Thursday 6 October 1664

Up and to the office, where busy all the morning, among other things about this of the flags and my bringing in of callicos to oppose Young and Whistler. At noon by promise Mr. Pierce and his wife and Madam Clerke and her niece came and dined with me to a rare chine of beefe and spent the afternoon very pleasantly all the afternoon, and then to my office in the evening, they being gone, and late at business, and then home to supper and to bed, my mind coming to itself in following of my business.

20 Annotations

Michael Robinson  •  Link


I assume this is Henry Whistler, with his partner John Young, appointed flag maker to the navy in 1660.

Terry F  •  Link

Absent Dirk - from the Carte Calendar

William Coventry to Sandwich
Written from: [St James's]

Date: 6 October 1664

Shelfmark: MS. Carte 75, fol(s). 230
Document type: Holograph

Corrects a misapprehension of the meaning of a passage in one of his former letters, as to the sending of some ships, "not completely manned", to Plymouth, to ease the victualler, and to receive their complement of men.

Communicates the Lord Admiral's intentions as to promotion of officers. Adds that Prince Rupert is fallen into Lee Road. Encloses a Commission for Captain Page.

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

It's interesting to see how Sam is willing to "give up" daylight time to entertain and then happily goes into the office at night to do business. Obviously the daylight hours would be better for his eyes, as he does the kind of close work necessary in his job, but this doesn't seem to be an issue for him. I guess this is another 21st Century (Schizoid Man) prejudice of mine -- that the work days are for work, and the nights for play...

Australian Susan  •  Link

Work Hours

Until factories became the norm for working and had to be governed by bell or hooter and regimented for time, work was done when it needed to be done. I think Sam was more conscientious than others and he commends himself about this - giving himself verbal pats on the back about how well he is attending to business these days. Sam would have had no conditions of work contract: he did what he perceived had to be done within timeframes usually set by the comings and goings of the fleet. And just at the moment, things are rather fraught, thus the night hours. And Sunday working too.

Cum grano salis  •  Link

"but this doesn't seem to be an issue for him" but it does he was looking for answers to his lack of vision under candlelight.

Cum grano salis  •  Link

then comes Mr. Cocker to see me, and I discoursed with him about his writing and ability of sight, and how I shall do to get some glasse or other to helpe my eyes by candlelight; and he tells me he will bring me the helps he hath within a day or two, and shew me what he do..."

Terry F  •  Link

Lenses of eyeglasses are a great aid for those of us, like Pepys, with less-than-optimal vision, but it wouldn't be until "1752 [that] James Ayscough advertised his latest invention--spectacles with double hinged side pieces. These became extremely popular and appear more often than any other kind in paintings, prints, and caricatures of the period. "

Jesse  •  Link

"my mind coming to itself"

Interesting phrase alluding to what? Pepys contentment w/his non-idle hands pumping the iron of business to keep the unhealthful devil at bay. And a good workout today too, what with "busy all morning" at the office, lunch w/the Surgeon-General of the Fleet, a break in the afternoon, then "late at business".

Work Hours -> 'governed by ... hooter[s]' ?

Pedro  •  Link

Hooters, blowers and whistles.

Sure CGS remember will remember!

Today our clocks keep accurate time without need for winding or pulling chains. We are reminded of the time by radio and television. But it was not always like this. Before radio we relied on the church clock and on factory hooters, sirens and whistles. In Warsop one could hear no less than nine "pit blowers". The colliery steam whistles could be heard on the wind for more than five miles and they could be recognized by the subtle difference of tone and volume. Mansfield and Cresswell blowers could be heard but of course Welbeck, Warsop and Shirebrook were the loudest. Also there were Langwith, Sherwood, Thoresby, Ollerton and Clipstone collieries within earshot of Warsop.

Warsop Main colliery shift times were earlier than other local collieries and the Warsop whistle was the first to break the morning silence at five o'clock. Then there were time signals every half-hour until seven o'clock. Again at ten thirty, ten forty five and eleven o'clock, the blowers (or buzzers as some called them) would signal "snap time." This was when each colliery would close down for a fifteen-minute break. The blowers would sound again for the end of the Day shift at two o'clock, two thirty and three o'clock. Finally the blowers would call the night shift to work at 9 and 10pm.

