Tuesday 25 August 1663

Up very early and removed the things out of my chamber into the dining room, it being to be new floored this day. So the workmen being come and falling to work there, I to the office, and thence down to Lymehouse to Phin. Pett’s about masts, and so back to the office, where we sat; and being rose, and Mr. Coventry being gone, taking his leave, for that he is to go to the Bath with the Duke to-morrow, I to the ‘Change and there spoke with several persons, and lastly with Sir W. Warren, and with him to a Coffee House, and there sat two hours talking of office business and Mr. Wood’s knavery, which I verily believe, and lastly he tells me that he hears that Captain Cocke is like to become a principal officer, either a Controller or a Surveyor, at which I am not sorry so either of the other may be gone, and I think it probable enough that it may be so. So home at 2 o’clock, and there I found Ashwell gone, and her wages come to 50s., and my wife, by a mistake from me, did give her 20s. more; but I am glad that she is gone and the charge saved. After dinner among my joyners, and with them till dark night, and this night they made an end of all; and so having paid them 40s. for their six days’ work, I am glad they have ended and are gone, for I am weary and my wife too of this dirt. My wife growing peevish at night, being weary, and I a little vexed to see that she do not retain things in her memory that belong to the house as she ought and I myself do, I went out in a little seeming discontent to the office, and after being there a while, home to supper and to bed. To-morrow they say the King and the Duke set out for the Bath. This noon going to the Exchange, I met a fine fellow with trumpets before him in Leadenhall-street, and upon enquiry I find that he is the clerk of the City Market; and three or four men carried each of them an arrow of a pound weight in their hands. It seems this Lord Mayor begins again an old custome, that upon the three first days of Bartholomew Fayre, the first, there is a match of wrestling, which was done, and the Lord Mayor there and Aldermen in Moorefields yesterday: to-day, shooting: and to-morrow, hunting. And this officer of course is to perform this ceremony of riding through the city, I think to proclaim or challenge any to shoot. It seems that the people of the fayre cry out upon it as a great hindrance to them.

23 Annotations

Australian Susan   Link to this

"....and with him to a Coffee House, and there sat two hours talking of office business and Mr. Wood’s knavery,..."
As I enter my husband's numerous Coffee Club receipts into our business accounts, I will be reminded of this: nothing changes.....

"....I went out in a little seeming discontent to the office..." Every household needs its sulking space - bet Elizabeth was glad to see the back of him for a while. She'd had to cope with the no doubt rather embarrassing final parting with Ashwell, whilst trying to clean up after the tradesmen *and* then gets chid by hubby for forgetting where the second best goblets are kept. Or some such. I think Sam narrowly escaped being dinged over the head with a bucket. Looking forward to the RG dialogue......

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

"It seems that the people of the fayre cry out upon it as a great hindrance to them."

Can anyone enlighten me as to why?

TerryF   Link to this

Could "the people of the fayre," who managed stalls, and spectacles of their own ("See the female dwarf!"), find it interfered with business?

See Visit to Bartholomew Fair, 1825.

http://www.uab.edu/english/hone/etexts/edb/day-...

Aqua   Link to this

Typical complaints by those that have to endure the mess of the hoi polloi and betters, while they do the work"...It seems that the people of the fayre cry out upon it as a great hindrance to them.'

Aqua   Link to this

Sam has waited with baited breath for seven months to see this day.

jean-paul buquet   Link to this

" and so having paid them 40s. for their six days’ work..." 40s?! How much is that today? How much could it possibly amount to for each one of them?

dirk   Link to this

40s

40s would be £2. As discussed a couple of times in the past, it's not easy to find a valid conversion factor, that will allow us to get some idea of the present day equivalent of that sum. A conversion factor of x90 has been used in some previous cases in the diary -- although I personally prefer x75.

See:
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/07/31/#c60306

Anyway, it would have been a large sum of money...

