Saturday 30 September 1665

Up and to the office, where busy all the morning, and at noon with Sir W. Batten to Coll. Cleggat to dinner, being invited, where a very pretty dinner to my full content and very merry. The great burden we have upon us at this time at the office, is the providing for prisoners and sicke men that are recovered, they lying before our office doors all night and all day, poor wretches. Having been on shore, the captains won’t receive them on board, and other ships we have not to put them on, nor money to pay them off, or provide for them. God remove this difficulty! This made us followed all the way to this gentleman’s house and there are waited for our coming out after dinner. Hither come Luellin to me and would force me to take Mr. Deering’s 20 pieces in gold he did offer me a good while since, which I did, yet really and sincerely against my will and content, I seeing him a man not likely to do well in his business, nor I to reap any comfort in having to do with, and be beholden to, a man that minds more his pleasure and company than his business. Thence mighty merry and much pleased with the dinner and company and they with me I parted and there was set upon by the poor wretches, whom I did give good words and some little money to, and the poor people went away like lambs, and in good earnest are not to be censured if their necessities drive them to bad courses of stealing or the like, while they lacke wherewith to live. Thence to the office, and there wrote a letter or two and dispatched a little business, and then to Captain Cocke’s, where I find Mr. Temple, the fat blade, Sir Robert. Viner’s chief man. And we three and two companions of his in the evening by agreement took ship in the Bezan and the tide carried us no further than Woolwich about 8 at night, and so I on shore to my wife, and there to my great trouble find my wife out of order, and she took me downstairs and there alone did tell me her falling out with both her mayds and particularly Mary, and how Mary had to her teeth told her she would tell me of something that should stop her mouth and words of that sense. Which I suspect may be about Brown, but my wife prays me to call it to examination, and this, I being of myself jealous, do make me mightily out of temper, and seeing it not fit to enter into the dispute did passionately go away, thinking to go on board again. But when I come to the stairs I considered the Bezan would not go till the next ebb, and it was best to lie in a good bed and, it may be, get myself into a better humour by being with my wife. So I back again and to bed and having otherwise so many reasons to rejoice and hopes of good profit, besides considering the ill that trouble of mind and melancholly may in this sickly time bring a family into, and that if the difference were never so great, it is not a time to put away servants, I was resolved to salve up the business rather than stir in it, and so become pleasant with my wife and to bed, minding nothing of this difference. So to sleep with a good deal of content, and saving only this night and a day or two about the same business a month or six weeks ago, I do end this month with the greatest content, and may say that these last three months, for joy, health, and profit, have been much the greatest that ever I received in all my life in any twelve months almost in my life, having nothing upon me but the consideration of the sicklinesse of the season during this great plague to mortify mee. For all which the Lord God be praised!

10 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link


[Evelyn cannot do miracles]

For my honor’d Friend
Samuell Pepys Esqr at
the Navy Office or Else Where: (2)

For his Majesties Special Service
in all speede:

Sayes Court

30 September 1665 (3)


The inclos’d had kiss’d your hands before this (4), had not the most infinite trouble of other dispatches in order to your Commands, hindred mee, and the present necessities of sending Orders to Woolwich and the places adjacent, for the Quartr[in]g of more Sick-men obtruded on us, but refuse to be entrtaind: I have sent for a Martiall to Chel[sea] (5) to send downe to Erith, and thence to Graves-End for Guards for the prisoners, but I heare not yet of him; nor can I heare of Assistants that will undertake to gouverne that affaire, if he faile me from London; One of my men, this afternoone, desiring to be dismissd in regu[ar]d of the Contagion: I inclose you the letter[s?] you desird, and you must forgive the dissorderly writing, There is plainesse, and truth in the particulars, and I am not solicitous of any mans censure of the forme, when I discharge my Conscie[nce] (6) I know I shall be thought impertinent, unlesse you back me with your attestation, and that with some zeale, which therefour I humbly supplicate of you: In the interim, I bes[eech] (7) you not to look on me as sluggish in my station, or indiligent as far as my talent reaches; nor of so slavish and disingenuous a nature to be tyd to impossibility and servitude: I cannot do miracles, nor know I how to sell goods and treate with the Merchant (8); but I can dispence such effects as shall be put into my hands for the discharge of what is intrustd to me; and if I should pretend to other excellences, it were to abuse you; But I am at all moments ready (in accknowledgme[n]ts of these deficiencys) to resigne the honor his Majestie has don me, to greate[r candi]date[s] (9): I beseech you inter[pret] (10) this to myne advantage (11), who am


