Thursday 31 December 1663

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and among other things Sir W. Warren came about some contract, and there did at the open table, Sir W. Batten not being there; openly defy him, and insisted how Sir W. Batten did endeavour to oppose him in everything that he offered. Sir W. Pen took him up for it, like a counterfeit rogue, though I know he was as much pleased to hear him talk so as any man there. But upon his speaking no more was said but to the business. At noon we broke up and I to the ‘Change awhile, and so home again to dinner, my head aching mightily with being overcharged with business. We had to dinner, my wife and I, a fine turkey and a mince pie, and dined in state, poor wretch, she and I, and have thus kept our Christmas together all alone almost, having not once been out, but to-morrow my vowes are all out as to plays and wine, but I hope I shall not be long before I come to new ones, so much good, and God’s blessing, I find to have attended them. Thence to the office and did several businesses and answered several people, but my head aching and it being my great night of accounts, I went forth, took coach, and to my brother’s, but he was not within, and so I back again and sat an hour or two at the Coffee [house], hearing some simple discourse about Quakers being charmed by a string about their wrists, and so home, and after a little while at my office, I home and supped, and so had a good fire in my chamber and there sat till 4 o’clock in the morning making up my accounts and writing this last Journall of the year. And first I bless God I do, after a large expense, even this month, by reason of Christmas, and some payments to my father, and other things extraordinary, find that I am worth in money, besides all my household stuff, or any thing of Brampton, above 800l., whereof in my Lord Sandwich’s hand, 700l., and the rest in my hand. So that there is not above 5l. of all my estate in money at this minute out of my hands and my Lord’s. For which the good God be pleased to give me a thankful heart and a mind careful to preserve this and increase it.

I do live at my lodgings in the Navy Office, my family being, besides my wife and I, Jane Gentleman, Besse, our excellent, good-natured cookmayde, and Susan, a little girle, having neither man nor boy, nor like to have again a good while, living now in most perfect content and quiett, and very frugally also; my health pretty good, but only that I have been much troubled with a costiveness which I am labouring to get away, and have hopes of doing it. At the office I am well, though envied to the devil by Sir William Batten, who hates me to death, but cannot hurt me. The rest either love me, or at least do not show otherwise, though I know Sir W. Pen to be a false knave touching me, though he seems fair.

My father and mother well in the country; and at this time the young ladies of Hinchingbroke with them, their house having the small-pox in it.

The Queene after a long and sore sicknesse is become well again; and the King minds his mistresse a little too much, if it pleased God! but I hope all things will go well, and in the Navy particularly, wherein I shall do my duty whatever comes of it.

The great talke is the designs of the King of France, whether against the Pope or King of Spayne nobody knows; but a great and a most promising Prince he is, and all the Princes of Europe have their eye upon him. My wife’s brother come to great unhappiness by the ill-disposition, my wife says, of his wife, and her poverty, which she now professes, after all her husband’s pretence of a great fortune, but I see none of them, at least they come not to trouble me.

At present I am concerned for my cozen Angier, of Cambridge, lately broke in his trade, and this day am sending his son John, a very rogue, to sea.

My brother Tom I know not what to think of, for I cannot hear whether he minds his business or not; and my brother John at Cambridge, with as little hopes of doing good there, for when he was here he did give me great cause of dissatisfaction with his manner of life. Pall with my father, and God knows what she do there, or what will become of her, for I have not anything yet to spare her, and she grows now old, and must be disposed of one way or other.

The Duchesse of York, at this time, sicke of the meazles, but is growing well again.

The Turke very far entered into Germany, and all that part of the world at a losse what to expect from his proceedings.

Myself, blessed be God! in a good way, and design and resolution of sticking to my business to get a little money with doing the best service I can to the King also; which God continue! So ends the old year.

29 Annotations

Bradford  •  Link

"800l., whereof in my Lord Sandwich's hand, 700l., and the rest in my hand. So that there is not above 5l. of all my estate in money at this minute out of my hands and my Lord's.": the best one could hope for, before the age of banks? But how does Sandwich keep their collective loot safe?

Paul Dyson  •  Link

and after a little while at my office, I home and supped.....