Australian Susan   Link to this

The people of the fayre
are there to make money - St Bartholomew's was one of the great fairs, so potentially lots of lucre, but if the Lord Mayor insists on rival free attractions such as the wrestling, shooting and hunting, the crowds will "ooh" and "aahh" at that and not spend money on watching puppet shows, buying gingerbread (fairings)cheap presents or gawking at bearded ladies etc.

Aqua   Link to this

According to Liza Picard There are 60,000 Artisans /freemen [12% of the top 50 % of populus]]. Earnt 38 quid on average a year or approx 15 s/wk or 2s 2d a day.
"...so having paid them 40s. for their six days’ work..." 15s ea . So how many workmen be there. My guess, be at least 3 at 13s and bob extra for the leader. Picard tally's closely with Sams payment. How much in modern terms, hard to say. Sams Pop has to make do with 50 Quid a year and he has to live up the Smiths.
Back in 1940 a farm worker got 9d an hour or 20 quid a year.
This was before the inflation of WWII took hold.
It was very good money for the times, as Adam Smith points out bread , a palias and a roof, be all that is required , all else be luxury..

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Doesn't it bother Sam to have all those lusty young workingmen about the house all day alone with Bess? Or it is that he only fears a near social equal with manners and some education like Pembleton.

Of course I suppose the workmen could all be one-armed, one-legged, one-eyed retired sailor cousins of old one-eyed Cooper. Or maybe Sam keeps good ole Hewer at home to keep a sharp eye.

"Are you almost finished in Mr. Pepys' closet?" Bess asks...For the fifth unnecessary time.

"Aye, ma'am." the rather cool stare of the lusty young floor layer over the fancy Frenchie wife of the rich bloke getting his floor done for God knows what reasons besides strokin' his ego. Another one of those up-and-comers in the new regime...God if we still had ole Cromwell. "We'll be done soon enough." Hard stare running over her.

Fancy bows in the 'air...Fancy togs and all washed-up. Frenchie, or part, Dad says.

Not bad-lookin' all-in-all...But surely leads her bloke about by the nose, that little Mr. Peeps? or whatever. 'Ow's an honest man come by a job like "Clerk o' the Acts", anyhow?

'Course Dad did say 'e was a cousin or friend of the Montagu, now Lord Sandwich, the bloody traitor to the people.

What's she still looking at me for, anyhow? Keeps comin' back to ask 'when will ya be done?' Silly lass, got nothin' else to keep 'er busy? Damned Frenchie with airs...Probably lies in bed readin' all day long. Soaks themselves in milk, they say, the Frenchie women do...To keep the skin so pale and the cheek so...

"I just want to be sure and get the room cleaned before my husband comes home. Though Mr. Pepys is so busy. He's often gone till...Very late." Slight trace of accent...Faint whiff of some fragance...Innocent smile...

Woman like that, just wants to suck the life out of a man...Put 'im on the road to perdition, as the ole minister used to say. Before the bloody Stuart made 'im leave the parish.

Still, lovely thing she is...

"Busy man, your 'usband?."

"Oh, yes. Sam'l practically runs the Naval Office these days. He's there from morning till past midnight many a night. Ummn...Would you and your father like some ale?" Beaming smile...

"Don't bother yourself, miss."

"Oh, no problem at all...Just a moment."

And that walk...No decent walk for a good woman. Rolling 'cross the floor like that...

My god, that's a beautiful...

"Luther, boy! Come and help me lay this piece!"

"Aye, dad."

***

Robert Gertz   Link to this

My gosh, my guess the other day was right. 50 s.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Good night, gentlemen. Thank you, Luther." Bess waves as the floor layers depart. Eyes firmly locked on the lusty young Luther.

"Where is what, Sam'l?" she vaguely replies to his repeated question.

Gerry   Link to this

According to http://eh.net/hmit/ppowerbp/ 40s then was worth £236.99 in 2005.