Your most obedient Servant:


10 o’clock (12) at night
I have not eaten one bit of bread to-day.
Be pleasd to seale [this?] (13) when perusd;
Look on Sir William Doolye last:

Terry Foreman  •  Link

1 Source: PRO S.P. 29/133, f.63. Endorsed by P, ‘30 7ber. 65 = Says Court. Eqsr Evelin.’ The MS is scrawled, obviously written in a state of anger and frustration.

2 P sailed to Woolwich on the 30th on the Bezan (a 4-6 gun, 35-ton, yacht, ‘the King’s new pleasure-boat’ - P’s diary, 12 September 1661) leaving the following evening to sail on to Gillingham arriving on the morning of 2 October. From there he walked to Chatham, and on to Rochester where he dallied with three local women in the castle ruins. He left on horseback for Gravesend and then took a boat to Woolwich for the night before returning to the Navy Office, then at Greenwich, late on the 3rd (diary).

3 MS: ‘Says-Court 30th: 7br: 65.’

4 A letter to Sir George Carteret, see Appendix 1. It describes the horrific conditions in which the sick and wounded seamen and prisoners were suffering. There is no suggestion in P’s diary that he responded immediately. However, he wrote to Coventry on 3 October 1665 (NMM LBK/8; Tanner 1929, no. 48), bemoaning the ‘Want of money, numbers of prisoners (which the Commissioners for Sick and Wounded have flung upon us) to be fed’ amongst ‘our present burthen’.

E[velyn] had also written a letter to Sir William Coventry which described the desperate situation: ‘Sir William D’Oylie and my selfe have near ten thousand upon our Care, whiles there seems to be no care of us; who, having lost all our Servants, Officers, and most necessary Assistants, have nothing more left us to expose but our Persons, which are at every moment at the mercy of a raging pestilence... Our prisoners... beg at us, as a mercy, to knock them on the head; for we have no bread to relieve the dying Creatures...’ (BL CLBI.257, dated 2 October 1665, published in various Bray editions of E’s diary with correspondence). A further copy of this letter, dated 30 September 1665, in two unknown hands, and not signed in E’s name, is at NMM MS AGC20 51/064/11. Probably a Navy Office copy, and as such its date is more likely to be correct because it will have been made from the letter-sent.

5 MS torn.

6 MS: ‘Conscie’.

7 MS torn.

8 E is perhaps being a little insincere here in his anxiety to distance himself from trade and commerce, a socially-inferior occupation. In fact he was reasonably familiar with the practical financial realities of life. On 9 December 1657 he bought East India Company stock; in 1666 he began to look into the possibilities of a commercial brick-making enterprise, and in 1668 purchased a mill close to the Sayes Court estate.

9 Reading here is extremely uncertain due to a hole in the MS.

10 MS torn.

11 P’s diary entry for this day suggests he was aware of the depth of the problem.

12 MS: ‘Xk’.

13 MS: ‘y~’.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...nor money to pay them off, or provide for them."

What happened to the idea of taking 10000Ls worth of prize goods off the ships for the seamen's and prisoners' relief?

Bess indulging in too much Browne in her painting?

Yes, I apologize but who could resist.

Say, where would Mary get off threatening to spout off like that and why wouldn't Bess have sacked her, subject to Sam's confirmation? Bess hasn't hesitated to do it before. Surely it wasn't Mercer as the link suggests, unless it's an indication that Sam's really upset that he used her first name twice.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"this night and a day or two about the same business [between Elizabeth and Mercer as] a month or six weeks ago"

28 August 1665:
"Towards the evening, just as I was fitting myself, comes W. Hewer and shows me a letter which Mercer had wrote to her mother about a great difference between my wife and her yesterday, and that my wife will have her go away presently."

