Thursday 31 August 1665

Up and, after putting several things in order to my removal, to Woolwich; the plague having a great encrease this week, beyond all expectation of almost 2,000, making the general Bill 7,000, odd 100; and the plague above 6,000. I down by appointment to Greenwich, to our office, where I did some business, and there dined with our company and Sir W. Boreman, and Sir The. Biddulph, at Mr. Boreman’s, where a good venison pasty, and after a good merry dinner I to my office, and there late writing letters, and then to Woolwich by water, where pleasant with my wife and people, and after supper to bed. Thus this month ends with great sadness upon the publick, through the greatness of the plague every where through the kingdom almost. Every day sadder and sadder news of its encrease. In the City died this week 7,496 and of them 6,102 of the plague. But it is feared that the true number of the dead, this week is near 10,000; partly from the poor that cannot be taken notice of, through the greatness of the number, and partly from the Quakers and others that will not have any bell ring for them. Our fleete gone out to find the Dutch, we having about 100 sail in our fleete, and in them the Soveraigne one; so that it is a better fleete than the former with the Duke was. All our fear is that the Dutch should be got in before them; which would be a very great sorrow to the publick, and to me particularly, for my Lord Sandwich’s sake. A great deal of money being spent, and the kingdom not in a condition to spare, nor a parliament without much difficulty to meet to give more. And to that; to have it said, what hath been done by our late fleetes? As to myself I am very well, only in fear of the plague, and as much of an ague by being forced to go early and late to Woolwich, and my family to lie there continually. My late gettings have been very great to my great content, and am likely to have yet a few more profitable jobbs in a little while; for which Tangier, and Sir W. Warren I am wholly obliged to.

13 Annotations

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"My late gettings have been very great to my great content, and am likely to have yet a few more profitable jobbs in a little while;..."

"Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the right side of life...
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the bright side of life...
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life...
(I mean - what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life..."

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1loyjm4SOa0

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"...beyond all expectation of almost 2,000, making the general Bill 7,000, odd 100; and the plague above 6,000."

Samuel Pepys. You are hereby absolved of all duty to remain in London by Posterity. Get thy ass to Woolwich and stay there!

This is of course contingent on your continuing your Diary, and bringing along Will Hewer, Tom Hayter, and co...

***
Always one of my favorites, MR. Thanks.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Any way nothing that a good venison pasty can't cure...

Glyn   Link to this

RG: I don't think that there was any way in the world that he could have been persuaded to leave town. This is a man who is so curious about things that he recently went looking for funerals and was disappointed not to see any bodies, when my own inclination would have been to get as far away from any infection as possible.

Isn't it odd, that Pepys who often comes across as a hypochondriac and constantly notes down his illnesses, seems so apparently unconcerned about catching it.

(And, off topic, but have people noticed that this Diary will be coming to an end in May 2012 just a few months before the London 2012 Olympics?)

CGS   Link to this

Samuell a hypochondriac? neigh, just keeping tabs on the weird things of life, 'tis the "why gene" that is the hall mark of this period, there be Boyle who wonders why the balloon changes shape when sat on, then there is Newton wondering why the wind in his face slows him down, then there be that lad that finds a tick and then puts it under his lens to see what bit him, so many wondering why, they did not like the answers from the authoritative ones sitting on their hi pew.
He is always wondering why the maids like being tickled.

CGS   Link to this

It is an interesting comment on the Quakers and the lessers not getting their due count on lists of dearly departed.

Paul Chapin   Link to this

"odd 100"

A modern version would be "give or take 100."
OED (under entry for "odd"):
†4.b. and odd or odd (denoting an indefinite number) qualifying a n. of lower denomination. Obs. or arch.
a1548 Hall Chron., Hen. IV, 32b, When he had reigned .xiii. yeres, v. monthes and odde daies. 1603 Petowe Stanzas in Farr S.P. Jas. I (1848), Three thousand and od hundred clowds appere. 1634 Sir T. Herbert Trav. 43 It is in the latitude of twenty two degrees, odde minutes north. 1714 Lond. Gaz. No. 5213/4, 11 Foot odd Inches in the Hold. 1813 Sir R. Wilson Priv. Diary I. 434 Thirty-eight thousand odd hundred infantry, two thousand odd hundred cavalry.

Bradford   Link to this

And isn't it a comforting thought to think, thanks to modern Search functions, that once the Diary concludes we shall be able, in the twinkling of an eye, to tot up a fair approximation of how many venison pasties Pepys has been party to during its duration?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Actually Glyn, he is leaving today. And Tomalin at least is amused by his scurrying right after writing to Coventry as to his willingness to remain on deck to the bitter end, taking his chance with the pestilence as Sir William did with the Dutch. But, I expect he'll come back as often as he feels is necessary and he has certainly stayed it out until the situation became very dangerous and the City rather useless for managing the war effort, given that so many have now left. So I hope he will settle primarily in Woolwich now where the joys of the squabble between Bess and Mary Mercer and certain other dangers (Mary being she of the bounteous bosoms to borrow Joyce) await him.

Still, London, poor city, will miss him. How many kept their spirits up by seeing our bustling, life-affirming Sam and hearing his tales of the City during these dark times, I wonder?

Jesse   Link to this

persuaded to leave town

Let's not forget his (soon to be?) Mercerless wife.

Pedro   Link to this

Meanwhile with the Fleet…

“…In this bad weather the Sovereign by a leak wetted 40 barrels of powder and the Diamond lost her bowsprit, foremast and main topsail, and I sent her into Harwich and took out 40 men.”

(Journal of Edward Montagu edited by Anderson)

A. Hamilton   Link to this

Tomalin "amused by his scurrying right after writing to Coventry as to his willingness to remain on deck to the bitter end, taking his chance with the pestilence as Sir William did with the Dutch."

Isn't this undercut by the group move to Woolwich? What would be the point of staying at the Navy Office when the other commissioners had relocated?

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