Tuesday 6 October 1663

Slept pretty well, and my wife waked to ring the bell to call up our mayds to the washing about 4 o’clock, and I was and she angry that our bell did not wake them sooner, but I will get a bigger bell. So we to sleep again till 8 o’clock, and then I up in some ease to the office, where we had a full board, where we examined Cocke’s second account, when Mr. Turner had drawn a bill directly to be paid the balance thereof, as Mr. Cocke demanded, and Sir J. Minnes did boldly assert the truth of it, and that he had examined it, when there is no such thing, but many vouchers, upon examination, missing, and we saw reason to strike off several of his demands, and to bring down his 5 per cent. commission to 3 per cent. So we shall save the King some money, which both the Comptroller and his clerke had absolutely given away. There was also two occasions more of difference at the table; the one being to make out a bill to Captain Smith for his salary abroad as commander-in-chief in the Streights. Sir J. Minnes did demand an increase of salary for his being Vice-Admiral in the Downes, he having received but 40s. without an increase, when Sir J. Lawson, in the same voyage, had 3l., and others have also had increase, only he, because he was an officer of the board, was worse used than any body else, and particularly told Sir W. Batten that he was the opposer formerly of his having an increase, which I did wonder to hear him so boldly lay it to him. So we hushed up the dispute, and offered, if he would, to examine precedents, and report them, if there was any thing to his advantage to be found, to the Duke. The next was, Mr. Chr. Pett and Deane were summoned to give an account of some knees which Pett reported bad, that were to be served in by Sir W. Warren, we having contracted that none should be served but such as were to be approved of by our officers. So that if they were bad they were to be blamed for receiving them. Thence we fell to talk of Warren’s other goods, which Pett had said were generally bad, and falling to this contract again, I did say it was the most cautious and as good a contract as had been made here, and the only [one] that had been in such terms. Sir J. Minnes told me angrily that Winter’s timber, bought for 33s. per load, was as good and in the same terms. I told him that it was not so, but that he and Sir W. Batten were both abused, and I would prove it was as dear a bargain as had been made this half year, which occasioned high words between them and me, but I am able to prove it and will. That also was so ended, and so to other business. At noon Lewellin coming to me I took him and Deane, and there met my uncle Thomas, and we dined together, but was vexed that, it being washing-day, we had no meat dressed, but sent to the Cook’s, and my people had so little witt to send in our meat from abroad in that Cook’s dishes, which were marked with the name of the Cook upon them, by which, if they observed anything, they might know it was not my own dinner. After dinner we broke up, and I by coach, setting down Luellin in Cheapside. So to White Hall, where at the Committee of Tangier, but, Lord! how I was troubled to see my Lord Tiviott’s accounts of 10,000l. paid in that manner, and wish 1000 times I had not been there. Thence rose with Sir G. Carteret and to his lodgings, and there discoursed of our frays at the table to-day, and particularly of that of the contract, and the contract of masts the other day, declaring my fair dealing, and so needing not any man’s good report of it, or word for it, and that I would make it so appear to him, if he desired it, which he did, and I will do it. Thence home by water in great pain, and at my office a while, and thence a little to Sir W. Pen, and so home to bed, and finding myself beginning to be troubled with wind as I used to be, and in pain in making water, I took a couple of pills that I had by me of Mr. Hollyard’s.

30 Annotations

Bob T   Link to this

and I was and she angry that our bell did not wake them sooner, but I will get a bigger bell.
Don't you just love this guy?

Lurker   Link to this

Bob: That was EXACTLY what I was about to post about, there's SO much in that little sentence...

Anyone know what the "full board" in the office was?

in aqua   Link to this

see :http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/482/ ;
Jimmy be there along with Berkly et al>

Australian Susan   Link to this

The maids and the bell
Sam has said that he is glad to have himself and Bess on the same floor as the maids (and Will banished to some lower part ofthe house). So presumably the maids are either in a next door room or very near at hand, so having the bell to rouse them must be some kind of rising middle class appropriate thing to do (we'll pretend we have a huge house and the servants are a long way away). Maybe it was also more genteel to ring the bell and then go back to bed, rather than go into the room and do some serious shoulder shaking and yelling "Oi!" in somnolnent máids' ears.

Australian Susan   Link to this

"my people had so little witt"

Anybody else get this anachronistic vision of the maids bringing in takeaway Chinese containers or Burger King boxes......

Patricia   Link to this

Remember when we started, Sam & Bess & the mayds all slept in one room...this is a little vignette of their rise in prosperity, and the care & concern that goes with it. Love it!

in aqua   Link to this

When I be a whipper snapper, being brain washed, I spent a term being the rotten little bugger, who was given a bell and had to rouse the house of layabouts at 6.00am, so that they all could do a little lick and spit then get under a drip of cold water then off to do a lap in the pool as long there be no ice, then dry up and then get a earful of religion, then mouthful of oats.
An ear of dong was not popular.
So I can truly commiserate with the sleepy 'ead maydes and Eliza yanking on the puller.

in aqua   Link to this

Note gas, as a Poet once said 'where ere yer be, let the aire go free' .

