Thursday 16 June 1664

[Continued from yesterday. P.G.] … I lay in my drawers and stockings and wastecoate till five of the clock, and so up; and being well pleased with our frolique, walked to Knightsbridge, and there eat a messe of creame, and so to St. James’s, and there walked a little, and so I to White Hall, and took coach, and found my wife well got home last night, and now in bed. So I to the office, where all the morning, and at noon to the ‘Change, so home and to my office, where Mr. Ackworth came to me (though he knows himself and I know him to be a very knave), yet he came to me to discover the knavery of other people like the most honest man in the world. However, good use I shall make of his discourse, for in this he is much in the right. He being gone I to the ‘Change, Mr. Creed with me, after we had been by water to see a vessell we have hired to carry more soldiers to Tangier, and also visited a rope ground, wherein I learnt several useful things. The talk upon the ‘Change is, that De Ruyter is dead, with fifty men of his own ship, of the plague, at Cales: that the Holland Embassador here do endeavour to sweeten us with fair words; and things likely to be peaceable. Home after I had spoke with my cozen Richard Pepys upon the ‘Change, about supplying us with bewpers —[?? D.W.]— from Norwich, which I should be glad of, if cheap. So home to supper and bed.

25 Annotations

Pedro  •  Link


One special form, called bunt or bunting, was sold for making flags. WORSTED tammies were made in NORWICH and other parts of east Norfolk from about 1600. It remained a hugely popular fabric until the end of the period. Some shops had a dozen varieties or more. Of all the STUFFs it was the one that advertisers most often chose to list. From: 'T - Tammy', Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820 (2007). URL: Date accessed: 16 June 2007.

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

[?? D.W.]

The editor has not been paying attention to this thread.

For anyone with a USN frame of reference, Bewpers (Bupers) denotes Bureau of Personnel. Amusing to find it
means something else in RN jargon circa 1664.

Terry F  •  Link

L&M note that Richard Pepys, of London was a draper like his father, William, of Norwich.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"Home after I had spoke with my cozen Richard Pepys upon the 'Change, about supplying us with bewpers --[?? D.W.]-- from Norwich, which I should be glad of, if cheap."

All in the family...


"So you spoke to Mr. Pepys, dear?"

"Aye." Ackworth frowns. "And the little knave carried on as though he were the most shocked, innocent soul in the world, when all the Navy know of his dealings with Groves and Taylor and Denis Gauden and Sir William Warren and that business with the flags. I try to talk to him honestly, man-to-man, acknowledging we all take what a man must to keep the wolf from the family door but that there is a difference between that and outright robbing of King and Country and he begins looking like John Creed before the Restoration..." displays sour frown, upturned nose, haughty expression... "...and begins pontificating about the duties of the King's appointed...I do believe he meant, anointed, at least in his own case...Officers. Pompous little...All the City know of his carryings-on with that fat Betty Lane over in Whitehall. And that louse William Bagwell the other night was openly boastin' to me over drink that he'd have the little fool eatin' out of his wife's hand in a few months. Pssh, more likely her..." "Mr. Ackworth!!" "Sorry..."

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"The talk upon the 'Change is, that De Ruyter is dead, with fifty men of his own ship, of the plague, at Cales: that the Holland Embassador here do endeavour to sweeten us with fair words; and things likely to be peaceable."

Nothing like wistful thinking...

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Norwich the city it be, I dothe thinke, it being the center [centre] of woolen trades on the lamb, along with some fowls of the turkey kind.
Bunting business be a good business, replacement of shredded and tattered pieces of clothe be guaranteed.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

The bewper to bunting to flag be tenuous.
Bunt be a bird or the big rear end but for the tars it be the middle portion of the billowing sail

Bunting first appears in the OED in 1742.

a. 'An open-made worsted stuff, used for making flags' (Ure Dict. Arts); also in general, a flag, or flags collectively. ......1742 Navy Board...

else from
2. 'The middle part of a sail, formed designedly into a bag or cavity, that the sail may gather more wind.
In "handed" or "furled" sails, the bunt is the middle gathering which is tossed up on the centre of the yard' (Smyth Sailor's Word-bk.). b. The middle part of a yard: the Slings.
may be the connection:


1. A rope fastened to the foot-rope of a sail and passing in front of the canvas, so as to prevent it from 'bellying' when being furled.

