Saturday 25 June 1664

We staid late, and he lay with me all night and rose very merry talking, and excellent company he is, that is the truth of it, and a most cunning man. He being gone I to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon to dinner, and then to my office busy, and by and by home with Mr. Deane to a lesson upon raising a Bend of Timbers, and he being gone I to the office, and there came Captain Taylor, and he and I home, and I have done all very well with him as to the business of the last trouble, so that come what will come my name will be clear of any false dealing with him. So to my office again late, and then to bed.

  1. This seems to refer to knee timber, of which there was not a sufficient supply. A proposal was made to produce this bent wood artificially: “June 22, 1664. Sir William Petty intimated that it seemed by the scarcity and greater rate of knee timber that nature did not furnish crooked wood enough for building: wherefore he thought it would be fit to raise by art, so much of it in proportion, as to reduce it to an equal rate with strait timber” (Birch’s “History of the Royal Society,”)

6 Annotations

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Not exactly Talleyrand to Pepys' Napoleon but...

Robert Gertz   Link to this

" name will be clear of any false dealing with him."

"So you gave the money back?"

"Bess?! Have you gone lunatic?! I meant that I got him to give me all papers he had relating to me in the affair."


Robert Gertz   Link to this

"Sam'l? Is there still no word from my poor brother in Germany?"

"No, none yet, Bess. Though I've no doubt he's writing shortly to tell us how he's leading the victorious march of the Emperor on Constantinople. Amazingly though, I suspect the letter will turn out to have been miraculously posted at Dover."

Terry F   Link to this

"excellent company he is, that is the truth of it, and a most cunning man."

Why SP tolerates from Creed what he wouldn't put up with from others! Creed's temperament when in Pepys's company is evidently a rarity, and to be prized.

Gary J. Bivin   Link to this

Knee, or compass, timber was wood that had grown with a bend similar to the human knee. It was used in shipbuilding to reinforce joints such as where the beams met the ship's sides. Naturally-grown knees of the right size and shape were sometimes hard to find, especially as the demands of the shipbuilding industry increased and the natural stocks were depleted.

Shipbuilders were beginning to use iron plates as a substitute at the time of the Diary, but many, mainly by tradition, considered wood to be superior.

CGS   Link to this

on this day it be duly noted by Offialdom that Mr Hayter gets to be Samuells'c chief of clerks.

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