"...Thence home by water in great pain, and at my office a while, and thence a little to Sir W. Pen, and so home to bed, and finding myself beginning to be troubled with wind as I used to be, and in pain in making water,..."

in aqua   Link to this

"... and then abroad to buy a bell to hang by our chamber door to call the mayds..." where be put bell, inside the red chamber or just out side?
My take be at least 3 levels plus the coal hole and Jakes. The room with a view for Mistress and Master? then down the staires, be maydes and ladies receiving room, then on the ground floor the rascallion [modern sense] Will. "...being well pleased with my new lodging and the convenience of having our mayds and none else about us, Will lying below..."
Sam and Liz can do 'wot' they may [ none else about us]

Robert Gertz   Link to this

In the audio book of the abridged diary, Brannaugh's reading of the "I will get a bigger bell." is hilarious.
***
"...Warren’s other goods, which Pett had said were generally bad, and falling to this contract again, I did say it was the most cautious and as good a contract as had been made here, and the only [one] that had been in such terms. Sir J. Minnes told me angrily that Winter’s timber, bought for 33s. per load, was as good and in the same terms. I told him that it was not so, but that he and Sir W. Batten were both abused..."

So now we know the opposing bidder and why Sir William Warren has been so friendly to Sam. I suppose the real question is- it is that Winter is so big Warren saw no hope in trying to dislodge Minnes and Batten from him and turned to Sam or did Winter make the mistake of assuming the titled boys held the office keys. Whatever the reason, for the moment Sir William seems to have made the right choice in Sam.

in aqua alta   Link to this

Storie of Sams maydes todays press:
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/a...

The new biographies also include entries on Samuel Pepys's servants, who feature in his diaries. Among them is Deborah Ashwell, with whom the 17th century diarist enjoyed a clandestine affair that was later discovered by his wife.

fromday2   Link to this

I wonder why the major commotion associated with wash day. What did they wash? It appears they did not change clothes on any regular basis and perhaps slept in their clothes. Would there be any reason to do a regular wash of bedding (sheets?).

Roger Arbor   Link to this

For centuries Monday was designated as wash-day in most English households... whatever the status of the residents. A pretty primitive too:

http://www.fellpony.f9.co.uk/country/washday/wa...

http://www.qlhs.org.uk/oracle/wartime-washing/w...

alanB   Link to this

there seems to be an easy understanding of commission percentages in an age of imperial units etc. suggesting a long usage. When did percentages take hold?

Xjy   Link to this

Washday
For thousands of years after the invention of textiles a collective celebration - all the women down by the riverside. In the Odyssey Odysseus gets discovered (naked)on the beach by the princess Nausikaa and her girls playing ball while taking care of the washing.
In colder northern climes a horrorfest (see for instance Finnish paintings of the women by holes in the ice with their washing). All manual, all heavy, all the chemicals devouring human skin, cold and wet - chapped limbs, rheumatism, you name it.
As for conditions within our own memory span, just think of the green-encrusted coppers boiling away with old snotrags and nappies full of babyshit (I'd guess at least until 1950).

Mary   Link to this

"..having received but 40s."

An L&M footnote states that £2 (i.e. 40s.) was the standard daily pay for a vice-admiral. The authority quoted is Tanner's 'Pepys and the Navy'.

Ruben   Link to this

Washday blues
Anyone interested in this now defunct horror (at least in the modern world) will enjoy reading the excellent annotations of Tuesday 20 November 1660 and follow the links there.

TerryF   Link to this

Washday blues per Ruben

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/11/20/#c8851
Jenny Doughty provides links and narrative, followed by Mary, Bruc and Nix, who provides a link and recommends Vol I of Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson which language hat seconds.

The volume is *The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1)*
http://www.amazon.com/Path-Power-Years-Lyndon-J...

Ruben, your annote is welcome as are you! I thought you might also be punning on the "blueing" of white laundry to make it whiter - a practice that, transmogrified, continues to be used in the US, so that many elderly women are "Blue-haired Ladies." http://www.treeble.demon.co.uk/fivebluehaired/f...

Ruben   Link to this

Washday blues
to TerryF:
HA! thank you for your kind words but my English does not allowed me (usually) to use second intentions. Then, I liked your interpretation. All my life I asked myself why US elderly women prefer bluish hair and the young ones white socks.

in aqua   Link to this

There still many a female that has yet to have enviromental damaging modern tools, will still use the stone, river or mud pool to beat the hell out of the dirty cloth, then use all the elbow grease to twist the drops of moisture before allowing fresh aire to purify the washed piece on an unwashed parched soil.

in aqua   Link to this

alanB "there seems to be an easy understanding of commission percentages in an age of imperial units etc. suggesting a long usage. When did percentages take hold?"