....then went forth with my wife and servants all to the river, where a great multitude assembled, so that methought no man in London was abed nor his wife and household, all purposing to observe the great show which the king, upon the persuasion 'tis said of my lady Castlemaine, hath provided so that all may have cause to mark the New Year with joy and thanks to his name, he having promised some ingenious Frenchman monies to set up vast quantities of fireworks, sufficient in powder, as I with my rule did afterward compute, to sink the Dutch fleet entire, and so many lightning flashes and thunderclaps as I never saw or heard in my life, yet I did fear as much for the city as for my velvet coat from the flying sparks and cinders thereof, whereafter I did conspire with Sir Wms both to make an inspection on the morrow of the Navy powder stores, notwithstanding it seemed unto me, God forgive me, that these very rogues knew more than they ought how the French incendiary came by his supplies, so at length home and to bed much agitated yet with great content.

Bradford  •  Link

Pepys is the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography subject for 1 January 2007. This 15-page essay by C. S. Knighton will remain freely available for a week. Go to this page and click on the Hayls portrait:

The Print function is at upper left.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

And a most Happy NY to you, Jeannine, thanks.


Ah, yes the 700L in Sandwich's hands. No wonder Sam is jittery about their relationship.

"My Lord? About my 700L?"

"Howe? Creed? Mr. Pepys is leaving. Please escort him to the door."

Larry Bunce  •  Link

It is interesting that Pepys thinks of the new year as starting on 1 Jan, in spite of the official date on 21 (or thereabouts) March.

cumgranosalis  •  Link

wot's a girl to do? "...Pall with my father, and God knows what she do there, or what will become of her, for I have not anything yet to spare her, and she grows now old, and must be disposed of one way or other..."

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Happy New Year.
After four years, we should all get B.P. (Bachelor of Pepys) degrees.

Many thanks to Phil and to all the annotators who have made this extended sojourn in Restoration London not only possible, but Positively Palatable.

Looking forward to post-graduate study starting tomorrow.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Sir William Batten,who hates me to death"
Well Sam sometime ago you said you hated him with all your heart.

jeannine  •  Link

A Happy New Year Poem to all who make this site so wonderful! May your New Year be full of great joys and may no Pembletons cause you worry, no Battens upset your day, and may 1664 bring us together for more shared discoveries.

language hat  •  Link

"I have not anything yet to spare her"
The richer they get, the stingier they become.

Happy New Year to all this merry crew!

Ruben  •  Link

Dear Robert:
After reading Bradford's annotation, please improve on your last theatralization using the sum of £28,007 2s. 1¼d and changing the actors around Pepys. (I know it is a spoiler, but it is something that happened after the diary, so I feel excused).

andy  •  Link

well done Bradford, saw the fireworks on the BBC. Happy new year everyone.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"I am worth in money, besides all my household stuff, or any thing of Brampton, above 800l., whereof in my Lord Sandwich's hand, 700l., and the rest in my hand"

Well, that seems to solve a discussion that I was having with Mr. Salty a little while ago ... if I recall correctly, we'd concluded that Sam was *not* counting the monies lent to Montagu when he calculated his net worth, but it seems they are part of the equation after all, and that Sam really has only £100 "ready money" on hand (or, as he says, "in my hand").

I love the use of the word "stuff" here -- it seems so modern and slangy to me, yet here it is in exactly the same usage, 340+ years ago. One of the many pleasures of reading this Diary. (Along with annotations like Mr. Dyson's!)

A. De Araujo  •  Link

Paul Dyson if it had quotation marks it might have fooled me; well done.
Happy New Year, Feliz Ano Novo to all

language hat  •  Link


Actually, it's not "exactly the same usage" and it's not slangy at all -- this is a classic example of the perils of reading English of the past through the linguistic usage of today. It's easy to get used to completely different words, much harder with words that look the same and are used in similar contexts but have different connotations. From the OED:

1. g. Property, esp. movable property, household goods or utensils; furniture; more definitely "stuff of money", "stuff of household". Obs. exc. in HOUSEHOLD-STUFF arch.
1438 E.E. Wills (1882) 111 Item to my wyf, all my stuff beyng at the Fasterne. 1439 Ibid. 126 All his other godes and stuffes meveable that he leveth vnto hem. [...] 1501 Bury Wills (Camden) 84, I bequethe to Margarett my wyff all my stuff of hous~hold. [...] 1621 BURTON Anat. Mel. II. iii. III. 399 A poore man.. eates his meat in wooden spoones, wooden platters, earthen Vessels, and such homely stuffe. 1635-56 COWLEY Davideis III. 220 Some lead the groaning waggons, loaded high, With stuff, on top of which the Maidens ly. 1646 Bury Wills (Camden) 193 She shall not.. haue the vse of any of the goods, stuffe of houshold, chattells, personall estate, or thinges by me herein given to her.