TerryF   Link to this

Methinks Bath deserves a link

http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/6651/

Aqua   Link to this

"...and there I found Ashwell gone, and her wages come to 50s., and my wife, by a mistake from me, did give her 20s. more; but I am glad that she is gone and the charge saved..."
after 5 months so 5 months pay at 10 bob a month plus bed and grub and free carriage and a vacation in the country side,not bad Extra 20s be for the agony and music entertainment

Aqua   Link to this

Mary who is quite contrary , earnt 6 quid a year [approx 2/6 per week, not quite 4d a day], twice as much a mayde and a thirde more than the cook, no wonder she felt superior, not wanting to empty the potty and besides, she was a kinder teacher, accomplished musician, so Sam dothe say.
If thee read Sams entries, Sam was so taken with this Chelsy lass, one of Balty recommendation. He does not use the the Familiar name of Mary, it always be Ashwell, a habit that was so common amongst the Equals with a few bob in a purse, not to use a Christian name, given by ones parents,[still remember sirnames or nicknames like 'rubber nose' but not the moniker without title].
So what went wrong?

JWB   Link to this

"...the King and the Duke set out for the Bath"

Anyone else reading this wonder where's Huck?

JWB   Link to this

Virginia labor
"In 1650 there were only about 300 slaves in Va., less than 2% of the population...As economic conditions improved in England, lessoning the pressure to immigrate...slaves began to overtake indentured servants...At the end of the 17th C. , and indentured servant cost about 15 pounds to purchase four years of his labor; a slave cost 25 to 30 pounds...for life." JSSteele, "An Empire of Wealth"

Harvey   Link to this

"As discussed a couple of times in the past, it’s not easy to find a valid conversion factor .... A conversion factor of x90 has been used in some previous cases in the diary — although I personally prefer x75."

I've found that x500 gives a more meaningful comparison. It's also easier, just x1000 then halve it.
At x500, £2 for six days comes to £1000 in todays money, and even if SP means 'six man-days' rather than six days each for several joiners), that's only £166 / day, £16 / hour if they worked 10 hours. That is closer to current rates than the £2.88 / hour produced by a x90 conversion factor.

Harvey

Aqua   Link to this

the muliplication factor be not in the government stats.
4d a day vs in California a Companion gets 160 dollars [100l] for helping those of us with Dementia
that multiplier be 8.000
a Carp gets min 24$/hr x 8 aprox 200 or 120 quid vs 10s [0.5]= 240 multiple
as it be said, what ever the market can bear.

bobby tigani   Link to this

can some tell me how much $60,000 in 1600's pounds is worth today assuming a 5% return annually.

thank you.

bobby tigani   Link to this

can some tell me how much $60,000 in 1600's pounds is worth today assuming a 5% return annually.

thank you.

cgs   Link to this

Wot be 60,000 quid from 1663 be worth to day?
gold coin for gold coin, a sovereign [gold] was fetchin' over 2 Pounds then now a sovereign gold would go for 400 quid plus , on the other hand a 3 story house off the Strand would go for 3-400 pounds, now count the stars in the Heavens.
A Baronet then would expect a yearly income of 800 pounds now he should be a multi millionaire, but a maid could expect 2 quid a year with all the bread and beer she could eat and drink, now a live-in expects that per hour.

A loaf [10 ounce] of bread went for a penny, now a loaf goes for 500 times that amount. There be cheese 1d a pound and silk stockings went for 15s.[180 pennies] then now only 10 to 20 times more.

50 quid would buy thee a carriage, another 50 would get thee two nags, so you could have a hackney service, so thee with 60,000 Libre, could have 600 carriages with horsepower, Today a London horseless carriage costs 30,000 pounds, today thee need L18,000,000. to have the same number of vehicles carrying fare paying clients, or gents then collecting a bob at a time, now it be 10 to 20 Pounds from the Tower to the H of C.

Answer be . nobody really knows.

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