Thursday 26 May 1664

Up to the office, where we sat, and I had some high words with Sir W. Batten about canvas, wherein I opposed him and all his experience, about seams in the middle, and the profit of having many breadths and narrow, which I opposed to good purpose, to the rejecting of the whole business. At noon home to dinner, and thence took my wife by coach, and she to my Lady Sandwich to see her. I to Tom Trice, to discourse about my father’s giving over his administration to my brother, and thence to Sir R. Bernard, and there received 19l. in money, and took up my father’s bond of 21l., that is 40l., in part of Piggot’s 209l. due to us, which 40l. he pays for 7 roods of meadow in Portholme. Thence to my wife, and carried her to the Old Bayly, and there we were led to the Quest House, by the church, where all the kindred were by themselves at the buriall of my uncle Fenner; but, Lord! what a pitiful rout of people there was of them, but very good service and great company the whole was. And so anon to church, and a good sermon, and so home, having for ease put my 19l. into W. Joyce’s hand, where I left it. So to supper and to bed, being in a little pain from some cold got last night lying without anything upon my feet.


20 Annotations

Australian Susan  •  Link

"high words"
Sam the confident - his homework on canvas now means he has the bottle to oppose Batten despite "all his experience". Sir W must have been thoroughly annoyed, but Sam seems oblivious or unconcious of this.
He's rather disparaging about the company at the funeral, isn't he? But is generous spirited enough to admit the experience was good.
"anon to Church"- Ascension Day.
Can someone explain all the Brampton money bits? It has all got so complicated!

Terry F  •  Link

"I opposed him...about seams in the middle, and the profit of having many breadths and narrow,"

Sails split along sewn seams, presumably argues Pepys, and each seam adds weight. Sir W. Batten's rationale for the several horizontal strips of canvas may be that tears in that dimension are less drastic for the ship's welfare than vertical tears or splits. (Guessing a bit. Others?)

Brian  •  Link

It would seem to me that a horizontal rip would spread and take out the entire sail. A vertical rip would only take out part of the sail, since it would stop where it is bound to the yards.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"some high words with Sir W. Batten about canvas,..."

The prior Sunday, the 22nd., appears to be one day Pepys used for gathering information; in the a.m. the walk with Colonel Reymes, who was active in the sailcloth trade, then at the end of the day in the walk from Deptford to the Half-way House:-

"... with Mr. Wayth talking about the business of his supplying us with canvas, and he told me in discourse several instances of Sir W. Batten's cheats."
http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1664/05/22/

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"some high words with Sir W. Batten about canvas,..."

From the L&M note:-

'Cf. N[avy] W[hite] B[ook], p. 222 (26 May):
'I stopped at a full Board, Collonell Reames being there, Sir W. Batten's project of bespeaking the W country cloth to be of 15 inches wide - or 18, which the Board seemed inclined to have. And very high Sir W. Batten was with me how he should not understand a sail better than I.' Pepys (relying on the advice of sail-makers and on the Dutch example) argued the broad canvas, with few seams, which was both cheaper and stronger. See notes in NWB, pp. 21+."

Jeannine, over to your source for further details ...

Terry F  •  Link

Good point, Brian. Perhaps absent a tear the horizontals are better. In 1805, a century and a third from today, Captain Malcolm Cowan, of the Royal Navy, will say succinctly, "Sails are made with the seams horizontal instead of vertical." http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Rigging/x805c...
But it was not always so.

In 1809 Cowan will report, "From the experiment that has been made in the royal navy, the difference in duration of the sails made with horizontal cloths, and those of the old make, has been proved to be as eighteen months to eleven,1 making a difference of seven months wear in favour of those with the horizontal cloths; and they are every way stronger, more effective, and stand nearer to the wind." Observations on the Dangers to which his Majesty's Ships and Vessels are unnecessarily exposed, from the present mode of making Sails in his Majesty's Navy; and on the unnecessary Expense attending them. http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Rigging/NC22(...