1627 CAPT. SMITH Seaman's Gram. v. 22 Bunt lines is..a small trice or draw vp the Bunt of the saile, when you farthell or make it vp

for Bewpers, we have to read Samuell Pepys. as the connection. 16th june.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

to discover the knavery of other people like the most honest man in the world.

... the tribute vice pays to virtue!

Mary  •  Link

mess of cream.

The term 'mess' for a cream-based dessert survives in Eton Mess. This is a pudding composed of halved strawberries and crushed meringues folded into whipped cream. Not suitable for slimmers.

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"Not suitable for slimmers"
Unless you are on a low carbohydrate diet and do not add any sugar. :)

language hat  •  Link


I was going to suggest this was Calais rather than Cadiz, but the 1911 Britannica ( ) says Cadiz was "formerly called Cales by the English." I can't figure out why they would write it with -l-, though; the word has had a -d- since Carthaginian times.

Pedro  •  Link


Maybe of no help but it appears in the following...


In Cales they had their staple of wool, which since then has been transferred to Brugge (where it still is). Here were always ferries to England, which is nowhere nearer the Continent than here, so that the sea between Calais and the nearest Harbour in England, called Douer, is no more than thirty English miles {1581F only{or seven of our French miles}1581F only}. Calais used to be called Iccius portus, as most people think, for some have the opinion that it was Boulogne, because it is equally far from Douer as Calais, but they probably refer to Gessoriacus Portus, as proved by Rhenanus on the basis of an old manuscript map.

Pedro  •  Link

Bunt be a bird or the big rear end...

And a bunter be a low bird with or without the big rear end.

Xjy  •  Link

Bewpers has been cracked before, last year, not by salt but by water:

in Aqua Scripto on Tue 23 May 2006, 09:19pm (diary same date 1663)

"...and shuffling in the business of Bewpers..." Bewpers?
Samuell gives the best clue: OED"...1664 PEPYS Diary (1879) III. 56 Among the Linnen Wholesale see what can be done with them for the supplying our want of Bewpers for flaggs. Ibid. 16 June, Supplying us with bewpers from Norwich. ..."
???beaupers, bewpers Also 6 bowpres [alt?bewpyr,beaupere the good/fine father]
limited OED ref:

bewpers listed as beaupers with this meaning at OneLook in the Phrontistery:

Bunt is also (in at least one case I know of, my uncle) a nickname for men called Hunter. Rhymes with Bunter (Billy), shortens to Bunt.

This was before we could dismiss all this discussion by just muttering "Silly bunt"...

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

Cales as it be said in Ballet, Pedro's link gives a nice summary to the poor folks of sand banks of the Oceani Germanici Pars.
The spelling on one map be Cales, Willelm Bleau 1606 map then on another by Jan Baptiste Vrients who bought and used Ortelius's map Inferious Germaniae Provinciarium Nova, it be spelt Calais [1606]
On another map the spellings Grevelingen and Duynkurcke in Flanders 1595.
This Area be sought after by all the kingdoms so that they may rule the waves of De Noord Zee.

The waters off Douer [Dubri] be known as Fretum Gallicum [for those that want to Know]

Calais was known to Caeser as Caletum or the lads pagi be named Caletanus Gauls.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Mess didn't just mean desserts - in the King James Bible Esau is bribed with "a mess of pottage" [lentil soup?] and when Joseph encounters his brothers in Egypt, he gives the beloved Benjamin more food than the rest "and Benjamin's mess was larger" . And then there is the miltary mess. (not war....) (as a small child I used to think Benjamin was just very untidy).