So there was plenty of opportunity to adjust clocks and watches. Youngsters had less need for timepieces and there was no excuse for not knowing when it was time to be indoors. Most Warsop residents could recognise the blowers and they understood their timings. Farmers in the fields would check their pocket watches with the pit blowers, with knowledge that every colliery would be accurate to the second.

Pedro  •  Link

Factory Hooters.

Locally in the Midlands the "bull" sounded the start and end of work time.

JWB  •  Link

Night & Day

Isn't this the beau ideal of the Restoration-effortless accomplishment, at least as seen by lesser folk. Do the scut work under cover of darkness.

Carl in Boston  •  Link

The end of the day shift at 2 PM or 3 PM allowed factory workers to tend their small farms and milk their cows at the end of the day. At a grain elevator where I once worked, the flour mill closed around 4 PM and most of the workers went home to tend their small farms.
I just came back from a big dairy farm in Owosso Michigan where 300 dairy cows are milked at 4:30 AM, 12 noon, and 10 PM by six brothers and two farm hands working in shifts.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Equally interesting that the Duke's (and fleet's?) surgeon, James Pierce had time to head off in the middle of the day, fetch his pretty wife, and spend the afternoon till evening "very pleasantly" with the Pepys.

Of course it was a planned occasion and it being Sam the "very pleasant" might well have been he and James hunkering down in Sam's closet to look over the fleet's victualling and medical supply figures while the ladies talked downstairs.

Terry F  •  Link

"my bringing in of callicos to oppose Young and Whistler."

In setting himself up as a competing contractor to sell calico to the navy, Pepys is doing something a rule forbids, as an L&M note to yesterday's entry points out. This conflict-of-interest biz will bite back; we will hear more of it on into next year.

Spoiler: Calico had been used for flags by the Spanish, but in the English climate, they will be found too heavy to fly.

Re calico's popularity

Robert Gertz  •  Link

There's a way to sabotage the enemy...Inferior flags.

"Sir! The Dutch fleet!!"

"Right! Hoist our flags and signal we are to break the enemy line. What the...?!!"

"Sir?! The flags are all shred, sir! We've accidentally signalled half the fleet to expose their sterns to the Dutch!!"

Sound of Dutch cannon...Sound of shattering sterns...Cries...

"What's this?" Penn eyes flag strips fluttering to deck.

"Made in Holland?!!"

Hearty laughter from Dutch fleet...

Cum grano salis  •  Link

Sure CGS remember will remember! Hooters has a more modern meaning not a wake up call.
As for us clod hoppers, it be the lark or betsy the milk cow, [ye never upset her ladyship, other wise thee better kick the bucket before she got 'er 'oof to thee.] that would get us up at sunrise.

Australian Susan  •  Link

At the bottom of the street where my mother-in-law lived in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent (pottery factories) there used to be a pot bank (local term for pottery factory). Although closed even when I first visited (1970s), there was still a huge bell on the outside wall to summon the local workers. Some people also used to employ a knockerer-upper (completely unrelated to the famous saggarmaker's bottom-knocker) to tap on the bedroom windows with a long pole.

Nix  •  Link

Hooters, blowers and whistles --

Living next to and working at a university, my day is marked by bells from a clocktower every quarter hour from 7:45 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Paul Dyson  •  Link

Hooters, blowers and whistles --

In Worsley village, [now part of Salford, in Greater Manchester] those in the know are constantly reminded of the region's industrial heritage by the presence of the Bridgewater Canal. Here, on its banks, you can see the The First Earl of Ellesmere's boatyard and dry dock which were both constructed in 1760 and are still frequented today by the many modern canal users.

Just behind these lies The Green which is now a very desirable address but was once a bustling industrial yard, so noisy in fact that the workers claimed they could not hear the clock chiming at the end of their lunch break. The Duke of Bridgewater kindly had it altered so that it chimed thirteen times instead of once. The clock is now in place in St Mark's Church.

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