It's very hard to read quotes like "loaded high with stuff" and not feel it as modern, but you should mentally replace "stuff" with "household goods."

Gerry  •  Link

The excecution of Saddam has promted much speculation about his demeanor and the extent to which such events should be depicted in the media.
I'm immediately reminded of Sam's comment on observing the hanging.drawing and quatering of the regicide General Harrison in Oct.1660.."he looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition".
He had had a little spare time so stopped off to watch the execution at Charing Cross. Different days!

cumgranosalis  •  Link

Todd: So glad to know that Sam does not put all his Talen[t]s in a glass bottle and watch them kiss and cuddle, but puts them to work, to bring in some bacon. I dothe thinke he be off the hook now for a little dalience now that he has a few bob to spare having made his pecuniam numbers and is free to buy an orange or two from a passing wench and then watch the ankle display on some of the boards in town.

cumgranosalis  •  Link

"... So that there is not above 5l. of all my estate in money at this minute out of my hands and my Lord's..."
see Juvenal, Satirae III,143

Paul Dyson  •  Link

Jeannine - utterly brilliant poem, "optime fecisti"!

editori praeclaro omnibusque annotatoribus novum annum felicem

language hat  •  Link

To parse cumgranosalis's allusion, revisit his comment here (under the guise of "vicente"):
"Quantum quisque sua nummorum servat in arca, tantum habet et fidei." Juvenal, Satirae, III, 143-144
Loosely put: Your word is only as good as the money ye doth have in your piggy bank

Patricia  •  Link

Yous guys is all too erudite for me.
Thanks for another great year of living in the past.

rob  •  Link

Best wishes for 2007 and thank you all for lightening up many a boring lunch break.

Does anyone have any more details about Sam's feud with Sir W. Penn?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

re: stuff

Thanks, LH ... an interesting example of how a word with a specific meaning gets more generic over time.

And Mr. Salty, I'm not so sure I'm happy about Sam's investment of almost 90% of his nest egg in one basket! Still, it does give us another reason why Sam might have been very concerned about his Lord's ability to "mind his business" rather than dallying with some strumpet in Chelsea...

Jacqueline Gore  •  Link

Rob, if I remember right after an initial good start and much friendly comradery, a big break between Pepys and Penn came a good while back when Penn humilated Sam by stopping him in the middle of writing up a contract or some other document and insisting it was not his job. (I'm sorry that I don't have the date) I took it as Penn attempting to put Sam in his place as clerk (rather than, Clerk) of the acts and not one of the titled senior officers. Sam responded with hatred and a deep desire to show Penn up as inept in the office businees which, via his growing knowledge of the office work and his marvelous slide rule, he has been doing.

Glyn  •  Link

Just for the record, "old Pall" is currently 23 years of age.

Justin Rowles  •  Link

@Larry Bunce:

AFAIK, the new year was already well established as 1st Jan by then, but the treasury was (and remains!) unwilling to have a 9 month year on its books, and so the financial new year was (and remains!) 1st April.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"hearing some simple discourse about Quakers being charmed by a string about their wrists"

This was a very old rumor: George Fox, founder of the Quakers, wrote that in 1653-1654 Oliver Cromwell "put in the news that I hung ribands on people's arms, which made them follow me. This was another of his lies, for I never used nor wore ribands in my life." Similar accusations of witchcraft were often made at this time against most extreme Puritans. (Per L&M footnote)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

" The Turke very far entered into Germany, and all that part of the world at a losse what to expect from his proceedings."

1657–1683 Conclusion of Wars with Habsburgs
The Western part of the Hungarian Kingdom (Partium) was annexed and placed under direct Ottoman control, marking the greatest territorial extent of Ottoman rule in the former Hungarian Kingdom. At the same time, there was another campaign against Austria between 1663 and 1664.

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