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

When I complimented Christopher Buckley on the title of his book, The White House Mess (as the staff dining facility is known), he smiled and said, "low hanging fruit."

Paul Chapin  •  Link

mess of pottage
OED re 'pottage':
1. A dish composed of vegetables alone, or along with meat, boiled to softness in water, and appropriately seasoned; soup, esp. a thick soup. In ancient cookery, often a highly composite dish.
Now chiefly a literary word, historical, archaic, scriptural, or used of the soups of primitive peoples: no longer a term of English cookery. But the French form is in use in names of dishes really French or supposed to be: see potage.

b. fig.: often with reference to Esau's 'mess of pottage' (mess n. 2).

Xref to 'mess' (n. 2):
2. a. Applied (in early use only contextually, in later use spec.) to a 'made dish', or to a portion or a kind of liquid, partly liquid, or pulpy food, such as milk, broth, porridge, boiled vegetables, etc.
The expression a mess of pottage, proverbially current in allusions to the story of Esau's sale of his birthright (Gen. xxv. 29-34), does not occur in the Bible of 1611, though found in this connexion as early as 1526 (see quot. below). It appears in the heading of ch. xxv. in the Bibles of 1537 and 1539, and in the Geneva Bible of 1560. Coverdale (1535) does not use it either in the text or heading of this chapter (his words being 'meace of meate', 'meace of ryse'), but he has it in 1 Chron. xvi. 3 and Prov. xv. 7.

The citations are not sufficiently apposite to include here.

Cumsalisgrano  •  Link

The French had a mess, the Officers had their mess and the Tommy Akins made the mess in the mess on the mess, eating a mess.

Pedro  •  Link

"The talk upon the 'Change is, that De Ruyter is dead,"

In the course of the summer De Ruyter suffered from serious ill-health. At the beginning of June he fell into a high fever. His life was despaired of, but his strong constitution saved him. By the 24th of June he had entirely recovered, althought he rumour spread in England that he had died of the plague.

(It appears that the plague was rife in Algiers and North Africa at the time. De Ruyter had many problems getting supplies in the Spanish ports where all crew had to be examined if they went ashore, even though he had been at sea for several weeks. At times supplies were left on the shore so that no contact was made.

(Life of Admiral De Ruyter by Renier)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Mr. Ackworth came to me to discover the knavery of other people like the most honest man in the world. However, good use I shall make of his discourse, for in this he is much in the right. "

William Acworth (Storekeeper, Woolwich) had been guilty of a 'plain cheat': He now told Pepys of the misdoings of the Clerk of the Cheque at Woolwich who was allegedly falsifying the petty-warrant and yard wages account: see Pepys's note in NWB, p. 54. Cf. Acworthh's letter to Coventry (7 June) complaining of ill management in the ropeyard: Rawl. A 174, ff. 38+. (L&M note)

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"the Holland Embassador here do endeavour to sweeten us with fair words; and things likely to be peaceable."

The Dutch government at this point appears to have feared a war (see Downing's dispatch, 20/30 May in Lister, iii. 329-31) and had sent an embassy under van Gogh with proposals for a settlement. Downing had returned to London to take part in the discussion. For their failure see The optimism to which Pepys refers was widely shared. Van Gogh had been received incognito ny the King on the 13th (ten days or so before his public entry and audience), and was said to have argued that the grievances suffered by the English were to be blamed on the Dutch trading companies, not on the government.
(Per L&M footnote that cites multiple sources)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"... well pleased with our frolique ..."

He took three teenage girls home at midnight, after everyone had gone to bed, having terrified one of the girls on the rough Thames, and had them standing around in the street without transportation ... My Lady must have been much nicer about it than I would have been.

Having Creed there -- by accident! -- was just as well.

Bill  •  Link

“and there eat a messe of creame”

MESS, a Portion of Food for one or more Persons.
---An universal etymological English dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

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