The OED dothe sayeth, and Sam gets another 'onarable mention in dispatches.
[< PER prep. + CENT n.1, ult. after Italian per cento (1263 or earlier; 1881 as noun). In " form shortened < PER CENTUM adv. (as graphic abbreviation). Cf. Middle French, French pour cent (1538), Spanish por ciento (1478). Cf. also Dutch per cent (early 17th cent. as per cento; now also pro cent), early modern German per cento, percento (15th cent.; German regional (Austria) Perzent), pro cento, pro cent (16th cent.; German Prozent). Cf. slightly earlier PER CENTUM adv.]
2. As the second element of a compound used as a count noun; spec. in compounds (in pl.) denoting public securities, esp. British Government stocks, paying a certain rate of interest. See also three per cents s.v. THREE PER CENT n. Now chiefly hist.
1667 S. PEPYS Diary 30 Aug. (1974) VIII. 407 By that means my 10 per cent will continue to me the longer.

A. adv. With preceding numeral forming a nominal compound.
1. Expressing a proportion: (by a specified amount) for, in, or to every hundred; by the hundred. Also in weakened sense: expressing an approximate proportion of an entity which cannot be quantified numerically.
In early use sometimes specifically with reference to a hundred pounds sterling, when an amount of money in or for every hundred pounds is specified (cf. quots.
1642, a1687). Cf. cent per cent s.v. CENT n.1 2c.
Denoted by the symbol %. For an account of the origin of this sign in Italy in the 15th cent., from a MS abbreviation of Italian cento, see F. Cajori Hist. Math. Notations (1928) I. iii. 312.
a or one hundred per cent: see HUNDRED n. 2c.
1568 T. GRESHAM Let. 29 Aug. in H. Ellis Orig. Lett. Eng. Hist. (1827) 2nd Ser. II. 314 Th' interest of xij. per cent by the yeare.
1642 Lanc. Tracts of Civil War (1844) 62 To be repayed with satisfaction after eight pounds per Cent.

[< PER CENT adv. + -AGE.]
I. Simple uses.
1. a. A rate, number or proportion in each hundred; a quantity or amount reckoned as so many hundredth parts of another, esp. of that regarded as the whole. More generally: any part or portion considered in its quantitative relation to the whole, a proportion (of something).
1757 J. H. GROSE Voy. E.-Indies x. 169 The considerable merchants..would immediately strike a bargain..with no other trouble than settling the per centage upon the items of the invoice.
b. A proportion or share of a larger sum of money, esp. profits or winnings.
1809
percent verb adverb
[< PER CENT adv.]
trans. To rate, calculate, or evaluate by means of a percentage. Usu. in pass.
1863 Continental Monthly Oct. 412

Ruben   Link to this

another good old annotation about washing was Mary's on Fri 11 Mar 2005
Mary wrote:
" A certain status was implied by the infrequency of wash-days (i.e. you had enough fresh linen to last you through several weeks together)and some great houses had a Great Washing Day only twice a year.

Sam doesn’t particularly enjoy washing days; the house (especially in winter, when linen had to be dried indoors) was a mess and there would only be cold cuts for dinner as cooking and washing did not go together. In this instance his "so home and to bed, tomorrow being washing day" implies that he wants to get some sleep before the house stirs in the early hours to start this major household task."

in aqua   Link to this

If thee be low man on totem pole, always have facts right and let the Chief [ Sir George Carteret who be in charge of the cash ] have a share in the slush fund.
Sam has got it down pat, always make sure the Last say guy, be with thee, else be ready to take a long walk off a short elbow.

in aqua   Link to this

Ruben, like to see more of your slice of this saga.

andy   Link to this

but I will get a bigger bell

My dad used to say "If it dosn't work, hit it with a hammer. If it still doesn't work, hit it with a bigger hanmmer". A philosphy he applied in all quarters of his life until the day he died.

Pedro   Link to this

Andy , your Dad must have had one of my screwdrivers.

Birmingham Screwdriver.

A hammer. Usually used on delicate devices when a real screwdriver would be better. Refers to the habit of a Birmingham inhabitant (i.e. simpleton] to take a rather simplitic view of maintenance

If it don't work - hit it.
If it still don't work, use a bigger hammer.

(The simpleton refers to me and not your Dad!)

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=...

Australian Susan   Link to this

Us Yorkshire folk refer to it as a Manchester Screwdriver.

Roy Feldman   Link to this

"...my people had so little witt to send in our meat from abroad in that Cook’s dishes, which were marked with the name of the Cook upon them, by which, if they observed anything, they might know it was not my own dinner."

I'm still not quite sure what to picture here. Did Sam send one of his "people" to give an order at the cookshop, and then send a second one to pick up the order, but the second one went to a different cookshop by accident?

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"they might know it was not my own dinner"

Roy, I think Australian Susan has it exactly right in her note above. Sam would like his guests to think his "family" (including staff) prepared the meal, but the staff served the food with the take-away cook's mark on it - as A.S. says, like serving it in Chinese restaurant take-out containers. "They" refers to the guests.

Roy Feldman   Link to this

Ah, got it now. I had seen but not understood A. S.'s earlier comment. And now I see that "send in" refers to the food emerging from the kitchen and being brought to the table. Thank you, Paul!

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