive. After dinner the driver took me home and I arrived to see my husband behind in all of his cleaning. The laundry wasn't finished and I even had to point out a spot on the kitchen floor that he apparently missed while washing it on his hands and knees. He hadn't even polished the silver which he knows I need for tomorrow as the ladies are coming for brunch. It's times like these that I read the entries of dear Sam and have such a connection to all of the trials that he has put up with in his lifetime. We're practically soulmates with these burdens that we share....Life is just so unfair but how I can learn to perservere from his fine example...........

Peg   Link to this

Thank you, Jeannine, and amen!

re laundry: Doing laundry - keeping clean in general - is a luxury, to be enjoyed when people are not in danger of starving. In 2006, some in the non-starving parts of the world have the luxury of toddling down the hall and dumping the duds into a machine which does almost all the work. That must pretty much eliminate doing the laundry on a given day. But I bet "Bess" still takes care of this task more than "Sam" does!

WILLEM   Link to this


in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

"unless this was left to Will" There be no Le Sac, that be why one has to have a "gofer" around, cannot have ones sword hand tied down with a lump of cheese. Only in this modern world dothe the cash happy, have to do for themselves. If Will, not be available, then he could get the sculler to do an extra chore of carrying the spoils up the Tower Hill to his digs. But dothe not mention the farthing for a lad [or sculler] waiting a round for the opportunity to earn a farthing for carrying a Gents spoils.
I'm fairly certain there be many an uswashed lad hanging around the landing stages, waiting for an opportunity to [fetch or] carry or run errands.

Bradford   Link to this

And who had time to spare to commiserate with the soreness consequent upon his tumble belowships?

Maybe the oysters would mitigate the effect of the cheese.

pedro   Link to this

"I sent to Mrs. Ackworth for some balsam, and put to my hand, and was pretty well within a little while after."

Any recipes for this miracle cure?

Sjoerd   Link to this

Transuniversal making-up cheese

Could I maybe send over some comforting Gouda cheese, Jeannine ?

pedro   Link to this


“The operation of this ointment,” says the author of a famous pharmacopoeia in 1641, “is by the identity or sameness of the Balsamick spirit which is the same in a Man and in his Mood; for there is no difference but this, in a man the spirit actually lives, but in the blood it is coagulated.” Schröder quoted by Salmon, English Physician; VII. 65. See also Sir Kenelm Digby’s Sympathetic Powder, generally, and a theory of the action of this powder or “zaphyrian salt” in Howell’s Familiar Letters, Jacob’s edition, 645. An account of the cure of Howell by this remedy is in Supplement II., 673, 674. The sympathetic powder was used for all hemorrhages and even for other diseases, according to Sprengel. Compare Sir K. Digby on the cure of swelled feet in oxen, Discourse on Sympathetic Powder, 129-132. In the time of their greatest vogue these cures were probably never sanctioned by the strict Galenists. The subject was discussed before the Royal Society in its infancy in a paper entitled “Relations of Sympathetic Cures and Trials.” Sprat, 199.

“Were there a Balsam, which all wounds could cure,
Twas in this Asculapian hand be sure.”


jeannine   Link to this

"Could I maybe send over some comforting Gouda cheese, Jeannine ? "

But of course! You're such a gentleman, Thanks so much!

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

I just wonder what those Dutchmen be a thinking, seeing a London built Jaghte...........

Fresh Oysters be they from the Tems?

in Aqua Scripto   Link to this

As of this date be 4 pleasure boats Minimum
The Gift of the Catherine, the Bezan is the same? as it still the Bezan and Catherine be references at differing times, The Bezan was is used as the racer against the latest version [jimmy] from the Lambeth works.
Then there are the two Jaghte [yacht] a building at Woolwich [James ] and Deppford [Carlos ].
Needs more research.

Patricia   Link to this

When the Diary started, Mrs. P and the maid used to do the laundry on Tuesday (as do I, usually). Now Mrs. P is doing it on Monday, all alone? Would people steal it if she hung it outside to dry?

Pedro   Link to this

“Would people steal it if she hung it outside to dry?”

Not if it was the same day as Castlemaine does her washing!

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