Monday 21 September 1663

Up very betimes by break of day, and got my wife up, whom the thought of this day’s long journey do discourage; and after eating something, and changing of a piece of gold to pay the reckoning, we mounted, and through Baldwicke, where a fayre is kept to-day, and a great one for cheese and other such commodities, and so to Hatfield, it being most curious weather from the time we set out to our getting home, and here we dined, and my wife being very weary, and believing that it would be hard to get her home to-night, and a great charge to keep her longer abroad, I took the opportunity of an empty coach that was to go to London, and left her to come in it to London, for half-a-crown, and so I and the boy home as fast as we could drive, and it was even night before we got home. So that I account it very good fortune that we took this course, being myself very weary, much more would my wife have been. At home found all very well and my house in good order. To see Sir W. Pen, who is pretty well, and Sir J. Minnes, who is a little lame on one foot, and the rest gone to Chatham, viz.: Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Batten, who has in my absence inveighed against my contract the other day for Warren’s masts, in which he is a knave, and I shall find matter of tryumph, but it vexes me a little. So home, and by and by comes my wife by coach well home, and having got a good fowl ready for supper against her coming, we eat heartily, and so with great content and ease to our own bed, there nothing appearing so to our content as to be at our own home, after being abroad awhile.

16 Annotations

TerryF   Link to this

"Sir W. Batten...has in my absence inveighed against my contract the other day for Warren’s masts, in which he is a knave, and I shall find matter of tryumph, but it vexes me a little."

A little?! Vexation and mixed feelings?

Things have changed since 10 September - "a great contract with Sir W. Warren for 3,000l. worth of masts; but, good God! to see what a man might do, were I a knave, the whole business from beginning to end being done by me out of the office, and signed to by them upon the once reading of it to them, without the least care or consultation either of quality, price, number, or need of them, only in general that it was good to have a store." http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/09/10/

jeannine   Link to this

"and so I and the boy"-
the link on "the boy" goes to Wayneman, who we know is long gone. Any idea what boy Sam would be referring to here?

TerryF   Link to this

jeannine, do you suppose RG will have SP, suffering from exhaustion (and perhaps swamp fever), hallucinating a "boy"?

Todd Bernhardt   Link to this

re: "and so I and the boy"

Perhaps his father's boy, whom he'd referred to before?

"and so with great content and ease to our own bed, there nothing appearing so to our content as to be at our own home, after being abroad awhile"

I know the feeling, Sam. I know the feeling.

Aqua   Link to this

Contracts: It was not Samuells position to make contracts, officially, only to draw them up, but the Sir Wills gang were a tad lazy and Sam stepped into breach by using his brain and his on the job knowledge, to implement these contracts, but when they saw the side benefits they overrode the original because it did not have the quorum stamp of approval, and as Sam be away the the blighters woke up.
Many a hardcharger, got executory powers by personality, from experience, I was allowed to carry out functions by those grade higher but did not have the drive or knowledge to implement the task.

see the story behind the failure of a great Banking house Barings.

TerryF   Link to this

"Perhaps his father’s boy, whom he’d referred to before?"

Indeed 'twas, Todd, Only yesterday - "...I mounted, and, with my father’s boy, upon a horse I borrowed of Captain Ferrers, we rode..."

Roger Arbor   Link to this

"... half-a-crown" from Hatfield to Central London. Seems rather inexpensive? Around £13 sterling in current value. Try getting 'private' transport from Hatfield to the City for that these days.

BUT, a single on the train (cattle class) costs £6-80 after 10am today.

Mary   Link to this

A cheap trip to London.

We are told that, before Sam approached the coachman, this coach (whose?)was scheduled to travel empty to London. Perhaps the relative cheapness of this passage was, in part at least, the result of the coachman seeing an opportunity to make a bit on the side.

Whoever the coach belonged to, Sam must have had enough confidence in the coachman's and/or the owner's probity to entrust his wife, unchaperoned and unaccompanied, to this transport.

Xjy   Link to this

The coachman
He was obviously a small, unattractive, old man who Bess could have turned inside out, scrunched up and fed to the horses...

Bradford   Link to this

I'm curious about the "curious weather." Where's that historical meteorologist?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Good man, Sam to should such consideration for Bess. Of course it did save the cost of another inn stay.

Poor kid, I hope she enjoyed her traveling tour. She was a trooper to be such "good company" to Sam during such a weary trip. At least they did have a great day touring Brampton where she for once got to show Sam things.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I wonder who the competition in the masts' contract would have been?

markv   Link to this

"...there nothing appearing so to our content as to be at our own home, after being abroad awhile" - agreed - There's no place like Home!

Aqua   Link to this

"... Seems rather inexpensive? Around £13 sterling in current value...",,,,"...and left her to come in it to London, for half-a-crown, and so..."
Inexpensive? 2/6d be what Samuell expects his father , Mother and Kid sister to live on per day,[actually 2 bob 8d and three farthings] to pay for heating, groceries and warm wraps against the ague, in a middle class residence, in that it be worth in region of modern monies, a half a mil. quid. So how much, in real monies could one live in Brampton in that house, retired couple with a spinster daughter, going to Tescoes and living in genteel poverty.
Grocery bill , basics only is? Loaf of Bread be ? against a penny in Sam's day.
The Coach be dead heading back I gather, having been paid for in both directions. Normal charge in town be a shilling. [compared it cost of A cab from Heathrow to the Tower today, 20 quid??]
According to Liza Pickard, A middling sort [ eg eminent clergy man ] could survive on 18 quid a year or Three half a crowns a week.

Roger   Link to this

''curious' weather'
I read this as 'fickle' or 'changeable'. Autumn is maybe the best time to observe the vagaries of the English weather. The expanse of The Fens would be ideal to see the showers pass....plenty of rainbows! 'Look Bess. it's raining on that field but not this'! Or maybe it lashed down all one day then sunny and warm the next?(like this week.) No great meteorological events are recorded as far as I know for this September(but neither was the dull, very wet spring or early summer of 1663 that Sam had referred to earlier in the year.)

Lydia   Link to this

" . . .and having got a good fowl ready for supper against her coming, . . ." Does that mean Sam cooked for her? Or was it byhaps the cooke/mayde? I recall an instance in which Sam did cook for them and some guests and was quite proud of his accomplishment.

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