But one doesn't want a stack of strips.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Normal for one climbing the ladder of Success, to let thy rear view mirror tell the story, and let thy emissions be noticed.

"He's rather disparaging about the company at the funeral"

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"having for ease put my 19l in W.Joyce's hand"
He could not stand the Joyces before! Oh well business is business.

JWB  •  Link

Segelgedankenexperiment

If we think of an aircraft wing as a variant of a sail, the fewer seams, running horizontally on the sail( fore & aft on the wing) makes sense aerodynamically.
The endurance of the horizontal over the vertical cited by Terry, assumming strength runs parallel to the seams & that a full sail would be stressed equally in all directions, can be explained by lufting-spilling the air in bursts- putting greater stress along the horizontal.

Mary  •  Link

7 roods of meadow.

A rood is an area of one quarter of an acre, or 10,890 square feet. Land doesn't seem particularly cheap around Portholme.

Terry F  •  Link

"in a little pain from some cold got last night lying without anything upon my feet."

Interesting report/diagnosis, from a 21st-century point of view. I wonder *where* he feels the pain. How does this "cold got" relate to the common cold http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_cold ? What does SP's oft sleeping with feet uncovered say about (a) his bedclothes, and/or (b) how he lies in the bed?

Terry F  •  Link

Well, OK, we do not know how "oft" Pepys sleeps with feet uncovered, but read about it when it is blamed for some ill effect(s).

Michael Robinson  •  Link

"some cold got last night ..."

Presumably Pepys is not referring to a viral infection but uses the word 'cold' in the context of the Galenic medical theory of humors and qualities. What ever he might be feeling he attributes to an 'imbalance' in the body caused by too much 'cold.' How else could it have entered but from the uncovered feet; Pigeons with their 'hot and moist qualities' I recall being placed on the feet of the Queen in her illness.

Terry F  •  Link

Thank you, Michael. That helps. It also helps imagine how
the conflation of a Galenic "cold" and the "cold" of Pepys's uncovered feet transmogrified across the generations into
the conflation of the "cold" one "caught" with the feared "cold" of a chill insufficient to compromise the immune system when I was a lad more than a half-century ago -- : clinically inadequate, but "conceptually" adequate.

jeannine  •  Link

"Pepys (relying on the advice of sail-makers and on the Dutch example) argued the broad canvas, with few seams, which was both cheaper and stronger."
Michael, over the course of a few months Sam has entries about the qualities of the different materials (Holland's duck vs. West Country duck vs. Suffolk cloth, etc.) used to make masts. He also collects information about the issue of the width of the cloth and how a narrower cloth needs more seams. Sam researches where most of the masts break apart due to wear and he finds it is on the seams, thus making a broader cloth a better choice as it requires fewer seams. Mennes supports that the seams have tended to give way first as based on his experience on the 'Henry' in 1661. (Spoiler) This talk won't end here today.

Ruben  •  Link

Of course it was a lapse every time Jeannine wrote mast. Her intention was "sail".

Australian Susan  •  Link

For "mast" read "canvas"

Irresistably reminded of Sellers & Yeatman's "1066 and all that" which among the spurious errata at the beginning of the book has "for 'pheasant' read 'peasant' throughout"
Amazon ref:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/105-911587...

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Thence to my wife, and carried her to the Old Bayly, and there we were led to the Quest House, by the church"

L&M note "the parish Quest House -- so-called after the 'quest' (inquest) juries which met in it to enquire into matters of parish or ward concerns -- served as an assembly room for other purposes."

pepf  •  Link

"Can someone explain all the Brampton money bits?"

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/09/16/
...and after dinner to the Court, where Sir Robert and his son came again by and by, and then to our business, and my father and I having given bond to him for the 21l. Piggott owed him, my uncle Thomas did quietly admit himself and surrender to us the lands first mortgaged for our whole debt, and Sir Robert added to it what makes it up 209l., to be paid in six months.

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