CGS  •  Link

need money>>>> some spend it, some put it under the mattress, some put in the garden, others make promises that you will get it back when hell welcomes them.
Oh! what a to do , how dothe we get some 'TIC' for those unexpected moments when we need bread money for some unexpected guests, oh! we wanted their goods not their wounded bodies.
Always the problem, Monies, still a problem 344 years later. Letters of credit always worth the ink of the promises.
Strange, banking got its start with a Charles and it may end with a Charles.
Tallies and derivative*** tallies


Pecunia non satiat avaritiam, sed inritat [irritat]
money never satisfies avarice only makes it worse.

derivative, a. and n.

[a. F. dérivatif, -ive (15th c. in Hatzf.), ad. L. d{emac}r{imac}v{amac}t{imac}v-us (Priscian), f. ppl. stem of d{emac}r{imac}v{amac}re: see -IVE.]

A. adj.

{dag}1. a. Characterized by transmission, or passing from one to another. Obs.
1637 LAUD Sp. Star-Chamb. 14 June Ded. Aiv, What Honour can You hope for, either Present, or derivative to Posterity if you attend your Government no better? 1640 BP. REYNOLDS Passions xxx, A derivative and spreading injury..dishonouring a the eyes of the world.

2. a. Of derived character or nature; characterized by being derived, drawn, obtained, or deduced from another; coming or emanating from a source.
1530 PALSGR. 310/1 Deryvatyfe, deriuatif. 1570 DEE Math. Pref. in Rudd Euclid (1651) Eijb, The..use of Geometry: and of his second, depending, derivative commodities. 1630 PRYNNE Anti-Armin. 133 It must be either an acquisite, a deriuatiue, or an infused quality.

derivative Argeioi we find [etc.].

3. Math. A function derived from another; spec. a differential coefficient.
1674 S. JEAKE Arith. (1696) 456 Derivatives of the third Sort..are next to be exhibited.


*** derivative, adj. and n.

* A. adj.

Finance. Having a value deriving from an underlying variable asset. See DERIVATIVE n.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

It's just so unusual for Sam to call Mercer by her first name I still wonder if it is her...But again, perhaps he was that upset.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

If it was Mercer, seems odd she feels obligated to censor Bess' behavior while not complaining about Sam's actions toward herself earlier.

Unless she did and Bess brushed her off... "Mercer...Sam'l feels every maid's breasts."

jeannine  •  Link

"The great burden we have upon us at this time at the office, is the providing for prisoners and sicke men that are recovered, they lying before our office doors all night and all day, poor wretches. Having been on shore, the captains won’t receive them on board, and other ships we have not to put them on, nor money to pay them off, or provide for them. God remove this difficulty!"

Terry's comment "Evelyn cannot do miracles" is sadly true, but given his moral character I am sure that he would have granted this one if he could and without any financial benefit to himself.

Whoever appointed him to lead the charge for the sick and wounded soldiers picked the best person to do so. Given all of the other characters of the time he is a bright light (even if his Diary is 'dull' compared to Sam's). Although nobody's perfect, Evelyn has a strong moral compass and deep faith to guide him and I am sure he feels true empathy for the people he is trying to help.

A. Hamilton  •  Link

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
To a Louse, R. Burns

"seeing [Luellin] a man ... that minds more his pleasure and company than his business...."

((From David Quidnunc annotation at encyclopedia entry for Peter LLewellyn (see link): His personality/character …… as hinted in the Latham & Matthews index volume subheadings: “drunk and amorous … bawdy story … at taverns/cookshops, etc. [18 page references, about one third of the total] … visits/dines with P. [another 18].”))

("I being much troubled to hear from Creed, that he was told at Salsbury that I am come to be a great swearer and drinker, though I know the contrary; but, Lord! to see how my late little drinking of wine is taken notice of by envious men to my disadvantage." Diary Sept 27,1665)

"...Thence mighty merry and much pleased with the dinner and company and they with me I parted and there was set upon by the poor wretches..."

A neat package of ironies, and an almost Dickensian scene

CGS  •  Link

AH: such a luverly quote , most of us never want to know the real thoughts.

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